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51  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: What's the best thing that Israel has done for America? on: May 20, 2015, 08:56:38 pm


No, Israel is definitely held to another standard. No one cares about the Moroccan occupation of the western Sahara

It will surprize you, but for many years I was getting a lot more mailings about Western Sahara than about Israel. Perhaps, because I speak Spanish and lived in Spain for a while. BTW, Mexico has both Palestinian and SPDR embassies - and they produce roughly equal ammounts of news.

In Spain, because of proximity to Morocco, I can imagine that the occupation of Western Sahara is a bigger issue than in most places. But around the world, more attention is paid to Palestine than Western Sahara, I'm afraid.

But, anyway, you were responding to the post that said that Israel is not being held "to a different standard than they hold any other Western power." You chose to illustrate the contrary with Morocco and Bhutan. I guess, Morocco is geographically pretty far West, but that was not what that poster had in mind, I believe.

I interpreted Western as meaning simply "ally of America", which to be fair is a much broader usage of the term than is normal, but seems to make sense in this case, since most countries otherwise defined as Western don't have issues with bordering territories that are hell-bent on making war on them unless they are occupied. Bordering Khaled Mashal is not the same thing as bordering Elio di Rupo.
52  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: What's the best thing that Israel has done for America? on: May 20, 2015, 08:20:29 pm
You're really not even trying to hide it anymore, are you?

Hide what?

Shall we go back to the Happy Merchant meme, or has it been deleted?

This is dumb as hell. Snowstalker is not anti-Semitic.

The opinions he has might as well be, even if he doesn't realize it himself. Someone who says blacks hinder America, while being fine in other countries, is still a racist.

If he was cheering on US drone bombing in Pakistan but condemning Israel in the occupied territories, then you would have a case. As it stands, there's no evidence that he (or the anti-Israel left in general) hold Israel to a different standard than they hold any other Western power. You could argue that the left are self hating Westerners but to say that they are anti-Semitic is, again, idiotic. 

No, Israel is definitely held to another standard. No one cares about the Moroccan occupation of the western Sahara; the Turkish annexation of northern Cyprus; or the Bhutanese expulsion of Nepalis, even though these have all contravened international law much more, and much more flagrantly, than Israel has. You could of course point out that Israel is a much closer American ally than any of these countries, which is true, but then you'd have to note that Israel's singling out dates back to before it was such a close American ally, and is sustained mostly by anti-Semitism; and the left is, while maybe not being overtly anti-Semitic, at least abetting anti-Semitism when it joins in.
53  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Why is Rubio even running? on: May 19, 2015, 08:20:15 pm
Because he feels that a 2016 presidential run (and possible nomination, for president or VP) is a better bet than running statewide in Florida in 2016. If he doesn't win in 2016, he can always run statewide in 2018, which will be a much better bet than 2016.

Rubio is very clearly one of the three frontrunners for the nomination, together with Bush and Walker. His candidacy isn't a joke at all.
54  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / U.S. Presidential Election Results / Re: Could Hillary have won Arkansas and West Virginia in 2008? on: May 18, 2015, 04:14:23 pm
I'm quite confident that she would've won both, along with Missouri, but lost Indiana. KY and NC are question marks in my head; she would've done much better in the first and a little worse in the second, but I don't know if it would've been enough to swing the result.

The more salient question might be whether Clinton can be competitive there in 2016, and I think the answer to that is "no longer".
55  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / U.S. Presidential Election Results / Re: Who was winning in may the year before each election since 1960 on: May 18, 2015, 04:09:34 pm
May 1963 -- Goldwater was the favorite to become the Republican nominee. I don't know if polls were taken this early, but while JFK was reasonably popular, he had his detractors, and I think conventional wisdom was a narrow JFK win over Goldwater. Also, I doubt Goldwater was doing too well in the South before the CRA passed; this one ended up looking completely different.

May 1967 -- Yeah, you hit the dot. George Romney was the favorite to become the Republican candidate before Nixon's re-emergence, and LBJ was very unpopular. He would probably have led any national polling conducted by a great deal. I don't know what the South was thinking before the emergence of Wallace's candidacy, because neither Romney nor LBJ appealed to them much.

May 1971 -- Muskie was narrowly defeating Nixon. This one was totally off.

May 1975 -- There was no clear favorite for the Democratic nomination; Scoop Jackson and Mo Udall were probably best-placed in early polling; the Wikipedia article mentions that Udall led in national primary polling early in the race but had declined by the time Iowa came around, so maybe Udall was in the lead at this point. Any Democrat would be crushing Ford by double-digits. This was before any clear primary challenge to Ford had emerged.

May 1979 -- No Democratic challenger had emerged yet to Carter; Kennedy did not begin running until the fall. Ronald Reagan was the overwhelming favorite for the Republican nomination, but he was perceived as somewhat extremist and may not have been leading Carter by all that much in polling, though he was probably ahead. This one actually ended up looking decently like early polling in the end.

May 1983 -- This was one of the low points of Reagan's presidency; he was under 40% approval. Mondale was the early odds-on favorite to win the Democratic nomination, and he was probably leading Reagan in national polling. The two candidates were predicted correctly, but the result was totally off.

