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Politics Congress - the body you love to hate

Discussion in 'Tilted Philosophy, Politics, and Economics' started by rogue49, Apr 20, 2012.

  1. rogue49

    rogue49 Tech Kung Fu Artist Staff Member

  2. rogue49

    rogue49 Tech Kung Fu Artist Staff Member

    Just sad...
    In Washington, political dysfunction and grim outlooks are the new normal


    And you know what...it's OUR faults...because WE as a whole, don't hold them to higher standards (AND sane, practical ones too...)
    People don't vote
    People vote with anger
    People don't keep track of things
    People don't react when things go wrong

    Or if they do, it's misdirected.

    We are a set of back-seat drivers shouting for them to go the wrong way.
    Or just kicking back and chit-chatting while they do so...

    Why don't we start actively voting for our politicians as if we were finding a decent baby-sitter??
    Sure, there may not be much to choose from...but we need to get the best we can. (because we have to go to work and do things, no choice...but the kid needs to be safe)
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2014
    • Like Like x 1
  3. rogue49

    rogue49 Tech Kung Fu Artist Staff Member

  4. rogue49

    rogue49 Tech Kung Fu Artist Staff Member

    The year Congress hit rock bottom

    Agreed...and disagree too.
    Yes, they were pathetic...but they weren't the worst either...it's been worse during the McCarthy era, the Civil War...and after...and so on.

    But, they were attempting a reboot of Bad.
    Basically, they're all posturing so much...that nothing got done.
    And the ideas that got proposed were so "over the top" and unbalanced...or had Riders within...that it couldn't pass.

    Now a Dem in the article says, “Republicans have control, the people have spoken,”
    not quite true...it's more like the Public stayed home...and the GOP won by default...not because their ideas were any better. (just because they fought, the Dems just caved)
    So be it...whatever.
    They are majority now...but you know what they say, "You better watch out, you may get what you wished for..."

    Put up or STFU
    Do it...do it right for ALL of us...and put something on the table that everyone can pass and sign. (what a concept!)

    I hope, they can do it...because NOW it's their's to lose.
    The public is fickle, they'll all come out for the Presidential election and the ground is not looking in their favor.
    So the only way to win...impress the people.
    No posturing.
    No ideology.
    No corruption.
    No stupid words.
    Make the Dems look bad by comparison and effectiveness.
    Get results....for the people.

    Dems...show some damn spine and organization...when it counts. (not after the fuckin' battle...geez :rolleyes: )

    Congress all should climb out of the hole they made for themselves.
    Get yourself rated higher than a slug.
  5. redravin

    redravin Cynical Optimist Donor

    I can see your point about previous Congresses being worse for doing bad things but you have to agree that there have been no Congress worse for doing NOTHING.
    This Congress has proved has made the Do Nothing Congress the Truman ran against look like a beacon of activity.
    They can barely get a budget bill passed in time and that is somehow a major accomplishment.
    Breaking the record for being the least productive Congress last year, then promptly breaking that record this year is a pretty good sign that our system of government is broken.
    There's a reason Congress rates under used car salesman for respectability.
  6. rogue49

    rogue49 Tech Kung Fu Artist Staff Member


    Agreed...but I will give some benefit of the doubt to the representatives.
    We've setup a system where the a rep has to campaign every 2 years...and these days, we've allowed (or SCOTUS) an environment where there are no limits to campaign funding...so they always have to fund-raise.
    It's a trap.

    We need to start setting limits again, once that surpass any legit hole the Supreme Court unleashes.

    Then the reps can go back to actually working...not constantly hustling for money.

    The public is at fault for being complacent and not shouting out for limits.

    My attitude is the blame is on "all of the above"

    A voter, just sitting back and bitching doesn't do the trick.
    Everyone needs to get their shit together.
    Now, this is easy for you & me to say...we're active and aware...I'm talking about a large portion of the citizenry. They need to do the deed.
    And then, the Congress needs to pass some laws...including some to control themselves.
  7. redux

    redux Very Tilted

    Foggy Bottom
    Congress still rates higher than the Kardashians and gonorrhea.
    • Like Like x 2
  8. redravin

    redravin Cynical Optimist Donor

    I love that you couldn't get a job as a convicted felon but you can stay a Congressman.

