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The Most Embarrassing Display Of Governance?  
User currently offlineCometII From United States of America, joined Dec 1999, 302 posts, RR: 0
Posted (1 year 8 months 2 days ago) and read 4613 times:

I was thinking about this and thought it could make an interesting topic.

I personally think this whole Fiscal Cliff Kabuki dance ranks amongst the lowest and most embarrassing moments in the history of the republic. The childishness of it all, including the fact that they are counting the hours and minutes and seconds down to Jan 1st, when these people had well over a year of warning to get something done, reminds me of the procrastinating soul we all pity when he/she at the last moment is rushing to the post office to file taxes (and having to stand in a huge line), or frantically clicking away online to pay for the electricity, water, and credit cards... you know, that person that knows a deadline is coming months in advance and still they can't manage to get it done until the very last second. I'm sure eveyone knows such a person, perhaps we ourselves have been like that at some point.

But I'm sure others may disagree and give other examples of the lowest of the low when it comes to democratic governance. The Communist paranoia of the 50s perhaps? The Clinton Impeachment? The Clarence Thomas hearings?

So the question is, what to you qualifies as the most embarrassing and pointless moment in government? All a.netters are welcome to give examples from their own countries too, not just the USA. I guess to keep it within some limits, lets refrain from talking about military operations, assassinations, or periods of military or dictatorial rule, all of which are outside democratic parameters.

Well, I have given my opinion, I think this is fiscal cliff is it, because it is so totally useless theater.

68 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineokie From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 3010 posts, RR: 3
Reply 1, posted (1 year 8 months 2 days ago) and read 4588 times:

Quoting CometII (Thread starter):
Well, I have given my opinion, I think this is fiscal cliff is it, because it is so totally useless theater

Let us see
Bush Tax Cuts
or off the cliff and we have
Obama Largest Tax Increase in US history, which will more than likely clobber the US economy.

So there is seriously high drama at the Whitehouse and the media because if a deal is not done Obama will take the rap.

Okie


User currently offlinezckls04 From United States of America, joined Dec 2011, 1342 posts, RR: 4
Reply 2, posted (1 year 8 months 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 4549 times:

I've thought about many different failures, but I can't think of anything more embarrassing than what's going on right now.


If you're not sure whether to use a piece of punctuation, it's best not to.
User currently offlineDeltaMD90 From United States of America, joined Apr 2008, 7891 posts, RR: 52
Reply 3, posted (1 year 8 months 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 4532 times:

I wouldn't say the fiscal cliff is the most embarrassing... I'd broaden it out to include everything that has been happening for the past few years

I personally think the fiscal cliff is overrated... bad, but not the end of the world like many make it sound like



Ironically I have never flown a Delta MD-90 :)
User currently offlineconnies4ever From Canada, joined Feb 2006, 4066 posts, RR: 13
Reply 4, posted (1 year 8 months 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 4532 times:

I'd have to say Prohibition was one of the dumbest things that either the Canadian (1st) or American governments have ever done. Since the Mob was able to supply what the public wanted, it made them respectable. And they've done very well since then, thank you.

Our (Canadian) treatment of non-white immigrants (Chinese, Indian, mostly) was shameful, directly at the feet of the government of the day. It's only now, 70-80 years after the fact that we get around to, reluctantly, make an apology. Shows the latent racism that pervades us.

Seizure of ethnic Japanese property in BC, mostly Victoria, after start of Pacific War. These people were already Canadian citizens, but property seized and not returned after WW2. Sold to white people. Ethnic Japanese transported mostly to Alberta and kept in concentration camps. Pure racism. One wonders what the reaction would be if Parliament passed a bill seizing those lands again and granting them to the descendants of the ethnic Japanese that used to live there.

Same goes for feds refusal to admit Jewish refugees late 30s from the "St Louis". Many wound up in Auschwitz.

And that says nothing about our aboriginal population. That is just a ticking time bomb. In Manitoba, 90% of the prison population. Is it a goal to victimize an entire group of people ? Surely there has to be a better way.

Maybe not spot on with OP's intent, but some examples of epic fail by both my federal and provincial governments.


Absolutely no moral fibre in those governments. I hope we have improved on that issue, but I am not sure.



Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.
User currently offlinecptkrell From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 3220 posts, RR: 12
Reply 5, posted (1 year 8 months 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 4528 times:

"...these people had well over a year of warning to get something done." (Topic Starter)

Well over a year?

IIRC, the last "true" federal budget was passed in 1997, Clinton admin. I welcome a correction on that if I'm wrong.

BTW, who invented the term "fiscal cliff"? Was it the politicians or the media? Can't remember when I started hearing it. Regards...jack



all best; jack
User currently offlineDocLightning From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 19575 posts, RR: 58
Reply 6, posted (1 year 8 months 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 4526 times:

Quoting CometII (Thread starter):
But I'm sure others may disagree and give other examples of the lowest of the low when it comes to democratic governance. The Communist paranoia of the 50s perhaps? The Clinton Impeachment? The Clarence Thomas hearings?

I don't think that the Thomas hearings count. There were and continue to be some serious questions about Mr. Thomas's professional behavior. Of course, he is Supreme now, so he is beyond scrutiny.

Also, in the last two years, I believe that the House repealed Obamacare something like over 40 times. Now, you may disagree with Obamacare, but engaging in a repeated and obvious futile activity on the taxpayer dime doesn't square with being a party that has marketed itself as being fiscally responsible.

I predict that this House will impeach Mr. Obama at least once this term.


User currently offlineconnies4ever From Canada, joined Feb 2006, 4066 posts, RR: 13
Reply 7, posted (1 year 8 months 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 4472 times:

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 6):
Also, in the last two years, I believe that the House repealed Obamacare something like over 40 times. Now, you may disagree with Obamacare, but engaging in a repeated and obvious futile activity on the taxpayer dime doesn't square with being a party that has marketed itself as being fiscally responsible.

I predict that this House will impeach Mr. Obama at least once this term.

Agree, sadly, with you Doc.

And whatever the impetus for an impeachment motion is, won't pass the Senate, but will be a huge, colossal waste of time. And will make Mitch McConnell smile, since he will the be able to say that Obama has done nothing. Only because the GOP used land mines, not because they had the interests of Americans at heart.

The GOP used to be a respectable partner in the American democratic debate. Thanks to the Teabaggers, not so anymore.



Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.
User currently offlineBraniff747SP From United States of America, joined Oct 2008, 2972 posts, RR: 1
Reply 8, posted (1 year 8 months 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 4446 times:

In the history of the Republic? Japanese internment camps and the McCarthy witch hunts.

