One break at a time

I hope City Council saw the front of The Inquirer's Local section the other day. The lead article noted that developer Carl Dranoff received a $3 million loan from the Delaware River Port Authority for a Camden project but has yet to repay anything ("Probe of DRPA widens," Dec. 18). Below the fold, we read of Dranoff claiming a Philadelphia tax break is essential to the development of a $210 million hotel and condominium project ("Dranoff calls tax break crucial," Dec. 18). Well, if not getting a tax break kills the project, so be it. Let Dranoff come up with the money he owes the DRPA, and then he can ask for a tax break.

Stephen Cooney, Pottstown

Only brief cease-fire

Do not be fooled. There is no new spirit of compromise in Washington, since the Republican right and the Democratic left haven't lost their zeal ("Bipartisanship finally prevails," Dec. 19). As long as Republicans are from Mars and Democrats are from Venus, it will be an all-out battle until the American people side with the policies of one political party or the other.

Ken Derow, Swarthmore

Obama in the know

Charles Krauthammer suggests that the president is ignorant of the fact that the government has large agencies that are complicated, overlapping, outdated, or poorly designed. ("Surprise! You're the president," Dec. 16). President Obama knows all about "the elementary workings of government" but was trying to communicate its complexity to the public. From waking to sleeping, this president is engaged, and often with crises.

Paul Selbst, Philadelphia

Secret Santas

Imagine the National Security Agency and Santa Claus teaming up. With the NSA put in a bad light by leaker Edward Snowden, who has exposed extensive spying on Americans, it may figure Santa could help improve its image. And given budget cuts and the downturn in the economy, Santa may look to the NSA to help him know what everyone wants for Christmas. Based on its massive data, the NSA would make Santa a list and check it twice. It would let him know who's been naughty and who's been nice.

Marc Perkel, Gilroy, Calif.,

Health-law changes

My letter to the editor published Sunday requires two important clarifications.

First, people on Medicare should not buy any policies through the government's health insurance marketplace, or any policies that are marketed as being needed or required under the Affordable Care Act or Obamacare.

Second, Medicare beneficiaries should not discontinue or make any changes to their current supplemental plans or Medicare Advantage plans because of the health-care law.

Consumers who have questions or need additional information are encouraged to contact the Center for Advocacy for the Rights and Interests of the Elderly (CARIE) at 215-545-5728.

Rebecca Nurick, CARIE, Philadelphia

Inventor's pride

As the inventor of Dow's Evoque, I was particularly interested to read that the Environmental Protection Agency had given it a green chemistry award ("EPA honors paint ingredient," Dec. 13). It was very satisfying to know that my brainstorm not only resulted in a commercial success, but also an environmentally friendly one.

Martin Vogel, Blue Bell,

Collateral damage

I understand the need to get rid of al-Qaeda, but there has to be a better way than killing innocent civilians with drones ("Yemen drone strike kills 13," Dec. 13). And now we learn that drones are being manufactured in suburban Philadelphia. The United States must stop attacks that risk killing the innocent.

Mary-Ellen Creamer, Philadelphia