Politics (formerly Election 2012)

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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Darielle » Sat Mar 02, 2013 7:04 pm

Sorry, I mistyped that. The first part is the violation of the 15th amendment, the latter is the 14th.


Unless you're claiming that this is somehow a debt being paid, you're going to have to actually go into more detail on this part to explain how you think this comes into play.

We already know that they "had" a pattern, fifty years ago. There is clear data here. Analysis has shown that there is no difference between covered and uncovered areas. As you already mentioned, the objection rate at this point is less than .1%. That is 55 times less than it was in the 60s. Minority registration and participation rates (original metrics used in the 60s) in the covered areas are also solid. Could a particular district still have a problem? Sure, though just because a Justice makes that claim during questioning, doesn't make it true. I can't say I'm particularly familiar with Shelby county, but it's impossible to argue that the covered areas as a whole are still following that pattern, the data just doesn't exist to support that claim.


And it's amazing progress that the rate has gone so far down compared to 50 years ago. It doesn't really exclude the case of "Is there a problem still existing?" however.
If the metric used for determining which counties should be affected are outdated, that can be changed. Considering all the counties still affected have not been able to, since 1982, provide evidence that they are NOT in such a pattern (while other counties have), it is still reaching to suggest that the pattern has ended (in the case of all counties still covered by preclearance), however.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Fridmarr » Sat Mar 02, 2013 7:45 pm

You lost me on the debt thing. I'm not sure what you are asking.

The problem as I said, is that the federal government requiring pre-approval before state/local legislation can be enacted is extraordinary. It's almost certainly unconstitutional in all but the extreme cases. There's no extreme anymore, which again is why the justices are scrutinizing it in the first place.

These covered areas don't have a particular problem that needs solved, certainly nothing that other areas don't have. Don't confuse not able too bail out with not trying too. Petitioning the federal gov't to bail out is no routine task. There's more than 12,000 districts that are covered, and some are tiny (obviously) they don't exactly maintain legal staff. It's beyond cost prohibitive.

There's no metric that currently supports something different, because there's no metric that differentiates these areas at the moment. Section 2 covers all of this just fine.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Koatanga » Sat Mar 02, 2013 9:18 pm

Fridmarr wrote:You lost me on the debt thing. I'm not sure what you are asking.

The problem as I said, is that the federal government requiring pre-approval before state/local legislation can be enacted is extraordinary. It's almost certainly unconstitutional in all but the extreme cases. There's no extreme anymore, which again is why the justices are scrutinizing it in the first place.

These covered areas don't have a particular problem that needs solved, certainly nothing that other areas don't have. Don't confuse not able too bail out with not trying too. Petitioning the federal gov't to bail out is no routine task. There's more than 12,000 districts that are covered, and some are tiny (obviously) they don't exactly maintain legal staff. It's beyond cost prohibitive.

There's no metric that currently supports something different, because there's no metric that differentiates these areas at the moment. Section 2 covers all of this just fine.

Where you a situation where there is a racial minority that is being oppressed, those of that minority may not feel the liberty to complain without reprisal. One day someone gets brave enough to, the Fed investigates, finds evidence, and makes whatever corrections are necessary - system working as intended. But maybe the person who blew the whistle gets some threats and decides not to complain the next time rules are changed in an unfair manner.

That's why the Fed should be watching areas where racial or minority oppression was previously happening, to assure that it doesn't happen again instead of waiting around for someone to file a complaint. It's not as if the people who tried before are all gone and replaced by ethical individuals. The same crooks are still in power there and will try it again if they think they can get away with it.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Darielle » Sat Mar 02, 2013 10:30 pm

These covered areas don't have a particular problem that needs solved, certainly nothing that other areas don't have


You know those are two separate concepts :P

Don't confuse not able too bail out with not trying too. Petitioning the federal gov't to bail out is no routine task. There's more than 12,000 districts that are covered, and some are tiny (obviously) they don't exactly maintain legal staff. It's beyond cost prohibitive.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northwest_ ... _v._Holder

It's almost certainly unconstitutional in all but the extreme cases. There's no extreme anymore, which again is why the justices are scrutinizing it in the first place.


