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1  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Government / Re: HB 2016-1063 - The Full Employment and (G.R.O.W) Act (DEBATING) on: December 07, 2016, 03:07:31 am
What about the stability of the sin tax revenues. Generally speaking, such taxes reduce the consumption of those products and thus the revenues generated from them.

As for the currency manipulation, it presumes that China would attempt to respond "in kind" for which as the link says there are limited assets held by the US. On the other hand they could in fact curb purchasing of such debts which would drive up interest rates on the very debt needed to fund this $1 trillion bill, no?
2  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Government / Re: HB 2016-1058 - Support Our Steelworkers Act of 2015 (FINAL VOTE) on: December 07, 2016, 02:44:14 am
Remember the last time that we tried this, we failed to save Bethlehem Steel and in the end only ended up weakening the Auto industry further contributing to that industries "lost decade".

What we should have instead is the empowering of the SoI or perhaps even SoS (depending on who one considers more appropriate) to enact countervailing tariffs as an enforcement mechanism against dumping and other practices that are engaged solely to steel market share. The same would go for currency manipulation as well.

I sympathize with Goldwater's positioning but it is the case though that engaging in a policy of free trade with a neo-mercantilist state like China is not going to produce free trade. It is merely conceding certain industries through unilateral disarmament. The simple fact of the matter is that when you have other nations playing by different rules, basically "what is best for our manufacturing and our country", you have a situation where you are basically forced to take practical measures. In theory free trade would be best, but it doesn't work unless everyone plays by the same mentality and same rules and therefore it is more idealistic in that sense than realistic.

That said you know protectionism generally is harmful, you know tariffs especially at these levels can be harmful.

That being said there are "tools" we can use to improve our position and as I said above the administration should be given the appropriate authority to assess on a case by case basis and then respond accordingly.
3  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Elections / Re: Leinad for South Senate - Freedom - Federalism - Fun on: December 07, 2016, 12:42:20 am
Let me sleep on it....I'll give you an answer in the morning

Since you and dfw like to send me PMs in the form of song lyrics. Tongue
4  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Government / Re: HB 2016-1063 - The Full Employment and (G.R.O.W) Act (DEBATING) on: December 04, 2016, 05:18:56 am
Some parts of this are good.

Payroll tax holiday is one of the most effective means to stimulate demand and hiring. I agree with leading with that. Several of the other tax measures like expensing (good for boosting investment and durable goods orders), have promise.

Non Tax provisions like Infrastructure (provided it is built in such a way that we get the projects done and have the benefits of the project not just the spending for sake of spending. Basically more List then Keynes paying people to dig holes to nowhere), and Mortgage refinance are good as well.

If you want to stimulate the economy, it is not just about spending money. How you spend it matters.

1. Expand disposable incomes (Payroll tax cut, lower interest rates, refinancing, and cheaper energy are critical to this). This goes for both consumers and business.
2. Boost Investment long term and highly beneficial areas. (Expensing, lower interest rates, repatriation, infrastructure etc). This goes for both business and gov't.
3. Durational Safety net boosts - some of this automatic.

One should then go through each provision and ask whether it helps one or more of these objectives, or hampers one or more of these objectives.
5  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Elections / Re: Office of Northern Senator Scott [HEALTHCARE, HEALTHCARE, HEALTHCARE] on: December 04, 2016, 04:59:21 am
This issue has been troubling me for some weeks and I have been developing a growing fear that we will likely end up the equivalent (relative to the status quo) of the 2012 Healthcare law. That is improving the existing system but missing the boat on some key problems.

The Co-ops and Medicare Buy in are good ideas, don't get me wrong. However, I must say that the continued piecemeal approach to health insurance (I think this is like 33%) and complete failures to address delivery, Shortages of supply (both physicians and facilities), integrating and revolutionizing technology both in medicine, delivery and support systems, and of course Liability costs, will hamper the improvements and leave us needing to reform again down the road.

Not saying we shouldn't proceed with these improvements to at least move the ball down the court, just that we need to be mindful of reality of the situation, and (assuming we have realistic forecasts, which with the reset I have every expectation of), we will realize just how large the basketball court is.
6  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Government / Re: Senate Confirmation Hearing: North Carolina Yankee for Vice President (Debating) on: December 04, 2016, 04:45:21 am
I've known Yankee throughout all my years here (which isn't saying much, considering he is the Robert Byrd of Atlasia Tongue), and I wholeheartedly support his nomination.