"Land of the free".



The 747 will always be the TRUE queen of the skies!
User currently offlineStarAC17 From Canada, joined Aug 2003, 3360 posts, RR: 9
Reply 9, posted (1 year 8 months 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 4446 times:

Quoting okie (Reply 1):
So there is seriously high drama at the Whitehouse and the media because if a deal is not done Obama will take the rap.

Have you looked at the polls?? The majority of Americans say that if a deal isn't reached they blame the house and not Obama.

Bohener also wants a deal but the tea party members such as Eric Cantor will not agree to any compromises and he needs their votes, its the GOP that is divided here.

IIRC The senate has passed something that can't get through the house and Obama won re-election while gaining in the senate.

Why should he not exercise the leverage?? Republicans have with less legislative power than him.

Quoting connies4ever (Reply 4):
I'd have to say Prohibition was one of the dumbest things that either the Canadian (1st) or American governments have ever done. Since the Mob was able to supply what the public wanted, it made them respectable. And they've done very well since then, thank you.

Agreed, along with the War on Drugs.

Quoting connies4ever (Reply 7):
And will make Mitch McConnell smile, since he will the be able to say that Obama has done nothing.

Yeah but the problem with that is the public didn't buy that in November and I they will make the GOP pay for it in 2014.

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 6):
I predict that this House will impeach Mr. Obama at least once this term.

The GOP better watch themselves, they only hold the house and in 2014 they could be sent packing giving Obama full power with no need to seek re-election in 2016.



Engineers Rule The World!!!!!
User currently offlineMir From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 21571 posts, RR: 55
Reply 10, posted (1 year 8 months 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 4408 times:

Quoting StarAC17 (Reply 9):
The GOP better watch themselves, they only hold the house and in 2014 they could be sent packing giving Obama full power with no need to seek re-election in 2016.

Won't happen. Not because the country will still like them more, because that's already not the case - the Democrats won the popular vote in the House this past election. But because they've gerrymandered the districts so much, a GOP majority is completely safe in 2014.

Gerrymandering, incidentally, is also a reason we're in the state that we're in, as it helps extremists more than moderates. You can see the result in the hardliners that now inhabit Congress and refuse to give in on their principles, no matter how contrary to the principles of divided government that may be.

-Mir



7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
User currently offlineKlaus From Germany, joined Jul 2001, 21442 posts, RR: 53
Reply 11, posted (1 year 8 months 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 4378 times:

Where you voted for your "tea party" candidates and told them to be rigidly ideological, protecting the tax cuts for the richest no matter what and refusing any sane attempt of a compromise, that's just what they're doing.

You've got zero rights to complain if you voted for one of them.


User currently offlineltbewr From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 13086 posts, RR: 12
Reply 12, posted (1 year 8 months 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 4355 times:

I do agree that in the post WWII era, this massive budget/spending/taxation fight commonly know as the 'fiscal cliff' is one of the most embarassing displays of our government leaders we elect. You have two massive conflicting issues - limits on revenues due to a changing economy long term with no one willing to pay more in taxes and the other that no one wants cuts in government spending (but for war).
Until people accept thay have to pay more in taxes and accept less subsidies from government, then nothing will change.


User currently offlinewingman From Seychelles, joined May 1999, 2243 posts, RR: 5
Reply 13, posted (1 year 8 months 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 4343 times:

I'd have to say Cheney and his neocon circle jerk team telling Colin Powell to go in front of the world at the UN with a plastic Fedex overnight tube and declare that we had incontrovertible proof that Saddam had ICBMs locked on New York City. That was embarrassing. Cutting taxes and then spending $1T on an idiotic war with Dick telling us deficits don't matter. Christ, that was epic embarrassment. How that moron isn't in prison is a wonder.

User currently offlineconnies4ever From Canada, joined Feb 2006, 4066 posts, RR: 13
Reply 14, posted (1 year 8 months 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 4253 times:

Quoting Mir (Reply 10):
Gerrymandering, incidentally, is also a reason we're in the state that we're in, as it helps extremists more than moderates. You can see the result in the hardliners that now inhabit Congress and refuse to give in on their principles, no matter how contrary to the principles of divided government that may be.

Very much agreed. Harper's magazine recently had a piece on that very topic. But how you get out of the straitjacket is difficult to see.

Quoting ltbewr (Reply 12):
You have two massive conflicting issues - limits on revenues due to a changing economy long term with no one willing to pay more in taxes and the other that no one wants cuts in government spending (but for war).
Until people accept thay have to pay more in taxes and accept less subsidies from government, then nothing will change.

Sadly now infecting Canada as well. For everything that gets built (roads & bridges, for example), or done ('justice' system) there is a cost. Someone has to pay it. Looks like maybe, just maybe, Jerry Brown in California has moved that topic off top dead centre (Prop 13 I believe, going back some ways).

Quoting wingman (Reply 13):
I'd have to say Cheney and his neocon circle jerk team telling Colin Powell to go in front of the world at the UN with a plastic Fedex overnight tube and declare that we had incontrovertible proof that Saddam had ICBMs locked on New York City. That was embarrassing. Cutting taxes and then spending $1T on an idiotic war with Dick telling us deficits don't matter. Christ, that was epic embarrassment. How that moron isn't in prison is a wonder.


Wholeheartedly agree. Not just Cheney, but Rummy, Libby, Wolfowitz, Feith, etc. Chain gang material actually. Make them do an honest day's work. Mind you, we have our own jagoffs up here.



Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.
User currently offlineseb146 From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 11591 posts, RR: 15
Reply 15, posted (1 year 8 months 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 4214 times:

It's good to see someone mention the government internment camps. What about the government looking the other way when rail road companies kidnapped Irish and Chinese to build our railroads? So many men literally worked to death building the railroads in this country. I would even argue that civil rights taking so long to be implemented was an embarassment.


Life in the wall is a drag.
User currently offlineconnies4ever From Canada, joined Feb 2006, 4066 posts, RR: 13
Reply 16, posted (1 year 8 months 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 4171 times:

Quoting seb146 (Reply 15):
It's good to see someone mention the government internment camps.



Where I have worked for more than a decade, the cafetaria used to be the bunkhouse for the German POWs who cleared the worksite by hand (forced labour ? I thought under the Geneva Convention that POWs could not be forced to work). Horses dragged the felled trees away. In a Canadian winter, not pleasant work. Makes one think.

Quoting seb146 (Reply 15):
What about the government looking the other way when rail road companies kidnapped Irish and Chinese to build our railroads? So many men literally worked to death building the railroads in this country.

Not sure about kidnapping, but ...

