U.S. Politics

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Jul 4, 2009
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aphronesis said:
Yeah, well 9 is about 25 years off the mark.
...you are correct that things have changed over the last 25 years....Near-Frozen Gnat's Urine has become Frozen Gnat's Urine....still nowhere close to what the civilised world would call real beer but it is movement in the right direction....:D

Cheers

blutto
 
Jun 22, 2009
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ToreBear said:
LOL

Btw, is there any chance of the democrats gaining a majority in the congress, or that tea party candidates are replaced by more sensible representatives from the republican party?
Going by my gut feeling, not a chance in hell of either occurring. (Bala posted some predictions for congressional seats a few pages back.)

I'll probably cause some ruffled feathers when I suggest that one of the many fundamental flaws of the US political system in the 21st century is that the traditional concept of 'checks and balances' only leads to time-consuming and futile partisan bickering.

The rest of the (democratic) world takes it as a given that the elected executive leadership of a country should enjoy a majority in the legislature so that legislation can actually be passed, as opposed to the farce that we regularly see being played out between the White House and Capitol Hill.
 
ToreBear said:
LOL
Judging from their lack of ability to unite against Assad, their lack of understanding the concept of elections in the US, and especially Romney's willingess to change posititions by the hour, they can be forgiven for their naivety.

I thought Romney went touchy feely in the last foreign policy debate? I did'nt bother to watch it so I might have misunderstood.

Anyway this will be exiting. I hope for the US and the rest of the worlds sake that Romney is not elected. If he is elected it will be interesting to see how the neocons try to force their fantasy world on to the real world. The US is in no position to do that, and is still suffering from the last time they set to work 11 years ago.

If Romney is elected the first thing he will have to deal with is Israel-Palestine were the explosion is waiting to go off sometime within the next 2-3 months.

I don't see that ending well seeing as Romney would want a second term, and Obama has used up all the ostrich time available to be able to make a second term possible.

The sand still available will only be quicksand.



Please forgive my strange reflections.




Btw, is there any chance of the democrats gaining a majority in the congress, or that tea party candidates are replaced by more sensible representatives from the republican party?
The deomcrats will not retake congress and the only fantasy foreign policy wise is your fantasy that Romney will follow some massive liberal interventionist agenda.

Romney was the only major republican candidate who did not take an open pro surge view in the 08 primaries and from the start tried to distance himself from Bush. He has never been the candidate of the foreign policy wing of the republican party and from the start was the candidate of the ultra conservative hannity limbaugh wing who dont care 1 bit about the rest of the world and only supported the Bush wars because it was a republican in the white house.

In fact the very reason he is the candidate now and not in 08 is because the foreign policy candidates of the GOP - Thomson and Giulliani, threw their support behind Mccain in order to stop Romney.

And if that wasn't enough he is running entirely on a domestic economy ticket.

Your post is bizzare though in that you critiscise the Syrian rebels for thinking that Romney may promote Us intervention, saying that he won't, then complain that Romney will after all promote US intervention.
 
Both candidates (may the "best" man win - in reality the lesser of two evils, that is Obama) often refer to themselves and countrymen as "we Americans," or stipulate "here lies the real America." Yet the two counterparts, the liberal vs. conservative masses, resemble themselves very little and are at times irreconcilable. Perhaps less so the common voters, as there really isn't much difference between the democratic and republican platforms in the final analysis, though certainly among the activists of both ideological persuasions in America. As per not necessarily so among voters: not in any case compared to that which separates the left from the right in Europe within certain civil criterias. I mean questions like how much should the state be involved in things like healthcare and education is an obvious answer among Europeans of both political spectrums, Britain notwithstanding. Though once again in the candidates' rhetoric, one comprehends how much the immovable cornice of patriotism merely serves to keep within the same picture, for love of homeland or per force, individuals and communities that share little in common. The little isolationist and supremacist people (in the provincial, backwards sense, not numerically) among the Tea Party who adored Palin and the cosmopolitan bourgeois of the (north) East Coast metropolises; the millionaires who think heavier taxation is a communist expropriation; and the working class that just received a shred of national healthcare and wouldn't want Romney to take it from them. Nationalism serves to provide fair play in what's an otherwise radical political conflict. It served the gentleman McCain to render homage to Obama following the former's defeat. And it has served Obama to render more "American" a policy that is suspected of being too "European," that is (from the right's perspective) socialist. Which of the two Americas is the "real America" I have been asking myself now for the last twenty years or so. I still haven't a response.
 
