This is topic Bernie Sanders says and does in forum General Comments at The Ornery American Forum.


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Posted by Rafi (Member # 6930) on :
 
quote:
Sanders also said he has “serious problems” with the popular car-hailing company Uber. He called it “unregulated."
quote:
Standing against companies like Uber is not too surprising for Sanders. He has made labor policy and union rights a fundamental aspect of his campaign.
Yes, Bernie says Uber is very bad and is fundamentally opposed to it.

Spending analysis of the campaigns reveals that Bernie uses Uber 100% of the time when needing a taxi.
 
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 99) on :
 
I'm not sure where Sanders has said that Uber is very bad and he is fundamentally opposed to it. He would like it to be better-regulated.
 
Posted by AI Wessex (Member # 6653) on :
 
Yes, being unregulated makes it treif. How could he?!?
 
Posted by JoshCrow (Member # 6048) on :
 
There is exactly zero hypocrisy in having problems with a service vs. using that service.

Do you have problems with your cable company but you still watch TV?

Do you have problems with Super PACs but understand that you won't win an election without one?

Congratulations - you are not a hypocrite. You are able to do the mental equivalent of walking and chewing gum at the same time by holding two ideas in your head.
 
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 99) on :
 
Although I admit that I now find myself wondering how many candidates actually call their own cabs.
 
Posted by AI Wessex (Member # 6653) on :
 
I'm surprised they ever do take cabs or Uber. Many businesses of similar size provide limo service to their execs. I sometimes use limos for business when I need reliable transportation. If you're out in the boonies you take what you can get.
 
Posted by Greg Davidson (Member # 3377) on :
 
Uber seems to be a security risk
 
Posted by Rafi (Member # 6930) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by JoshCrow:
There is exactly zero hypocrisy in having problems with a service vs. using that service.

Do you have problems with your cable company but you still watch TV?

Do you have problems with Super PACs but understand that you won't win an election without one?

Congratulations - you are not a hypocrite. You are able to do the mental equivalent of walking and chewing gum at the same time by holding two ideas in your head.

It's not that he's critical of it and still uses the service. It's that he is running on a platform that it violates rights and would regulate it so that he would destroy it. All the while using it 100% of the time. That is, in fact, hypocrisy.

I don't like cable companies. I don't use them. I still watch TV via streaming and I do not have control of them. Do you not see the difference?

PAC's are a problem. Claiming you use one in order to get into office so you can end them is dishonest. Nobody is going to do that.

Sanders is clearly demonstrating a foundational principle of liberalism. As a dedicate socialist, we should not be surprised.
 
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 99) on :
 
quote:
It's that he is running on a platform that it violates rights and would regulate it so that he would destroy it.
Where has Sanders said that he believes additional regulations would destroy Uber?
 
Posted by scifibum (Member # 945) on :
 
Also, how does an opinion translate to a platform?
 
Posted by jasonr (Member # 969) on :
 
quote:
Claiming you use one in order to get into office so you can end them is dishonest. Nobody is going to do that.
How so?
 
Posted by Rafi (Member # 6930) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by scifibum:
Also, how does an opinion translate to a platform?

You thnk he does not tend to regulate Uber? Rally?
 
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 99) on :
 
Your specific claim was that he intends to implement regulations in order to destroy Uber. What has he said to give you this idea?
 
Posted by scifibum (Member # 945) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Rafi:
quote:
Originally posted by scifibum:
Also, how does an opinion translate to a platform?

You thnk he does not tend to regulate Uber? Rally?
No, I am wondering how that qualifies as a platform.
 
Posted by Fenring (Member # 6953) on :
 
The idea that the POTUS is going to stoop to trying to regulate some little company is amusing. He may have mentioned his thoughts on Uber at some point but I've heard him speak countless times and never heard it come up. If he happens to have some ideas regarding Uber it's really immaterial to his platform or his job description should he become President. He could also say offhand that someone should do something about the selection of animals at the Washington Zoo, but that doesn't mean micromanaging the zoo is part of his platform.
 
Posted by ScottF (Member # 6897) on :
 
I use uber multiple times a month and while the lower service levels (uber pool, uber x) definitely need to have an eye kept on them, the higher level services (uber black) are indistinguishable from any other limo company. Other than they run more quickly and efficiently.
 
Posted by scifibum (Member # 945) on :
 
I'm glad that services like Uber and AirBnB are shaking up stodgy old service industries, but I'm not sure why thinking they should be regulated is at all a controversial idea. Aside from libertarians, isn't everyone basically in agreement that regulating commerce is kind of necessary?
 
Posted by ScottF (Member # 6897) on :
 
I'm curious as to what kind of regulations uber bypasses, apart from its drivers not having to purchase $50K taxi licenses and operating as 1099's instead of larger company employees.
 
Posted by LetterRip (Member # 310) on :
 
ScottF,

background checks of employees; non discrimination in pickups; accommodation of the handicapped.
 
Posted by AI Wessex (Member # 6653) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by ScottF:
I use uber multiple times a month and while the lower service levels (uber pool, uber x) definitely need to have an eye kept on them, the higher level services (uber black) are indistinguishable from any other limo company. Other than they run more quickly and efficiently.

You would think that Uber in NYC would give great service, but I have had to cancel or wait for an Uber car while watching available cabs stream by. I also had to ride in the front seat with the Uber driver in DC on the connector to Dulles, because the police target Uber drivers with $1000 fines (so the driver said).

The last cab ride I had in NYC was with a cabbie who bought his medallion about 30 years ago and planned to sell it to fund his retirement. The price went up to close to $1M a few years ago and because of Uber has dropped back to what he paid for it originally. So, he can't retire. I've also had Uber drivers complain about how much they have to fork over and how they have to maintain their cars in order to keep their franchise.

I have a philosophical problem with Uber playing by a different set of rules, not because they do anything wrong or need to be regulated.
 
Posted by scifibum (Member # 945) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by ScottF:
I'm curious as to what kind of regulations uber bypasses, apart from its drivers not having to purchase $50K taxi licenses and operating as 1099's instead of larger company employees.

If the constraint on taxi licenses exists to prevent gridlock, then that's reason enough. (Although the license shouldn't be resellable, IMO, and the resulting market conditions that make Uber much more viable signal that changes are probably needed.)

Also, depending on the state and local tax structure, it may be appropriate to tax commercial vehicles differently from personal vehicles, based on the increased pollution and wear and tear on infrastructure.
 
Posted by kmbboots (Member # 6161) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by AI Wessex:

I have a philosophical problem with Uber playing by a different set of rules, not because they do anything wrong or need to be regulated.

Me too. I don't drive so I depend on cabs quite often and I always use licensed cabs.
 
Posted by Pyrtolin (Member # 2638) on :
 
quote:
If the constraint on taxi licenses exists to prevent gridlock, then that's reason enough. (Although the license shouldn't be resellable, IMO, and the resulting market conditions that make Uber much more viable signal that changes are probably needed.)
Not gridlock so much as tragedy of the commons issues. If there are too many drivers available at a give time, then none of them can make enough in fares to make working worth it to work. In a world before modern communication technology, it was about the best hack we could come up with to actualyl keep the ROI, and thus the overall market, stable instead of in a constant flood/scarcity cycle.

Uber, Lyft, etc... may open up a path to being able to manage supply based on rate shifting, hiring, and the like, but there are some issues with handing control of that system over to private companies rather than having a publicly accountable organization overseeing to on the basis of public interest.

The current PUC or Transit Authorities that control the number of available licenses definitely need a bit of a shakeup, because they have often ended up serving the profit of the bigger current players than the general public, so it's interesting to watch this process find a compromise position that puts them into the position of not having the power to simply lock the market anymore.

(As far as providers go, I'd highly recommend Lyft over Uber, as Uber's bad business practices and poor overall citizenship extend far beyond forcing a market shift)
 
Posted by ScottF (Member # 6897) on :
 
I travel at least 100 days a year and my experience with cabs (when I still used them) was, on average, really bad. They were often rude, didn't take credit cards, and would then act indignant if you didn't tip them for the experience,

I believe uber does background checks and regarding discriminatory pickups, it's actually much more difficult to get away with that behavior because uber drivers respond blindly and will get down-rated out of existence if they start bailing last mirute. Cabbies can just not respond and drive away with impunity.

Edit: haven't tried Lyft but I've heard good things about them.
Google plays by a completely different set of rules than the yellow pages and destroyed that business model. Do you have a philosophical problem with Google vs Yellow Pages? Taxis are the yellow pages of private hired transportation.
 
Posted by AI Wessex (Member # 6653) on :
 
You're conflating an aggregate and complimentary service with an individual and pay-as-you-go one. Nobody had to buy a YP franchise or use them according to government regulation. Not all changes are comparable.
 
Posted by Rafi (Member # 6930) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Fenring:
The idea that the POTUS is going to stoop to trying to regulate some little company is amusing. He may have mentioned his thoughts on Uber at some point but I've heard him speak countless times and never heard it come up. If he happens to have some ideas regarding Uber it's really immaterial to his platform or his job description should he become President. He could also say offhand that someone should do something about the selection of animals at the Washington Zoo, but that doesn't mean micromanaging the zoo is part of his platform.

This is not about some little company. It's about a business model. Über is an entirely new way of doing business and as one of the most successful examples of it draws the fire. Uber will be regulated so that the foundation is laid to regulate all business built around this model.
 
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 99) on :
 
There are obvious problems with the "sharing economy" model, most notably that it's not actually predicated on peers sharing services but rather individuals deciding to offer those services full-time as the equivalent of contracted employees but without any of the training, benefits, or other infrastructure associated with contractors. It's when you see full-time investment into these presumably peer-based "sharing" services that you start getting into scenarios where regulation is necessary for sensible law. Consider the case -- not at all an isolated one -- where someone buys or rents an apartment in a trendy location in New York, and immediately turns around and lists that apartment on something like AirBNB. This apartment obviously doesn't come with maid service, staff, or hotel taxes, so it's going to be significantly cheaper than an equivalent hotel -- but it's also going to be enormously profitable, assuming the nightly rate is pitched correctly. So you buy a couple more apartments, maybe even buy a small house outside the city where you really live. (Note: this is actually a very typical AirBNB scenario for people who make their living doing it.) What now really separates these apartments from "hotels" in law? What distinction entitles them to evade things like hotel tax, fire escape regulations, hotel inspections, etc.?
 
Posted by Rafi (Member # 6930) on :
 
It really didn't take long to disprove this comment:
quote:
Originally posted by philnotfil:
I think the real difference is in the concept of fairness. Generally speaking, conservatives seem more willing to deny services in order to prevent any fraud and liberals seem more willing to allow some amount of fraud to make sure that everyone receives services.


 
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 99) on :
 
By your logic, Rafi, inspecting hot dogs for poison -- whether sold at a restaurant or out of a cart on the corner -- constitutes a "denial of services."

There is also, of course, the difference between the government denying access to a service or program offered only by the government and deciding that two competing types of service should be considered the same category of service for the purpose of regulation, but I'm sure you already knew that and were just choosing to overlook that (meaningful, IMO) distinction.

[ November 11, 2015, 08:45 AM: Message edited by: TomDavidson ]
 
Posted by Rafi (Member # 6930) on :
 
You don't eat a ride share, dude. [LOL]
 
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 99) on :
 
Very true! You do not in fact eat a ride share!
But let's be honest: you don't really "share" a ride share, either. Most Uber users are not themselves Uber drivers, and most Uber drivers do it close to full-time; they are not simply taking money to conveniently carpool (even though this was the original intent of the app, albeit one quickly abandoned once they realized the full-time driver model was more profitable).

