Young parents are determined to name their newborns something creative and unique, no matter what burden that name may put on their progeny. With names such as “Brooklyn” and “Milo” bordering on mainstream because of their ubiquity, the dawn of the hipster baby name has almost ensured a future generation of Pajama Boys.Read More
My must read of the day is “Spurned by Obama on Immigration, Will Latino Voters Stay Home?” in the National Journal.Read More
My must read of the day is “Spurned by Obama on Immigration, Will Latino Voters Stay Home?” in the National Journal:
The question this election cycle— particularly for Democrats in tough races, such as Sen. Mark Udall of Colorado—is how many other Latino voters feel the same way, and whether the intense get-out-the-vote efforts of Democratic campaigns and outside groups can convince them otherwise.
Many Latinos feel that four Democratic Senate candidates in close races—in Arkansas, Louisiana, New Hampshire, and North Carolina—have chosen reelection over Latino interests. They feel Obama has done the same as his vulnerable colleagues, delaying executive action that could defer the deportation of millions of undocumented immigrants.
There’s been talk about this idea that Latino voters are “souring” on President Obama and Democrats because he didn’t follow through on executive action, despite promises to do so by the end of the summer. Republicans would love for that to be true, but I’m not convinced it is.
Are Latino voters frustrated with the president and Democrats for broken promises of immigration reform? Yes, without a doubt.
Are Latino voters taking Democrats to task and not voting in the midterms because of it? I doubt it.
For starters, the competitive Senate races are not states with high Latino populations. Latinos make up around 17 percent of the U.S. population, and of the competitive Senate races this cycle, the Los Angeles Times recently noted, Colorado is the only state that comes close to the national average with 14 percent, and “the competitive state with the second-highest Latino share is Kansas,” where they make up 6 percent of the population.
Simply because of their numbers Latinos aren’t going to be a major force in races other than Colorado.
Additionally, Latinos tend to turnout at lower rates than white and black voters in midterm elections. Latinos also tend to be a younger demographic. According to Pew Research, “33 [percent] of Hispanic eligible voters are ages 18 to 29.” Only 18 percent of eligible white voters are in that age group. Of eligible black voters 25 percent are 18 to 29 and among Asians they make up 21 percent.
Latinos have higher percentages of young eligible voters than any other race, and as we know, young people, regardless of their race, have lower turnout—and it is especially low in non-presidential years.
Perhaps Latinos may be turning away from Democrats, but we’re not going to be able to tell based on this midterm election. There’s a really good chance Latinos aren’t turning out or are not as enthusiastic as other voters because they tend to be young.Read Less
BY: Aaron MacLean
When it was reported at the beginning of October that three female Marine officers had passed the Combat Endurance Test (CET), the initial entry screener for the Corp’s challenging Infantry Officer Course, the news was widely reported. You can read about it here, here, here, here, here, and here.
The story was indeed news. Up to that point, of the 24 women who had attempted the CET, only one had passed, and she had reportedly later been dropped from the overall course for an injury. Struggling to get enough female officers into the course to produce a statistically significant result for its study of introducing women into combat roles, the Corps had directed that more seasoned female officers could attempt the course. Now three had made it over the first hurdle.Read More
When it was reported at the beginning of October that three female Marine officers had passed the Combat Endurance Test (CET), the initial entry screener for the Corp’s challenging Infantry Officer Course, the news was widely reported. You can read about it here, here, here, here, here, and here.
The story was indeed news. Up to that point, of the 24 women who had attempted the CET, only one had passed, and she had reportedly later been dropped from the overall course due to an injury. Struggling to get enough female officers into the course to produce a statistically significant result for its study of introducing women into combat roles, the Corps had directed that more seasoned female officers could attempt the course. Now three had made it over the first hurdle.
When all three were cut from the course last week for not meeting physical standards in subsequent training events, the news was not as widely reported. I have only found it here in the Christian Science Monitor, which, to its credit, has closely covered this issue from start:
When they begin the 13-week IOC, officers are told that if they “fall out” of more than one “tactical movement” during their time in training, they will be asked to leave the school.
“That has always been IOC policy,” Major Flynn says.“The key part is not just to conduct a movement. You need to lead that moment, and you can’t do that if you’re falling out.”
The standard pace for “tactical movements” – otherwise known as hikes – at the IOC is about three miles per hour, he says.
During the first march in which the three female – as well as three male – officers were issued a warning, the Marines were given about two hours and 40 minutes to move 7-1/2 miles. At the time, they were assigned to carry roughly 104 pounds each.
