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1  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: What is the ad at the top of your page? on: May 27, 2015, 08:19:32 pm
Drive with Uber Official
2  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Pensions and Politics Fuel Crisis in Illinois on: May 27, 2015, 08:08:44 am
The pension problem derives from decades of underfunding, followed by a back-loaded repayment plan put together by the Pubs in 1995. As the back-loading started to be felt in the 2000's, the Dems responded by shorting the funds and borrowing against them. In 2010 the legislature finally overhauled and reduced benefits for new workers consistent with the IL Constitution, but since only about 5% of the workforce changes any given year, the impact of those changes are only now beginning to be realized. If the state toughed it out for another 5 to 10 years, the pension "crisis" will have passed through a combination of passing the peak of the loading on payments and the fact of the majority of the workforce would be on the reduced benefit plan.

The immediate problem is that the Dems set up an immediate time bomb last year for a potential incoming Pub gov by letting the temporary income tax hike drop off precipitously in one year. The expectation was that revenue would have to be raised somewhere to avert a wholesale reduction of services. The surprise for the Dems was that Rauner said sure, but only after a package of business-friendly reforms are enacted to staunch the bleeding of people and jobs (95K outmigration last year). Many of those reforms were anathema to labor and the trial lawyers who make up the core support for legislative Dems. Rauner expected negotiation this spring, but the Dems dug in instead. Hence the current stand off.

The key pressure point may not be at the state level, but with Chicago. They have a huge debt payment due at the end of June and need relief.
3  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Xenniels? The Oregon Trail Generation? on: May 27, 2015, 07:14:45 am
The version of Oregon Trail I played in 1974-5 didn't have a screen but was text only. It ran on a teletype terminal connected to a remote mainframe. In the summer of 1976 I worked for the company that made the game, translating other educational software to their system.
4  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Favorite University Series: Wisconsin/Minnesota edition on: May 26, 2015, 11:48:13 pm
I enjoyed watching SJU beat those two colleges every year I was there, muon Wink

I don't know about the years you were there, but there was no credit given to a win over Carleton. There was of course some shame in losing to them, since so few did.
5  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Least Favorite County in your state on: May 26, 2015, 11:40:48 pm

Didn't know you lived there?

I was at the capitol for the Exelon rally... did you hear about it? We were supposed to meet with legislators, but they were still in hearing bills.


I only live there part of the year. Do you work at one of the Exelon stations? I'm very familiar with their issues, and have toured the Dresden station.

As for meeting the legislators, you just have to let them know CountyTy90 is looking for them. I bet at least one would come off the floor or out of committee just for you. Smiley
6  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Maps. All the maps. on: May 26, 2015, 08:44:43 am




And movies:





"Most popular" being determined by highest ratings on IMDb.

I would think that most popular would refer to Nielsen ratings for TV and box office receipts for movies. I had to look up Shameless as I had never heard of it, though the critics like it. However, Metacritic seems to give The Good Wife higher marks, so I guess IMDb viewers are just biased towards premium cable. Tongue
7  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Favorite University Series: Wisconsin/Minnesota edition on: May 26, 2015, 08:10:44 am
Voted Carleton, as I'll likely be applying there.

As an alumni, I'll be curious to hear how your application goes.

As for the team, how can you go wrong with a school that hosted the only NCAA-approved football game using metric measures.



Yes, I was in the stands that day.
8  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Least Favorite County in your state on: May 25, 2015, 11:16:23 pm
Hmm... this is a hard one. Illinois has numerous counties I don't really care for, but don't really hate. I guess it'd have to be Morgan County. I hate its shape and I once got lost in "downtown" Jacksonville, so there. But outside Chicago, county lines really don't matter... it's all corn and soybeans.

Oh I also hate the shape of Tazewell County too.

You clearly haven't been around your own state much if you think it's "all corn and soybeans," but I highly doubt it's worth it to argue about this with you.

Anyway, the objectively worst county in Illinois is Alexander.  That shouldn't even be debatable.  It's hell on Earth.

Nah nah I'm not one of those Upstaters who thinks there's nothing down there. I went to EIU, so I've lived downstate. And honestly, I prefer it to Chicagoland. But in general terms, it's mostly corn and soybeans. I went to Springfield a few weeks ago and really enjoyed it. I like Peoria. I've had some awesome times in Quincy. I love the Quad Cities. Galena is awesome. I think you read too much into what I meant.

