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About Fez

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    Like A Thundering Lizard
  • Birthday 11/18/1987

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  1. US Elections - The white power-suit vs the white-power suit

    After 2014, I can't get excited about early voting totals anymore. Its better to be up than down of course; but the early voting numbers seemed fantastic in 2014, and the election was a disaster. All those great numbers were just regular election day voters casting their ballots early, with no increase in less likely voters participating. And I've heard enough talk of Republicans not voting early on purpose this time because of unclear voter fraud fears that I don't take much stock of their numbers being down either. True, Byrd was a bigger anomaly, but Leahy is up there too. Mostly thanks to managing to win his first Senate election at age 34 giving more time to rack up the years; even Bryd was already 42 when he joined the Senate.
  2. US Elections - The white power-suit vs the white-power suit

    I didn't realize he had such strong opinions on serving asparagus at breakfast. Not surprising though I guess.
  3. US Elections - The white power-suit vs the white-power suit

    It not informal, its strictly based on senate seniority; only counting members of whichever party is in the majority at the time. And age is not a factor in seniority, its based on how long senators have continously served in the senate; with tiebreakers based on certain other credentials (previously served in the senate, previously served in the House, etc.) Sanders is an independent again and not a Democrat; but he counts in seniority for committee assignments so I assume he does for this as well. However, Sanders has only served in the senate since 2007, he'll be 14th in seniority among Democrats next Congress.
  4. HBO's Westworld- Enter the maze [spoilers]

    That bit was hilarious, and I think the show is better off for embracing that side of itself. I just want to make sure that it has an overall deeper plot than just "everyone's favorite theme park is ruined by the creator going mad scientist." Which is why I wonder if the MiB's foundation, Logan and William's family/business, and the Delos corporate board are going to all be coming into conflict with each other and if that will be one of the main overarching plotlines of the show.
  5. US Elections - The white power-suit vs the white-power suit

    Schumer is a party loyalist first and foremost. He'll follow Clinton's lead on foreign policy, whatever it is. The President pro tempore would be Leahy again. He's up for re-election this year but is going to win in a blowout, and he hasn't given any indication that his will be his last race either (although six years is a long time and he is 76 already). Second most senior Democrat is Barbara Mikulski, but she's retiring this year; third most senior is Harry Reid, who is also retiring; fourth most senior is Diane Feinstein, she's up for re-election in 2018 and hasn't committed to running again yet; fifth most senior is Barbara Boxer, who is retiring this year; six most senior is Patty Murray, who is running for re-election this year and will easily win. Really goes to show how much of an anomaly Leahy is; him and Orrin Hatch and Thad Cochran are the only ones left who were first elected in the 1970s. There have been 271 people elected as Senators since Leahy won his first senate election.
  6. HBO's Westworld- Enter the maze [spoilers]

    It really did. And I'm worried that the more video game-y the park is, the less compelling it will become. If Ford is the only one that really has a sinister agenda, that makes the conflicts a lot less interesting to me.
  7. US Elections - The white power-suit vs the white-power suit

    Thanks to his time in the House, Schumer is one of the main Senate Democrats that has very little respect for Senate traditions or congeniality; he just wants to get things done. At one time that made him a minority in the Senate caucus, but at this point most Democratic Senators are with him. Leahy isn't (or wasn't, two years ago), but I'm not sure who else isn't at this point. Point is, as majority leader he's very likely to start amending senate rules as soon as Republicans start obstructing again. He probably won't have the votes to completely turn the Senate into the House, but the filibuster for SCOTUS justices will probably disappear as will the legislative filibuster (if Democrats take the House). He and Clinton started off on the wrong foot, but got close pretty quickly. His main pressure won't be Clinton, it will be balancing his relationships with Wall Street against what Warren/Sanders want, and he'll probably try to relieve that pressure by pushing as hard as he can on other liberal priorities instead. If Democrats take the House, they probably go with Pelosi again. If they wouldn't, she'd have resigned after 2010; she stayed as minority leader because the caucus wants her to be Speaker again. The only issue would be if the House majority is very small (which is probably would be). If the majority is less than 5 seats, there's a chance she can't wrangle everybody. When Paul Ryan was elected speaker, 2 Democrats voted for Democrats other than Pelosi in protest against her; 3 did when Boehner was last elected. And if Democrats do take the majority, a lot of the new members will be Blue Dogs in pretty red districts; and Pelosi is unpopular enough if those districts that they might force the issue. If that happens, its near certain Steny Hoyer would become Speaker instead.
  8. US Elections - The white power-suit vs the white-power suit

