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Politicare: Kennedy descends on Senate in political black op at 11th hour like Bauer

DrezDrez Registered User regular
edited July 2008 in Debate and/or Discourse
Let's discuss the politics of this:

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/10/washington/10medicare.html

The gist of the article is this: the republicans were using filibuster (is that the right way to phrase that?) to prevent this Medicare bill from passing. I think it was only a few votes from being passed or some such. So the Democrats flew Kennedy in, covertly, to break the filibuster.

I'm not at all concerned with the actual issue in this (medicare) but rather the circumstances surrounding this senate vote. While I commend Kennedy and I don't exactly look down on the Democrats (the party I subscribe to) for doing this, it really bothers me that the political process has gotten to the point where the parties have to blatantly trick each other to get things done.

Is this how politics always has been and always will be: games, just different kinds of games as you go from one democratic civilization to another throughout time, with new technologies to contend with and the like?

I admit I'm just now getting interested in the subject of politics. I just didn't give a shit before though I did try to keep up with at least a passing knowledge of how our process worked. I don't remember something like this ever being quoted, as if politics has become some kind of black op complete with radio silence and the whole shebang. Maybe it's just the modern extension of stuff that went on in ancient Greece, but it just seems surreal to me:
Mr. Kennedy’s appearance was the product of a covert operation coordinated with Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, the majority leader, after the bill to block a cut in doctor fees paid by Medicare fell one vote short two weeks ago. Few Democrats were made aware of the plan until minutes before the vote, and Republicans were blindsided, giving them no time to plot a counterstrategy.

It sounds like some kind of Jack Bauer debriefing.

Is this a good way for our political system to operate? I think the whole thing is appaling. I mean, this isn't even behind the scenes gaming. This is blatant, fly-a-vote-out-of-a-chopper-to-trick-the-other-party kind of thing, right out in the open at time of execution, and mostly because these two idiot parties tend to just divide up primarily because they are members of these parties (as far as I can tell). I know some people vote their conscience or whatever, and that's partially what led to the bill getting passed this time - it wasn't all Kennedy's doing according to the NY Times' analysis - but I just feel like this is a perfect example of how broken and laughably stupid out political system is.

What good is democracy if all it does is force each party to use guerilla-esque tactics against the other. Or is that a good thing? Is that a natural symptom of the way democracy inevitably evolves? I don't really have an argument here except that this annoys me, so I'm really just curious what the more politically savvy here think about this particular situation.



P.S. Any suggestions for a more appropriate thread title?

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    monikermoniker Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    Drez wrote: »
    Is this how politics always has been and always will be: games, just different kinds of games as you go from one democratic civilization to another throughout time, with new technologies to contend with and the like?

    Yep.

    And the only issues that require a lot of reaching and gamesmanship are those which are controversial enough with one particular ideology to warrant a filibuster. When you have a majority of people liking your bill, but need the 60 votes for cloture solely because you only have a majority you're shit outta luck.

    Of course, it all depends on the Senatorial makeup and abloo bloo bloo.

    moniker on
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    ShadowfireShadowfire Vermont, in the middle of nowhereRegistered User regular
    edited July 2008
    Politicians playing politics? Never happened.

    I actually don't have a problem with this move, to be honest. Both sides were trying to game the system, one of them won it. Not that I like them gaming the system, but as long as we keep allowing politicians to run for office, instead of professionals, we're going to get games like this.

    As for thread title, maybe some Jack Bauer in there, since you brought him up?

    Shadowfire on
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    DrezDrez Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    moniker wrote: »
    Drez wrote: »
    Is this how politics always has been and always will be: games, just different kinds of games as you go from one democratic civilization to another throughout time, with new technologies to contend with and the like?

    Yep.

    And the only issues that require a lot of reaching and gamesmanship are those which are controversial enough with one particular ideology to warrant a filibuster. When you have a majority of people liking your bill, but need the 60 votes for cloture solely because you only have a majority you're shit outta luck.

    Of course, it all depends on the Senatorial makeup and abloo bloo bloo.

    Is mine a valid complaint then, or is this an endemic function/symptom of a democratic political system and thus I am just being overly thin-skinned?


