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On 5/3/2019 at 11:00 AM, Toxxus said:

 

Though I generally favor Voter ID laws, this seems unusually harsh.

I mean we require a test and an ID to be allowed to operate a motor vehicle and that kills way fewer people than bad government.

 

On the plus side for you with a few more million economic refugees from California - Texas will flip blue and then it's going to be democrat everything for the foreseeable future.

 

Unfortunately a political party with no challengers isn't exactly going to be known for best behavior.

 

I vote.  But someone wake me when I get a political party that will talk about the realities of global warming.

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On 5/8/2019 at 12:21 PM, Hermit said:

https://thehill.com/homenews/house/442697-schiff-introduces-constitutional-amendment-to-overturn-citizens-united

 

Folks might want to contact their reps and senators and support this.

 

I'd love the deep dive on the details of what this does and would undo.  I see a lot of voices trying to say that it allows for citizens to unite their funding to get heard, but all I've heard of in the years since is wealth pouring into SuperPACs from the top.

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This:

 

26 minutes ago, TrickstaPriest said:

 it allows for citizens to unite their funding to get heard,

 

is the pretext to allow for this:

 

26 minutes ago, TrickstaPriest said:

wealth pouring into SuperPACs from the top.

 

What's especially egregious is that the original case was about whether nonprofits could run political TV ads, not whether those nonprofits needed to show where the money was coming from, or whether for-profit corporations have the same free speech rights as individuals, or whether money is speech.

 

At any rate, from what I can gather, the amendment itself directly overturns Citizens United, which would be an unusually focused amendment.  Not that it would have any chance of gaining a 2/3 majority in both houses plus ratification by 3/4 (? I forget) of the states, in spite of the overwhelming public popularity of such a measure.

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I don't expect him to go left very often.  I just like the fact it is an option.

 

It means he's thinking.  Unlike multiple justices on either side that are ideologically locked into party line ruling.

 

It's fairly disgusting that are 6 or more justices that almost universally rule in the same direction and that there are just a couple that swing left or right based on the merits of the case.

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Thinking about electoral suppression laws in the US...

 

Here's an article about electoral enrolment rates in Australia. (We've got a federal election on Saturday.)

 

A key difference is that voting in Australia is a duty, not a right, similar to service on a jury. More precisely, attending a polling place and getting your named ticked off is a duty. Casting a valid vote is optional. You can always draw works of art on the ballot papers.

 

Fines for not voting are trivial though, and non-voters are not particularly energetically pursued. Nearly any old excuse for not voting will do.

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If the information cited in this article is true, it explains a lot about Donald Trump's trade war with China: Trump believes China tariffs will help him win reelection.

 

"President Trump is telling advisers and close allies that he has no intention of pulling back on his escalating trade war with China, arguing that clashing with Beijing is highly popular with his political base and will help him win reelection in 2020 regardless of any immediate economic pain."

 

This would be consistent with the reported thinking behind his past decisions, his priority being catering to his base to maintain their electoral support for his second term; with the actual impact of those decisions ranking second, if at all.

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14 hours ago, assault said:

Thinking about electoral suppression laws in the US...

 

Here's an article about electoral enrolment rates in Australia. (We've got a federal election on Saturday.)

 

A key difference is that voting in Australia is a duty, not a right, similar to service on a jury. More precisely, attending a polling place and getting your named ticked off is a jury. Casting a valid vote is optional. You can always draw works of art on the ballot papers.

 

Fines for not voting are trivial though, and non-voters are not particularly energetically pursued. Nearly any old excuse for not voting will do.

 

 

I've never liked mandatory voting since it encourages disinterested and uninformed people to vote at random.

 

"I don't care, the rest of you decide" is an option which should be available, in my opinion.

 

Not encouraged, but available.

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On 5/14/2019 at 7:27 AM, Toxxus said:

Kavanaugh voted with the left this week.

https://www.newsweek.com/fox-news-brett-kavanaugh-supreme-court-liberal-justices-1424286

 

This is a good sign, imo, as it means he's ruling in favor of what he believes is lawful and is not playing sock puppet to the left or right.

 

Chief Justice Roberts broke ranks on a fairly significant ruling a couple of months back, as I recall. We may just have some Justices that really are more concerned with doing the right thing than with Right vs. Left.

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On 5/16/2019 at 12:03 AM, archer said:

I've never liked mandatory voting since it encourages disinterested and uninformed people to vote at random.

 

"I don't care, the rest of you decide" is an option which should be available, in my opinion.

