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111th US Congress: Version 4



 
 
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  #1  
Old March 26th, 2010, 11:53 pm
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111th US Congress: Version 4

Love it or hate it (or somewhere in between), Congress passed one of the most significant pieces of legislation in quite some time on March 21st, resulting in President Obama signing a sweeping health care reform bill.

However, in this thread, I want to have us begin to move on a bit from the HCR discussion, since pretty much everything that can be said has been said already. Health care will still be on-topic, but I do want to take the opportunity to broaden the discussion topics a bit, as evidenced by questions 1, 4, 5, and 6.

1. What issue(s) do you think Congress should spend the remainder of the 111th US Congress focusing on?

2. Operating under the assumption that Republicans will not be able to successfully force a repeal of the HCR legislation, what changes do you want to be made to the legislation (or, to put it another way, what other health-related bills would you like to see)?

3. What parts of the HCR legislation do you like? (Resource here from Kaiser Family Foundation which gives pdf overview of legislation).

4. What do you think the chances of Congress ratifying the new START treaty with Russia? (Corollary): Do you want Congress to ratify the treaty?

5. What, if anything, should Congress do about the following issues:
a. Jobs
b. Finance Reform
c. Campaign Finance Reform
d. Climate Change and / or Energy policy (take any debate about the science of climate change to the office of science and nature thread)
e. Immigration Reform
f. No Child Left Behind

The following question is a non-debate trial question. We reserve the right to yank it at any time. How this question goes may influence whether a separate thread ever reappears.

6. What action(s), if any, should be taken regarding Don't Ask, Don't Tell?

Points brought up in the previous thread may still be addressed in here.


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  #2  
Old March 27th, 2010, 7:48 am
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Re: 111th US Congress: Version 4

Here are my predictions:

Nothing will get done on immigration.

I don't think the Republicans will ratify START.

We may get tepid finance reform that will not have any teeth.

There will not be any campaign finance reform.

Nothing will be done for climate change. We may get minor energy initiatives (including off-shore drilling).

I don't see the Republicans willing to help on jobs. They will ostensibly complain about deficits, but it is my opinion that they don't want the jobs picture to improve since that will help the Democrats.

There may be some minimal window-dressing efforts at education initiatives. But nothing useful since the states are slashing education budgets.

Now what do I want?

I want amnesty for hard-working illegals who have been here for some reasonable period of time (5-10 years whatever). I also want a guest-worker program. That will help manage any future immigrants, since many of them really just want money to send home to the family.

I think Don't Ask Don't Tell is an abomination and needs to be ditched, period. In the mean time they can just stop discharging service people. I just don't see the Senate getting sixty votes to repeal it.

I want jobs projects repairing our crumbling infrastructure.

I want them to ratify START. It's better then ignoring the problem.

We need to face our climate problems and take serious steps. We need to take leadership in the world on this issue, otherwise we will be left behind.

We need to help fund education any way we can, our children are our future. Currently we are leaving a lot of children behind. We need to do something about ignorant school boards willfully damaging the quality of eduction of their students in order to fit a narrow ideological viewpoint. Perhaps national standards can help.

I want public financing of campaigns. That will help get corporations out of the pockets of Congress.

I think the current health bill could be improved with a national exchange like the one that Congress has. Lacking a public option, this could be true competition to the insurance companies. It only has state exchanges currently. I would also like to see the plan be implemented much sooner.

Although this will not happen, what I really want Medicare for all. To make it more palatable they should increase the reimbursement rates to providers. And people should pay a reasonable buy-in premium, with a modest profit to Medicare over cost, that will even help stabilize the Medicare trust fund. Of course this premium can be scaled to income.

People can still have private insurance, employer-provided insurance, or Medigap policies to enhance their Medicare coverage. And they can still receive subsidies if they have limited finances. The world won't end, since Medicare has been around for quite some time and people love it.

Even though I've heard the worry that employers would drop their private plans, that can be dealt with by tax credits for employers or by letting the businesses buy into Medicare on a groups basis (still another way to shore up the Medicare trust fund). Small businesses are getting credits right now under the new health plan. And frankly, if you can get high-quality care on your own via Medicare (which is a fee for service plan), what difference does it make if they do drop their policies? The businesses will have more money to use for other purposes. Fee for service plans let you pick the doctor and the services on your own with no middle man and no tedious authorization procedures.