    Shadowfire wrote: »
    I actually don't have a problem with this move, to be honest. Both sides were trying to game the system, one of them won it.

    Mind you, while I'm a Democrat, I'm blaming either both sides here or neither side and the system itself that forces them to do this. I'm not necessarily saying the Democrats were right while the Republicans were wrong.

    Shadowfire wrote: »
    Not that I like them gaming the system, but as long as we keep allowing politicians to run for office, instead of professionals, we're going to get games like this.

    This is actually very interesting. Can you expand on this? A professional to what degree - like a legal professional in the senate, but someone who doesn't cave into games?

    I guess my question is: isn't our political system essentially a gravity well that sucks everyone into the overall game? Is it actually possible to rise above it? Wouldn't you have to complete raze and revise the political system, firing "politicians" as I think you are using the term and hiring professionals? I don't think it's possible to repair it by piecemeal.

    Shadowfire wrote: »
    As for thread title, maybe some Jack Bauer in there, since you brought him up?

    Not a bad idea.

    Drez on
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    monikermoniker Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    Drez wrote: »
    moniker wrote: »
    Drez wrote: »
    Is this how politics always has been and always will be: games, just different kinds of games as you go from one democratic civilization to another throughout time, with new technologies to contend with and the like?

    Yep.

    And the only issues that require a lot of reaching and gamesmanship are those which are controversial enough with one particular ideology to warrant a filibuster. When you have a majority of people liking your bill, but need the 60 votes for cloture solely because you only have a majority you're shit outta luck.

    Of course, it all depends on the Senatorial makeup and abloo bloo bloo.

    Is mine a valid complaint then, or is this an endemic function/symptom of a democratic political system and thus I am just being overly thin-skinned?

    Well, sure and it is only endemic to our system thanks to our setup and rules. Essentially your issue is with the filibuster when people crank it out for shit you like, but don't have 60 senators in agreement. It does suck, but it also ensures that we don't have majority parties all tromping around kept in check solely by the President and the people. Good stuff still happens, just not around election time. And this election season has been going on longer than some Representatives have actually been in the Congress. Come January things'll improve and for most of next year. 2009 might well suck, but the Prez might still have some political capital to spend around before the mid-terms and a 'new mandate' or whatever.

    moniker on
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    PeekingDuckPeekingDuck __BANNED USERS regular
    edited July 2008
    It gets even better in Texas. Half our legislature ran away (Democrats roffle roffle) to Oklahoma so a vote wouldn't take place. I can't remember if they sent the police after them or not.

    PeekingDuck on
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    ThanatosThanatos Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    It's not like there were only a couple of senators supporting this, and two of them turned around and caused a 98-2 vote to pass or something; it was a controversial issue, very close, and the Democrats used a strategy to get the votes they needed on a very, very close issue.

    Thanatos on
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    kildykildy Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    It gets even better in Texas. Half our legislature ran away (Democrats roffle roffle) to Oklahoma so a vote wouldn't take place. I can't remember if they sent the police after them or not.

    That's Amazing

    That said, I dislike that our political system is so heavily based around finding ways to torpedo the other side's stances. This crap, atrocious riders, spamming roll calls, whatnot.

    kildy on
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    DrezDrez Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    Thanatos wrote: »
    It's not like there were only a couple of senators supporting this, and two of them turned around and caused a 98-2 vote to pass or something; it was a controversial issue, very close, and the Democrats used a strategy to get the votes they needed on a very, very close issue.

    But that's my point - I see this as something similar to guerilla warfare. I mean, the political system, in an ideal sense - which is just a pipe dream, I know - is that Senators gather and vote. I think it's silly to have to resort to any kind of "covert tactic" - a word supposedly used by the Democrat who orchestrated it all - to trick Republicans so they can no longer block something. I just think the whole thing is weird.

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    monikermoniker Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    Drez wrote: »
    Thanatos wrote: »
    It's not like there were only a couple of senators supporting this, and two of them turned around and caused a 98-2 vote to pass or something; it was a controversial issue, very close, and the Democrats used a strategy to get the votes they needed on a very, very close issue.

