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Fingletoad, Strange, & Siho -- "Marshlands"

Welcome to the weekly open thread for policy discussions by DK Elections regulars. While the main Daily Kos Elections blog, an official subsite of Daily Kos, is strictly a policy free zone for discussions of politics and elections only, it can sometimes be hard not to bring up policy issues when talking about particular candidates or topics. In addition, some of us might like to have a thoughtful discussion with other regular commenters at DKE on issues of policy when most of what we usually talk about pertains to elections. Thus, this open thread and the group blog Daily Kos Elections: Policy will provide a forum to talk about issues without derailing DKE Live Digests for those who just want election coverage and debate. Feel free to follow this group and if you would like to publish a diary to the group blog page, just PM me about becoming a contributor.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Policy fun (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MichaelNY

    Propose up to 5 changes to the Constitution.  These cannot be additions such as a 28th Amendment to ban money in politics, but most modify or eliminate constitutional provisions already in existence.

    21, CA-18 (home), CA-13 (school)
    politicohen.com
    Idiosyncratic, pro-establishment. Liberal, not progressive. For the poor, the children, the planet, and the rule of law.
    UC Berkeley; I think I'm in the conservative half of this city.

    by jncca on Tue Apr 29, 2014 at 01:00:10 PM PDT

    •  Okay (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MichaelNY

      1. Eliminate the Second Amendment. While I'm not particularly anti-gun, our gun policy needs to be more flexible.

      2. Eliminate the 10th Amendment. It has become horribly misinterpreted by way too many people.

      3. The 14th Amendment (and all others) must explicitly stipulate that when it refers to people, it does not refer to corporations.

      4. The 23rd Amendment not only gives D.C. residents 3 electoral votes, but also two Senators and a voting Representative.

      5. Filibusters must be talking filibusters, not anonymous ones.

      (-8.38, -4.72), CT-02 (home), ME-01 (college) "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one." -Spock

      by ProudNewEnglander on Tue Apr 29, 2014 at 02:04:08 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Is filibustering in the Constitution? (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MichaelNY, gabjoh, bythesea

        I thought it was in the Senate rules.

        21, CA-18 (home), CA-13 (school)
        politicohen.com
        Idiosyncratic, pro-establishment. Liberal, not progressive. For the poor, the children, the planet, and the rule of law.
        UC Berkeley; I think I'm in the conservative half of this city.

        by jncca on Tue Apr 29, 2014 at 05:16:34 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Personally, my five. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BenjaminDisraeli

      1. Agreed on the 2nd Amendment.  Eliminate it.  I wouldn't eliminate the 10th though.  Giving states some rights is important.

      2. Allow people born outside the country to run for president, and along with it eliminate age requirements.

      3. Eliminate the Senate, or at least modify it so the ratio of California to Wyoming is closer to 5:1 or 6:1 than 1:1.

      4. Eliminate the Electoral College, allowing the president to be whomever wins more popular votes.  I'm undecided on whether it would be better to have runoffs or not.  There are pluses and minuses to both.

      5. End birthright citizenship, which I have always viewed as somewhat bizarre, particularly because we don't strip children of Americans born abroad of their citizenship.  I highly doubt many will agree with me on that, but I think birthright citizenship is counterproductive.

      21, CA-18 (home), CA-13 (school)
      politicohen.com
      Idiosyncratic, pro-establishment. Liberal, not progressive. For the poor, the children, the planet, and the rule of law.
      UC Berkeley; I think I'm in the conservative half of this city.

      by jncca on Tue Apr 29, 2014 at 05:20:27 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  My big thing with birthright citizenship (4+ / 0-)

        is that without it, we have the potential to create a permanent underclass of people who have lived in this country for all their lives, perhaps even generations, but still don't have the security and rights (including voting!) afforded to them by being citizens.

        "Pillows, but no sleep / Feathers, but no birds." | Pro-transit young black urban progressive (not liberal) | SSP/DKE | -9, -7.79 | NJ-05 | Yard signs don't vote. | $15 and a union!

        by gabjoh on Wed Apr 30, 2014 at 06:14:24 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Just like Kuwait (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          James Allen, Skaje, Stephen Wolf, gabjoh

          The great majority of the population is perpetually foreign. That's why, for example, they were able to legally expel hundreds of thousands of Palestinians who had been there for 3 generations after "liberation" following the Iraqi occupation in the 1990s.

          Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

          by MichaelNY on Wed Apr 30, 2014 at 10:50:07 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  I support a DREAM Act. (0+ / 0-)

          It would apply both to people who illegally came here as children and to those born to illegal immigrant parents.  That means the underclass would only last one generation rather than being permanent, because I don't want us to be like Kuwait or Qatar either.

          21, CA-18 (home), CA-13 (school)
          politicohen.com
          Idiosyncratic, pro-establishment. Liberal, not progressive. For the poor, the children, the planet, and the rule of law.
          UC Berkeley; I think I'm in the conservative half of this city.

          by jncca on Wed Apr 30, 2014 at 11:34:22 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  The US has a very low fertility rate (0+ / 0-)

            The only way for the country to avoid being unable to support a large population of elderly folks in the longer term is to support much freer immigration. Conceding to people who want to end birthright citizenship is not the way to do that.

            Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

            by MichaelNY on Wed Apr 30, 2014 at 09:14:24 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  the US fertility rate (0+ / 0-)

              is one of the highest among developed countries.

            •  It's not like the world's population (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              MichaelNY

              can just keep growing forever.

              21, CA-18 (home), CA-13 (school)
              politicohen.com
              Idiosyncratic, pro-establishment. Liberal, not progressive. For the poor, the children, the planet, and the rule of law.
              UC Berkeley; I think I'm in the conservative half of this city.

              by jncca on Thu May 01, 2014 at 01:53:10 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Correct (0+ / 0-)

                But it is a good idea to put off the problem of how to provide for retired people as long as possible, isn't it?

                Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

                by MichaelNY on Thu May 01, 2014 at 02:13:39 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Delaying the inevitable isn't always responsible (0+ / 0-)

                  And if we just have to keep taking more and more people from other countries, at some point that isn't worth it even if it's technically sustainable.

                  21, CA-18 (home), CA-13 (school)
                  politicohen.com
                  Idiosyncratic, pro-establishment. Liberal, not progressive. For the poor, the children, the planet, and the rule of law.
                  UC Berkeley; I think I'm in the conservative half of this city.

                  by jncca on Thu May 01, 2014 at 08:35:52 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Isn't worth what? nt (0+ / 0-)

                    Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

                    by MichaelNY on Thu May 01, 2014 at 02:45:02 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  At some point aging will be a problem (0+ / 0-)

                      Every industrialized society is facing it, and that is the downside of longer life expectancies and lower birthrates.  We're just prolonging the inevitable.

                      21, CA-18 (home), CA-13 (school)
                      politicohen.com
                      Idiosyncratic, pro-establishment. Liberal, not progressive. For the poor, the children, the planet, and the rule of law.
                      UC Berkeley; I think I'm in the conservative half of this city.

                      by jncca on Thu May 01, 2014 at 03:45:58 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  That sounds like a good thing to do (0+ / 0-)

                        Would you rather volunteer for poverty in your old age?

                        And you haven't explained what isn't "worth it" about encouraging immigration. What expenses are you thinking of?

                        Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

                        by MichaelNY on Thu May 01, 2014 at 03:49:53 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Encouraging immigration is something I support (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          MichaelNY

                          Immigrants contribute to our economic success.  It's bringing in too many immigrants at once that can cause problems.  It has to be a steady trickle to allow for assimilation.  The amount of immigrants we have coming in now works well.  Tripling that might not work as well.

                          21, CA-18 (home), CA-13 (school)
                          politicohen.com
                          Idiosyncratic, pro-establishment. Liberal, not progressive. For the poor, the children, the planet, and the rule of law.
                          UC Berkeley; I think I'm in the conservative half of this city.

                          by jncca on Thu May 01, 2014 at 04:59:57 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  You might be right (0+ / 0-)

                            I don't know how one can figure out such things.

                            Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

                            by MichaelNY on Thu May 01, 2014 at 05:13:55 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I'll say this, though (0+ / 0-)

                            There was a flood of immigrants between the 1880s and the 1920s, then again in the 1960s and 70s. The second generation assimilated quite nicely, wouldn't you say?

                            Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

                            by MichaelNY on Thu May 01, 2014 at 05:15:10 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Today, 12.9% of Americans are immigrants (0+ / 0-)

                            In 1910, the high point, it was 14.7%.  2010 was the highest point since 1920.  I'm certain that 15% or lower is fine for society.  I'm less certain about 25%, which would probably be necessary to preserve entitlements as they are considering our birthrates and the increases in life expectancy.

                            21, CA-18 (home), CA-13 (school)
                            politicohen.com
                            Idiosyncratic, pro-establishment. Liberal, not progressive. For the poor, the children, the planet, and the rule of law.
                            UC Berkeley; I think I'm in the conservative half of this city.

                            by jncca on Thu May 01, 2014 at 06:11:49 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  So what's the drawback (0+ / 0-)

                            that's serious enough to risk not preserving entitlements?

                            Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

                            by MichaelNY on Thu May 01, 2014 at 06:24:44 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Multiple issues (0+ / 0-)

                            1) Overpopulation
                            2) problems from too many immigrants not assimilating quickly enough

                            21, CA-18 (home), CA-13 (school)
                            politicohen.com
                            Idiosyncratic, pro-establishment. Liberal, not progressive. For the poor, the children, the planet, and the rule of law.
                            UC Berkeley; I think I'm in the conservative half of this city.

                            by jncca on Fri May 02, 2014 at 03:45:43 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Quickly enough for what? (0+ / 0-)

                            As for overpopulation, do you mean in cities like New York and LA? I guess the question, then, is whether the necessary infrastructure improvements would be more than paid for by the increased numbers of workers paying into the system. I am no economist, but I think they would be.

                            Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

                            by MichaelNY on Fri May 02, 2014 at 04:10:24 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I mean more based on the environment (0+ / 0-)

                            More pollution and in many cases less arable land, which means less food.