In Canada, mostly Irish in the east, Chinese west of the Rockies. On the great plains I simply don't know. A common (and strongly racist) statement in those days was, when a Chinese labourer got blown up carrying nitro into a tunnel, was "Get me another Chinaman !". They were viewed as expendable resources. Perhaps by the standards of the day it was considered OK, hopefully we have come some distance from that.

The great leveller for the Irish here in Ontario was, amazingly, malaria. Or so I've been led to believe.



Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.
User currently offlineWestJet747 From Canada, joined Aug 2011, 1830 posts, RR: 10
Reply 17, posted (1 year 8 months 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 4136 times:

Quoting DeltaMD90 (Reply 3):
I personally think the fiscal cliff is overrated

Agreed...and I sincerely believe the media is to blame. It's not even just Fox or MSNBC, but all of them.

Quoting connies4ever (Reply 4):

I would add the provincial governments of Ontario and Quebec.

Ontario: eHealth, Orange, power plants, Bill 115
Quebec: mafia involvement in building infrastructure, Bill 101, voting in an obviously separatist premier

Quoting connies4ever (Reply 14):
Mind you, we have our own jagoffs up here.

True, I happened to (regretfully) vote for one in the last election. I voted for Stephen Woodworth simply because I supported the Conservative party, without knowing that Woodworth governs by his religious beliefs rather than what is best for Canadians. But with that said, I still prefer our jagoffs to the jagoffs south of the 49th parallel. *dons flamesuit*

Quoting connies4ever (Reply 16):
forced labour ? I thought under the Geneva Convention that POWs could not be forced to work

Only if the work is deemed "dangerous".

Quoting connies4ever (Reply 16):
hopefully we have come some distance from that.

Considering we are the most multicultural country on the planet, I'd say we have.



Flying refined.
User currently offlineRevelation From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 12457 posts, RR: 25
Reply 18, posted (1 year 8 months 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 4027 times:

Interesting thread, but as a US citizen, it's clear to me that mere embarassment is not very high on their list of concerns. First is getting all the money they need to get re-elected, second is insuring their future after they don't get re-elected, third is avoiding dealing with any issue that would make it harder to get re-elected.

Quoting ltbewr (Reply 12):
I do agree that in the post WWII era, this massive budget/spending/taxation fight commonly know as the 'fiscal cliff' is one of the most embarassing displays of our government leaders we elect. You have two massive conflicting issues - limits on revenues due to a changing economy long term with no one willing to pay more in taxes and the other that no one wants cuts in government spending (but for war).
Until people accept thay have to pay more in taxes and accept less subsidies from government, then nothing will change.

In 20/20 hindsight, it's strange that we've all gone along with this silly process. First, let's wait for a report, that then gets totally ignored. Second, let's appoint a super-committee, those folks will sort it out. Nope, that didn't work, so let's let the better part of a year go by till we end up having automatic cuts we could have had decided on a long time ago.



Inspiration, move me brightly!
User currently offlineltbewr From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 13086 posts, RR: 12
Reply 19, posted (1 year 8 months 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 3975 times:

To make the whole 'fiscal cliff' mess even worse, was the deal passed by the Senate in the wee hours and subject to the Constitutionally required vote by the House next Tuesday.

Basically it kills off the 'Bush' tax rates as to those making $400K single/$450 couple/family, keeping it for those with incomes below those levels. It keeps and 'fixes' the income level where the Alternative Minimum Tax kicks in. It holds off a return of Estate taxes on some high income persons and some other minor tax adjustments. It also keeps federal funding of extended unemployment benefits and holds off any cuts in spending or entitlements for the next two months or so. It does appear that the Social Security/Medicare taxes will return to their standard levels.

Even if the House passes this stinker of a package, it means at least 60 more days of political mud-fighting over spending cuts and adjustments no one wants but we need to reduce our deficits, does nothing about our huge infrastructure needs, nothing about fixing our huge financial problems and indeed may spin another recession. It will also meen massive special interests pressures and continues our embarrassing ability of our elected officials to run our country.


User currently offlineNoUFO From Germany, joined Apr 2001, 7952 posts, RR: 12
Reply 20, posted (1 year 8 months 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 3965 times:

The most embarrassing display of governance ever took place in Germany between 1933 and 1945. So there.

As for the USA, I think the syphilis experiments on African Americans and Guatemaltecans, both run by the U.S. Public Health Service, was most embarassing.

In 1946, American judges ran the Doctors' Trial, also known as the "Subsequent Nuremberg Trials", sentencing 20 physicians who were accused of having been involved in Nazi human experimentation to long term imprisonments or even death. No objections here, although I do oppose the death penalty - I always do. But at the same time, the U.S. Health Service kills unwitting people under the guise of public health.
Those responsible were never brought to justice but decorated.



I support the right to arm bears
User currently offlineMD11Engineer From Germany, joined Oct 2003, 14003 posts, RR: 62
Reply 21, posted (1 year 8 months 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 3932 times:

Quoting connies4ever (Reply 16):
I thought under the Geneva Convention that POWs could not be forced to work)

POWs can´t be used to carry out military related work, like building defences (e.g. digging trenches), but they (at least the enlisted men and NCOs) can be used for other work. Officers have to volunteer.
But in most cases POWs are so bored in their camps that they´ll do any work just to get out of camp and have a change for a while.
The way the Danes and French used German POWs for clearing unexploded ammunition and minefields would be marginal I think.

Jan


User currently offlineseb146 From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 11591 posts, RR: 15
Reply 22, posted (1 year 8 months 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 3915 times:

Quoting connies4ever (Reply 16):
Not sure about kidnapping,

The town where I grew up (Pendleton, Oregon) had a large Chinese population in the early 1900s partly because of the railroad. They built an underground city because the law in the county at the time was any "Chinaman" seen on the street after dark could be shot on sight. Many of the Chinese told stories of being offered huge sums of money to work in America but were simply not paid when they got here. Others were given alcohol or opium until they passed out. When they came to, they were on a ship headed east. This is one possible source for the term "getting Shanghai'd".



Life in the wall is a drag.
User currently offlineconnies4ever From Canada, joined Feb 2006, 4066 posts, RR: 13
Reply 23, posted (1 year 8 months 22 hours ago) and read 3850 times:

Quoting NoUFO (Reply 20):
As for the USA, I think the syphilis experiments on African Americans and Guatemaltecans, both run by the U.S. Public Health Service, was most embarassing.

I had thought the Guatemala syphilis work was a CIA initiative. But of course I could be wrong about that. Maybe I'm confusing the syphilis thing with the counter-insurgency war. Hmmm...

