General discussion

  • Creator
  • #2245893

    US Voter Roll Call!


    by charliespencer ·

    When did you vote? Before work, after, lunch time, early, absentee, etc.

    How was the turn-out? Heavy, light? More or less than two years ago?

    Any problems?

    I arrived twenty minutes before the polls opened and was about 15th in line. By 7:00 there were probably 75 or so. That’s about normal for this precinct, where participation is pretty good. I was out by 7:15 or so. The poll workers here had the voter rolls on laptops this year instead of the paper rolls they’ve used in the past.

All Comments

  • Author
    • #2871106

      Zero lines in Pittsburgh at 7:30 and 8:00 AM

      by delbertpgh ·

      In reply to US Voter Roll Call!

      My wife went in at 7:30 and I a half hour later, and neither uf us had to wait at all. Makes me worry. Looks like a very light turnout. When decent people do nothing, crackpots rule.

    • #2871101

      I will not vote till tonight but…

      by cmiller5400 ·

      In reply to US Voter Roll Call!

      In my precinct (2/10 mile from my house) it was packed at 7:00 this morning. I usually vote at night and pick up my Mom and Dad as well so they can vote too.

      Edit: Dang keyboard left out a letter. Time to clean it…

    • #2871097


      by pser ·

      In reply to US Voter Roll Call!

      Took off of work so I could be in my 14 month old’s Montessori School’s yearly wagon parade. Parked right in front of the Courthouse (small town). My wife and I both voted after the event was over. People flowing in and out the whole time we were downtown. Had to wait for a booth to open (about two minutes), there were six. Other than that … very quick process.

      I heard this morning, on the news, the early voter numbers were quite a bit higher than past elections. Good to hear …

    • #2871094

      I stopped

      by maecuff ·

      In reply to US Voter Roll Call!

      before work.

      No line at all. In and out in 10 minutes.

    • #2871091

      Fairly heavy turnout

      by robo_dev ·

      In reply to US Voter Roll Call!

      (North Atlanta Suburb)

      About 150 people in line, took around a half hour at 9:30 EST

      No problems, machine and check-in setup was exactly the same as it was last time.

      Only problem I had was having to hold my nose while working the touch screen, as here in Georgia the choices all stink to high heavens.

    • #2871089

      Not voting until tonight

      by jck ·

      In reply to US Voter Roll Call!

      I can’t be bothered to wake up early to go vote.

      Plus if I go early and the line is too long, I have to leave before I can vote because I drive 45-50 mins to work…

      So I just wait and go right after work.

      • #2851322

        AFTER work?

        by oz_media ·

        In reply to Not voting until tonight

        Don’t you just wander off and say you are going to vote?

        Damn, I’ve done that and I can’t even vote here! 😀

        • #2861165

          Just wandering off…

          by jck ·

          In reply to AFTER work?

          I can’t take a day off to do 3 medical appointments without getting grief from the boss.

          How am I supposed to go vote 40 miles away from my office?

          I’m in talks with another job right now, so I might be solving this issue.

    • #2871086

      This should make you happy

      by ed woychowsky ·

      In reply to US Voter Roll Call!

      Turnout running higher than expected.

      I’ll be voting after work.

    • #2871064

      Risked Life and Limb

      by gsg ·

      In reply to US Voter Roll Call!

      I voted as soon as the polls opened this morning. The parking lot had no lights, and there were potholes everywhere. I almost snapped an ankle walking in, and noticed that a lot of people were having issues.

      They were complaining to the people running the polls, but they had no idea where the lights were. Several said that they were going to complain to the election authority about it as that could be considered a barrier to voting, especially for the disabled and elderly.

      It went a lot better because they’ve automated the check in process. We used to have to stand in 4 lines depending on the first letter of our last name, and then they’d find our name in the list and we’d sign. They always accused me of trying to vote twice as my name is one letter off from my Dad’s name, and they had trouble reading the list.

      This year, they scanned our license, which checked to see if we’d already voted, then printed a sticker to go on the sign in sheet. I’d say the new processed saved a good 20 minutes waiting in line.

      We had a heavy turnout. The only time I saw it heavier was during the election 2 years ago.

      Edited to add: They have a lot of high school kids that work in my precinct who help the retired people who run the thing. I think it’s great to see them taking part in the process and learning how important it is to vote. Voting isn’t a right, it’s a responsibility!

      • #2871062

        Sounds like they need to change the polling place.

        by charliespencer ·

        In reply to Risked Life and Limb

        Was this at a church or school (two common polling locations here in SC), or some other structure? Sounds like everyone needs to complain to the county election office and get the location changed.

      • #2851317

        Voting isn’t a right, it’s a responsibility!

        by oz_media ·

        In reply to Risked Life and Limb

        Voting is something you do if you actually care who runs the country.

        While I can appreciate the importance of voting to US citizens, it’s one extreme or the other for you guys, in Canada fewer people seem to care. Sure people bitch on payday when they see the taxes taken off, they whine about immigration when the shopkeeper doesn’t speak English, but that happens no matter who’s in office here.

        I think all Canadians simply accept that ‘government’ is all just a bunch of crooks, liars and cheats, nobody would place a wooden nickel bet on any of them.