If Uber were simply an app that allowed people to chip a couple bucks in towards gas for spontaneous carpools, there would not be a push to regulate it. But you have people actually buying cars to operate full-time taxi services leveraging Uber's middleware, which means they're in direct competition with taxis. And while there are some nice innovations in the Uber model -- the ability to rate individual drivers, the simplicity of requesting a ride across all available drivers in the area, etc. -- there are also a number of obvious gaps that not only raise public safety issues but worker safety issues; Uber drivers function essentially as contractors, but with almost none of the (still pretty limited) job protections of contractors and none of the training of licensed commercial drivers.

This presents issues that need to be addressed. Wanting to address these issues does not, of course, mean that one believes Uber -- or all programs using the "share" model -- should be destroyed.
 
Posted by ScottF (Member # 6897) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by AI Wessex:
You're conflating an aggregate and complimentary service with an individual and pay-as-you-go one. Nobody had to buy a YP franchise or use them according to government regulation. Not all changes are comparable.

Huh? YP was far from a complimentary service - you're confusing a b2b vs b2c model. YP charged a buttload to place a small yearly ad. Technology enabled Google to charge a tiny fraction of that and make it transactional, which YP had no response to (although they did try). Completely different models but the notion of technology enabling a disruptive model is absolutely comparable.
 
Posted by AI Wessex (Member # 6653) on :
 
Oh, I was thinking about the listings, not the ads... Even so, if you think you don't pay for Google, how are they raking in billions of $$? They come from somewhere.
 
Posted by ScottF (Member # 6897) on :
 
Where did you get "you don't pay for Google" out of anything I've said?

They charge transactionally for display ads and search placement. They do this millions of times an hour.
 
Posted by Pyrtolin (Member # 2638) on :
 
quote:
Uber will be regulated so that the foundation is laid to regulate all business built around this model.
Indeed. That's the inevitable next step. It's proven itself successful enough to have an impact on and power in the market, so some degree of regulation is going to be needed to prevent it from using that power abusively as is the natural tendency of control of such power.
 
Posted by Rafi (Member # 6930) on :
 
Yeah, and who's gonna watch the watchers?
 
Posted by Wayward Son (Member # 210) on :
 
These guys? [Smile]
 
Posted by jasonr (Member # 969) on :
 
quote:
And while there are some nice innovations in the Uber model -- the ability to rate individual drivers, the simplicity of requesting a ride across all available drivers in the area, etc. -- there are also a number of obvious gaps that not only raise public safety issues but worker safety issues; Uber drivers function essentially as contractors, but with almost none of the (still pretty limited) job protections of contractors and none of the training of licensed commercial drivers.
Here's where the anti Uber "safety" argument falls like a lead balloon. To those of us who are familiar with the taxi industries and the comportment of taxi drivers generally, the notion of "training of licensed commercial drivers" is kind of a bad joke.

Apart from the usual crazy driving (for which cabbies are notorious), broken down smelly cars and poor personal hygiene, we have had to put up with perpetually broken credit machines (naturally fixed if your ride is long enough to justify the expense) cabbies refusing short rides, cabbies assaulting their passengers, cabbies driving drunk, high, whatnot.

A couple months ago, a girl in Toronto got shot in a dark downtown spot after licensed cabbies refused to give her a ride home because the distance was too short to make it worth their while.

I'm not ragging on cabbies. It all comes with the territory. But it does pretty well torpedo any "safety" arguments or any claims that "regulating" automatically confers an aura of safety. Speaking of regulation, just who is the City regulating anyway, cause half the time when I'm in a supposedly licensed cab, the picture of the guy on the license doesn't look anything like the guy driving the car. Huh. Funny that. Oh well, I'm sure the guy with the license was very careful to vet the guy who vetted the guy whose brother in law was filling in for him on an off day. A triumph of well oiled bureaucracy indeed. Truly our safety has been guaranteed.
 
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 99) on :
 
So your argument above is that you believe some of the existing regulations on taxis to be ineffective or poorly enforced. Is that an argument to remove those regulations for all taxis, or only allow those taxis that pretend they are "shared cars" to evade them?
 
Posted by jasonr (Member # 969) on :
 
In fact Tom, having used UberX regularly these past few months, I can honestly say that the overall driving proficiency of the drivers has been no better or worse than what I observed for years as a licensed cabbie customer.

The UberX drivers seem to have a less fluent knowledge of the City and rely more extensively on GPS, but that's probably a matter of experience. These aren't people who have been driving cabs very long.

As for other aspects of safety, vehicle maintenance inspections? Don't make me laugh. The typical UberX car is in far better condition and almost always newer and nicer than any cab - period not up for discussion.

Driver assault? The regular cabbies have cameras I will concede, but UberX GPS tracks every ride and does everything electronically by credit card - I call that a wash.

Driver screening? No evidence that Uber is any less adept at screening its drivers than the competition. Indeed, as I mentioned above, I have frequently been in licensed cabs where the driver was clearly not the man pictured in the license. Frankly, I trust Uber on that point.

The argument that Uber pays poorly is disingenuous, because of course if the licensed cabbies paid so well, drivers would flock to them, not to Uber. Why don't they? Well glad you asked - it's the fact that until recently, a limited supply of taxi licenses were going for $200,000 or more. The people clamoring to keep the status quo are being driven largely by the vested interest of ex cabbies and individuals who own single or multiple licenses and lease them out to immigrant serfs to drive their cabs for them. It's basically a feudal system. It isn't the rank and file cabbies who benefit from this.

The only legitimate argument I have encountered is the commercial insurance question, one which Uber has been working to resolve and I have no doubt will resolve as they are in talks with Intact Insurance here to get commercial policies in place for their drivers. They already have in place an umbrella policy of their own. Plus the little known fact that in Ontario at least, even if an insurer denies coverage to a driver, there's still going to be a mandatory minimum $200k in place - so passengers have ample coverage.

Uber is so superior to the competition in every respect, I frequently use the service even when I'm going places for clients and therefore riding on someone else's dime. The argument that Uber is just about saving money is one the taxi cartels want us to buy because it lets them avoid the uncomfortable truth of how poorly they have been treating their customers all this time, and how eagerly people have been to dump them at the first opportunity.

In answer to your original question, it's not a question of the regulations being "poorly enforced". The regulations are doing what they were clearly designed to do: maintain a protected monopoly for entrenched interests. That Uber replicates or improves on virtually every safety measure built into these regulations is irrelevant to its opponents, because safety has never been the real issue. Keeping their cozy monopoly has always been their only real objective.

[ November 12, 2015, 07:31 AM: Message edited by: jasonr ]
 
Posted by AI Wessex (Member # 6653) on :
 
Jason, I recall that you're a lawyer. Imagine that Canada allowed anyone to practice law, as in the 19th C. in the US. The new lawyers are as sharp as you, but don't have the reputation (often unfair) of sleaziness that lawyer have to endure, and they don't have to kowtow to the Canadian Bar Association.

Since many legal matters are no more complicated than driving from point A to point B, you see your clientele base and those of other old-school lawyers slowly erode. Your clients tell you that you charge too much, your collective reputation (not yours personally, but...) for shady practices are worries, and the new-fangled Maverick lawyers know just as much and are more eager to handle their issues for less money.

You can't give up your law license, since that's in the past and what got you to where you are today. It's what allows you to make the good living you do. But you could charge less money to keep your clients or show more "eagerness" when acting on their behalf.

Are these new-age legal reps a good thing?
 
Posted by Fenring (Member # 6953) on :
 
I've got to jump in on this, Al. You're seriously comparing driving a car to working as a lawyer? Is this really what you think of professional training and ethics? Maybe you should have made your example even more extreme and suggested that anyone who wants to should be able to break the monopoly on psychiatry too.
 
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 99) on :
 
quote:
In answer to your original question, it's not a question of the regulations being "poorly enforced". The regulations are doing what they were clearly designed to do: maintain a protected monopoly for entrenched interests.
That rather begs the question, don't you think?
 
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 99) on :
 
Do you believe that regulations on being a lawyer, doctor, or psychiatrist exist to maintain a professional monopoly for entrenched interests? Do they serve a purpose?

What about regulations on being a hairdresser? Because there are regulations. Are they there to protect the entrenched hairdresser cabals?
 
Posted by AI Wessex (Member # 6653) on :
 
I'm trying to draw a stark contrast that would evoke a reaction like yours. This is a protected group, but that is not. Come up with a better one if you like. For instance, US doctors didn't have to be licensed until the beginning of the 20th C, either. During the Civil War, all it took to be a wartime doctor was to have a saw and not faint at the sight of blood. Then the monopolists and special interests took over...
 
Posted by Fenring (Member # 6953) on :
 
Wait...are you trying to provoke a response like mine to illustrate that taxi drivers and doctors should not be protected jobs in similar ways, or are you trying to argue that both/neither should be protected jobs and that there is no substantive difference between them?
 
Posted by NobleHunter (Member # 2450) on :
 
For doctors, anyways, professionalization served a valid purpose and to entrench interests. There's a reason they got away with driving out almost all other practitioners of medicine from the market place.

[ November 12, 2015, 10:32 AM: Message edited by: NobleHunter ]
 
Posted by jasonr (Member # 969) on :
 
Al I don't see lawyers and doctors as being in the same class as taxi cabs. Driving a cab requires zero training - it is literally just driving a car for money. Ironically alot of doctors and engineers do end up driving cabs because their professional training is unrecognized and driving is literally the only marketable skill they have.

I am not, by the way, against regulating the cab industry for safety, discrimination, etc... But the current regime isn't about those things. It's about maintaining a monopoly.

I realize lawyers can be accused of the same thing at least in theory. And hell maybe it's true and anyone should be able to hang up a shingle and practice law. What can I say except I disagree, and regardless, it doesn't really change how I see the cab industry. Driving isn't complicated - we don't need $250,000 license plates to ensure a safe and well run system.
 
Posted by kmbboots (Member # 6161) on :
 
I take cabs a lot and my experience has been far different from jasonr's. The vast majority of my cab rides are pleasant and reliable, the cabs are clean, and I can pay with a card if I choose. I can nearly always find a cab when I need one. There is occasional muttering or sighing when very short trip pulls a driver out of a line where he is likely to get an airport fare but no refusals.

I hear horror stories about Uber.
 
Posted by Pete at Home (Member # 429) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Rafi:
quote:
Originally posted by JoshCrow:
There is exactly zero hypocrisy in having problems with a service vs. using that service.

Do you have problems with your cable company but you still watch TV?

Do you have problems with Super PACs but understand that you won't win an election without one?

Congratulations - you are not a hypocrite. You are able to do the mental equivalent of walking and chewing gum at the same time by holding two ideas in your head.

It's not that he's critical of it and still uses the service. It's that he is running on a platform that it violates rights and would regulate it so that he would destroy it. All the while using it 100% of the time. That is, in fact, hypocrisy.

I don't like cable companies. I don't use them. I still watch TV via streaming and I do not have control of them. Do you not see the difference?

PAC's are a problem. Claiming you use one in order to get into office so you can end them is dishonest. Nobody is going to do that.

Sanders is clearly demonstrating a foundational principle of liberalism. As a dedicate socialist, we should not be surprised.

Following one's foundational principles is by definition the opposite of hypocrisy.