Quoting seb146 (Reply 22):
The town where I grew up (Pendleton, Oregon) had a large Chinese population in the early 1900s partly because of the railroad. They built an underground city because the law in the county at the time was any "Chinaman" seen on the street after dark could be shot on sight. Many of the Chinese told stories of being offered huge sums of money to work in America but were simply not paid when they got here. Others were given alcohol or opium until they passed out. When they came to, they were on a ship headed east. This is one possible source for the term "getting Shanghai'd".

Shooting after dark ? Wow, seems extreme, but racism leads to those sorts of policies. Here in Canada we had a head tax for every Asian immigrant for a long time, and for the most part they were denied the vote for a very long time. There were several race riots in Vancouver over Chinese immigrants:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vancouver_anti-Chinese_riots,_1886

http://www.bclearningnetwork.com/LOR...a/Immigration/anti_asian_riots.pdf

Also one involving Japanese immigrants but having a harder time finding a reference.



Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.
User currently offlineCometII From United States of America, joined Dec 1999, 302 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (1 year 8 months 21 hours ago) and read 3829 times:

Quoting NoUFO (Reply 20):
The most embarrassing display of governance ever took place in Germany between 1933 and 1945. So there.

Well, I made it clear in the OP that periods of military dictatorship don't really count. Not because they are not as bad, on the contrary because it is outside basic democratic values.

So of course things like that, or slavery, are far worse and self-understood. I meant things in the history of democratic Germany, in your case, that were done by freely elected politicians that indicated a complete failure of good governance.

I had forgotten about the internment camps in the USA. Yes, that ranks right at the top, along with Jim Crow.


User currently offlineDreadnought From United States of America, joined Feb 2008, 8838 posts, RR: 24
Reply 25, posted (1 year 8 months 19 hours ago) and read 3829 times:

Quoting CometII (Thread starter):
So the question is, what to you qualifies as the most embarrassing and pointless moment in government?

Let's see...

Congress controls the purse strings. They, through direct mismanagement or abrogation of their responsibilities (eg. not passing budgets the last few years) have caused the mess we are in now, and Obama has the unmitigated gall to authorize a pay increase for them!

Talk about a government completely out of touch with reality!



Veni Vidi Castratavi Illegitimos
User currently offlineN867DA From United States of America, joined May 2008, 1006 posts, RR: 0
Reply 26, posted (1 year 8 months 18 hours ago) and read 3793 times:

I would include the McCarthy-era witch hunts of the 1950s on any list. Communism was a threat to the United States, but creating blacklists for actors and ruining lives on suspicion of political activity is what's really un-American--not the House Un-American Activities Committee.


A nation turns its lonely eyes to you
User currently offlinePu From Sweden, joined Dec 2011, 697 posts, RR: 13
Reply 27, posted (1 year 8 months 17 hours ago) and read 3797 times:

The US Congress is 100% political theater and their only calculations are how what they do impacts the next election - the best interest of the country often doesn't fit into -2, -4, or -6 year timespan nor into the amount of time most people have to give serious thought to serious issues. I've heard of many Republicans hoping to vote in such a way that makes the country feel pain so they can blame the Democrats and win an election.


So the biggest embarrassment is the process. Oh, yeah, and the way OBL managed to spin a superpower off course for more than a decade in painful self-destructive pursuits of the wrong enemy overseas while simultaneously helping the wrong "friends" at home...a lost decade at the hands of bad government.


Pu


User currently offlineFlyDeltaJets From United States of America, joined Feb 2006, 1871 posts, RR: 2
Reply 28, posted (1 year 8 months 15 hours ago) and read 3732 times:
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Breaking news, the house passed a bill that would extend the deadline on the seuqestration for a few months and raise taxes on income over 400k.


The only valid opinions are those based in facts
User currently offlineMir From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 21571 posts, RR: 55
Reply 29, posted (1 year 8 months 15 hours ago) and read 3727 times:

Quoting FlyDeltaJets (Reply 28):
Breaking news, the house passed a bill that would extend the deadline on the seuqestration for a few months

What an embarrassment. We knew this deadline was coming for more than a year - it should not have taken this long to figure out that the best thing to do was to put the deadline off a little longer. Congress (both parties) should be ashamed of themselves.

If I were Obama, I'd use my statement tonight to explain that while it's good that Congress was able to get at least something done tonight, I'm still incredibly disappointed that this is still not figured out, and to announce that I'll be sending Joe Biden to start negotiating a full and permanent solution starting as soon as the next Congress goes into session. Waiting until March is just not an option.

-Mir



7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
User currently offlinecptkrell From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 3220 posts, RR: 12
Reply 30, posted (1 year 8 months 15 hours ago) and read 3727 times:

...and the president just signed it...regards...jack


all best; jack
User currently offlineAR385 From Mexico, joined Nov 2003, 6187 posts, RR: 30
Reply 31, posted (1 year 8 months 14 hours ago) and read 3726 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

When Mexico City passed the law that essentially legalized abortions, the states governed by the right wing party PAN passed draconian laws, making it more illegal than ever. Even on rape, or when the mother´s health was at risk. Laws not so dissimilar from Europe in the 1300s.

They tried the same thing when Mexico City legalized Gay Marriage, but they were prevented of doing the same.

Another example.

In the 90s, our Federal deputies had the brilliant idea that "Indigenous people´s" mores and customs ought to be given special recognition. What that means? In certain regions of the country, nowadays families can sell an extra child they have, usually a girl, to whomever. Or, a woman will never be allowed to hold public office. Sometime I wonder if they will ever bring back human sacrificies.



MGGS
User currently offlineseb146 From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 11591 posts, RR: 15
Reply 32, posted (1 year 8 months 14 hours ago) and read 3693 times:

Quoting cptkrell (Reply 30):
and the president just signed it

And, if he had done nothing or vetoed the measure, people would be complaining. This, or any, president with a (D) after his/her name can not win for losing. Absolutly anything any president with a (D) behind his/her name will never ever get any support from the right-wing or right-wing media, who, in reality, control everything. The rest of us who research, read, and think are evil and hate America, according to them.



Life in the wall is a drag.
User currently offlineSuperfly From Thailand, joined May 2000, 39854 posts, RR: 74
Reply 33, posted (1 year 8 months 14 hours ago) and read 3694 times:

George W Bush starting a war with Iraq and having support from both parties.
The witch hunt against Bill Clinton over the Monica Lewinsky ordeal.
The Clarence Thomas / Anita Hill circus.



