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Seth Masket, “What Can We Learn From Jeff Flake’s About-Face?” Pacific Standard:

“The FBI investigation and other political events over the next week may end up having little effect on the Kavanaugh confirmation vote. But the outcome is far less certain than it was last week, and senators will end up casting a more informed and less rushed vote than they otherwise would have. And all because people chose to get involved.”

Morris P. Fiorina, “Are We On The Verge Of Civil War? Some Words Of Reassurance,” Hoover Institution:

“To understand contemporary American political life, you should begin with the realization that most of the people blabbering on cable television, venting on Facebook, and/or fulminating on Twitter are abnormal. They are abnormally interested and involved in politics, they tend to occupy the policy extremes, and they are abnormally opinionated (yes, many readers of Hanson’s article and this one are probably abnormal).”

Matthew F. McHugh and Sherwood Boehlert, “Ex-congressmen: Elect leaders who put country before party (Commentary),” Syracuse.com:

“More than ever, we are seeing our nation’s democratic norms and institutions faltering. Washington, D.C., once lauded as a beacon that the world looked to for leadership (and a place where things actually got done,) has seen its reputation eroded almost daily by chronic dysfunction.”

Nicholas Fandos, “Kavanaugh Proceedings Drive a Senate Once Governed by Decorum Into Rancor,” New York Times:

“The nomination of Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court has exposed just how far the Senate has drifted from the rules of decorum that once elevated senatorial prerogative over party, leaving behind the kind of smash-mouth partisan politics that have long dominated the unruly House.”

A.B. Stoddard, “More Independents in the Senate — Please,” Real Clear Policy:

“Some Senate Democrats and Republicans are already considering an independent coalition — one that is committed not to a policy agenda, but to the principle of working toward the greater good — reaching the necessary consensus that sustains governance.”

Paul M. Collins, Jr. and Lori A. Ringhand, “Interruptions at Supreme Court confirmation hearings have been rising since the 1980s,” The Conversation:

“But, as scholars of the confirmation process, we aim to measure what is measurable, in the hope that data can inform our more subjective perceptions of politics. And one measurable feature of Kavanaugh’s testimony is the striking number of times he interrupted the senators to challenge their comments or force his own point. Here, the historical record can shed some light.”

Patricia Murphy, “The Senate Already Went Nuclear. This Must Be Nuclear Plus,” Roll Call:

“Of all of the questions left unanswered after the Judiciary Committee hearings for Brett Kavanaugh ended last week, the hardest one to know for sure might also be the most important for the long-term health of the country — can the Senate be saved after everything that happened last week?”

James Wallner, “Lame Ducks and Congressional Accountability,” Law and Liberty:

“But intentionally waiting until a lame duck session to pass legislation, especially dealing with controversial issues, violates the spirit of the 20th Amendment and undermines representative government by making it harder, if not impossible, for the American people to hold their elected officials accountable for their votes.”

Lindsey McPherson, “Republicans Likely in for a Messy December Funding, Leadership Fight,” Roll Call:

“With the next funding deadline of Dec. 7 coming due around the time that the Republican Conference will be holding its leadership elections, it’s not just the current leadership team that will be in the hot seat.”

James C. Capretta, “Fiscal Rules Can Help Fix the Budget Process,” Real Clear Policy:

“While Penner certainly had a point, the persistence of rising government debt over many decades, and in many different political settings around the world, suggests that the problem isn’t solely a function of inadequate political leadership.”

Niels Lesniewski, “Cheri Bustos Joins Race for Assistant Democratic Leader,” Roll Call:

“The Illinois Democrat said her candidacy for assistant Democratic leader will focus on efforts to support the most vulnerable members of the House Democratic caucus, and that will include significant support for new staff.”

Rep. Derek Kilmer, “Shutdowns Seem Normal Now. We’re Frustrated Too,” Roll Call:

“The American people have told us time and again — in the grocery store, at town halls, and through phone calls and emails — that they have lost faith in Congress’ ability to get things done. We share their frustration.”

Amelia Strauss, “Do 218 Co-Sponsors Make a Difference? Apparently, Yes.,” Demand Progress:

“Recent proposals to reform the rules of the House of Representatives included measures to make it easier for legislation that has the support of a majority of the chamber to advance to the floor or prompt committee consideration. If implemented, would this make a difference in how legislation plays out? Apparently, yes.”

Tajha Chappellet-Lanier,“Future Congress will ‘facilitate better coordination’ between advocates for tech expertise on the Hill,” fedscoop:

“On Monday, a group of more than 20 bipartisan advocacy organizations, as well as a number of individuals, launched Future Congress — a “resource hub” dedicated to “efforts to improve science and technology expertise in the legislative branch.””

Andres Bascumbe, “A response to the U.S. House racial diversity report,” The Hill:

“Our procedures have resulted in classes of fellows of which 46 percent identify as racial minorities and 38 percent identify as veterans. At TechCongress, we are transparent about our successes and shortcomings with regards to diversity and we think Congress should do the same.”

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Marian Currinder
Marian Currinder is a senior fellow with the R Street Institute’s Governance Project and editor of LegBranch.org. Marian previously served as senio...