The floor time constraint of any 2021 agenda

Prioritization will be a key differntiatior of Democratic Presidential and Senate primary candidates. I believe that most Democrats will share significant elements of what is on their top-10 list of areas that need federal government attention in a government that could theoretically have a narrow Democratic trifecta. But the key will be prioritization.

In 2009-2010, the US Senate was able to do the following big things:

  • Confirm two Supreme Court Justices
  • Pass the ACA
  • Pass Dodd-Frank
  • Pass the stimulus (ARRA)

In 2017-2018, the US Senate was able to do the following big things:

  • Pass a huge ass tax cut
  • Confirm two Supreme Court Justices
  • Not pass Repeal and Replace while burning several months of attention on it

Senate floor time is a key constraint.  A very productive Senate might have slots for two big bills, three or four medium actions (such as SCOTUS nominees) and a lot of housekeeping.  A productive Senate is most likely positively correlated with the size of the effective majority.

Right now, there are numerous agenda items that could qualify as a “big” thing from the Democratic/liberal perspective.  The following will be an incomplete list:

  • Healthcare reform
    • Medicare for All?
    • ACA 3.0?
  • Global Warming Policy
  • Voting Rights Act revision
  • Civil Rights Act revision
  • 2 or more SCOTUS confirmations
  • Truth and Reconciliation
  • Constitutional Amendments to make electing a compromised buffoon harder (mandatory disclosure of 14 years of paperwork related to anything authorized by the 16th amendment etc )
  • Immigration and naturalization

Any of these things could easily eat up three months or more of floor time in the Senate.  I’ve listed well over twenty four months of potential floor time activities from an incomplete list if all of these items were considered to be “big” items for the Senate.  That is infeasible as it neglects the basic day to day functioning of the Senate as well.  The Senate still has to approve nominees, it still has to pass appropriations, it still has to make tweaks and changes to the law as circumstances dictate.

So the question will be prioritization.

Candidates are likely to share the same items on a top-10 list but the rank ordering and asset allocation will matter a lot. One candidate might want to spend six months on healthcare again at the cost of doing not much if anything on immigration and naturalization. Another candidate could want to spend a little time on a minimal “fix-it” healthcare bill while spending more time on global warming policy.  Those are all defensible choices.  But the prioritization is very valuable information.


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Heroes Part II! Highly Courageous Ones at That!

I did not mean to leave this one out of the early post. Especially as representation is important. This took a lot of courage and that should be recognized and supported.

From CBS LA:

The statement was emblazoned on the Transgender Pride Flag, colored blue, pink and white. (The flag, designed by an Arizona trans woman, made its debut in 2000 at a pride parade in Phoenix.)

One report indicated the protest was planned by members of the TransLatin@ Coalition, a Los Angeles-based activist organization that advocates for the rights of transgender Latinx people. It’s unclear whether the flag was removed by the activists who brought it or by stadium security, and FOX’s television broadcast did not show either the flag or its removal.

Supporters of transgender rights have been galvanized in recent days after reports the Trump administration is planning to roll back Obama-era protections for trans people and to legally define gender as an immutable, biological trait.

It does us no good to combat anti-semitism, Islamophobia and the spillover on Sikhs, Hindus, and Buddhists from the subcontinent and Southeast Asia because bigoted Americans who discriminate can’t do it properly (morans!!!), anti-African American racism, anti-Latinx/Hispanic racism, anti-Native American racism, anti-immigrant xenophobia and nativism, and homophobia if we don’t make sure we support and lift up and, if necessary, intercede on behalf of all of people that fit within the LGBTQ community. Never again has to mean something. And has to mean something beyond just combatting anti-Semitism. We are, indeed, stronger together. And there are more of us without the herrenvolk coalition of the President’s supporters and the Republican Party and conservative movement they are remaking in an ugly, retrograde, revanchist image. They have picked this time and this place to try to make a last stand. I say we ensure they fail! Also, we’ve got folks like her in the fight:


If Senior Chief Beck’s still fighting, the least we can do is back her up cause I sure as hell don’t want to be in her way! And I’d pay good money to see the Vice President or the Attorney General tell her she can’t use the Lady’s Room!

Updated at 11:45 PM EDT

From Sister Golden Bear in the comments:

Trans Lifeline, an organization that runs a crisis hotline for transgender people and staffed by transgender people, said that calls to their suicide hotline have quadrupled since the story broke that the Trump administration is trying to legally erase transgender identity.

In an Instagram post, Trans Lifeline reported that calls increased by four times last week, and first-time callers doubled.

BTW, I know people are (appropriately) focused on donating to political campaigns at the moment, but if you can spare any extra, please consider giving to Trans Lifeline. They’re a shoe-string operation run for, and by, trans people.

You all know what to do!!!!

Vote like your life and America’s depends on it! Get everyone you know to vote like their lives and America’s depends on it! And remember you’re not alone!

Open thread!

Michael making a mess

Who has good recommendations for local and regional charities that can quickly transform money into productive good work?

Florence — ARRIVING

Florence is starting to hit the shore right now:

Jackals, check in and give a brief update of what you are seeing as you stay safe, smart and dry.