Some stories and deals don’t get their own post, but should get some coverage. Here are some quick takes on stories that caught my eye. Let’s hear your thoughts about them in the comments below!
Table of Contents
Featured Trip Report
Is This The End Of The Road For MAGA?
Historically, the ruling party loses big in midterms. That didn’t happen this year, as Republicans will wind up with a subpar performance.
Instead of a red wave, there was a red ripple in the House map. Republicans appear poised to win the majority of seats, but it may be tough for current House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy to get all of his members in line.
In the Senate, Democrats have the lead in Arizona, though that race hasn’t been called. For the Republicans to win, they would have to take both Nevada and Georgia. Nevada has a good number outstanding mail in ballots likely to lean Democrat, which will mean that race may not be called for another week.
Meanwhile, Georgia is headed for a runoff on December 6th, which will strip the Libertarian spoiler out of the race.
Yes, we just did this 2 years ago. And Trump’s election denials flipped both of Georgia’s Senate seats to the Democrats, giving them full control over the Executive and Legislative branches for the past 2 years
If Democrats hold onto their seats in Arizona and Nevada, will the Georgia runoff even matter?
You bet it will.
It will mean the difference between the 50/50 Senate where Joe Manchin has effective veto power or a 51/49 Senate where Manchin can be bypassed.
What happened to the predicted red wave?
Roe v. Wade was certainly a factor helping Democrats, though polls show that dropped off significantly in recent months.
But Democrats spent heavily to get MAGA/Election Denier Republicans into the general election. And of course President Trump also pushed for those Republicans to become general election candidates.
But while the base loved those candidates, elections are won at the margins. Swing states may have at least a third strong Republican base and a third strong Democratic base. Those bases choose candidates they like in the primaries, but if they pick extremists that don’t appeal to swing voters in the middle third of the population, they’ll have a hard time winning in a general election.
Congrats to Donald Trump for making Pat Toomey hate the future of the GOP so much that he left the Senate and then endorsing the worst possible fit for PA in OZ and handing a Senate seat to Dems.
— Sarah Longwell (@SarahLongwell25) November 9, 2022
Independents didn’t want to hear about 2020 election deniers and sent candidates like Doug Mastriano, Tudor Dixon, J.R. Majewski, Steve Chabot, and dozens of others home in seats that would likely have been won by more moderate Republicans. Trump endorsed Don Bolduc lost a winnable election in New Hampshire. Just having an extremist like Doug Mastriano on the Pennsylvania ballot hurt Dr. Mehmet Oz. Oz was already a weak candidate and was only able to win the primary thanks to Trump’s endorsement. He failed to beat John Fetterman, who recently had a stroke, but received sympathy from people offended by how he was treated. His capacity to serve could have been questioned in kindness, rather than being taunted, but that sort of civilized politics seems to have left the building in this era. That’s bad for our country as it lowers the quality of candidates by dissuading decent people from running for office.
Other election denying candidates like Kari Lake were predicted to win big, but are underperforming as well and may possibly lose.
In Ohio, J.D. Vance came out of nowhere to win the primary after a late endorsement by President Trump. While centrist Mike DeWine won in the governor battle by more than 25% of the vote, Mr. Vance took an election denial position and won by a quarter of that margin, despite being gifted buckets of cash by Mitch McConnell, who considered Ohio to be a must win state at the expense of spending in other states.
Marco Rubio won by more than 16% in Florida and Ron DeSantis won Florida by more than 19% by staying away from election denial claims that anger swing voters. That strategy paid off for them with massive margins of victory.
And yet, President Trump is expected to announce next week that he will run again for President in 2024.
There are decent odds that his announcement will cause Democrat Raphael Warnock to once again win a Georgia runoff next month.
Republicans had a chance to permanently remove President Trump from ever running for office in January 2021, but failed to do so. Will that come back to haunt them?
Ron DeSantis has time to decide if he will run, but running against Trump will be a bruising battle and he might prefer to wait for 2028. Even if he does run, he may wind up splitting the anti-Trump vote among other candidates like Nikki Haley, Mike Pence, and Ted Cruz, and hand the nomination to Trump as happened in 2016.
Spoiler alert. If what we’ve seen in 2020 and 2022 continues, that’s a best case scenario for Democrats, as Trump sure seems like he may be unelectable.
