So how long is this election going to take?

by twit

via MSNBC on November 4, 2008:

… keep an eye on the four states of Florida, North Carolina, Ohio, and Virginia. If Obama wins just two out of the four, it becomes nearly impossible for McCain to get to 270 — even if he wins Pennsylvania.

… if Virginia is called early for Obama, that will be a sign of a possible big night for the Democrats.

… probably the earliest that we might see the election called for Obama (i.e., him going crossing the 270 mark) would be at 11:00 pm ET.

via the Associated Press on November 4, 2008:

Long lines and malfunctioning machines greeted voters Tuesday as polls across the country were deluged by people wanting to cast ballots in this historic race between Barack Obama and John McCain.

this could be a loooooong night…  or maybe not:

ABC News Andy Fies reports: In Manassas, VA where the Confederacy won the first major battle of its war to preserve slavery, Barack Obama held the last rally of his campaign to become President of the United States.

… It wasn’t the Civil War battleground itself — better Known in the North as Bull Run — but it had that feel. Ninety thousand Obama supporters poured over a distant ridge onto a field below, leading up to and surrounding the stage.

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Vote by phone and other fun tricks

by twit

via Threat Level on October 31, 2008:

The residents of Broward County, Florida have recently received misleading robocalls telling them that they can vote by phone on Election Day, according to a report in the South Florida Sun-Sentinel on Friday.

um, what?

Another unknown group is distributing flyers (see the flyer after the jump) with official-looking letterhead around the area of Hampton Roads, Virgina that erroneously inform recipients that because of the crowds at the polls, the Virginia State Board of Elections is scheduling Republicans to vote on November 4th, and Democrats on the 5th.

they… really expect that to work?

Meanwhile, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports that people in the area have been receiving robocalls with the same message. This particular trick is an old one: In 2004, the New York Times reported the same message going out in the Pittsburgh area via flyers.

apparently, yes.

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The Holy Grail of Florida and other media hallucinations

by lestro

I have read a couple of stories over the past few days that have really irked me because they are perfect examples of the media perpetuating myths that are not true.

The first was about third-party candidates polling at the 3 or 4 percent level and how that can be dangerous. They cite Nader’s 3 percent in Florida in 2000 as handing the election to Bush. Which is fucking stupid because what really handed Florida to Bush was the stupid fucking butterfly ballot that led a whole fucking mess of old Palm Beach Jews to vote for Pat Buchanan.

Come on. Patty Patty Buke Buke? I think fucking not.

It was not Nader, but the idiocy of these old voters and the horrible butterfly ballot (not mention Gore’s cardboard personality, seeming lack of vision and inability to win his home state) that cost him the election, not Nader.

Today, there is another Florida story in which Obama announced his plan for $1,000 rebates based on an windfall profits tax to energy companies. It’s a much better plan than the offshore drilling, especially considering ExxonMobil once again had a record-setting profit last quarter, despite coming in under predictions.

If times are so tough and oil is so expensive yet the world’s biggest oil company is making more profit than ever (profit, mind you, not just revenue), they must be gouging. How else can it be explained?

Honestly. If you know, I’m listening.

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Florida, you are the weakest link

by twit

Florida has been a distinct thorn in this country’s side since the year 2000, so the twit is beginning to think that maybe it is time to just let the state go once and for all. Perhaps we could vote on it…

From the Sun-Sentinel on May 25, 2008:

[Port St. Lucie Department spokeswoman Michelle] Steele said the boy had been sent to the principal’s office because of disciplinary issues. When he returned, [the teacher] made him go to the front of the room as a form of punishment, she said.

… After each classmate was allowed to say what they didn’t like about Barton’s 5-year-old son, Alex, his Morningside Elementary teacher Wendy Portillo said they were going to take a vote, Barton said.

By a 14 to 2 margin, the students voted Alex — who is in the process of being diagnosed with autism — out of the class.

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we’re kind of between leaders at the moment…

by twit

https://i2.wp.com/www.abc15.com/media/news/3/e/d/3ed72262-ac2d-46fc-987f-4ad3222a42b0/Story.jpg this kind of thing seems to happen so often, it hardly lifts an eyebrow these days…

Starting in Phoenix, reports flood a local radio station, including a witness describing lights in the sky as

“about 3,000 feet high, approximately. They looked as though they were kind of hovering or floating from west to east, very slowly. They were up there for 15 or 20 minutes.”

Better yet, KTAR.com reports:

Ian Gregor, a spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration, said, “A lot of people were reporting seeing some strange lights in the sky around Phoenix last night.

Air traffic controllers at the control tower at Sky Harbor saw them. But, we have no idea what they were.”

Gregor added, tongue-in-cheek,

It could be aliens coming down to save us from ourselves, you never know. The only thing I do know is if they were coming down, they weren’t talking to air traffic controllers.”

sigh. perhaps click the image to link to the Simpsons episode “Citizen Kang,” so we can all laugh together…

http://tbn0.google.com/images?q=tbn:-Qmwbq8k0Ow3rM:http://www.simpsoncrazy.com/gallery/images/SimpsonsSlaves.gif

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Top Ten Things About to Fall Down

by twit

Thank you Popular Mechanics, for this lovely roundup of “The 10 Pieces of U.S. Infrastructure We Must Fix Now” and apparently, are doing not much, if anything, about…

Chicago’s Circle Interchange

going nowhere”

Brooklyn Bridge

Repairs aren’t due to start until 2010″

Industrial Canal Lock in New Orleans

Construction is expected to take 12 years”

Atlanta Water System

Municipal lines running beneath the streets lose massive volumes of waterA similar situation is found throughout the country.”

