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16726  Questions and Answers / Presidential Election Process / Re: Is there any plausible argument in favor of the electoral college? on: September 22, 2008, 06:09:08 pm
The primary advantage of the electoral college is that in the event of a recount, the recount is held only in the States that are close.

But is that much of an advantage? And if so, how?

Is the argument that the number of ballots would be so large as to make a national recount impractical? If so, I can't understand the focus on re-counts--surely the first count is no different in that respect. But whatever the case may be, the assertion certainly isn't obvious, and no evidence has been offered to substantiate it.

A recount of the entire country wouldn't be any harder to do than a recount in one state, since you'd have more election workers available to assist in the recount.

If we had a uniform national ballot it might not be any harder, tho it would still be more expensive. However, we don't have a uniform national ballot and we are unlikely to even have one.  That means there will be questions that have to be decided at a local level, such as what happened in Florida in 2000, where some of the lawsuits were at the county-level.
16727  Election Archive / 2008 U.S. Presidential General Election Polls / Re: PPP will release CO tomorrow and the leading candidate is ... on: September 22, 2008, 05:22:37 pm
Hardly Palin's fault that Wall Street's chickens chose to come home to rest last week.  I can't see where any of the VP possibilities would have helped McCain with that problem.
16728  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act on: September 21, 2008, 07:42:13 pm
The main thing that G-L-B did that affected what has happened is that it made explicit that swap agreements were to be largely exempt from securities regulation.  That led to a lack of transparency that has exacerbated the situation, as it has made it likelier for the collapse of one financial institution to weaken others because of uncertainty over exposure to swaps that the failed institution was involved in.
16729  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Presidential Election Trends / Re: Mark Sanford on: September 21, 2008, 06:42:22 pm
Sanford hasn't accomplished much in his six years as governor, despite having a Republican General Assembly.  That's largely because he's been more interested in being a libertarian Don Quixote than making compromises to accomplish anything.  That libertarian tilting has attracted some interest, but its not enough to win a Republican presidential nomination, and he was smart enough to realize it.

He was regarded as a possible running mate, but the strengths he could have brought largely overlapped those that McCain himself possessed and that Palin reinforced, but unlike Palin, he certainly has no wow factor.

Sanford may end up being a cabinet secretary in a future Republican administration, but he's basically done running for elective office for now.  He's term limited as governor, and running for any other office would require him to run against a Republican incumbent in a primary battle.
16730  Election Archive / 2008 U.S. Presidential General Election Polls / Re: Rasmussen South Carolina: McCain by 6 on: September 21, 2008, 06:17:26 pm
What remaining Dixiecrat vote?
16731  Election Archive / 2008 Elections / Re: McCain campaign revs up operations in North Carolina. on: September 20, 2008, 11:49:31 pm
Thing is, with the Senate and the Gubernatorial races reasonably close, campaigning in the Tar Heel state will be a twofer or a threefer.  Can't say that of every State.
16732  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Bush uses his sh**tty economy as excuse for massive power-grab on: September 20, 2008, 09:05:34 pm
Quote
Decisions by the Secretary pursuant to the authority of this Act are non-reviewable and committed to agency discretion, and may not be reviewed by any court of law or any administrative agency.
http://www.dailykos.com/story/2008/9/20/153952/268/395/603713

Another sh**tty extreme right bill that will probably pass the "Democratic" Congress.

Its not an extreme right bill.  This sort of language is fairly common in existing law.  It doesn't prevent the law itself from being challenged.  What it does do is prevent the courts being used to second guess administrative decisions about which mortgages to buy.  The various anti-fraud statutes still apply in case someone does something crooked.
16733  General Discussion / Constitution and Law / Re: Should Federal judges need a 2/3 majority to be confirmed? on: September 20, 2008, 08:49:32 pm
No.  About the only constitutional change I would make to the Federal judiciary is to make the power to overturn Federal and State laws explicit, while at the same time requiring a supermajority (either 3/5 or 2/3, which is equivalent with 9 justices, but not for other numbers) to do that overturning.  The court has generally been good about finding supermajorities on contentious issues, but not always, and I'm leery of having a 5-4 decision of unelected justices strike down legislative actions.
16734  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / U.S. Presidential Election Results / Re: The Democrats in 1984, why Mondale? on: September 20, 2008, 06:29:01 pm
Don't forget 1980.  They tried to dump Carter then because he wasn't liberal enough, and almost succeeded.  Even if they thought Mondale wouldn't win, the Democratic wing of the Democratic party was likely hoping he'd be able to sow the seeds of a liberal resurgence in 1988.  Still, I doubt they expected the disaster they got.

