An online journal of politics, policy, and society with a special focus on Maryland -- Contact: on_background at yahoo.com.

Friday, January 23, 2004


Today’s worth-reading list includes an Atlantic Monthly article on Illinois Senate candidate Blair Hull’s effort to come up with an algorithm to win elections, much like he did blackjack. It’s probably not news to people who’ve been watching him, but it does remind one of how tough it is to buy a U.S. election. Of course, the same is not true all over the world as the New York Times’ article from yesterday on Azerbaijan’s crackdown on opposition protesters who are unhappy with the apparently rigged elections that installed the son of the former President illustrates.

From there we jump to the new DSCC web log www.fromtheroots.com. As you can imagine, it will be interesting to see how they balance the need to promote Democratic Senate candidates while still keeping it more worthwhile than your average fundraising letter. The New Democrat Network is also trying to work it out: http://www.ndnblog.org/

The LA Times reports that former Congressman, Governor, and South Dakota Attorney General Bill Janklow got 100 days in prison and a fine for killing a man while recklessly driving through a stop sign and as part of a pattern of speeding across the state. Ouch! That has probably taught thousands of South Dakotans a lesson about obeying the law. Yeah.

Check out the moveon.org commercials. CBS won’t run the winner, which seemed well made and noncontroversial, during the Superbowl.