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26  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Jeb wants to abolish food stamps on: January 09, 2016, 09:35:48 am
The purpose of block grants is to change an entitlement to a budget line item, which both stops it from expanding in a recession and also, in theory, lets the feds take a big whack at the total without having to deal with the consequences on an individual level because the states can decide who gets cuts.

States won't just recreate the federal policy because a) they'll be getting less money, which will bite when there's a real recession again, and also because b) we've seen with Medicaid expansion that several states in certain regions of the country will take the opportunity to end the program for most recipients ("they don't vote for us anyway") and use the money in some other way.
27  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: BREAKING: Bernie and wife implicated in corruption scandal on: January 07, 2016, 06:15:41 pm
Washington Free Bacon is similar to Newsmax.
28  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: The Hill: Portman, Ayotte, Thune on G.O.P. veep wish lists on: January 07, 2016, 01:36:24 pm
Two of them are at risk of losing their senate seats in 2016.
29  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: What is George Pataki's political future? on: January 07, 2016, 08:53:33 am
Ambassador to Hungary in a future R administration.
30  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Trump: I will expand the map, I will win New York and Pennsylvania! on: January 06, 2016, 12:58:44 pm
Did Romney harbor any delusions that he could win Massachusetts, I forget? I know he thought he could win Michigan.

I don't think so, given that he was only halfway through his gubernatorial term (2004-2005) when he started disowning the state and insulting it to audiences in South Carolina, Iowa, etc.
31  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Primary Election Polls / Re: AL PrimR: Other Source: Trump Dominates Field in Alabama on: January 06, 2016, 09:03:26 am
Probably helps to have held a major rally there...
32  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: WaPo: One year, two races on: January 04, 2016, 10:44:23 am
Could it have been Walker?
33  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Gubernatorial/Statewide Elections / Re: Was Martha Coakley's 2014 loss really her fault? on: January 03, 2016, 02:53:47 pm
Note that everyone who actually followed the race at the time will (no matter their political leanings) answer this with a 'yes'. The best part of this answer is that it applies to both elections.

I would take exception to that. Coakley ran a fine campaign, but it was a Republican year, Massachusetts often chooses Republicans for state office, and Baker ran a much better campaign as a non-ideological technocrat than he did in 2010 and has gone on to maintain high popularity ratings. Social issues were mostly off the table.
I'd agree with you, except that I don't think Coakley's campaign was especially good.

True. I think people were just surprised that she ran a competent (if not especially good) campaign in 2014 after the disaster of 2010.
34  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Gubernatorial/Statewide Elections / Re: Was Martha Coakley's 2014 loss really her fault? on: January 03, 2016, 09:45:18 am
Note that everyone who actually followed the race at the time will (no matter their political leanings) answer this with a 'yes'. The best part of this answer is that it applies to both elections.

I would take exception to that. Coakley ran a fine campaign, but it was a Republican year, Massachusetts often chooses Republicans for state office, and Baker ran a much better campaign as a non-ideological technocrat than he did in 2010 and has gone on to maintain high popularity ratings. Social issues were mostly off the table.
35  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Trump threatens to use Bill's sex scandal against Hillary on: January 02, 2016, 02:10:35 pm
My starting point is that the two candidates are equally bad. I asked for evidence of Mrs. Clinton's past positive activities vis-a-vis women's issues, and none were forthcoming.

Her website is a good starting place if you are torn between Sec. Clinton and Donald Trump on this issue.

https://www.hillaryclinton.com/issues/womens-rights-and-opportunity/
36  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: The States People Really Want to Move to (Post-Recession) on: January 02, 2016, 09:47:16 am
The biggest blue states (CA, IL, NJ, NY) are losing massively while the biggest red states (AZ, GA, NC, TX) are gaining massively.

And getting less Republican as more people move there. 
Actually people typically move to places with similar ideologies. That's a false idea that migration turns red states blue. That isn't happening.

There is certainly a lot of geographical sorting by ideology, but it likely happens more at a county level than a state level. You may have conservative (and generally white) people finding their way to Collin County, TX and Cherokee County, Georgia, but you also have African-Americans moving from Chicago to DeKalb County, Georgia, and liberals moving from Boston, New York, and NJ to Raleigh-Durham and Austin.
37  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Michael Barone writes clueless article on: January 01, 2016, 09:32:31 am
DOMA certainly bitch slapped SS couples, but it didn't interfere at all with the operation of State governments.  If DOMA had been stripping SS couples of State benefits then it would have been intrusion into State power.  But no State has the right to tell the Federal government who can get Federal benefits, anymore than the Federal government is able to tell the States they must participate in Federal programs.  It often is wise and convenient for the two sides of the federal partnership to coordinate their actions and the Federal government often uses the power of its purse to influence State actions, but influence is not the same as ordering.

That is an interesting read on Gill vs. Office of Personnel Management, and hard to defend in light of precedent IMO. DOMA required Massachusetts government to violate both its own marriage laws and anti-discrimination provisions when it came to same-sex couples. Whether it is "wise or convenient" for the Feds to start meddling here or can be justified is different from saying this is how it has been in the past--when in the past the federal government deferred to the states to determine eligibility.
38  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Jeb! thinks all cities, black people are the same: "My bad" on: January 01, 2016, 09:21:43 am
Didn't Dubya get something like 14% of the black vote in Ohio in 2004 according to exit polls?
39  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: The States People Really Want to Move to (Post-Recession) on: December 31, 2015, 07:45:44 am
The biggest blue states (CA, IL, NJ, NY) are losing massively while the biggest red states (AZ, GA, NC, TX) are gaining massively.

