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1  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: North Carolina Teabaggers resegregate schools on: January 13, 2011, 12:34:27 am
So in short, parents hate having their kids bused across town and vote in a school board that listens to them.  What's the problem?
2  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R-CA): Rate his Governorship on: January 02, 2011, 11:51:56 am
It would have been better for him to stay out of politics.
Amen, I don't know who the alternative was, but he couldn't have done much worse.

The alternative (whom Arnie defeated in the recall election) dug the hole that Arnie was unable to get us out of.

The other other alternative was Tom McClintock.  He would have been great with the budget, but the Legislature would not have worked with him.
3  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Congressional Elections / Re: Congressional Anomalies? on: January 02, 2011, 07:37:33 am

P.S.  Does anyone else find it ironic that Nancy Pelosi's margin increased while she became Minority Leader, and John Boehner's margin decreased while he became Speaker? Tongue

No, because of the Cindy Sheehan protest vote in 2008.

Quote
Democratic Incumbents Whose Margins INCREASED
CA-32: Judy Chu
2009: Chu (D) 61.85% - Betty Chu (R) 32.96% = D + 28.89
2010: Chu (D) 71.04% - Edward Schmerling (R) 28.96% = D + 42.08
CHANGE: D + 13.19

CA-10: John Garamendi
2009: Garamendi (D) 52.85% - David Harmer (R) 42.83% = D + 10.02
2010: Garamendi (D) 58.84% - Gary Clift (R) 37.86% = D + 20.98
CHANGE: D + 10.96

Special elections...  Both races were discussed on these forums.
4  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Is "Latin America" part of the "west"? on: January 02, 2011, 06:49:01 am
Latin America is obviously part of the West, in that it is in the Western Hemisphere, was settled by Western powers, and has been in the American sphere of influence.

For those arguing about Greece and Russia, I would call those more East than West.  If I had to draw a line, it would probably be based on some combination of the Eastern/Western split of the Roman Empire, Napoleon's conquests, and the Iron Curtain.
5  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R-CA): Rate his Governorship on: January 02, 2011, 06:10:07 am
He failed to deliver.
6  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Why has there been such antagonism to the idea of Universal Healthcare here? on: December 31, 2010, 02:22:14 am
Also, why is Universal Healthcare such a big "No-no" to the Right Wing, at least now and in 1993/1994? Why is that the ''tipping point'' for many of the commentators?

"Healthcare" involves the production of medicines and instruments and the delivery of medical services.  These goods and services should be traded through voluntary transactions.  A free market in medical care provides the most justice and efficiency.

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Finally, do you believe Obama's plan will be watered down or repealed by the incoming Congress?

Obamacare is the worst of both worlds, and will certainly be changed.  Obama, however, would certainly veto a full repeal.
7  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Why has there been such antagonism to the idea of Universal Healthcare here? on: December 31, 2010, 02:04:09 am
I understand all the arguments of opponents to universal health care in the United States.  Their are constitutional arguments, suspicion-of-government arguments, economic arguments, innovation arguments, "negative-rights" based arguments, ect. ect.  I also think I understand the motivations on the part of opponents to resist it.  Some arguments have a greater hold on facts than others, but I understand them.

But, at the same time, I have very strong feelings about this issue.  I personally find the rejection of the very idea of universal healthcare morally disgraceful.  We don't have it because, living in a democracy as we do, large portions of the electorate don't want it.  If we did want it, we could figure out a way, and there are numerous different ways available, to make it workable, as many, many other countries have done with, while not perfect (nothing human can ever be perfect) appreciable success.  But, on the most basic level, if ideological doctrines about government, making profits or saving money are more important to people than human life, no amount of persuasion will being them to the table.  If people don't even care about the health or well-being of their fellow citizens just because those citizens happen not to have means, then I have no inclination to give any credence to either their professed patriotism or religious values.  

This is great: you are rejecting thoughtful analysis and demonizing those who disagree with you because of shallow sentimentality.  Fortunately, you have a lot of company.
8  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Why Can't The US Government Do This One Simple Thing... on: December 27, 2010, 04:39:50 pm
I'm guessing the salary cap and the lack of a means test are both there for the same reason - to make Social Security a broad-based program to benefit the entire population rather than a wealth transfer program.  The salary cap is also the maximum earnings that can be used to calculate one's benefits.

