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Thursday, June 4, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Opinion >  Syndicated columns

Smart Bombs: Quote, unquote

Some thoughts on President Obama’s inaugural speech:

The challenges we face are real.”

I’ll say. The Dow Jones average dropped more than 300 points Tuesday, heading below the 8,000 mark. I still don’t have the courage to check my retirement accounts.

“On this day, we gather because we have chosen hope over fear.”

Well, not everyone. Did you see Saturday’s article about gun sales booming in the Inland Northwest? Seems there’s plenty of fear that Obama will command the government to start seizing weapons. As one gun-store owner said, sales went “crazy” after the election.

Well, it’s comforting to know that if the government ever does turn its arsenal of tanks, fighter jets and nuclear weapons against us, there will be plenty of semiautomatic rifles and high-capacity handguns in the hands of the good guys.

“What the cynics fail to understand is that the ground has shifted beneath them, that the stale political arguments that have consumed us for so long, no longer apply.”

Yep. That was some really classless booing of President Bush. Obama’s tone was appropriately serious. Some in the audience were tone deaf. This was a momentous occasion, not neener-neener time.

Hopefully, the followers can, you know, change.

Elsewhere, there is this headline on Instapundit’s blog: “Obama inaugurated, ex-Klansman collapses.”

Yes, U.S. Sen. Robert Byrd, D-W.Va., who is 91, took ill. Yes, he was a Klansman, as Republicans have pointed out over and over. It would be better to use his life as a barometer of progress on race.

In 1944, he wrote: “I shall never fight in the armed forces with a Negro by my side … Rather I should die a thousand times.”

In 2005, he wrote: “I know now I was wrong. Intolerance had no place in America. I apologized a thousand times … and I don’t mind apologizing over and over again. I can’t erase what happened.”

You have mail! Obama is determined to hang on to his BlackBerry. Some aides want him to ditch it, because the messages he sends and receives could be the subject of public records requests. The Secret Service is trying to dissuade him for fear that hackers will gain access to sensitive government communications.

Nonetheless, he said in a recent CNN interview:

“I want to be able to have voices, other than the people who are immediately working for me, be able to reach out and … send me a message about what’s happening in America.”

Here’s my voice:

FWIW, WA $6B in debt. IMHO, U shud send $$ ASAP 2 blue state. This msg is 2D. T2YL!

Can’t decipher? Show it to a teenager.

Smart Bombs is written by Associate Editor Gary Crooks and appears Wednesdays and Sundays on the Opinion page. Crooks can be reached at or at (509) 459-5026.

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