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1  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Kids of Republicans pull parents to the left on gay marriage on: Today at 12:48:45 pm
I made the case on law and order -- that gay-bashing is a violent and inexcusable act, that a straight person can't reliably prove that he is straight to the satisfaction of an angry bigot, and that whatever reduces antipathy toward gays and lesbians reduces the possibility of violent crimes against real or imagined homosexuals.

Law and order is the first civil right; without it civil rights are pipe dreams.

I made this case to two different people, conservatives for different reasons. One is about as pure a free-enterprise advocate as is possible.  The other is a fundamentalist Christian.  
2  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Connecticut ranked best state to live on: Today at 07:54:02 am
I rated Minnesota #1 for having the highest average statewide credit score. Minnesota residents are less likely to get into credit trouble -- and people are more likely to get into credit trouble by under-earning or having some catastrophic event  than by going on a binge at the mall.

Credit scores do not adjust for income. Thus having a low cost of living but lower pay (living in a low-cost state) does not get penalized in contrast  to living in a high-cost and high-wage state. Earning $40K a year in New York City does not mean the same as earning $40K a year in Mississippi.

3  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Connecticut ranked best state to live on: April 27, 2015, 09:50:43 pm
Hawaii could become the state in the Union most hostile to cancerweed by increasing the minimum age for buying tobacco products to 21.
4  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Should homosexual activity be banned? on: April 27, 2015, 09:40:24 pm
OK. Farting is more uniformly disgusting. Should we ban it?
5  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential General Election Polls / Re: 2016 Official Polling Map Thread on: April 27, 2015, 02:16:24 pm
When Rick Snyder announces that he is running for President, then Michigan will be polled.
6  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: I see the GOP being the dominant Party in the US for decades to come on: April 27, 2015, 10:36:54 am
Republican wins in 2010 and 2014 were legitimate, obviously. But you can't seriously argue they have a bigger mandate when Democrats comfortably won the last two elections that had WAY higher turnout. Higher turnout, bigger mandate, plain and simple. Call me when the "dominant" GOP comfortably wins a high turnout presidential election and we'll talk.

The point. The Presidential elections of 1980 and 1984 were stronger evidence of a Republican party gaining dominance in the political scene.

The telling refutation of the idea that the GOP is on the verge of dominance are

(1) abysmal approvals of Republican-dominated state legislatures and Congress
(2) Barack Obama winning two Presidential elections decisively
(3) positive approval of a lame-duck President

The voters who voted in 2006, 2008, and 2012 but stayed home in 2010 and 2014 may be slow to get the lesson -- but if they ever do, the GOP will need to change its agenda

People may be disappointed with President Obama, but not for what he sought -- they still want it. The GOP has little to offer.

7  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: George W. Bush Bashes Obama on Middle East on: April 27, 2015, 08:49:09 am
I don't trust Iran either.  That's not to say we should never engage with them, but let's be a tad more careful.

If the US had trusted Iran for a long time, there would be diplomatic re4lations and no sanctions.

Iran is a big player in the struggle against ISIS... the Iranian government may be a piece of work, but nowhere near as bad as the pure evil that is ISIS.
8  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Gay marriage opponents' strategy uncertain in 2015 on: April 27, 2015, 08:46:54 am
We could see something big tomorrow. I am convinced that the Supreme Court will make the decision national quickly. Federal rulings tend to apply to all states unless something very specific relates to one state or a few, as on voting rights.
9  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: George W. Bush Bashes Obama on Middle East on: April 27, 2015, 08:32:34 am
Harsh judgment from someone who has consistently shown bad judgment would be a sick joke -- except that Dubya is a humorless man.

If the criticism had come from the elder Bush, whose foreign policy was generally right, I would have legitimate concern about the foreign policy of President Obama. But consider the source; it is like listening to someone at the saloon who has had a few too many discuss politics.
10  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential General Election Polls / Re: 2016 Official Polling Map Thread on: April 27, 2015, 08:20:32 am
Virginia, Christopher Newport University (never heard of them)

48-46 Bush/Clinton (Feb. poll: 48-43 Clinton)
47-45 Clinton/Christie (Feb. poll: 49-42 Clinton)
49-47 Clinton/Paul (Feb. poll: 52-42 Clinton)
49-46 Clinton/Huckabee (Feb. poll: 52-42 Clinton)
49-45 Clinton/Rubio (Feb. poll: 51-42 Clinton)
49-44 Clinton/Cruz (Feb. poll: not polled)
48-43 Clinton/Walker (Feb. poll: not polled)

How the survey was conducted:

The results of this poll are based on 658
interviews of registered Virginia voters,
including 388 on landline and 270 on cell phone,
conducted April 13-24, 2015. Percentages may
not equal 100 due to rounding. The margin of
error for the whole survey is +/- 4.6% at the 95%
level of confidence. All error margins have been
adjusted to account for the survey’s design
effect, which is 1.47 in this survey. The design
effect is a factor representing the survey’s
deviation from a simple random sample, and
takes into account decreases in precision due to
sample design and weighting procedures. In
addition to sampling error, the other potential
sources of error include non-response, question
wording, and interviewer error. The response
rate (AAPOR RRI Standard Definition) for the
survey was 19%. Five callbacks were employed
in the fielding process. Live calling was
conducted by trained interviewers at the Wason
Center for Public Policy Survey Research Lab at
Christopher Newport University. The data
reported here are weighted using an iterative
weighting process on sex, age, race and region of
residence to reflect as closely as possible the
demographic composition of registered voters in
Virginia. The survey was designed by Dr.
Quentin Kidd of the Wason Center for Public
Policy at Christopher Newport University.

Hillary Clinton vs. Jeb Bush

Hillary Clinton vs. Mike Huckabee

Hillary Clinton vs. Rand Paul

Hillary Clinton vs. Marco Rubio

Hillary Clinton vs. Scott Walker

30% -- lead with 40-49% but a margin of 3% or less
40% -- lead with 40-49% but a margin of 4% or more
60% -- lead with 50-54%
70% -- lead with 55-59%
90% -- lead with 60% or more

11  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential General Election Polls / Re: 2016 Official Polling Map Thread on: April 27, 2015, 08:14:41 am
54-34 Clinton/Christie
55-32 Clinton/Bush
59-30 Clinton/Rubio
58-29 Clinton/Paul
59-26 Clinton/Cruz

Hillary Clinton vs. Jeb Bush

Hillary Clinton vs. Mike Huckabee

Hillary Clinton vs. Rand Paul

Hillary Clinton vs. Marco Rubio

Hillary Clinton vs. Scott Walker

30% -- lead with 40-49% but a margin of 3% or less
40% -- lead with 40-49% but a margin of 4% or more
60% -- lead with 50-54%
70% -- lead with 55-59%
90% -- lead with 60% or more

12  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: I see the GOP being the dominant Party in the US for decades to come on: April 26, 2015, 09:51:51 pm
Democrat Party's strategic obsession with racial demagoguery  and 'demographics' have caused a white exodus from the party.  They've been able to stem this enough to cobble together a coalition in presidential years by using the homosexual issue and making things up about the GOP about birth control, et al.

Racial demagoguery? Do you really think that Barack Obama tries it?

The 'white exodus' is basically in the American South. The South has had a very different political culture from the rest of the US, even with places equally conservative at the time.

The problem for the Republican party is that non-white, non-Christian, non-Anglo, and non-straight middle class voters are not going Republican despite fitting most of the traits associated with Eisenhower-era conservatism.

A recent poll showed that roughly 3/5 of the American public support the legalization of same-sex marriage. Republicans are riding a dead horse if they try to exploit that increasingly-irrelevant issue. 

I do think that many Democrats do tend to be  overconfident - the midterm losses they suffered in the Obama years were nothing short of historic.  I think it was something like 900 state legislative seats. The difference is this time, the party has hopefully learned that we have a conservative for a candidate to bring a coalition of our own to the polls. Someone who is actually there to fight hard and win as opposed to a hard-left candidate like Romney or McCain.

Problem: someone better described as 'crazy' or 'cruel' instead of 'conservative' can bring Democrats out to vote. 
13  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Jewish Student Posts Hindu Symbol, is Investigated for Anti-Semitic Hate Crime on: April 26, 2015, 08:19:40 pm
Arizona used to use these state highway signs:

It's clear that that swastika, in view of its location on an arrowhead, had nothing to do with 'Aryan' supremacy.
14  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Scientists agree: guns make society less safe on: April 26, 2015, 08:12:10 pm
The tagline for the article, "That's a fact" is ridiculous........consensus doesn't determine facts, and this is a far less commanding consensus then on say, evolution or the Earth being older than 6000 years old.

Also, since the thesis was guns make society LESS SAFE, not less safe vs more safe, the "consensuses" are 72-28, 64-36, 73 vs 27, 62 vs 38, and 71 vs 29.  These are hardly unanimous verdicts.

It's a poll. It might not even be 'scientific' if the people polled are scientists. But that suggests a landslide.  For real protection, get a dog; few criminals want to face some of the most brutal fangs in the animal world.
Furthermore, Freaknoomics did good research on this and found a house with a swimming pool is far more dangerous than one with a gun.

On the other side, having and using a swimming pool is one way to get excellent exercise that might lengthen one's life expectancy. You keep the pool behind lock and key; you make sure that anyone who brings small children to the pool watches them; above all you do not allow drunks at the pool. Of adults who drown in swimming pools, I can only imagine what percentage are drunk at the time.

