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PostPosted: Thu Nov 13, 2008 4:01 pm 
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I now think it would be best if the Senate stays below 60. If Paradise on Earth has not yet been achieved by 2010, it would probably be best if the Democrats had some kind of an out instead of facing, "You had complete power to do whatever you wanted and here we are, the economy still sagging, no universal health care in place, the climate still changing. . . ." The expectations game with 60 in the Senate would be almost impossible to win. No, impossible.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 13, 2008 4:55 pm 
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That is a good point Prim. And keep in mind that of the 33 seats up in two years, 18 are now held by Republicans. They will be behind the eight ball for yet another go-round.

And there are exceptions to the filibuster when you do not even need the magic 60 votes. This from our friends at Wikipedia regarding a process called Reconciliation:

Quote:
History
The Congressional Budget Act of 1974 created reconciliation. (See Pub.L. 93-344, § 310; 88 Stat. 297; 2 U.S.C. § 641.) But Congress came to use it in the 1980s. Congress used reconciliation to enact President Bill Clinton's 1993 (fiscal year 1994) budget. (See Pub.L. 103-66, 107 Stat. 312.) President Clinton wanted to use reconciliation to pass his health care plan, but Senator Robert Byrd insisted that the health care plan was out of bounds for a process that is theoretically about budgets.


[edit] Process
To trigger the reconciliation process, Congress passes a concurrent resolution on the budget instructing one or more committees to report changes in law affecting the budget by a certain date. If the budget instructs more than one committee, then those committees send their recommendations to the Budget Committee of their House, and the Budget Committee packages the recommendations into a single omnibus bill. In the Senate, the reconciliation bill then gets only 20 hours of debate, and amendments are limited. Because reconciliation limits debate and amendment, the process empowers the majority party.

Until 1996, reconciliation was limited to deficit reduction, but in 1996 the Senate adopted a precedent to apply reconciliation to any legislation affecting the budget, even legislation that would worsen the deficit. Under the administration of President George W. Bush, Congress has used reconciliation to enact three major tax cuts. Senate Republicans have repeatedly, though unsuccessfully, tried to use reconciliation to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling.


[edit] Byrd Rule
Reconciliation generally involves legislation that changes the budget deficit (or conceivably, the surplus). The "Byrd Rule" (2 U.S.C. § 644) outlines what reconciliation can and cannot be used for. The Byrd Rule defines a provision to be extraneous in six cases:

(1) if it does not produce a change in outlays or revenues;
(2) if it produces an outlay increase or revenue decrease when the instructed committee is not in compliance with its instructions;
(3) if it is outside the jurisdiction of the committee that submitted the title or provision for inclusion in the reconciliation measure;
(4) if it produces a change in outlays or revenues which is merely incidental to the non-budgetary components of the provision;
(5) if it would increase the deficit for a fiscal year beyond those covered by the reconciliation measure, though the provisions in question may receive an exception if they in total in a Title of the measure net to a reduction in the deficit; and
(6) if it recommends changes in Social Security.
If a provision violates the Byrd Rule, then any Senator may raise a procedural objection and unless 60 Senators vote to waive the objection, then the offending provision will be stripped from the bill.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 20, 2008 7:41 pm 
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Wanna help in Minnesota recount? Just kidding.
Here is a fun page on Minnesota Public Radio where you can view some ballots disputed between Franken and Coleman and vote on what should be done with them:
http://minnesota.publicradio.org/featur ... d_ballots/

I loved "Lizard People" one. And let it be a cautionary exampe for all of us to be tidy with our ballots.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 20, 2008 11:03 pm 
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Thanks, these were fun. :D

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 20, 2008 11:19 pm 
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Wow. How hard is it to mark a ballot?

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 20, 2008 11:26 pm 
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That was fun. :) I voted Reject ballot for most of the questionable ones, on the theory that people who can't clearly mark a simple ballot are not qualified to vote anyway.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 20, 2008 11:28 pm 
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Well, if I was counting those ballots, I'd say most of them were perfectly clear. I HAVE counted ballots, many times. And almost all of those were acceptable - since the voter's intentions were generally plain. There are a couple that we would discard.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 21, 2008 4:36 pm 
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vison wrote:
WAnd almost all of those were acceptable - since the voter's intentions were generally plain. There are a couple that we would discard.

Dunno, I discarded the "Lizard people" one, for example, even though the oval was clearly marked. I mean, if this guy wants Lizard People in the government, maybe he should just wait for it? If someone doesn't take a vote seriously why count it.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 21, 2008 4:46 pm 
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Thanks Mrs. Underhill for that.. It was fun.

I think the majority of people who answered online show very good common sense.

Lizard People - that was my date to my High School senior prom. And she would make one fine Senator in my humble opinion. Was a pretty lousy date however.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 05, 2009 3:57 am 
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Bump for placement

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