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September 05, 2015, 05:28:57 am
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News: Atlas Hardware Upgrade complete October 13, 2013.

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26  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: North Korea again threatens war with South on: August 22, 2015, 02:31:15 pm
I almost hope they follow through on their threats this time around, and outright invade South Korea -again.  It would give us an excuse to at long last extinguish this regime once and for all time.  

You want the U.S. to go to war with a nuclear power?

You're insane.

Try this.  You can thank me later. 
27  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: KY caucus may be called off, threatening Paul's candidacy **Decision this AM** on: August 22, 2015, 01:57:54 pm
Looks like another term in the Senate, then.....   
28  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: North Korea again threatens war with South on: August 22, 2015, 01:56:12 pm
I almost hope they follow through on their threats this time around, and outright invade South Korea -again.  It would give us an excuse to at long last extinguish this regime once and for all time.  
29  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Presidential Election Trends / Re: Future of the Republican party? on: August 22, 2015, 01:52:17 pm
With the base of the Republican Party firmly rooted in the (white) South, going whole-hog libertarian is probably not a good option if you want to hold on to the region.  And with the GOP priding itself on its appeal to the upwardly mobile and small business owners, going populist (aka Huey Long) is just as as bad an option.  And going hard-core conservative is a sure way of turning off prospective voters as well as the youth in your own party who are more moderate than their elders.

So going somewhat moderate on issues like gay marriage, immigration, and on healthcare (i.e. Obamacare) offers the GOP the best prospect of maintaining its viability in this century as the white vote continues to shrink and the Silent Generation steadily dies off.  

 
30  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Post your VoteMatch Philosophy on: August 21, 2015, 05:46:07 pm
Not much has changed in the ten years since I first took this quiz:

Quote
You scored the following on the PoliticsMatch questions:
 

Personal Score   60%   
Economic Score   25%   
 
Where You Fit In

Where your Personal score meets your Economic score on the grid below is your political philosophy.  Based on the above score, you are a Populist-Leaning Liberal.




31  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Canadian federal election - October 19, 2015 (Official Campaign Thread) on: August 21, 2015, 05:24:47 pm
After Israel and the UK, if the Canadian election results in October actually approximate the polling we are seeing, I will be amazed.  Tongue
32  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Donald Trump Wary of Grover Norquist's No Tax Increase Pledge on: August 20, 2015, 11:28:10 pm
Could Donald Trump get away with not kissing Grover Norquist's ring, and still win the nomination?

Trump skeptical of anti-tax pledge

By Bernie Becker - 08/20/15 01:50 PM EDT

Quote
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is skeptical about the anti-tax increase pledge popularized by Grover Norquist.

But a spokesman for Norquist says the billionaire businessman, currently leading in the GOP polls for president, has nothing to worry about.

Trump, in an interview with TIME, said he had "a problem" with the Americans for Tax Reform pledge because he "may want to switch taxes around."

Trump suggested he wanted to lower taxes on the middle class and said that "I have hedge fund guys that are making a lot of money that aren’t paying anything."

Those comments are in line with Trump's broader populist message, including that the U.S.'s current immigration system has made it harder for average Americans to find jobs.

"I know a lot of bad people in this country that are making a hell of a lot of money and not paying taxes," Trump added in the interview, repeating that he wants "to put H&R Block out of business."

John Kartch, a spokesman for Americans for Tax Reform (ATR), said Trump "can cheerfully sign the pledge" despite those worries. Norquist is the founder and president of ATR.

Most GOP presidential contenders this year have signed the pledge to oppose and veto any tax increases if they're in the Oval Office.
33  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Breaking: Former President Jimmy Carter diagnosed with cancer on: August 20, 2015, 10:21:46 pm
Sorry to hear that.  Sad

Could George H. W. Bush actually outlive him?  They were both born in 1924. 
34  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Walker (and others) join Trump, calling for ending birthright citizenship on: August 20, 2015, 07:07:46 pm
It's only a matter of time before Trump proposes the 21st century version of the 1924 Immigration Act -and with every other GOP candidate falling in line when it proves wildly popular in the polls....  Tongue
35  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Best case for GOP Hispanic vote in 2016? on: August 19, 2015, 09:56:05 pm
And to answer the OP's question, under 25% -the GOP will reach new lows with Donald Trump's views on immigration resonating so strongly with the average Republican that even Jeb Bush is trying to ape him.  
36  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Best case for GOP Hispanic vote in 2016? on: August 19, 2015, 09:45:07 pm
I wonder if George W. Bush would have been better served pushing for immigration reform in 2005 immediately after his re-election rather than trying to partially privatize Social Security.  Would there have been a better likelihood of it passing then instead of in 2007 when he actually did get around to it?  With the White House and Congress under Republican control, the GOP would have gotten all the credit.
37  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Scott Walker Releases Obamacare Replacement Plan on: August 18, 2015, 07:15:34 pm
Quote
(...) Walker says he would replace President Barack Obama’s signature law with a plan that would return authority to the states and provide sliding-scale tax credits directly to consumers who don’t get coverage at work to help them buy insurance. The tax credits would be based on age — not income — an element that immediately drew criticism as a new entitlement.

