Dan Balz, spare us the political relativism. His Sept. 7 news story slicing and dicing public opinion of the response by party affiliation to Hurricane Katrina ignores the facts. President Bush appointed an unqualified, inexperienced crony to head the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Michael Brown not only failed to mobilize in advance of the storm's landfall, he failed to mobilize for four hours after landfall. Bush is responsible for his appointment, for being blind to his gross incompetence long after the casual TV viewer detected it and for refusing to fix the problem by promptly firing him.

The opinions of the party loyalists and gullible Fox News viewers need to be contrasted with the facts, not with the opinions of those in the other party.

-- Tyree Hilkert

San Francisco


Fair-minded people should be appalled by Harold Meyerson's [op-ed, Sept. 7] incomparably ill-informed and unconscionable description of Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist as a "moral cretin" for his alleged slowness to act to relieve the suffering of victims of Hurricane Katrina. On these issues, Bill Frist's record is clear. On Sept. 1, he provided constituents and friends links to contribute to several agencies specializing in relief. On Sept. 2, he reconvened the Senate to accelerate billions in federal aid to those hit hardest by Katrina. The next day, Frist was in New Orleans giving his free time treating diabetes patients in that troubled city.

While I'm not a supporter of censorship, I am reminded that several publications have dropped the column of right-winger Ann Coulter for including equally shrill, albeit much more factually supported, material in her polemics.

-- J. L. Annis Jr.

Silver Spring