What we disagree about ...
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Posted by Hal Neumann (+9958) 11 years ago
What we disagree about less important than how we disagree
http://newsweek.washingto...agree.html
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Posted by Cory Cutting (+1274) 11 years ago
Very good!
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Posted by Bridgier (+9199) 11 years ago
Death Panels.
Birth Certificates.
Terror Babies.
The "Mosque" at "Ground Zero".
The Crime Rate In Arizona.

I could go on, but you get the point. All of these things are refudiatable with facts - but when one side of the discussion doesn't particularly care if the thing that he or she is very concerned about is true, well... what kind of common ground are you supposed to reach?

The most irritating thing, to my mind, is that many of the people who start these zombie lies know that the facts aren't on their side... but they don't care, because they can achieve their political goals quicker by pushing the lie.
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Posted by Levi Forman (+3713) 11 years ago
And that just shows what a media victim you are. Equating everyone that's not on your side with the loudest and dumbest person you can find on the other side is a perfect excuse to hold on to your prejudices and reassure yourself of your own superiority.

I know I sound like a broken record, but we have to get past this BS if we want to actually progress. As long as we keep thinking that the two parties are our only choices and keep allowing them to whip us into a frenzy over nonsense like whether there should be a mosque on some street in New York or letting us fight it out over minutia on health care so we don't notice that the whole bill was written and approved by the insurance companies, nothing will improve.

This mosque drama was just what the politicians were hoping for going into the mid term elections to distract us from the fact that the health care reform was a joke, unemployment is continuing to get worse, Afghanistan is a quagmire with little sign of progress of any kind and spreading to Pakistan, we "withdrew" from Iraq but somehow left 50,000 troops behind, and are on the brink of going to war with Iran (or being drug there by Israel). Yeah, what we should really be talking about in the News, Politics, and Issues forum is Gay Marriage and some church in New York. That's what really matters.
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Posted by Denise Selk (+1672) 11 years ago
Yeah, what we should really be talking about in the News, Politics, and Issues forum is Gay Marriage and some church in New York. That's what really matters.


If you are one of the millions of Americans who are gay, or you are a family member or friend who wants to see them happy and with the same rights as everyone else, yes, this issue really does matter. If you aren't, then I guess it is not.
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Posted by Levi Forman (+3713) 11 years ago
I'm not saying it doesn't matter, but with all the bad stuff happening in the world, it should not be dominating the national (or the MilesCity.com) conversation and it's hardly a topic that you should be choosing your elected officials over (although they would like it if you did).
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Posted by Gunnar Emilsson (+17468) 11 years ago
Well, I'll debate you, if that is what you'd like, Levi.

I personally do not think that health care reform was a joke. True, it did not accomplish all that I wanted to see accomplish, but nevertheless, I think it was a good first step in initiating reform given the extremely complex health care industry we have here in the United States of America in the Year 2010.

With an extremely complex system, I would have to give the benefit of the doubt to the Congress that we would should enact some smaller measures, wait and see what happens, then try to make it better in the future.

What fault do you find with the law? What would you do differently?

___________________________________________________________

That aside, I do agree 100% with Bridgier....the Party of No has nothing to offer but limited ideas that don't amount to a hill of beans.....it has been all a big smoke screen from the Conservative side.
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Posted by Denise Selk (+1672) 11 years ago
I understand your point of view, Levi, but I respectfully disagree.

The fact that, "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness", only applies part of the time when convenient to the majority rule is troublesome at best, and could be considered a monumental failing by the American people. But that's just my two cents.
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Posted by Richard Bonine, Jr (+14969) 11 years ago
Levi, Levi, Levi, I think you are looking at this all wrong. The "woo hoo" thread is 156 posts long and nobody has used the Book of Leviticus to make a point. By MC.com standards that IS progress.
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Posted by Bridgier (+9199) 11 years ago
Yes Levi, there are a lot of things that are more important than those things you've mentioned.

And how do you expect to see any useful legislation on any of them when one party refuses to work in any meaningful manner with the other?

