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Barack Obama Retains US Presidency 1576

Posted by Soulskill
from the but-will-he-go-for-the-three-peat dept.
Fox News, NBC, and CNN have called the U.S. election for incumbent Barack Obama. Of the so-called 'battleground states,' Obama carried Ohio, Iowa, Wisconsin, and New Hampshire, which, along with all of the solidly Democrat-leaning states, was enough to push him beyond the 270 required for victory. You can check this chart to see the full list of states that have currently been called, and by which news networks. The NY Times has an excellent interactive map showing all election results updated in real time, as does CNN. It's currently projected that the Republicans will retain control of the House of Representatives, and the Democrats will retain control of the Senate.
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Barack Obama Retains US Presidency

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  • Obama (Score:5, Interesting)

    by crumbz (41803) <<remove_spam>jus ... o spam>gmail.com> on Wednesday November 07, 2012 @12:37AM (#41903387) Homepage

    God bless America. Or flying Spaghetti monster. Or random evolutionary processes. At least it wasn't that mutant.

    Now, we have to:

    1. Declare a national holiday so all can vote on a day off to eliminate the lines.
    2. Get rid of the electoral college.
    3. Get Congress to override Citizen United.
    4. Take the money out of the electoral system.

  • by Ungrounded Lightning (62228) on Wednesday November 07, 2012 @12:39AM (#41903411) Journal

    Romney could probably have gotten the Republican nomination fair-and-square, and if he had done it that way a bunch of people wouldn't have been alienated and abandoned the Republican party. Instead his people cheated blatantly and publicly and drove away, not just a few hundred thousand hardcore Ron Paul supporters, but a bunch of non-Paulite Rs. He lost FAR more than the margin by which he lost some key states in the general election.

    The behavior of his people in the primary/caucus period proved they couldn't be trusted with government power. So they got what they deserved. And I'm proud to have been a part of it.

    Take that, Neocons!

  • by elabs (2539572) on Wednesday November 07, 2012 @12:40AM (#41903425)
    The electoral college is fine. The problem is the Winner Takes All system. The founding fathers never intended that.
  • Re:Tweedledee won ! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by 1u3hr (530656) on Wednesday November 07, 2012 @12:49AM (#41903539)

    In your opinion, do you think an Al Gore administration would have led us into war with Iraq?

    Was his father pissed at Saddam? So, no.

  • by Snotnose (212196) on Wednesday November 07, 2012 @12:50AM (#41903549)

    If they can't beat Obama in this economy, with his results, they really need to stare at their navels and figure out why people hate them so much. They can start with GWB, one of the worst presidents in history, move on to what they think of rape, and then figure how much they need the religious nutjobs that forms their so called base. Their anti-science, anti-women BS is driving the country away from them.

    I'll admit I voted for Rmoney. Not because I like that finger in the wind flip flopper, but I think Obama's policies are disastrous.

  • by Telvin_3d (855514) on Wednesday November 07, 2012 @12:55AM (#41903581)

    This person does not speak for us. Harper is... uncomfortably far right for many Canadians. And yet still sits to the left of Obama on many issues. He only appears deranged and extreme compared to our regular variety of center-left or outright left politician.

    Well, no, he is a little deranged all on his own. But still, we'll take him over damn near anyone you could send us in return. Should only be another election or two before his party collapses on itself and we can move on.

  • by enter to exit (1049190) on Wednesday November 07, 2012 @12:56AM (#41903591)
    Mitts strategy was to rely on moderate Republicans (who vote for the party and what it ideally stands for, even if it falls short) and appease the far right, in an effort to push him over the line. Essentially playing the numbers game (Hey, it made him rich!).

    The Republicans didn't bother trying to engage broader America. This is now proven to be a loser move (and demographics are against this). So: Is the Republican party going to move towards the centre or go further right? A reagan-esque war is about to happen in the GOP.
  • by uslurper (459546) on Wednesday November 07, 2012 @12:59AM (#41903621)

    ..If he had run as an independent. Changing his views on many subjects in order to please the right-wing extremists cost him many votes. I like the chap. I think he could have won and been a good and moderate president. But being under the weight of the republican party broke him.

  • by Maow (620678) on Wednesday November 07, 2012 @01:05AM (#41903671) Journal

    This person does not speak for us.

    True - I speak only for myself.

    Harper is... uncomfortably far right for many Canadians.

    Again, true. But the real problem is he's too dishonest for most Canadians. And this time I think I can speak for most Canadians.

