Third Party & Independents Archives

Cold? Throw a politician on the fire.

I will concede that too many of our private sector icons have proven to be irresponsible, gullible, feckless, or felonious—and sometimes all four simultaneously. It’s hard not to be impressed by such grand mal sociopathy. Most of Bernard Madoff’s legal defense will have to focus on his rounding errors, as he more-or-less admits to bilking 50 billion dollars, much of it from America’s charities, not to mention the widows and orphans they serve. That’s just the kind of thing that can give Ponzi schemes a bad name.

On the other hand, nobody is particularly surprised when politicians exhibit pestiferous behavior. Blago’s antics in Illinois are most remarkable for being considered reasonable and customary by the hapless minions residing there. Baltimore’s Mayor Sheila Dixon was indicted last week on 12 criminal counts, including theft and perjury, my favorite of which is using holiday gift cards—contributed for use by needy families—to buy electronics and clothing for herself.

Politicians are endemically biddable. Charging them with protecting the public from itself has a long history of being eminently lucrative for the protectors. The temptation is virtually palpable: a politician can almost pick it up, roll it in his hand, admire its heft, and deem it “golden.” Thus, the power to regulate is not so much the power to leverage but to be leveraged by the very people who are ostensibly being regulated. It’s called influence peddling. And the more influence you give to politicians, the more they have to proffer to the highest bidder.

Before we’re stampeded into further enfranchising the political class with more power over us, let’s consider that economic maelstrom currently surrounding us is almost exclusively linked to troubles in the housing market, the latter which Barney Frank would have you believe are the result of “excessive deregulation.” This conveniently ignores the fact that the main culprits inflating housing prices (by way of easy loans) were Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. Both are creatures of government, and each encouraged the most irrationally exuberant elements of the housing market, artificially inflating demand and prices.

Added to Freddie and Fannie were other government interventions that created unsustainable demand, such as the Community Investment Act, which required banks to make a certain proportion of their loans to risky low-income customers. When the bubble burst, these were the first loans to fail. And let’s not ignore Alan Greenspan’s legacy: the Fed was basically printing fiat money and selling it cheap, blowing more and more hot air into a fragile bubble.

These are not consequences of a free market or—more precisely—people acting freely. They are the unpredictable, unintended consequences of meddling by politicians, who are no more prescient or wise than any of us, and who have—as a group—proven themselves to be pathologically unworthy of any serious trust. In our fear and trepidation, we shouldn’t give them even more power over our lives and livelihoods. Hell, we shouldn’t even trust them with a gift card to Circuit City.

Posted by Stephen G. Barone at January 13, 2009 12:15 PM
Comments
Comment #273532

This is why the electric needs to keep a close eye on those they elect. And throw them out if they don’t act in the best interest of the country.
Our current economic situation isn’t the fault of any one party. Both parties are just as at fault.
The housing crisis has affected more than just housing prices. Land values have dropped also. Land around here was selling for $1,725/acre. Now is about $950/acre, and dropping. Makes it harder for a farmer to get a loan to plant his crops.
Also the folks that have reverse mortgages based on prices before the bubble burst can’t get anymore money from their homes. Some of these folks were using that money for medicine and/or to keep the electricity turned on.
Yeah, our current crop of politicians can be real proud of themselves.

Posted by: Ron Brown at January 13, 2009 12:54 PM
Comment #273538

Throwing a politician on the fire? First, the politician would demand to know if a union member was employed to start the fire, if the fire was taxed or subsidized, what government regulatory agency was in charge of the fire, is fire authorized by our constitution, fire is a pollutant and should be outlawed, and finally, politicians are too thick-hided and small brained to burn…they simply smolder forever.

Posted by: Jim M at January 13, 2009 3:54 PM
Comment #273539

I’ll volunteer to take up a collection for gasoline.

At any rate, the voters have the government that the voters elect, and re-elect, and re-elect, and re-elect , … , at least until that finally becomes too painful.

Posted by: d.a.n at January 13, 2009 4:03 PM
Comment #273543

Barone, the mortgage contracts to sell homes were but a part of a much bigger convergence of irresponsibility which created the crisis we are now in. Were the mortgage terms of selling houses the only area of fault, our economy would not be in a recession - we would have a slumped housing market and be dealing with a much smaller number of foreclosures, if that were the case.

The leveraging by financial institutions, our government, the banking sector, and the abhorrent abdication of responsibility by the rating agencies of so called AAA securitized assets up for auction, all contributed to create a global recession.

There was a door opened to this mess by the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act signed by Clinton in 1999, a door which should have been closed by subsequent compensatory legislation as some in Congress wanted to do. But, it wasn’t to be. Then came 8 years of turning a disinterested eye to wall street and all corporate matters and high finance as payback for contributions to seating a Republican government. That allowed the leveraging era to begin in earnest under the Bush/Greenspan/Cox era.

Posted by: David R. Remer at January 13, 2009 4:34 PM
Comment #273544
Ron Brown wrote: Our current economic situation isn’t the fault of any one party. Both parties are just as at fault.
Ron, That’s right. Though the IN-PARTY is always a little more corrupt (which is why the IN-PARTY always become the OUT-PARTY), it took several decdades for these abuses to get where we are today.
  • Lawlessnes, constituational violations (e.g. Article V), illegal immigration, unfair trade practices, the race-to-the-bottom globalism; eminent domain abuse; legal plunder; etc.;
  • Unnecessary wars;
  • Plutocratic klepticracy; Our government is FOR-SALE, as evidenced by 99.7% of all 200 million eligible voters that are vastly out-spent by a tiny 0.3% of all 200 million voters who make 83% of all federal campaign donations (of $200 or more).
  • Election problems; 85%-to-90% re-election rates for Congress; government FOR-SALE; Gerrymandering; an estimated 3% of votes are by illegal aliens; etc.
  • Debt that is near (if not already) untenable: $10.7 Trillion National Debt; $12.8 Trillion borrowed from Social Security, leaving it pay-as-you-go, with a 77 Million baby-boomer bubble approaching; bail-out mania; corruption; $67 Trillion nation-wide debt; etc.
  • Growing weatlh disparity gap since 1976 (wealthiest 1% owns 40% of all wealth; up from 20% in year 1976); never worse since the Great Depression;
  • Dishonest, usurious, inflationary, monetary system and a predatory, usurious banking system;
  • Regressive taxation; This is how Warren Buffet, the 2nd wealthiest person in the U.S., pays a lower percentage of income to federal taxes (e.g. 17.7% on $46 Million in year 2006), than his secretary (who paid 30% in federal taxes on an income of $60K). Warren Buffet told Tom Brokaw on “NBC Nightly News” that the U.S. tax structure is unfair. Warren Buffet performed an informal poll in his office, where the average tax rate was 32.9%, compared to his 17.7% percent, citing that as evidence that “the tax system has tilted toward the rich in the last 10 years”.
  • Insufficient / Inadequate Education: Not only is education in math, science, and technology important to compete in a increasingly competitive global economy, but insufficient education about government, human nature, and the many abuses and manifestations of unchecked greed (described on this page) is equally disastrous, and leads to the failure to recognize the importance of Education itself, Transparency, and Accountability, which breeds Corruption and numerous abuses listed on this page:
    • Responsibility = Power + Conscience + Education + Transparency + Accountability
    • Corruption = Power - Conscience - Education - Transparency - Accountability
  • HealthCare or DangerousCare?: Healthcare is not only increasingly unaffordable, but dangerous too! HealthGrades.com reported (27-July-2004) that “An average of 195,000 people in the U.S. died due to potentially preventable, in-hospital medical errors in each of the years 2000, 2001 and 2002, according to a new study of 37 million patient records”. Since 1999, that is over 1.5 million people killed by preventable medical mistakes. That is more than all the American soldiers killed in the American Revolution (4,435), the War of 1812 (2,260), the Indian Wars (1,000), the Mexican War (1,733), the Civil War (462,000), the Spanish American War (385), WWI (53,402), WWII (291,557), Vietnam War (58,209), Korean War (36,574), the Iraq Gulf War (529), and the current Iraq war Mar-2003-present (3,963), combined!
At any rate, the voters have the government that the voters elect (and re-elect, and re-elect, and re-elect , … , at least until that finally becomes too painful). Posted by: d.a.n at January 13, 2009 5:20 PM
Comment #273546

Dan, you are so very right! The IN-Party is always more corrupt than the OUT-Party. Time to stop flipping back and forth for the lesser of two evils. Time to get on with creating a new party or parties with a different political attitude. I hear retiree’s have lost $2T is this deal. They should be ripe for to support a new party.

