2012 U.S. Presidential Election

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Re: 2012 U.S. Presidential Election

Postby Lucrece » Wed Oct 17, 2012 5:32 pm UTC

And by "emotionally charged" we mean politically suicidal to be reasonable instead of hysterical.
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Re: 2012 U.S. Presidential Election

Postby folkhero » Wed Oct 17, 2012 6:24 pm UTC

Silknor wrote:As I see it though, the key point is one of accountability. Majority rule makes it easier for voters to know who to vote out if they disagree with the results.
I'm not sure I understand this point. Does a supermajority make it more difficult for voters to look up their representative's and senators' voting records? Does it make it more difficult for a challenger to make an attack ad saying, "congressperson X voted for bad piece of legislation Y. Vote that jerk out and me in."?
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Re: 2012 U.S. Presidential Election

Postby Heisenberg » Wed Oct 17, 2012 6:54 pm UTC

omgryebread wrote:Civil Rights act barely made cloture, and only after being weakened. The Patriot Act easily passed, 99-1.

So we've got one awful bill that would've passed with anything but Unanimity as the threshold, and one good bill that managed to get 71 votes for cloture. The Patriot Act is an outlier and the Civil Rights Act is an excellent argument in favor of the filibuster. If 71 Senators agreed to pass it, a simple 51 should not be able to overturn it after the next election.

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Re: 2012 U.S. Presidential Election

Postby omgryebread » Wed Oct 17, 2012 7:35 pm UTC

Heisenberg wrote:
omgryebread wrote:Civil Rights act barely made cloture, and only after being weakened. The Patriot Act easily passed, 99-1.

So we've got one awful bill that would've passed with anything but Unanimity as the threshold, and one good bill that managed to get 71 votes for cloture. The Patriot Act is an outlier and the Civil Rights Act is an excellent argument in favor of the filibuster. If 71 Senators agreed to pass it, a simple 51 should not be able to overturn it after the next election.
Kennedy proposed the Civil Rights act on June 11, 1963. It was signed by Johnson on July 2, 1964, after being weakened to win some votes that would have otherwise voted against the cloture motion.

Anti-terrorism bills were being written immediately after September 11, 2001. The USA PATRIOT Act was signed into law on October 26, 2001, with no significant amendments weakening the provisions that original drafts called for.


So if the filibuster is designed to prevent bad bills from going through, while allowing good bills to pass without them being turned into trash, then it is absolutely horrible at doing so.

In reality, that's not what the filibuster is for though. It's for strengthening special interests and allowing a minority to significantly weaken bills.
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Re: 2012 U.S. Presidential Election

Postby Heisenberg » Wed Oct 17, 2012 7:44 pm UTC

Yes, your one counter-example clearly invalidates years of legislation that proves my point.

Congratulations, you win. (As long as you just keep repeating that line and ignore your critics. This is a presidential debate, right?)

The reason the Civil Rights Act didn't pass earlier is that America wasn't ready for it. Plenty of Americans opposed it at the time of its passing. However, now that bill would pass with a wide margin. So yes, a higher threshold does slow progress somewhat, but it also helps ensure that once effected, legislation isn't easily overturned.

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Re: 2012 U.S. Presidential Election

Postby Silknor » Wed Oct 17, 2012 7:56 pm UTC

folkhero wrote:
Silknor wrote:As I see it though, the key point is one of accountability. Majority rule makes it easier for voters to know who to vote out if they disagree with the results.
I'm not sure I understand this point. Does a supermajority make it more difficult for voters to look up their representative's and senators' voting records? Does it make it more difficult for a challenger to make an attack ad saying, "congressperson X voted for bad piece of legislation Y. Vote that jerk out and me in."?


You're right, it doesn't apply to a genuine supermajority rule. I should have made it clear that I was referring to the impact of the filibuster combined with the way we talk about the Senate. It's the disconnect between the reality of the filibuster and the rhetoric about control of the Senate/Congress that distorts accountability.