If at any point one of the students falls 75 or 100 meters behind the unit, an instructor “will start walking with that Marine,” Flynn says. “We start sticking on them.”
The instructors ask: “Hey, where’s your unit right now? OK, you need to get up with them, because you’re not leading anyone from back here.”
From that point, the officers have about five minutes to start catching up. If they don’t, they are put in a truck.
Officers at the IOC say it’s a safety issue. If the unit gets strung out too far, it’s dangerous not to know where troops are.
The Marines are then told that if they fall behind to a similar degree again, they are out of the course.
“The class adviser pulls them aside and says, ‘That’s your one. You don’t get any more. Understand?’ ” Flynn says. “They’ve been counseled that they have failed a hike, and we don’t tolerate more than one failure of a tactical movement.”
That’s what happened last week, this time during a nine-mile march. The students had three hours to complete it, carrying 124-pound packs.
When three men and three women fell behind for a second time, Flynn had to break the news that they were out.
This story highlights what IOC graduates already knew: that despite the hype surrounding the initial Combat Endurance Test in the press, that event is by no means the most difficult evolution at the three-month course. It may not even crack the top three. Passing it is a meaningful accomplishment, but only insofar as it certifies that the officer has demonstrated sufficient mental and physical toughness to attempt the rest of the course.
Perhaps there is less enthusiasm in covering this most recent turn of events because, unlike the three officers passing the CET, their subsequent departure from the course is part of a repeating and, as yet, unbroken pattern: By my count, 27 female officers have attempted the course, and zero have made it to graduation—with 23 not making it past the CET on the first day. (Roughly a quarter of male lieutenants also do not graduate.)
The law of averages being what it is, if the Marine Corps continues on this course long enough, a female officer will eventually graduate from the course. This Marine will have every right to be extremely proud of herself and of her accomplishment.
But advocates outside the Marine Corps are getting impatient, and pressure is beginning to grow on the Marines to lower their standards.
The change in tone is well summarized in the headline the editors at the Christian Science Monitor chose to give their story: “Three pioneering women in Marine infantry course are asked to leave. Why?” The first half of the story is a by-the-book recounting of the news, after which advocates of getting women into the infantry by any means necessary are given a substantial amount of space to air some good, old-fashioned special pleading:
Retired Army Col. Ellen Haring, an advocate for women in combat, says that although the entire formation was supposed to complete the hike in three hours, it took most of the group closer to four hours.
“Despite the fact that none of them could keep the pace that was set that day, they were considered failures. But the whole unit failed to meet those parameters, not just those six people,” she says. “Who maintains the rate of the march?”
The Marines haven’t always been clear about the parameters for the course, says Greg Jacob, policy director for the Service Women’s Action Network.
At the enlisted training school, Mr. Jacobs, who served as a Marine, recalls that students were told they could walk no faster than three miles an hour, and every hour they had to take a 10-minute break.
In the IOC, “it’s up to the person in front to set the speed of the hike,” he says. “There doesn’t seem to be a standard around these movements.”
As a result, he adds, “it seems like the goal posts just keep moving.”
Colonel Haring argues that this is particularly tough for the women who are endeavoring to become infantry officers. “I’m sure all of these women did this course because they thought they could complete it,” she says.
Considering the objections presented by Haring and Jacob, all that can be said is that the Marines who were cut from the course, especially the women, must be mortified. With friends like these, who repeatedly imply that female officers deserve special treatment in order for them to pass the course, who needs critics?
Much of the pressure for integrating women into combat arms comes from DC-based pressure groups like the radical feminist Service Women’s Action Network and from activists like Haring. Grassroots support for such a move is more limited.
Among female Marine officers, including those who support the introduction of women into combat arms, and those who are personally ambitious to try the infantry for themselves, I have never heard anyone assert that they would like standards lowered for them, so that they can pass the course. Why would they? It would entirely undercut the value of their achievement, and diminish the overall fighting capacity of the Marine Corps. These officers are Marines first and individuals second. They want to succeed on fair terms.
But the objections cited in the Monitor article clearly indicate that outside activists do not share this concern. Under the paper-thin guise of asking for fair treatment, they actually engage in special pleading. Ellen Haring is a retired Army officer who received a fair amount of attention over the summer for arguing that the CET ought to be scrapped as an entry barrier for IOC. Having made an extensive argument for lowering and changing the standards for IOC so that women can more easily pass it, she displayed a remarkable level of rhetorical shamelessness by concluding her article with, “Women Marines don’t want standards to be lowered or changed. They just want a fighting chance to become Marine infantry officers.”
