Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Government Reform. . . The Fantasy Version

Let’s do a bit of fantasy government reform. These are reforms I’d like to see, even if there’s no chance they will happen. The problem as I see it, is that the Founding Fathers were very good at establishing a government that uses checks and balances to control the misbehavior of the branches, but they couldn't stop individual misbehavior. Here is what 200 years of experience tells me we need to do:

1. The Fiscal Discipline Incentive: Right now, Congress can bribe voters with no real consequence. Hence our budget problems. Let’s re-align that incentive with something Warren Buffet apparently suggested: any time there is a deficit of more than 3% of GDP, all sitting members of Congress and the Senate are ineligible for re-election.

This one would require a Constitutional Amendment to be implemented, but the effect would be dramatic as the things that Congress does now to buy votes would actually cost them their jobs. What’s more it gives Congress a powerful incentive to make the economy grow.

2. Banning Influence Peddling: Coincidentally, to keep them from profiting when they get tossed out, we need a lifetime ban from lobbying for any Congressman who serves more than two terms and any Senator who serves more than one full term. And Congressional pensions can’t begin until 15 years of service.

3. Pro-Growth Balanced Budget: We need a balanced budget amendment with spending capped at 15% of the prior year’s GNP. This would keep the government in check at an historically average size and would give Congress an incentive to put in place a pro-growth agenda. Using last year’s GNP prevents cheating.

4. Tax Discouragement: Raising taxes should require a 60% vote in both the House and Senate.

5. No Tax-Free Lunch: All lobbying gifts are now income to the Congress members/Senators and are personally taxable. . . every lunch, free flight or box of chocolates.

6. Separating The Fourth Estate: No Congress member or Senator may be married to any member of the media or any employee of any media company.

7. No Direct Self-Interest: Government employees may not vote in federal elections.

8. Tim Pawlenty’s Google Test: The government must privatize all services that are available in the private sector, i.e. can be found being offered to the public on Google. The government should be reformed so that only two types of people work for the government: (1) those administering private contracts and (2) government inspectors/law enforcement. Also, government pay should be set at the Dept. of Labor average for that job category in the region plus 10%.

9. Primary Improvement Act: Our primary system is skewed by the early primaries. We need to replace it with a rotating regional primary system, breaking the country into five or six regions and rotating the voting order each election. This will eliminate the overweight importance of early states while still making candidates address regional and state concerns.

10. The You First Act: Every law Congress passes must apply to Congress and all staffers.

Thoughts? What would you add?

120 comments:

rlaWTX said...

did one of those outlaw any government job unionizing? if the paycheck is paid for by gov't funds (you know - those "revenues") then no unions allowed. I think this would remove the necessity for #7... but this needs to be at all levels of gov't...

Also, can we do something about people who don't pay taxes (or get $ instead of paying) not voting????

DUQ said...

Cool list Andrew, I would like to see them require actual identification before voting -- and that purple dye they uses in Iraq.

Tennessee Jed said...

you aren't woofin' when you say "fantasy." Still, that is what makes it fun.

1) The problem with this one is you have maybe 130 fiscal conservatives who vote responsibly. If you don't control the House, why should you be punished. Still, an interesting solution ;-)

2) Ban Influence Peddling - my libertarian streak says, while it might feel good, I just can't get behind it.

3) Oops, Miss Maggie is letting me know it's time for her afternoon constitutional. I'll have to finish a little bit later.

AndrewPrice said...

rlaWTX, Good thinking! I didn't add "ban government employee unions" but that's a good one!

I also like the idea of cutting off people who either don't pay taxes or who get their income from the government (excluding soldier, law enforcement and retirees).

Anything else?

AndrewPrice said...

Thanks DUQ! I'd love to see that too. There is too much voter fraud. They also need to get professional poll watchers in places like Chicago and Philly.

AndrewPrice said...

Jed, By all means, see to your dog first -- then bring us more ideas!

Yep, fantasy. I doubt any of this will pass.... but you never know!

