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Extra! Extra!: Readers sound off on presidential race in these bonus, Web-only local view pieces

All news fit to print is all pro-Democrat It was very easy to review the one-sidedness of the editorial staff at the News Tribune. The latest Internet online edition clearly indicated all the news fit to print was only about the wonderful accompl...

All news fit to print is all pro-Democrat

It was very easy to review the one-sidedness of the editorial staff at the News Tribune. The latest Internet online edition clearly indicated all the news fit to print was only about the wonderful accomplishments of the Democratic Party and Barack Obama. I also read from a balanced news source this morning that an American author in Kenya was arrested Oct. 7 for promoting his book not favorable to Obama. I'm talking about Jerome Corsi, author of "The Obama Nation: Leftist Politics and the Cult of Personality."

Expect the race card to be dealt repeatedly during Obama's term, when the news sources will support him 100 percent, with no accountability for this pop-culture celebrity.

Jon Leppala

Duluth

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Obama will raise everyone's taxes

Does anyone really believe a tax cut for 95 percent of the people means their taxes will be lower in an Obama presidency? This is ridiculous on its face.

Obama has proposed billions and billions in new spending. How will he pay for it? By taking from the rich? If anyone wants less money in their pockets, they can vote Obama.

In 2006, the top 50 percent of wage earners paid 97.01 percent of all taxes. Sounds to me like they are paying their fair share of taxes.

The record needs to be corrected or at least put into the "half truth" column because taxes will rise under Obama.

Lawrence Smith

Cotton

Obama a friend of hunters

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The other day I got a postcard in the mail from the National Rifle Association, claiming Barack Obama would ban hunting guns and deer hunting ammunition, and, somehow, he would make ammunition cost $500 per box. As a hunter since I got my firearms safety certificate when I was about 12 years old, I would rightly be incensed if any politician wanted to do any of these things, so I did a little research. It quickly became apparent that these claims were either outright lies or distortion, unsupported by facts.

Barack Obama does support some level of gun control (such as the assault-weapon ban), but has repeatedly stated he would protect the rights of hunters, sportsmen, and law-abiding citizens to own and use guns. In addition, the American Hunters and Shooters Association, which states it is committed to supporting the right to keep and bear arms, has endorsed Obama.

Four days after the election, I'll be in the woods deer hunting, happy that Barack Obama will be our next president.

Jesse Schomberg

Duluth

McCain, others see need for regulations on Wall Street

According to Sen. John McCain and other deregulators and "free marketers," the recent Wall Street financial crisis was not due to deregulation, the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act or the failure of the executive branch to enforce the rules; it was due to the avarice, corruption and greed of some well-positioned "bad apples."

This is precisely the reason there must be rules and regulations in the marketplace.

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It appears to me that the "invisible hand" has become invisible. The "bad apples" will always emerge if there are no constraints. The lure of huge gains to the aggressive Bad Apple is extreme. Without the constraints that regulation provides, somebody will always figure out how to game the system to their own benefit and to the detriment of the general public. Apparently, we have forgot-ten why the antitrust acts and regulations were adopted in the first place. In almost every case they were adopted to correct some actual abuse. Imagine a hockey game without referees.

Could the housing debacle be connected to what George Bush termed the "ownership society" by making it easier for more people to become owners? Apparently during the regime of Margaret Thatcher in the United Kingdom, the government sold public housing to the tenants at favorable terms creating an ownership class. They found that when people became owners they started to vote conservative. Was the relaxing of regulations and oversight in the housing market an attempt to create the "ownership society" that would tend to vote Republican and establish a permanent Republican majority, as envisioned by Karl Rove and Tom Delay?

In view of what Henry Paulson tried to put over, I would suggest that if you have not already read the book, "The Shock Doctrine" by Naomi Klein, you should.

Kenneth Perala

Orr

McCain too chummy with lobbyists

I almost choked when I heard John McCain talk about how important it is to regulate the finan-cial industry to protect America from another financial disaster. He has taken so many positions on this and other issues in the past few months, my head spins. He lies and keeps on lying because enough people will accept his lies without question or investigation.

He made great political theater while he hurried off to Washington to be the hero and to "fix" the economic meltdown. This was ironic because in the late 1980s, McCain and his fight for deregula-tion was in the middle of the meltdown of America's savings and loan industry, which cost more than $100 billion in taxes to fix.

