Measures to legalize recreational marijuana passed Tuesday in two states. For the first time in any election, voters in three states approved same-sex marriage. We look at the pace of change in some of America's traditional cultural norms. Also, China launches its leadership transition, and election predictions and the revenge of the nerds.
FROM THIS EPISODE
China today began a week-long process of choosing new leadership for the next ten years. In a public speech to thousands of Communist Party leaders, outgoing President Hu Jintao said it's time to combat official corruption that has stoked public anger. Kenneth Lieberthal is senior fellow at the Brookings Institution.
In Colorado and Washington states, it's not just medical marijuana any more. Recreational pot was legalized by the voters on Tuesday. In Washington State, Maine and Maryland on Tuesday, voters approved same-sex marriage -- the first time that's ever happened in any US election. In Minnesota, a constitutional ban was turned down, after 30 previous efforts to legalize same-sex marriage. Will the Obama Justice Department back away from enforcing federal laws against marijuana now that more and more voters have spoken? Will the US Supreme Court look at the election returns if it decides to rule on DOMA, the federal Defense of Marriage Act?
Jonathan Rauch, Brookings Institution (@jon_rauch)
Douglas NeJaime, UCLA Law School (@WilliamsPolicy)
John Matsusaka, University of Southern California
Mark Kleiman, New York University (@MarkARKleiman)
Norm Stamper, Law Enforcement against Prohibition (@CopsSayLegalize)
Mark Kleiman and others
On Monday, when we discussed how many electoral votes would go to President Obama, Florida was up in the air. But the prediction of Professor Sam Wang, who founded Princeton University's Election Consortium, was dead on. The President won exactly 303 Electoral College votes and Florida is still undecided -- and Wang is not alone. Before the election, Nate Silver's "538" blog was bringing more visitors to the New York Times' website than any of the paper's more famous traditional pundits. He also called the election just right. Mark Blumenthal is founding editor of Polling.com and senior polling editor for the Huffington Post, which has it's own scientific modeler, Simon Jackman.
John G. Matsusaka
More From To the Point
The Jewish State of Israel: Democracy or Apartheid? Israel’s recent “national unity” law calls the country “unique” to the Jewish people. But 21 percent of Israelis are Arabs. Do Jewish values conflict with pluralistic democracy? Jews in both countries are sharply divided over a question that goes to the founding of the “Jewish State.”
Is ‘socialism’ dividing the Democrats From Bernie Sanders to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez,“socialism” is having a hot summer. Is it the future of the Democratic Party or an easy Republican target? Prominent liberals and conservatives describe the history--and possible future--of a term loaded with many meanings in America’s political history.
Cartoons, Comic Strips and Opinions Rob Rogers of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette is the latest editorial cartoonist to lose his job. Fired for harsh portrayals of President Trump. We’ll talk with him and look at another kind of cartooning: comic strips. Even when the kids don’t realize it, they’re political, too. They’re a highly sophisticated artform and a barometer of social change.
Cyberwar: Can the US Defend Against “The Perfect Weapon?” By hacking centrifuges, the US may have slowed Iran’s nuclear-weapons program. But a good offense is not the best defense. Threats to US elections, the power grid and even medical records are real and present. But they’re not getting the attention they deserve. That’s according to the New York Times’ David Sanger, in his book The Perfect Weapon.
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