Bring back the Concorde
User currently offlineseb146 From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 11591 posts, RR: 15
Reply 34, posted (1 year 8 months 13 hours ago) and read 3668 times:

Quoting Superfly (Reply 33):
George W Bush starting a war with Iraq and having support from both parties.

With misleading intel.

But, don't worry about that.



Life in the wall is a drag.
User currently offlinePyrex From Portugal, joined Aug 2005, 4010 posts, RR: 28
Reply 35, posted (1 year 8 months 13 hours ago) and read 3670 times:

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 6):
There were and continue to be some serious questions about Mr. Thomas's professional behavior

Yes, he stepped off the plantation, correct?

I would have to say that, in the U.S., the most embarrassing display of governance has got to be the whole FDR years. From sending people to jail for dry-cleaning shirts 5 cents cheaper than their competitors, and other similar economic non-sense, to stealing all the gold in private hands, to unashamedly using the FBI and IRS to target political enemies and flagrantly using "stimulus" money to buy off votes, the list of embarrassing / borderline criminal displays of governance is almost endless.



Read this very carefully, I shall write this only once!
User currently offlinedoug_Or From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 3403 posts, RR: 3
Reply 36, posted (1 year 8 months 13 hours ago) and read 3666 times:

Quoting cptkrell (Reply 5):
BTW, who invented the term "fiscal cliff"? Was it the politicians or the media? Can't remember when I started hearing it. Regards...jack

I believe it was actually Chairmen Bernanke. If not him I'm 99% sure it was an appointed official.



When in doubt, one B pump off
User currently offlineKen777 From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 8226 posts, RR: 8
Reply 37, posted (1 year 8 months 12 hours ago) and read 3653 times:

Quoting zckls04 (Reply 2):
I've thought about many different failures, but I can't think of anything more embarrassing than what's going on right now.

There have been a few to say the least.

I thought about blow jobs in the White House

But, sadly the greatest embarrassment for me was the invasion of Iraq to get the WMD's that were not there,

followed by the total incompetence of managing the country.

10 years and tens of thousands of purple hearts awarded. How can you not be embarrassed at the government?


User currently offlineDocLightning From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 19575 posts, RR: 58
Reply 38, posted (1 year 8 months 12 hours ago) and read 3658 times:

Quoting Pyrex (Reply 35):
Yes, he stepped off the plantation, correct?

You know, it's funny that I'm OK with Mr. Obama but apparently I dislike Mr. Thomas because he's Black.

I dislike Mr. Thomas because he has a deep disdain for his fellow Americans and believes that the legal system should be used to suppress civil rights. By his own legal reasoning, the same Civil Rights Act of 1963 that the SCOTUS of the day upheld shouldn't have been upheld. And without that very act he could not be on the Supreme Court. So if it is about race, then it's about the fact that Mr. Thomas seems to have an attitude of "I've got mine." That's not an attitude that I find to be in any way, shape, or form compatible with civilized society.

He also does not believe that the Constitution guarantees a right to privacy and has ruled consistent with that view. I find that very alarming in a SCOTUS Justice.

There are also a number of women (perhaps not binders, though) who have suggested that his behavior in the workplace towards them has been unprofessional at the very least. None of this could be proved, but then again, we're not talking about a criminal case and the standard of "beyond a reasonable doubt" does not apply.


User currently offlinePyrex From Portugal, joined Aug 2005, 4010 posts, RR: 28
Reply 39, posted (1 year 8 months 6 hours ago) and read 3577 times:

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 38):
You know, it's funny that I'm OK with Mr. Obama but apparently I dislike Mr. Thomas

Exactly. Mr. Obama knows his place, is no Uncle Tom.



Read this very carefully, I shall write this only once!
User currently offlineDreadnought From United States of America, joined Feb 2008, 8838 posts, RR: 24
Reply 40, posted (1 year 8 months 4 hours ago) and read 3540 times:

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 38):
I dislike Mr. Thomas because he has a deep disdain for his fellow Americans and believes that the legal system should be used to suppress civil rights.

That's like someone saying that "Obama believes in communism". You need to back that up. Where did Mr. Thomas say that "the legal system should be used to suppress civil rights"?

Or is it a more precise way to put it that your idea of civil rights does not coincide with yours?



Veni Vidi Castratavi Illegitimos
User currently offlineDocLightning From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 19575 posts, RR: 58
Reply 41, posted (1 year 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 3447 times:

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 40):
Or is it a more precise way to put it that your idea of civil rights does not coincide with yours?

His idea of civil rights is that he personally should not have any, so his idea of civil rights disagrees with his. How do you think he would have ruled on the Civil Rights Act? Skin color aside, he would have voted no.


User currently offlineDreadnought From United States of America, joined Feb 2008, 8838 posts, RR: 24
Reply 42, posted (1 year 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 3430 times:

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 41):
His idea of civil rights is that he personally should not have any, so his idea of civil rights disagrees with his.

Tell me what he said, not your paraphrasing of it, which is clearly one-sided. And don't give me Chirs Matthews' paraphrasing either.

I want to know exactly what Thomas has said to offend you so much. Here is an aide-memoire:

http://www.ontheissues.org/Court/Clarence_Thomas_Civil_Rights.htm



Veni Vidi Castratavi Illegitimos
User currently offlineWestJet747 From Canada, joined Aug 2011, 1830 posts, RR: 10
Reply 43, posted (1 year 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 3411 times:

Quoting connies4ever (Reply 23):
Also one involving Japanese immigrants but having a harder time finding a reference.

I believe the 1907 riot you link is actually the same one you're thinking of.

Quoting Superfly (Reply 33):
The witch hunt against Bill Clinton over the Monica Lewinsky ordeal.

I agree with you there that it's a pretty bad one, although I don't see it as the most embarrassing because I can sympathize with the other side of the argument (whether I agree or not).

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 42):
Tell me what he said, not your paraphrasing of it, which is clearly one-sided. And don't give me Chirs Matthews' paraphrasing either.

I want to know exactly what Thomas has said to offend you so much. Here is an aide-memoire:

http://www.ontheissues.org/Court/Cla...s.htm

From your source:

"Coloradans entitled to be hostile toward homosexual conduct"
"Sodomy laws are uncommonly silly but states can enforce them"
"State laws should not protect gay rights"
"Boy Scouts may exclude gay scoutmasters"


Still not sure why Doc is offended? (Hint: Thomas has a track-record of anti-gay sentiment)

But I'll admit, apart from his obvious belief that gays don't deserve the same rights as straights, I agree with just about all his other decisions.