My only questions for the nominee are those of curiosity: since you and President Blair are taking the unprecedented move of serving as "Co-Presidents," how much of a role do you plan to have in the first half of this administration?  Do you plan on retaining the traditionally minor role that our Vice Presidents have had, or would you intend on using the office to pursue more ambitious goals?  What parts of the office would you like to see changed, if at all?

I plan to help with whatever Blair needs. There was talk about a role in Foreign Policy and I know Rpryor expressed interest in that course during our campaign and I am pleased Blair incorporate it in his Executive Order, I think there is a substantial potential in that venue, but I would leave it up to the President to determine the exact nature of that role. My foreign policy views have shifted over the years and I have become far more restrained/cautious/limited, on the other hand when it comes to establishing a firm place for Foreign Policy in the game, "game necessitated activism" is in order to get the ball rolling.

Well I plan to make many changes, but they don't necessary require a change to the constitution/law. A good bit of it is a vast surge in VP engagement in Senate/House debate and direct coordination with the Senate PPT/House Speaker. As you may recall, I have certain "skills" when it comes to "persuading" members to be active. I will start with that, but those changes could easily disappear with my successor or future successors. Therefore cementing that involvement with clear, defined responsibilities would be a priority but of course rules changes are up to the chambers themselves. My opinions on that matter (which align closely with the Chief Justice) are well known.
7  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Place for Trump voters to repent on: December 04, 2016, 04:26:20 am
Trump voters, it's clear that Trump is not going to be the president you probably thought he was going to be. Just consider these:

- He's appointing people to his cabinet that have vast levels of experience in government.

"I know the best people, I will appoint the best people to make deals". He never said he wouldn't appoint people with gov't experience. He said he would appoint top businessmen and most of the economic cabinet posts are such.

- He said he wasn't a racist. Then he turns around and chooses Steve Bannon and Jeff Sessions for top positions in his administration.

"The only vote I regret, is voting against Session in 1986" - Arlen Specter just after becoming a Democrat.

Bannon is not personally a racist. I think he might be amoral to the point of willing to lie down with unacceptable types to achieve an end. He seems to be good as organizing a team and has some semblance of long term political strategy, which Trump needs to stay focused. Trump promised to hire "trained killers".

- He said he would repeal Obamacare in its entirety, now he has said he wants to keep select provisions exactly as they are.

He also said he wanted to keep those provisions during a primary debate though.

- He claimed to have an idea of how to run a government based on his business experience, however we now know that Obama has had to give him a crash course on things like the need to hire a full staff.

I was watching C-Span and they had a panel of White House officials from Clinton, Bush and Obama administrations. The one from the Bush administration said they "thought" they had an idea of how massive it would be as a result of governing Texas, but it turned out they were completely caught off guard. He even used a baseball analogy saying it was the equivalent of going from the best team in the country to the best team in the Galaxy.

- He is strongly considering appointing disgraced general David Petraeus to his cabinet

I doubt he would get Petraeus confirmed and I would not take seriously media reports about who is in the running for what.

- He is no longer committed to deporting all illegal immigrants
He took the same stance in September.

- He wants the SCOTUS to uphold Obergefell vs. Hodges
Semi-related: Trump ran against Cruz from the left on the Bathroom issue in Indiana.

- He is going to keep the U.S. in NATO
He never said otherwise. He said he was going to use the threat of leaving to force them to pony up their fair share of the costs.

All but Petraeus are things he was pledging to not do/promote in the campaign, and in the case of Petraeus, it's objectively bad for the country.

Actually a lot of this was stated during the campaign.

At best for a Trump voter, he's just Generic R. At worst for a Trump voter, he's a democrat in disguise that just agrees with Rs on a few select issues.

Faulty premise. Your entire post is built on the Donald Trump as seen by Trump's detractors, not his supporters and you are thus in now position to judge their satisfaction or disappointment. They never heard him pledge to appoint complete novices to gov't, or pull out of NATO just because he hates NATO/loves Russia. They heard him promise to appoint the best people and demand that our allies stop taking us for all we are worth and getting little in return for it except subsidizing their defense. 

It is time for Trump voters to repent and to admit that they should have went with either Gary Johnson or Hillary Clinton. This thread is the place to do that.

It is attitudes like this that created Donald Trump in the first place.
8  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Congressional Elections / Re: PA-Sen: Rep. Pat Meehan considers run against Sen. Bob Casey on: December 04, 2016, 03:58:58 am
It looks like after Bayh, Republicans aren't going to be cowed by the famous name anymore.

There is also another thing working against Casey. He attacked Santorum for breaking his term limit pledge and running for a third term. Granted, I don't think Casey explicitly made such a pledge, but he has been there twelve years and I would presume based on Trumps win in the state that there is much dissatisfaction, precisely among the working class voters that were Casey's base.