 

Not encouraged, but available.

 

There's no evidence that this is a significant issue.

 

The rate of "informal" votes - which aren't counted - isn't particularly high. This is the "I don't care" option, mixed with some actual mistakes.

 

Valid "random" votes typically take one of two common forms. In a preferential (instant run-off) system like Australia's, a valid vote requires all the boxes to be numbered. (The Senate isn't quite like that, but even the experts have trouble explaining it!)

 

In this context, the two most common patterns of "random" voting should be obvious - the boxes are either numbered sequentially from the top down, or from the bottom up. This is referred to as a "donkey vote".

 

In theory, of course, such a vote could actually reflect a voter's actual intentions - but this is rare.

 

Votes of this kind can affect outcomes, but the effect doesn't seem large enough to be a significant problem.

 

Given the alternatives, compulsory voting provides more democratic outcomes that systems that effectively discourage people from bothering to vote, especially since turn out rates tend to be higher amongst wealthier groups. Strangely enough, the occasional suggestions that compulsory voting in Australia should be abolished come from conservatives - whose parties would benefit from low voter turn out rates. Funny that.

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30 minutes ago, Lord Liaden said:

 

I really thought we were finally going to have a president who didn't start another war.

 

Previously I thought Obama would be that guy, but I was wrong.

 

Remember when Eisenhower gave that farewell speech from the Presidency that made him seem like a conspiratorial nut-case?  Yeah, perhaps, he was just right on the money.

 

If I recall correctly his draft version of that speech didn't use Military Industrial Complex, but Congressional Military Industrial Complex.

 

Fighting Iran is just stupid.  Get out of the Middle East and let them sort it out or fail to sort it out on their own.  They don't want us there and we're 23 trillion in the hole.

 

Next country that needs our help (I'm looking at you Kuwait) has to pay the bill.

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Unfortunately America can't just "get out of the Middle East." What happens there has huge ripple effects across the whole planet, which will eventually impact America. Even if the US does achieve energy self-sufficiency, much of the rest of the world, including American allies and enemies, will not for the foreseeable future. And if the United States withdraws completely from involvement in the region, there are other powers eager to fill the void.

 

Now, what kind of involvement the US should have is very much open to debate.

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13 hours ago, assault said:

 

There's no evidence that this is a significant issue.

 

The rate of "informal" votes - which aren't counted - isn't particularly high. This is the "I don't care" option, mixed with some actual mistakes.

 

Valid "random" votes typically take one of two common forms. In a preferential (instant run-off) system like Australia's, a valid vote requires all the boxes to be numbered. (The Senate isn't quite like that, but even the experts have trouble explaining it!)

 

In this context, the two most common patterns of "random" voting should be obvious - the boxes are either numbered sequentially from the top down, or from the bottom up. This is referred to as a "donkey vote".

 

In theory, of course, such a vote could actually reflect a voter's actual intentions - but this is rare.

 

Votes of this kind can affect outcomes, but the effect doesn't seem large enough to be a significant problem.

 

Given the alternatives, compulsory voting provides more democratic outcomes that systems that effectively discourage people from bothering to vote, especially since turn out rates tend to be higher amongst wealthier groups. Strangely enough, the occasional suggestions that compulsory voting in Australia should be abolished come from conservatives - whose parties would benefit from low voter turn out rates. Funny that.

 

 

I would think the mandatory voting in the US would help candidates who were already well-known. Say one who had his own popular reality TV show. Or who had a huge following on Twitter and often said outrageous things in order to keep that audience. Or who was otherwise a demagogue.

 

To fix the problems in the US, I'd much rather start with:

 

1) Mandatory universal voter registration

2) Voting spread out over a Friday, Saturday, and Sunday with the Friday being a national holiday. (With a media blackout on exit polls so that doesn't skew results.)

3) No-excuse absentee voting

 

I'll spare everyone the rest of the manifesto :)but basically it focuses on making voting easier, making sure election workers have less opportunity to screw with the results (whether intentionally or accidentally), making sure votes are counted honestly, making recounts mandatory and automatic in close elections (the current system often depends on one of the candidates complaining and/or paying for the cost of recounts), and making sure there's a permanent paper record of votes from electronic voting machines.

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13 hours ago, archer said:

I'll spare everyone the rest of the manifesto :)but basically it focuses on making voting easier, making sure election workers have less opportunity to screw with the results (whether intentionally or accidentally), making sure votes are counted honestly, making recounts mandatory and automatic in close elections (the current system often depends on one of the candidates complaining and/or paying for the cost of recounts), and making sure there's a permanent paper record of votes from electronic voting machines.

