US Political Discussion: Biden/Harris Edition (Rules in OP)

Glades

Down in the Everglades
Joined
Sep 8, 2016
Messages
681
Reaction score
555
Location
Florida
We need a socialized healthcare system that works and is accessible to all. The question is how can we afford it given the exorbitant prices of medical care.
Maybe we need to spend less money in foreign wars, or aiding foreign countries in securing their borders, and more money in healthcare and education. Help the people in need. End the days of "America World Police" and put America and Americans first.
 

nightflameauto

SS.org Regular
Joined
Sep 25, 2010
Messages
1,565
Reaction score
2,083
Location
Sioux Falls, SD
I don't think that the Supreme Court was a bad idea at all. It's actually smart to have drastically different setups for different branches of government and then have them have some sort of rock-paper-scissors control over each other.
While everything you say is true, and god DAMN did I get sick of hearing Bush talk about his "clear mandate from the people" during his terms every time there was a disagreement, the problem with all of the checks and balances is that it requires at least *some* part of those checks and balances to be acting in good faith. Add on that sometimes, here or there, you have one side attempting to act in good faith by compromising, or at least paying lip service to compromising as a way to stop themselves from accomplishing anything, the other side would sooner step on every citizen's neck while screaming baby rapists in their faces than compromise. Apparently, literally.

To quote George Costanza, "WE'RE TRYING TO HAVE A SOCIETY HERE!"

Somewhere along the way, our entire government lost sight of that.
 

bostjan

MicroMetal
Contributor
Joined
Dec 7, 2005
Messages
19,726
Reaction score
10,772
Location
St. Johnsbury, VT USA
While everything you say is true, and god DAMN did I get sick of hearing Bush talk about his "clear mandate from the people" during his terms every time there was a disagreement, the problem with all of the checks and balances is that it requires at least *some* part of those checks and balances to be acting in good faith. Add on that sometimes, here or there, you have one side attempting to act in good faith by compromising, or at least paying lip service to compromising as a way to stop themselves from accomplishing anything, the other side would sooner step on every citizen's neck while screaming baby rapists in their faces than compromise. Apparently, literally.

To quote George Costanza, "WE'RE TRYING TO HAVE A SOCIETY HERE!"

Somewhere along the way, our entire government lost sight of that.
I don't think there is such a thing as "good faith" within the government. And that's why no form of government will ever work for every society.

First off, democracy sucks, because it's government for the people, by the people, but the people are stupid. Just talk to the average American voter out on the street. So we put representatives as a buffer, sort of like a parent, who knows what the people want and is supposed to try to make sense of it, but, here's another problem, the representatives are also stupid. Just listen to them talk on the television or whatever. They are brainless idiots just like the people they represent. Also, listen to George W. Bush's public speeches and then try to tell me a defensible reason why I should believe that that guy is smart enough to lead a powerful country. And then there's Trump. Now, I'm not going to say that Trump is generally stupid, but he clearly had no idea what he was doing as president.

I think this was exactly what Mike Judge was trying to warn us about with "Idiocracy." Put the idiots in charge and everything goes to shit, because, well, duh'uh! Where are the smart people? They are staying far away from politics. Why? Because the voices of the idiots have gone too far. I blame it all on the 2000 election. Yes, it sounds crazy, but think about it: you had this well-qualified guy who scored 1355 on his SAT, earned decent marks at University, served in Vietnam despite his dad's powerful position to get him out, who was fairly well-spoken (although I didn't generally agree with him on most issues), versus a less-qualified guy, who scored a 1200 (still a respectable score, though), earned C's at university, went AWOL during guard duty within the states, and had the vocabulary of a 3rd grader (and with whom I almost always disagreed). The people chose Gore, the electoral college was probably going to chose Bush, but before anyone could bother, nepotism kicked in and, between his dad's nominees and his dad's boss's nominees to the SCotUS, Bush was appointed president. No compromises were made, no punches were pulled. The governance was given to the minority of the people and it was cited as a divine mandate. Then 911, the Patriot Act, the NSA, the Afghanistan War, the unjustified Iraq War, Gitmo, illegal torture, illegal arrests, government officials profiting openly from the wars, the automotive crash, etc. Worst. president. ever. ...until 2016...

Smart people want nothing to do with trying to fix that mess. It's too messy and there are too many fringe people who will try to kill you for undoing the shit that they are so proud that they helped to make.
 

wankerness

SS.org Regular
Joined
Feb 26, 2012
Messages
7,255
Reaction score
1,883
Location
WI
So, back to the whole SCOTUS run of late. Have any of you seen that the Moore v. Harper case showed up on the docket?

