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1  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: The Official Trump 1.0 Approval Ratings Thread on: March 21, 2017, 09:03:27 pm
A SurveyUSA poll of NY's 2nd CD:

43% Favorable
46% Unfavorable

This is a district Trump won by 9.1%. That poll also shows Peter King is beyond safe.

This was conducted between March 7th and March 12th so Trump's almost certainly more underwater than this by now. Also, the poll was conducted by...Mike Sax.
2  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: The Official Trump 1.0 Approval Ratings Thread on: March 16, 2017, 07:43:19 pm
Bernie has a closet full of potential scandals, there's just been no incentive for anyone to un-earth them yet. If he runs in 2020, there will be.

TROLOLOL running for president usually uncovers any scandals...Which he just did.

No one attacked Bernie in 2016, and no one had any reason to. For the Republicans, he served as a helpful diversion for Clinton, and for Clinton, he was never a serious threat to the nomination and she did not want to alienate his supporters (this was probably a mistake, as so many of them, like jfern, idiotically ended up supporting Trump anyway because they are spoiled children, but I digress).

Your candidate lost to a gibbering clown who is mentally unstable. Many people pointed out that this was liable to occur seeing as she was, rightly or wrong, being investigated by the FBI but Clinton supporters tried to talk down this threat, ignoring polling data and public sentiment to support Our Beautiful Nominee. Who are the spoiled children here?

I tend to believe that it's the fault of candidates for not being able to appeal to base voters but, hey, you can call Sanders supporters "spoiled children" if you want (jfern certainly is a spoiled child but he's not really representative). That doesn't change the fact that Clinton lost and that the people you held up as idols are responsible for this. It also doesn't change the fact that you ironically supported Trump for almost a year. This cannot be said about Sanders supporters on the forum.

Plenty of Sanders supporters are spoiled children. Most are not, but Trump-supporters like Jfern are. The Democrats bent over backwards to reach out to people like him, and they chose to live in their absurd fantasy world where DWS's nefarious schemes were the only reason that Saint Bernie lost and rallied behind a right-wing fascist instead.

Again, I seem to recall you sharing Trump memes, ironically supporting his candidacy etc. "People who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones." Do you feel guilty about this?
3  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Politics and Elections in the Netherlands: GE March 15, 2017 on: March 16, 2017, 06:22:23 pm
totally depends on what your short-term priorities are as "lefties".....immigration rights are atm not my nr1 issue as long as we are literally still handling a few million immigrants from 2015....if we have "swallowed" that challenge we can talk again.

the primary goal of the far right during the last years has been destroying the EU, which seemed quite likely after brexit...one year later, this ambition has been crushed in Austria, in the Netherlands and - most likely - soon also in France.

So, in otherwords, a project of European elites that's primarily governed/steered by the European right has been successfully defended. So, uh, yeah, there's no reason for someone who's left-wing to celebrate (though maybe a reason to feel sort of relieved, I'll admit).
4  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: The Official Trump 1.0 Approval Ratings Thread on: March 16, 2017, 05:56:47 pm
Bernie has a closet full of potential scandals, there's just been no incentive for anyone to un-earth them yet. If he runs in 2020, there will be.

TROLOLOL running for president usually uncovers any scandals...Which he just did.

No one attacked Bernie in 2016, and no one had any reason to. For the Republicans, he served as a helpful diversion for Clinton, and for Clinton, he was never a serious threat to the nomination and she did not want to alienate his supporters (this was probably a mistake, as so many of them, like jfern, idiotically ended up supporting Trump anyway because they are spoiled children, but I digress).

Your candidate lost to a gibbering clown who is mentally unstable. Many people pointed out that this was liable to occur seeing as she was, rightly or wrong, being investigated by the FBI but Clinton supporters tried to talk down this threat, ignoring polling data and public sentiment to support Our Beautiful Nominee. Who are the spoiled children here?