Haring and the spokesman for SWAN, Jacobs, bounce back and forth in their objections to the Monitor between implying that the female officers deserve special treatment to implying that the Marine Corps, presumably from the instructors at the school all the way up to the Commandant, are engaged in thumbing the scales. Their complaints about the procedures of the school indicate that they are perfectly happy to alter and lower the quality of the training to achieve their goal.
There are those whose objections to introducing women into combat arms units—and especially to mixing very young enlisted men and women in such units—extend beyond physical to disciplinary and moral concerns. But setting aside those arguments for the moment, it should be clear that advocates outside of the Corps are engaged in a pressure campaign to lower infantry standards.
Despite the debate on this issue, the maintenance of high standards should be something every Marine should support, as should their friends in the Department of Defense’s leadership and in Congress, not to mention the public. Those Marines who support integrating women in the infantry should consider just what that accomplishment will mean if advocates like Haring and SWAN have their way.Read Less
President Obama is not running for reelection this year, but his presidency is “on the line,” warns a Democratic Party flyer making its way around Georgia.Read More
President Obama is not running for reelection this year, but his presidency is “on the line,” warns a Democratic Party flyer making its way around Georgia.
“It’s up to us to vote to protect President Obama and his legacy as the first African-American President,” the flyer reads. “Republicans in Congress are doing everything they can to make President Obama fail. They oppose everything the President supports and block every effort to improve our lives.”
Hillary Clinton is a grandmother, in case you hadn’t heard, and one of the benefits of having a new grandchild is it provides an easy hook for a political stump speech. Hillary Clinton has already mastered this process, as you can see is this video from a campaign rally for Kay Hagan in North Carolina.Read More
Hillary Clinton is a grandmother, in case you hadn’t heard, and one of the benefits of having a new grandchild is it provides an easy hook for a political stump speech. Hillary Clinton has already mastered this process, as you can see is this video from a campaign rally for Kay Hagan in North Carolina.
It was an especially fitting venue for Clinton, because the event was held in Charlotte, which is also the name of Clinton’s granddaughter. This allowed her to make an additional 30-40 seconds of folksy small talk with the crowd.
(Note: the name Charlotte is most commonly associated with Queen Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, wife of King George III, the British monarch who tried to crush the American Revolution.)
This is how it’s done:
There’s really nothing better in the world [than being a grandmother], certainly based on my one month experience [laughter], and there’s also nothing that gets your mind concentrated more about the future [woo!], and what kind of life you want for this new precious child, and what kind of child and world you want to help shape [woo!] …
The crowd for Hillary in Charlotte was less than half the size of the crowd Texas Governor Rick Perry attracted at a North Carolina event the previous day.Read Less
In addition to funding hospitals and scholarships for minority students, the Koch brothers are trying to undermine the America Dream by providing scholarships and training to public defenders to ensure that all Americans are adequately protected by the right to counsel.
In a statement announcing a grant to the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Charles Koch said he hoped the program would destroy America by “[making] the Sixth Amendment’s guarantee of an individual’s right to counsel a reality for all Americans, especially those who are the most disadvantaged in our society.”
On Monday, the New York Times weighed in on the effort to restore Sixth Amendment protections, and appeared to unironically cite the Koch-funded grant as a positive development:
It is also a reminder that money, or the lack of it, is at the root of public-defense crises nationwide — a fact accepted by a growing bipartisan consensus. On the same day as the New York settlement, it was announced that the Koch brothers had made a six-figure grant to the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers to help train public defenders and fund research aimed at improving public defense.
The Times declined to mention any ulterior motives the Kochs might have for funding public defenders—e.g., personal profit.
My must read of the day “The GOP and School Reform,” by Frederick M. Hess and Max Eden, in National Review:
With the midterms just days away, Republicans are hoping to claim the U.S. Senate and maintain or expand their healthy lead in governorships. Of course, as has been said again and again since 2012, Republicans need to deserve victory. While education doesn’t provide election-season fodder the way the Islamic State, Ebola, and Obamacare do, it does offer a test of whether GOP candidates are willing and able to address kitchen-table issues. This is a test that the candidates have generally failed. An analysis of what GOP candidates for governor and U.S. senator have to say on their campaign websites shows they’ve little inclination to say anything at all about education, even on questions that play well with the public.
