Halloween Blurs with Election Eve

Donald Trump's $5 million bounty for Barack Obama's college application was just one of the zany episodes that helped to culminate the hotly contested 2012 presidential election.It is only fitting that a high-profile, high-intensity presidential contest end with dignity — or not.

Donald Trump, apparently unmoved by the devastation at lower levels of New York than he inhabits, continued to press his $5 million bounty for anyone who could produce Barack Obama's college application.

Mark Cuban, buoyed by his TV fame on the Shark Tank, called Trump's bounty the "dumbest thing ever," then offered his own $1 million contribution to charity if Trump trimmed his comb-over.

Haunted by his dissing of the U.S. auto bailout, GOP contender Mitt Romney ran an ad in car-centric and Electoral-College-significant Ohio claiming Chrysler planned to move Jeep assembly jobs to China. The Italian president of Fiat, which owns Chrysler, denied the charge.

Then there was the claim from the National Rifle Association that the Obama administration would use the pretense of storm evacuation from Hurricane Sandy to confiscate people's guns. This was based on a report that a New Orleans police officer confiscated a handgun from someone in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, during the presidency of George W. Bush.

Conspiracy theorists suggested Team Obama engineered the election-eve frankenstorm to sway the election and/or that it represented retribution for promoting same-sex marriage or bad policy toward Israel.

The final jobs report before the election indicated 170,000 more private-sector jobs, bettering economist predictions. Obama lauded the news as a sign of "persistent progress" toward economic recovery; Romney said it was further evidence next Tuesday's choice was between "stagnation or prosperity."

For most Americans, Tuesday cannot come soon enough to see an end to a relentless barrage of negative ads, zany claims and whacky conspiracies.