I said nothing about means testing.

And like I said, removing the salary cap is not wealth transfer, it simply is making the tax truly conservative, rather than plutocratic.

I'm not sure your argument is substantive rather than merely rhetorical, but that's not true.

Quote from: me
The salary cap is also the maximum earnings that can be used to calculate one's benefits.

If higher income earners pay increased taxes but do not receive a commensurate increase in benefit, then they are effectively subsidizing the program for the rest of the recipients.  Thus it becomes a wealth transfer.
9  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Why are teabagger types attracted by the idea of living 40 miles from work? on: December 26, 2010, 07:24:37 am
Then why are they so strongly against public schools

Maybe you should double-check your premises.
10  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Why Can't The US Government Do This One Simple Thing... on: December 24, 2010, 06:14:44 am
I'm guessing the salary cap and the lack of a means test are both there for the same reason - to make Social Security a broad-based program to benefit the entire population rather than a wealth transfer program.  The salary cap is also the maximum earnings that can be used to calculate one's benefits.
11  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: US House Redistricting: California on: December 23, 2010, 08:12:41 am
I really don't see how the GOP is going to hold onto the current CA-03 just for starters. Maybe if they had a solid incumbent but a guy who just barely broke 50% in a wave year clearly isn't such an example.

There was no wave this year in Sacramento County.
12  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Predict ... on: December 21, 2010, 04:40:20 pm
Quote
The U.S. Census Bureau announced today that the 2010 Census showed the resident population of the United States on April 1, 2010, was 308,745,538.

Everyone guessed too high.
13  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Why are teabagger types attracted by the idea of living 40 miles from work? on: December 21, 2010, 04:25:16 pm
California doesn't really have many of these type of places since basically any fast growing area in it gets tons of Hispanics...actually I guess there's Placer County. Think of there.

My theory is that it involves a desire to own a big house and the whole "ALL PRODUCTIVE AMERICANS OWN HOUSES, IT'S THE AMERICAN DREAM BLAH BLAH BLAH" nonsense. They can't afford to own a big house in the city or even an inner suburb, so they move far away to where there's lots of land and real estate is cheap so they can buy their hideous McMansion at the price of a house half the size in the city. Meanwhile people who are wealthier but don't care about owning houses and rent a nice condo in the city are obviously more liberal.

In the Sacramento area, there aren't many big houses in nice neighborhoods in the nearer suburbs.  If you've got money and want space, you move out to EDH, Cameron Park, or one of the nicer (read: "out in the country") areas of Elk Grove, Rocklin, Lincoln, or somewhere like that.

Most of the suburbs that were decent but affordable (Pocket, Elk Grove, Natomas) are becoming run-down, higher-crime rental areas.  People with money and nice things want to avoid that.
14  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: California adopts Cap-n-Trade on: December 19, 2010, 04:50:26 am
So you deny that human CO2 emissions cause climate change?
Yes.
Quote
The economic rationale for taxing pollution is that the damages from the pollution are doing more damage to the economy than the extra profits from unabated pollution add to the economy.
Which is rational, but relies on flawed premises.
Quote
Can you demonstrate that CO2 caps have hurt the EU economically in any meaningful way?  Given the uncertainty in possible outcomes of global warming, some of them so severe that they would make 10% unemployment for the rest of our lives look rosy, some regulation is justified as a societal insurance policy even if you might question the science.  And China is right now cornering the market on clean energy, in hopes that we will be dependent on them if/when we realize that all of those scientists were actually on to something. 
Cap-and-trade has been a sham over in the EU, with failures to meet goals as well as eastern European states benefitting from the shutdown of Soviet-era factories.  In any case, European manufacturing has been moving offshore as well.  Yes, they suffer from their lack of competitiveness.

