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1  Forum Community / Survivor / Re: More U.S. Metro Areas Survivor (Round 3) on: Today at 10:13:02 am
Knoxville, Tennessee metropolitan area vs. San Antonio metropolitan area
Hartford, Connecticut metropolitan area vs. Raleigh, North Carolina metropolitan area
Austin, Texas metropolitan area vs. Milwaukee, Wisconsin metropolitan area
Providence, Rhode Island metropolitan area vs. New Orleans metropolitan area

Sad that the two best remaining metros (Providence and NO) have to face each other.
2  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Which of the following types of -ist are you? on: January 31, 2015, 11:48:20 pm
You have "countyist" and "cityist" in the wrong order. Tongue

(Take a wild guess which two I voted for.  State-ist might also apply, but I'm more of a pan-Northeastern type of guy.)
3  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Andrew Cuomo vs. Sarah Palin on: January 31, 2015, 11:45:04 pm
It is just pathetic that 56.5% of the site would choose a far-right lunatic for a political office over a conservadem because of "muh pandering" and "muh Oil".

Cuomo lost to literally Hitler here, I wouldn't take this poll too seriously.

(Though, if we are being serious for a moment, the problems with Cuomo are largely orthogonal to how "conservative" or "liberal" he is; blaming our antipathy on him simply being "conservadem" misses the point.)
4  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Would you eat Burger King's black cheesburger? on: January 31, 2015, 11:37:14 pm
Honestly, the only burger I ever met that I didn't like was the "boca" burger (textured vegetable protein masquerading as "burger meat")  That's truly nasty.  All the other burgers I've tried in all the other places I've tried them have been decent.  Some more exotic than others, but usually good.

I'm pretty sure that Boca Burgers are actually a long con set up by the National Cattlemen's Beef Association to make vegetarianism look as unappetizing as possible.  It's the only explanation for how bad they are.
5  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Andrew Cuomo vs. Sarah Palin on: January 31, 2015, 08:26:43 pm
One of them is a ludicrously self-promoting attention whore who does everything they do with an eye towards faux-populist pandering and with scorn towards anything resembling expertise and intelligence.

The other one was briefly the Governor of Alaska.
6  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: What Congressional District Can You See the Above Poster Representing on: January 30, 2015, 12:42:12 pm
7  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: How Did Your Family and Yourself Vote in Presidential Election? on: January 30, 2015, 12:30:15 pm
My first Presidential vote was for John Kerry in 2004 and I've voted straight Dem since then.  

My Dad's first vote was for Barry Goldwater in 1964.  For a long time he was straight Republican (though he might not have voted in '68 on account of being in Nam, I can't remember) and is still registered as such and votes Pub at local levels.  However, he has voted Dem for President a lot lately; in 1992 and then every time since 2000 IIRC.  He's a fiscal conservative, but really dislikes foreign adventurism and the Religious Right.

My mom didn't vote for a long time.  She was apathetic and liberal-esque in her youth.  Then, when I was a kid, she started voting to set a good example for the kid.  And has shifted hard-FoxNews-right over the past couple of decades, especially on foreign policy.  Alas.

My GF has the same Dem-since-Kerry record as I do.  I believe the only non-Democrats she's ever actually voted for have been Bloomberg and Hawkins, in fact.  Her Mom is also a solid straight-D Times-reading liberal; her dad doesn't really ever talk politics so I don't know, but he probably votes Dem when/if he bothers to vote.

None of us who are Dems are #Ready, but if Hillary's the nominee of course we'll vote for her.  Cutting off your nose to spite your face is always a bad look, and the SCOTUS is just too important.
8  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Andrew Cuomo vs. Anthony Weiner on: January 30, 2015, 12:07:05 pm
To quote a friend of mine, "Weiner has better impulse control."
9  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Will Mesa, Arizona become one of the great American cities? on: January 29, 2015, 11:51:28 pm
I don't know, what about the Town of Hempstead
10  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Just when I thought Cuomo couldn't stoop any lower... on: January 29, 2015, 06:05:14 pm
Gratifying to hear that our Public Advocate, Tish James, gets it:

Public Advocate Letitia James will call for the City Council to hold hearings Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s controversial decision to shut down the subway system—with little notice to City Hall—ahead of a forecasted blizzard Monday night.

