"DIE" LEADS POLLS Paris • Recipe for
democracy disaster: New, unfamiliar voting machines, problem-prone software, (retiree) mind-scrambling touch screens, and races likely decided by slimmer margins than ever—hot damn, we're off!
• Big Election Day turn-out: The strong-armed media organizations are keeping the exit-poll results secret for as long as possible. They don't want bloggers prematurely exacerbating, like in 2004 when they uncertainly called states for John Kerry. Not to fear, cyber-geeks: "This year, media executives figure the secret will keep less than half an hour."
• Job staffers taking Baaths: Saddam may be having the worst week ever, but his former supporters are officially off the blacklist. Extending a mostly-unexpected handshake, the ruling Shiites are looking to have "thousands of members of the ousted dictator's Baath party reinstated in their jobs"—'cause, like, game over. But wait! Overtime!
• Diving into the Fox hole: Media big-man Rupert Murdoch said of the Iraqi debacle: "The death toll, certainly of Americans there, by the terms of any previous war are quite minute." Even if he has recently learned to change his ways, it still doesn't make him human.
• Gayeties, deities, and the need for speed: Rolling Stone cover boy Stephen Colbert defends self-loathing homophobe and admitted drug-waster Ted Haggard's honor, saying he too frequently buys crank "to get it off the street and protect the kids." Same deal with unlicensed, dangerous, man-on-man rubdowns, we assume.
• Tying your YouTubes? Microsoft whispers that it might just offer movies and TV episodes for download via its Xbox Live online service." Apparently trying and failing at a music service wasn't punishing enough the first time.