Yeah, the libertarian in me doesn't like the influence peddling bans, but I think they've become necessary. Getting into Congress has become a way to get rich and the Lobbyists are the ones handing out the cash.

As for punishing the 130 fiscal conservatives, well, while I don't want to lose them, I think the long term effect will be to get a lot more fiscal conservatives into the Congress since allowing a majority to run wild will result in group unemployment.

I don't care for group punishment, but it does work.

DUQ said...

Andrew, That's a good idea too.

I like the idea of a line item veto too.

AndrewPrice said...

DUQ, I actually like that one too. That's the best way to eliminate pork. I would hope the reforms above would eliminate the need for that, but why not give the government more tools to cut spending and limit it's scope.

LawHawkRFD said...

Andrew: I love all the suggestions. I would even tweak number two. Pass term limits of six for the House and two for the Senate. That way NONE of them would qualify for those outrageous government pensions, and they'd have to live off Social Security which they seem to love so much.

AndrewPrice said...

P.S. DUQ, With a line item veto, a Ron Paul presidency would become a heck of a lot more interesting, wouldn't it?

AndrewPrice said...

Lawhawk, I've heard good argument for and against term limits. I favor the idea just to make sure that they can't turn politics into a way of life.

On pensions, maybe we should scrap them entirely for Congress?

T-Rav said...

Good list, Andrew! As long as we're dealing with fantasy stuff, how about repealing the 17th Amendment?

CrispyRice said...

I read the 1st one and thought, "Yeah!"

Then I read the next one and thought, "Oh yeah!!"

And it got better from there on down! :D

I'd like to expand #7 to include anyone living off the state, ie welfare recipients, student loan folks, etc., but that starts to get into real hazy territory about where you stop. Arguably, we all benefit SOME from the gov't, so where would we draw the line.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, What's that again? Slavery or prohibition? ;-)

CrispyRice said...

Also, I think #6 needs to be fleshed out. They'll just cohabitate. What about their kids / siblings / best friends, etc. Difficult.

And while we're at it, ditch the entire tax system completely and replace it with a straight-up sales tax. Exempt food, housing, and any clothing items under $50 and there's not even any need for weirdo pre-payments to anyone. Everyone just pays based on what they consume and you're encouraged to earn more and save more. Ahhhhh....

You said we can dream, right? =)

AndrewPrice said...

Crispy, Thanks! :-)

I like this list a lot and I'm hoping folks can add some good ones so that we can create a master list of reforms. Maybe we can mail that to Congress and see if that sparks some ideas! :-)

In terms of what you are thinking... how's this: Government employees (excluding those in dangerous professions -- soldiers, law enforcement), and anyone who received money from the government other than a return of overpayments or forced pensions (social security)?

AndrewPrice said...

Crispy, I'm totally in favor of scrapping the tax system and replacing it with the exact system you are talking about! :-)

Great minds, right?

On number 6, I agree. The government actually has rules whenever it deals with restrictions for who counts as "you" and that include people related by blood to a certain degree -- so we should definitely make sure it goes at least as far as those rules. I'm not sure cohabitation counts, but it should. Good thinking!

LawHawkRFD said...

Andrew: I've heard the arguments too. And I used to believe that the terms were self-limiting, based on performance and how the electorate responds to it. I'm now on the term-limits side because incumbency simply seems to guarantee continued incompetence and the growth of cronyism. But if they'll give up their pensions, I'll give up term limits, so long as all the other suggestions are implemented.

T-Rav said...

Wrong, Andrew. I'm talking about the one that gives women the right to vote :-) (Okay, okay, I'm just kidding, people. Although...hmmm...no, no...would never work--I mean, it's a terrible idea and should never be considered. Whew.)

More seriously, the 17th Amendment ought to be repealed, even though it never will. Directly electing senators was a severe blow to federalism.

AndrewPrice said...

Lawhawk, The other thing about term limits is that they've pretty much worked where they were put in place. None of the horrible "we won't have any good politician" arguments came through. In fact, they just cleaned out the lifers and made the positions much more responsive to people. So I favor them too.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, You are standing on dangerous ground there.... like a coyote on a cliff staring at a roadrunner. LOL!

