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1  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Elections / Re: Pacific Senate Champaign Headquaters. on: January 30, 2015, 11:24:18 pm
Maybe you should contact this Champaign manager?

2  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Jim Webb interview on Morning Edition on: January 30, 2015, 03:03:02 pm
  • Democrats need to "return to their principles" because they can't rely on minorities to turn out in large enough numbers to win while "winning less than 40% of the white vote."

Is he referring to midterms here? Because this just happened in 2012...

His presumption is either that Democrats will win a smaller share of black voters or that fewer black voters will turn if a black candidate is not on the top of the ballot. In context, it's not clear which of the two he's getting at.
3  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Did Jindal Peak too Early? on: January 30, 2015, 02:44:27 pm
Bobby Jindal's political career has become a counterpoint to the idea that no one can ever go broke underestimating the intelligence of the American people.
4  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Jim Webb interview on Morning Edition on: January 30, 2015, 02:36:38 pm
JANUARY 30, 2015 - Former Democratic Sen. Jim Webb Explores Presidential Bid

It's seven minutes long. Do you care enough about Webb's campaign to listen for that long? Probably not, and you probably shouldn't. But, if you're so inclined, you won't hear anything especially surprising. I couldn't find a transcript, so here are a few notes.

  • He's concerned that Democrats have ignored the "white working class" who are misunderstood as racist "in many cases."
  • Democrats need to "return to their principles" because they can't rely on minorities to turn out in large enough numbers to win while "winning less than 40% of the white vote."
  • He admires Andrew Jackson as "the first President who was not of aristocratic descent" and for shaping "the American philosophy."
  • He shies away from criticizing BO's SOTU proposals, but expresses dissatisfaction with the recovery. Hints at a populist economic agenda, but doesn't get more specific than pointing out that rising stock indices have had very little effect on many people.
  • He also declines to comment on HC's candidacy. "She has not announced that she's running. If I run, it will not be as a counterpoint to her [candidacy]."
5  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Romney says he's not running on: January 30, 2015, 02:22:49 pm
Jonathan Bernstein wrote something yesterday that came close to saying what Simfan and others have posted here:

Quote
The best case for [Romney] at this point is that he’s on more or less even footing with several other candidates. Even then I’d rank him lower than most. His chances of becoming an embarrassment are considerably higher than his chances of becoming president. This doesn’t mean he’ll drop out (his chances of becoming president drop to zero that way). But it does mean that, unless he has lost touch with reality again, he’ll only continue if he’s willing to risk enduring humiliation. 

He elaborates on this analysis in another post today, following news of Romney's withdrawal:

Quote
The story was pretty simple: Republican party actors, including many who had been with him in 2012, strongly signaled to Romney that they had little use for him this time around, as many observers expected. He could have continued anyway, but with a much better chance of humiliation than of winning the presidency. He sensibly decided to fold.

He draws two conclusions from this. First, this is a strong crop of Republican candidates. Second, the size of the Republican field today doesn't guarantee that the race will remain crowded by the end of the year. (I haven't read enough of the 2016 board to know whether these are unsurprising and uncontroversial statements among posters here.)
6  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Napoleon Memorial Thread #RIP on: January 30, 2015, 01:00:53 pm
"Keep the monkey around because it amuses us" is a more sympathetic argument, but understandably it's not one that holds much appeal for anyone responsible for shoveling the monkey's feces.



Yes yes yes, i'm no ignorant, AN.  I understand that the socks create headaches for our mods, and that they have very thankless jobs.  But the murder of opebo had long-lasting repercussions where a lot of us want to be big rabble-rousers in FC, for lack of a better term. 

That's not quite what I meant, HD. My reaction is less a matter of glee over the banning of another Kyle Mercado sock than it is of relief that "Napoleon" never existed, except as a performance put on at our expense.
7  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Make up a conspiracy theory about the previous poster on: January 30, 2015, 11:08:18 am
I'm sorry, I thought that posting in this thread implied that you had a sense of humor about yourself.
8  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Napoleon Memorial Thread #RIP on: January 30, 2015, 11:05:28 am
"Keep the monkey around because it amuses us" is a more sympathetic argument, but understandably it's not one that holds much appeal for anyone responsible for shoveling the monkey's feces.