Thank you for making me look more closely at Bernie Sanders. While I have a prejudice against Socialists, a socialist who takes the time to economize campaign spending by using Uber, while at the same time calling for its regulation, reminds me of why I like Carli Fiorino, who was willing to risk and lose her job for doing what she thinks is right. What you have essentially told me is that Sanders makes ethical decisions based on his own concience rather than relying on his PR groupies.

Now I want to know moew about Bernie Sanders. Any Bernyites here who can link me to substantive content, meaning stuff that BS (ouch, unfortunate initials) authored himself?

H
 
Posted by AI Wessex (Member # 6653) on :
 
quote:
I hear horror stories about Uber.
I hear horror stories about cabbies, Uber drivers, doctors, lawyers and pre-school staff, as well as about every other profession under the sun. It's just anecdotal fluff to point to your own favorite provider among choices if all you have is limited experience and exposure.
 
Posted by Pete at Home (Member # 429) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
Do you believe that regulations on being a lawyer, doctor, or psychiatrist exist to maintain a professional monopoly for entrenched interests? Do they serve a purpose?

I cant speak for doctors or shrinks, but as for the bar association, I can say with confidence yes and yes

Yes the bar association exists to maintain an entrenched monopoly for entrenched interests. No question. (The AMA not so much because the American Osteopathic Association prevents a strict AMA monopoly).

Yes it also serves a valid purpose in protecting the public.

Tom has a point. But Al's equivalence of physicians and attorneys to cab drivers is offensive and unfair to both doctors and attorneys, but more unfair to Doctors than to attorneys, I think,

BTW the learning curve is far, far steeper in law school than getting into law school, far steeper studying the bar than in law school, and FAR steeper in the first 3 years of practice in any.legal field than it is studying the bar.
 
Posted by Fenring (Member # 6953) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Pete at Home:
Now I want to know moew about Bernie Sanders. Any Bernyites here who can link me to substantive content, meaning stuff that BS (ouch, unfortunate initials) authored himself?

I've been a fan of Bernie's for a few years, and he speaks in the senate on many occasions about the same sorts of things you hear him mention in the debates. In fact, if you've heard him speak on and off for years then there's actually nothing new to hear from him in the debates, which is exactly what makes him different from the other candidates: he didn't have to create a campaign platform, he's just continuing the mission he's been on for a long time now with the same position he's always had.

If you'd like a video example on the way he speaks and what he values, here's a good an example as any:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J-fawXeTxlE

This is Bernie addressing the senate about the TPP fast-track bill (which his side lost since fast-track was passed).
 
Posted by AI Wessex (Member # 6653) on :
 
Lear had his fool, who saw the future more clearly and spoke wiser than the King. There should be an Executive Office of the Fool, or in other words, every President should have a "Bernie Sanders" on their Executive staff.

[See Pete? This is how to do it...]
 
Posted by Pete at Home (Member # 429) on :
 
Thank you, FEnring.

Al, I will reread that later ... Didnt catch that the first time but Shakespeare always was an area where you and I could communicate most clearly (I miss that Al) so I am going to hit an AA meeting, drink some coffee, dunk my head in icewater, and reread.

Meanwhile, Al, I would love to know your own view on Bernie Sanders.


(see! I wrote an entire post without thinking of sex. Oh, damn!)
 
Posted by Fenring (Member # 6953) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by AI Wessex:
Lear had his fool, who saw the future more clearly and spoke wiser than the King. There should be an Executive Office of the Fool, or in other words, every President should have a "Bernie Sanders" on their Executive staff.

I can take this analogy further, if you'll permit. Historically, including in Shakespeare's own production of Lear, the Fool was double cast with Cordelia, meaning the same actor played both parts. This was far from a cost-saving device, but rather was important to the interpretation of the story. In the King's court in Act 1 the King could not abide an heir to the throne - an interested party to be sure - to question the King and speak the truth. Cordelia was Lear's most beloved and yet when she spoke an uncomfortable truth she was banished for it. Lear presumably saw the need for allegiance and obedience as being exceptionally required from those who stood directly to gain from their relation to the King. Since interested parties having their own opinion in matters related to the King is a conflict of interest the King's solution is to eliminate such conflict by mandating that everyone agree with him.

We can see this same situation in modern politics where parties tow the line and dissent within a party is frowned on to say the least. The President's own advisors in the last few administration tends towards either 'on board' with the President or else outright being either his puppet or his master as the case may be. They want to present a unified front, and one where the President is supported at all times. And when any sort of disagreement shows itself the staff are usually dismissed in favor of people who will play ball.

Enter the Fool, who enters the play right when Cordelia leaves and remains by Lear's side for most of the play. The Fool, like Cordelia, speaks his mind freely, but with one difference: being a Fool, he has no power and nothing to gain by agreeing or disagreeing with the King. He isn't an interested party and thus there is no inherent conflict of interest. He's a Fool precisely because he has no power to gain or lose; he's outside of the game's rules (much like the fool in a deck of cards). Also note that the two people dearest to the King are Cordelia and the Fool, and there is even a nod towards the end of the play when Cordelia has been hanged and killed:

"And my poor fool is hang'd! No, no, no life!
Why should a dog, a horse, a rat, have life,
And thou no breath at all? Thou'lt come no more,
Never, never, never, never, never!"

The moral we might take from this is that we cannot expect or even tolerate the truth from someone who has a vested interests in the results of his comments, and who is rewarded or punished based on the political implications of his comments. If there is to be an "office of the fool" it would have to be immunized both from the reward/punishment system, and also from backlash by party members who dislike what the Fool is saying. The Fool would, indeed, have to be excused from the normal rules of the game like the Joker in a deck of cards.

Until we create the conditions for any, if not all politicians from being allowed to act in a capacity not 'in the game', we will never get truth from them.

[ November 12, 2015, 12:15 PM: Message edited by: Fenring ]
 
Posted by jasonr (Member # 969) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
I take cabs a lot and my experience has been far different from jasonr's. The vast majority of my cab rides are pleasant and reliable, the cabs are clean, and I can pay with a card if I choose. I can nearly always find a cab when I need one. There is occasional muttering or sighing when very short trip pulls a driver out of a line where he is likely to get an airport fare but no refusals.

I hear horror stories about Uber.

I didn't mean to suggest that cabbies are all or even mostly bad. Most of my experiences with traditional cabbies have been fine. But the industry has been complacent for a long time. There are problems you see routinely that have never been addressed until Uber came along and started eating the cabbies' lunch. And for every horror story you've heard about Uber there are plenty more about traditional cabs. Trying to villify Uber or suggest that its drivers are unsafe is a losing argument for the cab industry.
 
Posted by AI Wessex (Member # 6653) on :
 
quote:
Meanwhile, Al, I would love to know your own view on Bernie Sanders.
He's more ideologically pure than Clinton and has a lot of good ideas (I've read his book). Unfortunately, he's too old to learn how to govern, so he'd either have to contradict himself in office or sit high and dry above the legislative process and be forced to veto almost every piece of major legislation. I honestly do wish there were a spot for him in the Clinton Executive to advise while not having to consent.
quote:
can take this analogy further, if you'll permit. Historically, including in Shakespeare's own production of Lear, the Fool was double cast with Cordelia, meaning the same actor played both parts. This was far from a cost-saving device, but rather was important to the interpretation of the story.
Fenring, I hardly knew ye! I am always happy to talk about the Bard, but I'll disagree with this point of fineness. I'm sure you know that women's parts (in both senses [Smile] ) were played by male actors in Shakespeare's day. There can be irony, intentional or otherwise, by casting a single seeming voice to two roles that don't appear on stage at the same time. You could be right that Shakespeare intended that irony, but it might be the case that his company had a limited cast of actors (which it did), and he was furiously rewriting Lear almost for every performance to respond to feedback from King James and his court, so personnel were constantly in flux. Or the truth might lie somewhere between or outside of our musings. In either or any case, I rate your post a "Like" [Smile] . We once had a thread on Shakespeare, I recall. Pete and I did like the back and forth of how much was meaning and how much was stagecraft. I especially love thinking about how absurd it is to imagine that his almost uniformly uneducated and illiterate audiences could follow the stories in any more than a rudimentary way. One theory I like is that the groundlings saw the action vividly but only heard the speech as cadences and rhyme. The Bard, sometimes called the Bawd, meant only to please.

[ November 12, 2015, 12:53 PM: Message edited by: AI Wessex ]
 
Posted by scifibum (Member # 945) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
What about regulations on being a hairdresser? Because there are regulations. Are they there to protect the entrenched hairdresser cabals?

Well...yeah. Which is not to say that such regulation is unnecessary. But in Utah, you have to put in a year of full time apprentice work before you get your license. I think that's clearly excessive and is only required because it's in the interests of existing hairdressers to make the barrier to entry as high as possible.

Of course, what this means is that there are a million unlicensed hairdressers giving $6 haircuts and $30 dye jobs at home. [Smile]

[ November 12, 2015, 12:38 PM: Message edited by: scifibum ]
 
Posted by NobleHunter (Member # 2450) on :
 
I suppose I'd be contributing to the hairdresser lobby by saying "dye jobs" in a skeptical tone.
 
Posted by LetterRip (Member # 310) on :
 
TomD,

quote:
Do you believe that regulations on being a lawyer, doctor, or psychiatrist exist to maintain a professional monopoly for entrenched interests? Do they serve a purpose?
Mostly to maintain a monopoly (and gain new monopolies) for entrenched interests. Doctors are probably 1/3 of their natural numbers due exactly to competitive barriers that serve no purpose than to keep the cost of doctors high.

Many medical specialties could be readily replaced with specialists trained in a quarter of the time; or with a scanner and diagnostic software.

Law could be dramatically simpler - a 3-6 month course could be adequate to practice most areas of law.

Psychiatrists being exclusively allowed to prescribe medicine vs psychologists is purely about protecting entrenched interests.
 
Posted by Fenring (Member # 6953) on :
 
Al,

In my view there is pretty much no chance that Shakespeare didn't mean something interpretive by that double casting. I also don't think it was because they just lacked actors. You would have to assert that they magically lacked exactly one actor, that the role that would have been filled by that actor was magically a role that was also Lear's dearest friend, and that Shakespeare added a line in the end showing a relation between his daughter and the word "fool." Indeed, from the perspective of Cordelia's sisters and the other courtiers she must, indeed, have been a great fool. "Doesn't she know she'll gain nothing from these comments? What a moron." This is the way people in corrupt circles think, even though to them it's plain common sense. The entire reading of the play rides on the relationship between Cordelia and the Fool, since the difference between a truth-teller who stands to gain/lose by their statements and between a truth-teller who is free of all that is the entire crux of the story. You see this motif repeated in Lear being first King and them a beggar; first well and then crazed and sick. You see it with Edgar being a royal and then a madman, and Edmund being a nobody and then becoming a major player. For each person their association with real power changes the nature of what the results of their true statements are. Their opinions don't change, but their station does, and that is everything. It shows that a person is not allowed to be themself unless they are in a position with nothing to lose by saying what they think. The play shows that being in such a free position is generally called things like Fool, crazy, bastard, and so forth. For Lear, Cordelia and Edgar losing their power frees them to be who they really are; for Edmund gaining power gets him killed for who he is.

I guess you can disagree with my reading on this, but I would never attribute to Shakespeare's casting and writing the idea of coincidence or irrelevant circumstance. He even played certain parts himself when he felt it was thematically appropriate or necessary for him to do so. I use the same reasoning as I do with Plato when reading Shakespeare: it's all calculated, all for a reason, and if I can't find it then that's my failing and I have to look deeper.

