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Consultation in Plan

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When browsing the case list from the college Africa topic, I noticed that many teams prefaced their plan with "In consultation with all relevant actors, the United States federal government should..."

 

I'm curious and hope someone who debated that topic can answer. What neg team EVER would let the aff get away with that? The aff is literally not defending a stable plan. Consultation is inherently conditional because people can say no, and then the aff wouldn't be passed.

 

I suppose the way the plan text is worded, it would be more like notification and passage anyway (i.e. lie perm), but that means that they still don't solve the competition link on the c/p --- making the phrase useless in their plan text. Summary: It's obviously put in to be able to perm the c/p, meaning my first paragraph is relevant.

 

Moreover, and this has been expressed in previous posts, that's really just bad. The aff, in defending consultation, isn't defending immediacy of plan action. That kills negative disad links. Moreover, it's just straight up extra-topical, and I don't need to explain that (see above).

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Consultation isn't a veto. My claim isn't that a veto over plan, or binding consulation, would be a good thing to put into a plantext. But I think talking about plan, getting input on some level from other actors, and that sort of consultation happens on all American foreign policy, and can therefore be clarified to be normal means.

 

I don't think that normal means consultation is any more of an immediacy issue than anything else. If plan is to send the Peace Corps to Djibouti or something, then there is still the assumption that a bill gets written, and goes to committee, and gets debated on the floor, and all that stuff. Clarifying that your interpretation of normal means includes normal non-binding consultation through normal pathways doesn't add any extra time to the process of plan.

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Consultation isn't a veto. My claim isn't that a veto over plan, or binding consulation, would be a good thing to put into a plantext. But I think talking about plan, getting input on some level from other actors, and that sort of consultation happens on all American foreign policy, and can therefore be clarified to be normal means.

 

There's nothing wrong with good manners, to be sure. And if a team wanted to, they could tie this into a "soft power" approach. I just think it gets pretty muddled.

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I don't think an affirmative gets offense because of this. If it is normal means to consult in this way, then all policies get consulted on, which means that the affirmative is just acknowledging this continuous process of discussion. It's no more an avenue for offense than saying that normal means dictates that plan gets enforced and funded. That's why I mentioned above that I don't think that there is enough of a unique link to plan's action getting any risk of a relations or soft power kind of advantage simply because normal means suggests that the State Department does the things it normally does.

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Mike: to answer your earlier question about disco, it is a strategy an affirmative team could emply if they are losing the case debate but winning some turns on another position. For example, if I am way behind on the solvency debate, I can grant out negative defense that plan doesn't solve my scenarios, and devote all of my time to winning my impact turns on the politics disad.

 

In response to your comments on topic-specificity, I was wondering if you could tell me what the standards you'd use to judge whether a given scenario is "topic-specific." Also, how would that kind of paradigm function when in most cases, the negative team has a bigger role in deciding the content of the 2AR (in terms of subject matter) than the affirmative is? For example, if the 2NR goes for T, and the 2AR wins that their plan is topical even if thier only advantage is growth or relations, how would you justify a ballot for the negative team? It seems alien to me that there would be any reason to decide the round other than which team the flow says won.

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In response to your comments on topic-specificity, I was wondering if you could tell me what the standards you'd use to judge whether a given scenario is "topic-specific." Also, how would that kind of paradigm function when in most cases, the negative team has a bigger role in deciding the content of the 2AR (in terms of subject matter) than the affirmative is? For example, if the 2NR goes for T, and the 2AR wins that their plan is topical even if thier only advantage is growth or relations, how would you justify a ballot for the negative team? It seems alien to me that there would be any reason to decide the round other than which team the flow says won.

 

Dan: I would be more than happy to answer all of these; moreover, I have some questions for you regarding your position on XT on the sample Affirmative case I wrote a while back. However, the paragraph above is too chock-full of new terminology for me to tackle all at once.