                            And quickly enough for us to not have massive cultural divisions or a huge surge in anti-immigrant sentiment that turns violent or impacts our politics in a very negative way, the same way Le Pen is impacting France's.

                            21, CA-18 (home), CA-13 (school)
                            politicohen.com
                            Idiosyncratic, pro-establishment. Liberal, not progressive. For the poor, the children, the planet, and the rule of law.
                            UC Berkeley; I think I'm in the conservative half of this city.

                            by jncca on Fri May 02, 2014 at 06:26:05 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  The US has considered itself a nation of (0+ / 0-)

                            immigrants for much longer than France, if France ever has. Granted, every wave of non-English immigration has faced strong bigotry, starting with the Germans before independence. But I think it's more likely that a level of bigotry against immigrants will prevent more immigration than vice versa - unless the country's continuing economic decline does the job by itself.

                            I don't see most immigrants taking up arable land, but rather settling in non-farmed areas, primarily cities. Environmental issues can be dealt with with regulations and investments in more infrastructure, if there's a will to do so.

                            Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

                            by MichaelNY on Fri May 02, 2014 at 06:39:14 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Immigrants may move to cities (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            MichaelNY

                            But people in those cities will move to suburbs.

                            And yes, we are better at assimilating immigrants than France.  I just wrote an 8 page paper on the subject.  But at some point it doesn't matter if there are too many.

                            21, CA-18 (home), CA-13 (school)
                            politicohen.com
                            Idiosyncratic, pro-establishment. Liberal, not progressive. For the poor, the children, the planet, and the rule of law.
                            UC Berkeley; I think I'm in the conservative half of this city.

                            by jncca on Sat May 03, 2014 at 12:24:14 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

              •  I've been interested in just how high it will go (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                MichaelNY

                The UN comes out with their projections every once in a while, and they vary wildly.  Under some assumptions, the world population will break 10 billion in about fifty years before rapidly declining (not an optimal situation).  Under other assumptions, the rate of growth will slow significantly over the next thirty years, and it will top out around 8 billion.  Who knows?

            •  so does Japan (0+ / 0-)

              and Japan is a successful country.

              more anti-conservative than liberal

              by bonzo925 on Thu May 01, 2014 at 08:31:32 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  It is not at all successful (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                James Allen, Stephen Wolf

                in the last couple of decades and is probably the best example of how an increasingly elderly population (partly due to good health care), a decreasing youth population, and a shortsighted, racist/xenophobic/insular immigration policy has can create a depressing economic stagnation. The example of Japan is exactly what we should try to avoid.

                Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

                by MichaelNY on Thu May 01, 2014 at 02:50:11 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

        •  i had said in an earlier thread about my view of (0+ / 0-)

          grandfathering in children born to undocumenteds before 2015 and obviously that was shot down. One issue I worry about is the issue of birthing hotels (which I've heard exist in SoCal)

          more anti-conservative than liberal

          by bonzo925 on Thu May 01, 2014 at 08:30:58 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I honestly don't know why that is a problem (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            MichaelNY, Skaje

            that people who want to become American might become American. In my opinion, those are the people we want to come here, not guest workers looking to make some money to send back to their families.

            The first man who, having enclosed a piece of land, took it into his head to say, "This is mine," and found people simple enough to believe him, was the true founder of civil society. - Rousseau, Discourse on Inequality Among Men

            by James Allen on Thu May 01, 2014 at 10:40:05 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  "Birthing hotels" (0+ / 0-)

            Unless I see convincing evidence, I'll consider this more racist/xenophobic paranoid bullshit.

            Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

            by MichaelNY on Thu May 01, 2014 at 02:51:19 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Here (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              MichaelNY

              http://abcnews.go.com/...

              Complaints have spiked over "birth tourism" in Los Angeles County, with 60 alleged maternity hotels being reported in the past month, according to a report by the county planning department.

              Authorities have found it difficult to gain access to the alleged maternity hotels and verify suspicions. So far, they have been able to inspect only seven, and found that three of them were in violation of zoning codes.

              The surge in complaints comes after a high-profile campaign was waged to shut down a "maternity mansion" in neighboring San Bernadino County. Previously, the commission had reported 15 complaints over a period of five years, according to the Jan. 14 report.

              Nestled in residential neighborhoods, the so-called maternity hotels are overwhelmingly advertised to women from Asia, as evidenced from various websites, offering expectant mothers the chance to give birth to an American citizen.

              21, CA-18 (home), CA-13 (school)
              politicohen.com
              Idiosyncratic, pro-establishment. Liberal, not progressive. For the poor, the children, the planet, and the rule of law.
              UC Berkeley; I think I'm in the conservative half of this city.

              by jncca on Thu May 01, 2014 at 03:47:41 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  OK (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      James Allen, Skaje, bythesea

      1. Amend the following sentence in the14th Amendment:

      "No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."

      by adding:

      ", regardless of their race, color, national origin, religion, sex, sexuality, or transgendered status. This list is not exhaustive."

      2. Replace the following text in Article II:

      "Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors, equal to the whole Number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress: but no Senator or Representative, or Person holding an Office of Trust or Profit under the United States, shall be appointed an Elector."

      with

      "The Electors for the offices of President and Vice-President of the United States shall be composed of the entire popular electorate of all citizens over 18 years of age. Attempting to prevent, impede, or deliberately misdirect such citizens from voting shall be a Federal felony, subject to imprisonment for a term of 5 years for a first offense, 10 years for a second offense, and 20 years for any subsequent offense, and a fine of no less than $1,000,000 for a first offense, $5,000,000 for a second offense, $20,000,000 for a third offense, and $100,000,000 for any subsequent offenses to any organization found guilty of such obstruction or misdirection."

      OK, dinner came. That's enough for now. :-)

      Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

      by MichaelNY on Tue Apr 29, 2014 at 05:21:03 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  If I could retroactively change history (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MichaelNY, ehstronghold, Mark27, bythesea

      I'd go for a modified 2nd Amendment, one that clarifies allowable restrictions without permitting a total gun ban.  But pushing that change today would only antagonize the crazies.

      What else?  A more expanded 14th Amendment, as others have said.

      Most of my other ideas would require new amendments.

    •  ok (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MichaelNY

      Without looking at what anyone else wrote:

      1. Replace the provisions on drawing House districts with a national commission modeled after Iowa or California.

      2. Repeal the 2-term limit for presidents.

      3. Repeal the prohibition on foreign-born presidents.

      4. (the big one) Drastically reduce the role of the Senate: allow them to pass their own bills and amend House bills, but give the House the final say on any bill before it goes to the president. If the Senate just sits on a House bill, allow it to go straight to the president after, say, 3 months.

      5. Rewrite the 8th Amendment into something less subjective than "cruel and unusual".

      SSP poster. 44, CA-6, -0.25/-3.90

      by sacman701 on Wed Apr 30, 2014 at 11:30:28 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  derp (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MichaelNY

        After looking at what people wrote, #5 would be to eliminate the electoral college.

        SSP poster. 44, CA-6, -0.25/-3.90

        by sacman701 on Wed Apr 30, 2014 at 11:31:59 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  "Cruel and unusual" (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Skaje, MichaelNY

        I actually think it's a good thing that that language is "subjective" - or not subjective but, rather, subject to contextual interpretation. Because imagine if specific acts of cruel and unusual punishment had been stipulated in the constitution; it couldn't accommodate our changing standards for cruelty.

        On the other hand, given the increasing prevalence of solitary confinement, which I consider to be unquestionably a form of torture, it isn't clear that our standards have improved in that regard. Maybe I would add something like "cruel and unusual punishments imposed on the body or mind of any prisoner." The philosopher in me objects to the implied dualism, but I think the legal effect would be a salutary one. :)

    •  I'd probably scrap the whole thing and start over (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MichaelNY

      but since we're talking amendments... how about:

      #1 - abolish the senate
      #2 - abolish the presidency and go parliamentary
      #3 - institute mixed member PR like Germany's Bundestag
      #4 - ban all private campaign funding, make it all public
      #5 - reform how we appoint SCOTUS justices to something more like Europe where it's less blatantly partisan and more consensus oriented. Also add term limits of 16 or 18 years.

      I don't see why you say "no 28th amendment" when pretty much any other change may as well be an addition, like expanding or clarifying the 14th amendment as many have said.

      However I think if you did the above 5 a lot of the others would follow suit, at least in law and jurisprudence.

      •  Quibbles (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MichaelNY

        For #2, most parliamentary systems have ceremonial presidencies. Was that what you meant?

        For #3, the issue becomes what should be the minimum threshold for representation. Germany has a relatively high one at 5% of the vote, while many other countries has 3%.

        24, D, pragmatic progressive (-4.50, -5.18), CA-14. DKE folk culture curator.

        by kurykh on Wed Apr 30, 2014 at 02:24:40 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  What's mixed member PR? nt (0+ / 0-)

        Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

        by MichaelNY on Wed Apr 30, 2014 at 09:16:31 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Mixed member PR (4+ / 0-)

          it's a way to combine proportional representation and constituency representation.

          1) the voter votes for a constituency representative and a party, separately,

          2) the number of seats each party is entitled to is calculated based on the party vote,

          3) the difference between the seats each party is entitled to and the number of constituency seats it won is awarded to the party,

          4) if a party wins more constituency seats than it is entitled to proportionately, the legislature can be increased in size to maintain the correct proportion.

          For example, a legislature might have 300 seats. Party A wins 30% of the vote and 40 constituency seats. Because it won 30% of the vote, it is entitled to 90 seats, so it is awarded 50 seats that are not linked to constituencies.

      •  People are very favorable to a Parliamentary (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        sacman701, MichaelNY

        System. But had it been in place under Bush I think people wouldn't have liked the outcome.

        Bush/The GOP would have won a narrow majority in 2000, called early elections over the Iraq war, won a landslide, then not held elections again until the constitutionally mandated end of their term which would be sometime between the spring of 2007 which would have left the Democrats to come right as the financial crisis was beginning. Then they would have lost in 2011 with the GOP coming back into office.

        •  we still might be better off with that (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          MichaelNY

          It's far easier to get things done in a parliamentary system. Our system makes sense for an unstable startup republic, but not so much for a (relatively) declining superpower with over a century worth of built-up inefficiencies.

