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Author Topic: American Election Megathread - It's Over  (Read 236091 times)

mainiac

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Re: American Election Megathread
« Reply #2370 on: February 23, 2012, 07:25:03 pm »

Just to elaborate on the "conspiracy" thing, let me give a comparison example.  I am currently helping my dad crunch the numbers for some medical research that a company wants done.  They want this done because it's going to be a selling point for their product.  My dad is doing this research be cause they gave him a chunk of cash for doing it.  This research in no way compromises his ability to continue to practice medicine in the best way he can and continue to advise his patients to the best of his ability.

Nothing illegal and nothing unethical about this whole endeavor.  But they want it because this particular research makes them look good.  So getting it costs them a pittance.

This is what in the non-political world we call "the way the world works".  You can find the data that looks good and get scholarly articles published that highlight that data.  All it takes is money.
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Every winter my Uncle Bilbert used to go out and buy clothes for his entire hobbit family.  I remember the first year I came along with him shopping.  His tongue was swollen up so he was unable to speak but my uncle Bilbert was not concerned.  He simply took me and my cousins to town and proudly presented his young relatives to the shopkeeper.  The wise old clothesmaker just smiled and started taking measurements.  After so many years of business he didn't hesitate to in fur my uncle's hobbits.

NinjaBoot

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Re: American Election Megathread
« Reply #2371 on: February 23, 2012, 07:25:35 pm »

Even if fracking doesn't directly cause groundwater pollution, the problem remains that companies trying to trim their budgets take short cuts that do.

In countries that don't have such a stringent law in regards to how they go about their businesses when dealing with the environment, I highly doubt it.  In years past you can make this argument, but nowadays the environmentalists create so much negative press that companies often go out of their ways to ensure they keep the highest standard possible when dealing with the environment. 

Take BP spill for example:  instead of punishing the company and then letting them, or a new company drill, you have let Cuba jump in and start drilling for themselves.  No way to regulate those Cuban drillers, or subject them to EPA regulations or policy. 

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Until that problem is addressed, fracking might as well cause ground water pollution. While that's not a reason to reject bids to open new drill sites, it is a reason to exercise restraint on approval, thoroughly vet energy companies doing the drilling, most importantly, real oversight.

Indeed, the process must be followed.  But then at the same time, it must also be relaxed in a way that can actually let companies drill in the first place. 

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I'm fine with fracking if it turns out to not directly cause contamination...what I'm not ok with is the relationship between the energy department and energy companies.

You mean what is currently happening with the EPA and Green tech?  Different party, different companies.  The means by which government picks winners and losers needs to be addressed, so as to limit these kinds of relationships. 

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It wasn't that long ago that they were throwing parties complete with hookers for government officials. If the cost of new "old" energy sources is an unavoidable level of contamination and corruption.....then it's not worth it IMO, that money is better spent on innovators, even if there's a risk they'll fail.

Even at the point of driving up the cost of energy around the country and driving up the cost of goods, services, and everything else?

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As for Solyndra, as I understand it, materials cost is what killed them. They thought they could produce solar energy panels for far cheaper than they actually could.

This was something that was found out during the vetting process.  Due to political pressure, they signed off on it and gave Joe Biden a nice Photo Op for $535 million. 
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Sirus

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Re: American Election Megathread
« Reply #2372 on: February 23, 2012, 07:25:53 pm »

Hey people:


Stick to the election discussion, plskthnxbai.
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NinjaBoot

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Re: American Election Megathread
« Reply #2373 on: February 23, 2012, 07:27:02 pm »

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/british-columbia/study-clears-fracking-but-flags-other-drilling-problems/article2341526/

http://news.yahoo.com/study-fracking-does-not-cause-groundwater-pollution-160500641.html

http://www.bizjournals.com/houston/news/2012/02/16/ut-austin-study-says-fracking-hasnt.html

And so on.

Did you even read these articles? Let's see.

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http://news.yahoo.com/study-fracking-does-not-cause-groundwater-pollution-160500641.html
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Instance of environmental hazards were caused by factors common to all oil and gas operations, including casing failures and the mishandling of waste water once it is brought above ground for storage and eventual processing at a waste treatment plant.

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http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/british-columbia/study-clears-fracking-but-flags-other-drilling-problems/article2341526/
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The study reported that many problems blamed on hydraulic fracturing are related to processes common to all oil and gas drilling operations, such as casing failures or poor cement jobs.

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http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/british-columbia/study-clears-fracking-but-flags-other-drilling-problems/article2341526/
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He said more research is needed to confirm what activities are causing groundwater pollution, but it is suspected the problems are the same as those affecting the broader petroleum industry.

