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November 28, 2015, 08:03:36 am
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76  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Your Sports Allegiances on: June 16, 2015, 04:12:49 pm
NASCAR (on occasion)

Green Bay Packers
Brad Keselowski
77  About this Site / The Atlas / Re: Petition to stop bullying me and making petitions against me on: June 16, 2015, 03:32:13 pm

78  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: The opebo challenge on: June 15, 2015, 11:15:32 pm
\Why don't cherry Pop-Tarts come in an unfrosted variety?

Because the vicious cycle of capitalism has begat factory farms that produce only concentrated sugarbread for the drones working the outer layers of the beehive.

What more could you expect, considering the oppressive circumstances of the poors? There's not much I could think of that would placate them better than two square biscuits of frosting and filing - I too would require instant gratification after toiling for five straight hours. This is why Americans tend to resemble livestock these days: they eat processed garbage when they could eat like kings for only 200 Baht or so a night.

Why is Pluto no longer a Planet?
79  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Opinion of Dallasfan65 on: June 10, 2015, 03:20:04 pm
OK, so wrt to opeblubb I was bagged while I went on vacation but there's one or two that I never got to post.


No.  Except for a red with dinner, I don't care for alcohol and the feeling of drunkenness.  As deleterious as the state of the poors is in that terrible place, I still can't fathom how you drink that swill you call beer - not even those boorish and wanton beasts of burden that you keep in your fraternities.  Back when I was growing up in Missouri, I knew plenty of those brutes who would guzzle the stuff in hopes of waking up next to a fellow heifer.

80  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Opinion of Dallasfan65 on: June 07, 2015, 02:05:23 pm
Running on all booze and no food rn
Thanks for the love you guys <3

Drop that kitty down low
81  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Update for Everyone III - The Whinge Binge on: June 06, 2015, 02:43:44 pm
Pregaming in Vegas rn

Random thought but dae think that the song Timberlake did with MJ is the best thing ever?
82  About this Site / The Atlas / Re: Petition to revoke 10 of my death points on: June 06, 2015, 06:02:49 am
In my defense I only use infraction points to shut down troll accounts so there is no conspiracy
83  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Election What-ifs? / Re: Dust In The Wind on: May 26, 2015, 01:13:46 am
Moderator: We can't afford to get bogged down here, gentlemen. We have to move on. For O'Connor, how do you defend on the Social Security reform act? For Brennan, would you have voted for it? If not, why?

O'Connor: A cornerstone of my beliefs is that the government ought to do right by its people. I understand the need for a safety net for our senior citizens. However, one thing to keep in mind is that senior citizens are saving more, living longer, and have more economic opportunity than they did in the 1930's. The previous system did not comport with the current reality, and was costing tax payers billions. The fix passed by Congress acknowledges how we've developed as a nation and our reduced dependence on government for retirement. It does right by both our grandparents and our taxpayers.

Brennan: One of your saving graces has been your oratory, Senator. Only you would be able to dress up a proposal that slashed benefits to the elderly, cut taxes for the rich, and raised them on those who work hardest. What Senator O'Connor hasn't mentioned is that these people - the generation that defeated Nazi Germany and Japan - are being duped of the benefits promised to them when they first entered the workforce. What may be even more reprehensible is that it furthers income inequality in our nation; Thad talks about doing right by our tax payers, but this bill features a steep hike on FICA contributions from average folks while lowering the tax rates of the richest amongst us.

The only thing more hypocritical than Thad O'Connor's rhetoric is his record - he voted against a proposal to cut taxes for the rich in 1983, only to backpedal on the issue.

O'Connor: Governor, I thank you for your accolade on my verbal flair, and will use my acclaimed talent to illustrate just how disingenuous your statement here is. It's true that the World War Two generation isn't getting the benefits it was promised, but the reality is that such a system was insolvent and beneficial to nobody. It's true that workers have to pay more toward the social safety net, but we ought to view this as insurance: they are paying toward benefit systems that they are most likely to rely upon at some point in the future. Your vacuous populism on this issue would only lead the country to ruin.