        We get sick of the Liberal party and vote in Conservatives, then we get sick of them and vote in Liberals again etc. People here flip flop but are expected to, CHANGE is change, especially when their main focus is all pretty much the same, no radical left right extreme really, compared to what you have to face anyway.

        So voting here is more one of those things you do if you fee like it, if not someone else will vote and it makes no real difference who’s elected…again until you see taxes taken from a paycheck, immigrants who don’t speak English but want your money etc. Then whoever is in the captain’s chair is the problem and vote the other way next time.

        I’m sure for people out East or people who involve themselves in politics, such as JamesRL, it is important and matters, and that’s just fine. Nobody minds if you care about your vote.

        In BC, we just get on with our lives, f*** government, they just don’t matter. It’s sunny and warm (for November) and I’m off to suck down a few cans of Boddingtons with friends on the beach.

    • #2870992

      My wife

      by charliespencer ·

      In reply to US Voter Roll Call!

      went at noon and saw only 15 people. She was out in less than 10 minutes.

    • #2870987

      Voted straight party line for all the Democrats

      by maxwell edison ·

      In reply to US Voter Roll Call!

      HA! Just kidding.

      I did, however, break one of my rules, and I cast my vote for a third-party candidate. (Any guesses as to which one?) That’s something I haven’t done since my 1992 vote for Mr. [i]I’m all ears[/i] Perot.

      To answer your question, I hand-carried my mail-in ballot and dropped it in the box. I saw no lines, but apparently there was a steady flow of people.

      • #2870982

        Cardiac Team to the computer room, STAT!

        by charliespencer ·

        In reply to Voted straight party line for all the Democrats

        I went third-party in the Senate race here. DeMint is too far right for me, and seems more interested in what’s good for the party than what’s good for the country. Democratic joke Alvin Greene wasn’t even a consideration. That left Green Party candidate Tom Clements.

        The ‘Straight Party’ option should be outlawed. It encourages not researching the candidates, gives additional false mandate to those running unopposed, and causes voters to overlook those races where candidates don’t declare a party (such as school board races here). Since eliminating it isn’t in the parties interests …

        • #2870973

          No, the straight-party option makes perfect sense

          by maxwell edison ·

          In reply to Cardiac Team to the computer room, STAT!

          This especially holds true with candidates to the House or Senate, either on the national or state level.

          Why? Because, like it or not, for better or for worse, one of the two major parties (Dems or Repubs) WILL hold a majority in their respective chambers. Not only is a vote cast for an individual, but also one of the parties that WILL control the chamber. As such, they (the party) will control ALL of the committees, through which the decision is made regarding what legislation may or may not be brought to the floor for a full vote. Minority party legislation ALWAYS – I repeat ALWAYS – gets killed in committee votes, and majority party legislation always dominates.

          Moreover, the majority party controls ALL issues that require a simple majority floor vote: judges, cabinet appointments, and so on. As evidence, just look at the two newest Supreme Court justices – appointed by a very liberal president, and confirmed by a very liberal Senate. If you don’t want liberal judges, then you should cast a vote towards having a conservative Senate. And vice-versa if you don’t want conservative judges.

          For those reasons, I would NEVER NEVER NEVER vote for a third-party candidate (or a Democrat) for either a House or Senate seat. (That should be a hint as to which third-party candidate got my vote!)

        • #2870965

          Due to gerrymandering

          by maxwell edison ·

          In reply to No, the straight-party option makes perfect sense

        • #2870957

          In 1856 I would have voted for the Republicans.

          by delbertpgh ·

          In reply to No, the straight-party option makes perfect sense

          They were the third party then.

        • #2851326

          But it was a third party on the verge . . . . .

          by maxwell edison ·

          In reply to In 1856 I would have voted for the Republicans.

          ….. of actually replacing one of the two major parties.

          There is no such third party currently on the verge.

        • #2870963

          Another reason to vote party over person:

          by maxwell edison ·

          In reply to Cardiac Team to the computer room, STAT!

          On the state level, the congressional session following a census year will re-evaluate congressional districts, based on the growing, shrinking, or mobile population trends, and they will redraw congressional districts accordingly. The governor of said state will be in a position to approve or oppose how the congressional districts are redrawn.

          Can you spell gerrymandering?

          It always has happened, and it always will, regardless of how much we try to avoid it.

          Have you ever looked at the maps of congressional districts? With rare exceptions, like the entire state of Wyoming being one congressional district in itself, the boundaries look like no others, with scores of otherwise nonsensical twists and turns so that neighborhood voting trends are either included and/or excluded to favor one party over another. That’s why there are so many congressional districts that are always “safe” for one party over the other.

        • #2870960


          by delbertpgh ·

          In reply to Another reason to vote party over person:

          That’s pretty much my sole reason for voting for Onorato instead of Corbett for governor. Corbett’s actually pretty okay, but Pennsylvania has Republican majorities in its legislature, and if given an unrestricted hand in drawing Congressional districts would put half the Democratic representatives out of a job. Speaker Boehner would get an extra half dozen votes out of this state, without one actual voter having changed his preference.

          I’d like to introduce an amendment that says all Congressional districts have to be bounded by lines of latitude and longitude, with no more than six sides to them (exception being made for actual state borders.) That way, no district could have a shape more complicated than that of the state of Utah. Your Federal representatives would be much more likely to be responsible to an electorate that was typical of the actual population, and would have to govern in a way that encompassed everybody’s interests, rather than just that of a preselected demographic that is already in the tank for them.

