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Rationalinsanity from Halifax, Canada Relationship Status: It's complicated
Aug 9th 2018 at 6:07:26 PM

I've heard that Kobach, repugnant piece of trash that he is, might be good for the Democrats because they have a chance of beating him. Meanwhile, his opponent is a standard Republican, which isn't much better these days.

Politics is the skilled use of blunt objects.
Aug 9th 2018 at 6:11:58 PM

Here's a good article about possible Puerto Rico statehood. It's from last year, but I do think it gives a good overview of the basic issues and political landscapes, and what would actually have to happen for statehood to be feasible.

The U.S. must take a more active approach on Puerto Rican statehood votes'

Itís an island of U.S. citizens with a population of over 3 million people. It has more residents than 20 other U.S. states. But Puerto Rico continues to remain in a state of limbo between the full rights afforded to U.S. states and the imperialistic nature of a colony.

The island, which sits twice as close to the U.S. mainland as Hawaii, has been under American control for the past 120 years. In that time, Puerto Rico has been gradually afforded more rights, including U.S. citizenship in 1917.

But even with these provisions, the last several months have included a delayed U.S. reaction to Hurricane Mariaís devastation of the island. NBC News reported in September that ďthe administration was slow to move the military and misunderstood the extent of the problem.Ē The administration has demonstrated that having a true voice in American democracy could be the force that changes Puerto Ricoís predicament. A member of Congress can do a lot more to raise an issue than a mayor thousands of miles away.

Five months removed from the hurricane, 400,000 people remain without power, a truly astounding statistic that has largely gone unreported since the story steadily faded in the fast-paced news cycle. On top of that, the government of Puerto Rico declared bankruptcy last summer after being unable to pay off its debts.

These are significant problems facing the territory, where the median household income is under $20,000 a year and over 40 percent of people live in poverty. The morally right course of action is to fix these problems by placing our full support behind establishing Puerto Rico, as the 51st United State.

While the initial focus in this field may be on making Washington, D.C. a state first, the situation in Puerto Rico is far more desperate. D.C. is more populous than Vermont or Wyoming, yet its 600,000 residents have no voting members of Congress.

Puerto Rico currently operates through its own local government and has a non-voting member of Congress. The residents can vote in presidential primaries, though not in national elections. The island is home to over three million essentially disenfranchised U.S. citizens.

There are many merits to declaring Puerto Rico the 51st state, the main amongst them being that its residents should have some determination in the role of the federal government in their lives. Especially for an island that will receive significant hurricane relief aid, being able to advocate for oneself is vitally important. In December, political maneuvering over a government spending bill resulted in Puerto Rico missing out on billions of dollars in Medicaid for poor residents, all while being without a vote in Congress on their behalf. To continue to act without input from Puerto Ricansí in Washington only goes to disadvantage them.

Furthermore, the economic advantages of admitting Puerto Rico as a state could significantly help their debt crisis. Proponents of the statehood argument assert, that with the ability to receive corporate and income taxes as a state would, the financial situation of the islandís government would improve.

[The U.S. Government Accountability Office has found that if statehood is achieved, Medicaid, Medicare, nutrition assistance programs, federal aid for highways, the Childrenís Health Insurance Program and federal student loans would all cater to Puerto Rico. For a territory with the per capita income of Americaís poorest state, these changes could make a significant difference.

On another note, we cannot force Puerto Ricans to become a U.S. state, nor would we likely want to. Five times in Puerto Ricoís history, its citizens have voted to declare statehood, the first four times the vote was close but still failed, routed in the confusion of the wording or options that could be chosen on the ballot. The fifth vote, last summer, resulted in 97 percent approval for statehood, but the vote was largely discredited due to the fact that less than a quarter of the territory voted.

Puerto Ricoís major political parties are divided on the issue of whether to pursue statehood or maintain the status quo, while a small minority supports full independence. Itís somewhat unclear if an agreed upon question would pass, and Congress canít act until thereís Puerto Rican support, but what is certain is that there are significant procedural hurdles in the way of getting a fair vote. One way or another, the U.S. should pledge itself to holding a legitimate vote on the issue. If under fair rules the vote fails, at least then we will know that Puerto Rico hopes to maintain its current status.

A passed vote on Statehood could pose a real change for the U.S. electoral map. Puerto Rico would get four to five congressional representatives as well as the standard two senators, resulting in between six and seven electoral votes, as many as Iowa, Nevada or Connecticut. The new state would more than likely vote Democratic across the board. President Trump holds a 22 percent approval rating amongst Hispanic voters as of Feb. 4, and Puerto Ricans on the U.S. mainland sway left.

