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I'm not sure who in Congress should be making decisions on vaccine EUAs and the like since I don't think any of them have relevant expertise. Probably a good idea that they don't in general. That said the agency is still certainly subject to oversight and budgetary consequences, whether the congress chooses to exercise that or not.
Sorry, I muddled that up a bit. It should be the Biden admin making the call for the pause. The FDA should recommend a course of action to the President who makes the decision because he is accountable to the voters. The FDA is not. If the FDA leadership truly thinks this is too risky to leave in Biden's hands, they could always force a pause by pulling the EUA.

That regulation is often whimsically, lightly, or even illogically strictly enforced isn't something I would call a new development to our country. Also since the congress has nearly ceased to actually legislate much of anything out of partisan gridlock the executive agencies will certainly have much discretionary power. It's not like any president has been very interested in fixing this either since it would be to their detriment.
So I guess we agree that this is a problem then. I never claimed it was a new problem, but the examples I've cited are new ones and in my view quite serious - the IRS in particular was what I would call jaw dropping. The BATFE's selective enforcement decisions have had a major impact on their credibility with RKBA proponents and the viability of further legislation going forward. No one is telling them to cut out the funny business and do their jobs the way Congress defined their jobs. Busting straw buyers just isn't sexy enough I guess, or perhaps many are elderly relatives of thugs and its seen as overly cruel and politically unpopular. I don't know which.

Pretty light rebuttal from you, again. Explain what is flawed in my thinking. You can't just say "nothing to see here, pay no attention to the man behind the curtain, he's always been there"

The really funny part is that you don't seem to realize that the gridlock is a good thing. Legislation was designed to be hard to pass for a good reason. Constitutional amendments are even harder to repeal or pass for the same reason. That the executive agencies have worked around both is to the shame of Congress, the trouble is that those people who run for office apparently have no shame.
 

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Sorry, I muddled that up a bit. It should be the Biden admin making the call for the pause. The FDA should recommend a course of action to the President who makes the decision because he is accountable to the voters. The FDA is not. If the FDA leadership truly thinks this is too risky to leave in Biden's hands, they could always force a pause by pulling the EUA.
I didn't really love the results of the WH pressuring the FDA into EUAs for therapies that were, at best, unproven like HCQ or convalescent plasma. No, I don't think that's a great model. Based on what I've seen the FDA wanted to shake the tree to see if there were more thrombosis cases out there and get practitioners ready to properly deal with this kind of potential clotting issue. We've used up most of the J&J vaccine already anyway and due to their contractor's major screwup probably won't have a lot more until this is resolved.

So I guess we agree that this is a problem then. I never claimed it was a new problem, but the examples I've cited are new ones and in my view quite serious - the IRS in particular was what I would call jaw dropping. The BATFE's selective enforcement decisions have had a major impact on their credibility with RKBA proponents and the viability of further legislation going forward. No one is telling them to cut out the funny business and do their jobs the way Congress defined their jobs. Busting straw buyers just isn't sexy enough I guess, or perhaps many are elderly relatives of thugs and its seen as overly cruel and politically unpopular. I don't know which.
Right, my point was uneven application of the law isn't what I would call a new descent into bureaucratic authoritarianism. Unfair? Sure. A development? Not as far as I can tell.


The really funny part is that you don't seem to realize that the gridlock is a good thing. Legislation was designed to be hard to pass for a good reason. Constitutional amendments are even harder to repeal or pass for the same reason. That the executive agencies have worked around both is to the shame of Congress, the trouble is that those people who run for office apparently have no shame.
This is really imposing modern ideologies onto the founders intents. The founders LOVED to change the government and did it quite regularly when they found stuff they didn't like. They passed a lot of amendments and legislation that meaningfully changed the shape of what they built. Even the Constitution itself is basically a mulligan after they decided (correctly) the Articles of Confederation sucked. I think it is hard to argue for gridlock then ding the predictable resulting increase in administrative power left to the executive. The much reduced ability of the party that wins power to shape the agenda is a modern phenomenon and not one I would praise.
 

