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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.

Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: February 01, 2014 at 03:01 PM | 3524 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: politics

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   1801. The Interdimensional Council of Rickey!'s Posted: February 20, 2014 at 01:03 PM (#4659697)
I will actually flip this for you, Zonk.
   1802. Zonk is a cagey fellow Posted: February 20, 2014 at 01:22 PM (#4659716)
I suppose we could go back and forth all day long on which side campaigns with more people who say viler things --

But, for one thing - I applaud CNN for asking the question... Beyond that, though, I find it amusing to hear Ted Nugent -- a man that was whining leading up to the 2012 election about how he was going to be killed or locked up, and is one of the foremost purveyors of the "Obama and progressives are NAZIS!" nonsense -- using language like "subhuman mongrel" is word-for-word out of hte Nazi playbook.
   1803. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: February 20, 2014 at 01:24 PM (#4659717)
It's also considered gauche to refer to the country as The Ukraine these days.

Lots of countries are sensitive about their names. Try saying "Ivory Coast" to someone from "Côte d'Ivoire". And heaven help anyone who now adds a "The" to "Congo". It's not that different from the fairly recent changes of city names, such as "Peiping" to "Peking" to "Beijing", or "Bombay" to "Mumbai", and sometimes it's not always easy for an outsider to tell whether the basis for change is primarily linguistic precision or simply national self-assertion.**

If you go back to the pre-WWII era, many institutions also had "The" attached to their names. Sports pages would refer to "the Yankee Stadium" and "the Army" in a manner you'd never see today. I'm pretty sure that this was when the use of "The Ukraine" became instinctive on the part of non-Ukrainians.

**"Bombay" was called "a corrupted English version of 'Mumbai' and an unwanted legacy of British colonial rule", so take your choice of motivations.
   1804. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 20, 2014 at 01:25 PM (#4659721)
Can we just ignore celebrities who say insane political things (from both sides of the aisle)? Its pretty obvious most of the time they're just doing it to get attention. Ted Nugent will probably have his own show on FOX NEWS pretty soon, or a reality show on TLC out of this, when I imagine his career would be pretty stagnant otherwise.
   1805. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: February 20, 2014 at 01:31 PM (#4659729)
Can we just ignore celebrities who say insane political things (from both sides of the aisle)?


I would be even more willing to ignore them, but GOP politicians keep cozying up to their crazies. If the GOP politicians don't ignore their own nuts, why should we?

That said loons who are not feted by politicians in fundraisers, campaign events, and commercials should totally be ignored.
   1806. Zonk is a cagey fellow Posted: February 20, 2014 at 01:42 PM (#4659739)
Can we just ignore celebrities who say insane political things (from both sides of the aisle)? Its pretty obvious most of the time they're just doing it to get attention. Ted Nugent will probably have his own show on FOX NEWS pretty soon, or a reality show on TLC out of this, when I imagine his career would be pretty stagnant otherwise.


Not that I don't take the point, but all Nugent really does nowadays is politics... He doesn't really have anything except a political career anymore.
   1807. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: February 20, 2014 at 02:07 PM (#4659766)
Lots of countries are sensitive about their names.



Which seems silly to me as most countries (and cities, and regions) have different names in different languages, and have for as long as the languages have been around. We say Germany (or Allemagne), not Deutschland; Greece not Hellas, etc. London is Londres in Spanish; Livorno is Leghorn in English. And don't get me started on Mandarin names for different countries. So what? I reserve the right to use my own language. So it's Burma, Bombay, The Ukraine, The Netherlands, and Australia, not Drunkyboozeland.
   1808. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 20, 2014 at 02:11 PM (#4659768)
Gott segne die Vereingte Staaten!
   1809. Swoboda is freedom Posted: February 20, 2014 at 02:30 PM (#4659794)
**"Bombay" was called "a corrupted English version of 'Mumbai' and an unwanted legacy of British colonial rule", so take your choice of motivations.

I have heard people from Mumbai refer to it as Bombay. Maybe for me, or maybe because of the ultra nationalists Hindu parties who pushed the change. Madras is now Chennai now too.
   1810. dlf Posted: February 20, 2014 at 02:41 PM (#4659806)
**"Bombay" was called "a corrupted English version of 'Mumbai' and an unwanted legacy of British colonial rule", so take your choice of motivations.

I have heard people from Mumbai refer to it as Bombay. Maybe for me, or maybe because of the ultra nationalists Hindu parties who pushed the change. Madras is now Chennai now too.


Due to a previous job, I've spent a lot of time in India over the past six years. I've heard Bombay much more frequently than Mumbai, but never heard anyone refer to a city as Madras.
   1811. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: February 20, 2014 at 02:42 PM (#4659807)
Burma/Myanmar is the one that gets me. No matter which way you go you are likely wrong (or right I suppose). Fortunately it is a not very important country (to the average US citizen) and so doesn't come up very often.

In 1989, the military government officially changed the English translations of many names dating back to Burma's colonial period, including that of the country itself: "Burma" became "Myanmar". The renaming remains a contested issue.[25] Many political and ethnic opposition groups and countries continue to use "Burma" because they do not recognise the legitimacy of the ruling military government or its authority to rename the country.

The country's official full name is the "Republic of the Union of Myanmar". Some countries, however, have not recognized this name and use the short form "Union of Burma" instead.

In English, the country is popularly known by either of its short names "Burma" or "Myanmar". Both these names are derived from the name of the majority Burmese Bamar ethnic group. Myanmar is considered to be the literary form of the name of the group, while Burma is derived from "Bamar", the colloquial form of the group's name. Depending on the register used, the pronunciation would be Bama (pronounced: [b?mà]) or Myamah (pronounced: [mj?mà]). The name Burma has been in use in English since the time of British colonial rule.

Burma continues to be used in English by the governments of many countries, including the United Kingdom and Canada.[28] Official United States policy retains Burma as the country's name, although the State Department's website lists the country as "Burma (Myanmar)" and Barack Obama has referred to the country as Myanmar.[29][30][31] The United Nations uses Myanmar, as do the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, Russia, Germany,[32] China, India, Norway,[33] Australia[34] and Japan.[28]

There are also other variations. Burma is known as "Birmania" in Spanish, Italian and Romanian, as "Birmânia" in Portuguese, and as "Birmanie" in French.[35] The Government of Brazil uses "Mianmar".[36]


Note: Minor edits to the text above to remove sundry stuff including odd characters.
   1812. BDC Posted: February 20, 2014 at 02:47 PM (#4659814)
most countries (and cities, and regions) have different names in different languages

One of the harder cases for me to grasp was "Éire," which is indeed an Irish name for the island of Ireland and still appears on coins. But Irish people do not use "Éire," in Irish or English. The one place you do often see "Éire" is on signage and other documents produced by the UK. So "Éire" is an Irish term used by English people in English, but not Irish people in Irish, to describe the Republic. The political reasons are too hard to explain in a BBTF comment, but it's a bit as if New Yorkers were saying "Puerto Rico" in English while people there called it Richport.

"Irish" itself for the language is an interesting term. The Irish term for Irish is "Gaeilge," but Irish people call the language "Irish" in English, while non-Irish English people almost without exception call it "Gaelic."