I tend to believe that it's the fault of candidates for not being able to appeal to base voters but, hey, you can call Sanders supporters "spoiled children" if you want (jfern certainly is a spoiled child but he's not really representative). That doesn't change the fact that Clinton lost and that the people you held up as idols are responsible for this. It also doesn't change the fact that you ironically supported Trump for almost a year. This cannot be said about Sanders supporters on the forum.
5  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Politics and Elections in the Netherlands: GE March 15, 2017 on: March 16, 2017, 05:45:40 pm
The very underwhelming performance of the PVV and the corresponding celebrations of left-liberals are totally misplaced and leading them to overlook a more disturbing trend: the far-right's message is being co-opted by center-right parties and, in a sense, the far-right has "won" the argument on nationalism and immigration. This, too, is a hot take and probably overly hyperbolic for the reason that anti-immigrant sentiment has always been fairly normal in the Netherlands but, nevertheless, these election results give no one on the left any reason to celebrate. They're yet another depressing data point, proof that when more respectable parties adopt the language of the far-right, that they will achieve a great deal of success.

All elections are "local" in the sense that particular factors drive them so this probably isn't generalizable outside of the Netherlands but it's rather apparent that there's some sort of tendency or trend where parties of the center-right are becoming more "illiberal" and achieving success. You could point to France as an example but, then again, you could also say it's an example of why this sort of analysis is misplaced because Fillon is failing and Macron is succeeding. I think I agree with the latter contention.
6  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Fear of diversity, not economic anxiety, caused Obama voters to switch to Trump on: March 16, 2017, 12:30:45 am


Shut up, Lief.
7  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Politics and Elections in the Netherlands: GE March 15, 2017 on: March 15, 2017, 05:21:17 pm
Meerssen results: wow very disappointing for SP

VVD 19.6% (-5.3%)
PVV 18% (+3.7%)
CDA 16.4% (+5.8%)
D66 12.1% (+5.1%) wtf
SP 11.3% (-1.5%)
GL 7.2% (+5.2%)
50+ 4.7% (+2.6%)
PvdA 4.2% (-18.2%) rofl rofl rofl rofl

What's going on with D66?
8  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2020 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Will any Democratic candidates convert to Islam to get a boost? on: March 12, 2017, 03:19:22 am
Thing is, he's not wrong. I think that a Muslim Democratic primary candidate for Congress in San Francisco, Portland or Seattle would be a lock in a divided field at this point as long as they were reasonably articulate.

This clearly does not apply at the national level but, where the stakes are lower and every Democratic primary voter is "liberal" in a more traditional sense, having more visibility as a "POC" or as a Muslim is clearly an advantage.
9  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: German Federal Election 2017 on: March 10, 2017, 05:09:02 am
I'd strategically vote for the SPD to humiliate the CDU and to vanquish Angela Merkel, who I continue to despise, despite the many exhortations from the New Yorker or the Atlantic that tell me that I should support her because she's #WokeLiberal or whatever.

Die Linke is filled with former Stasi agents, no thanks.

Greens? Um, no thank you, I don't aspire to be a lifestyle left-liberal.
10  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: How would you rate Trump's first address to congress? on: March 01, 2017, 04:01:04 pm
Damn, I'm surprised opinions are so polarized. I didn't watch the speech and don't intend to, but from the media/pundit reactions you'd think it was on par with the Gettysburg Address.

I watched the speech. Trump remains an awful public speaker. Even if he practices and prepares for the occasion, he has middling abilities. I suppose it's terrifying that he's learning how to integrate his natural speech patterns with a prepared speech but this might take a few years.

I give him a C-/D+. I don't grade on a curve though.
11  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Breitbart: Riots erupt in Sweden's capital just days after Trump comments on: February 26, 2017, 12:59:05 am
Wouldn't this count as a remarkably peaceful night in Baltimore?

I note tumbleweed in response to this.
There aren't riots every night in Baltimore. The crickets you hear are in response to another attempt at whataboutery.

I'm pretty sure that a few murders, a dozen stabbings and tens of physical assaults are vastly less peaceful than some kids committing vandalism...
12  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: German Elections & Politics on: February 09, 2017, 02:28:52 pm

Die Linke isn't what it used to be.  Plus the 3 parties are already in a watermelon coalition in Thuringia and there have been a lot of discussions between the 3 parties.  I know you're a right winger so I probably can't convince you, but calling Die Linke illiberal in 2017 is false.

I do not that much care about your conventional right-left. I have no problem with the Greens in Germany whatsoever. But die Linke is a very unpleasant group, with very unpleasant ideas.

The CDU is also a very unpleasant group, with very unpleasant ideas from a liberal perspective...

