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Compromise on the Filibuster.

Squawker

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There was a “bipartisan” (barf) agreement to resolve the filibuster of judges. Good grief, what a show of grandstanding. You would think they just did something that has never been done before. Their job! They will vote for cloture for three controversial judges, Brown, Owens and Pryor. Democrats agree not to filibuster except in extreme circumstances, and Republicans can retain the nuclear option. No big surprise here, they talked about it all last week. Whatever makes them "feel good".
 

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Squawker said:
There was a “bipartisan” (barf) agreement to resolve the filibuster of judges. Good grief, what a show of grandstanding. You would think they just did something that has never been done before. Their job! They will vote for cloture for three controversial judges, Brown, Owens and Pryor. Democrats agree not to filibuster except in extreme circumstances, and Republicans can retain the nuclear option. No big surprise here, they talked about it all last week. Whatever makes them "feel good".

It was a big chance for McCaine to bathe in the limelight. He was all over the radio just now saying how great it was that both parties "trusted" each other enough to come together on this. I do not see what has changed. Dems can still filibuster if they see the need and Reps can still nuke them.
 

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I think with the death of the filibuster we have seen the death of a great tradition in American politics. I don't mean this faux-filibusters we have had recently - I mean the good ol' filibuster where you had to eat, sleep, and continue speaking on the floor of the House in order to keep the floor. I recall anecdotally a state legislator around the turn of the century who filibustered for a continuous 48 hours - speaking mainly about his dead bull Orizimbo. The legendary Strom Thurmond once filibustered for 24 hours 18 minutes (I believe he spoke continuously the entire time - it concerned civil rights). Al D'Amato filibustered for 15 hours and 14 minutes, again speaking continuously. Harry Reid filibustered on behalf of filibustering for 8 hours 30 minutes just two years ago (isn't that ironic). However, most filibusters today are confined to business hours, with the participants going home at night, taking turns speaking, and other pansy type changes. We give these people enough power - they should have to work a little for it occasionally.
 

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I think with the death of the filibuster we have seen the death of a great tradition in American politics.
This was just for judges, walrus. The filibuster was seldom used until recently. Judges usually got a straight up or down vote.
It was a big chance for McCaine to bathe in the limelight.
Got that right, akyron. No change, but they sure acted like it was a big deal. Susan Collins had a big old grin on her face. :mrgreen: The Democrats had to give them the judges that had the votes for. Oh well, they got their ten minutes of fame for the voters who haven't been paying attention.
 

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I feel really let down by this. I'm ashamed that these Republicans jumped ship and didn't fight until the end for whats right! All judges should always get up or down votes. Horrible news for the USA, I feel betrayed as a citizen.
 

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Republican said:
I feel really let down by this. I'm ashamed that these Republicans jumped ship and didn't fight until the end for whats right! All judges should always get up or down votes. Horrible news for the USA, I feel betrayed as a citizen.
You may feel betrayed, but I garuntee you this is a great thing for the country.

The Republicans you speak off didn't jump ship, they preserved the tradition that is the Senate of working together. When senators die, they don't say I was a Democrat or a Republican, they say they were a United States Senator. There is pride in that tradition. How would ending fillibusters on judicial nominations been right as you put?

Did not the majority Republicans use similar tatics to deny up or down votes when they were in power when Clinton was nominating to great judges like Paez? Darn right they did. It may not have been the fillibuster, but they used the means that they had in front of them to secure the fact that these people wouldn't get votes by holding them up in committee and procedural matters-is that not the same as a fillibuster by denying a vote to a candidate? I contend it is and while I didn't like it, I accept it because that is the way the Senate has always worked.

Feel let down all you want, but this insures that there will be a check on the majority that is so sorely needed, no matter who is in control of the Senate.
 

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My word! Just three judges the dems have to agree with, and for that the republicans are taking the removal of the judicial filibuster off the table.

Wow!, what do we get for a case of beer -- Bush stopping his agenda of privitizating social security.

