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26  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Will GOP 2016ers endorse restarting CIA 'enahnced interrogation' program? on: December 13, 2014, 08:38:00 am
They would wait until being elected to even talk about it -- and then apply it inside America as well. The "enemies of prosperity" -- unions, environmentalists, welfare advocates, pacifists -- would be the targets.

Republicans have had nearly six years in which to dissociate themselves from it, and have yet to do so.
27  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: GOP has the best chance in which of these states in 2016? on: December 13, 2014, 08:33:05 am
Colorado is likely to swing one way and then the other. It seems to exaggerate national trends.

Then Iowa -- it voted for Joni Ernst, didn't it?
28  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Would Rand have a chance at MN? on: December 12, 2014, 11:37:36 pm
Rand Paul is no libertarian. He is a corporatist right-winger who wins Minnesota only in a climate of fear and intimidation.
29  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential General Election Polls / Re: Selzer national poll: Clinton leads GOP field by 6-13 points on: December 12, 2014, 01:46:05 pm
6% margin for Hillary:

13% margin for Hillary:

30  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential General Election Polls / Re: 2016 Official Polling Map Thread on: December 11, 2014, 09:01:28 pm
It's actually Clinton 46, Huckabee 44.

Map changed accordingly. Thank you.

North Carolina is an absolute must-win for the GOP in 2016 for both the Presidency and the Senate.
31  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential General Election Polls / Re: 2016 Official Polling Map Thread on: December 11, 2014, 01:21:43 pm
PPP, North Carolina:

Clinton- 46%
Bush- 46%

Clinton- 44%
Carson- 44%

Clinton- 44%
Christie- 42%

Clinton- 46%
Huckabee- 44%

Quinnipiac, New Jersey:

50-39 Hillary/Christie
52-35 Hillary/Romney
53-31 Hillary/Bush
55-31 Hillary/Paul


58-35 Hillary
45-47 Christie
25-32 Paul
25-35 Bush
36-48 Romney

Obama approval:

46-50 disapprove

From December 3 - 8, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,340 registered voters, with a margin of error of +/- 2.7 percentage points. Live interviewers call land lines and cell phones.


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.

32  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Convicted Sex Offender wins big scratch-off prize on: December 11, 2014, 11:54:26 am
I'd like to see a bunch of the winnings confiscated to get help for his victim and her family.
33  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: The Official Obama 2.0 Approval Ratings Thread on: December 11, 2014, 11:52:27 am
Quinnipiac, New Jersey

                                                             High    Low
                     Dec 11  Aug 06  Apr 09  Jul 09  Jun 10  Jun 10  Oct 13
                     2014    2014    2014    2013    2013    2009    2011
Approve              46      44      49      53      53      68      43
Disapprove           50      52      48      41      41      25      52
DK/NA                 4       4       4       6       5       7       5


Slightly better than the previous Q poll.

60% or higher maroon (70% saturation)
55-59% medium red (50% saturation)

50-54% pink (30% saturation)
45-49% orange -- Obama ahead (30% saturation)
45-49% yellow -- exact tie (40% saturation)
45-49% aqua -- Obama behind (20% saturation)
44% blue (20% saturation)
40-43% blue (50% saturation)
30-40% deep blue (70% saturation)
under 30%(90% saturation)

34  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: US Senate report on CIA interrogration/torture on: December 10, 2014, 10:04:26 am
Democrats hold too few other cards for the 2016 elections other than the potential unpopularity of Republican incumbents... GOP defenses of Dubya, Cheney, et al may make some incumbents vulnerable to political cat-calls.

Republicans almost never denounced the crimes when they had the chance. They get to pay even if they don't call for grinding the poor into Big Cat food at the zoo.
35  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: What is the chance of a democratic ticket of Hillary/Julian Castro carrying TX? on: December 10, 2014, 09:59:20 am
Practically nil. Texas is roughly the 410th through 45th electoral votes for a Democratic winner, and the VP selection has little influence on the State of the VP nominee. Julian Castro would be more relevant to Colorado or Florida, which would be swing states under most scenarios.  Unfortunately, "Castro" is a troublesome name for Florida politics for reasons that should be obvious.   
36  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: national poll: Americans are uncertain creationists on: December 09, 2014, 08:53:49 am
About 40% of Americans accept young-earth creationism as fact. Such shows how backward much of America is. If people can believe young-earth creationism they can believe any propaganda.
37  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Fascists Arive in New York to roaring cheers on: December 09, 2014, 08:51:06 am
Better the House of Windsor than the House of Koch.
38  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: MI cops seize man's property, freeze bank accounts - with no charges on: December 09, 2014, 08:48:38 am
Agreed, civil forfeiture has become so abused that it simply cannot be tolerated.  It's a nice idea in theory, but in practice it has been a horror.

It's time to stop this -- make sure that civil forfeiture before a conviction is to be done only if assets are necessary for the commission of a crime, or must be sold due to their perishability or rapid depreciation (proceeds to be held in trust). Otherwise, financial assets can be frozen without seizure and highly-liquid assets can be stored pending a lawful disposition.
39  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Michigan House passes bill legalizing religious discrimination on: December 09, 2014, 08:43:15 am
This was the law that was too bigoted for even Kansas and Arizona. Aren't there supposed to be more "moderate Republicans" in places like Michigan and Nevada?