 

So, if you don't mind. Let me take on the task incrementally. And please forgive me, but when we get into these scenarios, I have to do a lot of hypothesizing. If I'm either (a) straying off topic or (B) not responding fully, you can push me back on track, OK?

 

"Topic-Specific Scenarios": What I was originally thinking of was not "scenarios" as much as Plan Planks (or provisions contained therein). But let me just jump in the pool by giving an example.

 

First, assume that the Affirmative Plan mandates the doubling of the current US financial commitment to HIV/AIDS programs in SSA. It obtains the money for this by eliminating US combat operations in Iraq.

 

Then, assume the Negative completely obviates solvency, demonstrating that there will be no improvement in SSA's public health whatsoever as a result of the doubling of US assistance.

 

Assume, however, that the Negative does no more than that; they carry no DA's.

 

Assume, in the meantime, that the Affirmative starts, in 2AC, to tack on "advantages" flowing from the funding mechanism: peace in the Mid-East, decrease in international terrorism, etc. The 2AC justifies this with the argument, "The Iraq withdrawl is essential to obtaining the funding for increasing US PHA to SSA; in fact, since our plan mandates a dollar-for dollar-transfer of federal spending between the two federal programs, the withdrawl is, ipso facto, the increase in US PHA to SSA, and is therefore topical."

 

I don't like that approach. In my heart, I don't really buy that approach as true. But I think that the burden shifts to the Negative to at least refute/rebut this approach. And if they do not do that, I would be sorely tempted to vote Aff.

 

Assume, however, that the Negative does rebut the Affirmative's contention re: topicality. (For example - "This is an unreasonably broad interpretation; if such reasoning were adopted, an Affirmative could claim any change in the $3 trillion federal budget to be a topical benefit. Moreover, this is effects-topicality, which is tangential and evasive at best, and not conducive to the advancement of academic debate.")

 

Now, I have a null set on "policy" issues. No DA's/no topic-specific advantages. Hence, Negative ballot on presumption.

 

I'm not asking you to agree or disagree; but does this get the ball rolling?

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Call me crazy, but when it says "with all relevant actors" this is simply defending normal means. Normal means is we tell Africa that they should be expecting a few more water purification tablets in the mail.

 

Now, if the Aff says that consulting the EU is consulting relevant actors... then the Aff is exta-topical... assuming the EU has nothing to do with normal means of plan passage.

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Call me crazy, but when it says "with all relevant actors" this is simply defending normal means. Normal means is we tell Africa that they should be expecting a few more water purification tablets in the mail.

 

Now, if the Aff says that consulting the EU is consulting relevant actors... then the Aff is exta-topical... assuming the EU has nothing to do with normal means of plan passage.

 

You're not crazy; and I agree with you in principle.

 

But the fly in the buttermilk is that are so many executive agreements - not to mention bilateral agreements, compacts, contracts, letters of understanding, and treaties in international law that the US is, I'm almost sure, required to "consult" - in some fashion - with every nation on Earth (except Cuba, N. Korea, and Iran) before it initiates any major foreign policy initiative. This flows all the way back to Woodrow Wilson's condemnation of "secret diplomacy" at the end of WWI.

 

So, to paraphrase former President Bubba, "It all depends upon what your definition of 'consult' is..."

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Run Vagueness on "relevant actors", and a consult X counterplan. Either they argue their consultation solves the link because X is relevant and you get your "abuse" on vagueness or they don't consult whoever and you still get your relations net-benefit through the counterplan that the aff won't get to claim to solve.

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Run Vagueness on "relevant actors", and a consult X counterplan.

 

 

And this is purely a question, not a contention.

 

Let us assume:

 

In the 1AC, the Affirmative plan, distilled to its essence, says: "Whatever the USFG is currently giving for PHA for SSA, we'll double it." And the claimed advantage is a 100% increase in the whatever good that the SQ is allegedly doing.

 

The 1NC says, in effect: "Oh, yeah? Well, we need to consult the other members of the Asian Six Power Talks, and/or EU, and/or OPEC, and/or NATO, and/or the AU, and/or the Russian Federation, and/or ANZUS, and/or the whole UN General Assembly before we do that."

