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Buckle or not

By G. Michael Dobbs

Managing Editor

Marty Riskin and I usually agree on the subjects of his cartoons that appear every week on this page.

Today's cartoon is an exception. I know Marty is not in favor of the new seat belt legislation, while I don't see the big deal.

Buckling your belt makes sense to me, but others believe that such laws that dictate certain behaviors go counter to our rights.

I know, though, that common sense should dictate using a device that has been shown for years to save lives. However, there are people who simply do not want the state to tell them to use it.

I should ask Marty if he buckles up!


Politics is almost as fun as show business to cover. There are a lot of the same values there: illusion, importance of form over content, etc.

Of course so far I can't recall anyone in show business who has started a war.

The best thing about political reporting is the punditry. There are multitudes of talking heads who drone on and on in a growing number of venues with their interpretation of facts and predictions.

Factual reporting is great. Analysis is just gas three-quarters of the time.

But I like this website ( as it handicaps the candidates like a horse race.

Here is what they have to say about our empty suit and a haircut governor Mitt Romney who dropped from second to fourth place:

"It's easy to be a front runner when you're not really running yet. But with his recent announcement that he's definitely a one-termer in Massachusetts, the speculation can end. He's in, kids, and now the real fun begins. Can the dashing governor and Olympic hero withstand the bright spotlight on his record, religion and his reportedly mixmash positions on abortion? If so, expect to see him run well into the final stretch."

Mitt has been a mediocre governor who has clearly used the position as a stepping stone to the national arena.

Sorry, folks, but can anyone say he has lived up to his campaign pledge of being a "salesman" for the state who would bring back jobs?

He's a rich, fairly glib, good-looking guy and I can't really believe he has a clue what the working person faces here in this state.

I've been at press conferences and events covering him and he has never truly impressed me. I wanted to be impressed, though. I voted for him because I didn't want the career politician running for the other party to get in. I thought an "outsider" might bring a fresh perspective to the state.

I was wrong.

Who is the number one Republican right now according to the website? Senator George Allen. The number one Dem? Hillary Clinton.

Save us from both.

Boy, I hope these handicapping guys are just gas bags and are not Kreskins!

This column actually represents the opinions of its author.

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