    Rep. Michael Grimm pleads guilty to felony tax fraud, but does not plan to resign - The Washington Post

    • Like Like x 1
  9. rogue49

    rogue49 Tech Kung Fu Artist Staff Member

    Shows me that Congress and it's rules are skewed. They definitely need to update them.
    Problem is, they regulate themselves.
    Another raise anyone, BTW?? :rolleyes:
  10. Street Pattern

    Street Pattern Very Tilted

    I haven't been following this thread, but I wanted to make a couple points in response to recent postings.

    First thing: term limits are a really, really bad idea.

    There's this romantic notion of the sensible citizen-legislator who goes up to the state capital or Washington for a couple years to straighten things out, then goes back to his plow or his lathe or his dental practice.

    That's a myth, because politics (or governing) has become just as professionalized and specialized as everything else.

    If you need a root canal, you're plainly better off with a professional dentist who has a degree and certification and experience and does the work full time than you are with some amateur. People get into dentistry, and thrive at it, because they have the kinds of skills that a dentist needs to be effective, and those skills are not evenly distributed across the population.

    Moreover, greater experience deepens a practitioner's skill. The surgeon who took out my cataracts had done this same operation more than 10,000 times. He would be enormously better at it than someone who was doing his tenth.

    Negotiating laws and policies and budgets in a democracy is also a skill that is not universally distributed, and improves with experience. And the polity does better when the people doing these things are better at doing those jobs.

    If the goal is a legislature that actually grapples with real problems, that works out reasonable budget compromises, etc., etc., forced turnover is not going to help.

    Here in Michigan, strict term limits have made reasonable governance or consensus impossible.

    We still have professional politicians, as does every state, but now we have a rapidly changing cast of characters. Pretty much every member of the Legislature is thinking about what his or her next employment situation is going to be. Anyone who has the resources to make future job offers (e.g. lobbying firms and major corporations) will have state reps and senators panting after him.

    Six years as a representative is barely enough to learn your way around a $50 billion state budget. In my experience, individual state reps and senators have become startlingly ignorant. The institutional memory of the legislature has been erased.

    Legislators now rely on party leaders or lobbyists or bureaucrats to tell them what to do. Powerful interest groups that align themselves with the majority party are never defied, even when such defiance is what the state desperately needs.

    There are no longer any "independents" or "mavericks" in either party. That's a national trend, admittedly, but in Michigan, term limits have wiped out even the possibility of such people emerging and gaining influence.

    Anyone who looks at the failures of governance in Michigan comes to the conclusion that term limits have been a disaster. And a great many people who follow state-level news or have dealings with the state government have come to agree. It's common to hear people, from across the political spectrum, express regret over having voted for term limits in 1992.

    But the polling on this is just heartbreaking. Term limits have a deep populist appeal, especially given the many failures of the Legislature. There is no realistic possibility that they will ever be repealed or even modified.
  11. rogue49

    rogue49 Tech Kung Fu Artist Staff Member

    @StreetPattern, I agree with you to a certain extent.

    Just out of curiosity, if you don't mind me asking, how do you tend to vote?
    Not from a ideology standpoint...but purely from politics and an inner understanding of politicians.

    Is it purely from paying attention to what a politician is doing and what they execute and vote on?
    Because I know most voters don't do that.
  12. redravin

    redravin Cynical Optimist Donor

    Have to agree with you on term limits @StreetPattern.
    They are a perfect fit for the H.L. Mencken quote "For every problem there is a solution that is simple, neat and wrong."

    There is however a certain value to sweeping the bastards out and getting in some new blood.
    The only problem is all too often the new blood are crazypants.
  13. Street Pattern

    Street Pattern Very Tilted

    Back in the early days of PCs, people used to ask me what was the best database package. I came to realize that they were asking the wrong person. As a programmer and a data guy, my tastes in software had nothing to do with what would be "best" for them.

    Your question is a bit like that.