No, not really. Unlike in previous cases where people were arguing that they qualified for bailout and were incorrectly rejected, Shelby County does NOT have that, and is not trying to argue that. But a few random comments by Scalia don't actually mean the constitutionality will necessarily be addressed, even if scrutinised.

Even some of the Justices that are questioning whether the metrics used should apply aren't actually suggesting that the constitutionality is a point of concern, merely whether the forumula used is appropriate or whether a new formula needs to be used.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby fuzzygeek » Sun Mar 03, 2013 9:36 am

Here's an article that suggests Scalia insinuated that Mass. is more racist than Mississippi based on voter representation, and that he may be wrong based on the actual statistics and margins of error: http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Justice/20 ... rts-hints/

There were a few things I found interesting:
- an ID requirement is seen as racist because it is a "poll tax"
- some of the Sect 5 jurisdictions have higher proportions of blacks voting than whites
- the article closes with citing numbers of black representatives, and how they have increased since 1986, citing these numbers as testaments to the success of Sect 5.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Fridmarr » Sun Mar 03, 2013 10:54 am

Yeah, I think MA is flipping out a bit. Maybe he didn't use the most current data, but he wasn't far off, and even they admit that the overall point of his argument is fine... http://www.fairvote2020.org/2008/02/afr ... ation.html. I don't think he was saying that MA is more racist, just that the metrics are not what people tend to think.

I'm glad you quoted that case, as having read the brief, it confirms all the significant points I've been making. It's worth noting though, it does nothing to refute the point in which you quoted of me. My claim that it's difficult for many jurisdictions to petition the federal gov't to bail out, actually relies on that case. Had that case not happened there's not even close to 12,000 jurisdictions who can even apply for bailout.

Now, to the points I've been repeatedly making that are within that decision, as written by Roberts and enjoined by seven other members of the court. I'll quote directly from the brief, minus case references:

First, that the pre-approval notion is an extraordinary requirement that likely wouldn't be constitutional nationwide.
The Supreme Court wrote:We concluded that the problems Congress faced when it passed the Act were so dire that “exceptional conditions [could] justify legislative measures not otherwise appropriate.”...

At the same time, §5, “which authorizes federal intrusion into sensitive areas of state and local policymaking, imposes substantial ‘federalism costs.’ ” These federalism costs have caused Members of this Court to express serious misgivings about the constitutionality of §5.


The notion that the justification needs to be current.
The Supreme Court wrote: These improvements are no doubt due in significant part to the Voting Rights Act itself, and stand as a monument to its success. Past success alone, however, is not adequate justification to retain the preclearance requirements. It may be that these improvements are insufficient and that conditions continue to warrant preclearance under the Act. But the Act imposes current burdens and must be justified by current needs.


The conflict with section 2 and the 14th amendment (equal protection clause)
The Supreme Court wrote:The Act also differentiates between the States, despite our historic tradition that all the States enjoy “equal sovereignty.” Distinctions can be justified in some cases. “The doctrine of the equality of States … does not bar … remedies for local evils which have subsequently appeared.” But a departure from the fundamental principle of equal sovereignty requires a showing that a statute’s disparate geographic coverage is sufficiently related to the problem that it targets.

These federalism concerns are underscored by the argument that the preclearance requirements in one State would be unconstitutional in another. (“Race cannot be the predominant factor in redistricting under our decision in Miller v. Johnson, 515 U. S. 900 (1995) . Yet considerations of race that would doom a redistricting plan under the Fourteenth Amendment or §2 seem to be what save it under §5”). Additional constitutional concerns are raised in saying that this tension between §§2 and 5 must persist in covered jurisdictions and not elsewhere.


The brief for the case pretty much covers my take, articulating it better than I can, and with obvious authority. I'll just defer argument to the brief.

I don't know how the court will rule, they may leave things as they are, change the metrics, or toss out section 5, but the issues that I have been pointing out are clearly valid and warrant constitutional scrutiny.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Koatanga » Sun Mar 03, 2013 12:14 pm

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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Darielle » Sun Mar 03, 2013 2:29 pm

I'm glad you quoted that case, as having read the brief, it confirms all the significant points I've been making. It's worth noting though, it does nothing to refute the point in which you quoted of me. My claim that it's difficult for many jurisdictions to petition the federal gov't to bail out, actually relies on that case. Had that case not happened there's not even close to 12,000 jurisdictions who can even apply for bailout.
....


That wasn't my point. I wasn't refuting your claim that it's "difficult", my point is that if the SC finds it is difficult, they won't necessarily act against the law so much as enforce that the DoJ must make the process easier.

The notion that the justification needs to be current.
...
The conflict with section 2 and the 14th amendment (equal protection clause)


You know, those are actually the same thing, in that if the justification is current (and it would have to involve the geographic coverage for that), it would be a justified distinction.

More, when you look at the entire reason why they didn't actually try and make a decision about the constituionality last time, the same can be applied to Shelby County (a new metric would cover Shelby anyway, and they would be working with the same out-clause as before).
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Klaudandus » Tue Mar 05, 2013 10:41 am

Wow... walker is like a real life supervillain... or at least writing his resume to be one
http://www.duluthnewstribune.com/event/ ... id/260375/
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Klaudandus » Tue Mar 05, 2013 11:43 am

Also...

Another follow-up on Scalia and his comments on the Voting Rights Act: Antonin Scalia's Uber-activism

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I like how the article references these other articles
http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_ ... tives.html
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/31/us/co ... .html?_r=0
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Fridmarr » Tue Mar 05, 2013 4:01 pm

That's a terrible article which totally misses at what is at the heart of Scalia's problem with section 5.  People here are capable of much more compelling logic than that piece.
 
First of all, he's trying to make the claim that Scalia is now willing inject the court into a legislative matter, where in the past Scalia  was not willing to make that jump.  That's true, but the part he misses is Scalia's reasons are very specific to this case and frankly, compelling. 
 
In each of the analogies he presents, Scalia was opting to put the decision process into the hands of the people whom the laws would affect through their elected representatives.  However, in this case the people do not have any ability elect the the vast majority of the people who enact or administer this law.  In fact, this particular law limits the ability of their elected representatives to represent the people.  The pre-approval situation puts our form of government on its head and comes with extra scrutiny as has been pointed out by the court in previous cases.  The author acts as if it is odd that Mr. Scalia might find this legislation as "uniquely egregious" but a major part of the problem with section 5 is it's extraordinary (and fairly unqiue) requirement of pre-clearance.
 
Finally, he's goes on to make the now all too common erroneous link that Mr. Scalia equates an equal right to vote with a racial entitlement.  Scalia's comment about the racial entitlement was specific to section 5 and not an equal right to vote.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Klaudandus » Wed Mar 06, 2013 11:51 am

First, Obama has a time machine, then he has a hurricane machine, now he has cancer beams!
http://gawker.com/5988851/venezuela-cha ... irculation
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby fuzzygeek » Wed Mar 06, 2013 10:56 pm

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/pos ... n-brennan/

Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. responded to Paul’s inquiry Monday, saying the administration has “no intention” of carrying out drone strikes on suspected terrorists in the United States, but could use them in response to “an extraordinary circumstance” such as a major terrorist attack.

Paul called Holder’s refusal to rule out drone strikes within the United States “more than frightening.”

On Wednesday, Paul elaborated on his concerns: “When I asked the president, can you kill an American on American soil, it should have been an easy answer. It’s an easy question. It should have been a resounding, an unequivocal, ‘No.’ The president’s response? He hasn’t killed anyone yet. We’re supposed to be comforted by that.”


Bad PR on a reasonable policy, or policy beyond the pale?
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Nooska » Thu Mar 07, 2013 3:31 am

Eerh..

Yes, it should have been an unequivocal "no" as the "kill an american on american soil" - I'm pretty sure there are some constitutional issues with denying due trial to US citizens on US soil and just skipping to the execution, and I'm pretty sure there would be a federal charge of murder in the first degree and complicity charges against anyone involved in the order and execution of such an order / UCMJ charges of same (in addition to whatever other charges for abuse of power, abuse of government materials etc could be thought up)
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Jabari » Thu Mar 07, 2013 8:25 am

fuzzygeek wrote:Bad PR on a reasonable policy, or policy beyond the pale?

The fact that this question is even being asked is frightening.

