Andy9o8

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Posts posted by Andy9o8


  1. Quote

    Disagree - McCain would have been bound by the SOFA Bush signed just like Obama was.



    Maybe, but maybe not. The SOFA was not a treaty formally ratified by the Senate under Article II of the Constitution (in fact, only a small minority of US international agreements treaties are of the "Senate-ratified treaty" version nowadays). Instead, the SOFA is more properly classified as either a Congressional-Executive Agreement, or a Sole-Executive Agreement. That alone gives a president some wiggle room to unilaterally breach or modify the terms of such an agreement.

    Additionally, in 1979 the Supreme Court declined to hear a case where Congress challenged President Carter's authority to unilaterally abrogate a defense treaty. The federal courts also declined to intervene to prevent President Bush from unilaterally withdrawing the US from the ABM treaty in 2002.

    The effect of all this is that if a President McCain decided that he wanted to act in conflict with the SOFA, there is some precedent that the federal courts would probably let him get away with it. Plus, I don't see McCain as the kind of guy who backs away from a fight (usually) when he feels strongly principled about something. Plus-plus, the SOFA applies principally to combat troops, not to troops technically classified as non-combat advisors. Which means that troops can be justified in being there if they're re-classified to non-combat designations. In December 2009, Secretary of Defense Gates predicted that the US would still have upwards of 10,000 "non-combat" troops in Iraq after December, 2011.

    So on this basis, I still think there's support for my "historical what-if" prediction.

  2. Quote

    I think [McCain] felt that withdrawing US troops before Iraq was capable of providing their own security was a big mistake.



    I think that's a fair way of describing his position. I doubt that McCain as president would have felt that was accomplished during his first term.

  3. Quote

    I don't think personally that the seat belt will help much in an accident, but it might keep the bodies from all ending up in one small spot. Maybe make it easier for the EMS to locate everyone or if it just a slight bump ( is that possible?) keep everyone from landing up on top of one person.



    I'm pretty sure that in the Frontier Skydivers plane crash in 2010, the single fatality was the only person not strapped-in at impact.

  4. Quote

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    Tampering with evidence charges are being considered



    Good, please let us know if they proceed.


    The main officer in this story is the mayor of another town close by

    It has been about 6 weeks since this all happened
    It has just gotten very quiet



    Local news outlets have a way of disrupting that kind of quietude; and reporters are always looking for a story. Hint, hint.

  5. Quote

    Why do you think McCain would have us deeply involved in Iraq?



    Because McCain is more of a mission-oriented thinker than a deadline-oriented thinker.

    Obama subscribed to the school of thought that, after a period of time in Iraq, enough is enough, and one way or another, it would be time to leave.

    McCain as President would have been continuously assessing whether the US/UN mission in Iraq had been successfully accomplished. That's rather abstract, though, since the mission was subject to "mission creep", i.e., the constant re-defining of what the mission is. The logical result is that McCain's mission-oriented approach would very probably have extended the withdrawal farther down the time-line than Obama's time-oriented approach did.

    Put simply, Obama's approach was essentially to say "We're leaving because it's time to go", whereas a President McCain would likely have set the policy "We're leaving when the job is done"; and the latter approach would probably have taken take longer.

  6. Quote

    And the MOMENT the supreme court gave companies the same legal rights as citizens.....we fucked ourselves HARD!



    Perfect illustration of my point!

    And the 5-justice majority that decided the case was Kennedy, Roberts, Thomas, Scalia and Roberts, each of whom were appointed by Republican presidents. Of the 4-justice minority, only Justice Stevens was appointed by a Republican, that was President Gerald Ford, who was not an ideologue, back in 1975, when appointing moderates to the SCOTUS was a lot more commonplace.

    Regardless of how one feels about the Citizens United decision, I guarantee you, had there been one more justice on the court that had been appointed by a Democrat, the decision would have gone the other way.

    And yet everyone keeps on repeating the same tired, old cliche. Whatever; I've made my point, and I've backed them up with plenty of details.

  7. Quote

    For POTUS? Not in the least.
    It's really sad how we're under the impression that it does.



    There's a huge difference in the SCOTUS justices appointed by Nixon, Reagan and the Bushes, versus those appointed by Clinton and Obama.

    I do think a President Gore would have gone after al-Quaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan. I seriously doubt he would have invaded Iraq.

    President McCain would still have us deeply involved in Iraq. Ironically, he might have had the guts to shut down Guantanamo by now, a promise Obama reneged on, to the deep chagrin of those who voted for him.

    On the other hand, in Justice Department policy re:, say, civil liberties, police powers, etc., I haven't seen a whit of difference since Obama took office.

  8. Quote

    Does it really matter who you vote for?



    It depends:

    Legislation: If the president is Party X, and both houses of Congress are Party X, you'll see a lot of "X-ish" laws getting passed. That is all the more so if party X has a filibuster-proof super-majority in the Senate. Lacking this, however, Party Y in Congress will have some success at keeping some of the President's X-ish agenda in check, either via parliamentary blockage, or by forcing compromise.

    Administrative regulations: i.e., regulations put out (and/or enforced - or not enforced) by agencies like the FTC, FCC, DEA, EEOC, etc. Such agencies regulate an awful lot of things that directly affect the lives of people and the affairs of businesses. They are also all part of the Executive branch, so the President's administration can have a great deal influence over what they do, and do not, do.