Regardless, both U.S. political parties support Puerto Rican statehood if the island votes on it. But thereís a real difference between putting full resources behind holding a referendum and simply saying youíll support it and allowing the vote to fizzle along the process. We donít know for sure if the measure would pass, but doing nothing to establish certainty only hurts the Puerto Rican people. If itís residentsówho are also U.S. citizensócan be helped and support the vote, itís our job to put our financial resources behind, allowing them to have a voice.

This is a good overview of the politics and history surrounding it as well.

Edited by megaeliz on Aug 9th 2018 at 9:15:06 AM

RainehDaze from Scotland Relationship Status: Mu
Aug 9th 2018 at 6:14:43 PM

No I want to enforce statehood upon a territory because a referendum overwhelmingly passed, the fact that a good chunk of the population did not vote is of no concern to me. Such is the consequences when you refuse to vote (and no I don't view their reason as anything other than cowardly pretext).

If this was truly opposed by a majority of the population then they would've voted, the fact they did not simply demonstrated their acceptance of either result.

So yes, you want to enforce statehood upon it because less than a quarter of the population have asked for it. The concept that the referendum passed rests upon the assumption that a minority voting for it whilst the opposition didn't, and that a non-binding referendum is sufficient justification to enforce constitutional change—and because of the nature of the USA and the Civil War, remove any possibility of independence at any stage when the question has not been satisfactorily resolved.

Also, again.


Until Puerto Rico itself does something, it would be an overreach for the rest of the USA to force statehood because of what is, legally, just a suggestion from the voters.

Aug 9th 2018 at 6:30:32 PM

[up] The one thing could be done, is pledging the necessary resources for a fair and legitimate referendum on statehood.

All of the most recent referendums have been subject to some type of organized protest/boycott over skewed or badly worded questions. Putting full resources behind a fair and carefully worded referendum is much more likely to give us a conclusive answer on whether it has the necessary Puerto Rican support.

Edited by megaeliz on Aug 9th 2018 at 10:03:43 AM

RedSavant Demon
Aug 9th 2018 at 6:34:01 PM

If the referendum wasn't notably corrupt or plagued with voter suppression - that is, if the only reason it's nonrepresentative is because people straight-up didn't vote - then that's not illegitimate. If you ask ten people what they want to do and only two bother to answer, they're the two that get to decide what happens.

The fact that it's nonbinding is more important than the low vote count.

Edited by RedSavant on Aug 9th 2018 at 9:33:48 AM

RainehDaze from Scotland Relationship Status: Mu
Aug 9th 2018 at 7:02:18 PM

The reasoning for the boycott might seem petty, but if you're certain that it should be an easy win, then do a referendum where the phrasing is not set in such a way that by taking part you require everyone involved to agree to politically charged stances regardless of the outcome.

I have no idea why referenda get made so byzantine and full of legalese. You're offering a binary yes/no choice to voters, often on blatantly straightforward topics. Is there a need for leading questions, complicated answers, or lengthy backgrounds.

sgamer82 from Meridian, ID
Aug 9th 2018 at 7:04:01 PM

To manipulate the answers you want?

Plus, remember how in Eragon everyone cries "a single tear"? Yeah, just try that with One Piece and see if it works
Aug 9th 2018 at 7:07:54 PM

[up] And that's a big part of why people boycotted the referendum, funnily enough.

Edited by megaeliz on Aug 9th 2018 at 10:14:36 AM

RainehDaze from Scotland Relationship Status: Mu
Aug 9th 2018 at 7:14:57 PM

I disagree with ever giving the SNP their damn referendum in the first place, but having an independent commission ensure the question was as non-leading and simple as possible was great.

Which should have been a requirement for Congress helping fund a fifth referendum for Puerto Rico: keep the damn thing simple and neutral.

Aug 9th 2018 at 7:34:20 PM

And apparently they are letting people vote for the logo of the Space Force:

Before I get to pointing out what happens when people are giving the chance to vote for symbolic references (Boaty Mac Boatface), I just have to comment on the possible legal infringements of some of those options because some of them are clearly rejigged NASA symbols.

I can see the Meatball, the Ares symbol, one of the promotion symbols for kids (I can't remember what it's called but it's the big childish rocket)... this is ridiculous.

Suggested RWBY Kingdoms Split
MorningStar1337 from 🤔
Aug 9th 2018 at 7:59:01 PM

Never expected copyright law of all things to be the savior that'll deliver us from this space farce. Like seriously it seems as simple as letting NASA and the No Man's Sky devs know about this and let the lawyers do the rest.

