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Posted (edited)
On 6/26/2020 at 8:46 AM, The Dog said:

Puerto Rico has turned down every opportunity to become a state. There are certainly a lot of people there who want statehood, but the majority do not. 

Puerto Rico has never had an opportunity to become a state, because it ultimately isn't up to them. That's kind of them problem.

They're also having a referendum this November. They are setting the stage for a Democratic congress to point to that and admit them.

I fully support the admission of PR into the union, as well as every other territory we possess. If you get American citizenship for being born there it should be a state, except for foreign military/diplomatic facilities, obviously. It will make for interesting/maddening poetical gamesmanship in the coming decades. The GOP will absolutely try to split Texas and Alaska as a counter.

Edited by gmr548

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Brew said:

Isn’t it the little people that can’t just up and move which was your original solution to the issue? Telling someone to move to obtain representation isn’t a solution no different than telling African Americans to go back to Africa is any sort of solution for racial problems.

The lines have been blurred in DC and it was not kept separate as it was originally intended. I can’t really see how them having 2 Senators puts them with some undue influence on politics, so make it a state and move on. Carve out the White House and surrounding area if it makes everyone feel better, but every American citizen deserves representation. Shit, it’s what got us to where we are.

Having everyone "up and move" was never my solution.  I haven't offered one.

I think it's impractical to completely limit the residences to higher-level government employees, or forbid "legislative housing" to anyone who wants to live there, but they can do so knowing they made the choice.

It is unfair for those with no mobility to be stuck in a place without representation.

Edited by TwiceHorn

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I'm up for statehood for DC, Puerto Rico, and one more of y'alls' choice, if we also get to invade and annex Ireland.

They'd never see it coming.

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47 minutes ago, RDCanecutter said:

I'm up for statehood for DC, Puerto Rico, and one more of y'alls' choice, if we also get to invade and annex Ireland.

They'd never see it coming.

Except that POTUS would tweet about it. 

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1 hour ago, RDCanecutter said:

I'm up for statehood for DC, Puerto Rico, and one more of y'alls' choice, if we also get to invade and annex Ireland.

They'd never see it coming.

Amsterdam

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2 hours ago, TwiceHorn said:

Having everyone "up and move" was never my solution.  I haven't offered one.

I think it's impractical to completely limit the residences to higher-level government employees, or forbid "legislative housing" to anyone who wants to live there, but they can do so knowing they made the choice.

It is unfair for those with no mobility to be stuck in a place without representation.

There is no formal housing. There are no arrangements for legialators, other than many MOC use their congressional offices as personal apartments.  That couch you sat on when you visited your Congress critter? They sleep on it to avoid rent. Which is gross.  But they can not by law be citizens of the District.  
 

The staff live wherever they can. VA, MD, DC.  Occasional WV. If they live in MD or VA, they have to become residents of those states,  because they are states.  But in DC, Congressional staff from the member states are exempt from DC residency laws, because DC as a locality has no rights or jurisdiction except what Congress gives them. 
 

Come visit DC, Twice. It’s a living vibrant city.  I’ll buy you a beer. It’s not some cesspool of corruption. 

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Posted (edited)
15 minutes ago, Bateshorn said:

There is no formal housing. There are no arrangements for legialators, other than many MOC use their congressional offices as personal apartments.  That couch you sat on when you visited your Congress critter? They sleep on it to avoid rent. Which is gross.  But they can not by law be citizens of the District.  
 

The staff live wherever they can. VA, MD, DC.  Occasional WV. If they live in MD or VA, they have to become residents of those states,  because they are states.  But in DC, Congressional staff from the member states are exempt from DC residency laws, because DC as a locality has no rights or jurisdiction except what Congress gives them. 
 

Come visit DC, Twice. It’s a living vibrant city.  I’ll buy you a beer. It’s not some cesspool of corruption. 

I've been there many times.  Less often as the PTO has moved farther away.  I almost took a job out of law school with a DC firm or with the FTC, but ultimately, paying for it didn't make sense (unlike most larger cities with high costs of living, DC firms tended not to pay a higher salary than a Dallas firm).

I mean the original conception was to have government buildings there, principally the congress, the white house, and the supreme court, and enough housing for legislators and their staffs, if that, which is what I meant by "legislative housing."  It shouldn't really have a "native population" unless it is by choice.  And there are a number of folks that, at least for a while, would choose to live in DC even it if was fully disenfranchised (which is how DC law firms used to and probably still do get away without adjusting their salaries up for cost of living).

Like most conceptions, it didn't quite work out that way.

I heard a thing on NPR that mentioned that tons of congresscritters, mostly republican, live in their offices, meaning sleep on their couches and shower in the gym.

Edited by TwiceHorn

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Posted (edited)
3 minutes ago, TwiceHorn said:

I've been there many times.  Less often as the PTO has moved farther away.

I mean the original conception was to have government buildings there, principally the congress, the white house, and the supreme court, and enough housing for legislators and their staffs, if that, which is what I meant by "legislative housing."  It shouldn't really have a "native population" unless it is by choice.  And there are a number of folks that, at least for a while, would choose to live in DC even it if was fully disenfranchised.

