2016 US Presidential Election

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby Thesh » Wed Jul 29, 2015 9:33 pm UTC

CorruptUser wrote:
iamspen wrote:Carter is underestimated. After all, he didn't allow the US to become embroiled in a war in the Middle East or Eastern Europe, despite every reason to do so. I'm not ready to anoint him as Patron Saint of the American Presidency or anything, but I do think his perceived failures are more likely him being a victim of circumstance (and highly vindictive Iranians).


He pretty much let the Iranian Revolution happen. Yeah no, that was a disaster.

1) How could he have stopped it?
2) Why are internal politics of countries in the Middle East the responsibility of America?
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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby CorruptUser » Wed Jul 29, 2015 9:41 pm UTC

Thesh wrote:
CorruptUser wrote:
iamspen wrote:Carter is underestimated. After all, he didn't allow the US to become embroiled in a war in the Middle East or Eastern Europe, despite every reason to do so. I'm not ready to anoint him as Patron Saint of the American Presidency or anything, but I do think his perceived failures are more likely him being a victim of circumstance (and highly vindictive Iranians).


He pretty much let the Iranian Revolution happen. Yeah no, that was a disaster.

1) How could he have stopped it?
2) Why are internal politics of countries in the Middle East the responsibility of America?


1) Either by supporting the current government (along with the Saudis), or supporting one of the groups that was revolting.
2) Responsibility? The US's responsibility, like every nation's responsibility, is to look out for themselves. Morally, just don't outright screw over others. Iran falling to the Soviets would've been a disaster for both the US and the Iranian people (and you can damn well bet the farm that the USSR was backing some of the rebels); Iran falling to fundamentalist whackjobs was in the short term marginally better for the US but in the long term far, far worse for the US and just horrific for the Iranians themselves. No seriously, Iran's economy collapsed (because women were barred from work) and the Ayatollah lamented that the people didn't see the "bigger picture"; so what if people were destitute, they were spiritually more pure! This is a guy who would refuse to eat from a place that let Jews, Christians or Zoroastrians in, because he didn't want to catch their "filth".

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby Thesh » Wed Jul 29, 2015 9:50 pm UTC

CorruptUser wrote:2) Responsibility? The US's responsibility, like every nation's responsibility, is to look out for themselves. Iran falling to the Soviets would've been a disaster (and you can damn well bet the farm that the USSR was backing some of the rebels); Iran falling to fundamentalist whackjobs was in the short term marginally better but in the long term far, far worse.


The reason the Middle East is so fucked up in the first place is because the West has been meddling with them since the fall of the Ottoman Empire. The only reason we care is because of their oil, and this whole fucking planet would be better off if we learned how to live without it.
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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby CorruptUser » Wed Jul 29, 2015 9:57 pm UTC

You are joking right? That's not how the Mid-East works.

I'll agree that yes, it'd be better if we went off oil. For many reasons. But the Mid-East would NOT be improved if we did.

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby Thesh » Wed Jul 29, 2015 10:05 pm UTC

Because supporting dictators, overthrowing democracy and starting wars for oil has worked out so well, hasn't it?
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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby CorruptUser » Wed Jul 29, 2015 10:24 pm UTC

Yes, the Iraq War II was in part about oil; SAUDI oil. The US had troops stationed in SA to protect them against the Baathists, because in spite of the oodles of cash they've spent on their military Allah forbid the Saudis protect themselves. But, this pissed off the Islamists who didn't like the Sauds "wearing the Cross" and letting infidels into the holy land to kill muslims (so the muslims wouldn't have to), and THAT was the straw that broke the camel's back and split the Wahhabis and Salafis. This was one of the three biggest reasons Osama attacked the US; the others being US sanctions on Iraq (odd considering that Osama offered to invade Iraq in 1990), and of course Israel. By taking out Saddam, the US was able to quietly move its troops out of the holy land, and the hope was that Iraq would be stable and prosperous and thus we'd comply with two thirds of what the terrorists wanted.

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby Vahir » Thu Jul 30, 2015 12:39 am UTC

CorruptUser wrote:Yes, the Iraq War II was in part about oil; SAUDI oil. The US had troops stationed in SA to protect them against the Baathists, because in spite of the oodles of cash they've spent on their military Allah forbid the Saudis protect themselves. But, this pissed off the Islamists who didn't like the Sauds "wearing the Cross" and letting infidels into the holy land to kill muslims (so the muslims wouldn't have to), and THAT was the straw that broke the camel's back and split the Wahhabis and Salafis. This was one of the three biggest reasons Osama attacked the US; the others being US sanctions on Iraq (odd considering that Osama offered to invade Iraq in 1990), and of course Israel. By taking out Saddam, the US was able to quietly move its troops out of the holy land, and the hope was that Iraq would be stable and prosperous and thus we'd comply with two thirds of what the terrorists wanted.