Most employer provided plans now are HMOs where autonomy is severely limited, and everything has to be approved by the gatekeepers. Or they provide PPOs with huge deductibles and co-pays. And the PPOs still limit which doctors and hospitals you use. Fee for service, including Medicare, has no limits on which doctors and hospitals (as long as they accept Medicare--and this can be fixed with a higher reimbursement rate).

Medicare isn't even free for current recipients. Not only did I pay into the Medicare fund with my payroll deductions all the years I worked, but I now have to pay a monthly premium since I am over a certain income threshold. However, in a few years my income will drop, and then I won't have to pay a monthly premium.

And as I stressed in a previous posting: when the government or Medicare defines the base set of benefits, that is not what a person is limited to receive in care. Premium policies or Medigap enhancements can always provide more benefits.


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Last edited by ComicBookWorm; March 27th, 2010 at 1:11 pm.
  #3  
Old March 27th, 2010, 12:17 pm
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Re: 111th US Congress: Version 4

Hmmmm..... I have the feeling that, like G.W.Bush a few years ago, there are actually a few Republican senators who would want immigration reform: after all, this affects most of the southern states, and IIRC, Bush's opinions of this were very much shaped by his experience from Texas. For the record, I still think that the Bush plan was pretty sensible, and it is a pity he couldn't get it passed.

I see a bit of a chance there, unless the tea party pressure on individuals is so strong that such individuals don't dare break rank.

I have to say, though that I have no sense of how the Democratic caucus would react: are they reasonably united on this?



RE. Banking reform: I think the world as a whole would benefit if the US could get a proper programme with teeth on this one. I am with CBW, though - I don't think they'll manage that, even if many Americans (including many tea partiers) seem to be very angry with the banks. Not sure whether this anger points at any one *way* of dealing with the banks that most people could agree on.


I am with CBW on the green stuff - I don't think there will be mileage in this this side of 2012.


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  #4  
Old March 28th, 2010, 4:15 pm
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Re: 111th US Congress: Version 4

1. What issue(s) do you think Congress should spend the remainder of the 111th US Congress focusing on?

Wait until January when a new Congress is sworn in. If they can't wait then....

I think Congress needs to spend time seriously cutting spending. That's the highest priority in my opinion. I don't think they will, but I think they should.

2. Operating under the assumption that Republicans will not be able to successfully force a repeal of the HCR legislation, what changes do you want to be made to the legislation (or, to put it another way, what other health-related bills would you like to see)?


I'm not sure that's a safe assumption. However, even if the Democrats lose as badly as is predicted in November, I don't think the Republican's will get a veto proof majority. I hope parts of the HCR legislation will be repealed immediately and other real reforms that actually allow a market to form will be enacted.

3. What parts of the HCR legislation do you like? (Resource here from Kaiser Family Foundation which gives pdf overview of legislation).

I don't think my opinion on what I like or dislike matters one iota.

4. What do you think the chances of Congress ratifying the new START treaty with Russia? (Corollary): Do you want Congress to ratify the treaty?

Ratifying a treat my happen. Ratifying a treaty that is mutually beneficial to the US and Russia, is slim to none. The Democrats have demonstrated that their handle on foreign relations is tenuous at best. I suspect any treaty they ratify with Russia will stick it to the US to the benefit of Russia, Iran, and China.

5. What, if anything, should Congress do about the following issues:
a. Jobs


Wait until January when a new Congress is sworn in. If they can't wait then....

Cut the corporate tax rate so that businesses have the money to invest in new purchases and hire people.

5. What, if anything, should Congress do about the following issues:
b. Finance Reform


Wait until January when a new Congress is sworn in. If they can't wait then....

Eliminate FannieMae and FreddieMac. Get rid of federally mandated quotas in lending.

5. What, if anything, should Congress do about the following issues:
d. Climate Change and / or Energy policy (take any debate about the science of climate change to the office of science and nature thread)


Wait until January when a new Congress is sworn in. If they can't wait then....

Allow offshore drilling in ANWAR and other oil rich areas in the US. Reduce red-tape to speed investment in clean power plants (like wind, solar, tidal, geothermal, and nuclear). Not pass Cap and Trade.

5. What, if anything, should Congress do about the following issues:
e. Immigration Reform


Wait until January when a new Congress is sworn in. If they can't wait then....

Repeal all immigration laws and pass new laws that reflect today's challenges and make it easier for people with the skills we need to come here legally rather than unskilled people who arrive here illegally.