For example, when we say Republicans control the House, or a given state house, or the City Council, it's quite clear what it means: there's a majority of them and a majority can pass legislation they agree on. But when we say Democrats "control" the Senate currently, that's not what it means. They have a majority, and they can control the agenda, but they have very little power to pass bills without assent from the minority. And yet we talk about it like they have total power in the Senate! ("Democrats control 2 of the 3 branches [this isn't the right term, but it's apparently common usage and I don't have a good substitute]", "Each party controls one house of Congress") Given that most people aren't overly informed about politics, and that reality doesn't matchup with either the less precise rhetoric or the civics-class understanding of how Congress works, it wouldn't be suprirising to find that some voters blame the nominal majority party in the Senate for failure of legislation. Eg. the DREAM Act failing in the Senate wasn't because Democrats opposed it, yet you can still hear Republicans implictly blaming Obama/Democrats for failure to pass immigration reform.
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Re: 2012 U.S. Presidential Election

Postby folkhero » Wed Oct 17, 2012 8:12 pm UTC

If a supermajority really does make it more difficult for voters to think in the extremely lazy red vs. blue paradigm and forces them to look at what their actual congress critters believe and vote for, then I don't see it as that bad of a thing
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Re: 2012 U.S. Presidential Election

Postby bentheimmigrant » Wed Oct 17, 2012 8:16 pm UTC

But is there any reason to expect them to look deeper?
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Re: 2012 U.S. Presidential Election

Postby Silknor » Wed Oct 17, 2012 8:38 pm UTC

folkhero wrote:If a supermajority really does make it more difficult for voters to think in the extremely lazy red vs. blue paradigm and forces them to look at what their actual congress critters believe and vote for, then I don't see it as that bad of a thing


As I said, it's not about the supermajority (indeed, I don't think it would exist under a pure supermajority system that was widely understood) and it's not about red vs. blue. It's about the way we talk about "control" of Congress/the Senate and the way we describe legislation which earned a majority but failed to achieve cloture. When we say Republicans controlled Congress for almost 6 of the Bush years, or Democrats have controlled Congress these last 2 years, the implication and the reality are not the same. The implication is that legislation they support passes the Senate. This is plainly not true.

Likewise when we say proponents of X bill "failed" to overcome a filibuster, what we mean is that rules allow a sufficent minority to block legislation supported by a majority, even though the actual vote is done on a majority basis. But it'd be easy to misinterpret that when an article doesn't give enough context.
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Re: 2012 U.S. Presidential Election

Postby folkhero » Wed Oct 17, 2012 8:42 pm UTC

Maybe not, but I don't see how, "it allows people to follow politics in an extremely simple minded way, using nothing but party as a first order approximation of: 1) who supports a bill and 2) what their individual representatives believe and support," is an argument in favor of majority rule over supermajority rule.
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Re: 2012 U.S. Presidential Election

Postby Tyndmyr » Wed Oct 17, 2012 9:04 pm UTC

Silknor wrote:For example, when we say Republicans control the House, or a given state house, or the City Council, it's quite clear what it means: there's a majority of them and a majority can pass legislation they agree on. But when we say Democrats "control" the Senate currently, that's not what it means. They have a majority, and they can control the agenda, but they have very little power to pass bills without assent from the minority.


They do still have a rather substantial advantage. Controlling the agenda is quite a big deal, and in order to get a bill through, they have to sway rather a lot less of the opposition than vice versa. Tactically, controlling the senate matters quite a bit.

It does fall short of complete and total power, but...that's probably not a bad thing.

That said, I don't think going to a supermajority system would innately make people stop thinking in red and blue terms. People LOVE the "us against them" tale. It isn't limited to a political arena, and it's really, really easy to get people to designate a group of others as "the enemy". I don't think twiddling the majority level needed will change human nature in this way.