Google the "Keating Five" and you can read about who John McCain really is and who I think he will be if elected president. He was eventually reprimanded by the Senate Ethics Committee for poor judgment, but has he changed? He still surrounds himself with lobbyists and favors all kinds of deregulation. His campaign staff is composed of many lobbyists and sources indicate his cam-paign manager is a lobbyist who was recently on the payroll of the failed mortgage company Freddie Mac.

History has shown that we cannot count on any industry to regulate itself. The nature of indus-try will drive them for ever-greater profits. Without protection, the taxpayer will be called on to pay the bill when things implode and the CEOs can still walk away with the cash. Regulations are needed to keep a balance, as has been illustrated by the recent financial crisis.

Please don't accept McCain's lies without question. He cannot be trusted to protect taxpayer in-terests against those of his wealthy friends.

Kim Randolph

McGregor

McCain is McSame

Given Wall Street's stunning market meltdown, countless senior citizens would now be facing utter impoverishment if the Bush scheme for privatizing Social Security, which John McCain fully endorsed, had succeeded.

McCain's record proves he's a chronic deregulator and privateer who also wants to give multi-millionaires permanent tax cuts. When the super wealthy don't pay their fair share of taxes, aver-age citizens must make up the shortfall if they want a government that meets society's needs, things like infrastructure upkeep, transportation, health and safety inspection and education aid.

But that's the whole point of privatization, isn't it, getting government out of helping ordinary people and then using what's "saved" as subsidies and giveaways for the socially irresponsible, selfish and rich?

Make no mistake about it. Worsening economic injustice -- rapaciously one-sided class warfare -- will certainly result if false-maverick McSame is elected on Nov. 4.

Dennis Rahkonen

Superior

A very un-merry Christmas will follow an Obama win

We are headed for a very dangerous Thanksgiving and Christmas season should Barack Obama prevail on Election Day.

First, I predict the Israelis will attack Iranian nuclear facilities, calculating correctly that they will get support from the Bush Administration and force the Obama Administration to continue that support.

If NATO starts Ukraine and/or Georgia on the road to membership at the December meeting, Russia will move on Georgia and perhaps Ukraine, and there isn't a single thing besides bluster that the West will be able to do. The Russians might even preempt NATO, depending on what's going on in the Middle East.

China will test Obama. The only question is when and how. My guess is some move on Taiwan.

North Korea will take advantage of the situation and demand more incentives. To push its point it'll probably pop another nuke.

Countries exist in a true state of nature; they will always do what is in their own interests.

I want to believe, I really do. I just can't see my way when the top of one ticket has experience and the other doesn't.

Garry Hooghkirk

Duluth

McCain, Republicans dodging national issues

Republican strategists knew they could not win this election on the issues. The current Republi-can administration's policies -- from squandering the nation's blood and treasure in an unjustifi-able war to deregulating Wall Street -- have been disasters. Under Bush, Americans' median in-come has fallen, while the national debt has doubled to $10 trillion. After eight years of Republican administration, we are worse off economically, environmentally, and militarily. The Republicans are leaving a shameful legacy.

Sen. John McCain's campaign has made every effort to make this election about something, any-thing, other than national-policy issues. He and his camp attempted to attack Sen. Barack Obama's character, based on accusations of guilt by association. However, the voters were not convinced, in part because Obama's character was evident, and in part because of McCain's own associations with felons Keating and Liddy.

The nomination of Gov. Sarah Palin was intended to energize the base, which, in Republican terms meant reawakening the culture wars that served President Bush and Karl Rove so well. This distraction from discourse about national policy might have succeeded, had not Gov. Palin proven to be so unqualified and to have so many controversial associations of her own.

The latest effort of the Republican camp to avoid national issues is the most cynical and most dangerous. The campaign has decided, in effect, that since it cannot win the election on the issues, it'll spoil things for the victor by discrediting the election itself. Cries of voter fraud now ring from Republican pundits and seems to be the 24/7 cause cél?bre of Fox news and talk radio. Engineers of this campaign know full well voter fraud is almost entirely fiction, but that seems irrelevant if it serves their cause, even if the price is diminished confidence in democracy. Country first, indeed.