And does anyone really believe that these kinds of schemes will establish a long-term green manufacturing industry in the US?  The plants are in China because we're not competitive without subsidies.

tl;dr: CA government = fail government
15  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: How many US Congressmen have you seen in public? on: December 13, 2010, 09:51:53 pm
I went to a Dole rally in Old Sac in '96.  I'll never forgive him for the Viagra ads, though.
16  Questions and Answers / The Atlas / Re: Checking reported posts on: December 12, 2010, 06:54:44 am
More points for calling BRTD an asshole! This is too funny.

I bet I'd get points for calling Jamespol a troll or some other comment stating the obvious.

Just because it's obvious doesn't make it not a personal attack, as ya know

I'm sure plenty of other personal attacks go unreported and/or without reprimand.

They're still bad, mmmkay?  I mean what is this, the Internet?!?
17  General Politics / Economics / Re: An ode to sanity on: December 12, 2010, 05:48:50 am
People with idle money will look for high returns.  Real estate was trumpeted as a safe investment after the dot-com bubble burst.  People fleeing the real estate market will look for some other area to park their money.  Demand is the ultimate fuel for bubbles.
18  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: A must-read: Christopher Hitchens' superb analysis of the "Tea Party" on: December 10, 2010, 03:35:24 am
The column is not really enlightening.  To treat the Tea Party as a single entity is a mistake.  Hitchens goes further and conflates the Tea Party, Glenn Beck, and a number of conspiracy theorists.  I also think think his criticism of mainstream conservatives is odd; it seems to amount to guilt-by-association-by-association.  Finally, the gist of the article is that the Tea Party is prejudicial and inexact in its criticism.  Honestly, the same argument could be made about Hitchens' column.

Off topic - Esophageal cancer is a terrible way to go.  I have seen a loved one waste away and essentially die of starvation as a result of this cancer.  My heart goes out to Hitchens, and I hope for a full and speedy recovery, though I know that is incredibly unlikely.
19  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: America's 10 dumbest cities on: December 07, 2010, 09:28:16 pm

The impetus to put the UC in Merced was likely to move it out of rankings like this.

The San Joaquin Valley was "owed" a UC...  There was a lot of agitating for a number of years to get the school built.
20  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Predict ... on: November 28, 2010, 08:13:12 am
Why are these all so high?  Do the actual census counts tend to be higher than the estimates?  I would guess 310 million based on the trend line...
21  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Busing on: November 28, 2010, 02:22:54 am
BusSing.

I had never heard of court-ordered school bussing:

Quote
buses vs. busses - The plural of "bus" is "buses".  The double-S spelling is synonymous with "kisses", and is a somewhat antiquated term.  Here are sample sentences with correct usage:  "The buses running to that part of town are always late."  "John's fiancée  welcomed him home from the war with a flurry of busses."  The same holds true for "busing" vs. "bussing"...although there may occasionally be some "bussing" going on during "busing"!
22  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Death Panels in Arizona on: November 20, 2010, 08:54:35 am
Fair enough. The Pubbies deserve to be bitch slapped over the "death panels" comment. It was pure demogoguery, as I noted when the comments were made.

No, it's a valid point.  When the government controls the health care system, denial of care becomes a political decision.  That's how people judge insurance companies, right?
23  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Why do conservatives dislike the idea of pensions? on: November 16, 2010, 12:09:44 am

By the way, nobody picked up the biggest sop in the tax code to the "rich" of all, even though I challenged them to identify it, and that is in the pension sector. I dump, or did dump before I become a playboy, about 50K year in and year out, into my pension plan, all tax deductible above the line, along with my two law partners, while putting about 5K into our two secretaries pension plans. Now that is an outrage.

The other sop to the rich is municipal bonds.

And there you have it. Tongue

Technically it's just tax deferred, right?  Pay later rather than now?
24  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Eric Cantor's Pledge of Allegiance... on: November 16, 2010, 12:08:22 am
The antisemitism here is quite disturbing.

Stop debasing that term. It's insulting.

If the shoe fits...

Again, that's insulting to the victims of actual anti-Semitism.

If I ask you your definition of antisemitism, will you bring your bias further into view? Smiley
25  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Should local governments sue Mexico over illegal immigration? on: November 15, 2010, 11:17:57 pm
No, just tax wire transfers.
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