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News: Don't forget to get your 2013 Gubernatorial Endorsements and Predictions in!

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1  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Polls on Same-Sex Marriage State Laws on: Today at 03:28:07 pm
Louisiana's case goes to the Supreme Court on January 9. No prediction here. I'm very cautious about predicting USSC rulings. Most likely the ruling will be "no case" for the SSM ban.
2  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Lindsey Graham says he's now considering on: December 21, 2014, 04:03:50 pm
Southern reactionaries have never appealed strongly outside the South. Northerners can vote for their own reactionaries (like Reagan and the elder Bush) and for Southern moderates (LBJ, Clinton, Gore; they voted for a Northern moderate over a Southern moderate in 1976). Southerners can vote for Northern reactionaries, of course.

Against Hillary Clinton:

 

Lindsey Graham keeps North Carolina in doubt, but basically he throws away states like Arizona, Indiana, and Missouri -- winning states outside the Mountain and Deep South that haven't voted for a Democrat since 1964.
3  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Virginia in 2016 on: December 21, 2014, 03:58:39 pm
I picked Kasich because we know little about his chances to win the Presidency. Governors Snyder of Michigan and Pence of Indiana are in the same category. The others... no.
4  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Florida in 2016 on: December 21, 2014, 03:54:41 pm
Ask me again when someone other than Susquehanna Polling gives us a report on Pennsylvania. At the least there will be a hot Senate race.

Scott Walker will consult the Koch syndicate on whether to have a fair vote and count in Wisconsin.
5  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: The Official Obama 2.0 Approval Ratings Thread on: December 21, 2014, 03:48:36 pm
Up to 47-49 approval today on Gallup.

Rasmussen has it at 48-51.

Those paradoxically suggest that he would win re-election if the 22nd amendment weren't in the way. The 'average' incumbent as a Governor or Senator gains 6-7% from his approval rating to the election... although that might be irrelevant in the wake of Citizens United. 
6  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: What happens to the gay rights movement when same-sex marriage is nationwide? on: December 20, 2014, 07:23:17 pm
The whole homelessness problem has been ignored by LGBT groups.
The prevelance of homelessness among LGBT youth is honestly one of the most depressing things I have ever read about. Sad I hear Chicago is a major center for this, and even more disturbing, is this intersects with Chicago's position as like the 2nd largest center for human trafficking in the U.S. (IIRC, San Diego or L.A. is #1).

Maybe that's something I could get involved with with my non-profit experience. Huh.

You are very welcome to this. I am also shocked at the high rate of suicide among homosexual youth. Parental rejection is about as brutal a swipe as there is. LGBT youth are not 'tougher' than straight youth. Homosexuality may not be a parental preference for a son or daughter, but I can imagine far worse -- like alcoholism, drug addiction, or criminality.
7  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Polls on Same-Sex Marriage State Laws on: December 20, 2014, 07:13:01 pm
9 in the South, 6 in the Midwest. If it weren't for that terrible circuit 6 ruling, there'd be 3 Midwest and 8 South.

The ruling in the Sixth Circuit was weak. All US Supreme Court rulings in the last year or two have upheld the right to SSM. We're getting quite an education here.
8  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: What happens to the gay rights movement when same-sex marriage is nationwide? on: December 20, 2014, 10:14:02 am
Getting homosexuality completely in the mainstream. Anti-discrimination measures.
9  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: History of the legalization of same-sex marriage in America on: December 19, 2014, 11:41:05 pm
FLORIDA -- Scheduled for January 5, 2015 in accordance with the US Supreme Court denying a continuation of stay of an appeal beyond its scheduled expiration. I may be getting ahead of myself here, as at this point we have almost a three-week wait. But it is practically over, as there is no appeal beyond the Supreme Court.  Judicial activity and bureaucratic change move slowly around the Holidays. The only alternative is that Florida officials will allow SSM even earlier, as Illinois officials did.

Am I rushing? I think not, as populous as Florida is.



States with full legalization of SSM as of 1 May, 2014 (white)
States getting full legalization of SSM in October 2014
States getting full legalization of SSM in November 2014
States projected to get full legalization of SSM in January 2015
Method of legalization of SSM:  



Method of legalization of SSM

resulting from a state court decision invalidating an SSM ban
resulting from state legislation
resulting from the decision of the DC Council
resulting from a statewide initiative or referendum
resulting from a decision by the US Supreme Court
resulting from a decision by a federal court subsidiary to the US Supreme Court

Barring the complete legalization of SSM in all states in which it is still banned, most likely through a Supreme Court decision applicable to all states, I will not update this map until the end of the month. There's another thread for legalization of same-sex marriage, and in it one can post in far more detail -- more than is welcome here.