Maybe for a notebook we (the dems) can push through some government subsidized stem cell research programs.


In all seriousness though, it feels good to see our government uphold democracy and the processes that makes our country so great. I dont see this as a vicotry for the dems or even for the US, but a victory in upholding the values of the system against the cheap, disgraceful and quite frankly unAmerican series of tactics used in getting judges through the system....

~Human beings should never be used as bargining chips for democracy
 

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ShamMol said:
Did not the majority Republicans use similar tatics to deny up or down votes when they were in power when Clinton was nominating to great judges like Paez? Darn right they did. It may not have been the fillibuster, but they used the means that they had in front of them to secure the fact that these people wouldn't get votes by holding them up in committee and procedural matters-is that not the same as a fillibuster by denying a vote to a candidate? I contend it is and while I didn't like it, I accept it because that is the way the Senate has always worked.
I agree with the Republicans who "jumped ship" but this is not the same thing as during the Clinton years. Back then the Republicans had the majority and it was the majority that kept the votes from happening. Now it's a minority that's doing it. That isn't the way America is supposed to work.

The filibuster is a safeguard for when senators feel passionate about something. Not a means of controlling from the minority position.
 

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stump said:
I agree with the Republicans who "jumped ship" but this is not the same thing as during the Clinton years. Back then the Republicans had the majority and it was the majority that kept the votes from happening. Now it's a minority that's doing it. That isn't the way America is supposed to work.

The filibuster is a safeguard for when senators feel passionate about something. Not a means of controlling from the minority position.
Not the same, similar tatics. They were in control for the majority of Clinton's terms and thus did not have to use a fillibuster to get their way. What the Republicans did then was hold people up in committee (which as a majority they could), put more and more procedural tatics to use to stop or slow their nominations. Good people were held up then, as they would be now according to Republicans. How is the holding up of people any different? Just because they use different tatics? Different tatics do not equal a different intent.

It is the right of the minority or even majority to fillibuster anything and it has been that way since the beginning of the Congress. It is, I am sorry to say, the way America has worked for over 200 years. As a Republican or conservative, isn't it your wish to keep things as much the same as usual? Why the sudden change? Do you wish to take even more power away from your political enemies at the expense of tradition and democracy? I think that is it.

Oh, and on another note, Owens had psoosibly the worst rating of a judge in Texas, with over 45% saying she was a bad judge....hmm...lifetime appointment for someone that only received little more than half that said she was good to just ok...brilliant.
 

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Good people were held up then, as they would be now according to Republicans. How is the holding up of people any different? Just because they use different tatics? Different tatics do not equal a different intent.

It is the right of the minority or even majority to fillibuster anything and it has been that way since the beginning of the Congress.
Judges deserve an up or down vote. Clinton's judges got one. Bush's judges didn't, that is the difference. When Democrats held the majority during the Reagan Administration, they voted for the judges they wanted to vote for. The minority didn't filibuster to prevent an up or down vote. That is another difference. The right to filibuster does not pertain to judges.
 

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Squawker said:
Judges deserve an up or down vote. Clinton's judges got one. Bush's judges didn't, that is the difference. When Democrats held the majority during the Reagan Administration, they voted for the judges they wanted to vote for. The minority didn't filibuster to prevent an up or down vote. That is another difference. The right to filibuster does not pertain to judges.
Clinton's got one? You sure of that? In the Central District of California, no less than three judges, all great appointments that passed with bipartisan support were held up, one for three years who was the first woman president of the bar, who was ranked well qualified (which can't be said for your owens) and who was one of the most respected lawyers in Los Angeles for appeals work-Margaret morrow. You might find this interesting as well. It shows exactly what I am talking about.

n the years that Republicans controlled the Judiciary Committee, the preferred method of "rejecting" scores of judicial nominees was to deny them Committee hearings and votes.

