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Jun 3, 2014 rationaland commented on Seattle Will Not be Affordable Without First a Real Public Transportation System.
We could create a political movement to extract taxes from people to throw money at huge infrastructure projects to provide mediocre alternatives to cars.

Or one small independent unified group could assess the physical problem of accomplishing many small point-to-point trips whose paths don't coincide, accept the engineering constraint that a single large transportation device cannot move along these many non-coinciding paths, accept the consequence that many small transportation devices are required, and modify the physical nature of the existing small transportation devices (cars) so they keep using the existing infrastructure (roads, auto manufacturing plants) but work fundamentally differently, and much better, because they have been physically transformed to be _self-driving_.

Technological solutions are often preferable to social solutions because tech solutions generally require less coercion of individuals. Google is moving right along with their self-driving cars, which should eliminate the bulk of the need for individual car ownership and fix this problem without having to rip the cities to pieces.

Jan 24, 2013 rationaland commented on Clinton or Warren in 2016?.
Hillary Clinton should obviously run for vice-president, backing up a female candidate like Kirsten Gillibrand.

There's 2 basic scenarios for 2016:

1) Obama executes his strategy, everything's basically on-track, and what the country will need is a feel-good president. Think 1960 or 2000.

2) Some huge disaster, like a lost military confrontation, has people scared, and what the country will want is a strong president. Think 1968.

In case #1, I want Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York. She'll be 49 on Election Day 2016, her two boys will be 10 and 7, she is beautiful, her husband is handsome and rich and British, and they could give JFK and Jackie a run for their money. Hillary Clinton's role there is to bring experience and gravitas to the ticket, while going all-in on women leading the nation. Gillibrand/Clinton 2016.

In case #2, the Democrats will be in trouble. Every electoral vote will count, and for that reason I'll want Senator Tim Kaine of Virginia. A Virginian starts with an awesome map -- 255 electoral votes and five independent paths to 270 -- and we will need that advantage. We'll also need to shore up Wisconsin and not disappoint women, so probably Senator Tammy Baldwin for veep. Kaine/Baldwin 2016.

On down the line, if it's Gillibrand/Clinton 2017-2025, then I'm hoping for an epic battle in 2024 between Cory Booker of New Jersey, who will likely run for and win Lautenberg's Senate seat in 2014, and either Julian or Joaquin Castro of Texas. If Julian Castro becomes president in 2025, it'll provide a nice symmetry, first black president followed by first female president followed by first Latino president. If there are any Republican heads left to be exploded, then a "President Castro" should do it.

By 2032 Generation X will be passing out of national affairs. Representative Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii, who will be 51 on Election Day 2032, could be the first president from the Millenial Generation, as well as the second female president, the first female veteran, and the first Hindu president.
Jan 20, 2013 rationaland commented on Obama Officially Sworn In.
Roberts screwed it up again. When you're swearing someone in, you feed the oath-taker the exact words they're supposed to say.

Roberts started out right. "I, Barack Hussein Obama" that's correct so far: Roberts used the pronoun "I" so Obama could repeat back exactly what Roberts gave him. But then at the end --

"... so help you God." NO NO NO. NO. Roberts was supposed to say "... so help me God." not make Obama convert the pronoun on the fly.

Sheesh. He did the same thing last time, along with a bunch of other stuff (http://www.electoral-vote.com/evp2009/Se…).
Dec 6, 2012 rationaland commented on Yes, Seriously: PPP Has Done the First Poll of the 2016 Presidential Race.
Kirsten Gillibrand for president, Hillary Clinton for vice-president 2016.
Oct 29, 2012 rationaland commented on A Perfect Storm for Vote-by-Mail.
@1 I haven't got my ballot at my new east coast address, either, even though I changed address by phone before the deadline in early October.
Oct 17, 2012 rationaland commented on Here Are the Most Important Moments of Tonight's Presidential Debate.
Yeah, here's Paul's piece: http://www.thestranger.com/seattle/down-…

"Something that I often forget about Obama, though, is that he has another, special kind of genius. He always knows how much energy he needs to expend, and he doesn’t expend any more than that amount. Obama never plays an ace when a two will do."

And then

"For the first time, Obama is in danger of taking a little too much joy at attacking his opponent."