    Should only be another election or two before his party collapses on itself and we can move on.

    I fear that, by then, there will be decades of work undoing the damage he's caused. But you're probably correct in that the party is bound to implode, sooner rather than later (sooner being relative to the PCs, for example).

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 07, 2012 @01:09AM (#41903707)

    You also forgot the smoking of teh weed... cuz you know, that's exactly what the 99% need... another place to spend the money they don't have and to magically go someplace in their mind where nothing matters.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 07, 2012 @01:10AM (#41903711)

    You're all good with Mormonism? Ok...

    Would you consider it irrelevant if he were a Scientologist? Xenu, E-meters, etc.? Not cRaZy enough? ok...

    How about if he was a Heaven's gate member? Killing themselves to ride on a UFO...

    How about a Satanist? Yeah, I really want a Satanist's finger on the button. Hmm. No.

    Tell us, please, where you draw the line on cRaZy.

    Because for me, after looking into Mormonism... that's pretty damned crazy -- right up there with the above.

    Christianity too... but there's one thing about Christianity... at least it's a nationally shared bewilderment, and I can at *least* snuggle with the idea that the candidate is just pandering, and actually has a scientific worldview instead of just more crazy. Also, we've had a string of Christian presidents, and the worst they've done is nuke a couple cities, murder the occasional US citizen, crush our rights and the constitution, involve us in a bunch of unjustified wars, and lie like rugs, repeatably and dependably. So yeah, Christians are nucking futs, but...

    I don't want to step up to even more crazy.

  • by westlake (615356) on Wednesday November 07, 2012 @01:16AM (#41903761)

    The electoral college is fine. The problem is the Winner Takes All system. The founding fathers never intended that.

    There are many things the founding fathers never expected to see:

    Political parties, for one.

    Though echoes of the split between Hamilton and Jefferson resonate in our two party system to this day.

    The direct election of the Senate, the vast expansion of the franchise and the election of a young-in-spirit though not always in age populist President rather than a gentlemanly elder statesman and father figure like Washington.

  • by ShakaUVM (157947) on Wednesday November 07, 2012 @01:18AM (#41903769) Homepage Journal

    > Instead his people cheated blatantly and publicly and drove away, not just a few hundred thousand hardcore Ron Paul supporters, but a bunch of non-Paulite Rs. He lost FAR more than the margin by which he lost some key states in the general election.

    He probably has lost Florida because of these shenanigans. Gary Johnson is getting more votes than the margin between Obama and Romney.

    Not all of the Libertarians came from the Republican party, of course, but a lot of those were Ron Paul supporters that Romney drove out of the party.

  • by EdIII (1114411) on Wednesday November 07, 2012 @01:22AM (#41903803)

    Mod Up.

    We gained nothing today. We just cut our losses with the less crazy douchenozzle being elected.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 07, 2012 @01:24AM (#41903815)

    The electoral college math was obvious months ago. Responsible media outlets (e.g., the PBS Newshour) crunched the electoral college numbers long ago and were honest about how difficult it would be for Romney to run the table with all the swing states. Many mainstream commercial news outlets ignored the reality of the electoral votes, invented a story arc that Romney somehow dominated the first debate but Obama came back, and failed to cover demographic shifts that made an Obama victory obvious. This helped them keep people interested and sell more advertisements, but became so excessive that it bordered on delusional. Now Fox News is orchestrating a debate where embarrassingly Rove is insisting that the race isn't over rather than admit that he was completely wrong.

    Watch that first debate again; it is one of the best televised presidential debates ever. It was policy-rich, even-tempered, and didn't feature any distracting, bogus, irrelevant attacks from either side. Lehrer took the high road and didn't throw any red meat question about the 47% out there and focused on real issues. The press loathed that there was no gotcha moment. They replay debate clips from previous elections highlighting sighs and watch-checking vs. policy issues and in the midst of insisting that Obama "lost" the first debate, can't produce a single clip to demonstrate that it was anything less than an even debate from both sides.

    The country deserves better, more honest press coverage. There is objective data here: this was not a close race by the electoral college and some people said so long ago. Any outlets that selectively highlighted popular vote polls vs. electoral college math to deceive their audience should suffer appropriate reductions in viewership/readership.

