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, February 8, 2015

"God Bless Him and Good Luck"

At The New York Times, Jeremy Peters office a neat illustration of the points that we are covering this week:
You could see the mischievous delight in John A. Boehner’s face as soon as he heard the question Thursday.
Did he, the speaker of the House, have any idea how his Republican counterpart in the Senate was going to corral enough Republicans to support a plan that keeps the Department of Homeland Security funded?
“No,” Mr. Boehner said, shrugging his shoulders. Then, he grinned as he contemplated the task that faced Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the majority leader. “He’s got a tough job over there. I’ve got a tough job over here. God bless him and good luck.”
Now that they control both houses of Congress, Republicans are beginning to learn the limits of their newfound power. For the third day in a row, Senate Republicans called a vote on a bill to keep the Department of Homeland Security funded. And for the third time, it failed to clear a Democratic filibuster.
The problems were old and new: political divisions within the party, difficulties over managing the expectations of conservative lawmakers, and the simple arithmetic of getting to the filibuster-proof threshold of 60 votes when there are only 54 Republican senators. The tactics that had served them well when they were in the minority were now being effectively exploited against them.

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