    But that's my point - I see this as something similar to guerilla warfare. I mean, the political system, in an ideal sense - which is just a pipe dream, I know - is that Senators gather and vote. I think it's silly to have to resort to any kind of "covert tactic" - a word supposedly used by the Democrat who orchestrated it all - to trick Republicans so they can no longer block something. I just think the whole thing is weird.

    If you're only upset about the terminology used to describe how they defeated a procedural blockage of important, nigh groundbreaking legislation that ensures puppies and rainbows and old people's new hips, pretend he said what I just did. If you're looking for majority rule, the Senate is not the place to go. Individual Senators are given a great deal of power over their colleagues' legislation. Especially the older they get. And that's now, with things actually having been improved over the years.

    moniker on
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    RUNN1NGMANRUNN1NGMAN Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    It's been this way since the times of the Roman Republic. The masses just never knew about it because most were uninformed and did know what was happening outside their own community, and the rest were in on the game. People have more information now; however, it's arguable whether people are more informed.

    Modern warfare is a good example. Relatively sheltered people see the videos and pictures of the war and say, "Oh my God, war has gotten so brutal." Well, no, it's gotten a lot LESS brutal. It's damn near surgical in it's efficiency. But back when people were blasting each other with .50 caliber musket balls from 25-yards away, there was no cable news, and by the time people heard the news about battles the accounts were damn near romantic. Case in point--I doubt anyone will be dressing up as an Iraqi so we can reenact the Shock and Awe campaign 100-years from now.

    RUNN1NGMAN on
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    FunkyWaltDoggFunkyWaltDogg Columbia, SCRegistered User regular
    edited July 2008
    It gets even better in Texas. Half our legislature ran away (Democrats roffle roffle) to Oklahoma so a vote wouldn't take place. I can't remember if they sent the police after them or not.

    If I recall correctly this was a vote on new super-gerrymandered districts that would have unseated a bunch of Democrats, not just any old bill they didn't like.

    FunkyWaltDogg on
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    PeekingDuckPeekingDuck __BANNED USERS regular
    edited July 2008
    It gets even better in Texas. Half our legislature ran away (Democrats roffle roffle) to Oklahoma so a vote wouldn't take place. I can't remember if they sent the police after them or not.

    If I recall correctly this was a vote on new super-gerrymandered districts that would have unseated a bunch of Democrats, not just any old bill they didn't like.

    Is your avatar the guy from FF3/6?

    PeekingDuck on
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    ShadowfireShadowfire Vermont, in the middle of nowhereRegistered User regular
    edited July 2008
    Drez wrote: »
    Shadowfire wrote: »
    Not that I like them gaming the system, but as long as we keep allowing politicians to run for office, instead of professionals, we're going to get games like this.

    This is actually very interesting. Can you expand on this? A professional to what degree - like a legal professional in the senate, but someone who doesn't cave into games?

    I guess my question is: isn't our political system essentially a gravity well that sucks everyone into the overall game? Is it actually possible to rise above it? Wouldn't you have to complete raze and revise the political system, firing "politicians" as I think you are using the term and hiring professionals? I don't think it's possible to repair it by piecemeal.

    What I'm getting at is, people who are professional politicians, rather than professional farmers, doctors, businessmen, soldiers, and the like. Here in Vermont, our entire government is part time. The Governor is the only full time position - the rest of them, the state senators, deputy governor, etc, are all considered "second jobs." Our deputy governor is a pilot for the Air Force Reserve, a lot of the members of the state senate are farmers and businessmen...

    Basically, the more we elect people who are professional politicians, the more out of touch they are, and the more they play games like this one.

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    ElJeffeElJeffe Moderator, ClubPA mod
    edited July 2008
    It gets even better in Texas. Half our legislature ran away (Democrats roffle roffle) to Oklahoma so a vote wouldn't take place. I can't remember if they sent the police after them or not.

    If I recall correctly this was a vote on new super-gerrymandered districts that would have unseated a bunch of Democrats, not just any old bill they didn't like.

    It was a fairly major issue, yes, and the Dems all ran away. And yeah, I think the Pubs sent the national guard after them, or something. It was a very Texas-lol moment.

