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apodino
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Constitutional Convention

Wed Jul 27, 2016 10:29 pm

With all that has happened in Washington recently, there has been a lot of talk about the states voting to hold a Constitutional Convention, which would convene to propose amendments to the constitution without having to go through Congress. I wanted to start a discussion to see what peoples thoughts on it were. Here are amendments that I could see being proposed if this were held.

1. Balanced Budget Amendment - This nearly passed congress during the Clinton years, except Clinton whipped a couple of senators last minute and the amendment was never adopted. I am surprised given the GOP majorities in congress this hasn't been brought up since. I thought the Bush years would have been the time to get it passed.

2. Campaign Finance Amendment - This is the way I believe Citizens United should be dealt with. I am uneasy with the prospect of trying to overturn it by appointing sympathetic judges. To me that undermines what the court is supposed to be about. Hillary has said she would propose one for Congress to act on in her first 100 days, though she would have no power other than lobbying to actually get it passed.

3. States Rights: Supposedly this is already covered by the Tenth Amendment, but I would expect them to try to strengthen the teeth of the Tenth Amendment.

4. Some sort of judicial reform. I think a lot of people particularly on the right don't like the activist nature of a lot of courts and I have seen numerous ways to try to deal with it. Limiting the term on the bench in my opinion is not the answer. I think the way to go is to require a 2/3 majority of the senate to confirm all judicial nominees. This would ensure that both sides would have to have a consensus on who the guy is. Under this idea, the only supreme court justices currently sitting on the bench who would not have been confirmed would be Thomas, Alito, and Kagan.

5. Some sort of term limit amendment. Term limits have been tried to pass for years, with no success. I think both sides are at a point where they are sick of the insiders running things.

I do think the possibility of such a convention happening is unlikely, but with people fed up with Washington and them seeming out of touch, who knows. Thoughts?
 
ArmitageShanks
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Re: Constitutional Convention

Wed Jul 27, 2016 11:54 pm

apodino wrote:
With all that has happened in Washington recently, there has been a lot of talk about the states voting to hold a Constitutional Convention, which would convene to propose amendments to the constitution without having to go through Congress. I wanted to start a discussion to see what peoples thoughts on it were. Here are amendments that I could see being proposed if this were held.

1. Balanced Budget Amendment - This nearly passed congress during the Clinton years, except Clinton whipped a couple of senators last minute and the amendment was never adopted. I am surprised given the GOP majorities in congress this hasn't been brought up since. I thought the Bush years would have been the time to get it passed.

2. Campaign Finance Amendment - This is the way I believe Citizens United should be dealt with. I am uneasy with the prospect of trying to overturn it by appointing sympathetic judges. To me that undermines what the court is supposed to be about. Hillary has said she would propose one for Congress to act on in her first 100 days, though she would have no power other than lobbying to actually get it passed.

3. States Rights: Supposedly this is already covered by the Tenth Amendment, but I would expect them to try to strengthen the teeth of the Tenth Amendment.

4. Some sort of judicial reform. I think a lot of people particularly on the right don't like the activist nature of a lot of courts and I have seen numerous ways to try to deal with it. Limiting the term on the bench in my opinion is not the answer. I think the way to go is to require a 2/3 majority of the senate to confirm all judicial nominees. This would ensure that both sides would have to have a consensus on who the guy is. Under this idea, the only supreme court justices currently sitting on the bench who would not have been confirmed would be Thomas, Alito, and Kagan.

5. Some sort of term limit amendment. Term limits have been tried to pass for years, with no success. I think both sides are at a point where they are sick of the insiders running things.

I do think the possibility of such a convention happening is unlikely, but with people fed up with Washington and them seeming out of touch, who knows. Thoughts?


There's been a lot of talk about a constitutional convention? Where?
 
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fr8mech
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Re: Constitutional Convention

Thu Jul 28, 2016 1:07 am

apodino wrote:
Balanced Budget Amendment

A mistake. A government should, maybe even needs to run at some deficit level. If a government is running a surplus, they're holding OUR money. I'd rather see a deficit cap indexed to GDP or GNP.

apodino wrote:
Campaign Finance Amendment

Completely opposed to any suppression of free, political speech.

ArmitageShanks wrote:
States Rights

I agree. The States need to re-assert they're rights. The Tenth Amendment is a hollow shell of its intent.

ArmitageShanks wrote:
Some sort of judicial reform.

I'll agree with a super-majority being required for confirmation. But, only for the lifetime appointed judges.

ArmitageShanks wrote:
Some sort of term limit amendment.

Gosh, I hate this idea, but I think it would be the best course for the republic. I say 2 terms for The Senate, 4 for The House. Let the states decide what their limits would be, if they choose to have them.

I would also look at some of the more recent...say 10 years worth...5-4 Supreme Court decisions and see if the language could be cleaned up a little.

I'd be very careful, though. Getting what you want may get you more than you want. Ambiguous language allows for some level of interpretation and "growth".
 
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Dreadnought
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Re: Constitutional Convention

Thu Jul 28, 2016 1:08 am

apodino wrote:
With all that has happened in Washington recently, there has been a lot of talk about the states voting to hold a Constitutional Convention, which would convene to propose amendments to the constitution without having to go through Congress. I wanted to start a discussion to see what peoples thoughts on it were. Here are amendments that I could see being proposed if this were held.


There was a commitment to do exactly this by 2/3rds of the states a few years ago, but they failed to pull the trigger. Why? I think because, even at the state level, there is a fear to upset the status quo. But I would love to see it happen.

apodino wrote:
1. Balanced Budget Amendment - This nearly passed congress during the Clinton years, except Clinton whipped a couple of senators last minute and the amendment was never adopted. I am surprised given the GOP majorities in congress this hasn't been brought up since. I thought the Bush years would have been the time to get it passed.


I would combine this with your term limit amendment. Any Congressman in office where the combined federal expenditures for the previous 3 years exceeds an average deficit of >1% of GDP shall not be eligible for re-election.

apodino wrote:
2. Campaign Finance Amendment - This is the way I believe Citizens United should be dealt with. I am uneasy with the prospect of trying to overturn it by appointing sympathetic judges. To me that undermines what the court is supposed to be about. Hillary has said she would propose one for Congress to act on in her first 100 days, though she would have no power other than lobbying to actually get it passed.


Remember many of those who bitch about Citizens United also have no problems with anonymous PACs and committees and political actions by unions, so there is a big degree of hypocrisy. I think freedom of speech should be protected for everyone, including corporations, unions etc. BUT... people should know who is sending the message. If Google wants to pay for a political ad, I have no problem with it, as long as it says "Political Message paid for by Google Inc." at the front and back. I have a problem with these "American Committee for Peachy Government" organizations which serve to anonymize political contributions. I would ban those outright. Political activity by private sector unions in right-to-work states should be allowed but clearly labeled, but not allowed in non-right to work states. Public Sector Unions should be completely barred from political activity (in fact they should be banned completely).

apodino wrote:
3. States Rights: Supposedly this is already covered by the Tenth Amendment, but I would expect them to try to strengthen the teeth of the Tenth Amendment.


Absolutely.

apodino wrote:
4. Some sort of judicial reform. I think a lot of people particularly on the right don't like the activist nature of a lot of courts and I have seen numerous ways to try to deal with it. Limiting the term on the bench in my opinion is not the answer. I think the way to go is to require a 2/3 majority of the senate to confirm all judicial nominees. This would ensure that both sides would have to have a consensus on who the guy is. Under this idea, the only supreme court justices currently sitting on the bench who would not have been confirmed would be Thomas, Alito, and Kagan.


