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12201  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Congressional Elections / Re: NY-23 Special Election: November 3, 2009 on: October 29, 2009, 02:21:27 pm
A couple things to note about the crosstabs:

Hoffman is inexplicably killing among independent voters by 47/28/11 over Owens and Dede. These same independents favor public option 53/42 and have a 48/40 favorable/unfavorable view of Obama! These are obviously soft targets for Owens to gain ground, but it a week before the election may be too late especially with Hoffman's momentum.

It's not inexplicable at all, if you would just read my post from the last page. Right now what's going on is called a populist wave, exactly as I predicted would happen last November. The rules of the game are as follows:

1. During a populist wave, people who are not usually involved in politics get involved. Electoral dynamics dramatically shift to reflect the new front created by the wave, as opposed to traditional Republican vs. Democratic contests.

2. Beltway pundits, party elites, and other media elites always get taken by surprise because they live and interact in a world insulted from the outside, and because long experience with things working a certain way makes them comfortable and smug that they "know what is going on" and that things will always work a certain way.

3. Most political activists dream of riding a populist wave, and most non-incumbent politicians like to pretend that they are riding one every election, but only rarely does one actually happen.

4. It tends to happen during sharp economic downturns and/or wars on domestic soil. People are frustrated, angry; they feel hopeless and like no one is listening to them. The bailouts and the stimulus weren't popular to start with and the reasons (though I think are sound) haven't been well communicated and well explained to them by our leadership.

5. The people involved are often centrist or moderate by traditional definitions, you wouldn't call them left or right. But usually the far right or the far left are the ones who exploit the populist anger and lead/shape the "revolution" to their own liking. Those that can take advantage of the wave at this time really hit the jackpot so long as it lasts.

The number one, most extreme example of this is the Russian revolution. Probably less than 0.1% of Russians in 1917 adhered to Bolshevism, but people knew they were sick of the war; they were hungry. They wanted peace and security, and neither the Tsar nor the Kerensky government could give it to them. Nothing so extreme is happening here of course, but extreme examples tend to illustrate the general idea the most clearly.

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Owens needs (or needed) to go all out slamming Hoffman as the extremist he is to win back independent Obama voters, but negative attacks generally don't go over well in the last days of a campaign, often souring the voter on the attacker as much as the target.

Wrong; Owens needs to start adopting some of Hoffman's rhetoric-- those parts of it at least, which appeal to those independents and Obama favorables and public option supporters.

Or he could drop out and endorse Scozzafava; from the liberal perspective that would be best, but given that he has such a good chance right now he won't of course.
12202  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Congressional Elections / Re: NY-23 Special Election: November 3, 2009 on: October 29, 2009, 01:48:28 pm
You guys are assuming that the far right will only hurt the GOP. What you might not realize is that the far right has been (1) splitting its votes between Republicans and Democrats up until now; (2) abstaining from electoral participation until now. It is, as one Pennsylvania woman told Arlen Specter, having awakened the "sleeping giant"; Middle America, small town white America, far right America. And when/if that tidal wave hits it'll wipe aside all the elites in the media and in Washington. We don't want this to happen; the best thing that can occur is for Owens to drop out and endorse Scozzafava or vice versa.
12203  General Politics / Economics / Re: Opinion of Bob Prechter on: October 27, 2009, 06:13:00 pm
I think I must have subconsciously made this thread just for you Sam.
12204  General Politics / Political Debate / Re: What causes low turnout? on: October 27, 2009, 05:49:42 pm
Mobility. Youth.
12205  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: 40% of Americans now identify as conservative on: October 27, 2009, 05:42:20 pm
Welfare wasn't enacted in its Great Society form until 1965, well after the start of the decline. Anyway, there's all kinds of disputes about poverty statistics. The 1960s were a great decade for the poor compared to later decades, but it wasn't all because of the Great Society.
12206  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Flashback 2001: 12 Democratic Senators voted for the Bush tax cuts. on: October 27, 2009, 05:33:23 pm
Not one Republican voted for Obama's stimulus plan.

I think somewhere around 2.5 Republicans did, actually Smiley

Not one in the House. 28 Democrats voted for the Bush tax cuts in the House.

Here is what Max Baucus said after the vote:

"Every day it looks like a better and better decision. In many respects, I think politically I helped the party. We Democrats would have been in trouble in 2002 just saying no to every one of the president's proposals.''
12207  General Politics / Political Debate / Re: Are you a libertarian? on: October 27, 2009, 05:28:24 pm
Libertarianism isn't inherently social liberal or social conservative.

