His name is James Fallows, and these are "the brakes":
Let's round the figures to 63/37 and apply them to the health care debate. Senators representing 63 percent of the public vote for the bill; those representing 37 percent vote against it. The bill fails.
This is just as a point of information. The Constitution was designed as a system of checks and balances. As explained in my article, that image is being replaced by one of brakes:
Just about the only positive -- and it's a small one -- to come out of the recent crisis of confidence in America, which now spans broadly across both parties, is that people are re-thinking the big picture on things such as the filibuster, which have created a situation that, as Fallows writes, goes well beyond the "checks and balances" that most of us have come to appreciate.
Another Fallows post explains this map, which divides America into 50 new states of roughly equal populaton, including, I'd note, the state of "Philadelphia," which presumably would declare Ed Rendell as governor for life right after it named scrapple as the official state meat.
As I warned you at the start of the yeat, the daily open thread rule is in effect until April. The time's yours.