2/3s would ensure deadlock these days. How about an amendment requiring that the Supreme Court decisions which lack a clear basis in actual law (not precedent) be accompanied by an order to Congress to pass a law filling in the gaps, or else the decision will have an automatic 10 year sunset.

apodino wrote:
5. Some sort of term limit amendment. Term limits have been tried to pass for years, with no success. I think both sides are at a point where they are sick of the insiders running things.


See response for 1 above.

I would add an amendment requiring that any individual regulation by a federal agency has an automatic 1-year sunset, unless 60% of the Congress approves it in a straight up-or-down vote - no editing, conference committees or anything. Each regulation bill shall be maximum 1 page, plus 1 page of supporting arguments and 1 page of dissenting arguments.

I would also have an amendment that bans Congress from incorporating unrelated amendments to a bill. For example, you can't attach an amendment paying for a city's hybrid bus purchases to a Defense Authorization bill, or a VA bill.
 
Hillis
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Re: Constitutional Convention

Thu Jul 28, 2016 1:22 am

fr8mech wrote:
Completely opposed to any suppression of free, political speech.


What exactly is "free" about speech that requires money to be heard and listened to? I'm waiting.
 
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PacificBeach88
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Re: Constitutional Convention

Thu Jul 28, 2016 1:28 am

Dreadnought wrote:

There was a commitment to do exactly this by 2/3rds of the states a few years ago, but they failed to pull the trigger. Why? I think because, even at the state level, there is a fear to upset the status quo. But I would love to see it happen.


Why do you think that is? Why would so many not want to throw the status quo out? The status quo that has held this country together for the past 240+ years. Why would people be so cautious to throw out the American experiment? The USA is the largest military might the world has ever seen. It has the largest, most dynamic economy ever created. Are there problems? You bet! But to chuck everything away, and start fresh? Really???
 
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fr8mech
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Re: Constitutional Convention

Thu Jul 28, 2016 1:56 am

Hillis wrote:
What exactly is "free" about speech that requires money to be heard and listened to? I'm waiting.


Money is not required.

Why do you want to silence those that wish to spend money? And, who have the means to spend it that way? Why are you afraid of free speech for everyone?

Just because you and I can't, or won't spend that kind of money on politics, doesn't mean someone else shouldn't.

PacificBeach88 wrote:
The USA is the largest military might the world has ever seen. It has the largest, most dynamic economy ever created. Are there problems? You bet! But to chuck everything away, and start fresh? Really???


On this, we agree.
 
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Dreadnought
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Re: Constitutional Convention

Thu Jul 28, 2016 1:59 am

PacificBeach88 wrote:
Why do you think that is? Why would so many not want to throw the status quo out? The status quo that has held this country together for the past 240+ years. Why would people be so cautious to throw out the American experiment? The USA is the largest military might the world has ever seen. It has the largest, most dynamic economy ever created. Are there problems? You bet! But to chuck everything away, and start fresh? Really???


The "American Experiment" has been gradually thrown out over the past 50 years. The Convention would not rewrite the Constitution, but get the country back on track by adding a few amendments that the Washington establishment, as corrupt as it has become, would never pass for themselves.

For example, my suggestion earlier for an amendment requiring "Any Congressman in office where the combined federal expenditures for the previous 3 years exceeds an average deficit of >1% of GDP shall not be eligible for re-election". Would you not agree that this is a good thing for the country - requiring fiscal responsibility while still giving short term flexibility? And would you also agree that such an amendment has a snowball's chance in hell of passing Congress - regardless of which party controls it? That's why we need a Convention.
 
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PacificBeach88
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Re: Constitutional Convention

Thu Jul 28, 2016 2:24 am

Dreadnought wrote:
The "American Experiment" has been gradually thrown out over the past 50 years. The Convention would not rewrite the Constitution, but get the country back on track by adding a few amendments that the Washington establishment, as corrupt as it has become, would never pass for themselves.


That's where I think you're dead wrong. Every, and I mean every, scholarly paper or article of calling a Constitutional Convention, disagrees with what you just said. If one is called, EVERYTHING is on the table. Not just picking one or two pet causes your side would like to see, but rather the entire enchilada comes into question. And along the way if there is disagreement, there is no way to reconcile those differences. Not even the Supreme Court could step in. You're risking blowing the entire union apart. It would be akin to stepping near the cliff of a civil war. See, if you think you're going to get your pet causes passed, the left will want their pet causes passed, like redefining the 2nd Amendment. Think about it. Seriously, think about it. Do you really think you will get exactly what you want while the other side doesn't get at least 50% of what it wants?

So you think the past 50 years has undermined the USA, as you posted. What happened in 1965 to today that started this "throwing out of the American experiment"?

http://freedomfirstsociety.org/the-dang ... of-states/

https://www.washingtonpost.com/postever ... overnment/

http://www.cbpp.org/research/states-lik ... endment-or

http://www.thenewamerican.com/usnews/co ... convention

http://www.thenewamerican.com/usnews/co ... convention
 
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WarRI1
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Re: Constitutional Convention

Thu Jul 28, 2016 2:38 am

It is not broke, so do not fix it as I have said before. It is the Congress that is broken, corrupted by money. The system works and will work if money corruption is removed by congress by passing campaign finance reform that is meaningful. Let us correct congress by throwing the bums out on a regular basis. Then we will have term limits designed by our Founding Fathers.
 
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fr8mech
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Re: Constitutional Convention

Thu Jul 28, 2016 2:52 am

WarRI1 wrote:
Then we will have term limits designed by our Founding Fathers.

That's been my position, but it hasn't worked, because we have an uninformed, unmotivated electorate. They (we) don't care. They look for a name they recognize or the (R) or the (D) next to the name and vote accordingly.

WarRI1 wrote:
The system works and will work if money corruption is removed by congress

You remove the corruption of money by making government smaller, not by silencing people. When the government has its hands in every little facet of our lives, special interest groups pop up and try to sway the vote their way. Shrink government and you shrink the influence of lobbyists.

WarRI1 wrote:
campaign finance reform that is meaningful

Any "meaningful" reform would act to chill political speech.

PacificBeach88 wrote:
If one is called, EVERYTHING is on the table.

I believe that you're correct here. I guess that the convention could set-up ground rules, but whose to say they would keep to them? As I recall my history, the first Constitutional Convention grew out of a meeting to reform/amend the Articles of Confederation. They decided to trash them and come up with something new.

I would much prefer the state legislatures advance individual amendments without convening a congress.
 
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PacificBeach88
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Re: Constitutional Convention

Thu Jul 28, 2016 3:07 am

fr8mech wrote:
I believe that you're correct here. I guess that the convention could set-up ground rules, but whose to say they would keep to them? As I recall my history, the first Constitutional Convention grew out of a meeting to reform/amend the Articles of Confederation. They decided to trash them and come up with something new.

I would much prefer the state legislatures advance individual amendments without convening a congress.


Exactly. Let's be honest. Politics, regardless of country, or timeframe, is messy, and always will be. Calling a Constitutional Convention is rolling the dice hoping for "snake eyes" or "box-cars", in the hope "our" side gets what it wants, while ignoring what the other side wants. But what happens when the dice turn up other than a 1 in 36 chance of succeeding? War? Incremental change is what the American system was set up to be. Don't like the direction the country is going in, it will take you 15+ years to turn around. That IS America.
 
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WarRI1
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Re: Constitutional Convention

Thu Jul 28, 2016 3:22 am

That's been my position, but it hasn't worked, because we have an uninformed, unmotivated electorate. They (we) don't care. They look for a name they recognize or the (R) or the (D) next to the name and vote accordingly.

