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1  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Ireland General Discussion on: June 19, 2016, 04:24:37 am
Margin of error stuff for everybody, with hilarious increases for the two zombie parties, and no sign of a Howlin Gale for Labour.

Surely it's a Howlin Hurricane that's needed...
2  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: United Kingdom Referendum on European Union Membership on: June 15, 2016, 01:29:13 am
The Sun newspaper, Comes out for Brexit, it's quiet significant as they've always endorsed the winner since 1974

https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/1277920/we-urge-our-readers-to-believe-in-britain-and-vote-to-leave-the-eu-in-referendum-on-june-23/

The Sun in England & Wales may be for Brexit - but The Sun in Scotland and Northern Ireland didn't take the same line.



https://www.theguardian.com/media/greenslade/2016/jun/14/the-suns-pro-brexit-campaigning-doesnt-cross-borders
3  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: What is your favorite board game? on: June 12, 2016, 05:54:51 am
There are a good number of shorter games that I like, though my "favorite" changes quite a bit, as I progressively get sick of games from playing them too much. 

This is pretty much also true for me.

Though I do keep coming back to Kingdom Builder, Dixit, and Ticket to Ride (Nordic) - and others in phases (Dominion, Hanabi, Scrabble).


Machi Koro might be my current favorite, if only because I haven't gotten sick of it yet.

I do like Machi Koro - mostly because Mrs Jas hasn't yet beaten me at it - much like (appallingly) I've not managed to beat her at Qwixx yet.
4  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Reaction to a Trump nomination from the governments of US’s Western allies on: May 31, 2016, 02:45:44 pm
Quote from: Enda Kenny
... if Mr. Trump's comments are racist and dangerous, as they are, there is an alternative in who to vote for.

Irish Prime Minister speaking in parliament earlier today.

5  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Northern Ireland Assembly 2016 on: May 25, 2016, 04:01:27 am
will UUP and SDLP jointly be the official opposition or is it just UUP because they're the bigger party?

By my reading of the Standing Orders, I would expect that they will collectively be the Official Opposition - though with recognised separate leaders of the opposition, per the legislation I cited a couple of posts above.

6  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Northern Ireland Assembly 2016 on: May 25, 2016, 03:56:15 am
Presumably the UUP is trying to position itself to the right of DUP with refusing to join the coalition?

What's the SDLP's game though?


Fundamentally it's the same reason for both parties.
It's not about left-right politics.

Neither the UUP nor SDLP have been able to exercise any serious influence beyond their own Ministries - and even within their own Ministries have found themselves hindered in their potential actions by the larger coalition parties.

Going into opposiiton will allow both to present the electorate with an alternative to DUP-SF government; something they've been unable to do from within the Executive to date - without all that much loss in influence over the direction of government in NI, as that was really quite limited anyway.

7  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Northern Ireland Assembly 2016 on: May 25, 2016, 03:49:48 am
I don't know whether there would be an "Official Opposition"; there technically isn't one in Scotland although the largest opposition party generally gets more questions at Question Time.  I'd imagine that both the UUP and the SDLP, and maybe also the Alliance, might be treated equally and get equal time in debates and the same number of questions in Question Time; although I'm pretty sure that no one really knows, the Assembly wasn't really designed to have an opposition and I'm pretty sure that they don't have any rules about there being one of significant size, like there is now.

There will be an official Opposition, per the Assembly and Executive Reform (Assembly Opposition) Act (Northern Ireland) 2016.

The Opposition can be formed by one or more qualifying parties in the Assembly. A qualifying party being one which has chosen not to hold a Ministerial office despite being entitled to do so under Assembly rules and has at least 8% of the members of the Assembly.
 
If one party chooses to form the Opposition then that party may nominate a Leader of the Non-Executive Party. Where the Opposition is formed by two or more qualifying parties - as will be the case now - then the nominating officer of the largest party must nominate a person to be the Leader of the Largest Non-Executive Party. The nominating office of the second largest party in this Opposition must nominate a person to be the Leader of the Second-Largest Non-Executive Party.

The Opposition is entitled to “enhanced speaking rights”; a minimum of 10 days per year set aside for Opposition business in the Assembly; the right to chair the Public Accounts Committee; representation on the Assembly’s Business Committee; and there's provision for something akin to Short Money for qualifying Opposition parties.
8  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Northern Ireland Assembly 2016 on: May 25, 2016, 03:37:28 am
I'm hearing that UUP and SDLP won't sit with DUP because DUP backs the UK leaving the EU.

