I am deeply troubled by this week’s rush to confirm Donald Trump’s appointees for Cabinet positions and other key posts before ethics review processes have been completed. Citizens have a right to know that those being named to these high positions in our government have been fully vetted and that they are ready to serve the American people — not just some of the people, and not just themselves, but all of the people. We must be confident that these nominees do not have conflicts of interest that could corrupt them in their posts.
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Mitch McConnell himself set the standard in 2009 in his own letter to then Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, listing the requirements that should be met for each nominee, including an FBI background check, a letter from the Office of Government Ethics, and financial disclosures. How is it possible that this “McConnell Standard” is not considered essential in the present day? These protocols must be observed, and the people and the press must demand this.
Furthermore, the people and the press must continue to demand that President-elect Donald Trump complete the process of disclosing his tax returns and assigning all of his business interests and investments to a blind trust. Otherwise we can have no confidence that the mission of this administration is to govern for the benefit of the people. It will be clear instead that this administration will be in business for personal advantage and profit.
Karin Evans, Forest Park
Too many replays
After watching more baseball and football than I wish to admit, it occurred to me the games are not as much fun as they used to be. The main culprit, video replays.
Both baseball and football have a rhythm. A team gets hot. In baseball it’s a rally, in football momentum. When this phenomena occurs, the fans get “into the game” and excitement and enjoyment raises to a new level. But this doesn’t happen as often anymore. Just as the game is getting good, a close call is challenged and everyone stands around for several minutes while the officials huddle around a TV screen. By the time a decision is reached, the excitement had died down. The momentum is gone.
Just because the technology exist does not mean it has to be used. In an effort to always be correct sports has lost its focus. Sports are supposed to be fun. Video replays are sucking the fun out of the game.
Ted Staroscik, Darien
I find Shia Kappos’ description of the Weather Underground as a “protest group” offensive. “Terrorist group” would be more accurate. Consult their manifesto “Prairie Fire” for clarification.
Tom O’Brien, Oak Park
Less than magnificient
Chicago’s so-called Magnificent Mile is too often less than magnificent. As I walk regularly along that potentially elegant street I am saddened by the increasing presence of street people huddled in every conceivable space and in all weather. Our recent arctic cold brought this pathetic situation into the forefront for me.
I continue to wonder what their lamentable, embarrassing spectacle says about us. We know that all relationships are co-created and that it is easier to look out the window than into the mirror.
In addition, passersby — from here and abroad — cannot know the specific circumstances of each person. Some are felons; other are working (whether scams or not); still others suffer from myriad mental dysfunctions, often complicated by drug or alcohol addictions.
We are only too aware of one’s constitutional rights. Where freedom of anything applies to these settings, you decide. We can hope to see at least a few humanitarian leaders of conscience who will act to make our city — not just the Magnificent Mile — one we can be proud of.
Leon J. Hoffman, Lake View
It simply defies logic that any actor who has been nominated 19 times for an academy award would be considered overrated.
It is however totally within the realm of possibility that the man who is to be our new leader is the most overrated president-elect since James Buchanan.
Bob Ory, Elgin