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101  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Should Dems copy the 2009/2010 GOP stategy? on: November 05, 2014, 08:25:01 pm
Democrats are incompetent at manipulating fear and mythologizing history.

Democrats need to appeal to social justice lest they find themselves with a further consolidation of GOP power in 2016
102  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Would a Parliamentary system work better for the USA than the current system on: November 05, 2014, 08:18:41 pm
A parliamentary system similar to one in Canada, the UK, Japan, etc. where the executive branch of the government (the Prime Minister, the cabinet) is a part of the legislature and part of the party that controls the majority of seats in the House.

Pretty much: the PM can pass laws they want so long as their party has a majority, appoint judges, etc.

Would this be a better solution to end the current gridlock between the executive branch and the legislative branch?

We may have the worst of both worlds.
103  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: For Democrats: Is Direct Democracy the Solution? on: November 05, 2014, 04:45:15 am
Democracy is dead in America. We now live in a pure plutocracy with only a facade of democracy. We will have elections, but results will be rigged. Sure, there might be some Democrats winning a Congressional seat, a Senate seat, or a Governorship here or there, but those Democrats will be impotent much like  the tolerated minor parties of the old East Germany. They will not dare seek to pick off support for any legislation from the dominant GOP.

Folks, it was a great run. But it is over. We now have voted ourselves into a system of lords and masters, and those are not feudal relics as in some European countries.   You can trust that the GOP will not allow the Democrats to ever win a majority in either House of Congress, let alone the Presidency.

We screwed ourselves, and unlike the Germans in 1933 we do not have a combination of economic distress and hurt feelings from national mistreatment by victorious powers.  Democracy in America may return in the wake of military defeat as happened in much of Germany in 1945. What's our excuse? Are we more interested in slasher films and Ultimate Fighting than in our political realities?

The best that America can be now is something like Spain under Franco or Portugal under Salazar -- a cheap place for a holiday. We will still have Yellowstone, Yosemite, the Grand Canyon, beaches, ski slopes, and such great cities as Boston, New York, Chicago, and San Francisco. But most Americans will be priced out of them -- and timed out of them by having to work 70-hour workweeks for near-starvation wages. America could be a great place to visit but a horrible place to live.

We Americans are going to get much more sophisticated about politics while we become impotent to do anything about them. As propaganda becomes the norm in news and education, those who have IQs above 100 will learn to read between the lines. But too late, as in the Soviet Union. 
104  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: 2014 Post-Mortem: How did the Democrats screw this up so badly? on: November 05, 2014, 01:15:23 am
Republicans coordinated beautifully with the GOP front groups and stayed true to the idea that only the wealthiest 1% of  Americans matter any more.

Democracy in America may have died last night.
105  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Where Obama Went Wrong on: November 05, 2014, 01:13:33 am
What hurt Obama in the long run was the Democrats performance in 2010.

He expected the best from people that he had no cause to trust.

See also Benes in Czechoslovakia in 1948.
106  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Clinton vs. Walker map on: November 05, 2014, 12:10:22 am
How does anyone know that the 2016 election will be free and fair?
107  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Congressional Elections / Re: What is the GOP senate going to look like? on: November 04, 2014, 11:16:20 pm
Government of plutocratic elites, by plutocratic elites, and for plutocratic elites. Policies that enrich the super-rich and squeeze everyone else.

What a stupid, gullible, and suggestible people Americans are! Tonight I wish I were a citizen of just about any European country except Belarus, Crimea, the Peoples Republics of Donetsk/Luhansk, Azerbaijan, Russia, Albania, Kosovo, Belarus, Moldova,  and possibly Turkey.


Even if you are desperate, those are the minimum exceptions (Turkey only because of  human rights).

The difference between American and Russian politics in 2017 may be very slight, and not due to any improvement in Russian politics. At least Russia has a culture. Azerbaijan isn't European, so that is a quibble, and the picked-off pieces of Ukraine are hardly independent. I did forget Moldova, the world's most alcohol-sodden country.

About all that I would now miss about America if I were to teach English in a foreign country is the family dog. I now hate American politics. 

