Senate [In-Depth Discussion] United States presidential election: 2012

Discussion in 'Archive: The Senate Floor' started by kingthlayer, Mar 4, 2011.

  1. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    Huffingtonpost is already talking about "Nate Silver's victory lap." I think it's important to remember that a lot of people who followed his 538 blog this election cycle weren't doing so because they shopped carefully and extensively for the most sophisticated predictive model; they followed it because it told them what they wanted to hear. I followed the blog because I followed it before it was bought up by NYT because of SIlver's success last time around, but back then I started following it because it told me what I wanted to hear (and because of recommendations from JC member early adopters). Confirmation bias isn't just a weakness of the folks who visited unskewed polls every day.

    Dunning-Kruger is alive and well on the left. Most fans of 538, me included, aren't qualified to assess Silver's statistical analysis. We congratulate ourselves for following the Money Ball guy because his models represent reality-based science. How do we know this? Because he told us. I'm glad 538 was right, but I don't see the death of punditry or a collapse of the Fox News alternate reality bubble as the result of post-election shock.
    Last edited by Jabbadabbado, Nov 7, 2012
    Point Given likes this.
  2. Likewater Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 31, 2009
    star 4
    I don’t believe it’s because we might as well live in 2 different countries, conservatives and liberals don’t really consider where the other person is coming from.
    On Gun control conservatives are pro- gun, why? If you are part of the hunting culture it can put food on the table, and central between the bonds of a life style. In areas where there are very few law enforcement personal in a vast area the offer security. They can be disassembled and reassembled for the curious, they have been central in defending neighbors and nations.

    For liberals, especially in urban areas, they send bullets through walls and cars and kill people at random. They have crippled or killed neighbors, lead to feelings of not being safe in one’s own community. If you and your family come from war ravaged areas where leaders or warlords keep people oppressed at the point of a gun, countries that were colonized at the point of a gun…Is it no surprised that liberals look on guns negatively.

    The same thing goes international politics, Economic views, so on and so forth. Conservatives embrace the ideals and views and policies that worked well for the demographics they represent, for their communities. But those very same policies destroyed entire regions of the world.
    If you hail from a culture adversely affected by companies such as “Western Fruit”, the culture will develop a negative view at worst, and significant mistrust at best of international corporations.

    The past shapes the present, and while the national ideals of the Soviet Union proved impractical and destructive. It doesn’t mean that many people from areas adversely affected by the colonial era and the cold war open to hard line nationalist policies, corporate favoring economic environments.

    Differing environments breed different viewpoints, but it doesn’t mean it is some irreconcilable difference. Just means it takes effort to see things from a different point of view. Especially as more people move to urban areas for job opportunities, it doesn’t invalidate the conservative or rural point of views, or make their philosophies less relevant, or even less appealing, that the environment may not make fertile ground for such viewpoints.
    And that other view point will flourish and are based in logic and environment as traditional conservative ones.
  3. Alpha-Red Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 25, 2004
    star 5
    You know who else was one of the most divisive American presidents? Abraham Lincoln. But even he did not set out to end slavery right away. Rather, the South made up a whole bunch of crap and decided that if he was even elected they would secede.


    And what's wrong with gun control? It's not like anything particularly unreasonable is even on the table, just more background checks and stuff. America has one of the highest rates of gun violence in the world, and it shouldn't be that way. We always hear "guns don't kill people, people do" but really guns make it a LOT easier for people to kill each other when they find the motive to do so. How would you like it if every single person in your neighborhood had four AR-15's? Or if every single country in the world had nuclear weapons? Would that make you feel safe?

    Second, religious liberty is not even remotely being threatened. You've always talked about gay marriage and the hypothetical possibility of churches and photographers being forced to take part in something they're personally against. Well guess what? It's not going to happen. If a church doesn't want to bless a same-sex union, then fine, whatever. They'll be left alone, just like you want. Why will they be left alone? Because people are going to see that that's perfectly reasonable.

