Skip to main content


Horace Silver -- "Song for my Father"

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.

So what issues are you interested in talking about?

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  I would like to hear thoughts on guns, (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    blackhand, Gygaxian

    revisiting the Liberal platform on gun control/gun rights. Personally, I am of the camp that would like to see guns banned in my lifetime. However, from a political standpoint, not only is this not feasible, but also, in a lot of areas, stances that favor increased gun control in the form of stigmatized policies like background checks and assault weapons bans are a liability for Democrats. I think it would be in the Party's best interest to revise how they advance their positions on guns, for example, focusing on policies that reduce gun suicides and other such policies, that do not carry with them the animosity that other more direct forms of gun control unfortunately suffer from.

    As an analogy, I would like to point to the ACA. By many measures, Liberals would like a more progressive health plan, such as single-payer; however, would they be willing to sacrifice the success of the millions of Americans who now have health insurance thanks to the ACA, over an ideologically more pure policy?

    Which is not to say, Liberals in very blue areas can stand by the standard policies if they choose. However, for Democrats running in rural areas for example, we need to consider a more viable policy that can actually win them support rather than sap it away.

    "In a country well governed, poverty is something to be ashamed of. In a country badly governed, wealth is something to be ashamed of.” -Confucius

    by pierre9045 on Tue Apr 22, 2014 at 07:44:19 AM PDT

    •  Right Now, Absolutely Nothing Is Politically..... (6+ / 0-)

      ....possible in the realm of gun control.  I get that you're just talking in hypotheticals but I'll get into later why I needed to preface my statement with that comment.  If I had it my way, I'd institute rigorous background checks, ban high-capacity clips, and prohibit at least some assault weapons that are currently legal.  I'd venture to say that a majority of Americans could, in theory, get behind all the things I just said.  But a legitimate fear of the slippery slope and bad-faith negotiation results in a lot of soft gun rights supporters digging in their heels.

      This argument didn't resonate with me until Mike Bloomberg became the face of the gun control movement.  Once he did, I connected with the misgivings of gun rights supporters' unwillingness to give an inch lest they give a victory that Bloomberg and his ilk--notorious bad-faith negotiators on personal freedoms issues--will interpret as the first volley in a more comprehensive campaign to disarm the public.  I get that you're in that group based on your comment, but I'm not comfortable with a total gun prohibition and the overwhelming majority of Americans agree.

      I diarized on this last year and made the comparison to the bad-faith incrementalism of smoking bans.  A movement that started with separating smoking and nonsmoking sections in restaurants a generation ago has morphed into, in some cities and states, prohibitions on lighting up even outside the restaurant next to the dumpster.  Antismoking advocates who disingenuously campaign against smoking bans in bars on the grounds of "protecting workers" ultimately interpret their victory as a means to push forward and ban smoking on every square inch of a 20,000-acre college campus, eliminating designated smoking areas where no nonsmoker would ever set foot in, and ultimately rendering their previous line of argument that they're merely "protecting workers from secondhand smoke" to have been a situationally flexible fraud that merely accomplished an end by whatever means necessary.

      Now obviously not every gun rights advocate is a smoker and I'm sure there are millions who fully support every smoking ban that the lifestyle enforcers can dream up at night, but at least semiconsciously, gun rights' supporters don't want to see themselves become "the smoker"....the guy (or gal) who has peaceably submitted to every new restriction placed upon them only to have bad-faith negotiators (like Bloomberg) keep moving the goalposts.  And it's a fair concern.  If Mike Bloomberg gets a victory on background checks or magazine clips, he's not gonna simply declare victory and go home....he's gonna keep coming with a new litany of increasingly invasive gun control measures.  And it's this fear of an incremental road to tyranny that has led to the "not giving an inch" mindset of gun rights' supporters and which has made the NRA's propaganda directed towards them so psychologically powerful.

      Bottom line:  the position you hold of hoping to see all guns banished is the primary reason why lawmakers can't do anything in the realm of gun control.

      •  I hitting the rec button on both of these comments (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        pierre9045, Mark27

        I think you both raise good points.  I also think you're approaching the topic sensibly, which is something that can be difficult on this site.

        Personally, I support all of the rights in the BOR, including the 2nd.  While I don't have a personal stake in the gun rights battle, I do believe that outside of certain circles that gun control is a lose only proposition for Democrats.

        "It's not surveillance, it's data collection to keep you safe"

        by blackhand on Tue Apr 22, 2014 at 11:03:33 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Well (and I mentioned this the other day) (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Mark27

        It's not going to happen until the gun control side of things puts aside the culture war aspects, and then spends a lot of time building civic organizations with a brand and deep grassroots activism, not just related to guns but say, child care, drug rehabilitation, a whole range of community issues.

        "Once, many, many years ago I thought I was wrong. Of course it turned out I had been right all along. But I was wrong to have thought I was wrong." -John Foster Dulles. My Political Compass Score: -4.00, -3.69, Proud member of DKE

        by ArkDem14 on Tue Apr 22, 2014 at 07:29:04 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I Was Impressed With Joe Manchin's Attempt..... (0+ / 0-)

          .....to be a leader on the issue, someone capable of reaching out to a pro-gun constituency and cooling hot tempers who fear the worst about tepid gun control measures.  It would be nice if he continued to play the role he did last year at this time, but I can't at this time see any political upside of continuing to fill that role.  

  •  I'd like to continue a discussion (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Skaje

    from a Live Digest a day or two ago. I was wondering which group was worse, Western libertarians or Southern social conservatives.

    My opinion goes back and forth. Some crazy nullification nonsense happens in the West, and I think that the anti-government wackos there are worse. Then, about a week later, some right-wing Christian fundamentalist from the South says something mind-bogglingly stupid, and I think that the theocrats down there are worse. Then a Cliven Bundy-esque incident happens out West, and I start to think that they're worse, and the cycle goes around and around.

    And the interesting thing is, with the exception of the WI GOP's vote on secession, this kind of stuff almost never happens in the Midwest and Northeast.

    One thought I had was that parts of the South and West have never really changed since the 1800s. Much of the South is still a hotbed of intolerance, Confederate glorification, and yes, racism, while much of the West could still be characterized as the Wild West.

    So my question is, how can the Intolerant South and the Wild West become civilized? How can we get the South to shake off its intolerance, religious extremism, and racism, and how can we get the West to get rid of its extreme hatred of government? And if one is worse than the other, why so?

    (-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 22, 2014 at 07:49:44 AM PDT

    •  abolish the southern accent by teaching the kids (0+ / 0-)

      in schools how to talk like Woody Allen?

      more anti-conservative than liberal

      by bonzo925 on Tue Apr 22, 2014 at 08:08:20 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I Would Say The Sheer Numbers of Southern..... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Skaje

      ....social conservatives make them a bigger problem.  Plus there are varying degrees of Western libertarianism.  Not every self-identifying libertarian from the Mountain Time Zone is of the Cliven Bundy ilk.  On the other hand, the militia element out there is probably more likely to bring about an act of terrorism or violent standoff than a church full of slow-moving Southern baptists so there is indeed the opportunity for higher incident at the hands of the Western libertarian hard-liners, but in general terms of public policy road bumps, Southern conservatives represent a bigger obstacle.

