Tuesday, January 29, 2008

An Open Letter to the People of Florida

You have given many gifts to this great nation of ours: Disneyland; the Terry Schiavo circus; the Elian Gonzalez circus (not to mention CANF and all of US Cuba policy since, say, 1961); spring break; 2 Live Crew; and "Freebird." You launched the Challenger and Discovery to their rendezvous with destiny, and taught Mohammad Atta and Marwan al-Shehhi to fly. The list is endless. Sure, there are those who say that, because of a certain botched election/recount, which more or less put this country in the mess it's currently in, the good people of Florida should be banned from coming within 200 yards of a voting booth until 2052 at the earliest. But not us. Today, Florida can once again rise to greatness (or, from the perspective of the other 49 states plus the District of Columbia, start to undo just a little bit of damage), by driving a stake through the heart of the vampire that is Rudy2008.

We humble Mexicans are not unfamiliar with Hizzoner, having agreed to pay him more than 40 million pesos to rid Mexico City of crime during his 2003 "Sept. 11 Cash-In Tour." As this valuable 2005 article from the New York Sun (I can't believe I just typed those words) explains, Mexico City no es Campo Rudy:

Two years later, the cheering has stopped. In January 2005, Mexico City's new police chief, Joel Ortega, told local reporters, "I am no fan of Giuliani." Far from the 67% drop in homicides achieved during Mr. Giuliani's mayoralty in New York[*], which was touted in a Giuliani Partners press release announcing its Mexico City contract, the homicide rate in Mexico's capital slipped less than 1% in 2004. Kidnappings in which the victim is driven from ATM to ATM to withdraw money are on the rise, with some security firms saying Mexico is now rivaling Colombia as kidnapping capital of the world.

The Giuliani team ended up being paid less than the $4.3 million that was widely reported as the price for the work, and it was not hired for a follow-up project to implement its recommendations. In interviews with the Sun, several former Mexican police officials and current officers were sharply critical of the Giuliani effort...

"They were not prepared, not at all," said another former Mexico City police official who worked closely with the Giuliani team, Antonio Rendon. "They weren't consultants, they were retired policemen. And they were trying to organize another police force, but not with a methodology or a clear idea."

Mr. Rendon, who is now director of Mexico operations for Kroll, a private security company, said that late payments from the Mexicans to the Giuliani group exacerbated problems. "The relationship started to become a bit tense," he said. "They were not really looking forward, it was, 'where's the money?'"

"Where's the money!" That's so...him, isn't it?

In less than a year, Rudy has gone from a 2-to-1 frontrunner, to finishing 1-for-6 against Ron Paul, and now it all comes down to tonight. It's destiny time, Sunshine State. For Christ's sake, try not to fuck up again. Push the chad all the way through. If the two sides of your butterfly ballot don't line up, fucking ask somebody. Do this one thing - one thing - for the good of America, and we might reconsider giving the whole state back to the Seminoles, okay?

[* In fact, in the final year of his mayoralty, homicides in New York City spiked to 3,468 - the highest in the city's history.]

8:21pm: And Ed Koch calls it!
He crowed, before the final votes were even tallied, that he was certain the verdict by Florida's voters "will drive a stake through his heart. The beast is dead."

And Ed Koch is alive! Who knew? Anyway, it sure was weird the way Ol' 9/11's concession speech spoke of the campaign entirely in the past tense, without explicitly saying he would withdraw, wasn't it?

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