        • #2870955

          I had a friend

          by jamesrl ·

          In reply to Exactly.

          Who used to represent “my” party on the committee to draw boundaries in Canada.

          They highly encourage reusing existing boundaries where possible – city boundaries, county etc. If that fails, rivers are good. If that fails, major streets.

          In my province of Ontario, we had a decision almost two decades back that made things simple. The province would have the same seats in its legislature as the country had seats from Ontario in federal parliament. They would have the same names. Easy peasy. So instead of 2 different names and boundaries, we have one.

          The only real variance is a historic one. For example rural consituencies tend to have much smaller populations than big cities, because its impractical to have consitutencies that are so big it takes a day to cross it. Prince Edward Island has the same number of seats its always had, but the population, as a percentage of the whole country’s population, has shrunk.

        • #2851329

          We do agree on some things

          by maxwell edison ·

          In reply to Exactly.

          However, as much as I like the idea of simple borders – county lines, city limits, etc. – doing away with the political maneuvering, it couldn’t be done by national mandate and/or constitutional amendment; at least I don’t think so.

          Each state would be responsible to determine its own rules. We wouldn’t want the feds or people from Colorado, for example, telling people in Pennsylvania how to conduct their own business, would we?

          Being a states’ rights kinda’ guy, I’d have to rest on that, and just let the chips fall where they may.

        • #2864873

          Yeah, I’ve studied that closely

          by papa_bill ·

          In reply to We do agree on some things

          I found that district lines are often drawn around individual property lines, In spite of the federal mandate.
          I had to vote (until I moved) at a church four and a half miles away although the county area office is only two blocks away. It wasn’t until after I moved that I learned my neighbors were voting at the courthouse.

          Political etiquette proscribes me from saying why.

        • #2870956

          Then vote for the party candidates individually.

          by charliespencer ·

          In reply to Another reason to vote party over person:

          I don’t have a problem with the behavior, it’s the enabling ‘Straight Party’ punch hole / button / check box / other ballot mechanism that hangs my chads. We vote once every two years; we only redistrict every ten. Is it that much trouble to check for the ‘R’ or ‘D’ beside each of the candidates’ names?

          Still, it beats walking dozens of miles in the sun to the polls, getting shot along the way.

        • #2861146

          That’s the best reason for using more statisctical method

          by nicknielsen ·

          In reply to Another reason to vote party over person:

          to draw up the districts.

          [i]…the boundaries look like no others, with scores of otherwise nonsensical twists and turns so that neighborhood voting trends are either included and/or excluded to favor one party over another. That’s why there are so many congressional districts that are always “safe” for one party over the other. [/i]

          I much prefer the shortest splitline method over the current system.

      • #2870974

        You had us going there….

        by robo_dev ·

        In reply to Voted straight party line for all the Democrats


      • #2851336

        Yeah, sure

        by av . ·

        In reply to Voted straight party line for all the Democrats

        I’ll take a guess. It has to be Tom Tancredo.


        • #2851330

          I knew you would know!

          by maxwell edison ·

          In reply to Yeah, sure

          And for good reason!

        • #2851328


          by av . ·

          In reply to I knew you would know!

          I didn’t know he was seriously running. When he was considering it, I never thought he would go through with it. That would be really something if he won.


        • #2851325

          It’s been an amazing race, AV

          by maxwell edison ·

          In reply to Honestly

          I’ve seen nothing like it in my entire life.

          And he just might pull it off. In the latest polls, he’s within the margin of error of it being a toss-up.

          Win, lose, or draw, he’s make a very impressive run.

        • #2851316

          They should make them eat something gross

          by oz_media ·

          In reply to It’s been an amazing race, AV

          It would be cool if it actually was like The Amazing Race, put them on a worldwide race, eat crap, shovel crap, wade through crap etc. The best part is they would actually find out where places were and what other people and cultures were like too!

        • #2851314


          by av . ·

          In reply to They should make them eat something gross

          Politics has lots of crap, so there is no shortage. I can’t believe anyone would ever want to serve.


        • #2851227

          Gotta love politics

          by delbertpgh ·

          In reply to They should make them eat something gross

          It stinks often and badly, but it’s how we identify issues, what to do, and how much to do.

          Power is never without politics. Even in North Korea, there’s a lot of politics going on, secret alliances based on agreements, ambition, and payoffs. Here, we just get to see a lot of it, and vote somebody down when they get too corrupt or ineffectual.

          One of the most important elements in a democracy, what keeps the political system working and effective, is for the public to pay attention.

        • #2851195


          by oz_media ·

          In reply to They should make them eat something gross

          Nice, but do you REALLY think they see themselves as Serving the public and not just playing politics for money?

        • #2851194

          vote somebody down when they get too corrupt or ineffectual

          by oz_media ·

          In reply to They should make them eat something gross

          Right, or reelect them to do their worst.

          As for “One of the most important elements in a democracy, what keeps the political system working and effective, is for the public to pay attention.”

          It brings to mind a Journey song, Don’t Stop Believing. You just keep telling yourself that, whatever makes you feel like the public has some control still.

