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1  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Elections / Re: Deeply Disturbing on: May 23, 2015, 07:35:03 am
"Deeply disappointing" would be a more appropriate title. If I were a Mideast voter, Lumine, you would have lost my vote with this stunt.
2  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Opinion of Torie on: May 18, 2015, 06:06:47 am
I like him, though his silly concern trolling about UK politics is annoying.

Nearly as annoying as his silly concern trolling about Upstate New York!
3  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Opinion of The Obamanation on: May 16, 2015, 11:18:26 am
Trash
The worst.
As a poster he's absolutely worthless.
An irritating waste.

Whatever there is to say about The Obamanation's posts, at least he isn't an asshole to anyone,

...presumably this appears to be the case because so few women post here.

I haven't read an Obamanation post in months, but I presume he hasn't interrupted his usual pattern of interminable inanity punctuated by savage misogyny.

He hasn't been like that at all on the new Atlas.

The great thing about "new Atlas" is that so much of what I like least about this forum has been diverted elsewhere temporarily. If that stream of content includes the nasty little fellow's posts, all the better.
4  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Elections / Disgraced former Pres. candidate Sirnick strikes again, vandalizes Fantasy Wiki on: May 16, 2015, 06:56:06 am
I noticed the following when I checked under 'recent changes' this morning. See for yourself:





As you might know, the Consolidated Criminal Justice Act defines maliciously editing the wiki as a crime against Atlasia. Unfortunately the law is silent on the topic of felonious childishness.
5  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Opinion of The Obamanation on: May 16, 2015, 06:40:10 am
Trash
The worst.
As a poster he's absolutely worthless.
An irritating waste.

Whatever there is to say about The Obamanation's posts, at least he isn't an asshole to anyone,

...presumably this appears to be the case because so few women post here.

I haven't read an Obamanation post in months, but I presume he hasn't interrupted his usual pattern of interminable inanity punctuated by savage misogyny.
6  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Voting Booth / Re: Southern Voting Booth - May 2015 Legislative Election on: May 15, 2015, 06:12:33 pm
[1] darthebearnc
[2] evergreen
[3] PiT
[4] Spiral
[5] SWE
[6] Ted Turner
7  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Rubio: As president, I wouldn't pursue a 2-state solution for Israel/Palestine on: May 15, 2015, 08:29:56 am
Quote
"I don't think the conditions exist for [a two-state solution] today,"

Isn't this the default Republican position on the subject at this point?
8  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Scott Walker proves the value of a college education on: May 14, 2015, 06:48:53 am
Even Marco Rubio's JD hasn't been enough to salvage his Twitter feed:

9  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: If Sanders proves to be an extremely strong candidate.......... on: May 14, 2015, 06:43:08 am
As unlikely as it is that Sanders will perform that well, the most incredible element in this hypothetical is that he would want to be VP.
10  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Update for Everyone III - The Whinge Binge on: May 13, 2015, 07:44:02 pm
Sociology of Deviance (Criminal Justice)

This will be a fun class.
11  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Elections / Re: Mideast Record-Courier Polls: Hypothetical June Southern Senate Election on: May 13, 2015, 07:41:53 pm
Hagrid has already earned my vote several times over.
12  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Opinion of bgwah on: May 13, 2015, 03:00:43 pm
if he hasnt posted a pic of himself, yet makes rude comments about others, id say that it is pretty f'ing cowardly.  it is cowardly anyway, but even worse if you dont post a pic.

It's understandable, though. I think that most other posters would be just as reluctant to post their photos if they were bald.
13  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Elections / Re: A National Conversation - Electoral Reform on: May 13, 2015, 02:58:01 pm
I'm open to reform, and voted in favor of the amendment to abolish at-large seats. Most of the other reform ideas that have been tossed around do not hold much appeal to me, though. Party-list voting would be dull for most players and there's not enough interest to justify creating new seats. Bicameralism is one of the worst ideas every proposed in Atlasia and I have no idea why it interests anyone.

