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October 31, 2014, 03:28:33 am
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News: Don't forget to get your 2013 Gubernatorial Endorsements and Predictions in!

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1  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Gubernatorial/Statewide Elections / Re: 2014 exit polls? on: October 29, 2014, 11:50:02 pm
Edison Research is the exclusive provider of election exit polls to the National Election Pool consisting of ABC, CBS, CNN, FOX, NBC and the Associated Press and we are currently preparing for our coverage of the 2014 U.S. Midterm Elections Edison will be conducting a national survey in all 50 states as well as statewide surveys in key battleground states.


So far, I have confirmed Texas, Florida. I've contacted the head of Edison Research and will see if I get a response on the exact states.

I imagine almost every state with a Governor or U.S. Senate race will have one. There'll also be a National U.S. House Exit Poll, which is where we'll get Obama's approval numbers and such from.

Thanks. And, yeah, that wording in bold makes it sound like some states will be skipped. Guess we'll find out soon.
2  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Gubernatorial/Statewide Elections / 2014 exit polls? on: October 29, 2014, 04:13:33 am
Does anyone know how exit polls will be handled this year?

Will every state with at least a major race like Governor (California) or Senator (North Carolina) have one or only states with both (Illinois)?

Will any states be dropped like what happened in 2012?
3  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Presidential Election Trends / Re: 2020 is the Election Democrats Should Really Be Focusing On..... on: October 24, 2014, 01:58:52 am
How about a majority Democrat-appointed SCOTUS overturning gerrymandering in 2018-2020?

I doubt Scalia or Kennedy will retire before 2020.

Wikipedia says they're both 78 currently while Ginsburg is 81 and Breyer is 76. Is there cumulative data on the ages when Justices step down? Those four look like prime retirement candidates in the next six years.
4  Questions and Answers / The Atlas / Re: The "preview" thing is not working anymore on: October 24, 2014, 01:11:59 am
Yup, this has been happening to me as well on Firefox.

Yeah, I'm having the same issue with Firefox. I can quote others and make a post or a thread but the preview option won't load.
5  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Jeff Merkley becomes first sitting US senator to endorse marijuana legalization on: October 24, 2014, 01:05:29 am
Kind of surprised he was first. I thought I remember reading Bernie Sanders or Rand Paul were in favor but apparently not quite?


The legalization of marijuana is another issue that Paul points to as a way for the GOP to reach more young voters.

Paul himself does not favor legalizing marijuana, but he says individual states—such as Washington and Colorado, which both voted to legalize in November—should be allowed to make marijuana legal.

So a few % support in the Senate meanwhile it's polling at 50-55% nationally.
6  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Jeff Merkley becomes first sitting US senator to endorse marijuana legalization on: October 24, 2014, 12:58:08 am

October 23rd, 2014

With state-by-state marijuana legalization taking hold slowly but surely nationwide, this was bound to happen eventually.

Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) told Talking Points Memo on Wednesday that he plans to vote in favor of a referendum on Election Day that would legalize marijuana in Oregon. Similar to the measures in place in Colorado and Washington, the Oregon proposal would green-light marijuana use for recreational purposes and would allow the state to tax and regulate it.
7  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2014 Senatorial Election Polls / Re: OR: Survey USA: Merkley up by a lot on: October 22, 2014, 05:31:55 pm
Merkley's massive, meteoric margins might murder Monica's medical mind

... Tongue
8  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Oregon Measure 90 (2014) on: October 22, 2014, 05:28:46 pm
The original undemocratic flaw is the artificial restriction of a two-party system. Further entrenching it by making the 10-20% turn-out primary elections even more decisive and using them to eliminate all third-parties in the general election is hardly a democratic improvement. You won't be surprised who is significantly backing a measure like this.

On the other hand, it's the corrupt two-party system that makes closed primaries lose their persuasiveness; why should the only two effective choices voters have be decided in exclusive primaries? I voted no though the status quo is pretty bad. Instant run-off voting would be better, proportional representation more so. The U.S. electoral system is yet another thing tilted in favor of the wealthy and powerful.
9  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Presidential Election Trends / Re: 2020 is the Election Democrats Should Really Be Focusing On..... on: October 22, 2014, 05:25:09 pm
How about a majority Democrat-appointed SCOTUS overturning gerrymandering in 2018-2020?
10  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Gubernatorial/Statewide Elections / Re: Cannabis '14: The WA & CO Memorial Thread on: October 17, 2014, 03:21:58 pm
Closer than I'd expect in OR: only passing 44/40.