More than a dozen of President Clinton's Circuit Court nominees received the American Bar Association's (ABA) unanimous "well-qualified" rating, but their nominations were defeated because their hearings were rejected by Republicans.

The following Circuit Court nominees from 1997, 1998, 1999, and 2000 are in this category: H. Alston Johnson (5th Circuit), James Duffy (9th Circuit), Kathleen McCree-Lewis (6th Circuit), Enrique Moreno (5th Circuit), James Lyons (10th Circuit), Robert Cindrich (3rd Circuit), Stephen Orlofsky (3rd Circuit), Andre Davis (4th Circuit), James Beaty (4th Circuit), and J. Rich Leonard (4th Circuit).

Allen Snyder (D.C. Circuit), who was also rated "well-qualified" by the ABA, received a hearing but was not allowed a vote by the Republican-controlled Committee.

More than a dozen other Circuit Court nominees with "partial well-qualified" or "qualified" ratings were also defeated by Republicans who blocked their hearings or votes, including Helene White (6th Circuit), Jorge Rangel (5th Circuit), Robert Raymer (3rd Circuit), Barry Goode (9th Circuit), Christine Arguello (10th Circuit), Elizabeth Gibson (4th Circuit), Elana Kagan (D.C. Circuit), James Wynn (4th Circuit), Bonnie Campbell (8th Circuit), Kent Markus (6th Circuit), and Roger Gregory (4th Circuit).

Dozens of District Court nominees from 1997, 1998, 1999, and 2000 with unanimous "well-qualified" or "qualified" ratings also were blocked by Republican refusal to give them hearings or votes. In all, nearly 60 of President Clinton's judicial nominees were defeated through Republican blocking of hearings and votes, despite their ABA ratings.

Several Republicans Now Complaining About Votes Against Justice Owen Voted Against Clinton Nominees who Received Unanimous "Well-Qualified" Ratings.

Some of President Clinton's judicial nominees who did receive hearings and Committee votes also received "well-qualified" ratings, like Justice Owen, but that did not stop Republicans from voting against them and trying to defeat their nominations. The same Republicans who now claim it is unprecedented to defeat a nominee with a "well-qualified" rating voted against numerous Clinton nominees with that same rating either in Committee, on the floor, or both.

The following nominees with "well-qualified" ratings faced Republican opposition, despite having the rating that Republicans apparently now look to as a reliable indicator of whether a nominee should be confirmed: Judge Rosemary Barkett (Eleventh Circuit), Judge Merrick Garland (D.C. Circuit), Judge William Fletcher (Ninth Circuit), Judge Ray Fisher (Ninth Circuit), Judge Marsha Berzon (Ninth Circuit), Judge Sonia Sotomayor (Second Circuit), Judge Margaret McKeown (Ninth Circuit), Judge Richard Paez (Ninth Circuit), Judge Margaret Morrow (Central District of California), Judge Gerald Lynch (Southern District of New York), and Mary McLaughlin (Eastern District of Pennsylvania).

The Democratic-led Judiciary Committee held an open, public hearing for Justice Owen, followed by a public vote.

Justice Owen was the third person nominated to this seat on the Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, but only the first to be accorded a hearing before the Judiciary Committee. The prior two Clinton nominees for that seat, Enrique Moreno and Jorge Rangel, were blocked from having hearings by Republican obstructionism - despite their "well-qualified" ratings.

Justice Owen was given a full and fair public hearing, and her nomination was debated and voted on in the light of day, in contrast to scores of Clinton judicial nominees.

The Senate has relied on the Judiciary Committee to consider the merits of judicial nominees for nearly 200 years. The Senate relies on the expertise of Committees to evaluate and report (or not report) hundreds of nominations and thousands of bills on important matters, like taxes, national security, and the environment, each year. Democrats have repaired the Judiciary Committee process by according nominees regular hearings and votes.

