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News: Atlas Hardware Upgrade complete October 13, 2013.

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26  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Are you a registered member of a political party? on: September 25, 2014, 11:42:13 pm
Virginia doesn't allow you to register by party.
27  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / More Insurers Realize Obamacare is Here to Stay on: September 23, 2014, 07:30:31 pm
This law is not going to get repealed. The best thing the GOP can do now is to ensure that the ultimate goal of the law is to move us away from employer-provided healthcare, encourage transparency, and build a true marketplace instead of the subsidy-laden mess we have now:

Insurers’ bigger role suggests confidence in Obamacare

By JENNIFER HABERKORN and BRETT NORMAN | 9/23/14 6:19 PM EDT

Quote
The insurance industry believes Obamacare is here to stay no matter who wins control of the Senate this fall.

A lot more insurers plan on taking part in Obamacare next year — a 25 percent increase, HHS Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell announced Tuesday. She called it a sign that the administration is “making historic progress” in covering the uninsured.

“When you consider the law through the lens of affordability, access and quality, the evidence points to a clear conclusion: The Affordable Care Act is working,” Burwell said at the Brookings Institution in one of her first major speeches as secretary. “And families, businesses and taxpayers are a better off as a result.”

Insurers stand to be better off, too. The industry has invested heavily preparing for the law, expects a growing business from the new markets, and knows that insurance is “sticky” — once a customer buys a plan, chances are he or she will stick with it. Repeal doesn’t just mean taking coverage away from the newly-insured. It means taking customers away from the insurers, too.

The HHS report is preliminary. There could still be changes before open enrollment for the second season begins Nov. 15. But the higher health plan participation numbers for 2015 — including some of the country’s biggest carriers — don’t come as a surprise to health policy consultants and analysts.

Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2014/09/obamacare-senate-111267.html#ixzz3EBiYkJC2
28  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: How would you fix the Republican Party? on: September 22, 2014, 09:07:03 pm
I am not sure there is much that can be done in the short term except wait for the older, more conservative and evangelical generation to pass on.  If you try to go more libertarian too soon, you incur the wrath of the Religious Right which, while in decline, is still a potent force within the GOP. 

And then there's the immigration issue.  Both the New Zealand National and the Canadian Conservative parties have learned how to appeal to immigrants.  But due to the rampant nativism within the nearly all-white GOP, that path appears closed.  Perhaps it is also simply a matter of waiting for generational change.     
29  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: BREAKING: American forces bomb ISIS targets in Iraq on: September 22, 2014, 08:56:11 pm
Time to change the thread title -we are now striking IS in Syria.
30  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Congressional Elections / Re: Predict Margin (%) for NC-Senate on: September 21, 2014, 10:20:32 pm
A Mason-Dixon poll on this race (and others throughout the South) would clear the air nicely....   

After their final definitive poll of Florida in 2012... that showed Romney +6... I'm not that comfortable having too much faith in them.

So it missed Florida -it made a mistake.  Can you name a polling company that doesn't?  But compared to some I have seen here, Mason-Dixon is still among the top pollsters in the country.

Obama +3 in Minnesota; ended up being +8.
Obama +2 in Wisconsin; ended up being +7.
Obama +7 in Connecticut; ended up being +17.

MD used to be good.  Now they're just so-so.

And how about senatorial races?
31  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Congressional Elections / Re: Predict Margin (%) for NC-Senate on: September 21, 2014, 09:40:42 pm
A Mason-Dixon poll on this race (and others throughout the South) would clear the air nicely....   

After their final definitive poll of Florida in 2012... that showed Romney +6... I'm not that comfortable having too much faith in them.

So it missed Florida -it made a mistake.  Can you name a polling company that doesn't?  But compared to some I have seen here, Mason-Dixon is still among the top pollsters in the country.

32  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Congressional Elections / Re: Predict Margin (%) for NC-Senate on: September 21, 2014, 07:33:52 pm
A Mason-Dixon poll on this race (and others throughout the South) would clear the air nicely....   
33  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Do You Live in an Urban, Suburban, Exurban, or Rural Area? on: September 21, 2014, 07:27:59 pm
Inner suburban actually, but for the purpose of this exercise I guess 'suburban' would cover it. 
34  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Do you think the above poster even understands dialectical materialism? on: September 21, 2014, 07:24:32 pm
What the hell is 'dialectical materialism'?
35  General Politics / International General Discussion / Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reaches Record Levels, Scientists Say on: September 21, 2014, 07:18:10 pm
Global Rise Reported in 2013 Greenhouse Gas Emissions

By JUSTIN GILLIS
SEPT. 21, 2014


Quote
Global emissions of greenhouse gases jumped 2.3 percent in 2013 to record levels, scientists reported Sunday, in the latest indication that the world remains far off track in its efforts to control global warming.

The emissions growth last year was a bit slower than the average growth rate of 2.5 percent over the past decade, and much of the dip was caused by an economic slowdown in China, which is the world’s single largest source of emissions. It may take an additional year or two to know if China has turned a corner toward slower emissions growth, or if the runaway pace of recent years will resume.

In the United States, emissions rose 2.9 percent, after declining in recent years.

The new numbers, reported by a tracking initiative called the Global Carbon Project and published in the journal Nature Geoscience, came on the eve of a United Nations summit meeting meant to harness fresh political ambition in tackling climate change. Scientists said the figures showed that vastly greater efforts would be needed to get long-term global warming within tolerable limits.
36  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Canada General Discussion 1.5: The Countdown Begins on: September 21, 2014, 07:10:31 pm
So should we consider this election as a lost cause for PM Stephen Harper and his ruling Conservatives, and merely debate the extent to which he will be trounced next May?  
37  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Civil War in Syria on: September 21, 2014, 07:00:20 pm
Apparently Syria has more chemical weapons facilities we didn't know about:

Exclusive: Syria reveals more chemical weapons facilities to watchdog - sources

BY ANTHONY DEUTSCH
THE HAGUE Wed Sep 17, 2014 10:35am EDT


Quote
(Reuters) - Syria has revealed a previously undeclared research and development facility and a laboratory to produce the poison ricin to the global chemical weapons watchdog, diplomatic sources told Reuters.

