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1  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: shaving soap on: October 01, 2014, 10:28:52 pm
I have used an electric all my adult life. Since I have sported a full beard since I was 21 an electric is fine to keep my neck and cheeks clean and my beard trimmed.
2  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: National Lampoon's Autumn Kickoff Vacation: HockeyDude Across America!!! on: October 01, 2014, 10:09:43 pm
When I was in graduate school I used Greyhound a number of times to get between Boston and St Paul. My advice is to pack quite a few snacks. If the schedule gets delayed you can find yourself in stations with nothing open or on a long stretch when it would be nice to munch. The overnight legs can be particularly dull, especially if you feel rested from a full day sitting. Bring something to keep you occupied.
3  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: What is Republican economic policy? on: October 01, 2014, 06:41:54 am
Intrastate tensions are very interesting, with Illinois and NY perhaps being rather unique, since their respective major cities are so dominant, while having a substantial out state non major city population, but not enough to really have that much political power. Thus you have policies that work for the dominating cities, but don't work for the hinterlands. In NY, that has tended to result in upstate NY being an economic basket case. It just can't economically compete with a very robust social safety net, and high taxes, while having no high paying economic sectors that can afford to pay for it all. Now the end game, is to just live off government transfer payments, with a very anemic middle class. That is why in part, "states rights" sometimes don't work very well, because within some states, what is on the ground is just so different.

"Basket case" overstates things. At a minimum, there's more economic opportunity in Upstate NY than, say, the High Plains or Appalachia. The politics of this state are toxic and dysfunctional, and the property tax burden is heavy (although it helps that housing is inexpensive in most locales not within commuting distance of NYC), but, in terms of median income, life expectancy, and educational attainment, Upstate NY is better off than most of the country.

Then again, it's more a matter of how you choose your comparisons and how much unfulfilled potential you perceive. What most distinguishes Upstate NY, in my experience, is pessimism born out of the sheer duration of its relative decline. I have been hearing the same conversations since I was old enough to understand them. The main effect of the 2008 recession was to put the rest of the country on the same wavelength. The region has been in a malaise since the '70s.

However, I don't see much indication that there's an unusual degree of dependence on transfer payments in Upstate NY (or downstate IL, for that matter), although maybe your definition differs from my own.





It looks like the map is only federal transfer payments. State transfer payments may not exactly mirror federal transfers.

There are indirect transfer payments as well. For example, in IL schools are funded by a complicated formula based on local property taxes and state payments. The state share is based in large part on the property tax base for a district but comes from the general revenue. It's not unusual for a downstate district to get 75% of school costs from the state while suburban districts get 25% or less. That creates much higher property tax rates in the suburbs compared to downstate. Effectively that acts as a transfer payment.
4  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: opinion of algebra on: September 30, 2014, 05:30:47 pm
Torie has hit on one of the great problems in math education: how to anchor the abstract problems of algebra II in real world examples. I think that the solution lies in breaking down the artificial lines between arithmetic, algebra, geometry and trigonometry that appear in middle and high school. Replace them instead with math I, II, III, etc. and create separate tracks at each level.

I can see that as an approach that looks at math as a collection of tools to attack real problems rooted in numeric values. Each year in school one covers a range of topics, and each year the applications require more thought, new tools, and combining old tools in new ways. Those on a STEM track can get their math with examples that are preparation for the math needed in science and engineering. Others who are not so inclined would get applications in business and home finance - including just the sort of application Torie alluded to.
5  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: opinion of algebra on: September 30, 2014, 04:13:32 pm
I think we too easily confuse algebraic principles with the formal system of symbolic manipulation. As such it can be either easy, hard or somewhere between depending on the level of abstraction.

Many basic properties of arithmetic operations are essentially algebra. For instance a true multiplication table includes rows and columns like this:

x12345
112345
2246810
33691215
448121620
5510152025

One can memorize this table and from it get 3 x 5 = 15 using 3 from the row and 5 from the column. Separately one can get 5 x 3 = 15 by using the row with 5 and the column with 3. That's arithmetic.

However, most students learn that multiplication has a property that allows the order to be inverted without changing the result. Then one only needs to remember one of the two choices in the multiplication table. Some students even learn that is is called the commutative property, and not all operations have it. That's algebra.

One can go further and instead invoke the commutative property of multiplication to rearrange a symbolic expression in order to simplify it. Thus one can take b(3a+2b) = b3a + b2b = 3ab + 2b2. The step in the middle is usually skipped, but technically it requires the algebraic commutative property to go to the third step. It's the same property we use to know that 3 x 5 = 5 x 3.

