With their newfound control of both houses of Congress, the Republican agenda includes a rollback of environmental regulations, including President Obama’s new rules limiting carbon emissions from coal-fired power plants. We discuss this prospect with Lee Fang, a reporting fellow with The Investigative Fund at The Nation Institute, and blogger about money and politics at the the Republic Report. "This Republican majority owes its fortunes to a small number of fossil companies who were very big campaign spenders," Fang says. "And the next Congress will see some of the most avowed climate change deniers taking control of key congressional committees in the Senate and in the House."
Republicans have emerged from Tuesday’s midterm elections with control of Congress for the first time in eight years by winning key Senate seats and strengthening their majority in the House. Republican candidates won at least 10 of the day’s 13 closely contested Senate races, giving the party control of the Senate for the first time since 2007. Kentucky Sen. Mitch McConnell is expected to become the next Senate majority leader after defeating Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes in one of the nation’s highest-profile contests. McConnell has played a leading role in fighting campaign finance reform and supporting the Citizens United decision, which opened the floodgates to unlimited election spending. The $4 billion price tag made this election the most expensive midterm in history. We look at the Kentucky race and what to expect out of a McConnell-led Senate with Phillip Bailey, a freelance journalist in Louisville.
- Republicans Win Senate Control, Boost House Majority
- Alaska Senate Race Undecided; Louisiana Heads to Runoff
- Republican Candidates Dominate Contested Governors' Races
- 5 States Back Minimum Wage Hikes; Mass. Approves Paid Sick Leave
- Marijuana Measures Approved in Oregon, D.C.; Failure in Florida
- Anti-Choice Initiatives Lose in Colorado, North Dakota; Win in Tennessee
- Voters Reject GMO Labeling in Colorado; Oregon Likely to Follow
- Washington State Voters Approve Gun Background Checks
- U.S. Drone Strike Reportedly Kills al-Qaeda Leader in Yemen
- 10 Wounded in Attack on Jerusalem Pedestrians
- Ukraine, Russia Move Forces to East; Kiev Accused of Violating Truce
- Fugitive Mayor in Student Disappearances Arrested in Mexico
While each House seat is up for grabs in today’s midterms, only a few dozen races are competitive enough to be in play. It is control of the Senate that hangs in the balance, coming down to around 10 key races. Republicans need to gain six seats to recapture Senate control, with a slight edge over Democrats in the advance polls. A few races are so close that they could go to a runoff. That potentially means we end Tuesday night with the Senate still undecided. Senate control is crucial, with Republicans vowing an agenda that includes more cuts to public spending, and repealing environmental regulations, such as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s limits on emissions from coal-fired power plants and control of committees addressing global warming. But no matter how the Senate goes, we can expect mixed results at the state level as incumbent governors from both main parties face a voter backlash. The midterms will also see votes on 147 ballot measures, covering a number of key issues. Four states will vote on raising the minimum wage — Alaska, Arkansas, Nebraska and South Dakota. Polls show the measures will likely pass despite them all coming in Republican states. We get a roundup of the key issues from John Nichols and Lee Fang, contributors to The Nation magazine.
The most expensive midterms in history could see one of the lowest turnouts in years. Voting numbers will likely dip below the 40 percent mark of both 2006 and 2010. This despite a record estimate of $4 billion in spending. One quarter of that money, some $1 billion, will come from anonymous, so-called dark money groups. That money has gone into creating some two million television ads — most of them attack ads. We are joined by Lee Fang, one reporter attempting to follow the dark money trail. A reporting fellow with The Investigative Fund at The Nation Institute, Fang blogs about money and politics at the Republic Report.
Earlier this year, Ben Jealous, the former head of the NAACP and current chair Southern Election Fund, put out a report showing how a targeted wave of voter registration among people of color voters could shift the balance of power in key Southern states. But these efforts have come up against a series of cumbersome voter ID laws that have made it harder for people to vote, buttressed by the U.S. Supreme Court ruling invalidating key parts of the Voting Rights Act. "The Republicans aren’t doubling down on voter suppression in states they’re trying to acquire," Jealous says. "They’re doubling down on voter suppression in states [where] they’re afraid of losing control … This is what it looks like when the clocks are being turned back."
With control of the Senate up for grabs in today’s midterm elections, a major voting registration controversy could impact one of the chamber’s tightest races. More than 40,000 voter registrations have allegedly gone missing in Georgia, most of them representing communities of color, who largely support Democrats. Could this help Republicans win the Senate? We are joined by Georgia House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams, whose group the New Georgia Project submitted the tens of thousands of voter registration forms that have gone missing. Abrams is the first African American to lead the Georgia House and the first woman to lead a party in either chamber of the Georgia Legislature. We are also joined by Benjamin Jealous, former head of the NAACP and chairman of the Southern Election Fund.
