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  • Apr 07, 2019 08:32 PM
    Last: 13d
    480
    Dutch Wrote:

    Yes TG right on; anyway all of this shows that the "system" here isway to complicated and gets more complicated by the day.

    (/snip)
    All of this makes this country ungovernable, especially if the "one" party is "corrupting the whole "outdated" system.

    Biden is doing his best to improve things, but the opposition tries with every means to undercut him, so the "chaos" will remain for a while. It seems that the "game" of winning "seats" is the only goal by the GOP, not the mental "health" and "normal health" of this country . Only "winning" counts, in order to fill their pockets and "ego's"

    Well, it is not completely ungovernable, but it is pretty close to impossible to get major things done. For example, 80 percent of Americans want better gun control laws...but we cannot get there.

    There are those who call for a new Constitutional Convention (Article 5) - but this is very dangerous, because many would seek to use this to strip away the rights of some minorities...and frankly, if you could get enough states to declare a Constitutional Convention at the same time...good luck getting them to agree to much of anything involving real, substantive change.

    The outdated system is also one we are stuck with, because we basically painted ourselves into a corner. Of course, our Founding Parents could not possibly have foreseen the future where we now live...they did the best they could at the time...to account for changes in society and our nation...but they made too many assumptions that turned out not to be true...including that Office would be held only by people of good character. Public-minded servants, who sought to serve the best interests of We The People. But it has not turned out that way.

    Politics has become, as you note, just one more "team sport" where undercutting the other side has become the only function...getting the People's business done takes a back seat. Biden has done some good things within this system, but he has had to have all the cards fall just right, and pull every parliamentary trick in the book to do it. Meanwhile, we plod along, and essentially have become governed more by Executive Orders than passed and considered legislation. And the lack of competitiveness in most Congressional Districts is one of the main reasons why. When you basically are immune to being held accountable at the ballot box...you no longer have any incentive to compromise or negotiate...you can just dig in your heels, refuse to budge, and act like an ass...like Lauren Boebert or Marjorie Taylor Greene or Mitch McConnell.

    The normal health of this country has gotten worse, due to the increased stress we all live under...which has also affected mental health - and the systems we set up to provide mental health help - have been deliberately designed to fail the people who need it most. This goes back to Reagan, and his famous "The scariest words in the English language are 'hi, I am from the government and I'm here to help.'" Reagan started the idea that the government could not help people...and then did everything possible to begin the sabotage of government in order to "prove" his own words. And the decline began to where we are now.

    Speaking now as a former candidate for office myself...I can tell you that you really DO need to have a certain level of "ego" in order to be willing to put yourself out there for the sort of examination you get when you toss your hat into the ring. I did fairly well here, because there isn't a lot in my past that isn't known...or that I'd care if it became known...and I do not take myself too seriously. I am very passionate about what I believe...and I fight for those things I believe in...but it isn't personal for me. For too many politicians, it is...because, for them, getting re-elected is Job Number One. The logic behind that thinking is "Well, I can't do anything for the people if I do not get re-elected" - well and good, but then, on getting re-elected they still do nothing for We The People....and this ia an excellent argument in favor of term limits.

    But, again, we trip over our own selves...in that the Constitution would need to be amended to institute term limits...and it is very unlikely that those who currently hold power will vote to curtail their own. The only way to accomplish it...would be to "grandfather in" the current crop...which says as long as they remain elected officials, they are not subject to the term limits, but as soon as their seat becomes vacant, it is now a term-limited seat. Then you might get enough politicians to go along.

    There is certainly a lot of discussion over HR 1 - The For The People Act...over whether or not it would pass Constitutional "muster" - once again, we are hamstrung by a document which was ratified with the best of intentions, and with ideals and assumptions that today no longer hold true. The specific argument is that States are granted the power to determine how they will hold elections...and that HR 1 would violate this....however, there is this:

    Article I, Section 4, Clause 1: The Times, Places and Manner of holding Elections for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each State by the Legislature thereof; but the Congress may at any time by Law make or alter such Regulations, except as to the Places of choosing Senators.

    And so it would seem that HR1 should pass Constitutional "muster" but that will undoubtedly be tested...and left to the interpretation of nine SCOTUS Justices...most of whom no longer are purists, and allow partisan considerations to creep into their decisions, and inform their thought processes...which can result in a different outcome than would seem straightforward. Frankly, Roberts has done a fairly decent job of walking that fine line...often ruling for our side, in spite of his conservative leanings, for example, the Bostock case - it is pretty clear that you cannot separate "sex" from sexual orientation or gender stereotypes...if you would not fire a woman for getting married to a man, but you would fire a man for doing same...it is sex discrimination - and similarly....if you would not fire a woman for wearing a dress, but you would fire a man for doing it...same deal. On the other hand, that comes down to how one interprets another's sex. For example, as a trans woman who is fully post-op...most reasonable people would consider me a woman...as well they should...there's nothing under my skirt that any other woman would not have...I dress and present as female. Yet, there are those who would argue that I am a man, because they refuse to countenance the notion one could be born into one body, yet with the heart, mind and soul of the other. It is just for issues like this...that the SCOTUS was intended to be the final word on...however, they were envisioned to be textualists who would apply the law as best as they could interpret the original intention. This no longer happens, in most cases.