Then one can apply this to systems where some quantities commute and others do not. If a and b above are matrices, then that extra step above becomes important since not all matrices commute under multiplication. That is you might be stuck with 3ba + 2b2 instead of 3ab + 2b2.

This increasing level of abstraction and complexity is where many find algebra hard. Yet, the same concept can be applied at simple levels.
6  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Windjammer Partisan Voting Index for US State Houses on: September 30, 2014, 02:00:53 pm
Obama's 2008 performance pushed most suburban Chicago districts about 3 points more Dem in the PVI. The raw annual numbers for PVI (my values) in 04-12 were R+6.7, D+0.5, and R+3.6. The average of the first two is R+3.1 and for the second two is R+1.6. If one skips over '08 the PVI would be R+5.2. In off years the lack of D turnout runs the number in excess of R+10. 2016 will be very interesting in IL without Obama at the top of the ticket.
7  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Windjammer Partisan Voting Index for US State Houses on: September 30, 2014, 01:17:56 pm
Thanks, my suspicion was correct. The vote totals on your sheet are slightly different than on mine. So in the aforementioned HD49, their totals give a PVI of -1.25 and I had -1.55. As I surmised we rounded in different directions. Since they only have the two party totals the other correction I mentioned would not come into play.

In IL many precincts are split between different districts, but there is only one total for the presidential vote in that precinct. Votes from those precincts have to to split between districts based on some estimate division. My guess is that their split was different than mine.
8  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Windjammer Partisan Voting Index for US State Houses on: September 30, 2014, 09:45:13 am

Well , Iím happy to finally introduce the  Windjammer Partisan Voting Index for US State Houses. Like the Windjammer Partisan Voting Index for US State Senates, a D+1 district means that if the presidential  democrat candidate gets 50%, in this house district, he would get 51%.

For those who like mathematics:
PVI in the House District n:  [(Obama2012 score- Romney2012 score)/2 -1.95 +(Obama2008score-Mccain2008score)/2-3.6]/2

Here we go!

Great work, but the math is a little off. You didn't divide to get the two party vote, which makes the gap smaller than it would be with the correct weighting. Using differences, the formula is

PVI(D+) = 50%*[(D2012-R2012)/2*(D2012+R2012) - 0.0197 + (D2008-R2008)/2*(D2008+R2008) - 0.0369]

Thanks for pointing out.
Well, I understand the formula. I guess the problem with my formula is that it doesn't take into account third parties? Does that change a lot of things in the end considering third parties in the US<3%?

It would typically change the results by 0.1 or 0.2. BTW I corrected my formula, since I forgot the extra factor of two due to the fact you used the difference between the two major candidates instead of the share of the two-party vote.

However, I was looking at your IL results, and some districts seemed a bit off so I dug into the data for one district to check. I have all the PVIs for the new 2012 districts calculated with the 04-08 numbers, which were derived when the new maps were announced. Yours were a bit different, so I thought I should crosscheck one district with 08-12 numbers to confirm the discrepancy.

You list IL HD49 as PVI -1, and my 2004-2008 PVI of that district with the new boundaries was PVI -3.1. The 2012 result in that district was Obama 22.0K - Romney 23.5K or a difference of -3.3% which if I divide by 2 and subtract 1.97% gives a 2012 factor of D-3.6. Using the 2012 precincts for the new district (which has almost nothing in common with the old HD49) the 2008 vote in HD49 was Obama 23.7K - McCain 20.0K or a difference of +8.5% which gives a 2008 factor of D+0.5. When I average these two I got a net PVI(D)-1.6. It's close to yours, but it would round off to D-2.

Is it just that you have a number of HDs that are slightly more Dem than mine and rounding shifts them consistently up a point or so? If you could share your details for that HD I can confirm my suspicion.
9  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Windjammer Partisan Voting Index for US State Houses on: September 29, 2014, 06:58:30 pm

Well , Iím happy to finally introduce the  Windjammer Partisan Voting Index for US State Houses. Like the Windjammer Partisan Voting Index for US State Senates, a D+1 district means that if the presidential  democrat candidate gets 50%, in this house district, he would get 51%.

For those who like mathematics:
PVI in the House District n:  [(Obama2012 score- Romney2012 score)/2 -1.95 +(Obama2008score-Mccain2008score)/2-3.6]/2

Here we go!