[ November 12, 2015, 12:58 PM: Message edited by: Fenring ]
 
Posted by AI Wessex (Member # 6653) on :
 
Well, because this is Ornery and we can't claim authority on any topic, you should ignore the extensive study I gave Shakespeare in college, as well is the dozen or so biographies I've read about him and the many productions of Lear that I've seen over the years. But also because this *is* Ornery, after all, I have to point out that You Are Wrong.

But, hey, I haven't been in a bard fight in years. If you want to take it outside of this thread, feel free to set up a cage where we can settle this like groundlings.
 
Posted by Pyrtolin (Member # 2638) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by jasonr:
I didn't mean to suggest that cabbies are all or even mostly bad. Most of my experiences with traditional cabbies have been fine. But the industry has been complacent for a long time. There are problems you see routinely that have never been addressed until Uber came along and started eating the cabbies' lunch. And for every horror story you've heard about Uber there are plenty more about traditional cabs. Trying to villify Uber or suggest that its drivers are unsafe is a losing argument for the cab industry.

Indeed, but the flip side of the coin is whether Uber, though central planning can manage to better accomplish what the taxi medallion system was established as a market based approach to solve. The medallions definitely demonstrated how unregulated capitalism in a limited resource situation, can fail pathologically, but it remains to bee seen if Uber can actually ensure that it doesn't fall victim to the flood/famine cycles that ravaged the taxi system before a market was established to prevent oversupply driving fares to unsustainably low levels and being more harmful than profitable to people that tried to get into the business.

Efforts like this:
http://www.marketplace.org/2015/11/10/economy/should-gig-economy-workers-get-benefits

Are promising, and its understanding of the issue and participation in the effort are one of the reasons that I prefer Lyft to Uber. Even if it's benefitting from the contractor loophole, it at least understands that it has a fundamental responsibility to provide economic stability and security to its employees.
 
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 99) on :
 
quote:
it has a fundamental responsibility to provide economic stability and security to its employees
We also need to keep in mind that whether people who spend their entire day picking up fares from Lyft or Uber, or who maintain a half-dozen AirBNB pads, or who spend 18 hours a day on TaskRabbit, are employees is a contested topic.
 
Posted by Pyrtolin (Member # 2638) on :
 
Indeed, and that's part of why some degree of regulation is going to be necessary to help solidly clarify such questions and establish common standards for everyone to play by.
 
Posted by Fenring (Member # 6953) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by AI Wessex:
Well, because this is Ornery and we can't claim authority on any topic, you should ignore the extensive study I gave Shakespeare in college, as well is the dozen or so biographies I've read about him and the many productions of Lear that I've seen over the years. But also because this *is* Ornery, after all, I have to point out that You Are Wrong.

But, hey, I haven't been in a bard fight in years. If you want to take it outside of this thread, feel free to set up a cage where we can settle this like groundlings.

I'm not sure comparing credentials should matter when looking at the text itself. No amount of authority speaks better than the play. I, myself, studied Shakespeare not only on a theoretical level in college but on a practical level with people in the business who've worked with the likes of Pacino (one of my teachers was Pacino's go-to guy for Shakespeare). I studied it as a scholar, an actor, and a director, and I've acted in and directed the material. All this to say I should not be considered a mere dilettante as I have years of professional training and experience under my belt, but at the same time I don't think my experience ought to count for very much in terms of me wielding it like some kind of badge of authority. You shouldn't credit my comments based on my background; credit them based on the merit within them and on how they pertain to the play. The play's the thing - wherein we set the confines of our ring.
 
Posted by AI Wessex (Member # 6653) on :
 
I suspected there was more matter than you wrote. Seriously, then, open a thread or an email channel if you would like to pursue this further.
 
Posted by velcro (Member # 1216) on :
 
Jasonr wrote
quote:
But it does pretty well torpedo any "safety" arguments or any claims that "regulating" automatically confers an aura of safety.
True, "regulating" does not automatically confer safety. But if done properly, it can increase the odds of having a safe ride. Conversely, having no regulation whatsoever will never increase the odds of having a safe ride.

So while we can argue the extent and the side effects, properly regulating Uber drivers may improve safety and will not decrease it.
Net gain for safety.
 
Posted by velcro (Member # 1216) on :
 
Al wrote
quote:
Unfortunately, he's[Sanders] too old to learn how to govern
Care to elucidate, and possibly provide justification?

Pete,

Sanders is a little loose with his definition of democratic socialism. Look at what he says it is, not what you think it is.

“Democratic socialism is taking a hard look at what countries like Denmark, Sweden, Norway (and) Finland … have done over the years and try to ascertain what they have done that is right, in terms of protecting the needs of millions of working families and the elderly and the children. And I think there’s much that we can learn from those countries that have had social democratic governments and labor governments or whatever.”source

Bernie Sanders in 25 words or less:
The economic and political systems are rigged in favor of entrenched wealth. We need to fix that before we can fix anything else.

I'm curious if anyone disagrees with that.

Also, if you poll people on his individual policies without mentioning Sanders or socialism, most of them have broad approval. While not a 1:1 correspondence with his policies, many are covered here.

It reminds me of the Equal Rights Amendment. Poll people on that, and they were opposed. But if you asked them if they agree with "Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.", they were in favor. It goes to show what good propaganda can do to uninformed voters.
 
Posted by Fenring (Member # 6953) on :
 
The fact of the matter is that I think a majority of liberal Americans agree with what Sanders is about, but somehow think Hillary represents them better. It's dissonant with reality but branding is everything. Luckily Sanders has a decent brand too.
 
Posted by AI Wessex (Member # 6653) on :
 
quote:
Al: Unfortunately, he's[Sanders] too old to learn how to govern

Velcro: Care to elucidate, and possibly provide justification?

He's been on the right (aka principled) side of many issues, but there's scant evidence of his leadership in the Senate. He's never authored any major piece of legislation (only 3 as sole sponsor in total), never led any committee, never held a Party position in the Senate, never been asked to be a spokesman on any issue. I like him and admire his stoic determination and resolute consistency, but from there to ascending to the office of the Presidency is a leap I don't think he's capable of making.

[ November 18, 2015, 07:56 AM: Message edited by: AI Wessex ]
 
Posted by Pete at Home (Member # 429) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by velcro:
Al wrote
quote:
Unfortunately, he's[Sanders] too old to learn how to govern
Care to elucidate, and possibly provide justification?

Pete,

Sanders is a little loose with his definition of democratic socialism. Look at what he says it is, not what you think it is.

“Democratic socialism is taking a hard look at what countries like Denmark, Sweden, Norway (and) Finland … have done over the years and try to ascertain what they have done that is right, in terms of protecting the needs of millions of working families and the elderly and the children. And I think there’s much that we can learn from those countries that have had social democratic governments and labor governments or whatever.”source

Bernie Sanders in 25 words or less:
The economic and political systems are rigged in favor of entrenched wealth. We need to fix that before we can fix anything else.

I'm curious if anyone disagrees with that.

Also, if you poll people on his individual policies without mentioning Sanders or socialism, most of them have broad approval. While not a 1:1 correspondence with his policies, many are covered here.

It reminds me of the Equal Rights Amendment. Poll people on that, and they were opposed. But if you asked them if they agree with "Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.", they were in favor. It goes to show what good propaganda can do to uninformed voters.

You left out the key clause of the ERA, is the part enabling federal legislation. So the uninformed voters were right on that [Smile]

But thanks for the summary on Sanders.

Would be nice to have a president that operates within the actual bounds of Article Two. Haven't seen one of those since ... Madison and Adams jr
 
Posted by Pete at Home (Member # 429) on :
 
I even like that he voted against DOMA... though I am against neutered marriage I recognized Dona was unconstitutional.

Like what he says on the middle class. Ironic that a "socialist" might be the best hope. But Scand flavor socialist is good with me. Surprised that the crypto fascist dnc has let him get this far
 
Posted by Fenring (Member # 6953) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Pete at Home:
Like what he says on the middle class. Ironic that a "socialist" might be the best hope. But Scand flavor socialist is good with me. Surprised that the crypto fascist dnc has let him get this far

The secret of the DNC and RNC is that their only power is in illusion. They can trick, create images and narratives, but cannot use brute force. Their weakness is a true grass roots movement and although certain levels of shenanigans are possible in the primary process and then general election (including but not limited to voting fraud) they simply cannot oppose the actual will of the people. They must always bow before the mob or fear losing everything. Their hope is to win the minds of the populace, but if they lose that they have nothing.
 
Posted by Pyrtolin (Member # 2638) on :
 
quote:
Their weakness is a true grass roots movement
Which means, effectively, that they don't have a weakness, because our political and voting system effectively precludes any kind of true grassroots movement from taking control except through one of the two dominant parties (or by capitalizing on the collapse of one or the other if it happens to fail)
 
Posted by Fenring (Member # 6953) on :
 
Well, the weakness isn't exploitable unless the movement is very strong. The sort of movement which starts small and maybe could build up steam is likely to be fizzled out before it gets very far. But in the case of Sanders, for instance, this particular movement has been growing since 2008 and included Occupy. Sanders has the possibility of catching the momentum and not starting from scratch. But yes, the movement has to be very strong to streamroll the status quo, which means in turn a lot of discontent as well as people waking up and realizing the tricky illusion game. But if the people demand change in large numbers (on the streets, as Sanders puts it) the parties will have to acquiesce for the time being. It's true, though, that even Bernie has to run as a Democrat, but that doesn't mean he's beholden to the DNC in any way or that they like him. Ron Paul was the mortal enemy of the RNC in 2012 even though he ran as a Republican (and they treated him accordingly).
 
Posted by velcro (Member # 1216) on :
 
One more interesting link:Are you a democratic socialist?

It's a little oversimplified, (mentions free college, not free *public* college) but gets the point across.

Al,

He did govern Burlington VT, FWIW. And absence of evidence (of the leadership you mention) is not evidence of absence.
 
Posted by AI Wessex (Member # 6653) on :
 
Can you make it a positive and show where/when he has led since joining the Senate?
 
Posted by Fenring (Member # 6953) on :
 
Here's his list of committee assignments, from Wiki:

Committee assignments:

Committee on the Budget (Ranking Member)
Committee on Environment and Public Works
-Subcommittee on Clean Air and Nuclear Safety
-Subcommittee on Green Jobs and the New Economy
-Subcommittee on Transportation and Infrastructure
Committee on Energy and Natural Resources
-Subcommittee on Energy
-Subcommittee on National Parks
-Subcommittee on Water and Power
Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions
-Subcommittee on Children and Families
-Subcommittee on Primary Health and Aging (Ranking Member)
Committee on Veterans' Affairs

And magically these are all the areas he champions. So it looks like he puts his money where his mouth is and takes a leadership role in areas he values and can help with. I'll also note that in terms of legislation he was part of an across-the-isle movement to audit the Fed along with Ron Paul, and has continued his efforts in the audit the Fed along with Rand Paul and others.

So Sanders not only works towards what he says he believes, but he can do so on a bipartisan basis even with members of the Tea Party. If you want a qualification for President I think a good one is knowing how to work with Republicans toward common goals.
 
Posted by scifibum (Member # 945) on :
 
Man, I wish Sanders would brand himself better.