This is an impression based on long acquaintance, but there may be other or more recent contrasting impressions.
   1813. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: February 20, 2014 at 02:47 PM (#4659816)


My personal favorite is FYROM.
   1814. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: February 20, 2014 at 03:04 PM (#4659839)
Can we just ignore celebrities who say insane political things (from both sides of the aisle)?


Well it depends on how entertaining they are while being insane.

I mean Alec Baldwin is insane and entertaining, but when it comes to politics he's actually kind of boring- annoying yes, but mostly he's a snooze inducing bore.

Ted Nugent is full bore, Sheen-like, nuts- not just when it comes to politics, but politics really accentuates his brand of crazy.
   1815. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: February 20, 2014 at 03:07 PM (#4659843)
Gott segne die Vereingte Staaten!

Ahem. Gott segne die Vereinigten Staaten. Setzen, sechs!
   1816. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: February 20, 2014 at 03:15 PM (#4659850)
Grammar Nazi indeed.
   1817. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: February 20, 2014 at 03:15 PM (#4659851)
"Irish" itself for the language is an interesting term. The Irish term for Irish is "Gaeilge," but Irish people call the language "Irish" in English, while non-Irish English people almost without exception call it "Gaelic."


That's because to the Irish "Gaelic" is what the Scots (used to ) speak...

Here in the US, the Navajo traditionally called themselves the Diné, however the majority now call themselves Navajo- which word is of Spanish origin.

OTOH the Lakota persisted in calling themselves the Lakota even when everyone else insisted on calling them the Sioux- and slowly but steadily the Lakota seem to be winning that battle ("Sioux" apparently derives from an Algonquin expression referring to people speaking foreign languages- i.,e barbarians, so no wonder the Lakota were/are not keen on adopting it)
   1818. Zonk is a cagey fellow Posted: February 20, 2014 at 03:43 PM (#4659871)
Oh, the ignorance!

Don't toy with me, am I too late to send this letter to the Prussian consulate in Siam via aeromail? Did I miss the 4:30 autogyro?
   1819. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: February 20, 2014 at 03:46 PM (#4659875)
Lots of countries are sensitive about their names.

Which seems silly to me as most countries (and cities, and regions) have different names in different languages, and have for as long as the languages have been around. We say Germany (or Allemagne), not Deutschland; Greece not Hellas, etc. London is Londres in Spanish; Livorno is Leghorn in English. And don't get me started on Mandarin names for different countries. So what? I reserve the right to use my own language. So it's Burma, Bombay, The Ukraine, The Netherlands, and Australia, not Drunkyboozeland.


What's always kind of funny is the way that some radio and TV news people go out of their way to make the "correct" pronunciation of Latin American countries' names---Chee-LAY; KOO-ba; etc.---but you never hear them use the same principle when it comes to (say) France or Germany. This is one of those rare instances when Boner Boy's theories about "leftist" influence in the media might actually be the best explanation, because it's hard to think of any other explanation that makes much sense.
   1820. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: February 20, 2014 at 03:48 PM (#4659877)
Don't toy with me, am I too late to send this letter to the Prussian consulate in Siam via aeromail? Did I miss the 4:30 autogyro?

Unfortunately it got way-laid by Corean bandits and never made it to its Oriental destination.
   1821. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: February 20, 2014 at 04:06 PM (#4659896)
What's always kind of funny is the way that some radio and TV news people go out of their way to make the "correct" pronunciation of Latin American countries' names


I grew up hearing the Kosciuszko Bridge pronounced as Kazy-OZ-Ko

then one year the Polish Ambassador to the UN complained adn now every Radio traffic guy pronounces it differently... some actually get it more or less right, Kosh-Koosh-Ko.

New York has a Houston Street, which most New Yorkers pronounce as House-ton.
My HS Urban Studies teacher said that New Yawkers were wrong, the street was named after a family name, the family name is Houston (Hues-ton not House-ton). Well my teacher was wrong, the street was named after a person, but that person was not named Houston, that person was named Howe, and the street was originally named Howe's Town Street, which became Howestown Street which became Howeston which became Houston...

Edit: Wiki says it was named after a guy named William Houstoun- which would also explain the pronunciation- but on old maps the street was given variously as Howes Town and Howeston
   1822. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: February 20, 2014 at 04:12 PM (#4659900)
some actually get it more or less right, Kosh-Koosh-Ko.


I thought it was Koosh-CHOOSH-Ko
   1823. Lassus Posted: February 20, 2014 at 04:23 PM (#4659909)
According to my closest Polish-speaking relative, my mother, Miserlou is right, but more Kuz-CHOOSH-ko. (First syllable close to a standard umlaut.)
   1824. Zonk is a cagey fellow Posted: February 20, 2014 at 04:27 PM (#4659914)
According to my closest Polish-speaking relative, my mother, Miserlou is right, but more Kuz-CHOOSH-ko. (First syllable close to a standard umlaut.)


My Polish speaking grandparents would probably agree, but were traitors to their linguistic heritage and just went with kazy-OZ-koh...
   1825. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 20, 2014 at 04:30 PM (#4659917)
Arizona Senate OKs bill boosting service refusal

The Arizona Senate on Wednesday passed a bill backed by Republicans that would expand the rights of people to assert their religious beliefs in refusing service to gays and others, a measure Democrats say would open the doors for discrimination and hurt the state economy.


House is expected to pass. Republican Governor Jan Brewer vetoed a similar measure last year.

Idaho and Kansas introduced similar bills last week, but withdrew or killed them.
   1826. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 20, 2014 at 04:31 PM (#4659919)
Idaho lawmakers have also introduced bills that would jail animal rights activists that surreptitiously film farm conditions, a bill that would negate all EPA rules in the state, and a bill to allow guns on campus. There are some crazy potatoes up there!

But here in Kansas, they have introduced a bill to allow parents to bruise their kids in spankings. Introduced by a Democrat no less!
   1827. The Yankee Clapper Posted: February 20, 2014 at 04:34 PM (#4659921)
I would be even more willing to ignore them, but GOP politicians keep cozying up to their crazies. If the GOP politicians don't ignore their own nuts, why should we?

Really? You're going to pretend Ted Nugent has some political significance while ignoring all the Democratic crazies that are welcomed to official events? We could start with Al Sharpton, but he's hardly the craziest, just among the more well known. I suppose I could regularly post what you're missing, but it seems like a waste of BBTF space, and my valuable time.

   1828. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: February 20, 2014 at 04:37 PM (#4659924)
Really? You're going to pretend Ted Nugent has some political significance while ignoring all the Democratic crazies that are welcomed to official events?


Shame on Michael Moore and those Dixie Chicks!
   1829. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: February 20, 2014 at 04:45 PM (#4659929)
I suppose I could regularly post what you're missing, but it seems like a waste of BBTF space, and my valuable time.
Those popularity polls aren't going to post themselves.
   1830. spike Posted: February 20, 2014 at 04:46 PM (#4659930)
Arizona Senate OKs bill boosting service refusal

Since it will almost certainly pass the House, we get to see if Brewer will be willing to sign a We Don't Serve Your Kind Here bill.
   1831. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: February 20, 2014 at 04:48 PM (#4659932)
I believe Sam Houston also pronounced his name "Howston".
   1832. Zonk is a cagey fellow Posted: February 20, 2014 at 04:49 PM (#4659934)


Shame on Michael Moore and those Dixie Chicks!