Need I remind you, I grew up in a small farming town, so I'm not some suburbanite saying this. I've spent my fair share in rural Illinois.

And you didn't stop to visit? Wink

Anyway, there are still 10 of the 102 IL counties I haven't been in yet. Calhoun is the most northerly of those, but it's not on the way to any place, so one has to be intentional to visit it. The lack of an easy way to add it to my county list, makes it my current least favorite.
9  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: What is the ad at the top of your page? on: May 25, 2015, 07:47:28 am
Want Literary Agents?
10  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Gerrymandering is not what's wrong with American politics on: May 25, 2015, 07:36:22 am
Gerrymandering is used to create two situations in a legislative body: skew and polarization.

Skew refers to the effect of tilting the body consistently towards one party beyond any advantage that should exist when looking at the total vote. The OH map is a clear example given the balance in statewide vote, yet a 12-4 advantage in PVI.

Polarization refers to an excess of districts that have a high likelihood of electing members from only one party. Data from congressional districts in the last decade suggests that about a third of the seats should be in play with PVIs of +5 or less, able to respond to swings in the electorate. About 10% should be highly competitive and regularly flip back and forth, but recent elections show too few of these swing seats exist. OH shows this feature, too, with no districts with a PVI less than +3, and only two districts less than +5.

Any legislative body is going to have a share of safe seats, and that doesn't necessarily create a partisan atmosphere. However, a map that has both skew and polarization can result in a legislature that has less need to be responsive to the electorate as a whole. That can manifest itself in a majority party more concerned with its base than with the middle, and the remaining safe districts push the minority party towards its base, too.

I would certainly not blame gerrymandering for the wider polarization in US politics. The fragmented media that has returned to a 19th century model of niche viewpoints is the major contributor, IMO. However, fragmented media and gerrymandered legislative bodies can positively reinforce each other to form a partisan atmosphere.
11  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Favorite University Series: Eastern Massachusetts on: May 24, 2015, 07:54:50 pm
Go Judges
12  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Do you, at least occasionally, consume alcoholic beverages? on: May 24, 2015, 07:47:04 pm
I have a glass of a nice South African sauvignon blanc in front of me, so I voted yes (legal age).
13  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Mid-2014 county population estimates out tomorrow, March 26 on: May 24, 2015, 02:26:44 pm
OR is currently forecast to still have 5 CDs after 2020. That fits very well with the current projection of Multnomah county to have almost exactly 20% of the state population. A 5 CD split can preserve the UCCs (3 CDs for the Portland UCC) and keep whole counties with less than 2.5% deviation from the quota.



However, OR is on the bubble to gain a 6th CD, so it's useful to look at that as well. Multnomah will be too large for one CD and going south with the new CD requires chops to counties and UCCs. If the counties along the Columbia are combined with Clackamas and the remainder of Multnomah, it is possible to create a 6 CD plan that only splits Multnomah, chops no UCCs, and stays with 2.5% of the quota.



What's the partisanship for the 3 westernmost CDs on the 5 CD map?

I only used Census estimate data which doesn't have electoral results. If someone wants to pull up the Pres '08 and '12 D and R votes by county from Atlas, it would be straightforward to get a PVI.
14  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Mid-2014 county population estimates out tomorrow, March 26 on: May 24, 2015, 01:00:37 pm
OR is currently forecast to still have 5 CDs after 2020. That fits very well with the current projection of Multnomah county to have almost exactly 20% of the state population. A 5 CD split can preserve the UCCs (3 CDs for the Portland UCC) and keep whole counties with less than 2.5% deviation from the quota.



However, OR is on the bubble to gain a 6th CD, so it's useful to look at that as well. Multnomah will be too large for one CD and going south with the new CD requires chops to counties and UCCs. If the counties along the Columbia are combined with Clackamas and the remainder of Multnomah, it is possible to create a 6 CD plan that only splits Multnomah, chops no UCCs, and stays with 2.5% of the quota.

15  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Mid-2014 county population estimates out tomorrow, March 26 on: May 24, 2015, 07:37:09 am
The key question is WA is how much population will sit east of the Cascades. With the 2014 estimate projected out to 2020 the answer is about 110K over the population needed for 2 CDs. That's the population of Chelan+Douglas, so those counties have to attach to the west. It's also the population of Chelan+Kittitas, which is more compact to move west, but it splits the Wenatchee UCC.

