With Congress in gridlock on issues like guns, immigration, and energy, Americans turn to states, cities, and private groups for action. This spirit of community and problem-solving will inevitably find its expression somewhere.
Clean energy and other parts of the 'clean economy' account for 2 percent of US jobs, employing some 2.7 million Americans, according to a recent report.
The South's small-government, pro-business, boot-strap ideals are drawing jobs to states in the region. That economic model may hold appeal for Wisconsin's Scott Walker and other Northern GOP governors. But it also has a dark side.
Amid housing bust, foreclosures vex communities trying to hold dereliction and crime in check.