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101  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: More hated by Democrats : Bush from 2006-2008 or Trump Now on: May 08, 2017, 09:45:47 am
With Dubya the disdain was for the results to a far greater extent than his bland personality. With Trump the disdain so far is for his personality and ideology. We have yet  to see the consequences of a Trump Presidency. It took about five years for the disaster that Dubya was  make itself widely known.
102  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Louisiana advances death penalty repeal on: May 07, 2017, 09:00:41 pm
The death penalty is beginning to look increasingly barbarous and ineffective in America. If Angola (which I have sardonically renamed "An-GULAG") Penitentiary isn't a deterrent to crime,  then not even death can be.

103  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: The Official Trump 1.0 Approval Ratings Thread on: May 07, 2017, 08:55:59 pm


A new pollster who comes up with outlier results and shows editorial bias is suspect.  Both Florida and Ohio are shown with Republican pluralities in partisan ID, something completely new.

No way is either state 10% more Republican than the Gallup polls for nationwide results. 
104  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2020 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Trump/Pence out after '18, Prez Pelosi resigns, Hillary is incumbent in '20... on: May 07, 2017, 01:20:05 pm
Mitt Romney becomes President, because he will be the best that Democrats can hope for before 2018. If he cleans' out the vipers' lair that the White House has become, then he might be in a stronger position than Ford in 1976.

Cleaning up the Trump mess is more important than any partisan gain from the disaste rous Presidency of Donald J. Trump.   
105  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Gubernatorial/Statewide Elections / Re: Which state Democratic Party is in better shape long-term--KY or WV? on: May 07, 2017, 12:35:54 pm
Kentucky has had some fine Democratic governors -- Beshear and Ford -- I'm surprised that Wendell Ford didn't run for President.
106  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2020 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: What would 2020 look like if Hillary was renominated? on: May 07, 2017, 09:22:57 am
Donald Trump has so chaotic a Presidency that he never really recovers. Hillary Clinton campaigns more effectively, and the FBI, CIA, and military are leaking all sorts of stories of incompetence and corruption that the President can't handle.

Minimum. Republicans lose Senate seats that they had no idea that they could lose.
107  General Discussion / Alternative History / Re: PC: some city other than NYC is the largest port on the East Coast on: May 07, 2017, 09:15:32 am
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey manages ports in both New York City and New Jersey. I'm guessing the biggest East Coast port is now in New Jersey.
108  General Discussion / Alternative History / Re: Could the Civil War have been avoided if Jackson had been President in 1861? on: May 07, 2017, 09:07:37 am
No. Too tied to slavery to do anything against it.

The British had the right model for emancipating slaves, and Lincoln knew it. The problem was that the Southern politicians would have had nothing to do with it.
109  General Discussion / History / Re: If Dukkakis won in '88 would Reagan be viewed like Obama is now on: May 07, 2017, 09:03:59 am
The reason why Reagan is so exalted by Republicans is because he's literally the only Republican president since Eisenhower who wasn't a complete failure/disgrace/lost reelection.  They don't have any other options.

While HW lost reelection, very few would call him a failure or a disgrace.

True. He simply had no coherent idea of what to offer in a second term and ran a lackluster campaign. 
110  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Things you like about President Trump on: May 07, 2017, 08:30:47 am
Uh, well, let's see... I guess that he's not a Christian fundamentalist fanatic like so many of his Republican brethren.

Yep. He believes in nothing but himself and his extensions (family members, cronies possessions....) I have yet to hear of any personal pets. 
111  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Protestors confront politicians at town halls megathread on: May 07, 2017, 08:25:11 am

One doesn't have to be a paid protester to boo that sort of statement.
112  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: What will America be like in 50 years? on: May 06, 2017, 10:41:28 pm
Based on the theories of Howe and Strauss...

