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Politics => Political Discussions => Topic started by: Ella Minnow Pea on December 16, 2011, 08:58:03 PM

Title: Random Political Musings
Post by: Ella Minnow Pea on December 16, 2011, 08:58:03 PM
(since most other forums has a musings thread)

I really wish I could remember if I knew who Paul Ryan was when we were at Miami together. Could he have been president of the college republicans? Would he have listened to 97X? (Never-mind, according to his Facebook page, his favorite music is Led Zeppelin, Grateful Dead, Metallica, Beethoven, Hank Williams, Jr., and more. He probably stuck to WEBN.)
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: luisterpaul on December 16, 2011, 09:05:57 PM
You know what would be awesome? If there was a way we could separate politics from the business of governing.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: euro60 on December 16, 2011, 11:52:06 PM
You know what would be awesome? If there was a way we could separate politics from the business of governing.
Ha! That's like saying "let's separate hamburgers from McDonald's"  ;)
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: luisterpaul on December 17, 2011, 07:25:01 AM
You know what would be awesome? If there was a way we could separate politics from the business of governing.
Ha! That's like saying "let's separate hamburgers from McDonald's"  ;)
Then McDonald's needs more vegetarian options on the menu.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on December 29, 2011, 09:01:37 PM
I've decided that libertarianism can be broken down into three axes of belief.  On a scale of 0 to 100, with 0 being societal average:

1)  Conservative factor:  How much do I dislike government (in general or as a concept, not just the party/people currently in power)?
2)  Outsider factor:  How generally paranoid/hateful/anti-social/distrustful am I in general?  
3)  Hippie factor: How much do I truly embrace the concept that liberty means everyone does what they want, as opposed to just me and others like me even if I find it repugnant?

If #3 is not greater than #1 and #2, you can't consider yourself libertarian no matter how high you are in all the categories.  

If #1 and #3 are not both greater than 30, you can't consider yourself a libertarian.

I would classify myself as a 10/20/20 guy.  Which makes me too moderate to be a member of any party really, but as far as I can be classified it would be a very small "l" liberal with fairly strong libertarian sympathies.

Most politicians are surprisingly low in #2.  They would almost all be in deep negative numbers.  Even those with outwardly intolerant policies.  You can't get very far without it in politics.  

The amazing thing is that Ron Paul is like 99/99/100.  Which is actually pretty damn impressive.  It's unusual for a guy to be that paranoid/extremist.  Also rare to find someone who is that nutty but also that super-tolerant of people with differing views.  Which just makes him that much more nutty.  It's commendable in a lot of ways, but really rather scary in some others.  

He's a good guy to have around in the political landscape, but under no circumstances should he ever be allowed to lead the country.  That margin is just too close when you are flirting with the extremes the way he is.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on January 09, 2012, 05:15:09 PM
This explains so much:

Americans willfully ignorant on basic issues, resist any attempt to learn (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203471004577144632919979666.html?mod=WSJ_hpp_RIGHTTopCarousel_1)

Hopefully, that link is public.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Buzzstein on January 09, 2012, 06:01:58 PM
This explains so much:

Americans willfully ignorant on basic issues, resist any attempt to learn (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203471004577144632919979666.html?mod=WSJ_hpp_RIGHTTopCarousel_1)

Hopefully, that link is public.

Yeah, I can't say that's real surprising to me.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Ella Minnow Pea on January 26, 2012, 06:19:25 PM
Our governor announced this morning that she isn't running for re-election. This has just made for an interesting primary season. Our primary is May 8 - so not much time for those who decide to run. At least it means we'll only have 3.5 months of ads.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: va-vacious on January 26, 2012, 07:34:59 PM
What!!! I missed that. Maybe Wicker will run!
She'd have been toast this go round.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Ella Minnow Pea on January 26, 2012, 08:18:36 PM
You know it's a bad sign if a democrat is booed at a UNC-CH basketball game (http://projects.newsobserver.com/under_the_dome/notebook_gov_perdue_gets_booed_at_unc_basketball_game).
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on January 26, 2012, 09:34:17 PM
I think Ken Cuccinelli is going to be our next governor. 

Do you want to know how crazy he is?  This is how crazy he is.  I was on the hill today and I heard a bunch of crazy conservatives talking about how much they like Jan Brewer and how Santorum isn't conservative enough.  That's right.  Santorum is not conservative enough.  And then one guy was like "Well, at least we have Ken Cuccinelli."  And then the other three looked at him and shook their heads, and one said "Too crazy."  I swear this happened.

Now THAT is batshit crazy.


Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: daytime drinking on January 27, 2012, 01:19:01 PM
I've decided that libertarianism can be broken down into three axes of belief.  On a scale of 0 to 100, with 0 being societal average:

1)  Conservative factor:  How much do I dislike government (in general or as a concept, not just the party/people currently in power)?
2)  Outsider factor:  How generally paranoid/hateful/anti-social/distrustful am I in general?  
3)  Hippie factor: How much do I truly embrace the concept that liberty means everyone does what they want, as opposed to just me and others like me even if I find it repugnant?

If #3 is not greater than #1 and #2, you can't consider yourself libertarian no matter how high you are in all the categories.  

If #1 and #3 are not both greater than 30, you can't consider yourself a libertarian.

I would classify myself as a 10/20/20 guy.  Which makes me too moderate to be a member of any party really, but as far as I can be classified it would be a very small "l" liberal with fairly strong libertarian sympathies.

Most politicians are surprisingly low in #2.  They would almost all be in deep negative numbers.  Even those with outwardly intolerant policies.  You can't get very far without it in politics.  

The amazing thing is that Ron Paul is like 99/99/100.  Which is actually pretty damn impressive.  It's unusual for a guy to be that paranoid/extremist.  Also rare to find someone who is that nutty but also that super-tolerant of people with differing views.  Which just makes him that much more nutty.  It's commendable in a lot of ways, but really rather scary in some others.  

He's a good guy to have around in the political landscape, but under no circumstances should he ever be allowed to lead the country.  That margin is just too close when you are flirting with the extremes the way he is.

so, based upon your own criteria, you've decided that ron paul is whacky?  maybe you could clarify #2 for me.  in what terms are you talking?
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on January 27, 2012, 01:46:12 PM
I think when you reach the point that you decide it's worth it to try and start a race war in the hopes of  blowing up society completely you are pretty high on the anti-social scale.  Either that, or you actually are racist in which case you are still pretty anti-social.

He has some pretty whacky conspiracy theories as well.  The guy hangs out with the John Birch Society and talks about the Trilateral Commission and New World Order and all that stuff.
 
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: daytime drinking on January 27, 2012, 02:05:22 PM
I think when you reach the point that you decide it's worth it to try and start a race war in the hopes of  blowing up society completely you are pretty high on the anti-social scale.  Either that, or you actually are racist in which case you are still pretty anti-social.

He has some pretty whacky conspiracy theories as well.  The guy hangs out with the John Birch Society and talks about the Trilateral Commission and New World Order and all that stuff.
 

a few questions.  to hold people accountable means invoking race wars?  what are some of these whacky conspiracy theories? 
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on January 27, 2012, 03:50:48 PM
to hold people accountable means invoking race wars? 

Of course not.  Writing inflammatory racist newsletters and using white supremacy mailing lists to solicit donations as part of a "redneck outreach" strategy means invoking race wars.  And yes, Ron Paul knew all about that.



Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: daytime drinking on January 27, 2012, 03:54:21 PM
to hold people accountable means invoking race wars? 

Of course not.  Writing inflammatory racist newsletters and using white supremacy mailing lists to solicit donations as part of a "redneck outreach" strategy means invoking race wars.  And yes, Ron Paul knew all about that.





can you provide me a link?  i'm a bit tired of looking up ron paul myths to debunk
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Butter on January 27, 2012, 04:35:00 PM
Not as tired as I am of seeing his racist ass every 4 years.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on January 27, 2012, 04:47:42 PM
can you provide me a link?  i'm a bit tired of looking up ron paul myths to debunk

Call me nuts, but I have a sneaky feeling you know all about this Ron Paul "myth." 

So if you feel like it needs debunking, pretty sure you can do that without needing a link.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Buzzstein on January 27, 2012, 06:22:53 PM
Even without factoring in all the racist stuff, I think he's nuts. That's great being honest and wanting to combat government corruption, but I don't like his ideas about doing away with Federal agencies and programs that I think are valuable to society.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on January 28, 2012, 01:07:54 AM
I do not get the libertarian hard-on for the gold standard.  It makes no sense at all and is not even consistent with internal libertarian views.  And it's not really even important.  It's just some whacko outdated and disproven economic theory some crazy Austrian came up with long ago that somewhere along the line some libertarian  glommed on to it and it became part of the platform.  The amount of time and effort spent on forwarding the gold standard is just crazy-stupid.

It's not like the government is dictating what you use for currency.  If you want to go down to 7-11 and buy some Big Gulps with beaver pelts, there is nothing stopping you.  Take all your cash and buy gold.  See if McDonald's will take it. 

It doesn't stop the government from running a debt, either.  Sure you can insist that if the government wants to put $1 of currency in the system they have to have $1 in gold.  Then the government will just issue a $1 bond instead.  Then they don't have to have that $1 in gold until the bond comes due.  And then when the bond comes due they will pay you $1 in gold buy issuing a $1.50 bond.  I mean seriously, do you really think you can eliminate letters of credit?

If there is a gold standard, that means that all of your paper currency is only good so far as the government promises to back up your note in gold.  What happens if one day the government says "Yeah, you know what?  Screw it.  We're keeping all the gold to ourselves."   Essentially you are allowing the government to hold 100% of your assets in gold while giving you a flimsy piece of paper (or really just a bunch of binary data).  If you don't trust the government, why in hell would you let them hold your gold for you on a promise?
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: daytime drinking on January 28, 2012, 10:17:43 AM
can you provide me a link?  i'm a bit tired of looking up ron paul myths to debunk

Call me nuts, but I have a sneaky feeling you know all about this Ron Paul "myth." 

So if you feel like it needs debunking, pretty sure you can do that without needing a link.

you think he wrote those newsletters?  i'm well aware that you probably aren't, but i'm going to give my man the benefit of the doubt
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on January 28, 2012, 05:26:57 PM
I don't think Ron Paul personally wrote the newsletters but I think Ron Paul knew what was in them and approved them. 

Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: daytime drinking on January 29, 2012, 09:00:38 AM
it certainly would be out of character for him to lie about not reading them
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: dirk on January 29, 2012, 10:40:00 AM
Not reall,y because at the end of the day, he is still a politician.  His job is to try and get elected.  All the "oh he is completely honest and forthright" is crap.  He tailors his opinions to try and get support, just like every politician.  It's just that he thinks he can get more support by going for the whack-a-doo vote.  And yes, he knew about the news letters. http://gawker.com/5880015/ron-paul-knew-all-about-his-beloved-racist-newsletters
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on January 29, 2012, 11:12:50 AM
Yeah, exactly.  I think it's possible Paul didn't actually read them but that doesn't let him off the hook, in my view.   Because if he let someone write those newsletters and publish them without reading them, then whoever wrote them was someone close to Paul who he trusted.  The prevailing opinion of those close to Paul seems to be that Lew Rockwell wrote the newsletters.  Which makes sense, because Lew Rockwell is a major shithead who has written lots of articles in a similar vein and style to the newsletters.  But Lew Rockwell was Paul's campaign manager.   So why would Rockwell suddenly publish a bunch of crap to make Paul look like a racist?  And if he DID do that, wouldn't Paul absolutely know who it was?  So at the very least he's protecting a racist who totally screwed him over, but I think he absolutely knew what was going on with those newsletters. 

And I don't think there is much question that Paul is personally very, very far right.   Paul endorsed Chuck Baldwin for President in 2008, and Baldwin is endorsing Paul. How can a supposed libertarian endorse a candidate that does not believe in separation of church and state?   Perhaps he wouldn't govern as a right-winger, but why take that chance when there appear to be other libertarians who honestly have no problem with gays, blacks, and non-Christians instead of someone who will grudgingly allow them to exist so long as they stay out of his face.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: daytime drinking on January 29, 2012, 12:07:42 PM
Not reall,y because at the end of the day, he is still a politician.  His job is to try and get elected.  All the "oh he is completely honest and forthright" is crap.  He tailors his opinions to try and get support, just like every politician.  It's just that he thinks he can get more support by going for the whack-a-doo vote.  And yes, he knew about the news letters. http://gawker.com/5880015/ron-paul-knew-all-about-his-beloved-racist-newsletters

first off, ron paul will never become president.  and i'm not necessarily sure it's his intention.  imo, he's running for president solely to get his message out.  nobody running for prez (with a legitimate shot at winning) is going to promise things he can deliver.  so they pander.  they say the right things, they wear makeup.   ron paul doesn't tailor his opinions.  people tailor their opinions to his.  jon stewart even said that he's one guy (essentially) that he'd never have to fact check, cuz he never crosses his words.  he's not like every politician.  

i believe him when he says he "should have policed those documents better."  besides that, notice how many of the whistle blowers are no longer fans of paul?  you can take that as they truly didn't believe in his ideals, or they were pissed off at him for some reason.  not sure exactly i'm going to say the following, but let's say he read a majority, if not all of the documents, our society has a difficult time talking about race relations.  and sometimes we don't like to believe statistics.  as far as mlk is concerned, he wouldn't be the first person to allege wrongdoings on his behalf.  

Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: dirk on January 29, 2012, 01:05:19 PM
So it is more believable that Ron Paul and his people put out a newsletter that he never read, and no one, not staffers, friends, or acquaintances, ever read the thing and said to him "Ron, what are you doing with this newsletter, since it is completely racist and putting out articles about race wars and conspiracy theories" and now people who worked for him and at the time were his friends are lying about his involvement than to think he was involved and is now rethinking doing it and lying about it because people are calling him a racist for the things in the newsletter. Occam's razor sure points clearly to one of those 2 scenarios.  I'll let you decide which one.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: daytime drinking on January 31, 2012, 10:41:12 PM
you have to be friends in a business relationship?  it's a non issue for me, but it is for you.  if i remember your particular political leanings from the woxy boards, you weren't right following.  so it makes sense you want to label the man a racist.  just any dirt, no matter if the man is what we need. and we need substance and not rhetoric.  it's the price you pay to be in public office. 
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on February 01, 2012, 12:12:40 AM
Ron Paul has changed his stance on those newsletters at least three or four times over the years.  First it was that the newsletters were his, but the passages were "taken out of context."  Then it was that he would own up to what was in the newsletters because his name was on them, and that's all he was going to say about it.  Now he says that he almost never read them.

It's not surprising that people don't believe him.  Especially when he keeps using White Supremacist mailing lists, taking checks from Stormfront, endorsing Constitution Party candidates or even ending up on the Constitution Party ballot himself.  The newsletters are the smoking gun, but there's other evidence to back it up as well.

It honestly doesn't matter that much to me whether Paul is a racist or extremely socially conservative.  Because to me, you can be as personally racist or religious as you want if you keep the government out of it.  So my concerns about Paul are not so much about his alleged racism, but whether or not he is a true libertarian or merely a Tea Party/far-right person masquerading as a libertarian.  And Paul has always played coy about it.  Which is why all of his problems are of his own making.  He's been totally consistent all the years about being a fiscal hawk, and I don't think anyone questions him there.  On everything outside of the budget, he's flirted with both the conservatives and the libertarians and so now no one really knows what he stands for. 

Maybe it's time the Libertarian Party split up into two factions.  The "Get the hell out of my face, and I'll be happy to get out of yours because I don't like you anyway" Paleolibertarian group, and the "If we all rise up against The Man, we can form our own hippie commune utopias" classic liberal libertarian group. 
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on February 01, 2012, 11:50:14 AM
A sad ending to a very odd local political race.

Matthew Geary was a prosecutor for Henrico County who was running for Commonwealth's attorney in Henrico.  Henrico County is about as mainstream Republican as they come, and therefore a GOP prosecutor was an ideal candidate.  Moreover, Geary was generally considered a pretty competent guy.  Liberals didn't have much of a problem with him either.  In fact he'd been working as chief deputy for the Richmond Commonwealth Attorney's office under a liberal.

So the guy was considered a local, generally well-liked, had a solid GOP background, and the experience for the job.  And at 42, he was considered a bit of an up-and-comer although it was unclear if he wanted to enter the realm of "real" politics.  But the Henrico position was one that he'd been pegged for for some time.  He had gotten the endorsement of the Henrico police the very minute he declared.  He was such a shoo-in for victory that up until July or August he was running unopposed. 

And then something weird happened.  In late July or August, it was revealed that he'd had an extra-marital affair a year earlier.  According to Geary, his wife knew about it and he'd also told the local GOP committee when he first decided to run.  About a week later, the Henrico GOP voted unanimously to withdraw their endorsement and ask him to stop down.  And then Eric Cantor (in the midst of his budget battle) for whatever reason stuck his nose into local politics and trashed Geary and told him to withdraw as well.   

At the same time, Bill Janis who was serving in the House of Delegates decided to step down and run for the Henrico position.  Janis is a lawyer, but had no prosecutorial experience at all and had previously expressed no interest in the position.  Janis couldn't run as a Republican because Geary already had the GOP nomination, so he ran as an independent.  And the Henrico GOP, instead of endorsing their own candidate, starting putting all their money behind Janis.  He raised like $100k in three weeks.

This is how it ends:

Neither one of them won the election.  A Democrat, Shannon Taylor entered the election in late August and won it because Geary and Janis split the votes. 

Bill Janis came in second.  But because Janis took one for the team, so in January the GOP paid him back when the Governor appointed him Deputy Commissioner to the Department of Veterans Services.

Geary came in third.  In the last few days and after the results were coming in, it was obvious that Geary was not going to win and that he had no future in any elected office he was pretty much all but formally endorsing Taylor.  Taylor is completely qualified for the position, having been a prosecutor for some time.  But also Taylor and Geary knew each other from law school and had semi-worked together because one was a prosecutor in Richmond and the other in bordering Henrico.  A couple of days ago, Geary shot himself.

No one has been able to figure out exactly what happened to make the GOP suddenly go to such insane measures to prevent Geary from winning what is mostly a non-political position in a local office that most people don't know or care about.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Markalot on February 01, 2012, 12:43:49 PM
Interesting story.  It doesn't make much sense unless you believe all but a few politicians are scum, then it makes perfect sense.  I suppose we'll find out soon that Cantor has had a few affairs ... :)
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on February 01, 2012, 06:46:43 PM
Cantor appears to have gone completely insane, so nothing he does would surprise me at this point. 

But from a purely political perspective (which is all Cantor seemingly cares about these days) divorcing his liberal Jewish wife who believes in same-sex marriage can only help his cause.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Markalot on February 02, 2012, 07:41:26 AM
Republicans are self destructing, it just takes a while for a party to crash. This is especially true in a 2 party system where the other party is so damn bad.  Political self destruction, personal self destruction, it all goes hand in hand.  Most of these guys have nothing left. 
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on February 02, 2012, 11:32:33 AM
I can honestly say I've never seen anything as bad/crazy as what is going on in this General Assembly session in Virginia.  And I know plenty of people on both sides of the aisle who have worked more closely with the GA for even longer than I have who would say the same thing.  People are actually kind of in shock right now. 

Yesterday I saw a female lobbyist for a relatively non-partisan issue who'd been on the Hill for 25 years nearly reduced to tears.  Really for no reason.  They called her to come in to talk so she did.  And it was a BRIEFING.  It wasn't even an important bill or anything the lobbyist or delegates involved had a big stake in.  And then some new junior staffer who I didn't know just decided to see how big of a douche he could be.  Like she got two sentences out and the guy told her to shut up.  In those exact words.  She gathered herself, tried to apologize and then he said "No one cares."  Ridiculous.  Then he gave a five minute speech about how he was sick and tired of the way things were done around Richmond and how liberals were going to have to watch themselves now that he was in charge.  He almost ended up getting into a fist fight with another guy... they were both Republicans.
 
Today I saw one of the prominent local Tea Party organizers/demonstrator having a polite chat with one of the Occupy Richmond organizers. 

Madness.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Buzzstein on February 02, 2012, 12:34:08 PM
Is it just me or have there been an abnormal amount of suicides in the news lately?
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on February 23, 2012, 02:40:37 PM
There was kind of a landmark ruling yesterday in California.  A Federal Court ruled that the Defense of Marriage Act was unconstitutional.  It involved an employee (oddly enough, a Ninth Circuit Court employee) who was denied insurance benefits for her same-sex spouse.  The Court ruled that it was a violation of Due Process.

So I started reading the case, which is Golinski v. United States Office of Personnel Management.  Golinski is the plaintiff who had the insurance policy and was denied spousal benefits.  Her spouse's name is
Amy Cunninghis. 

Don't tell me you didn't read that last name twice and laugh.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Dan on February 23, 2012, 04:15:39 PM
There was kind of a landmark ruling yesterday in California.  A Federal Court ruled that the Defense of Marriage Act was unconstitutional.  It involved an employee (oddly enough, a Ninth Circuit Court employee) who was denied insurance benefits for her same-sex spouse.  The Court ruled that it was a violation of Due Process.

So I started reading the case, which is Golinski v. United States Office of Personnel Management.  Golinski is the plaintiff who had the insurance policy and was denied spousal benefits.  Her spouse's name is
Amy Cunninghis. 

Don't tell me you didn't read that last name twice and laugh.


 ;D ;D :o :o ;D ;D :D ;)
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: twentyshots on March 06, 2012, 11:16:40 AM
now peter is pissed!

Peter Gabriel Pulls Music From 'Rush Limbaugh Show'
 (http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/peter-gabriel-pulls-music-from-rush-limbaugh-show-20120305)


By Rolling Stone
March 5, 2012 2:25 PM ET



Peter Gabriel has demanded that his music be pulled from Rush Limbaugh's radio show after learning that his 1986 hit "Sledgehammer" was played while the host launched into a tirade against Georgetown law student Sandra Fluke on Wednesday.

"Peter was appalled to learn that his music was linked to Rush Limbaugh's extraordinary attack on Sandra Fluke," says a statement on Gabriel's Facebook page. "It is obvious from anyone that knows Peter's work that he would never approve such a use. He has asked his representatives to make sure his music is withdrawn and especially from these unfair aggressive and ignorant comments."

Limbaugh has come under fire for calling Fluke, who testified at a Congressional hearing on contraception, a "slut" and a "prostitute." The program has lost eight sponsors in the wake of Limbaugh's attack.



Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: juggles on March 06, 2012, 01:02:29 PM
RUSH LIMBAUGH'S LAST SHRED OF DIGNITY SPOTTED HITCHHIKING (http://toomuchcredit.blogspot.com/2012/03/rush-limbaughs-last-shred-of-dignity.html)
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Kwyjibo on March 06, 2012, 01:23:18 PM
Limbaugh has been using Peter Gabriel's music for years, he also uses The Pretenders' My City was Gone as bumper music, and has since the Clinton administration.  I'm sure he's said countless repugnant things with those two pieces of music playing the background, why is PG suddenly up in arms about it?  It was okay that he was getting paid by a conservative wingnut for the use of his music as long as he didn't cause controversy while it was being played?

I personally do not understand why people still pay attention to that windbag.  How many times does his lunacy have to be proven before people quit listening?
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Markalot on March 07, 2012, 08:10:37 AM
Quote
George Abraham, an 81-year-old retiree and tea party supporter, said he voted for Wenstrup, in part because he was annoyed by Schmidt’s schmoozing with President Barack Obama at the State of the Union speech.

“Anyone that goes up there and gives Mr. Obama a hug can’t get my vote, I’m sorry,” Abraham said Tuesday, after casting his ballot at St. Rose Church on Eastern Ave.

http://news.cincinnati.com/article/20120306/NEWS0106/303060121/Wenstrup-stuns-Schmidt?odyssey=tab|topnews|text|FRONTPAGE

But it's not about race old man ....
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: luisterpaul on March 07, 2012, 08:46:38 AM
I personally do not understand why people still pay attention to that windbag.  How many times does his lunacy have to be proven before people quit listening?
The problem is Rush isn't the only lunatic out there.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Kwyjibo on March 07, 2012, 09:56:57 AM
He isn't but he's probably most emblematic of the problems with his ilk.  He's been caught philandering, abusing prescription drugs, makes blatantly ignorant and inflammatory comments like this on a fairly regular basis and is really not that hard to pin down as a hypocrite.  I know he's not the only shock jock who's done any or all of those things but generally when you get to his level of awfulness even their followers get sick of it and the person fades out.  Some how Rush carries on.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Markalot on March 07, 2012, 01:12:22 PM
If only 15% of the country likes Rush but they are all rabid listeners then he's in a great position and advertisers interested in that market will still do business with him.  Those same 15% are also rabid primary voters, so it puts republicans in a real bind.

Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on March 07, 2012, 04:06:14 PM
It does and it doesn't.  I kinda feel like Republicans put themselves in a bind.  Same thing with some Repubs going crazy over Breitbart's death.

I really feel like Rush and Breitbart and many Republican talkingheads are fairly expendable.  I don't see them as particularly clever or convincing.  Pre-2000, Rush was the one guy you could listen to who agreed with you and that was a large part of why people listened to him.  Now there are 10,000 guys on Fox News who do the same thing.  There's no real reason to stick with Rush when in fact there are others who can make better arguments for the same policies and make you feel like you're smarter.

There's a limit to how much you can tap into shared anger.  And when it comes to that, I feel like Glenn Beck just has that magical ability to capture paranoia.  Probably because he really is that paranoid himself.  With Rush, it's a schtick, and it feels like a schtick.  That's how come he can be a total hypocrite as far as his personal life and get away with it. 

Rush is really more Howard Stern than political force.  I think the average listener is probably a conservative who thinks he is funny because it's true.  But they are still more focused on the funny part. 

It's really the more inside GOP semi-power players who foolishly and voluntarily back him and let him call the shots that give him any political presence.  And if they stopped everyone would be better off.  Rush would still have his listeners and would simply be another shock jock who doesn't have to apologize as much.  The GOP would be perceived as less clownish.  And angry conservatives will still vote conservative.  Even if they don't vote mainstream conservative, they're still voting conservative which is better than losing to liberals because the conservative vote gets stupidly split.

Never waste resources on people that are already going to vote for you.  You need to acknowledge their contributions and value, but don't let them drive the ship.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: twentyshots on March 11, 2012, 11:00:23 AM
"newt gingrich is the intellectual of the republican party like gene simmons is the intellectual of KISS"
-bill maher
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: dirk on March 11, 2012, 02:08:38 PM
Can people please stop comparing Bill Maher and Rush Limbaugh?  Yes, Bill Maher is an asshole who has said lots of mean things about republicans.  That doesn't mean Rush Limbaugh should get a pass for calling a stupid names.

And the comparison of Maher calling Sarah Palin a cunt and what Rush did doesn't even make sense.  Maher called a public, political figure a name that is basically the equivalent to asshole.  Yes, cunt is more geared towards women, but at the end of the day, it is still just calling her a name that means you don't like/agree with her.  There is no judgement other than "I don't like you".  Rush called a student who was not a public political figure (and no, testifying once in front of congress does not make you one) a slut, a prostitute, and countless other names that are meant as a judgement on her over a number of days.  He also entirely misrepresented her testimony and statements and even went so far as to demand we see sex tapes of anyone who receives birth control from insurance that receives government funds.

While both men are raging assholes, the 2 situations aren't comparable.  And even if they were, everyone should be bitching about Rush and bitching that people aren't calling Maher out for the same thing, not trying to excuse Rush because Maher wasn't called out on it.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: euro60 on March 31, 2012, 10:51:48 AM
Here ya go, Kasich-haters:

Ohio leads nation in job gains (http://news.cincinnati.com/article/20120330/BIZ/303300145/Ohio-tops-job-gains?odyssey=mod|newswell|text|FRONTPAGE|p)
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Atzend on March 31, 2012, 11:20:01 AM
Here ya go, Kasich-haters:

Ohio leads nation in job gains (http://news.cincinnati.com/article/20120330/BIZ/303300145/Ohio-tops-job-gains?odyssey=mod|newswell|text|FRONTPAGE|p)

That's awesome that he's creating alternatives for all those laid-off teachers!
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on March 31, 2012, 12:13:16 PM
Here ya go, Kasich-haters:

Ohio leads nation in job gains (http://news.cincinnati.com/article/20120330/BIZ/303300145/Ohio-tops-job-gains?odyssey=mod|newswell|text|FRONTPAGE|p)

Did you read the part of the article where it explains how most of those gains are the result of Federal policy?
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: lutz on April 25, 2012, 08:35:25 AM
I know this isn't news to anyone, but Donald Trump really is a cunt of the highest order (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-17826561).
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Kwyjibo on April 25, 2012, 09:35:02 AM
Here ya go, Kasich-haters:

Ohio leads nation in job gains (http://news.cincinnati.com/article/20120330/BIZ/303300145/Ohio-tops-job-gains?odyssey=mod|newswell|text|FRONTPAGE|p)

Yep, he personally has fixed everything.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Butter on April 25, 2012, 10:29:01 AM
Don't forget the awesome consumer protection we have thanks to Kasich.

Oh, wait:

Ohio's consumer law now among nation's worst. (http://www.cleveland.com/consumeraffairs/index.ssf/2012/04/kasich_signs_hb_275_-_ohios_co.html)
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on April 25, 2012, 11:02:35 AM
Only stupid people care about unemployment.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Kwyjibo on April 25, 2012, 11:34:03 AM
Only stupid people care about unemployment.

And people who should get a job and quit whining.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on April 25, 2012, 11:55:16 AM
No, I mean it.  Unemployment figures are both completely meaningless and easily manipulated.

Ohio's unemployment is good because the Federal government is borrowing money it doesn't have to pay people on Ohio to do jobs that don't need doing.  Kasich then takes that money, skims 10% off the top to give rich companies "tax incentives" to make sure it's *their* employees who get the cash instead of someone else's.

Obama gets all the blame for the spending.  Kasich gets the credit for "creating jobs" when all he did was spend Obama's money with after taking a 10% premium.

When you do things in a stupid, fucked up and inefficient manner, it takes more people to do it and it costs more.  Duh.  When government funds are spent on government employees in this way, it's called "waste."  When government funds are spent on private companies in this way, it's called "job and revenue creation."

What does the worker get out of it?  Wouldn't they have been better off if they had just gotten 100% of the money directly without having to work to produce goods no one really needs in order to generate revenue for people who are already rich?

Basically companies are getting $10 from the government to pay some dude $5 to dig a hole, and then another $10 from the government to pay some dude $5 to fill it in again.  Sounds like a complete waste of money to me.  And yet, it "created" two jobs and we think this is immensely valuable.  So valuable that we throw another $5 bonus on top to beg those companies to stay and hold us hostage. God forbid some other state get the privilege of laundering federal funds through legalized human slave trade.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Dan on April 25, 2012, 02:18:58 PM
I know you guys are talking about caring about the politics, policies, and statistics of unemployment... but I still want to say: I care greatly about unemployment. More so that it exists and it is indeed there for those who come into unfortunate circumstances.

Unemployment saved me once and allowed me to successfully job hunt in the city I love and in the field I love. I was able to find a job which was only a contract but still a job and I would not have been able to do so if not for unemployment. I am now in my 3rd week without work after completing that contract and I will find out in the next week or so if I qualify for unemployment again. I am desperately hoping that I do.

If I don't, I may be moving in with my sister in Baltimore or, gasp, my parents in Cleveland. Neither of these options are particularly appealing. Unemployment is something that I am depending upon. As much as I wish that wasn't the case I have to accept reality for what it is.

And I hope you all don't consider me stupid.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: luisterpaul on April 25, 2012, 02:33:13 PM
I know you guys are talking about caring about the politics, policies, and statistics of unemployment... but I still want to say: I care greatly about unemployment. More so that it exists and it is indeed there for those who come into unfortunate circumstances.

Unemployment saved me once and allowed me to successfully job hunt in the city I love and in the field I love. I was able to find a job which was only a contract but still a job and I would not have been able to do so if not for unemployment. I am now in my 3rd week without work after completing that contract and I will find out in the next week or so if I qualify for unemployment again. I am desperately hoping that I do.

If I don't, I may be moving in with my sister in Baltimore or, gasp, my parents in Cleveland. Neither of these options are particularly appealing. Unemployment is something that I am depending upon. As much as I wish that wasn't the case I have to accept reality for what it is.

And I hope you all don't consider me stupid.
IMO that's exactly what unemployment is for. May your next contract turn into full-time work.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on April 25, 2012, 02:34:54 PM
I'm talking about unemployment rates, not unemployment benefits which are generally a good thing or at worst not nearly a bad enough thing for reasonable people to get worked up about.  
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Dan on April 25, 2012, 04:37:20 PM
Oh. Hah! Sorry.

Carry on, carry on, nothing to see here, nothing at all.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Ella Minnow Pea on May 08, 2012, 10:08:37 PM
Oh North Carolina, why must you take this step backwards? :(
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Kwyjibo on May 08, 2012, 11:56:25 PM
After trying to navigate Greensboro today I'm inclined to say NC was pretty backwards even before today.

And yes, I realize I'm in your backyard LMNOP... how far am I from you?
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: va-vacious on May 09, 2012, 09:54:29 AM
Kwyj- you're about an hour and a half from Ella, and three and a half from me!
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on May 09, 2012, 09:59:34 AM
I actually think NC is taking too much shit for this.  They actually held out for a surprisingly long time.  Same sex marriage has been banned in VA since 1997.  And then they passed a constitutional amendment to double ban it in 2006.

Indiana just voted a pretty good senior Senator out of office, who despite being moderate was still reliable conservative vote.  Even if you are extremely conservative, do you really think you're better off with a junior member who is an idiot?
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Predot on May 09, 2012, 12:25:31 PM
I actually think NC is taking too much shit for this.  They actually held out for a surprisingly long time.  Same sex marriage has been banned in VA since 1997.  And then they passed a constitutional amendment to double ban it in 2006.

Indiana just voted a pretty good senior Senator out of office, who despite being moderate was still reliable conservative vote.  Even if you are extremely conservative, do you really think you're better off with a junior member who is an idiot?

As a Hoosier, even one who is a reliable Democrat, this saddened me tremendously. I considered Lugar a point of pride, that one of the few respected statesmen was representing us, even if he was far more conservative than I am. That he wasn't conservative enough for the boobs around this state is truly disheartening. I can only hope some ugly revelation about Mourdock pops up between now and November and Donnelly can pull off a surprise.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: dirk on May 09, 2012, 01:07:35 PM
I heard this really interesting discussion of how the political landscape has completely flipped since 8 years ago, and why it keeps happening in.  Basically, people care more about reinforcing their beliefs than they do about facts, so when they see facts that don't agree with their mindset, they reject them.

https://www.npr.org/blogs/itsallpolitics/2012/05/09/152287372/partisan-psychology-why-are-people-partial-to-political-loyalties-over-facts
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on May 09, 2012, 01:50:06 PM
I've never understood that about politics.

Like religion, okay.  That's important.  You don't want to be wrong and either 1)  Get tortured for all eternity or 2) Waste your life mumbling prayers to a non-existent entity and following rules that it turns out are meaningless.  Those are some high stakes.

Politics-- it's like who cares?  Not that policy isn't important, but most of the really important things people agree on.  It's good to help poor people.  It's good to help sick people.  It's bad to take too much money from people.  If there's anything people should agree on, it's the politicians are pretty much assholes no matter what party they belong to.

But instead people go out of their way to make up silly facts and theories just so they can be opposed to some other made up silly facts and theories.  And they get so caught up in it that they will go out and vote for someone that people would universally agree is a douchebag just to have their silly facts and theories which they know are full of shit "win."
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Kwyjibo on May 09, 2012, 01:53:56 PM
Kwyj- you're about an hour and a half from Ella, and three and a half from me!

If I were on my own for dinner I'd suggest a meetup but that's not the case unfortunately.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: lutz on May 09, 2012, 05:32:59 PM
Pleeeeeeeeeeeeease can we swap leaders? We could do great things with Obama, and Cameron would be a perfect whipping boy for the GOP.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Ella Minnow Pea on May 09, 2012, 05:36:34 PM
Kwyj- you're about an hour and a half from Ella, and three and a half from me!

If I were on my own for dinner I'd suggest a meetup but that's not the case unfortunately.
Plus I'm currently about 5 hours away at my own work conference in Dunwoody, GA.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Rafe on May 09, 2012, 06:27:26 PM
Pleeeeeeeeeeeeease can we swap leaders? We could do great things with Obama, and Cameron would be a perfect whipping boy for the GOP.

I'd take that switch any day of the week. Cameron is a fucking twat.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: lutz on May 09, 2012, 06:50:19 PM
Pleeeeeeeeeeeeease can we swap leaders? We could do great things with Obama, and Cameron would be a perfect whipping boy for the GOP.

I'd take that switch any day of the week. Cameron is a fucking twat.
Shhhh, don't tell them! Otherwise we might have to deal with the French to get Hollande instead, and UKIP would go berserk.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Ella Minnow Pea on May 09, 2012, 07:09:25 PM
I was too busy watching yesterday's election results that I missed that the Republicans are making headway in eliminating the Prevention and Public Health Fund. Since that's what pays my salary, I hate that it's a political pawn. It wouldn't be so bad if I didn't love my job, supervisor, etc. Ugh.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Kwyjibo on May 09, 2012, 08:39:51 PM
Saw some coverage of Obama's announcement that he supports same sex marriage and I'm floored at the ignorance and hate mongering.  The first headline I saw, Fox News I think, was "Obama says I Do to gay marriage."  The second, MSNBC, was "Obama Out of the Closet!".  You'd have thought that he was announcing that he himself was gay.

Sigh... I hate this country sometimes.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on May 09, 2012, 09:45:03 PM
Bad move by Obama, but he was forced into it. Joe Biden should have kept his mouth shut.  What an idiot.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: juggles on May 09, 2012, 10:41:02 PM
Bad move by Obama, but he was forced into it. Joe Biden should have kept his mouth shut.  What an idiot.

Not sure how this will ultimately play. The obvious danger is that it energizes a conservative base that was very lukewarm to Romney. On the other hand, it also energizes young, liberal voters who've been cooler to Obama as a president than they were to him as a candidate. So I guess the question is does he gain any voters he didn't already have or lose any he hadn't already lost?
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: euro60 on May 09, 2012, 11:16:16 PM
I agree it's hard to tell, but I still am of the opinion this is secondary to the REAL issue that people care about: jobs and the economy. If the economy continues its slow but steady tick upward, I really don't see how Romney is going to beat Obama. If on the other hand the economy stalls (or even get worse), it should be Romney's for the taking.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Butter on May 10, 2012, 07:25:45 AM
I don't think this is as big a deal as you think.  Dems were already the perceived pro-gay marriage party.  The only place this will really play is in red states that were already out of Obama's hands anyway.  Maybe it puts a North Carolina or something back in play, but that was a shocker in 2008 anyway.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Markalot on May 10, 2012, 07:36:33 AM
The country has turned sharply pro gay marriage just in the last 4 years, at least according to the WSJ poll, but the problem is it does not fall cleanly along party lines.  Still, I don't think it hurts him that much, if at all.  It will be very hard for a republican, who must have independents votes to win, to capitalize on this. If anything this will hurt Romney because I doubt Romney will start preaching anti-gay marriage to the general election audience.  If he does, he loses votes, if he doesn't it will anger conservatives and he loses votes.  Obama is a pretty crafty politician, I would not be surprised if the Biden comment was not a mistake.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Jen on May 10, 2012, 08:29:31 AM
It is about time he had to answer the hard question. People ask Romney and other politicians hard questions and expect an answer but let Obama get away with being mealy mouthed about it. This is the part about Obama I dislike: he rarely is heard making a definite opinion about anything. I am glad he stood up for gay marriage but I agree that should he lose, this wouldn't be the reason.

I really really hate the way our country is being run right now. NPR interviewed a former Republican senator yesterday about Luger's loss and he was talking about how he remembered the Rep party as one who wanted limited Fed gov't control and also running the country based on a budget. Now they are the party of gay bashers.

I just think it is so sad that no one will stand up for what they believe, do their job (which is to represent the citizens) and stop worrying about who is lining their pockets and getting reelected. We need serious reform. But who wants to commit political suicide doing the right thing??? I really think we need to go back to the way it used to be: Congress should be in session only a few months out of the year then the rest of the time, they are actually doing their jobs (ie lawyer, business person, etc). Do we honestly need SO MANY damn laws all the time? Maybe if they had limited time, they could spend more time passing the bills that should be passed.

I am pretty sure I don't have a clue what I am talking about but I do know that if the system truly worked, we wouldn't be in this mess with so many corrupt politicians. For fear of sounding like a Tea Party person (I am so not one), I can't help but think that Washington, Jefferson, Adams, Franklin and the like are sitting somewhere and smacking their foreheads about how we have wasted their sacrifice and intelligence in putting a system in place to keep us from tyranny. Yet, we seem to be going down that route. Whatever, I am rambling and babbling at this point. Just fed up. With all parties. Just want them to do their fucking job.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: luisterpaul on May 10, 2012, 09:11:46 AM
It is about time he had to answer the hard question. People ask Romney and other politicians hard questions and expect an answer but let Obama get away with being mealy mouthed about it. This is the part about Obama I dislike: he rarely is heard making a definite opinion about anything. I am glad he stood up for gay marriage but I agree that should he lose, this wouldn't be the reason.

I really really hate the way our country is being run right now. NPR interviewed a former Republican senator yesterday about Luger's loss and he was talking about how he remembered the Rep party as one who wanted limited Fed gov't control and also running the country based on a budget. Now they are the party of gay bashers.

I just think it is so sad that no one will stand up for what they believe, do their job (which is to represent the citizens) and stop worrying about who is lining their pockets and getting reelected. We need serious reform. But who wants to commit political suicide doing the right thing??? I really think we need to go back to the way it used to be: Congress should be in session only a few months out of the year then the rest of the time, they are actually doing their jobs (ie lawyer, business person, etc). Do we honestly need SO MANY damn laws all the time? Maybe if they had limited time, they could spend more time passing the bills that should be passed.

I am pretty sure I don't have a clue what I am talking about but I do know that if the system truly worked, we wouldn't be in this mess with so many corrupt politicians. For fear of sounding like a Tea Party person (I am so not one), I can't help but think that Washington, Jefferson, Adams, Franklin and the like are sitting somewhere and smacking their foreheads about how we have wasted their sacrifice and intelligence in putting a system in place to keep us from tyranny. Yet, we seem to be going down that route. Whatever, I am rambling and babbling at this point. Just fed up. With all parties. Just want them to do their fucking job.
Quoted for emphasis.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on May 10, 2012, 10:41:40 AM
I don't think this is as big a deal as you think.  Dems were already the perceived pro-gay marriage party.

That's the problem.  Now the gay activist groups will (quite rightly) take advantage of this and ask Obama how come if the Dems are pro-gay then why haven't they done more?

It doesn't gain Obama any votes.  Polls show gay people tend to be active well-informed voters, so they know what's up. Just because Obama hasn't done enough they still won't actually vote GOP if they care about gay issues.  College kids don't vote like they should.  They are generally in favor of gay marriage but I don't think it's a big enough deal to get them to go to the booths.

But I bet this costs Obama some votes among blacks, hispanics, and Southern Dems.  Enough to cost him the election?  Probably not.  But it makes him have to work harder at walk a public tightrope on this issue that takes his attention away from more important stuff.  I agree that it's probably not that big a deal but it was still really stupid to bring this issue out for no reason.

It's one of those things.  If you say you are pro-gay marriage then people who are pro-gay marriage don't really think better of you.  It just says you aren't asshole, which hopefully confirms what they already knew. 

A good litmus test is would you feel comfortable talking to someone at work you didn't know too well about your stance on gay marriage?  You probably wouldn't because the odds that you really piss someone off in a really bad way are much higher than the odds that it pulls you together.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: dirk on May 10, 2012, 01:26:20 PM
I don't think this is as big a deal as you think.  Dems were already the perceived pro-gay marriage party.  The only place this will really play is in red states that were already out of Obama's hands anyway.  Maybe it puts a North Carolina or something back in play, but that was a shocker in 2008 anyway.
Yes and no.  While democratic voters were thought of as pro-gay marriage, democratic politicians really weren't.  Very few politicians in the US have come out in favor of gay marriage.  They all either support civil unions or they do the "nuanced issue" dance that Obama was doing. It really is a big deal that a politician on his level has come right out and said that marriage should apply to everyone.

We can debate all day what this will do to the polls, and whether it will help or hurt him in the election, and whether it will get him more money from the gays donating, but the most important thing is that it was the right thing to do.  The biggest problem our country has is that no politician wants to take a stance for what they believe is right.  They take stances based on what will get them elected.  If something isn't popular enough, it doesn't get mentioned, even if it is the right thing to do.  Was this a political move?  I'm sure it was.  He's the president, when he decides to take a dump it is a political move.  But it was a risky political move that put something out there that he believes is right, and that is exactly what this country needs more of on both sides.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on May 10, 2012, 02:12:12 PM
If you want to give credit to someone, credit Biden.  He basically "outed" Obama and left him no choice. I'm not sure Obama feels that strongly about gay marriage one way or the other.



Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on May 14, 2012, 03:20:57 PM
It cracks me up that all of a sudden everyone is worried about Virginia.  Until Obama, we hadn't voted for a Democrat ever since they screwed up and let all those black people have rights.

If you are Republican, the fact that Virginia is even in play means that you have screwed up massively.  And McDonnell for VP won't help.  He will actually lower your chances of success in Virginia.

Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: euro60 on May 14, 2012, 11:12:37 PM
I really really hate the way our country is being run right now. NPR interviewed a former Republican senator yesterday about Luger's loss and he was talking about how he remembered the Rep party as one who wanted limited Fed gov't control and also running the country based on a budget. Now they are the party of gay bashers.

Just fed up. With all parties. Just want them to do their fucking job.
The key note speaker at my daughter's college graduation ceremony yesterday in DC was Erskine Bowles, he of the Clinton era, and more importantly, one of the 2 co-chairs of the bi-partisan committee (6 from each party) appointed by Obama last year to come up with a sensible plan to get out of the deficit mess/madness. In about 10-15 min., he explained to the audience (students and parents) how that committee put forward a plan that would right the ship. It was supported by 11 of the 12 members of the committee. Meaning, strong bi-partisan support. When it came out, what happened? NOTHING! No support from Obama, no support from the Congress. And hence we continue this downward spiral of unsustainable deficits. It just made me sick, listening to this guy's PLEA for reasonabless and compromise, that nothing is being done. Like Jen says, "fed up, with all parties, just want them to do their fucking job"
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: va-vacious on May 14, 2012, 11:19:04 PM
I <3 Erskine Bowles! He ran for governor of NC a few years ago, and lost. He's definitely a voice of reason, and seems to get that compromise and working together are not evil things.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on May 15, 2012, 12:51:36 AM
NOTHING! No support from Obama, no support from the Congress. And hence we continue this downward spiral of unsustainable deficits. It just made me sick, listening to this guy's PLEA for reasonabless and compromise, that nothing is being done. Like Jen says, "fed up, with all parties, just want them to do their fucking job"

There was nothing reasonable about that plan.  I take that back.  It was completely reasonable in terms of how to reduce the deficit.  It was also completely impractical.

I could have written that plan in fifteen minutes, and so could anyone with a passing knowledge of the Federal government.  It was filled with common sense stuff that everyone has known for twenty years and has never been done because voters don't want it.  

It got rid of a bunch of major tax loopholes (including mortgage interest deduction), raised taxes (especially on the rich), reduced social security, medicare and medicaid, increased gas taxes, got rid of earmarks, eliminated student loans, and massively reduced military spending.  

Who doesn't know that entitlements, Dept. of Ed., and military are the biggest chunk of government spending, or that raising taxes is the only way to generate enough revenue to cover even a largely reduced government?  But yeah, good luck with that.

Paul Ryan is the House Budget Committee Chairman, and he was on the Commission.  He's the key budget guy, and not only did he not vote for the plan, he pretty much trashed it.  And introduced his own totally partisan, totally unreasonable budget.  And Paul Ryan is one of the more sensible members of the House on the conservative side.

I like Bowles, but I can't really blame Congress or Obama for not wanting to waste their time on something that everyone will hate and has no chance of passing.  And the truth is, I don't think most of the people on this board would have voted for it either.  Neither would anyone in the audience.  How many students at AU are getting subsidized student loans?  Pretty much all of them.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Markalot on May 15, 2012, 10:30:17 AM
I agree.  The students would say yay, get rid of the mortgage interest deduction but keep student loans, and the adults in the room who had to pay for their kids college would scream for both to stay. I think most of us support some kind of solution that involves higher taxes and some cuts, our realm problem is that people are getting nominated to run by the fringe, and then the majority has to pick one of them.

It will improve, but it will take a few cycles.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on May 15, 2012, 11:39:40 AM
It's both the fringe and the majority, really.

The fringe ties things up by muddling up the budget picture with program cuts for non-fiscal reasons.  Like if you hate Corporation for Public Broadcasting or NEA or whatever, then cut it.  But you're not really saving any significant amount of money.  Their refusal to compromise or to talk sense obviously makes it difficult to get anything done, budget-related or not.

But like you said, every parent in that room would have been screaming not to get rid of the mortgage interest deduction and subsidized student loans.  They majority isn't being forced into voting for crazy politicians who refuse to cut those programs, they genuinely want those programs to stay, and increased if possible.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on May 15, 2012, 11:48:46 AM
If on the other hand the economy stalls (or even get worse), it should be Romney's for the taking.

I wouldn't be too sure of this.  A bad economy typically works against the incumbent, but it also typically works in favor liberals. 

It will depend on if you think the economy has turned bad due to recent mismanagement, but can be fixed vs if the economy is totally in the shitter and we need some kind of massive government intervention to help the jobless/poor and/or turn things around.

The Tea Party movement blaming big government and taxes for the economy is strong... but apparently so to is the Occupy movement blaming rich Wall Street fat cats.  People still retain the perception that  it was the banks and their fiscal mis-management that dragged us into this mess, and JP Morgan losing $2 billion doesn't help.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on May 15, 2012, 01:09:26 PM
Stay classy, Richmond.

http://www2.timesdispatch.com/news/virginia-politics/2012/may/15/12/house-of-delegates-rejects-thorne-begland-for-judg-ar-1914948/
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Kwyjibo on May 15, 2012, 01:24:53 PM
I could easily see that happening here in Ohio, or in Kentucky.  Shameful.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on May 24, 2012, 05:18:11 PM
Today I spent fifteen minutes thinking about how I might be able to purchase some crappy ghetto housing in Miami-Dade/Broward County just so I could vote against Frederica Wilson because I hate her stupid hats.

This is why I need to retire from voting.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Markalot on May 24, 2012, 11:04:34 PM
I think that's completely reasonable.  I hate stupid hats.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Ella Minnow Pea on May 30, 2012, 11:35:43 PM
The North Carolina General Assembly (well, the new Republican members) are determined to make us a laughing stock. Today's news item is that they wanted to limit predicting sea level increases to a linear model - no others (including scientifically valid ones are allowed). Science, be damned! (Thankfully this isn't law  - yet.)

 :-[
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on May 31, 2012, 12:09:05 AM
That's nothing, Ella.

Our AG is trying to sue a UVA professor and the Federal government because the professor published a peer-reviewed scientific paper on global warming.  The essence of the complaint is essentially that everyone knows global warming is fake and therefore anyone who publishes anything about it is committing fraud.

Ignore (if somehow possible) the absurd circular logic and complete lack of scientific principle here.  Just consider the policy implications.

The suit was already thrown out for being totally stupid by the Virginia Supreme Court.  Which is not the slightest bit liberal.  Quite the contrary.   The AG was not happy with that and so to appeal the case he wants to subpeona all the professor's working papers and research.  This challenge was also thrown out for being incredibly stupid because while the professor is a state employee this particular research project was Federally funded.  So basically the AG is of the opinion that state can monitor and control non-state supported scientific research if it doesn't say what he wants.  And because he lost, now he's trying to subpeona a crap-ton of other stuff which has nothing to do with anything and which he will almost certainly lose again just because he wants to be a dick.

The kicker here is that UVA is a state agency.  And the AG is supposed to defend state agencies, not prosecute them.  Because of this conflict of interest, it means UVA has to hire outside counsel at outrageously expensive prices.  So the tax payers are paying through the nose to fund BOTH sides of this amazingly frivolous lawsuit.  And of course the AG adds to those costs by not cooperating with opposing counsel in any way and doing all they can to complicate things which just raises legal expenses on both sides. 

But wait, there's more!  Since the whole affair is obviously bullshit, several NGO's who have nothing to do with environmental causes but are instead concerned about privacy, speech and other freedoms have filed suit against Virginia for their heavy-handed big-brotherness.  So guess who has to pay for the expenses incurred by the AG in a losing effort to defend their own stupidity from additional lawsuits of their own making?

So you see, you have a long, LONG way to go before you can become a laughing stock like Virginia. 

Super-duper, extra-special bonus:  The AG is running for governor, and will probably win.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: lutz on May 31, 2012, 05:51:12 AM
Jesus. Excuse me for a minute while I slam my head repeatedly against the desk...
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Jen on May 31, 2012, 08:07:20 AM
Jesus. Excuse me for a minute while I slam my head repeatedly against the desk...

That pretty much sums up my reaction as well. To argue against global warming due to human interaction is one thing but to argue against it on the basic principle that we are STILL COMING OUT OF AN ICEAGE and therefore WILL WARM UP is beyond what my brain can process. Of course that AG probably believes Creationism IS science and should be taught in schools. He also probably uses the word again't to mean "against it" like that preacher talking about putting gays and lesbians in a concentration camp. People like the AG (and that preacher) should be sterilized so they aren't allowed to breed and add to the already overpopulated Earth. I swear people are becoming dumber everyday and instead of evolving, are doing the exact opposite. Darwinism needs to speed up.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Ella Minnow Pea on May 31, 2012, 08:50:34 PM
Wow. Okay, I feel a little better. We have an excellent AG (who announced that he would vote against Amendment One last month), and as far as I can tell, he's running unopposed this year. Our Republican candidate for governor is a former mayor of Charlotte and is actually a moderate. It mostly the legislature that dismays me. Especially since my favorite Representatives have opted not to run for re-election this year.

(Although the preacher was in NC, so that's not good.)
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: va-vacious on June 01, 2012, 01:14:50 AM
Hooray for Roy (NC atty general)- he's ok, and we've had a couple of other senior positions that are awesome. The governor's race is going to be interesting, and I will be checking out both candidates pretty seriously.

The VA situation is pretty crazy. Shouldn't someone be getting the AG to back off and stop wasting money? Or does he get sued down the road for fiscal irresponsibility? Sorry he's got a good chance of winning.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on June 01, 2012, 09:42:43 AM
No one can control him, not even his own party.  In fact, he's been a huge thorn in the side for our current governor.  McDonnell is pretty much a massive social/political conservative himself and in principle agrees with just about everything the AG does.  Except that McDonnell has larger ambitions and so is trying to position himself more as a centrist. 

I used to think he was a typical Tea Party faux-righteous idiot, but I've come around on him.  I think he's just super-religious and acting out of legitimate moral concerns.  He's going to do as much as he can to prevent things he thinks are wrong, whether that is good for the GOP or the liberals or the Tea Party or not, or whether they are considered outside the typical scope of his duties or not.

And so I can sort of see his appeal.  I mean, the governor we have is as fake as they come.  He tries to position himself as a moderate when everyone knows he is anything but. So he disappoints everyone in his wishy-washy views and constant waffling.  At least with Cuccinelli, you know what he stands for and that if he says something he's fully committed.

Cuccinelli is the kind of person people think they want in government, but they really don't.  If he were acting the same way for liberal causes most liberals would think he was great.  And in fact, he's probably been more active than any liberal in government in the one area he is somewhat liberal on.

Bob McDonnell from a personal standpoint is rather loathsome and Cuccinelli is in some ways admirable.  But McDonnell's wishy-washy waffling has prevented Virginia (and Cuccinelli) from doing a bunch of really stupid things.  And Cuccinelli has wasted tons of money and attempted to create unprecedented state powers.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: lutz on June 01, 2012, 05:20:00 PM
Watching news coverage of the Syria crisis is causing me to think: why the fuck are countries like Syria, China and Russia allowed to be members of the UN? They ought to be expelled and sanctioned until they sort out their human rights violations and rampant corruption.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on June 01, 2012, 06:46:46 PM
It's tricky to me.

Because to some degree, I believe that China takes crap for mistreating their own people.  Which seems a little unfair when the crap-givers are simply allowing their private corporations to abuse other country's people and washing their hands of the affair.  And the UN is their soap and water.

The US doesn't do crap about China and they never will because China has too much $$ and nukes.  We also do very little to stop other human rights abuses, because they work to our advantage.  But we have this silly organization that makes a bunch of rules about Human Rights and we have a fake ICJ where we fake prosecute human rights violators.  And it makes us feel good and to some extent makes the abused feel good because its like "Hey, we have someone out there looking out for us."

If you look at who the biggest China-haters are (at least in the US), it's the far right.  These are people who have no problem treating gays and minorities like shit, and love attacking other countries.  They don't dislike China because they abuse human rights.  That's just a facade.  They don't like China because they hate foreigners, and the worst kind of foreigners are powerful ones who don't do exactly what you say and refuse to believe in the same God and cultural principles.

Which is not to say China isn't filled with terrible corruption and abuse and is a way worse place to be than the US or UK.  I'm just saying the UN serves our purposes.  I mean, if we were all about fair play, why do both of our countries (and China, too) have a permanent seat on the Security Council where we can basically overrule anything we want?  The UN gives a means to bitch about other countries.  And China being in the UN lets us bitch about it to their face and makes us feel all good.  If we kicked them out and they weren't signees to all these treaties they break, then what would we have to complain about?

Are the following the Chen Guangcheng story over there?  That's the biggest farce ever.  For BOTH countries.




Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: lutz on June 01, 2012, 07:42:04 PM
Are the following the Chen Guangcheng story over there?  That's the biggest farce ever.  For BOTH countries.
Yeah, that's some fucked up shit. China is absolute top of my list of countries I would never want to live in, and it sickens me how Western leaders pander to them because they want Chinese businesses to buy more of our infrastructure and debt.

How about a tangentially relevant picture to lighten the mood.

(http://i.imgur.com/d5GUV.jpg)
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: euro60 on June 01, 2012, 11:45:06 PM
Watching news coverage of the Syria crisis is causing me to think: why the fuck are countries like Syria, China and Russia allowed to be members of the UN? They ought to be expelled and sanctioned until they sort out their human rights violations and rampant corruption.
They will never be expelled because China and Russia have a veto power on the UN Security Council. Now remember, that was agreed 50 years ago (the 5 countries having veto power). This is sadly a concept that is completely out of date (why in the world is France still one of those), but impossible to change due to political considerations (by all means Germany should be one of those).
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on June 02, 2012, 05:30:56 PM
China is on the Security Council for the same reason we are:  they have nukes and tons of economic clout.  Who's going to tell them they can't sit at the grown-ups table? 

I mean, why is the US on the Security Council?  We don't even ratify any UN treaties... even uncontroversial crap like the Law of the Sea.  We totally obey the terms of that treaty.  In fact, in most cases our laws are even stricter than the Convention requires.  We just won't sign it because we don't want anyone telling us what to do.  I mean, we could even sign it and not obey it like everyone does with every other treaty and no one could stop us.  But we still won't sign just because we don't even want it to APPEAR like we give a shit what other countries want.  I don't know how you could more blatantly thumb your nose at an organization.  Yet there we are on the Security Council, complaining about countries violating a Test Ban Treaty we are not a party to ourselves.

Look... the UN is not there to make substantive change as much as it is to make everyone feel good about the lack of substantive change.  All they do is pass resolutions and treaties everyone ignores.

The fact that the UN is powerless, corrupt, and sucky is maybe the one thing that everyone in every political party in just about every country can agree on.  That serves a valuable purpose.  FIFA sucks.  The Olympics Committee sucks.  Virtually any international body given charge of anything will inevitably suck.  That's what they do.

Drink your cynicism like an elixir.  Pour it in your water supply and let the poison permeate your blood and bones until it's filled every bit of your being and you have soaked all of it up like a sponge and nothing remains for others but pure, clean water.  Then you will have done your part for world peace.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Rafe on June 02, 2012, 06:37:30 PM
That last sentence of yours began with a blatant reference to a song by Salad, which I'm now honour bound to listen to.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on June 15, 2012, 09:54:05 AM
Stay classy, Richmond.

http://www2.timesdispatch.com/news/virginia-politics/2012/may/15/12/house-of-delegates-rejects-thorne-begland-for-judg-ar-1914948/

This story has a happy ending... for now, anyway.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/dc-politics/richmond-circuit-court-appoints-openly-gay-judge/2012/06/14/gJQAhfHwcV_story.html
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Ella Minnow Pea on June 28, 2012, 10:42:24 AM
Thank you Justice Roberts. It's a tax, and taxes are allowed to be levied by Congress. I've never tracked a decision so closely in my life. It will be interesting to see the impact on the elections.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Markalot on June 28, 2012, 11:19:33 AM
ObamaTax!

In case you never read the CE/P forums on WOXY ... I am a supporter of the health law not because it's good, but because we need something that can now be tweaked to make it better.

This will be an interesting elections season.  I don't think the ObamaTax rhetoric will fly since either someone without healthcare will not be paying this "tax" or I will be paying it for them if they get sick.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on June 28, 2012, 02:06:31 PM
Love the Healthcare and the Stolen Valor Act rulings.

First because both rulings were absolutely correct. 

Second because I want to hear the Fox Talking Heads and conservatives complain about "Activist Judges."  The Court upheld the Feds in one case, and struck down the other.  One grants (or confirms) government power, one limits it while recognizing individual first amendment rights. 

Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Ella Minnow Pea on June 28, 2012, 02:18:26 PM
Interesting article on Slate about implications for the Commerce clause. http://mobile.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/scocca/2012/06/roberts_health_care_opinion_commerce_clause_the_real_reason_the_chief_justice_upheld_obamacare_.html

ACA isn't perfect, but we do need to start somewhere. Healthcare costs are just too big.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on June 28, 2012, 06:41:29 PM
In case you never read the CE/P forums on WOXY ... I am a supporter of the health law not because it's good, but because we need something that can now be tweaked to make it better.
d

I sort of agree with you.  I don't like supporting ill-thought reforms, and there are many ways in which I think the ACA is poorly done.  At the same time, the general idea is a good one.  What we have now isn't working and it costs a crap-ton of money. 

Most of the stuff that is stupid is because some liberals in Congress decided they wanted to stick it to conservatives.  And I could live with that if it were just your standard pissing contest.  But really, they were trying to stick it to conservatives for their own personal gain.  Pelosi wanted to be a big shot more than she cared about actual policy.

And the conservatives had a chance because Obama really was willing to work with them to a much greater degree than they had any right to expect,  But they took the easy, political route and just decided to crap on the whole thing.  This never should have been a Supreme Court case in the first place.  The individual mandate is really not that important to universal healthcare and it's not a big deal (Constitutionally or policy-wise).  Everyone just wanted a wedge issue.

And the whole "inactivity" argument is still, too me, the absolute DUMBEST challenge to a law ever. 

The decision itself was probably a good one.  The Supes mostly punted the larger issues, as they usually do.  Which is a good NON-activist judicial principle of you don't rule more broadly than you need to.  But it leaves a lot of stuff unanswered.  I think the Supreme Court is caught in a bind.

The ICC has been tortured beyond belief.  But what can you do?  You can say "Yeah, well I'm tossing out 50-200 years of precedent and now you guys sort out all the massive number of laws that now need to be rewritten and go back and revisit thousands of court cases that have been settled."  Or you say "Yeah, well I'm sticking with judicial precedent here even though it's probably wrong and it just compounds the problem."

The Constitution really doesnt say anything definitive about most regulations today.  The split between states and Fed. and between branches of Fed have never been laid out for a modern society.  You have Clarence Thomas out there going "Well, what would the original framers have said?"  Well, who knows?  They had no idea that there would be computers and multi-national corporations and that "interstate commerce" nowadays is just plain "commerce."  On the other hand, you've got liberal justices saying "Well, I don't think this was covered, so we'll just make something up."

The Constitution just needs to be rewritten.  Huge swaths of it need to be updated.  I'm very "activist" in my belief that the Constitution is nowhere near the sacred document or as useful as it's made out to be.  On the other hand, I'm super-conservative in my belief that the judicial branch  should not be in effect re-writing the Constitution.  The judicial branch should be interpreting the Constitution, and the best interpretation of the Constitution is that it doesn't say anything about any of this.  ACA is not covered.

So, when it comes to amending the Constitution we know the procedure-- 2/3 vote, etc.   That is how you fix it, not asking judges to fix it.  So sad that there is so much updating that needs to be done and the only amendments people will consider are flag burning and no gay marriage. 
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: twentyshots on June 28, 2012, 10:30:07 PM
fox and cnn both looked like idiots today because they read page two of the ruling and didn't bother to read page three before breaking the story.
it used to be that fox was the obviously horrible one, but really, anymore cnn sucks too. their homepage has been slowly killing my soul for months, so i had to bail.
i heard about the ruling first through twitter (mother jones, maybe?), then flipped on diane rehm, who ALSO fell for the faux pas because she was repeating cnn. at least she apologized and expressed remorse.

Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: luisterpaul on June 29, 2012, 07:12:51 AM
It's like we all expected the SCOTUS to shoot it down.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: juggles on June 29, 2012, 03:19:53 PM
I know most of you had the chance to see this on Facebook but in the interest of brazen self-promotion:

OBAMA CELEBRATES SUPREME COURT DECISION BY GETTING STAFF SICK (http://toomuchcredit.blogspot.com/2012/06/obama-celebrates-supreme-court-decision.html)
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: juggles on July 02, 2012, 10:33:41 AM
It's nice to hear all the Republicans who were bashing Obama over gas prices a couple months ago congratulating him for bringing them down. You can snicker now.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Ella Minnow Pea on August 11, 2012, 09:35:41 AM
I really wish I could remember if I knew who Paul Ryan was when we were at Miami together. Could he have been president of the college republicans? Would he have listened to 97X? (Never-mind, according to his Facebook page, his favorite music is Led Zeppelin, Grateful Dead, Metallica, Beethoven, Hank Williams, Jr., and more. He probably stuck to WEBN.)
And now he's the VP candidate. At least his undergraduate education is an improvement over Palin's!
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: juggles on August 11, 2012, 10:43:53 AM
I really wish I could remember if I knew who Paul Ryan was when we were at Miami together. Could he have been president of the college republicans? Would he have listened to 97X? (Never-mind, according to his Facebook page, his favorite music is Led Zeppelin, Grateful Dead, Metallica, Beethoven, Hank Williams, Jr., and more. He probably stuck to WEBN.)
And now he's the VP candidate. At least his undergraduate education is an improvement over Palin's!

I'm class of '93 so Ryan was a year ahead of me. I wish I'd known him then because now it's unlikely I'll ever get the chance to punch him in the nose.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on August 11, 2012, 11:45:42 AM
It's a pretty good pick in theory.  Ryan should appeal to libertarians, fiscal conservatives and moderate Republicans. 

He's young, got a lot of energy, comes across as very personable, and actually has PLANS which is something Romney seems to lack.  He was pretty much setting the GOP (although not necessarily conservative) agenda anyway.  He's a guy who likes to get things done.  He's really kind of the mirror image of Obama.

I lost some respect for him during the last budget brouhaha, though.  And this also seems like a foolish move for him politically.  Now he's going to be tied in to the Tea Party and he's going to be expected to act like a jackass.  Seems like a waste of GOP talent.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Butter on August 11, 2012, 11:54:20 AM
Romney just lost Florida with this pick, IMO.  Although I guess nothing is so clear-cut anymore.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on August 15, 2012, 10:29:36 AM
Over the years, the Governor(s) of the Commonwealth have become increasingly chatty with the state employee emails all the time.  It's really annoying.

So, its like we're in a fiscal crunch like everyone else so we don't get a COLA and they are requiring us to contribute more to our pension.  Then we get a letter like "Dear Employees, due to the blahblahblah we are asking you to blahblahblah and we thank you for your sacrifice and it makes you like the bestest employees ever."

Then, as is standard they cut too much so they have a surplus that they can brag to everyone about and now they can give us a one-time crappy bonus and so I get a letter like "Dear Employees, due to the blahblahblah we are happy to report that there is a surplus and we will award blahblahblah and we just want you to know that this surplus would not be possible without your hard work."

I didn't do shit, man.  You took $100 out of my pension to fund debt/tax cut/spending.  You didn't *ask* me.  You just did it.  And then thanks to some magic accounting, 12 months later you gave me back $75.  It wasn't some bonus I earned because I worked super hard and met all my goals. 