Charles Gessert

Duluth

McCain most qualified for commander-in-chief

With one of our nation's most critical elections at hand, it is again critical to weigh the qualifica-tions, credentials and character of the candidates for presidency and commander-in-chief.

Sen. Barack Obama has the charming talk and, of course, the Hollywood-celebrity status that has attracted so much news media coverage and support. That's not surprising, taking into account that so much of the media's leaning is to entertain and its apparent liberal bias. Celebrity isn't achievement, as Ted Koppel noted years ago.

If Obama's promises are followed through, there will be a trillion -- yes a trillion -- dollars of government spending on his programs. That's more government and a liberal agenda in our lives. His record as a senator already marks him as most liberal.

Contrast this with Sen. John McCain's heroic service as a pilot in the Vietnam War, along with 5½ years of torture as a prisoner of war, his years as a representative and senator with never seek-ing an earmark so stained as government waste, his tireless efforts to reduce government spending and his reaching across party lines to pass effective legislation.

Our USA -- the most powerful, generous, innovative, productive and free nation in the world -- now faces what may well be its most serious threat from Islamic militant fanatics. This minority has hijacked one of the world's oldest and eminent religions. It doesn't fight with disciplined ar-mies, but with stealth and homicide bombers, already killing many thousands of innocent civilians including a host of children.

All this places more emphasis on the role of commander-in-chief, for which John McCain is more adequately prepared to fill and certainly as head-of-state of the most freedom-loving and shar-ing people in our world.

Art Barschdorf

Hermantown

Reasons aplenty to vote for Obama

The election is less than two weeks away, and if you have not decided who to vote for as presi-dent and vice president of the United States, I have some reasons for you to vote for Barack Obama and Joe Biden.

The American economy, as you are aware, is in the tubes because of the failed policies of the in-competent Bush Administration. Sadly, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., has voted for those failed poli-cies. Barack Obama would provide a $1,000 emergency energy rebate, which will help us with higher gas prices, including fuel oil this winter.

Obama will lower health-care costs by taking on insurance companies. A typical family will save $2,500 in health-care costs under his plan, which will cover preventative care. Every American worker would have seven paid sick days under his plan.

Obama will balance the federal budget using pay-as-you-go procedures and budgeting rules that would require Congress to find new revenues or cut expenses for new spending proposals. In addi-tion, Obama will eliminate unnecessary pork-barrel spending, such as Alaska's Bridge to Nowhere, which Gov. Sarah Palin supported, as well as Sen. Ted Stevens.

Obama will also end the unjust war in Iraq and redeploy troops responsibly within 16 months, in consultation with the Iraqi government. This war started in 2003, based on false information, and Obama opposed it from the beginning.

Brandan Fiedler

Chisholm

Obama the clear choice

In January, 2008 John McCain admitted he knew very little about economic policy, so it's amaz-ing that he is all of a sudden an expert. At that time, he chose Phil Gramm, co-author of the deregu-lating Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, as his chief economic advisor. Gramm was only removed from this powerful consultant position after making the unacceptable statement that Americans had become a "nation of whiners." As recently as the Oct. 7 presidential debate, McCain called Ronald Reagan, famous for trickle-down economics, his hero!

As the past eight years have shown, trickle-down dribbles little or no wealth down at all, but when it comes to greed and corruption, it hits like a tsunami. McCain's economic gurus do not represent Main Street America.

On the other hand, Sen. Obama has laid out an economic plan based on tax cuts for the middle and lower class, strong support for small businesses, and ending the huge tax cuts for the very rich and corporate giants (which have helped drain national coffers). He has specific plans to rebuild the American workforce, increase the minimum wage, and strengthen union rights, all eroded under the Bush Administration. In addition, he will bring a responsible end to the war in Iraq, which costs our budget up to $9 billion per month. (John McCain makes no promise to end the war in Iraq.)

Both candidates promise change. I'm betting on Obama, who knew what it meant to grow up with very little and then went to work for those who continue to struggle. He is not beholden to the corporate giants, whereas McCain has long and deep ties. One need only Google "McCain campaign advisors" to see that. It is time for real change!

Cheryl Dannenbring

Duluth

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