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News: Don't forget to get your 2013 Gubernatorial Endorsements and Predictions in!

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1  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: What changed Hillary Clinton's public persona? on: December 03, 2012, 08:31:33 pm
It is quite the anomaly, at least for 2008 Obama primary voters, who spent the over a year calling her a fascist, a war-monger, a corporatist, etc. I guess the change from Obama's enemy #1 to a high ranking member of his cabinet after the fact did wonders for her in that department.

Or maybe it was that stupid cell phone meme; the average American, sadly, is easily swayed by one's status in pop culture...probably because economics and foreign policy are hard and memes aren't.
2  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: If every state held a referendum on marijuana legalization... on: December 03, 2012, 06:05:52 pm
I can tell you that the results in Texas would be very close and if it broke decisively one way or the other, it would be in the proposition's favor. There is no way that conservative groups mobilize enough Texans who are adamantly opposed to such a proposition to out match the very organized legalization efforts in DFW, Houston, and Austin. In short, the enthusiasm would greatly favor those in favor of the proposition.
3  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: McConnell laughs at Obama's fiscal cliff plan on: December 03, 2012, 05:48:14 pm
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/30/mitch-mcconnell-fiscal-cliff_n_2218063.html?ir=Politics
Republicans view the offer as a step backward with the fiscal cliff...

Perhaps I'm nitpicking, but wouldn't a step backward be desirable when standing on the edge of a cliff?
4  Election Archive / 2012 Elections / Re: Could Ron Paul have won? on: November 27, 2012, 07:21:26 pm
I'm hard-pressed to find a single voting block, even among Republican strong holds, that wouldn't have a serious problem with voting for Ron Paul.

A) Seniors are out because they don't take kindly to "your retirement/health care should be your responsibility" rhetoric.

B) Veterans and national security voters are out for obvious reasons.

C) Social conservatives are out because of virtually every position Paul holds outside of abortion, and even on this issue he may be too weak for the So-Con wing of the GOP.

D) Most self-described fiscal conservatives are out because, above abstract ideas like "liberty" and "personal responsibility" is the rational desire for a functional government and a stable, growing economy. Paul's platform, and ideology for that matter, recklessly emphasizes the former while assuming that the innate superiority of these immeasurable ideas will care for the latter.  It's a conflict that couldn't be ignored, and would probably sink him with most moderate voters as well.

Throw the major organizational and financial disadvantages that above outline puts Paul at and you have an electoral massacre in the making. One might argue that the college age, pro-drug legalization, anti-war demographic could keep Paul competitive...but one might ask George McGovern how dependable that is.
5  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: GOP and the abortion issue on: November 25, 2012, 11:52:17 pm
The best solution is to be pro-life and embrace the exceptions. Admitting defeat on such a hot button issue would fatally wound the Republican Party. It would literally split in two if all else remained equal.
6  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: What was the "dirtiest" presidential campaign cycle of the past 50 years? on: November 25, 2012, 10:16:10 pm
I agree with the consensus that 2012 wasn't particularly dirty as much as negative. A few high-lights from 2004:
  • Swift Boat Veterans
  • Fear mongering with Terrorism
  • Bush Campaign charged with Racism by RacismWatch
  • Democrats openly suing Nader off the ballot for electoral reasons
  • Bush is accused of deserting the Texas Air National Guard, "evidence" proves to be shoddy at best.
  • The conveniently timed Osama bin Laden video

2012 was relatively mild. "my opponent is rich and out of touch", "my opponent is very, very, very liberal". Meh. You could make a case for the "Romney may be a felon" and the "War on Women"...but this still is pretty tame compared to the above.

The worst thing about 2012 was probably that welfare ad (which was nothing more than race-baiting). However, compared to some other years, it wasn't too bad.

Though the attacks were inaccurate, there is nothing intrinsically racist about going attacking from the right on welfare.
7  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: What was the "dirtiest" presidential campaign cycle of the past 50 years? on: November 25, 2012, 09:20:06 pm
I agree with the consensus that 2012 wasn't particularly dirty as much as negative. A few high-lights from 2004:
  • Swift Boat Veterans
  • Fear mongering with Terrorism
  • Bush Campaign charged with Racism by RacismWatch
  • Democrats openly suing Nader off the ballot for electoral reasons
  • Bush is accused of deserting the Texas Air National Guard, "evidence" proves to be shoddy at best.
  • The conveniently timed Osama bin Laden video