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This is really imposing modern ideologies onto the founders intents. The founders LOVED to change the government and did it quite regularly when they found stuff they didn't like. They passed a lot of amendments and legislation that meaningfully changed the shape of what they built. Even the Constitution itself is basically a mulligan after they decided (correctly) the Articles of Confederation sucked. I think it is hard to argue for gridlock then ding the predictable resulting increase in administrative power left to the executive. The much reduced ability of the party that wins power to shape the agenda is a modern phenomenon and not one I would praise.
I don't think it's imposing anything modern. The founders clearly laid out their intent in the Federalist Papers and left their contemporaries and the following generations a clear way to modify that intent. That way was intentionally difficult so that we wouldn't change things on a whim and so that it would be more difficult for a populist demagogue or a monarch to take over. A vast amount of the tinkering done immediately following was intended, I think, in order to rob the Constitution of its teeth. Much of the changes done since then likewise rob it of its teeth and allow undisciplined and unprincipled people to pursue power for their own ends rather than for the good of the society.

The Constitution is not a mulligan at all. It was a correction of pretty profound mistakes in the Articles of Confederation. The Constitution is the result of a competing philosophy of government that only gained traction once the Articles were tried and proven to be a disastrous mess.

I embrace gridlock because I find that politicians are just people like me and my neighbors. Imperfect, flawed, impatient, and prone to over simplifying things that they don't understand. I think people like me and my neighbors get some wisdom kicked into us by living our lives and working our jobs - we learn that things are never as simple as we want them to be and that understanding problems takes hard work and some experimentation. The difference is that politicians don't get anything kicked into them, they are pampered.

Gridlock is great because it keeps the politicians from doing that experimentation in the real world instead of doing the hard work of experimentation in a closed environment. Why the hell would I trust people who say stuff like "We have to pass it to find out what's in it" to make profoundly important decisions on my behalf? If an engineer working for me suggested that we simply flip the switch and see if it blows up, I would fire them.
 

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I don't think it's imposing anything modern. The founders clearly laid out their intent in the Federalist Papers and left their contemporaries and the following generations a clear way to modify that intent. That way was intentionally difficult so that we wouldn't change things on a whim and so that it would be more difficult for a populist demagogue or a monarch to take over. A vast amount of the tinkering done immediately following was intended, I think, in order to rob the Constitution of its teeth. Much of the changes done since then likewise rob it of its teeth and allow undisciplined and unprincipled people to pursue power for their own ends rather than for the good of the society.
Legislation is hard to pass in recent decades because of the filibuster which is, of course, nowhere to be found in the Constitution. So yes this is an invention of intent that does not exist. Also as the executive has become more and more powerful our tendency to elect a demagogue (and the inability to remove one due to partisanship) has also grown beyond their wildest dreams so I think guys who wrote the constitution would decide their safeguards are not operative and endorse changes.

The Constitution is not a mulligan at all. It was a correction of pretty profound mistakes in the Articles of Confederation. The Constitution is the result of a competing philosophy of government that only gained traction once the Articles were tried and proven to be a disastrous mess.
This is a lengthy way to describe a do over. We changed a bunch of significant stuff after we adopted the Constitution too (VP not election losers, popular election of Senators, etc.). I doubt they envisioned it would eventually become nearly impossible to make substantive changes.

I embrace gridlock because I find that politicians are just people like me and my neighbors. Imperfect, flawed, impatient, and prone to over simplifying things that they don't understand. I think people like me and my neighbors get some wisdom kicked into us by living our lives and working our jobs - we learn that things are never as simple as we want them to be and that understanding problems takes hard work and some experimentation. The difference is that politicians don't get anything kicked into them, they are pampered.

Gridlock is great because it keeps the politicians from doing that experimentation in the real world instead of doing the hard work of experimentation in a closed environment. Why the hell would I trust people who say stuff like "We have to pass it to find out what's in it" to make profoundly important decisions on my behalf? If an engineer working for me suggested that we simply flip the switch and see if it blows up, I would fire them.
I find that most people who love gridlock do so because they favor the status quo not because they have a genuine interest in improving anything. I do wish people would be honest about that because it at least is a real position not a flimsy excuse. That politicians have it easy and aren't in touch with the rest of us is not a policy argument, it is an emotional and tribal one. It does not address any of the actual impacts a given proposal might have.
 

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I disagree. Legislation is hard to pass in recent decades because of the death of compromise. Much legislation has been passed since the introduction of the filibuster.
As our politics have diverged and our politicians have grown more extreme, there is less common ground to occupy, making compromise more difficult.
 

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I disagree. Legislation is hard to pass in recent decades because of the death of compromise. Much legislation has been passed since the introduction of the filibuster.
As our politics have diverged and our politicians have grown more extreme, there is less common ground to occupy, making compromise more difficult.
If that's the case then it is hard to explain how use of the filibuster exploded after the rules were changed to the two track system (thereby eliminating the talking requirement) in the 70s. I mean politics certainly were pretty extreme at times prior to then. The Senate is not supposed to function like this, at least if we're going by the Constitution.

