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News: Cast your Ballot in the 2016 Mock Election

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26  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Will Robot Rights be a thing one day? on: February 23, 2017, 07:16:39 am
Should robots become as human as R2-D2 and C3PO , we might have a case for treating them like humans. 
27  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Lawyer for detained “Dreamer” says ICE documents were doctored on: February 23, 2017, 07:12:51 am
Attorneys are really good... at catching liars. Many criminal and civil cases are decided on whether  a jury recognizes the credibility of testimony and the reliability of evidence. So an alleged rapist claims to have never been at a certain address, but his fingerprints are on the Venetian blinds. The victim said that the rapist tried to look through the blinds as he heard a siren.

If I am a defense attorney and I know that my client can be proved to have been at the scene of a crime despite telling the cops that he had never been there, then I will try to get a plea bargain --  maybe ten instead of twenty years.

Forgery is also a lie.
28  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: The Official Trump 1.0 Approval Ratings Thread on: February 23, 2017, 06:27:34 am

Trump has support from 29 percent of Marylanders, compared with 64 percent who disapprove of the job he has done so far, according to the Goucher Poll to be released today. That is a worse margin than the Republican had in Maryland on Election Day, when he lost the state to Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton by 24 percentage points.

Ouch! This is the zone in which military coups happen in some countries. But it is Maryland, one of the states most hostile to nationwide Republicans. 

Tennessee (MTSU):

51% Approve
32% Disapprove

Trump’s Tennessee “hangover” similar to Obama’s Tennessee “honeymoon”

Asked, “Do you approve or disapprove of the way Donald Trump is handling his job as president?” the poll found that 51 percent approve, 32 percent disapprove, and 17 percent don’t know or don’t answer.

For comparison, when the spring 2009 MTSU Poll was conducted shortly after Barack Obama took office, it asked whether respondents approved of the job he was doing as president and found that 53 percent approved, 27 percent disapproved, and 20 percent didn’t know or didn’t answer.

Those were Obama’s best job approval ratings in Tennessee during his presidency. In most of the polls that followed, around 35 percent of Tennesseans said they approved of the job Obama was doing. Similarly, when asked to look back on Obama’s presidency as a whole in the latest MTSU Poll, only 39 percent said they approve, and 56 percent said they disapprove.

Obama lost the state of Tennessee with only 42 percent of the vote in 2008. Trump won the state with 61 percent of the vote in 2016.


Probably our best approximation until about March.


Not likely useful until March.

Even -- white

Blue, positive and 40-43%  20% saturation
............................ 44-47%  40%  
............................ 48-50%  50%
............................ 51-55%  70%
............................ 56%+     90%

Red, negative and  48-50%  20% (raw approval or favorability)
..........................  44-47%  30%
..........................  40-43%  50%
..........................  35-39%  70%
.......................under  35%  90%

White - tie.
Colors chosen for partisan affiliation.  

*National poll, and not a state poll -- the national poll is much more flattering to the President, who is shown in deep trouble in that state, and is likely closer to reality.

29  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Politician gets shouted down at town hall megathread on: February 23, 2017, 05:06:38 am
If you can't stand the heat, stay out of the kitchen.

-- Harry S. Truman, 33rd President of the United States.

...I wonder if there will be any resignations out of this. 
30  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: The Official Trump 1.0 Approval Ratings Thread on: February 23, 2017, 05:01:30 am
...and this poll is taken by a TRADE ORGANIZATION, asking only Republicans.

It's called 'damning with faint praise', much like saying that some .220 hitter occasionally gets some 'big hit'. Never mind that in the meantime he grounds out a lot and hits lots of medium-fly balls that almost always get caught. President Trump's low popularity in Florida can put an end to the political career of Governor Rick Scott and ensure that the Governor of Florida will do no special favors for the President in November 2018.

67% approval of the incumbent from his own Party indicates a political disaster in the making -- and this is before an economic meltdown, a sex scandal, a tale of bribery, bungling of a natural disaster, or a military or diplomatic debacle -- none of which have yet happened.
31  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: How would you label this county? on: February 23, 2017, 03:01:59 am
Should be obvious enough.

please elucidate the rest of us.