I love you how this is somehow true:

we don't want this war, this violence, and we're ashamed that the President of the United States (George W. Bush) is from Texas"


is equivalent to

obviously failed to galvanize and prod and not shame enough Americans to be ever vigilant not to let a Chicago communist-raised, communist-educated, communist- nurtured, subhuman mongrel like the ACORN community organizer gangster, Barack Hussein Obama, to weasel his way into the top office of authority of the United States of America.



Yeah... both sides do it, right?

Same thing, right Clapper?
   1833. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: February 20, 2014 at 04:51 PM (#4659938)
I would be even more willing to ignore them, but GOP politicians keep cozying up to their crazies. If the GOP politicians don't ignore their own nuts, why should we?

Really? You're going to pretend Ted Nugent has some political significance while ignoring all the Democratic crazies that are welcomed to official events? We could start with Al Sharpton, but he's hardly the craziest, just among the more well known. I suppose I could regularly post what you're missing, but it seems like a waste of BBTF space, and my valuable time.


Let us know when the positions espoused by more than 1% of Democratic office holders match the sort of incendiary comments for which Al Sharpton became famous. And then let's see you apply that same test to the positions advocated by Ted Nugent.
   1834. The Interdimensional Council of Rickey!'s Posted: February 20, 2014 at 04:51 PM (#4659939)
We could start with Al Sharpton


If you didn't exist, they'd have to invent you.
   1835. BDC Posted: February 20, 2014 at 05:11 PM (#4659955)
kind of funny is the way that some radio and TV news people go out of their way to make the "correct" pronunciation of Latin American countries' names---Chee-LAY; KOO-ba; etc.---but you never hear them use the same principle when it comes to (say) France or Germany. This is one of those rare instances when Boner Boy's theories about "leftist" influence in the media might actually be the best explanation, because it's hard to think of any other explanation that makes much sense

A lot more Americans are native or near-native Spanish speakers than speak French or German. Honestly, my Spanish is cribbed from soccer broadcasts on Univision, but with even that much exposure I say, well, "Univision" instead of You-nuh-vizhun, and I say Panama with the same vowel in each syllable instead of Pan-uh-maw. It's hard to go back to an American accent in a language you learn even a little bit of, let alone speak or hear every day.
   1836. Publius Publicola Posted: February 20, 2014 at 05:19 PM (#4659961)
I wish there was a way for me to maneuver Clapper into a betting game in which objectives and balanced thinking were the key to success. I would be able to retire soon.
   1837. Publius Publicola Posted: February 20, 2014 at 05:22 PM (#4659963)
Lefties influence language more because righties are either preoccupied with counting their money or are functionally illiterate.
   1838. stig-tossled,hornswoggled gef the talking mongoose Posted: February 20, 2014 at 05:47 PM (#4659974)
Lefties influence language more because righties are either preoccupied with counting their money or are functionally illiterate.


Or are obsessed with polls.
   1839. Greg K Posted: February 20, 2014 at 05:49 PM (#4659976)

A lot more Americans are native or near-native Spanish speakers than speak French or German. Honestly, my Spanish is cribbed from soccer broadcasts on Univision, but with even that much exposure I say, well, "Univision" instead of You-nuh-vizhun, and I say Panama with the same vowel in each syllable instead of Pan-uh-maw. It's hard to go back to an American accent in a language you learn even a little bit of, let alone speak or hear every day.

Coming from Canada it is funny hearing American broadcasters say French-Canadian names. I once heard Denis Savard's name on an American broadcast and couldn't for the life of me figure out who they were talking about.

On the flip side it's really only baseball that's given me any clue when it comes to Spanish.

One further note, the Latvian Olympic hockey team has a guy named Poo-Jacks.
   1840. The Yankee Clapper Posted: February 20, 2014 at 05:56 PM (#4659978)
I suppose I could regularly post what you're missing, but it seems like a waste of BBTF space, and my valuable time.

Lefties influence language more because righties are either preoccupied with counting their money or are functionally illiterate

See how easy it is - that was already on BBTF. Ted Nugent has never been banned from BBTf, not so for Kevin.
   1841. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: February 20, 2014 at 06:09 PM (#4659981)
See how easy it is - that was already on BBTF. Ted Nugent has never been banned from BBTf, not so for Kevin.
That's because Ted Nugent is a disgusting human being, but as far as we know not an outright liar. In that sense, Ted Nugent is actually a better person than Kevin.
   1842. Zonk is a cagey fellow Posted: February 20, 2014 at 06:14 PM (#4659985)
Petition to split California into 6 states...

We've talked about this before - but frankly, it might make a bit more sense for California... you've got a number of rich, urban centers (read: revenue producers) and without looking at their map - I suspect each of the 6 new states would basically be OK on their own. It's not a reverse Chicago vs remainder of Illinois where the majority land area/minority revenue doesn't like the social policy control exerted by the urban center but suddenly gets really quiet when you look at the revenue/outlay ratio. I could be wrong, though.

Of course - this would never fly.... For one thing, I highly suspect that at least 5 - if not all 6 - of the new "little Californias" probably remain various shades blue... Like I said, I can't find a good map of their proposal, but looking at a map of CA voting together with population density -- you'd have to gerrymander your new states pretty darn hard to find a red state... Other than a pocket of Orange Country, most of the coast is blue... maybe - depending on the borders - the proposed "West California" might be red.

No way is the GOP going to basically let 2 blue Senators become, say -- 10 blue/2 red senators... not to mention what the reapportionment would mean for the electoral college votes.

Still, though... .CA is probably too big to be a single state in a lot of different ways.
   1843. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: February 20, 2014 at 06:16 PM (#4659986)
There's not much difference between Random Moron Celebrity Provocateur (Dem.) and Random Moron Celebrity Provocateur (Rep.).

Where the comedy comes in is because it's a central Republican Party talking point to denounce the la-la liberal Hollywood media elite, yet they roll over like dogs in heat for the slightest sign of affection from a Ted Nugent or a Dennis Miller or a Victoria Jackson or a Donald Trump. Only one party had such stars in its eyes that it gave a celebrity carte blanche to attend its convention and do improvisational riffing with a chair.
   1844. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: February 20, 2014 at 06:21 PM (#4659988)

That's because Ted Nugent is a disgusting human being, but as far as we know not an outright liar. In that sense, Ted Nugent is actually a better person than Kevin.


Didn't Nugent say he'd be dead or in jail if Obama was re-elected?
   1845. Zonk is a cagey fellow Posted: February 20, 2014 at 06:23 PM (#4659989)
OK - here's their proposed 6 state California...

And here's a map that overlays population and vote totals....(i.e., one of those maps that resizes counties by population, with the shades of vote)

Silicon Valley and West California both look to be deep blue.

Jefferson and North California both look blueish - though not deep blue... let's say, "Oregon blue".

South California looks purplish - you've got Orange county, but without doing the math, I'd still it would have a slight blue tinge.

West California might be more reddish.