The Seattle UCC (King+Pierce+Snohomish) will have about five and a quarter CDs, so keeping them together in a region of 6 CDs to gives this plan. The four single CDs are with 5% of the quota and the 6 CD Seattle region is 5.945 CDs in size.



In the above plan both the pack and cover of the Seattle UCC are preserved. King county will be with 5% of 3 CDs by itself. Since it is slightly over 3 CDs it can contribute the mountain area towards Stevens Pass to an Everett-Bellingham region large enough for 2 CDs since Snohomish is too large for a single CD. Pierce is also too large for a single CD and combine with the Olympic peninsula for another 2 CD region. That results in the following plan.

16  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: best and worst neighborhoods near airports on: May 22, 2015, 08:05:57 am
The area around Chicago O'Hare is awful.

as someone who's flown out of both I can tell you that the area around O'Hare is pretty nice (isn't it in the Dupage area?). Midway on the other hand is on the edge of the barrio.

I'm not sure what pbrower2a was looking at, but I would agree more with freepcrusher. Not much of O'Hare is in DuPage. The largest community next to O'Hare is the suburb of Des Plaines which is comfortably middle class with a median home price of about 250K$.
17  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Cities and Towns Estimates To Be Relased By The Census on Thursday on: May 21, 2015, 08:25:09 am
Any predictions?

Baring a major surprise it appears San Jose will become the 10th city to reach 1,000,000 people and the 11th all time (Detroit was over 1,000,000 until the 1990's).

Speaking of Detroit it will be interesting to see if it continues to lose people and if it drops from its current ranking as the 17th largest city (my guess is no as El Paso and Memphis are growing more slowly/not growing at all and Seattle is still a couple years away).

With everything going on in downtown Detroit, it'll probably start rebounding very, very slowly.


Based on the release, El Paso will pass Detroit in the 7/1/2015 estimates. It's only 1200 behind Detroit and it's growing by about 2 K a year over the last couple of years while Detroit is losing 6K a year. Seattle is adding over 10K a year so even though it's estimated to be 12 K smaller than Detroit, it is also likely to pass Detroit in next year's numbers. Denver is 17K behind Detroit, but is adding 15K a year, so it too may pass Detroit next year. That would drop Detroit to number 21.


18  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: 100 Senate Regions on: May 20, 2015, 09:33:15 pm
district 6: Obama 870,675; McCain 467,867
district 7: Obama 642,003; McCain 461,698
district 8: Obama 577,193; McCain 121,150
district 9: Obama 512,419; McCain 278,770
district 10: Obama 626,812; McCain 643,847
district 11: Obama 475,037; McCain 366,040
19  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: 100 Senate Regions on: May 20, 2015, 08:49:17 am


I did a little more population balancing. The new line between 6 and 7 is Mulholland Dr, and between 7 and 11 west of San Bernardino is I-15 and I-210.

district 6 (3075K): WVAP 56.9%, HVAP 24.0%, AVAP 11.0%; pres 08: D 65.0%, gov 10: D 57.8%.
district 7 (3138K): WVAP 49.3%, HVAP 26.2%, AVAP 16.0%; pres 08: D 58.2%, gov 10: D 52.6%.
district 8 (3088K): WVAP 11.9%, BVAP 13.9%, HVAP 62.1%, AVAP 10.5%; pres 08: D 82.7%, gov 10: D 81.5%.
district 9 (3075K): WVAP 18.4%, HVAP 62.0%, AVAP 14.8%; pres 08: D 64.8%, gov 10: D 62.0%.
district 10 (3109K): WVAP 53.8%, HVAP 21.1%, AVAP 19.2%; pres 08: D 49.3%, gov 10: D 40.1%.
district 11 (3086K): WVAP 36.9%, HVAP 47.0%; pres 08: D 56.5%, gov 10: D 51.9%.
district 12 (3095K): WVAP 52.9%, HVAP 27.9%, AVAP 11.6%; pres 08: D 55.1%, gov 10: D 46.9%.
20  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: In the U.S. of Voronoi, which state do you live in? on: May 20, 2015, 07:53:20 am
It's interesting to see how some of the Voronoi borders closely coincide with state lines. For example look at MN-IA, MO-AR, WA-OR, AZ-UT, OH-IN, IN-IL, and IL-MO just to name a few. Central and southern IL nearly fit into the existing boundaries. Presumably that's a feature of states placing their capitals in central locations which can result in capitals nearly equidistant from their dividing line.
21  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: 100 Senate Regions on: May 19, 2015, 11:27:13 pm
To follow up, here's one way I would embed a variant of my SoCal in the western part of the plan. I did shift Imperial to AZ but split no counties other than those in the LA area (6 districts) and Phoenix (2 districts). Except for the VRA districts, I minimized UCC splits and tried to minimize state line crossings. HI is with SF and AK is with Tacoma.