No, no, you're wrong. The U.S. foreign policy of the last two decades in the entire middle east can be generalized as "For oil! Sweet Oil! Mwa-ha-ha!"

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby CorruptUser » Thu Jul 30, 2015 12:44 am UTC

Can't tell if serious or sarcastic.

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby Djehutynakht » Thu Jul 30, 2015 12:59 am UTC


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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby LaserGuy » Thu Jul 30, 2015 5:55 pm UTC

Vahir wrote:
CorruptUser wrote:Yes, the Iraq War II was in part about oil; SAUDI oil. The US had troops stationed in SA to protect them against the Baathists, because in spite of the oodles of cash they've spent on their military Allah forbid the Saudis protect themselves. But, this pissed off the Islamists who didn't like the Sauds "wearing the Cross" and letting infidels into the holy land to kill muslims (so the muslims wouldn't have to), and THAT was the straw that broke the camel's back and split the Wahhabis and Salafis. This was one of the three biggest reasons Osama attacked the US; the others being US sanctions on Iraq (odd considering that Osama offered to invade Iraq in 1990), and of course Israel. By taking out Saddam, the US was able to quietly move its troops out of the holy land, and the hope was that Iraq would be stable and prosperous and thus we'd comply with two thirds of what the terrorists wanted.


No, no, you're wrong. The U.S. foreign policy of the last two decades in the entire middle east can be generalized as "For oil! Sweet Oil! Mwa-ha-ha!"


Two decades? It's been that way since the 50s.

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby CorruptUser » Thu Jul 30, 2015 6:39 pm UTC

30's actually, what with Jack Philby. But until the 70's the US was a net exporter of oil. We were involved with SA and Iran because of the Cold War, the twin pillars against Soviet influence. Mossadgh or whatever his name was started nationalizing the British oil fields, the British convinced the US that Iran was going Commie, he was really a socialist and anti-communist, but it ended up being a major screw-up.

Oh if you are going to say that "supporting a dictatorship is bad", well, opposing a dictatorship "must" be good. Do you want to make the argument that we should either impose sanctions on the dictatorship or depose the dictatorship?

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby LaserGuy » Thu Jul 30, 2015 7:24 pm UTC

CorruptUser wrote:30's actually, what with Jack Philby. But until the 70's the US was a net exporter of oil. We were involved with SA and Iran because of the Cold War, the twin pillars against Soviet influence. Mossadgh or whatever his name was started nationalizing the British oil fields, the British convinced the US that Iran was going Commie, he was really a socialist and anti-communist, but it ended up being a major screw-up.

Oh if you are going to say that "supporting a dictatorship is bad", well, opposing a dictatorship "must" be good. Do you want to make the argument that we should either impose sanctions on the dictatorship or depose the dictatorship?


Supporting the overthrow of a democratic government in favour of a brutal dictator? Yeah, that's bad. The international community should be sanctioning us.

[edit]I think what we need to do is admit that our foreign policy is about doing things that benefit us. Only. If we invade or interfere or whatever in a foreign country, it is not, and has never been, for the benefit of the people who live there. It is primarily to the benefit of Americans, and of that, mostly American commercial and military interests. In the unlikely cases where our foreign policy has actually benefited the people in another country, it is purely by accident.

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby CorruptUser » Thu Jul 30, 2015 8:21 pm UTC

Eh, I don't know about that. We have done things that cost money and blood where we don't see much benefit, because it's "the right thing to do", like returning the Panama Canal to Panama and stepping in to stop the Bosnian War. But if someone else interferes, it blows up in our face. Compare the aftermath of Japan, German, S Korea vs Viet Nam, Iraq, Afghanistan. In the first set, there was virtually no outside opposition. In the second set, constant interference from other major powers. And w

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby iamspen » Fri Jul 31, 2015 1:36 pm UTC

You should probably brush up on your history if you think we rebuilt Germany all by our selvesies with no major interference from outside powers. Because no.

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby CorruptUser » Fri Jul 31, 2015 2:32 pm UTC

Was Russia constantly sabotaging West Germany, engaging in a proxy war, sending people to murder our soldiers?

