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Real Winners And Losers: Cheesehead Revolution Edition

Let's just talk about cheese instead of Donald Trump, OK?


People Stockpiling Popcorn

We still have 215 days to go until this election is over.


“I love cheese,” Ted Cruz said while touring the Mars Cheese Castle in Wisconsin earlier this week. (The Dallas Morning News reports that Cruz’s daughters thought that the emporium of the sweet nectar of the cow gods was actually a castle made of cheese, which you might think would be a thing that already exists if humans were actually interested in reaching new heights of innovation and not just reading the Wikipedia page about inventors killed by their inventions until it is burned into memory.) “To be honest,” he added. “I like cheese on cheese. You can't go wrong with it."

He then refused to wear a cheesehead — an act that would have probably made Cruz infinitely more likable, even if, as he feared, it replaced all other photos of the Texas senator in the media.

Enjoy your political cheese content while you can. Now that the primaries in Vermont and Wisconsin are over, we are unlikely to visit this topic again. If anything, it is heartbreaking that the people trying to convince us that they are qualified to be the next president of the United States didn’t talk more about cheese in Wisconsin, the home of this year’s World Championship Cheese winners. One reporter actually managed to get Cruz to talk about cheese instead of talking about how he wants to carpet-bomb ISIS. This is an actual thing he said: “Yes, we need to arm the cheese curds and you know, if we send the cheese curds into ISIS it will fatten them up, and they'll go down immediately. But you know what? They will die happy, and you know what — maybe they get enough cheese curds they'll just decide this whole jihad thing — they don't need it — and they should just happily eat cheese curds and live in peace with their fellow man."

In short, New York’s biggest agricultural industry is dairy, so let’s ask Donald Trump only foreign policy questions about Greek yogurt so we can take a vacation from having him embarrass us, if only for a week. Yay cows.

Donald Trump’s Hands

Donald Trump’s stubby fingers? Are you there? Oh! There you are. You are so tiny that we almost didn’t see you. Spotting you is like trying to find a four-syllable word in a Trump speech. Anyway, we just wanted to tell you congrats! You’ve had such a good couple of weeks. Donald talks about you all the time. Here is a poem assembled of things he has said about you in the past month. You are so great and big and beautiful, it is clear that he has nothing to be defensive about or anything.

Let me see your hands

My hands are bigger than yours.”

“Look at those hands.

Are they small hands?”

“'my hands,'

which are really good.”

"My hands are normal hands.”

my hands are normal.

Slightly large, actually.

In fact, I buy a slightly smaller

than large glove, OK?”

my hands, I hear,

on The New Yorker,

a picture of

my hands.”

my hands, if they are small,

something else must be small.

I guarantee you

there is no problem.

I guarantee.”

Paul Ryan

Last fall, when John Boehner orchestrated the pope’s trip to D.C. and could finally announce that he no longer wanted to be Congress’s garbageman anymore, Rep. Paul Ryan said that he definitely, nope, no way, never, not in a million years wanted to be speaker of the House, even though many of his fellow Republicans wanted him to run for the position. A few weeks later, Paul Ryan was speaker of the House.

This week, speaker of the House Paul Ryan said he’s not running for president, despite the fact that many of his fellow Republicans desperately hope that his name will come up during a contested convention. We assume that this turn of events means that Paul Ryan will somehow be president by the end of the month.

This Gentleman

Ted Cruz

Ted Cruz won the Wisconsin primary, as expected, and has taken the opportunity to, uh [squints at notes] … pivot toward the general, while trailing by more than 200 delegates and having no path to the 1,237 necessary to win the nomination before the convention. It sounds ridiculous on its face, and it is. But Ted Cruz’s “pivot toward the general election” is really a “pivot toward the convention,” where he’s going to need to make an appeal to delegates that rather than running Donald Trump, an unelectable candidate who is doomed to lose the election, they should instead overrule the plurality of Republican voters and select Cruz, an unelectable candidate who is doomed to lose the election. I realize that this sounds a bit ridiculous when you say it out loud, but that’s the only path Cruz has available at this point in the race. And though he might not have actually grabbed the momentum in the race, doing so after a resounding win in Wisconsin is the perfect opportunity to claim that he has.


