Archive for March, 2012

Supreme Court Justice Venn Diagaram #2: John Roberts

March 30, 2012
Supreme Court Justice Venn Diagaram #2: John Roberts

Previous Venn Diagrams SCOTUS Clarence Thomas, 3/29/12 GOP CANDIDATES Michele Bachmann, 12/22/11 Newt Gingrich , 12/19/11 Jon Huntsman, Jr., 12/20/11Up Willard Mitt Romney, 12/21/11 Rick Perry, 12/23/11 Herman Cain, 12/25/11 Rick Santorum, 12/28/11 Ron...
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Supreme Court Justice Venn Diagram #1: Clarence Thomas

March 29, 2012
Supreme Court Justice Venn Diagram #1: Clarence Thomas

Previous Venn Diagrams Michele Bachmann, 12/22/11 Newt Gingrich , 12/19/11 Jon Huntsman, Jr., 12/20/11Up Willard Mitt Romney, 12/21/11 Rick Perry, 12/23/11 Herman Cain, 12/25/11 Rick Santorum, 12/28/11 Ron Paul, 12/31/11
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Perks

March 28, 2012

There’s not a week that goes by in which I don’t end up debunking some urban legend about congressional perks. That Members don’t pay social security. Or that they get free tax advice. Or that they get free health care. Or whatever. Virtually none of it is true, as...
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How’s your 302(b) looking? Strong…to quite strong

March 27, 2012

Later this week, the House is scheduled to consider H.Con.Res. 112, the FY2013 Budget Resolution. Well then. Congressional budgeting. I’d like to discuss one particular institutional feature of the appropriations process — the 302(b) allocations of the Appropriations Committee — but in order to understand that, you need at least something like a bare-bones...
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At the corner of East Capitol and 1st Street NW

March 26, 2012
At the corner of East Capitol and 1st Street NW

So I walked over to the Supreme Court this morning, around 11:50am, after day 1 of oral argument ended in HHS vs. Florida, aka Is Obamacare Constitutional? Every time I see or go near a public political protest, I’m reminded of something my dad — who was no stranger to a good Vietnam anti-war...
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Closing Time

March 21, 2012

We’re closing on our new house tomorrow and then moving in on Friday. So blogging for the rest of the week may be lighter. Or heavier. We’ll see.
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Book Recommendation: Every Twelve Seconds

March 21, 2012

Every Twelve Seconds. That’s the title of the horrifying — but also absolutely wonderful — new political science book by Tim Pachirat. I went to graduate school with Tim, and I can vividly remember the first time he told me about his dissertation plans.  We were standing on Prospect St. in New Haven, next...
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Common sense

March 20, 2012

I’m somewhat hesitant to write about the ACA (aka: the health care law, Obamacare, etc.), because: (1) it’s not something I know a whole lot about at the political level; (2) it’s something I know absolutely nothing about at the policy-details level; (3) it’s not a policy I feel very strongly about one way...
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Wonk n’ roll: committee funding in the House

March 19, 2012
Wonk n’ roll: committee funding in the House

Last week, in response to Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry’s suggestion that we increase Members’ staff and office budgets, I wrote a primer on how the Member’s Representational Allowance works in the House. Today, my goal is to offer the companion primer, on how committee funding works in the House. I’ll do it Q&A style, since it’s...
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This is a binding decision, until it isn’t

March 16, 2012

Under many plausible scenarios for American politics circa 2013, the sequestration provided for in the Budget Control Act will not come to pass, nor will the required cuts. That’s just sort of how things work, and you can kinda see it coming  in the way people are talking. For example, this. BREAKING: It’s really...
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Wonk Time: Increase the MRA in the House?

March 15, 2012

Pivoting off Ezra Klein’s review of two new books about lobbying and Congress, Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry suggests that the way to combat the legislature subsidy of lobbying is to pay congressional staff higher salaries: What if every member of Congress had a, say, $20 million staff-and-research budget? What if a congressional chief of staff made $1...
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California Dreamin’

March 14, 2012
California Dreamin’

Kevin Drum wondered last night if the conventional wisdom about California in the GOP primaries might be wrong: One thing to keep in mind if you’re not from California is that our Republicans are not like, say, Maine Republicans: kind of moderate because they live in a basically liberal state. California Republicans are fire-breathing,...
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The best NCAA tourney bracket ever

March 13, 2012
The best NCAA tourney bracket ever

This is from Brad Turner and Steve Czaban and includes the game times, locations, announcers, TV listings, Vegas line, and info on each time like RPI and SoS. Here’s the .pdf file so you can print it out.
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Three ideas for improving college basketball

March 12, 2012

It’s March madness. Alright. I love college basketball. Always have. My parents’ house is walking distance from Siena College, which has one of the best mid-major fan bases in the country, so I grew up rooting for them and, as with pretty much everyone else upstate, Syracuse. Needless to say, I think the NCAA...
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How was the play, Mrs. Link’in?

March 9, 2012

Some things I enjoyed from this week: 1. First things first: if this doesn’t leave you crying with laughter, I’m not sure we can be friends. A children’s song featuring an inspired performance by Brian Johnson of AC/DC. 2. Seth Masket, John Sides, Brendan Nyhan, and friends have a new academic article out with...
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Fight for your right to party

March 8, 2012

Earlier this week, Rick Hansen wrote a piece arguing that Congress should legislatively end the caucus nominating system. Jon Bernstein wrote a great piece in response, arguing against further regulation of party nomination. I wrote a piece two days ago both endorsing and going further than Bernstein: in theory, I don’t believe there should...
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The 2012 GOP nomination, as told by the 1860 general election

March 7, 2012

BOY: Grandpa, tell me about the ....
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Should I vote today?

March 6, 2012

I have not yet voted today in the Virginia primary, and I’m really on the fence about whether I should. This may surprise some of my regular readers, since I’m generally an unabashed romantic about election day. But I’m also a firm believer that the structure of the presidential primary election system in Virginia...
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Sad Tuesday

March 6, 2012

Representative Donald Payne (NJ-10) died this morning, after a short bout with cancer. Rep. Payne was the first African-American to represent New Jersey in Congress. He was 77. From an institutional standpoint, what happens when a Representative passes away while in office? A few things: 1. The Clerk of the House assumes responsibility for...
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Fasten your wonk belt: let’s talk filling the tree in the Senate

March 2, 2012
Fasten your wonk belt: let’s talk filling the tree in the Senate

Yesterday, in making a point about the filibuster, I mentioned that one fundamental difference between the House and Senate is the relative ease by which the partisan House majority can block minority amendments, even if those amendments have the support of the (numerical) majority of the chamber. As I’ve written about before, this has...
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