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Old 2011-11-18, 14:51   Link #1201
ganbaru
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Join Date: Dec 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zetsubo View Post
If only the regular citizens could have lobbyists too !!
It seem than electing them isn't enough, we have to pay them too... oh wait
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Old 2011-11-18, 15:50   Link #1202
DonQuigleone
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zetsubo View Post
What is the difference in social and political attitudes of the US generation of the respective 1940's 1950's to the 2000's ?
Attitudes have become more economically conservative, more socially liberal.
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Old 2011-11-18, 19:06   Link #1203
solomon
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That's probably a good average.

i think the "Brown people" majority lean more liberal economically on average though.

With whites, it's interesting. This is just based on a synthesis of history classes and news I've read but you know how like in Europe, the less money you make the more likely you're gonna lean left? In White America, it really doesn't work that way. Sterotypically, rich white people in cities are more liberal (economically) than rich whites in suburbs. But then you have the San Fran area suburbs, quite liberal especially by suburban levels. However, Orange County not far from LA is VERY conservative.

In what I like to call, "Coal country" in my state of Virginia and others, you have had for a while now, surprising Democratic penetration into the rural hinterlands due to union membership amongst certain worker groups.

However, overall in the South and West lower-class rural white areas are VERY conservative economically as far as the general issues go. (This despite the fact that many of those places are hurting about as bad as those nasty brownie infested big cities they constantly poo poo).

Normally, you would have people argue for more government investment in education and healthcare programs in those areas. But the big bugbear of BIG EVIL GOV'MINT is very strong in the hinterlands.

Here's a good documentary.

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/countryboys/

That struck me as a Black kid watching, constantly being reminded about the poverty that some of our fellow blacks go through. Seeing this I realized, wow.......they're not so different.

Last edited by solomon; 2011-11-18 at 19:31.
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Old 2011-11-19, 11:42   Link #1204
ganbaru
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I almost posted this one on the Libyan thread:
From Cain, More on Libya
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/19/us...-on-libya.html
Is that supposed to be Cain at his best or his worse ?
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Old 2011-11-19, 12:04   Link #1205
solomon
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I've tuned out Cain. He was never going to win the GOP ticket. He didn't have enough name recognition before hand and he's black.

I'm not saying that the GOP would not totally go for a Black Guy, but I'm pretty sure certain attitudes just didn't die with Civil Rights legislation in some spots. What's more, the GOP needs someone who can gain a wide swath of the populace. Cain being a republican almost ensures he won't get minority votes.

This is overlooking the fact that the main clearly has little handle on the Middle East issue. Then again, I never really expected much on foriegn policy to begin with. Americans are worried about JOBS JOBS JOBS then the Middle East and even then nothing that we don't have troops battling in.

I don't know what to do about voting on foriegn policy issues. They are VERY complicated and frankly, I am not sure the average candidate is really astute or in tune to these issues particuarly if they are a mere state senator with little foreign policy experience or acumen.
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Old 2011-11-19, 12:40   Link #1206
Xellos-_^
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Quote:
Originally Posted by solomon View Post

I don't know what to do about voting on foriegn policy issues. They are VERY complicated and frankly, I am not sure the average candidate is really astute or in tune to these issues particuarly if they are a mere state senator with little foreign policy experience or acumen.
i don't expect anyone who wasn't on the foreign/military/intelligence committes in congress to know where Tamil is. But Libya is completely different story, it has on and off the front page for the last 6 month. It is a very important country strategically to the US. While i don't Cain to every single issue going on in Libya, I do expect anyone who is running for president to at least keep up with the current issues especially on a country as important as Libya.
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Old 2011-11-21, 04:02   Link #1207
GundamFan0083
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Wow, I think Mathews has had enough of Obama.