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Legislation is hard to pass in recent decades because of the filibuster which is, of course, nowhere to be found in the Constitution. So yes this is an invention of intent that does not exist. Also as the executive has become more and more powerful our tendency to elect a demagogue (and the inability to remove one due to partisanship) has also grown beyond their wildest dreams so I think guys who wrote the constitution would decide their safeguards are not operative and endorse changes.
Sure, the filibuster is just one of the Senate's rules and is subject to change. I wasn't really referring to it as part of how it was to be hard to pass laws, but it is an adequate stand in for the original make up of the simple majority Senate that was appointed by state legislatures rather than election by popular vote. In the original system, the Senate and House could have wildly different priorities and goals, reflecting the very different backgrounds and interests of their members.

Personally, I'm not sure the 17th Amendment was such a good idea, any more than I really think the filibuster is such a great idea. Put together I think they are adequate if not ideal.

This is a lengthy way to describe a do over. We changed a bunch of significant stuff after we adopted the Constitution too (VP not election losers, popular election of Senators, etc.). I doubt they envisioned it would eventually become nearly impossible to make substantive changes.
You must be a youngster :D Us older farts often realize that a "do over" is not a bad thing. Sometimes you need to correct a profound mistake. Refinements are great, but one has to be able to evaluate them with objectivity and refine them back out if they did not work well. Maybe the filibuster is one like that - but the progressive argument against it will not be taken at face value when so many of those people making the argument were very recently making the opposite argument when Trump was President and had all of Congress with him. I've seen that happen too often to be easily fooled by it.

I think what the founders did envision is the bitter polarization that we have seen at times during our history and that we are seeing right now. The whole point of making it difficult to make substantive changes is that it only becomes impossible when the nation is bitterly divided. That is precisely when you want substantive changes to be the hardest to make.

Its admittedly frustrating for the impatient progressives, but remember that it was also very frustrating for the equally impatient Donald Trump. Legislatively, what did he really do beyond the tax cut? What do you think he would have done had laws been easier to pass?

I find that most people who love gridlock do so because they favor the status quo not because they have a genuine interest in improving anything. I do wish people would be honest about that because it at least is a real position not a flimsy excuse. That politicians have it easy and aren't in touch with the rest of us is not a policy argument, it is an emotional and tribal one. It does not address any of the actual impacts a given proposal might have.
Heheh... so you wish that those of us who disagree with you would "be honest" and admit that what we say is not what we mean and that your assumptions of our motivations are 100% correct? Have you considered the possibility that your assumptions of my motivations are in error? Perhaps the reason that you think what I say is not what I really mean is because your assumptions are incorrect.

That politicians have it easy and are out of touch is not intended to be a policy argument. Yes, it is an emotional argument, and it is intended to do nothing more but underscore that a large number of constituents feel that their elected representatives do not have their best interests at heart. The reason to make that point is not tribalism, it is to illustrate that many policy questions are best left to be decided at the local level. Tribalism is irrational, localism (allowing local communities control over their own regulations) is not.
 

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Sure, the filibuster is just one of the Senate's rules and is subject to change. I wasn't really referring to it as part of how it was to be hard to pass laws, but it is an adequate stand in for the original make up of the simple majority Senate that was appointed by state legislatures rather than election by popular vote. In the original system, the Senate and House could have wildly different priorities and goals, reflecting the very different backgrounds and interests of their members.

Personally, I'm not sure the 17th Amendment was such a good idea, any more than I really think the filibuster is such a great idea. Put together I think they are adequate if not ideal.



You must be a youngster :D Us older farts often realize that a "do over" is not a bad thing. Sometimes you need to correct a profound mistake. Refinements are great, but one has to be able to evaluate them with objectivity and refine them back out if they did not work well. Maybe the filibuster is one like that - but the progressive argument against it will not be taken at face value when so many of those people making the argument were very recently making the opposite argument when Trump was President and had all of Congress with him. I've seen that happen too often to be easily fooled by it.

I think what the founders did envision is the bitter polarization that we have seen at times during our history and that we are seeing right now. The whole point of making it difficult to make substantive changes is that it only becomes impossible when the nation is bitterly divided. That is precisely when you want substantive changes to be the hardest to make.

