The Path to Florida
A long Vanity Fair
article (part one
and part two
, both PDFs) about the experiences and reactions of US Supreme Court clerks during the 2000 election and Bush v. Gore [PDFs hosted at SCOTUSblog; via Intel Dump]
Florida town changes MLK street name
What's in a name, asked Shakespeare. Everything, it seems.
Tigger arrested on molestation charges.
Why couldn't it have been Eeyore? or Piglet?
Walt Disney World's recent designation as a no-fly zone has had an additional consequence
: Christian extremists can no longer harass gay tourists from above.
Is this your fetus? Are you the one I slept with?
Remember when we discussed this
before? Florida has now been forced by 4 plaintiffs and the ACLU
to repeal the so-called Scarlet Letter law that forces women who are pregnant and giving children up for adoption to take out an ad local papers once a week for 4 weeks, stating her name and her sexual history in the last year, to let men know if they *might* be the father. Here
is the ACLU legal brief. The details about the decision are in the first link.
Thank god for the ACLU.
Virginia Hayley, there isn't a Santa Claus"
A substitute teacher in Florida was reading aloud to her class of Kindergartners when the subject unexpectedly turned to the existence of Santa Claus. Rather than perpetuate a myth, "Mrs. P" chose to come clean with the gathered five year olds, and explained that there was no Santa, and that all presents "come from mom and dad." Well, next thing you know, kids are crying, parents are protesting, and the teacher feels awful. In an effort to "make up for the teacher's lapse," the school district decides to send in a "Santa" to visit the class in order to "set the record straight": "Today's visiting Santa, with a natural, full white beard, should convince even a classroom full of skeptics, said district spokesman Englehart. 'He's the real deal.'"
Great! Well, except for the fact that he's not. (via obscurestore)
Florida Machine Records Votes for Wrong Candidate.
OK, I know Matt Drudge isn't exactly a venerated news outlet, but he is
in South Florida. And he's reporting that a West Palm Beach voter called in to a South Florida radio talk show to report that when he voted for McBride this morning the machine counted his vote for Bush. After he'd tried three times, the voter said, an observing poll worker finally acknowledged that the machine would have to be reprogrammed, since earlier voters had experienced the same problem. There is no official confirmation of this problem, but calls to the same radio show two years ago evidently foreshadowed the 2000 election debacle. I'll be keeping an eye on sites like Josh Marshall's Talking Points Memo
as the day wears on. In the end, what should the electorate do (in addition to initiating lawsuits) if outcome-determining irregularities surface in yet another Florida election?
This week, two boys in Florida were tried for the bludgeoning-murder of their father. With accusations raised of the actual killing to have been done by another, adult male with alleged sexual ties to the two boys, the boys were found guilty only of a lesser second-degree murder charge
, claiming the adult must have done the actual deed... yet the jury was unaware the adult accused and being tried for that very idea was acquitted of all charges the previous week
. The issue? Both trials were handled by the same prosecutor who presented completely different theories to each jury...
in other words, not settling on a confident belief of who actually performed the killing, the prosecution tried to get both the adult and the pair of boys convicted for it. Isn't that risky? Or, if you like a different flavor of debate, isn't that completely unethical?
Florida to settle 2000 election lawsuit.
Major provisions include a promise for massive reforms in voter registration, voter-roll maintenance and polling practices, as part of the lawsuit pushed by the NAACP. Granted, it's good that a large angered group is "getting over it" as many (even on this board) have still been explaining, but should skeptics (read: Democrats) such as myself read the Florida legislature's desire to settle as a sign that they may not have thought they would have won against charges of rigging the election?
Watch those Waterway in Florida
says the U.S. Coast Guard. Possible terrorist threats include drawing or taking photographs of the shore, being near the shore for a long time, and under no circumstances would any law abiding citizen be doing something as daring and thoroughly terrorist-like as renting a boat
Women who put babies up for adoption required to publish sexual pasts
Web sites can't collect info
on minors, but Florida wants all women, including minors, to publish their sexual history in local newspapers before they're allowed to give their child up for adoption. Abortions are difficult to get
in Florida, almost impossible for some minors because of parental notification and permission requirements, yet wouldn't this law push more women towards abortion rather than towards adoption?
Small free speech zones
on public college campuses seem incongruous. A more-carrot, less-stick solution might be a free speech zone that was indoors, with seating, like part of this was
. Maybe then, fewer people would want to demonstrate elsewhere. This would probably ony work if people regularly came to listen and debate.
Walgreen's Pharmacist refuses to fill prescription.
Do pharmacists have the right to refuse to fill a prescription because of religious beliefs? Should they? Well, they do in Florida.
Florida recount abandoned
by major news organizations in the wake of terrorist attacks. I know it's all academic now, but wouldn't this fall under "letting them win"? And did any other news org. report this?
One for the conspiracy theorists?
