When has President Obama ever been concerned about the cost of anything?
With nearly all attention focusing on President Obama's dismal efforts on the economic front, little attention is being paid to the equally perilous stance he has taken on matters of national security. Here, again, he is severely lacking.
On the national-security front, we have seen him bowing to China's leadership, while giving an apparent cold shoulder to Israel, America's closest ally. A very telling moment in seeing his views on the foreign front was the "open mic" statement that he made to Russia's Dmitry Medvedev -- that he would have "more flexibility" after the election.
It appears that Obama has some action in mind that might well cost him re-election if divulged to the American people too soon -- quite possibly involving the missile-defense shield proposed for Poland. Obama no doubt would prefer spending the cost of construction on job programs at home -- more government jobs to administer more and larger government.
The fate of the missile shield should be decided first and foremost by security concerns. Costs are an important factor, but nothing outweighs security. Besides, when has Obama ever been concerned about the cost of anything?
PAUL E. ROHDE, WOODBURY
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How many are aware that President Obama has a video out called "African-Americans for Obama?"
I watched it on YouTube. (It can be accessed via www.startribune.com/a1695.)
It shows Martin Luther King Jr. posters at an old rally -- and the great strides African-Americans have made over the many decades.
I find it reprehensible that he has a campaign that is clearly racist. Why is it that racism can only be one way? If a white politician did "White Folks for Romney," the outrage would be headline news.
The sad thing is that MLK stated famously: Judge a man by his character, not by his color.
President Obama is divisive here.
RONALD MASH, MINNETONKA
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Class envy pure and simple. That's the underlying reality that prompted a Sept. 1 letter. Ann Romney's real-life challenges, including breast cancer and MS, are dismissed as something less than they are, simply because the Romneys had the financial resources to deal with them.
Apparently my neighbor's suffering is negated if he has a bigger bank account than mine. Apparently anything in my neighbor's life that might evoke genuine admiration or respect is tarnished by a disparity between his net worth and mine. Apparently my neighbor's value as a decent and generous human being is inversely proportional to whatever financial and material advantages he has over me.
Perhaps we should all take a vow of poverty to truly gain the respect of others and to merit a favorable opinion in their eyes.
Where would this leave Barack Obama, whose net worth is, by some accounts, near $10 million?
DENNIS MEREDITH, EDEN PRAIRIE
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Amity Shlaes ("End mortgage deduction? No better time ..." Sept. 3) calls for the elimination of the home mortgage interest tax deduction because, as "the favored loophole of the upper middle class," it creates "price distortion." So it was the deduction that wrecked the housing market, not just the excesses of Fannie, Freddie, Countrywide and the Bush administration?
Shlaes fails to mention that an elimination of the deduction would shift a massive tax burden to the entire middle class -- especially the lower middle class, whose members might not be able to afford a home without it.
The rich don't need the mortgage deduction, because they usually pay no mortgage interest at all. Once I asked a contractor who specialized in houses costing more than $5 million what the mortgage payment would be on a house like that. His answer: "There's never a mortgage on a house like that."
Shlaes writes that "Mitt Romney might be the one" to eliminate the mortgage tax deduction. Yes, I suppose he would be.
DENTLEY HAUGESAG, ST. LOUIS PARK
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It's not just the pathetic local coverage of the Paralympics opening ceremony in London (Letter of the Day, Sept. 3); there has been a complete absence of reporting of any events in any of the U.S. media.
Nothing on TV, except a brief footnote on Sunday's NBC evening news. Nothing on the mainstream TV channels, or self-proclaimed "news" stations like CNN/Headline News. Even the sports pages of Sunday's New York Times couldn't be bothered to make any mention of what has been a hugely popular event, with athletes breaking records left, right and center, to ecstatic spectator acclaim.
It's no wonder the 170-plus U.S. competitors have done so poorly, if that's the support they get.
PETER MILLINGTON, MINNEAPOLIS
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It is not uncommon to hear criticism of the Star Tribune, complaints that the paper is the "Red Star" or the "Star and Sickle." Notwithstanding the facts, our paper is often classified as liberal.
Anyone with a brain knows better. Yet, we need to understand those who voice these criticisms. Like Joe McCarthy, they find a Commie behind every tree.
Monday's paper held a complaint by a reader that the Star Tribune printed a quote reading: "Each citizen should play his part in the community according to his individual gifts." The reader stated that was a Commie quote.
The quote, however, was Christian. As a rule, communism does not embrace religion. "Individual gifts" is a religious term, referring to gifts from God. The communist phrase, were it so, would have been "ability," not "individual gift."
The Bible directs us to share our gifts, our gifts from God. That is not communism. That is charity. We should be charitable to everyone. The good Lord gave me a gift, the ability to distinguish Christianity from communism. I would like to share that gift with my fellow conservatives.
MICHAEL D. HOY, EXCELSIOR