Who's gonna fix it?


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MarshallDodge
January 8, 2006, 01:55 AM
I posted this in another thread and probably should not have because it took the thread off course.
I am really disappointed in the Democrats. They are making a big issue of the WMD thing when they themselves made an issue of it when it was politically correct. They have done everything possible to make Bush look bad. Why don't they do something good for a change like make government smaller and more efficient, come up with a better security plan including closing the borders, offer a better education system.
OOOPS! They already screwed that up:cuss:
Enough of the blame game....who's gonna fix it?

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RealGun
January 8, 2006, 08:37 AM
I posted this in another thread and probably should not have because it took the thread off course.

Enough of the blame game....who's gonna fix it?

If and when you watch Congress on CSPAN, what strikes you as something that should be changed? Would it bother you that the rules committees are no more than defenders of the status quo, reactive and rarely proactive?

What's to "fix"? Here are a couple ideas:
Outlawing of appropriations conditioned on State compliance with Federal law
Strict rules about non-germane amendments
Limitations on resolution votes that do little more than consume valuable time
No stealth provisions. Require that conference committees can delete provisions but not add any except compromises bearing obvious resemblance to the provision being replaced. Require that new provisions must be separately debated by both bodies, either back in committee, on the floor, or both, on camera at some point.


The idea is to reduce the amount of gaming the system involved in passing legislation.

Jeff Timm
January 8, 2006, 10:17 AM
Increase the congress to 999 members, or more.

Limit terms to ONE. Two years and out to live under the laws of the land, not rising above the law to God hood.

Restore states rights in the Senate. Senators should be appointed by the states, not elected, serve ONE term of six years and received salary from the STATE that sent them to Washington.

Elect all Federal judges, once again for single terms, not to exceed four years.

Eliminate the code of Federal regulations, only the Law is the Law. The laws allegedly being violated must be read to the jury in court by the judge. NO INTERPRETATION OF THE LAW MAY BE PRESENTED BY ANYONE IN THE COURT. The law must stand as written.

Restrict all lawyers to the Judicial branch and those jobs requiring a law degree ONLY. No more shysters in Congress making the shyster class rich.

Anyone working for the Federal Govermment, directly or indirectly, MUST have twice the length of time in the real world before running for political office.

Provide that any law can be challenged by suit in an appropriate court, without waiting for a "test case."

Insure that politicians can be sued for malpractice.

Geoff
Who tosses out a few ideas, just off the top of his head. :fire:

1911 guy
January 8, 2006, 10:30 AM
The suggestions you offer smack of trying to re-establish a republic in place of the enlightened screw-up we now enjoy. Besides, what would peons like us know about thinking for ourselves, anyway? Much better to let our benevolent masters, I mean representatives, do that for us.

Sarcasm off.

Gunpacker
January 8, 2006, 11:42 AM
Maybe someone could list a few of the things that the government has fixed. I have been around a while, and see all the old problems that used to be talked about still here. Of course, we have added a whole new list of problems to the list that will still be around in 2050. Government doesn't seem to fix things. They seem to break things.:confused:

1911 guy
January 8, 2006, 11:45 AM
You seem to have missed the part in American Government class that said .gov does not fix anything. They maintain status quo to preserve their power and position.

RealGun
January 8, 2006, 12:08 PM
Maybe someone could list a few of the things that the government has fixed. I have been around a while, and see all the old problems that used to be talked about still here. Of course, we have added a whole new list of problems to the list that will still be around in 2050. Government doesn't seem to fix things. They seem to break things.:confused:

I think a basic problem that Jeff mentioned is that being in Congress can become a career, an incumbent having a very strong advantage, and seniority occupying all the most important and powerful committees. The longer you stay in Washington, the more slippery and dangerous you become. It is hard to think of better examples than Ted Kennedy or Ted Stevens, both quite aware of their power as senior Senators, more bullies than respected patriarchs.

One problem with removing real power is the reduced attraction to the job. If term limits were in effect, the job would have to pay a lot more, considering other career opportunities that might be neglected in order to serve. It should not be set up as practical only for independently wealthy people or only for old guys with little concern for their career prospects..

I could be wrong, but I think it has always been the intent for the Senate to be made up primarily of attorneys, although not necessarily. I would look at the two Houses of Congress differently. As has been done repeatedly, if a House member is that good, they can run successfully for the Senate once playing out their House term. But at some point, they reach the end of the line. The idea of Congress members having pensions is absurd. Let them have their independent IRAs like everyone else. It was their idea.

The job should pay at least $250K per year plus travel and staff. The amount is arbitrary, but it needs to be high enough to attract good candidates who could be interrupting lucrative careers. Natural candidates would come from State legislatures and administrations, so one could actually be in the term limited system for a long time.