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Old 2011-11-21, 04:29   Link #1208
Xacual
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GundamFan0083 View Post
Wow, I think Mathews has had enough of Obama.
Maybe it's just me but why does Obama need to start talking second term goals already? Just because the Republicans are doing their debates and deciding on a candidate doesn't mean he needs to be talking about points that may or may not be relevant in 5 to 6 months. He still has basically a year of his presidency left. Though I'm all for politicians talking about economic policy more.
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Old 2011-11-21, 05:19   Link #1209
Solace
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xacual View Post
Maybe it's just me but why does Obama need to start talking second term goals already? Just because the Republicans are doing their debates and deciding on a candidate doesn't mean he needs to be talking about points that may or may not be relevant in 5 to 6 months. He still has basically a year of his presidency left. Though I'm all for politicians talking about economic policy more.
This is mostly due to how politicians have become more focused on staying in power than in using that power to do their jobs. The minute one election is finished, the next campaign is starting: fundraising, meeting lobbyists and making more connections, pandering to special interests, and so on. The two parties have passed and continue to pass as much legislation as possible to make it difficult for the other sides constituents to vote and in addition, basically block any third party from being remotely electable. With the recent census, redistricting has created a power struggle again (many of the seats in the next election are because of redistricting). Look up Gerrymandering if you want to understand how each party has worked to ensure that they remain mostly uncontested in their district.

Consider this: next election, out of almost 450 seats of Congress, only 30, tops, are up for vote. The majority of Congress members keep their seats for at least a decade and beyond. It isn't uncommon for a Congressman to serve for three decades; for some, almost a lifetime.

This is why simply reforming campaign finance won't "fix" our problems. The issues go much deeper than that, and span back to the early years of the country.
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Old 2011-11-21, 05:23   Link #1210
Xacual
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Solace View Post
This is mostly due to how politicians have become more focused on staying in power than in using that power to do their jobs. The minute one election is finished, the next campaign is starting: fundraising, meeting lobbyists and making more connections, pandering to special interests, and so on. The two parties have passed and continue to pass as much legislation as possible to make it difficult for the other sides constituents to vote and in addition, basically block any third party from being remotely electable. With the recent census, redistricting has created a power struggle again (many of the seats in the next election are because of redistricting). Look up Gerrymandering if you want to understand how each party has worked to ensure that they remain mostly uncontested in their district.

Consider this: next election, out of almost 450 seats of Congress, only 30, tops, are up for vote. The majority of Congress members keep their seats for at least a decade and beyond. It isn't uncommon for a Congressman to serve for three decades; for some, almost a lifetime.

This is why simply reforming campaign finance won't "fix" our problems. The issues go much deeper than that, and span back to the early years of the country.
Well yeah it just reminds me of something I can't remember exactly where I read it but I think it was around the last presidential election. Basically like you said that the presidential campaign gets longer and longer every election. I mean it might have been because I was younger, but I really don't even remember in 1999, news being dominated by talking about the election over 12 months away.
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Old 2011-11-21, 05:46   Link #1211
DonQuigleone
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Solace View Post
Consider this: next election, out of almost 450 seats of Congress, only 30, tops, are up for vote. The majority of Congress members keep their seats for at least a decade and beyond. It isn't uncommon for a Congressman to serve for three decades; for some, almost a lifetime.

This is why simply reforming campaign finance won't "fix" our problems. The issues go much deeper than that, and span back to the early years of the country.
I once conversed with a lobbyist for the Society of Friends (Quakers) who seemed to know his stuff, he said most of the gerrymandering started after congress passed equal representation laws after the civil rights movement, justifying Gerrymandering for the sake of representing minorities. While the intent was a good one (giving minorities representation in congress), it ended out opening the gates for much more ... insincere gerrymandering. IE one party would gerrymander a district ostensibly to give blacks fair representation, but it would happen to also produce a safe democratic seat at the same time. Eventually the entire pretence of protecting minorities was lost.

So in fact, much of the current gerrymandering problem is a lot more recent.

