Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo
You are here > Home > Baseball Newsstand > Baseball Primer Newsblog > Discussion
Baseball Primer Newsblog
— The Best News Links from the Baseball Newsstand

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

Reader Comments and Retorts

Go to end of page

Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

Page 18 of 36 pages ‹ First  < 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 >  Last ›
   1701. OCF Posted: February 19, 2014 at 02:38 AM (#4658851)
So with all the talk above about empires, and their growth and decline: what's going to happen to Ukraine and is there a way forward from where they are?

The poles of the argument seem to be, on the one side: Ukraine is a central and vital part of the Russian Empire, and its fate is bound up with the fate of Russia. As such, it should accept Russian domination and direction. On the other hand: Ukraine is a free nation, and the Ukrainian people answer to no one but themselves - but as Europeans, there are many opportunities to be pursued to their west.

One sideshow to this: Crimea. The best way I can put it is that it makes about as much sense to have Crimea be a part of Ukraine as it would be to have Alaska be a part of Canada. If the westernizing "independent Ukraine" side were to gain the upper hand, it would make sense for them to cut Crimea loose - declare it independent, withdraw the Ukrainian government, and don't stand in their way if they wanted to be Russian. But Crimea is only about 2 million people in a country of over 40 million; by itself, it would only tip the demographic balance in the rest of Ukraine by a couple of percentage points.

The ethnic markers that help fuel the struggle might include religion - a Roman Catholic west versus a Russian Orthodox east - except that neither side seems to be all that religious. But language is certainly a marker, Ukrainian versus Russian. Ordinarily, I would think that re-emphasizing a single-country smaller-population language over a neighboring larger-population language is a bad move, economically. But as "small" languages go, Ukrainian has a rather big population (bigger than several Scandinavian languages added together). And Russian isn't necessarily looking like the great commercial language of opportunity - there's probably more future in German, French, or English (none of which are all that closely related to Ukrainian).
   1702. BrianBrianson Posted: February 19, 2014 at 05:24 AM (#4658857)
Population growth might be slowing down but humans are taking more and more of the planets resources, leaving less and less for the other species.


As long as we're willing to eat those species, they do exceedingly well. Cows, Pigs, Chicken, Goats, Sheep, Rice, Corn, Wheat, Tomatoes, Potatoes, Bell Peppers, etc. are ####### everywhere. If you want to save the seals, you're going to have to start eating their still warms hearts. As a bonus, this makes you popular with Canadians.
   1703. Bitter Mouse Posted: February 19, 2014 at 09:28 AM (#4658877)
Population growth might be slowing down but humans are taking more and more of the planets resources, leaving less and less for the other species.


Yup. Population decrease (of humans) would be a good thing. That and increasing technology are our (Earths) only real hope of keeping together a good enough ecosystem long term. Basically looking at our ecosystem is depressing as hell, but kind of important.
   1704. formerly dp Posted: February 19, 2014 at 10:34 AM (#4658907)
   1705. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: February 19, 2014 at 10:53 AM (#4658918)
Population growth might be slowing down but humans are taking more and more of the planets resources, leaving less and less for the other species.


That is true. But it's not breeding that's driving the destruction of the ecosystem.
   1706. The Good Face Posted: February 19, 2014 at 11:01 AM (#4658922)
No they don't, giving women a measure of political and social rights decreases fertility,


I'd generally agree with that. Educating females in particular seems to be one of the biggest factors in reducing fertility, for several reasons.

1. Often the education is explicitly anti-procreation. "Don't have a kid before you get a graduate degree or you'll ruin your life/career!" or "You don't want to be 'just' a housewife, do you?".

2. Education awakens women to other possibilities than being a wife & mother.

3. Education increases women's status vis a vis that of men, and women usually don't like to procreate with men they perceive as being lower status than them. The NYT is fond of running articles about this phenomenon; the dating "plight" of the educated, successful female. A woman of my acquaintance is a corporate executive, very well educated, very successful, physically attractive. And for as long as I've known her (decades) she's been single and looking for a man to marry. But she would always say that she refused to be with anybody who was dumber than her, poorer than her, or fatter than her. Her problem was that men who fit her criteria were usually looking for women much younger than her. She's now in her late 50s, is still single, and never had children.
   1707. spike Posted: February 19, 2014 at 11:03 AM (#4658924)
In honor of black history month, Georgia makes a bold move....

That's nothing - you should see the new flag design
   1708. DJS and the Infinite Sadness Posted: February 19, 2014 at 11:53 AM (#4658946)
Lviv has apparently declared political autonomy from the Ukrainian government, so it looks like we've taken another step forward towards a full-blown civil war.
   1709. zonk Posted: February 19, 2014 at 12:08 PM (#4658957)
Lviv has apparently declared political autonomy from the Ukrainian government, so it looks like we've taken another step forward towards a full-blown civil war.


That's a mess without a fix, I think... from what I've read, it seems like you've got the classic problem of 1/3 of the country leaning Russia, another 1/3 leaning Ukraine/EU, and another 1/3 that either have no real allegiance, are fine with shifting their allegiance, or really don't care.

My recollection is that Ukraine was one of the areas where the Wehrmacht was originally greeted as liberators in many areas during WWII - a big chunk of Ukraine, for centuries, was never really happy being part of the greater Russia... and that long-held feeling of being suppressed was only heightened under the Soviets (no doubt, the Stalin-era famine still lingers in plenty of families, as well it should).

If the pro-EU side ends up dominant, I would think we'll just see the same unrest - just with folks switching sides on the barriers and law.
   1710. OCF Posted: February 19, 2014 at 12:11 PM (#4658959)
Lviv is on the western side of the country. In fact, I tend to see some things through the history of mathematics, and tend to think of the city as Lwow, Poland (which was a temporary state of affairs). But the goals of the people behind an autonomous Lviv can't be a smallish rump breakaway state - they presumably want an "independent Ukraine" and that includes Kiev and the great majority of the current country.
   1711. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: February 19, 2014 at 12:41 PM (#4658975)
In honor of black history month, Georgia makes a bold move....


Man, if your dad was a Confederate veteran, you're probably waaaaaaay too old to be driving. Or to be breathing, for that matter. One of my great-grandfathers fought in the Alabama Infantry, & if his son -- my grandfather -- were still alive, he'd be something like 130 ... too old for even the NY AL team to sign.
   1712. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: February 19, 2014 at 12:57 PM (#4658980)
tend to think of the city as Lwow, Poland (which was a temporary state of affairs).


Well, in the sense that everything before 1945 was 'temporary'.

But the goals of the people behind an autonomous Lviv can't be a smallish rump breakaway state - they presumably want an "independent Ukraine" and that includes Kiev and the great majority of the current country.