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby iamspen » Fri Jul 31, 2015 2:40 pm UTC

Yes, yes, and no, respectively.

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby leady » Fri Jul 31, 2015 3:35 pm UTC

I hope that's true, because I'd like to read about it !

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby CorruptUser » Fri Jul 31, 2015 4:04 pm UTC

As far as I'm aware, both the US and Russia were heavily spying on the other, spreading propaganda, and rarely sending people to start riots or some such. But it wasn't Vietnam where China was supplying heavy weaponry to nutjobs, or Iraq where every Salafi-Crusader on the planet traveled there to blow shit up. North Korea tried to do some hanky-panky in the South, but the borders were fairly secure (most heavily guarded border on Earth), and Japan was an island and luckily, the head of the Japanese 'religion' said to simmer down.

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby Thesh » Fri Jul 31, 2015 10:48 pm UTC

On the media's obsession with Hillary and scandals:

http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2 ... -round-587

Hillary Clinton releases nearly a decade's worth of tax records, and the first thing that pops into Keilar's mind is that this is probably an effort to hide something. But hey! Let's be fair. The Clinton campaign says it's actually so that people can see her tax records. But they would say that, wouldn't they?
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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby CorruptUser » Fri Jul 31, 2015 11:45 pm UTC

People have it out for Hillary for reasons that have nothing to do with her policies. She's been Meh, mostly. Did do a nice thing for my hometown when the Serbian government fucked us over, but we don't like her in NY State because she only moved here specifically to become senator.

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby sardia » Sat Aug 01, 2015 12:59 am UTC

You're from the Bosnian Kosovo area?

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby CorruptUser » Sat Aug 01, 2015 4:35 am UTC

No. A Serbian foreign exchange student got in a bar fight, and the other kid was crippled as a result. The Serbian was released on bail, but his passport was taken away. He then went to the Serbian embassy, got a new one, and fled the country. Clinton was putting pressure on Serbia to get him back. Not sure what came of it though.

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby Thesh » Sat Aug 01, 2015 4:42 am UTC

Summum ius, summa iniuria.

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby CorruptUser » Sat Aug 01, 2015 4:59 am UTC

Yeah, that guy.

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby Thesh » Wed Aug 05, 2015 2:32 am UTC

Well, looks like Rick Perry couldn't make the cut off; he's not allowed to perform in the main tent during Thursday's circus.
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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby jestingrabbit » Wed Aug 05, 2015 3:55 am UTC

Just so that everyone else can sing along,

CNN wrote:Fox News said Tuesday that Republican presidential candidates Donald Trump, Jeb Bush, Scott Walker, Mike Huckabee, Ben Carson, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, Chris Christie and John Kasich will all appear on the dais Thursday for the premiere event.

That leaves Perry and the six other major declared candidates -- Rick Santorum, Bobby Jindal, Carly Fiorina, Lindsey Graham, George Pataki, and Jim Gilmore -- to appear together during a debate earlier Thursday evening.


Excluding Santorum might be a bit of a mistake. He made a big play late in the last primaries. He surely represents a portion of the base, though perhaps Huckabee is a decent approximation.
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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby dg61 » Wed Aug 05, 2015 3:58 pm UTC

CorruptUser wrote:You are joking right? That's not how the Mid-East works.

I'll agree that yes, it'd be better if we went off oil. For many reasons. But the Mid-East would NOT be improved if we did.


Uh, are you familiar with the concept of "Dutch Disease" in economics and political science? It is very well established that economies centered on resource extraction are prone to serious structural distortions and that it tends to produce serious political issues as well by encouraging e.g. rentier capitalism and excessive cronyism, as well as serious internal conflicts over allocating resource wealth and using it primarily to prop up the regime by throwing around money and not e.g. on infrastructure. I don't think there's much reason to doubt that many of the middle east's problems are related to oil economies although some aren't.

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby Vahir » Wed Aug 05, 2015 5:44 pm UTC

dg61 wrote:
CorruptUser wrote:You are joking right? That's not how the Mid-East works.

I'll agree that yes, it'd be better if we went off oil. For many reasons. But the Mid-East would NOT be improved if we did.


Uh, are you familiar with the concept of "Dutch Disease" in economics and political science? It is very well established that economies centered on resource extraction are prone to serious structural distortions and that it tends to produce serious political issues as well by encouraging e.g. rentier capitalism and excessive cronyism, as well as serious internal conflicts over allocating resource wealth and using it primarily to prop up the regime by throwing around money and not e.g. on infrastructure. I don't think there's much reason to doubt that many of the middle east's problems are related to oil economies although some aren't.


