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1  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Election What-ifs? / Re: Dust In The Wind on: May 04, 2016, 11:12:12 pm
Don't know why, but the "Lone Rider PAC" makes me chuckle Wink

I know it's cheesy, but I figured with the way Areus had been coming up with the names of some of these projects it was only appropriate. Tongue
2  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: They actually did it, the absolute madmen. on: May 03, 2016, 10:32:24 pm
3  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Election What-ifs? / Re: Dust In The Wind on: May 01, 2016, 09:17:18 pm
Scrimmage: 1989

The party resumed their pleasantries after Areus’ speech. Thad made his way towards Cynthia, who had reservations about attending. “Cynthia, how are you doing, dear?” he asked. She looked into his eyes and flashed a smile. “Better now,” she said. “I must thank you for being in attendance despite your initial resistance,” said Thad, clasping her hands into his own. Thad had developed an aversion to attachment given his personal relationships, but this was the most secure he had felt in a long time.

This moment of warmth was stopped short by a chilling grip on his shoulder. Thad looked up to see an Areus Ho’kee red in both his face and his eyes. “Thad, I’ve got to speak with you and a few of the others for a bit. You don’t mind, right Cynthia?” he asked. Cynthia politely nodded her head to indicate her say-so, and Thad looked on at her apologetically as he was whisked away by Areus.

Areus draped his arm over Thad’s shoulder, leading him to an entourage that consisted of Lawrence Coventry, Eric Snell, and Ralph Stevenson; all familiar faces. “Gentlemen, I’ve got a few things that I’d like to talk to you about alone. Why don’t we head out to the balcony?” asked Areus, before leading the men out of the room. They walked up the staircase and down a long hallway, finally exiting onto a large balcony, overlooking the Potomac River. Thad peered into the river, staring at the reflection of a gibbous moon.

“This is an area that has been intimate to my heart, and I feel comfort sharing it with you four,” said Areus. Thad took a moment to look around: while the balcony offered a nice view of the river, it was a relatively small structure for a party of five, and had only been outfitted with wicker chairs and tables. “In the basement, I alluded to a great political undertaking, but it’s only an area like this where I feel comfortable divulging particular details to those it may concern,” said Areus.

Ericson Snell stood up in objection. “We spent much time and many resources getting you elected to the Oval Office, one of the most extravagant buildings in the United States. However, when it comes to discussing intimate political matters, you opt for your estate, which is neither outfitted with the protection of Secret Service nor the comfort of taxpayer-funded luxury seating?” he asked.

Areus laughed. “Always eager to see the inside of the White House!” Snell recoiled a bit. “No, you’ve raised some valid points. I’ve only slept for a spell in the White House myself. I find the presence of the Secret Service suffocating, and try to keep as much of a distance from it as possible. Furthermore, I feel more at ease discussing matters with you in my own backyard,” he said.

Eric ceded the argument. “So, what brings us here?” he asked. Areus smiled. “Well, as I announced in the basement, I’m going to be unveiling the Lone Rider Political Action Committee. Political Action Committees are ostensibly structured to be focuses on issues, rather than candidates. I know that this sounds like small ball politics, but please listen to me.

Since Jackson’s re-election, we’ve launched an investigation focused on the donations from private companies to state affiliates and national campaigns. However, campaign laws say nothing about donations towards issue advocacy groups. As long as we dot our I’s and cross our T’s, we can effectively use the Lone Rider PAC as a community pool of assets. The donations are not directly traceable to anybody, and it can function as a slush fund,” said Areus.

Thad, Lawrence, Eric, and Ralph all stared at Areus uncomfortably, whom did a double-take before glaring back in disgust. “Do not kid me here. Let’s look at the biggest donors to Scoop Jackson’s bid: Big Agriculture, Big Energy, Big Labor, and Big Military. Without ever tipping their hand, they disfigured public policy and made millions in the process. My reasoning is that if we are to combat these forces, then we might as well use some chicanery of our own,” he said.

Eric was quick to respond. “My fear is that undue campaign donations and legislative abuse go hand-in-hand. Consider Scoop Jackson’s agriculture bill: it was basically an omnibus of free money for the districts of embattled Democratic congressmen. In similar fashion, my investigation shows a strong relationship between several defense industry companies and Jackson’s reelection campaign.

Lastly, you campaigned against, and have tasked me to clamp down on, pork barrel spending in Congress. How can I be expected to keep pork to a minimum when we’ve opened up the floodgates to all sorts of donors? It seems that we’re not only contradicting our own message, but also setting ourselves up for electoral failure,” he said.

“At the end of the day, government failure can be attributed to a degree of ineptitude. As Speaker of the House, I expect you to have each bill reviewed carefully, regardless of the circumstances, just to ensure that excessive spending isn’t reaching my desk. I’m also going to uphold the integrity of this Political Action Committee by hiring the most scrupulous staffers, and by meeting every prospective donor in person before the transaction takes place. Now, before I continue on, are all of you on board with this?” Areus asked.

After a brief silence, the room nodded. “The most important part of this endeavor will be the division of authority. I’ve gathered you out here on this porch because I trust you men above all others in executing these responsibilities. I understand that other than Snell, none of you are financial experts, which is why I’ve hired bookkeepers for each of you. What I’m asking you to do is scout out the next generation of Maverick-minded politicians, and build a foundation.

Lawrence, you are arguably the safest incumbent in the nation. You represent a Republican state, have no organized opposition, and are not up for re-election for years. I am tasking you to scout out talent for the Senate elections in 1990 and 1992, and I am authorizing two million dollars in funds from the Lone Rider PAC,” said Ho’kee. Lawrence nodded in compliance, saying, “I’ll try and do the best I can.”

Ho’kee looked on to Ericson Snell. “Eric, it has long been your dream to be Speaker of the House, but you have only gotten to enjoy the responsibilities of that position for a year. My directive to you is that you scout the country and try to find as many Maverick-minded candidates for the House as possible. I am authorizing five million dollars in funds to be spent at your discretion. I understand it will be difficult to juggle the duties of Speaker and of recruiting premier talent.” Ericson Snell nodded. “You’ve given quite the assignment, but I’ll do the best I can to further the cause,” he said.

