Midwest Report – Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Midwest Report – Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Welcome to the Midwest Report Common Culture’s daily effort to chronicle news and opinion pieces that relate to the American Midwest.

We focus on two types of stories:

1)   Articles related to the Culture War and its effects within the region and

2)   Topics considered relevant to moderates and progressives Midwesterners.

Today’s edition of the Midwest Report contains eleven articles for your review.

  • In the Old Northwest territory, we have five stories to share – one each from Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, and Minnesota.
  • In the Plains states, we have four stories to pass along – one each from Iowa, Kansas, South Dakota, and North Dakota.
  • Lastly, we give you two brief articles from Policy Mic discussing Sharia Law and Sexual Violence.

Thank you for your support, and I hope you find this service beneficial!

— Corey McLaughlin

The Old Northwest Territory

1) Ohio

“Ohio Republican congressman Jim Jordan is joining Sen. Jim Inhofe in endorsing the conspiracy theory that the government is buying up bullets in order to limit their availability to gun owners during an interview yesterday with Family Research Council president Tony Perkins, who was the guest host on Sandy Rios In The Morning.

During the program, Perkins praised people for “buying bricks of ammo” and “buying gold” — even though the price of gold is collapsing — adding that he is “buying my kids ammo instead of saving bonds.” Jordan said that “Americans rightly understand that freedom is under attack in this country,” specifically religious liberty and the Second Amendment.”

Source: Rep. Jim Jordan Endorses Conspiracy Theory that Government Is Hoarding Ammunition,” written by Brian Tashman for Right Wing Watch and published on 04/30/13.

2) Indiana


“Indiana is now one of nine states without a preschool program and a new nationwide report is highlighting Indiana’s lagging efforts.

The National Institute for Early Education Research’s “State of Preschool Yearbook 2012” shows this has not been a good year for early childhood education programs nationally with public resources for preschool program being cut in many states.”

Source: Report: Indiana One Of Nine States Without Preschool Program,” written by Network Indiana for Indiana Public Media and published on 05/01/13.

3) Illinois

 “Some Chicago-area black clergy are targeting members of the Illinois House Black Caucus less than a week after its leader endorsed a proposed gay marriage bill.

According to the Chicago Sun-Times, the African-American Clergy Coalition (AACC) launched another round of 40-second robocalls…urging constituents to call their representatives and encourage them to vote against legalizing such unions in Illinois…

The measure has the support of some prominent African-America ministers in the state.”

Source: Black Ministers Target Illinois House Black Caucus On Gay Marriage,” written for On Top magazine and published on 04/29/13.

4) Wisconsin


“GOP Rep. Paul Ryan reportedly has changed his views and now says he believes gay couples should be able to adopt children.

Asked at a town-hall-style meeting Monday in Wisconsin about the issue, Ryan said he would “vote differently these days” and still opposes gay marriage. In 1999, the congressman voted in favor of banning same-sex couples in the District of Columbia from adopting.”

Source: Rep. Paul Ryan now supports gay adoption,” written by Catalina Camia for USA Today and published on 04/30/13.

5) Minnesota

“The group pushing for same-sex marriage in Minnesota is releasing a new television advertisement pressing state legislators to pass the measure…

 “In the next three weeks, the Minnesota Legislature has the historic opportunity to make Minnesota a more fair and free state by including same-sex couples and their families in marriage,” [campaign manager for Minnesotans United] Carlbom said in a statement. “No Minnesotan should have to wait any longer to enjoy the happiness and security that comes through marriage, and no Minnesota family should have to live another day being told that they are less worthy than any other family.”

Source: New ad urges Minnesota lawmakers to approve same-sex marriage,” written by Baird Helgeson for the Star Tribune and published on 04/30/13.

The Plains States

6) Iowa


“Michele Bachmann’s 2012 presidential campaign was looking for a boost in the crowded Iowa caucus field when she fixed on Kent Sorenson, a populist Tea Party firebrand…As early as March 2011, Bachmann fundraiser Guy Short called Sorenson “the real deal.”

Now Sorenson is at the center of a political maelstrom involving alleged under-the-table payments that are the subject of a congressional ethics inquiry and a Federal Election Commission complaint.”

Source: Iowa senator is at core of Michele Bachmann’s legal dilemma,”  written by Kevin Diaz for the Star Tribune and published on 04/30/13.

7) Kansas

“Last week, Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach cried wolf in front of a Senate panel in Washington. He suggested that a more open immigration bill could make it easier for potential terrorists, such as the Tsarnaev brothers behind the Boston bombing, to enter the U.S. and earn ‘amnesty.’…

As our country begins to enact comprehensive immigration reform, it is time for a paradigm shift in Kansans’ thinking: facilitating pathways to citizenship and inclusion of formerly illegal immigrants in the state’s legal system.”

Source: Restricting immigration will not help Kansas,” written by Jessie. W. Bullock for the Kansas City Star and published on 04/30/13.

8) South Dakota


“A small patch of prairie sits largely unnoticed off a desolate road in southwestern South Dakota, tucked amid gently rolling hills and surrounded by dilapidated structures and hundreds of gravesites – many belonging to Native Americans massacred more than a century earlier.

The assessed value of the property: less than $14,000. The seller’s asking price: $4.9 million.

Tribal members say the man who owns a piece of the Wounded Knee National Historic Landmark on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation is trying to profit from their suffering. It was there, on Dec. 29, 1890, that 300 Native American men, women and children were killed by the 7th Cavalry in the final battle of the American Indian Wars.”

Source: SD tribe faces ultimatum on sale of massacre site,” written by Kristi Eaton for the Associated Press and published on 05/01/13.

9) North Dakota


“The sea of oil and natural gas underneath North Dakota is far larger than first thought.

There are 7.4 billion barrels of recoverable oil in the western part of the state and extending into Montana, according to the latest estimate by the U.S. Geological Survey.

That’s more than twice the oil the USGS estimated could be recovered five years ago. What’s more, the USGS has nearly tripled its estimate of the natural gas available in the area.”

Source: N.D. oil is more plentiful than previously thought,” written by Adam Belz for the Star Tribune and published on 05/01/13.

For Your Consideration

10)     Sharia Law

“In 39 countries in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East, Pew held over 38,000 interviews with Muslims in over 80 languages. And what they found, overwhelming, is that Muslims in that area of the world want Sharia law to be the law of their country.

Before people start sweating about Muslims taking over the world, let me clarify that Sharia law is not the terrorist-fueling radicalism you think it is.”

Source: Sharia Law is Not What You Think It Is,” written by Medha Chandorkar for Policy Mic and published on 05/01/13.

11)     Sexual Violence

“Almost everyone knows that it has been going on for years. The highest estimates suggest that up to a quarter of male inmates have been raped. While Congress has passed legislation which is meant to address the issue of prison rape, the crisis is still pervasive. One reason is the lock-and-leave philosophy of detention facilities where corrections officers have no strong incentives to intervene. It is difficult enough to control the entire population without regulating the relationships between them. When Human Rights Watch released its No Escape report in 2001, there were several states which did not even keep reports on sexual violence in prisons.”

Source: The Rape Victims No One Wants to Hear About: Prisoners,” written by James Banks for Policy Mic and published on 04/30/13.

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