Despite the GOP’s troubles, Democrats remain anxious that the political environment could deteriorate still further before Election Day. They say two of their vulnerable incumbents, New Hampshire Rep. Carol Shea-Porter and Illinois Rep. Bill Enyart, may soon be lost causes and are scrambling to prevent that list from growing.
We’ll see. That’s certainly a tough district for Enyart in an off year with Pat Quinn’s numbers in the tank. But only one occupation polls lower than a sitting congressman: Illinois state legislator. Mike Bost has taken lots and lots of votes over the years.
Democrats have gradually narrowed their focus to protecting jeopardized incumbents and are likely to seriously invest in only the dozen or so candidates seen as realistic contenders for Republican-held seats. At the start of the cycle, for instance, national Democrats had been talking up the candidacies of Ann Callis, a former county judge running for an Illinois seat, and Amanda Renteria, a former Capitol Hill aide seeking a California seat. Neither candidate is now seen as likely to win, and neither is receiving as much attention.
The DCCC’s only evidence that they haven’t yet jettisoned Callis is their media buy reservations haven’t been canceled. Kinda thin soup.
Katie Prill, a spokeswoman for the National Republican Congressional Committee, said the GOP’s Illinois strategy has changed from defense to offense. The NRCC has spent a half million dollars on television ads to support Dold against Schneider, and a total of $1.4 million to support Mike Bost, who is facing the Democrat Enyart, and Davis in their races.
Prill singled out the Dold-Schneider race as a “huge pickup opportunity” for Republicans. Dold lost to Schneider in the independent-leaning district by about one percentage point in 2012.
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has spent $800,000 on ads so far in the Dold-Schneider race, and about $3.5 million in the other two districts. U.S. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi recently appeared in Chicago to rally with Callis and Schneider, and push the Democratic campaign themes of equal pay for women and raising the minimum wage.
I have full confidence that Bill Enyart wins his #IL12seat over Tea Party-aligned Illinois State Rep. Mike Bost. In #IL13, however, I surely hope Ann Callis wins over Rodney Davis. #ILSen: Senator Dick Durbin should win by 10+ over Jim Oberweis . Go Durbin, Enyart, Callis, and Quinn/Vallas!
From the September 2 edition of Fox News’ The Real Storywith Gretchen Carlson:
GRETCHEN CARLSON: A sad day for America, right?
K.T. McFARLAND: You bet. And I’m not sure it’s a day that had to happen. You know, the president has stuck his head in the sand. We now have evidence that he’s known about the threat that was mounting, coming, the ability of ISIS to take large areas, be well-funded, be well-armed, and have this jihadist agenda of killing, murdering, raping, crucifying, beheading anybody who gets in their way. Americans, Christians, religious minorities, even other Muslims. And the president stuck his head in the sand, and now we’ve seen two Americans have lost their heads. And this is not where it’s going to be over, Gretchen. That’s what’s so upsetting. There are some 20 other unaccounted-for journalists who have been missing for the last year in Syria and in Iraq. There’s one American — 26-year-old girl who’s an aid worker. We have hundreds, if not thousands, of Americans now in Iraq and doing — in the oil industry, in the energy industry — and doing aid workers and working at hospitals teaching at schools; they’re all vulnerable.
American journalist Steven Sotloff has been beheaded by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant aka ISIS according to an as yet unconfirmed video. Sotloff’s murder follows that of fellow journalist Jim Foley on August 19th. We here at BNR continue to refuse to post videos of ISIS members or their sick acts of terror. That’s precisely what they want and we won’t give these horrid radicals something they don’t deserve, which is free publicity. Bottom line: murdering innocent people in the name of any god is never humane.
We have included the video of Steven’s mother, Shirley Sotloff, pleading for her son’s life.
Todd Starnes called into Alice Stewart’s radio show today to discuss a report from Fox News claiming that President Obama had been briefed on ISIS for over a year but took no action, with Starnes citing this report as evidence that Obama is refusing to confront radical Islamic groups because he favors Islam over Christianity.
Stewart warned that Obama is letting militant groups rise throughout the Middle East as “just the first step in the Islamification of America” and Starnes agreed, saying that “this may very well be the subject of my next book.”