Otherwise, we have the government we deserve.

Posted by: Roy Ellis at January 13, 2009 6:51 PM
Comment #273550

Political Parties serve but one master, the acquisition and maintenance of power. All laws, regulations, and actions by people loyal to their party serve this master before any others, such as the people the nation.

This has always been true of political parties. It will become true of any new third or independent party as well, human beings being what they are, rational. Meaning they will rationalize that if they aren’t in power, they can’t change things, therefore, the acquisition and maintenance of being in power must come before all other considerations.

Of course, this is entirely irrational for those whose loyalties lie with problem solving and the greatest good for the greatest number for the longest possible time. Such folks will become independent voters working with realistic expectations and the awareness that perfection and idealism are what keep one on a good path, but, reality forces choices between bad, good, and better choices, and which is which will not always be readily apparent. Such is the struggle of life, individual, cultural, national, and international.

Sometimes the best one can do is find a really good person with a very good head on their shoulders and support that person in leadership regardless of their party label, with some confidence that their character will supersede the party that brought them to their position of leadership.

Posted by: David R. Remer at January 13, 2009 8:15 PM
Comment #273553

Call me crazy, but…

Seems to me that all of this came to light before the elections, and yet, according to Dan we had what, 85% re-election rate for incumbents.

Where exactly is this vast populace ready to throw all the bums out?

So….., that leaves us with two obvious possibilities;
Either the electorate is, for the most part, satisfied with the jobs their particular elected official is doing regardless of party,
Or the electorate is bone stupid.

Frankly, despite the reams of information that Dan continues to post, and the conspiracies that Roy keeps talking about, and despite the fact I don’t really have much faith in my fellow Americans, I would tend to believe that the former is more the case than the later.

No group of people could possibly be so grossly uninformed that they would continue to re-elect the same group of charlatans if they truly thought they were being screwed.

Could they?

Rocky

Posted by: Rocky Marks at January 13, 2009 9:50 PM
Comment #273555

SB
The Community Reinvestment Act is not to blame. That is a lie. It is a blame shifting strategy spun up by right wing propaganda mills to blame people of color,the rights favorite whipping boy. Whats next, blame Jews and homosexuals? The CRA did not even apply to the majority of institutions involved in the morgage business and the payback rate for CRA morgages is better than average.As Hitler proved, a lie told enough is taken for truth.
Why on earth would a bad loan in Balwin Park lead to the backruptcy of Iceland? The economic circuit breakers put in place after the Depression where removed, mostly be politicians of THE REPUBLICAN PARTY!You want to throw some politicians on the fire,at least be selective.
Why the absurd run up in houseing to begin with? THere was a great deal of capital after the dot-com fissle that had to go somewhere. Real estate was the only thing making money so that is where it was parked,driving up real estate values artificially. Had the Bush regime provided incentives and leadership to seriously create an alternative energy industry that capital would have been far better used to create American jobs in a sustainable industry. Again this was a failure of leadership by the REPUBLICAN PARTY ! The party of big oil.
Had the Bush regime not adopted an anti-union,anti worker policy wages would have gone up,putting more money in the hands of consumers. Instead they pushed wages flat or downward. This was the REPUBLICAN PARTY!

Posted by: bills at January 13, 2009 10:21 PM
Comment #273557

It wasn’t the Republican party. It was the government.

Posted by: Weary Willie at January 13, 2009 10:48 PM
Comment #273559

WW, too general in order to hold individuals responsible for specific actions. Must be why Republicans are always trashing government, so much safety in that for their elected ranks. Nixon taught your party well, for awhile, and then your party forgot the lesson.

Back to the wilderness for Republicans for another 30 years.

Posted by: David R. Remer at January 14, 2009 4:51 AM
Comment #273569

“Either the electorate is, for the most part, satisfied with the jobs their particular elected official is doing regardless of party,
Or the electorate is bone stupid.”

I would also suggest a 3rd possible choice, Rocky, There isn’t a “none of the above” spot on the ballot to allow people to reject both choices. And most of the time unless it is the office of president there isn’t a 3rd choice to vote on.

Mr. Barone, It is easy to blame the politicians for playing the game. The fact is that to many politicians are bound to support those that give them the money required to get elected and then re-elected. Why is it we don’t blame those that subvert the system as well? Why is it we don’t blame the system itself? Seems to me we admire those the throw the fuel on the fire and those that light the match and then blame the guy that is burning for causing the fire.

Posted by: j2t2 at January 14, 2009 10:32 AM
Comment #273570

j2t2,

I would suggest that if there was so much voter dissatisfaction with the two major parties that we would have seen a much greater vote for the “other” candidates. Yet in this Presidential race, for instance, out of vote by 63% of the electorate, BTW the highest voter turnout since 1960, the four “other” candidates garnered a whopping 2% of the popular vote.
Besides this, in the races for Congress, virtually all of the seats contested swapped around between the Democrats and the Republicans.
This doesn’t seem to me like a vast voter dissatisfaction with the major parties.

So it seems that despite all of the wailing and gnashing of teeth from some of the writers here at watchblog, the electorate has spoken and the vast majority of people in this country are willing to stick with what we have, at least it seems that way to me.

Rocky

Posted by: Rocky Marks at January 14, 2009 11:02 AM
Comment #273571

David, you matter of factly dismiss 3rd parties as an option for reform. I do too. I’m not interested in advocating for a 3rd party. I’m interested in advocating for a 3rd party or parties with a different political attitude. A party established with some rules. Rules that require that party members provide oversight for other members that become elected or appointed officials. Rules that can’t be added to, edited or deleted without a 66% vote approval by membership. Rules that allow members to vote and reject a nascent official from office on the perception or reality of some misdeed. A party that stresses a pure reform agenda and requires, by rule, that members elected to office work to carry out that agenda.
David, by trying to pass my party off as just another 3rd party is misguided in my opinion. You seem to opt for a one man superhero that can wrestle the congress and the world into following him. I like the idea of a grassroots movement building a party that can act as a countervailing force to the status quo and provide the tools for reform. A party that can then go out and find some regular Joe politicians, preferably retired baby boomers, to become candidates for office and take up the mantle of reform.
David, you seem willing to accept crap for leadership ad infinitum. I’m not. I want reform of government.

Some time ago Weary Willie took me to task for being me, me, me, me minded with my party. And your post takes much the same attitude. Because my party is not in power I must be looking ‘for acquisition and maintenance of power’. I won’t argue with that but on an equal measure I am looking for political accountability, reform of government and keeping it that way. That’s my perspective on a 3rd party or parties with a DIFFERENT political attitude.

Rockey wrote: No group of people could possibly be so grossly uninformed that they would continue to re-elect the same group of charlatans if they truly thought they were being screwed

I think you miss the point Rocky. While there are millions upon millions of Americans who could serve well in Congress they have not chance. The parties very strictly control who gets to run and who gets the support. The electorate doesn’t get to vote for “their” man. They only get to vote for who the party puts up. A Roland Burris for example or a Caroline Kennedy. The party selects those that are seen as most helpful to the continuation of party power. Who has given the most in campaign funds to other struggling party candidates. Who is the best fundraiser. It’s much like the Pres. handing out ambassadorships. Sure, a few will go to knowledgeable and deserving people. But most will go to big campaign donors or in some way had a big influence on the Pres coming to power. Providing corporate jets and hotel rooms, etc.
Not sure you can put the blame on the way people vote when they are given little choice in the candidate.

