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I can surely understand why Missouri’s Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate, Todd Akin, assumed that a prerequisite for holding the office was stupidity. After all, his opponent, Democrat Claire McCaskill, is a certified numbskull. But even she isn’t stupid enough to suggest that a rape victim has the natural ability not to get pregnant. With my luck, if I had taken high school biology and tried to get my answers off someone else’s test paper, Akin would have been the guy sitting next to me.

In response to the multiple choice question regarding a human’s gestation period being a) one week, b) one month, c) nine months or d) three years, Todd and I would probably have taken our chances with d) if only because neither of us would have had any idea what “gestation” meant.

The problem isn’t even that Akin’s statement was so far off the charts that one might have assumed he had forgotten to take his meds that morning. What makes it obvious that he has no more business holding public office than a chimpanzee is that the average chimp would have paused a moment and asked himself, “With the election just a couple of months off, why the heck am I discussing rape victims? I’m looking to be Senator Bonzo, for crying out loud, not a guest on ‘The View.’”

To their credit, everyone in the GOP, including Mitt Romney, has been after Mr. Akin to retire from the race. But Akin, who’s in his mid-60s and just gave up his House seat, figures it’s now or never, and he absolutely refuses to budge. You all know how stubborn those Missouri mules can be. Although I’m no farm boy, I have heard that if you want to get a mule’s attention, you first hit it in the head with a 2-by-4. It’s only a suggestion, you understand, but it would be a shame if Harry Reid maintained control of the Senate for no better reason than that this pinhead happened to notice that his mouth was wide open and figured it was the perfect place to stick his shoe.

Although Australia has always seemed to be a sensible country, one of the few that America could always count on in crunch time, I recently heard they’ve decided that in the future cigarette companies would not be able to market their products in their distinctive packages. Instead, all cigarettes would come in beige packs and the only decorative features would be pictures of cancer-riddled lungs.

Personally, I hope that this is merely a rumor started by, one might suspect, those notorious little troublemakers in New Zealand. Otherwise, it sounds as if Michael Bloomberg, not satisfied with merely being the nanny of New York City, has branched out and is now moonlighting Down Under.

It so happens I used to be a smoker, but that was many years ago. Although I prefer not being around cigarette smokers, I try not to be one of those self-righteous schmucks whose sole purpose in life seems to be scowling at nicotine addicts as he passes them on the street while frantically waving his hand in front of his face, as if secondhand smoke had the same lethal properties as nerve gas.

The way I see it, if, at this late date, the Aussies still feel compelled to get the point across that cigarettes aren’t quite as healthy as broccoli and blueberries, they could go about it in some slightly more subtle fashion. I mean, what’s next, a skull-and-crossbones on whisky bottles? Candy bars decorated with rotting teeth? Or perhaps a picture of Rosie O’Donnell on bags of cookies?

When I first heard that we were loosening sanctions on Iran so donations could be made to their earthquake victims, it barely registered. Heaven knows, when it comes to helping out the victims of natural disasters, America is inevitably Johnny on the spot. But then it struck me: Who are we to interfere when God tries to shake a little sense into Ahmadinejad and the mullahs? It would seem to me that there’s a big difference between being charitable and being a prize sucker. Iran has friends in the world and, clearly, we’re not one of them. If anyone is going to help them, I say let it be one of its longtime allies – Russia, China, Syria or Beelzebub.

In conclusion, let me just say that I have a 2-by-4 packed and ready to ship. All I need is the name and address of some reliable mule skinner in the Show Me State who’s just aching to get Mr. Akin’s attention.

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