28 thoughts on “Weekend Question Thread

  1. That “lobbying” and “donations” to politicians are free speech and not bribes, under the law.

  2. After the befuddling company health insurance meeting we had yesterday, I would establish Universal Health Care (but elective crap like lipo/frivolous augmentations/viagra would be excluded – selfish/insecure folks that want those things would have to pay premium – but I want an end to folks not being able to hit the doctor’s office/hospital for necessary things that end up bankrupting them because of greedy insurance companies denying coverage for things like cancer!???!?).
    Elspeth

  3. A national health system, a la Britain or Canada.
    But since that’s already been mentioned, I’d say my next choice would be an extensive network of high-speed rail. I’d be much happier traveling by rail, and I think it’d help a lot of things–commuting, pollution, traffic, etc.
    In fantasy-world, I’d have Canada be the world power too full of itself for its own good, doing the awful things, and have us be the good guys with hockey and “Eh!” and William Shatner. Okay, maybe not William Shatner…

  4. Buggy!!! LOL! Well, he can be ours, but only behind the protective television screen on “Boston Legal”. 🙂 Seems we have a strong trend (granted it’s early in the weekend) towards universal health care…ahem, President Obama, wanna get a lobbyist-proof group to get this going? Plskthxbai!
    Elspeth

  5. I would change the “greed” attitude of Americans. That would open the door to an equitable distribution of wealth among all Americans, allow a fully funded government, enable a universal payer health care system to be set up, and end the primary Reagan legacy forever.

  6. I second hoppy’s answer — and I’d also like to see a media that isn’t a reflection of the greed attitude, self-centeredness, and immaturity that’s so frustratingly common, at least around here.

  7. A single-payer national health care system is so obvious that it becomes increasingly frustrating to watch all the ways that politicians, financially dependent upon political contributions from the multi-billion dollar health care industry, contort themselves into ridiculous positions of justifying why we “can’t” do what every other civilized nation has done years ago: give its citizens affordable, common-sense health care.

  8. go back in time and fix the helicopter at Desert One, so that Carter’s hostage rescue works.
    Had that one thing happened, how different would America be today? Well, just imagine:
    No President Reagan. No public destruction of a major union, so no war on labor. No farmers kicked off the land to enhance corporate holdings, so no war on heirloom seeds and traditional businesses (seed cleaners and savers). No deregulation, so maybe less global warming; no war on science and no NCLB, so our kids in school would not graduate stupid enough for companies to get by with offshoring on the basis of incompetent applicants. No Senator Gramm “overcoming” the Glass-Steagall Act. A working OSHA, a working EPA, no FISA. No presidents Bush. (Imagine … !) By now we’d HAVE Medicare for everybody, and organic farming, and alternative energy.
    Plus, probably no Governor w or perry in Texas and no governator in California. How cool would that be? Real family farms, competitive small (and medium like Chrysler and large like GM) businesses, affordable college tuition … Faux Noise wouldn’t exist, newspapers would still be healthy (because, of course, they’d never have stopped picking fights with the sitting President, so Scaife and the Coors heirs and Murdoch would be pouring money in rather than bleeding money out), we wouldn’t’ve fought Desert Shield/Storm, there’d’ve been no 9-11-01 (because we’d have had a President in place who cared instead of a slacker) and no USA PATRIOT Acts, no FISA … and best but not least, Rush LImbaugh would still be a fat failure who couldn’t stay married or hold a job.
    All because of one misadventure in the desert.

  9. The Other Sarah has me almost convinced to change my choice of changes. One little problem: like all time travel paradoxes, this one might well result in A. being the editor/publisher of the Mid-Continent Times, and we wouldn’t have this opportunity to get together to make that simple change that would do so much good.

  10. How do I love thee? Let me count the ways:
    *) National Healthcare
    *)Politics of priviledge and selfishness
    *) “The Stupid” nature of much politics
    .
    .

  11. I’d wish for a functioning political left – an actual Socialist/SocialDem/Labor party, backed by a strong multiracial labor movement and social/religious organizations. That would require some time-fiddling too, though.
    The helicopter fix does sound less risky. But lots of those policies – Volcker, the military buildup – really started with Carter, not Reagan. Plus the neoliberals would have fit in just fine, which gives us deregulation and its ills. The modern Democratic Party has good people but it’s really only half a loaf at best.

  12. We have to fix the entire system, which means using Rob Goldman’s plan (above) to end political contributions and lobbying. That will get us universal health care, better education and weaken the M-I complex.
    But if we’re talking time travel, I’d go back to 1886 and make sure the US Supreme Court never claimed corporations had the same legal status as people. That would also fix a lot of crap in this country.

  13. hear hear
    i’m on board with all these suggestions. national healthcare is long past overdue but there is such a list, as you all have plainly laid out, it’s hard to say which one is more critical than the others.

  14. One thing? End Corporate personhood and implement the death penalty for corporations.

  15. I want my Fourth Amendment back.
    No civil forfeiture.
    No wiretaps without warrant.
    An end to no-knock SWAT.
    No search without warrant.

  16. Some how, some way, I’d instill tolerance in every child born and then let nature take its course.

  17. Rule of Law.
    Those without money would be treated the same under the law as Dick Cheney and Carl Rove.
    We wouldn’t hold people without trial or recourse.
    We wouldn’t close our eyes to powerful men who broke laws and treaties.
    We wouldn’t look like hypocritical assholes to the rest of the world.

  18. I think I’d fix the public education system on the theory that that will lead to the rest of the changes we need. Though I’m terribly tempted to eliminate the military-industrial complex, since it is both a high-cost parasite as well as a corrupter of basic human morality — hard to get much more evil..

  19. I’d erase American Exceptionalism. Without the belief that the US can do whatever it wants because it’s better than everyone else and the Moral Exemplar of the World™, and that there are therefore two sets of rules in the world (one for Americans, and one for everyone else), a lot of other things (like the US’ imperial posturing) would fix themselves. Doing away with American Exceptionalism might even get rid of some of the quasi-religious tone that permeates so much discussion of American politics, permitting things like single-payer healthcare and decent labour protection to become enshrined in law.

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