Agree with you Weary Willie. Was in no way one or the other parties that got us here. It was the Klepto-Plutocracy government we have had for the last 40-50 years. Or, the best government money can buy.

Was to a wood yard yesterday and can relate this story. A US plyboard mfctr. can ship the wood materials to China, have them cut, dry, laminate/press the plywood core and ship it back to the US where a final finish layer is applied and sell the product for $20 more than if the US mfctr did the entire process. Shows you the power of six cents an hour labor. Gives reason to why US manufacturing ain’t goin anywhere fast anytime soon. I sure hope Obama can have a talk with them Chinese and straighten things out!

Otherwise, we have the government we deserve.

Posted by: Roy Ellis at January 14, 2009 11:04 AM
Comment #273572

Last Para: meant to say Make $20 more on a 4x8 foot piece of plyboard.

Posted by: Roy Ellis at January 14, 2009 11:10 AM
Comment #273574

Roy,

Sorry, but I don’t think that I am the one missing the point here.
I am not so naive to think that money isn’t the driving force in politics.
At the same time though, I do not think that the two major parties hold the franchise on ideas. Nor do I think does the MSM.
The people, no matter what party is in power, or what party has a candidate, aren’t going to vote for someone that doesn’t have a clue, or a message they can’t agree with.

The Libertarian Party, as an example, has been around since 1971, and according to wikipedia, as of 2002 they held 559 offices at the state and local level throughout the country. Gee, that’s 11 offices per state. I would have thought that if they truly had a message that resonated with the voters they could have a much better representation, at least at the local level.

It is my understanding that this past election had a greater percentage of “independent” voters than ever before, yet there was no massive independent vote for the “others”.

So, all of that said, I have to conclude that the voters either don’t understand what the “other” parties are saying, or they are just not that interested.

Rocky

Posted by: Rocky Marks at January 14, 2009 12:07 PM
Comment #273576

Mr. Remer

Nixon taught your party well, for awhile, and then your party forgot the lesson.

You assume I am a Republican. tsk, tsk. :)

If it isn’t the government as a whole then why do good people elected to office end up absorbed into the system?
Why do reporters say they have to put politicians in a good light to be able to talk to them?
Why is the minimum amount of information presented when asking a question of a government employee?

A CEO was appointed to federal office and told a reporter that anyone wanting to be elected to these positions should spend two weeks doing the job before taking it. He said that he never had to do the things he was doing in office while being the ceo of his company.

Reporters will say they can’t do their jobs if politicians won’t talk to them and if they report negatively about the politician, the politician won’t talk to them. It’s self preservation to put politicians in a favorable light, to present the politician’s viewpoint positively.

Government employees won’t hand out information for the same reason. If that information is used to embarrass a politician it is the employee held responsible and another more loyal employee is found to replace them. More often than not an employee found in the related gene pool via. nepotism. What qualifications are found in the newest Kennedy and would someone with her experience be the shoe-in she is if her last name wasn’t Kennedy?

Many good people get elected to office. But once there they are swept into a system that converts their views into what the government system requires of them, many good politicians do not remain so because of the reasons mentioned above. It is not the people as individuals that make government disfunctional, it is government that makes it’s individuals disfunctional.

Posted by: Weary Willie at January 14, 2009 12:21 PM
Comment #273582

Jim M
Right! But as they smolder forever they’ll keep ya warm.

d.a.n said: I’ll volunteer to take up a collection for gasoline.

Where do I send my dollar? :)

Rocky said: Besides this, in the races for Congress, virtually all of the seats contested swapped around between the Democrats and the Republicans.
This doesn’t seem to me like a vast voter dissatisfaction with the major parties.

How many independents or 3rd party candidates running for Congress? There wasn’t any in Georgia. We had no choice but to vote either Rep or Dem. Kinda a lose, lose situation.

Posted by: Ron Brown at January 14, 2009 1:25 PM
Comment #273583


Rocky and WW, agree somewhat. Jim Webb was able to beat out a Republican, George Allen. Once into office he went quiet. I’m sure the system is grooming him for something. But, it’s clear he ain’t running up and down the halls waving ‘enforce immigration law’ banners, etc. The pecking order is a big big problem with congress. You step out of line and you get whacked hard. No support, no re-election. Our government is run by a very few people at the top of the heap. Only way we can ever hope to change it is through a reform party with a different attitude about politics. Same for rational healthcare, flat tax, campaign finance and a whole host of issues. How much taxpayer money is being used to support my pet conspiracy, the NAU?
Good reads on the NAU are: Pat Choate’s “Dangerous Business”, David Cay Johnston’s “Free Lunch” and best, Jerome Corsi’s “The Late Great USA.

The following was lifted from a Gary Wood post on hearmythunder.org.

Once upon a time a man appeared in a village and announced to the villagers that he would buy monkeys for $10 each.

The villagers, seeing that there were many monkeys around, went out to the forest and started catching them. The man bought thousands at $10 and, as supply started to diminish, the villagers stopped their effort.

He next announced that he would now buy monkeys at $20 each. This renewed the efforts of the villagers and they started catching monkeys again. Soon the supply diminished even further and people started going back to their farms.

The offer increased to $25 each and the supply of monkeys became so scarce it was an effort to even find a monkey let alone catch it!
The man now announced that he would buy monkeys at $50 each! However, since he had to go to the city on some business, his assistant would buy the monkeys on his behalf.

In the absence of the man the assistant told the villagers: “Look at all these monkeys in the big cage that the man has already collected. I will sell them to you at $35 each and when the man comes back from the city you can sell them back to him for $50 each.”

The villagers rounded up all their savings and bought all the monkeys for 700 billion dollars. They never saw the man or his assistant again, only lots and lots of monkeys!

Now you have a better understanding of how the WALL STREET & OTHER BAILOUT PLANS WORK!

It doesn’t get much clearer than this…


From another of Gary’s post On Jefferson: Jefferson in some cases could be called a prophet.

When we get piled upon one another in large cities, as in Europe, we shall become as corrupt as Europe .
Thomas Jefferson

The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not. Thomas Jefferson

It is incumbent on every generation to pay its own debts as it goes. A principle which if acted on would save one-half the wars of the world.
Thomas Jefferson

I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them.
Thomas Jefferson

My reading of history convinces me that most bad government results from too much government.
Thomas Jefferson

No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms.
Thomas Jefferson

The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.
Thomas Jefferson

The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.
Thomas Jefferson

To compel a man to subsidize with his taxes the propagation of ideas which he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical.
Thomas Jefferson

Very Interesting Quote

In light of the present financial crisis, it’s interesting to read what Thomas Jefferson said in 1802 :

‘I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around the banks will deprive the people of all property until their children wake-up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered.’

————- A Couple of More to Consider ———————-

In 1816, in a letter to Samuel Kercheval;

To preserve the independence of the people, we must not let our rulers load us with perpetual debt. We must make our election between economy and liberty, or profusion and servitude. Considering the general tendency to multiply offices and dependencies, and to increase expense to the ultimate term of burden which the citizen can bear, may it never be seen here that…government shall itself consume the residue of what it was instituted to guard.

On production based taxation;

A wise and frugal government, which shall restrain men from injuring on another, which shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned.

Posted by: Roy Ellis at January 14, 2009 1:29 PM
Comment #273586

Ron Brown, from Blue Ridge myself, and I agree with you on available candidates. The duopoly has spent tens of millions to shut 3rd parties out. Media makes sure they get little or not coverage. And why do we need campaigns that run for a year? That too, serves to keep 3rd parties out. How about a six month campaign? How about forcing media to give air time to 3rd party candidates? After all, the airwaves belong to the public. What we have is free speech, AS LONG AS YOU CAN AFFORD IT.

Otherwise, we have the government we deserve!

Posted by: Roy Ellis at January 14, 2009 2:45 PM
Comment #273600

Roy, Thanks for the quotes.
We are so, so, so far off course.
The Constitution is being violated in many ways.
Debt is rampant, and the ramifications of that are rampant too.
What so many Americans fail to understand is that they are culpable too.

