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November 22, 2014, 06:57:08 pm
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News: Atlas Hardware Upgrade complete October 13, 2013.

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1  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Government / Re: Police Militarization and Civil Rights Act (Debating) on: Today at 10:38:06 am
Would you be interesting in a staged process? You sell it to NATO and hold what you don't sell for a defined period of time, at which point if there are no takers you scrap it and use the scrap value for this program.
2  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Congressional Elections / Re: 2014 Senate results by CD on: Today at 10:35:08 am
The second, seventh and fourth just make me sick. The first is probably even worse.
3  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Obama to announce executive order on immigration on: Today at 10:25:11 am
I was responding to King's "strong presidency" hypothetical.

If I wanted Obama to knuckle under, I would not have supported ACA. That is proof that the legislative process can work.

...when you have 60 senators from the majority party, which the Dems enjoyed for like 5 months in 2009. Unsustainable.


Coakley blew it, but in the end MA of all states voted in number 41 Scott Brown to stop the healthcare law. That says that somewhere along the line Democrats screwed up rather badly in the process of forming and passing the law. The size of he majority bred complacency as did the promises of its forty year longevity. They thought they had time to squabble over different components and such forth.

If Obama had started with immigration he would have had it by August of 2009 most likely.
4  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Congressional Elections / Re: Racism Powered Republican Triumph on: Today at 10:03:51 am
A much better thread title would be that apathy powered the Republican triumph. And if anything, the election shows that this tactic of defining Republicans as racist et al isn't enough to get them out to vote, not when they expected results and didn't get it. NC demonstrates that more than any other state.

Culture defines the limits of what a person is willing to vote for (a swing vote is merely that narrow tract that can decided between the two) in a polarized environment, but votes are still won and lost at the kitchen table and there is always a second option even if it means not voting.
5  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Congressional Elections / Re: 2014 Senate results by CD on: Today at 10:02:51 am
I cannot describe just how ugly I find this map.
6  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Congressional Elections / Re: Racism Powered Republican Triumph on: Today at 09:58:15 am
I hate to bump this, but I just noticed so much nonsense that I couldn't resist.

So you need six seats to win the majority, you win nine, three out of which are in the South (Confederacy defined) and it is because South is racist that Democrats lost the Senate?

Sure. The Republican electorate of this country nowadays is for all intents and purposes part of the South, because their present-day ideology has been irreversibly shaped by the dominance of Southerners in the Republican Party and its media. Southern culture as a whole is now altering the entire country's culture (much more so than vice-versa) as we become a larger share of the nation; why on God's green earth would that not apply to the politics of the region's dominant party? As I'm sure I don't have to tell you, there was a time in which Republicans from the North varied considerably from Republicans in the South and Republicans in the West; this really is no longer the case by and large (I'm talking about the electorate here, so please don't go into giving examples like Charlie Baker to refute). Republicans in Iowa and Colorado now respond in the same way to dog-whistling tactics as Republicans in Alabama respond to them. The Republican Party's belief system has been nationalized, and the Republican Party is now Southern.

I don't disagree with much in your post so I am at a loss as to your point. There has always been a degree of racism in the Midwest and West as well as the South and even the Northeast (Why Mecha, why?), but unless you think Conservatism is entirely underpinned by racism, it is hard to claim that it drove the bulk of Republican successes outside of those states that trended away from Obama (WV, LA, AR etc), anymore then it drove 2014 any other Republican victory going back for the last four decades and maybe you do.

Racism comes from a traditionalist mindset and so they would be naturally attracted to a Conservative Party over a liberal one, particularly over one that long ago cease to be marginally any better than the other in representing their economic interests. However, as long as the person they are voting for knows what they are fighting for and why, those voter's racism doesn't suddenly invalidate legitimate conservative points and ideology. You can play out this game to its furthest extent that you want and turn every conservative slogan into a dog whistle, but Conservatism isn't going to just disappear and the country will be all the worse for it being further divided. You would also be torturing yourself for with a two party system, "The Devil" is going to win sooner or later and to some exten I agree with Jon Stewart, in that you shouldn't demonize everything.

Plus in labeling everything as racist, you devalue the meaning of what true racism really is and run the risk of it being normalized behavior amongst a larger percentage of the population as opposed to the slow decline one could argue has been occuring over the past several decades, which I think is more what everyone desires.

I don't need to remind you also, that as the South grows it is changing and at a rapid pace. The Republican Party adapted its issue focus to cater to the South, ironically as a means to preserve itself as a conservative party and they tolerated far too much in the way of Helms, Thurmond etc to get there. The alterantive was somehow for a split to occur and with each party taking half of the racists and for two decades that was the case more or less, but you aren't going to just drop them in the ocean and if you don't want them as Democrats they are going to be Republicans (again two party system). At that point our only recourse is communication, education and eventually, generational change and that has done wonders over the decades to reduce their number.  Let that process of attrition continue.
7  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Who are the ten best Senators in America? on: Today at 01:24:08 am
Moran - Called it Tongue
Burr - Yes, I am entitled to be biased
Toomey - Same but it can be justified more here.
Paul - He has impressed me in a lot of ways
Barasso - Generic Conservative who doesn't cause problems and votes the right way on what I care about
Risch - same
Roberts - same
Crapo - same
Sessions - I don't agree with him 100%, but he is the only one occupying the message space that some Democrats did in 2007 and it needs to be present in the conversation.
Portman I guess

