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December 21, 2014, 01:05:26 pm
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News: Don't forget to get your 2013 Gubernatorial Endorsements and Predictions in!

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76  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: How much would you miss American Football if it went away? on: December 11, 2014, 12:51:26 am
As long as I can still watch Friday Night Lights reruns, I'd be fine with that.
77  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Why is Obama so unpopular? on: December 11, 2014, 12:39:51 am
4. When he was passing his health care bill, Obama/Reid simply used strategic voting tactics (senate held a vote during a brief 60 democrat majority period, and did the rest through the vile tactic that is reconciliation), and correct me if I'm wrong here, but to my knowledge, Obama/Reid/etc. did not make truly serious attempts to get even a single republican vote in the house or senate for the bill. All that effort they did to get the vote of Ben Nelson, they should have been working equally as hard to get the vote of republicans such as Olympia Snowe, Lisa Murkowski, Susan Collins, but they did no such thing (to my knowledge).

That's false. Obama and Baucus spent months watering down the ACA to try to attract Republican support in meetings with Enzi, Grassley, and Snowe, among others. That's why the bill ended up being a national version of Romneycare, which the GOP constantly touted as a "market based solution that works" until the black guy supported it. Hell, Snowe even voted for the bill in committee. But the Republicans decided in a secret meeting on day one of Obama's presidency to obstruct everything he did in an attempt to win in 2010, and at the end of the day even Snowe gave in to the pressure to vote against Obamacare/Romneycare.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/25/robert-draper-anti-obama-campaign_n_1452899.html

ACA was always basically Romneycare plus a lot of additional regulations. That wasn't a matter of it being watered down.
78  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Michigan House passes bill legalizing religious discrimination on: December 11, 2014, 12:28:05 am
The only ones that win when you legally allow discrimination are bigots.

Do you think a gay fashion designer should be forced to make a dress for the wife of a religious fundamentalist?


A gay wouldn't bother to be a hateful little dweeb like fundamentalists are.

Should a t-shirt printer - whether gay or not - be forced to print t-shirts saying gay people are going to hell, if they have a paying customer?

Are we getting into who makes the Westboro Bapist merch? 

I could think of any printing company having issue with printing openly hateful things about anybody.  What you are talking about is in line with the white shop owners in the South in the Civil Rights era refusing service to the blacks.  To what autonomy do we give the owner?  Where does the ownership give way to the social contract of running a business?  I think at the end of the day, what you must ask is if this is actually a problem, or could it really be a problem?  Is forcing blacks into certain food establishments a problem?  Is letting an EMT refuse treatment to an injured gay problematic?  Is lack of ability for bigots to get custom garb a problem? 

Also, does the dress being made by the gay for the religious have anything to do with the cultural divide between the two, whereas the gay being forced to make a "Gays are going to Hell" t-shirt... well... it's quite upfront, no? 

It's certainly not black and white, and it probably has to come down to this: Do we have reason to believe the refusal of service is purely to do with discrimination by the owner?  In that sense, can't we say that the t-shirt printer would have a vesting interest beyond that individual customer in NOT producing an "I hate Gays" shirt? 

Is whether or not their is a vested financial reason for a practice really a good basis for deciding whether it should be legal?  After all discrimination can be based out of vested financial interest rather than any animus toward any group on the part of the business.   Discrimination is one thing, but making a person rent out their property to a gay wedding, or photograph it, if it goes against their beliefs, when there are others who are quite willing to provide these services - isn't that also quite upfront?  The fundamental question here is whether a person should have the ability to offer their services in a way consistent with their beliefs.  It takes a very narrow view of the nature of work as divorced from the rest of one's existence to say that individual conscience should not be allowed to play a crucial role in its operation.
79  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Why is Obama so unpopular? on: December 10, 2014, 04:48:09 pm

I realize you are certain Americans are a bunch of imbeciles, but I assure you that Obama being a black was common knowledge in Jan 2009 when his approvals were in the upper 60s.
80  General Discussion / History / Re: List of pro life\pro choice presidents/vice presidents on: December 10, 2014, 04:31:07 pm
Jimmy Carter only became pro-life--in a bit of a looser definition of the term--in his post-presidency.

He was certainly a lot more pro-life than a lot in his party were comfortable with. He opposed funding for abortion and spoke out against the abortion rights plank in the 1980s platform.  In 1976 both he and Ford were trying to straddle the issue, though in Carter's case his heart seemed to be much more toward the anti-abortion side.
81  General Discussion / History / Re: About what year did support for slavery in the former CSA fall below 50%? on: December 10, 2014, 04:10:03 pm
If we are talking about people who believed that slavery was justified in its time because the blacks needed to be brought to America and learn Christianity and that most slaveowners were really not so bad, then probably not until the 1970s.
82  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Regional Governments / Re: MA: Promoting Our Public Universities Act (Debating) on: December 10, 2014, 03:53:22 pm
Why tie this to grade point average?
83  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Regional Governments / Re: MA: Consolidated Statute of Mideast Legislative Procedure (Debating) on: December 10, 2014, 03:49:28 pm
Does anyone have anything else to add here, or should I take this to a final vote?

