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All the Perl that's Practical to Extract and Report

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  • It looks to me that Clinton's biggest "problem" is that he did not hide behind "executive privilege" and tell congress to "bite me" when they asked for stuff. (At least not as effectively as the current guy.)

    He could have learned a thing from the current president in that regard.

    If he had done this... well, I'm sure he would have stacked up much better. ;-)

    I personally believe that both Clinton and Bush (take your pick) are morally corrupt and not fit for "Leadership". The problem gets made even worse wh
    • The problem gets made even worse when you take into consideration that congress is unwilling to be led.

      I don't know what you mean by that. Congress doesn't lead, they are led. They should lead, as they are the most powerful body in the country (don't believe the nonsense about coequal branches of government, it's not true).

      Too damn many people worried about getting re-elected.

      Agreed. This is why I am for term limits.

      While I'm all for democracy (beats all of the options) I think something if serio
      • The problem gets made even worse when you take into consideration that congress is unwilling to be led.

        I don't know what you mean by that. Congress doesn't lead, they are led. They should lead, as they are the most powerful body in the country (don't believe the nonsense about coequal branches of government, it's not true).

        I have become very cynical and often scoff when I hear the terms "president" and "leader(ship)" in the same sentence. Even so, traditionally the president is considered the "leader"
        • Even so, traditionally the president is considered the "leader" of our government.

          Militarily and diplomatically. Beyond that, traditionally, not so much, until FDR came around. I mean yes, of course he is the "leader," but the Congress controlled the legislative agenda before the 1930s. Now, the President seems to lead it, most of the time.

          They are unwilling to be led.

          I wish that were even more true than it is. They should not be led. They should do what they think is best regardless of what the President thinks. Did you know that some Presidents actually believed they were obligated -- not legally, but still -- to sign all legislation unless they believed it to be unconstitutional? Congress should not be led, they should lead. That's how it is by design, it is how it should be.

          Now we have a president and congress that are from the same party. From my perspective, the results have been disasterous. Instead of a system that protected the minority from the majority... we seem to have a "my way or the highway" mentality right now riding roughshod over anyone that doesn't believe, and not caring at all about the consequences because god is coming soon and who gives a damn.

          First, your feelings about "god is coming soon and who gives a damn" are really off the mark. No one in power in DC believes this. If they did, they wouldn't bother trying to change the world, they'd be out making real money in the private sector and enjoying themselves.

          Second, who cares about the minority? Since when are they supposed to matter? If you can't get enough representation to get your voice to matter, then your voice shouldn't matter.

          I am not talking, of course, about the rights of minorities, which must be protected as per the Bill of Rights, etc. I am talking about minority voices not mattering in a democracy. Don't like it? Convince people to agree with you, then! Become a majority, or, like the Democrats in the Senate, a powerful minority.

          I am tired of this whining about "why should you make laws I disagree with?" Because the majority agrees with them, that's why. That's how it works, and I like it that way (even when I am not in the majority, as I wasn't for most of my life).

          More importantly, I'm tired of the Clinton vs. Bush stuff that keeps occurring. As if one justifies the other. One person acting badly does not justify the other one acting badly. It is almost as if we are watching a race to the bottom of the barrel.

          To some extent I certainly agree. But some of this is not that. Like, when people bash Bush over 9/11, to try to score political points, it is reasonable to point out that Clinton made similar (and worse) errors that led to 9/11, too. It's not to make Bush look like he didn't do some things wrong, but to show that it is not a Bush failing, but a systemic failing. The CIA, the NSA, the FBI, State, the Presidency, everyone got it wrong. A few voices got it right, but most people, in both administrations, did not.

          However, on the flipside, there are the judicial nominees. Democrats borked Bork, and then Republicans blocked a bunch of Clinton appointees, and now Democrats are returning the favor. Democrats justify it by saying the Republicans did it, and the Republicans justify what they did by pointing at Bork and saying what they did is not as bad as what the Democrats are doing.

          In a very small sense, the Republicans are right (blocing nominees as a majority is not quite as abusive as what is IMO abusing the filibuster power, as the Democrats are doing now), but none of it really matters, because both are just, as you say, racing to the bottom, seeing who can get the other guys. And in the end, all of us suffer because we don't get judges in place, and when we do, they are judges acceptable to both sides (which often means they aren't very good).

          But there are many solutions. We've been here before. This is not unprecedented. We had a chance to resolve this, but both the Republicans and Democrats -- in part because of the animosity that's been building over the past 20 years, culminating in an impeachment and a questioned election -- were too interested in scoring points to come together following 9/11.

          But still, let's have some perspective. All is not. If we can come together after the Civil War, all is not lost here. I believe that soon we will see the parties coming together more, as they have in the past, but something big is going to happen first. Maybe another bad election. Maybe another catastrophe. Maybe something else. But something will break the cycle, because it always has.
          • I agree that congress should not be led. I think they should be responding to the pressure of the people they represent, not the president.

            First, your feelings about "god is coming soon and who gives a damn" are really off the mark. No one in power in DC believes this.

            Yeah... but stuff like [villagevoice.com] this [guardian.co.uk] scares me.

            Second, who cares about the minority? Since when are they supposed to matter? If you can't get enough representation to get your voice to matter, then your voice shouldn't matter.

            Ah... you don't su
            • Yeah... but stuff like this scares me.

              I think most people read way too much into it, similarly to how people read way too much into some things about Clinton.

              Ah... you don't subscribe to the idea of the tyranny of the majority? That is one of the reasons that the senate has the filibuster. Because one man should be able to make a difference.

              To a very limited extent, even in the Senate. You can break a filibuster with cloture, and you need help with a filibuster, because you can't possibly continue i