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Sep 1, 2023Liked by Thom Hartmann

We live in times of absolutely overwhelming complexity. Combined with a disinformation machine that would make Joseph Goebbels faint, our everyday life is anything but easily reconciled.

Term limits make sense on the surface, right? In an ideal world they would provide for fresh thoughts, new practices, and of course - keep the "gubmint bureaucracy" in touch with an ever changing society. Unfortunately, we do not live in an ideal world. Far from it. So we may be wise not to destroy the good in pursuit of the perfect.

At first glance, term limits are probably quite alluring. They would satisfy the constant desire we have for simple solutions. But first we would need a problem to apply this solution to, and that is where we get duped. The "problem", as Thom clearly illustrates, does not exist. In fact, having people with actual experience in governance is far from being a problem - it's something we need. Any other institution on Earth would fail immediately if they imposed "term limits" on their employees, volunteers, board members, etc. It would be an absolute hilarious disaster. So why would we ever want to artificially induce turnover in the most important institution of all - our own representative government?

All I really know for certain is that I certainly don't know much. So that's why I have certain rules for things when I don't have the time to really dig deep on a topic.

My number 1 rule is: Know the source, know the intent.

If something is being championed by Putin, for example, I know to immediately walk away. No matter how appealing this hypothetical thing may be, no matter how practical, no matter what - I know that in the end, it must be self-serving - because of the source. Believe people when they have shown you who they are.

Now, I'm not on the "Blue no matter Who" train. But I'm absolutely positive that "Red equals Dead". They've shown who they are, who they work for, and to what lengths they will go to get what they want. If the GOP is pushing for something - I'm pushing back. I know the source...

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So true sir. Thom is correct, in so many ways. I spent over 20 years as a lobbyist in Florida and Washington. When Florida elected to go the term limits way; I say the evidence of a weakened legislative body. It isn't only the lobbyists who gained more power, it was also the staff committee people. They are the true keepers of the flame. They are the ones who help the most with drafting legislation, especially the cost and impact on other laws. So much more goes into creating our laws than people realize. Even down to the copy machine operators. PS I was not a corporate lobbyist. Therefore I can live with myself.

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... 👏👏‼️

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That's a good argument, though some decent ones have been made for getting aging and entrenched people out too. But what is too often missed in the discussion is that it doesn't do much good to have somebody leave office if they still pull the reins of power. The most obvious example of this was in 1967 when George Wallace's wife succeeded him as governor of Alabama, though he later served 3 more terms in his own right. This election of a spouse as governor also occurred in Texas back in 1924. For that matter Putin was appointed prime minister of Russia--effectively staying in complete control-- after a two term limit was reached in 2008 (constitutional fiddling allowed him to come back as president).

I am sure there are many other examples with siblings and children succeeding to office, and while sometimes the puppet master can lose control, as happened to Roosevelt with Taft after the 1908 election, keeping someone out of office may be no more than a legal fiction. All this is part of larger questions over who controls legislatures and executive offices, and these issues have been around for a long time. (In the 1952 science-fiction novel "The Space Merchants" senators are directly appointed by corporations. The president is a figurehead.) Drawing Congressional district boundaries on a non-partisan basis is a much better way to get people out of office since that leads to competitive races, but it doesn't happen enough. So clearly term limits aren't a real fix, much as one might wish they were.

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Sep 1, 2023·edited Sep 1, 2023

Yes, term limits = less democracy and a less sophisticated and more captured legislature. The court's been captured, many agencies captured and legislative body largely captured by the finance - media complex that reduces democracy and raises media profits on a daily basis.

Media spending determines results more than any factor and one would expect media profits to be higher when no incumbents are involved, or where party / national spending predominates over individual races.

This concept goes hand in hand with the recent pieces about how the real owners are making policy, not their hand chosen shills.

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Just had to upvote you on that

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Sep 1, 2023·edited Sep 1, 2023

Thanks.

On the other extreme we have certain members who don't know when to leave. Like when the loveable ogre "Shrek" looked at his watch and said to his friend the Donkey, "oh how time flies! Well... It's time for you to leave now!"

Nicky Haley says the senate has became a posh nursing home now that Moscow Mitch froze twice, but she is forgetting history, Robert Byrd etc

It was a humorous book of drawings - 100 uses for your dead husband, but maybe it should be about senators.

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Marc says: Nicky Haley says the senate has became a posh nursing home now that Moscow Mitch froze twice, but she is forgetting history, Robert Byrd etc

LOL. and so true. I agree with Thom that we need experience in congress, it is called institutional memory. But it is a cut off. I'm 84 and in no way capable or fit enough to be a congress critter, senator or CEO of America Inc.

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How can one call him/herself Maverick and speak of dawdling seniors who belong in rocking chairs? Look up dawdling and one meaning is time wasting. Hello, Jim Jordan and most of the Republican Party. Grab a rocking chair!

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... Actually, as I suggested to the president, a good double dose of

lIPOSOMAL Ubiquinol twice daily will clean up a lot of rust (radical oxygen species) for anyone over 35 yo --yes you.. this is the age of

nootropics! unfortunately the age

of western medicine (where the third leading cause of death is medical error).

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Sep 1, 2023·edited Sep 1, 2023

Off topic but important. President Biden has the authority to override the Supreme Courts ruling on affirmative action. Treaties override our laws, Article 22 of the International Code Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Racial Discrimination.

https://www.justsecurity.org/87947/racial-justice-without-affirmative-action-embracing-international-law-after-sffa-v-harvard/

So why hasn't he, and why has not Garland come to the rescue?