It is disingenuous for Republicans to now claim that all judicial nominees should get votes on the floor of the Senate after they blocked scores of judicial nominees from ever receiving a Committee hearing or a vote. Democrats repeatedly called for nominees to be given a Committee vote, up or down. Now that judicial nominees are finally receiving due process, Republicans do not like the results.

While only two of President Bush's judicial nominees have been defeated in open votes, nearly 60 of President Clinton's judicial nominees were defeated through secret, anonymous holds and other secretive, non-transparent Republican tactics.
Source
Now, go back up and really read it-I know it is long, but it is very well documented in my opinion and from the opinion of someone who has a lot of experience with a relative being held up, trust me, it's true.
 

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ShamMol said:
How is the holding up of people any different? Just because they use different tatics? Different tatics do not equal a different intent.
Well no, of course the intent is the same. The intent is not to approve nominations they don't like.

But the HUGE difference is that they were in the majority. Majority rules, that's they way our system is set up.

We have a fillibuster which in theory is a good thing. If something is very important to a minority they can hold it up. But unfortunately, the Democrats have turned something that was rare into a common occurrence.

The fillibuster held up anti-lynching laws for almost 20 years, it held up civil rights legislation, it doomed national health insurance, and it is the reason we have the electoral college instead of direct election. This is something you want to keep?

It is not my wish to keep things as they have always been. Not sure where you got that from. But even if that's the cloture rule has been changed twice already, there's no historical reason we can't change it one more time.
 

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ShamMol said:
Clinton's got one? You sure of that?
Just because the vote wasn't done by the entire senate doesn't mean there wasn't a vote. The committee voted against them. A majority isn't voting against Bush's nominees, it's a minority that's voting against them.

It's a tough call for me because frankly I'm glad the judges haven't been approved yet. But this is America and the majority should get their way. Whether I like it or not.
 

ShamMol

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stump said:
Well no, of course the intent is the same. The intent is not to approve nominations they don't like.

But the HUGE difference is that they were in the majority. Majority rules, that's they way our system is set up.

We have a fillibuster which in theory is a good thing. If something is very important to a minority they can hold it up. But unfortunately, the Democrats have turned something that was rare into a common occurrence.

The fillibuster held up anti-lynching laws for almost 20 years, it held up civil rights legislation, it doomed national health insurance, and it is the reason we have the electoral college instead of direct election. This is something you want to keep?

It is not my wish to keep things as they have always been. Not sure where you got that from. But even if that's the cloture rule has been changed twice already, there's no historical reason we can't change it one more time.
Its unfortunate to be sure that good legislation is held up, but it also prevents something even worse-rule of the majority at the expense of the minority. One of the main tenents in a democracy/republic is the fact that it is majority rule, but not at the expense of the minority. While we may not like it, that is the way it is. The fillibuster is needed-It upholds the right of the minority (party) and stops excesses of the majority (party).

The fillibuster may have allowed bad things, but what are we without our minority? That is the essence of a pluralist society.

This is not about "right" or "left." This is about the foundations of governing in a pluralistic society that must balance ease of governing with the need to represent the interests of all Americans (from racist which we don't like to others which we do).

The role of the filibuster is keeping a voice for the minority and that is a good thing for both parties because like it or not, both of them will be in that posistion again for many years to come.
 

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stump said:
Just because the vote wasn't done by the entire senate doesn't mean there wasn't a vote. The committee voted against them. A majority isn't voting against Bush's nominees, it's a minority that's voting against them.

It's a tough call for me because frankly I'm glad the judges haven't been approved yet. But this is America and the majority should get their way. Whether I like it or not.
I hope you read my previous post. The essence of a democracy is rule of the majority but not at the expense of the minority. I will post this again, because I don't think you get it. They didn't get votes. They were held up in committee, they were stopped by procedural matters, they had to answer countless surveys delving into their private lives and voting records (not allowed btw) if they ever wanted to see the light of day/senate floor. So, I will post it again, and do read it.

