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1  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: THE ORB on: May 21, 2017, 10:02:26 pm
The irony is that it is entirely superfluous. A counter extremism centre in Saudi Arabia? If you want to fight religious extremism, get rid of this guy, the religious affairs minister (and direct descendant of Mohammed ibn Abd al-Wahhab)


2  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: THE ORB on: May 21, 2017, 07:20:53 pm
It's even better in context; play "find the leader":


3  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: THE ORB on: May 21, 2017, 07:16:39 pm
I don't think backing the Saudis over Iran is necessarily such a silly, wrongheaded policy (clearly a (((globalist)))), but fraternizing with them like this is just pathetic and unnecessary.

I don't think it's (((globalist))), it may be [[[globalist]]] or <<<globalist>>>.
4  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: NYC General Discussion - You Hear That Giant Sucking Sound? on: May 21, 2017, 09:25:20 am
Mayor de Blasio Has a Habit of Leaving Out the Press

Quote
Since entering office back in January, Mayor de Blasio's relationship with the journalists assigned to cover him has gotten a bit testy. While it's no surprise that de Blasio became less eager to talk to the press once he no longer had an election to win, reporters say that he has established a pattern of keeping them out of proceedings entirely. In March, Capital New York's Dana Rubinstein noted that de Blasio limited coverage to pool reports — where one member of the City Hall press corps attends an event and shares their write-up with the other news outlets — much more often than his predecessor. "During his first two months in office, de Blasio has pooled print reporters at least seven times, more than Mayor Michael Bloomberg did in his final three years combined, according to a review of both mayors' public schedules," Rubinstein wrote. "If de Blasio's first two months are any indication, by the end of the year he will be on track to have pooled print reporters more than 30 times." On Tuesday, the AP pointed out that he has already hit that mark.

http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2014/05/mayor-de-blasio-has-a-habit-of-leaving-out-press.html

It appears he's not up to media scrutiny; as the Observer put it, he appears to have a "transparency problem"

This remains an issue, as an article and an editorial in the Times expressed:

Bill de Blasio's Press Problem? Don't Ask
Quote
Mayors of New York tend to be remembered for the way they wrangle with City Hall reporters, a signature battle stance that says a lot about the personality of His Honor and his relationship with the press. For Rudy Giuliani, it was the righteous snarl. For Michael Bloomberg, the smirky insult.

For Mayor Bill de Blasio, it’s looking like: the petulant whine.

It’s been evident for months that the mayor hates it when he thinks reporters at public events aren’t asking the right questions, or are being too hostile or skeptical, or are getting the facts wrong, or are trying to stray off topic when he wants to stay on, on, on.

A Mayor Raises Questions by Refusing to Take Any
Quote
After arriving in a ferryboat festooned in bunting, with big-band jazz blaring from the shoreline, Mayor Bill de Blasio made an announcement on Monday that New York City’s new ferry service would soon begin. Then he walked away.

No questions were asked; no questions were allowed.

Most other times, this would be a strange sight — the mayor of the nation’s largest city passing up a chance to pontificate and parry with the City Hall press corps. But over the past four weeks, Mr. de Blasio, a Democrat, has staunchly exhibited an approach that might be described as “don’t ask, don’t answer.”

No questions were allowed after a Police Academy graduation, beside the statue known as “Fearless Girl” in Lower Manhattan, or even at the handful of events during the mayor’s weeklong road trip on Staten Island last week.

All mayors have periods of tension with the news media, especially in New York. But by abruptly restricting the times when he will take questions, Mr. de Blasio seems to be embracing a new communications model, one that relies on social media channels, town hall exchanges with average New Yorkers and one-on-one interviews with specific reporters.

It is a model that is largely untested in New York, among the last American cities with a robust coterie of news organizations covering local government, and one that has struck many observers as a break from decades of political norms.
5  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: NYC General Discussion - You Hear That Giant Sucking Sound? on: May 21, 2017, 09:15:52 am
Mayor de Blasio's Approval Rating Soars, Quinnipiac University Poll Finds; He Tops Little-Known Challengers 3-1

This is just depressing. Sure, he's not as terrible as I feared he'd be, but the city is treading water. It's coasting on the achievements of the past three decades, losing its dynamism. Transit services are perceivably on the decline. It's one thing for his challengers to be relatively unknown, but approval numbers this high is another thing entirely.

Quote
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has a 60 - 34 percent job approval rating, his highest score ever, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.

This is a 10-percentage point jump since a 50 - 42 percent approval in a February 28, 2017, survey by the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University. The February score was de Blasio's first positive job approval rating in a year.

New York City voters say 57 - 35 percent that de Blasio deserves to be reelected, also the highest score ever.