Sooo.... you'd turn a solid blue state in to 2 deep blue states + 2 blue states + 1 purple state + 1 reddish state.

Never fly.
   1846. Publius Publicola Posted: February 20, 2014 at 06:25 PM (#4659990)
Didn't Nugent say he'd be dead or in jail if Obama was re-elected?


Don't feed the trolls, YR.
   1847. Zonk is a cagey fellow Posted: February 20, 2014 at 06:28 PM (#4659991)
There's not much difference between Random Moron Celebrity Provocateur (Dem.) and Random Moron Celebrity Provocateur (Rep.).

Where the comedy comes in is because it's a central Republican Party talking point to denounce the la-la liberal Hollywood media elite, yet they roll over like dogs in heat for the slightest sign of affection from a Ted Nugent or a Dennis Miller or a Victoria Jackson or a Donald Trump. Only one party had such stars in its eyes that it gave a celebrity carte blanche to attend its convention and do improvisational riffing with a chair.


I don't know...

I mean, I think of D-leaning celebrities... searching around google, the worst I can find from Alec Baldwin is calling Sarah Palin "Bible Spice"... is that on par with "subhuman mongrel"? Is "subhuman mongrel" the same as Kanye West "George Bush doesn't care about black people?"

The false equivalencies don't quite sit right with me...
   1848. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: February 20, 2014 at 06:31 PM (#4659992)

Really? You're going to pretend Ted Nugent has some political significance while ignoring all the Democratic crazies that are welcomed to official events?


I think I was pretty clear "That said loons who are not feted by politicians in fundraisers, campaign events, and commercials should totally be ignored.".

If you are feted by politicians, invited to fundraiser and campaign events, used in commercials and such then bringing up what those people say, the words of the people the politicians are clearly using in their campaign is completely fair game.

Bringing up Al Sharpton is perfectly fine if it is something relatively current (what he said and whatever political involvement he has). Why wouldn't it be?
   1849. Publius Publicola Posted: February 20, 2014 at 06:31 PM (#4659993)
Sooo.... you'd turn a solid blue state in to 2 deep blue states + 2 blue states + 1 purple state + 1 reddish state.


That would be pretty awesome though. It would turn the Senate permanently blue for the forseeable future.
   1850. Zonk is a cagey fellow Posted: February 20, 2014 at 06:34 PM (#4659994)
Former House GOP leader Tom Delay:

"I think we got off that track when we allowed our government to become a secular government, when we stopped realizing that God created this nation, that He wrote the constitution, that's based on biblical principles,"


That's today in your "thank your lucky stars for Boehner and Cantor because it could be/used to be worse" calendar...
   1851. Publius Publicola Posted: February 20, 2014 at 06:38 PM (#4659997)
He doesn't really believe any of that crap, zonk. DeLay is the Jimmy Swaggart of politics. He's simply a huckster and a charlatan in that grand southern tradition we've all learned to know and love.
   1852. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: February 20, 2014 at 06:47 PM (#4660001)
"I think we got off that track when we allowed our government to become a secular government, when we stopped realizing that God created this nation, that He wrote the constitution, that's based on biblical principles,"


Our Constitution had many authors, but for a primary author let's go with Madison... he might not actually disagree with the assertion that "god" wrote the Constitution, but he was not exactly an evangelical biblical fundamentalist and hsi conception of "god" was likely radically at odds with the conception held by Delay's audience.

   1853. Monty Posted: February 20, 2014 at 06:59 PM (#4660003)
That "Six Californias" plan puts a state line between Los Angeles and Orange County. That's a crazy place to divide a state.
   1854. Lassus Posted: February 20, 2014 at 07:11 PM (#4660008)
Splitting up CA just gives credence and weight to a million other places that can't bear to work together to figure shit out with other people.

Which I guess is the way of the world and various wars, but it doesn't mean I have to find it worthwhile.
   1855. Shredder Posted: February 20, 2014 at 07:16 PM (#4660010)
No one is going to be required to purchase insurance from an out-of-state provider.
I know I'm late to this, but seriously, Clapper, do even realize how absolutely pathetically moronic you sound? Hey, guess what, no one is required to apply for a credit card across state lines either, but good like finding one that isn't set up according to the laws of South Dakota or Delaware. Why do you think that is? Are you really that dumb, or do you just think everyone else here is?
   1856. Publius Publicola Posted: February 20, 2014 at 07:21 PM (#4660014)
Touching to know how concerned Russia is about the Ukranian environment:

Russia Concerned About Pollution From Ukraine Fracking

I'm sure their concern has nothing to do with the realization that a Ukraine self-sufficient in natural gas couldn't be so easily blackmailed by a pipeline stoppage.

Nah.
   1857. Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB) Posted: February 20, 2014 at 08:12 PM (#4660031)
That "Six Californias" plan puts a state line between Los Angeles and Orange County. That's a crazy place to divide a state.


Not if you asked the average resident of Orange County ...

Anyways, hopefully, they'll be trawling for votes in the O.C. and I'll get a chance to sign the petition, if only for the amusement factor if it actually makes it onto the ballot.
   1858. The Yankee Clapper Posted: February 20, 2014 at 08:15 PM (#4660034)
. . . no one is required to apply for a credit card across state lines either, but good like finding one that isn't set up according to the laws of South Dakota or Delaware. Why do you think that is?

Joe Biden was in the pocket of the big bank/credit card companies for his entire Senate career.
   1859. OCF Posted: February 20, 2014 at 08:16 PM (#4660035)
I saw that "six Californias" map a while back, and thought it was pretty odd. And yes, splitting between LA County and Orange County make no sense, other than as an attempted gerrymander. Also, I would have thought that "Jefferson" was red. And very small in population.

A summary:

Jefferson
- Largest city: Redding
- Iconic landmark: Mt. Shasta
- Famous product: marijuana
- Politics: Red state with legal dope. Hippies and rednecks both. But not many people.

North California
- Largest city: Sacramento
- Iconic landmark: half share of the Golden Gate Bridge. Also Lake Tahoe
- Famous product: wine
- Politics: Hard blue. Except that Sacramento might change character if it was no longer the capital of all of California.

Silicon Valley:
- Largest city: San Jose (OK, largest metro area is the Bay Area)
- Iconic landmark: the other half-share of the Golden Gate Bridge
- Famous product: software
- Politics: So blue that the left opposition to the Democrats might outpoll the Republicans.

Central California:
- Largest city: Fresno
- Iconic landmark: Yosemite Valley
- Famous product: an endless line of double-hopper tomato and onion trucks on I-5, heading for the pizza sauce and salsa factories.
- Politics: A red state. Unless all the farmworkers somehow start voting. Spanish-language radio stations outnumber English.
- Geographical notes: they included the Owens Valley. You can't drive from the Owens Valley to Fresno without going way out of the way north or south. Also, this linked version of the map has Kern County (Bakersfield) in "West California" but I saw a different version which put Kern County into Central California; the second version makes more sense. And Kern County is one of the politically reddest counties.

West California:
- Largest city: Los Angeles
- Iconic landmark: Hollywood sign
- Famous product: movies
- Politics: Hard blue. Seriously, look at some LA County vote numbers.

