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How Do You Fix This? Re-establishing a working U.S. government

#21 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2016-October-10, 08:02

We are already very good at electing monster looners.

Thanks for this outline. As noted, I think this is a theoretical discussion. Not quite as unlikely as a redesign of the human race so that people are wiser and more generous, but still very unlikely. If we are to speculate, this gives some concrete ideas of how the speculation could go.
Ken
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#22 User is offline   Al_U_Card 

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Posted 2016-October-10, 08:27

Eventually (inevitably?) become an Islamic Fundamentalist Republic. God is in control, the Imams are chosen by God (Sufi) and are therefore infallible. So much easier, as anything you don't like is God's fault so that means that you can't complain or do anything about it because then you would be an infidel and be killed immediately by the jihadists that have nothing left to do with their spare time now that the US is out of the picture.
The Grand Design, reflected in the face of Chaos...it's a fluke!
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#23 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2016-October-10, 10:10

Do you mean our non functioning democracy or our non functioning news media or our non functioning economy or our non functioning citizenry or climate change?

One of those is already functioning (mostly) so we're 20 percent or so of the way there.
If you lose all hope, you can always find it again. Richard Ford in The Sportswriter
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#24 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2016-October-10, 14:17

View PostWinstonm, on 2016-October-09, 09:52, said:

To add clarity to the thread, I am not talking about right and wrong or believing my way of thinking. I question what happened to statesmen, people in the minority and majority that could find ways to work with one another publicly for the good of the country.

I think we lost them when politics changed from being a calling to national service to being a lifelong career. When stories like "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington" were not implausible fantasies.

Now they're not in it to make the country better, their primary job is getting reelected, and getting others in their party elected. And that means incredible amounts of pandering, especially to big donors.

I don't know how we get out of this situation, since solving problems like gerrymandering and campaign financiing requires them to take actions that may run counter to their personal interests.

#25 User is offline   Al_U_Card 

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Posted 2016-October-10, 15:04

Wouldn't equal public-purse funding of candidates help? That would put the kibosh on private funding if not private support because then it would be clearly a bribe and easier to prosecute as such.

At least a public (non-partisan) committee to investigate influence peddling and corruption with all powers of congress but made up of randomly chosen qualified (jurists, philosophers, professors etc.) individuals who would get a lifetime pension for participating and witness-protection as needed...
The Grand Design, reflected in the face of Chaos...it's a fluke!
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#26 User is offline   cherdano 

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Posted 2016-October-10, 15:26

Campaign funding is overrated.
Obviously we have a recall bias in favour of the assholes. -helene_t
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#27 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2016-October-11, 09:44

View PostAl_U_Card, on 2016-October-10, 15:04, said:

Wouldn't equal public-purse funding of candidates help? That would put the kibosh on private funding if not private support because then it would be clearly a bribe and easier to prosecute as such.

SCOTUS has deemed campaign contributions to be exercise of the right to free speech, and Citizens United has declared that corporations have the same right to this as individuals.

So it would probably take a constitutional amendment to get rid of private funding. That's a lot to expect of a gridlocked Congress being asked to enact something against their own interests.

#28 User is offline   Al_U_Card 

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Posted 2016-October-11, 10:16

View Postbarmar, on 2016-October-11, 09:44, said:

SCOTUS has deemed campaign contributions to be exercise of the right to free speech, and Citizens United has declared that corporations have the same right to this as individuals.

So it would probably take a constitutional amendment to get rid of private funding. That's a lot to expect of a gridlocked Congress being asked to enact something against their own interests.

Heaven forbid that the Congress actually do something in the interest of the people.... but they can ram through harming legislation like the Patriot act and giving Bush the right to attack at will. (Just point the Army and shoot, as per Homer J. Simpson) As for the corporations versus the individual, just try dissolving an individual to see just how different they are.
The Grand Design, reflected in the face of Chaos...it's a fluke!
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#29 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2016-October-12, 08:55

View PostAl_U_Card, on 2016-October-11, 10:16, said:

Heaven forbid that the Congress actually do something in the interest of the people....