At any rate, the voters have the government that the voters elect, and re-elect, and re-elect, and re-elect , … , at least until that finally becomes too painful.

Posted by: d.a.n at January 14, 2009 11:46 PM
Comment #273601

Ron Brown wrote: Our current economic situation isn’t the fault of any one party. Both parties are just as at fault

Utter nonsense! The Republicans are%98.7 responsible. They sold a bill of goods to their numbskull followers. If you can’t see it,it is because of partisan,or in this case,non-partisan blinders. Nobody likes to admit they were made fools of. I mean,idoicy like ,”lets all vote for the biggest kleptos on the planet because they hate gay marriage,want to outlaw abortion, and promise,promise not to take my gun away.”
And now we are getting conservatives saying that Bushco was not “realy a conservative”. More nonsense. He was exactly what they wanted ,voted for twice, and defended ,no matter how incompetant and dangerious his dicisions.

Posted by: bills at January 15, 2009 12:44 AM
Comment #273603

Weary Willie, substitute fellow members of their party for government, and you will have a much handle on the structural corruption of our government. It is not so much that government that corrupts politicians, as it is the influence of political parties on their own within government that corrupts. Of course, power has a way of attracting those who would yield to its wiles and rewards, but, so some who come to government are corrupt in their minds before ever achieving office. I suspect Blagojevich is one example.

Obama’s defense of Geithner is an example of power corrupting the individual. Obama has been without sign of corruption until now, with Geithner. Obama obviously believes it is more expedient to defend Geithner and his mistakes while his ratings are high and political capital strong, than to admit an error in judgment and vetting, select another, and move on.

Obama would do well at this point to simply take a lesson from John McCain when McCain responded to David Letterman’s query as to what happened. McCain said: “I screwed up”. It was a most forgivable moment for McCain. Obama should just admit to getting the Geithner selection wrong, and make it right. But, the corruption by power is ever exerting itself to “save face” and make one’s own wrongs right without consequence or price. Expedience is a close cousin to power’s influence, especially for rulers, kings, and presidents with so very much on their plates to deal with.

Posted by: David R. Remer at January 15, 2009 2:41 AM
Comment #273604

Roy, the idea of a political party which is first to call for the removal of its own from office, at first appears an oxymoron. But, a party predicated on policing its own, while noble and appealing to the highest potential of our political species, will be a party plagued with incessant internal divisions, as its members debate and fight over the interpretation and motives of the actions of their own in office.

I am not saying such a party is not possible nor capable of sound governance. But, it would be a political animal unlike any ever seen before with the most mature and wise for constituents and supporters.

Posted by: David R. Remer at January 15, 2009 2:48 AM
Comment #273605

d.a.n hit the nail on the head when he said:

the voters have the government that the voters elect

d.a.n is pointing out the problems and http://www.demreps.com/ Roy Ellis is pointing out possible solutions.

Do you agree?

Watchblog Manager, I need a yes/no button here, to record our vote, Please.

Do you read these posts to your children or grandchildren?

Watchblog Manager, I need a yes/no button here, to record our vote, Please.

Posted by: Weary Willie at January 15, 2009 2:52 AM
Comment #273606

WW, my reference to ‘your’ party was a reference to the so called fiscally conservative party. That is how the GOP sells itself, is it not? Even to this very day? Despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary?

If elected Democrats were truly smart, they would marry pragmatic solutions to today’s needs with an overarching eye on the path to the eventual end of deficit spending and paying down the debt. That would cut the legs out from under the GOP for the rest of this century.

That seems to be the path Obama is attempting to chart, but, internal fighting over that path has already begun amongst Democrats. Obama’s biggest foe going forward will be the elected Democrats in Congress. Mark my words from months and months ago on this.

Posted by: David R. Remer at January 15, 2009 2:56 AM
Comment #273620
bills wrote:
  • Ron Brown wrote: Our current economic situation isn’t the fault of any one party. Both parties are just as at fault
  • Utter nonsense! The Republicans are 98.7% responsible.
    Nothing partisan about that, eh?

    Funny. What is utter nonsense is using utter nonsense to try to refute the truth.

    “98.7%” ?

    Accurate to three significant digits?

    No. It’s more like (roughly) 48% Democrats / 52% Republicans (for the last decade) in Congress that are to blame (based on numbers in Congress).
    The IN-PARTY is always a little more corrupt, which is why the IN-PARTY always becomes the OUT-PARTY (a little detail the partisan loyalists are oftenblind to).
    Also, the voters are culpable too since the majority of voters repeatedly reward Congress with 85%-to-90% re-election rates?

    • ___________________ Senate ______________________ House________________________________

    • Congress__Years_____Total__Dems_Reps_Other_Vacant_Total_Dems_Rep___Other_Vacant

    • 97th ___ 1981–1983 __ 100 __ 46 __ 53 __ 1 ____ 0 ___ 435 _ 242 _ 192 __ 1 ____ 0 (54% D; 46% R)

    • 98th ___ 1983–1985 __ 100 __ 46 __ 54 __ 0 ____ 0 ___ 435 _ 269 _ 166 __ 0 ____ 0 (59% D; 41% R)

    • 99th ___ 1985–1987 __ 100 __ 47 __ 53 __ 0 ____ 0 ___ 435 _ 253 _ 182 __ 0 ____ 0 (56% D; 44% R)

    • 100th __ 1987–1989 __ 100 __ 55 __ 45 __ 0 ____ 0 ___ 435 _ 258 _ 177 __ 0 ____ 0 (59% D; 41% R)

    • 101st __ 1989–1991 __ 100 __ 55 __ 45 __ 0 ____ 0 ___ 435 _ 260 _ 175 __ 0 ____ 0 (59% D; 41% R)

    • 102nd __ 1991–1993 __ 100 __ 56 __ 44 __ 0 ____ 0 ___ 435 _ 267 _ 167 __ 1 ____ 0 (61% D; 39% R)

    • 103rd __ 1993–1995 __ 100 __ 57 __ 43 __ 0 ____ 0 ___ 435 _ 258 _ 176 __ 1 ____ 0 (59% D; 41% R)

    • 104th __ 1995–1997 __ 100 __ 48 __ 52 __ 0 ____ 0 ___ 435 _ 204 _ 230 __ 1 ____ 0 (47% D; 53% R)

    • 105th __ 1997–1999 __ 100 __ 45 __ 55 __ 0 ____ 0 ___ 435 _ 207 _ 226 __ 2 ____ 0 (47% D; 53% R)

    • 106th __ 1999–2001 __ 100 __ 45 __ 55 __ 0 ____ 0 ___ 435 _ 211 _ 223 __ 1 ____ 0 (49% D; 51% R)

    • 107th __ 2001–2003 __ 100 __ 50 __ 50 __ 0 ____ 0 ___ 435 _ 212 _ 221 __ 2 ____ 0 (49% D; 51% R)

    • 108th __ 2003–2005 __ 100 __ 48 __ 51 __ 1 ____ 0 ___ 435 _ 205 _ 229 __ 1 ____ 0 (48% D; 52% R)

    • 109th __ 2005-2007 __ 100 __ 44 __ 55 __ 1 ____ 0 ___ 435 _ 202 _ 231 __ 1 ____ 1 (47% D; 53% R)

    • 110th __ 2007-2008 __ 100 __ 49 __ 49 __ 2 ____ 0 ___ 435 _ 233 _ 202 __ 0 ____ 0 (53% D; 47% R)

    • 111th __ 2009-2011 __ 100 __ 56 __ 42 __ 1 ____ 0 ___ 435 _ 257 _ 177 __ 2 ____ 0 (59% D; 41% R)

    As shown above, neither party had a supermajority in the last decade (a little detail that is often ignored).

    And which party had a small majority between 2006 and 2008 (i.e. Democrats)?
    That means a LOT of Democrats were going along with the Republicans.
    BOTH political parties are pathetic.

    • (1) Congress has been deficit spending for 52 consecutive years (since year 1956).

