‘Twas a rough night.

Well, hello, Sandy.

Monday was a difficult day all around — an over two-hour drive home (90 minutes in ideal conditions) thanks to a freeway wreck, but I was lucky, because I missed the snare on the morning commute, when a scare over the I-96 shooter shut down the road entirely. And then the misery started, with the howling wind, the rain and a DVD player that at first balked at season one of “Homeland,” the one bright spot to the day.

We got it worked out, but to say I slept fitfully was an understatement. So a few links, and let’s start mainlining coffee.

I hope those of you who were closer to the storm — we were about 650 miles from the eye, mind you — are safe and sound today. During my long bout of insomnia last night I kept refreshing the NYT and Twitter, blanching at the awfulness, waiting for one of the three oaks within crushing distance of my house to give up the ghost.

Storms, snipers, malfunctioning digital technology. Hello, America. Stand by for news!

This has been one of the strangest races of the season, one where you’d think you’d have more of, well, a race. Instead, Pete Hoekstra is phoning it in and counting down the days until Debbie Stabenow hands him his hat and sends him back to Washington not as a senator, but more likely a lobbyist:

After initially balking at running against Stabenow, Hoekstra jumped into the race and immediately stirred controversy with a Super Bowl ad that accused Stabenow of excessive government spending. The ad, which some saw as racially insensitive, featured a Chinese-American actress speaking in broken English. It seemed to cost him some support.

Since then, the campaign has been largely quiet, rarely making headlines. No debates. And rare public appearances except in television ads.

While trailing in the polls, Hoekstra spent the last weekend of September in Israel to study the upheaval in the Middle East rather than campaign.

I remember when the Labor Department tried to tighten up regulations to protect children working on farms, and the pushback suggested they’d just told an army of apple-cheeked Amish children that they could no longer gather eggs in the henhouse. Nope, it was more about keeping them from being crushed to death in silos. Too bad they let themselves be pushed back.

A story we’ve all heard too much of, but here’s a little more: How small media kept the Lance Armstrong story alive when the big guns were all wearing yellow bracelets. And prevailed. (Note: Link fixed.)

The WSJ and NYT have their paywalls down during the storm. Take advantage by reading this non-storm story, about? The difficulty of making red and blue find a little purple:

In past election years, about a quarter of her clients wouldn’t date a member of the opposite party. Now it is three-quarters, (a matchmaker) says.

Finally, before I go, of course it was too bad about the Tigers. But let me ask the question being asked all over Detroit today: If we had won that series, and spent the night running through the streets, setting fires and what-have-you, we all know what the headlines would say. So why, in San Francisco, do these folks get to be “high-spirited fans?” Just wondering.

Posted at 7:18 am in Current events, Detroit life |

51 responses to “‘Twas a rough night.”

  1. David C. said on October 30, 2012 at 7:38 am

    Hoekstra was my congresscritter when I lived in Michigan. He got into Congress by teabagging the perfectly horrible, but perfectly conventional Republican Guy Vander Jagt in 1992. So at least in that way he was ahead of his time. He’s dumb as a rock, but was fortunate enough to be in one of the most Republican districts outside of the South. He spent his time on the House Intelligence Committee calling anyone who leaked traitors. Of course, he and those in his office leaked like a sieve. IOKIYAR.

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  2. alex said on October 30, 2012 at 7:45 am

    Were I single, I wouldn’t rule out dating across party lines. But if I went out with someone who said “I believe in the free market and no Obamacare and handouts,” “I want a giver and not a taker,” I’d have to say “Hey Pot, meet Kettle.” To me, a taker is a toxic personality who sucks the life out of you with their self-centeredness, their denial and their complete absence of altruism (save, of course, for their conspicuously filling the collection plate on Sunday while flashing a new diamond tennis bracelet). The perfect match for that lady is someone equally superficial who’s gonna dump her ass when she’s 45 and a mother.

    I don’t know if there’s a cure for this overheated political atmosphere except for maybe the attrition of all the old white men who keep Fox News in business.

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  3. coozledad said on October 30, 2012 at 9:17 am

    I don’t know if there’s a cure for this overheated political atmosphere except for maybe the attrition of all the old white men who keep Fox News in business.

    If by attrition, you mean the way Grant took Vicksburg, then I’m on board.
    I’ll bring the sandwiches.

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  4. Connie said on October 30, 2012 at 9:29 am

    Guy Vander Jagt and my Dad went to college together, two good Dutch boys at Hope College. Vander Jagt gets a lot of the credit for making Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore a reality.