  • by Billly Gates (198444) on Wednesday November 07, 2012 @01:30AM (#41903869) Journal

    Mitts strategy was to rely on moderate Republicans (who vote for the party and what it ideally stands for, even if it falls short) and appease the far right, in an effort to push him over the line. Essentially playing the numbers game (Hey, it made him rich!).

    The Republicans didn't bother trying to engage broader America. This is now proven to be a loser move (and demographics are against this). So: Is the Republican party going to move towards the centre or go further right? A reagan-esque war is about to happen in the GOP.

    Mark my words in 2016, you will see Rick Santorum stand on stage with a few grayer hairs. He will claim Romney as to far the left and a radical socialist and communist just like OBL. He was rejected because he was too much of a Democrat and we need some far right wing libertarian reactionary like me to lead America!!

    Then win and be shocked again! Then will be saying why are these dems winning! They all must be welfare recipients! ... or something retarded bla bla bla.

    The problem is the Tea Party. The Tea Party just kicked out popular Republican Luger (FYI is not a moderate) for a far right wing candidate. Gee, a democrat in this conservative district just won! Sigh ...

    Rush Limbaugh, Hannity, and Fox news mixed with the Tea Party makes up the Republican base. There is no moderate Nixon/Goldwater/Eisenhower GOP leaders of old left. Just angry ones who hate government and believe they are on a mandate to stop everything and cut taxes and regulation at all costs.

  • by gman003 (1693318) on Wednesday November 07, 2012 @01:31AM (#41903871)

    Maine and Washington (and possibly Maryland) legalized gay marriage. Minnesota had a referendum to ban it, results still inconclusive.
    Massachusetts, Washington and Arkansas (and probably Colorado) legalized marijuana. Montana "reformed medical marijuana". Oregon had a referendum to legalize, which failed.
    The Massachusetts assisted-suicide referendum is still undecided, but seems to have failed from early numbers
    Florida rejected a referendum to limit "Obamacare" ("prevents penalties for not purchasing health care coverage in order to comply with federal health care reforms"), but Alabama approved a similar referendum. That will probably lead to the Supreme Court as a states-rights conflict.
    California had a referendum to ban the death penalty, which failed.

    Finally, Puerto Rico had a referendum to decide whether to pursue statehood, leave the union, or to remain a non-state commonwealth. While this could be one of the biggest actual changes of the election, I can't find any results as of yet.

  • by Taco Cowboy (5327) on Wednesday November 07, 2012 @01:42AM (#41903943) Journal

    It's not the dead white dudes that matter.

    It's their intent for the new nation that they fought and won that matters.

    The only thing that differentiate America from the rest of the world is the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

    Without those two very important documents, the United States of America is as good as Zimbabwe or Somalia, in terms of governance.

  • by frosty_tsm (933163) on Wednesday November 07, 2012 @01:47AM (#41903967)

    Just because some news stations called the election doesn't make it true, romney is leading in ohio right now..lol

    Some news stations such as... Fox News?

  • Re:Excellent (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Black Parrot (19622) on Wednesday November 07, 2012 @01:50AM (#41904009)

    >Both men were good men and would try to serve this country

    Please tell me you're kidding. Mr. Romney has not denied bullying a classmate and shaving his head or transporting his dog on a vacation in a way most would consider abusive and was a professional corporate raider. While Mr. Obama is really not who I would prefer in office (I am a small-c conservative), Mr. Romney has shown a shocking lack of human decency in a variety of ways.

    If anything, this election has shown that nearly half of the the United States is not just financially bankrupt but ethically bankrupt as well.

    It astonishes me that this election was even close. As a small-l liberal, I don't have much higher opinion of Obama than you do. But Romney is a phoney even by the low standards we hold politicians to. Seriously, a 260,000,000aire putting on a flannel shirt and going to a steel works for a photo op telling the employees that he's one of them and feels their pain???

    The only reason I can imagine the Republicans nominated him is in case anyone was paying so little attention in 2001-2008 that they still hadn't figured out that the Republican party is plutocratic rather than conservative.

    In his defense, I suspect that the dog-on-roof thing was mere cluelessness rather than wickedness. He really comes across as a 13-year-old boy who never grew up.