          SSP poster. 44, CA-6, -0.25/-3.90

          by sacman701 on Thu May 01, 2014 at 09:09:54 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Not with PR (0+ / 0-)

            Almost every PR-based system is dysfunctional, either dominated by centrist parties of "office holders" who are the linchpin of every single government(Netherlands, Belgium) or special interest groups(Israel).

            I agree that the division between the legislative and Executive branches is dysfunctional for a declining superpower, but the electoral system needs to be one that can produce clear majorities.

            In that sense I think there should be independent line drawing, but I still favor single-member districts.

            •  Germany, with its mixed system (0+ / 0-)

              works very well.

              I totally agree that using a system based strictly on party voting, without particular politicians elected from particular districts, is just asking for corrupt, unaccountable government.

              Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

              by MichaelNY on Thu May 01, 2014 at 02:53:42 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Works fine in Scandinavia among others (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                MichaelNY

                but that would be entirely political unpalatable to Americans. Mixed member is vastly better to what we have now, it allows people to essentially vote for a party platform in the abstract rather than voting for people simply because they know them and don't know their opponent, as is the case for millions of voters in safe districts. Plus it breaks up the two party system and ensures you can't have an election like 2012 ever.

              •  Germany is effectively fully proportional (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                MichaelNY

                There was a court decision between the 2009 and 2013 elections that made constituency results irrelevant to the final gross allocation of seats by compensating parties for overhang seats. In 2009, the CDU got 239 seats by winning a huge number of constituency seats; under full proportional representation, they would have only been entitled to 215, so they got 24 overhang seats. The Bundestag after the 2009 election expanded to 622 members (the base number is 598) to accommodate. But in the 2013 election, and in all future German elections, party list seats will be allocated in such a way that every party passing the 5% threshold gets the correct proportional number of seats (the size of the Bundestag is still variable to allow for these corrections).

      •  with the supreme court (0+ / 0-)

        what I think might work better is what exists in Iowa where one agrees to retain someone or not

        more anti-conservative than liberal

        by bonzo925 on Thu May 01, 2014 at 08:32:30 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Good (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Gygaxian, MichaelNY, gabjoh, bythesea

    news from the Supreme Court from once:

    WASHINGTON — In a major environmental victory for the Obama administration, the Supreme Court on Tuesday upheld the Environmental Protection Agency’s authority to regulate the smog-causing pollution from coal-fired power plants that wafts across state lines from 27 Midwestern and Appalachian states to the East Coast.

    The 6-to-2 ruling upholds a centerpiece of what has become a signature of President Obama’s environmental agenda: a series of new Clean Air Act regulations aimed at cutting pollution from coal-fired power plants. Republicans and the coal industry have criticized the effort as a “war on coal.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/...

    Alito recused himself from the case while Thomas and Scalia were the lone decenters on the case. According to Thomas and Scalia the EPA regulations were unconstitutional because they were "Marxist and unwieldy." That's right Marxist.

    Now we wait whether or not the Supreme Court decides that law enforcement needs a warrant before going through a suspect's smartphones looking for evidence.

    The Republican party is now an extreme right-wing party that is owned by their billionaire campaign contributors. - Bernie Sanders

    by ehstronghold on Tue Apr 29, 2014 at 03:04:18 PM PDT

    •  If you're worried about this: (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      KyleinWA
      Now we wait whether or not the Supreme Court decides that law enforcement needs a warrant before going through a suspect's smartphones looking for evidence.
      ...there's a very simple solution.

      Don't own a smartphone.

      I didn't even own a cell phone until last year, and I have still never owned a smartphone. They seem pretty unnecessary to me, and buying the new version over and over again is a huge waste of money.

      So, while I am very happy about the SCOTUS's EPA ruling, I really couldn't care less about what decision they make with regard to smartphones.

      (-8.38, -4.72), CT-02 (home), ME-01 (college) "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one." -Spock

      by ProudNewEnglander on Tue Apr 29, 2014 at 03:08:51 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  A lot of people own smartphones (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ehstronghold, Skaje, gabjoh, bythesea

        in lieu of computers, so it's not always feasible to not have smartphones.

        Leftist Mormon in Utah, Born in Washington State, live in UT-04 (Matheson).

        by Gygaxian on Tue Apr 29, 2014 at 03:28:47 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Yes (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ProudNewEnglander
        They seem pretty unnecessary to me, and buying the new version over and over again is a huge waste of money.
        I agree 100%. Why do you need a phone that does all that stuff? Get on facebook, or update twitter? I don't see the reasoning behind spending all that $$$ a month. I am happy with my $10 pay as you go phone without tumblr or snapchat.

        Age 26, conservative Republican, beautiful WA Third district, WA LD-19

        by KyleinWA on Tue Apr 29, 2014 at 04:10:30 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I am the same way (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        jncca, MichaelNY, Mark27

        but that doesn't mean that people who have them shouldn't have some privacy interest.

        The first man who, having enclosed a piece of land, took it into his head to say, "This is mine," and found people simple enough to believe him, was the true founder of civil society. - Rousseau, Discourse on Inequality Among Men

        by James Allen on Tue Apr 29, 2014 at 04:50:00 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  You never care about things (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Mark27

        that don't personally impinge on your rights? I doubt it. So consider rethinking this.

        Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

        by MichaelNY on Tue Apr 29, 2014 at 05:24:50 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I don't really consider (0+ / 0-)

          a cell phone search to be an infringement on people's rights.

          After all, if the person with the cell phone was guilty, then the search could help them be convicted. If they are innocent, then they have nothing to worry about.

          (-8.38, -4.72), CT-02 (home), ME-01 (college) "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one." -Spock

          by ProudNewEnglander on Tue Apr 29, 2014 at 05:38:55 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Why is that different from searching someone's (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Audrid, KyleinWA, Skaje, jncca

            apartment when they're gone or tapping their phone? Do you believe in the 4th Amendment?

            Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

            by MichaelNY on Tue Apr 29, 2014 at 05:45:48 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I feel that the 4th Amendment (0+ / 0-)

              must be balanced with the need to obtain all possible evidence in preparation for a trial.

              The two examples you gave are completely different, because they are done without the knowledge of the owner of the apartment/phone. Also, people have a fundamental right to privacy in their homes, while a cell phone is just a small piece of electronic equipment. I hope you see that there's a huge difference between the two.

              I think that a lot of liberals have gotten way too worked up about the whole NSA spying thing. After all, if some random government employee knows that, for example, your family is visiting a museum this weekend,... who cares????? You'll never know, the employee will almost definitely not act on this knowledge, and your life will not change at all!

              I think many liberals put too much emphasis on civil liberties in general, to the detriment of law enforcement and general law-and-order principles.

              (-8.38, -4.72), CT-02 (home), ME-01 (college) "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one." -Spock

              by ProudNewEnglander on Tue Apr 29, 2014 at 07:44:18 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  No, I see no huge difference at all (4+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Audrid, James Allen, KyleinWA, Skaje

                If a court order was needed to tap a fixed phone, no-one should be able to tap a cell phone without a court order, either. And I think you have no understanding of the idea of a right to privacy, as detailed in the 4th Amendment. "If you have nothing to hide, why do you care?" is a ridiculous, nonsensical argument, if you believe in anything other than totalitarianism. How about turning the argument on its head? Unless the government has specific reason to suspect a particular individual is committing a crime, why should they have any reason to snoop on them?

                Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

                by MichaelNY on Tue Apr 29, 2014 at 07:50:21 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  the principles you're articulating (7+ / 0-)

                for allowing a search of cell phone data can just as easily be used to completely eradicate the 4th amendment. Why have it when if we get rid of it the police will have access to all of the evidence, all of the facts, so that a court will be able to know the real truth? If someone is innocent, they will have nothing to hide.

                Except people certainly have other reasonable motives for wanting to keep their lives private.

                The first man who, having enclosed a piece of land, took it into his head to say, "This is mine," and found people simple enough to believe him, was the true founder of civil society. - Rousseau, Discourse on Inequality Among Men

                by James Allen on Tue Apr 29, 2014 at 08:24:37 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  The thing is, (0+ / 0-)

                  people's lives are not the same thing as their cell phones.

                  I agree that in ideal circumstances the government should get a warrant before searching cell phones, but in the interests of fairness and justice that's not always possible.

                  (-8.38, -4.72), CT-02 (home), ME-01 (college) "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one." -Spock

                  by ProudNewEnglander on Wed Apr 30, 2014 at 06:12:55 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I don't think you should be able to decide that (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    MichaelNY

                    for them after millions have been using them with the expectation of privacy.

                    The first man who, having enclosed a piece of land, took it into his head to say, "This is mine," and found people simple enough to believe him, was the true founder of civil society. - Rousseau, Discourse on Inequality Among Men

                    by James Allen on Wed Apr 30, 2014 at 08:05:52 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                •  Also, this whole idea (0+ / 0-)

                  that my beliefs are against the 4th Amendment is nonsense. The 4th Amendment does not prohibit all searches and seizures, it prohibits only unreasonable searches and seizures. Where is it established that the presence or absence of a warrant determines whether a search is reasonable or not? If a police officer is very sure that the person they have found is guilty, then I'd argue that a search without a warrant is completely reasonable.

                  (-8.38, -4.72), CT-02 (home), ME-01 (college) "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one." -Spock

                  by ProudNewEnglander on Wed Apr 30, 2014 at 11:27:52 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  explain to me how your logic (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    MichaelNY

                    preserves the 4th amendment but excepts phone data.

                    The first man who, having enclosed a piece of land, took it into his head to say, "This is mine," and found people simple enough to believe him, was the true founder of civil society. - Rousseau, Discourse on Inequality Among Men

                    by James Allen on Wed Apr 30, 2014 at 11:45:14 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Searching a cell phone (0+ / 0-)

                      is a much smaller deal than many of you seem to think. If something is found, then that's good for our justice system. If not, then any information written down or stored elsewhere can be gotten rid of. Because it's not that big a deal, I'd argue that the search is not unreasonable. Searches can only be unreasonable if they have a strong negative impact on the person being searched.

                      (-8.38, -4.72), CT-02 (home), ME-01 (college) "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one." -Spock

                      by ProudNewEnglander on Wed Apr 30, 2014 at 12:10:14 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  "not big a deal" (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        MichaelNY

                        sound legal reasoning there. It's not a big deal to you (subjectively), so it's reasonable. Plus your own definition of reasonability which has nothing to do with how the Supreme Court has approached that.

                        The first man who, having enclosed a piece of land, took it into his head to say, "This is mine," and found people simple enough to believe him, was the true founder of civil society. - Rousseau, Discourse on Inequality Among Men

                        by James Allen on Wed Apr 30, 2014 at 12:33:03 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

              •  Now we know who not to vote for, lol. (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                MichaelNY, gabjoh
              •  Needless to say (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                KyleinWA, MichaelNY

                I disagree heavily.  What everyone else said.  I'd rather not live in a police state.

          •  The old "if you have nothing to hide, there's (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            MichaelNY, Skaje

            nothing to worry about" argument! The problem is that the surveillance (or more properly, the possibility of surveillance) is already a form of social control. You inevitably modify your behavior if you feel that there is a possibility of your being watched.

            Foucault makes the argument really well in the "Panopticism" chapter in Discipline and Punish.

      •  I Can Envision A Future Scenario..... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        James Allen, MichaelNY

        .....where the smartphone becomes the only affordable means of internet access based on supply and demand with public tastes trending so far in that direction.  Desktops and laptops will still be made in a limited capacity but will be cost-prohibitive based on their limited demand.  For that reason, I'm very interested in how the Supreme Court rules on the issue.

        I was equally resistant on text messaging, thinking I'd hold out forever on punching out Morse code-style slow-motion messages on a phone keypad the size of a postage stamp.  But three years ago I finally had to give in when I realized I wouldn't be able to function in the modern world without doing this.  I still hate it, but when the rest of the world moves one direction, you're eventually gonna have to get with the program.

    •  Well, admittedly... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MichaelNY

      regulating the negative externalities of electricity production is just like abolishing private property and overthrowing the capitalist state.

  •  Since it's primary talk, I thought I'd (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MichaelNY

    post it here. Elizabeth Warren has confirmed that she signed the letter and wants Clinton to run. Of course this won't end the ridiculous speculation that Warren would challenge Clinton.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/...

  •  Botched execution in Oklahoma (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MichaelNY, Skaje, ehstronghold, Mark27

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/...

    Quite disturbing.  I have no sympathy for the guy, who is a horrible person, but these execution tactics are barbaric and medieval and should not be administered by governments in the US.

    •  The death penalty is pure barbarism (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MichaelNY, Mark27

      I feel sick to my stomach knowing that I live in a country that tolerates this.  Oklahoma and Texas, leading the way in state-sanctioned murder...

      •  we don't hang people anymore (0+ / 0-)

        isn't it pretty quick and painless? I liken it to killing a cat with rabies. In a way, he/she is at peace (though I don't think it should be used in most murder cases)

        more anti-conservative than liberal

        by bonzo925 on Wed Apr 30, 2014 at 09:36:57 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I don't see what's wrong with the firing squad. (0+ / 0-)

      It's seemed to work pretty well and is relatively quick.

      21, CA-18 (home), CA-13 (school)
      politicohen.com
      Idiosyncratic, pro-establishment. Liberal, not progressive. For the poor, the children, the planet, and the rule of law.
      UC Berkeley; I think I'm in the conservative half of this city.

      by jncca on Tue Apr 29, 2014 at 10:55:17 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Depends on how you do it (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MichaelNY

        You can do it the Utah way (multiple people and a blank) or the Taiwanese way (spread-eagled on a mattress, with bullet to heart or brain stem depending on desire for organ donation) or the old-fashioned gun-to-the-head. One involves potential misses, while the others force the executioner to be up close and personal.

        24, D, pragmatic progressive (-4.50, -5.18), CA-14. DKE folk culture curator.

        by kurykh on Tue Apr 29, 2014 at 11:21:05 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I thought the Utah way was better (0+ / 0-)

          but I also don't know about the Taiwanese way.  If you have 5 or 7 people shooting, they won't all miss.  The death penalty isn't applied fairly and so I don't want it around, but if it is I think the firing squad is better than lethal injection (and cheaper too).

          21, CA-18 (home), CA-13 (school)
          politicohen.com
          Idiosyncratic, pro-establishment. Liberal, not progressive. For the poor, the children, the planet, and the rule of law.
          UC Berkeley; I think I'm in the conservative half of this city.

          by jncca on Wed Apr 30, 2014 at 11:38:21 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  For cheap options, there's also hanging (0+ / 0-)

            Ropes can (presumably) be reused.

            In a firing squad, the problem of missing isn't so much that the target on the inmate would be hit. It's that other parts may get hit, places like the stomach, the jaw, the neck, or the shoulder. Since bullets from a firing squad don't necessarily impact all at the same moment and hitting the above areas don't kill (at least not instantaneously) but do cause a lot of pain, you run into problems surrounding cruel and unusual punishment.

            24, D, pragmatic progressive (-4.50, -5.18), CA-14. DKE folk culture curator.

            by kurykh on Thu May 01, 2014 at 12:32:30 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I'm not too concerned with a few seconds (0+ / 0-)

              of pain.  It's not like they're being drawn and quartered.  And after all, they killed someone.  

              21, CA-18 (home), CA-13 (school)
              politicohen.com
              Idiosyncratic, pro-establishment. Liberal, not progressive. For the poor, the children, the planet, and the rule of law.
              UC Berkeley; I think I'm in the conservative half of this city.

              by jncca on Thu May 01, 2014 at 01:55:00 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Deliberately taking a human life (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                MichaelNY

                is a horrifying thing.  I don't understand how you can be so casual about it.

                And anyway, quite a few people who are killed by the state are innocent.  Always keep that in mind.

              •  I'm concerned with *whether* they killed someone (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                MichaelNY, KingofSpades

                I oppose the death penalty because we've executed innocent people and probably will again. A life sentence can at least be reversed and the prisoner compensated if the evidence suggests that they were in fact innocent. An execution can't.

                SSP poster. 44, CA-6, -0.25/-3.90

                by sacman701 on Thu May 01, 2014 at 09:14:13 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Right (0+ / 0-)

                  I'm not sure if you and Skaje know this, but I am against the death penalty in practice as it used now.  I voted for Prop 34, which would have repealed the death penalty in California.  However, I support allowing people to choose a quick execution over life in prison if they desire it.  No innocent person would likely choose such a thing, and it would save our states money considering there would not be the lengthy appeals process and we could do a method besides lethal injection.

                  21, CA-18 (home), CA-13 (school)
                  politicohen.com
                  Idiosyncratic, pro-establishment. Liberal, not progressive. For the poor, the children, the planet, and the rule of law.
                  UC Berkeley; I think I'm in the conservative half of this city.

                  by jncca on Thu May 01, 2014 at 09:20:48 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I disagree with this (0+ / 0-)
                    No innocent person would likely choose such a thing
                    I believe there are many people who consider life in prison worse than the death penalty, and some of them would include hopeless or depressed innocent people. Besides, why should we ever let convicts choose their punishment?

                    Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

                    by MichaelNY on Thu May 01, 2014 at 02:56:40 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  They already do (0+ / 0-)

                      What do you think plea bargains are?

                      21, CA-18 (home), CA-13 (school)
                      politicohen.com
                      Idiosyncratic, pro-establishment. Liberal, not progressive. For the poor, the children, the planet, and the rule of law.
                      UC Berkeley; I think I'm in the conservative half of this city.

                      by jncca on Thu May 01, 2014 at 04:13:42 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  That's different (0+ / 0-)

                        You're talking about a convicted criminal being given a choice of punishments. Plea-bargains exist because it is sometimes better for the prosecution to have a sure conviction than to give the case to the jury.

                        Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

                        by MichaelNY on Thu May 01, 2014 at 04:29:10 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                  •  Misunderstood you (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    MichaelNY

                    I was reading one of the big dailykos threads right after the botched execution, and there were a few people going back and forth about "better" ways to execute people.  It was giving me the willies how casual they could be about it.

          •  Yeah, the Utah way (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            MichaelNY

            also keeps it unknown who the executioner is both to the public and to himself.

            “The universe is big. It’s vast and complicated and ridiculous. And sometimes, very rarely, impossible things just happen and we call them miracles.” -The Doctor

            by KingofSpades on Thu May 01, 2014 at 06:48:08 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  My main objection to the death penalty (5+ / 0-)

      involves application more than methods. Arguing about lethal injection over firing squad or hanging is like debating between the comfort levels of chemotherapy and open surgery while awake. For the moment, let's put aside the more grisly methods.

      Rather, there is simply no way to apply capital punishment fairly in the United States. Minorities and the poor are disproportionately subject to the death penalty, while those with more resources or privilege (yes, that word again) get to keep their lives.

      Also, we see the American justice system utterly failing to grapple with the death penalty. California has had a moratorium since forever, which means the verdict is continuously postponed and there's no sense of finality for anyone. Texas apparently doesn't care if it executes innocent people. Oklahoma and Ohio just botched their executions. More people die on death row than because of the executioner.

      The process has become such a mess that I cannot fathom a way to fix it without abolishing it.

      24, D, pragmatic progressive (-4.50, -5.18), CA-14. DKE folk culture curator.

      by kurykh on Tue Apr 29, 2014 at 11:40:27 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The problem of racism (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        gabjoh, bythesea

        and injustice to poor saps as opposed to rich murderers is a big one, but at bottom, my problem with the death penalty is that it is obvious that innocent people will be killed by the state as long as the state kills people, and killing someone who's already in custody and not trying to kill guards, etc., is disgusting and abhorrent. The only situation that really gives me pause is when a convicted murderer murders again in prison, but because there is never a fail-safe way to find guilt beyond any doubt, I'd rather sentence such a person to solitary for life than death. At least if they are later found to be innocent, they may have survived solitary, as much as that's a kind of torture.

        Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

        by MichaelNY on Wed Apr 30, 2014 at 12:00:04 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Putting an innocent person in solitary confinement (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          gabjoh, ehstronghold

          for years on end gets you in a similar conundrum as executing an innocent person, given the effects of solitary confinement on a person's social abilities and mental faculties (unlike most torture, solitary confinement can't be ended by giving in to the whims of the tormentor). It's not logical on a realistic basis to oppose capital punishment on one hand and endorse solitary confinement for life on the other.

          Personally, I'm still ambivalent about the death penalty in itself. That's why I specifically stated my objection to the American case only, given that issues of race and class impact its application there so much more than in certain other areas (China and Singapore, for instance).

          24, D, pragmatic progressive (-4.50, -5.18), CA-14. DKE folk culture curator.

          by kurykh on Wed Apr 30, 2014 at 12:21:51 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  China is much worse (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            gabjoh, bythesea

            because it is an authoritarian government that doesn't give even the kind of flawed right to defense that we have here, and applies the death penalty to many more crimes, some of them political.

            I propose solitary as the punishment in lieu of death for convicted murderers who murder again in prison. What would you propose to do to protect the other people in the prison from them? If the purpose of imprisoning a murderer is to protect society from that person, and then they murder again while in prison, how can you protect the prison population and guards, et al. from them other than by placing them in solitary for the remainder of their lives?

            Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

            by MichaelNY on Wed Apr 30, 2014 at 12:30:29 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  China was a bad example (0+ / 0-)

              And while I might have misread your point about solitary confinement, it doesn't help that you stated that if they're found innocent, at least they survived solitary. That's really confusing: someone who is wrongly convicted of murder done outside of prison would murder inside prison why? Even if that does happen, they would then have committed murder and therefore would not be innocent of this inside-prison crime. Whether that person gets the death penalty or solitary confinement would then be immaterial if solely adjudicated under the potential innocence objection.

              24, D, pragmatic progressive (-4.50, -5.18), CA-14. DKE folk culture curator.

              by kurykh on Wed Apr 30, 2014 at 01:03:52 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I don't agree on your last point (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Skaje

                They could have been initially innocent of murder yet convicted, then actually killing in prison out of self-defense but found guilty of murder again.

                Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

                by MichaelNY on Wed Apr 30, 2014 at 01:11:34 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  That's an issue of an incompetent and/or biased (0+ / 0-)

                  justice system, and that's a completely valid argument. In fact, that is my argument.

                  My entire point is this: while the potential innocence objection is a good one, to me it's not sufficient to invalidate the death penalty. If we have a clear-cut case of murder (hostage-taking or mass shooting) where everything is documented via camera surveillance or witnesses, then there's no notion of "potential innocence" to consider. A definitely guilty party could therefore be executed if this was the only objection to capital punishment.

                  Having said that, I would assume that potential innocence isn't your only objection to the death penalty, and there are other factors that, added together, constitute your opposition.

                  24, D, pragmatic progressive (-4.50, -5.18), CA-14. DKE folk culture curator.

                  by kurykh on Thu May 01, 2014 at 12:16:02 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I already indicated one (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Skaje, sacman701

                    If a person is already in custody and not trying to attack people while in prison, it is abhorrent to me to kill them. By contrast, I'm happy when a suspect is legitimately killed in a gunbattle. Good riddance.

                    However, I completely disagree that there's any way to word a law so as to ensure that innocent people are not executed. Witnesses can be lying or mistaken; video footage can easily be faked. There's no doubt there are cases such as the execution of Adolph Eichmann in which almost everyone who doesn't support Nazism would be satisfied of his guilt, but that level of documentation is extremely unusual.

                    Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

                    by MichaelNY on Thu May 01, 2014 at 01:40:35 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  How would you propose to phrase a law (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Skaje

                    in such a way as to satisfy yourself that no innocent people will be executed? I'd like to see that. Because in the US, we are talking about actual innocence. Actually innocent people have been executed or spent years on death row before finally being released. This is not theoretical.

                    Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

                    by MichaelNY on Thu May 01, 2014 at 01:43:46 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  People love to talk about the death penalty (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Stephen Wolf, MichaelNY

                    as only being applied in cases where we are 100% sure the perpetrator is guilty.  As if that were even remotely true.

                    It doesn't take 100% certainty to execute someone.  All it takes is 12 people saying yes.

                    Did you know that sometimes, even innocent people will confess to crimes?

                    We're taught that our justice system requires proof of guilt, otherwise they walk free.  And that is the goal.  But "proof of guilt is more easily obtained when the defendant cannot afford a good lawyer.  "Proof of guilt" is quite easy to get when the defendant is African-American.

                    There is uncertainty inherent to our justice system.  People locked up for decades are freed when new evidence proves their innocence.  People on death row are exonerated.  But for those who have already been murdered by the state, there is no justice for them.

                    •  A good parallel for my particular argument (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      MichaelNY

                      about this line of argument is the Jewish standard of evidence for imposing capital punishment as prescribed in the Talmud. The standards of evidence and requirements surrounding the death penalty are so high that it is impractical to use it.

                      Does it make more sense in that regard?

                      24, D, pragmatic progressive (-4.50, -5.18), CA-14. DKE folk culture curator.

                      by kurykh on Fri May 02, 2014 at 09:37:39 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

            •  There was an episode of Frontline (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              gabjoh, Stephen Wolf

              a week or two ago about prisoners living in solitary confinement. It was horrible enough to convince me that solitary should be considered cruel and unusual punishment. It's here if anyone wants to watch it, but be warned, it has some disturbing images.

              •  I have no doubt about that (0+ / 0-)

                But what do you propose to do to protect the prison population and guards from a convicted murderer who murders again while in prison? That is really the biggest dilemma to me.

                Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

                by MichaelNY on Wed Apr 30, 2014 at 03:59:00 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

  •  should birth control be subsidized? (0+ / 0-)

    put it another way - should the government pay for birth control? This has been an issue for the past two years and I've always supported it as the money going to it will in the end save a lot more. But what I've worried more about is that traditional pills used (that have been in existence since the early 60s) often create a case of Russian Roulette with the more people use it the better chance that a conception eventually occurs.

    One issue no one has brought up is the government subsidization of IUDs which are more fool-proof. I think that the federal government should offer the parents of a girl aged 14-17  (ie hs aged) five grand to have one installed in her voluntarily. Before anyone calls me a monster, I don't think ANYONE should have children at that age, even if their father is a fortune 500 CEO. The right might even support my idea since they oppose abortion (and would certainly reduce the number of abortions).

    more anti-conservative than liberal

    by bonzo925 on Wed Apr 30, 2014 at 09:46:43 AM PDT

    •  The right opposes contraception (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ProudNewEnglander, bythesea

      on moral grounds.  They've never shown any indication of being persuaded by arguments that it would reduce abortions.  It's frustrating for us, but that's just how they see it.

      Conservative parents also freak out massively by any governmental recognition that their teenage children might be having sex.  Thus the panics over accurate sex education, distribution of birth control, HPV vaccines, etc.

      To answer your main question though: yes, I do believe birth control should be heavily subsidized by the government.  I don't think it should necessarily be encouraged (that starts to wade a little too close to eugenics for my tastes), but it should be widely available, and in conjunction with an accurately educated populace, it would be widely used.

      •  that the religious right opposes contraception (0+ / 0-)

        adds another reason to the list why I wish they would move to Saudi Arabia (where they would feel more at home)

        more anti-conservative than liberal

        by bonzo925 on Wed Apr 30, 2014 at 11:25:06 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  They hate Muslims. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          bythesea

          They wouldn't be at home there.

          And yes, giving subsidized or free birth control is in the societal interest because fewer mothers who don't want to be mothers is good for society.

          21, CA-18 (home), CA-13 (school)
          politicohen.com
          Idiosyncratic, pro-establishment. Liberal, not progressive. For the poor, the children, the planet, and the rule of law.
          UC Berkeley; I think I'm in the conservative half of this city.

          by jncca on Wed Apr 30, 2014 at 11:40:14 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  that is an interesting paradox (0+ / 0-)

            they hate muslims despite muslims (at least the ones in the ME) having similar attitudes on anything sex related. Kos if i recall said something about how they should be natural allies.

            more anti-conservative than liberal

            by bonzo925 on Wed Apr 30, 2014 at 12:53:53 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  Birth control should be free, period. (6+ / 0-)

      everyone has sex, some >90% of women use birth control at some point in their lives, and the monetary savings of not having to deal with unplanned or unwanted births far outweighs the cost of providing something that isn't particularly expensive in the first place. It's a molecule in the bucket as Skaje said compared to military spending.

      And the Christian right are disgusting hypocrites here. They basically want people to live a Puritanical "only have sex to have children and even then abhor it" type of lifestyle yet it's blatantly obvious they don't practice what they preach. For instance Utah and similarly dark red evangelical states have the highest rates of internet porn consumption. The fact that we're even debating banning contraception coverage just tells you how much of a far right party the Republicans are today. That's not just a conservative position, it's on the lunatic fringe of public opinion.

  •  urban phenomenon I've noticed (0+ / 0-)

    I remember going to Mexico when I was ten or eleven and thought it was great as the owners of the villa spoke english and it seemed like a nice area. I assumed that all people in Mexico were bilingual and what I quickly learned is that resorts are not "typical" mexico and there have also been stories of people veering a few miles off the resort and getting killed.

    The same thing is true in New York and LA. When I visited New York, I never once left Manhattan except to go to the Brooklyn Art museum. It seems as if most of Manhattan is like a gated community.

    Same thing for LA and how most of the things to do are in west LA but a few miles SE of Beverly Hills, its a completely different environment.

    Michael Barone is a hack but he did right an interesting article back in 2007 - here's what he wrote: "[in these areas] Both secular top earners and immigrant low earners vote heavily Democratic…Democratic politicians like to decry what they describe as a widening economic gap in the nation. But the part of the nation where it is widening most visibly is their home turf, the place where they win their biggest margins (these metro areas voted 61% for John Kerry) and where, in exquisitely decorated Park Avenue apartments and Beverly Hills mansions with immigrant servants passing the hors d'oeuvres, they raise most of their money."

    more anti-conservative than liberal

    by bonzo925 on Thu May 01, 2014 at 11:48:35 AM PDT

    •  This isn't the 80's anymore in LA (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MichaelNY

      Downtown LA actually is going through a development boom and the areas to the west of USC and south of the 10 have rapidly increasing home prices partly thanks to the Expo Line. The Crenshaw Line will help accelerate the trend. One of my biggest issues is the development of mass transit everywhere but especially in SoCal. The types of places that you would deride like Inglewood and Compton would in an ideal world be middle class, vibrant suburbs due to their location. They already are much much safer than the Reagan years. There are still a lot of problems but you clearly have an antiquated view of Los Angeles.

      30, M, Swingnut, CA-38 resident. Chairman of the DKE Ginger Left-handed caucus. Huge Angels, Lakers, Bruins, Kings, Galaxy fan. Follow me on Twitter: @Angels_427

      by uclabruin18 on Thu May 01, 2014 at 01:50:32 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  "Manhattan is like a gated community" (0+ / 0-)

      How so? Can anyone visit gated communities just by taking the subway?

      Also, you seem to think that most Manhattanites approve of the level of housing inequality we have here. Since when did capitalism become a democracy? Do I have a vote on what developers of luxury highrises do? Big landlords are very wealthy and thereby able to more or less control both parties in this state. Perhaps things will change a bit under De Blasio. I think he will try, with Cuomo and the State Legislature doing their best to kneecap him at every turn, but don't assume that's the way most Manhattanites want it. This state is very corrupt.

      Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

      by MichaelNY on Thu May 01, 2014 at 03:02:01 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  can't stand deblasio (0+ / 0-)

        he seems mostly a tool of the seiu and teachers unions. I wish they had someone more like Emanuel, with more emphasis on "quality of life" issues.

        more anti-conservative than liberal

        by bonzo925 on Thu May 01, 2014 at 05:43:52 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yeah, I know (0+ / 0-)

          You probably loved Giuliani. But if you want someone to do something about housing for the poor in Manhattan, you have to tolerate a liberal who's anti-racist. Totally pro-landlord politicians like Giuliani and Bloomberg who satisfy you by harassing people of color with stop and frisk will never lift a finger for affordable housing.

          Your last phrase is completely ridiculous, too.

          Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

          by MichaelNY on Thu May 01, 2014 at 05:53:47 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  affordable housing isn't popular even in NY (0+ / 0-)

            ever since the Cabrini Green and Pruitt Igoe cases, affordable housing has a black eye which it hasn't really recovered from (and most politicians don't want to touch for fear of stirring the pot).

            more anti-conservative than liberal

            by bonzo925 on Thu May 01, 2014 at 05:58:17 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Affordable housing doesn't have to mean (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Jervill

              highrise projects exclusively for the poor. You are not being imaginative.

              Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

              by MichaelNY on Thu May 01, 2014 at 06:01:03 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  He should visit Singapore someday. (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                MichaelNY, kurykh

                Highrise projects don't necessarily have to be bad.

              •  Yes (4+ / 0-)

                I work for an company that deals in affordable housing in San Francisco and I can tell you affordable housing for us does not mean highrise slums resembling something out of hell. I mean this is one of the properties run by the company I work for. And I can tell you working there the vast majority of residents are not poor people strung out on drugs and affiliated with gangs.

                Also I worked on the lease up for a new property my company is opening in June across from AT&T Park and I can tell you in order to qualify to even apply for an apartment you needed to make at least double the rent a month (the lowest rent for this particular building was $997 for a 1 bedroom). And food stamps did not count towards the income requirements (some applicants thought it did and their applications were rejected).

                The Republican party is now an extreme right-wing party that is owned by their billionaire campaign contributors. - Bernie Sanders

                by ehstronghold on Fri May 02, 2014 at 11:07:25 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  There's an income requirement? (0+ / 0-)

                  I would have thought that, as long as you can pay your rent, they would be happy to take your money.

                  For example, a retired person might not have the required income but could still pay the rent.

                  •  its common for all apartments (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    MichaelNY, Skaje

                    all of the non-student housing I've lived in has required monthly income of something like 3 times the rent, minimum.

                    ...to the philosopher it is iron and grain that made men civilized and brought on the downfall of the human race. - Rousseau, Discourse on the Origins of Inequality Among Men

                    by James Allen on Sun May 04, 2014 at 12:06:04 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

        •  DeBlasio would probably make me vote GOP (0+ / 0-)

          But that doesn't mean that some of his policies, such as affordable housing, aren't good.  NYC in particular is incredibly expensive.

          21, CA-18 (home), CA-13 (school)
          politicohen.com
          Idiosyncratic, pro-establishment. Liberal, not progressive. For the poor, the children, the planet, and the rule of law.
          UC Berkeley; I think I'm in the conservative half of this city.

          by jncca on Thu May 01, 2014 at 06:12:51 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  You would have voted for his opponent? nt (0+ / 0-)

            Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

            by MichaelNY on Thu May 01, 2014 at 06:25:38 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  No (0+ / 0-)

              Lhota was horrible, too.  I would've sat it out.

              21, CA-18 (home), CA-13 (school)
              politicohen.com
              Idiosyncratic, pro-establishment. Liberal, not progressive. For the poor, the children, the planet, and the rule of law.
              UC Berkeley; I think I'm in the conservative half of this city.

              by jncca on Fri May 02, 2014 at 03:47:06 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Wow, do you really hate liberals so much? (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                redrelic17

                Or just De Blasio? How do you vote in Berkeley?

                Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

                by MichaelNY on Fri May 02, 2014 at 04:14:14 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  DeBlasio is more than a liberal (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  MichaelNY

                  I'm a liberal.  I don't hate liberals.  I love liberals.  In Berkeley I vote for the "conservatives" who are really establishment liberals, similar in ideology to people like Patty Murray.  But in local elections I tend to be more conservative than ones further up the ballot.  DeBlasio bothered me a) because his main focus was on an issue I don't care about, although to be fair his secondary focus was economic inequality which I do care a great deal about and b) his leftist past (as opposed to liberal or even progressive) bothered me.  On top of that, he doesn't come off to me as a likable person, although Lhota doesn't either.

                  21, CA-18 (home), CA-13 (school)
                  politicohen.com
                  Idiosyncratic, pro-establishment. Liberal, not progressive. For the poor, the children, the planet, and the rule of law.
                  UC Berkeley; I think I'm in the conservative half of this city.

                  by jncca on Fri May 02, 2014 at 06:28:12 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Stop and frisk is an issue you don't care about? (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    ehstronghold

                    Which constitutional provisions are more important to you than the Fourth and Fifth Amendments?

                    Thanks for explaining. I'm obviously strikingly to your left, because nothing about De Blasio's past bothered me. The Sandinistas weren't my ideal, but they were a damn sight better than what they replaced. But you know I'm a democratic socialist, and you're not.

                    Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

                    by MichaelNY on Fri May 02, 2014 at 06:42:15 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Yes (0+ / 0-)

                      And it's not like I would have supported our right-wing dictator allies in Latin America or anything like that.

                      I don't view stop and frisk as an inherent 4th Amendment violation.  Unreasonable is unfortunately very vague, just as cruel and unusual punishment is.  It's a constitutional flaw but it's the way it's written.  I don't think it's inherently unreasonable to stop and frisk people who are statistically more likely to commit crimes.

                      21, CA-18 (home), CA-13 (school)
                      politicohen.com
                      Idiosyncratic, pro-establishment. Liberal, not progressive. For the poor, the children, the planet, and the rule of law.
                      UC Berkeley; I think I'm in the conservative half of this city.

                      by jncca on Sat May 03, 2014 at 12:25:48 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  That phrase (3+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        redrelic17, MichaelNY, James Allen

                        "statistically more likely to commit crimes".  Ugh.  You could use it to justify all sorts of shit.  When you treat an entire demographic with suspicion, don't be surprised when abuses happen.

                      •  jncca, I really hope you get to take a course or (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        MichaelNY

                        something that teaches you about systemic racism and implicit bias some time. Or better yet, I hope you educate yourself about it!  :)

                        Here's one short article to get you started.

                      •  Yeah, that's vile. (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        MichaelNY

                        You support stop and frisk because you know that it's only for other people.

                        And although you declare yourself a mainstream liberal, unreasonable searches and seizures are quintessentially illiberal.

                        Impractical progressive Democrat. "I am becoming less and less interested in your estimates of what is possible." - President Merkin Muffley (Dr. Strangelove)

                        by redrelic17 on Sat May 03, 2014 at 10:52:51 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                      •  4th Amendment, vague? (0+ / 0-)
                        The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
                        How could that be reasonably interpreted to mean this?
                        stop and frisk people who are statistically more likely to commit crimes
                        It's reasonable to have no probable cause, no warrant, and to make entire classes of people insecure in their persons, papers and effects, just because they are, say, between 15 and 25, live in a relatively high-crime city - really, what the hell are you thinking? I agree with the others: You just think that whichever group you'd like to decide lacks any individual right under the 4th and 5th Amendments doesn't include you. Read these famous words by Dietrich Bonhoeffer:
                        First they came for the Communists, but I was not a Communist so I did not speak out. Then they came for the Socialists and the Trade Unionists, but I was neither, so I did not speak out. Then they came for the Jews, but I was not a Jew so I did not speak out. And when they came for me, there was no one left to speak out for me.
                        Your version is:
                        They came for the black and Hispanic men and the teenagers and the poor and the people who "looked wrong" and I said they were right because these people are "statistically more likely to commit crimes."
                        No, they didn't come to lock them up indefinitely without trial or murder them, but the (lack of) principles is the same. I believe you're Jewish, aren't you? It's profoundly un-Jewish to have this kind of callous attitude toward people, regardless of who they are.

                        Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

                        by MichaelNY on Sat May 03, 2014 at 11:50:31 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  I'll respond to all 4 of you at once. (0+ / 0-)

                          Skaje: Abuses will always happen, and abuses are not acceptable.  The potential for abuse does not mean something should not happen.

                          Chachy: I had actually already read that article.  It was a good article and I don't disagree with it.  But I don't see how it relates directly to stop-and-frisk.

                          RedRelic: I support men being stopped and frisked more than women, and young men in particular.  Both of those would affect me, yet I support it anyway.  I don't support only minorities being stopped and frisked, as they clearly do not account for 100% of crimes.  I support approaches that are smart on crime, and ignoring statistics is incredibly stupid.  It's like saying that we should have equal police forces on the Upper West Side as in the South Bronx even though the South Bronx has more crime.

                          MichaelNY: I know you feel very strongly on this issue, but I very much disagree that this is anything like the Nazis.  And I do not appreciate being told I am un-Jewish.  Judaism, like anything, is subject to many interpretations.  Just look at our rabbis on how often they've disagreed!  Regarding the 4th Amendment, "unreasonable" is vague.  I don't regard this as unreasonable.  You do.  That's fine but it's a disagreement.  A frisk is not a search in my opinion.  I don't support warrantless searches of homes, warrantless wiretaps, or warrantless iPhone examinations.  But I'm okay with warrantless frisking.

                          21, CA-18 (home), CA-13 (school)
                          politicohen.com
                          Idiosyncratic, pro-establishment. Liberal, not progressive. For the poor, the children, the planet, and the rule of law.
                          UC Berkeley; I think I'm in the conservative half of this city.

                          by jncca on Sat May 03, 2014 at 04:28:30 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  A frisk is not a search? (0+ / 0-)

                            WTF?

                            Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

                            by MichaelNY on Sat May 03, 2014 at 04:46:33 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Yeah (0+ / 0-)

                            I don't necessarily agree with jncca's position on stop-and-frisk, but calling him un-Jewish is just not cool.

                            (-8.38, -4.72), CT-02 (home), ME-01 (college) "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one." -Spock

                            by ProudNewEnglander on Sat May 03, 2014 at 04:52:45 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Here's what I wrote (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Audrid, Skaje

                            I don't say "You are un-Jewish." I was talking about his attitude:

                            It's profoundly un-Jewish to have this kind of callous attitude toward people, regardless of who they are.
                            If it'll make people feel a lot better to add "It's my conviction that" to the beginning of that sentence, feel free. But what I also believe is that it's a lot easier for people to talk theoretically about these kinds of things if they have never or rarely experienced the sting of being part of a group of people that's automatically suspect to the police. I was part of such a group when I was in high school, and was treated that way, just because I was a teenager. I haven't forgotten what that was like, and I do not appreciate or condone in any way the unjust exercise of authority.

                            In the US, we have individual rights, and the most famous ones are enshrined in the Bill of Rights. The 4th and 5th Amendments don't apply only to white people, only to people over 25, only to people who don't live in high-crime neighborhoods, or only to non-Hispanics. They apply to every individual, or they are nullities. And justifying the routine harassment of young men of color, especially when some 96% of the stops found no violation at all but even without that, in view of the clear violation of people's right not to be thrown against the wall and searched just because they are young men of color, on the basis of statistical probability (of 4% or less?) is so obviously at variance with the whole idea of individual rights that it's incredible to me that there's actually any kind of serious debate about it. And if jncca is upset that I consider his attitude un-Jewish, he'd probably be even more upset for me to exhort him to somehow become more empathetic about the crap that people of color deal with every day. Because it isn't "statistical probability" that powers that crap; it's an unearned white supremacy and entitlement.

                            Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

                            by MichaelNY on Sat May 03, 2014 at 05:06:44 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Hmmm, (0+ / 0-)

                            I was once a teenager - very recently, in fact. I never felt like I was treated as suspect by the police. I've never been pulled over in my life. I haven't had much interactions with the police, but the few I have had were quite positive.

                            So, out of curiosity, why were you treated as suspect by the police? It must have been more than just your age.

                            I'm not defending stop-and-frisk, I'm just stating my own experiences.

                            (-8.38, -4.72), CT-02 (home), ME-01 (college) "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one." -Spock

                            by ProudNewEnglander on Sun May 04, 2014 at 06:27:57 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Nope, not more than my age (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Skaje

                            New York was a lot more crime-ridden in those days.

                            Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

                            by MichaelNY on Sun May 04, 2014 at 10:45:57 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Sometimes, the potential for abuse (0+ / 0-)

                            does mean that the activity should be banned.

                            For example, many drugs can have benefits but are banned because their potential for abuse is so high.

                          •  It's really better for them to be controlled (0+ / 0-)

                            substances that can be used in particular limited circumstances, don't you think?

                            Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

                            by MichaelNY on Sun May 04, 2014 at 12:36:45 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I definitely agree. (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            MichaelNY

                            But unfortunately, it's not usually the case.

                          •  implicit bias and stop-and-frisk (3+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Skaje, James Allen, MichaelNY
                            Chachy: I had actually already read that article.  It was a good article and I don't disagree with it.  But I don't see how it relates directly to stop-and-frisk.
                            The article is about all the ways that racist discrimination shapes our judgments at a subconconscious level. Stop-and-frisk is a policy whereby cops have to make judgments about who to arbitrarily stop on the street which is well-known for targeting minorities disproportionately - and yes, that means disproportionately even in relation to their likelihood of committing a crime. You must see the relevance...

                            Here's how I would look at it: if you are, say, black, then odds are fairly good that you live in a poorer, higher-crime urban neighborhood. The reason for this is a long history of outright housing discrimination against blacks, including housing covenants, redlining, discrimination by the FHA, etc. Now on top of suffering from this historical discrimination, you are more likely to be stopped by the police simply because of the color of your skin. This is a way of criminalizing the very fact of being black. It's the same logic that led to George Zimmerman treating Trayvon Martin as inherently dangerous, simply because he was a young black male. To live in a society that employs racial profiling in stop-and-frisk policies is to live in a society that treats minorities as inherently suspicious.

                            Here is another recent and very good article that explains a lot of this stuff. Please take a look at it. I just find this stuff so important, and you're obviously an intelligent guy and I'm sure you would be able to appreciate it.

                          •  . (0+ / 0-)
                            Here's how I would look at it: if you are, say, black, then odds are fairly good that you live in a poorer, higher-crime urban neighborhood. The reason for this is a long history of outright housing discrimination against blacks, including housing covenants, redlining, discrimination by the FHA, etc. Now on top of suffering from this historical discrimination, you are more likely to be stopped by the police simply because of the color of your skin.
                            I don't disagree with any of this.  I'm not somebody who believes the inequalities in our society between Whites and Blacks is due to Black inferiority.  There's a centuries-long history, and it definitely affects things up to this day.  But we still have to protect people, of both races, from crime.  Just because there's a terrible history doesn't mean we should ignore effective crime-stopping techniques, provided they are constitutional and don't take up too much of the budget.  In the case of New York, it sounds to me like they went too far with stop-and-frisk and because of how extreme the racial profiling was, it became less effective.  But the solution to that is to make sure you're not only stopping and frisking minorities, not to end the program altogether.

                            21, CA-18 (home), CA-13 (school)
                            politicohen.com
                            Idiosyncratic, pro-establishment. Liberal, not progressive. For the poor, the children, the planet, and the rule of law.
                            UC Berkeley; I think I'm in the conservative half of this city.

                            by jncca on Sun May 04, 2014 at 01:12:51 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I've never been convinced (3+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Chachy, MichaelNY, James Allen

                            that randomly frisking people actually "protects people from crime".  What do police find when they frisk people?  Supposedly the whole program was set up to get guns off the streets, but it looks like small amounts of marijuana lead to the most arrests under stop and frisk.

                            Some crime they are preventing right there.

                      •  I think you mean "statistically more likely (3+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Skaje, MichaelNY, jncca

                        to be stopped or arrested by police."

                        The first man who, having enclosed a piece of land, took it into his head to say, "This is mine," and found people simple enough to believe him, was the true founder of civil society. - Rousseau, Discourse on Inequality Among Men

                        by James Allen on Sat May 03, 2014 at 07:43:40 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Technically, yes. (2+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          James Allen, MichaelNY

                          We can't actually measure crimes by race, only the arrests for them.  But while race plays a part in arrests, I don't think the numbers are that far off.  Although you bring up a strong point I hadn't considered.

                          21, CA-18 (home), CA-13 (school)
                          politicohen.com
                          Idiosyncratic, pro-establishment. Liberal, not progressive. For the poor, the children, the planet, and the rule of law.
                          UC Berkeley; I think I'm in the conservative half of this city.

                          by jncca on Sat May 03, 2014 at 11:17:59 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                    •  To answer your first question, (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      MichaelNY

                      the First Amendment.

                      The First Amendment is basically what makes America, America. Very few countries have anything similar, and I'd say it and the 14th are the most important constitutional amendments.

                      Also, I was under the impression that de Blasio's main focus was raising taxes on the rich to fund universal pre-K. I support that, and thus I would have happily voted for de Blasio.

                      (-8.38, -4.72), CT-02 (home), ME-01 (college) "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one." -Spock

                      by ProudNewEnglander on Sat May 03, 2014 at 06:23:18 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  The 14th Amendment incorporates (0+ / 0-)

                        the entire Bill of Rights, though. And before it did, it didn't have much of a positive effect.

                        Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

                        by MichaelNY on Sat May 03, 2014 at 11:51:48 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Blast from the past (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          MichaelNY

                          "The Supreme Court of the United States has held that while the Fourteenth Amendment is binding on the states, it does not make the bill of rights, or the first ten amendments to the Constitution of the United States, operative or binding on the states". (Hutchinson, 1928)

                        •  I don't think this is the case (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          MichaelNY

                          some amendments have only been partially incorporated, and given the unlikelihood of facts arising regarding quartering of soldiers, there's at least one I doubt will be fully incorporated anytime soon.

                          ...to the philosopher it is iron and grain that made men civilized and brought on the downfall of the human race. - Rousseau, Discourse on the Origins of Inequality Among Men

                          by James Allen on Sun May 04, 2014 at 12:09:37 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  I'll give you that one (0+ / 0-)

                            But in general, I think my remark is accurate. Before FDR made the court change, it was applying the 14th Amendment as a protection for corporations from such "oppression" of their "due process" as maximum hours laws and child labor laws, but was doing precious little for the black citizens whose protection was the main motivation of the framers of the amendment.

                            Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

                            by MichaelNY on Sun May 04, 2014 at 12:39:35 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

        •  so quality of life doesn't include having a decent (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          MichaelNY

          job, decent pay?

