Saturday, November 22, 2008

Senate Rule Twenty Two and the Filibuster

Senate Rule Twenty Two is the rule that allows a minority to filibuster legislation or a nomination supported by the majority of the Senate.
"Is it the sense of the Senate that the debate shall be brought to a close?" And if that question shall be decided in the affirmative by three-fifths of the Senators duly chosen and sworn -- except on a measure or motion to amend the Senate rules, in which case the necessary affirmative vote shall be two-thirds of the Senators present and voting -- then said measure, motion, or other matter pending before the Senate, or the unfinished business, shall be the unfinished business to the exclusion of all other business until disposed of.

Whatever happened to the Jimmy Stewart-style filibuster?

Here is a news story titled Whatever happened to the Jimmy Stewart-style filibuster by Aaron Erlich
Since the 1960s the "two-track" system devised by Mansfield has prevailed, preventing old-fashioned filibusters. As John W. Dean, President Richard Nixon's former White House counsel, has written: "On the one hand, the two-track system strengthened the ability of the majority to withstand a filibuster by enabling it to conduct other business. On the other hand, it made it easier for the filibustering minority, which did not have to constantly hold the floor."

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

A Short History of the Senate Filibuster

Here is Gold and Gupta with a short history of the Senate filibuster rule
Senator Thomas J. Walsh (D-MT) first advocated using the constitutional option in 1917. Like Byrd, Walsh reasoned that a newly commenced Senate may disregard the rules established by a prior Senate, including the rules governing filibusters, and adopt new rules in their stead. During this process, Walsh explained, the Senate would revert to the powers set forth in the U.S. Constitution and rely upon traditional parliamentary procedures, which contain procedural mechanisms to control filibusters. Like Byrd’s opponents, Walsh’s opponents gave way once they realized that Walsh potentially had enough votes to carry out his plan, resulting in the Senate adopting its first formal rule limiting debate. Similarly, in 1959, after over a dozen civil rights bills had been defeated by filibusters, and in 1975, after nearly two decades of ruleschange attempts were thwarted, the minority gave way and agreed to amend the Senate cloture rule once it became apparent that a majority of the Senate was prepared to carry out the constitutional option. On all four occasions--1917, 1959, 1975, and 1979--the rules changes may never have been adopted but for the prospect that theconstitutional option would be exercised.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Governor Mark Sanford Shines on Capitol Hill

Governor Mark Sanford might or might not be the Republican presidential nominee in 2012. It's too early to tell. It's not known whether he will seek that nomination. But in his testimony to the US House of Representatives, he has demonstrated why so many conservatives of the "non-compassionate" variety, think that Mark Sanford would make a great President. Here he is:

Saturday, November 1, 2008

McCain v Obama polling part 8 – Final Week

The current week being surveyed is October 27th through October 31st.

Gallup Tracking* - 10/28 thru 10/30 - 2116/2459 LV - McCain 43 - Obama 51
Hotline/FD Tracking - 10/28 thru 10/30 - 870 LV - McCain 41 - Obama 48
Rasmussen Tracking - 10/28 thru 10/30 - 3000 LV - McCain 47 - Obama 51
Reuters/C-Span/Zogby - 10/29 thru 10/31 - 1201 LV - McCain 44 - Obama 49
Marist Poll – 10/29 – 543 LV – McCain 43 – Obama 50
GWU/Battleground - 10/27 thru 10/30 - 800 LV – McCain 45 - Obama 49
ABC News/Wash Post - 10/27 thru 10/30 - 1580 LV – McCain 44- Obama 53
FOX News - 10/28 thru 10/29 - 924 LV – McCain 44 – Obama 47

* Average of Gallup's two voter screens for likely voters.

Current average - McCain 43.88 - Obama 49.75 - Net + 5.88 Obama
Week 7 average - McCain 43.00 - Obama 51.00 - Net + 8.00 Obama
Week 6 average - McCain 44.25 - Obama 49.25 - Net + 5.00 Obama
Week 5 average - McCain 41.86 - Obama 49.43 - Net + 7.57 Obama
Week 4 average - McCain 43.50 - Obama 49.50 - Net + 6.00 Obama
Week 3 average - McCain 42.80 - Obama 48.20 - Net + 5.40 Obama
Week 2 average - McCain 45.33 - Obama 47.33 - Net + 2.00 Obama
Week 1 average - McCain 46.50 - Obama 45.25 – Net + 1.25 McCain