Like most conceptions, it didn't quite work out that way.

I heard a thing on NPR that mentioned that tons of congresscritters, mostly republican, live in their offices, meaning sleep on their couches and shower in the gym.

About GOP legislators: correct.  I find it super gross as a lobbyist. Like dude, I don’t want to sit on your Fold up bed and discuss energy legislation.  

Edited by Bateshorn

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Also, I rather like DC.  It has some great neighborhoods that look like they'd be fun to live in.  But not even lawdogs usually live there because it's so friggin expensive.  

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16 minutes ago, TwiceHorn said:

I've been there many times.  Less often as the PTO has moved farther away.  I almost took a job out of law school with a DC firm or with the FTC, but ultimately, paying for it didn't make sense (unlike most larger cities with high costs of living, DC firms tended not to pay a higher salary than a Dallas firm).

I mean the original conception was to have government buildings there, principally the congress, the white house, and the supreme court, and enough housing for legislators and their staffs, if that, which is what I meant by "legislative housing."  It shouldn't really have a "native population" unless it is by choice.  And there are a number of folks that, at least for a while, would choose to live in DC even it if was fully disenfranchised (which is how DC law firms used to and probably still do get away without adjusting their salaries up for cost of living).

Like most conceptions, it didn't quite work out that way.

I heard a thing on NPR that mentioned that tons of congresscritters, mostly republican, live in their offices, meaning sleep on their couches and shower in the gym.

Is “shower in the gym” code for something else?

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I'm up for statehood for DC, Puerto Rico, and one more of y'alls' choice, if we also get to invade and annex Ireland.
They'd never see it coming.

I am good with this as long as I get to reclaim my ancestral titles and duties over a portion of it.

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13 minutes ago, Nivek said:


I am good with this as long as I get to reclaim my ancestral titles and duties over a portion of it.

Prima nocta?

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2 hours ago, Bateshorn said:

Come visit DC, Twice. It’s a living vibrant city.  I’ll buy you a beer. It’s not some cesspool of corruption. 

My brother lives in DC. I've very much enjoyed my visits. It has annoying policy bros like Austin has annoying tech bros, Dallas has finance bros, or Houston has O&G bros, but it's a great city.

Honestly quality of life seems quite high. It seems like it'd be a great place to live except the whole no representation in congress thing.

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On 6/27/2020 at 9:14 AM, Texas Jeff said:

The DC residents should have some ability to vote for representation and similar control over their future that I have.  Joining Maryland makes sense to me ... or maybe giving them a rep and allowing them to vote in Maryland's Senate elections, although I can't claim to understand the politics of the area.

However, I'm not sure statehood is fair to many of the rest of us.  Austin has a million residents and no serious influence in the Senate.  Texas citizens have one senator per 14,000,000 people and DC would have one senator per 350,000 people, a ratio of 40:1. Solve the Senate problem and it's a lot more reasonable to me.  Without that solution it seems like DC would go from no representation to an outsized influence.

See Vermont and Wyoming.

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2 hours ago, conVINCEd said:

Is “shower in the gym” code for something else?

Asking for you or Sir Ladybugs?

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22 minutes ago, Satchel said:

See Vermont and Wyoming.

A valid argument there are currently small states, I acknowledge that.  I just don't want more of them.  Vermont and New Hampshire could be combined and I would be fine with that.

I wonder what the maximum ratio of big state population to small state population was in 1789.  Was any ratio as high as some of the ones we have today?

 

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2 minutes ago, Texas Jeff said:

A valid argument there are currently small states, I acknowledge that.  I just don't want more of them.  Vermont and New Hampshire could be combined and I would be fine with that.

I wonder what the maximum ratio of big state population to small state population was in 1789.  Was any ratio as high as some of the ones we have today?

 

Perhaps we could compromise with a separate legislative chamber that is proportional to population?

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11 hours ago, conVINCEd said:

Prima nocta?

depends on the nocta's prima.

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Nobody was supposed to live in D.C.  It was just supposed to be federal buildings.


Georgetown, Maryland and Alexandria, Virginia were pre-existing towns when they were subsumed by DC.

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Posted (edited)
13 hours ago, TwiceHorn said:

I've been there many times.  Less often as the PTO has moved farther away.  I almost took a job out of law school with a DC firm or with the FTC, but ultimately, paying for it didn't make sense (unlike most larger cities with high costs of living, DC firms tended not to pay a higher salary than a Dallas firm).

I mean the original conception was to have government buildings there, principally the congress, the white house, and the supreme court, and enough housing for legislators and their staffs, if that, which is what I meant by "legislative housing."  It shouldn't really have a "native population" unless it is by choice.  And there are a number of folks that, at least for a while, would choose to live in DC even it if was fully disenfranchised (which is how DC law firms used to and probably still do get away without adjusting their salaries up for cost of living).

Like most conceptions, it didn't quite work out that way.

