All roads lead through Washington D.C., which is currently fucked.

Historic Voter Volatility in This Year of Fear, WSJ:

Today’s dark public mood appears to be the culmination of a long stretch of national anxiety encompassing a historic terrorist attack and two lengthy wars, followed hard by the worst economic crisis of the last 75 years. The nation is in a period of volatility that started well before this year, and that may stretch well beyond it.

In the political realm, there’s no doubt that this environment will produce significant victories for Republicans in November’s congressional elections. But the long-term consequences are much less clear.

Washington, We Have a Problem, Vanity Fair:

The press may claim the vestigial title of Fourth Estate, but it is the lobbying industry that is now effectively the fourth branch of government…Organizations you’ve never heard of wield far more influence in the capillaries of the bureaucracy than any elected official.

The Empty Chamber, The New Yorker

While senators are in Washington, their days are scheduled in fifteen-minute intervals: staff meetings, interviews, visits from lobbyists and home-state groups, caucus lunches, committee hearings, briefing books, floor votes, fund-raisers. Each senator sits on three or four committees and even more subcommittees, most of which meet during the same morning hours, which helps explain why committee tables are often nearly empty, and why senators drifting into a hearing can barely sustain a coherent line of questioning…

Nothing dominates the life of a senator more than raising money. Tom Harkin, the Iowa Democrat, said, “Of any free time you have, I would say fifty per cent, maybe even more,” is spent on fund-raising.

Not unlike the epic challenges posed by previous existential threats, our generation will have to focus on the increasingly absurd government of the United States of America; an awesome tool that has been modified to serve the narrow interests of the few instead of the multiple interests of the many: a more perfect Union, Justice, domestic Tranquility, the common defence, the general Welfare, the Blessings of Liberty.

There’s no other way forward as we confront the inevitable upheavals brought about by climate change, the “creative destruction” wrought by the global economy, the threats posed by terrorism (physical or virtual, anarchic or state-sponsored); in short, all the risks inherent in our complex civilization.