South California:
- Largest city: San Diego
- Iconic landmark: San Diego Zoo?
- Famous product: ?
- Politics: Purple, and tending blue. Right now, OC is red but maybe not as red as you think. San Diego County has some red areas, but the city swings it the other way. And Riverside/San Bernardino are purple.


   1860. Publius Publicola Posted: February 20, 2014 at 08:29 PM (#4660038)
Joe Biden was in the pocket of the big bank/credit card companies for his entire Senate career.


Excellent evasion of question and valiant, if transparent, attempt to change the subject, Clapper.

Really excellent.
   1861. Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB) Posted: February 20, 2014 at 08:46 PM (#4660044)
Arguing that we need more carbon dioxide, not less, in the atmosphere, Rep. Jerry Anderson, R-Price, has proposed legislation that would limit the state’s ability to regulate emissions of the greenhouse gas.

HB229 narrows the definition of the term "air contaminants," clarifying that "natural components of the atmosphere," including nitrogen, oxygen and other stable, or noble gases, are not pollution.

Anderson’s bill would prevent the establishment of state standards for carbon dioxide below atmospheric concentrations of 500 parts per million. This is a level far above what is currently in the atmosphere, already padded with carbon thanks to two centuries of fossil-fuel burning.

"We are short of carbon dioxide for the needs of the plants," Anderson, a retired science teacher, told the committee overseeing environmental programs in the the state on Tuesday. "Concentrations reached 600 parts per million at the time of the dinosaurs and they did quite well. I think we could double the carbon dioxide and not have any adverse effects."


Utah lawmaker: Our atmosphere need more carbon dioxide!
   1862. The Yankee Clapper Posted: February 20, 2014 at 08:51 PM (#4660045)
I mean, I think of D-leaning celebrities... searching around google, the worst I can find from Alec Baldwin is calling Sarah Palin "Bible Spice"...

LOL, that's the worst you could find? From Alec Baldwin? Really? You must not know how to use a search engine. How about:
“If we were in another country, we would stone Henry Hyde to death and we would go to their homes and kill their wives and their children. We would kill their families, for what they’re doing to this country.”

You can also find much worse just looking for attacks on Palin. Try looking up Cher or Martin Bashir -- he managed to lose his job not that long ago -- or Andrew Sullivan's crazy crusade to "prove" Palin wasn't the mother of her youngest child. Or David Letterman making statutory rape jokes about Palin's 14-year old daughter. That OK? Same rule on Obamas daughters, I presume? I suppose you missed all the comparisons of Bush & Hitler, too.

This is a silly issue, but Zonk is the one that raised it, although he apparently wants to be highly selective in which celebrities he takes offense to.
   1863. Zonk is a cagey fellow Posted: February 20, 2014 at 09:58 PM (#4660051)

LOL, that's the worst you could find? From Alec Baldwin? Really? You must not know how to use a search engine. How about:

“If we were in another country, we would stone Henry Hyde to death and we would go to their homes and kill their wives and their children. We would kill their families, for what they’re doing to this country.”


You can also find much worse just looking for attacks on Palin. Try looking up Cher or Martin Bashir -- he managed to lose his job not that long ago -- or Andrew Sullivan's crazy crusade to "prove" Palin wasn't the mother of her youngest child. Or David Letterman making statutory rape jokes about Palin's 14-year old daughter. That OK? Same rule on Obamas daughters, I presume? I suppose you missed all the comparisons of Bush & Hitler, too.

This is a silly issue, but Zonk is the one that raised it, although he apparently wants to be highly selective in which celebrities he takes offense to.


OK - great... I'd accept the Baldwin statement as equivalent... Now - all you have to do is find me a Democratic politician that has held an actual campaign event "featuring" Alec Baldwin..... Or Andrew Sullivan... or Martin Bashir... or whomever.

I mean, remember this all hit the news because the Republican candidate for governor of the 2nd largest state in the country hit the campaign trail with someone he called his "blood brother".

It's hard to tell sometimes whether you're really this obtuse - or just that dedicated to the full speed ahead, never admit wrongs, tried and true GOP tactic of pushing the envelope out of one side while humping the facade of false equivalency of "both sides do it".
   1864. Monty Posted: February 20, 2014 at 09:59 PM (#4660053)
- Iconic landmark: San Diego Zoo?


Disneyland, I'd think.
   1865. Publius Publicola Posted: February 20, 2014 at 10:00 PM (#4660054)
In case you didn't know, Clapper, Sullivan is a neo-conservative.

And what about Joe Wilson yelling out "liar!" during a SOTU address? The conservative wackos are getting elected, not just spouting nonsense outside the tent

Another tidbit- all of the recent domestic terrorism, like Waco, Randy Weaver, the Olympic bomber and Oklahoma City, is originating from the right. The far right, which has considerable influence on the GOP, is the diseased incubus of Reaganism.
   1866. bobm Posted: February 20, 2014 at 10:05 PM (#4660055)
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/21/us/public-sector-cuts-part-time-shifts-to-duck-insurance-law.html

President Obama has twice delayed enforcement of the health care law’s employer mandate, which would subject larger employers to tax penalties if they do not offer insurance coverage to employees who work at least 30 hours a week, on average. But many public employers have already adopted policies, laws or regulations to make sure workers stay under that threshold.

Even after the administration said this month that it would ease coverage requirements for larger employers, public employers generally said they were keeping the restrictions on work hours because their obligation to provide health insurance, starting in 2015, would be based on hours worked by employees this year. Among those whose hours have been restricted in recent months are police dispatchers, prison guards, substitute teachers, bus drivers, athletic coaches, school custodians, cafeteria workers and part-time professors.
   1867. The Yankee Clapper Posted: February 20, 2014 at 10:19 PM (#4660060)
In case you didn't know, Clapper, Sullivan is a neo-conservative.

In case you don't know Kevin, that ship sailed a decade ago.
   1868. The Yankee Clapper Posted: February 20, 2014 at 10:31 PM (#4660064)
OK - great... I'd accept the Baldwin statement as equivalent... Now - all you have to do is find me a Democratic politician that has held an actual campaign event "featuring" Alec Baldwin.....

OK, but wouldn't it be easier if you just learned how to use a search engine? Here's a Democratic Fundraiser Hosted By Alec Baldwin. This is the last one I'm going to look up for you, do your own work from now on.
   1869. Zonk is a cagey fellow Posted: February 20, 2014 at 10:48 PM (#4660066)
Some big news here, where I'll stray a bit from liberal orthodoxy...

Now - the switch to the chained CPI isn't actually a cut so much as it's employing a different (and more statistically accurate) method of calculating Social Security COLAs. No one denies that - purely from a cold, objective standpoint - the methodology is more accurate... but yes - from a more realistic POV, it does lower COLAs and yes, there are also plenty of seniors/beneficiaries who are going to be hurt by such a change.

I'm not heartless to the impact of the policy change - and the impact on real people. That said, I'm also well aware that the Social Security trust fund - assuming we can all agree that the Treasury cannot and should not just magically rip up portions of the national debt held in bonds to the Trust Fund - has a good 30 years before it would have to either slip into the red or live hand to mouth... so this isn't really a pressing fiscal concern to trim the the SS outlays.