Sadly so, people are easily swayed and floods of money do not help.


You remove the corruption of money by making government smaller, not by silencing people. When the government has its hands in every little facet of our lives, special interest groups pop up and try to sway the vote their way. Shrink government and you shrink the influence of lobbyists.

We tried that here with our legislature. We downsized years ago. It just made it easier to sway fewer legislatures. Corruption still there and so is the money by the ton. I do not feel anyone is silenced, you can still vote. That is your voice, not your wallet.

Any "meaningful" reform would act to chill political speech.

I do not agree as I said above. Citizens United has to be overturned. The 400 pound Gorilla in the room of free elections in this day of communications. The guy with the most money to give, has the biggest voice in our Government. To deny this is not realistic.

Campaign signs and limited amounts of money should be enough.
 
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fr8mech
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Re: Constitutional Convention

Thu Jul 28, 2016 4:02 am

WarRI1 wrote:
Sadly so, people are easily swayed and floods of money do not help.

It's not the people that are swayed by the money, it's the people we choose to represent us.

WarRI1 wrote:
We tried that here with our legislature.

Your definition of shrinking the government is not the same as mine. When I say "shrink the government", I mean reduce The Fourth Branch of Government...the regulatory branch. Over regulation is crawling into every facet of our lives. It is an insidious form of oppression, and they are largely unaccountable, until Congress gets a bug up its collective ass. But, after a while, business as usual.

WarRI1 wrote:
The guy with the most money to give, has the biggest voice in our Government.

Only because we keep electing corruptible people. To be sure, many, if not most, of the folks we send are honorable and willing to do the job right. But, the longer they roam the halls of power, the more susceptible they become to corruption.

Term limits fixes that.
 
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PacificBeach88
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Re: Constitutional Convention

Thu Jul 28, 2016 4:04 am

fr8mech wrote:
Your definition of shrinking the government is not the same as mine. When I say "shrink the government", I mean reduce The Fourth Branch of Government...the regulatory branch. Over regulation is crawling into every facet of our lives. It is an insidious form of oppression, and they are largely unaccountable, until Congress gets a bug up its collective ass. But, after a while, business as usual.


How has this "insidious" form of government intruded into your life? Be SPECIFIC. (And how has it hurt you economically, emotionally, or financally?)

And for the record the EPA, Clean Air Act, and Clean Water Act was enacted by Nixon, a Republican. So, don't try to hide under those items.
 
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seb146
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Re: Constitutional Convention

Thu Jul 28, 2016 4:13 am

fr8mech wrote:
Hillis wrote:
What exactly is "free" about speech that requires money to be heard and listened to? I'm waiting.


Money is not required.

Why do you want to silence those that wish to spend money?


Why do you want to silence those who can not buy politicians? Why are millionaires and billionaires and corporations more important in the political process than you or I?
 
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seb146
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Re: Constitutional Convention

Thu Jul 28, 2016 4:17 am

WarRI1 wrote:
It is not broke, so do not fix it as I have said before. It is the Congress that is broken, corrupted by money. The system works and will work if money corruption is removed by congress by passing campaign finance reform that is meaningful. Let us correct congress by throwing the bums out on a regular basis. Then we will have term limits designed by our Founding Fathers.


Congress will not get rid of their meal ticket. 535 people have it too good. Why should they limit themselves and lower their income? Look at how many times they have raised their own pay and not even tried to raise the pay of seniors or veterans or workers. They take so many days off, still get full pay and full benefits. Why would they want to give that up?
 
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fr8mech
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Re: Constitutional Convention

Thu Jul 28, 2016 4:21 am

PacificBeach88 wrote:
How has this "insidious" form of government intruded into your life? Be SPECIFIC. (And how has it hurt you economically, emotionally, or financally?)


I'm forced to buy health insurance. (financial, economic)
CAFE standards. (financial, economic)
EPA (financial, economic)
FDA process on new drugs (financial, economic, emotional)
Department of Education Common Core (economic, emotional, freaking mental)
and more, more, more...

Some of the listed and unlisted have positive effects on our lives, and some have negative effects. But, they all have costs.

PacificBeach88 wrote:
And for the record the EPA, Clean Air Act, and Clean Water Act was enacted by Nixon, a Republican. So, don't try to hide under those items.


And, at their core, they are not an issue. It's the mission creep. The over reach . When the EPA thinks it can regulate a small pond on private property, it's gotten too big.

Now, before you go the the standard liberal cry about conservative not wanting any government...we understand the need for government and regulation. We are opposed to an oppressive government and over-regulation.
 
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fr8mech
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Re: Constitutional Convention

Thu Jul 28, 2016 4:25 am

seb146 wrote:
Why do you want to silence those who can not buy politicians? Why are millionaires and billionaires and corporations more important in the political process than you or I?

Exactly how are we silenced?

seb146 wrote:
Congress will not get rid of their meal ticket.

Which is why you go to the state legislatures to make it happen.
 
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PacificBeach88
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Re: Constitutional Convention

Thu Jul 28, 2016 4:29 am

fr8mech wrote:
And, at their core, they are not an issue. It's the mission creep. The over reach . When the EPA thinks it can regulate a small pond on private property, it's gotten too big.

Now, before you go the the standard liberal cry about conservative not wanting any government...we understand the need for government and regulation. We are opposed to an oppressive government and over-regulation.


Do you know why Nixon created the EPA and clean Air/Water Acts? It was because there was so much government bureaucracy that he wanted to centralize it into one organizing place. Do you see why that screams of hypocrisy when so many Republicans want to defund the EPA, Energy Dept (where all nuclear weapons are funded), and the Education Dept? It's because many of these were created to focus on a thin slice of American life.

The EPA / FDA / Etc, are fact driven organizations. Meaning, they only can act if they find fault, or harm in the items they cover. Congress could and can always steer them away, if they so chose, just as they pass laws against any organization in the federal government to pay for anything close to abortion, or to study gun violence. Don't like the executive over-reach, call your local Congressman/Congresswoman and Senators.
 
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seb146
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Re: Constitutional Convention

Thu Jul 28, 2016 5:00 am

fr8mech wrote:
seb146 wrote:
Why do you want to silence those who can not buy politicians? Why are millionaires and billionaires and corporations more important in the political process than you or I?

Exactly how are we silenced?

seb146 wrote:
Congress will not get rid of their meal ticket.

Which is why you go to the state legislatures to make it happen.


There is still lead in the water in Flint, fracking is still poisoning the ground water because companies have politicians in their pockets, big pharma is not allowing any talk on health care reform, banks are still "too big to fail," wages are still low for us who work, even though we vote against these things. Politicians are paid way better by corporations than by We The People.

Also, state legislators want to get to the meal ticket in Washington, so why would they vote against that? Especially those who are on the verge of getting rid of established Congress people? What do you think Gavin Newsom will be doing in eight years? Punching his meal ticket in Washington. I like the guy, to a point, but I am a realist.

Once We The People revolt and get money, ALL MONEY, out of politics, we can have a true government of, for, and by the people. We The People.
 
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fr8mech
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Re: Constitutional Convention

Thu Jul 28, 2016 5:05 am

PacificBeach88 wrote:
Do you see why that screams of hypocrisy when so many Republicans want to defund the EPA, Energy Dept (where all nuclear weapons are funded), and the Education Dept? It's because many of these were created to focus on a thin slice of American life.


It is not hypocrisy when the agencies in question have over-stepped their bounds.

