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Saturday, February 01, 2014

OTP - Feb 2014: Politics remains a hurdle for immigration reform

Yet Obama might find his best-chance legislative compromise in an issue that lately has seemed to be on life support: an overhaul of the nation’s immigration laws.

Curiously, immigration was an issue the president barely mentioned in this year’s speech. Maybe he does not want to interfere with those Republicans who actually agree with him on the need to bring the nation’s millions of undocumented workers out of the shadows.

Bitter Mouse Posted: February 01, 2014 at 04:01 PM | 3524 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: politics

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   1401. The Good Face Posted: February 13, 2014 at 04:11 PM (#4656460)
Aggressive warlike cultures have a terrible track record since at least 1900. We can walk through that time period and start picking out wars and see how the party that started it fared. Hint, not well. And yet one of his criteria for ascension is staring wars, building empires.


You're halfway there, think through the why.

Oh hell, I'll just do it for you or we'll be here all day. Those societies failed in large part due to the presense of a more powerful, ascendant society who kept them in line. Even in decline, USG is still powerful enough to keep most nations from feeling froggy, but there are some signs even that may be fading.
   1402. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: February 13, 2014 at 04:14 PM (#4656462)
* vigorous and confident: Check.
* high level of asabiyyah and internal agreement as to what their culture is and how it's superior to the cultures of others: Check
* They do great, or at least bold things: Check
* they fight and win wars: Well, you never know if you are going to win until you fight. I say check, unless ascension can only be measured in your rear view mirror.
* They are expansionist, outward looking, and build empires: Check.
* They breed. I have no desire to check on fertility rates. Feel free to call this unknown.
* Their elites eschew decadence, or at least discourage it among the non-elites. Check.
* Their neighbors fear them, or at least regard them with a healthy respect: Check.

Yeah, I was way off the mark there, let me tell you.


You might also mention that in the 21st century they welcome new blood from other countries and don't fear the expansion of human rights.** We're not fully there yet, but in "relative" terms we're still the biggest game in town.

**Which have been on a steady upward pace since 1964, the usual paranoid visions of straight white male victimhood to the contrary.
   1403. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: February 13, 2014 at 04:16 PM (#4656464)
Those societies failed in large part due to the presense of a more powerful, ascendant society who kept them in line. Even in decline, USG is still powerful enough to keep most nations from feeling froggy, but there are some signs even that may be fading.


You're Dick Cheney, aren't you?
   1404. Greg K Posted: February 13, 2014 at 04:22 PM (#4656468)
The concept of decline in history has always been an interesting one to me, if only because it seems so pervasive. Almost everyone, everywhere sees their culture in decline. "Golden Ages" are usually more celebrated as such in retrospect than in the moment.

In part because I've spent the last four years immersed in 1620s England, a culture utterly convinced it was in decline, mostly because of rose-tinted nostalgia for the Elizabethan period. In fact, I think (though I have no evidence to back this up) the lasting image of the Elizabethan period as a Golden Age was bound into the English psyche so powerfully because the subsequent generation was so obsessed with lamenting its passing. Of course, this was more about factional politics, a way of criticising James I's conciliatory policies towards the Spanish, attempts to shore up traditional Protestant values, and the rise of a younger generation of men at court and in the army which drew the ire of the older sort, than any real assessment of ascendancy or decline.
   1405. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: February 13, 2014 at 04:25 PM (#4656471)
The concept of decline in history has always been an interesting one to me, if only because it seems so pervasive. Almost everyone, everywhere sees their culture in decline.

Oh, yeah. And sometimes they're right. (Which they must be, because cultures do in fact decline.)

This is one of those times.
   1406. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: February 13, 2014 at 04:25 PM (#4656472)
high level of asabiyyah and internal agreement as to what their culture is and how it's superior to the cultures of others:


Generally all coherent self-identified "cultures" regards themselves as being culturally superior to other cultures, it's a charming universal trait.

They breed.

Historically all societies, ALL, expanded their populations as much as possible given available food supplies and medical care. The ability/willingness to really control fertility without regard to such factors is a very recent development. Historically ascendant societies bred more simply because they physically could- breeding was a side effect of ascendancy, not a cause.

Their elites eschew decadence,
ROTFL

or at least discourage it among the non-elites
Ok that I can buy.

I know he was trying to describe the US from post Civil War to the 1960s/70s, but that list, apart from fighting and winning wars, describes CHINA now pretty well. :-)
   1407. Greg K Posted: February 13, 2014 at 04:26 PM (#4656475)
Oh hell, I'll just do it for you or we'll be here all day. Those societies failed in large part due to the presense of a more powerful, ascendant society who kept them in line. Even in decline, USG is still powerful enough to keep most nations from feeling froggy, but there are some signs even that may be fading.

But this seems like more 20/20 analysis.

If the ascendant society is the one that lasts and pushes out the losers, then sure, you'll always be 100% right. But you end up with a not particularly useful construction. Ascendant societies are ascendant until they're not ascendant anymore.
   1408. The Yankee Clapper Posted: February 13, 2014 at 04:27 PM (#4656476)
Its hard for me to see how the electoral map is very good for and Republican challenger when the Dems start the race with a 242-102 lead.

The "problem" with this reasoning, and similar Reagan-era pronouncements about a "Republican lock" on the Electoral College, is that it assumes political parties & voters are static. Lose enough elections and a political party will reformulate its message to appeal to a broader audience. The other side of the coin is that the larger a political majority is, the more difficult it is to hold that coalition together. Political affiliation isn't static, and Republicans are actually competitive in more states now than they were in 2008 or 2012:
Blue states outnumbered red states in the U.S. last year, 17 to 14, according to Gallup Daily tracking of party preferences. That three-state advantage for the Democrats is down from a seven-state lead for the Democrats in 2012, and well short of their 30-state lead in 2008 -- Gallup's first year of state measurement.

I'd like to see the 2014 election results before making any firm forecasts about the 2016 political environment.
   1409. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: February 13, 2014 at 04:35 PM (#4656480)
Oh, yeah. And sometimes they're right. (Which they must be, because cultures do in fact decline.)


Most of the time though they are wrong, like you are this time (I said that with my fingers crossed)- I think we are I some type of transition phase, but I really can't see the end of it, I think I can see possible ends- and some of those are none too good.

The US has always had an unwieldy governing structure that we've been working around for 200+ years- it got really unwieldy some 150-175 years ago- it's getting pretty unwieldy now (not as bad as that obviously). The structural problem I see being exacerbated by a certain government philosophy I'm going to call Teaperism for lack of a better term. The political regime espoused by the Federalists and the "Constitution in Exile" folks, (i.e., something akin to the Articles of Confederation grafted onto a late 19th Century Capitalist Economy) is utterly and completely unworkable in any society larger than a city state, and would inevitably lead to an existentialist crisis where it was radically overhauled- or the state (ie. the US) would fail and splinter.

   1410. Greg K Posted: February 13, 2014 at 04:35 PM (#4656481)
Oh, yeah. And sometimes they're right. (Which they must be, because cultures do in fact decline.)

This is one of those times.

This is one of the reasons often given for why the theory of decline is so prevalent. As we are conscious of the fact that we'll one day grow old and die, every society, no matter what slogans they put out, are aware of their own terminus somewhere down the road, and so become obsessed with it.