5. What, if anything, should Congress do about the following issues:
f. No Child Left Behind


With the Common Core, NCLB is kind of nullified.

6. What action(s), if any, should be taken regarding Don't Ask, Don't Tell?

Get rid of it. Get rid of any discrimination with regards to the military. If a person meets the intellectual and physical requirements necessary to fulfill a position then they should be able to fill it - even if that means girls in foxholes on the front lines. Discrimination on the basis of race, sex, religious affiliation, hair color, sexual orientation, fashion sense... is unacceptable (in my opinion).


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  #5  
Old March 28th, 2010, 9:18 pm
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Re: 111th US Congress: Version 4

Quote:
1. What issue(s) do you think Congress should spend the remainder of the 111th US Congress focusing on?
I think Congress should (and should have) spend (spent) more time on economic recovery. While I can see the importance of helping the larger companies, in order for us to move onto the road to recovery, I think the consumer needs to be helped. I don't think enough has been done. The stimulus and tax breaks have had little effect, at least on the consumer's perception (confidence), which in many's view is the most important factor of the economy as if consumers aren't spending money the economy is stalwart.

In order to accomplish this, I think a few things need to be addressed, first the effects of the jobless rate such as poor credit scores due to debt to income ratios and the foreclosures. While plans have been instituted on foreclosures, it isn't enough. Loans need to be allowed to be modified without the effect on one's credit, risk of losing one's residence, or any negative impact on the consumer. I also think that more credit reform needs to occur. There should be a cap on the interest rate at which a credit card company can charge, at least temporarily, and that interest rate should be low, like below 5% low. All federal student loan debt on the books longer than 10 years, should be forgiven if the borrower is in financial hardship.

Quote:
2. Operating under the assumption that Republicans will not be able to successfully force a repeal of the HCR legislation, what changes do you want to be made to the legislation (or, to put it another way, what other health-related bills would you like to see)?
The problem isn't that people have health insurance. The problem is the cost of the insurance, what it covers, and the bureaucracy one was deal with to get anything accomplished.

I also think that the bill should be reformed to remove the requirement to carry health insurance as well as any penalty for not carrying it. The government should protect us from foreign and domestic threats, not protect us from ourselves. My choice whether or not to carry health care insurance should not be infringed upon. It doesn't harm another for me not to carry health insurance, but with the penalties, it infringes on my right of the pursuit of happiness.

Quote:
3. What parts of the HCR legislation do you like? (Resource here from Kaiser Family Foundation which gives pdf overview of legislation).
There isn't much that I care for in the bill as I think that it makes the problems we have more complex and makes the situation more bureaucratic. Simple is better, and this law isn't simple. I think restricting the insurance companies from denying coverage to those with preexisting conditions is good in its own sense, but it will eventually drive up the cost of premiums or reduce coverage as the insurance company, now that they have to take on more risk, will try to recoup costs in other ways.

Quote:
4. What do you think the chances of Congress ratifying the new START treaty with Russia? (Corollary): Do you want Congress to ratify the treaty?
1500 nuclear warhead is enough to blow the world up 1500 times over. I don't see a problem dropping them to that number, and I don't see why congress, including my fellow Republicans, should object to the treaty.

Quote:
5. What, if anything, should Congress do about the following issues:
a. Jobs
b. Finance Reform
c. Campaign Finance Reform
d. Climate Change and / or Energy policy (take any debate about the science of climate change to the office of science and nature thread)
e. Immigration Reform
f. No Child Left Behind
I think stimulating the economy is the foremost issue that congress should be addressing. I think the other issues are ancillary, at this time.

As far as climate change goes, I think the issue is moot from a legislation standpoint as I don't think any legislation or federal action can change the direction the climate is going. We have already passed legislation setting standards for output of pollutants and cleanup of existing pollutants that may or may not effect climate change. I don't think making those more strict or more widespread will have more than a minor effect on the direction that climate has chosen to take.

I don't agree with the No Child Left Behind Policy, and I think education should be a local and state issue. I don't think the federal government should get involved.

Quote:
6. What action(s), if any, should be taken regarding Don't Ask, Don't Tell?
I don't really see it as an issue, and I don't think congress should get involved. It should be an executive order (as the policy was previously) and be done with the issue. A gay person can defend the country just as well as a non gay person.


