On November 4, CBS News reported a U.S. seizure of 30 tons of marijuana after surveillance of a warehouse in Otay Mesa, California. After following a tractor-trailer leaving the warehouse and finding 10 tons of marijuana inside, U.S. authorities obtained a search warrant for the warehouse. They discovered an additional 4 tons of pot and the opening to an elaborate 600-yard tunnel connecting the warehouse to one across the border in Mexico.
On Election night, NBC’s David Gregory joked that the “elephant in the room” was ironically the Tea Party, and not the Republican Party. Exit polls showed that 4 out of 10 voters were Tea Party supporters, and of those Tea Party supporters, 8 out of 10 voters supported the Republican candidates. Given the powerful influence that the Tea Party movement has had in political and on the Republican Party as a whole, it seems reasonable to witness the creation of a Tea Party coalition on Capitol Hill.
In 1940, the statutory national debt limit was authorized at $43 billion. Today, the debt ceiling stands at $14.3 trillion dollars — 291 times larger than the original limit. Since President Barack Obama took office, the debt limit has been raised three times, though that is not unusual for a sitting president. However, the most recent limit increase was staunchly opposed by the GOP and did not secure one Republican vote. Whether the Republicans did that to assure their own victories on November 2 or they truly believe in reducing the debt remains to be seen, but it certainly prompts the question: What would happen if the GOP banded together next year and blocked the Treasury from issuing more debt?
So, the Republicans regained control of the U.S. House of Representatives with a margin of victory that made it the largest shift in power since the Democrats won a 91-seat House majority in 1948. Republicans are understandably ecstatic, but because they didn’t win control of the Senate, and since we are stuck with a Democratic president for two more years, they seem a little too confident for a party that controls only one-third of the government.
Iowa voters Tuesday turned out of office all three state Supreme Court justices who were up for term renewal. The three judges seeking new eight-year terms were part of a unanimous decision by the seven-member court last year, holding that a state law defining marriage exclusively as a union between one man and one woman is unconstitutional. The ruling made Iowa the first state in the Midwest and the sixth in the nation to establish same-sex marriage. The vote in Iowa is further evidence of how widespread and deeply ingrained opposition to same-sex marriage is with the voting public. More than 30 states have held referenda on the question and in every one voters have turned thumbs down on the proposition that unions between same-sex couples should be regarded by law as marriage.