Whether "fracking" or the petroleum industry in general are causing problems, they're still problems, and still caused by the petroleum industry.

The issue was with fracking to begin with, not the petroleum industry as a whole. 

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NinjaBoot

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Re: American Election Megathread
« Reply #2374 on: February 23, 2012, 07:32:51 pm »

Hey people:


Stick to the election discussion, plskthnxbai.

Sirus, at least contribute something productive to this discussion instead of trying to be witty. kthxbai.

Just to elaborate on the "conspiracy" thing, let me give a comparison example.  I am currently helping my dad crunch the numbers for some medical research that a company wants done.  They want this done because it's going to be a selling point for their product.  My dad is doing this research be cause they gave him a chunk of cash for doing it.  This research in no way compromises his ability to continue to practice medicine in the best way he can and continue to advise his patients to the best of his ability.

Nothing illegal and nothing unethical about this whole endeavor.  But they want it because this particular research makes them look good.  So getting it costs them a pittance.

This is what in the non-political world we call "the way the world works".  You can find the data that looks good and get scholarly articles published that highlight that data.  All it takes is money.

So obviously this does not apply to whatever reports you produce, but it applies to mine, because the issue I argue for is automatically wrong and subjected to heavy bias and influence from companies and people wanting to produce their view that would best protect their interests.
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nenjin

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Re: American Election Megathread
« Reply #2375 on: February 23, 2012, 07:35:31 pm »

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Even at the point of driving up the cost of energy around the country and driving up the cost of goods, services, and everything else?

Yes, even at the cost of driving up energy prices (even though I think phrasing it that way is disingenuous. Markets drive prices. Fracking won't single handedly save the higher cost of production everyone faces today. That's a fantasy.) To me the renewed interest in natural gas isn't energy companies racing to increase our energy supply...it's businessmen racing to capitalize on the higher cost of energy, using a source that is both more domestically available and lacking the bad press of oil.

And for the record, I'm so sick of seeing articles about "$4 gas on the horizon" and "$5 gas coming soon?" Rising energy prices are a reality we need to deal with using a long-term perspective, instead of seeking short-term solutions to the problem so we can get back to $2/gallon gas.

Lastly, we're already off-rails, but can we not turn this into another spat? I know you're goading each other, but, can you both back down for the sake of the thread?
« Last Edit: February 23, 2012, 07:38:32 pm by nenjin »
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Aqizzar

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Re: American Election Megathread
« Reply #2376 on: February 23, 2012, 07:36:38 pm »

Sirus, at least contribute something productive to this discussion instead of trying to be witty. kthxbai.

This is absolutely laughable.

At this point, I am actually going to ask everyone, you especially though, to settle down.  This is going nowhere, you're bloating the Hell out of my thread because you haven't learned how to condense quotes, and I'm tired of watching it.
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SalmonGod

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Re: American Election Megathread
« Reply #2377 on: February 23, 2012, 07:38:22 pm »

Quote
Until that problem is addressed, fracking might as well cause ground water pollution. While that's not a reason to reject bids to open new drill sites, it is a reason to exercise restraint on approval, thoroughly vet energy companies doing the drilling, most importantly, real oversight.

Indeed, the process must be followed.  But then at the same time, it must also be relaxed in a way that can actually let companies drill in the first place. 

Clearly the oil industry is so victimized.  Yes, their profit reports have been consistently record-breaking almost every single quarter for as long as I can remember, but they're not record-breaking enough!  How can they be expected to create jobs and offer fair wages and prices when their executives aren't even trillionaires yet?

Edit:  Sorry Aqizzar.  Didn't see your last post until after I'd thrown this one up.  I've tried to avoid participating in this, but... my god.  I promise no more from me.
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Zrk2

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Re: American Election Megathread
« Reply #2378 on: February 23, 2012, 07:39:18 pm »

I think we need to change the rules so we have two caucuses a week from January until June, to prevent long delays in our thread making.
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He's just keeping up with the Cardassians.

mainiac

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Re: American Election Megathread
« Reply #2379 on: February 23, 2012, 07:40:19 pm »

So obviously this does not apply to whatever reports you produce, but it applies to mine, because the issue I argue for is automatically wrong and subjected to heavy bias and influence from companies and people wanting to produce their view that would best protect their interests.

Uh yeah it does apply to the reports I produce.  My numbers are good for this company, that's why they want me producing them instead of wasting my time writing my little pony fan fiction.  Likewise reports that say fracking data isn't conclusive are good for natural gas companies so they find someone to write those reports.  The only difference is the amount of money involved.  In the case I offered, 100k was enough to hire 10 doctors to give them 10 studies.  For tens of millions of dollars you can get a heck of a lot more then that and pick and chose.