  • by Paul Fernhout (109597) on Wednesday November 07, 2012 @01:58AM (#41904049) Homepage

    You had a choice: http://www.jillstein.org/issues [jillstein.org]
    "FINANCIAL REFORM
            * Break up the oversized banks that are "too big to fail," starting with Bank of America.
            * Create a Corporation for Economic Democracy, a new federal corporation (like the Corporation for Public Broadcasting) to provide publicity, training, education, and direct financing for cooperative development and for democratic reforms to make government agencies, private associations, and business enterprises more participatory.
            * End bailouts for the financial elite and use the FDIC resolution process for failed banks to reopen them as public banks where possible after failed loans and underlying assets are auctioned off.
            * Bring monetary policy under democratic control by prohibiting private banks from creating money, thus restoring government's Constitutional authority.
            * Let pension funds be managed by boards controlled by workers, not corporate managers.
            * Regulate all financial derivatives and require them to be traded on open exchanges.
            * Require banks to use honest bookkeeping so that toxic assets cannot be hidden or sold to unsuspecting persons.
            * Restore the Glass-Steagall separation of depository commercial banks from speculative investment banks.
            * Democratize monetary policy to bring about public control of the money supply and credit creation. This means nationalizing the private bank-dominated Federal Reserve Banks and placing them under a Federal Monetary Authority within the Treasury Department.
            * Establish federal, state, and municipal publicly-owned banks that function as non-profit utilities and focus on helping people, not enriching themselves."

  • Re:Excellent (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Phroggy (441) <slashdot3 AT phroggy DOT com> on Wednesday November 07, 2012 @02:01AM (#41904073) Homepage

    Perhaps you can point some of your Christian friends to this quote:

    First and foremost, my Christian faith gives me a perspective and security that I don’t think I would have otherwise: That I am loved. That, at the end of the day, God is in control—and my main responsibility is to love God with all of my heart, soul, and mind, and to love my neighbor as myself. Now, I don’t always live up to that standard, but it is a standard I am always pursuing.

    My faith is also a great source of comfort to me. I’ve said before that my faith has grown as president. This office tends to make a person pray more; and as President Lincoln once said, "I have been driven to my knees many times by the overwhelming conviction that I had no place else to go."

    Finally, I try to make sure that my faith informs how I live my life. As a husband, as a father, and as president, my faith helps me to keep my eyes on the prize and focus on what is good and truly important.

    -- President Barack Obama

    The allusions to Matthew 22:37-39 and Philippians 3:14 are what makes me believe his sincerity.

  • prediction markets (Score:4, Interesting)

    by epine (68316) on Wednesday November 07, 2012 @02:10AM (#41904125)

    I spent some time watching the Intrade prediction market. The market in the presidential race was extremely distorted. There seemed to be some loss-eating Red whales holding the line at just under 70% for Obama while the polls remained open.

    The individual state markets were far more sane, converging to 90% certainty in most of the swing states long before the mainstream media maps. They often went against established voting margins, factoring in the nature of the precincts reporting and yet to report.

    States with mixed urban/rural populations usually swung toward Obama as more polls reported. Urban polling stations have more votes and take longer to count. The exception was Ohio which had a big margin for Obama in the pre-voting, but went much closer on the day.

    Not only did Nate Silver predict the outcome, but the biggest spike on his graph appears to be the outcome obtained (20% probability assigned to the simulation result where Obama wins with 332 electoral votes).

    I don't know, maybe literacy in math ain't such a bad thing, after all.

  • by Mitreya (579078) <mitreyaNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Wednesday November 07, 2012 @02:13AM (#41904137)

    I'll admit I voted for Rmoney. Not because I like that finger in the wind flip flopper, but I think Obama's policies are disastrous.

    Do you really think Romney's policies would have been less disastrous? Did you think that Romney would be able to shake off the control of nutjob right-wing Republicans as President? Or has that question not entered your consideration?
    (I am honestly curious)

  • Re:But no fear! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by westlake (615356) on Wednesday November 07, 2012 @02:46AM (#41904407)

    Don't worry, Republican friends, Mitt will just claim he wasn't actually running for President anyway.

    It is often the little things that are most revealing:

    Over in Chicago, the Obama campaign had invited 10,000 to fill the floor of the McCormick Place convention center. But here in Boston, Mitt Romney favored a more genteel soiree for an exclusive crowd.

    Romney's election-night event was in a ballroom at the Boston Exhibition and Convention Center that could accommodate a few hundred. Most men wore jacket and tie; women donned dresses and heels

    Outside the ballroom, waiters in black tie tended bar, and Jumbotrons showed the election results on Fox News. Downstairs, Romney's big donors assembled in private rooms for finer fare; guards admitted only those whose credentials said ''National Finance Committee.''