I will apply another color to any state whose SSM ban ends because of a general ruling.
10  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Polls on Same-Sex Marriage State Laws on: December 19, 2014, 11:21:03 pm
SSN bans are crashing. The US Supreme Court does not so far accept pure delaying tactics. 
11  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Polls on Same-Sex Marriage State Laws on: December 19, 2014, 11:14:13 pm
This is my most conservative prediction of how SSM will be on 5 January 2015 -- less than three weeks from now. I have seen nothing about stays that were supposed to expire in Arkansas and Mississippi:



White -- SSM equality by law.
Yellow -- toss-up

 

States in white (and DC) already have legalized same-sex marriages. Other states are coded by district in those in which SSM will not have been permanently legalized as of 10 AM EST on 5 January 2015:







Status of SSM in Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands, American Samoa, Guam, or the Northern Marianas not shown.

5th circuit
6th circuit*
8th circuit
11th circuit

*Next appeal, US Supreme court.

Colors for districts have no other political significance.

DC and all states within the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 7th, 9th, and 10th appellate districts have legalized SSM.


Here are the numbers:

Compiled results are listed below. The headers for each column are: State/ Support Legalising Gay Marriage/ Oppose Legalising Gay Marriage/ Net Support.

MA    71    19    +52
VT    71    20    +51
RI    68    20    +48
NH    63    24    +39
CT    61    26    +35
NY    61    27    +34
HI    59    26    +33
CA    58    31    +27
ME    63    37    +26
NM    57    32    +25
WA    57    32    +25
NV    55    31    +24
DE    54    31    +23
NJ    54    32    +22
OR    56    35    +21
IA    53    33    +20
IL    53    33    +20
CO    54    35    +19
MN    52    34    +18
AK    50    36    +14
WI    51    37    +14
MD    48    36    +12
PA    49    38    +11

ND    48    39    +9
MI    47    39    +8
AZ    47    40    +7
VA    47    40    +7
FL    46    40    +6

OH    45    40    +5
MT    45    41    +4
KS    44    41    +3

SD    43    43    0
IN    43    45    -2
NC    42    46    -4
MO    41    47    -6

NE    40    46    -6
LA    39    46    -7
WV    39    48    -9
GA    37    47    -10
SC    37    47    -10
KY    38    50    -12
TX    37    50    -13
OK    37    51    -14
WY    33    50    -17
ID    33    51    -18

AR    32    54    -22
UT    34    56    -22
MS    29    56    -27
TN    29    58    -29
AL    28    60    -32

US    48    39    +9









12  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Poll: MI voters do not support splitting its EV on: December 19, 2014, 07:27:53 pm
Not true, actually. The Constitution allows states to apportion their electoral votes however they want. Almost all of them happen to use the winner take all system, but there's nothing implicit about how the Electoral College is "supposed to work".

To apportion the electoral votes of any State in a way that distorts the percentage of the votes in a Federal election would be a violation of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. "Winner-take-all" remains the least-messy way to assign electoral votes.


Thank god. Though the level of support it actually has is scary enough. Having a state as big and gerrymandered as Michigan operate like Maine or Nebraska in Presidential elections undermines democracy itself.
     

Because the two Congressional districts of Maine are similar it is unlikely that the shapes of districts would be the difference between a split of the state's electoral vote and the winner of the plurality getting all four electoral votes. In Nebraska, one of the districts is Greater Omaha, which is very different from the rest of the state... and the Third District is the last electoral vote that any Democrat could ever get. 

Michigan is so gerrymandered that Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, and Lansing are represented by Republicans. Draw the lines differently, and a district that stretches from Grand Rapids to Lansing would be majority-D; one that stretches from Kalamazoo through Battle Creek to East Lansing would also be majority-D.
13  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: DPIC: Executions and death sentences drop to new lows in 2014 on: December 19, 2014, 03:29:40 pm
Violent crime rates have gone down in part due to the disappearance of lead in the environment. Lead, an insidious poison, created behavioral pathologies and learning disabilities. Bullet-proof vests have made it less likely that a crook shoots a cop and gets away for a few hours only to get caught soon afterward. Cop-killers were a big part of the number of death sentences. Crooks trying to shoot it out with the police are now more likely to be killed by cops than survive to face capital-murder charges. Better police work makes it less likely that violent offenders get away with extended crime sprees that might culminate in a robbery-murder.