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Last edited by lupislune; March 28th, 2010 at 9:27 pm.
  #6  
Old March 28th, 2010, 11:56 pm
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Re: 111th US Congress: Version 4

1. What issue(s) do you think Congress should spend the remainder of the 111th US Congress focusing on?

The economy first and foremost, including jobs and financial reform. I'd also like to see a new immigration bill before November, and some work on closing Guantanamo and shutting down operations in Iraq by year's end.


2. Operating under the assumption that Republicans will not be able to successfully force a repeal of the HCR legislation, what changes do you want to be made to the legislation (or, to put it another way, what other health-related bills would you like to see)?

Single-payor or a public option.


3. What parts of the HCR legislation do you like? (Resource here from Kaiser Family Foundation which gives pdf overview of legislation).

I like these facts: the donut hole is closing; insurance companies will no longer be able to deny coverage for pre-existing conditions (I saw one over the weekend about a newborn with a heart condition being denied coverage under her parents' insurance); that medical decisions will no longer be based on profit margin and rationed accordingly; that HCR will reduce the federal deficit; and that we, as a nation, have finally taken steps to smooth some of the rougher edges of a capitalist society.


4. What do you think the chances of Congress ratifying the new START treaty with Russia? (Corollary): Do you want Congress to ratify the treaty?

I think they'll get it done.


I was impressed with yesterday's announcement of the President's recess appointments. I'm particularly gratified that he played a little hardball, too.

Kevin DrumYears ago, after Republicans filibustered a Carter nominee to the NLRB, the two parties made a deal: the board would have three appointees from the president's party and two from the other party. So after he took office Obama nominated two Democrats and one Republican to fill the NLRB's three vacant seats and got support from a couple of Republicans on the HELP committee for the entire slate. But when it got to the Senate floor John McCain put a hold on Becker, and his nomination -- along with the others -- died.

Fast forward to today and Obama finally decides to fill the board using recess appointments. But what does he do? He only appoints the two Democrats. This is not what you do if you're trying to make nice. It's what you do if you're playing hardball and you want to send a pointed message to the GOP caucus. You won't act on my nominees? Fine. I'll appoint my guys and then leave it up to you to round up 50 votes in the Senate for yours. Have fun.


Obama Plays Hardball

McCain and McConnell were fuming on the Sunday talk shows this morning. I can't remember a time when I enjoyed watching them bluster more than I did today.


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  #7  
Old March 29th, 2010, 8:28 pm
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Re: 111th US Congress: Version 4

Quote:
1. What issue(s) do you think Congress should spend the remainder of the 111th US Congress focusing on?
The economy. Job creation. Alternative energy. Mortgage relief. Public housing construction. Government projects and works (which can be privatised down the line if possible/desired) Strict regulation of the financial industry in particular High speed railway.

Quote:
2. Operating under the assumption that Republicans will not be able to successfully force a repeal of the HCR legislation, what changes do you want to be made to the legislation (or, to put it another way, what other health-related bills would you like to see)?
A public option, leading down the line to single payer.

Quote:
3. What parts of the HCR legislation do you like? (Resource here from Kaiser Family Foundation which gives pdf overview of legislation).
The part that bans insurance companies from barring people with pre-existing conditions.

Quote:
4. What do you think the chances of Congress ratifying the new START treaty with Russia? (Corollary): Do you want Congress to ratify the treaty?
If they are smart, they'll ratify it, and yes I want them to.

Quote:
5. What, if anything, should Congress do about the following issues:
a. Jobs
b. Finance Reform
c. Campaign Finance Reform
d. Climate Change and / or Energy policy (take any debate about the science of climate change to the office of science and nature thread)
e. Immigration Reform
A- Already mentioned this.
B- Already mentioned this.
C- Essential, unless Americans want to surrender their country further to corporations and lobbyists.
D- Reduction on reliance on petrol (which is politically advantageous for America too). Better use of cleaner alternative energy.
E- America needs to crackdown on Americans who hire illegal immigrants and also work with Mexico to improve standards over there to provide an incentive for Mexicans to remain in their own country.

Quote:
6. What action(s), if any, should be taken regarding Don't Ask, Don't Tell?
Should be abolished immediately.


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Old March 30th, 2010, 6:20 pm
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Re: 111th US Congress: Version 4

1. What issue(s) do you think Congress should spend the remainder of the 111th US Congress focusing on?
Jobs, the economy. This Democratic leadership, who claim to be the voice of the working citizen, have utterly failed to create jobs. In fact unemplyment has increased 25% since Obama took office. Sadly, I fear that the well of cooperation between the two major parties in power has been poisoned by the Dems and their handling of HCR. I don't expect much to get done from now until November.