Lots of first world countries have economies centered around resource extraction without being in the state that the middle east is. Norway, Canada, Australia, parts of the United States...

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby duckshirt » Wed Aug 05, 2015 6:08 pm UTC

Back on topic... I think Joe Biden will be the Dem nominee. He will announce his run in September and get Obama's backing which will be big. Obama is a lot more popular than Hillary and the email/foundation stuff is not looking good.

On the Republican side I am hoping for Rand. His numbers are low right now but I think the debates will help him as he's probably the best debater aside from maybe Ted Cruz.
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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby Mambrino » Wed Aug 05, 2015 6:56 pm UTC

Vahir wrote:
dg61 wrote:
CorruptUser wrote:You are joking right? That's not how the Mid-East works.

I'll agree that yes, it'd be better if we went off oil. For many reasons. But the Mid-East would NOT be improved if we did.


Uh, are you familiar with the concept of "Dutch Disease" in economics and political science? It is very well established that economies centered on resource extraction are prone to serious structural distortions and that it tends to produce serious political issues as well by encouraging e.g. rentier capitalism and excessive cronyism, as well as serious internal conflicts over allocating resource wealth and using it primarily to prop up the regime by throwing around money and not e.g. on infrastructure. I don't think there's much reason to doubt that many of the middle east's problems are related to oil economies although some aren't.


Lots of first world countries have economies centered around resource extraction without being in the state that the middle east is. Norway, Canada, Australia, parts of the United States...


I think just blaming feature extraction is too much a simplification, yes. Norway was a functioning democracy before they found oil (and same probably goes for US and Canada, too). Moreover (I'm not a historian specified on Canadian economic history, though, this is more of an impression), while Canada had lumber before oil, and that counts as 'resource extraction' as well, it wasn't exactly "instant black, liquid cash from ground". Economy based extracting valuable resources allows the local (esp. if not-very-democratic) government continue and keep on being "not getting much better as society" as before. "Selling the stuff under ground / above the ground worth money quickly and cheaply for weapons now in order to stay in power today" (instead of building your own methods to extract the stuff and utilize it) is very traditional warlord modus operandi and probably predates the steam.

Also, there's also an element that companies doing the resource extraction are often outsiders and ship the resources away to be processed elsewhere. Speaking of Canada and wood, I'm quite certain that most of the companies there were domestic (that more or less pay their taxes), and then there grew different wood-based industries (paper, pulp) near. And it's not like similar unhealthy dynamics don't exist in Western countries, too, though maybe not as excessive. When the forest-based industries were the big thing here, it wasn't the rural areas where the raw material originated that benefited the most (while of course it did bring money there, too, poor rural areas stayed comparatively poor and are even moreso today), it was the cities with the processing industries that boomed.

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby dg61 » Wed Aug 05, 2015 8:41 pm UTC

Mambrino wrote:
Vahir wrote:
dg61 wrote:
CorruptUser wrote:You are joking right? That's not how the Mid-East works.

I'll agree that yes, it'd be better if we went off oil. For many reasons. But the Mid-East would NOT be improved if we did.


Uh, are you familiar with the concept of "Dutch Disease" in economics and political science? It is very well established that economies centered on resource extraction are prone to serious structural distortions and that it tends to produce serious political issues as well by encouraging e.g. rentier capitalism and excessive cronyism, as well as serious internal conflicts over allocating resource wealth and using it primarily to prop up the regime by throwing around money and not e.g. on infrastructure. I don't think there's much reason to doubt that many of the middle east's problems are related to oil economies although some aren't.


Lots of first world countries have economies centered around resource extraction without being in the state that the middle east is. Norway, Canada, Australia, parts of the United States...


I think just blaming feature extraction is too much a simplification, yes. Norway was a functioning democracy before they found oil (and same probably goes for US and Canada, too). Moreover (I'm not a historian specified on Canadian economic history, though, this is more of an impression), while Canada had lumber before oil, and that counts as 'resource extraction' as well, it wasn't exactly "instant black, liquid cash from ground". Economy based extracting valuable resources allows the local (esp. if not-very-democratic) government continue and keep on being "not getting much better as society" as before. "Selling the stuff under ground / above the ground worth money quickly and cheaply for weapons now in order to stay in power today" (instead of building your own methods to extract the stuff and utilize it) is very traditional warlord modus operandi and probably predates the steam.