    • (2) The Federal Reserve has caused incessant inflation for 52 consecutive years (since year 1956).

    • (3) Politicians in BOTH parties signed off on several deregulation BILLs. The Gramm-Leach-Bliley BILL received huge bipartisan support (passed in the Senate 90-8-1 and in the House: 362-57-15). Bill Clinton also signed off on the Commodities Futures Modernization (CFM) Act in year 2000 (www.stroock.com/SiteFiles/Pub134.pdf), which was worse by setting the stage for the rampant CDS (Credit Default Swap) market (www.iht.com/articles/2008/02/17/business/17swap.php). The CFM Act was worse because of the myriad of fancy and (by design) complex derivatives (e.g CDSs, SIVs, ABSs, CDOs, subprime CDOs, squared CDOs, CPDOs, SPVs, VIEs, etc.), and other exotic investment vehicles that reduced Transparency and left hurricane victims and other insurance claimants without the ability to even identify who they are actually insured by, or who actually owned their mortgages. Those complex derivatives paved the way for rampant greed by allowing the banks , investment corporations , insurance companies , and Wall Street to re-package toxic debt (rated as AAA securities) and peddle it to the world.

    • (4) Politicians in BOTH parties and the Federal Reserve, resisted (or ignored) the growing subprime bubble for years.

    • (5) Few (if any) in Congress or the White House thought the debt problem was a big problem (except for David Walker, former GAO Comptroller), as evidenced by the massive fiscal irresponsibility for many decades.

    • (6) And now, Congress, the White House, and the Federal Reserve may make a bad recession much worse with another economic terror:
        hyperinflation

    • (7) And the voters repeatedly rewarded Congress for all of it with 85%-to-90% re-election rates, despite dismal 9%-to-18% approval ratings for Congress.

    • (8) BOTH parties in Congress have allowed these 10 abuses for many decades to hammer most Americans, while the wealth disparity gap has grown ever larger since year 1976.

    • (9) BOTH paries in Congress have ignored violations of the Constitution (e.g. Article V).

    • Start __ End __ Congress _ Re-Election ___ Party Seat-Retention
    • Year ___ Year ___ # _____ Rate ________ Rate
    • 1927 ___ 1929 ___ 070st ___ 83.6% ________ 96.4% (87 incumbents ousted: 22(D), 64(R), 1(FL) )
    • 1929 ___ 1931 ___ 071st ___ 79.7% ________ 92.5% (108 incumbents ousted)
    • 1931 ___ 1933 ___ 072nd ___ 76.8% ________ 88.5% (123 incumbents ousted)
    • 1933 ___ 1935 ___ 073rd ___ 61.2% ________ 78.7% (206 of 531 incumbents ousted; 59 Dems, 147 Repubs)
    • … … … … … … … …
    • 1989 ___ 1991 ___ 101st ___ 90.1% ________ 99.6%
    • 1991 ___ 1993 ___ 102nd ___ 87.7% ________ 98.3%
    • 1993 ___ 1995 ___ 103rd ___ 73.5% ________ 98.1% (142 of 535 incumbents ousted)
    • … … … … … … … …
    • 1999 ___ 2001 ___ 106th ___ 89.2% ________ 99.3%
    • 2001 ___ 2003 ___ 107th ___ 89.2% ________ 98.7%
    • 2003 ___ 2005 ___ 108th ___ 87.9% ________ 98.1% (65 of 535 voted out)
    • 2005 ___ 2007 ___ 109th ___ 88.6% ________ 98.7% (61 of 535 voted out)
    • 2007 ___ 2009 ___ 110th ___ 84.9% ________ 93.1% (81 of 535 incumbents voted out (68=16(D)+51(R)+1(I) in the House) + (13=3(D)+9(R)+1(I) in the Senate)
    • 2009 ___ 2011 ___ 111th ___ 86.9% ________ 94.0% (70 of 535 voted out (57=13(D)+44(R) in the House) + (13=3(D)+10(R) in the Senate); a few seats left To Be Determined (TBD))
    As can be seen above, the Republicans had a very tiny majority for the last decade.

    I’m not defending Republican or Democrat politicians, since I believe the majority (in BOTH parties) are FOR-SALE, irresponsible, incompetent, and/or corrupt.
    As many of those politicians as possible should be ousted from office.
    The new IN-PARTY will soon start to abuse their power too, as the IN-PARTY always does.
    And the OUT-PARTY will do all they can to undermine and sabotage the IN-PARTY, as the OUT-PARTY always does.
    For years now, no one has been able to name 20, 50, 100, 200, or merely 268 (half of 535) in Congress that are not FOR-SALE, irresponsible, incompetent, and/or corrupt.
    And for all of that, Congress just rewarded itself the 10th raise in 12 years. Cha-Ching!
    Again, what about the culpabiliity of the voters who repeatedly reward Congress with 85%-to-90% re-election rates?

    bills wrote: They [Republicans] sold a bill of goods to their numbskull followers.
    True, but likewise for Democrats. Politicians in BOTH parties are very similar and proof of it would fill volumes, despite the incessant and pathetic partisan claims to the contrary. Based on election results and 85%-to-90% re-election rates for Congress, voters are culpable too, and fueling and wallowing in the partisan warfare not only prolongs the problem, but allows the nation’s pressing problems to grow in number and severity.
    bills wrote: If you can’t see it, it is because of partisan, or in this case, non-partisan blinders.
    Funny how some people accuse others of the very thing they do themselves.
    bills wrote: Nobody likes to admit they were made fools of.
    I voted for Bush once (2004), and I freely admit it was a mistake. I thought Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) would be found, but they weren’t. That was not only a serious mistake, but most likely a huge lie. For that, Bush (43) is one of the 5 worst (if not the worst) presidents of all time. Also, based on Bush’s dismal approval ratings, most people today agree (BOTH Democrats and Republicans).
    bills wrote: I mean, idoicy like , ”lets all vote for the biggest kleptos on the planet because they hate gay marriage, want to outlaw abortion, and promise, promise not to take my gun away.” And now we are getting conservatives saying that Bushco was not “realy a conservative”. More nonsense. He was exactly what they wanted ,voted for twice, and defended ,no matter how incompetant and dangerious his dicisions.
    There are many forms of idiocy.

    Thanks for demonstrating one of those common forms.
    What is truly ridiculous is the fueling and wallowing in the circular, petty, distracting partisan warfare.
    Especially when no one has been able to name 20, 50, 100, 200, or merely 268 (half of 535) in Congress that are not FOR-SALE, irresponsible, incompetent, and/or corrupt.
    Especially when Congress just rewarded itself with its 10th raise in 12 years, while U.S. Troops go without armor, adequate medical care, promised benefits, and have to do 2, 3, 4+ tours in Iraq and/or Afghanistan.

    • 1998: $136,673 per annum; $151,813 per annum for Majority/Minority Leaders;
    • 2000: $141,300 per annum; $156,900 per annum for Majority/Minority Leaders; $181,400 per annum for Speaker;
    • 2002: $150,000 per annum; $161,200 per annum for Majority/Minority Leaders; $186,300 per annum for Speaker;
    • 2003: $154,700 per annum; $166,700 per annum for Majority/Minority Leaders; $192,600 per annum for Speaker;
    • 2004: $158,100 per annum; $175,700 per annum for Majority/Minority Leaders; $203,000 per annum for Speaker;
    • 2005: $162,100 per annum; $180,100 per annum for Majority/Minority Leaders; $208,100 per annum for Speaker;
    • 2006: $165,200 per annum; $183,500 per annum for Majority/Minority Leaders; $212,100 per annum for Speaker;
    • 2007: $168,000 per annum; $186,600 per annum for Majority/Minority Leaders; $215,700 per annum for Speaker;
    • 2009: $174,000 per annum; $190,700 per annum for Majority/Minority Leaders; $220,400 per annum for Speaker;

    There is no doubt that Republicans did a TERRIBLE job.
    However, how did that happen with such a small majority in Congress?
    It happened because BOTH parties are so FOR-SALE, irresponsible, incompetent, and/or corrupt, that any real differences are insignificant.
    Both, for many decades, have not only allowed the nation’s pressing problems to grow dangerously in number and severity, but have created and exacerbated the nation’s problems.
    And as long as too many voters choose to worship THEIR party and demonize the OTHER party (i.e. doing exactly what politicians want), things will continue to get worse.
    Based on the following, perhaps voters should consider the connection between high re-election rates for Congress and the nation’s problems also increasing in number and severity?

