For most of you, this has been hammered home in class already, but the Senate filibuster has been reformed. You MUST know this as it changes the way the Senate works, not simply updating an example. This reform allows filibusters on the confirmation of executive and judicial nominees (although not the Supreme Court nominees or bills) to be halted with just 51 instead of the usual Cloture Motion of 60.
The effects of this were widely discussed at the time of this reform (http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/senates-filibuster-rule-change-will-help-obama-achieve-key-second-term-priorities/2013/11/21/ccf43c4c-52dd-11e3-9fe0-fd2ca728e67c_story.html?hpid=z1) but now, the full effects are being felt with the first use of this new rule in order to allow the passage of an Obama appointee (http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-politics/wp/2013/12/10/senate-proceeding-as-scheduled-tuesday/)
It is worth noting that the Republicans have promised reprisals for this perceived ‘power grab’ should they manage to take control of the Senate in the next election in 2014, so perhaps the spirit of partisanship is still good and strong!