        • #2851192

          Serve? I agree, Oz – it’s a bunch of crap

          by maxwell edison ·

          In reply to They should make them eat something gross

          [i]Public servants[/i] or [i]serving the public[/i] or any other such nonsense is one of my pet peeves – because it’s a bunch of crap.

          We actually have an ever-growing political and/or governmental class in this country. It’s huge, it’s powerful, and it’s profitable.

          Every election cycle we might [i]hope[/i] this one will [i]change[/i] government, but it never does. Politicians get extremely wealthy, if they weren’t that way already, and they wrestle more and more power and control over others.

          Government workers and bureaucrats, who are never elected and have positions that are very protected, are growing in numbers and earn much, much more than those in the private sector. And now they’re unionizing in droves, having become the largest sector of union members – more money, more benefits, all on the backs of the taxpayers who are working more, earning less, and [i]serving[/i] those in government more and more. In reality, it’s government, its elected officials, and its workers who are actually the ones [i]being served[/i].

          What’s puzzling to me, however, is to see how so many people acknowledge this to be true, but they then turn around and espouse more and more government! And I’m the one criticized for wanting less government! I just don’t get it.

        • #2851188

          We better slow down, Max.

          by oz_media ·

          In reply to They should make them eat something gross

          Agreeing on politics is not becoming of us.

          On more government, I don’t agree that tighter reigns should be imparted on citizens, if that is your definition of MORE government that people keep pushing for. However, when people push for things like subsidized medical, welfare etc. That’s where the grey area seems to come in and where you seem to have difficulty accepting it, as you see it as MORE government.

          Most other democratic nations have deemed social welfare and medical, just as essential as police and fire.

          So if these social services (yeah, that’s right, I said it)are actually essential services, then all the other seemingly “frivolous” spending is what others deem too much government.

          You, on the other hand, seem to see welfare and subsidized medical as being frivolous and unneeded government but other spending essential.

          I think America still has slapped arse syndrome over having such a weak military after the attack on Pearl Harbour. You were teetering on the point of, get it together REAL quick or be invaded and speak Germ-anese (like that, German/Japanese?).

          As a result, it has been vital that it never happens again, which I can fully accept of course, one bitten twice shy.

          But the constant focused on military, war, war budgets, TRILLIONS in debts etc. just takes it to an extreme. As always, US politics goes from one extreme to the other.
          YOU never seem to find a nice, comfortable balance and begin maintaining an even keel.

          It is the nature of American people too, that’s why they are so easily spotted in public when in other countries, EXTREMES in every way. Even FOOD there is an EXTREME, must be the biggest bag/box/bottle/serving, must be cheapest. Extremes.

          I my eyes, you REALLY need to find some middle ground, find a comfort zone. then you can relax, enjoy living prosperous lives in a country that sees to equalize wealth (not necessarily in the form of redistribution but moreso opportunity).

          I know, let ME run your freakin’ country for a term. I’ll fix it, nobody will give a toss about politics, everyone will be healthy and happy, you’ll become the world’s greatest exporter of marijuana for use in clothing, replacing paper products, plastics renewable energy etc. not the stuff that you smoke but the stuff that creates a renewable industry.

          I’ll give it back to someone in four years and they can give it a go, but I am sure that once people see their lives just become EASIER and less cluttered with BS, they will be much happier.

          EDIT: Just read all that and it seem to be a lot of rambling thoughts about nothing, but I think there’s a few points buried in it somewhere and I didn’t bash anyone, well accept Bush but that’s allowed.

        • #2851158


          by delbertpgh ·

          In reply to They should make them eat something gross

          There are no reasonable alternatives to professional politicians handling politics. Politics will always be about money and power, and the corrupting potential of those elements will never be far in the background.

          Also, don’t forget, because money and power are always there, corruption will always serve as an explanation of what you don’t like in goverment. If what’s bad can be equated to what’s evil, then you have a smug pundit with an explanation he can sell. A politician can always look vile and crooked in the imagination of someone opposed to him.

          This is the age of bigness, where large companies make immense undertakings that engage a large part of the country, or several countries. Big players create lots of jobs and lots of wealth, and their activities make possible our prosperity. It’s the unavoidable outcome of big-scale ops that politics must serve the interests of these powerful and rich companies, while concurrently serving the interests of “the people.” Politicians have to keep the notion of “the people” alive, because it is easy for a people to break up along divisions between rich and poor, eastern and western, workers and investors, rural and city.

          Some of those politicians are serving us, and others are just stuffing their and their friends’ pockets. You can call them all crooks if you want, but what they do and our civic ritual of arguing and voting on them keep us together.

        • #2851119

          Also, don’t forget

          by oz_media ·

          In reply to They should make them eat something gross

          [i]Also, don’t forget, because money and power are always there, corruption will always serve as an explanation of what you don’t like in goverment. [/i]

          Correction: …because money and power are always there, corruption will always be there too.

          Explanations and reality are different

        • #2851104

          Public servant is an oxymoron

          by av . ·

          In reply to They should make them eat something gross

          They get paid better than the private sector and they have the best of benefits, all paid for by the taxpayers. I want to be a public servant! I don’t have a pension, just a 401k, yet I have to pay for public servant pensions in my taxes. WTF!

