Filibuster and False-Equivalence Fiesta

News has piled up fast about the filibuster in the past two weeks, and I am way behind in taking note of it. While I have ten minutes at a computer just now -- and am not in a taxi, in a security line, in a green room, or in some other fashion enjoying the delights of new-city-each-day travel -- here is a quick update on some relevant reading tips:

1) Ezra Klein on the lawsuit Common Cause is initiating, on grounds that abuse of the filibuster has risen to the level of unconstitutional offense. (More info from Common Cause here.) Klein's item also has this explaino-graph:
FilibusterGraf.jpeg



2) Greg Sargent on the blunt anti-false-equivalence article by Thomas Mann and Norman Ornstein last month (from their book), and the "move along here, nothing to notice" attitude of some of the media outlets who were most directly the objects of Mann and Ornstein's criticism.

3) Harry Reid seeing the light about what filibuster abuse has meant.

Lots more on this topic ahead; just wanting to point out some of the signs of progress, while also indicating that I have not entirely dozed off at the controls.

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James Fallows is a national correspondent for The Atlantic and has written for the magazine since the late 1970s. He has reported extensively from outside the United States and once worked as President Carter's chief speechwriter. His latest book is China Airborne. More

James Fallows is based in Washington as a national correspondent for The Atlantic. He has worked for the magazine for nearly 30 years and in that time has also lived in Seattle, Berkeley, Austin, Tokyo, Kuala Lumpur, Shanghai, and Beijing. He was raised in Redlands, California, received his undergraduate degree in American history and literature from Harvard, and received a graduate degree in economics from Oxford as a Rhodes scholar. In addition to working for The Atlantic, he has spent two years as chief White House speechwriter for Jimmy Carter, two years as the editor of US News & World Report, and six months as a program designer at Microsoft. He is an instrument-rated private pilot. He is also now the chair in U.S. media at the U.S. Studies Centre at the University of Sydney, in Australia.

Fallows has been a finalist for the National Magazine Award five times and has won once; he has also won the American Book Award for nonfiction and a N.Y. Emmy award for the documentary series Doing Business in China. He was the founding chairman of the New America Foundation. His recent books Blind Into Baghdad (2006) and Postcards From Tomorrow Square (2009) are based on his writings for The Atlantic. His latest book is China Airborne. He is married to Deborah Fallows, author of the recent book Dreaming in Chinese. They have two married sons.

Fallows welcomes and frequently quotes from reader mail sent via the "Email" button below. Unless you specify otherwise, we consider any incoming mail available for possible quotation -- but not with the sender's real name unless you explicitly state that it may be used. If you are wondering why Fallows does not use a "Comments" field below his posts, please see previous explanations here and here.

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