    But the election results, even filtered through the rose-colored lenses of Fox News, were not promising.

    Michigan fell to Obama, and then so did Pennsylvania and Minnesota. Obama was holding his own in Florida and Virginia, and things were looking grim for Romney in Ohio. The ballroom was as quiet as a library as the audience listened to the Fox personalities on-screen.

    ''Romney would have to draw to an inside straight'' at this point, pronounced Brit Hume, who predicted ''an awful lot of recriminations.''

    Romney had spent nearly two years, and hundreds of millions of dollars, trying to convince Americans that he wasn't an out-of-touch millionaire unconcerned about the little people --- that he was more than a caricature who liked to fire people, who didn't care about the very poor or the 47 percent who pay no income tax, who has friends who own NASCAR teams.

    He very nearly achieved it: Polls showed him neck-and-neck with Obama in the campaignâ(TM)s closing days. But his final day in the race showed why he couldnâ(TM)t persuade enough working-class Americans that he spoke for them.

    On election night in 2000, George W. Bush hosted an outdoor rally for thousands in Austin. In 2008, Barack Obama addressed a mass of humanity in Chicago's Grant Park.

    The very location set the candidate and his well-heeled supporters apart from the masses: The gleaming convention center, built with hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars, is on a peninsula in the Boston harbor that was turned into an election-night fortress, with helicopters overhead, metal barricades and authorities searching vehicles. Only a few gawkers crossed the bridge from downtown to stand outside.

    At Romney headquarters, the defeat of the 1 percent [washingtonpost.com]

  • by GodfatherofSoul (174979) on Wednesday November 07, 2012 @02:55AM (#41904463)

    You know why they took over, right? When Obama won, the *only* fired up element in the Republican party was the extreme Right and we all know why that was. They called themselves the Tea Party under the guise that they wanted lower taxes, even though taxes are already historically low. When someone finally told them that, they decided they were the low debt party (ominously silent while the Iraq and Afghanistan wars were charged on Uncle Sam's card and ignoring the fact that the Bush tax cuts were creating trillions more in debt).

    But, since they were the only ones fired up and everyone else in the Republican party was depressed (even mainstream guys like Tucker Carlson were starting to call themselves Libertarian to wash the stink of the Bush years off them). So, even though the Republicans treated their far right wing like the racist, slightly imbalanced uncle who came over once a year for Thanksgivings (polite nods and half-hearted chuckles at his jokes), they decided to give him the reigns.

    And, when that happened, they got even MORE fired up. No more being forced to sit on the porch and watch the party from the outside. Now, they had access! And, the more access they got, the more fired up they got. They started winning elections, getting seats on committees, and soon built up enough power to start making demands! They weren't just coming over for Thanksgiving, now they had a room upstairs and their buddies were coming over every night to get wasted and talk about how much the hated that Mexican family across the street.

    Now, the Republican party is stuck. They've given the extreme Right so much power and access that they're entrenched. You can't ask them to leave and they've been legitimized for so long you can't call them wrong. Nothing to do but ride it out and hope their rowdy parties don't burn your house down, before they get bored and decide to leave for good.

  • by jcr (53032) <jcr@nOspAm.mac.com> on Wednesday November 07, 2012 @02:57AM (#41904493) Journal

    So why is it that the DHS can treat us any old way they want to,

    Because we fail to resist. That's the long and short of it.

    -jcr

  • Re:Tweedledee won ! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by AJWM (19027) on Wednesday November 07, 2012 @03:58AM (#41904821) Homepage

    LBJ made a grave mistake in Vietnam.

    Actually the mistake was in DC. He kept on JFK's SecDef, Robert McNamara, and listened to him. That war started under JFK.

  • Re:Tweedledee won ! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Solandri (704621) on Wednesday November 07, 2012 @03:59AM (#41904823)
    Bush wasn't afraid of a quagmire. He respected the UN. The UN mandate only authorized us to eject Iraq from Kuwait, nothing more. So that's all he felt we could do. That was the reason he did not come to the defense of Iraqis rebelling against Saddam after the war. He didn't protect them until the UN authorized the no-fly zones over Northern and Southern Iraq.

    Bush Jr. OTOH decided the UN was unimportant and invaded Iraq on his own.
  • by AK Marc (707885) on Wednesday November 07, 2012 @04:00AM (#41904825)

    If you leave the US you won't have to pay US taxes.