    ElJeffe on
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    FunkyWaltDoggFunkyWaltDogg Columbia, SCRegistered User regular
    edited July 2008
    It gets even better in Texas. Half our legislature ran away (Democrats roffle roffle) to Oklahoma so a vote wouldn't take place. I can't remember if they sent the police after them or not.

    If I recall correctly this was a vote on new super-gerrymandered districts that would have unseated a bunch of Democrats, not just any old bill they didn't like.

    Is your avatar the guy from FF3/6?

    Yeah.

    FunkyWaltDogg on
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    QuidQuid Definitely not a banana Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    I believe they did send some sort of authorities after them.

    Whoo Texas!

    Quid on
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    PeekingDuckPeekingDuck __BANNED USERS regular
    edited July 2008
    It gets even better in Texas. Half our legislature ran away (Democrats roffle roffle) to Oklahoma so a vote wouldn't take place. I can't remember if they sent the police after them or not.

    If I recall correctly this was a vote on new super-gerrymandered districts that would have unseated a bunch of Democrats, not just any old bill they didn't like.

    Is your avatar the guy from FF3/6?

    Yeah.

    Cool - looks like Bioshock meets Ultros.

    I think Gerrymandering is one of the greatest and most obvious examples of the hilarity of politics.

    PeekingDuck on
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    FunkyWaltDoggFunkyWaltDogg Columbia, SCRegistered User regular
    edited July 2008
    Shadowfire wrote: »
    Drez wrote: »
    Shadowfire wrote: »
    Not that I like them gaming the system, but as long as we keep allowing politicians to run for office, instead of professionals, we're going to get games like this.

    This is actually very interesting. Can you expand on this? A professional to what degree - like a legal professional in the senate, but someone who doesn't cave into games?

    I guess my question is: isn't our political system essentially a gravity well that sucks everyone into the overall game? Is it actually possible to rise above it? Wouldn't you have to complete raze and revise the political system, firing "politicians" as I think you are using the term and hiring professionals? I don't think it's possible to repair it by piecemeal.

    What I'm getting at is, people who are professional politicians, rather than professional farmers, doctors, businessmen, soldiers, and the like. Here in Vermont, our entire government is part time. The Governor is the only full time position - the rest of them, the state senators, deputy governor, etc, are all considered "second jobs." Our deputy governor is a pilot for the Air Force Reserve, a lot of the members of the state senate are farmers and businessmen...

    Basically, the more we elect people who are professional politicians, the more out of touch they are, and the more they play games like this one.

    On the other hand, everyone in the South Carolina state legislature is "part time" as well, which gives rise to endless conflicts of interest; one recent example involves magistrates giving favorable rulings to defendants who have as attorney a state legislator who has the power to remove the magistrate from his job at any time. Granted, a huge part of the problem here is our system of government (our legislature is all-powerful while the other branches can do fuck-all), but there are good reasons to have full-time legislators.

    FunkyWaltDogg on
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    Dunadan019Dunadan019 Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    Shadowfire wrote: »
    Drez wrote: »
    Shadowfire wrote: »
    Not that I like them gaming the system, but as long as we keep allowing politicians to run for office, instead of professionals, we're going to get games like this.

    This is actually very interesting. Can you expand on this? A professional to what degree - like a legal professional in the senate, but someone who doesn't cave into games?

    I guess my question is: isn't our political system essentially a gravity well that sucks everyone into the overall game? Is it actually possible to rise above it? Wouldn't you have to complete raze and revise the political system, firing "politicians" as I think you are using the term and hiring professionals? I don't think it's possible to repair it by piecemeal.

    What I'm getting at is, people who are professional politicians, rather than professional farmers, doctors, businessmen, soldiers, and the like. Here in Vermont, our entire government is part time. The Governor is the only full time position - the rest of them, the state senators, deputy governor, etc, are all considered "second jobs." Our deputy governor is a pilot for the Air Force Reserve, a lot of the members of the state senate are farmers and businessmen...

    Basically, the more we elect people who are professional politicians, the more out of touch they are, and the more they play games like this one.

    theres also a reason that every state that borders vermont pays better for the same amount of work.

    not to mention that your system ensures that political posturing not only happens at the government level but also at the local level. i am very glad i got out of that state.