Here's an idea that I've mentioned a couple of times before. The entire Senate should run for re-election every two months, instead of having staggered four-month terms. This would raise the stakes of each election, especially midterms. It would also force Senators to be more responsive to their constituents. Complaints about low engagement between the Senate and the public have become common enough that there should be some interest in doing something about it.
14  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Opinion of "first past the post" on: May 10, 2015, 08:35:53 pm
Not as terrible as most people here believe it to be, and it has some understated advantages. See this Jonathan Bernstein post:

Quote
There is no consensus among political scientists on the issue, although there certainly are plenty of people with strong opinions, especially -- at least in my experience -- among the advocates of p.r.  What they get wrong, I think, is that the ultimate goal of a political system cannot be to accurately reflect the strength of each party in parliament, much less accurately reflect the strength of all the views of the citizens in parliament, which is essentially impossible anyway.  No, what matters more is whether the government is responsive to citizens.  The composition of parliament is a means to that end.  So in a basically majoritarian system, a method of translating votes into seats that magnifies majorities isn't inherently problematic.

What I would try to avoid is a system that yields random and unpredictable results.  The idea that, in this election, strategic voters may not know what to do because they cannot predict what the parties will do after the election does not seem like a good thing to me.   But whether that would be helped or not by switching to a proportional system is not anything close to a sure thing.
15  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Opinion of Juggalos on: May 10, 2015, 06:42:24 pm
I've read a couple of "embedded journalism" pieces about the Juggalos and their Gathering. I get the impression that they provide a sense of community and family for a lot of people who don't otherwise have one because of various life traumas or disadvantages or just being "different."

Yeah, but writing them off as "white trash" is a lot easier than acknowledging that they're real human beings with emotions and a need to relate to other people.

One of the worst and dumbest subcultures ever. The way they're like a cult would be creepy if it wasn't just so stupid.

BRTD, are you trying to be ironic? This reads exactly like the least charitable reactions to your own subculture of choice. You, more than most people here, should be capable of reading the ugly, classist subtext.

16  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Government / Re: Childcare Reform Act (Debating) on: May 10, 2015, 06:21:11 pm
Aye
17  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Elections / Re: Re-Elect Talleyrand Northeast Senator! on: May 10, 2015, 04:41:14 pm
Endorsed.
18  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Obama blasts Warren on TPP on: May 10, 2015, 02:28:56 pm
On the other hand, most criticism of the TPP I've encountered deals with unsubstantiated fears of job losses and claims of economic benefits going unrealised, topped off with anti-corporate fearmongering. Caricature or not, it's what what most of the criticism is founded on. 

Fair enough, but I'm not sure what the response to those talking points is meant to achieve. If the goal is to make a substantively correct argument, the response should address the deal's most coherent critics rather than the most hysterical anti-TPP applause lines. If the goal is to make a politically appealing argument, lamenting the ignorance and illiteracy of the masses is unlikely to win sympathy except by flattering those who already agree. None of this is unusual: Most popular arguments on any policy topic are thinly-veiled appeals to bias and identity under the guise of common sense.

To respond to your other post, the most compelling points of criticism that I've seen come from policy writers like Jared Bernstein, Paul Krugman, and Matthew Yglesias.

Quote
Meanwhile, the economic and political benefits are clear and appreciable.

Are they? One of the most compelling pro-TPP points that I've heard is that it will probably to have an appreciable positive effect on wages in Vietnam. Otherwise, and particularly in the United States, the effects seem more likely to be minor.

Quote
Aside from currency manipulation I am not sure whether the United States would be negatively impacted by the things you mention. Nor I have read anything to suggest they'd be particularly consequential in the grand scheme of things. But I'm open to new information.

The worst effects of the deal will be felt outside of the United States. But I'm not about to deny non-US citizens standing; I think it's self-evident that their well-being deserves consideration. Moreover, the deal's distributional effects within the United States remain murky at best. I'm not interested in economic growth if it makes people who are already doing poorly even worse off.

