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1  General Politics / Political Debate / Re: Debate: has the internet improved politics for better or for the worse? on: December 10, 2016, 09:20:42 pm
none, and all, grasshopper.

every man has the instinct to choose the path, but no man has the blessings of the universe when he tries to impose his will upon others.  This is the paradox of our American version of democratic sovereignty, as anyone who calls himself "white trash" surely must understand.
2  General Politics / Political Debate / Re: Debate: has the internet improved politics for better or for the worse? on: December 10, 2016, 08:08:29 pm
worse.  It means more people have just enough information to be dangerous.  

Democracy is overrated.  (That deserves its own thread, I'm certain.)  Democracy means the great unwashed masses make their own decisions.  That works fairly well in small, ethnically homogeneous lands like Denmark and Norway, but it generally doesn't in giant nations like India, China, and the United States, of which only one has figured out that it doesn't work so well.  

Anyway, giving people instant access to conspiracy theories and partially (or not at all) considered analyses of history, and giving them just enough education to be able to read and write, is a recipe for disaster.  George Orwell predicted this back in 1948.  We're livin' the dream.  Or, better yet, the nightmare.

3  General Politics / Political Debate / Re: You down with TPP? on: December 10, 2016, 07:26:24 pm
No, the American people don't want this, which is why both the left and the right campaigned against it last year. The American people own the country, not the people drawing up and signing these deals.

That's a good post, and it deserves a response.  It is true that the will of the people should not be discounted, and it is true that there are some disadvantages of the Trans-Pacific Partnership bill--as currently written--but consider the advantages.

Primarily, it helps us to fill a power vacuum.  I'm not a big hard- or soft-power projectionist, but I can see that the world's richest nation for the first five thousand years of recorded history, which was knocked off balance by its 500 year isolationist policies, is about to become the world's richest nation again.  Back in the day, it didn't matter so much to the major players (Egypt, Rome, the Sacrum Imperium, Spain, etc.), partly because information didn't travel at the speed of light and partly because no one had the means to annihilate all humanity at that time, but nowadays it does.  There are a million other reasons to support the TPP, but I think that our national security is probably the most compelling.

I've been on Obama's bandwagon for a long time regarding this issue, and I'm glad to learn that some Democrats and some Republicans are becoming convinced as well, but delving into the minutiae required to defend it exhausts me.  Today I searched and found an interesting report.  Take a look: 


I know that it's one sided, but that's the point:  it is trying to persuade you.  When you have a moment, read it and see if you don't think that it is well argued.
4  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Which Trump book title will best describe the USA under his rule? on: December 10, 2016, 05:46:00 pm

"The America We Deserve"

It's perfect!
5  General Politics / Political Debate / You down with TPP? on: December 10, 2016, 05:16:18 pm
Inspired by ERM65man's thread about a potential presidential veto.

You down with TPP?  Yeah, you know me.
Who’s down with TPP?  Every last homey.
6  General Politics / Political Debate / Re: Will Donald Trump veto TPP? on: December 10, 2016, 04:27:31 pm
Do you think Trump will keep his promise and veto TPP?

I don't know so I didn't vote.  I think he probably will--he has called it a "disaster" that "must be stopped" or it will "rape our economy" during one of his emotional diatribes--but I hope he doesn't.  I don't think he thinks about things much, but I do think he is willing to listen to smart people.  If someone takes the time to explain to him that it is primarily a national security measure then I think he might be willing to reconsider.  It's just a matter of getting people close to him that understand how important it is that we don't back out of the partnership.

7  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: The Religious Right and Trump's Victory on: December 10, 2016, 11:08:09 am
If they had ran their campaigns under the pretense that they were forced to be civil with one another out of obligation then it would've come across as a complete lie. Nobody would've believed it.