I'm not sure if I totally buy that kind of reasoning, but it makes a certain kind of intuitive sense.

I suppose another issue is, there's decline and there's decline. Living through the decline of the British Empire was probably funner than living though the decline of the Roman Empire. And really, decline for who? Even ignoring technological advancements, was the average British person's life at the height of the British Empire any better than the average British person's life now? What exactly is the nature of the decline we're talking about? In a hypothetical future where America is a secondary power will it necessarily matter in the day to day lives of most of its citizens?
   1411. Bitter Mouse Posted: February 13, 2014 at 04:39 PM (#4656484)
it assumes political parties & voters are static. Lose enough elections and a political party will reformulate its message to appeal to a broader audience.


Witness the ever growing share of minority votes and the GOP "reformulation" of its message.

In a longer time frame the GOP will have to change or maybe the Dems will split asunder. For the near future though the Dem coalition starts out with a huge demographic advantage in presidential elections. Just as the GOP has an advantage in House elections. Pretending those advantages are not real or will magically change is wishcasting unless you can explain the mechanism of that change.
   1412. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: February 13, 2014 at 04:41 PM (#4656486)
I'd like to see the 2014 election results before making any firm forecasts about the 2016 political environment.

So what firm forecasts were you making for 2012 in the wake of the 2010 elections? I'd love to see a few of them.
   1413. Bitter Mouse Posted: February 13, 2014 at 04:43 PM (#4656490)
In a hypothetical future where America is a secondary power will it necessarily matter in the day to day lives of most of its citizens?


Much of this is the zero sum fallacy. If women and minorities gain in the US since 1979, then white men MUST have lost; China and India are doing better, so the US must be doing worse; and so on. In reality of course that is nonsense. A rising tide really can lift all boats.
   1414. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 13, 2014 at 04:46 PM (#4656492)
I'd like to see the 2014 election results before making any firm forecasts about the 2016 political environment.


Which of the 19 Dem states they have taken in the last six elections, do you see the GOP flipping?

CA, CT, DE, DC, HI, IL, MA, ME, MD, MI, MN, NJ, NY, OR, PA, RI, VT, WA or WI?

MI, PA, and WI are probably the best bets, but Obama beat Romney by 9 points in MI, 7 points in WI, and 5 points in PA. That would still give the Dems a 198-148 lead.

And then the GOP would still have to come win a majority of Colorado, Florida, Nevada, and Virginia as well, all trending Dem. And probably take Ohio, a swing state.

Not saying they couldn't do it, but it would really have to take a Reagan-revolution-type candidate I think, which is harder now than ever with the way people have calcified into their political camps.
   1415. The Good Face Posted: February 13, 2014 at 04:51 PM (#4656497)
Ascendant societies are ascendant until they're not ascendant anymore.


Well yeah. You're a winner right up until you stop winning. But that doesn't mean folks can't see signs that the winning may be coming to an end soon.

that list, apart from fighting and winning wars, describes CHINA now pretty well. :-)


China is absolutely spoiling for a fight (not with the US) right now. They'd love the opportunity to smack around some local chumps in their area of influence. But yeah, there are some signs that they may be on the rise and others that things are less rosy than they appear for them.

You're Dick Cheney, aren't you?


Would it change how you felt about me if I said yes?
   1416. Tilden Katz Posted: February 13, 2014 at 04:52 PM (#4656499)
Wouldn't the Soviet Union be an even better example of ascendant society? They went from a backwards and agrarian perennial underachiever to an industrial superpower pretty quickly.
   1417. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: February 13, 2014 at 04:54 PM (#4656500)
I'd like to see the 2014 election results before making any firm forecasts about the 2016 political environment.


Disregarding 2008 and relying n 2010 is what lead so many GOP forecasters astray in 2012, nice to see your side failing to learn from your mistakes :-).

Just kidding (ok only half kidding)

The "problem" with this reasoning, and similar Reagan-era pronouncements about a "Republican lock" on the Electoral College, is that it assumes political parties & voters are static.


I agree, those are unsafe assumptions, but, I don't think we have nay recent history where a major political party was as ideologically unified/coherent as the current GOP* (or at least seemingly coherent, I mean it seems like the ONLY thing GOP elected officials disagree on anymore is STRATEGY). The Dems a way more ideologically unified/coherent than they used to be, although there are still some DINOs holding office (No RINOS, they went extinct the second Bloomberg dropped his GOP membership- you'll see righties complain about RINOs, but there simply aren't any more). There seems to be certain level of inertia at work- the parties have pulled themselves to these positions and I don't see them reversing on a dime.

Voters as whole are not static- but there are sub-groups who ARE more or less static- what that gives each party is both a floor and a center of gravity. On the GOP side the evangelical/cultural conservatives have adopted enough of the libertarian wing's economic agenda to from a more or less stable, but barbell shaped center of gravity (like a binary star system where the two stars are real close and the planets orbit around the two stars- the Dem party is like a binary system where the stars are far enough apart that each star has it's own set of planets)

Right now I still see the GOP as the driving force- it's ideological coherence is driving it, and as it compacts angular momentum drives it faster and faster, Dem gains among Hispanics, Single Women, Asians are more due to such groups being repelled by the GOP, rather than the Dems really doing anything to attract them- they've been drawn into the Dem orbit, but they haven't adopted eachother's issues the way Evangelicals and Libertarians.

*Though that recent Mayoral election in SD you touted seems to be an exception.
   1418. GregD Posted: February 13, 2014 at 04:55 PM (#4656503)
But then it rose rather dramatically in the next ten or so years, roughly the period under discussion, before ebbing and flowing as the decline ebbed and flowed.
I read the chart as saying that confidence in government fell basically steady from 1964-1979, the years you suggested, then rose in the 80s, fell in the 90s, and has risen and fallen again since then. So if that were one's metric, it's evidence that 64-79 was a period of decline and the 80s a period of recovery.

That isn't my view--I can see reasons for preferring the earlier--but I do think putting weight on the political system's functioning makes the argument for 64-79 less, not more, convincing
   1419. GregD Posted: February 13, 2014 at 04:57 PM (#4656504)
I suppose another issue is, there's decline and there's decline. Living through the decline of the British Empire was probably funner than living though the decline of the Roman Empire.
I've always believed this--and you probably know better than I do--but I just read something suggesting that the average Roman barely noticed the "fall" of Rome, as Germanic tribes had been the army in place in Rome before the taking of the city and had already moved into virtual control of the city. There was some shift in tribute funds but not much in day-to-day governance. I don't know if this is true but it interested me
   1420. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: February 13, 2014 at 04:58 PM (#4656506)
They went from a backwards and agrarian perennial underachiever to an industrial superpower pretty quickly.


No they didn't.

They went from being a backwards and agrarian perennial underachiever with a large industrial base, to being a complete basket case, to being a backwards and agrarian perennial underachiever with a large industrial base, again.

The USSR's industrial economy relative to the world economy was no more impressive than the Russian Empire's had been before WWI.


   1421. Bitter Mouse Posted: February 13, 2014 at 04:59 PM (#4656509)
Well yeah. You're a winner right up until you stop winning.


Which is a really good reason not to run around starting wars and building empires. Again let me mention that aggressor nations have a crappy track record the last 100+ years. Sure you can find some tiny countries to work your death machine magic, but then you get excited and keep picking fights, and then wham you lose and are done.

