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26  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Election What-ifs? / Re: Advanced mapmaking for your timeline! on: October 24, 2014, 06:12:04 pm
Got a way to add Puerto Rico as a state? Cuba as a non-voting territory?
27  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Election What-ifs? / Re: Alternate US States on: October 24, 2014, 06:08:14 pm
Michigan would be more interesting if it were shorn of Wayne, Washtenaw, Oakland, Macomb, and (for contiguity to Erie, to which it belongs) Lenawee and Monroe Counties.

I'd be tempted to graft South Bend and Milwaukee into "Chicagoland".
28  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: The Official Obama 2.0 Approval Ratings Thread on: October 24, 2014, 05:52:21 pm
YouGov polled all 50 states:

The national rating was 40% approve, 57% disapprove.

That looks like 2016 at 41-58 or something..

It is pretty cool that the Democrats could lose a 1984-esque landslide these days and still win 100 electoral votes.

Incumbents usually gain about 6% in vote share from their early approval ratings if they run for re-election. They usually campaign to get re-elected unless they are have approval ratings well below 40%.

He'd still lose 47-53 or something.
29  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Electoral College problems for Republicans on: October 23, 2014, 01:30:36 pm
Here's the problem for the Republican Party:

The states and districts in deep red have given a majority of the popular vote to the Democrat in every Presidential election beginning in 2000 and a plurality in all Presidential elections from 1992 on. That's 232 electoral votes out of contest barring an unusually-weak Democratic nominee, which means that the Democrats have nearly 86% of the electoral votes that they need without really trying.   That is very charitable; that suggests that Wisconsin is available (and it will be if Scott Walker is re-elected. If the Koch brothers tell him to rig the Presidential election, then he just might do it). That's what I think of Scott Walker, and your opinion may differ. These states have comparatively few members of arch-conservative religious groups -- Mormons, Lutherans, or Christian Protestant fundamentalists.

OK -- what of the other side? I can put the states that have not voted for any Democrat since 1980 (as that involves two Reagan landslides), and have gone twice by at least 10% against Barack Obama in deep blue -- and that leaves only 86 sure electoral votes for a Republican no matter who the Democrat is. That is a tough standard, but I need a parallel.  

Those in medium red have voted for a Republican Presidential nominee at most once (Wisconsin never!) beginning in 1992.  That is 25 electoral votes. These states  are tough wins for Republicans in Presidential elections, and if the Republican picks off any of them he has likely won.  For another parallel I put those states that Republicans have gotten in all elections since 1980 and have gone to the Republican by less than 10% in 2008. That comprises three states and a measly 14 electoral votes (the two Dakotas and South Carolina).

257-100. Ouch. The Republicans have a lock on only 19% of the electoral votes against any Democratic nominee beginning with Bill Clinton. The Republicans cannot beat a "new Bill Clinton" if there is one. Democrats have nearly 48% of the electoral votes that they need with a "new Al Gore".

Areas in pale blue are those states and NE-02 that Democrats have won at most once beginning in 1992 and the one that Clinton won twice but Obama barely missed in 2008 (Missouri). Such accounts for 51 electoral votes on the fringe of a real contest in 2016. Surprisingly, not one of those states except for Georgia or North Carolina could itself win the election for a Democratic nominee. But if the Democrat wins North Carolina or Missouri he is also winning Virginia; if he wins Georgia he has won Virginia and Florida; if he wins Arizona or Montana he has also won Colorado and Nevada; if he wins Indiana he has also won Ohio -- and the Presidency.

(OK -- Bill Clinton won five states in both 1992 and 1996 that Obama lost by huge margins twice. It could be that Barack Obama is the worst possible match for those states since George McGovern. 38 electoral votes, same as Texas. If a Democrat picks these up we have a landslide on our hands. But that is boring). Barring that a populist swing occurs in 2016, those should be considered safe Republican.