“I believe in the old adage that it’s better to be safe than sorry. However, I believe that there should be other stakeholders in the decision-making and I have some concerns about unilateral decisions,” Ms. James told the Observer today.

I realize these sorts of things are mostly grandstanding, but sometimes it's what ya gotta do.
11  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Just when I thought Cuomo couldn't stoop any lower... on: January 29, 2015, 04:52:16 pm
Much of the system outside of Manhattan runs above ground (especially in Queens and the Bronx)

Take a look at my post directly above yours for an explanation why that isn't actually a good reason for this no-warning system shutdown, which the MTA neither wanted nor needed.
12  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Who Will Be The Super Bowl MVP? on: January 29, 2015, 04:29:30 pm
Don't know, but like all good patriotic Americans I'm hoping Richard Sherman gets it.
13  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Can an Oldtimer Explain Why Hamilton Was So Bad? on: January 29, 2015, 04:18:16 pm
I've heard that he dug up personal information of other posters and threatened them with it and essentially tried to hold people hostage for fantasyland stuff.

An example from a post that's been deleted from the main forum, but that I can still see quoted on the mod board:

I will leak private messages and IMs and such from RPP members that I have if the post isn't gone soon. This isn't a threat. THis is the situation that I want you to deal with before I have to.

Er... how is that "digging up personal information"? That's just posting PMs you've received from people.

Whatever words you want to use, pretty sure it's a universal rule of the Internet (and a perfectly sensible one at that) that such behavior is lowest-of-the-low scumbaggery.
14  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Just when I thought Cuomo couldn't stoop any lower... on: January 29, 2015, 03:43:02 pm
The "best information they had" would have been to listen to the actual professionals at the MTA, who knew that shutting things down this far in advance (when trains and buses can in fact run in a fair amount of snow)

But 2 feet? Even if you could get the buses running, someone still has to get there to drive it. I'm not talking about underground subway trains that run automatically. Although I imagine people still have to be there to oversee it? People that should probably be home if there's that much snow.

As far as the subways go... they don't care about snow!  Much of the system is underground, and most of the aboveground portions actively prefer to keep the trains running– not just because of the insane headache that is shutting down and starting up again– because that's the best way to clear snow off the tracks!  They would have shut down those tracks that are in depressed open cuts, but that's a very small portion of the system.

In point of fact, as far as the snow-clearing goes, SEPTA in Philly kept running trains overnight when they don't usually otherwise, for that exact reason.

The MTA knows this, because they are professionals that understand operations, so when the surprise dictum from Cuomo came down, remember that they kept the ghost trains running and keeping most of the system running would have been the right thing even had 2-3 feet of snow fallen.  I mean, the subways didn't shut down for the Blizzard of '96, as pointed out above.

But of course, Cuomo is above the degrading gruntwork of listening to people who know what they're talking about.
15  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Just when I thought Cuomo couldn't stoop any lower... on: January 28, 2015, 01:17:55 pm
But as far as I can tell, the officials were acting on the best information they had.

The "best information they had" would have been to listen to the actual professionals at the MTA, who knew that shutting things down this far in advance (when trains and buses can in fact run in a fair amount of snow)  was unnecessary and even harmful.  Cuomo just decided to do it by fiat to look like a REEL LEADUR, without any input from other levels of government or experts within the agency itself.
16  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: The Lief Reservoir of Simple Truths and Smart One-Liners on: January 28, 2015, 10:31:34 am
Post of the year-so-far:

I don't know how much politics even play into it.  He's a Cuomo-winger. 

