Several recent developments reveal how political and institutional fragmentation in the United States has produced self-inflicted wounds for the U.S. abroad. In all of these instances, America’s ability to exercise economic power in the world has been deliberately curtailed through decisions made unilaterally in Washington by American political leaders.
Five Congolese-made robots are now regulating traffic in Kinshasa. Other pictures. Traffic robots in action and interview of Thérèse Izay Kirongozi, robot creator, engineer and leader of Wotech (Women's Technology Association). [more inside]
A bipartisan commission convened by Esquire magazine has reported its findings on how to make Congress work better. [more inside]
Email Links Top Christie Aide to GW Bridge Scandal. The week of September 9, 2013, traffic was bad on the approach to the George Washington Bridge -- the busiest bridge in the world. Cars were backed up into the streets of Fort Lee, NJ, gridlocking the entire city on the first week of school. The reason? Two tollboths leading to the GWB were closed by the Port Authority of NY and NY. The PA claimed it was for a traffic study, except that the head of the Port Authority, Pat Foye, appointed by New York Governor Cuomo, was not told about the closure, and neither was anyone else. [more inside]
California begins its "top two primary" runoff. Called a blanket primary, open primary, jungle primary, the top-two primary seeks to end partisan gridlock by having one primary for all voters in June, where the top two candidates face off in November, regardless of party affiliation. Said to favor moderates while hurting small parties, Arizona votes on a similar measure next week. [more inside]
The Day Britain Stopped tells the story of what might happen if the 'integrated' transport system in the UK fails. On BBC Two last night, it made for shocking viewing and would doubtless have caused some people to question the idea of leaving the house, let alone getting on a plane to go anywhere. You can watch the full ninety minute programme online by following the link above if you've got the time and the Real One player.
Conjestion charging hits london £5 to take a car into the central zone (pdf) between 7am and 6.30pm Mon - Fri. It's all the work of controversial mayor "Red" Ken Livingstone Opinion is split: for and against. A small majority of Londoners seem in favour of it - traffic in London now is as slow as the days of the horse and cart! Day one seems quiet, though it is the school holidays! Is this the answer?
Undecided voters aren't stupid after all. They're just waiting to see which candidate will best achieve their goal of governmental gridlock, which will be determined primarily by how control of Congress shakes out.