May 1987 -- Gary Hart and George Bush were overwhelming favorites for their respective nominations, and Democrats led in national polling. This one didn't look much like it was expected to.

May 1991 -- Bush was overwhelmingly, overwhelmingly popular. Mario Cuomo was the odds-on favorite for the Democratic nomination, with only much worse known, basically minor candidates having declared at this point; Bush was leading him in national polling by double-digits. This was before Ross Perot emerged. The race did not look much like this at the end.

May 1995 -- Although Bob Dole was expected to run, the favorite for the Republican nomination, still expected to run at this point, was Colin Powell. Clinton was yet to recover from the '94 drubbing at this point and Powell probably led him by double-digits in national polling.

May 1999 -- Evidence has been presented here that Bush led Gore by double-digits. The candidates were predicted correctly; the result, not so much.

May 2003 -- There was no clear favorite for the Democratic nomination before Howard Dean's surge during the summer, and Clark only became interested later on. In the spring, Edwards led in fundraising, just ahead of Kerry; Gephardt led in Iowa, just ahead of Kerry; and Kerry had a large lead in New Hampshire. Kerry was probably seen as the likeliest candidate in May 2003, but this was at a peak of Bush's presidency and he had a large lead. The candidates were predicted correctly; the result, not so much.

May 2007 -- Rudy Giuliani vs. Hillary Clinton was seen as being very likely, with Giuliani defying Bush's already-bad approval ratings to lead Clinton in national polling narrowly. This one ended up looking totally different.

May 2011 -- Obama had basically recovered from the 2010 debacle (his approvals actually surged in May 2011 due to the strike on the bin Laden compound), and polling showed him beating Romney in a decently close race. This one actually did end up looking like early polling.

May 2015 -- No particularly clear favorite for the Republican nomination; Jeb Bush seems to lead in national polling and fundraising, but is doing poorly in state-level polling. Hillary Clinton is the overwhelming favorite for the Democratic nomination (again), and is doing very well in national polling this time against Republican candidates. Result: ??

56  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Congressional Elections / Re: Predict the House Makeup After 2016 on: May 18, 2015, 03:37:44 pm
243R-192D in the House (6 Democratic gains balancing out FL-18 and NE-2, to be specific), 52R-48D in the Senate (FL, IL, and WI being balanced out by NV) are my approximations for a neutral environment; I think that's the over/under for both parties.
57  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Congressional Elections / Re: NH-1: FEC fines Guinta, admits to illegal loan from parents on: May 18, 2015, 03:26:16 pm
Guinta doesn't have very many friends in the NHGOP, does he? I mean, this scandal really shouldn't be big enough to lead to resignation calls from within your own party, yet that's what's going on.

So, the three likeliest replacement Republicans are Jeb Bradley, Dan Innis, and Chris Sununu, correct? And CSP should be virtually guaranteed the Democratic nomination.

I think Democrat-lite Kelly Ayotte should resign.

Boo. Kelly Ayotte's record as a Senator has been fantastic and I hope she runs for President one day. (One day -- not now).
58  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Opinion of Torie on: May 17, 2015, 09:07:00 pm
Obvious FF is obvious.
59  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Opinion of Jewish Voice for Peace on: May 16, 2015, 01:57:56 pm
Voted HP in protest of the large margin, but they're basically just na´ve and well-intentioned at heart (zionist)
60  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Favorite officially "communist" country on: May 16, 2015, 01:50:35 pm
They're all pretty bad, but Vietnam seems to be the least bad of the lot.
61  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Bradford West General Election, 2015 on: May 15, 2015, 08:15:39 pm
I would've grit my teeth, held my nose, and tactically voted Labour.
62  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Israel General Election Thread: March 17 2015 on: May 14, 2015, 06:03:45 pm
And the makeup of Netanyahu's government has been announced, and this is how it will look, at least for the first few months. Netanyahu will have three positions besides PM -- he is also Minister of Communications, Foreign Affairs, and Health (along with Regional Cooperation, which is more of a title than a position with any real power). The last two are rumored to be reserved for any additional party (probably YB) who intends to join the coalition government anytime later.