It was polled again last week by a different firm showing 52% yes, 41% opposed, and 7% undecided: http://www.opb.org/news/article/voter-turnout-will-tip-the-scales-on-legal-pot-measure/

Ballots were mailed out a few days ago (I received mine yesterday) so hopefully it's looking good.
11  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Gubernatorial/Statewide Elections / Re: Cannabis '14: The WA & CO Memorial Thread on: October 17, 2014, 03:10:10 pm

March 31, 2014

An overwhelming majority of voters in Virginia support the legalization of medical marijuana, but are divided over legalizing pot for recreational use, according to a new poll.

The survey released by Quinnipiac University on Monday found 84 percent of Virginia voters back medical marijuana.

Meanwhile, 46 percent support legalizing marijuana for personal use, with 48 percent opposing that move.


October 17, 2014

Want legal weed in Delaware? You're easily in the majority, according to a new University of Delaware poll that finds 56 percent of Delawareans support legalization of marijuana use.

The university polled 902 Delaware adults between Sept. 10 and 22, finding just 39 percent opposed to legalization. Delawareans older than 60 and self-identified conservatives were the only groups to express deep opposition, while young adults and liberals drove the support.

Support for legalization crossed racial and geographic boundaries, with poll respondents in all three counties saying they back legal marijuana.


Jan. 21, 2014

A growing number of North Carolina voters support legalization of marijuana, according to a new poll.

A recent Public Policy Polling survey found 63 percent believe doctors should have the right to prescribe marijuana for medical use – up from 58 percent a year ago.

But a plurality – 48 percent – still don’t think marijuana should be legal, as it is in Colorado and soon Washington, compared to 42 percent who believe it should be legal for adult purchase. The legalization figures is up from January 2013, when just 39 percent of voters supported it.

12  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2014 Senatorial Election Polls / Re: ME-Pan Atlantic SMS: Collins leads by 43 on: October 14, 2014, 07:53:48 pm

13  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Which of these two kinds of candy do you generally prefer? on: October 14, 2014, 02:20:32 am
14  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Police take hundreds of millions of $s from motorists not charged with crimes on: October 11, 2014, 05:06:02 pm
15  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2014 Gubernatorial Election Polls / Re: New We Ask America Poll Quinn +4 on: October 08, 2014, 02:06:45 pm
16  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Gubernatorial/Statewide Elections / Re: How does the fact that Illinois is now pink on the aggregate map make you feel? on: October 07, 2014, 07:57:20 pm
* Medicaid expansion
* Same-day voter registration
* Legalization of same-sex marriage
* Medical marijuana
* Repealed the death penalty
* Accepting/using federal high-speed rail funds
* A right-to-vote constitutional amendment and progressive advisory questions placed on this year's ballot
* Running a campaign that correctly paints his opponent as an out-of-touch plutocrat
* A 2nd term agenda likely including a progressive income tax, minimum wage increase, and further liberalization of marijuana laws among other things

FF (feels fantastic)
17  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Gubernatorial/Statewide Elections / Who will win the Illinois gubernatorial election? (Oct. 2014) on: October 07, 2014, 06:32:56 pm

The August 2014 forum poll had about 65% saying Rauner: http://uselectionatlas.org/FORUM/index.php?topic=197089.0
18  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: 5.8 million Americans can't vote because of their criminal records (+ map) on: October 07, 2014, 05:57:35 pm
I didn't know Florida had so many felons, much less felons without voting rights!

Those shades in Virginia are rather dark, but there's been some improvement since 2012, thanks to an effort from our former Governor and current felon Bob McDonnell.

It's a very popular policy with Rick Scott: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/21/rights-restoration-florida-ex-convicts_n_1904736.html

Florida, Kentucky, Iowa and Virginia are the only states that don’t restore ex-convicts’ rights as soon as their release from prison. In the Sunshine State, rights such as voting, holding public office, and serving on a jury are not automatically granted.

Instead, former inmates must apply to have their rights restored, which can be a lengthy gauntlet. In April 2007, former Gov. Charlie Crist began allowing Level I (burglary, DUI) felons to have their rights automatically restored, and Level II (aggravated battery, kidnapping) and Level III felons (murder, sexual assault) were given a review process.

However, Gov. Rick Scott’s administration reversed Crist’s reforms and also added a waiting period of five or seven years, depending on the crime.