- Voters Head to Polls in Most Expensive Midterms in U.S. History
- Yemen: U.S. Drone Strikes Kill Up to 20 People
- Liberian Forces Faulted for Firing on Ebola Quarantine Protesters
- Fifth Doctor Dies of Ebola in Sierra Leone
- Louisiana Blocks Ebola Scientists from Medical Conference
- 24 Migrants Drown Off Turkish Coast
- U.S., Europe Condemn Separatist Polls in Eastern Ukraine
- 2 More U.S. Nuclear Commanders Fired, 1 Disciplined in Latest Scandal
- Supreme Court to Decide if U.S. Passports Can List Jerusalem as "Israel"
- U.N. to Probe U.K. Spying on Climate Summit After Snowden Revelations
- Supreme Court Lets Abortion Protections Stand in Colorado, NYC
- Oklahoma: Anti-Choice Laws Take Effect, Leaving 1 Abortion Clinic
- Utah: Police Shooting of Black Man with Costume Sword Deemed Justified
- Texas: Austin Police Officers Caught on Dashboard Cam Joking About Rape
- NYC to Pay $2 Million to Family of Vet Who Died in Sweltering Rikers Cell
- Former CIA Analyst Ray McGovern Details Painful Arrest at Petraeus Event
- New York: 15 Arrested in Protest Against Gas Storage at Seneca Lake
- Tom Magliozzi, Co-Host of NPR's "Car Talk," Dies at 77
On the eve of the midterm elections, we air a report by investigative journalist Greg Palast on how new voter ID laws risk disenfranchising millions, especially black, Hispanic and Asian-American voters. Twenty-seven states are now participating in the Interstate Voter Registration Crosscheck Program. Backers say it is needed to prevent voter fraud, but critics say it is being used to stop Democratic-leaning voters from going to the polls. Tens of thousands of names have already been removed, and millions more are threatened. Based on a six-month investigation, Palast’s report originally aired on Al Jazeera America. A Puffin Foundation fellow, Palast is the author of the New York Times best-seller, "Billionaires & Ballot Bandits: How to Steal an Election in 9 Easy Steps."
The Grammy Award-winning singer and songwriter Angélique Kidjo joins us to discuss her upcoming tribute to Miriam Makeba, the legendary South African singer and activist. "Mama Africa: A Tribute to Miriam Makeba" will be performed Wednesday at Carnegie Hall in New York City. A UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, Kidjo is the author of the memoir, "Spirit Rising: My Life, My Music." Her latest album, “EVE,” is dedicated to the Women of Africa.
As Ebola cases surge in Sierra Leone and the confirmed overall toll tops 5,000, we discuss West Africa’s growing epidemic and the world’s lackluster response with the Grammy-winning singer and songwriter Angélique Kidjo. A native of Benin, Kidjo is a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, co-founder of the Batonga Foundation for Girls Education, and author of the memoir "Spirit Rising: My Life, My Music." Her latest album, “EVE,” is dedicated to the women of Africa. Last week, Kidjo wrote a piece in The New York Times headlined "Don’t Let Ebola Dehumanize Africa."
- U.N. Climate Panel: Global Warming Threatens "Irreversible Impacts"
- Scientists: World on Pace to Hit Max Carbon Emissions in 30 Years
- Report: Ebola Cases Surge in Sierra Leone
- Judge Strikes Down Nurse's Quarantine Order in Maine
- Al-Qaeda Group Seizes Parts of Syrian Province Idlib
- Fighting Continues in Kobani; Rallies Call for Aiding Kurds
- ISIS Attack on Sunni Tribe Kills over 300 in Iraq
- Dozens Killed in Suicide Bombing at Pakistan-India Border Crossing
- Thousands Protest Military Takeover in Burkina Faso after President Resigns
- Immigrant Rights Protests Follow Obama on Campaign Trail; Senate Hangs in Balance
- 3rd Student Victim of Washington St. School Shooting Dies; Voters Set to Approve Background Checks
- Officials: Ferguson No-Fly Zone Imposed to Keep out Media
- Thousands Protest Washington NFL Football Team at Game in Minnesota
- Cancer-Stricken Assisted Suicide Advocate Brittany Maynard Takes Own Life
Investigative reporter Eric Lichtblau’s new book unveils the secret history of how the United States became a safe haven for thousands of Nazi war criminals. Many of them were brought here after World War II by the CIA and got support from then FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover. Lichtblau first broke the story in 2010, based on newly declassified documents. Now, after interviews with dozens of agents for the first time, he has published his new book, "The Nazis Next Door: How America Became a Safe Haven for Hitler’s Men."
Click here to watch part 2 of this interview.
In New York state, the Green Party hopes to make major gains in the race for governor. Its candidate, Howie Hawkins, is taking on incumbent Democrat Andrew Cuomo, Republican Rob Astorino and Libertarian Michael McDermott. Hawkins is one of more than 200 Green candidates running for office across the country on Tuesday. Hawkins is calling for a "Green New Deal" that includes public jobs for the unemployed, single-payer healthcare, a ban on fracking and a 100 percent clean-energy future. Last week, he participated in four-way gubernatorial debate where Democracy Now! co-host Juan González questioned Cuomo about his record of dealing with corruption.