I heard a thing on NPR that mentioned that tons of congresscritters, mostly republican, live in their offices, meaning sleep on their couches and shower in the gym.

The city was basically nothingness other than the slave trading ports at Georgetown and Alexandria.  Because of that, it's always had a large black population, both slave and freedman. It's why Howard is here. Black people have always been the permanent residents of the city.  Outside of the white elite in Georgetown, the white people come and go.  The only multi-generational families are black families, which makes the lack of democracy even crueler.  Even today, most federal workers, lobbyist, lawyers, etc. live in the suburbs.  There are booming tech and non government industries which are fueling gentrification, but the concept of wealthy people willingly giving up enfranchisement (outside of the wealthy communities to the west of Rock Creek Park) to live here is something that has only been a thing in the last 15 years.

It was designed by L'enfant to look like a european capital, which has become a nightmare because the traffic circles are so goddamn dysfunctional (JUST EMMINENT DOMAIN DAVE THOMAS CIRCLE FOR FUCKS SAKE!!!).  But it was relatively pastoral for much of it's history. Livestock was grazed on the Mall well into the 20th century. It was surrounded by vibrant communities related to Maryland slave agriculture, like Hagerstown, Fredrick, and Bladensburg.  All of the legislativeand judicial functions and offices occurred in the Capitol Building itself until the 20th century.

People have to remember that the government as we conceive (i.e. Huge federal bureaucracies in ginormous marble buildings) of it didn't really come into existence until the New Deal and then even more so in the Great Society.  DC was a legislative town when Congress was in session, with the bars, restaurants, whore houses, stables, boarding houses, but it wasn't really a federal agency town before that.  So people lived here because there was livelihood that may have relied on government, but wasn't government influence full time.

As I mentioned before, the district was chosen for it's remoteness and the fact is was accessible to both the gentry of tidewater overland, and the New Englanders via sea travel.  Philadelphia was everyone's first choice, but the Quaker's inability to control armed mobs that kept hassling and attacking the founders lead them to look elsewhere.

Here's a great graphic of the growth of Capitol Hill: https://www.aoc.gov/history/capitol-hill

When I moved to DC, there was still a farm within the boundaries of the beltway north of the potomac.  It shut down about 10 years ago.

Here's a good link to DC's pastoral legacy: https://planning.dc.gov/sites/default/files/dc/sites/op/publication/attachments/Farm Estates_0.pdf

 

Edited by Bateshorn

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10 hours ago, Texas Jeff said:

A valid argument there are currently small states, I acknowledge that.  I just don't want more of them.  Vermont and New Hampshire could be combined and I would be fine with that.

I wonder what the maximum ratio of big state population to small state population was in 1789.  Was any ratio as high as some of the ones we have today?

 

Virginia was the most populous state at ratification at ~692k, including slaves (~288k).  Delaware the least populous at ~59k (~9k slaves).

So ratio of ~12:1, straight up.

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Posted (edited)

There's a much more fundamental argument whether the Senate should exist, or if it does, should be allowed to have broad legislative function, or instead act as a yes or no body in the manner of the House of Lords. We've created a government where the least populus states wield outsize influence over the country. It's why agriculture drives virtually every aspect of our trade policy instead of intellectual property and innovation.  Which is problematic when you overlay it on a federal system that reserves great powers to the states.

Edited by Bateshorn

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8 minutes ago, Bateshorn said:

The city was basically nothingness other than the slave trading ports at Georgetown and Alexandria.  Because of that, it's always had a large black population, both slave and freedman. It's why Howard is here. Black people have always been the permanent residents of the city.  Outside of the white elite in Georgetown, the white people come and go.  The only multi-generational families are black families, which makes the lack of democracy even crueler.  Even today, most federal workers, lobbyist, lawyers, etc. live in the suburbs.  There are booming tech and non government industries which are fueling gentrification, but the concept of wealthy people willingly giving up enfranchisement (outside of the wealthy communities to the west of Rock Creek Park) to live here is something that has only been a thing in the last 15 years.

It was designed by L'enfant to look like a european capital, which has become a nightmare because the traffic circles are so goddamn dysfunctional (JUST EMMINENT DOMAIN DAVE THOMAS CIRCLE FOR FUCKS SAKE!!!).  But it was relatively pastoral for much of it's history. Livestock was grazed on the Mall well into the 20th century. It was surrounded by vibrant communities related to Maryland slave agriculture, like Hagerstown, Fredrick, and Bladensburg.  All of the legislativeand judicial functions and offices occurred in the Capitol Building itself until the 20th century.

People have to remember that the government as we conceive (i.e. Huge federal bureaucracies in ginormous marble buildings) of it didn't really come into existence until the New Deal and then even more so in the Great Society.  DC was a legislative town when Congress was in session, with the bars, restaurants, whore houses, stables, boarding houses, but it wasn't really a federal agency town before that.  So people lived here because there was livelihood that may have relied on government, but wasn't government influence full time.