1911 guy
January 8, 2006, 12:16 PM
Realgun has good thoughts, but I disagree one one relatively minor point. The salary should be nothing spectacular so as to attract candidates who are interested in serving the republic, not lining their pockets.

Moondoggie
January 8, 2006, 12:16 PM
Of course, term limits would take care of this but I'd like to see seniority amongst representatives abolished.

Why should your 10 term Congressman have more power than my 1st term representative? They both represent approximately the same number of folks. One's a nationally recognized figure and the other is essentially a nobody.

I agree with the comments above about germane amendments, etc. It seems to me that TPTB inside the beltway spend an inordinate amount of effort obfuscating rather than fixing things. A good example is the backhanded way they vote themselves future pay raises. TPTB have carefully crafted a scheme that no ordinary citizen can muster the attention span to analyze/understand. The only ones that pay attention are "The Media", and then they only communicate what they want us to know in a manner that leads us to accept their point of view. Most of us have given up hope because, after all, "What can we do, nothing will ever change"...exactly what the elites are shooting for.

As long as Bubba can refi his tract home for 125% of it's inflated value, watch 100+ channels on his big screen, choose from among 20+ brands of beer at the Stop & Rob, and the Super WalMart is always fully stocked....Hey! No problem!

RealGun
January 8, 2006, 12:40 PM
Realgun has good thoughts, but I disagree one one relatively minor point. The salary should be nothing spectacular so as to attract candidates who are interested in serving the republic, not lining their pockets.

Ideals aside, I still would be concerned about attracting good people, interrupting a career to go to Washington for a few years. I would want it to be considered by those who have concerns about being paid and about a career future. Otherwise, you would be governed only by the wealthy, more by design than it is now. As always, compensation should be based upon responsibility and upon career span. For example, a person foregoing other career opportunities to pursue professional sports is highly paid but good for maybe 10 years, if lucky. Then what?

Moondoggie
January 8, 2006, 01:12 PM
I agree, RealGun.

I would like to see them paid an astronomical salary for their limited period of service with zero benefits afterward. What they do is far more important than throwing a ball through a hoop.

I also think that we need to eliminate campaign contributions. Let each viable candidate draw an equal amount of money from the gov't with an equal amount of air time, posters and brochures provided by the gov't. NO outside money. This would allow us to select our representatives based upon the content of their character and the quality of their ideas instead of who can hire the slickest media consultant/strategist.

It may be "Freedom of speech" to OFFER a contribution to a member of the government or candidate, but it's not a violation of their rights to prohibit their ACCEPTANCE of money.

Any corporation or organization that contributes money to a campaign does it with the expectation AND knowldege that they are going to get something in return. Otherwise they wouldn't do it. They KNOW that it works in their favor.

It's just like advertising. Do you think for a minute that Coke or Pepsi would spend a dime on advertising if they didn't KNOW that it lead directly to higher sales ergo profits???

I don't know exactly where my Congressman lives, but I'll betcha if I sent him a big enough check I'd be eating dinner at his house muy pronto!

"Follow the money." Until we find a way to break the cycle of politico's chasing the almighty Dollar nothing will change.

Wllm. Legrand
January 8, 2006, 01:21 PM
The sentiments and practical suggestions expressed above regarding the return of the nation's government to a REAL republic seem earnest and sincere. However, nothing short of a revolution from the ground up could possibly change things from the way things are now to the way most would like it to be.

One of the problems is the sheer size of the U.S. The size, geographic and numeric, of the U.S. does not lend itself to liberty or self government. I have questions as whether the U.S. IS actually one nation, given the differing attitudes of the populace in the different geographical areas. Heck, look at differences between historic Athens and Sparta..and they were geographically very close.

MOre to the point, how can you imagine a return to liberty to a population that has never experienced it? Further, how can you imagine a return to liberty by the same process that took it away?

A revolution in the way people think about themselves and the relationship they have to their govenment is primary to any change that would happen on a large scale. Either that or a violent revolution by a few against the many..not a very productive scenario.

History provides many telling examples of the conditions under which a nation goes from Here to There. We are in such a historic time. Unfortunately, the "There" to which we all are going is not the one we would like. The false dichotomy of Republican vs. Democrat shows how ignorant, or should I use the term stupid, the population is in understanding the nature of the question.

Most people do not understand the nature of the question, let alone the possibilities of an answer.

RealGun
January 8, 2006, 05:37 PM
The sentiments and practical suggestions expressed above regarding the return of the nation's government to a REAL republic seem earnest and sincere. However, nothing short of a revolution from the ground up could possibly change things from the way things are now to the way most would like it to be.

Or perhaps neo-conservatives have had their day, and an increasing number of voters, smarter than you allow, will insist upon getting back to basics. It seems to me that the timing is pretty good for that to occur in a noticeable way.