Western Ukraine has been independent before.
   1713. GregD Posted: February 19, 2014 at 01:11 PM (#4658990)
But she would always say that she refused to be with anybody who was dumber than her, poorer than her, or fatter than her.
As Mr. Loaf said, two out of three ain't bad.

Seriously, I don't think it is very sensible or very strategic for anyone to think their partner must be their equivalent or superior in every area. That in fact seems terrible to me. The beauty of a relationship is learning what other strengths and interests look like. Leaving aside a freeloader--which she should be understandably wary of--what would be so bad about, say, an accomplished, athletic but economically lower-status literature professor (other than the neck beards, of course) or a rich, smart, chubby entrepreneur? Or any one of a thousand combinations?

You want your partner to have attributes that you admire and respect, but to me it always seemed better to think those attributes and their combination would be different than my own, not that my wife would be--ugh--me powered up 10% or something. That would terrible.
   1714. Bitter Mouse Posted: February 19, 2014 at 01:19 PM (#4658999)
Seriously, I don't think it is very sensible or very strategic for anyone to think their partner must be their equivalent or superior in every area.


It is really dumb in fact. People are not well measured by linear metrics, and doing so is really shallow and counter productive. Plus if both sides use that method, then unless both sides are equal in everything (as judged by each side) then they will never connect. There would be many unhappy singles if everyone used that method.

Of course my ideal woman is better than me in everything (except taste in a partner, that flaw they should have), but ideal is for fantasy and not reality.
   1715. BDC Posted: February 19, 2014 at 01:28 PM (#4659008)
dumber than her, poorer than her, or fatter than her

I am so lucky that La Dernière doesn't have these criteria :-D
   1716. Jim Wisinski Posted: February 19, 2014 at 01:30 PM (#4659010)
not that my wife would be--ugh--me powered up 10% or something. That would terrible.


Especially since that means that not only would she have a dick it would be 10% bigger than yours
   1717. BrianBrianson Posted: February 19, 2014 at 01:59 PM (#4659031)
No they don't, giving women a measure of political and social rights decreases fertility,


The two possibilities aren't mutually exclusive. Reproductive rates went down with decreasing infant mortality and increasing social wealthiness well before women really had any social or political control over their fertility. A mess of kids is the best retirement plan in a context where you're broke and there's no state pension. Goes for men and women roughly the same. Similarly, you can satiate your reproductive desire with fewer kids if you're confident they'll survive to adulthood. Jeez, women are just people, they act like other people, just marginally different around the edges, but the first order is pretty good.

The desire of men to have kids/the number of kids men desire has been going down in lockstep with the desire of women to have kids/the number of kids women desire. Gender-specific reasons aren't particularly important, it's just playing the From Mars/From Venus game you should've grown out of when you were six.
   1718. The Good Face Posted: February 19, 2014 at 02:12 PM (#4659045)
Seriously, I don't think it is very sensible or very strategic for anyone to think their partner must be their equivalent or superior in every area. That in fact seems terrible to me. The beauty of a relationship is learning what other strengths and interests look like. Leaving aside a freeloader--which she should be understandably wary of--what would be so bad about, say, an accomplished, athletic but economically lower-status literature professor (other than the neck beards, of course) or a rich, smart, chubby entrepreneur? Or any one of a thousand combinations?


It pretty clearly didn't work out great for her, but judging by the sob stories in the media, this is apparently a real problem; at least in the coastal elite corridors.

   1719. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: February 19, 2014 at 02:13 PM (#4659047)
   1720. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 19, 2014 at 02:30 PM (#4659056)
The CBO says raising the minimum wage to $10.10 would give raises to 16.5 million Americans and lift 900,000 out of poverty, but would cost 500,000 jobs.

Is it worth it? I'm a bit dubious about the job loss claims, but even assuming its true, I think it may be worth it.
   1721. OCF Posted: February 19, 2014 at 02:32 PM (#4659058)
That map does support the idea of Ukraine cutting Crimea loose. But it also shows that the problem is much bigger than that. Of course "speaks Russian" isn't necessarily synonymous with "loyal to the Russian Empire."
   1722. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: February 19, 2014 at 02:32 PM (#4659059)
Are those 500K jobs that are being cut, or 500K jobs that aren't being "created" into the future. If the former, it's a conversation. If it's the latter, it's obvoiusly a win for "ten ten."
   1723. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: February 19, 2014 at 02:37 PM (#4659060)
That map does support the idea of Ukraine cutting Crimea loose. But it also shows that the problem is much bigger than that. Of course "speaks Russian" isn't necessarily synonymous with "loyal to the Russian Empire."


The caveat about language stipulated, I think we can use ethnolinguistics as a stand-in for "loyalty," if not a 100% map. I think the obvious "nation state" solution would be to cut the Crimea loose, but geopolitically Ukraine will be reticent to lose all nationally controlled access to warm water ports on the Black Sea. (This would be what Russia and Putin want from the Russian loyalists; it is also what he wants with the "rogue" sectors of Georgia (just east of Sochi, in fact.)
   1724. Greg K Posted: February 19, 2014 at 02:41 PM (#4659068)
You want your partner to have attributes that you admire and respect, but to me it always seemed better to think those attributes and their combination would be different than my own, not that my wife would be--ugh--me powered up 10% or something. That would terrible.

Simon Amstell says he finally accepted that he was a narcissist when he realized that what he wanted in a partner was himself, but better. Unfortunately, he found the difficult part is finding someone who wants themselves, but much worse.
   1725. OCF Posted: February 19, 2014 at 02:45 PM (#4659073)
Ukraine is also home to a lovely large swath of mostly uninhabited land that's going to be operated as a restricted-access nature preserve for the next two or three CS-137 half-lives.
   1726. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 19, 2014 at 02:49 PM (#4659075)
Are those 500K jobs that are being cut, or 500K jobs that aren't being "created" into the future.


Both. And they offer a range of probabilities:

in CBO’s assessment, there is about a two-thirds chance that the effect would be in the range between a very slight reduction in employment and a reduction in employment of 1.0 million workers.
   1727. Bitter Mouse Posted: February 19, 2014 at 03:00 PM (#4659091)
I think the obvious "nation state" solution would be to cut the Crimea loose, but geopolitically Ukraine will be reticent to lose all nationally controlled access to warm water ports on the Black Sea.


I totally get why nations think this way, but I think avoiding war (which will drag out, cost money and lives and leave behind a long lived trail of bitterness and future repercussions) is the cost effective strategy. Smaller national units that are linked together by economic ties seems to be the way things go. You can fight it and have the cost of war, or you can peacefully allow segmentation and lose bits of territory.