That's a good point, so let's take it from there.  You prefer a lie that no one recognizes to a lie that everyone recognizes?  I ask because that's what we have with Donald Trump.  He made all sorts of outrageous campaign promises that (fortunately) he will not keep, and probably never intended to keep.  He promised to be a new kind of Republican for a new era.  He promised to build walls and export millions.  He promised to take legal action against Hillary Clinton.  He promised protectionism and isolationism.  He promised to make America great again.  I'm glad that he won't keep those promises, but I wonder if his supporters are glad?  He is simply padding his executive branch seats with campaign donors who will collect salaries and do nothing.  Moreover, he intends to let the traditional elements of the GOP pursue a traditional GOP agenda.

If you give me a choice between lies that people can smell and lies that people can't smell, I would prefer the former to the latter.
8  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: The Religious Right and Trump's Victory on: December 09, 2016, 10:21:01 pm
I hope this trend continues.

I don't.  If you had asked me about this ten or twenty years ago I'd have said sure, I'm getting sick of politicians interjecting their religious beliefs into campaigns and anything is better than those who wear their religion on their sleeves, but now I have seen the alternative.

Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, and their campaign styles, are disgusting.  One was crude and the other was insulting.  One is addicted to his mobile phone and the other is addicted to platitudes and overconfidence.  This election was probably the most peurile I've seen.  As much as I am loathe to say it, I would prefer the holier-than-thou types to the low-brow campaigns that these two narcissistic individuals waged.
9  General Politics / Political Debate / Re: What might the 28 amendment be if there ever is one? on: December 09, 2016, 07:34:15 pm
The Abolition of The Electoral College.

probably a good guess.  History favors something like this, anyway, since more amendments have dealt with the way we select our national CEO than anything else. 
10  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: I'm switching to the GOP. on: December 09, 2016, 06:24:18 pm
I will represent the pro-choice, anti-war, centrist wing of the GOP.

I did that for a while.  Five years at least.

Eventually I figured out that they were as confused and as hypocritical as the democrats and I just decided to become a lone ranger.  Not for sale, I say.

Good luck, Bernie Bros. The ship is yours.

did that too.

I have switched my support to Trump.

Never did that.  Obviously I wish him success, as does President Obama, but you shouldn't waste an opportunity to try to primary him as long as you're going to be a Republican.  Who knows?  Elizabeth Warren may become a Republican and you can nominate her for 2020.
11  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: New PPP post-election poll: various questions on: December 09, 2016, 09:07:35 am
These results just appeared on the Rachel Maddow Show

Then you can probably file it under "suspicious"



I'd be surprised to see this poll reported on WaPo, NYTimes, CNN, or any of the respectable outlets.
12  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Voting Booth / Re: Fremont December Senate Election on: December 09, 2016, 08:59:15 am
1.  Wulfric
13  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Voting Booth / Re: December 2016 House Election on: December 09, 2016, 08:56:26 am

[10] 1184AZ (Federalist-FL)
[8] Cashew (Labor-CA)
[3] Enduro (Federalist-PA)
[6] NeverAgain (Labor-VA)
[4] Peebs (Labor-NC)
[5] Republitarian/Goldwater (Federalist-UT)
[11] Santander (Federalist-AL)
[9] Secure America/Heisenberg (Federalist-NM)
[1] Siren (Independent-PR)
[2] Southern Gothic (Labor-LA)
[7] tedbessell (Federalist-CA)
[12] wolfentoad66 (Labor-CA)
14  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: The Religious Right and Trump's Victory on: December 09, 2016, 08:50:54 am
Saying "Trump's a Whoremonger!" may or may not be true, but even if he is, that doesn't impact public policy at all.

I agree with that, but Donald Trump has been divorced multiple times.  He has become rich by buying cheap, declaring bankruptcy, and letting others pay for his mistake.  He has created fraudulent educational programs to swindle people out of their money.  He used undocumented workers to build Trump Tower, then cheated them out of their money because he knew they would have no legal recourse. 