This is why any ascendancy list including making war and building empires as a good thing is basically what ARod leaves behind after an afternoon of grazing. Being a warlike nation is a sign of upcoming loserdom and decline (in aggregate) and not ascendency.

We can start by going through the nations who started WWI if you want, move on to WWII and so on. Though you probably think the US picking a fight with Iraq was a good sign and a harbinger of good things, where most sane people realize it actively hurt the US.
   1422. Bitter Mouse Posted: February 13, 2014 at 05:03 PM (#4656511)
The USSR's industrial economy relative to the world economy was no more impressive than the Russian Empire's had been before WWI.


But now they are back baby! Sochi! Sochi! Sochi!
   1423. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: February 13, 2014 at 05:04 PM (#4656513)
I read the chart as saying that confidence in government fell basically steady from 1964-1979, the years you suggested, then rose in the 80s, fell in the 90s, and has risen and fallen again since then


The way I read that is that there is a block of Americans (let's call them wingnuts) who "trust" the government whenever they think one of their own is in office, and distrust it whenever a "librul" is in office. The Liberals aren't so knee-jerky, it takes a Nixon/Watergate to move the needle from trust to distrust.

ON average people trust Dubya more than Obama, objectively that's insane and says more about the irrationality of wingnuts than it does about whether Obama's or Dubya's regime was less trustworthy (just to be clear I'm not saying that the Obama administration is trustworthy, it's not, I'm saying that by any reasonable measure, Dubya's was less)
   1424. GregD Posted: February 13, 2014 at 05:06 PM (#4656518)
The "problem" with this reasoning, and similar Reagan-era pronouncements about a "Republican lock" on the Electoral College, is that it assumes political parties & voters are static.
This is totally true. the people who read the future from the past are people who lose. There are so many trendlines that are changing things at different rates and then there are unpredictable events, and then there is the fact that a good or bad economy can disrupt an electoral base quickly.

Which of the 19 Dem states they have taken in the last six elections, do you see the GOP flipping?

CA, CT, DE, DC, HI, IL, MA, ME, MD, MI, MN, NJ, NY, OR, PA, RI, VT, WA or WI?

I would rank these as:
Inconceivable barring Democratic self-immolation (never out of the realm of possibility)
CA, CT, DE, DC, HI, MA, MD, NY, RI, VT

Almost inconceivable but possible if the Reps ran a libertarianism candidate
OR, WA, ME

Quite unlikely but clearly possible in a downward economy that Dems are blamed for
IL, MI, MN, NJ, PA

Reasonably likely to go R in one of the next 3 elections:
WI


I have come around to the view that Walker or Ryan will be the next nominee and the other one will have a good chance ata later nomination. And I don't think Wisconsin is that reliably Democratic; some slowdown that pulled away population from Milwaukee or Madison would hurt the party pretty dramatically, and I'm curious whether the cuts to UW will eat into Madison's vitality.
   1425. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: February 13, 2014 at 05:10 PM (#4656520)
Would it change how you felt about me if I said yes?


I've never thought of you as evil, per se, yet.
   1426. Greg K Posted: February 13, 2014 at 05:10 PM (#4656521)
I've always believed this--and you probably know better than I do--but I just read something suggesting that the average Roman barely noticed the "fall" of Rome, as Germanic tribes had been the army in place in Rome before the taking of the city and had already moved into virtual control of the city. There was some shift in tribute funds but not much in day-to-day governance. I don't know if this is true but it interested me

I've been accused of a lot of things in my life, but never an expert on ancient Rome!

I guess it all depends on what we're talking about when it comes to the decline of Rome (and where, it covered a fairly large patch of territory after all). I was thinking more of the prolonged decline over a century or two, during which the actual "fall" of the city to those barbarous Germans was one of many moments. The disappearance of urban and industrial centres in particular I'm think of.

Though again, I'm far from an expert on Rome.
   1427. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: February 13, 2014 at 05:14 PM (#4656527)
I was thinking more of the prolonged decline over a century or two,


I'm pretty sure very few people with an average lifespan of +/- 40 years were going to notice a centuries long "decline of the Empire."
   1428. Greg K Posted: February 13, 2014 at 05:15 PM (#4656528)
We can start by going through the nations who started WWI if you want

Do I ever!

Sorry, I got Margaret McMillan's new book on the summer of 1914 for Christmas, but it's actually been delayed in the mail until the end of February, so I'm just getting excited to read it. It's yet another area of history that is not at all my speciality, but the diplomatic history of 1848-1914, especially the lead up to the First World War is one of my most deeply cherished interests.

I was actually bored waiting the three months between my thesis submission and my defence, so my friend suggested I help her work on her Borg musical. I had to decline, but it inspired me to get on my own pet project, the July Crisis of 1914 re-imagined as a teen romantic comedy.
   1429. The Good Face Posted: February 13, 2014 at 05:21 PM (#4656533)
Which is a really good reason not to run around starting wars and building empires.


The US did just fine picking fights and built a mighty empire. Which is now in decline, but hey, all empires decline sooner or later.

but then you get excited and keep picking fights, and then wham you lose and are done.


Most nations don't cease to exist just because they lose a war. France is still around, right?

Being a warlike nation is a sign of upcoming loserdom and decline (in aggregate) and not ascendency.


Take it up with USG, they appear to disagree with you. The problem is not necessarily fighting wars, but fighting pointless wars, losing wars, or both. And THAT's a sign of decline; USG is starting pointless wars and not even winning them.

We can start by going through the nations who started WWI if you want, move on to WWII and so on.


I already addressed this. Those nations ran into an ascendant USG. Oops. Sometimes an ascendant civilization runs into a stronger one.

Though you probably think the US picking a fight with Iraq was a good sign and a harbinger of good things, where most sane people realize it actively hurt the US.


Swing and a miss. I've long been on record that the Iraq war was a disaster.
   1430. GregD Posted: February 13, 2014 at 05:25 PM (#4656540)
The US did just fine picking fights and built a mighty empire.
Clearly true. War of 1812 is a mixed bag, but no question the US' role in the world now depended upon its willingness to invade Florida, spark a fight with Mexico, keep attacking Indian tribes until they cleared land for railroads, and then--to a lesser degree in terms of long-term impact--picked a fight with Spain.

Notable is that--unless you spread out Indian wars into a long-term "War on the Plains"--all of those were pretty short. Getting into long wars is often a big economic and political drain, but of course it is hard to know ahead of time how long the war will last!
   1431. Jim Wisinski Posted: February 13, 2014 at 05:28 PM (#4656545)
it assumes political parties & voters are static. Lose enough elections and a political party will reformulate its message to appeal to a broader audience.


Witness the ever growing share of minority votes and the GOP "reformulation" of its message.


Except they aren't really doing that. Sure, some high-profile Republicans have talked about how they need to change their message, pass immigration reform, stay away from controversial topics that turn away potential swing voters, etc., but has any of that really happened? Immigration reform isn't looking all that likely right now, the Tea Party is still loud and having a real effect on primaries, notable party members are still saying stupid ####, they're continuing to dig in their heels on gay marriage, states with Republican governors and legislatures are still trying to get as close as possible to outlawing abortion without the courts striking the laws down, etc. I don't think actual reformulation has happened yet.