Here's 1984 with a 15% swing in the margin, he still loses badly:



A 19% swing is needed to eke out a narrow victory, carrying Michigan by less than a thousand votes:




(In a PV tie with uniform swing, Reagan still takes Ohio and Michigan for an apparent 306 EV mandate.)
16735  Election Archive / 2008 U.S. Presidential General Election Polls / Re: I was just polled by Zogby Interactive. on: September 20, 2008, 03:59:29 pm
Just keep in mind the following: It wasn't your fault, it was Zogby's.
16736  Election Archive / 2008 U.S. Presidential General Election Polls / Re: Rasmussen South Carolina: McCain by 6 on: September 20, 2008, 01:35:16 pm
About as I 'd expect.   The sole reason I have SC as a Lean instead of Strong is that the margin will be in the 5 to 10% range, but I don't expect the campaign to change that one way or the other.  Too few swing voters, especially with the current candidates.
16737  Election Archive / 2008 U.S. Presidential General Election Polls / Re: ARG State Polls 9/19 on: September 20, 2008, 01:14:09 pm
Is it too much to ask that you post more than just the margin?

There's quite a difference between a 60-40 poll and a 50-30 poll, even tho they have the same 20 point margin.



Is it too much to ask you to click on the link to see it?

Yes. Tongue  While ARG's front page isn't way too cluttered, there are a number of websites that are, plus sometimes people post links to sites I've never heard of and I tend to be very cautious about following links.  It's not as if I'm asking you to post any crosstabs.  Besides, wouldn't it be easier to not calculate the margin yourself?

Alright, I'll include them next time, except if they do another 26 poll dump, then you're on your own. Smiley

Since they would be ARGH polls anyway, not a huge problem.
16738  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Have you ever worn makeup? on: September 19, 2008, 09:18:49 pm
Stage makeup.  Part I enjoyed best was as Theodore Roosevelt in Arsenic and Old Lace (Code name: Theodore Brewster.)  Even shaved off my beard so as to have just a mustache to play the part.
16739  Forum Community / Election and History Games / Re: Create-an-Airline 2: Sign-Up on: September 19, 2008, 09:02:20 pm
Question:  How fast can airplanes be added?

Airline Name:ZephAyr
Three Letter: ZYR
Country - United States
Hub(s): Philadelphia, Charlotte
Name of Manager: Ernest Curtiss

Fleet: 2 Boeing 737-800, 8 Boeing 737-700

Destinations: Boston, Chicago (Midway), Richmond, Atlanta, Orlando, New Orleans, Memphis, New York (La Guardia)

Comments: The 737-800's are used for the main trunk flight connecting the two hubs.

Objective: To become the primary domestic passenger airline for medium-sized cities east of the Mississippi

Future expansion plans: Add additional cities in the United States, primarily east of the Mississippi so as have a dense network employing the Boeing 737 series of planes. (And the 777 later if needed for high capacity routes.)

Airline Name:ZephAyr Calypso
Three Letter: ZYC
Country - United States
Hub(s): Charlotte, Miami
Name of Manager: Ernesto Castro
Fleet: 2 Boeing 737-800, 8 Boeing 737-700

Destinations: Bermuda, Nassau (Bahamas), San Juan, Aguadilla (Puerto Rico), Charlotte Amalie (St. Thomas, USVI), Christianstaf (St. Croix, USVI), Kingston (Jamaica), George Town (Caymans)

Comments: The 737-800's are used for the main trunk flight connecting the two hubs.   Intended mainly as a tourist airline. Charlotte hub serves mainly to connect the Miami hub with the ZephAyr route network, but some international flights depart directly from there.

Objective:  Become the primary airline taking American tourists to holiday destinations in the Caribbean and beyond.

Future expansion plans: Add additional destinations in the Caribbean and Central America, adding additional U.S. mainland hubs as needed.  Possible hub at Aguadilla should inter-island routes be added.  Acquire resorts to help fill the planes.
16740  Election Archive / 2008 U.S. Presidential General Election Polls / Re: ARG State Polls 9/19 on: September 19, 2008, 07:09:49 pm
Is it too much to ask that you post more than just the margin?

There's quite a difference between a 60-40 poll and a 50-30 poll, even tho they have the same 20 point margin.



Is it too much to ask you to click on the link to see it?

Yes. Tongue  While ARG's front page isn't way too cluttered, there are a number of websites that are, plus sometimes people post links to sites I've never heard of and I tend to be very cautious about following links.  It's not as if I'm asking you to post any crosstabs.  Besides, wouldn't it be easier to not calculate the margin yourself?
16741  Election Archive / 2008 U.S. Presidential General Election Polls / Re: ARG State Polls 9/19 on: September 19, 2008, 06:53:10 pm
IN- MAC +3
ND- MAC +9
OK- MAC +27
WA- OBAMA +6
Is it too much to ask that you post more than just the margin?

There's quite a difference between a 60-40 poll and a 50-30 poll, even tho they have the same 20 point margin.

