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Welcome to Hil Force One

Hillary Clinton boards Air Force One in 2000.(AP)

By Anne E. Kornblut
RENO, Nev. -- Team Clinton unveiled a new campaign plane on Wednesday -- and with it, an honorary member of the flight crew.

"My name is Hillary, and I'm so pleased to have most of you on board," Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton announced over the public address system of the 737 aircraft before it took off on its maiden voyage, from Las Vegas to Reno, shortly after 2 p.m. Pacific standard time.

Welcome to Hil Force One. Or HF1, for short.

"FAA regulations prohibit the use of cellphones, BlackBerrys or other wireless devices that may be used to transmit negative stories about me," Clinton said. She warned her guests -- a couple of dozen reporters, members of her Secret Service detail and several aides -- to keep their seat belts on even after the light had been turned off. "Things can get awfully bumpy when you least expect it," she said.

On-board banter between presidential candidates and the press corps is a time-honored tradition: Bob Dole rolled oranges down the center aisle of his plane, back toward the reporters' section, during takeoff; George W. Bush dubbed his plane "Great Expectations" in a similar announcement on his first flight of the 2000 campaign; Al Gore once, during that same race, made a surprise trip back to the press section of Air Force Two to reminisce about climbing Mount Rainier as the national landmark passed underneath.

But Clinton, notoriously wary of the press, had until Wednesday avoided too much mingling with her assigned reporters, choosing mostly to fly on a separate charter, sometimes in and out of separate cities. Her decision to travel with the ink-stained masses -- albeit in the front first-class section -- came as part of a broader effort of late to be more accessible, with suddenly frequent interviews, conference calls and press availabilities (including one immediately before the flight).

Still, she did not wander too far off-message, even in jest. "In the event of an unexpected drop in poll numbers this plane will be diverted to New Hampshire," she said, as reporters leaned to the center aisle to catch a glimpse. Clinton then promised to deliver her "stump speech, in its many variations," as in-flight entertainment. "We know you have choices when you fly, so we are grateful you chose the plane with the most experienced candidate."

By Web Politics Editor  |  January 16, 2008; 6:23 PM ET
Categories:  Hillary Rodham Clinton  
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Next: Bill Clinton Takes On Reporter Over Vegas Caucuses


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Posted by: Billy | April 8, 2008 4:35 PM | Report abuse

Joe18 teachers don't work on Saturday Hotel and casino workers do! these rules have been in place for almost a year signed off on by Democratic state and federal party leaders it wasn't until Hillary lost her double digit lead in Nevada and lost the culinary workers union endorsement that her and Bill got worked up about it. Senator Pat Lahey and the courts Agree with Obama and the workers of Nevada.

Posted by: gfsurrette | January 17, 2008 8:27 PM | Report abuse


You caught me (although I am registered Independent, not Republican), I am voting for Obama specifically to prevent Hillary from getting the nomination -- at first, I was actually considering REALLY supporting Obama for the general election too (I did make a campaign contribution last year) -- until I was banned at his campaign website blog. At this point, I will vote for ANY of the Republicans before Obama or Hillary.

Did you also see my question to you over on the Fact Checker thread -- you needed to a bit more specific as to your allegation of "lie(s)".

Posted by: JakeD | January 17, 2008 6:06 PM | Report abuse

Can't believe all the off the wall anti-Hillary crap. Is anyone else hoping for a Clinton/Obama ticket? Give him a few years as vice-president and he will be READY!

Posted by: scotcriger | January 17, 2008 4:15 PM | Report abuse

gfsurrette: How is the teachers union lawsuit voter supression? Because it will make it easier for 'regular' people in NV, not just the casino workers to participate? You want the union that supports Obama to have an advantage and you know it! Keep it real, bro!

Posted by: joe18 | January 17, 2008 2:03 PM | Report abuse


Two weeks ago, to be more accurate -- care to answer my other questions now too? Why is it fair to allow only SOME workplace caucuses -- isn't that "voter suppression" against other workers?

Posted by: JakeD | January 17, 2008 1:54 PM | Report abuse

joe12: I have stated many times the "Supporters" of Obama are the real "Hillary Haters". That is why I question if they truly do support him or are they part of the Repubs strategy of stopping Hillary at ant cost/price.