It's your budget.  You have all the money.  And that's cool.  You hold the purse strings, so you need to do what you need to do.  That's why you got elected.  Just don't act like somehow I played a role in the process or had any say in it whatsoever.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Cockney Rebel on August 15, 2012, 01:04:29 PM
Nah, nothing wrong at all with this, is there? (http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/15/opinion/overt-discrimination-in-ohio.html?_r=1)
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on August 15, 2012, 01:12:55 PM
That is why I suspect Romney will do better in the election than at the polls.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: juggles on August 17, 2012, 06:22:12 PM
romneyswhiteboard (http://romneyswhiteboard.tumblr.com/)
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on September 14, 2012, 12:07:26 PM
I've had to listen to a co-worker rant in the phone for an hour now about how them muslims are animals because who else would kill someone else over a movie.

If it is "just a movie" then why was it so important for some jackhole in Florida who otherwise has no interest in the cinematic arts to make it?  To take it one step further, why do we care so much about free speech in this country?  I mean, why not prevent this guy from making it, since after all it's just a movie.  None of us are going to watch it as it doesn't seem very entertaining anyway.

Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Markalot on September 14, 2012, 12:10:49 PM
It's interesting how the movie maker had to lie to the actors that starred in it, and apparently filmed it in such a way that the real meaning was not known until the narration was added.

Perhaps the world should be viewed as a crowded cinema?

Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on September 14, 2012, 12:59:58 PM
Yeah the people behind the movie make me angrier than anyone else.  Even more than the people that did the actual killing.

All the actors and actresses who probably didn't approve of this hate message at all and were duped now have their faces on the screen looking like huge assholes.  Plus, if someone wanted to kill them they know what they look like. 

In the meantime, the guy who actually made the thing hides out like a coward.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: notoriouspbake on September 14, 2012, 09:21:39 PM
It's interesting how the movie maker had to lie to the actors that starred in it, and apparently filmed it in such a way that the real meaning was not known until the narration was added.

Perhaps the world should be viewed as a crowded cinema?



perhaps coward cinema?
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on September 15, 2012, 01:39:10 AM
The whole thing is so sad.  I try not to think about it too much because it's just too depressing and frustrating.

Some power-hungry racist jerk decides to pick a fight with some other power-hungry, racist jerk who are itching to have one and it's innocents who pay the price. That's the bottom line.  The countries and allegiances don't matter.   This just makes things so much harder for innocents on both sides.

The people who made this film and Al-Qaeda or whoever just need to be put in the same room and let them fight with each other because no one else should care.  Better yet, put them in the same room and let everyone else caught up in this beat the crap out of both of them.

Here is the thing, man.  I believe in free speech so I guess if some jackass wants to be a bigot they are allowed to.  But at the same time, let's all all realize that this is the price we pay for free speech.  This is not a benefit.  We have to put up with these idiots, and unfortunately some people will die.  And in the end I suppose the benefits we get from non-idiots outweighs this even if people die but I do not feel good about it.  So screw every political party and country and NGO and whoever else for trying to guilt-trip us into picking a side.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: lutz on September 15, 2012, 07:34:54 AM
Yeah the people behind the movie make me angrier than anyone else.  Even more than the people that did the actual killing.
Morally, do you think they're also as culpable for the ensuing deaths as the people who fired the guns? I do.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on September 15, 2012, 10:04:56 AM
I do as well. 

It would be one thing if they were just trying to make a point about free speech or something.  But this was a deliberate attempt to start a war.  They were/are trying to get people killed, and they are hoping this week's events are just the beginning.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: lutz on September 15, 2012, 06:48:34 PM
So the Egyptian Prime Minister has 'called on the US, and other governments, to "take the necessary measures to ensure insulting billions of people, one-and-a-half billion people and their beliefs, does not happen and people pay for what they do, and at the same time make sure that the reflections of the true Egyptian and Muslims is well in the Western media."'

Really? So one and a half billion people can't shrug their shoulders and think "oh, some dick made a shitty video, but it's not a big deal so I'll just ignore it and get on with my life"? It's the internet - you're going to get insulted. To be fair, a lot of Muslims have reacted exactly like that, and gone out on counter-protests against the violence, but the fanatics really need to grow the fuck up.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: euro60 on September 16, 2012, 12:02:06 AM
So the Egyptian Prime Minister has 'called on the US, and other governments, to "take the necessary measures to ensure insulting billions of people, one-and-a-half billion people and their beliefs, does not happen and people pay for what they do, and at the same time make sure that the reflections of the true Egyptian and Muslims is well in the Western media."'

Really? So one and a half billion people can't shrug their shoulders and think "oh, some dick made a shitty video, but it's not a big deal so I'll just ignore it and get on with my life"? It's the internet - you're going to get insulted. To be fair, a lot of Muslims have reacted exactly like that, and gone out on counter-protests against the violence, but the fanatics really need to grow the fuck up.
excellent post, thank you Lutz
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on September 16, 2012, 11:30:34 AM
Really? So one and a half billion people can't shrug their shoulders and think "oh, some dick made a shitty video, but it's not a big deal so I'll just ignore it and get on with my life"? It's the internet - you're going to get insulted.

I don't know.  The guy does kind of have a point.  Why shouldn't someone be able to log on to the internet (or do anything else) without being viciously insulted?  If you go to a bar or restaurant and start acting like a dick, you will get thrown out. 

Couldn't this guy be prosecuted for hate speech under UK laws?  I mean, they go after people who make racist or other hateful comments towards famous footballers, and this is worse than that.

I think a country should be willing to accept some responsibility for the actions of its citizens.  And this is larger than just this video.  Romney and quite a few other leading politicians are not exactly doing much to defuse the situation.  We haven't done much as a country to try and stop anti-muslim beliefs, if anything we have given them a larger voice.

Not that I'm saying we should start policing youtube or restricting free speech.  Just that the general principle of we get to insult the shit out of you, fuck you if you can't take it doesn't seem very defensible to me.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: lutz on September 16, 2012, 05:51:54 PM
My point was that the internet is full of anonymous fucktards, and the Egyptian PM is naive at best if he thinks Obama can police them. I agree with you that people should be able to go online without being persecuted, but the truth is that it's not going to happen so these fundamentalists need to be brought kicking and screaming into the 21st century. The alternative is that they discover 4chan and end up starting World War III.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: lutz on September 18, 2012, 06:09:22 AM
Neil Gaiman has put an account from one of the actors who were duped into starring in this "film" on his blog (http://journal.neilgaiman.com/2012/09/a-letter-from-scared-actress.html). It's quite upsetting.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Markalot on September 18, 2012, 07:40:15 AM
Quote
I don't know.  The guy does kind of have a point.  Why shouldn't someone be able to log on to the internet (or do anything else) without being viciously insulted?

I haven't seen the video.  Perhaps I was able to avoid it because I'm not Muslim?   ;D

The problem with restricting speech is who does it, how they do it, and what else can they do.  You know this, I know.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on September 18, 2012, 09:48:12 AM
You were able to avoid seeing the video.  You weren't able to avoid being impacted by the video.  A US ambassador died.  It's all over the news sites.  Not just the event itself but all the circus surrounding the event like Romney and Obama's opinions on it.

I understand your point about the legal aspects of free speech.  But I'm talking about the moral aspects of it.  You have a personal obligation to exercise your free speech rights responsibly. 

As a PRACTICAL matter, lutz is right.  Stuff is going to get on the net and people need to try and just deal with it.  But it doesn't mean the guy who puts it on the net isn't an asshole and you shouldn't try and stop it from happening. 

And also keep in mind that most countries in the world have laws against hate speech.  We are the oddballs who let people say whatever they want.  Which is fine when it only impacts us, but in this case it doesn't.

We have a moral obligation to prevent our laws and our citizens from screwing up other countries.  It's just a matter of how far that obligation extends.  I don't think we should have to totally compromise our own strongly held beliefs to stop a few idiots.  So I'm not at all advocating we should change our free speech laws.  At the same time, just being all "Hey if you don't like it?  Don't listen" is pretty bogus.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: lutz on September 18, 2012, 10:39:01 AM
I haven't seen the video.  Perhaps I was able to avoid it because I'm not Muslim?   ;D
This was the weird thing about it - had anyone heard about this video or seen it until suddenly people started dying? How many of the protestors themselves have actually seen it, rather than being told by their religious/political leaders that "America has gravely insulted us"?

There's some nefarious motivations behind all this, I'm sure.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Markalot on September 18, 2012, 10:51:19 AM
You were able to avoid seeing the video.  You weren't able to avoid being impacted by the video.  A US ambassador died.  It's all over the news sites.  Not just the event itself but all the circus surrounding the event like Romney and Obama's opinions on it.

I understand your point about the legal aspects of free speech.  But I'm talking about the moral aspects of it.  You have a personal obligation to exercise your free speech rights responsibly. 


This is what I intended with my crowded cinema.  The old argument that free speech does not give you the right to yell fire in a crowded cinema.  I think they would get you for inciting something.  Panic perhaps?

But what about the line and how it gets drawn.  The rule we violated was a depiction of Mohammad.  You are not supposed to depict him because he's a prophet, not a god, and the fear is people will worship him instead of god. 

Now what if the rule was you could not refer to other religions without offending Muslims.  Or what if it was you could not address women's issues.  Or make up some other ridiculous idea.  Don't focus on what I just said, but rather the legal or as you say, moral framework for deciding what should and should not be restricted. Where does one draw the line?
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: dirk on September 18, 2012, 11:02:27 AM
Honestly, I think the line is right where it needs to be.  While the guy that made this movie is a major league douchebag (especially now that it has come out that the actors thought they were in a very different movie; he went back and redubbed all the lines) he has every right to say what he wants.  It would be different if this was actively shown to people, but you have to go and search it out to see it.  No one is forced to watch it.

This is especially relevant since it is starting to come out that the attack may not have been related to the video.  Apparently there may not have been major protests at the time of the attack.  It looks like someone may have just used it as a convenient excuse to launch an attack and make it look much more important that it really was.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on September 18, 2012, 01:29:17 PM

But what about the line and how it gets drawn.  The rule we violated was a depiction of Mohammad. 

I'm just talking about this specific case.  And that was not the rule that was violated.

The rule that was violated was "It's uncool to deliberately do something you know pisses other people off for the sole purpose of pissing them off or to start a fight."  Many Christians would highly offended if a film was released depicting Jesus in the same way Muhammad is purportedly depicted in that film.   The dude is just being an asshole.  You know it, I know it, dirk knows it, lutz knows it, the people in the movie knew it which was why he had to dupe them into appearing in it. 

He has the LEGAL right to say what he wants in this country, and I'm not trying to change that.  But he doesn't have the MORAL right to say whatever he wants.  I realize it can get tricky as far as whose rights end where, but we're not talking about Rushdie or even Piss Christ here. 
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: dirk on September 18, 2012, 03:31:34 PM
In reality, I don't think this is too far off from Piss Christ.  An even better comparison though would be The Last Temptation of Christ.  Obviously LToC was a much better film, but it was basically an affront to many Christians, depicting Jesus in a way that for many people was blasphemous.  But no one is talking about Martin Scorsese's moral right to show this film that is offensive to Christians.  Christians would argue that the 2 scenarios are identical (which I would disagree with, but could be debated).  Unfortunately, the moral rights of someone can't really be debated, because morals are individual things.  All that matters are the legal rights, and that is something we shouldn't even consider changing.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on September 18, 2012, 05:09:58 PM
It's not really comparable to The Last Temptation of Christ.  I highly doubt "Sam Bacile" is going to get an Oscar nod for Best Director.  This is not a film that just happens to be offensive to Muslims, it's a film whose sole purpose is to offend Muslims.  Intent matters.

The reason I think morality matters is because we don't have Freedom of Speech in the US and we never will.  Not legally, and certainly not practically.  It is something can only exist in theory.  There are limits to free speech, and we have to decide where to draw the line, and we can't do that without discussing morals.

Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Ella Minnow Pea on September 18, 2012, 09:29:26 PM
Neil Gaiman has put an account from one of the actors who were duped into starring in this "film" on his blog (http://journal.neilgaiman.com/2012/09/a-letter-from-scared-actress.html). It's quite upsetting.
Thanks for sharing. What an awful situation to end up in.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Buzzstein on September 18, 2012, 10:32:58 PM
I think all religions are silly. But yeah it's kind of stupid to piss off extremists. Extremists of all sorts can go fuck themselves though.

Yes, that is contradictory. I blame whiskey.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: lutz on September 19, 2012, 04:55:37 AM

I think all religions are silly. But yeah it's kind of stupid to piss off extremists. Extremists of all sorts can go fuck themselves though.

Yes, that is contradictory. I blame whiskey.
No, I agree. On the one hand, don't grievously insult people and their beliefs; on the other hand, don't over-react and kill people or get your kids to hold placards condoning beheading!

This year has been so full of bullshit, what with this and the US presidential campaign and the Euro crisis and the motherfucking Tories destroying UK public services and all the violence and oppression in Syria and Bahrain and no real reform resulting from the Arab Spring. No doubt more I've forgotten.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: dirk on October 01, 2012, 07:55:14 PM
Glenn Beck may have reached a new level of crazy.  He now believes that Something Awful is a front for the CIA (http://www.gameranx.com/updates/id/9639/article/glenn-beck-thinks-eve-online-is-a-front-for-the-cia/). It really frightens me that people take this guy seriously.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Ella Minnow Pea on October 07, 2012, 08:57:01 PM
I have several married couple friends (and family members) where the husband generally votes Republican and the wife generally votes Democrat. Other than James Carville and Mary Matalin, I don't know any that has the other combination. Has anyone encountered the reverse combination in the wild?
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: The Hegemo on October 10, 2012, 10:09:16 AM
Someone stole my next door neighbor's Romney sign from his yard. I'm kind of paranoid that he might think it was me, because I am visibly on the other side. Although he has had other Republican signs in his yard since I've been living there that have not been messed with.

Seriously, though. Don't steal people's yard signs. It's a douchebag move. Someone stole my Sherrod Brown sign a couple months ago, and it really made me angry.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Kwyjibo on October 10, 2012, 11:25:14 AM
Seriously, though. Don't steal people's yard signs. It's a douchebag move. Someone stole my Sherrod Brown sign a couple months ago, and it really made me angry.

Wonder how much Josh Mandel (or Carl Rove) is paying for stolen Sherrod Brown signs?  Seriously, I wouldn't put it past him.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: euro60 on October 10, 2012, 03:07:55 PM
I have several married couple friends (and family members) where the husband generally votes Republican and the wife generally votes Democrat. Other than James Carville and Mary Matalin, I don't know any that has the other combination. Has anyone encountered the reverse combination in the wild?
I have several married couple friends, where the husband is another lawyer-partner of mine here at the law firm, and apparently they all have the same issue: the guys vote Republican, their wives vote Deomcrat. I asked them "so how do you deal with that?" and the response is ALWAYS the same one: "we never ever talk about that, or talk about politics, period". I thought to myself, that sucks! I dated someone years ago who was on the opposite political spectrum and we talked about it a lot, but never in a mean or defensive way. I remember we were both walking around with our respective guy's presidential sticker on our shirts, that was pretty funny actually.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on October 10, 2012, 03:14:40 PM
I actually know more couples where the husband votes Democrat and the wife votes Republican. 

Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Dan on October 10, 2012, 04:49:42 PM
My parents, generally, have my mom voting democrat and my father voting republican.

My dad  has often given me the Winston Churchill: If you aren't a liberal at 20, you have no heart. If you aren't a conservative at 40, you have no brain.

I'm not 40 yet, thankfully.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Juliana on October 10, 2012, 05:44:50 PM
Kwyj and I were on opposing sides when we first got together.
We are now on the same side, generally speaking.

My dad and mom were both dems, but my dad has moved steadily to the right, but my mom is still pretty dem.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on October 16, 2012, 11:30:49 AM
No one is buying my plan for a radical overhaul of financial aid. 

My plan is this:  When you calculate need, you get to count one child in your family size regardless of how many kids you have.  So like, if you've got two parents and two kids, your household size is 3.  Not 4.

I'm tired of hearing about how households earning over $100,000 a year are "middle class" and need financial aid because they have three kids.  Poor people have kids because well... they're poor.  Not a whole lot going on in their futures.  Simple application of evolutionary principles will tell you that we are geared towards if you expect to live a short and crappy life it's imperative to breed, and long-term planning is out the window. 

Now contrast this with an educated, affluent household.  Having kids is a DECISION for them.  And probably one of the first things you think about when you have a kid is "Can I pay for the college tuition?"  And if you're going to get aid for that extra kid, then that changes the equation.  Plus it's just like basic economics.  Most people want ONE kid to pass on their genes or so they don't die unloved or whatever.  The second kid is nice, but not as important.  It's diminished marginal utility.

So I think we incentivize upper-middle class parents to have children way more than the poor.  Plus those $100k, 3 kid families aren't really that poor.  I mean, regardless of whether college is paid for if you have two kids and the third kid means your family goes on welfare, you're not having that third kid.  Because welfare really isn't that much.  It's kind of a crappy lifestyle.  You'd be screwing over your other two kids.  So these are families that SHOULD be upper middle class/rich and voluntarily become lower middle/middle class.  Why should I pay for the college tuition for their THIRD kid, when some family has one kid and is involuntarily poor?

Every time I bring this up, someone says "Well, what about the kid?  We don't want to punish the children!"  Which is laughable, since these people are usually conservative.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Jen on October 17, 2012, 03:23:02 PM
We should incentivize people to NOT have children (or just 1). That would solve a lot of problems. ;)
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: jcarwash31 on October 17, 2012, 04:06:29 PM
Plus it's just like basic economics.  Most people want ONE kid to pass on their genes or so they don't die unloved or whatever.  The second kid is nice, but not as important.  It's diminished marginal utility.
As a 4th child, I say fuck you.  ;D
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Kwyjibo on October 17, 2012, 04:17:50 PM
Maybe you should change your screen name to Accident4.  Just a thought. ;D
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Rafe on October 17, 2012, 07:18:14 PM
We should incentivize people to NOT have children (or just 1). That would solve a lot of problems. ;)
As a single child born into a working class family, I'd have to disagree with the second part of your opinion (having just 1), in that it would solve a lot of problems. it might open up a mare's nest, you never know!

as to not having kids, i have no opinion on that bit  ;D
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Homsar on October 18, 2012, 08:45:34 AM
Well, assuming you start with 7 billion people and everyone coupled up to have 1 kid only, and assuming every generation was 20 years apart, there would only be 1 kid born 660 years from now.

Maybe not such a bad idea?  Would kinda suck for that kid though.

I'm a second born out of five, and I can tell you stopping at the first would have left my parents much deprived.
 :)
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Jen on October 18, 2012, 01:44:52 PM
it might open up a mare's nest

This is the first time I have ever heard this phrase...I like it! Perhaps I will start using it, like some of these words that (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-19929249) I don't currently use. ;)
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Juliana on October 18, 2012, 02:23:44 PM
no, not an accident
My youngest sis was a "surprise" baby
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Kwyjibo on October 18, 2012, 02:47:22 PM
And she, in turn, got her own surprise...
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Markalot on October 19, 2012, 01:57:20 PM
First!
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Kwyjibo on October 19, 2012, 02:16:06 PM
First and only... perfection attained.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: juggles on October 24, 2012, 10:47:55 PM
So, if I understand it correctly, the media gets their election night numbers from exit polling which is done as voters are leaving the polling station. With more early voting going on this year, is exit polling going to be very reliable? Will we need to actually count the votes to know who won?
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: juggles on October 24, 2012, 10:52:33 PM
Or, I could just use Google and answer my own question:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fix/wp/2012/10/04/networks-ap-cancel-exit-polls-in-19-states/ (http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fix/wp/2012/10/04/networks-ap-cancel-exit-polls-in-19-states/)
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on October 24, 2012, 11:46:18 PM
ex-military dude:  We knew what we signed up for when we joined.  We do what they tell us.

ZK:  But it doesn't bother you at all that a bunch of assholes who totally aren't in harm's way take advantage of that to send you to die?

EMD:  Nope.  That's the deal.  It pisses me off that people make bad decisions but ultimately we gave up the right to question.

ZK:  But it makes people die!

EMD:  We volunteered to die. 

ZK:  You volunteered to serve the country, not to die stupidly.

EMD:  *pulls up shirt*  See this?   I got shot four times.  *pulls out wallet*  See these pictures?  I lost four of my friends in military action. You cannot imagine how pissed off I am about Bush.  And yet,  I have no regrets.

ZK:  Well I guess you just won that argument.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Kwyjibo on October 25, 2012, 07:52:18 AM
So, if I understand it correctly, the media gets their election night numbers from exit polling which is done as voters are leaving the polling station. With more early voting going on this year, is exit polling going to be very reliable? Will we need to actually count the votes to know who won?

The best analogy I've ever heard about polling likens it to a picture of a football in the air.  You can't tell if it's coming up or going down, you can't tell if it was kicked, thrown, a punt, a field goal, a long pass etc.  It's just a picture of a football in the air, doesn't prove anything which is true of all polling.  You don't know who got polled and who was not represented at all and you don't know that the people polling told the truth.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Markalot on October 26, 2012, 10:41:10 AM
I like to lie to exit pollsters. 



Not that I've ever met one.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on October 27, 2012, 01:37:25 AM
I would never vandalize a political yard sign, and I think people that do that are annoying idiots.

I would also never post a political yard sign, and I think people that do that are annoying idiots.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on October 27, 2012, 01:39:46 AM
I take that back.  If it's a sign for a political candidate, the people are annoying idiots.

If it is for some bill or organization relating to a political CAUSE I can let it slide.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: frizgolf on October 27, 2012, 08:57:16 PM
I wanted to vote for Obama this election cycle.
(Not a spoiler- just snipped because it's loooong.)
I mean, I've almost always voted Republican and I was one of those dyed-in-the-wool closed-minded conservatives for years, but this time I kinda feel that continuity, especially in the face of war and a bad economy, has to be the best thing for the country. And that ignorant conservative thing still eats at me. It's taken discussions like we had for years on woxy and here to turn me into a little more of a sympathetic listener. I always bought that tax-and-spend BS I'd heard from the few sources that were available before I kinda became more informed due to the wonders of these here interwebs.
I voted against him last election, mainly for his stance on one issue. But four years in, that issue had zero effect on his presidency in my mind. Plus, it's kinda silly to hold only one thing against a candidate, but I still feel pretty strongly about it and it still gives me pause.
That being said, I decided I'd read up on our present POTUS. Just wanted to make sure my conscience would be clean should I go against that opinion on that one issue this election cycle.
I wanted to read Dreams From My Father, but the library had a long waiting list. So I requested another book from Dinesh D'souza- The Roots Of Obama's Rage. I'd heard and read the reviews of the movie, 2016, that D'souza based off his book, and wanted to form my own opinions after first reading Obama's own words. But D'souza's book was available first, so I downloaded it and read it on vacation.
I had also looked for Bob Woodward's book about the debt ceiling crisis, The Price Of Politics, but the library didn't list it. So I bought it from Amazon and d/l'd it to the Kindle. After finishing D'souza, the Obama autobiographic wasn't yet available, so I started in on Woodward. About halfway through Woodward's tale of Washington sausage-making at its absolute worst, the Dreams autobio came available. Having but two weeks to borrow from the library's website, I put Woodward down to read Obama. Finished that last week, then went back to the Woodward book.
D'souza is a partisan hack of the highest order. I also recently read his What's So Bad About Christianity, since it came up in searches for rebuttals to Richard Dawkins' The God Delusion, which I had recently read and wanted to counter. D'souza'a writing jumps to conclusions (a lot of "so, therefore" as proof in his mind without thorough "proof" in my mind), but since Dawkins didn't win me over, D'souza merely reinforced my faith a bit. Science still can't explain what happened before the Big Bang, so in absence of scientific theory, I'll stick to God being the being who put it all into motion.
But I digress. D'souza, having reinforced my faith somewhat, still jumped to conclusions too quickly for me.
And such was his book on Obama. It comes across as a hyper-conservative. Especially after reading one book by Obama. (D'souza also references The Audacity Of Hope, as well as other writings and articles about Obama's surrogate father figures while growing up, so maybe I still need to catch up a little.) But, for the life of me, I see no "rage" at all in Obama's book. If anything, he describes the anger of black youth and his own search for his own identity while attending college in the mainland after growing up in racially diverse Hawaii, and he mentions fighting off the demons that seem to suck in the black youth of L.A. and Chicago as they lose hope and see no future. But in no way do I see what D'souza describes as rage.
If anything, D'souza's warnings about Obama's anti-colonialism, having roots in his Kenyan heritage, are rather prescient, but muddled by his descriptions of any ulterior motives Obama might have being rooted in rage. He'd have been more convincing had he simply described Obama's seeming detachment at times and confusing policy decisions as being motivated by his disdain for all things colonial, as well as the countries who practice colonialism (including economic policy).
It's an interesting theory. D'souza maintains that Obama seeks to rise all boats by slowly neutering colonial powers. It explains the half-assed brush-off of his first gift exchange with British royals. DVDs? It explains the removal of Winston Churchill's bust from the White House. It jives with his disdain for Wall Street and his insistence on taxing the rich. And it also explains one of his most mind-numbing policy edicts- that NASA start a Muslim outreach. The Third World most certainly perceived the moon landing as a land grab of the highest order- placing a flag on a heavenly body.
And while Obama doesn't allude to such ambitions in Dreams (he may elsewhere for all I know), his autobiography dovetails with D'souza's theory in that his thoughts throughout Dreams are sometimes Utopian in nature, especially in the third part when he writes about his travels to Kenya.
But, for my money D'souza exaggerates. It would take chutzpah of the highest order to reverse capitalism and its inherent imperialism during an eight-year reign, much less four if he loses next week.
But then I finished up Woodward's book.
Woodward chastises the Republicans in Congress during the budget negotiations, but he deftly prefaces their behavior by equally chastising the incoming 2008 Democratic administration and their arrogant ways. He blames the lack of partisan politics and dismissive attitude, namely Rahm Emmanual ("fuck 'em, we got the votes"), and to some extent Reid and Pelosi, for bringing about the Republican takeover of Congress in 2010. Then, with the debt limit negotiations as his primary example, Woodward dissects the hodgepodge management style of Obama's White House staff. Congress and Joe Biden were working on a couple solutions to the budget impasse when Obama pulled an end-around and met privately with House Speaker Boehner. They worked on their own solutions, but word of the private meetings leaked, undermining Congress's work.
This is a book about sausage-making at its best (or worst), and can drag on a bit. But it rather explains the seeming childlike behavior of Congressional Republicans. With no idea whose plans were taking precedence, nor at times even not even knowing who was in charge at the White House, Republicans took umbrage to their efforts being micromanaged. There were also tales of Democrats being upset at Harry Reid for making private handshake deals with Mitch McConnell.
Often times, Obama would reach a point of agreement with Boehner, only to have Obama go to the press and chastise Republicans for being impediments. Each time, the Republicans grew angrier and started entrenching themselves more. The country almost went over the economic brink because a certain element of Tea Partiers wanted to see default just to start the ever-loving hell over with a fresh slate.

Eh. Long-winded, I know, but I've studied even more this election than in all others past, and admittedly I know next to nothing about Romney.
But in trying to justify my change of party affiliation I've seemingly raised more doubts about the commander-in-chief. Or maybe I'm still old-school and can't change no matter what, just seeing what I want to see.
Either way, I've come to have more doubts than the single issue I voted against last election. The "agreement" on the debt limit did nothing but kick the can past this election. It will happen again in 2013, and those fuses are still lit on the bombs that were launched during the debt limit discussions- Obama's own Cuban Missile Crisis. Should those talks fail, and should the highly likely failures of Greece and Spain contribute to Europe's economic downfall, there won't be any help coming from these shores.
I can't believe Romney wants to jump into this mess, but, damn, I'm starting to think that we need to do something, even if it's wrong. Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid may not be around when I retire, but I think I'd rather take my chances with a spendthrift government than with one which is writing checks it can't cash.
You can go back to Clinton-era tax rates for the rich, but it still doesn't address the disparity between revenue and entitlement.
And that's not even considering Obamacare. We've spent more than we take in for too long, and entitlement must be addressed.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on October 28, 2012, 02:19:50 AM
Vote for who you think is right, frizgolf. 

D'Souza is a bright guy, and when he writes purely about economic or political theory he has some good ideas.  But unfortunately, he's also a hopelessly biased conservative hack.  I would not trust him on any sort of interpretation of what went down or on any specific issue.  He spins things to fit his views.  You figured that out.  I would also say the same about Dawkins.  He's pretty much going to blame religion for everything. 

Boehner is kind of an idiot and holds no real power despite his title.  Obama didn't do him dirty.  Boehner can't even control his own party which is evidenced by Cantor's completely unsubtle power grab.  That was the major problem over the last few years.  The true GOP power plays felt free to waste Obama's time by having him attempt to deal with Boehner when in fact Boehner's agreement meant nothing.  They were going to do what they wanted, and they were not going to negotiate.  Not that Biden, Pelosi and Reid are winners themselves.  The main reason Obama had to negotiate with Boehner is because Pelosi and Reid were in it for themselves and weren't about to stick their necks out.  And Emmanuel was a major disappointment.  He was supposed to be the true power broker behind the scenes who would crack the whip and get everyone in line but he did nothing.

So I guess if I have anything to add here, it's that you should also carefully consider who ends up in Congress and the political dynamic that would follow from that if either Romney or Obama won.  One thing I am pretty sure of is that none of the party leaders on either side or house is actually going to set the agenda regardless of whether they maintain their titles.  I don't think whoever wins the Presidency will, either.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: frizgolf on October 28, 2012, 10:35:08 AM
Y'know, I kinda used to agree with what Markalot always says- that the government runs better when one party controls the executive branch and the other controls the legislative- shared power works best. But this budget crisis thing was a poor example. What has started to happen is that rather than running the country, shared power seems to have perfected the art of kicking the can down the road.
Any time one party gets control of those two branches of government they change things up enough that voters even things back out again a couple years down the line and we're faced with the same gridlock. There's never enough time to enact any true change, for better or for worse. Voters get spooked by the slightest changes and lean back towards the status quo.
If ever there is an opportunity for a third party or a parliamentary system to get off the ground, it will be when/if this budget problem gets kicked down the road again.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: frizgolf on October 28, 2012, 10:57:54 AM
And, no, Obama didn't do Boehner dirty. Boehner was complicit by engaging in the private talks any way.
But more than once Woodward used the word "amateur" in describing the White House's tactics, whether in his own words or in quoting Congressional Republicans' (and some Democrats') confusion in wondering exactly who was leading negotiations.
And Boehner/Obama basically hammered out an agreement, which was the culmination of very tenuous negotiations after calming the nerves of Congressmen who had their feet stepped on by the Boehner/Obama end-around. While this was being hammered out, the Gang Of Six had been working on a plan B, and Obama mysteriously announced the results of their plan to the press right as Boehner thought finally he had his own gang on board. They had worked to calm nerves and massage egos only to once again see Obama run to the press behind their backs to again undermine their work. This was the point where the Tea Partiers, mostly ignorant of the effects default would have on the world economy (in fact no one, not even Geithner, knows what would happen with default- thus the comparison to the Cuban Missile Crisis) wanted to push default just to see what the heck would happen. Kinda like kids blowing things up with firecrackers just to see what happened. It was desperation at its worst, and we almost went over that cliff, and could still in 2013.
Woodward really didn't point the finger directly, but he infers that Obama's White House had little control and acted irrationally with micromanaging, and he also infers exactly what you're saying- that Boehner has no real power, and that Cantor saw this as a kind of power grab opportunity.
Best cases: either Boehner loses his grip on power while Cantor gets his wish to run things in Congress with Obama reelected, or Romney gets in and has to deal with a Democrat-controlled Senate. In no way will this government as it is now structured get anything done.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: euro60 on October 28, 2012, 11:04:23 PM
We are so lucky to live in Ohio, as from all sources I read, it really will come down to who wins Ohio (check the excellent story in this week's TIME Magazine).

For the life of me, I cannot fanthom why anyone in Ohio would NOT vote. The TIME article states that maybe as much (or as little, depending on your viewpoint) as 75% of eligible voters in Ohio will cast a vote, which only leads me to wonder, what in the world are the other 25% thinking, not to vote???? That is 1 in 4 eligible voters. Blows the mind.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on October 29, 2012, 01:51:43 AM
Maybe because your elections and officials are corrupt as hell and are still coming up with creative ways to disenfranchise them?

Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: MissKitty on November 02, 2012, 10:37:12 AM
I will be glad when this election is over. It has increased my workload by ten fold.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: lutz on November 02, 2012, 12:22:02 PM
What has started to happen is that rather than running the country, shared power seems to have perfected the art of kicking the can down the road.
In my opinion, the problem is that there is no altruism in politics. All the main party politicians care about (on both sides of the pond) is their own financial self-interest and being seen as "winning". Consequently, they are all too afraid to make any big, necessary decisions in case it adversely affects themselves in any way, regardless of what's best for the country.

Obama seems like the closest thing to an altruistic politician; it makes me sad that he's being wasted with his hands tied behind his back and unable to make the decisions. He needs to get braver and play hard ball.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: juggles on November 18, 2012, 11:09:43 PM
I would totally have signed this.

PETITION TO PUNCH GROVER NORQUIST IN DICK REMOVED FROM WHITE HOUSE PETITION SITE (http://wonkette.com/489870/petition-to-punch-grover-norquist-in-dick-removed-from-white-house-petition-site)
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: foolsgold on November 27, 2012, 05:03:41 PM
I would totally have signed this.

PETITION TO PUNCH GROVER NORQUIST IN DICK REMOVED FROM WHITE HOUSE PETITION SITE (http://wonkette.com/489870/petition-to-punch-grover-norquist-in-dick-removed-from-white-house-petition-site)


It must have passed because Repubs are doing it now.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on December 20, 2012, 01:44:32 PM
How come whenever you talk to gun nuts, they always make such a big show out of how good they are at using them and everyone else doesn't know shit?

You're right man.  You have fired 10 bazillion rounds from your assault rifle.  I have no idea what I'm doing, and if I had one and tried to use it without your expert tutelage and instruction I would no doubt kill someone.  THAT IS WHY THERE SHOULD BE LAWS KEEPING ME FROM DOING THAT.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Buzzstein on December 20, 2012, 07:24:01 PM
...and even if a gun nut has fired 10 bazillion rounds, that doesn't mean they are prepared to handle a mass shooting, or really any kind of unexpected shooting situation. An individual needs ongoing and reinforced police or military training to deal with a stressful situation like that. That's why concealed carry is a really stupid fucking idea.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: notoriouspbake on December 21, 2012, 08:28:16 AM
...and even if a gun nut has fired 10 bazillion rounds, that doesn't mean they are prepared to handle a mass shooting, or really any kind of unexpected shooting situation. An individual needs ongoing and reinforced police or military training to deal with a stressful situation like that. That's why concealed carry is a really stupid fucking idea.

this.

and with all the talk about gun control, increasing/decreasing the regulations, i've heard next to nothing about increasing taxes to pay for more trained first responders. you know, police with the training to respond to these situations. more ccw's is not a solution, it's avoided the bigger issue.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: lutz on December 21, 2012, 07:52:56 PM
It must be really frustrating knowing that, while the rest of the world is rolling their eyes at the gun nuts and thinking that's America.

Everyone should agree that mentally ill people should not be able to obtain guns.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on December 22, 2012, 01:18:28 PM
In some crazy killing spree situations, I actually do think someone would shoot the killer and probably save some lives.  I know plenty of people where if someone broke into my workplace with a gun I would feel much safer knowing they had their guns on them.

I would feel much safer if I had a gun on me.  I don't think I have the guts to play hero and actually run into a room and save someone else.  But at the point where I'm trapped and hiding and someone has a gun and they are shooting whoever they see, my best move is to have my gun and see if I can maybe catch him unaware.  Unfortunately, I'm not really a great shot but I know plenty of people who are and who are also probably braver than me as well and would be pretty confident they could hit him.

The problem is, this guy was wearing a bullet-proof vest and had tons of ammo and clearly didn't care if he died.  So that makes it kind of hard to stop him unless you have coordination between people getting shot at which is unlikely.

But to be fair, it may not have mattered if this guy didn't have guns.  It seems like most of these crazy people now have planned it and they show up heavily armed with armor, etc.  At that point of craziness, they could just make some kind of bomb. 



Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Markalot on December 25, 2012, 09:57:27 AM
I don't think gun bans can fix this.  Certainly we need better handling of mental illness.  I believe the mom was mentally ill as well, but that's just my opinion.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on December 26, 2012, 08:57:44 PM
I agree with that.

Moving on to slightly less depressing topics, what's up with the House Republicans?  They are just so dysfunctional right now.  And whining about Obama is not an excuse.

You have control of the House and a chance to make a policy statement.  If you don't want to compromise, that's fine don't.  But have the balls to at least make a stand.  Pass the bill you want even if it has no chance of passing the Senate or getting signed by Obama, and at least let your voters know you're taking a principled stand. 

But instead what is happening is they keep throwing Boehner out there like a sitting duck to negotiate with Obama or attempt compromise or whatever, and then just undercut him.  There's nothing definitive coming out of the GOP because Cantor and Boehner are infighting.  If the country goes over the "fiscal cliff" it's not because of Obama.  It's because the GOP can't get their shit together.  Voters aren't getting a clear direction from the party because no one knows who is in charge or what they want. 

I think voters are becoming increasingly immune to the "fiscal cliff" threat because the fiscal cliff is better than watching the House GOP dick around doing nothing. 

Hope you had a good Christmas.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Markalot on December 28, 2012, 08:33:24 AM
I did, and likewise.  :)

I think the republicans are underestimating the damage that will be done to the party, and the one thing they are overlooking is the price of milk, which either will or could skyrocket when some law expired on the 31st. 

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-250_162-57560791/milk-grocery-prices-on-the-rise-if-congress-ignores-farm-bill/

I suspect that we will get a last minute deal to avoid the cliff, especially since so many special interests are involved.  I have to admit that I wish we would go over and some of this insane crap would happen.  Reality is a good teacher.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Kwyjibo on December 28, 2012, 09:42:15 AM
The whole thing pisses me off.  It's a game of chicken, unfortunately I don't think Obama has the balls not to flinch.  Obama is going to take it up the tailpipe and let them skate, he's already offered them far too much of a compromise as it is and it will only go down from there.  Guess that "Tough Obama" we saw in the campaign was a sham, just like it was the first time.  I still wouldn't have voted for Romney but I can't believe I got my hopes up again.

Don't even get me started on trickle down economics.  Which is what all this shit about not raising taxes on the rich boils down to.  If Mitch McConnell were standing in front of me telling me that the CEO of my company making 20 times more than me and paying 10% less in taxes meant I'd make more money I'd punch him in his wobbly jowls.  I'll probably never make significantly more than what I make right now... the people at the top on the other hand seem to have no ceiling at all.  Good thing they're here to make those hard business decisions, like cutting out Christmas lunches, doing away with jeans Fridays and cutting the few remaining fringe benefits we had left. 
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Homsar on December 28, 2012, 10:54:03 AM
I admit I don't usually pay too close attention to fiscal policy, but I'm trying to understand it all. 
Will the short term economic negatives outweigh the long term debt reductions?  It seems like damned if we do damned if we don't.  Higher taxes, reduction of benefits, and all that seem very bad of course, but is there any way to avoid that while still addressing the issue of the government's deficit, or is that exactly what they're trying to iron out right now?  Maybe they could fix the short term things now and work on the deficit after the new year.
I've been hearing that this whole thing was completely avoidable, as even a Congressional committee created specifically to avoid this didn't get anything done.  I'm just not seeing why they can't just continue the current policies right now to avoid the crazy stuff that happens in 4 days and then keep working on things after the new year.  Does it really have to be more complicated than that?
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Kwyjibo on December 28, 2012, 11:35:49 AM
Yeah, but that's what they've been doing.  They fix the short term by raising the debt limit but they never go back and fix the reasons they have to borrow so much money in the first place.  The government is no different than any other big business that can't see the forrest for the trees.  Like I said my company does stupid shit like cut employee perks that in general don't amount to that much to begin with but on the other hand they throw away perfectly good inventory because it's been sitting around too long for the bean counters.. never considering they have guaranteed orders for that product coming.  What sense does that make?  I don't know but it looked good to someone on paper, so they did it.  The government does the same shit, they'll save $5 bills with one hand while shredding $100 bills with the other.  Until you fix the spending bullshit (by not letting congress demand that the Army buy airplanes/tanks/cannons it doesn't need or want, and by not giving lobbyists subsidies on shit that no constituent base needed or asked for like ethanol fuels) and clear away the fog of our inscrutable tax code nothing is going to fix the deficit.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Markalot on December 28, 2012, 01:20:21 PM
Sounds like what I think most of us expected, a cave by the great spineless wonder.

http://www.cnbc.com/id/100343653

Taxes to rise on incomes 400K and above, a punt of spending cuts, an extension to unemployment benefits, and probably some kind of milk fix and AMT adjustment thrown in for good measure.

Problems not solved.


Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: dirk on December 28, 2012, 01:21:35 PM
The problem is that the short term consequences will most probably send us back into a recession.  We definitely need to cut spending, but now is not the time to do it, since spending is one of the best ways to get the economy going again.  So the fiscal cliff cuts go into effect, which slows the economy (or throws it into a recession), which means less tax revenue and more people who need the social benefits that were just cut because of the fiscal cliff.  

One of the reason the recovery has been so slow has been because of the government spending cuts that have been happening.  While private industry has been grow, government cuts have been laying people off, which offset the private sector gains.  Spending cuts need to be slowly phased in to avoid hurting the recovery.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Markalot on December 28, 2012, 01:47:24 PM
Yea, I have no problem with delayed spending cuts, but we need a plan and we need to raise taxes, realistically, on incomes 150K and above, hell maybe even 100K and above.  At the very least go over the cliff and then pass tax cuts for 250 and below. Obama is in a perfect position to get whatever he wants and the republicans know it. 
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on December 28, 2012, 03:26:24 PM
I think the problem is that even going over the fiscal cliff won't solve anything.

All that would happen is they would spend the whole session arguing over the same shit they are arguing over now.  The GOP would insist on going back to Bush rates for everyone or we'll keep tax rates the way they are.  The Democrats would insist that the taxes on the rich stay high.  It would be the same thing we're doing now with the doomsday scenario simply having changed from "taxes will rise on the middle class" to "taxes will stay high on the middle class." 

Basically, instead of "We'll go over the cliff if you don't watch out!" it'll just be "We won't open this parachute if you don't watch out!"

Let's say that Obama offers the GOP a very reasonable deal (which really he kind of has already).  I find it unlikely that anything Obama proposes will be accepted by the GOP because the problem has never been about Democrats, but rather a power grab among the GOP.  Boehner might take it, but if he does Cantor will automatically reject it.  And if for some reason Cantor actually takes it, then the far right will reject Cantor.

No one on the GOP will compromise, there is no one in the GOP to even negotiate with, and the GOP won't even make a proposal because they are anti-everything.  The worst thing that can happen to them is that something actually gets accomplished or they get their way, because then what would Rush Limbaugh have to complain about? 

Personally if I were Obama I would be pretty tempted to just give the GOP everything they wanted and force them to move the goalposts to avoid consensus.  Reverse psychology.  Give the right what they want and they will have to move farther right to continue to NOT get what they want.  At some point they will have to start proposing stuff that is so over-the-top idiotic that even the average voter will see it.  Which come to think of it, is already starting to happen.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Kwyjibo on December 28, 2012, 03:46:41 PM
I don't know that I agree with you, Dirk.  If we do go off the cliff my guess is that nothing much happens, at least not immediately... it takes time for that sort of thing to really sift down through the various layers of the economic machine.  It'll take a while for the new laws to be enacted, companies won't be able to change their with holding overnight, construction projects won't grind to a halt at exactly 12am 1/1 etc.  Granted, just like RVA said they'll just have the same conversation, and there probably would be no more movement from the right, so there is no reason to hope for it, but I don't believe the fiscal apocalypse will come to light either.

Per Markalot's article, so we've got a proposal on the table, which as I recall is pretty much the same proposal that was offered before.  It's far too reasonable, has no teeth at all and kicks the can down the road.  But you know what, it's still gotta get past Boehner and McConnell... I wouldn't put it past them to reject it, I don't see them being okay with tax increases for $400k and above, maybe $750k or $1M and above, and only if it's their proposal.  I hope I'm wrong.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on December 28, 2012, 04:25:48 PM
There's no way the GOP will accept it.  Obama already offered $400k, Boehner countered with $1 million, and Cantor rejected Boehner and refused to budge at any level.  They *can't* accept a deal because there is no one in the GOP right now with the balls to do something and take responsibility for it.  There is no leader.  Striking a deal with Boehner means nothing because he has no power over the rest of the GOP, and Cantor actually gets weaker if he agrees to a deal.

Did anyone really think it would be possible to suddenly fix the debt problem in a few weeks worth of negotiating?  That's why all these "fiscal cliff/fiscal debt ceiling" scenarios are all meaningless. 

It takes a long time and a lot of negotiating and an army of egghead analysts and clever politicians pulling together to figure out how to fix the budget.  And the easy, most important, and obvious parts that everyone knows we have to do can't be done because they've been sitting out there for 10, 15, 20 years and no one has been able to make a dent.

The House Republicans are in total disarray right now.  They are leaderless, paranoid, and stupid.  The GOP as a whole is hugely divided and searching for a direction.  And Pelosi and Reid are no winners either.  They make Gephardt look good, and Gephardt couldn't hold Ted Kennedy or Tip O'Neil's jock when it comes to getting things done.

So no, I'm not really happy that we just keep kicking the can down the road but on the other hand what choice is there?  Is there really any chance this crew of total buffoons is going to be able to come up with a serious deficit reduction plan?  And if they did, it's probably worse since it is bound to be completely stupid.

I wouldn't just kick the can down the road, I'd punt that thing into the next county if I could.  The GOP needs to go through a complete rebuild and they are just now or maybe still haven't quite yet hit rock bottom.  Ditch as much of the current team as you can, but you'll probably have to wait 3-4 years for contracts to expire.  In the meantime, you will suck but use those high draft picks and try to bring in some young talent.  In 6-8 years, they might finally have turned things around to the point where actual solutions might be possible.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Markalot on December 31, 2012, 07:36:34 AM
It's Happy Cliff Day.

So let's see if I have this right.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/senate-negotiators-search-for-deal-to-avoid-the-fiscal-cliff/2012/12/30/7d546aee-521c-11e2-950a-7863a013264b_story.html?hpid=z1

Republicans demand a change to Social Security inflation calculations that will effect seniors now, not in the future.

Democrats give on taxes, now up to 450K so the republicans drop this absurd demand, but the repubs still aren't happy.

By the time this is done we will have a bill that effectively does nothing.

No surprise really.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on December 31, 2012, 05:02:47 PM
Yeah, but that's okay.  I mean, the whole "fiscal cliff" thing was a stupid artificial deadline in the first place.  Not that don't need to do something, but there was no particular reason that it had to be done by January 1.

The GOP was right to drop their Social Security demands, though I agree with them that we desperately need to talk about Social Security.  But that's too big an issue to be held hostage by some self-made cliff.  Figure that out during the next budget session.  They are getting an awesome deal from the Democrats.  The things they are getting in their favor are "permanent," whereas the things they are giving up on mostly just punt issues for now and then we'll have to do it all over again in a few months.

But then on the other hand, I think the general public is growing increasingly tired of continuing to punt things and nothing being done so nothing is very permanent at this point.  Basically everyone has to get together on how much to increase taxes, estate tax, corporate tax, etc. and on the spending side defense and entitlements in one big package deal that the public will accept.  Which won't be easy, but tackling this thing piecemeal on a item by item, six month period basis isn't working at all, either in terms of generating good policy or in assuaging the public.  All that happens is every six months everyone looks like a jerk.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Markalot on January 02, 2013, 12:17:20 AM
Well, not a surprising result but some interesting tidbits.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/01/01/wonkbook-everything-you-need-to-know-about-the-fiscal-cliff-deal/?hpid=z2

Permanent fix to the AMT.
Capital gains and dividend taxes stay at 15% for most of us, also a permanent fix.
All other Bush tax rates now permanent.

2 months until we do most of this again.  Idiots.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Kwyjibo on January 02, 2013, 08:11:59 AM
2 months until we do most of this again.  Idiots.

Agreed.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: dirk on January 02, 2013, 10:33:56 AM
The biggest disappointment for me is the capital gains tax staying where it is for most people and only getting a slight raise for the uber-rich (well, besides from the whole thing happening and having to happen again in a few months).  There is just no reason that capital gains shouldn't be taxed like any other income anymore.  I would rather see that fixed than the tax rate raised on the rich, because that will actually make a difference, especially on the people that just make money because they are already rich and don't do any work.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on January 02, 2013, 10:43:16 AM
What did you guys expect?  I can't even get mad at Congress.  There was nothing the saner members could have done.  Garbage voters, garbage policies.

You live out there in conservative country just like I do.  How many of your family and friends are totally on board with the whole Obama is an evil socialist, no tax increases ever, trickle-down economics, never compromise EVER, etc. thing?

All of these deadlines are completely fake anyway.  There was no reason there had to be a fiscal cliff.  All this is, is the far-right wing trying to continue to manufacturer doomsday scenarios to feed their paranoid followers who swallow it hook, line, and sinker.

It's not a good idea to try and solve a huge crisis in a few weeks because some asshats set some stupid deadline.  The compromises necessary to balance the budget will take YEARS.  So yeah, we'll be talking about this in two months, and in six months, and next year, and the year after that.  That is kind of how government works anyway.  There will never be a time where people are not arguing about the budget.

Expecting Congress to solve massive problems in one fell swoop and then calling them idiots when it doesn't happen is exactly how Tea Party works.  Compromise in this case is good.  It means they totally ignored the House Republicans and far right and their stupid deadlines and no-compromise attitude and hammered out an agreement without them.  It's not a GOOD compromise, but it's the best they can do under the circumstances, and I think it does make the Tea Party Representatives look like assholes in a way that some of the less dense voters can understand.



Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: euro60 on January 02, 2013, 11:01:42 AM

2 months until we do most of this again.  Idiots.
2 months? More like 4 to 6 weeks, at most, when the debt ceiling needs to be raised again.

The 2 months you refer to is before the automatic spending cuts fall into place I believe.

I have to say that I am incredibly disappointed with ALL of Congress but surely the stupidest moment was when Boehner could not even get a majority of Republicans to agree on "Plan B". Which now they voted something that is "worse" (from their perspective (now raising taxes on $400K instead of $1 mill in Plan B). Where is the logic in that?
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on January 02, 2013, 11:17:02 AM
Boehner's "compromise" was idiotic and was never going to be accepted.  To 99.99% of America, $400k annual income for a single person is rich.  $1 million annual income is laughable.  It's so ridiculous that you might as well not propose it at all.  It's not a counter-proposal at all, so at that point what you are really saying and what you might as well do is just refuse tax increases altogether.

Which is of course what Cantor ended up doing.  Boehner's proposal was never going to get a majority of anything.  No liberal would agree to it because they quite sensibly feel that $400k was more than reasonable on their part and $1 million is not a compromise at all.   And no hard-right Republican would agree to it because not agreeing to it was the whole point.  For them, Boehner just out there to waste everyone's time and make Cantor look cool when he said "No" not just to liberals to those awful, weak compromising "moderates" who cost the GOP the election.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Kwyjibo on January 02, 2013, 11:19:45 AM
There will never be a time where people are not arguing about the budget.

What budget?  There hasn't been a budget in how long?  Two years?

I agree with everything you said but they're still a bunch of morons. 
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Markalot on January 02, 2013, 12:08:46 PM
I didn't believe the AMT fix since most just refer to "permanent fix" so I went to the actual bill -- shudder --.

It is a permanent fix, so this is a pretty big change as far as AMT goes.  This is a direct copy paste, and ugly.

17 SEC. 104. PERMANENT ALTERNATIVE MINIMUM TAX RE18
LIEF.
19 (a) 2012 EXEMPTION AMOUNTS MADE PERMA20
NENT.—
21 (1) IN GENERAL.—Paragraph (1) of section
22 55(d) is amended—
23 (A) by striking ‘‘$45,000’’ and all that fol24
lows through ‘‘2011)’’ in subparagraph (A) and
25 inserting ‘‘$78,750’’,
18
MAT12564 S.L.C.
1 (B) by striking ‘‘$33,750’’ and all that fol2
lows through ‘‘2011)’’ in subparagraph (B) and
3 inserting ‘‘$50,600’’, and
4 (C) by striking ‘‘paragraph (1)(A)’’ in sub5
paragraph (C) and inserting ‘‘subparagraph
6 (A)’’.
7 (b) EXEMPTION AMOUNTS INDEXED FOR INFLA8
TION.—
9 (1) IN GENERAL.—Subsection (d) of section 55
10 is amended by adding at the end the following new
11 paragraph:
12 ‘‘(4) INFLATION ADJUSTMENT.—
13 ‘‘(A) IN GENERAL.—In the case of any
14 taxable year beginning in a calendar year after
15 2012, the amounts described in subparagraph
16 (B) shall each be increased by an amount equal
17 to—
18 ‘‘(i) such dollar amount, multiplied by
19 ‘‘(ii) the cost-of-living adjustment de20
termined under section 1(f)(3) for the cal21
endar year in which the taxable year be22
gins, determined by substituting ‘calendar
23 year 2011’ for ‘calendar year 1992’ in sub24
paragraph (B) thereof.
19
MAT12564 S.L.C.
1 ‘‘(B) AMOUNTS DESCRIBED.—The
2 amounts described in this subparagraph are—
3 ‘‘(i) each of the dollar amounts con4
tained in subsection (b)(1)(A)(i),
5 ‘‘(ii) each of the dollar amounts con6
tained in paragraph (1), and
7 ‘‘(iii) each of the dollar amounts in
8 subparagraphs (A) and (B) of paragraph
9 (3).
10 ‘‘(C) ROUNDING.—Any increase deter11
mined under subparagraph (A) shall be rounded
12 to the nearest multiple of $100.’’.
13 (2) CONFORMING AMENDMENTS.—
14 (A) Clause (iii) of section 55(b)(1)(A) is
15 amended by striking ‘‘by substituting’’ and all
16 that follows through ‘‘appears.’’ and inserting
17 ‘‘by substituting 50 percent of the dollar
18 amount otherwise applicable under subclause
19 (I) and subclause (II) thereof.’’.
20 (B) Paragraph (3) of section 55(d) is
21 amended—
22 (i) by striking ‘‘or (2)’’ in subpara23
graph (A),
24 (ii) by striking ‘‘and’’ at the end of
25 subparagraph (B), and
20
MAT12564 S.L.C.
1 (iii) by striking subparagraph (C) and
2 inserting the following new subparagraphs:
3 ‘‘(C) 50 percent of the dollar amount ap4
plicable under subparagraph (A) in the case of
5 a taxpayer described in subparagraph (C) or
6 (D) of paragraph (1), and
7 ‘‘(D) $150,000 in the case of a taxpayer
8 described in paragraph (2).’’.


http://media.cmgdigital.com/shared/news/documents/2013/01/01/American_Taxpayer_Relief_Act.pdf
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on January 02, 2013, 12:15:29 PM
You don't like that?

They finally fixed it so they don't have to waste time on a stupid "patch" every year, and whatever party feels like being jerks this year can't hold everyone hostage over it just because the initial writers stupidly forgot to index it to inflation.

I mean, I don't care that much about AMT one way or the other.  Get rid of it if you want, but while it's here it should make sense so it's not a huge drain on resources every year.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Markalot on January 02, 2013, 12:32:12 PM
I DO like it, but the copy paste was ugly.  ;D

Really it's a huge fix and something I thought would never get done since the fix always amounts to leverage for someone.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Kwyjibo on January 02, 2013, 01:18:49 PM
I've never understood AMT or what the problem was with it.  Probably mostly because it doesn't affect me, and likely never will.  Anybody care to sum it up for me?
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: euro60 on January 02, 2013, 01:32:32 PM
I've never understood AMT or what the problem was with it.  Probably mostly because it doesn't affect me, and likely never will.  Anybody care to sum it up for me?
For certain incomes well into 6 figures, the alternative minimum tax puts a limit on the number of deductions you can take to lower your taxable income. The problem was that the threshold ATM number was not indexed to inflation, so over time that threshold limit in effect became lower and lower, hence capturing more and more tax payers into paying the higher ATM. (The ATM number was adjusted by Congress at times, but it was never automatic.) The 'fiscal cliff' deal agreed to yesterday now is indexing the ATM to automatically rise with inflation.

For more details, check the Wikipedia entry (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alternative_Minimum_Tax)
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Kwyjibo on January 02, 2013, 01:47:15 PM
That's a perfectly adequate explanation, thanks. 

I can understand unintended consequences coming up when they're working with such complicated legal code (especially the tax code), but it's inexcusable how long they let them go especially the ones that create loopholes.

Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on January 02, 2013, 03:06:58 PM
Well, hopefully everyone's making some decent money in the stock market today at least.  :laugh:
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on January 03, 2013, 01:06:56 PM
Good for you, John Boehner.  I would have told Reid the same thing myself.  Of course I would also tell you the same, but it's been a tough few weeks for you so I'll cut you some slack.

Just remember, conservatives.  Every time you get super-pissed about Reid being an idiot and/or corrupt and/or a jackass (and the frequency with which this occurs is solely determined by how often you choose to read about Reid) just realize that pretty much anyone in the country would have beaten him other than Sharron Angle. 
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on January 22, 2013, 01:05:24 PM
Yesterday the Virginia Senate Republicans snuck through a bill without taking it through committee.  It's a redistricting bill that creates another Republican district. 

So when asked about it, the guy who put forth the bill explained that he believed the current setup was not in compliance with the Voting Rights Act.  Because he cares so much about minorities not getting votes, and complying with Federal law, he took it upon himself to draft the legislation and ram it through without consulting any Democrats.  Just because you know, fair government is so important to him.  And obviously the Democrats would be hugely opposed to more minority districts because they never get the minority vote.

That's the kind of bald-faced lie I have to appreciate a little bit.  He just told that lie because he could.  It accomplishes nothing.  Basically dude was just like "Hey, check this out.  I did it *snicker* for.... wait for it... the minorities!"
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: dirk on January 22, 2013, 01:56:25 PM
While I really didn't care about the Inauguration at all, it was all worthwhile for this gif.

(http://img.wonkette.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/michelle-eye-roll-gif.gif)
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: daytime drinking on January 22, 2013, 01:58:12 PM
I did, and likewise.  :)

I think the republicans are underestimating the damage that will be done to the party, and the one thing they are overlooking is the price of milk, which either will or could skyrocket when some law expired on the 31st. 

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-250_162-57560791/milk-grocery-prices-on-the-rise-if-congress-ignores-farm-bill/

I suspect that we will get a last minute deal to avoid the cliff, especially since so many special interests are involved.  I have to admit that I wish we would go over and some of this insane crap would happen.  Reality is a good teacher.

holy shit!  all the milk's expiring on the 31st!  fuck!  it's january now!
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: daytime drinking on January 22, 2013, 02:36:24 PM
since this can be construed as political; pro fracking doc airing tonight 9 et.  if anyone's curious about the other side of the story.  sort of an anti gasland.  haven't seen gasland, but i wouldn't mind. 

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1009530098/fracknation

it's on axs.tv.  never heard of it.  mark cuban of dallas mavericks' fame, his tv station. 

i

Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: juggles on January 26, 2013, 11:36:47 PM
I know this has already kind of come and gone but BIDEN PUTS $1 TRILLION COIN IN “NO CHANGE” PARKING METER (http://toomuchcredit.blogspot.com/2013/01/biden-puts-1-trillion-coin-in-no-change.html)
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Ella Minnow Pea on February 12, 2013, 10:57:56 PM
It's a really depressing time to be anything other than an ultra-conservative in North Carolina. We're apparently on a Race to the Bottom. We're helping our descent by hiring new state government upper level management from Alabama, Louisiana, and South Carolina.

Our state senate has voted not to expand Medicaid, the governor agrees, so there's no reason for the house not to to go along (the Republicans control both the legislature and the executive branch). So 500,000 North Carolinians will still not have access to affordable health care (they don't qualify for the subsidies if they obtain coverage through the marketplace as those are only for those above 100% of the FPL), hospitals will still have to treat them, and the costs continue to be passed on to everyone else.

It's going to be a painful 4 years.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on March 27, 2013, 11:20:10 AM
I had no idea there were no gay people prior to the internet or cell phones.  I blame technology.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Ella Minnow Pea on April 02, 2013, 11:47:34 PM
Apparently the North Carolina legislature wants our state to return to 1950 (although there are probably some that would even like it to be 1850). It is a sad, scary place to be right now. This week a resolution has been proposed that the U.S. Constitution and federal court decisions don't apply to the state or our local municipalities restricting the establishment of religion. And no, they aren't trying to make the Flying Spaghetti Monster the state deity. Sigh.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: MissKitty on April 04, 2013, 10:01:05 AM
Scary is right, Ella. It really is mind boggling.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: va-vacious on April 05, 2013, 04:39:54 PM
Sorry, Ella! There ARE still sane people in NC, it's just the annoying ones are really, loud.

I have moved to a state that has other crazy issues- we're just giving you some time in the spotlight.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on April 09, 2013, 03:54:35 PM
I don't understand why some people are getting so mad about Mitch McConnell.  There's nothing in that transcript that's out of place in a run-of-the-mill campaign meeting.  It's not even really so top secret.  If Judd had run, they would have portrayed her as an out-of-touch, Hollywood crazy left winger.  SHOCK!

If anything, my esteem for McConnell has gone up.   I mean honestly, that's probably the least offensive 5 minute conversation anyone has ever had about Ashley Judd ever. 
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Ella Minnow Pea on April 11, 2013, 11:13:32 PM
It took much too long, but the legislative leadership has said that they won't bring the state religion resolution up for a vote.

Last week the governor announced that since the current system is "broken", they plan to privatize our Medicaid system (by having commercial HMOs take it over). That same day our Republican U.S. Senator presented the current program with an award to “recognize the public-private partnership’s quality and efficiency in serving the state’s Medicaid population and particularly the high quality of care it delivers to patients in rural areas.”

New legislation includes a modification to our charter school requirements that teachers in grade 6-12 in the core subjects (English, math, science, and history) have a college degree. If it passes, the teachers don't even have to have a high school degree.

I'm surprised we aren't on The Daily Show every night.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Buzzstein on April 12, 2013, 12:04:54 PM
The fucking Republicans in Kansas have privatized Medicaid in this state. My "chosen" provider is United Healthcare, which is already trying to cut my attendant care hours. I just barely have enough as it is and not nearly as many as I deserve.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on April 18, 2013, 10:11:00 AM
So on Free Republic, there's this picture of supposedly of that Paul Kevin Curtis dude next to a bumper sticker saying "Christian and a Democrat"

The entire text is "Paul Kevin Curtis, reported to be the man who sent ricin letters to President Obama and a US Senator, has been revealed to be a hardcore liberal and Obama supporter."  Because he has a bumper sticker saying he is Democrat he must be a hardcore liberal and Obama supporter... well really because there's no other kind of Democrat.

Anyway one of the first comments is:

A Democrat? Oh, this story will die a really quick death. Either that, or the “media” will only pick up on the “Christian” from his bumper sticker and not mention the Democrat part.

Then a comment about how of course the dirty liberals will say he isn't really a Democrat *despite* the photographic evidence.

The rest of the comments are entirely related to how he can't possibly be a Christian if he's Democrat. 

So in other words they are engaging in the exact behavior they think others are going to do and don't realize it.  I think the thing that amuses me most isn't just how they talk around the Christian issue while attacking the Democratic thing.  It's that no one put forth the actual, rather defensible argument that he couldn't possibly be a true Christian if he tried to kill people.  True Christians can't be Democrats... but murder people?  Sure. 

Sometimes people are just so blind and stupid you have to laugh.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Dan on April 18, 2013, 10:28:50 AM
To be a contrarian: Christianity is full of murder. From Cain and Abel to the Crusades to the Spanish Inquisition to .... to half of western history.



(although to be fair: I totally agree with you)
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on April 18, 2013, 10:34:48 AM
I'm going to take a wild guess and say Christianity is full of Democrats as well.

I don't think Cain and Abel counts since God makes it pretty clear that what Cain did was uncool and punishes him for it. 

Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Kenneth Toilethole on April 18, 2013, 10:48:21 AM
I'm just suprised any rational person would read the comments below a news article anymore. I consider those "people" a class of sub-human.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on April 18, 2013, 11:34:18 AM
The comments are, if anything,  probably slightly more intelligent than the actual written items on the site.  I read it because I have to, not because I want to.

But anyway, this is a conservative site.  Not even crazy right wing more like Fox right wing-- which okay I agree that 5 years ago would have been crazy right wing and probably still should be but shit's changed.

So the people making these remarks aren't doing it to troll or get a rise out of people like on Yahoo!  They're people who follow politics (or thing they do), and think they're having some kind of reasonable political discussion.  They can't even see the massive flaws in their own logic. 
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Homsar on April 18, 2013, 01:07:48 PM
Do you leave your own comments telling them this?
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Homsar on April 19, 2013, 09:27:26 AM
I'm sure glad that gun control legislation wasn't passed.  If you can't control all of them, why control any of them?
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Markalot on April 19, 2013, 09:37:22 AM
Faux news has helped both expose and demonstrate media bias at the same time.  I think they demonstrate a lot more than they expose, but I wonder if, in some tragic way, Faux has been good for the media.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on April 19, 2013, 11:15:00 AM
Come on Republicans.  You're just talking all crazy right now.

Look, I'm actually okay with giving people some freedom to own guns, but mental checkups so that crazy people don't hurt themselves or others.  It would be good for all of society even if it just keeps people from getting addicted to drugs or helping with depression even if they aren't killing anyone.

But that would require some sort of national health plan so everyone is covered for mental checkups.  And some sort of social spending for community awareness.  And a realization that maybe sometimes people shoot others because they're crazy and can't help it.  Not because they are evil people.  These are all things you are against.

How does this play out?  The government forces me to get some sort of annual mental exam which then goes into a big government database somewhere.  The government knowing that maybe I have mild depression or anger issues seems to me hugely more invasive than the government knowing I have hypertension.  I mean, isn't mental stuff more private than physical stuff?

Okay and then, let's say I'm considered a bit unstable.  Then what?  I can still go to a gun show and buy a gun because you're certainly not going to restrict that.  So now you've got unstable people with guns which means you'd better arm yourself against the crazies.  And then some dude shoots someone.  He pleads insanity because he's got this government certificate saying he's got some issues.  But you won't believe that he's crazy so you will want the death penalty.

I'm just not seeing the freedom here.  I can have a gun, but it's okay for me to be racially profiled by every cop.  And I have to carry that gun around everywhere because everyone's got automatic weapons.  And the cops will be more heavily armed because they have to be because you won't give up the "tough on crime" schtick. 

If I vote, you need to see ID and shit.  But I have can a gun to stand up against government oppression.  I mean, that's kind of backwards isn't it?  You can't vote to change leaders, but you should be able to shoot them?  I prefer my regime changes non-violent.

Come at me with some shit that makes sense.  I'm not trading "freedom" from government for oppression by some random private citizen with a cannon.  My ability to do crap is just as restricted either way.  And I'm not trading my other Bill of Rights goodies for what's behind Amendment #2.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Markalot on April 19, 2013, 01:21:20 PM
That old gun argument is so last week.

Pressure cookers man, we need background checks for pressure cookers.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on April 19, 2013, 01:31:52 PM
It never would have happened if people were allowed to carry concealed pressure cookers.  Oh wait, that's exactly how it did happen.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on April 19, 2013, 02:29:17 PM
Serious question though.  We were just discussing this at my office.

What constitutes a "terrorist" attack? 

Assuming these two acted alone.  They seemed to have a grudge against the US.  But then, there doesn't seem to be much of an attempt to create some sort of political/religious movement or societal upheaval.  More of just a lashing out.  They were apparently Muslim.  On the other hand, the dude appears to like Jay-Z and Eminem so hard to portray them as religious fundamentalists.

Then you have Ricin dude.  That guy clearly seemed to view his actions as necessary to right some sort of injustice.  And he chose political targets and included a message.  OTOH, he also seems to be suffering from some sort of mental illness.  The conspiracy/wrong he was acting against appears to be in his own head.

Do either of these fit in what we would consider "terrorist" acts, or just crazy/evil people doing crazy/evil things?  In my opinion, neither fits but Ricin dude is probably closer.



Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: cyclone on April 19, 2013, 03:23:54 PM
When my usual chronic insomnia kicked in last night I got pretty sucked in when the initial car-jacking and shootout happened around 1AM... someone actually gave me a link to the live EMS feed of Boston police where you could hear the very clear audible reports like a policeman saying "this may sound like a stupid question, but should be turn off our cellular devices and leave them in our vehicles when approaching the potential detonation areas?" and the initial "there are live explosives" calls.  Pretty surreal. And as polarizing the social media reporting of this has been, it was almost equally as surreal when it took the major cable news network about an hour to start reporting late last night while we had Twitter picture/video updates by by-standards including author Seth Mnookin.

