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September 29, 2006

Mark Foley, we hardly knew ye

The story broke a couple days ago that Congressman Mark Foley, whose homosexuality has been the worst kept secret in Washington for many years, had sent disturbing e-mails to a 16-year-old former congressional aide. The e-mails included asking how the Louisianan was doing after Hurricane Katrina, what he wanted for his birthday (six months before the kid's birthday) and, most ickily, asked for a photo by e-mail. Now, after further reports that Foley IMed sexually explicit messages to other young aides, the congressman has resigned.

The incumbent from District 16, Foley was a shoo-in for re-election. Now, his district will almost certainly go to Democrat Tim Mahoney -- another nail in the coffin for Republican hopes of holding onto the House in November. Check out Mahoney's web site here.

ex-congressman Mark Foley, alleged big fan of little boys

Hopefully, Mahoney will be smart about this and just let the news play out without slinging any of his own mud. He doesn't need to, and it's not exactly the best way to ingratiate himself to his new constituents, the lion's share of whom are Republican.

September 28, 2006

We are in the middle of what, in the industry, is known as Best Of Hell

The couple of weeks before our annual Best Of issue (which lands on stands Oct. 18 and should be flippin' sweet) are, to put it extremely mildly, blood-boilingly busy. As such, I haven't had the time to blog. Which is a shame, since a lot's happened in the last few days. The great Wallace/Clinton interview -- or rather, Clinton's great reaction to Wallace's cowardly question (some of our viewers wanted you to ask this? Seriously, that's the best you can do?) -- is worth a couple entries in and of itself. One, for the interview itself, and two for the shitstorm that followed. I even debated writing another entry in the Stupidest Man in the World series after Miles O'Brien referred to Clinton's "gasket-blowing" interview, an adjective so over the top and divorced from reality that it suggested O'Brien hadn't even seen the interview and was just basing his opinion on the hysterics of Fox News commentators.

And, of course, there's also the National Intelligence Estimate that states, once and for all, that the Iraq War is making terrorism worse, not improving the situation. Of course, any rational person who kept up with the tragedy of Iraq could have told you this a long time ago. But it's nice to know that our intelligence aparatus is once again focusing on what actually is happening, rather than what the Bush White House wishes was happening.

Also, the polls over the weekend for the statewide Florida races were fairly interesting, with Davis six points behind Crist, seven points undecided and a margin of error of four -- which pretty much makes the governor's race a dead heat. All the other races were extremely slim Republican leads as well, except for the seante race, in which Bill Nelson is predictably thrashing Katherine Harris.

But that'll have to do for now. There's piles of editing to be done, and I gotta get back to work. I'll be updating the blog whenever possible, but for now, I'm going to leave you all with the saddest picture ever.


See y'all down the line. Don't be a Jimmy.

September 19, 2006

Anybody catch Keith Olbermann last night?

The dude's commentaries continue their strong trend toward brilliance. Last night's wasn't as good as that scathing, momentus 9/11 commentary, but it was still pretty good. Check it out here.

Also, Reuters interviewed Olbermann, citing the fact that, since August, his viewership is up a staggering 73 percent. The article also refers to him as "the most compelling news personality of his generation." I'm at a loss to argue with that sentiment. Read the story here

September 18, 2006

Today In Florida Politics

First up -- the national GOP (RNC, etc.) has officially thrown Katherine Harris to the wolves. Hardly surprising given the downward spiral of Harris' campaign, but it does represent a final nail in the coffin. Harris can probably expect little or no cash from the National Republican Senatorial Committee, effectively dooming her already quixotic campaign.


Continuing in the News You Expected to Happen Dept., we learn that Democratic Fort Lauderdale Mayor Jim "Marie Antoinette" Naugle has endorsed Charlie Crist for governor. This hardly comes as a shock, as Naugle endorsed Jeb Bush for governor in both his campaigns, George Bush for president in both of his campaigns, and has been an ardent supporter of Republican Rep. Clay Shaw. Why he hasn't switched parties already is beyond me -- probably just to piss people like me off.