108  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Congressional Elections / Re: Where did the Democrats go wrong? on: November 04, 2014, 11:11:59 pm
Prepare to go underground in 2017, because the fix is already being planned at Koch Industries.
109  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Congressional Elections / Re: If Republicans pick up the senate, what would actually happen? on: November 04, 2014, 11:08:40 pm
My advice to Senate Democrats: Get a new leader, filibuster like hell.

I agree.
110  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Congressional Elections / Re: Where did the Democrats go wrong? on: November 04, 2014, 11:03:42 pm
Citizens United has transformed America into a pure and absolute plutocracy.
111  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Congressional Elections / Re: What is the GOP senate going to look like? on: November 04, 2014, 10:43:03 pm
Government of plutocratic elites, by plutocratic elites, and for plutocratic elites. Policies that enrich the super-rich and squeeze everyone else.

What a stupid, gullible, and suggestible people Americans are! Tonight I wish I were a citizen of just about any European country except perhaps Albania, Kosovo, Belarus, or Turkey.
112  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Where Obama Went Wrong on: November 03, 2014, 10:31:37 pm
To make things simple I will put the falsehoods in red.

You just got to love the revisionism in this thread.

So let me get this straight:

A President who has:

1. Repeatedly lied to the American people.
2. Repeatedly kowtowed to radical Islam to the point that genocide is the natural order of things.
3. Has continually surrendered our place in the world in the name of "peace" and made us the laughingstock of the free world.
4. Is buddy buddies with Vladimir Putin.
5. Uses the IRS to attack organizations that he disagrees with.
6. Solution to the border is to throw open the gates and call anybody who thinks we should have a little security a "racist".
7. Tried to make the 2012 election all about gay marriage.
8. Made unending venomous attacks on his opponent in that election that are not fit to be heard in a billiard hall much less a presidential election contest.
9. Uses taxpayer money to fly his airplane to Ireland for a golfing tour while drinking his Guinness while Joplin, Missouri was reduced to rubble from a tornado.
10. "Solution" to the Ebola epidemic is to appoint a political strategist with no medical experience to head the "Ebola Task Force",

has just made a few "little mistakes"?

Yeah. . . right!

Wasn't that easy?
113  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: How would you react on Election Night 2016 if these candidates are elected? on: November 03, 2014, 04:39:09 pm
My best hope for happiness if most of the Republicans become President is to teach English in a foreign country. All that I would regret would be that I could not take the dog along.
114  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Where Obama Went Wrong on: November 03, 2014, 04:36:01 pm
Obama makes the same mistake all liberal Democrats make. He doesn't care what his policies actually do to people. Instead, Democratic policy exists solely to buy elections. When it backfires, they dig-in their donkey hooves, and they refuse to fix what they've done. To make matters even more absurd, they insist that letting the Americans keep their money is the genesis of all of our problems, not terrible government spending programs. Strange because people keep less of their money each year, and terrible government spending spreads like malignant cancer.

Buying elections? What about the Koch syndicate and (as of 2015) dynasty in all but name.
Operating behind the scenes by buying TV time to flood with Orwellian propaganda may not be how the Romanov family did things, but the Koch family has learned that being as visible as the Romanov family is ultimately suicidal. 

The donkey is a poignant symbol because the Democratic Party is as incorrigible and useless as an old donkey. They never cease to make Republicans look like the most competent, noble patriots to ever run for office.

As meaningless as the Republicans adopting as their logo an animal that equals Man in intelligence while using the most anti-intellectual rhetoric possible to appeal to the least-learned voters. So much for symbolism. (What I say about elephants is true; elephants even have the same lifespan as humans, respect for the elderly, and a family structure much like ours!)

Obama threw away his presidency when he signed ACA and neglected employment issues. Anyone can play golf while QE and oil-stimulus slowly rebuild the American economy at an extraordinary cost. He's shown no leadership of any kind.

The only way that the Republicans were going to solve the issues of employment were quick-buck rip-offs and cutting wages to levels near starvation. No thanks!