I don't have any heartburn about direct election of Senators, but I've heard people complain about that one before. Why do you want it changed and what do you think would happen? (i.e. convince us!)

LawHawkRFD said...

T-Rav: We must be working our ESP today. I mentioned the deleterious effects of the Seventeenth Amendment in my reply to DCAlleyKat as it relates to the Senate now being a democratic institution which has to play to the huddled masses yearning to get things for free.

CrispyRice said...

T-rav, rather than a gender test to vote, how about an intelligence test? Or at least a passing knowledge of current events or civic responsibility?? Like "who is running in this election?" or "name 3 branches of government."

:x

Tennessee Jed said...

I'd like to see total revamp of the tax code in addition to a 60% majority. I'd like to see the media ban be extended to spouses of justices and employees of the executive branch. And here is a real fantasy: "No votation without tax payation." Why should anybody get to vote for Nancy Peolosi and Barrack Obama who pays no taxes. As for primaries, I also want them closed. You must be a registered voter for 6 months prior to vote in a primary.

AndrewPrice said...

Lawhawk, Ok, maybe you and T-Rav can explain it? What's the problem with a direct vote? I don't really trust my legislature anymore than I trust the voters.

AndrewPrice said...

Crispy, I would love to see a voter intelligence test. Of course, the courts would try to stop us, but we outnumber them and we have better pitchforks! ;-)

Of course, then we need to watch for cheaters too. Hmmm.

AndrewPrice said...

Jed, I love that -- "no votation without taxpayation!" That should seriously be our rallying cry!

If I had my druthers (a word I rarely get to use), I would eliminate the whole income tax though... whatever amendment that is. ;-)

Seriously, I'd rather see a non-distorting sales tax system, which would kill the ability to prevent non-taxpayers from voting. But maybe we can use it as an either or proposition when we hit the Democrats with it?

AndrewPrice said...

Here's one that's more esoteric that I'd like to see: no more eminent domain. If private corporations can find ways to buy land they need, then the government should be able to as well.

BevfromNYC said...

Crispy - I would just settle for a photo ID at all elections. If we had an intelligence test, they wouldn't find any in DC...

Oh, T-Rav - As for repealing womyn's right to vote. I've got a few kittens for you...here kitty, kitty. Come and get them...[stands behind door with giant wooden mallet for him to enter...]

I would expand #10 to include ALL Federal employees either hired, appointed, or elected.

I go on record as being fully against term limits. That is why we vote on a regular basis. I understand why one would want term limit, but I do think that there are legislators who are good that would be lost. And when you "term limit" someone out, just that their proteges are the next in line.

Joel Farnham said...

I wonder if any of these ideas are viable.

Here is a fantasy that will never happen. Land for the cost of taking care of the Mexican people. Instead of chasing the illegals away, and I know Mexico can't pay for their care, why doesn't Mexico cede some of their land like Baja California for the amount the illegals have already incurred. Then send most of the liberals down there to create their utopia. Make Obama King and Pelosi co-Queen. Both will have to give up their US citizenships.

We will still need a few liberals around to remind ourselves how stupid they are. After this, close the border off, and accept only the immigrants Mexico is willing to pay for their upkeep.

AndrewPrice said...

Bev, In truth, the intelligence test is fraught with problems. But the ID should be an obvious requirement.

On term limits, I support them, but I'm not firm on the issue. I can see both sides. I also suspect that if we could get some of these other ideas into place, then we wouldn't need term limits. So they may just be treating a symptom.

I'm up for expanding 10 as well -- especially to the Justice Department and Federal Judges. Justice in particular seems to exempt itself from everything including rules of ethics and I think that's just unacceptable.

On T-Rav, LOL! I knew he was in for some trouble! Be vewy, vewy quiet. . . I'm hunting T-Wav...

T-Rav said...

