On the front page of The Baltimore Sun is an article about the Office of Health Care Quality which is apparently unable to perform its mission: "…the office, which is part of the health department, has acknowledged that it does not meet the requirements of some state or federal laws" ("Md. health agency cutting back on facilities it inspects," July 20). Sounds like it's underperforming, doesn't it? It's scary, isn't it?

On page 6 of the same edition, Gov. Martin O'Malley is quoted as saying: "We don't have to accept underperforming bureaucracies, agencies or departments." So am I missing something? Isn't Mr. O'Malley still governor of this state? Is underperformance OK on the state level? Maybe he needs to do some cleanup here before he goes on to the presidency.

The placement of the articles is exquisite. Is anyone paying attention?

Linda Loew, Baltimore

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