The Washington Post

Supreme Court’s seniority system; a country song for the GOP; and pursuing happiness data (read-this roundup)

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Behind the court’s curtains — Seniority has its privleges--and being the new kid on the block its drawbacks. When the Supreme Court justices meet to cast their votes, our colleague Robert Barnes reports, they sit according to seniority and speak in turn. It’s also “the junior justice’s job to take notes and answer the door if there is a knock.”

Supreme Court justices pose for a photo. (Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP)

Country wisdom — Former President George H.W. Bush thinks Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum should heed the words of Kenny Rogers, country musician and crack political advisor. Urging Republicans to “get behind” frontrunner Mitt Romney, the former president quoted the lyrics from Kenny Rogers’ “The Gambler.” “‘It’s time when to hold ‘em and time when to fold ‘em.’ Well, I think it’s time for people to all get behind this good man,” he said, according to our colleague Felicia Sonmez.

Get happy — The government wants to measure how happy we are as a nation, but it’s struggling to do it, reports our colleague Peter Whorisky Why the focus on happiness? Researchers say to really “assess living conditions” in the country, we should look beyond the GDP. “The phrase ‘pursuit of happiness’ is in the Declaration of Independence, so it’s not a huge stretch to say we might want to measure life satisfaction,” said a member of a panel examining th issue.

Not so super — There’s nothing super about supercommittees, according to our colleagues Chris Cillizza and Aaron Blake, who look at why proposals from panels, commissions, and special committees don’t seem to go anywhere.

Emily Heil is the co-author of the Reliable Source and previously helped pen the In the Loop column with Al Kamen.


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