Assuming that the Clinton in question is Hillary...

D+9  or so, voting decisively for someone who got 48% of the popular vote nationwide. Support for same-sex marriage indicates the weakness of the Religious Right, one of the cores of support for reactionary pols in America. Republicans take this bailiwick only in a national landslide as in 1984.
32  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: How would you label this county? on: February 23, 2017, 02:27:11 am
Should be obvious enough.
33  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: The Official Trump 1.0 Approval Ratings Thread on: February 23, 2017, 02:25:44 am
How does one win national elections when 49% of the country "disapproves strongly" of your president?
Cause it was 49% in the right areas

Rural Michigan. Rural Wisconsin. Rural Pennsylvania.
34  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Heaven has 'extreme vetting'? When Republicans legislate from the Bible on: February 22, 2017, 07:35:55 pm

A young black man named Leroy, a elderly Jewish woman named Sarah, and a Klansman have died and find themselves before Saint Peter at the Pearly Gates. They find a sign that says "WHITE  CHRISTIANS ONLY". The young black man, who has just been shot to death because a cop confused the wrench in his pocket with a pistol, complains

"That's just unfair. After all the oppression and abuse that we black people have experienced, we get that".

Saint Peter tells Leroy to step into the booth to the right, which he does. Then Saint Peter tells him, "Tug on the string, and look in the mirror". Leroy so does, and the shade rolls up, revealing a mirror. Leroy is then astonished to see a white man's image in the mirror. His new image. Leroy then responds, "What happened to me!"

Saint Peter then said, "Yes, that really is you, and that is how we solve the problem of bigotry.  Go on ahead; you are no longer barred from anything due to race. You will get to meet Martin Luther King, but like you he is now a white guy. " 

Sarah then protested, "But I have lived a good Jewish life as a loyal wife and mother. I participated in the Civil Rights struggle, which should count for something. My family -- even our dogs -- kept kosher. My husband and I ran an honest business. And I'm not going to Heaven? "

Saint Peter then told Sarah, "In the Name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, you are now a Christian. Go on through. Anne Frank has a book signing for you to attend".

Sarah then emotes "Jesus and Mary!", an expression that she would have never made while alive.

Then comes the Klansman who has been blown up by bombs that he had made for an NAACP chapter and a Jewish community center. He notices the sign and figures it out as best as he can because he is barely literate.

"WHITE CHRISTIANS ONLY!" he reads. "Well, Saint Peter, I guess I won't have to go where you sent that n---- and that k---."

"No, you won't go where they went", said Saint Peter, who then pulled a lever that opened a trap door. The Klansman quickly found himself with fire, burning sulfur and pitch, and an overwhelming smell of a sewer, among the Nazis, Stalinists, and other such demons.   

35  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: The faker-in-chief: No single day without a lie on: February 22, 2017, 12:25:17 pm
We can presume a lie if its presenter

(1) tells a falsehood in seriousness, and

(2) has no legitimate reason for believing that it is the truth.

This leaves room for errors, delusions, hallucinations, jokes, ideological bias, and deliberate fiction.
36  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Board Republicans - do you consider this political viewpoint "deplorable?" on: February 22, 2017, 08:00:51 am
The arguments for white superiority over blacks based upon genetic distance from West Africans is folly for any white person who wants to claim even equality against East Asians who are even more distant genetically from West Africans.

But go on. Even The Bell Curve recognizes that there are about 120,000 black Americans in the "cognitive elite" who could serve as a ruling class for the whole of America. Prime example: Barack Obama.

...Blacks have had far fewer opportunities and more burdens, as a group, than  white people. Yes, there are very disadvantaged white people who do not enjoy any semblance of white privilege. But this said, blacks have been disadvantaged as a whole in the race to accumulate wealth, develop economic networks beyond the African-American community, and get two generations beyond the struggle to escape poverty.
37  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: The faker-in-chief: No single day without a lie on: February 22, 2017, 07:49:13 am
How in the hell can you get away with this much lying and not be impeached yet (or get elected in the first place)?