While I did vote against Dole's proposal in 1983, things need to be put into perspective: these tax cuts were being advocated at a time when President Jackson's administration was having record federal outlays. It would be fiscally irresponsible to vote for a proposal reducing revenues. Now that we have a more austere government, I have no compunction lowering top tax rates.

Moderator: As each of you have been made aware, illegal immigration is an issue that this country needs to confront. Where do each of you stand on this issue? Also, considering that both of you are of Irish descent, does that affect your perspective on this issue?

Brennan: I think the story of America is one of hope, and there are few things more inspiring than the countless tales of immigrants from second-rate countries in Europe making a name for themselves here. I'm Irish and Catholic myself, and have been Governor of Maine. That being said, I don't think that immigration back then and immigration today is an apples-to-apples comparison.

For starters, my ancestors arrived to this country through legal avenues. It wasn't simply a matter of hiding on a boat. Furthermore, there exists a precedent for Mexican workers: the Bracero program. As Senator, any immigration reform package that I would vote on would entail stern enforcement and a nuanced approach to our existing immigration laws. Considering out current problems with unemployment, we really don't need an influx of laborers. Lastly and perhaps more importantly, when you consider what's been going on in South America, we ought to be aware of the Communist efforts down there. I'm worried that any lax approach to amnesty could result in Che Guevaras on our own soil.

O'Connor: I am also Irish. I agree with the Governor that the success of the Irish coming to America is a compelling narrative; but it is because of that success that we lack the perspective of our forebears. They fought some battles for us. While Irish discrimination did exist, I can say with certitude that trying to relate our experiences with those of Hispanic descent is an apples and orange comparison. Neither you nor I know what it's like.

I am open-minded on the issue of immigration reform. With regards to the labor issue, I can understand why some are concerned about newcomers competing with the sizable contingent of unemployed laborers in our country. However, I am a firm believer in the freedom of opportunity and the free market, and think that our goods produced and services rendered would only improve by adding depth to our potential work force. As for concerns about these people being communist spies, they're foolish.

Moderator: Staying on topic, a few months ago there was a scuffle in the city of Detroit. One wrong signal was sent, and over a dozen people died. This is all endemic of the decline of industry in the Midwest; as Senator, how would you diagnose this problem and what cure would you prescribe?

Brennan: America's stranglehold on auto manufacturing has turned into a light caress. This is a problem for America for the obvious reasons: not only is our export market hurting, but we're losing jobs, an entire industry is dying here, and with it an entire region. This bodes poorly for our unemployment situation. This is one issue where I mostly side with the President: for us to keep our industry alive we need to keep oil prices low. We need to expand offshore drilling, and we need to maintain stability in the Middle East.

Where I disagree with the President is his feckless decision to lift tariffs against Japanese imports. I think one hallmark of the American work ethic is that hard work should pay off; auto workers receive good pensions and benefits because they put out a great product. There's no reason why we should offer up a core industry of ours to the Japanese on a silver platter simply because they pay their workers less and offer a cheaper, but inferior product.

O'Connor: I don't think there's anything wrong with the idea of having a magnificent auto industry. It's an idea that I grew up with as a boy. However, while Brennan's comments may make us pine for the halcyon days of the early Sixties, the reality is that such expectations do not comport with current demand. The current demand is for smaller cars that are more fuel efficient; and I don't consider that to be a bad thing.

I understand labor's grievances right now, but the reality is that their careers were built on unreasonable expectations. Time flows like a swift ravine - ever changing. Perhaps a pay cut is necessary to compete with Japan's auto industry. Perhaps the muscle cars of the Sixties are inefficient. I think that Bentsen's lifting of the tariffs on Japan is one of the best decisions he's made as President, as it will apply the pressure of the free market to our cars to be more fuel efficient and environmentally friendly.

Moderator: We've got to wrap this up, so each of you make one final appeal to the voters.

Brennan: Thank you John. I'd like to ask the voters tonight to ask themselves one question: are they getting the most out of their public officials? As Governor, I cleaned our rivers and produced thousands of jobs for our state. My opponent here has six bills or so to his name. While he has made some impressive speeches and grandstanded on the national stage, he hasn't accomplished much for our state. I ask the voters to look past my party affiliation and look towards promises that I can make good on. Thank you.