On the contrary, I think that there are serious contradictions between both social conservatism and social liberalism, and whatever society would be possible under libertarianism. Both social conservatives and social liberals would probably be deeply unhappy under a libertarian society. Both would often point to the same things for criticism. For example, social conservatives would probably be unhappy with the materialism and sexualization of capitalism, and so would social liberals.

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Jeffords is the only one that could even remotely be considered civil libertarian. Collins and Chaffee were both on board with the PATRIOT Act and similar surveillance state-type authoritarianism. As for their fiscal record, it is hardly 'centrist.' Jeffords and Chaffee were pretty infamous for his tax hiking and generally sided with the Democrats on most issues outside of trade and social security. Collins voted for the bail outs and stimulus.. She's a liberal on economic issues. The closest thing I can think of at this point to a 'liberal/libertarian' would be Brown or Gravel pretty much.

Historically, economic libertarians who actually start their political beliefs with liberty as the top priority have been on the margins-- the Libertarian Party, the Ron Paul faction within the GOP. A much larger portion of economic 'libertarianism' in mainstream politics has come from conservatives whose belief in small government is an outgrowth of their conservatism.
12208  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Flashback 2001: 12 Democratic Senators voted for the Bush tax cuts. on: October 27, 2009, 05:06:45 pm
12. That bill exacerbated the federal deficit for years and is a big reason why the government didn't go into the 2008-09 financial crisis in a healthy position. The bill was $1.35 trillion, almost $600 billion bigger than Obama's stimulus plan. The 12 Democrats' support gave the bill a 58-33 majority in the Senate.

Not one Republican voted for Obama's stimulus plan. Not one will vote for his health care bill, which unlike the Bush tax cuts of 2001, and unlike his Medicare Part D of 2003, contains cuts in some areas and tax hikes in others-- hard choices for the sake of sparing the deficit. They're all going to filibuster it. This is just peachy.
12209  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Public Option Dead: Lieberman to Filibuster on: October 27, 2009, 04:50:26 pm
I actually thought his position was fairly reasonable. The health care industry creates lots of jobs in his state, a public option COULD hurt said companies, therefore it's in his constituent's best interests to oppose the bill.

Now, his rhetoric isn't good, but many politicians say what will get covered by the media, not what they think. Besides, he's a lot better than generic Democrat x that would be in his seat otherwise.

What if Reid offers Connecticut a stream of pork barrel funding projects to make up for his estimate of the damage to the pharmaceutical industry?
12210  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Congressional Elections / Re: Flash in the Pan or Magic Man: Rand Paul on: October 27, 2009, 04:41:51 pm
The GOP finds Ron Paul crazy? No. On the contrary, the GOP is having a "Ron Paul moment." As NDN says, the Ron Paul movement and the tea party movement are one and the same.
12211  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Public Option Dead: Lieberman to Filibuster on: October 27, 2009, 04:38:10 pm
Lieberman's objections make no sense. The proposed public option would be self funded through premiums from its own policies. It wouldn't be funded out of the federal budget. If Lieberman were honest, he'd realize this and rethink his position.
12212  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Congressional Elections / Re: NY-23 Special Election: November 3, 2009 on: October 27, 2009, 02:43:48 pm
The real question is... why is Owens only polling 27-29%?
12213  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Obama Gets a Pass - What if Bush had done that? on: October 27, 2009, 12:05:21 pm
You're comparing the coverage Obama got in his first year to the coverage Bush got after Katrina. The coverage of Bush wasn't all that critical in 2001-2003. And where is this article appearing? The Politico- which is part of the media itself.

The nation's highest circulation daily newspaper, the Wall Street Journal, is consistently critical of Obama.

The nation's top rated cable news network, Fox, is consistently critical of Obama.

 The nation's top business news network, CNBC, is consistently critical of Obama.

The nation's top rated talk radio shows universally criticize Obama every day.

The left criticizes Obama: SNL blasted Obama a few weeks ago (from the left). Even the Huffington Post is criticizing Obama on lackluster support for the public option, DADT, and executive privilege.

And this is just his first year, generally the year of least skepticism.
12214  General Discussion / Alternative History / What if Hindenburg had never been elected President of Germany (1925)? on: October 27, 2009, 11:54:40 am
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_presidential_election,_1925

Suppose Hindenburg does not run and Wilhelm Marx def. Karl Jarres. Or conversely, Hindenburg runs but Ernst Thalmann drops out, and Wilhelm Marx def. Hindenburg. How does history change?

