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1  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Who are the ten best Senators in America? on: November 22, 2014, 04:14:53 am
Sherrod Brown
Elizabeth Warren
Bernie Sanders
Patrick Leahy
Jeff Merkley
Tom Harkin
Mark Udall
Ron Wyden
Al Franken
Tammy Baldwin
2  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Obama to announce executive order on immigration on: November 20, 2014, 03:12:07 am

I trust Latino Decisions over a crosstab result from a NBC poll...
3  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Would you rather live in Forsyth County, GA or an >85% Obama precinct in Iowa? on: November 20, 2014, 02:50:31 am
So you'd want to live in one of the most racist places in the U.S. just because it gets less snow.

Yes. I mean, as horrible as it sounds, I know weather is going make much more of a difference to my personal comfort than people's racial opinions will.


As a Mexican-American, I wouldn't be welcome in Forsyth County. I wouldn't mind living in a sprawly mess nearby LA or Austin that routinely votes for Republicans but I'd rather emigrate to Mexico than live in a Southern suburb.

edit: in Goldwater's defense, Midwestern winters are terrible. If I was forced to decide between a trendy neighborhood in Minneapolis and a suburban cul-de-sac in Colorado Springs, I'd consider living in Colorado Springs.
4  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Is the Democratic Party left-wing? on: November 20, 2014, 02:45:37 am
The Democratic Party is not left-wing but it has many left-wing sensibilities and a large number of genuinely leftist politicians.
5  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Opinion of Reddit on: November 20, 2014, 02:33:51 am
As a whole, Reddit is terrible. The few decent academic subreddits are drowned out by the constant barrage of juvenile garbage.

The only subreddits I check out on a regular basis are r/circlejerk and a few niche subreddits devoted to economics.
6  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Is Maine trending GOP? on: November 19, 2014, 02:29:13 am
Of course, but nothing to the tune of 90% outside of the Castro or Haight. This area is full of granola eaters and latte drinkers- that embraced the counterculturist lifestyle and were unable to reside in a traditional American community.

The 20th most Democratic city in California is hardly unique for having heavily Democratic areas.


Of course not, but Mill Valley does not vote 90% Democrat. Us White Californians voted for Romney.

Mill Valley 2012 Presidential Election
Barack Obama 81.5%
Mitt Romney 16.2%

Mill Valley 2010 Gubernatorial Election
Jerry Brown 78.6%
Meg Whitman 19.9%

I could point to a litany list of very affluent white Californian suburbs, small towns and urban neighborhoods where Barack Obama received between 80% and 95% of the vote in 2012. Cities like Rancho Cucomonda or Bakersfield or Yorba Linda are outliers: white Californians are not conservative. I'd estimate that white Californians gave Barack Obama around 48 - 50% of the vote in 2012. The preponderance of evidence does not suggest that white Californians are "conservative" or that they supported Mitt Romney.

Atherton (Median Household Income: $250,000, 80% White )

2012 Presidential Election
Mitt Romney 51.5%
Barack Obama 46.6%

Piedmont (Median Household Income: $149,000, 74% White)

2012 Presidential Election
Barack Obama 74.8%
Mitt Romney 23.4%

Orinda (Median Household Income: $187,000, 82% White)

2012 Presidential Election
Barack Obama 62.7%
Mitt Romney 34.7%

Danville (Median Household Income: $129,000, 83% White)

2012 Presidential Election
Barack Obama 49.8%
Mitt Romney 48.3%

These data points hardly support your notion that whites are aggressively trending towards Republicans due to the supposed race war initiated by Barack Hussein Obola. Outside of the old Confederacy, whites are pretty split between the GOP and the Democratic Party. That's not to say that they didn't support Romney in 2012 but they're a core constituency of the Democratic Party in Washington, Oregon, California, Minnesota and New England.