Great work, but the math is a little off. You didn't divide to get the two party vote, which makes the gap smaller than it would be with the correct weighting. Using differences, the formula is

PVI(D+) = 50%*[(D2012-R2012)/2*(D2012+R2012) - 0.0197 + (D2008-R2008)/2*(D2008+R2008) - 0.0369]
10  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Science Megathread on: September 28, 2014, 05:58:29 pm

Since both the planetesimals that bombarded Earth with their water and the Sun formed from the same molecular cloud, then the water from those planetesimals should be older.
11  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Science Megathread on: September 28, 2014, 02:27:12 pm
Researcher shows that black holes do not exist
Quote
<snip>

By merging two seemingly conflicting theories, Laura Mersini-Houghton, a physics professor at UNC-Chapel Hill in the College of Arts and Sciences, has proven, mathematically, that black holes can never come into being in the first place. The work not only forces scientists to reimagine the fabric of space-time, but also rethink the origins of the universe.

"I'm still not over the shock," said Mersini-Houghton. "We've been studying this problem for a more than 50 years and this solution gives us a lot to think about."

<snip>

In 1974, Stephen Hawking used quantum mechanics to show that black holes emit radiation. Since then, scientists have detected fingerprints in the cosmos that are consistent with this radiation, identifying an ever-increasing list of the universe's black holes.

But now Mersini-Houghton describes an entirely new scenario. She and Hawking both agree that as a star collapses under its own gravity, it produces Hawking radiation. However, in her new work, Mersini-Houghton shows that by giving off this radiation, the star also sheds mass. So much so that as it shrinks it no longer has the density to become a black hole.

Before a black hole can form, the dying star swells one last time and then explodes. A singularity never forms and neither does an event horizon. The take home message of her work is clear: there is no such thing as a black hole.

<snip>
Say what now?  Muon?

I read the link, but not the article. If it's mostly mathematics, then I fear it might be a bit like the aerodynamic calculations that conclude a bumblebee can't fly. There is significant evidence for the existence of mass in such a small volume that it is consistent with the Schwartzchild radius of a black hole. We can detect them by a combination of the velocities of stars nearby pulled by the gravity and the radiation they emit as very intense x-rays. The link suggests that the radiation is consistent with the author's hypothesis, but that leaves the question about how can so much mass be in such a small volume.

The link seems to concentrate on the impossibility of formation from a supernova. That doesn't address the supermassive black holes at the center of galaxies, which are supported by a number of observations. It also doesn't address evidence for stellar black holes, such as the Hubble data for Cygnus X-1.

Quote
Hubble didn't see the event horizon ó it is too small and too far away - but instead measured chaotic fluctuations in ultraviolet light from seething gas trapped in orbit around the black hole. Hubble found two examples of a so-called "dying pulse train," the rapidly decaying, precisely sequential flashes of light from a hot blob of gas spiraling into the black hole.
12  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Which electoral districts (CDs or equivelant) have you been to in 2014? on: September 27, 2014, 11:07:08 pm
A conference and tour of a fracking operation.


CO-1,4,6,7
GA-1,7,8,9,10,12,14
FL-3,4,5,6,8,9,14,18,20,21,22,23,24,25,26,27
IL-1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18
IN-8
IA-1,4
KY-1
MA-2,3,4,5,7,8
MI-13
MN-1,2,4,5,6
NC-11
TN-3,4,5,6,7
WI-1,2,3,5,6,7

Total: 69 73

13  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: What is Republican economic policy? on: September 26, 2014, 10:05:54 pm
So, I reject your whole framing.  Democrats are far from perfect themselves, but the Republicans are actively dismantling the American dream.  Even the best Republicans act like they're a bought and paid for subsidiary of big business.  Politicians need to remember who they work for, and by the way, it's not just corporations deciding between locating in Illinois and Iowa.

Feel free to reject my framing. You posed the question, and I assumed you wanted an answer that corresponded to what GOP politicians talked about concerning the economy with their constituents in neighborhoods around the US. I gave you that. And it is often about a federalist approach and the differences among states. I don't expect you to agree with it as a way to govern, otherwise you might be a Pub. But given your OP, I would hope that you would be curious to know what average Pubs do support.

To me, that's just doesn't cut it as an answer.  There's no idea that those ideas are correlated to anything positive for the American economy, that's my point.  You're not saying, more federalism equals a better economy or low taxes equals a better economy.  You're saying, we're not interested in national macroeconomic performance, national competitiveness or economic inequality and the stagnation of the middle class.  That's the telling point.  You can't tell a story where your policies actually get the economy on a positive track.