Does Anyone At The CDC See The Bigger Picture?
18 months ago, we all had high hopes that the COVID-19 vaccine would end the pandemic. Delta and Omicron proved that it would turn endemic and we would have to live with it.
I was happy to vaccinate myself, despite recovering from COVID, as I was able to visit many countries that required vaccination, and getting some added protection against reinfection didn’t seem unreasonable. The vaccine’s uncomfortable side effects and eventual lack of efficacy ensured that I wouldn’t be getting a booster.
Bizarrely, the CDC continues to use language such as this, stating that vaccines aren’t “100% effective at preventing infection,” instead of just being honest and saying that vaccines do very little to prevent infection, but can help reduce the chances of severe COVID or death.
Indeed, my mother has had 5 (!) COVID shots, including the bivalent booster a month ago, but tested positive for COVID just yesterday. She’s grateful that she’s only achy, but wouldn’t it be nice if the CDC was more transparent?
A risk based approach to COVID vaccines makes sense as it affects older people and people with elevated risk factors more than others.
The CDC recommends that children get vaccinated and boosted for COVID, despite little evidence that there are tangible benefits to outweigh the risks in an age group that has nearly zero complications from COVID.
By putting the COVID vaccine on the schedule of vaccines for children, it can affect which schools that children are able to attend. It also puts the COVID vaccine on the same pedestal as other vaccines that do prevent diseases that cause grave danger in children. But if the COVID vaccine doesn’t prevent infections, why is this not being left up to individuals to decide if the benefits outweigh any potential risks? Or will it cause more schools to just stop enforcing the CDC vaccination schedule?
My grandfather did a lot of the original research on the polio vaccine and my family has many MDs in fields from ENT to infectious disease to pediatrics and many more, but they concur with my decision not to vaccinate my children against COVID, especially since they already had COVID before the vaccine was approved for children. But while you can test out of a chickenpox vaccine if you had chickenpox, there’s no such luxury given to COVID recoverees.
A holistic approach by the CDC would reveal that their failure to be honest with the general public is going to hurt their reputation and the medical field in the country as a whole. They previously failed by originally saying that N95s were of no benefit to the general public at the beginning of the pandemic, when it was revealed they did that to retain supply for hospitals, after failing to stop the export of N95s en masse to China before the pandemic reached the US.
The US is one of the last countries in the world still requiring foreign nationals to be vaccinated in order to enter the country.
My wheelhouse may not be medicine, but the narrow minded approach reminds me of the same small thinking that did United’s former CEO Jeff Smisek in. He ditched JFK service because routes like JFK to LA and San Francisco weren’t profitable on their own.
However he failed to stop to think of the systemic consequences of that decision. When United killed off JFK-LAX they wound up chasing away many of their top passengers and corporate clients in LA. In turn, they damaged their entire LAX operation and they were forced to shrink that hub and cede their once market leading service there to airlines like American and Delta. Worse yet, United permanently gave their JFK slots to Delta and to this day, the airline is unable to course correct as it can’t get ahold of any slots to operate in JFK.
Will someone please save the CDC?
United Will Remind You To Checkin For Your Southwest Flight
United has a cute campaign at NotGroupC.com throwing shade at Southwest for having to checkin at exactly 24 hours before your flight to avoid boarding in Group C. You can schedule a phone call for a reminder 24 hours before your flight through 5/3/23 so that you’ll get a good boarding position.
Of course United doesn’t really want you flying Southwest, but they’re here to remind you that other airlines don’t require you to checkin 24 hours before your flight to get a good seat.
Of course Southwest doesn’t offer Basic Economy, and United doesn’t allow you to choose any seat if you’re flying basic, though they are making exceptions if you’re flying with kids. United also blocks many seat assignments unless you have elite status or will pay for it.
But that’s neither here nor there, I still love seeing airlines throwing shade at Southwest’s anxiety inducing lack of assigned seats.
It reminds me of AirTran throwing shade at Southwest, before the latter got even by buying them and selling off their planes to Delta. Somehow I don’t see Southwest buying up United based on this campaign though.