By the time I went to bed there was all kinds of inaccurate reportings that "Suspect 2" had been identified as a kid in which the internet had earlier in the day found a Facebook page about a missing student from Brown University who vaguely looked like the marathon pictures, slightly dark skin and dark curly hair.  Woke up this morning to see that that got that one wrong.  The police scanner had also seemingly identified "Suspect 1" and spelled out a last name and read the license number, but that one was now wrong as well.  And when MSNBC and CNN started rolling a loop of the feed from Boston's local channel 7, we got about all in all hours worth of footage of an innocent bystandard laying on the ground at gunpoint and once it was unanimously reported that it was not a legitimate suspect it kept going on and on.

The questions that the reporters asked the uncle were so embarrassing ... "what do you think of America as a country?", for example.   Really, the whole uncle interview was quite an amazing artifact to all of this, and not just because of his response of "they were losers" to the general questions about if he could predict the intentions of his nephews.

To be completely unintellectual for a second, it's so utterly insane.  We know thanks to actual video footage that the initial post-carjacking shootout happened last night, and thus the reporting is at least very accurate that that was the instance in which police captured and (and somehow killed) Suspect 1, while the white hat guy then fled in the SUV (with the big buzz from this being that he ran over his brother in the process).  And now this 19-year old is still hiding out despite the wide police perimeter from last night that brought tanks into the residential areas.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Dan on April 19, 2013, 04:00:29 PM
What defines a "terrorist" is a question that goes back to middle school / high school level discussion. One man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter, right?

Another term discussed in a similar manner: weeds (to some a weed is an unwanted plant, but it's just a plant trying to live, ya know?).
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Homsar on April 19, 2013, 04:43:06 PM
"Terrorism" has almost as a broad a meaning as "freedom."
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Markalot on April 19, 2013, 06:23:03 PM
They are lifting the stay at home orders.

They lost him.  He's dead, or it's a lie to the media to bring him out and they had to go door to door first to tell people what they hear in the media is a lie.

Who knows.

Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on April 19, 2013, 09:41:57 PM
My guess is he's probably dead.  It's pretty easy to hide out for awhile as long as you don't have to come to town or hang out with people socially.  Only two ways to do that-- be a hermit/survivalist, or be dead.  Dude does not sound like much of a survivalist.  I mean, those two didn't even last a week before trying to make some crazy ill-fated break for it and that was before there was this much scrutiny and the older brother seems to have been the brains of the outfit.

I suppose some terror cell/network could be hiding him out, but he seems like kind of an unreliable stoner and more trouble than it's worth.  His relatives don't seem like they'd have been much inclined to help him.

I don't know.  Maybe he got out of town and manages to elude capture for a couple more days, but I can't see him lasting more than that unless he's dead.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on April 19, 2013, 10:36:19 PM
Well, there you go.  Caught in some dude's backyard.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Ella Minnow Pea on May 07, 2013, 12:05:52 AM
We are now having protesters being arrested at our legislature who are conducting non-violent protests against the GOP legislative actions. Today's arrest of 30 people included Duke and UNC-Chapel Hill professors.

Oh, and our fracking rules are being re-written because Halliburton wasn't happy with them.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: va-vacious on May 07, 2013, 12:31:34 AM
Not sad I left North Carolina! Though to be fair, Georgia is probably ramping up for its entry into crazytown/state.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Markalot on May 14, 2013, 12:58:28 PM
Benghazi is dumb and will hopefully fade. IRS is worrying, stupid and hyper political, but I really thing this AP secret records story will have legs since it involves the press.  What the hell are they looking for and did they use the beloved Patriot act to secretly grab the data?

Is the Obama admin more Bush than Bush?
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on May 14, 2013, 04:33:02 PM
Obama's never really been that much of a liberal in the modern sense.

He made his big issue the first few years healthcare.  Which up until the time Obama proposed it and every conservative knee jerked the other way was a centrist kind of issue.  Now it's gun control, which is liberal but it's still something the majority of the country believes in.  I mean, he's not really even that far on a limb with gun control, he's just going against the insane NRA types.

IRS, DoJ, FBI, CIA, etc.   Most of those groups suck.  The targets might change a bit based on policy and politics but those groups will always overstep their bounds.  And then Congress or the press or the courts have to provide the check/balance.  Not excusing what happened, but I don't particularly blame Obama for this like on a personal level.  I gave Bush a free pass when some of this stuff happened to him.

It's a big government.  Shit is gonna happen.  The thing with Bush was once some things came to light, instead of saying "Yeah, my bad" they dug in their heels and pretended like somehow there was nothing wrong with what they were doing.  Hopefully Obama does a better job of saying that maybe the Patriot Act needs to be reeled back or that maybe if this was legally okay they still shouldn't do it. 
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Markalot on June 07, 2013, 11:53:13 AM
So this phone record and internet snooping has kept us safe.  Funny, I viewed the youtube account of they terrorist killed in the Boston bombings and he had links to extremist videos.  Obviously this is working well.

I made the claim in the past that Iraq was not some grand conspiracy but a mistake by leaders in fear who were certain Iraq was going to provide WMD to terrorists.  I make the same claim for Obama.  These guys seem to be terrorized by fear and making really bad decisions that are not supported by facts.  The terrorists have won.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on June 09, 2013, 02:38:05 PM
It was always going to happen once the Patriot Act came out. 

I think it has less to do with fear than if you let some geek have access to data, they'll take it.  Everyone always wants more data, if nothing else it justifies their staff positions.  The government will monitor everything if you give them the budget and let them.  But it's not so much creepy power but just regular old bureaucracy creep.  Same thing with the IRS.

I think Obama is turning off liberals over this as well, as they have an innate distrust of THE MAN, and Dems are vulnerable in sixth year election anyway.  It looks bad for Democrats, as it's nearly impossible to justify this and Obama saying it was only "modest" spying doesn't play to his own constituency.

Huge, huge opportunity for Republicans if they can get their act together.  They just have to convince people they will be less Big Brother than the Democrats.  Which is hard.  Because you can't fearmonger constantly like terrorists are everywhere and ready to strike and destroy everything and then get mad when there are drone attacks and government surveillance.

They have to be much less transparent about their intent to preserve freedoms for white, rich, Christian old dudes at the expense of everyone else.  Maybe they could even realize that's a dickhead thing to do, but that might be asking too much. 

These things are increasingly beyond this year's party politics and require a longer term stance.  I think the S. Ct. decision on DNA is another example.  You have them okaying DNA samples for people not arrested for anything.  You can blame this on Obama trying to be Big Brother... except that you favor racial profiling, and voter ID cards. 

Even when the GOP is in the right, as they somewhat are in these latest security brouhaha's... how do you convince people you really care?  Because the Patriot Act has been there the whole time, but you've been dorking around arguing over healthcare, gay marriage, and abortion.  It's still way to easy for sensible small government, non-affiliated people to continue to vote Democrat or not to vote for either party.

I think the GOP has figured this out, but some of their voters have not.  If they can get the right people winning the primaries, they can steal quite a few seats.  Maybe even a Senate majority.




Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: va-vacious on June 10, 2013, 08:58:00 PM
oh, boy. I'm so glad I moved.  My former state Senator make buzzfeed. Former, as in I moved out of his district, but sadly he's still in office.

http://www.buzzfeed.com/jamisond/a-lesson-in-how-to-not-talk-to-your-constituents-7fxd
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on June 17, 2013, 09:30:38 PM
Good S. Ct. decision today.

You can argue over whether Motor Voter is a good law, but if it isn't then change it at the Federal level.  Federal has to trump state when it comes to voting.  I might even be okay with the Feds explicitly ceding certain non-Constitutional voting procedural policies to the states.  But if the Feds make a rule, that's the end of it. 

Everyone who is an American should follow the same voting rules, that's kind of the minimum requirement for a national system to me.

Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on June 22, 2013, 11:29:42 PM
I ended up at a social function tonight were just about everyone was conservative/Republican and the conversations were all political.

I decided not to reveal my liberal leanings.  It was amazing how I could espouse the exact viewpoints I always do and rapidly reach consensus.  Part of it was probably people just not wanting to get into arguments over politics.  But I think a huge part of it was really if you stop blaming one side or the other and get away from wedge stuff, people really don't differ that much.

There are some hardcore right wingers and left-wingers who just can't be reasoned with.  But for the most part, the whole political landscape in this country is based not so much on actual differences in policy but on who you blame for the problems.  They just don't trust the other side.  If you are conservative you can't get things done because of Obama and the liberal media.  If you are liberal it's Fox and Tea Partiers.  But the actual things people want done don't differ that much.  I mean, it's not like everyone is in total agreement, but consensus is easily possible and people are willing to compromise if they feel like they can trust you.

In a way, it's horribly depressing.  But in another way, I found it kind of hopeful that people actually don't differ that much.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: frizgolf on June 26, 2013, 09:14:49 PM
Probably 80% of the country leans politically somewhere in the middle, and 100% of the politicians want you to take sides so you're too busy arguing to catch them with their hands in the cookie jar.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: juggles on June 26, 2013, 11:24:03 PM
Probably 80% of the country leans politically somewhere in the middle, and 100% of the politicians want you to take sides so you're too busy arguing to catch them with their hands in the cookie jar.

Once in a while, when I've been bad, I listen to Rush Limbaugh's show as penance. And I know that I will hear him telling me what liberals think. And I can get on Huffpo and just quickly find a story about some local GOP city councilman from Podunk saying something asinine about women or gays or guns or whatever and how it's another example of the Republicans' War on insert liberal cause here. And every law before every legislative body in the country will mean the end of fill-in-the-blank-as-we know-it if it passes. And the polls show that a "majority of Americans agree" with questions asked by pollsters. And all this results in a perception of vast polarization when in fact, when we actually sit down and talk to one another, we agree a lot more than we disagree.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Homsar on June 27, 2013, 08:45:52 AM
If we all just got along, a lot of political pundits and the like would be out of work.  Are you against jobs in America?
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on June 27, 2013, 09:55:51 PM
“I can’t tell you what’s in that big Senate bill, and the well over 1,000 or 1,500 pages that it may be, and that’s my concern...”

See, I have a huge problem with this.  Why is it the Senate's problem if you are too stupid or too lazy to read this bill?

First, it's not really that easy to draft short legislation.  The easiest way to make a bill shorter is just to apply some general guidelines and turn the actual, boring enforcement/policy details over to the Executive.  Which is really the way it is supposed to be.  Not about to do that, are you Eric Cantor?  Bills are long because Congress tries to micro-manage the Executive. 

Second, I think the problem with big long bills is that it's hard for the average US citizen to understand them.  They know very little about immigration and the technical aspects of Federal Immigration law and all that which I don't blame them for.  And sadly, they know very little about the US Constitution or how the Government works even at all, which I do blame them for.  But yeah, people don't have time to read through 1,000 pages of something.  But that's the US public.

Eric Cantor has time to read through 1,000 pages though.  That's why he gets paid the big bucks.  And that's why as a Congressperson, you have lots of staff to help you.  You can't be pulling this tldnr crap.  You should know what's in that bill.  You can complain that it took you too many manhours to know what's in the bill once you do, fine.  Do your job and then complain about it, don't complain that your job is too hard so you're not gonna try.

Third, I feel like this also fosters stupidity on the average US citizen.  It's basically saying "You should be mad at these Senators for passing a long bill, supposedly without knowing what's in it."  But people have been complaining for months about the bill... how many of them have read it?  No, we're just regurgitating crap that Rush Limbaugh or FOX said and we ought to know they don't read that crap either.

If you want bills to be shorter then someone somewhere actually has to make an effort to read the whole thing.  The bills aren't long to try to bamboozle the public with confusing language, so much as they are long because they know people don't read them and therefore everyone is free to stick in their little pork barrel bit or their own  bit of pet language or provision so it looks like they did something. 
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Ella Minnow Pea on July 02, 2013, 08:49:47 PM
Apparently NC is feeling left behind by TX and OH, so at 5:30 PM this afternoon, a complete rewrite of NC abortion laws was added by the state senate as an amendment to an unrelated law. It's already passed on the first reading and will be voted on again in the morning, before being sent back to the house. Only one existing clinic meets the new proposed standards.

Nothing like introducing major legislation completely out-of-the-blue two days before the 4th. And only informing the pro-life lobby ahead of time. Ugh.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: va-vacious on July 03, 2013, 04:10:27 PM
WTF, NC?!? I got out just in time, it seems. Though Georgia could be just as bad, I haven't been checking lately.

And they get away with this stuff, too!  People will be up in arms, but when the next election comes, they won't run a good candidate against the people who do these things, let alone vote for a better option.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on July 03, 2013, 04:36:49 PM
I don't agree with some of the conservative agenda, but okay you know like sometimes I lose.  Fine.

It's the way that this stuff gets passed that annoys me.

Every day I have to hear about how evil the government is and how it has too much power, while at the same time conservatives seem hellbent on proving their point by pulling the foulest abuses of power possible.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Ella Minnow Pea on July 04, 2013, 10:17:24 AM
It's really put the Republican party in an awkward place. The Governor in a pre-election debate said that he didn't support any changes to the current law. The speaker of the house is planning a run to US Senate against Kay Hagan, so I doubt he wants to alienate women. Both of them are more the pro-business Republican rather than social issues Republicans, and I doubt they had this on the agenda to be addressed this session.

The governor, while not addressing the issue, did at least chastise the senate for this underhanded approach to passing major legislation.

Stay tuned for more of the trials and tribulations from NC...
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on July 04, 2013, 12:47:45 PM
We had the same thing here.

Bob McDonnell is very socially conservative, but he ran on a moderate, business-y platform.  I think mostly because he had his eye on national politics, but I will also grudgingly allow that he might not be a superkook (events of the last few months are changing my mind on this, however).

Then last year they tried to pass that bill where you had to have an ultrasound before getting an abortion.  The internal kind of ultrasound.  I get that conservatives against abortions, but ramrodding through legislation through the General Assembly in a sneaky way isn't the way to do it.  Their reactions were also weird.  Half the conservatives were like "Well, we got the votes in the General Assembly so suck it."  The other half were still trying to be all Tea-Partyish like "Oh, this is to stand up for what is 'right' and against tyranny of the majority."  So did they have the majority or not?

Also they tried to justify it under the pretense of "health" when there was absolutely no case to be made for it.  And they kept blowing it, too.  Because they were trying to call Obama a Socialist for national healthcare yet here they were requiring an invasive medical procedure.  So some politicians were playing the game like "Oh no, it's just for women's health" *wink*.  And the other half were like "I'd like to ban abortion totally but this is as close as we can get thanks to those godless liberals."  So the message that ended up getting sent out was "Well, of course we think a women's health is paramount and we just want to make sure nothing bad happens... you know, like an abortion."

Anyway, the governor got the bill switched so only the external goo wand ultrasounds are required.  But he was pretty mad because it really derailed the whole GA session and made the state look like backwards asshole dicks (because we were being backwards asshole dicks).
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Ella Minnow Pea on July 10, 2013, 12:29:14 AM
The Secretary of the NC Dept. of Health and Human Services (appointed by the governor) asked the legislature to slow down on the new abortion regulation bill today, so there's a shred of hope.

However, we're an NY Times editoral today: The Decline of North Carolina (http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/10/opinion/the-decline-of-north-carolina.html?_r=0). "Republicans are systematically dismantling the state’s reputation for progress and tolerance."

Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on July 12, 2013, 12:49:01 AM
It cracks me up that they are trying to cut food stamps under the premise I suppose that poor people should have to work for money, and then they pass the farm bill that pays farmers to NOT grow certain crops.

Bonus amusement.  Other farm subsidies are for things like corn, leading to over-production of corn, which lowers the prices which means they get used for things like high fructose corn syrup.  They also promote cheesy stuffed crust pizzas and super cheese-y melt burgers, etc. to help the farmers.  Those cheese-laden unhealthy products end up at fast food restaurants.  So pretty much the kinds of awful crap that poor people buy with food stamps that everyone complains about are the things that the government subsidizes farmers to grow.

Basically we pay nice, white, bible-reading, conservative farmers to grow crops that we then feed to poor people to kill them.  It's not even like a carefully hidden conspiracy.  It's the same government agency that promotes farm products and hands out food stamps.

You'd think conservatives would be happy with this arrangement.  It's a model of efficiency for ridding the country of troublesome riffraff.  I guess the problem is it's not effective at killing non-whites and gays.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Markalot on July 12, 2013, 06:40:16 PM
A party that is in decline will behave exactly like the current republican party.

Apparently I'm a RINO, and proud of it.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Ella Minnow Pea on July 26, 2013, 11:41:22 PM
With the last day of the legislative session for 2013, the continued decline of North Carolina includes

So depressing. Hopefully people will remember in Nov. 2014.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: euro60 on July 27, 2013, 12:24:05 AM
Time to move to Ohio, Ella  8)
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: va-vacious on July 27, 2013, 12:33:02 AM
I am not sad I left NC.

If I still lived there, I think I'd have to be going to Moral Mondays, even at the risk of losing my state-funded job. Heck, I'd have lost it anyway in the budget cuts, so might as well...

I'm hoping Georgia doesn't get any ideas... though I'm not holding my breath.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: dirk on July 27, 2013, 07:49:17 AM
The UK has really gone off the deep end with their public censoring.  If this current plan goes into effect, they will be a step or 2 away from having the same type of censorship that China has.  By default, all web connections will be filtered for not only porn, but also "any content tagged as violent, extremist, terrorist, anorexia and eating disorders, suicide, alcohol, smoking, web forums, esoteric material and web-blocking circumvention tools". You can opt out of the filtering, but you know most people won't. This is just out and our crazy.  The royal baby can't keep everyone in the UK distracted forever, can it?

http://www.ibtimes.com/uk-porn-filter-censorship-extends-beyond-pornography-one-isp-fighting-back-1361379
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: luisterpaul on August 01, 2013, 08:20:52 AM
I suspect there are more conservative talk shows because liberals aren't generally as full of hot air.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Homsar on August 01, 2013, 01:24:47 PM
Or that liberals are less likely to listen to the radio.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: juggles on August 04, 2013, 01:52:54 PM
Yesterday I got a call from these guys  http://americansforresponsiblesolutions.org/ (http://americansforresponsiblesolutions.org/) Normally, when I get cold called from any kind of solicitor I get rid of them pretty quickly, but they mentioned that Gabby Giffords and Mark Kelly are behind this group and that got me interested. Anybody know anything about them? That is, about Americans for Responsible Solutions. I know about Gabby Giffords and Mark Kelly.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: daytime drinking on August 05, 2013, 01:15:39 PM
I suspect there are more conservative talk shows because liberals aren't generally as full of hot air.

you talking radio?  i assumed liberal media filled the airwaves in new england.  it certainly is an interesting topic if you're talking radio.  here in cincinnati, i do not believe there is a liberal output, unless you count the defacto npr stations. i listen to npr everyday and maybe it's when i'm listening to it that i haven't found a slant.  the guv'ment dollars possible is the reason for derision.  though isn't npr almost all public driven?  i did the research once.  anywhoos, i love 700 wlw.  even conservatives loathe bill cunningham, but i find him like captain murphy of sealab 2021 fame.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Atzend on August 08, 2013, 11:27:46 PM
This is somewhat bothersome: 

http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2013/aug/08/lavabit-email-shut-down-edward-snowden

http://lavabit.com/
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Homsar on August 09, 2013, 01:06:34 PM
Hmm.  I guess they were ordered to turn over emails.  Not cool.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Markalot on August 21, 2013, 08:18:13 AM
So I'm a RINO (republican in name only) at the moment.  In case anyone forgot my biases.  :D

Good opinion piece in the WP today:  http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/dana-milbank-the-price-gina-gray-paid-for-whistleblowing/2013/08/20/9fe80c98-09cb-11e3-8974-f97ab3b3c677_story.html

This has me thinking about whistleblowers, Obama, spying, and fear.

Like I said when I defended Bush for going to war in Iraq and all the other nutty things he did ... FEAR is driving decisions.  Obama comes in with rainbows flying out of his ass and ends up acting completely differently.  I see fear driving most of this nonsense.  Fear is a machine used to justify everything.  Eisenhower identified the military industrial complex, a self perpetuating machine that can't be stopped.  Now what do we have?  A machine that spies on all of us under the auspices of protecting our safety.  A machine that is getting bigger and more intrusive, and one we only know about due to someone leaking stuff to the press.

You think we would know about any of this if a person took the "proper channels"?

Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on August 21, 2013, 10:36:28 AM
Presidents really don't know what's going on at the various agencies, to be honest.

Think about how much time they spend traveling around, dealing with the press, talking to Congress, etc.  There's no way they can administer anything. 

This is multiplied several times when it comes to military or intelligence.  The President might not know much about pesticides or drugs, but I think we're all comfortable with okay, here's the law.  This is what it does.  Hit me up with the pluses and minuses.  There's a certain extent to which legislation is similar.

But what does the average citizen know about spying?  Not much.  Because the whole point of covert stuff is to be covert.  And most of the time these are situations with immediate impact.  You can wait 3 months to sign a drug bill, but if you wait 3 months on a security issue, a plane blows up.

So I think they do like most of us would and leave security to the security experts.  Problem is, the people who are going to know all about security and covert ops and all that tend to be really biased towards erring on the side of security.  That's how they got that job, by thinking about weak areas all the time.

Same thing with military (although Gina Gray's case is actually a relatively mundane whistle blower situation).

So anyways, I pretty much think these things are going to happen with increasing frequency regardless of who is in charge.  The government has the ability to collect more information on people now, but at the same time those within the government have a greater ability to leak because it's all computer data.  I think it's more the technology than fear. 
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on October 04, 2013, 05:19:03 PM
I still don't quite understand why the cops had to shoot the crazy lady.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Kwyjibo on October 07, 2013, 07:54:13 AM
I've been wondering the same thing.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: juggles on October 13, 2013, 11:54:26 AM
Anybody understand the workings of Congress well enough to explain this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Jd-iaYLO1A

I mean, does this sort of thing go on all the time or is this as underhanded as it seems?
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Ella Minnow Pea on October 13, 2013, 02:52:18 PM
My guess is both (unfortunately).

Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on October 14, 2013, 02:59:51 PM
I don't view it as particularly underhanded.  At least not towards Democrats. 

That's why everyone wants to be the majority.  You get to write all the rules, and you get to appoint all the committees.  You don't just win votes on the floor, you have the power to prevent things from getting voted on in the first place.

If anything, I view this as less dirty than most procedural/parliamentary tricks.  The House had to pass a resolution to change the rules.  That resolution DID go for a vote on the floor.  It passed because the Republicans favored it.  And unlike a lot of crappy parliamentary changes in committee rules and such, in this case, the resolution specifically applied to one bill and gives the power to one person. 

If you were you disagree with Cantor, why would you vote for this?  It's pretty obvious what this bill does and that it screws you. 
That's why Van Hollen already had all those props prepared.  This wasn't something that got snuck by the Democrats.  He wasn't making a legit "parliamentary inquiry," he was just getting his mug on camera and making sure people knew about the rule change.

If you want to blame someone, blame the wussy moderate Republicans.  That's who this is shielding.  It was a way for them to vote with Cantor and for the budget freeze without actually ever voting on those things as a substantive issue.  They punted their votes away to Cantor so as to shield themselves from criticism.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on October 14, 2013, 03:20:32 PM
As long as we're on the whole government shutdown thing, why is it that every time I turn on the news the people lamenting the shut down are always at a National Park and/or some kind of Veteran's Memorial?

I get that the government shutdown sucks.  But if I understand things correctly, Obama's healthcare amounts to Socialism, Satanism, or total bankruptcy.  So you have these veterans who were willing to DIE for their country to prevent those very things.  But now they're upset because a park is shut down?  It just makes no sense.

The operation of National Parks and veteran's memorials is pretty much my definition of non-essential.  I mean, especially if you are fiscally conservative, isn't this the exact kind of stuff you think the government wastes money on in the first place?  All of that should be privatized. 

If you are true to the Tea Party's supposed beliefs, you should be happy or at least non-plussed at the shutdown.  The corrupt, money-wasting asshole government you hate isn't operating.  That's good.  And people are getting a taste of what that's like.  Which is also good.  Instead of crying about how much it sucks, you should be out there saying "See, this isn't so bad.  The government shut down.  Things are going just fine.  Better than ever!"

If you're going to whine about the shutdown, at least go to the NYSE or something and complain about how government fiscal policies (and a sudden withdrawal from the government teat) are playing havoc with the market and our economy.  Or if you're going to a National Park, at least be like "Look at this land with no one on it.  This government shutdown is preventing us from selling mining rights.  There should be drillers right here!" 

Don't be at a National Park like "Oh no, no one can visit the beautiful Grand Canyon."  What are you, a hippie?

Also, I saw a story on Inside Edition about the "problems" with the Fed Gov shutdown.  This couple went to hike at Big Bend National Park.  But they got kicked out.  They went to Big Bend STATE Park instead.  Only because they hadn't planned to hike there and didn't know the trails, they got lost.  Then they almost died until some state rangers rescued them.  In what way is the Federal government shut down to blame if you decide to hike without any of the proper equipment/preparations in a STATE park?  That debacle rests 95% on you being stupid, and perhaps 5% on the state park.





Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Markalot on October 16, 2013, 02:43:00 PM
I wonder if this will help things out in the end?  The crazies got their shutdown and had to eat it.  Will they be marginalized and eventually thrown out?  I don't believe in safe seats, that's a media term that's fairly meaningless.  These tea partiers could actually be primaried by more centrist republicans at this point, especially if some of the business groups back them up.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: dirk on October 16, 2013, 02:54:05 PM
In the Senate there really aren't safe seats, in the House there totally are.  Unfortunately, the House seats have been gerrymandered so bad that there are plenty of seats where it would literally take the republican candidate dropping dead before the democrats have a chance (and even then, I would bet the dead guy would win).

The biggest issue we have is the gerrymandering of the house seats.  It makes it possible for them to do asinine things like this because they know they won't lose their seat.  Even the moderate republicans in the house feel like they need to go along with it and not speak out because otherwise they face a primary challenge from someone on the way far crazy right. We need to come up with a better way to redraw the districts every 10 years, because at it stands whoever is in power just tilts the board in their favor and we are screwed for the next 10 years.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Kwyjibo on October 16, 2013, 03:03:07 PM
We need to come up with a better way to redraw the districts every 10 years, because at it stands whoever is in power just tilts the board in their favor and we are screwed for the next 10 years.

Indefinitely, is more like it.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Markalot on October 16, 2013, 03:26:59 PM
I don't believe it's as bad as the media portrays, but really what I'm looking at is not a change from R to D in that district but a change from a crazy republican to more of what the ideologues would call a RINO.

Still, the entire safe seat mentality depends on these districts staying fairly static and behaving in a political manner.  Neither has been shown to be reliable.  A lot of people had no idea they were voting for a crazy ideologue, now some of them do.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Markalot on October 16, 2013, 03:30:25 PM
Oh,

and NBC had this wonderful story about how we aren't really that divided.  In other words, someone realized that the 20-60-20 split exists and it's really a primary problem.  Where have I heard this before ....

http://www.nbcnews.com/id/53284137/ns/local_news-raleigh_nc/t/new-american-center-why-our-nation-isnt-divided-we-think

Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Jen on October 17, 2013, 02:05:09 PM
In the Senate there really aren't safe seats, in the House there totally are.  Unfortunately, the House seats have been gerrymandered so bad that there are plenty of seats where it would literally take the republican candidate dropping dead before the democrats have a chance (and even then, I would bet the dead guy would win).

The biggest issue we have is the gerrymandering of the house seats.  It makes it possible for them to do asinine things like this because they know they won't lose their seat.  Even the moderate republicans in the house feel like they need to go along with it and not speak out because otherwise they face a primary challenge from someone on the way far crazy right. We need to come up with a better way to redraw the districts every 10 years, because at it stands whoever is in power just tilts the board in their favor and we are screwed for the next 10 years.

You mean like Boehner not acting like a leader and letting a small faction not only threaten the entire GOP as a party but also shut down the government for what? He just rolled over and let them do it. Why? So he would (hopefully) be reelected SotH but I have to wonder, if he had to worry about being voted out of Congress during the next election if he would have been so spineless? I mean, I think at this point, the only way he'll get voted out is if someone farther to the right runs against him. I hate living in his district and can't wait to move (for multiple reasons, not just him).
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on October 17, 2013, 03:13:41 PM
I hate Boehner, but he actually did stand up to the far right.  Not because he was principled, but because all the source of his power comes from the older, more mainstream members of the House. 

He's brokered deals with Obama or the Senate or liberals or whoever that will move things forward, but Cantor and his stoogies shoot them down.  Every single time.  There's absolutely nothing Boehner can do about anything right now.

His only purpose is to be left twisting in the wind, so everyone gets pissed off at him.  I think he would lose if someone farther right ran against him, but I actually don't know if Cantor wants that.  It's probably better for him to have Boehner be the fall guy for everything.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: juggles on October 17, 2013, 10:23:46 PM
LESS MERITORIOUS IDEAS TO EMERGE FROM CONGRESSIONAL BRAINSTORMING ON AVERTING NATIONAL FINANCIAL RUIN
http://toomuchcredit.blogspot.com/2013/10/less-meritous-ideas-to-emerge-from.html (http://toomuchcredit.blogspot.com/2013/10/less-meritous-ideas-to-emerge-from.html)
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Ella Minnow Pea on October 18, 2013, 02:24:39 PM
I try to stay away from politics on FB, so I'll respond here (not that it will help).

I've had 2 friends just post a link to the "news" that Obamacare is fining non-profits that offer free care (this was first reported in 2012 and hasn't happened). Yes, non-profit hospitlas have to spend a percentage of their revenues on community benefits, but it's less than what they'd pay in taxes - and predates the ACA. This is often done by providing charitable care, but its not limited to that. Here's the NC Hospital Association take on it.
"All hospitals and health systems...provide community benefits that otherwise governments would have to provide." So if you want smaller government (as these 2 friends do), isn't this ideal? I guess not, as it's government telling a private group what to do.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on October 21, 2013, 05:02:59 PM
How many economists are we going to give Nobel Prizes to for showing that capitalism rests on faulty assumptions?

If 10,000 Nobel Prize winners in a row all refute the fundamental assumptions and show that individual actors are neither rational nor efficient, then maybe... just maybe.. it's not them that are geniuses, but rather you for continuing to believe in the same stupid theory and acting all surprised when you're wrong again. 

Even a crazy person figured it out.  And then Opie made a movie about it.  Seriously.  And we're still like every year "Sonuva!  You mean markets aren't efficient?!?  Crazy.  Wow that's some high level stuff right there!" 

Just stop giving out the Nobel Prize for Economics, rename it the Nobel Prize for Dumbassery, and award it to the global economy with the US as lead every year. 
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Markalot on October 23, 2013, 08:35:51 AM
AP just fired a bunch of folks for a mistake in a report about the dem candidate for governor.  Pretty bad mistake, but the reporters record was clean prior to the flub.   AP makes mistakes now and again, even in political races.  Wonder why they decided to fire three people for this one?

Probably not because it was the democratic candidate.   ::)
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on October 23, 2013, 02:44:21 PM
If you're talking about Bob Lewis, it was a MASSIVE mistake that he made, not just something run-of-the mill like oh McAuliffe said he was for bill X but just two months ago he voted against bill X, and then it turns out that McAuliffe had actually voted for an earlier, different version of the bill or something normal like that.

Lewis reported that McAuliffe had lied to Federal prosecutors about scamming death benefits.  Which is a serious charge to be leveling at someone and could definitely have changed the race.  He reported this after reading through an indictment that mentioned "TM."  It turns out it was a totally different TM and Lewis didn't do any fact-checking nor did he give the McAuliffe campaign opportunity to comment.

Also, Cuccinelli has been attacking McAuliffe on this issue.  McAuliffe did in fact invest in a company that was scamming people out of death benefits.  But a lot of people did.  There's no evidence that he or other investors knew the company was committing fraud or that he was anything other than a passive investor, which is what he claims.

So if it turns out that McAuliffe lied to the Feds, then not only did he commit possible perjury, but he was also scammed terminally ill people out of money as part of a criminal enterprise, and he's been lying in his campaign every time he's been asked about it.  It would a huge, huge scandal that would IMO, probably cost him the election.

I think that any regular reporter probably would have and should have been fired for that.  It's only different because it was Bob Lewis, who has been around a long time and is extremely well-respected. 

The question is whether they should cut the guy a break seeing as how he's widely viewed as one of the best in the game, and in 20 years of reporting he's never done anything massively stupid like this and probably never will again vs do you send a message to your readership and other reporters that this kind of mistake can't be tolerated?

Most of the political insider types here feel like the AP overreacted.  But then, most of them know Bob Lewis and also a bad article means less to them because they follow politics closely enough that they don't rely on newspaper stories. 
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Markalot on October 24, 2013, 12:31:03 PM
I agree it was massive, and it was a case of having time to double check and risk losing a scoop.  IMO the AP mistake with the Boston bomber should have been fireable as well.  Telling people he was in custody when he wasn't ... life and death vs politics ... seems like they need to settle on a standard and stick to it.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on October 24, 2013, 02:42:13 PM
Yeah, the whole Boston thing was obviously horrible journalism.  I don't know how that went down in terms of who misreported whatever.

But I think the thing with Lewis was that he kind of forced the AP's hand.  Ironically because it was in fact a genuine mistake so he wasn't thinking about plausible deniability or anything which he might have if he were geniuinely engaged in sketchy journalism.   It was a clear, massive, and embarrassing screw up and it was obvious who was to blame.

Lewis can't say he had a source he thought was credible and the source was wrong.  Or that it was a breaking/developing story and the public needed to be kept current or whatever.  It wasn't a "scoop."  He was reading something that was publicly available.  He just didn't think there might be two "TM"s involved.  But the reason no one else reported it is because they weren't dumbasses.  Not because they didn't have access to the indictment.  It can't be anyone's fault but his own, and then of course his editor.

But anyway, Lewis and Dena Potter will be fine.  Someone will hire them.  Everyone's falling all over themselves to say how great they are.  The Governor and GA are even throwing some kind of party in their honor.  First thing the Democrats and Republicans have agreed on in months. :laugh:

FWIW, I have met him a couple of times.  He's very personable.   One of those reporters who tended to get scoops by making friends rather than enemies.  I don't know if that makes him a good reporter or not but it's definitely true that he was well-liked by both sides.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Markalot on October 29, 2013, 07:56:55 AM
Did you see one of my favorite journalists, Howard Kurtz, went to FOX after a few embarrassing screw ups?  Maybe I should have seen this coming?  Hopefully none of these guys will go to FOX.  I read a few of the latest Kurtz articles and it's as if his mind has been taken over ... either that or I blissfully ignored the faults when he worked for the WP.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Markalot on October 30, 2013, 09:38:50 AM
I'm not getting the furor over these cancelled health policies.  So far all I've heard is these were no health policies, they were drug insurance policies with no protection if you actually got sick.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: dirk on October 30, 2013, 11:27:49 AM
There really isn't a furor other than conservatives have something they can scream about.  In reading the articles about how the president "lied to the public" about people being able to keep their own insurance it say that something like 60% of the people who are self-insured won't be able to keep their insurance.  In the same article, it quotes the government prediction that 40-60% of people will not be able to keep their insurance because of standard insurance turnover (i.e. people who change insurance normally so they obviously will end up on a new plan because they can't be grandfathered in if they are switching plans). Yet conservatives are screaming about this like these people are being kicked off their plan instead of choosing to switch plans.

Conservative are desperate right now because they know once the ACA is fully implemented, people aren't going to be outraged anymore.  Once everything is settled and most people realize it didn't really change anything for them, the Republicans won't be able to whip people into a fury over it and they will be lost.  so they are doing anything they can know to keep it going.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on October 30, 2013, 01:40:45 PM
Oh my god they cancelled my shitty health insurance because it was worse than the new options now being offered before I could cancel it myself! 

I wanted to do the "It's not you it's me" thing!
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on October 31, 2013, 04:00:23 PM
Rand Paul is endorsing Ken Cuccinelli, and made a speech the other day stating how Cuccinelli best represented Libertarian values.

What a dick.  Cuccinelli is the farthest thing in the would from a Libertarian. 

The most annoying part of the whole thing is there actually is a Libertarian candidate running for Governor.  And he's good.  In fact he's much better than either of the two major party candidates, and he's polling pretty will for a Libertarian-- something around 10-15%.

As a side note, the Libertarian candidate is getting panned by "libertarians" because he offhandedly dismissed the Austrian school of economics.  That's not libertarian.  That's just some bizarre, idiotic theory which you assholes have glommed on to for some crazy reason. 

Do you know why he dismissed it?  Because he has a PhD in Mathematics from Harvard and a Master's degree in Economics and doesn't need to waste time on like, sixth grade level economic theories. 



Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: juggles on November 05, 2013, 10:36:34 AM
Rand Paul on plagiarism charges: If dueling were legal in Kentucky...
http://www.politico.com/blogs/politico-live/2013/11/paul-on-plagiarism-charges-if-dueling-were-legal-in-176575.htm

Am I the only one who wants to see Rand Paul duel Rachel Maddow? That shit should be on pay-per-view. I'm thinking of petitioning Governor Beshear to make an exception to Kentucky's anti-dueling law in this one instance.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on November 06, 2013, 10:57:53 AM
So the sleazy politician everyone hates narrowly edged out the crazy, religious freak everyone fears.

I suppose that counts as a win.  I'm just super-annoyed they forced me to break my vow of retirement and come out and vote again.

In a totally messed-up way, this has brought Virginia (or at least the intelligent people) closer together.  I heard at least twice people on opposite sides of the political fence commiserating with each other.  "Yeah, I voted for McAuliffe."  "Yeah, I hear you man.  That sucks.  I know what it's like.  I voted for Cooch."  "I'm not even mad at you."  "I feel the same way."

The voting breakdowns were typically depressing.  Poor, white people from remote parts of the state who get rely on government most heavily and have little to fear from illegal immigration and suffer the most from environmental destruction voted for the guy who was completely against their interests.  I suppose that would be admirable to vote against their self-interest like that, except that they thought they were voting according to their self-interests and are just stupid.

Rich, educated people from populated areas of the state voted for the big-government guy because they all have government jobs and were mad they lost temporarily them in the shutdown.  And also because Cuccinelli would hurt their businesses with his backwards social stance.  Basically, they were educated enough to properly vote selfishly.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Markalot on November 06, 2013, 02:53:21 PM
I was disappointed it ended up being so close.  Once again the third party candidate had inflated polling numbers that collapsed when the vote mattered. 

Rasmussen: Virginia Governor: McAuliffe (D) 43%, Cuccinelli (R) 36%, Sarvis (L) 12%

Actual:  48%, 45%, 6%

Those kinds of results should put Rasmussen out of business.  :)

Edit,  here is the quinipiacan'tspellit final poll

McAuliffe           46%
Cuccinelli           40
Sarvis                8
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on November 06, 2013, 03:59:42 PM
You can probably blame the Paul family for that.

They put on a big blitz with Rand first and then Ron at the last minute flying out and telling everyone that you would have to be an idiot to vote for Sarvis, that he wasn't a Libertarian but a liberal plant, and that Cuccinelli was a "constitutionalist" and therefore mostly in line with libertarian thought. 

That drew a lot of fake-ass libertarians to vote for Cuccinelli, which meant in turn that my real-ass libertarian ass ended up voting for McAuliffe.   Which I'm glad I did considering the margin of victory, but also I'm pretty steamed because Sarvis is the exact sort of hippie-moderate Libertarian whose platform appeals to me.  And he ran an honest non-smeary campaign.  And on top of all that-- I went to HS with his brother so I know him and that family pretty well and they are good people, and also, crazy, crazy beyond ridiculous smart.

Which just leads me to my incessant beef with "libertarians" again.  There was an article on it today in Reason talking about how conservatives need to cater to libertarians and not blame them for Cuccinelli's loss.  It was actually somewhat decent.

Except it went right over everyone's head.  They were like "Hey, we don't like social conservatives but if we don't get into bed with them, then Obamacare wins."  I think it's insane as libertarian to be more worried about the tax implications of big government than the loss of freedom from a small religious tyranny.  That 6% represents the small percentage of real Gary Johnson libertarians who honestly want a 3rd party. 

But in the end, there are really no excuses.  I live in a ridiculous backwards-ass state and both candidates were embarrassments.  Yes, I believe we dodged a bullet but in the end we still have an absolutely horrible Governor and we are looking at an extremely bleak four years.  So I am not at all proud to be a Virginian or a voter today.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: euro60 on November 06, 2013, 11:28:11 PM
so the Cincinnati city election yesterday was quite the surprise. To sum it up: a complete rebuke of the street car project and the parking lease deal.

John Cranley, who ran HARD against the street car project and the parking lease deal, beat Roxanne Qualls (a Cincinnati mayor in the 90s and current vice-mayor, and a proponent of these projects) by an eye-opening 18% (59 to 41). Wow. A landslide really. On top of that, the new make-up of the 9 member city council reflects that too.

It makes clear that the street car project is DEAD, regardless of the millions already spent, and the millions to be spent to undo it.

Not sure what will happen with the privatization lease of the city parking, I thought it was a terrible idea in the first place, but that's just me. (To be clear, I don't live in the Cincinnati city limits, but I do work downtown and spend a lot of time in downtown and other parts of  the city.)

I am a HUGE proponent of the revitalization of downtown and Over the Rhine. What's been going in in recent years with the Banks and the flourishing of Over the Rhine is without precedent. This is the best time ever to be in Cincinnati in my 26 years of living here.

Anyone else have thoughts on this?
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Cockney Rebel on November 07, 2013, 06:05:31 AM
Cranley is a dick, but I think he will be forced to finish the streetcar project, cancellation costing the city more than the completion. He knows that really but has been "showboating" ever since his victory. Victory which came on the back of just 28% of voters. Which has got me thinking that the current divisiveness of politics in the USA is turning people off from casting a ballot. "They're both  as bad as each other" perhaps creating the Republicans best chance of winning back the big seat.

The parking privatisation deal was a shit idea borne out of desperation and certain pockets that needed to be lined. I hope Cranley reverses that, but fuck knows where the money is going to come for to do it.

This vote pushes the city back into its familiar retarded stupor. One big step forward in the past 3 or 4 years, now a couple of huge stumble backs to return it to its usual 20-30 years behind any other progressive-thinking city. It's little more than a "lack of balls" by the city's leaders, residents and influence makers.

Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: dirk on November 07, 2013, 07:31:31 AM
With that few voters turning out, I have a hard time calling it a complete rebuke of anything. These off-off year elections are all about who can get their hardcore supporters to the polls because those are the only people who really vote in them. I wish all elections would be forced to be centralized so that there is better turnout every time. But prt of the goal of having elections in off-off years like this is keeping the turnout low because you think your base will come out and the other guys won't.

As for Cincinnati, I think we are taking a giant step backwards, but that is typical of Cincinnati. I am not a fan of the parking lease, but the idea itself is not a terrible one. It was just rushed through and we got a less than ideal deal with it.  But really, I could go either way on it. The streetcar would have been a big deal for Cincinnati. It was hopefully going to be the first step to some decent public transportation. Instead, Cranley wants to waste everything put into it and try and convince the feds to let him use the money for a highway project (which simply is not going to happen). IT just shows how so many in Cincinnati are stuck where they are and are afraid to move forward. Instead of trying something new, let's keep things status quo.

I would also say this election was dominated more by the parking lease than the streetcar. While the streetcar was talked about, the last 2 elections were also about the streetcar and they turned out exactly opposite. But then the parking lease happened and the election turned out this way. But that won't stop people against the streetcar from saying it was entirely about the streetcar and using that as an excuse to stop it.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: euro60 on November 07, 2013, 09:23:18 AM
Speaking of street cars: listening to NPR Morning Edition on my way in to work, I heard this interesting piece on the Atlanta street car project:

http://www.npr.org/2013/11/07/243518385/to-get-around-town-some-cities-take-a-step-back-in-time

No mention of the Cincinnati street car, though.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on November 07, 2013, 02:15:20 PM
The GOP Tea Party is out in force protesting today.  I saw a guy with a sign that says "Let the Libs know they can't steal elections!"  So I talked to him.  His contentions were the following:

1)  Obama intentionally shut down the Federal government to make Northern Virginia voters hate Republicans.  I pointed out the government was shut down because Congress wouldn't approve funding for anything.  This is not under Obama's control.  He said that Obama had "forced their hand" with his demand that Obamacare be funding.  That's not a demand.  The bill was passed.  I know you don't like, but according to the bill this is when it starts, and that's the way it is.  You want to fight that bill all over again, that's your affair.  You have to get it through Congress.  I didn't see Obama on the news going "I'm shutting down the Federal government unless Obamacare is funded."  You know who I did see on the news just about every day?  Ted Cruz saying "I'm shutting down the Federal government until Obamacare is revoked."

2)  His second point was that the liberal media had infiltrated the Richmond Times, which led them not to endorse Cooch.  I pointed out that the liberal Roanoke Times which is somewhat left had not endorsed McAuliffe.  Couldn't it be possible that these were just two genuinely bad candidates no one liked?  Apparently not.  You see, Richmond is the bigger city.  So the liberals wanted the Richmond Times to not endorse Cuccinelli, and then they made the trade off with Roanoke Times as a cover up.

3)  His third point was that the liberals had "rigged" the election by inserting Sarvis as a candidate to siphon off GOP votes.  Even if this were true, can you really complain about someone giving you MORE choice?  I would have been fine if the Tea Party had financially backed someone from the Green Party.  Great.  A guy I can vote for, BUT I  DON'T HAVE TO.  Isn't that much more preferable that forcing someone into a choice by REMOVING their options?  Like say, refusing to have a primary.

Because if you HAD had a primary, it's quite possible Bob Bolling would have won.  And Bob Bolling would have beaten McAuliffe by a million, zillion points.  The GOP took away the power for any of their own party voters to choose their candidate.  They could nominate whoever they wanted.  They chose Cuccinelli. 
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Markalot on November 08, 2013, 08:11:33 AM
The party of personal responsibility is never responsible for anything that doesn't go there way.  It's a vast left wing conspiracy.

-- personable responsibility???
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: va-vacious on November 12, 2013, 08:33:45 PM
Speaking of street cars: listening to NPR Morning Edition on my way in to work, I heard this interesting piece on the Atlanta street car project:

http://www.npr.org/2013/11/07/243518385/to-get-around-town-some-cities-take-a-step-back-in-time

No mention of the Cincinnati street car, though.

Interesting. Sadly, it's on the wrong side of town for me. Yesterday the Atlanta Braves announced they are moving out of Turner Field (located at the junction of I75/85, I 20, and in the center of town) to a spot at I75 and I285. 10 miles to the north and not serviced by MARTA. Traffic is going to be a clusterfuck. Oh, and the new stadium is going to be about a mile from where I currently live. And no sidewalks to walk there, either.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: euro60 on November 12, 2013, 11:26:21 PM
Yesterday the Atlanta Braves announced they are moving out of Turner Field (located at the junction of I75/85, I 20, and in the center of town) to a spot at I75 and I285. 10 miles to the north and not serviced by MARTA. Traffic is going to be a clusterfuck. Oh, and the new stadium is going to be about a mile from where I currently live. And no sidewalks to walk there, either.
Having attended a few games at Turner Field over the years, I can't imagine the new stadium will be any worse location-wise than Turner Field, which is in the middle of nowhere. I remember taking the MART and then the bus and then having to walk to Turner Field, and thought to myself, wow, this is really having to want to go to a baseball game, considering how inconvenient it is to get there.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Homsar on November 13, 2013, 08:36:29 AM
Wait so is it in the middle of nowhere or in the center of town?  Lol.  I looked it up and it seems to be barely out of downtown.  The transition from urban to rural must be extremely clear-cut down in Atlanta.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Butter on November 13, 2013, 09:02:28 AM
Turner Field is on the outskirts of downtown, but it is also on the outskirts of a horrific neighborhood.  I remember back in '98 or '99 when C-Fan and I attended a Reds-Braves game there, we took a wrong turn and had to fight off not 1 but 2 people stopping our car and trying to hit us up for money.  One guy was insistent that we could give him our home address and he would mail us our money back.  That wasn't going to happen.

So, in this case, the delineation between "near the center of town" and "near the middle of nowhere" makes more sense than you would think.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: euro60 on December 23, 2013, 04:01:05 PM
I just spent about an hour trying to sign up under Obamacare. Was able to create an account and then got stuck trying to “prove” that I am a US citizen. It wouldn’t “accept” my proof. (I became a naturalized US citizen in 2008) What a joke! I was told to call an 800 customer service number. Then tried calling. Got a message saying they couldn’t accept any calls and then was cut off. Really?

Meanwhile my 24 yr. old daughter also tried to sign up, and she couldn't even get as far as creating an account, as apparently they couldn't "verify" her identity. Nice.

Utter and complete incompetence is what it is.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Kwyjibo on December 23, 2013, 04:41:45 PM
I think people are just a little freakin' spoiled in the Google Age.

I'm not a technical guy but I work day in and day out with a very high volume B2B eCommerce site and it's a nightmare.  I know we live in a technical age and things seem easy but you don't see the crap going on behind the scenes. 

But you say the gov't is bigger than my company and more is at stake.  Yep, that's right but you've got to consider how much MORE complicated it is.  In my company we have data in this system and that, there are so many places where things can pivot and get out of sync, multiply that by the data stores of the US government.  Visa data is stored here, passports there, social security data, immigration, IRS etc. someplace else.  All in different systems, in different databases, probably different database platforms, encryption... the complexities of marrying all of that probably sloppily cobbled together data together into a single index are astronomical.  Not to mention all of those systems are probably older than the hills.  My company's backend system is 30 years old we used to have 16 different systems of varying ages and infrastructure, which has taken my entire 15 year career to whittle down to one one-size-doesn't-quite-fit-all system.  And that's just transactions... there are other systems for data warehousing, pricing, financials etc.  Replacing/upgrading mainframe/AS400 type systems with SAP or something else is a freaking pipe dream, those kinds of projects turn your whole world upside down and are tremendously complicated and expensive especially for the government.  You want to see inconvenience?  Just wait until they're finally forced to upgrade their tax systems or the INS systems, much less all of them.  And being forced, either because the language is no longer supported or because the server software is no longer supported, is the only time a business would do it and they HAVE the money for such things.

If my company had to do it's little piddly shit (compared to the ACA stuff, anyway) and work it's way out of the wet paper bag that is US Government bureaucracy it'd never get anything done, ever.  We're fortune 100 so our stuff isn't exactly small time and it would take us years to pull off something a tenth of the size of Healthcare.gov. 

I am shocked, SHOCKED that Uncle Sam got this close in such a short period of time.  They went from nothing to the Amazon.com of healthcare sites in less than a year... are you really surprised it's not super perfect right away?

Oh and P.S. have you used any other healthcare sites lately?  Guaran-fucking-teed that they're not voice activated, or whatever the heck it is you're expecting.  They might, just might be user friendly, but probably not terribly... they might even work, but they don't have to verify your citizenship, so that's not really the same league.  And I'll eat my socks if you can navigate their phone system without hassle.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on December 26, 2013, 12:04:39 AM
Trying to establish a website for Obamacare is a gargantuan task.  It's not really surprising that there are bugs.  It's definitely somewhat of a no-win situation.  If it turned out there was a loophole and illegal immigrants were getting insured shit would hit the fan.  We want to demand that people show up at voting booths with ID, but then we freak out and demand we should be able to get benefits online.  Seems inconsistent. 

But I also understand the frustration.  Obama isn't exactly a victim here.  Like all politicians, he over-promised.  He made it seem like it would be easy and seamless.  The Republicans did warn everyone that it wasn't going to be at all simple so they were right.  I think it's totally fair to complain that it didn't work.  It's not the Amazon.com of healthcare because Amazon.com's service, response, delivery, etc. are pretty frankly mindblowingly amazing.  And if they weren't, people would have every right to complain.  I mean yeah, it's not easy to guarantee two day delivery but if you say you're going to do it and don't then I mean, what do you expect to happen?  The service isn't up to snuff, bottom line.

I do think it's a bit over-the-top when people are like "Oh, see what happens when government tries this?"  Like Kwyjibo said, it's not like everything works smoothly and everyone is ecstatic over the friendly service and cheap pricing of their present HMO's.  People love to complain about big business, they love to complain about HMO's, and they love to complain about government.  And that is true regardless of political affiliation. 

I don't know.  The truth is, as usual, somewhere in the middle.  The thing is, if Obamacare really works as promised the fact that there were delays/hassles signing up initially will be such a minor issues.  And if Obamacare is really horrible... the delays/hassles will also be the least of people's worries.  They might end up being thankful they didn't get it.

The question that gets kind of lost here is "Is this something that Obama screwed up, or is it just a bad idea?"  I understand the arguments against government healthcare and Obama's brand of healthcare so I'm not trying to argue it's going to work.  But I think that it's way too early to draw definitive conclusions.  All the arguments against (or for) are still based on theory/predictions/belief and not hard data.  The big, important issues are still unproven one way or the other.

But I think we can take a look at the specifics of what went down and ask if Obama screwed up.  Could he have bought some more servers, or designed the website better, or hired more phone operators, etc.  I think questioning that stuff is totally fair, and something responsible voters should be examining.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: daytime drinking on December 27, 2013, 10:06:41 AM
Speaking of street cars: listening to NPR Morning Edition on my way in to work, I heard this interesting piece on the Atlanta street car project:

http://www.npr.org/2013/11/07/243518385/to-get-around-town-some-cities-take-a-step-back-in-time

No mention of the Cincinnati street car, though.

i was talking streetcar the other day with my liberal buddy/landlord.  obviously he's pro street car.  i'm not anti streetcar in general, just against this incarnation in this economic climate.  i'm supported the early route and still would even though i realize i sound like a hypocrite saying so.  when the route was scaled down they settled on the wrong route.  bringing the cities' top employer to downtown, imo would be more justified economically.  i haven't thought of where the line would terminate but it would bring students and clifton residents down to findlay and then they could walk around downtown and otr, obviously.  the problem with the route they chose is that it's too limited (limited enough it should have been scratched) and it doesn't have a guaranteed ridership like uptown would provide. 

back to the conversation with my buddy.  i said that having a light rail corridor along i-75 between the northern 'burbs and culminating at union terminal should be the first step.  he (and others i suppose) insist that it's the other way around.  you need the rail downtown first before you can move on a more significant project.  i dunno.  all i know is that the potential for a colossal waste of money is pretty great.  it's not like we can afford a vanity project because we don't have more pressing needs
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: dirk on December 27, 2013, 10:47:48 AM
I agree with both you and your buddy. Ideally I think Cincinnati needs light rail more than the streetcar. But Cincinnati has already shown it does not want light rail. It was brought up before and people just simply rejected it. So with that being the case, I think going with the streetcar to get some rail on the ground and moving toward light rail later is the way to go.

I would also skip Union Terminal as a light rail endpoint. There just isn't enough in the area to justify it as an endpoint. I would look at having it go from the airport up through downtown and then maybe up I71 and end in the XU area (if not all the way up to northern burbs).
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on December 27, 2013, 10:56:22 AM
If it were a matter of local people paying local taxes to fund a community project there's no way in hell any of these silly streetcar/green alternative scams would ever get funded.

Every meeting on these things is the same.  You start off with all the pretty pictures and how nice it's going to be.  But then at some point you have to start talking real $$.  That's when they throw out the wildly inflated ridership/revenue estimates and straight-from-the-ass city merchant//tourist impact analysis.  But the big argument is always this:  These are Federal dollars.  If we don't get them, some other city will and then that city will be cooler than our city and that's not fair.  They're giving out free handouts, isn't it stupid NOT to take them?

As for the light rail thing, I tend to agree with your buddy.  Maybe ten years ago, I would have said light rail and bringing in people from the suburbs was more important.  It used to be poor people lived in the city and rich people lived in the burbs.  Now it's reversed.  The city is for rich people who love living in the city and doing rich people things like being foodies.  The suburbs are for the poor riffraff and people with ugly children who you don't want stinking up your fine downtown and plus they don't spend $12 to eat greasy ramen at hipster noodle joints or go to art galleries.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Dan on December 27, 2013, 11:17:31 AM
Which is better? Would you rather have a city that looks like a doughnut where all the rich people are in the outer rings of the city and the downtown is just for skyscrapers and office uses which clears out at 6 pm and is empty on weekends, but has some poor people living nearby?

Or would you rather have the rich people "living in the city and doing rich people things" while the "poor riffraff" live out in the suburbs?
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: daytime drinking on December 27, 2013, 12:03:20 PM
I agree with both you and your buddy. Ideally I think Cincinnati needs light rail more than the streetcar. But Cincinnati has already shown it does not want light rail. It was brought up before and people just simply rejected it. So with that being the case, I think going with the streetcar to get some rail on the ground and moving toward light rail later is the way to go.

I would also skip Union Terminal as a light rail endpoint. There just isn't enough in the area to justify it as an endpoint. I would look at having it go from the airport up through downtown and then maybe up I71 and end in the XU area (if not all the way up to northern burbs).

the reason why i said union terminal is that there would be a bus to deliver folks to a drop off point downtown.  and i'm mainly talking about folks commuting to and from work.   to the airport would be ideal and then dayton (ideally)
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on December 27, 2013, 12:04:09 PM
The thing with the donut though, is isn't it actually the middle class who end up making the donut ring?

You've got McMansions issues in the 'burbs but those are really just super-rich "middle class" people with middle class tastes.  I mean you don't see too many mini-Tudor revival/ski chalet houses with skylights and some weird mission style garage attachment in the Architectural magazines. 

It seems like the really rich live in expensive penthouses in the city, or they live on big lot estates out in the country.  It just seems like the ratio has changed where there are more hipster high tech rich now who live in the city as opposed to old money Muffy and Biff types.

But you still have the problem of middle class people living 10-50 miles outside the city but they work there, so you need some kind of light rail to help with that.  And light rail to me, is never ever a money generator.  Given the choice between not dealing with traffic because you're on a train vs dealing with the traffic by buying a gigantic-ass, comfortable, safe-by-other-people-killing SUV, they will always pick the latter.

I suppose I'd rather have the rich techsters living in the city.  I'm amazed now when I go to DC and there are gyms on every block and I see people walking dogs in the city.  It's nice, even though I don't live there. 

But I was thinking more in terms of revenue rather than like "Greening a city" or sustainability or anything like that.  I never had a problem using the bus or walking a mile from G'Town to Woodley Park metro when I lived there.  That's the way it works in other countries.  You see regular people, some of them in their 60's or 70's and they just walk a mile.  It's not big deal.  Only in the US do we feel like anything over 3 blocks is a drive or a Taxi.

But if there were some kind of streetcar that ran up and down any of the diagonal state streets, I think it would make a ton of money and reduce traffic because the tourists and techsters would use the streetcar and walk instead of adding their cars to the cars driving to and from work.

I feel like light rail is more useful to more people and what I think of as the actual people who live in/near the city.  Light rail actually accomplishes something.  But the mass transpo in the city would generate more revenue.  To me, they're essentially amusement park rides.  Like it costs like $7 or something to ride a cable car in SF 10 blocks and they are always packed and people wait half an hour for them.  It makes no sense at all, but whatever.  It's profitable, or at least I imagine it has to be.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: daytime drinking on December 27, 2013, 12:16:03 PM
i could be right, but i don't think any street car is profitable
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Dan on December 27, 2013, 12:28:23 PM
From my understanding of it, no mass transit system in the world has ever been profitable from a direct point of view. They are always subsidized via government taxes, and their revenue streams are a combination of fares, taxes, and advertising. Occasionally there's an out-of-the-box stream, too, depending on which one we are talking about.


However.


Mass transit systems are incredibly profitable from a larger point of view. If you think of all the benefits that they add to a city after 15 or 20 years of operation, I think you'd find the economic development impacts to be rather high. Think of the Orange Line in Arlington, VA. They told the Metro that they didn't want the Orange Line to run along I-66, they wanted it to run underneath Clarendon Blvd. Arlington put up the money to build it where they wanted and now they have a bustling corridor with lots of office, residential, and retail that is all close to transit. Now think of Fairfax County. Where is the Orange Line? It's in the middle of I-66, a bit far of a walk from even the closest development. The economic disparity between these two places reflects the different impacts of a mass transit system, and yet the mass transit system itself is not "profitable."

Also, mass transit planning should take into consideration the current climate AND the where we want growth to occur. Without knowing the details of where the streetcar is going to run, I advise that we make sure we are thinking of both sides. If the streetcar is successful, there will be development all along it and the areas near stations will look different 15 years from now.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on December 27, 2013, 12:32:52 PM
No mass transit system is profitable.  Partly because 99% of them are run like crap, but also because profit isn't really the motivation.

The alternative to mass transit is driving which as far as I can tell is a huge money drain considering the amount of streets that generate no revenue at all on account of it is free to drive on them.  People have no problem asking for better streets for free, but they demand all sorts of cost/benefit studies on mass transit based on the riding fees supposedly covering the costs.  Which is totally stupid.  But at the same time, whichever do-good greenik is talking about mass transit always claims it won't cost anything which is blatantly false and so they get reamed and it's their own fault.

The rides are made cheap so that more people can use them.  You are subsidizing those rides in part because keeps those smelly poor people in their stinky subway cars and buses and off the sidewalks and roads where you want to be. 

The thing is, I don't think of piddly downtown street car systems as actual mass transit.  Like I said, they are amusement park rides for the tourists and hipsters.  So if put in the right place and with the right fees, I think something like that can generate enough revenue for people to support it.  It doesn't do much in the way of actually solving traffic issues, but hopefully it's a start and you build from there.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on December 27, 2013, 01:19:32 PM
Also, mass transit planning should take into consideration the current climate AND the where we want growth to occur. Without knowing the details of where the streetcar is going to run, I advise that we make sure we are thinking of both sides. If the streetcar is successful, there will be development all along it and the areas near stations will look different 15 years from now.

I understand the importance of urban planning and why transportation and mass transit is key to a well-designed city.

I guess my beef is with the "build it and they will come" boot-strapping approach.  Yes, you want to be proactive and all that, but you really only have a limited ability to steer growth via transportation and especially mass transit.  Transportation to me is a result of city growth and not so much a cause of it.  And mass transit is the lowest common denominator.

Like take your Orange line example.  I would argue that Arlington is a bustling area because it always sort of has been.  It's had it's ups and downs but it is like DC because traditionally it used to be part of DC, they just lopped it off.  It was a long time ago they did that, but still it used to be a part of a big city back when people lived in big cities.

In contrast, Fairfax County was all farms.  And then those farms became suburbs.  The reason why the orange line isn't more extensive/useful in Fairfax County to me is because people who live there purposely didn't want their area to be like Arlington/Alexandria.  Even when I grew up there, outside the beltway was more hick-ish and akin to the rest of Virginia and inside the beltway was "DC."

People in the US want to drive first, and when they can't drive they will resort to mass transit.  So you first have to have enough people, shops, businesses, etc. to where everything is jammed beyond belief a la NY city streets.  And then you need some mass transit to make it manageable.  I mean, could you imagine NY, Chicago, Philly, Boston without mass transportation?  Couldn't do it.

So if you think your city is going to turn into NY, Chicago, etc. then good urban planning says you need to be proactive and put the systems in place to handle that kind of population and traffic flow before it becomes a mess and highly expensive.  That's just smart.

But putting in mass transit is not going to turn your city in to NY, Chicago, etc.  I think you can shuffle people around to a limited degree and possibly easy choke points of congestion but for the most part DC is going to be DC and Richmond is Richmond and I don't know that much about Cincinnati but I assume it's the same thing.  No one is going to move to Cincinnati because they have street cars or light rail.  They'll move there because there are jobs there, or maybe for the culture if you have a ballpark and nice museums and shit like that.  And then you'll need a mass transit system.  It's the effect of a successful growing population and not the cause.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Dan on December 27, 2013, 01:56:16 PM
First off....random aside: while I was reading that, I just saw JSK randomly walk by my desk. For the first time ever. On her last day. Weird, right?

Anyway, regarding the "build it and they will come": that actually does happen. Historically, the reason the suburbs were where they were is because that was where transportation was located. Some because of rail lines and some because of highways. So yes, if you build something that is transportation convenient, people will be there. America's love affair with the car, historically, was both organic and manipulated: the old story about how GM, the tire companies, and the oil companies bought up all the electric rail lines and closed them while at the same time financing massive advertising campaigns about how buses and cars were cleaner and better and more modern .... that highly manipulated America's love affair. But it's easy to say that it would have happened anyway, which is probably true.

American's don't want to drive first - they want to get there fastest, whichever manner is best (assuming costs are relatively equivalent). Right now, and probably forever, driving yourself will be the fastest. But you are right - if the streets are jammed then they resort to mass transit. Or other forms of transportation...for example, the route to work in this Groningen video (http://www.streetfilms.org/groningen-the-worlds-cycling-city/) (I just watched this video so it's fresh on my mind) is 30 minutes by car but only 10 minutes by bike. Love it.

I do understand that some places don't want to be anything more than small town, and if that's what they want that's totally cool. Small town don't have expensive mass transit infrastructure, though. If Fairfax doesn't want to be a suburb of DC then they should have zoned and regulated it so that it couldn't grow - why did they build two(!) giant malls in Tysons if they didn't want people there?

Anyway, no place is going to become Chicago or NYC because of mass transit. And if people in Cincinnati are fearing that then they are nuts.  However, you could have a more vibrant and healthy city with better mass transit.

As for whether street car = mass transit? I don't know. It's a good point to debate though.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on December 27, 2013, 02:48:00 PM
If Fairfax doesn't want to be a suburb of DC then they should have zoned and regulated it so that it couldn't grow - why did they build two(!) giant malls in Tysons if they didn't want people there?

Because they're idiots.  I mean, NOVA has to be one of the worst planned areas ever, basically a textbook example of what not to do.  But I guess that's also why I kinda don't believe in urban planning.

At the time they built Tyson's, it was the on the donut.  This was in the mid/late 60's when the whole suburb small house/picket fence leave it to beaver thing was all hip.  So I think the idea was that your upper-scale housewife type could now do her high-falutin' fancy shopping without having to go to the city, not because they wanted to bring the city to the suburbs.  When I grew up there, there were still large areas of not-quite-farms right next to the mall.  Personal farms I guess you'd call them.  People who grew crops for themselves not to sell to other people.

Of course now the donut ring is 50 miles outside of DC past Fredricksburg so Fairfax County is part of DCLand whether they like it or not.  And I guess that's resulted in a different population.  When I grew up, everyone was strongly resistant to any suggestion at all of extending the Metro in NoVA.  Now of course, they're extending the blue line, orange line and building the silver line all up in that area.

The problem isn't the urban planning itself.  It's people being idiots.  Or politics, I guess.  IF you had a good mayor, city council and IF they had a clear vision and everyone worked towards it consistently over say 5-10 years then you probably could plan some area out and eventually make it happen. 

But I just think that never happens.  You always get what happened in Cincinnati.  One guy wants to build a streetcar, then some other dude gets elected and decides not to build the streetcar.  If it's not the mayor, it's the Feds.  Obama likes green to some extent but if a conservative gets elected then they will pull the Federal funding.  Plus most city government tend to be rather corrupt and there's a lot of skimming and stuff that goes on.

And people change their minds, too.  Like Woodbridge VA was always when I was growing up whining about needing more roads because they wanted to get to DC.  They got them, but the sprawl kept going so by the time I was in college the simple four lane road taking them to DC needed to be a bunch of super-ugly sprawly six lane roads plus your connector type mini-highways mini-beltways and all that because people in Fredricksburg wanted to go to DC now.  So now all the people in Woodbridge were totally against building new roads which didn't help them but drove traffic to their area.   The businesses liked it, but the residents HATED it.

Light rail is harder than stuff just inside the city because you've got several local governments having to get along.  And in DC it's completely impossible because it's not just city vs suburb where at least it's the same state and they can hash it out in the state Capital.  It's DC, Maryland and Virginia.

So yeah, they got smart people coming up with smart plans in most places but the plans don't get followed.  You always end up with something half-ass.  Like I bet that streetcar in Cincinnati will eventually get built, then get no funding and the streetcars will end up all dirty and junky and break down all the time and no one will use it and then people will say streetcars suck.  The IDEA of the streetcar wasn't necessarily wrong, but it's just doomed to failure because of the issues with implementation and follow-through, you know?
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Dan on December 27, 2013, 02:58:44 PM
Yes, that's true, too. And that's always an issue with larger ideas and larger scaled projects. I mean, how many terms does it take for the effects of a re-zoning to pan out? Maybe 5? That's 4 different opportunities for some new elected to come in and reverse something.