"The soft targets in this country are the churches," Starnes said, "and we do know that the terrorists are living among us; it’s just a matter of when they are going to strike and who they’re going to strike. If nothing else, and this is going to be a very controversial statement, but looking at the evidence we have, this president’s administration seems to be accommodating the Islamic faith at the expense of all other faiths and that is a troubling thing. This needs to nipped in the bud. The president needs to put on the big boy pants and he needs to do the job that he was elected to do, which is to protect our country from the bad guys."
"This is the worst example of bullying of Christians there is," Stewart added, "and we have no strategy whatsoever to deal with it":
A group of conservative women told Fox News on Tuesday that feminism was dangerous because it had “sexualized” women and made them “afraid to be stay-at-home moms.”
In an appearance on Fox & Friends to promote their new book, “What Women Really Want,” hosts of the Internet video show Politichicks explained to host Anna Kooiman that liberal women were “intolerant.”
“They claim they’re feminists, but what they actually are, they are sexualists,” Politichicks Editor in Chief Ann-Marie Murrell opined. “It has nothing to do with empowering women anymore.”
“We earned the right to vote, we have equality in the workplace,” she continued. “If we don’t, we can fight that on a one-on-one basis. But everything they’re about now is kind of about from the head down. It has nothing to do with women’s brains or their hearts.”
Kooiman suggested that “the left was tolerant as long as you agreed with them 100 percent.”
“Women don’t want to be objectified, and what the feminist movement has successfully done, is really, sexualized women instead of feminizing women,” Politichicks host Dr. Gina Loudon asserted. “So, we’re here with a new brand of feminism, saying drop the shackles of the old feminism. It’s time for women who really want to be women, who want to be feminine, who want to be what God designed them to be.”
“They claim that we put women back into the 50s where women stayed home and took care of their children,” Murrell added. “I say that what they’re doing, they are like cave women waiting for a caveman to bonk them on the head and drag them into the cave by the hair. That’s who they are. They’re the ones putting us back into the stone ages.”
Politichicks host Morgan Brittany argued that feminists had created a stigma that made women ashamed to stay at home with their children.
“And they want less government in their lives,” she remarked. “They want to make their own decisions, they want freedom to choose for their children, their families. That’s what women really want.”
“And they also want real men,” Brittany insisted. “We love real men. We absolutely love them.”
“Stop shaving, men!” Murrell exclaimed.
“We want no more of this feminists politicizing our bodies, and what happens in our bedrooms,” Loudon concluded. “That’s all that the feminist movement has successfully done. And we’re here to battle back, and say we know what women really want.”
Watch the video below from Fox News’ Fox & Friends, broadcast Sept. 2, 2014.
Nearly three-fourths of Americans favor letting the Washington NFL Team keep their nickname, but the percentage who think it should be changed has tripled in the past two decades, according to a poll conducted by Langer Research for “Outside the Lines.”
Nearly a quarter (23 percent) of Americans surveyed now think the name should be changed, up from 8 percent in 1992 and up 9 percentage points in the past year alone.
DC NFL Team Poll
A look at some of the key findings in the Langer Research Associates poll (categories include all respondents, people who said the name shows a lot/some/no disrespect, and different demographic categories):
CategoryForAgainstAll71 pct.23 pct.Disrespect a lot1287Disrespect some4251No disrespect908Conservatives8810Moderates6923Liberals5341Age 45+7817Age less than 456529Income under $75K7620Income over $75K6530
The poll of 1,019 Americans, conducted on landline and cellular telephones between Aug. 20 and Aug. 24, found that 71 percent favor keeping the nickname — but that’s down from 89 percent when the question was first asked 22 years ago. It also found that 68 percent of people responding believe the nickname is not disrespectful of Native Americans, compared to just 9 percent who say it is “a lot” disrespectful (19 percent said it showed “some” disrespect).
A total of 54 percent of respondents think the name is unlikely to be changed, compared to 42 percent who think it will (the rest had no opinion).
Calls to change the team’s nickname have increased recently.
In June, the United States Patent and Trademark Office canceled the team’s trademarks in a 2-1 ruling on the basis they are “disparaging to Native Americans.” The team has appealed the ruling and has said it is confident it will be overturned.
Several politicians have urged NFL commissioner Roger Goodell to force team owner Dan Snyder to change the name, including Attorney General Eric Holder, Sen. Harry Reid and former secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. President Barack Obama said last year that if he owned the Redskins, “I’d think about changing [the name].”
