These are my links for August 15th from 10:07 to 10:09:
- President 2012: Rick Perry’s political chops – It could have gone very badly. Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) is an Iowa native. She’s coming off a big win in Ames. But Texas Gov. Rick Perry gave Iowans a chance to compare the two candidates at the Black Hawk County Lincoln Day Dinner in Waterloo, Iowa.
He spoke without notes and with a broad dynamic range. When he talked in measured tones about his Air Force experience he was making a dual point — he’s seen the world (he rattled off his postings around the globe) and he has military experience. He hit his main themes — jobs and debt. He ticked off the four elements (“simple, guiding principles”) of his success in Texas — “don’t spend all the money”; a tax system as low as possible that still allows the government to provide essential services; regulatory climate that is “fair” and “predictable”; and legal reform. Along the way he wove in a swipe at ObamaCare, using his wife’s experience as a nurse to raise questions about quality of care. He is evolving a positive agenda, rather than simply railing against the incursion of the federal government from the perspective of a governor.
Mainstream and conservative media present pronounced themselves impressed, suggesting he outshined the hometown girl.
Read it all
- Wisconsin’s historic recall elections wrap up this week – Wisconsin's series of recall elections concludes on Tuesday when voters go to the polls in two state Senate districts where Democrats are being forced to defend their seats.
No matter who wins, Republican Governor Scott Walker and his Republican allies will retain control of the legislature, where the battle over public workers' union rights was waged earlier this year with public protests, legislative maneuvering and court challenges.
Republicans have managed to keep control of the state senate — 17 to 16 at last count — because Democrats failed to unseat three Republican state Senators in the key round of six GOP senate recalls last week. But Democrats did pick up two state Senate seats formerly held by Walker allies.
To many Wisconsin voters, especially Republicans, the special elections have been, as 70-year-old Wade Ellingson of Fond du Lac put it, "a waste of time and money."
Nevertheless, Tuesday's two final votes, like the seven before them, will be watched closely.
Two Democrats who opposed Walker's anti-union bill and even fled the state for weeks in an unsuccessful effort to prevent a quorum and delay passage — Jim Holperin of Conover and Robert Wirch of Pleasant Prairie — will be defending their seats.
"As always in Wisconsin politics, one has to give the incumbent an edge," said Mordecai Lee, governmental affairs professor at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee.
"It is likely the two Democratic incumbents will win their recalls — but it is not a slam dunk," he said.
The Fleebaggers face the music