Category: Breaking News Written by Huffington Post
Obama Edge In Battleground States
WASHINGTON -- A new national poll showing President Barack Obama with a slight edge over Republican nominee Mitt Romney may give Democrats some cheer Monday morning, but its results largely confirm what other surveys have reported over the last week: Voter preferences are very close nationwide, with Obama retaining a narrow but persistent edge in key electoral vote battleground states.
The latest Washington Post/ABC News survey shows Obama leading Romney among likely voters by a 49 to 46 percent margin that ABC said fell "within the survey's margin of error" and the Post described as a "virtual dead heat."
The new result was also essentially unchanged from a 49 to 47 percent Obama edge on the last Post/ABC survey. Other national polls released over the last week have reported either a dead-even race or have given Romney a slight edge. These include the Gallup Daily tracking, which as of Sunday showed Romney with a 2-point advantage (49 to 47 percent).
The Gallup Poll, like Post/ABC, uses live interviewers and calls samples of both landline and mobile telephone numbers. Other recent surveys yielded a similar range of results although the others used either automated telephone or newer internet-based methods.
The Post added the caution, however, that "Democrats outnumber Republicans by nine percentage points among likely voters" on their latest survey, a more favorable margin than the "three-, six- and five-percentage-point edges for Democrats" among likely voters on their last three polls. While noting that "partisan identification fluctuates from poll to poll" due to both random sampling error and shifts in "basic orientations," they warned that had their latest poll shown a partisan balance like the three previous surveys, "the presidential contest would now be neck and neck nationally."
On other questions, despite the partisan shift, the Post/ABC survey yielded evidence of growing enthusiasm for Romney, particularly among Republicans. The percentage of Romney supporters who said they are "very enthusiastic" about their candidate grew 10 percentage points (from 52 to 62 percent) since the first debate. Twice as many voters said their impression of Romney had gotten better (35 percent) rather than worse (14 percent) as a result of the debate, and the positive reaction was strongest among Romney supporters (70 percent improvement).
The HuffPost Pollster tracking model currently gives Obama a very slight advantage in the national popular vote, less than 1 percentage point as of this writing.
The model is not a simple average, but instead combines both national and statewide surveys to estimate the current polling snapshot and attempts to control for the persistent differences among pollsters known as "house effects."
The tracking model's national popular vote estimate takes into account polling data compiled at the state level, where surveys reported over the past week continue to give Obama very slim leads in the most crucial battleground states. Obama holds narrow but statistically meaningful leads of 2 percentage points or better, as of this writing, in Wisconsin, Ohio, New Hampshire and Nevada, along with the other states where he leads by wider margins -- enough to net 281 electoral votes, 11 more than the 270 needed to win. The model also shows Obama leading by just over 1 percentage point in Colorado, which would bring his electoral vote total to 290.
Although the national vote estimate has been slightly narrower over the past week and has tipped slightly to Romney at times, Obama has maintained an advantage in these crucial battleground states.
The Obama battleground edge may be due to a heavier volume of television advertising aired in those states. An analysis by George Washington University political scientist John Sides shows the number of ads run by the Democrats has slightly outpaced those run by the Republicans since the party conventions, although The Huffington Post reported last week that spending by Romney and his allies has increased greatly in recent weeks.
The Post/ABC poll indicates another area of tactical advantage for the Democrats: In swing states, voters were more likely to say they had been personally contacted, "by phone in person or online asking for your support," by the Obama campaign (37 percent), than they were to say that had been personally contacted by the Romney campaign (27 percent).
As the ABC News analysis points out, support for both candidates has remained relatively constant with neither candidate exceeding 50 percent, which suggests a "get out the vote election," in which motivation and turnout may decide the winner.
Last Updated on Monday, 15 October 2012 12:16
Category: News Briefs Written by WWJ
DETROIT (WWJ) – Shuttered Detroit firehouses have become the latest targets for scrap metal thieves.