Flying refined.
User currently offlineDocLightning From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 19575 posts, RR: 58
Reply 44, posted (1 year 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 3350 times:

Quoting WestJet747 (Reply 43):
Still not sure why Doc is offended? (Hint: Thomas has a track-record of anti-gay sentiment)

But I'll admit, apart from his obvious belief that gays don't deserve the same rights as straights, I agree with just about all his other decisions.

The anti-gay sentiment is part of it. He's also anti-woman and anti-Black and anti-minority in general, in spite of the fact that he himself has benefited from Supreme Court decisions he never would have supported had he been there.

His strict "Originalism" is irreconcilable with the Civil Rights Act.


User currently offlinecws818 From United States of America, joined exactly 6 years ago today! , 1176 posts, RR: 2
Reply 45, posted (1 year 7 months 3 weeks 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 3219 times:

Quoting Pyrex (Reply 35):
I would have to say that, in the U.S., the most embarrassing display of governance has got to be the whole FDR years.

You would be incorrect, once again.

Quoting Pyrex (Reply 39):
Quoting DocLightning (Reply 38):
You know, it's funny that I'm OK with Mr. Obama but apparently I dislike Mr. Thomas

Exactly. Mr. Obama knows his place, is no Uncle Tom.

Exactly. Your hyperbole is often offensive and, in this case, is completely off the mark. Please do explain what in the world you are on about.



volgende halte...Station Hollands Spoor
User currently offlineSuperfly From Thailand, joined May 2000, 39854 posts, RR: 74
Reply 46, posted (1 year 7 months 3 weeks 6 days ago) and read 3160 times:

Quoting cws818 (Reply 45):



Actually Pyrex raised some good points that are correct.
Franklin Delano Roosevelt may have passed some good programs and policies that we benefit from today and led us through World War II but he is far from the saint some make him out to be.
Sending people to jail for dry-cleaning shirts 5 cents cheaper than their competitors as well as stealing all the gold in private hands, to unashamedly using the FBI and IRS to target political enemies and flagrantly using "stimulus" money to buy off votes DID in fact happen.
On top of that, FDR refused to support the Republicans anti-lynching legislation even though he gave lip service against it. He also implicitly allowed New Deal programs to be structured in ways that refrained from challenging racist employment practices in the South - again, because he was courting the favor of Southern Democrats.
FDR also opposed integration of the armed forces.
Despite all the myths about Adolf Hitler snubbing American gold medalist Jesse Owens at the 1936 Olympics (which never happened), it was President Roosevelt that DID in fact snub Jesse Owens, not Adolf Hitler.
Roosevelt refused to acknowledge or even take a photo with Jesse Owens or any of the Blacks that competed in the Olympics. FDR refused to have pictures taken with blacks.
FDR sent Japanese Americans to internment camps, a conservative newspaper chain denounced this violation of civil rights, as did the influential black conservative George Schuyler.
When Franklin D. Roosevelt had his first opportunity to name a member of the Supreme Court, he appointed a life member of the Ku Klux Klan, Sen. Hugo Black, Democrat of Alabama. In 1944, FDR chose as his vice president Harry Truman, who had joined the Ku Klux Klan in Kansas City in 1922.
Many 'historians' and academics like to ignore this side of the Roosevelt Presidency.
Not exactly sure what Pyrex said that could be considered "incorrect", "hyperbole" or "offensive".



Bring back the Concorde
User currently offlinePyrex From Portugal, joined Aug 2005, 4010 posts, RR: 28
Reply 47, posted (1 year 7 months 3 weeks 6 days ago) and read 3158 times:

Quoting cws818 (Reply 45):
You would be incorrect, once again.

Oh, really? So would you please care to elaborate what exactly of the below is wrong / he did not do?

Quoting Pyrex (Reply 35):
sending people to jail for dry-cleaning shirts 5 cents cheaper than their competitors, and other similar economic non-sense, to stealing all the gold in private hands, to unashamedly using the FBI and IRS to target political enemies and flagrantly using "stimulus" money to buy off votes

Were these events not, if classified today

Quoting Pyrex (Reply 35):
embarrassing / borderline criminal

?

Quoting cws818 (Reply 45):
Please do explain what in the world you are on about.
www.google.com

Or maybe you watch ESPN so "Cornball brother" is a term you are more familiar with.



Read this very carefully, I shall write this only once!
User currently offlineWestJet747 From Canada, joined Aug 2011, 1830 posts, RR: 10
Reply 48, posted (1 year 7 months 3 weeks 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 3126 times:

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 44):
anti-Black and anti-minority

My interpretation of his decisions and comments on black/minority issues is that he holds the belief that they should do more to help themselves. I don't consider that to be "anti-" anything, other than anti-handouts.



Flying refined.
User currently offlineKen777 From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 8226 posts, RR: 8
Reply 49, posted (1 year 7 months 3 weeks 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 3086 times:

Quoting WestJet747 (Reply 43):
But I'll admit, apart from his obvious belief that gays don't deserve the same rights as straights, I agree with just about all his other decisions.

As soon as he comes out as anti-gay I reaffirm my believe that someone else would have been a better choice.

Maybe it is because of the man he replaced on the Court, but he does look like a pretty small man compared to the giants that have been on the court.


User currently offlineAkiestar From Philippines, joined May 2009, 784 posts, RR: 0
Reply 50, posted (1 year 7 months 3 weeks 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 3075 times:

I'm a U.S. citizen, so I can say that the problems mentioned in the last 49 replies are by-and-large spot on. But please. The political theater in the U.S. is nothing compared to what we have in the Philippines: a place where the government, from the President down to your lowly village chief, is controlled by only a handful of families (around 200-250 families have effective political power nationwide). A place where the Catholic Church thinks it can nose into government's business, and cry foul whenever the government tries to limit its influence or does something it believes is "offensive". And that's just the surface.

User currently offlineSuperfly From Thailand, joined May 2000, 39854 posts, RR: 74
Reply 51, posted (1 year 7 months 3 weeks 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 3060 times:

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 49):
Maybe it is because of the man he replaced on the Court, but he does look like a pretty small man compared to the giants that have been on the court.



  
Even though I've shifted away from the far left, I still have to agree with this statement. Clarence Thomas was not the best pick or the best qualified for the job. Thurogood Marshall was 10 times the man that Clarence will ever be.
Then again, many choices for the court were not the best pick - Sonya Sotomeyer, Elena Kagen, Samuel Alito just to name a few.



Bring back the Concorde
User currently offlineRevelation From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 12457 posts, RR: 25
Reply 52, posted (1 year 7 months 3 weeks 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 2980 times:

As per the other thread, this is pretty bad:

John Boehner Told Harry Reid 'Go F--- Yourself' Outside the Oval Office

Someone should remind them of their oaths of office.



