Either way, the president needs to man up. I'm sure he can find a way to overcome this thorny problem. And he'd better, because it's not going to go away anytime soon.
If this episode represents Rice's evolution to being a disciplined senior member of President Obama's team who was forced to deliberately misrepresent the truth, then perhaps she's not qualified to hold the position at State.
Robert B. Horne, West Chester
Abortion about women's rights
I'm stunned by how often the statement that more women are pro-life than are pro-choice is casually used to justify the Republican Party's takeover by right-wing conservatives. No one is pro-abortion. No one thinks abortion is a fun weekend activity, and few make the decision to have an abortion lightly.
However, all individuals living in a democracy are entitled to make personal decisions about their bodies. We may strongly disagree with the decisions others make - and that is our right. But it is most emphatically not our right to make personal decisions for other people.
The Republican Party blocks education on contraception in schools, opposes funding contraception as health care for women, and fights requiring employers to provide day care for working mothers. Women earn only 79 cents for every dollar men are paid in the workplace.
Republicans are losing elections because I'm not the only one noticing this disconnect and wondering about what appears to be a systematic effort by Republican candidates to relegate half the American population to unequal status.
Susan E. Thoren, Philadelphia
Don't turn U.S. into Europe
Where is this country going? Are we to become a society similar to Europe's? Or will we become America again, where individuals are responsible for themselves, and not looking for a bailout from a federal government that has massive debts and seems to think it's fair for only 50 percent of the people to pay the income taxes that support all of the various and sundry entitlements for the noncontributors?
Alfred Yates, Audubon
Don't buy what you can't fix
The School District of Philadelphia recently applied for a multimillion-dollar federal grant to purchase various new technology for classrooms. The proposal sounds wonderful except for the fact that the district does not have the money, and has never had the will, to maintain the new technology it already has.
For instance, Smart Boards can be a wonderful classroom tool, but they are a hindrance when they don't work and are hanging up where they block the old-fashioned blackboard. According to the district's help desk, it has a total of one employee capable of addressing Smart Board hardware issues for the entire district.
Over the years, usually by way of grants, the district has acquired laptops for teachers, who must have them to input grades, keep records, etc. However, if a teacher takes a laptop to the district headquarters for service, he or she may not see it again for months, a year, or ever.
If the grant to buy new stuff does not include money to maintain that stuff, it is a waste of money. By the time teachers gain the skills to effectively use a new device, the device will be wearing out. Let's commit to first taking care of what we already have.
Glynnis Gradwell, Philadelphia
Follow the Rotary example
Let's solve the gridlock in Washington by following the example of Rotary. Make Democrats and Republicans break bread weekly in small mixed groups that rotate quarterly, participate in monthly volunteer opportunities together at local charities, play on mixed sports teams, and attend meetings with an across-the-aisle partner.
Force fellow members of Congress to climb into the sandbox together and get to know each other as people. With that knowledge, differences melt away, and they can just be Americans working toward a common cause. It wouldn't hurt to start each meeting with everyone pledging to apply the Rotarian Four-Way Test. Before any endeavor, ask: Is it the truth? Is it fair to all concerned? Will it build goodwill and better friendships? Will it be beneficial to all concerned?
Carrie H. Freeman, Kennett Square, email@example.com
Time to show Reid the gate
Eagles owner Jeff Lurie told his coach when the team's record was 3-3 that an 8-8 season would not be acceptable. Thus begins the saga of Andy Reid, who responded:
At 3-3, it's up to me
At 3-4, I need to try more
At 3-5, I'm still alive
At 3-6, I'm out of tricks
At 3-7, this ain't heaven
At 3-8, here's the gate
Thanks, coach, for 14 years, but it's time to move on.
Roland J. Lewis, Ship Bottom, firstname.lastname@example.org
Corporations beat system
Once again, prosecutors allow a major corporation to strike a deal to pay a fine to avoid criminal charges ("Nonbank wire transfers at heart of massive fraud," Sunday). Would MoneyGram International agree to pay $100 million if it were not guilty? So many times over the last few years, I have read about prosecutors agreeing to accept fines from major companies while allowing them not only to avoid criminal charges, but also admit no wrongdoing.
Some people died because of the acts of several pharmaceutical firms that illegally marketed their products in violation of Food and Drug Administration rules. The CEOs brazenly admitted that they had set aside funds for the fines they knew they might be slapped with if caught.
When will our prosecutors get it? Only when some corporate executives spend a few years behind bars will the next one be the slightest bit deterred.
Steve Dalton, Ambler, email@example.com