Only ignorant fools believe the narrative that white "makers" vote for Republicans and that brown "takers" vote for the Democrats. Wealthy white urban neighborhoods have consistently voted for Democrats at rates that are nearly comparable with working class African-American neighborhoods or working class Latino neighborhoods.
7  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Hillary Clinton v. Ben Carson on: November 16, 2014, 09:08:33 pm

Hillary Clinton - ~50-60%
Ben Carson - ~25-40%
Third Party "Centrist" (racist vote sink) - ~5-15%
Third Party Leftist 3-6%

The GOP could nominate Ted Cruz or *insert generic tea party loon here* and do much better. For what it's worth, I respect Ben Carson's story and think that he's a decent/intelligent guy who happens to have horrible political beliefs but America would never give a perceived Fox News personality a respectable share of the vote. Come on y'all, we don't live in a David Foster Wallace novel.

edit: I just remembered the names "Ross Perot" and "Arnold Schwarzenegger". Maybe we do live in a DFW novel. Maybe Ben Carson could win up to 45 percent of the vote.
8  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Opinion of Barack Obama on: November 16, 2014, 08:44:40 pm
Barack Obama is one of my personal heroes.
9  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: How would you vote on the Keystone XL Pipeline? on: November 15, 2014, 08:48:01 am
Nay (D)
10  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Where should I move? on: November 15, 2014, 08:42:43 am
I am absolutely infuriated with Connecticut. I have narrowed down where I want to live when I am fully on my own to a few places, each with their own strengths and weaknesses. I can't make my mind up, so I want your input. I am thinking of things like taxes, weather (love snow), overall cost of living, government involvement, etc.

11  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: The Oxford School of Absurdity, Ignorance, and Bad Posts IV on: November 15, 2014, 08:19:15 am
I have never watched Friends, but I do caution you against trying to create reality around tv. Tv is not reality. I had no intention of being condescending. As I said, your English is excellent. I don't even come close to it in a second language, and I'm sincerely very impressed by your language skills. As it happens though, I don't "holler" at anybody. I'm not a hillbilly, and I don't shout at people. I am quite aware that how one says anything has a great effect on the meaning. Perhaps you're imagining a sinister tone where none exists. I do greet men from time to time in passing as well. And people greet me too. As I said, it's merely customary, usually as two people walking in opposite directions pass one another, and primarily exists to acknowledge the other person because walking right by like somebody else doesn't exist at all feels slightly rude.  Perhaps you are unaware that minor issues of etiquette vary from place to place? I'm sorry you live in a county where people (apparently) assume that a cursory greeting implies something underhanded.  And, frankly, I'm sorry other people have to live in the same country as you because you feel the same way. What an awful way to go through life.

Ok, I'll have to assume that you're trolling now. I actually have been to NYC as well as (I suspect) way more countries than you have. You sound completely disconnected from reality but I can assure you that the normal thing is not for people to do this. At least not in actual cities.

If you honestly think what's going on in that video is people greeting each other in passing so as to acknowledge each other's existence, well...I don't know what to say. I guess if you travel more you'll realize this to be untrue?

I grew up in a medium-sized town in rural Idaho and I understand memphis' point of view. In Idaho, it's the norm for people to greet strangers in passing and this cultural norm applies to both men and women of all ages. That being said, memphis is totally off-base: in cosmopolitan centers throughout the US, greeting a stranger in passing is a deviant act and it is usually predatory sexual behavior when it occurs. African-Americans and Latinos are more prone to engage in this predatory behavior because in their communities, streets and parks are viewed as communal spaces to be used for organic social interaction.

Sexism exists in most societies. The form it takes is determined by cultural substrates and social roles defined by the legacy of historical forces. All too often, feminists fail to understand this and make claims that are colored by chauvinist sentiments.
12  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Opinion of Pocahontas on: November 15, 2014, 07:50:06 am
The only movie about Pocahontas worth watching:

13  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: The Simple Truths Silver Mine on: November 15, 2014, 12:22:21 am
I take offense for those who suggest opposition to amnesty is about race.

Well, that pretty much says that you take offense at Hispanics in general (as this is a fairly established view among the Hispanics). Which, kind of, makes you racist, doesn't it? Your remark about the few "good Jews" notwithstanding.
14  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Obama to announce executive order on immigration on: November 14, 2014, 07:21:08 pm
I take offense for those who suggest opposition to amnesty is about race. I can't count the number of Hispanic Americans I've met at tea party rallies, at local GOP events, etc. who oppose amnesty.

