In my previous post, I talked about how Republicans broke an “unwritten rule” when it came to the filibuster. While I’m not alone in saying “It’s about time!” I’m also aware of the various reasons behind the Senate’s unwillingness to change the filibuster rules. This is not, by any means, a “new discussion,” in that filibuster reform has been talked about for quite some time, with serious pushes being made by Senator Merkley over the past two sessions. So why do it now?
Tag Archives: lessons
The news sites and the political blogs are all running with the surprise that Senator Reid called a vote and got the “Nuclear option” passed for Senate conformation votes on judicial (except Supreme Court) and executive department appointees. What is the “nuclear option?” It’s simply a rules change, which turns the need for a 60 vote majority to break a filibuster into a simple majority vote.
The vote overturned an existing rule that required a 60-vote majority for the approval of presidential nominees. Now, just a simple majority will be required for executive branch and judicial nominees except for Supreme Court picks.
It’s not like this is a big surprise, Senator Reid said he would do it if Republicans failed to legislate in good faith in the Senate.
I’d like to start off this post with a little confession: I am often “out of the loop” when it comes to local and state politics. Ask me about something the town, county, or state is considering doing, or what’s going on in the local party, and I may give you a blank look. Embarrassing, I know, since I’m considered to be a fairly well-informed political blogger, but there it is. It’s not on purpose, it’s just a function of my job. When you spend 6 months of the year “out in the middle of nowhere,” it’s not conducive to keeping up with what’s going on. During the rest of the year I get back into it, and yes, I do pay attention. It’s just during that gap (which also accounts for my lack of blog posts) that I’m going to be relatively “clueless.” Having said that, there are times when I see something that makes me wonder “Just where have you been?”
One of the things I’ve been seeing in the news media, particularly stoked by various conservatives, is that the problems with the Healthcare.gov website means that the Affordable Care Act is bad. Obviously, one is the same as the other, or at least they’d like you to think so. One is a website, the other is a law. But since it’s tough – you know, to report real facts – to grasp, particularly when your level of understanding of technology amounts to “press button, get a cookie!”, they’d rather just keep going with that. In an effort to be helpful, I thought I’d give them some more examples they can use for their “total failure” conflation.
In looking around the conservative commentary, as well as various other comments highlighted by various news media, I’ve been seeing a constant refrain of “it was built with 10-year-old technology!” with the strong connotations that it was “obsolete” and of course private business would never be caught out like that! One of the amusing (to me) comments was this one:
“I have never seen a website — in the last five years — require you to delete the cache in an effort to resolve errors,” said Dan Schuyler, a director at Leavitt Partners, a health care group by former Health and Human Services secretary Mike Leavitt. “This is a very early Web 1.0 type of fix.”
He apparently doesn’t browse the web much. I do, and you know what? It’s amazing how many sites ask you to do that when something … doesn’t work. Amazon, Microsoft, Adobe, and a number of others have all suggested that as a “fix” for a problem I’ve had on their websites, within the past three months. So pardon me if I take that statement with a grain of salt. I also take a great deal of issue with the idea that private business is “more up-to-date” than the public sector.