State-mandated segregation is a thing of the past in Alabama, but the state's antiquated 1901 constitution paints a different picture. On Tuesday, Alabama voters will decide whether to strip language from the state's governing document that calls for poll taxes and separate schools for "white and colored."
In 2004, voters rejected an amendment to purge those remnants of Jim Crow from the constitution by fewer than 2,000 votes.
The fury of the great storm Sandy shocked a lot of people, like John Miksad, vice president of the New York electric utility Consolidated Edison. "We hit 14-foot tides — that was the biggest surprise," he told a press conference this week. "The water just kept rising and rising and rising."
That rising water flooded streets, buildings and parts of the city's underground electricity grid. Hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers lost power. But it might have been worse if the power lines had not been underground.
OK. So, it was really hard to get gas in the New York area yesterday. One very simple thing could be done that might change everything: drastically raise the price of gas. Now, if that happened, we would surely consider it price-gouging. But some economists think it would be a really good idea. Here's Zoe Chace of our Planet Money team.
MICHELLE MEDINA: So, everybody here's OK? You guys OK? All right. Yeah, we're still on line with him.
Originally published on Fri November 2, 2012 8:43 am
RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:
Climate change was a big part of the announcement Mayor Bloomberg made yesterday endorsing President Obama for reelection.
STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:
Bloomberg owns a media company, is politically independent, and made his endorsement in a memorable way. He said Mitt Romney has taken sensible positions in the past but reversed course on all of them.
MONTAGNE: He also said President Obama's term has been disappointing. But he argued the president was better on a range of issues, especially climate change.
There's little doubt that President Obama will win a large majority of the minority vote. Polls this year show the Latino voters supporting him by large margins, and that could make the difference in some swing states. Of course, back in 2008, 95 percent of African-Americans voted for Barack Obama. The key in this election is to get those voters to actually cast their ballots, which is why the president is spending these last days of the campaign reaching out to African-Americans. Here's NPR's Cheryl Corley.
President Obama is on the road, too, after spending time to focus on helping the Northeast recover from the massive storm called Sandy. A politician at the center of that storm is now backing the president. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has endorsed the president for reelection, saying he has the values and the vision to guide the country into the future, even though Bloomberg added he was disappointed with the past four years under President Obama.
Along with other post-Hurricane Sandy reconstruction, New York and New Jersey are trying to reassemble their election preparations. The storm affected hundreds of polling stations. Neither of these reliably Democratic states was poised to decide the presidential election, but public officials are still scrambling to make voting possible for millions of people in the evacuation zones. NPR's Quil Lawrence reports.
And a week that features Halloween is a good time to take a look at all the scary things that could happen when Election Day finally rolls around next Tuesday. NPR's national political correspondent Mara Liasson has been asking what else we could witness in this unpredictable campaign.
MARA LIASSON, BYLINE: The Romney campaign is predicting it will win. So is the Obama team. But what it both of them turn out to be wrong?
President Obama and his entire national security team monitored what was going on half a world away. Army Gen. Carter Ham, who was the regional commander for Africa, happened to be in Washington that day.
Originally published on Mon November 5, 2012 8:05 am
Nueva Cancion ("new song") is a style born in the '60s and '70s, when many Latin countries were ruled by repressive dictators. The songs were folk-inspired, with guitar-based song forms, percussive elements and socially charged lyrics. The late Victor Jara is seen as the father of the movement, and he comes up in this conversation.
Most of the attention heading into Election Day may be on the presidential race, but the stakes are also high in the battle for the U.S. Senate, where there are close contests in about a dozen states.
According to an NPR analysis of Kantar Media CMAG data, outside groups are spending more than $100 million blanketing the airwaves. This won't come as a surprise if you live in a state with a competitive Senate race.
Originally published on Thu November 1, 2012 5:36 pm
According to The New York Times, the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service pulled a report from its website after "after Senate Republicans raised concerns about the paper's findings and wording." The unit of the Library of Congress did so, despite objections from its economic team.
One of the most liberal members of the House, Wisconsin congresswoman Tammy Baldwin was not supposed to stand a chance in a statewide Senate run after she won the Democratic primary. And, a week out from the election, she remains in a tight race with former Governor Tommy Thompson for the open seat. Wisconsin Public Radio's Shawn Johnson has this report.