Posted by: lylepink | January 17, 2008 1:50 PM | Report abuse

gfsurrette: I want there to be a choice, that's all. I want dems to beat the GOP in November. Ask yourself who is going to have a chance in a general election? We need more than "change" and "hope" from our nominee. Hey I liked Kerry and Gore too. They wanted to give us "hope" too and they got their asses kicked. This is too big an election to send the JV team in.

Posted by: joe18 | January 17, 2008 1:21 PM | Report abuse

A week ago your right that's ancient history? The decision is due today 2 days before the caucus that's right of the GOP play book on voter suppression!

Posted by: gfsurrette | January 17, 2008 1:04 PM | Report abuse


"Whats not fair Joe is when your double digit lead in Nevada evaporates and you go to court what is it now 2 days before the caucus to suppress voter turnout . . ."

Which lawsuit are you referring to? The one in the State of Nevada, here on planet Earth, was filed more than a week ago, not just today:

Posted by: JakeD | January 17, 2008 12:53 PM | Report abuse

I'm a Democrat Joe 18 voting for change and a hopeful future for all Americans that's why I'm voting for Senator Barack Obama to be President of the United States of America! Whats not fair Joe is when your double digit lead in Nevada evaporates and you go to court what is it now 2 days before the caucus to suppress voter turnout it's BUSHLITE Joe!

Posted by: gfsurrette | January 17, 2008 12:42 PM | Report abuse

Back to bashing Hillary now -- someone from Paris posted an interesting thought on another thread I'd like to get input on here:

What do you think of the judgment of a wife "who suffered from their spouses cheating on them. Instead of empowering women and walking out on her philandering husband when he repeatedly cheated on her Hillary Clinton did nothing. She stood by and was an enabler and was made a fool of. A feminist and a person who cares about women's rights does not behave that way. A power mad person who will stop at nothing to achieve her goals including mud-slingling, incessant lying, and character assassination of her opponents is not the best role model for women and especially not for young women who dream of becoming president."?

Posted by: JakeD | January 17, 2008 12:40 PM | Report abuse


I wouldn't have pegged you for a Reagan supporter -- please note that neither Clinton is a party to that Nevada caucus lawsuit -- why do you think it is fair to change the rules on where caucuses (cauci? rhymes with HAWK-EYE) are held just so that Obama gets more votes? If a change is going to be made to accomodate certain people in their workplaces, wouldn't it be fair-er to make sure ALL people who are working and want to caucus get that opportunity?

Posted by: JakeD | January 17, 2008 12:21 PM | Report abuse

How about goofin off with the media like Hil force one remind you of anyone? The whole Clinton campaign strategy comes right out of Karl Roves K street bible.

Posted by: gfsurrette | January 17, 2008 12:17 PM | Report abuse

McCain and Rove will turn Obama into the guy you want to have a Lite Beer with.

Posted by: joe18 | January 17, 2008 12:05 PM | Report abuse

Bill Clinton wants to win Nevada by court order remind you of someone? Like I said BUSHLITE!

Posted by: gfsurrette | January 17, 2008 12:02 PM | Report abuse

So, what's next, pole dancing for the media?

Meanwhile, back to something that is real news, Sen Patrick Leahy has just endorsed Barack Obama. That's gotta sting in Clintonia.

Posted by: zb95 | January 17, 2008 11:48 AM | Report abuse

Gorgeous photo. Good job, AP.

Posted by: cmss1 | January 17, 2008 11:46 AM | Report abuse

The Clinton's newest mudslinging campaign against Obama may backfire, so long as Obama ignores it and keeps cool and presidential.

Posted by: dunnhaupt | January 17, 2008 11:44 AM | Report abuse

Joe18 if the D's nominate Hillary you will get BUSHLITE! Dream catcher? Vision determines behavior! Obama has a vision of HOPE and opportunity for ALL Americans not just Washington insiders!

Posted by: gfsurrette | January 17, 2008 11:17 AM | Report abuse

gfsurrette - So let me understand that you'd rather nominate a one-third of one term freshman senator from IL who voted for Chaney's energy bill and when asked his greatest achievement gave a rather boorish answer about keeping politicians from eating while sitting down? No wonder Karl Rove just 'endorsed' your over ambitious young man. The GOP is going to hack him to bits. Remember the dems nominated Kerry and got Bush, nominated Gore and got Bush, nominated Mondale and got Bush, nominated McGovern and got Nixon... I just hope the "Dreamcatchers and Rainbows" wing of the party is careful what they wish for. "Hope" and "Change" are just political filler.