The rest are states that Republican nominees cannot afford to lose. One of Florida, Ohio, or Virginia (white) or the pair of  Colorado and Nevada (which are politically if not culturally and demographically similar) wins it.    


30  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Electoral College problems for Republicans on: October 22, 2014, 11:13:51 pm
To win, Republicans must win back the sorts of people who believe in thrift, investment, enterprise, and rational thought -- essentially the sorts who would have voted for Eisenhower in the 1950s. They have no use for attempts to impose fundamentalist Christianity in the schools or regulate sexuality.

If Republicans ignore such people, then Democrats will pick them up.
31  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Arizona, Georgia, Montana: Which ones could Hillary carry? on: October 22, 2014, 11:01:59 pm
You could throw Texas in there too.

Bill Clinton never won Texas.
32  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Electoral College problems for Republicans on: October 22, 2014, 05:54:26 pm
With a Tea Party electorate, Republicans win the Presidency in a landslide.

That's not to say that the Tea Party is not past its peak influence.  

Virginia? Government employees.

33  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Rank Each State on the Spectrum on: October 22, 2014, 03:09:51 pm
My assessment:


This implies that I ignore "populist" and "libertarian" tendencies. Libertarian tendencies seem fairly stable, but populism is extremely cyclical. For a state like Arkansas or Georgia -- which way is the wind blowing?


34  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Rank Each State on the Spectrum on: October 22, 2014, 03:00:45 pm
Just went with the conservative to liberal scale. Did it on the politics of the residents.

30% shade = slightly liberal/conservative
50% shade = solidly liberal/conservative
90% shade = very liberal/conservative

Illinois and Indiana always look so weird next to each other surrounded by swingies and moderates.

Assuming this map is good maybe Kentucky and West Virginia will swing back if an alternative to the Carbon industry starts to flourish there. The same thing goes for Nevada and New Mexico if Republicans can do better with Hispanics.

That is asking a lot. Republicans have lost Hispanics until they abandon the anti-intellectualism that offends middle-class Hispanics who almost as a rule are well-educated. New Mexico is basically gone for the GOP except for an occasional Governor. Nevada? The gambling industry is in some ways the ideal "green" industry.

The GOP lost Mexican-Americans outside of Texas because of the real estate boom and bust that hit Mexican-Americans hard. Those who have been burned are not going to forgive the GOP for their "Opportunity (for economic ruin) Society" for a very long time. Why not Texas? Texas has some of the most stringent regulations of mortgage lending in America.

I can't imagine any high-tech industry being attracted to either Kentucky or West Virginia. Those states just have too little to offer. Even Michigan has more to offer, like better K-12 education (outside of Metro Detroit). For a dump, Detroit has some good high-brow culture... and some comparatively-cheap recreational waterfront. 

The Democrats are going to have to elect a Democrat for Senate in Kentucky or West Virginia to justify the pink. If Udall loses the Senate seat in Colorado, then Colorado goes light-blue and New Mexico goes medium-red.

I have downplayed populism in my assessment because populism is cyclical. "Populist" states swing Left and Right on economics (if little else). There have been times when the South was to the Left of America as a whole in politics -- as in 1976, when Jimmy Carter won all former-Confederate states except Virginia but lost a raft of states in the West and Northeast that few can now think of as "Republican in all but Democratic landslides". 
35  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Polls on Same-Sex Marriage State Laws on: October 22, 2014, 02:02:01 pm
36  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: If you thought Obama's response to Ebola hasn't been ideal... on: October 22, 2014, 02:00:55 pm
Ebola comes from Africa, you see.


So did humanity. So did much of civilization (if from the far-northeastern corner of Africa).
37  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential General Election Polls / Re: FL-Gravis: Clinton 37% Bush 36%; Clinton 43% Rubio 35% on: October 22, 2014, 12:02:42 am
Leader in a binary choice under 40% -- rubbish.
38  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: How many states will SSM be legal in in 2016? on: October 21, 2014, 05:01:03 pm
50, but I'm not so sure the Supreme Court is going to have to rule on this. The circuit courts seem poised to strike down all the remaining bans and the Supreme Court won't need to rule.