    Federal trial- and appellate-level judges, and the US Supreme Court: The President has a huge amount of influence over who gets on the bench, because all of these are appointed by the President (subject to confirmation by the Senate). All federal judicial appointments are for lifetime, so presidents can use this power to indirectly affect public law and policy for literally decades after they have left office. So if you care about who will be on the SCOTUS, it really does matter who you vote for, for president.

  9. Quote

    I lost interest at "99% tandem".

    I'm sorry, but I don't think tandem factories have much to do with regular skydiving. They provide a carnival ride, is all.

    But perhaps I'm missing a bigger picture.



    Indeed you are. (In addition to the above points,) if it's easy for NIMBYs to run a tandem DZ off an airport, no DZ will be safe from attack. As the old saying goes, "freedom isn't free". So for everyone's sake every one of these attacks has to be fought.

  10. Quote

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    >Atheists will never understand faith until they grow enough balls to take the leap.

    And many religious will never consider atheism until they find the courage to face death.



    Ya, as if dying without having to face the consequences of your actions is so courageous...I bet any coward would just love that.



    Uh, you misunderstood his post. He means having the courage to face that death is the end; in other words, to not try to draw comfort from a belief in a hereafter, "better place", etc.

  11. Props to StreetScooby, who started it. :P

    12 Reasons to Vote Republican in 2012

    Not sure who you're going to vote for in 2012? Well check out this list and see if you aren't convinced to vote Republican!

    12 Reasons to Vote Republican in 2012:

    1) Because Jesus said "Thou shall give tax cuts to the obscenely wealthy."

    2) If you believe the government should stay out of your life! Unless of course, it's at the doctors, at the church, in the bedroom, involves guns, or a woman's body.

    3) Because despite the only reference to God in any government documents from the Founding Era is the word "Creator" in the Declaration of Independence, which isn't actually a governing document, we are a Christian Nation founded on Christian principles!

    4) Because even though gay marriage wouldn't affect my marriage, it's still wrong! (Look what Jesus said about it! Oh wait...)

    5) Because women don't NEED rights, dangit!

    6) Because we need to help those who were born able to help themselves!

    7) Because rich people need tax breaks more than poor people need food!

    8) Because we need to invade countries and outspend the rest of the world combined on defense instead of fixing our schools!

    9) Because lower taxes magically increases jobs and increases revenue!*

    10) Because lower spending magically increases jobs and increases revenue!*

    11) Regulations are for European hippies! God will save the environment! Jesus Jesus Jesus, God, the Bible, guns, Amen.

    12) Because science is a global conspiracy. We don't need to ejumacate our kids about no evolution or no global climate change! God will save the environment! Jesus Jesus Jesus, God, the Bible, guns, Amen.

    *Giving more guns to everyone would also have the same effect.

    See, don't you get it now? We all have to vote Republican in 2012 to save 'Merica!

  12. When he does shit like this:

    http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2012/01/06/kansas-house-speaker-apologizes-for-calling-first-lady-mrs-yomama/

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    Kansas House Speaker apologizes for calling First Lady ‘Mrs. YoMama’

    January 6, 2012

    The Republican speaker of the Kansas statehouse issued an apology this week after sending emails from his personal account referring to First Lady Michelle Obama as “Mrs. YoMama” and quoting a Bible verse cited by some as a reference to presidential assassination.



    Certain right-wingers in here get real hard-ons pointing to some Democrat acting like an asshole, and then asking, "Why are the liberals silent about this? The silence is deafening!"

    Republicans who conscientiously care about their party should step up and call this kind of shit out for what it is, and what it does to the image, and the future, of their party. (Barry Goldwater, for example, certainly did, during the last years of his life.)
    And that includes calling-out the people who reveal their own closet racism by habitually bleating "Race card!" to those who do call it out.

  13. As long as weed remains illegal, and drug-testing in the workplace remains common, a comparison re: usage is difficult. The increasing prevalence of workplace drug testing has probably contributed to far more abstinence over, say, the past 10 years or so than mere illegality ever has. Repeal the illegality and ban non-safety related drug testing in the workplace, and you'd have a genuine choice.

    And Quade makes a good point: when I'm out to dinner, do I choose between a stout or an IPA? A chianti or a pinot noir? Single malt, neat? A margarita on the beach? I'm not willing to give all that up for Panama Red.

  14. Quote

    I see noting wrong with this approach.
    I see nothing wrong with teaching Creationism right along side of Evolutionism.

    "OK, students...here's Creationist theory and where it comes from and here's Evolution theory and where it comes from."

    What's the big deal?



    The big deal is emobdied in your use of the term "right along side". The only place Creationism should be taught is in a religion class. Most certainly not in a science class. Now, some people will say that it's OK to teach it in Social Studies class, looking at the "comparative history" of the two approaches (or as you phrase it, "here's where X and Y each come from"). But that's bullshit; it's just another thinly-veiled way of teaching (read: enabling the indoctrination of) "creation science", even if the class is not called "science" (or "religion").

    Creationism and evolution are not intellectual equivalents, any more than the biblical story of Moses and the burning bush and the science of combustion are equivalents. They're completely separate things, and should be taught as completely separate things.