Not exactly the sort of history that might inspire one to think that he'll execute the law in a manner consistent with the gospels.  One might even say that camels fit through needle eyes more easily than Donald Trump fits through the Pearly Gates.
15  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: The last movie you've seen thread 2016 on: December 08, 2016, 09:03:57 pm
Tora! Tora! Tora! last night.  There were many Pearl Harbor movies on yesterday, and I watched quite a few of them, but that one was the last one and although I had seen it before, I really enjoyed the attention to detail, even though it probably takes some liberties regarding known historical facts.
16  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: What are your favorite moments of the 2016 cycle? on: December 08, 2016, 08:58:35 pm
Mostly it was a downer, and the missed opportunities not only by both major parties, but by the libertarians as well, are more memorable than any of the joyful moments, but there were a few highlights.  Here are some that I remember, more or less in chronological order:

1.  Sanders rally just outside my office.  I didn't actually attend the rally because I didn't want to get caught in the traffic which was already heavy three hours before it started, but I went out and talked to lots of supporters and took a few photos before I jumped into my car and drove away before I got trapped.  It was a good vibe and spirits were high.

2.  The various spoofs of the primary debates, especially this one.

3.  Me taking my son to the primary voting booth with me, and getting to vote in the primary for Sanders.  He was disappointed not to see Trump's name on the ballot but I explained to him that I'd have had to arrange that a few weeks in advance, etc.  (It was the first time we had discussed anything even remotely regarding politics or candidates.  I generally try to shield him from that stuff, but he's 11 now and I figured it was okay.  It was actually somewhat rewarding to discuss the presidential race with him, although I don't think I'll make a habit of it.)

4.  Johnson's aleppo moment.  I had actually ruled out Johnson by then, but I thought it was kinda endearing.  Don't get me wrong, I'm a big fan of legalizing recreational marijuana use, and have been since about 1981, but it's not what I'm looking for in a president.

5.  Me getting to vote against Trump and Clinton in the general election.  It was a beautiful day and I rode my bicycle to the Saint Thomas Episcopal Church that day.  The whole block was buzzing, and I could tell it was a high turnout.  For the first time in memory, I actually had to wait in line to vote, nearly ten minutes I waited before I got my ballot, but it was worth it.  I also posted here about my interaction with the octogenarian poll worker, but I won't repeat all that here.  Suffice it to say that voting for Bradford Lyttle was very, very satisfying, and learning that I was the only one in Lancaster County who voted for him was surreal and entertaining.

6.  Overconfident Clinton people getting bitchslapped on election night.  That was the best of all.  I went to bed about 10 not knowing who would win yet, although I was surprised to find that some states weren't being called for Clinton so far.  I can't say I detest her any more than I detest Trump, but her supporters were far more annoying during the lead up to the election, so I had a good, hearty laugh when I woke up early and find that she lost.  

Bonus:  Trump clearly doesn't intend to keep most of his campaign promises, which is definitely a good thing, since most of them were either unworkable or really, really bad ideas.
17  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Weird candidate support trees? on: December 08, 2016, 05:49:38 pm
Do you know anybody who had weird allegiance changes over the course of this election?

I went from Jim Hedges to Gary Johnson to Bradford Lyttle.  It was over a fairly short time period, though.  By around May it was clear that the major party choices were going to be Clinton and Trump, so I started researching alternatives.  I settled upon Lyttle by around the first of September.
18  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Do you have any regrets? on: December 08, 2016, 01:46:52 pm
Do you have any regrets?

Many, but none regarding the election.
19  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Presidential Election Trends / Re: Seems like Republicans can't win the popular vote... period. on: December 07, 2016, 03:53:44 pm
250 years ago when the nation was founded

229 years ago, to be exact.  Smiley

On this day in 1787 Delaware became the First State when it ratified the federal constitution.

