Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. When the Florida city of Boca Raton hosted the last presidential debate, even the previous debate's moderator mispronounced it. Outsiders do tend to call it Boca Raton, like baton, possibly because it dropped the E on the end decades ago. Now the mayor wants the E back in the name. She joked to the South Florida Sun Sentinel: We'll put you in jail like Al Capone if you don't say it like Boca Raton. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright National Public Radio.
SCOTT HORSLEY, BYLINE: And I'm Scott Horsley, traveling with the Obama campaign. Actually, the president's campaign travel is finished. Mr. Obama spent the night at his own home in Chicago. Today's plans call for some TV and radio interviews and maybe a game of basketball with some friends. Mr. Obama's last reelection rally came last night in Iowa, where 20,000 people gathered just outside the caucus headquarters where he launched his first presidential campaign more than five years ago.
Many Americans will spend extra time at the polls today, not just choosing candidates but also making law. They will vote on a variety of state ballot initiatives, which Josh Goodman of the Pew Center on the States is tracking.
I've printed out here a list of ballot initiatives in various states. And it's more than a page long. It's a ridiculous number. The Oregon Gillnet Fishing Initiative, the Utah Military Property Tax Exemption Amendment, Constitutional Amendment B 2012. We could go on for quite some time. This is quite a list.
New York's Mayor Bloomberg has hired a former FEMA official with experience in Hurricane Katrina to direct the city's housing recovery. NPR's Martin Kaste reports it's another sign of the seriousness of the housing shortage caused by the storm.
In Florida, Supreme Court justices are nominated by a commission and appointed by the governor. Every six years, they're up for retention. Voters decide whether to keep them on the bench or let them go.
Since the system was put in place in the 1970s, retention votes have been pro forma affairs, with justices doing little fundraising or campaigning.
Superstorm Sandy got officials in New York and New Jersey talking about how to prevent flooding in a time of global warming and sea level rise.
But the place on the East Coast that's most vulnerable to flooding is several hundred miles south, around Norfolk, Va. — and Norfolk has already spent many years studying how to survive the rising waters.
Scientists say what Norfolk has learned is especially important in light of new research showing that the coastline from North Carolina to Boston will experience even more sea level rise than other areas.
Asking voters to raise taxes on themselves is a tough sell, but there are initiatives around the country doing just that. In Missouri, it's the cigarette tax. Missouri has the lowest cigarette tax of any state, and some of the highest smoking and lung cancer rates. St. Louis Public Radio's Veronique LaCapra reports.
The U.S. economy has been slowly recovering, but economists warn it could plunge back into recession if Congress does not take action to avoid what's become known as the fiscal cliff.
STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:
That is the name that some clever communications specialist gave to the combination of expiring tax cuts - in other words, tax increases - and broad, mandatory spending cuts aimed at reducing the deficit. The two are set to go into effect at the end of the year.
The final days of an election cycle bring an obsession with the short term — the very short term. Daily tracking polls. A relentless get-it, post-it, blog-it news cycle. Trending topics on Twitter telling us something (though it's not always clear what).
But for just a moment, let's slow it down, look at what's happening over a somewhat longer time frame, and see what it tells us about what the country will look like for the winner of the presidential race.
Anyone who traveled to Breezy Point, Queens, in New York City in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, even as recently as a few of days ago, would have needed an SUV — its main thoroughfare was under 3 feet of water. Today, you can see pavement. It sounds like a small victory, but this beachfront, blue-collar town is willing to accept progress in increments.
Lianne La Havas was pretty much unknown until she appeared on the influential TV show in Britain called Later with Jools Holland. It was just her, singing and playing guitar. Her voice was clear, pure and soulful. The song she performed — called "Age" — was both jazzy and sassy.
"Time seemed to stand still," wrote one critic of La Havas' live performance. There were much more established artists on the music show that day, but Alison Howe, the producer, says La Havas was the standout.
Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep. Someone at the Vatican is a fan of James Bond. We can relate, since this program did an entire Bond week this year. But we would have trouble matching the coverage in the Vatican newspaper. On Tuesday, it ran not one, but five articles about the new Bond movie "Skyfall." The five articles include a review calling it one of the best Bond movies ever. Just try to think of it not as entertainment, but as an allegory of good versus evil. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
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 9:43 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.
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.
Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. A coffee chain in Britain surveyed its customers and found 70 percent suffered coffee confusion. So the chain is now offering a new trial menu in plain English. A latte is now really, really milky coffee, a cappuccino - frothy coffee, and a mocha -chocolate flavored coffee. Not listed: a decaf soy triple tall latte, though some baristas might just call that - Why Bother. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep. This could happen to the best of drivers. Suspected smugglers wanted to take their SUV across the U.S.-Mexico border. They built ramps that would take it over the Arizona border fence. But unlike the way it would've happened in old episodes of the "Dukes of Hazzard," the Jeep got stuck on top of the fence. The smugglers spent time trying to free it from the top of the fence, then fled back into Mexico when border patrol agents arrived. You are listening to MORNING EDITION.
Abigael Evans, 4, of Fort Collins, Colo., started crying on the way to the grocery store as she and her mother listened to NPR in the car. NPR editors issued an immediate apology online, and later in the afternoon, Abbie cheered up when she got an NPR Politics pin from member station KUNC.
On the first of November, it's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.
RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:
And I'm Renee Montagne.
Portions of the New York subway system are up and running again after being shut down for three days after Superstorm Sandy. There is, of course, a giant hole in the middle of the system. The lines stop short of Lower Manhattan, where many tunnels and stations flooded.