White voters still disapprove 55 - 39 percent of the job the mayor is doing, but approval among black voters is 80 - 12 percent, with Hispanic voter approval at 70 - 27 percent.

De Blasio buries two declared Republican challengers by margins of 3-1:
63 - 21 percent over Paul Massey;
64 - 21 percent over State Assembly member Nicole Malliotakis.
New York City voters give de Blasio a 58 - 34 percent favorability rating. His Republican opponents are little known, as 81 percent don't know enough about Massey to form an opinion of him and 84 percent don't know enough about Malliotakis.

This is despite a serious recent pay-for-play scandal, in which he avoided charges but racked up $11 million in legal fees, even though one prosecutor said  he"acted on behalf of donors seeking favors from the city," while the other said that some of their practices appeared to violate “the intent and spirit” of the law. He's alternately tried to pay off the bills with contributions (more ethical problems, yay!) or with public funds.
6  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: The Great Brazil Topic on: May 18, 2017, 02:38:51 pm
Temer has just denied he's resigning. However, the tapes will probably be made public very soon (perhaps today) and there's no way he'll survive to that.

Temer must be listening to this right now.
7  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: The Great Brazil Topic on: May 18, 2017, 01:51:10 pm
The chances of this guy becoming President just shot up.



But ideally someone like Joaquim Barbosa will be selected.
8  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: The Great Brazil Topic on: May 18, 2017, 01:39:11 pm
Temer is resigning-- already?! I can't believe it, but I envy Brazil's politics right now.

Fora Temer! Fora Trump!
9  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Trump revealed classified information to Russian foreign minister and ambassador on: May 15, 2017, 06:14:13 pm
Also I am baffled that he would do this in a meeting he knows that is widely monitored. This is with the Russians. Is this man that incompetent truly?

Yes!
10  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Austrian Elections & Politics 3.0 on: May 14, 2017, 08:23:53 pm
Kurz has officially been elected as leader of the OeVP.
11  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Austrian Elections & Politics 3.0 on: May 14, 2017, 10:38:35 am
For once, I do want to talk about Austria, as it moves inexorably towards having a 30-year-old Chancellor. The potential for a very personalistic campaign and a centralized party is definitely interesting. You have my attention... Smiley
12  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Election What-ifs? / Re: Who could serve as caretaker president with bipartisan support? on: May 14, 2017, 10:30:42 am
Replace Rosenstein with Bharara, probably.
13  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2020 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Trump vs Zuckerberg vs Kasich on: May 11, 2017, 04:04:33 pm
Kasich/Huntsman, in my sleep!
14  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Election What-ifs? / Re: Who could serve as caretaker president with bipartisan support? on: May 11, 2017, 02:26:10 pm
So I bothered to make an entire hypothetical caretaker cabinet. As technocratic and corporate as you'd expect it to be, although I feel there ought to be a few more academics and a few less CEOs in this. I'm unsure whether to swap Sandberg (who I'm not at all crazy about) and Whitman:

Acting President: Robert M. Gates (R->I)
Acting Vice President: Sheryl Sandberg (D->I)

Secretary of State: Jon M. Huntsman Jr. (R)/Richard N. Haass (R->I)
Secretary of Defense: James Mattis (I)*
Secretary of the Treasury: Laurence D. Fink (D)
Attorney-General: Rod Rosenstein (I)**
Secretary of Commerce: Kenneth Chenault (D)
Secretary of Education: Michelle Rhee (D)
Secretary of Energy: Ash Carter (D)
Secretary of the Interior: Peter Fitzgerald (R)
Secretary of Housing and Urban Development: Patricia Harris (I?)
Secretary of Health and Human Services: Olympia Snowe (R->I)
Secretary of Transportation: Elaine Chao (R)*
Secretary of Veterans Affairs: Sloan D. Gibson (I?)
Secretary of Agriculture: Rosalind G. Brewer (I?)
Secretary of Labor: Gordon H. Smith (R)
Secretary of Homeland Security: John F. Kelly (I)*

Ambassador to the United Nations: Meghan O'Sullivan (I?)
National Security Adviser: (Lt. Gen.) H.R. McMaster (I)*
Director of National Intelligence: John O. Brennan (I)
Director of the National Economic Council:  Meg Whitman (R->I)

*remaining in office (if not already dismissed)
**conditional on performance as Deputy AG
15  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Election What-ifs? / Re: Who could serve as caretaker president with bipartisan support? on: May 11, 2017, 01:37:32 pm
Yes. A very big if-- almost absurdly so. Really, I just wanted an excuse to bump the thread.
16  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Election What-ifs? / Re: Who could serve as caretaker president with bipartisan support? on: May 11, 2017, 12:57:39 pm
If Louise Mensch is right (a very, very big "if"), this question is worth repeating.