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Re: 2012 U.S. Presidential Election

Postby Kag » Thu Oct 18, 2012 8:36 am UTC

folkhero wrote:Maybe not, but I don't see how, "it allows people to follow politics in an extremely simple minded way, using nothing but party as a first order approximation of: 1) who supports a bill and 2) what their individual representatives believe and support," is an argument in favor of majority rule over supermajority rule.


The filibuster does not make people think about politics in a less simple-minded way.
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Re: 2012 U.S. Presidential Election

Postby Beltayn » Thu Oct 18, 2012 11:41 am UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:That said, I don't think going to a supermajority system would innately make people stop thinking in red and blue terms. People LOVE the "us against them" tale. It isn't limited to a political arena, and it's really, really easy to get people to designate a group of others as "the enemy". I don't think twiddling the majority level needed will change human nature in this way.


This.
The human instinct for arbitrary team-picking explains so much about politics.

Ironic that the same attribute which is responsible for civilization's rise is what stands most in the way of our ability to be civilized.

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Re: 2012 U.S. Presidential Election

Postby Silknor » Thu Oct 18, 2012 3:08 pm UTC

folkhero wrote:Maybe not, but I don't see how, "it allows people to follow politics in an extremely simple minded way, using nothing but party as a first order approximation of: 1) who supports a bill and 2) what their individual representatives believe and support," is an argument in favor of majority rule over supermajority rule.


I don't either, which is why I'm not making that argument. Majority rule, relative to supermajority rule, doesn't "allow people to follow politics in an extremely simple minded way, using nothing but party" to predict who supports what. The degree to which you can predict a politican's stance on X issue based on their party alone is a function of the party's homogeneity on that issue, not on the voting rules.

Tyndmyr wrote:They do still have a rather substantial advantage. Controlling the agenda is quite a big deal, and in order to get a bill through, they have to sway rather a lot less of the opposition than vice versa. Tactically, controlling the senate matters quite a bit.


Absolutely it does. And that's true even ignoring the possibility of reconcilation. Agenda setting is important, and so is the ability of the Majority Leader to "fill the tree" in order to prevent unfavorable amendments from receiving votes (allowing the minority more ability to get votes on germane non-dilatory amendments seems entirely reasonable as part of an overall filibuster reform package). But it's a far cry from the degree of control that the majority party has in the House, and indeed from the conventional ideal of control of a legislative body.

That said, I don't think going to a supermajority system would innately make people stop thinking in red and blue terms. People LOVE the "us against them" tale. It isn't limited to a political arena, and it's really, really easy to get people to designate a group of others as "the enemy". I don't think twiddling the majority level needed will change human nature in this way.


I don't think it would either. For example, California has a 2/3rds requirement for tax increases (and until recently, for the annual budget). I don't have any reason to think that this has made people think less in red or blue terms.
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Re: 2012 U.S. Presidential Election

Postby omgryebread » Thu Oct 18, 2012 3:11 pm UTC

Beltayn wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:That said, I don't think going to a supermajority system would innately make people stop thinking in red and blue terms. People LOVE the "us against them" tale. It isn't limited to a political arena, and it's really, really easy to get people to designate a group of others as "the enemy". I don't think twiddling the majority level needed will change human nature in this way.


This.
The human instinct for arbitrary team-picking explains so much about politics.

Ironic that the same attribute which is responsible for civilization's rise is what stands most in the way of our ability to be civilized.
Team picking in politics is far from arbitrary. Question almost any Republican or Democrat, and you're likely to find their values do correspond roughly to their party's values. Maybe they should be less bound with their team, because their values might not match that closely, but I'd argue that most partisans are partisan for a good reason.

folkhero wrote:If a supermajority really does make it more difficult for voters to think in the extremely lazy red vs. blue paradigm and forces them to look at what their actual congress critters believe and vote for, then I don't see it as that bad of a thing
It would be great if actually did make it difficult for voters to think lazily, and force them to look at what congresspeeps did, but it doesn't. It just makes their lazy look less accurate. Short of tying Americans down and making them take civics classes and watch C-SPAN, you're not going to break the fact that voters want to be minimally informed, no more, no less.