Again, I am not supposing any shadowy figures or evil conspiracies.  Just being blunt about the way the world works.  People buy things that are useful to them and that are completely legal to buy...

I remember when I learned that big companies cared about profits more then being good guys.  It was traumatic for me.  I was four.

Reports exist that fraking isn't bad because there are powerful interests that want such reports to exist.  Hence a healthy skepticism is needed.
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Every winter my Uncle Bilbert used to go out and buy clothes for his entire hobbit family.  I remember the first year I came along with him shopping.  His tongue was swollen up so he was unable to speak but my uncle Bilbert was not concerned.  He simply took me and my cousins to town and proudly presented his young relatives to the shopkeeper.  The wise old clothesmaker just smiled and started taking measurements.  After so many years of business he didn't hesitate to in fur my uncle's hobbits.

Sirus

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Re: American Election Megathread
« Reply #2380 on: February 23, 2012, 07:40:31 pm »

Quote
Sirus, at least contribute something productive to this discussion instead of trying to be witty. kthxbai.
I'm not contributing to this discussion, because it's irrelevant to the main topic. You guys want to get reported, fine by me.
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NinjaBoot

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Re: American Election Megathread
« Reply #2381 on: February 23, 2012, 07:41:13 pm »

Sirus, at least contribute something productive to this discussion instead of trying to be witty. kthxbai.

This is absolutely laughable.

At this point, I am actually going to ask everyone, you especially though, to settle down.  This is going nowhere, you're bloating the Hell out of my thread because you haven't learned how to condense quotes, and I'm tired of watching it.

Alright then, I'll stop posting on your thread if that would please you.
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RedKing

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Re: American Election Megathread
« Reply #2382 on: February 24, 2012, 11:43:01 am »

Day 18 of the "Are we there yet??" update: the long, relentless Bataan Death March to the primaries.

Starting off with some non-poll stuff first.

Remember poor Buddy Roemer? He's finally said "Screw the GOP" and is trying to get the nomination under the Americans Elect banner.

Perhaps in an attempt to back out of what they sense is a losing proposition in the "Vagina Wars" of late, the GOP is now making quite the kerfluffle about gas prices. Even though the average US gas price is only up to where it was about six months ago and despite the fact that the US President does not, in fact, determine the price of gas. Of course, there's plenty of hypocrisy to go around on this issue, given that Democrats were howling about gas prices in 2008 when it was politically advantageous to do so (and admittedly, gas prices peaked about 50 cents/gal higher then than they are now).

I didn't watch the Arizona debates, but the general consensus is that it didn't really change anything. Santorum could really have put his foot on Romney's throat by having a solid debate performance, but since he didn't...


Now, on to the poll data:
National:
Rasmussen has some new general election polls showing Obama beating either Romney or Santorum in the fall by 6-7 points.

Michigan:
Good news for Team Romney this morning, as two seperate polls show the state narrowly swinging back to Romney. Rasmussen (which as we've noted before, seems to have a front-runner bias) shows the state at +6 for Mitt, and Mitchell/Rosetta Stone has it as +3.

Arizona:
Rasmussen also showing Arizona swinging back towards Romney, at +13, up five points from their own poll one week ago.

Here's the thing though...Michigan is proportional, so a close loss by Santorum isn't much different from a close win in terms of delegates. It's all about the narrative of this being Romney's "home state". For Romney, a narrow win isn't great, but it's still better than any kind of loss.

Arizona is winner-take-all, but it's not a huge state to begin with and it's penalized half its delegates for jumping its primary ahead of Super Tuesday. A win either way is not a game-changer. Again, it's about narrative. If Romney wins, it's expected. If he loses, especially given how far ahead he was at the beginning of February, it raises eyebrows.

Looking ahead, any momentum Romney gets out of wins in these two (if he indeed does win) is probably stalled out a week later on Super Tuesday. We've got:

Alaska (27 proportional delegates, closed caucus)
Georgia (76 proportional+ delegates, open primary)
Idaho (32 non-binding delegates, closed caucus)
Massachusetts (41 proportional+ delegates, open primary)
North Dakota (28 non-binding delegates, closed caucus)
Ohio (66 proportional++ delegates, open primary)
Oklahoma (43 proportional++ delegates, closed primary)
Tennessee (58 proportional++ delegates, open primary)
Vermont (17 hybrid delegates, open primary)
Virginia (49 hybrid++ delegates, open primary)

Okay, so what the hell does "proportional+" and "hybrid++" and such mean?
Proportional: Delegate pool is allocated to the candidates to match, as closely as possible, the proportions of the popular vote they got in the primary.
Proportional+: Delegates are awarded by Congressional districts won, with an additional portion awarded to the statewide winner.
Proportional++: As above, but if the statewide winner goes over a certain threshold (typically 50%), the entire delegate pool is awarded to that candidate. In essence, the race turns into a winner-take-all if there's a majority winner.
Hybrid: Some portion of the delegate pool is awarded by district, some portion to the statewide winner, and some proportional to the overall vote percentages.
Hybrid++: As Hybrid, but adds the "over 50% win turns the whole thing into winner-take-all" condition.

