Is Political Gridlock a Threat to Governance?
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Political gridlock is pushing Washington closer to financial catastrophe if the two parties can't agree to raise the debt ceiling by August 2. Now there's potential gridlock over implementing last year's finance reform. Elizabeth Warren is out as head of the new Consumer Protection Bureau. Will that be enough for Republicans? Is Washington losing the ability to govern? Also, Minnesota's Governor signs the budget, ending the government shutdown. On Reporter's Notebook, America's weather is not what it used to be.
Banner image: President Barack Obama walks out of the Oval Office with Consumer Financial Protection Bureau founder Elizabeth Warren (L) and Richard Cordray to announce Cordray's nomination to head the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau on July 18, 2011. Photo by Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images
Minnesota Governor Signs Budget, Ending Shutdown ()
The government of Minnesota is open for business today after being shut down since the first of July. But, as Democrats and Republicans debate who won and who lost, state officials say services won't be available all at once. They're asking for patience. Doug Grow is a veteran political reporter now based at MinnPost.com.
- Doug Grow: MinnPost.com
Political Gridlock and the Fight over the Consumer Watchdog Agency ()
The debt ceiling and deficit aren't the only issues subject to partisan gridlock in Congress. Last year, with majorities in both houses of Congress, Democrats passed finance reform. This year, Republicans are hell-bent to change it. One controversial element is the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which was given more power than Republicans wanted. President Obama has nominated Ohio's former Attorney General to run it. But the consumer advocate has to be confirmed by the Senate, and Republican Jerry Moran of Kansas, says Richard Cordray is "dead on arrival." It's another example of political polarization in Washington: major bills might pass on party-line votes, but then lack the support required for implementation. Is divided government creating an atmosphere of perpetual gridlock? Is that making Washington unable to govern at all?
- Maya Jackson Randall: Dow Jones Newswires
- Ed Mierzwinski: US Public Interest Research Group
- Mark Calabria: Cato Institute
- Norman Ornstein: Resident Scholar, American Enterprise Institute, @AEI
- Stephen Hess: Brookings Institution
The Heat Wave and Global Warming ()
There's a heat wave in the eastern two-thirds of the United States that's likely to continue into August, along with a widespread lack of rain that's created severe drought conditions. What does it mean for the future? Every 10 years the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration recalculates "climate normals," 30-year averages of temperature and precipitation for 7500 US locations. Climate Central meteorologist Heidi Cullen, author of The Weather of the Future, says the latest report offers "a fascinating and disturbing snapshot of a restless climate."
- Heidi Cullen: Climate Central
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