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Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Problems In The PlatCom Recommendations

Mike, good catch on 1.3; I've now changed the blue text to underline instead of strikethrough.

I (and original author Adam Mayer) agree that 2.3 was butchered by the committee. I don't worry about that recommendation passing, and I'm seriously considering a minority report based on the language in my own proposal (at What happened here is that I moved my language, then Adam immediately moved his proposal as a substitute, so we could put both on the screen to compare. However, the Committee had so many problems with his language, that it spent all 10 minutes — plus 2 or 3 5-minute extensions! — trying to improve it. When the committee finally refused to extend time again on this agenda item, some people may have voted for this language simply because they'd just invested 25 minutes of work on it. During the vote against my original alternative, Starr even jokingly goaded a hesitant Dovner: "What, Bruce, you're going to vote against it after working on it for half an hour?" The same pattern happened several times, in which the last-moved substitute consumed all agenda time getting amended, and the committee became invested in the language they'd most recently worked on. It's unfortunate that we can't call the question under the rules governing committees.

I've yet to see language against corporate personhood that didn't imply that individuals lose important rights (e.g. speech, property, contract) when they act in groups (e.g. LNC Inc.). I proposed language against limited corporate liability, but couldn't get it on the agenda.

In 3.4, "who pose" and "posing" are each grammatically correct. A gerund phrase can be used to modify a noun.

You're right on all counts regarding 3.5, though right/rights is more of a style problem than a true grammar error. I had already left for the airport when they worked on this one. I bet this recco won't pass in its current state, and I don't rule out a minority report for this one either.