It's one of the negatives of our system, but hopefully we can get things worked out enough so that a new mayor DOESN'T run on a platform of "I'm going to take out the streetcar" which is the dumbest platform ever. There were some people threatening to run for NYC mayor on the platform of "I'm going to take out the bike lanes" which was a serious threat but fortunately there are enough smart people around here to keep them away. Hopefully De Blasio doesn't succumb to idiots, either.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: va-vacious on December 28, 2013, 10:26:24 PM
sidewalks. Just build me some sidewalks!
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on January 03, 2014, 03:56:15 PM
Some Libertarian whacko was sitting a the table next to me at lunch incessantly complaining about his bitcoin issues and how he lost a bunch of money on it, and "something needed to be done."

Hey, I got an idea.  How about an entity that distributes bitcoins so you don't get ripped off and while they are at it backs them so you can't lose them all via a Bubble or crash?  And to make sure they don't go all tyrannical on us, we all get to vote on who is in charge of bitcoins.  And because everyone feels better about bitcoins now, we can all feel free to buy and sell them without being all paranoid about it, and as a result it becomes an easily and frequently used form of near-universal currency.   

Seems like that just might work.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Kwyjibo on January 03, 2014, 04:04:05 PM
Some Libertarian whacko was sitting a the table next to me at lunch incessantly complaining about his bitcoin issues and how he lost a bunch of money on it, and "something needed to be done."

Hey, I got an idea.  How about an entity that distributes bitcoins so you don't get ripped off and while they are at it backs them so you can't lose them all via a Bubble or crash?  And to make sure they don't go all tyrannical on us, we all get to vote on who is in charge of bitcoins.  And because everyone feels better about bitcoins now, we can all feel free to buy and sell them without being all paranoid about it, and as a result it becomes an easily and frequently used form of near-universal currency.   

Seems like that just might work.

Nice.

This reminds me.  Did anyone else see the Burt Bucks episode of Raising Hope?  Classic.

Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on January 06, 2014, 12:59:12 PM
I ran into another bitcoin freak this weekend. 

I don't get it.  All these years these weirdos have insisted on a gold standard.  You know, because it supposedly couldn't be manipulated and was tied in to something physical.  Now you want to tie your currencies to something pretty much only exists electronically and is tied to the solving (supposedly) of mathematical equations.  How much more sketchy is this?

The whole free market thing only works if you assume rational actors.  No rational person is going to put their money into what at best is a bursting bubble and really looks more like a gigantic ponzi scheme.  The trust these idiots have put into bitcoin far exceeds the trust I put into the government.

Which really only shows what a weakass understanding of economics these supposed free-market enthusiasts have.  And also how feeble their dreams of libertarian bad-assery truly are.  If there WERE no government and everyone had to survive on their wits and being smart, 90% of the people going into bitcoins now would be the first ones wiped out.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: euro60 on January 06, 2014, 02:50:27 PM
I just spent about an hour trying to sign up under Obamacare. Was able to create an account and then got stuck trying to “prove” that I am a US citizen. It wouldn’t “accept” my proof. (I became a naturalized US citizen in 2008) What a joke! I was told to call an 800 customer service number. Then tried calling. Got a message saying they couldn’t accept any calls and then was cut off. Really?

Meanwhile my 24 yr. old daughter also tried to sign up, and she couldn't even get as far as creating an account, as apparently they couldn't "verify" her identity. Nice.
After trying multiple times to talk a "live" person in vain over the holidays, imagine my delight when on Friday I was able to get through on the 1-800 number and talk to someone. I explained my predicament. She didn't seem to understand. So I explained again, even directing her to the page on the heathcare.gov website where I was supposed to pick a document to provide proof of citizenship, except that the documents I was to choose from all dealt with VISA issues and forms for NON-US CITIZENS, which I once again explained to her that I AM a US CITIZEN.
 
She didn't know what to tell me, and I could tell she was getting worked up, as was I. She finally said in exasperation to physically mail in the "proof" that I had regarding my US citizenship. I sensed a red flag here, and asked where I should sent it to, and how long it would take for someone to review this, reminding her that in the meantime I am without health insurance, a first for me. She gave me a Kentucky address and told me it would take "two weeks". We shall see... Stay tuned!
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on January 06, 2014, 03:11:35 PM
Euro60- Have you looked at ABA insurance?  I haven't, but I've heard it  is supposed to be pretty good.  I think they even have an exchange so you can choose your carrier.  Attorney death panels, as it were.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: euro60 on January 06, 2014, 04:50:05 PM
Euro60- Have you looked at ABA insurance?  I haven't, but I've heard it  is supposed to be pretty good.  I think they even have an exchange so you can choose your carrier.  Attorney death panels, as it were.
You mean the American Bar Association? I haven't been a member of the ABA in at least 13-14 years. Anyway, I know what policy I want. It's just that signing up for it seems like climbing Mount Everest.

And my daughter (who's 24) hasn't been able to sign up either, and from what she last told me (yesterday), my impression is that she's pretty much given up trying. She was a huge fan of Obama/Obamacare. She's pretty disgusted at this point.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on January 07, 2014, 09:26:44 AM
Yeah.  The American Bar Association, I know a couple people who no longer practice but just maintain associate status in the Bar so they can get insurance.  Even though they can get it elsewhere, they just figure this way they can move jobs or whatever and not worry about losing coverage.  I've never looked into it myself, so I was wondering how good it was.

Anyway, the proof of citizenship thing I don't really hold against Obama.  If he made it easy to show your citizenship online, then conservatives would howl at how easy it is for illegal aliens to get healthcare.  Also it would require you to type in some kind of government ID like your SSN, and then they would all complain about how the government is tracking all its citizens.  So then you have to mail something in, and they complain about bureaucracy.

So there's just no way he could win.   The other website issues where things don't work are on Obama.  But difficulty in proving who you are is an inevitable artifact of our digital age and our political scene.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Kwyjibo on January 07, 2014, 09:33:35 AM
Just out of curiostiy what can a person, like myself for example, who was born and raised in the US and has no "complications" in their citizenship do online to prove that I am a citizen?  What does the ACA site ask for... what are the options?  And what is it that you have that isn't on that list?

This isn't snark of any kind... I truly wonder.  I'm lucky enough to not have to worry about this... both my wife and I are employed by Fortune 500 companies so we have all the access in the world to good insurance.  But reading through your complaints I find myself wondering how exactly I would prove me citizenship online... what am I going to do?  Upload my El Paso County Colorado birth certificate?
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: euro60 on January 07, 2014, 09:49:04 AM
Just out of curiostiy what can a person, like myself for example, who was born and raised in the US and has no "complications" in their citizenship do online to prove that I am a citizen?  What does the ACA site ask for... what are the options?  And what is it that you have that isn't on that list?
When you make your on-line account and profile, at a certain point you are asked if you are a US citizen, and if so, on what basis (either born in the US or naturalized). I am in the latter category, and you are then prompted to give some information, which I tried to do based on my Certificate of Naturalization, which is what was asked for. Somehow it didn't "accept" that information, and it then prompted me to another page containing a list of 15 or so alternatives for me to choose from. It's a list of various visas for NON-US citizens. That obviously is not correct. I tried to go back but didn't see any other options. Strangely, at no time do you have the option to provide info regarding your US passport (such as passport number and date of issuance or expiration), which would obviously "prove" that you are a US citizen. It's incredibly frustrating.

I didn't check what info, if any, is being asked for when you are in the category "born in the US".
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Kwyjibo on January 07, 2014, 11:13:47 AM
Very interesting.  It sounds to me that their site is broken at the point where you're entering your Certification of Naturalization document.  I've worked customer support and what you're doing is one of the worst things you can do.  You're throwing three problems at them at once, and two of them really have nothing to do with YOUR specific problem.  Give them as much information as you can about the issue that YOU YOURSELF have... ie. it doesn't accept the info from your naturalization papers, which it should.  Stick to that and expect them to resolve that problem.  What do you care if the alternate forms of ID don't help you, and what do you care if passports aren't accepted?  You have a valid (I assume) form of documentation that is supposed to be accepted... that's what you should care about and it's ALL that you should be mentioning when you talk to support.

I understand that you're trying everything you can to get it to work, I've been there many, many times but when you call someone for help and you overload them with things that aren't relative to the problem at hand they are more than likely going to tune you out as a chronic complainer.  Is it right?  No.  But that's what happens and you'll do better if you work with that system and not against it.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on January 07, 2014, 02:55:14 PM
I didn't check what info, if any, is being asked for when you are in the category "born in the USA".

I tried it, it wasn't any help.

You get asked for a birth certificate from a list of pre-approved Deadman's towns and then you fill out an online worksheet estimating the time you spend covering up (must be equal to 50%).  It was pretty confusing so I called up the HC man but all he said "Son, don't you understand?" 

Now I've got nowhere to run ain't got nowhere to go.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Kwyjibo on January 08, 2014, 08:48:55 AM
LOL... that took me a minute.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Markalot on January 08, 2014, 01:24:39 PM
Emails tie Chris Christie staff to bridge flap

http://www.politico.com/story/2014/01/chris-christie-aides-bridge-emails-101897.html?hp=t1_3


I love a scandal.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Dan on January 08, 2014, 06:58:11 PM
This was the talk of my office today. Craziness!
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: dirk on January 08, 2014, 07:59:57 PM
Things like that are what make me scared the Chris Christie will end up being the president. I like the guy in general. He is fairly moderate for a Republican. He isn't afraid to reach across the aisle. He seems like he generally has his heart in the right place. He actually reminds me a lot of John McCain before he realized he needed to toe the party line to get the presidential nomination. But the guy is just a lose cannon. It doesn't surprise me in the least that he would do something stupid and petty like this. And that scares the crap out of me if he is going to try and run the country, and more importantly, deal with other countries.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Poolio on January 09, 2014, 06:32:44 AM
Well, to be fair, nothing is tied to him directly (yet). However, the fact that his aides felt like they could lie to his face and that he'd believe them is worrying. It certainly calls into question his choices when appointing people to his staff.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Markalot on January 09, 2014, 01:11:10 PM
Power corrupts.  His huge winning margin apparently gave his aids the idea they could do something like this.  They need to be in jail and I think this is just the tip of the iceberg.  The abuse of power is astounding. Did anyone die due to the traffic backup?  Some rumor about an emergency vehicle getting caught in traffic, but even if that's not true you can see where this leads. 

Lost business due to the traffic mess?  Missed flights?  Etc etc.   

It's just so mind numbingly stupid it's hard to think about it rationally.  What were they thinking?

Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: foolsgold on January 09, 2014, 03:12:40 PM
I'd really like the media to stop using the "gate" suffix for every political scandal.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on January 09, 2014, 03:42:14 PM
For reals.  I actually had to explain to someone the other day that Watergate was not a scandal involving water.  I said it was the name of the hotel and then they were like "Then they should have called it Watergate-gate."  Also, I had that conversation in the first place because the person was talking about American Hustle and kept saying "Abscam-gate."
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: euro60 on January 09, 2014, 03:52:11 PM
and then they were like "Then they should have called it Watergate-gate."
post of the day  8)

I can't wait for the next Foolsfoldgate or Zaferkayagate  :P
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Kwyjibo on January 09, 2014, 04:16:59 PM
I said it was the name of the hotel and then they were like "Then they should have called it Watergate-gate." 

People don't know or think about ANYTHING any more.  It's fucking frightening.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on January 09, 2014, 04:32:30 PM
We need to go oldschool retro with this stuff.  Bridgegate?  No, BridgeDOME.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Markalot on January 10, 2014, 01:57:33 PM
I mentioned the fact I love scandals, right?

http://www.politico.com/story/2014/01/david-wildstein-chris-christie-scandal-101992.html?hp=f2

http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2014/01/09/who-is-david-wildstein/

So CC came out in force that he had no idea ... no wiggle room.  Too bad, I kind of liked him, but now that I think about it, he does kind of behave like a mob boss.  Nah, probably not.

Bridgeageddon
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Kwyjibo on January 10, 2014, 03:13:35 PM
I mentioned the fact I love scandals, right?

I misread that, momentarily, and was about to ask you if you prefered thongs or slides.

Bridgeageddon

I also originally read this as Brigadoon.  It may be time for an eye exam.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: va-vacious on January 10, 2014, 10:49:19 PM
I also read it as Brigadoon...
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: daytime drinking on January 11, 2014, 12:09:52 PM
this might be a long story or not.  coming back from the atl last thursday, dropped our rental car off at cvg and took the tank to gov't square.  it was apparently pretty nasty out and i had on the only pair of socks i brought for the duration of our four day hijinx.  them weren't nasty weather socks.  just smelly socks.  my friend sans sherpa summited mt adams leaving me and my dude in the bitter cold to await a ride.  we rode out the cold in the parking lot entrance on fountain square.  might have been an hour before help arrived.  i live in avondale, this will be important later.  my buddy/landlord told me when i got home, "man, if only there was a streetcar to ferry you uptown."  i laughed.  but truth be told, the streetcar probably wouldn't have functioned in those climes.  maybe it would have, dunno
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on March 03, 2014, 04:44:29 PM
This Ukraine thing is getting really worrisome all of a sudden.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Dan on March 04, 2014, 11:06:22 AM
Only 'starting'?


How much do you agree with this guy on reddit?
http://www.reddit.com/r/OutOfTheLoop/comments/1zd1bo/what_is_the_situation_with_russia_ukraine_and/cfsn12t




Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Markalot on March 17, 2014, 01:00:08 PM
Only 'starting'?


How much do you agree with this guy on reddit?
http://www.reddit.com/r/OutOfTheLoop/comments/1zd1bo/what_is_the_situation_with_russia_ukraine_and/cfsn12t

After a couple of weeks I still don't know what to think.  Gary Kasparov (the chess guy) had an interesting slant here:  http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2014/03/vladmir-putin-crimea-hitler-1938-104711.html?hp=f1#.Uycnqc4Z9AY

My first reaction was one sympathetic to Russia.  That's a critical sea port and losing it would severely cripple Russia's navy capabilities.  Don't some people think we created Hitler by penalizing Germany too much?  Kind of an odd sort of irony there. That said, I am sensitive to appeasement.  A clever bad guy would use just such a situation to make a move such as this, and while Putin is no Hitler he's not a good guy.   

Regardless of the results I believe we will see a flip in our foreign policy to less trust and more intervention (and $$$$).  Iran, Syria, Russia, North Korea ... all a big mess just waiting to get worse.  I've always believed that we are the best of the worst and without our leadership, as bad as it can be, things get worse.  We get criticized for bullying people around and we get criticized for not taking sides.  The world can't have it both ways.  We need to find a middle ground where we bully when needed and stay out when that is really the best course of action.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on March 17, 2014, 02:03:53 PM
Yeah, I actually feel like people are being too harsh on Russia.  Yes, Putin is a jerk but I think almost every country in the world would do the same thing in their position.  And is it even really that jerky?  You can look at it like they are trying to boss the Ukraine around, but technically the Ukraine has kind of been bossing Crimea around.  I mean, if you asked the people to pick, they'd pick Russia.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on March 21, 2014, 01:01:02 PM
The Fred Phelps stuff being printed is really interesting.

Some of the obits really pile it on, all but saying (or in Time's case actually saying) "Good riddance, what an a**hole."

I'm not making any moral judgment on it.  I'm just curious about what it is that sets Phelps apart where the media-- and this includes quite a few right-leaning/conservative outlets-- seem to treat him differently than say, serial killers who are executed or even Hussein.

Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Markalot on March 25, 2014, 02:31:14 PM
Obama never ceases to amaze me of late. 

Russia is a regional power, not a threat to the US?  He then goes on ....

“Russia is a regional power that is threatening some of its immediate neighbors — not out of strength but out of weakness,” Obama said in response to a reporter’s question about whether his 2012 election opponent, Mitt Romney, was right to characterize Russia as America’s biggest geopolitical foe.

So what positive can we get out of this?  Calling Russia weak and not a threat to the US is certain to get under Putin's skin.  Is that the goal?  Goad him into more action?

Countries don't like to be insulted, and citizens of those countries don't like it much either.  Want to galvanize a population behind a failed leader?  Insult them.

I do agree, they are not our biggest geopolitical foe.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on March 25, 2014, 03:12:50 PM
What's Russia going to do?  Attempt to prove they're still bad asses by annexing a neighbor?

The President just can't win on things like this.  No leader of a country can.  Because everything they says has to serve as a message to both US citizens and others and nowadays it is impossible to serve both interests.  It might even be impossible to serve just ONE of those interests.

If Obama had said that Russia was our biggest geopolitical foe, he would have looked like an idiot and/or pussy to Americans.  And the GOP would have seized on the international aspect just the same to say that he is emboldening them by his remarks.

The same thing happened with Bush.  He never lived down that "axis of evil" comment. 

It's fair to criticize a President's foreign policy, but not to do so via a political soundbite battle.  And Obama should have been smart enough not to get drawn in by the press.  Who cares what Romney said in 2012?

This always drives me nuts in Presidential campaigns.  Whoever is running for President can rabblerouse and antagonize/befriend other countries all they want because their words don't actually mean anything.  If the President were to say the same thing, or argue that point, then it does.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Markalot on March 25, 2014, 03:20:29 PM
He's not going to get the hawks to like him IMO, but he could have simply stated he does not see them as our foe but rather this is a regional disagreement ... leave out the weak comment.  It's a grade school insult, and will either do nothing or make matters worse, but has no chance of improving the situation.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on March 25, 2014, 04:17:53 PM
Yep.  Smart move would have been to say exactly what you just suggested, but he got baited into the whole "weak" thing by a question being brought up in the context of Romney's remarks.   I think it was knee-jerk left or maybe more knee-jerk "Romney is my enemy."

Still, I think the damage is minimal or non-existent in this particular case.  We just ousted them from G8, which is a lot more significant than some press remark that I think Putin is smart enough to know was an anti-Romney/GOP thing and not anti-Russia.

Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: MissKitty on March 26, 2014, 10:43:58 AM
The Fred Phelps stuff being printed is really interesting.

Some of the obits really pile it on, all but saying (or in Time's case actually saying) "Good riddance, what an a**hole."

I'm not making any moral judgment on it.  I'm just curious about what it is that sets Phelps apart where the media-- and this includes quite a few right-leaning/conservative outlets-- seem to treat him differently than say, serial killers who are executed or even Hussein.
I can't speak for the entire news media, but from my experience I'd say it has something to do with the hate-filled fax blasts that his "church" sent out every hour of the day to every news outlet in the country, clogging the machines to the point where (in our case) we disconnected the numbers and got rid of fax machines altogether. Before we nixed the fax, Westboro was wasting nearly half a ream of paper every day at our company.

I'm sure there are other reasons though.  ;D
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Markalot on April 02, 2014, 09:47:17 PM
I want all campaign contribution limits removed.  They struck down one today but the most damaging is still the individual limit.  IMO the individual limit is directly responsible for the constant campaigning all politicians need to do in order to get and stay elected.  In my lifetime I have never seen money sway an election result, but I've seen plenty of shockers where the "well financed" candidate loses to the person with the better ideas. 

:)
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on April 02, 2014, 11:20:52 PM
In my lifetime I have never seen money sway an election result, but I've seen plenty of shockers where the "well financed" candidate loses to the person with the better ideas. 

You know why it's a shock when the well-financed candidate loses?  BECAUSE THE WELL-FINANCED CANDIDATE HARDLY EVER LOSES.

That said, I don't care if they remove the campaign contribution limits because they accomplish nothing anyway.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: dirk on April 02, 2014, 11:26:02 PM
The reason it's a shocker when the well financed candidate loses is because almost always the better financed candidate wins. There is a reason there is so much money dumped into elections and that is because it works to get people elected. You can actually see late in a race when some outside party dumps a huge amount of money into commercials that there is a shift in the polling. Money wins elections, it's that simple. It's not a guarantee, but it is a guarantee that you can't win without money.

The basic fact is that money is not speech. If I give you 10 dollars, what statement have I made? Have I said I believe in your causes? Then what if I give 10 dollars to the other side as well (which we know happens)? Am I making the statement I like their policies which are probably diametrically opposed to yours? Money can facilitate speech (say I buy a billboard to put my speech on) but money in and of itself is not speech.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on April 03, 2014, 01:07:59 AM
Naw, the money is speech.  It's probably the purest form of speech there is in a capitalist economy. 

Think about it.  If the politicians just pocketed the money or donated it to charity you wouldn't care.  It only bugs you because they use the money to make stupid TV ads.  Which is free speech.  Free speech that massively influences voters.  Which is the whole reason we protect free speech.

You are really objecting not to the fact that they get money, but that they are getting increased ability to state their own opinions.  You don't want them to be able to state those opinions.  Despite the fact that you or I or any non-profit or private company can ask for money any time we want and then use it to buy ads and express our thoughts.  We can do it, but they can't.

You want to limit campaign contributions, because by doing so you will limit the ability of politicians to get their message out and influence voters.  How does that not involve free speech?

Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Markalot on April 03, 2014, 08:03:08 AM
I just want someone to explain to me how giving oodles to a single candidate is going to help a bad candidate win, and what's going to happen when they win.  Will they vote for something the majority of their district disagrees with?  Will they somehow still get re-elected because some rich person gives them oodles of cash and they make a nice commercial?  Will they be able to hide the fact they dress up at night as a vampire? ;)

Right now the majority of money is flowing to these outside groups and you end up with swift boat campaigns where no one is held accountable.  Let the money flow directly to the candidates running and let them use the money to do whatever they want to get elected.  I believe campaign contribution limits cause more harm than good.  We've seen how people get around all of these laws to make new structures to corrupt the system, which requires more laws and more restrictions to try and make it "fair".

Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on April 03, 2014, 09:45:49 AM
The Koch brothers have definitely put a bunch of horrible candidates in office.  But I don't think the system is corrupted.   

The major change from campaign finance reform is all these 501(c) groups that take out the attack ads on TV.  But I don't see why a private group can't buy airtime just like every other private group.

If I were going to make a change, I would change it so that politicians could legally pocket all of the campaign donations.  That way, it would be clear you are not giving money to a cause, or campaign.  You're giving it to a person.  I think people might think more carefully about giving and demand more from their politicians if it felt like a personal transaction/purchase instead of a donation.  No one likes getting ripped off.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Buzzstein on May 07, 2014, 04:54:27 PM
If money is speech then wouldn't that mean rich people have a greater right to free speech than poor people? That doesn't seem right. It seems very clear to me that money is not speech. You can buy lots of speech with money, but it is not speech itself. No. It's not speech.

But whether you think money is speech or not, I think it's really fucking up our democracy. We should at least have some freaking transparency. The abuse of 501(c)4 status drives me nuts.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on May 08, 2014, 10:09:19 AM
If money is speech then wouldn't that mean rich people have a greater right to free speech than poor people?

No more than they have a greater "right" to food, water, better attorneys, etc. than poor people. 

Quote
You can buy lots of speech with money

So by controlling how you spend your money, the government can essentially censor free speech.  Maybe they can't shut down a newspaper, but they can make buying printing presses illegal.  Because buying something with money isn't free speech.  They could prevent people from renting speaking halls because they're not actually banning the SPEECH. 

Quote
But whether you think money is speech or not, I think it's really fucking up our democracy. We should at least have some freaking transparency.

How much more transparent could it be?  http://www.opensecrets.org/outsidespending/nonprof_elec.php?cycle=2012  Note that the largest groups are all conservative.  And they lost. 

35-40% of voters will vote Conservative no matter what.  35-40% of voters will vote Democrat no matter what.  How stupid is that?  Well the vast majority of the remaining 20-30% is even stupider and easily swayable by 30 second ads that are over the top ridiculous.  And that's where most of the money goes.  That is pretty much all anyone ever needs to know about elections in the US.









Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Markalot on May 14, 2014, 01:59:07 PM
Does the Brat in Virginia stand a chance against Cantor?
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on May 14, 2014, 04:48:01 PM
You wouldn't think so.  But it's an odd, and somewhat sad situation.

Brat apparently blames Cantor for Obamacare passing, and I guess for everything else that's happened since Obama's been in office.  Cantor blames Brat for being a college professor, because we all know how left wing college professors are.

Like seriously, that's the main thrust of the campaigns.  "You are liberal because Obama!" vs "You are liberal because College!" 

None of it makes any sense.  By any sort of logic, Cantor should easily destroy brat.  And that is probably what will happen. 

But if the question is does Brat have a chance?  I think he does.  Because Cantor has long since gone off the deep end, Brat clearly is nuts, and the voters... well, the election race should summarize the state of mind of the voters.  When everyone is crazy, crazy things can happen. 

Cantor is vulnerable if you're willing to get fully climb aboard the crazy train.  His wife is a confirmed, lifelong, politically active pro-choice, pro-gay marriage liberal.  And Cantor is a Jew who maybe hasn't attacked "anti-Christian" policies with the same fervor he applied to debt limits.

Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on June 10, 2014, 08:34:23 PM
wow.  cantor lost.

Eric Cantor lost for not being enough of a dick.  I don't even know what to do with that. 

GOP is sooooooooooo messed up right now.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Markalot on June 10, 2014, 09:25:15 PM
I came here as soon as I got the news.

I love it.  Crash and burn!

This is how the republicans will lose their majority unless they can turn it around.  Now to hope like hell for an epic gaff.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: euro60 on June 10, 2014, 11:07:56 PM
so Markalot, what exactly are you excited about? That an even more right-wing dude won? pulling the Republican party even more to the right? I don't get it. I want more moderates in the Republicans, say more guys like Rob Portman.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on June 10, 2014, 11:29:39 PM
It's funny.  And really scary.  And good news.  And depressingly awful news.  I have no idea what to think.

Cantor was more-or-less running the House in many ways, and Brat won't have near that kind of power.  That's good.  Also, there is a sense of schadenfreude in seeing a guy who totally abandoned his principles to cater to the nuts get destroyed by his own devices when the nuts vote for someone even nuttier.  Delicious irony!

I think markalot and I also somewhat share the view that the GOP needs completely fall on its face before there can be meaningful reform.  Let it tear itself apart.

OTOH, yeah it's kind of hard to get too happy over the election of a complete idiot.  It's depressing that a guy like this can win.  Not just because of his rather extreme right wing views... but because his views made no sense.  Not even if you are a small government fiscal conservative anarchist. 

His big thing was that liberals have a "low wage agenda."  Since when have conservatives ever had a problem with low wages?  And how is this the fault of liberals?  For decades, regular like clockwork the liberals vote to raise minimum wage and conservatives vote against. Because IMMIGRANTS!! That's why.

It makes you wonder if it is a mistake to bet on limits to human stupidity.  We might never hit rock bottom and come to our senses, we could just get worse and worse.

Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on June 11, 2014, 10:12:19 AM
On the free speech thing, it's also funny that Cantor was extremely powerful with a huge warchest and Brat spent less than 200k, supposedly.

I don't see why people are at a loss to explain what happened.  I mean, it is kind of shock that it happened.  But when you look back at the why, it's pretty simple, I think:

1)  Everyone hates Cantor.  Not his views, I mean.  As a person.  He's got a well-earned reputation for being a power-hungry snake who has at one time or another screwed everyone over, whether they were in his party or not. He ruled more-or-less via fear and intimidation.  I've met at least a few Republicans today who are to the right of "mainstream conservative" though not necessarily Tea Party and they were all pretty happy to see Cantor get his comeuppance.  And that was his base.

2)  He tried to outright the far right.  Which can't be done by a Jewish guy with a liberal right who is "establishment."  And who he's also screwed over.  Part of that was his district was pretty far right.  But still, that was less a Republican primary and really a Tea Party primary.  Like I said earlier, when the race is for the vote of crazies, crazy things happen. 



Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Markalot on June 11, 2014, 10:50:26 AM
Well,

I've had some tome to read more about this.  It's sad that commentary on FOX news of all places has the best independent read of the win.  Cantor was a bad candidate that offered nothing to his home district and he flip flopped from attending anti tea party meetings one day and then going rabid right wing on the airways to try and beat a right wing challenger. 

It's exciting because upsets are always exciting.  :)

Republican will eventually lose their majority because either they go too far right, or districts slowly shift to favor dems.  Seems to be going too far right will be a much quicker road to defeat.  Most people don't pay that much attention to the crazies until they get some real power, then either the crazies were just pretending (so how about we don't repeal Obamacare but instead improve it) or they go all shock and awe and get tossed in 2 years as being what they are, crazy.

So yes, exciting.  Even more so if this guy is really a wacko and starts going on about legitimate rape or some other nonsense.  Unfortunately he seems rather sane.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on June 11, 2014, 05:17:44 PM
What you said is true about Cantor.  But it's also worth pointing out that the far right types loved him just a few months ago before turning on him viciously and acting like he's been Obama's secret right-hand man for the last six years.

So he's not the only slippery character out there.

I think you're also right about him not being that whacko.  Well, his views are kind of out there but they appear to be driven by his faith and economic views.  He seems to have a sort of creationist view of economics.  But he doesn't quite seem to fit the mold of an angry, fire-breathing guy that would appeal to Ingraham-types so if he just quietly goes about his business will that be enough?  He's a total wildcard.  Even the Tea Party doesn't really know what to make of him.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: lutz on June 27, 2014, 04:44:12 AM
As a counterpoint to the regular US school shootings, here is what happens when someone might have a gun near a school in Britain (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-cornwall-28052317).
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: jcarwash31 on June 27, 2014, 03:53:54 PM
You know the only way those children will be safe is if all the teachers are armed.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Kwyjibo on June 27, 2014, 04:04:03 PM
You know the only way those children will be safe is if all the teachers are armed.

Sadly, I know people that believe this.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Kwyjibo on August 01, 2014, 08:02:40 AM
Opened my e-mail this morning to 13 fundraising e-mails from the DNC.  It's been like that every day for a week or two.  It's sort of insane.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Homsar on August 01, 2014, 10:05:58 AM
They're almost as persistent as the war in the middle east.  That cease fire last a whole 90 minutes.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: juggles on August 31, 2014, 11:59:53 PM
Opened my e-mail this morning to 13 fundraising e-mails from the DNC.  It's been like that every day for a week or two.  It's sort of insane.

Yeah, and every message is more apocalyptic than the last -- "IF THE REPUBLICANS TAKE CONTROL OF THE SENATE THIS FALL, EVERY MAN, WOMAN AND CHILD IN AMERICA WILL BE FORCED TO EAT EVERY OTHER MAN, WOMAN AND CHILD IN AMERICA!! WE JUST NEED $5 BY MIDNIGHT TO KEEP THIS FROM HAPPENING!!" They make the Nigerian princes who e-mail me seem calm and rational.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: electricwizard on November 04, 2014, 06:18:23 PM
Have y'all become anarchists yet?
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Buzzstein on November 05, 2014, 08:28:06 PM
I'm much more worried about what happened in my state. Governor Brownback was elected again. He's running the state of Kansas into the ground. I'm worried there's not going to be any money left to pay for my attendant care.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: dirk on November 24, 2014, 11:26:13 PM
I'm not going to rant about how guilty Darren Wilson was. To tell the truth, I don't know if he was guilty. But I just don't understand how there wasn't enough evidence to at least take this to trial. There were multiple witnesses saying that Mike Brown had his hands up and was not attacking Darren Wilson when he was shot. This alone to me is enough to at least take it to trial and see all the evidence to try and figure out exactly what happened.

Unfortunately, all of the emphasis has been on everything except what it should have been. It doesn't matter what Mike Brown was doing before the confrontation, or if he smoked pot. It doesn't even matter what happened with the struggle at the car (whether Mike Brown dove through the window trying for the gun or Darren Wilson grabbed him and pull him in the window). The only thing that matter is what was going on when Darren Wilson shot Mike Brown. If Mike Brown was standing (or kneeling as some reports say) with his hands up and not attacking anyone, then Darren Wilson murdered Mike Brown. If Mike Brown was charging to attack Darren Wilson when he was shot, then is was a good shooting. Unfortunately, with this grand jury decision, we will never get an answer to that. I just don't understand how with the witnesses that have come forward, they couldn't find enough evidence that maybe there was wrong doing to want all the evidence to come out so we can have answers.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Butter on November 25, 2014, 07:24:37 AM
If you listened to the guy's whole statement last night (and I did, much to the annoyance of my wife), he basically was saying that all of the physical evidence pointed to it being a clean shoot.  They also said that the physical evidence meant many of the eyewitnesses were lying.  They hid it in a long, boring news conference, but the guy was literally trying to make his public case over the news media for a half hour. 

His case was "it's a tragedy he was shot, but it was a clean shoot, and everyone who said he was turned around with his hands up when shot were incorrect because they were just telling investigators what they heard from others, and those others were straight up lying".
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: trixi on November 25, 2014, 07:07:11 PM
And here's a super effective way of dealing with the Ferguson decision.  Lucky no one has been run over thus far.  Sheesh...what does this accomplish?
http://bit.ly/1CcDR74 (http://bit.ly/1CcDR74)
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: foolsgold on November 26, 2014, 08:22:21 AM
That's the sort of stuff that happens when more peaceful forms of protest continue to fall on deaf or willfully closed ears.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: jcarwash31 on November 26, 2014, 11:13:57 AM
The grand jury trial was a farce. If the prosecutor really wanted an indictment he could have gotten one. He didn't want it. He didn't even have to go to a grand jury. He didn't have to present every piece of evidence, something that is extremely rare in grand jurys. He only had to present evidence that would suggest some question about Wilson's guilt and lead to an indictment. I would think the inconsitencies between witnesses and Wilson would have been enough, or the pictures of Wilson's injuries. I still can't figure out how someone can reach into the window of a Tahoe, grab the driver's right arm with his right arm, and hit the driver that hard on the right side of his face with his left... if I'm following Wilson's testimony.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on November 26, 2014, 02:14:25 PM
You have to look at why so many grand juries indict.  Yes, the standard of proof is lower. 

But, the prosecutor also has discretion and won't even bother to go through with charges unless they think they have a decent shot of winning.  Whether it's because of politics or because they don't want to waste taxpayer money. 

But also your typical case involves some seedy dude who seems to be rather dick-ish and not doing much good to society, quite likely black/poor/redneck to boot.  So no one really cares that much if they ultimately aren't convicted.  Why not make 100% sure, and besides they aren't doing anything worthwhile anyway.  And besides, it's not like you're the one actually sending them to prison.  You're just kind of punting it to someone else to make the real decision so you can convict with a clear conscience. 

None of those factors are at play here. 

The prosecutor's case was almost certainly going to end in a loss due to unreliable and horribly presentable witnesses, there was a lack of evidence, people never convict cops, and latent racism, and any number of other reasons.  They wouldn't have even bothered with charges if it hadn't blown up like it did.

The defendant is sympathetic, because even if people don't like cops they kind of need them and they don't want to be the guy who gets killed because some other cop is now more gunshy.  Plus most people probably screw up at their jobs, or are jerks at their jobs sometimes and they know it.  And people don't like to think their government and especially their police force is corrupt/evil/incompetent because then you start get uncomfortable about your own situation.  And how you have lived your life ignorantly assuming the best and now you have to start doomsday prepping or at a minimum you start to think about all the people who have starved while you ate cake.  So convicting a cop is like convicting yourself in a bunch of ways.

If you indict the cop you're not just punting to another trial like in most grand juries.  It'll be all over the news, and you might be as well so you've got more at stake if you're the jury than you normally do.  You will have made an important decision.

So yeah, I dunno.  I find it a bit hard to get worked up over this because the cop was never going to go to jail so what difference does it make?  And if the real, practical aspect of a grand jury is to serve as a gateway to weed out cases that have no chances of winning, then they actually accomplished that mission.

And to the extent that maybe I should be disturbed because the result in this case is so different than typical grand juries, I find myself more questioning the 99% of grand juries that do indict over this one that didn't.  And those indictments impact a lot more people than just this one case.

Basically yeah, the system is on trial here.  And probably it should be.  But if that's the case just literally put the system on trial by suing the police department.  Or loot, riot, peacefully demonstrate or write letters to Congressmen or whatever.  This individual case was never going to solve whatever people think the real problem is anyway.  All that happened is people are rioting, looting, etc. now instead of 9 months from now.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: daytime drinking on November 26, 2014, 04:04:42 PM
i don't have anything to say about this dude and cop, don't really care.  it happens a lot.  mo'fos get gunned down all the time by police, black and white and other, justified or not. 

i just want to say that i question anyone's motives as to why they want to become a pig in the first place.  there's no way that they chose their profession to serve and protect their community, especially in a big city.  maybe it's true enough in small towns, towns where they grew up.  why would anyone want a job where there is a very real likelihood that you could kill someone before your shift is up?  or that you could be killed.  i don't really care for police, but i understand that we need police.  i just don't understand why anyone would apply for the job. i don't but do understand the military and i don't think it's out of patriotism that folks willingly take bullets for the country.  it's a way out for a lot of folks and maybe you might not see some shit
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: lutz on January 13, 2015, 03:19:11 PM
I found the title of this article quite amusing:

Too many choices, high costs and bureaucracy: British expats grade American healthcare system 'a pain in the arse' (http://www.theguardian.com/money/2015/jan/12/us-healthcare-system-leaves-brits-baffled-enraged)

I hope the US system becomes more like the UK system, instead of the other way round like David Cameron dreams of. I think, although "Obamacare" isn't perfect, it is at least a positive step in the right direction and messy progress is always better than getting stuck in a rut.

We had a chance at reforming the voting system in the UK, which would have completely transformed the political landscape, but everyone voted against AV because it wasn't perfect. Now we're still stuck with the same shitty first-past-the-post system. Morons.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on August 03, 2015, 05:21:10 PM
I'm not really understanding Trump's gimmick.

The idea is that he is not beholden to big money interests, because he is ostensibly so rich he is his own big money interest.

So instead of the Koch brothers or Soros having to buy politicians to get what they want, we should just elect a Koch/Soros directly to screw us over, thus cutting out the middleman?

Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: euro60 on August 03, 2015, 07:50:25 PM
Nobody understands Trump except Trump.

There is a big article in today's NYT, the gist of which being that Jeb Bush is laughing all the way to the top with what's going on with Trump. Interesting read:

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/03/us/politics/jeb-bushs-camp-counts-blessings-of-donald-trumps-surge-in-the-gop.html?ref=politics&_r=0

Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Dan on August 13, 2015, 02:17:36 PM
Do any of you Ohioans have opinions about Kasich as presidential candidate? What do you like or hate about him? What has he done for Ohio that has been good/bad? I don't want to know information that is the party line...more just your personal and (as much as possible) politically neutral opinion.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: dirk on August 13, 2015, 03:05:23 PM
He is basically just like all the other republican candidates. He balanced the budget by cutting spending by a ridiculous amount hurting local governments and schools. And then when there was some extra money wanted to cut taxes instead of putting that money back into things that were cut. He hates public transportation and has done everything he can to keep it out. He cut state funds to the Cincinnati Streetcar and turned down federal funds for a high speed rail system. He wants to get rid of abortion and has put ridiculous limits on abortion clinics to try and forced them closed. He pushes charter schools and tries to redirect all the education money he can from public schools to charter schools. He has tried to stop renewable energy. He pushed to restrict collective bargaining for government employees but the voters shut him down on that. Most of his stances are just as bad and crappy as all the other candidates.

I will say he did at least have the balls to go ahead with Medicaid expansion. There have been a couple times when he was gone against his own party to do something that wasn't as terrible as they wanted, which makes him at least slightly better than the pure party guys. But overall, he isn't really any different than the other jokers running.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Dan on August 13, 2015, 04:02:00 PM
He hates public transportation and has done everything he can to keep it out. He cut state funds to the Cincinnati Streetcar and turned down federal funds for a high speed rail system.

Did you know I was a transportation guy? If you did - well done. If not - this information is gold to me. Thanks.

I will say he did at least have the balls to go ahead with Medicaid expansion. There have been a couple times when he was gone against his own party to do something that wasn't as terrible as they wanted, which makes him at least slightly better than the pure party guys. But overall, he isn't really any different than the other jokers running.

Yeah, I knew about the Obamacare stuff, which is good. But good to know that he's more-or-less like everyone else.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: euro60 on August 13, 2015, 06:51:36 PM
Dirk, with all due respect, that is a tremendously subjective description of Kasich, making him sound like the almost-devil incarnate. Why don't you just outright say it that you, as a Democrat, cannot stand the sight of him. But you DO realize that the guy won re-election as governor in 2014 by beating his Democratic opponent by THIRTY ONE percent (64 to 33%), a complete landslide any way you look at it.

To say that Kasich is "basically just like all the other Republican candidates" is flat-out wrong and only exposes that you seem to miss the fact that there are quite significant substantive differences in the current pool of 17 candidates. There are the Tea Party favorites (Walker et al.), there are the traditional establishment favorites (Bush et al.), and there are the true "locos" (Trump et al.) Kasich is hard to fit in, but when all is said and done comes closer to the traditional establishment candidates.

You can say whatever you want about red herring social issues such as abortion, but in the end people care most about the economy and jobs, and from that angle, Kasich has done a pretty darn good job. Ohio's track record speaks volumes. I absolutely love what Kasich has done fiscally, giving tax relief to small businesses, which are the true drivers of the economy.

And don't get me going on that "high speed" train they were talking about building across Ohio, with a projected average speed from CIN to CLE of 50 MPH or something crazy like that--let's call that what it is: a "slow speed" train that would've cost hundreds of millions of dollars. I was on a true high speed train a few weeks ago in Europe, zipping from Brussels to Paris to Zurich. What a delight that was, cruising at 320 km/hr. If there is ever talk about bringing those TRUE high speed trains here, let me know and I will be the first to support it. But spare me the "high speed" train talk averaging 50 or 60 MPH (and the correlating colossal waste of tax payers money that would've been).

Dan, to get a true perspective on Kasich, you should talk to my 28 yr. old son, a fierce independent who leans towards right on the economy and left on social issues. He voted for Strickland (D) in 2010 (when Kasich won the first time in an upset), saw what Kasich did over the next 4 years, and promptly voted for Kasich in 2014, just like millions of other Ohioans who voted him in based on his track record.

The vibe on the first Republican debate last week is that Kasich really did well, and I see him rising in the polls in the weeks and months to come. If he cannot win the nomination, he surely will be a strong candidate for the VP nomination, with Ohio being once again a key battle state.

As an Ohioan I'd love for Kasich to be one of the few left standing towards the end of the Republican primaries. He's a no-nonsense guy that isn't going to do crazy things and whose laser-sharp focus will be on the economy.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Drjohnrock on August 13, 2015, 07:15:26 PM
He is basically just like all the other republican candidates. He balanced the budget by cutting spending by a ridiculous amount hurting local governments and schools. And then when there was some extra money wanted to cut taxes instead of putting that money back into things that were cut. He hates public transportation and has done everything he can to keep it out. He cut state funds to the Cincinnati Streetcar and turned down federal funds for a high speed rail system. He wants to get rid of abortion and has put ridiculous limits on abortion clinics to try and forced them closed. He pushes charter schools and tries to redirect all the education money he can from public schools to charter schools. He has tried to stop renewable energy. He pushed to restrict collective bargaining for government employees but the voters shut him down on that. Most of his stances are just as bad and crappy as all the other candidates.

I will say he did at least have the balls to go ahead with Medicaid expansion. There have been a couple times when he was gone against his own party to do something that wasn't as terrible as they wanted, which makes him at least slightly better than the pure party guys. But overall, he isn't really any different than the other jokers running.

Well said.  I would add that his budget balancing was basically a shell game.  Also, eliminating the Ohio Estate Tax--miniscule compared to the Federal Estate Tax, and which a lot of Ohio estates didn't pay at all--robbed local governments of much needed funds.  And then there's Jobs Ohio, which is closed to any public scrutiny and doles out goodies to Catsick's rich cronies.  And Ohio still isn't exactly an oasis of jobs.

Catsick would have been a one term governor but for Tim Fitzgerald's poor organization and campaign that imploded.  Catsick only started to make nice after the public soundly rejected his union busting and George Dubya Bush's "no compromise" mentality. I'm convinced he's still the jerk he was at the beginning of his first term and would be very scared of what he would do as president with the GOP controlling both houses of Congress.  Fortunately, I think there's very little chance of him winning the Republican nomination.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on August 13, 2015, 08:53:28 PM
ehhhh... dirk isn't to far wrong.  I would throw out the Tea Party types and Trump as not what I think of as "Republicans."

If we think about your tentpole, middle-of-the-right, generic GOP guy... that's pretty much Kasich.  He will have a hard time distinguishing himself from Jeb Bush, IMO.

As for his fiscal record, it's okay.  He got a big advantage from taking over when the economy was recovering, and then like many Republican types, cut some stuff and made up for it by gobbling down Federal money.  So essentially, the Feds paid for your budget surplus.

It's a little hard to blame Kasich for this, since after all he kind of wouldn't be serving the state if he turned down free money.  And, it's not like the Democrats were saying "no."  So I wouldn't necessarily hold that against him.

But, like every other conservative Governor he now has a massive credibility issue when he starts touting his fiscal budget hawk ways while running for President.  The whole "take money from the Feds" trick no longer works when you are the Feds.

In terms of specific policy, he's pretty much straight from the GOP playbook.  So no, he's not a fan of public transportation, or environmental causes, or social spending type stuff.  He is a fan of tax cuts, and businesses, and especially tax cuts for businesses.  Which again, is kind of good trick when it comes to luring corporations to Ohio over some other state but not as good a trick when you are in charge of all the states. Snatching a larger chunk of the national pie is a somewhat reasonable strategy as a governor, but when you are President your job is to grow the pie and that's different.

The sleaziest thing about Kasich is probably his involvement in Lehman Brothers.  He used to work and lobby for them (and also took money from them).  And as such, he got Ohio to invest money with them and of course they promptly lost their shirts, which is what created the massive deficit in the first place.  I hold this massively against him because I think it's so insanely hypocritical for him to act like he's such a budget hawk with that background.

BUT in fairness, I think you will have admit he is not the only guy who took lobbyist money and/or was a lobbyist and/or tried to influence politicians while also being a politician and just generally playing the old boy network.  It's not like he ran the investments himself.  And it's not like he was all "Yeah Ohio, invest in junk real estate mortgages, it's awesome!"  They were going to invest with some sort of large financial firm or other and lose their money just like every other state.  It so happens that Lehman turns out to be perhaps the slimiest of them, but Kasich probably wouldn't know that.  And everyone lost tons of money.  So to that end, it probably didn't make much difference.

The BEST thing you can say about Kasich I guess is that he does know how to get stuff done.  Which if you are a Republican is a plus, but if you are a Democrat is a minus.

The most "liberal" position he is probably that he is not anti-Common Core.  Which frankly is the fucking stupidest thing ever for Republicans to waste their time on.  It's basically a bunch of paranoid people bitching about the government "telling them what to do" by failing to support creationism or like, shitty science that says nohownoway is global warming ever occurring.

So on the one hand, props for being reasonable on this.  OTOH, the bar is pretty low.  Would say the same for most of his positions.  He is reliably conservative across the spectrum but not a completely insane, paranoid, psuedo-racist whackjob.  At least not outwardly.  At least not all the time.  Congratulations?

In my opinion, he is the Republican analogue of Hillary Clinton.  Very sleazy, very political.  At the same time, those same traits make them effective in a lot of ways.  If you don't like "politicians" he is not your man.  If you don't really care about how the sausage is made, you can pretty much count on him as a tentpole guy to reliably push the GOP slate without being too nutty about it.  He will sell you out on some stuff for sure, but he'll also get some stuff done. 

His biggest issue will be how to distinguish himself from Bush.  Other than that, if you're Republican you dig him, if you're Democrat you don't.

I will not vote for him because I am liberal on social issues.  I'm fiscally conservative but IMO the Republicans and true fiscal conservatism parted ways long ago so he scores no points from me there (although neither do the Democrats).  I think my bigger concern is that we could end up with a nutty-ass Congress and that's going to pull him further right.  If I thought Congress was going to be liberal, I guess I still wouldn't vote for him but I wouldn't have too big a problem with him either.

Full disclosure:  I actually like Chris Christie among the Republicans.  I know that's weird.  I don't like Clinton much personally, but I will probably vote for her for the same reason I'd expect Republicans will vote for Bush or Kasich.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Butter on August 14, 2015, 07:40:03 AM
He is reliably conservative across the spectrum but not a completely insane, paranoid, psuedo-racist whackjob.  At least not outwardly.  At least not all the time.  Congratulations?

In my opinion, he is the Republican analogue of Hillary Clinton.  Very sleazy, very political.  At the same time, those same traits make them effective in a lot of ways.  If you don't like "politicians" he is not your man.  If you don't really care about how the sausage is made, you can pretty much count on him as a tentpole guy to reliably push the GOP slate without being too nutty about it.  He will sell you out on some stuff for sure, but he'll also get some stuff done. 

Full disclosure:  I actually like Chris Christie among the Republicans.  I know that's weird.  I don't like Clinton much personally, but I will probably vote for her for the same reason I'd expect Republicans will vote for Bush or Kasich.

All of these for me.  Kasich's biggest problem is that he comes across as "generic white guy" in a field full of personalities.  I think we all know Trump is not going to win the nomination, and MAYBE Kasich can weather the storm and get in there somehow, but even among "generic white guys" he has competition from people like Scott Walker, Santorum, and Jeb Bush who has better name recognition.

And I don't know how you can really give Kasich credit for much of anything in the economy, similarly nationally to not giving credit to Obama.  The country was coming out of a borderline depression era, and Ohio has been growing jobs and income at about the national average.  That's not some amazing trick that Kasich should take credit for.  It would've taken some suicidal policies to continue to tank the economy after that period of recession.  Kasich was lucky enough to benefit from it, and smart enough to take credit for it, but his policies of "tax breaks for all, but especially businesses" has been standard GOP boilerplate for 40 years now.  Far from revolutionary.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: lutz on August 15, 2015, 03:27:54 AM
Quote
You can say whatever you want about red herring social issues such as abortion, but in the end people care most about the economy

The UK election was won and lost on this fact alone. Even though nobody has the faintest idea how the economy works or how current and previous governments have affected it, people still blindly voted for the party which stamped their little feet and shouted "Strong economy!" the loudest.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: euro60 on August 15, 2015, 11:15:10 AM
Lutz, what do you make of Jeremy Corbyn being the front runner for the upcoming election of the Labour Party leadership position?
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: lutz on August 15, 2015, 03:03:57 PM
I like him a lot, but I'm a little wary of all the hype that's built up around him. This country is crying out for a genuine, viable left-wing option to vote for, so it's been quite entertaining to see the whole of the centre-right (including his own party) collectively shitting themselves. The Blairites' threats to stage a coup have been yet another damning indictment of our political system and it's claim to be democratic.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: euro60 on August 15, 2015, 11:23:58 PM
The Blairites' threats to stage a coup have been yet another damning indictment of our political system and it's claim to be democratic.
I may not be versed that well into British politics. What do you mean with this exactly? Is Blair even relevant these days?
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: lutz on August 16, 2015, 12:56:41 PM
Blair came sweeping into power in 1997 on a wave of centrism, heralding an era of "New Labour". Those who support the same ideology are known as Blairites. Corbyn is very much not a Blairite. He's a serious left-wing activist who wants Blair to be tried for war crimes over the Iraq invasion.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Cockney Rebel on August 16, 2015, 05:01:20 PM
Blair came sweeping into power in 1997 on a wave of centrism, heralding an era of "New Labour". Those who support the same ideology are known as Blairites. Corbyn is very much not a Blairite. He's a serious left-wing activist who wants Blair to be tried for war crimes over the Iraq invasion.
I'd love Corbyn to signal a whole new leftist shift for the labour party with a return to socialist ideals. Sadly though I don't think that will happen. The tories and "new labour" (*ugh) seem to have run roughshod over a populace that haven't really got a fucking clue what's going on. The amount of corruption and croneyism is enormous but mr fred average doesn't give a shit. Cameron is almost more dangerous than Thatcher was because he's a clueless moron without an original thought in his brain. There are NO dedicated politicians anymore, it's all career politics and riding the waves of social media/popularity before the book deal, corporate shill gig, etc etc. Let's face it who would WANT to a politician these days? Rambling post, sorry
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: lutz on August 17, 2015, 05:53:17 PM
With you 100%, CR.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: daytime drinking on August 19, 2015, 02:05:13 PM
what's with you euro folk and socialism?  your politics haven't left college  :P
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: lutz on August 19, 2015, 03:43:15 PM
I know, right? Preferring to be happy instead of amassing vast mountains of cash, what the fuck is that all about?
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: daytime drinking on August 21, 2015, 12:24:33 PM
I know, right? Preferring to be happy instead of amassing vast mountains of cash, what the fuck is that all about?

socialism makes one happy?  to enlighten me, from your understanding, how socialist is western europe?  how far are you and your countrymen willing to take socialism?  personally i feel that idealism has no roots in reality and forcing shit to be perfect well..  perhaps there is a reason why capitalism seems to be the only economic model.  but you start to think existentially and to the why are we here question and then it doesn't matter what economic model is most appropriate.  but we are here and we can't change that.  so what's the best way to cope with existing?  i think we need to exist in some capacity to serve our fellow man because this world is one giant community so the endeavor i choose must benefit man because it is unlikely i can exist alone.   and the best why to serve your fellow man is to left to your own devices.  i need to eat, you need to eat.  let's make this happen and eat together.  word
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on August 21, 2015, 10:09:53 PM
How is capitalism "the only economic model," or any less idealist than any other system?  There's never been a purely capitalist country because it would be a disaster.

It's sad how strongly most Americans espouse free markets and capitalism and most of them couldn't pass 101 Econ mid-term.

I mean, because if you actually do open up an Econ textbook, you know what it says about morality, or freedom, or government?  Not a damn thing.  Because it's got nothing to do with any of that stuff.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: daytime drinking on August 24, 2015, 10:10:18 AM
the fairest economic model.  when there are no barriers to prosperity, isn't morality implicit? 
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on August 24, 2015, 12:47:11 PM
In a free SOCIETY, if I choose to live in a hippy commune with twenty of my friends where we agree to share all of our possessions, and it doesn't harm anyone else why shouldn't I be able to do so?  Maybe that's what truly makes me happy.  Who are you to define "prosperity" for me? 

It's like that guy in Seattle who decided to pay everyone in his company the same annual $70k wage.  That's what he feels is morally right for him, it makes him happy, and he thinks his company will be better that way.  Or Costco or Ben and Jerry's who both have flattened pay structures.  No one can say those companies aren't doing well, so what's the problem?

Also, there are massive barriers to prosperity in the Randian/Austrian.  As a matter of fact, it's your moral duty to be as big a barrier as you can to everyone else's prosperity.  It's just that for them, those barriers don't count because it's not the government.  Which is a meaningless distinction that no one else cares about, and Adam Smith did not care about either.









Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: daytime drinking on August 24, 2015, 07:09:53 PM
i suppose the barrier is the human mind? 

Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: euro60 on August 24, 2015, 11:29:06 PM
Daytime/Zafer, you've totally lost me.

All that aside, did anyone read the TIME cover story on Trump? Fascinating piece. I obviously disagree with a lot of Trump's positions, but you gotta give it to the guy. He is beholden to no-one, doesn't do fund-raising (and hence doesn't owe anything to contributors), doesn't do advertising, and just speaks his mind (as crazy as his is). What a contrast to, say, Hillary Clinton, who will not answer a question outright, and that is if a reporter can even ask her a question. As my son (the fiercely-independent) commented to me the other day: "there is no difference between Jeb Bush and Hillary Clinton, they are the same!" I can't argue with that.

Like everyone else, I expect Trump to crash and burn at some point, but it may be quite a while before that happens. Meanwhile he'll continue to be a bull in a China shop. Let the fun go on. It's gonna be a wild ride!

(As an aside, I should mention that since a year or two,  I've stopped all financial contributions, which in the past I have done, and plenty. I am so disgusted with the going-ons in DC, both parties, that to contribute to anyone would only send the message that I condone the current environment in DC. I strongly do not.)
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on August 25, 2015, 02:58:15 AM
Yeah, that's my whole thing about Trump.  People act like the fact that he doesn't listen to or care what people think, and that he speaks his mind even when he's quite obviously wrong is a plus.

You WANT your politicians to be beholden to the public.  That's the ENTIRE POINT.  And it SHOULD be hard for politicians to answer questions, because you should be asking them extremely tough questions for which there is no simple solution.

"I'm gonna build a big wall and make Mexicans pay for it" is not the mark of a genius but rather someone who hasn't thought it through.

And Bush and Hillary are the same.  They follow the political winds and do whatever the public wants, and then we blame it all on them when our stupid ideas inevitably fail. 
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: euro60 on September 25, 2015, 09:59:50 AM
Breaking news (from the NY Times):


Speaker John Boehner Will Resign From Congress


By JENNIFER STEINHAUER

SEPT. 25, 2015


WASHINGTON — Speaker John A. Boehner, under intense pressure from conservatives in his party, will resign one of the most powerful positions in government and give up his House seat at the end of October, throwing Congress into chaos as it tries to avert a government shutdown.

Mr. Boehner made the announcement in an emotional meeting with his fellow Republicans on Friday morning.

The Ohio representative had struggled from almost the moment he took the speaker’s gavel in 2011 to manage the challenges of divided government and to hold together his fractious and increasingly conservative Republican members.

Speaker John A. Boehner at a news conference on Capitol Hill this month. Mr. Boehner is again confronted with a rank-and-file uprising by Republican lawmakers who want to end financing of Planned Parenthood.
 
Most recently, Mr. Boehner was trying to craft a solution to keep the government open through the rest of the year, but was under pressure from a growing base of conservatives who told him that they would not vote for a bill that did not defund Planned Parenthood. Several of those members were on a path to remove Mr. Boehner as speaker, though their ability to do so was far from certain.

Mr. Boehner’s surprise announcement came just a day after Pope Francis visited the Capitol, the fulfillment of a 20-year dream for Mr. Boehner of having a pontiff address Congress. He had a private audience with Francis before the pope’s address to a joint meeting of Congress.


The conservative Republicans are outright insane IMHO.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: dirk on September 25, 2015, 10:15:50 AM
Jesus, as much as I can't stand Boehner, we are totally screwed now. Nothing that is reasonable is going to come out of the House now. He at least tried to work with the Dems a little when his own party went off the rails (which was fairly often). Now we are going to get someone incredibly hardcore in there who will refuse to compromise at all.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Kwyjibo on September 25, 2015, 11:55:44 AM
Yep, gonna be painful.  But maybe, just maybe, the pain will serve as an object lesson.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Drjohnrock on September 25, 2015, 05:57:37 PM
If the GOP picks some tea party lunatic like Thomas Massie as Speaker...well, it won't be pretty.  At all.

Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: dirk on September 25, 2015, 07:14:08 PM
The biggest problem is that they really can't be voted out of the house. The districts are so gerrymandered at this point it would take an act of god for the republicans to lose the house. In 2014, 50.59% of the people voted for a democrat for the house but the republican ended up with 54% of the seats. They are going to have to do something REALLY bad to lose control of the house at this point.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on September 26, 2015, 02:53:04 AM
It's not like anyone with half a brain couldn't have seen this coming for oh.... THE LAST 15 YEARS.  And it's not like they didn't warn you.

I don't think it's much of a loss, since Boehner was going to be completely ineffective anyway.  When Cantor was there, he completely ignored his own speaker.  And then they booted Cantor for not being conservative enough.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on December 30, 2015, 03:35:27 PM
I'm starting to feel like I'd rather have Trump win the primary than Cruz.

I feel like Trump is less likely to win.  But even if he does, I think a lot of the stuff he says is just for effect.  Like, you're not really going to get Mexico to build a wall on the borders.  I feel like 25% of the stuff he says he knows is so stupid he wouldn't even try it.  And at least another 25-50% is so stupid it would get voted down.  I also just don't feel like he'd put the work in to really push stuff through.  He would just be very ineffectual, which is better than evil.

Cruz though... Cruz could actually get a fair amount of not just stupid/evil stuff done.

It's kind of depressing to think about either one.

Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on January 19, 2016, 08:32:40 PM
So... I met a weirdo today who all of a sudden in a conversation about the weather or something trivial like that just launched into a rant about how ADHD/autism does not exist and is simply a result of bad parenting and corrupt doctors and spoiled kids and all that.

It literally came out of nowhere, so I was taken aback.  I tried to make a joke out of it like "Well, then it's good to know your kids are well-vaccinated then."  But then she went into another fit about how vaccines are a tool of the liberal government and her kids would never get them.

But.. I mean, the knock against vaccines is that they (supposedly) cause ADHD and autism.  How can you accuse vaccines of causing a disease you don't believe actually exists?

Also, guess who she's voting for?
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Kwyjibo on January 19, 2016, 09:28:46 PM
Also, guess who she's voting for?

Based on all that I wouldn't be surprised to learn that she's going to write in for one of the Duggar's, or something equally absurd.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Butter on January 20, 2016, 08:09:30 AM
O'Malley?
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: euro60 on February 01, 2016, 10:05:16 AM
The Iowa caucuses are upon us! TONIGHT!

Apparently Iowa (or at least parts of Iowa) may be in for a blizzard later today into this evening, which would be good news for Hillary on the Democratic side, and Cruz on the Republican side.

Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Kwyjibo on February 01, 2016, 10:42:20 AM
I half want Trump to flame out tonight/soon.  On the other hand, I don't think he can get elected, and I'd rather him keep up the charade as long as possible if it conflicts with other campaigns on the Republican side gaining ground.  I may have to consider moving to Windsor if Cruz is elected president.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: notoriouspbake on February 01, 2016, 11:18:01 AM
I half want Trump to flame out tonight/soon.  On the other hand, I don't think he can get elected, and I'd rather him keep up the charade as long as possible if it conflicts with other campaigns on the Republican side gaining ground. I may have to consider moving to Windsor if Cruz is elected president.

or trump. it's not that far for me.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Kwyjibo on February 01, 2016, 01:05:39 PM
Trump might be a reason to flea the continent.  Maybe I'm being foolish but I'm not fretting over him, I don't believe he has any chance in the general election.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: euro60 on February 01, 2016, 01:49:20 PM
I don't believe he has any chance in the general election.
If I recall, 10 months ago that was the exact same thing what people were saying about Trump winning the Republican nomination.

Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Kwyjibo on February 01, 2016, 01:51:15 PM
I don't honestly think he has a chance of that either.  I guess Iowa will tell.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: euro60 on February 01, 2016, 01:58:10 PM
I don't honestly think he has a chance of that either.  I guess Iowa will tell.
Really? Wow.

Here is what the professional gamblers think of the situation. They don't care about Trump. They just want to make money.

2016 US Presidential Election – Republican Presidential Nominee

Odds as of February 1 at Bovada

Donald Trump -230
Marco Rubio +225
Ted Cruz +1000
Jeb Bush +1400
Chris Christie +4000
John Kasich +4000
Paul Ryan +15000
Ben Carson +15000
Carly Fiorina +20000
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: jcarwash31 on February 01, 2016, 02:03:42 PM
I don't honestly think he has a chance of that either.  I guess Iowa will tell.
Iowa was wrong the last 2 times. In 2012 Santorum edged out Romney and in 2008 Huckabee won, McCain was 4th behind Huckabee, Romney, and Fred Thompson.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: euro60 on February 09, 2016, 10:59:59 PM
Very happy to see that Kasich came in second in tonite's Republican NH primary. He is the real deal, and IMHO the best of the Republican candidates. I hope he can build on tonite's results (although I'm not holding my breath)
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: dirk on February 09, 2016, 11:18:14 PM
Kasich is probably the best of the Republican candidates. He's still terrible, but he is the least terrible of the crap they are throwing up there. When you have a whole buffet of crazy, you have to take what you can get.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on February 10, 2016, 09:34:05 AM
Yeah, I don't think Kasich is all that great but when you look at who else is running he's relatively palatable.

The mainstream GOP has to coalesce around someone, and Kasich seems like a safe candidate. Kasich is a little sleazy, and I think the GOP might find he's not nearly as fiscally competent or as loyal to conservative values as they expect.  But in general, I don't think he's going to do anything too crazy.  And not crazy is the best we can hope for at this time.  The same is true of Hillary Clinton.  We discussed that before. 

Sanders is interesting.  I'm okay with him, but frankly I would think most of the country should be a little uncomfortable with how left-leaning he is... and I wouldn't even argue that much against them.  He's not crazy like Trump, but he's out there a ways politically. 

Thing is they hate Clinton so much that I think there is actually a good chunk of right-leaning people who would vote for Sanders over Clinton even though she is much more of a centrist.

Odd thing about Trump is he really isn't all that conservative.  You look at his history, he's hardly a tea party guy.  They should be very suspicious of the dude who has taken tons of government money, has hardly lived or talked the Christian lifestyle, etc.  But he hates on the right people, and his supporters feed off of that.

It's so strange that people vote for candidates based on who they attack instead of what they  stand for. 
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Dan on February 10, 2016, 11:45:48 AM
The thing about Kasich is... if he does win the primary, then he's likely to win Ohio in the full election. And considering that Ohio has successfully voted in the president every election since 1964 (or something like that) he then has a good chance of winning the whole thing.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: euro60 on February 10, 2016, 02:59:54 PM
Dan, very true. Ohio is the ONLY state that has voted for the victor in the past 12 presidential elections (meaning starting in 1964).

Given that Kasich won re-election as governor in a landslide in 2014 (64% vs. 33%), I'd say chances are very likely he'll carry Ohio if he is the Republican nominee.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on February 10, 2016, 04:13:16 PM
Ohio does have a decent chunk of electoral votes but it's not inherently super-strategic.  Ohio ends up votes for the winner most often because they are a fairly accurate sample of random independent voters.

Ohio doesn't cause people to win, they are just correlated with winners.  And if Ohio just votes for Kasich because he's from Ohio then they are no longer an accurate sample of independent voters.

It is a swing state with 18 electoral votes, so grabbing OH does have some strategic value.  But not if VA, CO, NC, FL, and the rest to come along.

Having said all that, I think Kasich if he wasn't from OH would still win OH.  So would any moderate Republican.  So in that sense the OH barometer is still working.  Kasich reflects the mood of the electorate. 

An electorate that unfortunately continues to have 0 understanding of the economy.  That's the crazy twist in all of this.  The "moderate" candidates actually the most extreme.  Because they are preserving the status quo of spending way too much and not taxing nearly enough.  Which is extremely stupid.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on February 11, 2016, 11:01:23 PM
When did "moderate" become a pseudonym for "selfish prick?"

So tired of people talking to me like "Yeah, I am conservative but I am not extreme.  I am for gay rights and women's rights."  As luck would have it, you happen to be a lesbian.  All your departures from your party of choice amazingly coincide with the exact things that benefit you.

I'm non-partisan in this.  Liberals do the same thing.  "We should tax the rich!!!"  "How about the middle class?"  "Naw."

I will at least tip my cap to tea party people on this. Sure, they twist the facts to make it seem like they are oppressed rather than them just wanting more.  But at least they are pretty open about the fact that they are looking out for themselves.  They are for old white Christians and screw everyone else.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Dan on February 12, 2016, 09:52:24 AM
It's the politics version of NIMBYism
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: dirk on February 14, 2016, 10:58:29 AM
It will be interesting to see how far the Republican try to push off Obama's nomination to replace Scalia. There is almost a full year before the next president takes office and then however long it will take to nominate and approve the nomination. I think there is no way they are able to hold off until the election and keep any credibility at all as long as Obama nominates someone not too far left (which I don't think he will). The longer they push this bad, the worse they are going to look to the independent voters (of course they will look awesome to their base) and it could end up being a major issue in the election cycle if they push it that far.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Drjohnrock on February 14, 2016, 01:48:53 PM
It will be interesting to see how far the Republican try to push off Obama's nomination to replace Scalia. There is almost a full year before the next president takes office and then however long it will take to nominate and approve the nomination. I think there is no way they are able to hold off until the election and keep any credibility at all as long as Obama nominates someone not too far left (which I don't think he will). The longer they push this bad, the worse they are going to look to the independent voters (of course they will look awesome to their base) and it could end up being a major issue in the election cycle if they push it that far.

I agree.  Democrats could very convincingly point to any blocking of the confirmation process as further proof of Republican scorched earth extremism and why they aren't worthy of holding office--if they play it right.  Chances are, they won't.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on February 15, 2016, 11:09:34 AM
Went back and read through a bunch of SCOTUS decisions last night and today.

If Scalia had retired in say, 1995 I think he might have deserved to be written about the way people are writing about him now.  Controversial, bold, but principled.  Sometimes a little mean-spirited but often humorous, a sharp guy.  I would argue the bad outweighed the goods but it's a least possible to argue either side and to respect the guy even if you disagree.

But it went really went downhill after that.  And seriously, everything after 2000 is just an absolute trainwreck.  Just super, super terrible.

I can cut him some slack on Bush v Gore.  I still rank that as probably the worst S. Ct. ruling in my lifetime.  But he wasn't the only one who ruled that way.  And some of the dissent was quite awful as well.  That was just a case where everyone unfortunately let their politics get the best of them. 

But all those gay rights cases... it's an easy slam dunk for Scalia.  There is nothing in the Constitution that explicitly says anything about gays.  The 14th Amendment was clearly intended to address slavery, and it's hardly a stretch to say that the drafters were almost certainly not to keen on gays.  Couldn't ask for a better platform on which to expound your principles.