At least a half-dozen fire stations across the city from Southwest Detroit to the near east side of the city — including engine and ladder companies 33, 46 and 49 — are now closed. Executive Fire Commissioner Don Austin says thieves are breaking into the closed buildings and stripping them of what can be sold for scrap.
“That’s where the water heaters, the plumbing, electrical oftentimes is taken out of the building,” Austin said.
“We have stainless steel kitchen sinks; I mean I don’t really want to put the inventory what’s in there, cause I’m not trying to encourage people to come in those buildings, but we’re working with Detroit Police Department, General Services to get them boarded up and to get patrols by those stations that are vacated.”
Fire Department officials want to keep as much of the buildings intact, so they can resell them. They also want to help keep the property values up in the neighborhoods where the fire stations are located.
Last Updated on Monday, 15 October 2012 10:05
Category: News Briefs Written by AJ Williams, Chronicle Web Editor
Two officers of the Detroit Police Department were injured while on patrol. According to Detroit Police Sgt. Erin Stephens, a forty-seven year old woman with a suspended license drove through a stop sign on Lansdowne Street and hit the officer’s vehicle on Moross.
The officers were admitted to the hospital and are listed to be in temporary serious condition after last night’s accident. The victim and police officers names have not yet been released. The woman driving the other vehicle was arrested and may face other charges.
Last Updated on Monday, 15 October 2012 12:37
Category: Breaking News Written by Andrea L. Zopp, Huffington Post
Election Day is one month away. In August, I began a three-part series on why you must vote. Last month's column talked about the critical issues like access to healthcare impacted by the individuals we elect into office. This month it's personal. It's about us and how black voter apathy is simply wrong in light of our history and the current attacks across the country on our right to vote.
Let's start with our history. Prior to the Voting Rights Act of 1965, African Americans across the country, but particularly in the South, were systematically prevented from exercising their right to vote. Methods both "legal" and illegal were used to prevent Blacks from having a say in the political system that governed their lives. African Americans who attempted to vote were faced with bullying, ridicule, prohibitive fees, violence and in some instances death. My own grandfather who lived in Mississippi was told that in order to vote he had to recite the Bill of Rights to the Constitution from memory.
The Voting Rights Act of 1965 made all the previously "legal" methods used to bar Black voters from the polls illegal and gave us the power of the federal government to force our way into the voting booth. The bill led to African Americans becoming a political force; led to Black elected officials and judges and, ultimately, to the country's first Black President. African Americans came out in force behind then candidate Obama in 2008 and played a critical role in sending him to the White House. And now today, as the first Black President seeks re-election we are seeing a new assault on the voting rights of African Americans, led by people elected in the wake of high Black voter apathy during the mid-term elections of 2010.
History repeats itself. We entered this election season with voter ID and other types of voter suppression laws in 17 states that could deprive an estimated 700,000 young people of color the right to vote, according to a new study by the University of Chicago. Another study shows that 25 percent of Blacks lack the ID being required in some areas compared to 16 percent of Hispanics and 9 percent of Whites. A Texas judge struck down a law that would have required voters to show a photo at the polls, calling it racially discriminatory. This week, a judge in Pennsylvania is expected to rule on whether voters in that key swing state could easily obtain state-issued ID cards in time for Election Day. Across the country, but particularly in critical swing states like Florida, Virginia and Ohio, efforts are underway to limit the Black vote.
Our history and the current attack on voter rights ought to tell us something. If Black votes mean nothing, if African Americans have no political power, no ability to influence or effect government, why are people so intent on preventing us from voting?
If you want to see a powerfully persuasive video on why you must vote, I encourage you to go to YouTube and search for "Occupy the Vote - The 2012 National Urban League Interns." These young people definitely get it. The Black community has more to lose than it could ever hope to gain by boycotting this election. During the Civil Rights Movement, boycotts were used as leverage. I assure you that not voting isn't going to give you a leg up on anything. As you participate less and less in the process, you might find the country moving away from the things that matter to you.
It's your community. It's your economic security. It's your child's education. It's your heritage to fight for the right to vote. This is personal. It's been less than 50 years since the Voting Rights Act outlawed discriminatory voting practices following decades of protest, humiliation, injury and bloodshed. And here we are, still fighting.