Of course the real tricky part is like here, parts of the "holy land" and the area between India and Pakistan (and other places) where you have a mixed bag and no matter what the solution someone will be unhappy. Still I think nations (post 1900) are much better off avoiding war even if it means losing territory (going to war is no guarantee to avoid losing the territory anyway).

naturally there are exceptions, but not as many as one would think.
   1728. Mefisto Posted: February 19, 2014 at 03:41 PM (#4659142)
Are those 500K jobs that are being cut, or 500K jobs that aren't being "created" into the future. If the former, it's a conversation. If it's the latter, it's obvoiusly a win for "ten ten."


According to the analysis here, it's the latter:

"The CBO projections imply that 500,000 fewer people will be employed at low wage jobs. It did not say that 500,000 people would lose their jobs. This is an important distinction. These jobs tend to be high turnover jobs, with workers often staying at their jobs for just a few months. While there will undoubtedly be cases where companies go out of business due to the minimum wage hike (many small businesses are always at the edge, so anything can push them over) the vast majority of the lost jobs are likely to be in a situations where businesses don't replace a person who leaves or don't hire additional workers as quickly in response to an uptick in demand.

This means that we are not going to see 500,000 designated losers who are permanently unemployed as a result of this policy. Rather, the projection implies that workers are likely to find it more difficult to find new jobs when they leave an old job or when they first enter the workforce."
   1729. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: February 19, 2014 at 03:52 PM (#4659153)
I totally get why nations think this way, but I think avoiding war (which will drag out, cost money and lives and leave behind a long lived trail of bitterness and future repercussions) is the cost effective strategy. Smaller national units that are linked together by economic ties seems to be the way things go.


So next time a Texan pol says they should secede you're on board as supporting that.
   1730. The Yankee Clapper Posted: February 19, 2014 at 04:04 PM (#4659165)
From the National Journal, and previously demonstrated by this thread & its predecessors - Democrats In Denial Over ObamaCare:
For nearly three years, the Democratic approach to the political unpopularity of President Obama's health care law was denial. Deny it played a significant role in the party's historic midterm losses in 2010. Insist, in the face of contradictory evidence, that as more voters experienced the benefits of the law, the more popular it would become. Deny it would be a major issue at all in the 2014 midterms.

The latest version of the argument points to polling showing that voters don't want to repeal the law but prefer to see it fixed—perfectly in line with the newly adopted positions of vulnerable Democratic officeholders. In a memo leaked to the press, Democrats argue they can neutralize their health care vulnerabilities by promoting their desire to fix the law and blaming Republicans for intransigence in seeking a full repeal. But dig a bit deeper past the talking points, and it's unclear what they want to fix—beyond their broken poll numbers.

Indeed, in a sign that Democrats are stuck in neutral on their Obamacare messaging, the "news" from the memo is months old. The strategy devised by the sharpest party operatives has already been in effect in numerous ads across the country and was promoted by the party's top strategists two months ago. In those targeted races, public polling has shown Democratic standing worsening where the on-air Obamacare debate has already begun. (See: Landrieu, Mary; Hagan, Kay.)
. . .
For a crystal-clear sign of the political woes Obamacare faces, look no further than the ad the Democratic House Majority PAC is airing in a majority-Hispanic south Florida district that Obama carried twice. The seat, represented by freshman Rep. Joe Garcia, is one of a small handful in the country that gave Obama a larger share of the vote in 2012 than in 2008—he won 53 percent last election. It's also one of the media markets where the Obama presidential campaign spent millions of dollars in Spanish-language ads praising the law in unequivocal terms.

This new ad, as part of the damage control, contains no such accolades. It promotes how Garcia "took the White House to task," referencing its "disastrous" health care website. Like its counterparts, it argues Garcia wants to fix the broken law. Democratic strategists said that outside of the most liberal precincts, they can't persuade people of the law's benefits until they acknowledge its problems first.

The Garcia ad shows that even in an Obamacare stronghold, where support for the law ran well ahead of its national numbers, dissatisfaction is creeping up. Indeed, The New York Times reported that uninsured Hispanics were signing up for the law at "strikingly" lower rates than anticipated. One Democratic operative involved in the race told me it was much harder to find nonpartisan Obamacare advocates to cheerlead for the law in South Florida this year—compared with 2012.

Read the whole thing, unless you're in denial.


   1731. Bitter Mouse Posted: February 19, 2014 at 04:13 PM (#4659177)
So next time a Texan pol says they should secede you're on board as supporting that.


What are my options? I suspect a derisive laugh, followed by a "sit down and shut up" will put them in their place. If there is a legitimate desire on a large enough percent of the populace that they will go to war for their "freedom", then sure rather than go to war with Texas they can go away peacefully (which, by the way is not the same as supporting them).

Fighting a war to keep a part of the country that REALLY does not want to stay is a bit like holding your wife at gunpoint to stop her from divorcing you; it is ultimately self destructive.

But yeah the yahoos that "threaten to secede" periodically, they can sit down and shut up, because they are losers.
   1732. Bitter Mouse Posted: February 19, 2014 at 04:17 PM (#4659183)
Read the whole thing, unless you're in denial.



Once again it does not matter. It is the law and that is not changing. And some laws are worth taking a political hit, and this is one such. Besides every poll I have seen shows people really tired of constant repeal talk and much prefer to fix the law (or at least talk about something else). And Team Blue is OK with that, so let's talk fixes.

But hey if repeal ACA does not do the trick I am sure Benghazi! will.
   1733. Bitter Mouse Posted: February 19, 2014 at 04:19 PM (#4659184)
So next time a Texan pol says they should secede you're on board as supporting that.


On second thought ... thinking about this from a partisan standpoint, the GOP is well and truly screwed if Texas goes away. Do they have any hope in the electoral college without Texas?

Hmmmm, maybe I am coming around on the idea.
   1734. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 19, 2014 at 04:19 PM (#4659185)
So, is your theory that if Obama had never pushed ACA, the Dems would have done well in 2010 and 2014?
   1735. The Yankee Clapper Posted: February 19, 2014 at 04:33 PM (#4659198)
Read the whole thing, unless you're in denial.

Once again it does not matter. It is the law and that is not changing. And some laws are worth taking a political hit, and this is one such. Besides every poll I have seen shows people really tired of constant repeal talk and much prefer to fix the law (or at least talk about something else). And Team Blue is OK with that, so let's talk fixes.

That pretty much makes the point, no? Harder to get much deeper denial than the Varmint Caucus.

A GOP win in 2016 almost certainly leads to repeal & replacement of ObamaCare. Allowing people to buy non-ObamaCare policies -- the kind they actually prefer in many cases -- seems likely to get Democratic votes in Congress if they take it on the chin again. Unlike some here, many Congressional Democrats aren't happy lemmings eager to sacrifice themselves for unpopular policies, although those in safe districts can probably do so, but the trade-off is always being in the minority.
   1736. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 19, 2014 at 04:38 PM (#4659204)
A GOP win in 2016 almost certainly leads to repeal & replacement of ObamaCare.


