Bickering About 'Bickering'
Alex M. Parker, writing on the congressional shift of power, noted that "familiar congressional bickering followed almost immediately" after Nancy Pelosi handed the gavel over to Speaker Boehner ["A New Era in the House," January 7]. "Bickering?" Congress legislates on issues that affect the lives of over 300 million Americans. Dismissal of efforts to reverse Obama's healthcare takeover and address the continuing financial crisis as "bickering" goes far to degrade our politics. It is something properly relegated to the editorial page. Your news pages should not advance commentary masquerading as "news."
W. JAMES YOUNG Montclair, Va.
The Key to a Housing Revival
Mr. Zuckerman's editorial on the housing market ["New Year, Same Troubled Housing Market," January 7] was right except for one thing: He missed the effect of jobs on housing. I am a Realtor on the West Coast and can say in all honesty that people are afraid to budge because they either can't find a decent-paying job, or don't know if they will keep a job they have. Jobs are the key. Once people have money in their pockets and feel confident that a job will not disappear in a year or two, they will be back—however hesitantly—into the housing market.
ROBERT MALCHOW Portland, Ore.
Reconsidering the Filibuster
A filibuster, done correctly, is a safeguard against a rushed decision or a massive push by a small group to make a controversial law ["Dems Push Senate Reform," December 31]. But there is absolutely no good reason for that process, or any other, to be secret. Our Constitution allows for a secret ballot, not a secret legislature. It's time both parties start practicing actual transparency, not just griping about the other side.
KENNY KNOWLES Summerville, S.C.
Flood of Money
I see all the articles about how much money is spent during election time by the various candidates, and some are astounding ["The Year of Spending Furiously," December 31]. I wonder who gets all this largess? I can see printing companies getting some, as well as radio and TV companies, but the amounts listed seem to be very outsized.
BOB BISHOP Stone Mountain, Ga.
God and the Founders
Mr. Kidd's book tends to miss the fact that religious freedom is intended to accept neutrality not just among various sects, but between religion and nonreligion ["In God They Trusted," December 24]. Madison explained that because God gave us our right to freedom of religion (think Martin Luther), then no human institution can interfere. It never ceases to amaze me that those who are most vocal against big government and government intrusion into private matters seem to be willing to let government meddle in religion.
JOHN RAGOSTA Charlottesville, Va. Author of Wellspring of Liberty: How Virginia's Religious Dissenters Helped to Win the American Revolution and Secured Religious Liberty (Oxford University Press, 2010)