But Scalia so clearly just HATED gays that he wasn't happy with that and had to fill his opinions with snide and hateful remarks to "flagpole sitting."  His trash-talking jokes all turned into just mean, illogical, crazy rants.  He barely even paid lip service to orginalism or expansion of state rights. 

If you ask me, the biggest expansion of Federal powers has been via the Interstate Commerce Clause.  And the worst case about expanding Federal power via ICC was not Obamacare.  It was Raich.  That was the ruling that opened the doors.  And Scalia voted with the majority on Raich because he couldn't stand the idea of pot-smoking hippies.  If you want to read a pretty good, principled stance and why the ICC clause opens up all sorts of potential abuse, and a decent defense in general of judicial restraint, state rights, and originalism, read Clarence Thomas's dissent. 

Not a fan of Thomas in large part because I think originalism is stupid, but if you dig that sort of thing, he's the one who has assumed the mantle for the last decade.

Which is the other strange thing about all the kvetching over how Obama's just going to appoint another minority/mega-liberal.  Probably the most sympathetic ear (other than Thomas) to Scalia's legal thinking is Sotomayer.  You know, the one appointed by the Communist black guy to stack the court and also because she is hispanic, a woman, and supposedly gay.  So if it weren't for all these horrible supposed minority-based decisions, you'd have zero support.

I think it's also kind of interesting that most of the legal criticism of Scalia in recent years has actually come from conservative scholars.  It's almost like the liberal guys are just shaking their heads going "Whoa... this guy is just totally nuts but thankfully no one pays him much attention so let's not poke the mad dog with a stick."

But Posner (who I love) absolutely eviscerated Scalia.  Especially his holding in Heller.  And rightly so.  Eugene Volokh (who I don't love but do somewhat respect) has also been extremely critical at times.  It's important for those guys because Scalia is massively screwing it up for them with his nonsensical diatribes.

Thing is, Heller seems to be getting a lot of play in the Scalia obits.  Like "This is a mark of how influential he was.  Even his critics used 'originalism' in their arguments."  But it wasn't because they decided originalism was a decent viewpoint.  They were simply pointing how insanely stupid Scalia's argument was in light of his own philosophy.  Using the framework of someone's argument to point out their massive hypocrisy is not the same as accepting the validity of the framework.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: va-vacious on February 15, 2016, 11:39:43 AM
I love your legal thoughts, ZK! Can you (please) be on the Supreme Court? Pretty please?
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Butter on February 16, 2016, 08:38:52 AM
I agree.  Democrats could very convincingly point to any blocking of the confirmation process as further proof of Republican scorched earth extremism and why they aren't worthy of holding office--if they play it right.  Chances are, they won't.

Why start now?
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Dan on February 16, 2016, 03:27:08 PM
Ohio does have a decent chunk of electoral votes but it's not inherently super-strategic.  Ohio ends up votes for the winner most often because they are a fairly accurate sample of random independent voters.

Ohio doesn't cause people to win, they are just correlated with winners.  And if Ohio just votes for Kasich because he's from Ohio then they are no longer an accurate sample of independent voters.

It is a swing state with 18 electoral votes, so grabbing OH does have some strategic value.  But not if VA, CO, NC, FL, and the rest to come along.

Having said all that, I think Kasich if he wasn't from OH would still win OH.  So would any moderate Republican.  So in that sense the OH barometer is still working.  Kasich reflects the mood of the electorate. 

An electorate that unfortunately continues to have 0 understanding of the economy.  That's the crazy twist in all of this.  The "moderate" candidates actually the most extreme.  Because they are preserving the status quo of spending way too much and not taxing nearly enough.  Which is extremely stupid.


Back to this topic...there's an interesting article on the Times right now about Ohio.

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/02/16/opinion/campaign-stops/let-ohio-vote-first.html

And there's a twist in the middle that I didn't expect. Ohio doesn't want it.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on March 01, 2016, 11:57:50 PM
Social justice always, ALWAYS comes first y'all.  Because see, the thing is... if you don't first have social equality then you don't have a free market in the first place.  Economics 101.  In order to have a free market you first need to eliminate artificial barriers to entry. 

Lowering the tax rate on rich people while banning Muslims from participating is a massive barrier to entry.  So basically, the exact opposite of a free market.

So if you claim to be a libertarian and your concern in this election is the tax rate or Fed Reserve policy, please get your head out of your ass.  Thanks.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: euro60 on March 10, 2016, 10:54:18 AM
Anyone else getting excited about the primaries on Tuesday? I know I'm voting!

Just saw that Trump is coming to Cincinnati on Sunday at the Convention Center. What a circus that will be.

Where is Kasich? Shouldn't he be visiting here before Tuesday?
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: frizgolf on March 13, 2016, 09:16:51 PM
Anyone else getting excited about the primaries on Tuesday? I know I'm voting!

Just saw that Trump is coming to Cincinnati on Sunday at the Convention Center. What a circus that will be.

Where is Kasich? Shouldn't he be visiting here before Tuesday?
I'll be right there with ya.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Drjohnrock on March 13, 2016, 10:50:38 PM
I voted early, yesterday at the Board of Elections.  I had never done early voting before, except by mailing in absentee ballots at times. 
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Kwyjibo on March 14, 2016, 08:29:42 AM
We voted on Saturday.  Beats suffering the crowds tomorrow.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on March 14, 2016, 03:23:26 PM
Anyone who claims Trump's policies are completely unrealistic and then votes for Bernie Sanders needs to look in a mirror. 

Of course Sanders isn't a race-baiting jerk turning the election into a reality TV show to suit his own ego.  So that little difference makes him about 1,000 times better.

But yeah, policy wise they are mirror images.  Their ideas are completely impractical and mostly stupid as well.  In fact if anything, tuition-free college is less likely to work than getting Mexico building a wall to keep out immigrants.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Kwyjibo on March 14, 2016, 03:29:38 PM
Agreed, I would like to see Bernie even try to get the tax increases through the house and senate that would be required to fund his policies.  Gridlock.  Denied.  Four years of stalemate.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: dirk on March 14, 2016, 04:29:07 PM
I think the difference between the 2 is that Sanders can't get his policies done because congress won't work with him. Trump's policies are more in the category of "that is just impossible". Things like tracking Muslims, somehow forcing companies to bring jobs back to America, and trying to do away with the truth being a defense for libel and slander are just non-starters because of the constitution. Sanders can get something done because he can compromise and get something from congress at least.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on March 14, 2016, 05:06:26 PM
I would say that Congress not working with Sanders provides a convenient excuse to avoid having to acknowledge the fact that Sanders' policies won't work because they're flat-out stupid.

The compromise thing, yeah.  But I don't think it's because people want Sanders to compromise with Congress and get something done.  They want Sanders to NOT budge and veto the crap out of everything and thus force Congress to compromise with him.

I think the Sanders appeal is based off fear that the country is going off the rails in a scary, racist way.  Sanders is an attempt to at least pseudo-balance that pull.  If Trump and the scary right-wing faction of the GOP weren't taking over the Republican party, then Sanders wouldn't have had a chance.

The difference is that I think most Trump supporters actually believe he accomplish his proposals.  And just as frighteningly, they actually think they're a good idea.  Sanders is more of a figurehead where the left feels like it needs to take a stand.  Which is how a lot of this originally started in the far-right, except that as it went on the GOP voters started actually believe those crazy ideas.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: euro60 on March 14, 2016, 10:42:32 PM
As someone who tends to lean GOP, I have to disagree about what you say about Trump, in that he is NOT a Republican, on so many levels. Frankly, I feel that the GOP has been hijacked by Trump (and the Tea Party, but that's another story). And of course there is nothing in the 'legal' or 'voter' sense to prevent that from happening. I could declare myself a candidate for the Democrats tomorrow, if I wanted to, even though I am not a Democrat. I hope you understand what I mean.

I suspect that if Trump wins the Republican nomination, which at this point still seems likely, he'll garner quite a few votes from people that would traditionally vote Democrat. And he'll lose TONS of people that tend to vote Republican, like myself.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on March 15, 2016, 01:11:42 AM
He hasn't hijacked the party.  I get that for reasonable conservatives such as yourself, he doesn't at all represent you.  But it's the entire party that no longer represents your views, not Trump.  Trump is Republican.  You are not.

Facts are facts.  Trump is running as a Republican and he's going to win.  And it's not looking close.  Moreover, all the other candidates who lost are endorsing him.  How can they be like "Trump is a total racist who encourages violence and a disaster for the country... yeah, I'm voting for him."

People act like oh, if only the "moderates" hadn't split their votes between candidates Trump would not have won.  But it's not true.  Trump's competitors were like, Ben Carson (who unfortunately for him is black) and Ted Cruz.  So it was the crazy vote that was split, not the other way around. Every Republican would have fallen all over themselves trying to get Trump's constituency.  He just got them first.  Just look at how far right McCain and Romney had to go in their bids.  And how much crap they are both taking now for being RINO's or whatever.  Kasich couldn't win this thing in a million years.  He may not even win Ohio.

You are right that Trump is dangerous in the sense that he will capture a decent chunk of racist, redneck pro-union Democrats who think foreigners are taking their jobs.  And possibly mobilize a section of "independent" or non-voters who are conservative in view but don't reliably vote GOP.  But the massive share of his votes in the general election will be coming from Republicans, without any doubt.

There was a poll about the banning Muslims thing after one of the early primaries.  80% of Trump supporters were for it.  BUT also, 60% of non-Trump GOP primary voters were also for it.  What does that tell you?

Republicans haven't represented their historical ideals for going on at least ten years now.  And they've been drifting this way the entire time.  Anyone with half a brain could see this coming.  It's no accident that Trump is winning.  He hasn't divided or hijacked the party, he's united it.  Bush and Kasich weren't the tentpoles, Trump is.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: euro60 on March 15, 2016, 10:43:04 PM
Well, if nothing else, my man Kasich won the Ohio Republican primary handily tonight, but looking at the other states, it looks like Trump is going to win the other four <sigh>

ZK, I've done some serious thinking about your argument that Trump didn't hijack the Republican party, and now IS what the Republican party is/wants to be. I'm not sure that I agree with that, although one cannot dispute with the way the votes are going. And so, regardless of whether Trump had hijacked the Republican Party or not (although I still feel he has), I guess you are right that I am out of line with what I used to believe the Republican party and values to be. That is one sad state of affair, in my book.

As a complete aside, I went to vote this morning on my way to work, and (since becoming a US citizen in 2008 and voting in every election, off year and all, since then), this was the busiest that I've ever seen my polling place here in Blue Ash (suburban Cincinnati).
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Kwyjibo on March 16, 2016, 01:02:04 PM
Sanders can get something done because he can compromise and get something from congress at least.

Can he though?  Everything that he's going to want to do is going to require funding, and expansion of government.  Congress isn't going to go for that, not even a watered down version.  So I don't see how his presidency looks any different than a Clinton presidency.

The whole Bernie/HRC argument is silly, really.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Butter on March 16, 2016, 01:54:31 PM
The whole Bernie/HRC argument is silly, really.

It's irrelevant is what it is.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Butter on March 16, 2016, 01:56:40 PM
The Republicans haven't been the Republicans for quite some time, I would agree, not in the 80's/90's sense.  But Trump is more populist than anything, right?  A voice for the voiceless?  For those who feel that both parties have abandoned them?  For those who feel that social issues are really taking the country to hell in a handbasket?  He is subverting the Republican party from the inside, and it kinda seems like they don't know what to do about it, which is surprising.  They ignored him too long, and now it's too late to make him just go away.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on March 16, 2016, 04:25:48 PM
For all the various stuff said about him, Trump is pretty much a one issue candidate.

I think you can pretty much break it down to about 40% or so of the country is pretty racist, and Trump has 75% of that vote, which will rise as other the other GOP candidates drop out.  But that gives him roughly 30% of the population as a base.

Of the 30% or so of the population that serves as Trump's base, probably 40% are traditional Republicans who have drifted right and gone crazy over time due to Fox News, Rush, etc. 

And another 40% are the opposite-- people who were crazy and not party-tied and maybe typically don't vote but who have been brought into the GOP as it's drifted right.

And 20% are just crazy, angry people who entirely outside the process-- could have been non-voters, Democrats or whatever who have just been waiting for a racist they could finally get behind.

That's how the Republican Primaries went.  Cruz vs Trump was nothing more than "Is your bigotry more accurately described as religious or racist?"  Turns out, "racist" won by a hair but there was more than enough overlap between religious bigotry and racism to satisfy most.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on March 16, 2016, 07:49:24 PM
Merrick Garland is an awesome justice who probably should have been appointed years ago.  Although tbf, most of the recent appointees have had strong qualifications and yes that includes Roberts.  I'd say that since Thomas, they've all been good.  Even Meirs who didn't gat in, I thought was okay.  Not that qualified on account of not being a judge.  But if you want to go outside the box and not have all career justices, I can buy the argument for it.  She was about as qualified as anyone outside the strict courtroom realm could be, and there is merit to having one outsider in the court.

But Garland is the most qualified person.  He's not even that liberal.  And he's hardly an "activist" judge, if you knew what that means, which the idiotic general populace does apparently does not.  His holdings are generally narrow in scope.

If you are conservative, you caught a nice break here. If Scalia croaks 1 year earlier, Garland would have sailed through the process.

Please understand how the whole separation of powers thing  works.  They get appointed for life, then replaced upon death or retirement precisely to avoid the political process.  If you think that appointments should be tied to the election cycle, you clearly don't get it.

Also, you are pretty much saying "No, we don't want the best qualified person.  We want the person who agrees with me."  Which would pretty much be the least qualified person because you all of your concepts about law and the constitution are wrong.

There are only two ways this can go if you wait.  One is that Trump appoints the next guy.  And Trump doesn't know jackshit.  Also, if you think Trump is going to appoint a conservative, you are dead wrong.  He will appoint someone who won't stand in his way.  A weakened judicial branch is in no one's interest. Especially if you dislike big government since it is the least political branch and the only one of the three that still has to have a place even in a Libertarian society.

The other option is that Clinton gets to make the appointment.  And you might not catch a break again and end up with a more liberal person.  Or Sanders, which might be even worse.  And what if you lose the Senate?  Then you're really screwed.

So stop being such complete asshats and just confirm.  It's a win for all non-stupid people in America.  It's actually a win even for the stupid people, they are just too stupid to get it.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: euro60 on March 16, 2016, 10:35:57 PM
I heard on NPR that, supposedly and through the back channels, the Republicans have told Obama that if Hillary wins the presidential election in November, they will confirm Garland in the duck lame session after the election, but that if Trump wins, they will not confirm him.

But one thing is clear: there will be no confirmation before November.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: dirk on March 16, 2016, 11:10:01 PM
What really should happen of course is the Republicans consider him on his merits and he gets the seat, but of course that won't happen. What I would like to see happen is if the Republicans sit on him and lose in November, Obama pulls his nomination and replaces him with someone much more liberal. The republicans should not be rewarded for not considering the nominee and holding up the process. Of course Obama has too much integrity to do that, but in an ideal world, that is exactly what would happen.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on March 17, 2016, 12:05:48 AM
They don't even have the balls to not consider him on his merits and just vote him down for political reasons.

None of them have the guts or intelligence to act at all.  It's disheartening.  It's amazing to me how they can't figure out that purposely forcing disasters and blaming it on "government" doesn't work once you are part of the government.  This is how guys like Christie and Rubio go from heroes to weak, establishment RINO traitors in the span of a year. 

If Clinton wins, they're screwed.  Because then they will have to fall all over themselves trying to get Garland confirmed before Clinton nominates someone even less palatable.  And then they will of course be exposed as massive hypocrites and part of the left-wing establishment.

If Trump wins, they're even more screwed.  Because Trump is going to attack Congress no matter what they do, because that's how he scores points. If they confirm his guy, he'll take all the credit for it and blame Congress for having the chutzpah to even believe they somehow should have a say in the matter.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on March 17, 2016, 12:33:04 AM
While I'm at it, this whole "John Kerry won't call it genocide" thing is another example.

Of course ISIL are committing atrocities on a mass scale.  Are you willing to send in ground troops and lose a bunch of American lives to stop it?  The Republicans have been on an anti-war kick since Obama took office.

So then how do we look if we say "Yeah, this is totally genocide" and then refuse to do anything about it?  Like a bunch of cowardly idiots.  Which is basically how all of the GOP come across when they talk about how horrible Trump is and then turn around and endorse him.

It seems rather quaint now that just mere months ago conservatives were all up in arms about Obama sending drones and killing Muslim civilians.  Seems like nowadays they'd be quite happy to just nuke the entire region off the face of the Earth.

Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: va-vacious on March 18, 2016, 10:03:14 AM
I need to see what positions my senators are holding on the confirmation. Two Republicans, so I'm not very hopeful that they are going to be sane. I'm going to have to start making my opinions known about them doing their jobs if they won't, though!

As ZK says, the justice branch is supposed to be independent of parties, and that is why it isn't tied to elections. Though the liberal side of the court is going whole hog with decisions, so maybe that will scare the foot-draggers into action. I feel like we need a national mother to go in to COngress and tell them to act like the adults they are and not the third graders they pretend to be. And that's insulting to third-graders. We teach our children they are supposed to be fair (and kind, but that is a losing battle) but for some reason that isn't supposed to be applied to everyone?
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Kwyjibo on March 18, 2016, 02:51:05 PM
I feel like we need a national mother to go in to COngress and tell them to act like the adults they are and not the third graders they pretend to be. And that's insulting to third-graders.

Hilary would be glad to be the national mother...
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: va-vacious on March 21, 2016, 08:57:35 PM
yes, but no one is going to listen to her!
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: euro60 on March 21, 2016, 10:34:49 PM
yes, but no one is going to listen to her!
And why is that? because Congress is a collection of buffoons? or Hillary is not worth anyone's trust? or both?
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: frizgolf on March 23, 2016, 08:03:48 AM
Well, if nothing else, my man Kasich won the Ohio Republican primary handily tonight, but looking at the other states, it looks like Trump is going to win the other four <sigh>

ZK, I've done some serious thinking about your argument that Trump didn't hijack the Republican party, and now IS what the Republican party is/wants to be. I'm not sure that I agree with that, although one cannot dispute with the way the votes are going. And so, regardless of whether Trump had hijacked the Republican Party or not (although I still feel he has), I guess you are right that I am out of line with what I used to believe the Republican party and values to be. That is one sad state of affair, in my book.

As a complete aside, I went to vote this morning on my way to work, and (since becoming a US citizen in 2008 and voting in every election, off year and all, since then), this was the busiest that I've ever seen my polling place here in Blue Ash (suburban Cincinnati).

I agree with ZK. The Republican party has left its voters and veered off too far right. Hell, Hillary is farther right than Eisenhower or Goldwater on some issues.
If Hillz played her cards right she could fold some old school Reagan Republicans into her portfolio.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Dan on March 23, 2016, 10:48:15 AM
I like calling her Hillz.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: va-vacious on March 24, 2016, 02:40:59 PM

And why is that? because Congress is a collection of buffoons? or Hillary is not worth anyone's trust? or both?

60% because Congress is a collection of buffoons
25% institutional mysogyny
15% she's a politician

These are totally real statistics by the way.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Dan on March 24, 2016, 03:02:03 PM
a collection of buffoons

It's amazing, isn't it? Basically, if someone is running for office they have to be well put together, a great speaker, convincing, and generally have good PR to get elected. They have to speak to all these people, and if it's a US Senate seat, it could potentially be a whole state worth of people. I would imagine that to convince the masses to elect you quite a bit of intelligence would be involved too.

These are real people who have a lot going for them. And then, when they get to Congress, they turn into blathering idiots who act like babies. What happens there? How does the switchover occur?
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: va-vacious on March 24, 2016, 03:33:15 PM
I pretty much believe anyone who wants the job is not someone the people should want in the job. (Especially at the national level)
Of course, that doesn't work, does it?

You're right, though. How does this disconnect happen? Is it because they become so insulated from the real world? I think it was Edwards who was pilloried for not knowing how much a gallon of milk cost.

On a semi-related note, is Paul Ryan trying to get himself nominated for President? He didn't "want" Speaker of the House, and ended up there, he's out there saying he doesn't want to be a nominee but his name gets thrown around. Obviously, it worked for him the first time, but will it work again? And does he want it?
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Butter on March 24, 2016, 03:35:47 PM
I feel like we need a national mother to go in to COngress and tell them to act like the adults they are and not the third graders they pretend to be. And that's insulting to third-graders.

Hilary would be glad to be the national mother...
yes, but no one is going to listen to her!
And why is that? because Congress is a collection of buffoons? or Hillary is not worth anyone's trust? or both?

That's the only way you would know she's a real mom is if no one listens to her.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on March 30, 2016, 09:16:34 PM
I am somewhat confused by the backlash against Trump's abortion comments from pro-life conservatives.

If abortion is murder, then isn't the woman who voluntarily subjects herself to the procedure an accessory to murder?  If I buy drugs from a drug dealer, I still get punished.  If you hire a hitman to kill someone, you still get charged.

I don't find the stance that extreme.  I am not saying you get the death sentence, but why is the idea of any punishment off the table?  Make it a misdemeanor and send them to sex ed class. You have a mens rea in that the woman intended to abort the fetus, you have actus rea in that they called up or visited someone to get it done.  It feels like to me there in't a problem.  It is a premeditated act.  I mean if there is duress or forced consent in some bizarre case like that then those are valid affirmative defenses just like they would be any other crime.  You could plead insanity, whatever.

You can still carve out exceptions for legal abortions, too. Prior to third trimester, rape, incest whatever... that could just be deemed legal, so neither the doctor or woman gets punished.  But IF under whatever circumstances you decide it is wrong, why shouldn't the woman be held partially responsible?

It just seems an odd stance.  You could have a woman with plenty of money, who voluntarily hooks up one night without availing herself of contraception, and then doesn't want her boyfriend to know she cheated, and gets an abortion.  I'm hard pressed to call that person a "victim" yet there is no punishment.  But a drug addict from a broken home with undiagnosed bipolar disorder steals $50 because they are on the streets and it is like mandatory sentencing give that guy 10 years!

I'm not convinced about the pro-life stance in general.  I'm just saying, if I were I would be in favor of punishment of some kind for those that get abortions and not just those who perform them.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Markalot on May 03, 2016, 09:44:20 PM
For some reason the last time I hit randomville I got a down message and site for sale.  Must have been my mistake.

So here we are, Trump is the presumptive republican nominee which is bat shit crazy.  I will be finally changing my party affiliation to independent, my feeling is if the republicans wanted to keep their party they would have kicked Trump out and forced him to run as an independent.  Toss this election but keep (maybe) the better members.

Crazy, I just wich it was fun but Hillary is such a bad candidate I fear she won't win.  She has my vote.

And don't get me started with 'free college' Sanders.  :D
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: euro60 on May 03, 2016, 10:40:23 PM
Who could have believed this outcome for the Republican primaries 11 months ago? It's  surreal. As a pro-business moderate Republican myself, I can't make heads or tails of it. Trump's views on trade are completely against my own. What a shame that Hillary has disavowed the TPP deal, which she once pronounced as the "gold standard" of trade deals. I may not be able to vote for either, frankly. I may write in "markalot" as my presidential vote  LOL
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: dirk on May 03, 2016, 11:13:11 PM
Unless Bernie can pull off the upset, I predict this election will have the lowest voter turnout of any election in recent history. Hillary just doesn't inspire anyone and Trump is, well, Trump. I see a bunch of people just not bothering if those are the 2 choices.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on May 04, 2016, 01:01:50 AM
Who could have believed this outcome for the Republican primaries 11 months ago? It's  surreal. As a pro-business moderate Republican myself, I can't make heads or tails of it. Trump's views on trade are completely against my own. What a shame that Hillary has disavowed the TPP deal, which she once pronounced as the "gold standard" of trade deals. I may not be able to vote for either, frankly. I may write in "markalot" as my presidential vote  LOL

What about Gary Johnson?  It would be a suitable protest against the GOP while not endorsing the Dems.  You'd also be doing the Libertarian Party a solid by voting for a third party but also not voting for any of the other nut jobs they have running or have run in the past.

I'm tempted to vote for him myself, but I think Trump/Cruz are way too dangerous to take a chance, and I'm not as politically opposed to Clinton's policies as you likely are. 
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on May 04, 2016, 01:18:19 AM
Unless Bernie can pull off the upset, I predict this election will have the lowest voter turnout of any election in recent history. Hillary just doesn't inspire anyone and Trump is, well, Trump. I see a bunch of people just not bothering if those are the 2 choices.

I doubt Sanders would bring in the vote.  He's the left wing Trump.  Granted a much more likeable, probably well-meaning Trump.  Despite the low favorability of both Trump and Clinton, they will get voters out simply because a decent chunk of the population hates one or the other enough to vote for the other one.

Trump vs Sanders is like... Who cares?  Neither one will get anything done, and their policies are completely unworkable anyway.  They would bring in voters who normally don't vote because they are message/statement candidates, but not enough.  And you would lose mainstreamers in greater proportion.

I feel like my dad is the epitome of this.  First choice-- Sanders.  Second choice--Trump.  I would classify him as a moderate.  That don't make no kind of sense.  He hasn't actually voted in 30 years because he is STILL pissed about John Anderson losing.  He won't this election, either.  He hates politicians and government too much to ever participate.  His no-vote is a stronger statement of his beliefs as an indictment of the system than a vote for an outside candidate.  Or he thinks so, anyway.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on May 04, 2016, 01:52:49 AM
For some reason the last time I hit randomville I got a down message and site for sale.  Must have been my mistake.

So here we are, Trump is the presumptive republican nominee which is bat shit crazy.  I will be finally changing my party affiliation to independent, my feeling is if the republicans wanted to keep their party they would have kicked Trump out and forced him to run as an independent.  Toss this election but keep (maybe) the better members.

Crazy, I just wich it was fun but Hillary is such a bad candidate I fear she won't win.  She has my vote.

And don't get me started with 'free college' Sanders.  :D

The thing I find most depressing about the GOP aside from well...everything is that even when they denounce Trump, they merely denounce his image.

They don't criticize his actual policies.  It's more like you know, he doesn't present a good image.  Or he doesn't attract minorities/moderates.  As if the problem were merely Trump's inability to properly sell his ideas instead of the fact that most of the population views the ideas themselves as being fundamentally stupid.

They also seemingly fail to grasp that people dislike Cruz and his policies as much as Trump. Possibly even more.  He's only looking slightly better on the surface because he hasn't gotten as much coverage.

A moderate Republican would have beaten Clinton in a landslide.  Those moderates are the real "Silent Majority."  And it's not the left wing media that silenced them, it's the GOP.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on May 04, 2016, 01:59:51 AM
Anyway, in more light-hearted news. Some of you may have caught this, but George Mason University floated a plan to rename their law school the Antonin Scalia School of Law. 

Someone realized that this yielded the unfortunately pronounced acronym ASSoL.  So now they are revising it, though there is still some controversy.  Personally, I think it's hilarious.  I kinda feel like Scalia would have approved of it himself.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: euro60 on May 04, 2016, 10:08:23 AM
Anyway, in more light-hearted news. Some of you may have caught this, but George Mason University floated a plan to rename their law school the Antonin Scalia School of Law. 

Someone realized that this yielded the unfortunately pronounced acronym ASSoL.  So now they are revising it, though there is still some controversy.  Personally, I think it's hilarious.  I kinda feel like Scalia would have approved of it himself.
that is too funny!
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Markalot on May 04, 2016, 02:12:09 PM
I love the school name.  :)

More proof the republican party has no clue, they are asking members to swallow their pride and support Trump.  This is not a pride issue, it's one of principle.  Pride, really?
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Dan on May 04, 2016, 03:33:59 PM
The good news for repubs is that I'm convinced if Hillary wins (which I think she will if it's her vs Trump) then the likelihood of reelection for her is small and the next president will definitely be Republican. So that's a positive for them?

And as I lean Dem, I am not thrilled with it.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: euro60 on May 04, 2016, 03:43:53 PM
Breaking news:

KASICH DROPS OUT

That makes a lot of sense, frankly. I mean, I supported the guy and voted for him in the Ohio primary, but when you win only 1 state in the entire primary season, it's time to draw the obvious conclusion, in particular considering the events from yesterday.

So no contested convention in Cleveland. <sigh> I was all psyched for wild riots and protests and counter-protests and all out chaos, burning and looting in the streets of downtown Cleveland  :pirate:
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Butter on May 04, 2016, 04:11:01 PM
The good news for repubs is that I'm convinced if Hillary wins (which I think she will if it's her vs Trump) then the likelihood of reelection for her is small and the next president will definitely be Republican. So that's a positive for them?

And as I lean Dem, I am not thrilled with it.

The good news for repubs is that they continue to own like 2/3 of state houses and legislatures, and so can continue with implementing their agenda on a local level with near impunity, and implementing policies that make it even harder to roust them from power such as disenfranchising voters and performing ridiculous gerrymandering techniques.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: dirk on May 04, 2016, 11:28:24 PM
The thing is, there is a moderate republican still in the race. The problem is that it is Hillary Clinton. The country has shifted so far to the right that even the democrats are generally in the middle, if not slightly right of center. The reason Bernie did so well with so many people is that he was actually a liberal candidate whereas no one else was. Hell, even Obama is pretty much in the center, if very slightly left.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on May 05, 2016, 02:06:07 PM
I guess it depends on which dimension you choose.

There definitely seems to be a class/culture war going on in the US right now.  And Obama I think deliberately sat on the sidelines.  He didn't necessarily have Republican/conservative views, he just didn't push the Democrat agenda.  Clinton I think would be a little more inclined to push the social stuff, but she probably wouldn't get too much into it either. 

In my book, both are moderate/mainstream left.  But I'm looking at more their stances on the role of government, foreign policy, budgets, etc.  Which is not what anyone else is looking at.  The culture divide is really kind of overshadowing everything else right now.

Like I am in favor of raising the taxes on the rich, because we need the money.  But I think the appeal of Sanders to many voters is less practical and more philosophical.  They think it is wrong for people to be that rich while others are so poor.  So, if you took that money from the rich and just burned it or something, they'd still be in favor of it.  Taxing the rich is an ends in itself.  I think that's kind of stupid.

Like, if you look at prominent rich people, they're actually pretty liberal now.  I would guess the amount of old money, or investment bankers or rich oil tycoons is probably less than it has been in the past.  It's like Zuckerburg, Gates, Buffet are all pretty outspoken liberals.  Even guys like  Bezos, Cuban and Musk who seem to be fiscally conservative have taken up socially liberal causes.

Also, like big businesses are boycotting North Carolina and are more often on the side of socially liberal causes than not.

So it's not like business or rich people right now are that bad.  But it's the principle of it, I guess.

I would think that most Democrats would be a fan of Trump's economic policies.  He's trying to create jobs for working class Americans that's why he gets all those blue collar union voters.  And, he's putting tarrifs on countries like China.  And China is bad, right?  They treat their workers terribly, they pollute the environment, they have poor standards for safety on their products, and they commit human rights abuses. 

The problem is, that when Trump is protecting "American" jobs you wonder what Americans he's talking about.  With good reason.  So Trump's economic policies are seen as a function of the culture war.  Like, it feels kind of racist/xenophobic to put up barriers to trade with other countries.  Even if it helps the poor in the US and those other countries are kind of jerks.

So anyway, yeah.  I don't feel like either the left or the right really speak to me personally. I generally side with the left on social issues, but it seems like I care about those things 5000% less than they do.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Markalot on May 06, 2016, 12:47:24 PM
I mostly agree.

The right side of me tends to get upset when I hear the anti-rich people tirades though, which is why I so despise Sanders.  To me what people are saying is let the government somehow fairly redistribute the wealth.  Obviously these people don't understand how the more money a government is responsible for the higher the level of corruption and the higher the waste and of course the more money that is needed.  There has to be something better than trickle down that is not as destructive as radical redistribution of wealth.  We don't have a political system that is capable of having that conversation.

In the somewhat related theme of everything revolves around money, look at the republicans calling for party unity around Trump.  They are looking out for their jobs more so than the good of the party.  "If you're republican then support the nominee."  Just crazy stuff.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: electricwizard on May 07, 2016, 07:40:46 PM
So glad we finally have Trump to protect white people from the poz.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on May 11, 2016, 12:24:10 PM
I'm officially on the "I hate Bernie Sanders" bandwagon.

Who are these wealthy Wall Street speculators that nearly destroyed the economy? 

It was non-wealthy middle class people taking out mortgages on houses they could not afford that nearly destroyed the economy. 

Or you can blame the banks for over-leveraging themselves and taking on too much risk by offering too much credit, and then trading those loans amongst themselves.  Fine.  But even then, that's not really "Wall Street."  You can't just call up your broker and buy some subprime mortgage bundles.

Yes, the banks were making a lot of money, and houses were being built and bought, etc. which caused stocks to go up.  But that's what happens when the economy is expanding.  Of course, it was all a bubble and things were not as solid as they thought.  But at worst, the investors were in the same boat as the average person-- duped or helplessly dragged along by bad banking policy and/or their poor decision that the economy was more stable and sustainable then they thought.

Pension plans are a thing of the past.  Go to any decent retirement planner and what will they tell you?  Put your money in a 401(K).  ie.  Go invest in Wall Street.  And guess what?  It's tax-free so you get paid to do it. 

If you have any sort of retirement plan at all, or a college tuition savings plan, you are a Wall Street investor.  And probably one who doesn't know much about stocks.  Every month, you put $500 or whatever in the S&P 500.  Maybe some of those S&P 500 stocks suck-- you have no idea.  But you put it in anyway.  That's what you are told to do.  When you invest in stuff that sucks and inflate the price beyond what it is worth, that's called a bubble.  When bubbles burst, markets crash.

So yeah, we do need to tax the rich more because it's the only way to pay down some debt.  And we should raise taxes on investment income.  We need to tax Wall Street investments like regular income because when you tax it less, it creates an incentive to invest.  And that creates over-investment which creates bubbles and market crashes. 

But all of this is happening not because Wall Street speculators and rich people are evil and greedily trying to destroy the middle and lower classes.  It's because of crappy fiscal policy.  And because the government doesn't hold people accountable and actually encourages stupid risk-taking behavior from the citizens.  ALL the citizens, not just the rich. 

Blaming "Wall Street Speculators" as some kind of bogeyman is simply enabling people to continue to pursue the same behavior.  It's really no better than blaming everything on illegal immigrants.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: euro60 on May 11, 2016, 01:23:47 PM
I'm officially on the "I hate Bernie Sanders" bandwagon.

It took you all this time to realize this?

I know it is probably politically incorrect to say so, but of the remaining presidential candidates, Sanders is BY FAR the craziest and most dangerous one, far more so than Trump, strictly from an economical perspective.

If you were to take Sanders' policy proposals literally, it'd be the end of America as we know it, and cause massive disruption in the economy and financial markets. In fact, America would become a socialist country, just like self-proclaimed socialist Sanders would like to have it. I didn't come to America for that...
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Kwyjibo on May 11, 2016, 02:18:33 PM
Right, but he can't accomplish any of the things that he proposes, so he's actually a non-entity in terms of his politics.  On the other hand, the government would be completely gridlocked for four years, much like it is now, but with even less possibility of anything being accomplished.  So in that regard he's a disaster waiting to happen.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on May 11, 2016, 02:29:51 PM
I'm officially on the "I hate Bernie Sanders" bandwagon.

It took you all this time to realize this?

I know it is probably politically incorrect to say so, but of the remaining presidential candidates, Sanders is BY FAR the craziest and most dangerous one, far more so than Trump, strictly from an economical perspective.

If you were to take Sanders' policy proposals literally, it'd be the end of America as we know it, and cause massive disruption in the economy and financial markets. In fact, America would become a socialist country, just like self-proclaimed socialist Sanders would like to have it. I didn't come to America for that...
Nah, that's way overkill. I don't have that much of a problem with Sanders's policies (except "free" college, that's just ten kinds of stupid).  Just his justification of them.

52% tax rate on the rich is a little high for my liking, but it's hardly crazy.  Until Reagan instituted his stupid "trickle down" economics, it was higher than that.  And since then it's just taking time for the upper bracket tax rates to get to where they should be.

And I mean, he's adding a bracket so really we're talking about a tiny number of people who make $10m+ annually.

The average, run-of-the-mill rich person is only taking about a 2 - 3.5% increase.  You don't have to like it, but it doesn't suddenly make us Socialists.

Trump's Tax Plan was on a whole nother level.  Even all the conservative think tanks laughed at it.  He knew himself it was total BS and he never had any intent to follow through with it.  That's why he's already rewriting it.

Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on May 11, 2016, 02:34:20 PM
Right, but he can't accomplish any of the things that he proposes, so he's actually a non-entity in terms of his politics.  On the other hand, the government would be completely gridlocked for four years, much like it is now, but with even less possibility of anything being accomplished.  So in that regard he's a disaster waiting to happen.

Unfortunately Sanders is not a non-entity, though.  I mean, he won't win the nomination but he's still running his stupid gob.

The "free college for everyone" thing is at least as stupid as "I can get Mexico to pay for that wall."

I love hispanics!
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Dan on May 11, 2016, 09:00:45 PM
Pension plans are a thing of the past. 

What does this mean? I have a pension....it's quite crappy compared to people hired just 3 months earlier than me, but it's something. Is it a bad idea to put money into it?
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Kwyjibo on May 12, 2016, 08:38:28 AM
Pension plans are a thing of the past. 

What does this mean? I have a pension....it's quite crappy compared to people hired just 3 months earlier than me, but it's something. Is it a bad idea to put money into it?

If you're putting money into it, it's not a pension.

Pensions are company funded retirement plans in which you retire and you get a fixed amount of money from the company for the rest of your life, based on how much you made while you were employed.  These types of plans are rarely offered anymore because they're expensive.  If you're contributing then it's probably a 401(k) or 403(b) or some variation thereon.  If you work for the government (which I think you might) you might have a government version of one of these, and might also have a paltry pension of some kind.  But pensions, in the private sector anyway, are quickly going the way of the dodo.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Dan on May 12, 2016, 10:00:57 AM
Hmmm. This is now more confusing. Yes, I work for the government. The line on my pay check says:

NYCERS PENS SYS (414H)-STD

I'm pretty sure that
NYCERS = New York City Employee Retirement System
PENS = Pension?
SYS = System?

I don't know about the rest.

I know older employees had to put into the pension until a certain point, and then after that they don't contribute anymore. And newer employees will be putting into it until they retire.

I never had a pension when I was in the private sector, so I understand that they are a relic of the past. I am also contributing to a 401(k) from the City, but they do not match it like most (I think?) private sectors companies. So it kinda sucks.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Kwyjibo on May 12, 2016, 10:24:30 AM
Yeah, private sector usually offers some kind of match.  You may have some watered down form of a pension as well, which would be in lieu of the match, probably. 

Personally, if my company didn't offer a match I wouldn't bother with their 401(k).  Usually the fees are higher on those than on IRAs and other sorts of plans that you can acquire on your own, so unless they're contributing they aren't much of a benefit.  In my case, my goal is to save 11% of my salary, so I contribute to my 401(k) only what I need to to get the full match, which is 8%, I put the additional 3% into a Roth IRA because the fees are lower.

I'm not an expert, but I play one on TV.  You might want to seek out a fee only financial planner and get some advice.  You might find that it would be advantageous to take your money somewhere else.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: dirk on May 12, 2016, 11:32:05 AM
Anymore, pensions usually have the employee contributing some amount to it. As pensions fell out of favor, they changed to where the employee puts in 3% (or whatever) each paycheck to help cover the costs. The employer is supposed to put in a lot more to cover the majority of the costs, but as we have seen with so many failing pension plans, that often doesn't happen. The worst part is when the employer doesn't do their part, it's always the employees who get screwed as they get their benefits cut instead of forcing the employer to make good on their promise.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: luisterpaul on May 12, 2016, 01:24:31 PM
Dan, I recommend talking to your HR person and getting the specifics.



In other news, I still find it stupefying to hear Donald Trump's candidacy discussed with reasonableness on places like NPR. At least on The Economist's podcasts whenever they talk about him you can hear in their voices how they're trying -- not always successfully -- to take it seriously.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: euro60 on May 12, 2016, 02:02:10 PM
In other news, I still find it stupefying to hear Donald Trump's candidacy discussed with reasonableness on places like NPR. At least on The Economist's podcasts whenever they talk about him you can hear in their voices how they're trying -- not always successfully -- to take it seriously.

It's attitudes like this that keep Trump going and keep him being the most underrated candidate in the history of presidential elections. "Trump's an idiot! He's a clown! He's a racist! He's a sexist! He knows nothing about politics! He can't possibly win!" (that was 11 months ago.)
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on May 12, 2016, 03:59:53 PM
Hmmm. This is now more confusing. Yes, I work for the government.

You don't have a pension plan.  You have a mandatory donation to the taxpayers of NYC.

See what happened is, they needed money to hire your position.  Let's say it costs $85k a year for an urban developer type on the open market. 

But the government, instead of paying you $85k a year only pays you $80k a year in salary.  That's not really competitive.  So what they do instead is offer you a benefits package where you get $80k in salary and "contribute" $5k a year to a "pension plan."  That way, on paper the government can pretend they are fiscally responsible and have their budget under control because their annual outlay to you is $80k.

Now what they should do is put $5k a year in a pool of funds because eventually that money they promised you will come due.  But they really don't.  What they do instead is designate $4k to be invested for you.  You could have just taken the full $5k and invested yourself.  But you would screw it up.

The government has at its service powerful financial wizards like say, John Kasich who can get more from $4k than you can from $5k.  You couldn't hire Lehman brothers to manage your piddly account, but the government can.

In fact, these financial wizards are SO powerful that there is actually tons and tons of extra money in that pension fund because a return of like, 15% annually is stone cold GUARANTEED.  So, I mean since there's extra money in that account that's being wasted, the mayor/governor/president can take that extra money and borrow against it, leveraging it to finance tax breaks for the general populace.

Except haha a funny thing happened.  It turns out the market tanked, and on top of that Lehman Brothers was ALSO leveraging against your account to buy derivatives like subprime mortgages on the secondary market even though really, they shouldn't have been mixing their funds up like that.  Just like how the government shouldn't have been mixing their funds up.

Now, it turns out you have no pension.  But no one cares that you have no pension.  What they care about is that your pension plan was funding their tax breaks and government services.  And now that money is gone, leaving the government with a huge debt and massive cuts to be made and/or taxes to be raised.

Well, that sucks.  But wait... some of that government debt is owed to you via your pension.  And, since you are a fat cat sucky lazy government employee whose stupid pension plan caused the debt in the first place, why should you get your pension when others have lost jobs? 

So the solution is simple:  Just write off your pension and use the money to perpetuate more tax cuts.  Just slip a bit of legislation in that reduces state pensions from say, 10% to 5%.  Budget crisis solved.  Kasich runs for President as a fiscal hawk.

The way that state and local governments are racking up debt (or disguising their debt via handouts from the Federal government which is racking up debt), you will never see a cent of that pension.  I'm serious.  When I do my retirement planning, I start with a post-retirement income of $0.  No pension, no Social Security.

Thank you for your service.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Kwyjibo on May 12, 2016, 10:54:26 PM
Sad but true.  Private sector isn't much better.  My former employer just offered to buy out my pension plan in a lump sum.  18 years of service?  $15k.  And what am I going to do?  Take it and run, guessing I'll never see anything if I don't.  They act like they're doing me a service, but I know damn well they're just getting me off their books at a discount.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Dan on May 13, 2016, 12:41:45 PM
Sounds like I should try to get out of the pension? Or should I say, "pension"? And assume that the money I've contributed over the years is lost.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on May 13, 2016, 05:17:43 PM
Sounds like I should try to get out of the pension? Or should I say, "pension"? And assume that the money I've contributed over the years is lost.

Would you rather have the money or the job security? 

The pension plan is a Ponzi scheme.  And the Ponzi scheme really only works as long as everyone keeps putting money in, and never asks for money out.  Therefore, your participation in the pension plan is actually far more valuable to them than your service contributions as an employee.

If you opt out of the pension plan, you will get your 10% (or whatever) contribution back in salary each year.

But then you'll be laid off because you're costing them an extra 10% that they need as leverage in their Ponzi scheme.

If you stay in the pension plan, you keep giving them 10%.  But then, they won't lay you off because why would you fire a guy who gives you money back every year as a nice annuity?

So basically the pension plan is like a protection scheme where you pay 10% of salary to keep your job.

It's all imperfect as well.  If you opt out of the pension plan like "Hey, I don't want to put 10% of my $50k in the plan any more, just give me $5k a year more" they will say "Fine, done deal."  Next year: "Hey we're running into some budget issue, I'm afraid you'll have to take a $5k pay cut."

Or say you opt into the pension plan at 10%.  Next year "Hey, we're running into some budget issues.  We obviously want to protect the pension plan that's the most important thing.  But to do that, we're going to have to ask you to put in 15%."

That's why you get offered payouts like Kwyjibo's.  Your pension plan is pretty much worthless, so why would they offer you anything to reasonable to escape from a future annuity they have no intent on paying?  OTOH, if they really needed you in the pension plan then why even offer the opt out at all?   They've already got you trapped in it.

Because in the end, they don't really care.  You are just an interchangable FTE to them and the value of that FTE to them over 35 years is apparently Kwyjibo's salary + $15k.  And that's all they will pay no matter who is in the job. 

So, you can keep putting lots of salary into the pension plan knowing your payout is eventually only going to be $15k and you will have put in much, much more than that. 

Or you can take the $15k now, get fired, but at least you have your $15k and can maybe find another job.  Another job where they will do the exact same thing to you.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Dan on May 15, 2016, 09:12:40 AM
Tough decisions. I don't know. Thanks for the advice, anyway.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on May 17, 2016, 02:41:10 PM
It turns out Sanders supporters are just as big dicks as Trump supporters.  Why am I not at all surprised?
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Kwyjibo on May 17, 2016, 03:53:06 PM
Right?

So, what actually happened with the Nevada delegates?  The only sources I've seen on that are ones with some ax to grind.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on May 17, 2016, 05:55:50 PM
There were 12 delegates awarded based on votes at the convention.  Sanders attempted to game the system by sending as many people as he could.  Turns out, some of those people were not actually registered Democrats, and so were not allowed to vote.

This enraged the Sanders supporters, who thought for some reason thought those people should be allowed to vote on who represents Democrats despite not being Democrats.  Also, they apparently felt stuffing the convention ballot box by convincing 1500 people to go was a fair representation of Democracy than the actual caucus where many times more people voted.

It's basically the same as Trump.  There's no doubt that the GOP and the Dems tried to screw over the "outsiders" in favor of the establishment favorites.  But considering it's their party, I'm not sure why that wouldn't be expected, or even if there's anything wrong with that.  If you don't like the GOP or the Dem's rules, don't run as a member of the party.

They are mad about superdelegates, too.  But I mean, who are the people who keep voting Reid into office?  I guarantee that guy would lose by a landslide in a national election.

I think mostly the problem is this:  that these supporters hate government/politics/the system and so they never did anything about it.  When you aren't active and don't vote, no one cares what you think. 

Now suddenly they want to overturn the system, but they haven't earned the right.  They need to take a look at themselves in the mirror, realize that while the system is massively screwed up, it's because of then.  They had plenty of chances to participate and didn't.  Now they feel like it's the fault of the system, and not their fault for doing nothing.

All of the years of votes that have created this system; it wasn't like Clinton/mainstream supporters were shouting down others and throwing chairs and fighting anyone who dared voted "outside the system." 

Neither Trump or Sanders represent the majority.  Trump supporters at least might make the claim that they had the majority of the GOP (which he won now anyway).  And he would have had the majority of the delegates, if not enough to clinch and prevent a brokered convention. 

Sanders doesn't even have that.  The public polls seem to indicate it's a dead heat, and Clinton won most of the caucuses and has most of the delegates.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: va-vacious on May 17, 2016, 10:51:58 PM
We have another set of primaries next week- all of our local stuff.  I live in a really red county. As in, if I were to vote Democratic in the primary I would have almost no votes to cast, because the party doesn't exist in my county. (Down ballot matters, people!) So I had a long talk with my aunt who also lives in the county, and has similar views to me, and she's getting the Republican ballot, just so she can vote for the not as bad candidate. I am so torn.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Drjohnrock on May 18, 2016, 08:50:24 AM
Your aunt is a wise person.  Lesser of evils is a very valid concept.  If you were in a bad accident, and had the choice of losing one or two arms, you obviously would choose to lose one.  So grab that GOP ballot--hold your nose if you have to--and go for it!
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on May 19, 2016, 12:43:09 PM
A "libertarian" is donating huge sums of money under unusually controlling terms/conditions to a public university in order to influence the curriculum they teach.

No one sees the massive hypocrisy here?  Really?

Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: frizgolf on May 22, 2016, 12:52:05 PM
Pension plans ain't going anywhere. Government and corporate pensions invest in capital like commodities and financial markets. Most larger pension plans can afford the best financial advisors to virtually guarantee a return on investment. The larger the fund, the larger the return rate. Capital itself is returning to record high levels, and it always grows at a faster rate than the general economic growth rate. Thomas Picketty has some good research on this.
Social security is a bit closer to a Ponzi scheme, but not really. It takes money from the current workers to pay past workers. It only fails when the growth rate of current workers declines. So far it hasn't happened yet. Yes, there are fewer current workers funding large amounts of past retirees right now, but unless the population rate goes negative it should balance back out eventually. There was a huge growth boom in the 20th century that was a statistical anomoly. That's the biggest reason SS is hurting right now. As long as the system stays in place there's always incentive to invest in the well-being of the next generation.
There has been talk of privatizing Social Security, running it more like a corporate or government pension plan. This would seem to make sense, as a plan as large as SS could easily afford the best financial advisors to manage and produce a good ROI. But the problem is this: to change the system you'd have to pool the money from current workers all at once in order to have the financial investing power you'd need to sustain it long run. That would leave roughly one generation in the cold, with zero retirement income- the generation depending on the promise of retirement they'd planned on their whole working lives. So the pay-as-you-go system of Social Security will probably not be touched.
I'm not worried. As long as there aren't a huge amount of natural disasters or another world war consuming capital, the economic blip (long run) of the mid-20th century will even out on pensions.
Now, if you wanna talk concentration of wealth and capital in the upper reaches of the uber rich, that's a whole other subject.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on May 23, 2016, 12:09:17 PM
Most larger pension plans can afford the best financial advisors to virtually guarantee a return on investment. The larger the fund, the larger the return rate.

Who are these "best" financial advisors?  Most funds actually under-return vs the market just on raw investment return. Plus they are taking more money off the top for management.  The financial service companies spend a ton of $$ lobbying governments to get these contracts.  They wouldn't do that if it weren't massively lucrative for them.

Instead of putting 100% of the money taken from salaries into the pension fund and putting that into the safest vehicles possible at a 4% return, governments are only putting in like, 75% of the money and gambling on 7% returns.

The vast majority of state pensions are underfunded.  By a lot.  They would be even more underfunded if most of them hadn't raised contribution requirements or reduced payouts in some manner in the last few years.

"Oh, it looks like we're $500m short. Well, just make the employees put in $500m, or reduce payouts by $500m.  Bam!  Fully funded."  That's not how pension plans are supposed to work.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Kwyjibo on May 23, 2016, 12:12:14 PM
Pension plans ain't going anywhere.

What?  I defy you to find a private sector job that offers a pension to new hires.  And I'm talking a defined benefit pension, not a 401(k) or some other savings vehicle.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: frizgolf on May 23, 2016, 05:15:41 PM
I never said private companies are increasing pension options, just that the ones there already will be okay.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Kwyjibo on May 24, 2016, 12:08:34 AM
Good luck with that.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on June 06, 2016, 12:53:22 PM
I'm clueless on what Bernie Sanders is trying to accomplish at this point.

If he just wants to be an issues/idealist type candidate, he's spending an awful lot of time personally attacking Clinton as opposed to getting his message out. 

If he's just trying to "reform" the Democrat party that seems kind of stupid.  I'm just not seeing any corruption.

Clinton won the votes in the primaries fair and square.  And while winning the primaries raised quite a bit of money and awareness for other Democrats running for office.  Sanders is helping no one but himself. 

The Democrats as a party prefer the person who has been a Democrat team-player for years and years, and is the preferred choice of their voting members over an independent candidate who has not been shy about pooping on their candidate and their party and is trying to hijack their plans and wishes by attempting to hijack superdelegates.  Why is that wrong?  Clinton has 56% of the vote, so in a fair system shouldn't she win?

I've just kind of had with this dude.  If he were to somehow win the primary in some way, I don't think I'd vote for him even against Trump.






The only thing I can think of is that maybe at this point he's actually trying to win the Presidency by any means necessary.  Which means he sold out on a lot of his principles, but whatever.

 
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Markalot on June 07, 2016, 07:53:36 AM
Leave it to the Democrats to let the Republicans destroy the country.  :D

I am enjoying all the Republicans who endorsed Trump, mainly because they were more worried about their party job than their country, who are now wallowing in the racist bigoted crap Trump spews. 
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on June 07, 2016, 01:29:30 PM
I can understand tossing Trump a lukewarm endorsement and then just trying to lay low and ignore the stupid stuff he says and stay away from the controversy.  It's the smart career move.

Can't figure out what Ryan is doing, though.  He's freaking me out.  "Trump?  Total racist.  Also pretty psycho.  I think he's an idiot.  Yeah, he'd be a great President."

I don't think he's making peace with Trump, Trump supporters, or his fan base.  With the way the GOP is, Speaker of the House is basically getting hung out to dry.  But I mean at least Boehner gave it a good try. Ryan is just imploding.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Markalot on June 07, 2016, 03:47:31 PM
And remember, he didn't want the speaker job.

Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Markalot on June 08, 2016, 10:49:57 AM
So now that Clinton has secured the majority of pledged delegates is Bernie still fighting?  Now is it OK to overturn the will of the people?  Perhaps this is a good thing, forcing many of his rabid supporters to realize he is nuts.  :)
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on June 08, 2016, 12:54:21 PM
Reddit is hilarious today.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: va-vacious on June 08, 2016, 06:22:51 PM
Y'all. I cannot WAIT to talk to my almost 96 year old grandmother, a life-long Republican and die-hard AAUW, League of Women Voters member about the election. She announced at Christmas that if anyone was supporting Trump they should go jump off her balcony (second floor- probably get broken legs, it's all good). How is she going to vote?!? She was born the same month the 19th Amendment was ratified, so it is pretty awesome that in her lifetime she potentially can vote for a woman for president. Will she? Party loyalty has trumped (ha!) position for her before, so it will be interesting.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on June 08, 2016, 09:05:08 PM
I hope that she will get some feeling of satisfaction and progress voting for a woman for President, even if she doesn't care much for Clinton. But the real reason to vote for Clinton is not because she is a woman, but because Trump's attitude towards women is abominable. Plus he's just psycho and a dick in general.

She could always vote for Jill Stein.  That would be a good protest vote for a woman, for a third party, and a woman.

Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on June 23, 2016, 10:40:09 PM
Brexit.  This is gonna sting.

We are all probably a bit fucked.  UK is likely super-fucked, at least short term. But I can't harsh on them.  I certainly wouldn't vote for the US to join the EU.

I do think this will kick off a recession though.

Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: euro60 on June 23, 2016, 10:42:48 PM
I just checked and it seems like the Brexit referendum vote is super-close, with the Leave vote leading for now but still 50 percent of the votes to be counted (according to the Guardian website)

MK/CR, how do you guys feel about this?

I personally think that this was a completely unnecessary (and therefore utterly reckless) thing to do by Cameron in the first place.

As a complete aside, how is it that at 3:40 am London time on Friday, only 50 percent of the votes have been tallied?!?
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Cockney Rebel on June 26, 2016, 10:16:26 AM
I just checked and it seems like the Brexit referendum vote is super-close, with the Leave vote leading for now but still 50 percent of the votes to be counted (according to the Guardian website)

MK/CR, how do you guys feel about this?

I personally think that this was a completely unnecessary (and therefore utterly reckless) thing to do by Cameron in the first place.

As a complete aside, how is it that at 3:40 am London time on Friday, only 50 percent of the votes have been tallied?!?
It was "super close". Thanks to the fucking idiots who voted "leave" as a protest against CaMORON without realising the consequences that "their vote might count". Tw@s. This was bigger than politics, but if you mislead the public (as the media did) then you win.

The result has given us palpitations. Financially it's been personally damaging, but we just have to regroup and get on with things. I couldn't vote (non-Res for over 15 years removes the right) so I couldn't have a say. Like many others though I didn't believe 'my people' would outstupid America in its decision making

The votes are all paper ballots. No bullshit voting machines to be manipulated or suddenly found 'out of commission' when it matters. Paper ballots. All hand counted. Under supervision. I know it's a tedious procedure because I used to be dragged along as a kid to 'counting rooms' when my old man was involved in local politics.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: adyonka on June 27, 2016, 09:01:09 AM
Like many others though I didn't believe 'my people' would outstupid America in its decision making

The USA has a Trump card in that contest.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: va-vacious on June 27, 2016, 10:35:40 AM
It's things like Brexit that make me worry about November. While Trump may be imploding now, it's a long way away to election day. We've done stupid things before, we can certainly do it again! (I feel like America's unofficial slogan is, "Hey, y'all- watch this!" *followed by a massive crash*)
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Markalot on June 27, 2016, 10:11:24 PM
I was on vacation during Brexit and stayed up listening to the BBC live.  How sick is that?

It appears the leave campaigners did not expect to win and were lying for what, to be able to campaign on how bad the EU is? 

Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: euro60 on June 27, 2016, 10:33:32 PM
It appears the leave campaigners did not expect to win and were lying for what, to be able to campaign on how bad the EU is?
Yup, the leave campaigners did not expect to win, least of all BoJo, the likely next Prime Minister, who has no clue what to do. What fun that will be!
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Kwyjibo on June 28, 2016, 11:11:59 AM
Johnson looks and acts like a guy who has escaped an asylum, do people really take him seriously?
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: euro60 on July 14, 2016, 11:08:38 PM
Here is what I sent to a friend in France:

Been watching the coverage on US tv tonight of the latest terror attack in France. It now sounds like at least 80 dead.

US tv showed some of the videos, but withheld the most explicit, for being too disturbing.

I am so sickened and appalled by what happened. Sadly, this won't be the last of it. As good a job the French police and security are doing/trying to do, it is impossible to stop radicals who think so little of their own lives that they don't care if they die. What can you do against people like that?

It was mentioned here (don't know if it's true) that 10 percent of France's population is Muslim, but 70 percent of France's jail population is Muslim. Not offered as an "excuse", but as a fact.

The political implications of this latest terror attack are likely to be significant, with the pending US presidential election in November and in France next year. And who can say there won't be more such savage, inhuman attacks in the months to come....

Again, my condolences to the French people. Aujourd'hui on est tous francais
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Markalot on July 15, 2016, 06:09:08 PM
Saw this on the twitter, a link to a Newsweek article penned back in march.

http://europe.newsweek.com/will-there-be-coup-against-erdogan-turkey-439181

Pretty good reporting I'd say.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on July 18, 2016, 10:29:01 PM
This GOP convention is nuts.

I can't honestly remember any convention ever being this over-the-top vicious.  I mean yeah, they're going to take shots at the other party, and most of them cheap. That's politics. But mostly, these things are supposed to have a positive theme to get people excited about the platform.

No one has any idea what Trump's policies actually are.  To the extent they know, half the people don't agree with them.  So I guess they don't want to talk too much about except how much they hate Clinton and if you vote for her the country goes straight to hell.

Also Scott Baio, Nathalie Gulbis, and Dana White are speakers?  Really?

It's so horribly depressing.  I long for the Bush years, I really do.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on July 18, 2016, 10:35:20 PM
Now that Omarosa woman from the Trump show that I never watched but who I thought everyone hated being interviewed on MSNBC.

Apparently she is the Director of African American Outreach for Trump's campaign.  Unbelievable.  But at this point, they could probably name either Adolf Hitler or Martin Luther King Jr. and it wouldn't make a difference.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Kwyjibo on July 18, 2016, 10:52:27 PM
That woman is a first rate cunt.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: euro60 on July 18, 2016, 11:08:58 PM
The most amazing thing to me is that, as disastrous the Trump campaign has been (and seemingly continues to be), he's only a couple of points behind Hillary in the polls (or tied, depending on which polls you believe). Wow.

I know one thing: I will NOT vote for either of the two main candidates. Come November, I will either just not vote on the presidential race, or I will vote for Libertarian Gary Johnson. The months leading up to November will tell me what to do.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on July 18, 2016, 11:52:00 PM
It's an unbelievable shit show.

This woman is onstage talking about how Clinton should be in jail for personally killing her son, and Trump is calling into news shows to talk about how he hates Kasich.

I mean, it is your convention dude.  And those are some serious charges that lady is throwing out there.  Clinton killed her son, but it's not important enough to interrupt you from bitching about Kasich?

I mean, frankly I think that lady is batty.  But I do feel bad she lost her kid.  But you put her out there, let her say the things she is saying and put herself in the spotlight like that where she's going to take a ton of heat, at least have the respect to listen.

Fox News and Trump were the only people not paying attention to the speech.  They don't give a shit about her.  It was so awkward to watch.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on July 19, 2016, 12:18:07 AM
Oh, and Colorado and Iowa walk out of the convention.

And Trump acts like he wanted the convention in Ohio which I would assume everyone in Ohio realizes is a ridiculous lie. 

Way to go after those swing states.

I wonder what, at this point, Trump could do to lose votes?  He could kill someone on live TV at this point and still poll 40%.  He'd probably gain votes if he blamed it on Clinton.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Markalot on July 21, 2016, 10:58:05 AM
How did we get to the point where Ted Cruz is the sanest person in the room?
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: euro60 on July 21, 2016, 11:03:57 AM
How did we get to the point where Ted Cruz is the biggest ego-maniac in the room? Yes, even bigger than Trump?
Corrected that for you  ;)

I would never vote for either, but if I have to rank them, I'd vote for the incompetent one (Trump) before I'd vote for the outright dangerous and delusional one (Cruz).
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: dirk on July 21, 2016, 12:10:18 PM
You can argue who is more dangerous between Trump and Cruz, but there is no way Cruz is a bigger ego maniac than Trump. Trump put him there just to have people boo him. The Trump campaign saw his speech and knew he wasn't going to endorse Trump and still put him in a prime spot right before Pence spoke (which was a slap in the face to Pence, since his speech was totally overshadowed). That was Trump trying to get one more shot in and humiliate and belittle Cruz one last time. And then Trump walks in right as the boos are getting loudest, ensuring he looks like the conquering hero coming in. At this point, you would be hard pressed to find anyone in the US with a bigger ego than Trump.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on July 21, 2016, 12:55:21 PM
At least Trump was upfront that he wasn't necessarily going to support the other candidates.  So I'm sort of on his side.  Except not really, because that pledge really only made sense if ALL the GOP candidates did it together.  Since he didn't, and he's attacked everyone ruthlessly, why should he expect any support now?

Trump's attacks on Cruz's family were vicious and unwarranted, I'm sort of on Cruz's side.  Except not really because it pretty much says what he's about when he is perfectly okay on vicious slams against Clinton, or blacks, or hispanics, or really just about every other person in the world.  So it's not really a battle for decency as much as it is selfishness.

In a way, I kind of think its good that the convention is so hilariously bad, yet conservatives don't care.  They were a joke anyway.  People should pay less attention to what is said in them.  Except that really people just aren't paying attention to like, any facts or anything at all.  Which is bad.

The whole thing is just so blatantly stupid.  I don't get the whole "We're against politics as usual! Time for an outsider!" thing.

Voting for a guy from one political party just because he tells you the person from the other political party sucks is the most "politics as usual" thing you can do.  You wonder why the government fails people, it's because people do stupid shit like this.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Kwyjibo on July 21, 2016, 02:17:20 PM
They had a guy on NPR last night talking about how he had to go with Trump because the only other choice is Hillary.  Whatever, you hate Hillary, she's a criminal, blah-dy blah.  But the NPR guys were like, but what about character?  And the guy was all, but there's no other choice.  So the NPR people threw the Lewinsky scandal at him and were like here... here's a point where you were pushing to oust a sitting president based on character issues.  And the guy was like, yeah, but there's no other choice; sure he doesn't know jack shit about policy, and doesn't give a fuck about social issues, and he's a racist ass clown, but he'll figure it out. 

WTF?

There should have been another god-damned choice.  All of those candidates and not one of them could get out of their own way and beat the single most ridiculous candidate in the history of presidential elections?  Fuck, I'd write in Joe Walsh before I'd vote for Trump if I were them.  Talk about following the fucking current.  Jesus.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Markalot on July 21, 2016, 02:21:19 PM
Corrected that for you  ;)

I would never vote for either, but if I have to rank them, I'd vote for the incompetent one (Trump) before I'd vote for the outright dangerous and delusional one (Cruz).

See, when Trump starts going on about NATO and crazy isolationism without the apparent context of history I would take bat shit crazy preacher boy over Trump any day.  Regardless, I can't find a reason not to vote for Hillary.  Much less suck, no chance of accidentally throwing the election to Trump.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Kwyjibo on July 21, 2016, 02:32:09 PM

See, when Trump starts going on about NATO and crazy isolationism without the apparent context of history I would take bat shit crazy preacher boy over Trump any day. 

I agree with this to a degree, but I don't know that Cruz is really going to be better on that stuff.  Besides, Cruz could always fuck up our entire social welfare structure, in that case, I'm not sure it would matter how badly he fucks up foreign affairs.

I wonder what happens on day one of a Trump presidency?  If he doesn't have a personal drum to beat, is he going to do anything at all?  I kinda feel like it's going to be the ol' "baby cries for it's toy, you give it to him, and he throws it on the floor" scenario and he's just going to go back to running his businesses or something and leave the country-running to someone else.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: foolsgold on July 21, 2016, 02:44:38 PM
I've seen a couple reports where he'd split the duties with his VP.  When Kasich's name was a possibility, he'd have handled domestic and foreign policy while Trump would get to work making America great again.  Who knows if it's true, but it certainly sounds as if it could be.  That's the fucked up thing about this election: that anything I read, hear or see about Trump could be true and probably is.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on July 21, 2016, 10:27:59 PM
I think it's true, and another way the GOP has really screwed itself up.

Trump has pretty much said he doesn't care about the fine details.  And I mean, it's pretty obvious from his speeches and interviews he hasn't bothered to educate himself at all about any of the issues.  He just thinks he'll hire a crack staff and lead them.

So really, if the GOP had just let him insult them and handed him the election, they could have advised him on exactly who to pick as VP and as cabinet, and I really don't think Trump would have given a fuck.  I think that's where Christie thought there was an opening.  Like hey, I'll just be VP or some cabinet head and I'll actually run things well and then I can run for President.

But now that he and the mainstream GOP are at such odds, and he has come across as a totally crazy person no one good will touch him with a ten foot pole.  So he's hiring just total nut jobs to run his campaign and advise him.  Meaning his Presidency would be no different than Cruz's Presidency as Cruz already is a total nut job who would want to run things and would also hire nut jobs besides.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on July 24, 2016, 01:09:05 AM
Am I the only who doesn't care about these leaked e-mails?

The purpose of the DNC is to protect Democrats.  If you are not a Democrat, and you insult the DNC and Democrats, then I would expect an exchange of emails talking about how to shut you up.

Same thing with the Republican National Committee.   If you get onstage and insult every other candidate and the party itself, then the Republican National Committee is going to work against you.

They do this all the time.  If you are a Republican or Democrat and you step out of line, the National Committee will slap you down.

Similarly, I'm sure if you hacked Sanders and Trump staff emails, you would find emails saying "How can we go after mainstream Democrats/Republicans?"  And also "Who should sit where at this event?"

The election is only rigged if they were trying to keep voters from the booths or something like that.

Other than that, I don't care if they are privately partial.  I don't even care if they are publicly partial.  As far as I'm concerned the only way they reason they try to keep their preferences on the downlow is so as not to anger potential Democratic voters and not to hurt the party.

Which I mean, if you are Sanders or a Sanders supporter they are your enemy so of course you will get mad, just like you would if a Republican or anyone else was going after you.  But the election is not rigged.  It's just a group that doesn't like you.  Same as if it were the NRA, or NAACP or whoever.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: daytime drinking on July 24, 2016, 10:42:20 AM
what about more confirmation that the news media is in bed with the dnc?  but i suppose you really don't need leaked emails to suggest that
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on July 24, 2016, 11:07:42 AM
It does make the news media look bad, and they should be called on it.  Even though like you said, I think we already knew that most media are willing to give up journalistic integrity to get an exclusive.

But the news media is also in bed with RNC.  And Trump.  I mean Fox News let Trump call in to interrupt the Republican National Convention.  It's pretty blatant and open.  To say nothing of the sketchier sites like Breitbart who are pretty much Trump's media wing. 