How do they get around cloture rules in the Senate? I can't imagine they'd get 60 votes. At best, they would defund the whole thing, which would kill the program for now, but the legal apparatus would still be in place, no?
   1737. spike Posted: February 19, 2014 at 04:46 PM (#4659212)
The idea that in another two years Americans will support ANOTHER massive upheaval in the healthcare market is inconceivable (and one to reduce access at that!). ACA is here to stay.

//and there's that whole pesky tying the bell on the cat part first that presupposes a Republican win in 2016.
   1738. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 19, 2014 at 04:52 PM (#4659217)
I suppose the new Senate majority could vote on new Senate rules that scrap the filibuster entirely. But you'd have to get EVERY Republican on board with that, and I can see a few saying that is a bridge too far. And it hurts the GOP in the long-term as they will probably turn the Senate back to the Dems in 2016, with the precedent of no filibuster set.

And ultimately, I think the GOP wants to keep Obamacare around. If the issue were to get resolved, even temporarily, it takes away (a) some pretty popular provisions that people like; and (b) an issue for them to campaign against. I mean, the GOP "alternative" really is Obamacare with no mandate, with the costs pushed onto consumers.
   1739. Heinie Mantush (Krusty) Posted: February 19, 2014 at 04:56 PM (#4659220)
What strikes me as particularly odd about the ACA talk* is that the ACA itself lends itself to a patch we can call ACA 2.0, and that "patch" (or kludge on a kludge, if we're to be honest) should make for an easy campaign plank for either party.

There's a pretty technocratic answer to what ails the ACA, and I honestly expect that to look something like Candidate Clinton's ACA 2.0 proposal (a single government health program that's available as a public option, a Ryan-Wyden-esque extension of the ACA to the over-65 market, allowing Medicaid dollars to be used towards private insurance, a universal catastrophic safety net [to encourage rational actors], true 50-state plans instead of BCBS' entrant into each market, etc.) but I have no idea of what the GOP response will look like unless the Capretta-inspired plan actually becomes the official GOP position. Otherwise, tort reform and HSA's?

*It's *great* how Democrats call it the ACA and the GOP calls it Obamacare. You can always tell when an issue's hot button when there are different words for the same thing.

   1740. The Yankee Clapper Posted: February 19, 2014 at 05:02 PM (#4659223)
How do they get around cloture rules in the Senate? I can't imagine they'd get 60 votes. At best, they would defund the whole thing, which would kill the program for now, but the legal apparatus would still be in place, no?

If ObamaCare costs Democrats control of the Senate in 2014, and contributes to a 2016 GOP Presidential win, I don't think it's very likely that the remaining Democratic Senators (and candidates) in competitive states will filibuster ObamaCare repeal, particularly if it is part of a reform and replace effort. Although it is also likely that since Senate Democrats changed the filibuster rules by majority vote in ways favorable to them, a Republican Senate majority might also make changes to the filibuster in ways favorable to the GOP by a similar majority vote.
   1741. The Yankee Clapper Posted: February 19, 2014 at 05:07 PM (#4659225)
What strikes me as particularly odd about the ACA talk* is that the ACA itself lends itself to a patch we can call ACA 2.0 . . .

This echoes #1732, but there are no Obama Administration legislative proposals to "fix" ObamaCare, and Senate Democrats have been unwilling to allow a second-bite at healthcare legislation, too. That makes it somewhat difficult to run on the "Fix It" platform.
   1742. Lassus Posted: February 19, 2014 at 05:07 PM (#4659227)
...but I have no idea of what the GOP response will look like unless the Capretta-inspired plan actually becomes the official GOP position.

Clapper? As the most-frequent ACAmacare poster, do you have thoughts on this?
   1743. Jim Wisinski Posted: February 19, 2014 at 05:10 PM (#4659230)
Until I saw that map linked to earlier I thought Ukraine extended much further north than that....which means by knowledge of Ukraine's territory is apparently entirely based on playing Risk. I really ought to pay more attention to these things.
   1744. zonk Posted: February 19, 2014 at 05:11 PM (#4659231)
It's cute that Clapper even bothers with the "replace"... given that the GOP has no such plan -- the rough draft of one that a few Senators bothered to submit was then gutted before it was even 24 hours old.

I have this vague recollection of past/fantasy life where someone suddenly tries to start a chorus of two legs bad, FOUR LEGS GOOD!
   1745. zonk Posted: February 19, 2014 at 05:15 PM (#4659233)
Until I saw that map linked to earlier I thought Ukraine extended much further north than that....which means by knowledge of Ukraine's territory is apparently entirely based on playing Risk. I really ought to pay more attention to these things.


This is the advantage of playing a steady diet of Paradox titles... though... you do occasionally end up getting skewed ideas of where certain cities lie when they're used as territorial designators - but national and regional borders? Spot on...
   1746. zonk Posted: February 19, 2014 at 05:16 PM (#4659234)
Repeal of the ACA so popular that the Senate Minority leader now has supporting PAC ads that don't even mention "repeal" -- but borrow the "fix" mantra!
   1747. Bitter Mouse Posted: February 19, 2014 at 05:21 PM (#4659239)
A GOP win in 2016 almost certainly leads to repeal & replacement of ObamaCare.


If in 2016 the GOP has the House, Senate, and Presidency then they get to uproot whatever they want obviously. I don't think that will happen at all and especially don't think it will be because of ACA. But if it happens it happens. Elections have consequences.

ACA is a good law. It is helping people. It is worth the political consequences to enact it. It is the right thing to do. That is not denial, that is something called principles. Just like supporting the various civil rights laws was the right thing to do in the 1960s, even though it cost Team Blue dearly in the following decades. Government is about doing things when elected.

I happen to think that by 2016 those principles will not be a huge problem for the Democrats. You can call it denial if you want, but you also thought Benghazi! was a huge deal, and the IRS scandal was a huge deal. Bigger than Watergate and about to sink the Obama administration at any minute many people thought (I think you were in that group, but if not I apologize).

When HRC is President in 2017, I really doubt she is going to be getting rid of ACA, and I also doubt she will have to deal with a GOP senate. Have you seen the 2016 Senate picture? It is brutal for the GOP, even worse than 2014 is for Team Blue.
   1748. spike Posted: February 19, 2014 at 05:25 PM (#4659242)
Given the success of Kynect (Kentucky ACA exchange) it makes it extremely problematic for McConnell to throw around the word repeal in a tough general election atmosphere.
   1749. Bitter Mouse Posted: February 19, 2014 at 05:28 PM (#4659243)
The idea that in another two years Americans will support ANOTHER massive upheaval in the healthcare market is inconceivable (and one to reduce access at that!). ACA is here to stay.