Sullivan, Ernst, Cotton, Gardner and Capito have a good chance of making it on here next year.
8  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Former Virginia Senator Jim Webb launches exploratory committee! on: Today at 01:10:31 am
I want to like Webb, but I'm not sure I can vote for him.  I can post a link later if anyone's interested, but I believe I once read that he's written some pretty sketchy stuff about the the run-up to the Civil War and the Confederacy (including that he was at least somewhat supportive of "popular sovergnity" and implying that the South had a right to secede, IIRC).  I hope it was distorted or taken out-of-context somehow because as I said earlier, there is a lot to like about Webb.  However, if the article was right, then that's a deal-breaker as far as I'm concerned.

Yes I do recall that as well regarding the right to secede.
9  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Who are the ten worst Senators in America? on: Today at 12:59:59 am
Reid, Inhofe, McCain, Murkowski, Cruz, Schumer, Hagan, Casey, Graham, and I guess Menendez
10  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Former Virginia Senator Jim Webb launches exploratory committee! on: Today at 12:53:31 am
Webb can have some appeal but he is going to have to deal with a couple of issues. One is that he voted against the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2007, essentially being the deciding vote killing the Bill (which puts him to the right of GW Bush). The other is that he has spoken out against affirmative action.

Deciding vote?
http://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/roll_call_vote_cfm.cfm?congress=110&session=1&vote=00235

Vote Counts: YEAs 46
 NAYs 53
 Not Voting 1

It couldn't even get a majority.

And Webb was hardly alone amongs Democrats:
Baucus (D-MT), Nay
Bayh (D-IN), Nay
Bingaman (D-NM), Nay
Brown (D-OH), Nay
Byrd (D-WV), Nay
Dorgan (D-ND), Nay
Harkin (D-IA), Nay
Landrieu (D-LA), Nay
McCaskill (D-MO), Nay
Nelson (D-NE), Nay
Pryor (D-AR), Nay
Rockefeller (D-WV), Nay
Sanders (I-VT), Nay
Stabenow (D-MI), Nay
Tester (D-MT), Nay
Webb (D-VA), Nay
11  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Government / Re: Confirmation Hearing: Dr. Cynic for GM on: Today at 12:30:00 am
I think we can proceed to a vote now, no?
12  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Government / Re: Amendments to the Senate Rules (Debating) on: Today at 12:28:16 am
Hoping for perfection out of brand new set of rules was foolish. There are going to need to be several of these to resolve various problems as they arise most likely.
13  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Government / Re: Confirmation Hearing: Potus 2036 for SoEA/SecState on: Today at 12:26:35 am
Aye
14  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Government / Re: Confirmation Hearing: RPryor for Deputy AG on: Today at 12:23:38 am
AYE
15  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Obama to announce executive order on immigration on: Today at 12:19:01 am
"Secure the border" has become a catch all phrase for general enforcement. The emphasis on it is a mistake thus. As we have seen there is no faith in the President to actually enforce the law amongst Republicans and even some independents, and furthering that only puts us further away from an actual resolution to the problem. I should note that the 2007 Immigration bill that crashed and burned was deeply unpopular even as polling showed support for a path of some kind by like a 10% to 15% margin at the time.

The real reason that system is broken, legal immigration problems aside (they need to be fixed) is because there is no desire to keep to the numbers you set. At some point you have say this is the absolute limit and beyond that no, and if you come anyway, you will be deported (and you have to mean it), even as you legalize those that are here now. That is how you arrive at a permenent fix. As long as all you are willing to both now and in the future, is to deport those who commit crimes other than that of illegal immigration to the US, the problem continues and the system will remain broken.

Ironically, the executive branch has done more to break the system then Congress, though both are responsible. So once again the touted fix/reform is the perpetuation of the status quo, which seems to be the going thing on this issue.
16  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Obama to announce executive order on immigration on: Today at 12:10:42 am
Disagree with the way he did it, and the executive action doesn't go far enough securing our border with Mexico, which makes me hesitant to support the other aspects of the law, which I would otherwise gladly embrace.

The over-emphasis on border security ignores critical enforcement aspects and is part of why we have a bill  that throws a bunch of money at the border combined with amnesty and opponents are left having to square "lack of border security" as a justification with a bill that ostensibly includes a lot of border security.

1. You have to secure the border, but you reach a point where further such resources yields diminishing results...
17  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Congressional Elections / Re: Election Results by Congressional Districts, OFFICIAL THREAD on: November 21, 2014, 08:58:41 pm
Sometimes I forget that we used to have one of the Idaho seats. Those days seem so far away now...

We held 3/4 districts in both Mississippi and Arkansas, a majority of seats in Indiana and Tennessee, every single seat in New England, all but three seats in New York...