    •  Like I said before (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Gygaxian, Mark27, BMScott, Stephen Wolf

      The theocrats tend to bother me more than the anti-government types because the theocrats want a world without gays, atheists, empowered women, Muslims, and multiracial people.  The anti-government people for the most part just want to be left alone.  That said, the nuttier ones can venture into domestic terrorism, militias, Patriot movement, gun-hoarding survivalists, and other dangerous types, so there's reason for concern from both groups.

      There's also a good amount of overlap between the groups, so often you get the worst of everything.

      Thankfully, these people are minorities in every state, though they do heavily influence GOP politics in their respective areas.  Like Mark, I'm more concerned about the theocrats in the South because due to the heavily political polarization, they've managed to start electing solid theocrats to office.  In the West, if the GOP puts up a Waco-obsessed nut, there are enough elastic voters to elect a Democrat instead.  In the South, Republicans will still vote for a Dominionist like Roy Moore, or an outright neo-Confederate like Chris McDaniel, rather than cross over for a Democrat (though I do hope to be proven wrong in the case of MS-Sen this year).

      As for what we can do about this?  Not much, besides working for Democrats in races where Republicans have nominated these crazies.  I am hopeful though that the next generation of Republicans will reject such extreme ideologies.

      •  While Roy Moore did win in Alabama, (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Skaje, jncca, Mark27, Stephen Wolf

        he substantially underperformed Mitt Romney, particularly with urban and suburban voters. Check out this map on Dave Leip's Atlas (which I contributed). Bob Vance (Moore's Democratic opponent) got 63% in Jefferson County, 70% in Montgomery County, and won both Mobile and Madison (Huntsville) Counties. So there are a significant number of conservative-leaning Alabamans who just could not vote for Roy Moore. There just weren't enough of them.

        (-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 22, 2014 at 01:18:10 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I forgot Moore came that close to losing (4+ / 0-)

          Interesting that Vance still lost the rural Demosaur counties in the northern part of the state, areas even Al Gore won (like Jackson, Colbert, and Lawrence counties).  That region really turned against us.  Yet Vance managed to win Madison when not even Bill Clinton could do that.

          In any case, that's just reinforced to me how incredibly Republican Alabama is.  It's interesting comparing Moore's narrow win to that of Dem governor Don Siegelman's narrow loss to Bob Riley in 2002.

          Siegelman held up pretty well in the rural areas Democrats used to need to win, but it wasn't enough.  Vance on the other hand overperformed massively in the cities and suburbs, even in heavily Republican ones.  But he didn't match that in the rural areas, even in counties that stuck with Siegelman in 2002.  The coalitions change...

        •  Was That In 2012?? (0+ / 0-)

          I somehow completely missed that Roy Moore won a statewide office in Alabama.  Sad to see that even Roy Moore manages to win the old Yellow Dog Democrat counties of northern Alabama that held strong for Dems as recently as Parker Griffith in 2008.

          •  Alabama 1984 is strange to me (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            James Allen

            Reagan "only" won Alabama 61-38 while winning nationally 59-41.  Reagan did better in South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Florida, and Texas than he did in Alabama, making it one of the least red Southern states that year.  Nowadays Alabama is probably the reddest.

            •  It Is The Reddest..... (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              James Allen, Skaje

              It has the polarization rates of Mississippi but with 10% fewer blacks in the electorate.  My guess is that Alabama in 1984 had a better PVI than the South in general is that (I believe this still holds true) it has the highest rate of unionization in the South, primarily because of its steelworker presence.  The blue-collar northern Alabama city of Gadsden was a Democratic stronghold in the 1980s yet today is the population center of an R+26 Congressional district.

              Then again, maybe Mondale's relative "strength" in Alabama in 1984 had nothing to do with the outsized union presence......and more to do with the fact that 1984 was a whole different world politically today.  It was a world where Rick Perry's West Texas home county went stronger for Walter Mondale than Barack Obama's Cook County did.

        •  I think this might warrant a posting in the LD (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ProudNewEnglander

          with the map embedded or something. I've had the county numbers, but had no idea just how badly Moore underperformed in the suburbs. Republicans typically have underperformed Romney's numbers far more in the rural counties in recent years.

      •  the problem with the southern socons is that (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        bythesea

        many of them are also anti-government patriot types so you often get the worst of both worlds.

        more anti-conservative than liberal

        by bonzo925 on Wed Apr 23, 2014 at 06:23:53 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I definitely prefer the Southern SoCons (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      James Allen, Stephen Schmitz

      They care about poor people, usually.  The militia types only care about themselves.

      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 22, 2014 at 12:11:27 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Is that true though? (0+ / 0-)

        The Southern SoCons have been just as anti-welfare, medicaid, and food stamps as any Republican.  The days of evangelicals like Jimmy Carter are way past...the new Christian Right advocates for laissez-faire economics and other screw-the-poor policies.

        They're not all like that, but they're getting there.

        •  Many Of Them Hate Government..... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          jncca

          ....but do good charitable work outside of government.  Obviously not all of them and I'm sure there are often strings attached much like overseas missionary work, but I think particularly in the South there's a "help my neighbor when he's down" ethic that softens the blow of their public policy posture at least to a degree.

        •  AR got a private option passed. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Skaje, Mark27

          Idaho never would.

          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 22, 2014 at 01:14:34 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  I think there's too much overlap (0+ / 0-)

      to really distinguish strongly, and that's why you have the problem. They are largely of a kind, with some exceptions. We have few conservatives out here who are not also culturally/religiously conservative. They keep quiet about it for a while but eventually it comes out.

      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 22, 2014 at 01:06:35 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Wow.... (0+ / 0-)

      And I thought I'd had problems with you on your facile statements about New Orleans.

      "Once, many, many years ago I thought I was wrong. Of course it turned out I had been right all along. But I was wrong to have thought I was wrong." -John Foster Dulles. My Political Compass Score: -4.00, -3.69, Proud member of DKE

      by ArkDem14 on Tue Apr 22, 2014 at 07:30:02 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Do you deny the truth value (0+ / 0-)

        in what I said?

        Skaje and James Allen out west have no trouble admitting that the West has lots of crazy anti-government lunatics. They know that a lot of people in the West agree with Cliven Bundy. But are you denying that lots of Southerners are intolerant, Confederate-glorifying racists? If you are, then you really need to open your eyes.

        I hope you haven't forgotten that David Duke got 38% of the vote in the 1991 gubernatorial election in Louisiana, and he'd probably do even better than that today. And that Neo-Confederate Chris McDaniel has a serious chance of being the next U.S. Senator from Mississippi.

        It's just not healthy to be blind to these sorts of problems.