    And the ban on large sodas, well that's only happening in one city, and it's unpopular. It's not even a "left-wing" idea so much as it is the pet project of Michael Bloomberg (who's an independent). But even then it's not unreasonable either. It just means that restaurants and other venues won't be able to serve large servings of sodas. Is that so bad? And even if for some reason you really want to have that 40-ounce soda, you can still do it! You can buy more than one drink and no one's going to stop you, or you can go to the grocery store and get one of those 2-liter bottles. The "ban" on large drinks is simply there because when you buy a large drink your brain's impulse is to drink it all up...you can easily circumvent it if you choose to, it'll just take a little more effort. The state isn't even saying you can't have 40 ounces of soda, it's just subtly saying "hey, you've already had 20 ounces, are you sure you want to go on?"
    Last edited by Alpha-Red, Nov 7, 2012
  4. Valairy Scot Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 16, 2005
    star 5
    What you feel is no different from what many of those dreaded "liberals" feel about the ultra-conservatives wanting to make choices for the liberals.
    So, while I find I have to agree with some of what you said above (this specific post), your issue applies to groups you don't agree with as well. Until we all understand that and then wish to seek common ground with those agreeable to such AND NOT PAY SUCH ATTENTION TO THE CRAZY EXTREMES we might actually get somewhere.
    It would help if the political discourse itself was not so focused on demonizing "the other." The other is our neighbors, our fellow Americans, not the spawn of hell or whatever.

    .
  5. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    I have a hard time envisioning another civil war over gay marriage. DOMA is a loser. Gay marriage is going to be legal across the blue belt. Full faith and credit is going to sweep it into the red states, although self-deportation of GLBs to get the hell away from those parts of the country is a strategy I'd highly recommend to them.
  6. Kimball_Kinnison Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2001
    star 6
    You know what's wrong with gun control? It doesn't work.

    I've long said that I have three criteria before I would support a gun control measure. I've yet to really find one that fits, with the exception of the changes that Virginia made after the Virginia Tech shooting (regarding mental health records). Those criteria are:
    1) It has to address the specific problem it's claimed to address,
    2) It has to be effective at addressing the problem, and
    3) It has to not disproportionately affect the law-abiding citizen.

    Can you name one new gun control measure that meets those criteria? Magazine restrictions don't do it. More background checks don't do it either. (Almost every one of the high-profile shootings in the last 10 years was by someone who bought their guns from a dealer with a background check.) Assault weapon bans don't do it. In fact, the ATF admitted that they could find no correlation between the assault weapons ban in effect from 1994-2004 and crime rates, either when it started or when it ended. It didn't reduce crime, nor did its expiration increase crime.

    Gun control is an emotional, knee-jerk response that doesn't actually address the real problems. It simply doesn't work.

    Really? Then why are Catholic organizations being required to directly pay for something that they claim violates their doctrines? (Specifically, birth control coverage.) Why, in the New Mexico photographer case, did the couple specifically seek out Elaine Photography to create the complaint.

    You can't just hand wave it all away. You might not think that people will try to use the law to force people to violate their religious beliefs, but there are a lot of people who do see it happening.

    It's not just one city, nor the pet project of one man. There's already talk of it in DC, and in parts of California.

    And yes, it is "so bad". It's not the government's place to protect people from their own choices. Why should it matter to you whether someone else buys a 40-ounce soda or a 16-ounce soda? If you don't want one that big, then don't buy one. Why do you feel the need to control what they do, or make them pay an extra price because you don't like their choices?
  7. ShaneP Ex-Mod Officio

    Member Since:
    Mar 26, 2001
    star 6
    KK, gun control does work to a point. There is a point at which bans dont work and are counter-productive. But waiting periods and background checks are perfectly reasonable regulations.

    I just want to comment on last night:

    It was a wipeout.

    Hopefully there will be a reevaluation by the GOP and their outreach. They have big issues with women and latino voters.

    They're going to have to reexamine their stances on immigration and their nomination processes to screen some of these stupid candidates from getting congressional nominations.

    My prediction:

    They wont. The GOP will make things worse for themselves and re-entrench themselves and become a minority party and be gone in a generation as a national party.

