PHOTO OF THE DAY: The best photoset from election night.
BY SAM GREISMAN
A look back at today's big stories
The Romney campaign has finally conceded that it lost Florida. Meanwhile Mitt Romney is really really sad. At least he can keep starring at his would be President-Elect website. Is it bad that Romney's sadness gives me so much joy? With Democrats still riding high off their successes on Tuesday night, The Atlantic looks at what an Obama second term will look like.
Joe Biden's first act in his second term as Vice President? Apparently swinging by Pawnee, Indiana.
In light of the gay marriage successes on election day, The New York Times says that anti-gay activists need to get on the right side of history. Although for those hoping that marriage equality may be coming to New Jersey, they may have to wait longer than they expected.
VIDEO OF THE DAY
President Obama stopped by his Chicago campaign HQ yesterday to thank his supporters for all their hard work and wish them well on their next moves.
"I am absolutely confident that all of you are going to do amazing things in your lives," he told them.
Then, after marveling at the volunteers' enthusiasm for the democratic process and their determination to help their fellow Americans, Obama got misty, saying, "Even before last night's results, I felt that the work I had done in running for office had come full circle."
"Because what you guys have done means that the work I am doing is important. And I'm really proud of that. I'm really proud of you." The volunteers began cheering as the president paused to wipe away tears. "What you guys have accomplished will go in the annals of history."
Watch President Obama get emotional AFTER THE JUMP.
Last December, Texas prison inmate John Hall attacked another inmate because his victim appeared to be gay. Today, the Justice Department announced that Hall pleaded guilty of violating the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, the national law against targeting someone for their perceived sexual orientation or gender identity.
From the DOJ's press release:
According to information presented during the plea hearing, Hall targeted the victim, a fellow inmate, because of the victim’s perceived sexual orientation. Hall admitted that he assaulted the victim because of his perceived sexual orientation by repeatedly punching and kicking the victim while calling the victim gay slurs. The victim sustained multiple lacerations to his face, and chipped and fractured teeth as a result of Hall’s unprovoked attack. The assault occurred inside the Federal Correctional Institution, which is within the special maritime or territorial jurisdiction of the United States.
Thomas E. Perez, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division, went on, "The Justice Department continues to investigate and prosecute acts of violence targeting individuals because of their sexual orientation; this case is just another example of the department’s commitment to the pursuit of justice on behalf of all people regardless of their sexual preference or orientation."
Hall faces an extra ten years in prison for last year's attack.
With marriage equality wins in three states this week, supportive activists are increasingly confident that the Supreme Court, less than two weeks away from a decision on whether to review California's Proposition 8, will rule one way or another on discriminating against same-sex nuptials.
"The court can't live in a world where the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional in the Northeast and constitutional everywhere else," ACLU lawyer James Essex told Reuters.
And the momentum toward inclusion across the states creates an even more urgent situation for the Court, says New York Law School professor Arthur Leonard: "It becomes much more urgent to get an answer whether the federal government can continue to refuse to recognize same-sex marriage"
Despite the writing on the wall, Brian Brown from the National Organization for Marriage, an increasingly isolated group of people with nothing better to do than meddle, soap opera villainess style, in other people's relationships, seems to think all this inclusion will spur one justice in particular, swing voting Anthony Kennedy, to stand for hate.
"Kennedy will look at this and think, why create a new culture war and bypass the democratic process to impose gay marriage on the country when this is being worked out on a state-by-state basis?"
But that probably, actually, most definitely won't be the case, as reporter Terry Baynes explains:
In 1967 the court ruled that Virginia could no longer ban interracial marriage, reversing a ruling that had stood since 1883, after several states repealed their anti-miscegenation laws. And in 2003 the court found that Texas could not ban sodomy, noting that the number of states with laws banning homosexual conduct had dropped from 25 to 13 since it had made the opposite finding in 1986.
"Every time it becomes clear marriage equality is more accepted and popular, that helps us in the Supreme Court in some hard-to-quantify way," said Paul Smith, another lawyer who represents people who are challenging the Defense of Marriage Act.
Good grief, Brian Brown.
Human Rights activists and diplomats the world over congratulated Malawi for saying this week that they suspended homophobic laws and stopped arresting people just for being gay.
"If we continue arresting and prosecuting people based on the said laws and later such laws are found to be unconstitutional it would be an embarrassment to government," Justice Minister Ralph Kasambara said, according to Reuters.
But now Kasambara's claiming he never said that. The LA Times reports that Kasambara told Malawi's Daily Times, "There was no such announcement and there was no discussion about same-sex marriages. Nobody talked about suspension of any provision of the penal code."
So all that talk about Malawi leading the way on LGBT rights in Africa? Forget it. Instead remember that a Malawian gay couple were sentenced to 14 years in prison in 2010 - again, just for being gay. Their picture was run on the front of newspapers all across the country, as seen above.
House Speaker John Boehner wouldn't go so far as to say that he and his Republican colleagues won't waste time trying to overturn President Obama's healthcare law, but the Representative did tell ABC News' Diane Sawyer that the signature legislation is "the law of the land."
"It's pretty clear that the president was reelected, Obamacare is the law of the land," he said, before adding, "I think there are parts of the healthcare law that are gonna be very difficult to implement. And very expensive."
Asked, "You won't be spending the time next year trying to repeal Obamacare?" Boehner responded, "There certainly may be parts of it that we believe-- need to be changed. We may do that. No decisions at this point."
Boehner also told Sawyer, "We don't have a Tea Party caucus to speak of in the House" and insisted failed vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan is not the leader of the party. Rather, he's a "policy wonk."
"He's involved in the cause of trying to bring us pro-growth economic agendas for America and making sure that we're doing this in a fiscally responsible way," said Boehner. "I'm glad that Paul Ryan's coming back to the Congress."
Watch video of Boehner telling Sawyer the GOP will not raise taxes to cope with the forthcoming fiscal cliff AFTER THE JUMP...
UPDATE: And, Boehner walks it back.
ObamaCare is law of the land, but it is raising costs & threatening jobs. Our goal has been, and will remain, #fullrepeal.