For several months, we've held steady on our range of expected gains for Republicans in the Senate: a net of four to eight seats. With Labor Day in the rearview mirror and with less than 55 days to go until the midterms, we're giving Republicans a slight bump: Our new range is a Republican net of five to eight Senate seats.
This means that the best-case scenario we can now envision for Democrats is a 50-50 tie in the Senate, with Vice President Joe Biden's tiebreaking vote narrowly keeping Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) as majority leader.
The likeliest outcome remains a Republican gain of six or seven seats, which we noted before Labor Day and stand by now. That would be good for a narrow 51-49 or 52-48 Republican Senate majority. more >>
NEW YORK — Surviving family members of those killed during the 9/11 terror attacks said this year's tribute and seeing the completion of the September 11 Memorial & Museum in New York made the solemn occasion "more peaceful" and "brought closure" for some. But one New Yorker whose brother was killed on 9/11 described his time spent at the memorial and museum as a "bitter sweet" experience, because it's a reminder of what's no longer there.
The event, which was held at the National September 11 Memorial in between the reflecting pools located on footprints of where the World Trade Center's twin towers used to stand, marked the first year the National September 11 Museum was open on the site during the anniversary of the attacks.
"I thought that the area around the memorial was really nice," said Long Island resident Lawrence Meltzer, whose brother, Stewart, was killed on Sept. 11, 2001. "The completion of the museum made it a little bit more palatable so it was actually a prettier place." more >>
Football players at Arkansas State University were ordered to either remove a Christian cross decal from their helmets or modify it into a mathematical sign after a Jonesboro attorney complained that the image violated the U.S. Constitution.
The cross decal was meant to memorialize former player Markel Owens and former equipment manager Barry Weyer, said athletic director Terry Mohajir. Weyer was killed in a June car crash. Owens was gunned down in Tennessee in January.
Barry Weyer, Sr., told me that the players and coaches voluntarily decided to memorialize his son and Owens. more >>
WASHINGTON — Religious freedom helps everyone, no matter what political or religious affiliation, a diverse group of religious freedom experts agreed Wednesday at the 2014 AEI Evangelical Leadership Summit.
The panel, moderated by Focus on the Family's Tim Goeglein, featured Russell Moore of the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics and Religious LIberty Commission, Brian Grim of the Religious Freedom and Business Foundation, and Timothy Shah of the Religious Freedom Project at Georgetown.
Moore argued that a huge threat to religious freedoms in the United States is the readiness of most religious groups to think of the state as the ultimate say on everything in culture. more >>
U.S. Senator Ted Cruz was booed at a Washington, D.C., event spotlighting the need to help persecuted Christians abroad.
The outspoken Texas Republican heard jeers from some members of the audience for the inaugural Summit dinner for the group In Defense of Christians while speaking on Wednesday.
Addressing an audience that included several Middle Eastern Christian leaders, the negative response reportedly came after Cruz spoke positively of the modern state of Israel. more >>
Gambia is on the verge of enacting a law that would sentence its citizens to life in prison if convicted of aggravated homosexuality. Leading human rights groups have urged Gambian President Yahya Jammeh not to sign the legislation into law, though Amnesty International says it is unlikely he will be persuaded against it.
The country's current law imposes jail terms of up to 14 years for people charged with engaging in hoomosexual acts. The new law, passed by the National Assembly in August, would impose life in prison for those who break its aggravated homosexuality laws, and pertains to repeat offenders, people who are HIV-positive and those who sexually assault a minor.
"Gambia's bill is a copycat of the Ugandan legislation," Adotei Akwei, Amnesty International's managing director of government relations, claimed in an interview with MSNBC. "We expect [Jammeh] to sign it into law. He's never held back on a threat he's made." more >>