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Back from the Midwest

I spent a week in Ohio and Michigan, went to the Heekin family reunion in Cincinnati. More than 500 attended, and I got to connect and re-connect with some great people. But one cousin reminded me why I left there–he told me his favorite radio host is Michael Savage, and worries that liberals will take him off the air with a new Fairness Doctrine. Only there is no proposed FCC rule or bill in Congress to revive the Fairness Doctrine. It’s a phantom menace created by right wing radio nuts and eagerly embraced by their listeners.
In Cincinnati, I met with David Krikorian, who lost his primary election bid to take on one of the worst Republicans in Congress, “Mean Jean” Schmidt. Just one week before election day, Schmidt attacked Krikorian for a comment he says he never made, regarding his opponent in the Democratic primary; the smear was front page the next day on the GOP house organ, the Cincinnati Enquirer, and then got 2 days of TV coverage. Krikorian produced witnesses from the event where he didn’t say what she says he said, but the TV stations weren’t too interested and the newspaper ran a story in the middle of the local section. Krikorian, whose polls said he would win by 10% or more, lost by 2 points, and Schmidt will coast to re-election in November.
After two cross-country airline adventures within a month, I gotta say that flying really sucks now. Landing at Dulles, we were told by our captain not to be alarmed by the fire trucks on the runway, but the brake light is on–we landed safely and he told us 3 wheels had deflated. On the return, we were delayed for 30 minutes at the TSA checkpoint and almost missed our flight–there was no security breach, just dinnertime for the TSA crew. And you can’t complain because they have arbitrary authority to block you from your flight or even detain you. Between the deterioration of airline service and the prison setting of the post-9/11 security theatrics at airports, they’ve taken all the fun out of air travel.