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News: Atlas Hardware Upgrade complete October 13, 2013.

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1  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: in other good news, GMO labeling loses in OR and CO on: November 21, 2014, 04:23:14 am
Quote
Measure 92 trailed by 1.2 percent, with fewer than 51 percent of voters in opposition.

It's down to a 0.1% margin now.

Quote
11/20/2014 4:37 PM

State Ballot Measure No. 92:

Yes - 749,505 (49.95%)
No - 750,989 (50.05%)
2  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Gubernatorial/Statewide Elections / Re: Cannabis '14: The WA & CO Memorial Thread on: November 21, 2014, 03:58:06 am
So...what states are going to have 2016 referenda? I know Nevada, Maine, Massachusetts, and California are likely to go for it. I've heard that Arkansas (LOL), Michigan, and Arizona are other likely candidates for a 2016 referenda.

It's potentially any state with initiatives where it's polling good:



^^ Couldn't hurt to try Ohio and Montana too. In related news, Measure 91 hits 56% in Oregon. Good results for a mid-term.
3  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Is the Democratic Party left-wing? on: November 20, 2014, 06:30:47 am
On what spectrum?

Shouldn't the left-right spectrum be universal based on the issues rather than relative to other countries? The latter doesn't give a simple, clear picture. Better to just say that a country or region is more left or right on the (single) continuum instead of creating multiple relative standards.
4  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Obamacare Silver Plans prices falling, on average, 0.2% in 48 cities on: November 20, 2014, 06:08:31 am
There is a hell of a lot of variation here, even within states. 

NYT has a map.
Quote
In about a fifth of the counties in states using the federal insurance exchange, premiums for the lowest-priced silver plans will increase by 10 percent or more. But rates for the same plans will decrease in all of Maine, Montana and New Hampshire, and most parts of Mississippi and South Dakota.

^^^Does anyone have some insight? 

Maybe they're converging to a similar price range? Is there a color-coded map like that comparing average plan prices across all counties/states?
5  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Gubernatorial/Statewide Elections / Re: 2014 US Gubernatorial Election Results on: November 19, 2014, 02:40:09 am
Brown is close to hitting 60% in California: http://vote.sos.ca.gov/returns/governor/

Quote
November 18, 2014, 7:46 p.m.

Edmund G. "Jerry" Brown (D) - 4,232,479 (59.8%)
Neel Kashkari (R) - 2,846,008 (40.2%)

How many ballots are left to count? It's been two weeks Tongue
6  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Opinion of Reddit on: November 18, 2014, 11:03:01 pm
I like its layout of topical communities and user-ranked submissions. Pretty interesting and democratic.
7  General Politics / Individual Politics / Opinion of the first-past-the-post voting system on: November 14, 2014, 08:44:04 pm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First-past-the-post_voting
8  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Gubernatorial/Statewide Elections / Re: 2014 US Gubernatorial Election Results on: November 10, 2014, 05:57:46 pm
Oregon legislature update: SD15 has been called for the Democrat giving the party an 18-12 majority in the Oregon state senate. Those two extra votes (was 16D-14R previously) should be able to overcome Betsy Johnson.

http://www.oregonlive.com/politics/index.ssf/2014/11/chuck_riley_unseats_bruce_star.html

Quote
November 10, 2014

Democrat Chuck Riley has unseated incumbent Oregon Sen. Bruce Starr, a Republican, in the last legislative race to be decided. Given Riley's 221-point lead, it's clear that Starr won't be able to catch up.

...

The count in Senate District 15 had seesawed since last Tuesday's election, with Riley initially leading the partial count, Starr taking over Wednesday morning, and then Riley regaining the lead and building a wider margin as the near-final votes were tallied. He now has enough votes beyond Starr's to easily avoid an automatic recount.
9  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Gubernatorial/Statewide Elections / Re: 2014 state legislature (general) elections on: November 07, 2014, 08:37:53 pm
http://www.ncsl.org/research/elections-and-campaigns/statevote-2014-interactive-map-before-election.aspx

The results are in. Changes from the 2012 state legislative elections:

Legislature flips to Democrats (0) -
Legislature flips to Republicans (3) - Nevada (H, S), West Virginia (H, S), New Hampshire (H).
Legislature flips to split-control (6) - Washington (S), Colorado (S), New Mexico (H), Minnesota (H), New York (S), Maine (S).

All legislative chambers that flipped were because of Republican gains. The Virginia senate flipped from tied to Republicans earlier this year due to a special election so I didn't include that above since the chamber's general elections are in odd years with four-year intervals (2011, 2015, etc).