But if voters in an area believe that what they want most is to be able to pursue their economic goals independently from a broad policy that fixes things far from their experience, then wouldn't they be prone to elect representatives to local, state, and national government who will carry that message? I've not been saying in this thread that this is a national policy, but I do claim that it is a philosophy supported by a significant segment of the population, not just CEOs of corporations. That's why you will see many state GOP platforms, whether the state is run by Pubs or Dems, stress job creation through the private sector. It is a reflection of the people they represent.

I don't think that's what politics ought to be about, no.

I think good politics requires a vision that includes some idea of the common good.  That we are part of a political community of equals who care about each other and the good of the country.  I think politics requires some intellectual foundation where you believe you're working for the common good. 

And, is the Republican Party just listening to the voters?  Of course not.  They're constantly pumping out propaganda to create this false consciousness and political divide.  They scapegoat people, try to make people hate poor people, black people, immigrants and gay people.  It's divide, demoralize and then just say, "oh well, the best we can do is accommodate the job creators."   

And, that's the problem, the Republican Party is so infatuated with power and hatred for the marginalized people in society that they forgot what their job is. 

And here's the rub. I agree with you on your second paragraph, as to what politics should be. I find little to agree with in your final two paragraphs as it pertains to real voters in my area. I would welcome you to visit my community and talk to my neighbors. I think you would find a very different story than the national media portrays.
14  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: What is Republican economic policy? on: September 26, 2014, 06:14:04 pm
So, I reject your whole framing.  Democrats are far from perfect themselves, but the Republicans are actively dismantling the American dream.  Even the best Republicans act like they're a bought and paid for subsidiary of big business.  Politicians need to remember who they work for, and by the way, it's not just corporations deciding between locating in Illinois and Iowa.

Feel free to reject my framing. You posed the question, and I assumed you wanted an answer that corresponded to what GOP politicians talked about concerning the economy with their constituents in neighborhoods around the US. I gave you that. And it is often about a federalist approach and the differences among states. I don't expect you to agree with it as a way to govern, otherwise you might be a Pub. But given your OP, I would hope that you would be curious to know what average Pubs do support.

To me, that's just doesn't cut it as an answer.  There's no idea that those ideas are correlated to anything positive for the American economy, that's my point.  You're not saying, more federalism equals a better economy or low taxes equals a better economy.  You're saying, we're not interested in national macroeconomic performance, national competitiveness or economic inequality and the stagnation of the middle class.  That's the telling point.  You can't tell a story where your policies actually get the economy on a positive track.

But if voters in an area believe that what they want most is to be able to pursue their economic goals independently from a broad policy that fixes things far from their experience, then wouldn't they be prone to elect representatives to local, state, and national government who will carry that message? I've not been saying in this thread that this is a national policy, but I do claim that it is a philosophy supported by a significant segment of the population, not just CEOs of corporations. That's why you will see many state GOP platforms, whether the state is run by Pubs or Dems, stress job creation through the private sector. It is a reflection of the people they represent.
15  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: What is Republican economic policy? on: September 26, 2014, 05:39:33 pm
So, I reject your whole framing.  Democrats are far from perfect themselves, but the Republicans are actively dismantling the American dream.  Even the best Republicans act like they're a bought and paid for subsidiary of big business.  Politicians need to remember who they work for, and by the way, it's not just corporations deciding between locating in Illinois and Iowa.

Feel free to reject my framing. You posed the question, and I assumed you wanted an answer that corresponded to what GOP politicians talked about concerning the economy with their constituents in neighborhoods around the US. I gave you that. And it is often about a federalist approach and the differences among states. I don't expect you to agree with it as a way to govern, otherwise you might be a Pub. But given your OP, I would hope that you would be curious to know what average Pubs do support.
16  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: What is Republican economic policy? on: September 26, 2014, 03:54:58 pm
Much of this thread is seems to concentrate on the question as a national issue. Another basic principle of GOP policy has been to let the states deal with policy questions when they can, and in terms of business and labor policy, there has been a historical tendency to let the states act on their own.

So to discern GOP economic policy one has to go to the 50 separate state parties and see what is driving their economic policy. My sense is that there are some general similarities, but also real differences depending on the state's economic assets. It's like asking what is the economic policy of the European conservative parties (perhaps like EPP), where there are commonalities but also differences between member countries MPs.