O'Connor: While I've come under fire from my opponent, let me say one thing. I have been and always will be a consistent opponent of reckless foreign policy moves. I have not taken as many initiatives as I'd like to because of the current consensus in the White House. To the voters, I ask that you vote Republican this November. Vote for Areus Ho'kee. Vote for me. Vote Republican down ballot, so we can have actual change in Washington. I promise that if you do this, we will drain the swamp of corruption, restore transparency and ethics, fix the economy, and withdraw from our current foreign policy entanglements. Thank you.
84  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Election What-ifs? / Re: Dust In The Wind on: May 26, 2015, 01:13:09 am

Moderator: I would like to thank each of the candidates for joining us here in Waterville. With control of the Senate up in the air, this election is an important one. For the first round of questions, I'd ask that each of you introduce yourselves to the audience.

O'Connor: Thank you. Six years ago, the people of Maine elected me to the Senate in response to the Jackson administration. During my tenure in the Senate, I have been a continued force against the wanton proclivity toward invasion that seems to pervade most of Washington. During my tenure, I have spoken out against the government sanctioned redistribution of wealth from suffering urban areas to the pockets of wealthy and well-connected farmers. During my tenure, I have opposed the sort of "fly by the seat of your pants" attitude that past administrations have taken toward the environment. Going into this debate, I'd like to ask for six more years to continue to work for the people of Maine.

Brennan: I'm running for Senator because our state needs an experienced journeyman to represent them. During my term as Governor, we passed legislation protecting our rivers and we reinvested in our local industries. As a nation, we have a myriad of issues facing us: our missions cease vision and our workers have literally died in the street to try and reclaim their jobs. While O'Connor seems like he has good heart, his sporadic attendance shows that he's either uninterested or incapable of handling these issues.

Moderator: One question on the minds of many is our current engagement in Iran. Where do each of you stand on this issue?

Brennan: I think that our current mission in Iran is a lost cause. I can understand why there was an impulse to invade after the death of our consulate, but the reality is that this conflict has drawn us into a quagmire like Vietnam. It's a folly. If elected Senator, I would oppose attempts to extend our presence in Iran and would work to renegotiate the 1986 deal.

O'Connor: To those of you who are voting with the intent to get our troops out of Iran, do not vote for Brennan tonight. He is the primary symptom of the disease we have in Washington: numerous Democrats run in Northern states as being against the war in some capacity, but vote for Democratic leaders. Robert Byrd was President Jackson's chief liason in the Senate, and only had his majority because of these Democrats. It does not matter if Ted Kennedy or Christopher Dodd voted against the invasion of Iran - as long as they vote for Robert Byrd, Democrats set the cadence and tempo of the agenda. The rest is merely window dressing.

Brennan: Senator, this reinforces my point that you're an amateur in the Senate. Your response to the situation in Iran is to throw your hands up and say "get out now!" without any respect to the nuances that this situation presents. While I dislike the war as much as you do, the reality is that immediate withdrawal would lead to Iraq taking over the region. The long-term solution is that we have to maintain some sort of presence there and keep the peace.

O'Connor: When asked a minute ago, you categorically called this war a lost cause and said you would oppose any attempt to extend our presence in Iran - yet now you've criticized me for taking the same position. You criticize me for lacking nuance on he Iran withdrawal, but you yourself have criticized the 1986 compromise. What's your mission for Iran? Ten of our best soldiers shipped off to keep the peace of the entire country?

In your previous statement you characterized my approach as unrealistic. Is your approach any more realistic? "Maintain some sort of presence to keep the peace" sounds reasonable on its face. However, our current deployment can barely keep control of the Oil Parallel. How do you expect a reduced force to maintain stability in the entire country? Despite your Golden Mean approach, I think your proposal is far more wide eyed and optimistic than mine.

Moderator: What makes you more qualified than your opponent to represent Maine?

Brennan: As I mentioned before, I ran a steady ship while I was Governor of this state for four years. The trains ran on time and the bills were paid. In addition, I have a degree in law and have served in some judicial capacity. By contrast, the incumbent has no law degree and is excessively absentee from the Senate. Suffice it to say, I think my opponent prefers to use the Senate as a debate club, as opposed to a deliberative body for solving problems.

