Excerpts from reader commentary on News stories and staffers' online blog postings last week. Online comments come from registered users, but comments to the blogs can be posted under pen names.

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Debt crisis: In response to News Washington Bureau Chief Jerry Zremski's July 28 article on the nation inching closer to a catastrophic default and what that would mean for Social Security checks and other benefits, Dawn Kessler of Buffalo said:

I think people are starting to catch on to the Democratic scare tactics, at least I hope they are. There has been nothing but crisis after crisis in this country since Barack Obama was elected. Everything is an emergency. The country will collapse unless we pass x, y or z. This time it looks as though this is a dire situation. He will be the ultimate decision maker on what gets paid and what does not get paid, so if he chooses not to send out Social Security and veteran benefits, that should tell people all they need to know about this person we call "president."

To terrify people who live month to month on Social Security is disgusting. I wonder how many people have actually become so terrified that it caused major health problems or even death due to the stress of such worry. The Democrats are shameless. Then, they try to blame the only group who actually have come up plans to remedy the situation.

Ira Conner of Canisteo surmised:

It would be political suicide for Dems and Repubs not to pay the veterans' benefits and Social Security payments. The problem in Washington, there's too many attorneys on the payroll in Congress and the Senate.

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Amy Winehouse: Following an Associated Press story on the death of the singer at age 27, Coleen Hanna of Virginia Beach, Va., wrote:

I have so much admiration for people with genuine talent (I definitely don't put myself in that category) and I find it truly sad and perplexing when psychological problems and addictions not only get in the way of them developing their talent, but also sometimes kill them. Amy was so young. I hope she is in God's care now. Rest in peace, Amy.

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Jeff Simon: Responding to a July 26 column about the lack of in-depth reporting on television's "60 Minutes," in comparison to the fine job being done on "CBS Sunday Morning," Jeremy Lewis of Buffalo said:

I always thought that "60 Minutes" lost a lot when the old guard retired. The reporters that used to do the show were so entrenched in CBS that they could do stories that were hard-hitting and ask the tough questions. They knew that they were CBS News. TV news has changed and not for the better, it is all just some puff pieces and reports of what already happened. Throw in a few commercials in the form of a news story and that is the news today.

You don't see the kind of real tough questions anymore, and far too many reporters allow a person to either answer a question with a statement that is unrelated at all, or just to duck the question. They don't ask hard questions at all anymore. The local news in Buffalo is almost unwatchable. My dad went to Columbia and studied journalism, and he said that there used to be an old joke that went: "Never let the truth get in the way of a good story." It was joke back then, now it seems to be SOP.

What would Uncle Walter say about CBS today?

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Buffalo Bills: News sports reporter Jay Skurski's July 26 piece on quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick brought this comment from Greg Hansen of Peoria, Ill.:

A lot of people have mixed feelings about Fitz. They love him or, well, don't love him. But if nothing else, this is the first true leader we've had at this position in many years. That in itself is very encouraging.

Gregory Wright of Lititz, Pa., added:

Fitz has settled in well as the starting QB. What a difference from his predecessor, the bumbling, stumbling, ineffective Edwards. Fitz has his flaws, but he's the best the Bills have for now and he has definitely become a team leader.