          What a deal for our public servants! I wish people would pay more attention and get out and vote out some of the old-time political hacks in Congress. We should have term limits to prevent any member of Congress from having more than 2 terms in office. It just lends itself to more of the same and political corruption.

          Voting them out isn’t enough. Most people don’t even care enough about politics to vote. It has to be the law so there is no question.


          Edited: Forgot the word “out” in “vote out some of the political hacks in Congress”.

        • #2851096

          I think the true word is getting out about government employees

          by maxwell edison ·

          In reply to They should make them eat something gross

          It’s an absolute travesty the way they earn more, have better benefits, have early and cushy retirement packages, have 100 percent job security, don’t have a bottom-line budget to meet, etc.

          I want to get rid of them – at least a good percentage of them. And the way to do it is to ELIMINATE their function by reducing the size, scope, and power of government. Any government function the private sector could do should be contracted to the private sector.

          I’ll be working for fifteen or twenty more years (I’m mid 50s) while my government employee contemporaries are starting to retire with VERY GENEROUS benefits, which will be paid for by my continued working so I can pay taxes that will be applied to their cushy lifestyle! I see it; I know some of them; and it really pisses me off!

          Hell, maybe I should apply for a government job so I can actually retire in fourteen more years. (My 6 years in the military would apply for time served.) But then I would have to acknowledge that future generations of workers will be paying a HUGE part of their hard-earned dollars to support me. My conscious just wouldn’t let me do it, not to mention they could probably find some law to justify age discrimination against an old fart in his 50s.

        • #2851076

          Government jobs are not as cushy as you think

          by delbertpgh ·

          In reply to They should make them eat something gross

          They have a pretty good retirement package, and a mediocrity who lucks into a decent government job will probably get better pay, benefits, and security than he would enjoy on the private side. However, government jobs top out at a lower level, and have a boatload of restrictions on gifts, expenses, and entertainment. If you’re a big talent at a big bank, or in the sales department of any Fortune 500, you do way better than the government rats.

          Plus, you get stroked by characters like Beck, Limbaugh, and Hannity, who convince the public that you’re some prince of capitalism who needs all the good pay and low taxes so that he’ll create more jobs and make everybody else able to afford their homes again. Ah, the irony.

        • #2851057

          Typical Delbert . . . . .

          by maxwell edison ·

          In reply to They should make them eat something gross


          Whatever you say, dude. I guess I don’t know what I see with my own eyes.

        • #2851037

          Speaking as a

          by pser ·

          In reply to They should make them eat something gross

          Government “Rat”, I can assure you, the pay is NOT comparable to private sector jobs (at least in I.T.).

          In ’05 the legislators passed H.B. 1516, an attempt to privatize/consolidate State data centers. It has been a HUGE failure (on every level) to the point that the original winner of the contract has been declined renewal and there is a new contract to be bid on, all over again. The contract company(s) employees make at least a third more than what a state employees makes at the same level. The amount of bureaucracy to get the slightest thing done is atrocious! Valuable data, involved in legal matters has been lost. It is a sad state of affairs, excuse the pun.

          The amount of money it was supposed to save the taxpayers has long been surpassed by the amount it has cost to keep things running.

          It is NOT, at all, as you think it is Max, I assure you that! Job security, not so much. There have been at least five large scale R.I.F.’s since I have been working here, and there will be another one shortly, as a huge budget cut has been issued and it does include even more F.T.E.’s. There has been changes increasing the cost of health care. Retirement benefits have been reduced or just flat out cut. The list goes on and on, sadly. I wish working for State Government was as you say it is but, it just ain’t so.

          Look into what is happening in my State, maybe it’ll make you feel better.

          PS – taxes come out of State employee’s checks just as they do yours.

          Edit for links:

        • #2851022

          Some perspective on Government employees

          by jamesrl ·

          In reply to They should make them eat something gross

          I don’t have any knowledge of pay levels of US federal employees.

          My father in law is an engineer with the state of California. He does get paid less than he did in the private sector, but the private sector went into the tank so he took the job. He also has to put up with mandatory unpaid days off. His salary was frozen a long time ago, long before the economy tanked. All in all he doesn’t feel lucky.

          I worked for a crown corporation, a Canadian federal government agency. Our pay levels were not as high as those in the private sector, but the pension was very good.

          My father was a municipal employee, and to be honest growing up we were working poor, at least until the group joined a union. Things did get better, and he does have a decent pension. My dad did a dangerous job for low pay as a hydro lineman, something many people take for granted. In the worst weather he’d be out there making sure people had power. He has a bunch of metal in his leg to show for it.

          I’m sure there are people in government jobs who are overpaid and underworked. I’m sure the same can be said for many in the private sector as well.

          As for politicians, like any other area, there are good ones and bad ones.

          I know one politician from my old days in politics who earned every cent she was paid, she worked 12-16 hour days every day. Her staff would burn out before she would though, she had a revolving door. She always won with a comfortable margin because she worked very hard for her constituents, and at the same time worked hard on committees and as a cabinet minister.

          Of course there are those who coast along not contributing much, and they should be kicked out no matter what party they belong to. But the trend in voting these days is less and less about voting for an individual and more about voting along party lines.