I think we just need to decide whether the text includes the passage in red?
84  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Regional Governments / Re: MA: Amendment to the Mideast Firearms Safety Act (Final Vote) on: December 10, 2014, 03:48:00 pm
Aye

(btw, thanks for the amendment tmth. I was going to do something like it but forgot.)
85  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Michigan House passes bill legalizing religious discrimination on: December 10, 2014, 02:00:12 pm
The only ones that win when you legally allow discrimination are bigots.

Do you think a gay fashion designer should be forced to make a dress for the wife of a religious fundamentalist?


A gay wouldn't bother to be a hateful little dweeb like fundamentalists are.

Should a t-shirt printer - whether gay or not - be forced to print t-shirts saying gay people are going to hell, if they have a paying customer?
86  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Position on Abortion - More Specific Answer on: December 10, 2014, 01:48:11 pm
Option 4, if I remember correctly it's somewhere in the second trimester when the embryo becomes a fetus with a heart.

It's actually in the middle of the 1st trimester.

Abortion should be heavily restricted, but available for life of the mother and perhaps some other health issues.  I actually found TNF's way of phrasing the question in terms of "access" - rather than "legality" with trimester/rape qualifications - to be more relevant and strike at the heart of the debate where it really is (at least in those places like the US where it is broadly legal).
87  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / U.S. Presidential Election Results / Re: Who was the last republican nominee to win new york city? on: December 09, 2014, 11:49:58 pm
You need to consider that those Calvinists in KS, IN, OH and MI came from New England.  Their seperation may have proved to be what preserved their Calvinism as it bled away in the home region.

But what explains the fact that as early as the 1830s, Boston was a hotbed of left-wing religious views (Transcendentalists, Unitarians)? These type of people were like Emerson or Thoreau. Going back even further, the calvinists were kicked out of Harvard in 1805. This was before many of those midwestern states were even settled.

Boston was a hot-bed of "left-wing" religious views going back to the 1630s. As soon as the Puritans stepped off the boat, they had people wanting to take their spiritual and political vision for the community in a different direction from the new establishment. It's the protesting spirit of radical Protestantism crashing in on itself.
88  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Michigan House passes bill legalizing religious discrimination on: December 09, 2014, 03:28:30 pm
But guys, the gays can just call a different ambulance if the one they get is too homophobic. It's the magic of the free market!
Hospitals don't allow ambulance workers to decide things like that based on their personal beliefs. Would this bill prevent hospitals from firing workers who refused to serve gays? If so, the bill itself is a restriction on the free market.

No.  This bill doesn't say anything about allowing people to refuse to treat gays.  It says a person cannot be forced by the government to do something against their beliefs unless 1) it is for a compelling state interest and 2) it is the least restrictive method for carrying that out.  This bill makes Michigan law the same on these issues as federal law. It's scary stuff to someone who doesn't want religious freedom to stand in the way of state governments forcing people to do stuff.
89  General Discussion / History / Re: The KKK was crucial to building GOP strength in the South on: December 09, 2014, 03:16:44 pm
So the South always hated blacks (and still do), but without the cohesion of the KKK to bring them together they couldn't be a GOP stronghold?

Yeah, hardly crucial. The study suggests it was a couple of points at the margins - the sort of effect that might make a difference in Reagan winning a few Southern states in 1980 but would have been relatively irrelevant in 1984.
90  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Cop in Eric Garner's death not indicted on: December 08, 2014, 02:49:18 pm

In that case it ran the risk of backfiring if the jury felt strongly like they needed to indict him for something. 

Considering that the grand jury was drawn from Staten Island residents with some disqualified by the prosecutor, he was surely certain this was no risk.

that doesn't follow.

When an experienced prosecutor does not want to indict, he, in all likelihood, knows how to make sure there is no indictment. We may be safe in assuming that this guy knew what he was doing.

I'm honestly not interested in a deterministic black box response to this question.

When you leave off the most obvious and easiest to prove charge as a potential option for the Grand Jury, it's hard to think otherwise.

Otherwise than what?  He can stack the deck in favor of no indictment, that doesn't mean he can guarantee it.
91  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Cop in Eric Garner's death not indicted on: December 08, 2014, 02:21:35 pm

In that case it ran the risk of backfiring if the jury felt strongly like they needed to indict him for something. 

Considering that the grand jury was drawn from Staten Island residents with some disqualified by the prosecutor, he was surely certain this was no risk.

that doesn't follow.

When an experienced prosecutor does not want to indict, he, in all likelihood, knows how to make sure there is no indictment. We may be safe in assuming that this guy knew what he was doing.

