President Barack Obama spends a significant amount of time insisting he is battling deep-pockets special interests. In a way, he is being too modest.
Before he even knows the identity of his Republican opponent in the presidential election, Obama already has spent $135 million trying to win it, according to a review by The Associated Press. That is more than GOP contenders Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum, locked in a bruising fight for their party's nomination, have spent combined.
Even after spending that amount, the president's re-election campaign still had more than $84 million in the bank when the AP did its analysis.
Already, Obama has a paid staff of more than 500 people, the AP found. He has set up field offices in 45 states. More than 60 percent of them are in the Chicago office.
And, of course, it needs to be remembered Obama can do much of his campaign traveling on the taxpayers' dime. In addition, some of his White House staffers, also paid for by taxpayers, are focused almost solely on his re-election bid.
Indeed there will be a deep-pockets special interest candidate running for president this fall. His name is Barack Obama.
Eight children, along with two adults, died as a result of a fire last month at their home in Charleston, W.Va.
Firefighters found one smoke detector in the home. It was stored in a cabinet and was not operating.
No one can say with certainty whether operating smoke detectors would have prevented the Charleston deaths. But it is known that smoke and carbon monoxide detectors - when working - do save lives.
Too many homes lack such detectors. And in too many with them, they are installed and forgotten. Batteries are not replaced. Operating checks are not performed.
If your home doesn't have smoke detectors, install at least one. If you already have them, check whether they are operating and replace the batteries, if necessary.
Do it now - and make it a point to do so regularly in the future.