Posted by: joe18 | January 17, 2008 10:55 AM | Report abuse

THAT WAS SO PHONY! I wanted to puke when I saw that hill force one crap. Then I saw Obama on MSNBC in Nevada talking about the Gipper and JFK and saying it's "Morning in America" again and that JFK and RWR took the nation on a different track unlike Nixon and Bill Clinton. Obama is like JFK and RWR because he lives in the present he is with us here today and understands what Americans together are up against as Obama always quotes Dr. King the "Immediacy of the Moment" politics is all about timing. I hope Americans reject the phony partisan politics of Washington past that Hillary and Bill want to serve up and vote for all Americans vote for Senator Barack Obama for President of the United States of America! IT'S TIME!

Posted by: gfsurrette | January 17, 2008 9:38 AM | Report abuse

Has anyone read "Thirty Ways of Looking at HILLARY"?

Posted by: JakeD | January 17, 2008 9:00 AM | Report abuse

You mean, besides her positions on Iraq, Iran, wiretapping, judicial nominees, abortion, gun control, homosexual rights, the federal budget and tax reform, welfare, death penalty, drugs, education, healthcare, energy, free trade, Homeland Security in general, immigration, and Social Security? I would have no problem whatsoever voting for her if she agreed with me on all of those issue ; )

Posted by: JakeD | January 17, 2008 8:03 AM | Report abuse

JakeD: Yea, What is your REAL reason??

Posted by: lylepink | January 17, 2008 7:41 AM | Report abuse

Well, I'm not a Hillary "hater" but I wouldn't vote for her in a million years -- does that still qualify for a phsy [sic] analysis -- assuming you mean "psychological"? The reasons I won't vote for her include her positions on Iraq, Iran, wiretapping, judicial nominees, abortion, gun control, homosexual rights, the federal budget and tax reform, welfare, death penalty, drugs, education, healthcare, energy, free trade, Homeland Security in general, immigration, and Social Security (just to name a few). Any more questions?

Posted by: JakeD | January 17, 2008 7:21 AM | Report abuse

The "Hillary Haters" must have been a little tired Tuesday, but have been out in full force all day yesterday, Wednesday. These jerks must be mentally disturbed to be so obsessed with The Clintons. Everything they can come up with, the others in their groups will take it and run with it no matter how stupid it makes them look. I have read a few phsy books and really can't find a category that they could fit into. Anybody got an Idea??

Posted by: lylepink | January 17, 2008 12:51 AM | Report abuse

I'm giving the girl credit.... that was funny. I wish I heard it delivered though... could've been funnier than I imagined.

Posted by: fjstratford | January 17, 2008 12:50 AM | Report abuse

kreame1, it must be a pleasure having such a rich and fulfilling hobby birddogging not only Bill Clinton, but Roger too. What a shame it will be for all the Bush true beievers the day they can't kick a Clinton around any longer.

Posted by: dfc102 | January 17, 2008 12:14 AM | Report abuse

Before strapping oneself into a seat aboard "Hil Force One" readers are advised to check out Christopher Hitchen's "The Case Against Hillary Clinton" (

It will have you running for the nearest exit.

Posted by: Martinedwinandersen | January 16, 2008 11:16 PM | Report abuse

Bill Clinton's Legacy of Racism
Few know, for instance, that Clinton's uncle, Raymond "Buddy" Clinton, who employed Bill's stepdad, Roger, in his Hot Springs Buick dealership, was the dominant influence in young Clinton's life, a role that continued right through Uncle Ray's successful efforts in helping the future president beat the Vietnam War draft.

But according to historian Roger Morris, Uncle Ray had a dark side. While researching his Clinton biography, "Partners in Power," Morris says he found "convincing evidence of the prominent car dealer's links to organized crime and to the then-still formidable Ku Klux Klan."

In 1964 Clinton mailed his grandmother a postcard with a picture of a smiling black youth standing next to a giant watermelon. Such a postcard was considered completely innocuous in the Arkansas of his youth.
In 1989, then-Gov. Bill Clinton was sued as one of three top Arkansas officials responsible for the intimidation of black voters in his state as part of a legal action brought under the 1965 Voting Rights Act, has learned.