#1 on my list of concerns is why are the Democrats such dumbasses who were easily hacked?/all of this hacking and leaking is a going to be a huge problem for the country.

#2 Media not being objective.

#3 The two party system sucks.  Sanders, Trump, Stein, Johnson... none of these people have a chance.  The Dems and GOP primaries are essentially a preliminary run-off and it sucks that people are barred if they are not in that party, and that the voting procedure is handled by biased parties. 

But none of those things are really unethical things being done by the DNC.  It's just people being stupid in various ways and politics in general being dirty and sucky.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: dirk on July 24, 2016, 11:32:56 AM
But none of those things are really unethical things being done by the DNC.  It's just people being stupid in various ways and politics in general being dirty and sucky.
I would argue that while nothing they are doing is illegal, it is certainly unethical. The fact that they are putting this to the people as if they are unbiased and then pulling this behind the scenes is the very definition of unethical. Technically, it is their primary and they can do whatever they want, but I also think the people have a right to know if this is how things are being run so they can make an informed decision.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on July 24, 2016, 12:51:24 PM
Alright.  I mean, sure lying/misleading people is unethical so I get what you're saying up to a point.

But that makes every single party and person involved in this and every election unethical.

The Democrats really wanted Clinton to win and Sanders to go away.  The Republicans really wanted... who knows? but definitely for Trump to go away.  I don't know how anyone couldn't know that they had preferences in this area.

I am 100% positive there are emails from the Sanders campaign talking about how they can stick it to the Democrats and how much they hate them... which, technically he shouldn't be doing either since he is running as a Democrat.  I mean I feel it's unethical to run as a Democrat when you really aren't one, and then try to stab the party in the back.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: euro60 on July 24, 2016, 11:08:54 PM
My take on the leaked emails:

1. Unlike ZK's take, it DOES matter. It will reinforce for many people, particularly young people, that the system is rigged, period. "Bernie never had a chance" type thing.

2. If the Russians were able to so easily hack the DNC emails, does anyone think that Hillary's private emails as Secretary of State weren't hacked? surely we haven't heard the last of this.

This will cast a large shadow over the political scene in the weeks to come.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Butter on July 25, 2016, 07:28:33 AM
I would argue that what the DNC did is not even unethical.  They worked to get a member of the party elected, and against an outsider of the party gaining the nomination.  Bernie Sanders governs and runs as an (I), but he had no shot at winning an election as an (I), so he tried to come in and win the nomination of the party with which he is more closely aligned.

Do we not think that the RNC worked just as hard, if not harder, against Trump?

Wasserman-Shultz is about useless, so I'm fine with her leaving, but not really for this.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: dirk on July 25, 2016, 09:16:45 AM
I'm beginning to think HRC really doesn't want to win. So she has made really no effort to court the Bernie voters, just assuming they will vote for her, which hasn't been going very well. Then we have the DNC email dump, which confirms what the Bernie supporters have been saying all along. DWS decides to step down (after the convention, which should at least make the convention interesting to see if she gets boo and heckled) which helps the party bring the Bernie supporters into the fold a little more since that is what they have been asking for. The whole point of the convention is to bring the party together and try and get everyone behind HRC and this was a good step in that direction. HRC then goes and announces she is bringing DWS on board to her campaign before she even leaves the DNC and before the convention? Way to ensure you piss off the Bernie supporters and make them not want to vote Democrat at all. She really is counting on people voting for her just because Trump is her opponent, as she isn't going out of her way to try and actually give people a reason to vote for her. This election is 2 people hoping they get elected because the other one is worse, which is terrible.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Markalot on July 25, 2016, 12:26:43 PM
I'm beginning to come to grips with the fact Trump may win.  It's ugly but not the end of the world.  Hillary is just too damn flawed.  I'm usually wrong, hopefully this time as well.

I don't care about the dems emails because Bernie is not a dem.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on July 25, 2016, 03:18:06 PM
I'm beginning to think HRC really doesn't want to win. So she has made really no effort to court the Bernie voters, just assuming they will vote for her, which hasn't been going very well. Then we have the DNC email dump, which confirms what the Bernie supporters have been saying all along. DWS decides to step down (after the convention, which should at least make the convention interesting to see if she gets boo and heckled) which helps the party bring the Bernie supporters into the fold a little more since that is what they have been asking for. The whole point of the convention is to bring the party together and try and get everyone behind HRC and this was a good step in that direction. HRC then goes and announces she is bringing DWS on board to her campaign before she even leaves the DNC and before the convention? Way to ensure you piss off the Bernie supporters and make them not want to vote Democrat at all. She really is counting on people voting for her just because Trump is her opponent, as she isn't going out of her way to try and actually give people a reason to vote for her. This election is 2 people hoping they get elected because the other one is worse, which is terrible.

They should have fired DWS long before this.  That was a debacle.  Although oddly, maybe not as bad as the Cruz thing with the GOP.  Because the Cruz thing was divisive.  The DWS the whole crowd-- Sanders and Clinton supporters seemed united in booing her.  So they can bond over hating her stupid guts.

I really don't care about the remaining Sanders supporters.  They're idiots.  I have as much interest in Democrats reaching out to them as I do in reaching out to Trump.

It's like the GOP catering to the far right.  Look where it's gotten them.



Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on July 27, 2016, 09:28:08 PM
Went to look at the Trump AMA today, which wasn't even a real AMA.

So strange, you would think this would be where he could just clean up.  He could not ask for a more fawning audience, they were deleting comments from others.  But it was just stuff like "Crooked Hillary sucks and I will make America Great!"  He answered maybe 10 questions, tops. 

I think he is really sort of so clueless he couldn't even answer the most basic softball policy questions from his own fans.  Although I suppose part of the problem is that the Reddit Trump community isn't really about Trump.  It's more about trolling and has just sort of randomly coalesced around him because he's the most annoying politician.  So he's almost kind of a bystander in his own subreddit.

Anyway, I was reading it, and I came across this from the site moderators.

"Yes, we ban people who can't accept that there are other opinions than whatever the establishment wants us to think."

Do they not see the irony, or do they not care?  I truly wonder.


Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Markalot on August 02, 2016, 04:15:14 PM
Will Trump's latest antics be enough to mortally wound him?

- insert purple heart joke here -
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Dan on August 02, 2016, 04:52:20 PM
Honestly, it feels like he's at the point where he's just trying to say the most outlandish things he can and see if he can get away with it. And somehow people keep eating it up.

It's basically straight out of The Producers.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: dirk on August 02, 2016, 05:41:04 PM
At this point, I don't think he can do anything to hurt himself too badly. The people supporting him either believe the same insane crap he does, in which case it will only make them like him more, or they are just so convinced that Hillary is the anti-christ that Trump would have to pull off a mask and reveal himself to be the actual devil before they will consider not supporting him.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Kwyjibo on August 02, 2016, 06:40:38 PM
And now he hates babies...
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Butter on August 02, 2016, 10:51:56 PM
Honestly, it feels like he's at the point where he's just trying to say the most outlandish things he can and see if he can get away with it. And somehow people keep eating it up.

It's basically straight out of The Producers.

I don't think people are exactly eating it up.  I would bet most Trump votes are actually just anti-Hillary votes.  He is getting close to crossing the line of losing even the moderates in his own party, at which point all the Wikileaks in the world won't save him.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Kwyjibo on August 02, 2016, 11:56:27 PM
 I want to believe that, Buttman but I just don't know anymore.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on August 03, 2016, 09:31:01 AM
I think the factors that worked for Trump could turn against him pretty quickly.

To me, there is a big chunk of Trump voters that are just trolls.  Like your Milo Yiannopoulos and Reddit types.  They just like having the power of hurting other people.  But the power isn't really coming from Trump.  It's basically coming from being complete dicks.  And they don't need Trump to do that. 

Trump was just a tool because backing Trump immediately pissed people off.  But if Trump crosses the line from pissing people off to just not being taken seriously, then those guys will abandon ship in droves.  They will just find some black actress to pick on or another offensive stance to take.  Because if Trump loses his power to offend, he's useless to them.

I think there was a legit question as to how many of those people would have actually voted for Trump anyway.  Because actually voting for Trump accomplishes nothing as it is done in private.  They only want to publicly tell people they are voting for Trump and supporting his crazy views which they can continue to do regardless of actual vote.

I don't think that characterizes all Trump supporters.  But I'd guess at least 10-15%.  And that's more than enough to cost him the election.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Markalot on August 03, 2016, 10:01:13 AM
I was out for dinner with the wife the other day and we were hanging out afterwards, not playing Pokemon go and certainly I did not catch 7 Pokemon because I would never play that game. 

A group of 3 guys, scrawny looking types, walked by with one guy talking about how much a damn liar Hillary was and how he didn't understand how anyone could vote for her. I'm a judgmental prick so my quick take was these losers don't vote anyway and probably represent a large number of Trump supporters, BUT I never heard him mention Trump.

I think all Trump will prove this election is how easy it is to con stupid people.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on August 04, 2016, 12:25:05 AM
It actually takes some skill to con stupid people, because stupid people's behavior is unpredictable to anyone bound by the rules of normal logic.

The key thing here is that Trump does not actually possess that skill.  His path happened to intersect those of stupid people by virtue of mostly luck.

The odd thing is that if Trump were to give a normal-ass speech.  Not even waffling-- he'd actually have to waffle less than he's already done-- but just attack the easily attacked parts of Clinton, take a hard line stance against immigration/furriners without trying to go over the top, he would massively jump up in the polls. 

Because no one thinks he can do it.  The expectations are so low for him.  If he could, it would allay the fears of many conservatives, and many people would be like "Gee, he can be a total ass, but when it's time to get serious he does it.  I love that flexibility."

It's amazing to me how he doesn't grasp this.  He doesn't have to compromise his stances at all.  In fact, he compromises more by trying to pick a fight with every single possible angle that he gets attacked on.  Democrats and Republicans are on opposite sides of most issues, so by going after everyone on every issue, he has no stance of his own.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on August 09, 2016, 11:35:36 PM
Dear well-meaning conservatives,

I don't need you to distance yourself from Trump.  I trust that you are not racists.  But I do need for you to stop being stupid.

The problem is not Trump.  The problem is the people who vote for Trump.  You can disassociate yourself from them.  You can clean up your party and stop them from voting Republican.  But you aren't stopping them from existing.  They are still shopping at stores, interacting with people, making hiring decision.  See what I'm saying?  You not being racist does not make the problem of racism in the US go away.

That's the reason I don't vote for you.  Maybe it surprises you that all these people are supporting Trump.  It doesn't surprise me at all.  I know these people are out there because I deal with them EVERY DAY.  So when you act like bigotry isn't a problem in the US, or you're like all surprised at racists at Trump rallies, its because your view of the current reality in the US is ridiculously wrong.  And when you think it's Trump conning people, you just show me how hopeless you really are.   Trump isn't convincing people to be bigots.  They were already bigots, and he's simply appealing to them.

So when some GOP leader can step up and say "Holy shit, were we ever wrong.  We had no idea that things were really like this" THEN you might start to get some votes from other than old white dudes.  You don't have to embrace affirmative action, or government spending.  You don't have to change your core beliefs.  Offer up free-market solutions.  It's all good.

You just need to convince people like me that you don't have your head totally up your ass.  Ir's not a question of racism, it's one of competency. When you can't see what is obviously in front of your face, I doubt you can lead the country.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on August 26, 2016, 10:23:07 AM
Every time Trump mentions kicking out the "Bad Dudes," my first reaction is "But what about rampant ninja related crimes these days?  The White House is no exception!"
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: dirk on August 26, 2016, 10:59:51 AM
I assume his plan is if he loses he will hire ninjas to kidnap the president and then show he is a bad enough to to save her.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: daytime drinking on August 26, 2016, 09:53:52 PM
people are too hyperbolic with trump.  he's just a man who hasn't been president yet.  america's worst reality show
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Bronzetree on September 01, 2016, 10:11:04 PM
Somebody say Trump?
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: euro60 on September 01, 2016, 10:48:47 PM
Apparently Trump was in Cincinnati today. Not that I would've noticed... or care
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Butter on September 02, 2016, 07:04:15 AM
people are too hyperbolic with trump.  he's just a man who hasn't been president yet.  america's worst reality show

He's a finalist though.  A position that only a couple of hundred people have been in through American history.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on September 17, 2016, 11:43:19 PM
Everything in America just makes me feel so sad right now.



Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on September 29, 2016, 11:53:19 PM
I dunno, man.  It's bad I guess that Gary Johnson doesn't know much about foreign countries.

But then I think, you have to ask yourself why should he know anything about it?  Dude is a Libertarian.  We do our thing, let them do theirs.  It's like asking someone what their neighbor looks like naked.  They don't know, because they don't want to know.  It would be weird if they knew.

I'm not Libertarian, so I think it's a major problem that Johnson doesn't know shit.  But you know what is an even more major problem?  That Trump also doesn't know shit, but thinks he does.  Gary Johnson's platform is not at all impacted by what Mexico does or who their leaders are.  Trump's platform is entirely contingent upon him making Mexico pay for a massively expensive wall along the border. 

If Johnson had said "I don't give a good goddamn who is in charge of other countries.  If they're brown, flush 'em down.  Make America Great Again!" then in that moment right there he would have taken enough Trump votes to cost him the election.

If we care about who knows the most shit about complex and/or obscure domestic and foreign policy issues, then this contest would have been over months ago. 95% of America knows less about domestic and foreign policy than Gary Johnson.  Trump is included in those numbers.  We don't want a leader who actually knows shit.  We want a leader who doesn't know shit and is PROUD of it.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: dirk on September 30, 2016, 08:38:17 AM
I gave johnson a pass on the Aleppo thing. Sure, he is pretty much an isolationist so his foreign policy skills are going to be bad. But the fact he couldn't even name a foreign leader? Not a single one? That is just plain ignorance when you are trying to be president. And when he finally comes up with a name, it's someone that isn't even in power anymore. Probably half the people you stop on the street would be able to name at least one leader of a country friendly to the US.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: euro60 on September 30, 2016, 09:17:42 AM
Johnson lost my vote on that. I mean, if you can't name a SINGLE foreign leader, not ONE, in the ENTIRE world, you just aren't worthy, sorry.

So it's pretty clear to me now that I will most likely not vote in the presidential election (but I'll still vote in the other races), or I will write-in a name.

I'm quite open to ideas as to a presidential write-in candidate. Feel free to make a suggestion (serious, hilarious or otherwise). Right now I'm thinking And Dalton. Or maybe AJ Green. 
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Drjohnrock on September 30, 2016, 09:24:00 AM
How about one of my daughter's favorite athletes, Adam Duvall?
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Dan on September 30, 2016, 09:51:16 AM
I'm not libertarian, so I'm not defending him and I wasn't going to vote for him regardless. However, when the headline that "Johnson couldn't name a single foreign leader" came up, I thought to myself..."how many foreign leaders can I name?"

It's a lot harder than I expected.

Here's who I thought of:

1. Angela Merkel
2. Justin Trudeau
3. Francois Hollande
4. Theresa May
5. Vladimir Putin
6. Kim Jong-Un


That's it. I could name 6, but two of them are because they are horrible. So is four (or six) significantly more than 0?

(Is Robert Mugabe still in charge of Zimbabwe?)

I mean, I'm not running for president so maybe I get a pass, but how many can YOU name?
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on September 30, 2016, 10:53:04 AM
Six is significantly more than 0, yes.  I would say that's most of the general roster of foreign leaders the average American should know.

The only other person I would add that I think it is important for people to know is. Xi Jinping is important.  But I think most people just don't know what to do with the name, they do kind of know what's happening in China.

I guess some people would say you should know the Mideast guys-- Netanyahu, Muburak, Ahmadinejad, Qadaffi.  But most of them are not leaders to be admired. 

Plus, I don't understand what's happening in the Mideast, I don't know anyone who understands what's happening in the Mideast, and I don't trust any politician who claims to understand what is happening in the Mideast.  So, is it really that helpful to know the leaders?   Kind of dubious.  But they are in the news a lot, and probably we should at least TRY to figure out what's happening in the Mideast.

I dunno.  This is kind of my whole problem with debates or whatever.  Clinton definitely knows a lot of stuff.  Fiorina seemed to know everything the GOP debates.  But at some point, aren't you just memorizing a bunch of stuff?  Like prepping for a debate question about the Mideast doesn't actually prepare you for the actual job of dealing with Muburak.

At the same time, you can't fall into Trump supporter level cynicism where you're just like "I don't understand this, and I think everyone is totally lying so I will just completely ignore everything and just vote for the guy who I think is on my side.  The more blatant the lies and the more obvious the incompetence the better, we're beating them at their own game!"

Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Dan on September 30, 2016, 12:11:47 PM
The only other person I would add that I think it is important for people to know is. Xi Jinping is important.  But I think most people just don't know what to do with the name, they do kind of know what's happening in China.
I knew it was a two letter name, and it had an X, but I couldn't remember if it was Xi or Xe, so I didn't include it. I also didn't know the Jinping part. You are correct - I might know a little about what's happening over there even if I can't remember who is doing it.

I guess some people would say you should know the Mideast guys-- Netanyahu, Muburak, Ahmadinejad, Qadaffi.  But most of them are not leaders to be admired. 
See, I know those guys - all of them, actually. The thing for me was "is Netanyahu still in office, or am I thinking of a past leader?" I thought that about about Muburak, too (plus I couldn't remember his first name).

So it's more like, if you say their names then I know who they are, but if you ask me to name them I cannot do it. I bet if the person who asked Gary Johnson about the world leaders asked him if he knows who Muburak is directly then there's a higher likelihood that he knows the answer.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: euro60 on September 30, 2016, 02:03:46 PM
Hollande (F)
Merkel (G)
Michel (B)
May (GB)
Netanyahu (Is)
Ergodan (Tur)
Abe (J)
Xi (Ch)
Putin (R)
Trudeau (Can)
Temur (sp?) (Braz)

That's right off the top of my head. I'm sure I can come up with more if I give it more thought.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on September 30, 2016, 08:14:54 PM
See, I know those guys - all of them, actually. The thing for me was "is Netanyahu still in office, or am I thinking of a past leader?" I thought that about about Muburak, too (plus I couldn't remember his first name).

Well a lot of them are technically past leaders.  I guess I took the question in a less formal sense.  Less "Name the current President of so-and-so" and more like "If you've been following recent world events like you should have, you should know these guys." 

I would expect or hope people know Mubarak because he was there for a long-ass time.  And was ousted during Arab Spring, which was a big deal.  I wouldn't blame people for not knowing the blink-and-you-missed-it succession of interim dudes, temporary coup d'etats, and "President"-type head honchos who have followed him.  I have no idea who they all are either.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on September 30, 2016, 08:30:13 PM
You know what this reminds me of?

So if you want to know about landlocked countries in Asia under the strong-arm hold of Buddhists... it's Nepal, it's Nepal, it's Nepal,  Nepal.  It's Nepal, it's Nepal, it's Nepal... Neeeh--pal, Neh-paaaAAAAAaaaawwwww.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: daytime drinking on October 01, 2016, 11:55:00 AM
it's strange more than anything, that a person in his position couldn't name a foreign leader.  i sort of think his team would have told him to expect such questions.  which i doubt anyone would want to be president if they couldn't answer these questions.  maybe he's just terrible with names.  i dunno.  he appears knowledgeable about the actual situations overseas.  well i hope.  but whatever.  this is the election where you hold your nose.  maybe gary's just trying to find a spot in the circus.  next interview he'll pass a blunt 
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on October 04, 2016, 11:33:40 PM
I could have told you that Kaine sucks as a speaker. 

He is the oat boring man alive (and tbf, not naturally mean) and  ill-suited as an attack dig.  Or really for any sort of public thing requiring charisma.  All his shit was rehearsed and it sounded  it.

Whereas Pence, despite my strong disdain for his views is fairly smart and a good speaker.

Odds were evened by Pence having to do the impossible, which is defend Trump's most ridiculous statements.  Which he had to waste a lot of time doing.

So in the end, no one cares about VP and I don't think either one scored a decisive blow anyway.  Which keeps focus on Clinton v Trumo which amounts to a Dem victory.

But for God's sake do NOT nominate Kaine for Pres.  I actually like the guy, but that would be a bloodbath.

There is no way the GOP doesn't win next election.  there is also no way the GOP nominee will not be someone ducking  horrible. 

Moderate/reasonable Right, you must make a stand.  You are now the only hope.  Except there aren't enough of you anymore, either.  Not enough true Libertarians.  Not enough feasible/moderate Dems.  We're pretty screwed.  Baby boomers need to die.  Only way the country moves forward.  But we keep coming up with ways to make these selfish, addled asshokes live longer.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on October 08, 2016, 12:31:20 AM
See?  This is why as a liberal I still somewhat side with the anti-PC types a bit.

It's obviously bad if Trump groped women or at least talked about groping women.  I don't condone it as a personal matter.

But this is also a dude who called Mexicans rapists, wants to ban Muslims, is complete freaking idiot with control of our nuclear arsenal, apparently bilked other tax payers out of a billion dollars, etc.

All of those crimes are a ridiculous amount worse than groping a couple of actresses Trump thinks is hot.  I'm glad if this costs him the election but for real?  after all that we know about this guy... this is what makes him unsuitable for President?  Not that he could literally kill every human being on the planet?
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: dirk on October 08, 2016, 07:28:46 AM
The difference is those other things are thing that don't affect white men and women. It's easy to be for deporting muslims when you aren't muslim or building a wall when you aren't an immigrant. Trump's support is probably about 98% white and 75% male, so those things don't matter to them because they will never affect them. But once you start talking this way about white woman, it is much harder for his supporters to just ignore it (although I'm sure many of them will). He finally said something about a subject that does apply to them (or at least those close to them) so they can't just say "yeah, this will never affect me or anyone I know, so I am all for it". His campaign has been run on the platform of "the other is bad" whether that other be Hillary Clinton, muslims, or mexicans. This isn't about the other so it isn't as easy to rationalize away how terrible it is.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Ella Minnow Pea on October 08, 2016, 06:23:40 PM
Just saw an ad for Hillary where the main character states that she is a Republican and will be crossing party lines to vote for Hillary, even though she doesn't always agree with her. Fascinating.

The bonus of being a swing state.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on October 08, 2016, 07:44:19 PM
The difference is those other things are thing that don't affect white men and women. It's easy to be for deporting muslims when you aren't muslim or building a wall when you aren't an immigrant. Trump's support is probably about 98% white and 75% male, so those things don't matter to them because they will never affect them. But once you start talking this way about white woman, it is much harder for his supporters to just ignore it (although I'm sure many of them will). He finally said something about a subject that does apply to them (or at least those close to them) so they can't just say "yeah, this will never affect me or anyone I know, so I am all for it". His campaign has been run on the platform of "the other is bad" whether that other be Hillary Clinton, muslims, or mexicans. This isn't about the other so it isn't as easy to rationalize away how terrible it is.

Yep.  He had his hardcore supporters that have always and still will support him.  But it's not enough to take the general election.

He really needed the Republicans who sort of weren't actively bigoted in anyway but were maybe willing to look the other way because they aren't Muslim or Mexican.  But now he went after something that matters to that group.

Which is why all of the GOP is now abandoning ship.  The "not actively bigoted but willing to look the other way" group is their base.

Think about this though.  If Cruz had held out just 2 more weeks, I think he would be President in 2020.  Now he is probably finished.  Couldn't have happened to a more deserving person.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on October 08, 2016, 10:26:34 PM
You know who did not vote "yes" on war, never put 30,000 emails on a private server, or got people killed in Bengazi, or cause black people to die in Chicago?

The Green River Killer, Kim Il Sung, Vladimir Putin, and Slobodan Milosevic, that's who!  Because anyone who has not ever held office in the US is automatically better than anyone who has ever held office in the US for any capacity for any amount of time.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: euro60 on October 08, 2016, 11:59:18 PM
No idea what that is supposed to mean, or imply.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Dan on October 09, 2016, 03:53:33 PM
hahaha. I think it means that the "reasons" that Hillary isn't a good candidate are fairly weak. And it's hard for someone who's been in politics for a long time to not have a track record of political mistakes.

Then compare that to someone who has not been in politics, and therefore doesn't have a track record of political mistakes.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on October 11, 2016, 11:02:50 PM
I don't think I'm buying this whole "Brazile leaked debate questions to Clinton" thing.

But I mean, Clinton has had the same sort of wishy-washy death penalty stance for awhile.  And she gave the exact same wishy-washy answer at the debate.  Which didn't go over too well, which it never does, because most Dems are anti-death penalty.  So what advantage did Hillary gain here, and how did it harm the US public? 

If CNN wanted to feed Clinton answers, why wouldn't they just get some stooge to open an email account and do it that way, instead of using Brazile as the go-between?  It would be much harder to trace.

I think Brazile is just asking for clarification on Clinton's stance on an issue so she can echo/spin it in her commentaries.  Maybe she knew the debate questions, or maybe she was just asking for general research purposes.  But in either instance, Clinton was not going to be caught cold in a debate by a question where her stance is known to be controversial among Dems and therefore she has studied and honed her position.  Say what you want about HRC, she prepares like a mofo and the question was one that she would have expected anyway.

The real problem here is that Brazile is basically in cahoots with Clinton not over the debate, but as a surrogate to defend her stances in her commentaries when she is supposed to be objective.  And that sucks, and CNN sucks and it's a joke.  But I think it's a joke that CNN uses Lewandowski as well.

It's like Trump complaining about the mic.  If he had hemmed and hawed and not had an answer, or otherwise behaving oddly then I would say okay, I can buy that as a reason he did bad in the first debate.  But it wasn't like Trump was saying he misspoke or was confused.  He doubled down on everything he said in that debate, and in fact it was more his post-debate reactions that really cost him rather than his debate answers.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Kwyjibo on October 12, 2016, 09:42:51 AM
It cracks me up that people don't understand that they go into those things KNOWING what they're going to say.  The questions are irrelevant.  All politicians do it, always have.  Trump was never confused about the questions, he just pivoted them to his liking, HRC is just better at it and can actually answer a straight question, if pressed.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Markalot on October 13, 2016, 10:18:30 PM
So is this a real Trump implosion that we've all been waiting for, or another head fake?
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on October 13, 2016, 10:45:19 PM
I think it's a Trump implosion.

I would have thought it impossible, but I think he is actually losing some of his base.

If I were a Trump supporter, I would want him attacking Clinton, reiterating his stance on immigration, etc. not getting in these personal mudslinging matches with women who I do not care whether he assaulted or not.  He can't stay on point for any length of time, and when he deviates it's about some perceived personal slight and not the larger, more important topic of preserving white, Christian culture in America.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Butter on October 14, 2016, 07:37:24 AM
I know I'm telling most what they already know, but his ego is so massive, he can't let any perceived slight go.  It was a wonder that they got him to basically shut up for  a month there in September... and it's no coincidence that the race was a virtual dead heat by then.... until the first debate happened.  Then when it came out that he LOST that debate, that's when it all started to go south.  He didn't lose... and if he did it wasn't his fault.

What was endearing to the right-wingers that wanted an outsider was off-putting to the middle.  Blaming everything on someone else just didn't work.

Trump will get his votes, mostly the "Never Hillary" type supporters, and those who do fit into HRC's "Basket of Deplorables" (as much as that was a mistake for her to actually SAY, she's not wrong).  But anyone who is voting FOR Trump is really doing some mental gymnastics to convince themselves that he will be good for America as a whole.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Kwyjibo on October 14, 2016, 06:03:21 PM

Trump will get his votes, mostly the "Never Hillary" type supporters, and those who do fit into HRC's "Basket of Deplorables" (as much as that was a mistake for her to actually SAY, she's not wrong).  But anyone who is voting FOR Trump is really doing some mental gymnastics to convince themselves that he will be good for America as a whole.

This.

All of the people I know fall into a few camps.

1. Hate Trump, voting Hillary.  Some of these actually like Hillary, my wife for one, I'm skeptical, but I don't hate her.
2. Hate Trump, hate Hillary, voting Johnson.  Most of these have no rational reason to dislike Hillary, or are Libertarian leaning to begin with.

Only one person I know, and not a close friend or anything, actually really likes what Trump stands for.  This is one out of many.  I don't know anybody that is voting for Trump just because they don't like Hillary.  Hopefully, this extrapolates out to the population.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on October 14, 2016, 07:48:56 PM
I think the universe of people who actually like Trump is very, very tiny.

And it's not the deplorables.  The deplorables simply find him to be a useful meme/tool to get their views across.  They like him mostly as a poke in the eye to the rest of the world.  They don't really care if Trump can build a wall to keep about Mexicans using their own money, they just care that he is expressing pro-white sentiments.  And I think some of them are starting to abandon Trump.  Because when he becomes less offensive and more of a laughing stock then he is useless to them and they will just find another meme.

But there is a subset of people who actually think that Trump can pull off all his grandiose promises, and black people will be better off, and the budget gets balanced, and no one pays taxes, and Latinos don't get raped trying to cross to the US, and Americans don't get raped by evil criminals, and all of America prospers.  It's probably no more than 5% of the population, but they are out there.  Their median age is probably like 70, too.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on October 14, 2016, 08:18:23 PM
I feel like there is probably a >50% chance Jessica Leeds is not telling the truth.  But there is like a 99% chance this Gilberthorpe dude is lying.

Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Ella Minnow Pea on October 14, 2016, 08:35:26 PM
Spouses getting into the political ad process in non-typical ways.

https://youtu.be/wzjRwNUQDRU

Locally, my state senator's wife claims in an ad that she's a Democrat, so she'll keep her Republican husband in line.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on October 14, 2016, 11:13:01 PM
I'm sorry.  I still can't get over this.  I thought my mind could not be further bogled by Trump craziness, but it was.

There is this woman who is accusing you of something that happened way, way long ago with no eyewitnesses.  This is a weak story, probably the weakest of all the accusations.  It may have happened sure, but there is no evidence to back it up.  This is an easy sell.  Just say "No, that didn't happen" and move on to the much bigger and more plentiful fish you have to fry. 

Except that then some crazy British dude says "Oh no. I was on the plane.  Trump didn't do it."  Key thing here is this guy is crazy.  But no, you can't resist.  You have to take the bait.  But now by using his testimony as a defense you just put Trump on that plane.  The event happened.  Trump is on the plane, in first class, next to this woman and interacting with her. 

Now the only thing left is conflicting witness reports as to the details of the interaction.  And your witness is CRAZY. 
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: euro60 on October 15, 2016, 12:23:44 AM
The Trump campaign is in total self-destruction.

As flawed as Hillary is, she doesn't have to do anything more to win the election, just let Trump be Trump.

To be honest, I am floored that the Ohio poll is still as close as it is.... I mean, are people completely blind?
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on October 15, 2016, 10:26:53 AM
What's a little surprising to me is that Trump won the nomination.  Although I suppose that is mostly a function of how primaries work and to a lesser extent the GOP running too crowded a field. 

What's not surprising to me is that once it became a two person race, that a fairly decent chunk of the populace would stick with Trump almost no matter what.  It's shocking to me how awful Trump's campaign has been and how eagerly he shoots himself in the foot with his lack of discipline and his outrageously poor attempts to spin.  He can't handle even the slightest negative thing.

So in that respect, I'm totally floored by Trump, but I am not at all floored by how many people still want to vote for him.  The reason WHY I'm floored by Trump is he doesn't seem to grasp how much insane leeway he had to simply ignore all of this stuff.  Ironically, Trump seems to have overestimated the American voter and thinks people won't vote for him if they perceive he is a racist or a crappy leader when in fact most conservatives do not care that much.

If it hadn't been Trump, the GOP would have nominated Cruz.  I think Cruz would have won.  If you are floored that the Ohio poll is this close, then I'm afraid to tell you that you are the one that has been blind.

It's really depressing, because I think we really need conservatives to get their shit together.  Obamacare is not the disaster people are making it out to be, but it does have some somewhat serious flaws.  We need to control spending.  The possibility of Bernie Sanders heading the Budget Committee really should be a little frightening.  There are lots of legit traditionally conservative viewpoints that need to be raised. 

Problem is, even if the House and/or Senate remain under GOP control, it'll still be mostly idiot Conservatives calling the shots and not the good ones.  The whole party just needs to be blown up.  You know you are in serious trouble when Liberty University students are repudiating Trump and half the GOP still won't.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on October 15, 2016, 01:06:12 PM
That McCrory is a piece of work.

"I told outrageous lies and said horribly bigoted and vicious things about minority groups.  Then passed a law allowing discrimination against them which as a byproduct made everyone hate my state and cost us many billions of dollars in revenues.  Also, I ran a corrupt administration that cost the residents more billions on top of that and screwed over my own party and close associates.

And now it's like people treat me like I'm some kind of an asshole or something.  Why?  Just because I screwed them all over for my own benefit?  It's like I don't even get invited to fancy charity dinners anymore.  Is that fair?  I don't get it."

Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Ella Minnow Pea on October 16, 2016, 04:22:01 PM
The Charlotte Observer, who didn't endorse him for the first time in 25 years, writes "McCrory’s term as North Carolina governor is the ultimate illustration of the Peter Principle."

Read more here: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/opinion/editorials/article108338327.html

Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on October 16, 2016, 07:11:53 PM
That seems to jibe with what my friend who works in NC gov. said.

He hates McCrory, but has defended him (slightly) as not being *that* terrible a person.  He mostly just wants to be governor and have everyone like him.  But he sucks at it and has no idea what he is doing.

So he's totally beholden to the Koch Bros/Tea Party/far right legislature types that put him in office and continue to half-assedly back him.  But he's really just their puppet and they are happy to let him take all the negative heat while they pull the strings behind the scenes.  Now that his purpose has been served and he is unelectable, they will drop him like a bad habit.

So I think in his own head, he might really be like "Why doesn't the public like me?  I'm did what people told me to do.  They said it would work.  AND I EVEN GAVE PEOPLE SOME COOKIES!"
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Kwyjibo on October 16, 2016, 11:26:27 PM
To be honest, I am floored that the Ohio poll is still as close as it is.... I mean, are people completely blind?

Man, I don't know what Ohio you're living in.  I am surrounded day in and day out by xenophobic, gun nut, bigots.  I was not even slightly surprised when every other house on my street sprouted a Trump sign.  I'm actually afraid to put out a Hillary sign, it would be as good as asking for my property to get messed with.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: va-vacious on October 16, 2016, 11:43:24 PM
I'm scared to put out a Hillary sign, bumper sticker, or wear a t-shirt. Georgia is not friendly to Democrats!
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: euro60 on October 17, 2016, 01:15:00 AM

Man, I don't know what Ohio you're living in.  I am surrounded day in and day out by xenophobic, gun nut, bigots.  I was not even slightly surprised when every other house on my street sprouted a Trump sign.  I'm actually afraid to put out a Hillary sign, it would be as good as asking for my property to get messed with.
Very interestingly, on my street in Blue Ash (suburban Cincy), there is not a single yard sign, not one. This is in complete contrast with past presidential elections. I typically have put up yard signs in the past (as have many of my neighbors), but this year, I refuse. And I think a lot of my street neighbors feel likewise. I think many of us (in suburban Cincy, overwhelmingly white I might add) are completely disgusted with the choices we have in the presidential election.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on October 18, 2016, 11:48:54 AM
Very interestingly, on my street in Blue Ash (suburban Cincy), there is not a single yard sign, not one. This is in complete contrast with past presidential elections. I typically have put up yard signs in the past (as have many of my neighbors), but this year, I refuse. And I think a lot of my street neighbors feel likewise. I think many of us (in suburban Cincy, overwhelmingly white I might add) are completely disgusted with the choices we have in the presidential election.

I think you are probably right that in wealthier, white, typically GOP-leaning areas neither candidate is popular enough to inspire yard signs.

But also don't gloss over the fact that Kwyjibo, va-vacious, (and myself) not making overt statements of political, because we do not want our property vandalized, or to be screamed at and intimidated, or possibly physically harmed.

None of us are surprised that people are sticking with Trump no matter what he does.  If this is a shock to you, then you kinda need to wake up.  This is the state of the US.  This is the state of the GOP.  It's been this way for a decade now.

I'll give you another example.  There is a GOP candidate running for House in my district.  I actually kind of like him.  He's a moderate GOP who is not a nut, just a sort of traditional conservative low tax, pro-business, balance budget guy (without being far-right crazy about any of those issues) running a fairly clean campaign.

But this guy is running in my district (which has been newly re-arranged because GOP got struck down for unconstitutional gerrymandering AGAIN).  My district is liberal-- and you know it's liberal because the S. CT. pretty much said "Hey, you need to make a liberal district" and Bam! there we were.

So he's going to get smoked.  Probably by 8-10%.  But the reason he is running in my liberal district instead of the conservative districts bordering it, is that he actually has even LESS chance of winning in a Republican district.  He wants to repeal Obamacare, but he *gasp* wants to have an alternative plan in place first.  That alone wipes out his chances of winning.  Not to mention he doesn't deny global warming and isn't against gay marriage.

But that's how bad things are.  A guy who is a perfectly normal, perfectly traditional mainstream/moderate Republican has more of a chance of winning or at least getting his message heard running against a Democrat in a heavily left-leaning district than in supposedly friendly territory.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Butter on October 18, 2016, 11:59:32 AM
But also don't gloss over the fact that Kwyjibo, va-vacious, (and myself) not making overt statements of political, because we do not want our property vandalized, or to be screamed at and intimidated, or possibly physically harmed.

Yeah this is it.  We've had signs in the past, but is it worth risking any kind of retribution to announce it this year to my 80% GOP neighborhood?  No.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: euro60 on October 18, 2016, 03:04:39 PM
It was reported in today's Financial Times that Trump's son-in-law is talking to deep-pocketed investors about starting up a Trump-centric Fox-like TV channel after the elections. I wonder what that channel would be called....  Church lady, where are you when we need you?

The political landscape post-election will be a complete disaster, at least on the GOP side. I really can't see how 'traditional' (pro-business, fiscally conservative, socially moderate) folks like myself can remain GOP-leaning when it turns out the GOP has been hijacked by a nationalist-populist whose fundamental believes are NOTHING like the traditional GOP positions. It's gonna get uglier before it's gonna get better. Might even be the end of the two-party system as we know it.

It could well be that Trump will be one of the most 'important' politicians (surely at least since Reagan) if a radical reshaping of the political landscape comes about.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: MissKitty on October 18, 2016, 09:02:34 PM
To be honest, I am floored that the Ohio poll is still as close as it is.... I mean, are people completely blind?

Man, I don't know what Ohio you're living in.  I am surrounded day in and day out by xenophobic, gun nut, bigots.  I was not even slightly surprised when every other house on my street sprouted a Trump sign.  I'm actually afraid to put out a Hillary sign, it would be as good as asking for my property to get messed with.

Yeah, I saw a shit ton of Trump signs when I visited your neck of the woods recently. Just to stay sane, I told myself that every house that DIDN'T sport Trump/Pence signage was voting for HRC ... even if they aren't. Sanity preserved, kinda.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on October 18, 2016, 10:26:51 PM
I don't get the Malik Obama thing.  I could see inviting the dude in as a sneaky way to say "Hey, look this just proves Obama isn't American.  Look at his 'African' Muslim half-brother!  We're not safe."

Except that M. Obama is endorsing Trump, and Trump is playing up the endorsement.  I don't see how a Muslim with ties to Gaddafi to a debate going to get conservatives on your side.  A Muslim with ties to Gaddafi who has said he suspects he is not actually related to Obama.

And how is that supposed to ice Hillary Clinton in any way?  She's probably never even met him.

I'm sure his base will figure out some twist to try and make this look like genius on Trump's part.  But Trump could invite half of ISIS to the debate and they'd still do the same thing.  At least that would kind of make sense in an "I'm just going to blow up the election" way.  Malik Obama is just like, some random dude.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Butter on October 20, 2016, 01:19:55 PM
Just don't fuck this up Hillary.

DON'T. FUCK. IT. UP.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: euro60 on October 20, 2016, 04:22:10 PM
The only way that Hillary loses this election is:

(a) She has a major health issue occurrence ("major" meaning complete physical collapse, or heart attack, or something of that nature); or

(b) There is a major terrorist attack in the US; or

(c) Yet more hacked emails are released that contain true smoking guns as to her close ties to Wall Street, or the "pay for play" access to Secretary of State Clinton via the Clinton Foundation, or a "47 percent" Mitt Romney-like statement, etc.

Ask yourself: what are the chances of any of this happening in the next 19 days? Very unlikely I'd say.

So everyone chill. There's golf to be played. Grass to be cut. Football to be watched. Bands to be checked out. Craft beers to be sampled. Taste of Belgium @ the Banks to be opened. Then wake up Wednesday morning November 9, and smile.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Kwyjibo on October 20, 2016, 04:49:56 PM
It was reported in today's Financial Times that Trump's son-in-law is talking to deep-pocketed investors about starting up a Trump-centric Fox-like TV channel after the elections. I wonder what that channel would be called....  Church lady, where are you when we need you?

Robert Reich has been calling that play for a while.  Once he brought Ailes on board, there really wasn't any doubt that it would happen.  And you thought FOX New was hateful, holy shit.

Yeah, I saw a shit ton of Trump signs when I visited your neck of the woods recently. Just to stay sane, I told myself that every house that DIDN'T sport Trump/Pence signage was voting for HRC ... even if they aren't. Sanity preserved, kinda.

You mean in Middletucky?  We still have the house there, but we've actually moved down the road from Julie's mother.  We're on the Miami Township/Germantown/Miamisburg line now.  Trump signs all over in both places.  I kind of understand it here, because it's all rich, white people (and then us, we've got the white part, I guess) but I do not understand it in Middletown at all.  Most of those people on our old street don't have a pot to piss in, why are they Trump supporters?
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: euro60 on October 20, 2016, 05:07:40 PM
We're on the Miami Township/Germantown/Miamisburg line now.  Trump signs all over in both places.  I kind of understand it here, because it's all rich, white people (and then us, we've got the white part, I guess) but I do not understand it in Middletown at all.  Most of those people on our old street don't have a pot to piss in, why are they Trump supporters?
I think you've got it mixed up:

"rich" white people are shunning Trump by the masses

"poor" or "blue collar" white people LOVE Trump (and the populism he stands for). I totally get why once-thriving, now dilapidated Middletown is ground zero Trump country. These folks want to turn the clock back to the 1960s if at all possible. Make America great again.   
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on October 20, 2016, 08:24:22 PM
"rich" white people are shunning Trump by the masses

Not totally true, though.

Women, regardless of race and income don't like him.  Which means he is losing a portion of the rich, white vote due to gender.  But he is still more popular among rich, white women than any other income/race demogaphic bar poor, white women.

The income gap is a myth.  He is less popular among college-educated white men vs non-college educated.  But a lot of non-college educated white men are still fairly affluent.  Especially compared to the general population as whites earn more than minorities and men earn more than women.  And even then, he has only fallen even with or slightly behind Clinton very recently amongst that demographic.  He was ahead just two weeks ago.

He is legit being shunned by just about every minority group in the US (women, blacks, hispanics, LGBT, and even Asians now).  But he's not really being "shunned" by rich whites.  He is merely less popular than previous Republican candidates and less popular than Clinton. 
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: euro60 on October 20, 2016, 10:42:21 PM
But he's not really being "shunned" by rich whites.  He is merely less popular than previous Republican candidates and less popular than Clinton.
Not that I would consider myself "rich" although I make a fairly nice living, but within my circle of friends that would be GOP-leaning like myself, I don't know of a single one who plans on voting for Trump. They (like me) are either planning to simply not vote in the presidential race (but still voting on other races), or vote for Hillary (which is what I'm leaning to, and pretty sure of, but let's see what the next 19 days bring).
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on October 22, 2016, 11:21:33 AM
Your circle of acquaintances is probably more cosmopolitan than even the average college-educated Republican.  I think that might be the difference.

You've strongly disliked Trump from the start, and I'm guessing it's the same with your friends.  They probably have some issues with not just how he behaves personally, but also to some extent with his "core values" of being rather alarmingly isolationist and the kinds of "deplorable" supporters he seems to pick up.  All that stuff.

But while I don't know anyone at this point who is voting for Trump either, I know quite a few who still semi-support him.  They don't necessarily agree with some of the more xenophobic stuff, but to them that is small potatoes compared to repealing Obamacare, or lesser taxes, or reducing the supposed stranglehold of the "liberal elite."

They strongly believe in most of (what they think is) his platform.  They think the election is rigged  They honestly believe that in a "fair" system, Trump would be the better leader by far.

They are simply not voting for him due to pragmatic reasons.  They think it is better if Trump loses, and conservatives and the GOP get their act together, and in four years they can trot out someone exactly like Trump who campaigns a little smarter.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Kwyjibo on October 23, 2016, 10:18:34 PM
"rich" white people are shunning Trump by the masses

This just isn't the case.  Educated, white collar, white people, maybe.  But the "self-made" types are all over Trump.  They think they should pay a smaller share of taxes than people who make almost nothing, they don't want white people and Mexicans in their communities, they seriously think Hillary is a criminal, and the really think it matters that her Husband got a hummer in the Oval Office.  These are not the white people you know.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: euro60 on October 24, 2016, 09:41:29 AM
Very interestingly, on my street in Blue Ash (suburban Cincy), there is not a single yard sign, not one. This is in complete contrast with past presidential elections. I typically have put up yard signs in the past (as have many of my neighbors), but this year, I refuse. And I think a lot of my street neighbors feel likewise. I think many of us (in suburban Cincy, overwhelmingly white I might add) are completely disgusted with the choices we have in the presidential election.
*UPDATE*

Some political yard signs are starting to pop up on my street. As of Sunday afternoon, I now count 3 Hillary yard signs. still 0 Trump signs.

I did notice several houses that now have Rob Portman and other GOP candidate yard signs, but conspicuously no Trump yard sign.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Markalot on October 24, 2016, 03:30:00 PM
Your circle of acquaintances is probably more cosmopolitan than even the average college-educated Republican.  I think that might be the difference.

Mine isn't, and still not one person I know is voting for Trump.  Not even my brother in law, who is typically rabid right wing.  He's a Hillary hater so he won't vote for her, but not for Trump either.

I think the polling being reported in the mainstream media (see, I'm still I right winger) is keeping the race tight for $$$.  Either that or polling has gone so off the rails that it can no longer be relied upon at all.  I wanted to say this so I could compare once the election is done.  I think Trump loses big, really big.  The deplorables probably won't be able to find their voting location anyway, and with polls slowly turning down the enthusiasm will be down as well.

There is a single Trump Pence sign in my NKY neighborhood, no other signs at all so far.

Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on October 25, 2016, 01:54:12 AM
Well, the "mainstream media" polls are showing Clinton with a pretty big lead so not sure they are manipulating things.  There are enough hardcore partisans that some of them will always vote oarty no matter what.

I agree with you though, that come voting time I think Clinton will win by more than the polls.  Partly because the polls are always a bit behind and Trump is dropping like a stone.  And partly because people will tend not to vote if they think their person is too far behind to win (and if they think the voting is rigged, too).

But also because I've said all along that Trump is really just a meme/tool for many Reddit/4chan type deplorables.  It's their PUBLIC support of Trump that is intended to piss everyone off, or blow up the system, or perhaps forward the progress of white nationalism.  If you just quietly and privately vote for Trump in a voting booth you and your cause don't get the same attention.  Therefore, I've always felt there are more people who are loudly proclaiming their support but won't actually vote for him than there are people who secretly support him but won't say so out loud.

Like the Ghostbusters thing.  How many people out there really felt like Ghostbusters was some untouchable classic being ruined by Leslie Jones?  Or even cared about Leslie Jones as a comedian actress?  Not many.  It was just something where they all randomly decided would be "fun" if they all ganged up and tried to take her down.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on October 26, 2016, 04:12:32 PM
Hey America,

Just thought I would remind you that Megyn Kelly is still not a very nice or smart person.

Just because she has slightly more sense than Sean Hannity and Bill O'Reilly, and just because she happens to take on Trump because of selfish reasons impacting her (mainly, treatment of women, and treatment specifically of Megyn Kelly) doesn't make her in any way admirable. objective, or smart.

Set the bar higher, people.  Much higher.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Dan on October 26, 2016, 04:23:45 PM
No one is buying my plan for a radical overhaul of financial aid. 

My plan is this:  When you calculate need, you get to count one child in your family size regardless of how many kids you have.  So like, if you've got two parents and two kids, your household size is 3.  Not 4.

I'm tired of hearing about how households earning over $100,000 a year are "middle class" and need financial aid because they have three kids.  Poor people have kids because well... they're poor.  Not a whole lot going on in their futures.  Simple application of evolutionary principles will tell you that we are geared towards if you expect to live a short and crappy life it's imperative to breed, and long-term planning is out the window. 

Now contrast this with an educated, affluent household.  Having kids is a DECISION for them.  And probably one of the first things you think about when you have a kid is "Can I pay for the college tuition?"  And if you're going to get aid for that extra kid, then that changes the equation.  Plus it's just like basic economics.  Most people want ONE kid to pass on their genes or so they don't die unloved or whatever.  The second kid is nice, but not as important.  It's diminished marginal utility.

So I think we incentivize upper-middle class parents to have children way more than the poor.  Plus those $100k, 3 kid families aren't really that poor.  I mean, regardless of whether college is paid for if you have two kids and the third kid means your family goes on welfare, you're not having that third kid.  Because welfare really isn't that much.  It's kind of a crappy lifestyle.  You'd be screwing over your other two kids.  So these are families that SHOULD be upper middle class/rich and voluntarily become lower middle/middle class.  Why should I pay for the college tuition for their THIRD kid, when some family has one kid and is involuntarily poor?

Every time I bring this up, someone says "Well, what about the kid?  We don't want to punish the children!"  Which is laughable, since these people are usually conservative.

Huh. Now that I'm married, this means a lot more to me now. Well said ZK.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on October 28, 2016, 12:19:15 AM
I couldn't even construct a plausible legal defense for Bundy et al.  There's no evidence in dispute.  It's open-and-shut.  Except for being white, I guess.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Markalot on October 28, 2016, 08:30:22 AM
Polls are getting closer again.  I knew I could count on them.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: euro60 on October 28, 2016, 10:08:14 AM
Polls are getting closer again.  I knew I could count on them.
Polls: proving themselves more irrelevant than ever, one day at the time.

I don't believe the polls one bit. It's going to be a landslide for Hillary.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Butter on October 28, 2016, 02:40:34 PM
I don't think it's going to be a landslide.  I do think it'll be a convincing win, a la Obama over Romney, something like 330-200 in the electoral college, which is about as convincing as it gets nowadays. 
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on October 28, 2016, 05:40:48 PM
I still think Clinton wins, but I'm gonna say like 310-ish.   I think she loses most of the dead heat states.  But all she really needs to do is win like 50-75% of the Dem leaners and she will get to 270.    So she should be able to do that fairly easily.

Or put it another way, I think Clinton flips NC, but loses OH so that offsets.  Then I think she loses FL.  That puts her at around 300.  Everything else plays out more or less like 2012.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Markalot on October 28, 2016, 08:34:36 PM
Now add the FBI re-open into the mix.  This is like a bad movie.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on October 28, 2016, 09:09:36 PM
Now add the FBI re-open into the mix.  This is like a bad movie.

I actually don't get the big hubbub over this.

Granted, we don't know what's in those e-mails.  It could turn out that Clinton and Abedin are talking about spies and classified docs and troop movements on her private server, which of course would be wrong.  So I'm not saying this couldn't THEORETICALLY be a big deal.  But people are acting like this is ALREADY a big deal.

If Weiner's computer sent emails to Clinton's private server, so what?  That's an entirely appropriate and recommended use of a private server.  I would be far more concerned if they WEREN'T on a private server.  Neither Weiner nor his weiner have anything to do with official US business.  The scandal would be if communications with Weiner from Weiner's computer or about Weiner WERE on State Department servers.

I dunno.  I don't think Comey's doing anything wrong, either.  He found some stuff that could be relevant to one or more investigations.  He should ask for it and not be influenced by the election one way or the other.  If we find out he was sitting on this for months, that's bad.  But if he wasn't, he's absolutely proper in not waiting until
November 9.

Basically, I don't find anything particularly scandalous or corrupt about any of this.  Clinton had a private email server.  Big whoop.  Clinton and her aide and her aide's then husband emailed each other using this private server.  Big whoop.  Comey, investigating a guy who may have solicited underage sex via the internet/phone/email is looking at emails involving the suspect that are stored on a non-classified server.  Big whoop.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Kwyjibo on October 28, 2016, 09:13:03 PM
Now add the FBI re-open into the mix.  This is like a bad movie.

I don't think anything is going to come of it.  They've just said they're looking at some e-mails that have come to light, not that they think they really amount to anything.  I think there will most likely be a pretty quick review and dismissal, Comey doesn't want this shit on his shoulders, plus, they're not going to find anything.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Kwyjibo on October 28, 2016, 09:15:24 PM
Basically, I don't find anything particularly scandalous or corrupt about any of this.  Clinton had a private email server.  Big whoop.  Clinton and her aide and her aide's then husband emailed each other using this private server.  Big whoop.  Comey, investigating a guy who may have solicited underage sex via the internet/phone/email is looking at emails involving the suspect that are stored on a non-classified server.  Big whoop.

Yep.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on October 29, 2016, 12:12:11 AM
I don't know.  I think the vast majority of people who are undecided are looking desperately for a reason not to vote for Hillary at this point.  So it will dent her support for sure..  It SHOULDN'T matter.  But it will. I guess I would say the same about yet another video emerging of Trump skeeving out women.  Or being all racist at a rally. The vast majority of voters have decided how they feel about these things already.   

People keep talking about how Trump has maxed out his support, but Hillary maxed hers out long ago as well.  It's just that Hillary is up so she's looking to play prevent while Trump is going Hail Mary.  Bar some shocking revelation, I expect Trump to keep gaining support from here on out.  I just don't think it will be enough.

And I'm annoyed we even have to talk about this.  Country is screwed up bad.  Election won't fix it.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Markalot on October 29, 2016, 08:55:08 AM
Just like the polls showing the race tightening this is great for the news cycle and will be overplayed.  IMO of course.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on October 29, 2016, 10:48:22 AM
I don't think the papers are rigging the polls.  I think people rig the polls, or more likely if you haven't made up your mind by now you are pretty much an idiot so it is not surprising you might vacillate week to week.  I don't think the polls are dead-on accurate or anything, but I do think they are as good as you can get.

I dunno.  If Clinton were leading by more, I would probably vote for the GOP candidate representing my district in the House (he will lose anyway).  As things stand, I will likely go straight ticket.

I really don't mind Clinton that much, so I would vote for her over Trump even if she were up or down by 35%.  If I were in a close state and really liked a third party, I would still vote for that person.  But if I were in a closely contested state and mainly looking at a third party "protest" vote, I think I would hold my nose and vote Clinton. 

My conservative friends are pretty torn about it.  I know of at least three who are still deciding whether to vote Johnson or Clinton depending on the polls.  I am sure there are some people who are doing Johnson/Trump, and whenever Clinton pulls ahead they think "I can't let a liberal win.  Now I can vote for Trump and have a 'clear conscience' because he won't actually win."

So they do influence elections, even if it is isn't by very much.  I don't know how I feel about that. 
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Ella Minnow Pea on October 29, 2016, 04:29:11 PM
Do you get local news headlines like this? "Pence, Cooper, McCrory and Will Ferrell visit NCSU game Saturday"
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: euro60 on October 31, 2016, 11:16:05 AM
I got my health insurance plan renewal information in the mail on Friday. I have coverage through Obamacare, "catastrophic" coverage with a high deductible. Doctor's visits or any other usage of the plan in the past year: zero.

The premium increase to keep the same plan: 22%. Wow, just wow.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: euro60 on October 31, 2016, 12:09:22 PM
From the HRC website for anyone interested:

Mon, Oct 31, 2016, 6:15pm – 8:15pm EDT

Join Hillary Clinton in Cincinnati!

Smale Riverfront Park
100 Ted Berry Way Cincinnati, Ohio 45202
 
Official event

On Monday, October 31, to kick off the final full week of early voting before the election, Hillary Clinton will return to Ohio to urge Ohioans to vote early.

 With more people voting in this election than any in history, Ohioans can learn more about early voting at HillaryClinton.com/OHVotesEarly.

 Doors open at 3:45pm.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on October 31, 2016, 06:54:28 PM
I got my health insurance plan renewal information in the mail on Friday. I have coverage through Obamacare, "catastrophic" coverage with a high deductible. Doctor's visits or any other usage of the plan in the past year: zero.

The premium increase to keep the same plan: 22%. Wow, just wow.

To be blunt, I don't really care if you have to pay a lot for health care. You have money and options.  If you sign up for Obamacare, it SHOULD cost you a lot, because your money is covering people who are higher risk.  That's how universal coverage works.

Having said that, I have an insanely great health insurance plan.  I should be paying more to help other people without insurance as well.  Like, A LOT more.  Which would then defray your costs, making your health insurance cheaper.

I am willing to do that, but I can't.  Because within my world of people having awesome health benefits, my health benefits are comparatively crappy as my money is going to perfectly well-off people with perfectly fine health benefits who believe their benefits should be even better so they can afford unnecessary tests and medical procedures on their perfectly fine kids they keep cranking out.

Also, I would agree that Obama and Democrats are guilty of over-selling Obamacare as "cheaper health insurance for all" instead of "health insurance for poor people that couldn't otherwise afford it, paid for by those who can."  So they deserve some of the criticism they are getting.

And also, it's not really working for many people it was intended to help.  Universal healthcare should have replaced Medicare/Medicaid, but it didn't. So we have like all these systems running on top of each other which makes it very confusing and we can't pay for it all.  Also, small employers and employees of small companies are still getting screwed.

What we need are some fiscally-conservative Republicans who want to come up with tweaks to Obamacare or a better plan.  Unfortunately, all we have are the obstructionist, "It's SOCIALISM!!!" type of GOP who are hellbent on repealing Obamacare with no plan in place to help the uninsured in other ways.  If you are going to get rid of Obamacare, at least get rid of Social Security, Medicare, and ERISA too.  Then we start from scratch and figure out a better system.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: euro60 on October 31, 2016, 10:47:32 PM
From the HRC website for anyone interested:

Mon, Oct 31, 2016, 6:15pm – 8:15pm EDT

Join Hillary Clinton in Cincinnati!

Smale Riverfront Park
100 Ted Berry Way Cincinnati, Ohio 45202
 
Official event

On Monday, October 31, to kick off the final full week of early voting before the election, Hillary Clinton will return to Ohio to urge Ohioans to vote early.

 With more people voting in this election than any in history, Ohioans can learn more about early voting at HillaryClinton.com/OHVotesEarly.

 Doors open at 3:45pm.

At a last minute whim, after seeing the Hillary convoy of police and SUVs driving by my office building on 3rd street at 5:45 pm, I decided to walk down and attend. I was surprised how easy it was to get in. The event started at 6:15 pm sharp, and after a couple of introductions, Hillary came one. She was giving her usual stump speech, but the background (against the Suspension Bridge on her back, and the downtown skyline) was so spectacular, it was really amazing.

So here I am, GOP-forever leaning, and now voting for Hillary. I'd never thunk it. But Trump must be stopped, at all cost.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on November 01, 2016, 07:07:55 PM
Strange (and sad) world, eh?

I was trying to come up with what a mirror image choice might be for a moderate liberal. 

I was like "Who is sort of an iconic Republican whose views and just everything about them constantly remind of why I dislike the GOP?  And on top of that is sort of a career, sleazy politician who is greatly dislikable personally as well who I would enjoy voting against with great gusto?

"And then who is a far left winger who is just totally crazy.  So crazy they are not even truly "left," they are just straight up crazy.  And who would be so awful that I would completely fear for the future of this country not just because of their policies but just for the mere fact that people are stupid enough to vote for this person?"

And I came up with Newt Gingrich vs. Jill Stein.

If my choices were Jill Stein, Newt Gingrich or a throwaway protest vote for Johnson that could lead to a Stein victory....I would vote for Newt Gingrich.  But man, would I pretty pissed off about it.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: euro60 on November 01, 2016, 10:52:59 PM
Just to be clear: I am not a fan of Hillary. But my dislike and fear of Trump trumps (pun intended) that. So I will hold my nose and vote for Hillary.

The latest polls seem to indicate things are going to be very close (certainly in Ohio), so every vote counts.

As I've mentioned before, I am quite certain that if Trump loses, it will lead to the splintering of the GOP. As a long-time member of the Blue Ash (suburban Cincy) Republican Party, the difference between this election and previous couldn't be starker. While in previous elections, the head of the Blue Ash Republican Party would relentlessly send out emails about voting for/supporting/contributing to the Republican nominee. This year? Not ONE email, none!
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Kwyjibo on November 01, 2016, 10:58:56 PM
So, the FBI really hates the Clintons...
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on November 01, 2016, 11:54:26 PM
Just to be clear: I am not a fan of Hillary. But my dislike and fear of Trump trumps (pun intended) that. So I will hold my nose and vote for Hillary.

The latest polls seem to indicate things are going to be very close (certainly in Ohio), so every vote counts.

As I've mentioned before, I am quite certain that if Trump loses, it will lead to the splintering of the GOP. As a long-time member of the Blue Ash (suburban Cincy) Republican Party, the difference between this election and previous couldn't be starker. While in previous elections, the head of the Blue Ash Republican Party would relentlessly send out emails about voting for/supporting/contributing to the Republican nominee. This year? Not ONE email, none!

Oh no.  I get it.  I'm entirely sympathetic to the decision you had to make and respect you for seeing past party politics.

As for the GOP, I am skeptical they learn a thing if they lose.  They will punish Kasich and others for breaking rank, and just trot someone out there with the same horrible views as Trump but more legit in their racism, and little more able to stay on message.

There just aren't enough moderate Republicans anymore.  Maybe if you really get cracking on the grass roots you can move the party back to the center.  But I think we are all just stuck waiting for a bunch of old white men to die.  Sounds dick-ish to say it, but then, they are being fucking dicks so...
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Markalot on November 06, 2016, 08:15:00 AM
ranting ...

So we are at the point where the US economy has failed enough that a decent percentage of people will actually vote for trump because they don't see how things can get worse.  If Clinton, who I am voting for, continues the path Obama took with the economy then this number will only get bigger.  That's why it seems like we've gone off a cliff, and it should be expected. 

We are a democracy (ok, democratic republic) where every citizen has the right to vote.  This includes the chain smoking pickup driver with the Trump sticker.  It includes the deplorables.  If these folks can't make it in this economy they will tend to vote for whoever tells them they can help.  There should be no surprise.  You can't hand these people money and expect them to know what to do, you can't cut their taxes and expect miracles, and you can't give them cheap healthcare and expect them to go for free regular checkups. 

The only thing that works is a vibrant economy where they can get a job that pays enough to live on. The cynic in me says as long as they are happy enough they either won't vote or won't vote for crazies.  What policies will allow the economy to grown, small business to thrive, and the creation of jobs that provide a living wage?  Raising minimum wage sure as hell won't, all that does is raise the cost of the cheapest sector of the economy and start a round of inflation until minimum wage is once again too small to live on.  Raising minimum wage should be the very last thing in any economic recovery plan.  It's a bandage on the wrong wound.  You don't want fast food workers making a living wage, these are temporary jobs, you want permanent jobs that pay a living wage.  These jobs are missing and you can't pretend to bring them back by raising the minimum wage.

The one point of surprise agreement between the candidates is how global trade agreements have hurt our economy.  I'm starting to agree with this.  How does moving a job overseas where pay is less help the US?  It helps the company that does it save money, but it effects the lives of millions of registered voters (ghostbusters).  Perhaps this is the best thing that has ever happened to wake us up to the long term negative effects of some of these policies?

Or not.

It's the economy, stupid. (Carville)

Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Kwyjibo on November 06, 2016, 09:47:23 PM
The one point of surprise agreement between the candidates is how global trade agreements have hurt our economy.  I'm starting to agree with this.  How does moving a job overseas where pay is less help the US?  It helps the company that does it save money, but it effects the lives of millions of registered voters (ghostbusters).  Perhaps this is the best thing that has ever happened to wake us up to the long term negative effects of some of these policies?

But NAFTA hasn't been the major drain on our economy that everybody would have you believe.  Most of the jobs have been lost due to automation, not to overseas workers.  This is a case of correlation, not causation.  There was a pretty good explanation of this on This American Life a couple of weeks ago in the episode "Seriously?"  Similar article in The Atlantic:  http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2012/04/4-politically-controversial-issues-where-all-economists-agree/255600/
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: euro60 on November 06, 2016, 10:34:33 PM


But NAFTA hasn't been the major drain our economy that everybody would have you believe.  Most of the jobs have been lost due to automation, not to overseas workers.
I completely agree with this. NAFTA has been a winner when looking at it in the big picture.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Markalot on November 07, 2016, 07:57:13 AM
I don't even thinking of NAFTA when thinking about global trade agreements.  :)  I'm thinking the large losses in manufacturing jobs to other countries, mostly NOT in Mexico or Canada.  I'm carefully trying to say that there will always be a large sector of our society that cannot do highly technical work and these people must be made into productive members of our society.  If we automate or ship these jobs elsewhere we will continue to have these issues.

The service sector can only get so big.

The price of college keeps increasing and the number of jobs that do not require a college degree keeps decreasing.  Eventually a Trump will win unless something changes.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on November 07, 2016, 07:57:52 AM
The two sides come at it from different angles, though.

The Republican/Trump stance is... frankly a load of BS.  If you are taking a libertarian/capitalist/free market stance free trade is always a good thing.  A free trade agreement restricts companies and consumers from both countries and is therefore inefficient.

Trump saying that we need to drive harder bargains or whatnot is completely anti-free market because its asking for more government restrictions on trade.  There should be NO restrictions on trade and we shouldn't be demanding anything at all from other countries to trade with us.

The liberal stance at least makes sense if you are into liberal values.  They don't believe in efficiency as the ultimate good.  It comes down to there being some things eg. human rights, environment, etc. that you simply do not trade away.  So even if 99% of the US is worse off but the poorest 1% is made better, than Rawlsian ethics calls that a win.  Or even if 100% of the US is worse off but we stop sweat shops from operating or save the Monarch butterflies it is still a win.

I think that as a practical reality, you need some controls on the free market.  And especially when your market is free, but the other country's (eg. China) is not.  So I don't have a problem really with tarrifs or some small level of protectionism in selected industries as a temporary measure.  I want as few restrictions on the free market as possible, but I recognize that 0 restrictions probably isn't feasible at this stage of the global economy.

There is no such thing as government job creation.  If we want to help the poor we absolutely should just hand them free cash.  It's the most efficient way to distribute income, and it gives them more options to invest and get out of poverty.

There is also no such thing as government growing the economy.  The economy grows best when government stays the fuck out of it.  Sometimes it is necessary to sacrifice some long-term economic growth to avoid short-term shocks.  But those measures should only be done in an absolute emergency, and honestly I have never seen a big enough emergency in my lifetime. 

I personally would not have bailed out any of the banks, but hat's off to Obama.  He did and it actually worked out okay for us.  He doesn't get nearly enough credit for that.

But the problem with all these bailouts and such is that it puts people in the mindset that the government is supposed to grow the economy.  And so we are still trying to stimulate the economy long past the time when it was necessary to do so.  We should have started raising interest rates at least 3 years ago.

There is also no reason to "help small business" economically. You either put out a product that people want, and hence contribute to the economy, or you don't.  If you don't then I don't care if you are small or big, you need to close up shop.  Actually, that's not true.  I care even less about small business in that situation, because they don't employ enough people or generate enough money to cause short-term shocks and frictional issues.

The only extent to which I would help small business is I think it is stupid that large employers get big tax breaks for insurance.  It makes the competition unfair.  I also think it is wrong that big companies get all sorts of handouts from the government.  But the handouts they get from the government are pretty much all under the guise of "job creation" or "helping small business" even though they do no such thing.  The GOP has been stuck in trickledown mode since Reagan, so if they really wanted to help small business they would stop advocating everything they are advocating for.

Taxes?  Also stupid.  You should tax what you need to provide the hopefully minimal amount of government services you provide. That should be the beginning and end of tax discussion.  Taxes should not be used to help one group against another, or stimulate growth or any of that other nonsense.  I would, regretfully, tax the living hell out of rich people for a couple of years because we have a debt we need to pay back and they are the only ones with enough money to do it.  And because guys like Trump have not been paying their share for several decades.  Even Buffet has said he pays a lower effective tax rate than his secretary.  But after we get the debt and spending under control, I would probably revamp the whole system and try to come up with something simpler and more fair.  Sales tax with exemptions for low-income or necessity goods works just fine for me.

It's not like liberals are immune from the stupidity.  One of the reasons I so dislike Sanders was because he is trying to pull the same trick of thinking government should fix everything.  Like big companies are "evil" and sucking the money out from the rest of us and the economy would grow massively if we got rid of them.