I actually doubt he would be able to accomplish anything concrete - especially considering the opposition he would face in Congress; I suspect the way they've worked with Obama would appear congenial in comparison. He'd at least shift the middle somewhat, and maybe shape the debate for the next couple of presidents. I think Clinton is far more invested in the status quo.
 
Posted by Fenring (Member # 6953) on :
 
Sanders' platform is not about making the Congress do anything. He more or less says it's a mistake to even think of that as being the President's job. He says (correctly) that the Congress is supposed to respond to pressure from the people, not from the President. Sander says his job is to get the people of the country motivated enough to get their Congressmen to listen to them. And in truth that's the only way the Republic can function properly - if the Congress is the voice of the people, set against the Executive. The idea that the executive should somehow be beholden to the President's desires is more or less antithetical to the separation of powers as I understand it.
 
Posted by AI Wessex (Member # 6653) on :
 
quote:
Sander says his job is to get the people of the country motivated enough to get their Congressmen to listen to them.
That's not what the President does. The job description is to serve as chief executive of the federal government and to serve as commander in chief of the armed forces. Influencing public opinion is what politicians do, but the President doesn't hold a political office once elected. That's not a perfectly practical description, but it is closer to the mark than what you wrote.
 
Posted by Fenring (Member # 6953) on :
 
Read what I wrote again, Al. You made a reading error. All I said about the President's job is what it isn't. The only positive assertion I made is what Sanders believes his personal job should be. And yes, it is within the purview of President, in any case, to be a leader to the people. That can mean leading militarily, leading by example, or leading through rallying support.
 
Posted by scifibum (Member # 945) on :
 
quote:
The idea that the [legislative branch] should somehow be beholden to the President's desires is more or less antithetical to the separation of powers as I understand it.
I substituted legislative where you wrote executive because I suspect that's what you meant...

Whose idea is that?
 
Posted by velcro (Member # 1216) on :
 
Al,

Bully Pulpit. It's how we got out of the last gilded age, so it could work again.

Also, Sanders has done significant work on Veteran's Affairs. source
 
Posted by scifibum (Member # 945) on :
 
Bernie's speech transcript:

http://inthesetimes.com/article/18623/bernie_sanders_democratic_socialism_georgetown_speech
 
Posted by AI Wessex (Member # 6653) on :
 
quote:
Here's his list of committee assignments, from Wiki:
Not to quibble (but to quibble, anyway), and to remind you that I like Sanders and agree with many of his positions, how significantly has he influenced legislation coming out of those committees? Where has he made his mark? I'm pretty sure he's been effective as the Chair of the Veterans Affairs Committee, but I can't find much in the Congressional Record about his accomplishments.

His dedication and commitment to his principles are exemplary, but the question remains (in my mind, at least), can he lead?
 
Posted by Fenring (Member # 6953) on :
 
scifi, good catch, that was indeed a typo, thanks. To answer your question, there is a growing sense among Americans that it's the President's job to pick up the Congress' slack when they don't get things done, and to force down legislation. I also think people increasingly believe that a President's views are important because these will become policy. This is surely true in certain areas, but overall I don't think people recognize exactly what he President's job is.

My comment wasn't directly in particular at you, but was rather pertained to what I see as a contrast in how Sanders views what his Presidency might be like compared to other candidates who speak as if their job description is to change America all by themselves.
 
Posted by philnotfil (Member # 1881) on :
 
Bills introduced by Bernie Sanders:

govtrack.us
 
Posted by AI Wessex (Member # 6653) on :
 
Of those 359 bills he sponsored, the vast majority were "referred to committee" and died there. The ones (10) that were voted on by the full House or Senate are below. Most of those 359 bills were/are inconsequential. I appreciate you finding this source (which contradicts one I found the other day), but my point is not that he's a bad man or not even an exemplary one in many respects, but whether he is Presidential timber. As I mentioned, I think he would be an excellent closet advisor to Hillary, perhaps able to keep her honest and truthful, but IMO she would be the better President.

S.Res. 577 (113th): A resolution permitting the collection of clothing, toys, food, and housewares during the holiday season for charitable purposes in Senate buildings.

H.R. 5441 (113th): To amend the Federal charter of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States to reflect the service of women in the Armed Forces of the United States.

S.Res. 307 (113th): A resolution permitting the collection of clothing, toys, food, and housewares during the holiday season for charitable purposes in Senate buildings.

S. 893 (113th): Veterans’ Compensation Cost-of-Living Adjustment Act of 2013

S. 885 (113th): A bill to designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 35 Park Street in Danville, Vermont, as the “Thaddeus Stevens Post Office”.

H.R. 5245 (109th): To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 1 Marble Street in Fair Haven, Vermont, as the “Matthew Lyon Post Office Building”.

Voted on but rejected: H.J.Res. 27 (109th): Withdrawing the approval of the United States from the Agreement establishing the World Trade Organization.

S.J.Res. 38 (104th): A joint resolution granting the consent of Congress to the Vermont-New Hampshire Interstate Public Water Supply Compact.

H.R. 1353 (102nd): Entitled the “Taconic Mountains Protection Act of 1991”.

S.J.Res. 58 (102nd): A joint resolution to designate March 4, 1991, as “Vermont Bicentennial Day”.

[ November 20, 2015, 10:43 AM: Message edited by: AI Wessex ]
 
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 99) on :
 
To be fair, it's not like Hillary has any great legislative achievements of her own.
 
Posted by AI Wessex (Member # 6653) on :
 
That is fair, but her "resume" is more consequential. The rebuttal to that is that Obama's accomplishments *and* resume were thin, which is also true. The rebuttal to that is not to say that maybe Carson or Trump would make good or great Presidents. God, no.
 
Posted by Pete at Home (Member # 429) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
To be fair, it's not like Hillary has any great legislative achievements of her own.

You like Sanders, Tom? This would be a new thing under the sun, you and I agreeing on a candidate [Smile]
 
Posted by Pete at Home (Member # 429) on :
 
My main objection to Carson is that the US presidency is a waste of his talent. He did more good as a doctor than anyone since Roosevelt has do e as a president.
 
Posted by Fenring (Member # 6953) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by AI Wessex:
That is fair, but her "resume" is more consequential. The rebuttal to that is that Obama's accomplishments *and* resume were thin, which is also true. The rebuttal to that is not to say that maybe Carson or Trump would make good or great Presidents. God, no.

Yeah, her resume is more consequential. But in what way? I think it disqualifies her, rather than qualifies her. Someone with no credentials is better than someone with negative credentials. But that's just, like, my opinion, man.
 
Posted by velcro (Member # 1216) on :
 
Al,

I hear what you are saying. What accomplishments are you looking for?

Also, take into account that the things he tries to accomplish will not likely be popular with rank and file Congresspeople. That is a big portion of his appeal.

The risk is that if he is elected but Congress stays the same, he won't accomplish anything. However, if Clinton is elected, and Congress stays the same, I don't think she would accomplish anything either. And she would aim much lower.
 
Posted by Pete at Home (Member # 429) on :
 
More importantly, Trump is an '08 huckster. Not there to win but to take out his Patron's rivals.
 
Posted by NobleHunter (Member # 2450) on :
 
Cod above, Pete, I hope so.
 
Posted by scifibum (Member # 945) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Pete at Home:
More importantly, Trump is an '08 huckster. Not there to win but to take out his Patron's rivals.

He seems to be having a great time riling up the base. I think the GOP finds it embarrassing that he gets roars of approval for things like "we have to bomb the **** out of ISIS, like fast and furious". So the idea that he's a spoiler has some appeal - he's not doing his party any favors.
 
Posted by AI Wessex (Member # 6653) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by velcro:
Al,

I hear what you are saying. What accomplishments are you looking for?

Also, take into account that the things he tries to accomplish will not likely be popular with rank and file Congresspeople. That is a big portion of his appeal.

The risk is that if he is elected but Congress stays the same, he won't accomplish anything. However, if Clinton is elected, and Congress stays the same, I don't think she would accomplish anything either. And she would aim much lower.

I don't think anyone would mistake Sanders for someone they would pick to lead them into battle. Governing these days is nothing but a battle, if not fullscale war. He is not a fan of war but also not a fan of sacrificing his principles. His history in office is more like a nerdy gnat, principled but delivering speeches to empty chambers late at night in Congress and offering bills that get referred to committee when they see his name on them. I think Hillary would have ample opportunities to replay this if she were in office. What would Bernie do?

As to what Hillary might be able to accomplish, politics is the art of the possible. Her wavering and course changes reflect a recognition of that.

In this discussion I'm appearing to be partial to Hillary. I don't like her much, but I also subscribe to the notion that governing is the art of the possible. I'm willing to accept her given all of the impossible alternatives.

[ November 20, 2015, 01:53 PM: Message edited by: AI Wessex ]
 
Posted by Fenring (Member # 6953) on :
 
Oof, we're really going the route of "Hillary may not be principled or consistent but she may be able to work the system in the regular way"? Talk about a race to the bottom. The point Sanders makes is that the 'regular way' involves corruption, lobbyists, partisan hackery, and deceit. If Sanders is less effective than Hillary at using these tools then give him the job, I don't want people whose credentials are being good at that stuff. If a decent person with a brain can't get anything done other than in these ways then the system should be demolished wholesale.
 
Posted by Pete at Home (Member # 429) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by scifibum:
quote:
Originally posted by Pete at Home:
More importantly, Trump is an '08 huckster. Not there to win but to take out his Patron's rivals.

He seems to be having a great time riling up the base. I think the GOP finds it embarrassing that he gets roars of approval for things like "we have to bomb the **** out of ISIS, like fast and furious". So the idea that he's a spoiler has some appeal - he's not doing his party any favors.
His party? When did he even become a Republican? He admitted outright that he entered the race at the Clinton's suggestion. He has donated millions to the Clinton's. This whole run is a multimillion donation to the Clinton campaign and Mark my words he will get favors for it. Maybe a casino in Mecca when ISIS takes it.
 
Posted by Fenring (Member # 6953) on :
 
I'll just throw in, re: art of the possible, that if there is such a thing as a candidate who will create absolute maximal resistance from Republicans in the Congress, it's Hillary. If you thought Obama got stonewalled...
 
Posted by Pete at Home (Member # 429) on :
 
I don't think she's as much of an Islamist stooge as say Reagan, who gave weapons to Khomeini. But Carter was our last non Islamist president.
 
Posted by scifibum (Member # 945) on :
 
While I think everyone has admitted Bill Clinton and Trump talked shortly before he entered the race, I don't think anyone has admitted that Trump decided to run because of that.

So maybe Bill manipulated him on purpose, but I'm having a harder time thinking that Trump doesn't believe his own crap. Maybe.
 
Posted by Pete at Home (Member # 429) on :
 
Oh, I don't deny that Trump believes whatever he is saying at the moment he says it. But he cycles his core beliefs even faster than he cycles his women. Have you read Mother Night by Vonnegut?
 
Posted by Pete at Home (Member # 429) on :
 
I note you don't question my prediction that there's going to be a return on Trump's investment should Hillary win
 
Posted by scifibum (Member # 945) on :
 
Well, I didn't, but that doesn't mean I don't, if you know what I mean. It would be hard to tell new rigging from the old rigging, anyway.
 