From my point of view what they desperately need to do for their own sake is find some way to marginalize the far right. As long as Tea Party-backed candidates remain serious threats in primaries across the country there's not much chance of any reformed message actually sticking.
   1432. GregD Posted: February 13, 2014 at 05:29 PM (#4656546)
From my point of view what they desperately need to do for their own sake is find some way to marginalize the far right. As long as Tea Party-backed candidates remain serious threats in primaries across the country there's not much chance of any reformed message actually sticking.
I would think defeat would convince people to go quiet in presidential races in hopes of getting some wins, so I'd be surprised if the Rs truly self-immolated. But whether that recognition comes in the 2016 or 2020 primary is hard to call.
   1433. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: February 13, 2014 at 05:30 PM (#4656547)
he July Crisis of 1914 re-imagined as a teen romantic comedy.


Somebody get Whedon on the line.
   1434. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: February 13, 2014 at 05:33 PM (#4656551)
MI, PA, and WI are probably the best bets, but Obama beat Romney by 9 points in MI, 7 points in WI, and 5 points in PA. That would still give the Dems a 198-148 lead.

And then the GOP would still have to come win a majority of Colorado, Florida, Nevada, and Virginia as well, all trending Dem. And probably take Ohio, a swing state.


Demographically Florida "should" be trending Dem, but it's still a toss up, the GOP could certainly take it in 2016

Ohio I think is or will be trending GOP

I don't think the GOP can take Colorado or Pennsylvania in a Presidential election year.

Are their any states left for the Dems to flip from GOP to Dem? The obvious one is North Carolina- which has since 2000 trended towards the Dems (in 2000 NC was 13.5 points more pro-GOP than the Country as a whole, +10 in 2004, +7 in 2008 and plus 6 in 2012). Georgia is showing some movement towards the Dems, but not like NC.
   1435. thok Posted: February 13, 2014 at 05:39 PM (#4656556)
Republicans are actually competitive in more states now than they were in 2008 or 2012:


Given that Gallup claimed that Democrats and Republicans were even in party registration in South Carolina in 2008, I don't think the change in those numbers means what you think it does. There's almost certainly a change in party registration, but also a simultaneous change in the correlation between party registration and voting record. Alternatively, Gallup could have changed their polling methodology from 2008-2013 to remove a systematic polling error.
   1436. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 13, 2014 at 05:43 PM (#4656559)
I would think defeat would convince people to go quiet in presidential races in hopes of getting some wins, so I'd be surprised if the Rs truly self-immolated. But whether that recognition comes in the 2016 or 2020 primary is hard to call.


There are competing self-interests. What is good for national Rs is not good for Congressional Rs. To win national elections, the GOP needs to muzzle the far right. But to win Congressional seats, the far right needs to be loud and proud. I don't see how this will change any time soon.

Demographically Florida "should" be trending Dem, but it's still a toss up, the GOP could certainly take it in 2016


I'd probably still call it a toss up too, but Dems have won it 3 of the last 5 elections, plus whatever you want to think of who won it in 2000.

Are their any states left for the Dems to flip from GOP to Dem? The obvious one is North Carolina- which has since 2000 trended towards the Dems (in 2000 NC was 13.5 points more pro-GOP than the Country as a whole, +10 in 2004, +7 in 2008 and plus 6 in 2012). Georgia is showing some movement towards the Dems, but not like NC.


Those two, and possibly Arizona in a cycle or two.
   1437. Bitter Mouse Posted: February 13, 2014 at 05:46 PM (#4656563)
GF your whole argument is massive cherry picking with 20/20 hindsight.

"Wars are great and empire building is a sign of ascendency!" "OK, except for losers, but they are losers."

The point is you can't use starting wars (like you did) as a criteria for ascendency. Heck even you have been back peddling like crazy, "Unless they run into another ascendent nation". By your criteria Nazi Germany and the USSR were ascendent, and then they were not, but your method does not at all predict future decline.

According to my metric, starting wars is (since 1900) a sign of upcoming problems. Countries that start wars are harmed by them. Start enough of them or pick the wrong target and you are really hurt or destroyed by them. This is counter to your "oh boy shiny death machine, pretty" feelings about ascendent nations, but looking over the last 100+ years my metric works way better than yours.

Most nations don't cease to exist just because they lose a war. France is still around, right?


Nations that start and lose wars pay a high price. Look at the aggressor nations in WWI and WWII, now look at the those that were not the aggressors. And their are plenty of other examples of aggressive nations paying a high price. Show me the huge help being an aggressive warmongering nation has been the last 100+ years? If you look at the data it has been a huge hindrance in aggregate.

And as an aside what war did France lose in the last 100 years? Unless you want to give them a moral loss for going belly up in WWII, but that was - as was said earlier - a temporary thing.
   1438. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: February 13, 2014 at 05:58 PM (#4656568)
"OK, except for losers, but they are losers."


You know someone has a high sexual market value because he or she is attractive. They are attractive because they have a high SMV. This is what GF does, man.
   1439. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: February 13, 2014 at 06:14 PM (#4656575)
And as an aside what war did France lose in the last 100 years?

You'd need a rather narrow definition of "war" not to note that France lost its entire colonial empire over the course of a few short years, most notably in Indochina and North Africa. Major segments of the French military and right wing were in open revolt against the negotiations with the FLN that led to Algerian independence, and one of the chief reasons that the French were so critical of our own Vietnam war was that the schadenfreude they felt during that period helped them feel a bit less humiliated about what happened to them at Dienbienphu.
   1440. spike Posted: February 13, 2014 at 06:20 PM (#4656580)
Those two, and possibly Arizona in a cycle or two.

Texas. Sooner or later, Texas.
   1441. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: February 13, 2014 at 06:23 PM (#4656583)
Take it up with USG, they appear to disagree with you. The problem is not necessarily fighting wars, but fighting pointless wars, losing wars, or both. And THAT's a sign of decline; USG is starting pointless wars and not even winning them.

There's actually more to it than that, in the same vein, which is the idea that American culture should be spread far and wide, across the globe, by "soft power." My hunch is that we've even lost confidence there, though I happily admit that could be wrong. (Note here that we need to dig deeper than the rote paeans to "democracy.")

Point being, an ascendent and confident culture proselytizes itself, by both war and peace.
   1442. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: February 13, 2014 at 06:29 PM (#4656586)
Georgia is showing some movement towards the Dems, but not like NC.


Georgia is purpling up slowly but steadily. The metro of Atlanta continues to grow with an influx of more Dem friendly cohorts from northern states. The south of the state is still deep red, but is trending a little less so as second and third generation migrant workers in the agriculture sector step forward and engage the voting booth. (Georgia, like Texas, would get a lot bluer if migration/amnesty goes through.)
   1443. The Yankee Clapper Posted: February 13, 2014 at 06:32 PM (#4656587)
Which of the 19 Dem states they have taken in the last six elections, do you see the GOP flipping? CA, CT, DE, DC, HI, IL, MA, ME, MD, MI, MN, NJ, NY, OR, PA, RI, VT, WA or WI? MI, PA, and WI are probably the best bets . . .