Areus stared at Thad and Ralph Stevenson after Eric’s statement. “At last, but not at least, we’ve got to pay deference to local politics. If we’re going to get a leg up on these other factions in the Republican Party, then our best bet is to start early.  Ralph, I understand that you’re busy, but I’m offering up one and a quarter million dollars to you to help influence some of the local elections up in the New England area. You would arguably have the freest reign, owing to the diversity of elective office in the region,” said Areus.

Ralph smiled. “It sounds like an interesting challenge. I’m young myself, but I would love to get new talent on board and shape the future in the same fashion that Thad recruited me,” said Ralph. Thad was dismayed and disappointed, having not been called on. “Areus, you have assembled us to discuss the future movements of our cause, and have conspicuously delegated responsibility to everyone here except me. Is there reason for this?” asked Thad.

“I didn’t intend for you to take this as a slight, Thad. I was just trying to place people where their talents are best suited,” explained Areus. For the first time in years, Thad was unsatisfied with Areus’ answer. “You invited the four of us to speak with you in full confidence about how we were going to support and elect those that think like us. You assigned duties to three of us: Ralph, Lawrence, and Eric. I have been left out. What gives?” asked Thad.

“I don’t mean to be back-handed here, but I don’t have faith in your ability to act as an overseer for a region in the way that Ralph or Coventry does. You barely even have your own residence; I wouldn’t ask you to micromanage our political operations across six states,” said Areus. Thad was visibly hurt by this remark, but kept his resolve. “All of that being said, why would you invite me along if I were to be removed from your machinations?” he asked. “Well, Thad, it wouldn’t be very neighborly of me if I didn’t invite you,” Areus chuckled. “On a more serious note, I invited you because I have the utmost level of trust in you.

Yes, the ostensible reason why I invited the four of you out here was to discuss our plans for flipping the national chessboard toward our favor. I don’t have strong faith in your ability to network on a large enough scale to flip the Northeast. However, you remain a valuable asset toward the future of the Maverick cause in other respects: You care deeply about certain issues. You were in the Senate for less than a full term, but committed yourself to a colossal filibuster when it came time to vote to fund the Iran War. You gave a long speech against the Senate’s agricultural bill.

Under the best of circumstances, I will be in office until 1997, and that matter itself is an uncertainty. Lawrence and Eric are both brilliant and accomplished statesmen, but there is no guarantee as to how they would fare on a national stage. Coming from a humble background, you are raw, but I have noticed flashes of brilliance in you, and I think you could be polished to be an eventual successor to our cause.

Eric, I know that you’ve been growing impatient when it comes to having the House legislate conservative causes. What I want you to do is spend time with Thad, and co-sponsor with him a bill normalizing free trade with the most of the Western Hemisphere. I want Thad to have his first experience advocating his own legislation, and also to get him more comfortable with Congressional leadership,” said Areus.

Eric smiled. “That sounds like a great opportunity to get to work and get to know you better,” said Eric, as he glanced over at Thad. “It’s getting late now, but I’d like for us to meet up in a few days’ time to get better acquainted. Dinner and drinks are on me.”
4  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Election What-ifs? / Re: Dust In The Wind on: April 19, 2016, 12:48:24 am
In Irons: 1989

All eyes were on Areus Ho’kee after he quieted the room. “Thank you. I apologize if I’ve interrupted any conversations with my outburst, but you guys will have all night to talk. This is a matter that pertains to all of you and will affect your careers, so I insist that you pay attention,” said Areus. He paused to walk over to the bar, where he could stand at a higher elevation.

“Before I get started, I would like to appreciate what we have accomplished in the past year. With only a fifth of support in the Republican Party and low funding, we managed to overcome several stalwarts running for the presidential nomination. Despite the fact that we were a political minority, we managed to secure not only control of Congress, but also its leadership positions. We also managed to win the Presidency itself; despite the fact that we were running against an incumbent President, and with an insurgent party nipping at our heels.

The convergence of all of these facts leads to one reality: for the first time since Eisenhower was President, we enjoy control of the Executive office and both chambers of Congress. However, I cannot take all of the credit for this, as I’ve had a fantastic supporting cast during my career in politics,” said Areus, before raising his wine glass. “We shall have a toast for each name that I mention,” he continued. The room nodded, each member paying closer attention to their drink.

“One person that I owe this success to is Lawrence Coventry, for his eloquence, creativity, and networking skills in the Senate. Another person I am indebted to is Ericson Snell: not only for his selflessness, but for his austere nature, and blunting my radical edge at times. A third person I would like to thank is Thad O’Connor: his stalwart advocacy against the Iran War, farm subsidies, and other issues, gave coherence and substance to our message,” Areus paused, and the room enjoyed a toast for each man mentioned.

“Lastly, I would also like to grant accolades to Mayor Abimelech Delroy. While not in a position to be bending the curve of federal law, he nonetheless is the chief executive of the largest city in America, and has been pushing more avant-garde ideas like single-housing zoning. This cannot be understated, as it could be the blueprint of our political future.” Areus paused, staring on at Abimelech Delroy like a father doting on his son, while the rest of the room toasted. “Thanks to these individuals, amongst countless others, we managed to wrest control of the government. We prevailed, not because we had the most chips, but because we had the strongest hand. We won, not by strength in numbers, but by wit, bluffing, and dint of circumstance.

These accomplishments have left me with exuberance and pride, but they are far from enough if we hope to achieve anything of permanence. Lawrence, Eric, and I got our posts while the Republican Party was reeling from its defeat in 1978. While we were the victors in 1988, our opposition was a sclerotic Democratic Party and an upstart Working Man’s Party; each feasting on the carrion of their support bases.

