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Professors discuss midterm elections

first_imgThe 2010 midterm elections might not be the bloodbath for Democrats that many analysts predict, American Studies professor Matthew Storin, said Tuesday. Storin, along with journalism professor and former South Bend Tribune reporter Jack Colwell and political science professor David Nickerson, offered insights on this year’s elections Tuesday night at the first lecture in a series titled “Pizza, Pop and Politics.”  Storin said Americans hold five common assumptions about this year’s election: that the Democrats will suffer massive losses, there is a gap in enthusiasm between the Democrats and Republicans, this year’s election could be a defining one for political races in the future, that the Tea Party is a game changer and the Tea Party could also cause a “civil war” among Republicans. Storin said the notion that Democrats could suffer massive losses may hold true, but a lot of political pundits are biased by personal investment in the election. “A lot of predictions and analysis is colored by what people want to happen,” he said. Storin also said this election is unique in that polls are showing that voters are increasingly dissatisfied with their own representatives in Congress. He said under normal circumstances Americans don’t approve of Congress as a whole but support their representatives. Despite the Democrat’s troubles, Storin said there is some hope for the party. “We live in a time of short attention spans. Maybe by November people might swing the other way,” he said. Storin mentioned enthusiasm is off-pace for Democrats, mainly because of the probable decline in turnout of young voters. “There is going to be a huge drop-off in younger voters,” he said. “That is seen as one reason why Democrats are expected to suffer.” Storin added that one of the reasons this election is viewed as a defining election is that the majority party typically loses an average of 12 seats in midterm elections. “Americans like divided government,” he said. “Right now, they don’t have divided government.” Despite this, he said the long-term impact of the election, especially in terms of how it might impact the president, is being overstated. “Even though Obama is getting criticized a lot, he still is at a 46 percent approval rating in tough times,” Storin said. “It is hard to predict that a strong Republican result could impact him down the line in two years.” Storin closed his commentary with some discussion of the Tea Party. He said the political group has had some slip ups, but could make some strong gains this November, doing more good for the Republicans than bad. “You could make a point that there is harm [to the Republicans], but they are creating a great deal of excitement in some states with more conventional candidates,” he said. He said the reason the Tea Party has enjoyed recent success is that it embodies apathy. “The influence of special interest groups on congressional votes is huge, and the one group who is not represented is the ordinary people,” Storin said. “The one group who comes close to representing these people is the Tea Party.” Colwell started his commentary by overturning the misconception that political races don’t gear up until after Labor Day, stating some races have been determined as early as Labor Day of last year.  He also said part of the GOP’s expected success involves how women usually tend to vote Democrat. “The Republican tide started to become a tsunami. The enthusiasm gap involves the gender gap,” he said. “Polls now show females are less likely to get to the polls. They seem disillusioned.” Colwell said the main question for this election is the margin of victory Republicans will ultimately enjoy. “It’s going to be a Republican year, there is no doubt about it,” he said. “What we’re talking about is the size of their victory.” Colwell said the local congressional race between current congressman Joe Donnelly and challenger Jackie Walorski could be one that ultimately decides whether the House turns Republican or remains Democrat, and between $10 and $20 million could be spent between the two campaigns. “The congressional race here is one of the premier house races in the country,” he said. Nickerson spoke on the importance of campaigns and turnout, saying ultimately it is not what the candidates do that matters as much as the state of the nation. “The campaign stuff doesn’t matter,” he said. “What does matter is the state of the economy and how happy people are.” Part of the reason that campaigning is difficult is the very nature of convincing people to change personal or political views. “Persuasion is super hard. People are pretty set as Democrats or Republicans,” Nickerson said. Nickerson’s closing statements related the nature of campaigns to go after specific voters to the enthusiasm gap Democrats are suffering from. “When they target their messages, they are very narrowly targeted,” he said. “This makes the enthusiasm gap very important.”last_img read more

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Syracuse rotation keeps players fresh despite quick turnarounds