We have a different definition of "liberalism" I guess Smiley

I don't think limiting the rights of immigrants to have dual citizenship, proposing to ban the burqa, historically bashing Turkish immigrants, and, in general, treating immigrants with utter contempt is remotely congruent with liberalism as a contemporary ideology. I suppose that it's pretty congruent with what liberalism meant when it was actually a well-defined ideology that influenced the world but  that sort of liberalism is disgusting, elitist and dead. More generally, the CDU is not a liberal party. Characterizing it as one is very bizarre. I suppose it can be argued that aspects of its traditions stem from the DVP and the old liberalism of German Protestantism but it's fundamentally a conservative party. It's changed quite a bit over the past few decades but its roots continue to define the party and those roots are decidedly illiberal.
13  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: German Elections & Politics on: February 08, 2017, 03:19:52 am

Die Linke isn't what it used to be.  Plus the 3 parties are already in a watermelon coalition in Thuringia and there have been a lot of discussions between the 3 parties.  I know you're a right winger so I probably can't convince you, but calling Die Linke illiberal in 2017 is false.

I do not that much care about your conventional right-left. I have no problem with the Greens in Germany whatsoever. But die Linke is a very unpleasant group, with very unpleasant ideas.

The CDU is also a very unpleasant group, with very unpleasant ideas from a liberal perspective...
14  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: German Elections & Politics on: February 07, 2017, 11:57:34 am
Here's a fun Martin Schultz fact: he loves the late Eric Hobsbawm. Schultz said "Eric Hobsbawm was a man of extraordinary qualities. His books have greatly inspired and influenced my political and historical thoughts."

Here's a photo of him reading the Age of Extremes.



He's winning me over!
15  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Two separate townhalls disrupted on: February 04, 2017, 09:59:54 pm
Quote
Despite the show of support for Obamacare at the town hall, McClintock said he believes the majority of Americans want a better health care plan.

“If people loved [Obamacare]," he said, "Nancy Pelosi would still be speaker and Hillary Clinton would be president."

Every time one of these town halls is disrupted, Republican representatives reveal how tin-eared they are. Instead of engaging with the concerns of protesters, they claim that they are a tiny minority or anarchists (?) or "professional protesters". Maybe this is rhetoric and they're actually concerned but, in any case, this does not bode well for them heading into November. Displaying contempt for your constituents in public is usually a losing strategy.
16  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Are Italian Americans more fiscally conservative or socially conservative? on: January 30, 2017, 09:53:43 pm
I'd say that they're more fiscally conservative and racist (on average). Social conservative isn't a label that applies to them imo. In the US, "social conservatism" tends to mean "religious right" and Italian-Americans definitely are not part of the religious right...
17  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: What are voters of the minority party generally like in your area? on: January 29, 2017, 05:48:48 pm
I grew up in neighborhood that gave Clinton around 25% of the vote so I'm pretty well-suited to address what it's like to be a Democrat in an ultra-GOP community and who these Democrats tend to be.

First off, I'd say that those who are Democrats in north Idaho tend to have a tremendous persecution/martyrdom complex. They assume that if they put yard signs in their lawn in favor of a Democratic candidate that they'll be burned at the stake or have their cars vandalized. They're terrified of their neighbors' views. It wasn't this way ~10 years ago but since 2008, this is a widespread sentiment. The acrimony and toxic hate of 2016 proved that these sentiments were correct; anyone who had a Hillary sign in their yard in 2016 would have their house egged in my home town.

As for who Democrats are, that depends on the area/region in question. I grew up in Kootenai County, which doesn't have much of a Democratic tradition but, even then, Democrats tended to be old folks, pensioners who remained infatuated with people like Cecil Andrus. Outside of this demographic, were public sector employees, the poor and deviants of various kinds. The former were, without question, the Democratic base voters. Postmen, bus drivers, teachers and, to some degree, unionized electricians/construction workers, who are effectively public sector employees, are the base where I'm from. They're regular lower middle class people, who tend to mostly mirror the lifestyles of those who are around them. It's my understanding that, in most very Republican communities in flyover country, Democrats tend to be of this variety. As for the poor and deviants, they don't matter/count for the most part. They're excluded from public life and don't tend to hold deep political views. They swung massively towards Trump this year.