I'm honestly not interested in a deterministic black box response to this question.
92  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / U.S. Presidential Election Results / Re: Who was the last republican nominee to win new york city? on: December 08, 2014, 01:57:16 pm
It surprises me that both the "progressive/liberal" republican party of the 19th and early 20th century and the conservative republican party of today both get crushed there.

Did NYC switch from conservatism to liberalism at the same time the Rs switched from liberalism to conservativism?

The Republicans have generally always been the party of business and of religiously (Protestant) motivated crusades (In those day's abolition and prohibition/temperance, as well as the public schools).

All of those reforms were opposed by the German and Irish Catholic immigrant groups. Abolition would bring blacks into competition for their jobs whilst slavery kept them safely down south (Dred Scott is in my view the key that causes this viewpoint to shift as it raised the specter of slavery itself bringing about that very competition. Hence why Lincoln emphasized "all Slave or all free". It was brilliant political strategy as it forced these pro-slavery northerns to flip and vote for a moderate anti-slavery Republian like Lincoln both in 1858 [he won the collective popular vote but lost since Senators were elected by state legislature] and 1860. This did not include NYC where Lincoln lost and barely carried the state by a narrow margin thanks to solid support upstate and NYC was one of the hotbeds of copperhead sympath during the war (Fernando Wood?) as well as the site of the NYC draft riots (those same pro-slavery working class Irish Democrats against the blacks)). Prohibition of alcohol interferred with the strong heritage of strong spirits and beer amongst those immigrant groups. Also the Republicans being of Congregational (Puritan) New England and Midwestern stock largely, preferred that the King James Bible be read in said public schools and Catholic immigrants wanted nothing to do with that. So instead they opened parochial schools and Republicans tried to ban school choice to force them to go to public schools and be tought the "good (Protestant) Christian education lest they be condemned to hell for eternity".

German immigrants typically did not have any particular opposition to abolition itself.  The Kansas-Nebraska Act was deeply unpopular, and the "forty eighter" immigrants especially were strongly anti slavery. The main obstacle to German immigrants in supporting the Free Soil and Republican parties was the association with nativism and prohibition, and the traditional allegiance to Democrats of German Americans from older waves of immigration. Germans ended up voting Republican, bringing an anti-nativist, anti-prohibition voice into the party.
Looking at the House vote on the 18th amendment,  the Republican and Democratic parties both voted roughly 2-1 in favor.  The opposition to prohibition among Democrats in the North was overwhelmed by the support for it among Democrats in the rest of the country.
93  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Attempted Gas Attack on Furries in Chicago! on: December 08, 2014, 12:45:56 am
I see terrorist attacks are "off-topic" now. 
94  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Cop in Eric Garner's death not indicted on: December 08, 2014, 12:21:02 am

In that case it ran the risk of backfiring if the jury felt strongly like they needed to indict him for something. 

Considering that the grand jury was drawn from Staten Island residents with some disqualified by the prosecutor, he was surely certain this was no risk.

that doesn't follow.
95  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / U.S. Presidential Election Results / Re: Who was the last republican nominee to win new york city? on: December 07, 2014, 03:11:07 pm
The only other times the GOP won NYC were 1896 and 1920.

They won it in 1896, but not 1900 or 1904? That seems...strange.

Bryan's 1896 bimetalist populism campaign failed spectacularly in the Northeast.  Once the focus turned to other issues (imperialism, tariffs), the Democrats bounced back a bit there.
96  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Congressional Elections / Re: Hypothetical: DSCC invests in runoff, Keystone XL passes Senate and is vetoed on: December 07, 2014, 03:23:26 am
no executive action on immigration would have moved it a point or two in her favor.
97  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Elections / Re: Democratic-Republican Party Convention, December 2014 on: December 07, 2014, 03:11:10 am
x shua
98  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / U.S. Presidential Election Results / Re: Who was the last republican nominee to win new york city? on: December 07, 2014, 03:09:06 am
Coolidge won a plurality of the vote in New York City.  He had a relatively strong appeal with Catholics, and La Follette won a lot of the immigrant community vote, leaving less for the Democrats.

The only other times the GOP won NYC were 1896 and 1920.
99  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Congressional Elections / Re: Election Results by Congressional Districts, OFFICIAL THREAD on: December 07, 2014, 01:23:29 am
what was the data source? the lower threshold for showing up on the map?

The source was the 1976 Almanac of American Politics.  Is that what you were wondering?

What does the white mean? That the level of minorities are so low or something?

Yes, basically non-existent. 

I was wondering why it was 1974 congressional districts. That explains it.

Odd that ND doesn't show up for Native Americans. Perhaps it is a 5% threshold?
100  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Congressional Elections / Re: LA: 2014 Senatorial Open Runoff Election Result on: December 07, 2014, 01:14:58 am

I wasn't as far off from the prediction I made 3 weeks ago as I thought I would be:
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