Dallas update: By the time you read this, George W. Bush, governor of Texas, will probably have been declared the winner of the presidential election since as of this writing, he's ahead by about 900. . . . Oh, wait—that's executions. Anyway, I thought it was really lovely the way Mr. "I Trust the People" changed his tune the moment it was clear the people —who preferred his opponent in the popular vote—would be the ones recounting the votes. See, he's willing to trust something as incidental as school curricula to the local chapter of "Books Is Bad," but something as complicated as counting holes in punch cards is best left to government professionals.
Tampa update: The other Governor Bush—Jeb—was pretty much out of sight after recusing himself during the recount controversy. That got him kudos for going the extra mile for fairness, except that HE'S THE GUY'S FREAKIN' BROTHER AND THE HEAD OF HIS ELECTION COMMITTEE! That's not a conflict of interest; that's Iraq. As a local columnist observed, Jeb doesn't need to explain why he recused himself—he needs to explain how those ballot boxes got in the trunk of his car.
Runner-up: So George W. goes to Washington as America's second choice in the popular vote. Don't worry, George, there's no shame in second place. . . . Oh, wait—this is America. Yes, there is. Other notable second placers: the Brooklyn Dodgers, Buzz Aldrin, the Lusitania, Satan, the Ottoman Empire, your spouse.
Consensus: Both these places are about as bad as it gets. But Texas is just downright mean and evil, while Florida seems to be developing that doomed, Day of the Locust charm that reminds one of home. I mean, as strange as it gets around here, we've never put together an Elian Gonzalez and a crooked national election in a single year. Well done. Freaks. Go Bucs!