How Pundits Are Misreading Wisconsin’s Recall
June 04, 2012

Pretty much all previews of Tuesday’s recall election in Wisconsin are framing it as a precursor of the November election, and declaring that a win for Scott Walker, the Republican incumbent who is up for recall, would necessarily bode terribly for Barack Obama in Wisconsin and beyond. I don’t buy it. And that goes the other way, too—I don’t think Democrats should take away too much optimism for their fall prospects if Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett pulls off an upset win.

Counterintuition of the Day: Is a Walker Loss Bad for Obama?
June 04, 2012

If you happen to have turned on cable this last month or so, you’re aware that Scott Walker, the Republican governor of Wisconsin, faces a recall election tomorrow against Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett.

Why Walker's Urban-Crime Scare Ad Might Work
June 01, 2012

Well, so much for Scott Walker's brand of Republicanism being all about forward-looking, green-eyeshade bottom-line reform. It's flown mostly under the national radar this week, but Walker decided to go old-school, late-1980s-style, with a TV ad conjuring the menace of inner-city crime to attack his opponent, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett.

The Real Loser of the Scott Walker Recall? The State of Wisconsin
April 13, 2012

On June 5, Wisconsin voters will head to the polls to decide whether to recall controversial Republican Governor Scott Walker and his lieutenant governor, Rebecca Kleefisch. The current polling shows a close race. But while it’s not yet clear whether Walker will survive the vote, it’s increasingly safe to declare one winner and one loser from the recall election. The winner is the national Democratic Party, which is already reaping benefits.

A Real Sign of Progress for Romney?
April 04, 2012

You may recall that I suggested Rick Santorum had a shot of exceeding expectations in Wisconsin by doing well in the Milwaukee suburbs, which looked on paper like they were solid Romney country but had a reputation for being more conservative than other Midwestern suburbs.  Well, as it happens, Romney beat Santorum by more than 2:1 in Waukesha County, one of the most closely watched of these suburbs, which certainly surprised me. What explains the trouncing? Did the pundits who assumed Waukesha is a pretty conservative place just completely whiff?  Not necessarily.

April 03, 2012

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is now officially up for a recall election in June, a showdown that is commanding far more attention in Wisconsin than today's Republican presidential primary. Given that it was his frontal assault on the state's public employee unions that prompted last year's backlash protests against him and the recall movement, you'd think that all organized labor in the state -- and especially all public employee unions -- would be lining up at the barricades against him, right? Wrong.

If X, Then Why?
March 29, 2012

Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention By Manning Marable (Viking Press, 594 pp., $30) I. When Malcolm X died in a hail of assassin’s gunfire at the Audubon Ballroom in February 1965, the mainstream media in the United States was quick to suggest that he reaped the harvest of bloodshed he had brazenly sown.

Michigan Now Officially Out Of Play
March 28, 2012

Well, just minutes after I put up a post which included as an aside the concession that Mitt Romney does have sort of a sense of humor comes evidence to the contrary. Check out the rip-roaring joke Romney just told to ingratiate himself with the voters of Wisconsin, which holds its primary next week. He was talking up his connections with cheese-heads and said this, via the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel’s Craig Gilbert: “One of most humorous I think relates to my father.

Despite Slowdown, Manufacturing Still Important
March 28, 2012

The rebound of manufacturing jobs has been one of the bright spots of an otherwise sluggish economic recovery.  The United States had 3.7 percent more manufacturing jobs in February 2012 than in February 2010, representing a more robust rate of growth than that for overall employment, which rose by only 2.7 percent during the same time period. The post-recession rebound of manufacturing employment has been a driver of economic recovery in a number of the nation’s major metropolitan areas, including several manufacturing centers.  The latest edition of Brookings’ MetroMonitor, which has tracked

State of the Union Superlatives
January 24, 2012

Best Line in the State of the Union: "The greatest blow to confidence in our economy last year didn’t come from events beyond our control. It came from a debate in Washington over whether the United States would pay its bills or not. Who benefited from that fiasco?"   Most Potentially Historic Line in the State of the Union: "The greatest blow to confidence in our economy last year didn’t come from events beyond our control. It came from a debate in Washington over whether the United States would pay its bills or not.