Some state Governors and Attorneys-General will file stays that the US Supreme Court will vacate for lack of compelling substance.

I would not be surprised if some states attempt to undo the Supreme Court ruling by legislation to tweak the judgment to offer a worthless permission for SSM, like giving a minimum age of 80, requiring ten years, residency in the state for both applicants... just think of the absurd restrictions.   
39  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Lima, Ohio: A portrait of not getting by in the Rust Belt on: October 20, 2014, 08:19:14 am
Interesting to hear that comparison with Toledo. The last time I was there I had this feeling of despair, it felt so lifeless and hopeless, like everyone had given up. The only maintained buildings in the city were public. That Lima feels even worse...

I see few people except at such an attraction as the Museum of Art (which is a great one!)... and even the suburbs seem less than lively.

There is no new construction. The newest big building is the baseball stadium for the Detroit Tigers' AAA team. I haven't been there on a Sunday morning, so I don't know whether people are at least going to church. Toledo has become a fossil.

40  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Alabama treats inmates like Victorian debtors at best, stray animals at worst on: October 20, 2014, 08:11:12 am
The American prison system practices amoralist treatment of inmates? No way.

Firstly, amoralist isn't a word, and secondly, even if it were it doesn't refer to what I think you are referring to. Secondly, who are you to judge what is immoral and what isn't. You are merely an individual and from what I can gather not exactly a hugely wealthy or powerful one either. I also recall that you are not religious, thus meaning that you have no Church, no God and no book to back up whatever definition of morality that you are peddling. You are also criticising the morality of the state, yet, again, you have no comparable source of weight to back up your claims to know what it is to be moral.

So, what would you do? The state has to signal its disapproval of the actions of criminals (in a way that is easy for everybody to understand), thus, naturally, prisons must be unpleasant places to be. Far from being a violation or dereliction of duty, these prisons are in fact performing to a tee the role that prisons should perform; that is, to be hard, nasty places of punishment and suffering for the inmates.

Although I wouldn't, myself, go in for withholding medical care from inmates, that is only because I am of the view that they should be farmed out to do hard labour for free, and, you know, crippled criminals aren't likely to perform such tasks particularly well. Nonetheless, I see nothing particularly immoral here, in fact, in my own flawed, worthless individual perspective, I see this treatment as being perfectly morally justifiable.

I certainly don't think prisons should be nice places, but yuck.  Just yuck. 

Prisoners are still humans and citizens too.  While they aren't meant to be pleasant, that doesn't mean that they don't have some tangible value other than for hard labor.  Surely there's a middle ground here.

Prisons as tools of exploitative elites who get cheap labor to be treated badly cannot rehabilitate people. They can only break people or while make them more hostile to society in general. Inmates can only see the State as an agent of exploitation. Such is so whether in the post-Reconstruction South or Stalin's Soviet Union. It is intended to remain indefinitely.

So create a culture in which inmates learn to respect personal property and human rights by stripping them of their autonomy and then bringing them back.

The plantation model of politics and perhaps in turn economics is making a comeback in the South for now; if there is a Devil he must be proud of his vile handiwork as he was of the Gulag.   

41  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Polls on Same-Sex Marriage State Laws on: October 20, 2014, 08:00:02 am

Gov. Matt Mead said late Friday afternoon that the state will not appeal the ruling.

Mead did say, however, that he accepts the court's decision even though he is disappointed by it.

"This result is contrary to my personal beliefs and those of many others," he said in a statement. "As in all matters, I respect the role of the courts and the ruling of the court.

"While this is not the result I and others would have hoped, I recognize people have different points of view and I hope all citizens agree we are bound by the law."


I am satisfied. 32 states and DC.  