Heisenberg wrote:Yes, your one counter-example clearly invalidates years of legislation that proves my point.

The reason the Civil Rights Act didn't pass earlier is that America wasn't ready for it. Plenty of Americans opposed it at the time of its passing. However, now that bill would pass with a wide margin. So yes, a higher threshold does slow progress somewhat, but it also helps ensure that once effected, legislation isn't easily overturned.
What years of legislation that prove your point?

In 1946, a bill by Dennis Chavez of New Mexico that would have created a permanent Fair Employment Practices Commission was filibustered by civil-rights opponents. The Civil Rights Act of 1957 only passed because LBJ was an enormous badass and completely paralyzed the Senate, having to bring in cots.

In fact, the most prolific use of the filibuster has occured in recent times, with a lot of blocking appointments, especially in Clinton/Bush/Obama years, escalating. The second most prolific use, and by far the more important one, was from the 1930s on, blocking civil rights legislation. And "America isn't ready" is the most bullshit reason for blocking anything. People aren't ready to do the right thing? Fuck 'em, and do it anyway. The filibuster also never saved civil rights because no repeal bill was ever introduced that anyone had to filibuster.

Go ahead though, name some terrible bills that were blocked by filibuster. It's failed to block the Patriot Act. It failed, in 1854 to block the Kansas-Nebraska Act that led to the Bleeding Kansas events that preceded the Civil War (whether or not this was ultimately a good thing, since it did end up bringing slavery to a head, causing the civil war and the emancipation of all slaves is debatable, I'll admit.)

If somehow the Republicans take the Senate and Presidency, I'll be quite happy for the filibuster that will protect the PPACA. I'll still think its undemocratic, but I'm always willing to use bad things for good ends.
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Re: 2012 U.S. Presidential Election

Postby Triangle_Man » Thu Oct 18, 2012 3:32 pm UTC

omgryebread wrote:If somehow the Republicans take the Senate and Presidency, I'll be quite happy for the filibuster that will protect the PPACA. I'll still think its undemocratic, but I'm always willing to use bad things for good ends.

And like how I'd like to use the techniques of rhetoric to convince people things like Global Warming are true while using that weird thing called 'facts' to back them up!

But yeah, the filibuster has been a tactic that has been used a lot in recent years, mostly by the Republican Party. I wonder if the Republicans would accuse the Democrats of being undemocratic if the situation were reversed...
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Re: 2012 U.S. Presidential Election

Postby DSenette » Thu Oct 18, 2012 3:34 pm UTC

Triangle_Man wrote:
omgryebread wrote:If somehow the Republicans take the Senate and Presidency, I'll be quite happy for the filibuster that will protect the PPACA. I'll still think its undemocratic, but I'm always willing to use bad things for good ends.

And like how I'd like to use the techniques of rhetoric to convince people things like Global Warming are true while using that weird thing called 'facts' to back them up!

But yeah, the filibuster has been a tactic that has been used a lot in recent years, mostly by the Republican Party. I wonder if the Republicans would accuse the Democrats of being undemocratic if the situation were reversed...

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Re: 2012 U.S. Presidential Election

Postby Tyndmyr » Thu Oct 18, 2012 3:35 pm UTC

Triangle_Man wrote:But yeah, the filibuster has been a tactic that has been used a lot in recent years, mostly by the Republican Party. I wonder if the Republicans would accuse the Democrats of being undemocratic if the situation were reversed...


Wait and see. I'm certain that they'll gleefully lambast the democrats for any failings when they're in the majority. See also, Clinton era. The republicans took credit for the good stuff, blamed the bad on Clinton. The dems, the opposite. It's pretty normal.

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Re: 2012 U.S. Presidential Election

Postby Silknor » Thu Oct 18, 2012 4:08 pm UTC

omgryebread wrote:If somehow the Republicans take the Senate and Presidency, I'll be quite happy for the filibuster that will protect the PPACA. I'll still think its undemocratic, but I'm always willing to use bad things for good ends.


