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In our continuing filibuster reform lecture series, we come today to Saturday's Up with Chris Hayes episode featuring a discussion of the subject with Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR), former Senate Parliamentarian Alan Frumin, and others. It was a substantive and informative segment which you should all watch, and which we'll nitpick on today's show.

There's plenty more where that came from, of course. But we'll also try to hit some of the other hot stories of the day, including this NYT piece on how much money corporations are pocketing from state and local governments in subsidies designed to create or preserve jobs, though they often pack up and leave anyway, and nobody ever really bothers to figure out for sure whether any jobs were created or saved in the first place.

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Comment Preferences

  •  good morning! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jnhobbs, Armando, Mary Mike

    1. Peggy Noonan has a sad  link because

    2. R political positioning sucks:

    3. Our weekend look at Simpson Bowles here: What Simpson-Bowles has to say about health care spending reform (it's not what you think)

    4. NYT filibuster stuff:

    "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

    by Greg Dworkin on Mon Dec 03, 2012 at 05:57:04 AM PST

  •  fiscal cliff options (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jnhobbs, Armando, Mary Mike

    "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

    by Greg Dworkin on Mon Dec 03, 2012 at 06:00:42 AM PST

  •  Can I Make A Request? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Armando, Mary Mike

    Since Nancy Pelosi announced last week that she will likely be circulating a Discharge Petition in the House this week to try to get the Senate 98% tax cut extension bill to the floor.  On that note, I was wondering if you could squeeze in a little discussion of the Discharge Petition procedures (besides the fact that 218 signatures are needed), and what our realistic chances our of getting enough Republicans to sign, especially as pressure gets turned up by Dems.?

    "Some men see things as they are and ask, 'Why?' I dream of things that never were and ask, 'Why not?"

    by Doctor Who on Mon Dec 03, 2012 at 06:25:23 AM PST

  •  Framing: Filibuster = Presidential Veto (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Doctor Who, yuriwho

    In giving the right to filibuster to any senator, we have essentially given the right of presidential veto to any senator. That seems an outrageous unbalance of power. But it seems to go even further. It seems strange that there is sometimes there is a mysterious "hold" that people say is on a senate process that does seem even to require that a senator being identified.

    The defense of the filibuster is couched in terms of allowing debate. Debate could be allowed by allowing each senator an hour to debate on bill which they can they allocate in any way they wish. The senate could then also allow unlimited written commentary to be filed. So then even unlimited debate can be allowed in a way that does not slow down the process of the senate.

    Framing matters. Let's start saying that Senators should NOT have the equivalent right to a presidential veto in a filibusters. No Presidential Vetoes for Senators!

    I would appreciate if you could discuss the framing and campaigning around filibuster.

    •  Interesting point. (0+ / 0-)

      The filibuster, of course, is not quite the same thing, but it's definitely a sort of imbalance. The presidential veto requires a 2/3 vote in each house to override it, whereas the filibuster requires a 3/5 of the Senate only.

      That's different, but it's certainly arguable that there was no intent on the part of the founders to give Senators anything more than the normal voting power their membership in the body would otherwise entitle them to. Senators already carry more weight in their voting by virtue of there being two per state, no matter what the state's population. So on the one hand, the Constitution clearly contemplates some extraordinary power, while on the other hand, it's silent on the need for supermajorities for anything other than the five enumerated instances.

      And the irony that lies beneath it all is that any seeming paradox that requires an interpretation of the rules by reading between the lines is subject to approval or disapproval by the body itself, and those questions are decided by... majority vote.

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