Greg Abbott won 44% of the Hispanic vote in Texas, for heaven's sake. How well did John McCain do?

No, most Latinos have no problem with illegal immigration. We love illegal immigrants: they're our friends, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles and parents! We certainly don't want them to "go back to where they came from".

15  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Obama to announce executive order on immigration on: November 14, 2014, 05:58:41 am
Why we need "amnesty":

Folks, undocumented immigrants are Americans. They've lived in this country for decades and the future of a generation of Americans depends on their well-being.
16  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Obama to announce executive order on immigration on: November 14, 2014, 04:57:24 am
Open borders and a liberalized immigration framework are simple solutions for our immigration woes. Alas, these solutions are politically untenable. Judging by the rhetoric that emanates from the mouth-breathing Republicans, you'd assume that "open borders" are synonymous with the death of America. In the 1950s, we had "open borders" and loose immigration restrictions and we did not experience a massive wave of illegal immigration. Quite the contrary: migrant laborers worked in the US and departed for Mexico once the picking season was over.

According to Massey, the rise of America’s large undocumented population is a direct result of the militarization of the border. While undocumented workers once traveled back and forth from Mexico with relative ease, after the border was garrisoned, immigrants from Mexico crossed the border and stayed.

“Migrants quite rationally responded to the increased costs and risks by minimizing the number of times they crossed the border,” Massey wrote in his 2007 paper “Understanding America’s Immigration ‘Crisis.’” “But they achieved this goal not by remaining in Mexico and abandoning their intention to migrate to the U.S., but by hunkering down and staying once they had run the gauntlet at the border and made it to their final destination.”

The data support Massey’s thesis: In 1980, 46 percent of undocumented Mexican migrants returned to Mexico within 12 months. By 2007, that was down to 7 percent. As a result, the permanent undocumented population exploded.

17  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Obama to announce executive order on immigration on: November 14, 2014, 04:50:04 am
North Carolina Yankee's understanding of immigration is facile.

Very few Mexican or Central American immigrants cross the border with the intention of becoming American citizens. The vast majority of undocumented Latinos come to the US in order to send remittances back to Mexico or Guatemala or El Salvador. Implicit in this objective is the notion that immigrants want to return home to be united with their families. Unfortunately, this goal is often unrealized because the act of crossing the border has become a dangerous gauntlet: undocumented immigrants must evade border security, pay a coyote that is most likely linked to the cartels and avoid being kidnapped by cartels. The militarization of the border created the perfect conditions for mass undocumented migration: migrant laborers are effectively barred from visiting their family. The result is that entire families attempt to migrate to the US in order to be re-united with their family members. As this process played out over the past two decades, many Mexican villages became depopulated and immiserated. The death of community life throughout rural Mexico resulted in a positive feedback loop in which the emigration of most young men necessitated the emigration of many young women and children - even the emigration of abuelos!

This process is largely a historical artifact of the period between 1990 and 2008. Mexican immigration has dramatically decreased over the past six years. Mexico's fertility rate has plummeted, the Mexican economy has strengthened and America's construction industry has not picked up.  Although the same factors that created the conditions for mass Mexican immigration are at play in Central America, there is no reason to believe that there will be another wave of mass migration from Central America. In order to cross the border, Central American migrants must traverse the entirety of Mexico. This is not only an arduous journey: it's dangerous. Central American migrants are at constant risk of being kidnapped for ransom by cartels or being sexually assaulted or being robbed.