Apparently, it is known that it is 4 vs 4 with Barret as the swing vote. If this goes through, it could destroy the checks and balances on a state level of governors or courts to object to a legislature gerrymandering.
Yep, I posted about that the other day. Looks like they plan on hearing it in October, so we might never get another fair election in republican legislature-controlled states like mine. Pending the results of the next election I'm moving out of state. Not that it will matter much, since the way the senate's structured around low-population states with a bunch of bumpkins that are further gerrymandered to be permanently republican there's no way a democratic president will win again if the legislatures are allowed to just say "we vote republican" no matter what the voters do.

Speaking of Wisconsin, I found this graphic to be a good illustration of how permanently fucked we are.

599ea6a6e243f944899ca5dc6d81f6baf61febce_2_501x500.jpeg

Seriously, even if Barrett decides to uphold democracy, there's no possible way we're going to vote our way out from under these fascists in WI. And if they gain another seat this election (VERY likely with the new gerrymandering that was just approved) the Democratic governor won't be able to veto anything they do.
 

nightflameauto

SS.org Regular
Joined
Sep 25, 2010
Messages
1,565
Reaction score
2,083
Location
Sioux Falls, SD
I don't think there is such a thing as "good faith" within the government. And that's why no form of government will ever work for every society.

First off, democracy sucks, because it's government for the people, by the people, but the people are stupid. Just talk to the average American voter out on the street. So we put representatives as a buffer, sort of like a parent, who knows what the people want and is supposed to try to make sense of it, but, here's another problem, the representatives are also stupid. Just listen to them talk on the television or whatever. They are brainless idiots just like the people they represent. Also, listen to George W. Bush's public speeches and then try to tell me a defensible reason why I should believe that that guy is smart enough to lead a powerful country. And then there's Trump. Now, I'm not going to say that Trump is generally stupid, but he clearly had no idea what he was doing as president.

I think this was exactly what Mike Judge was trying to warn us about with "Idiocracy." Put the idiots in charge and everything goes to shit, because, well, duh'uh! Where are the smart people? They are staying far away from politics. Why? Because the voices of the idiots have gone too far. I blame it all on the 2000 election. Yes, it sounds crazy, but think about it: you had this well-qualified guy who scored 1355 on his SAT, earned decent marks at University, served in Vietnam despite his dad's powerful position to get him out, who was fairly well-spoken (although I didn't generally agree with him on most issues), versus a less-qualified guy, who scored a 1200 (still a respectable score, though), earned C's at university, went AWOL during guard duty within the states, and had the vocabulary of a 3rd grader (and with whom I almost always disagreed). The people chose Gore, the electoral college was probably going to chose Bush, but before anyone could bother, nepotism kicked in and, between his dad's nominees and his dad's boss's nominees to the SCotUS, Bush was appointed president. No compromises were made, no punches were pulled. The governance was given to the minority of the people and it was cited as a divine mandate. Then 911, the Patriot Act, the NSA, the Afghanistan War, the unjustified Iraq War, Gitmo, illegal torture, illegal arrests, government officials profiting openly from the wars, the automotive crash, etc. Worst. president. ever. ...until 2016...

Smart people want nothing to do with trying to fix that mess. It's too messy and there are too many fringe people who will try to kill you for undoing the shit that they are so proud that they helped to make.
I'll be 100% honest here and admit I may have a share of the blame in where we are. I was one of many that when Bush was appointed president (note I did not say elected), I bowed out of Politics until Obama came along. I literally said, "That's enough. Doesn't matter what I do."

Then I voted for Obama, then watched him not just duplicate, but double-down on Bush era policies, even the policies he campaigned on repealing or doing away with altogether. I could not, in good faith, bother voting in 2016 because I had no faith left in the system.

Because Trump was SUCH a disaster, I started voting again, but it's protest votes. I certainly haven't voted *FOR* anyone, even on the local level. I just go, "I know this is a complete dickhole. I vote not complete dickhole, only sorta dickhole."

Am I alone in thinking we'll never see someone to vote for again? Obama was the last, and he proved in one term to not have been what he claimed to be. I mean, I don't believe he INTENDED to come across that way. The guy seems sincere enough. But his actual policies were less than intended by far, and sometimes the direct opposite. It's not like the Patriot Act lost traction during his terms.

I have a hard time with Idiocracy now. Because, in all honesty, it's beginning to look like a Utopia compared to where we may be headed. Stupid is stupid, but our government is filled with malicious intent. People literally out for blood.