Prime Minister: Binyamin Netanyahu (Likud)
Minister of Agriculture: Uri Ariel (Jewish Home)
Minister of Communications: Binyamin Netanyahu (Likud)
Minister of Construction: Yoav Galant (Kulanu)
Minister of Culture: Miri Regev (Likud)
Minister of Defense: Moshe Ya'alon (Likud)
Minister for the Development of the Negev and Galilee: Aryeh Deri (Shas)
Minister of the Economy: Aryeh Deri (Shas)
Minister of Education: Naftali Bennett (Jewish Home)
Minister of Energy: Yuval Steinitz (Likud)
Minister of Environmental Protection: Avi Gabai (Kulanu) -- not a Knesset member, Kulanu party president
Minister of Finance: Moshe Kachlon (Kulanu)
Minister of Foreign Affairs: Binyamin Netanyahu (Likud)
Minister of Gender Equality: Gila Gamliel (Likud) -- new position?
Minister of Health: Binyamin Netanyahu (Likud)
Minister of Immigrant Absorption: Ze'ev Elkin (Likud)
Minister of Intelligence: Yisrael Katz (Likud)
Minister of Internal Affairs: Silvan Shalom (Likud)
Minister of Justice: Ayelet Shaked (Jewish Home)
Minister of Pensioner Affairs: Gila Gamliel (Likud)
Minister of Public Diplomacy & Diaspora Affairs: Naftali Bennett (Jewish Home)
Minister of Public Security: Yariv Levin (Likud)
Minister of Religious Affairs: David Azulai (Shas)
Minister of Regional Cooperation: Binyamin Netanyahu (Likud)
Minister of Science: Danny Danon (Likud)
Minister of Strategic Affairs: Ze'ev Elkin (Likud)
Minister of Tourism: Yariv Levin (Likud)
Minister of Transportation: Yisrael Katz (Likud)
Minister of Welfare: Haim Katz (Likud)
Minister(s) without Portfolio: Ofir Akunis (Likud), Benny Begin (Likud)

Most ministers have more than one title (which reflects the abundance of titles that Israel has created over the past ten years more than anything else), but two ministers without portfolio were still appointed. Counting Netanyahu himself and the ministers without portfolio, there are 13 Likud ministers, 3 Kulanu ministers, 3 Jewish Home ministers, and 2 Shas ministers.

Notably, #2 on the Likud list, Gilad Erdan, demanded the Foreign Affairs position and refused to take any other. After having been in Cabinet for six years, Erdan is retreating to the backbenches. #3, Yuli-Yoel Edelstein, naturally did not take a position as he is the Speaker of the Knesset. #4-17 all received posts except Tzachi Hanegbi (a long-time Knesset member who will chair several choice committees instead) and David Bitan, the highest-ranked freshman on the Likud list. Kulanu appointed #1-2 and the party president. Jewish Home appointed #1-3. Notably, the two ministers from Shas will be party leader Aryeh Deri (#1, obviously) and David Azulai, who was only #5 on the list and has never been in Cabinet despite having been in the Knesset since 1996, or for 19 years, throughout most of which his party was part of the government.

Outside of the government, Yitzhak Herzog was confirmed to be Leader of the Opposition.
63  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Opinion of Mitt Romney on: May 14, 2015, 03:28:30 pm
Fantastic Fella (normal)
64  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 14, 2015, 03:20:56 pm
Rubio is honestly the best candidate in the field, but it almost upsets me that he's running. His chances of making it out of this field are slim, and he could've helped in the Senate for years to come and still been a fresh candidate in 2020 or 2024.
65  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: The "How Many Senators" Game on: May 13, 2015, 07:48:43 pm
All 100. Last time I got 99/100 -- missed John Barrasso.
66  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: UK General Election - May 7th 2015 (The Official Election Day & Results Thread) on: May 13, 2015, 03:54:50 pm

David Ward is disgusting, and I may have tactically voted Labour at this constituency instead. Anyone but him, really.
67  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Breaking News: New forum is up and running - sign up now! on: May 11, 2015, 09:34:29 pm
I doubt that I'll do much besides lurking, but if you can really attract banned posters to your website, then I'm curious to see what they have to say. Shoot me the link.
68  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: What are the geographic extremes of the places you have visited? on: May 11, 2015, 04:56:42 pm
Northernmost: Waterton Lakes National Park, Alberta, Canada
Southernmost: somewhere in the Canchis Province of the Cuzco Region of Peru
Westernmost: Olympic National Park, Washington, USA
Easternmost: Vienna, Vienna, Austria

Ты никогда не был в великой стране?

В великой стране живу Smiley
69  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Can we talk about BRTD? on: May 11, 2015, 03:27:26 pm
BRTD is great. Very important part of the fabric of the Atlas community.
70  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: During which month were you born? on: May 11, 2015, 03:26:28 pm
August 8. This is quite odd.
71  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: What are the geographic extremes of the places you have visited? on: May 11, 2015, 01:10:58 am
Northernmost: Waterton Lakes National Park, Alberta, Canada
Southernmost: somewhere in the Canchis Province of the Cuzco Region of Peru
Westernmost: Olympic National Park, Washington, USA
Easternmost: Vienna, Vienna, Austria
72  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Opinion of bgwah on: May 11, 2015, 01:05:02 am
Less arrogant than the OP, that is for sure.

Anyway, bgwah? FF.
73  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Scottish Parliament election - 2016 on: May 10, 2015, 10:02:25 pm
Is there a chance the Liberal Democrats will end up with more members of the Scottish Parliament than at Westminster?
74  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: German Elections & Politics on: May 09, 2015, 02:12:24 pm
What is dead can never die, but rises again, harder and stronger #FDP4ever
75  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: UK General Election - May 7th 2015 (The Official Election Day & Results Thread) on: May 07, 2015, 11:28:17 pm
Sinn Fein loses South Tyrone to UUP.

Really? Wow. I knew it was close last time but I assumed that was just because there was a single Unionist candidate.

It was by 4 votes last time...I wonder what the margin is.
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