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News: Atlas Hardware Upgrade complete October 13, 2013.

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26  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Health Plans Cheaper on Obamacare Exchanges on: June 07, 2014, 06:11:27 pm
Report: Health plans cheaper on exchanges

By Ferdous Al-Faruque - 06/06/14 02:32 PM EDT

Four major healthcare companies offer plans separate from ObamaCare marketplaces that are more costly than similar plans on the exchanges, according to a study released this week.

HealthPocket, a consumer research group, compared off-exchange plans based on premium prices offered by United Healthcare, Aetna, Cigna, and Assurant to similar bronze, silver, and gold plans sold through the exchanges and found the off-exchange plans average 40 percent more expensive.

The battle over premium prices in the federal and state exchanges is already heating up as states begin to release premium costs over the summer.

As the midterm elections roll around, Republicans have warned costs are bound to balloon by double-digit percentages, but Democrats have fought back saying the issue is baseless and overblown.

A major point in the debate has been how to compare future premium prices with past costs. Earlier this week the Commonwealth Fund released a report that found premium prices were rising 10 percent annually before ObamaCare went into effect.
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Read more: http://thehill.com/policy/healthcare/208513-report-health-plans-cheaper-on-exchanges#ixzz33zv5UGme
27  General Politics / Economics / Re: All about the stock market on: June 05, 2014, 10:16:50 pm
I don't really see any reason to follow the stock market since its rise has little to no benefit for me -or for most Americans, for that matter. 
28  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Grenade to Your Chest -will Jeb Bush Run for President? on: June 05, 2014, 10:09:19 pm
Or will he instead heed his mother and his wife, and let younger candidates battle it out?
29  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Presidential Election Trends / Re: California continues left-ward - only 8.5% Republicans left in San Francisco on: June 03, 2014, 11:38:36 pm
What's Orange County at?  I know it's voted GOP for ages.

This ought to answer your question
30  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Voters Won't Back Climate Skeptic in 2016 on: June 03, 2014, 10:33:57 pm
Poll: Voters won't back climate skeptic in '16

By Timothy Cama - 06/03/14 10:27 AM EDT

A new poll released Tuesday found that voters are more likely to support a presidential candidate in the next election who believes in human-caused climate change than one who does not.

The survey also found that most voters support the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposal to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 30 percent.

Democratic-aligned Public Policy Polling conducted the automated survey for environmental group Americans United for Change Monday, the same day the EPA released its proposal.

Researchers found that 46 percent of voters would not vote in 2016 for a candidate who does not believe in human-caused climate change, and only 38 percent would support such a candidate. Fifty-three percent of respondents support the EPA proposal, compared with 35 percent in opposition.

“The politics on this issue are pretty clear. Voters believe in man-made climate change, and they support President Obama’s new initiative to help deal with it,” PPP said in a memo about the poll. “Republicans risk putting themselves in an even deeper hole with independent voters by continuing to express their skepticism, and it has the potential to help cost them yet another presidential election in 2016.”
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Read more:
31  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: POLL re gay marriage on: June 02, 2014, 10:28:11 pm
No impact on my vote whatsoever whether they support gay marriage or not.
32  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Americans Moving Back Into Suburbs on: June 01, 2014, 05:33:40 pm
I took the drug part of the discussion to another thread

As for who is moving out to  the suburbs or small towns, well D.C. is the whitest (and richest) it's been in 40 or 50 years and undoubtedly the middle class and poor are being pushed farther out (though I don't think the black man has quite resorted to moving to WV yet).


I think West Virginia's reputation will be enough to keep most blacks east of the mountains...  Tongue

If anything, most blacks fleeing skyrocketing living costs in DC will continue to head to southern Maryland, namely Charles County which is well on its way to becoming majority African-American in coming years and decades. 
33  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: 2016 Republican Nomination Poll - June 2014 on: June 01, 2014, 04:28:15 pm
Rand Paul. I could see the nomination be a three-way battle between Paul, Walker, and Bush.

If Scott Walker is re-elected governor, that is.  And that is very much in doubt...   
34  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Veterans Affairs Wait Times Scandal on: June 01, 2014, 04:14:39 pm
Many Veterans Praise Care, but All Hate the Wait

By ABBY GOODNOUGH
MAY 31, 2014


Quote
In interviews and in hundreds of responses to a questionnaire posted on The New York Times website, veterans around the country expressed frustration with delayed access to care and what many described as an impenetrable and unresponsive bureaucracy at department hospitals and clinics, even as many praised the quality of care they received once they saw doctors.