        • #2851019


          by charliespencer ·

          In reply to They should make them eat something gross

          I’ve never understood how contracting a private firm to perform a government function was supposed to save money. The contractor is obviously interested in making a profit; the government isn’t. It seems to me that alone means it’s going to cost more to have the contractor perform the function.

          I also don’t understand how the feds can afford to pay for-profit private security firms, but can’t afford to pay our military personnel comparable salaries. That one really frosts my shorts.

        • #2851015


          by pser ·

          In reply to They should make them eat something gross

          They cannot, which is the problem. There is NO way, a ‘for profit’ company can save taxpayers money doing what could be done by State employees. Especially, when they are paying at least three other contract companies to TRY to get things done.

          Example: Twelve servers, backup units, UPS’s, to be moved from one room to another one right next to it. No more than 50′. Took countless meetings and three weeks for the ‘privates’ to get done what we, State employees, could have done in a half day. They split it up over a three week period. One person to backup, another person to shut down, another person to physically move, another to turn on, and finally a State employee to confirm functionality. INSANE!!!

          This was strictly a ‘backroom’ deal, where palms were greased. The main company, did NO due diligence before throwing their number out. How can someone put a bid on something without knowing exactly WHAT they were bidding on??? Makes me sick, ’cause, it’s MY tax dollars as well!

        • #2851013

          Private versus Public

          by jamesrl ·

          In reply to They should make them eat something gross

          I have seen some examples where privatization has saved governments money. The quickest example is garbage pickup in some cities. Because the municipal workers had a union and generous benefits, it was cheaper to have outside contractors do it, when there were such firms who had efficiencies of scale.

          But I think you have to look at each case individually. If you look at Iraq and Afganistan, for example, it may be cheaper to have private contractors than army cooks or army truck drivers. But when you outsource security , you lose control over the operations of people with guns, you risk a great deal.

          When I was working for a federal government agency, we had a great deal of pressure to outsource IT. I crunched the numbers for six months, and I couldn’t see how.

        • #2851009


          by jellimonsta ·

          In reply to They should make them eat something gross

          I have been working in State government for a couple of years now. While the benefits and hours and a major plus (I only have to work 40 and not 45-55 like I did private sector), I could make considerably more money in the private sector, and would not be subject to 8 unpaid days a year and no pay raises for the next few years at least.
          Whether I stay in a state position for the next 30 years until I retire is quite unlikely, but it definitely has upside and serious downside.

        • #2850998

          Government outpaces private – it’s not debatable

          by maxwell edison ·

          In reply to They should make them eat something gross

          [i]Average federal salaries exceed average private-sector pay in 83% of comparable occupations.[/i]

          [i]Overall, federal workers earned an average salary of $67,691 in 2008 for occupations that exist both in government and the private sector, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data. The average pay for the same mix of jobs in the private sector was $60,046 in 2008, the most recent data available…..

          These salary figures do not include the value of health, pension and other benefits, which averaged $40,785 per federal employee in 2008 vs. $9,882 per private worker, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis.[/i]

          [i]Federal wages and benefits have been rising quickly, and by 2004 the average compensation of federal workers was almost twice the average in the private sector.[/i]

          [i]In 2007-08, the average annual base salary of regular full-time public school teachers ($49,600) was higher than the average annual base salary of regular full-time private school teachers ($36,300).[/i]

          I could go on and on and on and …….

        • #2861282

          I love using that term when speaking to cops

          by oz_media ·

          In reply to They should make them eat something gross

          You can put it forth very politely and innocently but make sure you throw the public servant moniker in there, it’s a KILLER laugh and there’s NOTHING the can do about it!

          “I understand that you have a hard job to do, as do most of our public servants…” 😀 piggerman’s my servant!

        • #2861254

          Government jobs

          by av . ·

          In reply to They should make them eat something gross

          We pay our government workers really well in NJ and pile on the benefits. Look at some of these salaries in NJ. Even the lowest IT salary is a decent wage in NJ, a high cost of living state.

          I can kick myself for not having the foresight to pursue the public sector. You get a good salary AND benefits and a pension. Unheard of in the private sector.


        • #2861186

          Government efficiency

          by maxwell edison ·

          In reply to They should make them eat something gross

          Profit motive and competition – neither of which is a factor in government – both steer the private sector to be more productive.

          All one has to do is look at the USPS, which lost 3 billion dollars last year, and compare it to either FedEx and UPS, both of which had positive earnings.

          (And have you ever noticed how slooooooooow USPS service employees are, compared to those folks who work for FedEx or UPS? It must be in the USPS service manual – walk slow and take your sweet time.)

          Since when has government efficiency become anything but an oxymoron?

        • #2861181


          by charliespencer ·

          In reply to They should make them eat something gross

          is probably losing more money these days due to the loss of business to e-mail than from inefficiencies.

          Non-profits aren’t driven by a profit motive or competition, but they also have to operate efficiently. There’s no -economic- reason the gov’t can’t be run more efficiently. The elected officials who keep promising they’re going to cut costs refuse to accept the -political- consequences. They hand off the dirty work to a ‘BRAC committee’ or similar temporary organization so they can push the blame off on someone else.

        • #2861170

          Therein lies the problem

          by maxwell edison ·

          In reply to They should make them eat something gross

          [i]There’s no -economic- reason the gov’t can’t be run more efficiently.[/i]

          That’s debatable. Why is it debatable? Because, generally speaking, government NEVER HAS been run efficiently, regardless of who says and/or does what. As such, one could easily surmise that it’s the very nature of government that prevents it.