Aug 9, 2012
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The Hitch said:
The deomcrats will not retake congress and the only fantasy foreign policy wise is your fantasy that Romney will follow some massive liberal interventionist agenda.

Romney was the only major republican candidate who did not take an open pro surge view in the 08 primaries and from the start tried to distance himself from Bush. He has never been the candidate of the foreign policy wing of the republican party and from the start was the candidate of the ultra conservative hannity limbaugh wing who dont care 1 bit about the rest of the world and only supported the Bush wars because it was a republican in the white house.

In fact the very reason he is the candidate now and not in 08 is because the foreign policy candidates of the GOP - Thomson and Giulliani, threw their support behind Mccain in order to stop Romney.

And if that wasn't enough he is running entirely on a domestic economy ticket.

Your post is bizzare though in that you critiscise the Syrian rebels for thinking that Romney may promote Us intervention, saying that he won't, then complain that Romney will after all promote US intervention.
The world is complex, and there are different kinds of intervention. Hopefully a Romney presidency is not happening, so my fears will not become reality.
 
blutto said:
...you are correct that things have changed over the last 25 years....Near-Frozen Gnat's Urine has become Frozen Gnat's Urine....still nowhere close to what the civilised world would call real beer but it is movement in the right direction....:D

Cheers

blutto
well, since it's election day, we can get off topic a bit. corporate american beer is the same as it was. on the other hand the craft beer revival in the states did play some auxiliary role in the restoration of british ale. can't speak for all of canada, but i know for a personal fact that the same can be said for certain of the american influence on certain proponents of the craft beer restoration in quebec/montreal.
 
Jun 22, 2009
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Sep 10, 2009
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Interesting article by David Frum on CNN today:

http://www.cnn.com/2012/11/05/opinion/frum-election-chaos/index.html

Almost everywhere else, elections are run by impartial voting agencies. In France, elections are the responsibility of the Ministry of the Interior, which establishes places and hours of voting, prints ballots (France still uses paper) and counts the votes. In Germany, an independent federal returning officer oversees a complex state and federal voting system. In Canada, federal elections are managed by a specialized agency, Elections Canada. Mexico, emerging from a sad history of electoral manipulation, created in the 1990s a respected independent agency, the Federal Electoral Institute. Brazil has nationwide electronic voting, producing instantaneous, uncontested results.

No voting system is perfect. Britain has faced allegations of chronic fraud in absentee balloting. As I write, Lithuanian politics are convulsed by allegations of vote buying by one of its political parties.

But here's what doesn't happen in other democracies:

Politicians of one party do not set voting schedules to favor their side and harm the other. Politicians do not move around voting places to gain advantages for themselves or to disadvantage their opponents. In fact, in almost no other country do politicians have any say in the administration of elections at all.

In any other democracy, voters nationwide would have cast their votes on the same kind of balloting equipment, subject to the same rules.

The parties would have had a minimal role in supervising the election, and certainly would not have been allowed to ask for rule changes as the vote occurred.

The voting would have been overseen by a national election commission, not by local judges, who might be nonpartisan -- but who very well might not.

The American voting system...is the most error-prone, the most susceptible to fraud, the most vulnerable to unfairness and one of the least technologically sophisticated on earth.
 
Jun 22, 2009
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The American voting system...is the most error-prone, the most susceptible to fraud, the most vulnerable to unfairness and one of the least technologically sophisticated on earth.
A-f***ing-men to that! But like with everything else, many (I was going to write 'most') Americans will insist that the US is not only "the greatest nation on earth", but that it also has the finest institutions, etc, yada-yada......
 
Jan 11, 2010
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Yeah, I can't imagine in Holland a party that actively tried to prevent minorities from voting would ever stand a chance of winning the election. Even Geert Wilders wouldn't dare to do that. It's deeply undemocratic, and racist of course.
 
