Congressmen Ami Bera, David Cicilline, Rodney Davis and Adam Kinzinger talk problem solving.
REDUCING GRIDLOCK: On Friday President Obama signed legislation exempting some government positions from Senate approval to reduce the amount of gridlock on Capitol Hill. "The number of senior government posts requiring Senate confirmation has grown from 280 to 1,400 in the last half century, and the average confirmation time has increased to more than 10 months from two and a half months, according to No Labels," Peter Baker writes. That's unacceptable. For government to function, people must be in place to do their jobs. This law helps provide just that: Peter Baker for The New York Times: Obama Signs Law Exempting Many Appointees from Senate Approval
WHAT'S POLARIZED? Americans' beliefs are increasingly being sorted along party lines, according to Pew Research. What does that mean? That liberals and moderates that lean left are more often self-identifying as Democrats and conservatives and moderates that lean right are more often self-identifying as Republicans. In an election year with stark choices, there's less room for common ground: The Economist: Polarised voters, or polarised choices?
POSTAL SOLUTIONS: Congress is leaving the postal service in rough condition. For real solutions, it must start to look abroad, Mike Tae and Adam LaVier write. A few ideas that have been successful elsewhere: 1) Offering new competitive products, including global package delivery, logistics and freight forwarding 2) Competitive price adjustments and reasonable limits to delivery service 3) Online and hybrid mail services that give customers a choice between electronic and physical letters: Mike Tae & Adam LaVier for The Washington Post: How to save the U.S. Postal Service
IMPACT OF RYAN PICK ON INDEPENDENTS: Mitt Romney's choice of Paul Ryan as his running mate is mobilizing both parties' bases. But what's the effect on independent voters? Romney's campaign might believe the Ryan choice will be popular with independent voters because of the likely shift in debate toward the deficit problem and how to fix it, Linda Killian writes: Linda Killian for The Atlantic: The Ryan I Know: A Mild-Mannered Wonk and Ideological True Believer
THE DAILY BREAK: Think your pet couldn't use an iPad? You might be wrong. Check out this cat playing an iPad game: Fruit Ninja.
STAT OF THE DAY: 75 districts. That's how many retiring Rep. Mike Ross says actually matter in determining who is going to control Congress -- and redistricting is part of the reason why: Rob Moritz for the Log Cabin Democrat: Ross says partisanship paralyzing Congress