 

And the 2AC says, "OK, we'll accept that as a 'friendly amendment,' and incorporate it into our plan."

 

What happens next?

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And this is purely a question, not a contention.

 

Let us assume:

 

In the 1AC, the Affirmative plan, distilled to its essence, says: "Whatever the USFG is currently giving for PHA for SSA, we'll double it." And the claimed advantage is a 100% increase in the whatever good that the SQ is allegedly doing.

 

The 1NC says, in effect: "Oh, yeah? Well, we need to consult the other members of the Asian Six Power Talks, and/or EU, and/or OPEC, and/or NATO, and/or the AU, and/or the Russian Federation, and/or ANZUS, and/or the whole UN General Assembly before we do that."

 

And the 2AC says, "OK, we'll accept that as a 'friendly amendment,' and incorporate it into our plan."

 

What happens next?

 

Usually the counterplan text is worded so as to accept whatever the EU or NATO would decide. Usually something like: Prior to implementation of the plan, The US will enter into binding consultation with NATO over the mandates of the plan. Whatever NATO says goes. (More specific and better worded than this though. Just an example)

 

It's written as to be mutually exclusive because if NATO doesn't like the plan, then the plan doesn't happen.

 

The 2AC could have multiple perms like you said. IE Do the plan and consult NATO. But it would be argued that binding consultation is key to Relations instead of just consulting NATO and not listening to them.

 

Whether or not this type of counterplan is legitimate is definitely debatable though. It's artificially competitive and there's always the lie perm too. But that is all for another thread. Hope I helped.

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Usually the counterplan text is worded so as to accept whatever the EU or NATO would decide. Usually something like: Prior to implementation of the plan, The US will enter into binding consultation with NATO over the mandates of the plan. Whatever NATO says goes. (More specific and better worded than this though. Just an example)

 

It's written as to be mutually exclusive because if NATO doesn't like the plan, then the plan doesn't happen.

 

Yes, this is very helpful.

 

Under the circumstances as you've defined them, I would argue that the consultation CP succeeds in being the worst of all possible worlds:

 

1. If the consultant vetoed the Aff. plan, there's no reason to assume that the veto would be issued on "valid" grounds. The "consultant" could veto the plan for purely selfish reasons, for example. Worse still, a "consultant" could blackmail both the US and SSA - indefintely - by exploiting innocent, suffering, dying people - the majority of them children - as leverage!

 

2. If the plan is justified by the legitimate health needs of SSA, why delay it?

 

3. If other nations consult, any "soft power" advantage the USA might otherwise obtained is dilluted, if not sacrificed outright.

 

4. If the consultant "approves" the Plan, I would argue that the CP is as topical as all get-out. Why? The intiative is American (reverse XFT). The funding is American. The benefits would not exist BUT FOR the topical aspects of the process. The consultant is a trivial - and legally non-existent - functionary.

 

Granted, CP topicality may not be a big deal to some (maybe even most) judges, but it is to others (like me).

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I'm not the best on theory for the neg in consult debates as I haven't run them, but I'll do my best here.

 

Yes, this is very helpful.

 

Under the circumstances as you've defined them, I would argue that the consultation CP succeeds in being the worst of all possible worlds:

 

1. If the consultant vetoed the Aff. plan, there's no reason to assume that the veto would be issued on "valid" grounds. The "consultant" could veto the plan for purely selfish reasons, for example. Worse still, a "consultant" could blackmail both the US and SSA - indefintely - by exploiting innocent, suffering, dying people - the majority of them children - as leverage!

The Negative would be reading evidence and defending that NATO would say yes, in 99.9% of all circumstances. IE "NATO likes it when Africa gets Aid" cards.