        (-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 23, 2014 at 07:24:28 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Interestingly, Duke did even better in 1990 (0+ / 0-)

          David Duke ran in the 1990 Louisiana Senate race and got over 43%, coming in only a bit more than 10% behind incumbent Bennett Johnston. As in the next year, Duke received pretty much no support from the Republican Party (a bunch of Republicans across the country openly endorsed Johnston). Johnston was conservative for a Democrat and in step with Louisiana ideologically. It doesn't look like Johnston had any major ethics problems, and he certainly wasn't senile, considering he was then 58 and is now still active as a lobbyist, and yet Duke still got that much of the vote.

        •  You're putting words in those users' mouths (0+ / 0-)

          But no, what pisses me off is the sort of broad, sweepingly ignorant statements you are making without any personal experience, and without even the deeper knowledge of class, religion, politics, and evolving standards that play into southern racism. I hate smarmy little know-it-alls who act like they can paint their misconceptions on the south. One of my anthropology professors has noted that she's from blue collar Chicago and she thinks that Mississippi deals with racism better than Chicago does, because here it is an open discussion and there are avenues to discusss it and call people out, where as in Chicago that is not the case.

          You are facile because you treat the South both as some unique case of racism in America, and you make sweeping (and asinine), generalizations that come off as half-cocked and immature. It's ridiculous to suggest David Duke would do better in Louisiana today, nor to suggest I don't know more about the contexts of those races (and indeed have connections inside the Childers campaign and friends that are connected to Cochran), than you do. Of course I'll call it them out when someone uses a bunch of stereotypes to paint  themselves in some ethically superior light personally and regionally. As someone who has grown up fighting racism among family and friends their entire life, I can tell you, that kind of attitude is the exact same among them, and it needs to be addressed at all cultural levels.

          "Once, many, many years ago I thought I was wrong. Of course it turned out I had been right all along. But I was wrong to have thought I was wrong." -John Foster Dulles. My Political Compass Score: -4.00, -3.69, Proud member of DKE

          by ArkDem14 on Wed Apr 23, 2014 at 09:43:48 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I love how, (0+ / 0-)

            in response to my facts, you simply criticize and insult me without presenting any facts of your own.

            Now there's a political party that engages in that behavior all the time, and it's not the Democrats...

            (-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 23, 2014 at 09:55:56 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Goddamn it.... (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Skaje, James Allen, Mark27

              I had about a page and a half written out as a comment, the bulk of which addressed these inherent problems more specifically, and then lost it all. Why the fuck does firefox still do the goddamn backspace = previous page; no one has ever used it for that function. And for whatever reason, neither Dkos nor firefox have a text saving function for these comments. Fuck.

              Now I'm too irritated by that to want to start over again. So I'm just going to say: a comment is forthcoming. Later though. Probably this evening.

              "Once, many, many years ago I thought I was wrong. Of course it turned out I had been right all along. But I was wrong to have thought I was wrong." -John Foster Dulles. My Political Compass Score: -4.00, -3.69, Proud member of DKE

              by ArkDem14 on Wed Apr 23, 2014 at 10:38:45 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Okay, let me respond (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              sacman701

              Even though most of the spirit is dead.

              First off, you didn't present any facts for me to respond to; vague generalizations smugly said are not facts. Your initial statement was rife with a condescending regionalism and your follow up to my statement regarding how annoying I found it, was even more condescending. I have pretty connections to the Mississippi Democratic party, and am very well-acquainted with Louisiana politics and have written in the past about Edwin Edwards.

              It is this smarmy regionalism that is the problem. You're talking as is if the south is the only problem, and you do so with sweeping generalizations that lack experience or knowledge about the complex issues on which you are pontificating. One of my anthropology committee members however, is from Michigan and went to the University of Chicago. She discusses quite frankly how she finds that the south has better and more open discussions of race than the north does, and that the most problematic racism she ever encountered was in Chicago, because everyone there acts like it doesn't exist and even get offended when its called out.

              For better or for worse race is such an intrinsic part of southern discussions and politics that its impossible to ignore or avoid, and local politics especially remains pretty engaged with it. There are avenues to call out racism and publically discuss issues and problems of race.

              On other accounts, did you perhaps know that Mississippi's Prop 26 was organized by out of state pro-life groups? That one of the most vocal campaign groups for it was a Wisconsin based pro-life group that road around various parts of the state, including Oxford, in vans with pictures of aborted fetuses on the side of them? And that these deeply offended the sensibilities of just about everyone.

              Racism in the south is complex and has many different forms and expressions, a lot of which are tied up into class and political ideology. It's a sprawling cultural phenomena which ensnares a range of people. My grandfather for instance, uses the N word all to often and makes plenty of old-fashioned racist statements, many of them from a very ethno-centric and intolerant angle. Yet he also volunteers for soup kitchens, church-based programs to provide shelter for homeless families, and a broad range of other charitable activity (he went to New Orleans 5 separate times to rebuild houses in black neighborhoods), that primarily work for black people and which he's broad of. He's friends with more than a few black families, and maintains impeccable politeness and respect between them. Racism in his case, exists in a new, contradictory form, deeply ingrained  in the pysche and largely unaware or tied up in disparate systems of values and symbols.

              I could say the same about my other grandfather, who is such a big Democrat that he keeps a poster of Barack Obama on his wall and is very well-read in the history of race in the south, revels in calling out southern racist institutions, and yet still at times says things that are racist stereotypes.

              The Confederate flag, which you were referring to I think, is, one, the battle standard of the Army of Northern Virginia, and two, a complicated symbol whose meaning has more to do with neo-antebellum fantasies from the 1920s and 1930s than the civil war. It's tied up now with rural culture and southern traditions that people willfully ignore or whitewash, which is problematic but much different than what you're implying. It's not even a completely (though heavily it is) racially segregated symbol as one can find plenty of black people, particularly from rural areas, who wear shirts with the "rebel" flag, even have have bumper stickers of it on their car.

              Comments like yours willfully imply that there isn't massive racism in the north (John Roberts is from upstate New York, Anthony Kennedy from California) replete with fundamentalism. When there sure as hell is and its in many places just as big an issue as it is in the south. That setting aside for other regions some sort of smarmy moral high ground doesn't fly for me, nor do largely uninformed views on race and the south, from a college student in Maine who doesn't seem to have ever been to the south. And yes, I'm still offended and irritated by your comments about New Orleans, which is partially why I don't hesitate to rake you over the coals a little on this.

              "Once, many, many years ago I thought I was wrong. Of course it turned out I had been right all along. But I was wrong to have thought I was wrong." -John Foster Dulles. My Political Compass Score: -4.00, -3.69, Proud member of DKE

              by ArkDem14 on Thu Apr 24, 2014 at 04:22:56 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I appreciate your response (0+ / 0-)

                and now let me respond to it.

