In this week's New Yorker, George Packer has a thorough--and thoroughly depressing--piece on the many ways in which the Senate has become a broken institution. Some of them will be familiar to observers of Washington--the influx of hyperpartisan House members, the constant pressure to raise money. But this one was new to me:

After C-SPAN went on the air, in 1979, the cozy atmosphere that encouraged both deliberation and back-room deals began to yield to transparency and, with it, posturing.

It won't brighten your Monday morning, but the whole piece is very much worth reading.