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Thread: Outrage by Dick Morris; How do we improve the federal government?

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    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    Outrage by Dick Morris; How do we improve the federal government?

    Knowing that some people don’t like Dick Morris, it looks like that population is going to increase quite a bit. Someone told me about this book the other day and he holds nothing back and exposes all sorts of controversy, ethics problems, and illegal activities on both sides of the political divide.

    From early reviews, it makes me wonder if there are ANY decent politicians left in America. Dick Morris makes it sound like the entire system, regardless of the letter behind your name is extremely corrupt, the policies enacted are a waste of time, and no matter what they tell you that they will accomplish while running, it’s a lie.

    Now I don’t know if everyone is corrupt, but I agree that in general the federal government needs a serious overhaul in terms of efficiency and ethics... on both sides. There is way too much pork spending, waste of time bills, missing funds, waste of money, and politics as usual that happens as common place in DC.

    So this is a two part thread. Part one, what are your thoughts on Dick Morris’s ideas listed in this book? Part two, what can be done Other than electing a new president to change the direction of our federal government?

    *and no, I am not drinking the Jaws water...
    "A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right, and raises at first a formidable outcry in defense of custom. Time makes more converts than reason." - Thomas Paine Common Sense.

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    Cyburbian Jen's avatar
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    I am not familiar with the man, what is his book called and can you list some of his ideas?

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    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Jen View post
    I am not familiar with the man, what is his book called and can you list some of his ideas?
    All I know about the guy is he is not well liked by many politicians.

    His book is called Outrage.
    "A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right, and raises at first a formidable outcry in defense of custom. Time makes more converts than reason." - Thomas Paine Common Sense.

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    Cyburbian Brocktoon's avatar
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    I would consider the source. One cannot talk about the problems of the state but not pay their taxes (He owes the CT $280K.)

    If you want to find a person who personifies everything wrong with the political process of doing anything for money look no further than Dick Morris. He will do anything for money and is little more than a shill.

    People complain that the federal government is inefficient but when it acts like a business and then it is decried as being unfair and short sighted.

    As for pork one mans pork is another mans vital infrastructure project. There were over 16,000 earmarks last year. Some of them were very wasteful, but the overwhelming majority was worthwhile and necessary. Freeway and airport improvements and expansions are common earmarks. I-94 is being widened in Michigan, which was a result of pork. Can we make this process more transparent? Absolutely but what incentive does a politician have if he knows his seat is safe and the longer he is the there the more it will benefit him making him even more secure.

    When the both President Clinton and Bush and the Republican majority in 1994 all said they were going to root out wasteful spending but if you look at the amount the eliminated it was very small. Most of the government's budget is spent on "third rail" items like Social Security, Medicare/Medicaid, defense and interest on the debt.

    Who is Jaws ?
    "If you don't like change, you're going to like irrelevance even less" General Eric Shinseki

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    Cyburbian imaplanner's avatar
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    Isnt Dick Morris the guy who was Clinton's advisor and then got busted with a prostitute and then started making the rounds on TV saying how immoral and untrustworthy Clinton was?

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    Cyburbian Clore's avatar
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    Maybe I'm just naive, but I think that to effect change, you have to lead and become part of the solution.
    ...Moving at the speed of local government

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    Cyburbian Brocktoon's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by imaplanner View post
    Isnt Dick Morris the guy who was Clinton's advisor and then got busted with a prostitute and then started making the rounds on TV saying how immoral and untrustworthy Clinton was?
    He is the one.
    "If you don't like change, you're going to like irrelevance even less" General Eric Shinseki

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    Cyburbian KSharpe's avatar
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    I remember him saying that Al Gore is in private what Bill Clinton is in public...he was talking about the famous Clinton charisma. Apparently, Clinton is a cold man in private. According to Dick Morris. So, who knows?
    Do you want to pet my monkey?

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    Cyburbian The One's avatar
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    Simple....

    yet extremeley difficult fix:

    I've said it once....err.....a dozen times......

    ALL Politicians get exactly ONE TERM. (emphasis on period)

    State House and Senate- 4 years staggered
    Governors- 6 years
    US Senate- 6 years staggered
    US House- 4 years staggered
    US President- 6 years one term only (could go as high as 7 or 8 years?)