I'm simply saying that -

1) Social Security was never designed to be a national pension -- there were plenty of advocates back in the 30s who wanted exactly that - a national pension (see the Townsend Plan movement). I don't disagree with the issue - and I would wholly support such a thing, I just don't think it's good policy to basically try to backdoor such a system (even if minimally, incrementally, or partially). I'd much rather beef up ERISA/PBGC, bankruptcy laws, or whatnot so that pensions get in line first... smack the ever-loving hell out of companies - and even industries and state/local governments - that have (legally) played fast and loose with fairly negotiated pension funding obligations... beef up other social safety nets where necessary...

2) I also think it's a clear case where liberals want to have their cake and eat it, too -- i.e., most Democrats on one hand absolutely, positively reject means testing for benefits. The reasoning goes that this turns Social Security into a welfare program - and welfare programs are always easier to cut than entitlement programs. However, see 1) above -- it's either a welfare program or it's an entitlement. I just fundamentally don't think it can be both when the situations suits it.


...all that said -

Obama has taken a ton of backlash on the left ever since he put this idea on the table. Beyond all the mau-mauing -- the Republican/conservative wonks always accepted this as one of their most treasured concessions. Obama was willing to give it to them. He was willing to cross his own base to build a larger deal. However, the GOP was wholly unwilling to meet him even anywhere near the middle by offering any number of similarly weighted concessions.

Objectively, I think it's good agnostic policy - but dueling with such an obstinate opposition unwilling to negotiate in anything approaching good faith... in an election year.... Why keep offering up something that pisses off your base? Enough's enough - so yanking the concession was probably the only logical thing to do. A part of me still wants to be the technocrat and say that good agnostic policy is good agnostic policy, but when you're dealing with a party that legitimately thinks NOT defaulting by choice represents a 'concession'... what else can you do?
   1870. stig-tossled,hornswoggled gef the talking mongoose Posted: February 20, 2014 at 10:56 PM (#4660068)
Are you really that dumb, or do you just think everyone else here is?


Why is that framed as an either/or question?
   1871. OCF Posted: February 21, 2014 at 12:18 AM (#4660090)
As a followup to #1859, some numbers from the CA Secretary of State's office for the 2012 Presidential election split into these proposed new states.

Jefferson: 374,000 votes cast. Carried by Romney, 49.2%-46.3%. Net margin about 11,000 votes for Romney. Higher 3rd party % than elsewhere.

North California: 1.54 million votes cast. Carried by Obama, 57.9%-39.2%. Net margin about 289,000 votes for Obama.

Silicon Valley: 2.59 million votes cast. Carried by Obama, 73.6%-23.5%. Net margin about 1.30 million votes for Obama.

Central California: 1.14 million votes cast. Carried by Romney, 50.2%-47.4%. Net margin about 31,000 votes for Romney.

West California: 3.80 million votes cast. Carried by Obama 67.0%-30.5%. Net margin about 1.39 million votes for Obama.

South California: 3.60 million votes cast. Carried by Obama 50.0%-47.6%. Net margin about 86,000 votes for Obama.


So what happened in South California? It turns out that Orange and San Diego Counties were nearly exactly the same size in number of votes case. Romney carried Orange County 51.9%-45.6%, but Obama carried San Diego County 52.6%-45.0%. So Orange county gave Romney a net 70,000 votes, but San Diego County gave Obama a net 90,000 votes. Then San Bernardino and Riverside Counties were each about half the population of either Orange or San Diego. San Bernardino's % were almost exactly the same as San Diego's, so that's another 43,000 net for Obama. Riverside was closer, but still 49.7%-48.1% Obama; another net 11,000 votes. And Imperial County has a much smaller population but is overwhelmingly Democratic, for another net 12,000 votes for Obama.

I'll say that while both Jefferson and Central California did vote for Romney, neither was as red as I would have guessed. And that's with me putting Kern County into Central California. If I use the map linked in 1845 that had Kern County as part of "West California," the 37,000 vote margin for Romney in Kern County gets utterly swamped by Los Angeles County, but with them gone, Central California goes very narrowly to Obama.

And the attempted gerrymander to use Orange County to create a Republican "South California" didn't work.

"North California" has some reasonably well populated strongly Republican counties in the Mother Lode and Sacramento exurb territories: El Dorado 16,000 Romney margin, Placer 33,000 Romney margin. But each of Sacramento and Sonoma counties is nearly 100,000 Obama margin. The result isn't close.

---

Of course, just an amusing exercise. Exactly zero chance that this happens for real in the near future.
   1872. OCF Posted: February 21, 2014 at 12:23 AM (#4660092)
- Iconic landmark: San Diego Zoo?

Disneyland, I'd think.

Yes, you're right, I forgot about that. Still not sure what the famous product is. Top Gun naval fighter pilots?
   1873. Publius Publicola Posted: February 21, 2014 at 08:21 AM (#4660121)
... that ship sailed a decade ago.


Err, no. From Wiki:

Sullivan describes himself as a conservative and is the author of The Conservative Soul. He has supported a number of traditional libertarian positions. He favors limited government and opposes interventionist measures such as affirmative action.[31]


This is the part that might have you so confused:


However, on a number of controversial public issues, including same-sex marriage, social security, progressive taxation, anti-discrimination law, Obamacare, the U.S. government's use of torture, and capital punishment, he takes a position typically shared by those on the left of the U.S. political spectrum. In July 2012 Sullivan said that "...the catastrophe of the Bush-Cheney years... all but exploded the logic of neoconservatism and its domestic partner-in-crime, supply-side economics."


Sullivan is not giving up his conservatism just because he acknowledges the dysfunctional Bush-Cheney years and won't support a number of unsupportable positions that originated from the GOP.

Maybe you could take an object lesson from Sully? It might help you seem less silly.
   1874. Howie Menckel Posted: February 21, 2014 at 08:48 AM (#4660129)
this time it's Dunkin' Donuts, in the crotch, with the hot cider


http://www.nj.com/essex/index.ssf/2014/02/nj_woman_sues_dunkin_donuts_after_getting_burned_when_hot_cider_spilled.html#incart_river_default

   1875. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 21, 2014 at 09:27 AM (#4660149)
Sooo.... you'd turn a solid blue state in to 2 deep blue states + 2 blue states + 1 purple state + 1 reddish state.


Balance it out by splitting up Texas. Of course, 1-2 of those states might be purplish too.
   1876. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: February 21, 2014 at 09:34 AM (#4660152)
Balance it out by splitting up Texas. Of course, 1-2 of those states might be purplish too.


If we are talking states, how about we give representation back to residents of DC (make everything but the Mall a state) and give the good people of Puerto Rico the state they want? 52 states (plus any divides from CA and Texas).
   1877. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: February 21, 2014 at 09:45 AM (#4660160)
Balance it out by splitting up Texas.


How much can we foist off on Mexico?
   1878. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: February 21, 2014 at 09:55 AM (#4660165)
... that ship sailed a decade ago.


Sullivan is not now nor has he ever remotely been a D leaning liberal.
   1879. Zonk is a cagey fellow Posted: February 21, 2014 at 10:04 AM (#4660173)
How about some Vatican politics...

