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Kai Ryssdal: If, by some chance, you've been living under a big giant political rock, today is the big day: Super Tuesday.

Californians are having the earliest primary we've ever had. Almost nine million people are expected to vote out here today.

If our commentator Geoffrey Anderson has anything say about it, we'll be voting even earlier in 2012. Last week, he said we ought to replace Iowa in the election calendar with California and have a state that really matters go first.

At that, Melissa Owsley of Waterford, Michigan picked up the phone and gave us a call.

Melissa Owsley: Oh lord, a Californian...

She says Anderson's logic could be used by other states, too. In fact, it was:

Owsley: It was the same reasoning that actually the Michigan legislators had for saying Michigan's primaries should be ahead of time. Of course, we got punished for it.

Michigan and Florida, you might remember, had their Democratic delegates yanked after they played with their primary calendar.

A couple of weeks ago we brought you the story of a music industry buyout gone bad. Last summer, Terra Firma bought the British recording company EMI. Thousands of jobs were cut and many of the label's bands -- both big and small -- walked out as well.

Band manager John Webster says the merger isn't the problem; an industry overrun with piracy is:

John Webster: How do you compete with free?

Well, like this, according to Steven Worona of Rockville, Maryland:

Steven Worona: How do you compete with free? Ask that with a straight face every time you pass a vending machine selling bottled water. How do you compete with free? You stop whining that it can't be done and start emulating the people who are doing it.

Last week brought us all another kind of free: free money from the economic stimulus package. Whatever version finally passes Congress will contain rebate checks for those under certain income limits.

Thomas Callahan of Macon, Georgia said one thing in our reporting on that story struck him as a little odd:

Thomas Callahan: David Weiss, chief economist at Standard and Poors, said over and over again, "I would like my check and I think everyone else feels the same way" and I kept thinking to myself, "what on Earth is Standard and Poors doing only paying their chief economist $75,000?"

Truth be told sir, he probably makes a little more than that.

Finally, a little travel news. Last week new passport rules for entry at the Canadian and Mexican borders went into effect. Commentator Karrie Jacobs offered her thoughts that passport designers were up to no good when they covered the book with shots of Americana.

Isabelle Fleuraud of Tucson, Arizona said we forgot to mention the last page and its rendering of the moon:

Isabelle Fleuraud: I just became a U.S. citizen in April last year, so me, coming from another country, I don't consider that the moon belongs to the United States.

About the author

Kai Ryssdal is the host and senior editor of Marketplace, the most widely heard program on business and the economy in the country.


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