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Old 20th January 2021, 12:13 PM   #1
Mader Levap
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Reforms.

So, Democrats have presidency, house and (barely) senate. You guys have two years. Assume Democrats have ONLY two years! That's important detail.

What reforms would you like to see? Only those possible in principle, so forget about throwing out EC or anything like that. Rethuglican astroturfers need no apply.

I personally would reduce lame-duck period as much as practically possible (ideally, power switch would be instantaneous, but that almost certainly is impractical) and make that period purely caretaker. Emergency allowances must be strictly defined, otherwise it will be ripe for abuse. In fact, if lame duck period was sufficiently short, I would allow emergency powers only in case of act of war against USA (like 9/11).

Pardon powers should be curtailed significantly (in fact, I would do away completely with them, but I know it is unpopular option) and completely forbidden in lame-duck period.

Eliminate possibility of one person being able to prevent bills from vote. *Trump's gesture* I don't know how, make it happen.

Unification of how voting is conducted in USA as a whole is probably impossible, but making forays into making voting by mail standard option in more states is probably possible. Generally any way to make voting easier is desired, as is counteracting rethuglican's antidemocratic efforts.

But we cannot be purely reactive and react only to what happened in past (as things above are just reaction to Trump's abuses). As some people noted, Democrats need to give people reason to vote for Dems again on table tilted against them. That's tall order and I think making table less tilted is quite high priority. There are already republican supporters on this forums expressing desire to tilt table even more in favour of authoritarian rethuglican degeneracy.

So, what else?
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Old 20th January 2021, 12:50 PM   #2
Beelzebuddy
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Statehood for DC and Puerto Rico.

No kids in cages. If it would get you hanged by the terms of the Geneva convention, we don't need to be doing it.

Update the Reapportionment Act to have one representative per 250k constituents.

Campaign finance reform and gerrymandering limits would be nice, but they're not something you can fix with a slim majority and a two year window.
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Old 20th January 2021, 12:56 PM   #3
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(In general, in no particular order.) These are all goals and simply things to strive toward, it's not necessarily a "failure" if compromises or partial successes occur.

- A revamp of the Electoral College, ideally removing it completely. I understand the caveat in the OP but I think the "National Popular Vote Compact" is still a viable path forward, especially coming off such a disastrous example of the loser of the popular vote taking the office.
- Outlawing of gerrymandering.
- Statehood for DC, Puerto Rico, and all US Territories.
- Revamp the Senate. The details would be a thread in their own but California and Wyoming should not be equal in political power on a Federal Level in any context.
- Term limits for all Congress and SCOTUS.
- Streamline the law making process. Remove all "Dog and Pony Show" steps. Get rid of the filibuster, the concept of Congress being "in session" and as already said the ability of one person to completely muck up the works. The American public should never have to weight on the Legislative Process because of a rule Congress imposed on itself. If any lawmaker brags about passing a law they didn't bother to read, everyone in America gets to punch them once.
- Bills should be single topic, no riders, no tack-on, no emotionally manipulate names.
- Executive Orders automatically expire at the end of the President's term. (Optional short grace period if the President dies / leaves off unexpectedly.)
- Ranked preference voting for all elections.
- Reduce the Lame Duck period to a week at most and limit execute power during it, ideally get rid of it. It shouldn't exist at all. If it does exist it should be for turning over the administration and putting out immediate, can't be ignored brushfires only.
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Old 20th January 2021, 06:15 PM   #4
BobTheCoward
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Retrocession for DC.
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Old 20th January 2021, 07:12 PM   #5
PhantomWolf
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Originally Posted by Mader Levap View Post
So, Democrats have presidency, house and (barely) senate. You guys have two years. Assume Democrats have ONLY two years! That's important detail.

What reforms would you like to see? Only those possible in principle, so forget about throwing out EC or anything like that. Rethuglican astroturfers need no apply.

I personally would reduce lame-duck period as much as practically possible (ideally, power switch would be instantaneous, but that almost certainly is impractical) and make that period purely caretaker. Emergency allowances must be strictly defined, otherwise it will be ripe for abuse. In fact, if lame duck period was sufficiently short, I would allow emergency powers only in case of act of war against USA (like 9/11).

Pardon powers should be curtailed significantly (in fact, I would do away completely with them, but I know it is unpopular option) and completely forbidden in lame-duck period.

Eliminate possibility of one person being able to prevent bills from vote. *Trump's gesture* I don't know how, make it happen.

Unification of how voting is conducted in USA as a whole is probably impossible, but making forays into making voting by mail standard option in more states is probably possible. Generally any way to make voting easier is desired, as is counteracting rethuglican's antidemocratic efforts.