                First of all, nowhere did I claim that racism is nonexistent in the Northeast and Midwest. I am well aware that racism exists in all parts of the country. However, I still feel that it is a larger and more serious problem in the South than in other parts of the country. One reason I feel that way is the display of the Confederate flag. As you say, its display has to do with antebellum fantasies, fantasies which almost certainly involve some sort of discrimination against African-Americans, if not actual slavery. Thus, I feel that the Confederate flag is a hate symbol, a symbol of slavery, bigotry, and racism, a symbol of everything bad about the South. While prohibiting its display would almost certainly violate the First Amendment, I think it's pretty clear that people who display it are either 1) willfully ignorant of history, or 2) racists. If you have been to the Northeast, then I'm sure you've noticed how displays of the Confederate flag are virtually nonexistent (I don't think I've ever seen one in Connecticut, and I've only seen one or two in Maine).

                It is good to know that Mississippi's personhood initiative (I assume that's what you were referring to) was mostly bankrolled by groups outside the South. I admit that Mississippi's rejection of that initiative did slightly restore my faith in humanity.

                You seem to have missed a critical part of my comment. My criticism of the South was about much more than just racial issues. It was also about the evangelical Christianity that, while still extant in other areas of the country, is strongest in the South. Polls consistently show that the South has the least support for gay rights of any region of the country. It has attacked women's rights and limited the right of a woman to choose more than any region of the country. It has tried to violate the separation of church and state more than any other region of the country.  These faults cannot be ignored.

                In addition, all five states that swung Republican from 2004 to 2008 are in the (inland) South. The vast majority of counties that swung Republican in that time were also in the South. I firmly believe that a major reason for these swings was race.

                You're right that race is a very multidimensional issue. However, despite that, it's clear that much of the South is still far behind the rest of the country on racial issues, and on many other issues as well.

                Finally, you should not take my comments personally. I am well aware that not everyone in the South is racist, or anti-woman, or homophobic, or religious extremists. My point is that the South has a larger proportion of people like those than other regions of the country, and that those people have more political power also. That is undeniable.

                (-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 Thu Apr 24, 2014 at 07:09:23 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Fundamentalism (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  James Allen

                  Is not just in the south either, however. It's deeply embedded in much of the Midwest, and the rocky mountains. But yes, it's certainly an infuriating problem and issue to deal with in the south.

                  "Once, many, many years ago I thought I was wrong. Of course it turned out I had been right all along. But I was wrong to have thought I was wrong." -John Foster Dulles. My Political Compass Score: -4.00, -3.69, Proud member of DKE

                  by ArkDem14 on Thu Apr 24, 2014 at 07:53:15 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  To discuss the flag further (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Skaje

                  Of course it wouldn't be a thing in the north. It has no cultural history there as a symbol. The flag is an inherently compromised symbol and I oppose its usage anywhere. Your division of those who fly it is too simplistic. People don't interpret it is "antebellum fantasy" (though that is the origin for its renewed popularity), they interpret it as "southern culture" and a representative of that history. There is an inherent, and poor focused desire (lacking self-awareness or self-criticism) to take a sense of pride in heritage and history, which to be honest is nothing that novel or unique among human populations.

                  Furthermore, in a lot of cases, its been closely tied up in rural areas with rural identity, which is why rural areas tend to support it so intensely. Check out this map: http://uselectionatlas.org/...

                  It's the results of the referendum to change the State's flag back in 2001. It lost pretty badly thanks to the overwhelming support in rural communities, and, outside of Jackson, fairly tepid support in the Delta for changing the flag. The only way to approach is not with a 1 or 2 like you do, but to recognize that many people are interpreting it in many ways, and many have the problematic view that it can just be a cultural symbol. And you also have to plain and out and out racists or crypto-racists.

                  Even I am undecided about some issues. For instance there is a Confederate monument on the ole miss campus placed there by some class in the 1920s, and I'm genuinely undecided at whether removing it (it's not going to get removed though), would be removing a historical record of race relations and ideas about the civil war, or whether its necessary in order to move remove civil war ideas.

                  "Once, many, many years ago I thought I was wrong. Of course it turned out I had been right all along. But I was wrong to have thought I was wrong." -John Foster Dulles. My Political Compass Score: -4.00, -3.69, Proud member of DKE

                  by ArkDem14 on Thu Apr 24, 2014 at 08:09:21 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  of course we view it more simplistically (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Skaje

                    to us from other regions we don't have the same history and it doesn't have the same meaning. And we judge them harshly for it.

                    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 Apr 24, 2014 at 09:23:15 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  I understand that, that is why I think (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Skaje

                      it's useful to take time to understand it, partially because it is a pretty good way of beginning to understand the complex network that history, class, and culture play together with race in the south.

                      "Once, many, many years ago I thought I was wrong. Of course it turned out I had been right all along. But I was wrong to have thought I was wrong." -John Foster Dulles. My Political Compass Score: -4.00, -3.69, Proud member of DKE

                      by ArkDem14 on Thu Apr 24, 2014 at 10:04:10 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  perhaps certain people in the South (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        ProudNewEnglander

                        should take to heart how they make themselves look to us.

                        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 Apr 24, 2014 at 10:21:53 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  I mentioned pretty directly (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          Skaje

                          that there's a lack of self-reflection and too much disconcern with the opinions of others among this group of people; more to the point they don't bother to really appreciate or accept why other areas of the country may find it offensive. But that should not be one-sided, and you guys should also take the effort (perhaps try to be better than them), to understand where they are coming from so that it's more possible to have an actual discussion.

                          At this point as well, the flag has become a ubiquitous marketing scheme used to tag something as southern, and more specifically, to label something as redneck.

                          "Once, many, many years ago I thought I was wrong. Of course it turned out I had been right all along. But I was wrong to have thought I was wrong." -John Foster Dulles. My Political Compass Score: -4.00, -3.69, Proud member of DKE

                          by ArkDem14 on Thu Apr 24, 2014 at 11:55:33 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  I think there is no discussion possible (0+ / 0-)

                            the conservative South has no interest in anything other than forcing the country to accept them as is, if not going back in time.

                            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 Fri Apr 25, 2014 at 04:37:16 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                  •  I was just leaving South Carolina (0+ / 0-)

                    when the Confederate flag finally came down from the state capitol, in 2000.  It had been a heated issue the whole time I was there, and the eventual compromise reached was to remove the flag from its position directly below the state and US flags on the dome, and put a different version on the existing Confederate soldier memorial on the capitol grounds.

                    The NAACP hasn't lifted the boycott, thinking the placement still too prominent.  But it was a comprise, reached between Democrats and Republicans.  I was able to dig up the vote in the state senate, which went 37-8 for moving the flag.  One Democrat voted no, an African-American senator who presumably thought the flag should vanish entirely.  Seven Republicans also voted no, feeling the flag should remain in its position of prominence.  Among them were Larry Grooms, who came in third place in the SC-01 special, and now-congressman Joe Wilson.