That's the point of this whole thread, isn't it? They're no longer statesmen acting on behalf of the people, they're career politicians acting on behalf of themselves and their parties.

#30 User is offline   hrothgar 

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Posted 2016-October-12, 10:25

View Postbarmar, on 2016-October-11, 09:44, said:

SCOTUS has deemed campaign contributions to be exercise of the right to free speech, and Citizens United has declared that corporations have the same right to this as individuals.

So it would probably take a constitutional amendment to get rid of private funding. That's a lot to expect of a gridlocked Congress being asked to enact something against their own interests.


It's so cute that you think that Stare Decisis has any relevance any more

For example, I hope that the new Supreme Court shows all the same respect towards Heller that the Roberts Court showed towards Miller...

Those that live by the sword shall die by the sword.
Alderaan delenda est
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#31 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2016-October-12, 12:21

Howard Baker famously asked: What did the President know and when did he know it? about the Watergate investigation. I cannot imagine any Republican senator of today having the integrity to ask such a question of their own party's President. Today, the fingers would all be pointing across the isle.

That is not a money or campaign finance issue - that is an ideological (read: faith) issue. We have to understand and accept that a large part (40%?) of the Republican Party is the equivalent to an American Taliban with no room within their belief system for compromise.

As an aside, here in Tulsa the other day the Nazarene Church (the denomination in which I was reared) had a sign posted that read: When compromise trumps truth, we are toast. How utterly absurd to think one's subjective beliefs constitute a truth monopoly. No wonder so many Republicans sound more like t.v. evangelists that statesmen when they come from such a self-righteous reservoir.

While on the rant, let me say also that MSNBC sucks - it is trying to outfox Fox from a progressive stance which is antipathy to the stance it proclaims to project.

And Hillary, it is not enough to simply repeat, When they go low, we go high; you have to live it. When Anderson Cooper asked you about the Donald Trump video and audio, you should have shown us how to take the high road by saying something like this: "That kind of discussion has no place in a Presidential debate. The American people saw and heard what was said. I trust the judgement of the American people. They do not need me to tell them what to think."

Rant end:
If something cannot go on forever, it will stop. - Herb Stein
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#32 User is offline   Al_U_Card 

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Posted 2016-October-13, 07:04

View Postbarmar, on 2016-October-12, 08:55, said:

That's the point of this whole thread, isn't it? They're no longer statesmen acting on behalf of the people, they're career politicians acting on behalf of themselves and their parties.

Did they ever? The point is more what can be done to impede their malfeasance.
One thing would be to eliminate lobbyists and to find ways to limit corporate/special interest influence.
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#33 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2016-October-13, 07:37

Related to "What can be done" I offer a piece in WaPo today
Kasich speaks in favor of the TPP. Without worrying (for the moment) about whether he is right or wrong, I fantasize. Had he been the nominee, possibly we would be discussing such matters instead of discussing groping, Miss Piggy, and "Mexican judges" born in Indiana.

We will not be changing to a proportional system of representation. But maybe we could at least try to nominate someone who is not a total embarrassment to us all? Yes I know HC is not perfect. But "not perfect" falls woefully short in describing DT.
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#34 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2016-October-13, 08:52

View PostAl_U_Card, on 2016-October-13, 07:04, said:

Did they ever? The point is more what can be done to impede their malfeasance.

There was a time when they could come to compromises and pass bills like Social Security, the Civil Rights Act, Voting Rights Act, and Welfare Reform. Passing Obamacare was like pulling teeth, it was incredibly degraded from what the proponents wanted, and they still repeatedly take pro forma votes to repeal it.