Heaven help these poor suckers if one of the logos came from Disney.

Edited by MorningStar1337 on Aug 9th 2018 at 8:00:38 AM

"We're TV Tropes. We don't need bots to ruin people's lives.". -nightwyrm_zero
Aug 9th 2018 at 8:08:00 PM

Iím pretty sure NASA canít yell at the federal government, No Manís Sky on the other handÖ

M84 Freedom is the right of all sentient beings from Our little blue planet Relationship Status: Chocolate!
Freedom is the right of all sentient beings
Aug 9th 2018 at 8:13:41 PM

Hmm, that would almost make up for them taking two years' worth of patching to (mostly) deliver on what they promised on launch day.

Edited by M84 on Aug 9th 2018 at 11:13:21 PM

Disgusted, but not surprised
Aug 9th 2018 at 8:18:17 PM

Which one is the worst, you think?

All of them are pretty amateurish, and look a kind of look as if they were designed by a first grader (except for the NASA rip off ones), but which is the one deserves that dubious honor?

Edited by megaeliz on Aug 9th 2018 at 11:21:21 AM

MorningStar1337 from 🤔
Aug 9th 2018 at 8:20:55 PM

On the one hand, i kinda like the designs...but then again, they were plagiarized so the competency of the administration regarding graphic design is as questionable as their competency elsewhere.

I'd go with option 2. That seems like its be the most fitting of the bunch to represent the Trump administration. Option 1 gives it too much legitimacy by comparison with NASA.

Edited by MorningStar1337 on Aug 9th 2018 at 8:23:57 AM

"We're TV Tropes. We don't need bots to ruin people's lives.". -nightwyrm_zero
M84 Freedom is the right of all sentient beings from Our little blue planet Relationship Status: Chocolate!
Freedom is the right of all sentient beings
Aug 9th 2018 at 8:21:28 PM

Let's ponder that this administration can't even get through the process of deciding on a logo for this Space Force without fucking up somehow.

Disgusted, but not surprised
Aug 9th 2018 at 8:24:51 PM

you can now vote for your favorite one!

Edited by megaeliz on Aug 9th 2018 at 11:29:24 AM

MorningStar1337 from 🤔
Aug 9th 2018 at 8:29:31 PM

Seems like option 6 is leading. Makes sense. That's the only one that can attract the lawyers.

Edited by MorningStar1337 on Aug 9th 2018 at 8:31:24 AM

"We're TV Tropes. We don't need bots to ruin people's lives.". -nightwyrm_zero
Aug 9th 2018 at 8:39:43 PM

Trumpís 2020 campaign emailed the logos to supporters Thursday, asking for people to vote for their favorite.

It was not immediately clear if these would be the actual logos for Space Force. The email, from campaign manager Brad Parscale, said only that ďwe have to make a final decision on the design we will use to commemorate President Trumpís new Space Force ó and he wants YOU to have a say.Ē

Oh my god. No. No. NO. That is not how ANY of this works. You canít have the campaign overlap with official government stuff! That is not how any of this works! I know the Trump cronies are as competent as a swarm of termites trying to crochet, but Jesus goddamn Christ!!!!!!

Aug 9th 2018 at 8:48:49 PM

Iíd like to point out that thereís a zero percent chance this poll is actually affiliated with the military in any way.

Aug 9th 2018 at 8:50:52 PM

Yes, Iím aware, thatís not the point. The email purports that it is affiliated. They are NOT allowed to do that.

Aug 9th 2018 at 8:57:58 PM

I suspect thatís why the word ďcommemorateĒ is in there, as their way to weasel out of any consequences.

AceofSpades Relationship Status: [TOP SECRET]
Aug 9th 2018 at 10:39:46 PM

I can't remember the guy's name, but I saw an interview earlier today that said that it's unlikely this Space Force thing will happen because of overlapping responsibilities or something with the military. Basically the idea was that it's a bunch of tangled obligations and duties right now that would take a heck of a lot of time and possibly they'd need Congressional approval to be able to allocate the resources to do this. I don't think Trump can just make up a new branch of the military and have it be done by presidential fiat.

CharlesPhipps Author from Ashland, Ky Relationship Status: Lovey-Dovey
TerminusEst from Finland
Aug 9th 2018 at 10:44:44 PM

No there isn't. As long as you don't put WMD's in space it's fine. Then there's claiming and militarizing celestial bodies, but that's something that is easy to get around.

Edited by TerminusEst on Aug 9th 2018 at 10:46:22 AM

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