Issue One: Election 2012 -- the debates

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Lie after lie

Mitt Romney looked directly into the cameras at the first debate and told blatant lie after blatant lie to the American people. Paul Ryan shaved more than an hour off of his marathon time to add to his litany of lies. Do these men think we're stupid? How can they be trusted to tell the truth about anything?

President Barack Obama may not have been the more dynamic debater, but leadership is about trust, grace and integrity. I'll take that over men with no scruples any day.

KATIE KUKIEZA
Richland


The PBS subsidy

Mitt Romney said in the first debate, "I'm sorry, Jim. I'm gonna stop the subsidy to PBS [even though] I like PBS. I like Big Bird." This statement is being called a "gaffe" by the mainstream media, although neither Mr. Romney nor any other Republican has retracted it.

PBS is one of the most unconstitutional and mindless subsidies in the federal budget. A program that could at least be justified by logic (if not the Constitution) 60 years ago when most viewers had only two or three commercial TV stations to choose from, it is a bizarre anachronism in the age of cable. It was based on the elitist notion that commercial television could produce nothing of value.

The idea that Big Bird's goose would be cooked if federal subsidies were taken away is preposterous. PBS could auction off advertising time. The Corporation for Public Broadcasting is an example of how once a federal program is created it never dies, even when its original justification is long gone.

DAVE STROUD
Franklin Park


Big earnings

Enough of this balderdash about Big Bird. Former Sesame Workshop president/CEO Gary Knell received $956,513 in 2008, according to Sen. Jim DeMint, and "Sesame Street" grossed more than $211 million from toys and consumer product sales from 2003 to 2006. The 2012 appropriation for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting is $441.1 million. Big Bird can well afford to pay his own way.

ARLENE O'CONNELL
Upper St. Clair


Mitt as bully

Watching the first presidential debate showed me Mitt Romney's personality going from college-days closet bully to arrogant, elitist big-wheel bully as he avoided moderator Jim Lehrer's time restraints to continue his verbal attacks. What would Mr. Romney be like as president?

TOM URANKER
Sheraden


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