2. Operating under the assumption that Republicans will not be able to successfully force a repeal of the HCR legislation, what changes do you want to be made to the legislation (or, to put it another way, what other health-related bills would you like to see)?
I think the goals of HCR are noble but timing is everything. And right now, in the midst of the worst fiscal crisis since the Depression, the US government cannot afford the scope and cost of these reforms. It is too ambitious and not tough enough on reducing industry costs. In fact, I think this legislation stands a pretty good chance of raising costs. A majority of Americans don't like the bill with 70% of us disagreeing with the CBO's assertion that it will reduce deficits. Simply put, it is fiscally irresponsible. We don't even know if it is going to work. It's sheer madness with dire consequences for our country if the Dems are wrong.


3. What parts of the HCR legislation do you like?
Industry regulation provisions which curb abuses.


4. What do you think the chances of Congress ratifying the new START treaty with Russia?
Good, especially since missile defense is out of scope. I think the Congress should ratify it.


5. What, if anything, should Congress do about the following issues:
a. Jobs
b. Finance Reform
c. Campaign Finance Reform
d. Climate Change and / or Energy policy (take any debate about the science of climate change to the office of science and nature thread)
e. Immigration Reform
f. No Child Left Behind


a) Cut business taxes and create incentives to stimulate organic hiring.
b) Sadly, we probably need legislation limiting certain risky practices.
c) Nothing.
d) Support Obama's plan for NASA. We need more information about the true causals of GW, aside from man.
e) Enforce the laws on the books and provide the resources to do it.
f) Continue to build on the good work here started by President Bush through added funding. This is needed more than ever with states such as NY and CA making cuts due to failed liberal social policies that have caused massive deficits.

6. What action(s), if any, should be taken regarding Don't Ask, Don't Tell?
I think the threshold of proof needs to be raised in order to justify explusion of an openly gay serviceperson. Some of the cases publicly cited are outrageous and unfair. A gay man can shoot a gun just as well as a straight man can. That being said, Obama and Gates have to be very careful and realistic in the extent of the reforms they are pondering. If they abolish "Don't Ask Don't Tell", they will have to replace it with other rules because there are certain situations and circumstances where straight and gay troops should not be compelled to live or serve together. Today, men and women are segregated. There's a reason for that, and that same reasoning ought to be applied to straight and gay troops living together.


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Last edited by pensieve_master; March 30th, 2010 at 6:22 pm.
  #9  
Old March 30th, 2010, 8:26 pm
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Re: 111th US Congress: Version 4

Quote:
Originally Posted by pensieve_master View Post
1. What issue(s) do you think Congress should spend the remainder of the 111th US Congress focusing on?
Jobs, the economy. This Democratic leadership, who claim to be the voice of the working citizen, have utterly failed to create jobs. In fact unemplyment has increased 25% since Obama took office. Sadly, I fear that the well of cooperation between the two major parties in power has been poisoned by the Dems and their handling of HCR. I don't expect much to get done from now until November.
The economy shed 1.9 million jobs in the fourth quarter of 2008 - 524,000 of them in December alone. In January 2009 the number was 598,000, 697,000 in February, 663,000 in March and 539,000 in April before the job market finally began to stabilize somewhat, or at least to stop bleeding jobs so horrendously. With numbers like that, and all of them directly attributable to Bush, there is small wonder that the unemployment rate has increased on Obama's watch, eh?

As for the "poisoned" bit, hasn't that has been in effect since January 20, 2009? I don't see the current threats as anything new. Just more of what's been going on in the Senate since Obama took office: lockstep opposition to anything the majority wants to pursue. Old news.


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Last edited by Hes; March 30th, 2010 at 8:29 pm.
  #10  
Old April 1st, 2010, 3:07 pm
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Re: 111th US Congress: Version 4

The cringe worthy moment of the day comes from Representative Hank Johnson, who serves on the House Armed Services Committee. He is questioning an Admiral about the Navy's intent to relocate some troops to Guam. His concern - that overpopulation on the island will cause it to tip over.

In his defense, Rep Johnson is quite ill. But if he's so sick that he honestly believes Guam might tip over, then perhaps serving as a voting member of the Armed Services Committee isn't the best spot for him.