Inspiration, move me brightly!
User currently offlineDreadnought From United States of America, joined Feb 2008, 8838 posts, RR: 24
Reply 53, posted (1 year 7 months 3 weeks 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 2964 times:

Quoting Revelation (Reply 52):
As per the other thread, this is pretty bad:

John Boehner Told Harry Reid 'Go F--- Yourself' Outside the Oval Office

Sorry, but while personally I have little use for Boehner, Ried is a scumbucket of the first magnitude. I would have broken his nose instead of namecalling.



Veni Vidi Castratavi Illegitimos
User currently offlinezckls04 From United States of America, joined Dec 2011, 1342 posts, RR: 4
Reply 54, posted (1 year 7 months 3 weeks 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 2946 times:

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 37):
There have been a few to say the least.

I thought about blow jobs in the White House
Quoting Ken777 (Reply 37):
But, sadly the greatest embarrassment for me was the invasion of Iraq to get the WMD's that were not there,

The problem with issues like these is that there are two sides to them, and the general public is split in their opinion. For example, I understand that many people thought the Lewinsky affair was a terrible thing; personally I couldn't give a rat's ass. However the elected representatives of this country by and large followed what their electorate wanted, so though you may disagree with some of them, it doesn't qualify as truly embarrassing.

Ditto the Iraq war, which I became against only with the benefit of hindsight; at the time I was fairly pro-war, as many still are (particularly a lot of people in Iraq). Even today my main reservations are fiscal and tactical, rather than critical of the intentions themselves.

For a display of governance to be truly at the top of the list it has to be abhorrent to everybody on both sides of the debate. Watergate springs to mind as pretty awful.

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 53):
Sorry, but while personally I have little use for Boehner, Ried is a scumbucket of the first magnitude. I would have broken his nose instead of namecalling.

Had he done that I would hope he would be jailed and fired. We have enough violent Neanderthal behavior in the country without having our politicians doing the same. They're supposed to represent the best we have to offer not the worst.



If you're not sure whether to use a piece of punctuation, it's best not to.
User currently offlineStarAC17 From Canada, joined Aug 2003, 3360 posts, RR: 9
Reply 55, posted (1 year 7 months 3 weeks 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 2944 times:

Quoting Revelation (Reply 52):
As per the other thread, this is pretty bad:

John Boehner Told Harry Reid 'Go F--- Yourself' Outside the Oval Office

Someone should remind them of their oaths of office.

You know I don't think this is embarrassing, I think more of these things need to be said because you stand a better chance of getting something done if its very clear you don't like who you are negotiating with.



Engineers Rule The World!!!!!
User currently offlineDeltaMD90 From United States of America, joined Apr 2008, 7891 posts, RR: 52
Reply 56, posted (1 year 7 months 3 weeks 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 2923 times:

Quoting Revelation (Reply 52):

As per the other thread, this is pretty bad:

John Boehner Told Harry Reid 'Go F--- Yourself' Outside the Oval Office

Someone should remind them of their oaths of office.

I know it's pretty unprofessional, and it is sad we've sunk to this level, but I think it's kinda funny in a strange way. A "did he really just say that?" kind of moment  



Ironically I have never flown a Delta MD-90 :)
User currently offlineDreadnought From United States of America, joined Feb 2008, 8838 posts, RR: 24
Reply 57, posted (1 year 7 months 3 weeks 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 2923 times:

Quoting zckls04 (Reply 54):
Had he done that I would hope he would be jailed and fired. We have enough violent Neanderthal behavior in the country without having our politicians doing the same. They're supposed to represent the best we have to offer not the worst.

I had to clean up my screen when I read that... Politicians are the best we have to offer? They are raging bottle-baby egomaniacs.

“It’s scary to be a woman on a blind date. For all she knows the man she is meeting up with could be a rapist, a murderer, or, God forbid, a politician.”
― Jarod Kintz



Veni Vidi Castratavi Illegitimos
User currently offlinezckls04 From United States of America, joined Dec 2011, 1342 posts, RR: 4
Reply 58, posted (1 year 7 months 3 weeks 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 2900 times:

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 57):
I had to clean up my screen when I read that... Politicians are the best we have to offer? They are raging bottle-baby egomaniacs.

Key word being "supposed". Unfortunately representational democracy is not conducive to that outcome.



If you're not sure whether to use a piece of punctuation, it's best not to.
User currently offlineDreadnought From United States of America, joined Feb 2008, 8838 posts, RR: 24
Reply 59, posted (1 year 7 months 3 weeks 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 2895 times:

Quoting zckls04 (Reply 58):
Unfortunately representational democracy is not conducive to that outcome.

It can. By 2 term limits for all federal level politicians. You go to Washington, serve your country for a little while, then go back home to your real job.

By the way, New York Democratic Congressman Jose Serrano is once again introducing a bill to repeal the 22nd Amendment (the one that limits presidents to 2 terms).

http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/113/hjres15/text#



Veni Vidi Castratavi Illegitimos
User currently offlinezckls04 From United States of America, joined Dec 2011, 1342 posts, RR: 4
Reply 60, posted (1 year 7 months 3 weeks 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 2883 times:

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 59):
It can. By 2 term limits for all federal level politicians. You go to Washington, serve your country for a little while, then go back home to your real job.

Not sure how that makes a difference. Out go one set of egomaniacs, in come another. But then if you take a largely self-serving and narcissistic populace and ask them to vote for one of their own to lead them, what do you expect?

Perhaps I'm in an overly cynical mood today but I'm inclined to believe that the mythical perfect politician we all lust after is a mirage; were such a person both altruistic and intelligent they'd realize fairly quickly that US Politics would not be the most suitable arena in which to effect change.



If you're not sure whether to use a piece of punctuation, it's best not to.
User currently offlinePyrex From Portugal, joined Aug 2005, 4010 posts, RR: 28
Reply 61, posted (1 year 7 months 3 weeks 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 2875 times:

Quoting zckls04 (Reply 60):
Perhaps I'm in an overly cynical mood today but I'm inclined to believe that the mythical perfect politician we all lust after is a mirage; were such a person both altruistic and intelligent they'd realize fairly quickly that US Politics would not be the most suitable arena in which to effect change.

There is a basic truism that people who actually want to exercise any position in politics are, by definition, the least suitable people to actually occupy those very positions. With this in mind, I have come up with an electoral system whereby people would be nominated for political office - basically, a 100% write-in system, with the caveat that you could only refuse the position once, and would otherwise have to take it (subject to term limits, of course - then you could really call it national service). Anyone caught campaigning for a position would be automatically disqualified even if written in (still working on how to prevent people from doing this just so they could get out of serving - fines/jail term perhaps?).



