Letters to the Editor for the weekly print issue of June 18, 2012: How can a conservative compromise with a position that is totally against his or her own political, economic, and social philosophy? An important option for one's retirement years is learning stuff, at a low cost.
The May 28 DC Decoder article "Why Congress is gridlocked" reports on the reasons Capitol Hill in-siders give for the gridlock. The third point, "A lack of institutional knowledge," is a valid point. The newer members are not beholden to other members of Congress in mutual back-scratching or to the lobbyists plying their trade on the Hill.
As for socialization, they are in Washington to work, not attend parties. Yes, they have a lot to learn, but they know that they have a purpose higher than being reelected at the next election.
The "hyperactive news media" (the fourth point) is a valid issue as well, but these former Hill staffers and scholars can't blame the media itself for news leaks. News leaks come from the Congress members themselves or aides working in their offices. It is the responsibility of a free press to report what it knows.