I do feel like the left tends to grab on to "consensus" as some buzz-word to avoid actually debating issues at times.  

Here's a good source to learn a little bit more about the pro-gun rights side:

Without reading the site -- some people have had circumstances in which a gun stopped a horrible crime. On the other hand people have

(1) shot the wrong person
(2) misinterpreted a situation as life-and-death when it wasn't
(3) been too hesitant to fire
(4) been overpowered for the gun
(5) committed suicide with a gun
15  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Snyder set to announce soon. on: April 25, 2015, 01:58:04 pm
RINO who vetoed voter ID and supports genderless marriage , nothing to see here

Isn't he the reason that Michigan is the only blue state without SSM?  I'm pretty sure he's opposed.
He defends the ban because he's faithful to his oath of office. He won't say if he supports it personally.

“When I became governor, I took an oath to support and defend our state constitution, without exceptions,” Snyder said in a statement, referencing the 2004 voter-approved amendment that defined marriage as between one woman and one man.

“My obligation to carry out that oath is not a matter of personal preference. As I have said throughout this process, I will respect the court’s decision as it examines the legality of same-sex marriage.”

Snyder has consistently declined to take a stance on the underlying issue — whether the same-sex marriage ban is good public policy — which has led to criticism from gay rights supporters.


He could have encouraged the Michigan Snake Legislature to put SSM rights on the ballot in 2014 to determine whether Michigan voters would have gone for it. Instead he lets the federal courts (now the US Supreme Court) decide.
16  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Congressional Elections / Re: Why did the Republicans get massacared in 1958 despite IKE popularity on: April 25, 2015, 01:20:45 pm
Ike was popular but the GOP was not.

The point. Just look at the results of the 1952 and 1956 Presidential elections. Eisenhower won Massachusetts and Rhode Island, the only two Northern states that did not go for Herbert Hoover in 1928 (then fairly recent history)... and he is the only Republican since 1924 to win both Massachusetts and Minnesota in the same Presidential election, and he did that twice. (Nixon got a 49-state landslide in 1972 without Massachusetts, and Reagan got a 49-state landslide in 1984 without Minnesota).

This was the height of the country club GOP era. The Republicans had not broken into the suburbs of the South as much yet. They were basically a Northern Suburbs plus Vermont (insert ancestrally Republican rural areas) Party. Rockefeller and Javits types could win upscale liberals in urban areas as well as a lot of working class types in those areas. However, union dominated and ethnic urban and surburban areas were Democratic Territory in the New Deal Era. In order to win a majority these people had to vote Republican or not turn out (think back to 1920 when they didn't turnout and the Republicans won supermajorities because of it. By the 1950's they needed that same effect, just to win a majority in Congress).

Eisenhower manifestly won millions who did not play golf. It is true that Republicans had yet to break into the Southern suburbs, but not for any fault of their political competence;  the South was then much more rural in population. The South had few suburbs, and its cities were much smaller. 

What did Ike do right? He posed no threat to the New Deal, and he did not jump onto the Red-baiting bandwagon of Senator Joseph McCarthy. Other Republicans railed against the New Deal and jumped onto the Joseph McCarthy bandwagon -- and they would pay a political price for such folly. Defeat.

There was the recession of 1957-1958, which moved many of those voters to turn out for the Democrats.

Such played a role. Democrats played up the New Deal as a back-up to an unregulated market.
17  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Congressional Elections / Re: Ron Johnson: Students Graduating Late because "College is Fun" on: April 25, 2015, 10:49:13 am
They are graduating late in part because they are stressed financially.

During the Bush II disaster, the federal government heavily pushed for-profit education, often from overpriced but substandard schools that offer a little bit of specialized training but little real education. The Obama Administration has been shutting down some of those schools or putting pressure on those that remain to get better results -- but that takes time. Those schools get execrable results.

Students focused on the cost of education are more focused on activities that get them hired quickly even if those activities allow practically no professional growth.

The cost of college education needs to be addressed. College education used to be heavily subsidized, so people who might have still ended up with proletarian jobs might become leaders. What is wrong with someone graduating from college, getting or keeping a job in an auto plant, becoming a union steward to find some meaning in his job, and using some of what he learned in college (let us say financial analysis) as an asset in union negotiations? What is wrong with some kid from the Reservation graduating from the University of Arizona, returning to the Reservation, and becoming a tribal leader who better knows how to deal with non-Indians because of having had more exposure to them for about four years in an unthreatening environment?

Someone who gets a good education and returns to a blue-collar world is not a tragedy. Someone who gets a second-rate education and an impaired life but has a huge student loan to pay off is a tragedy. 

18  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Congressional Elections / Re: Likely 2016 House Pickups for Democrats? on: April 25, 2015, 10:32:53 am
MI-07? I live there. Tim Walberg is a third-rate political hack in a district that should be tailor-made for a Gerald Ford but that now has a Republican representative better suited for the Texas Panhandle than for south-central Michigan.