I'd agree that Wisconsin, Pennsylvania & Michigan are the best possibilities for the GOP, based on what we know today, with Minnesota and possibly Maine having similar potential. If a party can elect a Governor, or other statewide office holder, there is at least some hope for success at the presidential level, so there are a lot of states that could be in play. We have yet to see how much of the Obama vote is transferable to other Democrats, and I suspect we'll have to go fairly deep into the 2016 campaign year to get a good reading on that.
   1444. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: February 13, 2014 at 06:33 PM (#4656588)
There's actually more to it than that, in the same vein, which is the idea that American culture should be spread far and wide, across the globe, by "soft power." My hunch is that we've even lost confidence there, though I happily admit that could be wrong.


Go to any club in any country in the world other than the Muslim dominated theocracies. They are playing American hip hop. American culture *dominates* the globe.
   1445. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: February 13, 2014 at 06:35 PM (#4656590)
We have yet to see how much of the Obama vote is transferable to other Democrats


This is wishcasting. This idea, that Obama had some sort of magic voter turnout mojo that wouldn't map to the party in general, was undermined severely in 2012. (This is the same argument as "all of those young and black voters won't come out in 2012 because it's not historic like 2008.)
   1446. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 13, 2014 at 06:39 PM (#4656591)
If a party can elect a Governor, or other statewide office holder, there is at least some hope for success at the presidential level, so there are a lot of states that could be in play.


Meh, Kansas and Oklahoma, the two most conservative states in the country, both elected Dem Governors recently (Kathleen Sebelius and Brad Henry). California and Massachusetts both elected Republican governors (Ahnuld and Mitt). Governors races are very different than Presidential races.
   1447. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: February 13, 2014 at 06:43 PM (#4656593)
There's actually more to it than that, in the same vein, which is the idea that American culture should be spread far and wide, across the globe


"Gangham Style", evidence of American cultural decline.

*horsey dance*
   1448. steagles Posted: February 13, 2014 at 07:32 PM (#4656604)
I'd agree that Wisconsin, Pennsylvania & Michigan are the best possibilities for the GOP, based on what we know today, with Minnesota and possibly Maine having similar potential. If a party can elect a Governor, or other statewide office holder, there is at least some hope for success at the presidential level, so there are a lot of states that could be in play. We have yet to see how much of the Obama vote is transferable to other Democrats, and I suspect we'll have to go fairly deep into the 2016 campaign year to get a good reading on that.
wisconsin's governor was recalled within a year of his election, pennsylvania's is one of the least popular in modern history and maine's and michigan's would be in jail for life if they got just 1/10th of 1% of the scrutiny that chris christie is getting. christie closed two lanes on a bridge -- rick snyder closed detroit.

i don't know anything about minnesota's governor (unless for some reason it's still pawlenty), but i'll just assume he/she is...interesting.
   1449. Bitter Mouse Posted: February 13, 2014 at 07:35 PM (#4656606)
The entire history of 20th Century wars is a monument to the fact that military empires don't work any more. The fact that GF is convinced that to be ascending you need to build empires is so hilariously stupid as to be almost unbelievable.

   1450. The Yankee Clapper Posted: February 13, 2014 at 07:38 PM (#4656609)
This is wishcasting. This idea, that Obama had some sort of magic voter turnout mojo that wouldn't map to the party in general, was undermined severely in 2012.

I believe Obama headed the Democratic ticket in 2012, so his re-election doesn't say that much about whether his vote is transferable to other Democrats. Democrats didn't take the House of Representatives in 2010 or 2012, and I'd bet against their doing so in 2014, so we know there are limits on the transferability of the Obama vote at the Congressional level. And you can say the same about the gubernatorial level. What happens on the presidential level is unknown at this point, and those automatically assuming any other Democratic candidate would do as well, or so well that victory is guaranteed, would appear to be the ones wishcasting.
   1451. Poulanc Posted: February 13, 2014 at 07:41 PM (#4656610)
i don't know anything about minnesota's governor (unless for some reason it's still pawlenty), but i'll just assume he/she is...interesting.


Get to know Mark Dayton!
   1452. Shredder Posted: February 13, 2014 at 07:43 PM (#4656611)
wisconsin's governor was recalled within a year of his election
Huh? I mean, he was up for recall, but he wasn't recalled.
   1453. The Yankee Clapper Posted: February 13, 2014 at 07:47 PM (#4656612)
wisconsin's governor was recalled within a year of his election . . .

Governor Walker won that recall election, by a wider margin than his initial election, despite Democrats and their union allies throwing everything but the kitchen sink at him. He's also ahead in current polls for his re-election race. Walker's success supports the idea that the GOP could compete for the state in 2016 and beyond.
   1454. The Yankee Clapper Posted: February 13, 2014 at 07:53 PM (#4656614)
. . . and maine's and michigan's would be in jail for life if they got just 1/10th of 1% of the scrutiny that chris christie is getting. christie closed two lanes on a bridge -- rick snyder closed detroit.

Assertions totally without evidence to support them - a Steagles trademark. Detroit was bankrupted by a series of Democratic Mayors & City Councils. Blaming Snyder is ludicrous.
   1455. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: February 13, 2014 at 07:56 PM (#4656615)
Go to any club in any country in the world other than the Muslim dominated theocracies. They are playing American hip hop. American culture *dominates* the globe.

True. This remains an area of cultural strength that really hasn't changed in the last 30 years and may have even strengthened.
   1456. Mefisto Posted: February 13, 2014 at 08:15 PM (#4656621)
Democrats didn't take the House of Representatives in 2010 or 2012, and I'd bet against their doing so in 2014, so we know there are limits on the transferability of the Obama vote at the Congressional level.


Democrats won the Congressional vote in 2012 by over 1 million votes, so Obama's vote seems to have "transferred" reasonably well. The fact that this didn't translate into control of the House is due to other factors.
   1457. steagles Posted: February 13, 2014 at 08:30 PM (#4656633)
Assertions totally without evidence to support them - a Steagles trademark. Detroit was bankrupted by a series of Democratic Mayors & City Councils. Blaming Snyder is ludicrous.
firstly, it's STEAGLES. if we're gonna talk about STEAGLES trademarks, we may as well begin with proper acknowledgment of an actual STEAGLES trademark.

secondly, detroit crumbled for a lot of reasons, none of which have anything to do with rick snyder. but that does not excuse the punitive actions snyder has taken since being elected, and the same underlying violations at the heart of bridgegate (that christie used the power of his office to punish his political opponents) are almost certainly at play in snyder's treatment of detroit.
   1458. BDC Posted: February 13, 2014 at 08:34 PM (#4656635)
Election handicapping is fun, and the President's party sometimes gets walloped midterm, but overall, I would not say that Obama is off to a bad start of a sixth year in the White House. I realize his approval-poll numbers are skirting the Mendoza Line :) and that he delegated healthcare.gov to a bunch of stoned Geocities users, but there's a compromise budget, there's likely to be some sort of compromise immigration reform bill, and despite the potential for gridlock and handwringing, he seems to be able to get things done. I always think second terms are disaster areas, but his is shaping up to be one of the better ones.
   1459. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: February 13, 2014 at 08:44 PM (#4656640)
Election handicapping is fun, and the President's party sometimes gets walloped midterm, but overall, I would not say that Obama is off to a bad start of a sixth year in the White House. I realize his approval-poll numbers are skirting the Mendoza Line :) and that he delegated healthcare.gov to a bunch of stoned Geocities users, but there's a compromise budget, there's likely to be some sort of compromise immigration reform bill, and despite the potential for gridlock and handwringing, he seems to be able to get things done. I always think second terms are disaster areas, but his is shaping up to be one of the better ones.


