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76  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Ask Gabu on: August 26, 2014, 11:05:12 am
The one question I've always wanted to ask him: are you a fellow Digimon fan? Cheesy
77  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Election What-ifs? / Re: Alternate US States on: August 26, 2014, 10:56:08 am
Jefferson

To complete the Texas trio, here is the State of Jefferson, which gets its name from a secession movement that sparked through Texas' western counties in late 19th and early 20th century (yes, I know this is also the proposed name for a more famous statehood movement in Northern California, but since I didn't find room for such a State in this scenario, it's not an issue). To describe it simply, this State combines the Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area with the great ocean of nothingness that is Northwestern Texas. So yeah, this is the State that contains the famous Loving County and its 60some residents.

It's a bit unfortunate that, due to Texas' geography, I was forced to put one of America's largest metropolises in the same State as one of the most rural and sparsely populated regions. I've got to admit, in this case I mostly failed to create a reasonably homogeneous community of interest, and instead what I came with is best described as one big leftover. Big indeed, since this State is actually the most populous of the three (8.8 million people in 2010). Obviously these people don't live in Loving, King, Foard, Briscoe, Irion, or Glasscock (yeah...) counties. In fact, the Dallas-Fort Worth complex would utterly dominate Jefferson. Alone, the two core counties of Dallas and Tarrant contain almost half of the State's population.

JF Presidential election results, 1960-2012:


Democrats can consider themselves lucky that this is the case, considering that they seldom break 25% outside of the Dallas area, even this big population skew is far from enough to make them competitive statewide. As the chart above shows, Jefferson is, has been, and probably will be for the foreseeable future, a Republican stronghold. LBJ aside, no Democrat has ever won it in over 50 years (my guess is that you'd have to go back to Truman to find a victorious Democratic nominee in this State). The only one who came remotely close was Jimmy Carter in 1976. In the modern era, the best a Democrat has ever managed to reach was a 10-point loss in 1992. This was likely made possible by Ross Perot's very strong performance that year (Jefferson would be his 6th best State in this scenario). In many way, this State resembles neighboring Oklahoma (which Carter also nearly won in 1976). Republicans can safely count on it regardless of the circumstances (and not only at the Presidential level), although their victories are a tad less lopsided in Jefferson than in Oklahoma.

Although the basic picture has remained the same throughout decade, this doesn't mean the State's internal politics haven't experienced a shift. In fact, it is impressive how massive the trends have been when examined at the county level. If you go back to election years of the 1960s and 70s, you'll see that the Dallas area was the heart of Republican strength at that time. As a good poster once hilariously pointed out, Dallas county gave Nixon 62% of its vote in 1960. In 1976, it was still voting for Ford by a 14-points margin. Meanwhile, the rural plains counties looked nothing like the sea of navy-blue that we see today. In fact, if you take away Dallas and Tarrant counties, Carter actually wins Jefferson, and Kennedy comes very close. Some counties in the area (especially those just south of the Panhandle) were actually overwhelmingly Democratic, voting for Kennedy, LBJ or Carter by a more than 2 to 1 margin.

As with many other political realignments, the shift of Republican strength from the city to the country began in the 1980s. 1984 was the year when Dallas county became more Democratic than the State as a whole, and since then, the trend only intensified. In both 2008 and 2012, breaking a 40-year-long Republican streak, it became the only county in the State to support Obama. Meanwhile, we all know what happened to these rural Democratic areas in the State's northwest. The 2004-2008 trend, below, expresses this movement quite powerfully:



Overall, the State trended to the Democrats by about 2 points, but what really happened is that the Dallas-Fort Worth metro (along with a largely irrelevant chunk of counties in JF's far west) moved left, while the State's rural heartland saw a massive Republican shift. A similar general picture can be found in all other trend maps of the past two decades, and there are good reasons to believe that the Dallas area will grow more Democratic as time goes on. This obviously won't be much of a threat for Republicans, considering how much they dominate the rest of the State.

Capital: No ideal choice, but Abilene can do the deal. Although geography aside, its frankly ridiculous to have the capital be anywhere outside of the Dallas metro. Fort Worth then.

Governor: Rick Perry would be the State's uncontested overlord.

Senators: There I'm completely lost. Unfortunately, most prominent Texas figures (especially GOP nutters like Steve Stockman, who would fit in perfectly) have no connection to this part of the State. I'll randomly go with Kay Granger (class 1) and Greg Abbott (class 3), but I appreciate if someone with better insights in this region's politics could correct me.

Representatives: Obviously the GOP would control the entire redistricting process. Assuming they already have done their worst in OTL Texas, that means we end up with a 10R-2D split.
78  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: France General Discussion II: Living under Marxism on: August 26, 2014, 08:32:59 am
Quote from: Robb the Survivor link=topic=155115.msg4277943#msg4277943
How do Montebourg and Taubira not fit into this category as well? Making angry rants about greedy banksters and the need to save factories is not the same as having ideas. The French left, from the dumbest True Leftist to the most shameless neoliberal sellout, has the same basic problem: they only think in slogans and soundbites.
Is there a single success that we will remember from Hollande presidency in 10 years? For now, in two years and a half they only did one thing, and it's Taubira who did it.