          [i]The elected officials who keep promising they’re going to cut costs refuse to accept the -political- consequences.[/i]

          How about this for a [i]political consequence[/i]? Stop expecting government to be run efficiently, and thereby stop giving government more things to (hopefully) run efficiently, but will ultimately be run inefficiently.

          [i]USPS is probably losing more money these days due to the loss of business to e-mail than from inefficiencies.[/i]

          That, too, is debatable. Private companies would adapt to such changes – or simply go out of business if they fail to adapt. Failing to adapt, by definition, is probably the epitome of inefficiency.

          Therein lies the problem: People think that their version of [i]big government[/i] will be different. It never is. People think that their people will make [i]big government[/i] different. They never do. People think that their flavor of snake-oil will cure all [i]big government[/i] ills. But it’s still snake-oil. ONLY smaller government will be different. ONLY smaller government will reduce and/or eliminate [i]big government[/i] inefficiencies.

          P.S. But, by-gosh, by-golly, people just want to believe. Believe in [i]hope and change[/i]. It doesn’t matter who’s selling it. They tap the heels of their red shoes together and wish really, really hard. Anything to pass on personal responsibility to others – through [i]big government[/i]. I can’t help but believe that SO MANY people are simply afraid of life. And the [i]big government[/i] elitists prey on those fears.

          Edited to add stuff.

        • #2861142

          The problem the USPS has, Max

          by nicknielsen ·

          In reply to They should make them eat something gross

          besides the postal workers union, is that they need Congressional approval to make any major changes to operations.

          Not everything the government does is bad. Do you really think we’d have the (admittedly deteriorating) transportation system we have if the federal government hadn’t stepped in and built it? Electrical power and telephones are also almost universally available because the federal government stepped in. There are places in New York, Colorado, and many other states that wouldn’t have electrical or telephone service today if it hadn’t been mandated. (And no, the power company doesn’t absorb the cost: my stepfather paid for the four-mile right-of-way, and for every pole it took to get power and telephone to the farmhouse.)

          There’s no way I would work for government again, Max. Sure, the bennies were good, but if I go to work for the state of SC, doing what I do now, I take an immediate 12K cut in pay, [u]before[/u] they take out the [u]mandatory[/u] medical and retirement that I don’t need.

        • #2861139

          Not everything the government does is bad.

          by maxwell edison ·

          In reply to They should make them eat something gross

          I never said that it is. How many times do I have to repeat myself?

          Military, fire, police, national defense, national infrastructure, etc. are functions of government. I have no problem with that.

          On the other hand, there come the social programs…….

          P.S. National Health Care bill was supposed to make more care available for more people at lower costs? Yea, right. We’re just now getting hit with the 40 percent increases in insurance premiums, etc.

          By the way, the Hoover Dam, contracted out to private companies, came in under budget and two years early.

        • #2861103

          You paint with a broad brush, Max

          by nicknielsen ·

          In reply to They should make them eat something gross

          Sometimes it splatters…

        • #2861004


          by tonythetiger ·

          In reply to They should make them eat something gross

          Try 400%

        • #2851107

          I think thats a good thing

          by av . ·

          In reply to It’s been an amazing race, AV

          He did make an impressive run and thats whats important because it scared the hell out of both the Republicans and Democrats that a 3rd party could have a showing like that. If he had decided to run earlier than August, he could have won.


          Very impressive, indeed. I’ve always had a lot of respect for Tom Tancredo. Maybe next time.


        • #2851099

          Maybe next time – in the meantime . . . . .

          by maxwell edison ·

          In reply to I think thats a good thing

          ….. can we have your governor? < insert smiley face here >

          (If T.T. would have won, I wouldn’t have to ask for yours!)

        • #2851086

          Christie says no, but

          by av . ·

          In reply to I think thats a good thing

          His star is rising fast. He is so incredible. Just saved the taxpayers of NJ $3 billion of possible cost overruns by killing the coveted Hudson River tunnel project. People depending on it were extremely p*ssed. Taxpayers are happy.


    • #2870972

      A few minutes ago.

      by boxfiddler ·

      In reply to US Voter Roll Call!

      There might have been two dozen peeps there while we were there. Our station gets busy for the before and after work crowd. So I always try to go late-morning or early afternoon.

      I’m smart, I chose paper. Got in and got out. The computer stations were down, except for one. Beeping like a … Annoying sound, too much like my alarm. :^0

      I voted third party in each contested position, but one. And was quite pleased to see third party candidates available in so many races. 🙂 No one was running against the current Attorney General. I didn’t vote that race, but I did think about drawing and filling in an oval circle next to the ‘No Candidate entered’ comment. :^0

    • #2851337

      I voted lunchtime

      by av . ·

      In reply to US Voter Roll Call!

      I was the only one in my district there, but there is usually never a big voter turnout in non-presidential elections. I was one of 150 people to vote by noon. Pretty sad.

      I usually vote at night after work and there still has never been a line. Lots of voter apathy here, I think.


    • #2851334

      Voted on the way home

      by michael jay ·

      In reply to US Voter Roll Call!

      turnout was light, making for a quick 15 minutes to complete my voting.

