No Runny Eggs

The repository of one hard-boiled egg from the south suburbs of Milwaukee, Wisconsin (and the occassional guest-blogger). The ramblings within may or may not offend, shock and awe you, but they are what I (or my guest-bloggers) think.

Archive for May 5th, 2011

Wisconsin Supreme Court Recount – Day 9

by @ 22:49. Filed under Politics - Wisconsin.

There’s 4 days left in the statutory deadline, though the Government Accountability Board will file a request in a Dane County court on Monday for an extension on behalf of Dane and Waukesha Counties. Dane County has requested a one-day extension, and at least as of Thursday afternoon, Waukesha County had not given an estimated end date.

With 2,862 reporting units (79.46%) and 1,124,236 votes (just under 75%) recounted and reviewed as of 6 pm Thursday, David Prosser’s lead dropped by 220 votes from the pre-recount 7,316-vote lead to 7,096 votes. With a further 12 reporting units reporting results to the GAB but not having their numbers reviewed, 64 of Wisconsin’s 72 counties have now finished their portions of the recount.

Despite a continued hyper-challenge strategy employed by the Kloppenburg campaign, Waukesha County managed to finish recounting votes in 10 of the 24 wards in the city of Brookfield today (unfortunately, after the GAB released its 6 pm vote update), which brings that county’s completion total to just over 17% of the wards and close to 23% of the votes. The first of many challenges on the day began before the first bags of ballots were opened, as the overstuffed bags had begun to rip open from handling. The 6 plastic bags, from the first 3 wards and tied closed with a single red security tie, contained approximately 2,000 ballots. Lisa Sink at Brookfield Patch has an exhaustive multimediia report, including pictures of both the bags and several people dropping in to protect their votes, and video of the board of canvassers’ discussion and ultimate acceptance of the ballots.

A second early challenge, also dismissed by the canvassing board, involved the use of excess blank absentee ballots to compensate for the depletion of regular ballots on election day in Brookfield’s Ward 1. The funny thing is, up until today, I hadn’t heard, or at least I don’t remember hearing, of Brookfield running out of ballots, though I did hear of other, outstate locales running out.

Initial unemployment claims spiked to 474,000 last week

by @ 8:40. Filed under Economy Held Hostage.

Did you want the bad news, the “unexpected” news, or the butt-ugly news? Too bad; you’re getting all three, in four chunks.

The bad news is seasonally-adjusted initial unemployment claims spiked to 474,000 last week, its highest since mid-August 2010, with the rolling 4-week average climbing to 431,250, its highest since November 2010.

The “unexpected” news is Reuters, which once again broke out its favorite adjective to describe the POR Economy™, estimated that it would drop from the prior week’s initial reporting of 429,000 to 410,000.

The butt-ugly news, part 1 (from Tom Blumer), is that for the 8th consecutive week, the prior week’s numbers were revised upward. This time, it was from the aforementioned 429,000 to 431,000. I’ll sttate right now that the trend will, indeed, continue next week.

The butt-ugly news, part 2 (also from Tom), is that for the first time in at least a year, the non-seasonally adjusted initial jobless claim number is higher than that of the same week the prior year. Can you say, “Double-dip DEMpression”? I knew you could.

Revisions/extensions (7:53 pm 5/5/2011) – A comment from Tom on his blog reminded me of something a friend-of-a-friend used to do when he drove school buses, namely apply for unemployment during Easter vacation. I decided to go back through the historical record to see if the floating holiday is or isn’t reflected in the seasonal adjusting. It turns out that, over the previous 11 years (2000-2010) there is a rather consistent 2-week (usually; some years saw this effect only happen 1 week) period anchored by Easter saw an average 20,000-claim spike (each week) in initial jobless claims compared to surrounding weeks. Given that Easter is exceptionally late this year, the week-ending-4/23 jump to a now-adjusted 431,000 claims should have mostly been anticipated, though I would argue that it shouldn’t have been much more than 425,000 claims.

However, that does not explain the further jump in this report. The key is going to be the next two weeks. If initial jobless claims continue to be above the 425,000 line (and I fear they’ll be well above that), we’re back on the downward slide of the economy (as if we aren’t due to inflated gas prices and deflated dollar).

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