There are less than 18 hours to go in the voting. Help Mitt Romney choose a VP. Vote wisely after the jump. Read more

So George Zimmerman is going to trial, where a jury will decide what actually happened between him and Trayvon Martin. Until the trial is finished mulish minds on both sides will cling to their predetermined versions of the truth. Such devout passions deserve their own conspiracy.

Generally, conspiracy theories represent easy explanations for otherwise unexplainable events, or they promote a political agenda. Thus we have “Truthers,” “Birthers,” and tyrannical secret societies propagated by the Illuminati. However, just because most conspiracies are built on fluff rather than substance doesn’t entirely discount the reality of conspiracies. We’re witnessing one in Sanford, Florida. Read more

Karl Rove is out saying Obama is in a good position to be re-elected. The numbers man says Barack Obama has 220 solid electoral votes sewn away while Romney only has 93. Obama apparently agrees as he is making dog delicacy jokes at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner.

For those of you Sci-Fi Channel fans, you’ll enjoy this running commentary on The One’s propaganda film.

Barack Obama, The Road We Really Traveled

Have a fantastic weekend.

Economic growth is down again in the US, only 33% of Americans view the federal government favorably, and 20% of Americans self-identify as liberal. Are these facts related?

Meanwhile, the Secret Service “incident” in Colombia appears to not be an isolated event as Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano had previously stated. Investigations now find related pursuits within the Secret Service (giving its name an entirely new meaning) going back to early in the Clinton administration (maybe he wasn’t so bad, by comparison).

John Stossel pointed out in a Wall Street Journal article the TSA’s higher cost and significantly lower performance rate when compared to the private screeners at San Francisco International Airport. TSA Administrator John Pistole responded in the WSJ with a “revised” version of the study Stossel had cited, which led to Stossel firing back, pointing to further issues with the “study” used by the TSA.

Finally, don’t forget to help Mitt Romney select a running mate by voting in the Vice Presidential Championship today.

While Mitt Romney has redirected his time to more fundraising and choosing a running mate (don’t forget to help him by casting your vote today, no ID required), Rick Perry has endorsed Romney, no one has heard from Ron Paul (no word, hence no link), and “analysts” are reviewing what went wrong in the Newt Gingrich campaign. In an op-ed entitled ‘Was Newt Gingrich’s campaign the worst in history?‘ Joseph Curl of the Washington Times excoriates the former Speaker of the House. But was it the worst campaign ever? If not, whose were more poorly run?

Meanwhile, President Obama and Mitt Romney are neck and neck in the PD Composite. The two daily tracking polls, Rasmussen (Romney +5) and Gallup (Obama +6), are current conflicting and the most recent other poll has the two candidates tied. Finally, if you haven’t voted the the VEEPstakes today, don’t forget to support your candidates.

The “Hey baby! Cash Money!” story continues to grow some well-tanned walking legs. Senator Grassley implied that we have yet to learn the full story. The list of agents fired, resigning or retiring has grown. Sources inside the Secret Service say this behavior is nothing new. Obama has referred to these agents as a bunch of knuckleheads, but the implications seem to be growing into something more serious.

Can this story have an impact on the fall election? Do Columbian apples fall far from the tree?

Today we launch the 2012 Vice Presidential Candidate Championship. Voting for each round will take place over a one week period. You will be able to vote once per day. This 32 candidate single elimination tournament features four regions: Governor, Former Candidate, Senator, and Game Changer. The candidates were selected and seeded through an exhaustive and arduous process by the tournament committee made up of the Editors. Now, if you’re ready to start your office pool, you can download the entire bracket here

Feel free to discuss any of the match-ups, candidates left out, seedings you disagree with, or general complains about the committee in the comments. Voting is now open below the jump and will remain open until May 1 at 11:59 pm EST. Read more

As speculation of who Mitt Romney will select as his running mate is rampant, Romney has fueled the fire by campaigning with Marco Rubio this week. Rubio is also scheduled to give a major speech on foreign policy today, leading to more talk about him in tryout mode for the VP spot. Meanwhile, there are five primaries today with over 220 delegates at stake. Despite his campaign being over for weeks, Newt Gingrich has been trying to save face by working Delaware hard. Politico calls it Gingrich “hoping to become the Christine O’Donnell of the 2012 race.”

On the policy front, Social Security will run out of funding by 2033, three years earlier than previous projections and the Social Security disability fund will run out by 2016 as the recipients of this program have doubled over the past 10 years.. However, this is not due to the 2% tax holiday from the Obama administration, as funds are being transferred from the general fund to make up for the deficit. Rather, it is due to fewer people working and higher benefits paid out as more people have joined the Social Security roles, likely due to the state of the economy.

Most people believe you can hear the ocean roar if you place a conch shell to your ear. I’ve always thought the sound was more like a steady and annoying wind, the kind that blows endlessly in no particular direction. When you think about it in that light, Louis Farrakhan is quite like a conch shell. If you placed his head to your ear you’d likely hear the same sound. Read more

The theme of today’s open thread is “jobs, jobs, jobs!”

Let’s review the Obama administration’s promise from the early days of his presidency what would happen to unemployment if we passed the “stimulus” bill compared with actual unemployment.