I think it depends on whether the SPD and Catholic Center are able to unite in the 1932 Presidential election 2nd round, perhaps behind Heinrich Brüning.
12215  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2017 & Odd Year Gubernatorial Election Polls / Re: VA: SurveyUSA: This is getting laughable on: October 27, 2009, 11:43:39 am
I sort of hope McDonnell breaks sixty.

Why?
12216  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Gubernatorial/Statewide Elections / Re: Virginia 2009 Megathread on: October 27, 2009, 11:41:39 am
Shannon's opponent makes McDonnell look moderate.
12217  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2017 & Odd Year Gubernatorial Election Polls / Re: VA: SurveyUSA: This is getting laughable on: October 27, 2009, 11:28:51 am
In the end, I believe there's a good chance this race isn't as close as the polls show it to be. A 58-42 McDonnell win isn't out of the question. The Democrats should just be happy they will hold the Senate [for] redistricting next year. Once again, I will be happy to be proven wrong.
12218  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Election What-ifs? / Chris Christie/Dede Scozzafava vs. Bob McDonnell/Doug Hoffman on: October 27, 2009, 11:09:31 am
Battle royale for the future of the GOP.
12219  General Politics / Economics / Opinion of Bob Prechter on: October 27, 2009, 07:54:02 am
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Prechter
12220  General Politics / Political Debate / Re: Is it possible to have truly unbiased TV news? on: October 26, 2009, 09:55:18 pm
Ah I see where we are getting off wrong.

I don't see bias as wrong or even lying - it is subconcious, what one is not even aware of, what appeals to one, this is not bad, nor is it necessarily good - it is just the way humans are. We are not even aware of 99% of our opinions and our own stated opinions often contradict themselves - there is often a huge gap between what we say we believe (even to ourselves) and what we actually believe. This is again, the way humans are. This is not a bad thing.

There is no objective or centralized values. So to claim that bias is "a dishonest distortion of values as they are understood" is absurd. Who is understanding them?

To say that people are fallible and that we often contradict ourselves doesn't mean that there is no understanding. Society operates by deep mutual understanding and expectations. If Al is correct and bias is really so ineffective then perhaps there is less to worry about. Still, look a the degeneration of news today. We are returning to the 19th century in many ways. What effect will the dominance of partisan media in TV and the Internet have on the future of American society?
12221  General Politics / Political Debate / Re: Is it possible to have truly unbiased TV news? on: October 26, 2009, 09:44:39 pm
But I didn't say the 'values that value' and 'the parts of society that value', I said society. Period. Whether my quest to find an unbiased news is an example of civil liberalism, it may be. But the content of what is unbiased, as I have defined it, would not pick and choose among values that are commonly held.

I understand that claims that the President of the United States is not an America citizen have become quite popular with sections of American society.

That inevitable barb aside and taking what you write at face value, you seem to be advocating a form of cacophony. Or, at best, polyphony. Not "unbias" (whatever that is).

Quite a barb yes, but maybe not in the sense you meant. It's barb in the sense that you're not taking my argument at face value, you're assuming I'm *really* arguing for some kind of Beet propaganda network where the voices of the birther movement would never see the light of day. 'Civic liberalism', perhaps. Though after tonight I have to say I feel sorry for anyone you meet who you decide is a 'civic liberal'. But quite on the contrary... I am serious about this unbiased TV. In fact, I'll toss you a piece of meat to rip apart and say that now that I think of it, wikipedia comes pretty close to a medium I would consider unbiased.

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What sort of impact did the Nazi propaganda machine have on Lithuania? Or Latvia? Or the Ukraine? In all of these places violent antisemitism was acceptable and, in the early 1940's, seems to have become the norm. And thus, by your definition, objective and unbiased. Yes, I know that this is a monstrously unfair argument.

Yes quite unfair, because I haven't said that bias is the root of all evil. ... yet.... j/k.
12222  General Politics / Political Debate / Re: Is it possible to have truly unbiased TV news? on: October 26, 2009, 09:33:19 pm
I'm not arguing against morality, only the proposition that morality is something which exists outside of our time-and-space existence (and is thus objective). Just because my argument is subjectivist does not mean it can not be communal. Human relations have to be communal; we aren't born into nothingness - we get our ideas from somewhere. Just because an idea is arbitrary doesn't mean it is bad.

Then this has degenerated like so many other debates into semantics. When I say "objective" I mean in the colloquial sense. You're talking more in a philosophical sense. When people say "objective" with regard to the TV news media what they usually mean is communal. I am not arguing there is some metaphysical correct perspective, obviously.

