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US Politics: A Feast for Crows

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Things are simmering away in the 2020 pres primary. Two news stories out today involving insiders. Beto o rourke met with Barack Obama about running and deval Patrick subsequently dropped out of the race. Invisible primary season is upon us.

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6 minutes ago, lokisnow said:

Things are simmering away in the 2020 pres primary. Two news stories out today involving insiders. Beto o rourke met with Barack Obama about running and deval Patrick subsequently dropped out of the race. Invisible primary season is upon us. 

I feel like Deval Patrick could see that there really wasn't a path to the nomination for him.  I hope that a lot of the second and third tier contenders take a hard look at whether they really have a "niche" that they could exploit to gain a portion of the Democratic electorate while the winnowing occurs.  

I'm all for having a variety of candidates running in 2020, but if the list grows to 15+ people (as it's expected to), then some of those people are going to get completely crowded out. 

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Just now, lokisnow said:

Things are simmering away in the 2020 pres primary. Two news stories out today involving insiders. Beto o rourke met with Barack Obama about running and deval Patrick subsequently dropped out of the race. Invisible primary season is upon us.

There was also this other headline I stumblend upon.

Biden: I am the most qualified candidate to run.

Which somehow sent a chill down my spine. Nothing against crazy uncle Joe, but I think he is simply too old to run in 2020. His chance was 2016, but there things were simply not meant to be for him, with this death of his son and so on.

But him running in 2020 feels a bit like of a re-run of the Hillary 2016 campaign - in the sense of the political spirit of elections past shows up on stage. Feel free to call me an ageist on that matter; I won't be denying it.

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1 hour ago, lokisnow said:

The last time it was changed the size was increased so there’d be one representative for every 125,000 people, population growth and immigration in the prior ten years meant that the previous reapportionment of 100,000 per representative was now way off and they were more like every 160,000 people and that was viewed as unacceptably unrepresentative.

but there was a problem, they increased it to 435 because that is how many desks fit in the room. After this point politicians asked themselves what was more important: 

representation and democracy or antique desks? And for over a hundred years the desks have won that battle as being more important every time the question has been asked.

reapportionment standards were supposed to be in the bill of rights but it was one of the only amendements in that package which didn’t pass.

I'm strongly against expanding the House as I believe that increasing the size of the body would (further) diminish its power and further empower the executive branch.  I actually think it is already probably already too big to be all that effective.  That said, I don't agree with how Senators are apportioned either.

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2 minutes ago, A Horse Named Stranger said:

But him running in 2020 feels a bit like of a re-run of the Hillary 2016 campaign - in the sense of the political spirit of elections past shows up on stage. Feel free to call me an ageist on that matter; I won't be denying it.

I agree completely, although I think there's more than just age working against him.  He is an old white man seeking to lead a political party that is angry at the disproportionate power of old white men.  His treatment of women is sometimes questionable, and I've no doubt that Trump will take whataboutism to a new level to cover up his own crimes.  He represents the old guard of the Democratic party in a way that even other older candidates such as Sanders does not. 

He missed his moment, just like Warren did.  I think either Biden or Warren would have had a good chance of beating Clinton in 2016, and in all likelihood would have run slightly stronger than Clinton in the general. (Although who can tell, really?) 

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8 minutes ago, Maithanet said:

I feel like Deval Patrick could see that there really wasn't a path to the nomination for him.  I hope that a lot of the second and third tier contenders take a hard look at whether they really have a "niche" that they could exploit to gain a portion of the Democratic electorate while the winnowing occurs.  

I'm all for having a variety of candidates running in 2020, but if the list grows to 15+ people (as it's expected to), then some of those people are going to get completely crowded out. 

Biden's broadcasting his desperation, flatly insisting HE IS THE ONLY POSSIBLE CHOICE. (Though why he should even be considered he doesn't even bother to inform anyone -- he's Biden!)  And um, suddenly, in the so-called mainstream more sane liberal media stories appear overnight that Beto's peaked and is over.

Masculine fragility -- so much, so everywhere, so in everything!  

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3 hours ago, Ser Scot A Ellison said:

You’ve raised that before.  It’s an interesting twist.  It would absolutely be challenged if attempted and I suspect it would fail.  But, hey anything is possible.

I believe this sort of thinking has you back in the 19th century instead of putting yourself in what the world would be like IF the first amendment passed.

