A threat to protest Dutchtown High School’s production of “The Laramie Project” by anti-gay Westboro Baptist Church became in turns a conversation about religion, a shouting match, and an occasional sing-along.
No one from Westboro actually showed up Thursday night, as scheduled on the Topeka, Kan., church’s “picket list.”
One protester, Anthony Battaglia from First Baptist Church in Gonzales, wound up facing a crowd of about 500 counter-protesters alone.
A companion piece to “Top 3 Reasons Why Republicans Might Win the House.” Which arguments are more persuasive? Hard to say. It’s conceivable that Republicans could win the House, but the wave metaphor that so many prognosticators tend to use is not very apt. There is plenty of enthusiasm among Republican voters, but the anti-party sentiment is driving some large portion of it. It may well be, though, that the bulkheads Democrats are able to build — accomplishments, a sense that they can govern, good candidate, pick-up opportunities — aren’t very high either. So even if the wave if small, it could do a lot of damage. But to paraphrase a top Republican anonymously: do Republicans really WANT to take over the House will all that it will imply for their prospects in 2012?
1. Demographics. In a president’s first midterm, ideology usually trumps demography, as partisans and party activists are more likely to turn out than the assembled ordinary folk. However, the long sweep of demography (ideaopolises, a majority-minority country, etc) is finally catching up to Republicans. It’s one reason why Democrats were able to run the table in 2006 and 2008. There are more districts with higher percentages of minorities, and Democrats have a more demographically diverse selection of seats. (According to National Journal, the percentage of districts across the country with fewer than 30 percent minority populations and fewer than 30% of people with college degrees has dropped by 50 percent since 1992). There is some anecdotal evidence to suggest that minority turnout might be higher than unusual during midterm elections, and that will probably be true among Hispanics if Republicans demagogue the immigration issue. Take the Intermountain West: Democrats can hold on to several House seats if Hispanic turnout exceeds midterm averages by a few percentage points and college educated voters are moved (somehow) to turn out as well. 2. Fewer open seats and the hardening of redistricting: there will be fewer open competitive seats in 2008 than in 1994, when Democrats lost 22 of 31; as of now, there are 14 open Democratic seats (of which 9 or so are competitive) v. 18 open Republican seats, of which four are competitive.) Redistricting kicks in for the second year in a ten year cycle, and although population transience is rising, districts tend to settle in to a demographic groove by their final election. One reason why so many marginal seats flipped Democratic in 2006 and 2008 is because they were ready to, and that’s one reason why it may be difficult to flip some of those seats back to Republicans. It is generally harder to accomplish midterm sweeps in the census year. 3. Intense dissatisfaction with GOP: no one likes the Republican Party — as much as they dislike the Democratic Party. Hard to say for sure at this point, but about as many incumbent Republicans will face serious primary challenges as Democrats will, and Republicans will face the added burden of Tea Party candidates running on third ballot lines. So unthrilled are Americans with Washington in general that senators like Johnny Isakson of Georgia and Chuck Grassley of Iowa are seeing their approval ratings drop below 50%. (Grassley actually faces a competent Democratic challenger.) The Gallup generic ballot question shows Democrats with a three point lead, which is deceptive: it admits that there tends to be a four point positive bias in Democrats’ direction; in order for Democrats to maintain the House, Gallup projects, they need to have about a four point lead. Point is: Republicans aren’t there just yet. Another positive sign here is that the President maintains a net positive approval rating, and midterm elections tend to be influenced more by that metric than the unemployment numbers, which should be trending in the opposite direction.
We just completed principal photography for our capstone project, Cricketless. Post starts next week, and we have our premiere sometime in August at the Serra Theater. Footage looks great, our crew worked incredibly hard, and we got ourselves a little film in the process. (More onCricketless).
Let me know when you finish up your film. I’d love to write about it, help with some word of mouth etc. Any plans for trying to get into some festivals?
12pm-2pm: Write up reviews for KICK ASS, MARS, MIC MACS, and CYRUS.
Adam Buckley finds himself having to rob a convenience store on the last night of pledging a college fraternity. But when the initiation ritual goes horribly wrong, and every subsequent move proves disastrous, Adam must find it within himself to take a stand to save a friend’s life.
4:15pm: WINTER’S BONE
17 year-old Ree Dolly (Jennifer Lawrence) sets out to track down her father, who put their house up for his bail bond and then disappeared. If she fails, Ree and her family will be turned out into the Ozark woods of Southern Missouri. To find him, Ree confronts the dangerous world of the Dolly family. With the reluctant help of her hard-bitten uncle Teardrop (John Hawkes) and her best friend Gail, Ree defies her outlaw clanÕs code of silence, hacking her way through their lies, evasions and threats to piece together the truth. Based on the novel by Daniel Woodrell, WINTERÕS BONE recently won both the Grand Jury Prize and the Waldo Salt Screenwriting awards at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival.
7pm: SATURDAY NIGHT.
Have you ever wondered how a sketch was chosen for Saturday Night Live? Or why some actors are in more sketches than others? With John Malcovich hosting the episode and unprecedented access to the behind the scenes action, watch as Franco takes an observational approach in documenting what it takes to create one full episode.
9:15pm: PUTTY HILL
A young man dies of a heroin overdose in an abandoned house in Baltimore. On the eve of his funeral, family and friends gather to commemorate his life. Their shared memories paint a portrait of a community hanging in the balance, skewed by poverty, city living, and a generational divide, united in their pursuit of a new American Dream.
AkiraÕs older brother went missing 2 years ago and he could never let go of his disappearance. Out of the blue a beautiful woman approaches him and hands him his brotherÕs ID card. He and his group of friends are lured onto Higanjima where blood-sucking villagers await them. They soon find out that these vampire villagers routinely lure humans onto the island before sucking their blood and killing them. Akira loses his friend to the villagers and fights direly for his life. He manages to escape from them and finally meets his brother, who has become a vampire hunter. On this island, where communication to the outside world is impossible, the two brothers join forces to assault the blood suckers and fight for their own survival.