It is only a matter of time before another message rises up to compete with us for the ballot of the layman, which is why it is time that we organize. One reason why I have invited all of you here tonight is so that you may share dialogue, get to know each other, and form a broad consensus. A second reason why I have gathered you all is to announce the formation of our flagship: the Lone Rider Political Action Committee!” Areus vociferated the last bit, only to be met with dim enthusiasm and delayed applause.

Undaunted by the mellow response, he went on to elaborate: “The Lone Rider Political Action Committee is a political advocacy group that will be indirectly forwarding the efforts of many candidates, all of which owe their allegiance to the Mavericks. It is to be an organization independent of any individual candidate, and instead focused on pushing a narrative for a national campaign.

This is important, because it will help us tip the scales in Congress towards our own interests. While these years past have been the ones where we have managed to steal leadership positions, let this one be known as the year where we tossed the anchors overboard, severed the chains, and never looked back. We need to rid ourselves of deadweight, even if that means primarying fellow Republicans.

In summation, I’ve gathered you here for two reasons: first, to announce that we’re constructing a massive campaign network to elect Mavericks nationwide, and secondly, for all of you to get better acquainted. With that being said, please enjoy yourselves the rest of the evening!”
5  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Election What-ifs? / Re: Dust In The Wind on: April 15, 2016, 10:20:48 pm
The Salt Ring: 1989
Thad and Cynthia spent the next few days moving their possessions from their respective offices and into the quarters that Areus had granted them in his estate. Since the couple’s big move coincided with Congress’ Christmas vacation, the two of them took ample time to furnish the new living space to their liking. Thad had moved every beer and whiskey bottle of his into the refrigerator, while Cynthia had packed the dresser drawers and burnt incense.

Areus Ho’kee had hosted a New Year’s Eve party in his estate every year since his election to Congress. Since his election to the Senate, Thad O’Connor had been invited to each of those parties, either by voicemail or letter. However, this year the host was more direct with his invitation: he briskly knocked on the bedroom door three times, rousing the couple from their sleep. Thad rushed toward the door to answer, opening it up just a crack.

“What is the matter?” he asked, staring at Areus Ho’kee through the small slit. “Tonight we’re having another New Year’s Eve Party. There are some stars on the cusp of brilliance that will be in attendance tonight, and we’ve got some huge news to break that will have big implications on the next session of Congress, as well as the mid-term campaign. I trust that you and your wife will attend,” said Areus.

“Do not worry, we shall be there,” said Thad. Areus nodded, before shutting the door. Cynthia glared at Thad, most of her face buried under the covers in shame. “You’re quick to make promises for the two of us, and I’m not actually you’re wife!” she growled. Thad slumped back into bed in an attempt to console Cynthia. “Sweetheart, you’re living in the same building where the event is being held. The booze is free, and the people most sympathetic to our cause are going to be there. I am going to be there. Unless you’ve got to catch up on sleep, there is no reason not to go,” said Thad.

After a few minutes of thought, Cynthia acquiesced, and it wasn’t before long that the two of them were stepping into the lobby of Areus’ estate. Thad had opted for a black suit jacket, while Cynthia wore a light purple dress with matching earrings. When he entered, Thad observed a bevy of political figures: in one corner, Ericson Snell had congregated with James Garner, Ralph Stevenson, Alice Luce, and a stranger. The tall Lawrence Coventry and Melliflia had been engaged with half a dozen people, while Areus Ho’kee, Abimelech Delroy, and Restique Skinner had been captivated by their own group.

Despite Thad’s best efforts to remain low-key, it was as if Areus had a sensor which detected his presence. “Now this meeting is complete. It’s Thad O’Connor, one of the most important members of the Senate!” exclaimed Areus. He rushed over to Thad, hugging and kissing both he and Cynthia. “I’m glad you guys were able to make it tonight. I’ll get down to the importance of this meeting in a bit, but please make yourselves comfortable first,” said Areus.

Thad quickly fixed himself a stiff whiskey and coke at the bar, while Cynthia poured herself a glass of wine. The couple headed towards Snell’s clique, where Ralph was quick to greet Thad. “Thad, it’s really good to see you man,” he said. Ralph pulled them both in with one arm on each of their backs, exclaiming, “We’ve almost got the entire Maine delegation here!” The clique laughed.

James Garner interjected himself, proffering a hand to Thad. “It’s been awhile, my friend,” he said. Thad looked up towards the tall Texan, who was imposing as ever, but had grown a scruffy beard and looked to be ten pounds heavier. “I am doing quite well! I have to say, your situation looked quite precarious there. I was nervous,” said Thad.

Garner laughed. “Yeah, that election was a close one. I probably only got in because Griffin made the run-off instead of Mauro, which is the second time I’ve skirted by on a run-off. Honestly, as far as Texas is concerned, I think Republicans can only rely on the dysfunction of the state’s Democratic Party for so long before they get their ducks in a row,” said Garner.

“James, no need to be pessimistic,” said Snell. “Jackson’s ascendancy may have obscured the numbers a bit, but there’s been a latent constituency in the South for Republicans to tap into that’s only growing. In your own Texas, cities like Houston and Dallas have become Republican anchors, and who knows where we could expand.” Garner shook his head, responding, “That dog won’t hunt. The areas you just described are pretty much the high watermark for Republicans, and it ain’t enough. If you were to bolster Republican support in Texas, the best way of going about that would be to get on the right side of the immigration issue.”

“I disagree quite a bit,” drawled a voice. Thad O’Connor looked over towards the stranger in their presence; he was six feet tall, with a husky build. His complexion was ruddy, his yellow teeth clenched a spent cigar, and his eyes glared with intensity as he spoke. His thinning hair betrayed either his age or stress. “Having been on the ground down there, it’s obvious that there are Southern voters willing to vote Republican.

The South is growing because of the discovery of oil, both domestic and offshore. The South is also growing because of the staggering regulatory environment in Northern states: people are setting up shop here because it’s more conducive for business, and the locals need jobs. Nixon swept the South not too long ago, and before our nadir in the Eighties we were electing Governors and Senators for the first time since Reconstruction.”