Feb 25, 2011
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Amsterhammer said:
That would indeed be a real bonus.:D

As far as American (mainstream) beer is concerned, I've not yet found any reason to stop believing that it's like making love in a canoe.








It's f***ing close to water.:p
amen!

(p.s. you saw my link in the Betsy Andreu thread, non?)

VeloCity said:
thank you for that. the more i try to explain stuff like that to my scottish boyfriend, the angrier he gets at me because i'm american. this way, he can just cuss at the computer :p

this issue is something that serious makes my blood boil and, imo, the article doesn't go nearly deep enough into all the sh*t.
 
Jun 22, 2009
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theyoungest said:
Yeah, I can't imagine in Holland a party that actively tried to prevent minorities from voting would ever stand a chance of winning the election. Even Geert Wilders wouldn't dare to do that. It's deeply undemocratic, and racist of course.
And your point is? Apart from simply being a classic example of the standard diversionary counter attack when anyone dares to suggest that something about the US might be less than perfect.

We were talking about the actual process of voting. I am not aware of anything that Wilders or his running dogs have done during the last two elections to actively prevent Muslims from voting!

In his ideal world he would ban the Koran, and try and get rid of as many Muslims as possible who are not Dutch citizens. In fact, I don't think I've ever heard of 'voter intimidation' or fraud here, both of which would be seen as major no-nos. Finally, Wilders didn't 'win' an election.
 
Mar 10, 2009
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Amsterhammer said:
A-f***ing-men to that! But like with everything else, many (I was going to write 'most') Americans will insist that the US is not only "the greatest nation on earth", but that it also has the finest institutions, etc, yada-yada......
And the US wants to "export" it to other countries... the amount of 'irregularities' (whether by design or incompetence) already is staggering. And it happens every four years. The problem is that everything in the US has become infused with politics. Even as much as going for a sandwich at a chick-filet..

Also. "Amateurism." Everyone in the US is supposed to do "anything" he or she desires, because. Freedom. Who are you to tell me I can't be a carpenter even though I have never held a hammer and a nail, or switch from being a plumber to a cupcake baker to an investment banker. (It obviously has its pros and cons and is much more nuanced and complex in reality then I am purporting ;)). An argument that starts with "but experts" will quickly be nipped in the bud. Elitist snobs telling me what to do, hell no. Look at how people reacted when some dared to peer over the national fence for perhaps useful and instructive ideas or frameworks about health care reform (I mean why reinvent the wheel right)...

And I agree. The fact that electoral policies is in reality nothing more than electoral politics, is.. well. amazing. Let me put it that way

When I learned about gerrymandering, I couldn't help but laughing. Every 10 years politicians get to pick their voters. Partisan commissions drawing electoral boundaries. Both sides do it (if you don't, you lose; that's the problem, it's a perpetual arms race, and it's ever expanding or spilling over into other areas) and the next 10 years (I think the previous 10 years the Ds had an advantage) on average, the Rs start with +2-2.5 before any vote has been cast.

And voter ID. Really. Why not? When you vote in the Netherlands you have to show ID; It's quite common in the EU I think (right?). When you go out for a beer in the US you need an ID also. However, if it's such a big deal that so many don't have IDs, (first of all you don't change laws 1 year before the biggest election in the country) why not create a national voter ID card (with pic) that will (after this election is over) be sent to every person in the US. And from then on, you personally are responsible to update the card's info when you change residence/state/county/polling local or whatever. With today's technology, you could make a card that could be updated just by swiping it a an approved location, like, let's say a post office (because they are everywhere, even in scarcely populated areas)

Lol. If this is for reelz: double lol.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=QdpGd74DrBM
 
Sep 10, 2009
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Apr 18, 2010
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rhubroma said:
Which of the two Americas is the "real America" I have been asking myself now for the last twenty years or so. I still haven't a response.
the blitheringly bellicose rhetoric endlessly emanating from the retrogressive, bigoted, racist, unfettered free maket economy 1 percenters of the far right neo-con wing of the republican party - in concert with the ivy league educated, intellectual, open minded, tax the rich, we know what's best for you, you just don't get it progressive wing of the democrat party have succeeded in drowning the voice of the "real" america.