2067 should have a public mood analogous to that of roughly 1987 or 1907, with a jaded culture in which people have given up on religious awakening and political ferment. Americans or their successors will be going materialistic and hedonistic, celebrating indulgent freedom at the expense of community that they consider trivial and social equity that they neglect. Culture will lionize the athlete and the pop star at the expense of the scholar and reformer. The elderly will be what are now Millennial young adults; people in midlife will be the children of our time; the young adults will be much like Boomers (smug and selfish) of such times; children growing up will believe in little but survival (especially material). It will be much like America under Taft or Reagan.   
113  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: How will Americans of 2064 view the state of America in 2017? on: May 06, 2017, 07:39:44 pm
This thread got a lot darker than I anticipated.

Anyway I can imagine a 2064 where America is "Post-Colonialist" or away from being a world power, but even that would be pushing it.

I have no doubt they will see 2014/15 as the start of a new era in modern history, but I hope this epoch is short-lived rather than a long era.

Probably because we live in ominous times, with one Party, consummately ruthless, acting as if it wants to become the dominant Party and will stop at nothing to achieve such a reality. Single-Party systems generally become corrupt and authoritarian and represent increasingly-tiny segments of the population over time. Life becomes miserable for most people because most people get treated like serfs if not pariahs. .
114  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: The Official Trump 1.0 Approval Ratings Thread on: May 06, 2017, 07:35:11 pm
Figuring that approvals stick at 40% until early 2020 before President Trump starts campaigning, he could end up with 46% of the total vote in November 2020. Of course that would ensure that the next president will be a Democrat, right?

WRONG! Donald Trump won a mere 45.94% of the popular vote in 2016 -- he simply won the 'right' votes. An even shift of 0.35%  would have not been enough to cause him to lose both Michigan and Pennsylvania and the election. If the states fall as they did in 2016, then President Trump could be re-elected with as little as 45.5% of the popular vote and barely win.

I always thought that the +6% number had to do with the head to head numbers, not the general numbers. Trump may have only gotten 46% in the general election, but take out the third party votes and he went 49-51.

Nate Silver refers to the binary vote, usually ignoring the Third Party/Independent vote.
115  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: What will America be like in 50 years? on: May 06, 2017, 03:07:00 pm

1. A "Christian and Corporate State', a right-wing mirror image of the Soviet Union that celebrates inequality and has control of satellite states that follow much the same ideology. It is a repressive and militaristic society generally recognized as an Evil Empire. Humanity exists to serve the elites and gets little more than promises of Pie in the Sky When You Die. There might be a rich technological life, with basic science , mathematics, and engineering doing well.  It's the sort of political entity that people want to leave but can do so only at great personal cost -- if at all. The world has an uneasy peace with a political order that occasionally picks up a 

2. The surviving hegemon in the smoking ruins of World War III, maybe recovered some. The Man in the High Castle describes the scenario well -- except that America is something like Nazi Germany and imposes its will in places where such is tolerated out of fear.

3. The smoking ruins of World War III, depending on the severity and recency of the war. People might be picking up the pieces and starting to make progress into the '70s.  The 1870s in technology and the 1370s in living conditions, that is.

4. Civil War. America polarizes along ethnic, religious, and regional lines. All bets are off.

5. A nation occupied and partitioned by the victors of a war of conquest that American leadership started and lost. Political and cultural reality is whatever the local victor tolerates. As one of the more striking, but benign changes, just think or the impressive Carnival that might be introduced in such a city as Atlanta. Many Americans might learn the practical benefits of using a Japanese-based pidgin (yes, it is written in a Latin alphabet) for dealing with the Japanese.

War criminals have been disgraced and likely executed -- and they are shown as examples of what not to be. Political groups seen culpable in the Bad Old Days are disgraced and outlawed. I can imagine the politics of some sections being reshaped to fit the models existing in the occupying powers.

Democratic (small D) institutions may have made a return, and this may facilitate the restoration of most of the USA. But the cost in lives and capital to get to that point will have been monstrous.

6. America rejects Donald Trump and starts modifying its institutions to ensure that there will be no replay. Probably the healthiest situation. Conservatism redefines itself as a fallback in  case liberal or socialist ideas go too far by offering rationality, enterprise, community, self-reliance, restraint (including thrift), and viable traditions. 

