I shall post videos, graphs, news stories, and other material there. We shall use some of this material in class, and you may review the rest at your convenience. You will all receive invitations to post to the blog. (Please let me know if you do not get such an invitation.) I encourage you to use the blog in these ways:
To post questions or comments about the readings before we discuss them in class;
To follow up on class discussions with additional comments or questions.
To post relevant news items or videos.

There are only two major limitations: no coarse language, and no derogatory comments about people at the Claremont Colleges.

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Tuesday, March 3, 2009

The NRA Understands the Importance of House Rules

Interesting article in The Hill about the DC Voting Bill. The Senate version of the bill had an amendment that removed "D.C.’s ban on semiautomatic weapons, its registration requirement and trigger-lock rule." The article says that:

"Supporters of the District’s voting-rights legislation predicted that a similar amendment could be kept off the House bill. As long as it were in only one version, Democratic leaders could strip it out in conference. Conference reports can’t be amended, just voted up or down, so the conference report would pass without the gun bill.

But that got complicated when word spread in the House that the NRA would “score” the procedural vote (called a “rule”) used to bring up the Voting Rights Act if it didn’t allow for a vote on the gun language. That means that voting to bring the bill to the floor would be considered a vote against gun rights."

The Democrats removed the bill from the floor because they did not want vulnerable members to have the NRA giving them bad rankings which would hurt them in 2010. The article comments that the "Democrats may be running the House, but the National Rifle Association (NRA) can still stop a bill in its tracks." Clever use of House rules.

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