Nonsense.

That's neither an official nor real reason for the decision. It's a non-factor.

It would also be politically misguided; the unionist community strongly supports Brexit (69% Leave, 18% Remain per the latest poll).
9  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Why doesn't Eurovision ever have "melodic indie post-punk scenecore" type music? on: May 17, 2016, 03:31:08 am
Btw, will they continue to take part as regulars now? I remember last year they said it was a one-time event for the 60th anniversary, but here they were this year again.

They'll require an invitation from the EBU and an invitation from the NTU.
The first is a near certainty, the second is probable - but may not be known for some time.
10  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Why doesn't Eurovision ever have "melodic indie post-punk scenecore" type music? on: May 16, 2016, 02:23:09 am
Australia were head and shoulders above the rest of the field (and would have won based on the previous voting system).
11  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Northern Ireland Assembly 2016 on: May 06, 2016, 09:24:27 am
PBP top the poll and take the 1st seat in Belfast West; their first ever seat in the Assembly.

Eamonn McCann could yet take a second seat for them in Foyle.
12  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Coalition forces fired on Doctors Without Borders hospital in Kunduz on: April 30, 2016, 08:21:09 am
Quote from: The New York Times, 28 April 2016
In a heavily redacted report, which runs more than 3,000 pages, military investigators described a mission that went wrong from start to finish. Even after Doctors Without Borders informed American commanders that a gunship was attacking a hospital, the airstrike was not immediately called off because, it appears, the Americans could not confirm themselves that the hospital was actually free of Taliban.



Sixteen American military personnel, including a general officer, have been punished for their roles in the strike, said Gen. Joseph L. Votel, the new top officer of the military’s Central Command, who presented the results of the investigation during a Pentagon news conference.
The punishments for the attack will be “administrative actions” only, and none of those being disciplined will face criminal charges because the attack was determined to be unintentional



General Votel was clear on one point: The hospital was a protected facility that was at no time being used by active Taliban fighters, though some wounded insurgents had been treated there.



The failure to bring any criminal charges was “simply put, inexplicable,” said John Sifton, the Asia policy director of Human Rights Watch.

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/04/30/world/asia/afghanistan-doctors-without-borders-hospital-strike.html?_r=0




MSF Trauma Centre post-attack


Quote from: Médecins Sans Frontières, 29 April 2016
MSF acknowledges the U.S. military’s efforts to conduct an investigation into the incident.

...

However, MSF has said consistently that it cannot be satisfied solely with a military investigation into the Kunduz attack. MSF’s request for an independent and impartial investigation by the International Humanitarian Fact Finding Commission has so far gone unanswered.

“Today’s briefing amounts to an admission of an uncontrolled military operation in a densely populated urban area, during which U.S. forces failed to follow the basic laws of war,” said Meinie Nicolai, MSF President. “It is incomprehensible that, under the circumstances described by the U.S., the attack was not called off.”

The hospital was fully functioning at the time of the airstrikes. The U.S. investigation acknowledges that there were no armed combatants within — and no fire from — the hospital compound.

“The threshold that must be crossed for this deadly incident to amount to a grave breach of international humanitarian law is not whether it was intentional or not,” said Nicolai.



The administrative punishments announced by the U.S. today are out of proportion to the destruction of a protected medical facility, the deaths of 42 people, the wounding of dozens of others, and the total loss of vital medical services to hundreds of thousands of people. The lack of meaningful accountability sends a worrying signal to warring parties, and is unlikely to act as a deterrent against future violations of the rules of war.

At the same time, it has become clear that the victims and their families have neither the option to pursue legal action against the U.S. military, either in Afghanistan or in the US, nor to claim compensation for loss of life and livelihood.

http://www.msf.org.uk/article/kunduz-initial-reaction-to-public-release-of-u-s-military-investigative-report
13  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Irish general election, 26th Feb 2016 on: April 29, 2016, 02:55:07 am
Two notes of update here.

The counting for the Seanad elections is complete.

The 25th Seanad shall comprise:
Fianna Fáil14  (No change on 2011)
Fine Gael13(-5)
Sinn Féin  7(+4)
Labour  5(-4)
Green  1(+1)
Independents  9(+4)

11 Senators are appointable by the Taoiseach - whenever the Dáil gets around to approving one.

The result means that there will not be a governmental majority in the Seanad either - even with 11 appointments in the hands of the incoming Taoiseach.