Posted by AI Wessex (Member # 6653) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Fenring:
Oof, we're really going the route of "Hillary may not be principled or consistent but she may be able to work the system in the regular way"? Talk about a race to the bottom. The point Sanders makes is that the 'regular way' involves corruption, lobbyists, partisan hackery, and deceit. If Sanders is less effective than Hillary at using these tools then give him the job, I don't want people whose credentials are being good at that stuff. If a decent person with a brain can't get anything done other than in these ways then the system should be demolished wholesale.

Listen, I may sound antiquated or even a little addled in saying this, but there needs to be a system and to be an effective President you need to make it work for you. Bernie would try to blow it up with grenades and rouse the troops with fireworks, but Hillary is a pedant who is a stooge of the system and potentially a master of it, as was her husband. You can lead by your lonesome but you can't govern that way.

A number of smart people think that if it weren't for the 25th Amendment Bill Clinton would be running for his 7th term about now. Nobody now can remember exactly what he stood for when he was President, but everyone remembers that a lot got done when he had to work with a GOP House and Senate for 6 of his 8 years in office, even though they shut down the government in abject opposition to him and impeached him. That's what made him a good President, not the height and depth of his principles.

[ November 20, 2015, 04:35 PM: Message edited by: AI Wessex ]
 
Posted by Fenring (Member # 6953) on :
 
I guess it depends on what you mean by "effective President." If the Prez's job is to run the executive and be the commander in chief then there does not actually need to be much of a relationship between the President and the Congress at all, other than the veto. It's nice when Presidents want to further their party's goals and take that to the Congress, but based on the separation of powers outside of the crippling purview of the party system it's not supposed to be the President's job to 'get things done' in terms of legislation. Maybe that makes me sound antiquated, too. Yet for all that I think the primary problems in America can almost all be summed up by a combination of the party system and the election/lobby system.

That being said I don't think one can be both the stooge of the system and the master of it. At best one can be a player within it, and can gain more traction there by selling out the people. No thanks.
 
Posted by velcro (Member # 1216) on :
 
Interesting (if overly pro-Sanders) piece.

Al, this part might interest you. After beating the Democratic incumbent to be Mayor of Burlington -
quote:
"Bernie Sanders ran the city in a coalition with the Republicans," Sanders ally John Franco says. "You know, I tell that to people from out of state and they think I'm crazy."

Sanders worked during his first year without key staff to run the city.

"We had to do two city budgets with volunteers sitting around a kitchen table in a rented apartment," Franco says.

Those budgets got the attention of Republicans, who could appreciate the discipline Sanders brought to the city budget.

"Bernie's fiscal management and updating of city management and government had real attraction to the Republicans," Franco says. "The Democrats wouldn't deal with us at all. They were just so mad that we had beaten Gordon Paquette they wouldn't speak to us."

In Burlington, Sanders also learned the value of well-plowed streets and filling potholes. Businessman Pat Robins says Sanders brought a staff of professionals to City Hall.

"And they did a great job in fixing the city's finances, which were pretty shoddy at the time, quite frankly," Robins adds.

He's friends with Sen. Inhofe (Very R)
quote:

He also happens to pal around with people on both sides of the aisle. Inhofe will go as far as to say that he considers Sen. Bernard Sanders (I-Vt.), a potential presidential candidate too liberal to call himself a Democrat, his “best friend” in the Senate.

“On a personal level, I like him,” Sanders said in a statement provided by his spokesman. Even Boxer said she kind of views them as siblings who just happen to see the world completely differently.

Not many grenades and fireworks as far as I can tell.
 
Posted by AI Wessex (Member # 6653) on :
 
Sorry, I don't feel enlightened. Burlington (aka The People's Republic of Burlington) is a very small city in a small but very liberal state (try asking Carson to point to it on a map [Wink] ). Bernie probably knew half of the residents of Burlington by name, and it was and always will be a liberal college town. Else, why would they elect a socialist to be their Mayor 4 times? Why would the state re-elect a socialist to be its Senator if they didn't <heart> his politics?

Being the best friend of someone who votes against principles you hold dear at every turn is the sign of a really, really nice guy, but not of much else.

[ November 20, 2015, 05:06 PM: Message edited by: AI Wessex ]
 
Posted by Pete at Home (Member # 429) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by AI Wessex:


Being the best friend of someone who votes against principles you hold dear at every turn is the sign of a really, really nice guy, but not of much else.

It's a sign of electability. I don't think the Fox hate machine is capable of machine turning Bernie into the bugbear of the hour. And as an Sam opponent I respect him as the only presidential pro Sam candidate that was honest about his position rather than testing the people as idiots who needed to be duped for their own good.
 
Posted by Fenring (Member # 6953) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by AI Wessex:
Sorry, I don't feel enlightened. Burlington (aka The People's Republic of Burlington) is a very small city in a small but very liberal state (try asking Carson to point to it on a map [Wink] ). Bernie probably knew half of the residents of Burlington by name, and it was and always will be a liberal college town. Else, why would they elect a socialist to be their Mayor 4 times? Why would the state re-elect a socialist to be its Senator if they didn't <heart> his politics?

Being the best friend of someone who votes against principles you hold dear at every turn is the sign of a really, really nice guy, but not of much else.

Al, I'm getting the distinct impression that you're actually not that interested in trying to see Bernie's strength. It seems more like an episode of Columbo where Peter Falk goes in claiming ignorance but knows exactly where he's going with the conversation.

That's cool and all, not everyone has to like Bernie. But mocking Burlington, VT, of all places, and italicizing the word "socialist" doesn't make your inquiry sound like it's in very good faith.
 
Posted by Pete at Home (Member # 429) on :
 
I'll take an open socialist any day over a crypto fascist or cryptosocialist oligarch.
 
Posted by AI Wessex (Member # 6653) on :
 
quote:
That's cool and all, not everyone has to like Bernie. But mocking Burlington, VT, of all places, and italicizing the word "socialist" doesn't make your inquiry sound like it's in very good faith.
Here's an opportunity for you to try harder. I've been pretty clear that I don't find Sanders to have been largely effective as a legislator, so I don't think he'll suddenly become effective as President. I italicized socialist to emphasize that he is coming from out of left field (pun realized after the fact) into a general election having had a career standing apart from the mainstream of political thought. I'm not knocking Burlington, btw. I happen to live in what locals called The Free Republic of Ann Arbor when I moved here. I used to have a t-shirt with that on it and wore it proudly. That didn't make Ann Arbor mainstream, nor does the proud repeated selection of a self-proclaimed socialist make Vermont or Burlington an intellectual center of free and responsible thought. Don't be so sensitive.
 
Posted by Fenring (Member # 6953) on :
 
So let me get this straight:

-You ask about Bernie's record in apparent interest at his qualifications.
-You scoff at the things people mention in response to your question, and don't accept whatever positions Bernie has held as being valid in terms of "leadership".
-You point out that Burlington has very few people, is merely a college town, and is not a center of free or of responsible thought. You also call Bernie's elections there as "proud repeated selection" which cannot be reasonably interpreted in any way other than that their pride in electing a "self-proclaimed socialist" makes them look foolish.

I'm not sure I was being sensitive, but I am pretty sure I was on the mark in calling out your inquiry about Bernie's qualifications as being disingenuous. You already know what you think about his state, the city where he was mayor, his record, and his position on the issues such that he calls himself a socialist. That's what I call a bad faith inquiry, and if I'm sensitive about something it's that, not your opinion on some political candidate.
 
Posted by Pete at Home (Member # 429) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by AI Wessex:
quote:
Sander says his job is to get the people of the country motivated enough to get their Congressmen to listen to them.
That's not what the President does. The job description is to serve as chief executive of the federal government and to serve as commander in chief of the armed forces. Influencing public opinion is what politicians do, but the President doesn't hold a political office once elected. That's not a perfectly practical description, but it is closer to the mark than what you wrote.
So a president must not *lead*, because the constitution does not explicitly assign that role? [Smile]
 
Posted by AI Wessex (Member # 6653) on :
 
Fenring, having failed to convince me is my fault? You're not telling me 2+2=4 and finding that I refuse to be persuaded. Do you think you are?

Pete, you're picking a nit.
 
Posted by Fenring (Member # 6953) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by AI Wessex:
Fenring, having failed to convince me is my fault? You're not telling me 2+2=4 and finding that I refuse to be persuaded. Do you think you are?

My claim is that you were not legitimately trying to be persuaded. That's my personal perception, mind you, but since you seemed to come down with several negations of the worth of Sanders' positions the instant you decided our answers were insufficient it's my assumption (subject to error, of course) that you had these objections in mind the whole time and never really thought you'd hear something contrary to them.
 
Posted by AI Wessex (Member # 6653) on :
 
We're discussing Bernie's qualifications and suitability to the Office, not trying to win the Office for a favored candidate. You'll note that in saying he's not the right person for the job I'm only backing into saying Hillary could be. One more time, I have lots of concerns about her, but she's better suited to the role and responsibilities, IMO. Either of them would be far, far better options than any of the GOP candidates fighting to grab the wheel of the clown car. It is only a matter of opinion, and you might perhaps persuade me that Bernie is a better fit than I think now, but you would have to uncover some information that I don't already know about and make it stick.
 
Posted by Fenring (Member # 6953) on :
 
I don't begrudge you that position. A lot of people feel safer voting for a status quo power player than for someone they don't know as well. I view this as an endemic problem, but voting in that manner may have an advantage, which is to say, a lack of instability. I would like to see a little instability, though.

I agree with something I've heard Tom say, which is that in a crowd of random people you're likely to find a number of them more qualified to be a good President than any candidate who is running. I personally don't believe the job requires a politician to do it well, no less a power-monger politician.

I'm also not quite sure why a senator's legislative record matters that much, since the President isn't a legislator. Leadership may be the issue, in which case I'd say leadership by example and on principle trumps leadership by resume any day.
 
Posted by Pete at Home (Member # 429) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by AI Wessex:
Fenring, having failed to convince me is my fault? You're not telling me 2+2=4 and finding that I refuse to be persuaded. Do you think you are?

Pete, you're picking a nit.

Thanks for your opinion. Mine is that your saying that it isn't the president 's job to
"get the people of the country motivated enough to get their Congressmen to listen to them' that you are picking an eyeball that you have mistaken for a nit [Razz]
 
Posted by velcro (Member # 1216) on :
 
Al,

Would you care to address the common idea of the Presidency being a "bully pulpit"? Isn't that exactly the role that you say is not the President's to play?

Also, not to make a direct comparison of people, but rather the necessity of legislative leadership: What were Lincoln's qualifications, specifically legislative? How about Truman, other than chairing an investigative committee, something Sanders would excel at, if given the opportunity?
 
Posted by AI Wessex (Member # 6653) on :
 
It's not his/her Constitutional role, but it's critically important to motivate popular sentiment and support. I was trying to make the point that I think Sanders is a principled but relatively weak legislator, so if he can't grow a pair (as Hillary is reputed to have done) his only recourse is the bully pulpit.

I keep repeating that I like a lot of what he says and stands for, and have read his book detailing his policy positions, but I personally don't think he's a great fit for the Office.

It's purely a matter of opinion. Rather than keep asking me to explain myself, which I seem to do by repeating what I've already said, if you want to convince me you need to make the case that he *is* the right person for the office, not that his views are better.
 
Posted by Fenring (Member # 6953) on :
 
When you say he's a "weak" legislator, does this mean he isn't part of the lobbyist in-club who have ways of greasing the wheels? If this is what's meant by weak then I want a 'weak' guy in office. And when you say he needs to grow a pair, do you actually mean that he should discard his principles and 'do what it takes' to get things done? If so, I want someone in office who 'does not have a pair.' That is, by your standards of definition. I'd actually define it as being honorable and willing to accept limited amounts of glory in exchange for fighting the good fight. But that's just me.
 
