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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Sunday, April 5, 2009

Disturbingly Realistic

Just when you thought that the simulation was getting silly, it was actually at its most realistic.

From CQ Politics:
The Senate embarked Thursday on its annual budget “vote-a-rama,” an event many feel is deeply flawed but that neither party has found a way to avoid. The vote-a-rama is an hours-long series of roll call votes on dozens of amendments to the annual budget resolution — in this case, the fiscal 2010 blueprint (S Con Res 13) ...

To Senate newcomers the vote-a-rama often seems bizarre.

“As we went up to vote on this kind of preposterous comical bomb-throwing positioning amendments, a lot of the new freshmen at the time were thinking and
saying to each other, ‘You know, this is just too damn silly to vote on,’” Sheldon Whitehouse , D-R.I., said at the February hearing, recollecting his first vote-a-rama in 2007. “And so we at that time discussed the idea of actually changing the Senate voting tally so that your choices were ‘yay,’ ‘nay,’ or ‘too damn silly to vote on.’”

Whitehouse went so far as to write the idea down on paper at the time.

“We have it framed and hanging in my office in case anyone wants to see it,” said a chuckling Lamar Alexander , R-Tenn., first elected in 2002.

From AP:

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., spent much of the day at her desk in the rear of the chamber, studiously trying to read each amendment before voting. Despite her earnestness, she couldn't keep up.

"I would like to change my vote," she said at one point, referring to an amendment on which she was a co-sponsor. "It was my intention to vote 'yes' and I voted 'no.'"

"If we had a vote on my amendment, I missed it," Sen. Bob Bennett, R-Utah, said at another point. "Was there a vote?" Conrad said Bennett's amendment had passed unanimously, without a roll call vote.

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