All that said, Meehan might very well not be the best candidate to take advantage of that.

I would like to see Jim Gerlach make a comeback. He is a seasoned campaigner who survived both 2006 and 2008 in a Kerry district.
9  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Lewandowski: Cruz campaign helped Trump win NH primary on: December 04, 2016, 03:44:23 am
Let me see if I understand: the campaigns of Trump and Cruz decided to engage in collusion because Kasich dared to threaten them in one primary state? Jeff Roe should be prosecuted for this.

Let me get this straight:
  • Cruz spent seven months of his campaign angling to be the second choice for Donald Trump supporters if and when their candidate imploded.
  • Cruz's campaign manager called Trump's campaign to give them a heads-up when such an implosion appeared imminent.

Either Cruz hired the biggest idiots in political strategy, or even his own campaign could not stand him. Did they really think that Kasich was going to be their biggest adversary heading in South Carolina, Nevada, and a South-heavy Super Tuesday?
For Cruz, Kasich's ideology and campaign posed a far bigger threat to him and his extremist, right-wing allies. Apparently Trump's opposition to centrism and "the establishment" was more important than morals.

Jeff Roe practically killed someone to keep them from running for MO Governor.

I have learned through this cycle not to trust Corey Lewandowski as it is has been patently clear that he has been fabricating crap to keep himself relevant.

Keep this in mind. The supposed "architect" of Trumps win in NH, was Corey. Now he is basically going out and saying, "Nope wasn't me, it was Lyin Ted".
10  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Voting Booth / Re: December 2016 - Southern Senator Special Election (Class I) on: December 04, 2016, 03:33:28 am

[ 1 ] PiT (the Physicist) of Louisiana
Independent (Federalist Party)

[ 2 ] Peebs of North Carolina
Independent (Labor Party)
11  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Government / Re: Senate Confirmation Hearing: North Carolina Yankee for Vice President (Debating) on: December 03, 2016, 12:54:06 pm
I would like to thank the Senate for giving me a hearing and I look forward to answering any questions posed by the members.

I won't be Vice President for very long, but my hope is that in the time that I do have in the position we can succeed in demonstrably improving both the involvement of the VP in mechanics of the Congress, as well as in other capacities.

12  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Government / Re: SB 2016-042 - The New Foreign Relations Review Act (Debating) on: November 30, 2016, 12:45:45 pm
Whatever happened with this?
13  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Government / Re: HB 2016-1060 - Employees Rights Act (DEBATING) on: November 30, 2016, 12:42:19 pm
So this gets rid of the time and a half for overtime pay?
14  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Government / Re: HB 2016-1057 - The Criminal Justice Act of 2016 (DEBATING) on: November 30, 2016, 12:39:47 pm
Undue pressure should be defined clearly otherwise this is an invitation for frivolous lawsuits over mere GOTV operations.
A very good point. I'd prefer that phrase to be struck altogether and replaced with a specific set of offenses (for instance, blackmail and threats of retribution).

Yes, exactly.

The biggest problem in this past cycle was generated by lack of clear definition of legal terms. We shouldn't expand that problem, but do everything possible to eliminate it. In doing so we will avoid people falling through the cracks or alternatively, people getting unfairly impacted (depending on your perspective), going forward.

Plus one has to draw from experiences. In he past I have had people flip out over simple GOTV PMs, and therefore such a vague text is an open invitation for such to lead to drawn out court cases and the like.
15  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Elections / Re: Trillionth Federalist Party HQ - For the Constitution and the Free Market!!! on: November 30, 2016, 12:32:36 pm
vi. Vacancies in the House of Representatives shall be filled by the executive of the effected Party; but should a vacancy occur as the result of the death, expulsion, or resignation of a Representative not being a member of a major Party, then a special election shall be held to chose a replacement to serve the remainder of the existing term.

To fill the present vacancy in the House of Representatives, I am hereby appointing AuH20 Republican.
16  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Government / Re: HB 2016-1057 - The Criminal Justice Act of 2016 (DEBATING) on: November 28, 2016, 12:24:53 pm
Undue pressure should be defined clearly otherwise this is an invitation for frivolous lawsuits over mere GOTV operations.
17  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Elections / Re: The Potomac Agreement: A Co-Presidency on: November 28, 2016, 12:15:48 pm

The Potomac Agreement II: Co-Presidency

In light of two tied Presidential elections, the divisive and divided nature of the game, and the need for true reform, we the co-signed, Former Senator Blair, and Associate Justice Yankee agree to a co-presidency on the following terms below.