I wouldn't count on filibuster saving the PPACA in that case. If the Republicans really want it gone, it will be. Large portions of the PPACA are budgetary, and thus are subject to reconciliation. Much of the implementation of the bill depends on regulations that a Romney administration could weaken or rescind, or not pass if they haven't already been finalized. See here. Other portions will need funding to be renewed.

It's entirely possible that they could gut enough of it (thus leading the remaining provisions to create massive unintended consequences) that even most Democrats would want it repealed (minus a few popular provisions that many Republicans have said they support, like coverage for those under 26 on their parent's plans). For example, the community rating and guarenteed issue provisions depend on the individual mandate to avoid a cost death spiral like was seen in states that implemented them without a mandate-like provision. Or if the individual mandate survives reconciliation, it starts to look pretty bad without subsidies and a Medicaid expansion to ensure that people subject to it can afford insurance.

And of course, the Republicans could simply change the filibuster rules (including weakening or eliminating the Byrd rule). This could likely be done on a majority vote at the start of the new session, aka. the "constitutional option." Details on the constitutional option's long bipartisan history of almost being invoked here.

Triangle_Man wrote:But yeah, the filibuster has been a tactic that has been used a lot in recent years, mostly by the Republican Party. I wonder if the Republicans would accuse the Democrats of being undemocratic if the situation were reversed...


Yes, they will. See the debate over the "nuclear option" in 2005 on filibusters of judicial nominees.
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Re: 2012 U.S. Presidential Election

Postby Kag » Thu Oct 18, 2012 7:40 pm UTC

omgryebread wrote:Team picking in politics is far from arbitrary. Question almost any Republican or Democrat, and you're likely to find their values do correspond roughly to their party's values. Maybe they should be less bound with their team, because their values might not match that closely, but I'd argue that most partisans are partisan for a good reason.


If one's choice of team influences their values, then team picking could be arbitrary and you would still expect to see this effect.
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Re: 2012 U.S. Presidential Election

Postby LaserGuy » Thu Oct 18, 2012 7:42 pm UTC

omgryebread wrote:Team picking in politics is far from arbitrary. Question almost any Republican or Democrat, and you're likely to find their values do correspond roughly to their party's values. Maybe they should be less bound with their team, because their values might not match that closely, but I'd argue that most partisans are partisan for a good reason.


Well, strictly speaking most partisans are partisan because their parents were partisan for the same party. It's not arbitrary, but it's not necessarily a fully informed decision either, much like how most people don't actually look at all of the various religions and choose the one that works best, but rather, the belief system is inherited from their parents.

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Re: 2012 U.S. Presidential Election

Postby Beltayn » Thu Oct 18, 2012 9:00 pm UTC

LaserGuy wrote:
omgryebread wrote:Team picking in politics is far from arbitrary. Question almost any Republican or Democrat, and you're likely to find their values do correspond roughly to their party's values. Maybe they should be less bound with their team, because their values might not match that closely, but I'd argue that most partisans are partisan for a good reason.


Well, strictly speaking most partisans are partisan because their parents were partisan for the same party. It's not arbitrary, but it's not necessarily a fully informed decision either, much like how most people don't actually look at all of the various religions and choose the one that works best, but rather, the belief system is inherited from their parents.


Beat me to it. I'd expect the causation arrow to move the opposite direction, with people having values transplanted from whatever the dominant social group is in the area they grew up, rather than which they developed themselves based on analysis.
And where you grew up is largely arbitrary.

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Re: 2012 U.S. Presidential Election

Postby bentheimmigrant » Thu Oct 18, 2012 9:38 pm UTC

I seem to remember a poll out months ago that showed people choose policies based on the party name attached. The study swapped the names and the people followed. I tried a quick google but it was swamped by presidential polls. I'll try again tomorrow when I have more time, unless someone else digs it up.
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Re: 2012 U.S. Presidential Election

Postby Jave D » Thu Oct 18, 2012 10:33 pm UTC

Well, according to Megyn Kelly on Fox News: "Declaring something an act of terror does not necessarily mean you are declaring it a terror attack."