Since it takes 3/4 of the states to pass an amendment, IF the amendment deleting the sentence about states' equal representation in the Senate were passed, that would mean that the majority of the states that would be "hurt" by the amendment would have voted for it.

And that means that support of the change would surely be overwhelming among voters, including voters in the smaller states. After all, the class of people in the "small" states most "harmed" by the change would be the politicians in the state legislatures themselves, since it would diminish their personal chances of ever being able to be part of the "prestigious" body the federal Senate is seen to be.  

So if the first amendment passes, for the courts to then invalidate it would be completely flying in the face of what was perceived by the huge majority of the population as a small-d democratic reform. That's the point when "packing the Supreme Court" would become a completely viable option to the majority of the electorate. So I really don't see how at that historical moment the courts would go against the will of the people -- which again, by then would include the will of the majority in the small population states. 

 

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2 hours ago, Maithanet said:

Won't the democratic governors in both be able to keep that down?  I know that's exactly what the WI and NC legislatures were attacking, but that was when they weren't in office yet.  The NC case is still in court, and thus far the rulings look favorable to Democrats, and the 2020 legislative map will be revised to be less egregious.  The WI case will go to court, and there's hope there as well, although with only 2 years I'm not sure there's time to get a decision prior to Nov 2020. 

I think Arizona is unlikely to come through as a tipping state for Democrats.  Yes, Sinema won against a competent Republican in McSally, but that was in a wave year for Democrats.  I suspect that if the election is close, Arizona is going red.  I honestly hold out more hope that somehow, someway, Florida comes through. 

Bonus - can you imagine the shitstorm if the Democrats pick up PA, MI and ME-2 (or NE-2), giving a 269-269 split?  We could have a Democratic President and Vice President Pence.  *

* Just kidding, Trump would declare a state of emergency before letting the House of Representatives pick a Democratic President. 

I don't know the details of Wisconsin, other than that the Republican party there is a pack of snakes. But the latest news out of North Carolina (overshadowed by Wisconsin, and to a lesser extent Michigan) is that Republicans are trying, while they still have the votes to override vetoes, to pass a bill requiring that county election chairs be Republican in election years* (and also trying to force the NC-9 race to be certified despite the fraud).

*The literal language is a new statute that in even-numbered years all county election chairs be members of the party with the second most registered members in the state.

As for the 269-269 split, Trump would probably still come out on top. The House votes, but its not a normal vote, each state delegation gets a single vote and whichever candidate gets a majority of the 50 delegations wins. If its a tie, no one wins and instead whoever the Senate votes to be Vice President becomes President instead. Delegations that deadlock don't cast a vote. And the thing is, even though Democrats have a 235-200 majority going into the new Congress, Republicans will still have a 26-22-2 majority in delegations. I believe it will be the 2020-elected Congress that would vote, not the incoming one, and it is possible Democrats get to a majority of delegations. There's a bunch of combinations of winning just 4 seats that'd do the trick, but most of them (like winning 1 additional Florida seat) probably only happen if the Democratic nominee is already winning.

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1 hour ago, A Horse Named Stranger said:

There was also this other headline I stumblend upon.

Biden: I am the most qualified candidate to run.

I only had time this morning to watch the start of the Bush funeral, moving the casket to the hearse and then the wait in the cathedral. But one of the commentators talked about HW saying he was the most qualified candidate to run in the election, and that he had been very bitter at first over losing to Clinton for that reason. Biden’s comment is like an echo of that, and I would not be too surprised if the results were the same.

Clinton eventually became good friends with the Bush clan, and apparently that was because of the outreach by WH, who got them together for charitable causes.

That reminds of something I’ve been meaning to say about hatred for HW. Whoever you thought was the low man on the presidential totem pole, Trump is setting a new standard that presidents will be measured against.

Can you in your wildest dreams imagine Trump signing the Americans with Disabilities Act? More likely he’d say it was regulation gone wild.

And when West Germany announced plans for reunification with East Germany, both the UK and France were strongly opposed. Not only were they worried about an economic powerhouse getting bigger, some even claimed re-uniting the two Germanies was laying the foundation for WW III. It was Bush’s support that paved the way for reunification happening. Imagine Trump and his America first policy. Do you think he would have supported a reunited Germany, or would he have decided it was in the US’s best interests to have a divided Germany?