    Say hello to the Whigs you nutcrackers.
    Last edited by ShaneP, Nov 7, 2012
  8. Alpha-Red Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 25, 2004
    star 5
    What need is there for high capacity magazines or assault weapons? A simple handgun is probably all you need for your personal defense. And how inconvenient really is a background check? Are these not prudent measures? Even if they only save a single person's life, then isn't it worth it? Our gun laws are more lax than they've ever been in our country's history, as the Second Amendment has never been interpreted as it is today as an absolute right to own weapons.

    As for the Catholic church thing with birth control, last I heard they were going to be granted an exemption. Even then it's only a small minority of Catholics that really object to birth control, and at that point it's weighing the potential harm to those Catholics who object (which is a small number of individuals) against the harm to those people who might not get birth control (which is a a good deal more).

    I've never heard of the New Mexico photographer case, but what do you expect will come out of that? They can go to court, and the court will rule in favor of the photographers because the case against them is idiotic, and that'll be the end of that.

    Lastly if government isn't supposed to protect people from their choices, why not just let people drive without seatbelts? Or let them do heroin?
    Last edited by Alpha-Red, Nov 7, 2012
  9. ShaneP Ex-Mod Officio

    Member Since:
    Mar 26, 2001
    star 6
    That's coming. Individual liberty and choice has swamped the common good and unitarian principles.
  10. Mr44 VIP

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 6
    Ah, the old tried and true gun control debate which resurfaces every year or 2. I don't want to get into too much nitty-gritty with gun control, but the immediate answer is because there is no established definition as to what an "assault weapon" is.* Even now, if I asked you to define it, I'd bet that you couldn't come up with an effective definition. It's the same with "high capacity" magazines. Magazine construction is based on caliber and/or firearm, so "high capacity" is a meaningless term in and of itself. In essence, the gun control movement is driven by people who largely know nothing about firearms, and have very little experience with them. But that's not the main reason why the gun control issue is so muddled. It's that once you start compromising a principle, the principle is lost.

    A_R, let me ask you- would you be ok with entirely abandoning your same sex marriage support, as long as the compromise was a two tier system where gay couples get civil unions, and true marriage is reserved for hetero-couples? That solution would certainly take care of the issue right away, right? Of course not. You're not going to be happy until the DOMA is repealed, and same sex couples get full and equal treatment, and you're certainly not going to compromise. It's nobody's business, especially the government's, on what kind of sex people have in their house. But wait, aren't there restrictions on such behavior? 2 men can't go out and have sex in the middle of a public park. But such a restriction does nothing to dilute the right those same people have in private. I made a round about argument, but the issue is exactly the same with the 2nd Amendment.

    Your last sentence is the controlling one here. What is a reasonable restriction on any type of behavior, vs the right of the public to engage in it?
  11. Likewater Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 31, 2009
    star 4
    you realize there are more shootings that high profile shootings.

    The assualt weapons ban works because if a criminal has an assualt weapon they can worm their way out of it with legal gymnastics.

    Is the defenition vague? yes, but how much of that is due to the leagal fighting between the partys about gun control?

    and their is no logical reason for civilians to own assault weapons. Are you planning on waging war against anyone? Laying sige to a fortfied position? Holding out against a prolonged assault?
    yes some people who just really like guns lose out, but the community risk to benifit ration is on the banning side.


    About providing controception for employees, there are certain practical matters of employing people that must be met. It wasn't some plot to destroy religious freedom, and the government can't tip toe around protecting employee rights, Including rights involving health care. And last time I checked the goverment and these catholic orginizations worked things out.

    If people feel under threat only discourse and keeping and openmind will help them.

