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Fez

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  1. Also the gay marriage bill, which Schumer says they'll vote on in September.
  2. For something this big, almost certainly. But the final arbiter is a federal judge authorizing the warrant.
  3. It was entirely procedural allowable; the issue was simply that it required 60 votes instead of 50. If 10 Republicans were onboard it could've been in the bill no problem.
  4. The special election in MN-1 will be especially interesting as a bellweather for the fall. The Kansas abortion vote was one thing, but let's see how an actual partisan race goes (there's also the Washington senate top-two primary from last week, but it's still at only 81% counted so I wouldn't want to draw any conclusion yet)
  5. At this point the only real threat would seem to be if there's any major drafting errors in the bill text (like the first version of the PACT Act had), and another senate vote is required. Hopefully they were more careful this time.
  6. Anyone played Nioh 2; how does it compare difficulty-wise to Elden Ring? Is it similar or significantly harder?
  7. And the senate moves onto what really matters, a eulogy for Vin Scully! But for real, exciting stuff; the climate provisions make this still a very important bill. Hopefully no fuckups with the House vote to come.
  8. Also, with the Sinema defection other Democrats have jail-breaked for the Thune amendment as well. So far it's Ossoff, Warnock, Hasan, and Kelly.
  9. Damn, sounds like Democrats have lost Sinema on some of the taxes and they're trying to figure out how to chart a path forward. John Thune has apparently put together an extremely targeted amendment to exempt some private equity subsidiaries from the corporate minimum tax, and Sinema is currently expected to vote for it. I assume something will get worked out. But this yet more proof that, end of the day, she's far worse than Manchin. He's a throwback conservative Democrat, she's an unscrupulous toady for the Phoenix Chamber of Commerce.
  10. Point is the bill doesn't *print money*; the reason that the IRA is much smaller than the BBB is that its fully paid for. It reduces the deficit, not increase it. As for the impact it'll actually have on inflation; likely not much. But the theory is that its energy investments will reduce energy costs and that will eventually have at least a bit of an impact reducing inflation.
  11. I know that usually there's a substitute amendment at the end of vote-a-rama that resets everything back to zero anyway, rendering it all moot outside of soundbites for campaign ads. But the way both sides were talking a couple days ago, it sounded like maybe there weren't commitments from all 50 Dems to go that route yet. Things do seem more solid now though, including this:
  12. Senate votes 51-50 with Harris breaking the tie to open debate on the IRA. Supposedly Republicans aren't going to waste time and use all 10 hours of their debate time, and Democrats already said they won't use all 10 of their hours. Which means by tomorrow morning this thing may actually pass. The biggest question at this point is whether Republicans manage to peel any Democrats for poison pill amendments that end up staying in the final bill.
  13. Vance is awful, but Ohio is much redder than Wisconsin at this point. Johnson can lose in a slightly-better-than-neutral political environment for Democrats, which is not out of the question for this November thanks to anger over Dobbs. But it'd take a massive wave for Vance to lose, and I just don't see that. His awfulness means that Tim Ryan can probably do much better than statewide Democrats have done in a long time in Ohio; but getting the win is an extremely tall order. And I wouldn't trust any polls yet, when Ryan has been airing aids for weeks and Vance hasn't started yet (but thanks to cash from McConnell he will be soon).
  14. I'd say the upper end of realistic midterm outcomes is Democrats have 52 senate seats. That means holding all their incumbents, taking PA, and then taking one of WI/OH/NC (and it'd probably be WI). If they do that, both Manchin and Sinema can be ignored. However, I think that outcome is quite a bit more likely than Democrats holding the House; which seems unrealistic at this point. And no House means no more legislation anyway. Bigger picture, yeah there's far too many unknown variables to make any accurate predictions about 2024 yet. Including just how many Republicans willing to subvert the election results get elected Governor or Secretary of State of swing states.
  15. Picked up Hard West 2 on the strength of the reviews despite really not jelling with the first one. And so far it does seem really quite good as far as XCOM-likes go. It rewards being aggressive even more than some other recent games in the genre; to the point that you don't even have overwatch. You can't hold back. And on the flip side whenever one of your characters gets a kill they get back ALL their AP and there's no limit on that; so you can chain 10+ kills in a turn if you're clever enough. The different characters seem to have some pretty neat abilities too; like one can fire through cover and another can swap places with any visible character for a bit of health cost. The upgrade system is neat too, and thematic. You unlock a shared pool of playing cards and equip them to characters to create poker hands that grant abilities (each individual card also gives a small bonus). The out-of-combat map exploration and text-based side quests have been pretty basic so far, but do help break up the action. The voice acting is solid, but the writing is only serviceable so far. There's also a bit of jank where the main character is sometimes written in first person and sometimes third person and I can't tell why the difference exists. He also has less voice acting than the other party members, but does have some. It's like he's stuck between being a silent, player-insert protagonist and a fully realized character.
  16. Sinema says she has a deal on reconciliation and Schumer's said the first votes will start Saturday afternoon. Seems like this may actually happen. And, if it does, this is actually going to go down as one of the most productive Congresses in a long time. There's not a signature law like the 111th Congress has with the ACA, but this bill (assuming it passes), the earlier infrastructure bill, the COVID relief bill, the CHIPs/China competition bill, a (limited but still something) gun bill, that bill fixing the postal service's finances, the bill reauthorizing the VAWA (which had expired in 2019), and the lend-lease bill for Ukraine is a pretty strong slate actually. And there's still that election reform bill that might pass too, which won't protect against nearly all 2024 threats but does address a few of them.
  17. Azerbaijan has apparently started a military offensive into a breakaway region partially(?) controlled by Armenia since 1988. Russia has had peacekeepers in the region and is officially a mediator, though there's a quite a bit of evidence that they at least somewhat favor Armenia in the conflict. Presumably Azerbaijan has decided that Russia no longer has the capacity to project force into the conflict and that they're free to try taking on Armenia. It'll be interesting to see if this will be a one-off, or if any other parties anywhere will also decide that Russia has weakened to the point that they can be ignored in regional conflicts.
  18. Romney, Shelby, Tillis, and Toomey are not usual dead-enders (neither is Crapo really, he often votes with leadership). I haven't closely the bill at all; but this makes me think that there is something actually objectionable from a conservative (as opposed to asshole) point of view in the bill text.
  19. So my understanding is that it gives it to the Governor unless state law clearly specifies where the authority is (which is almost always the Governor or the State Sec. of State). But either way, it's not really a concern I think. Republican governors are almost always a bit less crazy than Republican legislators. And, while we'll see what happens in 2022; right now I think Virginia is the only state with the potential for a Republican governor to try overriding a Democratic (or actually split in this case) legislature. Whereas there are several states with Democratic governors but a Republican legislature.
  20. In further bipartisan news, Senate negotiators have announced two bills: one to reform the electoral count act and one to expand protections for election workers. https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/congress/senators-announce-bipartisan-bills-stop-candidates-stealing-elections-rcna39124 I think the second should pass pretty easily, but we'll see if there's actually 10 GOP senators for the first one. And also just how much teeth the first bill really has. NBC's description says it does have some provisions to stop slates of fake electors from being sent, but I doubt it addresses every issue. And the biggest problem isn't even fake electors, it's real electors being sent by Republican-run states that decide to overturn the election results.
  21. I find it interesting that no other streaming service has been able to compete with HBO yet on sheer production values for fantasy. The writing and acting will determine if this is actually a good show. But from the trailer this just looks good in a way that Amazon or Netflix fantasy shows never do IMO.
  22. Schumer will be introducing in the Senate the gay marriage bill that the House passed yesterday. This is the bill to codify the right to gay marriage in case SCOTUS decides to overturn Obergefell like they did Roe. The bill got 47 GOP votes in the House, and it may actually be able to reach 60 votes in the Senate. Not clear yet. But with limited floor time left in the session and a bunch of federal judges to still confirm, plus whatever shred of reconciliation Manchin allows, I suspect Schumer would only bring the bill up like this if he thinks there's a real shot at it passing.
  23. It depends. If there's a decent chance he's the 50th vote again after 2024, then probably Democrats won't turn on him too much next session. I think it's relatively unlikely he wins reelection in 2024, but wouldn't entirely rule it out. And it's not out of the realm of possibility 52+ Senate seats next year even if they lose the House, which would mean still being at 50 after 2024 would also be possible. Also there's some number of Senate Democrats, I have no idea how many but I'd guess around 10, who still like Manchin quite a lot. He takes the heat for them when the rest of the party wants to pass a bill that they don't really want to vote for but would probably have to if not for Manchin sinking things. Manchin also brings value in being one of the few Democrats still with working relationships with Senate Republicans, which does occasionally bring benefits.
  24. As much as Manchin sucks in many different ways, he is far more liberal than Collins or Murkowski, who are already outliers in the GOP. And Manchin still fulfills the single most important part of his job without complaint, which is vote in favor of Biden's judicial nominations. Without Manchin, maybe 2 or 3 of Biden's 70 confirmed judges would actually be on the bench (and Jackson would not be on the Supreme Court, so we'd be facing a 7-2 conservative bench soon enough). Because he does this, and because no other Democrat could win in West Virginia, he remains an invaluable part of the party. Even though he's an asshole who screws over the party in many other ways. And there are 46 judicial nominees pending for Schumer to jam through before the end of December that will rely on Manchin's vote as well, so there will be no punishment going forward either.
  25. Eternals? That movie seemed like such a strange swing that pretty badly missed the mark. I wouldn't be surprised if it basically gets excised from the MCU continuity.
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