    Nope, the US is about the only country in the world that taxes non-residents the same as residents.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 07, 2012 @04:33AM (#41904991)

    Kind of a bullshit response I think. Of course the founding "fathers" were aristocratic. If they weren't they would not have thought or bothered to rebell against Great Britain. I can't think of run of the mill peasants and slaves revolting and trying to form their own country. It would require men(well at that time) that were knowledgeable and perhaps charismatic enough to sway the populace into revolting with them, despite the dangers.

    And slavery has nothing to do with it. That's a whole different ball of wax and not much to do with the founding of the country. People are still racist even today. It was pretty much a given back then. I mean today we know or at least most of us know (i hope) that despite color we are all the same, but that was not how people thought back then. Hell I wish I could say slavery was done for good, but I and I'm sure many others know that if given the chance there are plenty of fucktards..... yes I did say that, who would be absolutely ecstatic to reinstate slavery of any non white people. I find that utterly and totally despicable btw. Also people should not forget that their own people were selling them to slave traders. Not that it's an excuse,... What's more sickening? a slave owner or the fact that your own people, perhaps blood relatives sold your ass into slavery. that makes me sick.

    Also it wasn't just yelling and screaming that formed our country or the bill of rights/ constitution. It took the lives of thousands upon thousands of people if not more to establish the US as a separate country. Doesn't make us perfect but at least further in the future of the country someone in a position of power stood up to slavery, even at the cost of tearing the entire country apart.

    As for immunity. Well that seems pretty obvious I think. I mean if any joe schmoe could sue or file whatever suit against the government, we wouldn't have a country left standing. How would a country operate if people were suing it willy nilly? It would go bankrupt and not be able to govern, let alone defend itself in court.

    I don't think it's fair to deride the "founders" because they were upper class or rich. I think at the time, having that type of intelligence came hand in hand with money, status, power...etc. That doesn't make them bad or evil.

    I also think that it's not really the government, or at least just the government that thinks we have "too much freedom" it's large corporations, especially the RIAA and MPAA who are so uptight and asinine about their copyrights that they almost don't even want us to watch what they paid others to create. I think if you were to get rid of them or at least their thoughts on the matter we would be just fine. Sadly I agree with you that as time goes on and these corporations continue to get their way. we will continue to see the erosion and eventually removal of our rights.

    BTW I hadn't heard about what you mentioned. I will def take time out to go read up on that. Perhaps it will change my mind but I can't promise anything. I wish you a good day... or night whichever.

    and to the rest.. why would people even vote for Romney aside from the fact that he's white and obama isn't or you are a large corporation? What exactly did you think he would do that would directly help or benefit you? Tax breaks? Health care? Technological advancement?...Noooo sooo why? that's what I don't understand. I mean he told my state (michigan) that we could essentially go fuck ourselves and just go bankrupt even though cars ARE the main source of employment in the state.... a state in which his own father was head of a car company, a governor, a civil rights activist (so I've heard) and even a runner for office of the presidency though that didn't go well. What if he told those working in silicon valley they could all go bankrupt and die for all he cared? would that change anything? Not that I like either of them much, but Obama at least seems to care even if you are not a millionaire. The problem I think is congress and

  • by frinsore (153020) on Wednesday November 07, 2012 @05:00AM (#41905143)

    we need to return more power to the states (which gives us a check on the federal government).

    Specifically what powers should the states have that are currently exclusive to the federal government? The way I see it is that the federal government enforces the bare minimum of an individual's rights, controls interstate commerce, and runs other projects that would be inefficient for individual states to run. Some examples of these would be freedom of speech, outlawing slavery, running the military, setting a currency, etc. There is nothing preventing a state from granting it's citizens greater rights then what the federal government ensures or providing their own military. You may disagree with how the federal government chooses to protect individual liberty or even what those rights are; but that's a very different discussion.
    Also the states can amend the Constitution without involving the federal government, all they'd need to do is call a convention and then later vote on the new amendment. That's the greatest balance against federal government that there is.

    Better system for single-winner elections. It should allow you to specify your primary choice, and also your backup choice(s) should your primary fail to gain enough support.

    Who would enforce this? The federal government? I think we have single run off because of tradition more then anything else. There have even been state laws that split their electoral votes proportionately (I think they've all been abandoned now). As long as the federal government ensures that everyone can vote and that everyone's vote is equal I think it should be up to the states to determine what style of voting to use.

