Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Well, Maybe the F State Did Have an Election Problem
Contrary to my overly-felicitous proclamation on November 8th [Backstage, 11-8-2006] (which, by the way, I backtracked on The F State weblog on November 9th), there is a problem, so here’s a rundown as of today [courtesy of The F State]: (1) The Vern Buchanan (R)-Christine Jennings (D) U.S. House race inquiry is proceeding in Sarasota County (Buchanan won by 377 out of 238,000 votes, with 18,000 nonvotes, which would be 15,000 more than the norm). First will be a recount of absentee and provisional ballots, and then technicians will come in and séance with the machines, themselves (with a hearing tomorrow on what the rules for that will be). (2) And jokesters around the world have had fun with one absentee ballot in Broward County that was mailed with the inverted-airplane error stamp (value if real: $300k). Oh, those hopeless Floridians, they said, especially since the ballot was DQ’d anyway, for lack of a signature on the outside. But Yr Editor has laid off of it, knowing to a near-certainty that it was the recently-reissued replica stamp, which seemingly didn’t occur to credulous editors everywhere. And now a Sarasota resident who voted absentee in Broward has confessed. (3) And Clint Curtis, who challenged U.S. Rep. Tom Feeney in the district around Titusville-New Smyrna, lost big (58-42) but said he’s not giving up until someone investigates just why the official results didn’t match a Zogby poll and his internal polling. [press release] (Curtis is the guy who swore he has concrete information on how Feeney’s people hand-jiggered vote machines in 2004.) [You'll have to search BradBlog.com for that] (4) And no technical expertise was needed for St. Petersburg high school teacher Sharion Thurman, 56. She got caught ham-handedly stuffing the homecoming-queen ballot box for her niece.

Inside NOTW
Slate.com’s media commentator Jack Shafer said his ideal newspaper would contain lots of "News of the Weird"-type stories. The reason newspapers have to strain to include them these days (i.e., they’re either in their own feature space or they’re absent) has to do with the ease of photoset layout (versus the difficulty of layout of hot type in the old days). Yr Editor like the "feature space" thing, even though far too many newspapers are writing their own "feature space" rather than renting NOTW for that space.

Below The Fold
Arrrrh, a peg-legged shoplifter was caught stuffing cosmetics into his secret compartment . . . . . First, Gallaudet Univ. students take charge of their education by successfully demanding the ouster of the incoming president, and now Lebanon Valley College students successfully demand, er, a day off from class after a big football game . . . . . Genome sequencers at Baylor College of Medicine discover that the sea urchin "is actually quite similar to us" (though Yr Editor would feel better if the researcher actually named names) . . . . . A court in Nanjing turned down a schoolteacher’s 12-cent slander lawsuit . . . . . Headline that reported on a paper delivered at a medical conference this week: "Frequent Sex Cures Women’s Semen Allergy" . . . . . The outgoing governor of Arkansas, married for 32 yrs, sets up a wedding registry because it’s the only way under state law that he and the missus can accept thank-you gifts.