There was an uncomfortable silence among the group, but Eric was quick to ease the tension. “So, for those of you who don’t know, this is Sam Calhoun. Do you care to introduce yourself to the group, Sam?” he asked. “Sure. Not to sound like a stump speech, but my background is that I was part of an oil drilling company invested in Oklahoma. I ran for a seat in the Oklahoma State Senate after the price of gas went up, and have since been involved in Maverick politics. Now I’m running for a House seat,” said Sam.

It was only a few seconds later that Areus sought the attention of the room. “Everybody! I’d like to have your attention please!” he shouted, and the whole room fell silent.
6  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Election What-ifs? / Re: Dust In The Wind on: March 14, 2016, 10:21:51 pm
Hey Dallasfan, I'm curious, how should I pronounce the President's last name? I've been pronouncing it "Hockey" all this time, lol

Hoe-kee (as in key)
7  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Election What-ifs? / Re: Dust In The Wind on: March 11, 2016, 01:29:19 am
Sojourn: 1989

It was only a few days before New Year’s Eve when Thad O’Connor’s office phone rang. Congress was effectively in recess, both in the sense that the procedural rules called for inertia, and that most Representatives opted to go on vacation. As a poor Senator, Thad was better served spending the vacation in his office.

Thad answered his phone. “This is Senator Thad O’Connor, how may I help you?” he asked. “Hi, this is Representative Cynthia, and I’m wondering if Thad isn’t too busy tonight,” a voice cooed. Thad buckled. “Of course not. Would you like to meet up at the Drunken Dutchman?” he asked. “That sounds wonderful,” said the voice on the other end.

Hours later, Thad found his way toward the Drunken Dutchman, waltzing through the double-doors. No sooner did he enter than did he lay eyes on Cynthia Lancaster, sitting at a table near the door. He hurried to sit opposite of her, and they quickly locked hands. “Cynthia, it has been so long since we’ve seen each other. How have you been?” he asked.

“I’ve been well Thad, glad you asked. I have to say, the work of Representative has been pretty exhaustive. I never got a degree in law, so just learning procedural terms was enough to give me a headache. Plus, with the way rent is in Washington, I’ve had to spend most nights in my office,” said Cynthia.

Cynthia’s road to Congress had been interesting. While she had been a secretary, her interest in politics did not manifest itself until meeting Thad during his run for Senate. This subsequently led to her running for Congress herself, but after winning she found herself tight on money when it came to living in the Capital.

“I can relate, dear. On days where I’m not afforded Scott Westman’s couch, I usually find myself sleeping in my own office,” said Thad. Suddenly, the double-doors of the Drunken Dutchman opened once more. Thad saw the figure of President Ho’kee, flanked by two imposing security guards. Areus Ho’kee quickly rushed towards the table of two.

“Thad! Cynthia! Why are you two stuck in such a place as this?” asked Areus. “Well, Areus, neither of us have the wherewithal to meet at a more prestigious venue,” said Thad. Areus laughed, saying, “This can’t be true. I know that Thad had resorted to rooming with Westman, but surely you have somewhere to sleep, Cynthia?”

Cynthia shook her head. “It’s expensive to find an apartment in this city,” she said. Thad felt the need to interject. “Add to that, I haven’t spent the night with Scott Westman in months. He always has a different woman over,” he said. Areus grinned, wrapping his arms around the pair. “I’ve got a perfect idea: why don’t the two of you live with me?” he asked.

Before long, Thad and Cynthia found themselves being guided toward Areus’ limousine and whisked towards his estate. Given that they were in the company of Areus Ho’kee himself, the security afforded no delay towards the group, and Areus quickly led Thad and Cynthia down the corridors to a lavish room.

Areus lead them toward a large den, replete with a fireplace, bearskin rug, and refrigerator. He approached Thad, grasping his hands. “Thad, since I’ve embarked on this mission, you’ve been one of my most loyal allies in the Senate. You were elected to the Senate in 1982 and the conditions that you’ve lived under are unacceptable,” said Areus.

He moved on to Cynthia, kissing her hands. “You’ve followed Thad’s footsteps and not missed a beat. Perhaps what’s more impressive is that you managed to upend the Maine Republican establishment, while running as a female. I imagine that womens’ rights are going to be a cornerstone of the Republican Party going forward,” he continued, before looking at both Thad and Cynthia.

“You two are inseparable. You both represent the same state: Maine. You both represent the same faction of the Republican Party: Mavericks. You both are allies of mine in Congress, and you both are in love with each other. Thus, I am proposing that you move into the Ho’kee-Rockefeller estate, so that you may both be together and not have to be relegated to sleeping in your own offices.”

Thad reflected upon his relationship with Cynthia. He had gotten off to a rocky start with her when their relationship started, which had corresponded with the nadir of the Republican Party and his own career in politics. However, since Areus’ ascension to the White House, Thad’s sense of self was born anew. He felt more confidence and motivation going forward than at any point since leaving for Vietnam.

He looked toward Cynthia for confirmation, and she nodded. “It sounds like a plan to me, Areus,” said Thad.
8  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Election What-ifs? / Re: Dust In The Wind on: March 05, 2016, 12:45:07 am
TIME – Areus keeps his rhythm
December 19th, 1989

Quick consensus on environmental bill
President Areus Ho’kee had spent the first months of his Presidency in a state of dormancy, before going on a speaking tour and aggressively working over congressional leaders to pass the Return to Normalcy Act. He was not content to end the calendar year with that accomplishment, and worked with Congress to swiftly pass a large environmental overhaul before Christmas Break.

Amongst many things, the Green America Act of 1989 sets new standards for air pollution by United States manufacturing companies, as well as water treatment. In a move of compromise, it also codifies permission for existing oil drilling sites in the Gulf of Florida, and maintains the existence of nuclear power plants in the western United States.