The solution is for the courts to be in charge of redistricting...
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Old 2011-11-21, 07:26   Link #1212
ganbaru
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Grand deficit-cutting effort ends with whimper
http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/...7AJ0KE20111121
Did somene really expected something from this ?
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Old 2011-11-21, 09:47   Link #1213
cors8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DonQuigleone View Post
I once conversed with a lobbyist for the Society of Friends (Quakers) who seemed to know his stuff, he said most of the gerrymandering started after congress passed equal representation laws after the civil rights movement, justifying Gerrymandering for the sake of representing minorities. While the intent was a good one (giving minorities representation in congress), it ended out opening the gates for much more ... insincere gerrymandering. IE one party would gerrymander a district ostensibly to give blacks fair representation, but it would happen to also produce a safe democratic seat at the same time. Eventually the entire pretence of protecting minorities was lost.

So in fact, much of the current gerrymandering problem is a lot more recent.

The solution is for the courts to be in charge of redistricting...
Which courts? The courts are also getting politicized, especially at the local level.
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Old 2011-11-21, 10:15   Link #1214
solomon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ganbaru View Post
Grand deficit-cutting effort ends with whimper
http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/...7AJ0KE20111121
Did somene really expected something from this ?
Post column says the president hasn't done enough to facilitate a deal.

Realistic or justified criticism? Not sure, maybe.
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Old 2011-11-21, 12:56   Link #1215
Ledgem
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Solace View Post
This is mostly due to how politicians have become more focused on staying in power than in using that power to do their jobs.
...
It isn't uncommon for a Congressman to serve for three decades; for some, almost a lifetime.
Career politicians are problematic. They make it difficult for newcomers to enter because they have name recognition, build up campaign teams, and secure funding for campaigns to such an extent that an "average citizen" could not hope to compete. The problem arises because it is their career, and as Solace correctly pointed out, they become more focused on staying in power than in using their power to get things done. In other words, they want to do just enough to please their voter base, but nothing that would put them at risk.

Honestly, I'd love it if "normal people" ran for these high-level positions. Get someone in there who plans to be there for one or two terms and nothing more; someone who wants to do what's best for the country, rather than rigidly following campaign promises. The most effective people in power are those who wouldn't care if their power was removed.

Perhaps the internet will help to level the playing field, and allow non-career politicians to get involved. Even then, people need to get over the idea that politicians are a job class in itself, and that they're not qualified.

Quote:
Originally Posted by solomon View Post
Post column says the president hasn't done enough to facilitate a deal.

Realistic or justified criticism? Not sure, maybe.
The presidency has become a politician lightning rod, and little else. When the president tries to give directions to Congress, people complain that he's a tyrant who is overstepping his bounds; when Congress sputters and falls on itself, people accuse the president of not being involved and doing enough. Do people even know what the president's function in government is supposed to be?
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Old 2011-11-21, 13:01   Link #1216
Xellos-_^
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ledgem View Post
Career politicians are problematic. They make it difficult for newcomers to enter because they have name recognition, build up campaign teams, and secure funding for campaigns to such an extent that an "average citizen" could not hope to compete. The problem arises because it is their career, and as Solace correctly pointed out, they become more focused on staying in power than in using their power to get things done. In other words, they want to do just enough to please their voter base, but nothing that would put them at risk.

Honestly, I'd love it if "normal people" ran for these high-level positions. Get someone in there who plans to be there for one or two terms and nothing more; someone who wants to do what's best for the country, rather than rigidly following campaign promises. The most effective people in power are those who wouldn't care if their power was removed.

Perhaps the internet will help to level the playing field, and allow non-career politicians to get involved. Even then, people need to get over the idea that politicians are a job class in itself, and that they're not qualified.
about 10 yrs ago California voter put in term limits to kick the bums out. Instead of making things better the new legislators are making things even worst. Not so much as in corruption as in none of them know how to get things done and in the last 10 yrs California legislature have gotten even more dysfunctional.
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Old 2011-11-21, 15:29   Link #1217
Ledgem
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Originally Posted by Xellos-_^ View Post
about 10 yrs ago California voter put in term limits to kick the bums out. Instead of making things better the new legislators are making things even worst. Not so much as in corruption as in none of them know how to get things done and in the last 10 yrs California legislature have gotten even more dysfunctional.
I don't imagine that has to do with term limits. Right now people are still used to the idea that politicians are - well, politicians, as opposed to regular people who enter government almost as a service to society. Were the people who entered the government "regular people" or were they involved in politics in some form before?

