A sampling of readers' letters, faxes and e-mail.

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Cranky delegates

Grumpy Clinton fans should get over their loss and back Obama

Editor, The Times:

I don’t understand the wailing of some women regarding Sen. Barack Obama’s defeat of Sen. Hillary Clinton [” ‘Cranky delegates,’ lots of passion: Dems head into convention,” Times, page one, Aug. 24]. They are taking it so personally.

This isn’t someone telling you your butt’s too big or that “you throw like a girl.” Sen. Hillary Clinton went through the political process and lost: It’s as simple as that. Plenty of well-qualified men through the years have also campaigned and lost. Politics is a dirty and difficult business. So is life, for that matter.

Are we expected to adopt an elementary-school, “let-the-girl-win” approach, simply because she tried really, really hard? Their attitude is insulting to me as a woman and as a former Clinton supporter. If you can’t stand the heat, ladies, go back to the kitchen.

It would be more productive to wholeheartedly support Obama.

— Kathy Swoyer, North Bend

Time to move on, please

I recall a bumper sticker from the early 1990s, just after Bill Clinton beat George H.W. Bush in the presidential election: “Get over it — Bush lost.” Perhaps the supporters of Sen. Clinton need a similar bumper-sticker moment.

One woman quoted in reporter David Postman’s story said she felt Clinton had been “airbrushed out.” No, she lost. She did not win. She failed to achieve the objective. How many ways can one say this? Others failed to win, too.

My first choice was New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson. When he withdrew, I sent him an e-mail thanking him and then sent a check to Obama. But I won’t be at the convention waving a Richardson sign.

No one with any sense can plausibly think that Clinton’s historic campaign — the first woman to seriously contend for the White House — will somehow be lost to history. But that seems to be the pseudo logic employed by those who encourage the Clintons to compromise their support for Obama through the silly tactics being proposed.

If Sen. John McCain is elected in November, we will have another four years of the failed policies that have damaged our nation so badly, both domestically and globally, under the Bush administration, as well as another four years of risk to the integrity and balance of the U.S. Supreme Court. Every Democratic delegate should print off that statement and hold it in hand as the convention unfolds.

Get over it, and elect Barack Obama as our next president.

— Ian King, Seattle

Olympic oppression

Let’s not forget human-rights abuses

Bravo China: The arrest and sentencing of two elderly women who asked to protest at the Olympics has earned you the right to stand among the truly great nations of the world [“IOC leader stands aside for oppressive regime,” Ron Judd column, Sports, Aug. 22]. Stand proud!

— Uldis Ohaks, Seattle

Federal wording

New policy erodes women’s rights

So the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services dragged itself into the modern age and dropped language that would have codified an unscientific definition of pregnancy and abortion, and that’s supposed to make me happy [“A wrongheaded attack on reproductive health,” editorial, Aug. 25]?

I’m supposed to be thrilled that the government department responsible for the health of this entire country actually decided to base its policies on medical science?

You’ll excuse me if my — frankly embarrassing — joy that a government department has chosen not to openly shun modern medicine is overshadowed by the fact that this same department is saying that it’s acceptable to discriminate based on a personal whim.

— Cindy Bradder, Seattle

Bush administration fails to protect women

When the world takes care of women, women take care of the world. Both domestically and internationally, the Bush administration uses every subterfuge to reduce women’s access to information, family planning and legal abortion.

The United Nations Population Fund, which does not perform abortions and has the financial support of 180 countries, has been denied funds by the U.S. government every year since 2002, when $34 million was approved by the Congress, but withheld by the administration.

The administration’s so-called “pro-life,” anti-family planning policies can often be pro-misery and sometimes even pro-death for the world’s most vulnerable women.

— Jane Roberts, co-founder, 34 Million Friends of the United Nations Population Fund, Redlands, Calif.

No, rules protect against discrimination

The Bush administration’s proposed opt-out rule is directed against discrimination, not against “reproductive health.” All types of facilities, including universities, as well as medical institutions, can lose their federal funding if they engage in discrimination on the basis of race or sex, among other things.

Why should an institution be entitled to taxpayer money if it punishes staff for adhering to their own religious or moral beliefs?

— Kathryn Serkes, director, public affairs, Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, Seattle

Drugs for the rich?

Affordability of meds a pressing problem

I read with interest the article “The newest generation of drugs: Who can afford them?” [page one, Aug. 17]. As a nurse who works in a rheumatology clinic, I see the improved quality of life these medications provide, including decreased joint pain, swelling, fatigue, increased mobility and the chance to regain the “normal” life that healthy people too easily take for granted.

The reality I see is people who cannot obtain their prescribed medication due to the cost of medications and a lack of insurance coverage. This occurs after exhausting reimbursement-assistance programs and co-pay foundations. Examples include patients with low incomes on a state insurance program that covers 50 percent of medication costs, patients with commercial insurance eligible for drug company co-pay cards, but still with large co-pays, and patients on Medicare-D plans who fall into the “doughnut hole” and cannot pay out-of-pocket costs.

This complex issue raises ethical and moral questions for the U.S. health-care and insurance system regarding the treatment of people with chronic conditions. One provider suggests that patients write their congressional representative and insurance commissioner.

In this election year, where does your candidate stand? The medications are here. The people who need them are here. Is the humanity here to bring them together?

— Linnea Mulder, RN, Sammamish

Correction: Sarajane Siegfriedt’s Sunday letter criticizing Margaret Dore’s guest commentary about Initiative 1000 [“The indignity of I-1000: Backers’ claims misleading,” Aug. 20] incorrectly stated how the measure defines “self-administer.” The measure defines the term as “a qualified patient’s act of ingesting medication to end his or her life in a humane and dignified manner.” This is exactly as Dore defined it in her Aug. 20 commentary.