Education offers Republican leaders a chance to compete on Democratic turf and show their commitment to equal opportunity. It’s no surprise that two of the GOP’s most successful governors of the past generation, Mitch Daniels in Indiana and Jeb Bush in Florida, both made education a centerpiece of their efforts. Education was similarly central to George W. Bush’s presidential win in 2000. Today, though, Republican candidates are ducking on education. [...]
Rather than mount an unprincipled fight they’re likely to lose, Republicans would do well to talk about the issues that resonate with the American people and to offer principled solutions. Doing so could help make the case that Republicans are ready to tackle practical concerns like school quality and college costs. This would help them win over independent voters, govern effectively in the next two years, and strengthen their case for 2016.
The majority of 2012 was a blur. I compartmentalize everything by before the election or after, and one thing I very vividly remember (as a before the election moment) was reading Margaret Hoover’s book American Individualism. I sat on the curb outside of my office building after working countless late nights and read that book cover to cover. I actually read it twice, but the first day I began reading it I came to a section on education and was utterly convinced Republicans should make education reform a key part of their platform, and that by not doing it they were squandering an opportunity.
The argument Hoover made was that education reform, particularly charter schools, is a way Republicans can appeal to millennials.
Think about Teach for America, a nonprofit program where recent college graduates apply to teach for at least two years in schools in low-income communities. Individuals receive the same salary as other first-year teachers at their school, not an astronomical amount, but in spite of that, the Teach for America 2012 corps received over 48,000 applications for 5,800 spots. On average, only 15 percent of applicants are accepted into the program.
Millennials seem to care deeply about education reform, and if you look at polls, they’re not the only ones. By Hoover’s account, this is where Democrats have an issue. Young people are typically Democratic voters, but Democrats are too dependent on funding from teachers unions and groups that oppose things like charter schools to actually offer meaningful education reform. So why wouldn’t Republicans try to pick up those young people by making education reform a bigger platform issue?
When I’ve discussed this with conservatives, some contend that education is a state issue and say it should not be a national issue. Perhaps that’s a fair point, but surely there is a way to at least make supporting local governments and working with them to reform education part of a national campaign narrative. Ignoring it is a mistake, because education reform is an issue where Republicans could make inroads with independents and young people—and as Hess and Eden suggest, they might be able to beat Democrats “on Democratic turf and show their commitment to equal opportunity.”Read Less
BY: Sonny Bunch
Spoilers for all five seasons of Boardwalk Empire, which had its series finale last night, below.Read More
Spoilers for all five seasons of Boardwalk Empire, which had its series finale last night, below.
The series finale of Boardwalk Empire was, as the show has often been, a frustrating glimpse at what might have been.
Boardwalk Empire could have been a show that traced Nucky Thompson’s (Steve Buscemi) suffering for his original sin: His effort to advance his career by selling a vulnerable girl (Gillian, played by Gretchen Mol as an adult) into virtual sex slavery to the evil, powerful man who created Atlantic City. It is no coincidence that Nucky’s two most dangerous enemies—Jimmy Darmody (Michael Pitt), who almost kills Nucky, and his son Tommy* (a/k/a Joe Harper, played by Travis Tope), who actually gets the job done—are poison fruit borne by the seed he planted long ago. That story is tragic in the classical, Greek sense.
Or, Boardwalk Empire could have been a show that traced the rise of Lucky Luciano (Vincent Piazza) and his relationship with the Jewish mobsters Arnold Rothstein (Michael Stuhlbarg) and Meyer Lansky (Anatol Yusef). Seeing the origin of the American Cosa Nostra and the various ethnic tensions that riddled its creation would’ve been fascinating—an American success story with a Godfather-twist.
Or, Boardwalk Empire could have been the tale of Al Capone’s rise from a boot-licking nobody into one of the most famous men in America. Anchored by the devilishly wild performance of Stephen Graham, who wouldn’t have tuned in to see Capone’s rise and fall, his attempt to balance his struggling home life and wild public persona? Lord knows there would’ve been no shortage of sex, drugs, and gunfire for the brass at HBO (not to mention the audiences in desperate need of a Sopranos replacement).