I don't buy that at all.  First off, so much state level economic policy consists of a race to the bottom.  You have states giving away tax incentives to corporations trying to lure them from one state to another.  Maybe you could argue that such competition might spur the over-regulated states like California and New York to get their act together.  But, it doesn't really amount to any type of a philosophy.
This sounds like you are proposing that the Feds intervene in state tax incentives for business. There's no question that some excess use of those incentives can be counterproductive. However, incentives are used as frequently by Dem states as by Pub ones. That's not a particularly partisan issue.

Quote
The fact is that the United States is not some loose confederation of countries.  We need to have some national strategy about how we can adapt and improve for the future.  We need to address these huge economic problems, inequality, crumbling infrastructure, the unemployment problem, the rising cost of education and healthcare.  If Republicans just look at those problems and shrug their shoulders, and say, "meh, federalism," that's pathetic.  If Republicans don't care about those problems, they should run for office.
Historically many of these issues have been the province of the states, and today there are Dem states that still expect to have the major say in how to resolve some of these problems. How a state tackles the issue can expose the partisan rift in that state. For example in IL, the GOP has argued against the Dem policy of siphoning some of the gas taxes to pay for other programs rather than for the infrastructure for which it is intended.

Quote
We just hear these two factions of the Republican party.  One group are blowhards who live in a fantastical reality of their own imagination like AD.  The other group are semi-reasonable people who just sort of sit on the sidelines and whine about Obama.  Both are totally useless to anything constructive.

I say all of this as a capitalist, someone who believes in markets and deregulating when appropriate.   There are good libertarian and market based approaches that we could be putting into practice.  But, the Republican Party is so addicted to pandering and their slash and burn politics that they bring nothing to the table.  We all follow politics and we have no idea what a major party actually believes beyond their spite for poor people and shilling for a few corporate interests.  How can any thinking person be a Republican in 2014?  I don't get it.

If I look at the party differences in IL, the GOP notes that IL has become uncompetitive with other states in part because the total package of rates for regulations and business taxes are higher than in neighboring states. As a party it doesn't seek to eliminate them, but to bring them in line with regional and to a lesser extent national norms. Whining about Obama takes a back seat for most Pubs here to whining about Chicago and all the special laws designed for its benefit.
17  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Finally visiting the States: 2 to 12 November on: September 25, 2014, 06:40:12 am
You'll be in the States for the election. Smiley
18  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: What is Republican economic policy? on: September 24, 2014, 06:51:53 pm
Much of this thread is seems to concentrate on the question as a national issue. Another basic principle of GOP policy has been to let the states deal with policy questions when they can, and in terms of business and labor policy, there has been a historical tendency to let the states act on their own.

So to discern GOP economic policy one has to go to the 50 separate state parties and see what is driving their economic policy. My sense is that there are some general similarities, but also real differences depending on the state's economic assets. It's like asking what is the economic policy of the European conservative parties (perhaps like EPP), where there are commonalities but also differences between member countries MPs.

There is, of course, Federalism but the Republican Party still has to have a national platform and when they are in power, they don't necessarily advance the cause of Federalism. It definitely feels like Republicans support state's rights right now because they are doing well down ballot and not so hot at the top.

Federalism was very popular among Pubs during W's administration, too. Much of it was masked by the nationalism, patriotism and exceptionalism of his first term after the 9/11 attacks. It showed up again in his second term, as for instance conservative talk radio was prone to bust W's chops as well as the DC Pubs over any number of statist initiatives.
19  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: What is Republican economic policy? on: September 24, 2014, 05:02:49 pm
Much of this thread is seems to concentrate on the question as a national issue. Another basic principle of GOP policy has been to let the states deal with policy questions when they can, and in terms of business and labor policy, there has been a historical tendency to let the states act on their own.

So to discern GOP economic policy one has to go to the 50 separate state parties and see what is driving their economic policy. My sense is that there are some general similarities, but also real differences depending on the state's economic assets. It's like asking what is the economic policy of the European conservative parties (perhaps like EPP), where there are commonalities but also differences between member countries MPs.
20  General Politics / Political Debate / Re: Is Social Democracy dead? on: September 24, 2014, 02:35:34 pm
Hi Muon

I will try to answer your questions a little by little, since some of them require long answers.


Social Democrats should have implemented economic democracy when they had the chance in several countries in the post-war era, but chickened out of this.

What caused the SDs to back away from this direction? Was it satisfaction with the status quo? Did the reliance on nationalized industries prevent movement towards worker ownership?