    Anyway, getting back to HR1 - it does nothing to insure any real change...just because one is registered to vote does not mean that they will vote...and, as we saw...increased turnout does not always favor our side. Of course, reasonable people like me would say that we should not be passing this with an eye towards it helping our side...but rather with an eye towards returning franchise to the People...to allow them to decide. Then the argument becomes one side wants to expand the voting franchise, whereas the other side wants to restrict it.

    The great argument used by those who wish to restrict it is so-called voter fraud. So you can address this. Simply, everyone is registered, if not already registered...when they have contact with any government agency - and part of that process involves a photo ID with a QR code that is scannable...and serves as a Voter ID. Thus everyone could only vote once, and only in the place where they are registered.

    The problem here remains that both sides...have a vested interest not in solving problems...but in using those problems as wedge issues to drive voters. This, for example, explains the recent spate of anti-transgender legislation happening in many states...intended to enrage and boil the blood of those more likely to vote GOP. of course these laws are solutions in search of a problem. Too many of the "problems" we have today are manufactured in just this way...and with the intent of driving one set of voters or the other.

    There's no doubt life has become more complicated since the original Constitution was passed. Our Founding Parents saw that societal change was inevitable, and tried to give us a governing document designed to change with the times, unfortunately, they did so with the best of intentions...and made assumptions that no longer hold true...leaving us with an outdated and almost un-amendable document that more often serves to hamstring progress than to accommodate it.

    The question then becomes...how do you resolve the issues causing the Constitution to hamstring progress, while at the same time guaranteeing the rights enshrined therein...and how do you get enough people to agree to change it? And that, my friend, is where I run out of answers.
  • Apr 07, 2019 08:32 PM
    Last: 13d
    480
    Dutch Wrote:

    Does all of this help this country? I guess not. In no time we will make sure that we get an even worse President, if we don't change our "system", such as "electing" people without lots of "money" involved and other stupidity as well create solid laws about on how to govern.

    Sorry but I've not got the impression that an Biden will fix these lousy rules and laws here; just go on with the "old corrupted laws" and "broken" rules. Trump is laughing all the way to the bank, because of it.

    I'm not sure what would fix this country.
    The fact remains it takes a lot of money to run a campaign, successfully. And the larger the scale, the more expensive it becomes. Now, for President, who needs to run in all 50 states...that can add up to a heckuva lot of money.

    Even talk about public financing of candidates has problems...who decides who qualifies for public funding, and how much is divvied up among how many candidates?

    Frankly, my own opinion is that far too much attention and emphasis is placed on a Presidential election...because it is the "sexy" job, as it were...but the truth is Congress has far more effect on the lives of everyday Americans than most Presidents (with the exception of Trump noted here...because his bad effects were felt and continue to be felt...in anti-Asian hate crimes, in anti-LGBTQ legislation, in vote suppression laws, etc, etc.)

    HR 1 is a good place to start, because, for one thing, it does away with gerrymandering and creates independent commissions to do the map redraws. As it stands now, out of 435 Districts, only 72 are "competitive" meaning that they have a PVI of less than D+5 or R+5.

    Meanwhile, 127 districts are higher than R+10, and 116 districts are higher than D+10. These are basically the "totally safe" seats where a complete lunatic fringe candidate can win if they are on the ticket of the favored Party. So, 243 seats of 435 are filled with people with absolutely no incentive to negotiate or compromise. A further 120 seats have very little reason to, either (these are the ones that are higher than D+5 or R+5)

    So...363 of 435 seats are filled with people who have little or no incentive to do anything but hold their Party line on everything. So there's 72 seats in the range considered "competitive" but, really, competitive seats would be D+2 or R+2 or less. 36 seats fit that description. So, you have a situation where between 8 to 17 percent of seats are even competitive.

    This is what leads to the hyperpartisanship we see now. What we need are more competitive Districts. Now, obviously, because of self-sorting and other factors, it is not always possible to make Districts very competitive...for example...try to draw a competitive district in Philadelphia, Cook County, IL, LA County, or Oklahoma. Not likely.

    BUT...if we can get enough competitive seats drawn elsewhere...it prevents the fringes from having a lot of influence, and forces a more balanced approach...because you still need to make enough people come along with you to get anything done.