    • #2851307

      Somewhat of a side-note

      by maxwell edison ·

      In reply to US Voter Roll Call!

      Kudos to all our TR peers – including, of course, our Canadian, European, and Australian peers – for being so politically engaged. Agree or disagree, left or right, [i]right or wrong[/i] (I had to throw that one in!), we’re engaged, which is much better than the alternative.

      Personally speaking, I’ve gotten so much out of our political discussions over the years, it simply can’t be measured.

      • #2851190

        That’s because we figured it out

        by oz_media ·

        In reply to Somewhat of a side-note

        It took some 8 years but now we can all see it, it’s all Bush’s fault. 😀

        No matter what the future brings, no matter what the past resulted in, no matter what happens in the present, the world can always blame Bush. Americans were absolutely brilliant in finding the world’s most incompetent whipping boy and making him president.

        Even if you stood and looked him in the eye while calling him the most irresponsible, ioncompetent loser to walk the Earth, he’d gaze at you with those translucent eyes and offer up that ridiculous grin, point a finger at you and saying “You betcha!”
        Oh the good old days when America was merely there for the world’s entertainment!

        Okay Max, I think I effectively played my expected role now, can I take lunch? 😉

        • #2851186

          Always bash Bush

          by maxwell edison ·

          In reply to That’s because we figured it out

        • #2851179

          Love him

          by oz_media ·

          In reply to Always bash Bush

          Bridges does by far the absolute best Bush there is, I think he does a better Bush than Bush does?!?

          Unfortunately, this phabulously phantastic computer that I was given to use at this phenomenal employer’s phacility doesn’t have a sound card. It’s real quiet here, no radio, no metal being cranked out of my office, pin-drop, Asian style. LOL, oh well, a F/T gig that I view as a temp gig at best.

          I phink I spek gooder now dough! :p

        • #2851075

          Born with a silver foot in his mouth

          by delbertpgh ·

          In reply to Always bash Bush

          That’s what Molly Ivins used to say. “Poor George…”

          However, he lived through it, and now he’s outlived her.

        • #2851184

          Effective use of the macro award goes to…..

          by jamesrl ·

          In reply to That’s because we figured it out

          As for me, I like this quote attributed to Herbert Hoover:
          “The American president gets the credit for the sunshine and the blame for the rain.”

          And I would add; The previous American president gets blamed for every problem in the first two years of the current President.

          It happens elsewhere too. Its not until the second term that they stop blaming the previous incumbent.

        • #2851168

          That makes some sense though

          by oz_media ·

          In reply to Effective use of the macro award goes to…..

          It’s not like the walk into office, turn to a clean page and say, “okay, now what?”

          They walk in and have to start reverting what the former president did, if that’ what they campaigned for, addressing the issues the last president left that they also campaigned to change.

          When I walk into a company and spend 2 months sorting out a bad database, retraining sales reps, updating collateral information, adjusting processes etc. That work is all just sorting out the mess left behind by the last guy. It is several months in before we are reviewing MY work.

        • #2851165

          That is the conundrum

          by jamesrl ·

          In reply to That makes some sense though

          If you promise to get into office, study real hard and then release a plan after two months, you won’t get elected.

          So you have to promise in adavance. And you may not know what traps are lying in wait for you.

          Sometimes, as much as you have an ideologic bent to do something, you can’t undo a past action due to the complexity and cost. Remember Cretien’s promise to kill the GST? Couldn’t do it, it would cost too much to kill it and revert back to the old wholesalers tax. He did scrap the helicopter deal, but that cost much $$ in penalties.

          Obama walked in with a committment to bail out the financial institutions. It would have been devasting to reverse that.

          But the larger point I have is that the President’s ability to impact the larger trends of the economy and unemployment is limited at best, for a Republican or a Democrat. Financial institution buyouts and stimulus packages may impact consumer confidence, which is one aspect of the ecomomy, but they don’t tackle the fundamentals. And, they may do more harm than good, because they aren’t free, and cost the taxpayer in more debt and interest on that debt.

        • #2851116


          by oz_media ·

          In reply to That is the conundrum

          And its the same with health care. Did everyone get free health care yet? no and that’s why many say he hasn’t lived up to promises. But understanding what a monumental change that is for America, seeing how far it has come already is a massive feat. He has made great changes, perhaps not ALL the changes but a lot for his time in office and how set in stone and antiquated the system is.

          I think over the next two years it will become stronger still and over the next 20, unless some Republican reverts it all to the dark ages again, it could actually become a workable system that others, such as us, may one day envy.

    • #2851170

      All of the above

      by unhappyuser ·

      In reply to US Voter Roll Call!


      After work. Just above 60%, a little less than last year. A five minutes wait but worth it.


    • #2861240

      After work

      by nicknielsen ·

      In reply to US Voter Roll Call!

      I got paged as I was heading out the door to vote, so I went to work. Finished up my day in time to get to the polls before they closed.

    • #2861169

      Before work…

      by jfuller05 ·

      In reply to US Voter Roll Call!

      The turn-out was fair, more than two years ago. I didn’t have any problems either. The precinct I live in has us still using the paper fill-in-the-blank ballot. After voting on the paper ballot, you insert it into a machine.

      All went well.

Viewing 16 reply threads