the "real" america lies somewhere in the middle of the two. neither the far right nor the far left is bereft of what i believe to be a few good ideas. unfortunately, it seems to me that these ideas cannot or will not be separated from their respective ideologies.

aided and abetted by both the democrat and republican parties primarily invested in preserving the two party system regardless of what either needs to do to preserve the ongoing sham that has lead to the sorry state of u.s. politics today, the "real america" is screwed for the forseeable future regardess of the preson elected or the party to which the elected belong.

following are the primary tennets - in order -of how the two party system has operated for some time and how it operaties today in the u.s. of a:

1. make "them" look bad.
2. make "us" look good.
and...as THE absolute last resort....
3. compromise


::: sigh :::

for now - my camera gear is packed and ready to go. first order of business is to amble the half mile or so to the place where i will vote. much as i want to write in pat paulson for president, i will not waste my vote on him as a write in because while it is entirely possible for the dead to vote, a now dead citizen of the united states cannot *actually* assume any elected office.

yet. ;)

after i cast my votes for president and other to-be-electeds, the plan is to wander around the city in which i live to shoot pictures of whatever may capture what strikes the fancy in my mind's eye. the wandering may or may not include a stop in my local bike shop because (a) the aroma of small, local bike shops is intoxicating, (b) there is a blowout sale on last year's stock of plain black, pleated knee wiinter cycliing tights i will wear while skating on the entirely open outdoor rink i use most every day from its opening in the first week of december until it closes in early march, and (c) drool over the bike i will be ordering sometime in early february.

when i return, i'll get things ready for the evening's festivities: conversation, tunes on my most awesome music system, and following election results with friends of varying political stripes.

and if by friday no one has opened the "us election 2016 (ONLY)" thread...i just don't know what i will do. :D
 
ToreBear said:
LOL
Judging from their lack of ability to unite against Assad, their lack of understanding the concept of elections in the US, and especially Romney's willingess to change posititions by the hour, they can be forgiven for their naivety.

I thought Romney went touchy feely in the last foreign policy debate? I did'nt bother to watch it so I might have misunderstood.

Anyway this will be exiting. I hope for the US and the rest of the worlds sake that Romney is not elected. If he is elected it will be interesting to see how the neocons try to force their fantasy world on to the real world. The US is in no position to do that, and is still suffering from the last time they set to work 11 years ago.

If Romney is elected the first thing he will have to deal with is Israel-Palestine were the explosion is waiting to go off sometime within the next 2-3 months.

I don't see that ending well seeing as Romney would want a second term, and Obama has used up all the ostrich time available to be able to make a second term possible.

The sand still available will only be quicksand.



Please forgive my strange reflections.




Btw, is there any chance of the democrats gaining a majority in the congress, or that tea party candidates are replaced by more sensible representatives from the republican party?
Your comment is rather perspicacious, because there is a very interesting David Grossman article precisely about the time bomb that is waiting to explode here:

http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/an-open-letter-to-netanyahu-it-s-time-to-speak-to-abbas.premium-1.475423

You can subscribe free for 10 articles for a month on the Haaretz site.

PS. Hitch's confidence in Romney not taking a more forceful, pro-Israeli hand in Mideast affairs is absolutely delusional.
 
Sep 7, 2009
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etymology said:
the blitheringly bellicose rhetoric endlessly emanating from the retrogressive, bigoted, racist, unfettered free maket economy 1 percenters of the far right neo-con wing of the republican party - in concert with the ivy league educated, intellectual, open minded, tax the rich, we know what's best for you, you just don't get it progressive wing of the democrat party have succeeded in drowning the voice of the "real" america.

the "real" america lies somewhere in the middle of the two. neither the far right nor the far left is bereft of what i believe to be a few good ideas. unfortunately, it seems to me that these ideas cannot or will not be separated from their respective ideologies.

aided and abetted by both the democrat and republican parties primarily invested in preserving the two party system regardless of what either needs to do to preserve the ongoing sham that has lead to the sorry state of u.s. politics today, the "real america" is screwed for the forseeable future regardess of the preson elected or the party to which the elected belong.

following are the primary tennets - in order -of how the two party system has operated for some time and how it operaties today in the u.s. of a:

1. make "them" look bad.
2. make "us" look good.
and...as THE absolute last resort....
3. compromise
That is a very good description of American politics at work. Listen to both sides and you will find the truth somewhere in the middle. "Real" America is probably a little more fiscally conservative and socially liberal than the extremists of either group would have you believe.
 