Someone on Facebook is arguing this, saying that "act of terror" could refer to being scared by mummies in a haunted house.

Honestly, I don't have the words right now.

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Re: 2012 U.S. Presidential Election

Postby Thesh » Thu Oct 18, 2012 11:27 pm UTC

My question is this: Who gives a shit?

Seriously, what difference does it make how you label it?
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Re: 2012 U.S. Presidential Election

Postby sardia » Thu Oct 18, 2012 11:32 pm UTC

Thesh wrote:My question is this: Who gives a shit?

Seriously, what difference does it make how you label it?

The importance is that something was really strange in how the executive branch handled the Libya incident. Republicans are trying to leverage that into an attack on his strong foreign policy credentials. However, Romney messed up his legitimate complaint about Libya, and took a beating for it. Because of that, the President got a free pass on it for now, while hurting Romney by appearing to win a debate. This makes Romney's supporters feel worse, and Obama supporters feel better, and that affects turnout. That's why it's important.

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Re: 2012 U.S. Presidential Election

Postby bentheimmigrant » Fri Oct 19, 2012 9:36 am UTC

There's only something really strange because the people want there to be.
http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/arc ... ce/263139/
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/16/world ... .html?_r=0

The republican outrage over the handling (separate from the apparent failure to act on security requests, which as we've been told by congressional testimony probably wouldn't have made a significant difference anyway) come from three things. 1) The "refusal" to call it an act of terror, and 2) The insistence on blaming it on the film, and 3) The claim that the attack rose out of a protest. But from the second article:
To Libyans who witnessed the assault and know the attackers, there is little doubt what occurred: a well-known group of local Islamist militants struck the United States Mission without any warning or protest, and they did it in retaliation for the video. That is what the fighters said at the time, speaking emotionally of their anger at the video without mentioning Al Qaeda, Osama bin Laden or the terrorist strikes of 11 years earlier. And it is an explanation that tracks with their history as members of a local militant group determined to protect Libya from Western influence.

So we see (assuming that we can all agree that defining something as terror is completely meaningless, as terror has been undefined since at least he 80s, and the president DID refer to it as an act of terror, at least twice in the following two days), that there are eye-witness reports that the motivation for the attack was the video, but there was no protest. So the only thing odd about the administration's handling is that they didn't realise that of all the things happening at embassies and consulates around the globe, the Benghazi attack was the only one they were hearing about that didn't involve a protest. Oh no. There was mild confusion over a single point. If the President works out how to present this properly in the next debate, I think it could seriously de-claw Romney on the issue (and I'm pretty sure it's his only issue).


LaserGuy wrote:
omgryebread wrote:Team picking in politics is far from arbitrary. Question almost any Republican or Democrat, and you're likely to find their values do correspond roughly to their party's values. Maybe they should be less bound with their team, because their values might not match that closely, but I'd argue that most partisans are partisan for a good reason.


Well, strictly speaking most partisans are partisan because their parents were partisan for the same party. It's not arbitrary, but it's not necessarily a fully informed decision either, much like how most people don't actually look at all of the various religions and choose the one that works best, but rather, the belief system is inherited from their parents.

I found the article I mentioned last night... It's not just partisans that are arbitrary. "Independents" have a tendency to be partisan, and will follow party labels into changing their views on issues.
http://www.npr.org/blogs/itsallpolitics ... n-disguise
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Re: 2012 U.S. Presidential Election

Postby Heisenberg » Fri Oct 19, 2012 1:45 pm UTC

The idea that a major terrorist attack on the United States happened to fall on 9/11 purely by coincidence is, frankly, unbelievable.