Fort Lauderdale Mayor Jim Naugle

And finally, in the most desperate attempt to use 9/11 for political purposes since ... oh, since the last time the president gave a speech, Republican Rep. Clay Shaw, running for re-election in a very close race, has announced free lung screenings for 9/11 emergency workers from Florida. Yes, it's an incredibly crass political move -- if he really cared, he'd have done something like this a long time ago, when he wasn't running for office -- but at least maybe some brave people will get some much-deserved help. Pity the EPA -- staffed by Republican operatives up to and including its leader, Bush appointee Christine Todd Whitman -- said right after 9/11 that the air around Ground Zero was perfectly safe.

What? Me? Politicize 9/11? Come now!

Democratic control of the House almost assured

The Democrats need a net pickup of 15 seats to gain control of the House. When Tom DeLay went up shit's creek without a paddle in sight a while back, it gave the Dems a gimme seat. And now, Rep. Bob Ney has done the same. According to the AP report, Bob Ney pleaded guilty to taking "tens of thousands of dollars worth of trips, meals, sports tickets and casino chips while trying to win favors for a disgraced Washington lobbyist and a foreign aviation company"

The disgraced lobbyist in question is, of course, Jack Abramoff. Ney will now serve about 27 months in prison -- the recommendation of prosecutors. Also, his House seat is all but guaranteed to be a Democratic pickup. That means the Dems need just 13 more, and are predicted by most political oddsmakers to pick up between 13 and 18.

Good luck in prison, congressman

So, now, as long as the Democrats don't go all to pieces in the next couple of months -- a distinct possibility, given their history of doing so -- they should be swept into a majority in at least one house of Congress. Hell, they could control both -- the Senate's a little more iffy, but it's there. The Dems. need six pickups, and Penn., Ohio, Montana and Rhode Island are all likely, with tossups in Missouri, Tennessee and Virginia, all of which would represent Dem. gains. The Democrats face their own battles to retain seats in Michigan and New Jersey, but neither of these look as nasty as any of the seven races in which the GOP could lose a Senate seat.

If the Dems win one of the two houses in November, I imagine a stalemate for the next two years as the other house and the White House bury and/or veto Dem. bills. But if the Dems win both houses, all bets are off. I especially hope for a House victory, though -- with all the gasping and moaning that people like Sean Hannity have been doing over the possibility of Nancy Pelosi being "third in line to the presidency," it'll be fun just to see them squeal like pigs the day after the election.

Get ready to have that smirk wiped off your face, Sean

Everyone except the Bush White House is with the terrorists

I get really tired of this "If you're not with us, you're with the terrorists" crap. Hell, I got tired of it a few seconds after I first heard it, back in those halcyon days of 2001. But now, five years out from 9/11, it sounds even more absurd, even more backwards, even more close-minded. And, perhaps most important of all, it seems to be used more often, and to describe more and more people.

Just a few days after Bush made his Sept. 11 five-year-anniversary speech, in which he called for unity and bipartisanship, House Majority Leader John Boehner said, "I listen to my Democrat friends, and I wonder if they're more interested in protecting terrorists than in protecting the American people." Nice. So, according to the GOP Congress, Democrats are with the terrorists.

But wait! In a press conference a few days later, after rebellious Republicans such as John McCain and John Warner stated that Bush's demands for secret prisons in which the CIA could torture at will wouldn't fly, George W. Bush said that even the GOP Congress is with the terrorists. To quote the New York Times story's lead paragraph: "President Bush warned at a news conference Friday that the nation’s ability to defend itself would be undermined if rebellious Senate Republicans did not come around to his position on terrorism cases."

So there you go. Democrats, Congressional Republicans ... hell, pretty much everyone except the people at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., are now with the terrorists. Unbelievable.

Another gem from that press conference: The Washington Post quoted George Bush in response to why he wouldn't send troops into Pakistan to get Osama Bin Laden thusly, "First of all, Pakistan is a sovereign nation. In order for us to send thousands of troops into a sovereign nation, we've got to be invited by the government of Pakistan."

Wow. Just ... wow. Anyone remember the Taliban or Saddam Hussein asking us to invade?

Me neither.

I swear, the president just gets more alarmingly bizarre everyday. He appears to have no memory of past deeds -- or past misdeeds, one should say -- and seems to be doing the same thing again and again, expecting different results every time. In psychiatric circles, he would be branded a classic psychotic. But to America at large, he remains the Leader of the Free World -- the wholly demented, Nero-like Leader of the Free World. God have mercy.

The Stupidest Man in the World, Part II

Time once again to journey into the handicapped brain of CNN morning anchor Miles O'Brien, the stupidest man in the world.