                    •  Yes, another thing that hurt (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Skaje

                      Jim Hodge, and a damned shame, too. It's ridiculous the kinds of one-sided emotions people invest in the flag and their hyper-sensitivity and unwillingess to let it go. It just shows how deeply rural populations have embedded the symbol as representative of their conceived culture and the way they feel targetted by urban and out of state populations in the attempts to remove the flag from public sanction.

                      "Once, many, many years ago I thought I was wrong. Of course it turned out I had been right all along. But I was wrong to have thought I was wrong." -John Foster Dulles. My Political Compass Score: -4.00, -3.69, Proud member of DKE

                      by ArkDem14 on Thu Apr 24, 2014 at 11:59:08 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

            •  Let me be a little clearer too, (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Skaje

              since this is something I've wanted to really delve into on its own and with a lot more space (it does not lend well to abbrievation), I'm not defending my grandfather. I'm trying to impart the contradictory nature that makes racism so hard to get a handle on, particularly in figuring out how to deal with it and combat it. This is something I've been taking notes on though, because when I have time, I've wanted, for a while now, to put together a personal essay about all these issues and things I have observed over the years with race in the South.

              "Once, many, many years ago I thought I was wrong. Of course it turned out I had been right all along. But I was wrong to have thought I was wrong." -John Foster Dulles. My Political Compass Score: -4.00, -3.69, Proud member of DKE

              by ArkDem14 on Thu Apr 24, 2014 at 04:29:41 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I would be very interested in reading that (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                ArkDem14, ProudNewEnglander

                I spent 3 years in South Carolina, coinciding with middle school.  It was a small town, one of those types whose entire existence seems to revolve around the nearby military base.  As I was still pretty young, I didn't fully understand everything, but I definitely got an idea of the complexities of Southern race relations.

                A lot of racists live in lily white areas in the mountains, the plains, or the midwest.  But in the South, there are pretty much Black people everywhere, even in the whitest counties of the rural South, as this map shows.  I daresay it's impossible for a white person to live their life anywhere in the South and not interact with African-Americans.  That interaction changes things.

                The most overt racism any of my friends have experienced occurred in rural northern Idaho.  My friend and his college buddies went to school in Walla Walla (in Washington) and had road tripped out east.  At a diner in Idaho, the minority members of the group were straight up refused service.

                Those kinds of racists scare me more, the ones that have probably never even met someone who wasn't white.  To them, minorities are simply caricatures to be hated and feared.  They haven't even progressed to the level of thinking there are "some good ones" in other races.

                Those are the types of people that are probably posting on Stormfront and getting ready for the "race war".

    •  rejecting the premise (0+ / 0-)
      So my question is, how can the Intolerant South and the Wild West become civilized?
      Indeed: how are the heathens to be saved??

      A good place to start would be trying to actually understand those regions, rather than blithely stereotyping them (treating Cliven Bundy, for instance, as typical of western conservatism).

      But for the record, if the question weren't framed as "which of my two preconceptions of people in other, less civilized regions of the country are more repugnant," and were an actual attempt to understand those regions, then I think the history of southern conservatism would be a much more problematic and disturbing one than the history of western libertarianism.

      •  Well, if you think (0+ / 0-)

        that you are so high and mighty that you understand those regions but I don't, then maybe you should start talking and explaining about them. If, as you claim, elements of the Intolerant South and the Wild West aren't as bad as I say they are, then you should provide some evidence to back up that belief.

        But while you do, make sure to not hit the backspace button unless you want your entire response to disappear.

        (-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 Thu Apr 24, 2014 at 07:46:34 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I don't think I'm high and mighty. (0+ / 0-)

          Nor did I claim to understand those regions fully. I did say I am interested in understanding those regions, and not especially interested in preference-ranking your personal stereotypes of those regions.

  •  Here are some areas I would like to see addressed (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Gygaxian, Mark27

    Economics.  The US economy is in the shit and signs are pointing towards systemic problems and epic levels of disparity that could lead to instability.  Unfortunately, the political landscape is dominated by plutocrats on both the left and the right which puts us in the proverbial fox guarding the hen house situation.

    Rights and Freedoms: freedom in marriage, reproductive choices, etc.  In essence freedom from theocratic and other groups who wish to impose their morality through legislation upon others.

    Security and Privacy: putting an end to government spying.  Plain and simple.  Restore the constitution and all of the bill of rights.  Demilitarization of the police.  Go back to civilian police.

    Reduction of the military.  We don't need to be the worlds police force and we need to stop trying to be.

    Fiscal policy: shoring up social security and other earned benefit programs.  How will we allocate money for the "common good".  Rebuilding the nation's infrastructure, including investment in water, roads, power distribution, etc.  Balanced budget considerations, etc.

    Immigration: how are we going to address the problem.  I am opposed to illegal immigrants, but the current system does nothing to address and only compounds the problem both by encouraging it and having an unworkable legal immigration process.

    Ending the war on drugs.  It is a complete failure.  End the prison industrial complex.  Legalizing drugs will get the money out of the black markets and reduce crime and violence.

    Healthcare: I am opposed to mandated health insurance.  I don't believe insurance is the correct way to fund healthcare.  

    "It's not surveillance, it's data collection to keep you safe"

    by blackhand on Tue Apr 22, 2014 at 08:52:10 AM PDT

    •  there are structural problems in the economy (0+ / 0-)

      but it is relatively strong right now, not in the shit.

      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 22, 2014 at 01:07:42 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well, I Think The Biggest Problem..... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        blackhand

        .....is that the economy of spring 2014 is what things look like in the "good times".  While it's not technically "in the shit" by standard growth metrics, it's discomforting for the average American to recognize that after five years of "recovery", this is as good as things are for them.  

        •  we're still in the process of coming back (0+ / 0-)

          my state just had our strongest job growth in March since 2005. But we've a while to go.

          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 22, 2014 at 07:22:45 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  I'm still waiting (0+ / 0-)

          For my economic recovery.

          "It's not surveillance, it's data collection to keep you safe"

          by blackhand on Wed Apr 23, 2014 at 06:10:38 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Justice John Paul Stevens proposes 6 amendments (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Skaje

    to the U.S. Constitution:

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

    Hard to believe this guy was a Republican appointee.

    I have a couple of disagreements with Justice Stevens:

    - I don't believe gun control is contrary to the 2nd amendment, nor do I believe unrestricted gun rights are codified in it.  So, I don't think it's necessary to change or repeal the 2nd amendment in order to get gun control.  This is a political problem rather than a constitutional one.

    - Stevens has good intentions with the gerrymandering amendment, but I don't necessarily think the way he words it is ideal.  "Contiguous and compact" is open to wide interpretation, and I think many partisan gerrymanders could still pass such a test.  I think state redistricting committees or communities of interest rules that keep cities, counties, or townships of interest together would be best, but these regulations would be best implemented by state or federal laws rather than a constitutional amendment.

    - I fully support the amendment to overturn Citizens United.

