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Shooting Blanks

Barack Obama wears twin holsters. After hours with Michigan Democrats. Yesterday's echoes. Plus more.

4.9.08

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THE PANDER BEAR
Re: Robert VerBruggen's Barack and Load:

I was pleasantly surprised to see a journalist actually point out the discrepancies between Senator Obama's campaign rhetoric regarding guns versus his record, but appalled by the suggestion to flip a coin between the two candidates. While researching Senator Obama, I came across so many discrepancies between his campaign rhetoric and his record, that I now think of him as the candidate of disingenuity.

Senator Obama claims to be a post-partisan candidate, yet he has a very partisan record. He claims to be able to work across the aisle, yet has very few bi-partisan accomplishments. He claims not to take money from lobbyists and corporations, yet a review of various fact checkers and watchdog groups indicates that he is actually taking money one step removed from these entities. He claims to be more transparent than other candidates, yet the records from his tenure in the Illinois State Senate have not been made available, which is especially troubling concerning the ongoing trial of his political patron, Mr. Rezko. Unfortunately, I've most likely failed to note all of the discrepancies between his rhetoric and his record, but I think I've made my point.

Considering his lack of experience and the discrepancies between his rhetoric and his record, I don't see how anyone could present the choice between Senator Clinton and Senator Obama as a flip of the coin. Senator Clinton has been in the public eye for many more years, and has a much greater understanding of the challenges facing our next President. I, for one, hope journalists take the time to help voters make a more informed decision. I don't believe telling voters to flip a coin is an adequate suggestion considering we have troops in both Iraq and Afghanistan, and are facing a severe economic downturn.
-- Sharon
A concerned voter

In 1996, Obama filled out a questionnaire that says he is actually anti-gun. At first he insisted he had never filled out the questionnaire until the questionnaire was found to have his signature and writing on it. Do not be fooled by his current stance. He is doing this to attract pro-gun voters in the primary election. "Do you support state legislation to...ban the manufacture, sale and possession of handguns?" asked one of the three dozen questions.

"Yes," was Obama's entire answer. This is one of the hypocritical stances Obama has. He is pandering to the gun owners of Pennsylvania. This is one of the reasons I cannot support Obama.
-- Nancy Armstrong

The anti-gun people have a pathway that is well defined. They see guns as attack weapons rather than defensive weapons. This causes them to want to ban all firearms. Realizing that they cannot get that done all at once, they choose a group that they feel is easiest to reason with and tell that group (hunters and sportsmen) that they have "no intention" of depriving them of their sport by confiscating their guns.

This has worked well for them in the past. Remember that intrepid duck hunter John Kerry, and his Elmer Fudd-like performance in the run up to the 2004 election? It is obvious that these gun grabbers do not see the statistics that show how much gun violence gun ownership and carrying prevent.

If I thought for one moment that ALL guns could be collected, from both good citizens and criminals alike, I would agree with their confiscation. That pipe dream is fodder for fools. I always tell these anti-gunners to look to Washington D. C. It has the strictest gun laws in the nation and also about the highest rate of gun crime.
-- Joseph Baum
Garrettsville, Ohio

Don't bother pointing out Obama's voting record. Don't bother pointing out Obama's pandering. Don't bother pointing out Obama's double standard on bigotry. Don't bother pointing out Obama's "misspeaks" on whether or not he heard his pastor's hate-speech. Don't bother pointing out Obama's exaggerations about his being a professor. Don't bother pointing out Obama's two staff people who said things outside of the campaign that was opposite to what he was saying.

Just don't bother -- Why?

BECAUSE NOBODY'S LISTENING. And you can't force them to.
-- B. Chauvin

Gun rights are just the latest example of Barack Obama pandering and trying to hide his radical liberal agenda. His refusal to release any papers from his time in the Illinois State Senate (claiming that none -- not even a schedule -- exist) is part and parcel of his strategy of leaving no paper trail so that he can remain the "blank slate" as he describes himself in his book, The Audacity of Hope. Other areas where he has shifted and morphed with the political winds include decriminalizing marijuana laws and the Iraq war. His inconsistencies on the Iraq war should be well known to your readers. His flip flopping on marijuana laws may be less so. First Barack Obama supported decriminalization, telling students at Northwestern University in 2004 when he was running for Senate, "I think we need to rethink and decriminalize our marijuana laws." This was caught on video which was obtained by the Washington Times.

