Hey Harry, Mitt Paid Taxes!

Today Mitt Romney released his 2011 tax returns.  They show that the Republican nominee earned more than $13.5 million — mostly from investments — and paid $1.9 million in taxes.  He has his wife also gave generously to charities.

In addition, Romney also released a summary of his taxes going back to 1990.  The summary reported that, during the period from 1990 to 2009, the Romneys paid taxes every year, with an average annual effective federal tax rate of 20.2 percent.  Romney has now provided information about 23 years of tax returns, including releasing the tax returns themselves for 2010 and 2011.

Let’s not forget that the abominable Harry Reid claimed back in August that an anonymous source had told him that Mitt Romney had not paid taxes for 10 years.  It was appalling that the Senate Majority Leader would rely on an unnamed source to launch such serious and slanderous accusations, which have now been shown to be false.  Do you think there is any chance that Harry Reid will apologize to Mitt Romney for making such reckless and unfounded accusations?  That’s what any decent person would do.  Unfortunately, any person of character would never have made the unsupported accusations in the first place, so I wouldn’t bet on old Harry doing the decent thing.  Instead, he’ll just endure another blow to whatever shreds of credibility he might still possess.

I hope Romney’s release of his tax returns takes that silly issue off the table, and lets the candidates and the American public focus on the big issues in the race — like who is better equipped to get our economy going, and how we can get people back to work and bring this unending recession to a long-overdue end.

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Looking For Beauty, Wherever It May Be

When I’m on the road, I like to take my camera.  I think having a camera helps you notice things —  interesting things, pretty things, things you might otherwise ignore as you endure the soul-sapping sameness that is modern air travel.

Today I had to change planes at the huge Dallas-Fort Worth Airport.  I took the twisting, turning tram system to get from one terminal to another.  Rather than just slump down in a seat for a boring 10-minute ride, I resolved to check out the surroundings . . . and was treated to a beautiful interplay of sun, cloud, and blue sky over the Texas tarmac.

Our moods would be better if we took the time to just look around a bit and enjoy the view.  Carrying a camera helps you to do just that.

Awesomely Awful Adult Acne

Every once in a while I clean out the spam folder for our blog.  Usually I do so quickly and without reservation, because the purported comments are in a foreign language, or suggest porn websites, or otherwise are wholly irrelevant to anything on our little blog.

Today, however, there was a spam comment that touched my heartstrings.  In a non sequitur response to a wholly random post, it read:  “I know this is a off topic but i wanna share you about skin care. Acne can cause depression and embarrassment. This can be due to acne scars left on the face or perhaps in any area affected. This might be due to wrong treatment or lack of treatment. It’s usually advised to remedy acne instantly to prevent severe acne problems. This could also avoid spending more money, effort and time to get the desired result from treatments.”

My first reaction was defensive.  Of all blogs, why is this acne ad being sent here?  Do I have some kind of lingering, post-high school reputation for having a bad complexion?

Then I thought:  How true!  Let’s face it, acne blows!  If you were a kid a who had acne during high school, you know how it made your life a living hell.  You dreaded being called pizza face, and spent hours in front of the bathroom mirror, applying the Clearasil or other off-the-shelf remedy and hoping that the Zit God would grant your prayers and leave your skin clean and fresh as a baby’s for the high school prom.  Of course, that didn’t happen. We went to the prom, zits and all, and hoped that our date wouldn’t care and that airbrushing would take care of our imperfections in our senior class photo.

For most of us, acne ended with adolescence.  Just think of how it would suck to have raw, bursting pimples as an adult!  And that’s why I couldn’t just cold-heartedly delete the spam.  If you’ve got adult acne, for God’s sake — get help!  No one should have to deal with the insecurities of high school more than once.