Archive for September, 2009

Politics: The Filibuster

Posted in Politics with tags , , , , on September 30, 2009 by Josh Wittner

Greg Koger is an Assistant Professor of American Politics at the University of Miami. He recently posted a really good description of several arguments for the filibuster and the requirement of a supermajority to override it. Beyond that it delves into some of the inner political workings of the house and senate in relation to special interests, constituents, party politics, etc. Really interesting stuff.

He presents a crazy hypothetical that I found an interesting case of possible political maneuvering where the republicans present a single-payer amendment:

Imagine, for example, that health care reform comes to the House floor under an open rule (any amendment allowed) and the Republicans offer an amendment setting up a single-payer government health care system. If the amendment is adopted by a coalition of sincere liberals ( who think a single-payer system is ideal) and strategic Republicans (who vote for a position contrary to their conservative views in order to defeat the bill), then the bill would probably fail on final passage; moderate Democrats and Republicans would oppose a single-payer system, leaving liberal Democrats supporting a defeated bill.


Word Moment: Rejoinder

Posted in Word Moment with tags , on September 30, 2009 by Josh Wittner



An answer, especially to a reply.

[Middle English, from Old French rejoindreto answer, rejoin; see rejoin1.]

Word Moment: Tractability

Posted in Word Moment with tags , on September 29, 2009 by Josh Wittner



1. Easily managed or controlled; governable.
2. Easily handled or worked; malleable.

[Latin tractbilis, from tractreto manage, frequentative of trahereto draw.]

tracta·bili·tytracta·ble·ness n.
tracta·bly adv.

Fortunate Days

Posted in Fortunate Days with tags , on September 29, 2009 by Josh Wittner

“You will go far, but be sure to come back.”

Word Moment: Plaudit

Posted in Word Moment with tags , on September 28, 2009 by Josh Wittner



Enthusiastic expression of praise or approval: a new play that opened to the plaudits of the critics.

[Short for Latin plaudite, pl. imperative of plaudereto applaud (used at the end of Roman plays).]

Ezra Klein Interviews Barney Frank (D-Mass)

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on September 27, 2009 by Josh Wittner

This interview with Barney Frank, the democratic representative from Massachusetts, presents more evidence that he is a total bad ass. If you haven’t seen this video yet, watch it now and you’ll understand more of what I mean:

Word Moment: Ineluctable

Posted in Word Moment with tags , on September 25, 2009 by Josh Wittner



Not to be avoided or escaped; inevitable: “Those war plans rested on a belief in the ineluctable superiority of the offense over the defense” (Jack Beatty).

[Latin inluctbilisin-not; see in-1luctbilispenetrable (from luctrto struggle out ofex-ex-luctrto struggle).]

ine·lucta·bili·ty n.
ine·lucta·bly adv.