    Dunadan019 on
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    ShadowfireShadowfire Vermont, in the middle of nowhereRegistered User regular
    edited July 2008
    Dunadan019 wrote: »
    theres also a reason that every state that borders vermont pays better for the same amount of work.

    not to mention that your system ensures that political posturing not only happens at the government level but also at the local level. i am very glad i got out of that state.

    Hah no. Minimum wage in New Hampshire is $7.25, $8.00 in Mass, $7.25 in NY, and for the sake of arguement, $7.25 in Maine. Vermont is $7.68, only beat by Mass. Jobs vary in their pay, but I'd like to see some evidence of better pay for the same work in neighboring states, especially taking into account differing costs of living.

    Besides, to blame politicians for that is silly, when you consider how rural Vermont is. There's a large concentration of people/businesses/government offices in Chittenden County, around the Burlington area, but the rest of us are surrounded by woods. :P

    Shadowfire on
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    Rufus_ShinraRufus_Shinra Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    Drez wrote: »
    Mr. Kennedy’s appearance was the product of a covert operation coordinated with Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, the majority leader, after the bill to block a cut in doctor fees paid by Medicare fell one vote short two weeks ago. Few Democrats were made aware of the plan until minutes before the vote, and Republicans were blindsided, giving them no time to plot a counterstrategy.

    Read this article from 3 days ago: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/07/health/policy/07medicare.html?_r=1&bl&ex=1215576000&en=861dbfab1568a36c&ei=5087%0A&oref=slogin
    The pending bill offers a short-term fix. It would reverse the 10.6 percent cut and increase Medicare payments to doctors by 1.1 percent in January. Under the current formula, doctors would still face cuts of more than 5 percent a year from 2010 to 2012.

    Despite the president’s veto threat, many House Republicans bolted and voted for the bill, putting added pressure on their colleagues in the Senate.

    As the maneuvering goes on in Washington, doctors around the country have begun to reassess their participation in Medicare.

    Dr. David D. Richardson, 40, an ophthalmologist in Los Angeles County, closed his practice last week to all but emergency patients and those needing surgery.

    “I love practicing medicine,” Dr. Richardson said, “but I would lose more money by keeping my office open than by pulling it back to a skeleton crew. Just like a physician in the emergency room, I try to reduce the hemorrhaging.”

    In Topeka, Kan., Dr. Kent E. Palmberg, senior vice president and chief medical officer of the Stormont-Vail HealthCare system, said its 70 primary care doctors were “no longer accepting new Medicare patients as of July 1 because of the draconian cut in Medicare reimbursement.”

    Dr. Gerald E. Harmon, a family doctor in Pawleys Island, S.C., said he decided last week that he would not take new Medicare patients “until further notice.”

    “This is not what we enjoy doing,” says a notice in his waiting room. “It is what we must do to maintain financial viability.”

    Dr. Harmon said that Democrats had been more helpful on Medicare legislation, but that the two parties shared responsibility for the impasse.

    “Rome is burning, and Nero is fiddling away, trying to get re-elected,” Dr. Harmon said.

    Doctors have also entered the political arena. One made a direct appeal to Mr. Bush at a fund-raiser last week in Jackson, Miss. Dr. J. Patrick Barrett, a spine surgeon and president of the Mississippi State Medical Association, said he had told Mr. Bush that the Medicare pay cut would be “extremely detrimental to the health and welfare of the elderly population.”

    In an interview, Dr. Barrett said: “I lose money whenever I operate on a Medicare patient. In the last week, a number of doctors have told me they will quit seeing new Medicare patients or will cut back on the amount of Medicare work they do.”

    I commend what Kennedy and the Democrats did. This was a crisis and I don't care how they got it done, as long as it got done. This issue was too fucking important to do it the politically honorable way.

    edit: and immediate. This wasn't a bill that could have waited for further debate, it needed to get done now.

    Rufus_Shinra on
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    JustinSane07JustinSane07 Really, stupid? Brockton__BANNED USERS regular
    edited July 2008
    While I have no problems with this, all I can do is picture Kennedy jumping out of a plane and sky diving through the senate building roof.