But we cannot be purely reactive and react only to what happened in past (as things above are just reaction to Trump's abuses). As some people noted, Democrats need to give people reason to vote for Dems again on table tilted against them. That's tall order and I think making table less tilted is quite high priority. There are already republican supporters on this forums expressing desire to tilt table even more in favour of authoritarian rethuglican degeneracy.

So, what else?
I think that before deciding what Reforms you want you need to determine which reforms can only be done via an E.O. or the renouncement of an E.O. Which can be done via legislation, and which would require a change in the Constitution.
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Old 21st January 2021, 01:32 AM   #6
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Make progress on ensuring Americans are covered by some form of heathcare insurance, in or out of a job. It doesn't have to be single-payer. Many countries have a tightly regulated market. Insurance is still provided by private companies, but they must offer a decent package at an affordable price, with government assistance on the premiums for those who can't afford them.
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Old 21st January 2021, 03:25 AM   #7
Norman Alexander
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Originally Posted by Blue Mountain View Post
Make progress on ensuring ENSURE Americans are covered by some form of heathcare insurance, in or out of a job. It doesn't have to be single-payer. Many countries have a tightly regulated market. Insurance is still provided by private companies, but they must offer a decent package at an affordable price, with government assistance on the premiums for those who can't afford them.
No ifs or buts. There will be a suitable solution readily available. The USA put men on the moon in a program that took 10 years when they only had phone lines and computers with electronic valves. So a universal health care scheme should be a walk in the park. The only thing holding it back, it seems, is the will to make it so...
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Old 21st January 2021, 03:51 AM   #8
The Great Zaganza
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Actually, the Senate map for 2022 is quite favorable for Democrats.
If they manage a Georgia-like ground-game in the next two years, they should also be able to keep the House, too.

It might be the first in a long time that an Administration holds Congress and the White House for four years straight.
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Old 21st January 2021, 04:39 AM   #9
HHellpop
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Originally Posted by Beelzebuddy View Post
Statehood for DC and Puerto Rico.

No kids in cages. If it would get you hanged by the terms of the Geneva convention, we don't need to be doing it.

Update the Reapportionment Act to have one representative per 250k constituents.

Campaign finance reform and gerrymandering limits would be nice, but they're not something you can fix with a slim majority and a two year window.
The bolded is never going to happen in any meaningful way as long as we're entrenched in a "2-party system" with the deck stacked against any viable 3rd option. With respect to this issue, Democrats and Republicans are two sides of the same coin, IMO. Re-election and fundraising are their top priorities. The amount of money thrown at candidates and politics is off the charts now, especially after Citizens United.

ETA: Agree on your first two. Need to educate myself more on the third. Also agree with many of the others y'all have posted.
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Old 21st January 2021, 05:06 AM   #10
Donal
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Pass HR1 to protect voters and elections.

Expand Medicare to everyone over 55. Then, make a government option for health insurance for everyone else. Grant supplements to everyone under 10x the poverty level. Make a plan to expand Medicare after that.

$2,000 a month checks until the COVID-19 crisis is over.

Expand SCOTUS. 1 justice for every circuit. Then, make more circuit courts.

Let DC and Puerto Rico vote on statehood. If they want it, grant it. Same for all our territories in the Pacific.

Ban federal agencies from using private prisons. This also includes the end-around of letting states hold federal prisoners in private prisons.

Pardon every nonviolent drug offender in federal custody. DoJ should also work on expunging their records.

Require all companies doing business with the federal government to institute a $15 minimum wage. And strictly limit their use of "contractors".
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Old 21st January 2021, 03:28 PM   #11
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The method for determining who gets how much money needs to be adjusted.

Handing out $2,000 per month for every adult (and child?) seems like an extremely expensive and foolish way to use the money. Let's hand out money according to the cost of living in each area, and according to who actually needs it.

I think we've had ample time to come up with some sort of method on how this can be done. Have we done it? Probably not.

I, for one, do not need $2000 a month, or any financial help at all, and I know there are many others out there in the same situation. I've worked full time since Covid started, pretty much.

I also know people personally who have received unemployment as well as their normal paycheck (except they have been paid as a contractor during that time so it's all nice and legal looking). I am friends with one of the business owners who do this, and I think it's wrong.

In SF rent can be 4 times more expensive than out in the central valley. Same state. Someone is either getting way too much money or not enough.

Same goes for the $15 minimum wage. In some areas of the country that is decent money. In Silicon Valley you're renting someone's bedroom or you're borderline homeless.

We need to be smarter about this because some day we have to pay it back.
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Old 21st January 2021, 05:42 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by mgidm86 View Post
We need to be smarter about this because some day we have to pay it back.