    They're interesting. But as with most polls, the subsamples for all the different groups (except gender) are probably too small to make any definitive conclusions. The point isn't moot at all. Even if its a 2-year rental, if Democrats control the trifecta again they can get a lot of work done in that time. And while the 2018 midterm probably won't be great for Democrats, I'm willing to bet damn near anything that Republicans won't have a larger majority in either the House or Senate than they do now. Even if Democrats don't take the House back this year, they are going to win more seats this election than Republicans will win back in 2018. As for Senate, Republicans were supposed to win it in 2012, instead they lost two seats; Democrats were supposed to win it this year, and it looks near-certain that they will, but only because of Trump. The 2018 map is rough for Democrats, but its best not to try to forecast it this early out. As for what Republicans should do if they keep the House but nothing else, first of all nothing is guaranteed yet. For one thing, most of the Republican gerrymanders are based on the idea that the suburbs of most cities are light red. If they start going blue this year, and stay blue-ish in 2018 because many of those suburban women are done with the Republican party, most of those gerrymanders are now worthless. Also, there's a decent chance that Republicans will be literally split in two by that point. There's no reason to think that Trump, or his followers, will disappear and fall back in line after this election. If they start refusing to vote for establishment Republicans, and those 20% of Republicans that are still moderate-ish refuse to vote for the for Trump-backed Republicans; the party will no longer viable for most state-level elections and quite a few congressional and local districts. Next, controlling just the House isn't really that much of a back-up prize. They can keep the congressional gridlock going. But all that means is that more and more power will be concentrated in the White House and the judiciary. The majority of judges in this country are already Democratically appointed, and a Democratic senate can get a lot more confirmed in the next two years. Meanwhile a Clinton Administration will continue the Obama and Bush administrations' use of executive authority. The longer Republicans are unable to win national elections, the longer they'll be locked out of that power. Finally, if Democrats have the trifecta, they'll be able to run on quite a record of accomplishments in two years. Its impossible to say for certain whether any or all those things will come to pass. But they may, as might other developments. And that's why it doesn't do any good to start worrying about 2018 right now.
  9. HBO's Westworld- Enter the maze [spoilers]

    Also, is Delores actually 'dreaming' when she's talking to Bernard? That is, is it some kind of remote conversation and she isn't physically there with him? Because if she is physically there I don't see how she would've gotten away from Logan and William during the night for that talk at the start; unless those talks are actually happening in a different timeline from her time with William.
  10. Video Games: Thread Simulator 2016

    Ron Perlman lied to you so to that you'd get complacent and miss his sneak attack to take the only city in the world with access to niter.
  11. HBO's Westworld- Enter the maze [spoilers]

    Seems like we have final confirmation that the MiB is just a guest. Although between the references to his Foundation, the business/family that Logan and William are part of, the Westworld Board, and the fact that the Board already has a representative in the park, it looks like the show is developing some bigger plotline than just 'Are robots human?' I think the robots plotline is still going to be the main one, but its not the only one. It makes me wonder if we'll get some scenes outside the park and its employee facilities at some point; something back in the 'real world.'
  12. US Elections - The white power-suit vs the white-power suit

