West Wing Continuity Guide
path: Home / The West Wing World * The Government
There's no particular order to the following (numbers are just to separate the various differences):

  1. Does the U.S. Congress really do a lot of its work at night? In that world, three votes were taken at night (the first one was before a three day weekend so there may have been justification):
    • Mr. Willis gives his vote on the census and budget [#6]
    • Senate Confirmation of a Supreme Court Justice was at night. [#18] This could hardly have been an emergency session.
    • A rider was to be attached to a bill at night before the vote was taken. [#17]
    Well, it turns out that the House in this world really does take a lot of votes at night. We heard from Bob who has "worked on the Hill for the last 25 years:"
    • "Both the House and Senate often go late into the night, the House more than the Senate, because the Senate's work load is less. They do this more in an election year, but almost always do it ahead of adjournments or leaving for District Working Sessions (ie: vacations). As I said, this is especially prevalent in the House because they effectively work three day weeks much of the time. There are usually no recorded votes on Mondays or Fridays. . . . As a result sessions often run to 9:00 or 10:00 pm, and each year there are hundreds of votes that come after 7:00 pm and sometimes as late as midnight."

  2. Also the Supreme Court sometimes sits with all members attending at 8pm on a Friday evening on a death row appeal [#14]. In this world, an appeal like that would be handled by one justice and probably not at night.

  3. The entire Congress is made up of different people than in this world, yet it is held in the same contempt.

  4. According to D. Parker Renfrew in this world (where Clinton was President in 1999-2000), the House has switched from voice votes to electronic voting (since to call out over 400 names takes hours). In #6 "Mr. Willis of Ohio", we watch Toby listening to Congressman Willis, along with the members who are alphabetically before and after him, vote on a bill by answering by voice when their name is called. That still happens in the Senate (as in "Six Meetings Before Lunch") but not in the House.

Is the explanation of the symbolism on the dollar bill in "Six Meetings Before Lunch" accurate?
We found a full discussion of the symbolism on the dollar bill at http://www.truthorfiction.com/rumors/dollarbill.htm This whole site --- TruthorFiction.com --- is remarkable and we highly recommend it to everyone interested in the truth or fiction of all the various rumors etc. going on!

What do all these defcon/threatcon things mean?
  • Wayland Chang emailed us after "Evidence of Things Not Seen" to say, "Will Bailey was being sent to Colorado to investigate two officers who disobeyed an order to launch. He stated that they were at 'Defcon Delta', which is incorrect. Defcon stands for 'Defense Readiness Condition' and is ranked in numbers from 1-5. Threatcon is 'Force Protection Condition' and is ranked in military phonetics from Alpha to Delta. Threatcon measures the defensive postures of American bases while Defcon measures preparations for war. http://slate.msn.com/id/1008277/ explains the difference.

    "Here's the actual Army Regulation that defines Threatcon. http://www-tradoc.army.mil/tpubs/regs/r525-13.htm#appf"

  • Government Executive's West Wing Watch wrote about "Commencement", "Just when we thought they were paying attention to WW Watch, they start up again with the 'Threat Condition Bravo' thing. For goodness's sake, stop patting yourselves on the back for knowing that 'THREATCON' replaced 'DEFCON' awhile back, and wake up to what we've told you before: THREATCON itself has been dead for almost two years, having given way to 'FPCON,' for 'force protection condition.' (Hey, we don't make up the acronyms, we just report on 'em.)"
  • The West Wing Episode Guide came up with this thorough link on the Threatcon designation.

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