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About Maithanet

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  1. Maithanet

    The Acts of Caine, Matthew Stover

    I somewhat enjoyed the first two books, but I haven't found the desire to seek out the third, and it's been over a year so I'm probably not going to. I thought the world was interesting and well written, but the setting was just oppressively dark. I have a pretty high tolerance for dark sci-fi/fantasy, having read and enjoyed Bakker, McCarthy, etc. But this (particularly book 2) was just too much. I don't really want to go back to that place. I suspect that is a big part of the lack of commercial success of the Caine books. After all, Stover's Star Wars books are quite popular, so it's not like he can't write things people like.
  2. Meh, people said that last year too, that the defense looked slow and lacked talent, and the only way they'll win is if Brady scores 30+ every week. Then the defense improved from atrocious to merely mediocre and the Pats won the AFC. Again.
  3. So true, watching that game (it was the only one on) was really painful. Both teams were determined to "establish the run", in spite of the defenses stacking the box, which resulted in one of the most plodding NFL games I've seen in a while. Seattle eventually gave Wilson the option to at least do short passes, which worked a lot better than whatever Dallas was doing. As for New England, they look really bad. But for the past four or five years the September Patriots have been a pretty lackluster squad, and by November they've back to winning comfortably. No guarantee it happens again - the team isn't very talented and if Tom Brady is merely good rather than great, they're a mediocre squad. But I've seen this movie too many times to declare them dead (or even in trouble) just yet. 1-2 is not a problem, they could easily still finish 12-4 with a bye.
  4. Maithanet

    U.S. Politics: Next-ennials vs stamps

    I more or less assumed that after the Merrick Garland experience that the new norm is no President is allowed to make appointments to the SC unless his/her party also controls the Senate. Which sucks, because it is way easier for the Republicans to get to 51 in the Senate than it is for Democrats. But there's simply nothing but "precedent" to keep the Senate from just never bringing a nominee up, even if it means 4 or 7 years with a vacancy. What particularly sucks is that in all likelihood, the appellate courts and then all courts will soon follow suit. Republicans hadn't quite stripped Obama of court appointment power altogether, they just mucked things up so that it took preposterously long and Obama left office with a ton of vacancies. But there's every reason to assume that next time a Democrat is in the WH, Republicans will be even less beholden to precedent than they were for Obama.
  5. Because the three teams he's most interested in playing for are not even close to contending, and trading away assets in order to sign Butler (which is what he wants) will take them even further from a championship. Clearly his desire is to be the Big Dog in a big city NBA team, like a repeat of Carmelo on the Knicks. That raised Melo's profile for a while, but even in the best Melo year the Knicks they were never close to a championship, getting run off the court by the second best team in the East.
  6. Maithanet

    U.S. Politics: Next-ennials vs stamps

    Signs are that North Korea is losing its pariah status and rejoining the international community, while still maintaining its nuclear arsenal. That is mostly thanks to a combination of efforts from SK, China and the Trump Administration. This isn't the worst thing in the world, but it certainly isn't what Trump promised, and it is exactly what North Korea wanted. Whether that is "Trump getting played" is a matter of opinion. But the US Intelligence assessment is that North Korea is continuing it's nuclear program.
  7. Anyone who is considering trading for Butler should reconsider upon seeing that list of teams he wants to play for. Butler obviously doesn't care about winning, and why would any team want their leader to be a guy like that?
  8. Maithanet

    U.S. Politics: Next-ennials vs stamps

    Well, it's hard to say how large Spain's border with the Sahara Desert is, given that it is fictional. Perhaps the Sahara Wall will protect from immigrants of Narnia.
  9. Maithanet

    U.S. Politics: Next-ennials vs stamps

    In the past two days, Ipsos and Quinnipiac (both good firms) have come out with polls showing O'Rourke +2 and Cruz +9. Most likely the truth lies somewhere in the middle, but that Ipsos result is the first time Cruz has actually been behind in a credible poll.
  10. Maithanet

    U.S. Politics: Next-ennials vs stamps

    I would be thrilled if we could get rid of Gerrymandering alltogether. But failing that, it would be nice if there were a few states with Democrats drawing the lines to counterbalance the states that Democrats are shut out of power like TX, TN, UT, AL, etc. Democrats aren't going to have a lot of trifectas and a lot of the ones they do have are useless in redistricting (like CA and WA). With MA and MD lost causes, it looks like it's just IL and NY. It's sad that I'm hoping that the Democrats can make big wins in 2018 such that for 2022-2030, they'll only need D+3 in order to take the House, rather than D+7 we have now. This is what our democracy has been reduced to.
  11. Maithanet

    U.S. Politics: Next-ennials vs stamps

    I agree, the governor's polling the last few days has been good. I'm not as bullish as you on Ohio (it is in play, but it looks like DeWine is clearly ahead). But even without that, a pickup of FL, MI, WI, and IL, along with a hold in PA, CO and MN would be really huge. The Democrats could come out of this cycle holding the governor's mansion in 5 of the top 6 most populous states, and ten of the top 13. And that's assuming that Republicans hold GA and OH, which is by no means certain. A dream scenario could have Democrats win GA, OH and AZ, and control the state house in 13 of the top 14 (all but Texas, where Abbot is rolling). While the Democrats undoubtedly won't control the state Houses in all those states, the governor can ensure a reasonable partisan split when the new maps are drawn. I am still kind of at a loss as to how guys like Baker and Hogan can be not just ahead but almost untouchably ahead in MA and MD. Maybe people don't know that voting for them is like voting for Republicans to control the House?
  12. Ellison's case has definitely gotten national attention. And there's a very simple reason Kavanaugh's situation is getting more attention than Ellison's - Neither deputy chair of the DNC nor Minnesota Attorney General are nearly as important as a Supreme Court Justice.
  13. Yeah, I remember that article as well. Georgia is like a slightly better version of Mississippi where there are very few swing/persuadable voters, and thus even though there's a large group of Democratic voters (enough to sometimes make elections look "close"), Democrats have a lot of trouble breaking through, because there are just more Republicans, and those Republicans vote. Demographic trends are slowly making Georgia better, but it might be another ten years before it is truly in reach. Or it's possible that Abrams will break through with a surprise win in seven weeks.
  14. Maithanet

    NFL 2018 Week 1: From Wentz You Came

    I hear your cookouts are pretty great. Vontae Davis had a work thing (on a Sunday!) but he tried to make it for the end at least. Did you see him there?
  15. It's odd that some governor's races are polled so much more than others. For example, FL, MI and AZ all have 8+ polls for governor conducted in the past month, whereas GA, CO and ME have virtually nothing. I guess you could say that Maine isn't that important a state (politically), but Colorado and Georgia definitely are.