Below are excerpts of e-mail responses to the Sept. 14 “Twin Pack” questions (an abbreviated version of “Half a Six Pack” and “Six Pack to Go”). Each question has five responses from readers. (Sorry, but Russ serves as the “gatekeeper” — he determines the five answers to accompany each question.) In order to make this a reader-friendly feature, some lengthy answers submitted by readers may have been shortened.
1) Given that more U.S. soldiers have been killed since President Bush declared “mission accomplished” in his May 1 speech aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln, won't the Republican National Committee risk being sued for false advertising if it uses any “Top Gun” footage in 2004 re-election commercials? My neighbor down the street believes that George W. will find Saddam Hussein about the time of the elections to guarantee his re-election. A little far-fetched, maybe, but maybe not. I have totally lost any respect I ever had for that man, and think he is fighting his father's war at our expense in money and, worse, human lives and suffering. … Top Gun, indeed! If the RNC uses the “Top Gun” footage, then it will be mocked just like the “Dukakis in the Tank” footage — and deservedly so. Doubtful. Bush's words can be defended, though ill-chosen. He needs advisors who are up on what life and the world are all about. If the Democrats are smart, perhaps wishful thinking, they will link Dubya's “Top Gun” soundbites to their 2004 re-election campaign commercials that show a running total of post-war military deaths. We have no business being in Iraq. Unless, of course, you have a stake in Halliburton.
2) Speaking of re-election campaigns, isn't it likely that Toledo Mayor Jack Ford will make a big-time push for cleanup of the Marina District to be completed in 2005, as scheduled? I'm not going to hold my breath that the cleanup will be completed on time. His track record as mayor suggests it won't. At this point, given his very low profile and lack of accomplishments, Jack Ford will probably do anything to get re-elected. Of course, it depends on the opponent and the state of Toledo's economy. Any chance Carty will run again? That would be interesting. Looks like you put Ford in a lose-lose situation. If he does, it's political, and if he doesn't, he'll likely not get re-elected. Of course, the last-minute publicity stunt. What about Southwyck? What about any of his other campaign promises? If Carty decides to take another stab at it, Ford will be in trouble. Being a peaceful kind of guy only gets you so far. Marina District? Ha! Ha! Starting over again without Frank Kass this time? Don't hold your breath over the cleanup or the anytime-soon building of the Marina District.
Your are too easy on Ray Kest. … Never heard of any public official getting away with what he has done without getting prosecuted. Ray has a long history of using poor judgment. … He sees everyone else as being wrong and himself being right. The law is not on his side and the special prosecutor will undoubtedly prove that. He will not likely step down, but it no longer matters. Your column was right on. Oh, how much face-saving Ray could have made had he been man enough to admit he was wrong and just stepped down. I feel by stonewalling and excusing himself for his deeds he has destroyed all credibility for any future elective office. Of course, in Toledo being an endorsed Democrat practically assures one of winning an election. Mr. Kest's arrogance knows no bounds. I'm surprised Kest is passing PhD-level courses if he's as dumb as he's acting. Only politicians/government employees would think he could/should get away with it!
I believe that President Bush is holding out on the American people. This crap that we keep hearing that “we're just hours behind Saddam, or Osama bin Laden” needs to stop. Save this e-mail for this reason: On the eve of President Bush's speech at the Republican National Convention, our armed forces will “surprisingly” find Osama. I think we're going to pick up Saddam before then. Bush is insane for going to the UN for help now. After alienating everyone before the war and now wanting help??? If I were these countries, I'd say, “You wanted war, Mr. Bush, you figure out how to get out of it.” President Bush can spend billions of our hard-earned money on a country that doesn't even want us there, and we can't get prescription drugs for our seniors, who need them. I just don't understand this. Let them fight their own wars and take care of your own backyard first. 9/11 reminded me that Americans have a short memory. Our struggle to control health costs and prescription costs are getting nowhere. We seriously need to look at the high end of HMOs, with their restrictive decisions on who you can see and where you can go to be taken care of is just not right. … We are in dire need of medical reform. Johnny Cash's death was not a surprise. (Heck, I thought he was already dead!) John Ritter dying, on the other hand, was a real shocker.