Why do we have so many variations on how to award delegates in a primary/caucus? I HAVE NO FUCKING IDEA. D:
« Last Edit: February 24, 2012, 11:54:45 am by RedKing »
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mainiac

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Re: American Election Megathread
« Reply #2383 on: February 24, 2012, 11:51:25 am »

It's sad that I'm a huge political nerd who follows politics year round and I'm still looking at the list of upcoming primaries and groaning.  Why is this shit so complicated?  Still, valiant work there RedKing.

I think that even a minor win by Santorum in Michigan makes this very close to a tossup race.  Santorum has done a lot better work consolidating the non-Romney votes (not the same as anti-Romney) then the smart money said he should have been able to do.  Romney is behind in national polls.  Romney will probably need to severely cut back on his ad spending soon.  Romney will gain in delegates but Santorum will have solidified his position and made this a 1 vs 1 race, exactly the situation he wants.
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Every winter my Uncle Bilbert used to go out and buy clothes for his entire hobbit family.  I remember the first year I came along with him shopping.  His tongue was swollen up so he was unable to speak but my uncle Bilbert was not concerned.  He simply took me and my cousins to town and proudly presented his young relatives to the shopkeeper.  The wise old clothesmaker just smiled and started taking measurements.  After so many years of business he didn't hesitate to in fur my uncle's hobbits.

PTTG??

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Re: American Election Megathread
« Reply #2384 on: February 24, 2012, 11:54:07 am »

Fracking has some similarities to geothermal wells; you dig down to naturally hot rock, cool it with water to crack it and make water channels, then fill the channels to produce upwelling steam. This can cause detectable tremors, but in general it's pretty good.

Now, natural gas is not perfect, but it has some qualities that make it a good compromise for transforming our economy:

1: Energy density similar to other fuels- batteries still can't match it, and hydrogen can't be compressed very well, or at least cheaply. If we want a different fuel, then it's going to have to be Ngas.
2: While far from elven tree forest dancy happy pony-type clean, it's better than oil and far, far better than coal.
3: There's pretty good-sized reserves of it in the US. I won't venture to guess how long they'd last because those predictions aren't great, but at least it will tide us over while we develop better sources of energy.

Now, the downsides:
1: Fracking hazards: yes, there are definitely hazards to fracking. It won't cause Florida to sink into the sea or create burning death-fields like that coalmine that's still burning somewhere. Honestly, it's probably no worse than regular oil mining when it comes to polution. If someone wants to frack in an area, then you monitor the water quality regularly, and make them responsible for any changes. They do that when they set up a garbage dump; my aunt gets free drinking water to supplement well water because they're close to a county dump.
2: The same old oil barons will get the natural gas wells, and the profit. Now, communities that allow fracking are running a risk... so why not have them benefit directly from the well's success?
3: I won't go into details here, but someone else will, I'm sure, explain that natural gas sneaks out of the tank at night and breaks into people's houses and messes up the place.

So, I can't say that it's good, but I think that in some places it might be good, and that it is certainly better than continuing to use oil. So here's my proposal:

Do everything locally. On a county-by-county basis, people vote whether or not to be a part of a nationwide "fracking permitted union" or whatever. All counties in this union have the same natural gas mining laws- otherwise it would be a mess of conflicting regulations that nobody wants. In an FPU county, frackers need to explicitly select the region they'll be working, and the potentially effected area cannot include any non-FPU counties. Anyone in that region can get drinking water delivered or a filtration system, no questions asked. In addition, a profit sharing system is set up for all the effected people (possibly based on tax credit).

If the well goes well, then the miners get to make a profit, the end users get cleaner, cheaper power, and the inhabitants of the region get paid for taking the risk of letting them set up- plus a level of security from any potential water problems.

If the well goes bad, then the company has to clean up their mess, the people in the area get to keep the water and filters, and communities that didn't want it would never have to deal with it at all.

I, personally, would vote to be in the FPU... I guess the biggest problem is that if you vote against it and your county goes in anyway, then, well, that's what democracy can do sometimes, and why even in FPU counties, there's heavy protection for the inhabitants from potential side effects of the wells.
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