Good morning, it’s Thursday, October 4, 2018. I’m on the road this week and so my daily history lesson is on brief hiatus. As always, however, I want to direct you to our , which aggregates an array of columns and stories spanning the political spectrum. We also offer original material from our own reporters and contributors this morning, including the following:

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More Independents in the Senate — Please. A.B. Stoddard that the confirmation process of Brett Kavanaugh is just another example of the divide in Congress that impedes healthy governance — a divide that independents can help bridge.

Gingrich: GOP Needs a 2018 Contract With America. Adele Malpass the former speaker’s latest book, which urges Republican candidates to run on a “big ideas” platform.

Democratic Playbook’s Only Page: Division. Robert E. Heiler that prejudgments of Brett Kavanaugh are just an extension of the “identity politics” Democrats have long practiced.

New Drinking Water Crisis Dwarfs Flint Tragedy. Steve Gruber a study that found widespread contamination in Michigan.

Strategy and Reality in Afghanistan. In RealClearDefense, Nathan Jennings that the foundation of NATO’s campaign in Afghanistan is so fundamentally flawed that it cannot be won.

Fiscal Rules Can Help Fix the Budget Process. In RealClearPolicy, James C. Capretta in favor of limits on federal spending and debt, which would prevent politicians from putting short-terms policy goals ahead of long-term economic health.

What Pew Gets Wrong About “Asian Inequality” in the U.S. RealClearMarkets editor John Tamny with the research center’s pronouncements in a new report.

Report: Proxy Firms May Be Leading Investors Astray.  Jerry Rogers findings of questionable guidance being offered to investment firms and fund managers.

Why Did I Get the Wrong Rx? In RealClearHealth, Deane Waldman that the federal bureaucracy and insurance companies have too much say in prescribing medication to patients.

Over-Regulation Is Fueling the Opioid Crisis. Michael Shindler , also in RCH.

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Carl M. Cannon 
Washington Bureau chief, RealClearPolitics
(Twitter)

 

Carl M. Cannon is the Washington Bureau Chief for RealClearPolitics. Reach him on Twitter .