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January 17, 2022


Kinda hoping someone more knowledgeable on this than me ( not a high bar in this case) would comment. I have seen similar claims that there are voting bills that could pass.

I thought of jumping into the other thread where I could start wars on multiple fronts (or less flippantly, disagree with various people on certain issues) but I’m in more of a shut up and lurk mood.

I have seen similar claims that there are voting bills that could pass.

My sense is that, at best, some arcane procedural magic might be able to at least get debate going in the Senate. At which point, those oppised would be forced to actually vote specific items up or down. That might, maybe, result in some few changes getting enacted.

But as long as the filibuster** can be used to prevent debate even starting, it doesn't matter how popular specific changes are -- and most of them are.

** That's the current, a-threat-is-enough, no-actual-talking-required filibuster. Pity those who are so devoted to the filibuster don't call for a return to the classic talkung filibuster.

Fallows has a good article on the filibuster.

I just received this from a friend of mine about a candidate for Senate from NC, Matthew Hoh

here is a c-span interview with him about his resignation from the State Department

I know we have some folks from NC here, so I post this here.

i wish him well. but i'm not sure how well a Counterpunch-style anti-war activist is going to do in a state like NC - #5 in per-capita military personnel.

If your life were a book, what would the title be?

“America’s Gay Machiavelli”

I try to avoid people whose self-description includes the name "Machiavelli".

I didn’t realize this until Sirota pointed it out, but the filibuster was waived last month to pass the debt ceiling bill. That’s a good thing, but it also shows the ( gasp) hypocrisy of people who claim the filibuster should never ever be tampered with.


(Of course the debt ceiling apocalypse threat is another extraordinarily stupid thing about America.)

I don’t get why this can’t be pointed out in the press discussions of the filibuster.

The Senate Parlimentarian is another useless appendage. Though maybe if the filibuster were eliminated she could go back to well- deserved obscurity.

The argument for keeping and respecting the filibuster is that, if it is eliminated or worked around, the (R)'s will exploit that to ram through their own agenda when they regain the majority.

As far as I can tell, the (R)'s treat Senate rules as a form of Calvinball already. In the interest of fairness, I'll say that it's entirely possible that (D)'s do that as well.

The rules are whatever the body in question wants them to be, within the boundaries defined in the Constitution. The filibuster isn't mentioned in the Constitution, and in fact it interferes with the principle of simple majority rule that *is* assumed for all but a small handful of cases in the Constitution.

The filibuster as currently implemented in the Senate renders the Senate non-functional. One Senator can prevent a bill coming to the floor at all by simply "registering an objection".

Whatever benefit it may have ever had is more than outweighed by the way it is used currently to basically bring legislation to a halt.

Things are useful - they serve a constructive purpose - or they are not. If they are not, they should go.

At a minimum, we should return to the "percentage of Senators present and voting" standard. If a cohort within the Senate wants to block a bill from coming to the floor, at least make them work for it.

We already had a form of governance where a 2/3 majority was needed to pass any legislation. It was a failure, for that and other reasons, and we therefore got rid of it.

The last part of this article answered my own question—


Basically what I have read is that some Republicans are willing to pass a more moderate form of election protection.

Anyway, the article explains why these seemingly moderate compromises are actually just cynical, something you would expect of Mitch McConnell favors them.

I try to avoid people whose self-description includes the name "Machiavelli".


I would mind it less if it seemed that the person had read and understood Machiavelli to begin with, and not just be riffing on the Cliff Notes popular version that lives in the public imagination.

Maybe he just likes 2pac?

Interestingly, this popped up


which gets you to this site

and this

Before the pandemic, I did some work with a group that did teacher conferences in places that didn't get many native speaking teachers. The idea was that we would use our own money or any research funds we got from our Japanese unis to go to these countries and make presentations. Sometimes, it is problematic, and some of the presenters don't really seem to understand their privilege, but the majority just want to help, provide support and make friends. However, there is always another class of people, they don't want to present or get involved in getting to know teachers, but they want to 'manage' things. It's a bit like disaster capitalism, so they can get the perks from helping out. I wonder what it would take him to tell Manchin that he needs to change. Obviously more than what has happened now.

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