9  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Make up a conspiracy theory about the previous poster on: January 30, 2015, 10:49:37 am
Antonio V never actually studied the United States, but instead took a couple of courses through the University of Phoenix and spent several hours each day exploring California in Google Street View.
10  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Napoleon Memorial Thread #RIP on: January 30, 2015, 10:42:33 am
One thing we should all have learned from this forum, both due to our Oklahoman comrade and our experiences with the disastrous unbannings of Libertas and Einzige, is that people never, ever change.

Another lesson that we have learned is that sizable minority of posters will overlook any transgression, as long as the wrongdoer was friendly toward them personally.
11  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Who would you rather have as governor? on: January 29, 2015, 08:50:45 am
It's still nothing compared to all the excellent policies Rockefeller put out (sans the War on Drugs, which is only good on paper).

Nearly every complaint about state government in New York that casual observers tend to blame on "Democratic dominance" - e.g. high tax rates, minimal accountability to the public, massive size and impenetrable complexity, incomprehensible decisions, lack of respect for the dignity of the individual - is attributable to Rockefeller.
12  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Who would you rather have as governor? on: January 28, 2015, 10:05:43 pm
George Wallace's 4th & final term as AL Gov > any of Rocky's terms as NY Gov
13  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: How to Decide if a Poster is HP on: January 28, 2015, 10:01:31 pm
We have one poster who contributes quite a bit to elections discussion and has definitely made valuable contributions, but has also said some very disturbing things about rape, plus lots of comments with implied racism and anti-Semitism. By this standard he's a FF. Yes, flawed standard.

Not every poster shares enough with the forum to determine whether he or she holds repulsive opinions - so it doesn't hold as a general rule - but if I know that someone is a bigot, that's relevant to other obligations that I care about that are not exclusive to Atlas posters.
14  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: How to Decide if a Poster is HP on: January 28, 2015, 09:43:51 pm
When I bother to think about the subject before voting, I ask one question: Does this person meet his or her obligations (wrt whatever activities I know and care about)?

If all that I know about a person is his or her posts, those posts need to be thoughtful - or, at a minimum, interesting - to merit 'FF' status. A poster who consistently posts without having anything to say1  is not an FF, so he or she must be an HP.

Probably the most egregious example of 'posting without having anything to say' is Bushie. And I am not even referring to the Update - his posts on politics (and, reportedly, football) epitomize the sort of ill-informed, brain-dead chatter that drives me mad.

1I mean this in a broad sense, e.g. asking questions counts as having something to say.
15  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Government / Re: Civil Rights Act of 2014 (Voting) on: January 26, 2015, 08:50:21 pm
How much is Section 3.5 supposed to cost?
16  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Update XX: A Darn Good Judge of My Financial Situation on: January 26, 2015, 01:08:03 pm
I'm more interested in the claim that there are no racists in Oklahoma. Not one!

Of course there are racists, but the vast majority of Oklahomans are not racist.

I'm certainly not a racist as is no one in Oklahoma. 

???
17  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Update XX: A Darn Good Judge of My Financial Situation on: January 26, 2015, 11:50:02 am
I'm more interested in the claim that there are no racists in Oklahoma. Not one!
18  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Did Reagan run on racism? on: January 26, 2015, 11:05:18 am
But even Perlstein hasn't used the Atwater interview as the lynchpin of his argument about Reagan's racial politics - it's just a piece of evidence that, understandably, grabbed  headlines when it came to light. Whether or not you want to call it a confession, it is an admission that Reagan appealed to racists by using implicitly racist language and running on implicitly racist policies.
19  Questions and Answers / The Atlas / A spooky coincidence on: January 26, 2015, 10:51:57 am
12/2/2010: Poster A makes his final post prior to his first banning.

12/23/2010: Poster B registers as a member of the forum and begins posting on the same date. He posts almost every day through fall of 2014.

12/24/2014: Poster B, who had been posting less frequently since August, makes his final post of 2014.

1/1/2015: Poster A returns to the forum.

1/16/2015: Poster A makes his final post prior to his second banning.

1/17/2015: Poster B returns for the first time since Christmas Eve of the previous year. He makes two posts, one of them in the "Opinion of Poster A" thread. (By now, I am sure that most of you have guessed the identities of these posters.) Here is Poster B's second post:

Quote
Had a dream where my face was the texture of cantaloupe rind, the lines were a mustardy color. And there was a scar like structure on my cheek that was a little patched over. I awoke and realized I had fallen asleep at my kitchen counter staring at a cantaloupe. Then I actually awoke and realized I was in my bed and started freaking out and my face felt weird but there was nothing there.