      _________ RE-ELECTION RATES (1927 to 2011) ________
    • 100.0% |————- … ———————————-|

    • 097.5% |————- … ———————————-|

    • 095.0% |————- … ———————————-|

    • 092.5% |————- … ——————————xxx|

    • 090.0% |————- … xxx———-xxxxx——-x—|

    • 087.5% |————- … —xxx——-x—-xxxxx-x—|

    • 085.0% |————- … ——x——-x———-x-x—|

    • 082.5% |————- … ——x——-x———-xxx—|

    • 080.0% |—xxx—— … ——x-xxx-x——————|

    • 077.5% |—x-xxx— … ——x-x-xxx——————|

    • 075.0% |—x—-x— … ——x-x————————|

    • 072.5% |—x—-x— … ——xxx————————|

    • 070.0% |—x—-x— … ———————————-|

    • 067.5% |xxx—-x— … ———————————-|

    • 065.0% |———x— … ———————————-|

    • 062.5% |———xxx … ———————————-|

    • 060.0% |————- … ———————————-|

    • 057.5% |————- … ———————————-|

    • _______ 1-1-1-1-1 … 1-1-1-1-1-1-2-2-2-2-2-2

    • _______ 9-9-9-9-9 … 9-9-9-9-9-9-0-0-0-0-0-0

    • _______ 2-2-3-3-3 … 8-9-9-9-9-9-0-0-0-0-0-1

    • _______ 7-9-1-3-5 … 9-1-3-5-7-9-1-3-5-7-9-1

      • WHERE:
      • x = Re-Election Rate (Source: One-Simple-Idea.com/CongressMakeUp_1855_2011.htm)

    • Start _ End __ Congress _ Re-Election _ Party Seat-Retention
    • Year __ Year ____ # _____ Rate ________ Rate
    • 1927 __ 1929 __ 070th___ 83.6% ________ 96.4%
    • 1929 __ 1931 __ 071st___ 79.7% ________ 92.5%
    • 1931 __ 1933 __ 072nd___ 76.8% ________ 88.5%
    • 1933 __ 1935 __ 073rd___ 61.2% ________ 78.7%
    • …__ …__ …___ … ________ …
    • …__ …__ …___ … ________ …
    • …__ …__ …___ … ________ …
    • 1989 __ 1991 __ 101st___ 90.1% ________ 99.6%
    • 1991 __ 1993 __ 102nd___ 87.7% ________ 98.3%
    • 1993 __ 1995 __ 103rd___ 73.5% ________ 98.1%
    • 1995 __ 1997 __ 104th___ 79.8% ________ 88.2%
    • 1997 __ 1999 __ 105th___ 77.4% ________ 98.7%
    • 1999 __ 2001 __ 106th___ 89.2% ________ 99.3%
    • 2001 __ 2003 __ 107th___ 89.2% ________ 98.7%
    • 2003 __ 2005 __ 108th___ 87.9% ________ 98.1%
    • 2005 __ 2007 __ 109th___ 88.6% ________ 98.7%
    • 2007 __ 2009 __ 110th___ 84.9% ________ 93.1%
    • 2009 __ 2011 __ 111th___ 86.9% ________ 94.0% (approx. 70 voted out: 57(=13(D)+44(R) in the House) + 13(=3(D)+10(R) in the Senate)
    • ____________ AVERAGE = 85.0% ________ 96.8%

    At any rate, the voters have the government that the voters elect, and re-elect, and re-elect, and re-elect , … , at least until that finally becomes too painful.

    Posted by: d.a.n at January 15, 2009 11:18 AM
    Comment #273621

    FORMATTING CORRECTION:

    bills wrote:
    • Ron Brown wrote: “Our current economic situation isn’t the fault of any one party. Both parties are just as at fault”

    Utter nonsense! The Republicans are 98.7% responsible.

    Ron Brown, I agree.

    David R. Remer wrote: That seems to be the path Obama is attempting to chart, but, internal fighting over that path has already begun amongst Democrats. Obama’s biggest foe going forward will be the elected Democrats in Congress. Mark my words from months and months ago on this.
    Yes, it appears so. The status quo is likely to persist until voters stop rewarding politicians with 85%-to-90% re-election rates for running the nation into the ground. And how about Congress recently giving itself its 10th raise in 12 years, with 10,000 foreclosures per day; 7.2% unemployment; regressive taxation; 12-to-20 Million illegal aliens costing tax payers an estimated $70-to-$327 Billion per year in net losses; greedy, usurious banks cheating Americans every way they can; 46 Million with no health insurance; constitional violations; other manifestations of unchecked greed, and 18+ economic conditions which have never been worse ever and/or since the Great Depression.

    I recall you said Obama should veto the raises for Congress. Yes, he should if he can.

    At any rate, the voters have the government that the voters elect (and re-elect, and re-elect, and re-elect , … , at least until that finally becomes too painful).

    Posted by: d.a.n at January 15, 2009 11:34 AM
    Comment #273626

    bills
    Sorry, no blinders here. If you can’t see that both parties are at fault your the one with the partisan blinders. And from most of your comments I’d say you have two pair on.
    The Democrats have had control of both houses of Congress most of my life. They’ve taxed and spent the whole time. They’ve never pasted a balanced budget. They they’ve ran the national debt up.
    The Republicans had control of both houses only 10 years. At least they managed to pass a balanced budget once or twice. But for the most part they’ve been just as bad as the Democrats. While they didn’t tax and spend, they cut taxes and spent. Just as bad as tax and spend.
    The results are at least 62 years of gross mismanagement, incompetence, and a $9 trillion national debt, most of which is owed to countries that hate us.
    And the voters have kept rewarding these incompetent goons by reelecting them. All this has finally come around to bite us in the butt. And it’s gonna hurt really bad.
    The unfortunate thing is our grandyoungins, and great grandyoungins will be paying for our slackness in getting these idiots out of office.

    Posted by: Ron Brown at January 15, 2009 12:28 PM
    Comment #273627

    d.a.n
    You agree with me or bills?

    Posted by: Ron Brown at January 15, 2009 12:29 PM
    Comment #273629

    Ron Brown, I agree with you. On all major issues, there is really little difference between the two political parties. The IN-PARTY is always a little more corrupt, which is why the IN-PARTY always becomes the OUT-PARTY. I’m glad some Republicans were ousted from office, but what we really needed was a huge ousting of politicians in BOTH parties. That is the only thing that will get their attention, and repeatedly rewarding corrupt politicians with re-election doesn’t work. Yet, it appears impossible to convince the majority of voters of that. Therefore, the majority of voters will have to learn it the hard and painful way. We’ve seen rampant greed and corruption, and it will probably get worse with the bail-out mania and so many trillions of dollars flying all about.

    At any rate, the voters have the government that the voters elect, and re-elect, and re-elect, and re-elect , … , at least until that finally becomes too painful.

    Posted by: d.a.n at January 15, 2009 12:50 PM
    Comment #273650

    d.a.n, technical correction. I don’t think there is any difference in corruptability between the in or out party. Only that the in-party has more power to employ its corruptions, and defend against their prosecution.

    We will see if Obama, in charge of prosecution of corruption, will go after it regardless of which party it comes from. That was one of his pledges. And that is the adamant promise his nominee for the Justice Department made in sworn testimony today. (To be frank, I actually believe Obama’s nominee a bit more than Obama on this issue.) We shall see.