    JustinSane07 on
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    dgs095dgs095 Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    The problem with political systems is that when you take your ideal political system as a thought and create a practical system out of it you tarnish its principles with necessities.

    I agree with Douglas Adams, that in general, people with the will, power, influence and money to become politicians and political leaders are exactly the sort of people you don't want in charge.

    I expect there will always be games and people trying to take advantage of the political system following the letter of the rules instead of adhering to the intentions. If this makes the news and actually gets average Joe interested in politics then I have no problem with it.

    I think facing Apathy will be the greatest challenge of our time.

    dgs095 on
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    Dunadan019Dunadan019 Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    Shadowfire wrote: »
    Dunadan019 wrote: »
    theres also a reason that every state that borders vermont pays better for the same amount of work.

    not to mention that your system ensures that political posturing not only happens at the government level but also at the local level. i am very glad i got out of that state.

    Hah no. Minimum wage in New Hampshire is $7.25, $8.00 in Mass, $7.25 in NY, and for the sake of arguement, $7.25 in Maine. Vermont is $7.68, only beat by Mass. Jobs vary in their pay, but I'd like to see some evidence of better pay for the same work in neighboring states, especially taking into account differing costs of living.

    Besides, to blame politicians for that is silly, when you consider how rural Vermont is. There's a large concentration of people/businesses/government offices in Chittenden County, around the Burlington area, but the rest of us are surrounded by woods. :P

    i know, i lived there and my father still does. based on the jobs he has (minimum wage is usually for the most menial tasks with quick turn overs) available to him. he researched the other states wages and found that they pay more, unfortunately all of the areas in his range are already full on employment from people commuting from VT. so taking a different job would mean having to move and he cant afford that.

    quality of living in VT upstate NY and NH is pretty much the same, it is definitly better in Mass tho.

    my problem with the politics is that i was in VT during elementry school many years ago. my school principal would routinely "pick" on the students whose parents were not involved in the democratic party there. all of her addresses to the school body were politically tainted as well. this caused my family to change school districts after having to fight the state to acnowledge that my fathers residence in a neighboring town constitutes our right to go to that school. when the complaint was taken to the school board, it was immediately dismissed and my mother was ostricized from the community and began having trouble with lake rights and vandalism.

    we left vermont. its the only state that survives mainly on tourism yet the people are about as friendly as any hill billies are likely to be.

    Dunadan019 on
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    AngelHedgieAngelHedgie Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    It gets even better in Texas. Half our legislature ran away (Democrats roffle roffle) to Oklahoma so a vote wouldn't take place. I can't remember if they sent the police after them or not.

    Yes, now tell the nice folks what that vote was.

    (For those interested, they did that in order to try to stop DeLay's gerrymander.)

    Edit: Hmm, TOTPed.

    No, part-time lawmakers aren't a good idea. One, as people have pointed out, there's too much incentive for corruption. Two, it keeps the elected positions from people who aren't wealthy.

    Again, I think the main problem is that the GOP transformed itself from being conservative but open-minded to being a doctrinaire lock-step army. For all his faults, Goldwater was the one to tell Nixon that it was over.

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    YarYar Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    I don't understand why you guys think this is some sort of underhanded game. They needed Kennedy's vote, but he was undergoing intensive cancer treatment and couldn't be there. So in a historic and courageous moment, he puts on a suit and shows up anyway, just to give the vote to end the filibuster.

    In the end, he just voted his vote. That isn't the Machiavellian political scheme you make it out to be.
    It gets even better in Texas. Half our legislature ran away (Democrats roffle roffle) to Oklahoma so a vote wouldn't take place. I can't remember if they sent the police after them or not.

    If I recall correctly this was a vote on new super-gerrymandered districts that would have unseated a bunch of Democrats, not just any old bill they didn't like.
    Even gerry-mandering is a political game. My opinion was that Democrats had super-gerry-mandered themselves over several years into an almost unbreakable stronghold of power, and when a surge of Republican voting gave Pubs a brief edge, their natural first order of business was to undo the damage back in their own favor. One man's "gerry-mandering" is another's "drawing senisble district lines to ensure fair play and prevent voter disenfranchisement."

