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So On What Do Dems and Reps Agree?

  1. Nov 9, 2006 #1

    LURCH

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    So...On What Do Dems and Reps Agree?

    Now that the Democratic party controll the legislative branch, and Republicans still hold the executive, it is widely feared (and not without justification) that the U.S. Government will accomplish almost nothing for the next two years.

    It's the "almost" part that I wish to discuss. The balance of power is nearly even in the Senate, and not completely one-sided in the House. This could be a very good thing. It means that, even if the voting continuse to be mostly along party lines, one or two people voting what they really think rather than what their party tells them could make the difference between a bill going to the Whitehouse or dying in Congress. It might even mean that what the government ends up doing might be closer to what "We the People" actually wanted them to do.

    My first call is that the President's Freedom Car Initiative will get better backing. This is one of the big issues to me, and it seems to have gone largely ignored. The succesfull completion of this program would be the best thing ever to happen for the environment, which should appeal to both sides, but is considered the territory of the Democratic Party. It would also be one of the biggest leaps forward in national security, whis both sides want but is considered the territory of the Republican Party.

    But I fear that the Democrats in Congress will try to hold back the progress of this program simply because a Republican initiate it. I believe this issue will be a barrometer for weather or not the two parties are capable of working together at all.
     
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  3. Nov 9, 2006 #2

    Office_Shredder

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    Actually, Bush tried a couple of programs that ended up only getting serious democrat support (his stance on illegal immigration is the first one I can think of off the top of my head), so they'll probably go through. Although he may only have proposed them to steal the democrat's thunder about how terrible the republicans were, so we'll see
     
  4. Nov 9, 2006 #3

    LURCH

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    I thought his stance on illegal immigration was one of the loudest protests from the D.P., have I gotten it totally backward?
     
  5. Nov 9, 2006 #4

    Astronuc

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    Bush, Pelosi Have Unlikeliest of Lunches
    After Exchanging Bitter Gibes, Bush and Likely House Leader Nancy Pelosi Try to Reconcile
    http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/wireStory?id=2641400

    By JENNIFER LOVEN
    Hopefully, Bush and Pelosi will agree to work together for starters. We'll see.

    I am waiting to see what Pelosi does. We might need another thread "What to expect from Pelosi." I hope not politics as usual.
     
  6. Nov 9, 2006 #5

    selfAdjoint

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    I think it's hilarious that now that the Dems have won both houses of Congress, the pundits are all calling for bi-partisanship. Where was bi-partisanship when the GOP controlled Congress. Dems were then "on the side of the terrorists".

    Impeach Bush!
     
  7. Nov 9, 2006 #6

    Office_Shredder

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    That would be the republican stance on illegal immigration. Bush wanted a guest worker program
     
  8. Nov 9, 2006 #7
    The situation was nonsensical. First, conservative republicans in congress started a nationalist push for border fences, increased documentation, deportations, etc., under the guise of national security (rhetoric involving Hezbollah camps in Mexico, and such nonsense). The conservatives were opposed by big business (but supported by some unions); Bush's proposal more or less opposed the hardline conservatives and sided with business, while ironically many liberals went along with Bush, preferring any amnesty program to the extreme crackdowns proposed by Congress republicans. However, prominent Congress Democrats watered down this support, seeking an amnesty program less biased towards business and with more provisions for the guest workers (things like full minimum wage and stronger employment rights). Meanwhile, some Democrat voices (represented by Lou Dobbs) critcized the hardline conservatives for not being conservative enough, and called for far more expensive border programs.

    So Congress got together and decided to do nothing at all. :redface:
     
  9. Nov 9, 2006 #8

    LURCH

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    Difficult to imagine Pelosi or the Democratic Party supporting that one;
    LOL, hard to find unbiased reporting these days, isn't it? I'll look around to see if I can find exactly what this legislation says, but I think the verdict has already been pronounced;
    This also is a bit vague, but I'll see if I can find out; this might be one thing where the two parties could agree, if they're willing to;
    These sound fairly promissing, and may become early indicators as to whether the two sides of the isle will work together for something that can be agreed upon by both, or just automatically gainsay one another on general principle.
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2006
  10. Nov 9, 2006 #9
    When the Republicans gained the House in 1995, they began a political assault on Clinton including impeachment. Although Clinton was acquitted by the Senate the strategy worked. With the Supreme court on their side, they managed to get Bush and his cabal into the White house.