    - I'm not fully decided on the death penalty.  Interesting debate.

    Stevens didn't mention this amendment, but I would also be open to an amendment that requires each state to apportion their electoral college votes to the winner of the national popular vote.

    •  Regarding the Electoral College amendment (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jncca, James Allen

      In that case, the more efficient course of action would be to abolish it.

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

      by kurykh on Tue Apr 22, 2014 at 11:40:06 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Here's an argument against the death penalty (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JacobNC

      It's a goofy thing I thought of some time ago when I saw the death penalty in the news. I don't really intend for it to be a serious argument, but here goes:

      In Atkins v. Virginia, the Supreme Court held that mentally retarded convicts cannot be executed, because that falls under cruel and unusual punishment. I think that by now, this point should be uncontroversial (most of the controversy stems from how to determine whether someone is mentally retarded). This means that states with the death penalty have to legislate some standard of mental retardation constituting exemption from the death penalty. But I posit that it is in principle perverse for the government to pass legislation that makes stupidity an adaptive survival trait. Any legislation setting an intelligence standard for execution must by definition contradict this principle. Ergo, the death penalty is untenable.

  •  I'm hoping this whole mess in Ukraine (4+ / 0-)

    doesn't get bigger. I don't want to have yet another war.

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

    by Gygaxian on Tue Apr 22, 2014 at 12:37:48 PM PDT

  •  Traffic enforcement cameras (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    uclabruin18, Mark27, ArkDem14

    The Colorado state Senate just voted to ban all cities and jurisdictions in the state from using red light cameras to send people tickets for violations.  The vote passed 21-14 (roll call here, search for SB14-181) in a chamber currently split 18-17 with Dem control.  Within each party: Democrats opposed the bill 5-13, and Republicans favored it 16-1.

    I thought the breakdown would be more mixed.  The Dem leaders of both chambers are in favor of the bill, and I thought there would be more Democrats seeing the cameras as enforcing a de facto regressive tax.  The Republicans on the other hand I thought would be more susceptible to police and law enforcement advocacy in favor of keeping the camera.  Instead, it broke down pretty clearly to a Republican-supported bill.

    The vote moves to the House now, where it has 7 Dem and 8 GOP co-sponsors.  Maybe the vote will be more mixed there, but I see no reason why it wouldn't follow the pattern in the Senate.

    I think this vote kind of shows the liberal/progressive split we've talked about in previous policy threads in regards to cigarette taxes, drugs, and other things.  The progressive position is that we can improve safety by correcting dangerous behavior with fines.  At this point in my political life, I'm inclined to be suspicious of that whole train of thought.

    As the article states, within Denver city limits alone 230,000 photo tickets were issued last year, adding $7.8 million to the city budget.  This is ridiculous.  There's only 630,000 people in the entire city, and yeah I know an additional million or so commute through on a regular basis, and some are repeat violators, but we're still looking at an unreasonably large percentage of drivers that get caught by these things.

    I've always figured that if you have a law that makes criminals out of a significant percentage of the population, it might be the law that's the problem and not the population.  In terms of actual felonies and misdemeanors, drug crimes are the biggest example.  But civil infractions like speeding tickets don't get as much attention, because there's no possibility of jail time and the fines are considered "reasonable".  But still, if you have a system where everyone has a good chance of getting caught up in it throughout their lives, you might want to rethink it.  At the very least, consider whether the average person caught by it is really a danger to society.

    I saw a comment online to the effect of "Don't necessarily ban traffic cameras, just require that all the money goes to Red Cross instead of local governments".  I imagine cities wouldn't be so eager to install the cameras if that were the case.

    •  I would actually be quite supportive (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Skaje, uclabruin18, Stephen Wolf

      of this:

      Don't necessarily ban traffic cameras, just require that all the money goes to Red Cross instead of local governments
      As I've said before, I think by far the more important function of traffic cameras is to prevent dangerous driving rather than to fund city budgets, so I'd definitely support the money going instead to the Red Cross, local hospitals, local charitable organizations, etc. That would really weed out the cities that actually want safe streets from those that just want an easy source of revenue.

      (-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 22, 2014 at 01:24:51 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  people who run red lights are a danger. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      uclabruin18, ProudNewEnglander

      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 22, 2014 at 01:44:48 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I didn't stress it in the post (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Mark27, ArkDem14, BMScott

        but just as someone going 70 in a 65 mph zone is not a danger, someone who goes through an intersection right when it turns red is not a danger either.  If someone actually gets t-boned, they must have entered the intersection after a much longer delay than most cameras are programmed to catch.

        Traffic reaches a safe equilibrium speed on the freeways that is almost always slightly above the speed limit.  In the same way, there's a consensus about when to hit the brakes and when to simply continue through an intersection upon the light turning yellow (relating to speed and distance from the intersection), that often results in technically "running a red light".

        When police pull people over, they are supposed to use their judgment about whether the person was actually driving recklessly.  In most cases, they only pull people over who are flagrantly breaking the established equilibriums.  If they tried to pull over everybody going 5 over a speed limit, there simply wouldn't be enough police officers to do so.

        That restriction doesn't apply to cameras that can simply mass mail people tickets, and many jurisdictions have the cameras calibrated to catch as many people as possible.

        How many accidents are there in Denver each year to justify 230,000 camera tickets?  I was not able to find that specific information online...perhaps the number of total accidents is not something collected by Denver (and I suppose distinguishing between minor scrapes and more serious accidents is tricky).  I did find total fatalities, which amounted to 40 for 2013.

        Any way I look at it, I don't see the cameras as being a well-intended attempt at public safety, but rather a way to slip in a regressive tax with less of the anger (and risk to politicians) that comes from increasing the general income or sales taxes.  I fault Republicans for fostering so much of this anti-tax fervor over the decades that has put jurisdictions in this place, looking for easy solutions.

        •  I disagree, (0+ / 0-)

          but this is a stupid issue to argue about.

          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 22, 2014 at 03:09:28 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  You've obviously never gotten a ticket (0+ / 0-)

            for running a red light that, to stop for when it was still yellow, entailed going from 40-0 in the space of twenty feet and would leave you in the middle of the road. Or in a case where there are 4 red lights in a 200 yard stretch of road and you run the 4th one after catching the first three. They set these cameras up and use it to take advantage of shitty traffic systems, giving off comparatively expensive tickets for minor infractions.

            "Once, many, many years ago I thought I was wrong. Of course it turned out I had been right all along. But I was wrong to have thought I was wrong." -John Foster Dulles. My Political Compass Score: -4.00, -3.69, Proud member of DKE

            by ArkDem14 on Tue Apr 22, 2014 at 07:35:55 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I don't get close to running red lights (0+ / 0-)

              my girlfriend says I drive like an old man, but I've never been in an accident.

              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 22, 2014 at 07:49:34 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Neither have I (nor gotten a real ticket) (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                James Allen

                But I was mainly being snarky.