    Yar on
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    FeralFeral MEMETICHARIZARD interior crocodile alligator ⇔ ǝɹʇɐǝɥʇ ǝᴉʌoɯ ʇǝloɹʌǝɥɔ ɐ ǝʌᴉɹp ᴉRegistered User regular
    edited July 2008
    1) Given any system of rules, the rich and/or powerful will find a way of gaming those rules.
    2) I'm not particularly disturbed by a system that allows legislators to block controversial bills by filibustering. I'd rather my government suffer from too much inertia than too much momentum.
    3) I agree with Yar above. Kennedy showed up at the 11th hour to do his job. Dramatic, yes; possibly even heroic. But not underhanded.

    Feral on
    every person who doesn't like an acquired taste always seems to think everyone who likes it is faking it. it should be an official fallacy.

    the "no true scotch man" fallacy.
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    AngelHedgieAngelHedgie Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    Yar wrote: »
    It gets even better in Texas. Half our legislature ran away (Democrats roffle roffle) to Oklahoma so a vote wouldn't take place. I can't remember if they sent the police after them or not.

    If I recall correctly this was a vote on new super-gerrymandered districts that would have unseated a bunch of Democrats, not just any old bill they didn't like.
    Even gerry-mandering is a political game. My opinion was that Democrats had super-gerry-mandered themselves over several years into an almost unbreakable stronghold of power, and when a surge of Republican voting gave Pubs a brief edge, their natural first order of business was to undo the damage back in their own favor. One man's "gerry-mandering" is another's "drawing senisble district lines to ensure fair play and prevent voter disenfranchisement."

    In Texas? No, this was part of DeLay's "permanent Republican majority" scheme. The problem was that the districts had just been redrawn (we do it every 10 years), and his moves were blatantly political.

    AngelHedgie on
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    YarYar Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    That doesn't change what I just wrote.

    Yar on
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    AngelHedgieAngelHedgie Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    Feral wrote: »
    2) I'm not particularly disturbed by a system that allows legislators to block controversial bills by filibustering. I'd rather my government suffer from too much inertia than too much momentum.

    The problem is that neither are healthy. This will be one of Obama's largest challenges (and why we need a more aggressive Majority Leader in the Senate) - because the Republican bloc will do everything (and I do mean EVERYTHING) to stop any bills he proposes from being voted on.

    AngelHedgie on
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    ElJeffeElJeffe Moderator, ClubPA mod
    edited July 2008
    Yar wrote: »
    I don't understand why you guys think this is some sort of underhanded game. They needed Kennedy's vote, but he was undergoing intensive cancer treatment and couldn't be there. So in a historic and courageous moment, he puts on a suit and shows up anyway, just to give the vote to end the filibuster.

    In the end, he just voted his vote. That isn't the Machiavellian political scheme you make it out to be.

    I more or less agree, but you kind of understate the ninja-ing that was going on here. It was known in advance by select people that he would show up, and they kept this a secret so the Pubs would simply bask in their expected victory rather than develop a counterstrategy. I don't think it was underhanded at all - I think it's pretty awesome, in fact - but it was definitely sneaky.

    ElJeffe on
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    Dunadan019Dunadan019 Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    Feral wrote: »
    2) I'm not particularly disturbed by a system that allows legislators to block controversial bills by filibustering. I'd rather my government suffer from too much inertia than too much momentum.

    The problem is that neither are healthy. This will be one of Obama's largest challenges (and why we need a more aggressive Majority Leader in the Senate) - because the Republican bloc will do everything (and I do mean EVERYTHING) to stop any bills he proposes from being voted on.

    democrats do the same thing, its politics.

    Dunadan019 on
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    FeralFeral MEMETICHARIZARD interior crocodile alligator ⇔ ǝɹʇɐǝɥʇ ǝᴉʌoɯ ʇǝloɹʌǝɥɔ ɐ ǝʌᴉɹp ᴉRegistered User regular
    edited July 2008
    Feral wrote: »
    2) I'm not particularly disturbed by a system that allows legislators to block controversial bills by filibustering. I'd rather my government suffer from too much inertia than too much momentum.