Its admittedly frustrating for the impatient progressives, but remember that it was also very frustrating for the equally impatient Donald Trump. Legislatively, what did he really do beyond the tax cut? What do you think he would have done had laws been easier to pass?



Heheh... so you wish that those of us who disagree with you would "be honest" and admit that what we say is not what we mean and that your assumptions of our motivations are 100% correct? Have you considered the possibility that your assumptions of my motivations are in error? Perhaps the reason that you think what I say is not what I really mean is because your assumptions are incorrect.

That politicians have it easy and are out of touch is not intended to be a policy argument. Yes, it is an emotional argument, and it is intended to do nothing more but underscore that a large number of constituents feel that their elected representatives do not have their best interests at heart. The reason to make that point is not tribalism, it is to illustrate that many policy questions are best left to be decided at the local level. Tribalism is irrational, localism (allowing local communities control over their own regulations) is not.
My view is the XVIIth was a really bad idea and a serious mistake. So was eliminating the original provisions that only people who owned property would have the franchise. Oh well.
 

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My view is the XVIIth was a really bad idea and a serious mistake. So was eliminating the original provisions that only people who owned property would have the franchise. Oh well.
Could you explain why you object to the 17th Clyde? And you must be joking about only property owners voting. Renters pay taxes and are subject to the draft too. Taxation without representation?
 

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Could you explain why you object to the 17th Clyde? And you must be joking about only property owners voting. Renters pay taxes and are subject to the draft too. Taxation without representation?
The purpose of having Senators appointed by state legislatures was to provide an extra layer between the mob and the legislative deliberations. The House (lower chamber) was to be 'the people' house" and to insure a connection between the people who did things and legislation. The Senate was, between the longer, staggered, terms and selection by state legislatures was to provide a bit of more thoughtful consideration. Letting the mob elect the senators took that away, leaves us with greater risk of the mob rule the Founders hated and feared.

Limiting the franchise to property owners (and for a fair amount of my life, I wouldn't have qualified, owned no real property) meant legislatures (and executives, and except at Federal level, judges) were picked by people with "skin in the game", so to speak. Allowing tax on income would, IMO, justify extending the franchise to those who pay the same as an alternative to owning property, i suppose.

The Supremes made a serious mistake in allowing folk who did not own the property subject to tax for bonds to vote in bond elections, BTW. Allows people to vote to tax on a "won't tax you, won't tax me, we'll tax that fella behind the tree" basis. Especially pernicious for bonded indebtedness for schools.

Mob rule. Bad thing.
 

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Thanks Clyde, I’m among the many who appreciate your thoughtful comments.

But I would say “The Mob” is composed of the citizens of this country. Citizens who have a rightful say, regardless of status. As an 18-yr old kid I couldn’t vote but I carried a rifle in Vietnam. That seems analogous to a renter with a family who you would deny the vote. As far as legislators picking senators - instead of allowing people to vote on their representatives- I refer to gut instinct common sense - let the people decide. Your way would take gerrymandering to a whole new level.
The purpose of having Senators appointed by state legislatures was to provide an extra layer between the mob and the legislative deliberations. The House (lower chamber) was to be 'the people' house" and to insure a connection between the people who did things and legislation. The Senate was, between the longer, staggered, terms and selection by state legislatures was to provide a bit of more thoughtful consideration. Letting the mob elect the senators took that away, leaves us with greater risk of the mob rule the Founders hated and feared.

Limiting the franchise to property owners (and for a fair amount of my life, I wouldn't have qualified, owned no real property) meant legislatures (and executives, and except at Federal level, judges) were picked by people with "skin in the game", so to speak. Allowing tax on income would, IMO, justify extending the franchise to those who pay the same as an alternative to owning property, i suppose.

The Supremes made a serious mistake in allowing folk who did not own the property subject to tax for bonds to vote in bond elections, BTW. Allows people to vote to tax on a "won't tax you, won't tax me, we'll tax that fella behind the tree" basis. Especially pernicious for bonded indebtedness for schools.

Mob rule. Bad thing.
 

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I hate bonds. "They won't raise taxes" is a load of BS. They raise taxes later. Now we have bonds being renewed, meaning that we are simply taking on an unending debt payment.
 

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Thanks Clyde, I’m among the many who appreciate your thoughtful comments.