The legislation passed with few amendments, but not everybody is happy with it. Environmentalist groups, some of which backed the President in his election bid, decried him for “capitulating to big energy interests.” Senator Patton Wyde had other objections. “Buried in this catch-all proposal is an excise tax on coffins, which reflects poorly on this administration’s respect of religion,” said the Senator.

Few of these objections came up during the Senate’s debate of this proposal, meaning that perhaps the body was more focused on their recess than the legislation at hand.

Aye: Jefferson Dent (R-AL), Ted Stevens (R-AK), Clark Gruening (D-AK), Jim Kolbe (R-AZ), David Pryor (D-AR), Dale Bumpers (D-AR), Pete McCloskey (R-CA), Ed Zschau (R-CA), Gary Hart (D-CO), Lowell Weicker (R-CT), Christopher Shays (R-CT), Joe Biden (D-DE), William Roth (R-DE), Lawton Chiles (D-FL), Sam Nunn (D-GA), Daniel Inouye (D-HI), Spark Matsunaga (D-HI), Orval Smylie (R-ID), Alex Seith (D-IL), Jim Edgar (R-IL), Richard Lugar (R-IN), Floyd Fithian (D-IN), Frederic Reid (R-IA), Jim Leach (R-IA), Bennett Johnston Jr (D-LA), Thad O’Connor (R-ME), Ralph Stevenson (R-ME), Wayne Gilchrest (R-MD), Clarence Long (D-MD), Ted Kennedy (D-MA), Bill Weld (R-MA), Mic Ceriel (R-MI), William Milliken (R-MI), Walter Mondale (D-MN), David Durenburger (R-MN), Gillespie Montgomery (D-MS), John Danforth (R-MO), Scott Westman (D-MT), Helen Brisco (R-MT), James Exon (D-NE), Charles Thone (R-NE), Chic Hect (R-NV), Malcolm McLane (R-NH), Maurice Murphy (R-NH), Thomas Kean (R-NJ), Millicent Fenwick (R-NJ), Bruce King (D-NM), David F. Cargo (R-NM), Hamilton Fish (R-NY), Al Green (R-NY), Mark Andrews (R-ND), John Glenn (D-OH), David Boren (D-OK), Wes Watkins (D-OK), Victor Atiyeh (R-OR), Mark Hatfield (R-OR), John Heinz (R-PA), John Murtha (D-PA), Claiborne Pell (D-RI), John Chafee (R-RI), George McGovern (D-SD), Larry Pressler (R-SD), Jim Sasser (D-TN), James Garner (R-TX), Jake Garn (R-UT), Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Lawrence Coventry (R-VT), Margaret Garland (R-VT), Andrew Miller (D-VA), Marshall Coleman (R-VA), Santiago St. Avila (R-WA), Jasper Morrill (R-WA), Steve Gunderson (R-WI), Herb Kohl (R-WI), Malcolm Wallop (R-WY), Alan Simpson (R-WY) (76)

Nay: Howell Heflin (D-AL), Bob Stump (D-AZ), Bill Armstrong (R-CO), John D. Russell (D-GA), George Hansen (WMP-ID), Bob Dole (R-KS), Joan Finney (D-KS), Walter Huddleston (D-KY), Wendell Ford (D-KY), Mike Foster (D-LA), Patton Wyde (D-MS), Paul Laxalt (R-NV), Robert Morgan (D-NC), John Ingram (D-NC), James Traficant (D-OH), Strom Thurmond (R-SC), Ernest Hollings (D-SC), Marilyn Lloyd (D-TN), Bill Archer (WMP-TX), Jennings Randolph (D-WV), Robert Byrd (D-WV) (21)

Abstain: Richard McPherson (D-FL), Thomas Eagleton (D-MO), Warren F. Ford (R-ND), (3)

Republican Congress popular
Although control of both chambers had eluded them since 1954, Congressional Republicans fell to an all-time low in the wake of President Jackson’s landslide election in 1980. Because of the hubris and excess of the Jackson Democrats, Republicans stole control of Congress in 1986 and cemented its hold two years later, concurrent with the election of Areus Ho’kee.

Typically, the incumbent party’s numbers in Congress recede during a midterm year, either due to the natural ebb and flow of politics or due to a scandal. Polls show that both President Ho’kee and the Republican Congress have a positive approval rating, but their majority may still be at risk. For instance, Republicans picked up some seats in urban areas, where Democratic candidates achieved historic lows due to the albatross of the Jackson/Bentsen administration.  While Ho’kee targeted these constituencies, Democrats should expect to do better this time.

Another thing to consider is the Working Man’s Party factor. Buoyed by the candidacy of Paul Laxalt, the Working Man’s Party managed to climb to eleven seats in the House of Representatives. In a mid-term election, there is no flag carrier and thus no incentive for voters to turn out. While some would take it for granted that these would be Republican pick-ups, most of the WMP seats are in areas where President Jackson gained the most ground.

Considering the amount of seats that were won due to the unpopularity of Bentsen or the presence of a third-party candidate, it’s likely that the Republicans will lose some seats in the 1990 midterm elections. There is a strong correlation between Scoop Jackson’s success in the Plains in 1984 and the constituencies of WMP congressmen four years later, and there’s no guarantee that those seats will fall back into Republican hands.

Generic Ballot Preference (Congress)
Republican: 49%
Democratic: 38%
Working Man’s Party: 7%
Undecided: 6%
9  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Election What-ifs? / Re: Dust In The Wind on: March 04, 2016, 10:46:24 pm
I need to caught up with this.
Shouldn't be too much to catch up on. Tongue
10  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Election What-ifs? / Re: Dust In The Wind on: February 27, 2016, 12:55:17 am
To go in for the kill: 1989

Thad O’Connor had lost most of his immediate family when he returned from the Vietnam War, and had no familial obligations since then. While most of Congress used the occasion of Thanksgiving to take leave of the capital, Thad had no reason to leave and frequented local bars for the next few days. It was only a day or two after the holiday that his answering machine registered a voicemail. “Thad, it’s Areus. I’d like you to meet with me at the Drunken Dutchman at four o’clock tomorrow; it’s important.”