But, in the end, it was none of these things. Because it tried to be all of them at once, Boardwalk Empire was never able to find its soul, its reason for being. So instead we got a trio of half-stories (a quartet if you want to count the woefully underdeveloped Chalky White (Michael Kenneth Williams) storyline; a quintet if you want to Nelson Van Alden’s (Michael Shannon) sad tale of decline), none of which were fully fleshed out, all of which felt rushed at the end. Nucky’s story got the most screen time during the five-season run, but not enough to really give last night’s dramatic reveal the oomph it needed. We missed virtually all of Lucky Luciano’s rise to power by skipping ahead a bunch of years between seasons four and five. And we spent so little time with Capone’s family that we had to be reminded in the “Previously on…” pre-cap that he had a son and that his son happened to be deaf and that, by the way, he loved his family very much.
There are things that I really loved about Boardwalk Empire: Jack Huston’s performance as Richard Harrow, the man with half a face; Steve Buscemi getting a chance to shine; Arnold Rothstein’s gambling gangster; Bobby Cannavale’s turn as third-season heavy Gyp Rosetti. It’s just too bad the show didn’t know what it was about.
*In the third or fourth episode of this season, my lovely, brilliant wife speculated that Joe was actually Tommy. It’s telling of how badly they botched this storyline that my response was “Who?” But as soon as she said “Tommy Darmody” it clicked and I instantly realized she was dead-on right. Because Tope was playing Tommy with all the mannerisms of a young Michael Pitt—the languid body movements, the half-squinting facial features, the slight tilt of the head—just as Marc Pickering spent all season absolutely nailing the mannerisms of a young Steve Buscemi. Once you saw what was happening, you couldn’t unsee it. A brilliant bit of staging by the Boardwalk Empire showrunners.Read Less
Shortly before Hillary Clinton took the stage Saturday at a campaign event for Kay Hagan, a woman decked out in Hillary swag traversed the crowd informing attendees that the professional public speaker was about to have a birthday. (Clinton turned 67 on Sunday.) The plan was for everyone to sing Happy Birthday after Hagan introduced her guest of honor. It didn’t really work out, however, because Hillary just kept talking, and enough people in the crowd reflexively cheered after every sentence to drown out the singing.Read More
Shortly before Hillary Clinton took the stage Saturday at a campaign event for Kay Hagan, a woman decked out in Hillary swag traversed the crowd informing attendees that the professional public speaker was about to have a birthday. (Clinton turned 67 on Sunday.) The plan was for everyone to sing Happy Birthday after Hagan introduced her guest of honor. It didn’t really work out, however, because Hillary just kept talking, and enough people in the crowd reflexively cheered after every sentence to drown out the singing.
If elected in 2016, Hillary would become one of the oldest world leaders in history.Read Less
Texas Governor Rick Perry and professional public speaker Hillary Clinton both held rallies in North Carolina over the past two days for their respective party’s Senate candidate in what is shaping up to be a close race that has already attracted its fair share of 2016 contenders.
Embarrassingly for Clinton, she drew a significantly smaller crowd in Charlotte (population 800,000) than Perry was able to attract in Smithfield (population 12,000).Read More
Texas Governor Rick Perry and professional public speaker Hillary Clinton both held rallies in North Carolina over the past few days for their respective party’s Senate candidate in what is shaping up to be a close race that has already attracted its fair share of 2016 contenders.
Embarrassingly for Clinton, the crowd she drew at a Kay Hagan rally in Charlotte (population 800,000) was less than half the size of what Perry was able to attract in Smithfield (population 12,000) in support of Thom Tillis.
— Dan Keylin (@dankeylin) October 25, 2014
In fact, the Clinton-Hagan rally, which took place Saturday at the Charlotte Convention Center, appeared to be the second most popular event at the venue that day, behind Buzz Fest, a pep rally to celebrate the return of the Charlotte Hornets, the greatest franchise in NBA history.
Hagan currently leads Tillis by less than two percent in the Real Clear Politics polling average.Read Less
The entire world, but more importantly America, is in the midst of an Ebola outbreak that could threat the existence of life on Earth as we know it. Things are looking pretty grim for humanity, and President Obama’s failure to lead has made things even worse.
If we are to survive the epidemic, we are going to need heroes. Several individuals and conglomerates have, in Obama’s absence, already stepped up to the plate and, through their selfless actions, given us hope. It’s worth recognizing those heroes now, before it’s too late.Read More
The entire world, but more importantly America, is in the midst of an Ebola outbreak that could threaten the existence of life on Earth as we know it. Things are looking pretty grim for humanity, and President Obama’s failure to lead has made things even worse.
If we are to survive the epidemic, we are going to need heroes. Several individuals and conglomerates have, in Obama’s absence, already stepped up to the plate and, through their selfless actions, given us hope. It’s worth recognizing those heroes now, before it’s too late.