    Instead of 8-17 percent, we should have 50-60 percent of these seats be competitive. And independent redistricting is the only way to get there.

    This, of course, does not address the Senate, which, by its very structure is inherently unfair...in that 700,000 South Dakotans have the same two Senators that 41 million Californians have! How does one address this? It would absolutely require a Constitutional Amendment...one which never would be ratified by the requisite number of states...who would be giving up the unequal share of power they currently enjoy.

    So maybe the starcture of our government needs radical change...for example, House passes bills...President can veto...senate can override a veto. Something like that. But it again would require a Constitutional Amendment that never would get ratified. So we are stuck in a box of our own making...and we will not be easily extracted from it.

    HR1 is only a start.

  • Jun 14, 2020 12:40 AM
    Last: 6mo
    772
    lonely bird Wrote:
    TG Tarheel Wrote:
    Dockadams Wrote:

    I am pissed off and actively looking for somewhere else to live. This place sucks. Kenosha sucks.

    Well....as a native Chicagoan by birth who is used to banging on Wisconsin...I won't argue that with ya. :-)

    But in all seriousness...I THOUGHT Southeastern Wisconsin....was more liberal than this?? For real...what am I missing?

    I THOUGHT...that if you drop a 45 degree angle line southwest from Milwaukee to the Illinois line, thus incorporating Madison...that whole area thus defined was actually pretty damned liberal!

    I dunno...you still have one of the best Senators in the country in Tammy Baldwin there.

    I think the problem here with the cops is the language of "defund the police." NOBODY is saying they should lose all funding...just the extra funding that allows them to buy all those deadly toys they then turn on the citizenry. At the same time, it also says...take way from police responsibility...thing they are not trained for...and use the money savings to hire people who ARE trained to deal with those situations, e.g mental health crises, domestic disputes, etc. And leave police to uphold the actual law.

    Police are good enforcers. They aren't good peacekeepers.

    Police are good enforcers? What does that mean? Police are poorly trained in the aggregate. People in service jobs are required to have many more hours of training and must keep up their licenses with periodic education.

    Ask yourself why is it that so many so-called traffic stops (read: revenue stream) end in violence. Ask yourself what the history of the concept of policing is. Who are the power holders? What is their motivation in regards to directing the police? Why did police have the so-called silent wall? What are the motivations for an individual becoming a policeman?

    Btw, don’t let being exhausted keep you away. I appreciate your being here.

    My point is police are SUPPOSED to enforce the law, so presumably, they are trained to do that.

    They are NOT trained to do about everything else we ask them to do.

    I never said I agreed with some of their tactics...or some of the motivations behind certain kinds of enforcement.

    But we ask them to deal with situations they are NOT trained to handle, and that also takes away from the enforcement mission, too. We need to train them to uphold the law only...and do it in a way that does not harm or alienate the public they are supposed to serve and protect. Let trained professionals deal with mental-health crises and domestic disputes.
  • Jun 14, 2020 12:40 AM
    Last: 6mo
    772
    Dockadams Wrote:

    For TG, yes, what you say is true, SE cheddarland used to be very, or highly liberal, but ever since Scott Walker and the other jerk got the taste of blood for democrat's heads, SE Wisconsin has turned into a very conservative or hard right area.

    I'm just so, so sick of it, that's why I'm actively looking for a place to go. Perhaps off the grid back to New Mexico? We spent 5 years there and never experienced hard right morons there. Every-other person you met was of Mexican descent, half spoke Spanish or broken English, and almost none liked republicans. Here's some pics I took when we lived out there.

    flickr.com/photos/66673048@N06

    I'm looking for a travel trailer every day now.

    When I last moved, in 2014...I was torn between North Carolina....and New Mexico. Specifically, I had planned to move to Albuquerque.

    But mom wanted to be closer to her son (the brother that, to me, is dead...and for good reasons I won't divulge here) so we ended up in North Carolina.

    Then the silly bastard went and moved to Texas.

    Not sorry I came here...it's been interesting and a very fertile ground for the sort of fight I have basically thrived on for twenty five years...but I am FINALLY getting exhausted.
  • Jun 14, 2020 12:40 AM
    Last: 6mo
    772
    Dockadams Wrote:

    I am pissed off and actively looking for somewhere else to live. This place sucks. Kenosha sucks.

    Well....as a native Chicagoan by birth who is used to banging on Wisconsin...I won't argue that with ya. :-)

    But in all seriousness...I THOUGHT Southeastern Wisconsin....was more liberal than this?? For real...what am I missing?

    I THOUGHT...that if you drop a 45 degree angle line southwest from Milwaukee to the Illinois line, thus incorporating Madison...that whole area thus defined was actually pretty damned liberal!

    I dunno...you still have one of the best Senators in the country in Tammy Baldwin there.

