The CNBC recession

President Bush says goodbye to the Internet. And will we ever have a week without a Clinton scandal?

Published March 19, 2001 9:12PM (EST)


Drudge Report: " Summer of Darkness Forecasted..."
Jonah Goldberg: Horowitzs anti-reparations stunt, perhaps, a useful one "BuzzFlash exposes conservative columnist Robert Novak"
Peter Beinart: "Region is becoming the central cleavage in the politics of drugs"
Andrew Sullivan: "An olive branch to Richard Cohen" "Shrub Visits Orlando on Wednesday - Major Protests Planned"

Big Buzz
Today may be the official kickoff of the campaign finance reform debate, but the debate has been raging online for months. "Today the Senate will start a talkfest on the McCain-Feingold conceit, but there remains the little matter of the U.S. Constitution," writes Robert Bartley in today's Opinion Journal. But Democrats have also backed off McCain-Feingold in recent weeks, a fact conservative posters were quick to point out in bulletin boards across the Web. One poster in Table Talk started a thread with this post: "John Breaux has announced that he won't vote for it in its current form. Sen. Torricelli has actually (gasp!) raised First Amendment questions about it."

Anger Management
If the online community is any indication, people are having a hard time letting go of the old Clinton battles. Monday's New York Post features a front-page story that Sen. Hillary Clinton has taken a $514,149-per-year suite in a tony Manhattan high-rise. Sound familiar?

Of course, the conservative sites chimed in with utter lack of surprise and irrepressible anti-Clinton vitriol. "The next time this witch is in front of a microphone could someone PLEASE ask her why she thinks it's fiscally responsible to spend this kind of money on herself but deny us our tax cut," writes one poster at "No doubt she is laughing at the ignorance of the American people (well, the ignorance of the democrats who voted for her)."

That was enough to inspire political poetry over in Table Talk's "Politics of Personal Destruction" thread -- written in rhyme and iambic pentameter, no less. A conservative poster writes, "More Clintoonery is to be exposed. Just wait a while."

"If it's not overshadowed by Bushfoonery," comes the response.

"The Last (E-Mail) Goodbye, From 'gwb' to His 42 Buddies" [New York Times, free registration required] President Bush officially checked out of cyberspace this week after his lawyers warned him that any e-mail he sends could be made public.

The New York Times reported Bush sent a note to close friends and advisors, saying: "My lawyers tell me all correspondence by email is subject to open record requests. Since I do not want my private conversations looked at by those out to embarrass, the only course of action is not to correspond in cyberspace. This saddens me. I have enjoyed conversing with each of you."

Folks at the Free Republic took the opportunity to take another whack at the media: "How odd that the Times even found this newsworthy, when an e-mail story didn't seem to be a priority with them when the same Clinton/Gore missing e-mail was the subject of an investigation."

On a different topic, same theme, the good people over at Suck say if Democrats can blame Bush for talking down the economy, they also have to blame the media. "The torrent of bleakly pessimistic financial reporting continues unabated, and raises a troubling question: If the democrats can hurl an (admittedly dubious) accusation at President Bush for making 'self-fulfilling prophecies' about the economic slump, how much guilt should the financial media be made to shoulder?"

Florida: The running tally
The official, certified, Supreme Court-approved presidential Florida vote tally gave George W. Bush the state -- and the election -- by a mere 537 votes. But a number of newspapers have begun recounting the contested ballots, scrutinizing the overvotes (those with more than one punch per race) and undervotes (with all of their dimples and hanging chads), and coming up with their own totals. Some newspapers have formed consortiums (the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Associated Press are one; the Miami Herald, USA Today and Knight Ridder are the other) and will be releasing their findings within a month.

But early results are trickling in, bringing bittersweet good news for Al Gore. Though reaching one final number is difficult because different papers came up with different vote tallies in reviewing Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties, one thing is clear: Gore would have gained anywhere from 7,658 to 7,800 votes in a statewide recount of overvotes and undervotes, more than enough to wipe out Bush's 537-vote advantage. Even using only undervotes, Gore would have picked up anywhere from 850 to 960 votes depending on which paper's numbers are used, still enough to carry Florida.

Here's a guide to the recounts in each county. The newspaper doing the recount is noted in parentheses:

Bradford County over- and undervotes: Gore +4 (Orlando Sentinel)
Charlotte County over- and undervotes: Gore +30 (OS)
Collier County undervotes: Bush +226 (Naples Daily News)
Franklin County over- and undervotes: Gore +3 (OS)
Gadsden County over- and undervotes: Gore +16 (OS)
Gulf County over- and undervotes: Gore +5 (OS)
Hamilton County over- and undervotes: Gore +2 (OS)
Hendry County over- and undervotes: Gore +4 (OS)
Hillsborough County undervotes (includes dimples): Gore +120 (Tampa Tribune)
Jackson County over- and undervotes: Gore +12 (OS)
Lafayette County over- and undervotes: Gore +1 (OS)
Lake County over- and undervotes: Gore +121 (OS)
Levy County over- and undervotes: Bush +2 (OS)
Miami-Dade County undervotes: Gore +49 (Miami Herald consortium)
Miami-Dade undervotes: Bush +6 (Palm Beach Post)
Okeechobee County over- and undervotes: Gore +25 (OS)
Orange County undervotes: Gore +203 (MH)
Osceola County undervotes: Gore + 25 (OS)
Palm Beach overvotes: Gore + 6,600 (PBP)
Palm Beach County undervotes (includes dimples): Gore +682 (PBP)
Palm Beach undervotes: Gore +784 (OS)
Seminole County undervotes: Gore +13 (OS)
Suwannee County over- and undervotes: Gore +5 (OS)
Taylor County over- and undervotes: Gore +9 (OS)

Ongoing totals, by newspaper, with revised running total in parentheses:
Naples Daily News (Collier County): Bush +226 (Bush +763)
Tampa Times (Hillsborough County): Gore +120 (Bush +417)
Miami Herald (Miami-Dade County): Gore + 49 (Bush +488)
Palm Beach Post under- and overvotes (Palm Beach County): Gore +7,288 (Gore +6,751)
Palm Beach Post undervotes only (Palm Beach County): Gore +682 (Gore +151)
Orlando Sentinel: 1,264 (Gore +727)

For more Red vs. Blue, click here.

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By Anthony York

Anthony York is Salon's Washington correspondent.

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