    Benefits-

    The single greatest benefit is that they DON'T have to RUN again!!!!
    Just think, no immediate search for campaign money, no pressure keeping a politician from having an honest change of mind or opinion based on facts....wow wouldn't that be cool......

    All terms are staggered.....multiple ways to avoid 100% turnover and a steep learning curve for the body as a whole, whether state house or US senate.....
    With one term, politicians can focus immediately on their contribution and "legacy" and yes, they can have a legacy in a few short years. A one term visit will make them far more focused on doing business and I think doing the right thing, as opposed to being a wind bag. Multiple staggered terms will ensure that if citizens want a nationwide change in political power, it could happen fairly quickly.

    And let's face it, having constant turnover in political positions would be a great way to keep things "fresh" in politics. This would give lots of good people a chance to run for office without having to first be a millionaire.

    This wouldn't be term limits......because there would only be ONE TERM!!! So this isn't what has been tried in the past.

    Preemptive strike on opposition:

    1. Any oposition is likely to be worried about loosing power or the potential for quick changes in direction.
    2. Big lobbyists and Big money won't like the idea.
    3. Lawyers won't like it.....they could loose their strangle hold on the current political system. Come on, the common person can't be trusted to make law....
    4. This move would take care of Campaign Finance Reform.....and it should be obvious by now that the current system doesn't want to see that go away....but they do want to talk about it.....

    OK GAME ON!!!!
    Skilled Adoxographer
    I have two emotions....Silence and Rage

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    Cyburbian otterpop's avatar
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    How about we require elected officials to do like race car drivers - wear their endorsements on their clothes?

    So when Senator Windbag proposes a bill to, for example, give oil companies a tax break, everyone can see the Exxon logo on his jacket. Maybe have C-Span run a crawler that shows how much money each special interest group gave Senator Windbag as he pontificates.
    "I am very good at reading women, but I get into trouble for using the Braille method."

    ~ Otterpop ~

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    Gunfighter Mastiff's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by KSharpe View post
    Apparently, Clinton is a cold man in private. According to Dick Morris. So, who knows?
    I can tell you, from personal experience, this is not the case. I spoke with Clinton when he was govenor twice, once for the better part of an hour when he was "recreating", and he seemed sincere and friendly to me...

    Perhaps he didn't like Dick Morris.
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    Cyburbian Greenescapist's avatar
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    Didn't read the book, but I wouldn't trust Dick Morris. He seems like another one of those "pundits" who's made his career pretending to be an expert for CNN, MSNBC, or Fox.

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    Cyburbian Brocktoon's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by The One View post
    yet extremeley difficult fix:

    I've said it once....err.....a dozen times......

    ALL Politicians get exactly ONE TERM. (emphasis on period)
    The problem that states experience with term limits is the lack of institutional knowledge. This leads to an increase reliance on lobbyist since they are much more educated on the issues. Lobbyist are not there to pass out money they are there to influence decisions and by allowing a House or Senate member only one term they do not have the time to do the learning necessary.

    Also these short timers do not grasp the complexity of the issues. The federal budget is $3 trillion. In Ohio, a state with term limits the state legislature cut all funding to combat foot and mouth disease because they did not understand the line item.

    I am not advocating a static body. I think a large amount of turn over is good but you do need a few crusty's to help the newbieís avoid the same mistakes that were made in the past.

    If you want more accountable representatives then make the districts more competitive. In the 2006 elections the Democrat picked up were in moderate districts where the Republicans had a slight advantage or the registration was even. Imagine if instead of 35 districts were like that if 300 districts were like that. The odds of a change in power would be much more real.
    "If you don't like change, you're going to like irrelevance even less" General Eric Shinseki

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    Cyburbian Grassroots's avatar
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    You improve it by downsizing it and getting rid of half of it that should be the responsibility of the state and local governments. You can only improve it by bringing it closer to the people. That means moving more of the decision making back down to State and local levels.

    Vote Ron Paul 2008
    Jesse Ventura in 2012!

    "Inside every small problem is a big one trying to get government funding"

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    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Grassroots View post
    You improve it by downsizing it and getting rid of half of it that should be the responsibility of the state and local governments. You can only improve it by bringing it closer to the people. That means moving more of the decision making back down to State and local levels.