Dr. Kent Brantly
Brantly, a missionary worker who contracted Ebola while treating patients in Liberia, was one of the first Americans to be successfully treated for the deadly virus. Since defeating the virus with the help of the experimental serum ZMapp, Brantly has helped saved others infected with Ebola by donating his blood. God bless this hero.
While serving as vice president under George W. Bush, our greatest living president, Dick Cheney urged Congress to steer billions of dollars towards finding a cure for deadly pathogens that could be used in a terrorist attack, such as Ebola. A number of drugs now being tested and, in some cases, being used to treat patients in the United States, were developed as a result of the new biodefense measures Cheney advocated. God bless this hero.
ZMapp, the experimental serum that has already helped save lives, was developed via the joint efforts of private scientists, the U.S. military, and Reynolds American, the second largest tobacco company in America and makers of the iconic Camel brand cigarettes. Scientists believe tobacco plants could hold the key to developing an Ebola vaccine. God bless these heroes.
Now that Ebola has come to New York, the city’s hospitals are well equipped to handle the situation thanks in part to the generosity of David Koch, a libertarian philanthropy enthusiast. Koch has donated hundreds of millions of dollars to New York City hospitals over the years, despite protests from liberal activists. God bless this hero.Read Less
Senator Kay Hagan (D., N.C.) is the most awkward candidate running in 2014, a Free Beacon analysis has found.Read More
Senator Kay Hagan (D., N.C.) is the most awkward candidate running in 2014, a Free Beacon analysis has found.
Some have argued that Hagan’s success compared to other Democratic incumbents can be attributed to her strength as a candidate or the fact that she has run a “perfect campaign.”
Nonsense. For some reason, Hagan just hasn’t been challenged as much as her Democratic colleagues running in tough races across the country. When members of the press finally started raising questions about sketchy stimulus grants to businesses owned by members of Hagan’s family, she cowered in fear.
When the national media (MSNBC) came to town on Thursday, Hagan embarrassed herself by speaking incomprehensibly about why the Gulf oil spill, which happened in 2010, is an example of the leadership challenges President Obama confronts today.
This is par for the course for Hagan, who prefers not to answer difficult questions. But she is just as awkward when it comes to relatively straightforward questions. Check out the bizarre answer Hagan gave during the 2008 Democratic primary when asked if she preferred Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton:
Since then, Hagan has been a tireless advocate of President Obama’s agenda, voting with him 99 percent of the time in 2014. These days, Hagan is all in for Hillary. She announced her support for a Clinton candidacy last year, during a fundraiser in New York. To return the favor, Hillary will stump for Hagan in Charlotte on Saturday.
But Hagan’s relationship with the Clintons is, in a word, awkward. She recently hosted Bill Clinton at a fundraiser in Chapel Hill, despite having once tried to get a local newspaper to pull a photo of her standing near a portrait of then-President Clinton because she feared it would “imply that I stand by or condone the president’s conduct” surrounding the Monica Lewinsky scandal.
Kay Hagan is awkward.Read Less
BY: Sonny Bunch
Since I’ve spent all week writing about videogames and comic books, I figured I’d class the joint up a little bit and offer some fashion tips. Inspired by this rather, well, dull list of places to buy suits in Washington by the scamps at DCist*, allow me to suggest a few options that you may not have heard of. Note: This list is almost entirely aspirational. As a humble journalist my clothing budget is tight and new items are acquired on a need-to-buy basis.Read More
Since I’ve spent all week writing about videogames and comic books, I figured I’d class the joint up a little bit and offer some fashion tips. Inspired by this rather, well, dull list of places to buy suits in Washington by the scamps at DCist*, allow me to suggest a few options that you may not have heard of. Note: This list is almost entirely aspirational. As a humble journalist my clothing budget is tight and new items are acquired on a need-to-buy basis.
If you’re looking for a custom suit on a (relative) budget, I hear Alton Lane is a pretty solid choice. One of these days I’m going to splurge on a custom blazer from them and it will be glorious. Just check out all the work that goes into making your clothing! Well worth the time and expense.** They’ve even been known to clothe presidents!
Geoffrey Lewis Ltd
When I got married, I got my tuxedo tailored here. And ever since I’ve been tempted to come take advantage of their famous “three pairs of pants for $600″ deal. Of course, I’ve never been in a position to spend $600 on three pairs of pants. When my tell-all of life at the Free Beacon hits the New York Times bestseller list, perhaps then.