2012 was relatively mild. "my opponent is rich and out of touch", "my opponent is very, very, very liberal". Meh. You could make a case for the "Romney may be a felon" and the "War on Women"...but this still is pretty tame compared to the above.
8  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Congressional Elections / Re: Which GOP Senator(s) Will Lose to a Tea Party Challenger in 2014? on: November 25, 2012, 08:29:43 pm
Unfortunately, all of these candidates are a target. Tea Party candidacies spring up unannounced and without the help of name recognition. It can happen to any incumbent Republican, for completely unexplained accusations of lacking conservative credentials, and that is why it is dangerous to our electoral viability in the future. The Republican electorate is killing it's own party, almost enough to make one desire killing the primary/caucus hassle and picking our candidates in smoke filled rooms. It would certainly save a lot of resources.
9  Election Archive / 2012 Elections / Re: Could Jon Huntsman have won? on: November 25, 2012, 07:19:39 pm
Obama would have ran an identical campaign. Huntsman is not personable, recall the awkward Kurt Cobain reference in the Republican primary debate? His background is contains a lot of wealth and he would have been painted as out of touch. Huntsman was more sensible and specific than Romney, but ultimately would have failed equally in repelling the same attacks that defined Romney a strange, out of touch rich guy during the summer.
10  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Why Are Americans So Supportive of Israel? on: November 25, 2012, 07:08:25 pm
To put it simply, because most of the people who are calling for Israel's destruction are also calling for ours (for reasons unrelated to Israel). Our enemies are mutual, which is why we armed them in the first place. It's less to do with any sort of values as it is a sensible position in the name of our nation's interests.
11  General Politics / Political Debate / Re: The Political Compass Quiz on: November 25, 2012, 06:52:27 pm
Economic Left/Right: -3.12
Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: 1.03

I've never cared much for this quiz. Oddly phrased questions.
12  General Politics / Political Debate / Re: Guaranteed minimum income on: November 25, 2012, 06:41:02 pm
Milton Friedman (i think...) had a similar idea that he called the Negative Income Tax, which was intended to replace the minimum wage and all forms of welfare, including unemployment benefits. It was tested in a community and failed largely because it disincentived searching for employment. I always thought the idea would have been sound, and certainly less bureaucratic had there been an employment requirement and a fixed rate unemployment period for those who lost their jobs.

Update: Just saw the other thread.
13  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: I solved the deficit! on: November 25, 2012, 06:31:35 pm
http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2010/11/13/weekinreview/deficits-graphic.html?choices=js8tr159

A balanced approach, 60% cuts and 40% revenues. The bulk of the savings were had from redistributing a portion of senior entitlements to the nation at large.The tax increases are modest and mostly effect the wealthy.
14  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Is your position on the following issues authoritarian or libertarian? on: November 25, 2012, 06:14:41 pm
Guns - libertarian
Gambling - lean-libertarian
Alcohol sales restrictions - libertarian
Tobacco - libertarian
Smoking in public - libertarian
Tobacco advertising - libertarian
Strip clubs - libertarian
Fashion industry (in relation to eating disorders) - libertarian
Fashion industry (in relation to "morality") - no attention paid.
Pornography - libertarian
Prostitution - lean-libertarian
Fast food - libertarian
Pop sales in high schools - libertarian
School uniforms - authoritarian
Marketing to minors - authoritarian
Violence in the media - libertarian
Sex in the media - libertarian
Profanity in the media - libertarian
Suburban development - authoritarian
15  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Issues Where You are Totally Out of the Mainstream in America on: November 25, 2012, 06:10:31 pm
I believe in using the American military not only to defend American interests, but also to advance them. My liberal friends say that is fascism, which is far too narrow...considering that I am not a nationalist or a social authoritarian by any means.

However, I believe in reforming the penal system into a labor system. I don't believe there is any use in letting violent criminals (because I don't believe in incarcerating non-violent criminals) idle on the taxpayer dollar for x amount of years. I'm talking along the lines of community service, not labor for the sake of laboring.

On the other side of things, I support the complete repeal of all drug laws and sin taxes.
16  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Mininum the other party would need to change to get your vote? on: November 25, 2012, 01:05:06 pm
R to D
1) I'm not sure how one might measure such things, but the Democratic Party would have to move away from identity politics. I don't like the idea of turning halves, thirds, quarters, and tenths of the American population into special interest groups to pit against the scapegoat of aging white men. We are Americans, not victimized skin colors, genders, and sexual preferences.