Presented below is a list of people I knew who were Democrats where I'm from:
-substitute teacher, union member, former engineer
-pro-bono lawyer
-small business owner who runs cleaning business; self-employed, hires a few employees
-nurse who aspires to be a pastor
-hs english teacher
-hs english teacher
-hs math teacher
-hs and ms english teacher
-hs bio teacher
-hs history teacher
-community college poli sci instructor

This list isn't scientific and it's heavily biased towards teachers because those are the adults I'd tend to interact with. That said, it's unquestionably the case that the core of the Democratic Party in any small town is going to come from, in descending order: teachers, other public sector employees (excluding cops), nurses, union people and professionals.

With this in mind, it's not a mystery that Bernie Sanders crushed Clinton across the board in the rural US, particularly in ultra-GOP counties. Democrats in these places are lower middle class, public sector employees. They vote for Democrats for economic reasons. They tend to be socially liberal but they're not BLM types or whatever. They're common people with beer guts and awful cultural tastes but who are fundamentally tolerant and, frankly, left-wing.
18  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: We knew for 15 MONTHS what trump's plan was towards middle east immigration on: January 28, 2017, 10:50:00 pm
Did you guys just assume he wasn't actually going to follow through with a campaign promise? The kinks regarding green cards will be worked out in due time but you will have to live with the fact that trump used CONSTITUTIONAL AUTHORITY to restrict certain immigration.

Are y'all just going to freak out every time he does something that you knew for more than a year he said he was going to do?

What in the bloody hell did you think he was going to do regarding refugee issues? Continue the obama practice?

Oh, I had no doubts he would do exactly that. This is why I have been freaking out continuously.
19  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Iran to ban U.S citizens in response to Trump banning Iranian citizens on: January 28, 2017, 10:41:51 pm
Great idea, please anger the Donald. Best way to end the disastrous Iran deal and have the U.S. end the country's nuclear program with force, which should have happened years ago already.

At the end of the day, you chose to stand with this fascist instead of standing with academics.
20  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: BREAKING: Federal Court Issues National Stay of Trump's Refugee Ban on: January 28, 2017, 09:41:45 pm
Can you guys read, or are you just so blinded by your little "win" (the only one you've gotten at all for a good while) that you don't realize that it literally only applies to those already in transit when the order was issued. In two days, the situation will be virtually unchanged.

You really should be deported, Trump would approve, impoverished Hispanic family that's a drain on white America.

He's not Hispanic. He's 100% bridge creature.
21  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: DNC Chair Candidate: My job is to tell white people when to shut their mouths on: January 27, 2017, 03:29:09 am
I didn't know Idaho had Democrats
And this is why it doesn't have very many Democrats.

No, it's not?

Idaho is inhospitable to Democrats because Republicans successfully destroyed the institutions that gave the Democratic Party its base (unions). They remade the state, turning Kootenai County, Ada County and Canyon County into massive parking lots where Evangelical and Alex Jones listening freaks congregate. Every year, dozens of weirdos with arsenals move to the rural hinterlands nearby by Highway 95 north of Coeur d' Alene to build their redoubt and they've accumulated to the degree that they matter.

What makes Idaho different from some other "working class" state is that its disgusting tendencies are imported from deranged nutcases from California. North Idaho used to be the most left-wing part of Idaho and now it's a complex of freaks, a series of guns and ammo stores lining a highway. Mining companies and smelters poisoned the working class, they're dying of opiate abuse etc. Freaks are moving in to replace them. The working class doesn't even remember its identity, which doesn't help.

Boise is a ray of hope, I guess, but it's never going to become an agglomeration that supports urban professionals who would vote for Democrats at the rates necessary to make the state competitive. That said, Democrats could put a token in the Governor's seat in 2018; there's definitely a ticket-splitting tendency that remains.

Surely Mormonism also plays a role in it, yes?  At least in eastern Idaho?  It always had a Republican tilt to it, but that's exacerbated since the 1980s.

It plays a role in Idaho's historic tendencies but not in its long-term trend. Mormons still have a high propensity for ticket-splitting for LDS Democrats, as they always have. Balukoff did well because of this.
22  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: DNC Chair Candidate: My job is to tell white people when to shut their mouths on: January 27, 2017, 02:39:06 am
I didn't know Idaho had Democrats
And this is why it doesn't have very many Democrats.