Michigan Republicans are just as right-wing as those anywhere else -- even Alabama.

The GOP has gone from being the Party of Lincoln to being the Party of... Mussolini.
40  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: So, what happened to Rubio? on: December 07, 2014, 11:16:17 pm
He showed himself quickly as a marginal leader. He fit a promising narrative, only to show himself below average for Presidential prospects. He now looks like the sort of pol who gets swept in in one partisan wave and gets swept out in the reverse wave. 
41  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: national poll: Americans are uncertain creationists on: December 07, 2014, 02:56:17 pm
We Americans on the whole are becoming the great joke within both the Free World and the First World. We may be as few as five years of being simply a joke of both as we lose our freedom and our prosperity.
42  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Arizona redistricting goes to Supreme Court on: December 07, 2014, 01:05:25 am
What's the legal justification for striking down commissions?
A hyperliteral reading of Article I Section 4 so that only a State legislature may devise district maps for the House of Representatives.

But that ignores that State legislatures can delegate the drawing of Congressional districts to non-partisan commissions. What they cannot do is to draft districts that grossly disenfranchise large segments of the population. Michigan is a prime example: if you live more than ten miles west of US 23 or to the north of Bay City and you are a Democrat, your voice is unlikely to be heard in the House of Representatives. The Koch syndicate owns your Representative and pulls the strings.   
43  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: BREAKING: President Obama checks into hospital, complaining of "sore throat" on: December 06, 2014, 07:00:36 pm
Where were John Boehner and Mitch McConnell at when he came down with this "sore throat"?

Maybe they were sticking pins into a voodoo doll.

Just kidding.
44  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: In a presidential candidate, what is experience to you? on: December 06, 2014, 06:58:42 pm
The ideal for me is some mix of executive experience and knowledge of Washington.

This, and that would include private sector executive experience.

It's hard to see what private-sector experience would be best. Being an assembly-line worker who gets into the union and becomes a successful politician within the union and becomes the leader of a labor union might be wonderful experience; a big union such as the Teamsters of the UAW is in practice a big business due to the budget and other responsibilities.

Most people become specialists. Would finance, marketing, engineering, advertising, research, or accounting be most relevant? In a way all of those require a high level of intelligence, but they all have their deficiencies. Significantly, much of the power of any corporate executive is the ability to fire anyone who gets in his way... so try 'firing' the leader of the opposition while President of the United States. A President with such power would be a tyrant.

Profit-and-loss experience does not well fit government. Owners of giant plantations as a rule had huge experience in profit-and-loss -- but after the Civil War how few 'planter' types have eventually became President? The closest was Jimmy Carter, who spent much time as a peanut farmer. Even if he was free from the most anti-egalitarian characteristics that one associates with Southern agrarian types he was still an awful President.

Harry Truman had a checkered record as an entrepreneur. His haberdasher shop failed, and his foray into oil was far from successful (he did not stick with what would have been a good investment long enough). He was a wonderful fit as a politician, though.

Captain of a cruise ship? Would be interesting.     
45  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Who will Fiorina be comparable to? on: December 06, 2014, 05:28:59 pm
Herbert Hoover -- if elected.
46  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: The first Clinton 2016 song on: December 06, 2014, 05:27:59 pm
Intended to work on the base of the Other Side -- and if blue-collar white people who listen to country music can make any move toward the Democratic nominee for President, Hillary is going to win big.

What did you expect? Brahms?
47  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Who Would Agree To Be The VP Candidate In a Losing Ticket? on: December 06, 2014, 05:21:41 pm
Someone very old, whose political career is basically over -- or some minor politician.

Never held an elected office -- Sargent Shriver. ('72)
Member of the House -- William Miller ('64), Geraldine Ferraro ('84), Paul Ryan ('12). 
48  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Hillary Clinton's gay rights evolution on: December 06, 2014, 05:18:22 pm
Romney changes stance: Flip flop!
Clinton changes: SHE HAS EVOLVED

The thing is that most Americans have also flip flopped on the gay marriage issue.

Very few have 'evolved' from supporting it to opposing it.
49  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Rand Paul blames Garner's death on cigarette taxes on: December 04, 2014, 09:30:16 am
And he's not wrong.

New York State has the highest taxes on cancerweed in America; the purpose is to cut smoking and cut the costs of healthcare related to smoking.

Low rates of adult smoking correlate to positives in just about every social metric. In a study that I started on how the states measure against each other I found that high rates of smoking correlate negatively to statewide credit scores -- not to mention life expectancy. If you live in a state with a high rate of smoking, then a big chunk of state and local government spending goes to treating ailments related to smoking.

If you are going to pay high taxes, then at least let them be spent on roads, public transit, schools, libraries, etc.  Utah, which has by far the lowest rate of adult smoking, seems to get very good results from such government spending as it has. 
50  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: History of the legalization of same-sex marriage in America on: December 04, 2014, 01:23:31 am
To the surprise of many, Missouri gets SSM as the result of a decision by a State court early in November. So do Kansas, Montana, and South Carolina later in the month as appeals of lower-court rulings are appealed all the way to the Supreme Court. Those states are in aqua.

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

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.     

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