MIT Technology Review shared a link to an interesting paper analyzing the data around how support attached to a particular bill. Their original hypothesis was that influencers would have more affect on subsequent support.
Not so, say Mikhail Simkin and Vwani Roychowdhury at the University of California, Los Angeles. It turns out that the way a particular resolution gains support can be accurately simulated by the avalanches that occur when grains of sand are dropped onto each other to form a pile.
This explains so much while also being so evocative of Congress as little more than a mindless, emergent phenomenon.