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26  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: John Bell Edwards: Dark Horse Vice Presidential Pick on: November 22, 2015, 12:07:51 am
The way things have gone in the past decade, it is best for him (and the national Democratic Party) that he stay in Louisiana, and out of national politics.  This applies to all Blue Dogs. 
27  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Ben Carson Losing Iowa Evangelicals to Ted Cruz on: November 22, 2015, 12:03:02 am
Carson loses his hold on Iowa’s conservatives

By KATIE GLUECK 11/21/15 12:19 PM EST

SIOUX CITY, Iowa—Hours after terrorists attacked a hotel in Mali and a week after Islamic State fighters struck Paris, Ted Cruz took the floor here to deliver a harsh critique of President Obama’s Middle East posture and pledge a hardline approach to Syrian Muslim refugees.

It was exactly what this crowd of mostly conservative Christians wanted – and an ominous sign for Iowa’s weakened frontrunner, Ben Carson.

Across the state and at a major gathering of politically active evangelicals on Friday night, foreign policy was top-of-mind for the voters and state lawmakers once considered natural constituents for Carson. But after a week of confused comments from the former neurosurgeon and a dismissive critique by his own advisors, Iowans are now consistently voicing doubt about Carson’s credentials to be commander-in-chief.

Indeed, they said the terrorist attacks have reordered the candidates in their mind, lifting Cruz and Sen. Marco Rubio and, for many, making Carson an afterthought.

“He’s a great guy, he’s fun to listen to, but I didn’t hear anything substantive,” said Alan Hilgerson, a Des Moines-based physician who said national security is an "extremely high” priority for him as he considers the 2016 contenders vying for Iowa. Of Carson, he continued, “I don’t know that I’d want him as my president.”

Worse yet for Carson, at the Family Leader Forum organized by social-conservative icon Bob Vander Plaats, voters said the more they thought about Carson’s foreign policy credentials, the less comfortable they were with him.

Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2015/11/ben-carson-ted-cruz-iowa-conservatives-216124#ixzz3sC3SMfKH
28  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: The South on: November 21, 2015, 11:49:13 pm
Everything except Missouri, Maryland, DC, and Delaware. 
29  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: What political view of yours is furthest from the mainstream? on: November 21, 2015, 11:46:34 pm
-replacing our First-Past-The-Post electoral system with Mixed-Member Proportional Representation, including the elimination of the Electoral College, and the federal Senate

-support for a Value-Added Tax to replace our assortment of sales and use taxes

-reforming our public education system along the lines of the Finland model

-nationalizing Medicaid (thus taking states out of the equation entirely)

-support for universal childcare

Everything else is more or less within the mainstream, or so I would think.

30  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Gubernatorial/Statewide Elections / Re: Is David Vitter's political career over? on: November 21, 2015, 11:30:43 pm
Finished -glad Louisiana did not let me down.  And the fact he lost is likely good for the Louisiana GOP in the long run anyway, so everyone gains from his loss. 
31  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Gubernatorial/Statewide Elections / Re: Welcome to the Runoff!: LA 2015 Liveblog on: November 21, 2015, 11:28:56 pm
What's happening with the legislature?  How many seats have Republicans gained so far in either chamber? 
32  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Massive Resistance to Obamacare in the South Finally Weakening on: November 21, 2015, 02:04:21 pm
ObamaCare supporters see wall of resistance cracking in South

By Peter Sullivan - 11/21/15 09:14 AM EST

Supporters of ObamaCare are increasingly hopeful that Medicaid expansion could sweep through the deep-red South.

Not a single state in the lower south has accepted the standing offer under ObamaCare to expand Medicaid to people living up to 138 percent of the poverty line, which is about $33,000 for a family of four.

But that could soon change.

Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) has expressed openness to Medicaid expansion if he is elected governor of Louisiana on Saturday, and his Democratic opponent, John Bel Edwards, has been an enthusiastic supporter of expansion as well.

More recently, there was surprising news out of Alabama, as a commission appointed by Republican governor Robert Bentley recommended expansion. Bentley said earlier this month that he is "looking" at the possibility of broadening Medicaid.