Lying is not a crime in itself unless it constitutes perjury or fraud, involves obstruction of justice, or as part of a war crime.

Lying about one's behavior while under investigation for a crime may not be what one is convicted of, but just remember the FBI technique of inducing a suspect to tell self-serving lies that other testimony or evidence already collected contradicts.

The lies that the President tells damage the competence of his Administration and the good will of the American People.  These go beyond statements of some unpopular ideology.
38  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Safe Space? NC Republicans propose politcal party quotas for college professors on: February 22, 2017, 07:41:40 am
Lol @ liberals supporting AA but not this.

     It really shows the ignorance of the values of the liberal society that has descended upon us. Diversity is valuable for the variety of ideas it brings to the table. There is no sense in supporting some diversity measures while opposing one that directly contributes to the diversity of ideas.

Corporate America has a captive audience for political propaganda of its choosing among anyone who works in the for-profit sector. "Tax reductions for shareholders, a national right-to-work law, abolition of the minimum wage, tort reform, etc. will create more jobs and hence opportunities here" is about what I would expect -- and it is all in line with the Reactionary Party.

College students who have held a job in a fast-food place or retail store are already exposed to the propaganda of the American Right -- from their employers.

39  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Politician gets shouted down at town hall megathread on: February 22, 2017, 07:36:27 am
I think there have been enough of these events at this point to warrant a megathread containing them all.  If a mod objects for whatever reason, then feel free to delete this thread.

Comparisons are appropriate. If the techniques are different in Nebraska and New Jersey, then it might be telling. Issues are relevant.   

For most non-locals. "Congressman from Illinois" and "Congressman from Indiana" will be all that matters.     
40  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Lawyer for detained “Dreamer” says ICE documents were doctored on: February 22, 2017, 05:11:21 am
The pen is mightier than the pencil

In this case an eraser is more powerful than a pen.

Altering a defendant's statements to get a better result for a prosecutor or in this case deportation officers is a crime called FORGERY. Forgery is usually an easy deed to identify, and even if criminal charges are not pressed, there are appropriate sanctions for anyone who did the forgery -- two words that someone has made much of on one of his reality-TV shows.


Rectification of the wrong done to the victim, including the return of  funds or other assets taken from the victim and the release of the person from a contract that must be deem void) is appropriate.

Gang affiliation would of course be valid cause to denaturalize a citizen born elsewhere for subsequent deportation, let alone to rush the deportation of an illegal alien.
41  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Safe Space? NC Republicans propose politcal party quotas for college professors on: February 22, 2017, 04:57:55 am
Something to consider: political conservatives generally trust for-profit entities much more than do political liberals. Conservatives are more likely to seek careers in for-profit activities that many liberals find abhorrent. Liberals tend to steer by default to academia (whether colleges or K-12 education), the professions, and the civil service.

Are conservatives as well suited for academia by temperament? Some are. Not enough, though.   
42  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Senator Ernst shut down at townhall with people shouting "YOUR LAST TERM" on: February 21, 2017, 11:46:27 pm
I think Ernst is fine. Isn't she generally popular? Especially since there are four whole years until her election.

Polls of Iowa just before Election 2016 showed her with approval ratings around 40. You expect that with an extremist in a moderate state. 
43  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Safe Space? NC Republicans propose politcal party quotas for college professors on: February 21, 2017, 09:10:40 pm
Lol @ liberals supporting AA but not this.

The idea is to make colleges reflect the opinions of the GOP majority in 2017. Republicans would be wise to scrap this idea because it will

(1) do nothing to improve the quality of education,
(2) will saddle the universities with professors who get few students
(3) will eventually lead to protests when the political climate changes

I prefer that colleges be comparatively placid places where people do real teaching, learning, and research... and not arenas for pitched battles of ideology. 