Oh, by the way, the Education Department was signed into existence by President Carter, and has been a singular failure in executing it's goal.

PacificBeach88 wrote:
Congress could and can always steer them away, if they so chose,


Yup, that's why I said:
fr8mech wrote:
until Congress gets a bug up its collective ass

But, the entrenched forces of the regulatory branch fight it every step of the way and scream that even a slight pullback would cause catastrophic damage to everything we know and love dearly.

PacificBeach88 wrote:
Don't like the executive over-reach, call your local Congressman/Congresswoman and Senators.

I do, do you?
 
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fr8mech
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Re: Constitutional Convention

Thu Jul 28, 2016 5:10 am

seb146 wrote:
Also, state legislators want to get to the meal ticket in Washington, so why would they vote against that?


You've missed the point. The reason our state legislators want to move up to DC is because the balance of power has shifted to DC. Bring power back to the states, as it was envisioned in The Constitution and we'll keep competent people in the state houses. Another step, would be to repeal the Seventeenth Amendment and bring power back to the states.
 
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einsteinboricua
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Re: Constitutional Convention

Thu Jul 28, 2016 11:47 am

apodino wrote:
Balanced Budget Amendment

I agree with fr8mech. I'd require surpluses to finish paying off debt until it's down to a manageable level. Then, I'd require a trigger mechanism that once debt exceeds X%, they need to run surpluses; otherwise, either finish the year at 0.00 or run a deficit. I want to see my money paying for services, not stored gaining interest.

apodino wrote:
Campaign Finance Amendment

I'll follow Dreadnought's lead. If Google or any other entity wants to support a candidate they can do so. However, like a NASCAR driver, their logo/image will be clearly emblazoned on the ads. I want accountability. Shady money should be banned.

apodino wrote:
States Rights

The 10th Amendment already states everything the states could need. How will you states add more power to this? And here's another thing: what if one state doesn't like what another state is doing? Colorado can claim the 10th Amendment allows it to legalize pot and Nebraska/Oklahoma can't complain because *drumroll* STATES' RIGHTS!

What's hypocritical is that the latter two states are being led by politicians that proudly beat their chests about how they defend the 10th Amendment...until it's something they don't like; then, it's open season by bringing in the Federal Government.

apodino wrote:
Some sort of judicial reform.

I don't see the need for judicial reform. I may not agree with the decisions of justices, but I prefer they serve a life tenure than be subjected to the whims of the electorate. The justices should rule based on what they, as experts, consider to be the best path forward, not what people want them to rule as.

Yes, this doesn't guarantee that justices will rule correctly, but human error can always be detected and corrected down the road. The SCOTUS once ruled that blacks could be separated from whites before reversing the decision.

apodino wrote:
Some sort of term limit amendment.

I would limit US Senators to two terms and House Representatives to six terms (they can only serve 12 years in each chamber) AND it's for life. There would be no such thing as sitting out an election before being re-eligible, and no exceptions.

Dreadnought wrote:
2/3s would ensure deadlock these days. How about an amendment requiring that the Supreme Court decisions which lack a clear basis in actual law (not precedent) be accompanied by an order to Congress to pass a law filling in the gaps, or else the decision will have an automatic 10 year sunset.

Agree with the 2/3s ensuring deadlock. Heck, not even a simple majority can agree to review Garland's nomination to the SCOTUS and many bills die with a filibuster.

As for the amendment, that's a bit problematic. The SCOTUS doesn't rule on existing law, but whether the existing law can pass constitutional muster. If Congress were to pass DOMA 2.0, civilian courts would rule based on the law (meaning gay couples would lose their rights). When going to Federal courts, the courts rule on whether the law is constitutional or not. Until there is a specific part of the Constitution that specifically approves the law and is not contradicted anywhere else, it will pass muster. And as a branch of government, SCOTUS can recommend but not order lawmakers to enact law. And the sunset provision would actually encourage Congress to do nothing, especially if it rarely changes hands.

Dreadnought wrote:
For example, my suggestion earlier for an amendment requiring "Any Congressman in office where the combined federal expenditures for the previous 3 years exceeds an average deficit of >1% of GDP shall not be eligible for re-election". Would you not agree that this is a good thing for the country - requiring fiscal responsibility while still giving short term flexibility? And would you also agree that such an amendment has a snowball's chance in hell of passing Congress - regardless of which party controls it?
Except if you and I were lawmakers, you voted in favor while I was against it, and the year ends in a deficit, then you're penalizing me for your decision.

fr8mech wrote:
You remove the corruption of money by making government smaller, not by silencing people.
Disagree. You enhance corruption by making it smaller. It means government will favor a particular sector at the expense of the others.

fr8mech wrote:
Another step, would be to repeal the Seventeenth Amendment and bring power back to the states.
Are you kidding? The one tool to have the Senate accountable directly to the people and you want to take that way from us? If state legislators were decent people, I would probably grumble but allow it to go through. However, when state legislatures gerrymander their own districts to save their butts, why would I give that power back to them?

Under the current scheme we have 54 GOP Senators to 44 Democrats and 2 Independents. Under your proposal, there would probably be 62 GOP Senators, 22 Democrats, and the remaining 16 Senators would either be split down the middle to 8 per party (me being generous) or remain vacant due to split legislature control. So of course the right would support such a scheme, but I prefer a Senator be accountable directly to the people rather than to a body which is not.

When state legislature districts are drawn by an independent commission, THEN and only then, would I trust them to elect a Senator.

The idea has merit. The House is accountable to the people; the Senate to the states. But with legislatures firmly established with districts that may not favor all sectors, let each state resident decide on their Senator.
 
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Aesma
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Re: Constitutional Convention

Thu Jul 28, 2016 1:06 pm

fr8mech wrote:
Which is why you go to the state legislatures to make it happen.


Any evidence that state legislatures are better ? I seem to remember a few of them manage to pass unconstitutional laws. Also, they're gerrymandered like crazy.
 
910A
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Re: Constitutional Convention

Thu Jul 28, 2016 3:55 pm

PacificBeach88 wrote:
Dreadnought wrote:
The "American Experiment" has been gradually thrown out over the past 50 years. The Convention would not rewrite the Constitution, but get the country back on track by adding a few amendments that the Washington establishment, as corrupt as it has become, would never pass for themselves.


That's where I think you're dead wrong. Every, and I mean every, scholarly paper or article of calling a Constitutional Convention, disagrees with what you just said. If one is called, EVERYTHING is on the table.

PB88 you're absolutely right. Everything would be on the table. The Republicans would attempt to codify their social agenda. A convention would be messy and divisive.
Aesma wrote:
fr8mech wrote:
Which is why you go to the state legislatures to make it happen.


Any evidence that state legislatures are better ? I seem to remember a few of them manage to pass unconstitutional laws. Also, they're gerrymandered like crazy.


No the state legislatures are not any better, in fact in some cases worst especially the ones under the control of Koch's brothers supported Governors. Just take a look at Arizona, Oklahoma, and Kansas for example and see what kind of financial mess they are in, and how many of their ALEC sponsored legislation has been ruled unconstitutional by either the state or federal courts. For example, in Arizona, Governor Ducey would only support the State Supreme Court budget request, only if he could add two more justices. I believe this is called court packing, so that perhaps his agenda might pass muster.
 
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seb146
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Re: Constitutional Convention

Thu Jul 28, 2016 4:28 pm

fr8mech wrote:
seb146 wrote:
Also, state legislators want to get to the meal ticket in Washington, so why would they vote against that?


