Political polls are supposed to show candidates and the public a snapshot of where things stand at any particular moment. But they've been harder and harder to believe as this year's strange race for governor of California grows ever more weird.
"If only," a lot of California voters are saying this fall. If only we didn't have to choose between Democrat Gray Davis and Republican Bill Simon for governor. If only there were a viable third choice. If only a vote for Green candidate Peter Camejo didn't amount to a vote for Simon. If only a Libertarian vote weren't a gift to Davis.
Dick Riordan, meet Ron Packard.
It's not exactly an underground railroad even if it ends in Canada, also the northern terminus of the pre-Civil War Underground Railroad that assisted runaway slaves.
Furrows on the brows of Karl Rove and other key political advisers to President Bush grew ever deeper this summer as the business ethics morass thickened and bankruptcies piled up.
Their stock values are down to a fraction of what they were just two years ago. They have laid off thousands of workers in an industry that once took pride in continual, explosive expansion. But there apparently has been no diminution in the political clout of Silicon Valley electronics and telecommunications companies from Yahoo and Oracle to Cisco Systems and Hewlett-Packard.
Not a day has passed since early May without the words "pay-to-play" passing the lips of Bill Simon, the Republican candidate for governor.
Let's say you haggle a bit with your car dealer. He offers you a hybrid gas-electric model that costs less money and also burns less gasoline than the humongous sport utility vehicle you crave. You insist on the SUV, saying gasoline prices, at $1.50 per gallon, are no problem, and drive off in your big new gas hog.
The "sandwich generation" has become a women's magazine clich?, with story after story detailing the sagas of baby boomers who care simultaneously for small children and aging, ailing parents.
From the moment Bill Simon won the Republican nomination to run for governor against Democrat Gray Davis, most analysts predicted his main problem would be his conservative ideology.
There's plenty at stake for Gov. Gray Davis in the election campaign that gets off to an official start on Labor Day.
Mexico says a new immigration agreement easing the path of undocumented immigrants is "key" for a continued positive relationship with this country.
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