Tag Archives: Washington

Congressional term-limits and the career politician

The current election cycle from both the Republican and Democrat side has had one consistency, contempt for the establishment. I myself am on board for an outsider as president (if that person is Bernie Sanders). Previously I have written about voting outside of the presidential election cycle being equally if not more important than the presidential cycle. Back in 2013, 75% of Americans supported term-limits for Congress. Over the years the idea of term-limits has been on the mind of the voters. But as time goes by opinions change. So in this moment of voter retaliation against the establishment candidate, are term-limits a priority? You might think so.

In 1995 the Supreme Court ruled 5-2 that states could not impose term-limits on their congressional seats. The majority opinion believed that the qualifications for Congress were clearly covered by the constitution. An individual has to meet age, residency and years of citizenship minimums. The states cannot impose additional restrictions as requirements need to be the same across all 50 states. In his dissent Clarence Thomas wrote “Our system of government rests on one overriding principle: all power stems from the consent of the people.” U.S. Term Limits V. Thornton

The only way we will ever see term-limits for Congress will be by amending the Constitution. And in the end is it worth the work? U.S. Term Limits thinks so who according to their web-site are a grassroots movement standing up against government malpractice. But if the constituency desires to vote in a candidate year after year for 30 years shouldn’t that be honored. The division between the federal government and states should be maintained, right? This the Libertarian argument and hardcore Tea-Partier.

What is the answer? Do you believe term-limits would have a positive impact on government? I am with the majority in the belief that change is needed. Getting it done at the voting booth, a difficult task the preferable method, but not realistic. Money is at the root of the problem from all sides. Campaign contributions by corporations, individuals, foundations fronting for people like the Koch’s. Take the money out of politics and you might find a different game. Could federally sponsored elections be the answer?  Or a spending cap on elections. The salary cap worked for parity in the NFL, why not elections?

Many questions asked. So what is the answer?

 

Political revolution, voter participation beyond 2016

A running poll on fox news.com on the approval rating of Congress last updated in October 2015 has their approval rating at 13%. A dismal number. The poll also shows since August 2011 Congress approval has never exceeded 21%. So what is coming up to 5 years, the vast majority of Americans have disliked their job performance but have basically continued to allow it to go on? Re-electing at rates that have not been so historic. In fact, data on Open Secrets.org  show Americans have re-elected above 85% of incumbents since 1964 in the House of Representatives.  In the Senate the rate has fluctuated more but still has been at or above 80% since 1986.In the 2 elections since 2011 for the Senate, it has been 91% and 82%.

If we are to consider this presidential election cycle as a rebellion against the establishment (Sanders, Trump) what do these numbers mean? Regardless of who wins the presidency the rebellion will not have any meaning if we don’t vote in mid-term elections. Voter turnout is much lower which is why incumbents in both house win most races. It may also be why voter satisfaction never seems to change.

So who’s the Jackass? Congress who we continue to disapprove of? Or the voter for not participating in the mid-term elections and voting them out?

 

America’s stupid, the headline heard around the world on Super Tuesday results

If all the polls are correct, Donald Trump will sweep Super Tuesday all but handing him the nomination. The shot heard around the world this time will not be a gunshot. It will be a collective gasp from the world. Followed by, when did America become so stupid?

One may believe that it is the politicians to blame. Life-long Senators, Congressmen and women, screwing up the voting-minds of the people simply by screwing them.  We hear quotes like “the voter is fed up” and the answer is Trump. We the people can blame these politicians all we want for pulling the lever for Trump. But we may want to take a hard look in the mirror before we do.

The collapse of the American family and where to begin. Lets start right at your dinner table. The family breaking bread together and sharing their day and actually talking! How many of you have rules of “NO CELL PHONES AT THE TABLE or NO ELECTRONICS” I know I instituted such a rule, for one just so there was no beeping and chiming going on. Sure my kids weren’t happy and they rushed through dinner to get back to texting and talking. But I tried to advance discussion on a myriad of subjects while we ate, have YOU?