#35 User is offline   Al_U_Card 

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Posted 2016-October-13, 09:49

View Postbarmar, on 2016-October-13, 08:52, said:

There was a time when they could come to compromises and pass bills like Social Security, the Civil Rights Act, Voting Rights Act, and Welfare Reform. Passing Obamacare was like pulling teeth, it was incredibly degraded from what the proponents wanted, and they still repeatedly take pro forma votes to repeal it.

That says more about the designs of their masters than anything else. The influence and control of legislators has to be stopped before it becomes nothing more than a rubber-stamp for the corporate cleptocracy.
The Grand Design, reflected in the face of Chaos...it's a fluke!
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#36 User is offline   blackshoe 

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Posted 2016-October-17, 19:43

View PostWinstonm, on 2016-October-12, 12:21, said:

And Hillary, it is not enough to simply repeat, When they go low, we go high; you have to live it. When Anderson Cooper asked you about the Donald Trump video and audio, you should have shown us how to take the high road by saying something like this: "That kind of discussion has no place in a Presidential debate. The American people saw and heard what was said. I trust the judgement of the American people. They do not need me to tell them what to think."

I'm not at all sure Hilary believes that last bit.
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#37 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2016-October-18, 09:31

There's a new TV show, "Designated Survivor", in which a bomb destroyed the Capitol building during the State of the Union, killing the President, VP, and all but 3 members of Congress and the Cabinet. The titular character is a lone cabinet member who is traditionally sequestered during the speech, so that someone in the line of succession would be alive if this ever happened. I wonder if the creators had this same question in mind, and thought that starting from scratch might be the only way.

Was Congress this divisive during Reconstruction? We did get through that.

#38 User is offline   Al_U_Card 

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Posted 2016-October-19, 16:21

Perhaps the bomb was planted by the DNC operatives while they were waiting for their next chance to incite violence at a Trump rally?

Interesting revelations but nothing surprising really. They learned from RMN and just took it from there...

Meanwhile, we can fix the hot mess by stopping terrorism. How to? Stop being terrorists. I realize that this goes against the natural tendency of imperialist war-mongers that see every terrestrial locale as a potential target and every non-US instigated movement as a threat to national security but... someone has to stop the ball rolling and the guy with the biggest balls is usually the best one to start.
The Grand Design, reflected in the face of Chaos...it's a fluke!
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#39 User is offline   Zelandakh 

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Posted 2016-October-20, 09:16

View PostAl_U_Card, on 2016-October-19, 16:21, said:

Perhaps the bomb was planted by the DNC operatives while they were waiting for their next chance to incite violence at a Trump rally?

Interesting revelations but nothing surprising really. They learned from RMN and just took it from there...

Meanwhile, we can fix the hot mess by stopping terrorism. How to? Stop being terrorists. I realize that this goes against the natural tendency of imperialist war-mongers that see every terrestrial locale as a potential target and every non-US instigated movement as a threat to national security but... someone has to stop the ball rolling and the guy with the biggest balls is usually the best one to start.

You really live in a complete fantasy bubble don't you? :blink:
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#40 User is offline   mike777 

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Posted 2016-October-20, 16:00

As I mentioned before there seems to be an increase in fear, an increase in anxiety.

I understand there have been over 3000 shooting in my old hometown of Chicago, many in my old neighborhood of Pullman/Roseland where I grew up. I hear reports of a massive heroin/opiate problem that is growing in this country. Many are dying from overdose.

In my current hometown there was a riot where one person was murdered. On my very quiet tiny block last week, 3 houses down, there was an attempted break in during the day. NO one was home and the alarm scared them away. This week 3 houses down the other direction a homeless person was found living in an empty house up for sale. About an hour ago the woman next door to me called the police when 2 unknown men came to her door during daylight and knocked, yes they only knocked and she grew so afraid she called the cops. The men were long gone by the time the police came but the point being they did nothing but knock.


I just wonder if other posters note an increase of fear and anxiety in their home town?

---


btw that bombing was about 2/3 hours north of where i live, no leads have been released.
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