And a year earlier the U.S. Supreme court ruled that Clinton had wrongfully tried to overturn the election of a black state representative in favor of a white Democrat.

In the 1989 case, "the evidence at the trial was indeed overwhelming that the Voting Rights Act had been violated," reported the Arkansas Gazette on Dec. 6, 1989. (The paper later became the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.)

"Plaintiffs offered plenty of proof of monolithic voting along racial lines, intimidation of black voters and candidates, other official acts that made voting harder for blacks," the Gazette said.

A federal three-judge panel ordered Clinton, then Arkansas Attorney General Steve Clark and then Secretary of State William J. McCuen to draw new boundaries to give maximum strength to black voters.

"Until last year," the Gazette complained at the time, "in more than a thousand legislative elections, the [Arkansas] delta region sent not one black to the legislature. Last year, the federal district court split a multimember district in Crittenden County that had submerged the large number of black voters in the county."

In a related 1988 case, Clinton had tried to replace a duly elected African-American state representative with a white candidate, only to be stopped by the U.S. Supreme Court.

"The court, by an 8-0 vote, ruled against an appeal by Gov. Bill Clinton and other Arkansas officials that had challenged the election of Ben McGee as a state legislator," the Associated Press reported on Dec. 12, 1988. McGee is an African-American.

"The case began when blacks in Crittenden County filed a voting rights lawsuit attacking the county's at-large system for electing two House members. The suit contended that the system deprived black voters of a chance to elect a black to the House.

A special three-judge federal court had agreed earlier in the year that the system violated the federal Voting Rights Act.

The three-judge court threw out the results of a March 8 primary election in which the black candidate McGee was defeated by James Stockley, the white candidate handpicked by Gov. Clinton for the Democratic nomination.

"That was tantamount to election on Nov. 8, since no Republican ran for the seat," the AP said.

Clinton and the other state officials had argued that the federal court improperly threw out the results of the first primary and ordered a new election.

The Supreme Court ruling came as the then-governor was fighting another court battle to preserve racial profiling in his state, a tool that Clinton later criticized while president as a "morally indefensible, deeply corrosive practice."

But a decade earlier he approved the profiling of Hispanics by Arkansas State Police as part of a drug interdiction program in 1988, the Washington Times revealed in 1999.

"The Arkansas plan gave state troopers the authority to stop and search vehicles based on a drug-courier profile of Hispanics, particularly those driving cars with Texas license plates," the Times said.

"A federal judge later ruled the program unconstitutional," the paper reported. "A lawsuit and a federal consent decree ended the practice - known as the 'criminal apprehension program' the next year."

Then-Gov. Clinton, however, not only criticized the profiling ban; "at one point, [he] threatened to reinstate the program despite the court's ruling," the Times said.

"The state's position was to give away a ... program that we're now trying to get back," Clinton announced at the time, saying the race-based stop-and-search program was more important than even airport security measures.

Three years later, in 1991, Clinton actually did implement a modified version of the profiling program that prohibited the use of ethnic screening but allowed troopers to continue to stop cars on the highway at their discretion.

Hearing Clinton's condemnation of racial profiling in 1999, Roberto Garcia de Posada, executive director of the Hispanic Business Roundtable, complained that the then-president "had been a strong supporter of racial profiling against Hispanics in the past."

"He does not have the moral authority to lead a national campaign on this issue. If President Clinton truly meant what he said ... he should apologize to all those Hispanics who suffered this 'morally indefensible' practice, which he publicly supported," de Posada said.
After he was sued in the late 1980s by the NAACP's Legal Defense Fund for failing to enforce the Voting Rights Act in Arkansas, then-Gov. Bill Clinton suggested to a group of pro-segregation whites that they were being unfairly targeted by civil rights laws as a result of the South's loss in the Civil War, according to one-time Clinton administration Civil Rights Division nominee Lani Guinier.

"In the late 1980s, in a particularly tense meeting in southeastern Arkansas - a section of the Mississippi Delta region where antebellum social relations are still in many respects the order of the day - [Guinier's friend] Dayna [Cunningham] and a local LDF cooperating lawyer were part of a handful of black people there to discuss remedies for a highly contentious LDF voting rights suit," wrote Guinier in her 1998 memoir, "Lift Every Voice."