(...) Washington Examiner managing editor Philip Klein wrote that by including elements such as refundable tax credits, Walker chose pragmatism over ideological purity. The decision reflects Walker’s desire to make the plan politically viable by minimizing the disruption to millions of Obamacare beneficiaries who would otherwise lose coverage, Klein said.

Walker would also expand the role of health savings accounts and allow consumers to buy insurance across state lines — standard Republican ideas. States would also be able to set up high-risk pools with federal funds to help consumers with pre-existing health problems purchase coverage.

In a nod to the most popular aspect of Obamacare, Walker pledged that people with pre-existing conditions would be protected. He would eliminate the mandate to buy insurance, but consumers would have to maintain continuous coverage to prevent a large premium increase or a denial of coverage. He also said that states would have more flexibility over a restructured Medicaid, as well as over insurance regulations, such as whether to allow children to stay on their parents’ policies until they turn 26, which Obamacare permits.

Walker leaves many other questions unanswered about his plan, including how many people might be covered and how he would pay for it, except to say it would require no new taxes or fees.

Conservative health policy expert Avik Roy, an adviser to Texas Gov. Rick Perry, wrote in Forbes Tuesday that Walker’s plan appears to rely on a $1 trillion Medicaid cut and a revised version of an Obamacare tax on expensive health plans. But Roy argued it would do little to usher people out of government-run insurance.

“[T]he key to improving the way we sponsor health coverage for the poor is not by rearranging the Medicaid deck chairs,” Roy writes.

Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2015/08/scott-walker-gets-out-front-with-obamacare-replacement-plan-121464.html#ixzz3jDP8bdDE

And here's a direct link to the plan on his website.
38  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: How do you respond to the "Ancestry" census question? on: August 17, 2015, 05:42:50 pm
Primary: Japanese

Secondary: Scandinavian

That just about covers it.   
39  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: What would it take for the GOP to win over African Americans and Hispanics again on: August 17, 2015, 05:38:07 pm
What would it take for the GOP to win over African Americans and Hispanics again?

A lot more effort than they think it's worth. 

40  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Walker joins Trump, calls for ending birthright citizenship on: August 17, 2015, 05:14:43 pm
Looks like the GOP has made its decision.  Democrats are going to have a 85-90% lock on the Latino vote for generations to come at this rate....    
41  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Hillary Clinton email megathread on: August 16, 2015, 12:39:25 am
FBI checking this out isn't going to exonerate her. All that will happen if they say they can't find wrongdoing is it being reframed as the "Democratic Bureaucrats at FBI Shutting Down The Investigation."

Like Benghazi, the narrative will be Retrial Until Proven Guilty.

That might be enough of an explanation for Republicans and Republican-leaning independents who have an axe to grind against her, for whom no exoneration is ever possible. 

But don't you think those who are truly independents might be more inclined to accept the verdict, should it come? 
42  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Windows 7 vs Windows 10 on: August 16, 2015, 12:33:49 am
I only have Windows 7, so I am hardly in a position to compare the two.  Yet. 

If I am getting Windows 10, I intend to take full advantage of its hybrid nature by getting a two-in-one laptop/tablet, something like this.


43  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: GOP Primary Atlas Poll, August 2015 on: August 15, 2015, 06:15:28 pm
Rand Paul as he  is closest to my views but in the event he drops out before the Florida primary on March 15th I'll end up voting for the strongest anti-Bush candidate.

So you would seriously consider voting for Donald Trump?  
44  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Democratic Primary Atlas Poll, August 2015 on: August 15, 2015, 06:13:42 pm
Take a wild guess....

I am hoping Bernie Sanders makes this competitive enough that it gives me a reason to vote in the Virginia primary. 
45  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Hillary Wows the Crowd (and Her Critics) at Iowa Wing-Ding on: August 15, 2015, 10:56:25 am
This is no surprise really. Clinton became a much better campaigner towards the end of the 2008 primary.

She owes a debt of gratitude then to Barack Obama (and now Bernie Sanders) for making her a better candidate than she would be otherwise.  And I am thankful this transformation is occurring much sooner than last time...  
46  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Scottish Parliament election - 2016 on: August 15, 2015, 10:38:40 am
TNS Poll:
Constituency ballot :
SNP - 60% (+15% on 2011)
Lab - 20% (-12%)
Con - 14% (n/c)
Lib - 5% (-3%)

Regional list ballot :
SNP - 51% (+7% on 2011)
Lab - 21% (-5%)
Con - 13% (+1%)
Grn - 7% (+3%)
Lib - 5% (n/c)

Polls show the following in the election calculators:
SNP - 75
Labour - 27
Tories - 15
Green - 7
LD - 5

So the SNP gain an additional ten seats at the expense of Labour -where would these seats come from?