Thad O’Connor did his best to ensure that he met President Areus’ request, walking through the door to the main lobby. While there was a faint musk of cigarette smoke, it had died down in comparison to Thad’s past visits. He spotted Areus, Lawrence, and Ericson at a familiar table and rushed toward the seat.

Areus already had a glass of wine at Thad’s bench, and raised his own upon his entry. “It is in no small part due to Thad’s effort that the Return to Normalcy Act was passed by the Senate. This is arguably the biggest piece of foreign policy legislation since the Marshall Plan, and I would like to offer a toast to present company for fighting for it in Congress,” said Areus.

“I appreciate the accolades. However, equal credit must be given to Lawrence Coventry as Senate Majority Leader for helping such a bill get to the Senate floor in the first place,” said Thad, before proffering his wine glass for the toast. “Thad, you are such a selfless individual!” exclaimed Areus, toasting his wine glass with the rest.

“Now, onwards to the next proposal for this administration. The Democratic Party and its interests are in shambles: eight years ago it seemed like an unstoppable juggernaut, but now its roots have grown so far apart that they might starve each other. Now is the perfect time to address the matter of the environment, and the bread and butter of my proposal is simple: preserve the current oil operations in the Gulf of Florida, while also instituting new regulations on clean air and water. Momentum is on our side; while the last piece of legislation may have been divisive, polls show that the public was grateful that the Presidency was being decisive on pressing issues.”

Ericson Snell was the first to sound off in response. “Areus, I’ve got to say it’s a relief that we aren’t going to cave on off-shore drilling. That being said, is there any chance that this package can include authorization of expansion of drilling into the Pacific Coast and Alaska?” he asked. “I can’t promise that, Eric. If the EPA finds that those sites aren’t fraught with environmental difficulty then it can probably be done, although by the time those operations are established I’d be out of office,” said Areus.

Lawrence Coventry was next to voice his objection. “I think that a small portion of our support came from those who were frustrated with the Democratic Party’s recent deviance on environmental issues. A lot of my constituents live in pristine rural areas and tend to be conscious of these issues. Also, I find it a bit unsettling that this bill does not take into account the complete carte blanche that President Jackson gave to nuclear plants settling out West,” said Lawrence.

Areus Ho’kee grinned. “I’m acutely aware of the support that we drew from defections within the environmentalist factions of the Democratic Party, and this bill includes some concessions on emissions regulations. Considering the growing level of participation rates in groups such as PETA, the green vote is something I’d like to have, especially with the current disarray that the Democratic Party is in. That being said, the current situation necessitates a proposal with more practicality.

We’re in the midst of cutting ourselves off from the Eastern Hemisphere. Several oil drilling sites in Iran have been destroyed in the past few years, and we’ve effectively removed any clout that we’ve had in that region. My campaign and Presidency has been anchored to returning America to dependence on natural gas, nuclear power, and other domestic resources. Considering the current stakes of the Cold War, closing nuclear power sites would be a non-starter.

I understand your constituents’ feelings on the matter, but take this into consideration: there are zero bodies of water in your state that would be affected by this legislation. Furthermore, assuming an apples-to-apples comparison, many rural states have gravitated towards the Democrats since President Jackson. We ought to be looking to make inroads in the cities. Besides, Vermont votes for Republicans over Democrats by about three or four to one sometimes."
11  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Name one bad thing about Hillary Clinton. on: February 02, 2016, 05:13:49 pm
I can name many, but I'm just going to go with her corruption/ties to Wall Street.

What corruption?


Flippantly mishandling classified emails and then lying about it and blaming the Republicans for "selective leaking".  Carly Fiorina is right, she is more qualified for the Big House than the White House.  Still, though, she would be a far better president than the horrible socialist.  The last thing this country needs is socialism.

Mishandling emails (allegedly) isn't "corrupt", Bushie.

It sounds corrupt to me.

Considering Pedro Tevez and Ashfat Bridal sounded totally legitimate to you, perhaps you're not the best judge.

12  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Moderator Job Approval Ratings: Jan 2016 on: January 31, 2016, 04:02:04 pm
Hmm... Ernest, Torie and Tender all among the worst ratings; under 50% approval?  How very shocking.  Or not, if any of you had spent any time in the Mod Cave to witness the first two's insufferable lawyering.  And Tender's trolling just seems to be getting worse (see above).

If you were still a Mod, what do you guess your approval rating might be?

Low enough that my voluntary resignation would still make sense, I'm sure.  I have the self-awareness to know when it was time to step down, because the community no longer had confidence in my authority, you see.  Just like, what, 57% of voters in this poll seem to think about you?

Oh, one other thing. Can you remind me that last time you said something positive about another poster? Just curious.

On some other, better fora, there is a mechanism by which you can effectively say something positive about somebody by simply clicking 'like' on one of their posts.  I use it frequently.  It's much easier than typing "nice guy FF" all the time or whatever it is you're suggesting I do.

nice guy FF


13  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Your favorite NFL team on: January 31, 2016, 03:52:38 pm
13 Time World Champions


I just started watching a few years ago but I've really gotten into it, and my dad started liking the Packers around '93 when Favre had started playing, so I figured I'd root for them. And then I started watching shows about the Lombardi Packers and what not and figured I made the right decision.
14  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Libertarians who do you support for President? on: January 30, 2016, 08:21:23 pm

15  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Election What-ifs? / Re: Dust In The Wind on: January 29, 2016, 02:06:32 am
TIME - Areus sets a tempo
November 13th, 1989

Senate finds consensus on RTNA

Several weeks ago the Senate rejected President Ho'kee's brain-child: the Return to Normalcy Act. The ambitious proposal called for rapid withdrawal from all of Western Europe and the Eastern Hemisphere, while cutting defense spending across the board and reallocating some dollars toward a missile defense program that would guard against nuclear warheads.