Syria has detailed three new facilities to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) as part of an ongoing review of the state's toxic arsenal, three sources said.

The disclosures appeared to support assertions from Western governments in recent months that the regime of President Bashar al-Assad had not been fully transparent to the world body in detailing its chemical weapons program.
38  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Victorian State Parliamentary Election - 29 November 2014 on: September 21, 2014, 04:32:31 pm
This poll is from a month ago, and none of us thought to post it?
--------------------------

Napthine’s Coalition government set for Victorian election defeat, Newspoll shows

Oliver Milman
theguardian.com, Sunday 24 August 2014 20.05 EDT


Quote
Victoria’s Coalition government is on course for a comprehensive defeat in the November state election, which would make it the first one-term government since 1955, according to a new poll.



The Liberal party’s primary vote is just 32%, with a combined Coalition total of 35%, according to Newspoll. This is 10% down on the Coalition’s support in 2010.

On a two-party-preferred basis, Labor is ahead 55% to 45%, meaning that Labor leader Daniel Andrews is set to replace Denis Napthine as premier when Victorians head to the polling booths on 29 November.

For the first time, more Victorians are dissatisfied than satisfied with Napthine’s performance as premier, although he still leads Andrews as preferred leader by 41% to 31%.
39  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Reuters/Ipsos: 24% of Americans support secession for their state on: September 21, 2014, 11:52:21 am
Do we have a breakdown state-by-state? 
40  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Reuters/Ipsos: 24% of Americans support secession for their state on: September 21, 2014, 11:42:29 am


So basically it's the former Confederacy plus its claimed western territories and the Rockies (counting regions that voted in favor of secession 25% and over).  
41  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: New Zealand general election, 20th September 2014 on: September 21, 2014, 11:29:56 am
We still have hundreds of thousands of 'special votes' that have yet to be counted.

Just an FYI.
42  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Afghan election, 2014 on: September 21, 2014, 12:29:44 am
The end finally appears to be in sight.
43  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: New Zealand general election, 20th September 2014 on: September 21, 2014, 12:20:29 am
So can someone kindly catch me up on what happened?

This article should give you the basics.  
44  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: New Zealand general election, 20th September 2014 on: September 20, 2014, 11:38:42 pm
New Zealanders definitely voted National & thr right & they've got a National government whose deserved majority will be effectively bolstered by the ACT member for Epsom & Peter Dunne's UF seat to be 63/120

That would be 65 seats if you count the two Maori MPs who were just elected, and with whom PM John Key is also negotiating to form a government.  

Why bother negotiating with the Maori Party MPs as well? For the sake of broader inclusion?

Besides further padding their majority, the Nationals think it worthwhile to include the Maori Party since it was part of the previous coalition which seemed to have worked out satisfactorily for both parties.  Also, settling Treaty of Waitangi claims is a part of the National Party platform.  And the Nationals seem to have a good track record on it.  

And I'll leave it to those more knowledgeable to answer your other questions....
45  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Scottish independence referendum results thread (Sept 18, 2014) on: September 20, 2014, 09:27:45 pm
If we're talking another referendum in case London either goes back on its word on devolution max, or devolves too few powers to the Scottish Parliament to satisfy either the nationalists or the unionists, I imagine that Scotland will stick with its 700-year anniversary pattern.  With 1314 out of the way, here are some possibilities:

1325: first year the Parliament of Scotland convened

1328: King Edward II signs Treaty of Northampton acknowledging Scottish independence under the rule of King Robert the Bruce (Edward reneged on it later upon Robert's death)

1341: Taking advantage of English distraction with the Hundred Years War, King David II (King Robert's son and heir) returns from exile in France to claim the Scottish throne, securing Scotland's independence
-------------------

So perhaps 2028 seems most likely.  




 
46  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: New Zealand general election, 20th September 2014 on: September 20, 2014, 09:07:03 pm
New Zealanders definitely voted National & thr right & they've got a National government whose deserved majority will be effectively bolstered by the ACT member for Epsom & Peter Dunne's UF seat to be 63/120

That would be 65 seats if you count the two Maori MPs who were just elected, and with whom PM John Key is also negotiating to form a government.  
47  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: New Zealand general election, 20th September 2014 on: September 20, 2014, 06:33:29 am
Is David Cunliffe still insisting he is going to lead Labour into the next election despite the thumping it took last night? 
48  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: New Zealand general election, 20th September 2014 on: September 20, 2014, 04:56:46 am
Follow the results here:
http://www.electionresults.govt.nz/

And here's another:

http://data.nzherald.co.nz/
49  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: New Zealand general election, 20th September 2014 on: September 20, 2014, 04:54:16 am
It looks like the Nats will be the first party in New Zealand history (since the adoption of MMP) to be able to form a majority government on their own, assuming results hold.
----------------------------------

Update -with virtually all the votes in:

Nationals: 61 seats (48%)
Labour: 32 seats (25%)
Greens: 13 seats (10%)
New Zealand First: 11 seats (9%)
Maori: 2 seats -quota (1.3%)

61 seats is the bare minimum required for a political party to form a government on its own.  
50  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Scottish independence referendum results thread (Sept 18, 2014) on: September 18, 2014, 11:57:09 pm
Even Alex Salmond's home electorate in Aberdeenshire voted 'no'... 
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