This was that. But he avoided the danger. The attack was just right.
Oct 16, 2012 rationaland commented on Here Are the Most Important Moments of Tonight's Presidential Debate.
#12 No, Romney is destroyed. Remember Paul's comment about how Obama only uses that energy that is necessary, and no more. That's what we saw here.
Oct 16, 2012 rationaland commented on Here Are the Most Important Moments of Tonight's Presidential Debate.
This YouTube clip --

"The suggestion ... that anybody on my team would play politics or mislead when we've lost four of our own, Governor, is offensive"

-- doesn't have the impact it did live. You don't have the context of the whole debate, where you'd gotten used to a certain range of tone. Obama changed right there, for one phrase, and it was shocking.

Obama was angry. I've never seen the president angry before. And I know why he was angry. The president and the secretary of state have many people working for them, but a diplomat like the ambassador to Libya is not just another agent or employee. That kind of person is a peer.

Obama and Clinton were badly affected by Hill's death. Going to meet those particular caskets must have been terrible.

When Romney used the death for a political attack, the contrast between the ambassador, a highly accomplished person doing serious work, and Romney, a slimy exploiter throwing a low blow, brought out the real personal animosity Obama feels. The president is extraordinarily careful and controlled -- remember how he laughed at the White House Correspondents' Dinner when Seth Myers made that joke about Osama bin Laden, when Obama and Gates had just secretly put out the hit? Cool as they come -- but right then, he knew he could loosen the control just enough to let out a jet of real anger.

That was frightening, actually. This is the most powerful man on the planet, who never gets angry, and he used a tone on Romney we've never heard before. It's lost in the YouTube clip, but it was sure there at the time. I think it unnerved Romney. He kept up his end a little bit longer, but he had to know he'd thrown a low blow, and deserved the response; and I think he was realizing, at that point, that he was beaten, beaten down quite thoroughly by a greater man.

Romney wasn't the same after that exchange. Gave up inside, I suspect.
Aug 4, 2011 rationaland commented on Debt Ceiling Goes Up....
sgt_doom, I suspect you are a plant trying to drive down morale on the center-left. Your complaints are not rational.

Are you threatened by my injunction? "Vote in every election. Vote for Democrats for every office. Do this consistently. Do it for the forseeable future. Treat it as a civic duty."
Aug 3, 2011 rationaland commented on Debt Ceiling Goes Up....
And in other news, a wide variety of women's health care procedures will be included in required coverage next year.

The problem is not Obama, nor politicians in general, nor the political system, nor even the constituents. We on the left have those on the right outnumbered 50% to 40% (10% are apparently permanently disaffected).

The problem is the _voters_. People need to _vote_. And not just once, not just in a year when the country is burning down and the first black Presidential nominee with a real chance is on the ballot.

The people who voted the Congressional Teabaggers into office were 67% conservative, a record high. The Teabagger politicians are faithfully representing their constituents, who are old (61% over age 50) white (92%) men (56%) who don't want you on their lawn.

The center-left, composed mostly of young people and minorities, didn't turn out in sufficient numbers for the 2010 elections. They didn't quite see the importance of midterm elections (or Senate special elections in Massachusetts), so a bunch of douchebags who hate them are now in control of the House of Representatives.

The key is to vote. Vote in every election. Vote for Democrats for every office. Do this consistently. Do it for the forseeable future. Treat it as a civic duty.

Sometimes I suspect you people complaining bitterly about Obama are plants trying to drive down morale on the center-left. Your complaints are not rational.

House Republicans have veto power over budget bills, and since their goal is to destroy all social spending, they would have been happy not to raise the debt ceiling. Obama did surprisingly well considering the position.

And, you know, birth control will be covered next year, due to Obama's efforts to make some real progress rather than just putting out Bush/Cheney fires.

And DADT is gone.

And oh yeah, Obama shot Osama bin Laden in the face.

And oh yeah, this supposed debt ceiling "crisis" was created by the House Republicans. The right wing's plan is to run the government into huge debt, precipitate a budget crisis, then use it as an excuse to cut spending on everything useful. This has been their plan for decades.

The Republicans are doing pretty well with their plan to destroy the country. They ran up the current huge deficit 2001-2005. In 2011, they said they didn't want to pay for the spending they previously committed to, precipitating a crisis. They proceeded to the massive spending cuts, except Obama and the Senate Democrats largely stopped them.

We on the left and center-left have those on the right and center-right outnumbered 50 to 40, remember, so the real problem, the window of opportunity the hard-right exploits so well, is voter apathy in the center-left.

If you must complain bitterly on Slog, okay, but realize that if some infrequent voter reads this and gets so turned off by political stuff that they don't vote, you will have shot yourself in the foot. Or succeeded perfectly, if you're another destructive douche like the teabaggers.