Did he invade the wrong country?

Carry on then.
   1460. The Yankee Clapper Posted: February 13, 2014 at 09:09 PM (#4656652)
I always think second terms are disaster areas, but his is shaping up to be one of the better ones.

Well, we're only 1 year in. I suppose it depends on what criteria one uses, but is a President a success for being elected, and re-elected, if his party loses significant ground? Bill Clinton seems to have been given a pass now, but at the time many Democratic politicians & activists were furious that he had squandered the Democrats 40-year lock on the House.
   1461. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: February 13, 2014 at 09:41 PM (#4656663)
Governor Walker won that recall election, by a wider margin than his initial election, despite Democrats and their union allies throwing everything but the kitchen sink at him.
I laughed. This phrasing makes it sound like Republicans are always having to overcome impossible odds. How do you guys ever win anything? Guts and righteousness, I guess, those plucky Republicans.
   1462. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: February 13, 2014 at 09:43 PM (#4656664)
NDIANAPOLIS (Reuters) - A vote by Indiana residents on a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage was delayed by at least two years on Thursday after the state's Senate declined to restore language that would have put the amendment on track for the 2014 ballot.

...

The Indiana House had voted in January to advance the gay marriage ban amendment, but softened it by removing language that would have banned gay civil unions. The sentence they cut said: "A legal status identical or substantially similar to that of marriage for unmarried individuals shall not be valid or recognized."

Indiana bans gay marriage by statute and supporters have said a constitutional amendment would provide additional protection from court challenges.

Sharon Pearson of Noblesville, Indiana, said she went to the statehouse with her daughter to show support for the amendment in its original form.

"I feel that Indiana citizens should have had the right to vote on this issue that affects our state," Pearson said. "Where is our moral compass? I feel having the second sentence out undermines the intent of the amendment."


Link

A legal status identical or substantially similar to that of marriage for unmarried individuals shall not be valid or recognized."

That sounds like it would have banned all civil unions, not just those of same-sex couples (though I can't find clarification on it), so, yay?

At least the mucking about pushes out another shot at the Amendment for another two years ...

   1463. zonk Posted: February 13, 2014 at 09:52 PM (#4656667)
I laughed. This phrasing makes it sound like Republicans are always having to overcome impossible odds. How do you guys ever win anything? Guts and righteousness, I guess, those plucky Republicans.


I can't find it, but there was an absolutely hilarious video presentation by the GOP to -- I think the House caucus or maybe at the annual party retreat -- where they overlaid this sort of Star Wars thing painting themselves as the ragtag brand of brave rebels fighting the all-powerful empire...

...but it was from 2005 or early 2006, when the GOP controlled the WH, the House, and the Senate. It was so laughable that I think even Politico had no choice but to make fun of it.

Conservatives really have cornered the market of victimhood -- so, so many dark and all powerful forces aligned against them!
   1464. steagles Posted: February 13, 2014 at 10:06 PM (#4656671)
i'm just gonna post this entire thing, since it's a couple months old and i assume most people don't click links anyway:

It seems like this election season "religious liberty" is a hot topic. Rumors of its demise are all around, as are politicians who want to make sure that you know they will never do anything to intrude upon it.

I'm a religious person with a lifelong passion for civil rights, so this is of great interest to me. So much so, that I believe we all need to determine whether our religious liberties are indeed at risk. So, as a public service, I've come up with this little quiz. I call it "How to Determine if Your Religious Liberty Is Being Threatened in Just 10 Quick Questions." Just pick "A" or "B" for each question.

1. My religious liberty is at risk because:

A) I am not allowed to go to a religious service of my own choosing.
B) Others are allowed to go to religious services of their own choosing.

2. My religious liberty is at risk because:

A) I am not allowed to marry the person I love legally, even though my religious community blesses my marriage.
B) Some states refuse to enforce my own particular religious beliefs on marriage on those two guys in line down at the courthouse.

3. My religious liberty is at risk because:

A) I am being forced to use birth control.
B) I am unable to force others to not use birth control.

4. My religious liberty is at risk because:

A) I am not allowed to pray privately.
B) I am not allowed to force others to pray the prayers of my faith publicly.

5. My religious liberty is at risk because:

A) Being a member of my faith means that I can be bullied without legal recourse.
B) I am no longer allowed to use my faith to bully gay kids with impunity.

6. My religious liberty is at risk because:

A) I am not allowed to purchase, read or possess religious books or material.
B) Others are allowed to have access books, movies and websites that I do not like.

7. My religious liberty is at risk because:

A) My religious group is not allowed equal protection under the establishment clause.
B) My religious group is not allowed to use public funds, buildings and resources as we would like, for whatever purposes we might like.

8. My religious liberty is at risk because:

A) Another religious group has been declared the official faith of my country.
B) My own religious group is not given status as the official faith of my country.

9. My religious liberty is at risk because:

A) My religious community is not allowed to build a house of worship in my community.
B) A religious community I do not like wants to build a house of worship in my community.

10. My religious liberty is at risk because:

A) I am not allowed to teach my children the creation stories of our faith at home.
B) Public school science classes are teaching science.

Scoring key:

If you answered "A" to any question, then perhaps your religious liberty is indeed at stake. You and your faith group have every right to now advocate for equal protection under the law. But just remember this one little, constitutional, concept: this means you can fight for your equality -- not your superiority.

If you answered "B" to any question, then not only is your religious liberty not at stake, but there is a strong chance that you are oppressing the religious liberties of others. This is the point where I would invite you to refer back to the tenets of your faith, especially the ones about your neighbors.

In closing, no matter what soundbites you hear this election year, remember this: Religious liberty is never secured by a campaign of religious superiority. The only way to ensure your own religious liberty remains strong is by advocating for the religious liberty of all, including those with whom you may passionately disagree. Because they deserve the same rights as you. Nothing more. Nothing less.
   1465. zenbitz Posted: February 13, 2014 at 10:53 PM (#4656684)
But STEAGLES... My religion teaches that it is superior to all other religions! So preventing me from establishing dominance over other religions IS VIOLATING MY RELIGIOUS FREEDOM.

/headesplode
   1466. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 13, 2014 at 11:02 PM (#4656688)
The Kansas Senate President (a Republican of course) has come out and said the "religious liberty" bill may be a bridge too far. She thinks the bill may be discrimination. So maybe sanity will prevail.
   1467. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: February 13, 2014 at 11:07 PM (#4656689)
She thinks the bill may be discrimination.
GEE, YA THINK?
   1468. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: February 13, 2014 at 11:08 PM (#4656690)
The Kansas Senate President (a Republican of course) has come out and said the "religious liberty" bill may be a bridge too far.
Story.
   1469. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: February 13, 2014 at 11:13 PM (#4656693)
"I feel that Indiana citizens should have had the right to vote on this issue that affects our state," Pearson said. "Where is our moral compass?"

A question I find myself asking constantly.
   1470. spike Posted: February 13, 2014 at 11:50 PM (#4656696)
"Where are my car keys?" for me.
   1471. spike Posted: February 13, 2014 at 11:58 PM (#4656700)
   1472. Lassus Posted: February 14, 2014 at 12:04 AM (#4656702)
Virginia's same sex marriage ban struck down.