Here, let's try this again:
A future administration, using such lovely precedent wrote:...the administration has “no intention” of carrying out drone strikes on suspected terrorists in the United States, but could use them in response to “an extraordinary circumstance” such as a terrorist attack somebody saying something negative about the admistration on the internet.


And for those of you who still think that there's any difference between Rs and Ds:
http://market-ticker.org/akcs-www?post=218430

(They're all part of the same bi-factional ruling elite. We're either a nation of laws, or one of serfs...)
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Koatanga » Thu Mar 07, 2013 12:20 pm

If I am holed up in a bunker somewhere in upstate New York, surrounded by motion-activated machine guns, mines, and booby traps, with a home-built rocket and a former Soviet nuclear warhead I bought off the internet, and I threaten to blow up New York unless they pay me $1 million - no wait, $100 billion - then I am basically giving permission for some serious hardware to rain down on my ass.

At that point I don't get to say "but wait, I am an American citizen so you have to give me due process while I push this red button".

I am not recommending the use of drones to blow up people with unpaid parking tickets, but you can't rule out the possibility there will be some circumstance in which the use of drones is potentially appropriate. Any Commander in Chief, giving an unequivocal "no" to any method of protecting the sovereignty of the US or the citizens therein would be lying.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Darielle » Thu Mar 07, 2013 12:42 pm

Yes, it should have been an unequivocal "no" as the "kill an american on american soil"


It is pretty much guaranteed that if you actually have a major terrorist attack that you will be making choices to minimise damage, regardless of citizenry of the people attacking. Or even if it's straight up damage mitigation, like a choice of bringing down the plane killing everyone on board or letting it hit the Towers.

You could spin that as "Hey, we might start executing people if we feel like it", but ... eh.
I will give credit to Paul in the sense that he actually voiced his concerns appropriately though. He's still spinning it well out into paranoia, but at least his methodology is decent.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby fuzzygeek » Thu Mar 07, 2013 1:04 pm

Jabari wrote:
fuzzygeek wrote:Bad PR on a reasonable policy, or policy beyond the pale?

The fact that this question is even being asked is frightening.

Here, let's try this again:
A future administration, using such lovely precedent wrote:...the administration has “no intention” of carrying out drone strikes on suspected terrorists in the United States, but could use them in response to “an extraordinary circumstance” such as a terrorist attack somebody saying something negative about the admistration on the internet.


What is the difference between a drone strike and shooting someone with a gun?

Darielle wrote:He's still spinning it well out into paranoia, but at least his methodology is decent.


It is the nature of Government to grow beyond initial scope and intentions. I don't know if it's possible to construct a believable contrary argument.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Koatanga » Thu Mar 07, 2013 1:50 pm

The President is already empowered to detain anyone indefinitely without due process by simply designating the individual an "enemy combatant" at his sole discretion and without requirement of evidence of any kind. So it's not necessary to use drones for assassination of inconvenient people. It's easier to just lock them up and throw away the key.

So if a drone is to be used, it's going to be in an emergency situation where time is a critical factor and it's too dangerous or impractical to send in a sniper or perform an air strike.

Which gets back to the question - what's the difference between a drone and a SWAT team in a "hot" situation? If the goal is to prevent some wacko from doing any more harm, and the wacko doesn't want to stop, the ultimate end is likely that the wacko is going to get killed or kill himself. Whether at the hand of a remote-piloted device or a rifle is pretty much irrelevant.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Nooska » Fri Mar 08, 2013 3:47 am

The difference between a drone and a sniper/SWAT team? Collateral damage and risk to bystanders.

An ethical difference is that when performing executions by drone strike, there is a psychological ease of doing so because you are not actually there. It becomes more like a computer game for the operator, and that ease is an ethical problem - it seems clean compared to sending in someone with a highpowered rifle and scope that actually has to pull a trigger, while in actuality it is more messy.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Koatanga » Fri Mar 08, 2013 12:52 pm

Nooska wrote:The difference between a drone and a sniper/SWAT team? Collateral damage and risk to bystanders.

An ethical difference is that when performing executions by drone strike, there is a psychological ease of doing so because you are not actually there. It becomes more like a computer game for the operator, and that ease is an ethical problem - it seems clean compared to sending in someone with a highpowered rifle and scope that actually has to pull a trigger, while in actuality it is more messy.