    They were unconcerned about the damage caused to the nation, winning was the only thing that mattered. Now they have paid the price. And so has America.

    Pelosi was right to take impeachment off the table. For more reasons than simply remove it as a campaign issue. She is a very astute politician, and even more importantly, she is a very astute leader. She puts country before party.

    John Conyers will open investigations January 3rd, 2007 at 12pm EST. Just because Pelosi is not pushing for impeachment, does not mean that it won't happen. And the threat of impeachment makes a nice hole card to have during negotiations with the WH. :wink:

    I think it is obvious from her first words after the election that Pelosi intends to immediately begin addressing the myriad of problems created by Bushco and their rubber-stamp congress. Iraq, deficit spending, minimum wage, health care, and implementing the 911 commission's recommendations.

    Her first move was to reach out to the Republicans. With all this talk of bipartisianship, remember it was Pelosi that offered the first olive branch.

    She has stated that this congress will be open and fair. There will be no more excluding the minority, no more 300 page bills dumped on the minority at the last minute before the vote, and no more adding amendments after a bill has been passed!

    Pelosi is the real deal. I believe that we will see some real leadership in the 110th Congress.
     
  11. Nov 9, 2006 #10
    I would like to see the ethics committee lose the; "don't investigate ours, we won't investigate yours," agreement. The House needs to clean itself up. Congess should expel it's own sleazeballs, instead of putting it on the people to do every two years. I would much rather have a quandary, as to who is the best candidate, instead of which choice will do the least harm.
     
  12. Nov 10, 2006 #11

    Astronuc

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    Politics
    The Democrats' 100-Hour House Agenda
    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=6466919
    by Julie Rovner, Pam Fessler, Frank Langfitt and Steve Inskeep
    Politics
    What to Expect from the Democratic Agenda
    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=6464897
    • Iraq
    • Iran and North Korea
    • Taxes
    • Health care
    • Federal minimum wage
    • Immigration
    • 9/11 Commission's recommendations
    • Environmental policy

    Will the Republicans and Bush agree?
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2006
  13. Nov 10, 2006 #12

    turbo

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    One thing that would help our economy right away is an increase in the minimum wage. That would be a big shot in the arm because low-income families spend about every dime they earn. Business are going to holler about having to raise prices, but do the math. Every competing business will have to raise prices incrementally, so the negative impact on business will be negligible. Allowing business to pay wages that keep people at or below the poverty line (even with two of those nice part-time jobs) only shifts the costs of caring for their families, helping with heating bills, food assistance, etc, to the taxpayers of the municipalities in which those workers reside.

    Another thing that would help the economy a lot would be to roll back the tax cuts to the wealthy, simplify the tax code (take out all the targeted deductions, etc) and make our tax codes more progressive, so that the low and middle-income people have more money to spend. If you give a tax break to Bill Gates, will he run out and buy a new car? No need. Consumerism by the wealthy doesn't drive our economy - it's the sheer mass of consumerism by the low and middle-income people. The greed of the upper-income level (I don't want to pay back to the society that made it possible for me to amass my fortune - I want more money NOW) and the politicians that pander to them have blinded us to the very basics of economics. Domestic spending on consumables is dominated by the people earning modest wages, and that spending will rise if they are left with more money in their pockets every week. Bush Sr. called Reagan's trickle-down tax plan "voodoo economics", but as soon as he lost the primary, he drank the Kool-Aid and fell in line. Targeting tax cuts to the wealthiest citizens was a bad idea then, and it still is. It reduces revenue to the government and does absolutely nothing to stimulate our economy. It would also be a good idea not to let US companies have favored tax status if they close US plants and open foreign ones. In case nobody has noticed, the very best, most popular, and most reliable mid-priced cars are made in the US, by US workers in plants owned by the Japanese. We need to put US workers back to work in high-skill manufacturing jobs like that. Average US citizens drive this economy and we will all benefit if workers get fair compensation. Another thing that we can do to help our business sector is to insist on universal health care. Take the burden of health-care plans off their backs, reduce per-capita premiums, and in the process insure everybody. Right now, the insurance companies pick and choose who they will offer coverage to, and if you have a pre-existing condition, you pay through the nose or go it alone. One serious illness can force an uninsured or under-insured person into bankruptcy, so they lose everything they have worked for their entire life. It's about time the US got civilized.
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2006
  14. Nov 11, 2006 #13
    Bush is already asking the 109th congress to do more work in two months than they have done in the last 2 years. About all they accomplished was the special legislation in the middle of the night for Terry Schaivo, and a 700 mile fence without appropriations to pay for it. :rofl:

    Honestly Lincoln Chafee (who should become a democrat) summed up the position when addressing the John Bolten question;

    This is the new bipartisanship of the liberal majority, not the neo-con equivalent of date rape.