16742  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Election What-ifs? / Re: TL 191 - 1948 and on (Interactive Timline) on: September 18, 2008, 11:27:36 pm
There are worse alt history writers than Turtledove.  Turtledove gets a bad rap because of the anti-butterfly effect that afflicts most pieces of alt hist that go more than a few years past the point of departure.  The desire to keep history, people, and places similar to OTL just to keep things familiar enough for casual readers is a real problem.  The 1632-verse has been notable for embracing the butterfly effect, but it has only reached four or five years from the POD.
16743  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Is this country headed toward another depression? on: September 18, 2008, 10:54:08 pm
Probably not a depression.  Altho if the WTO collapses, we could have one.  The Doha round is dead, but that's not the same as going backwards on true free trade.
16744  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Should Governors be allowed to remove mayors from office? on: September 18, 2008, 10:53:03 pm
There does need to be some means of removing mayors (and other officials) that have gone bad.  In this state, being indicted with a felony allows the governor to suspend an official, and a convictions causes a permanent boot.  Absent an indictment or conviction there is no power of removal.
16745  General Politics / Political Debate / Re: A Modest Proposal for Social Security and Medicare Reform on: September 18, 2008, 10:33:45 pm
We have been slowly increasing the age at which full benefits are paid out.  Continuing that slow increase so that instead of age 67, it eventually takes age 70 to reach full benefits is a sensible first step.  More so that reducing benefits or increasing the payroll tax rate or teh cap on what gets taxed.
16746  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Congress to let the financial 'crisis' to pass until 2009 on: September 18, 2008, 10:19:32 pm
Sound judgement.  What's going on right now is not the sort of thing that a second economic stimulus package would be able to help out with, and I can't see Congress being able to do anything else until the 111th is sworn in.  The Fed has the authority it needs in the short term and Bernanke has shown a willingness to use it.   I expect one of the major pieces of legislation in the 111th will be some sort of Federal insurance regulation for the first time in the wake of what happened to AIG.  Possibly also some bill to break up some of the larger financial services companies so that they are no longer too big to fail.  Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in particular will likely be carved up into smaller bite-sized pieces.
16747  General Discussion / History / Re: Alexander Hamilton on: September 18, 2008, 09:52:01 pm

We as a people aspire to live up to Jeffersonian ideals but we live in a Hamilton world.

As did Jefferson.  Jefferson himself used Hamiltionian means to pursue his Jeffersonian ideals.  If Jefferson had not done so, there would have been no Louisiana Purchase (at least not without a Constitutional amendment) and no Embargo to name the two major actions of Jefferson.
16748  General Discussion / Constitution and Law / Re: Should laws be copyrighted? on: September 18, 2008, 09:47:37 pm
There are three rationales for doing so, none of which I fully support, but each of which I see some merit in.

#1 Ensuring that anyone who publishes the law is actually publishing the law.  Unauthorized versions can have errors, either intentional or unintentional, in them.  This rationale made more sense before the internet age.  Now that it is possible to ensure that everyone can have access to the authorized version via the internet, there is less need to be worried about unauthorized versions.

#2 Often the law consists of two parts, the various Acts that have been passed as positive law, and a codification that tries to make a system out of them.  That later codification is editorial, not authoritative in nature, and hence the system of codification is copyrightable.  I.e.,  that "Representatives to the House of Representatives shall be elected from the several counties of the State at the general election to be held on Tuesday after the first Monday in November of every even-numbered year." is not itself desired to be copywritten, but that it is Section 2-1-20 of the SC Code of Laws is what is desired to be copywritten.

#3 Quite often building codes and other laws are based on model codes and laws produced by non-governmental organizations and which use the sale of those codes and laws to pay for their activities in devising them.  Hence if such model codes and laws are incorporated by reference, the State has little choice but to accept that copyright and enforce it unless they want to write their own codes and laws from scratch, which for such technical areas makes little sense.
16749  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Gubernatorial/Statewide Elections / Re: Ballot measures on: September 18, 2008, 09:21:21 pm
South Carolina has three constitutional amendments on the ballot this year, all fairly technical.  Not surprising, since the only amendments that get on the ballot are put there by the General Assembly.  (SC has a three stage process to amend the constitution, with the ballot question being stage 2.  Stages 1 and 3 are approval by two separate General Assemblies.

#1 Removes the constitutionally set age of consent of 14 (for unmarried females only) so as to make the age of consent a legislative issue (which with the law that is already in place would be 16 for both sexes).

I suspect someone charged with bonking a 14 or 15 year old raised the constitutional provision as a defense and won to cause the GA to put this one on the ballot.

#2 and 3 are technical amendments wanted because changes in accounting standards require splitting off trust funds for retirement benefits (i.e. health insurance) from those for retirement pensions.  The newly split off funds don't have the same leeway in investment options that the pension funds already had.

#2 Allows the state to invest trust funds for retirement benefits (such as health insurance) in stocks.

#3 Allows local governments to invest trust funds for retirement benefits (such as health insurance) in stocks.
16750  Election Archive / 2008 Elections / Re: First 527 ad in Florida on: September 18, 2008, 08:58:43 pm
Palin's a pretty disgusting person.

You're the disgusting one.

Your signature says a lot about you.

If you don't remove it I will have it removed for you.

Sarcasm?

Not sure what about Lief's signature has so aroused your ire.... chill pill dude Wink

A profanity in the pic is quite worth being irate about.  I was willing to give Lief the benefit of doubt yesterday that the pic had been changed from what it was when he put the url for it in in his sig, but I'd have thought he'd have noticed it by now.
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