    Proportional representation in Congress. If every district in the nation votes 50.1% for Party A, then Party A has 100% of the seats of Congress. Party B gets nothing, although 49.9% of the nation supports Party B.

    That would be true if we were electing parties to congress but we're not, we're electing people. Representative X from Party B is not at all equivalent to representative Q from Party B. I realize that the political rhetoric tends to slant towards Party A vs Party B but I'd much rather vote for someone who fairly represents their constituents instead of a generic interchangeable member of a Party.

    Electoral college reform. I don't know that we should go to a popular vote system for President, but the electoral college should at least force a proportional representation from each state. It should also remove the electors, and change to a simple count.

    This will probably never happen because it would involve states relinquishing power and they'd never give permission for it. In the current set up states with a low population have a greater electoral collage vote per capita then a state with a large population. This is a balance so that large states can't steam roll over smaller states.

    I'm not saying that our republic couldn't use some improvement but I think it's important to realize why it has worked so well. Like Churchill said:
    "Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time."

  • by dunkelfalke (91624) on Wednesday November 07, 2012 @05:06AM (#41905189)

    The only thing that differentiate America from the rest of the world is the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

    Not really. When not taken seriously, any constitution is merely a scrap of paper.

    Do read the 1936 Soviet constitution (AKA Stalin constitution) sometimes. It is a very progressive and democratic doument. One of the most democratic ever in fact.

  • by Camael (1048726) on Wednesday November 07, 2012 @05:39AM (#41905349)
    Yes, Singapore has caning and death penalties for numerous crimes including murder, drug trafficking and the use of firearms. On the other hand, ladies can expect to walk home alone relatively safely even at 3-5am in the morning, and the use of firearms in crimes is somewhat rare. Is it worth trading some personal liberties for safety and security? I honestly don't know, but it seems with the growth of the TSA that even the US is leaning in favour of security.

    As an aside, there is nothing as invasive as the TSA in SIngapore, which i am profoundly grateful for.

    There is a growth of CCTVs installed privately by angry individuals who accuse their neighbours of littering the common areas/outside their homes etc. but that seems more an exercise of individual freedom (albeit misguided) than anything sinister.
  • by complete loony (663508) <(Jeremy.Lakeman) (at) (gmail.com)> on Wednesday November 07, 2012 @06:22AM (#41905525)

    I like the system in Australia.

    The lower house represents each district, first past the post, but with run-off voting for 3rd party candidates. The upper house is elected based on the proportion of votes, with some number of seats per state.

    The lower house represents the majority opinion, but everything they want to do must pass the upper house, who represent significant minorities across the entire population.

  • Re:Tweedledee won ! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by gtall (79522) on Wednesday November 07, 2012 @06:58AM (#41905711)

    Farmers, Hollywood, banks, and oil companies are small potatoes compared to 2/3 of the budget that goes to entitlements. And the banks paid theirs back. The rest comes in at under $50 Billion out of an approx. $3.5 Trillion yearly budget. Do get a sense of proportion, it really helps frame your points. In short, most of the money goes to the American people, and mostly those on the lower socio-economic rungs. The economy is increasingly skewed towards winners take all, so there is a certain amount of poetic justice there.

    And, it will only get worse when the Me Generation, which is just starting to retire, and the Association of Arrogant Retired People start demanding that they get properly compensated for the money they paid into SS, even if it will mean they take out much more than what they put in.

    What? You say. You mean the government was lying about the SS Trust Fund. The government doesn't keep your money in a mattress under Capitol Hill. They loaned it to the rest of the government because the government cannot hold money like that (and you wouldn't want them to). So when the Blue Hairs start marching on Washington for their winnings, they'll be taking it out of the general fund...you know, the one that currently pays 2/3 to the rest of America.

  • by mabhatter654 (561290) on Wednesday November 07, 2012 @08:30AM (#41906119)

    There's not really a problem with drone strikes. It's a tempest in a teapot. Reagan bombed Gadaghi in Libya as a PERSONAL attack.. Far more brazen.

    Bush was doing the same thing... The military commanders like Republicans so they don't run their mouths. (Note they treated Clinton the same way)

    Sure, he's targeting US Citizens... That are engaged in WAR against the USA on FOREIGN soil. Obama is following precedent... You don't twist the Constitution and invent secret courts... People plot war against the USA and you blow them up where they hide. A US flag don't save you. These targets are the definition of traitors... You stand with the enemy, get blowed up with the enemy... And yes... They might be gunning for you...