That such an attack would clearly have negative political consequences combined with the Obama administration's explicit and overt attempts to call attention away from that 'coincidence' (see Jay Carney's comment about the attack having "nothing to do with the date") make the entire situation very suspicious.

If by some miracle the terrorists who attacked us had no idea that another terrorist attack had taken place 11 years earlier to the day, then the Obama administration is simply unlucky and the truth will never be believed.

If the far more likely scenario is true, that this 9/11 attack had some association with the last 9/11 attack, then it's clear the administration mislead the American public for political gain. Wouldn't be the first time, and it won't be the last.

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Re: 2012 U.S. Presidential Election

Postby bentheimmigrant » Fri Oct 19, 2012 2:10 pm UTC

Heisenberg wrote:The idea that a major terrorist attack on the United States happened to fall on 9/11 purely by coincidence is, frankly, unbelievable.

Why? All the protests across the Middle East were on the same day. The reports are that the attackers themselves stated the video was what motivated them. I agree, it would appear unlikely that an attack just happened to be on Sept 11, IF there was nothing else going on and the attackers didn't tell people what their motivations were.

Back to that NYT article:
At a news conference the day after the ambassador and three other Americans were killed, a spokesman for Ansar al-Shariah praised the attack as the proper response to such an insult to Islam. “We are saluting our people for this zeal in protecting their religion, to grant victory to the prophet,” the spokesman said. “The response has to be firm.” Other Benghazi militia leaders who know the group say its leaders and ideology are all homegrown. Those leaders, including Ahmed Abu Khattala and Mohammed Ali Zahawi, fought alongside other commanders against Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi. Their group provides social services and guards a hospital. And they openly proselytize for their brand of puritanical Islam and political vision.

They profess no interest in global fights against the West or distant battles aimed at removing American troops from the Arabian Peninsula.
...
Other Benghazi militia leaders who know Ansar al-Shariah say it was capable of carrying out the attack by itself with only a few hours’ planning, and as recently as June one of its leaders, Mr. Zahawi, declared that it could destroy the American Mission.


What you're really arguing is that it was unlikely that the uproar over the film would happen on 9/11. But it did (I assume the film was intentionally released around then for maximum publicity). You're making blind assertions based on your intuitive sense of probabilities and assumptions about their motives. Neither of those suffice as evidence.

Heisenberg wrote:If by some miracle the terrorists who attacked us had no idea that another terrorist attack had taken place 11 years earlier to the day, then the Obama administration is simply unlucky and the truth will never be believed.

And yet it appears this is exactly the case. And what can Obama do? Intentionally lie about it all to avoid criticism? Oh wait.
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Re: 2012 U.S. Presidential Election

Postby Heisenberg » Fri Oct 19, 2012 2:33 pm UTC

The protests were spontaneous. The attack was planned. Even the President has admitted this. Planning an attack for 9/11, a date on the calendar, is possible. Planning an attack for a spontaneous protest of a Youtube video is not possible. So it should be blatantly obvious to the most casual observer that an planned attack that occurs on 9/11 was in fact planned for 9/11.

Also, terrorists trying to mask their motivations are not reliable sources. Terrorist hearsay is just ridiculous.

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Re: 2012 U.S. Presidential Election

Postby Izawwlgood » Fri Oct 19, 2012 3:05 pm UTC

Anyone watch the Alfred E Smith dinner videos? I felt Obama was humorous and gracious, taking jabs at himself and being largely apolitical. Largely. Romney was unreasonable and on the offense, and it felt ill-timed and unwarranted.
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Re: 2012 U.S. Presidential Election

Postby clockworkmonk » Fri Oct 19, 2012 3:28 pm UTC

Image
418 I'm a teapot

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Re: 2012 U.S. Presidential Election

Postby Triangle_Man » Fri Oct 19, 2012 6:29 pm UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:Anyone watch the Alfred E Smith dinner videos? I felt Obama was humorous and gracious, taking jabs at himself and being largely apolitical. Largely. Romney was unreasonable and on the offense, and it felt ill-timed and unwarranted.