As I mentioned before, the district was chosen for it's remoteness and the fact is was accessible to both the gentry of tidewater overland, and the New Englanders via sea travel.  Philadelphia was everyone's first choice, but the Quaker's inability to control armed mobs that kept hassling and attacking the founders lead them to look elsewhere.

Speaking of Thomas Circle, my amusing DC story is that I had an interview at a firm located on Thomas Circle in about 1990.  I was put up in the Marion Barry hotel.

I got there at 4 or 5 pm, when the government and other offices let out and there were scores of young professionals walking about.  Seemed nice.  I later learned that I was ill-advised to stay out much after dark there.  I also heard the people in adjacent rooms fucking.  Couldn't help but wonder if any of them were ex-Mayor Barry.

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Posted (edited)
5 minutes ago, Bateshorn said:

There's a much more fundamental argument whether the Senate should exist, or if it does, should be allowed to have broad legislative function, or instead act as a yes or no body in the manner of the House of Lords. We've created a government where the least populus states wield outsize influence over the country.  Which is problematic when you overlay it on a federal system that reserves great powers to the states.

Why do you think their influence is outsized? That's the way the system was set up and designed. Their influence is exactly and perfectly sized according to how it's supposed to be. There is one chamber where each State gets equal say regardless of population and one chamber where each person SHOULD get equal say regardless of which State they live in. That's why I said above that the real problem is that the House needs far more Representatives. In the day of online conferencing there should be no reason to stay at 435 Reps. Hell, I'd go to the full 11,000 allowed by the constitution (one per 30,000 residents).

The problem is not that Wyoming and California both have 2 Senators. The problem is that California has one representative for every 750,000 people and Wyoming has one for fewer than 580,000 people.

Edited by Huckleberry

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5 minutes ago, Bateshorn said:

There's a much more fundamental argument whether the Senate should exist, or if it does, should be allowed to have broad legislative function, or instead act as a yes or no body in the manner of the House of Lords. We've created a government where the least populus states wield outsize influence over the country. It's why agriculture drives virtually every aspect of our trade policy instead of intellectual property and innovation.  Which is problematic when you overlay it on a federal system that reserves great powers to the states.

This is interesting.  Can you elaborate?

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1 minute ago, TwiceHorn said:

Speaking of Thomas Circle, my amusing DC story is that I had an interview at a firm located on Thomas Circle in about 1990.  I was put up in the Marion Barry hotel.

I got there at 4 or 5 pm, when the government and other offices let out and there were scores of young professionals walking about.  Seemed nice.  I later learned that I was ill-advised to stay out much after dark there.  I also heard the people in adjacent rooms fucking.  Couldn't help but wonder if any of them were ex-Mayor Barry.

Dave Thomas circle and Thomas circle are different.  Dave Thomas circle is the intersection of Florida and New York NE.  It was the edge of L'enfant's plot.  There's a Wendy's there and it's a traffic nightmare that is indescribable unless you've been caught in it.  Everyone wants the city to eminent domain the fucking Wendy's and fix the abomination.

Thomas circle is at 14th and M NW.  There's a bunch of hotels on it.  I park under the Plaza.

That area used to have a very robust sex trade industry.  It's much different now.  I work (worked?) about 2 blocks away from Thomas circle. 

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3 minutes ago, Huckleberry said:

Why do you think their influence is outsized? That's the way the system was set up and designed. Their influence is exactly and perfectly sized according to how it's supposed to be. There is one chamber where each State gets equal say regardless of population and one chamber where each person SHOULD get equal say regardless of which State they live in. That's why I said above that the real problem is that the House needs far more Representatives. In the day of online conferencing there should be no reason to stay at 435 Reps. Hell, I'd go to the full 11,000 allowed by the constitution (one per 30,000 residents).

Yeah, I was gonna say, some people's "outsized" is other people's just right.  Particularly people in the smaller states.

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Posted (edited)
3 minutes ago, Bateshorn said:

Dave Thomas circle and Thomas circle are different.  Dave Thomas circle is the intersection of Florida and New York NE.  It was the edge of L'enfant's plot.  There's a Wendy's there and it's a traffic nightmare that is indescribable unless you've been caught in it.  Everyone wants the city to eminent domain the fucking Wendy's and fix the abomination.

Thomas circle is at 14th and M NW.  There's a bunch of hotels on it.  I park under the Plaza.

That area used to have a very robust sex trade industry.  It's much different now.  I work (worked?) about 2 blocks away from Thomas circle. 

I elided the Dave.  And yeah, that firm moved from Thomas Circle right about the time it started improving.  It looked alright in the daylight.

Edited by TwiceHorn

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Posted (edited)
8 minutes ago, Huckleberry said:

Why do you think their influence is outsized? That's the way the system was set up and designed. Their influence is exactly and perfectly sized according to how it's supposed to be. There is one chamber where each State gets equal say regardless of population and one chamber where each person SHOULD get equal say regardless of which State they live in. That's why I said above that the real problem is that the House needs far more Representatives. In the day of online conferencing there should be no reason to stay at 435 Reps. Hell, I'd go to the full 11,000 allowed by the constitution (one per 30,000 residents).