          The first man who, having enclosed a piece of land, took it into his head to say, "This is mine," and found people simple enough to believe him, was the true founder of civil society. - Rousseau, Discourse on Inequality Among Men

          by James Allen on Thu May 01, 2014 at 09:05:20 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Manhattan doesn't end at Central Park. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MichaelNY, jncca, Skaje
  •  Want a laugh? Read this: (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MichaelNY

    http://nypost.com/...

    How did the Liberal Party support this fruitcake?

    “The universe is big. It’s vast and complicated and ridiculous. And sometimes, very rarely, impossible things just happen and we call them miracles.” -The Doctor

    by KingofSpades on Thu May 01, 2014 at 06:46:11 PM PDT

  •  Oregon food stamp usage (0+ / 0-)

    I read something about Oregon being one of the state with the highest usage of food stamps (20% of the population using).  Most of the other states in the top 5 are states I guess I more or less expect (deep and rural south, and then New Mexico where I'm guessing displaced natives impact the figure).

    But when I think oregon, I don't see the commonality with New Mexico, Louisiana, Tennessee and Mississippi (the other 4 in the top 5).  Why is food stamp usage high in Oregon?  Their unemployment rate doesn't seem drastically worse than the national average, and the state doesn't seem to have the same histroy of the other 4 states I listed that would explain this.

    "What if you're on a game show one day and the name of some random New Jersey state senator is the only thing between you and several thousand dollars? And you'll think to yourself, "if only I had clapped faster." - sapelcovits

    by rdw72777 on Fri May 02, 2014 at 07:55:12 AM PDT

    •  Oregon is poorer than people think (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MichaelNY

      Not top 5, but one of the poorest non-South states.

      21, CA-18 (home), CA-13 (school)
      politicohen.com
      Idiosyncratic, pro-establishment. Liberal, not progressive. For the poor, the children, the planet, and the rule of law.
      UC Berkeley; I think I'm in the conservative half of this city.

      by jncca on Fri May 02, 2014 at 03:47:50 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Putin unites American left and right. (4+ / 0-)

    I think that there are few people that so unite disparate political groups in the United States. The American left hates Putin because he's a right-wing authoritarian, and the American right hates him because they are Russophobes who want to bring back the Cold War. Only Pat Buchanan conservatives seem to be able to admit to liking Putin.

    I would caution against anti-Putin hysteria. There was some weird freaking out about his desire to resurrect a Eurasian Union, which even in his wildest dreams could never approach the political power of the EU or even NATO. Even sadder for Putin, most of Russia's supposed client states did not even want to participate without very significant cajoling and the project is basically dead.

    Comparisons to the USSR are mostly bogus. Russia is experiencing a "renaissance" in right-wing ethnic nationalism, which partially explains the desire to retake parts of the former USSR that have majorities of ethnic Russians. Of course, it's hypocritical when you compare these actions to the rest of Russian foreign policy rhetoric.

    Putin himself is not an ethnic nationalist, and migrant workers are one of his strongest bases of support. Putin is being pushed right (admittedly rather willingly), by rising ultranationalist movements. Putin won't become the next Hitler, and I'm much more afraid that his successor could be since there will be a huge power vacuum without him.

    Impractical progressive Democrat. "I am becoming less and less interested in your estimates of what is possible." - President Merkin Muffley (Dr. Strangelove)

    by redrelic17 on Sat May 03, 2014 at 11:08:59 AM PDT

    •  The Russian government (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Skaje, ehstronghold

      claims that it's fine for ethnic Russians to take over buildings in Ukraine and that their "rights" need to be "protected," but whenever similar things happen in areas of Russia with large non-Russian populations, like Chechnya and Dagestan, they blow the "terrorists" away.

      Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

      by MichaelNY on Sat May 03, 2014 at 11:53:58 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  And (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MichaelNY

        the Russians had no misgivings about killing innocent civilians when they stormed that theater Chechen terrorists had taken over a couple of years back.

        The Republican party is now an extreme right-wing party that is owned by their billionaire campaign contributors. - Bernie Sanders

        by ehstronghold on Sat May 03, 2014 at 10:24:07 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Personally (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      KyleinWA

      I think Putin is the 21st century version of Hitler....if we allow him to go as far as I think he wants to go. And it's not just because I hate the guy, but as a History Major I see dangerous parallels between Putin's actions and Hitler's seizing of the Sudetenland (granted it was German) and annexation of Czechoslovakia.

      Granted those parallels can only go so far, but like in the 1930's Putin is dealing with a Europe unwilling to stop him because to do so would plunge the continent further into economic chaos and a United States that has a "its none of our damn business and we have a ocean separating us from Europe's troubles" mentality. Europe is also dealing with its own internal problems at the moment as well.

      I'm not advocating for military force, but then again I'm not advocating for the softball approach taken to Putin so far. Granted as long as Europe is reliant on Russian natural gas sanctioning Russia heavily is going to backfire badly on Europe so we're trapped in a damn if you do, damn if you don't situation at the moment.  

      The Republican party is now an extreme right-wing party that is owned by their billionaire campaign contributors. - Bernie Sanders

      by ehstronghold on Sat May 03, 2014 at 10:38:46 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I don't see Putin as genocidal (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        James Allen

        I think many of his positions remind me of Hitler's lebensraum, however.

        21, CA-18 (home), CA-13 (school)
        politicohen.com
        Idiosyncratic, pro-establishment. Liberal, not progressive. For the poor, the children, the planet, and the rule of law.
        UC Berkeley; I think I'm in the conservative half of this city.

        by jncca on Sat May 03, 2014 at 11:18:40 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Lebensraum was the idea of Germans (0+ / 0-)

          settling land to their east, so it involved clearing non-Germans out of the land the wanted Germans to settle, starting with Poland. Do you see Putin as likely to forcibly deport non-Russians from any area Russia occupies?

          Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

          by MichaelNY on Sun May 04, 2014 at 12:47:11 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  No (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            MichaelNY

            I was referring more to the concept that a certain people deserve to be part of a homeland.  The annexation of Austria, the Sudetenland, and Czechoslovakia was (I believe, although I may be mistaken) part of the lebensraum philosophy too.  It involved both taking new lands for Germans and taking lands Germans already have.  Replace Germans with Russians and it doesn't sound that similar.

            I don't think Putin will start World War Three because he's not an idiot, but I wouldn't be shocked in the least if he'd have invaded the Baltics if they weren't part of NATO.

            21, CA-18 (home), CA-13 (school)
            politicohen.com
            Idiosyncratic, pro-establishment. Liberal, not progressive. For the poor, the children, the planet, and the rule of law.
            UC Berkeley; I think I'm in the conservative half of this city.

            by jncca on Sun May 04, 2014 at 01:30:26 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  doesn't sound that different, rather. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              MichaelNY

              21, CA-18 (home), CA-13 (school)
              politicohen.com
              Idiosyncratic, pro-establishment. Liberal, not progressive. For the poor, the children, the planet, and the rule of law.
              UC Berkeley; I think I'm in the conservative half of this city.

              by jncca on Sun May 04, 2014 at 01:31:01 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  I think that was a somewhat different concept (0+ / 0-)

              than Lebensraum (=room to live), and it was really a pretext, because he was not satisfied with incorporating only areas with large numbers of ethnic Germans into Germany, but as you said, gobbled up all of Czechoslovakia and then went further and further. In my opinion, Hitler was no idiot, either, but he was an obsessed megalomaniac. We are basically in agreement.

              Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

              by MichaelNY on Sun May 04, 2014 at 01:41:26 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Lebensraum was a bit different (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Skaje, James Allen, MichaelNY, jncca

              Austria shares a common language and culture with Germany, and the idea of the Anschluss was very popular. Similarly, the Sudetenland was majority ethnic German, and those Germans wanted to be part of a German Reich rather than part of Czechoslovakia. The Lebensraum concept refers to the plans to take over and clear out eastern Slavic areas, like Poland, Ukraine, and European Russia, to provide living space for ethnic Germans. So basically, the initial annexations were of places amicable to German rule; the subsequent conquests, however, were hostile and intentionally genocidal.

      •  the US is way more involved worldwide (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MichaelNY

        than it was in the 1930s.

      •  I see the parallels you're making (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        jncca, Skaje, James Allen, bythesea

        But I just have trouble really seeing Putin ever becoming obsessed with fighting a world war to take over the entire world. Most of Ukraine was part of the Russian Empire and then the USSR for centuries. I could see Putin occupying Ukraine and Moldova, but I definitely don't see any possibility of him attacking NATO countries, and don't forget that Poland and the Baltic States are all in NATO now.

        Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

        by MichaelNY on Sun May 04, 2014 at 12:43:58 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Putin is par for course for Post 1993 Russia (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Skaje, MichaelNY

      Russia does not have the power to play the part of a world power, but it did have the power the dominate its neighbors. The greatest act Mikhail Gorbachev ever committed was one of omission; he refused to shoot people to keep the Soviet Empire together.

      That has never been forgiven by elements within the former KGB and the Army, whose main goal is to dominate the near abroad. Starting in 1992/1993 the Kremlin began attempting to freeze conflict zones such as South Ossetia, Transnistia, and Adjara not so much to be able to annex them, but so that if the local governments would be forced to comply with Kremlin wishes, including the appointment of Russian nominees(almost always Ex-KGB men) to key positions(Minister of the Interior, Defense, etc).

      The problem for Russia has however been the same one for the last three hundred years. Russians are hated by their neighbors, and every effort they make to respond to that hatred by forcing Pro-Russian policies on them only reinforces the hatred forcing them to engage in greater coercive measures to respond to it.

      Russia has not only had to bully the Ukraine and Georgia. It basically had to threaten to use force to overturn the results of the 2004 Abkhazian elections, and meddled in South Ossetia two years earlier to oust a leader who was moving towards an accommodation with Georgia. The irony is that even Russia's puppets loathe them.

      This is very different from Germany in the 1930s, which ironically had huge appeal in southern and eastern Europe as an alternative to Russia. It also makes Putin far less dangerous than Hitler, who if he had been a bit smarter and a bit less of an insane racist, could have united Europe under his rule.

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