All the popular parts of ACA are here to stay, like the ban on pre-existing conditions and such. And all the parts required to make the law work once the popular parts are kept will also need to be kept. And hey look that is almost all of it.
   1750. The Yankee Clapper Posted: February 19, 2014 at 05:30 PM (#4659245)
Clapper? As the most-frequent ACAmacare poster, do you have thoughts on this?

We might need to see how badly the rest of the ObamaCare rollout goes before the GOP coalesces behind a single alternative, but something like this might emerge. Any GOP proposal is likely to give consumers more choices on policy options, allow cross-state purchases, make any subsidizes more graduated so there wouldn't be such stark incentives to curtail work or not work at all, allow tax breaks to equalize those who don't get their insurance through their employer with those who do, and include some tort reform.
   1751. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 19, 2014 at 05:31 PM (#4659246)
If ObamaCare costs Democrats control of the Senate in 2014, and contributes to a 2016 GOP Presidential win, I don't think it's very likely that the remaining Democratic Senators (and candidates) in competitive states will filibuster ObamaCare repeal, particularly if it is part of a reform and replace effort. Although it is also likely that since Senate Democrats changed the filibuster rules by majority vote in ways favorable to them, a Republican Senate majority might also make changes to the filibuster in ways favorable to the GOP by a similar majority vote.



It only takes one to filibuster. The other Dems in competitive states merely need to vote against cloture. Seeing how the GOP has behaved, even on popular issues, do you really think Dems are going to feel the heat and work with the GOP? Or be punished for not working with them?

The GOP has shown a pretty effective blueprint and precedent for being in the minority. Be the party of no. Refuse to cooperate with the other party. To think the Dems are going to capitulate once they're in the minority is ridiculous. They're going to follow the blueprint Republicans have set.
   1752. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: February 19, 2014 at 05:31 PM (#4659247)
If ObamaCare costs Democrats control of the Senate in 2014, and contributes to a 2016 GOP Presidential win, I don't think it's very likely that the remaining Democratic Senators (and candidates) in competitive states will filibuster ObamaCare repeal, particularly if it is part of a reform and replace effort. Although it is also likely that since Senate Democrats changed the filibuster rules by majority vote in ways favorable to them, a Republican Senate majority might also make changes to the filibuster in ways favorable to the GOP by a similar majority vote.

This reminds me of the many Goldwater** and McGovern** and Romney supporters who on election eve were rubbing their hands in anticipation of imminent victory. I'm still waiting for a Republican candidate with even the slightest chance of winning a national election to come into the forefront while trying to walk the line between sanity and the Tea Party.

**And don't think there weren't plenty of both of them, even though they were on the wrong end of two of history's most lopsided defeats. Self-delusion is hardly a partisan phenomenon.
   1753. Bitter Mouse Posted: February 19, 2014 at 05:42 PM (#4659250)
on election eve were rubbing their hands in anticipation of imminent victory


I would make fun of YC for assuming not only the 2014 Senate control, but also 2016 Senate control AND President GOP Dude in 2016, but since I have already anointed HRC President in 2016 I am a bit limited in that regard :)
   1754. zonk Posted: February 19, 2014 at 05:46 PM (#4659254)
We might need to see how badly the rest of the ObamaCare rollout goes before the GOP coalesces behind a single alternative, but something like this might emerge. Any GOP proposal is likely to give consumers more choices on policy options, allow cross-state purchases, make any subsidizes more graduated so there wouldn't be such stark incentives to curtail work or not work at all, allow tax breaks to equalize those who don't get their insurance through their employer with those who do, and include some tort reform.


How would cross-state purchases work when say, Arizona insurance law and regulation differs significantly from California insurance law? How would the cross-state provider requirements be reconciled? Are you proposing federal minimum standards? If so - what of the ACA minimum standards do you think are too high?

You - and the GOP for that matter - cannot just keep tossing out "Cross-state purchases" without fundamentally addressing the fact that insurance and provider laws/regulations differ significantly from state to state... unless your plan basically involves a sparsely populated state like say, Wyoming, to become a haven for insurance scam artists who promise the moon in coverage across all 50 states, then fall back on a weak Wyoming insurance and provider schema to protect them from consumers...
   1755. spike Posted: February 19, 2014 at 06:00 PM (#4659263)
Romney supporters who on election eve were rubbing their hands in anticipation of imminent victory.

I still can't believe how many of them there were too. It seemed pretty clear by that point that at best it MIGHT be close and Mitt would have to really overperform in ALL of the close states for even that to happen.
   1756. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 19, 2014 at 06:12 PM (#4659275)
but since I have already anointed HRC President in 2016 I am a bit limited in that regard :)


Its funny the conservative "Free Beacon" has published "The Hillary Papers", which is based on a diary of a close friend of Hillary's that passed away, allegedly to portray her as ruthless. Every description of its I've read thus far makes her seem like a much better Presidential candidate than I previously thought. I mean, I kinda want a President that's gonna knock heads to get things done.

Hillary as President would be a goldmine for publishers. Just imagine how many books right-wing pundits would be able to produce!
   1757. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: February 19, 2014 at 06:13 PM (#4659276)
It only takes one to filibuster. The other Dems in competitive states merely need to vote against cloture. Seeing how the GOP has behaved, even on popular issues, do you really think Dems are going to feel the heat and work with the GOP? Or be punished for not working with them?

The GOP has shown a pretty effective blueprint and precedent for being in the minority.


If the GOP takes the Whitehouse, the House and the Senate in 2016 the Filibuster is dead (all of it, not just on judicial appointees), they are going to remove as many procedural levers currently avaialable to the minority party that they can.
   1758. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: February 19, 2014 at 06:23 PM (#4659284)
Romney supporters who on election eve were rubbing their hands in anticipation of imminent victory.

I still can't believe how many of them there were too.


I knew that some were in fact drinking their own koolaid, but yeah, it was kind of... the guy who really surprised me was Rove- you'd think that while he was saying one thing he always knew what the real deal was- but he didn't, he was actually honestly dumbfounded by what happened.

Dick Morris OTOH, I think knew that he had no idea going in what was gonna happen-so when his "predictions" blew up in his face, he just shrugged it off the way the guy playing Blackjack does when his hand hits 22, oops, next hand...

   1759. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 19, 2014 at 06:29 PM (#4659289)
Dems hope emails embarrass Scott Walker


Some 27,000 emails from a convicted former aide to Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker became public Wednesday, shedding light on a past probe of people in the Republican’s camp.

They include a message between aides that appears to suggest that Walker was involved with a secret email system used by staffers who “mixed county and campaign business,” according to an initial review by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. The newspaper called the email “the closest link yet” between the governor and the previously disclosed system....