Who knows, it's also possible that people are forgetting how to negotiate. I've read a few news reports that claim the American population is more divided now than it has ever been before, and the games in the government reflect that. Whether you have a career politician or an average citizen, if they don't understand the idea of negotiating and working for the greater good, nothing will get done.
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Old 2011-11-21, 15:51   Link #1218
Ithekro
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The arguement against term limits is that while the politician's terms are limited, the beauracracy under them is not. That beauracracy is generally were the real power is, and it takes time to understand how the system works. By the time a politican start to be able to understand and work the sytem, their terms are up and the next guy has to go though the same process of learning to ropes, finding who does what, and understanding where the money comes from and where it goes.

To his credit, The Governator did try his best to change the sytem when he got elected. The problem was what happened above. The beauracracy is what is in power, and it takes politicans a while to get enough weight to them to move that beauracracy. Arnold found he could not just bust some heads and get things moving in Sacramento...as much as he would have liked to do so.

The long term politicans have their fingers into the beauracracy and thus can get things done, but usually they know it is better for them to not bother and just do enough to get reelected (as it becomes a career job to the point they can retire eventually). Thus is becomes like any job. You do what you can for your paycheck and not much else, unless it gets you a bonus.

I would love if the country could go back to its idealized form that follows the Declaration of Independence, or the ideals the country tends to pride itself on for generations. But the question becomes...what would the intensional and unintensional consequences of such a change be for the United States of America...or for that matter, the World?
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Old 2011-11-21, 16:00   Link #1219
Ledgem
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Originally Posted by Ithekro View Post
The arguement against term limits is that while the politician's terms are limited, the beauracracy under them is not. That beauracracy is generally were the real power is, and it takes time to understand how the system works. By the time a politican start to be able to understand and work the sytem, their terms are up and the next guy has to go though the same process of learning to ropes, finding who does what, and understanding where the money comes from and where it goes.
I'd imagine that you'd only care about where the money comes from and goes if you were worried about keeping your position. That is, if you alienate the people with monetary power, you would have problems funding your campaign and garnering support in various ways. If you're elected and plan to do all that you can in one or two terms, you really don't care about who you anger with your decisions. Granted, that can cut both ways: one would hope that the person elected would work for the benefit of society and the people who elected him or her, as opposed to taking a selfish approach to the position.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ithekro View Post
The long term politicans have their fingers into the beauracracy and thus can get things done, but usually they know it is better for them to not bother and just do enough to get reelected (as it becomes a career job to the point they can retire eventually). Thus is becomes like any job. You do what you can for your paycheck and not much else, unless it gets you a bonus.
It's more than that, I think. Imagine that you're in office for 10-20 years, and then you're not re-elected. What do you do? Many of the "job skills" utilized by members of government are not directly transferrable to other professions. It seems to me that these people will either write books, go on speaking tours, or be taken up by companies for their personal connections. In all cases, it requires that the person have some power and connections, which is generally attained by spending more time in the government.

In other words, people in the government need to stay there for their financial well-being, and they are not rewarded for what they actually do in the government. (Maybe they were rewarded with re-election at one point, but now that the bar has sunk so low, they can be re-elected by simply having a snazzy campaign and trashing their challengers.)
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Old 2011-11-21, 16:00   Link #1220
Anh_Minh
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So put term limits on bureaucrats?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ledgem View Post
I don't imagine that has to do with term limits. Right now people are still used to the idea that politicians are - well, politicians, as opposed to regular people who enter government almost as a service to society. Were the people who entered the government "regular people" or were they involved in politics in some form before?
I'm pretty sure they were the kind of people who run for election, and really, who does that?

Maybe they should put candidacy as a kind of jury duty. Pull a few names out of a hat, and have the voters choose the best one.
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