Congressmen Ami Bera, David Cicilline, Rodney Davis and Adam Kinzinger talk problem solving.
STANDING ALONE: Sen. Joe Lieberman has a long, illustrious career serving Connecticut, but as his retirement nears, he is standing alone. "It is an indictment of both main parties that a supporter of civil rights, economic justice, strong defense, economic opportunity and religious values should end his service as a party of one," writes Michael Gerson for The Washington Post: Michael Gerson for The Washington Post: Joe Lieberman, party of one
BACK TO SCHOOL: As Congress returns from their summer vacation, they need to focus on our country's big problems, not election season. "The choice Congress faces this term is simple: either address head on America’s challenges, or risk being remembered as the body whose dithering condemned future generations to being worse off than their parents," writes Mohamed A. El-Erian, CEO of PIMCO: Mohamed A. El-Erian for Project Syndicate: Back-to-school Letter to the US Congress
GROW UP: That's what people are telling Congress to do. The hyper-partisan rhetoric and refusal to work together have led people to compare Capitol Hill to a wild elementary school classroom. "Citizens have complained for years about Washington’s squabbling children, who’d rather stamp their feet and hold their breath than resolve momentous issues of economic policy. The games are childish, but the resulting suffering is serious: Millions can’t find work, confidence withers, growth slows and the self-reinforcing upward spiral that makes an economy grow can’t get going — largely because our supposed leaders won’t grow up," says Allan Sloan: Allan Sloan for The Washington Post: It’s time for the grown-ups to step up in Washington
GOLDEN AGE OF MUDSLINGING: As America enters the final stretch of this election cycle, the mudslinging is heating up. While this is common during this phase of the process, improvements in technology and unlimited fundraising abilities have resulted in this election cycle being the golden age of mudslinging. "[This is] a disgraceful stew of invective ... a continuing contest in which each side of the partisan divide sees itself as right and the other as evil, uncaring or, worst of all, unpatriotic," says Allegheny College President James H. Mullen, Jr.: Bob Greene for CNN: Mudslinging campaigns hurt the country
HOLDING ON TO THE CENTER: In an age of increasing polarization and hyper-partisanship, moderates in Congress are doing everything they can to hold on to their seats. POLITICO reports, "It’s a calculus borne partially out of political necessity. Distancing themselves from the Democratic agenda, strategists say, gives these candidates ammunition that could help fend off Republican attacks that they are too tied to Obama and the party as a whole." Still, the party leadership doesn't mind if members are moderate, as long as they still have a "D" or an "R" next to their name: Seung Min Kim and Kate Nocera for POLITICO: When survival trumps loyalty
FROM THE FIELD: Charles McCormick believes our Make Congress Work! action plan will help break gridlock in Washington. "Their suggestions to create a political climate in Washington are simple, cost nothing, and would help foster a more bipartisan spirit which is needed to get things done — it also makes Congress and the president more accountable to the people," he says: Charles McCormick for The Oakland Journal: No Label, No Budget, No Pay
THE DAILY BREAK: Check out Karl Rove and Joe Trippi race on Segways to a Fox News set.
ACTION OF THE DAY: Click here to vote for a No Labels Panel at next year's South by Southwest (SXSW) Festival. Voting ends tonight!
STAT OF THE DAY: The most recent release of the Federal Reserve Board's Beige Book, which records anecdotal data about economic conditions across the United States from each of the regional Federal Reserve banks, has 12 different mentions of the fiscal cliff, up from one in the April release. Peter Coy for Businessweek: Are We Already Falling Off the Fiscal Cliff?