The emails come from the computers of Walker’s former deputy chief of staff in the Milwaukee County executive’s office, Kelly Rindfleisch, according to the Journal Sentinel. Rindfleisch is appealing her 2012 conviction on a felony count of “misconduct in office” for doing political work in her official capacity, the Journal Sentinel reported. Five others also were charged.
   1760. The Yankee Clapper Posted: February 19, 2014 at 06:32 PM (#4659291)
You - and the GOP for that matter - cannot just keep tossing out "Cross-state purchases" without fundamentally addressing the fact that insurance and provider laws/regulations differ significantly from state to state...

Interstate commerce works for just about everything -- sounds a little desperate to say it can't work for the insurance market. You'd have to make some choices, but I suspect people could live with a wide variety of options. No one is going to be required to purchase insurance from an out-of-state provider.
   1761. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: February 19, 2014 at 06:46 PM (#4659298)
A GOP win in 2016 almost certainly leads to repeal & replacement of ObamaCare.


If ObamaCare costs Democrats control of the Senate in 2014, and contributes to a 2016 GOP Presidential win


etc, et al.

Barring a massive change in the political landscape or the unearthing of a superstar GOP pol who to date does not exist, the GOP will not win the Presidency in 2016. This is classic Clapper clapping. Take a mideterm election where the fundamentals are stacked for the GOP, attribute that to your pet policy issue ("Obamacare") rather than basic electoral math, then project your wishcasting forward into a general election two and a half years hence that has nothing whatsoever in common with the electoral fundamentals of the current midterm math.

(clap clap clapclapclap)

A little penicillin will clear that up, buddy.
   1762. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: February 19, 2014 at 06:47 PM (#4659299)
Interstate commerce works for just about everything -- sounds a little desperate to say it can't work for the insurance market.


It's not that it can't work, it's just that the current system has each individual state regulating the insurance products sold in their states- allowing "cross state purchases" would quite possible step on quite few more toes than Obamacare itself did- you have a lot of people- in industry and in state bureaucracies who have a more or less vested interest in not upsetting that apple cart- and the [behind the scenes] resistance will be fierce (far more fierce than it was against Obamacare)
   1763. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: February 19, 2014 at 06:49 PM (#4659301)
Barring a massive change in the political landscape or the unearthing of a superstar GOP pol who to date does not exist, the GOP will not win the Presidency in 2016.


It's February 2014, it's a bit too early to write off the GOP in 2016.
   1764. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: February 19, 2014 at 06:50 PM (#4659303)
Until I saw that map linked to earlier I thought Ukraine extended much further north than that....which means by knowledge of Ukraine's territory is apparently entirely based on playing Risk. I really ought to pay more attention to these things.


I recently worked with a (super hot) woman who immigrated from Ukraine. Over drinks after work one evening she made quite clear that it was not good manners to confuse Ukraine with Belarus. It's also considered gauche to refer to the country as The Ukraine these days.
   1765. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: February 19, 2014 at 06:53 PM (#4659305)
It's February 2014, it's a bit too early to write off the GOP in 2016.


As I said in the bit you quoted, "barring a massive change in the political landscape or the unearthing of a superstar GOP pol...." Conditions may change. As of right now, conditions are not such that they would elect a GOP president. Hell, if we had a general election for POTUS in 2014, the Dem candidate would win. the GOP is not currently configured to win national elections. Their great white hope just burned the #### out over traffic lanes on a bridge. At this point they're down to hoping the nation forgets who Jeb Bush's brother is, or doesn't look to hard at Rand Paul's positions on women.

The point stands. All of Clapper's noise and cackling is nothing more than reading the fundamentals as a proof of his pet policy position and then projecting that mistake forward into the future.
   1766. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: February 19, 2014 at 06:56 PM (#4659306)
Interstate commerce works for just about everything -- sounds a little desperate to say it can't work for the insurance market. You'd have to make some choices, but I suspect people could live with a wide variety of options. No one is going to be required to purchase insurance from an out-of-state provider.


Note the absolute lack of anything even resembling a detail in this little gem. He has no idea how anyone would make "cross-state insurance markets" work; he has no idea how to even begin to formulate a plan to do that. He just has a talking point about "cross-state" exchanges and he's running with it on full broadcast. Such is the job of a rote propagandist.
   1767. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: February 19, 2014 at 06:57 PM (#4659307)
I knew that some were in fact drinking their own koolaid, but yeah, it was kind of... the guy who really surprised me was Rove- you'd think that while he was saying one thing he always knew what the real deal was- but he didn't, he was actually honestly dumbfounded by what happened.


By the 2012 election the echo chamber on the right had become so closed of a system, and their surety that anything that did not comport to how they *wanted* the world to be was "liberal media bias," that it was easy to see the crash coming.
   1768. The Yankee Clapper Posted: February 19, 2014 at 07:01 PM (#4659311)
Hell, if we had a general election for POTUS in 2014, the Dem candidate would win.

Maybe not. Some of the polls that were so accurate in 2012, have Romney winning in 2013. So far, 2014 doesn't look any better for Obama.
   1769. Mefisto Posted: February 19, 2014 at 07:07 PM (#4659318)
Interstate commerce works for just about everything -- sounds a little desperate to say it can't work for the insurance market.


Actual interstate commerce -- meaning regulation by Congress -- probably would work. "Race to the bottom" not so much.
   1770. Publius Publicola Posted: February 19, 2014 at 07:08 PM (#4659319)
Some of the polls that were so accurate in 2012, have Romney winning in 2013.


You forget that if there were an election today, Romney would have to do some actual campaigning.

And Romney is to campaigning as Edsel Ford was to building cars.
   1771. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: February 19, 2014 at 07:11 PM (#4659322)
In February and March of 1980, Jimmy Carter led Ronald Reagan by as much as 60% to 31%, and held the lead all the way up through June / July. Not to mention that come 2016 you won't be able to be somebody with nobody.
   1772. greenback calls it soccer Posted: February 19, 2014 at 07:11 PM (#4659323)
you have a lot of people- in industry and in state bureaucracies who have a more or less vested interest in not upsetting that apple cart- and the [behind the scenes] resistance will be fierce (far more fierce than it was against Obamacare)

This is true for now, but the NAIC is misbehaving again. If that kind of cluelessness continues, then one of the primary obstacles to federal regulation is a non-issue.
   1773. Publius Publicola Posted: February 19, 2014 at 07:14 PM (#4659324)
Their great white hope just burned the #### out over traffic lanes on a bridge.


What about Mark Sanford? Isn't he set up for a comeback, Rickey? :)
   1774. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: February 19, 2014 at 07:38 PM (#4659333)
Maybe not. Some of the polls that were so accurate in 2012, have Romney winning in 2013. So far, 2014 doesn't look any better for Obama.