    Posted by: David R. Remer at January 15, 2009 4:57 PM
    Comment #273652
      RE-ELECTION RATES (1857 to 2011):
    • 100.0%|—————————————————————————o————-o——-o——o——-
    • 097.5%|——-o——————————o————o———o—————o—ooo—o—oo-oo-o-ooo—
    • 095.0%|—————-o—oo———oo———oo—o——oo—-o—-oo—o—————o——————-
    • 092.5%|——————o—-o——o—-o—————o—————o———o——————————oo
    • 090.0%|—————o———-o-o—-o—————————o—————-o—-o—o———————
    • 087.5%|-o——-o——————————oo———-o———-o——-o————————-o———-
    • 085.0%|———o——————————o——oo———-o——o———————————————
    • 082.5%|o—-o—-o——o———————————————————————————————-
    • 080.0%|—-o——————-o——————————o———————————————————
    • 077.5%|——————————————————————————————————————-
    • 075.0%|——————————————————————————————————————-
    • 072.5%|——————————————————————————————————————-
    • 070.0%|————-o————-o————————————————————————————-
    • 067.5%|——————————————————————————————————————-
    • 065.0%|——————————————————————————————————————-
    • 062.5%|—o—————————————————————————————————————
    • 060.0%|——————————————————————————————————————-
    • _______1857——————-1895———————1933———————1973———————-2011 (YEAR)
    One reason for increasing corruption in the federal government is increasing re-election rates.

    What is causing increasing re-election rates?
    With dismal 9%-to-18% approval ratings for Congress, it’s not likely because the majority of voters believe Congress is doing a good job, is it?
    Possible causes are:

    • (1) the system is rigged to give unfair advantages to incumbent politicians; e.g. Gerrymandering; money; the straight-ticket voting lever (or button), etc.

    • (2) selfishness; greed; government FOR-SALE; sense of entitlement; politicians bribing voters with their own tax dollars; 0.3% of all 200 million voters make 83% of all federal campaign donations of $200 or more; increasing dependency on government with cradle-to-grave entitlements;

    • (3) voters’ blind partisan loyalties; being lured by politicians to wallow in the cicurlar partisan warfare which the politicians love to fuel to distract voters from the politicians’ own malfeasance;

    • (4) despicably pitting voters against each other so that a majority can never exist to oust corrupt politicians from office; despicably pitting American voters and illegal aliens against each other for votes and profits, disguised as compassion;

    • (5) the No-Same-Party-Challenger(s) mechanism which works wonderfully to keep re-election rates high, since partisan loyalties keep many voters from ever voting for non-incumbents in the OTHER party;

    • (6) increasing voter apathy; complacency; laziness;

    • (7) ignorance; declining quality of education; declining standard of living for most Americans due to decades of these abuses which is a vicious circle that leads to more ignorance;

    Perhaps enough voters will be less apathetic, complacent, and blindly partisan when enough of the voters are hopelessly deep in-debt ($67 Trillion nation-wide), jobless (7.2% unemployment with 14 Million unemployed) , homeless (10,000 foreclosures per day) , and hungry ? Pain and misery is the built-in self-correction mechanism, provided corrections don’t come too late.

    At any rate, the voters have the government that the voters elect (and re-elect, and re-elect, and re-elect , … , at least until that finally becomes too painful).

    Posted by: d.a.n at January 15, 2009 5:15 PM
    Comment #273654

    Well, there seems to be several Independents that agree both political parties are corrupt, dysfunctional and in need of replacement. If so, I’ve got a chariot waiting for you to take you to government reform where we can all live happily everafter. David, thank you for recognizing that the party I’m advocating for IS DIFFERENT. Progress is incremental, however nano! We laugh and jest and talk about the plight of the little Cuban boy, but, IMHO dark clouds are on the horizon. I’m drawing closer to being in full agreement with d.a.n.’s factual presentation of the fiat (ponzi) money system coming apart. I can’t keep my mind fron wandering to a full out depression/complete breakdown in this country. Things could go really really wrong. We’ve seen what a pseudo strong man can do even in a democratic government. Along with the pain and misery of a breakdown would be the possibilty of a strong man coming to power, maybe being granted extraordinary authority to get things back on track etc. Let’s don’t allow it to go there.
    Otherwise, last evening Dobb’s made note that illegal aliens will share in the $32B (4-1/2yr) SCHIP healthcare program for 4-5M young children. The House passed the bill, 289-139, and the Senate is expected to pass it also. Obama has said he will sign it into law.
    To date no baiout money has gone to help the homeowner in or near default. A Fed program that put up $300M to help 400k people in default has failed. Of 373 applicants only 150 received assistance. Banks have set the bar to high to help folks.
    Lou also referenced a gov’t report, I believe) that said Pakistan and Mexico governments are likely to fail soon. Frightening scenario, drug cartels running NAFTA, etc.
    Lou’s poll showed that 80% was against giving away another $350B.
    I do believe O’s honeymoon is over.

    Weary Willie, I too, would like a yes/no vote. I’d like to see a vote on support for the following as an inclusive strategy to overthrow the duopoly.

    Support FOAVC
    Support VOIDNOW
    Support A 3rd party, or parties with a different political attitude.

    Otherwise, we have the government we deserve!

    Posted by: Roy Ellis at January 15, 2009 5:24 PM
    Comment #273655

    d.a.n, nearly all the symptoms you describe of politicians can be more appropriately ascribed to political parties.

    I truly believe the majority of politicians enter elected office with the intention to serve the needs of their neighborhood, town, county, state, or nation. The pressures to yield on those motives begins with acquiring the endorsement of a political party to provide the candidate with the resources to get elected. After election, the party exerts ever more pressure on their politicians to vote this way or that, act this way or that, do this or that, in order to continue to receive the party’s resources for their next reelection bid.

    Of course, all corruption does not emanate from political parties, power itself corrupts some or many, and years of trading off and compromising ends in order to make at least some progress on others, takes a corrupting toll on elected officials as well. But, from where I sit, it is the political parties that are the primary source of corruption by way of giving cover to their own and circling the wagons when one of their own is exposed for corruption of their office. This apparent blanket of security for elected officials, even as their actions border on the corrupt, is a behavior shaping milieu that only those with the strongest of ethical character’s can prevent shaping their future actions.

    Often, such persons of high ethical character leave office voluntarily, rather than withstand the constant corrupting pressures. Joe Scarborough is one ex-politician who claims to have taken the route, for example. Some with strong ethical character just leave out of shame from association with their party, like Sen. John Warner, who no longer could hold his head up with pride as a Republican.

    Posted by: David R. Remer at January 15, 2009 5:34 PM
    Comment #273658
    David R. Remer wrote: d.a.n, technical correction. I don’t think there is any difference in corruptability between the in or out party. Only that the in-party has more power to employ its corruptions, and defend against their prosecution.
    I agree. The IN-PARTY has a little more power, which the IN-PARTY always abuses, causing the IN-PARTY to become the OUT-PARTY.

    As you and I agree, reforms are unlikely by repeatedly rewarding FOR-SALE, incompetent, irresponsible, and/or corrupt politicians with 85%-to-90% re-election rates.

    David R. Remer wrote: We will see if Obama, in charge of prosecution of corruption, will go after it regardless of which party it comes from. That was one of his pledges. And that is the adamant promise his nominee for the Justice Department made in sworn testimony today. (To be frank, I actually believe Obama’s nominee a bit more than Obama on this issue.) We shall see.
    Yes, we will see. I’m skeptical.

    Also, the problem isn’t merely illegal corruption.
    Much of what goes on in D.C. is legal, but is still running the nation into the ground.
    The bar is set so, so, so very low.
    The sort of reforms we need A.S.A.P aren’t likely any time soon.
    It took a long time to grow corrupt, and may take equally long to make less corrupt.
    It appears increasingly likely to me that corruption and fiscal problems are likely to get much worse for severeal years.

    At any rate, the voters have the government that the voters elect (and re-elect, and re-elect, and re-elect , … , at least until that finally becomes too painful).

