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Congress' End-of-Session Priorities

November 24, 2002

For years, members of Congress have been unable to come up with a way to provide universal health insurance, and they have been unable to come up with a plan to provide seniors with reasonable prescription coverage. However, they came up with $90 billion in a jiffy to bail out the insurance companies for future claims in the event of a terrorist attack ("Terror Insurance Bill Backed by Bush Is Passed," Nov. 20).

The American taxpayer will foot the bill for the insurance companies, and at the same time, President Bush is calling for more tax cuts. How big are the insurance company executives' bonuses going to be this year?

David Lamont



What surprises me is not that this Republican-led Congress pushes for tax cuts for corporations and the rich (Nov. 21), or that it demands tort protection for major companies that will make millions from vaccines, or even that it will terminate unemployment benefits in the dead of winter just three days before the new year, but that their hearts, so cold and hard, continue to beat at all. Let us all wish Congress a happy holiday season. This Thanksgiving they have a lot to be thankful for.

Brian Sheppard



It's said that the price of liberty is eternal vigilance. But the hyperbole, hysteria and double standards with which some liberals are responding to the war on terror is flirting with self-parody.

They shriek that President Bush is bent on establishing a "police state" (letters, Nov. 21). When he proposes to restrict liberties as much as did Democratic heroes like Franklin Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson, then I'll worry. They wail that the entire Bill of Rights itself is being abolished -- as if I can expect redcoats to be quartered in my guest bedroom by Monday night. The danger is that, by crying wolf, they may discredit genuine, future dissent should the government ever truly restrict liberty -- in the wake of a nuclear or biological attack on a city, for example.

Democratic candidates didn't lose the last election because they muted their message. They lost because the public associated them, rightly or wrongly, with the callow mindlessness of the far left -- whose remoteness from reality is starkly exposed in these sterner days.

Thomas Eastmond

Newport Beach


Never let it be said that the Democrats passed up an opportunity to say to those who voted for them, "In your face!" They blustered about protecting us from the Republican pork in the homeland security bill, then turned around and approved it (Nov. 20). My grandfather was wrong when he said, "The difference between Republicans and Democrats is that Republicans also steal the eggs, but they hide the shells." Oh, how overpowering the smell of money in Washington today!

Louis St. Martin


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