The problem is not that Wyoming and California both have 2 Senators. The problem is that California has one representative for every 750,000 people and Wyoming has one for fewer than 580,000 people.

The problem is the set up and rules of the Senate allows the minority in this country to have veto function over the vast majority; it enfeebles the legislative branch due to gridlock, empowers the executive to rule by fiat, and creates a situation where the judiciary is asked to call balls and strikes using obscure readings of legislative text instead of Congress simply stepping in to change and modify laws to reflect changing social and economic times.  There's a saying here that second most powerful person in Washington DC is the Senate Minority Leader.

The flibuster means that as a nation, neither party is able to enact it's legislative agenda.  If you removed the filibuster and made the senate a majority rule institution, then I think it could exist as a functioning legislative body.  WIth the filibuster, it has ceased to be functional outside of revenue related bills (which have special filibuster protections).

Whether you have 5 or 50,000 representatives, it doesn't matter as long as the minority controls the agenda in your bicameral legislature.

Edited by Bateshorn

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Posted (edited)
13 minutes ago, Bateshorn said:

The problem is the set up and rules of the Senate allows the minority in this country to have veto function over the vast majority; it enfeebles the legislative branch due to gridlock, empowers the executive to rule by fiat, and creates a situation where the judiciary is asked to call balls and strikes using obscure readings of legislative text instead of Congress simply stepping in to change and modify laws to reflect changing social and economic times.  There's a saying here that second most powerful person in Washington DC is the Senate Minority Leader.

The flibuster means that as a nation, neither party is able to enact it's legislative agenda.  If you removed the filibuster and made the senate a majority rule institution, then I think it could exist as a functioning legislative body.  WIth the filibuster, it has ceased to be functional outside of revenue related bills (which have special filibuster protections).

Whether you have 5 or 50,000 representatives, it doesn't matter as long as the minority controls the agenda in your bicameral legislature.

If it's set up correctly with the House being properly sized, this argument is empty. The minority isn't holding anything hostage anymore than the majority is in the House (again, in a proper setup).

With the chambers appropriately configured, nothing would pass into law unless both a majority of States through their Senators and a majority of people through their Representatives both vote for it. I fail to see what's wrong with that. And the appeals to emotion of terms like enfeeble, fiat, etc. are completely unpersuasive to me when they're used to characterize a situation where the minority has some control over the legislative process and not just the majority. Can you possibly think of any situations where the majority not being able to just enact anything they want at any time might be a good thing? Where a minority being systematically treated like second class citizens by the ruling majority's governing apparatus might be a bad thing? Seems like there's been something in the news a lot recently.

Edited by Huckleberry

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11 minutes ago, TwiceHorn said:

This is interesting.  Can you elaborate?

Sure.  The states have vast powers within their borders to enact their vision of governance and reflect the views of the body politics.  If Wyoming wants to be a low tax, deregulated, environmentally blaise place, it can be.  If California wants to be democratic socialist utopia, big gov/tax, it can be.  The problem comes when there are issues that are constitutionally controlled, like shared infrastructure spending, or healthcare, that cross state lines.  Now Wyoming not only can impose it's own vision on it's self, it also has an outsize vote in national affairs from a proportional representation stand point. 

If we didn't have a robust federal system and the governnment could do whatever, then the need for such outsized minority power makes more sense. But it's overpowered and makes Congress non functional as the break down of the post WW2 consensus has acclerated.  Also, the Senate was designed to be what it is to protect Slavery.  Otherwise the slave states may not have joined the Union.  It guaranteed the growing and expanding northern states couldn't abolish slavery (which the 3/5 compromise reenforced in Congress and Presidential Elections).

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Posted (edited)
9 minutes ago, Huckleberry said:

If it's set up correctly with the House being properly sized, this argument is empty. The minority isn't holding anything hostage anymore than the majority is in the House (again, in a proper setup).

With the chambers appropriately configured, nothing would pass into law unless both a majority of States and a majority of people through their Representatives both vote for it. I fail to see what's wrong with that. And the appeals to emotion of terms like enfeeble, fiat, etc. are completely unpersuasive to me when they're used to characterize a situation where the minority has some control over the legislative process and not just the majority. Can you possibly think of any situations where the majority not being able to just enact anything they want at any time might be a good thing? Where a minority being systematically treated like second class citizens by the ruling majority's governing apparatus might be a bad thing? Seems like there's been something in the news a lot recently.

How do you think the Senate works?  It's not Majority Rule.  It's Super Majority Rule.

How does having 1000 Representatives change the fact you need 60 Senators to even debate legislation in the Senate?

You also realize black people weren't allowed to participate in politics until 1965?  They didn't have minority voice in Congress. They had no voice. I'm sorta confused by your entire thought process.

Edited by Bateshorn

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Posted (edited)
14 minutes ago, Bateshorn said:

The problem comes when there are issues that are constitutionally controlled, like shared infrastructure spending, or healthcare, that cross state lines. 

