The Note: Prime Time Live

Look for Sen. Kennedy to hammer away at Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act during his second round of questioning today.

"Liberal interest groups are focusing on flipping three centrist Republican senators from the Northeast (Snowe, Collins, and Chafee) as the key to their strategy at least to tarnish the confirmation of Supreme Court nominee John Roberts," The Hill's Alexander Bolton reports. LINK

Some of our favorite alliterative phrases from the past 24 hours in describing either the hearings in general or Roberts' performance specifically:

"tense and tedious," "hostility and humor," and "force and fluidity."

Democratic lawyer Bob Bauer will have a longer version of his analysis-by-poem on his website today, but here's a bit of it: LINK

Must the Court bless smut and other such vices?

I can't say much but: stare decisis!.

May a President jail any and all in a crisis?

I can't say much but: stare decisis!

Will the Court defer or will it despise us?

I can't say much but: stare decisis!

Is privacy protected in all shapes and sizes?

I can't say much but: stare decisis!

Are your views like Bob Bork's or more like Brandeis'?

I can't say much but: stare decisis!

Will you ever say anything at all to surprise us?

I can't say much but: stare decisis!

Do you still favor term limits -- a time when you'll go??



According to the Associated Press, a total of 456,263 votes were counted in the preliminary results of the Democratic mayoral primary in New York. Fernando Ferrer got 182,273 of them or 39.949 percent -- missing that crucial 40 percent mark to avoid a runoff by a mere 233 votes.

It will take some time for the Board of Elections to count the paper ballots and open up the voting machines for the official count, but it was clear in television interviews this morning that both Ferrer and Congressman Anthony Weiner are proceeding with the expectations of a September 27 runoff.

Who will be the first reporter to compare Mr. Ferrer's 2001 vote total with his total from yesterday and ask how he lost previous Ferrer voters and to whom? Will Democratic State Chairman Denny Farrell be held accountable in any way for the exceedingly low turnout?

"He's no Weiner," reads the New York Post headline.

"In what seems to be shaping up as a repeat of the 1997 Democratic primary, when it took two weeks for Ruth Messinger to be declared the outright winner, the official results will not be known for at least a week," write Gaskell, Campanile, and Friedman of the New York Post. LINK

The New York Post's David Seifman reports on the outstanding paper ballots still to be counted. LINK

". . .25,399 absentee ballots had been sent out and 11,663 had been returned as of yesterday. Of those, 8,422 have been deemed valid. There are also an unknown number of 'emergency ballots,' which voters cast when machines break down or when there's a question about their registration."

Michael Saul of the New York Daily News reports, "Ferrer and Weiner did not speak with each other last night, said Jen Bluestein, a Ferrer spokeswoman. 'It's premature to ask Congressman Weiner to concede when not all the votes have been counted,' she said." LINK

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