President Ho'kee seemed undaunted by this defeat. He reshuffled his deck and hedged his bets, sending Senator Thad O'Connor to offer a more amicable deal to the Senate chamber. While still ambitious, the revamped proposal offered some capitulation to hardline conservatives: it postponed the final troop withdrawal from Europe to 1997, re-structured the Panama Canal deal, and was packaged with tax cuts to boot. Such concessions were enough to secure passage of the Return to Normalcy Act.

The President finds his stride

Whether he was overwhelmed with his success or simply out of his depth upon assuming the office, President Ho'kee seemed to lose his stride after swearing in. Other than a handful of executive orders, the President did little with the bully pulpit that comes in hand with the Presidency, and seldom spoke to the media or advocated for legislation. In response, his approval ratings were in decline as congressional Democrats sought to define him as a do-nothing President.

That began to change when President Areus helped craft the Return to Normalcy Act. While the Senate rejected the initial proposal, he quickly worked on a re-draft and the Senate passed the new version by a comfortable margin. President Ho'kee seems to have a renewed sense of vigor, and vowing that "more reform packages are inbound, and my desk is the final destination."

The public reacted well to Areus' initiative. Polls show that a majority agree with the spirit of the Return to Normalcy Act, with 54% of people in approval. Additionally, his presidential approval ratings saw a 10% increase after a middling result a month ago. Perhaps the President should take this as encouragement to continue with this rhythm.

Democratic Party in Shambles

Nine years and two terms can make a difference. The presidential and congressional elections of 1980 were a Democratic rally, as Senator Scoop Jackson won forty states and his Democratic Party achieved a supermajority in the Senate, setting up a narrative of generational Democratic dominance similar to that of the 1930's and 1940's.

Some would argue that Scoop's victory had been even more impressive than Roosevelt's: Scoop had managed to sweep The South (and by extension a small majority of southern whites) despite carrying the fresh legacy of the Civil Rights Act. Scoop Jackson also clobbered Republicans in rural parts of the Midwest in both of his election attempts.

All of that was cast to the wayside in the midterm election of 1986 and last year's presidential election. In just four years, the Democratic Party was on the bad end of a reversal of fortune, and the Republican Party now controls both the legislative and executive branch. President Lloyd Bentsen cobbled 172 electoral votes, after being projected to only accrue 75 in one October poll.

President Ho'kee took a lethargic approach towards the office for the first few months, but his latest bill is a major legislative accomplishment that could be a nightmare for liberal Democrats and those of the Jackson wing to discuss. Much like Scoop Jackson's alliance of traditional Democrats, minorities, and the Religious Right, Areus Ho'kee's coalition could prove to be a confounding mismatch for the Democratic Party.

While still early, we conducted some polling with prospective Democratic nominees.

How they match up:

Mondale: Walter Mondale was the Vice Presidential nominee on a ticket with Jimmy Carter that may have made the future better for the Democratic Party. While young in age, he was an understudy of Hubert Humphrey and other Minnesota Democrats of a previous era, and has strong support amongst traditional Democrats. When polled amongst a generic third party WMP nominee, he wins several Southern states with a plurality, and makes the Midwest competitive. Walter Mondale has no known scandals and would make for a serviceable nominee against President Ho'kee.

Brown: Jerry Brown is exactly the sort of liberal hero that the new Democratic base was clamoring for in the Sixties and Seventies. That being said, the same sort of modern left sentiment has been coopted by the Maverick Republicans to an extent, and alienated by the influx of Democrats during the Jackson Administration. Even when polled with a generic WMP nominee, Brown gets swept nationwide, in part due to his whimsical personality and unpopular record as Governor of California.

Wyde: The fiery Senator from Mississippi has established a reputation for being the leading voice of Democratic opposition to just about any Republican proposal. Patton Wyde spoke out against the Tax Reform Act of 1986, the Return to Normalcy Act, and (others) Patton Wyde presents a unique threat to Areus Ho'kee in that he could capitalize on past WMP voters. The downside toward a prospective Wyde nomination is that he sheds more liberal Democratic voters, but those might come back into the fold by November.

Moynihan: This former Senator may create the biggest mismatch for the incumbent President. Daniel Moynihan established a voting record tilted towards more traditional Democratic interests when bills such as the Tax Reform Act of 1986 came up. However, Moynihan has several fraternizations with the Right, most of which serve to his advantage. While he voted against the Wyde amendment, he favors extensive restrictions on abortion. He's a fastidious Cold Warrior, and has even penned articles for National Review. Furthermore, polls have him leading in the Midwest, which may be President Ho'kee's electoral underbelly.

Presidential Approval Ratings
November 10th, 1989


November 10th, 1989


Safe Republican: >10%

Slight Republican: 4-9%

Tossup: 3% difference

Slight Democratic: 4-9%

Safe Democratic: >10%

Ho'kee vs Mondale

299 - 117 - 122

Ho'kee vs Brown vs WMP

342 - 18 - 178

Ho'kee vs Moynihan

236 - 212 - 90

Ho'kee vs Wyde

275 - 211 - 52
16  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: NFC, AFC Championship games on: January 19, 2016, 08:18:34 pm
Ugh, my worst fear is a Patriots-Panthers Super Bowl. Would probably spend those hours doing something non-football related.

Blocking you.

A Cowboys fan talking trash after how this season went...

We've got to do something to cope with the stillborn season that was the 2015 Dallas Cowboys.  Tongue

Romo needs to get himself out of Dallas. Tongue
17  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: NFC, AFC Championship games on: January 19, 2016, 03:03:37 pm
Ugh, my worst fear is a Patriots-Panthers Super Bowl. Would probably spend those hours doing something non-football related.

Blocking you.

A Cowboys fan talking trash after how this season went...

