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I agree that the entire bill should be scrapped and we should go back to the basics. Just as one builds a house from the ground up, good legislation is built one plank at a time. We need to enforce the laws already on the books and punish those organizations that persist in hiring illegal aliens. We should support the federal workers assigned to secure the borders and stop putting them in jail for doing their jobs. Trying to push through any kind of “comprehensive” program will just result in legislation that is bloated, expensive and ineffective.

Through his repeated failure to listen to the citizens, President Bush continues to be a major disappointment to America and the Republican Party. His failures to control spending and follow the will of the people were a large factor in the Republican losses in the last election. I voted for him in both presidential elections, but it was only because the opposition candidates were even more detached from reality. But the crown jewel in his dunce cap has to be this immigration proposal, which would have been a bad deal for everyone except illegal aliens and special-interest groups. Maybe this latest defeat will finally get that message through to him, but I’m not holding my breath.

Much credit for defeating this amnesty bill has been given to some of our junior senators, who have not been afraid to defy the old dogs and hold to their principles. This makes me think that perhaps we need more junior senators and fewer old dogs. Can anyone say “term limits?”

CLARK KIDD

Potomac Falls, Va.

The free-market solution

The article “Remote control” by Cal Thomas (Commentary, Wednesday) was well written and made some good points about the need for a remote control if someone in Washington is ultimately deciding what we watch. As a former worker in the broadcasting industry and member of the subscription TV world, I have some additional information that supports the ideas Mr. Thomas writes about.

Washington-dictated “a la carte” programming is actually not just an issue that would take away “the privileges and responsibilities of individuals to make decisions,” but is clearly a free-market issue. Few subscription channels are owned as individual channels. Virtually every channel is grouped with others according to ownership. The private companies that own these groups of channels exercise their capitalistic rights to sell these channels together. When the government comes in and mandates a la carte, it not only squelches the privilege of the individual to choose what to watch or not watch (with the associated responsibility), but stomps on a company’s right to do business as it sees fit.

JEFF WRIGHT

Centreville