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26  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Sanders: Not sure about Hillary on: August 11, 2014, 09:42:55 pm
Bernie Sanders is definitely running for the Democratic nomination against Hillary Clinton. While I only see him winning the Vermont primary, he can potentially give Hillary Clinton a run for her money in the Iowa Caucuses and the New Hampshire primary by receiving 20-30% of the vote in them.

So you're thinking he will become a Democrat (last I checked, he wasn't) just for the sake of running against Hillary Clinton in the 2016 primaries?  
27  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: DEMOCRATS: If Hillary doesn't run, who would you like to see as President? on: August 11, 2014, 09:40:47 pm
While I politically am closest to the likes of Sanders and Warren, I would prefer the candidate who could best win, which honestly I have no idea who would be at this time. Maybe Cuomo. But really, if Hillary doesn't run this is gonna be one big uphill battle for the dems.

If neither Hillary Clinton or Kirsten Gillibrand is running, the election is effectively lost, so you might as well just vote your conscience -which is what I did here. 

LOL, you don't have to be a female class 1 Senator from New York to win a Presidential election, you know.

No, but then no one on this list is presidential material either. 
28  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: DEMOCRATS: If Hillary doesn't run, who would you like to see as President? on: August 10, 2014, 07:16:59 pm
While I politically am closest to the likes of Sanders and Warren, I would prefer the candidate who could best win, which honestly I have no idea who would be at this time. Maybe Cuomo. But really, if Hillary doesn't run this is gonna be one big uphill battle for the dems.

If neither Hillary Clinton or Kirsten Gillibrand is running, the election is effectively lost, so you might as well just vote your conscience -which is what I did here. 
29  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: BREAKING: American forces bomb ISIS targets in Iraq on: August 10, 2014, 07:11:17 pm
I think America's preferred future place in international relations should be as this almighty Sky God that rains fire on those who goes against its will but never directly imposes itself on the situation.



Is this what you had in mind?
30  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Northern Ireland General Discussion on: August 10, 2014, 07:01:29 pm
Given that Northern Ireland is now plurality Catholic (and in fact outnumber Protestants in Belfast), does anyone see it becoming majority Catholic within the next few decades?  

The article says 48% Protestant or brought up Protestant vs. 45% Catholic or brought up Catholic. How is that a plurality?

Apologies.

When I saw this graph, I immediately jumped to the conclusion that Catholics had gained a plurality. 

Should have looked more closely... 
31  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Congressional Elections / Re: Who will win in North Carolina? on: August 10, 2014, 06:55:22 pm
Ultimately Thom Tillis, but it will be a nail-biter to the end.  
32  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Is George W. Bush to blame for ISIS? on: August 10, 2014, 06:48:16 pm
No -I blame primarily Presidents Nouri al-Maliki and Barack Obama for the rise of ISIS/ISIL.  As much as Bush screwed up by invading Iraq in the first place, and compounding that by his inept handling of its immediate aftermath, the surge (and Sunni Awakening) helped rectify many of his mistakes -for which I credit him.  And had President Obama followed through by securing a status of forces agreement with the Iraqi government, we wouldn't be in this position today.  Maliki would have been constrained by the presence of American troops from going after the Sunnis, and the ISIS would have been contained in Syria.  
33  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: What will Colleen Hanabusa do now that she lost the U.S Senate primary? on: August 10, 2014, 06:38:25 pm
What will Colleen Hanabusa do now that she lost the U.S Senate primary?



The race is still too close to call, and you're already assuming she's toast?  Let's wait until a recount (and there will be one -I would certainly call for it) determines the final outcome before we ask what she will do next. 
34  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: which president had the better foreign policy? on: August 10, 2014, 02:42:14 am
Obama for the most part, though I have been disappointed by him on Syria (what red line?) and his refusal to secure a Status of Forces Agreement that would have kept at least a small number of US troops in Iraq, ensuring greater influence on the Iraqi government than what we have now.  
And on Afghanistan, imposing an arbitrary deadline on US forces in the country instead of basing troop numbers on conditions within the country.  I understand he had promises he had to keep to his base here at home, but there is such a thing called 'leadership'.

I expect Hillary Clinton to be more responsible than either Obama or Bush.  

