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February 20, 2017, 05:20:09 pm
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News: Cast your Ballot in the 2016 Mock Election

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1  About this Site / The Atlas / Re: Statement regarding hate speech on: February 16, 2017, 04:04:48 pm
Thanks for the feedback. This is certainly not set in stone nor an edict from on high so I am open to suggestions regarding how to improve this.
2  About this Site / The Atlas / Statement regarding hate speech on: February 16, 2017, 01:02:59 am
There has been much controversy and discussion recently regarding the acceptability of hate speech on this site. While I am but one moderator amongst a team, I would like to articulate my thoughts on the matter as a modadmin (with further powers regarding bans than most) in the hopes of bringing some clarity to Forum policy, especially as I do my best to uphold such standards with regards to what rises to the level of bannable behavior and thus communication regarding standards is beneficial to users.

Over the last few years, political dialogue in the United States and across the globe has significantly coarsened, with ideas that were once seen as outside the mainstream of acceptable discourse having been brought into it by certain politicians of prominence. Without making any statement about my personal feelings about these changes, they are an inevitable reality that a site such as ours must consider when we come to define our own limits of acceptable discourse. As a site that discusses politics and political issues, it is thus necessary to allow posters to express views that are also being expressed by leading political figures, even if such views would in the past have been outside of our bounds of acceptable posting behavior, given that many such views express irrational hatred of broad groups of people.

However, I must also stress that we are not relaxing the standards for civil discourse on the forum in the sense that such views, expressed without any coherent, logical defense behind them but rather simply asserted and/or offered up in the form of a personal attack on other posters will not be considered acceptable.

Obviously it depends on the context of the statement (both in terms of the discussion at hand, as well as the poster's past history) but such statements do as a rule need a coherent defense offered in such a way as enhances the quality of Forum dialogue. Expressing hatred towards other groups without having provided any reasoning behind it could be considered trolling.

Personal attacks remain unacceptable under any circumstances.
3  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election Results / Re: Clinton beat house democrats on: January 22, 2017, 03:05:21 pm
This stat speaks more to the weakness of Trump than anything else.
4  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election Results / Re: Oregon 2016 GE Pres Results on: January 22, 2017, 11:58:49 am
Interesting....I always knew Ashland was liberal, but I'm surprised it is that overwhelmingly Democratic, especially being in an otherwise very Republican part of the state. As you say, it would seem to be the most liberal city in Oregon, even moreso than Portland.

What do you mean by "major data issue" for the 2008 numbers?
5  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: WSJ: James Comey should resign on: January 13, 2017, 04:34:48 pm
The effect of the Comey letter was twofold.

It caused some Sanders supporters who were reluctantly for Clinton as the lesser of two evils to convince themselves that both options were equally bad, and to thus vote 3rd party or stay home.

It caused some Republicans who dislike Trump  and were considering voting for Clinton due to her being more competent/experienced (or at least voting 3rd party or staying home) to convince themselves that Clinton was just as corrupt/evil and thus they might as well at least vote for the corrupt candidate that they partially agree with instead of the one they don't, or for those considering going 3rd party or staying home, that it was important that they vote for Trump to stop Clinton.

Like Beet said, not a lot of people in either camp, but it didn't take a lot.
6  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: The GOP's best solution on health care on: January 13, 2017, 04:27:11 pm
I was half-joking. You're right that it probably wouldn't pass.

But politically, it's the only way I can see them possibly both technically keeping their promise and not causing themselves a catastrophe.
7  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / The GOP's best solution on health care on: January 13, 2017, 03:55:25 pm
The best thing the GOP could probably do at this point would be to repeal Obamacare and replace it with something almost exactly identical, but with a few minor tweaks/improvements.

That way, they could announce that they had fulfilled their promise to repeal Obamacare and replace it with something else, without actually causing major disruption and chaos in the health care industry and throwing 20 million Americans off health insurance.

Their base, which cares more about slogans/appearances than actual policies, would be mollified that
they had kept their promise and that the evil no-good, very bad thing that is Obamacare is dead and replaced by something "better".