Aug 9, 2012
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rhubroma said:
Your comment is rather perspicacious, because there is a very interesting David Grossman article precisely about the time bomb that is waiting to explode here:

http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/an-open-letter-to-netanyahu-it-s-time-to-speak-to-abbas.premium-1.475423

You can subscribe free for 10 articles for a month on the Haaretz site.

PS. Hitch's confidence in Romney not taking a more forceful, pro-Israeli hand in Mideast affairs is absolutely delusional.
I'm a stingy ******.:D

I don't read hitch that way. I think he is talking in more general terms.

The problem for Romney is that reality has been contained by Obama the last year. It will explode shortly, the question is how it will be managed. A sensible approach in my view is forcing Israel to accept that it will have to change.

This is career suicide for a president, and Romney would do all he can to avoid having to make such a choise. But by avoiding the choise he is making a choise.

To make a long argument short. With Romney as president Israel faces Facism and isolation from Europe. It's officials will not be able to set their feet in countries that are members of the ICC.

Obama will have oppurtunities to influence the process, to avoid Israel decending that far. But, that is if he is willing to pay the cost it is to oppose the Israeli right wings reach into congress.
 
Jun 16, 2009
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rhubroma said:
Come on ausiecyclefan mine wasn't vitriol at all, just plain critique based on the hundreds and thousands of things you have using your conservative head posted, which naturally has an affinity with the American right-wing, as Amersterhammer has also correctly observed.

The rest of what you suggest is the typical defense of conservatives like yourself and conservatism in general, which disdains intellectualism (though I'm not saying mine is that), whenever intelligent commentary is used to call conservatives out on their views. The typical response when not capable of refuting the claims is to throw a red herring into the discussion, as you have done here, in an attempt to bamboozle the substance of that critique, while accusing the one who made it with things like “conceitedness,” “elitism” and “snobbery.” Now that’s pathetic, as well as embarrassing for the person who wrote it in this case you ausiecyclefan.
It was a typical defense to someone who can't read my posts. I never talked about GOP's platform. Again, I don't know why I am responding to you.
 
ToreBear said:
I'm a stingy ******.:D

I don't read hitch that way. I think he is talking in more general terms.

The problem for Romney is that reality has been contained by Obama the last year. It will explode shortly, the question is how it will be managed. A sensible approach in my view is forcing Israel to accept that it will have to change.

This is career suicide for a president, and Romney would do all he can to avoid having to make such a choise. But by avoiding the choise he is making a choise.

To make a long argument short. With Romney as president Israel faces Facism and isolation from Europe. It's officials will not be able to set their feet in countries that are members of the ICC.

Obama will have oppurtunities to influence the process, to avoid Israel decending that far. But, that is if he is willing to pay the cost it is to oppose the Israeli right wings reach into congress.
After a certain point in his second term, it's less of a cost. And depending on how reality management goes he could finally have some leverage to work with. But then it's been seen how that has stalled out for past administrations. Israel is not as toxic as it was for the US govt before the Arab Spring--not at least in regard to short term appearances.
 
The Hitch said:
Turnout seems very high. Higher than 08 in some areas. High turnout is very good for Obama.
They’re not [tied in a dead heat]. According to the state polls, when taken together, the race has been fairly stable for weeks, and Obama has remained well ahead and, going into Election Day, is a strong favorite. “The best information comes from combining all the polls together,” says Linzer, who projects that Obama will get 326 electoral votes, well over the 270 required to win. “I want to give readers the right information, even if it’s more boring.”

In the 2008 presidential election, Silver correctly predicted 49 of 50 states. Wang was off by only one electoral vote.

http://chronicle.com/blogs/percolator/the-rise-of-the-poll-quants-or-the-demise-of-the-tv-pundits/31636
 
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