Sunday, November 7, 2004

Graceless in defeat

Hot Corner: Nipping at the heels of the newsmakers

The Enquirer

For Republican Alan Keyes, who lost a race for the U.S. Senate to Democratic rising star Barack Obama by the largest margin in Illinois history, the contest was always between "good and evil." And as far as he is concerned, evil won. He finally conceded defeat, two days after the voters rejected him by a 70 percent to 27 percent margin, but he said he would never congratulate Obama. "I will not make a false gesture," he said.

Party leaders imported Keyes, who had previously lost Senate races in Maryland, into Illinois after the original Republican nominee, Jack Ryan, withdrew from the race. Keyes' extremist rhetoric and off-the-wall sense of mission probably explains why most Illinois Republicans wish he had stayed home.

Wide-bodied jets

Airlines aren't having as much trouble filling the seats on their flights as you may have thought. What hurts is just how full a lot of those seats are. A government study released last week says the average airline passenger is about 10 pounds heavier than a decade ago.

All that added weight cost the airlines $275 million for 350 million more gallons of fuel just to get all those heftier folks off the ground in the year 2000 alone.

The extra fuel burned has harmed the environment, the aircraft designers have started putting in lighter-weight seats and the personnel at the gates are really getting tough about passengers who want to bring aboard oversized carry-on bags.

No wonder so many airlines have cut back on the in-flight meals.

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