Tim Walberg simply does what Koch fronts tell him to do. It is only a matter of time.
19  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential General Election Polls / Re: WI: close race in WI with Hillary/walker on: April 25, 2015, 10:29:47 am

14% undecided -- practically worthless. Oddly, other stats look credible enough.

Marquette sticks.
20  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Should a woman be president? on: April 25, 2015, 10:27:24 am
One valid consideration: women may be more cautious than men. Testosterone promotes recklessness, and in a time of nuclear weapons, recklessness creates much more potential for the definitive calamity than when the most horrible weapons were incendiary bombs and Katusha rockets.
21  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential General Election Polls / Re: National poll by Quinniepiac: Rubio jumps ahead on: April 24, 2015, 01:42:54 pm
The media have vested interests in keeping the 2016 election as interesting as possible so that it can get advertising revenue and sell subscriptions.
22  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential General Election Polls / Re: 2016 Official Polling Map Thread on: April 24, 2015, 01:25:58 pm
I'd like to see these polled:

AK (does Begich have a chance should Murkowski be primaried, or would he be wise to go for the House?)
AZ (is John McCain vulnerable?)
AR (are the Bill Clinton-but not Obama states really lost forever to the Democrats?)
GA (whatever happened to a once-moderate state?)
IL (does Mark Kirk have some survival skills as a Senator?)
IN (lots of luck!)
KS (is discontent brewing with the GOP in Kansas as there seemed to be last year?)
MI (there used to be lots of crappy polls -- but no Senate race)
MN (Klobuchar in case something happens to Hillary Clinton?)
MO (once and for all -- is it at all a bellwether state)?
NE-02 (split between 2008 and 2012)
OR (new Governor)
TX (with a huge grain of salt -- the state is tough to poll)
UT (acceptance of SSM)

23  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Gubernatorial/Statewide Elections / Re: Official Michigan Megathread on: April 24, 2015, 01:12:35 pm
Michigan has turned to sh**t when it comes to its roads because it has a policy that is too generous to commercial trucks. (That is, by comparison to most other states.) Roads, over the last couple decades (a kind estimate), get excessively damaged not because of weather (Michigan's isn't solely on the receiving end of that) but by the policy of allowing commercial trucks to have excessive limits.

You know what's hypocritical: This will be the second consecutive Republican Governor of Michigan who raised taxes. John Engler did so in the 1990s (he won three terms, 1990, 1994, and 1998) and Rick Snyder (2010, 2014) has as well. Snyder is a con artist, and the homeowners took it up the *a* with their state income taxes. And now, Snyder wants to raise the state tax of goods (which is what Engler did in the 1990s). Naturally, the bullsh**t will continue that only Democrats raise taxes.

I recall when the sales tax was upped from 4% to 6%. I remember advertisements saying that a benefit of the increase would be that smokers would pay a higher tax (as if anybody really gives a sh!t about that). I'm not convinced that the road proposal will pass--we'll see.

The weather doesn't help, either--in any given year, temperatures in Michigan can vary by over 100 degrees. I imagine that we have a lot more car traffic than most states with similar temperature variation, but less truck traffic (trucks don't drive through Michigan unless they need to).

I-69 and I-94 carry huge volumes of Canadian trucks (Toronto and Montreal on the one side, Chicago and Indianapolis on the other). Both highways have been rebuilt to accommodate the heavy trucks. The only surprise to me is that the cloverleaf interchange between 69 and 94 in Marshall hasn't been rebuilt. It's a trucker's nightmare.

Michigan has much long-distance car travel... but cars don't damage roads as trucks do.

There are no specifics on how to spend the money. I'd like to see a map of new roads and improvements. A freeway link from Traverse City to I-75? Extending the US-131 freeway to the Indiana state line? Transforming I-94 west of Ann Arbor into a six-lane highway? Replacing some rural junctions with interchanges?     

24  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Congressional Elections / Re: Ron Johnson: Students Graduating Late because "College is Fun" on: April 24, 2015, 05:41:43 am
College is certainly fun in contrast to doing the sort of job that one typically gets out of high school (retail clerking, restaurant work, farm labor, cleaning, construction labor)...

If one needs to work full time to avoid ending up with a debt as heavy as that for a sports car, then one cannot reasonably expect to complete to complete college in four years. Some part-time and summer work won't hurt, and might help one avoid some guilty feelings... but the part time work had better be slight.

The GOP simply wants cheap, scared labor.
25  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Congressional Elections / Re: Fighting for Ohio Fund (R): OH-Sen - Portman leads 47-40 over Strickland on: April 24, 2015, 05:33:30 am
Partisan pollster. Suspect.
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