116  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: The Official Trump 1.0 Approval Ratings Thread on: May 06, 2017, 02:38:36 pm
Relevant in the event of the  Trump failure that I see happening so far:

Donald Trump won with a margin of electoral votes more like that of Jimmy Carter.  But Carter would end up with problems that he could not solve, and for which Ronald Reagan offered solutions; also, the states were shifting in their partisan allegiance, but to the detriment of Jimmy Carter. Maybe not the solutions that many Americans would not have liked at the time, but the 1984 election suggested that Reagan did a lot of things right, like lowering many Americans' expectations. Oh, you have a college degree and you hate your job in retail or fast food, but your low pay even worse? There is a solution -- take another such job to supplement your meager earnings, and always remember to show that moronic "Delighted to serve you!" smile! People taking second jobs that they hated as much as their ill-paid first jobs solved lots of economic problems.  They may have hated their lives, but they either accepted things as they were or found ways out, like giving up the white-collar dream for a job that gets one's precious hands dirty.   

red -- Carter in 1976 and 1980
white -- Carter 1976, Reagan 1980
blue -- Ford in 1976, Reagan in 1980

(Ignore shades).

Just a reminder: it's the next election that matters. It's not that I expect President Trump to be caught with an economic meltdown as bad as that of 1929-1932 or with a diplomatic disaster as severe as the Iranian hostage crisis.  I'm not saying that the President will lose fifteen states that he won in 2016, and for obvious reasons he can't lose 33 that he won in 2016. But two will be enough if one of them is Florida and one of them is Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, or Wisconsin and three will be enough if one of them is Pennsylvania and the other two are any pair of Michigan, North Carolina, and Wisconsin.
117  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Presidential Election Trends / Re: When will Jewish voters leave the Democratic Party en masse? on: May 06, 2017, 02:23:30 pm
Never. We will never join the xenophobic, racist party, having been victims of that stuff so many times.

Jews are becoming Republican slowly.  If the GOP dropped their religious fundamentalist stance, more Jews would become Republicans, as many of the Jews I know are socially moderate to liberal, but conservative in economics.  On the other hand, Jews are represented in disproportionate numbers to their numbers in the general population in the fields of law and education, and two of the GOP's top targets are trial lawyers and teacher unions, so many Jews have their economic livelihoods at least somewhat tied up with the Democratic Party.  

I would not be surprised if Jews, as a group, become split-ticket voters; more Republican for President, but Democratic in down-ballot races.

If there is any tend of Jews toward the GOP it is among converts who change their religious affiliation but not their politics. So consider a Swedish-American, conservative Republican farm girl from North Dakota who falls in love with a Jewish man and converts to Judaism. She can reject Jesus without rejecting the GOP of her parents. That is one more Jewish Republican.

118  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: The Official Trump 1.0 Approval Ratings Thread on: May 06, 2017, 02:13:20 pm
Gallup: 40-54

I guess the health care vote cost him

It could cost the GOP greatly. But with Gallup we have a three-day average, so we might want to wait a while before drawing any conclusions. A 2% change? Within the usual margin of error.

This is worth remembering: the usual incumbent Governor or Senator running for re-election typically adds about 6% to his early-season approval rating to get the raw percentage of the binary vote. I applied this to Barack Obama, and it worked. I look at where Dubya stood in 2004, and it worked. Politicians with less than 50% approval ratings must campaign to win re-election, and as 'average' campaigners against an 'average' challenger they typically gain about 6%.

This does not apply to open-seat elections; appointed politicians do worse -- much worse -- than those who got elected to office because they never showed that they could campaign competently.   

Figuring that approvals stick at 40% until early 2020 before President Trump starts campaigning, he could end up with 46% of the total vote in November 2020. Of course that would ensure that the next president will be a Democrat, right?

WRONG! Donald Trump won a mere 45.94% of the popular vote in 2016 -- he simply won the 'right' votes. An even shift of 0.35%  would have not been enough to cause him to lose both Michigan and Pennsylvania and the election. If the states fall as they did in 2016, then President Trump could be re-elected with as little as 45.5% of the popular vote and barely win.