Video games: how have these gaming systems improved our overall intelligence? Sitting around, maybe in a video chair!? For hours at a time, killing zombies, or stealing and driving a car around killing people. Or maybe you’re an active video gamer where you pretend to play tennis, bowl or practice archery? I think they were intended for amusement not for being a lifestyle.

right-wing crap
image source:http://picdash.com/178/

Reality television is damn near on every channel. I haven’t watched much of it. So I did some research on what were  the hits of reality television.  I’ve seen a few briefly. What are  we the people learning  from the Kardashians? Has our children learned anything from watching shows like The Flavor of Love or Jersey Shore over the years? Well I guess if you wanted your kids to become drunken whores they had educational value.

America, the land of the free. Free to waste your time doing nothing. Free to complain that everyone else is to blame for your particular plight. Free to stand up and cast a ballot for a candidate who has proven himself to be  xenophobic, sexist, and racist. A dumb candidate for a dumb America.  WE OBVIOUSLY NEED FREE COLLEGE BERNIE!

 

 

 

Proposed term limits for Congress

Dead on arrival? Back in May, Representative Ron DeSantis (R-Fla) introduced legislation imposing term-limits for Congress. Under his proposed bill House members could serve a maximum of three terms. Senators could serve a maximum of two terms. (Six years and twelve years.) The bill would not impact any incumbent which DeSantis believes would make the bill more appealing. “reconciling the self-interest of members of Congress with the public’s desire to see these changes enacted..” The bill also has three sponsor’s all Republicans.

This is yet another attempt by a few to change the Constitution establishing term-limits. In 2013, a Gallop poll had 75% of Americans supporting term-limits.  Though considering we have heard nothing on the subject in the past two months we would have to assume the bill is dead. As for the bill, exempting those already in Congress would make any meaningful change a long way off.  In 2014, 96.4% of incumbents were re-elected to Congress when they had just a 11% approval rating. (politifact.com)

So it begs to ask the question> if 75% of Americans support term-limits and are unhappy with Congress, why are we re-electing them at a 96.4% rate? 

My theory is two-fold. 1> not enough people vote. 2> the people that are voting don’t know the candidates.

So do we need term-limits? Or do “We the People” need to get a little smarter with our vote?

Immigration in the 2016 election

My belief is we need to give people a path to legal status. “You pay your fines, you get provisional work permits, where you come out of the shadows, you pay taxes, you pay fines, you don’t receive government assistance, you learn English, you don’t commit crimes. Any of those things that you do would be a deportable offense.” Jeb Bush Feb 2015

Reforming immigration, a campaign topic that will again be a campaign issue in the upcoming 2016 presidential election. Jeb Bush’s statement above made while speaking to the Club for Growth in Florida. Bush’s statement is far from cutting edge. In Novemeber 2014 President Obama was making the same statement when he bypassed Congress, “If you meet the criteria, you can come out of the shadows and get right with the law President Obama Nov. 2014. (http://www.cnn.com/2014/11/20/politics/obama-immigration-speech/)

Although not the same position on the subject overall this statement is the same. Make right with the government and all will be well. Both Jeb Bush and Obama believe illegal immigrants have an overall desire to come out of the shadows and pay taxes? Myself and I am sure many American’s struggle with the idea of this.

Immigration and the need to reform? If we do not enforce the plan we already have, why would we enforce a new plan? President Obama took executive action in 2014 simply because Congress would not pass any bill. Why would they not pass one? Because they lack character and more so fear voter rebellion.

So can Jeb Bush change the direction of the country, who has been wthout direction for the last twenty years on immigration? I would have to say NO. Big business wants cheap labor. Big business is getting cheap labor for the “jobs nobody wants to do” and MORE! Jeb Bush will not change immigration. And for that matter neither will any of the other candidates. The country is BROKEN not the system. The illegal immigrant can come to this country. Work for higher wages then they have ever earned. They also can get healthcare and, attend our schools free of charge. This the bottom line on why reform will not work. To the illegal immigrantthe system is working just fine.   The businesses who make money off their labor, the system is working just fine, the same group who buys elections.