Their complaints — including repeated canceled appointments and unreturned calls, lengthy waits for appointments and rapid turnover in physicians — give voice to findings by the inspector general of the Department of Veterans Affairs last week that officials at the veterans medical center in Phoenix and elsewhere used a variety of schemes to hide increasingly long waits for medical care. The complaints were not independently verified.
(fixed link - TF)
35  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Gubernatorial/Statewide Elections / Will the Republican Consolidation in the South Continue? on: June 01, 2014, 01:14:39 pm
And here are the partisan breakdowns for each chamber.
------------------------------------------

Alabama House:

Republicans: 65
Democrats: 38

Alabama Senate:

Republicans: 23
Democrats: 11

Arkansas House:

Republicans: 51
Democrats: 48
Green: 1

Arkansas Senate:

Republicans: 22
Democrats: 13

Florida House:

Republicans: 75
Democrats: 45

Florida Senate:

Republicans: 26
Democrats: 14

Georgia House:

Republicans: 119
Democrats: 60
independent: 1

Georgia Senate:

Republicans: 38
Democrats: 18

Kentucky House:

Republicans: 46
Democrats: 54

Kentucky Senate:

Republicans: 23
Democrats: 14

Missouri House:

Republicans: 108
Democrats: 52

Missouri Senate:

Republicans: 24
Democrats: 9

North Carolina House:

Republicans: 77
Democrats: 43

North Carolina Senate:

Republicans: 33
Democrats: 17

Oklahoma House:

Republicans: 72
Democrats: 29

Oklahoma Senate:

Republicans: 36
Democrats: 12

South Carolina House: (the SC Senate is not up for election this year)

Republicans: 78
Democrats: 46

Tennessee House:

Republicans: 71
Democrats: 27

Tennessee Senate:

Republicans: 26
Democrats: 7

Texas House:

Republicans: 95
Democrats: 54

Texas Senate:

Republicans: 18
Democrats: 12

West Virginia House:

Republicans: 47
Democrats: 53

West Virginia Senate:

Republicans: 10
Democrats: 24
36  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Gubernatorial/Statewide Elections / Re: Official Arkansas 2014 Gubernatorial Thread on: June 01, 2014, 12:34:37 pm
There are now more Republicans in Arkansas than there are Democrats, judging by the number of people participating in GOP primaries as opposed to Democratic primaries in the state.
37  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Hillary Clinton vs. Jeb Bush vs. Bernie Sanders on: May 31, 2014, 07:22:29 pm
Also, as always, maps are welcomed.  I am curious to see if Bernie Sanders' entry to the race would result in prediction maps that are any different to the ones posted in my earlier poll.
38  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Hillary Clinton vs. Jeb Bush vs. Bernie Sanders on: May 31, 2014, 07:10:36 pm
This is assuming Bernie Sanders decides to run in the general election as an independent candidate as opposed to joining the Democratic Party with the purpose of running a primary campaign against Hillary Clinton. 
39  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Presidential Election Trends / Re: What does the GOP offer to appeal to "Millennial" voters? (born post-1980) on: May 31, 2014, 07:04:57 pm
Nothing really -I feel they have lost my generation completely.  Better luck with the next one coming up....   
40  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: What kind of milk do you prefer? on: May 31, 2014, 07:01:25 pm
2% or whole milk -in other words, milk that actually tastes and feels like milk, as opposed to water with white food coloring (i.e. skim milk).  
41  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Do you think the United States is imperial? on: May 31, 2014, 06:56:59 pm
I have noticed people have a very constricted definition of what an empire is, assuming it means direct administrative control over a given territory, not unlike that of the late Roman Empire.  

That's only one definition -the other is indirect domination through a web of client and allied states, supplemented by military bases spread throughout the world, some inherited from our British predecessors.  It is what one would call a hegemony.  