No, it's not?

Idaho is inhospitable to Democrats because Republicans successfully destroyed the institutions that gave the Democratic Party its base (unions). They remade the state, turning Kootenai County, Ada County and Canyon County into massive parking lots where Evangelical and Alex Jones listening freaks congregate. Every year, dozens of weirdos with arsenals move to the rural hinterlands nearby by Highway 95 north of Coeur d' Alene to build their redoubt and they've accumulated to the degree that they matter.

What makes Idaho different from some other "working class" state is that its disgusting tendencies are imported from deranged nutcases from California. North Idaho used to be the most left-wing part of Idaho and now it's a complex of freaks, a series of guns and ammo stores lining a highway. Mining companies and smelters poisoned the working class, they're dying of opiate abuse etc. Freaks are moving in to replace them. The working class doesn't even remember its identity, which doesn't help.

Boise is a ray of hope, I guess, but it's never going to become an agglomeration that supports urban professionals who would vote for Democrats at the rates necessary to make the state competitive. That said, Democrats could put a token in the Governor's seat in 2018; there's definitely a ticket-splitting tendency that remains.
23  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Mexican reaction on: January 27, 2017, 02:21:31 am
7. Our other partners, of course, should be reminded that, Trump or no Trump, Mexico will still be exactly in the same spot geographically in 2021 or 2025.

Assuming it doesn't completely collapse and have to be occupied by the US military for security purposes before then, of course.

The former is not impossible, the latter would be extremely costly. Mexico is a mountainous country, with wild terrain and numerous hiding places. The guerilla war (much of it stuffed by the former drug gangs) would be horrendous. And, of course, keeping your troups south of The Wall would make that Eall easier to penetrate in the other direction as well. You really want to bother about Mexican terrorists in your cities? They will not have far to go.

He forgets that there would be tens of thousands of American terrorists of Mexican descent. I'd side with the Mexican guerillas against the fascist, of course. Smiley
24  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Mexican President Cancels Meeting With Donald Trump After Border Wall Order on: January 26, 2017, 03:00:22 pm
With our departure from NAFTA either Nieto or one of his capos will have to meet with Trump or his capos to hammer out a trade deal, regardless of the wall thingy.

Mexico would be wise to avoid engaging with Trump on the off-chance that his administration goes down in flames. The Republican strategy of obstruction and avoiding dialogue can pay dividends. Why bother renegotiating NAFTA if the other party might be imprisoned?
25  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Mexican President Cancels Meeting With Donald Trump After Border Wall Order on: January 26, 2017, 02:53:39 pm
He deserves no credit for this. This was the only way he could avoid being lynched in public at some point over the next year. The notion that "Mexico hasn't been taking care of its own people" has an element of truth to it but it's also somewhat bogus. As ag says, the issue is that the Mexican state is corrupt and inefficient; this means that some people benefit handsomely from social programs and others don't. The PRI built a pretty formidable welfare state during the "Mexican miracle" years but it was only for segments of the population because they were a syndicalist party. Public workers did well, collecting a lot of rents, the industrial proletariat did less well and campesinos were fleeced, hardly benefiting with the exception of corn subsidies. If you were only informally employed, you were even worse off than campesinos for the most part and, in Mexico, there are many who are not formally employed.

My family benefited from the state. They're not outliers. There are many middle class Mexicans who are public sector employees or who have benefited from Mexican higher education etc. Unfortunately, there's a lot of luck involved, which is common in states that have a history of clientalism.  It's necessary to present both facts here: Mexico, contrary to common belief, is not an impoverished country and some of its social programs are functional and successful, and some of its industries and markets are flourishing. On the other hand, Mexico is a deeply segmented and unequal country, where millions live in conditions reminscient to Guatemala while millions drive luxury sedans in major cities.

I have to say, it's astonishing how Americans feel fit to opine on Mexico when they know so little about it. We are neighbors but only one neighbor has a good understanding of the other neighbor. Mexicans are well-versed in all things American these days. Americans continue to see Mexico as a land of ignorant peasants and criminals. Even as we lament off-shoring to Mexico, we can't conceive of that as something that embodies how Mexico is changing.
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