Montebourg wanted to nationalize the Florange factory. At least it was something. What's better, a nationalized factory or no factory at all? If it had failed then it would have been its responsibilty, but he has not even been allowed to try, and everyone else is watching without doing anything.

This not related, but I have to praise Fabius for doing his job. He does not talk too much to the media, he's not getting involved in national politics, but thanks to him France is involved in every international issue.

Yeah, I've got to give credit to Taubira for one thing: she might be an insufferable pretentious asshole, but she does stick to her guns. And that's a pretty big deal in a government full of useless wimps. She didn't back down on SSM and she didn't back down on judicial reform, so kudos to her for that. Still that's far from what France needs right now.

As for Montebourg, sorry but no, nationalizing a factory is a f**king stupid-ass idea. Thank God Hollande shut him down, because the last thing France needs right now is the wasting a sh*tload of money to save doomed economic activities. This is this sort of pseudo-activistic bullsh*t (of which Sarko was also fond of) which embodies all that's wrong with French politics. Saving a factory will do a great NOTHING to actually solve the structural problems of French economy. At best, it will buy the workers a couple years before someone else will decide to shut down the plant because that's the economically rational thing to do. And all while costing the State millions that it could actually have placed on productive investments instead. Sure, you can make yourself feel good about having saved a couple workers, and this can be great PR for the media, but it's completely irrelevant in the grand scheme of things.
79  General Discussion / Religion & Philosophy / Re: Anti-abortion group urges Pope to condemn Planned Parenthood on: August 26, 2014, 07:37:43 am
And Francis will respond "yeah, whatever" and quickly return to bashing capitalism. Wink

Except he's condemned abortion in very strong terns, and Benedict has plenty of anti-capitalist quips, but somehow one's a conservative bull dog and the other's some liberal Episcopalian Roll Eyes

Oh come on. You can pretend everything is the same as always, but one must be blind not to notice the shift in emphasis.
80  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Opinion of Zephyr Teachout (D-NY) on: August 26, 2014, 04:05:55 am
FF. Anyone who wants to take out the most prominent Republicrat should be honored.
81  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Gubernatorial/Statewide Elections / Re: If Cuomo lost the primary... on: August 26, 2014, 04:04:27 am
If this actually happens, I solemnly swear I will get drunk to celebrate.
82  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Update for Everyone II - Less Boring, More Whoring on: August 26, 2014, 03:59:06 am
I'm voting for the first time ever tomorrow. Do I get like a medal from you guys or something?

Sure, if you vote Democrat. Wink
83  General Discussion / Religion & Philosophy / Re: Anti-abortion group urges Pope to condemn Planned Parenthood on: August 26, 2014, 03:41:05 am
And Francis will respond "yeah, whatever" and quickly return to bashing capitalism. Wink
84  Forum Community / Election and History Games / Re: Clash of Kings, an ASOIAF Game (Gameplay - 300 AL (4) - A Dream of Spring) on: August 25, 2014, 04:15:36 pm
(considering I don't wish to change the outcome of what already happened)

Guess what, I don't wish so either. Tongue
85  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: France General Discussion II: Living under Marxism on: August 25, 2014, 03:40:46 pm
Sorry Gully, but it seems like you screwed up the quote tags. Tongue

As for the point, please, I don't have any high expectations on politics, but it's not unrealistic to ask for something more than what France is providing us with. Heck, even Italy has half-decent politicians right now.
86  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Imprisoned - A Review on: August 25, 2014, 01:40:41 pm
87  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: United States is "Ripper" on: August 25, 2014, 01:24:24 pm
88  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: France General Discussion II: Living under Marxism on: August 25, 2014, 12:41:53 pm
You guys seem to disagree with Montebourg ideas, but him and Taubira seem to be the only people alive in this government. If they happen to leave, there is no one left in the government except boring people who have not a single idea of what to do with their power, led by a guy who could not care less about France and who only seeks personal power.

How do Montebourg and Taubira not fit into this category as well? Making angry rants about greedy banksters and the need to save factories is not the same as having ideas. The French left, from the dumbest True Leftist to the most shameless neoliberal sellout, has the same basic problem: they only think in slogans and soundbites. Any form of complex reasoning is lost to them. The do nothing but constantly rehash the same few old clichés, and assume they are going to solve everything because that's the way we do it in France!!! Repeating the same few lines over and over and over. Austeritards will talk every day about the need for "hard choices", the burden of debt on our children, the household metaphor, the importance of honoring our commitments etc. Meanwhile the True Left will keep talking like they're fùcking Robespierre or something and talk about how everything will be fine if we just throw out money everywhere and make those damn banksters pay for it! Yay! There is not an ounce of intelligent thought in either of them.