Bob Gates?
17  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Oregon Man Fined $500 for Practicing Engineering Without a License on: April 30, 2017, 08:48:03 pm
Isn't the problem here that he called himself an engineer when he was not licensed to be an engineer, as opposed to what he wrote or said?

Taken to its logical conclusion-- considering that he was fined for merely terming himself as an engineer as opposed to attempting to practice as one-- would it not also be an offense under this provision for any foreigner, if asked by immigration officials upon arriving in the country, to describe themselves as an "engineer"?
18  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: UK General Election, June 8th 2017 on: April 30, 2017, 02:04:05 pm
Is there a consensus on here that the Conservatives under PM Theresa May are on the brink of their own version of the 1997 general election?

Arguably better - Labour got 42% in 1997 and the Tories will likely go higher in the national vote share.

Yes, but right now they're projected to get considerably fewer seats. I suppose it has to do with Scotland having (mostly) been taken out of the picture?
19  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: France 2017: Results Thread on: April 24, 2017, 08:31:37 am
Strache (FPÖ) congratulated Le Pen, but also said she'll fail to win the runoff because there will be a conspiracy against her by all the other parties and candidates and the media.

You just reposted the anti-Austria rule...
20  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: UK General Election, June 8th 2017 on: April 23, 2017, 03:33:11 pm
Tories getting close to 50% with ICM online CON 48 +2 LAB 26 +1 LD 10 -1 UKIP 8=

Another beautiful poll for our beautiful Prime Minister!
21  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Voting Booth / Re: April 2017 House Election on: April 21, 2017, 04:33:26 pm
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES - NINE SEATS


[  ] Clyde1998 of Massachusetts
Labor Party

[ 1] Dereich of Colorado
Independent

[  ] drewmike87 of Wisconsin
Labor Party

[3 ] Leinad of Georgia
Federalist Party

[2] North Carolina Yankee of North Carolina
Federalist Party

[  ] OneJ_ of Mississippi
Labor Party

[  ] Peebs of North Carolina
Labor Party

[ 4] Pessimistic Antineutrino of New Jersey
Federalist Party

[  ] Santander of Alabama
Atlas Conservative Party

[  ] simossad of Minnesota
Labor Party

[  ] Write-in:______________________________
-__________________

[  ] None of the above
22  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Voting Booth / Re: Fremont Voting Booth: April 2017 Elections on: April 21, 2017, 04:32:29 pm
FOR SENATE (CLASS II)
ONE (1) to be elected.
[   ] LongLiveRock of Colorado
Liberal Democracy Party - Labor Party
[1] TedBessell of California
Free Soil Party - Federalist Party
[   ] Write-in:
FOR HOUSE OF COMMONS
FIVE (5) to be elected.
[   ] Anthony1691 of California
Unaffiliated - Labor Party
[   ] Dr_Novella of California
Ecosocialist Party - Labor Party
[   ] evergreen of Washington
Ecosocialist Party - Uncultured Marxist Party of Atlasia
[2] RFayette of California
Unaffiliated - Atlas Conservative Party
[   ] Roy Barnes 2010 of Washington
Democratic Alliance - Labor Party
[ 3] Tirnam of California
Liberal Democracy Party - Labor Party
[ 1  ] Write-in: Simfan34
23  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Is GA-06 gerrymandered? on: April 20, 2017, 07:36:04 am
Tom Perez said the other day that the problem for the Dems in GA-06 was that it was gerrymandered. Was he right, or is he just seeking excuses?

24  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Rahm Emanuel wants to require acceptance letters for high school graduation on: April 17, 2017, 03:54:11 pm
It's hard to understand where he's coming from. A student without a college offer or enlisting in the military will be forbidden from receiving their high school diploma, therefore making them virtually unemployable? Even if they've met all other criteria for graduation? Does he want to create-- or at least enlarge-- a indefinitely marginalized underclass?

I can't even imagine a wonk as detached from reality as is humanly possible coming up with such a illogical idea. The immediate impact would be a dramatic reduction in already-abysmal graduation rates, or an explosion in students enrolling in community colleges only to immediately drop out. Even if you wanted to force, rather than encourage, people into higher education, the way to do that would be to make it mandatory, not prevent people from graduating from high school.

This doesn't particularly come across as a "right-wing" or "left-wing" idea-- it's just a baffling one.
25  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Turkey referendum, 2017 on: April 16, 2017, 02:08:58 pm



To be honest, all this ordeal proves to me is that Western Europe is, culturally and socially, just a much worse fit than countries like the US or Canada for the assimilation of immigrants.

Are you saying our societies are structurally designed to not be able to integrate/assimilate immigrants, compared to the US or Canada? Rather than the evident historical and geographical factors at work here?

Multiculturalism vs. Integration.
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