On a semi-related note, I heard from my English Teacher that Romney's solution to every problem presented to him in the Most Recent Debate was to the effect of 'boost the economy'. Is this true?
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Re: 2012 U.S. Presidential Election

Postby Tyndmyr » Fri Oct 19, 2012 6:50 pm UTC

Triangle_Man wrote:
Izawwlgood wrote:Anyone watch the Alfred E Smith dinner videos? I felt Obama was humorous and gracious, taking jabs at himself and being largely apolitical. Largely. Romney was unreasonable and on the offense, and it felt ill-timed and unwarranted.

On a semi-related note, I heard from my English Teacher that Romney's solution to every problem presented to him in the Most Recent Debate was to the effect of 'boost the economy'. Is this true?


That, in itself, is not bad. Boosting the economy does actually help with a lot of problems.

The root issue is the lack of details as to how. I can claim I'll give everyone a pony and pixie dust for christmas, but a certain degree of skepticism of my claims until I explain how is quite reasonable.

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Re: 2012 U.S. Presidential Election

Postby CorruptUser » Fri Oct 19, 2012 7:20 pm UTC

Improving the economy means more people have more money, more people with more money means more education, more health care, less poverty, longer life expectancy, more families, and just about everything else. The effects of improving the economy is not magic, the question of how cutting both taxes and spending while in a recession and massive debt improves the economy.

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Re: 2012 U.S. Presidential Election

Postby freezeblade » Fri Oct 19, 2012 7:22 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:That, in itself, is not bad. Boosting the economy does actually help with a lot of problems.

The root issue is the lack of details as to how. I can claim I'll give everyone a pony and pixie dust for christmas, but a certain degree of skepticism of my claims until I explain how is quite reasonable.


This is generally what got me upset at the TV during the debates, the number of times I heard something along the lines of "I know how to get the economy fixed, I know how to get america working again!" repeated over and orver again without so much of a detail about how said thing would be accomplished. It's like there's this republican 'the policy that shall not be named'
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Re: 2012 U.S. Presidential Election

Postby Iulus Cofield » Fri Oct 19, 2012 7:25 pm UTC

To explain something is to destroy it. How can the American people enjoy economic improvement if they can understand it?

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Re: 2012 U.S. Presidential Election

Postby sardia » Fri Oct 19, 2012 7:27 pm UTC

It's not that it's unexplained, it's that the explanation makes little sense but has a grain of truth. Simplifying the tax code probably does help, as does reducing taxes. However, Romney is saying that if you do either of these things, the economy will grow at such a rate that it'll make up for every tax cut and extra expenditure. That, and Romney's presence at the helm will boost confidence, which should improve economic growth. I wonder how much growth we need to pay for all this, 8%, 9%? 10%?

PS I'm assuming that Romney didn't tag an assumed economic growth under his administration because I'm pretty sure any reasonable economic growth still won't pay for his budget.

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Re: 2012 U.S. Presidential Election

Postby Tyndmyr » Fri Oct 19, 2012 7:31 pm UTC

sardia wrote:It's not that it's unexplained, it's that the explanation makes little sense but has a grain of truth. Simplifying the tax code probably does help, as does reducing taxes.


Oh, sure. Both of those are helpful. But we understand the degree to which these things are helpful quite well....and he's placed enough constraints on his willingness to do both of those things that the total effect can't be immensely large. Sure, hacking out "loopholes" is good for simplifying, but how many loopholes are we actually going to lose? That's the kind of detail we need(and likely, aren't ever getting).

Any way you try to suss out his economic plan, there end up being large holes filled mostly with "???". We can try and project what he's putting there by the things he hasn't yet talked about, but really, he's not going out of his way to give us details on it.

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Re: 2012 U.S. Presidential Election

Postby sardia » Fri Oct 19, 2012 7:49 pm UTC

I agree with you, his ??? are filled with "economic growth". Which isn't what he's saying but he's implying it pretty hard.


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