You've missed the point. The reason our state legislators want to move up to DC is because the balance of power has shifted to DC. Bring power back to the states, as it was envisioned in The Constitution and we'll keep competent people in the state houses. Another step, would be to repeal the Seventeenth Amendment and bring power back to the states.


How is allowing governors to appoint Senators going to bring power back to the states? That would create even more gridlock in Washington and give power to the elites. We the people get to elect three people to Congress. Those elections are based on who those with money decide are fit to run.

No, we need to put term limits on Congress, tie their pay to their actual job, and get rid of dark money and private financing.
 
bhill
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Re: Constitutional Convention

Thu Jul 28, 2016 6:32 pm

You need to be VERRRRY careful calling a Convention....EVERYTHING can be proposed......hence why NEITHER party has pull the nuclear trigger for this....same thing as appealing to the SCOTUS...you lose or win there....it is now the law of the land....our Founding Fathers had amazing insight long ago. And there are "some" work arounds both the Congress and the Executive have at their disposal..
 
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DocLightning
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Re: Constitutional Convention

Thu Jul 28, 2016 8:40 pm

Dreadnought wrote:

The "American Experiment" has been gradually thrown out over the past 50 years.


Such contempt.

Don't you have a Swiss passport? Feel free to leave.
 
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seb146
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Re: Constitutional Convention

Thu Jul 28, 2016 11:10 pm

bhill wrote:
You need to be VERRRRY careful calling a Convention....EVERYTHING can be proposed......hence why NEITHER party has pull the nuclear trigger for this....same thing as appealing to the SCOTUS...you lose or win there....it is now the law of the land....our Founding Fathers had amazing insight long ago. And there are "some" work arounds both the Congress and the Executive have at their disposal..


It is funny that this current president uses those legal work-arounds and some people scream and cry how unconstitutional it is. That he has done the exact same thing every other president has done but, now for some reason, it is illegal?
 
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fr8mech
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Re: Constitutional Convention

Fri Jul 29, 2016 12:55 am

seb146 wrote:
How is allowing governors to appoint Senators going to bring power back to the states?


Shall we read the first sentence of Article I, Section 3 together? That's the section that was changed by The Seventeenth Amendment.

"The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, chosen by the Legislature thereof, for six Years; and each Senator shall have one Vote

It is not the governor that chooses the senators, it is the state legislatures. This would return some power to the state legislatures.

seb146 wrote:
we need to put term limits on Congress


Agreed. That one step will make take away a whole lot of the corruption that occurs in DC.

See, when you make it impossible for a person to make a career out of "serving at the pleasure of the people", the money will, necessarily dry up. Why throw money at someone that will be gone in 6 or 8 or 10 years?
 
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seb146
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Re: Constitutional Convention

Fri Jul 29, 2016 1:12 am

fr8mech wrote:
seb146 wrote:
How is allowing governors to appoint Senators going to bring power back to the states?


Shall we read the first sentence of Article I, Section 3 together? That's the section that was changed by The Seventeenth Amendment.

"The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, chosen by the Legislature thereof, for six Years; and each Senator shall have one Vote

It is not the governor that chooses the senators, it is the state legislatures. This would return some power to the state legislatures.


I am still not with it. Koch money has already proven that state legislatures can be bought. See: Kansas. I still think it is a much better idea that we the people choose our Senators, rather than the state legislatures. Especially in states like California, Oregon, and Washington where there is so much squabbling anyway.
 
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fr8mech
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Re: Constitutional Convention

Fri Jul 29, 2016 1:30 am

seb146 wrote:
I still think it is a much better idea that we the people choose our Senators, rather than the state legislatures.


Only if you like the fact that The Senate has become a popularity contest, just like The House.

The Senate was designed to be a deliberative body that was a step removed from The People so that its members didn't stick a wet finger in the air every time there was a decision to be made. The decisions they made were supposed to be in the interest of the state.

The original intent was an effort to protect federalism as envisioned in The Constitution. If a senator wanted to be elected, and, especially, re-elected, he would need to work to protect the interest of the state.

The senators being eligible by the legislatures of the several states, and dependent on them for reëlection, will be vigilant in supporting their rights against infringement by the legislature or executive of the United States;

http://press-pubs.uchicago.edu/founders ... -3s46.html
 
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Dreadnought
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Re: Constitutional Convention

Fri Jul 29, 2016 1:39 am

seb146 wrote:
I am still not with it. Koch money has already proven that state legislatures can be bought. See: Kansas. I still think it is a much better idea that we the people choose our Senators, rather than the state legislatures. Especially in states like California, Oregon, and Washington where there is so much squabbling anyway.


Repealing the 17th amendment would return the Senate into the hands of the states, and the states were intended to act as one of the checks and balances to federal power grabs. Surely you are not going to say that the federal congress is less corrupt than the states? In any case - state governments are eventually self-correcting. A state that is poorly run eventually sees business and people fleeing, and takes action to correct itself. There is no such mechanism available at federal level - a fact which the founders knew perfectly well and why they tried to restrict the power of the federal government - which worked until the last 50 years or so.

PacificBeach88 wrote:
So you think the past 50 years has undermined the USA, as you posted. What happened in 1965 to today that started this "throwing out of the American experiment"?


It was around 50 years ago that a threshhold was crossed. Up until then, every time power was grabbed by the federal government, an amendment had to be passed. Income tax for example. But with our common law system and the broad interpretations of the Constitution ("commerce clause", "general welfare", for example, over the past half century we have seen more federal power being taken than ever before - completely unsupported by the Constitution. Department of Education for example - largely responsible for the destruction of our once well-regarded public school system, I can't think of any good that has come from it, and I see not one single mention of education in the constitution, as far as being a federal responsibility.

The 9th and 10th amendments need to be reinforced so that no department like that can be created without an amendment.
 
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WarRI1
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Re: Constitutional Convention

Fri Jul 29, 2016 3:24 am

seb146 wrote:
WarRI1 wrote:
It is not broke, so do not fix it as I have said before. It is the Congress that is broken, corrupted by money. The system works and will work if money corruption is removed by congress by passing campaign finance reform that is meaningful. Let us correct congress by throwing the bums out on a regular basis. Then we will have term limits designed by our Founding Fathers.


Congress will not get rid of their meal ticket. 535 people have it too good. Why should they limit themselves and lower their income? Look at how many times they have raised their own pay and not even tried to raise the pay of seniors or veterans or workers. They take so many days off, still get full pay and full benefits. Why would they want to give that up?


When the founding Fathers wrote the rules, they knew that if you throw the bums out, eventually they will get the message. There lies the problem, we have to throw the bums out, thin the herd before they get anchored into the power structure and feed the greed they all get addicted to.
 
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seb146
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Re: Constitutional Convention

Fri Jul 29, 2016 4:13 am

fr8mech wrote:
seb146 wrote:
I still think it is a much better idea that we the people choose our Senators, rather than the state legislatures.


Only if you like the fact that The Senate has become a popularity contest, just like The House.

The Senate was designed to be a deliberative body that was a step removed from The People so that its members didn't stick a wet finger in the air every time there was a decision to be made. The decisions they made were supposed to be in the interest of the state.

The original intent was an effort to protect federalism as envisioned in The Constitution. If a senator wanted to be elected, and, especially, re-elected, he would need to work to protect the interest of the state.


And that was fine. For then.

We need to get money out of politics AND put term limits on Congress so that it is no longer a popularity contest. So it is not just "I'll just say a few key phrases to gin up the base and rake in the millions from corporations."

But, another problem arises and that is there are at least two or three different areas of one state that have their own issues. This is why I bring up OR, WA, and CA. I don't know about Eastern or Midwest states, but choosing two Senators in the West would be even worse than it is now, unless money is taken out of politics. Even then, it would be a long process.
 