Ho9w do we know what the political climate will be four years from now?
44  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Senator Ernst shut down at townhall with people shouting "YOUR LAST TERM" on: February 21, 2017, 09:01:43 pm
This kind of behavior will backfire. One can disagree without shutting a meeting down. What happened to civility? Yes, I know, Trump sets a bad example, but that is no excuse.

Liberals are doing what their political opposites did in 2009 and 2010.  Why should it not work for them this time with a President more unpopular more quickly than was Barack Obama?

The Tea Party started acting when President Obama was still well above water in popular support. The anti-Trump protests begin when he is already in political trouble.   
45  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: The Official Trump 1.0 Approval Ratings Thread on: February 21, 2017, 08:30:02 pm
Virginia: Roanoke Poll 

Approve 32%
Disapprove 50%

Methinks the GOP will probably lose the Governor's race again...

...and a handful of House seats. That is the most effective way to stop the Trump agenda should voters get sick of the President. 

I hope to see some polls of states that have yet to be polled since the election. Virginia seems to be careening away from the GOP much as West Virginia careened away from the Democrats around 2000.

46  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Populist correctness: the new PC culture of Trump's America and Brexit Britain on: February 21, 2017, 08:14:08 am
We can end political correctness and start doing the same thing to rural blue collar whites that we say to inner city blacks. Why should we tell them we're going to bring their jobs back? Maybe we should tell them to work harder, get education or job training and pull themselves up by the bootstraps because the government doesn't owe them money and they're just lazy for not working or having jobs???

Or at least move to where people are hiring. They usually make an excuse that they have family or something where they are...staying in a place because of family just doesn't work. I had to move to three cities where I didn't know anyone before.

These rural areas are dying economically because people are moving out of them, especially the young, while the older generations still living in them die out.  It's a problem that jobs are harder to come by in these areas because you're essentially forced to live in a city or a suburb to stay afloat in this economy.  A lot of people don't move either because their financial situation doesn't allow them to, or they simply don't want to leave because they have special ties to the land or prefer the small-town life.

The manufacturing and mining jobs aren't returning in the old numbers. Less labor is necessary for making the stuff that we have. We're getting more done with less material  and with more reliance upon mechanical and even robotic manufacture. The only growth industry in many communities is the nursing home business because instead of keeling over dead people are living long enough to go senile or get Parkinsonism.

The 40-hour workweek may be obsolete.  But cutting back hourly pay while working hours shrink ensures more poverty. Sure, the super-rich get more profit  that they can allow to trickle down. The profit just doesn't trickle.
47  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Safe Space? NC Republicans propose politcal party quotas for college professors on: February 21, 2017, 03:09:11 am
I suppose NC Republicans are already planning their new jobs for after the midterms...

Many failed politicians become lobbyists or college teachers.

NC Republican's at the State House are out of control... and I don't think are even representing the thoughts of Republicans in our state.... If so, they are not the Republican's I know!

I am beginning to recognize that many conservatives are coming to the conclusion that Donald Trump is a political disaster. Americans would have had an easier choice between two politicians who have voting records. Without a voting record, Donald Trump was a pig in the poke.

The ethnic and religious bigotry, the failed-but-grandiose business ventures, the contempt for objective truth, and especially the "grab them by the crotch" statement all warned me that he was the worst possible Republican who could be nominated. As a  liberal I  find religious and ethnic bigotry intolerable. The failed-but-grandiose business ventures (sure, I would expect much failure in oil wildcatting, venture capital, or in movie investments, but that goes with the territory) were a warning. It's easier to spot a liar on politics when one disagrees with him on issues than if one shares most of his agenda (I voted for John Edwards in the 2008 Democratic primary) than if one agrees with him on cultural and economic issues -- so on that I must exculpate conservatives for catching on later on Donald Trump before I did.

Nobody could have predicted how chaotic his Administration would be.

I feel some sorrow for what conservatives are going through. Someone likely not their first choice, someone for which many conservatives had misgivings, won.  I can't say "I told you so"; indeed I am surprised at how bad he is. He is so bad that I wish that Mitt Romney had won the 2012 election and effectively shut Donald Trump out of a political role for which he is completely unfit.