Advocates say not only has Scott made the application process tougher, significantly fewer aplications have been approved: according to data provided by the Florida Parole Commission, 153,928 ex-felons had their voting rights restored over Crist's 4-year term. Nearly two years into Scott's tenure, only 255 could say the same.
19  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / 5.8 million Americans can't vote because of their criminal records (+ map) on: October 06, 2014, 06:25:58 pm
October 5, 2014

Most states prohibit people from voting while in prison for a felony. Even if someone isn't physically incarcerated, if they're serving a criminal sentence for a felony conviction, they're probably not allowed to vote. Twelve states make it illegal for some people with felony convictions to vote even after they've finished their sentences.

As a result, according to the Sentencing Project, 5.8 million American citizens have lost their voting rights through the criminal-justice system. And one in every thirteen African-American citizens has lost his or her right to vote this way.

This map, compiled by the Sentencing Project based on 2012 data, shows which states have disenfranchised the biggest shares of their electorates:

Read more at http://www.vox.com/2014/10/5/6906875/state-prisoner-voting-law-felon-disenfranchisement-map-virginia
20  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Opinion of automatic voter registration on: September 25, 2014, 12:33:46 am
I don't think it's so much many as it is a few big ones and they list examples in the linked article (it has more text than the parts I quoted) like the registration deadlines, the lack of automatic updates, and even the opt-in model itself.

The main argument is a matter of effectiveness; why settle for a registration rate of 75% when you can achieve 95%+ with a simpler system? Automatic voter registration would be cheaper, more accurate, more up-to-date when processing changes (name change, change of address, etc), it would be less error-prone on the input side, and all the time these organizations spend registering people to vote could be spent talking with voters about the issues.

It's a win all-around over the current system. Hopefully Oregon can pass it in 2015. Democrats would have to net one state senate seat this year and hold as many as possible in the state house. The one Republican in the state house who voted for the 2013 bill retired (the district is pretty much safe-R) and I don't think the new representative will support it. It's too bad so many safe-D states are timid on this issue.
21  General Politics / Individual Politics / Opinion of automatic voter registration on: September 23, 2014, 08:36:59 pm

September 23, 2014

Today is National Voter Registration Day. Almost 2,000 partners around the country—student groups, educational institutions, unions, faith groups, civic leagues, libraries, worker centers, and elections agencies—are promoting opportunities for individuals to register to vote. Volunteers will spend hundreds of hours doing face-to-face outreach, technology will help voters find registration drives or, if available, register online, and tens of thousands of voters are expected to register to vote in a single day. This is a wonderful testament to civic organization in America.

But even with these laudable efforts, too many unnecessary bureaucratic barriers block the ability of eligible persons to register to vote.

In 2012, approximately 51 million eligible Americans—a quarter of eligible voters—were still not registered to vote. These missing voters are disproportionately low-income voters, people of color, and young Americans. There is also a significant gap in turnout based on income levels in the U.S.: in 2012, only 47 percent of eligible voters in the lowest income bracket voted, while 80 percent of voters in the highest income bracket voted, an income gap in voting of over 30 percent. Right now, racial and class gaps in registration result in a skewed electorate – one that is whiter, wealthier, and older than out nation’s citizenry as a whole. Surely this is one explanation why research shows that government is more responsive to the policy preferences of the donor class—also markedly whiter, wealthier, and older than the general public - than to average Americans, even when their public policy preferences differ greatly from those held by the majority.
22  General Politics / Economics / Re: Research shows every 2nd job might disappear within 2035 on: September 23, 2014, 03:57:10 pm
Nanotechnology, fusion power, advanced AI, space mining, 3D printing, etc.

It's pretty exciting to think about some of the things that could be achieved with technological advances. I think the best are ones that have potential to improve peoples' standard of living. Lowering the cost of communication while making it faster. Essentially free energy for households and personal transportation. Making customization of products cheaper and more pervasive so people can design their own things instead of relying on mass-produced versions. Etc.

Imagine if we could ever get to the point of modifying the human body to make it more resilient. That would be a disaster for the medical and food industries but it would be amazing for us to eliminate that dependency and have more control over ourselves. Trillions in revenues and profits would be gone so it's easy to get why they would be opposed to things like that. You can already see a glimpse of the conflict with electric utilities and solar power or US auto dealerships and electric vehicles.

If you're afraid of this, you've missed the boat on why work exists. The reason we have work in society is because we have tasks  that need to be completed or we will all die without it. If there is no work that needs to be done, it isn't a travesty but a success.

It should be a success. But the odds that policy makers decide not to implement some sort of redistribution scheme is non-negligible.

