Thursday morning’s 9 interesting things

1) Swept – Picking through the shards from [Tuesday] night’s Mitt crash, another data point leaps out: He didn’t win a single county in Minnesota… or any counties in Missouri either.

2) GOP turnout troubles continue – Here are the turnout numbers for Minnesota, Colorado and Missouri from 2008 and this week: 2008 Minnesota caucus – 62,828 / 2012 Minnesota caucus – 47,826 or a drop of about 23%; 2008 Colorado caucus – 70,229 / 2012 Colorado caucus –  65,479 or a drop of about 7%; 2008 Missouri primary – 588,844 / 2012 non-binding Missouri primary – 251,868 or a drop of over half (Note: Missouri had delegates at stake in 2008 but did not this year).

3) Study: Nearly half of Obama campaign funds from small donations – A campaign finance study published Wednesday reveals a pretty big difference between the campaigns of President Barack Obama and likely Republican challenger Mitt Romney: namely, 48 percent of Obama’s money came from small donations. That’s not the case for the former Massachusetts governor, who’s far and away the favorite candidate of employees and PACs in the financial industry: he raised just 9 percent of his campaign funds from small donors, the study found.

4) Alternate Reality (Romney version) of the Superbowl Ad “It’s Halftime in America” 

No, seriously, he said that. See this. If Mitt had his way, Detroit wouldn’t be repped by badasses like Eminem and Clint Eastwood. It’d just be some dude, chillin on the couch, dreaming what might have been.

5) Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) Slams Own Party For Fulfilling ‘Wall Street’s Wishes’ With Weak Insider Trading Bill – “It’s astonishing and extremely disappointing that the House would fulfill Wall Street’s wishes by killing this provision. The Senate clearly voted to try to shed light on an industry that’s behind the scenes. If the Senate language is too broad, as opponents say, why not propose a solution instead of scrapping the provision altogether? I hope to see a vehicle for meaningful transparency through a House-Senate conference or other means. If Congress delays action, the political intelligence industry will stay in the shadows, just the way Wall Street likes it.” [...] It’s worth remembering that, before he introduced this weak tea version of the legislation, Cantor blocked his own party from moving an insider trading bill at all.

Cantor slammed for ‘neutering’ the STOCK Act – House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) faced criticism on Wednesday for introducing a version of the STOCK Act which many said had severely weakened the legislation. “Rep. Cantor has opposed the STOCK Act from the start and his bill reflects that,” said Melanie Sloan, Executive Director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW). “The majority leader is talking out of both sides of his mouth. He is trying to take credit for finally responding to an issue that has outraged Americans, while behind closed doors he has taken the side of Wall Street and neutered the tough Senate bill.”

6) Senate Dems Tell House GOP To Stop Polluting Middle-Class Tax Bill With Poison Pills – Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) told reporters in the Capitol Tuesday that he opposes both poison pills: “Instead of finding commonsense solutions, the Republicans are talking about things that have nothing to do with middle-income taxes — like the Keystone pipeline, rolling back regulations to keep our air safe and our water clean and pure. These tactics are stalling — more evidence the Republicans don’t want to extend this tax cut. They talk about extending it but simply are unwilling to do anything to make it a reality.” Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) agreed. “So we say to Speaker Boehner, instruct your conferees to drop the issue of Boiler MACT.”

7) New Hampshire Republicans Propose Bill To Eliminate Workers’ Lunch Breaks - Some of the Granite State’s GOP lawmakers have even proposed doing away with the law that requires employers to give their workers time off for lunch, under the rationale that all employers will simply grant lunch breaks out of the goodness of their hearts. [...] The bill’s sponsor, state representative J.R. Hoell, argued that companies failing to provide lunch breaks would be shamed over social media, thus rendering the law unnecessary.

8) Dear Ronald Reagan: Thanks for Wrecking America – How do you like your party now, Ronnie? A Mormon everyone hates, a world-historical balloon animal 10 years past his sell-by date, a survivalist crank from Texas, and a guy who is pretty much a dick. That’s the party you and your boys created. That’s the end product of the “conservative movement” of which you were the amiable and occasionally coherent figurehead, a prop in your own life. You know how you know that’s the case, Ronnie? Look how hard they’re trying to memorialize you in concrete and marble. They stuck your name on National Airport, and on the biggest and ugliest building in Washington, D.C., to celebrate your devotion to smaller government…

9) House approves line-item veto for president - House Republicans put aside their usual antipathy toward President Barack Obama on Wednesday to give the president, and his successors, the line-item veto, a constitutionally questionable power over the purse that long has been sought by presidents of both parties. A minority of Democrats joined in casting a 254-173 vote in favor of allowing the president to pick out specific items in spending bills for elimination. Currently, the chief executive must sign or veto spending bills in their entirety.  [...] The bill now goes to the Senate, where its prospects are uncertain.