Unemployment is now below what it was at the peak of the Dubya-era boom in real estate and lending fraud.
115  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Where Obama Went Wrong on: November 03, 2014, 03:33:36 pm
More likely than not, after Tuesday night, the Republicans will take the Senate. They also will control the House, most Governorships, most state houses, and SCOTUS. The Democrats will still have the White House and the Federal Reserve (thanks to Obama). Still, with most Democrats still hesitant to attach themselves to him, Obama will be pretty lonely with his 41% approval rating. So where did he go wrong?

First of all, I feel that he failed by not trying hard enough to reach out to the GOP and achieve bipartisan compromises, such as a "grand bargain" on deficit reduction; failing to approve the Keystone pipeline, and threatening to take unilateral action on immigration. Whether the Republicans would ever have agreed to work with him is not the point; the main thing is that he should have looked willing to work with them, rather than as a man who has given up on Washington.

There was never going to be a grand bargain. The best that President Obama could do was to make offers to a phantom GOP, moderates who no longer exist.  When he had majorities in both Houses of Congress (but for only two years) he could govern much like FDR, his model for dealing with an economic catastrophe.

What the Republicans wanted was someone to accede to rescuing Big Business from its own foibles quickly -- only to turn on him at the first opportunity because they would have the resources for buying the political process.    

Secondly, I feel that the Democrats are allowing too many distractions from core economic issues. Let's face it, the "War on Women" is a niche Democratic issue, similar to how certain scandals like Benghazi are for the GOP. They will kick up our base, but they don't appeal to a broad swath of voters, who care more about things like health care, taxes, and spending.

The Republicans will, in their audacity (which may succeed or fail) bring it back. They will support the most repressive regulation of sexuality outside of the Islamic world, perhaps even going so far as to attempt to ban contraception. After all, the only possible growth in a stagnant economy is from population growth that forces more real estate construction, highway building, energy consumption, and urban sprawl -- not to mention higher prices and lower wages.

Thirdly, I believe Obama has misread public opinion when it comes to foreign policy. As many as 45 percent of Americans now want to send in ground troops against ISIS, up significantly over the past month. Most no longer think an air campaign only will work. The past decade has been defined by backlash over the Iraq War, but regardless of what Americans tell pollsters, they still want a strong president who stands up for U.S. interests abroad and can deliver quick, clear victories.

The Republicans will surely tie any military activity to shifting taxes from the rich to the non-rich, eviscerating unions, degrading the environment, outlawing abortion and same-sex marriage, and who knows what.  

We are in for the worst two years of American politics since 1859 and 1860.
116  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential General Election Polls / Re: 2016 Official Polling Map Thread on: November 01, 2014, 01:20:43 pm
Hillary 47 Kasich 43
Hillary 48 Bush 38
Hillary 46 Christie 39
Hillary 49 Perry 39
Hillary 49 Paul 40


Hillary Clinton vs. Jeb Bush

Hillary Clinton vs. Chris Christie


Hillary Clinton vs. Mike Huckabee

Hillary Clinton vs. Rand Paul

blue, Republican -- red, Democratic

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

No change to the general projection, although these decisive leads would be a disaster for the GOP. Out of politeness at this stage I keep showing Ohio as a legitimate swing state.

117  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Republican Senate takeover = good for Hillary? on: October 31, 2014, 04:44:28 pm
The Republicans are going to do everything possible to entrench themselves for the 2016 elections which they probably will be unable to win fair and square.
118  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2014 Senatorial Election Polls / Re: AR: I&A Network/Arkansas University Poll: Pryor finished? on: October 30, 2014, 11:38:54 am
Well, if people of Arkansas insist on such atrocious person as Cotton to be their Senator - why not? They are entitled to it.

Because the moneyed elites prefer the most horrible politicians available -- the ones who would give management the tool of starvation, if not the torture chamber and the concentration camp.

Liberals might as well give up on most of the South.
119  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2014 Senatorial Election Polls / Re: CO-PPP: TIED RACE on: October 30, 2014, 11:34:44 am
Tied at this stage -- it's down to GOTV. The Republicans have gotten most of their voters out already.
120  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Steve King: "I donít expect to meet [gays] should I make it to heaven." on: October 30, 2014, 11:31:31 am
Human rights are not counter to each other. They do not imply an exclusive choice as it is for middle-income budgets with respect to buying a Ford or Chevrolet automobile. One might be able to buy one, but buying one precludes buying the other. There is no limiting budget for human rights. The civil rights struggle for Southern blacks was not contrary to the right to union representation, to environmental protection, to the rights of the handicapped, or to women's rights.  If it is simply a matter of a right offending a special interest or a personal sensibility with no other merit, then tough.