Read this very carefully, I shall write this only once!
User currently offlinezckls04 From United States of America, joined Dec 2011, 1342 posts, RR: 4
Reply 62, posted (1 year 7 months 3 weeks 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 2798 times:

Quoting Pyrex (Reply 61):
There is a basic truism that people who actually want to exercise any position in politics are, by definition, the least suitable people to actually occupy those very positions. With this in mind, I have come up with an electoral system whereby people would be nominated for political office - basically, a 100% write-in system, with the caveat that you could only refuse the position once, and would otherwise have to take it (subject to term limits, of course - then you could really call it national service). Anyone caught campaigning for a position would be automatically disqualified even if written in (still working on how to prevent people from doing this just so they could get out of serving - fines/jail term perhaps?).

Well the first democracies just picked people at random, like jury service. Maybe we can pick 12 people at random, and they campaign on who doesn't want to do it. The one who makes the least convincing case is forced to do the job....



If you're not sure whether to use a piece of punctuation, it's best not to.
User currently offlinePu From Sweden, joined Dec 2011, 697 posts, RR: 13
Reply 63, posted (1 year 7 months 3 weeks 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 2738 times:

Quoting zckls04 (Reply 60):
Not sure how that makes a difference

Because people act entirely differently if they have zero chance of getting re-elected.

Quoting zckls04 (Reply 62):
random, like jury service. Maybe we can pick 12 people

We don't need the intermediaries at all. We have the technology for direct democracy right now,




Pu


User currently offlineAkiestar From Philippines, joined May 2009, 784 posts, RR: 0
Reply 64, posted (1 year 7 months 3 weeks 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 2709 times:

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 59):
It can. By 2 term limits for all federal level politicians. You go to Washington, serve your country for a little while, then go back home to your real job.

There are inherent problems with term limits, though I don't know if they apply to the United States per se (they might for all we know). For example, in South Korea, because presidents are inherently limited to a single five-year term, they have been criticized for focusing their energies only on building their political legacy, rather than actually conducting proper policy by instituting meaningful reform. We've already seen this in the U.S.: why is it that presidents push harder for policies to be passed during the second term if they're reelected? It's because they want it to be counted as part of their political legacy.

The upside of having no term limits is that policy directions are stable, so long as that political party (or politician) is consistently elected into office. Now if people are really that dissatisfied with the policy direction they're living under, they have the means to address this: whether this is an election, or a recall motion, or impeachment, etc. is up to them to decide. In the Philippines, for example, term limits have done more harm than good at all levels of government: when someone else is re-elected, they wantonly destroy any achievements of the previous term-holder in order to grab the credit for doing the same project under their leadership. Given the particularly vitriolic nature of American politics at this point in time, it would be shameful to see that happen.

If the issue is an ineffectual bureaucracy crippled by political in-fighting, then the U.S. can do what Japan did: shield its bureaucracy from politics in order to ensure the continued delivery of public services despite the instability of the country's political system. On the other hand, as far as I'm concerned, term limits do not resolve any other underlying "structural" issues with respect to why Congress is so ineffectual (for example, abuse of the filibuster, extensive gerrymandering in favor of the GOP, etc.).


User currently offlineDeltaMD90 From United States of America, joined Apr 2008, 7891 posts, RR: 52
Reply 65, posted (1 year 7 months 3 weeks 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 2663 times:

Quoting Akiestar (Reply 64):
We've already seen this in the U.S.: why is it that presidents push harder for policies to be passed during the second term if they're reelected? It's because they want it to be counted as part of their political legacy.

I see it as the complete opposite... they don't have to worry about reelection anymore so they can actually focus on policies even if they are not "politically friendly to everyone" and they don't have to worry about appeasing anyone.

Cutting the US budget would basically be political suicide if the cuts were done correctly... who is more likely to push for these cuts, someone trying to seek reelection in a couple years, or someone who knows his/her time is limited?

Plus, once you've been in a position long enough, you learn the political in and outs and may get to the point where you get so corrupt, you basically will win every election



Ironically I have never flown a Delta MD-90 :)
User currently offlineDreadnought From United States of America, joined Feb 2008, 8838 posts, RR: 24
Reply 66, posted (1 year 7 months 3 weeks 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 2656 times:

Quoting Akiestar (Reply 64):
There are inherent problems with term limits, though I don't know if they apply to the United States per se (they might for all we know)

Sure, there are problems. There is no perfect solution, otherwise we would have found it already.

But I would much rather err in the direction of keeping the political class in check. Most of the problems we have in the world can be traced to politicians in power trying to stay in power by buying votes (with taxpayer money) in one way or another.

Quoting Akiestar (Reply 64):
For example, in South Korea, because presidents are inherently limited to a single five-year term, they have been criticized for focusing their energies only on building their political legacy

Professional politicians care about their "political legacy". Such people are by nature an unusual breed - there is an old saying about politicians being all bottle-fed babies when they were infants - they were not loved enough as children so they seek the adulation and "love" they get from the crowds. But the vast majority of us simply want to do a good job at whatever we do, and if we are remembered, simply as someone who did their job well and with a decent degree of imagination and inventiveness. Those are the kind of people I would want in Washington - Doctors, engineers, store-owners etc who are willing to take a few years off to serve in politics, and eventually go back home and get back to real work.



Veni Vidi Castratavi Illegitimos
User currently offlinezckls04 From United States of America, joined Dec 2011, 1342 posts, RR: 4
Reply 67, posted (1 year 7 months 3 weeks 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 2631 times:

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 66):
Those are the kind of people I would want in Washington - Doctors, engineers, store-owners etc who are willing to take a few years off to serve in politics, and eventually go back home and get back to real work.

I think very few people would be willing to take five years off, especially if they had a successful career already. I think you'd get the same people you do now- those who were bored of their existing career (or bad at it) and had no intention of returning.

I think the aims of your idea are good in principle- I just don't think term limits would necessarily achieve a higher standard of applicant. If anything I think it might be lower.



If you're not sure whether to use a piece of punctuation, it's best not to.
User currently offlinebmacleod From Canada, joined Aug 2001, 2263 posts, RR: 0
Reply 68, posted (1 year 7 months 1 week 2 days ago) and read 2314 times:

As bad as Congress has been behaving, it hasn't degraded to this level.....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AmkvO_IwsZ0

Can you see Speaker Boehner and Nancy Pelosi acting like this?

[Edited 2013-01-23 10:58:31]


The engine is the heart of an airplane, but the pilot is its soul.
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