"The meeting turned sour when one of the local whites demanded to know why, in his view, the whites were always made to pay for others' problems. Other whites in the group began to echo his charge. ..."

Guinier continued:

"Bill Clinton, the lead defendant in the case, took to the podium to respond. In a tone of resignation, Clinton said, 'We have to pay because we lost.'" Guinier said Cunningham inferred that Clinton was referring to the South's Civil War loss as well as his loss in the court case.

"Clinton had so irresponsibly pandered to the backwards feeling of the white constituency" in his speech about the voting rights lawsuit, Cunningham told Guinier.

News of Clinton's attempt to pander to Arkansas whites who were angry that he'd lost a lawsuit for not enforcing the Voting Rights Act comes just hours after the ex-president accused Republicans of doing the same thing.

"They try to suppress black voting, they ran on the Confederate flag in Georgia and South Carolina, and from top to bottom the Republicans supported it," Clinton said of the GOP on Wednesday, when asked to comment on the continuing Trent Lott flap.

In fact, the Arkansas state flag added a single star above the state's name in 1923 to commemorate its membership in the Confederacy, a design that remained unaltered throughout Clinton's five terms as governor.

After tapping Guinier for the top Justice Department civil rights post in 1993, Clinton abruptly yanked her nomination after critics labeled her a "Quota Queen." Guinier said she felt betrayed by Clinton, whom she considered a friend since their days together at Yale Law School, and was angered when he called her "anti-democratic" in a nationally televised address announcing he was scuttling her nomination.
EX-President Bill Clinton spent Wednesday afternoon playing golf at a country club accused of discriminating against blacks and Jews.

Jake Siewert, Clinton's rep, confirmed it was the second time Clinton has played at the Indian Creek Country Club about 20 miles north of Miami. He first played there a year and a half ago. Siewert said, "All venues are fully vetted," and dismissed allegations of racism and anti-Semitism as "not true."

But in next month's Talk magazine, Leah Nathans Spiro reports that the club - in one of Florida's most exclusive and wealthy enclaves - is rife with discrimination. And contrary to Siewert's claim, the restrictive membership policies have been reported on PAGE SIX and elsewhere.

Indian Creek Village mayor Len Miller, a Jew, said, "It's an embarrassment. I have this kind of home, in this kind of setting, but I have to tell people, 'I am not welcome at that club.'"

"There's no question about it, the club has anti-Semitic policies in place to keep out Jews," said Earl Barber, who was on the club's board for 14 years, and a member for 22. Barber, along with Alvah Chapman, a former chairman of Knight Ridder, and M. Anthony Burns, a trucking magnate, resigned their club memberships because of its "membership policies."

To add insult to injury, 14 of the island's 34 homes are owned by Jews, and although they are denied access to the club, a portion of the residents' property tax is used for the club's upkeep. Carl Icahn is the island's only Jewish resident who is also a member.

In the early '90s, the club had no African-American or Jewish members, sparking a complaint by 17 members. Even after that, only five Jewish members were allowed in over a period of five years, and there are still no blacks.

Miller notes that he refused to meet Clinton during his 1999 visit to Indian Creek because the president was playing at the anti-Semitic club. The snub even made the local news.

When Jeb Bush was slated to pay a visit to the club, Miller informed the Florida governor of the restrictive policies, and Bush cancelled.

Timothy J. May, the head of Indian Creek Country Club's legal committee, refused to speak on an official basis, but noted as an individual member, "Every club I belong to has bigots in it; hopefully they don't run the club . . . We won't let people into the club merely because they buy a home on the island." May added that if they did let every island resident join, "the next thing you know we'll have a drug dealer in the club."
Browning had a long term extramarital affair with Clinton that lasted until just before he became president. Her account was corroborated by Arkansas state trooper Larry Patterson, who served as Clinton's bodyguard from 1986 through 1992.

"There's a gentleman who lives here in Little Rock, Arkansas by the name of 'Say' McIntosh," Patterson told "Hannity & Colmes." "He's a black activist."

"And anytime Bill Clinton was in and around Little Rock Mr. McIntosh would show up and put out leaflets on every car within a five block area. He would have face-to-face confrontations with Gov. Clinton. And many times after those confrontations we would be in the car leaving and he would refer to Mr. McIntosh using the 'n' word."