The government's role in my mind is to sacrifice some efficiency and growth for stability and equity.  Not to start pointing fingers at rich people for being evil.  Or promise free college education for everyone.  The government is basically just a referee to make sure no one goes too far. 
 
Clinton's fiscal policies kind of suck.  But they suck less than everyone else's right now.  Which is why I am so much begging for some non-racist, non-homophobic, practical-minded fiscal conservatives in Congress.  And which is also why I might split my ticket this year and vote for the non-racist, non-homophobic, not-so-practical-but-not-terrible GOP candidate for Congress in my district.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on November 07, 2016, 08:16:39 AM
the number of jobs that do not require a college degree keeps decreasing.

This is actually not true.  There is a big void in a lot of jobs that do not require college degrees.  And in fact there is a pretty big push from government for community colleges and such to provide more technical training to fill it.  If you are 18 or 19 and you hate school, this is your golden time to get HVAC certification and an apprenticeship.  And if you do, you will make more money than the majority of college graduates.  I don't know all the levels and certs and stuff, but I have seen studies where in Virginia, the good, in-demand HVAC worker's average age is 55 and they are pretty wealthy and wanting to retire (except the money is too good).  We are not going to have less air conditioning and heating over the next 20 years, but we will have far less trained HVAC people. 

The problem with poor, white, America honestly is that they refuse to transition.  They don't want A job, they want the manufacturing, coal-mining, fishing job they once had.  They want to go back to 1960 culturally where it was like all whites, and everyone had decent jobs without going to college, and pension plans to take care of them when they retired.

The people who were willing and able to transition went to college and moved from those dead end areas long ago.  So it's just the worst cases where people got stuck.  And to some extent that will always happen.  Some people will unfortunately always slip through the cracks due to bad breaks and/or bad decisions.

Hillary took so much shit for saying she would "put a lot of coal miners out of work" or whatever.  They cut off the first part of the quote which was actually her advocating spending in those areas of the country to help them transition to other jobs/economy.  Which is exactly what needs to happen, and exactly where the government can play a role.

But those are all the same areas voting for Trump, and whose politicians are all in favor of slashing social spending even though their residents benefit the most from it.  They were Dems, now they are Republicans because when they had jobs they were union and wanted more money, and now they have no jobs and have reverted to their natural, no-change-wanting, isolationist state.  They wanted to be left alone, and so they were left alone and the country and world moved on without them and now they're all "WTF happened?"

Trump is telling them they will get their old jobs and industry back.  While he built all his stuff with Chinese steel.  It's not going to happen.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Kwyjibo on November 07, 2016, 08:55:31 AM
The price of college keeps increasing and the number of jobs that do not require a college degree keeps decreasing.

I can't wrap my mind around how ludicrous this assertion is.  It is nearly impossible to find a good job without a degree these days.  Most jobs draw 100 applicants or more and the ones without degrees are generally thrown in the circular file without so much as a glance.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on November 07, 2016, 11:54:40 AM
The price of college keeps increasing and the number of jobs that do not require a college degree keeps decreasing.

I can't wrap my mind around how ludicrous this assertion is.  It is nearly impossible to find a good job without a degree these days.  Most jobs draw 100 applicants or more and the ones without degrees are generally thrown in the circular file without so much as a glance.

I think you are actually agreeing with markalot, no?

But you are both wrong.

If there are 100 people applying for a job, that indicates an oversupply, not a demand.  I assume we are talking about a lower-level, entry-position type white collar job.

On the other hand, new home construction is stagnating despite low interest rates making it easy to get construction loans and decent mortgages.  They should be building houses, but they aren't because they can't find enough tradesman.  That's why housing prices are so high.  Supply can't meet demand.

Also, consider the number of BS jobs that really don't need a college degree but because of trade and middle-class protectionism, snobiness, and institutions looking for money are tied to them.

Almost every IT department I have ever seen is massively understaffed and massively top-heavy.  I know in my section I would love to hire two non-college graduates at $40k a year just to not suck at computers.  I'm talking about just general maintenance like backing things up, applying patches, troubleshooting, just knowing enough about networks/security/databases to do all the little things no one really thinks abut.  I could totally fill 2 FTE with that.

But I can't because the way the IT industry is right now, I can't hire 2 guys for $40k. I have to hire 1 guy for $80k, who has a fancy degree and would love to do all sorts of cool stuff we can't afford, but is bored shitless applying patches and troubleshooting  and angry because he's doing the work of two people.  And actually, we can't even hire a guy for $80k.  More like $100k.

Here is another example.  We have a web person.  She's got a fancy BFA in Graphic Design and she is amazing.  She can design an awesome-looking page in a day or two.  What she can't do very well is add functionality to those pages.  Because she is not a coder, and she doesn't know XML, or .NET or server administration, or relational databases. 

So every two years or so, she spends six months designing some way amazingly cool pages really for no reason because the ones out there were already fine.  The rest of the time she spends doing things like creating .pdfs to put on the web.  Not kidding.  We are paying college grads $100k a year who cannot write a word doc and save to .pdf with Adobe Acrobat. 

This is why the US cybersecurity infrastructure is bad.  The community health infrastructure is bad.  Construction/manufacturing infrastructure is bad.  Network infrastructure is bad.  I have no idea about our energy, but I'm guessing our energy infrastructure is bad.

It's all the same cause.  If there is a supply gap in an industry, we cannot fill it because at minimum it will take people 4 years to get a useless degree.  Then, those people take jobs for which they are overqualified and overpaid.  And they pretty much have to, because they are in so much debt from getting their college degree.

So the problem is not the college degree.  Everyone should stop trying so hard to get them, because it is actually a terrible business decision.  Instead of borrowing $150k and going to college, try taking that $150k and putting it in the stock market.  Unless you are really smart, you'll do better in the market.

Here is one last fun stat:  In Virginia, a black female with a college degree earns less than a white male with no college degree.

If the problem is that there is a degree shortage, how can this possibly happen?
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Markalot on November 07, 2016, 12:37:23 PM
I don't have a college degree, I got really lucky due to the fact I had the skills needed when they were needed. 

Getting a college degree is a business.  It became like this as soon as the government started helping out with easy money.  You must have a degree or you will be hard pressed to find a good job.  Nothing you said above, true or not, will change this.  The only thing that will change it is if college becomes so un-affordable  that businesses have to lower their requirements or the economy collapses.

The government steps in again to help by providing visas to qualified tech workers to keep the business of college degrees going. 

Each step of the way the government as clouded the simple fact that we are headed for some real hurt if we can't keep the majority of the majority of our citizens gainfully employed in jobs they are qualified to do.  As you say above, qualified does not equate to a degree.

So I will harp again how no one should be surprised that Trump is doing so well.  If things don't change eventually someone of his ilk will win.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on November 07, 2016, 01:38:45 PM
I'm not surprised Trump is doing so well, because I have always known that a substantial population of the US is racist.  And I say that with the little "r", not like they are KKK or anything.

But there is no way you can analyze the election without looking at race.  It is essentially non-college educated white males vs the rest of US.  Trump has that group by like 80%, he polls maybe 50-55% if you slice it up a couple other ways, and he is getting destroyed in every other demographic grouping.

If it were about income and the lack of participation in college leading to said lack of income, then Trump would be winning blacks and hispanics who have the lowest incomes and the lowest college participation rates.  Instead he is getting his ass handed to him by those groups.

Which is not to say that what you say doesn't have some truth to it.  A different candidate might be able to raise those issues and appeal to non-college educated/low income voters.  Probably someone should.  But Trump is not that guy.

Trump only appeals to WHITE non-college educated (and actually not low income) voters.  And his appeal to them is based precisely on the fact that that group does not want college education and white collar jobs.  He's telling them they don't have to go to college or change.  Just elect him, and he will bring all the steel, coal mining, manufacturing jobs back.

It used to be that white, non-college educated voters were the majority.  But that voting block, while still substantial, is now a minority and shrinking all the time.  That's what this election is about.  Those voters are trying to preserve their culture.  That's why Trump voters hate immigration, but they actually live in the whitest districts in the US. They're holding out in their last remaining lily white little enclaves knowing that outside culture is creeping in on them all the time.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Markalot on November 07, 2016, 03:35:06 PM
Those are interesting points, I don't know which one of us is correct, probably a little of both. :)

I am purposely ignoring race for this because I think race is why Trump loses, as you say a better spokesman might go a lot further.

So is the sector of non college educated voter rising or shrinking and are we confident it will continue to move in the same direction?  I do worry that the number of non college educated people, white or black, will continue to rise.  Trump ain't it but Bernie sure did grab a following. Without the party apparatus to help Clinton Bernie might have won and I do think Bernie could beat Trump.  Similar message but with government providing most of the "solutions".

I also disagree with your idea that the best way to help people is to throw money at them.  True, it may be more "efficient" but that doesn't mean it works.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on November 07, 2016, 05:20:35 PM
It's complicated.

The easy part to answer is that the percentage of people without college degrees will continue to fall for the foreseeable future.  The vast majority of boomers do not have college degrees.  They lived in a time where really blacks and women didn't even have the opportunity for the most part.  And even among white males, it was really only for the super, super rich.

The hard part of the answer is whether that is good or bad.  I think there was a time when college was good.  They passed the Higher Education Act, and Title IX, and blahblahblah and it had an equalizing factor.  Right?  Because now it wasn't just for the rich anymore and the middle classes could send their kids to college and get their passport to upward mobility.  So that was good.

But now I feel we have crossed the line.  Now middle class kids go to college, and indeed they and their parents demand student loans or financial aid or whatnot to do so.  It's an entitlement program for the middle class so that they can bar the gates against the lower class.

That is why tuition keeps rising.  The price needs to be set so that the middle class can pay for it, but the lower class cannot.

For example, the way the calculate "need" for financial aid is basically Expected Family Contribution vs Cost of Attendance.  The Cost of Attendance is not set.  It's whatever the school charges you.  So, if you want to get a degree in Computer Science and there is a 2+2 program in your state where it costs you $30k, you might not get any money.  But if you want to get that same degree in Computer Science at a private school where it costs you $100k, you will get funded the tuition difference.

Now that private school is raking in $100k per student.  The public school is getting $30k per student.  Guess which one is going to be better?  Now the public school doesn't get as much say in who they admit, and most community colleges get none.  Private school can admit whoever they want.  So guess which people are going to get the better education?

My personal feeling is that college is a good experience.  I don't think you NEED college for a lot of jobs.  But you do learn some whacky subjects you otherwise wouldn't learn.  You probably leave your hometown and go someplace different.  You meet a lot of different people.  And a lot of them are your age so some of your best friends for life and possibly your future spouse will be someone you met in college.

But it's not worth the money they are charging.  And part of the problem is parents are shitty with money and kids have no concept.  So, if the parent can put their kid through college via student loans they will.  The parents just keep on taking vacations and buying winter homes. 

Because the loans aren't in their name, it's the kid who has to pay it back.  The kid does not realize until he or she is 23 that they have started their life like $75k in debt.  Which is really kind of a bad hole to put yourself in when you think about how young graduates are the power of interest over time.  You could be paying back $75k with compounding interest or you could be EARNING compounding interest over like, 40-50 years.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on November 07, 2016, 05:44:50 PM
I was at a meeting once with a conservative politician.  Conservative politician was talking about how UVA was screwing over his district on account of they were taking too many kids from elsewhere.  Which is the complaint every legislator from every district has about UVA.

So at some point the conversation drifted towards funding UVA and tuition and financial aid.  Guy starts going off on the typical conservative rant.  "Why can't we find a way to get funding for all these good kids from my district to get a UVA education?  They are hard-workers and the state will benefit from their degrees.  We can't find money for these people.  And yet we fund all these Social programs for poor people.  And I go to their houses, they're on food stamps, and they have big screen TV's.  Why are we funding their big screen TV's instead of college education?"

I asked him if when he went to his constituents' houses that wanted financial aid, if they had big screen TV's.  Because you know, that money could have gone to their kids tuition.  So why should I fund their big screen TV's?

It did not go over well.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Markalot on November 07, 2016, 09:05:55 PM
My first kid goes to college next year and I just learned weeks ago, when doing the FASFA, that it was based on tuition.  That is bat shit crazy.  I also love the fact that they count college savings in with the prediction.  Am I rewarded for saving money?  Obviously I should have saved AND sent my kid to a more expensive school. 

I can see why conservative politicians rant, but you're right, it's always the same.  My answer would be requiring the big screen TV to be listed as an asset. :D
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Kwyjibo on November 07, 2016, 09:26:58 PM
I misunderstood what Markalot was saying before, I guess we were saying the same thing.

All I know is that I have 18 years experience in my job and I make far less than those around me that don't really understand shit, and have zero business acumen, but do have college degrees.  I spent all last year trying to find another position elsewhere, on my own, through headhunters, working contacts, etc.  And I got no where because I didn't have a degree.

For instance, I applied where Doug works and talked to somebody there.  They were starting up with the Agile method and I had them eating out of my hand, because I know that shit inside and out, they were actually taking notes about my suggestions, till they said "oh... no degree" and that was that, never heard from them again.

Finally I convinced my now-boss that he'd be fucked if I left, which took over a year, and I got a new title and a fat raise, but I still make less than those around me, but now I have even more responsibility, and even more reason to be annoyed at the idiots with degrees that can't wipe their own asses.

I don't know what I'm getting at, really, I guess I agree with ZK, the college thing is a fucking joke.  We don't need more college degrees, clearly we can get along without most of them.  Those that have them can get away with not doing shit, those of us without get worked to death but take it up the tail pipe because we lack the golden ticket.  Meanwhile, I'm sitting here acing Applied Calculus which I will *NEVER* fucking use in my entire life, just to get a piece of paper so that my resumes don't get thrown away, even though my 18 years experience should trump the fuck out of a piece of paper that says I took 4 Arts and Humanities, 4 Social Sciences, etc. which means not a damn thing.  It hurts my damn head to think about the futility of it.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on November 07, 2016, 10:27:27 PM
Yeah, you are caught in the trap.  Your college courses don't actually help you do your job any better, and they cost you money.  So it is basically that you are buying a probably somewhat expensive passport to the upper middle class.  It is your entrance fee.

But what can you do?  In the old days the bourgeois would buy titles to join the nobility.  You are buying a title as well, it is your degree.  But unless you pay the fee your upward mobility is severely capped.

Think about what a scam 529 plans are.  It is a tax shelter.  So the more you put in, the bigger tax write-off you get, and thus you benefit more.  Well, who can afford to put the most into a 529?  Rich people.  Like if you and your spouse can put $28k into a 529 plan every year for 17 years did you really need help saving for college?

Also, I don't know what Ohio's 529 looks like but I have seen some that are not good.  You only get to choose from a few managed funds, and the administrative fees are a complete rip-off.  I sometimes wonder if they help at all.  Because for most people, you don't have all that much money so you are deciding between a 529 or an IRA/deferred comp plan.  What if the investment returns on the IRA are better?  Sure, if you put the money in a 529, maybe your kid goes to college with less debt.  But then you have no retirement, so unless your kids are assholes the money they save in college goes to paying your retirement.  So college or your retirement, they pay anyway.

But again, I don't know what else you can do.  The 529 is probably better than nothing.  It helps you.  It's just that it helps rich people more.  So like, you can't catch up.  But now that exists, rich people are using them so if you don't, you fall even farther behind.

I know some states have a prepaid tuition plan, which is really a bargain.  You are basically purchasing tuition at current rates, which if you look at how quickly tuition is rising, it is a much better return than the market.

Yeah, here's what's happening with those.  What makes them a bargain is that tuition rises faster than returns on investment.  So... they don't have enough money to pay for your eventual tuition.

So what they are doing now is not calculating to cover your total tuition bill.  They are covering your remaining need.  So you apply for FAFSA and institutional scholarships thus defraying the costs to other entities (aka your taxes).  Then they cover the remainder.

Yeah but what happens if the Feds cut Pell funding or something?  You are relying on that staying constant, so any reduction and you are screwed.

But don't worry, they have a Plan B.  The Plan B is they will invest funds into higher risk/higher return funds!  What could go wrong? 

I mean, it isn't that I don't want people to go to college.  I feel bad when people can't.  And basically my job is to help make higher ed accessible.  But you know, I see this trap and I am not sure any of the current policies are even helping or making it worse.

I think markalot is kinda right about this.  Everyone is stuck as individuals.  It will take a massive collapse of the system and a collective outraged uprising to change it.  But a lot of people will get massively screwed before it hits rock bottom.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on November 07, 2016, 10:46:32 PM
North Carolina is blatantly rigging the election, in open defiance of the courts.

Like there is a court ruling that says "This is absolutely crazy shit how you are deliberate disenfranchising black voters.  Stop this state action."  And the individual counties are like "Ahhh you stopped the state, but you didn't stop the counties.  So we'll just screw them on our own."

Like literally, there are emails to County commissioner saying "Hey, help the party and shut down Sunday voting because it is blacks voting Democrat."

In a few months, the courts will rule that this is blatantly unconstitutional, but it will be too late.

Just like the court ruled that Virginia's ridiculously gerrymandered districts were unconstitutional.  For like the 10th time since the Civil Rights Act.

I dunno.  I just felt like people should know.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Ella Minnow Pea on November 07, 2016, 11:30:36 PM
North Carolina is blatantly rigging the election, in open defiance of the courts.

Like there is a court ruling that says "This is absolutely crazy shit how you are deliberate disenfranchising black voters.  Stop this state action."  And the individual counties are like "Ahhh you stopped the state, but you didn't stop the counties.  So we'll just screw them on our own."

Like literally, there are emails to County commissioner saying "Hey, help the party and shut down Sunday voting because it is blacks voting Democrat."

In a few months, the courts will rule that this is blatantly unconstitutional, but it will be too late.

Just like the court ruled that Virginia's ridiculously gerrymandered districts were unconstitutional.  For like the 10th time since the Civil Rights Act.

I dunno.  I just felt like people should know.
It's bad here. The court case that overturned our most voting laws had the following response from the judges. “The new provisions target African Americans with almost surgical precision” and “impose cures for problems that did not exist."

But at least we have multiple early voting locations in counties. I was horrified to learn that Hamilton County, Ohio, with its 800,000+ residents only had ONE early voting location in the county. In comparison, Wake County, with our 1,000,000+ residents had 20 locations (although not all were open the entire period). Final count of early voting just in Wake County is 302,382!

Also, the Richmond mayoral race is getting some out of state coverage.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Kwyjibo on November 07, 2016, 11:45:57 PM
I think markalot is kinda right about this.  Everyone is stuck as individuals.  It will take a massive collapse of the system and a collective outraged uprising to change it.  But a lot of people will get massively screwed before it hits rock bottom.

Agreed.  I was telling Julie tonight that I think that a Trump win is the only way that anything is going to change.  And if he doesn't win, it'll just happen when the next nutjob (who's racisim and insanity is cloaked better) does.

Lets say Clinton wins, and I believe she will, she is going to have to endure endless vilification, nothing she does will meet public approval, at least not with the majority.  Just like the "thanks, Obama" thing has become the punchline for anything and everything that goes wrong, Hillary will be the butt of endless jokes made when things go wrong.  She will get no support from the House, she's not likely to get any nominations confirmed.  All the while the deplorables will be squawking about how Trump would be cleaning up rather than dropping the ball.  It'll be four years of struggle with nothing much to show and then the whole thing starts over with Cruz getting the nomination (or maybe even Trump, who knows) and winning because this insane itch for a white supremacist outsider will still be there.

On the other hand, if Trump wins, or when the next guy does, and that person goes down in flames, taking the economy, the U.S. credit rating, and the respect of the international community for the U.S. (such as it is) with him, people will have to face the fact that what they wanted was fucking insane and did not serve them in the slightest.  There probably still won't be any great reforms, but it'll squash this bullshit. 

At least, that's what I like to think.  Probably nothing much happens, either way, and never does again in our lifetimes.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on November 08, 2016, 02:01:47 AM
Also, the Richmond mayoral race is getting some out of state coverage.

I know two people who are anti-Trump and won't stop talking about how awful he is and are voting for Joe Morrissey.  It drives me crazy. 

Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on November 08, 2016, 04:23:00 PM
If you're not sure what's going on with a state constitutional amendment on the ballot, vote "No."  Always, always vote "No."

People aren't even asking the right question.  The question isn't "Do I think I agree with this?"

The question is "Does this seem important enough to be included in the state Constitution?"  And if you hadn't even heard about the issue until you saw it on the ballot, then the answer is "No."

And if somehow the answer actually were "yes" (which it won't be) well guess what, you get to try again next year.  If you vote "yes" and the answer is "No" you are pretty much screwed. 
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on November 08, 2016, 10:18:38 PM
It seems as though we are thoroughly fucked.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Markalot on November 08, 2016, 10:44:30 PM
or,

this is this is the only way to fix the problem so let's get it over with.  I'm shocked it's so close, yet it seems everything I said is partially true ... I just thought Trump being Trump would trump it.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: euro60 on November 09, 2016, 12:49:46 AM
I am beyond shocked, if indeed Trump wins. If he does, I suppose this is American's version of Brexit?
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on November 09, 2016, 12:54:42 AM
I don't really believe in the scorched Earth sort of scenario.  I don't think we just get it over with, and I don't believe Trump winning indicates some sort of rock bottom where we can now recover.

The baby boomers have been gigantic selfish assholes for quite some time.  Really, their whole lives.

And that's really the problem here.  They have never had any common sense and they have alwayss been the most selfish generation.  In their lifetime, the US has prospered and yet we still have debt issues, and so do they.

They are worse than ever because they are not as smart as they used to be, and all they care about now is the next 5-10 years so they can die happy.  Trump sold old people swamp land, basically.

that is really the story of this election.  You look at the demographics, every growing demographic went for Clinton and the dying demographic went for Trump.  This was their last stand.  But there are just so many of them, and with their backs against the wall and their low information they will not ever contribute meaningfully to politics.

We are just waiting for them to die.  And we will suffer in the meantime.  And it's that suffering that will hopefully teach the younger generation a lesson.  I mean, they're smarter anyway.  But we just have to hope Trump doesn't end civilization, or that the equally dumb, possibly far left coalition that replaces Trump doesn't either.  It will take 10-15 years to turn this around, IMO.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Markalot on November 09, 2016, 01:16:04 AM
While is is somewhat generational so far some of the exit polls is showing more class then generation in the voting.  I don't think it's so easy to understand, but regardless, if a large sector of voters gets left behind and they all vote, then win.  If the problem isn't fixed that block of voters, as they die, will simply be replaced by another block. 

Looks like Clinton will win the popular vote, at least at the moment, and Trump will win what counts. 

Personally, I have never ever been this disappointed in an election result (which isn't over yet, of course).  I remember when Bush won and all the liberals wanted to move to Canada.  Ha.  I'm not moving, but I wonder what my retirement funds will look like in a few months.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on November 09, 2016, 07:13:00 AM
His base is rural, no-college white people.  If "redneck" is a class, that's his class.  And, they tend to skew older simply because it's a disappearing group. Younger people are more urban, more likely to be college-educated, more multi-ethnic.  Plus, heroin epidemic.  Takes out a lot of the younger generation.

Their culture is dying, so they won't be replaced by another bloc like them.  Quite frankly, they are a problem that doesn't need fixing.  You just wait them out.  That's why they are so angry, and that's why they are so authoritarian.  They know the numbers don't favor them.  They see the writing on the wall.  This is their last stand.  Either tear it all down, or at least hold on long enough so they can see out the rest of their lives.

It's not that I don't think the government should try to help them.  It's just that they can't.  Trump is not going to bring back manufacturing jobs and coal mining.  No one can.  It would cost massive amounts of money to transition those areas to new economies.  Not too mention those areas will resist any attempt to do so.

Like look at Ohio.  Kasich talks about all the jobs he created and money he brought in.  But he really did nothing.  Ohio's unemployment rate went down just like the rest of the US.  And manufacturing tanked, just like everywhere else in the US.  Ohio's fiscal outlook was improved pretty much by the exact amount of free cash they got from the Feds.  All Kasich did was a deposit a fat check in the state treasury. 

Not trying to pick on Kasich.  I'm just saying this is why no one has helped these people.  There really is no way to help them in a way they would find acceptable.  Their towns will get swallowed up by heroin addiction and wiped out.  Then maybe someone will come in and buy up the properties and make it a cool, hipster-y area and it will get gentrified.  Just like every other bad area.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Butter on November 09, 2016, 07:51:10 AM
We are just waiting for them to die.  And we will suffer in the meantime.  And it's that suffering that will hopefully teach the younger generation a lesson.  I mean, they're smarter anyway.  But we just have to hope Trump doesn't end civilization, or that the equally dumb, possibly far left coalition that replaces Trump doesn't either.  It will take 10-15 years to turn this around, IMO.

Agreed.  But now that we're going to suffer...

How does Trump actually govern? So many Republicans distanced themselves from him. Do they kiss the ring and fall in line with his policy? Who is in a Trump cabinet? Who will be making all the decisions, when Trump himself seems so clearly disinterested in much else than the attention this affords him.

How far does the GOP Congress actually let him go with some of these policies? Is he really getting a wall, or can he back out of it by saying "well, we couldn't get Mexico to pay for it after all"? Is he really getting a 30% tax cut? Is he really getting criminalization of abortion and jailing young potential mothers who abort? Is Obamacare coming down? How bad will race relations get... will we really get "stop-and-frisk"? Increased racial profiling? Even so far as a ban on Muslims entering the country?
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on November 09, 2016, 08:15:40 AM
I honestly think Trump does not give a shit about running the country.  At all.  Like this whole thing is just for his brand/ego.  He doesn't actually want the job.

As long as the GOP totally kisses ass and apologizes and admits Trump can beat them up, I think he will let Congress have their say in  his cabinet and let them sort of run things.

Obamacare is going.  Which will be a disaster.  The Trump election is not Brexit.  Repealing Obamacare is Brexit.  No one has a plan for how to do it, or what might replace it.  But they have to do it, and fast.

We will get stop-and-frisk and increased racial profiling because those are all things most Republicans were for anyway, even if maybe they didn't admit it.  I don't think you will get a ban on Muslims but you will get some version of "extreme vetting" which is probably no better than the vetting we already have, they'll just make more GOP bad-ass.

In THEORY, I think the GOP will be able to do what they want without worrying to much about Trump.  In REALITY, which just elected a five year old. 

You could vote a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage and pass a bill to put Muslims in concentration camps and probably get away with it.  OTOH, if Ryan is at a meeting with Trump and Trump asks him for a pen, and Ryan doesn't have one and then the press laugh at Trump for being able to sign something, then Trump will probably veto the next budget in a fit of pique.

Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: euro60 on November 09, 2016, 09:09:02 AM
How could the pollsters all be so far off? (Just like they were with Brexit.) They need to be fired, all of them, and then we need to outlaw that profession, as they are completely useless and incompetent.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: daytime drinking on November 09, 2016, 09:20:50 AM
i can't believe they did it
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Butter on November 09, 2016, 09:26:27 AM
How could the pollsters all be so far off? (Just like they were with Brexit.) They need to be fired, all of them, and then we need to outlaw that profession, as they are completely useless and incompetent.

Nate Silver didn't exactly have it pegged... but it was one of his caveats he was on for weeks.  Basically saying that if there is a polling error, it tends to be pervasive and across regions.  We certainly saw that in the midwest.  North Carolina and Florida were always toss-ups, but the polling errors across the Midwest were large and uniform. 

Clinton was behind in Ohio by a couple of points, she got crushed.
She was ahead by a little in Pennsylvania and lost fairly convincingly.
She was ahead by a lot in Michigan and Wisconsin, and lost by just a little.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Butter on November 09, 2016, 09:28:55 AM
I mean this is surreal.  I think to cope with it I've tried to tell myself that it's not going to be that bad and go into analytical, computer mode but I don't know that it's working.  C-Fan is taking it hard.

Just such a repudiation of the belief I had that we were becoming more progressive as a society.  Maybe we are, but it's not going to be without a huge god damn fight.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on November 09, 2016, 09:42:57 AM
How could the pollsters all be so far off? (Just like they were with Brexit.) They need to be fired, all of them, and then we need to outlaw that profession, as they are completely useless and incompetent.

They weren't that far off. Just like they weren't with Brexit.  The difference between the two was within of close to the margin of error in terms of the popular vote.  And it's looks like it will be a slight Clinton win, so they got that right.

But add in some electoral college whackiness and a bit of GOP cheating, and voila. 

This was always within the realm of possibility.  I think that fivethirtyeight had Clinton with a 70% chance.  So, it's an upset but not a huge upset.  The Cubs after game four of the World Series had less of a chance to win that than Trump did of winning the election. 

Let's say Clinton wins Minnesota.  Then all she needs is NC where we know there was blatant cheating, and super-close FL (where there was also likely some cheating).  I think that gets her over 270.  She won the popular vote.

Don't blame the pollsters, look at yourself.  You're basically almost the guy who won Trump the election.  You didn't vote Clinton until really the last minute, right?  So if someone didn't go to the rally that you did or they maybe are just a teeeeny bit more anti-Dem, then Clinton doesn't get their vote.  How many of your non-Trump voting conservative friends voted Johnson or didn't vote?  I mean, not that it made a difference in OH where it was an asswhuppin' but in other states?

If Clinton gets the Gary Johnson votes in FL and PA, I think she wins.  How could someone have predicted a week ago what this group was going to do?
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on November 09, 2016, 10:05:12 AM
  Maybe we are, but it's not going to be without a huge god damn fight.

It was always going to be that way.

And honestly, if we can avoid getting into a nuclear war or something, Trump is probably better than Cruz. 

I think the only thing he really cares or understands a little bit about is the economy.  And, his views there aren't totally terrible.  We'll just see the most trickle-down, low tax, massive deficit policy ever.  Probably a lot of it will go to infrastructure.  I think we will see interest rates rise maybe a bit more than otherwise, which is probably good.

Someone will have to clean up the mess he left behind, but if Trump can keep it together, the next four years shouldn't be too bad for the economy.  Tarrifs against Chinese is not a completely awful short-term policy even.

Everything else sucks ass.  But we were going to get that with Ted Cruz, anyway. 
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: euro60 on November 09, 2016, 10:36:37 AM
I'm still trying to digest the enormity of what has happened.

The hate for Hillary and all she stood for (establishment, rags to beyond riches, endless scandals, Bill, the Clinton Foundation, etc., you name it) was far greater than we ever knew or understood. That is really what it comes down to. This was not a vote for Trump. This was a vote against Hillary.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: foolsgold on November 09, 2016, 10:46:07 AM
Sort of, Euro.  And I do put a lot of the blame on the Dems for hitching their wagon to someone who a huge chunk of the electorate would never vote for under any circumstance.  If they were serious about protecting the Supreme Court, then why chance it with someone as widely hated as Clinton?  Just like Trump, Cruz, Carson, etc were viewed by the left as being divisive, the same could be said about Hils for the right.  But, Trump does hold great appeal to people who just want to let their asshole flag fly.  They are tired of being told that a multicultural society is the right path and feel threatened that the ideals (whether real or imagined) they hold are outdated and wrong.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on November 09, 2016, 11:05:33 AM
I'm still trying to digest the enormity of what has happened.

The hate for Hillary and all she stood for (establishment, rags to beyond riches, endless scandals, Bill, the Clinton Foundation, etc., you name it) was far greater than we ever knew or understood. That is really what it comes down to. This was not a vote for Trump. This was a vote against Hillary.

Wrong.  Wake the fuck up.

How many years will you keep using this as an excuse to wash away the sorry actions of the GOP leadership, and a bunch of racist asshole voters?

"Oh wow, some weird-o tea party types are winning elections.  Must be because the Democrats are so bad." 

"Oh hey, even more tea party types won.  They even defeated some of the good Republicans.  If only the Democrats weren't so horrible this wouldn't happen."

"Oh look.  The House has gone utterly insane. It must be Obamacare that drove them to it."

"How about that?  They just disenfranchised black voters and stripped LGBT's of civil rights.  If only those horrible Democrats had stopped them."

Your man Kasich got smoked in the Primaries.  Absolutely destroyed.  It wasn't Democrats voting against him.  How many other moderate Republicans didn't have a chance in their Primaries?  Or actually ran in liberal districts because they would get more votes from liberals than they would from their own party?

You don't know anyone voting for Trump.  We all tell you we see tons of yard signs for Trump, and we don't put up our own yard signs because we are afraid of what might happen.  Does this not register?  The polls show the race is close, you post that you don't believe the polls and Clinton will win huge.  Trump wins.  You blame the pollsters.  Still not registering?

Let me lay it out for you:

The US has a large proportion of racist idiots.  The GOP has a large proportion of racist idiot politicians who cater to these idiots. 

THAT IS THE PROBLEM. 

Until you actually acknowledge the source of the problem and hold the right people responsible, it will just keep happening. 
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Dan on November 09, 2016, 11:06:24 AM
Quick question - if those Gary Johnson voters had voted for Hillary, then the 29 Florida electoral votes would have gone to HRC. That puts it at 250 for Trump and 247 doe HRC.

If they say 270 is needed to win, would Trump still win in that scenario? How does it work?
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on November 09, 2016, 11:21:52 AM
If they were serious about protecting the Supreme Court, then why chance it with someone as widely hated as Clinton?

Was there anyone else out there? Sanders would have lost in a landslide.  Warren would have been smoked worse than Sanders.

I like Cory Booker, but I'm glad he didn't run.  I don't think the alt-right crowd could take two black Presidents in a row, and he would have been vulnerable to the far left Berners.  I hope he keeps his nose clean, because I think he wins in 2020.

I mean, it doesn't matter if you've never done anything wrong in your life.  Breitbart or Trump would just make something up and 10,000 people would tweet it or put it on Reddit.  It happened on a daily basis.  Then people were like "Oh there can't be this many rumors without some of them being true."

I mean, people really just threw common sense out the window.  I don't think you can combat that.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on November 09, 2016, 11:27:37 AM
Quick question - if those Gary Johnson voters had voted for Hillary, then the 29 Florida electoral votes would have gone to HRC. That puts it at 250 for Trump and 247 doe HRC.

If they say 270 is needed to win, would Trump still win in that scenario? How does it work?

Your scenario is impossible.  I think you are missing some states that haven't been called yet in your count.

There are a total of 538 electoral votes.  They say you need 270, because that means you have more than half.  The lowest margin you can win by is 270-268.  If it ties 269-269 it gets decided by the House.  So Trump would have won.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: daytime drinking on November 09, 2016, 11:33:57 AM
at least you liberals won't have to worry about defending her anymore
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on November 09, 2016, 11:41:37 AM
at least you liberals won't have to worry about defending her anymore

Yes I will be too busy trying to defend my life and civil liberties now.  Happy times.

Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Dan on November 09, 2016, 11:59:31 AM
Quick question - if those Gary Johnson voters had voted for Hillary, then the 29 Florida electoral votes would have gone to HRC. That puts it at 250 for Trump and 247 doe HRC.

If they say 270 is needed to win, would Trump still win in that scenario? How does it work?

Your scenario is impossible.  I think you are missing some states that haven't been called yet in your count.

There are a total of 538 electoral votes.  They say you need 270, because that means you have more than half.  The lowest margin you can win by is 270-268.  If it ties 269-269 it gets decided by the House.  So Trump would have won.

Oh yeah, I was just looking at the totals on NY Times at the time. I didn't think about the fact that it didn't add up. Sorry.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Markalot on November 09, 2016, 12:40:21 PM
at least you liberals won't have to worry about defending her anymore

Yes I will be too busy trying to defend my life and civil liberties now.  Happy times.

What did some of the exit polling tell us, or can it be believed?  Trump had to win the racists but not everyone who voted for Trump was a racist.  If what I read was correct he actually got more black and hispanic votes than anyone expected. 

On the subject of polling, Obama has a favorable rating ... but it this another symptom of poor polling?
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: euro60 on November 09, 2016, 12:47:07 PM
It truly blows the mind that a country who elects a black man as president, not once but twice, now elects Trump. is this the same country?

ZK, I know you disagree, but to me this feels far more like a mega "anti-establishment" vote than it is a "bigoted racist" vote.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Dan on November 09, 2016, 12:56:57 PM
The theme we were discussing yesterday was that it's the disenfranchised economy vote. There's a lot of people in this country that aren't happy with their lot in life, or what they've done with their life, and Trump came in saying "I'll improve your life" so they voted for him. HRC wasn't really saying that.

[Oversimplification for sure.]

So if that's true, then it's not an anti-establishment vote (although it is a little too), it's not a racist vote (although maybe it is, too), and it's not a sexist vote (although it is a little, too). It's that one of the candidates said "are you unhappy? I can fix it" and everyone bought it.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Butter on November 09, 2016, 01:08:49 PM
I think anyone looking for THE REASON is going to be disappointed.  It's a combination of lots of things mentioned.  Extreme hatred of Hillary, lower turnout among blacks, some racism, some lower class despair, some anti-establishment sentiment, low enthusiasm for Hillary.  I think ZK got closest to it by saying it's essentially a fuck you from the white boomers to everyone else, but it's quite clearly a combination that I kind of felt in my gut for a week.  When I saw the polls dip that last week, I really knew.  I just didn't want to believe it.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: daytime drinking on November 09, 2016, 01:34:51 PM
at least you liberals won't have to worry about defending her anymore

Yes I will be too busy trying to defend my life and civil liberties now.  Happy times.

you can't expect the great rebuild of america to be without bumpy roads, can you?
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on November 09, 2016, 04:32:34 PM
I don't even understand why people are trying to figure out what happened.  It's blindingly obvious.  Who are Trump supporters? 
They are white.  2/3 of them think Obama is Muslim, and 1/2 of them don't believe he is a US citizen. Something like 55% of them don't believe women are qualified to be President.  Their most critical issue is immigration/terrorism.  They are low information voters.  They score high on tests for racism/racial bias.  They score low on tests for acceptance.  They score love authoritarianism.

They want to ban Muslim immigration.  They lie constantly.  They care nothing for human rights.  They're assholes. There is no mystery here, and I don't care what makes them tick anyway.  I have no desire for outreach.  It's on.  At best, they are people whose cultural vision of America is so different than me that there is no compromise. 

This is not a left/right thing where maybe you have similar goals but different priorities.  Or your solution to the problem is different than my solution  If you voted for Trump, fuck you.  What every sane person needs right now is for others to band together and stop this shit.

Stop being apologists.  Especially conservatives.  You thought you could work with them, and they stole your party right out from underneath you. They are why you are screwed, not liberals.  I didn't vote for Trump over Kasich or Bush or Rubio.  THEY DID.

CNN now is all like "How can we bridge the gap and get the country on the same page?"  Why do we care?  These are the enemies to an enlightened society.   We should be figuring out how to destroy them, not how to make them happy.

I care about how to get the non-choosers and non-enthusiastic people involved.  That means the Johnson voters and the people who sat out.  And the Bernie voters who had enough sense to switch to Hillary.  That's a large enough coalition to easily stomp these jokers flat.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Markalot on November 09, 2016, 08:02:41 PM
Quote
I don't even understand why people are trying to figure out what happened.  It's blindingly obvious.  Who are Trump supporters? 
They are white.  2/3 of them think Obama is Muslim, and 1/2 of them don't believe he is a US citizen. Something like 55% of them don't believe women are qualified to be President.  Their most critical issue is immigration/terrorism.  They are low information voters.  They score high on tests for racism/racial bias.  They score low on tests for acceptance.  They score love authoritarianism.

That is not backed up by any facts, unless you are seeing polls I haven't seen.  It's really easy to lump, and usually wrong. 

http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/politics/2016/11/debunking_myths_about_trump_voters_with_exit_polls.html

Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on November 09, 2016, 08:32:19 PM
Also, the Richmond mayoral race is getting some out of state coverage.

I know two people who are anti-Trump and won't stop talking about how awful he is and are voting for Joe Morrissey.  It drives me crazy.

Interesting thing happened at my precinct.

I'm walking down to the voting place, right?  And there's the usual guantlet of people passing out sample ballots.  I really don't care, so as they semi-accost me I just grab whatever they hand out. 

So there's like a blue one, a blue one, pink one, blue one.  As I'm walking past the last person this woman yells at me "No that one's wrong.  The pink one is wrong!"  And almost kind of makes like she's trying to grab it from me.  I snatch my hand away and scowl and I hear the other person admonish her. "Don't do that!  You can't do that!"  She's like "oooh... I'm sorry."

I'm annoyed by this bit of election malfeasance, and I'm wondering whether to report the person.  But she seemed genuinely taken aback and apologetic so I decided to let it slide.  And it was her co-worker who told her to stop.  So I didn't feel like it was a deliberate scam they were trying to pull on everyone.  It just seemed weird.

Then today, I read this:

http://www.richmond.com/news/local/city-of-richmond/article_5d8e9b64-c12e-595a-8296-92afe6971478.html

BTW, Morrissey lost.  He didn't even come in second.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on November 09, 2016, 09:57:12 PM
Quote
I don't even understand why people are trying to figure out what happened.  It's blindingly obvious.  Who are Trump supporters? 
They are white.  2/3 of them think Obama is Muslim, and 1/2 of them don't believe he is a US citizen. Something like 55% of them don't believe women are qualified to be President.  Their most critical issue is immigration/terrorism.  They are low information voters.  They score high on tests for racism/racial bias.  They score low on tests for acceptance.  They score love authoritarianism.

That is not backed up by any facts, unless you are seeing polls I haven't seen.  It's really easy to lump, and usually wrong. 

http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/politics/2016/11/debunking_myths_about_trump_voters_with_exit_polls.html

Look at #9.  Addresses the terrorism thing.

Also #2 is low information decision making, albeit somewhat implied by Slate without explicit facts.

Look at the demographics in conjunction with the exit polls. 

Again.  Every moderate Conservative got destroyed very early on.  The only semi-serious challenger to Trump was Ted Cruz. 

But really the thing is, it does not matter.  You should not vote for Trump under any circumstance.  If your desire for "change" or an "outsider" or whatever BS attribute you want to assign involves trading basic human rights and ignoring logic to the extent you support Trump, fuck you.  I really don't care what led you to vote for Trump.  The fact that you did is all I need to know.  You will never be part of a solution, no matter how you vote.

But you guys can keep wracking your brains to see what makes these guys tick if you want.  And then in the next cycle blame the Democrats or Republicans for "not running someone better." 
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Ella Minnow Pea on November 09, 2016, 10:33:34 PM
Not have a declared winner in our governor's race is prolonging my anxiety. The vote won't be certified until November 18, and if the difference stays below 10,000 votes (it's currently 4,980), they will likely go to a recount.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: euro60 on November 09, 2016, 10:40:35 PM
ZK, I don't understand your anger. Look, I was not a Trump supporter (even though I am Republican-leaning under normal circumstances) and I voted for Hillary. BUT you seem to overlook the "cry of the people", mostly from fly-over country.

I watched the PBS News Hour tonight, and there was an excellent segment involving a number of panelists, and what I picked up from that was that people in "fly-over country" cried out against what they perceived as the lack of attention to their situation. Many of them are not racist or bigots. But they resent the attention given to other segments of folks in America, while they are suffering economically. That is what led to Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania flipping from blue to red and giving the presidency to Trump. To simply dismiss those folks and to not wanna engage with them and tell them "fuck you" is not the solution.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Markalot on November 10, 2016, 07:49:54 AM
It's actually part of the problem.  Both sides tend to dismiss other viewpoints with nice simple packages.  The racists got out and voted.  It's much easier to see it that way than to try and understand what happened.  I think Z knows what happened, he's just going through the many stages of grief.  :) 

I do think it's fair to say many voters don't care about race, or their circumstance makes it less important.  If you want to call that racist so be it but in a democracy, if you want to win, you need to try and make sure everyone is lifted up, not just your class.  Democracy works, is many times very ugly, and the losers always hate it. 
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on November 10, 2016, 08:19:50 AM
To simply dismiss those folks and to not wanna engage with them and tell them "fuck you" is not the solution.

This is hilarious coming from a Kasich supporter in a rust belt Trump swing state.

You voted for the guy that busted up their unions, refused to fund local governments and K-12 education, and slashed the bejeus out of social programs so that he could deliver a massive tax cut to corporations and the rich.  Gee, I wonder why they think they've been ignored by government?

 
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on November 10, 2016, 08:47:15 AM
if you want to win, you need to try and make sure everyone is lifted up, not just your class.

You realize that Trump just won with the exact opposite strategy, right?

Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Kwyjibo on November 10, 2016, 10:22:05 AM
It kind of is Brexit to an extent.

My sister-in-law and her husband have been known to us for a long time as being Johnson people.  Really, my sister-in-law doesn't know anything about politics, she just follows her dad's and now her husband's lead.  He in turn follows his father's and his brother's lead how are a bunch of insane conspiracy nutjobs.  They were your typical, couldn't vote for either of the two major candidates because somehow Clinton was just as bad as Trump to them (which defies explanation).  We assume my brother in law followed through and voted Johnson, but my sister-in-law she wrote in Romney.  She told Juliana she thought Clinton would win, but didn't actually want to vote for her.  But now she's scared shitless of Trump.

The brother-in-law and his brother just kept going on about they didn't care as long as Johnson got 5% (I'm so fucking glad he didn't). And I know other people that had the same goal.  What the heck did they have to gain by Johnson doing well?  Voting third party isn't going to get a multi-party movement going.  This not going to expand the role of third parties in U.S. politics.  Johnson will now disappear into the footnotes of history.  They're just playing games with a system that is way too fucking important to be playing games with.  Fuck Johnson.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: daytime drinking on November 10, 2016, 11:03:56 AM
what?  how wouldn't a third party doing well help dismantle the two party system?  what kind of logic is this?
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Kwyjibo on November 10, 2016, 11:33:37 AM
How is 5% going to accomplish that.  You don't move in from the margin by being marginal.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on November 10, 2016, 12:11:08 PM
what?  how wouldn't a third party doing well help dismantle the two party system?  what kind of logic is this?

I agree theoretically that the two party system is bogus as hell.

But when I see what is happening PRACTICALLY, the two party system is not the reason why government is bad.

Stupid people continually voting for stupid reasons is the reason the government is bad.  And perhaps the stupidest of voting reasons is the "blow up the system/anti-establishment" vote. 

I know I always say this, but it's still true.  The absolute most idiotic policies I implement in my job are the very ones that are wildly popular.  The dumbest decisions I see made are because some politician ordered us to do them despite everyone telling them it's a horrible idea.

The system isn't bad because of government corruption or big money interests.  Those things aren't good, and they do exist.  But the government mainly does what people want, to their dismay.

Just look at Obamacare.  National Healthcare was a HUGE issue that election.  McCain had a plan as well.  It was in both party platforms.  People were really worked up over it.  It took like 6 months before 50% of the country was just like "National healthcare is Socialist. BOOO!"

Talk to people now, they are convinced that Obama pulled a fast one on the people and ram-rodded this plan through against their wishes or before Congress could act.  It's crazy.  Obama told everyone exactly what he planned to do, it was a central part of his platform.  That thing was in Congress forever, so any Senator or Congressperson had ample opportunity to make their objections heard.  Or either side could have proposed alterations/suggestions. 

I don't think our electorate is capable of making an intelligent decision between two choices.  Adding a third or fourth just makes it worse.  Not that I'm against it.  I'm just sayin'... it won't help.  And it's not a priority.

The GOP has been actively trying to prevent black people from voting for four years now.  I care more about people not being able to vote at all than I do about someone being limited to two choices.  When that gets fixed, then yeah... maybe we can talk about reforming the two party system.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: daytime drinking on November 10, 2016, 12:20:02 PM
How is 5% going to accomplish that.  You don't move in from the margin by being marginal.

so, how would a third party emerge if no one voted for a third party? 
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: dirk on November 10, 2016, 12:26:50 PM
How is 5% going to accomplish that.  You don't move in from the margin by being marginal.

so, how would a third party emerge if no one voted for a third party?
The problem is, with our winner take all system, a third party at best could eventually replace one of the existing parties. Until we replace our crappy voting system so people can choose their best choice and also a backup in case that one doesn't win, we are stuck with 2 parties. When  a third party runs, it will just pull votes from one of the other parties. The outcome of that is that the chances of the least popular candidate goes up. Let's say you wanted to vote for Jill Stein. Well, logically your second choice in this race would have probably been Clinton. But by pulling your vote from Clinton and voting for Stein, who had no chance of winning, it is more likely that Trump, your least favorite candidate, will win. When this happens, people quickly learn not to vote for third party candidates because it hurts them in the long run by giving them the worst candidate. Unless we switch to one of the other voting styles where you list the candidates in order and the bottom ones are eliminated until someone passes 50% (or some other similar system) there is no chance of a legitimate third party in the US.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on November 10, 2016, 12:36:18 PM
How is 5% going to accomplish that.  You don't move in from the margin by being marginal.

so, how would a third party emerge if no one voted for a third party?

But there is no real demand for a third party.  Or at least not enough.  They are simply useful temporary hangouts for bitter Democrats or Republicans when their party doesn't pick their candidate.  The next election, they will be back to voting their party.

Look how much the far right has been able to transform the GOP in just a few years.  Libertarians  and Green Party people could have far more influence if they ran as GOP or Dem.  I admire them for sticking to their principles, but it still makes for an unconvincing argument that third parties are necessary or useful.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Markalot on November 10, 2016, 01:05:26 PM
if you want to win, you need to try and make sure everyone is lifted up, not just your class.

You realize that Trump just won with the exact opposite strategy, right?

We had 8 years where a certain class of people have not seen any positive change after being promised change.  If Trump doesn't produce positive change he will be tossed as well.    For fuck sake Trump got a higher percentage of the black and Latino vote than Romney did.

7. Trump did surprisingly well among groups he was thought to have fatally offended. He got 8 percent of blacks (Mitt Romney got only 6 percent in 2012), 29 percent of Latinos (Romney got 27 percent), and 41 percent of moderates (Romney also got 41 percent). Trump trailed Clinton among women by 12 percentage points, but that wasn’t much worse than Romney, who lost them by 11 points. Trump also got 31 percent of voters who said they hadn’t been born as U.S. citizens. These figures complicate the theory that racism and sexism carried Trump to victory.

Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Dan on November 10, 2016, 01:14:00 PM
This is interesting. Basically, where were the Democrats?

http://imgur.com/TOGIbcP

Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: foolsgold on November 10, 2016, 01:17:34 PM
Stupid people continually voting for stupid reasons is the reason the government is bad.  And perhaps the stupidest of voting reasons is the "blow up the system/anti-establishment" vote. 

This is one of the things that makes me want to bang my head against a wall until I knock myself into a coma.  People loved that Trump was going to "drain the swamp" but ended up voting in the same incumbents who are part of that corrupt, do-nothing Congress they complain about all the time on the down ballot.  If you're going to be anti-establishment, at least have the consistency to be anti-establishment, not kinda, sorta, a little bit anti-establishment. 
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Markalot on November 10, 2016, 01:18:32 PM
The media was touting high latino turnout as well which never materialized.  I've often accused the media of being in the tank for the left but I think they just screwed themselves with this one.  Sometimes bias doesn't work like you think it will.

As for the graphic above, I think most of the missing are that big lump they call millennials.  The idiots who can change the world if they would just bother to vote. 
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Kwyjibo on November 10, 2016, 01:32:27 PM
So what happens now?  Does Michelle Obama start her political career?  I'd like to see that, I think she has the likability that Hillary did not, but I don't know that it seems likely.  I don't see any other women out there that are even close to that level, except for maybe Warren, but she's too much of a hard ass (read: awesome) to get the support she'd need for a presidential run.

Also, I bet it's a long damn time before we see another black president.  We proved we're not racist, now we can go back to being racist.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: euro60 on November 10, 2016, 01:56:12 PM
So what happens now?  Does Michelle Obama start her political career?

Barack Obama just the other day: "Michelle will never run for office, and you can take that to the bank". That sounds pretty definitive to me.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: va-vacious on November 10, 2016, 02:58:29 PM
Michelle Obama won't run. She's had enough, and she's going home. I don't blame her, though I wish I could vote for her for anything.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on November 10, 2016, 03:08:27 PM
As for the graphic above, I think most of the missing are that big lump they call millennials.  The idiots who can change the world if they would just bother to vote.

I'm not very interested in appealing to millennials, either.  The Bernie Bros are idiots.  No deal.



Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: dirk on November 10, 2016, 03:48:30 PM
The media was touting high latino turnout as well which never materialized.  I've often accused the media of being in the tank for the left but I think they just screwed themselves with this one.  Sometimes bias doesn't work like you think it will.

As for the graphic above, I think most of the missing are that big lump they call millennials.  The idiots who can change the world if they would just bother to vote.
I called this months ago. When you put up 2 terrible candidates, turnout will be terrible because no one wants to vote for either of them. Unfortunately, Trumps base was older, white men who tend to vote in every election no matter what. The democratic base is more fickle and a lot of them only come out when they are excited about a candidate. With Hillary, there was nothing to be excited about so they stayed home.

The democratic base tend to be the people with the least power, so they are the ones more likely to believe their vote doesn't really count. They see the old white men getting everything so they think they aren't going to make a difference and be able to overcome that. And in most things, they are absolutely correct. The problem is, voting is the one time they are wrong, but trying to convince them of that is a hard task.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on November 10, 2016, 04:44:51 PM
I think you have to take into account how much easier it is for the Republican base to vote. 

It costs poor minorities much more effort to get to the ballot box in the first place. 

And on top of that they know that in the process all sorts of crazy monkey wrenches could get thrown into the works to prevent their vote from counting so it could all be for nothing. 

And on top on top of that they know that this is a very deliberate effort to screw them over.  So their vote now and votes in the future will always be at maximum expense for minimal gain.

If you voted for Obama twice and saw your vote make a real difference, and every time after the election they cracked down on stuff harder to try and take away your vote, then your risk/reward calculus is completely different.  Each vote could be your last, so you have to make it count.  Is it worth spending it on Clinton... or do you wait?

Hillary can (and did) spend a lot of money on her ground game.  But the ground game counts for nothing if they just wipe out "Souls to the Polls" and early voting or make you wait two hours to vote when your cousin can only baby sit for an hour.

Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on November 10, 2016, 08:57:40 PM
if you want to win, you need to try and make sure everyone is lifted up, not just your class.

You realize that Trump just won with the exact opposite strategy, right?

We had 8 years where a certain class of people have not seen any positive change after being promised change.  If Trump doesn't produce positive change he will be tossed as well.    For fuck sake Trump got a higher percentage of the black and Latino vote than Romney did.

7. Trump did surprisingly well among groups he was thought to have fatally offended. He got 8 percent of blacks (Mitt Romney got only 6 percent in 2012), 29 percent of Latinos (Romney got 27 percent), and 41 percent of moderates (Romney also got 41 percent). Trump trailed Clinton among women by 12 percentage points, but that wasn’t much worse than Romney, who lost them by 11 points. Trump also got 31 percent of voters who said they hadn’t been born as U.S. citizens. These figures complicate the theory that racism and sexism carried Trump to victory.

You and I are talking about different things.  You are talking about picking off some voters at the margin to secure victory in a close election.  And you are probably right that Clinton could have done some things differently.  But I don't really care about that really.  The election is over and Monday Morning Quarterbacking when the next election is two or four years away is pointless.

I'm talking about the larger picture.

Trump won the non-college white vote by 67% vs 28%.  But Clinton won the non-college, non-white vote by 75% vs 20%.

And check out these splits for Clinton:

65% vs 29% Asians
65% vs 29% Hispanics
71% vs 24% Jewish
78% vs 14% LGBT

Why is one set of numbers a problem but none of the others?  Why is it okay to get only 8% of the black vote?

This is the ridiculous lie that Trump spun-- that Clinton is "the establishment" and not the 2/3 of state assemblies that the GOP controls or the 31 (now 34) governorships.  And that therefore  "the establishment" has been too kind to minorities at the expense of whites.  Even though the REAL "establishment" has been illegally and brutally suppressing Black votes for four years.  I'm not buying it. 

And to throw a cherry on top, he even blames "the establishment" for neglecting poor white people.  Even though in fact it is conservatives who have been cutting all social spending in favor of tax cuts for the wealthy and Trump will continue this trend.   Let's be real.  The only "anti-establishment" thing about Trump is his mouth.  His policies are straight out of the GOP/Ted Cruz playbook. 

Why in the world should anyone believe this ridiculous narrative?  Seriously.  We know that Trump is full of shit, but suddenly post-election we're like "ooh, he might have had something there."  No.  He didn't.  Never did. 

The absolute, 100% right message to send (at least if you want my vote) to non-college white people is "What the hell are you doing?!?"  Not "Hey, Trump might be right."  And if they want to persist in their echo chamber, well I'm sorry but then we will have to part ways, because I don't do crazy.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Markalot on November 10, 2016, 10:13:27 PM
Not sure what you are watching or listening too but you need to stop.  :D  I'm not aware anyone said those numbers were ok, only stunning that he got any minority vote at all.  I guess if I wanted to get riled up I could listen to right wing talk radio.

I'm also not clear on the difficulty of voting.  Most minorities are voting in urban areas, the vast majority run by democrats.  Are you saying the dems are supressing the vote?  Why spout that lie?  The truth is a lot of dems didn't vote and are now bitching that Trump got elected.   These democrats managed to vote for Obama.

 
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: euro60 on November 10, 2016, 10:46:37 PM
I agree with Markalot. ZK, you're going off the rails, sorry to say it, but it's true.

Also wanted to comment on the fact that Hillary won the popular vote. Doesn't mean diddly. Our election system is about the Electoral College. Think of it this way: it's like a tennis match, with best three out of five sets. The loser may have runs up a TON of points in the two set (s)he won, but lost the other three sets narrowly. So the loser won more points in the overall score, but still lost the match. Nobody watching such a tennis game ever cries foul and says "it's unfair!". These are the accepted rules of tennis.

Clinton ran up HUGE margins, particularly in the West Coast states. But that doesn't mean anything. It's about the Electoral College system. And if you don't like that, the only way is to do away with it. There is a constitutional way to do that. I'm not in favor of it. Not because I'm a fan of Trump (I'm not), but because I like the way the election plays out state-by-state. Ohio is important in every single election because of it. I'd hate to see that go. Plus the state-by-state system forces the candidates to play strategically. And that is true for both sides.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on November 11, 2016, 01:46:31 AM
These democrats managed to vote for Obama.
Shelby County v Holder (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shelby_County_v._Holder)
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Markalot on November 11, 2016, 07:41:00 AM
These democrats managed to vote for Obama.
Shelby County v Holder (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shelby_County_v._Holder)

Yes, but what changed?  What state did she lose to restrictions placed on minorities that prevented them from voting?  Florida was voting for weeks before the election and she lost it.  Wisconsin, who was not under the old law to begin with?  I'll give you North Carolina.

I think you're still in disbelief that the dems handed this election to Trump.  You know it's true but will never admit it.  The republicans are a dead party, dead dead dead, but if the other side doesn't vote they will still win.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: daytime drinking on November 11, 2016, 10:00:18 AM
How is 5% going to accomplish that.  You don't move in from the margin by being marginal.

so, how would a third party emerge if no one voted for a third party?

But there is no real demand for a third party.  Or at least not enough.  They are simply useful temporary hangouts for bitter Democrats or Republicans when their party doesn't pick their candidate.  The next election, they will be back to voting their party.

Look how much the far right has been able to transform the GOP in just a few years.  Libertarians  and Green Party people could have far more influence if they ran as GOP or Dem.  I admire them for sticking to their principles, but it still makes for an unconvincing argument that third parties are necessary or useful.

a third party is useful when we trot out this shit show.  it's a pretty bad election season when someone gets beat out by donald trump.  you don't feel that a third party platform can appeal sincerely to people, moreso than the current ones?  the libertarian party has cache with most american people, i should say at the heart of most people worldwide.  it truly has everyone's best interests in mind.  but if we continue to believe that it's ok to compromise your principles because you just can't stand to see the opponent win and so long as we're force fed the status quo.... but you're right, the majority of people that vote probably shouldn't.  we'd be this dumb without the media, it's endemic among our species.  i at least didn't have to hold my nose when i went to vote
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: notoriouspbake on November 11, 2016, 10:01:40 AM
according to the election results, and the fact that the GOP will control all facets of government including the supreme court evidence suggests the GOP is far from dead.

the smear campaign against hillary worked well. to rile against her record of service as an insider and then have a 92% incumbent win rate shows no logic being used. and to vote in the person with the least qualifications (trump has no record of public service) makes no sense. now  he's going to fill up positions with - you guessed it - washington insiders who have been around and not make any significant difference, the same cry he used against hillary. how does that make any sense?

well america, you got what you asked for.

can't wait for the fossil fuel ceo to be appointed director of the interior or the EPA. that'll just be lovely.

my dreams of getting citizens united overturned by a decent supreme court have died.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: daytime drinking on November 11, 2016, 10:08:50 AM
hillary smeared herself.  any reasonable political opponent would use that fodder.  you can't blame donald for that.  america certainly got what it wanted and deserved
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Markalot on November 11, 2016, 10:29:42 AM
according to the election results, and the fact that the GOP will control all facets of government including the supreme court evidence suggests the GOP is far from dead.

How can you come to any other conclusion except they are a dead end party?  I go crazy when I see the dems unable to comprehend that they are in the drivers seat IF, IF they can get their members to vote.

Add to that the fact that the dem party was in the tank for Hillary and against Bernie and it gets even worse.  I despised Bernie, but I bet he could have beat Trump.  How many Bernie supporters stayed home for the election but are now out in the streets protesting?

It's maddening.

You can always trust the dems to allow the republicans to screw over the country.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Markalot on November 11, 2016, 10:32:42 AM
Here's the graphic posted yesterday and one I made which is simply the latest Wikipedia numbers spliced side by side.  Note these are raw votes.

(http://i.imgur.com/c8aos34h.jpg)

(http://i.imgur.com/q76cBROh.png)

So who 'won' the election?

Let's protest ... effing democracy!

Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on November 11, 2016, 10:56:16 AM
Ugh.  That is my entire point.  It doesn't matter whether those votes would have changed the election.  What matters is being disenfranchised should not ever happen, to anyone. 

But it is, because people are like "Oh, it's just liberals being sore losers."  And so the extreme right will just keep chipping away at civil rights while moderates stew about how rural white people didn't get enough TLC or who they should have run instead of Clinton or what happens to gays  .This election is lost.  And the next few years are going to be a blood bath.  It's all damage control now. Pick a few things that are worth fighting for and that there is some hope of winning or at least slowing stuff down.  And then look to the long term.

There are dozens of reasons why, in no shape or form, anyone ever should have voted for Trump and why the extreme right of the GOP needs to be checked.  And we need to start, in a non-hysterical and orderly way (which admittedly liberals are sucking at right now), pointing them out.

Part of the thing with Trump was that he kept saying such outrageously batshit insane things that it was hard for anyone, especially the press NOT to be like "HOLY SHIT!  DID YOU EVEN HEAR THAT?!?"  But it really isn't that important anymore (if it ever was) that Trump said Obama shouted down a protester, when in fact Obama was supporting the protester.  He's a dingbat, and he lies a lot. 

We people in the middle on both sides of the aisle (if Democrats and Republicans even exist anymore) need to assert ourselves by focusing on the important things.  Everyone should be able to vote.  Science is important.  The economy, taxes, and deficit.  Civil rights.  Not thinking Russians hacking sites is cool just because it helped your side.  Transparency in government. 

All of those are things that I think there is a large enough bloc of voters where a candidate can win on those issues.  And if he or she can't, then we are all screwed anyway.  The whole "run on the right/left in primaries, then move middle" is not really working out.  It's more like "run on the right/left in primaries, pull the middle in to you."
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on November 11, 2016, 11:23:35 AM
How is 5% going to accomplish that.  You don't move in from the margin by being marginal.

so, how would a third party emerge if no one voted for a third party?

But there is no real demand for a third party.  Or at least not enough.  They are simply useful temporary hangouts for bitter Democrats or Republicans when their party doesn't pick their candidate.  The next election, they will be back to voting their party.

Look how much the far right has been able to transform the GOP in just a few years.  Libertarians  and Green Party people could have far more influence if they ran as GOP or Dem.  I admire them for sticking to their principles, but it still makes for an unconvincing argument that third parties are necessary or useful.

a third party is useful when we trot out this shit show.  it's a pretty bad election season when someone gets beat out by donald trump.  you don't feel that a third party platform can appeal sincerely to people, moreso than the current ones?  the libertarian party has cache with most american people, i should say at the heart of most people worldwide.  it truly has everyone's best interests in mind.  but if we continue to believe that it's ok to compromise your principles because you just can't stand to see the opponent win and so long as we're force fed the status quo.... but you're right, the majority of people that vote probably shouldn't.  we'd be this dumb without the media, it's endemic among our species.  i at least didn't have to hold my nose when i went to vote

Yeah, but tbf you probably aren't going to be someone who takes the brunt of the hit under a Trump regime. 

I didn't actually hate Clinton that bad, so there was only a minor bit of nose holding on my part.  But I didn't do it because I felt I had to support a major party.  I did it because I felt like voting for her was legit the best thing for the country.  It was a weak crop to be sure, but I weighed over all the choices including not voting or going third party and I just felt like it was the right move.  Which also helped with the smell.

I have a lot of respect for Gary Johnson for actually sticking with principles running as an independent, unlike Bernie Sanders.  I don't think he would be a very good President at all.  But I still like the guy.  Still, he's accomplished pretty much nothing since being a Libertarian.  When he was a Republican, he was the governor of Mexico. He was still the same guy.   I can't stand Ron or Rand Paul, but they do promote a lot of Libertarian values as Republicans. 

To a large extent, Libertarian or Green or even Democrat are just labels.  Agree completely that people should stick to their principles.  Just not sure that you need to go third party to do so or if that's the best way to get the job done. 

And, third parties are just as vulnerable to being hijacked or running bad candidates as the major parties.  Maybe more so, because as of now they don't have that many choices.  So you get guys like William Weld (who I don't dislike at all) brought in, when he is really more of a Republican and he's out there sort of telling people to vote for Clinton while on the Libertarian ticket. Wayne Allyn Root had legit Libertarian views, but IMO he's also kind of a nut.  Jill Stein is just totally cuckoo.  Those are two people that I wouldn't vote for even if I felt like I was aligned with their policies.

Stein did an AMA on Reddit, and it was a utter disaster.  There were tons of people on there who were very liberal, very anti-establishment, liked Sanders or the environment and hated Clinton or whatnot and were really leaning her way.  And by the end even most of them were like, "Uhhh... what are you talking about, again?"

But yeah, anyway I don't think we really disagree on much here.  I suppose I am weakly pro-third party.  Agree with all your points, just don't think in reality it will make any difference.  But you want to play the long game and keep plugging away, and go for the whole ball of wax against the odds, I can respect that.  If the ball gets rolling, I'll jump on the bandwagon.  Best I can promise you.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on November 11, 2016, 11:38:10 AM
according to the election results, and the fact that the GOP will control all facets of government including the supreme court evidence suggests the GOP is far from dead.

How can you come to any other conclusion except they are a dead end party?  I go crazy when I see the dems unable to comprehend that they are in the drivers seat IF, IF they can get their members to vote.

Add to that the fact that the dem party was in the tank for Hillary and against Bernie and it gets even worse.  I despised Bernie, but I bet he could have beat Trump.  How many Bernie supporters stayed home for the election but are now out in the streets protesting?

It's maddening.

You can always trust the dems to allow the republicans to screw over the country.

What's maddening to me is that the Republicans have the strongest hold over the country they've ever had.  And, somehow you think they are dead.  And all you do is blame the Democrats. 

I mean, what did you want me to do?  Register for a party I don't really believe in just to vote against all the Tea Party people?  I couldn't have done it even if I wanted to.  Because the GOP gerrymandered the crap out of my area.  Bobby Scott ran unopposed half the time.  The other times he won with like 75-80% of the vote.

I have news for you, too.  I ended up splitting my ticket.  I voted for a moderate Republican who ran in my district when none of the Republicans I know did, because they were all Trump-scared.

Do you really not understand how it is kind of crazy for a Republican to blame Democrats for Republicans winning?

Stop finger pointing.  It's stupid.  Blame the people who actually nominated, supported or voted for Trump.  Not the people who didn't.  That goes for everyone.  It's not the Democrats, or the Bernie Bros, or Stein, or Gary Johnson people who bear the responsibility here. 
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on November 11, 2016, 11:48:49 AM
the smear campaign against hillary worked well. to rile against her record of service as an insider and then have a 92% incumbent win rate shows no logic being used. and to vote in the person with the least qualifications (trump has no record of public service) makes no sense. now  he's going to fill up positions with - you guessed it - washington insiders who have been around and not make any significant difference, the same cry he used against hillary. how does that make any sense?

This.  100x this.

It made no sense to vote for Trump at all.  I refuse to blame anyone other than the people who supported him.  And I WILL blame them, regardless of how bad I feel that they might be suffering economically or whatnot.

