Congressmen Ami Bera, David Cicilline, Rodney Davis and Adam Kinzinger talk problem solving.
REMEMBERING SEN. ARLEN SPECTER: This weekend, Sen. Arlen Specter passed away after a long fight with cancer. Specter served five terms in the Senate and was a respected member of Congress. "Specter dedicated his life to public service and the commonwealth of Pennsylvania. His impact on our state and public policy will not be forgotten," said Sen. Pat Toomey, who took Specter's seat in the Senate. Rep. Nancy Pelosi said Specter was "always willing to reach across the aisle and work across party lines to get the job done, regardless of political gamesmanship or gain." Abby Livingston for Roll Call: President Obama, Key Washington Figures Mourn Specter
GRIDLOCK WILL ONLY GET WORSE: Harvard advanced leadership fellow Steven Strauss believes that gridlock in Washington will get worse before it gets better. Some of his reasons include confirmation bias and weak feedback loops, changing economics of the media industry, filter bubbles, ideologically safe congressional seats, advocacy industry expansion and a lack of a shared context:Steven Strauss for The Huffington Post: Six Reasons American Political Polarization Will Only Get Worse
VOTERS WANT REAL LEADERSHIP: No Labels Co-Founder Dave Walker has toured the country educating Americans on the country's fiscal troubles. What he found was voters want real solutions. "During 34 events, in 16 states and D.C., thousands of American voters said they are prepared to support serious reforms to avoid a debt crisis. Voters, young and old, want more specific solutions from the candidates and less political pandering. They are hungry for truth and leadership and will accept no less," he writes: David Walker for The Huffington Post: Debate This: A Real-Time Look at How Voters Feel About the Economy
PROBLEM-SOLVING CANDIDATE: Former Sen. Bob Kerrey frequently opens by saying, “I don’t believe you can solve any problem unless you begin by saying there’s a problem," and he believes that he can help break gridlock in Washington if given the chance. He recently added, “somebody has to go back there and change Congress. Somebody has to stand the middle ground. We’re going to have to look at the truth. We’re going to have to change." His message resonates with voters too as his race has become closer than expected: David Rogers for POLITICO: Bob Kerrey's last stand to fix Washington
SAY NO TO PLEDGES: Republicans and Democrats are both taking pledges that are pushing them to the extremes of the political spectrum. "Pledges are an inherent inhibitor to problem-solving. Effective compromises that were roads to solutions, such as Simpson-Bowles, are now roads not taken because of these pledges. Yet this problem is fixable," writes No Labels supporter Matt Gang. To help combat pledges, proposal number eight in our Make Congress Work! action plan calls for elected officials to stop taking pledges as such commitments limit their ability to find across-the-aisle solutions: Matt Gang for Political Gang: What's So Wrong with Pledges
MISSOUREE or MISSOURUH? WHO CARES? Candidates running in Missouri are coming under fire for how they pronounce the state's name. This has become a major issue and has even led to candidates running attack ads against their opponents solely about pronunciation. Don't we have more important issues to talk about? Sarah Wheaton for The New York Times: Missouree? Missouruh? To Be Politic, Say Both
FROM THE FIELD: No Labels Co-Founder Ron Shaich and Mark Penn were in Portland, Oregon Friday talking about how business leaders can help break gridlock in Washington.
THE DAILY BREAK: Felix Baumgartner safely landed in Roswell, New Mexico after leaping out of a capsule about 24 miles in the air. He broke the sound barrier as he traveled at Mach 1.24 speed - or about 833.9 miles an hour: Robert Lee Hotz for The Wall Street Journal: Sky Diver Makes Highest Jump Ever
STAT OF THE DAY: U.S. retail sales rose by 1.1 percent in September, a sign that consumers may be a little more optimistic about the recovery: The Wall Street Journal: U.S. Retail Sales Rise 1.1% in September