    This is an honest effort to include the minority party. But don't think for one instant that Bush is going to get his agenda rushed through on the last 2 months of the 109th's term!

    In the words of GWB's father;

    "Not gonna do it. Wouldn't be prudent."

    Republicans can retreat and become obstructionist, or they can move forward and be part of the solution. Bush has been soundly repudiated by his boss, the American people. He is not going to get his way and he had best get used to it. Republicans will probably split two ways, some will move to the center and work with the democrats, others will move to the right. Either way the party now must reinvent itself, because Bush has added the Republican party to his list of broken institutions.
     
  15. Nov 11, 2006 #14
    Man, I can't get enough of this guy. If he doesn't become a dem, he should be a Libertarian. The political process needs more people who can conduct critical thinking independently, instead of blindly following partisanship stance.
     
  16. Nov 11, 2006 #15

    Astronuc

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    I think we need to stop using labels like "Liberal" and "Conservative" and disparaging comments, and as LURCH asked "on what do we agree".


    I think the problems have stemmed from a few people who forgot ethical principles. I am hearing both so-called 'Conservatives' and 'Liberals' saying very much the same thing with regard to issues and governance of the country.

    If the country remains ideologically divided, it will certainly be and achieve a lot less than it would be if the nation were united. EVERYONE has a stake in the success of this nation.

    Common goals - freedom, liberty and justice for ALL.
     
  17. Nov 11, 2006 #16

    Astronuc

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    http://www.loe.org/shows/shows.htm?programID=06-P13-00045
    http://www.loe.org/shows/segments.htm?programID=06-P13-00045&segmentID=1
    The Election and the Environment
    Also in the radio show of November 10, 2006:
    In addition to concerns over Iraq, voters were upset/angry that Congress (under Republican leadership and control) gave big 'tax breaks' to oil companies while they made $billions and the people (tax payers) paid high gasoline prices. That is the perception, if not the reality.
     
  18. Nov 11, 2006 #17

    LURCH

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    So, with all other issues hopelessly deadlocked and all attempts at progress for either side obviously futile, perhaps both sides will focus on energy reform, recognizing that this is one of the few areas on which they might work together, and so one of the few areas where either side could hope to accomplish something.

    What about Imminent domain? It's been sort-of swept under the rug while both sides railed about one another's plan for Iraq (and potential handling of Iran), but now perhaps it will be delt with. Much of the nation is up in arms about it, and I would think that would be motivating.
     
  19. Nov 12, 2006 #18
    You are beginning your argument with a false dichotomy, all other issues are not hopelessly deadlocked. There has been no bipartisanship in Washington because the Republicans have excluded the Democrats. This has now changed, the Democrats have the majority and want bipartisanship.

    Iraq and Iran are part of our current energy policy.

    It is vital for the US and the world that the republicans replace their leadership and work with the new majority. If they do not, they will lose again in 2008. And so will America.
     
  20. Nov 12, 2006 #19

    Astronuc

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    Seems like the US has already normalized relationship with Vietnam.

    Intel to more than triple Vietnam investment to US$1 billion
    Associated Press November 10, 2006
    That's great for Vietnam and Intel investors.
     
  21. Nov 12, 2006 #20

    LURCH

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    Quite right. In fact, I started my argument with an incomplete thought. I meant to say that "with all other issues hopelessly dealocked..., perhaps both sides will focus on those few areas on which they can agree, such as energy reform..."

    I just re-read my own post and realised that the way it was worded, I was saying that energy reform was the only issue not deadlocked.

    Renormalization with VN is a great step, but it's probably going to make things worse with North VN.

    Read the link about the energy policies and Iraq. Did that story seem a bit fishy to anyone else?
     
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