The End Of A Long Travel Day

It began in Houston, waking up earlier than I would have liked and then getting ready for work.  A cab ride to Hobby Airport, a connection in St. Louis, some waiting in lines, a hurried sandwich, and a thousand miles later, I got home just as the sun was setting over the runways of Port Columbus.

It’s been a long day.

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Harry Reid Is An Embarrassment

One reason many of us are troubled about the future of our country is that we don’t seem to have many capable, credible people in positions of authority.  Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is a good example.

Lately Reid has been claiming that an unnamed person, or persons, have told him that Republican candidate Mitt Romney didn’t pay taxes for 10 years.  Never mind that Romney has released returns for the last two years that show he paid substantial sums in taxes.  Never mind that those returns reflect financial affairs that make it highly unlikely that Romney had zero tax liability in prior years — so unlikely that the Washington Post gave Reid four “Pinocchios” for his dubious claim.  And never mind that Reid himself has not released his own tax returns, arguing that he provides sufficient financial information through congressional disclosure processes.  Reid sees no double standard or unfairness in any of this, and says the burden is on Romney to disprove Reid’s allegation.

We should all be deeply troubled by Reid’s recklessness.  Making public charges based solely on alleged anonymous information, refusing to disclose its source, and then putting the burden on the accused to disprove the unsubstantiated allegations sounds like McCarthyism or the tactics employed in the Soviet Union.  No American should be treated so unfairly, and the fact that Mitt Romney is a presidential candidate for the opposing party doesn’t relieve Reid of his obligation to act with decency and propriety.

Harry Reid has been an ineffective leader of the Senate during a time when that body has been even more inert than normal.  He is a Lilliputian figure in the history of this country, but his latest stunts are revealing disturbing things about his character.  If he wants to pursue the issue of Mitt Romney’s taxes, he should disclose his sources by name, state precisely what they told him, and let everyone judge the credibility of that information.  If he doesn’t want to do so, he should do us all a favor and shut up.

My Pen Pal, Mitt Romney

Over the years, Kish and I have contributed to the campaigns of candidates from both parties.  As a result, virtually every day we get fundraising literature from one candidate or another who is looking for a buck.

Lately my top pen pal has been Mitt Romney.  Say what you will about the guy, but he is persistent.  I’d bet that he’s sent me more than a dozen letters — including two big envelopes that enclosed a large photo of Mr. Romney, clad in jeans, hands in hip pockets, smiling face turned skyward, standing in front of a barn with an American flag painted on the side.  I’m sure the Romney campaign hopes that it’s the kind of inspiring photo that makes you reflexively reach for your wallet and make foolishly large contributions.

And it’s not just a contribution they’re looking for, either.  One of the letters enclosed a “Personal Reply to Mitt Romney” that not only allows you to make a contribution, but also includes the following statement:  “Yes, Mitt!  You will make an excellent President and I am honored to join your team.”

Whoa, there, Big Fella!  I’ve been voting long enough to reserve judgment on the excellence of a President until after he’s been elected and made some of the hard decisions that are part and parcel of the job.  And what’s with this notion of me being “honored” to join Mitt’s team?  Even if I were inclined to contribute to Romney’s campaign, I wouldn’t feel “honored” by the opportunity to write a check in response to a mass fundraising appeal.  Shouldn’t he be “honored” if I were to decide to make a contribution?

Romney’s fundraising appeals are no more silly or annoying than the letters we’ve received from other politicians, including President Obama.  And although they clog our mailbox, at least we can take comfort in the fact that my pen pal’s persistent appeals — all of which are sent with “presorted standard” USA stamps — might help the Postal Service avoid another one of those record deficits.

BEST Philly Cheese Steak in the Midwest

Yesterday I had the afternoon off so I decided to kill two birds with one stone and headed to JT’s Pizza to visit with my nephew while getting my monthly fix of the BEST Philly Cheese Steak sandwich I’ve ever tasted in my lifetime.

Our nephew Joe Hartnett (pictured behind my nephew Danny) is part owner with Todd Swan of JT’s Pizza and they started their business a couple of years ago priding themselves on using high quality ingredients and serving them at a reasonable price.

While I was waiting for my sandwich I couldn’t help but notice the board they have posted with the number of sales records they are setting in 2012. Joe, I am proud of what you have accomplished in such a short time, especially during a time when a lot of businesses are struggling. Your hard work and perseverance are paying dividends and I know that your grandma is proud of you too. In fact we are all proud of you !

The philly sandwich is a half pound of philly steak blended together with sauteed mushrooms, onions and green peppers (I like mine without the green peppers) topped with cheese and mayonnaise with fresh cut fries for only $7. Rumor has it that truckers stop at JT’s on their way through Columbus just to get the Philly Cheese Steak sandwich which they say is the best in the Midwest and I wholeheartedly agree with them – it is fantastic !

Their pizza is killer too. So if you live here in Columbus check out JT’s pizza just west of Linworth Road on 161 next to Valvoline. The website is http://www.jtspizzacolumbus.com. Keep up the good work Joe – see you next month for my fix !