    To most voters, the people running are just names on a ballot, or maybe pictures on a flyer or in a TV commercial. But when you're part of the process, many of those folks are people you know personally. You know their strengths and weaknesses and foibles; you know the people they bring along with them as campaign operatives and staffers. You have a sense of what motivates them and how effective they are. And you have some kind of relationship to them, which is likely to continue after the election.

    Also: when you're a politician, politics is very much a team sport. To openly support a candidate on the other team can erode your own support and endanger your standing in the political community. Of course, you can vote for whoever you want in the privacy of the voting booth, but that's just one vote.

    Moreover, especially with the growing polarization of the parties, even the jerks and yahoos on your own side start to look pretty good compared to the people the other party nominated against them.

    A few years back, when the Democratic nominee for a significant office was someone I heartily detested, I voted for his Republican opponent. I don't regret doing that, and indeed, I still do it from time to time. Still, if the detested guy had won (admittedly unlikely), he would have advanced goals I agree with, whereas the winner did some bad things.

    It's easy to see why most politicos just swallow their reservations and vote straight party.

    All that being said, we all kind of rely on the fiction that there are neutral arbiters out there, a whole class of highly aware voters who consider the options and vote for the objectively better candidate. Those people don't really exist, at least, not in the requisite numbers, but the process often works as if they did exist, so pretending that they do is a usable model.

    What really happens is that the objectively good candidate tends to do better than the inept or unsuitable candidate at each step of the process. Not invariably, of course, but as a general rule.
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2014
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  14. rogue49

    rogue49 Tech Kung Fu Artist Staff Member

    Sad...just sad.
    Not everyone else, we're doing better...but Congress, fogettaboutit.

    The Year in Charts

    Obama...decent, Economy decent, Oil prices...if you're a buyer, great...but Congress, sucks to be you.

    And if you think this coming year is going to be better...I gotta bridge to sell ya. :rolleyes:
  15. rogue49

    rogue49 Tech Kung Fu Artist Staff Member

    Teach Congress a Lesson

    Make representatives take continuing ethics classes??

    'nuff said...but ain't going to happen :rolleyes:
  16. rogue49

    rogue49 Tech Kung Fu Artist Staff Member

    See, this is one of the biggest reasons why we have issues in Congress.
    Rent your representative here. :rolleyes:

    K Street won't get blank check on Hill
    But they will still be looking to add language favorable to clients and to insert pet projects.

    See...these guys often ACTUALLY write the bills and clauses in the laws passed...not govt staff or Congressmen.
    Too much conflict of interest.
  17. rogue49

    rogue49 Tech Kung Fu Artist Staff Member

    Congress is actually starting to push back.
    The Dems are gaining leverage.
    But I think the GOP is acting rationally a bit more.

    Congress claws back power from Trump

    Amazing how moderation and rational behavior works?
    Actually thinking about citizens and the nation.
    Who would have thought?

    That or they don't want to get busted in the next election. :rolleyes:
  18. Charlatan

    Charlatan sous les pavés, la plage

    I have to wonder how many of the Republicans that just voted for the repeal and replace, are actually counting on the Senate to kill it. The engineered the vote so that they passed it by one vote (thereby exposing as few Republicans as possible to having to stand up for the bill).

    It's fascinating to watch the shit show that is the Republican controlled congress. Let's see if it can get any better in the Senate.
    • Like Like x 1
  19. redravin

    redravin Cynical Optimist Donor


    I don't know, my moron of a Congressman voted for it even knowing that it would hurt Alaska more that it would many other states.
    He might be counting on the more moderate Senator in our group to pull his fat out of the fire because she has voted against this shit in the past but there will come a point when she isn't interested in putting her ass on the line after being primaried out once before and only getting back in by a once in a lifetime write in ballot.
  20. rogue49

    rogue49 Tech Kung Fu Artist Staff Member

    Congressional aides risk conflicts with stock trades

    More to hate...
    The corruption is significant.

    Only problem is the foxes are ruling the hen-house.
    And the big dog has opened the gate further...

    He's not cleaning up the swamp...hell, he's making swamp soup.
    And the natives are chowing down. :mad:
    • Like Like x 1