GARY TUMA, press secretary for the Senate Democratic Appropriations Committee, wrote to you about Christine Flowers' op-ed on Vince Fumo.

After laying the groundwork by saying it was amusing that Flowers indicated that the rest of the state doesn't understand Fumo, and his slavery comments were just another example of Philadelphia officials hurting the city's cause in Harrisburg, Tuma said, "This came, ironically, as he successfully achieved his goal of halting in its tracks the constitutional amendment denying rights to same-sex couples . . ."

For the record, the definition of irony is "poignantly contrary to what is intended or expected."

Now you tell me, was this situation ironic?

Because if it was, then Tuma is arguing that Fumo has no clout with the state Legislature, and that what is normally expected or intended is that Fumo cannot effect change in legislation.

Ergo, proving Flowers' argument.

I think agree that Tuma has no idea how to use the word "ironic." Which, considering our state government, is probably not ironic.

Harry Erney, Abington

Too mean to Michelle

Re "A Little Advice for the Sister" (op-ed, May 13):

The haranguing dispensed by Fatimah Ali and her so-called "girlfriends" is appalling in her demeaning attack on first lady hopeful Michelle Obama.

Since when does the first lady have to look like Cinderella?

I can think of a great first lady who was anything but glamorous - Eleanor Roosevelt.

Ali's superficial ad hominem diatribe is a testament to her own ignorance. Michelle Obama has more class and beauty in her pinkie than she will ever have.

So don't be "hating the sister."

Dolores R. Whitaker

Philadelphia