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  5. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on October 30, 2012 at 9:41 am

    Hey, Basset, how are you enjoying the coverage of Sandy? Just like the coverage of the flooding in your area two years ago, right?

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  6. brian stouder said on October 30, 2012 at 9:46 am

    US Grant is at once the greatest general of that war – Union or rebel – and also the one history has treated the most backhandedly.

    For example, as Cooz reminds us regarding Grant’s capture of an entire army at Vicksburg, it is worth remembering that US Grant completely defeated and captured no less than THREE complete armies.

    At Fort Henry and Donnelson, at Vicksburg, and finally and decisively at Appomattox – Grant did something that no one else on either side accomplished.

    Anyway – if we treat white-haired Fox viewers the way they treated the guys who surrendered at Vicksburg, we’ll parole them all on their promise to go forth and fight no more (and what are the odds of that?!)

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  7. Deborah said on October 30, 2012 at 9:59 am

    Thanks Nancy for letting us know that the NYT pay wall is down. I’ve been spending my morning reading as much as I can. Why I don’t just pay up and enjoy it everyday, I don’t really know.

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  8. Bitter Scribe said on October 30, 2012 at 10:01 am

    That NYT story on silo accidents was horrifying. What’s even more horrifying was how both sides let politics stand in the way of protecting farmworkers.

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  9. basset said on October 30, 2012 at 10:19 am

    Jeff, I was wondering when the lamestream media were going to get up and do something on that story – I mean, this is the Big Apple, people!

    Meanwhile, more on what I posted yesterday, different topic:


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  10. brian stouder said on October 30, 2012 at 10:50 am

    Basset, that guy is a piece of work. The comment he made in the article you linked yesterday made me groan; something about – he was only going on about her getting an abortion in order to scare her into “telling the truth”…which I suppose he thinks is a “legitimate” way to address the issue of a woman’s reproductive freedom….or something!

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  11. beb said on October 30, 2012 at 10:56 am

    Every city has a narrative. Detroit’s is that it’s full of scary black men so any time something comes along that fills that narrative it gets played up.

    I was looking at some pictures of NYC on Talkingpointsmemo. One looked like just a little water in the street. Then I read the caption. That was no street, that was the Battery Park Underpass!

    The winds in Detroit are. if anything, stronger than they were yesterday. I just want to go back to bed and pull a blanket over my head.

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  12. Tom Howard said on October 30, 2012 at 11:38 am

    To be fair, our mayor did call them “knuckleheads” yesterday: http://www.sfgate.com/crime/article/Knuckleheads-run-amok-after-Giants-win-3990567.php

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  13. Prospero said on October 30, 2012 at 12:02 pm

    Well, the storm has in no way impeded Windsock Willy’s capacity for lying his ass off. It was astonishing to see Goober-nor Tub O’ Guts praising the President’s leadership on TV. Christie’s attacks on the Atlantic City mayor seemed ridiculous to me. You can mandate an evacuation all you want, not everybody is going to go. We have sat out two in the last 15 years, while the road out and the bridge off turned into a parking lot 20 miles long and six lanes wide, and the hurricane headed up to Myrtle as usual. It’s a good thing there were shelters open in Atlantic City, whether Fatso thinks so or not. It’s mean-spirited, I know, but I really hope Trump’s properties had maximum water damage.

    Really inopportune for that video of Mittens talking about closing up FEMA to go viral. Damn liberal lamestream press, but wait, now Willard says he never meant it. Choosing this lying bastard is not the act of a competent voter.

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  14. Prospero said on October 30, 2012 at 12:15 pm

    Privitization is what RMoney is talking about when he says FEMA should be shut down. If GOPers intend to keep refusing to do anything about climate change, they will end up having to strengthen FEMA, and the President should probably try to bring back James Lee Witt from the Clinton Administration, who knew what he was doing before Shrub put a dancing horse guy in charge to FUBAR the Katrina response. And Jeb Bush, nice vulture profiteer costume for Halloween. These bastards are shameless.

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  15. Dexter said on October 30, 2012 at 12:33 pm

    Over-reaction: my pilot light to the furnace blew out again during a blasting gust of wind, and now I wanna just have a whole new furnace installed. I can’t be re-lighting pilot lights once a year, let alone two times in two days. Icy crystals banging off the bedroom window kept waking me up, then the howling winds made my mind race like a scared Walter Mitty, imagining all sorts of horrible things…that damned Chinese Elm branch stretching just to the edge of my property line, just so I cannot legally cut it off that tree, and the huge oak on the other side, which I did trim this summer, cutting down all the semi-dead branches hanging over the property boundary. Still, either of those trees will mess my house up again when they meet up with 2013-style winds, which ain’t nothing like the average winds I witnessed in my life.