Last month, Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley said on his Facebook page that it is “probably time” for the DC NFL Team to change the nickname. The team plays at FedEx Field in Landover, Maryland.
A non-scientific survey by ESPN’s NFL Nation revealed that 58 percent (167) of 286 players questioned say the DC NFL Team should not change their name, but 42 percent (119) said they should. Of 51 Washington NFL Team players polled, 26 said the team should keep the name, one said it should be changed, and 24 didn’t want to answer.
Washington’s Nickname: An NFL Dilemma
"Outside The Lines" presents a one-hour special report, "Washington’s Nickname: An NFL Dilemma," Tuesday at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN2. It will reair at 11 p.m. ET on ESPNEWS. WatchESPN
The polling conducted for “Outside the Lines” showed no difference in attitude between men and women, or whites and non-whites.
Politically, however, 89 percent of Republicans and 88 percent of conservatives say the team should keep its name, compared to just 58 percent for Democrats and 53 percent for people who consider themselves liberal, according to the poll. In terms of political leanings, 83 percent of Republicans see no disrespect in the Redskins name. That drops to 68 percent of independents and 57 percent of Democrats.
"Back in 1992, when about nine in 10 Americans opposed changing the team’s name, opinion was basically uniform across groups," according to Langer Research. "The increase since then in support for a change has occurred chiefly among Democrats, younger adults, those living in the Northeast and West, and people with higher incomes and more education."
I personally favor changing the name of DC’s NFL Team.
upporters of an Oklahoma City police officer who was charged with raping or sexually abusing eight black women have raised more than $7,000 for the 27-year-old cop.
Daniel Holtzclaw was arrested in August on charges of rape, forcible oral sodomy, sexual battery, and indecent exposure for allegedly sexually assaulting women while on patrol. He is being held on $5 million bond.
Friends and family of the three-year veteran of the Oklahoma City Police Department have created a Facebook page called “Justice for Daniel Holtzclaw.” They insist the criminal allegations against him are false, and have been using the page to try to sell shirts that read, “Free the Claw” and “#JusticeForDanielHoltzclaw.”
More than 500 people have “liked” the Facebook page.
Supporters of Holtzclaw have also launched a crowdfunding campaign on the websiteGoFundMe. The page was created by Holtzclaw’s sister, who hopes to raise $100,000 for her brother, according to MLive.com. The crowdfunding campaign has raised $7,390 so far.
“The pursuit of Justice will be lengthy, but with the support of Family, Friends, and the Community, Daniel Holtzclaw will be vindicated and justice will prevail,” the page states. “All funds raised will assist Daniel and his Family as they seek the JUSTICE Daniel Holtzclaw so rightly deserves.”
Prosecutors claim that Holtzclaw stopped women, who were all black and between the ages of 34 and 58, while on patrol and threatened to arrest them or physically harm them unless they exposed themselves, allowed him to fondle them, or had sex with him.
McCulloch is investigating Brown’s shooting by Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson. However, protesters and many community members generally have argued that his background makes it impossible for him to objectively run the case. Getting McCulloch to step aside has been one of the primary demands protesters have made in the weeks following Brown’s death.
Monday’s protest was brief; the freeway was only supposed to be shut for four and a half minutes to represent the four and a half hours Michael Brown’s body reportedly lay in the street.
During the two weeks after Brown’s death, numerous protesters also told BuzzFeed they were particularly upset that Brown’s body was left in the street for hours. Many in the community felt that it was disrespectful both for Brown and passersby, and that if Brown had been white the situation would have been handled differently.
Earlier Monday afternoon, it looked as though the freeway blockade wouldn’t happen.
Protesters had discussed shutting down Interstate 270, but toldThe St. Louis Post-Dispatch they ultimately opted to postpone the event. “Until our demands are met it’s still on the table — some kind of highway action. When we’re ready we’ll tell everyone about it,” organizer Zaki Baruti told the paper Monday.
The call to postpone the protest came from Michael Brown’s family, the Post-Dispatch reported. The fact that some protesters opted to disregard Brown’s family’s request emphasizes the fact that the protests are populated by a diverse group of people who at times have differing views on what should happen.
Police were on the scene as the protesters blocked the freeway Monday, but members of Argus Streaming News said there were no conflicts and the protest remained orderly.