Wllm. Legrand
January 8, 2006, 10:21 PM
Or perhaps neo-conservatives have had their day, and an increasing number of voters, smarter than you allow, will insist upon getting back to basics. It seems to me that the timing is pretty good for that to occur in a noticeable way.

When I see that reflected in the output of government schools, I may believe it.

When I see that reflected in the political awareness of the people I am exposed through work (professional and blue collar) I will believe it.

When I see an awareness of the voting public in economic affairs and an understanding of basic macroeconomics, especially when it relates to fiscal responsibility by the govenment, I will believe it.

When I see a large portion of the populace who could name, say, three of the rights articulated in the 1st Amendment, I will start to believe it.

When the 9th and 10 Amendments mean something in governance, other than some vestigial, antiquated, throwback to times when the law was respected, then I will start to believe it.

I'm not holding my breath. As long as the public can get gas, beer, and groceries, watch their cable T.V., and have a warm place to s**t, nothing is going to happen. (Apologies to the southern congressman whose name I cannot remember, from whom I stole the last sentiment.)

Moondoggie
January 8, 2006, 11:26 PM
Earl Butts, I believe. Sec of Agriculture under Nixon.

Butts tendered his resignation, he had had enough of the beltway. Nixon refused to accept it.

Shortly thereafter, Butts made an exceptionally crude and offensive comment to the media regarding black farmers. His resignation was accepted after that.

I was going to post his actual statement from memory, but my fear of running afoul of the mods and the populace at large I'll let you Google it for yourselves. It's a real corker!

Gifted
January 9, 2006, 12:13 AM
A revolution in the way people think about themselves and the relationship they have to their govenment is primary to any change that would happen on a large scale. Either that or a violent revolution by a few against the many..not a very productive scenario.Something that might work is to get enough people in one place to do so. Succession would probably be easier than revolution, when you consider that a lot of people will be more interested in letting us go peacefully since a war would be bad ju-ju. Select a few states, and get people moved in. Get the politicians right, and go from there.

One problem with paying these people is that if you don't pay them enough, not only is the job unattractive to the people you want, but it becomes attractive to the types you don't want. When someone goes into office and takes bribes, that's a problem. And paying them enough in the first place makes the risks of taking bribes the worse deal.

Flyboy
January 9, 2006, 12:23 AM
Pay them .1% of every dollar they save the people by voting down a spending bill (assuming the bill fails), or by voting for a repeal (assuming the repeal passes). Call it a reward for performance.

CAnnoneer
January 9, 2006, 12:53 AM
The above are some interesting suggestions. However, I fear virtually all are impracticable. The problem is not a shortage of ideas for fixes, or lack of appreciation of the issues. It is a lack of political will to do so, because of dereliction of duty on the part of the general voter. Voters can still control politicians, but they don't.

Methinks, when the situation becomes worse enough fast enough, we are bound to see more political activity and a reawakening of the voter participation. Then again, you can cook a critter alive by increasing the temperature slowly enough...

Otherguy Overby
January 9, 2006, 02:46 AM
Seems to me that both parties are unintentionally committing suicide.

The Demcorats in charge of their party are deranged and will lie, cheat, steal and say anything to regain a majority.

The Republicans aren't very truthful or honest either and seem quite afraid of doing much of what their campaign platform was. I suspect they fear reducing socialism would cost them votes. They also seem afraid of the media which is mostly pretty far left and slants almost everything to make Republicans, conservatives and anyone to the right of say Al Franken look bad. Except, of course, for Fox news which has some east coast big city conservatives who are really just confused liberals who are making an attempt at appearing conservative. Political cross-dressers they are. Faux News...

Sheesh, look at all the air time Fox gives UpChuck Schumer. Fox should replace O'Riley with Ted Nugent. :D Fair and balance, my butt.

What this rant all means is I'm pretty sure that our "elected" government has either lost control of the bureaucratic government or is just too busy with politics to bother which amounts to the same thing.

RealGun
January 9, 2006, 04:40 AM
I wonder if it isn't true that only the Democrats and third parties attract "angry" people. They are smug when in control, mean and angry when not. What we are suggesting is changes in Republicans, but they aren't angry at all, unless it is an issue of inflation, poor performing stock market, taxing of the wealthy or someone else's dead fetus or choice to use drugs. All of their real govt issues are in pretty good shape right now, so the status quo will be protected. Notice that small govt. isn't much of an issue. It's whatever seems to support the economic concerns, domestically or internationally. I am not saying that's a bad thing, but I might support a constitutional convention to formulate a government intent that matches reality. Then we can stop lying to each other. For now, we are governed by a system of judges who make stuff up, ignoring or distorting provisions that even the uneducated understand.

MarshallDodge
January 10, 2006, 02:16 PM
Although there are some good responses in here, and certain parties are mentioned, I don't see any names.

Let's start off with the President. Do we want another GW in office. If not, Who? Tell us how they would be a better candidate.

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