    As for the "Soda law" there is an obesity epidemic in this country, and it is very costly. And ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure is the philosphy behind these soda laws. Yes it will take more than just changing peoples eating habits, but the less overwight people we have means less overweight medical complications like diabetes, will strain the medical system. thats the reasoning behind it. Same whay taxing tabacco products to prevent the wide spread use of tobacco and the wide spread...spread of tabacco related medical problems.
    Last edited by Likewater, Nov 7, 2012
  12. Kimball_Kinnison Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2001
    star 6
    High capacity magazine bans simply don't work. Ever hear of Columbine? That happened during a ban on high capacity magazines and assault weapons, and how many people died? Or how about Virginia Tech? By my count, Cho owned at least 12 magazines, most of which didn't hold more than 10 rounds. (He used a Glock 19 which has a standard magazine size of 15 and bought 4 extra magazines for it, and a Walther P22 which only takes 10-round magazines, and bought 5 extra magazines. The P22 comes with 2 magazines standard.) He still manages to fire over 170 rounds.

    As for background checks, I don't have a problem with them in general, but if you want to know how inconvenient they can be, go read the series of article by Emily Miller at the Washington Times entitled "Emily Gets Her Gun". A summary can be found here. In DC, there's only one dealer who can run the background checks, and he charges $150 to transfer a firearm.That's in addition to actually buying the gun.

    And, as I said, almost every single one of the mass shootings in recent years has been by someone who passed those same background checks that you tout. Cho? He passed them twice. Nidal Hassan? He passed. Jared Laughtner? Passed. James Holmes? Passed. Every single one of those guns was bought through a FFL that required a background check. Can you point out a single high-profile shooting where the gun was bought in a legal private-party sale without a background check? If not, then how do you expect that requiring such checks will make any noticeable change in firearm crimes?

    It simply isn't prudent to implement changes that don't actually address the real problems. Waiting periods are obsolete, because they were meant to allow law enforcement time to conduct a background check. Now that we have a system that can run that check almost instantaneously, what good do they serve? If anything, they have gotten more people killed, as Dave Kopel has documented:
    Waiting periods did get at least one person killed: Bonnie Elmasri. If getting rid of them could have saved her life, wouldn't that be worth it?

    If they were getting an exemption, then why are so many Catholic organizations suing over the mandate? Birth control is still available to women without the mandate, and it's not all that expensive, except in the most extreme cases (where you still have the less expensive options of condoms and abstinence). Target sells a 36-pack of condoms for $20, or $0.56 per use. According to some surveys, 90% of the population reports having sex up to 5 times a week. At that rate, the box of condoms would last you about 7 weeks for $20. And condoms would protect you from STDs in addition to their contraceptive abilities.

    Hardly. The case is currently before the New Mexico Supreme Court because both the New Mexico Human Rights Commission and the lower courts didn't rule in favor of the photographer. You can read a good summary of the case so far here.

    Good question. Honestly, I don't have a problem with people choosing not to wear seatbelts, nor with them using heroin, until their actions affect someone else's rights. It's just like I don't have a problem with you going out and getting drunk, but I do have a problem with you driving drunk or being drunk and disorderly in public.
  13. Jabba-wocky Chosen One

    Member Since:
    May 4, 2003
    star 8


    Can I just interject here to say that I find it completely insane that the implied best solution here for domestic assault is not to make sure law enforcement does a better job of protecting potential victims or that robust resources are available for people in need of escape, but instead that we should have open warfare and gun battles between private citizens? Really?
    Juliet316 likes this.
  14. Kimball_Kinnison Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2001
    star 6
    Where I live, the average police response time is 6 minutes from the time the 911 dispatcher relays information over the radio. And I live in a suburban environment only a couple miles from the police station. Unless you are going to suggest that every restraining order come with a 24/7 police protection detail, how do you propose a potential victim defend themselves for those critical 7-8 minutes (longer during rush hour) it takes to call 911, have them dispatch a unit, and have the unit arrive? Especially, if their attacker is bigger and stronger than they are? Pepper spray isn't that effective of a method, nor are stun guns.