Also, as someone who cares about the political prospects of the Democratic Party, I'm not happy about having a lame-duck president pushing a proposal that's clearly divisive for the Democratic coalition and unpopular among voters whom the party should be doing its best to win over. Even if I were entirely confident in the TPP's economic benefits, I would be concerned about the political effects of the agreement.
19  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Opinion of Bill De Blasio on: May 10, 2015, 01:05:21 pm
I'll yield to traininthedistance and Simfan on this one. The relationship between city government and state government seems to have become even more dysfunctional, but I don't blame De Blasio for that.
20  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: the most unpopular politician that you actually like. on: May 10, 2015, 12:56:59 pm
Stretching the definition of 'politician' a bit, Ben Bernanke.
21  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Obama blasts Warren on TPP on: May 10, 2015, 11:42:22 am
I had also meant to post this illustrative chart:

Illustrative of what, devoid of context? Whose analysis is this, what are their assumptions about the agreement, and how much uncertainty do their projections allow for? I do not think that this is helpful.

It does not inspire confidence that the people who are least ambiguous in their support of the agreement seem incapable of arguing against anything but a caricature of the criticism that they face. Nothing has done more than this to move me from lukewarm support of the TPP to qualified skepticism.

Comparative advantage is not a sufficient answer to the most serious objections, which are neither as economically nor as politically ignorant as the crowd that treats this as a matter of common sense would apparently prefer to pretend.

Even strong supporters of the deal should take the process concerns that I have mentioned more seriously, lest we reach no deal at all. Berating people for their stupidity is rarely a successful political strategy.
22  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Obama blasts Warren on TPP on: May 10, 2015, 08:53:12 am
Moreover, much of this debate is about how well various interest groups are represented during negotiations. This is a matter of influence rather than of having a literal seat at the table. As long as some kind of agreement is reached, whose interests are prioritized will have a stronger effect on the eventual outcome than whether negotiations occur in secret or in private.

Beyond the mere fact that it is President Obama's trade representative who is leading these negotiations, there is little evidence that those groups on the left that have been most critical of the TPP so far, including labor, environmental groups, consumer groups, and critics of American intellectual property laws, are receiving adequate representation. As Matt Yglesias said earlier this week, it's not even clear why the administration is so committed to this deal. "The president and his top advisors very sincerely and passionately want this win. But it is honestly hard to tell why they want it. "
23  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: The Reaganfan Theatre of Absurdity, Ignorance, and Bad Posts V on: May 09, 2015, 06:39:15 pm
Bravo Obama! Thank God we have a president who is bravely willing to stand up to both the teabagger far right and the professional left in this country. For the past seven years, you've just seen wave after wave of these nonsensical arguments from these bratty and entitled true leftists on the internet and now in Congress (on everything from Guantanamo to the NSA to the NDAA to Obamacare), and it's refreshing that Obama is finally willing to challenge these idiots. All they care about is symbolic battles, while Obama has been in the trenches for the past seven years actually doing concrete things to make this country better.

edit: I know that sounds angry and hyperbolic and I don't even really care that much about TPP, but "the left's" arguments against this have just been exhaustingly terrible and nothing but inflammatory fearmongering (SECRET DEALS!!!111! CORPORATIONS WILL SUE US!!!!11!). Imagine if the effort put into defeating this bill had been put into defending and promoting the Affordable Care Act. The American left is supposed to be reality-based and pragmatic, that is our greatest advantage over the frothing fascists on the other side of the aisle. But the reaction to the TPP has been embarrassing.
24  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Government / Re: Senate resolution: Improve the Senate Rules on: May 09, 2015, 02:03:06 pm
Just to be clear, I did not neglect any of the Vice President's duties. Per the rules, "The most senior Senator shall retain the powers and prerogatives as Speaker until the election of the Speaker."
25  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Government / Re: Senate resolution: Improve the Senate Rules on: May 09, 2015, 08:38:01 am
A few thoughts:

Quote
Article II, Clauses 1 and 2 shall be amended to read:
Quote
1) The Speaker shall be the presiding officer of the Senate and shall be responsible for upholding the provisions of these rules. No Senator other than the Speaker may open a thread on the Fantasy Government board unless authorized by the Speaker or by Senate resolution.