We are going to get into some nasty scrapes because of the President's inconsistency and overblown ego. If his handling of the economy is as capricious as that of his handling of foreign policy we can expect a swift and catastrophic end to the Obama bull market.

Liberals and conservatives alike will experience much the same pain from bungling of the economy and foreign policy. The markets and the monetary policy are the same for us all. We may be sending our sons and daughters off to the same wars, and they have just the same chance, whether their parents are liberals or conservative, of returning in body bags.  

C-SPAN gave a new ranking of the Presidents in overall quality, and ranked former President Obama #12. He may have been boring -- thus the nickname "No Drama Obama". He did effective stewardship of the economy, allowing America to get out of an economic meltdown as severe at its outset as the one beginning in 1929. He had no scandals. He did not fight tendencies in legal decisions. He whacked the most dangerous terrorist in American history. He eased America out of a messy war in Iraq. He gave us a flawed Affordable Care Act that Republicans will have a difficult time putting out of operation. He did not get us into new troubles. By 2020 Americans will want a President with similar probity and overall wisdom -- even if that President is a conservative Republican.  
48  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: The Official Trump 1.0 Approval Ratings Thread on: February 21, 2017, 02:33:11 am

ERIE, Pa. -- Despite Erie County going red during the general election, a new poll shows that some Erie County residents do not approve of President Donald Trump's actions.

The poll, conducted by Mercyhurst University's Center for Applied Politics, found 41 percent of 419 registered voters in the county approve of Trump and 49 percent disapprove.

Sixty percent disapprove of how he is handling relationships with other nations compared to 30 percent that approve.

Fifty-three percent said that Trump's criticism of the media is unfair while 41 percent say it's justified.  
Despite much of the negativity, 49 percent of people did approve of the way he is handling the economy.

Trump won Erie County, PA 48%-46%. Obama won the County in 2012 by 57%-41%.

In view of recent polls of Iowa and Michigan, I would expect President Trump to be underwater statewide in Pennsylvania.  Iowa was about R+2 against the Gallup poll. Erie County reflects that Donald Trump was able to address the economic misery of the Rust Belt without offering a tangible solution.  Now he needs solutions, and his purported solutions are all religious bigotry and special-interest favors that will do more harm than good.

I expect to see approval polls of Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Wisconsin fairly soon because those states were polled frequently in 2009 and 2013, often by Quinnipiac.

Show me polling for those three states and I will give you the earliest projection of the 2020 Presidential election.

...Handling the economy? It's still the Obama economy.
49  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Democrats who is your favorite republican and republican who is your favoritedem on: February 20, 2017, 11:08:47 pm
Among living Republicans: Bill Milliken, former Governor of Michigan. 
50  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Safe Space? NC Republicans propose politcal party quotas for college professors on: February 20, 2017, 11:07:10 pm
I wouldn't be opposed to this sort of rule in departments where one's political views may affect the content of the course, but it's not appropriate in say, the math or english departments.

There are already rules -- for example, college professors cannot give more positive grades  for working for one Party than for another., Were I a professor I would have trouble with someone in my class getting credit for working for candidates of the Knights' Party (a KKK front)  but I would have to give credit if such were mandated by the rules of the syllabus. I would hope to give more credit  for a well-written essay pushing conservative ideology than for a sloppily-written essay pushing liberal ideology. Maybe I would have big trouble with someone who wrote an essay wishing that Nazi Germany had defeated the USA and brought the Holocaust here...

It is difficult to separate such studies as economics, sociology, political science, and political history. Teach Shakespeare's Macbeth, and you can hardly avoid discussing the horrors of thug government. I'm guessing that that play was not a favorite in Hitler's Germany, Mussolini's Italy, Stalin's Soviet Union, Satan Hussein's Iraq...

If it becomes employees, then I can imagine a Republican-dominated University allowing Democrats to work as janitors, warehouse workers, clerk-typists, food-service employees, or animal handlers (in the agriculture department)... Such would create a political Apartheid in the universities, and it would be consistent in turning public colleges, the only ones that many students can afford, into propaganda mills.    
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