RAP Sheet

Turning Tables, Democrats Use Cultural Issues as a Cudgel

posted on September 15, 2014

The New York Times‘ Jonathan Martin reports, “After a generation of campaigns in which Republicans exploited wedge issues to win close elections, Democrats are now on the offensive in the culture wars.” Appealing to women and their base, Democrats in key states like Virginia are painting their opponents as out of touch with moderate voters on issues like contraception, abortion, the gender pay gap, and same-sex marriage. Martin writes, “How Republicans recalibrate could prove vital in many statewide races and in presidential politics as the electorate is reshaped by a growing presence of liberal millennials, minorities and a secular, unmarried and educated white voting bloc … On a host of issues, like gun control, drugs, the environment, race and even national security, this demographic shift has substantially weakened the right’s ability to portray Democrats as out of the social mainstream.”

Read at The New York Times

Hobby Lobby’s Steve Green Has Big Plans for his Bible Museum in Washington

posted on September 15, 2014

In The Washington Post Magazine, Michelle Boorstein profiles Steve Green and the Bible museum he is building in Washington, two blocks from the National Mall. “Here’s a book that’s changed our world, and yet there isn’t a museum out there for it,” Green said. Boorstein writes, “The seemingly contradictory forces that have pushed to shape the museum reflect the core question of Green’s project: How will his belief that the Protestant Bible is historically accurate, word for God-given word, coexist with more modern, questioning views of the book?”

Read at The Washington Post

ISIS Executes British Aid Worker David Haines; Cameron Vows Justice

posted on September 15, 2014

Greg Botelho of CNN reports that ISIS has executed British aid worker David Haines. It is the group’s third filmed beheading of a Western captive. “The United States stands shoulder-to-shoulder tonight with our close friend and ally in grief and resolve,” President Obama said in response to Haines’ murder. British citizen Alan Henning, another captive, was featured in the video to dissuade Britain from working with the U.S. against ISIS. Although Britain has already agreed to provide “urgent military support” in the fight against ISIS, Botelho writes, “The scale of that support, though, could ramp up now with one Briton executed and Henning’s life in limbo.”

Read at CNN

Dinesh D’Souza Is Winning

posted on September 15, 2014

In National Journal, Simon Van Zuylen-Wood profiles author and former Christian college president Dinesh D’Souza. D’Souza is making a comeback after a mistress mishap damaged his credibility as an ambassador for the Christian right in 2012. D’Souza, famous for his crusade against Obama and “the cultural Left,” recently pled guilty to a campaign finance violation. Though he has yet to be sentenced, D’Souza’s longtime editor Adam Bellow said, “If he goes to jail, you know, will it harm him? Au contraire.”

Read at National Journal

Germans Rally to Protest Anti-Semitism Over Gaza War

posted on September 15, 2014

In The New York Times, Melissa Eddy reports, “Thousands of Germans, many wrapped in Israeli flags, gathered at Berlin’s historic Brandenburg Gate on Sunday for a rally against anti-Semitism, which has flared up in Europe following Israel’s invasion of Gaza.”German Chancellor Angela Merkel said, “It’s our national and civic duty to fight anti-Semitism.” For the first time, the World Jewish Congress opens its annual conference in Berlin on Monday in order to mark “the rebirth of Jewish life” since the fall of the Berlin wall.

Read at The New York Times

Obama Outlines ISIS Strategy: Airstrikes In Syria, More U.S. forces

posted on September 11, 2014

Tom Cohen of CNN reports that President Barack Obama outlined his strategy to defeat ISIS in the Middle East. Although Obama indicated that his plan will not involve American combat troops on foreign soil, he will send advisors and military aid to train rebels, including Kurdish fighters in the north. “I have made it clear that we will hunt down terrorists who threaten our country, wherever they are,” he said. “Our objective is clear: We will degrade, and ultimately destroy, ISIL through a comprehensive and sustained counterterrorism strategy,”

Read at CNN

Syria’s Blood Diamonds

posted on September 11, 2014

At The Wall Street Journal, Christian C. Sahner explores the Syrian civil war and its impact on Syrian culture. While the plundering of antiquities is nothing new during a conflict, the case in Syria is different as the destruction of religious sites is purposely done to stoke sectarian hatred. “The loss of temples, churches, mosques and museums is a consequence of a conflict that devalues human life and heritage at a fundamental level,” Sahner writes. “By destroying history, Syria’s warring factions risk destroying the future of their country. Sadly as the current war on cultural heritage shows, this is well on its way to happening.”

Read at The Wall Street Journal

New York Pauses For 9/11 Anniversary

posted on September 11, 2014

Marc Santora and Tatiana Schlossberg of The New York Times reports that the city of New York joined the rest of the nation in remembering the 13th Anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Centers. President Obama spoke to family members of the victims at the Pentagon where one of the planes crashed. “There are now teenagers, young adults, who were born after 9/11. It’s remarkable,” Obama said. “Generations from now, no matter the trial, no matter the challenge, America will always be America.”

Read at The New York Times

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