20  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: has tinder ruined our society once and for all? on: January 26, 2015, 09:11:36 am
OKCupid has made me take a lot of things for granted - among them, that I can spot most of the crazies, the bigots, and the dullards - along with women who just aren't like to be compatible with me, obviously - before chatting with them. It's depressing that the site is getting more Tinder-ish. (AFAIK the OKCupid mobile app is virtually identical.)

I'm not bothered by any particular person using Tinder. I mean, do whatever you like. But I don't want it to become a fixture, a swipe stamping on a human face forever. Apparently it's extremely popular among undergraduates now? My younger brother started using it as a freshman.
21  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Elections / Re: BIOPOLITICS with Foucaulf - Exposing the Midwest on: January 25, 2015, 01:21:08 pm
Since my name has come up, I feel compelled to comment - and, I hope, clarify why doubts about revenue estimates are legitimate.

Budget projections are predictions, and the GM's predictions are not guaranteed to be more accurate than anyone else's. They are not the word of God, they do not account for events and policy changes that take place in and around the region over the following year, and they are not meant to be perfect. Furthermore, if I'm not mistaken, the Midwest raised several tax rates in a revised budget last summer. In any case, I would expect fluctuations in global energy markets to have a marked effect on a region that collects a substantial share of its revenue from fuel taxes.
22  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Did Reagan run on racism? on: January 25, 2015, 12:43:53 pm
And, Shua, I am excruciatingly embarrassed to see a poster whom I usually respect defending Atwater's remarks as evidence that the 1980 campaign was not largely about race.

I'm saying Atwater said it was not about race.  I don't know how someone can fairly come to any other conclusion that he was arguing anything else, unless there's some sort of deconstructionist hermeneutic involved. Maybe he's just justifying himself retroactively, I don't know, but if you quote Atwater as an authority on the subject, then don't take his remarks out of context and twist them around to try to make it sound like he supported the very argument he was criticizing. 

I don't know what a "deconstructionist hermeneutic" is, but how exactly are you connecting that ominous Atwater line about "doing away with the racial problem one way or the other" to the claim that racism wasn't relevant to the 1980 presidential campaign?

He is taking the premise of this question:
Quote
Q: But might there–I’m not saying that he does this consciously–but the fact is that he does get to the Wallace voter, and to the racist side of the Wallace voter, by doing away with legal services, by doing away with, cutting down on food stamps–
and accepting it for the sake of argument.
He is arguing that a campaign that might appeal to racists by pointing to other issues that might be subconsciously related to racism is going to leave racial politics behind anyway by focusing on those other, substantively nonracial, issues.  There's some weakness to that argument, but this is one of many things he is saying in defending against the charge that the campaign was racist.

I've never seen anyone maintain that explicitly racist language was a staple of Reagan's campaigns. What claim are you arguing against?
23  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Good Left Wing Books on Middle Class Decline? on: January 24, 2015, 05:37:51 pm
Yeah, I (mostly) like Krugman, but I wouldn't recommend Conscience of a Liberal to anyone except maybe a left-leaning person with a budding interest in politics. Most of the older posters here who are at all likely to be sympathetic to its claims and proposals don't have much to learn from it.
24  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Atlas Ministry of Purity Crimes Self-Reporting Thread on: January 24, 2015, 05:35:39 pm
That article was written over a year before the GRE's redesign. I don't know whether that actually helped, but I never saw any questions about sailing or opera. A good thing, too, because I don't know a spinnaker from a libretto.
25  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Good Left Wing Books on Middle Class Decline? on: January 24, 2015, 05:29:43 pm
Hollowing Out the Middle: The Rural Brain Drain and What It Means for America

This book is not quite what you're looking for, as its focus is explicitly on changes in small towns and rural areas. That said, it addresses some of the issues most relevant to the transformation of the American middle class - population movements, educational attainment, family structure, the ideology of achievement, rising inequality - better than anything else that I can think of offhand. Besides, the American middle class - or, more accurately, the idea of the American middle class - is inextricably rooted in our towns and villages, so it's worth getting a rural perspective on the subject if you're seriously interested in it.

Bowling Alone is another title that comes to mind. I have no idea whether you'd qualify either of these books as belonging to the "left," but both are more worth reading than David Brooks or *shudders* Charles Murray.
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