Andrew, when it comes to that, what was the reason for passing the amendment in the first place? It was part of that slew of Progressive Era activity that also gave us an income tax, Prohibition, involvement in WWI, and other bad stuff. Your point about not trusting the state legislature is well taken; still, I put a little more faith in it to represent the interests of my locality, than I do in Congress (the same way I would prefer county or town action over the state government and so on). Plus, you have to wonder: What's the point of a Senate if you're going to have both houses directly elected? There might as well be one big chamber, rather than two. Senators were meant to represent the states--or more specifically, the state governments, to make sure those bodies remained relevant. The way we have it now, with the same people electing both Representatives and Senators, the upper chamber is no more immune to demagoguery than the lower one. State governments are supposed to be a kind of intermediary body, to provide some distance between the national government and the people. The 17th Amendment makes that function extremely difficult to perform. That's why I don't like it.

T-Rav said...

Crispy, that's something I think about all the time, but I'm not sure at all that it would solve our problems. There are a lot of people out there with a great deal of technical intelligence, yet who have some very dumb ideas about economics, society, etc. Because lest we forget, Barack Obama was a Constitutional Law lecturer--not a professor, as he would have everyone believe, but he was able to get a few degrees.

AndrewPrice said...

Joel, Odds are none of this is likely... hence "fantasy reform." Think of it like a Conservatopia! ;-)

On your idea, why bother with Mexico? The liberals already have California. We just need to put up a wall to keep the rest of us out (snicker, snicker) and they can live there in all their liberal glory! :-)

T-Rav said...

KITTEHS? You haz kittehs, Bev? Okay then, I'll take care of that...say hello to Mr. Long-Range Sniper Rifle, kittehs!!

Joel Farnham said...

Andrew,

You are forgetting about all that oil off the coast and the oil underneath Los Angeles and Bakersfield.

My way gives the liberals hope. And us breathing room. And resolves the conflict with Mexico.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, I'm still in favor of the popular vote. I see the difference being in the length of the terms which makes the House more responsive.

My concern with giving this power back to state governments is that you will end up with these being patronage positions.

I think you would get moderates and party suckups in the position and there is nothing the people could do about it. Plus, you would get states (like the South) where the whole state votes Republican, but they keep sending Democrats to the state legislatures, so they would be sending leftists to the US Senate even though the public would have opposed that by 70% to 30%.

I'd rather trust the people.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, Don't do it! It's a trap!

AndrewPrice said...

Joel, We can suck the oil out from under California by telling them that we're lowering the carbon footprint of California to help them out!

I just don't want to pay the relocation costs.... actually, yeah, I would pay those if it meant they couldn't come back. Go... go to Libraco and live the liberal life you always wanted!

LawHawkRFD said...

Andrew: What's the point of even having a Senate if the Senators are elected directly? We could go straight to direct democracy or have a unicameral Congress. The whole idea of having a Senate elected by the state rather than directly was to slow the dangerous process of direct democracy and rule of the mob/temporary majorities. There was more sensible republican government when the governor and the legislature had to agree on a candidate who would serve the state rather than be responsible directly to the electorate.

It was imperfect, as all human institutions are, but it cooled the passions of the people and preserved at least the concept of a federal government rather than a national government. The House represented the people and the Senate represented the individual states. Today, Senators are just super House members.

T-Rav said...

Andrew, that's fair. On the disparity in state party identifications, I think that's becoming much less of a problem than it used to be; the South is now starting to switch over at the state as well as federal levels--I don't think any of those states have Democratic majorities in both houses; most are divided, and a few now have GOP majorities in both.

As far as patronage, corruption etc. go, I admit those could be problems, but then it's not all that different from the situation we have now, and some of the measures you mentioned (like those for lobbying, for example) would cut back on it. Ultimately, it's all about the trade-offs, and I do still think a state election would be worth it. There would be downsides, certainly, but probably not as many as currently exist. At least, that's my position.

Joel Farnham said...

LawHawk,

That's true. The 17th amendment ceded some of the state sovereignty with it's passing. That was a big concern back then.

T-Rav said...

Oh, and don't worry about me, I can sit here in my room, aim all the way to NYC, and...blam. It's just that powerful.