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I think my above point answers that. You are looking at it too much from an Individualist-Communalist binary perspective. Where the "individual" is "biased" but the community is not by definition.

It's impossible to say whether the individual is biased or unbiased. You have to have a frame of reference.

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And I am saying, no, they are not; not in relation to each other.

How so?

Just think about the difference between telling the truth and lying. Bias is very much like lying. You're not directly contradicting the truth, but you're contradicting it in spirit, the spirit of communication where certain things are supposedly understood between the communicator and communicated to. At best, the receiver is highly aware of your bias, but as I said this is not likely when it comes to communications with masses of strangers.

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You have stated that a communality is not biased. A group of people commit a human sacrifice once every full moon; this is not wrong to them. Therefore their action is not biased?

It strikes me as deeply wrong, but to call it biased? Again, to bias is unjust, because it is a dishonest distortion of values as they are understood. I don't particularly see that here. But just because I may not define it as biased it doesn't mean I wouldn't object to it.
12223  General Politics / Political Debate / Re: Is it possible to have truly unbiased TV news? on: October 26, 2009, 09:19:52 pm
So If two people think murder is okay and then go out and kill someone, it is in fact okay. It is after all a commonality.

For a historical case you really only need to look at how the Holocaust unfolded in Lithuania.

Aaaaaaaaand with that Nazi reference, I believe that I win/lose the thread. yay.

The Nazis propaganda machine (starting in the 1930-33 elections) is a prime example of the damage that can be done by bias within a society.

Isn't campaign literature inherently biased?

Yes, but it's not usually so effective. Smiley See my worry this spring about the huge crowds and adulatory coverage Obama was getting. Not that he was going to be a Nazi, but it was unhealthy.
12224  General Politics / Political Debate / Re: Is it possible to have truly unbiased TV news? on: October 26, 2009, 09:09:20 pm
So If two people think murder is okay and then go out and kill someone, it is in fact okay. It is after all a commonality.

For a historical case you really only need to look at how the Holocaust unfolded in Lithuania.

Aaaaaaaaand with that Nazi reference, I believe that I win/lose the thread. yay.

The Nazis propaganda machine (starting in the 1930-33 elections) is a prime example of the damage that can be done by bias within a society.
12225  General Politics / Political Debate / Re: Is it possible to have truly unbiased TV news? on: October 26, 2009, 09:07:45 pm
Does everything have to be political?


I don't know whether everything has to be political, but I do know that, to an extent, everything (at least everything in public and cultural life*) is. Certainly everything regarding the news is political and must be political.

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I would not like to see news that 'reflects a bias towards a certain sort of civil liberalism.' I would like to see news that reflects the most honest expression of the values of a society (unintruded by a secret vested interest in one side or another), which despite all political disagreements, are overwhelmingly similar.

But the values that you value of the parts of your society that you value are strongly influenced by civic liberalism. While your vision of a tv news programme that reports the facts in an "unbiased" way is about as good an example of civic liberalism in this field as is possible to find.

*And much that isn't, but heading that way would be going off topic.

But I didn't say the 'values that value' and 'the parts of society that value', I said society. Period. Whether my quest to find an unbiased news is an example of civil liberalism, it may be. But the content of what is unbiased, as I have defined it, would not pick and choose among values that are commonly held.

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Huh? I've yet to understand this anti-objective truth = authoritianism argument. Please explain.

It goes like this... you're a little man in a huge crowd. A bigger man comes up to you and tries to rob you. "Help!" you cry. "I'm being robbed!" Does the crowd come to help you? Well it depends on whether they understand your words, "Help, I'm being robbed!", not only in a literal sense, but in some moral sense that motivates them to act. The only way they would do that is if they shared with you some moral language. In other words, an objective standard between you and the crowd, which you both understand the same way, and which this big man is violating.

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What I am arguing is that every human perspective and truth is biased by definition (even if it is 'objective' in a scientific sense - but that's a different matter) and that things as they already are are arbitrary and based on personal and various other kinds of biases.

This is true to an extent, but what you're missing is the linkages and understandings between people.

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Now I didn't say that (lay off Foucault for a while, would you?). I'm not saying that the commonality between people is wrong just that it is arbitrary and subjective.

And I am saying, no, they are not; not in relation to each other.

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So If two people think murder is okay and then go out and kill someone, it is in fact okay. It is after all a commonality.

No, it's not okay, but they would be honest with each other. They would be living up to their stated beliefs between the two of them. There would be no bias between them.
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