                "Once, many, many years ago I thought I was wrong. Of course it turned out I had been right all along. But I was wrong to have thought I was wrong." -John Foster Dulles. My Political Compass Score: -4.00, -3.69, Proud member of DKE

                by ArkDem14 on Wed Apr 23, 2014 at 09:12:36 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

        •  I've Run Many Borderline Red Lights..... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ArkDem14

          ......in Upper Midwestern winters where the consequences of slamming on my brakes on a glaze of ice to avoid the orange light would have been far more likely to result in a traffic snarl, potentially a fatal one.

          •  There's a Department of Transportation (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Mark27

            study on the matter, and basically concluded that these cameras slightly reduce side crashes, but increase rear end crashes from people slamming the brakes.

            I remember a similar thing during Hawaii's experiment with mobile van cameras, where people would absolutely slam their brakes upon seeing one of those vans parked alongside the freeway.  For the most part, police don't pull people over who are merely keeping up with traffic.  But those vans were taking pictures of anyone going 5 over, because they could, and their company got paid by the state for every ticket they issued.

            •  Study (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              James Allen
              basically concluded that these cameras slightly reduce side crashes, but increase rear end crashes from people slamming the brakes.
              This happened when my city installed 5 red light cameras. Eventually in a city referendum the people voted to ban red light cameras and they were removed. I wish cities would just add a three second delay between when one direction changes red and the other green, as well as increasing the yellow light warning time. That should help with preventing crashes.

              I must admit I never had a big problem with red light cameras and voted to allow them in 2011. They were banned by a wide margin, although the people also voted to allow school speed zone cameras that give you a ticket starting at $124 if you go 21 in a school zone. The city has installed them at 14 different schools now and they scare me to death since my 1977 Ford F-250's speedometer likes to wiggle up and down within a 3 mph range, so I end up being that jerk who goes 15 just to make sure I don't get a ticket lol.

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

              by KyleinWA on Tue Apr 22, 2014 at 08:34:38 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  Sadly The Party Breakdown Of The CO Vote..... (0+ / 0-)

      .....reflects the converging trendlines of the parties on personal freedom issues in general, with the Republicans becoming increasingly libertarian and the Democrats becoming increasingly paternalistic.  The traffic camera issue has broken down along similar lines in Iowa with a bipartisan coalition of critics, but with Republicans being the largest and loudest faction of those critics.

      "I've always figured that if you have a law that makes criminals out of a significant percentage of the population, it might be the law that's the problem and not the population.".....Very well put.

      •  this is such a distorted view (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        gabjoh

        when Republicans stop challenging people like Amash in the primaries and start emulating them they might be libertarian. The reality is that most Republicans are not libertarian, they're just out to cripple government and prevent it from functioning. They have no problem trying to control your life.

        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 22, 2014 at 07:34:34 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Isn't Amash's District More..... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          gabjoh

          ......socially conservative than most though?  With all the evangelical Dutch in southwestern Michigan?  I've always thought he seemed like an awkward fit for that area, and suspect he'd be less likely to get a primary challenge in a less evangelical GOP-leaning district.  

          And don't get me wrong....the Republican Party doesn't have more appeal to me based on its recent embrace of more libertarian views, particularly since libertarian economic principles strike me as less practical with each passing wave of private sector disinvestment in the middle class and working class.  It does, however, mean I'm finding myself agreeing with the Republican position on a few more secondary issues than I did a decade ago.

    •  From PPP's recent poll (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jncca

      They found overall support for the red light cameras at 50-39.

      In the crosstabs, Democrats supported them by 64-25, Republicans opposed them 41-49, and independents were basically tied at 44-45.

      They also found a heavy age correlation with young voters opposing them, and older voters supporting them strongly.

      Nothing too surprising.

  •  SC Lt. Gov. candidate (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    James Allen

    Calling upon all parents to remove their kids from public school.

    “It’s our hope and prayer that a fresh obedience by Christian families and educating their children according to biblical commands will prove to be a key for the revival of our families, our churches, and our nation,” said Ray Moore, a retired Army Reserves chaplain and president of Frontline Ministries.

    Moore told a gathering of Tea Party activists at the April 12 Liberty Rally that Christians must leave the “Pharaoh’s school system” for religious schools or home schools.

    “We cannot win this war we’re in as long as we keep handing our children over to the enemy to educate,” he told the crowd.

    I've heard about an uptick in home schooling from fundamentalist Christian parents.  It's definitely becoming a widespread phenomenon.

    I've got nothing against the concept of home schooling, but the reasons most people seem to do it are scary.  One of the most important functions of the K-12 system is socialization, meeting people who aren't necessarily like you...they might be of a different religion, a different sexual orientation.  Goths, nerds, jocks...you get thrown in with all these different groups, and you hopefully learn how to not be a judgmental asshole.  How to get along with people.

    I worry for what the future holds for these kids being indoctrinated in "Biblical education" by their home-schooling parents.  How are they going to function when they get to the real world?

    •  From my experience (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Audrid, Skaje
      One of the most important functions of the K-12 system is socialization
      I was home schooled, though not in a religious household (my parents took us out of public school because of the threat from "corporations and government" once George W Bush was elected President). We joined a few home school groups in our local area. I would interact and become friends with many other home schooled families, most having religious based backgrounds, and most of them are just fine when it comes to socialization.
      How are they going to function when they get to the real world?
      I have hired a few of those home schooled family members and are some of my best employees when interacting with guests coming into the restaurant I manage.

      Now, these are just my own personal experiences. Other situations could be different. The problems that arise from home schooling stem I believe more from lazy parents (and I've seen them, religious or not) who do not go above and beyond, making sure their kids are in involved in many outside activities, than anything.

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

      by KyleinWA on Fri Apr 25, 2014 at 05:42:17 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Solid SSM supporter: Stone Cold Steve Austin?! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gigantomachyusa

    I loved watching WWE as a kid and Austin was one of my favorites.  I always imagined him to be a staunch conservative (probably due to his tough Texas image), but it sure sounds like that isn't the case from his forceful support for SSM.

    http://deadspin.com/...

    •  WWE is still the entertainment industry (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ChadmanFL

      I was never really into it, but not at all surprised by this news. And there's a handful of former pro wrestlers who are politically active liberals (Mick Foley comes to mind).

      "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 23, 2014 at 04:58:17 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I thought the same! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Skaje

      I used to watch wrestling when I was a teenager and grew up in the Stone Cold Steve Austin, "Evolution", Rey Mysterio, John Cena, Undertaker era. Haven't seen WWE in forever (honestly can't believe I ever thought it was real) so I was definitely taken aback by that news.

