Criticism of Cabinet unfair to nominees and...


January 09, 2001

Criticism of Cabinet unfair to nominees and president-elect

A recent Sun headline read: "Abortion foe is Bush pick to head HHS" (Dec. 30). And an earlier editorial alleged that Sen. John Ashcroft -- because his voting record raises concerns of his ability to enforce civil rights and abortion laws -- should be challenged by the Senate and not just accepted as attorney general ("Tough questions for nominee Ashcroft," Dec. 27).

The news article concerning Gov. Tommy Thompson's nomination to head the Department of Health and Human Services sounded more like an editorial.

And the concern that Mr. Ashcroft would fail to enforce civil rights and abortion laws is unfair.

There are, for instance, many judges who apply divorce law despite their religious beliefs. And we have numerous other examples of officials applying laws they do not favor.

Being a monopoly, The Sun should try to present both sides of issues and refrain from advancing only the position it favors.

J.E. Hamilton Bailey


I am appalled the by way The Sun has handled the nomination of John Ashcroft for attorney general.

In its recent editorial "Tough questions for nominee Ashcroft" (Dec. 27), The Sun negatively portrayed Mr. Ashcroft's conservative politics and did not mention his qualifications for the position. This is more evidence of The Sun's liberal bias.

The Sun failed to mention that as governor of Missouri, Mr. Ashcroft signed into law a holiday honoring Martin Luther King Jr.; established musician Scott Joplin's house as Missouri's only historic site honoring a black person; created an award honoring George Washington Carver; and led a fight to save Lincoln University, which was founded by black soldiers.

The Sun should do a better job of providing some of Mr. Ashcroft's positive accomplishments, rather than involving itself in his "Borking."

Michael P. Beczkowski

Bel Air

Attorney general nominee John Ashcroft has voted for and appointed a number of judges, many of whom are minorities. He is now being criticized primarily for not supporting one minority judicial nominee.

Mr. Ashcroft and President-elect George W. Bush should be judged with fairness based on their whole record, not on partisan rhetoric that seems to have more to do with future elections than with past votes by Mr. Ashcroft.

Walter R. Hayes Jr.


Bush's selections show bipartisanship is just talk

Cabinet appointments from popular-vote loser George W. Bush clearly indicate there is no bipartisanship on issues.

Mary O. Styrt


Perhaps the city's homeless should masquerade as cars

I was interested in Peter Sabonis' statement that "the city's first tax-benefit district, the Downtown Partnership, saw the homeless as a threat to tourism and quickly won passage of an anti-panhandling law" ("Don't ignore homeless," Opinion

Commentary, Jan. 2).

I'm interested in the Downtown Partnership because of my understanding that it has been touting subsidizing new parking spaces downtown to accommodate the largely nonresident over-class.

It has had notable success in this regard, including the unanimous passage of a bill establishing a downtown parking authority last year.

What Mr. Sabonis and the homeless must understand is that downtown is willing to accommodate cars but not people.

The homeless will simply have to learn to dress up like a car, or at least arrange to obtain an abandoned one.

Paul R. Schlitz Jr.


Greenspan's the one who's really in charge

The prime interest rate was recently cut 50 basis points, and the markets gasped a wind of desperate and refreshing air ("Fed trims key rate half-point," Jan. 4). Never in the history of the stock market in America have so many investors felt relief as from the Federal Reserve policy-makers' unexpected decision.

Recently, Americans were in doubt, for far too many days, of who was the elected president. After this rate cut, I think we all know, at least for the moment, who is presiding over our great nation.

Vox populi, vox Greenspan.

Michael Baccala


Picture of skaters shares their joy

What a lovely picture greeted us Jan. 2. Its joy and exuberance are contagious.

Thank you.

Ellen Burger


Purge housing chief from the city's payroll

I applaud The Sun's editorial regarding the situation with the Baltimore City housing commissioner, Paul T. Graziano, and the recommendation that he resign ("Tolerating bigotry," Jan. 4).

Sometimes, as a public servant, you do not deserve a second chance when your behavior is so outrageous that the damage is irreparable.

I feel the mayor would gain valuable support by admitting he failed to address the problem correctly at first and, after careful consideration, has realized that Baltimore deserves much better than Mr. Graziano is ready to give.

He should then call for Mr. Graziano's resignation or fire him.

Randy Parkin


It appears that Baltimore City housing Commissioner Paul T. Graziano is an alcoholic. Because of this disease, he conducted himself in a most despicable manner in two public places.

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