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fr8mech
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Re: Constitutional Convention

Fri Jul 29, 2016 4:15 am

WarRI1 wrote:
When the founding Fathers wrote the rules, they knew that if you throw the bums out, eventually they will get the message. There lies the problem, we have to throw the bums out, thin the herd before they get anchored into the power structure and feed the greed they all get addicted to.


And, what happens when we don't throw the bums out? What happens when a disinterested electorate continues to elect corruptible idiots?

As written, the US Constitution did not have a term-limit for the President/Vice-President. That was rectified after FDR won 4 terms. Why? Because, The People, through congress decided that more than 2 terms would give a person too much sustained power and/or influence on our government.

Why is it a leap to suggest that the same entrenched power can exist when a senator or representative spends too much time in the chair?

Up until the last 5 or so years, I was against term limits at the federal level, but I've changed my position.
 
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fr8mech
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Re: Constitutional Convention

Fri Jul 29, 2016 4:25 am

seb146 wrote:
We need to get money out of politics AND put term limits on Congress so that it is no longer a popularity contest.


Put in term limits and the money, largely, goes away. Again, why would I spend money on a potential asset when I know it has a hard expiration date?

seb146 wrote:
But, another problem arises and that is there are at least two or three different areas of one state that have their own issues.


Sounds to me like a great opportunity for some bi-partisan cooperation.

seb146 wrote:
it would be a long process


I'm not sure how it was done pre-1912, but I'm sure there was a timetable with a hard deadline. And, quite simply, if you can't choose a senator in time for the session...just send him up when you get it done...until then, you only have one senator to represent your state.

seb146 wrote:
get money out of politics


That is, and the Supreme Court agrees with me, chilling of political speech. You and I and Soros and Koch and Streisand and Clooney and Walton and Adelson and Buffet and any Tom, Dick and Mary should eb allowed to give whatever they want to help elect whomever they want. That is free speech.
 
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seb146
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Re: Constitutional Convention

Fri Jul 29, 2016 5:26 am

fr8mech wrote:
seb146 wrote:
We need to get money out of politics AND put term limits on Congress so that it is no longer a popularity contest.


Put in term limits and the money, largely, goes away. Again, why would I spend money on a potential asset when I know it has a hard expiration date?


We still have that problem here in California. Get money out of the election process.

fr8mech wrote:
seb146 wrote:
But, another problem arises and that is there are at least two or three different areas of one state that have their own issues.


Sounds to me like a great opportunity for some bi-partisan cooperation.


And people will still scream they are getting the short end of the stick and litigate until they get their way. People have been reduced to being crybabies, kicking and screaming until they get everything they want. Because they are spoiled.

fr8mech wrote:
seb146 wrote:
it would be a long process


I'm not sure how it was done pre-1912, but I'm sure there was a timetable with a hard deadline. And, quite simply, if you can't choose a senator in time for the session...just send him up when you get it done...until then, you only have one senator to represent your state.


Again with the litigation. Gridlock.

fr8mech wrote:
seb146 wrote:
get money out of politics


That is, and the Supreme Court agrees with me, chilling of political speech. You and I and Soros and Koch and Streisand and Clooney and Walton and Adelson and Buffet and any Tom, Dick and Mary should eb allowed to give whatever they want to help elect whomever they want. That is free speech.


Nope, nope, and nope. Why should one person have more power than me? Why should one person with millions have a louder and larger voice than me? I am just as important as them. By saying that money is the most important thing, you are saying two things:

1. Greed is good (which flies in the face of evangelicals, but they refuse to acknowledge that)
2. Money will always be more important than the will of the people.

Get money out of politics.

Just because someone has more money than God does not mean that their vote is worth more or that they can buy an election.

Get money out of politics.
 
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fr8mech
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Re: Constitutional Convention

Fri Jul 29, 2016 5:42 am

seb146 wrote:
And people will still scream they are getting the short end of the stick and litigate until they get their way. People have been reduced to being crybabies, kicking and screaming until they get everything they want. Because they are spoiled.


seb146 wrote:
Again with the litigation. Gridlock.


Then, they will have to do without their allotted representation until they get their collective heads out of their collective asses.

seb146 wrote:
Why should one person have more power than me?


I guess that's what it comes down to, for you...jealousy. Why should he have more than me? Even, if he may not have more power, that perception exists, doesn't it?

seb146 wrote:
Just because someone has more money than God does not mean that their vote is worth more or that they can buy an election.


Do you always blame the victim when a crime is committed?
 
tommy1808
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Re: Constitutional Convention

Fri Jul 29, 2016 6:28 am

DocLightning wrote:
Dreadnought wrote:

The "American Experiment" has been gradually thrown out over the past 50 years.


Such contempt.

Don't you have a Swiss passport? Feel free to leave.


Switzerland has a working welfare, educational and healthcare system, low income inequality and a high Human Development Index. Don´t bring american conservatives down on them, just bomb the place, so i´d be over quick.

best regards
Thomas
 
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Aesma
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Re: Constitutional Convention

Fri Jul 29, 2016 9:06 am

Term limits won't solve the money problem. Lobbies invest in politicians before they're elected anyway. They'll just have their politicians ready to fire from their first day on the job.

In France we don't have political ads, that's most of the money spent in the US right there. It's not that they're regulated (although they are) but that whomever would spend the money doesn't matter, it would be considered campaign spending by the candidate, and campaign spending is limited : you can't go over 22,5 millions euros for a presidential candidate and something like 60K€ for a congressman. You can probably pay for all our congress for the cost of one US senator. But candidates don't need to beg for money as most of the cost is reimbursed by the taxpayer.
 
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einsteinboricua
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Re: Constitutional Convention

Fri Jul 29, 2016 11:44 am

fr8mech wrote:
And, what happens when we don't throw the bums out? What happens when a disinterested electorate continues to elect corruptible idiots?

You mean like it happens now? The disinterested electorate showed that as much as it pouts about a terrible job Congress is doing, they keep electing the same people over and over again. And more than likely, they'll do so through their legislature. Do you think that Senators elected by legislatures will somehow be more accountable? I don't think so. When a state legislature can manipulate districts so that its incumbents remain safe, the senator is nothing more than a placeholder. A popularity contest may not be the best idea, but it forces the candidate to address ALL issues in the state.

Consider Missouri's legislature. The House has 163 members and its Senate has 36 members (both under a Republican supermajority). Looking at party strength, Kansas City and St. Louis have most Democrats while the rest of the state is deeply red. A candidate for US Senate under current rules would have to visit both rural areas as well as metro areas to know the people. If you scrap the 17th amendment, the candidate only needs to visit districts where their party's current state representative is not completely sold yet. In Missouri's case, no need to visit St. Louis or Kansas City since the Democrats will already be opposed to them. No...best to visit the Republican districts that could make or break the candidacy.

I'm pretty certain that political parties were not taken into consideration either by the framers of the Constitution and could not foresee how polarized the country has become. It's one thing when state legislators agree to send two Senators with different views to debate in the Senate (a red and blue senator) or send non-partisan people as Senators (pledging no alliance with ANY party). That right there would make me a "repealer" advocate. It's another when legislatures are also polarized and will only send a lackey who will rubberstamp anything and everything their party leadership proposes or opposes.

fr8mech wrote:
I guess that's what it comes down to, for you...jealousy. Why should he have more than me? Even, if he may not have more power, that perception exists, doesn't it?
It's not a matter of being jealous. It's a matter of being equal in representation. Someone with more money can buy a politician and have them work for their special interests and not the ones who need it.