That's true, but I wonder how they could make it stick. Masses of unemployable people would probably result in redistribution or revolution. Furthermore, is it really in the elites' best interest not to redistribute a little bit? Pensioning off the unemployed masses seems like a pretty cheap insurance policy.

Well you can look at the mass surveillance, the militarization of the police, and the treatment of the poor and see a lot of malice. Redistribution would be a huge concession from them. It could even reduce profits too if the population suddenly had a basic income that was mobile. How many people would move out of high-priced cities if they no longer needed to be there for their job? They could move to lower cost of living areas and that would be a loss to the incumbent real estate players in said cities.
23  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Gubernatorial/Statewide Elections / Re: Cannabis '14: The WA & CO Memorial Thread on: September 23, 2014, 02:51:00 pm

A newly launched campaign to allow for the recreational use of marijuana in Arizona in 2016 is just the latest in what will likely be a slew of state-level legalization efforts for the next election cycle.

A local chapter of the Marijuana Policy Project, the advocacy group that helped legalize marijuana in Colorado, has formed a committee to push the same in Arizona, the Arizona Republic reports. But the Grand Canyon State is just one of a dozen states where the group plans to focus its efforts in the coming years.

MPP has set its sights on passing legalization in about a dozen states by 2017. It plans to focus on legalizing marijuana legislatively in Delaware, Hawaii, Maryland, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont in the coming years, while the group hopes to use the initiative process to achieve the same goal in California, Maine, Massachusetts and Nevada.


If all 50 states legalized cannabis today, they'd be collectively raking in more than $3 billion a year in taxes.

That's according to NerdWallet, a personal finance site, which forecasts a total $3.1 billion annual windfall for state governments that legalize the popular plant.


NerdWallet's estimate assumed a flat, 15 percent excise tax on marijuana -- the same as Colorado's excise tax on recreational marijuana sales. NerdWallet added state and local sales taxes to that figure.

In 2010, Harvard economist Jeffrey Miron estimated more than $8 billion in annual savings in law enforcement costs if marijuana were legalized.
24  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / 'Surprise' medical bills increasingly common in U.S. healthcare on: September 20, 2014, 03:54:46 pm
Before his three-hour neck surgery for herniated disks in December, Peter Drier, 37, signed a pile of consent forms. A bank technology manager who had researched his insurance coverage, Mr. Drier was prepared when the bills started arriving: $56,000 from Lenox Hill Hospital in Manhattan, $4,300 from the anesthesiologist and even $133,000 from his orthopedist, who he knew would accept a fraction of that fee.

He was blindsided, though, by a bill of about $117,000 from an “assistant surgeon,” a Queens-based neurosurgeon whom Mr. Drier did not recall meeting.

In operating rooms and on hospital wards across the country, physicians and other health providers typically help one another in patient care. But in an increasingly common practice that some medical experts call drive-by doctoring, assistants, consultants and other hospital employees are charging patients or their insurers hefty fees. They may be called in when the need for them is questionable. And patients usually do not realize they have been involved or are charging until the bill arrives.

The practice increases revenue for physicians and other health care workers at a time when insurers are cutting down reimbursement for many services. The surprise charges can be especially significant because, as in Mr. Drier’s case, they may involve out-of-network providers who bill 20 to 40 times the usual local rates and often collect the full amount, or a substantial portion.

Insurers, saying the surprise charges have proliferated, have filed lawsuits challenging them. In recent years, unexpected out-of-network charges have become the top complaint to the New York State agency that regulates insurance companies. Multiple state health insurance commissioners have tried to limit patients’ liability, but lobbying by the health care industry sometimes stymies their efforts.

“This has gotten really bad, and it’s wrong,” said James J. Donelon, the Republican insurance commissioner of Louisiana. “But when you try to address it as a policy maker, you run into a hornet’s nest of financial interests.”

Read more at http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/21/us/drive-by-doctoring-surprise-medical-bills.html
25  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Gubernatorial/Statewide Elections / Re: Cannabis '14: The WA & CO Memorial Thread on: September 19, 2014, 01:01:56 am

September 18, 2014

Voters in the District of Columbia are poised to follow Colorado and Washington state into a closely watched experiment to legalize marijuana, according to a new NBC4/Washington Post/Marist poll.

By an almost 2-to-1 margin (65%-33%), likely voters in the city’s Nov. 4 election say they support Initiative 71, a ballot measure that would legalize possession, home cultivation and the sale of paraphernalia to smoke marijuana in the nation’s capital.
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