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April 28, 2015, 05:21:40 am
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News: Don't forget to get your 2013 Gubernatorial Endorsements and Predictions in!

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1  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Opinion of the FairTax on: April 27, 2015, 07:50:23 pm
I prefer consumption tax over income tax, but I am not so sure about the "FairTax". I don't really like the whole prebate thing. Really I don't like any kind of national tax. I would rather the states tax and then the federal government get money from the states based on population, or more ideally but less likely based on how their representatives vote.

And if you want to make it more progressive just charge a higher rate on luxury items like say televisions, computers, cellphones, etc. And do like some states do where food isn't taxed.

It is 2015. Televisions, computers and cell phones are not luxuries. You're veering into Heritage Foundation territory and insinuating that the lazy poors should be grateful for having such frivolities as refrigerators in their kitchens and glass panes in their windows.
2  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: police murder megathread on: April 27, 2015, 07:46:49 pm
Am I naive in wondering why they can't just have an unimpeachable, inoffensive MLK-style march? Even Fox News couldn't get hot and bothered about that.
3  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Opinion of Post-update Bushie on: April 27, 2015, 07:41:31 pm
The only difference is the absence of Update. As far as we know, his character, self-discipline and treatment of others is no different. So he is still a HP until he demonstrates otherwise.
4  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Presidential Election Trends / Re: Are almost all states just going to eventually vote Democratic at some point? on: April 27, 2015, 06:27:18 pm
Of course every state will vote Democratic at least once in this century, and vice versa as well.

1964 ended two streaks of over a century, one for each party. Vermont hadn't voted Democratic since it was founded in 1828 or the 1830s or whatever, and Georgia hadn't voted Republican since it was founded in 1858.

I'm pretty sure Georgia has been a state longer than that.
5  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Who Would You Have Supported In the Falklands War on: April 27, 2015, 05:55:40 pm
The worst part is that Reagan actually wanted to support Argentina, since his advisors correctly foresaw that a defeat would topple the right wing military dictatorship there. Hence trying like hell to advise the British not to intervene and trying to convince them that there was no way to militarily retake the islands.

Reagan: On the wrong side of history/literally supporting dictators and murderers. Again.

Muh anti-communism, though.
6  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Former US Rep. Bruce Alger (R-TX) dead at 96 on: April 27, 2015, 05:54:14 pm
Didn't he vote for Civil Rights though, or am I mistaking him for another Texas Republican.

There were two Republicans in Texas's House delegation at that time - Alger and Ed Foreman (guy from West Texas who served one term and later got elected in New Mexico). They both voted against the CRA. John Tower voted against it in the Senate.

George H. W. Bush voted for the Fair Housing Act and some other civil rights-related legislation when he was in Congress but other than him the Texas Republicans elected in that era were very anti-civil rights.
7  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: George W. Bush Bashes Obama on Middle East on: April 26, 2015, 11:37:42 pm
Just because we are now six years removed from his disastrous presidency doesn't mean his gag order is now lifted.

The entire Republican Party basically has no room to criticize anyone else's foreign policy for a generation. They lost their credibility with Dubya's Iraq Adventure just as LBJ threw away the Democrats' credibility by going into Vietnam.
8  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Former US Rep. Bruce Alger (R-TX) dead at 96 on: April 26, 2015, 10:40:39 pm

Alger was not the first Republican elected to Congress from Texas since Reconstruction, but he was the first "modern" Republican to represent the Lone Star State, along with a brand of reactionary, populist conservatism that was particularly strong in mid-century Dallas and that defined the American Right in ways that are still being felt today. Alger was, in a way, the prehistoric species that would ultimately evolve into the 21st century Tea Party Republican - inflexibly dogmatic, more interested in voting against others' legislation than proposing his own, and keenly aware of the power of inflammatory rhetoric and conspiratorial innuendo in advancing his political agenda.

During his 10 years in Congress, Alger did not sponsor any significant legislation and was known mostly for the things he opposed, based on his belief in a limited government. In his first two terms, he supported the measures of President Dwight Eisenhower — a fellow Republican — only 9 percent of the time.

Alger voted against public housing, integration efforts, Medicare, subsidized school lunches and increases in Social Security. He called the Peace Corps a form of creeping socialism.

In 1963, while speaking to a consortium of conservative groups in Washington, Alger called for getting the United States out of the United Nations, driving  the communists from Cuba and banning any official recognition of communist states. He said Congress should be required to balance the budget and recommended the adoption of a “flat tax,” in which people of all income levels would pay at the same tax rate.

