Both political parties

are failing the nation

Americans need to wake up, get off the cellphones, turn off the reality shows and take a good hard and honest look at what the politicians are doing to the country, the state and their hometowns.

President Barack Obama has been in office almost five years. Are we better off? Spending in Washington is out of control. The national debt is more than $16 trillion. And Obama's foreign policy is a joke.

Gov. Chris Christie has been in office almost four years. Property taxes are up 13 percent. New Jersey is ranked the fifth most expensive place to live and 47th for business friendliness. Christie is very entertaining, but one-liners will not fix New Jersey's problems.

How about your hometown? Is it better or worse? Are your property taxes up? Are your roads in disrepair? Is your town trying to contain costs or is it just continuing to spend your money wildly?

In a recent Rasmussen poll, 63 percent of Americans said the country is heading in the wrong direction. It's time to tell members of both parties to start working to solve the problems they have created. And if they don't, it's time to get rid of them, no matter who they are.

WAYNE WILLIAMS

Seaville

Pageant was a success;

crowd count irrelevant

Regarding the Sept. 26 Anthony Marino column, "Don't exaggerate Miss America parade crowds," and The Press article the next day saying the crowd number was, in fact, inflated:

Maybe I'm the one who is missing the point here. Marino acknowledged that the Miss America Pageant was "a rousing success," and he offered "kudos for creating a positive image of Atlantic City."

I am ecstatic that our Miss America is back. I am happy that some local businesses got an extra boost. Heck, we have something that no other city in the country has.

Then again, I saw the thousands of folks who were there, not the thousands who weren't. What about you?

BARBARA PALADINO

Longport

Conservatives

must win elections

We conservatives are appalled at the policies of the current president and his administration. We decry the negative affects they have on the economy and to America's image. So I have some advice for my fellow conservatives:

Griping, moaning, groaning, complaining and crying will get us nothing. What we must do is win elections if we want to change the direction of the country. President Barack Obama was correct when he said elections have consequences. Sales experts say repeating a key phrase is good marketing strategy, so I repeat again: We conservatives must win elections, and that is the bottom line.

JIMMIE L. HOLLIS

Millville

Christie listens

only to gun lobby

Regarding the Sept. 26 editorial, "Christie and guns/Failure to lead":

Thanks for enlightening readers about Gov. Chris Christie's real loyalties to the gun lobby of this state. Our bombastic governor has done nothing to improve gun safety.

A bill (S2723) sponsored by state Sen. President Steve Sweeney, D-Salem, Gloucester, would have extended background checks to private gun sales, required all gun buyers to undergo safety training and would have modernized New Jersey's system for issuing firearms permits - but Christie vetoed it.

In a recent Rutgers-Eagleton Poll, 65 percent of state residents supported a ban on .50-caliber rifles, and 85 percent were in favor of expanding background checks. Every legislative action to improve gun safety is worth it if it can save even one life (maybe yours or your loved one).

Could New Jersey be the next location of a mass murder committed by a deranged gun man?

Think twice about voting for Christie.

BETTY CANDERAN

Cape May Court House

New Miss America

was the right choice

Regarding the Sept. 25 Leonard Pitts Jr. column, "Response to new Miss America shows our hypocrisy":

Of all the 53 Miss America contestants, Miss New York Nina Davuluri dazzled me the most. Her Bollywood dance really kept me in the Atlantic City mode. It was very symbolic of one of my favorite Atlantic City casinos - the Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort, which has an Indian theme.

Davuluri became the fifth Miss New York to go on to become Miss America. From the start of the pageant, she really wanted it and surely deserves the honor of being America's newest princess.

WAYNE E. WILLIAMS

Camden

Zoos shouldn't breed

animals they won't keep

Regarding the Sept. 26 story, "New at Cape Zoo/Giraffe, bison babies debut":

A few years ago, a young giraffe born at the Cape May County Zoo was sold to an animal broker and then a circus once the zoo had milked all the public money it could get from people coming to see the baby giraffe. Zoos know that once a baby giraffe, bison or whatever begins to grow, it loses its public appeal, and visitors tend to move on until the next baby whatever is bred.

This time it's another baby giraffe and a baby bison. Much to the zoo's delight, The Press provided the obligatory huge spread, reporting on the "oohs" and "aahs" as parents bring in little Mary and Johnnie to see the zoo's latest cash cow.

But these latest innocent, beautiful creatures better enjoy life as much as possible before they join the fate of the previous babies who made the mistake of growing up.

Let's see what happens in a few months when this little giraffe gets big and begins to eat more than can be justified with waning public appeal.

BILL SPARKES

Somers Point

Stop the bickering -

health law good for U.S.

It's hard to believe our elected officials are bickering about funding Obamacare. Do they not realize how many families are in need of some type of health insurance? Or are the insurance and the pharmaceutical industries fueling this debate? They have lobbyists in Washington contributing to the re-election funds of many of those elected officials.

Obamacare is good for the country. If health concerns are addressed before they became critical, think how much less the cost will be to insurance companies and businesses. Businesses are already cutting hours so as not to pay for health insurance. Greed will be the downfall of this country.

BARBRA J. ALLEN

Absecon