2) The Democratic tendency to decry as backwards anyone who disagrees with their social positions is problematic for me. I am pro-life (Like KBH, not Todd Akin) and I am not a backward person who wishes to control women's reproductive organs to satisfy a complex. This sort of attitude is obnoxious and institutionalizing it as the modern Democratic Party does is not desirable.

3) On a more policy oriented note, the Democrats would have to move away from their defense of the current tax structure.  I support the progressive tax system, what I oppose however is the multitude of byzantine deductions and exemptions, across the board, that let's a large portion of society pay much less than they should be.. If 15% is the tax rate you fall under, 15% of your income should be deducted from your paycheck and there shouldn't be a "balance" at the end of the year to refund or collect.

R to I
If the Tea Party wing continues to take over the party and cost us congressional elections with their own brand of irresponsible BS, I may very well be making this transition. I'll let you know in 2014.
17  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: How do you view Immigration? on: November 25, 2012, 12:12:27 pm
The social/cultural effects of an immigration policy that lacks emphasis on assimilation are more damaging in the long term than whatever modest economic impact immigration, legal or otherwise, has on the economy. Therefore, I view immigration as a social issue first.
18  Election Archive / 2012 Elections / Re: Colorado on: November 25, 2012, 11:33:09 am
Amendment 64 (marijuana legalization) probably drove out more student/youth voters than would have probably showed up without it. 64 actually got more votes than Obama did.
19  Election Archive / 2012 Elections / Re: Rick Santorum: GOP needs to tell people we can help on: November 25, 2012, 11:27:14 am
Hearing Rick Santorum, of all people, harp about the need for a 'more inclusive' GOP is laughable, and I voted for him.
20  Election Archive / 2012 Elections / Re: Calls Grow for GOP to Break its Media Cocoon on: November 17, 2012, 05:34:43 pm
You may be surprised how many Republicans are capable of drawing their own conclusions without regard to the biases of the media they choose to consume, and how few buy into the blowhards of talk radio. If conservative media had any role in Romney's loss it was in it's inferiority to its liberal counterpart.
21  Election Archive / 2012 Elections / John Boehner, essentially, tells the tea party to get bent. on: November 07, 2012, 06:37:13 pm
http://www.cnbc.com/id/49731550
Quote
House Speaker John Boehner offered Wednesday to pursue a deal with a victorious President Barack Obama that will include higher taxes "under the right conditions" to help reduce the nation's staggering debt and put its finances in order.

"Mr. President, this is your moment," Boehner told reporters, speaking about the "fiscal cliff" that will hit in January. "We want you to lead."

Looks like the GOP is finally sick of losing House and Senate races because of reactionaries.
22  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Opinion of Michael Bloomberg on: November 04, 2012, 12:39:57 pm
I don't throw this term around lightly, but Michael Bloomberg is a fascist.
23  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: 1996 U.S. Presidential Election on: November 04, 2012, 12:32:17 pm
Dole, who gave a noble effort.
24  Election Archive / 2012 Elections / Re: Official 2012 Presidential Prediction Thread on: November 04, 2012, 12:27:14 pm


Obama - 48.2% - 284 EVs
Romney - 50.4% - 254 EVs
Other - 1.4%
25  Election Archive / 2012 Elections / Re: Anyone, but me think that the president will pull it out in Florida? on: November 04, 2012, 11:35:43 am
I honestly don't know. This is one of a very few states that's holding off my final prediction until the end. I have almost bipolar feelings on the state.

I agree - I was CERTAIN Florida was gone a couple of weeks ago, but I've laminated it under 'ugh I don't know'!

Also, where is this evidence that Obama's weak among Jews?

http://www2.tbo.com/news/politics/2012/oct/25/jewish-vote-likely-pivotal-in-florida-ar-543603/
Quote from: TBO
Retirees make Jews a disproportionate share of the voting-age population, and they gain more political ground by registering and voting conscientiously.

Sheskin said about 95 percent of Florida's Jews are registered, compared with 64 percent of the general population, and 96 percent of those registered say they voted in the 2008 election.

The result: "They probably comprise 6 percent or more of the electorate," he said.

In a state with Florida's razor-thin electoral margins, a less enthusiastic pro-Obama Jewish turnout could alter the election.

That's what some polls are suggesting.

A September poll by the non-partisan American Jewish Committee found Obama leading Mitt Romney among Florida Jews by 69 to 25 percent, and a July Gallup poll showed near-identical numbers nationwide.

Still, that's a drop from the 76 percent Obama won in 2008, according to exit polls, the American Jewish Committee said.

As they demonstrate, it doesn't take much of a shift among this demographic to create a problem for Obama.
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