 

In Australia, votes are made on paper, and counted in front of representatives nominated by the candidates.

 

Those are the original counts, at least. I'm not sure about recounts.

 

Senate votes are weird though, and at least partly computerized. That's because of the weird interactions that happen between proportional representation and preferential voting. We have 12 senators per state, plus a smaller number per territory. Usually only half are up for re-election in any particular election, and blah blah blah.

 

Also the results of our election have come in and I'm "processing" them at the moment. A story for another day.

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17 hours ago, archer said:

 

 

I would think the mandatory voting in the US would help candidates who were already well-known. Say one who had his own popular reality TV show. Or who had a huge following on Twitter and often said outrageous things in order to keep that audience. Or who was otherwise a demagogue.

 

To fix the problems in the US, I'd much rather start with:

 

1) Mandatory universal voter registration

2) Voting spread out over a Friday, Saturday, and Sunday with the Friday being a national holiday. (With a media blackout on exit polls so that doesn't skew results.)

3) No-excuse absentee voting

 

I'll spare everyone the rest of the manifesto :)but basically it focuses on making voting easier, making sure election workers have less opportunity to screw with the results (whether intentionally or accidentally), making sure votes are counted honestly, making recounts mandatory and automatic in close elections (the current system often depends on one of the candidates complaining and/or paying for the cost of recounts), and making sure there's a permanent paper record of votes from electronic voting machines.

 

1) Nevada had on its ballot recently a measure which passed to automatically register people to vote when they received a driver's license or state ID card, unless the person opts out. Previously, voter registration was opt-in when getting a DL or ID. It also automatically updates the registration when the person updates their residential address.

2) Our early voting is for two weeks before the election, and consists of voting stations that are at major malls, and in trailers that are scheduled for a few days at many plazas.

3) I haven't seen anything locally about no-excuse absentee voting, but I would support it if brought to a ballot measure.

 

Our electronic voting machines have had a paper detail tape that lists the choices made in plain text, and then produces a barcode for electronic recounts for a number of elections. The new machines have a shutter that raises so that you can check to make sure what you chose is correct before pressing Cast Vote.

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23 hours ago, Toxxus said:

 

I really thought we were finally going to have a president who didn't start another war.

<snip>
Fighting Iran is just stupid.  Get out of the Middle East and let them sort it out or fail to sort it out on their own.  They don't want us there and we're 23 trillion in the hole.

 

Ah, but wartime presidents get reelected, no matter how incompetently they bungle the war. Just look at George W. Bush and Afghanistan and Iraq. Though technically the wars were swift and successful; it was the occupations afterward that became debacles.

 

I expect that war with Iran would also be tremendously popular with Trump's base, which seems to share his obsession with crude dominance and submission, humiliation and revenge. Cool footage of bombs dropping in Tehran to wipe away the decades-old humiliation of Americans held hostage! Then it would become a horrible quagmire because Iran's leadership has been paying attention. But if Trump timed it right, the horrible quagmire would become clear after the 2020 election.

 

I am not a mind reader, so I can't prove this is Trump's thinking. Perhaps I traduce the man. But such a scheme seems consistent with what I've seen so far, and what is reported from people who know him well.

 

As for getting out of the Middle East... I share your disgust. Everything about the Middle East repulses me except for art, architecture and other cultural achievements that are all centuries or millennia old. But LL is right: We can't just wash our hands of the place, even though I can't think of any good course of action. Fortunately, this forum often reminds me that the world holds people who are smarter than me.

 

If I could have ten minutes with Pres. Rouhani, Ayatollah Khamenei, or someone else in a position of power in Iran's government, I would urge them not to fall for what I think is Trump's gambit. The more reasonably they behave, the crazier and more foolish he looks. And truly, Iran-haters in America should worry more if Iran really doesn't seek a bomb with its nuclear program: It means they are planning for the post-petroleum age, while the US currently is not.

 

Dean Shomshak

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2 hours ago, Grailknight said:

Voter registration in the US would rise dramatically if it weren't tied to the jury duty system.

 

You're in luck. Nevada draws its potential jurors from DMV records, Employment Security Division (unemployment compensation), and public utilities, in addition to the registered voter lists. So you can serve on a jury even if you aren't registered to vote.

 

I've personally served on a jury for a criminal trial and a civil trial, and I'm glad that I had the opportunity.

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