18  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Election What-ifs? / Re: Quick question. on: January 18, 2016, 12:09:56 pm
As I said via PM, this is the proper board for that, assuming no illegal/NSFW content.
19  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Election What-ifs? / Re: Dust In The Wind on: January 08, 2016, 12:48:38 am
Repetition: 1989

Despite Thad's best efforts, the Return to Normalcy Act had been defeated in the Senate. Areus Ho'kee had cast the aforementioned bill to insiders as a shot in the arm for his administration's agenda. He spent months working with policy advisers on this legislation, but never reached out towards congressional leaders. Areus had expected that a slim majority would be enough to intimidate Congress, but he was wrong, and Thad O'Connor fought a losing battle. Areus Ho'kee was undaunted by this defeat, and after months of retooling, sent the sophomore Senator out to advocate for a new bill.

Thad O'Connor chose an opportune time to walk down the Senate aisles to propose this bill: it was only two weeks before Thanksgiving Day, and each Congressman had shown up in anticipation of next week's holiday. Thad shuffled his papers on the podium, before asking the Senate President: "Mr. President, may I have five minutes of your time?" asked Thad.

The designated President was Senator Hamilton Fish. "The Senator is granted five minutes of the body's time," said Senator Fish. "Thank you, Mr. President. Several weeks ago, this body discussed a game-changing proposal for this country's foreign policy: the idea that we ought to reconsider our role in the world, and relinquish some of our usurped responsibilities. As evinced by the roll call from last time, this proposal met a narrow failure.

I supported the last proposal with full gusto, but understand why it was met with defeat in the Senate. That being said, this bill would leave us with a more subdued withdrawal from Europe: some American boots will be on European soil until 1997. If both the Soviet Union upholds itself and Europe is incapable of mustering a military in that duration of time, then the continent is already lost.

One thing for fiscal conservatives to consider in this bill is the dividends: we would be withdrawing our military bases from over a third of the world. This proposal includes minor tax cuts in anticipation of the dividend from withdrawal.  If we were to pass this bill, we could reduce taxes on the biggest entrepreneurs in this country and also reduce our budget deficit, by not financing the military defenses of European countries and vicariously subsidizing their social programs.

This bill is also more proactive with regard to the transfer of the Panama Canal. The old deal negotiated by President Bentsen has us retaining control until the fall of the Soviet Union, and then simply giving it to Panama. This new proposal outlines a long-term payment plan where the Panamanian government reimburses us for the value of the Canal. To those of you concerned about the security implications, we would still be responsible for security of the Canal.

I would ask this body to take a step back and reconsider the past forty years of American foreign policy before casting a vote on this bill. We have seen the outcome of foolhardy attempts to micromanage other nations, whether it be Cuba, Vietnam, or Iran. Even going as far back as the Korean War, we've not had an excursion where we've sent in manpower and been better off for doing so.

If adopted, this legislation would be a change of pace. We could direct our resources toward shooting atomic weapons out of the sky instead of having to prepare for fallout. We could lower taxes and spend less money on defense instead of having to fortify western Europe. Furthermore, we could turn our relationship with Panama from one of slave and master to one of a mutually beneficial partnership. The Soviets have looked toward South America as fertile ground, and improving our image in that continent would do well to neutralize that initiative."

Thad concluded his speech and yielded the floor to the Senate President. As if on cue, a ruddy-faced Patton Wyde rushed to the opposing podium to issue a polemic against Thad's proposal. "I ask for five minutes to rebuke these claims," said Senator Wyde. "The Gentleman from Mississippi is recognized," said Hamilton Fish in acquiescence. "Thank you. I'd thought that the Senate had thoroughly discussed this proposal last time and why it'd be such a catastrophe, but  I guess once isn't enough.

Last time, the Senator from Maine had outlined an impractical vision for our foreign policy: simply stick our head in the sand, put more sand bags around our neck, and hope that it holds up. The last time the Senator fielded this bill, the proposal was simple: surrender. This time, he's set a more interesting gambit: wait a decade to surrender. President Ho'kee has been revered for his legislative trickery, and I have to say he's outdone himself here," said Patton Wyde with a sardonic grin.

"Taking that into account, I still don't agree with this legislation. This bill expedites the surrender of the Panama Canal! The deal that President Bentsen hammered out was bad enough; this bill is further capitulation to the government of Panama! The United States constructed the Panama Canal at a time when it was considered impossible, and has been responsible for its security for decades. The Panama Canal is an important location, and this bill would simply surrender that at a time when we're reeling from defeat in Iran.

I don't understand the rest of the Senator's appeal. He tells us that we can become more safe by investing in a fanciful notion of shooting missiles in space and gain an advantage against the Soviets by withdrawing from places. He tells us we can use that money to cut taxes even though we've had a budget deficit and have had to gut Social Security a few years ago.," concluded Wyde.

Thad O'Connor seemed irked at his colleague's rebuttal, and spared nothing in his response. "Given the constituency that you represent and how it has voted in past presidential elections, it's unsurprising to me that you are too dense to understand the nuance behind proposals such as improving missile defense and staggered withdrawals from Europe. Perhaps you are the best delegate of such people?

It's true that the Panama Canal is an important location, but when you consider how rich our country is, there is no reason why we ought to be dependent on revenue from it. I will concede that there is the principle of the fact that 'we built it!' however, our meddling in that part of the hemisphere has caused great instability. As much as some members of this chamber bemoan Communism, the reality is that our intervention in South America has led to Communist governments.

As for the rest of Senator Wyde's objections, I've addressed them before and don't have an interest in doing so again," said Thad.
20  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Elections / Re: New Register Thread on: January 06, 2016, 08:16:42 pm

There's no one here to take you off the voter rolls, so what's the point?

I was unaware of the current state of affairs.

Seriously, though?

21  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: What's your excuse for not being in a relationship? on: January 06, 2016, 07:12:42 pm
22  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Elections / Re: New Register Thread on: January 06, 2016, 07:02:00 pm

23  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Opinion of Tom Brady on: January 06, 2016, 06:36:22 pm
24  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Voting Booth / Re: December 2015 At-large Senate Election on: December 11, 2015, 06:13:14 pm
25  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Voting Booth / Re: Northeast Voting Booth: December 2015 Election on: December 11, 2015, 06:12:21 pm
[1] Write-in: Legalize polygamy
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