Adding substance to the charges, an audio recording that surfaced in the mid-1990s suggests that racial slurs were a regular part of Clinton family conversations.

On the tape, Clinton's brother Roger discusses an altercation between one of his friends and a local Little Rock African-American teen.

"Some junior high n----r kicked Steve's ass while he was trying to help his brothers out; junior high or sophomore in high school. Whatever it was, Steve had the n----r down. However it was, it was Steve's fault. He had the n----r down, he let him up. The n----r blindsided him."

Apparently unaware of the Clinton racial slur charges, former Transportation Secretary Rodney Slater praised his former boss's record on race during the Hall of Fame induction, and even referred to him once as "this soul brother."

The Clinton 'n'-word allegations have been covered by the Fox News Channel, talk radio and the Internet, but have otherwise been ignored by the establishment press.

Posted by: kreame1 | January 16, 2008 11:16 PM | Report abuse

Did anyone find out who is paying for this jet? Let me guess, a group of Chinese kitchen workers in New York? Or was it one of those banks in the Dominican Republic, part the Clinton's beach home "laundry" account? Is there Arabic writing on the side? I am so tired of the "Clinton Drama".

Posted by: brc5501 | January 16, 2008 10:50 PM | Report abuse

Kind of arrogant but who is surprised.

Posted by: paulnolan97 | January 16, 2008 10:50 PM | Report abuse

Smart move on her part. There is an irrationally exuberant hatred of the Clinton's inside the beltway. Compared to the real lunatics like David Addington, Douglas Feith etc.. that are running the government at this time. If she has to placate the chattering classes so be it.

Posted by: newt0007 | January 16, 2008 10:46 PM | Report abuse

Anne: you've been traveling around with Hillary during the entire campaign yet, intrepid reporter that are, you (along with all political reporter cohorts) totally missed the ground moving under your feet in New Hampshire.

It's apparently a waste of your time to fly around with Hillary in order to collect your salary. Although you'd have to forgo your per diem, you're perfectly capable of reporting the polls, and proffering all the CW BS, for your news articles from the comfort of your own Washington home.

Posted by: fschmitz1 | January 16, 2008 10:45 PM | Report abuse

Hil Force One? Are you sure about that, I heard they were calling it "Broomstick One".

Posted by: suspence13 | January 16, 2008 10:32 PM | Report abuse

She's there for you when she needs you.

Posted by: jennandgus | January 16, 2008 10:22 PM | Report abuse

The entire Clinton's presidency went fully sour because Hillary was the one, who accompamied him in air force one and in all other offcial occasions. The woman is the symbol and the main cause of everything, which went sour in the USA within last, at least, twelve years. It would be the complete suicide for this country to place this person in White House on her own.

Posted by: aepelbaum | January 16, 2008 9:56 PM | Report abuse

Is the Clinton campaign purchasing carbon offsets for use of the aircraft?

Posted by: mcakora | January 16, 2008 9:55 PM | Report abuse

The adolescent, snarky, obnoxious tone of Anne "Editor's Note" Kornblut's latest jibe at Hillary Clinton is not unusual; what is unusual is her willingness to reveal the source of her dislike for her subject. What bothers Kornblut is not Mrs. Clinton's specific policy proposals nor her more general ideas for the country's future: it is her "style." Clinton is just not "nice" enough, not "accessible"enough to the Washington Press Corps, not "approachable" enough for her. Average voters, therefore, should make their choice for President based on whether or not the candidate was friendly to a reporter. Why does Anne Kornblut still have this job?

Posted by: noahmass | January 16, 2008 9:02 PM | Report abuse


I don't need a picture of her boarding Air Force One -- heck, I've even got a framed picture of me boarding Reagan's Air Force One, so that's no big news -- where is Hil Force One???

Posted by: JakeD | January 16, 2008 7:32 PM | Report abuse

If anyone's interested, here's Karl Rove's strategy for beating either Hillary OR Obama:

Posted by: JakeD | January 16, 2008 7:02 PM | Report abuse

Well, that was actually kinda funny -- did she write that herself, or hire a scab? When do we get to see pictures of the plane? Is it anything like the GOOGLE Billionaire planes?

Posted by: JakeD | January 16, 2008 6:39 PM | Report abuse

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