My grandfather, a United States citizen, was never allowed to vote; something he regretted his entire life. Unfortunately, he was not alone. Millions of African Americans also never got that chance. The intent of voter suppression laws is as transparent today as it was when my grandfather was denied the right to vote. Our history and our present are bright beacons reminding us of the power of our vote. How can we side with those who would hold us back and waste it? The National Urban League is fighting back through its Occupy the Vote initiative, encouraging people to register and making sure voters have the proper identification. In Illinois, the Chicago Urban League is doing its part by registering voters at our headquarters at 4510 S. Michigan Avenue Monday through Saturday through October 9. Election Day is on Tuesday, November 6. I encourage you to honor our history and fully participate in our democracy. This time and every time, it's personal.
Last Updated on Monday, 15 October 2012 09:30
Category: Breaking News Written by Jarrett Bell, UsaToday
PHILADELPHIA – Now didn't this look familiar. It was crunch time at Lincoln Financial Field, and the Detroit Lions had the audacity to not blink with their season essentially on the line.
A must-win game in Week 6?
Maybe so. The difference between being 2-3 rather than 1-4 as they head into next Monday night's game at the NFC North-leading Chicago Bears is enormous.
It's debatable exactly how the Lions processed the memo about this.
Jason Hanson has been around the NFL for 21 years, yet the Lions kicker concedes that he was numb-nervous as he lined up a 45-yard field goal in overtime because he knew the stakes included the season.
Cliff Avril, who got the overtime vibe flowing with a first-down speed rush that ended in a sack of Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick, says he thought about the stakes before the game. In the heat of the moment, the defensive end didn't get bogged down with such details. He let it flow.
Either way, the urgency really kicked in after Vick and Jeremy Maclin exploited some major busted coverage in the Lions' secondary late in the fourth quarter. The result was a 70-yard touchdown romp that gave the Eagles a 23-13 lead.
This really looked like the backbreaker on a day when the Lions offense seemed stuck in neutral and, for three quarters, Matthew Stafford looked like some ordinary Joe.
Stafford's passer rating, entering the fourth quarter: 28.1.
Another set of numbers after Maclin's TD: 5:18.
That's what was left on the clock. Time to put up or shut up.
The Lions did it again, rallying for the 26-23 victory that sparked memories of, well, last season, when they made the playoffs on the heels of a series of dramatic comeback wins.
"The crazy thing is, we almost expect it," defensive end Kyle Vanden Bosch said in the noisy visitor's locker room. "If it's close in the fourth quarter, we know we can pull it out."
Stafford entered Week 6 with more fourth-quarter passing yards this season than any NFL quarterback. Including the drama from last year, when the Lions became the first team in NFL history to come back to win after trailing by 20 points on consecutive weeks, he had led the team to eight victories after it trailed in the fourth quarter or in overtime.
Make that nine.
Two plays in particular stand out from the quick, 80-yard march that cut Philadelphia's margin to three points. First, there was Stafford scrambling right and buying time while tight end Tony Scheffler worked free along the sideline. So free, past Brandon Hughes. Stafford heaved it for a 57-yard completion to the 12.
If that throw was like hitting the broad side of a barn, Stafford showed his versatility with a tight spiral for a 17-yard touchdown to Nate Burleson in the short left corner of the end zone. That throw came on third-and-15, and it has added value when considering that Detroit started 0-for-8 on third downs Sunday.
Even more striking was that Stafford threw it, amid pressure, off his back foot.
He was in his zone at the right time.
After that score, the Lions held the Eagles to three-and-out.
Then, on the final drive of regulation, the hold-your-breath moment came from Calvin Johnson, the all-pro receiver who lived up to his "Megatron" moniker with six catches for 135 yards. Johnson's 16-yard sideline catch was so uncanny -- he stretched, tapped his toes and hung onto the ball while crashing out of bounds -- that two officials missed the call and ruled it incomplete.
A replay reversal confirmed the catch that moved the Lions into field goal range. Hanson sent the game to overtime with a 19-yard field goal with three seconds left.