    Posted by: d.a.n at January 15, 2009 6:57 PM
    Comment #273659
    David R. Remer wrote: Often, such persons of high ethical character leave office voluntarily, rather than withstand the constant corrupting pressures. Joe Scarborough is one ex-politician who claims to have taken the route, for example. Some with strong ethical character just leave out of shame from association with their party, like Sen. John Warner, who no longer could hold his head up with pride as a Republican.
    What is truly alarming is how many choose to stay, and stay, and stay (for decades).

    I don’t think there will be any significant reforms until the voters have brought many years of horrible pain and misery onto themselves by repeatedly rewarding corrupt incubment politicians with re-election, and finally decide to do what unhappy voters did in year 1933, and vote out hundreds (i.e. 206) of incumbent politicians.

    • 1927-1929 70th 83.6% 96.4% (unhappy voters voted out 87)
    • 1929-1931 71st 79.7% 92.5% (more unhappy voters voted out 108)
    • 1931-1933 72nd 76.8% 88.5% (more unhappy voters voted out 123)
    • 1933-1935 73rd 61.2% 78.7% (many unhappy voters voted out 206 voted out (59 Democrats, 147 Republicans)
    • : : : : : : : : :
    • 1989-1991 101st 90.1% 99.6%
    • 1991-1993 102nd 87.7% 98.3%
    • 1993-1995 103rd 73.6% 98.1%
    • 1995-1997 104th 79.8% 88.2%
    • 1997-1999 105th 77.4% 98.7%
    • 1999-2001 106th 89.9% 99.3%
    • 2001-2003 107th 88.2% 98.7%
    • 2003-2005 108th 87.9% 98.1% (65 voted out)
    • 2005-2007 109th 88.6% 98.7% (61 voted out)
    • 2007-2009 110th 84.9% 93.1% (81 voted out: (68 (=16(D)+51(R)+1(I) in the House)) + (13 (=3(D)+9(R)+1(I) in the Senate)))
    • 2009-2011 111th 86.9% 94.0% (70 voted out: (57 (=13(D)+44(R) in the House)) + (13 (=3(D)+10(R) in the Senate)))

    At any rate, the voters have the government that the voters elect (and re-elect, and re-elect, and re-elect , … , at least until that finally becomes too painful).

    Posted by: d.a.n at January 15, 2009 7:48 PM
    Comment #273660

    NOTE: Those are (1) re-election rates and (2) party seat-retention rates above.

    David R. Remer wrote: Often, such persons of high ethical character leave office voluntarily, rather than withstand the constant corrupting pressures.
    Another important factor that voters should consider.

    Corruption breeds more corruption.

    When does it stop?

    Only when it finally becomes too painful (if ever).

    At any rate, the voters have the government that the voters elect (and re-elect, and re-elect, and re-elect , … , at least until that finally becomes too painful).

    Posted by: d.a.n at January 15, 2009 7:51 PM
    Comment #273661
    Roy Ellis wrote: Well, there seems to be several Independents that agree both political parties are corrupt, dysfunctional and in need of replacement.
    That’s the paradox.

    Dismal 9%-to-18% approval ratings, but 85%-to-90% re-election rates for Congress.

    The politicians have out-smarted the voters, resulting in 85%-to-90% re-election rates, despite the voters’ dismal approval ratings for Do-Nothing Congress.

    When enough voters get wise to the game, it will give rise to a third party, or the voters will simply do the most simple thing and vote out as many incumbent politicians as they can (as they did in year 1933).

    At any rate, the voters have the government that the voters elect, and re-elect, and re-elect, and re-elect , … , at least until that finally becomes too painful.

    Posted by: d.a.n at January 15, 2009 8:37 PM
    Comment #273663

    d.a.n said: “When enough voters get wise to the game, it will give rise to a third party, or the voters will simply do the most simple thing and vote out as many incumbent politicians as they can (as they did in year 1933).”

    That is it, in a nutshell. Voters would do well to heed Jefferson’s advice about revolution (at the polls) being a healthy event, every now and then.

    Posted by: David R. Remer at January 15, 2009 10:01 PM
    Comment #273666

    Absolutely David, REFORM should be something we relish, look forward to, not something to fear or be timid of. Far better to have a controlled discent like a 3rd party to carry out revolution rather than taking our chances of a strong man coming to power in a depression scenario. And we should remember

    we won’t get reform like a flat tax or real campaign finance reform from the duopoly. The status quo klepto-plutocracy cannot, will not reform itself. Change yes, reform no. There is a BIG difference.

    Otherwise, we have the government we deserve.

    Posted by: Roy Ellis at January 15, 2009 11:03 PM
    Comment #273668

    Roy Ellis, That’s a very good point!
    Bad times can give rise to demagogues.
    Bad things can happen.
    Congress should know this.
    But Congress has its head up its ass.
    Congress doesn’t give a $#!+ about most Americans, as evidenced by a myriad of acts for several decades.

    Congress is like a bunch of pigs at the trough.
    Especially based on Congress recently giving itself its 10th raise in 12 years.

    At any rate, the voters have the government that the voters elect (and re-elect, and re-elect, and re-elect , … , at least until that finally becomes too painful).

    Posted by: d.a.n at January 16, 2009 12:05 AM
    Comment #273669

    Roy Ellis, I agree completely. Congress won’t reform itself and become more responsible and accountable until voters do too.

    At any rate, the voters have the government that the voters elect (and re-elect, and re-elect, and re-elect , … , at least until that finally becomes too painful).

    Posted by: d.a.n at January 16, 2009 12:08 AM
    Comment #273680

    Right on Dan. However reform comes about it has to be done through the voting public. Only peaceable way for reform is through the ballot box. Whether it be to vote em out or vote in a 3rd party with a different attitude.

    FOAVC, VOIDNOW and a new 3rdp party or parties with a different attitude. A parallel front to bring the revolution. Now, I like that!

    Otherwise, we have the government we deserve!

    Posted by: Roy Ellis at January 16, 2009 10:26 AM
    Comment #273703

    Perhaps identifying the problem would be more beneficial towards acheiving this goal instead of creating a solution that hopes to overpower the problem yet leaving it intact.
    For instance:

    ..committee to examine current rules and make recommendations designed to broaden participation and enable better representation for minorities and others who were underrepresented. The McGovern-Fraser Commission established open procedures and affirmative action guidelines for selecting delegates.

    A person is underrepresented when they are assigned to a group and the same inherent fault assigns delegates for the group. It is no wonder…

    Any number of authorities criticize the reforms as having created “too much” democracy, or a badly conceived democracy, leaving too much of the nominations decision up to an allegedly uniformed, unrepresented, and/or uninterested electorate.
    _http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/McGovern-Fraser_Commission

    Isn’t that what we have now, an uniformed, unrepresented, and/or uninterested electorate? And why shouldn’t it be. The individual has no personal stake in the decision. The person has been assigned to a group, and a minority in that group are controlling it’s agenda!


    The term affirmative action refers to policies that take gender, race, or ethnicity into account in an attempt to promote equal opportunity.


    The question of representation and the extent to which primary voters reflect the demographic and attitudinal characteristics of nonvoters and rank-and-file partisans generally has been a long-standing concern to students of primary politics. Some scholars conclude that primary voters are demographically unrepresentative of the larger partisan electorate, while others find fewer differences.

    _http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Affirmative_action

    Basically, we have an under-represented public subjected to it’s “group’s” agenda that is decided by a minority in that group. A condition defined during the Democratic Party Convention in Chicago in the late 1960’s. A condition limited to a party then, but may be a national condition now.

    We may have to go before the 1960’s, or 1930’s to identify the problem. We may have to revisit the 16th and the 17th amendments. We may have to take another look at the Federal Reserve and the interpretation of the 14th amendment. We can sit here and talk about it, or we can sit here and totally denounce or support this or that.

    Could the solution to this condition be the dilution of an individual’s voice in the political process by assigning the individual to a group?

    No.

    That solution was sought by the McGovern-Fraser Commission, but it only exacerbated the problem. The direct election of senators, the 16th amendment and the Federal Reserve may be the underlying culprit.

    Posted by: Weary Willie at January 16, 2009 6:59 PM
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