This is doable. I might make some changes on the edges, but I like this. What did you do with the Inland Empire district after moving it out of Imperial County, CA?

I added most of Rancho Cucamonga to the IE district to replace Imperial. The effect was to move the VAP to 47.3%. Then the Encino area of LA was shifted from the Coastal district to the Antelope Valley district.
22  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Congressional Elections / Re: IL-House 2016: Mega-Thread on: May 19, 2015, 10:07:28 pm
What are Democrats chances of getting rid of the TERRIBLE Mike Bost? I miss Bill Enyart.

Mike Bost was my State Rep when I lived in Southern IL. Frankly, he's very mellow.
Do I even need to like the clips of him throwing temper tantrums in Springfield? I'm beginning to think you are just a sad troll.

Do you understand that his role in the IL House GOP was to create interruptions on the floor when the majority was running bills too fast without time to react to them. He would joke about the antics over a drink afterward, including a drink with Dems.
23  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: 100 Senate Regions on: May 19, 2015, 09:54:13 am
To follow up, here's one way I would embed a variant of my SoCal in the western part of the plan. I did shift Imperial to AZ but split no counties other than those in the LA area (6 districts) and Phoenix (2 districts). Except for the VRA districts, I minimized UCC splits and tried to minimize state line crossings. HI is with SF and AK is with Tacoma.

24  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: 100 Senate Regions on: May 18, 2015, 09:47:23 pm

If I keep it the way you have it, it really messes up the rest of the Southwest and Rocky Mountain areas. I would probably have to split up Nevada and or Utah. When I have some time I'll try to incorporate some of your ideas, while trying to keep Nevada and Utah together. I definitely want to keep the 2 Hispanic regions.

I think you are too attached to the unity of UT and NV. Yes, you should try to keep states intact, but not at the expense of chopping a UCC county in a state elsewhere. I also think that you are too wedded to putting all the Mormon areas together. I could just as well make the case for reuniting the historic Deseret area for the Mormons which would link all of NV (minus Clark) with UT.

For example, ID+WY+MT are a perfect match for one district, so why not preserve those states as a group. AK can arguably go with coastal WA since there are both flights and ferries between those points, whereas there aren't many if any from ID/MT to AK.
25  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: 100 Senate Regions on: May 18, 2015, 06:26:03 pm
Here's a more complete picture of how I would do SoCal. Overall the seven colored districts are within 40 K of the ideal population. There are two solid Latino VRA districts and one opportunity district.

district 6 (3078K): WVAP 56.6%, HVAP 23.8%, AVAP 11.3%; pres 08: D 66.9%, gov 10: D 59.6%.
district 7 (3057K): WVAP 46.9%, HVAP 27.9%, AVAP 16.6%; pres 08: D 56.4%, gov 10: D 50.7%.
district 8 (3088K): WVAP 11.9%, BVAP 13.9%, HVAP 62.1%, AVAP 10.5%; pres 08: D 82.7%, gov 10: D 81.5%.
district 9 (3070K): WVAP 18.4%, HVAP 62.0%, AVAP 14.8%; pres 08: D 64.8%, gov 10: D 62.0%.
district 10 (3109K): WVAP 53.8%, HVAP 21.1%, AVAP 19.2%; pres 08: D 49.3%, gov 10: D 40.1%.
district 11 (3072K): WVAP 35.3%, HVAP 49.5%; pres 08: D 57.1%, gov 10: D 52.7%.
district 12 (3095K): WVAP 52.9%, HVAP 27.9%, AVAP 11.6%; pres 08: D 55.1%, gov 10: D 46.9%.



I'm going to try to use this as a guide and create 2 Hispanic regions. I think I am going to need to make sure the southeastern part of California is available for Arizona.

But I don't see how you can justify both a county split and a UCC chop which happened in your initial map there with Riverside. You really don't do anything like that anywhere else on your map. I can see moving Imperial to AZ and adding San Luis Obispo to SoCal which keeps the population within limits. It does mean that the Inland Empire district would lose some opportunity for Latinos.
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