Favorite

Illegal motion 

"Opponents complained that most of the critical testimony was silenced when a member of the committee motioned for immediate consideration, a nondebatable procedural maneuver that brought public input on the bill to a halt." ...

"State Rep. Mac Adamia, R-Loontown, motions for the House of Representatives to adjourn Monday ... "

This use of motion is new to me, but I've seen it a couple of times in reports on the recent legislative session. In standard legislative usage, motion is a noun ("a proposal formally made to a deliberative assembly"), not a verb. A legislator can move to adjourn, or move for immediate consideration, or he can make a motion to do such things, but he doesn't motion for them like he was trying to hitch a ride. Informally, I suppose, a majority leader wanting to break for a three-martini lunch could point to the clock and then simulate drinking. That sort of motion might explain some of the late-afternoon actions of this year's assembly.

Political speech:

Opposing factions try to control the terminology of their debates. Pro-life v. pro-choice is pretty much a standoff now, both terms misleading and avoided by all but the most partisan. And although right-wingers have worked very hard, they haven't been entirely successful in selling death tax. Most people understand that it's really an inheritance tax. As such, it's paid by very few, unlike a death tax, which would be paid by everybody.

But the right-wingers have done better with entitlements. Even people who don't share the Republican opposition to Social Security and Medicare sometimes use the word to describe the benefits of social-welfare programs, apparently not recognizing that the sneering use of "entitlements" is intended to inflame. Writing in The New Yorker, Hendrik Hertzberg says that "entitlements" was made popular during the Reagan Administration by the Great Communicator himself, who pined for the end of Social Security. "A so-called entitlement is a benefit extended to those who meet the lawful requirements, without the need for a specific appropriation," Hertzberg writes. "But 'acting entitled' or having 'a sense of entitlement' is something no one yearns to be accused of." People who recognize the need for Social Security and Medicare shouldn't go along with the use of "entitlements," he says.

Favorite

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Doug Smith

  • The L word and the C word

    I was excited to see the newspaper headline "Bielema liberal." "After all those neo-Nazis, we've finally got a coach who thinks right," I told friends. "I wonder if he belongs to the ADA."
    • May 1, 2014
  • Who's exasperated?

    Jim Newell was gripped by exasperation himself after reading this item in the business section. "Exacerbated" is the word the writer wanted, he sagely suggests.
    • Apr 24, 2014
  • We will run no race before it's ripe

    "What year would Oaklawn recognize as its 100th anniversary? After all, Oaklawn's advertising material is ripe with 'Since 1904,' but it's widely reported the first race wasn't run until 1905."
    • Apr 17, 2014
  • More »

Most Shared

  • Sarah Huckabee Sanders to be deputy White House press secretary

    Donald Trump announced additional White House staff today, notably including Sarah Huckabee Sanders, deputy assistant to the president and principal deputy press secretary.
  • Legislation filed for $10 million school voucher program

    The legislation to vastly expand transfer of state tax dollars to private schools came before the school choice day event I mentioned earlier.
  • Pork and more

    Some notes on disparate topics before I take a vacation break.
  • Trumpeting

    When President-elect Trump announced he would, in a few days, force Congress to enact comprehensive health insurance for everyone, poor or rich, that would provide better and cheaper care than they've ever gotten, you had to wonder whether this guy is a miracle worker or a fool.
  • Putin and Trump

    Here's a thought exercise: What do you suppose would happen if Russian strongman Vladimir Putin decided to clarify remarks he reportedly made about Donald Trump during the election campaign?

Latest in Words

  • The L word and the C word

    I was excited to see the newspaper headline "Bielema liberal." "After all those neo-Nazis, we've finally got a coach who thinks right," I told friends. "I wonder if he belongs to the ADA."
    • May 1, 2014
  • Who's exasperated?

    Jim Newell was gripped by exasperation himself after reading this item in the business section. "Exacerbated" is the word the writer wanted, he sagely suggests.
    • Apr 24, 2014
  • We will run no race before it's ripe

    "What year would Oaklawn recognize as its 100th anniversary? After all, Oaklawn's advertising material is ripe with 'Since 1904,' but it's widely reported the first race wasn't run until 1905."
    • Apr 17, 2014
  • More »

Visit Arkansas

1.73-carat diamond found at Crater of Diamonds State Park

1.73-carat diamond found at Crater of Diamonds State Park

Jack Pearadin and Doug Nelsen found a 1.73-carat diamond after nearly a year of searching the park's field.

Event Calendar

« »

January

S M T W T F S
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30 31  

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: Putin and Trump

    • Really? That's your argument? The Russians and the Soviets are two different things? That's pretty…

    • on January 22, 2017
  • Re: Putin and Trump

    • Tony Galati- You are the one that needs to learn history. They had been invaded…

    • on January 22, 2017
  • Re: Putin and Trump

    • Better dust off your history books, Runner. The Soviets invaded Poland, Romania, Bulgaria, Lithuania, Yugoslavia,…

    • on January 21, 2017
 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation