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Everything posted by Delta1212

  1. If you don't believe anyone understood what you were trying to say, perhaps the common element in the failure to communicate is not "everyone else."
  2. I was expecting this to be about evaporation of micro black holes. Describing polar jets as a black hole exploding is just... very irresponsible journalism, frankly.
  3. Forget currently sitting, what happens when everyone knows that professors are effectively responsible for choosing presidential candidates? You think the hiring process for professors is going to remain the same? Look at how many universities already treat grading of athletes and tell me there aren't going to be politically focused schools the same way there are high level sports schools.
  4. I mean, ideally, people would, instead of voting for candidates, input their preferences on a wide range of issues and then a government would be formed from a candidate pool that best reflected the balance of views of the electorate, but I genuinely have no idea how to set up a system that would do that accurately and consistently without a strong opportunity for corruption.
  5. A major fundamental change with a slim majority either way is really never a great thing. When you're electing someone, even if it's by a slim margin that person can always, theoretically, take into account the wishes of the other half of the population while governing. But there's no way to realistically half-secede from a larger body, or half join one, or half do quite a lot of things like this. And no matter which way it goes, status quo or change, you effectively have half of a population that is being forced to live in a circumstance that is contrary to their preference and with no real recourse that does not impose the same circumstance on the other half of the population.
  6. Well, there's precedent now.
  7. James Comey: The President told me that he hoped I could let Michael Flynn go, which in the context of the President calling me in to a private meeting with him in order to say that, I took as an order to do so, although I did not comply. Trump's lawyer: Comey lied about the content of his conversations with the President and "the President never, in form or substance, directed or suggested that Mr. Comey stop investigating anyone, including suggesting that that Mr. Comey 'let Flynn go.'" Donald Trump, Jr: Yeah, plus he only said he hoped Comey could let Flynn go. *paraphrased where not in quotes
  8. Yes. I mean, I'm human, so I'm sure that the particular person who benefitted from it this time around probably amplifies those feelings (moreso even than if it had been someone like Romney that had gotten in on the EC votes), but my biggest two concerns really are that it happened again so soon after the last time and that the spread was so much wider in terms of both electoral votes and popular votes. I find that disconcerting. Who grades the prospective candidates?
  9. Well, let's do some math. First, there is no actual cap on what percentage of the popular vote a person could get below and still win, because in an absolute mathematically worst case scenario you could have them win 270 electoral votes in states where only one person in the whole state turned out to vote and have 100% turnout in all other states so that the popular vote swamped those numbers. You'd wind up with a President that didn't even score a single percentage point in the popular vote. That's exceptionally unlikely without some seriously blatant vote tampering or major changes in the way some individual states vote, though, so to get a more plausible worst case, I'll use some actual voter turnout data and then assume some kind of weird political realignment happens that groups states differently in terms of regional party affiliations and such than is currently the case. So the following would be very unlikely but not out of the bounds of possibility in terms of turnout but isn't as likely to happen politically given current circumstances. Anyway: If a candidate won: Alaska Delaware D.C. Montana North Dakota South Dakota Vermont Wyoming Hawaii Idaho New Hampshire Maine Rhode Island Nebraska New Mexico West Virginia Arkansas Iowa Kansas Mississippi Nevada Utah Connecticut Oklahoma Oregon Kentucky Louisiana Alabama Colorado South Carolina Maryland Minnesota Missouri Wisconsin Arizona Indiana Tennessee That would give them 271 EC votes from the states with the lowest Electoral vote numbers (and therefore the highest Electoral vote per capita numbers). I'm assuming that candidate wins each of the Maine and Nebraska congressional district electors by the same slim margins as the states overall for this breakdown. Michigan was the closest state in the last election with 47.6% to 47.3%. I'm going to call that just 47% of the vote in each of the above states going to each candidate. The widest margin I could find for a state this past election was Wyoming with 67% to 21% (D.C. was more extreme with 90% to 4% but I think that is a bit much even for this). So I'll make the other candidate get 67% to 20% in all of the other states. So, with semi-plausible numbers, and assuming the same turnout from the 2016 election for the sake of simplicity, candidates Eric Electoral and Penelope Popular would each get: Alaska - 149,000 each Delaware - 208,000 each D.C. - 146,000 each Montana - 234,000 each North Dakota - 162,000 each South Dakota - 174,000 each Vermont - 148,000 each Wyoming - 120,000 each Hawaii - 201,000 each Idaho - 324,000 each New Hampshire - 350,000 each Maine - 351,000 each Rhode Island - 218,000 each Nebraska - 397,000 each New Mexico - 375,000 each West Virginia - 336,000 each Arkansas - 531,000 each Iowa - 736,000 each Kansas - 556,000 each Mississippi - 568,000 each Nevada - 529,000 each Utah - 532,000 each Connecticut - 773,000 each Oklahoma - 682,000 each Oregon - 940,000 each Kentucky - 904,000 each Louisiana - 954,000 each Alabama - 998,000 each Colorado - 1,307,000 each South Carolina - 988,000 each Maryland - 1,307,000 each Minnesota - 1,384,000 each Missouri - 1,320,000 each Wisconsin - 1,399,000 each Arizona - 1,209,000 each Indiana - 1,285,000 each Tennessee - 1,179,000 each Total: 21,679,000 each (There are 37 states in the above list, so I'll give Eric Electoral an extra 40,000 votes to the above to make up his narrow victory margin spread across those states). Massachusetts - 2,228,000 P / 665,000 E Washington - 2,222,000 P / 663,000 E Virginia - 2,669,000 P / 797,000 E New Jersey - 2,596,000 P / 775,000 E North Carolina - 2,128,000 P / 948,000 E Georgia - 2,756,000 P / 823,000 E Michigan - 3,215,000 P / 960,000 E Ohio - 3,682,000 P / 1,099,000 E Illinois - 3,709,000 P / 1,107,000 E Pennsylvania - 4,130,000 P / 1,233,000 E Florida - 6,311,000 P / 1,884,000 E New York - 5,173,000 P / 1,544,000 E Texas - 6,009,000 P / 1,794,000 E California - 9,501,000 P / 2,836,000 E Sub-Total: 56,329,000 P / 17,128,000 E Total votes cast (including 3rd parties): 136,669,000 Penelope Popular - 78,008,000 / 57% Eric Electoral - 38,847,000 / 28.4% With Eric Electoral coming out as the winner with 271 to 267 Electoral votes. It's unlikely that this exact scenario would ever happen. It would take a perfect storm of political and demographic factors, but I'd say this represents an upper bound on what is possible without active vote tampering while keeping it at least adjacent to plausible reality. It's actually a bit more of an extreme divergence than I was expecting going in, frankly.
  10. I would have agreed with that about Bush v Gore to a large extent, although I should point out that Clinton v Trump was not 50 million to 50.5 million but ~66 million to ~63 million, for a difference of a bit over 2% of the total vote, which is relatively close but still fairly substantial for a national election. Regardless of who came out on top, it's the fact that this happened again so soon after the last time and that the difference was much more significant this time and not just a rounding error that has me most concerned. The last time, it was something that I wound up not being too pleased in the outcome of in retrospect (I wasn't old enough to vote at the time, and my parents are not generally very politically outspoken so didn't really have much of a horse in that race at the time), but it wasn't something I was overly concerned about. It drove an interest in learning about the Electoral College and its pros and cons, but I did spend some time defending it at times using some of the same arguments you have and declaring that what happened in 2000 was a once in a century fluke that was only likely to happen when the popular vote was insanely close anyway. Further research over the years convinced me that a lot of the things I thought were advantages of the system did not actually play out that way in reality and were mostly something of a combination of popular myths about what the EC accomplished and more of a mixed bag than a list of real advantages. That said, I still subscribed to the "fluke hypothesis" and so, while I became rather disillusioned with the EC (sometime during the Obama years and not in response to any particular political goings on), it was still stashed safely in my pile of "little to no concern" issues. 2016 did change my mind about the EC in one way, and that is the way in which is dashed that particular belief. I had previously been concerned about it in the abstract, but concretely I held certain beliefs about the likelihood of it ever turning out a result that differed at all significantly from the popular vote, and regardless of who benefitted, those beliefs turned out to be wrong this past year. As such, it's been elevated from "no concern" to "some concern." All that said, I don't think it is the sole or even most important (at this point) thing that needs to be reformed in the way that our elections are currently run up and down all levels of government. Campaign finance reform, a solution to gerrymandering, a change in the way votes are counted (instant runoff, ranked choice, etc, etc) and some non-obvious things like a more progressive tax code and perhaps especially an increase in the inheritance tax are all things that I think would have more significant effects at all levels of government than anything to do with the electoral college. Are good grades and a lack of misbehavior traits that historically correlate with good Presidents?
  11. I doubt it will anytime soon, either, but it has a better chance of succeeding than a Constitutional amendment, like you said, or any plan that requires cooperation by every state. It's probably the most plausible route to fundamental electoral reform at this point, which is, of course, not the same thing as being an easy route or one that is likely to succeed in the very near future.
  12. I don't think there has ever in human history been a truly universally respected politician. Leastways, not one who was known to more than a couple of hundred people as an upper limit. Some are more or less respected depending on the individual and the circumstances, and I think both sides of the pond may be at a particularly low point at the moment in that regard. But people have always said these sorts of things about politicians. Now they're just doing it online instead of in a pub/bar.
  13. While I would support this, the problem is that this is far less doable than the "all votes to the national popular vote winner" plan. In order to do a proportional plan, you need to get all states to agree to doing it that way. With the compact to apportion all electoral votes to the popular vote winner, you only need to get enough states to reach 270 votes within the agreement in order to implement that plan, and then it doesn't matter what any of the other states do. That's significantly more doable.
  14. The biggest difficulty I have with following through on that request is that, under the current US political spectrum, I'm honestly not sure what even qualifies as a liberal or conservative position these days. Most of the things that get lumped into either category that are easily defined or discussed, especially with regard to one or the other "side", tend to be principles rather than true policy positions. And you can make a very wide variety of disparate policy positions appear to fit or be incompatible with a given principle depending on how you frame it, which feeds into the perception by everyone that "the other side" never has any room to budge or concede good ideas from the other side or what have you. For example, let's take "smaller government." Who doesn't like the idea of a government that is efficient and doesn't waste money? There's a narrative that liberals love the idea of just expanding government and government bureaucracy and it is, quite frankly, very stupid bullshit. But what qualifies as necessary expense or service? I suspect that you will find a wide variety of answers to that across the political spectrum and and even more varied number of suggestions about what the most effective and efficient way of going about implementing those services. What side of the spectrum does government investment in infrastructure fall under? How about increased military funding which is technically an expansion of government but is more popular on the right of US politics? I'm honestly not trying to dodge the question, but I find trying to answer it honestly in such an open-ended fashion to be exceptionally difficult. For example, I recognize both the logic behind having an armed populous from an ideological standpoint as far as resistance to potential authoritarianism goes as well as the practical consideration of the difference in use and perception of guns between different regions of the country with them being much more important tools in some places whole being primarily associated with criminal violence in others. I'd ideally like to see gun ownership treated in a similar manner to car ownership with guns being registered, requiring a training course and accident insurance in order to legally load them, but with ownership being minimally constructed within those constraints (which I do recognize some potential constitutional issues with, incidentally, especially given current legal interpretation). Where does that place me? I support gun ownership in principle but have addendum a to that that would be considered very unpalatable to the core of the right. Does that qualify as supporting ideas of the left or rejecting them, or likewise for the right? If there is a specific issue you would like to get my thoughts on vis-a-vis your own position, I would be happy to comment on it and give my thoughts on what I do and don't support, but I find the left v right position thing to be too ambiguous to give what I would consider a good answer when it's left more broad like this.
  15. Also, because I've had this discussion before in the past, the idea that the Electoral College gave preference to the smaller, less populous states when it was implemented is actually incorrect. As part of the 3/5ths compromise, it's actual effect was giving more power to the slaveholding states regardless of relative size. Virginia, then the most populous state in the nation, had approximately 12% of the white male voting-age population of the country. They also had 15% of the available electoral votes. Edit: As of 1800, for clarification's sake. The electoral college actually gave the most populous state even more of a say in who was ultimately elected than it would have had under a direct popular vote election. I feel like a lot of people don't spend nearly enough time looking at what the actual outcomes of the way certain things are set up before accepting their popularly claimed reasons for existing as valid defenses of their existence. Just to add, two things. First, it has happened 4 times in the last 200 years if you discount 1824 (which I think is valid), not three times. And two of those times are in just the last 20 years. Second, I take exception to the implication, intended or not, that a position that I have given a great deal of thought, time and research to over the last several years (and have gone back and forth on in that time for a variety of reasons) is driven mainly by an emotional response to the most recent presidential election a mere few months ago.
  16. I don't deny that the other 20% exist or that their needs need to be addressed as well. I take issue with the narrative that the system would be broken if politics were dominated by issues that affect the overwhelming majority of the country. Right now, we have the opposite situation where rural issues get a very disproportionate amount of attention in US national politics. Regardless of that, though, I've had an evolving opinion of the Electoral College over time and my present opinion of it is not just a knee-jerk against Trump. I understand very well the concerns that it was meant to address and the general logic involved defending its existence. The problems, however, are twofold. One, the rural concerns vs urban concerns narrative of the Electoral College does not hold up to scrutiny. For starters, while it gets candidates to put extra attention on less populated states, they still generally campaign in the population centers of those states. That means the cities, rather than the country. There are some states that we think of as being more rural, but you still get the biggest bang for your buck by targeting the city populations of those states rather than the more thinly populated areas. Two, rather than spreading the attention around, I simply shifts which states get the most attention paid to the concerns. Instead of the most populous states, it's the "swing states" that get pandered to. Iowa has a hugely disproportionate influence on setting the platform for major party candidates. In summary, the Electoral College doesn't actually do anything to prevent disproportionate campaigning in cities or in a handful of specific states, it just changes which cities and which states they target. It's the same exact issue that you get with straight popular vote except that it also increases the chances of getting an outcome that a majority of voters are unhappy with. It's an issue that is fundamentally insurmountable in a first past the post system where there is only one winner and consensus is neither necessary nor particularly encouraged by the rules. This is exceptionally hard to get around when you are electing a single person, where you can't exactly implement proportional representation, and a highly polarized environment only exacerbates the situation. The only solution I can really see would require ranked choice voting of some sort in order to allow a candidate that was everyone's second choice to beat out a candidate that was loved by 51% of people and despised by 49%. (Not that that is the situation we find ourselves in now or even necessarily a solution that would have fixed the current situation, but in general we need more of a consensus building system). The Electoral College is, like you said, a compromise between states and does not really reflect the role that states and the federal government play in the modern world. The arguments laid out in favor of its continued existence are predicated on the idea that it smooths out disadvantaged interests, but it doesn't really. It just changes which interests disadvantaged, and actually winds up increasing the number of people who are at risk of getting shut out by government attention on their problems instead of decreasing that number, which is not a particularly ringing endorsement of the effectiveness of the system in my mind.
  17. As of 2012, apparently over 80% of the US population lived in urban areas.
  18. Like the democratically elected panel of experts in the House Science Committee, currently chaired by a climate change denier?
  19. Who determines who gets to go to this school?
  20. Delta1212

    UK Election

    We won't know the official results until sometime tomorrow, but based on exit polling, it looks like the election that Theresa May called hoping to extend her lead has ended up costing the Conservatives seats in Parliament and very likely their majority. Current projections put the breakdown as follows: Conservatives: 314 Labor: 266 Scottish Nationalist Party: 34 Labor: 14 Anyone a bit more familiar with UK politics than my own very surface level knowledge want to comment on the likelihood of any particular groups being able to form a government under these circumstances?
  21. I never make tyops.
  22. They are very rarely very often wrong?
  23. This is not terminal. It's not good for him, but it's not even close to terminal.
  24. If nothing else, it was a very interesting opportunity to get some insight on what makes Comey tick and how he makes decisions.
  25. You could tell Comey was struggling to understand what the hell McCain was even talking asking about because the logic was so broken and the premises some of the questions were founded upon were themselves simply wrong.
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