Alicia Long and Jayne Jones are the authors of "Capitol Hell"; a book they’re calling "Devil Wears Prada" meets Washington D.C. Inspired by life on Capitol Hill, the novel follows a naive young girl who goes to work for a demanding boss and gets in way over her head. Except this time the young girl is working for a newly elected senator who's seen as a rising political star. The writers are former Capitol Hill staffers, who both worked for former Republican Senator Norm Coleman of Minnesota. Alicia Long and Jayne Jones come to the studio to dish on the new book this morning.
President Obama and the Senate are returning to Washington today after taking a Christmas Break. They now have only five days to act to avoid the fiscal cliff as they wait to see if the House will come into session. The GOP is meanwhile putting pressure on Senate Democrats to make the next move in the fiscal cliff standoff. Sen. Richard Blumenthal is a Democrat from Connecticut. He joins “Starting Point” live from D.C.
"I'm really hopeful," Sen. Blumenthal says. "I think there is still sufficient time to reach a deal if we use the common ground that we have. And that common ground is that nobody wants to go over the fiscal cliff."
Recreational marijuana has only been legal in the state of Washington for a few hours now, as a result of a landmark ballot initiative passed last month on Election Day but residents are already celebrating. Organizations such as the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws also known as “NORML,” have been fighting for the legalization of marijuana since it was founded in 1972. NORML Executive Director Allen St. Pierre joins “Starting Point” this morning to discuss the new Washington state law and the broader implications of how this law could lead to more states enacting laws to legalize marijuana.
St. Pierre says the midnight public festivities by Washington state residents were, “a celebration to be sure that’s pent up 75 years of marijuana prohibition in America.” The NORML Executive Director went on to predict that just like the 18 states that have passed the use of medical marijuana, other states will follow suit with legalizing it as well. St. Pierre says, “Almost the entire West Coast and all of New England are going to move in this direction. It will take decades to infill the middle of the country.”
On the subject of tourism St. Pierre says he suspects, “a few hundred other thousand people” will be frequent visitors of the centennial state and the nation’s capital. He adds, “Why go to Amsterdam? Why go to Jamaica? I love trout fishing and skiing, so I think I’ll be making more trips this year to Colorado and Washington.”