I'm with stupid ... and I'm all alone.

I wrote an entry a while back in which I provided some evidence of Miles O'Brien's status as Stupidest Man in the World, and promised to revisit this hypothesis sometime in the future. That time is now.

First, I've noticed in the past few weeks that O'Brien appears to have a child-like infatuation with astronauts and dinosaurs, which has made me rethink my initial theory that he's just stupid. Now, I think that he might be some sort of man-child, like Tom Hanks in Big. You remember that one, yeah? It's where Hanks suddenly becomes an adult, but retains the brain of a 12-year-old boy.

Yeah, that's the one.

Anyway, this new theory fits comfortably with the facts, because it also explains O'Brian's incredibly brief attention span, as illustrated multiple times in this morning's broadcast. Just look at this transcript of this morning's broadcast, which can be found in its entirety here.
I'll just put up the relevant parts, highlighting when needed. First, they discuss the missing 10-day-old girl in Missouri.

"FREED: The mother was unconscious for a short while and then managed to walk 300 yards to her nearest neighbor's house for help. The baby's father was at work at the time. Police issued an amber alert. The infant weighs barely six pounds and was wearing a pink dress with a flowered collar. She has a birthmark between her eyes. Family members are pleading for the child's return.

(Short quote from family member, followed by more commentary by Freed for a few brief moments)

O'BRIEN: And just to be clear, the boyfriend, the father of Abigale, was where?

FREED: He was at work at the time.


Then they go to a story about the man in South Carolina who held a 14-year-old girl in one of several bunkers he had built.

GRIFFIN: Let me tell you a little bit about the suspect. He had not one, but five bunkers dug deep in the woods. He was already wanted, Miles, on a child sexual assault charge against a 12-year-old girl.

(just a few seconds more commentary from Griffin)

O'BRIEN: And apparently there was a series of bunkers that were built, right?"

You see my point? Apparently, O'Brien's attention span is so brief that he can't even keep up with a few seconds of a news report without forgetting everything. It really could be that Miles O'Brien is just a man-child with the brain of a 12-year-old boy. But then again, it could just be that he's stupid.

September 13, 2006

Charlie Crist has picked a running mate.

Word has come down the pipe that, just an hour ago, Republican gubernatorial nominee Charlie Crist selected Cape Coral state rep. Jeff Kottkamp as his Lt. Gov. Not too much of a surprise there. Kottkamp is a far-right legislator, and Crist needs those creds to shore up his base. He went with Kottkamp over Diario Las Americas op-ed editor Helen Aguirre Ferre, state sen. Lisa Carlton, and U.S. Rep. Jeff Miller.

Ferre, a virulently anti-Castro editorialist, would have gained Cuban support -- unnecessary, since hardcore Cuban conservatives will vote for a ham sandwich if it has an (R) next to it. Besides, Ferre is one of the so-called Marti Ten, which more or less doomed what little chance she had. Miller was probably the safest, and most well-known, choice, but I doubt he even wanted the job -- it's a bit of a lateral move for a U.S. congressman. That leaves Carlton, who just didn't bring the same super-conservative record as Kottkamp.

State Rep. Jeff Kottkamp, freaky right-wing Lt. Gov. nominee

Meanwhile, Democratic candidate Jim Davis has to announce his own selection by Thursday. I think I already know who it is.

To repair the damage done by Rod Smith's vicious Davis-is-a-racist slimes in the primary, Davis will probably select a black running mate. All in all, the obvious choice is Fort Lauderdale state rep. Chris Smith. Reportedly, Davis' short list also includes former state sen. Daryl Jones of Miami and Miami state attorney Katherine Fernández Rundle. All of these choices have their pros and cons, but Smith is probably the man for the job. He's a very moderate Democrat who often crosses party lines to side with the GOP, which should help syphon off a few moderate GOP voters, and, right or wrong, race has become an issue for the Democrats, and Davis needs Smith or Jones. Having already failed to pass muster with Congress when Clinton nominated him to be Air Force secretary, Jones may have too many skeletons in the closet. A Davis/Smith ticket is the best bet for Davis, and certainly the most likely come Thursday.

Rep. Chris Smith, alleged Democratic Lt. Gov. nominee

So, in short, Crist has selected an ultra-conservative to shore up the batshit-crazy wing of the Republican Party. Davis will select an African-American to regain the black wing of the Democratic Party. Simple as that.