O'Connor: Mr. Brennan, can you name an issue on which you substantively disagree with the President? You've implied that you agree with the anti-war forces in Congress, but have not uttered a specific policy plank toward getting us out of Iran. You've criticized the state of inflation, but haven't mentioned what you would do to deter President Bentsen's monetary policy. Lastly, you've touted your record on environmentalism as Governor, but your only substantive accomplishment was a bill protecting rivers, yet you've hypocritially turned a blind eye toward the President's drilling of the Gulf Coast.

You've criticized me a lot for perceived absenteeism and lack of initiative as a Senator. That being said, what exactly did you accomplish as Governor? What makes you more qualified, and why should voters think that you would be more independent of the current administration than I am?

Brennan: I don't appreciate your tone here, although I guess it's to be expected given the way the polls are. You've also misrepresented my record. In addition to environmental protection, we added jobs to the economy with smart investments to our port industry.

O'Connor: To cite an example, the Bath Works project is budgeted to cost thirty million dollars for only a few hundred jobs. Does that really sound like a worthwhile investment? Does that sound like a scrupulous deal, amidst the backdrop of Democratic graft on an epic proportion?

Brennan: Do you have any foundation for your implication here, or is this just guilt by association?

O'Connor: There's been no investigation into your negotiations as Governor. I'm not alleging any specific wrongdoing here. I'm merely arguing that the fast and loose culture of President Jackson's administration is a poor backdrop for your prospective Senate career.
85  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Election What-ifs? / Re: Dust In The Wind on: May 26, 2015, 01:02:59 am
Barracks: 1988:

Only a few days after Areus Ho'kee's solid debate performance in Wilmington, Thad O'Connor was preparing for a debate of his own. He was sitting on his living room couch, discussing the matter with Lawrence Coventry and Ericson Snell. Cynthia Lancaster also happened to be there, nestled under his left arm. "The Boss had a big night a few days ago. When Laxalt swooped in we were down by a lot. However, the latest round of polling suggests we're in striking distance. Despite everything that's been going on, I think Areus will manage to outsmart these cretins and pull it out," said Lawrence.

Snell, who'd been sitting on a leather chair, was quick to disagree. "One thing to remember is that third party candidacies tend to flame out, once people realize what's at stake and come home," he said. "There's truth to that, but you can't discount Areus' efforts since his declaration: our ads and leaks highlighting the David Duke connection, or Areus' spectacular debate performance. Laxalt wasn't the only person to lose supporters after that night. But we've got to move on to the main point: Thad, all signs point to you being in trouble in your reelection bid.

The polls show that Areus is favored to win Maine by a double-digit margin. Yet when asked, these same voters show either a tie or a preference for Brennan by a one or two point margin. You've got to put in some work here," said Lawrence. Thad was visibly discouraged. "Since you've both won several elections, what would your advice to me be?" he asked. "Well, let's analyze the fundamentals," said Snell. "Joe Brennan was a popular Governor in the early Eighties, and probably would have run for reelection in 1982 if the circumstances weren't more favorable. Furthermore, he's averaging one town hall a week and has outspent you two to one. Most of your support has come from the Maine Republican Party, which is a mix of old-timers who don't trust you and neophyte Mavericks.

Furthermore, there's the matter of your performance in the Senate. Just a year or two ago, your filibuster was hugely popular in Maine. Lots of people on the ground say that your stand against the agricultural subsidies was appreciated in Portland. Since all that you haven't really done anything, and your attendance rate in the Senate has been lacking. You don't do much constituent outreach, and you've only sponsored a couple of bills. In a different state or under different circumstances, you'd be getting trounced right now." Lawrence Coventry disagreed.

 "I think you're being a little harsh on Thad here. His participation has been lacking, but he's been outspoken on issues that are actually important, and he's awfully endearing to people. Brennan's been running him hard. It's not his fault," he said. "Maybe. The mild-mannered amateur approach was right last time for Thad: he was the nominee only because of Hank Stephenson's suicide after a divisive primary. He was new to the office, and a sympathetic figure after his loss in 1978. Now's a different story though; he's an incumbent and he needs to run like it," said Snell.