Of course that has its own assumptions. One is that third-party nominees will hurt the Democrats as much in 2020 as they hurt the Democrats in 2016. In a pure binary election, 46% of the popular vote is about what Dukakis got in 1988 and about what McCain got in 2008.

President Trump has done little to win over voters who did not go for him in 2016. Of course it is possible that he could exploit a traumatic situation like 9/11 should such happen...  Dubya did gain some from 2000 to 2004. To be sure, Barack Obama tried to build upon his electoral success of 2008 and failed -- but he still got re-elected. He didn't lose enough to get defeated in his re-election bid.

(Yes, I expect a Presidential failure, the difference between him getting anywhere from about 55 to about 140 electoral votes based upon the polls that I have seen so far).
119  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: How will Americans of 2064 view the state of America in 2017? on: May 06, 2017, 01:24:12 pm
If America becomes an Evil Empire between now and then, then they will see America in 2017 much like Italy in 1923 or Germany in 1933 in the equivalent of 1969 in Italy or 1979 in Germany. If Italy is the example, then  what remains of America (which might have lost Hawaii and Puerto Rico to independence, Alaska to Canada, and a big chunk of territory along the Mexican border to Mexico) simply sees Trump and his immediate successors as irrelevant to their present lives. If the analogue is to Germany, then perhaps America is split into sectors of occupation that have become independent republics and the era from 2017 to 2030 or so is an era of shame and the early 2030s are remembered as hardscrabble times in which Americans have to rebuild from the rubble.

That's if the more optimistic scenario in which Americans decide to undo the damage of the Republican Party.

If things go really well, then the Republican Party which now serves no semblance of civic virtue fades  out like the Whigs and Federalists, but this time for malfeasance. The Democrats become an unwieldy Big Tent party as they did twice in the 19th century and split. Liberalism might drift a bit more socialistic, but conservatism will revive... but to paraphrase something that I found from a year ago on a philosophy forum,

(T)he conservative tradition in American politics is intellectually formidable. The best representatives of that tradition have been rigorous, insightful, and philosophically astute. They are political commentators for whom ideas matter. In their best work one finds proposals and principles that one can find  incorrect, but never merely stupid.

The conservatism that we now know is more like the blathering of the likes of Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity instead of the astute contemplation of Edmund Burke; this transformation happened just a few decades ago.  The  core conservative values of personal responsibility, self-reliance, restrained government, shared community, and the moral authority of tradition have given way to tendencies that conservatives must regard as base and uncivilized -- insatiable appetites for luxury, excess, spectacle, and power. Such tendencies dissolve tradition and foster divisions.

Adapted material is from this blog.

120  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2020 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Is Ohio still a swing state? on: May 06, 2017, 12:43:39 pm
That depends on the actions of the Democratic Party. Ohio voters are not partisan Republicans or even necessarily inclined to Republican policies - especially economic ones. The question is whether Democrats are willing to embrace an economic message that appeals to the concerns of financially stressed Ohio voters. They will not win the Cincinnati, Columbus, and Dayton suburbs, nor the Ohio countryside, but they can reclaim voters in northern and eastern Ohio that failed to turn out for Clinton or switched to Trump. Youngstown, Canton, Akron, Cleveland, Toledo, Sandusky, and Steubenville and their surrounding areas should be easy targets for Democrats.

It's very late for that, if not too late. The white people in these areas have developed a tribalistic attachment to Trump. He is "one of us". The smug, professional white collar class in the coasts are the enemy. Merely offering slightly better policies is going to struggle to detach them from that identity.

Anytime I see claims of White people voting for Trump en masse because of racism/xenophobia/etc... I automatically tune out. Those are excuses employed by an establishment unwilling to address their fundamental economic failures. If you claim Joe Ohio Voter is a Trump voter simply because he is a bigot, you erase any need to reorient your economic agenda because that does not matter, he will supposedly vote against you anyway.

