A legislature that works:

Maybe it’s because I live in New York and have to read all the time about what may be the world’s two most dysfunctional legislative bodies – in Albany and Washington. But I wish a reporter for a national news organization would try to find the country’s best state legislature. A place where Democrats and Republicans actually work together. A place where money isn’t everything, and where everything isn’t done at the 11th hour, or later, followed by an orgy of self-congratulation.

We’ve got 50 states. They can’t all be governed by lawmakers who embarrass their constituents. Which ones function well, and why? What conflict-of-interest, campaign-spending or other rules do they have that help keep things in line? What makes them different, and how can we export their success to the rest of our capitals?

The afterlife of a Wall Street rat:

“Mr. Wang’s lawyer said his client is ‘isolated and broke’ following his cooperation.”

That’s how the Wall Street Journal summarized the situation of Wesley Wang, 39, a former consultant who had worked for an SAC Capital Advisors affiliate and was sentenced Wednesday only to probation for conspiracy to commit securities fraud (by trading on inside information) ‑ because prosecutors said he had been helpful in informing on the targets of their investigation into the trading activities of the hedge fund led by Steven A. Cohen.

Prosecutors told Judge Jed Rakoff that Wang “began cooperating after he was approached by federal agents in January 2009,” according to the Journal. He not only recorded his telephone calls for the feds but also wore a body wire for in-person meetings with targets of the government’s investigation. His cooperation, prosecutors said, gave them evidence against “about 20” potential suspects.