When the media and Democrats try to point out the similarities, Trump can just go on Twitter and say that the "very dishonest media" is lying and that Obamacare was a "disaster" and that Trumpcare is "fantastic" and very different. And he can spend the next four years taking the credit for having saved the US health care system.
8  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Will Trump be impeached? on: January 11, 2017, 01:42:49 pm
It would take something egregious -- egregious enough for Democrats to prefer that Mike Pence be President. Of course t5he Agnew resignation was a shocker, and because of that Richard Nixon lost his "impeachment insurance.


Impeaching Trump to get to Pence would be possible in 2018 or later; that would depend upon Democrats winning both Houses of Congress, which is less likely than the Republicans getting a majority with which they could do Constitutional amendments practically at will.  of course Pence would have a chance to be elected twice after having served less than half of the remaining term of Donald Trump.

Donald Trump will be able to get away with governing much like a dictator because nobody in the Republican party wants to weaken the plutocratic rule that America is about to get.

True, but wouldn't Pence probably be impeached also? If proof comes out that Trump conspired with Russia, Pence was on the ticket....I'm not sure he'd be able to just come out of it unscathed, even if he had no personal knowledge of it.

There would certainly be a strong argument to be made that he's tainted also, and that they need to both be removed, making Paul Ryan President.
9  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Will Trump be impeached? on: January 11, 2017, 01:32:34 pm
Decent chance.

Regarding whether or not the GOP Congress would stick their necks out to defend Trump, keep in mind that if Trump and Pence both go down in flames, Ryan becomes President. Could be some House of Cardsish machinations going on.

Stay tuned....
10  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: How did you discover the Atlas? on: January 09, 2017, 04:10:31 pm
In 1999 I was searching the internet for election maps/info while in college and came across it, and it was true love at first sight.

18 years later, we're still going strong.
11  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Yougov: Half of Hillary voters think that Russia hacked the election on: January 09, 2017, 02:00:25 pm
It's been pretty well established by social science that when you make a poll asking about whether some position is valid or not, that you will easily get 20 to 25 percent of the public to agree that it is, regardless of how outlandish/asinine it is factually.

The fact that the question is even being asked at all gives it validity/credibility in the eyes of many.

That is the big problem with the attitude prevalent in so much of the media about "fair and balanced" coverage that places a higher priority on giving both sides of an argument "equal time" as opposed to sorting through what is true and what is false.

Now regarding "hacking", well it depends on how you define the word "hack".

More people really did vote for Trump than Clinton in states necessary for him to win the electoral college. Voting results weren't directly manipulated/altered. For some, anything less than that may not be considered hacking.

I would argue however that what was done, that is a deliberate, systematic, sustained, state sponsored effort to mislead the American people about the candidates with the specific intent of electing one over the other, constitutes the election being hacked.

It is essentially Watergate all over again, except done by the Russians rather than by the Nixon administration, and done through the internet as opposed to a physical break in.
12  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2020 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Biggest 2020 Factor? Who controls the House on: January 09, 2017, 01:41:49 pm
The same thing was said about Democrats taking the House in 2006.

That didn't happen at all, though the Dems did a lot less than they could have during the next two years...you may recall there were significant calls on the left to investigate Bush over Iraq, impeachment, etc. Bush was so unpopular by 2007 and 2008 that Dems had the American people on their side during the times they did oppose/obstruct him.

If Dems simply reflexively oppose everything Trump proposes, including proposals that are popular with the American people, then yes they could suffer for it, at least potentially to the same extent Republicans did in 1996 or 1998 or 2012.

I really don't see that happening, though. On some issues a Democratic House would be happy to with Trump (trade, infrastructure, etc.). Which also happen to be the most popular parts of Trump's agenda with the broader public.
13  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / U.S. Presidential Election Results / Re: Why did Johnson win Nebraska, Utah, and Kansas in 1964? on: January 09, 2017, 11:42:55 am
Utah actually trended Republican that year, which shows that its vote for LBJ wasn't a surprise given his national victory. Mormons became a lot more Republican in the 70's and 80's as social issues became more prominent.