    Vote Ron Paul 2008
    In some states I would agree completely with you. In Michigan it would be a paradoxical nightmare. According to many of the top economists across the country, Michigan is in a One State Recession, our Governor and other state leaders continue to run this State into the ground on an industrial truck!

    I donít trust her with the powers that she has now. Giving her more work would only further the problems that Michigan has.











    *And Vote Fred for Pres
    "A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right, and raises at first a formidable outcry in defense of custom. Time makes more converts than reason." - Thomas Paine Common Sense.

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    Cyburbian The One's avatar
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    hmmm....

    Quote Originally posted by Brocktoon View post
    .....lack of institutional knowledge.

    If you want more accountable representatives then make the districts more competitive. In the 2006 elections the Democrat picked up were in moderate districts where the Republicans had a slight advantage or the registration was even. Imagine if instead of 35 districts were like that if 300 districts were like that. The odds of a change in power would be much more real.
    Institutional knowledge for long periods of time will lead to corruption of that institution.....ok, so add one or two years to the terms of the office for each that I've identified. Maybe state houses and sentates get 5 years while US senate gets 7 and the president gets 8. US House can get 5 years also.....or maybe 6. As long as they are staggered, you won't have the complete loss of institutional knowledge (much of which should be learned in high school anyway and can be avoided by electing educated people....)

    Every new lawmaker should be able to learn the process in the first year, with the help of aides......

    There should be clear guidelines and rules for setting boundaries for districts. Good idea.......now what would those be.......
    Skilled Adoxographer
    I have two emotions....Silence and Rage

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    Gunfighter Mastiff's avatar
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    Treat those who bribe public officials, and those who take bribes, as bad as people who sell illegal drugs...
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  18. #18
    Cyburbian Brocktoon's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by michaelskis View post
    In some states I would agree completely with you. In Michigan it would be a paradoxical nightmare. According to many of the top economists across the country, Michigan is in a One State Recession, our Governor and other state leaders continue to run this State into the ground on an industrial truck!

    I donít trust her with the powers that she has now. Giving her more work would only further the problems that Michigan has.

    *And Vote Fred for Pres
    Its not governors nor the state leaders fault that GM and Ford have cut over 50,000 jobs in Michigan; that Collins and Aikman and Delphi are in bankruptcy, Lear and Eaton have all cut there Michigan manufacturing plants. Pfizer cutting 2400 in Michigan was not her fault either, nor was in the SBT.

    Expecting a governor to diversify the economy in 5 years in ridiculous. North Carolina state economic was similar in the 1980's when all the textile plants closed and experienced the one state recession. It has since pulled out and is doing quite well in the urban areas but is suffering still in many of the rural areas.

    Michigan will turn around but it will take time. Engler did not lay the ground work to help get Michigan off its industrial base. In his defense he did try to diversify the economy but GM and Ford threatened to leave the state and with everyone buying SUV's no one cared.

    Government cannot solve all of the states problems. Michigan was the center entrepreneur America but if you look today that spirit has declined. Programs like the 21st Century Job fund will go a long way to make the state great again but until people start valuing either a college education or start thinking about how to start a business no level of government intervention will help.

    The current governor has cut 50% of the states budget since she started, while increasing funding for job training and education. She has traveled abroad to bring jobs back to Michigan and has just restructured the business tax system in a bipartisan effort.

    To compound this Michigan has so many levels of government it is stifling. The idea was sound but having townships with 4,000 people and then a county on top of it was 40,000 with 10 school districts in the area does not lead to economies of scale but does lead to having government at the local level. That is a lot of tax sharing that is occurring spreading limited resources to thin.

    Michigan is another example of how term limits let lobbyists and staff and a few savvy politicians run the state because of term limits.

    Michigan is working to diversify its economy but it takes a long time. I will get off my soap box now.
    "If you don't like change, you're going to like irrelevance even less" General Eric Shinseki

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    Cyburbian The One's avatar
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    Yeah.....but.....

    Quote Originally posted by Brocktoon View post
    Expecting a governor to diversify the economy in 5 years in ridiculous. .
    I really agree with this simple statement....but....

    If a politician knows they only have 5, 6 or even 7 years in office (once) I think they would be more likely to put a program in place that could work. Diversification of an entire state economy is a decades long process in many cases and let's try to count the number of governors who were in office that long who succeeded in doing that......I'm still trying to find one....oh and don't forget, they don't act in vacuum they have state house and senate watchdogs.