On 7th of September, Governor Jeb Bush signed Executive Order 01-261, revising his powers to call up the Florida National Guard "in the event of civil disturbances or natural disasters", citing as one of its concerns "the potential massive damage to life and property that may result from an act of terrorism at a Florida port". Four days later, after the WTC attacks, his very next Executive Order declared a State of Emergency and activated the National Guard under those revised powers
. (It's still in place.) Now, we all know that the President was in the coastal city of Sarasota, Florida on the morning of the 11th, and we also know that Disney World closed its doors as a precaution after the attacks... so, coincidence? (Picked up from media-squatters
Florida company tells its 850 employees, there is no place for patriotism in our office
Although the memo from its CEO Bill Schrempf called displaying American flags nationalism (not patriotism). Wouldn't it be great to see the 850 workers stage a patriotic "blue flu" sometime in the near future. Doesn't Mr. Schrempf realize the crisis that this country is going through?
Reno's going to run...and Gramm is going to retire
. Two Hispanic Congressmen
, a Republican and a Democrat, seem poised to run for the Senate seat. (Does a Democrat even stand a chance in Texas...with little more than a year 'til the election?)
That makes 3 Republican Senate retirements (Thurmond, Helms, Gramm). 20 Republican Senate seats are up for reelection as opposed to 13 Democrat seats. How do you think the Democrats will fare in the 2002 elections -- both in and out of the Senate?
It's simple: Don't let the blacks vote, your guy "wins".
"Florida's conduct of the 2000 presidential election was marked by "injustice, ineptitude and inefficiency" that unfairly penalized minority voters, the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights has concluded in a report that criticizes top state officials -- particularly Gov. Jeb Bush and Secretary of State Katherine Harris -- for allowing disparate treatment of voters."
"A computer analysis by The Post showed that the more black and Democratic a precinct, the more likely it was to suffer high rates of invalidated votes."
"No inquiry so far has been as broad as that conducted by the commission -- or as specifically focused on the rights of minorities. The commission held three days of hearings, interviewed 100 witnesses and reviewed 118,000 documents."
"In a competitive governor's race a challenger who has numbers like Reno's keeps incumbents awake at night,'' pollster Rob Schroth said. "This poll does not suggest she's odds-on favorite but she certainly takes more away from him than any other candidate we tested."
The Rumor is spreading.
The Tallahassee Democrat
gets up to 10 calls and emails a day asking why they haven't printed it. Vanity Fair
is sort of writing about it in its July issue, they say. The Internet is all abuzz. But it seems that nobody can prove The Rumor, so instead they're simply going to keep talking about the fact the rumor exists until either someone comes forward with documentable proof, or until practically everyone knows about it anyway and thus the desired damage is done, regardless of whether The Rumor is true or not. It seems to have something to do with high-ranking Republican Florida state government officials and blowjobs, though. The same old "friend of a friend heard that Jeb and Katherine Harris are lovers" BS, or something newer? Doesn't the media have a responsibility to keep their trap shut until and unless they can come up with some real proof, rather than forcing it to come out by making the lack of provability into a so-called news story?
If the election left you with an odd feeling
that something was not right in Florida, you're not alone.
Media recount boosts Gore in Hillsborough County, FL
I wish they would have recounted the whole state. Including the "undervotes."
ELECTION: Supremes remand decision to SCOFL.
He may have balls, but his *luck* is running low.
And we were arguing about unclear ballot papers and the inability to follow written instructions? The Palm Beach canvassing board sends its counters home for Thanksgiving, comes back on Friday to find an extra few thousand votes to go through, and can't get its numbers in on time, so Ms Harris disregards them. Really, the people in charge need horse-whipping.
Why have I never seen this before today?
It turns out that the funniest mockery of the Florida ballot comes from BET; I find this much better than the oft-emailed wiggly-line ballot.
So the infamous ballot designer if feeling pretty low,
but is protesting outside her office the correct thing to do? "Noisy demonstrators protested on Thursday outside her office, demanding a new election. Several lawsuits have been filed, claiming the ballot was illegal under Florida law. LePore, who has been named in at least two lawsuits, has been devastated by the controversy, friends and acquaintances have said."
are looking at us and giggling about our democratic process. It's rather enlightening to see what they think, provided the attitude the US newsmedia takes when other countries' elections appear "fixed", "inefficient," or "ineffective."
on a weblist noted: "According to http://www.tcpalm.com/_special/pres_returns.shtml
, David McReynolds, the Socialist candidate who had the hole beneath Gore's on the ballot, got no more than 36 votes in any county in Florida except Palm Beach, where he got 302. Seems questionable to me." So we've definitely got a problem with the ballot. Is it do over time yet?
CNN wants to know
shoud voters in disputed parts of Florida be allowed to vote again. Right now the tide is against it.
There ARE 2,856 people
who WOULD and DID vote for Buchanan once before. (for people who are whining about there not being 3000 people in Palm Beach who would vote for Buchanan)
Poor user interface elects George W.
The second hole on the right does not correspond to the second candidate on the left (Gore), but rather to the first candidate on the right (Buchanan). While many people will notice this, many others, especially those with poor vision, will not. About 20% of Buchanan's votes in FL came from the county that used this ballot.
Conspiracy theorists, start your engines.
Regardless of the outcome, those "9 missing ballot boxes" are going to figure in conspiracy theories for decades to come -- there are still people talking about how Nixon was robbed by the Daley machine
in 1960. (The fact that a Bush is governor in Florida surely won't shut anyone up.)