ACT LIKE ADULTS:
With major defense cuts looming, many are looking for members of Congress to act like adults and work together. “The inability of so many political leaders today to step outside their ideological cocoons or offend their most partisan supporters has become the real threat to America’s future. Too many politicians are concerned with winning elections and scoring ideological points than saving the country. My hope is following the presidential election, whatever adults remain in the two political parties will make the compromises necessary to put the country back in order,” says former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates: Jeremy Herb for The Hill: Gates, Mullen call on lawmakers to act like 'adults' on budget
CAUSES OF HYPER-PARTISANSHIP: Hyper-partisanship has reached historic levels with this session of Congress -- and it's increasing in the public. What's causing it? Jonathan Haidt and Marc Hetherington examine the polarization of the two parties in Congress, how citizens view their party and the other and the percentage of Americans who trust the government. They find America is becoming less unitable with each passing decade. "If ever there was a need for us all to “come together for the sake of our country,” our “united America,” it is now. Whatever our ideological differences, can we at least agree to push our leaders, after the election, to get their house in order?" Jonathan Haidt and Marc Hetherington for The New York Times: Look How Far We've Come Apart
Unbiased news should help combat growing levels of polarization among voters, right? Not exactly. Most voters have “biased assimilation.” That means people learn new information in a selective fashion, Cass Sunstein says. When people get information that supports what they initially thought, they give it considerable weight. When they get information that undermines their initial beliefs, they tend to dismiss it: Cass Sunstein for The New York Times: 'Balanced' News Reports May Only Inflame
UNCERTAINTY ADDING TO UNEMPLOYMENT:
If there had been no increase in uncertainty in the past four years, the unemployment rate would have been closer to 6 or 7 percent than to 8 percent to 9 percent, according to a new study from the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. The rise in uncertainty was caused by the financial crisis in 2008 and Congress' inability to work together. This situation could have been avoided if Congress stopped focusing on point-scoring and decided to work across the aisle: Peter Schroeder for The Hill: Study: Uncertainty adding to unemployment
ANGRY FARMERS WANT SOLUTIONS:
Farmers are anxiously awaiting a new farm bill deal. The current bill expires on September 30. Now some members of Congress are discussing the possibility of voting on a three-month stopgap that would extend the current farm bill. We need leaders who realize a stopgap agreement is not a way to govern a country: David Rogers for POLITICO: Farm bill finale: Milk, mayhem
No Labels Co-Founder Bill Bloomfield is running for Congress in California. Bloomfield is an independent and understands what labels can do to candidates. According to the Press-Telegram, Bloomfield wants to see an end to the game of chicken in Congress over the debt that he says threatens to take us back into recession, and sees compromise as the way to achieve it. You can read more about Bloomfield here: Opinion Page Staff for the Press-Telegram: Bill Bloomfield: "I am an independent"
FROM THE FIELD: A group of citizens in Georgia are meeting tonight in Atlanta to discuss bringing friends and family to our January 14, Meeting to Make America Work!
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