I'm sure a third party sounds reasonable, but it'll never happen until the electoral college is eliminated - so until that day occurs, we're stuck with two parties - one of of which consists mostly of cats and hostage takers, while the other has gone batpoop insane.

I'd LOVE to talk about anything except the latest harebrained nontroversy. So. Where do you want to start on health care reform? Personally, I think from a policy perspective, that the only way to keep the insurance companies honest is through some form of a public option, possibly with a death panel as a last resort. Your thoughts?
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Posted by Bob Netherton II (+1906) 11 years ago
I think you've already got your 3rd party, Bridgier. But it isn't some middle-of-the-road moderate party willing to work with the other two to move the country forward. It's the teabaggers.
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Posted by Rick Kuchynka (+4464) 11 years ago
Funny, I don't think this thread was meant to be ironic.
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Posted by Richard Bonine, Jr (+14969) 11 years ago
Hal: Interesting article.
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Posted by Levi Forman (+3713) 11 years ago
I don't want to talk about health care, that was just an example. On top of that, I don't know how to reform health care. I do know that the plan Obama campaigned on bore little resemblance to what was passed. Maybe it will be a first step but I think it's more likely that they're going to call it "fixed" and we won't see any more reform for 5-10 years even though many fundamental flaws remain in the system.

What I do think though, is that even if we could sit here on MC.com and design the perfect Utopian health care system, it wouldn't matter because our bought out congress would never pass it unless the insurance companies signed off on it, and that goes for both the R's and the D's. The fundamental problem that keeps the others from being solved is that the system is corrupt, and the people are so divided that they would rather "win" and make no progress than compromise.

Republicans are the "party of no" because it's politically expedient for them. The parties have so effectively demonized one another with their respective bases that we would rather send our guy to "fight" the evil bad guys than compromise with them. It's handy to blame them for the fact that the Dems haven't accomplished much, but the fact is that the Dems have a strong majority and a sympathetic president. They don't need the republicans, yet they still won't pass something like a public option, not because of a need for "bipartisanship", but because their insurance company overlords don't want it. It's as simple as that.

When it comes to major economic and foreign policy issues, there is virtually no difference between the parties. Do you really think things would be hugely different in Iraq or Afghanistan if McCain had won instead of Obama? Does an escalation of troops in Afghanistan, 50K troops in Iraq with no plan for removing them and a renewal of the Patriot Act sound like the kind of hope and change that people voted for?

They distract us from this with these wedge issues (Gay marriage, gun control, abortion, religion etc.) but the fact remains that aside from these relatively minor issues, we have no choice in our leadership because the two major parties have effectively monopolized the electoral process and there is very little difference between them. Who do you vote for if you wanted the troops home? Or a single-payer health care system? Or the Patriot act repealed? You don't have that choice. Period. The cultural divide between the American people and our campaign finance system is what allows this to continue.
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Posted by Richard Bonine, Jr (+14969) 11 years ago
Interesting point, Levi. Perhaps instead we should talk about a wedge issue like say... Brett Favre.
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Posted by Hal Neumann (+9958) 11 years ago
Well said Levi.
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Posted by Buck Showalter (+4462) 11 years ago
Tebow makes a much better wedge.
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Posted by Bridgier (+9199) 11 years ago
Here is the problem in a nutshell Levi:


The 110th Congress finished with 139 filibusters. The 111th is on pace for 150. Until some of the anachronistic devices within the Senate are done away with, the situation will probably only get worse.

So let's say that the House passes some good jobs legislation, and the senate finally passes something that at least has the word "Jobs" in the title. In order to get even that passed, Harry Reid had to personally fellate Senators Nelson, Brown, Lieberman, Snow and Collins. Even after giving all of the above everything they asked for, one or more probably voted against cloture anyways. As part of the process, Reid had to publicly punch numerous hippies such as Senators Brown (Sherrod), Sanders and Feingold. Senators Feinstein, Baucus and Conrad get to alternate between wearing the ball-gag and holding the whip - for them, Christmas is every day that the Senate's in session.