"I understand what you're saying, but it's discouraging to undertake bold initiatives when you know that the majority is going to vote them down. Most of my memorable achievements have been stands against bills that passed anyways, because they were issues that I felt passionate about. Domestic spending isn't going to be reduced under this administration. Oil drilling isn't going to be rolled back under this administration. Immigration reform isn't going to happen under his administration. What am I expected to stand for on the Senate floor, when half of its tiles are rotted?" asked Thad.

"Thad, baby, you just said that your best initiatives ended up with you pissing in the wind, but then said you didn't want to do that. Which is it?" Lawrence joked. "You know what I mean. There's a difference between proposing something out of futility, and being the last man standing against ruinous policy," Thad responded. "You're right, but at the end of the day politics is more than just about making a difference. It's also about dick-waving and posturing. Actually, it's more the latter," said Lawrence. Thad smirked. "So with a month left to go, what's left at my disposal?" he asked.

"Barring a landmark national event, the debate is probably your best shot to retake the lead. Brennan's run a strong ground campaign, but ultimately that's been predicated on him talking solely about the issues he wants to discuss. Call him to the carpet on foreign policy, call him to the carpet on Bentsen's less popular feature. The more you make this race about the national Democratic Party, the better. Secondly, Brennan's got some flaws of his own: while he may have been popular as Governor, he didn't have many legislative accomplishments. Much like Areus, you've got to dig yourself out of this hole," said Snell.

Thad took a deep breath while digesting all of what Areus had to say. "Oh, and Thad, I think you'll have plenty to sponsor if Areus gets elected," said Cynthia, before kissing him on the cheek.
86  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: The Joe Republic Bureau of Funny Post Archival on: May 20, 2015, 08:09:56 pm
Worse than something phwezer would post? Man, you've failed.
87  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Opinion of #DeflateGate? on: May 11, 2015, 05:13:15 pm

Seriously, though, enough depredations out of them. I think what's in order here is about an eight game suspension for Brady, loss of draft picks in the first three rounds, and appropriate fines. But I bet they just get a stern finger-wag.

Now, Kraft owes the apology.

Not quite!

I live just forty minutes or so from Gillette. There's going to be some schadenfreude for me tomorrow, for sure. Grin
88  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Elections / Re: Re-Elect Talleyrand Northeast Senator! on: May 10, 2015, 07:52:26 pm
Endorsed heartily
89  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Opinion of #DeflateGate? on: May 07, 2015, 08:07:09 am
90  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: the 1st atlas hunger games on: May 06, 2015, 10:31:45 pm
Other district 8
91  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Is there a max number of people one can put on ignore? on: May 06, 2015, 02:55:32 pm
Fifty, I think.

You probably have some old 2012 trolls on your list - perhaps prune those?
92  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Forum Community Board Post-Update on: May 06, 2015, 02:16:13 pm
snoozefest with Jeff Brown gone
93  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Election What-ifs? / Re: The Ford Legacy Family on: May 05, 2015, 09:27:39 pm
Maybe Ford can stop the madness. Smiley
94  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: The Irony Oremine on: May 03, 2015, 02:19:17 pm
So, um... who are you again?

95  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Regional Governments / Re: NE1: North East Surplus Act on: May 02, 2015, 09:34:50 pm
We got rid of the requirement to appropriate budget windfalls to the Disaster Relief Fund for good reason. We used to have that and it just resulted in billions of dollars being tied up.
96  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Which poster is the previous poster imitating? on: May 02, 2015, 09:15:03 pm

Just watched another episode of Beefcake Bake-off! They have some cute guys in that kitchen. Today they made some delicious meatball grinders, with some onions and marinara sauce (who doesn't enjoy a good topping every now and then? Tongue) All in all, the meat looked pretty tasty, and the food didn't look bad either. #BonAppetit
97  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Election What-ifs? / Re: Dust In The Wind on: May 01, 2015, 08:34:25 pm
Rooting for Laxalt! Paleoconservatism FTW! Cheesy

Always good to have another reader. Smiley Although it should be noted that Laxalt is quite hawkish in this timeline.
98  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Opinion of SuperCuts on: May 01, 2015, 06:12:37 pm
I usually go there when I need a trim. It's fine. And there are better substitutes for interesting personality traits than bitching about chains, FTR.