    Wouldn't it be easy for the next elected official of the same party to keep the same presumably successful position??....let's say the gov. does a decent job during the one term....everyone is sad to her go.....the next person would likely be from the same party.....and wouldn't they campaign to continue some of those programs (that work) that made the first gov. good??? I think so....at least it would be possible....

    Ok, Brocktoon and I need to draft a constitutional amendment for every state and get the super majority needed to make this happen.....how 'bout we meet for lunch in....ahh......Denver?? Let me know when.....I'm geeked to get this done
    Skilled Adoxographer
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    Cyburbian Plus Zoning Goddess's avatar
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    Never heard of the guy, but then I'm not a political/NPR junkie. You could always undermine him by referring to him as "Dickie" as they always do in period British mystery novels.

    I still think we'd do better selecting politicians like jurors. From the voters/drivers licenses rolls. If they can decide if you will die for a crime, they can damn well serve 4-6 years and make policy.

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    Cyburbian Grassroots's avatar
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    [QUOTE=michaelskis;388023]In some states I would agree completely with you. In Michigan it would be a paradoxical nightmare. According to many of the top economists across the country, Michigan is in a One State Recession, our Governor and other state leaders continue to run this State into the ground on an industrial truck!

    I would be curious to know how the soon-to-be bankruptcy of GM in your state (given its economic powerhouse status there) contributes to Michigan's troubles in the political realm?
    Jesse Ventura in 2012!

    "Inside every small problem is a big one trying to get government funding"

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    Cyburbian Brocktoon's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by The One View post
    Ok, Brocktoon and I need to draft a constitutional amendment for every state and get the super majority needed to make this happen.....how 'bout we meet for lunch in....ahh......Denver?? Let me know when.....I'm geeked to get this done
    I am an Arizona boy (grew up in Tucson, did my undergrad at ASU) so lets meet in Tempe at Four Peaks Brewery. Glendale is as far west as I will go...to many militia types out in the sticks.
    "If you don't like change, you're going to like irrelevance even less" General Eric Shinseki

  23. #23
    Cyburbian
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    Don't blame government for everything

    I don't think that government should always be to blame for people's problems. Think of the federal government as one large conglomerate of corporations. Each state can be viewed as separate smaller conglomerates of corporations not always directly competing with the federal "congolomerate".

    Now take a look at private business...how many times have you been fed up with one company or a corporation, whether it be horrible customer service, lay offs, unfair executive compensation...

    The media plays governments' responsibility to consituents as more important than a corporation's responsibility to its shareholders. How many stories do we hear of medicare or immigrants? How many stories do we hear on the evening news about internet outages down the block making national news?

    I'm far from perfect, but I guess there are even a bunch of planners out there who do a lousy job and get away with it, wasting taxpayer or client money.

    So what's the answer: grow up, stop pointing fingers, and take accountability for your own actions.

  24. #24
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Brocktoon View post
    Its not governors nor the state leaders fault that GM and Ford have cut over 50,000 jobs in Michigan; that Collins and Aikman and Delphi are in bankruptcy, Lear and Eaton have all cut there Michigan manufacturing plants. Pfizer cutting 2400 in Michigan was not her fault either, nor was in the SBT.

    Expecting a governor to diversify the economy in 5 years in ridiculous. North Carolina state economic was similar in the 1980's when all the textile plants closed and experienced the one state recession. It has since pulled out and is doing quite well in the urban areas but is suffering still in many of the rural areas.

    Michigan will turn around but it will take time. Engler did not lay the ground work to help get Michigan off its industrial base. In his defense he did try to diversify the economy but GM and Ford threatened to leave the state and with everyone buying SUV's no one cared.

    Government cannot solve all of the states problems. Michigan was the center entrepreneur America but if you look today that spirit has declined. Programs like the 21st Century Job fund will go a long way to make the state great again but until people start valuing either a college education or start thinking about how to start a business no level of government intervention will help.

    The current governor has cut 50% of the states budget since she started, while increasing funding for job training and education. She has traveled abroad to bring jobs back to Michigan and has just restructured the business tax system in a bipartisan effort.

    To compound this Michigan has so many levels of government it is stifling. The idea was sound but having townships with 4,000 people and then a county on top of it was 40,000 with 10 school districts in the area does not lead to economies of scale but does lead to having government at the local level. That is a lot of tax sharing that is occurring spreading limited resources to thin.