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Fitting a 17-game regular season into a span of just more than two months gives Syracuse little time to revel in its record-breaking season. Each time the Orange’s next match rolls around, it’s still recovering from its last.Weekends on the road and weekday games against central New York opponents — against Cornell, Colgate and Albany and at Binghamton — have become the norm.On Friday at 7 p.m. at SU Soccer Stadium, No. 4 Syracuse (10-1, 3-1 Atlantic Coast) will play its third game in seven days with a match against Wake Forest (6-5, 2-2). Despite the quick turnarounds, the team has gotten off to its best start in program history, and currently holds its highest-ever national ranking.The Orange takes on the Demon Deacons just three days after Tuesday’s 2-1 comeback victory over Albany.“Winning (against Albany) will make it better,” said head coach Ian McIntyre. “It makes you feel a little bit lighter on your feet. But it’s about management of the bodies.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textThough McIntyre’s rotations have helped the players’ freshness and health, SU’s schedule may slowly be taking a toll on its players.This past weekend, the Orange spent 20 hours on a chartered bus to and from Blacksburg, Virginia, after leaving a day early to save the players’ legs, McIntyre said. The team rode through the night — starting at 10:30 p.m. — back to Syracuse after its 1-0 victory over Virginia Tech.“If you need anything in the next 10 hours, give me a call,” McIntyre said jokingly that night as the team boarded the bus.Syracuse beat the Hokies, but it took a double-overtime effort and a goal in the 107th minute from Emil Ekblom to seal the victory. McIntyre said his team’s performance that night was “gutsy,” a word he also used to describe the team’s win over then-No. 2 Virginia on Sept. 27.After a three-day layoff, Syracuse came out flat to start both halves against Albany. Early in the first half, McIntyre yelled from the sideline for midfielder Juuso Pasanen to “please win” a header, for midfielders Nick Perea and Julian Buescher to “get on the ball” and for the entire team to get tighter and “go get it.”“It’s tough to come from an ACC game and then turn up for a Tuesday night game,” Pasanen said after the match.But McIntyre’s use of player rotations and substitutions has helped produce four 1-0 victories over Binghamton, Clemson, St. John’s and Rutgers.Midway through the first half, the coach usually replaces starters Chris Nanco and Buescher with Alex Halis and Stefanos Stamoulacatos. Whenever Korab Syla enters, it’s usually for Oyvind Alseth, and Noah Rhynhart often replaces Ekblom. Louis Cross has started most weekday games and Tyler Hilliard has started most weekend games.On Tuesday, Syracuse used six subs in the second half alone, something McIntyre said the team needed to “freshen things up.”“We’ve been putting a lot of minutes on (Hilliard),” McIntyre said after the Albany game, in which Hilliard replaced Cross in the 60th minute. “T’s been awesome, very good, and I think Louie’s had a good season. So ultimately to allow (Cross) to have minutes gave (Hilliard) a little bit of a rest tonight.”Though Cross started 13 of the 17 games he played for Akron last season, the defender said he never started more than three or four games in a row.Said Cross: “I’m quite used to resting one game and playing the next. It keeps me on my toes.” Comments Published on October 9, 2014 at 12:25 am Contact Josh: [email protected]last_img read more

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Ivory Coast 2021 Africa Cup of Nations gets big budget backing

first_imgYamoussoukro, Ivory Coast | AFP | Ivory Coast Prime Minister Amadou Gon Coulibaly laid the foundation stone of a brand new football stadium in Yamoussoukro on Friday as work accelerated in preparation for the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations.Several thousand people were present at the site for the 20,000-capacity stadium in the political capital, which is expected to be one of six venues for the tournament.Coulibaly promised a budget of 300 million euros ($345 million) investment in infrastructure in preparation of the country’s first hosting of the event since 1984.Work on a separate 60,000-capacity stadium in Abidjan began in 2016, while other new grounds are scheduled at San Pedro and Korhogo, and the renovation of a major stadium at Bouake (40,000) is also on the agenda. Previous editions of the CAN have taken place in January-February but a new format for June-July tournaments with 24 nations rather than 16 will see the event enlarged.The Confederation of African Football (CAF) said there were major delays in the building of infrastructure in Cameroon, scheduled to stage next year’s competition, and that a decision on whether to strip them of hosting rights would be made at the end of November.Morocco, which unsuccessfully bid to host the 2026 World Cup, has lobbied to replace Cameroon as hosts.Share on: WhatsApplast_img read more

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Man Accused of Dropping Explosives on Ex-Girlfriend’s Property Via Drone

first_imgA Pennsylvania man is accused of using a drone to drop explosives on his ex-girlfriend’s property, a federal prosecutor says.According to reports, 44-year-old Jason Muzzicato is suspected of instigating a series of explosions that occurred near his home earlier this year.Although he has not been charged with detonating explosives, Muzzicato has already been charged with knowingly operating an aircraft without registration, as well as possession of illegal weapons.Federal authorities who raided his home and business last June recovered several firearms and improvised explosive devices.His girlfriend filed an order for protection from abuse two years ago, meaning that it was illegal for Muzzicato to have firearms, according to reports.last_img read more