All but two in New York after McHugh resigned and Owens won leaving only Peter King and Christopher Lee as Republican incumbents in the state. It only lasted three or four months until Eric Massa resigned.
18  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Do you approve of Obama's executive orders on immigration? on: November 21, 2014, 08:38:02 pm
Disagree with the way he did it, and the executive action doesn't go far enough securing our border with Mexico, which makes me hesitant to support the other aspects of the law, which I would otherwise gladly embrace.

The over-emphasis on border security ignores critical enforcement aspects and is part of why we have a bill  that throws a bunch of money at the border combined with amnesty and opponents are left having to square "lack of border security" as a justification with a bill that ostensibly includes a lot of border security.

1. You have to secure the border, but you reach a point where further such resources yields diminishing results and as long as the flow is too high, weeding out the terrorists and smugglers becomes impossible and more resources makes less and less of an impact.

2. You have to require e-verify and enforce the work place.

3. I think 40% of illegals are visa overstays, you need a fully funded entry/exit system and you need to enforce aggressively so there is less desire to just overstay.

4. When it comes time to enforce you have to do it. You have to be able to say no to people when yo uset the numbers for legal immigration and you have to being willing to deport people when they come in violation of the law.

People say the system is broken, but the reason it is broken aside from the problems with the legal system is that the enforcement never materializes. Declining to enforce the law becuase the system is broken because of lack of enforcement, therefore can never fix the underlying problem that is the root of the situation, it extends and worsens it.
19  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Obama to announce executive order on immigration on: November 21, 2014, 07:53:15 pm
Six consecutive posts seems a bit much.

I wanted to break the last three points out into their own discussions as they really deserve it.

Ironically I sympathize with King's overall point about the horrible nature of congress and ironically I would include this issue of immigration in my magic list of horrible things that Congress has done but it cannot be contrasted with the Executive because typically they led the charge or played along as Congress passed a flawed bill like in 1986.

I also wanted to acknowedge the last paragraph of King's post because I missed it initially, but it barely changes the points that I made because his standard seems to vary with each point and some of the things he listed were either examples where all three branches were terrible (Civil War) or merely an exmaple where the President led but Congress was hardly hostile to the attempt (New Deal and the Wars). My preference is to avoid creating those nasty little openings for various people on hear to put words in my mouth, but on the flip side I would prefer to avoid walls of text that no one reads and that I no longer have the time to create anymore.
20  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Obama to announce executive order on immigration on: November 21, 2014, 07:40:46 pm
If the GOP is really upset about this then pass a bill to deal with the undocumented. They can either find a path to legal status or appropriate funds (2012 study estimated to be $285B) to deport them all. Those are their two choices.

There is always more then two options.
21  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Obama to announce executive order on immigration on: November 21, 2014, 07:38:52 pm
7. Segregation

This is full of irony because prior to Truman, it was Congress always trying to force the hands of the PResident and Senate into action. While FDR ignored them and his own wife on the issue for the sake of his New Deal, so that he wouldn't have to force number 5 on your list of Congressional accomplishments through among others and they would said through instead.
22  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Obama to announce executive order on immigration on: November 21, 2014, 07:34:55 pm
4. Starting the Civil War

Congress set the stage by failing to resolve the crisis in advance over years of it building up. However, it was the Supreme Court rulling, involving a President violating the seperation of powers in the process, that pushed the two sides beyond the point of no return and created the majority in the North ready to back a Lincoln. It was then the same Constitution violating President, who then sat and did nothing as the first seven states walked out of the union and let his Secretary of War transfer military resources to the South with no oversight so that it coudl be seized and used by the soon to be formed Confederacy. The Civil War's beginning is no example of Executive Competence against Congressional inaction, the exact opposite is true.
23  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Obama to announce executive order on immigration on: November 21, 2014, 07:28:28 pm
Name me one thing the Congress forced a US President to sign that was good for this country. Name me one thing a US President forced the Congress to pass that was bad.

Oh I see your standard now. Typically though, The Presidents work with congress like with the Wars you mention, or worked with allies in the Congress like with 13th Amendment to get the job done. And as for the Wars, what degree of forcing was necessary? All but 1 in both instances voted for war. If there was ever a case of a President forcing a Congress to eat a war, it was in 2007 and 2008 with Iraq. In most all other cases, they were along for the ride. Unless there is an implication that Wilson/FDR had some kind of secret involvement in the Zimmerman Note/Pearl Harbor. There attempts to produce involvement didn't gain traction until a threat to the homeland was established.
24  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Obama to announce executive order on immigration on: November 21, 2014, 07:22:20 pm
King has really knocked it out of the park in this thread. God damn.

Actually he tripped up rather badly from a historical perspective.
25  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Obama to announce executive order on immigration on: November 21, 2014, 07:21:44 pm
In fact the comparison is very apt, because the Emancipation Proclamation was a war time power and could very well have been nullfied by the Supreme Court or rescinded by a future President. Only Congressional action could provide the necessary permenance to deal with the issue.

Likewise with immigration, governing by executive order is exactly the wrong approach because it means that is subject to the arbitrary nature of the President's political whims and that very instability in policy will worsen the underlying problem on that subject.
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