Then he claimed to be against it during a debate of democratic presidential candidates last fall. Then he said he was for it, explaining he raised his hand by mistake. Recently as he faces primaries in the relatively conservative states of PA, NC, WV and KY he is stated that he opposes decriminalization of marijuana. What accounts for this latest switch? His campaign says he didn't understand what decriminalization meant. Laughable given his Harvard JD and "10 years as a constitutional lawyer."

The only thing for which Barack Obama firmly stands, near as I can tell, is his own ambition.
-- Ann M. Bilyew

Flip a coin to decide whether or not to vote for Obama? Please.

Given that he's now running full-tilt in his leopard-changing-spots phase of his campaign, here's hoping that reasonable people -- the ones who really don't like to be disrespected, regardless of the level of their innate intelligence -- will see that desperate Obama will quite literally say or do anything, in spite of the obvious dishonesty and insult of what he's saying or doing.

He reminds me of a politician I once saw years ago in a small town in southern West Virginia's coalfields. On an election day, he parked his Cadillac across the street from a polling place, opened the trunk of that car and then proceeded to hand out pints of liquor to passersby.

Thing is, that fellow never seemed to pretend to be more than he was, unlike this very dangerous and divisive junior senator from Illinois. But both counted on the stupidity of voters.
-- C. Kenna Amos
Princeton, West Virginia

Thank you for your recent comments on Senator Obama's new stance on gun control. It reminds one of his Canadian wink-wink on NAFTA. I wish more media would call him on his two-faced stances.
-- Nona Russell

Thank you for your insightful article on Obama. His often-conflicting, fair-weather values frighten me a great deal, as seen with his support of his mentor and friend Rev. Wright. There is nothing more dangerous than someone who truly believes their own lies.
-- Yael Belle

Flip flop, flip flop...He told voters he was against NAFTA while telling Canada he was for it. He told voters he was going to pull out the troops while his senior advisors we saying, no, he doesn't really mean it. He said he had no idea his pastor was a angry, anti-American racist and then, oops!, maybe he did know. And now guns? This guy has only been around a few years, barely vetted. Who knows where he actually stands.
-- Caroline Lovelace

ESPECIALLY IN MICHIGAN
Re: Mark G. Michaelsen's Wolverine State Wolves:

The woes of Michigan go well beyond the judgment lapses of liberals' sexual exploits. It goes right to the heart of liberalism itself: "We're righteous, in power, and results don't matter, so don't judge us."

Kilpatrick keeps polishing chrome bumpers in downtown Detroit with tax breaks and incentives for handpicked industries, while the neighborhoods crumble and residents flee the city. Governor Jennifer Granholm does the same for the rest of the state. The result has been an exodus of brains and businesses driving Michigan's economy into the ditch. With housing values in freefall, foreclosed properties resulted for 50% of all residential real estate sales in Oakland County (Michigan's wealthiest county) for the month of January '08.

In nearly 8 years of gubernatorial malfeasance the legislature comes up with: Tax breaks for movie producers that come here to film. That's great, for that niche industry. Those industries left out of the goody bag have found refuge in any state where it costs a buck less to operate (the other 49). Vice (casinos) gets its special privileges too, but any legit, productive Americans can look elsewhere as the politicos here treat the "chosen few" like little pets. Ogling and fawning, over them, oblivious when a Comerica Bank or a Pfizer splits for greener pastures. They got lottery games coming out their hindquarters here, but little to offer small business.
-- P. Aaron Jones
Sadr City, Michigan

Maybe a man benefits most when he lowers expectations for himself. Senator Robert Packwood, hailing from the fine state of Oregon, a Republican, and therefore perceived as a man of principles, was forced to resign when he was accused of sexually harassing female staff members and lobbyists. Another GOP'er, far from the party's brightest light, Rep. Foley (R-FL), was also forced to resign for misconduct. It is only fair and correct that these men who abused their positions (no pun intended) be held responsible by their constituencies and the Forth Estate, but when Democrats, such as Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, and most famously, the Boy President, pull these stunts, the press turns its collective head and barely coughs.