Here's where I think we may break down from a political philosophy standpoint.  I fully acknowledge that the complexity of modern life has caused a surge in federal government and the administrative state.  In some cases, rightfully so, in others I question it.  A glaring example is the criminal law and the reach of the DOJ into matters that should be left to the states in most cases.  The federal reach into agriculture policy is probably too deep, as well, especially now that US agriculture can feed the country many times over.

And, constitutionally, that is based frequently on the commerce clause.  The commerce clause is an easy justification for federal anything, but not necessarily a valid one.  I disapprove of Trump's version of deregulation and "right-sizing" the federal government, but I think the notion that it has its fingers in too many pies remains valid.  It needs to be carefully examined and dealt with.

You and Huck are kind of breaking down over the theoretical underpinnings of the Senate versus how it works today in the era of hyper-partisanship and the Senate's own rules.

Edited by TwiceHorn

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Why do you think their influence is outsized? That's the way the system was set up and designed. Their influence is exactly and perfectly sized according to how it's supposed to be. There is one chamber where each State gets equal say regardless of population and one chamber where each person SHOULD get equal say regardless of which State they live in. That's why I said above that the real problem is that the House needs far more Representatives. In the day of online conferencing there should be no reason to stay at 435 Reps. Hell, I'd go to the full 11,000 allowed by the constitution (one per 30,000 residents).
The problem is not that Wyoming and California both have 2 Senators. The problem is that California has one representative for every 750,000 people and Wyoming has one for fewer than 580,000 people.
Dilly dilly

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Posted (edited)
4 minutes ago, TwiceHorn said:

Here's where I think we may break down from a political philosophy standpoint.  I fully acknowledge that the complexity of modern life has caused a surge in federal government and the administrative state.  In some cases, rightfully so, in others I question it.  A glaring example is the criminal law and the reach of the DOJ into matters that should be left to the states in most cases.

And, constitutionally, that is based frequently on the commerce clause.  The commerce clause is an easy justification for federal anything, but not necessarily a valid one.  I disapprove of Trump's version of deregulation and "right-sizing" the federal government, but I think the notion that it has its fingers in too many pies remains valid.  It needs to be carefully examined and dealt with.

You and Huck are kind of breaking down over the theoretical underpinnings of the Senate versus how it works today in the era of hyper-partisanship and the Senate's own rules.

I'll leave Huck to respond to my retort.

I don't necessarily disagree with your poit.  I think that the commerce clause may be overly broad, but if a Congress was able to more actively legislate, I think it would give more clarity and usefulness to federal laws and reduce our overreliance on federal rule making and executive fiat in managing our modern economy and governance. That's just my opinion though.

I also think the Senate minority powers protect American's from their own electoral decision making, and philosophically, I'm not sure that's a good thing.

Edited by Bateshorn

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Posted (edited)
5 minutes ago, Bateshorn said:

I'll leave Huck to respond to my retort.

I don't necessarily disagree with your poit.  I think that the commerce clause may be overly broad, but if a Congress was able to more actively legislate, I think it would give more clarity and usefulness to federal laws and reduce our overreliance on federal rule making and executive fiat in managing our modern economy and governance. That's just my opinion though.

I agree with that.  Assuming Congress can become more functional, I like the idea of them taking back some power from the agencies.

But, in many cases, I would prefer the federal government to attempt to incent or coerce or simply assist the states via funding or other mechanisms rather than take control of an area with an agency or via legislation.

Also, your point about congressional gridlock forcing overreliance on the courts is extremely astute.

Edited by TwiceHorn

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1 minute ago, TwiceHorn said:

I agree with that.  Assuming Congress can become more functional, I like the idea of them taking back some power from the agencies.

But, in many cases, I would prefer the federal government to attempt to incent or coerce or simply assist the states via funding or other mechanisms rather than take control of an area with an agency or via legislation.

I totally agree.  If the Trump Administration has done anything to me, it's made me much more respectful of robust state powers and the individual labs of democracy.  Although Covid-19 is testing my patience right now.

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13 minutes ago, TwiceHorn said:

Here's where I think we may break down from a political philosophy standpoint.  I fully acknowledge that the complexity of modern life has caused a surge in federal government and the administrative state.  In some cases, rightfully so, in others I question it.  A glaring example is the criminal law and the reach of the DOJ into matters that should be left to the states in most cases.

And, constitutionally, that is based frequently on the commerce clause.  The commerce clause is an easy justification for federal anything, but not necessarily a valid one.  I disapprove of Trump's version of deregulation and "right-sizing" the federal government, but I think the notion that it has its fingers in too many pies remains valid.  It needs to be carefully examined and dealt with.

You and Huck are kind of breaking down over the theoretical underpinnings of the Senate versus how it works today in the era of hyper-partisanship and the Senate's own rules.

Which federal criminal laws would you want to see go away?