20  General Politics / Political Debate / Re: Bigger surprise in 2016? on: December 07, 2016, 01:08:58 pm
The UK vote to leave the european union wasn't particularly surprising.  The Donald defeating Hillary Clinton was surprising.  Most surprising to me was the fact he won the GOP nomination in the first place.  Immediately after the first debate, back in August of 2015, I concluded that he had made such a great fool of himself he could not possibly be nominated.  I guess it was a weak field.

21  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: ObamaCare Repeal will be Senate's 1st objective in new congress on: December 07, 2016, 08:49:10 am
What do you think should be done with people who already have health insurance from the exchange? Just drop them and let them suffer?

There are about 17 million such people.  Estimates vary regarding the number of people who purchased it to avoid the fine, but it might be something like 7 million.  That leaves 10 million who want the insurance and benefit from it.  (Actually, there may be about 28 million who want medical insurance but who do not qualify for PPACA insurance because they don't make enough money.  It's pretty well understood that Obama sold out to the insurance companies when he pushed for this bill, rather than pushing for socialized medicine, so there are millions of need people who go uninsured under the law.)  But those 10 million I referred to earlier who have purchased insurance can still purchase private insurance if the repeal stipulates that insurance companies cannot reject clients on the basis of pre-existing medical conditions.
22  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: ObamaCare Repeal will be Senate's 1st objective in new congress on: December 06, 2016, 08:18:18 pm
ObamaCare Repeal will be Senate's 1st objective in new congress

One can only hope.

It increases the share of our aggregate GDP that we spend on medical services.  It doesn't insure everyone.  It guarantees fines to those who choose to opt out who are earning too much.  It provides no assistance to those who are making too little.  And it redistributes wealth from the many to the few. Ironically, perhaps, the right-wing talking heads call it socialism, but in reality it is the antithesis of socialism.  Moreover, many of those in congress freely admitted that they did not read the bill before voting for its passage.  Charlie Rengel famously said, "how could I be expected to read a bill that was 2000 pages long?"

The PPACA needs to go away.  I'm not against Obama.  I voted for him in 2008, and was very open about that on this forum.  Moreover, if a pollster asked me today I'd say that I generally approve of him and his legacy, but I voted for Obama in spite of, not because of, this unnecessary and wasteful bit of legislative agenda.
23  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Has Trump's level of support always been there? on: December 06, 2016, 07:02:58 pm

This is the operative word in your diatribe.  Unfortunately, they have not been.
24  General Politics / Political Debate / Re: Bathroom bills on: December 05, 2016, 08:38:30 pm
This thread was a big disappointment.  I clicked here thinking it'd be about those little toilet newspapers that people always post on the wall, or the inside stall door, so you can look at them while you're urinating or having a movement.  (I'm a big fan, by the way.  I also enjoy creative graffiti.)

Instead, it's about the fact that our legislatures are arguing about where people take a dump.  We must have a remarkably advanced economy, given that our elected and well-paid representatives have enough time to devote to such mundane matters as the significance of toilet labeling.
25  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2020 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Should Iowa and New Hampshire get to vote first in 2020? on: December 05, 2016, 08:32:57 pm
What if we had all states vote on the same day so that people who live in states that currently have late primaries (CA, NJ, etc.) actually have an impact on the primary election?

I think it's a wonderful idea.  First, they don't influence one another.  Second, it increases the likelihood that the conventions will actually be meaningful.  As it is, they're basically coronation ceremonies.  With everyone having nominating primaries (or caucuses) on the same day, it would be hard to get a majority of delegates.  Then the conventions become less boring, because they'll actually be political conventions, with bartering and bickering and candidate selecting.

I'd also like to do away with superdelegates.  

I also like the idea of doing it on a weekend.  

As for caucus systems, I have no problems with them.  People here are bitching about them, but I've attended two and they're fun.  Not for the faint of heart, but very interesting.  Each state can come up with its own mechanism, but I think having them all on the same day is best.

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