9  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Opinion of the FairTax on: April 26, 2015, 06:29:20 pm
The fact that it is a progressive tax does not negate the fact that it shifts tax burden away from high-income earners and onto low-income earners. That's the issue most opponents of it have.
10  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Who Would You Have Supported In the Falklands War on: April 26, 2015, 05:28:43 pm
UK. They got it fair and square, and the inhabitants were and are British.

The fact that a piece of territory is proximate to a given country does not mean that given country is inherently entitled to take it as its own.

Same reason I support continued Spanish sovereignty over Ceuta and Melilla.
11  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Gubernatorial/Statewide Elections / Re: If a governor hits 70% approval in poll should they automatically be reelected? on: April 25, 2015, 09:26:43 pm
Judges in IL are elected. After 10 years they stand for retention. If they get 60% approval in the retention vote they are retained for another 10 years without opposition. If they fail to get 60% approval in the retention vote the seat is open for election in the next two-year cycle.

Yes but that's still an actual voting election, not a poll.
12  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Opinion of John Barrow on: April 25, 2015, 04:01:47 pm
Should have just retired at the end of the last congress rather than resorting to his bizarre campaign of Foghorn Leghorn commercials talking about guns and "Ay-rab oil sheiks."
13  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Princeton University - Israel Divestment Vote on: April 25, 2015, 03:27:32 pm
BDS, and any other Divestment movements are antisemitic in the very literal sense of the term. More evidence of Social Justice Warriors idiotically following a wrong movement because of "the feels."

Am Yisrael Chai.

How so?
14  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Favorite University Series: Florida Edition on: April 25, 2015, 03:08:47 pm
I got waitlisted at UMiami when I applied to college there; didn't end up getting a slot. So probably UF out of spite.

Definitely not UCF after what they did to Baylor in the 2014 postseason.

Stetson, from what I gather, is a university that was once vaguely reputable but has declined considerably in quality and prestige over the past several decades.

Rollins is just a four year vacation for rich trophy wives in training.
15  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Accent swapping on: April 25, 2015, 03:03:08 pm
I'm American. I don't have an accent.

Sarcasm didn't work, apparently.

I'd probably go with the "Old Hollywood" accent that everyone in American movies prior to about 1960 seems to have.
16  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Would you have supported the Gulf War? on: April 25, 2015, 02:57:44 pm
Yes, but I would have preferred it be a Saudi/GCC-led operation, with US/NATO involvement limited to providing weapons and logistical support. (Essentially, something more similar to what is happening now in Yemen.)
17  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Would you have voted for the Iraq War? on: April 25, 2015, 01:56:03 pm
But even if you disregard that, we know Saddam was not a nice man, but do you seriously think that if he had stayed in power he would have killed more people since 2003 than were killed due to the war and instability his removal caused?

There's a decent chance that if the status quo had continued until the Arab Spring era, there would have been a Syria-like civil war.  Between that and the sanctions, would more people have died than have died IRL?  I don't know.

There's also the question of what the US would have done if an Arab Spring-type insurgency arose in Iraq in either the 2000s or 2010s in a scenario where the US was still enforcing the no-fly zones.

I've heard the argument that the Arab Spring would not have happened absent the Iraq War; I don't agree with that assertion, since the political landscape of the rest of the Arab World wasn't significantly altered by the Iraq War.

I honestly think that if Saddam had still been in power in 2011, Iraq by that point would have just been a Middle Eastern version of North Korea: politically isolated from its neighbors and the major Western powers, and economically disastrous due to external sanctions and internal kleptocracy. I could see him more or less preventing social media from taking hold in his country, which would have made it considerably more difficult for opposition groups to organize.

It would be interesting to see how Saddam would have reacted to the Syrian civil war, since he despised the Assads.
18  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Accent swapping on: April 25, 2015, 01:44:41 pm
I'm American. I don't have an accent.
19  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Why are child care/day care costs rising so fast? on: April 25, 2015, 01:33:54 pm
It looks as though you haven't actualy been reading the rest of the thread. I get supply and demand, but there is a point past which providers can't profitably drive prices lower. For infant care, we're often hovering at or even slightly below that point, especially for in-home providers. There's a home day care nearby that we didn't go with that charges $185/week for infants, which at 3 infants a week for 40 hours per comes to an average of less than $14/hour GROSS for the provider, out of which they have to pay insurance, facility costs, upkeep, supplies, administrative expenses, etc.