Is what it is, I suppose.
 

mmr007

(anti)Social Influencer
Joined
Aug 13, 2010
Messages
1,632
Reaction score
3,270
Location
SoCal
The steady decline became a rapid tumble thanks to social media which not only promulgates but celebrates stupidity and allows morons to know the more moronic they are the more popular they can be and they don't need to be part of a greater society, they only need to be an exaggerated version of something to be a part of a specific society of misfits on targeted websites. That is why our societal fabric ripped apart. Marx said religion was the opiate of the masses only because tik tok didn't exist back then but now we can soothe our souls with empty calorie videos and not bother learning a single thing necessary to keep this whole project going.
 

bostjan

MicroMetal
Contributor
Joined
Dec 7, 2005
Messages
19,726
Reaction score
10,772
Location
St. Johnsbury, VT USA
I always vote. I like to research every person who will be on the ballot, and, if I disagree with the incumbent and they are running unopposed, I'll write in a vote for my neighbour or whatever. Shave off one molecule of that person's overinflated ego. If no one good is running, I'll do the same thing. I'll never leave anything blank.

Not that it does any good, but at least I get to say :fawk: to those jerks.

When McCain and Obama ran against each other, I was, at first, quite happy. I actually liked McCain, and, I didn't know much about Obama, but he seemed really smart and seemed to share my values. Then McCain chose Palin as a running mate, so, well, at least that made the decision easy. After Obama won, I was thrilled to finally be rid of Bush and now we have this new guy who promised to fix the broken health care system, close Gitmo, wind down the wars, etc. But he did exactly the opposite of those foreign policy things and his big fix for the healthcare system ended up being a bandaid on a severed limb. I was right there with you, @nightflameauto ! I didn't really like Romney, but was starting to feel betrayed by Obama, so I had a moment where I thought maybe I should consider voting for Romney, then quickly came to my senses.
 

Drew

Forum MVP
Joined
Aug 17, 2004
Messages
31,851
Reaction score
8,538
Location
Somerville, MA
to be honest....you...and you and you and you. All of you. Should a woman be required to carry rape insurance? No. But my tax dollars go to pay for the police I don't need who investigate the crime, the lawyers who will try the case, the judge that presides over it and the inevitable cost of jailing the scum bag. And he never threatened to rape me so why do I pay? Because that's what we do in a society. That's the point of universal healthcare. Our taxes should pay for it but it should not be for profit. But since our society decided to make the ability to heal cost prohibitive based on an arcane notion of employer based healthcare that allows people to buy yachts over my illness...don't be sad when I'm not sad for sticking society with the tab.
So, I'm with you 100% on the need for universal healthcare.

But you're also exactly describing why we need a mandate or universal coverage. If you have a healthcare system that will treat you regardless of if you can pay, and you have the choice of whether or not to take out insurance to pay your medical bills rather than stick them on the rest of the system, then the economically rational thing to do is to not take out health insurance, and pass the burden onto the system without actually paying into it, increasing the costs of providing care for all, but at the benefit of your not needing to pay a dime.

So, we need to do one of two things. Either we DO make health coverage compulsory, via a mandate or state funded healthcare, or we stop treating people without coverage who can't or won't pay. The logic may sound kind of brutal, but the reality is this is certainly a contributing factor to rising cost of care, and if we don't fix it then care, and insurance, will continue to get more expensive.

My STRONG preference is of course universal coverage and care either entirely at the state level, or with an effective public option. But, these are non-starters on the right, and it's not lost on me that as soon as not having coverage actually starts to result in denial of care, then a public taxpayer-funded option will become a lot more popular in a hurry.
 

bostjan

MicroMetal
Contributor
Joined
Dec 7, 2005
Messages
19,726
Reaction score
10,772
Location
St. Johnsbury, VT USA
Yep, I posted about that the other day. Looks like they plan on hearing it in October, so we might never get another fair election in republican legislature-controlled states like mine. Pending the results of the next election I'm moving out of state. Not that it will matter much, since the way the senate's structured around low-population states with a bunch of bumpkins that are further gerrymandered to be permanently republican there's no way a democratic president will win again if the legislatures are allowed to just say "we vote republican" no matter what the voters do.

Speaking of Wisconsin, I found this graphic to be a good illustration of how permanently fucked we are.