HA HA HA HA HA HA EAT IT #######

Sorry.
   1473. Bitter Mouse Posted: February 14, 2014 at 12:14 AM (#4656704)
Its over. It has always been over.

Nice to see progress though.
   1474. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: February 14, 2014 at 12:31 AM (#4656705)
Its over. It has always been over.

Speaking of which, what's happened to Ray? Did his boss monitor his computer and start asking "What's this 'Baseball Think Factory' that you seem to be logging into for about 6 hours out of every work day?" Would that count as an invasion of religious liberty?
   1475. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: February 14, 2014 at 02:57 AM (#4656719)
Speaking of which, what's happened to Ray?


Speaking of which, what's happened to No-No-Na ... Nieporent?

I can't imagine he got tired of arguing all of a sudden ...
   1476. Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: February 14, 2014 at 05:26 AM (#4656725)
I always think second terms are disaster areas, but his is shaping up to be one of the better ones.

Whomever came up with the idea to just say "I'm not negotiating", turning the spotlight back on the Rs so they could crap all over themselves was a genius. Deserves a raise.

Sharon Pearson of Noblesville, Indiana, said she went to the statehouse with her daughter to show support for the amendment in its original form.

What a wonderful bonding trip for a mother and daughter. Let's pile in the car and go down to the capital to make sure those queers don't get no rights. Ah, people, they never fail to disappoint.

The Kansas Senate President (a Republican of course) has come out and said the "religious liberty" bill may be a bridge too far. She thinks the bill may be discrimination. So maybe sanity will prevail.

Sanity never stood a chance. Congrats to Kansas on their 15 minutes of hateful fame.
   1477. zonk Posted: February 14, 2014 at 10:06 AM (#4656769)
Tom Perkins' Latest Idea: Give The Wealthy More Votes

So, at first, I was outraged by this idea... but, perhaps it has some merit and could be made workable.

For example, how about if let the wealthy buy extra votes... let's say -- $1,000,000 per additional vote. Above board, with the funds going directly to social safety nets. Or - perhaps we allow people to sell their votes to the wealthy - again, above board in a regulated marketplace with a minimum bid value of, say, $500,000.

I think this could work, Tom -- for $500,000 I will sell you my vote in the 2014 election.
   1478. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: February 14, 2014 at 10:11 AM (#4656775)
And for only $500 I'll promise not to celebrate Derek Jeter.
   1479. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: February 14, 2014 at 10:20 AM (#4656782)
Tom Perkins' Latest Idea: Give The Wealthy More Votes

So, at first, I was outraged by this idea... but, perhaps it has some merit and could be made workable.

For example, how about if let the wealthy buy extra votes... let's say -- $1,000,000 per additional vote. Above board, with the funds going directly to social safety nets. Or - perhaps we allow people to sell their votes to the wealthy - again, above board in a regulated marketplace with a minimum bid value of, say, $500,000.


This isn't a new idea at all. I recall some Dittohead blowhard making the case for this back...hmmm....2003 or so on Fox News. He added some control mechanisms that I can't recall based on his concern that Hillary Clinton and her Hollywood friends would try and game the system.

I'd go cheap, $100,000 per vote because I like to share the wealth. This could be a nice influx of revenue for pliable voters in swing states.
   1480. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: February 14, 2014 at 10:37 AM (#4656792)
Speaking of which, what's happened to Ray? Did his boss monitor his computer and start asking "What's this 'Baseball Think Factory' that you seem to be logging into for about 6 hours out of every work day?" Would that count as an invasion of religious liberty?

And Ray's existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, saves lives. You don't want the truth because deep down in places you don't talk about at parties, you want Ray on that wall, you need Ray on that wall.
   1481. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: February 14, 2014 at 11:00 AM (#4656805)
We all need Ray, my man. Hell, we all need you. Unparalleled entertainment value for the mere price of an internet connection, with the inside dope on The Decline of Civilization and the rise of the Philadelphia Eagles thrown in.
   1482. Shredder Posted: February 14, 2014 at 11:23 AM (#4656813)
I think this could work, Tom -- for $500,000 I will sell you my vote in the 2014 election.
For just this one instance, I wouldn't mind a return to the old eye for an eye. Someone should run over this guy with a yacht the way he did to those poor folks in France that he killed.
   1483. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: February 14, 2014 at 11:29 AM (#4656822)
Speaking of which, what's happened to Ray? Did his boss monitor his computer and start asking "What's this 'Baseball Think Factory' that you seem to be logging into for about 6 hours out of every work day?" Would that count as an invasion of religious liberty?

Strangely enough, I think I haven't seen him since exactly the Super Bowl. Maybe he had a quasi religious experience, an epiphany, where he realized all his deeply held beliefs were complete bullshit.

Probably he is just embarrassed tho0ugh, for being more wrong, than when he infamously said "It's over. It has always been over."
   1484. spike Posted: February 14, 2014 at 11:33 AM (#4656826)
The Virginia judge also trolled Scalia. I am so going to enjoy watching him have to grimly hang on for another 8 years if Hillary runs/wins.
   1485. Mefisto Posted: February 14, 2014 at 11:34 AM (#4656828)
   1486. GregD Posted: February 14, 2014 at 11:35 AM (#4656829)
This isn't a new idea at all. I recall some Dittohead blowhard making the case for this back...hmmm....2003 or so on Fox News. He added some control mechanisms that I can't recall based on his concern that Hillary Clinton and her Hollywood friends would try and game the system.
It circulated in New York in the 1870s when there was a serious but ultimately unsuccessful to reimpose property qualifications; some people giddy with the potential success started floating what would come after property qualifications. The same movement floated through Chicago too.
   1487. Bitter Mouse Posted: February 14, 2014 at 11:52 AM (#4656837)
I think the GOP needs to run on the dollars for votes schemes. Let their rich flag fly proud and high. That would be awesome.
   1488. GregD Posted: February 14, 2014 at 11:56 AM (#4656841)
While those movements failed, a series of other regulations pushed voter turnout down by 33% nationwide (proportional to eligible voters) over the late 19th and early 20th century. We think first of disfranchisement in the South, of course, but there were extremely successful efforts to drive down voter participation in the Northeast (directed especially against the Irish) and other regions. What's interesting is that this disfranchisement hit two groups of different partisan tendencies--black Republicans in the South and northern Irish and then southern and eastern European Democrats.

Ridiculous ideas like Perkins' actually help normalize the actual moves made to drive down voting.
   1489. The Good Face Posted: February 14, 2014 at 12:04 PM (#4656847)
You know someone has a high sexual market value because he or she is attractive. They are attractive because they have a high SMV


I hope you're deliberately misrepresenting the concept, because the alternative is depressing. You know somebody has a high SMV because they have OPTIONS. They are desireable to other people, in the same way that things with high value in any marketplace are desireable. Attractiveness is only a component of SMV, because it's possible to have high SMV without being particularly attractive.

The point is you can't use starting wars (like you did) as a criteria for ascendency. Heck even you have been back peddling like crazy, "Unless they run into another ascendent nation". By your criteria Nazi Germany and the USSR were ascendent, and then they were not, but your method does not at all predict future decline.