While only two of President Bush's judicial nominees have been defeated in open votes, nearly 60 of President Clinton's judicial nominees were defeated through secret, anonymous holds and other secretive, non-transparent Republican tactics.

It is disingenuous for Republicans to now claim that all judicial nominees should get votes on the floor of the Senate after they blocked scores of judicial nominees from ever receiving a Committee hearing or a vote.
They didn't get a Committee vote. Some did, not all. Most of these people mentioned were held up for years, years because they were still in committee, not having been voted on. Years. And now you claim that they got a vote. They didn't. Some had to reapply because they got through committee and then never got a vote on the floor (see Margaret Morrow) because of procedural matters. She was one of the lucky ones who actually got through committee, unlike those who didn't even get a vote there. 60 people....and you claim none.
 

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ShamMol said:
The role of the filibuster is keeping a voice for the minority and that is a good thing for both parties because like it or not, both of them will be in that posistion again for many years to come.
If you truly believed that you'd have been upset with the Democrats for abusing the power of the filibuster. And not with the Republicans for recognizing that governing by 60% is a bad way of doing things.

Our Constitution recognizes this and that is why the supermajority rules are only for very important matters. Not for everything the Senate does.

The filibuster is good when it is used when needed. It's bad when it's used often.

I'd prefer to keep it but only if used rarely. Since this isn't happening the only recourse left is to get rid of it.
 

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ShamMol said:
They didn't get a Committee vote. Some did, not all. Most of these people mentioned were held up for years, years because they were still in committee, not having been voted on. Years. And now you claim that they got a vote. They didn't.
I don't know the history and votes of every nomination and I'm not going to pretend I do.

What I do know is that there was a vote. If not in the committee then on the committee assignments and ultimately at the election booth when we elected our Senators. A majority of them decided it was okay not to put the judges to a full floor vote. In my mind, that's a vote. If you want to argue over technicalities you're welcome to but it simply doesn't matter to me. The majority decided the issue in whatever fashion they decided them.

And that is quite different from what is happening today.
 

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stump said:
I don't know the history and votes of every nomination and I'm not going to pretend I do.

What I do know is that there was a vote. If not in the committee then on the committee assignments and ultimately at the election booth when we elected our Senators. A majority of them decided it was okay not to put the judges to a full floor vote. In my mind, that's a vote. If you want to argue over technicalities you're welcome to but it simply doesn't matter to me. The majority decided the issue in whatever fashion they decided them.

And that is quite different from what is happening today.
So, now you have gone from they got a vote to a majority thought they shouldn't get a vote, and that is just as good. That isn't a technicality, that is straight up being wrong. Those sixty didn't get a vote in any sense, they were just put on a shelf, a concious decision not to let them go forward, much like a fillibuster is a concious decision not to let them go forward to get a vote. There was no vote.

If you think that is a vote, you are wrong. Repubs think that a vote means a group of people on the floor voting yes or no with no interference. That didn't even come close to happening with those people and now you want me to believe that these people deserve a vote. Please, it is hypocritical.
 

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Dems keep their word-traditional senate procedures go on.
Score: Dems=Win : Reps=Win. The never ending spirit of bipartisanship continues.
Dems=don't keep word-public spin exposes them as politicians.
Reps=march righteously toward nuclear option.
Score: Dems=lose : Reps=Win. Dong bu dong?
 

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ShamMol said:
So, now you have gone from they got a vote to a majority thought they shouldn't get a vote, and that is just as good.
Like I admitted I don't know the specific history of every nomination during the Clinton years (or earlier!). The difference, as I've said, is that in the earlier case the majority got their way and in the current cases the minority is getting their way.

A difference that you seem to not care about. I can only assume it's because you're in the minority. Our Senate wasn't created just so that you could get your way regardless of what the majority of people want.

Senators from both parties agree with me. I think it's sad that this whole thing is happening.
 

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stump said:
Like I admitted I don't know the specific history of every nomination during the Clinton years (or earlier!). The difference, as I've said, is that in the earlier case the majority got their way and in the current cases the minority is getting their way.