    To my understanding, there has never been any evidence of the top pollsters, or any of the live caller pollsters really, herding their results. That is a phenomenon of robocall and internet panel pollsters trying to better match the live call pollsters. Also, the live call pollsters still vary in their estimates of Clinton's lead, going between +7 and +15; which is a pretty wide variance. Plus there is IBD/TIPP out there on that island with the LA Times and Raz, showing a +2 Trump lead. As for gerrymandering, it has been proven that a 59-41 average district spread is the ideal goal. However, there are almost no states where Republicans were able to get districts that favorable on average. They did use computers to do the best they could of course, so there probably aren't any dummy-manders (except for Arkansas; never forget that that is a map that Democrats drew); but Democrats also don't need a 20 point win to take the House. General consensus is that if Democrats win by 8 points they have a realistic chance of taking the House, and if they win 10 points they almost certainly will take it. But it also depends on how Democrats do in the various states. Charlie Cook rates 201 Republican and 177 Democratic seats as solid, but the remaining 57 are winnable by either side. It would take a real wave for Democrats to win most of the 13 likely Republican seats, but the remaining 44 seats would probably all go Democratic with an 8 point national win. Which would give Democrats a 221-214 House majority. Democrats would probably still lose a few of those 44 races at an 8 point national margin, maybe enough to not take the majority on its own, so the question would be how many of the other 13 races or any of the 201 solid seats could they pick off. But by the time you get to a 10 point national margin, its probably not much of a question anymore.
  13. US Elections - The white power-suit vs the white-power suit

    John Harwood's a respectable, well-known journalist, I have no doubt that some senior GOP contact of his told him those numbers. Now whether that contact actually saw those numbers and whether they were what the internal GOP pollsters expected or if that was their current 'worst-case' model, I have no idea. Harwood probably has no idea either, he's just reporting what he's told. But the new ABC/WaPo poll today now has Clinton up 50-38-5-2 in the 4-way, and they were the ones that only had Clinton at +4 last week when the other top pollsters were already seeing around a +8 margin for Clinton. Regardless of whether or not that turns out to the final margin, there's definitely starting to be a pretty hefty contingent of top polls that are showing Trump collapsing further (and Clinton consolidating third-party and undecided voters).
  14. US Elections - The white power-suit vs the white-power suit

    Well, I can't tell you what local races you might have (I've got a county board race, school board race, and some bond issues), but there are two referendums to amend the Virginia constitution that no one has been talking about. The first would add a right-to-work (aka union busting) clause to the state constitution. Virginia already has a bunch of right-to-work laws, so it wouldn't have much immediate effect. But it would make it that much harder to reverse those laws if Democrats ever retake the state legislature. So I recommend voting NO on that one. The second would allow the state legislature to allow localities to exempt surviving spouses of public health or safety personnel killed in the line of duty from paying property taxes, so long as they remain at the residence that person lived at and do not remarry. Personally, I'm also voting NO on this one. I'm all for giving lots of benefits to surviving spouses (and families) of people killed in the line of public duty, but I don't believe using the tax code is the right way to do it. Also, with the clause about not remarrying, it adds a weird incentive there of encouraging people to not try to move on with their lives. Whether or not to ever remarry about a spouse is killed is an intensively personal decision, and I don't think the state should be getting involved in it.
  15. US Elections - The white power-suit vs the white-power suit

    I wonder if Virginia is more an RNC/campaign staffer decision than a Trump decision. Trump is falling so far behind in Virginia that the election here is starting to threaten the Republican gerrymander of congressional districts. Republicans have an 8-3 advantage right now. Democrats were supposed to only pick up VA-4, which got redrawn by the courts, but now Barbara Comstock looks like toast in VA-10 and the open seat in VA-5 is looking good as well. Meanwhile, its not on anyways radar, but it wouldn't take much of a wave to sweep Scott Rigel out of VA-2 (although his district may have gotten safer after VA-4 was adjusted). And in a true wave, VA-1 and VA-10 could swing as well; although they would immediately be two of the most vulnerable seats in the country for 2018. I wouldn't count on those two switching, but Trump is doing so badly here, it could happen. Point being, I think the money is being spent to try to save those congressional seats, with no expectation Trump will even get into a single-digit loss. Its a real shame the state legislature isn't up this year, Democrats would absolutely retake the senate and would at least make some ground in the house.