FERGUSON • A planned protest to briefly shut down highways in the St. Louis area Monday has been postponed at the request of Michael Brown’s family, one of the protest
FERGUSON • A planned protest to briefly shut down highways in the St. Louis area Monday has been postponed at the request of Michael Brown’s family, one of the protest organizers said.
"This is a postponement," organizer Zaki Baruti told reporters outside the Ferguson police department Monday afternoon. "Until our demands are met it’s still on the table - some kind of highway action. When we’re ready we’ll tell everyone about it."
Organizers had called for drivers to block area highways at 4:30 p.m. for 4 1/2 minutes today to protest Brown’s shooting. The time of the protest is meant to symbolize the 4 1/2 hours some say Brown’s body lay in the street after the shooting.
Protester demands include dismissing Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson, who fatally shot Brown, and removing St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Bob McCulloch from the investigation into the death of Brown, 18, on Aug. 9.
UPDATE: Rams don’t sign Sam to their practice squad, but a team in the Canadian Football League is reportedly now interested.
Michael Sam, the first openly gay player drafted into the NFL, was not claimed by any NFL team after he was cut from the St. Louis Rams Saturday.
Getty Images / Marc Serota
Once the Rams dropped Sam from their final roster, he was on “waivers,” meaning that other NFL teams had until noon today to take him. Based on last year’s win-loss record, the worst team in the league had the first chance to pick him up, and the best team had the last chance.
Still, Sam can sign to the practice squad for any NFL team — and the Rams are expected to sign him to their 10-man practice unit, according to league sources cited by ESPN.
Update - Sep. 1, 4:08 p.m., ET: Michael Sam is not a part of the St. Louis Rams’ 10-player practice squad. The club made an announcement this afternoon, naming their practice squad roster. According to Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network, the Montreal Alouettes are interested in signing Sam, potentially sending him to the Canadian Football League.
In mid-August, the Chicago Tribunepublished a poll showing that Karen Lewis, the outspoken president of the Chicago Teachers Union, was leading Rahm Emanuel, 43 percent to 39 percent, in a hypothetical 2015 mayoral race.
Lewis led a 2012 strike after Emanuel tried to impose longer school days with no pay increases (she got her teachers a raise), and vociferously opposed the closing of 50 schools, which were mostly in black neighborhoods. During a pre-strike rally, she called the mayor “a liar and a bully.” Emanuel returned her contempt, shouting “Fuck you, Lewis!” during a tense private meeting. Lewis recently filed papers to raise money for a possible run against the man she labeled “the murder mayor,” because of Chicago’s high crime rate, and she has a pledge of $1 million from the American Federation of Teachers.
If Lewis wins, or even mounts a credible campaign, she will become the most prominent labor leader in America. In that role, she’ll be an appropriate successor to John L. Lewis, Jimmy Hoffa and Walter Reuther, those crusty avatars of mining, trucking and manufacturing. As an African-American, a woman and a professional (she has a sociology degree from Dartmouth), Lewis is the face of the 21st century unionism, which has been transformed from a movement devoted to protecting the safety and livelihoods of blue-collar workers to a stronghold of white-collar liberalism.
Over the past 30 years, labor has been feminized, professionalized, politicized and regionalized. In the 1970s, Archie Bunker, a loading dock foreman, was a staunch unionist. Today, his son-in-law, grad student Mike Stivic, would be the union member.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the most unionized job category is “education, training and library occupations” at 35.4 percent. That’s a field dominated by women, many with master’s degrees. (In fact, the Center for Economic and Policy Research predicts that by 2020, a majority of union members will be women.) Meanwhile, in manufacturing, the macho vocation that gave birth to the modern labor movement, the unionization rate has plummeted from 30 percent in 1983, around the time the term “Rust Belt” entered the popular consciousness, to 9.4 percent today. Workers in manufacturing are now less likely to be unionized than the workforce as a whole. During those three decades of deindustrialization, the United Auto Workers’ membership dropped from 1.2 million to 390,000. That’s mainly due to robots replacing line workers, and the loss of market share to foreign manufacturers. Because when those foreign manufacturers build plants in the United States, they build in the South, a region hostile to unionism.
