Earlier today, I bashed the Finance Committee for wasting everyone's time with boilerplate opening statements. They've kicked it into gear now. I very much recommend to anyone who is interested in policy and politics to watch a few minutes. It's not always good -- there's still a fair amount of repetitive speechifying -- but if you're never watched laws get made, it's a real good introduction.
At least, I think it is. I'd be real interested in finding out the reactions of people who are interested enough in the outcome to be tempted to watch, but who have no real training in the issues or in legislative procedure (if anyone who feels like they're in that category and is reading this wants to give it a try, please leave a comment!).
It seems to me that CSPAN's ratio of hearings to markups has always been heavily in favor of hearings; basically, I don't remember seeing too many markups at all on CSPAN. So I'm glad they're showing this one -- I've always found most Congressional hearings plenty dull, whether I've been watching in person or on TV -- but markups are almost always interesting, and I've always thought you learn a lot more about the quality of Members of Congress from markups than from anything else, or at least anything else you're going to get to see.