AndrewPrice said...

Lawhawk, That's what the 6 year terms are for. Historically, it's been very hard for any movement to sustain itself for 6 years. And if you want proof of how effect it can be, look at how the Senate didn't flip with the House in the last election and probably won't give the Republicans the 60 Seat majority they need in 2012.

LawHawkRFD said...

Andrew: And nothing will change either way so long as states like California elect governors, legislatures, House members and Senators from the Democratic Party. But there are many states with mixed legislatures and state houses. The staggered terms were one of two methods that the Founders used to slow the march of direct democracy. State appointment of the Senators was the other.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, I prefer the people over the states, but I can respect your position. I guess I just don't see it as a big issue either way. :-)


I'm glad to hear that the South is finally switching over to Republicans along the line. It's about time. Now we just need to fix what's gone wrong out West. Blech.... Democrats everywhere.... it's like a plague.

StanH said...

“Fair Tax.” 18 to 23% tax on consumption only. This would capture the underground economy, and the uber-rich. Eliminate the IRS and the entire tax code shredded, and repeal the 16th Amendment. In my opinion many of the woes would disappear with this bold act. Remove Washington’s ability for plunder.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, That will be an impressive shot!

One a related note, I was watching this show on the Discovery Channel called "Future Weapons." The guy was showing the newest weapons that people were coming up with. He had a sniper rifle that fired so far that it actually had a computer to account for the curvature of the earth! It was incredible. You couldn't even see the people he was targeting with the naked eye and yet he was accurate within a few inches.

Some of the other stuff they show on that show is pretty darn incredible.

AndrewPrice said...

Lawhawk, If you are proposing that Californians be banned from voting... well, then I'm all for it! :-)

Patti said...

andrew: as usual, you bring the stuff. i want all of these. period. at this point i feel as if i have a political hangover, but i know i can't stop being engaged because of the extreme peril. i want to walk away, and frankly am a bit pissed i can't.

blech.

AndrewPrice said...

Stan, I don't know about the Fair Tax, but I do like switching to a consumption tax of some sort -- probably a simple sales tax would be best. I think our economy would soar if we did that.

AndrewPrice said...

Thanks Patti!

I know the feeling. It gets really hard to pay attention to this garbage day after day when none of it ever turns out well. It's like watching a bunch of fools create the rules of some train wreck of a game and knowing that those rules are going to affect your life. It stinks.

rlaWTX said...

19 -- 17, close enough, right?

come a little closer, T-Rav; stand on this X right here!

Koshcat said...

To dream the impossible dream...

I agree with most of these, although I think a person can marry whomever they pleased. Just be open and honest about it.

I agree with T-Rav regarding election of Senators. Now the they use borrowed money to bribe for votes at the expense of the individual states. If some of these yahoos were responsible to a state legislature trying to balance a budget, you wouldn't get this crap passed that allows them to look empathetic to the little guy but pass the cost onto the state.

I would also like to see something to the effect that there can only be one department doing the same thing. Do we really need Medicare, Medicaide, WIC, CHiPS, Indian Health Service, VA, etc. when they all do basically the same thing?

Same goes with military. Marines invade. Navy boats, Airforce flys, Army lumbers with large equipment. Put all special forces under the Marines. The Marines don't need planes nor does the Navy or Army. Marines can have armored carriers but not tanks, that's Army.

AndrewPrice said...

rlaWTX, It all gets a but hazy after about 4 or 5. LOL!

I'm just glad he wasn't proposing to repeal the repeal of prohibition!

AndrewPrice said...

Koshkat, The military thing is even worse than you think. There are other "agencies" within the military like Defense Logistics Agency who have their own separate existence. The military really is built on a the model of an old-school big business with a ton of redundancy. It can definitely be trimmed a lot by streamlining.

And I totally agree about eliminating duplication in government. They really need to consolidate and/or eliminate anything that is duplicated. I remember at one point, they said that there were something like 30 different "job retraining" programs spread around the government, all doing the same thing.