It came the furthest in Sweden and Denmark in the 70s and early 80s with the idea of union controlled employee funds (such funds where approved in Sweden, but never implemented) and stranded on a combination of factors. The right wing in both the party and the trade unions wanted to preserve the status quo and was afraid it would be bad for business + many of them saw it as too "socialist" - SDs had a strong anti-communist tradition. The other factor was fear of capital flight. In Denmark their reliance on support from a centrist social liberal party also played a role. Ironically parties to left of SD considered it a reactionary move to preserve capitalism and make the workers into little capitalists!
Reliance on cooperation with centrist parties was an important deterrent in many other countries and was also used internally by the right wing in SD parties to keep the left wing from demanding economic democracy.

There were no nationalized industry in the Nordic countries, but in countries like Austria, France and UK where (parts of) some industries where nationalized there was a reluctance to let workers run them or sell them to employees - it was never really on the table to do so.
The Israeli union movement ran a large number of businesses in this era, but this brought them into conflict with their core values - since they underpaid Arabic Jews and Arabs and other outsiders. Its likely this insider/outsider problematic would also have been a problem in Europe.

Thanks for the answer. Part of my interest in this is that there are many corporations in the US that operate as either wholly or majority employee owned. Many of them give voting shares to employees as part of their compensation which the employees can sell back to the employees trust at fair market value when they leave the company. US law makes this an attractive option for some companies by treating the employee shares as tax exempt retirement income, and by allowing the employee trust to borrow money and provide tax breaks for repayment.

Of course, these aren't completely equal cooperatives since different employees will have different amounts of voting shares. Both years of service and salary level can affect the shares controlled by an employee depending on the mechanism the company uses. However, workers I know in such arrangements seem to like them better than other jobs they've had.
21  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Were there any big cities in the South pre-1860? on: September 24, 2014, 01:26:35 pm
It's impressive to me how Chicago made it from non-existence in 1830 (founded in 1833 with 200 residents) into the top 10 in the US by 1860. Of course it continued its explosive growth to be in the  the world top 10 by 1900.
22  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Draw the Congressional Districts of the Alternate States! on: September 24, 2014, 01:11:08 pm
Oh, oops, didn't see that Muon took care of that awhile ago.  Ah well.  Consider my effort a gentler, more constrained riff on the same basic idea.

I see we took some different approaches to some areas, and I particularly wanted to excise the North Country tossup as I think the Pub AD Assembly would do. Any thoughts on who the candidates would be in my version?

As an aside, what do you think about my "neutral" map for the Senate?

Seems good at first glance.  I might try and mock something up when I'm done with downstate just to see what a fresh pair of eyes might come up with, but I doubt it'll be much different.

I had sort of been thinking that the North Country would be treated in much the same way as Staten Island or Bucks County are: as this separate bloc that you don't mess around with out of tradition, even in partisan plans. 

I figured that given the dynamics after the 2010 election it would be hard to resist knocking 3% off Obama's totals in the North Country CD and put McCain slightly ahead there. And the price for that is only a 0.7% Dem increase to the North Hudson Valley CD (only a 0.5% increase in the PVI differential) by moving Plattsburgh to the south.

Of course the real piece of art in my gerrymander is getting Ithaca in with Rochester and Syracuse without splitting towns. Tongue
23  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Draw the Congressional Districts of the Alternate States! on: September 24, 2014, 09:42:40 am
Oh, oops, didn't see that Muon took care of that awhile ago.  Ah well.  Consider my effort a gentler, more constrained riff on the same basic idea.

I see we took some different approaches to some areas, and I particularly wanted to excise the North Country tossup as I think the Pub AD Assembly would do. Any thoughts on who the candidates would be in my version?

As an aside, what do you think about my "neutral" map for the Senate?
24  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / MOVED: If Pat Quinn wins again... on: September 24, 2014, 09:28:51 am
This topic has been moved to Gubernatorial/Statewide Elections.

http://uselectionatlas.org/FORUM/index.php?topic=199218.0
25  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Buffalo Wild Wings on: September 23, 2014, 06:32:43 pm
The sports bar has been around for a while, but the type with walls of videos really came into its own with the commercial availability of the flat screen TV. I remember visiting one in the late 1990's when large plasma screens were really new and thinking that it was pretty cool. Now there are any number of individual sports bars in my area, all will lots of TVs and similar menus that concentrate on sandwiches and appetizers (like wings). Many have game and trivia feeds, too. BWW strikes me as a national chain version of that.
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