Recent YouGov map with appropriate modifications as of 6PM EST, 18 October 2014:

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 was not permanently legalized as of 2 PM EST on 18 October 2014:

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

4th circuit*
5th circuit
6th circuit*
8th circuit
9th circuit*
10th circuit*
11th circuit

*Next appeal, US Supreme court.

Colors have no political significance.

DC and all states within the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 7th 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

42  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Polls on Same-Sex Marriage State Laws on: October 19, 2014, 08:48:35 pm
Sorry for the double post, but could you go ahead and paint Wyoming white? It's coming this week.

When the relevant official in Wyoming says that there will be no appeal or that the relevant judge says that there will be no stay allowed -- or nobody files a stay by 8PM, October 23. I did not see text for the Wyoming case as I did for Arizona.

I have been burned before in assuming that the decision of the Circuit Court is final.

Just think -- Michigan could be next! 

Some of the stays are nothing more than stalling techniques for which the US Supreme Court so far shows little tolerance. 

We are creating a historical document, a play-by-play of and I want my part in its creation to be accurate. It is not my desire to anticipate decisions of courts of law or (were there any) any initiative or referendum. Who knows -- there could be some legislative efforts either to hasten the process or to attempt to shore up an existing anti-SSM law, or even seek a statewide outlawry of SSM. 
43  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Alabama treats inmates like Victorian debtors at best, stray animals at worst on: October 19, 2014, 08:20:26 am
And people from the south claim to wonder why the south is ridiculed?

The South needs Carter-like pols who can convince blacks and poor whites to see each other as partners instead of adversaries. Carter may have been an awful President, but he was apparently a fine Governor.  Racist reactionaries have frequently offered "white privilege" as the local version of the "opiate of the masses" as a reward for refusing to show solidarity with poor blacks. 
44  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential General Election Polls / Re: Idaho-PPP: Hillary down by double digits on: October 19, 2014, 08:18:10 am
Idaho hasn't gone Democrat since 1964 (when every state did pretty much) and before that 1948.  Not only that, it's gotten much more conservative since 1968 (when its current streak started).  Obviously never say never (who could have seen the '28-'32 shift coming, for example), but I can't see a Democrat carrying it anytime soon.

Idaho becomes a state vulnerable to the Democrats in

(1) a 45-state blowout,
(2) it gets a large Hispanic minority, or
(3) the LDS hierarchy goes D (the situation before 1952).
45  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Ohio in 2016 on: October 19, 2014, 08:14:32 am
Ohio is going to be winnable for Democrats probably for many more election cycles, but it's definitely trending R.

Ohio is also going to become less relevant.

True on that. Ohio is going to keep hemorrhaging population and electoral votes. Its cities are old industrial towns whose infrastructure will get increasingly costly to maintain while the tax base erodes (look at Detroit and St. Louis as examples outside Ohio). The only growth area in Ohio is Greater Columbus. The auto industry upon which Ohio depends for much of a once well-paid industrial force (tires, steel) is no longer a growth industry.  The advantages that Ohio once had in having cities relatively close to each other to keep costs of transportation and having a strong agricultural base to keep food inexpensive are now nothing special.
46  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: How many states will SSM be legal in in 2016? on: October 19, 2014, 12:11:03 am
Sorry about the different color scheme, but it comes from a different thread.

Recent YouGov map with appropriate modifications as of 6PM EST, 17 October 2014:

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

White -- SSM equality by law.

Others, based upon popularity of SSM :

Green -- more popular than unpopular.
Yellow -- toss-up
Red -- more unpopular than unpopular, with the more intense shades showing more severe unpopularity.

Wyoming will go into the white category within a week. It has three working days in which to seek a stay, and it will need a very strong argument that has failed. Kansas is in the same Federal district with Wyoming, and it has had some same-sex marriages.  The US Supreme Court will not continue stays that exist solely to delay compliance with a lower-court ruling.   