The oil giant Chevron is being accused of attempting to buy the city government of Richmond, California. The company has spent more than $3 million to back a slate of pro-Chevron candidates for mayor and city council ahead of Tuesday’s election. According to a report in the Los Angeles Times, Chevron has paid for TV attack ads, purchased space on virtually every billboard in town, funded a flood of mailers and financed a fake “news” website run by a Chevron employee. The move comes two years after a massive fire at Chevron’s oil refinery in Richmond sent 15,000 residents to the hospital. It was the third refinery fire since 1989 in the city. The city of Richmond responded to the latest fire by suing Chevron, accusing officials of placing profits and executive pay over public safety. We speak to one of the politicians being targeted, outgoing Mayor Gayle McLaughlin. She was elected mayor of Richmond in 2006, becoming the first Green Party official to represent a city of more than 100,000. Due to mayoral term limits, McLaughlin is now running for Richmond City Council.
Public Health vs. Civil Liberties: Debate over Ebola Quarantines Harkens Back to AIDS Panic in 1980s
Kaci Hickox, the nurse who was quarantined in New Jersey after returning from treating Ebola patients in Sierra Leone, openly defied the state of Maine by leaving her home and taking a bike ride with her boyfriend on Thursday. Maine Gov. Paul LePage vowed to use “the full extent of his authority allowable by law” to keep her in her home. Juan González talks about his most recent column in the New York Daily News and his interview with Norman Siegel, an attorney for Hickox.
- Israel Reopens Al-Aqsa Mosque Compound; Palestinians Protest Killing of Shooting Suspect
- Kerry Condemns U.S. Official Who Called Netanyahu a "Chickens—t"
- ISIS Kills 150 Tribesmen in Iraq; Kurdish Forces Arrive in Kobani
- Syrian Bombings Kill 200 Civilians; Hagel Admits U.S. Strikes May Aid Assad
- Report: Foreign Fighters Flock to Iraq, Syria on "Unprecedented Scale"
- Egypt: Mother, Daughter of Imprisoned Activists on Hunger Strike
- Nurse Defies Ebola Quarantine in Maine
- Nigeria: Boko Haram Captures Town of Mubi, Killing Dozens
- Burkina Faso: Military Dissolves Gov't After Protests; President Refuses to Resign
- Hungary Backs Down on Internet Usage Tax After Mass Protests
- Russia, Ukraine Reach Gas Deal; Separatists to Hold Elections
- Argentina Passes Bill to Attract Foreign Oil Companies; Mexican Court Rejects Oil Referendum
- 3 American Siblings Found Dead in Mexico; Police Questioned
- Probe Finds U.S. Agents Let Smuggler Bring Grenades into Mexico
- Report: FBI Quietly Seeks Broad Expansion of Hacking Powers
- Prosecutors Seek Death Penalty for Survivalist Captured in Pennsylvania
- Sen. Lindsey Graham: "White Men in Male-Only Clubs Are Going to Do Great in My Presidency"
- Apple CEO Tim Cook: "I'm Proud to Be Gay"
- Lobbyist Richard Berman Caught on Tape Urging Oil Execs to Dig Up Dirt on Environmentalists
- Warren Anderson, CEO of Union Carbide During Bhopal Disaster, Dead at 92
With the 2014 midterm elections just days away, we look at how anonymous donors are reshaping judicial races by pouring millions of dollars in "dark money" into races. Some donors see giving to the campaigns of judicial candidates as a way to get more influence, for less money than bankrolling legislative campaigns. A new investigation by Mother Jones magazine is headlined "Is Your Judge for Sale?: Thanks to Karl Rove and Citizens United, judicial elections have been overtaken by secretive interest groups, nasty ads, and the constant hustle for campaign cash." We speak to Andy Kroll, senior reporter for Mother Jones.
This week marks the second anniversary of Superstorm Sandy hitting the New York City region, becoming one of the most destructive storms in the nation’s history. A new joint investigation by ProPublica and NPR contends the American Red Cross bungled its response to Superstorm Sandy by caring more about its image and reputation than providing service to those in need. It alleges the organization diverted vehicles and resources to press conferences instead of using them to deliver services. And it estimates the Red Cross wasted an average of 30 percent of the meals it was producing in the early days of its Sandy response effort. We speak to ProPublica reporter Justin Elliott and Richard Rieckenberg, former disaster expert with the Red Cross — he oversaw aspects of the organization’s efforts to provide food, shelter and supplies after the 2012 storms. We also air an official Red Cross response to their investigation.
A debate is intensifying in the United States over quarantining healthcare workers who return from West Africa but do not show signs of Ebola. On Wednesday, Maine’s governor said that he would seek legal authority to enforce a 21-day home quarantine on Kaci Hickox, a nurse who has tested negative for Ebola after treating patients in Sierra Leone. Hickox made national headlines when she publicly criticized New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie for quarantining her in a tent outside the hospital. Hickox said she would challenge Maine’s restrictions just as she did in New Jersey. "I completely understand that the state’s purpose is to protect the state of Maine,” Hickox said last night. “I have worked in public health for many years, and that has always been my purpose, as well, but we have to make decisions on science, and I am completely healthy.” To discuss the debate, we speak to Lawrence Gostin, professor and faculty director at the O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law at Georgetown University. He is also the director of the World Health Organization Collaborating Center on Public Health Law.