- The Washington Times - Saturday, February 9, 2008

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Hillary Clinton is no Margaret Thatcher

Here’s an answer for letter writer Magie Dominic (“If not Hillary, who?” Tuesday) who states, “A woman will be elected president of the United States” and asks: “If not Mrs. Clinton, who? If not now, when?” The answer: when there is a woman of the Margaret Thatcher mold who doesn’t use her sex as a political crutch and who wins based on ideas, effectiveness and integrity.

Message to women: It isn’t the sex (excuse me, the “gender”) that impedes, it’s the personal integrity and political philosophy of this candidate.

ANNE ALLEN

Washington

Kosovo’s future

Jim O’Brien, special presidential envoy to the Balkans in the Clinton administration, is quoted as saying America wants “stable and strong entities in the Balkans, countries that can move toward NATO and the EU ” (“Break from Serbia unlikely to be clean,” World, Tuesday). Given Mr. O’Brien’s advocacy of independence for Kosovo, a state that will be fit only for Albanians, we can conclude that “stable and strong” is a euphemism for “ethnically pure.” So much for humanitarian intervention.

YUGO KOVACH

Twickenham, Middlesex

United Kingdom

Old Dominion nanny state

Goaded by well-intentioned but fundamentally misguided pressure groups, the Virginia General Assembly has crafted a so-called compromise bill to restrict payday lending (“Committee OKs payday-loan bill,” Metropolitan, Wednesday). Just one aspect of this “compromise” limits to five the number of loans any one person can have in a year. The nannies of Shockoe Hill offer no substitute for those who might need a sixth loan. At this point, the only options would be the same as those not chosen with the first through fifth loans including very costly bounced checks and late fees.

If the General Assembly chooses to limit our consumption of goods and services, where may this lead? Some consumers like Twinkies. Maybe they should be limited to five per year, lest they buyer get fat. ATM transactions can be as costly per $100 as payday loans. Perhaps the General Assembly should limit ATM use to five times per year. How about five lottery tickets per year? Five cans of soda? Five cuss words? Five unkind thoughts? Unfortunately, there is no need to take this line of thinking to an extreme because that is where it starts.

Many great Virginians built this American democracy on freedom of choice and individual liberty; our current delegates and senators should take their cue and allow current consumers those same freedoms.

TIM MILLER

Center for Consumer Freedom

Washington

Appropriators and extortionists

If I am at all representative of registered Republicans, part of the National Republican Congressional Committee’s (NRCC) fundraising troubles come from the fact that its chairman, Rep. Tom Cole of Oklahoma, represents part of the Republican Party’s problems, not part of the solution (“Short on dough,” Editorial, Wednesday).

In 2007, Mr. Cole was quoted as saying, “Oh, I don’t think the problem was spending” when referring to the electoral slaughter of Republicans in 2006. How can a congressman with a doctorate be so wrong about something so important?

Now Mr. Cole is challenging the ultimate anti-earmark warrior, Rep, Jeff Flake, Arizona Republican, for a seat on the Appropriations Committee, apparently because Mr. Cole would like to use the power of an appropriator to extort oops, I mean “request” NRCC contributions from taxpayers and special interests.

Mr. Cole, can you say “corruption”? Just how good were Duke Cunningham and Jack Abramoff for Republican electability? It seems Mr. Cole wants to be a just slightly less illegal version of those pillars of Republican propriety.

When I get a letter from the NRCC asking for money, I return it with no contribution and a few words written on the form: “Not as long as Tom Cole is your chairman.”

ROSS KAMINSKY

Nederland, Colo.

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