Crime (and murder rates) is also going down because the US society is aging. Older people are less likely to be criminal or murderous than younger folks. The same with driving offenses.

That too.

The age-based cohorts with the worst pathologies of below-average academic achievement, drug offenses, juvenile delinquency, and criminal incarceration were born from about 1959 to 1964. People in that age group are now 50 or older.

14  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: DPIC: Executions and death sentences drop to new lows in 2014 on: December 19, 2014, 09:00:22 am
Violent crime rates have gone down in part due to the disappearance of lead in the environment. Lead, an insidious poison, created behavioral pathologies and learning disabilities. Bullet-proof vests have made it less likely that a crook shoots a cop and gets away for a few hours only to get caught soon afterward. Cop-killers were a big part of the number of death sentences. Crooks trying to shoot it out with the police are now more likely to be killed by cops than survive to face capital-murder charges. Better police work makes it less likely that violent offenders get away with extended crime sprees that might culminate in a robbery-murder.

15  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: is it legal/would a judge accept a guilty plea w/penalty of death? on: December 19, 2014, 08:52:51 am
In practice a guilty plea is not so much a claim of innocence but instead a rejection of the charges against one. 
16  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: DPIC: Executions and death sentences drop to new lows in 2014 on: December 18, 2014, 11:28:13 pm
The prisoners on death row weren't taken off of it when NM, MD and CT abolished the death penalty? That sucks...

The two on Connecticut's Death Row were the pair who committed of the most horrific crime sprees in history. Paradoxically Connecticut becomes a non-death-penalty state only when the two murderers die or should capital punishment be abolished altogether. The last person executed in Connecticut was a serial killer was executed after 18 years.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cheshire,_Connecticut,_home_invasion_murders
17  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: David Koch: "I'm a social liberal" on: December 18, 2014, 11:06:48 pm
The GOP depends upon a coalition of greedy b@stards who want to turn the American (and probably ultimately the world) economy into an engine of prosperity for themselves alone and people who do not care how miserable the world gets for themselves because God will bless them in the Afterlife for the suffering that God mandates for any who are to reach Heaven -- all others being damned to Hell. For the latter, 'non-biblical' beliefs of secularists and non-Christians condemn one to Hell as if one were a serial murderer.

That coalition works well enough because the two parts of it never meet each other. It's analogous to the Democratic coalition that lasted until the 1950s -- Southern racist agrarians who hated protectionist economic policies of the Republican Party and a combination of non-WASPs and blue-collar workers in the North. Once the Northern part of the Democratic Party found out what the Southern agrarians found out how nasty the Southern agrarians were toward blacks, the coalition fell apart.      

Yeah, Northern Democrats had no idea that the Southern members of their party were racist until the '60s.  For all the heat the GOP gets for the "Southern Strategy" (at least from a historical perspective), Democrats from the 1850s to the 1960s were a thousand times worse.

Yup, you're probably right. But it's your problem now.

Fair enough.  But that fact should be consolation enough for Democrats, I don't get where the need to rewrite the history books to absolve the party of all past sins comes from.

Being right -- or having power. For the fanatic, being right is so important that basking in the self-generated rays of self-righteousness is enough. For the thug, power is everything even if it means the destruction of everything precious so long as one gets the broads, the booze, and the filthy lucre. For the rest of us we have to make compromises.
18  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Sony hackers threaten 9/11 style attacks on theaters that show "The Interview". on: December 18, 2014, 05:22:41 pm
All the more reason to see it.

Not anymore, I guess.

Can't believe there are people who are genuinely afraid of NK. It's laughable.

I got a computer virus from North Korea after I mocked the regime. I'm now about as cautious about criticizing North Korea on the web as I am about criticizing $cientology.
19  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Poll: 59% CIA Treatment Fair, 57% torture justified on: December 18, 2014, 05:06:54 pm
Any more doubts that were a center-right nation?