You've changed the criteria to "predicting the future" and you're accusing ME of moving goalposts? There are markers and indicators of decline, but nobody can perfectly predict the future; prophecy is impossible. You can look for those indicators and extrapolate (loss of confidence, inability/unwillingness to win wars/military conflicts, demographic collapse, failure to control borders, former tributaries becoming independent or less servile/cooperative, decadence at all levels of society, etc.) but as we say in baseball, that's why you play the games. Sometimes things can turn around. Sometimes it rains. And so on.

According to my metric, starting wars is (since 1900) a sign of upcoming problems. Countries that start wars are harmed by them. Start enough of them or pick the wrong target and you are really hurt or destroyed by them. This is counter to your "oh boy shiny death machine, pretty" feelings about ascendent nations, but looking over the last 100+ years my metric works way better than yours.


I keep explaining this and you keep ignoring the explanation. Starting wars when there's a mighty empire around who can and will beat your ass if you cause trouble is indeed a poor idea. USG brooked no rivals, and even now maintains global peace (sorta kinda, more or less) out of inertia. However, Pax America is losing support among American citizens who grow weary of losing pointless wars in meaningless places far away, is becoming increasingly unaffordable, and is increasingly less appreciated by the rest of the world, who view USG as meddling bullies. However, expansion through war/violence (like the US did) is a fine tactic if you can pull it off. High risk, high reward. When China yoinked Tibet, a lot of people ####### and moaned, but nobody actually got off their ass and put things right (from the perspective of Tibetans anyway).

   1490. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: February 14, 2014 at 12:21 PM (#4656856)
I'd agree that Wisconsin, Pennsylvania & Michigan are the best possibilities for the GOP, based on what we know today, with Minnesota and possibly Maine having similar potential.


I guess you never say never, but right now I think it'd be tough sledding in Pennsylvania. Obama isn't hugely popular, but the Republican governor (Corbett) is polling much, much worse. Link.

(The top five voter concerns in the poll were, in order: Create new jobs, improve the economy, improve public schools, protect the environment, and increase spending on roads/highways/bridges. I think Team Blue has the edge in all five areas, and I can only really see Team Red making themselves competitive on the first two.)
   1491. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: February 14, 2014 at 12:24 PM (#4656859)
This is wishcasting. This idea, that Obama had some sort of magic voter turnout mojo that wouldn't map to the party in general, was undermined severely in 2012.


Actually this is wishcasting, blacks voted at the highest rate of any racial group in 2008 and 2012, and dropped back to normal in 2010- indicating that much if not all of the surge in black voting isn't gong to carry over.

The increase in hispanic voting otoh? Among dem groups they don't even particularly like Obama, but their vote share is being driven by 2 things: demographic increase and the repelling force being given off by the GOP.
   1492. Bitter Mouse Posted: February 14, 2014 at 12:25 PM (#4656861)
GF you keep ignoring the point. Starting wars is a terrible idea. It is an indicator of problems, and yet you see it as a sign of ascendancy. Do you not see the conflict there?

Because you can't predict the future, because no one can, building empires is dangerous and ultimately stupid in the modern world. As I said up thread the entire military history of the 20th century is the tale of empires failing. It is not possible to build a military empire any more. Period.

This means being the aggressor in a war is a terrible idea. And yet you cling to the very outmoded idea that ascendancy is linked to being a warlike aggressive empire builder. It is just dumb and shows an inability to learn from over a century of data. How many more decades of empire builders failures do you need?
   1493. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: February 14, 2014 at 12:25 PM (#4656862)
I hope you're deliberately misrepresenting the concept, because the alternative is depressing.


Well, I'm still mocking you and your apparently belief that human social and sexual interaction can be reduced to a "market," so I guess yes?
   1494. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: February 14, 2014 at 12:29 PM (#4656865)
Speaking of which, what's happened to No-No-Na ... Nieporent?


He's made a series of posts over at LGM the last 2 days- they don't actually debate him, he posts something, and they insult him and fling ad hominens (basically eh'
s regarded as a troll), oddly enough I think he prefers that to being in a debate, it's very easy to declare yourself the winner and decry your opponents as having no real responses.
   1495. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: February 14, 2014 at 12:35 PM (#4656870)
He's made a series of posts over at LGM the last 2 days

That would be over at "Lawyers, Guns, and Money", I presume.
   1496. Bitter Mouse Posted: February 14, 2014 at 12:35 PM (#4656871)
Starting wars when there's a mighty empire around who can and will beat your ass if you cause trouble is indeed a poor idea.


The lovely part of what you suggest, taken to the ultimate, is that by your logic there can only ever be one ascendant culture at a time, and every one else must be in decline. Because hey the only way to be on the way up is to start wars, and if you can't win, if you are not the biggest bully on the block then you can't play the game.

It is ridiculous to think only one nation can be ascending at a time, or to be generous maybe a couple can. But that is ridiculous. Most of the nations in the world are the best off they have ever been. And according to you they must have gotten there by descending. Just dumb.
   1497. spike Posted: February 14, 2014 at 12:36 PM (#4656873)
Actually this is wishcasting, blacks voted at the highest rate of any racial group in 2008 and 2012, and dropped back to normal in 2010- indicating that much if not all of the surge in black voting isn't gong to carry over.

Doesn't every group vote more heavily in presidential v non presidential elections? Seems like the real data point will be a white Democratic candidate in 2016. The idea that black voting would return to historical norms was one of the linchpins of GOP strategy in 2012 and that sorta didn't work out.
   1498. The Good Face Posted: February 14, 2014 at 12:39 PM (#4656874)
GF you keep ignoring the point. Starting wars is a terrible idea. It is an indicator of problems, and yet you see it as a sign of ascendancy. Do you not see the conflict there?


Why? Because you said so? It's not a belief borne out in history.

Because you can't predict the future, because no one can, building empires is dangerous and ultimately stupid in the modern world. As I said up thread the entire military history of the 20th century is the tale of empires failing. It is not possible to build a military empire any more. Period.


The US built a military (and cultural/financial) empire in the 20th century, and vigorously defended it from all comers. What will happen when USG is unable or unwilling to fill that role? All empires decline eventually...

This means being the aggressor in a war is a terrible idea. And yet you cling to the very outmoded idea that ascendancy is linked to being a warlike aggressive empire builder. It is just dumb and shows an inability to learn from over a century of data. How many more decades of empire builders failures do you need?


This argument is both ahistorical and factually wrong. You're looking at a tiny slice of human history where a mighty empire dominated the world and proclaiming that empire building is impossible and stupid.

Well, I'm still mocking you and your apparently belief that human social and sexual interaction can be reduced to a "market," so I guess yes?


Well, I'm delighted watching you defend the proposition that a fat, bald, unemployed neckbeard living in his mother's basement has the same chance of scoring a supermodel as Leonardo DiCaprio, so I guess we've created an efficient market where you're happy making insane arguments and I'm happy pointing out how crazy you are.
   1499. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: February 14, 2014 at 12:39 PM (#4656875)
Doesn't every group vote more heavily in presidential v non presidential elections?


Yes. The only vote that stays involved in midterms are conservative old white people. Most people, specifically Democratic voters, treat voting like the Olympics or the World Cup.
   1500. Len Lansford, Carney Barker Posted: February 14, 2014 at 12:44 PM (#4656879)
#1485: 'Neo-Reactionaries', i.e. 'I Can't Believe Its Not Fascism!'
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