Also, there's also an element that companies doing the resource extraction are often outsiders and ship the resources away to be processed elsewhere. Speaking of Canada and wood, I'm quite certain that most of the companies there were domestic (that more or less pay their taxes), and then there grew different wood-based industries (paper, pulp) near. And it's not like similar unhealthy dynamics don't exist in Western countries, too, though maybe not as excessive. When the forest-based industries were the big thing here, it wasn't the rural areas where the raw material originated that benefited the most (while of course it did bring money there, too, poor rural areas stayed comparatively poor and are even moreso today), it was the cities with the processing industries that boomed.


Right, and I would not say that oil is the only problem in the modern middle east but it certainly has made things a good deal more problematic and caused dramatic geopolitical shifts. As for Carter, which was the original discussion, and American policy in the Middle East, it is worth pointing out that by the late 1970s(at least 79) there was probably no way the Shah was going to stay in power but we didn't know that at the time and the politically best option(deny him entry to the US, while he was in exile elsewhere, or else work out a deal where he was permitted to enter only as needed for medical treatment) would probably have been just as much a disaster domestically.

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby mattertoenergy » Wed Aug 05, 2015 11:24 pm UTC

Looking at the week after the debate, I wouldn't be surprised if a number of the candidates relegated to the "kids table" drop out. Rick Santorum's campaign manager has departed, and according to Politico (sorry, I'm more of a lurker than a poster, so I can't post links), they don't have plans for a new one. Combined with some underwhelming fundraising totals, I don't see him lasting too long. Others, like Pataki, Jim Gilmore, Bobby Jindal and the like I don't see staying in the race too long. Maybe long enough to make an apearance in Iowa and NH, but not much longer. The real question is money, and some of them got in after the most recent deadline, so we don't have fundraising figures yet.

As far as who is going to benefit from the debates, it is always hard to say. I have to disagree with the above poater on giving Rand Paul and Ted Cruz an advantage though. Televised debates are less about debating skill than avput standing out from a crowd with good one-liners.

I'm not sure abot the Dems yet, even in who I'll support as a democrat. Hillary looks dominate, but there are things I like and dislike about all of the candidates. Yes, even Lincoln Chaffee, he supports the metric system!

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby Thesh » Thu Aug 06, 2015 2:43 am UTC

duckshirt wrote:Back on topic... I think Joe Biden will be the Dem nominee. He will announce his run in September and get Obama's backing which will be big. Obama is a lot more popular than Hillary and the email/foundation stuff is not looking good.


I don't even understand the complaints about the foundation. It's a charity, who the fuck cares who gives them money?
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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby sardia » Thu Aug 06, 2015 4:18 am UTC

Thesh wrote:
duckshirt wrote:Back on topic... I think Joe Biden will be the Dem nominee. He will announce his run in September and get Obama's backing which will be big. Obama is a lot more popular than Hillary and the email/foundation stuff is not looking good.


I don't even understand the complaints about the foundation. It's a charity, who the fuck cares who gives them money?

It provides access, and a motive to establish a quid pro quo.

Back to where the fun parts are, the GOP nomination.
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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby duckshirt » Thu Aug 06, 2015 7:44 am UTC

Thesh wrote:
duckshirt wrote:Back on topic... I think Joe Biden will be the Dem nominee. He will announce his run in September and get Obama's backing which will be big. Obama is a lot more popular than Hillary and the email/foundation stuff is not looking good.


I don't even understand the complaints about the foundation. It's a charity, who the fuck cares who gives them money?

The question isn't who donates, the question is whether it's really just a charity, or a corrupt cash flow for the Clintons and their cronies?

When Coca-Cola donates $6 million, then Hillary uses her power to lift sanctions on a country that allow Coca-Cola to invest $200 million... it doesn't look good. There are a bunch of similar 'coincidences' that look about as phony as her cattle futures. It's not a right-wing conspiracy either, both Bernie Sanders and Nancy Pelosi have expressed the same doubts.

mattertoenergy wrote:As far as who is going to benefit from the debates, it is always hard to say. I have to disagree with the above poater on giving Rand Paul and Ted Cruz an advantage though. Televised debates are less about debating skill than avput standing out from a crowd with good one-liners.

True, but I think Bush and Trump (and Clinton) only have their leads because of name recognition, and hopefully the debates will help everyone else get some exposure.
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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby Djehutynakht » Thu Aug 06, 2015 8:07 pm UTC

You never know. Some candidates will cling with desperation for any chance to stay in the game.