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Harlequin Productions Set to Announce its 25th Anniversary Season

first_imgSubmitted by Harlequin ProductionsThe State Theater, built in 1949, is home to Harlequin Productions. Photo courtesy Karen Crooks.Standing on the corner of 4th Avenue and Washington Street, Olympia’s State Theater has been a handsome landmark building since it opened in 1949. It served as a state of the art movie theater until the 1970s when multiplex cinemas displaced locally owned individual houses and by the late 1990s the building was boarded up and left for dead.In the meantime, live theater company Harlequin Productions had grown an audience base of a size that inspired the group to seek its own home. After seven seasons as a renter in the Washington Center, Harlequin took a leap of faith and bought the State Theater, remodeled it to be a beautifully appointed live theater venue, and reopened it in November of 1998. Now, seventeen seasons and roughly 350,000 tickets later, the company is preparing for its 25th Anniversary season.On Sunday evening April 19th from 5-8 pm at the State Theater, Harlequin will host Eclectica!, the company’s annual season announcement celebration, and reveal the lineup for their 25th season. How do you sum up 24 years of theater in Olympia? As Managing ArtisticDirector Scot Whitney puts it, “It’s been quite the ride.”“I was a filmmaker for 16 years,” remembers Whitney. “All I ever wanted to do was tell stories. But over the years, filmmaking became less and less about working with actors and more and more about working with equipment.”So, Scot put together a set of four plays he wanted to direct and set about finding theaters who would produce his shows. However, he was met with theaters who felt the plays he wanted to direct were too avant-garde, too challenging. “Everywhere I went, I was told ‘Oh, you can’t do that in Olympia.’ So I thought, ‘Alright, I’ll do it myself.’”Harlequin Productions was founded in 1991 by a group of five people—Scot Whitney, Linda Whitney, James L. This, Phil Annis and Ronna Smith—who decided that they wanted to produce a more challenging style of theater. They wrote their mission statement, pooled their start-up capital—a whopping $400 cash—and began producing individual shows at the Washington Center Black Box, which seated about 100.After building a small but devoted patron base, Harlequin took on an enormous production of “Hamlet” in 1992 (their second season). The show was staged with an Asian motif on a 20 foot motorized revolve with a cast of 18, an original score, and elaborate fights and dance scenes. “Hamlet redefined the direction of the company,” says Harlequin Artistic Director Linda Whitney. “Who cared if shows of that magnitude overtaxed our resources? They were fun! And no matter how we tried to rein people in, everyone involved was chomping at the bit to make the next production a little bit better.”By 1995, the productions had grown in size and scale so much that the company was outgrowing the Black Box space at the Washington Center. Searching for a permanent home, Harlequin found the State Theater, which had started its life as one of the finest movie theaters on the West Coast. It had fallen on hard times during the cineplexing of America and was chopped into three ill-conceived shoebox theaters. Within a few years, it became a neglected dollar movie house and was finally boarded up and abandoned. The State Theater looked so bad by this time that the company members had few hopes. As Scot Whitney tells it, “To be frank, it was an eyesore in the heart of downtown Olympia. But the price was reasonable. The owner was willing to sell. And it was in superb structural condition. It just needed paint and TLC. And new electrical. And a concessions stand. And marquee. And carpet. And dressing rooms. But the seats were great!”After about a year’s worth of hoping and dreaming, Harlequin Productions made an offer on the State Theater, it was accepted, and the company launched a massive capital campaign to fund the purchase and remodel. They had precisely seventeen months to raise $1.3 million and complete the renovation. And seventeen months later, Harlequin opened the doors on the beautifully remodeled State Theater.Harlequin Productions own comedy troupe, Something Wicked, will perform during Eclectica!The move to the State Theater provided Harlequin the ability to continue producing the challenging works the founders dreamed about in the beginning. In season nine (2000), the company had two productions (The Tempest and Hapgood) selected for permanent collection by the Theater on Film and Tape Archive at the Lincoln Center in NYC. And just over a year ago, the company added improv comedy to the mix with their own troupe, Something Wicked.It’s been an incredible 24-year journey filled with countless magical performances. And on Sunday evening April 19, Harlequin Productions will announce the lineup of their 25th Season.Eclectica! is Harlequin Productions’ annual fundraiser and season announcement party. The event will take place from 5:00-8:00 PM on Sunday April 19 at the State Theater in downtown Olympia and include a catered dinner; no-host bar; live entertainment; a wine toss; a short, live auction; and the announcement of Harlequin’s Season 2016 lineup of shows.“The 2016 Season is Harlequin’s 25th anniversary season,” said Managing Artistic Director Scot Whitney. “We’ve got some surprises in store to mark the occasion.”Entertainment will be provided by the acclaimed musical duo Red & Ruby, featuring LaVon Hardison and Vince Brown. In addition, Harlequin’s improv troupe, Something Wicked, will present live improv comedy.“Eclectica! is always a very fun event,” commented Harlequin Artistic Director Linda Whitney. “Red & Ruby are fabulous, and Something Wicked will be hilarious as always.What better way to celebrate where we’ve been, and where we’re going?”Tickets to Eclectica! can be purchased by calling 360-786-0151, or online at harlequinproductions.org. 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