Yes, the guy that is doing his post-Lost The Biggest Election Of My Life And My Career Is Over swan song with a gauzy family oriented documentary is more popular today than he was when he was running on his actual platform and people took a hard look at what he was actually offering the country. In the meantime, the guy that is making the sausage isn't getting gauzy reviews on Netflix. Shocking.
   1775. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: February 19, 2014 at 07:39 PM (#4659335)
What about Mark Sanford? Isn't he set up for a comeback, Rickey?


I hear Rand Paul is talking up Monica Lewinsky. That's a solid ploy for the White House in 2016, I'm sure.
   1776. spike Posted: February 19, 2014 at 07:59 PM (#4659348)
Uh-oh....

Volkswagen’s top labor representative threatened today to try to block further investments by the German carmaker in the U.S. South if its workers there are not unionized, Reuters reported today.

“I can imagine fairly well that another VW factory in the United States, provided that one more should still be set up there, does not necessarily have to be assigned to the South again,” said Bernd Osterloh, a member of VW’s powerful supervisory board and head of VW’s works council.


If that next VW plant goes to Mexico after all of Corker's grandstanding... well schadenfreude for me, but a blow to the economic fortunes of Tennessee.
   1777. zonk Posted: February 19, 2014 at 08:08 PM (#4659349)
I love the old "health insurance is just like an oil change or twinkie!"

So riddle me this, Clapper...

Car insurance is actually a much simpler and easier proposition - it's easier to understand, the issues around its applicability are much simpler, and even the coverage differences from state to state generally come down to liability minimums.

Yet - you can't buy car insurance across state lines... your carrier has to be licensed to offer policies to citizens of a given state.

Why don't we try something simpler first and federally mandate the inapplicability of state automobile insurance and let California Bob buy a car insurance policy from South Carolina Home & Auto?
   1778. The Yankee Clapper Posted: February 19, 2014 at 08:20 PM (#4659357)
Volkswagen’s top labor representative threatened today to try to block further investments by the German carmaker in the U.S. South if its workers there are not unionized, Reuters reported today.

No respect for workers voicing their own opinion, I see. Much like their UAW counterparts.
   1779. Lassus Posted: February 19, 2014 at 08:26 PM (#4659364)
No respect for workers voicing their own opinion, I see. Much like their UAW counterparts.

The workers weren't fired, John Sayles, but nice try.
   1780. Jim Wisinski Posted: February 19, 2014 at 08:45 PM (#4659375)
No respect for workers voicing their own opinion, I see. Much like their UAW counterparts.


Yet you're ok with politicians using threats with no proof behind them in an attempt to convince workers not to unionize. Sounds like they aren't respecting the right of workers to voice their own opinion either or else they would have shut up and let them decide the issue on its own merits.
   1781. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: February 19, 2014 at 09:21 PM (#4659385)
No respect for workers voicing their own opinion, I see.


No respect for job creators and capitol voicing their opinions, I see.

The UAW tried to organize labor in the VW plant in TN.

VW supported the attempt to organize labor at their plant in TN.

The TN GOP agitated and scare-mongered against the organization of the labor at the VW plant in TN.

The workers at the VW plant in TN voted down the union.

VW's labor partners overseas pointed out that there may be negative consequences to that no vote; namely that future plants may be built in territories less hostile to organized labor.

Everything here seems to be in line. How is the last bullet problematic to you? It's just consequences of decisions.
   1782. bobm Posted: February 19, 2014 at 09:24 PM (#4659386)
I recently worked with a (super hot) woman who immigrated from Ukraine. Over drinks after work one evening she made quite clear that it was not good manners to confuse Ukraine with Belarus. It's also considered gauche to refer to the country as The Ukraine these days.

Maybe she was just disappointed you were from the other Georgia. :-)
   1783. The Yankee Clapper Posted: February 19, 2014 at 09:29 PM (#4659389)
Yet you're ok with politicians using threats with no proof behind them in an attempt to convince workers not to unionize. Sounds like they aren't respecting the right of workers to voice their own opinion either or else they would have shut up and let them decide the issue on its own merits.

Take a look at who wants to a weaken worker's right to a secret ballot in unionization elections. Hint: Not Me.
   1784. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: February 19, 2014 at 09:35 PM (#4659394)
Take a look at who wants to a weaken worker's right to a secret ballot in unionization elections.


In Tennessee, workers have no rights. The south is full of "right to work" states which means "you have no rights, now get to work."
   1785. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: February 19, 2014 at 09:36 PM (#4659396)
Maybe she was just disappointed you were from the other Georgia.


She was not the first woman I have disappointed. Nor is she likely to be the last.
   1786. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: February 19, 2014 at 11:56 PM (#4659447)
Take a look at who wants to a weaken worker's right to a secret ballot in unionization elections. Hint: Not Me.
Nobody wants to protect unions like YC wants to protect them.
   1787. Bitter Mouse Posted: February 20, 2014 at 12:03 AM (#4659451)
So the most amusing thing about Clappers replacement "plan" is that the House GOP wold never pass it or anything like it, certainly not after hypothetical wins in 2014 and 2016. To get basically anything done today (other than pure fluff, lower taxes or repeal ACA fully) they need Democratic votes. They could not save the nation from bankrupting itself or even agree what ransom they wanted in exchange for not bankrupting us.
   1788. The Yankee Clapper Posted: February 20, 2014 at 12:35 AM (#4659459)
So the most amusing thing about Clappers replacement "plan" is that the House GOP wold never pass it or anything like it, certainly not after hypothetical wins in 2014 and 2016. . . .

I did not offer a plan, just linked to a recent proposal that has attracted attention, and noted some general principles likely to be included in GOP proposals. However, I doubt that the Democratic partisans here have much expertise in what a future GOP Congress would do, much less how a future GOP President would influence the process.
   1789. Lassus Posted: February 20, 2014 at 12:44 AM (#4659460)
I did not offer a plan

You really ARE a Republican engaged in the ACA debate!
   1790. Bitter Mouse Posted: February 20, 2014 at 09:39 AM (#4659511)
Freedom!

A new Johns Hopkins study has concluded ...

Missouri's 2007 repeal of its permit-to-purchase (PTP) handgun law, which required all handgun purchasers to obtain a license verifying that they have passed a background check, contributed to a sixteen percent increase in Missouri's murder rate, according to a new study from researchers with the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research.

The study, to be published in a forthcoming issue of Journal of Urban Health, finds that the law's repeal was associated with an additional 55 to 63 murders per year in Missouri between 2008 and 2012.