Well, you suck then.

OK. Any reason why I should go to some hepcat barber shop just to get the same exact trim I'd otherwise get, cupcake?

And no, interesting people can point out how lame and tasteless this country is anymore.

I wasn't implying that interesting people can't complain about chains. I was just pointing out that you've repeatedly used it as a crutch, in lieu of saying something interesting.

I don't see your point.

My point is that perhaps if you hadn't taken 9300 posts to repeat the same three* (unoriginal) thoughts over and over again since 2004, I might not be passing stones on this "contribution." Seriously, next thing you know you'll be using some lame Olive Garden joke as a fall back.

Have fun in the future when Olive Garden is your only option to go out for an Eye-talian dinner.

*1. dae think Republicans suck? lmao
2. /r/euphoric atheism
3. LOL opebo!
99  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Opinion of SuperCuts on: April 30, 2015, 11:15:15 pm
I usually go there when I need a trim. It's fine. And there are better substitutes for interesting personality traits than bitching about chains, FTR.
100  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Election What-ifs? / Re: Dust In The Wind on: April 29, 2015, 12:25:29 am
TIME - Presidential nominees spar
September 19th, 1988

Ho'kee comes out swinging

Several nights ago, the three major presidential hopefuls debated in Wilmington, Delaware. In a contentious election with a middling economy and a foreign policy crisis, it was bound to be a heated debate; and the participants lived up to the expectations. President Bentsen, who found himself with an impromptu lead, did his best to maintain his lead. By contrast, Areus Ho'kee took nearly every debate question as an opportunity to criticize his opponents. He had been sitting comfortable on a 100 electoral vote lead over the President, which had been erased once Laxalt achieved the Working Man's Party's nomination for President.

Some wondered whether Ho'kee would be able to maintain his composure for this debate. This is his first national election, and the Speaker had been known for his intemperance behind the scenes. However, any frustration he had did not spill over into the debate, as he deftly laid blows on his opponents: he held Bentsen's feet to the fire on the issues of abortion and campaign finance, while eviscerating Paul Laxalt on the question of the WMP convention leaks. As polling after the debate reflects, Ho'kee did what was necessary to put his campaign back into contention.

Laxalt slips

When Paul Laxalt had clinched the Working Man's Party nomination and started getting included in presidential polls, he made a huge splash; polling double-digits nationally, nearly leading in four different states (Idaho, Nevada, Alabama, and Utah), while also dragging Republican Areus Ho'kee from a 100 electoral vote lead down to a big deficit. Without a presidential nominee, the Working Man's Party had polled 8% of the vote in midterm elections, electing two Senators and a handful of Representatives. With a polished standard-bearer and strong national presence in Senator Paul Laxalt, they were poised to do much better. Most pundits wrote off Republicans' chances at winning the Presidency, and many predicted that their tenuous control of Congress would be eradicated, making Charlie Wilson Speaker of the House.

However, association with the Working Man's Party soon proved to be a millstone. The Working Man's Party Convention was presented to be a professional, clean-cut affair run by political veteran Davis Griffith. However, bootlegged recordings of the affair showed that there was potential voter fraud, and a brawl on the convention floor that would be a handful for most riot police teams. This helped set a narrative that the Working Man's Party was less of a legitimate party and more of a grab bag of unstable ideologues and extremists.

What's worse for the Laxalt campaign is the fact that the chaos on the convention floor may not be the most damaging aspect of the convention leak. An activist by the name of Lawrence Ponder gave a speech on behalf of David Duke, who nearly captured the Working Man's Party nomination. Initially David Duke was just a footnote in the endless index of third-party candidates. However, investigative reporting and the additional attention from these leaks revealed that David Duke had past involvement in the Ku Klux Klan, a fact which was heavily used in the ground game of the Areus Ho'kee campaign. Laxalt repudiated Duke in numerous venues, but regardless, this fact was used as a cudgel by Areus Ho'kee, both on the debate stage and on the campaign trail.