If this is only Republicans who are held to high moral standards, why was a Democrat, Governor Spitzer, held to a higher standard and why did the schadenfreude spread like fine cream cheese on a hot bagel? (Anti-Semitism aside, though worthy of exploration in itself.) Spitzer set himself up with high expectations: he climbed ever upward on the backs of men whom he portrayed as evil and lawless while stormed the stage in the clothes of a righteous man. Spitzer claimed he was a man of the highest moral standards, a man of law and order (if not a touch of brimstone). If it were not for his unctuous self-portrait, a painting willingly displayed with assistance of the New York Times and other voices of the left, Spitzer would have walked away from his outing as a spendthrift (though generous) John without a political scratch. Former President Clinton has been embraced by the public (via speeches, consultations and book writings) to the tune of 100 plus million dollars since leaving The White House. Not bad for a disbarred lawyer.

If one lowers expectations enough, one might even be able to become king some day.
-- Ira M. Kessel
Rochester, New York

Why don't we start keeping a Testosterone Tally? Make it retroactive to, say, Wilbur Mills and Fanne Fox. John and Teddy Kennedy. Probably Robert, too, sharing the wealth of Marilyn's favors. Lyndon Johnson, Gary Hartpence. John Towers, Franklin Roosevelt, Warren Harding, Woodrow Wilson. At least back then, hanky panky was "home grown."

But now, thanks to the cornucopia of performance enhancing pills being chugged down like after dinner mints, the Little Engines That Couldn't before are now being rounded up by the vice squad.
-- Diane Smith
California

THE NEWEST GOOD OLE BOY
Re: Clinton Pay Comes to $30 Per Lie:

It's obvious the "good old boys club" don't want a woman, especially Hillary. What are they afraid of? Is having the most liberal Senator really in this country's best interest? It is obvious the DNC and Dean will let down the Democrats once again. Dean has proven he can't lead the DNC, something needs to be done about Dean.
-- Sherrie Pal

LIBBY ON THE LABLE
Re: Jackie Mason & Raoul Felder's If Spitzer, Why Not Clinton?:

If Clinton, why not Scooter?

Such blatant, unabashed hypocrisy and double standard.

Unbelievable.
-- Exeter

BARRING ALL LOGIC
Re: W. James Antle III's Barr Fight:

Two reasons Bob Barr would be a fool to run:

One is that the only thing he will accomplish is a win for one or the other of the two most Socialist candidates who have ever been in the running for president. Hardly a wanted outcome, even for mind-numbed Libertarians.

The other is that no Libertarian can expect to govern with any degree of effectiveness because they have virtually no one to work with in Congress. The party needs to build from the bottom up, not the top down. Elect a number of congressmen and women, a few governors, then go for the gold.

But since the party insists in giving elections to the left by running candidates without first building a support structure, perhaps this concept is too complex for those of Libertarian persuasion to get their minds around.
-- Margot Schulzke

QUEEN FOR A DAY
Re: Conor Friedersdorf's Here Comes the Bride...Zilla:

About twenty years ago (maybe more) Bride magazines came into vogue. These slick periodicals changed the focus of marriage from "being married" to just "getting married" -- with all the flamboyance and festoonery a credit card could withstand.

I knew a young woman about twenty-six years old who was sure she was withering on the vine. Her prospects were slim. Women's Lib was in full flower. Fern bars where the only questions being asked were "What's your sign?" and "Your place or mine?" were not exactly fertile ground for popping any other question. Young woman was getting more anxious with each passing day and no, not because of ticking bio clock. The last thing on her mind was a family. She wanted to see herself in that Vera Wang gown.

Dating an investment broker who bore a striking resemblance to the fellow who starred in How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying -- I think the term "Dork" was coined for him, she finally saw her dream of the perfect wedding coming true.

The day we saw her off on a pre-nuptial cruise with Dork, she confided, "If I meet someone I really like on the ship, of course, the wedding is off." Of course. Sadly, she didn't. The wedding came off, the bride was beautiful. The Dork's get-up made him look like a plump penguin. But she was Queen for a Day.

I ran into her a few years later. She had two small children in tow and had not had time to wax "the shadow of her smile" in a while. The Vera Wang sheath would have fit her upper arm like an opera glove.

Divine Retribution.
-- Diane Smith
California

CONFUSION
Re: Jo Fullerton's letter under ("No Holds Barr'd") in Reader Mail's Guy Walks Into a...:

Jo Fullerton's stated that a Barr candidacy would ensure the election of Barack Obama, "a radical leftist and black nationalist. The worst of all worlds." Fullerton then went on to state that "If Barr ran, I would have to vote for him because -- " I cut it off here because there is no rational because. If anyone thinks Obama is the "worst of all worlds" then stopping Obama from getting elected is the only rational choice, even if it means voting for John McCain.
-- Scott Pandich

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