Thursday, August 18, 2005

Here, There, and About

Joe Scarborough admits he's thinking about running for the seat currently held by U.S. Senator Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), according to Leslie Conn of the News Journal.

More than that, a national AP dispatch reports that Scarborough "has already talked with Sen. Elizabeth Dole, who heads the National Republican Senatorial Committee, and plans to meet with Republican National Committee Chairman Ken Mehlman and White House officials next week about whether to get into the race to unseat Democrat Bill Nelson."

Doesn't it seem unlikely Scarborough would be calling on the three most important power brokers for the 2006 Republican primary election cycle just to discuss his cable TV contract?

* * *

Some blog calling itself Betty the Crow News has the early lead for funniest line about the Florida Senate race:
BTC News has no preference for either Harris or Scarborough, but we would greatly enjoy watching their primary battle and so we will encourage Scarborough to run. Run, Joe, run.

Suggested campaign ad for Harris: "Katherine Harris has proven she’ll do anything to win. Joe Scarborough has proven he’ll quit even if he does win."
* * *

Even before the final totals are known, Hurricane Ivan has settled in as the third most expensive natural disaster in U.S. history, according to the National Flood Insurance Program. Only Hurricane Andrew ($21.1 billion) and the World Series earthquake of 1994 ($15.9) exceed Ivan's costs. For now, however, the exact final total for Ivan remains unknown:
Claire Wilkinson, vice president of global affairs for the Insurance Information Institute in New York, said Ivan's total destruction likely comes with a price tag closer to $12 billion to $14 billion.

"We usually figure that about 50 to 60 percent of damages are insured," she said.
What she might have added, locals are probably saying to themselves, is that of all the insured damages, too many insurance companies routinely offer to pay only half.

* * *

Speaking of storm recovery efforts, wet-dry ballots are being mailed to Santa Rosa County voters today. They should be returned by mail or in person by 5 p.m. September 6.

This is the first time Northwest Florida voters have been offered the chance to vote by mail -- one of the only benefits from Hurricane Ivan. Chuck Pohlmann, who spearheaded the petition to put the issue to a mail-in vote, argued successfully that a mail-in ballot was needed because so many voters have been displaced by Ivan and now use mail boxes.

We'll toast to that -- and hope mail-in voting becomes routine, as it now is in Oregon.

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