From Minnesota to the NFL to the halls of Congress, negotiations keep devolving into one high-stakes game of chicken after another, as public intransigence works against private compromise.
Critics complain that President Obama's federal budget doesn't trim entitlement programs like Medicare and Medicaid. But Obama said that reform will come about through bipartisan negotiation.
Democrats and Republicans agree that today's tax system hinders job growth. But tax reform efforts come as many House Republicans also push for $2.5 trillion in spending cuts in next decade.
The Internet has already had a profound effect on national campaign finance. Now, it is beginning to impact local politics, too.
Rep. John Murtha (D) of Pennsylvania, who died Monday, was the first Vietnam veteran to be elected to Congress. He also brought home billions in defense-related earmarks for his struggling district.
House Democrats consider a resolution of disapproval for 'You lie!' outburst.
His most important vote, he said, was against the Iraq War. But he also had major impact on human rights and other issues.
If Obama wins and Democrats gain greater control in Congress, it could happen.