    I think the problem here with the cops is the language of "defund the police." NOBODY is saying they should lose all funding...just the extra funding that allows them to buy all those deadly toys they then turn on the citizenry. At the same time, it also says...take way from police responsibility...thing they are not trained for...and use the money savings to hire people who ARE trained to deal with those situations, e.g mental health crises, domestic disputes, etc. And leave police to uphold the actual law.

    Police are good enforcers. They aren't good peacekeepers.
  • Sep 18, 2020 09:52 PM
    Last: 6mo
    182
    Dutch Wrote:

    TG sorry, but it does matter; as history will tell you that an "crash" on the stock market has huge consequences for ALL people. Would you like to stand in line for hours to get an cold bowl of soup? Yes my parents and myself knew what famine is; they had the crash of 1933 and I as a kid was on food stamps just after WWII. Keeping Trump will just about guarantee that similar times are on the horizon, if you look at global warming and diseases, which causes lots of "migrants" and lost food supplies and famine, let alone not having jobs or any income. Especially nowadays with international connections/trade etc. which countries could be dependent on. The world picture is drastically changing, but not for the better.

    I've always learned to look at the "combination" of all things in "one package"; everything is connected. I've noticed here that they don't learn to see an "whole picture" and have the "blinders" on and only concentrate on one thing at the time. Our government is just about the same; they "jump" all over the place but seldom get the "whole world picture" at any moment which may affect this country.

    The point I was trying to make...is that when things go good on Wall Street....that does NOT seem to translate to things going well on Main Street. There was a time when it did. That time is gone.
  • Sep 18, 2020 09:52 PM
    Last: 6mo
    182
    Dutch Wrote:

    TG, yes you are getting the picture; indeed if Trump gets re-elected as well is able to get another Trump "loyalist" in the Supreme Court, then people like you (and me) can forget it here. In this case also our "international relations" will be shredded and only Israel will be their buddy in crimes. They already started again to threaten Iran an lot more, so that also may become an new "war" etc. etc. So looking at the future of this country, it looks bleak. If Biden "wins" then even forget an Obama era like "that you can relax", because the "left overs" of the Trump "cult" will keep stirring the pot, especially related to Supreme Court actions, if Trump did manage to get someone elected before the "elections" took place.

    Sorry to be so negative, but there are tough times ahead, even for the stock market etc.

    Truthfully, I could not give a ripe FUCK about the Stock Market.

    There's a lot of issues I care about...even issues I care about that do not impact me. But the Stock Market is not one of them.

    The Stock Market is no longer an indication of a good economy...how well the average Jane or Joe Sixpack is doing...but only an indication of how well the assholigarchs are doing.

    I care what happens on Main Street. I could give a rat's ASS what happens on Wall Street.
  • Sep 18, 2020 09:52 PM
    Last: 6mo
    182
    Dutch Wrote: TG, I saw on TV that the LGBT society indeed is loosing an great supporter; I can fully understand your feelings; at least they don't have the craziness such as here in Europe; my daughter has no worries , like the people here. As long as things here are driven by the churches and idiots, I give it little hope that things here change for the better , unless Trump and his horrible cronies like McConnell/Barr gets thrown out and including of course himself.
    I know. There's times I wish I could be in Europe, because they treat their LGBTQ better.
  • Sep 18, 2020 09:52 PM
    Last: 6mo
    182
    Dutch Wrote: Again Obama had an beautiful eulogy right early and to the point,well said. Of course no sound from Trump and his "mafia" mob. How far can an country sink?
    Trump said something to the effect of "She was an amazing woman, whether you liked her or not" - which was code for, I didn't like her, I am glad she is dead, and I am being forced to say what I said instead of what I really think.
  • Sep 18, 2020 09:52 PM
    Last: 6mo
    182
    Oh, my God. As if 2020 wasn't already bad enough...enough the year from hell...now Ruth Bader Ginsburg has died...just as the Republicans hoped for.

    There is NO WAY Trump will not try to ram through another Supreme Court Justice to screw this country for the next fifty years. My one chance - as a transgender woman - for equality, and fair treatment under the law...just died. America just died. Freedom just died.

    Trump will try to ram another appointee...never mind all the bullshit talk about when Obama was in his last year, and Merrick Garland...we can argue that forever and they will equivocate...and find a way to ram through a horrible, hateful monster.

    Sens. Mitt Romney, Lisa Murkowski, and Collins have gone on record saying they will not act on any appointee before January. I do not believe this...not for second. And even so...they could still move before Jan 20...even if Trump loses. We are screwed....screwed....screwed.

    United States: Born July 4, 1776 - Died September 18, 2020

    RIP, RBG.

    I am hurting to the very core of my soul tonight. She was the one thing that stood in the way of utter hell.