All of this finger-pointing at each other while simultaneously beating ourselves up is so stupid.  We did nothing wrong.  They did. I think many of them are about to learn a very harsh lesson.  They can then re-join the realms of the sane or they can stay in their echo chamber until they end up destroying themselves.  It's not my business anymore if they won't listen or learn.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on November 11, 2016, 12:50:03 PM
Sonuva! 

Just read about Ken Blackwell.  So now he's got Blackwell AND Kobach on his team.

Two ex-Secretaries of State well-known for their voter suppression efforts are in Trump's inner circle.  Just a coincidence!  No, this whole voter suppression thing is just a myth.  Can't see a problem here.   Because rural whites!
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: notoriouspbake on November 11, 2016, 01:02:42 PM
Sonuva! 

Just read about Ken Blackwell.  So now he's got Blackwell AND Kobach on his team.

Two ex-Secretaries of State well-known for their voter suppression efforts are in Trump's inner circle.  Just a coincidence!  No, this whole voter suppression thing is just a myth.  Can't see a problem here.   Because rural whites!

voter suppression is a myth. voter fraud is real, and why north carolina and other states needed new laws to combat the epidemic of voter fraud. we all know this. since all these states are passing such laws i can only assume it made the difference in electing obama twice. *sarcasm*

fyi, i didn't show my photo id here in michigan and signed the affidavit.  the woman gave me grief for it. fuck you lady.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on November 13, 2016, 09:15:14 PM
Amazing state of flux right now.

Trump walking back almost all his promises.  His supporters making excuses.  Liberals irate.

Shouldn't it be the opposite?

If all of his campaign promises were lies and he moves to the middle that makes me happy. Conversely, I would think it would make those who voted for him mad.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: euro60 on November 13, 2016, 10:48:13 PM
I watched the 60 Minutes interview on CBS. I feel better now. Indeed, there may be a climb-down from the crazy campaign rhetoric. But at this point, I'm all for actions. Let's see what the man does (or doesn't). His intentions seem sincere from that interview, but let's see what actually happens.

As to the protesters ("Trump is not my president"), give it a rest already. Protest all you want, but do it peacefully. Trashing stores and rioting is stupid.

I subscribe to TIME Magazine, and was really interested in their take on it. The best of the various pieces this week was from long-time columnist Joe Klein (who passionately railed against Trump). His take? (I'm paraphrasing) "The long-time establishment, of which I am one, had been blown up. I'm writing from down in the rubble, and the view from here is limited." He admits to have missed the seminal outcry from tens of millions of Americans "left behind".

If anyone thinks this election result was a vote of bigotry or racism, they have completely missed the point. As the "mainstream media" are now finding out.

I had a long and interesting discussion about all of this today with my 29 yr. old son. We both voted for Hillary, even though we both tend to lean  Republican. We basically came to the conclusion that neither of us feel part of those tens of millions of middle-class blue collar Americans who feel "left behind and forgotten" who voted in massive numbers for Trump, but both of us also feel interested in what Trump is now going to do.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on November 14, 2016, 08:03:26 AM
If anyone thinks this election result was a vote of bigotry or racism, they have completely missed the point. As the "mainstream media" are now finding out.

Of course it was a vote of bigotry.  They voted for a bunch of bigots.

Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Markalot on November 14, 2016, 08:23:22 AM

I don't trust Trump one bit but I wish the protesters would save their energy for when he's IN office and does something worthy of protesting.   

Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on November 14, 2016, 09:23:56 AM
I don't trust Trump one bit but I wish the protesters would save their energy for when he's IN office and does something worthy of protesting.

Why should they wait until after he screws people over?  He did lose the popular vote, so there isn't a strong mandate.  Send him the message before he appoints his cabinet.  Especially as it is becoming clear that Trump is not exactly committed to his pre-election promises.

Also, I am always in favor of people protesting if they can do so peacefully and properly.  Obviously violence, vandalism, etc. is always uncool. Other than that, go nuts.  I would feel the same if Clinton had won and Trump people were protesting.

The effectiveness of some these protests seems somewhat questionable, though.  They have been protesting in Richmond since the election.  We voted like 70% Clinton.  It would have been higher had some of these VCU students protesting bothered to vote instead of being Bernie Bros.  So why are they annoying people who are already against Trump and probably did more than they did to stop him?

Richmond is surrounded by conservative areas, so it wouldn't be very difficult for them to organize a 20 minute bus trip to the heart of Trump territory and protest there.  Also, have some sort of coherent message.  They're just shouting out random political slogans.  Not My President, Black Lives Matter, pro-LGBT, women's rights, climate change. 

I dunno, they are mostly kids.  They don't know any better.  This is their first real involvement in the political process and I think some of them are overly giddy.  It's a good civics lesson for them.  If you want to push a cause, you have to do it the whole time not just once every four years.  And grassroots is a lot of work, it's not just marching down a street for an hour during your fall break.  And you will have to compromise, or you end up with your worst option.  They will learn.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: euro60 on November 14, 2016, 10:04:30 AM
If anyone thinks this election result was a vote of bigotry or racism, they have completely missed the point. As the "mainstream media" are now finding out.

Of course it was a vote of bigotry.  They voted for a bunch of bigots.
Wrong, wrong and WRONG

http://www.latimes.com/politics/la-na-pol-donald-trump-american-voices-20161113-story.html

Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on November 14, 2016, 10:22:37 AM
They voted for a bunch of bigots, euro60.

I don't care what cockamamie reasons they give for why they did it, they did it.

Also, I read that article yesterday. 

This guy thinks he is not a bigot:

“I’ve been to the welfare office before, and a lot of people who go there don’t speak English,” Miskulin said. “Most of the people who go there, they’re not white. They’re not even black. The most people you see there are mostly Mexican.... They are illegal and they don’t belong in our country.”

So does this person:

It was plainly wrong though, Register said, to see the White House lit up in rainbow colors to celebrate the Supreme Court’s legalization of same-sex marriage. “That was not cool to me,” said Register, whose disability check helps care for an adult daughter and two grandchildren living with her. “And I’m an American, too.”

And this person:

Margo Miko, 62, a former nurse now living on disability in Ohio, was among those drawn by Trump’s promises to build an impenetrable wall along the Southern border and to keep out Muslim immigrants.

She blamed her state’s governor, Republican John Kasich, for allowing an influx of refugees that has made her feel like a stranger in her Columbus neighborhood.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: euro60 on November 14, 2016, 12:12:43 PM
ZK, according to the last results, 60,371,193 people in this country voted for Trump.

And every single one is a racist and bigot in your mind.

If that makes you feel better, believe what you want, man. Keep your head in the sand if you want.

At least I am willing to admit that I missed the seminal outcry from tens of millions of middle class blue collar Americans to blow up the establishment as we know it (because I am neither middle class nor blue collar myself but instead am part of the establishment). I am reading up on it as I want to understand why I was so far off in my own thinking and understanding of the situation. You're simply saying "I know exactly why all of this happened." Really? If that is the case, why didn't you predict it?

I found this particular column from Joe Klein in this week's TIME Magazine quite interesting. He too admits that he was/is part of the establishment that's now been blown up, and hence he is now "writing from within the rubble, where the view is limited":
 
http://time.com/4565959/president-trump-what-comes-next/

Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on November 14, 2016, 02:28:30 PM
Dude. There are just so many things here.  I will just give you five random takes.  The rest is up to you.  THINK.

1)  I never said that every Trump voter was a bigot.  I said that every Trump voter voted for bigots.  Regardless of why it happened, these next few years are going to be unpleasant for minorities of all stripes.  So yes, absolutely, 100% bigotry is a massive problem in the US right now. It's probably THE #1 problem.  I'm not a fan of Priebus but he's just like, a standard Republican.  I lost the election, I deal with it.  That happens.  I'm not going to lose my shit over it.  But Stephen Bannon, Kris Kobach-- these guys are literal white supremacists.

2)  In that LA Times piece, they interviewed 6 people.  3 of them were bigots.  50% is not only enough to have tilted the election, you should just be offended that there are people like that. Regardless of how they voted. 

Does it take a candidate getting 100% votes from certified KKK members before we care?  For a guy who thinks race isn't a problem shouldn't 3 out of 6 people saying horrible things be your takeaway from that article?  Like "Holy crap, I had no idea this many people were this bigoted."  Instead you want to blow by that and you're like "Oh we should feel their pain."  What about the pain they are causing?

3)  Did you notice all three bigots in that piece were on welfare or disability?  One person is even from Ohio and complained about Kasich.  But her complaint about Kasich wasn't that she wanted more government assistance, it was that he let Muslims into her neighborhood.  You are a conservative Kasich voter.  You prefer tax cuts over social spending.  So you are not going to give her more money.  What else can you do then, to assure her you "feel her pain?"  Yeah, kick the Muslims out of her neighborhood.  That is why the GOP keeps tilting farther right, and you can't figure out why.

4)  Is the problem REALLY that we paid too much attention to minorities and not enough attention to the working class whites?  You are saying "Gee, I never really thought about these people." 

Fair enough.  But how much did you think about minorities?  How many articles have you read in the past week exploring how poor, urban black people feel about the country and Trump?

I think that you could probably guess how a poor, urban black person might feel when they read dozens of stories about how white people think they are getting screwed and 0 about what is happening in the inner cities or blacks being shot by cops.  And beyond that, the stories have a guy saying thins about how people "aren't 'even' black" and the reaction isn't "Holy crap what a racist" but rather "We need to feel this guy's pain?"

So in four years if the country were to tilt crazy far to the left, make sure you aren't asking yourself "Gee, why didn't I think about minorities?"

5)  How do you propose that I not ignore the working white class?  I vote for higher K-12 spending, and more local funding, and social spending of all kinds that could help them because I'm liberal like that.  The only thing more I can do for them is to take my non-white ass out of the country.  I refuse to do that.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Kwyjibo on November 14, 2016, 02:40:30 PM
ZK, according to the last results, 60,371,193 people in this country voted for Trump.

And every single one is a racist and bigot in your mind.

Whether they were all bigots or not they all consciously decided that bigotry was not a deal breaker.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Butter on November 14, 2016, 04:51:01 PM
The sad thing is that with a Trump loss, we literally might've split the GOP for good between the racist white populists and the fiscal conservative arm of the party.

But now what we've done is legitimize the white nationalist wing of the party.  Sure, there is real shit that needs to be done for the poor working class of all races.  But it's all going to be undermined by the fact that these ideas are literally coming from a white supremacist and are likely going to have that overtone.  Who wants to be the Democrat voting for ideas that a white supremacist thought was a good idea?  Nobody.

Nothing about this election is going to bring the country together.  This vote was tantamount to voting for a race war and a racial purification of the country.  Because that's what a lot of these voters want, that's what Trump promised, and those are the people he is putting in positions of power.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on November 14, 2016, 06:37:12 PM
Yeah, my hippy activist neighbor went off on a rant about that.  He was like "This was actually the election where the young kids really could have made a difference, and they didn't."

Just anecdotally, I think that might be true.  I vote where VCU kids vote, in a hugely liberal district.  When I went to the voting booth this time, there were tons and tons of 25-35 year old voters. People who went out for Obama four and maybe eight years ago.  I didn't see many younger people.  I thought it was maybe just changing demographics and gerrymandering.

I asked him if it irked him that he was considered "establishment" when he had been fighting for change longer than these kids had been alive.  He said the WAY in which he was considered establishment was what bothered him.

He felt like when he was talking to students this election cycle, they just didn't see problems.  They weren't so much pro-Trump as they were pro- "let Trump troll the world, he's not serious and it doesn't do that much damage."  That's probably an over-simplification.  It's not that they don't care about racism or LGBT-rights.  They were still very liberal on social issues.  They just sort of didn't care ENOUGH. 

They had like a reddit/twitter view of the world.  They just felt like the alt-right were just trolls.  And to the extent they were distasteful, that could easily be avoided by everyone going to their "safe space" and the best thing was to ignore those you disagree with because drama causes flame wars.  Like "Racists, you hang out over here.  I will hang out over there.  Maybe we both enjoy this one game, and if so we can hang out together there so long as we don't talk about race."  That's their solution to social problems. 

And so they felt like trying to tell racists what they could or couldn't do was what was wrong.  Not racism itself. 

So I was like " So the Libertarians missed the boat big-time on this election."  And he was like no, because they had out-libertarian-ed the libertarians.  Because they didn't want to be told that government was bad either.  All of us are just crusty old mods trying to regulate behavior in some way.  That's why they could like both Bernie AND Trump.  They weren't being modded or modding.  They were making the world more spicy and interesting with their no-holds-barred opinions.  And the more spicy opinions, the better.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: euro60 on November 15, 2016, 09:41:30 AM
Very saddened (and shocked) to hear yesterday on my drive home from work of the passing away of Gwen Ifill, longtime host of PBS' Washington Week in Review (and later also the News Hour). She was only 61.

This comes on the heels of the passing away in August of John McLaughlin, longtime host of that other PBS political talk show, The McLaughlin Group.

Wow. Just like that, 2 icons gone. I have watched both of these shows for DECADES. (The McLaughlin Group was canceled days after the guy's passing. I'm pretty sure Washington Week in Review will continue with another host.)
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on November 15, 2016, 04:33:13 PM
The Onion pretty much jumped the shark 10 years ago, except for maybe AV club.  But this is hilarious:

http://www.theonion.com/article/dnc-aiming-reconnect-working-class-americans-new-h-54707
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Markalot on November 16, 2016, 10:56:40 AM
^  LOL,

that pretty much sums it up.

A post or two back you wondered if there would be an over-correction to the left and my answer is apparently some think we already over-corrected left and this is the pendulum swinging back hard right.  We will swing left again but hopefully not as far.

The Steve Bannon appointment bothers me a lot, otherwise I'd still be ranting about how people should just STFU and see what happens. 
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on November 16, 2016, 05:51:27 PM
I don't know if I would call it an overcorrection to the left.  I would say more like the pendulum is now swing on a different axis altogether or has exploded or something.

I think to me and a lot of people in my demo (and Sanders himself), Sanders and Trump are polar opposites.  And I'm not that comfortable with either one.

But to a large portion of the populace, they aren't that different. Clinton is different.  And really Obama is/was as well.  Clinton took the brunt of a lot of Obama's policies. 

So like, it doesn't surprise me that a certain subset of Americans is racist.  I knew that.  What did catch me by surprise is how little other people seemed to care.

Globalization is another one.  That speech Clinton made that she got pummeled for really kind of on both sides where she had a dream of open trade and open borders.   To me and my hippy sensibilities, that is a nice dream.  Everyone getting along and relying on each other!  World Peace!  Nothing wrong with that at all. 

And I would think a lot of  traditional fiscal conservatives also see a global capitalist marketplace as laudable end goal.  I think even Neo-conservatives kind of get behind that one.  They just want everything on our terms, and pummel those who refuse to accept.

It is very hard for me to predict where this is going.  Or what people genuinely want.  It seems to be a sort of "I do me, you do you thing" with authoritarian governments micro-managing stuff for their people, and dissenters just go and find their own space.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: daytime drinking on November 17, 2016, 12:43:48 PM
how are you going to get people to not be racist?  nobody can do that.  maybe by forcing everyone's prejudices into the open some positive dialogue can emerge.  has there ever been an honest discussion on a national level about race?  sex and race.  those are two topics nobody feels comfortable talking about
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Butter on November 17, 2016, 01:12:55 PM
how are you going to get people to not be racist?  nobody can do that.  maybe by forcing everyone's prejudices into the open some positive dialogue can emerge.  has there ever been an honest discussion on a national level about race?  sex and race.  those are two topics nobody feels comfortable talking about

You're never going to get some people not to be racist, what you should strive for though on a societal / governmental level is that there are not institutional divides in how races are treated.  Which, with the voter suppression attempts among other things you could argue that institutional racism is making a comeback.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on November 17, 2016, 03:40:08 PM
I feel like one of the reasons you had that big college degree vs non-college degree split among white voters isn't because people with college degrees are smarter, but because college is a melting pot. 

You end up on a campus, and likely in a dorm where there are people of different races and from different backgrounds.  Of course, there is probably some self-selection bias there where people tend to go to college in the first place because they want to get out of their small towns and meet new kinds of people.

I don't think you can change the minds of a lot of the older, white, Republican base.  Too many of them grew up having learned those values from their parents and been that way their whole lives and aren't interesting in changing now.  I think the key is more like butter said, limit the damage that they do.   You can be as racist as you want, personally.  But don't take away black people's rights to vote.

I still feel like the vote was the last gasp of the old white christian racists.  Even if they start deporting immigrants and whatnot, there's already too many minorities in this country.  Those guys are dying out and the minority population is growing.  I believe that younger people are definitely much less racist than ever.  And actually Trump kind of won because young people are so un-racist that they stopped seeing racism as a problem.

I read somewhere though, that racism is increasing among teens.  It's kind of like the big "rebel" thing to do that is guaranteed to piss off the squares.  Like if you take drugs, people don't get mad, they try to get you help.  No one blinks an eye if you listen to punk rock or heavy metal.

But if you are angry and have no friends in your town, you can just hop onto 4chan or reddit and instantly bond with other angry people just like you and have your own kliq. 

I didn't take the article that seriously because I feel like 95% of those kids aren't real racists, they just do it to get a rise out of people or feel cool and anti-social.  And, it's kind of like a fad that will shortly go away.  They will probably grow up and forget all about it.  Still, I guess once you enter that zone some people never get out.  It starts off as a lark but then they start to believe it.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Ella Minnow Pea on December 05, 2016, 09:23:25 PM
We finally know who will be Governor in North Carolina next year! Plus, the courts ordered that there should be a special election next year for state legislature as the current districts are not valid. (We normally have 2 year terms.)
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: euro60 on December 05, 2016, 10:32:19 PM
We finally know who will be Governor in North Carolina next year! Plus, the courts ordered that there should be a special election next year for state legislature as the current districts are not valid. (We normally have 2 year terms.)
Good luck to the Dem gov trying to do anything with both houses having a Republican super-majority...
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on December 06, 2016, 07:35:47 AM
We finally know who will be Governor in North Carolina next year! Plus, the courts ordered that there should be a special election next year for state legislature as the current districts are not valid. (We normally have 2 year terms.)
Good luck to the Dem gov trying to do anything with both houses having a Republican super-majority...

They won't have it after the special election.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: daytime drinking on December 07, 2016, 10:24:08 AM
is there anyway america gets to keep joe biden?
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: euro60 on December 22, 2016, 04:45:20 PM
Political correctness reaches new heights (or is that lows) in Europe...

Was reading the coverage in today's Financial Times regarding the terror attacks in Berlin. The article states that the suspect was known to German authorities as having ties to terrorists, and that they tried to deport the suspect earlier this year, "but he was not deported because he did not have a valid passport".... 

I'm trying to imagine how that conversation between the suspect and the German authorities went earlier this year:

Germans: "We are aware of your ties to terrorist cells and other suspect activities."

Suspect: "You're on to me, I can't deny any of it."

Germans: "Even though we love illegal immigrants, there is a red line to everything, and links to terrorism is it."

Suspect: "I completely understand. I wouldn't like me either if I were you."

Germans: "It breaks our hearts, but we're going to have to deport you."

Suspect: <sigh> "I understand"

Germans: "Please give us your passport, and we'll do the necessary paperwork"

Suspect: "urr... wait, I don't have a passport anymore.... urr... yea, the dog ate it, that's it, yea..."

Germans: "You what?????  No valid passport????"

Suspect: <mumbles something>

Germans: "My dear fellow, why didn't you say so earlier? You know we can't eject you if you don't have a valid passport!!!! How inhumane it would be of us, not to mention rude and inconsiderate", to deport you when you don't have a valid passport!"

Suspect: <looks on with a stunned expression>

Germans: "I mean, if we deport you without a valid passport, you might catch a cold or something. Even worse, you might be inconvenienced! Oh my, what is the world coming to???? You shan't leave Germany at all, my dear friend!!!"

Suspect: <Danke sehr. Ich bin ein Berliner!"
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: daytime drinking on January 19, 2017, 01:38:07 PM
wow.  less than a day.  donald trump.  ha.  i kinda like this rex tillerson guy, even though i probably shouldn't
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Kwyjibo on January 20, 2017, 09:08:44 AM
My guess is that even Rex Tillerson doesn't like Rex Tillerson.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Ella Minnow Pea on January 28, 2017, 01:31:23 AM
One week in. I hope that Republicans in Congress can do something, as it feels like the ship is sinking - and sinking fast. The immigration ban today has me stunned. I feel so bad for legal residents who were out of the country temporarily and now can't return. And may never be able to return. And on  International Holocaust Remembrance Day of all days.  :'(
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: euro60 on January 28, 2017, 11:36:25 PM
I came to the USA in 1983 from Belgium, on a student visa. I eventually stayed (always on a legal status I might add). Now I've been here 30+ years, more than I ever was in Belgium. I love this country.

I am strongly in favor of more legal immigration. The H-1B visa program (which allows highly skilled immigrants) is vastly underutilized. Every year hundreds of thousands well-qualified highly skilled immigrants-wanna be are denied because of a stupid visa quota. We need those people! When I talk to my clients, it's one of the top priorities: finding highly skilled people. Which somehow is lacking in the US, hence the high demand for those immigrants-wanna be.

As a legal immigrant, I am not a fan of illegal immigrants. Not that I would "force them out", but I am baffled at the concept of "sanctuary cities". Does anyone know of any country where entering illegally is tolerated or even applauded? Mind you, I am not talking about refugees fleeing disastrous circumstances who qualify for asylum status.

The latest Trump decision is baffling too. People's immigration status needs to be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. To make a general statement/rule like Trump just did is not right.

Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on January 30, 2017, 11:10:47 AM
There are really only a few sanctuary cities where it's like "Yeah, everyone come here.  We will hide you out from the Feds!"

Most of the cities still cooperate with the Feds, and will turn over illegal immigrants to INS if they know they are illegal.  They're just not going out of their way to bust illegal immigrants.

Which I understand.  Chicago and Baltimore have much bigger problems to worry about than illegal immigration.  I think they are right to concentrate their resources on gang violence over illegal immigration.

Of course, their case might be made stronger if their police didn't suck at stopping gang violence and weren't committing civil rights violations.  Then again, I suppose if their police are going to abuse US citizens, imagine what would happen to non-US citizens.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: euro60 on January 30, 2017, 10:44:18 PM
A few days later:

I am completely appalled and disgusted that immigrants holding a green card or having a valid visa are barred (re)entry into the US, not to mention being detained in some cases. Holy cow. What are we getting to? If that can happen, a blatant and utter disregard of existing US law, what is next? Revoking US citizenship of former green card holders (like me)? The Trump administration is completely out of control and needs to be stopped.

On the other hand: I watched the local news tonight. There seems to be an initiative at Cincinnati City Council to declare Cincinnati a "sanctuary city". Okay. Then I heard several people (City Council, City police) state, and I'm quoting: "We don't enforce immigration laws". WHOA!!!!!!!!!! I'm sorry, but this is completely off the rails, as far as I'm concerned. So now we don't apply the law anymore, and public officials explicitly saying so?

Crazy times all around. <sigh>
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Drjohnrock on January 30, 2017, 11:03:48 PM
Agree about the Trump regime (I won't use the word administration), but not about enforcing immigration law.  That's really more of a federal function. Local law enforcement has more than enough to handle with murders, thefts, heroin, etc.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: euro60 on January 30, 2017, 11:09:11 PM
Agree about the Trump regime (I won't use the word administration), but not about enforcing immigration law.  That's really more of a federal function. Local law enforcement has more than enough to handle with murders, thefts, heroin, etc.
DrJohn, there is a big difference between "letting things go" and instead publicly stating "we're not enforcing the law" be it immigration or anything else.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on January 31, 2017, 08:16:01 AM
I mean, the reality is that pretty much every US city is a sanctuary city.  Some are just making a formal declaration.

Being an undocumented alien is not a criminal violation and local and state police have no jurisdiction anyway, so I can see why cops don't want to waste resources doing INS's job for them.

Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: daytime drinking on February 02, 2017, 01:02:00 PM
i like how they be sayin' that it's gonna cost the city as in dollars.  they complain they won't get all this federal money.  "but it's ours!  they promised!"  cranley's only doing this for, what's posturing?  he really knows how to be a politician.  the city will be safer because now the police can go back to shaking down young blacks.  just kidding, but seriously, hard working folk can get back to being hard working folk.  i'm not sure how actively cincinnati police go after illegals, but now resources can be shifted to more pressure areas.  like northbrook y'all!  that place is a poor man's compton

i hear you though euro.  i understand why, you followed the rules, exerted cough white cough privilege, why some soul who dragged devil's rope across the georgia o keefe desert should adhere to the same standard.  i'm just fucking with you.  in my opinion, there shouldn't be borders, but i'm a god damn lunatic
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: euro60 on February 02, 2017, 02:31:20 PM
i hear you though euro, but i'm a CERTIFIED god damn lunatic
:D ;) :) 8)
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: euro60 on February 02, 2017, 02:40:32 PM
Being an undocumented alien is not a criminal violation and local and state police have no jurisdiction anyway, so I can see why cops don't want to waste resources doing INS's job for them.
The statements from Cincy City Council yesterday weren't that "we don't have jurisdiction anyway", but instead "we REFUSE to cooperate with the feds when asked". That is completely insane, if you ask me. And of course they do not expect to lose any federal funding. So, to be clear then: "Feds, give us the money you promised us. And Feds, drop dead! Don't ask us to cooperate with you, but if you do ask, we'll refuse anyway."
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: dirk on February 02, 2017, 05:32:29 PM
Being an undocumented alien is not a criminal violation and local and state police have no jurisdiction anyway, so I can see why cops don't want to waste resources doing INS's job for them.
The statements from Cincy City Council yesterday weren't that "we don't have jurisdiction anyway", but instead "we REFUSE to cooperate with the feds when asked". That is completely insane, if you ask me. And of course they do not expect to lose any federal funding. So, to be clear then: "Feds, give us the money you promised us. And Feds, drop dead! Don't ask us to cooperate with you, but if you do ask, we'll refuse anyway."
While this is true, local law enforcement generally do not enforce federal law, especially not civil law. I'm curious if you think the local law enforcement should help enforce the government drugs law that outlaw marijuana. While medical marijuana may be legal in ohio (well, come september) it is still illegal at the federal level. Do you also think the local police should enforce federal law in that case and arrest people they know are using medical marijuana and hold and report them to the feds?
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on February 02, 2017, 09:21:13 PM
Being an undocumented alien is not a criminal violation and local and state police have no jurisdiction anyway, so I can see why cops don't want to waste resources doing INS's job for them.
The statements from Cincy City Council yesterday weren't that "we don't have jurisdiction anyway", but instead "we REFUSE to cooperate with the feds when asked". That is completely insane, if you ask me. And of course they do not expect to lose any federal funding. So, to be clear then: "Feds, give us the money you promised us. And Feds, drop dead! Don't ask us to cooperate with you, but if you do ask, we'll refuse anyway."

Yes, like I said in my first post there are some cities that take a more confrontational/moral stance on it.  Obviously, I don't follow the Cincy City Council that closely so I can't speak on that.

I was only talking about Sanctuary Cities in general.  I wasn't trying to start a debate.  In your first post, you just said that they were saying they don't enforce immigration laws.  I was just saying that in reality, the vast majority of localities don't enforce immigration laws (they just don't admit it). 

Some localities publicly state they won't enforce immigration laws, and those are "Sanctuary Cities."  But even among Sanctuary Cities, most of them are simply making a public acknowledgment.  They still cooperate with the Feds when asked, they just aren't going out of their way to ask shoplifters for passports.

For the few cities that won't cooperate with INS, I agree with you.  They should.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on February 02, 2017, 09:30:40 PM
i hear you though euro.  i understand why, you followed the rules, exerted cough white cough privilege, why some soul who dragged devil's rope across the georgia o keefe desert should adhere to the same standard.

Pretty much.  I'm not going to pull punches about it.

Can't stand it when some legal immigrant is like "I came here legally, they're cutting in line!!!"  Like you know, all these border crossers had to do was fill out an online survey and they were too lazy so instead they decided to spend six months in tent cities getting raped.  If they could have done it legally, they would have. 

Plus, you wanna get mad about people, get mad at me.  I just popped out my mom's vag and was like "Yo, what up?  American citizen!"  Never worked less hard for anything in my life. 

Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: euro60 on February 02, 2017, 11:14:23 PM
ZK, in my mind I make a clear distinction between (i) legal immigrants, (ii) refugees, and (iii) illegal immigrants.

Why should we go out of our way to accommodate illegal immigrants? They've come into this country illegally. Do you know of other countries that openly accommodate illegal immigrants? I'm not suggesting they should be deported "en masse". But neither do I see a reason to, for example, give them a way to US citizenship. I mean, really, you entered here illegally and next thing you know, they become US citizens? Why?
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Butter on February 03, 2017, 07:39:26 AM
I know this is cliche, but that's really what this whole country is about.  We were founded by immigrants, for immigrants.  Throughout history, the country's greatness has been built on the backs of immigrants, and many of the great risk takers especially in the late 19th and early 20th century were immigrants.

Now all of the sudden, we're good?  No thanks, we're all full up?  Why?  Because they're not WASPs?  Because whitey is afraid of being overrun?  Because we're afraid of being bombed out of our cities by brown people?  Because NOW we've decided to draw an arbitrary line in the sand?

That's all fine and good if you're Europe and you've been around for 1500 years and you are 90% white.  America is different.  We've only been around 250 years and we're still developing, and people WANT to come here because of the freedom and liberty and opportunity, etc. etc.  So why now?  Because it really comes down to the "greatest generation" is selfish as all fucking shit and is trying to keep all the power and money and privilege for themselves at this point.  And the next generation that was stupid enough to listen to them and believe them is right there with 'em.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on February 03, 2017, 10:00:24 AM
I mean, really, you entered here illegally and next thing you know, they become US citizens? Why?

Why SHOULDN'T they become US citizens?  They've gone through more to get to this country than 99% of the population.  No one wants to be here more than them.  They work for less than minimum wage.  They pay sales tax and often Social Security even though they get very little back from it.

You're just hung up on the fact they entered "illegally."   But that's because of us, not them.  We make them illegal, then use that illegality to point to some moral failing on their part, so we can kick them out.

I'm actually with daytime drinking in that I would prefer to have no borders anywhere.  I realize this is impossible as a political reality.  So, I'm actually down with better border security, although the wall is stupid idea.  But I would have a pretty lax immigration policy, and let most of the "illegal" immigrants in legally.

And I would gave amnesty to most of the ones already here.  You can waste a fuckton of resources and time rounding them up booting them out.  Or you can make them legal and start collecting lots of revenue from them.


Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Cockney Rebel on February 03, 2017, 10:14:59 AM
I know this is cliche, but that's really what this whole country is about.  We were founded by immigrants, for immigrants.  Throughout history, the country's greatness has been built on the backs of immigrants, and many of the great risk takers especially in the late 19th and early 20th century were immigrants.

Now all of the sudden, we're good?  No thanks, we're all full up?  Why?  Because they're not WASPs?  Because whitey is afraid of being overrun?  Because we're afraid of being bombed out of our cities by brown people?  Because NOW we've decided to draw an arbitrary line in the sand?

That's all fine and good if you're Europe and you've been around for 1500 years and you are 90% white.  America is different.  We've only been around 250 years and we're still developing, and people WANT to come here because of the freedom and liberty and opportunity, etc. etc.  So why now?  Because it really comes down to the "greatest generation" is selfish as all fucking shit and is trying to keep all the power and money and privilege for themselves at this point.  And the next generation that was stupid enough to listen to them and believe them is right there with 'em.
Butter is not a douchebag
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Butter on February 03, 2017, 10:32:16 AM
You're just hung up on the fact they entered "illegally."   But that's because of us, not them.  We make them illegal, then use that illegality to point to some moral failing on their part, so we can kick them out.

I'm actually with daytime drinking in that I would prefer to have no borders anywhere.  I realize this is impossible as a political reality.  So, I'm actually down with better border security, although the wall is stupid idea.  But I would have a pretty lax immigration policy, and let most of the "illegal" immigrants in legally.

And I would gave amnesty to most of the ones already here.  You can waste a fuckton of resources and time rounding them up booting them out.  Or you can make them legal and start collecting lots of revenue from them.

Amen to all of that.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: euro60 on February 03, 2017, 11:43:43 AM
None of you have answered my earlier question: do you know of any other countries where people that enter "illegally" (as in: without the proper visa, and not being a refugee who is fleeing disastrous atrocities) are welcomed to stay as they please without any restrictions, let alone given a path to citizenship of that country?

It sounds to me like you keep talking about refugees, and I couldn't agree more that we should take our fair share, ok MORE than fair share, of refugees. I completely disagree with Trump on his ban to take in refugees from the Middle East or frankly anywhere else. What Trump just did yesterday relating to the previously agreed take-in on refugees currently in Australia is outrageous.

I also completely disagree with Trump on his position on work-related visas (the so-called H-1Bs). Rather than cutting them down (as is likely to happen), we need to INCREASE them dramatically.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on February 03, 2017, 12:28:13 PM
What I'm advocating is that as a pragmatic matter, we treat current undocumented aliens the same as we do H-1Bs and refugees.

Like look at the EU.  I'm guessing there isn't that much "illegal" immigration from Germany to France.  Why?  Because there is Freedom of Movement of Workers and they decided it was legal for people to cross the borders.  Or like Spain.  You come from South America, they let you in and it's two years to citizenship.

So there are plenty of countries that allow for very free travel from other countries.  I'm not advocating this, but we could turn NAFTA into the EU and allow free movement of workers between the US, Mexico, and Canada.

The bottom line for me, is that if some group of people would provide a net benefit to our country by living here or becoming citizens, then we should let them do that.  If they are in India and need an H1B, give it to them.  If they are five miles South of the border, let them through the wall legally.  If they are already here, great.  Give them their papers.

To me, the fact that some people may have arrived here illegally is a sunk moral cost.  Maybe it sticks in the craw a bit, but we can't change that now.  All I care about is what benefits us the most going forward. 

I'm not going to get hung up on what is "illegal" when we can fix that by simply making it "legal" any time we want.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Butter on February 03, 2017, 01:45:06 PM
None of you have answered my earlier question: do you know of any other countries where people that enter "illegally" (as in: without the proper visa, and not being a refugee who is fleeing disastrous atrocities) are welcomed to stay as they please without any restrictions, let alone given a path to citizenship of that country?

With all due respect (and I do mean that), you would know that better than I would because I'm not a lawyer.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Kwyjibo on February 03, 2017, 04:54:00 PM
None of you have answered my earlier question: do you know of any other countries where people that enter "illegally" (as in: without the proper visa, and not being a refugee who is fleeing disastrous atrocities) are welcomed to stay as they please without any restrictions, let alone given a path to citizenship of that country?

I don't and I don't give a fuck.  Why do we have to do what other countries do?  I agree 100% with what ZK said, they want to be here, possibly even more than I do,  let 'em in and tax them.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Dan on February 03, 2017, 05:07:56 PM
I like this. This is an interesting conversation with well thought out points and doesn't seem like a fight.

It's refreshing. Please continue.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: euro60 on February 04, 2017, 12:40:54 AM
None of you have answered my earlier question: do you know of any other countries where people that enter "illegally" (as in: without the proper visa, and not being a refugee who is fleeing disastrous atrocities) are welcomed to stay as they please without any restrictions, let alone given a path to citizenship of that country?

I don't and I don't give a fuck.  Why do we have to do what other countries do?  I agree 100% with what ZK said, they want to be here, possibly even more than I do,  let 'em in and tax them.
This would be a truly completely turn-around of what has been the accepted standard. Not just here, but anywhere in the world. Almost Trump-like, but in a 360 degree turn-around.

I understand your viewpoint, but I respectfully disagree, for many reasons.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: euro60 on February 04, 2017, 12:53:45 AM
What I'm advocating is that as a pragmatic matter, we treat current undocumented aliens the same as we do H-1Bs and refugees.

Like look at the EU.  I'm guessing there isn't that much "illegal" immigration from Germany to France.  Why?  Because there is Freedom of Movement of Workers and they decided it was legal for people to cross the borders.  Or like Spain.  You come from South America, they let you in and it's two years to citizenship.

ZK, you are making an intellectual jump (treating legal immigrants the same as those that entered the US illegally) that I just don't buy.

As to the EU intra-state migration from Germany to France, it's like migration from Ohio to Michigan. The EU is a 28 territory jurisdiction, like the US is a 50 territory jurisdiction. No country in the EU gives non-EU immigrants that either don't have a valid visa or is a refugee a welcome mat, let alone a "path to citizenship"
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on February 04, 2017, 01:49:16 PM
When England brexits, would you argue that they have to give every non-UK European citizen in the country a path to citizenship, simply because they came there legally?

I think that would be silly.  They can be douchebags about it (which it looks like is their plan), they can be very magnanimous, or they can fall somewhere in the middle.  It's their country, they can decide within the realms of international law, who they wish to offer citizenship to. 

It's the same thing for the US. I'm not arguing that the US is obligated to grant a path to citizenship to illegal aliens or anyone else in the world.  I'm simply saying that we can, if we want, grant citizenship to whoever we choose.  Especially if they are within our borders.

We didn't patrol our borders so we have a bunch of people here who aren't citizens.  That's a problem, whether you are pro-immigrant or anti-immigrant because you can't have a shadow citizenry in a country living under a completely different set of rules.  So I understand the need to fix that.  But, the fact that they are presently undocumented is a sunk cost to me.  They're here, they weren't supposed to be.  Can't do anything about that now.

We have two general options then, to get everyone in this country in sync and living under the same rules.  We can refuse to grant them citizenship and deport them.  Or we can grant them citizenship. 

The same thing with Syrian refugees.  We can grant them citizenship or refuse to take them in.  H1B visas, same thing.  We can hand those out to whomever we choose.

We decide who we want to make citizens.  IMO, for the majority of the illegal immigrants in this country-- especially like DACA students-- I think it benefits us way more to make them citizens.  "Tough hombres" and "bad dudes" we can deport.

It's a pragmatic decision.  I'm not being all bleeding-heart here.  I'm 'murica first.  If it helps US, we should do it.

This reminds me off Jonathan Haidt.  He did this survey once, and one of the questions was "You're cleaning your toilet and you discover there are no brushes or anything in the house.  Just an American flag.  Do you use the flag to clean the toilet?"

Some people were like, no way!  You deal with a dirty toilet.  That flag is a symbol of our country.  Others were more like "Why not, it's just a piece of cloth that happens to have certain colors on it.  If it gets the job done, use it."  I would use the flag to clean the toilet and not think twice about it.

Same thing here.  There's a principle you wish to uphold here, and those people therefore have a sort of symbolic meaning beyond just their flesh.  For me, I don't care about that principle.  Which isn't to say you only care about principles, and I am totally pragmatic.  Just that in this case you care about the principle more than I do.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: dirk on February 04, 2017, 04:13:49 PM
I think the key is at some point, it is better for everyone to offer some people citizenship even if they came here illegally. No one (well, no one serious) is suggesting we offer citizenship to every single person who get in the country. But say you have someone who was brought here when they were young and have grown up entirely in the US. They graduated high school here, maybe even went to college. What purpose does it serve to deport them to a country they have never been to? Or someone who came over 10 years ago and has since started a small business and is employing people. Where is the benefit to deporting that person? At some point, if a person has been here long enough and assimilated into the culture, it is better for both sides to just let them stay and offer them citizenship. Yes, this won't apply to everyone, but it would apply to a huge amount of people who have come in illegally and stayed for a while. The only thing you are doing by saying "deport everyone who came here illegally" is hurting everyone by being vindictive.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: euro60 on February 04, 2017, 11:54:20 PM
We can refuse to grant them citizenship and deport them.  Or we can grant them citizenship. 
Wrong! we can decide to do neither. And simply leave things as they are today.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: euro60 on February 05, 2017, 12:01:44 AM
I think the key is at some point, it is better for everyone to offer some people citizenship even if they came here illegally. No one (well, no one serious) is suggesting we offer citizenship to every single person who get in the country. But say you have someone who was brought here when they were young and have grown up entirely in the US. They graduated high school here, maybe even went to college. What purpose does it serve to deport them to a country they have never been to? Or someone who came over 10 years ago and has since started a small business and is employing people. Where is the benefit to deporting that person? At some point, if a person has been here long enough and assimilated into the culture, it is better for both sides to just let them stay and offer them citizenship. Yes, this won't apply to everyone, but it would apply to a huge amount of people who have come in illegally and stayed for a while. The only thing you are doing by saying "deport everyone who came here illegally" is hurting everyone by being vindictive.
I agree with that. This is very different from the blanket statement to grant a path to US citizenship to all illegal immigrants currently in the country.

And for the record, I have never said to deport anyone. As far as I'm concerned, nobody needs to be deported, which is my viewpoint. But neither do I feel a strong desire to give them a "path to citizenship", but for the examples you cite, which I'm okay with.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on February 05, 2017, 12:17:20 AM
We can refuse to grant them citizenship and deport them.  Or we can grant them citizenship. 
Wrong! we can decide to do neither. And simply leave things as they are today.

Meh.  That's crazy weak.  After all that, too.  Get the fuck right outta town with that bullshit.  How many countries do you know that have illegal immigrants in their countries and purposely refuse to do anything about it?

Yeah, you got your papers.  Fuck those other guys.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: euro60 on February 05, 2017, 11:56:47 PM
ZK, the US policy for decades has been to do nothing. Leave the illegal immigrants as they are (but for the obvious cases of deporation). I feel nothing has to change. Trump obviously feels differently but I disagree with that.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Markalot on February 14, 2017, 12:58:15 PM
Not sure I comprehended every post but ...

We are supposed to be different from Europe.  It doesn't matter if every other country has closed borders, we are different.  I think everyone living here without a criminal record should get a path to citizenship.  It's the very foundation of this country.  I do think we need border security but the only 'limit' to immigration should about background and security checks, not some artificial number.

I reject the notion that just because i was born here or I immigrated legally somehow gives me a say in how other people immigrate. 

It's HUMAN rights.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Kwyjibo on February 14, 2017, 02:23:14 PM
Like!
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: euro60 on February 15, 2017, 07:38:29 PM
Not sure I comprehended every post but ...

We are supposed to be different from Europe.
Europe? Try every country in the world.

Let's see how far you will get if one day you wake up and decide to move to any of the following countries, because damnit, it's your RIGHT to move there and live there:

-- New Zealand
-- Australia
-- Japan
-- Fiji
-- Brazil
-- South Africa
-- Indonesia
-- Singapore
-- India
-- etc.
-- etc.

NO COUNTRY IN THE WORLD does what the US is doing relative to illegal immigrants.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on February 16, 2017, 01:45:50 PM
You walk into your house.  There's a stranger there that you did not invite.  That's pretty messed up. 

So what we are saying is "Well, maybe they have a good reason to be here.  They haven't stolen anything.  In fact, they actually straightened up the kitchen.  Maybe we should make them a cup of team and sort of formally invite them in."

You're like "Wait a minute, what kind of crazy person treats an uninvited guest like they are an invited guest and not an intruder?"  Okay, fine.  That is a little odd on the surface.

But you know what's even more bizarre?  Trying to go about your business like nothing happened and there isn't a stranger in your house.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: daytime drinking on February 20, 2017, 08:14:05 PM
Not sure I comprehended every post but ...

We are supposed to be different from Europe.
Europe? Try every country in the world.

Let's see how far you will get if one day you wake up and decide to move to any of the following countries, because damnit, it's your RIGHT to move there and live there:

-- New Zealand
-- Australia
-- Japan
-- Fiji
-- Brazil
-- South Africa
-- Indonesia
-- Singapore
-- India
-- etc.
-- etc.

NO COUNTRY IN THE WORLD does what the US is doing relative to illegal immigrants.

that doesn't make it wrong or right
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: euro60 on February 20, 2017, 10:47:38 PM
Daytime, your argument that "it doesn't make it right or wrong" is assuming that the rule of law simply doesn't apply anymore.

Let's see what happens if you decide to visit, say, Australia as a tourist and then decide to "overstay" your visa because you've decided that you want to stay in Australia permanently. Do you expect that you can simply stay there because it's your "right" to do so?
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: dirk on February 20, 2017, 11:14:15 PM
Daytime, your argument that "it doesn't make it right or wrong" is assuming that the rule of law simply doesn't apply anymore.

Let's see what happens if you decide to visit, say, Australia as a tourist and then decide to "overstay" your visa because you've decided that you want to stay in Australia permanently. Do you expect that you can simply stay there because it's your "right" to do so?
But aren't you suggesting the same thing by saying just let them stay? If we are talking rule of law, you should be demanding they all be deported, as that is the rule of law. To me, saying everyone can stay, but they have to hide and get no benefits is just exploiting the people who are here illegally. We want their cheap labor but we don't want to give them the benefits of actually being here and working like everyone else.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Kwyjibo on February 21, 2017, 09:39:01 AM
Daytime, your argument that "it doesn't make it right or wrong" is assuming that the rule of law simply doesn't apply anymore.

Let's see what happens if you decide to visit, say, Australia as a tourist and then decide to "overstay" your visa because you've decided that you want to stay in Australia permanently. Do you expect that you can simply stay there because it's your "right" to do so?

So the U.S. has to mirror Australia's laws?  What kind of logic is that?
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: daytime drinking on February 21, 2017, 04:39:42 PM
euro, i wouldn't have the balls to overstay my visa anywhere.  i agree with you that (i think this is part of your argument) if the laws are on the books, these ones aren't so archaic that they shouldn't be enforced.  and it's also a pretty reasonable to have immigration laws for a country of any size.  i would have no problem if they really enforced the laws.  i wouldn't agree with it, but can't always get what you want.  i think borders are silly but i understand why people think they're necessary.  choosing not to enforce the law is just fine by me.  i really don't care if they don't pay taxes or get free health care or schooling.  i imagine if you met some of these people, they look like they're hardly cheating the system 
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Markalot on February 21, 2017, 10:55:21 PM
I got lost somewhere.

When this country was founded once of the principles was that anyone could come it, we weren't a country >like many in< europe (at the time the only reference) that had a system of royalty and citizenship only granted by birthright.

So now that we have a lot of people and numerous generations it's not suddenly ok to say, wait, no more, this is ours now.

This is not to say it's ok for someone to squat in your house, it's not, but this is a HUMAN issue, not a US issue.  We treat these people as less than human, which is wrong IMO.  We treat these people as lacking basic rights to be here, in the land of human rights, because they weren't born here.  Might as well declare Trump king and start our own royal family if we're going to behave like those we broke away from. 

Unfortunately, like many of our original laws, it starts out rather ugly.

The United States Constitution was adopted on September 17, 1787. Article I, section 8, clause 4 of the Constitution expressly gives the United States Congress the power to establish a uniform rule of naturalization.[1]

Pursuant to this power, Congress in 1790 passed the first naturalization law for the United States, the Naturalization Act of 1790. The law enabled those who had resided in the country for two years and had kept their current state of residence for a year to apply for citizenship. However it restricted naturalization to "free white persons" of "good moral character".


source:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_laws_concerning_immigration_and_naturalization_in_the_United_States

This is the most original law on immigration, which said nothing about how to get in but rather that those of good moral character can become citizens.

My view is that this should be applied today, to any law abiding person (good moral character), and of course ignoring race or religion.

My view is also that if people pay taxes, regardless of status, they deserve the services government provides. 

It's not perfect, and hardly popular, but there it is. 


Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: euro60 on February 21, 2017, 11:44:20 PM
This is why I love these boards.... We can express different opinions in a respectful way without demonizing others on a topic that is very, very complicated.

Here is what I think (in no particular order):

-- we need more legal immigrants, in particular the highly skilled workers that come in on the H-1B visa. Increase the cap for H-1B already! (Not likely to happen under Trump)

-- we should receive lots more refugees (as in: those fleeing deplorable situations such as the civil war in Syria, but that's just one example) than we do today. We are a rich country that can clearly accommodate that. (Not likely to happen under Trump)

-- I have little sympathy to those that are not refugees but want to move to the US simply because they want to come here (for a "better" life or whatever). Americans cannot move to Australia (just to name that country, but it applies to every other country) simply because they fancy a "better" life there.

-- I totally disagree that those who have come to come to the US illegally should have a path to US citizenship (and yes, I do realize that this mainly applies to the millions of Mexicans already here)

-- I also disagree that those millions who came here illegally should be deported, unless of course they have committed a crime (other than being here illegally). Just let them stay as they are.

-- I don't really disagree with Trump's concept of building a wall/fence/whatever to stop the flow of illegal immigrants from Mexico. Does that make me a racist? I don't think so. People should come here legally, like every where else in the world.

Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Kwyjibo on February 22, 2017, 08:59:43 AM
-- I totally disagree that those who have come to come to the US illegally should have a path to US citizenship (and yes, I do realize that this mainly applies to the millions of Mexicans already here)

But it doesn't.  Most of the people that come here illegally come from deeper in South America, not Mexico.

Anyway, this whole point is crazy.  Most of the people who are here illegally didn't start out that way, they came here on planes with visas and just didn't leave when they were supposed to (which is why the idea of a wall is batshit crazy).  Generally they don't leave because they establish a life here and are afraid that if they go home they won't be able to get back because our immigration processes are arbitrary and fucked up.  Why fuck with people like that?  There's room.  There are jobs (despite the idiots that think to the contrary).  It's our heritage to give them a path to citizenship. 

There is a reason they are here illegally, booting them out isn't solving anything.  But by all means lets turn our backs on them because you did it "right".  Congrats on your superiority.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Butter on February 22, 2017, 09:52:41 AM
If we do start deporting millions of undocumented individuals en masse, then I hope you enjoy the massive inflation that will result.  And the downward pressure that would put on wages.  Wages are already stagnant... why would we even want to go down this road, economically?  I would imagine hundreds of thousands of jobs would go unfilled, and it would just result in worse service (for jobs in the service sector), higher prices, and potentially lower supply for the many products / projects that undocumented workers are involved in.

That just sounds great all around, please sign me up.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on February 22, 2017, 02:43:19 PM
How about this as a compromise.

We take all the DACA students, H1B and student visa overstays.  We rent a bunch of cruise ships that are not registered in the US.  We put them all on the boats.  We sail them past the border into international waters.  Drop anchor for two hours.  During this time, DHS immediately grants or renews their visas.  Boats turn around and head right back to the US.

Now there's no complaint right?  They were booted out of the country, as they should have been for being here illegally.  And now they have been granted visas, as you say they should be.  And they have crossed into the country with legally so there can be no beef about the US allowing people in with permits.

Does this waste of several million dollars make you feel better?  Because if that's what it takes, fine.  Let's do that.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: euro60 on February 22, 2017, 10:38:53 PM
-- I totally disagree that those who have come to come to the US illegally should have a path to US citizenship (and yes, I do realize that this mainly applies to the millions of Mexicans already here)

But it doesn't.  Most of the people that come here illegally come from deeper in South America, not Mexico.

That is just not true. The majority of the 11 million or so illegal/undocumented immigrants in this country are from Mexico. To be exact: 52% (according to what I found out on a quick internet search)

As to those that came from "deeper" Central and South America, if they are fleeing deplorable (drug)war-like conditions from places like Honduras and Guatemala (just to name those), they should be granted refugee status and be allowed to stay.

Just to reiterate my point, I am not advocating massive deportation of the 11 million illegal immigrants (one extreme), but neither do I feel they should somehow magically be granted US citizenship (the other extreme). Why can't we just let things be how they are?
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Kwyjibo on February 23, 2017, 10:44:07 AM

That is just not true. The majority of the 11 million or so illegal/undocumented immigrants in this country are from Mexico. To be exact: 52% (according to what I found out on a quick internet search)

As to those that came from "deeper" Central and South America, if they are fleeing deplorable (drug)war-like conditions from places like Honduras and Guatemala (just to name those), they should be granted refugee status and be allowed to stay.

Just to reiterate my point, I am not advocating massive deportation of the 11 million illegal immigrants (one extreme), but neither do I feel they should somehow magically be granted US citizenship (the other extreme). Why can't we just let things be how they are?

We are talking about two different things.  Most of the people that enter illegally do not come from Mexico.  You're saying Mexicans make up the majority who are here illegally.  There's a difference: people that knowingly come here illegally, and people that came legally and over stayed.  Most of the Mexicans here illegally fall into the latter category.

There's a place for some portion of each group to have a path to citizenship, in my mind.  The folks that come in illegally as refugess, we're failing them, and by all means give them a path.  People that come, and contribute, but over stay, again, I say give them a path.  People that come illegally just to bypass the system, or because they're criminals, round those fuckers up.  People that overstay and don't contribute to society, boot them too.

This is malum prohibitum, immigrating here from Mexico is completely within the spirit of our culture and heritage, but somehow or other, our systems have evolved to a point that makes immigration more restrictive than it needs to be, arbitrarily.  They're here.  Their lives are here.  They live, work, and exist as Americans.  It does not fix anything to ignore them, and it benefits everyone to work with them.

I'm with ZK.  Ignoring them makes no sense at all, it solves nothing. 
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: euro60 on March 02, 2017, 08:58:15 AM
So.... AG Jeff Sessions met with the Russian Ambassador, twice, last year, but "forgot" about that when asked directly on point during his confirmation hearings in January? Meaning we have a certified liar at the head of the Justice Department. Just what we need to "make America great again". Lie, deny, "forget" and lie some more.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Kwyjibo on March 02, 2017, 09:48:13 AM
Our president can be proven a liar on nearly a daily basis.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on May 07, 2017, 09:42:06 PM
Go France.  At least some country still has some sense.

Disgusting how many Trump supporters were rooting for LePen.  But they're not racists, no.  They just want someone to help them out.  By electing a dude who just fucked them over with healthcare, cut all the funding to stop drug use in their communities, and gave the rich a tax break at their expense.

Exactly how was Trump ever like the rural lower middle class whites?  And what did he ever believably propose that helped them.  The only thing they have in common was bigotry. 

I blame myself.  If only I had been more tolerant of bigotry and stupidity.   I should have understood how torturous it was for them every second of their lives to have to live in a country with me in it.   
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: euro60 on May 07, 2017, 10:33:26 PM
Go France.  At least some country still has some sense.
Hear hear. Great result for France.

Now the hard work starts... France needs serious reforms. Hollande tried (a bit) and never succeeded. Will Macron fare better? Remains to be seen. I'm guessing the unions will blockade once again much needed reforms.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: daytime drinking on May 10, 2017, 11:16:31 AM
i don't know all the particulars, but isn't he effectively ending the steaming pile of success that is the war on drugs?
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on May 10, 2017, 01:38:02 PM
Who?  Macron or Trump?

Trump is not ending the War on Drugs, are you shitting me?  Not with Sessions as AG.

Trump cutting funding the Drug Czar.  Which originally was part of the War on Drugs thing but has morphed over the years, especially under Obama.  Now the ONDCP is basically two two programs.  One is the Drug Free Communities thing which works on the demand/prevention side and was more of a focus for Obama.  The other program is the Massive Crackdown on Shitty Drug Sales Areas (I forget actual name) which is the supply side, going after drug dealers.  So that's arguably "War on Drugs."

But I think the "War on Drugs" is also, if not mainly about other countries.  Like we are fighting at War on a fictional country called "Drugs".  So like giving countries foreign aid to stop drug trade, securing our borders to keep traffickers out, harsh penalties on traffickers and deportation, etc.  We do these kind of dirty things because we have to, to win this "War." 

Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: daytime drinking on May 13, 2017, 10:19:04 AM
i get it.  you're probably right.  sessions is the evil side sick.  isn't trump at least cutting the fat?  i have a hard time caring though about issues anymore.  i'm more into local politics.  i probably shouldn't have even responded 
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Kwyjibo on May 15, 2017, 09:43:56 AM
isn't trump at least cutting the fat?

No, he isn't.  He hasn't accomplished a thing.  And besides that, rather than drain the swamp he's filling every available job with a banker or a lobbyist, the very people he railed about in his campaign.

Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on May 15, 2017, 09:57:59 AM
Trump just redirected the money from social spending programs towards defense and the wall.  So spending has not been reduced.  It will probably increase.  He deregulated businesses, but is regulating private citizens much more.

Behind all the bluster, he's just been your standard religious/far-right/Tea Party neocon.  It's a good thing he's so incompetent or we'd really be screwed.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: daytime drinking on May 15, 2017, 10:04:01 AM
i'm just talking about the drugs war thing.  getting rid of some of its bureaucracy
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Butter on May 15, 2017, 10:22:32 AM
i'm just talking about the drugs war thing.  getting rid of some of its bureaucracy

No.  As ZK mentioned, Jeff Sessions is the AG... he is in the pocket of for-profit prisons.  It is in their interest to have more incarcerated, thus decreasing the War on Drugs would have a negative impact on those prisons' bottom line.  And he's a right wing douchebag, so there's also that.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: daytime drinking on May 15, 2017, 10:37:42 AM
i don't disagree that jeff sessions is bad news, but perhaps i'm just getting different information
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Butter on May 15, 2017, 10:56:56 AM
Sessions just restored federal "mandatory minimum" sentences for certain drug offenses.  I have also seen several articles written about him reaffirming or declaring a new "War on Drugs". 

I would be interested what your information is, but it seems at odds with reality.  Or perhaps there is some specific aspect of bureaucracy you are referring to.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Kwyjibo on May 15, 2017, 11:13:01 AM
i don't disagree that jeff sessions is bad news, but perhaps i'm just getting different information

In my experience you really just don't seem to process information the same as everyone else.  I'm sure you're okay with that, the same as we're okay with disagreeing with you most of the time.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: daytime drinking on May 15, 2017, 03:25:03 PM
here butter,  was an article posted on another message board i frequent http://www.businessinsider.com/trump-ondcp-war-on-drugs-director-2017-5 (http://www.businessinsider.com/trump-ondcp-war-on-drugs-director-2017-5)

Kwyjibo, you ain't gotta worry about me none brother.  i'm a valuable commodity



Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Butter on May 15, 2017, 03:30:16 PM
It sounds like that is definitely at odds with Sessions stated goal of increasing penalties on drug offenders.

I guess that's not really a surprise, but it is really stupid.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Dizzy on May 16, 2017, 01:10:31 AM
The way I see this move is to defund the Drug Czar to get him out of the way. They already have minimum sentencing laws on the books and Sessions is going to use them. He doesn't need some Drug Czar telling him those laws don't work. 
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Markalot on May 19, 2017, 05:23:24 PM
A couple of tidbits that might be connected.

Kelly Ann Conway abruptly cancelled an appearance on the Tucker Carlson show (FOX).

WP now reporting that a close aid to Trump is under investigation for helping coordinate stolen email leaks.

Just saying ......
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: euro60 on May 20, 2017, 01:08:50 AM
The Trump administration is a circus, the which we have never seen before.

I honestly don't see how Trump will survive his full 4 year term.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Kwyjibo on May 22, 2017, 08:58:52 AM
A couple of tidbits that might be connected.

Kelly Ann Conway abruptly cancelled an appearance on the Tucker Carlson show (FOX).

WP now reporting that a close aid to Trump is under investigation for helping coordinate stolen email leaks.

Just saying ......

Doubtful, Conway is nothing more than a mouthpiece.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Dan on May 23, 2017, 01:14:25 PM
The Trump administration is a circus, the which we have never seen before.

I honestly don't see how Trump will survive his full 4 year term.

Repeating what John Oliver said on Sunday night - Trump's strongest quality is surviving. There are dozens of events that have happened over the last year where everyone said, "this has to be the end for him." And yet he continues. And will continue.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Drjohnrock on May 23, 2017, 03:14:00 PM
The Trump administration is a circus, the which we have never seen before.

I honestly don't see how Trump will survive his full 4 year term.

Repeating what John Oliver said on Sunday night - Trump's strongest quality is surviving. There are dozens of events that have happened over the last year where everyone said, "this has to be the end for him." And yet he continues. And will continue.

Maybe. Maybe not. Being POTUS isn't the same as being a self-employed real estate shark/speculator.  You can't just not study up on anything, demand everything be your way and not run afoul of laws.  Yes, his party's majorities in both houses of Congress may protect him indefinitely.  I'm hoping they don't.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Kwyjibo on May 24, 2017, 10:11:42 AM
You can't just not study up on anything, demand everything be your way and not run afoul of laws.

Really?  He seems to be doing pretty well so far.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Markalot on June 21, 2017, 07:55:17 AM
I see the analysis this morning for why a democrat lost the GA race is covering just about everything except the fact that he didn't live in the district. This was something I didn't know until yesterday and as soon as I heard it I figured he'd lose since this race was so close anyway.  When will the democrats stop destroying our country by letting the republicans win?  :D
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on June 21, 2017, 09:41:56 AM
Meh.  He actually grew up that district whereas Handel is transplant, although granted she's been there 25 years.  He only lives 5 miles away while his fiance goes to Emory.  So they both qualify as local in my book.

No one really gives a shit about stuff like that, unless they already want to vote against someone and now they have an easy excuse rather than actually learning about issues.

That said, Democrats do need to understand that Republican issues are still very popular.  Obama was was more popular than the Democratic platform.  Trump is less popular than the GOP platform.  So until the Democrats can find some issues and/or sell the public on their actual policies they're going to have problems.  Also, the voting issues with ridiculously gerrymandered districts, voter suppression, and the electoral college work against them.  Probably not much they can do about changing that, but they can adjust strategy accordingly.  Concentrate more on Senate than House.  They need to stop fixating on Trump.

The Republicans have some issues as well.  Trump is still crazy enough that even with relatively short coat-tails he could blow up badly enough to cost them.  And a 5 point win in that district is not great news.  There are some demographic trends that are working against them in the long term.

In the end, I don't think it means all that much.  Nothing has really changed.  The issues facing both parties are still there.  Handel probably should have won by a bit more, but she still won fairly comfortably.  And we're still a ways out from the next elections plus every district and state is different and that was just one vote, and it was a special election anyway.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: euro60 on June 21, 2017, 10:42:38 AM
a 5 point win in that district is not great news. 
Considering that Trump won that district last November by just 1.5 points, one could even concoct an argument that this result "enhances" Trump.

Then again, for a 30 yr. old political neophyte running in a traditionally solid Republican district while not even living in that district, one could say this is a very impressive result.

In the end I agree with ZK, this one-off probably doesn't mean all that much, I still envision the Republicans suffering massive losses, at least in the House, in the mid-terms next year (losing their House majority).
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: euro60 on June 21, 2017, 11:46:40 AM
Just a quick thought regarding the Otto Warmbier matter. It is awful and disgraceful how North Korea treated this guy, and the North Korean authorities/regime should be held accountable for his death. (Not sure how to do that--but that's a different story.)

The big surprise for me in all of this is that I was unaware that it has been, and for now continues to be, legal under US law for US citizens to travel to North Korea. I thought North Korea was strictly off-limits.

The other surprise is that some Americans actually do take the risk to travel to North Korea, likely the most hostile country in the world towards the US (yes, I think more so than say Iran). Why in the world would anyone want to take that chance?

Otto Warmbier's funeral is tomorrow morning at Wyoming HS (in suburban Cincy, for the non-Cincy boarders).
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Markalot on June 22, 2017, 06:36:23 AM
I guess I reluctantly agree with the GA election,  Turnout was incredible on both sides.

For North Korea, we need to tell China we will implode the country unless they do something.  It's a crime we haven't assassinated that fat punk yet. 
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on June 22, 2017, 11:07:03 AM
China is less of a problem than Russia with regards to North Korea.  Too bad Trump can't stop sucking Putin's dick.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: daytime drinking on June 22, 2017, 01:16:07 PM
news media would be out of jobs if it weren't for trump
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on June 22, 2017, 01:54:32 PM
news media would be out of jobs if it weren't for trump

Nope.  And try to to be so fucking stupid, alright?
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: daytime drinking on June 22, 2017, 02:20:52 PM
trump doesn't give the monkeys enough shit to fling to justify their keep? 
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on June 22, 2017, 02:57:47 PM
Do you really think AT&T, Comcast or Amazon are only staying afloat because of Trump?
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: daytime drinking on June 22, 2017, 03:46:19 PM
i was referring to news media
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on June 22, 2017, 04:09:19 PM
That IS the news media.

AT&T owns CNN. Comcast owns MSNBC.  Amazon owns Washington Post.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: va-vacious on June 22, 2017, 09:39:22 PM
re: the Georgia election.

25,000 more people voted democratic in this election than voted in November. That's huge. Ossoff wasn't going to win- it's a red district, and race is completely tied up in politics in the south and Georgia. Country Club whites will not vote for a Democrat. Period. More progressives have to move into the district to make it flip.

A heavily gerrymandered district plus voter suppression plus an excessive amount of attention, and you have this. Only 500 days until mid-terms!
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: daytime drinking on June 23, 2017, 11:11:36 AM
well whatever.  i was merely saying donald trump is a jobs creator
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on June 23, 2017, 12:57:40 PM
Job creation is a myth.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: daytime drinking on June 23, 2017, 01:25:12 PM
i would agree with you, however, a particular need must be warranted for such and such job to exist.  donald trump by being born has created jobs.  the public is beyond fascinated by him.  they need him
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on June 23, 2017, 01:54:36 PM
the public is beyond fascinated by him.  they need him

No.  They really don't.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Kwyjibo on June 23, 2017, 03:00:50 PM
I can honestly say that my life and job would continue unabated without the existence of Donald Trump.  I'd certainly be happy to test that theory.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: daytime drinking on June 24, 2017, 09:39:56 AM
and yet here you are babbling away
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on June 24, 2017, 10:38:37 PM
Trump has never really been the problem.  It's not really the media, either.

It's the people who vote for him.  Or those who think he represents some kind of blow against the system.

It's a culture war.  It would exist with or without Trump.  Trump could be completely exonerated in the whole Russia thing, or it could turn out he was totally colluding.  Wouldn't matter.  How is Trump fucking over his base with his healthcare and fiscal policies and not losing support?  Because that isn't their major issue.

But if Trump says he won't build the wall, his support would evaporate tomorrow.

Why do you think all these Rah-rah USA people don't care that Trump kisses Putin's ass but want him to throw the book at China?  Because Russia is white Christians who hate Muslims.

Anyway, if Clinton had won can you imagine the fit Fox News would have had?  Benghazi, the email thing, pizzagate.  It would be all the same shit.

Clinton would not have been the shit show Trump has been from an actual governing standpoint, but no one cares about that.  Obama was a pretty likeable, competent, but rather bland President.  They just made up some birther shit.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on June 24, 2017, 10:46:28 PM
i would agree with you, however, a particular need must be warranted for such and such job to exist.  donald trump by being born has created jobs.  the public is beyond fascinated by him.  they need him

That's not how economics works. 
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: daytime drinking on June 25, 2017, 09:46:08 AM
That's not how economics works. 

i know.  the man defies convention.  sidesteps it practically as if an afterthought.  tell me, what do you think about all those people hillary killed? 
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Ella Minnow Pea on July 21, 2017, 11:18:55 PM
I do wonder if some people watched The Americans and got confused about which side was which in real life.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: luisterpaul on August 06, 2017, 08:48:20 PM
the man defies convention.
Not really. He's just a dishonest asshole.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Paco on August 23, 2017, 08:04:31 PM
Rhetorical: Did'ja ever think the day would come when you'd long for a stupid, hayseed POTUS over a stupid, bat-shit crazy one?
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Kwyjibo on August 24, 2017, 10:48:26 AM
Never.  Hard to believe it's come to this, ain't it?
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on August 24, 2017, 11:12:34 AM
I like the way the Trump Presidency is going.  He's flailing about, getting nothing accomplished but his base still thinks he is.  I think in the end he won't get all that much done with the wall or immigration or trade even.  At least no more than a mainstream GOP'er would.  But his base will blame it all on Congress, enabling Trump to keep being incompetent.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: daytime drinking on August 25, 2017, 10:40:30 AM
the revolving door is pretty entertaining
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Dan on August 25, 2017, 10:44:07 AM
I'm somewhat surprised at the lack of trouble from Tillerson (so far).
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on August 25, 2017, 11:27:39 AM
I'm somewhat surprised at the lack of trouble from Tillerson (so far).

Tillerson was one of the few Trump appointments I didn't have a problem with.  I don't mind the military guys either as at least they are stable and have some good qualities.  I just don't like that there are so many military guys because you need someone to counterbalance their viewpoints as well.

The whole thing is precariously balanced.  Trump could go off the deep end pretty easily.  It's not like I'm really happy about it.  I'm just saying if Trump just turns into a baby child tyrant who we throw in a corner and pretend he doesn't exist that is about the best outcome we can expect.  Imagine if he was actually good at getting things done.
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: daytime drinking on August 25, 2017, 03:01:54 PM
rex tillerson's a bad ass
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: luisterpaul on October 04, 2017, 12:34:29 PM
(http://fm.cnbc.com/applications/cnbc.com/resources/styles/skin/monopoly_guy_360.gif)
Title: Re: Random Political Musings
Post by: Kwyjibo on October 04, 2017, 01:54:31 PM
I saw that too, and had a good laugh.  Fuck those Equifax and Wells Fargo shitheads.  But they can and will get away with it, so why should anybody be surprised.