"What is going to happen is that support for Medicaid expansion will continue to build," Secretary of Health and Human Services Sylvia Burwell told Atlanta Magazine in an article published Monday. "You hear the Alabama governor. You’ve heard conversations in Louisiana."

Supporters of Medicaid expansion hope that if they can get a foothold in the South, other states will follow.

“I do think that if we have some states in that belt in the South then that will put pressure on the states around them,” said Dee Mahan, Medicaid program director at the liberal healthcare advocacy group Families USA.
33  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: California High-Speed Rail Thread on: November 20, 2015, 11:56:33 pm
On a related note, it looks like the Las Vegas high speed rail project might actually have a chance after all:

Nevada high-speed rail panel moving forward with XPressWest

By Daniel Rothberg
Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2015 | 7:43 p.m.

During a three-hour meeting Wednesday, the five-member Nevada High-Speed Rail Authority unanimously selected XpressWest as the state’s franchisee for constructing a high-speed rail system that connects Las Vegas with Southern California.

Four applicants competed with XpressWest’s bid but authority officials were in agreement that the proposal was the only one that met their evaluation criteria.

XpressWest officials said they could start construction as early as fall 2016. The project aims to link Las Vegas to Los Angeles.

The board, created in May by Senate Bill 457, was charged with selecting a private developer to operate the rail system and was required to evaluate the applications based on the completion of environmental studies, level of private investment, pending regulatory permits, and how far the applicant is from the start of construction. XpressWest is now required to provide the board with progress reports twice a year. The board, in addition to reviewing the progress, can also help facilitate intergovernmental partnerships.

The initial phase of the XpressWest project, which will link Las Vegas to Victorville, Calif., will cost $8 billion. “In high-speed rail terms, most projects are a lot more expensive than this,” said Nick Hann, an executive at the Macquarie Group working with XpressWest.

The line will mostly run adjacent to Interstate 15, offering roundtrip service for under $100. The project’s second phase will link Las Vegas with Palmdale, via the Victorville station. Riders will then be able to connect with Metrolink to take the train to Los Angeles. In its last phase, XpressWest plans to link its system to California’s high-speed rail. Its technology is interoperable with California’s.
34  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Sanders gave his big Socialism speech today? on: November 20, 2015, 11:04:11 pm
Here's the link to the speech for those who want to see it for themselves (and not read about it second-hand):


35  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Trans-Pacific Partnership: Deal Reached on: November 20, 2015, 12:06:06 am
How many votes do you think the Trans-Pacific Partnership ratification get in both the House and Senate?

I read somewhere it currently has around 230 to 235 votes in favor in the House (possibly more).  I don't know about the Senate, though...  
36  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Hillary Clinton Announces Her Plan on Defeating the Islamic State on: November 19, 2015, 11:18:25 pm
Clinton offers her plan for defeating Islamic State

By Annie Karni
11/19/15 10:09 AM EST
Updated 11/19/15 03:25 PM EST

Hillary Clinton on Thursday offered an expansive foreign-policy response to last week’s Paris terror attacks – a strategy for countering ISIL and “radical jihadism” across the globe that represents an intensification of President Obama’s current approach – but not a major break.

At a speech at the Council on Foreign Relations in Manhattan, Clinton outlined her vision for how America needs to lead the fight to defeat ISIL in Syria and Iraq, as well as how to fight a growing terrorist infrastructure. She also addressed how to harden America’s defenses against threats at home and abroad.

“It’s time to begin a new phase to intensify and broaden our efforts, to smash the would-be caliphate and deny ISIS control of territory in Iraq and Syria,” Clinton said. “That starts with a more effective coalition air campaign, with more allied planes, more strikes and a broader target set.”

She said that air campaign was “necessary but not sufficient.” To be successful, she added, “airstrikes will have to be combined with ground forces actually taking back more territory from ISIS.” But she said she opposes another deployment of American troops in combat in the Middle East. “That is just not the smart move to make here,” she said. “Local people and nations have to secure their own communities. We can help them and we should, but we cannot substitute for them.”