Child care is not a place where increased supply can reasonably keep driving prices down. Providers are squeezed at least as much as parents.

Yeah, there's not a whole lot of opportunity for economies of scale in early childhood care. You want your infant being cared for by someone who is qualified to do so and you only want that person looking after a few other kids at the same time. Liability is a huge issue.

But most people would be shocked by how un-regulated daycare providers are. This isn't a case of government mandates driving prices up.
20  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Would you rather visit Barbados or Bhutan? on: April 25, 2015, 01:29:02 pm
Bhutan is a pretty special snowflake as far as countries go - extremely isolated and built around traditional Buddhism to a degree that really doesn't exist anywhere else.

Nothing against Barbados, but the nations of the Lesser Antilles are pretty interchangeable - you're not getting anything on Barbados that you're not going to get on St. Kitts or Anguilla: nice beaches and steel drum music and the occasional historic sugar plantation or colonial estate.
21  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Would you rather live in Oklahoma or New Jersey? on: April 24, 2015, 10:53:54 pm
Oklahoma should be abolished.

Should it join Texas or Kansas?

Actually, this is how I see the problem: the only way for Oklahoma to improve is to abolish state authorities, arrest all hard-core Republicans and expell them to Bakersfield, establish mandatory fat camps and appoint Mechaman as Governor General with absolute powers so he can slowly civilize the area, which should also be renamed to something more fitting.

So, depopulate the entire state, then? (Ironically, you'd be kicking a significant portion of the Native population out too.)
22  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Would you have voted for the Iraq War? on: April 24, 2015, 10:50:31 pm
Well, what does the range of plausible counterfactuals look like? Not much better, unless American deaths are the only ones that count.

From a US policy planning perspective, I'd say that they are the only ones that count.

But even if you disregard that, we know Saddam was not a nice man, but do you seriously think that if he had stayed in power he would have killed more people since 2003 than were killed due to the war and instability his removal caused?
23  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / We knew fraternities hated black people; apparently they also hate veterans on: April 24, 2015, 07:57:15 pm
In the '60s, it was the long-haired hippies spitting on soldiers; today, it's the buttoned down, conformist Greeks doing the honors during a Panama City getaway gone terribly awry.

On Friday, vets say, members of UF’s Zeta Beta Tau chapter were seen spitting on veterans, throwing beer bottles at them from their hotel room balconies, ripping flags off their cars, and insulting them for “wearing caps and T-shirts.” Some Zeta Beta Taus were also apparently seen peeing on American flags.

One vet, Nicholas Connole, told WFTV, “They actually spit on me and my service dog as well, and that’s just so disrespectful and it hurts. I come and I feel honored and I feel safe and that I belong, but now I feel like I’m defending myself.”

The hippies were upset about little Asian babies being bayoneted and showed in Agent Orange. The bros are upset that the men who are defending their Muh Freedoms had the gall to wear baseball caps and t-shirts like GDI plebes rather than an ensemble of pastel bowties, seersucker and croakies like a true "Southern gentleman" would.

On the face of it, you'd think men like those of Zeta Beta Tau love America. Their ilk are the sort who wear American flag short-shorts and Reagan-Bush-'84 t-shirts. But the reality is that they don't love America beyond the parts of it that make life so wonderful for privileged white men. They would never do something like enlist in the armed forces like a scrub. That's for the sort of working poor black, white and Hispanic people who are only good for being the subject of racist, mean-spirited theme parties that lead to half-hearted apologies to the university administration.

They might hide behind their "community service" - raising money by throwing parties for themselves and their friends or grudgingly picking up a few pieces of trash for a photo op. But the reality is that they chose to be part of an organization that is premised on excluding people for opaque and arbitrary reasons - on maintaining and enhancing their own personal connections and privileges, not on "giving back." So it makes sense that they disdain men who were willing to potentially give everything and their lives in hope of protecting or helping others.
24  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Gubernatorial/Statewide Elections / Re: MA: Suffolk: Gov. Baker with 70% approval rating on: April 22, 2015, 10:07:08 pm
Governor Weld 2.0

I wonder if he'll outdo Weld's landslide 1994 reelection.
25  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Carly Fiorina to launch May 4 on: April 22, 2015, 09:55:38 pm
elizabeth dole 2000 version 2.0

Elizabeth Dole actually did a competent, albeit uneventful job as Secretary of Transportation. She didn't destroy thousands of jobs and millions of dollars of shareholder wealth.
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