Seattle Viaduct

still no decision” hmm… sounds familiar

Herbert Hoover Dike

a 1-in-6 chance that [it] will fail” The Army Corps of Engineers has been working on improvements, but funding is limited”

Idaho’s Dover Bridge

an outrageously low “sufficiency rating” of 2 out of 100 in the National Bridge Inventory.” but the Seattle Viaduct gets a 9… which means “basically intolerable,” apparently…

Wolf Creek Dam

despite the ongoing construction work, the danger of collapse hasn’t been significantly reduced, and probably won’t be for years”

Sacramento River Levees

Ongoing efforts to investigate and repair the levees have been met with opposition from local officials”

Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport

among the worst in terms of near-misses on the runway”

More fun:

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wait, what? … what? …what? …what?

by twit

this spins me right around, like a record player:

My colleague Jeffrey Ressner was at Hillary’s fundraiser last night at the Wilshire Theater in Los Angeles, and captured the audio (.wma) of a really jarring scene: A woman dragged out in handcuffs, screaming that she was the only black supporter of Hillary there. (She wasn’t.)

what?

Clinton herself had some fairly strong stuff to say, particularly on Florida and Michigan: “If we don’t figure out Michigan and Florida, our candidate will lack the legitimacy that we want,” she told the crowd.

what?

“I was among the very first to speak out against the Taliban. . .I was invited by the Taliban to visit [but I declined,]” she said. “Some days I may think I want to wear a burqua, but I don’t want to do that. . . “

what?

At the end of the event, the music played to usher people out, but Hillary stopped the music and implored the crowd to donate. “I need your help. I’m being outspent,” she said.

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Children left far, far behind

by twit

Thou shalt not drink bleach, perhaps?

A recent survey that found some Florida teens believe drinking a cap of bleach will prevent HIV and a shot of Mountain Dew will stop pregnancy has prompted lawmakers to push for an overhaul of sex education in the state.

I agree with Slog on this one… “A friendly cartoon penis” that “tells you how to use a condom properly” is certainly called for:

More information is available from Planned Parenthood, including links to affordable health services and contraception options in every state.

Florida and Michigan are spoiled little brats

by lestro

Right off the bat, it is important to mention that I am not a fan of Florida. Most years I find myself rooting for hurricanes as they take aim on what Homer Simpson once called ‘America’s wang.’ I have nothing against Michigan, however.

This year, Florida and Michigan are acting like spoiled children who purposefully broke a toy and want a new one.

Late last year those two states voted to move their primaries ahead of every other state in an attempt to boost their own importance. It wasn’t enough that both play important roles in the fall, they wanted to be first.

The parties, looking at the already front-loaded schedule and the lateness of the attempt to leapfrog over everyone else, made the right decision and told the states that it would not be allowed and there would be consequences for their actions.

But Michigan and Florida threw a big ole tantrum and then not only took their balls and went home, they threw their balls onto the roof, moving their primaries to the front of the line, sticking their tongues out at the national parties and daring them to do something.

Now they want a new ball.

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there was a primary today?

by twit

via Wonkette, from the Orlando Sentinel on Jan 29, 2008:

On Florida Primary day, voters are reporting problems across Central Florida from Daytona Beach to Hunter’s Creek. Among the precincts experiencing glitches was one in Orange County where voters were told by poll workers early on there was no Democratic primary today.

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I don’t want to call Hillary Clinton a bitch, but…

by twit by twit

sometimes it’s the little things that say so much. For example, if you promise to stay away from Florida because the state was naughty and moved its primary ahead without the blessing of the DNC…

From The New York Times on Jan 27 2008:

“Although Senator Obama did not remove his name from the Florida primary ballot because Florida law did not allow him to do so, Senator Obama is firm in his commitment to neither participate nor campaign in the Florida primary and its outcome has no bearing on the nomination contest,” Mr. Obama’s campaign said in a memorandum sent to “interested parties.”

yes, yes, of course…

Mrs. Clinton is scheduled to fly here on Sunday for two fund-raisers. Although the events are not open to the press or public — her aides said she would attend no public event that would result in her breaking her word — her arrival here the day after the South Carolina vote seems likely to produce coverage on Florida television stations and newspapers on the day before the vote. On Friday, her campaign issued a statement saying that she would urge her delegates at the Democratic convention this summer to seat the Florida delegation.

yes, yes, of course…

From The Associated Press on Jan 27 2008:

Though the Democratic presidential candidates largely have heeded the national party’s request that they not campaign publicly in Florida, Clinton said it’s time to pay attention to voters there who are showing heavy interest in Tuesday’s primary.

Change the rules at the last minute, parse the meaning of a clear statement until it is meaningless and be ready to justify the appearance of impropriety with a vague populist appeal. What a lovely combination for someone campaigning to lead the free world. I continue to search for exactly what it is about Hillary Clinton’s campaign that makes so many people recoil with a visceral and near-instinctive negative reaction. Maybe it is the little stories like these that have added up over time and feed the inexplicably amorphous sense of misgiving and distrust. Read more of this post