She called for deploying a special operations force that Obama has authorized and said she is “prepared to deploy more as more Syrians get into the fight.”

Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2015/11/hillary-clinton-isil-strategy-216055#ixzz3s0BHHVdu

37  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / More Mexicans Leaving Than Entering the United States -Pew on: November 19, 2015, 07:35:50 pm
So why are we making such a huge fuss over all these Hispanics, again?

More Mexicans Leaving Than Coming to the U.S.

NOVEMBER 19, 2015

More Mexican immigrants have returned to Mexico from the U.S. than have migrated here since the end of the Great Recession, according to a new Pew Research Center analysis of newly available government data from both countries. The same data sources also show the overall flow of Mexican immigrants between the two countries is at its smallest since the 1990s, mostly due to a drop in the number of Mexican immigrants coming to the U.S.

From 2009 to 2014, 1 million Mexicans and their families (including U.S.-born children) left the U.S. for Mexico, according to data from the 2014 Mexican National Survey of Demographic Dynamics (ENADID). U.S. census data for the same period show an estimated 870,000 Mexican nationals left Mexico to come to the U.S., a smaller number than the flow of families from the U.S. to Mexico.

Measuring migration flows between Mexico and the U.S. is challenging because there are no official counts of how many Mexican immigrants enter and leave the U.S. each year. This report uses the best available government data from both countries to estimate the size of these flows. The Mexican data sources — a national household survey, and two national censuses — asked comparable questions about household members’ migration to and from Mexico over the five years previous to each survey or census date. In addition, estimates of Mexican migration to the U.S. come from U.S. Census Bureau data, adjusted for undercount, on the number of Mexican immigrants who live in the U.S.
38  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Who is your mobile wireless carrier [U.S.]? on: November 19, 2015, 07:19:08 pm
39  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Who is the maker of your phone? on: November 17, 2015, 10:07:35 pm
Apple -it's an iPhone 4. 
40  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: 2015-16 Winter Outlook from the Weather Channel (and Accuweather) on: November 17, 2015, 09:51:03 pm
Is it looking like this El Nino is stronger than the Super El Nino we had in 1997-98?
41  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Southeast Asia General Discussion on: November 16, 2015, 08:38:58 pm
Still awaiting the final ok from the Philippine Supreme Court, but to all intents and purposes we have returned to the Philippines, in no small part due to China's belligerence and aggression:

US Navy edges back to Subic Bay in Philippines – under new rules

By Ralph Jennings, Correspondent
NOVEMBER 12, 2015

OLONGAPO, SUBIC BAY, PHILIPPINES — When this Philippine coastal town rid itself two decades ago of a giant US naval base, it wanted to shake off a colonial past and reject the “ugly Americans.” Yet today the town is once again welcoming American military personnel and viewing the US as a vanguard against an increasingly pushy China.

The US Navy began using the base in Subic Bay last year to deliver materiel and personnel for annual joint military exercises. Some 6,000 US personnel came to Subic in April, and are set to return for exercises in 2016 in agreement with Philippine authorities, according to a Western diplomat. US ships are using Subic Bay as a resupply port during routine calls, and two towering merchant marine ships flying American flags were docked here in late October.

On Nov. 17, President Barack Obama is to visit the capital, Manila, as part of a regional economic cooperation event, and he and President Benigno Aquino III are expected to solidify military ties including use of the 60,000-acre Subic facility that the US formally left in 1992.

The return of the Americans follows a deal hammered out with the Philippine military last spring. The Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement grew out of concern over China’s spread into waters just off the coast here, and China's claim over more than 80 percent of the South China Sea that extends far below the Chinese mainland.
42  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Potential Running Mates for Cruz on: November 16, 2015, 02:04:38 pm
I agree with others here that no establishment Republican with any self-respect would want to touch his candidacy with a ten-foot pole (not even Tim Scott), so that leaves fringe candidates like Sarah Palin or Michele Bachmann.  
43  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Possible Running-Mates for Hillary Clinton on: November 16, 2015, 12:01:31 am
Following suggestions, I have redone my poll to include more Veep options.  
44  General Politics / International General Discussion / France to Still Hold Climate Summit Despite Recent Terror Attacks on: November 15, 2015, 10:18:45 pm
France to go ahead with climate summit, with tough security

Business | Sat Nov 14, 2015 3:41pm EST

France plans to go ahead with a global climate change summit in Paris at the end of the month, the prime minister said on Saturday, despite a wave of deadly attacks on Friday night that killed 127 people in the capital.