And getting less Republican as more people move there.  

The only state that has seen a Democratic trend out of those is North Carolina.

Hasn't Georgia, though? That didn't used to be the case with in-migration in the 1990s, but I believe that domestic migration is one driver of Georgia's increasing racial diversity.
40  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Michael Barone writes clueless article on: December 31, 2015, 07:43:31 am
Right, the facts aren't in dispute. But an "implicit ban" is not federal law--federal policy for the past century was to have no marriage laws beyond recognizing state marriages in nearly all scenarios. DOMA was breaking new ground by legislating that the federal government would not recognize legal state marriages (although it was several years before that scenario would come to pass.) To construe the lack of explicit support for a scenario that had not been introduced yet as a "ban" is to assume that the federal government had an active policy toward marriages. DOMA "subverted" federal law in the sense that it overwrote federal deference to the states in this area because Congress felt that same-sex marriage was so unacceptable that they had to expand the federal government's power. Because it was so unprecedented, it was doomed to be overturned by the Supreme Court.

To be more cynical, the main purpose of DOMA was really to give the Republicans a culture war issue to campaign on in 1996 against Bill Clinton.
41  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Michael Barone writes clueless article on: December 30, 2015, 10:19:04 pm
However, its effect was indeed to prevent states from rewriting federal marriage law.

What was federal marriage law at the time?
42  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Chance the Republican nominee wins the Presidential election on: December 30, 2015, 01:14:32 pm
Before the primaries got underway, I would have said 50-50. Now I'm saying 30-40% because either of the two likeliest candidates, Cruz and Trump, would have a hard but not impossible task to win a national election.
43  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Trump threatens to use Bill's sex scandal against Hillary on: December 30, 2015, 09:04:11 am
The issue with "Trump says outrageous things, and his support only goes up" is that it's not going to work as well in the general election as it does with the Republican primary electorate.

Trump going after Hillary Clinton because of what Bill did in the 1990s is the War on Women equivalent of the Japanese attacking Pearl Harbor. He's going to harden support from the people already voting for him but it's going to rouse tremendous support for Hillary.
44  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Michael Barone writes clueless article on: December 30, 2015, 09:00:07 am
I lost patience with Michael Barone when he described DOMA as an attempt by the federal government to prevent states from subverting federal marriage laws or something like that in the late 1990s. He's from a generation that, I think, was uncomfortable with describing the actual subject matter.

But really, he's a victim of gerrymandering in his own right. How does one write an impressionistic description of the people and history of a district like MD-3?
45  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Which candidate is most likely to have a sex scandal come out? on: December 29, 2015, 09:18:11 am
To be honest, given that Santorum's been in politics for nearly a quarter of a century, served two terms in the Senate, has run for the Presidency twice and is most well-known for being a staunch social conservative and sticking up for 'family values', I find it highly unlikely that any kind of illicit behaviour on his part wouldn't have come to light by now, given the times we live in. He really does seem to be a fundamentally decent, honourable individual, whatever you think of his political views.

I half-agree... I believe that there's no sex scandal hiding there.

But you can disagree about whether he is a "fundamentally decent, honourable individual" based on so much else that he's done.
46  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Which candidate is most likely to have a sex scandal come out? on: December 28, 2015, 03:18:20 pm
Wasn't the Bush campaign trying to spread rumors about Rubio?

BTW, neither Rubio nor Perry read gay / closeted to me.
47  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Mid-2014 county population estimates out tomorrow, March 26 on: December 24, 2015, 03:48:03 pm
Thank you for the full explanation. I want to speak to one point in particular.

2. There is this obsession with Tempe that I find rather odd.

I confess to having a personal interest in Tempe because it's an area I know unusually well, and because it is tech- and academic-heavy so feels like a distant cousin of areas I know in Boston. But I think there are reasons beyond that for treating it as unusual in the Phoenix area.

1. It's a college town. These are often Democratic islands in conservative areas, so like Bloomington, Lawrence, Charlottesville, or Gainesville, or on a different scale, Austin, it's going to stand out demographically and punch above its weight politically.
1a. Not saying you're doing this, but there is consequently a Republican tradition in red states to pack or crack these kinds of communities.
2. The previous Dem representative from this district was the mayor of Tempe.
3. Neighboring municipalities like Chandler, Gilbert, Mesa, even Scottsdale are sprawling and contain political multitudes. Tempe is more compact geographically and has a smaller population.
4. The parts of those communities closer to Tempe—specifically west Mesa, north Chandler, south Scottsdale, and Ahwatukee in Phoenix—are more like Tempe than they are like the strongly Republican and affluent zones in those communities.

As a Democrat, I'm going to see Tempe as a hub of a more liberal, more diverse (but not purely Anglo vs. Latino), and more tech-oriented part of Maricopa that is different from most of the rest of the county.
48  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Mid-2014 county population estimates out tomorrow, March 26 on: December 24, 2015, 02:36:26 pm
Tempe/North Chandler/West Mesa/Ahwatukee are a natural community of interest. Appending Tempe to eastern exurbs does not feel right, it feels like an effort to drown out a Democratic community's votes in heavily Republican territory.
49  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Hillary Clinton campaign writes post comparing her to Spanish grandmothers. on: December 24, 2015, 08:50:17 am
Apparently there's a #tiobernie hashtag...
50  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Primary Election Polls / Re: Reuters primary polling: tracking thread. on: December 24, 2015, 08:47:36 am
Wow. This lead over the next 3 is even bigger and classier than his monstrous lead in the CNN/ORC poll.
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