1.) Fmr Senator Blair will swear into the Office of President upon the signing of this agreement, and will hold the office until Friday 6th January 2017. He will appoint Associate Justice Yankee to the office of Vice President.

2.) Associate Justice Yankee will then swear in as President on Friday 6th January 2017 with Governor Blair resigning, and will hold the office until the next President swears in after the February Presidential Elections.

3.) Both sides agree to work together to ensure a stable transition, a continued dialogue and a mission towards game reform.

X North Carolina Yankee

Assuming this is the official document.
18  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Transition Team/Cabinet Thread on: November 26, 2016, 04:38:54 am
The NYT dives into the behind the scenes of the ďGiuliani or Romney?Ē question for Secretary of State:


As a backup plan, some of Mr. Trumpís aides encouraged him to meet with Mr. Romney. Though some in Mr. Trumpís inner circle, like Reince Priebus, his choice for chief of staff, thought that such a meeting would anger the president-electís supporters, Mr. Trump went ahead. In the meantime, he started sounding out Mr. Giuliani on a different post, director of national intelligence. Mr. Trumpís advisers have discussed the role for Mr. Giuliani, but there has been no indication he wants it.

What many people believed would be a perfunctory meeting with Mr. Romney last weekend at Mr. Trumpís golf club in Bedminster, N.J., turned into something more substantial.

Mr. Trump liked Mr. Romney quite a bit, and was intrigued by the possibility of such a camera-ready option to represent the country around the globe, advisers to Mr. Trump said. The following day, Mr. Giuliani met with Mr. Trump and urged him to make a decision in one direction or the other.
Privately, Mr. Giuliani has expressed his frustration at going from front-runner for secretary of state to a contender who has to convince Mr. Trump of his strengths. He is particularly irritated over the focus on his business ties.

The option of a third person like General Kelly has gained currency in recent days inside the transition team. A respected leader, General Kelly served as the senior military assistant to former Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta. He led the Southern Command, responsible for all United States military activities in South and Central America, for four years under Mr. Obama. And his appointment would fit Mr. Trumpís inclination toward putting people with combat experience in senior foreign policy roles.

The media, with its insatiable appetite for drama, focuses on the Salt Lake City speech and Trump's criticism to highlight the distance between Romney and Trump. But at the end of the day they forget that their differences deal very much with style and personality more so then anything else. Likewise, they ignore that both Trump and Romney have similar experiences (business) and both grabbed their party's nominations largely by taking hard line stances on immigration. Finally, aside from personality and style, the biggest difference between the two is the Trump took such approaches and jacked them up to 11 and managed to win by doing so.

Personality, style and success/jealousy mask the marked similarities that exist regarding both their backgrounds and campaign emphasis. It frankly doesn't surprise me that Trump would come to view a turnaround artist with vast experience closing tough sales (or as Trump would call it, "making the best deals") and arguably one with a vast history of morphing based on the needs of the time (another commonality), over Rudy or most of the rest of these options when it comes to taking a foreign policy (even one the SoS might disagree with) and selling it to an unconvinced ally.

Take the two of them, put them on The Apprentice and ask yourself which one would Trump go for when it comes to a project based on making tough sales pitches to skeptical customers?

The interest in Romney, which has baffled the mainstream media and Trump's loyalist brigades, makes perfect sense when viewed in this light.
19  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Elections / Re: The Potomac Agreement: A Co-Presidency on: November 26, 2016, 04:04:53 am
I think it would be safer to do something like this:

1. Yankee concedes and Blair is inaugurated
2. At some point Blair appoints Yankee Vice President (elected VP stepping down)
3. After two months since taking office, Blair resigns, making Yankee President

I know, it sounds like more complications, but I prefer doing this rather than have another legal challenge, delaying everything. We can always amend the constitution later.

I agree with the caution expressed by the ever wise GM.

I PM Blair expressing my support for a slight variation of this arrangement as communicated to me in his most recent PM on the matter.
20  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election Results / Re: Why did Iowa Vote so Far to the Right This Year? on: November 22, 2016, 03:54:18 am
Iowa has always been viewed as the "liberal" Farm Belt state.  Pre-2016, it only went Republican once after Reagan's 1984 landslide.  Obama won it handily in 2008 and comfortably in 2012.  This time, however, Trump won there by 10%, even though Hillary Clinton's husband won there decisively both times in the 90s. 

What could cause it to go from such a decisive Obama state to such a Trump landslide state?  Did the politics really change that much?  Did Joni Ernst cast a Republican spell on the state's voters that lasted beyond 2014?

