Opinion: Ticket Picks: Shirtless Obama, frozen Minn. count, a new Fox

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Some odds and ends between wrapping sessions, including a shirtless photo of Barack Obama:

Tonight was Brit Hume’s last hour as the anchor of Fox News’ ‘Special Report.’ Bret Baier, now chief FNC White House correspondent, takes the main chair come January. Hume will have a ‘Brokaw-like’ presence on the channel, meaning he’ll have to move to Montana. Just kidding.

(UPDATE: Warning to Fox News-haters -- There is a new video after the jump that you do NOT want to see. Seriously. Don’t go there. The video includes comments from President Dick Cheney and his vice president, George W. Bush, among many others.)

The 2008 U.S. Senate race in Minnesota between Al Franken, the former Democratic mayor of St. Paul, and Norm Coleman, the Republican comedian on ‘Saturday Night Live’ (or maybe it’s the other way around) will now officially become the 2009 U.S. Senate race in Minnesota.


The state Canvassing Board has scheduled its next vote-counting meeting for Jan. 5 with another session possible the next day, which is also the day the new Congress is sworn in. At the moment Franken is ahead by 49, no, 48, no, 47 votes.

The online world is all abuzz today about the shirtless photo of a relaxing President-elect Barack Obama that some enterprising freelancer shot with a telephoto lens.

Here on the right is a shirtless photo of Obama from a previous day at the beach. Anyway, we don’t see what the big deal is about a photographer without a shirt.

Also, here’s a video about the posh non-South Side digs where the Obamas and their posse of pals are staying in Hawaii. Not exactly Christmasy but not too shabby either. Certainly helping to stimulate the luxury housing rental economy, plus a lot of onlooker curiosity.

Finally, a little piece of domestic good news from the renowned Jeff Jarvis at BuzzMachine, who reports (if you scroll down to ‘L.A. Times followup’) that the editor of The Times reports that for the first time web revenue is sufficient to support the editorial payroll and Nielsen Net Ratings has jumped the website into the No. 2 newspaper website position in unique users behind only a certain New York publication. With page views doubling over the last year.

Apparently the growing success here has something to do with this site’s blogs.

-- Andrew Malcolm

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