Regarding the Plains, not sure there, though the entire Midwest trended Dem that year outside of Illinois, so it's not as if there was an anomaly in Nebraska or Kansas as opposed to other similar states. Both were relatively close. Johnson must have done much better with farmers and workers in farming dependent sectors than Democrats normally do.
14  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election Results / Re: Why did college towns swing towards Hillary? on: January 09, 2017, 11:34:48 am
College educated voters swung strongly towards Clinton. Oddly enough, they happen to be particularly numerous in close proximity to universities.

In all seriousness, students themselves don't represent as large of a percentage of the vote in college towns as is often portrayed. University employees, business owners/employees of businesses that are dependent on the university, people who appreciate/support the arts and culture and who are thus attracted to university towns as a place to move, etc. are all almost certainly among the demographics that swung Dem this year.
15  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election Results / Re: Oregon 2016 GE Pres Results on: January 08, 2017, 01:41:24 am
Bush actually only won Washington by 52-46 in 1988, but it had been 63-37 for Reagan in 1984. This goes a long way in explaining why Dukakis was able to win Oregon despite "only" winning 62-37 in Multnomah, which obviously would be atrocious for a Democrat nowadays.
16  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Living proof that Donald Trump is a man of the people on: January 06, 2017, 05:02:30 pm
I see that you've finally won the victory over yourself. Congratulations, Winston, I mean Winfield.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Winston_Smith
17  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election Results / Re: What happened in Wisconsin? on: January 06, 2017, 04:29:26 pm
It was only down by about 6,000 in Waukesha county (237k vs. 243k in 2012), about 2,000 in Washington County (76k vs. 78k in 2012), and 1,000 in Ozaukee (54k vs. 55k).

Whereas in Milwaukee County, turnout was down from 492k ballots to 441k.

I don't dispute the rest of what you said at all, but from a pure numbers standpoint, the dropoff in turnout was much higher in Democratic areas.
18  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election Results / Re: What happened in Wisconsin? on: January 06, 2017, 12:15:31 pm
Turnout in Wisconsin was down significantly from 2012, about 3 percent fewer votes overall, one of the biggest drops in the nation. That's a factor to not be overlooked.
19  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: McConnell says Americans won't tolerate Democrats blocking SCOTUS nominations on: January 05, 2017, 12:10:55 pm
Well yeah, as we all know, any party that attempts to block the nomination of a Supreme Court Justice suffers bigly at the ballot box. That was clearly in evidence in 2016.
20  About this Site / The Atlas / Re: AAD banned Einzige in less time than he was banned here on: January 04, 2017, 03:10:40 pm
Yeah, decisive action has never been the forte of the mod team here. We take a more measured approach which certainly has its pros and cons.
21  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election Results / Re: Oregon 2016 GE Pres Results on: January 04, 2017, 02:51:21 pm
Yes, this could absolutely become a good wine producing area just like the Willamette valley did some 10-20 years ago (NOVA probably knows better the history of that).

Also, marijuana could grow quite well in that area also. That would be the real ticket to bringing jobs to the area now that legalization is spreading. Are you listening, Jeff Sessions? Smiley
22  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / U.S. Presidential Election Results / Re: Logan County AR, 1988 on: January 03, 2017, 07:03:46 pm
Almost certainly an error in that case.
23  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Congressional Elections / Re: Richard Shelby on: December 30, 2016, 04:36:59 pm
If he had remained a Democrat, he almost certainly would've lost a primary in 2010, maybe in 2004.

If he had switched parties but kept the same ideology he had as a Democrat, he would have lost a GOP primary in 2010.
24  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Coal Miners Who Voted for Trump Are Now Terrified to Lose Obamacare on: December 29, 2016, 11:57:25 am
Has Manchin ever made his position on the ACA entirely clear? He wasn't in the Senate yet when it was first passed. Has he stated how he would have voted on it?
25  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Could IN/MO flip before GA does? on: December 29, 2016, 11:45:09 am
Probably not, but it is worth keeping in mind that the Midwest in general is much more elastic than the South. If (almost certainly when) Trump fails to deliver on his promises of bringing the 1950's back, states like Missouri and especially Indiana will likely swing sharply back against him, similar to how the Midwest moved so strongly towards the Democrats in 2008.
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