View attachment 110142

Seriously, even if Barrett decides to uphold democracy, there's no possible way we're going to vote our way out from under these fascists in WI. And if they gain another seat this election (VERY likely with the new gerrymandering that was just approved) the Democratic governor won't be able to veto anything they do.
Wow! 53% of the vote = 36% of the seats?! Just checked this out and it scans. So many small districts where republicans won by small margins and just a few huge districts where democrats won by significant margins. I ran the numbers off of the Wisconsin election board website and got those exact percentages.
 

Drew

Forum MVP
Joined
Aug 17, 2004
Messages
31,851
Reaction score
8,538
Location
Somerville, MA
Wow! 53% of the vote = 36% of the seats?! Just checked this out and it scans. So many small districts where republicans won by small margins and just a few huge districts where democrats won by significant margins. I ran the numbers off of the Wisconsin election board website and got those exact percentages.
This kind of shit is why I've always thought that a nonpartisan districting process, far more than any other proposed solutions like term limits or whatnot, would do the most to ensure a functional and fair political system. When your only real risk is to a more extreme challenger in the primary, you get extremists. You elect extremists more worried about their primary than the other party, and you create strong incentives not to work with the other party and compromise.

Only silver lining, I guess, is that this kind of "crack-and-pack" gerrymandering comes with a lot of downside risk, and with Roe v Wade being overturned, the sort of blue wave backlash that could lead to Republicans actually losing those narrow majorities and suddenly having the Democrats run the table is at least possible.
 
Last edited:

wankerness

SS.org Regular
Joined
Feb 26, 2012
Messages
7,255
Reaction score
1,883
Location
WI
Only silver lining, I guess, is that this kind of "crack-and-pack" gerrymandering comes with a lot of downside risk, and with Roe v Wade being overturned, the sort of blue wave backlash that could lead to Republicans actually losing those narrow majorities and suddenly having the Democrats run the table is at least possible.
That’s exactly what this October Supreme Court hearing is designed to prevent from ever happening again, cause the legislature that’s in there would just proclaim the results to be fraudulent if they lost, allowing them to stay. And the partisan state supreme courts would support it.
 

bostjan

MicroMetal
Contributor
Joined
Dec 7, 2005
Messages
19,726
Reaction score
10,772
Location
St. Johnsbury, VT USA
Just checked this out for my state of Vermont. The lower house is a little concentrated toward democratic power. 53% of voters went democrat, 57% of seats went to democrats. 29% voted republican, 23% of seats. 6% voted progressive, 8% of the seats.

The upper house, though, heavily biased against republicans - D 44% of the vote = 57% of the seats. R 30% of the vote = 13% of the seats. Progressive 13% of the vote = 13% of the seats.

Hmm...

Thoughts - Vermont is a tiny state. It'd be much more difficult to apportion seats without discrepancies. Still, though, the party with the most votes at least gets the most seats, and the party with the second most votes gets the second most seats, and so on.
 

Grindspine

likes pointy things
Joined
Feb 8, 2014
Messages
1,813
Reaction score
1,009
Location
Indiana
I'll be 100% honest here and admit I may have a share of the blame in where we are. I was one of many that when Bush was appointed president (note I did not say elected), I bowed out of Politics until Obama came along. I literally said, "That's enough. Doesn't matter what I do."

Then I voted for Obama, then watched him not just duplicate, but double-down on Bush era policies, even the policies he campaigned on repealing or doing away with altogether. I could not, in good faith, bother voting in 2016 because I had no faith left in the system.

Because Trump was SUCH a disaster, I started voting again, but it's protest votes. I certainly haven't voted *FOR* anyone, even on the local level. I just go, "I know this is a complete dickhole. I vote not complete dickhole, only sorta dickhole."

Am I alone in thinking we'll never see someone to vote for again? Obama was the last, and he proved in one term to not have been what he claimed to be. I mean, I don't believe he INTENDED to come across that way. The guy seems sincere enough. But his actual policies were less than intended by far, and sometimes the direct opposite. It's not like the Patriot Act lost traction during his terms.

I have a hard time with Idiocracy now. Because, in all honesty, it's beginning to look like a Utopia compared to where we may be headed. Stupid is stupid, but our government is filled with malicious intent. People literally out for blood.

Is what it is, I suppose.
During the Obama election, a radio station friend of mine met Obama and said that he had the softest hands ever. I responded that he was a career politician and had never done work with his hands in his life. I think that can be said of most career politicians.