 

2. If the plan is justified by the legitimate health needs of SSA, why delay it?
The reason to delay it is whatever the net benefit to the counterplan is. Something like revived relations with NATO key to preventing all these scenarios of global war. Your argument would be a reason to prefer the aff (people die every minute. Delaying it any more is bad and immoral) to the counterplan, but this would all be debated out in the round. And also, there's evidence on how Consultation is a very quick process minimizing this argument for the aff.

 

3. If other nations consult, any "soft power" advantage the USA might otherwise obtained is dilluted, if not sacrificed outright.
I'm not sure I get this argument. Can you expand more?

 

4. If the consultant "approves" the Plan, I would argue that the CP is as topical as all get-out. Why? The intiative is American (reverse XFT). The funding is American. The benefits would not exist BUT FOR the topical aspects of the process. The consultant is a trivial - and legally non-existent - functionary

 

Granted, CP topicality may not be a big deal to some (maybe even most) judges, but it is to others (like me).

A lot of counterplans are topical nowadays. And it's generally accepted to be okay. Things like Executive Order Counterplans are run often. While this is a possible theoretical objection, I believe there are much better reasons consult counterplans are bad. So yes, the counterplan is topical. But a neg team that's willing to defend all the theory of running a consult counterplan should probably have no hard time defending that topical counterplans are legitimate.

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the 2AC says, "OK, we'll accept that as a 'friendly amendment,' and incorporate it into our plan."

 

What happens next?

 

The short answer is that the affirmative team loses. You can’t change your advocacy in the 2AC and expect not to lose the abuse claim stemming from being a moving target. You can’t grant that a CP is net-beneficial and win the round. If your “friendly amendment” is a permutation, then maybe it would be worth articulating, but I’d have to know a lot more about the permutation text before I could make any guesses.

 

As for the other thing…

 

If you are looking for affirmatives with plan planks, you won’t find many. They generally stopped getting written that way a long time ago. Generally, the tendency toward having a specific solvency advocate contributed to that change, but I would imagine that the desire not to link to negative disadvantages would be the main reason. It is also hard to defend each individual plank of an affirmative plan as being topical, which tends to be the way those rounds go. I remember that a few years back on the Oceans topic, I wrote a plantext that did like five different things. It was organized as planks, but the only reason we were able to get away with it is because each individual plank was topical on its own.

 

In the round you talk about in post #31, the affirmative would be likely to lose in front of most judges. They would lose not because their advantages are not topic specific, but because their advantages are all based on an extra-topical plan plank. Claims that getting advantages off of stopping an Iraq war should be permissible would fall on a lot of deaf ears, especially when funding by normal means is such an obvious option. I too would want to vote for the negative if the affirmative’s only advantages were extra-topical. But, if the negative doesn’t win that the affirmative should lose the round for those reasons, then the affirmative would get my ballot. I would only vote on presumption if no one had won an impact of any kind. To do otherwise would smack of judge intervention to me. But, to each his own, I suppose. It just seems like a paradigm like this means that lots of teams have already lost rounds in front of you before they even leave for the tournament. Were paradigms like this one common in the past, or do you just not mind intervening?

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The short answer is that the affirmative team loses.

 

Again, I'm not necessarily advocating... I'm just asking.

 

1. Is this a debate "rule" - or just a debate theory? And, in debate, everything's up for debate, right?

 

2. If it's a debate theory, does it have a real-world-paradigm basis? "Friendly amendments" are an accepted practice in every legislative body in the English-speaking world.

 

3. If it's a debate theory, how does it pass the test of fundamental fairness? Specifically, why should the Negative be allowed to incorporate some or all of the Affirmative plan into a CP, but the Affirmative - still in the "constructive (i.e., work-in-progress) period" be barred from incoporating some or all of a Negative CP into its plan? Doesn't look quite equitable to me.

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I'm not adovcating anything here either, just shining a flashlight around.

 

It's not a rule, it's just the most common outcome of the inevitable theory debate that would come from that kind of action. This particular outcome would be so common and predictable that I would be comfortable calling it a "convention."