Now, the House has passed X, and the Senate has passed Y, so now it gets to go to the Reconciliation Conference, where the differences between the two bills are hammered out. There is a little pothole on the road from bill to law here though - if the conference report differs from the original bills, the changes have to be approved by their respective chambers. In the House, this is done by simple majority vote. In the Senate however, this vote is subject to the filibuster.

The pressure therefore, is for the House to simply throw away their bill, and take up the complete text of the Senate bill instead, simply to avoid a filibuster of the conference report - because, as we're constantly being old, we can't let the perfect be the enemy of the good, and half (or a third (or a quarter)) of a loaf is better than none.

And that's how a bill becomes a law anymore. Schoolhouse Rock needs some updating. Or the filibuster needs ending.
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Posted by Wendy Wilson (+6166) 11 years ago
Hal's article was about the lack of civility in today's society. When people use terms such as "terror babies" and "death panels" it is not by accident. These fearmongerers should be looked upon with suspicion and should not be considered part of the mainstream debate.
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Posted by Levi Forman (+3713) 11 years ago
Or the filibuster needs ending.


And then the Democrats will fix everything. I wish I had your faith.
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Posted by Rick Kuchynka (+4464) 11 years ago
Number of cloture votes is pretty meaningless.

Just depends on the strategy of the majority leadership. Mostly a function of how long they're willing to stand and bang their head against the wall before trying something else.

Even then at some points in time, the Senate is the last line of defense. When you have the President on your side, the filibuster isn't usually critical.

So comparing the Senate under Bush to the Senate under Obama is apples to oranges.
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Posted by Rick Kuchynka (+4464) 11 years ago
Levi, you lost me on the whole health care thing. I don't really want to debate it either, but this idea that if we can just get smart enough people together, we can design solutions for every problem is antithetical to conservative thinking.

As Reagan said it (or something to this effect)

'The more the plan fails, the more the planners plan.'

That's health care in a nutshell.

If you're not thinking in terms of the invisible hand, you're not thinking about real solutions at all. It's frustrating that Republicans and/or Conservatives don't voice it more.
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Posted by Bridgier (+9199) 11 years ago
And then the Democrats will fix everything. I wish I had your faith


No, then our government will function better, whether the R's are in power, or the D's.
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Posted by Levi Forman (+3713) 11 years ago
Levi, you lost me on the whole health care thing. I don't really want to debate it either, but this idea that if we can just get smart enough people together, we can design solutions for every problem is antithetical to conservative thinking.


You're going to have to point out to me where I said anything resembling that. And I think I have said this already, but my post was not about health care.
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Posted by Levi Forman (+3713) 11 years ago
No, then our government will function better, whether the R's are in power, or the D's.


More expediently to be sure. I think "better" is going to take more than that, although I agree with you that the current use of the filibuster is inappropriate and bordering on just plain silly.
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Posted by Rick Kuchynka (+4464) 11 years ago
What I do think though, is that even if we could sit here on MC.com and design the perfect Utopian health care system, it wouldn't matter because our bought out congress would never pass it unless the insurance companies signed off on it, and that goes for both the R's and the D's. The fundamental problem that keeps the others from being solved is that the system is corrupt, and the people are so divided that they would rather "win" and make no progress than compromise.

Republicans are the "party of no" because it's politically expedient for them. The parties have so effectively demonized one another with their respective bases that we would rather send our guy to "fight" the evil bad guys than compromise with them. It's handy to blame them for the fact that the Dems haven't accomplished much, but the fact is that the Dems have a strong majority and a sympathetic president. They don't need the republicans, yet they still won't pass something like a public option, not because of a need for "bipartisanship", but because their insurance company overlords don't want it. It's as simple as that.


My overall sense here was that you're frustrated that really good solutions to problems just can't get passed because of corrupt politicians.