Go back before 1988 it has quite a Republican history. 1856-1908, 1916-1928, 1940-1984 (save for 48 and 64).

Iowa used to be heavily Republican and heavily conservative (in a nationalistic sort of way). A large portion of its population relocated to SoCal and AZ during the mid 20th century. This population loss combined with the farm crisis helped to push it into the Democratic column in 1988.

Trump's campaign message was a very good fit for Iowa.
21  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election Results / Re: Why did Iowa Vote so Far to the Right This Year? on: November 22, 2016, 03:44:46 am
I never understood why it voted Democrat so often.

I've heard that the state has a lot of "fiscally liberal, socially conservative" types, so it makes sense that the voted Republican in 2004 when social issues were a major focus.  But this wasn't a social issues election (I consider immigration to be separate from religious/moral based social issues).

Some polling in 2014 showed IA was rather more conservative on immigration than most other "swing states".
22  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Theda Skocpol vs John Judis on why Trump won on: November 22, 2016, 02:59:26 am
An interesting thought:

You say Trump had no organization. True enough for his own campaign. HRC had the typical well-funded presidential-moment machine, an excellent one. We on the center left seem to treat these presidential machines as organization, and they are, but they are not as effective as longstanding natural organized networks. To get some of those working for him, Trump made deals to get the NRA, Christian right and GOP federated operations on his side. They have real, extensive reach into nonmetro areas. But off the coasts, Democrats no longer have such reach beyond what a presidential campaign does on its own. Public sector and private sector unions have been decimated. And most of the rest of the Democratic-aligned infrastructure is metro based and focused. That infrastructure is also fragmented into hundreds of little issue and identity organizations run by professionals.

HRCís narrow loss was grounded in this absent non-metro infrastructure Ė and Dem Party losses in elections overall even more so. Obama overcame that deficit. But he is a once in half century figure.

So Trump really did make "the best deals". Wink

It is true that Trump had these organizations behind him, and going for Pence as VP helped him  a lot with those groups as well, but the real clincher was Scalia's death. With that Supreme Court seat on the line, these people would vote for an Atheist gun hater, if it meant a Conservative Justice.

But even beyond blowing the ceiling off among these base groups (besting Romney and Bush), Trump's winning argument was his populist, anti-Washington, anti-establishment message. It echoed what had won for the Republicans their massive victories in the Midwest in 2010 (including knocking off incumbents like Oberstar for instance that weren't even on the radar). The only path to victory for the Republicans was Libertarian-Populism, which I said throughout 2013 and 2014. I said back in early 2015, while dismissing the notion that Trump would even run "not to underestimate the power of a billionaire running a populist message in the rust belt". 
23  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Gubernatorial/Statewide Elections / Re: NC 2016 Gubernatorial Discussion Thread on: November 21, 2016, 04:40:43 am
Ah I see. Thanks! On a side note, it's quite amazing how split the NC electorate is. Almost all the statewide partisan races were decided by tiny margins, save for the Lt Gov race, which was still nothing substantial either.
Cherie Berry and Steve Troxler won by just over 10%.

Cherie Berry only won by such a huge margin because of her elevator signs. Steve Troxler's large margin of victory was much more legitimate, but only because virtually nobody outside of rural areas cares about his office.

I think it was best said on NCSpin the Sunday after the election. For decades, Democrats were the default party down ballot even as Republicans won the Presidency/Senate races. Now that has changed with the Republicans becoming the default party except those races where the Democrats stood out by virtue of greater resources like with Josh Stein or Roy Cooper.

This is the first time the Republicans will have a majority of these state constitutional offices.
24  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Bannon: Darkness is good, Satan is Power (not satire) on: November 21, 2016, 01:38:05 am
Probably threw that intentionally.

I get the feeling he enjoys tweaking the media and the left, just for the fun of it.

25  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Transition Team/Cabinet Thread on: November 21, 2016, 01:21:45 am

Donald Trump is apparently taking a close look at Massachusetts figures as the president-elect aims to fill his cabinet. Former U.S. Sen. Scott Brown told WCVB Friday night he is being considered to be the Secretary of Veteran Affairs.

I wish Brown was picked as VP instead of Mike "I'm a Christian, Conservative, and Republican, in that order" Pence.

Scott Brown was my preferred pick for most of last year. But it became clear after the convention and even more so after the election results came in, that Pence was essential. Trump could not have delivered that message on the court or wooed Evangelicals so successfully (he did better than Bush 43 and Romney among them), without a trusted messenger as his VP.

Without Pence, I think Trump would have lost.
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