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News: Atlas Hardware Upgrade complete October 13, 2013.

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26  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: If you could ban the previous poster, would you? on: December 06, 2014, 04:12:51 pm
Nein
27  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Opinion of No Child Left Behind on: December 06, 2014, 04:07:17 pm
Common Core would have fared better in the court of public opinion had it not been for No Child Left Behind. 
28  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Jenna Bush alludes to desecrating the White House with sexual acts on: December 06, 2014, 04:01:07 pm
Slow news day? 
29  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: US House Redistricting: General on: December 06, 2014, 03:53:23 pm
If I were a Republican consultant, and I was looking at states like Virginia, Florida, and Georgia which are trending toward the Democrats, I would strongly urge the GOP in those states to follow North Carolina's example and remove the governor from the redistricting process when they have full control over both the legislature and the governor's mansion. 

And this advice is especially acute for the Virginia GOP -the 2017 election cycle may be the last time they can win all statewide offices from the governor to the attorney general before shifting demographics make it too difficult for them to win statewide at any level.  A possible scenario could be a deal allowing the governor to run for two consecutive terms in exchange for relinquishing veto power over any redistricting plan issued by the General Assembly.   
30  Questions and Answers / The Atlas / Re: Petition for Atlas forum sex change for Nathan on: December 05, 2014, 10:27:45 pm
What happened?  What brought this on?  Huh
31  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Congressional Elections / Re: poll with potential 2016 US Senate candidates in California on: December 05, 2014, 10:15:13 pm
Why is Janet Napolitano on this list?
32  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Gubernatorial/Statewide Elections / Re: What's next for Mary Landrieu on: December 03, 2014, 08:30:31 pm
Mayor of New Orleans is the only position of reasonable prestige and power she could win at this point.

She'll turn to lobbying though.

Except her brother Mitch already holds that post, and is likely to win a second term next year.  And he would be a prime gubernatorial candidate in 2019.  Or he could try to take back his sister's Senate seat in 2020. 
33  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Gubernatorial/Statewide Elections / Re: What's next for Mary Landrieu on: December 03, 2014, 08:28:13 pm
Lobbyist. Will make a heck of a lot more money that way anyway.

^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Can't believe I actually agree with him.  She will be to the oil and natural gas industry what Billy Tauzin (fellow Louisianan and former Democrat) is to the pharmaceutical industry.  

34  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Congressional Elections / Re: Sabato's First 2016 House Ratings on: December 03, 2014, 08:16:22 pm
Why isn't Gwen Graham in the toss-up category? 
35  General Politics / Political Debate / Re: Should the US adopt a single-payer health care system? on: December 01, 2014, 10:33:56 pm
Voted Yes because I think it's the most straight-forward way to deal with the problem, I think healthcare access is a right, and I don't think it should be the responsibility of an employer to provide healthcare access, or the responsibility of the person to go buy it at this point.

If single-payer is so wonderful, then why are countries like Sweden moving away from it?

"Bismarck" style health care is essentially what the ACA gives us, with subsidized, heavily regulated, for-profit insurance companies in the place of not-for-profit sickness funds.

What you described in your first post here is most certainly not Bismarck, because if Obamacare was truly based on the Bismarck model, it wouldn't have the problems you mentioned.  Unless you are suggesting that citizens in Germany and Switzerland are suffering for lack of a single-payer system.

What are the chief differences, other than what I've already specified?

Unlike those two countries, we don't set prices for health care services and products (i.e. prescription drugs), and let drug companies and hospitals decide whether or not they want to participate.  Instead, we let insurers do the negotiating.  And since they are so weak (because they are so fragmented), they use the benchmark set by whatever Medicare is paying, and add a percentage on top because they lack the power to strike similar deals.  

36  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Dictator Obama continues to be Best Obama on: December 01, 2014, 10:18:39 pm
There is one possible drawback to all these executive actions -President Obama could well lose Chief Justice John Roberts when Obamacare is again on the docket.
37  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Ferguson Police to Seek Diversification and Closer Ties to Black Community on: December 01, 2014, 10:14:15 pm
Definitely a step in the right direction:

Quote
Ferguson, Mo., will establish a civilian review board to monitor police conduct and will recruit more African American officers, the mayor announced Sunday.

But Mayor James Knowles III said there would be no imminent changes in the leadership of the police department in the wake of unrest after a grand jury declined to indict a white police officer who killed an unarmed black man.

Knowles spoke at a news conference a day after Darren Wilson, the officer who fatally shot Michael Brown on Aug. 9, resigned from the police force. Wilson did not receive severance pay, Knowles said.

(...) In Ferguson, the mayor said that adding a civilian review board and recruiting more African Americans would help improve the predominantly white police department's relationship with Ferguson's predominantly African American residents.

We are committed to rebuilding our city, Knowles said. And a part of that is having officers invested in the community.

In addition, Knowles said, the city will unveil a program in public schools that will aim to forge a bond between police officers and young people.

We are here for you and will not leave you, Knowles told residents.
38  General Politics / Political Debate / Re: Should the US adopt a single-payer health care system? on: December 01, 2014, 10:00:59 pm
"Bismarck" style health care is essentially what the ACA gives us, with subsidized, heavily regulated, for-profit insurance companies in the place of not-for-profit sickness funds.

What you described in your first post here is most certainly not Bismarck, because if Obamacare was truly based on the Bismarck model, it wouldn't have the problems you mentioned.  Unless you are suggesting that citizens in Germany and Switzerland are suffering for lack of a single-payer system.

  
39  General Politics / Political Debate / Re: Should the US adopt a single-payer health care system? on: December 01, 2014, 08:23:56 pm
Any criticism of the ACA needs to acknowledge that it improved a system that was and still is in a state of prolonged collapse under the weight of an aging population, technological improvements, and increasingly unmanageable hospitals.