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2 minutes ago, Bateshorn said:

I totally agree.  If the Trump Administration has done anything to me, it's made me much more respectful of robust state powers and the individual labs of democracy.  Although Covid-19 is testing my patience right now.

Yeah, while Trump's abdication of responsibility with Covid is deplorable, even to me, Mr. Federalism, it is somewhat gratifying to see state governments step into the breech in a lot of cases.  I think we tend to forget that state governments can be and are more than convenient administrative units and too often look to the federal government for a convenient, one-stop, one-size-fits-all solution.

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37 minutes ago, Bateshorn said:

The problem is the set up and rules of the Senate allows the minority in this country to have veto function over the vast majority;

This would be fine if the Presidency wasn't also set up to grant the minority power.  If the majority always won the Presidency, the minority controlled Senate could check it, and in times where they aligned, they could also implement Trump level shitshows because the people would have actually voted for a Trump level shitshow by a wide majority in that case.  As it is, 35 to 40% of voters are able to give us authoritarian government.  This is the exact opposite of the founders' intent.  They hoped that tyranny, if it ever came, could only come from a supermajority.

Alternatively, keep the EC, and flip the powers of the Senate and House.

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Posted (edited)
7 minutes ago, softlynow said:

Which federal criminal laws would you want to see go away?

Almost all of the ones rooted in the interstate commerce clause that overlap with state crimes.

I would like to see a real, articulable federal interest in federal crimes.  And I think the FBI should change from a primary investigative agency to one that assists the states where there are crimes easily prosecuted in one or more states using existing state laws, but their "Interstate" nature or some other factor (technology or sophistication) makes investigation difficult.

Drug crimes are a great example.  Computer crimes are another.  Bank and mortgage fraud are still another.  Possibly securities crimes.

The federal criminal docket should virtually disappear.

Edited by TwiceHorn

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32 minutes ago, Bateshorn said:

How do you think the Senate works?  It's not Majority Rule.  It's Super Majority Rule.

How does having 1000 Representatives change the fact you need 60 Senators to even debate legislation in the Senate?

You also realize black people weren't allowed to participate in politics until 1965?  They didn't have minority voice in Congress. They had no voice. I'm sorta confused by your entire thought process.

You're now arguing legislative mechanics, not general basic structure. I completely agree that there's a ton of BS in Congress in terms of getting things done, but that to me is a separate argument entirely.

As for black people, not sure what you're missing. Your example of their not even being allowed to participate in politics just strengthens my argument. The majority can quite easily be led to tyranny over the minority as centuries of our past prove. So arguing that it's some sort of terrible thing that the minority can veto legislation that the majority of the population wants doesn't fly with me. That's not a bug, that's a feature.

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4 minutes ago, TwiceHorn said:

Almost all of the ones rooted in the interstate commerce clause that overlap with state crimes.

I would like to see a real, articulable federal interest in federal crimes.  And I think the FBI should change from a primary investigative agency to one that assists the states where there are crimes easily prosecuted in one or more states using existing state laws, but their "Interstate" nature or some other factor (technology or sophistication) makes investigation difficult.

The federal criminal docket should virtually disappear.

So even if the connection to interstate commerce is more than "tenuous?"

I was looking for specifics, but if you're nixing everything that isn't counterfeiting, piracy, crimes on the high seas, offenses against the law of nations, and treason, I'd like to see why you would prefer the feds almost completely vacate the playing field even if you'd concede that the CC and NPC aren't offended.

Good luck getting the FBI to transition to what you want it to. Not a bad idea, but we know it goes nowhere.

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Posted (edited)
25 minutes ago, Huckleberry said:

You're now arguing legislative mechanics, not general basic structure. I completely agree that there's a ton of BS in Congress in terms of getting things done, but that to me is a separate argument entirely.

As for black people, not sure what you're missing. Your example of their not even being allowed to participate in politics just strengthens my argument. The majority can quite easily be led to tyranny over the minority as centuries of our past prove. So arguing that it's some sort of terrible thing that the minority can veto legislation that the majority of the population wants doesn't fly with me. That's not a bug, that's a feature.

Legislative mechanics are are all that matters.  This isn't civics.  It's governance.  This sort of high minded theoretical governance is why our government doesn't function.  Becuase most American's don't want to see the sausage get made, instead they keep changing cooks because they've been taught to look away instead of lean in and learn.

I find your racial arguments to be confusing and historically fraught at best and won't comment further.

Fondren makes an excellent point:  You can't empower the minority in both the legislative branch and the executive branch.  It's got to be one or the other, at best.  And tbc:  most democracies don't empower the electoral loser at all and they seem to democracy just fine.  Right now 40-43% of America controls the country and is being actively destructive in it's governance. We have structural set up our government so the loser of elections is super powered.  But hey, who gives a fuck about 41 million libcucks in California, amirite?

Edited by Bateshorn

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Posted (edited)
10 minutes ago, softlynow said:

So even if the connection to interstate commerce is more than "tenuous?"