Well, a progressive wealth tax starting at 0.5% on assets minus liabilities might work.
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Old 21st January 2021, 05:55 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Mader Levap View Post
What reforms would you like to see? Only those possible in principle, so forget about throwing out EC or anything like that. Rethuglican astroturfers need no apply.
...

Pardon powers should be curtailed significantly (in fact, I would do away completely with them, but I know it is unpopular option) and completely forbidden in lame-duck period.
Just to let you know, I think these are almost as impractical as changing the EC, because they require constitutional amendments which are always notoriously difficult to get through. It might be worth a try, but it would only really work if there is bipartisan appeal, in which case the two year time limit is not really as much of an issue.

Probably better to get other things through such as universal healthcare, raising minimum wage, some steps to ending the war in Yemen, a return to negotiations with Iran and perhaps use (may as well) Trump's withdrawal from the agreement as a means of leveraging tougher conditions for Iran....
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Old 22nd January 2021, 09:56 AM   #14
Donal
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Originally Posted by angrysoba View Post
Just to let you know, I think these are almost as impractical as changing the EC, because they require constitutional amendments which are always notoriously difficult to get through. It might be worth a try, but it would only really work if there is bipartisan appeal, in which case the two year time limit is not really as much of an issue.
that's the kind of thing that will sound good to most voters though. Every stripe wants to "end corruption".

Force Republicans to go on record against it.

Quote:
Probably better to get other things through such as universal healthcare, raising minimum wage, some steps to ending the war in Yemen, a return to negotiations with Iran and perhaps use (may as well) Trump's withdrawal from the agreement as a means of leveraging tougher conditions for Iran....
I agree with most of that, although I think you are overestimating our position regarding Iran. But, those are way tougher sells that will play out along partisan lines.
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Old 22nd January 2021, 02:08 PM   #15
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Democrats: *Suggest the tiniest little thing that might make the country better*
Republicans: "We can't do that without a Constitutional Amendment..."
Democrats: "Treason and sedition carrying the death penalty wouldn't need a Constitutional Amendment."
Republican: "... or we could try and work something out."
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Old 22nd January 2021, 02:30 PM   #16
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We Democrats can't do **** because McConnell is still in charge.

I know, I know, the Democrats have the majority. Lot of good that's going to do when McConnell still has his god powers.

Time: Why Mitch McConnell Is Filibustering to Protect the Filibuster

We know why. The question is can we do anything?

Quote:
Even though Republicans don’t have a majority in the Senate any longer, under the body’s rules, the GOP still chairs some committees, the three new Senators who took their oaths this week can’t be assigned committees and McConnell can still block progress going into this two-year congressional session. Until the two parties’ leaders — or all 100 Senators on a separate track — agree to how the Upper Chamber will work for the next two years, the old rules still hold. And central to those rules, set out in a document known as an organizing resolution, is whether a lone Senator in the minority can gum up the entire agenda via the filibuster.
This is absurd. A few pieces of **** in Kentucky elected McConnell (or an outside hack of the computer voting system Kentucky and South Carolina use* [needs a new thread to properly address]). And yet since Obama was elected McConnell has essentially run the Congress. This is wrong and it needs to stop.

But I don't know how.

Maybe Schumer can enforce the actual filibuster which requires the member stay at the podium talking constantly in order to filibuster.

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Old 22nd January 2021, 03:51 PM   #17
PhantomWolf
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Originally Posted by Solitaire View Post
Well, a progressive wealth tax starting at 0.5% on assets minus liabilities might work.
Never been a fan of a wealth tax myself. Should an older couple with a farm be taxed on their property just because it's now worth a whole lot more than went they bought it? Likewise, if someone has worked hard and squirreled away their earnings, investing it wisely, and made themselves wealthy, then why should they be effectively punished when their next-door neighbour has gone out and partied, drunk, and smoked all of their money away and so now has an overall debt?

I'm much more in favour of a financial transaction tax where all banking transactions have to pay a small tax on them. This is a far fairer system and would also catch a lot of those that currently pay very little tax, but are moving huge amounts of money through the banking systems.
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Old 22nd January 2021, 05:03 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
This is absurd. A few pieces of **** in Kentucky elected McConnell (or an outside hack of the computer voting system Kentucky and South Carolina use* [needs a new thread to properly address]). And yet since Obama was elected McConnell has essentially run the Congress. This is wrong and it needs to stop.

But I don't know how.
This is one of the reasons why the United States keeps being compared to the Roman empire during its final decline: how difficult it's become to reform the political system. Polarisation and obstructionism, fillibusters, all these obstacles to politicians just sitting down and sorting things out.
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