That said, American health care remains a byzantine, inhumane, unsustainable, and expensive mess. It's even more byzantine now, but the ACA addresses the rest of those nasty adjectives to varying degrees.

Single payer would have been more difficult - i.e. impossible - to pass. But it would be easier to defend. The chief problem with the ACA is that only a handful of people understand the law, and that was before the Supreme Court and the Obama administration decided that they would be amending it on the fly. Accordingly, people have a poor sense of how they've benefited and intense anxiety about what they might lose. The law has also become a convenient excuse for doctors, employers, and insurance companies. Patients rarely know any better when whatever human jackal they're dealing with tells them that Obamacare is why their deductible is going up, why they'll have to wait months for knee surgery, or why they are losing their coverage.

The great political tragedy that underlies this dispute is that we are unwilling to trade a system that offers great care for a few, good care for most of the rest of us (albeit accompanied by uncertainty, financial headaches, and stress), and little or no care for the rest for a system that would guarantee good care for everyone.

There are alternative health care models that offer universal coverage, you know.  This isn't an either/or situation.  It just so happens single-payer has that sex appeal among progressives (especially here) that Bismarck apparently doesn't.
40  General Politics / Political Debate / Re: Should Corn sold into shops be labelled as Genetically Modified Teosinte? on: November 30, 2014, 11:08:58 pm
To what purpose besides feeding into people's hysteria about 'frankenfood' that we probably eat every day?  

There is such a thing as too much information.....      
41  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Victorian State Parliamentary Election - 29 November 2014 on: November 29, 2014, 04:55:25 pm
So it looks as if the East West Link is done for. 
42  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Congressional Elections / Southern Democrats Urge a Return to Basics on: November 29, 2014, 04:52:01 pm
Looks like the next generation of white southern Democrats will be of a more populist mold than the ones who lost this year:

Southern Democrats Urge A Return To Party Basics

By BILL BARROW, AP
Posted: 11/28/2014 3:01 am EST; Updated: 11/28/2014 10:59 am EST


Quote
ATLANTA (AP) Southern Democrats are joining others in the party who say that a return to advocating to lift people out of economic hardship and emphasizing spending on education and public works will re-energize black voters and attract whites as well.

"It's time to draw a line in the sand and not surrender our brand," Rickey Cole, the party chairman in Mississippi, said. He believes candidates have distanced themselves from the past half-century of Democratic principles.

(...) Cole and other Southern Democrats acknowledge divisions with prominent populists such as Hillary Rodham Clinton, who is expected to run for president in 2016, and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren. Yet they see merit in pushing stronger voting rights laws, tighter bank regulation, labor-friendly policies such as a higher minimum wage and other familiar party themes.

(...) While the party's positions on gay rights, minority voting access, women's rights and immigration are not wrong, Cole said, "those people who don't see themselves in those groups say, 'What have the Democrats got for me?'"

Unapologetic populism, he said, would "explain better that the Democratic Party is for justice and opportunity with no qualifiers for everyone."
43  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: UN Panel to United States: Security/Law Enforcement Policies Need to Change on: November 28, 2014, 09:22:53 pm
And here's the actual report, and the link to the UN Committee Against Torture.
44  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Happy Thanksgiving! (2014 Edition) on: November 27, 2014, 02:05:39 pm
Thanksgiving is gaining in popularity in the UK, interestingly enough.
45  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Is another revolution inevitable? on: November 27, 2014, 01:58:26 pm
Revolutions generally occur only in societies where there is no outlet to express dissent.  So you're asking this question in the wrong country.  Perhaps Russia and China (or some other authoritarian countries) would be more suitable. 
46  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Gubernatorial/Statewide Elections / Re: WV-2016: A Thread on: November 27, 2014, 01:55:32 pm
Would you happen to know how many remaining conservative Democrats in the legislature are planning on switching parties now that the GOP will be controlling the legislature in January?  I am sure these numbers:

House

Republicans: 64
Democrats: 36

Senate

Republicans: 18
Democrats: 16

will be changing quite a bit next year before the dust settles in time for the next election. 
47  General Discussion / Religion & Philosophy / Re: Is the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints a Protestant Sect? on: November 27, 2014, 01:36:27 pm
"Restorationism" doesn't work, that refers to a distinct grouping of Protestant churches itself.

No, it doesn't.

48  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Who scorns me the most? on: November 27, 2014, 12:30:17 pm
I imagine quite a few posters here (especially the True Leftists) don't look upon me highly either, but I don't dwell on it enough to make a thread on it.  
49  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Congressional Elections / Re: Surviving Southern Democrats If Landrieu Goes Down on: November 27, 2014, 03:05:58 am
Does anyone know how many white rural Democrats are left in the old Confederacy, particularly in the legislatures?  I imagine most would be concentrated in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Arkansas, as well as a few in the Virginia Senate (Creigh Deeds, John Edwards, Lynwood Lewis).  

Don't forget the Kentucky House, which somehow is still Democratic.

I am following JRP's definition, which excludes Kentucky.  Were it up to me, I would include (besides Kentucky) West Virginia as well as Oklahoma, in addition to the former Confederacy to compose what I would see as the South.  But this is his thread, not mine.  
50  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Congressional Elections / Re: Surviving Southern Democrats If Landrieu Goes Down on: November 27, 2014, 02:50:29 am
Does anyone know how many white rural Democrats are left in the old Confederacy, particularly in the legislatures?  I imagine most would be concentrated in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Arkansas, as well as a few in the Virginia Senate (Creigh Deeds, John Edwards, Lynwood Lewis).  
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