Senate races to watch

This rollercoaster of a presidential election has dominated most of the election discussion this year. However, one element that has been overlooked are the congressional elections. House elections are anybody's guess, but Senate elections can sometimes be considered a statewide referendum on Washington D.C. Despite a large windfall in 1986, Republicans only regained control of the Senate due to the temporary defections of George McGovern and Scott Westman. Republicans have been favored for most of this cycle, but it would only take one or two election losses for control of the Senate to shift to the Democrats.

Arizona: Dennis DeConcini has held office since 1977, and won reelection in 1982 with nearly two-thirds of the vote, despite running in a Republican state in a mildly Republican election. Dennis DeConcini is a conservative Senator, and has voted against his party on numerous issues. At first glance, this is one race that would make Republicans hedge their bets and pass up on. These numbers belie reality of DeConcini's situation, however. His victory in 1976 was against the controversial Sam Steiger, who had a checkered public record and had emerged from a tough primary. In 1982, he was running against Evan Mecham, who had had long been considered a lightning rod for controversy, and had already established his credentials as a perennial candidate with several failed bids for office.

Taking into account these factors, this race has potential to be a sleeper. His opponent is Republican Jim Kolbe, a two-term Representative who has voted with the Mavericks and has generally supported Speaker Ho'kee's initiatives. Considering his opposition to the Iran War and moderate voting record, he could attract voters who are dissatisfied with DeConcini's conservative record. The Working Man's Party's candidate in this is Wayne "Ten Hawks" Smith, a conservative radio host who clings to his dubious Native American heritage.

Maine: This is possibly the most intriguing entry on this list. Presidential polls show that Ho'kee is a safe bet to carry this state. However, local polls and internals show a much closer match when voters are given the choice between incumbent Thad O'Connor and former Governor James Brennan. O'Connor, who was elected to this seat by plurality in 1982, has not done much campaigning. On the other hand, Brennan has been touting his independence from the Democratic leadership and blasted O'Connor on his absenteeism, while also touting his own record as Governor. Polls show a dead-heat here.

Montana: Scott Westman has had problems with the Democratic Party since 1980. While he coasted to reelection in 1982, the open secret of his personal life has been well-known by insiders but has been considered a political untouchable. Normally a Democrat in Montana would be considered dead on arrival, given Ho'kee's likely coattails, but Republicans have made minimal effort here and Westman has done a great deal to distance himself from President Bentsen. Westman is narrowly favored here.

Michigan: Polls here show that incumbent Mic Ceriel has a fair lead. However, the instability in Detroit and general volatility in polling makes this race an honorable mention. Mic Ceriel's response to the riots in Detroit were outright tone-deaf. Meanwhile, the Democratic nominee is Coleman Young, current Mayor of Detroit. While the leaks from the Working Man's Party Convention have been damaging to its party, Christian Mattingly remains the most articulate and polished of its nominees, making this seat the most potential WMP pick-up outside of the usual suspects.

Ohio: Had Paul Pfeifer run for reelection, this wouldn't have made the list. However, Pfeifer is retiring after one term, and Republican nominee Buz Lukens has been plagued in campaign finance and personal scandals since winning a four-way primary contest. His opponent, Democrat James Traficant, has run a populist campaign focused on Luken's ethics problems, as well as bucking his own party on the corruption probe. Polls show Traficant ahead by an average of eight points, but Republican coattails could save this seat.

Texas: James "Fergie" Garner won here six years ago due to a rift in the Democratic Party, where half of the party rallied behind the liberal Harold Barefoot Sanders, while the other half defected to former General William Walker. Since then, Texas Democrats implemented a run-off provision for Senate elections, sometimes referred to as the "Garner Rule." Senator Garner faces a steeper challenge this time around, with WMP Chairman Davis Griffith running against him for reelection, which is almost a surefire way to force Garner into a run-off. He may not be so lucky this time.


September 19th, 1988


Safe Republican: >10%

Slight Republican: 4-9%

Tossup: 3% difference

Slight Democratic: 4-9%

Safe Democratic: >10%

Ho'kee vs Bentsen vs Laxalt

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