January 18th, 2010

chess

Senators no longer needed?

"We have crossed the mark of over 100 filibusters and acts of procedural obstruction in less than one year," Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, Democrat of Rhode Island, said on the floor Sunday. "Never since the founding of the Republic, not even in the bitter sentiments preceding Civil War, was such a thing ever seen in this body." -http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/21/health/policy/21senatecnd.html?_r=3

It seems that the filibuster has become overused and maybe over-powered.

I realize the Senate is meant to represent all the 50 states and it does so, equally, but doesn't that give an incredibly lopsided advantage to the people living in the low-population states to control the high-population states?

The Senators from NY, California and Florida have the same power as those from Montana, Idaho and Wyoming. Meanwhile...what's the population diff? NY+Cali+Flor=60 mill? 70? I'm not gonna do the math. meanwhile Idaho+Montana+Wyoming=10 mil? Maybe?

This bothers me.
I am beginning to think that abolishing the senate might actually be a good idea.
(enter Emperor Palpatine macros about abolishing the Senate here)

I'm not convinced but it's something I'm thinking about. What do you think about this?

Maybe if we simply got rid of the filibuster I wouldn't mind so much--though that might be for another post. Since it's use has skyrocketed in the past 50 years.

filibuster?

So yeah, thoughts?
inibo Oct 2010
  • inibo

What happens when a state goes broke?

By now everyone knows I'm an anarchist and I think government is evil, but that's not what this is about.

Most of us are aware that California is facing a fiscal crisis. I'm also sure that everyone who reads and posts in this community has an opinion on what caused it--Prop 13, greedy Republicans, big spending Democrats, too many illegal aliens, not enough immigration reform. Whatever.

I just saw a couple of articles, here and here, about Illinois being on the verge of bankruptcy, occasionally having less than one million dollars in cash on hand. Sure California is bigger, but it looks like Illinois is actually close to not being able to send out pension checks, pay state workers or vendors.

Again I'm sure we all have arguable reasons why this happened, but my question is what does it mean? What will happen if the people the state of Illinois owe don't get paid? What if their checks bounce? What is going to happen? Raise taxes to the point where businesses and people flee the state? Force police and firefighters to work even if they don't get paid? Cut spending to the point that public unions revolt? Have the federal government put the state in receivership? Impose marital law?

There was a time when this sort of things was an interesting intellectual exercise about some future that might not happen. That time has passed. It is real and it is happening now.

How do you see this playing out?