Thursday, May 19, 2016

Air Travel

Last week, my friend, George, flew out of Newark Airport headed back to Fort Lauderdale. Much to his surprise, the check-in line was so long that he was lucky to have arrived two hours early and just made it to his flight on time. This is a never-ending story we hear about - highlighted this week. The plight of passengers and the TSA with limited funding - in light of terrorism - is coming to a head as we reach the business travel season of the year.

On this day we turn our attention to EgyptAir Flight 804 that vanished from radar with 66 people aboard over the Mediterranean. Does this is speak to you of another terrorist attack or something else? They will find the wreckage. Sadly I don't see survivors. Greece's defense minister says the flight made "sharp turns" and plunged before dropping off the radar. This reminds me of Flight MH 370 though I still say something "strange" and "covert" caused that flight to disappear on March 8, 2014.

Campaign Funds

Even when a presidential candidate suspenders their campaign - fund raising continues. The tradition of "debt retirement" dinners, where candidates raise money for their unpaid bills, continues tonight when Trump appears at a fund-raiser for Chris Christie, a former rival and and a potential for Trump's cabinet.

Campaign debt can linger for years. In a gesture of party unity, the Democratic National Committee agreed to assume $9.3 million in debt amassed by Robert F. Kennedy and Hubert H. Humphrey during the 1968 campaign. It took until 1982 to pay it off. In another extreme case, Senator John Glenn ended his 1984 Democratic bid with nearly $3 million in debt, and he struggled for more than 20 years to pay it off until the Federal Election Commission issued him a reprieve.

Winning candidates will often help out their former rivals. In 1980, Ronald Reagan held a series of dinners for six of the men he defeated in the primaries. President Jimmy Carter helped out Senator Edward Kennedy, and Barack Obama helped Hillary Clinton. Last year, President Obama and the D.N.C. created a fund-raising committee to help pay his debt. Weeks later, he was still helping to pay it off at a special showing of the Broadway show "Hamilton."

On the flip-side ... there are candidates who have money remaining after they suspend their campaigns. What happens with that money? I don't think it goes to them personally but this begs the questions ... do they have access to it? Doesn't get returned to donors?