And hey, Southwest might not have seatback entertainment, but they do have great live entertainment:
Don’t Check Valuables, But AirTags Are A Game Changer
I get a surprising number of emails from people who are looking for advice after losing valuable in checked luggage, from Tefilin to Jewelry.
First of all, don’t do that. Far too many bags and valuables in checked bags are stolen or lost.
But having an AirTag in a checked bag is a no-brainer at this point.
Readers have told me that they have been able to get airline employees to look in back offices in airports after showing them that their Airtag shows the bag is there.
There are so many stories like this one as well…
Airport cop shrugs. Missing bag. Says cops won’t care. Agitated. Night crew will take too long to respond.
— Alex Garcia (@AGarciaPhoto) September 16, 2022
People were home. Lights on. Didn’t answer. They called police.
— Alex Garcia (@AGarciaPhoto) September 16, 2022
From 50 feet away on the darkness I could see the red twist ties on the handles of my suitcase. My name tag was on it. This was no mistake.
— Alex Garcia (@AGarciaPhoto) September 16, 2022
Grateful to North Miami police for showing up and taking it seriously. Geovany my driver from Matanzas who got out of the car and had my back. And to #airtag. Use them. Good night all.
— Alex Garcia (@AGarciaPhoto) September 16, 2022
If you don’t have an AirTag, well, hopefully some kind DDFB members will help reunite you with your bags!
There Are Still Honest People Out There
From my inbox. The reader is correct, I always love a feel good story!
Thank you for the posts you always put out there.
I think you’ll like this story that happened this week.
I booked tickets for my parents to go on vacation to Florida for 1 week they went this Monday with United airlines Flight 441 from Newark to Fort Lauderdale.
About 20 minutes after they landed I get a phone call from someone that works for United in Fort Lauderdale airport asking if I left something on the plane. I conferenced in my father on the phone and he tells me he has all his luggage. She asks him if maybe they lost money, and my father checks and realizes he left his envelope with $500 spending money on his seat!
She confirms she has that envelope (she got it from one of the cleaners) and tells us she will come to the baggage claim desk they should look out for her with a blue vest. They met her there and they got back the envelope and offered her money for returning it, but she refused to take anything!
Her name is Tereza Aramis and she got the envelope from one of the cleaners on the plane.
There are still some honest people out there, the cleaner that found it most probably makes around that in a week!
Thank you again for your posts.”
A Shocking Story Of Delta’s Abuse Of A Pilot
Unhappy with the whistleblower not accepting the airline’s actions, the airline paid a Doctor $74,000 to diagnose her with bipolar disorder in order to end her career.
She was eventually reinstated to fly A330s for Delta out of Seattle.
After a 6.5 year battle, the pilot finally won, with the judge ruling that Delta weaponized the diagnosis to obtain blind compliance by its pilots. The pilot was awarded $500,000 plus legal fees, but that’s not even a slap on the wrist for Delta. The judge also ordered the airline to post copies of his decision at every pilot base and that the pilot be reinstated with the highest possible wages along with payment for the lost time flying.
The Doctor involved has forfeited his medical license rather than face charges in the case.
Delta offered no apology or admission of wrongdoing.
Shame on Delta for dropping the ball on this one, and for creating an environment where their pilots don’t feel safe to report problems.
Flaming Toilets On El Al
El Al’s slogan is “Hachi babayit ba’olam.” That roughly means “the most at home in the world.”
But hopefully people don’t set fire to their toilets at home?
An Israeli passenger decided to have a smoke on a flight from Tel Aviv to Bangkok. Now, airlines are required to have ashtrays in the bathrooms, just in case someone does try to sneak in a smoke at 35,000 feet.
But this genius decided to forgo the ashtray and toss the cigarette into the trash, which then ignited toilet paper in the trash which caused both the toilet and trash can to catch fire.
Luckily the crew caught it before the fire spread to the cabin and the fire was extinguished without any injuries and damage to the plane. The airline decided not to involve Thai police in the matter, though charges were pressed back in Israel.
A Nigerian Prince Has Millions Of Dollars For Emirates
Earlier this year, Emirates suspended flights to Nigeria due to a dollar shortage and the inability to convert local currency into something the airline could repatriate. The airline resumed flight in September after receiving $265 million from the government.
However, Emirates has once suspended service due to the inability to repatriate funds from flying to Nigeria.
