No matter how old one gets, there is always an opportunity to learn.
I learned a couple of things after I wrote last week’s commentary on my thought that Mitt Romney would take Ohio on Nov. 6.
One was that I should learn not to make political predictions until the Monday before Election Day because as soon as I hit the “send” button on the computer containing a political prediction commentary, the politician in question – in this particular case Romney – will be revealed to have done something really, really stupid.
In Romney’s case, it was calling 47 percent of American voters – those who are squarely in President Barack Obama’s corner – entitled “victims.” Then, of course, he further explained that he wasn’t very “elegant” in his execution of that particular thought.
The second thing I learned is that people, particularly my readers, don’t give much of a hoot about politics. Well, at least they don’t at the current time, and this could be as a result of many things, including but not limited to scores of “robocalls” to their homes and the hundreds of attack ads on TV while they’re trying to concentrate on “Dancing With The Stars.”
Don’t be too critical of people who would rather watch “DWTS,” all you highbrows. It’s an escape from the realities of modern life even if the politicians won’t let Ohioans watch it in peace.
I know that last week’s commentary wasn’t very popular because it didn’t show up among the favorites on the Bargain Hunter’s website, at least not while I paid attention to it over the weekend. This may sound a little narcissistic, but generally my commentaries do show up on the list every week. I’m very proud of that fact.
So, from here on out, I’ll try to keep the political stuff to a minimum, although I do find it interesting and unfortunately necessary to sometimes write about it. And I continue to think that Romney has a chance to win Ohio, but I’m not wagering anything on the rest of the country except Alabama.
I have a lot of relatives in Alabama and they’ve told me in certain terms that Obama is going down big time in their state and, by goodness, I believe them.
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When Romney released his tax returns showing a 14.1 percent tax rate for 2011, I was curious about this family’s tax rate.
When both of us had full-time, bring-home-the-bacon jobs, we were in the 25 percent tax rate bracket, according to that wonderful home software program Turbo Tax.
In the last couple of years, TT says we dropped to the 15 percent tax bracket. That seems to correspond with the period when your favorite newspaper columnist began reinventing himself.
And in my book, 15 percent still is more than 14.1 percent.
OK, no more politics after this.
Pakistani Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar said she believes the U.S. needs to rethink free speech.
“It is not good enough to say it’s free speech, it should be allowed,” Hina told CNN in an interview.
“I think if this does provoke action against American citizens or Americans anywhere else in the world, then maybe we do need to rethink how much freedom is OK.”
Hina was referring to the rogue American filmmaker, whose movie has angered the Muslim world and has been blamed for a resurgence of anti-American violence throughout the Middle East.
Even idiot filmmakers are protected by our guarantee of free speech. Of course, no one is required to watch idiot films.
Memo to Hina: Our forefathers here in the U.S. worked long and hard on the Declaration of Independence, the Bill of Rights, the Constitution and other documents that established our country ultimately as the leader of the free world.
Well, that and the blood of our young men and women.
Maybe Americans need to rethink how much foreign aid we provide to countries such as Pakistan. I know it’s a simplistic way of looking at it, but wouldn’t you just like to tell these pipsqueak countries (OK, Pakistan’s got nukes) to bug off?
In fiscal year 2011, requested U.S. aid to Pakistan totaled roughly $2.25 billion. If we’re going to throw money around, why don’t we throw it at our public schools, or Medicare, or Social Security?
Wonder if anyone will ask that question in the presidential debates?
Read more of Dick Farrell at TuscBargainHunter.com.