Dash’s of Old Town
Townhall‘s Kevin Glass suggests Dash’s of Old Town, which is pretty darn fancy. I’ve never been, but I have admiringly gazed at the store from the outside, like a street urchin in a Dickens novel desperate for a bite of bread.
Scott Lincicome suggests Tom James. I imagine the bespoke suiting gets pretty pricey pretty quickly, but it looks as though they have a relatively modestly priced (<$500) run of suit separates, which isn’t unreasonable at all.
My colleague Bill McMorris suggested Sarar, no doubt wooed by the gentleman above on the front page of the site. They don’t call him Fancy Bill for nothing.
And, obviously, I have nothing against classic options such as Brooks Brothers and J Press, both of which get namechecked by the DCist staff. But the above will give you something a little different.
*I like DCist quite a bit and don’t want to rag on the folks over there. I imagine this was a tough question for them to answer because they probably aren’t really asked to wear suits all that often. But when I go to a site like DCist (or Gothamist or LAist or other neighborhood blogs) I’m hoping for something a bit off the beaten path, you know? And when you start your list off with Jos. A Bank—a fine place to buy a lineup of starter suits on a budget (it’s where I got my first trio of suits), but not exactly a place one has never heard of—you’re not really meeting that mandate. Hugh and Crye is the closest thing to “off the beaten path” on that DCist list and they don’t even sell suits. And matching a blazer with a similarly colored pair of pants does not a suit make. Remember that, kiddos.
**Just remember not to go nuts.Read Less
After pulling out of the Kentucky Senate race one week ago, the DSCC is back in it with a small ad buy.Read More
After pulling out of the Kentucky Senate race one week ago, the DSCC is back in it with a small ad buy.
The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee plans to go back on the air in Kentucky after the party has been encouraged by new polls suggesting the race against Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is within reach.
The party committee is reserving $650,000 in airtime to boost Alison Lundergan Grimes after reviewing recent internal and public polling, a DSCC official told POLITICO. The polling, the source says, suggested that undecided voters are moving in the Democrat’s direction.
The decision comes after the big-spending party committee said last week it had no plans to up its buy on the air in Kentucky until Election Day, a sign many interpreted as meaning that Washington Democrats had given up on the race. But with the new ad buy and ongoing DSCC investment in the Grimes voter turnout effort, Democrats are signaling they believe they can still pull off an upset in one of their few pickup chances.
This is an incredibly modest buy when you think how many ads have been on the air in Kentucky, but last weeks decision to not buy more airtime suggested the Democrats thought the race was over. Jumping back in obviously raises questions about that.
I’ve said before that Grimes is a strong candidate and it would be imprudent if Republicans underestimated her, but it seems like this race is done. Sure, anything can happen in the next eleven days, but it seems like this money would be better spent trying to flip places like Kansas, where the Republican incumbent is down by less than a point, or Georgia, where the Democratic nominee is up by .09 points.
Grimes has made too many mistakes of late to seem worth the extra money. Whether it’s her refusal to answer whether she voted for Obama or doubling down on a claim that received four-Pinocchios from fact checkers—Grimes is not the Democrats best chance to flip a seat.
When I spoke to a Republican, who has spent years working Georgia politics, about the race to fill retiring Senator Saxby Chambliss’s seat they didn’t seem particularly optimistic. I said in passing that Perdue isn’t close to having the race locked down. He agreed without pausing and said, “I don’t think anyone believes that,” adding that it could easily be one Republicans lose.
Georgia is an incredibly red state. Fifty-eight percent of Georgians disapprove of President Obama and unfortunately for Nunn, Obama tied himself to her in a recent radio interview—but the Perdue campaign is not capitalizing on those things as strongly as one would expect and right now they’re down in the polls.
Democrat Michelle Nunn has a slight 47%-44% edge over Republican David Perdue in the Georgia race for an open Senate seat, according to a new CNN/ORC International survey released Friday.
The three-point margin falls within the poll’s sampling error of plus or minus four percentage points, meaning the two candidates are statistically tied less than two weeks before Election Day.
If neither candidate garners 50% of the vote, the race heads to a January runoff.
The libertarian candidate, Amanda Swafford, is taking about five percent of the vote, and that could be enough to keep Nunn and Perdue from reaching the fifty-percent necessary to avoid a run off.
Perdue is an “establishment” candidate and during the primary runoff most Tea Party groups supported Rep. Jack Kingston (also considered an establishment guy) over Perdue, but this week Perdue received the endorsement of the Tea Party Patriots, and that certainly can help him increase voter enthusiasm and turnout among the right – but this race is increasingly close.