If a politician opens their platform for ideas, who will they be willing to work for:
-the Average Joe underwater with student debt who can give at most a $100 donation?
-the Rich Joe who would like tax breaks for a new project and can bankroll the politician's election?
 
rfields5421
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Re: Constitutional Convention

Fri Jul 29, 2016 1:48 pm

apodino wrote:
5. Some sort of term limit amendment. Term limits have been tried to pass for years, with no success. I think both sides are at a point where they are sick of the insiders running things.


I would love it. The problem is that you say 'both sides' and that isn't true. Yes, there are two sides - those people who have not been elected - are in favor of term limits; and everyone who has been elected is against term limits. Which certainly includes the legislatures of 13 states. Also - term limits won't eliminate the problem - because most of the insiders running things are not the elected politicians but the big money contributors. Even when their favorite politician loses an election or retires - they still keep running things. A perfect example is the state of Texas, where Rick Perry was the longest serving governor in the state history. He chose not to run for re-election. Now we have Greg Abbott - and still have the same bunch of people running things - the same donors and staff members and such who have controlled the government of Texas since 1994. Three different governors - but nothing has really changed.

apodino wrote:
2. Campaign Finance Amendment - This is the way I believe Citizens United should be dealt with. I am uneasy with the prospect of trying to overturn it by appointing sympathetic judges. To me that undermines what the court is supposed to be about. Hillary has said she would propose one for Congress to act on in her first 100 days, though she would have no power other than lobbying to actually get it passed.

4. Some sort of judicial reform. I think a lot of people particularly on the right don't like the activist nature of a lot of courts and I have seen numerous ways to try to deal with it. Limiting the term on the bench in my opinion is not the answer. I think the way to go is to require a 2/3 majority of the senate to confirm all judicial nominees. This would ensure that both sides would have to have a consensus on who the guy is. Under this idea, the only supreme court justices currently sitting on the bench who would not have been confirmed would be Thomas, Alito, and Kagan.


I love how the right complains about 'activist judges' yet when something which is the most blatant abuse of judicial power to overturn the laws of Congress and many state legislatures, state constitutional amendments is issued - it's 'good judicial judgement'. There are just as many activists judges on the right as on the left. The most activist judge in the past 25 years, using his constitutional power to advance a social agenda is Clarence Thomas. With Anton Scalia a close second.

Citizens United is perhaps the worst excess of judicial activism in my lifetime. How are the attempts to chip away at Roe v Wade anything but judicial activism?

Most judges who advance to the upper level courts do realize that change most come slowly. That it takes an egregious case to make a strong political statement.

Hillary didn't tell her audience last night that a proposed constitutional amendment might very well pass the Congress - but there is no way that the money behind that decision, the money that decision makes possible - can easily stop such an amendment in 13 or more states.

Always remember - 13 state legislatures - that is all it takes to stop any constitutional amendment.

Remember the proposal for a constitutional amendment to define marriage as between a man and a woman. The folks behind that push in the mid-90s realized that at least 18 state legislatures would not vote for such an amendment. So they came up with the 'Defense of Marriage Act' because they knew it was the only way to force the states to accept their view.

As far as a 2/3 vote for confirmation. That might possibly be valid. However, it should also include a requirement for a straight record vote in the Senate within 30 days of the President submitting a nomination.

The current farce of not holding hearings on a Supreme Court nominee until after the election is a terrible abuse of power.

apodino wrote:
With all that has happened in Washington recently, there has been a lot of talk about the states voting to hold a Constitutional Convention, which would convene to propose amendments to the constitution without having to go through Congress. I wanted to start a discussion to see what peoples thoughts on it were. Here are amendments that I could see being proposed if this were held.


Such a convention will not happen. The current political parties would be threatened, and more importantly, the current money behind those parties and politicians like Ted Cruz would be threatened.

Even worse, no one could agree upon who would lead such a Constitutional Convention. If a right wing focused convention were called, and opposing left wing convention would be also be established. The result would be dozens of competing, contradictory, amendments being submitted to the states.

Remember a state legislature is under no requirement to vote on a proposed constitutional amendment. They can simply ignore the proposal. Always remember - 13 states - is all it takes to stop an amendment.

apodino wrote:
1. Balanced Budget Amendment - This nearly passed congress during the Clinton years, except Clinton whipped a couple of senators last minute and the amendment was never adopted. I am surprised given the GOP majorities in congress this hasn't been brought up since. I thought the Bush years would have been the time to get it passed.


I'm not surprised the GOP is not pushing this. They know that Bush had bigger budget deficits than Obama. The cost of the War on Terror were not part of the budget until after Obama became President.

Such an amendment would be so easy to bypass if the amendment did not define budget. Tricks like putting the Iraqi War 'off budget'. Tricks like the state of Texas has used to spend more money than it receives in taxes make it easy to bypass a Balanced Budget Amendment. Texas has one, and hasn't had a real balanced budget since 1996.

apodino wrote:
3. States Rights: Supposedly this is already covered by the Tenth Amendment, but I would expect them to try to strengthen the teeth of the Tenth Amendment.


I don't see the crisis. It is a rally cry, but the right is just as quick to justify federal level legislation as the left if it supports their cause.

Most of the 'States Rights' arguments I see today are people who are not in a large enough group to get their views passed into law. Or people who try to circumvent the constitution by passing laws in their state which are their disagreement with the rest of the nation. Sometimes you lose the battle.

Of course I'm old enough to remember when States Rights meant things like - being able to decide who can vote, being able to decide to exclude certain racial groups from public facilities, being able to exclude citizens of other states from exercising their rights guaranteed under the Equal Faith and Credit Clause and other amendments within our state.

--------------------------------------------

One of the best things about the United States is that our size and Constitution make it very difficult to implement change quickly. And very hard to force the will of the minority on the majority.

Yet, a lot of people seem to want to push the US away from that toward a nation like many of those first experiencing democracy - where they must win every vote, every issue, every decision.

If you are not on the losing side of 35-45% of the battles - the democracy is not functioning. There need to be issues your side loses. There have to be wins for all parts of the political spectrum for a representative form of government to work.

Over the past 60+ years I've seen the country swing from moderately conservative to moderately liberal to stronger conservative - and now it appears to be swinging toward moderately liberal. Or maybe not.

That's want the Bernie supports don't understand any more than the Ted Cruz supporters. Your side cannot win 100% of the battles. If that happens you don't live under a democracy any longer.
Last edited by rfields5421 on Fri Jul 29, 2016 2:21 pm, edited 3 times in total.
 
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TWA772LR
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Re: Constitutional Convention

Fri Jul 29, 2016 1:49 pm

There needs to be an ammendment abolishing political parties.

Term limits is also needed. There was a movement in the late 1800s/early 1900s that called for a lot of great reforms. The group faded away but all of their assertions got added into law except a one, six year term limit for presidents.
 
tommy1808
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Re: Constitutional Convention

Fri Jul 29, 2016 2:22 pm

TWA772LR wrote:
There needs to be an ammendment abolishing political parties..


it would just be replaced by something more informal that is covered by the 1st Amendment, wouldn´t it?

best regards
Thomas
 
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Dreadnought
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Re: Constitutional Convention

Fri Jul 29, 2016 2:55 pm

tommy1808 wrote:
Switzerland has a working welfare, educational and healthcare system, low income inequality and a high Human Development Index. Don´t bring american conservatives down on them, just bomb the place, so i´d be over quick.