"This group's got no quit," Stafford said. "I don't care what the record is, what the score is, how much time's left. These guys in that locker room, they fight until the end."
That spirit wasn't enough in recent weeks, as Detroit brought a three-game losing streak to the Linc. Although the Lions were one of just three NFL teams to enter Week 6 with a top-10 offense and top-10 defense based on yardage rankings, the offense had a tough time producing touchdowns.
Before Sunday, the offense had generated just nine touchdowns.
Another problem was special teams. The losses against Minnesota and Tennessee gave Detroit the dubious distinction of being the first team to allow kickoff- and punt-return scores in consecutive weeks.
Add the inconsistency in the running game, a defensive line that has been under fire for underachieving, the undermanned secondary…
No wonder Lions coach Jim Schwartz beamed late Sunday as he talked about it being a team victory.
He was so right. Running back Mikel Leshoure (15 rushes, 70 yards) helped set up the game-tying field goal at the end of regulation with some power runs. A secondary bolstered by the return of playmaking safety Louis Delmas snagged the defense's first two interceptions of the season, adding to Vick's turnover woes. The O-line didn't allow a sack.
And the D-line that was criticized by an unnamed NFL general manager in a Pro Football Weekly story this week, made quite the statement. Vick's last pass in regulation was swatted down by Ndamukong Suh. In overtime, Avril's sack was followed by a joint effort from Vanden Bosch and Nick Fairley, who dumped Vick for a 14-yard loss.
"You could feel us," Schwartz said. "I think it was a big step for us as a team. We were playing team football today, and there was a lot of spirit and guys picking each other up. I think that's a good sign of things to come for this team."
The Lions took over at midfield for the only possession they would need in overtime after another three-and-our by the Eagles, who head to the bye week at 3-3.
Fittingly, it was left up to the longest-tenured Lion, Hanson -- who has spent all 21 of his NFL seasons in Detroit -- to win it.
For all of his experience and with his sterling track record, you'd think Hanson would downplay the significance of his kick.
Hardly. He knew better.
"It was a must-win," he said. "Playing 20-plus years in the league, you go out there and you know that it is more than a kick for that game. I was nervous because we needed it. We needed it bad. We fought our way back. We had been close a couple of times this year and we hadn't come through. We needed it for that reason, and we needed it to get our season back on track, and we've done that."
Last Updated on Monday, 15 October 2012 09:26
Category: Breaking News Written by Yahoo News
Photo: Reuters/Reuters - Detroit Tigers catcher Gerald Laird (L) celebrates with third baseman Miguel Cabrera as pitcher Justin Verlander (C) walks past them after the Tigers defeated the New York Yankees in Game 2 of their MLB ALCS playoff baseball series in New York, October 14, 2012. REUTERS/Mike Segar
NEW YORK (Reuters) - The Detroit Tigers beat the New York Yankees 3-0 on Sunday to seize a commanding 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven American League Championship Series (ALCS).
Detroit starter Anibal Sanchez combined with reliever Phil Coke on a four-hit shutout, while a lack of support spoiled a fine outing by New York starter Hiroki Kuroda, who was perfect through five innings.
Quintin Berry scored the first run of the game on a ground out by Delmon Young after leading off the seventh inning with a double that hopped over the wall in center.
Detroit added two more runs in the eighth on RBI singles by Avisail Garcia and Miguel Cabrera, both following a disputed call at second base that would have ended the inning and led to the ejection of Yankee manager Joe Girardi for arguing.
The victory gave the Tigers a sweep of the first two games played at Yankee Stadium. The ALCS shifts to Detroit on Tuesday, with Tigers ace Justin Verlander up against Phil Hughes.
Last Updated on Monday, 15 October 2012 09:21
Category: Breaking News Written by WWJ
DETROIT (WWJ) – Strong overnight winds left about 18,000 DTE customers without power Monday morning. As of 8:45 a.m. Monday, there were still 13,000 homes and businesses still in the dark. The outages are scattered throughout metro Detroit and surrounding communities.