It also means that observer will be particularly disappointed as Longford's favourite son, James Bannon, somehow failed to get enough support from his fellow politicians to get returned to Leinster House by the back door.

===

On the matter of putting an actual government in place - it seems that a deal between Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil will be agreed shortly.

The end result looks likely to be a Fine Gael-Independent government - that will rely on FF abstentions. The FG-FF agreement is expected to cover 3 budgets.

Some background on the FG-FF negotiations here: http://www.irishtimes.com/election-2016/forming-a-government-anatomy-of-a-deal-1.2627045

14  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: latest Betfair odds on: April 26, 2016, 10:59:41 am
Not sure if this is what Mr. Morden uses, or if it may be helpful to him in reducing his calculation work, but https://primary.guide/ appears to generate the same data.
15  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Do you live in a bubble? on: April 25, 2016, 01:26:28 pm
47
16  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Best One-Hit Wonders? on: April 25, 2016, 01:06:26 pm
Take On Me certainly comes to mind.

I've always been partial to The Sun Always Shines on TV. (Though re-watching the video I hadn't recalled the Game of Thrones-esque wall of faces before.)
17  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Best One-Hit Wonders? on: April 25, 2016, 01:00:30 pm
Video Killed the Radio Star, The Buggles

There She Goes, The La's

I Love You Always Forever, Donna Lewis

(I'd Go The) Whole Wide World, Wreckless Eric

Brimful of Asha, Cornershop (Norman Cook Mix)

Perfect, Fairground Attraction

Steal My Sunshine, Len

74-75, The Connells

Your Town, White Town

Canon in D, Johann Pachelbel
18  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: "Oriental Republic of Uruguay" and other weird official state names on: April 21, 2016, 03:45:17 pm
United Provinces of the River Plate
19  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Contested GOP Convention is near-certain now. Who wins? on: April 06, 2016, 01:58:23 am
What a difference a day makes...
20  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Pre-Wisconsin Poll: Who will be the Republican nominee? on: April 04, 2016, 03:03:58 am
Judging by my last poll, it looks like Atlas guestimates that Trump will fall short of a delegate majority - just 14% think Trump will be elected on the 1st ballot.

Who then does Atlas currently think will be the Republican nominee?
21  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Project Trump's RNC Delegate Total on: April 02, 2016, 03:45:55 am
So you mean the number of delegates who actually vote for him on the first ballot, which would include both the pledged delegates he wins in the primaries, and the unpledged delegates who decide to back him on the first ballot?

Yes.
22  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Project Trump's RNC Delegate Total on: April 02, 2016, 03:42:10 am
As of today, what is your projection for Trump's delegate total?
23  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Scottish Parliament election - 2016 on: April 02, 2016, 02:50:12 am
So Kezia Dugdale just stated that she's in a relationship with a woman, which makes Labour the fourth major party in Scotland to currently have an LGBT leader (others being the Tories' Ruth Davidson, the Greens' Patrick Harvie and UKIP's David Coburn).

Major Party? How many elected representatives does UKIP have in Scotland?
24  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Who hates whom more? on: March 31, 2016, 09:55:46 am
What does Dubya's favourability rating now (or in 2015) prove?  What an odd thing to add.  His nation wide polling was at 20% at one time.

wait wait wait....are we asking who is more hated NOW?  That's a silly question, of course it would be Obama.  If the question is who hated who more during their Presidency (which is a much better question and one I think most of us thought we were answering) then the answer, at least to me, is lefties hating Dubya.


sportydude may clarify - but yes, I interpreted the question in the title, and as stated above the poll, to most plainly refer to things as they are now.

I don't contend that the data necessarily tells us much of anything - but I was just curious enough to look for some numbers.

25  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Who hates whom more? on: March 31, 2016, 04:27:34 am
The last favourability for George W Bush I can find, that includes a brake down by Conservative-Moderate-Liberal support, is the CNN/ORC poll conducted 29-31 May 2015. That put liberals' favourability-unfavourability of Bush at 28-68.

The latest CNN/ORC poll on job approval of Obama was conducted from 17-20 March. That put conservatives' approval-disapproval of Obama at 23-76.
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