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Thanks, I hadn't thought of this.

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I was on the fence Thom, I did not really considered the implications, but you have enlightened me, so I'm in your corner. Now, I'm twice as in favor of limits on campaign contributions of $100 by unions and corporations and individuals and the candidates themselves. And everyone and everything else! With the penalty if death if need be, if anyone violates or gets caught trying to bribe the government. With about a $400,000 a year maximum wage and the violators would also receive the death penalty, for being greedy narcissistic bastards, the robberbarons wouldn't have the money to bribe any government on Earth! And destroy freedom and make slavery and sadism normal behavior!

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A $400,000 maximum wage. I get it it would keep the CEO's, CFO, COO's, etc honest, but there is a way around that, and Boards of Directors use it, and they give their underlings huge benefit packages. Benefit packages not wages, How do we stop that practice.?

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We count benefit packages as wages. Like a professional athlete who makes about 6 million in their lifetime, there could be an account set up for them where they could collect $400,000 for about 15 years, but they couldn't earn any more than that for those years. They can get $200,000 a year for about 30 years if they chose. No exceeding 400,000 a year for anyone though!

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...i thot "dreamers" refers to immigration....

i mean: you are D R E A M I N G

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Consider, not considered/ of death not if death/ no "and".

Sorry, either it is me or my phone, the phone likes to change words, right as I'm posting?

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Sep 6, 2023Liked by Thom Hartmann

Thank you for this. I argued in vain against this in California in the 1990s but we elected to disenfranchise ourselves anyway. It was a terrible mistake.

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You did not mention age limits or mandatory retirement age. Some of our good leaders don’t seem to know when to retire.

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Thanks, I too hadn't considered that. As you say, there are already term limits - they're called elections - but why do voters elect someone (like McConnell), who obviously should be fading into retirement? Perhaps an age limit would be better? The same could be said for Biden and Trump - both would be better off retiring as every other worker does, pursuing some other retirement interests. Do these men have no control over their egos that they think that there's no one younger who can do the job? It really reflects on just how impoverished the discernment of the voters has become. My voting conscience wouldn't allow me to put a dawdling senior who belongs in a rocking chair into such a duty.

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They have to serve 36 years IIRC, to retire with full benefits, and so long as they are active members of congress, they and their families are eligible for the Golden package of health care benefits, also while in congress they can protect their ill gotten gains from lobbyists and billionaires, just like the constitutional traitors that , all six of them) who wear black robes, not to mention lesser minions like Aileen Cannon

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I never really thought about the negative implications of term limits. Its certainly eye opening and a service to those of us who’d not known this.

The issue has been so unclear because its has been the intention of those pushing for “ term limits” to make it unclear.

As is so often the case for Republican causes, this too is a manipulative attempt to always have their way.

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I have a problem here Thom: You said that G.H.W. Bush was responsible for outsourcing jobs to Mexico, however IIRC, it was Bill Clinton, when he signed NAFTA and the new GAAT, that created the rust belt, formerly Democratic strongholds, into Swing States like Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin

Granted Hillary got more popular votes, but it is the electoral college that counts, and it is the electoral college in swing states that won the day for Trump. And in that we can thank Bill Clinton, who tarnished his wife's election bid, and for the same reason docrhhw mentioned, Hillary would have been a place holdeer, beholden to the same oligarchs that had Bill by the balls.

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Term limiting is another situation where the nuance hits the fan. Conservative brains will be inclined to accept how the results SHOULD BE instead of what really happens. You know, just like with the abortion restrictions resulting in a poor child of 12 in a forced pregnancy.

They don't do nuance, and because they have been taught to hate the government, of course the argument of institutional memory being a "good thing" will not resonate with them.

A member of Congress is more than meets the eye; they come with a staff that gets a lot of the reading, research, and especially constituent services DONE. They are who you and I will be talking to, and it's a good thing when they have experience and knowledge of the agencies we need to resolve our problem.

Back to Mitch and Diane, experience is good, but so is having the grace to step aside when you mentally and physically can no longer do your job. I would absolutely support age limits coming and going---25 to 75 seems right to me. I want the best functioning brains possible making laws, confirming appointments, using war powers, and handling our money.

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Thank you Thom! I have been speaking out against Term Limits and advocating voting for years! Where would we be if Nancy Pelosi or Jamie Raskin or any number of other great Senators or Representatives had been Term Limited out of office?

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The analysis is certainly on point and does reflect some of the experience in Colorado with term limits. The issue is more complex, however.

Solving the problem of entrenched politicians can be addressed better by getting large money donations out of state legislative and local races. That was attempted in Colorado in 2002 with campaign finance limits. Of course, Citizens' United intervened after that time.

Lobbyists will be around whether there are term limits or not. Not everything they do is bad or evil. The issue is whether they can purchase and control state legislators rather than provide meaningful input.

In many states, particularily the very small population states, legislatures have limited or no staffs. These states also often lack policy groups within state governments. Many legislators have a lack of understanding of policy and no one to develop the research to support policy-based legislation. These deficits invite the abuses of groups such as ALEC.

We need to focus first on getting money out of elections!

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...guys...catch up

senolytics ‼️‼️💪

perhaps ••YOU ••might try some ...

amazing what a curious mind can find....

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