 

I don't know that it has a real-world basis, or that I would want it to. It has a basis in debate. The justification (and the negative's basic position in the theory debate that would happen) is that if the affirmative team were allowed to change their advocacy in the middle of the round, there would be no way for a negative team to ever win. I could say "we should'nt do plan because it doesn't interact with or gain the input of the shamanitic healers who treat the people in the area." The affirmative could respond, "Good idea. Now we do that too." Remember, the mantra in all instances of theory debate is that "it's not what you do, it's what you justify." If the "theory" your practice endorses would be bad when universalized, your opponent will use that as reasons to reject your argument, or you.

 

As for your work in progress claims, that isn't the way msot people probably understand the legistlative metaphor of the round. More common now would probably be the belief that plan must meet it's entire procedural burden prior to the beginning of the 1AC. That is, we are to assume that we have already been through the committee process and stand with a final (i.e., not work-in-progress) proposition. Normally, most plans probably don't correspond to an actual piece of existant legislation, so it's not an exact metaphor. But "fairness" is ultimately the reason the affirmative would lose. Letting a moving target go unpunished would be bad for predictability, and that's implicated in decreased competitive equity and fairness. There's also going to be arguments about the fair division of ground. If the affirmative can just change plan whenever they want, then the negative doesn't get any PIC ground. And, generally, PICs (at least the non-abusive ones, of which Consult CPs might be one of the worst, but that's all external to this line of reasoning) are good for debate. They foster more in-depth discussion of affirmative plans and case areas, and probably force us to learn more in terms of depth. All these claims would be supercharged, so to speak, in a round where the 2AC actually tries to spike out of a CP. Usually this kind of discussion would only have to talk about the theoretically worst-case scenario of an aff doing what you have them do.

 

This is why affirmatives make permutations but don't endorse them. They are treated only as tests of the competitiveness of the negative advocacy.

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Dan: For the life of me, I don't see how your post says anything about the "friendly amendment" approach other than:

 

1. It's a new theory.

2. People in debate would reject it, even though real-life legislative bodies use it.

3. There are arguments which could be made against it.

 

Didn't all of existing debate theory go through an experimentation phase?

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I'm sure it all did. And, I'm not saying that your approach is indefensible. But, I don't yet know how you would defend it. So, so far all I have been able to do is tell you what negative teams would be likely to say in response to such a tactic in broad terms. In general, ideas that let the affirmative shift advocacies in the 2AC are harder to defend than ones that do not.

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Hypothetically, I'd defend it (the "Friendly Amendment Turn") as follows:

 

1. Where have you been, you Dinosaur!? "Everything's debatable in debate."

2. It has a basis in real-world legislation. Therefore, it is not only theoretically defensible, it's proven to be practical.

3. It's a perfectly fair and equitable tactic against a PIC - for the reasons previously set forth.

4. "Moving target?"

(a) Give me a break - affirmatives have been moving targets since Socrates. This argument doesn't even pass the scratch-and-sniff test.

(B) Constructives are unlimited (insert five or ten cards from various debate texts here).

© How is the Negative prejudiced by the "moving target?" All a "friendly amendment" does - and is designed to do - is to NEUTRALIZE a sleazy Negative tactic (the PIC).

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Hypothetically, I'd defend it (the "Friendly Amendment Turn") as follows:

 

1. Where have you been, you Dinosaur!? "Everything's debatable in debate."

2. It has a basis in real-world legislation. Therefore, it is not only theoretically defensible, it's proven to be practical.

3. It's a perfectly fair and equitable tactic against a PIC - for the reasons previously set forth.

4. "Moving target?"

(a) Give me a break - affirmatives have been moving targets since Socrates. This argument doesn't even pass the scratch-and-sniff test.

(B) Constructives are unlimited (insert five or ten cards from various debate texts here).

© How is the Negative prejudiced by the "moving target?" All a "friendly amendment" does - and is designed to do - is to NEUTRALIZE a sleazy Negative tactic (the PIC).