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  #11  
Old April 1st, 2010, 3:24 pm
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Re: 111th US Congress: Version 4

Quote:
In his defense, Rep Johnson is quite ill. But if he's so sick that he honestly believes Guam might tip over, then perhaps serving as a voting member of the Armed Services Committee isn't the best spot for him.
If we were to post all the clueless comments caught on YouTube from say...Republican Congressmen/women and Senators, this site would probably collapse due to overload. One could also argue that the same logic you use could be applied to Jim Inhofe (R-OK) who serves on one/three Armed Forces committees/subcommittes, yet believes the September 11th attacks were a form of divine/spiritual retribution against the United States for not supporting Israel strongly enough, and he doesn't even have the excuse of being ill.


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Last edited by AldeberanBlack; April 1st, 2010 at 3:26 pm.
  #12  
Old April 1st, 2010, 3:26 pm
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Re: 111th US Congress: Version 4

I'm going to nip this one in the bud, folks. Let's not have competing gaffe youtubes going up. Both parties have had their fair share, and if we just cherry-picked the worst and posted them, it'll be a long day.


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  #13  
Old April 2nd, 2010, 3:22 am
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Re: 111th US Congress: Version 4

I don't usually participate in the US politics threads, but since I am in the mood for some punishment, here I go:

1. What issue(s) do you think Congress should spend the remainder of the 111th US Congress focusing on?

I would be happy to see Congress doing anything. All I can see from where I sit is constant bickering between the parties. It is absolutely ridiculous to see so many adults acting like little children.

Aside from that, I really would like to see jobs become a bigger focus (because when I get out of school I would like to eventually get one ). Off the top of my head I know 8 people (with college degrees in different fields of engineering/science/computer information systems...) who have been unemployed for over a year. They are all actively trying to find work, but there is no where hiring. Some have even gone so far as to look out of state, but still nothing.

2. Operating under the assumption that Republicans will not be able to successfully force a repeal of the HCR legislation, what changes do you want to be made to the legislation (or, to put it another way, what other health-related bills would you like to see)?


Single payer. However, I realize that is unlikely to happen any time soon. The problem with this health care legislation was that Democrats had this amazing strategy that they would include some Republican ideas so they could appear bipartisan and then that way if the new health care system failed they could blame the failure on the Republicans ideas. Truly brilliant. The republicans on the other hand figured that they would just say no to everything as a way to distance themselves from what they viewed as a huge mistake. Now the problem with these two strategies is that neither party really had the best interests of the people in mind. It is politics as usual. It is actually sad to me that there was a chance to do something really amazing and it was tossed away.

Not a big fan of the mandatory coverage, regardless of whether fines would be enforced or not, I don't feel like anyone should be forced into buying health insurance, if they want to leave things to chance, or pay out of pocket I think they should have that right.

3. What parts of the HCR legislation do you like? (Resource here from Kaiser Family Foundation which gives pdf overview of legislation).

I am not super hot for any specific thing, but at least it is something right now. I think there are a lot of families that need help (that do not qualify for Medicaid) so it is a step in the right direction I guess.

4. What do you think the chances of Congress ratifying the new START treaty with Russia? (Corollary): Do you want Congress to ratify the treaty?

I think they should ratify it.

5. What, if anything, should Congress do about the following issues:
a. Jobs
b. Finance Reform
c. Campaign Finance Reform
d. Climate Change and / or Energy policy (take any debate about the science of climate change to the office of science and nature thread)
e. Immigration Reform
f. No Child Left Behind


Immigration reform would be nice. There definitely needs to be something done, not just stopping people from coming in (which is a near impossible task) but to at least help out the illegal aliens already living here. I mean, even those who have been living here for almost 20 years illegally and have married Americans and have children with them have the hardest time trying to work their way through the system to gain citizenship. The price of becoming an American citizen is way more than most of these people can pay. It seems insane that people who have lived the majority of their lives here don't have the option to go through the legal channels because it is too expensive.

As for the other stuff, I am going to decline to comment on those because honestly I just don't think any good solution will come out of this Congress with the political tensions so high. It is discouraging that this is what our government has become, and even worse that we have let it and even encourage this behavior.


6. What action(s), if any, should be taken regarding Don't Ask, Don't Tell?

Get rid of it.