Projected post-2013/2014 elections partisan control map:



Relevant to opposite-party governors: Democrats have large enough majorities to override the gubernatorial veto in Massachusetts, Illinois, and Maryland (both IL and MD are 3/5 override rather than 2/3). The same is true for Republicans in Missouri and West Virginia.
10  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Gubernatorial/Statewide Elections / Re: 2014 US Gubernatorial Election Results on: November 06, 2014, 04:13:52 pm
http://oregonvotes.gov/results/2014G/index.html

^ The marijuana initiative might reach 56% yes when all the votes are in. That's pretty good for a mid-term and very encouraging for all those 2016 initiatives. California is a sure bet in 2016.
11  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Gubernatorial/Statewide Elections / Re: 2014 US Gubernatorial Election Results on: November 05, 2014, 10:08:38 pm
Anyone know why the top two primary failed so hard in Oregon? I guess they looked to their neighbors to the north and south and didn't like what they saw?

I can't say for certain. A lot of the campaign flyers I received in the mail focused on "not letting billionaires write the state's election laws" (Bloomberg and another billionaire from Texas were the main funders of it) and things like that.

This is the second time it's been on the ballot too. It actually failed by a similar margin in 2008: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oregon_Ballot_Measure_65_%282008%29
12  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Would a Parliamentary system work better for the USA than the current system on: November 05, 2014, 08:41:54 pm
It's not so much gridlock as it is incoherence. It's pretty rare to have a country elect the legislature every two years. Combine that with a presidential system where you have below average turn-out in mid-presidential-term elections and you get what we have. Add a healthy amount of corruption and billions of dollars of campaign spending every cycle and it's not surprising so many people (40-60% of the population) view the elections with contempt and abstain from voting.

We could definitely use some streamlining and simplification to make the choices more meaningful. Get rid of gerrymandering. Get rid of electoral laws that lead to a two party system. Add instant run-off voting and proportional representation. Automatically register every one to vote. Etc. But what are the chances of things like that happening? Very little. The system is working quite well for the people in power. It's frustrating.
13  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Gubernatorial/Statewide Elections / Re: 2014 state legislature (general) elections on: November 05, 2014, 04:22:51 pm
Results are nearly all in (waiting on Washington and Colorado at NCSL). Oregon wasn't too bad actually; Republicans lost two, maybe three, seats from some of their popular incumbents in Obama districts retiring. Democrats picked up 1 seat in the OR state house (now 35D-25R) and 1 (maybe 2 once counting is fully complete) in the OR state senate (now at least 17D-12R): http://gov.oregonlive.com/election/

Quote
Oregon Senate:
Democrats - 17
Republicans - 12
Undecided - 1 (SD15)

Oregon House:
Democrats - 35
Republicans - 25
Undecided - 0

This means automatic voter registration could pass next year; the Oregon Secretary of State says she wants to try passing it again as, in 2013, it passed the state house but failed 15-15 in the state senate (then 16D-14R) when a Democrat sided with Republicans to vote against it. That bill could register hundreds of thousands of new voters.

On the other hand, I was expecting Republicans to win the Iowa state senate and then have a trifecta which would mean they'd be able to eliminate Iowa's same-day registration like they've done in other states (Maine, Ohio, North Carolina, Montana, etc). Surprised that it looks like Democrats held it.
14  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Gubernatorial/Statewide Elections / Re: 2014 state ballot measures on: November 05, 2014, 02:34:55 pm
How did the minimum wage for tipped-workers fare? I hope it got big increases, it hasn't changed since the early 1990s IIRC.

The federal tipped minimum wage ($2.13/hr) is unaffected by these state measures. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minimum_wage_in_the_United_States#List_of_minimum_wage_levels_by_jurisdiction
15  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Gubernatorial/Statewide Elections / Re: 2014 state ballot measures on: November 05, 2014, 02:12:39 pm
Elections:
Connecticut early voting expansion failed 47-53
Missouri adoption of early voting failed 30-70
Oregon top-two primary initiative failed 32-68
Montana repeal of same-day registration failed 43-57

Minimum wage:
Alaska ($9.75/hr by 2016) - Passes ~69-31
Arkansas ($8.50/hr by 2017) - Passes ~66-34
Illinois ($10/hr by unspecified year) - Passes ~67-34 (it's an advisory question though, not a measure with effect)
Nebraska ($9/hr by 2016) - Passes 59-41
South Dakota ($8.50/hr by 2015) - Passes 55-45

Marijuana:
Alaska legalization passes 52-48
Oregon legalization passes 55-45
DC legalization passes 69-31
Florida medical marijuana failed 58-42 (needed 60% since it's constitutional)