September 12, 2006

John R. Cash, February 26, 1932-September 12, 2003

Hard to believe it's been three years. Hardly seems like it's been one.

The Lion in Winter:

The Salad Days:

You know, it's a good thing no big news has happened in the past two days

Why, just imagine if something had actually happened yesterday or the day before! All three South Florida papers wouldn't have been able to run schmaltzy 9/11 retreads for two days in a row, taking up almost the entire front page. Man, that would have sucked. Well, good thing there was no major news, like, say, primary elections in nine states today, or a massive shootout between the IDF and Palestinians in Gaza, or a space shuttle docking with the space station to hook up one of the largest additions to the station ever, or a freaking earthquake in the Gulf of Mexico.

Yeah, good thing none of that happened. One or all of the newspapers may have had to nix the masturbatory 9/11 hagiography. Hell, maybe with the extra room, one or all of them could have found the space to mention that 27 U.S. soldiers have been killed so far in September, putting us on par to have the highest monthly death rate since November of last year -- clearly, freedom is on the march. In fact, maybe that same would-be story could have mentioned that, on this anniversary of 9/11 we are fast approaching a morbid benchmark -- sometime soon, probably this year, more Americans will have been killed in Iraq than were killed on Sept. 11.

But there were some noteworthy moments in all the navel-gazing coverage of a five-year-old event.

Far and away the most moving commentary from the talking heads last night came from Keith Olbermann, whose damning indictment of the Bush administration was heavily shaded with the tone of Edward R. Murrow, Olbermann's obvious idol. There's little to say about the commentary -- res ipsa loquitur, as they say. Just watch this video. Olbermann was on fire.

Nicely done, Keith.

Olbermann's rant has already been dismissed by right-wing blogs as "demagoguery in its most virulent form," but it's difficult to call the response to demagoguery "demagoguery."

Even more predictably, left-wing blogs have gone completely gaga over the on-air editorial, which shamed Bush and even obliquely called for his impeachment. LiveJournalist Anysia called it "probably the most powerful commentary I have ever read/heard," while Blogspotter Digby's Hullabaloo referred to it as a "history-making condemnation of Bush's response to 9/11, which comes close to Edward R. Murrow's level of eloquence."

Ridiculously hyperbolic, of course, but it was a damn fine speech. It won't make history, and it's far from the most powerful commentary I've ever read/heard, but it's definitely worth watching. Given his emulation of Murrow, down to the "good night and good luck" send-off, one expects Olbermann's commentaries to have that sort of tone. He's gotten it down to a science now, though, and he has become the best thing on cable news. I can't even think of who would come in a distant second -- maybe Wolf Blitzer, if only for the occasional screed by resident angry old curmudgeon Jack Cafferty.

Speaking of TV news, anyone else notice the ratings for poor Katie Couric? Between Tuesday and Friday of last week, Couric's audience dropped by 45 freaking percent. I haven't seen a free fall like that since, well, 9/11.

In one of my first entries on this blog, one which I titled "Couricitis presages continual degredation of broadcast news" (Could be my best headline for a blog entry, but I digress) I commented on the hiring of Couric and held her to task not for her perkiness, but for her utter credulousness. And the problem with conventional wisdom about the incredible shrinking ratings of the CBS Evening News is that most people are blaming the happy, perky new attitude of the news for its falling ratings. This is wrong. When Couric has the president on and fails to ask a single probing follow-up question, that turns people off. When she has pundits ranging from Morgan Spurlock to Rush Limbaugh on and fails to counter any of their spin, that turns people off. Wanton, unbridled credulousness will be the death of the news business. There are not two sides to every story. There is only the truth. And just because someone says something happened a certain way doesn't make it so -- especially if that someone is a politician. I don't expect Couric to change her attitude about asking hard-hitting questions -- and even more importantly, hard-hitting follow-ups that call people on their bullshit. And in the end, that's what will keep the CBS Evening News in third place. It finished its debut week in first place, but it won't be there long. Count on it.

Good luck, Katie. As long as you act as a stenographer instead of a reporter, you'll need it.

September 8, 2006

Bombs away!!!

In the interests of scientific curiosity, I'm doing my part to see if Google bombing works. Props to The Google Bomb Project

The Path to 9/11
The Path to 9/11
The Path to 9/11
The Path to 9/11
The Path to 9/11
The Path to 9/11
The Path to 9/11
The Path to 9/11
The Path to 9/11
The Path to 9/11

September 7, 2006

Couple thoughts for the day...