But I would say “The Mob” is composed of the citizens of this country. Citizens who have a rightful say, regardless of status. As an 18-yr old kid I couldn’t vote but I carried a rifle in Vietnam. That seems analogous to a renter with a family who you would deny the vote. As far as legislators picking senators - instead of allowing people to vote on their representatives- I refer to gut instinct common sense - let the people decide. Your way would take gerrymandering to a whole new level.
That is the argument that led to a universal franchise and 18-year-old voter qualification. And yes - the mob IS the totality of citizens. The Founders feared it, and they certainly got a lesson in why they should soon after our Revolution ended - France. Perceptive lot, the Founders.

I do NOT have a formula for an ideal world, but I think some of the changes we have made in the Constitution were errors (and others were very necessary indeed: example being the way President and Vice President were selected).

When I was in Vietnam as a rather young O-3, i commanded (and watched others command) a lot of 18 year old draftees. I felt sorry for them. And for the commanders (including me). Had to be 21 to vote when I became eligible - and i voted for that villain LBJ in my first Presidential election in 1964. Fooled me, that's for sure. Looking back, I think I'd have been easier yet to fool at 18.

At least senators are elected at large or there really would be some gerrymandering. I think having state legislatures do it wouldn't be that bad as far as gerrymandering is concerned, but corruption - ah yes. Saw a lot of that before direct election. And still do...

As I say, for a significant portion of my life, I'd have been disenfranchised under the "own property' qualification. I doubt I'd have liked it - but in reading history, i still conclude that might be a better idea. Don't know, though.

I've mentioned the idea of multiple voting before (as used by Nevil Shute in his novel IN THE WET), and sort of wonder if it might not be an idea worth trying. Don't see it happening though. That said - must recommend the novel, social arrangements workable or not, it is a good tale.
 

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I've mentioned the idea of multiple voting before (as used by Nevil Shute in his novel IN THE WET), and sort of wonder if it might not be an idea worth trying. Don't see it happening though. That said - must recommend the novel, social arrangements workable or not, it is a good tale.
I had been on the verge of mentioning that too. I always liked the concept of it, basically your vote multiplied by all the ways in which you become more and more enfranchised in society and are thus more likely to act in the best interests of that society continuing in a stable and peaceful manner.

It would never fly today though, the mere suggestion that one person's vote be weighted more heavily than another would be sure to get a living author facing the rhetorical firing squad now. After the Dr Seuss stuff I'm surprised they haven't started burning Shute's books. Too obscure I suppose.
 

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WANT TO KNOW MORE . . .?
3823064
 

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View attachment 3823064
Heheh.... movie was nothing much like the book.

Paul Verhoeven really put his stamp on the movie, and I think that improved the story a great deal and made its presentation interesting to both people who relate to the world presented in it and those who are horrified by that world. Verhoeven took a good story and made it art - art derives as much of its meaning from the viewer's interpretation as it does from the intent of it's creator.

OT, I know.
 

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Heheh.... movie was nothing much like the book.
Agreed 100% but it had to be sanitized for your protection.
Not a "Gropener" in the bunch of them.
 

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The purpose of having Senators appointed by state legislatures was to provide an extra layer between the mob and the legislative deliberations. The House (lower chamber) was to be 'the people' house" and to insure a connection between the people who did things and legislation. The Senate was, between the longer, staggered, terms and selection by state legislatures was to provide a bit of more thoughtful consideration. Letting the mob elect the senators took that away, leaves us with greater risk of the mob rule the Founders hated and feared.

Limiting the franchise to property owners (and for a fair amount of my life, I wouldn't have qualified, owned no real property) meant legislatures (and executives, and except at Federal level, judges) were picked by people with "skin in the game", so to speak. Allowing tax on income would, IMO, justify extending the franchise to those who pay the same as an alternative to owning property, i suppose.

The Supremes made a serious mistake in allowing folk who did not own the property subject to tax for bonds to vote in bond elections, BTW. Allows people to vote to tax on a "won't tax you, won't tax me, we'll tax that fella behind the tree" basis. Especially pernicious for bonded indebtedness for schools.

Mob rule. Bad thing.
Senators were NOT to represent the people of their states, but rather, the states themselves, and the government elected by the people there of, the house was for direct representation, hence why senators served at the state's pleasure, under the thumb of the various governors and legislatures.

My take on those who don't own taxable property voting on property taxes... and then they wonder why??? since they just voted a 5 mil increase, did their rent increase. I always said were I a landlord (and local law premits) I'd include a disclosure that there will be periodic adjustments for relavant causes, and disclose the fact that the property tax is paid by their rent, and will increase their rent should it increase. Awareness is lacking for most sadly.
 
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