These places voted for Obama in 2008 and many of them for him in 2012 as well. This does not mean they are not bigots, but it does indicate they are willing to put bigotry aside for economic self-preservation. Obviously, Clinton and the Democrats under Obama did not offer that to them. So, they defected to an "outsider" that employed populist rhetoric to mask his elitist agenda.

Which is why I believe that the Next Democratic Majority will include both Working Class Whites and Working Class People of Color. And the Next Democratic Majority President will be a Governor from the Rust Belt aka Ohio, Indiana, and Michigan.

Just watch for a poll. I saw a poll in which Donald Trump had an approval rating of 42% in Iowa, a state that voted much like Ohio in 2016. 10% shifts in voting apply to some elections. A state can turn on someone for whom it voted in one election -- think of Carter in 1980 after winning every former Confederate state except Virginia in 1976. I see evidence that his claim to be a Man of the People as a populist will be as effective in 2020 as Jimmy Carter's 'good ol' boy' image compatible with some 'New South' was effective for him in 1980. Carter lost every former Confederate state in 1980 except for his home state Georgia. Sharing the vulgar tastes of blue-collar midwestern white voters will be irrelevant if he hurts those voters.

Yes, I have a poll of Ohio as I interpret the results (it does not quite say 'approval', but it sounds much like it), and that poll does not look good for the President.

Trump can lose while winning Ohio; if the Democrat wins all states that Clinton won in 2016 and flips either Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin (his barest wins); Florida and one of his barest wins of 2016 or one of Arizona and North Carolina; two of his barest wins of  2016 and either Arizona or North Carolina)...

He can lose an election because he loses Ohio; I can't see President Trump winning the Electoral College while losing Ohio because he will lose Michigan and Pennsylvania before he loses Ohio and one of at least five other states (Arizona, Florida, Iowa, North Carolina, and Wisconsin) before losing Ohio. If Gauleiter Walker loses a re-election bid in Wisconsin, then the Democratic Governor of Wisconsin will certainly do nothing to help Trump win Wisconsin again.

The only help that Donald Trump can get from his Profits First medical system could be that Americans will leave America because of the world's most expensive, but mediocre, medical system. If I had to leave America to go somewhere in which medical costs are less severe just so that I could survive -- then I would. Why die for some economic shibboleth?

It will be easy to mock the slogan "Make America Great Again" -- maybe "Make Americans Suffer Greatly"? -- if things go badly wrong. 

...So Ohio was vulnerable to Trump's demagoguery. Maybe it won;t be in 2020.
121  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Will the wall ever get funded and built? on: May 06, 2017, 01:16:02 am
A budget-buster, an environmental disaster, and an insult to many Americans.
122  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: BC no longer exporting US Coal on: May 05, 2017, 08:02:22 pm
Maybe the other BC (Baja California) can.
123  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Trump administration forcing federal employees to watch Fox "News" on: May 05, 2017, 07:59:48 pm
FoX News is an oxymoron.

Does incompetent propaganda really work to shape the minds of intelligent people in the way intended

Except that Nicolae Ceausescu came from a humble background, I am beginning to see a comparison. 
124  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: How will Americans of 2064 view the state of America in 2017? on: May 05, 2017, 07:36:13 pm
Either "How did we survive that?" or looking back at the USA as if it were the Austro-Hungarian Empire of 1907... impressive, but impossible to put back together.
125  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: The Official Trump 1.0 Approval Ratings Thread on: May 05, 2017, 12:04:13 pm
The next week will be interesting. Will Trump's approval drop under 35% (on average)?

I wonder how the Religious "Freedom" executive order and AHCA passage will affect his approval rating.

He signed a controversial Executive Order that the courts might (surprise, surprise, surprise!) revoke. The House passed a bill undoing much of Obamacare, and I expect the President to endorse it.

I cannot predict the polling results of such.

President Trump's approval ratings have never gone under 35% in any national poll, although he has gone that far down in some states. The President seemed to have been recovering some.  

Under 35%? The President already has a cult of personality that assures a near minimum of 35% support.



So he has been below 35% and has the potential to go below that. Noted.
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