The increase in murders with firearms in Missouri began in the first full year after the PTP handgun law was repealed when data from crime gun traces revealed simultaneous large increases in the number of guns diverted to criminals and in guns purchased in Missouri that were subsequently recovered by police in border states that retained their PTP laws.
   1791. Bitter Mouse Posted: February 20, 2014 at 09:41 AM (#4659513)
And failure. Because it is Democrats living in denial about ACA.

Well before the March 31 deadline to buy insurance, California announced Tuesday it has already exceeded its 2014 enrollment goals for its health care exchange.

By the end of January, 728,410 people had enrolled in private health plans through Covered California, and 100,000 more signed up in the first two weeks of February. About 26% are 34 and younger.
   1792. GregD Posted: February 20, 2014 at 11:16 AM (#4659565)
Well before the March 31 deadline to buy insurance, California announced Tuesday it has already exceeded its 2014 enrollment goals for its health care exchange.

By the end of January, 728,410 people had enrolled in private health plans through Covered California, and 100,000 more signed up in the first two weeks of February. About 26% are 34 and younger.
This kind of thing is not permitted to be posted at OTP Politics! Take it to the deep web, along with any polling results that show things going against the Republicans!
   1793. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: February 20, 2014 at 11:53 AM (#4659594)
   1794. Lassus Posted: February 20, 2014 at 12:03 PM (#4659603)
I traveled through Bangkok with some Doctors Without Borders, er, doctors. They had been all over the world, and said that the slums we went through in Bangkok were the worst they'd ever seen. It was pretty crazy.

I took a train from there up through the country to Nong Kai, straight north and a bit east. Outside of many generally fascinating things about the lodging and people in the countryside, one of the truly wacky things was how little anyone in Nong Kai seemed to care about the river border between Thailand and Laos in that area. It wasn't constant or frequent, but it also didn't seem a big deal to have people crossing on their own.

I was told to simply stay out of southern peninsula of Thailand entirely, that it wasn't safe, but the north was pretty idyllic.
   1795. Bitter Mouse Posted: February 20, 2014 at 12:11 PM (#4659607)
I am sad Thailand is not doing well, because I really enjoyed my time there (a month long vacation in the early 90s). Great people and extremely nice. They did love their monarch. I wish them well. I suspect what they need though is a visit from the North Korean Democracy Fairy to make them see the light.

EDIT: And I loved Bangkok, but Chang Mai up north was really cool - great place to visit. Never made it very far south.
   1796. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: February 20, 2014 at 12:25 PM (#4659620)
This kind of thing is not permitted to be posted at OTP Politics! Take it to the deep web, along with any polling results that show things going against the Republicans!


Polling Update:
Obama job Approval per Rass- 50:49 Obama PLUS 1

Who who, high fives all around

Actually Obama is at -8 in the aggregate* which is the best he's done since 10/29/13, bu I'm sure that if YC digs around enough he'll find some poll somewhere that has Obama hitting anew low

*Which means he's long way from getting put of the red and back into the black, no sure if there's any real movement or simply the slow deflation of the Obamacare rollout polling bubble. The RCP Generic Congressional aggregate seems to be showing slow swings from GOP +1 to Dem +1 and back again (Right now it's a tie)- so really polling now isn't really showing anything of note for/against any side.
   1797. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: February 20, 2014 at 12:41 PM (#4659627)
one of the truly wacky things was how little anyone in Nong Kai seemed to care about the river border between Thailand and Laos in that area


Not that wacky; why should borders drawn in the 1950s affect the trade and relationships that they have developed over centuries?

Pastoralists in the Pyrenees regularly take their flocks from Spain to France and vice versa, following age-old transhumance routes, without showing a passport. In their case, their situation has legal recognition from the two governments.

But the idea that lines on a map should be privileged over facts on the ground is not a universal sentiment.
   1798. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: February 20, 2014 at 12:44 PM (#4659628)
But the idea that lines on a map should be privileged over facts on the ground is not a universal sentiment


In fact, an overarching concern about lines on a map is indicative of an over-meddlesome, frightened state that can't deal with human freedom.
   1799. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: February 20, 2014 at 01:03 PM (#4659639)
I recently worked with a (super hot) woman who immigrated from Ukraine. Over drinks after work one evening she made quite clear that it was not good manners to confuse Ukraine with Belarus.

Did it move?

It's also considered gauche to refer to the country as The Ukraine these days.

It's always been.


   1800. zonk Posted: February 20, 2014 at 01:59 PM (#4659693)
flip
Page 18 of 36 pages ‹ First  < 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 >  Last ›

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

BBTF Partner

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
Rough Carrigan
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogSullivan: Why Mike Trout -- and the rest of the league -- is having trouble with the high stuff
(4 - 2:25am, Aug 31)
Last: smileyy

NewsblogOT:  2014 College Football pre-season thread
(81 - 2:19am, Aug 31)
Last: JAHV

NewsblogDodgers Use Wall of Infielders
(25 - 1:49am, Aug 31)
Last: Traderdave

NewsblogOT: NBC.news: Valve isn’t making one gaming console, but multiple ‘Steam machines’
(771 - 1:24am, Aug 31)
Last: DJS and the Infinite Sadness

NewsblogOT: Politics, August 2014: DNC criticizes Christie’s economic record with baseball video
(6260 - 1:10am, Aug 31)
Last: greenback calls it soccer

NewsblogMasahiro Tanaka shut down with 'general arm soreness'
(7 - 1:10am, Aug 31)
Last: DFA

NewsblogDavid Justice Says Put Barry Bonds in Baseball Hall of Fame Despite Steroid Use Late In Career
(164 - 12:51am, Aug 31)
Last: Jimmy

NewsblogOrioles Acquire Kelly Johnson
(8 - 12:42am, Aug 31)
Last: andrewberg

NewsblogOMNICHATTER 8-30-2014
(95 - 12:26am, Aug 31)
Last: cardsfanboy

NewsblogWhat's Wrong With Baseball?
(47 - 12:22am, Aug 31)
Last: Curse of the Andino

NewsblogOT: The Soccer Thread August, 2014
(889 - 10:58pm, Aug 30)
Last: ursus arctos

NewsblogOrioles Acquire Alejandro De Aza
(2 - 10:56pm, Aug 30)
Last: Der-K and the statistical werewolves.

NewsblogOT: The NHL is finally back thread, part 2
(970 - 10:06pm, Aug 30)
Last: Howie Menckel

NewsblogWatch a Japanese baseball player try to hit a 186 mph fastball (Video)
(27 - 9:48pm, Aug 30)
Last: Arbitol Dijaler

NewsblogAmaro: 'Status quo' with Gillick as interim Phillies president
(2 - 8:49pm, Aug 30)
Last: JRVJ

Page rendered in 0.9821 seconds
53 querie(s) executed