That's us.  
42  General Discussion / Religion & Philosophy / Re: Favorite Religious Website? on: May 30, 2014, 11:24:56 pm
I've learned a lot about Catholicism from this site, though I am curious to see whether others here think there is reason to be skeptical of it.
43  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Presidential Election Trends / Re: Virginia in Presidential Elections on: May 30, 2014, 10:23:32 pm
About evenly matched -but 2016 is the last time the GOP (as currently constituted) can win this state before Northern Virginia grows too heavily populated and Democratic such that it outweighs the rest of the state.  

Of course, if the GOP wins the Senate this November by winning every seat I am projecting they will win, and Jeb Bush not only wins his party's nomination, but also narrowly beats Hillary Clinton in 2016, the Republican Party may have one last opportunity to pass an immigration reform measure shaped to suit its preference.  In such a scenario, the GOP may have a new lease on life in this state.
44  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Congressional Elections / Re: MS: Cochran Leading McDaniel by 5 Points -Harper Polling on: May 30, 2014, 10:07:03 pm
Age breakdown of this poll:

18-45: 11%
46-65: 31%
66+: 58%

Is this a pretty accurate reflection?

For a primary held in a midterm election year?  It doesn't look too far off.... 
45  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Congressional Elections / MS: Cochran Leading McDaniel by 5 Points -Harper Polling on: May 30, 2014, 09:52:36 pm
Poll finds tight GOP race in Mississippi

By Alexandra Jaffe

Sen. Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) has a 5-point lead over his Republican primary challenger, state Sen. Chris McDaniel, according to a new GOP poll.

The survey, from GOP pollster Harper Polling, gave Cochran 45 percent support among likely GOP primary voters to McDaniel’s 40 percent, with 15 percent undecided.

That’s in contrast to a survey conducted by a group backing McDaniel earlier this month, which showed him leading Cochran by 4 points.

Harper Polling, which is run by a former top National Republican Congressional Committee strategist, is considered more establishment-minded, and every poll it has conducted of the race has shown Cochran up. But this is the first of its surveys that has shown McDaniel within single digits of the incumbent, and the difference between the candidates was nearly within the margin of error.

The poll confirms that the Mississippi race remains tight just days from the election, despite a controversy that is dogging McDaniel's campaign.
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Read more: http://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/senate-races/207767-poll-cochran-up-5-over-primary-challenger#ixzz33G3AMpZX
46  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Veterans Affairs Wait Times Scandal on: May 30, 2014, 09:41:50 pm
I wonder how this will affect the Congressional races. Are there any states with particularly high veteran populations?

In the South you mean, where we are most vulnerable?  Besides the biggies (Texas and Florida), Virginia, North Carolina, and Georgia also come to mind.      
So this could be dangerous for Kay Hagan in particular?

As well as Jason Carter and Michelle Nunn if Republicans succeed in portraying this as a primarily Democratic scandal. 
47  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Veterans Affairs Wait Times Scandal on: May 30, 2014, 08:03:23 pm
I wonder how this will affect the Congressional races. Are there any states with particularly high veteran populations?

In the South you mean, where we are most vulnerable?  Besides the biggies (Texas and Florida), Virginia, North Carolina, and Georgia also come to mind.      
48  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Greatest Generation on: May 30, 2014, 07:53:58 pm
They are the Greatest Generation not only because they survived the worst depression in world history (which 'toughened them up' in preparation, so to speak), but also faced down Nazi Germany and militarist Japan, and set the stage for eventual victory over the Soviet Union and communism -even if it was decades in the making.

The threats and trials of tribulation we face pale by comparison.  
How? The Soviets were put on the slump to eventual stagnation once they adopted Stalinist economics and abandoned the NEP. I don't see how the American WWII generation affected their fall.

I meant by the passage of the Marshall Plan, the creation of NATO, and the overall adoption of containment (along with the nuclear deterrent) as a policy vis-a-vis the Soviet Union.
49  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Congressional Elections / Re: Which Senate seats do you think will be won by a Democratic? on: May 30, 2014, 07:36:01 pm
Michigan, Iowa, and Colorado definitely.  The rest will likely be occupied by a Republican by next January. 
50  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Greatest Generation on: May 30, 2014, 12:02:15 am
They are the Greatest Generation not only because they survived the worst depression in world history (which 'toughened them up' in preparation, so to speak), but also faced down Nazi Germany and militarist Japan, and set the stage for eventual victory over the Soviet Union and communism -even if it was decades in the making.

The threats and trials of tribulation we face pale by comparison.  
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