Again, one would consider the circumstances. There is no way a drone strike or air strike or even an RPG attack would be called when there are innocents in the potential damage range.

But in a circumstance where need is imminent and it would be dangerous to send in a SWAT team, why not spare the lives of the SWAT members and simply solve the issue? Think of a drone as a really big, really slow RPG round. The advantage of the drone over an RPG is that if the operator sees potential innocents in the target range, he can abort, whereas once the RPG is fired, it's going to hit what it's going to hit.

The ethical difference is you are not getting people killed who have committed no crime (SWAT members, police officers, Homeland Security goons, TSA rejects, FBI dudes) while executing someone who is in the process of trying to kill other innocent people. The life of a psychopath means less to me than the life of a law-abiding citizen or civil servant.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Klaudandus » Fri Mar 08, 2013 2:11 pm

A follow-up on Louisiana and its voucher schools
http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/sideshow/hi ... 34876.html
http://www.motherjones.com/blue-marble/ ... ax-dollars

And this is why I dont agree with state money going to some of these schools.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Aubade » Fri Mar 08, 2013 4:29 pm

Koatanga wrote:
Nooska wrote:The difference between a drone and a sniper/SWAT team? Collateral damage and risk to bystanders.

An ethical difference is that when performing executions by drone strike, there is a psychological ease of doing so because you are not actually there. It becomes more like a computer game for the operator, and that ease is an ethical problem - it seems clean compared to sending in someone with a highpowered rifle and scope that actually has to pull a trigger, while in actuality it is more messy.


Again, one would consider the circumstances. There is no way a drone strike or air strike or even an RPG attack would be called when there are innocents in the potential damage range.

But in a circumstance where need is imminent and it would be dangerous to send in a SWAT team, why not spare the lives of the SWAT members and simply solve the issue? Think of a drone as a really big, really slow RPG round. The advantage of the drone over an RPG is that if the operator sees potential innocents in the target range, he can abort, whereas once the RPG is fired, it's going to hit what it's going to hit.

The ethical difference is you are not getting people killed who have committed no crime (SWAT members, police officers, Homeland Security goons, TSA rejects, FBI dudes) while executing someone who is in the process of trying to kill other innocent people. The life of a psychopath means less to me than the life of a law-abiding citizen or civil servant.


I think the point he's trying to make is that the innocent bystanders who aren't psychopaths are being killed with little to no recourse to the people who shot the strike, because they're sitting behind a computer all comfortable like. Whereas if you send a real person in there, there's a much smaller (albiet still there) risk of collateral damage on innocents.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Koatanga » Fri Mar 08, 2013 8:35 pm

Aubade wrote:I think the point he's trying to make is that the innocent bystanders who aren't psychopaths are being killed with little to no recourse to the people who shot the strike, because they're sitting behind a computer all comfortable like. Whereas if you send a real person in there, there's a much smaller (albiet still there) risk of collateral damage on innocents.

Again, if there are innocents in range, you don't use a big boom, regardless of what kind of boom it is. That should go without saying, because it's so obvious.

I am just saying that no Commander in Chief would ever completely discount the possibility of using something in his arsenal that may be the right tool for the job. To answer the question with a categorical "No" would be just silly, if he can conceive of even one possibility where a drone would be the safest and most effective method to deal with an imminent threat to the sovereignty of the US.

If you are the president of the US and the *only* way to deal with a direct and imminent threat is to use a nuclear strike, do you reject that and risk the sovereignty of the nation? Of course not. You're there to protect that sovereignty against all threats, foreign and domestic. There is no fine print restricting you to certain methods.

People who are already inclined to hate the man may take that to mean he'll wantonly authorise drone strikes all over the US, but who cares what they think because there's no possible answer that would make them like him anyway. What he shouldn't do is limit his own authority as Commander in Chief.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Skye1013 » Fri Mar 08, 2013 10:19 pm

I'm with Koatanga on this one. It's not like that will become the first option in every situation, it would merely be an option for specific situations.

As I've been told in leadership training... if you have to discipline someone, you don't start with the nuke unless the situation absolutely warrants it (drinking & driving wouldn't just get a slap on the wrist, especially if someone was injured from it.)



In other news, the White House is ending official tours until further notice.
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