Metro's response to bad odor stinks

Re: "Metro: Station stink isn't organic brake pads," Sept. 25

The article on the rotten fish odor in the Metro system reinforced my view of Metro management: They still don't listen to their customers. Metro's statement implying that the odor is really just a figment of our imaginations was very typical. I've been riding Metro for 20 years and this is something that's been happening just in the past year.When the odor is present, it can be close to overwhelming and it does indeed smell like rotten fish. It is rarely a faint odor.It is either strong or not there.

Now it may be true that it is not "organic" brake pads that are causing the problem, although it is unclear from the article whether Metro is stating that there are no organic pads currently in use on any train. However, brake pads could still be causing the odor, as that seems to be the only explanation.

I have a suggestion.Put labeled pieces of various organic and nonorganic brake pads in a box at several stations, scrape them with a nail, and let folks take a sniff. Have a ballot box with a check-off:Organic brakes do/do not stink.Let's use thousands of noses to find out what's happening here!

Bob Hugman

Woodbridge

Romney campaign needs to punch back

Re: "Romney's path to victory: Sharpen economic argument, win over women and Hispanics," Sept. 24

Brian Hughes' piece outlines a good strategy for Mitt Romney, but misses an important item: Romney must punch back! Romney gave weak responses to criticism over his 47 percent remarks as the media hyped a nongaffe into a gaffe. If he stands by those comments, then he should do so boldly.

When Barack Obama says the president has to be president for everybody, Romney's campaign should remind the public that Obama's campaign made a definitive and public choice to abandon the white working class, as reported by The Washington Examiner's Conn Carroll.

Under other circumstances, charity doesn't belong on display. However, when Obama criticizes Romney's tax rate, Romney's should communicate to voters that he gave his inheritance away, took no salary as governor of Massachusetts or when rescuing the Salt Lake Olympics, and that his charitable donations dwarf Obama's in both volume and percentage.

Brian Wrenn

Washington

Obama's foreign policy is constant round of apologies

Re: "Obama responds to Romney's tough talk on Mideast," Sept. 24

Mitt Romney is just trying to say that the U.S. needs to always negotiate from a position of strength. That is what the world understands, and was the position we took until the moment Barack Obama became president.With Obama, it has been a constant round of apologies for imagined or exaggerated slights.

Romney never suggested that he wanted a war, and I am sure he does not want to see American service personnel placed in harm's way for no reason.But our soldiers, sailors and Marines are currently being killed by soldiers and policemen in Afghanistan. The same people we just gave an opportunity to be free simply hate us. Then they see our president show contempt for our ally in Israel in its face off with Iran.

And to call Republicans "obstructionist" is simply an attempt to redefine events.The fact is that Obama is the only president in history who has never got any budget he created voted on by the Democratic-controlled Senate.Obama should be chastising his own party for not cooperating.

Randy Mathson

Alexandria