I thought it was interesting that one of the 'how to' pieces on my Google start page tells how to relax during a week off work at the same time the headline sections trumpet no deal on the Federal budget that threatens to provide large numbers of Federal employees with an unplanned vacation.
If this were Illinois, everyone would be terribly suspicious. Given the history of this Wisconsin County Clerk, I think suspicion is warranted. Evidently you don't need to follow the old Chicago maxim ('vote early and vote often') if you have a 'fat-fingered' county clerk. Evidently I am not the only skeptic on this matter. Crooks and Liars has this from Susie Madrak and this by karoli.
Charles Hugh Smith has an interesting continuation of posts on 'The Devolution of the Consumer.' For some years I have asked what would happen to a 'consumer' economy when the consumer couldn't consume at the accustomed level. Well, the economy over the last 30 years provided a bandaid for the problem: easy credit. While wages (adjusted for inflation) have stagnated and consumption has been sustained and expanded by home equity loans, credit card offers left, right and center, and the shift to 'liar' loans in real estate. Added to that has been the decoupling of consumption from payment. The medical industry (including pharma) provided the goods, the individual customer consumed the goods, and some form of insurance paid the bill. A university or college or trade school provided some form of education, an individual customer consumed the education, and some other entity (the Federal government directly or private banks guaranteed by the Federal government). In both cases the a large number end consumers isn't responsible for evaluating the service and determining whether they are worth the cost. And in both cases, it is very difficult for the individual consumer to judge accurately whether the benefits are worth the costs. Now the easy credit is gone, employers are pushing more of the costs of health insurance off onto the employee (if they provide it at all) and more individuals find they cant afford the cost on their own, and the role of the Federal government (or any government) as a guarantor of benefits is increasingly under attack. The question I asked in the beginning may finally be answered when the three-legged stool (provider, consumer, payer) topples.