And you know what's really sad: these are actually the least bad we've got among potential governing parties. Welcome to France!
89  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Congressional Elections / Re: Brown surge? on: August 25, 2014, 11:10:39 am
There are a few interesting factors.
1. The poll is the first in a while, and shows Shaheen's favorable rating take I think a 9 point plunge.
2. It is rather evenly divided, just like New Hampshire.

Roll Eyes
90  Forum Community / Election and History Games / Re: Clash of Kings, an ASOIAF Game (Gameplay - 300 AL (4) - A Dream of Spring) on: August 25, 2014, 10:48:14 am
BTW, Mr. X and I are working on an additional scene portraying the trial, with a slight alteration. We're not changing the outcome, but Roose wants to ask for a trial by combat in the end, so it turns out I killed him in the fight rather than in the usual execution ceremony. Still the practical consequences would be the same. Would that work?
91  Forum Community / Election and History Games / Re: Clash of Kings, an ASOIAF Game (Gameplay - 300 AL (4) - A Dream of Spring) on: August 25, 2014, 10:34:09 am
While the rest of the players choose who will go to King's Landing and/or prepare the last statements, I have started to write the ending. To make up for those times in which the turns were delayed I plan to make a detailed ending with a couple of POV and a brief resume of the war as written by a maester (I'm tempted to have Samwell Tarly as the writer) twenty years into the future. I'll wait for one or two more days to see who the envoys will be (as we will have a POV of the High Council) and in the meantime I will prepare the ending.

This sounds awesome! Cheesy
92  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: France General Discussion II: Living under Marxism on: August 25, 2014, 10:18:12 am
"Je vais prendre exemple sur Cincinnatus qui préféra quitter le pouvoir pour retourner à ses champs et à ses charrues. Je vais retourner travailler avec les Français. Vive le redressement productif, vive la République et vive la France".

Oh. My. God. How can this guy be real?!?
93  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: France General Discussion II: Living under Marxism on: August 25, 2014, 09:44:35 am
Yeah, it's the usual protocol of the PM 'resigning' and getting appointed again immediately, so that he can execute a few rebels and idiots. The good news, I guess, is that Montebourg is a goner. The bad news is that Filippetti, one of the few competent and ostensibly honest ministers, is also out. The other bad news is that this means full steam ahead for this horrendous crypto-rightist government.

Yeah, this is basically the right-wing assholes going Night of the Long Knives on the True Leftist assholes. It's hard to feel either happy or sad about it.
94  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: France General Discussion II: Living under Marxism on: August 25, 2014, 07:47:57 am
French government is imploding right now.

Nah, more like Flamby staging a parodical self-coup by sacking the "dissident" ministers, in an attempt to impress France with his virile strength.
95  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: "Death to the Jews"... on: August 25, 2014, 05:01:08 am
Yeah, the "la" wouldn't be in there if someone was actually calling for Jews to be killed (I know Americans like to put "le" and "la" before everything, but that's not how French actually works Tongue). Still the name should obviously be changed.
96  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: The Simple Truths Silver Mine on: August 25, 2014, 04:21:43 am
Americans should be banned on commenting on the politics of other countries until they've past a test.
97  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Is this post racially insensitive? on: August 25, 2014, 04:11:18 am
It most definitely is, yes - though I'm sure Scott didn't intend it to be.
98  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Update for Everyone II - Less Boring, More Whoring on: August 24, 2014, 05:28:07 pm
Black people and white people are different culturally.

This is a silly generalisation. Black people and white people are not homogenous groups; I know you know there may be white people who are "culturally" closer to blacks than other whites and vice versa.

Yeah, obviously I agree that Scott's words were silly and full of pretty awful implications, these kind of generalizations are VERY problematic themselves. Generally one should avoid sentences like "[insert racial group] are X".
99  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Update for Everyone II - Less Boring, More Whoring on: August 24, 2014, 03:58:49 pm
The whole idea of moving away to live in a dorm for college seems to be largely an American phenomenon, yes (Canada too?).

How else would you do it, unless you happen to live near a decent school that suits you?

You generally buy an apartment in the city where the university is located. Or you accept to have a 1-hour commute time, as I did. Wink

That's what I had assumed. But, Christ, an hour? I thought didn't tolerate that nonsense over there.

I had a pretty hard time getting used to it, but I eventually did. Over a week, this actually adds up to about 8-10 more hours lost, which is a lot considering that the typical academic class-time is of about 20 hours. On the other hands, having parents around saves me countless more hours (think cooking, etc.). Wink
100  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Update for Everyone II - Less Boring, More Whoring on: August 24, 2014, 03:18:25 pm
The whole idea of moving away to live in a dorm for college seems to be largely an American phenomenon, yes (Canada too?).

How else would you do it, unless you happen to live near a decent school that suits you?

You generally buy an apartment in the city where the university is located. Or you accept to have a 1-hour commute time, as I did. Wink
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