Read Stuff, You Should: How Congress Could Work

Jonathan Bernstein is a Bloomberg View columnist. He taught political science at the University of Texas at San Antonio and DePauw University and wrote A Plain Blog About Politics.
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Happy Birthday to Esai Morales, 52. I was just talking to my eldest daughter about "Caprica" last night.

I'm not sure I'll be able to handle it if tonight's game goes 12 innings, even with plenty of good stuff:

1. Good Norm Ornstein column on gridlock and what it would take to get Congress working again. I agree that the hurdle isn't ideological extremism per se -- and that Arizona Senator Jeff Flake is a good counterexample. That is, Flake is quite far from the ideological mainstream, but is capable of working with people who have very different policy positions. The difference between Flake and many other Republicans? He actually wants to change policy.

2, I rarely link to things I haven't really looked at yet, but everyone is recommending this look at the 2014 primary elections from Jill Lawrence and Walter Shapiro.

3. While Elaine Kamarck and Alexander R. Podkul look at "The 2014 Congressional Primaries: Who Ran and Why."

4. The case for Mike Pence, from Matt Yglesias.

5. Excellent summary of the state of the Senate campaign from Harry Enten.

6. Matea Gold tweets: "New @wesmediaproject @OpenSecretsDC analysis finds that groups funded by secret donors have run almost 40% of political ads this cycle."

7. Noah Berlatsky argues that the demise of Gary Hart's campaign did have one important effect. With Hart as the Democratic nominee in 1988, there wouldn't have been the "Willie Horton" ad, and perhaps the next wave of lock 'em up criminal justice policy would have been avoided. Plausible! Although I strongly suspect Hart wouldn't have been nominated, and there's a very good chance that George H.W. Bush's campaign would have used similar themes against Hart. Still, it's good reality-based speculation.

8. And a good explanation of the Republican advantage in House elections from Amelia Showalter.

This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Bloomberg View's editorial board or Bloomberg LP, its owners and investors.

To contact the author on this story:
Jonathan Bernstein at jbernstein62@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor on this story:
Max Berley at mberley@bloomberg.net