The most frequent newspaper question I'm asked is why I ever asked Tom Sears to write a column in The Daily Star.
Sears, a Hartwick College professor of accounting, regularly infuriates the more-liberal element of our readership with his ardent conservative prose.
The second-most frequent newspaper question I'm asked is when I'm going to stop running Tom Sears' columns.
I always respond to calls for Tom's head _ not to mention other parts of his anatomy _ the same way.
"I've got his back," I say. "Tom's doing a great job."
Regular readers of my columns (and shame on you if you are not one of them) may wonder why someone who disagrees so strongly with just about everything Tom Sears writes would be so steadfast in his support.
Well, now the answer to that great mystery can finally be revealed.
Tom Sears is my turkey.
Or, put a bit more accurately, he's soon to be the benefactor of my hot turkey sandwich.
Two years ago, we wagered on whether the Democrats would achieve a majority in the House of Representatives. I said they would, and Tom insisted they wouldn't.
All we bet back then was a vanilla malted, which Tom had to purchase for me after the election.
This year, we wagered a lunch on whether my Barack Obama would beat his John McCain.
We'll be having lunch _ courtesy of Tom's credit card _ soon.
You know, I really like Tom, We're poles apart on virtually everything political, but there is no denying the man is good company, particularly when he has to buy me something to eat.
When it comes to politics, Sears is the worst kind of gambler, someone who allows his rooting interest to color what should be his sound judgment.