      Apparently WWE isn't as homophobic as it used to be. The McMahons who own the franchise are very Republican so the culture was very conservative. A lot seems to have changed in between though. They have an openly gay wrestler now who isn't just a gay stereotype like Rico (who was actually straight) and Steve Austin isn't the first. Triple-H has been photographed for the No H8 campaign and John Cena's talked about his gay brother. It's very refreshing to see a very masculine industry be inclusive. Who would have thought muscular, sweaty men who rub against each other in the ring for a living could be gay-friendly? :D

      22, Male, Latino-Spanish, OK-1 (Tulsa: The Art Deco and Cultural Gem of Green Country!); "I believe our nation is the most American country the United States has ever known." -Stephen Colbert, 2012

      by gigantomachyusa on Thu Apr 24, 2014 at 06:16:59 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  VA-Medicaid: Is shutdown brinksmanship the way (0+ / 0-)

    to go in order to approve a budget that creates a private option medicaid expansion?
    http://talkingpointsmemo.com/...
    The Senate passed it with some Republican votes, but the House won't.

    “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 Wed Apr 23, 2014 at 04:10:34 PM PDT

    •  I think ultimately the House will capitulate (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      KingofSpades

      As Boehner learned, the party that has two of the Governor, Senate, and House has the upper hand. And of course, in Virginia that party is the Dems.

      House Republicans saw how many of them won very close races in 2013. If they shut down the government, many of those Republicans will lose.

      (-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 Thu Apr 24, 2014 at 06:29:10 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The problem is (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        James Allen

        most of those races were close because McAuliffe did so well in NoVa. They won't have that problem in 2015, when turnout will be low. The Democrats are also going to have their hands full trying to keep their tenuous grasp on the Senate. And we've seen with the Federal shutdown last October how quickly a government shutdown slips from the public consciousness. Democrats only have 31 votes for it in the House (conservadem Johnny Joannou is against it) so they'd need 20 Republicans to pass it. I don't think there are half that number of sane/endangered House Republicans. And Bill Howell has a tight grip on the reins of the House (particularly thanks to his PAC that spends a lot of money to protect his incumbents), so if he doesn't want it, it's very, very unlikely to pass.

  •  Cliven Bundy is a racist, who knew? (6+ / 0-)

    In case you haven't seen it yet, Bundy went on a racist tirade:

    “I want to tell you one more thing I know about the Negro,” he said. Mr. Bundy recalled driving past a public-housing project in North Las Vegas, “and in front of that government house the door was usually open and the older people and the kids — and there is always at least a half a dozen people sitting on the porch — they didn’t have nothing to do. They didn’t have nothing for their kids to do. They didn’t have nothing for their young girls to do.

    “And because they were basically on government subsidy, so now what do they do?” he asked. “They abort their young children, they put their young men in jail, because they never learned how to pick cotton. And I’ve often wondered, are they better off as slaves, picking cotton and having a family life and doing things, or are they better off under government subsidy? They didn’t get no more freedom. They got less freedom.”

    But it's more than just ARGH racism!  Hate Black people!  It's an illuminating look into a worldview which I've unfortunately seen a lot of, in more subdued terms.  Most news articles are just running with the sensationalized "Bundy defends slavery!" headline.  And that is awful, but it's not the only awful thing he said.  Cut off that final line about slavery, and it's something you hear all the fucking time on Fox News.

    It's this pernicious belief among a lot of conservatives that African-American poverty is a direct result of the government programs designed to alleviate that poverty.  You've all seen this...how many times have you heard some talk radio host or state legislator say that all we have to do is abolish welfare, and poverty will vanish?  That welfare is only used as a way to bribe voters, to get them "addicted" to government money so they will vote Democratic?

    So don't dismiss this as "wacky rancher defends slavery".  That makes him some kook we can ignore, like a guy ranting about 9/11 truth or chemtrails.  Rather, realize that the racist underpinnings of his statements are common to a whole lot of conservatives.

    And in connection to the discussion upthread about Southern theocons vs. Western anti-government loons, it's important to note there's a lot of overlap between both groups.  Bundy personifies the anti-government crusader, but he's not some Ayn Randian hero.  You'd get people like Bundy all over the South too.

  •  Christie coming down hard on pot (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bythesea, jncca

    link, even saying Colorado must have poor quality of life if people wanted to legalize it, which goes against just about every indicator I've seen.

    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 Apr 24, 2014 at 01:39:37 PM PDT

    •  Christie is a buffoon (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bythesea, gabjoh

      and he picked an odd issue to try to draw attention away from his bridge troubles, considering that a majority of New Jersey almost certainly is in favor of legalization.

      In any case, I love living in Denver.  It really is a great state, but I don't think it suited to Christie's personality perhaps.

      Contrary to popular thought, Colorado hasn't been buried under a haze of smoke...as far as I can tell, just about the same number of people smoking weed these days as before legalization.

    •  Translation: (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      James Allen

      "Republican power brokers, I still really, really want to be president! Look how much I can support your unpopular causes!"

      Asshole. God I hope he ends up being impeached or resigning over abuse of power so we don't have to deal with him just being a veto pen roadblock to progress for 4 more years. It's incredibly ironic Chris Christie of all people would claim they have a lot quality of life given that it has the lowest obesity rate.

  •  Rand Paul won't say he supports abortion ban... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bythesea

    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/...

    I wonder if Paul, Bush, and Christie get perceived as not conservative enough on social issues, if that creates an opening for a social conservative in the 2016 primary?

    •  The social conservatives have felt ignored (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JacobNC

      the past two elections.  I think that's why a joke of a retread like Huckabee polls pretty well among Republicans.  I think there's a definite opening.

    •  A definite opening (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JacobNC

      Social conservatives are a huge portion of Republican primary voters, so if they can get behind one candidate and hope that the establishment vote splinters, it's a big opportunity for a social conservative to win the primary.

      28, Male, CA-26, DK Elections Black Caucus Chair.

      by DrPhillips on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 10:34:20 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thad Cochran's meth ad (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    James Allen

    It took me a couple of days to get to this, but I wanted to discuss the public safety issues of meth. While this is somewhat of an attack from the left, it could be effective with rural voters, some of which live in areas that have been plagued by meth production. You could speak with many local sheriff's through the rural, poor south and they'd tell you meth production is a concern. Although Mississippi has had lower incidences of meth labs than neighboring states, it's still an issue local authorities like help staying on top of.

    If these labs blow up, the environmental and property damage can be severe, not to mention the overall havoc meth addiction causes in severely poor communities. While I doubt that McDaniel's no vote on meth legislation will hurt him much, it is a legitimate attack, but unfortunately for Cochran, the Tea Party has other issues in mind.

    28, Male, CA-26, DK Elections Black Caucus Chair.

    by DrPhillips on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 10:31:48 AM PDT

    •  not to mention the danger to police or emergency (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DrPhillips

      personnel who go into labs.

      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 Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 10:56:34 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Palin renews her despiccableness. (0+ / 0-)

    She's talking like Muslims are subhuman: http://talkingpointsmemo.com/...

    I can now see more and more why wwmiv left the Republican Party.  She's a disturbingly horrible human being.

    Forrest Gump said "stupid is as stupid does" and Palin proves it.

    “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 Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 01:40:20 PM PDT

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site