The 'Bishop of Bling' in New Jersey is getting an awful lot of blowback over a rather nice addition (a $500k addition) being built onto a retirement mansion... I'm sure Pope Francis is not at all amused by this...
   1880. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: February 21, 2014 at 10:07 AM (#4660176)
Sullivan is not now nor has he ever remotely been a D leaning liberal.

Sullivan's a lot like the late Christopher Hitchens, too hard to pin down into one convenient category, though the best way to describe him might be an old fashioned conservative without the bigotry and the hostility against the poor, with a great fondness for attention being one of his main motivating forces.
   1881. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 21, 2014 at 10:08 AM (#4660181)
And combine the Dakotas. Dems will agree to combine a few New England states to even things out.

Sullivan's a lot like the late Christopher Hitchens, too hard to pin down into one convenient category, though the best way to describe him might be an old fashioned conservative without the bigotry and the hostility against the poor


He's a Tory.
   1882. GregD Posted: February 21, 2014 at 10:14 AM (#4660189)
It is in retrospect too bad that the Puerto Rico votes happened in 2012. If they had been held in 2008 with that outcome, it would have been interesting to watch a Dem-controlled House, Senate, and White House contemplate statehood. Of course it would have been filibustered and the fallout would probably have shut down all chance of Obamacare.

But this to me would be the one thing that would make me, as a Republican, wary of jettisoning the filibuster in 2014 if they gain the Senate. If a 51-vote threshold becomes normative for every law, the first thing that would follow a Dem hold over the White House, House, and Senate would be a push for PR statehood. That's a game-changer over the long run (like the Republican push to add purportedly (though not always in practice) R-leaning territories (and split up the Dakotas) in the late 19th century, which saved their bacon in national campaigns as their post-CW alliance ebbed.)

PR would have 5 Congressmen, whether the House simply added people or sustained 435 (and thus took 5 from other states.) Plus 2 Senators. 7 Electoral votes. It is hard to know whether one of the House seats would go Republican or something but at least at the start you would not want to bet on it.

There are some complex issues to resolve in statehood, including on PR's debt, a big issue right now.

Washington D.C. is a smaller issue since 1) it's not as far advanced as PR (which could presumably call a constitutional convention the day after a Dem sweeping election and have something to congress within months of the swearing-in) and 2) it's much smaller--only 1 House seat and 3 total EVs.

The counter-argument is that the Dems might well jettison the filibuster entirely anyway if they got control of all three. Possible though I think there are enough traditionalist Dems that you'd have to get near 60 Dems before you could get 50 to agree to end the filibuster as normal practice.)

The main reason to admit a PR that wanted to enter--if that stayed clearly the case--is equity, of course, and I would endorse adding a territory of that size no matter which party seemed likely to prevail.
   1883. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: February 21, 2014 at 10:15 AM (#4660190)
He's a Tory.

That'd be another way of putting it, but it's still Toryism without the attendant bigotry and hostility against the poor.
   1884. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 21, 2014 at 10:26 AM (#4660194)
PR would have 5 Congressmen, whether the House simply added people or sustained 435 (and thus took 5 from other states.) Plus 2 Senators. 7 Electoral votes. It is hard to know whether one of the House seats would go Republican or something but at least at the start you would not want to bet on it.

There are some complex issues to resolve in statehood, including on PR's debt, a big issue right now.

Washington D.C. is a smaller issue since 1) it's not as far advanced as PR (which could presumably call a constitutional convention the day after a Dem sweeping election and have something to congress within months of the swearing-in) and 2) it's much smaller--only 1 House seat and 3 total EVs.


For the House seats at least, I know for DC, the proposed compromise was to add another Congressional seat to Utah due to population increases.
   1885. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: February 21, 2014 at 10:31 AM (#4660200)
The main reason to admit a PR that wanted to enter--if that stayed clearly the case--is equity, of course, and I would endorse adding a territory of that size no matter which party seemed likely to prevail.


I think it would be good for the US to bring PR on board and I think DC residents (including my sister) deserve more representation than they are getting - even aside from partisan factors. But yeah good analysis.
   1886. GregD Posted: February 21, 2014 at 11:09 AM (#4660228)
For the House seats at least, I know for DC, the proposed compromise was to add another Congressional seat to Utah due to population increases.
I remember when that was floated as a way of getting R votes though not enough of them. Understandably on grounds of self-interest (and I do think a federal capital district is a tricky proposition for statehood and is often governed distinctly in many countries; the simplest thing would simply be to divvy residential DC back up to VA and MD and make the federal district essentially the White House, Mall, and Capitol and Supreme Court or something.)

When the US admitted Alaska and Hawaii--too bad there's no R-leaning territory to bring in--they bumped up the congressional seats temporarily so no one was squeezed out then dropped back down at the next census. That's a possibility. Or there's no inherent reason for 435 anyway, and there are arguments (not ironclad!) for a bigger Congress anyway.

In retrospect the lost moment was the late 70s when Republicans seemed interested in the idea that PR would be an R stronghold (hard to imagine given voting in PR precincts of NYC, Newark, Philly, etc.) and pushed in part by the Cuban wing of the party. Rs were, I think, the first to hold pres primaries in PR and there was discussion of PR and DC being counter-balancing admissions. Probably wouldn't have happened and at the time there was not a strong PR push for statehood anyway, but that was probably the last time anyone thought of PR as a potential R target.

I may be nuts but I personally think Rs could possibly--just barely possibly--build a functioning party in PR if they appealed heavily to the Catholic crowd. But I can understand why they doubt it happening.
   1887. Morty Causa Posted: February 21, 2014 at 11:21 AM (#4660235)
At the macroeconomic level Puerto Rico has been experiencing a recession for 8 consecutive years, starting in 2006 after a series of negative cash flows and the expiration of the section 936 that applied to Puerto Rico of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code. This section was critical for the economy as it established tax exemptions for U.S. corporations that settled in Puerto Rico and allowed its subsidiaries operating in the island to send their earnings to the parent corporation at any time, without paying federal tax on corporate income. Puerto Rico has, however, surprisingly been able to maintain a relatively low inflation in the past decade while maintaining a purchasing power parity per capita higher than 80% of the rest of the world.[153] Academically, most of Puerto Rico's economic woes stem from federal regulations that expired, have been repealed, or no longer apply to Puerto Rico; its inability to become self-sufficient and self-sustainable throughout history;[n] its highly politicized public policy which tends to change whenever a political party gains power;[o] as well as its highly inefficient local government[p][q] which has accrued a public debt equal to 68% of its gross domestic product throughout time.[r][s]

In comparison to the different states of the United States, Puerto Rico is poorer than the poorest state of the United States with 41% of its population below the poverty line.[t]


From Wikipedia. The complaint of many is that Puerto Rico is neither politically stable nor economically vibrant. What would the USA get out of making Puerto Rico a state that it doesn't have now?
   1888. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 21, 2014 at 11:31 AM (#4660241)
Puerto Rico needs a federal bailout too.

FWIW, Puerto Rico's non-voting Congressional delegate is a Democrat, as is the Governor. However, voters and candidates there have their own political parties, not the D/R split we have in the rest of the States.
   1889. GregD Posted: February 21, 2014 at 11:32 AM (#4660242)
From Wikipedia. The complaint of many is that Puerto Rico is neither politically stable nor economically vibrant. What would the USA get out of making Puerto Rico a state that it doesn't have now?
How do you define politically stable? Puerto Rico has not even had a fringe violent group for 40 years and hasn't had actual danger of governmental change in a century? It has to be one of the most-stable places on earth politically? Many western states have had much more recent histories of fringe violent groups.