So it sounds like you're a "Congressional Marriage Advocate"? Would you accept Congressional Civil Unions? (just kidding)

That's a good argument regarding the 17th Amendment. I'd still prefer the people over the state, but it wouldn't bother me either way. I can see both sides.

Koshcat said...

I think my cousin and her "partner" are more honest and respectful than most of the people either representing us or in the media.

AndrewPrice said...

Koshkat, Your cousin is married to a Congresscritter? I'm so sorry for you! ;-)

In all seriousness, I've said before that I oppose gay marriage on principle because I think it involves the government taking away rights from some to give them to others. In fact, I would rather see the government out of the marriage business entirely and leave it up to churches to decide who is married and let people decide if they want to honor that or not.

But on a personal level, I have no problem with gays arranging their lives however they want.

LawHawkRFD said...

Andrew: I wasn't suggesting that Californians be banned from voting, but now that you mention it, good idea (present company and the residents of South California excepted, of course).

AndrewPrice said...

Lawhawk, I would actually envision just banning the big cities. The rest of the state could still vote! :-)

BevfromNYC said...

Wait! I thought we were giving California to the Chinese to pay off our debts?

Oh, and Osama bin T-Rav, look behind you...{{THWAP!!}}

AndrewPrice said...

Bev, I totally forgot about that! Great point! China is getting California.

.... of course, there's no reason we can't ALSO send our liberals there first? :-)



Osama bin T-Rav... LOL!

Joel Farnham said...

T-Rav....T-Rav,

Are you still here?

AndrewPrice said...

Joel, I think Bev got him!

Dibs on his annotated copy of the Federalist Papers! ;-)

Joel Farnham said...

Andrew,

If T-Rav isn't dead, you are more than welcome to em. Problem is, if he isn't.... you might get hurt. So, wait at least until he is six feet under for at least a week.

Joel Farnham said...

Sorry, If T-Rav is dead.

AndrewPrice said...

Don't worry Joel, I'll wait until he's dead. Good point about waiting a week -- there is the potential zombie issue to consider! ;-)

thundercatkp said...

Being a self proclaimed zombie expert...waiting a week could be dangerous to ones health...I mean with the recent zombie evolution.

AndrewPrice said...

thundercatkp, Hopefully, we would know by the time the week passed whether or not there was a zombie problem.

Only fools rush in where zombies may tread.

thundercatkp said...

Doubling back for the papers while the potential zombie as more than enough people to keep him busy...at the funeral....would increase your chance of survival.

AndrewPrice said...

That's a good point too.

BevfromNYC said...

Hey, I didn't hit T-Rav THAT hard so's he'd become a zombie...it was just a tap to save the kittehs!

AndrewPrice said...

Bev, So far, based on T-Rav's absence, I'd say you finished him off! Time to divy up his stuff! :-)

thundercatkp said...

Leave it to the Motley Crew to have your pockets cleaned out before your body hits the ground...heehee...jk..sorta

BevfromNYC said...

Oh well, then, oopsey! Anyone know a good lawyer? It was just a little tap!

AndrewPrice said...

Bev, I'm pretty sure it was self-defense. He was coming right at you when you got him from behind. . . while he wasn't looking. LOL!

AndrewPrice said...

thundercatkp, We don't believe in waste and it would be a waste to let his stuff just sit there... now that Bev had to do him in in self-defense! :-)

Joel Farnham said...

I think we need to get the Boiler Room Elves involved in an investigation. They would be impartial.

AndrewPrice said...

Good thinking Joel. They're the best cover up unit. . . er, investigators that money can buy!

I'll send them an e-mail and see what they can do.

T-Rav's Ghost (Not Andrew) said...

Ouch... that hurt....

Commentarama can have my stuff....

thundercatkp said...

Andrew,

I understand...and who knows what incriminating evidence he might be carrying.

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Nice post, Andrew!

Unlike the left, our fantasies would make the government more healthy by getting rid of the extortionists, racketeers, fraud, waste, and abuse, corruption, bribery, etc..

I would also like to see an easier way to remove radical, anti-American, anti-Constitutional judges, including those in SCOTUS.
Perhaps a recall kind of thing.