Imagine what the situation would be in Europe today if East Germany had been basically abandoned and left to pull itself up by it’s bootstraps? It would be a Russian satellite by now.

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1 hour ago, A Horse Named Stranger said:

There was also this other headline I stumblend upon.

Biden: I am the most qualified candidate to run.

Which somehow sent a chill down my spine. Nothing against crazy uncle Joe, but I think he is simply too old to run in 2020. His chance was 2016, but there things were simply not meant to be for him, with this death of his son and so on.

But him running in 2020 feels a bit like of a re-run of the Hillary 2016 campaign - in the sense of the political spirit of elections past shows up on stage. Feel free to call me an ageist on that matter; I won't be denying it.

I don't have numbers on this, but doesn't it kind of seem like the nominee is rarely the person everyone thinks it's going to be leading into the pre-primary season? With such a crowded field I imagine that is going to be more true next year than it ever was. The conventional wisdom in the DNC these days seems to be to push fresh faces out, and god love Biden, but he ain't fresh.

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4 hours ago, Paladin of Ice said:

Definitely not ignoring the efforts going on in Wisconsin nor Michigan.  Just not much to say other than "sucks."

3 hours ago, Fez said:

I think the easiest Democratic path at this point is the Clinton states+PA+MI+AZ. 

I still think it's much more likely the Democrat wins Wisconsin but loses Arizona in 2020 than the Democrat winning Arizona but losing Wisconsin.

1 hour ago, Mlle. Zabzie said:

I'm strongly against expanding the House as I believe that increasing the size of the body would (further) diminish its power and further empower the executive branch.  I actually think it is already probably already too big to be all that effective.  That said, I don't agree with how Senators are apportioned either.

I share similar concerns, but as Scot and I have discussed before I'd be fine with, say, doubling the number of members of the House.  UK, France, Germany all have chambers with ~600-700 members and they seem to get along fine.  While I'd be very worried about the efficacy of a thousands-member legislature, I think something like 870 is a fair compromise.

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3 minutes ago, Let's Get Kraken said:

I don't have numbers on this, but doesn't it kind of seem like the nominee is rarely the person everyone thinks it's going to be leading into the pre-primary season?

When there's a clear favorite (e.g. Hillary 2016, Dubya 2000, any VP), the clear favorite usually wins.  The only clear favorite I can think of that lost is Clinton in 2008.  Hell, McCain was what I'd describe as a "weak" favorite in the 2008 GOP primary, his campaign nearly collapsed early (I recall reading an article in September 2007 that said he was flying coach by himself), and he still wound up the nominee.  However, when it's a clear "open field" (e.g. Dems 1992, Dems 2004, GOP 2016), then yeah, of course the eventual nominee can be someone unexpected.  I'd say 2020 is a clear open field for Dems.

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Just now, Fragile Bird said:

I only had time this morning to watch the start of the Bush funeral, moving the casket to the hearse and then the wait in the cathedral. But one of the commentators talked about HW saying he was the most qualified candidate to run in the election, and that he had been very bitter at first over losing to Clinton for that reason. Biden’s comment is like an echo of that, and I would not be too surprised if the results were the same.

NOt sure why draw me into this whole was Bush Sr. evil debate, I am really neutral on him. Most of the evil was done by the two term GOP presidents Ronnie and Jr. Compared to those two, he was close to sainthood. So from the 6 POTUS in my life time, he makes it into the top three. (having checked the dates, technically speaking I would need to make a top 7 list, but since this is a mere matter of weeks I'll simply discard Carter).

As for the racism bit, yes, I think there probably was some racism and homophobia in him, but not more than I would expect from a white man of his generation.

1 minute ago, Fragile Bird said:

That reminds of something I’ve been meaning to say about hatred for HW. Whoever you thought was the low man on the presidential totem pole, Trump is setting a new standard that presidents will be measured against.

And there we have reached the very bottom of my list. I like to think of Donnie Dipshit as an outlier, rather than a new standard. I mean, we are not comparing every German politcian to Hitler either, are we?

4 minutes ago, Fragile Bird said:

Imagine what the situation would be in Europe today if East Germany had been basically abandoned and left to pull itself up by it’s bootstraps? It would be a Russian satellite by now. 

Well... there are some parts in the East that basically have played that part. It's a bit like the US rustbelt forgotten angry old men thing (a bit simplified but not far off). And a petty part of me thinks, rebuilding a wall around those toxic areas might not be the worst idea. But this is getting way off topic.