Posted by AI Wessex (Member # 6653) on :
 
It's purely a matter of opinion. Rather than keep asking me to explain myself, which I seem to do by repeating what I've already said, if you want to convince me you need to make the case that he *is* the right person for the office, not that his views are better.
 
Posted by velcro (Member # 1216) on :
 
Al,

I hear what you are saying about weakness, etc.

Not that you need to convince me, but I don't see why a strong legislative background is essential. Cf. Lincoln and Truman. Strong legislators get others to do what they want by promising favors, gaining public support, withholding favors, or having the right idea just as the wave is cresting.

Sanders, as an Independent, is not in a position to promise or withhold favors. He has the right ideas, and they are gaining voter support. I think the wave has not crested, otherwise his legislation would get out of committee.

So his record is not strong. I'm not sure I want the qualities that go along with a "strong legislator". For a strong legislator the means are available to achieve their ends, but the ends often get warped in the process of getting the means. If I want someone who will get stuff done, I would vote for Clinton. If I want the right stuff attempted, I would vote for Sanders.

And finally, you say that if a president does not "have a pair", the only recourse is the bully pulpit. What actions would a president "with a pair" take that Sanders would not?

Threaten opponents? That doesn't work, and makes the atmosphere worse.

Push on Congress? The only lever is the voters, hence the bully pulpit, which you have discounted.

To summarize, what can you do with a pair that Sanders can't do, but should do?
 
Posted by AI Wessex (Member # 6653) on :
 
How do you think Johnson got the Civil Rights Act through Congress? What will it take to pass legislation for things the public now wants, including increased gun control. No amount of appeals to public sentiment will work or are needed. It will require legislative muscle to overcome the stubborn and obstinate resistance of legislative leaders in both the House and Senate.

We know that the Congress will refuse anything Obama wants. See my post in another thread that Republicans overwhelmingly disapprove of Obama "pardoning" two turkeys instead of only one. Will Bernie able to make that kind of thing happen? What will it take, if not skill and power by him?
 
Posted by Fenring (Member # 6953) on :
 
Wait, you think Hillary will be able to pass through gun control legislation where Obama could not? If you're talking about working with the Republicans on a subject like this I think you're barking up the wrong tree thinking Hillary will appeal to the Republicans more than Sanders will. I don't think they'll like it coming from either candidate, but they'll fight Clinton on everything down the paper it's written on. At least with Sanders I think there could be a chance for legitimate compromise (as opposed to political maneuvering).

As far as the Civil Rights Act goes, in all seriousness I think that after WWII that legislation was inevitable sooner or later. That it happened to get accomplished right at that time is, to whit, a similar scenario to Obama passing the ACA. It wasn't a magical act of leadership, but rather something that had been coming for a quite a while and for which most of the legwork had been done in previous administrations. Not to take away from Obama's accomplishment, but he didn't just conjure the ACA from scratch all of a sudden due to his great leadership.

I think most huge legislative advances are a result of technology or world events, and to an extent long-trending cultural things outside of the purview of a given administration. The most significant changes made to the government in the 20th century were largely accomplished in bizarre circumstances, which include the Federal Reserve Act, New Deal, wartime acts (including the Patriot Act), and maybe soon the TPP. These things didn't come about because of a visionary President, but rather were a sign of the times. If anything some of these huge changes came about as a result of the weakness of a President, but either way I don't think choosing a leader (for my sensibility) is about choosing someone who can unilaterally make a grand accomplishment out of nothing. Unlike Hillary, I think Sanders represents a large movement in the U.S. that has been building for some time, and as velcro notes, this may crest at just the right time for his to get something done. It's just about being in the right place at the right time. If Hillary championed those causes she could probably do it do, but she won't. It's not that Bernie has some special capability that Hillary doesn't; my point is specifically that he is ready to ride the crest of public opinion and try to realize public desires. This, to me, is exactly what a President should be doing anyhow, i.e. representing his people. The bully pulpit comes into play to get people who believe something to go out and do something about it; it's not so much about shaping public opinion as it is about inspiring confidence in every person's ability to make a real change.

[ November 23, 2015, 08:06 PM: Message edited by: Fenring ]
 
Posted by AI Wessex (Member # 6653) on :
 
quote:
Wait, you think Hillary will be able to pass through gun control legislation where Obama could not?
You make the same mistake over and over again, as if we're having a competition between Hillary (shirts) and Sanders (skins). I'm commenting on skins as not being up to the task and shirts as knowing how to play a little rough and dirty. For the umpteenth time, I'm not trying to convince you that Hillary Is The One. Ok?
quote:
As far as the Civil Rights Act goes, in all seriousness I think that after WWII that legislation was inevitable sooner or later.
Civil Rights legislation was passed almost every year in the 50's, but it made almost no difference. The CRA that Kennedy proposed and Johnson pushed (rammed, maybe is a better word) through the reluctant Congress was different. Recall that today's solid Republican south can be attributed to him losing the Democratic Party below the Mason-Dixon line, which he knew would happen.
quote:
The most significant changes made to the government in the 20th century were largely accomplished in bizarre circumstances, which include the Federal Reserve Act, New Deal, wartime acts (including the Patriot Act), and maybe soon the TPP.
Most of the events weren't bizarre so much as blindly unanticipated. Looking back, all were the result of social, political and economic forces that were not properly recognized and/or managed with rational policies or better regulation.

BTW, you left the ACA off your list. Are you saying that the ACA was the result of bizarre circumstances? Many things are, but that was more an alignment of the stars, more properly known as Democratic control of both Houses of Congress AND the WH. That doesn't happen all that often, either.

Give it a rest. Sanders is a nice gentleman. I hope he receives the recognition he deserves for his many years of service and his fidelity to his principles. Perhaps Hillary will award him the Medal of Freedom.

[ November 23, 2015, 08:15 PM: Message edited by: AI Wessex ]
 
Posted by Pete at Home (Member # 429) on :
 
Ugh. Is forming American citizens in the face of the Cartel invasion really top of the Democratic Party agenda? That sort of thinking is why I see socialism as an improvement over fascism
 
Posted by Fenring (Member # 6953) on :
 
Al, I know you're not pushing Hillary. I just want to make sure she isn't given credit for things that realistically she won't be able or willing to do. She has other strengths, some of which you listed.

I didn't include the ACA because, for one thing, I'm not in a position yet to say what effect it had on American history. I certainly think it's too early to tell.
 
Posted by velcro (Member # 1216) on :
 
Al,

With all due respect, you did not answer my question.

I'll simplify - what did LBJ do, very specifically, to "get" the Civil Rights act through Congress?

I look forward to your response.
 
Posted by AI Wessex (Member # 6653) on :
 
You can start here. He was a powerful Senate Majority leader and knew how to work the procedures and the phones; he was famous for those things. Public opinion was not altogether behind it (here), so he had no bully pulpit from which to rouse popular pressure on Congress to act. My recollection from the era and later readings is that he overcame (We Shall...) opposition everywhere that sought to defeat the effort. I think it was one of the greatest legislative achievements in federal history.

Let me know if you find information that says otherwise, for instance sources that say that he just sat back and let nature take its course.
 
Posted by velcro (Member # 1216) on :
 
Al,

With all due respect, you did not answer my question. Your answer was "he worked the procedures and the phones". Working the procedures means knowing the rules of the Senate. Wikipedia has the rules of the Senate. Sanders is a Senator.

I did the research on how LBJ "worked the phones":

This was a good source.

LBJ worked tirelessly. In a nutshell, he found house members who were vulnerable to pressure, and applied pressure.

quote:
Johnson engaged an army of lieutenants—businessmen, civil-rights leaders, labor officials, journalists, and allies on the Hill—to go out and find votes for the discharge petition. He cut a deal that secured half a dozen votes from the Texas delegation. He showed Martin Luther King Jr. a list of uncommitted Republicans and, as Caro writes, “told King to work on them.” He directed one labor leader to “talk to every human you could,”
The pressure consisted of getting private citizens to pressure lawmakers.

Then he worked with Harry Byrd...
quote:
during an elaborate White House lunch they came to an understanding: if Johnson submitted a budget below $100 billion, Byrd would release the tax bill. Johnson then personally bullied department heads to reduce their appropriations requests, and delivered a budget of $97.9 billion.
So he negotiated with a Senator of the opposite party, and then he told members of the Executive branch to reduce appropriations requests.

quote:
He kept up a steady stream of speeches and public appearances demanding Senate passage of the strong House bill, undiluted by horse-trading. And he personally lobbied senators to vote for cloture and end the filibuster.
LBJ's relationships in the Senate may have made some of this easier, but the real levers were getting public support, and getting the Executive branch to provide what Senators wanted.

So what about that do you think Sanders can't handle?
 
Posted by velcro (Member # 1216) on :
 
One more note - you say LBJ had no bully pulpit from which to rouse pressure. I do not think that means what you think it means.
[Smile]

Bully pulpit means the Presidency is a good place from which to be heard in order to convince people to agree with you. If they already agree, you don't need it, other than to ask them to act on their agreement.

You might say using the bully pulpit is "keeping up a steady stream of speeches and public appearances demanding" something.
 
Posted by Fenring (Member # 6953) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by velcro:
You might say using the bully pulpit is "keeping up a steady stream of speeches and public appearances demanding" something.

Something sorely lacking in recent Presidencies other than to call for 'patriotism' or to accept the government's actions.
 
Posted by yossarian22c (Member # 1779) on :
 
I don't think the legislative process works at all like it did during LBJ's time. Just take a look at the disorder in the House of Representatives for an example. Changes in earmarks, committee assignments, the rise of super pacs and other outside money make congress people less beholden to the parties and party leadership in general. I don't think anyone can work the levers of government in today's environment the way LBJ worked them in the 60's. So I agree I don't think Sanders can wheel and deal like LBJ but I don't think that type of leadership is even possible in today's environment so I don't see it as particularly relevant to Sander's qualifications for president.
 
Posted by AI Wessex (Member # 6653) on :
 
quote:
Your answer was "he worked the procedures and the phones". Working the procedures means knowing the rules of the Senate. Wikipedia has the rules of the Senate. Sanders is a Senator.
You don't think one President might be more effective doing that than another? Hitting a home run is just swinging a bat and hitting a ball out over the fence. Pretty simple.
quote:
LBJ worked tirelessly. In a nutshell, he found house members who were vulnerable to pressure, and applied pressure.
Exactly.
quote:
The pressure consisted of getting private citizens to pressure lawmakers.
They were private citizens, yes, but particular ones with influence, not a majority or plurality of voters.
quote:
LBJ's relationships in the Senate may have made some of this easier, but the real levers were getting public support, and getting the Executive branch to provide what Senators wanted.
No, that's not what your sources say happened. I think that support my argument, instead.
quote:
Bully pulpit means the Presidency is a good place from which to be heard in order to convince people to agree with you. If they already agree, you don't need it, other than to ask them to act on their agreement.

You might say using the bully pulpit is "keeping up a steady stream of speeches and public appearances demanding" something.