47  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Lima, Ohio: A portrait of not getting by in the Rust Belt on: October 18, 2014, 11:56:24 pm
It's still amazing to me how people in Ohio think that a quarter black population constitutes some sort of negro ghetto. A quarter black here is a mass affluent McMansion suburb.

People in Ohio (people in general actually) don't think about towns as "a quarter black." They think "there's way more black people than what I normally see" and connect that to run down, urban environments. I would hope most of them don't think one is a cause of the other, but they probably do.

I've only been through Lima a handful of times but it's similar to Toledo, where I grew up. NW Ohio is an unbelievably depressing place. But, like what Torie said (an excellent post by the way), your connections to family and friends can be an overwhelming force to keep you put. And isn't that kind of just fine?

dead0, Ohio is bleeding population like crazy. Texas is being overwhelmed with Midwesterners looking for work. The people who are not moving shouldn't be blamed for clinging to the lives they've already worked their asses off for just because they lost the arbitrary geography/prosperity lottery eventually (say that five times fast). Their kids will probably gtfo though. I got waay out, obviously, and my other siblings ended up in, well, Texas.

Immobility is one of the hallmarks of persistent poverty. People who can get out of depressed areas find a way to get out. Maybe they work two minimum-wage jobs that require a 20-mile commute each way, save every penny that they can, and make the move to where the jobs are.  That is a tough way to live, and one has to see two years of misery before something incrementally better. Extreme poverty culls out the competent and wrecks the marginal.

The people who stay get poorer and more helpless. They wait for a resurgence that may never come. So it is in much of coal country. The tax base erodes, and so does the infrastructure. The smart kid who attends Ohio State and gets a teaching credential may find more opportunities in Iowa than in Ohio. That may be one talented teacher that the Ohio community never gets. Roads deteriorate, schools deteriorate, drugs proliferate, criminal gangs flourish, and, well...

I have been to Toledo several times, and it in no way looks like Lima, which I have seen only once. Lima utterly creeps me out; it is basically Detroit with a 'whiter' population. I suspect that anyone who can get out of Lima for Fort Wayne, Indianapolis, or Columbus does so.

48  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Rank Each State on the Spectrum on: October 18, 2014, 11:38:48 pm
Here are some of my problems with the characterizations of states (aside from the label "populist". We have states with very different politics in the same category, and not only as style. Not judging close races, I see Ohio and Pennsylvania in the same category. Pennsylvania is on the fringe of being a swing state. It could be the tipping-point state in 2016, but that has yet to happen. Ohio is nearly a tipping state now, and was the tipping-point state in 2004.

But -- Pennsylvania has not voted for a Republican nominee for President since 1988. Ohio has gone with the winner every time. In the gubernatorial race of 2014, Pennsylvania is sure to oust its Republican governor, and Ohio is likely to re-elect its Republican governor by a landslide.

States swing rapidly after politicians overreach without consolidating power to the extent that they cause the losing Party to give up. Colorado and Kansas look like opposite counterparts; Colorado elected Democrats much to the left of the center, and Kansas elected Republicans so far to the right that they offended many Republicans.

49  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Arizona gay marriage ban struck down on: October 18, 2014, 11:09:36 pm
When you exclude pending appeals (that will inevitably fail), areas where the overturn has occurred but is pending (FL & WY), and states in districts where the bans have been ruled unconstitutional but the states have not yet been forced to recognize it (SC, KS, MT), there are only 10 states left to fall, which comprise barely 15% of the US population.

Imagine that. Roll Eyes

Damn, MO, hurry up so we can have contiguous coast-to-coast SSM coverage!

Ohio is in the 8th Judicial district, so it goes with Kentucky, Michigan, and Tennessee.
50  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Alabama treats inmates like Victorian debtors at best, stray animals at worst on: October 18, 2014, 11:04:35 pm
Where people are deemed expendable -- expect the worst in the legal and penal system.
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