Dear Stewart: I didn't advocate that he receive the prize this year. I was just trying to say that it was unfair to award Israel's Menachem Begin and Egypt's Anwar Sadat for their roles in the Camp David Accords, while leaving Carter out. Warning: Effects of this column can apparently induce spontaneous illness!
And from Kimberling City, Mo.: "Bush should get the Peace Award, but probably will not. We do not live in a world of realists."
My answer: You are absolutely right. Bush does deserve it, and those who determine the Peace Prize are certainly not realists.
Another recent survey showed President Bush with very strong public approval ratings for his handling of the war but less favorable ratings for his economic program. Overall, the poll found Bush enjoyed a wide lead against all potential presidential opponents in 2004. Responses to this were all over the board.
A reader in Augusta, Ga., writes: "So far, your Bush propaganda about weapons of mass destruction is only a pipe dream."
Dear Augusta: It seems they found a whole bunch of those "pipes" in Iraq last week ... they're called undestroyed missiles. And we're learning more every day.
In recent columns on the economy, I threw two curve balls -- blaming Federal Reserve Chair Alan Greenspan for the economic mess and suggesting that it wasn't so "un-Republican" to re-regulate a few industries that have totally failed under deregulation.
A Beaver Dam, Ariz., reader: "I totally agree with your assessment that Alan Greenspan bears primary responsibility for the economic morass ... however ... (I would blame him for) when he correctly warned of irrational exuberance, then did nothing about it."
Dear Beaver Dam: Oh, yes, he did do something. He raised interest rates through the roof and destroyed business confidence.
From Wilmette, Ill.: "Re-regulate? Are you nuts?"
Dear Wilmette: Yes, that's why I throw out such ideas -- to stimulate great debate. And by the way, a few conservatives wrote that they agreed life was better when their phone company or airline couldn't hold them hostage or ignore their complaints.
Finally, a reader in Massapequa, N.Y., writes: "Keep up the good work. God bless you."
Dear Massapequa: I have no relatives in your area, so I assume your kind sentiments are sincerely based on the column's merits. Thanks so much!
And thanks to all who follow "Inside the Numbers."