In short: there is no reason to believe that Obama's executive "amnesty" will result in increased rates of "illegal" immigration. For better or worse, the vast majority of undocumented immigrants are effectively Americans: they contribute to the economic vitality of the nation, they volunteer at schools, they participate in civic life by protesting the injustices they've experienced. Undocumented immigrants play a critical role in communities throughout the United States and we have a duty to treat them with respect. We can either formally integrate undocumented immigrants into society or we can policies more befitting a police state than a nation of immigrants and deport them en masse to a "homeland" that they hardly recognize.  
18  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Obama-Xi Conference on Climate Change on: November 13, 2014, 10:07:30 pm
I have no doubt that China will uphold their end of the agreement. The Chinese government is fully aware of the economic constraints posed by environmental degradation. In more developed/affluent Chinese cities, the Chinese government enforces rigid standards against polluters. In impoverished/rural China, the Chinese government looks the other way to speed up development.

The Chinese government will pursue this policy objective with or without the cooperation of the US. As China's economic model transitions from an export-driven manufacturing towards an economy more reflective of developed nations, rampant air pollution and degraded farmland will become more costly.
19  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Is Maine trending GOP? on: November 09, 2014, 11:49:21 pm
As an aside, I think it's pretty likely that Bruce Poliquin has significant levels of indigenous ancestry. This is really common among Acadians from New Brunswick.

20  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Is Maine trending GOP? on: November 09, 2014, 11:40:46 pm
Michaud is also French-Canadian though. Why would that have made a difference in the governor's race?

He's a gay French-Canadian who is a "career politician": not exactly an attractive candidate to French-Canadian working class voters who had the option of voting for another French-Canadian who supports bear hunting.

Lewiston, Maine results:
Paul LePage 6486 49.3%
Mike Michaud 5541 42%
Elliott Cutler 1117 8.4%

Lewiston, Maine Presidential
Barack Obama 60.6%
Mitt Romney 36.5%

Lewiston, Maine Gay Marriage
Yes 47%
No 53%
21  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Is Maine trending GOP? on: November 09, 2014, 11:16:01 pm
Bruce Poliquin and Paul LePage are French-Canadian. French-Canadian working class voters are willing to vote for Republican candidates that are part of their tribe but not for Generic R candidates at the presidential level. In Maine, Massachusetts and Rhode Island, white working class support for the Democratic Party has proven to be durable at the federal level: these voters are not staunch social conservatives and don't care for southern-soaked, mouth-breathing rhetoric about "family values".  Paul LePage understands this: his campaign focused on bashing elites and immigrants, a great strategy at the state-level that would yield disastrous results for the GOP in crucial swing states.

1996 Presidential Race

2012 Presidential Race
22  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Gubernatorial/Statewide Elections / Re: Californians paying zero attention to governor's race on: November 09, 2014, 01:01:09 am
WTF happened in Lassen County? Kashkari lived around Lake Tahoe for awhile when he decided to go all mountain man, but that isn't Lassen...

Lassen County is one of a number of traditionally working class counties in the West that ditched the Democratic Party in the 90s due to industrial decline, the death of the Greatest Generation and the Democratic Party's preoccupation with the environment and social issues.

Look at Clearwater County in Idaho or Coos County in Oregon and you'll find the same trend: retired/former loggers hate the Democratic Party.
23  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Congressional Elections / Re: Embittered election postmortem (please let's just have this one thread to vent) on: November 09, 2014, 12:45:11 am
24  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: why is Staten Island different than the area it borders? on: November 07, 2014, 06:17:09 pm
Might not the second word in its name give you a clue?

It's a well known fact that islands exert a tremendous influence on voting behavior. The constant presence of high levels of humidity creates an imbalance that moves people away from the ideal water, air, earth and ether equilibrium.
25  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: why is Staten Island different than the area it borders? on: November 07, 2014, 06:12:10 pm
Percentage of residents born in-state

NY-11 64.3%

European Ancestry

Italian: 34.7%
Irish: 14.2%
German: 5.7%
Russian: 3.8%
Polish: 3.4%

Like many "ethnic" communities, Staten Island's political culture is very insular and defined by its tendency towards social relations defined by gemeinschaft rather than gezelleschaft. In 1994, Mario Cuomo received 47% of the vote in Staten Island (state PVI D+2): . In 2014, Andrew Cuomo received 54% of the vote in Staten Island (state PVI: D+1). Italian ethnic identity is still a major asset for politicians in Staten Island.
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