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Democrat Barack Obama is now officially a lame-duck president, with the Senate controlled by Republicans and the House with its biggest GOP majority since 1950.  How did they do it, and what’s next in the halls of Congress and in the White House?

Also, a Palestinian driver plows into pedestrians in Jerusalem. On today's Talking Point, is leal marijuana reaching a tipping point?

Photo: Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY), who will become Senate Majority Leader. (Gage Skidmore)

Palestinian Driver Plows into Pedestrians in Jerusalem 6 MIN, 8 SEC

In Jerusalem, a Palestinian driver plowed into pedestrians near a light-rail station, killing one Israeli and injuring a dozen more.  It’s the second attack in two weeks that police call “terrorism.”  It comes at a time of renewed tension over access to one of the city’s holiest sites for Muslims.  Joel Greenberg is there for the McClatchy newspapers.

Joel Greenberg, freelance reporter

The Elections Are Over: Let the Campaign Begin 34 MIN, 27 SEC

Even before the midterm voting began, both parties were looking ahead to the next Presidential election. Now, Republicans have the Senate for the first time since 2006, and their biggest House majority since 1950.  Can they legislate their way to success in 2016? We hear about their challenges — and those of a lame duck Democrat in the White House whose party blames him for its losses. What’s in store as both parties try to impress an electorate that will look very different from yesterday’s voters?

Aaron Blake, Washington Post (@AaronBlake)
Neil Newhouse, Public Opinion Strategies (@KCkid)
Ed Kilgore, New York magazine / Democratic Strategist (@ed_kilgore)
Julian Zelizer, Princeton University (@julianzelizer)

President Obama responds to midterm elections
Blake compares 2010, 2014 election disappointment for Democrats
Public Opinion Strategies on the GOP and 2014 midterm election
Kilgore on the permanent campaign, Republican 'sweep'
Zelizer on Obama's long fall

What’s the Future of Marijuana Legalization? 8 MIN, 51 SEC

Voters in Oregon, Alaska and the District of Columbia legalized recreational marijuana yesterday. Twenty-three states have approved it for medical use. But it’s still a prohibited schedule-one drug under federal law, just like heroin, Ecstasy and LSD. In 2016, more states around the country will be voting on various formulas for legalizing it. If they succeed, the pressure will grow on Congress and the next president. Beau Kilmer is co-director of the RAND Drug Policy Research Center and co-author of Marijuana Legalization: What Everyone Needs to Know.

Beau Kilmer, RAND Drug Policy Research Center, co-author “Marijuana Legalization: What Everyone Needs to Know” (@beaukilmer)

Marijuana Legalization

Jonathan P. Caulkins

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