Personal license may be a different matter, as when "gun rights" imply a severe compromise of the assumption that we have a right to safety from gun violence.

Political capital is like a budget. You cannot buy everything, and if you spend/invest your capital in the wrong places, you end up fixing nothing and spreading misery.

It is not a budget. One difference between FDR and Obama is that FDR started with more political capital than did Obama, who started with more than did Carter.

Political capital is unlike financial assets in that one cannot accumulate more by letting it sit as if a deposit in a savings account. Of course, like any intangible asset it can be squandered. If you own a copyright and refuse to publish, then the copyright simply wastes.

Simple fact: even before President Obama was elected the Right was greasing the skids for him. He rushed as much of his agenda as he could with the expectation that the Right would turn on him. He achieved in two years what most Presidents have achieved in four or more.   

A majority of the discrimination against same-sex couples is not derived from the narrow definition of marriage, but from the federal/state legislation that arbitrarily or inadvertently rewards people for being married.

Wrong: it is contempt for anything different. Antipathy to homosexuals relates to ethnic and religious bigotry, having much the same psychological dynamics.

The GOP is now a coalition of people who believe either that they have a right to everything other than the bare survival of those that they tolerate and to people who have rejected the Enlightenment altogether. In other countries that has been the typical basis of fascist movements.
121  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: GOP attempting to purge 1 in 7 black voters from voter rolls on: October 30, 2014, 11:19:47 am
How is there not national outrage against the Republicans?  Like... marched out of the Capitol with pitchforks and torches?  Real stuff.  They are openly reprehensible on most issues, openly trying to stop people from voting, openly waging war on anybody who is not rich, and they are literally about to win a midterm election.  This country needs to start treating them like the far-right fringe plutocrats that they are.

Unfortunately, the more off-the-wall they get in their political statements this year, the more the polls seem to go in their favor.

It's what they say in secret that counts. Senator McConnell has said that he wants a return to the shyster economy of Dubya. If we get it again, then mark my words -- we all but ensure ourselves another speculative boom like that of the Double-Zero Decade that may be over some different object than real estate, but that will implode at least as severely.

Face it, people -- you can't time the market to buy cheap and sell just before things go sour and then live well off the money that you secrete under a mattress so that you can live like a sultan during a hyper-deflation.

122  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: How would you react on Election Night 2016 if these candidates are elected? on: October 29, 2014, 07:19:39 pm
Scott Walker -- Valium and vodka.
123  General Discussion / Religion & Philosophy / Re: What's your favorite type of eschatology? on: October 29, 2014, 12:23:05 am
Looking for a Millennium as a solution to all worldly problems is a cop-out.
124  General Discussion / Religion & Philosophy / Re: Is Homosexuality a sin? on: October 29, 2014, 12:21:12 am
This may not seem fair to you, but the point of a religion is often that one must give up pleasurable things in this life to inherit a reward in the next one.  Just as the prohibition of homosexual sex exists, there would also be a prohibition against extramarital sex for heterosexual people. 

So it goes like this;

HETEROSEXUAL? Sex bad. Unless married.
HOMOSEXUAL? All sex bad. All intimacy bad. All romance bad.

What a cruel god this is. To f-ck up and f-ck with ten percent of his creation. And then to give free rein to the remaining ninety percent to f-ck with them as well.

Your going to have to take your complaints up with the big man upstairs.

If one accepts that God created the Universe, then one must also ascribe to Him  the inability of some people to conform to alleged Biblical prohibitions of homosexuality.
125  General Discussion / Religion & Philosophy / Re: Pope Francis accepts evolution and Big Bang theory, says God isn't a magician on: October 29, 2014, 12:14:41 am
Do you know what would make a big improvement in the American South?

Conversion to Catholicism.
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