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  16. Julie Robinson said on October 30, 2012 at 12:48 pm

    Glad to hear about the paywall since I may need entertaining. Before we left this morning my flights were both still on, but now they say nothing can get in or out of Chicago. It may be a hotel and waiting a day.

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  17. Dexter said on October 30, 2012 at 1:02 pm

    My daughter and her man made it out of Detroit Metro and via a connection in Atlanta are now in Pensacola, Florida, where they are house-hunting. They are moving there as soon as they can sell their Toledo house, but that may be a while longer. I just talked to them and the flights both landed a few minutes early. My wife is dog-sitting in Toledo and it’s always strange to have her gone…”what’s for lunch?”, I ask…and then remember lunch will be whatever I make for myself. It always takes me a day to adjust to having her gone.

    People seem to love early voting, but I do not like it. Ohio started on October 2. That’s over a month for corruption, for unscrupulous officials to “lose” votes from certain precincts. I never worried about this sort of thing until 2004 here in Ohio, when an election was stolen by a crooked Sec’y of State. I know Prospero remembers it well.

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  18. Jolene said on October 30, 2012 at 1:07 pm

    Man, that story re the grain silo deaths is grim. Just sent it to my brother, who has such buildings on his farm. Terrible, terrible.

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  19. Joe K said on October 30, 2012 at 1:07 pm

    Is that the pilot son-inlaw?
    New job?
    Pilot Joe

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  20. Prospero said on October 30, 2012 at 1:14 pm

    Amazing video of the Manhattan Con Ed explosion. I bet that was loud as hell.

    The thing about stealing Ohio in ’04 was that Blackwell stood next to the Diebold CEO and promised a win for Shrubco. Brazen:


    Blackwell is in the GOPer vote stealing HOF with the Painted Lady of FLA. And, sorry about making fun of what Ms. Harris looked like. That was self-inflicted:


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  21. Julie Robinson said on October 30, 2012 at 1:27 pm

    My dad lost an arm in a farm accident when he was a boy, helping with the harvest. His sleeve was pulled into the harvester, and no one could free him in time. He lived but was forever scarred by the trauma, which affected every area of his life. It was the Depression and they had five other kids, including one born with severe health problems who later contracted polio. His problems were way down their list of worries, and he never sought assistance later in life. I believe it set up a host of psychological issues for him and taught him to be in denial about any problems whatsoever, even to the extent of not going to the hospital when he suffered a massive heart attack. He accomplished some really great things in his life but I will always wonder how much more he was capable of doing.

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  22. Prospero said on October 30, 2012 at 1:52 pm

    From Peter King’s SI football column yesterday:

    Quote of the Week IV

    “Baseball’s been the most consistent thing in my life, outside of baseball.”

    — San Francisco Giants closer Sergio Romo, during an in-game interview with the FOX baseball guys, Joe Buck and Tim McCarver, during Game 2 of the World Series. Romo closed out the sweep of the Tigers Sunday night.
    Quote of the Week V

    “We’ve got to play tomorrow like there’s no tomorrow.”

    — San Francisco outfielder Hunter Pence, to ESPN Radio, after the Giants took a 3-0 lead in the Series Saturday night.

    Read more: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2012/writers/peter_king/10/29/Week-8/index.html#ixzz2Ao1jDLJs

    I think the Giants took up pot when they quit ‘roids.

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  23. Danny said on October 30, 2012 at 2:02 pm

    Well, we drove from Chicago to Baltimore and made it unscathed, though tired. I believe that in cancelling some of the flights as early as Sunday morning, the airlines may have been playing it overly cautious.

    One thing I will say is that I think that the the only way to make a long drive in the amount of time your GPS theoretically predicts, one would have to wear Depends like that crazy astronaut lady did a few years ago.

    Geesh, it is dreary outside. So NOT Aloha! 🙁

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  24. Kevin said on October 30, 2012 at 2:09 pm

    But let me ask the question being asked all over Detroit today: If we had won that series, and spent the night running through the streets, setting fires and what-have-you, we all know what the headlines would say. So why, in San Francisco, do these folks get to be “high-spirited fans?” Just wondering.