The Democratic party is now a conservative party with a liberal wing; the Republican Party has practically gone fascist. Thanks to Karl Rove we ended up with a majority-of-a-majority system, and Barack Obama wasn't ruthless enough to exploit such to entrench power for his Party. It will again be majority-of-a-majority rule in Congress in early January.

If a majority of Republicans support torture, then we will get torture. It is a far shorter leap from torturing foreigners to torturing Americans than it is from torturing cats to torturing people. Got a kid abusing dogs or cats? Get him help before he becomes a murderer!

20  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Is the USA still a democratic republic? on: December 18, 2014, 04:54:14 pm
I was concerned about America becoming a plutocratic oligarchy.

This scares me more:






In view of this graphic, I shudder at how America has gone. Yes, I can register shame at the obscenely-large percentage of Democrats who think it acceptable to threaten the family members of the accused, stick someone in a coffin-sized box, threaten physical or sexual violence (sexual violence against a helpless person is one definition of rape), waterboard someone (although most Americans don't understand what it is), compel unwelcome nudity, slam someone into a wall (good for causing broken bones and cartilage), or deprive someone of sleep (a damaging act that leaves no physical scars but can truly mess a victim up).

Maybe we Americans have had it too soft in that we have never had experiences with a KGB, Stasi, Securitate, Mukhabarat, SAVAK (Iran under the Shah), BOSS (Apartheid-era South Africa), State Research Unit (Uganda under Idi Amin), CDR (Cuba) or DINA (Chile under Pinochet). I wish that someone with experience with life under fear of an unaccountable secret police could tell us what it is like to live in fear. OK, there was the Mississippi Sovereignty Commission that I added to the list of defunct secret police organizations in Wikipedia and explained how it fit among the KGB, Stasi, Mukhabarat, and BOSS -- questionable activity by an unaccountable organization subservient to unaccountable politicians. Mississippi was basically a single-Party dictatorship until the Civil Rights Act of 1964 took effect.

It is the REPUBLICANS who scare me. Maybe the older ones are from the Gerald Ford-Hugh Scott-Charles Percy era in which the Republican Party was a center-right opposition to a center-left Democratic Party.  Torture usually serves a totalitarian, authoritarian, racist, or mad ideology. I can't quite place Idi Amin on the Left-Right spectrum, but he was certainly mad.

Republicans seem to hold rectal "feeding" excessive. Maybe they would also consider whipping, amputations, burnings, and summary executions excessive, too. They show a near-majority (48%) support for putting someone in a coffin-sized box for several days and majority support for every other abominable deed depicted as torture. Every one of those deeds is a crime.

Our political system operates on basically a majority-of-a-majority system on anything not specifically prevented in the Constitution or mandated by a decision of the Supreme Court, and now that Republicans are soon to have a majority in both Houses of Congress, have a majority of Governorships, and have majorities in a majority of State Houses...


21  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Poll: 59% CIA Treatment Fair, 57% torture justified on: December 18, 2014, 03:38:10 pm
Today I would rather be a German than a German-American.

Martin Niemöller:

Quote
First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

http://www.ushmm.org/wlc/en/article.php?ModuleId=10007392
22  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Does Rubio running make the lifting of the Cuba embargo/travel ban more likely? on: December 18, 2014, 02:16:45 am
Rubio is doing his predictable duck-speak like a "good" partisan Republican... but he can no longer stop it. This comes without any prominent deaths in Cuba, which I had thought necessary.

...As soon as I saw this, I figured that Rubio would be in trouble holding onto his Senate seat in 2016.   
23  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Predict Jeb's % in Ohio (general election) on: December 18, 2014, 02:11:10 am
No connections to Ohio, high-turnout Presidential election. I have yet to see a poll showing any potential Republican nominee having a chance in Ohio... with the caveat that I have yet to see one between Hillary Clinton and John Kasich.

Give it time. Quinnipiac polls Ohio often.
24  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: 1 out of 5 Republicans Agree: Rectally feeding suspected terrorists is a-ok! on: December 18, 2014, 02:08:11 am
I don't know whether a strong link between physical sadism toward criminal pariahs and economic sadism toward the economic pariahs has a clear link; I would expect one.

It will be up to Americans to reject a Party of Sadism in 2016 if such is shown of one of the two major Parties.
25  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Obama to announce sweeping changes in Cuba policy today! on: December 17, 2014, 10:13:23 am
One thing is certain: the President well handles authority not delegated by Congress. Contrast his awful predecessor.
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