This would prevent lifetime appointments of activist judges trying to legislate from the bench.

Oh, and a test for all judges and DOJ lawyers to see if they understand our Constitution.
If they flunk they are automatically disqualified.

Hey, that could apply to politicians too, LOL!
It would definitely weed out the Sheila Jackson Lee idiots.

And no more voters switching parties to ambush opponent primaries.
That should be a felony!

And let's get rid of the Dept. of Edukashun and the teachers unions!
They have done more damage to the US than any other government agency, be it federal or local!

Excellent ideas, from this post and the comments! :^)

Back to reading the comments.

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

"I don't care for group punishment, but it does work."

Heh! It sure works in bootcamp and in some military situations!

If someone is being an imbecile or A-ho, everyone else will "convince"
him (or her) the error of their ways, LOL!

You might call it an internal quality control.

AndrewPrice said...

Thundercatkp, I'm sure there's nothing incriminating... nope... couldn't be.

thundercatkp said...

No, of course not Andrew...not anymore. Did you check all of his pockets?

AndrewPrice said...

Ben, Thanks! :-)

I like the idea of recalling judges. Maybe they should be put up for a vote every so often.

It is interesting how our Conservatopia would get the bad people back out of the government and free up the economy... whereas the liberaltopia would do the opposite -- it puts the power hungry in charge of everyone else.

I'd like to use the Dept. of Ed to push through conservative ideas before taking it apart.

I totally agree about closing primaries. That needs to be changed too. It's ridiculous that people can jump into the other side's primary and mess with their choices.

"internal quality control" -- LOL! Nice way to put it. Group punishment works in sports too.

AndrewPrice said...

thundercatkp -- haven't found the body yet. He could just be at the movies for all we know.

Joel Farnham said...

Andrew,

For the Boiler Room Elves to cover .... to produce the right investigation they need ..... what is it called? ..... The word escapes me. Oh well, you usually deal with them. Can you deal with them this time? I am sure Bev will help with the contribution this time.

thundercatkp said...

Oh...no body "yet"...hmmmm...ok. I think you're right, I'm sure I seen him having tea with the Mad Hatter earlier.

AndrewPrice said...

Joel, I believe the word you are looking for is:

A) Money
B) Adult beverages
C) Cookies

Some combination of the above should do it.

AndrewPrice said...

thundercatkp, We shall see.

BevfromNYC said...

Joel, I would love to help with the BRL "investigation", but my hands are tied. No...really, my hands are tied. Can someone untie them?

(rim shot!)

Okay, I'll bake the cookies, but don't the Elves do that themselves. I mean they ARE Elves after all.

Joel Farnham said...

Andrew,

Have you contacted the Elves yet? It seems that it would be easier if they are br.... uh..er... receive their retainer quickly, that is, before T-Rav's parents are notified of T-Rav's unfortunate demise.

AndrewPrice said...

Bev, The Elves do bake, but they have never been known to turn down free cookies.

AndrewPrice said...

Joel, I have contacted them, but they have yet to respond to my e-mail. They could already be on the "investigation," or they could be well into the adult beverages. It is a Tuesday night after all. ;-)

Joel Farnham said...

Have the emergency passport and tickets been delivered yet? Just in case you know.

thundercatkp said...

T-Rav and the Kittens may have formed an alliance...if he got wind of this conversation. I would watch for possible espionage.

AndrewPrice said...

Joel, I have no idea what you are talking about! LOL! Nope. Nothing like that happening here.

AndrewPrice said...

thundercatkp, It's HIGHLY unlikely that T-Rav would go over to the side of the kittens.

Anonymous said...

Braaaiiinnnnssss....

AndrewPrice said...

Unless I'm mistaken, T-Rav is back.

I guess we can call off the BRE "investigation".

Joel Farnham said...

Andrew,

You better hurry. You know the elves. If they find that T-Rav isn't dead, they will change that to satisfy their contract.

thundercatkp said...

Just wondering...what are you going to do with extra cookies and adult beverages...