    Michigan is another example of how term limits let lobbyists and staff and a few savvy politicians run the state because of term limits.

    Michigan is working to diversify its economy but it takes a long time. I will get off my soap box now.

    Well, given the only real difference between Michigan and the rest of the rust belt states is the state government, and that Michigan is the economic joke of the entire country, I will blame the Governor.

    The Governor did travel to other countries to try to bring back manufacturing jobs and has focused greatly on improving the manufacturing sector... the same sector that is dying at a frightening rate. The other sectors only get a fraction of the attention. Heck, she did not even meet with any of the people from Google until after they decided to start operations in Ann Arbor. When Comarica decided to leave Detroit for Texas (where the talent is they say) she did nothing to prevent it.

    She has cut quite a bit from the budget, including funding for police, prisons, jails, rehabilitation programs, public education, and even job training. She has increased the budgets for road department and administration. She even lied about a balanced budget last year, only releasing the truth until after she was reelected!

    Engler did not do much good for the state either.

    Quote Originally posted by nrschmid View post
    So what's the answer: grow up, stop pointing fingers, and take accountability for your own actions.
    Difference between corporate America and the Government, is the Government is elected to represent the people. If you don’t like a corporate discussion you can make a difference by not sending them money (not doing business with them). Last time I checked, a person goes to prison for not paying taxes.

    More so, it is obvious that there are too many elected officials that are in it for the financial benefit knowing that they can make a fortune from kickbacks and bribes. That is illegal and wrong.
    "A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right, and raises at first a formidable outcry in defense of custom. Time makes more converts than reason." - Thomas Paine Common Sense.

  25. #25
    Cyburbian Brocktoon's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by michaelskis View post
    Well, given the only real difference between Michigan and the rest of the rust belt states is the state government, and that Michigan is the economic joke of the entire country, I will blame the Governor.

    The Governor did travel to other countries to try to bring back manufacturing jobs and has focused greatly on improving the manufacturing sector... the same sector that is dying at a frightening rate. The other sectors only get a fraction of the attention. Heck, she did not even meet with any of the people from Google until after they decided to start operations in Ann Arbor. When Comarica decided to leave Detroit for Texas (where the talent is they say) she did nothing to prevent it.

    She has cut quite a bit from the budget, including funding for police, prisons, jails, rehabilitation programs, public education, and even job training. She has increased the budgets for road department and administration. She even lied about a balanced budget last year, only releasing the truth until after she was reelected!

    Engler did not do much good for the state either.


    Michigan's economy is vastly different from that of the other rust belt states. No one state is tied to the fortunes of the domestic automotive industry than Michigan. Ohio lost less than a 1/4 as many jobs to the closing of plants by GM, Ford and the automotive suppliers as Michigan. There was a time when Michiganís economy was the envy of the Rust belt states if not the country and what made Michigan successful then is what is hurting it now.

    The jobs she has brought back were manufacturing, research and development and other white collar jobs along with blue collar jobs. The fact that new employment centers create 100 to 200 jobs where a GM plant eliminates 4,000 jobs. Again, there is nothing the state of Michigan can do to prevent GM and Fords troubles.

    Google was a surprise to everyone. They did their site selection in secret. The MEDC had discussions with them about coming to Michigan but nothing formal or at a high level. Google called and said we will come if you offer us this level of incentives and the state agreed. Governor Granholm and Mayor Kilpatrick spend months and offered substantial incentives to convince Comerica to stay. Whoever reported they did nothing needs to check their facts.

    You are right about the increase in the amount of money spent on roads, but most of that money she and the Michigan congressional delegation brought back from Washington in the form of grants. The per public expenditure has increased under the governor not decreased. And Michigan Works has also expanded. As for administration the state has cut over 3,000 government jobs in her 5 year tenure and not increased

    As for the budget it was passed by 148 members of the state legislature. It was not passed by her alone. In fact, the Republicans removed her budget proposal and submitted their own at the 11th hour after both sides agreed on the budget. This caused a whole new set of negotiations and could explain the budget problems and why many Republicans lost reelection in the Michigan state house.
    "If you don't like change, you're going to like irrelevance even less" General Eric Shinseki

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