Aug. 21, 2006 White House press conference:
Bush: "...The terrorists attacked us and killed 3,000 of our citizens before we started the freedom agenda in the Middle East."
Reporter: "What did Iraq have to do with that?"
Bush:"What did Iraq have to do with what?"
Reporter: "The attack on the World Trade Center?"
Bush: "Nothing..."

Sept. 6, 2006 Katie Couric interview of Bush:
Bush: "One of the hardest parts of my job is to connect Iraq to the war on terror."

Analysis: Does anyone believe anything this naked emperor says anymore? Holy Jesus in a jukebox, this guy's chutzpah is just breathtaking. Also, I love how Iraq is now part of the "freedom agenda." Is that why we're in Iraq now? The "freedom agenda"? I just can't seem to keep up with the reasons.
I've had a couple comments over my last few entries accusing me of liberal bias. Tell y'all what. I'll stop being biased against George Bush just as soon as that raging asshole stops insulting my intelligence. How's that?

President Bush, lying to America. You can tell he's lying because his mouth is open.

This whole ABC mockumentary that uses the standard Republican excuse about whatever the problem may be to tackle the history of the 9/11 attack (i.e. it was all Clinton's fault). I'd just like to remind everyone that, a couple years ago, it was ABC's parent company, Disney, that refused to put out a film that politicized 9/11 so close to an election. The film? Fahrenheit 9/11.
It appears that our president isn't the only hypocritical bastard in politics these days.

September 6, 2006

Primary results, and some weird stuff about voting

Before I get into the results from all these races, couple of things. First, strangely, as of 10 a.m. this morning, only Broward and Palm Beach counties have not completed counting at least one of these categories: Absentee ballots, early voting, normal precinct voting and provisional ballots. Every other county in Florida has completed counting at least one, most of them at least three. So that's kinda hinky.

Also, and I realize this is purely anecdotal, but every black person I've talked to so far who voted yesterday had to present both their driver's license and their voter registration card. I've yet to talk to a white person who needed the voter registration card. So, that's also kinda hinky.

Anyway, on to the results (note that I'll only be going into races that had serious primaries):

As I called in my prediction for this, Crist won the Republican primary and Davis won the Democratic. I also said in that blog entry that Crist would win the general election, and I see no reason to amend that. Charlie "Big Slick" Crist is the GOP's answer to Bill Clinton: He's charismatic, weird rumors circle around his private life and he pulls issues from the other side to appeal to centrist voters (Clinton did it with welfare reform and NAFTA, Crist does it with gay civil unions, supporting the class-size amendment, and so on).

I called Harris to beat out the competition in this blog entry, and she did so, though she also garnered less than 50 percent of the vote, with Bill McBride garnering a health 30 percent. This is good news for Democrats. Bill Nelson will eviscerate Harris in the general election.

District 17
As I predicted in this blog entry, Kendrick Meek slaughtered his competitor, Dufirstson Neree by something like 80 points. I thought it'd be a little closer than that, but incumbency is quite an advantage, and folks like Meek. I also called Meek to win the general, and there's no way I'm changing that now.

District 18
"Big Dave" Patlak won this Democratic primary by default after Daniel Manichello dropped out a while back. He'll face incumbent Republican Ileana Ros-Lehtinen in the general election. It should be a good race, especially if Patlak manages to hammer home what an opportunistic, greedhead phony Ros-Lehtinen has been in her time in D.C. But, in the end, the Hispanics will prove the deciding factor in sending the first Hispanic congresswoman back to D.C.

District 24
It's ON! The netroots won out, and Clint Curtis, hero of stolen-election conspiracy theorists everywhere, beat out Andy Michaud to take on Tom Feeney in the general election. I still don't hold out any hope of Curtis actually winning, but this campaign should at least bring up some issues that this country just doesn't seem to want to deal with -- the illegitimacy of our current government, for example.

District 30
I said that I preferred Ted Deutch over Irv Slosberg in this blog entry, but that Slosberg would probably win. So it was with welcome surprise that I learned Deutch pulled it off by about 10 points, despite Slosberg's massive advertising campaign and huge war chest. I think voters suffered from Irv fatigue by the end. I know I did. If I ever hear that "Let Irv Serve" song again, I'm gonna puke.