They also have no minimum wage, a very limited federal government, 100% private health insurance, Strong guarantees of privacy, low unemployment etc. Switzerland is very conservative (the French part less so, but they are less productive as well).
 
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Re: Constitutional Convention

Fri Jul 29, 2016 3:15 pm

tommy1808 wrote:
TWA772LR wrote:
There needs to be an ammendment abolishing political parties..


it would just be replaced by something more informal that is covered by the 1st Amendment, wouldn´t it?

best regards
Thomas

Under Freedom of Assembly, yes. But hopefully it will be strengthened to weed out the radicals from taking office and letting the moderates regain control. Both the Democrats and Republicans use to be amazing parties with good views, but unfortunately, the hippies have taken control of the left, and the church and racists has taken control of the right. Leaving Joe Schmo (like me and most others on a.net) in the middle class without a strong voice to represent us.
 
apodino
Topic Author
Posts: 4113
Joined: Mon Apr 04, 2005 2:11 am

Re: Constitutional Convention

Fri Jul 29, 2016 5:56 pm

PacificBeach88 wrote:
Dreadnought wrote:
The "American Experiment" has been gradually thrown out over the past 50 years. The Convention would not rewrite the Constitution, but get the country back on track by adding a few amendments that the Washington establishment, as corrupt as it has become, would never pass for themselves.


That's where I think you're dead wrong. Every, and I mean every, scholarly paper or article of calling a Constitutional Convention, disagrees with what you just said. If one is called, EVERYTHING is on the table. Not just picking one or two pet causes your side would like to see, but rather the entire enchilada comes into question. And along the way if there is disagreement, there is no way to reconcile those differences. Not even the Supreme Court could step in. You're risking blowing the entire union apart. It would be akin to stepping near the cliff of a civil war. See, if you think you're going to get your pet causes passed, the left will want their pet causes passed, like redefining the 2nd Amendment. Think about it. Seriously, think about it. Do you really think you will get exactly what you want while the other side doesn't get at least 50% of what it wants?

So you think the past 50 years has undermined the USA, as you posted. What happened in 1965 to today that started this "throwing out of the American experiment"?

http://freedomfirstsociety.org/the-dang ... of-states/

https://www.washingtonpost.com/postever ... overnment/

http://www.cbpp.org/research/states-lik ... endment-or

http://www.thenewamerican.com/usnews/co ... convention

http://www.thenewamerican.com/usnews/co ... convention


This is one reason that I have heard some on the right skeptical of such a convention, because of fears that liberal policies would be added as well.


rfields5421 wrote:
I love how the right complains about 'activist judges' yet when something which is the most blatant abuse of judicial power to overturn the laws of Congress and many state legislatures, state constitutional amendments is issued - it's 'good judicial judgement'. There are just as many activists judges on the right as on the left. The most activist judge in the past 25 years, using his constitutional power to advance a social agenda is Clarence Thomas. With Anton Scalia a close second.Citizens United is perhaps the worst excess of judicial activism in my lifetime. How are the attempts to chip away at Roe v Wade anything but judicial activism?Most judges who advance to the upper level courts do realize that change most come slowly. That it takes an egregious case to make a strong political statement. Hillary didn't tell her audience last night that a proposed constitutional amendment might very well pass the Congress - but there is no way that the money behind that decision, the money that decision makes possible - can easily stop such an amendment in 13 or more states.Always remember - 13 state legislatures - that is all it takes to stop any constitutional amendment.


Activist judge is a very subjective term. By your argument, we can also say that "marriage equality" was an activist decision because it overturned because it overturned a law passed by congress and signed by Bill Clinton, and it also overturned lots of state constitutional provisions that were passed by a majority of the people. Some will argue Roe V Wade itself was an activist decision. I personally believe that while I don't like what has become of campaign financing since that ruling, Citizens United was legally a correct decision by the supreme court. I also believe it is something that should be overturned by lawmakers, not the courts. I disagree that Clarence Thomas is the most activist judge on the court. I believe Ruth Bader Ginsberg takes that title hands down.

rfields5421 wrote:
I'm not surprised the GOP is not pushing this. They know that Bush had bigger budget deficits than Obama. The cost of the War on Terror were not part of the budget until after Obama became President.Such an amendment would be so easy to bypass if the amendment did not define budget. Tricks like putting the Iraqi War 'off budget'. Tricks like the state of Texas has used to spend more money than it receives in taxes make it easy to bypass a Balanced Budget Amendment. Texas has one, and hasn't had a real balanced budget since 1996.


When the Balanced Budget Amendment was debated by the Gingrich led House, every republican voted for it and a handful of democrats did as well. When it got to the Senate (Bob Dole was leader at the time, this is right before he ran for president), every republican except maverick Mark Hatfield voted for it, and I believe 12 democrats did as well, including Paul Simon of IL (He spent his whole career fighting for this unsuccessfully) and the late Howell Heflin of AL. If the North Dakota delegation (Byron Dorgan and Kent Conrad) hadn't been arm twisted by Bill Clinton, it would have actually gotten 2/3s of the senate and the State Legislatures likely would have approved it by now. The problem these days is that the Ryan/McConnell led congress has no interest in reigning in spending, so there is no desire to pass this by current leadership, which is one reason the Tea Party was founded. This is one reason why this idea is brought up.

fr8mech wrote:
seb146 wrote:
I still think it is a much better idea that we the people choose our Senators, rather than the state legislatures.


Only if you like the fact that The Senate has become a popularity contest, just like The House.

The Senate was designed to be a deliberative body that was a step removed from The People so that its members didn't stick a wet finger in the air every time there was a decision to be made. The decisions they made were supposed to be in the interest of the state.

The original intent was an effort to protect federalism as envisioned in The Constitution. If a senator wanted to be elected, and, especially, re-elected, he would need to work to protect the interest of the state.

The senators being eligible by the legislatures of the several states, and dependent on them for reëlection, will be vigilant in supporting their rights against infringement by the legislature or executive of the United States;

http://press-pubs.uchicago.edu/founders ... -3s46.html


One of the reasons the 17th amendment was passed as I understand it is because of split legislatures (where one party controls one house and the other party the other house), and thus no candidate could be agreed upon because the House led by one party would want their guy, but the Senate led by the other would want their guy, and you get gridlock and many seats went unfilled for a while because of this. I do think the establishment would not like this setup because now you have to focus lobbying to a more local level and you cant pour all this money into senate races to buy influence. But its this very nature that makes a 17th amendment appealing to a lot of people. And it makes people focus on local elections more than they do now, which I think would be good for the democratic party as they have been getting crushed at this level for years. I was looking at the legislative map and if this was adopted before this years election (which wont happen btw)...the democrats would have no chance of taking the senate. Assuming the partyies would stay loyal, you would have 62 republican senators at least (Which is a filibuster proof majority), and 22 Democratic Senators. 8 states have split leglislatures, and its unclear how they would go.

This is a very interesting debate. Glad to hear everyones input on this. I had one disclaimer. What I said in the thread starter is in no way reflective of my positions on any thing, rather its what I think would be proposed.
 
bhill
Posts: 1897
Joined: Thu Sep 13, 2001 8:28 am

Re: Constitutional Convention

Fri Jul 29, 2016 7:11 pm

We have two chambers because the British do.....the Commoners and the Lords.....keep in mind that the Founders were Land Owners or Merchant Princes....old habits....except the King...die hard...

What we really need are term limits and a method to stop Gerrymandering, because ALL politics are local, and if you are able to redraw the legislative districts as easy as it can be done, stacking the deck in your favor is very easy.....small change locally...BIG change Federally....

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