Your definition is no different from mine. I would say that the bully pulpit is using the privileged podium of the Presidency to rouse public support. Other than the speech to Congress, which was more putting Congress on notice, I don't think he did much of that.
quote:
Something sorely lacking in recent Presidencies other than to call for 'patriotism' or to accept the government's actions.
True for Bush, but not for Obama. Presidents do occupy the seat of American power, so most anything they say to the citizenry about the country's role in the world could be seen as an appeal to patriotism, but I don't think Obama leans that way. I don't recall him making that sort of appeal directly, but he has often explained his position in terms of American principles. Not quite the same thing.
quote:
I don't think the legislative process works at all like it did during LBJ's time. Just take a look at the disorder in the House of Representatives for an example. Changes in earmarks, committee assignments, the rise of super pacs and other outside money make congress people less beholden to the parties and party leadership in general. I don't think anyone can work the levers of government in today's environment the way LBJ worked them in the 60's. So I agree I don't think Sanders can wheel and deal like LBJ but I don't think that type of leadership is even possible in today's environment so I don't see it as particularly relevant to Sander's qualifications for president.
The politics is different, certainly. We may never again in our lifetimes see the Speaker of the House of one Party sit down for a game of poker, cigars and good whiskey on a Friday night with the President of the other Party. They still have to work together to get things done, however they can manage the feat.
 
Posted by velcro (Member # 1216) on :
 
Al,

Your original point was that Sanders' weak legislative history was a liability.

I asked what strong legislative skills LBJ had that Sanders does not, that helped him as President.

When I did not get an answer, I provided evidence that LBJ had skills, but they had nothing to do with legislation. They were primarily garnering public support and providing favors to legislators.

You disagreed.

You said
quote:
"Other than the speech to Congress, which was more putting Congress on notice, I don't think he did much of that. [rousing public support]"
The article I quoted said
quote:
"He kept up a steady stream of speeches and public appearances " regarding the Civil Rights Act.
With all due respect, you don't think he did much of that, but the source said he did a "steady stream" of just that.

For my points about procedure (my bad, it is a discharge petition, a House rule, used over 500 times between 1931 and 2003) and asking influential private citizens to change public opinion, your comments do not support your thesis that LBJ used legislative skills. Also, the fact that Sanders advocates regular people exerting pressure does not mean he would exclude all other methods.

So if you don't mind, I would be very eager to hear specifically what legislative skills LBJ had, that Sanders does not, that helped the Civil Rights Act to pass. Feel free to define "legislative skills" however you like, but please make that definition clear.
 
Posted by AI Wessex (Member # 6653) on :
 
Velcro, with all due respect you are seeing the trees and not the forest.
 
Posted by AI Wessex (Member # 6653) on :
 
I've been trying to figure out why we're talking past each other. I think it is that we do mean different things by "legislative skills". Both men, and virtually all other Senators, understand the steps that legislation follows in that body between making a proposal and having it enacted. So in that sense Bernie does know as much about it as Johnson did.

But back to my analogy about hitting home runs, Johnson was a recognized master at getting things from that A to that B. I've read and listened to numerous historical reports today about how the CRA traversed the path between those points. Many of the commentators assessed that very few men of his time could have accomplished getting the law passed due to public indifference and/or opposition and the abject resistance within the House and Senate. But he did. Many of those historians go further and say that his abilities to manage and effect favorable outcomes in Congress from his seat in the WH aren't matched by any men (or women) who have followed. One goes so far as to say that Johnson was one of the top 3 or 4 Presidents in all of US history in those abilities.

Let this be my last word in this back and forth. If you want to raise Bernie's stature to the level of Johnson's you'll have to bring more convincing arguments. It won't help to try to lower Johnson's, since history has given him a very high estimation that will not change no matter how much time passes.
 
Posted by Fenring (Member # 6953) on :
 
Why should a senator be compared to a President in terms of what steps he'll take to get a bill passed? A senator can speak to the other senators, speak to his constituents, and pull weight with lobbyists. If he has inroads with people on committees maybe he can do something with that. But a senator isn't a party whip, and certainly doesn't have the same task or responsibility a President does to people of the U.S. A state senator represents his state, not anyone else.

As with velcro, I really have no idea which "legislative skills" you mean.
 
Posted by velcro (Member # 1216) on :
 
Al,

Let me try one more time.

I will summarize what we agree on:

Johnson demonstrated tremendous skills as President to get the CRA passed.

Johnson also demonstrated tremendous skills as a legislator to get other bills passed.

Sanders heretofore has not demonstrated tremendous skills as a legislator to get bills passed. This could be because his situation and principles are such that he has not had the same opportunities. Or it could be he does not possess those skills, or chooses not to use them. As I said, absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. But for sake of argument, I will stipulate that Sanders does not have the legislative skills of LBJ, whatever that means.

Here is where I think we disagree:

I do not feel that there is significant overlap of what LBJ did as President, and what he did as Senator. The levers and wedges are very different for the two positions, since they are entirely different branches of government. I thought I showed that with my quotations from sources.

If you want to convince me that LBJ used skills as President that Sanders has not demonstrated, you will need to provide specifics.
quote:
Many of those historians go further and say that his abilities to manage and effect favorable outcomes in Congress from his seat in the WH aren't matched by any men (or women) who have followed. One goes so far as to say that Johnson was one of the top 3 or 4 Presidents in all of US history in those abilities.
Please note that even this quote refers to his "abilities to manage and effect favorable outcomes in Congress from his seat in the WH ", and do not refer to his time in Congress itself.

If those abilities include speaking with a Texas accent, or reaching objects off of tall shelves, then no, Sanders can not match that skill. If the abilities include working with people across the aisle, speaking honestly, being trusted by all, and having strong public support, then Sanders may be able to match those skills.

If you don't specify, we can't have a meaningful discussion.
 
Posted by velcro (Member # 1216) on :
 
Al,

I apologize if I have a confrontational tone. Leadership qualities can be kind of, well, qualitative, and not easily specified. So we can just agree to disagree.
 
Posted by AI Wessex (Member # 6653) on :
 
You're not being confrontational. I understand that we're not reading each other the way we wish we would be read. You highlighted what you believe is the difference between Johnson's Presidential and Senatorial roles. I'm saying that they're really not that different. As a majority leader Johnson had to rally votes and persuade other members to toe the Party or policy line.

He did the same thing from a slight remove as President. He got Dirksen, the minority Party leader of the Republicans who was personally opposed to the CRA, to go along and even lobby for votes within his own caucus. That was *exactly* what he did as a Senator himself. It was a sustained virtuoso exercise that raised both of their statures in the annals of the Congressional legislative process.

You're looking too close to put a hard line between his roles in the legislation from two positions. It looks like you tend to agree that Bernie has never demonstrated that kind of leadership in the House or Senate to pass legislation that he was as passionate about. I wouldn't expect him to be able to do it as President, therefore.
 
Posted by Fenring (Member # 6953) on :
 
Al, all you're doing is demonstrating that the LBJ analogy is not applicable. Sanders isn't a majority leader and therefore cannot whip votes in that way. In fact he's the junior senator from Vermont, which only goes to show how well the Vermonters think he and Leahy are doing. Sanders' job isn't to lead the senate, it's to represent his people, and they seem to think he's doing a stellar job.

You can look at LBJ and say you feel he was more a 'leader of the senate' than Sanders is, and that's fine, but why is being the leader of a group of legislators the job qualification? Was Lincoln unqualified for the job, then? Should some senate majority leader have had the job instead, or a party whip? Your argument seems founded on the premise that a President ought to be someone who's been enmeshed for years in being a mover and shaker in politics, and personally I think this is roughly opposite of what's best. The Present (and even the representatives) were never supposed to be career politicians (there wasn't ideally supposed to even be such a thing), they were supposed to be educated people with a brain. Now, Sanders is definitely a career politician, but disqualifying people because they aren't enough of a politician seems crazy to me.

If anything the one area where I could see the President as requiring some special expertise might be as Commander in Chief, and as such I can see the appeal of voting a war veteran or General into office like people used to do. Apparently that's out of favor, and if a civilian with no military experience can be commander in chief then I don't see how such a person can't run the executive also. The President isn't supposed to be an autocrat whose political prowess bullies the Congress into acting out his will, so I see that angle as being moot.

[ November 29, 2015, 01:24 PM: Message edited by: Fenring ]
 
Posted by jasonr (Member # 969) on :
 
I don't know if Sanders can wheel and deal to get things done, but I do know that Hillary will get zero done if it is not over the Republicans' cold dead bodies. Now maybe you think that Hillary is going to be most adept at burying her opposition (politically that is) so they are swept aside, crushed, leaving things open for her to enact her agenda.

But if I may make an observation: when I hear about complaints from regular people, it's typically about a lack of bipartisanship, a lack of cooperation. They're not calling on politicians to crush the opposition - they're calling on them to work with the opposition.

Getting back to Sanders, I see his effectiveness as an unknown quantity. With Hillary, there is nothing unknown - she is the status quo, war without end, politics to the death. She is precisely the status quo that people have so bitterly complained about. Oh wait, except she's a woman. Great. Is that like how having a black president was supposed to change things?

For what it's worth, I am politically opposite to Sanders on most issues, but of the candidates I have seen thus far, he is the only one that at least doesn't offend me on some level.
 
Posted by Pete at Home (Member # 429) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by jasonr:
I don't know if Sanders can wheel and deal to get things done, but I do know that Hillary will get zero done if it is not over the Republicans' cold dead bodies. Now maybe you think that Hillary is going to be most adept at burying her opposition (politically that is) so they are swept aside, crushed, leaving things open for her to enact her agenda.

But if I may make an observation: when I hear about complaints from regular people, it's typically about a lack of bipartisanship, a lack of cooperation. They're not calling on politicians to crush the opposition - they're calling on them to work with the opposition.

Getting back to Sanders, I see his effectiveness as an unknown quantity. With Hillary, there is nothing unknown - she is the status quo, war without end, politics to the death. She is precisely the status quo that people have so bitterly complained about. Oh wait, except she's a woman. Great. Is that like how having a black president was supposed to change things?

For what it's worth, I am politically opposite to Sanders on most issues, but of the candidates I have seen thus far, he is the only one that at least doesn't offend me on some level.

Why limit the statement to political burial? I am unaware of any other candidate that has had more rivals die in suspicious circumstances. The Clintons certainly have a homicidal blue fairy godmother.
 
Posted by velcro (Member # 1216) on :
 
Al,

Not to beat a dead horse, but you say LBJ "got Dirksen, the minority Party leader of the Republicans who was personally opposed to the CRA, to go along and even lobby for votes within his own caucus. "

How? He had to promise Dirksen something, or threaten to do something Dirksen did not want. If it is not one of those two options, please enlighten me.

Did he promise/threaten to do things Senators can do? Or did he promise/threaten to do things Presidents can do? Or was it both? If so, what exactly was it? If you can't say exactly what it was, then I think your point is unproven.
 
Posted by The Drake (Member # 2128) on :
 
I could make an argument that the best possible president is one who can't get legislation passed... you're likely to agree if you think of one of the following:

Bush gets Congressional authorization for the Patriot Act and the Iraq invasion.

Obama gets Obamacare passed.
 
Posted by Pete at Home (Member # 429) on :
 
Check the Rolling Stone interview, Dec 3, 2015, page 56+

"A political system which is now corrupt and leading us toward oligarchy" p56

"Fraud is a business model ...Congress does not regulate Wall Street. Wall Street regulates Congress." p59

"IF A BANK IS TOO BIG TO FAIL ... [it is] TOO BIG TO EXIST" p60

[ December 08, 2015, 03:04 PM: Message edited by: Pete at Home ]
 


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