Rep. Tom Cotton appears to be crushing it, for all intents and purposes, in Arkansas.
Yesterday, Sabato’s Crystal Ball, a project of the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics, changed the rating of the Senate race from “leans Republican” to “likely Republican.” Pair that rating change with a local poll released Monday night, and the Cotton campaign looks ripe to flip a seat for the Republicans
The Hill writes:
Rep. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) is well on his way to becoming Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), if a new poll from Arkansas Talk Business and Hendrix College is accurate.
Cotton leads Sen. Mark Pryor (D-Ark.) by 49 percent to 41 percent in the poll, released Monday evening, the largest lead he’s had in any public polling.
The congressman has grown his lead from two to eight points since the last time Talk Business polled the state in July, and Pryor has trailed by a narrower margin in most recent nonpartisan polling of the state, and while there has not been a lot of live-caller numbers, Republicans have all but declared victory in Arkansas. Pryor hasn’t helped himself in recent weeks either, struggling on the campaign trail and tripping up in recent debates against Cotton.
My must read of the day is “Senate Forecast: Cloudy With a Good Chance of a Republican Majority,” in Sabato’s Crystal Ball.Read More
My must read of the day is “Senate Forecast: Cloudy With a Good Chance of a Republican Majority,” in Sabato’s Crystal Ball:
With less than two weeks to go until Election Day, the picture in several key races remains hazy. But when the dust settles, the most likely result is a Republican majority, as the Crystal Ball’s outlook of Republicans adding five to eight seats has long indicated.
The GOP needs at least a net gain of six seats to win back Congress’ upper chamber. But the math is complicated by Sen. Pat Roberts’ (R) struggles in Kansas against independent Greg Orman, and even if Roberts wins, the GOP may not get to 51 seats until after Dec. 6 (Louisiana’s runoff) or even Jan. 6, 2015 (Georgia’s runoff), making it difficult to actually call the Senate for Republicans even this close to Nov. 4.
A rundown of the arithmetic at this point: The GOP looks certain to win Democratic-controlled seats in Montana and West Virginia, both of which we rate as Safe Republican. While ex-Gov. Mike Rounds (R) hasn’t had an easy go of it in South Dakota — thus our Leans Republican rating there — he is still in a decent position to beat Rick Weiland (D) and independent ex-Republican Sen. Larry Pressler in a three-way race. A win in the Mount Rushmore State would give the GOP three pickups.
Down south in Arkansas, Sen. Mark Pryor’s (D) hopes seem to be fading to some degree: A new Talk Business/Hendrix College poll found Rep. Tom Cotton (R) leading the incumbent 49%-41%. While Pryor isn’t completely down and out, it’s increasingly hard to see him overcoming Arkansas’ hard shift to the right. We’re upgrading Cotton’s chances from Leans Republican to Likely Republican. Republicans are hopeful that they’ve put this one away, and the trend line for Democrats is not good.
Republicans are expected to pick up Montana, West Virginia and South Dakota (even though the Republican candidate Gov. Rounds has come into a bit of trouble for his support of a controversial visa program). Then they need three other seats, provided they don’t lose any that they currently hold, and can likely get those in Arkansas, Alaska, Louisiana or Iowa.
North Carolina, which was supposed to be an easy flip, is still technically close but is leaning blue.
At the start of this election cycle the general expectation was that Republicans would hold on to all the seats they currently have and then simply need to add 6 in a favorable environment. It seemed that it could be easily achieved, but Kansas and Georgia are complicating that.
Republicans are far from out of the hole in Kansas, but a victory for Michelle Nunn in Georgia seems more possible than Roberts losing in Kansas.
Kansas is a state that has not sent a Democrat to the Senate since the 1930s. It’s a heavily red state. A month ago independent Greg Orman was ahead by 10 points, but in the past couple of weeks the gap has significantly narrowed and it seems like Roberts can, just barely, hold on to his seat.
The thing that puts Republicans in a better position, even with the possibility of a loss in Georgia or Kansas is somewhere like Iowa–and to a lesser extend Colorado. Both are races that were not thought to be in play for Republicans. Both are now in play, Iowa most of all, and that gives Republicans a bit of cushion if they were to lose a seat they currently hold.
The overall outcome of the Senate might be “too close to call,” but Republicans have been able to hold on to the position they began the cycle with–they’re still well positioned to take control of the Senate.Read Less