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2 hours ago, DMC said:

Definitely not ignoring the efforts going on in Wisconsin nor Michigan.  Just not much to say other than "sucks."

I still think it's much more likely the Democrat wins Wisconsin but loses Arizona in 2020 than the Democrat winning Arizona but losing Wisconsin.

I share similar concerns, but as Scot and I have discussed before I'd be fine with, say, doubling the number of members of the House.  UK, France, Germany all have chambers with ~600-700 members and they seem to get along fine.  While I'd be very worried about the efficacy of a thousands-member legislature, I think something like 870 is a fair compromise.

 

While I think representation in the 1:100,000 to 1:150,000 in the house is the natural ideal, I'd be fine with a compromise that set it as a formula: such that the ratio is 1:X where X = Y/3 and Y=the average population of the five states with the smallest populations

That would be Wyoming, Vermont, North Dakota, Alaska, South Dakota

For a total population of 3.386M or an average of 677,309

677,309/3 = 225,770 persons per House of Representative seats, or 1365 seats

***

I'd also support the following to happen:

Any state whose population is greater than Z*2 where Z is the average population of all the states must divide itself into smaller states, using existing county and/or city boundary lines.

None of the smaller states may have populations smaller than Z*0.9.

None of the smaller states may be larger than Z*1.5, excepting if such a state cannot be created because existing city and/or county boundaries cause it to be larger than Z1.5.

If a city or county is larger than Z*2, it must be divided as evenly as possible considering both area and population and GDP while using streets highways or rivers as boundary lines, and each line must be a minimum of 1 mile long.

(the latter two are basically the city/county of los angeles exception)

so if Z = 308.156M/50 then Z=6,163,127 and Z*2 equals 12.3M people.

that means the top 7 states would need to subdivide into states not less than 5.5M in size and not more than 9.25M in size for about 19 to 20 states instead of 7.

so that means East and West Pennsylvania, the state of Chicago and of Illinois, Pan Handle Florida, North Florida and South Florida, New York and NYC and Long Island, North Texas East Texas South Texas West Texas, and Southern Cal and Los Angeles 1 and Los Angeles 2 and California and Northern California.

technically you could get six states out of California, but 5 would be easier to fit within the 0.9Z to 1.5Z parameters. And Tx might have just enough people to make five states possible, after the 2020 census they should definitely be good to divide into five.

If this were to recur with the new numbers, it'd cause Ohio to split which would then cause Michigan and Georgia to split, which would then cause North Carolina to Split resulting in a healthy 67 states. 

but then the splitting would be done until the next census at least, when one would find out if any states had grown enough to result in more required splits.

 

 

Edited by lokisnow

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36 minutes ago, lokisnow said:

 

While I think representation in the 1:100,000 to 1:150,000 in the house is the natural ideal, I'd be fine with a compromise that set it as a formula: such that the ratio is 1:X where X = Y/3 and Y=the average population of the five states with the smallest populations

That would be Wyoming, Vermont, North Dakota, Alaska, South Dakota

For a total population of 3.386M or an average of 677,309

677,309/3 = 225,770 persons per House of Representative seats, or 1365 seats

***

I'd also support the following to happen:

Any state whose population is greater than Z*2 where Z is the average population of all the states must divide itself into smaller states, using existing county and/or city boundary lines.

None of the smaller states may have populations smaller than Z*0.9.

None of the smaller states may be larger than Z*1.5, excepting if such a state cannot be created because existing city and/or county boundaries cause it to be larger than Z1.5.

If a city or county is larger than Z*2, it must be divided as evenly as possible considering both area and population and GDP while using streets highways or rivers as boundary lines, and each line must be a minimum of 1 mile long.

(the latter two are basically the city/county of los angeles exception)

so if Z = 308.156M/50 then Z=6,163,127 and Z*2 equals 12.3M people.

that means the top 7 states would need to subdivide into states not less than 5.5M in size and not more than 9.25M in size for about 19 to 20 states instead of 7.

so that means East and West Pennsylvania, the state of Chicago and of Illinois, Pan Handle Florida, North Florida and South Florida, New York and NYC and Long Island, North Texas East Texas South Texas West Texas, and Southern Cal and Los Angeles 1 and Los Angeles 2 and California and Northern California.

technically you could get six states out of California, but 5 would be easier to fit within the 0.9Z to 1.5Z parameters. And Tx might have just enough people to make five states possible, after the 2020 census they should definitely be good to divide into five.