I was looking for specifics, but if you're nixing everything that isn't counterfeiting, piracy, crimes on the high seas, offenses against the law of nations, and treason, I'd like to see why you would prefer the feds almost completely vacate the playing field even if you'd concede that the CC and NPC aren't offended.

Good luck getting the FBI to transition to what you want it to. Not a bad idea, but we know it goes nowhere.

See edit.  As I see it, commencing in large part with the drug war, federal criminal law became a way to pander to the fear of the masses, prudence of the law itself be damned.

Edited by TwiceHorn

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1 hour ago, Bateshorn said:

Dave Thomas circle and Thomas circle are different.  Dave Thomas circle is the intersection of Florida and New York NE.  It was the edge of L'enfant's plot.  There's a Wendy's there and it's a traffic nightmare that is indescribable unless you've been caught in it.  Everyone wants the city to eminent domain the fucking Wendy's and fix the abomination.

Thomas circle is at 14th and M NW.  There's a bunch of hotels on it.  I park under the Plaza.

That area used to have a very robust sex trade industry.  It's much different now.  I work (worked?) about 2 blocks away from Thomas circle. 

 

A couple of years ago, we stayed at an airbnb near there. I distinctly remember that Wendy's is like an island in a sea of gridlock.  It is a fucking shit show. Every Uber driver we had bitched about it. Its a shitshow even for walking. Its such a shit show that maybe they should just leave it, as it would be a shame to fix the acme of shit shows.

 

 

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2 minutes ago, High Plains Drifter said:

 

A couple of years ago, we stayed at an airbnb near there. I distinctly remember that Wendy's is like an island in a sea of gridlock.  It is a fucking shit show. Every Uber driver we had bitched about it. Its a shitshow even for walking. Its such a shit show that maybe they should just leave it, as it would be a shame to fix the acme of shit shows.

 

 

It really is unbelievable until you see, experience it.  I went through 8 way free-for-all intersections in Phenom Phen with no traffic circle or lights that were vastly more efficient. And there's always some asshole on DCist who comments "But where will I get a softee?"

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Posted (edited)
45 minutes ago, Bateshorn said:

Legislative mechanics are are all that matters.  This isn't civics.  It's governance.  This sort of high minded theoretical governance is why our government doesn't function.  Becuase most American's don't want to see the sausage get made, instead they keep changing cooks because they've been taught to look away instead of lean in and learn.

I find your racial arguments to be confusing and historically fraught at best and won't comment further.

Fondren makes an excellent point:  You can't empower the minority in both the legislative branch and the executive branch.  It's got to be one or the other, at best.  And tbc:  most democracies don't empower the electoral loser at all and they seem to democracy just fine.  Right now 40-43% of America controls the country and is being actively destructive in it's governance. We have structural set up our government so the loser of elections is super powered.  But hey, who gives a fuck about 41 million libcucks in California, amirite?

No, you're being silly. If legislative mechanics are all that matters, then why are you arguing about the existence of the Senate instead of the mechanics of the Senate? I don't disagree with you on that topic.

What is so confusing about my minority versus majority arguments? It's very simple. The minority's being able to veto the majority is not inherently a bad thing. Empowering the minority is not an inherently bad thing. Not to mention you're being overly dramatic about the legislative branch. The minority and majority each control half of the legislative branch by design. The minority does not control the whole thing any more than the majority controls the whole thing (again, assuming the House apportionment situation is fixed).

Buy hey, who gives a fuck about 160 million Americans in the 41 least populated states, amirite? Oh wait, no, that's a terrible argument.

Edited by Huckleberry

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Posted (edited)
13 minutes ago, Huckleberry said:

No, you're being silly. If legislative mechanics are all that matters, then why are you arguing about the existence of the Senate instead of the mechanics of the Senate? I don't disagree with you on that topic.

What is so confusing about my minority versus majority arguments? It's very simple. The minority's being able to veto the majority is not inherently a bad thing. Empowering the minority is not an inherently bad thing. Not to mention you're being overly dramatic about the legislative branch. The minority and majority each control half of the legislative branch by design. The minority does not control the whole thing any more than the majority controls the whole thing (again, assuming the House apportionment situation is fixed).

Buy hey, who gives a fuck about 160 million Americans in the 41 least populated states, amirite? Oh wait, no, that's a terrible argument.

Well, to start, the 188 million Americans who have now been forced to suffer through two minority presidencies.

Edited by Bateshorn
Whoops, I'm occasionally bad at the maffs.

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1 hour ago, TwiceHorn said:

See edit.  As I see it, commencing in large part with the drug war, federal criminal law became a way to pander to the fear of the masses, prudence of the law itself be damned.

At least concurrent jurisdiction means the states aren't shut out of that action.

From what I've seen of local prosecutors, I'm not sure they can handle computer crimes or mortgage fraud with any kind of proficiency. They struggle in trial even when the Homeland Security techs bring them open-and-shut child solicitation and porn cases. And the ones I see spend significant time doing only those cases.

No push back from me on the drug war, but I think there are quite a few crimes the feds investigate and prosecute that state and local governments will never have adequate funding to be competent. 

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