AndrewPrice said...

Joel, Good point. They can be "overly efficient."

thundercatkp -- All payments to the BRE are nonrefundable.

T-Rav said...

Andrew, don't jump to conclusions; just because someone pops up saying something about brains doesn't mean I'm back. Er...I mean...crap!

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, You're back! I never doubted for a minute!

As you can see, things got a little carried away. BTW, if some elves show up at your door, tell them you aren't you. Also, don't let them near your beer or cookies.

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

T-Rav has beer n' cookies?!

T-Rav! Buddy! How's it going old friend? :^)

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Speaking of beer, I believe I speak for everyone here at Commentarama when I say:

One of the most effective stimulus plans would be to drop all the beer taxes (state and federal).

Certainly better than the 'free guns for our poor Mexican drug lord friends' plan and a lot more popular!

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Koshkat said:

"Same goes with military. Marines invade. Navy boats, Airforce flys, Army lumbers with large equipment. Put all special forces under the Marines. The Marines don't need planes nor does the Navy or Army."

Um, well, I see what your're saying, but the Navy and Marines do need planes.

If something goes down we can't wait for the Air Force. That's why we have aircraft carriers with Navy pilots and Helo carriers and anphibs with Navy and Marine Corps pilots.

Same is true for the Army and their attack helos. Tactically speaking, they need them and it does save time and red tape to have them.

The Navy is the one who transports the Marines, so if they were a stand alone agency they would need their own ships for amphibious landings.

However, I do get your point but I can say the problem with redundancy and waste in the military isn't nearly as bad as it used to be.

While I was still in, the Military cvame up with a reward system for anyone who came up with money saving ideas, and it has been very successful.

However, I'm all for getting rid of the military bureaurats who come up with the most idiotic ideas and regulations (ideas and regs that waste time and money!). :^)

Also, I think there are easier and more cost effective ways to use contractors. To make a long story short, going with the lowest bidder often costs more than going with the best quality contractors.

AndrewPrice said...

Ben, Having done government contracts for a living at one time, I totally agree that lowest cost rarely results in lowest cost before all is said and done.

I think there is a lot of duplication in the services, but I agree that some of it is necessary -- like planes for the Navy. In fact, if anything, I'm not sure we need a separate Air Force. Hmm.

Eliminating beer taxes would probably be a major stimulus for certain activities! LOL!

BoilerRoomElf said...

You know, we elves can't just show up in the middle of the night at the Bossman's beck and call! There are union rules to follow on this. (Plus, there may or may not have been a cookie-flavored booze thing going on last night!)

Had you filed the proper paperwork requests in triplicate, it would've been reviewed within a 30 day period, thus launching an investigation as to whether we would undertake the investigation.

Now, I'll go ahead and file the request on your behalf now and send you the $50 bill for the request.

(slams window shut)

thundercatkp said...

Boiler Room Elf,

I'm sorta new here...lurk a lot...I was just wondering. What are the union rules classified under...I don't recall a section for Investigating/cover up Elves. Would you be considered Environmental Management...Being an Elf are you a minority or is it considered a handicap.

...just wondering. Thank you ever so much for you time Mr. Elf.

rlaWTX said...

I get busy doing my actual job and fun stuff happens!!!!! No fair...

Hey, T-Rav - good ducking skills! I'll have a new 'X' for you to stand on next week... no reason...

Gimli said...

Hey BP Elf! 71! (Killing another orc).

AndrewPrice said...

rlaWTX, Yeah... we got a little out of control here.


Gimli, Wrong kind of elves. These guys are like unionized Keebler elves.

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Ah, thank you Sir Andrew.
Been awhile since I cut some dark elves down to size (sharpening battle axe).

Gimli said...

Egads! How did that happen! What dark sorcery has befallen us?

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

I don't know Gimli. Perhaps dark keebler elf magic or...Sauron.
He's pro union you know.

AndrewPrice said...

Ben and Gimli, I think the unionism is a front for mob related activities, but I'm not saying anything...

Gimli said...

Is a mob like a horde?

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