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Wisconsin
  • Scott Walker v. Tom Barrett, a Wisconsin Recall Primer

    Today over two million Wisconsinites are expected to head to the polls to forever alter the course of their ship of state. And by forever, I mean until 5 months from now, when the state legislature will be up for re-election. Polls close at 8pm Central Time, which means that if the race is close, we'll know the results by sometime in November, when Waukesha County finally reports. In the mean time, here's what you need to know…

    What do the latest polls say?
    All polls show Walker ahead. The latest Public Policy Polling survey has Walker up over Tom Barrett 50-47%. That lead is down from 50-45% in a PPP poll conducted three weeks ago and it's also down from a 52-45 lead that Walker  posted in a Marquette Law poll released last week, but it's at odds with another recent survey, conducted by We Ask America, that has Walker leading by 12%.

    Just how full of shit are Democrats when they claim turnout will make up for their lagging survey numbers?
    In their defense, a lot will depend on the makeup of the electorate. When Democrats won statewide in 2006 and 2008, self-identified conservatives made up only 30% of those who showed up. In 2010, when Republicans swept the state, self-identified conservatives made up 37% of the vote. If Democrats can increase turnout among minorities and young people, they have a shot.

    On the other hand, "it will all come down to turnout" are usually the famous last words spoken by the party before they're melodramatically quoting the end of Gatsby — "tomorrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther" and maybe not lose quite so badly in the Milwaukee suburbs.

    On the bright side for liberals, future generations of Democrats will not have have to read about this potentially painful defeat, since budget cuts will have eliminated schoolbooks and English teachers.

    Read More »


    Tags: Polls, Recall, Scott Walker, Tom Barrett, Wisconsin
  • Our Endorsements: Veep VP Gets Lipped

    * Bad Lip Reading tries its hand at a fictional Veep.

    * Ann comes to Mitt's defense, from The Onion.

    * News Feed History of the World summarizes May.

    * Here's how to pretend you know something about the Wisconsin recall.

    * Jason Alexander apologizes for calling a sport gay.

    * The coolest cupcakes for your July 4th party, from Laughing Squid.


    Tags: Ann Romney, Barack Obama, Daily Links, HBO, Mitt Romney, Recall, The Onion, vice president, Wisconsin
  • From the Pork Barrel: Mitt Is the S**t

    * Ironically post-post-irony Mitt Romney t-shirts are now available at your local Urban Outfitters.

    * NRO's Jonah Goldberg claims that "nothing correlates more with ignorance and stupidity than youth" despite the fact that he's 43 years old.

    * Turns out next week's recall election in Wisconsin will be deciding the presidential election as well. It's nice to see the nation multi-tasking.

    * Don't forget to download our Election Companion App for iPhone and iPad and follow along as we liveblog Sens. Dick Lugar and Mark Warner on this Sunday's State of the Union on CNN.


    Tags: Fashion, Jonah Goldberg, Mitt Romney, Pork Barrel, Scott Walker, Wisconsin
  • Only Jobs Created by Scott Walker Involve Faking Job Numbers

    Scott WalkerFacing a recall election in early June, Wisconsin governor Scott Walker has been campaigning on a promise of creating 250,000 by the end of his term. And he was getting really close! According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, after implementing key parts of his pro-growth agenda, Walker was only… 275,000 jobs away from his original goal.

    The obvious solution was captured aptly by a Bloomberg headline, "Walker Dislikes Job Numbers, So He'll Put Out His Own"…

    When Wisconsin job numbers compiled by the U.S. government were on the upswing last year, Governor Scott Walker traveled to Milwaukee to tout them as proof that he was turning around the state’s economy.

    Now that the Bureau of Labor Statistics figures have shown for months that the state is losing more jobs than any other, Walker, a Republican who faces a June 5 recall election, will release his own.

    Wisconsin lost 23,900 jobs between March 2011 and 2012, according to the bureau, which will release fresh estimates tomorrow. Walker, who promised to create 250,000 jobs by the end of his first term in 2014, says the state is performing better than that. He said while campaigning this week that he would release his own figures as early as today…

    The mechanics are complicated, but in essence, the Current Population Survey being trumpeted by Walker shows a net gain of 23,000 jobs, while the Establishment Survey, which is used by every other state to measure job growth (and is the preferred standard, because the Population study reflects employment by Wisconsin residents who may work in other states, while the latter survey focuses on workplaces), indicates a loss of jobs.

    Basically, Walker is Republican Jesus, except instead of turning water into wine, he turns crappy economic data into bullshit economic data.

    Despite these setbacks, Walker remains the favorite in the recall election, with a positive approval rating (49-47%) and a 5% lead over his Democratic challenger Tom Barrett. Besides, if the numbers issued by the Board of Elections aren't to his liking, Walker can always come up with his own.

    Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images News/Getty Images


    Tags: Scott Walker, Unemployment, Wisconsin
  • Paul Ryan Really Likes '90s Metal and Fisting Catfish

    With debt and taxes continuing to dominate national politics for the second year in a row, you're probably familiar with rising GOP star Paul Ryan. But how much do we really know about him? Every now and then, he'll pop up on the news holding some big shiny budget proposal, but beyond that, he's kind of a cipher.

    Until now. Thanks to two sprawling magazine profiles, one in New York, and the other in the New York Times, we now know a bit more about the mysterious young congressman from Wisconsin, including his predilection for choking catfish

    Representative Paul D. Ryan strolls the halls of Capitol Hill with the anarchist band Rage Against the Machine pounding through his earbuds.

    At 6:30 every morning, he leads an adoring cast of young, conservative members of Congress through exercise sessions in front of a televised trainer barking out orders. For fun, Mr. Ryan noodles catfish, catching them barehanded with a fist down their throats.

    He may be, as a friend described him, “a hunting-obsessed gym rat,” but Mr. Ryan, 42, of Wisconsin, has become perhaps the most influential policy maker in the Republican Party, its de facto head of economic policy, intent on a fundamental transformation of the federal government.

    Of course, Ryan is totally qualified to be the GOP's head of economic policy because he holds a B.A. in economics. By that logic, he could also be the head of energy policy since he once pumped his car full of gas.

    By the way, for those not familiar with the term, "noodling" — aka "catfisting" — is a form of bare-handed fishing practiced in the South in which the fisherman reaches his bare hand into a catfish hole. As much as we like to make fun of Mitt Romney for animal cruelty, at least he's never fisted another living creature. Not that we know of.

    Photo by T.J. Kirkpatrick/Getty Images News/Getty Images


    Tags: Animals, Budget, Economy, Music, New York Times, Paul Ryan, Wisconsin