According to DTE Energy, approximately 7,500 homes and businesses were knocked off the grid in Wayne County, and there were about 3,000 outages each in Oakland, Macomb and Washtenaw counties,
The areas without service include downriver, northern Oakland County, near Willow Run Airport, and the Grosse Pointes.
DTE expects to have everyone’s power restored by late Monday.
Last Updated on Monday, 15 October 2012 09:14
Category: Breaking News Written by Huffington Post
Peter Berg, the creator of the "Friday Night Lights" television series and movie, has sent Mitt Romney a scathing letter demanding the Republican candidate cease use of the show's "Clear Eyes, Full Hearts, Can't Lose" slogan.
In the letter, which was obtained exclusively by The Hollywood Reporter, Berg writes that "the only relevant comparison I see between your campaign and 'Friday Night Lights' is in the character of Buddy Garrity -- who turned his back on American car manufacturers selling imported cars from Japan."
In noting that the "politics and campaign" of the Romney ticket "are clearly not aligned with the themes we portrayed in our series," Berg echoed a similar rebuke aimed at Paul Ryan by Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine. In August, Morello wrote an op-ed denouncing Ryan, who he cited as "the embodiment of the machine our music rages against."
Mitt Romney has been using the "Friday Night Lights" slogan in speeches. Ann Romney has also made use of the inspirational motto, which figures prominently in the series. The Huffington Post has reached out to Romney's campaign and will update this post if we receive comment.
While Berg -- who came up with the phrase -- is quick to rebuke the Romneys, the author of the book the series and movie are based on recently endorsed the candidate in an column posted by The Daily Beast. Buzz Bissinger wrote that Barack Obama's poor debate performance and what Bissinger sees as Romney's emerging, moderate platform led him to make that decision.
In a follow-up piece, Bissinger says he has been vilified by the "liberal media" and his own friends, some of whom he believes he'll never feel the same about.
Last Updated on Friday, 12 October 2012 16:52
Category: Breaking News Written by WWJ
DETROIT (WWJ) – It will likely be life behind bars for aDetroit man found guilty of first degree murder and child abuse in the death of his 2-year old daughter.
Prosecutors said 32-year-old D’Andre Lane fatally beat Bianca Jones after she wet herself.
WWJ Newsradio 950′s Florence Walton reported Lane appeared as if he was going to faint when the jury forewoman read the verdict Friday.
Bianca went missing in December. Her body has never been found, but police said a cadaver dog detected evidence in a closet at Lane’s home.
Lane’s attorney told jurors that Bianca was abducted, but Wayne County prosecutors said Lane faked a carjacking in an elaborate story to cover up his child’s murder.
Throughout the trial, prosecutors painted Lane as an abusive father who was obsessed with potty training his children. Prosecutors alleged Lane beat Bianca to death, covered her body with a blanket and put her in her car seat. They said he then drover Bianca’s siblings to school before dumping her body.
Assistant Wayne County Prosecutor Qiana Lillard briefly addressed reporters outside the courthouse Friday.
“Nothing’s gonna bring her back. We just respect the jury’s decision and we’re glad they did the right thing,” Lillard said.
Friday was the second day of deliberations following a nearly month-long trial.
WWJ Legal Analyst Charlie Langton said the outcome was surprising to some. “This was a typical case of circumstantial evidence,” said Langton. “There was no direct evidence that Lane did anything to his daughter. In fact, there was no body, which makes this case very unusual.”
Lane had proclaimed his innocence in an in-studio interview with WWJ a little less than a year ago. “I did not have anything to do with my daughter’s disappearance — flat out, period,” Lane said.
Sentencing is schedule for Nov. 16.
Last Updated on Friday, 12 October 2012 16:46
Category: Breaking News Written by Helena Andrews, The Root
(The Root) -- One of the most memorable lines from last week's presidential debate wasn't about universal health care or even big government -- it was about Big Bird.
When Republican candidate Mitt Romney summarily attacked PBS, the political punch lines, of course, practically wrote themselves -- from plays on Wall Street and Sesame Street to Big Bird being broke.