A difference that you seem to not care about. I can only assume it's because you're in the minority. Our Senate wasn't created just so that you could get your way regardless of what the majority of people want.

Senators from both parties agree with me. I think it's sad that this whole thing is happening.
I think that this entire battle is happening. It is not that I don't care about the difference, it is that I care about principles of democracy as well. And one of those priciples is rule of the majority but not at the expense of the minority. The fillibuster ensures that the minority can have its say and not just be steamrolled like in the House.

Oh, and I gave you the info, you can't now say that you don't know specific history even if it isn't for each nomination. I suggest you look up people like Margaret Morrow, Gary Paez, people who were held up for no reason at all.
 

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ShamMol said:
I suggest you look up people like Margaret Morrow, Gary Paez, people who were held up for no reason at all.
Margaret Morrow was confirmed as a judge. She was held up in committee because a majority of committee members didn't support her going to the house. But she was put up for a vote on the floor and in my opinion a vote in the committee.

I have no idea how you're comparing a majority of people deciding to a minority of people deciding. There's a difference. Not sure why you refuse to see it.

Perhaps your reasoning is in "expense of the minority". What the heck does that mean?

But no matter how you want to spin it this is all nothing but the Democrats wanting to get their way. Or to make the Republicans look bad. Senators from both sides have said they disagree with the filibuster. And in Washington state, where I live, the Democrats are running roughshod over the Republicans now that they control the legislative and executive branch. I see no concern over passing their bills at the "expense of the minority".
 

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I think that this entire battle is happening. It is not that I don't care about the difference, it is that I care about principles of democracy as well. And one of those priciples is rule of the majority but not at the expense of the minority. The fillibuster ensures that the minority can have its say and not just be steamrolled like in the House.
Your quote isn’t exactly right. This is the original intent.
Madison argued that the republican remedy embodied in the Constitution allowed the various factions sufficient room to express their views and to attempt to influence the government. Instead of the majority putting down minorities, the different interests would negotiate their differences, thus arriving at a solution in which the majority would rule but with due care and regard given to minorities. The very number of factions would preclude any one from exercising tyrannical control over the rest. And the medium in which this give and take would occur would be politics, the art of governing.
Source

Oh, and I gave you the info, you can't now say that you don't know specific history even if it isn't for each nomination. I suggest you look up people like Margaret Morrow, Gary Paez, people who were held up for no reason at all.
Morrow was a lousy pick for many reasons. She should never have been confirmed but Republicans caved after pressure from the media. Then the press used her to go after the “Free Republic” forum for copy write violations, because they didn’t like what the posters had to say about them and the Clinton Administration. Paez sits on the ninth circuit, so that says all we need to know about him. Liberal Judges always make their own interpretation of our Constitution, that’s why people don’t want them on the bench. I don’t know all the reasons for the delay. They should all get a speedy up or down vote. Who needs all the drama and expense.
 

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I should probably tell you I am related to Margaret Morrow for interest of clarity and she has made a fine judge. She actually isn't liberal at all. That one article that kept on being cited about gun control...wasn't written by her. It was creditted wrongly. She isn't liberal by any means and is quite centrist. She got a vote on the floor because she went back to Washington three times to meet with the Top republican brass, who gave her the go ahead after seeing that she wasn't the nightmare they thought she was. They had her answer questions that weren't even appropriate (about her personal life and voting record). They held her up in committee so long she had to reapply while more and more cases piled up waiting because of the vacancies thanks to Republican obstructionism. When she got to the court, instead of the normal load that judges take on, she had 400 cases (somewhere about 2x the normal amount). I am actually glad that the President has gotten people appointed at that district because it has lessened the workload for all the judges there who are already putting in 7 hour work weeks for the most part working 10-16 hour days.

And I did mispeak, but the priciple is the same. Regard is the correct rule, but expense dictates the same meaning.
 
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