  • by AlecC (512609) <aleccawley@gmail.com> on Wednesday November 07, 2012 @08:35AM (#41906147)

    Proportional representation in Congress.

    If you think this is a way forward, you should think again. Open a couple of history books, look for countries that tried it and look how and why it failed.

    Do you actually think before giving these advices?

    Sweden, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands... None of these seem disaster areas to me,

  • Re:Tweedledee won ! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Sez Zero (586611) on Wednesday November 07, 2012 @08:36AM (#41906151) Journal

    the republicans are butt-hurt about a black guy winning.

    twice.

    the first time, they swore that their goal was to ensure he was a 1-term president.

    As the number of minorities increases, it will be interesting to see how the Republican party responds. There was a lot of chatter last night on the news networks about how Bush really mobilized the Latino vote, but Romney couldn't get any of it in this election.

    Some predicted someone like Marco Rubio, Senator from Florida as a potential Republican candidate in 2016. It will be interesting to see what happens to the Republican party if the son of Cuban immigrants is their candidate for President. Either the party will evolve, or it will simply cease to be relevant in American politics.

  • Re:Tweedledee won ! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by captainpanic (1173915) on Wednesday November 07, 2012 @08:50AM (#41906271)

    In a very safe country, where the large majority of people die from diseases (mostly at old age), the appearance of safety is as important as the real safety.

    We have never really grown up. Instead of monsters under the bed, there is terrorism and rogue states. All we need is someone to tell us that things have improved. Reality is irrelevant.

    Obviously, it really helps that the media first gave us the feeling of insecurity in the first place.

  • by ultranova (717540) on Wednesday November 07, 2012 @10:42AM (#41907299)

    You also forgot the smoking of teh weed... cuz you know, that's exactly what the 99% need... another place to spend the money they don't have and to magically go someplace in their mind where nothing matters.

    Sure, why not? World sucks and probably always will, so people need a break from it every now and then. In practice that can come from weed or alcohol, and weed is a lot less unhealthy.

    The availability of relatively safe mind-altering substances is going to be ever more important in the future as energy shortage, climate change and wealth concentration make life worse and traditional escapes - such as traveling - less available. Also, we should invest serious research into things like easy induction of lucid dreaming.

    The thing is, drugs are a cheap form of entertainment, both in terms of energy and enviromental impact. And some of them, such as weed, also help people deal with the fact that their lives will suck from cradle to the grave, and their children will be even worse off. We can't afford to overlook these benefits just for ideological reasons.

  • by Just Some Guy (3352) <kirk+slashdot@strauser.com> on Wednesday November 07, 2012 @02:03PM (#41909755) Homepage Journal

    It took a lot of yelling and screaming to get the bill of rights into the constitution.

    Hamilton opposed the Bill of Rights because he believed people would incorrectly interpret it as an enumeration of rights "granted" to the population. In his own words:

    I go further, and affirm that bills of rights, in the sense and in the extent in which they are contended for, are not only unnecessary in the proposed constitution, but would even be dangerous. They would contain various exceptions to powers which are not granted; and on this very account, would afford a colorable pretext to claim more than were granted. For why declare that things shall not be done which there is no power to do?

    And on that count, he was completely correct. There are plenty of people who wrongly believe that we have, say, freedom of speech because the first amendment grants it to us. In reality, we inherently have freedom of speech and the Constitution simply grants the government extremely limited powers to curtail it.

    Let me put this in geek terms: the Constitution is a default-deny policy. Given a query in the form "is the Federal government permitted to do X", it can be satisfied by seeing if X is an enumerated power of the Federal government. If not, then no - the government isn't permitted to do it. Madison et al wanted to keep it default deny but add a few explicit deny rules afterward. Hamilton said that was a bad idea because people would start treating those as the canonical list of denied actions, effectively treating the base Constitution as default-allow with enumerated exceptions. And what do you know; he was right about that.

    Of course, people would probably have started looking at the Constitution as default-allow over time anyway, and the Bill of Rights is a good fallback position of telling the government that "you aren't allowed to do anything not spelled out in the Constitution, but you're especially not allowed to do this stuff". In that sense, Madison was probably wise in supporting it. But in any case, everyone involved supported the contents of the Bill of Rights, more or less. They just differed on whether it was a good idea to spell them out as a set of special cases.

If a camel is a horse designed by a committee, then a consensus forecast is a camel's behind. -- Edgar R. Fiedler

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