But given the frosty educational climate in the U.S., with affirmative action being called into question by the Supreme Court and renewed debates about funding for early-childhood education, Romney's hard-line stance on PBS is more than problematic, especially as it relates to African-American children.
According to PBS, the network's children's programming attracts a higher proportion of viewers from Hispanic, African-American and low-income households compared with their actual representation in the population. Basically, Romney grossly underestimated how many of those 47 percenters would have Big Bird's back.
New York Times op-ed columnist Charles Blow was one such supporter.
"Let me make it simple for you, Mr. Romney. I'm down with Big Bird. You pick on him, you answer to me," he wrote. "We were poor. My mother couldn't afford day care, and I didn't go to preschool. My great-uncle took care of me all day. I could watch one hour of television: PBS."
So here's what happened. Last Wednesday, when moderator Jim Lehrer asked how each candidate would tackle "the deficit problem in this country," Romney responded: "I'm going to stop the subsidy to PBS. I'm going to stop other things. I like PBS. I love Big Bird. I actually like you, too. But I'm not going to -- I'm not going to keep on spending money on things to borrow money from China to pay for it."
And the tiny blue birds tweeting all over the Internet went wild. Big Bird trended for days following the debate. The Twitter account "BigBirdRomney" has gathered more than 10,000 followers in less than one week.
The Obama campaign even seized the moment this week with a satirical political ad starring the "big yellow menace to our economy."
"Mitt Romney knows it's not Wall Street you have to worry about," intones the narrator. "It's Sesame Street."
But once all the clever Internet memes -- photos of Big Bird down on his luck after getting "fired" -- get buried on your Facebook timelines under the next day's news, the fact remains that Big Bird and his buddies bookmark a turning point in many African-American adults' childhood memories.
When I conducted an impromptu survey of my friends' fondest memories, I was surprised at how many of those watershed moments shed light on who they became as adults.
Kellee, a professional actress and singer, recalled the Pointer Sisters' counting anthem, "The Pinball Countdown," which aired on Sesame Street in the late '70s. "I sing that song all the time, and it makes me feel happy." In minute-long segments, it taught children to count from one to 12. "No matter what I'm doing, I have to say '11, 12' in a goofy deep voice."
My friend Jamyla, the "mixtress" behind the natural skin-care line Oyin Handmade, remembered the science-loving teens of "The Bloodhound Gang," crime-solving segments featured on the program 3-2-1 Contact, which aired from 1980 to 1988.
"It was like an Encyclopedia Brown book come to life," said Jamyla of the gang. "These cool teenagers solving mysteries with science and smartness. It was a welcoming and affirming representation of my personal world because Vikki [played by Nan Lynn Nelson] looked like a younger version of my auntie."
Personally I count not appearing as a miniature book critic on Reading Rainbow as one of the major failures of my childhood. The third-longest running show on PBS, Reading Rainbow, with its black host and multicultural guests, made me believe I could actually "fly twice as high" as my dreams would go.
And longtime host LeVar Burton hasn't stopped. The Reading Rainbow iPad app is the No. 1 free educational application, according to iTunes.
It's no secret that a generation of us grew up with PBS as our personal tutor and pocket Jiminy Cricket. The channel taught us how to count and how to be kind, with few commercial breaks in between. And it continues to make headlines for celebrating diversity, from the first HIV-positive Muppet, South Africa's Kami, to the "I Love My Hair" song aimed at curly-haired little brown girls.
As the campaign for president rolls on, making the requisite pit stops on Main Street and even Wall Street, bulldozing over Sesame Street is more than just a double-take moment.
"You have to scratch your head when the president spends the last week talking about saving Big Bird," Romney said Tuesday in Iowa.
Instead of scratching his head, Romney should put a thinking cap on it and figure out how to tackle the deficit while leaving alone the tiny 0.012 percent slice of the federal budget allotted to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Or perhaps that's what a lack of PBS does -- shrinks the imagination.
Last Updated on Friday, 12 October 2012 16:39
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