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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Thursday, April 5, 2012

Sinclair's next chapter?

Based on Matt Bai's NYT cover story last week, the Budget Control Act is a likely contender for a case study in the next edition of Unorthodox Lawmaking. After taking several months to research and allow the whole affair to rest for a while on the public mind, Bai released the most in-depth chronology to date of the secretive dealings that shaped last summer's debt deal. He tries to reconcile each side's official press releases and statements with contradictory anecdotes from over 35 confidential sources. (In a follow-up interview, Bai discussed his methodology, sources, and personal perspectives on the matter.) The result is a detailed timeline of events in the context of competing political motivations and unorthodox legislative procedure. We're left with the sense that we'll never know the full story, but it's still an interesting case study of the evolving legislative process:

"...the failed attempt at a grand bargain wasn’t necessarily an unmitigated disaster. The ugly, months-long process of trying to avoid a meltdown over the debt ceiling may have further embittered a lot of ordinary Americans, but it also forced policy makers on both sides to wrestle with their own capacity for compromise. For weeks, in both the White House and in the speaker’s office, the most influential aides in the country burrowed into spreadsheets and considered, in unusually specific terms, what kinds of budget cuts and revenue numbers they could live with."

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