Donald Trump

His path to to a painless nomination was already precarious, so losing in Wisconsin didn’t help. The further away he gets from 1,237, the less conflicted Republican officials will feel when they give the nomination to someone else at the convention.

Besides the whole losing another state thing, any week where you anger pro-choice and anti-abortion activists, have to deal with your campaign manager getting charged for battery, defend your campaign manager by saying that the victim may have been carrying a pen with a bomb in it, and say some questionable things about nuclear proliferation, cannot be deemed good. "I don't know that it's been the worst week of my campaign," Trump said on CBS this weekend. "I think I've had many bad weeks and I've had many good weeks. I don't see this as the worst week in my campaign."

We agree. There’s a lot of time left in this election cycle.

John Kasich

Oh, John. You’re still not doing well, are you? However, you can take comfort in the fact that the primary is headed to the Northeast. No, that doesn’t mean you’re about to win any states, but it will be a nice opportunity to come in second, maybe, giving you the opportunity to brag that you are keeping Trump away from the nomination — and Cruz away from his dreams of being the election’s most prolific silver medalist.

But mostly, Trump and Cruz are just so angry that you won’t go away, which you have interpreted prettily sunnily, as you have all of the ample evidence that shows you will never be president. “For a guy that’s not doing very well,” you said, “they sure are worried about me.” I don’t think worried is the word they’d use for someone who is basically just a mosquito buzzing around while they campaign, who they’d like to go away, or at least squash for good.

If you ever get too sad, just remember that you used to be a winner once. Just that one time. But it was beautiful.

Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images

Bernie Sanders

Bernie Sanders sat down with the New York Daily News for a wide-ranging interview about his policies, and it did not go well for him. For instance, when asked about one of the examples he furnishes as a centerpiece of his case against Wall Street — the infuriating fact that no executives have been charged for their complicity in policies that led to the financial crisis and the Great Recession — the exchange went like this:

Daily News: OK. But do you have a sense that there is a particular statute or statutes that a prosecutor could have or should have invoked to bring indictments?

Sanders: I suspect that there are. Yes.

Daily News: You believe that? But do you know?

Sanders: I believe that that is the case. Do I have them in front of me, now, legal statutes? No, I don't. But if I would … yeah, that's what I believe, yes. When a company pays a $5 billion fine for doing something that's illegal, yeah, I think we can bring charges against the executives.

I’m sorry, but we’re gonna need more from the candidate running on the Democratic left than that. If you’re going to sell people lofty, ambitious ideas that seem infeasible, then you need to be able to explain very clearly and concretely why those ideas are, in fact, feasible. Bernie should see this as one of his primary tasks. His performance in this interview can’t be repeated.

Voters Without Photo IDs in Wisconsin

A new law requiring Wisconsin voters to bring a photo ID to the polls, spearheaded by Gov. Scott Walker, is going into effect for the first time this year. It got a test run during municipal elections in February; a 90-year-old veteran was turned away when he tried to use his veteran’s identification card, which was not accepted. Uproar followed, and veterans are now allowed to use their government-issued IDs.

Students, however, were still worried before yesterday’s primary, as were many other voters who still lacked an ID — often poor minorities or the elderly, who don’t have the time or ability to easily acquire accepted identification. Student IDs, even those given out by the state at public universities, have to fulfill a bunch of requirements before they are allowed at the polls, which has left many universities giving students voter-ID-compliant secondary IDs, which means many students have been waiting in lines for an ID before they can wait in a line to vote. The state offers free photo IDs to those who don’t have one, but Wisconsin didn’t do a good job letting voters learn how that was possible. As ProPublica reported, the Government Accountability Board wasn’t given the money it needed to run educational ad campaigns. ThinkProgress talked to one woman who tried to get an ID after moving from Chicago. She went to the DMV, filled out the paperwork, and still won’t be able to vote, because the government won’t be able to verify her birth certificate before the election.

The photo ID law was passed to combat voter fraud, which the legislation’s champions say is rampant in the state. In 2004, there were a reported seven cases of voter fraud in the state. Three million votes were cast. There could have been as many as 300,000 people who were unable to vote because of the new requirement yesterday.