As you can see, for the entire period of Barack Obama’s presidency, unemployment has exceeded the supposed worst case scenario, or what would happen if government did nothing. Now we are creating a organic problem as one in two new college graduates are either unemployed or underemployed.

How would you solve today’s unemployment and underemployment situation not seen in this country since the late 1970s?

Hilary Rosen’s feud with Ann Romney is over. Yet we’ve seen once again how quick a proponent of a woman’s right to choose will turn on another woman whose choice differs from liberal orthodoxy. Had Romney chosen to abort her five kids she’d have been Rosen’s heroine rather than her target. The same can be said if Ann had shunned family for a career. Read more

The 2012 election rides on basically the same group of states that have helped to decided the last several presidential elections. These battle-ground states are where you will see the candidates spend the majority of their time and money this fall, and fall into four categories.

The “rust-belt” states are a group of aging giants, who has felt the effects of the economic troubles worse than most, mainly due to the fact they weren’t doing so hot before the epic meltdown of 2007. Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Iowa are five that will play a major role in deciding who resides at 1600 Pennsylvania next year. Barack Obama won all of these states, peeling Iowa and Ohio away from the Republicans.
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Apparently Nicolas Sarkozy is considered “conservative” and disgruntled with him, France appears poised to elect a Socialist. Newt Gingrich, who everyone knows cannot win the Republican nomination, is still campaigning and likely spending over $38,000 (that’s the 2008 number) per day of tax payer money for a secret service detail that he requested. Apparently some parents prefer to transfer their parenting responsibility (e.g. “No, you can’t play on my phone.” and “No, I won’t give you the iTunes store password.”) to Apple, as they are suing because iPhone/iPad games are “addictive” and can cost money. Regarding Barack Obama’s frequent golf play, Mitt Romney tells the President “suck it up” and stop playing so much when the economy is hurting. Finally, as required by law, the House Committee on Financial Services has published the Dodd-Frank Burden Tracker and found that: “TOTAL BURDEN HOURS FOR 185 RULES: 19,443,045 initially and then 24,035,801 hours annually. 5,320 pages of regulation.”

Note: Click graphic to enlarge.

As we have now entered a two-horse race, the 2012 Republican Primary PD Composite has been retired. However, this means it is time to release the initial Obama v. Romney Composite Poll. The Composite will continue to be updated daily at the link on the page banner. We will also include posts that coincide with issues which cause significant shifts in the data.

With the exception of a couple of short blips, Barack Obama has led the PD Composite since the beginning of 2012 until April 12, two days after Rick Santorum announced he was suspending his campaign. Presumably, Republican voters who preferred a candidate other than Mitt Romney fell into the undecided or selected President Obama when polled prior to Santorum’s announcement. However, as this polling bias has been essentially eliminated, combined with what is likely new momentum as the presumptive nominee, Romney leads in six of the most recent ten polls, tying the President in a seventh.

Much will change over the next six months, as ridiculous arguments on who let a dog ride on a car, who ate dog meat, who likes women the most, and serious arguments on actual policy and vision for our country will shape the minds and hearts of voters. During these expected tumultuous days and weeks, the Obama v. Romney Composite Poll will show you what Americans are thinking.

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Tuesday open thread


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Pulitzers were announced today and, stunningly, Political Derby was shut out again. Matt Wuerker of Politico won for his cartoons, are you a fan?

Also today, The Daily Beast writes about Obama’s cockiness problem. Let’s hope they didn’t file it under “Breaking News.”

Finally, the Romney’s went on the record with ABC News about Seamusgate. Is there anyone out there who will stay home in November over this issue?

Watch your wallet, Dear Reader, Congress is back in session. Sometime today, Dusty Harry Reid and his merry band of senate democrats will take up a burning fiscal issue vital to the economic stability of the United States. No, they’re not going to hammer out the final details of the federal budget for fiscal year 2013. Never mind the fact this country has been operating without an official budget for over three years now. How dare you insinuate that Dusty Harry and Company are unwilling to do the fundamental job for which they were sent to Washington, DC. Haven’t you heard about the “new tone”?

Shame on you. Dusty Harry is going to resume senate consideration of the “Paying a Fair Share Act of 2012”. Commonly known as the Buffet Rule, it would require Americans who make more than $1 million to pay at least 30% of that income (regardless of how it is earned) to Uncle Sam. I’ll spare you the legislative details and just give you the bottom line answer to the question “is this rule the solution to the $1.6 trillion hole in the current federal operating budget?
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Mitt Romney spoke before the NRA on Friday where he warned against an unrestrained re-elected Obama: “As he told the Russian president last month when he thought no one else was listening, after a re-election he’ll have a lot more, quote, ‘flexibility’ to do what he wants.”

Dick Cheney, the man with a new heart and same old gravitas calls Barack Obama an unmitigated disaster.

Oh yeah, there’s a new sex scandal in Washington; well, technically Colombia. Numerous secret service and military personnel were sent home after reports surfaced of “inappropriate contact” with local prostitutes. If the reports are true, Obama says “I’ll be angry.”

There are some new words that are in vogue in the political lexicon these days: optics and narrative.

Optics refers to how something comes across, how it looks to people, the impression that it leaves.

Narrative is the overriding message one takes away from an occurrence or a politician’s approach to a situation or problem.

There are three politicians who figure prominently in the 2012 campaign whose optics and narratives are major factors.
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