No strong preference. I don't think it hurts to preserve this as a safeguard against abuse, even if most violations are benign and justifiably ignored as a matter of common sense.

Quote
2. The most senior Senator who isn't on Leave of Absence, or the Senator chosen by the most senior Senator,  shall convene the Senate to elect a Speaker on the first day of each legislative session and when the office of Speaker is vacant. The Senate shall elect a Speaker from among its members by majority consent. The most senior Senator, who isn't on Leave of Absence, or the senator chosen by the most senior Senator shall retain the powers and prerogatives as Speaker until the election of the Speaker.
[/quote]

Does this really need to be spelled out? One of the virtues of rules reform was that we included enough flexibility that we didn't have to discuss every possible contingency. I don't understand why the Senate couldn't do what this amendment describes without changing the rules.

Quote
Article III, clause 3 and 4 shall be amended to read
Quote
3. The Speaker may keep up to nine eight threads open for voting and debate simultaneously. Each piece of legislation shall have a separate thread.
4.The first six five open threads shall be open to all legislation. The Speaker shall move legislation to these threads in the order in which it was introduced in the Legislation Introduction thread, except when the sponsor already has legislation on the Senate floor. If the sponsor already has two or more pieces legislation on the Senate floor, legislation from Senators who do not shall take priority until all such other legislation is completed. The seventh open thread shall be reserved for bills submitted by civilians in the Public Consultation and Legislation Submission thread.

No strong preference here.

Quote
Article VI, Clause 1 shall be amended to read:
Quote
1. The President of the Senate (i.e. the Vice President) shall open a confirmation hearing for presidential nominees immediately following the President's announcement of the nomination.

Sorry, Windjammer, I know that struck text is repetitive, but after last year's lawsuit I remain convinced that the rules need to be explicit here.

Quote
Article VII shall be amended to read:
Quote
Article VII: Expulsion of a Sitting Senator
Section 1: Introduction of an Article of Expulsion

Expulsion proceedings shall be initiated if:
1) The Senator has not posted anything on the Atlas Fantasy Government board for 168 consecutive hours and hasn't posted a valid Leave of Absence (then the time covered by that LOA shall not count toward those 168 hours, but periods of inactivity before and after the LOA shall count as a continuous period, provided there are no interceding posts. In order to be valid, a Leave of Absence shall not be longer than 368 hours). And an article of expulsion has been introduced in the Legislative Introduction Thread.
2) 5 Senators have sponsored an article of expulsion, introduced in the Legislative Introduction Thread, against one of their Senate colleagues

Section 2: Rules
1) The President of the Senate shall open a thread and commence the debates. The President of the Senate shall not be able to take part into the debates.
2) The Senator concerned by the article of expulsion shall be informed by private message and may hire an attorney for organising his/her defense.
3) Debates shall last at least for 72 hours. After the debates have elapsed, the President of the Senate shall open a vote, which shall last for 3 days. In order to expel the Senator, two-thirds of the current senators shall vote AYE.
4) If the acting President of the Senate is the Senator concerned by the article of expulsion, the most senior Senator, who is not the Senator concerned by the article of expulsion, shall administer the expulsion process.
5) If a Senator administers the expulsion process, he/she shall not be able to take part into the debates and shall not be able to vote, unless his vote matters and only after the 72 hours of voting have elapsed.
[/quote]

Not sure what the above text would change.

Quote
Article X shall be added to the Senate rules:
Quote
Article X: Seniority
Seniority shall be primarily determined by length of continuous service. There shall be 6 potential tiebreakers, ranked by their order of importance
1) Former Senator
2) Former Vice-President
3) Former member of a regional assembly
4) Former President
5) Former Governor
6) Alphabetical by username

I don't understand what's going on in the above. Why is it necessary? The odds of two Senators swearing in at precisely the same moment are so remote that it's not even worth considering, much less specifying half a dozen potential tiebreakers.
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