To put it simply, a conservative would say that there's no such thing as really good solutions (to most problems) on the federal level. Even attempting to fix a problem from that altitude is going to cause more problems than it fixes.
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Posted by Buck Showalter (+4462) 11 years ago
Now we're getting somewhere. Instead of offering resistance you're finally offering alternatives.

So far we have:
1. Find local, dumb guys
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Posted by Bob L. (+5096) 11 years ago
1. Find local dumb guys
2. ????????
3. Profit
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Posted by Rick Kuchynka (+4464) 11 years ago
Funny cuz I always got the feeling that if you had a choice between G-Dub and a dart throw at your local phone book, you'd pick a shot at the book

There's plenty in federal government I feel that way about.
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Posted by Gunnar Emilsson (+17468) 11 years ago
That shows how little you understand us dadgum liberals, Rick.....

I always though GW was an honorable man, and indeed, during his last two years in office, after the 2006 election, he tried to do the right thing. But by then, it was too late.

I just love how all you conservatives blame Obama for the financial industry bailout, when it was the Bush administration who set the "too big to fail" wheel in motion.

So, I think quite highly of GW. And no one would ever say a bad thing about Laura, she was a great first lady.

Its Cheney who we despise.
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Posted by Rick Kuchynka (+4464) 11 years ago


Huh ummmm



Maybe the webmaster should move this thread into the Creative Writing forum category.
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Posted by Levi Forman (+3713) 11 years ago
My overall sense here was that you're frustrated that really good solutions to problems just can't get passed because of corrupt politicians.


I said "if" we could create a perfect system, not that we could. What I'm talking about is that the system is corrupt and that is a bad thing. Do you disagree?

[This message has been edited by Levi Forman (8/20/2010)]
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Posted by Rick Kuchynka (+4464) 11 years ago
I don't disagree that the system is corrupt.

But I think that's a natural side-effect of expansive power. I don't believe it can be changed by fighting symptoms.
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Posted by Levi Forman (+3713) 11 years ago
So your solution would be...?

Sorry but I'm finding your point elusive.
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Posted by Rick Kuchynka (+4464) 11 years ago
A return to federalism.

I know, I know.
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Posted by Levi Forman (+3713) 11 years ago
And that means...?
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Posted by Rick Kuchynka (+4464) 11 years ago
I don't know... alot of things.

Redefining/amending to make the commerce clause rational. Repealing the 17th amendment. Shifting the tax burden to states. And many more.
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Posted by Levi Forman (+3713) 11 years ago
Well good luck with that.
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Posted by Bridgier (+9199) 11 years ago
Repealing the 17th amendment


I'm not really sure why this of all things is currently the cause celebre amongst the teabagging set.

Anyways - you need to step up here a bit Rick: Levi's asking for specifics and you're trying to fob him off with boilerplate rhetoric.

[This message has been edited by Bridgier (8/20/2010)]
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Posted by Rick Kuchynka (+4464) 11 years ago
Well good luck with that.


Nobody said it would be easy. But then again it's gotta be two steps down the ladder from 'getting money out of politics' or any similar fantasies.

Maybe Lord Acton just didn't know the power of really well-crafted legislation.

I guess that's why this thread is about what we disagree about. Taking power away from the feds will be hard. And ugly. I believe it's the only real fix there is, though.

Bridgier, I've thrown out the 17th amendment thing since before those teabaggers were just an annoying chunk of astroturf stuck in the bottom of your shoe.

As far as boilerplate goes, I think pretty much anything either of us throw out could be put that way. It's not like either of us made up our beliefs out of whole cloth.
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Posted by Bridgier (+9199) 11 years ago
Oh yes, that's right - I remember that one time we were riding around in your car, shooting bottle rockets at former girlfriend's houses, and you just would NOT shut up about your hatred of the 17th amendment and its pernicious effects on the body politic.
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Posted by Buck Showalter (+4462) 11 years ago
I guess that's why this thread is about what we disagree about. Taking power away from the feds will be hard. And ugly. I believe it's the only real fix there is, though.


The Strawmen vs. The Union
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