The conference "will be held because it's an essential meeting for humanity," Prime Minister Manuel Valls told TF1 television on Saturday evening.

He said the summit would also be an opportunity for world leaders to show their solidarity with France after the attacks.

About 118 world leaders are expected to attend the opening day of the Nov. 30-Dec. 11 conference, which is due to nail down a global deal to limit rising greenhouse gas emissions.

In Washington, officials confirmed that both U.S. President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry still planned to attend.

Overall, between 20,000 and 40,000 delegates are expected to attend.

"Security at U.N. climate conferences is always tight but understandably it will be even tighter for Paris," said Nick Nuttall, spokesman of the U.N. Climate Change Secretariat in Bonn.

The United Nations has the main responsibility for security inside the conference venue at Le Bourget, to the north of the capital.

Read more at Reuters.
45  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: How impressed are you that Alexander the Great invaded Tajikistan on: November 15, 2015, 05:50:39 pm
I was referring to Daniel, it's where the passage comes from. It's part of the OT/Jewish stuff.

Which dates to the Maccabean period (or Hellenistic era).  

So ssuperflash was right (sorta) after all....    
46  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: How impressed are you that Alexander the Great invaded Tajikistan on: November 15, 2015, 04:48:55 pm
Yes and no.

Yes because it shows how powerful the Greek empire could be.

No because it was prophesied in The Bible. The Greek Empire was going to happen and was the center of the statue.

(Of course, some conspiracy guys have a similar theory regarding modern empires, with the British Empire being the Greek, the Spanish being Babylon, The French being Medo-Persia, and the United States being Rome)
Uh... the Bible was written after Alexander the Great died...

The Old Testament/Torah was given its current form during the Post-Exilic/Persian period, and its earliest writings could be dated as far back as the Monarchic period (8th to 7th centuries, BC), or early Iron Age.

47  General Discussion / History / Re: When did the USA become the world's number one superpower? on: November 15, 2015, 03:20:36 pm
Towards the end of the Second World War. 
48  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Possible Running-Mates for Hillary Clinton on: November 15, 2015, 03:11:10 pm
Personally I prefer Hilda Solis -she has a long history of public service, serving in the California State Assembly, Congress, Labor Secretary in President Obama's first term, and now as Los Angeles County supervisor.  She has developed deep ties to the environmental, labor, and immigrant rights movements throughout her career, and would go a long way in reconciling the more progressive elements if and when Hillary eventually wins the nomination. 

As an added bonus, she was and is a Clinton loyalist, having been a strong supporter of her candidacy during the 2008 electoral cycle until Hillary finally conceded to Barack Obama -she is someone Hillary can trust and depend on.  She is experienced, unquestionably qualified, and more than capable of serving as President of the United States should anything happen to Hillary.

And with the GOP seemingly intent on committing electoral suicide next November, I think Hillary can safely afford to pick a woman as her running-mate, and who better than Hilda Solis to run alongside her? 
49  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Is Julian Castro ready to be president on day one?** on: November 15, 2015, 02:33:09 pm
If the GOP were to pick someone half-way competent, then it would make sense for Hillary to err on the side of caution and go for a male running-mate.  Since it appears the base is insisting on electoral suicide next November, I think she can take a chance with a female running-mate (like Hilda Solis) instead, and go full-throttle grrrl power.  
50  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Is Julian Castro ready to be president on day one?** on: November 15, 2015, 02:29:11 pm
Castro will be picked. Hilda Solis or Kaine wont be picked. Solis being a female, and Kaine voted for Fast Track. And a host of GOP govs represents Dem senators. Castro is 40 and excites y2k generation.

Repeating yourself ad nauseum isn't going to make it so.

And anyway, I'm done arguing with you. 
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