Wow, we actually... really agree here. To be honest, I'm especially disappointed at his handling of troop withdrawal in Afghanistan. In 2012, it seemed like he and Romney both had the same date in mind, but the difference was that Obama telegraphed his timetable to the world, while Romney was going to hold his cards a little closer to his chest. Now we've got the Taliban waiting in the wings and who knows what the situation will deteriorate to post-December. I'd also prefer some flexibility and a bit more tact for the schedule.

You seem surprised -I was never in league with the isolationists in my party.  Ever.  Though I have not been particularly vocal about it.  
35  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: which president had the better foreign policy? on: August 10, 2014, 02:31:49 am
Obama for the most part, though I have been disappointed by him on Syria (what red line?) and his refusal to secure a Status of Forces Agreement that would have kept at least a small number of US troops in Iraq, ensuring greater influence on the Iraqi government than what we have now.  

And on Afghanistan, imposing an arbitrary deadline on US forces in the country instead of basing troop numbers on conditions within the country.  I understand he had promises he had to keep to his base here at home, but there is such a thing called 'leadership'.

Since I am neither an isolationist or a trigger-happy interventionist, I expect Hillary Clinton to be more responsible than either Obama or Bush.  
36  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: DEMOCRATS: If Hillary doesn't run, who would you like to see as President? on: August 10, 2014, 02:05:37 am
Of those listed here, definitely Elizabeth Warren -though if we include Kirsten Gillibrand, I would give her consideration as the more electable candidate. 
37  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Northern Ireland General Discussion on: August 09, 2014, 02:38:38 pm
Given that Northern Ireland is now plurality Catholic (and in fact outnumber Protestants in Belfast), does anyone see it becoming majority Catholic within the next few decades?  
38  Forum Community / Forum Community / Should Global Warming Skeptics be Banned from this Forum? on: August 07, 2014, 08:12:37 pm
Let's start a trend, shall we?  Tongue
39  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: What is your primary news source? on: August 07, 2014, 08:09:02 pm
The Washington Post and the New York Times.  And for commentary on foreign policy, I like the Foreign Affairs journal. 
40  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: House of Cards on: August 07, 2014, 06:29:12 pm
They're shooting a scene in DC this weekend.
41  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Polar Vortex to Debut in Fall 2014 Accuweather Outlook on: August 07, 2014, 06:04:28 pm
Click the image for the article:



Also mentions the Northeast (including the Mid-Atlantic) could see some big blizzards in December into early January. 
42  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Should the US normalize relations with Cuba? on: August 06, 2014, 10:03:27 pm
Yes, but I am not counting on it actually happening until the last Castro brother dies -and/or until a new leadership begins the process of political and economic liberalization.  

Think Burma, but in our own backyard.  
43  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: California High-Speed Rail Thread on: August 06, 2014, 09:54:16 pm
This is an encouraging sign:

Private investors warming to California high-speed rail

Eric Young
Reporter- San Francisco Business Times
Aug 5, 2014, 3:25pm PDT


Quote
Private investors are starting to express interest in funding part of California's planned high-speed rail line, giving a boost to the $68 billion project.

Nine companies, mostly large construction, engineering and infrastructure firms that have worked on high-speed rail elsewhere, have written letters saying they are interested in financing part of what would be the state’s largest-ever infrastructure project.

“We would be very interested in participating in the competition for the construction and financing of California high-speed rail projects,” reads part of a letter from AECOM, a major engineering firm.
44  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Presidential Election Trends / Re: Millennials Up For Grabs? on: August 03, 2014, 11:12:25 pm
Let's not forget that the demographic explosion of minorities skews heavily young and thus more likely to be Democratic. Minority births reached a majority in 2011 , and around 55-60% of today's under 18 group is minority. It is projected that the under 18 cohort will reach minority majority status later this decade.

The young vote will be skewing even more black and brown each election cycle , furthering their Democratic lean.

Unless the Republicans actually ... *gasp* ... reach out to minorities.

They won't. It's much easier for them to become the white party.