    Or should the victim just give in to their attacker and hope that they are allowed to live?
  15. Mr44 VIP

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 6
    Well, that's because you're taking things to the extreme. It's not the best, nor is it the only solution. A firearm in itself isn't a panacea, but neither are blanket restrictions against them that have no real goals. Because each one comes with their own positives and negatives. It's easy to dismiss one aspect while passing the responsibility off to another segment. You suggest that law enforcement "does a better job of protecting potential victims.." Who, in your opinion, is a "potential victim?" We're not at the level of Minority Report yet. Even with identifying potential victims under the existing system through the use of restraining orders and such, what would your solution be? Would you be comfortable with law enforcement tapping the phones of every reported abuser? Random checks or other monitoring? If a city like New York has thousands of active orders of protection, should a police officer act as a personal body guard for every one? Would you be comfortable if the government forced victims to break away from abusive relationships as a requirement to getting a restraining order? These are the real world challenges that make actual solutions much more complicated than the concepts allow.
    Last edited by Mr44, Nov 7, 2012
  16. Jabba-wocky Chosen One

    Member Since:
    May 4, 2003
    star 8
    I'll respond in-depth later, but I'm responding to the way both that article and KK's post was constructed. I'm not the one that created a binary choice where we either abolish waiting periods or that woman gets brutally murdered. I just tried to highlight how disturbingly absurd it was.
    Ender_Sai likes this.
  17. Quixotic-Sith Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 22, 2001
    star 6
    I've heard that pepper spray is ineffective. Which is why my ex-military Department Head has suggested hornet spray instead.

    EDIT:

    For which, incidentally, there is no waiting period.
    Last edited by Quixotic-Sith, Nov 7, 2012
  18. Mr44 VIP

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 6
    You mean, like the actual hornet killing spray like Raid, etc? That would be interesting to see any court case where someone used Raid outside of its intended purpose and ended up permanently blinding the other person. Of course, the first time that happened, then a certain segment would call to ban Raid, and/or limit the size of can and install waiting periods to buy it. There is no reason why anyone needs more than a 12oz can to actually kill hornets. Anything more represents a "high capacity" amount. After all, Raid could hurt someone....
  19. Rogue_Ten Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 18, 2002
    star 7
    im sorry has anyone addressed the fact that jedismuggler is apparently immune to the irony of --in the same post where he cries crocodile tears about being called a bigot and a racist for his beliefs-- summing up his feelings in the quote of a man from a slave-owning society asking to be "left alone" to own, breed, trade, rape, exploit and murder human chattel?

    i think this cuts to the heart of the issue actually: reactionary segments of the population want to be left alone so that they can continue to have their oppressive social structures and the rest of the country says "nuh-uh".

    now, i actually dont accept that the civil war was ENTIRELY about slavery (to an extent, on a submerged level, it was about the expansion of northern capital which couldnt tolerate the quasi-feudal slavery system in the south undercutting the price of labor... but that's a whole other thread), but smuggler has made a heck of an argument for why he and his kind can't just be "left alone".
    Last edited by Rogue_Ten, Nov 7, 2012
  20. Quixotic-Sith Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 22, 2001
    star 6
    Or, you know, not that at all.
    Rogue_Ten likes this.
  21. Ender Sai Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 9
    If you mean birthers, then yes. They are racist. Anyone who doubts that Barack Obama was born in the USA is simply a racist who has found a method of being less overtly racist in public, fooling precisely nobody in the process. :)
  22. VadersLaMent Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Apr 3, 2002
    star 9
    Does this mean that superpacs are a bust? Some very rich people invested something over a billion dollars to bring down Obama and they failed.
  23. Rogue_Ten Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 18, 2002
    star 7
    they came a lot closer than they had any right to with mitt freakin romney. they might be quite effective with a less wildly incompetent candidate
  24. Valairy Scot Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 16, 2005
    star 5
    That NM photographer case is a essentially a red herring from what I've read.

    The STATE (not federal gov't) ANTI-DISCRIMINATION laws were violated by her refusal to photograph a gay wedding. Personally, she should have said she was scheduled and couldn't accomodate them - no harm, no foul (provable, anyway).

    As such, this would seem to have nothing to do with federal recognition of "marriage" itself.
    anakinfansince1983 likes this.
  25. TheShinyLightsaber Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Sep 3, 2012
    star 1
    Please elaborate on how race is a factor on someone not filling the requirements of an office?