47  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: United Kingdom Referendum on European Union Membership on: August 15, 2015, 10:29:33 am
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/eu-referendum-nigel-farage-to-announce-plans-to-head-campaign-for-british-exit-10425255.html

According to a recent poll by ORB, 55% of Britons support staying in the EU and 45% support leaving the EU. 71% of 18 to 24-year-olds in Britain support staying in the EU, while 53% of those aged 65 and over support leaving the EU.

Interesting generational difference -I wonder why younger people in the UK are more supportive of the EU than their elders.
48  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Hillary Wows the Crowd (and Her Critics) at Iowa Wing-Ding on: August 15, 2015, 10:24:16 am
If someone with better luck than me can find and post a video of that speech here, that would be fantastic:

Hillary Clinton sways the doubters at Wing Ding:
She attacked her speech with a vigor Iowans — and even skeptical liberals — said they’d never seen from her before.


By Rachael Bade
8/15/15 12:56 AM EDT


Quote
CLEAR LAKE, Iowa — The verdict from the jam-packed auditorium was nearly unanimous: Hillary Clinton crushed her speech at Iowa’s now-famous Democratic Wing Ding Friday night, winning standing ovations from the very Iowans who turned against her the last time she ran for the White House.

Clinton, who suffered a crushing blow when she came third in the 2008 Iowa caucuses, attacked her speech with a vigor Iowans — and even skeptical liberals — said they’d never seen from her before. Speaking with a booming voice, she opened with a full-throated defense of President Barack Obama’s Iran deal, before offering a stark warning of her own to Tehran: “We will never let you acquire a nuclear weapon. Not just in the terms of this agreement. Never.”

She talked about helping college students drowning in their school debt, nodded to the “Black lives matter” movement, and blasted the right for their latest attempts to defund Planned Parenthood — all while taunting the GOP for their fixation on Benghazi and her email scandal.

“Republicans want to stack the deck even more for those at the top — you saw this in the Republican debate the other night,” she said, her voice building as the crowd cheered. “Seventeen candidates and not one of them said a single word about how to address the rising costs of college … about equal pay for woman. Or quality preschool for our kids … No solution to sky rocketing prescription drug costs. No commitment to end mass incarceration, or to say loudly and clearly: ‘Yes, Black lives matter!’”

The crowd went wild, and even some of her critics warmed to her.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2015/08/clinton-wins-over-iowa-crowds-at-wing-ding-121391.html#ixzz3iti9h3sq


49  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: What is Trump's motivation? on: August 14, 2015, 10:47:40 pm
I still think he's there as a saboteur. 
50  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Can ISIS be stopped? on: August 14, 2015, 10:43:11 pm
It seems Islamic State fighters are not content with waiting for their 72 or so virgins in the next life -they want them here and now in this life as well:

ISIS Enshrines a Theology of Rape:
Claiming the Quran’s support, the Islamic State codifies sex slavery in conquered regions of Iraq and Syria and uses the practice as a recruiting tool.


Written by RUKMINI CALLIMACHI; Photographs by MAURICIO LIMA
AUG. 13, 2015


Quote
(...) The systematic rape of women and girls from the Yazidi religious minority has become deeply enmeshed in the organization and the radical theology of the Islamic State in the year since the group announced it was reviving slavery as an institution. Interviews with 21 women and girls who recently escaped the Islamic State, as well as an examination of the group’s official communications, illuminate how the practice has been enshrined in the group’s core tenets.

The trade in Yazidi women and girls has created a persistent infrastructure, with a network of warehouses where the victims are held, viewing rooms where they are inspected and marketed, and a dedicated fleet of buses used to transport them.

A total of 5,270 Yazidis were abducted last year, and at least 3,144 are still being held, according to community leaders. To handle them, the Islamic State has developed a detailed bureaucracy of sex slavery, including sales contracts notarized by the ISIS-run Islamic courts. And the practice has become an established recruiting tool to lure men from deeply conservative Muslim societies, where casual sex is taboo and dating is forbidden.

A growing body of internal policy memos and theological discussions has established guidelines for slavery, including a lengthy how-to manual issued by the Islamic State Research and Fatwa Department just last month. Repeatedly, the ISIS leadership has emphasized a narrow and selective reading of the Quran and other religious rulings to not only justify violence, but also to elevate and celebrate each sexual assault as spiritually beneficial, even virtuous.
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