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Democrats really think they're onto something with Mitt Romney's awkward non-endorsement turned "110%" support for an Ohio bill limiting unions' collective bargaining ability. The state party put out a parody press release on Thursday pegged to this weekend's Ohio State game: "Mitt Romney to Attend OSU-Wisconsin Game this Saturday - Will Root for Whomever is Winning at the Time"

From the release:

COLUMBUS - The Ohio Democratic Party has learned that professional presidential candidate and serial flip-flopper Mitt Romney will attend this Saturday's OSU-Wisconsin game during a brief campaign stop in Columbus. However, in a not-so-surprising development, Mr. Romney will refuse to address anything about the game or cheer for one of the teams. The former governor of Massachusetts has told Ohio Republican Party Chairman Kevin DeWine that, despite his plan to wear a red shirt, he is unfamiliar with the game or the teams and will cheer for whomever is leading at the time.

Once Romney leaves the state, after conservative bloggers and his Republican primary opponents pan his visit as another example of Romney waffling on every issue, the former Massachusetts Governor will announce which team he was in fact rooting for, saying that he "fully supports" that team "110 percent."

Romney's SB 5 episode is drawing equal fire from not only Democrats, but Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry as well, both of whom are stepping up efforts to define the Massachusetts governor as a serial flip flopper. Expect to see plenty more videos, releases, ads, and more from both sides along these lines.

Reuters reports:

U.S. prosecutors on Thursday charged 11 people in connection with an alleged $1 billion fraud involving hundreds of railroad workers filing false disability claims.

A new poll of Nevada from Public Policy Polling (D) shows the Presidential race in the state close no matter who the GOP challenger is. The one outlier is actually Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who is down ten in a matchup against President Obama. Former Mass Gov. Mitt Romney and Obama are tied, and both businessman Herman Cain and Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) are within the margin of error against the President.

From PPP:

The president’s issues with independents and his own party lessen when he is pitted against his prospective 2012 foes, however. He earns 79-87% of Democrats and sees only 8-13% of them go the other way. And only one candidate, Paul, tops him with independents, and only by two points; Obama leads the others by three to 17.

“There aren’t many states Barack Obama won in 2008 where he has fallen as far as Nevada,” said Dean Debnam, President of Public Policy Polling. “What was an easy win last time looks like it will be a very tough hold in 2012.”

On Wednesday we wrapped up our midseason look at the GOP primary competitors.

What'd we learn?

Well, probably not much, but it was fun.

Anyway, here now, a handy complete scorecard for future reference. Also suitable for framing.

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The average consumer would expect that a $65 billion dollar product comes with a warranty. The Department of Defense apparently doesn’t feel the same way.

The DOD has purchased 170 F-22 Raptors, by the far the world’s most technologically advanced fighter plane, at a cost of $65 billion. The only problem? They keep asphyxiating their pilots.

On at least 20 occasions since the aircraft entered service in 2008, Raptor pilots have reported “mid-air black-outs, disoreintation and other symptoms of oxygen deprivation.”

The fleet has been grounded on several occasions, but the source of the problem has yet to be determined. So, the DOD is giving Lockheed Martin another $24 million to investigate the problem.

Rick Perry used to stand with those in his party who reject any idea that the Confederate flag is anything but a reminder of the South's proud heritage. Yesterday he did an about-face, picking up the rhetoric used by Confederate flag opponents who call for its banishment from Southern state houses and license plates to the scrap heap of history.

The shift is not going to play well in the state that kicked off the Civil War War Between The States 150 years ago, South Carolina Republicans tell TPM.

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There's new controversy in the push to recall Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker: Which district maps will be used it, and for any further state Senate recalls.

Under Wisconsin's recall law, elected officials must have served at least one year of their current term before being recalled. And because half of the state Senate is up each two years, this exempted earlier this year the half of the Senate that was just elected in 2010. However, with that ceiling now lifted going into next year, the state Dems are aiming to launch more state Senate recalls, in addition to their goal of recalling Walker.

The next wrinkle, then, is the fact that 2012 is a redistricting cycle -- and the state Republicans, who gained control of both legislative chambers and the governorship in 2010, passed a very GOP-friendly redistricting map earlier this year.

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Over two years after the official end of the Lesser Depression, people still aren't hiring. And here's why.

Forget everything you hear on TV from partisans about regulatory uncertainty or taxes on "job creators". The problem is that consumers aren't consuming as much as they need to be to keep the economy growing.

Break it down a bit, though, and it turns out that the last four years have been OK for some industries -- and killer for others.

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The Democratic Governors Association is pitching in $150,000 to the We Are Ohio coalition in support of the repeal referendum on SB 5, the anti-union legislation pushed by Republicans in Ohio and signed by Gov. John Kasich (Rep). We Are Ohio is a labor-backed political organization in the state campaigning to repeal SB 5.

The Huffington Post broke the news and quoted a DGA letter to the AFL-CIO and Change To Win:

“‘That is why the DGA is sending a contribution of $150,000 to 'We Are Ohio’ today,‘ writes Colm O'Comartun, executive director at the DGA. 'While we don’t often get involved in campaigns that are not directly related to gubernatorial elections, the stakes in Ohio are too high for us to sit on the sidelines. It is a fight that we must win to safeguard workers’ rights and to stand up to overreaching Republican governors like John Kasich.‘”

That the DGA rarely involves itself in specific ballot initiatives (they’ve done so just twice in the past six years), makes its decision to embrace the S.B. 5 repeal efforts all the more symbolic and significant. The politics are certainly inviting: a chance to win over occasionally skeptical progressives while piling on an already unpopular Republican governor."