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  #14  
Old April 5th, 2010, 6:20 pm
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Re: 111th US Congress: Version 4

With everyone talking about the "tea party" movement and it's possible effects on the mid-term elections, I saw this article and thought it might be of interest.

http://www.gallup.com/poll/127181/Te...ographics.aspx


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  #15  
Old April 5th, 2010, 6:28 pm
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Re: 111th US Congress: Version 4

Interesting link. Thanks!



On a completely different note. Looking through this thread, there are few thimsg everyone can agree on, but there seems to be a pretty unified view among posters of all political backgrounds that Dont-Ask-Don't-Tell should go. That's interesting and I wonder how representative it is.


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Old April 5th, 2010, 7:42 pm
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Re: 111th US Congress: Version 4

Thanks for the link. I am a bit surprised that the poll says tea partiers are slightly more likely to be male. I guess that's just because I don't personally know any male tea partiers, but I do know female ones.


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Old April 5th, 2010, 9:47 pm
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Re: 111th US Congress: Version 4

Quote:
Originally Posted by darklordspal View Post
With everyone talking about the "tea party" movement and it's possible effects on the mid-term elections, I saw this article and thought it might be of interest.

http://www.gallup.com/poll/127181/Te...ographics.aspx
That is interesting. It certainly flies in the face of the knee jerk reaction Tea Party supporters seem to receive from the media and some politicians.

I do hope that the Tea Party doesn't make the mistake of becoming a full fledged third party because third parties tend to end up costing us all when they split votes and no candidate receives a majority.


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  #18  
Old April 5th, 2010, 10:40 pm
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Re: 111th US Congress: Version 4

Has anyone heard from the hundreds of thousands of Americans who aren't getting their unemployment checks this week? For the second month in a row, congressional Republicans have filibustered a bill extending the benefits of the nation's unemployed. Last month it was Senator Jim Bunning (R-KY), who is retiring when his term expires. This month it is Bunning and Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK).

At issue, supposedly, is how the extension(s) will be paid for. Bunning and Coburn want to redirect stimulus money to cover them. Democrats aren't buying the ploy. The water is further muddied by Senator John Kyl's (R-AZ) comment to the effect that unemployment benefits are "bad for the economy because they encourage people to stay jobless."

Bunning now says Democrats are to blame for the dust-up. He is correct in saying that Democrats "rejected the GOP's proposal to pay for a temporary extension with stimulus funds," according to Talking Points Memo, "but the Republicans using the Senate rules to hold up the extension are doing so despite the fact that a large majority in the Senate favors extending these benefits, regardless of whether they're paid for."

Bunning's latest ploy is interesting. I don't see him getting any traction from it beyond the GOP's base voters. Judging from what I've heard today, people are hopping mad.


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  #19  
Old April 5th, 2010, 11:16 pm
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Re: 111th US Congress: Version 4

Quote:
Originally Posted by Klio View Post
Interesting link. Thanks!



On a completely different note. Looking through this thread, there are few thimsg everyone can agree on, but there seems to be a pretty unified view among posters of all political backgrounds that Dont-Ask-Don't-Tell should go. That's interesting and I wonder how representative it is.
I'm in favor of ending don't-ask-don't-tell, but it depends to some degree on the culture in the military. I think the younger soldiers would probably far more acceptiong than the older ones.

As for START, I would like to see it ratified. It won't solve all the problems betweeen us and Russia, but it would be a good step in the right direction.

As for the Obama administration's domestic policies and directions, I'm generally agin'em. ...


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  #20  
Old April 6th, 2010, 2:10 am
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Re: 111th US Congress: Version 4

Quote:
Originally Posted by purplehawk View Post
Has anyone heard from the hundreds of thousands of Americans who aren't getting their unemployment checks this week? For the second month in a row, congressional Republicans have filibustered a bill extending the benefits of the nation's unemployed. Last month it was Senator Jim Bunning (R-KY), who is retiring when his term expires. This month it is Bunning and Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK).

At issue, supposedly, is how the extension(s) will be paid for. Bunning and Coburn want to redirect stimulus money to cover them. Democrats aren't buying the ploy. The water is further muddied by Senator John Kyl's (R-AZ) comment to the effect that unemployment benefits are "bad for the economy because they encourage people to stay jobless."
Obviously someone who's never had to depend on unemployment benefits.

I was stuck on unemployment for the better part of last summer, and it was no walk in the park. (Not to mention how depressing it gets being stuck on unemployment for who knows how long simply because of a bad job market.) Glad my current temp job is still holding!


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