    The problem is that neither are healthy. This will be one of Obama's largest challenges (and why we need a more aggressive Majority Leader in the Senate) - because the Republican bloc will do everything (and I do mean EVERYTHING) to stop any bills he proposes from being voted on.

    There is definitely a happy medium and most of the time I think the US is somewhere in that happy medium. When it errs, though, I'd rather it err on the side of inertia.

    Feral on
    every person who doesn't like an acquired taste always seems to think everyone who likes it is faking it. it should be an official fallacy.

    the "no true scotch man" fallacy.
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    Andrew_JayAndrew_Jay Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    A lot of parliamentry democracies have a tradition of pairing votes when members from the other party are ill. Basically, if followed here, the Republicans would acknowledge that Kennedy can't attend and someone from their party would also sit out so as to not effect the vote spread. It's just a gentlemanly way of not crassly taking advantage of people's poor health or other emergencies.

    Of course, for important (potentially government defeating) votes, that goes out the window and you have people wheeled into the House of Commons on stretchers in order to be present.

    Andrew_Jay on
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    deadonthestreetdeadonthestreet Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    Kennedy is super awesome.

    deadonthestreet on
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    AngelHedgieAngelHedgie Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    Dunadan019 wrote: »
    Feral wrote: »
    2) I'm not particularly disturbed by a system that allows legislators to block controversial bills by filibustering. I'd rather my government suffer from too much inertia than too much momentum.

    The problem is that neither are healthy. This will be one of Obama's largest challenges (and why we need a more aggressive Majority Leader in the Senate) - because the Republican bloc will do everything (and I do mean EVERYTHING) to stop any bills he proposes from being voted on.

    democrats do the same thing, its politics.

    Except they didn't.

    AngelHedgie on
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    PeekingDuckPeekingDuck __BANNED USERS regular
    edited July 2008
    It gets even better in Texas. Half our legislature ran away (Democrats roffle roffle) to Oklahoma so a vote wouldn't take place. I can't remember if they sent the police after them or not.

    Yes, now tell the nice folks what that vote was.

    (For those interested, they did that in order to try to stop DeLay's gerrymander.)

    Edit: Hmm, TOTPed.

    No, part-time lawmakers aren't a good idea. One, as people have pointed out, there's too much incentive for corruption. Two, it keeps the elected positions from people who aren't wealthy.

    Again, I think the main problem is that the GOP transformed itself from being conservative but open-minded to being a doctrinaire lock-step army. For all his faults, Goldwater was the one to tell Nixon that it was over.

    I wasn't making any value judgement on the vote or the Democrats. I'm pretty equitable with my disdain for politicians of any party. The only difference is in what issues they decide to fuck the populace.

    PeekingDuck on
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    monikermoniker Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    Dunadan019 wrote: »
    Feral wrote: »
    2) I'm not particularly disturbed by a system that allows legislators to block controversial bills by filibustering. I'd rather my government suffer from too much inertia than too much momentum.

    The problem is that neither are healthy. This will be one of Obama's largest challenges (and why we need a more aggressive Majority Leader in the Senate) - because the Republican bloc will do everything (and I do mean EVERYTHING) to stop any bills he proposes from being voted on.

    democrats do the same thing, its politics.

    Except they didn't.

    Yep. They never filibustered anything to the point that the 'nuclear option' was even broached as a topic. Let alone cause a ridiculously named group to form in order to ensure shit got done.

    moniker on
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    PeekingDuckPeekingDuck __BANNED USERS regular
    edited July 2008

    Yep. They never filibustered anything to the point that the 'nuclear option' was even broached as a topic. Let alone cause a ridiculously named group to form in order to ensure shit got done.

    This is sarcastic, correct?

    PeekingDuck on
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    monikermoniker Registered User regular
    edited July 2008

    Yep. They never filibustered anything to the point that the 'nuclear option' was even broached as a topic. Let alone cause a ridiculously named group to form in order to ensure shit got done.

    This is sarcastic, correct?

    Yes.

    moniker on
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