    For the same reason New Orleanians were idiots for “not evacuating” before Katrina (80% evac rate – most successful mass evacuation in US history), while New Yorkers and New Jerseyans … well, who could have predicted?

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  25. Prospero said on October 30, 2012 at 2:15 pm

    Kevin: IOKIYAR, maybe, or at least white.

    Danny, They were probably worried about wind shear arising unpredictably. That is a long drive. Did you run into any snow?

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  26. Dexter said on October 30, 2012 at 2:23 pm

    Pilot Joe: Yes. He is a senior pilot now with Net Jets and can work out of any home base he wants. He’s still flying a Hawker , and he goes anywhere they send him in the CONUS , Central America, and Canada. On his off weeks, he’ll sometimes fly some doctor or other millionaire out to the Azores or D.R. or Puerto Rico or any other place, like The Bahamas. As you probably know, a lot of doctors and high profile professionals own their own planes but can’t fly them themselves.
    He’s bound by confidentially, but I know he has flown many politicians and movie stars around the country, but mostly his manifest lists CEOs and the like.

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  27. brian stouder said on October 30, 2012 at 2:30 pm

    Good heavens! It must be advancing age*, as that grain bin story made my eyes watery and my voice catch. A great article, beginning and ending with a wise mom – who just breaks my heart.

    *see, and that’s the thing; some of us aging white guys not only don’t swear by Fox News, but in fact actually like the Obama administration and all its foibles, including the false-start on agricultural OSHA rule-making. But anymore, often as not, people judge me by my age and color and (apparently) assume they can dog on the president and I’ll nod my head in agreement. For the record, I hate that! (and I don’t like having to politely disengage from such discussions, with customers or others – but we digress)

    PS – that WAS a long drive, but if you went across I-68, you saw some of the most beautiful scenery that I’ve ever seen, especially at the Sidling Mountain cut.

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  28. Dexter said on October 30, 2012 at 2:31 pm

    I am so sick of these Romney ads about Jeep moving existing production to China. It’s a goddam lie, and Romney knows it.
    Sergio Marchionne, chief of Chrysler via Fiat, has said so. Jeep in Toledo ran an ad in the paper last summer , needing something like 1,800 MORE workers to build Jeeps in Toledo as a new assembly line is going to fire up soon.

    Still, these Romney ads are running. It’s a mind-blower, but also an indication of how un-honest the campaign is.


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  29. Danny said on October 30, 2012 at 2:34 pm

    No props, no snow. We took I-80 and hit our first rain drops in Toledo at 3 AM local time on 10/29. Caught a cat nap at the rest area and then drove the rest of the way. Got in lat yesterday afternoon.

    The drive was pretty mellow until the last two hours when the wind picked up.

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  30. Joe K said on October 30, 2012 at 2:39 pm

    Sounds like a great gig, love the northern gulf coast, from pns to gulf shores Alabama. Redneck riviera. Friendliest people, good seafood, and the best beaches in the U.S
    Pilot Joe

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  31. Sherri said on October 30, 2012 at 2:57 pm

    The big downside to living on the gulf coast is dealing with hurricanes. I had several relatives living on the coast from Pensacola to Mobile to Biloxi, and one by one, they’ve all given up and moved back inland to Tennessee because they got tired of dealing with hurricanes. And that was before Katrina; the last one down there, my cousin, had sold his house in Biloxi just weeks before Katrina hit.

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  32. Prospero said on October 30, 2012 at 3:08 pm

    Most patently insane and hilarious campaign ad, EVER.

    Some of y’all might find this interesting.

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  33. coozledad said on October 30, 2012 at 3:47 pm

    For some reason Mittens don’t want to talk about FEMA, or his Lowell, MA flood fuckup.

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  34. Prospero said on October 30, 2012 at 4:01 pm

    Tub o’ Guts Christie campaigning for Obama on Fox News. Fox people recoil in horror. The weaselly manner in which the Faux jerks try to turn him around to RobMe is revolting, and Christie shuts them down posthaste. And what gall, after trying to tout Willard, turning the discussion to first responders, you know, those greedy moochers RMoney wants to fire.


    Fox News is never on our TV, so it always takes me by surprise that this Doocy guy is actually employed by a so-called news operation. Flaming asshole.

    RMoney and disasters:


    Heckuva job, Mittens. Refused to start recovery with state funds until FEMA funds kicked in. Plus, he stiffed Neh Hempsha. Whited sepulcher.

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  35. Prospero said on October 30, 2012 at 4:40 pm

    Windsock’s limpdick disaster response.