The last senator for whom I had much respect was Richard Lugar. He was a moderate Republican who was known to often meet with the Democratic side of things and compromise on solutions to issues. I sorely miss anyone being moderate in our current politics. Half of the reason I lean support to Biden is that he had a long history of working with Richard Lugar. I do agree though, most of my votes are toward the person whom I think will be less damaging.

d9e391d0-473d-4b87-9cb1-68f52352d14e_screenshot.jpg
 

Drew

Forum MVP
Joined
Aug 17, 2004
Messages
31,851
Reaction score
8,538
Location
Somerville, MA
That’s exactly what this October Supreme Court hearing is designed to prevent from ever happening again, cause the legislature that’s in there would just proclaim the results to be fraudulent if they lost, allowing them to stay. And the partisan state supreme courts would support it.
I haven't really studied up on the intricacies of this case yet, but the very fact the Court is hearing a case on electoral process makes me a little worried. I can't see how you could possibly make the argument that this is consistent with the intent of the Constitution, though.
 

tedtan

SS.org Regular
Joined
Dec 2, 2009
Messages
5,318
Reaction score
1,912
Location
Never Neverland
We need a socialized healthcare system that works and is accessible to all. The question is how can we afford it given the exorbitant prices of medical care.
Maybe we need to spend less money in foreign wars, or aiding foreign countries in securing their borders, and more money in healthcare and education. Help the people in need. End the days of "America World Police" and put America and Americans first.
This is the goal, but there are several issues.

First, the majority of Americans have/pay into some type of health care insurance, and in most cases, these are for profit insurers. That means that people pay in more to have insurance than the insurer pays out to cover medicine and medical treatments. And even as we pay to have insurance, those carriers only cover some portion of the medicine/treatment - we still have to pay some amount out of pocket as a co-pay and likely a separate amount towards a co-insurance as well. We also have several insurance providers, so with the number of people who have insurance divided amongst them, they each have less negotiating power with the providers than if we all had a single insurance provider. And don’t forget that we are paying premiums to these carriers.

At the same time, we also pay more for medicine and medical treatments in the US than other countries because our pharmaceutical companies and healthcare providers are set up as a for profit system. So even after the insurance companies “negotiate” a lower price, we are paying significantly more for the same pharmaceuticals/services than other countries.

So ultimately, if we take over insurance through a Medicare for All system, we have a single payer with 1) more power to negotiate prices; 2) lower “premiums” because there is no profit to pay out as ROI to investors, 3) everyone paying in, so we each pay in less than through a private carrier; 4) coverage for everyone and 5) reduced or eliminated co-pays and co-insurance. We can also stop paying for our private insurance, cutting our costs significantly. So ultimately, this should cost no more, and possibly less, than we currently pay for our healthcare.

And to take this a step further, I’m generally a capitalist, but there are some situations where capitalism isn’t the best option. Large, necessary industries like power generation, waste water treatment, trash collection and similar generally work better as either a function of a local/regional government agency or as a heavily regulated oligopoly. And healthcare is one of those industries where this is probably the best approach, as we should all have a basic right to healthcare, not just those of us that can afford to pay for it. And going this route, we could further reduce healthcare costs by eliminating the profit margin, eliminating duplication of efforts such as admin functions, and by “outsourcing” the research and development functions to universities and other research focused entities, possibly supported via government grants, rather than allowing the pharmaceutical companies and research/teaching oriented hospitals to charge a great markup to cover their R&D costs.

In short, cutting spending on wars and playing world police is a good thing in and of itself, but it is not necessary to have a functional healthcare system. We just need to collectively pull our heads out of our asses and focus on efficiently prioritizing a functional healthcare system rather than fighting an “us against them” political fight that only serves to benefit the politicians and the lobbyists that control them.
 
Last edited:

nightflameauto

SS.org Regular
Joined
Sep 25, 2010
Messages
1,565
Reaction score
2,083
Location
Sioux Falls, SD
Also, to those in congress and the president who continually claim that they talk to "lots of people" that "absolutely love their insurance." Try talking to actual people outside the political circle that get free healthcare for life paid for by us taxpayers. You know, that thing we'd like to see available to all of us. Talk to people in regular, everyday jobs about how they like their health insurance. I guarantee if they talked to the average joe they aren't going to hear much in the way of praise towards constantly rising premiums, constantly increasing deductibles, constantly denied coverage because reasons, constant "in network" lock-ins, and constant fuckery just because they can plans.

I realize my experience is just as anecdotal as theirs, but the only person I've ever spoken with that liked his insurance was an insurance salesman himself, deeply embedded into his own company's coverage that was paid for by the company outright (or so they said on the books) because he was such a big earner for them. Literally no one else.
 


Top