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Leftist state rep orders no political dissent at University bookstore.

Oh the horror!

Containers of breath mints that mildly lampoon Barack Obama have been removed from the University of Tennessee bookstore after a left-wing state rep complained. Apparently left-wing black caucus member State Rep. Joe Armstrong is seeking to eradicate any conservative dissent no matter how minor.


Breath mints are usually refreshing, but a Knoxville legislator believes a University of Tennessee bookstore’s selling of novelty candies mocking President Barack Obama stinks.

UT officials pulled the mints poking fun at Obama from store shelves after state Rep. Joe Armstrong, a Democrat, visited the bookstore and told the director he found the satirical mints offensive.

“When you operate on state and federal dollars, you ought to be sensitive to those type of politically specific products,” Armstrong said. “If it was a private entity or corporation or store, (that’s different), but this is a state university. We certainly don’t want in any way to put the university in a bad light by having those political (products), particularly aimed at defaming the president.”

The tin can of mints has a blue and red image of the president with the words: “This is change? Disappointmints.”

Armstrong said he got a call from a student who was bothered by the depiction of the president, and the legislator followed up Tuesday with a visit to the bookstore in the basement of the University Center. There, he purchased a box of the $2.99 mints and had a conversation with director David Kent, who ultimately removed product from the shelves. About 30 tins were removed.

Kent, who has run the bookstore since 2009, said the university and the store had no intention of offending anyone with the mints. The store previously carried satirical mints aimed at former President George W. Bush when he was in office.

“We’ve never had any complaints before and we’ve carried them for years,” Kent said. “But someone saw it and they were offended by it, brought it to the attention of a state representative, and I said ‘no problem, we’ll remove them.'”