Earlier this year, the UAW tried to organize a Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Despite the tacit support of the company, which needed an independent union to form a European-style works council, the UAW lost the election, 712-626. Before the vote, the anti-union faction, which called itself Southern Momentum, invoked cultural, regional, racial and political resentments to persuade the conservative white men working in the plant that a union was a threat not only to their livelihoods, but to their way of life. Billboards labeled the Democratic-leaning union the United Obama Workers and presented ruin porn images of the derelict Packard Motors plant alongside the slogan, “Detroit: Brought to you by the UAW.” A pamphlet distributed to workers compared the Northern union’s campaign to a campaign by the Union Army in the Civil War: “One hundred and fifty years ago … the people of Tennessee routed such a force in the Battle of Chickamauga.”
(When I heard a Sheet Metal Workers business agent from Syracuse theorize that Southerners dislike unions because “the name reminds them of the Union Army,” I thought he was nuts. Since Chattanooga, I think he may have been on to something. The man’s own local lost most of its members when the Carrier Corp. moved its air-conditioner manufacturing plants to Georgia and Tennessee — and told union employees they weren’t welcome to follow their jobs. Bottom line: If you buy a BMW built in Alabama, or a Toyota built in Mississippi, you’re not helping the American labor movement.)
Contrast that with the UAW’s campaign to organize graduate employees at New York University — exactly the kind of job Mike Stivic would have held. The union won that vote 620-10. It was a gimme. The UAW was dealing with teachers in the most heavily unionized state in the nation. In New York, 23.2 percent of workers belong to a union. In Tennessee, 4.8 percent do. (Only Arkansas, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina are less unionized.)
In post-industrial, politically polarized America, it’s easier to organize Northern academics than Southern factory workers. Union membership used to be a matter of economic self-interest, divorced from political or cultural concerns. In the 1960s, union members — who were disproportionately Roman Catholic — could support the New Deal welfare state, while also backing the Vietnam War, racially restrictive housing covenants and bans on abortion and birth control. Richard Nixon — who used to call his ideal voter “a 47-year-old machinist’s wife outside Dayton” — won his 1972 landslide with a “blue-collar strategy” that attracted the support of white male unionists. Many were voting Republican for the first time, out of disgust for the counterculture represented by Nixon’s opponent, George McGovern. They were personified by Archie Bunker, with his strident admiration for “Richard E. Nixon.”
That election was the beginning of a realignment that found the labor movement on the opposite side of a political divide from the white men who once formed the backbone of its membership. Now, support for labor is just another blue state trait, like support for gun control or Obamacare. In states won by Barack Obama in 2012, 13.1 percent of workers belong to a union. In states won by Mitt Romney: 7.2. Collective bargaining is inimical to the conservative ideal of individualism. Unions are “socialist.” In 1983, over half of union members were white men. Now, a little over a third are. In New York City, site of the famous Hard Hat Riot, in which union construction workers attacked students protesting the Kent State shootings, less than a quarter of union members are white men.
It used to be that belonging to a labor union made you a Democrat. Now, being a Democrat is more likely to make you a union member. Blacks are more likely to be unionized than whites. College-educated whites are more likely to be unionized than non-college whites. Public sector employees are more likely to belong to unions than private sector employees. Teachers and librarians vote overwhelmingly Democratic, not because they’re union members, but because the combination of low pay and intellectual inquiry in those professions attracts liberals. And since most union members now work in the public sector, the war on unions has become a front in the larger conservative war on government. (The one exception: cops and firefighters, who have a 34 percent unionization rate. Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker left them out of his ban on collective bargaining by public employees, because they tend to be white and conservative. Cops and firefighters can’t strike, though, and are more likely to belong to benevolent associations than full-fledged unions.)
Rahm Emanuel has never been a friend of the labor movement. Bill Clinton’s point man on shepherding the North American Free Trade Agreement through Congress, he was a key figure in the Democrats’ realignment from a party of working people to a party of Wall Street, encouraging the party to responded to labor’s weakness by shifting its donor base from unions to socially liberal financiers. Told as White House chief of staff, that tens of thousands of autoworkers could lose their jobs if General Motors and Chrysler didn’t receive a federal bailout, he responded: “Fuck the UAW.”
Emanuel helped vanquish Old Labor as a force in American politics. Now he’s facing the political fight of his life, against a representative of the New Labor that’s taking its place.