I once dealt with a major-city mayoral race featuring a dozen candidates. We were absolutely sure that several would drop out before the preliminary elections, but not a single one did. For Republicans, this is a significant opportunity, which is why so many have jumped on the opportunity. I see them clinging until it no longer becomes possible. There really is no frontrunner (with Trump largely discounted for the long run), just a few leading figures.

However, that being said, Presidential races are amplified on the amount of pressure, money and influence involved, so once there's a consolidated, consistent leader pack, the others may soon drop.


I'm still hoping for a Convention death-battle.

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby sardia » Thu Aug 06, 2015 10:58 pm UTC

duckshirt wrote:True, but I think Bush and Trump (and Clinton) only have their leads because of name recognition, and hopefully the debates will help everyone else get some exposure.

Don't discount Bush so early, he may have been groomed for the role, but he's no George W. Bush. Him, Rubio and Walker are clear frontrunners, and they have the luxury of waiting out their opponents(and those votes will redistribute to them).

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby Thesh » Thu Aug 06, 2015 11:06 pm UTC

I think when Trump and Carson go away, along with all the other clear losers, you should expect Walker to take the lead. If I was putting money on it, I would have Clinton defeating Walker 48%-47% in the popular vote, with a clear lead in the electoral vote.

That said, I'd be happiest with Trump vs Sanders.
Summum ius, summa iniuria.

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LaserGuy
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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby LaserGuy » Thu Aug 06, 2015 11:42 pm UTC

Mambrino wrote:
Vahir wrote:
dg61 wrote:
CorruptUser wrote:You are joking right? That's not how the Mid-East works.

I'll agree that yes, it'd be better if we went off oil. For many reasons. But the Mid-East would NOT be improved if we did.


Uh, are you familiar with the concept of "Dutch Disease" in economics and political science? It is very well established that economies centered on resource extraction are prone to serious structural distortions and that it tends to produce serious political issues as well by encouraging e.g. rentier capitalism and excessive cronyism, as well as serious internal conflicts over allocating resource wealth and using it primarily to prop up the regime by throwing around money and not e.g. on infrastructure. I don't think there's much reason to doubt that many of the middle east's problems are related to oil economies although some aren't.


Lots of first world countries have economies centered around resource extraction without being in the state that the middle east is. Norway, Canada, Australia, parts of the United States...


I think just blaming feature extraction is too much a simplification, yes. Norway was a functioning democracy before they found oil (and same probably goes for US and Canada, too). Moreover (I'm not a historian specified on Canadian economic history, though, this is more of an impression), while Canada had lumber before oil, and that counts as 'resource extraction' as well, it wasn't exactly "instant black, liquid cash from ground". Economy based extracting valuable resources allows the local (esp. if not-very-democratic) government continue and keep on being "not getting much better as society" as before. "Selling the stuff under ground / above the ground worth money quickly and cheaply for weapons now in order to stay in power today" (instead of building your own methods to extract the stuff and utilize it) is very traditional warlord modus operandi and probably predates the steam.


Well, Canada has certainly had experience with the Dutch Disease, IMHO, though perhaps not as severely as the Middle East (though, to be fair, neither did the Netherlands, for which the disease is named). If you look in particular at Canada's major oil-producing province, Alberta, you will find that the province features a lot of the same problems noted above--government propped up heavily by resource revenues rather than taxes, major corruption problems and cronyism, etc. The provincial Conservative government there for ~40 years consecutively, only being thrown out just recently (and not coincidentally) around the time of the recent slump in oil prices. The country itself is rather more diversified because of its size and federated governments, though the country's fortunes, especially in recent years, have been governed to a some extent by oil prices--Canada's dollar has lost about 25% relative to the US dollar in the last year, and the drop in oil prices has pushed the country into mild recession.

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Djehutynakht
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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby Djehutynakht » Thu Aug 06, 2015 11:51 pm UTC

Thesh wrote:That said, I'd be happiest with Trump vs Sanders.


Personally, although I see the appeal of hoping for a presumably easy-to-defeat candidate such as Trump going up against a personal favorite, I can't do it.

Perhaps I'm a bit of a political optimist, but I sincerely hope that both Republican and Democrats nominate candidates that are principled, respectable and capable, even if I happen to disagree with one's views more than another. I want a true fight between the best both sides got to offer.

Probably not gonna happen, but I can dream.


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