Luckily, I have the contact email of a Nigerian Prince that has offered to extricate the funds in exchange for a small percentage of the total amount recovered. If anyone can pass that information onto Sir Tim Clark, that would be great.
A US Air Force Pilot Shares A Yom Kippur War Story
There are countless stories, both miraculous and sad, told of the Yom Kippur War in 1973.
But it’s not everyday that you read an AvGeek story about a US Air Force Pilot delivering arms to Tel Aviv, who had some divine providence making sure that he didn’t wind up landing his plane in the water at night.
United Does A U-Turn After Protesters Block Highway In Sao Paulo
Protestors in Brazil that were unhappy with Jair Bolsonaro’s defeat shut down the main highway connecting Sao Paulo with Guarulhos Airport.
There aren’t more than 200 here.. but they are effectively blocking the road to the airport in São Paulo as police stand by and watch pic.twitter.com/nLhcdfC0rp
— Manolo De Los Santos (@manolo_realengo) November 1, 2022
That caused United to turn around mid-flight:
A little PTSD? Who, me? But what’s life if not for having a few adventures to tell along the way?
Mattress Mack Does It Again
No baseball fan outside of Texas likes the Houston Astros.
Once again, he gave away tens of millions of dollars in free furniture thanks to a brilliant annual promotion where he offers a full refund of your furniture purchase if the Astros win the World Series, which they did last week. He’s able to do that by hedging the promotion against an aggregate $10 million bet he made on the Astros, which comes out of the extra proceeds brought in by his wildly popular promotion. This year, the bet earned him $75,000,000.
Whether the team won or lost, he would break even, but he gains the added business from the promotion and a whole lot of people in Houston got free furniture.
Why aren’t stores in other cities offering promotions like this?
Are Extra Legroom Fees Racist?
I’d love to see hotel resort fees and fuel surcharges get regulated out of existence, but extra legroom fees?
Biden: "Some airlines, if you want six more inches between you and the seat in front, you pay more money but you don't know it … these are junk fees, they're unfair and they hit marginalized Americans the hardest, especially … people of color." pic.twitter.com/u8IbCqpRZG
— Washington Free Beacon (@FreeBeacon) October 26, 2022
Fly Frontier Shower Class
Don’t have the miles to splurge for Emirates Shower Class?
View this post on Instagram
Just fly on Frontier Shower Class!
"They call this the vegetable aisle at @kroger experience. First time a flights been delayed because of bad weather inside the plane. And yet, somehow the chicken was still dry." pic.twitter.com/5g0p6Xknz0
— Ross Feinstein (@RossFeinstein) August 2, 2022
I May Need To Try This One Day…
Jetpacks are now real. pic.twitter.com/ZHGOWZ6uLQ
— Balaji (@balajis) September 17, 2022
Living In Elon’s World
Amazing how we got from banning the Babylon Bee earlier this year to where we are today.
If you are a Twitter employee and you participated in the culling of free speech, you deserve every ounce of stress you are feeling right now #TwitterTakeover #twitterlayoffs pic.twitter.com/lUPk0G4DvM
— Evolorian (@Arrechito_Amer) November 4, 2022
What are you thoughts on Elon’s takeover of Twitter?
Catch up on what you missed!
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- 5/16/21 News Roundup: Violence In Israel, Meron Thoughts, Get Away With Murder, Inflation, Chinese Vaccine, Delta Abuse, Nazi Escape, Rental Car Shortage, And More!
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- COVID-19 News Roundup 5/25/20: Super-Spreaders, Second Wave, Immunity Passports, El Al In Turkey, Worldwide Restrictions Roundup, Amare Stoudemire, And More
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- COVID-19 News Roundup 3/14/20: New Travel Bans, Airline Suspensions, Israel Shutdowns, An Alternate COVID Approach, JetBlue Ban, TSA Changes, Poll, And More
- Sunday News Roundup 3/8/20: Flight Tampering, eBay Bans, Centurion LAX, United Refunds, Airline Bunk Beds, Amazon Grocery Markets, Record Flight Times, And More
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- Sunday News Roundup 1/19/20: Pilotless Flights, El Al Diversion, Mobile Boarding Passes, MLB Cheating, Handy Credit Card, United Backdoor Link, And More!
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