If this were to recur with the new numbers, it'd cause Ohio to split which would then cause Michigan and Georgia to split, which would then cause North Carolina to Split resulting in a healthy 67 states. 

but then the splitting would be done until the next census at least, when one would find out if any states had grown enough to result in more required splits.

 

 

Considering states are their own administrative entities, providing significant numbers and amounts of services to their citizens (at least, in some states). This splitting sounds like an impossible bureaucratic nightmare.

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2 hours ago, Let's Get Kraken said:

I don't have numbers on this, but doesn't it kind of seem like the nominee is rarely the person everyone thinks it's going to be leading into the pre-primary season? With such a crowded field I imagine that is going to be more true next year than it ever was. The conventional wisdom in the DNC these days seems to be to push fresh faces out, and god love Biden, but he ain't fresh.

Only sometimes, and only usually during incumbent first term years. Clinton and Obama were both big names for 2008 (though many thought Obama was running too soon), Clinton was obviously the big one in 2016, Gore was considered to be a major front runner in 2000 (as was Bush). Kerry was a bit of a surprise I suppose, and Clinton in 1992 was a bit of a surprise, but Bush 1 and Dole both were not. 

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34 minutes ago, Fez said:

Considering states are their own administrative entities, providing significant numbers and amounts of services to their citizens (at least, in some states). This splitting sounds like an impossible bureaucratic nightmare.

but worth it considering the upside that lots more states is the only way to definitely improve the senate. 

You could write a statute that allows states to maintain a supra-state entity overseeing the division for at least twenty years (with a possible extension of another twenty) to give them ample time to sort out the power, water, roads etc.

And you say Bureaucratic nightmare, and I hear, "major jobs program immune from robots and outsourcing."

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18 hours ago, Triskele said:

Yeah, that's the thing.  There really is an "abolish the Senate" movement.  I don't claim to know how to gauge how potent it is beyond just saying that it's fairly impotent given that the Senate itself would have to approve.  But other than that, it does exist. 

New Zealand's upper house voted itself out of existence. So it's possible. Though that was in very different political times. And I think it's still the only legislative body that has voted itself out of existence. So it seems pretty unlikely it would happen again.

 

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21 hours ago, DMC said:

Oh this is a bunch of horseshit.  Why does AOC not have a "strong grasp" on the policy argument and more experienced MCs do?  That entails a ludicrous assumption that MCs give a shit about the same policy as much as Ocasio-Cortez.  She's 29 not 12.  I was more qualified at 29 to be a member of Congress than 80 percent of the people sitting there.  She's immediately demonstrated better political instincts than the vast majority of incumbent MCs - most of which have the same ambition as everybody in Washington.  Ocasio-Cortez is a better politician than you.  Stop pretending you know what's best for her.  As I said, I'm worried about over-exposure.  But that's it.

A lot of them do care. The problem is that the ones who put little energy into studying policy are also the ones that love the camera, so we can get a distorted sense of reality. And while you were probably more qualified at 29 than many legislators, you're a statistical outlier, having a master's degree in the field and being a college professor at the time. I just looked up her bio and hell, I'm likely more qualified than her if you want to compare resumes. But yes, she is a better politician, obviously, because she won a seat in Congress while all I've ever won a seat in is the student government at my university. 

The reason her tweet was problematic to me is that it likely signals one of three things: She hasn't built her policy team yet, she has and didn't run it by them or she has, she did and they approved it. None of those are good scenarios. 

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13 hours ago, Paladin of Ice said:

Free reminder that Bernie Sanders is still the Junior Senator from Vermont. I guess that due to the accident of serving with someone who has been in the position for 44 years while Sanders has only been in Congress for 27, (and only in the Senate for 11, the fucking newcomer) he still hasn't earned the right to speak yet.

Sorry Bernie, maybe one of these days  Tywin will think you have the right to speak. Suck it up until then, and get off my lawn, you damn kid.

It's almost like making assumptions about people based on a job title or some other description is stupid and ignores a huge amount of context.

:P

You know the quote simply means that you should take your time and learn the ins and outs of it before you make waves, which is prudent advice at most jobs. 

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