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  36. brian stouder said on October 30, 2012 at 4:58 pm

    Windsock’s limpdick disaster response.

    So now I’m on the horns (so to speak) of a definitional dilemma:

    Would it be better or worse if Romney’s disaster response was fully erect?

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  37. coozledad said on October 30, 2012 at 5:29 pm

    The things you can achieve when you understand global warming, and refuse to listen to idiots who think magical thinking works:

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  38. Heather said on October 30, 2012 at 5:35 pm

    Based on his soup-can response to the hurricane, I think I can guess what Mitt’s health care solution is: first aid kits for everyone!

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  39. Sherri said on October 30, 2012 at 5:53 pm

    If Romney wins, and he and Ryan privatize everything except defense (which is effectively what their budget would do), I think I’ll go into the private disaster relief business. Sign up now, and for the low, low rate of $100 per year, I’ll be your disaster relief specialist! When disaster strikes, just call 1-800-DIS-CNCT, and I’ll be at your door. Eventually. Maybe. Any day now. You don’t like my service? Sue me! All that money is in the Caymans now!

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  40. ROGirl said on October 30, 2012 at 6:22 pm

    I made a wind and rain blown drive to work this morning, and at times it felt like I was really struggling to keep the car on the road. It had cleared up within an hour or two. A few people at work lost power last night.

    I work for a supplier that provides parts for Jeeps and there have been no reductions in the volumes of parts they order.

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  41. MaryRC said on October 30, 2012 at 6:37 pm

    In that Fox interview with Gov. Christie, that Steve Doocy idiot actually askd Christie about Romney’s “storm-related events”. “Storm-related events”! These people are from another planet.

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  42. Prospero said on October 30, 2012 at 6:41 pm

    Heckuva job, Sherri.

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  43. coozledad said on October 30, 2012 at 6:57 pm

    Think of all the wingnuts and the call of all those federal dollars that could be going directly into their offshore accounts. I’ll bet Romney is shitting his pants watching the “I’ll rebuild New York” grift slip out of his and his backer’s pockets.

    Conversely, I’ll bet the troops are happy securing our infrastructure here at home.
    New York’s going to be a huge party once it gets back.

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  44. paddyo' said on October 30, 2012 at 6:58 pm

    Pros’ @ 34: Don’t worry, Doocy has never worked for a news operation, so-called or otherwise. In the 1980s, when I lived in DC, he was the court jester and goofball “correspondent” for off-beat and wacky news on one of the network affiliate happy-talk news stations there. As he has since proven time and again at Faux News, he was too stupid then, and now, to do anything approaching actual news.

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  45. Deborah said on October 30, 2012 at 7:07 pm

    I can’t imagine living in a high-rise on an upper floor being without electricity for a week. I have lived in high-rises for the last 20+ years and the power only went out 2 times and those outages were in the middle of the night and only lasted for an hour or two. I was completely oblivious both times being sound asleep. Imagine having to schlep up over 20 flights of stairs when you’re over 60? We live on the 27th floor in Chicago. I would have to take that in stages, and I’m moderately fit with all the walking I do.

    Little Bird and I went to Abiquiu again today to explore an area of our land that is reputed to have a lot of Native American artifacts. We had to make a pretty steep ascent to get back up to our Mesa that took a lot out of me. I think I’m still having altitude issues. We didn’t find any artifacts but we were so exhausted by the time we got there, we probably weren’t focusing properly.

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  46. Prospero said on October 30, 2012 at 7:27 pm

    Stealing Ohio votes:


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  47. basset said on October 30, 2012 at 9:38 pm

    Doocy worked for our lightweight morning show when I was doing news in Wichita in the early 80s. Seemed like a friendly enough guy but I never saw him serious about anything.

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  48. Prospero said on October 30, 2012 at 9:54 pm

    Something is seriously wrong with this picture:


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  49. Dexter said on October 30, 2012 at 10:51 pm

    Pilot Joe…I just talked to Captain Steve down in Gulf Breeze , near Pensacola. He told me he is still flying the Hawker, but has put his bid in on the Bombardier Global 6000. He’ll be flying all over the world if he gets his bid. However, he said even though he has seniority, he probably doesn’t have that much seniority to get the bid. This is one beautiful aircraft.

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  50. Joe K said on October 31, 2012 at 12:26 am

    That would be a dream job.
    Pilot Joe

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  51. Dexter said on October 31, 2012 at 12:34 am

    Happy Halloween. I love this YouTube, celebrating the season of witches and …horseheads?

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