Historic levels of immigration being the main driving force behind it.  According to this study by the Brookings Institution, the polarization of the parties by race will benefit the GOP at least in the short to medium term given that whites will remain the vast majority in this country for decades to come -especially as registered voters. And if whites regard their interests are best served by the GOP, we will continue to see them winning an ever higher percentage of the white vote.  
45  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Middle-Class Americans Moving to Fly-Over Cities on: August 03, 2014, 10:55:12 pm
Affordable Housing Drives Middle Class to Cities Inland

By SHAILA DEWAN
AUG. 3, 2014


OKLAHOMA CITY — Americans have never hesitated to pack up the U-Haul in search of the big time, a better job or just warmer weather. But these days, domestic migrants are increasingly driven by the quest for cheaper housing.

The country’s fastest-growing cities are now those where housing is more affordable than average, a decisive reversal from the early years of the millennium, when easy credit allowed cities to grow without regard to housing cost and when the fastest-growing cities had housing that was less affordable than the national average. Among people who have moved long distances, the number of those who cite housing as their primary motivation for doing so has more than doubled since 2007.

Rising rents and the difficulty of securing a mortgage on the coasts have proved a boon to inland cities that offer the middle class a firmer footing and an easier life. In the eternal competition among urban centers, the shift has produced some new winners.

Oklahoma City, for example, has outpaced most other cities in growth since 2011, becoming the 12th-fastest-growing city last year. It has also won over a coveted demographic, young adults age 25 to 34, going from a net loss of millennials to a net gain. Other affordable cities that have jumped in the growth rankings include several in Texas, including El Paso and San Antonio, as well as Columbus, Ohio, and Little Rock, Ark.
46  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Scottish Independence Referendum - 2014 on: August 03, 2014, 07:44:29 pm
The unionists look set to keep Scotland in the United Kingdom (and by a solid margin) if this latest poll is to be believed. 
47  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: if you were elected to your state's legislature... on: August 03, 2014, 07:31:50 pm
1. Repeal Virginia's Right to Work law.  
2. Shift redistricting authority from the General Assembly to a non-partisan redistricting commission.
48  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: The Present Israel-Palestine Conflict Thread on: August 03, 2014, 10:14:23 am
If the objective for Israel is to eliminate not only the tunnels but also to prevent new ones from being built (which is the only way this operation makes sense to me), then the re-occupation (and perhaps resettlement) of Gaza is perhaps inevitable, denials to the contrary notwithstanding.  
49  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: What would be your ideal solution to the Israel/Palestine issue? on: August 03, 2014, 01:09:44 am
2 state solution with a permanent UN administered buffer zone. Jerusalem as an open city ie the Danzig Free State under UN peacekeeping and mandate with open and equal access for jews, arabs, christians, businesses and business people, travelers and tourists etc.

The Arab and Israeli states would be with  original 1947/1948 borders in regards to the west bank and Egypt would annex and administer the Gaza Strip as part of their country in full. Tel Aviv and Ramallah would be the capitals of these globally recognized states, and the UN would administer border crossings, a DMZ buffer and so on, while each nation would manage their own affairs.

Internationally recognized "refugees" given official status would be given the one time choice to become Israeli or Palestinian citizens and regardless of their choice they would be given reparations payments (again under international mediation). Refugee camps would close and the people would be required to settle and do something somewhere.

^^^^^^^^^

More or less this, though given Israeli distrust of the United Nations, I would substitute NATO and the Arab League (in partnership) in its place.  

You think Israel would rather have Jerusalem patrolled by soldiers from Arab Muslim countries that don't even acknowledge its existence than have some, say, New Zealanders and South Koreans in sky blue helmets? And why would NATO be involved? Jerusalem isn't even in or associated with any of the countries that are in NATO.

I suggested NATO (as an American-led institution) and the Arab League so that both Israel and the Palestinians would each have someone they could trust respectively as opposed to one overarching entity that Israel regards as being wholly in Palestine's pocket.  

And anyway, it isn't going to happen.  Despite the fact there was support within Israel for having NATO troops patrolling the Jordan Valley as part of a peace deal.  

This is an ideal (read: dream) scenario for a reason.  What is more likely to happen, thanks to the expansion of settlements precluding a separate territorially-contiguous Palestinian state, is a one-state solution resulting in some sort of a bi-national Israeli state.  
50  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Congressional Elections / Re: Who will win the Senate control in November? on: August 02, 2014, 09:57:47 pm
I still expect the GOP to take control -if polls after Labor Day suggest otherwise, I will modify my predictions (which I haven't changed since January).  Until then, I'll stick to my guns. 
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