Also the California criminal re-sentencing/classification initiative passed about 59-41
16  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Congressional Elections / Re: What happened to the Polling? on: November 05, 2014, 03:22:03 am
Maybe difficulty with turnout? How was turnout compared to previous mid-terms?
17  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Gubernatorial/Statewide Elections / Re: 2014 state ballot measures on: November 05, 2014, 03:08:19 am
Here's a good link for the results across multiple states on a single page: http://elections.huffingtonpost.com/2014/results/ballot-measures

The counting should be finished sometime tomorrow on most of them.
18  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Gubernatorial/Statewide Elections / Re: 2014 state ballot measures on: November 05, 2014, 12:27:58 am
bump

Looks like marijuana legalization passed in DC (~69%-31% w/ 100% in) and probably in Oregon too (passing 54%-46% w/ 67% in). The Florida medical marijuana measure hit about 58% yes but that means it fails since it's a constitutional amendment and FL constitutional amendments need 60% to pass. Results aren't in for the Alaska initiative yet.
19  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Gubernatorial/Statewide Elections / Re: 2014 state legislature (general) elections on: November 05, 2014, 12:21:46 am
Incidentally, the West Virginia House somehow fell to the GOP by probably 62-38.

This should make Kentuckians all the more thankful that the Democrats control the Kentucky House.

Where are you getting these election results?

NCSL should have the results soon; they mapped the 2010 and 2012 outcome pretty good. It's hard to find the right page at the moment though. I think it's one of these two but the results aren't there yet:

http://www.ncsl.org/research/elections-and-campaigns/statevote-2014-elections.aspx

http://www.ncsl.org/research/elections-and-campaigns/statevote-2014-interactive-map-before-election.aspx
20  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Congressional Elections / Re: If Republicans pick up the senate, what would actually happen? on: November 05, 2014, 12:14:12 am
My advice to Senate Democrats: Get a new leader, filibuster like hell.

I agree.

Wouldn't Republicans want to abolish the filibuster if tonight does turn out to be R+9 (54 seats)? Changing it by a simple majority is less taboo after its recent escalating use and the resulting change Democrats made last year.
21  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Gubernatorial/Statewide Elections / Re: 2014 exit polls? on: November 04, 2014, 12:31:30 am
No Massachusetts or Connecticut exit polls? Ugh. And yet they are doing Mississippi. Perfect.

Arizona, New Mexico, and Maryland would have been interesting too. You'd figure the least we could get is exit polling in every state if election spending is reaching $4-6 billion every two years.
22  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Cool interactive demographic/geography map of who benefits from Obamacare on: November 04, 2014, 12:12:26 am
http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2014/11/03/upshot/map-if-medicaid-expansion-were-not-optional.html

Quote
Nov. 3, 2014

A new data set suggests that more than three million people would have gained health insurance across 24 states if the Supreme Court had ruled differently.

In 2012, the Supreme Court ruled that a cornerstone of the Affordable Care Act — its expansion of Medicaid to low-income people around the country — must be optional for states. But what if it had ruled differently?

More than three million people, many of them across the South, would now have health insurance through Medicaid, according to an Upshot analysis of data from Enroll America and Civis Analytics. The uninsured rate would be two percentage points lower.

23  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Presidential Election Trends / Re: The Party of Nonvoters: younger, more racially diverse, lower income on: November 03, 2014, 04:29:09 pm
It's not just a mid-term report, they published one for 2012 too: http://www.people-press.org/2012/11/01/nonvoters-who-they-are-what-they-think/

Quote
November 1, 2012

In the final days before Tuesday’s election, most of the focus will be on those likely to cast votes. But a sizable minority of adults choose not to vote or are unable to vote. By their absence, they also will affect the outcome. Nonvoters are numerous; in 2008, they constituted about 43% of the voting age population.

Nonvoters favor Barack Obama over Mitt Romney by a wide margin (59% to 24%). While most nonvoters (64%) have a favorable view of Obama, just half as many (32%) view Romney favorably.




24  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Presidential Election Trends / The Party of Nonvoters: younger, more racially diverse, lower income on: November 03, 2014, 04:20:16 pm
Quote
October 31, 2014

With just four days before the midterm elections, the spotlight understandably is focused on the estimated 40% of voting age adults who are expected to show up at the polls next Tuesday. There has been less attention on the much larger share who most probably will not.

As in past elections, nonvoters [1] – those who are either not registered to vote or are considered unlikely to vote in the upcoming midterms – are very different demographically from likely voters:





Read more at http://www.people-press.org/2014/10/31/the-party-of-nonvoters-2/
25  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Cool interactive demographic/geography map of who benefits from Obamacare on: November 02, 2014, 03:34:53 am
wow the contrast between WV/KY and VA/TN is insane

Yeah, the uninsured are disproportionately low-income and the Medicaid expansion probably had the biggest relative effect in New Mexico, Arkansas, Kentucky, and West Virginia. It was a big deal in Oregon too.
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