District 32
I liked Graber, but figured that former Yahoo exec Jeremy Ring, with his bankload of money, would pull this one off. And unlike the Deutch/Slosberg race, I was on the money with this one. Ring beat Graber handily by more than 17 points.

District 38
Oh sweet schadenfreude. Despite his entire party turning against him, especially Jeb Bush, who campaigned for upstart opponent Frank Bolanos, incumbent J. Alex Villalobos won the Republican primary by about 500 votes, or less than 3 points. I wonder if Jeb cried? I sure as hell hope so. Villalobos will be persona non grata when he shows back up in Tallahassee, but what the hell. He's still got a job.

District 86
Of the four Democrats running, I called Harriet Lerman to win this one in my picks for South Florida state house races, mainly because the other three candidates all had problems -- Joseph Abruzzo jumped into this race late, angering many Democrats by abandoning his run for county commissioner and leaving the incumbent Republican uncontested; Mark Siegel had a sexual harassment lawsuit put out on him; and Maria Sachs is married to a major Republican fundrasier. But, in this case, I was dead wrong. Lerman came in last place, and Sachs won the day. But what the hell, if James Carville can stay married to Mary Matlin, Maria and her man shouldn't have a problem.

District 90
Perhaps the tightest primary race for the Democrats in the state house, I picked Kelly Skidmore to beat out her three opponents, and I was right -- barely. All four candidates landed in the 20s, with Skidmore beating second-place Len Turesky by less than 2 points.

District 93
I went out on a limb and picked Sallie Bell Tillman-Watson to win over four opponents, despite the fact that she raised little cash. She wound up in third behind Alain Jean and the winner, Perry Thurston. I probably should have gone with Thurston in this race, the only one of the five who wasn't a political novice, but sometimes I like to go for the underdog.

District 95
I really liked Amy Rose, but figured this election would go to Jim Waldman, who had a lot more experience in this district -- and indeed, Waldman won by about 5 points.

District 99
I liked Barry Sacharow here, but it was almost inevitable that he'd get killed by Elaine Schwartz, who had Hollywood big-wigs like Mayor Mara on her side. Schwartz will now be the Hollywood City Commission's voice in Tallahassee, and the city can expect a lot more of the sprawl that has plagued it since Mara and her cronies sold the entire city to developers. The people have spoken, and they deserve what they get.

District 105
I absolutely hate saying "this is a tossup." I always try to pick a winner, no matter how close it may be. But this was that rare race when I just couldn't pick a candidate -- the race could easily have gone to either Joe Gibbons or Henry Rose. And, indeed, Gibbons won by less than 400 votes out of more than 8,000 -- less than 3 points.

District 107
With five candidates in the Republican primary, it was tough to pick one here. I went with Robert Fernandez, who had raised the most cash and gained the endorsement of Jeb Bush, but he came in a close second to Frank Carollo, the brother of former Miami mayor Joe Carollo. He will go on to face Miami Beach City Commissioner Luis Garcia in the general election, in what may be a surprisingly competitive race, if Garcia can get the vote out in Miami Beach and steal away a few votes in Little Havana, where Carollo will rely on most of his votes.

District 120
As I expected, Monroe County Commissioner David Rice beat out his three competitors for the chance to face Ron Saunders in the general elecction. Unlike many state house races, this one has the chance to be real close, so despite raising a hefty amount of cash during the primary, Rice needs to keep right on fundraising. This has the possibility to be the most competitive state House race in Florida, if Saunders, the District 120 state rep. from 1986-1994, is up for it.

So, that about sums it up. Should be a couple great races in the general. The governorship, for one. Katherine Harris' continued self-destruction should be fun to watch. The Ron Klein/Clay Shaw House race in District 22 should be one of the best House races in the country, and if the press gives Clint Curtis any time, the District 24 race could be downright nasty in a way that even politics rarely gets. Look for the district 107 and 120 state house races to be reasonably entertaining.

September 5, 2006

Primary Day!


Because of the weather, it'll probably be a terrible turnout, which makes your voice even more important. At my polling place this morning, between the traditionally busy hour of 8-9 a.m., my girlfriend and I were the only ones voting -- the only freaking ones. With what could be a hugely low voter turnout, your vote means even more than usual. Pull the lever, people!