 

All Negatives are pretty much screwed if the affirmative isn't required to defend solely their plan text presented in the 1ac. Reasons why PICs are bad aren't reasons why the affirmative should be allowed to add onto their plan text in the 2ac. Plus, perms are much fairer checks on bad counterplans. And they're not new plan additions--just tests of competition.

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All Negatives are pretty much screwed if the affirmative isn't required to defend solely their plan text presented in the 1ac.

 

I respectfully disagree; thirty years ago the same line of reasoning was used to say a CP could not be topical, or the Affirmative would never win. I know; I was there.

 

Seriously... Negatives would only be "screwed" by my modest tactic IF they chose - on their own initiative - to muck around with a PIC. If they stuck to their knitting, and argued the "cons" of aid to SSA, and didn't engage is a lot exotic theoretical arguments, they would have nothing to fear. What goes around, comes around.

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I respectfully disagree; thirty years ago the same line of reasoning was used to say a CP could not be topical, or the Affirmative would never win. I know; I was there.

 

Seriously... Negatives would only be "screwed" by my modest tactic IF they chose - on their own initiative - to muck around with a PIC. If they stuck to their knitting, and argued the "cons" of aid to SSA, and didn't engage is a lot exotic theoretical arguments, they would have nothing to fear. What goes around, comes around.

 

Why does the neg running a PIC mean the affirmative can tack on plan amendments in the 2ac? I still don't get why perms don't solve all your reasons for plan amendments either. If you can perm without severing your plan then the counterplan isn't competitive. If, however, you are allowed to add on things to your plan to avoid arguments (like in an answer to a China DA you said "Amendment to the plan: we will also do something that makes China like us so they won't be as mad") the negative will never be able to generate stable offense against your case.

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The Affirmative would be doing only what the Negative did: incorporate the other side's legislative language. The Affirmative would only do it against a PIC, and the Affirmative would only do it to neutralize the PIC.

 

Again I say: fair is fair. You can't let one side absorb a legislative proposal, but deny the other side - in the constructive speeches - the same option.

 

That's the rule in basic Parliamentary procedure.

That's the rule in Congress.

Those are the rules of equity and estoppel that are followed in every court in this country.

 

If you don't want the Affirmative to amend its plan - then don't adopt its plan. Debate the real issues raised by the topic, already.

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Yes, this is very helpful.

 

Under the circumstances as you've defined them, I would argue that the consultation CP succeeds in being the worst of all possible worlds:

 

1. If the consultant vetoed the Aff. plan, there's no reason to assume that the veto would be issued on "valid" grounds. The "consultant" could veto the plan for purely selfish reasons, for example. Worse still, a "consultant" could blackmail both the US and SSA - indefintely - by exploiting innocent, suffering, dying people - the majority of them children - as leverage!

 

2. If the plan is justified by the legitimate health needs of SSA, why delay it?

 

3. If other nations consult, any "soft power" advantage the USA might otherwise obtained is dilluted, if not sacrificed outright.

 

4. If the consultant "approves" the Plan, I would argue that the CP is as topical as all get-out. Why? The intiative is American (reverse XFT). The funding is American. The benefits would not exist BUT FOR the topical aspects of the process. The consultant is a trivial - and legally non-existent - functionary.

 

Granted, CP topicality may not be a big deal to some (maybe even most) judges, but it is to others (like me).

 

I think all of these arguments are debatable (what isn't?) but I think they would all be legitimate answers to a Consult CP. In other words, you may be right that the CP is the worst of both worlds, but that's a matter to be decided in the round. Obviously the negative will have answers (or make them up, or lose), as demonstrated by the other responses to this post.

 

And I think that this:

 

air is fair. You can't let one side absorb a legislative proposal, but deny the other side - in the constructive speeches - the same option.

 

That's the rule in basic Parliamentary procedure.

That's the rule in Congress.

Those are the rules of equity and estoppel that are followed in every court in this country.

 

is a very interesting take on this theory issue. I think it would be worthwhile to try this idea with these warrants, and see what happens...

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