Paul W. Smith: Let’s have some real election debates

Paul W. Smith

“Outta’ My Mind on a Saturday Moanin’”

There’s no debate here.

We the people have the right to compare two people running for the same office to serve us, our state and our country, side by side, answering the same questions put forward in a fair and nonpartisan way (if that’s possible).

We will judge them on style (because we can’t help ourselves) and on substance (because we must).

At this point in the campaign season, going into the general election, there is a far better chance of having an actual debate, rather than the overcrowded clusters of candidates vying for any attention they can get before dropping out or getting knocked out of the running we’ve experienced in the not too distant past.

■Who knew?

NASA has had 20 missions to Mars since the 1960s !

Sunday night, if all goes as planned, the 21st mission, the Mars atmosphere and volatile evolution spacecraft, or MAVEN, will reach the Red Planet’s upper atmosphere. Four hundred and forty-two million miles and 10 months later, it’s not meant to land, just be in the neighborhood collecting information for future human explorers.

■Flipping through the channels Wednesday night, I stumbled upon the conclusion of this season’s (the ninth) “America’s Got Talent.” Frankly, I stopped watching when our own Olivia Millerschin, Matt Heim and Sam Affer were knocked out of the running. If you cared at all, you know by now magician Matt Franco won the big prize: A Las Vegas Show and ONE MILLION DOLLARS!

But wait a minute. Given all of the hype about this talent show giving the first really big prize (that million bucks was really talked about in the beginning), I was shocked to see the fine print disclaimer at the very end of the show say that the $1 million was to be paid over 40 years.

You do the math.

(O.K., it’s $25,000 a year. Not bad, but not exactly a $1 million check.)

Paul W. Smith is host of “The Paul W. Smith Show” on WJR-AM (760) from 5:30-9 a.m. Monday-Friday.