Your own larger quote illustrates the reason to do something. The current territorial system has produced stagnation and recession since it was altered. Of course this is not an argument to continue the current territorial system!

The possibilities are then:
1) to go to statehood on the grounds that the economy would grow again if fully incorporated
2) to let them go--but there is no longer widespread support for independence on the island
3) to revert to decades-old territorial models that did help the economy grow but that lack congressional political support.

Right now the US has a system that is both inequitable and also economically harmful. This stemmed from a congressional decision to make territorial status unappealing to them--to cut out the support that made it economically successful. At the time no one knew if making territorial status lousy would lead Puerto Ricans toward independence or not; if so, I would have supported independence. But now that these decisions have worked their intended effect, Puerto Ricans have in fact moved in aggregate from supporting territorial status to statehood and away from independence.
   1890. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: February 21, 2014 at 11:36 AM (#4660243)
From Wikipedia. The complaint of many is that Puerto Rico is neither politically stable nor economically vibrant. What would the USA get out of making Puerto Rico a state that it doesn't have now?


Ignoring all the justice and fairness arguments, I think in the long term it is in both the US and PR interests for more unification in laws and economic payments. Initially I think there may be some US costs to bringing them in. Aside from the economic case I think there are cultural reasons - yes including my hobby horse of diversity, which manifest more strongly if they are a full bore state and not just a territory (or whatever they technically are today).

More to the point though is the fact they are currently citizens who want to be part of a state and not just in a territory. Historically that means statehood. Why should it be different now?

EDIT: And what GregD said (better than me - here is your AMERICAN Coke).
   1891. spike Posted: February 21, 2014 at 11:37 AM (#4660246)
Don't look now, but Rand Paul is reaching for his Sister Souljah moment against Abbot's blood brother....

Senator Rand Paul ?@SenRandPaul 15h
Ted Nugent's derogatory description of President Obama is offensive and has no place in politics. He should apologize.


   1892. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: February 21, 2014 at 11:38 AM (#4660248)
And there are a shocking number of people who don't think of Puerto Ricans as US citizens. The dissonance of having to acknowledge them as a state would be awesome. SO there is humor value in it as well.

EDIT: And good for Rand Paul, by the way. Even if it is calculated, it is the right thing to do.
   1893. GregD Posted: February 21, 2014 at 11:47 AM (#4660254)
There is some precedence for delaying territorial efforts to become states--including in the oft-criticized late 19th century when as much as Congress rushed in new states they often made territories wait until admission.

But there is no precedent for over the long term making a territory that is petitioning for statehood wait a lengthy period for admission. That's fundamentally against the way the government was framed; the idea was that the US achieved stability (and avoided empire) by giving every territory a path to statehood if it grew and developed a reasonable constitution.) Excluding a territory from that path is deeply un-American not just in the sense that it violates some abstract set of norms but in the concrete sense that it violates the basic institutional framework established at the founding.

Anyone with any libertarian inclinations should be deeply opposed to territorial status since it is the territories that the federal government has built up its muscles that it then turned to its states. (I personally would exempt very small places--you could fold the Virgin Islands into the state of Puerto Rico if they wanted; it is harder to know what to do with American Samoa, the Northern Marianas and Guam.)
   1894. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: February 21, 2014 at 11:54 AM (#4660260)
Don't look now, but Rand Paul is reaching for his Sister Souljah moment against Abbot's blood brother....

Senator Rand Paul ?@SenRandPaul 15h
Ted Nugent's derogatory description of President Obama is offensive and has no place in politics. He should apologize.


I'll be more impressed with Rand Paul when he takes off after some of those characters associated with his father's newsletters.
   1895. GregD Posted: February 21, 2014 at 11:59 AM (#4660265)
I'll be more impressed with Rand Paul when he takes off after some of those characters associated with his father's newsletters.
On that narrow issue I cut Rand--not Ron--some slack. The sins of the father are not visited upon the son, and I don't think it makes sense to ask adults to critique their parents in public (even if in this case it gets murky since he benefits by his father's support and supporters.)

There are lots of other things that make me think Rand is too loopy to be president, but I don't think he's going to be president anyway. What's interesting to me is that so much more able a politician than Cruz or Rubio or Jindal or the other alleged rising stars. Paul just runs circles around them even though by all rights you would think he would actually have less room to maneuver given his base and his ideology.

Like the other truly talented Republican potential contender--Huckabee--I doubt that it will be enough to get Paul a nomination but on the other hand, I wouldn't bet against him continuing to reinvent and position himself into a more broadly popular figure by 2020 or 2024 or something.
   1896. BDC Posted: February 21, 2014 at 12:03 PM (#4660269)
harder to know what to do with American Samoa, the Northern Marianas and Guam

Trade them to Detroit for Doug Fister.
   1897. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: February 21, 2014 at 12:16 PM (#4660287)
On that narrow issue I cut Rand--not Ron--some slack. The sins of the father are not visited upon the son, and I don't think it makes sense to ask adults to critique their parents in public (even if in this case it gets murky since he benefits by his father's support and supporters.)

I think you just addressed your own point when you made that parenthetical remark. By not going after those certifiably racist associates of his father, Rand Paul is essentially trying to have it both ways. He's obviously not the first politician to do this, but given the particularly foul nature of those associates of his father's, I don't think he should be let off the hook that easily. At the very least he should call them out by name and let them know that he's not interested in their support in any future election, without even mentioning his father.
   1898. GregD Posted: February 21, 2014 at 12:29 PM (#4660302)
Ethically I guess I agree but no politician denounces his own supporters and says he doesn't want their support. That's not going Sister Souljah, that's going suicidal. So I can't get upset that Rand doesn't do something that no politician would do. If he chooses to employ them himself, that's an entirely different issue.
   1899. Heinie Mantush (Krusty) Posted: February 21, 2014 at 12:49 PM (#4660318)
Andrew Sullivan's crazy crusade to "prove" Palin wasn't the mother of her youngest child


Andrew Sullivan...

I actually subbed to the Dish when Sullivan went indie last year, in spite of his election year histrionics and bizarre Palin conspiracy theorizing. I think Sullivan can be an incredibly astute eye when he's so inclined. However, the changing tone of his blog has really turned me off. The added religious coverage didn't really add or take away anything. The bizarre obsession with circumcision doesn't make a huge difference.

However, Sullivan's take on the modern GOP can be a bit reductionist and he has a nasty tendency to see the world in good/evil with good being whichever side he's on, and being out on his own has brought that out even further (though I doubt he had any real editorial guidance at TDB or The Atlantic.) His anti-Zionist conspiracy mongering and linking to actual anti-Semitic outposts can be genuinely offensive.

/rant
   1900. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: February 21, 2014 at 12:54 PM (#4660321)

From Wikipedia. The complaint of many is that Puerto Rico is neither politically stable nor economically vibrant.


We tolerate New Jersey, don't we?
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