Andrew Cuomo doesn't care about New York.  He doesn't care about the people of this state.  He doesn't care about the wisdom of his decisions.  He doesn't care who he hurts.  He always makes the decision that is politically easiest for Andrew Cuomo.  So, he uses budgetary alchemy that he hopes nobody will call him on.  He would steal candy from a baby, he would sucker punch your grandmother, he would light an orphanage on fire, he would tie a damsel to the rail road tacks, as long as he thought it would be politically beneficial and safe for Andrew Cuomo.  He has no scruples.  As we say in New York, he's gaab-age.
17  Forum Community / Survivor / Re: More U.S. Metro Areas Survivor (Round 1) on: January 28, 2015, 09:49:17 am
Cape Coral, Florida metropolitan area vs. Knoxville, Tennessee metropolitan area
Buffalo, New York metropolitan area vs. San Antonio metropolitan area
New Orleans metropolitan area vs. El Paso, Texas metropolitan area
Raleigh, North Carolina metropolitan area vs. Oklahoma City metropolitan area
Memphis, Tennessee metropolitan area vs. Milwaukee, Wisconsin metropolitan area
Cincinnati, Ohio metropolitan area vs. Harrisburg, Pennsylvania metropolitan area
Honolulu metropolitan area vs. Jacksonville, Florida metropolitan area
Louisville, Kentucky metropolitan area vs. Greenville, South Carolina metropolitan area
Richmond, Virginia metropolitan area vs Birmingham, Alabama metropolitan area
Nashville, Tennessee metropolitan area vs. Virginia Beach metropolitan area
Albany, New York metropolitan area vs. Dayton, Ohio metropolitan area
Greensboro, North Carolina metropolitan area vs. Providence, Rhode Island metropolitan area
Hartford, Connecticut metropolitan area vs. Tucson, Arizona metropolitan area
Rochester, New York metropolitan area vs. Albuquerque, New Mexico metropolitan area
Grand Rapids, Michigan metropolitan area vs. Tulsa, Oklahoma metropolitan area
Austin, Texas metropolitan area vs. Fresno, California metropolitan area

Ugh... I had to vote for something in Texas.  

I'll be faintly shocked if New Orleans doesn't win it all.
18  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Just when I thought Cuomo couldn't stoop any lower... on: January 28, 2015, 01:26:01 am
I saw that. It seems pretty bad, yes, but I also read it was easier to keep some trains running than it was to send them all to the depots like they did during Sandy. Had they done that we'd have had delays for long after the ban was lifted. And I shudder to think of all the slipping and falling that would have happened had people taken the trains. (Another thing we need: platform screens).

Either way though it does come across as bluster for appearances' sake. I might be projecting, but by all indications the boom in project launches under Bloomie has ground to a halt in the past year (and no, I am not just blaming de Blasio). All while they raise fares again. For what? Perhaps the problem is that the "liberal" cause of mass transit requires "conservative" solutions.

Why is the New Tappan Zee Bridge a "boondoggle", though? The current bridge is falling apart.

I wouldn't go so far to say "conservative" solutions (certainly, in an American context, the conservative "solution" is endless sprawl for those who can and leave the city to burn because f**k liberals), but, y'know, "liberal" as opposed to "socialist" solutions I could buy.  Though your perception of Bloomy is a little skewed: the fares went up under him too; a lot of it is the random chance of project timing; even his stuff is coming in way over budget; and I do have a bone to pick with how he handled the 7 extension, trying to get a celebratory ride in long before revenue service happens and throwing the planned 10th Ave stop- which serves lots of real people in a very transit-starved neighborhood- under the bus to preserve the more speculative developer-windfall Hudson Yards stuff instead.

(Despite those nitpicks I will agree that Bloomy was uncommonly fantastic when it came to transit issues.)

As for the Tappan Zee, there's a whole lot of stuff- a) it's not really falling down, it's merely "functionally obsolete" rather than "structurally deficient" (the former designation really just means "crowded and old" and is not a quarter as dire as it sounds, unlike the latter which would be a problem); b) he's basically making it twice as large as it needs to be; c) he threw away months of planning process that called for dedicated transit facilities on and around it because supposedly "we couldn't afford it" never mind that it's being built way too big as-is; d) speaking of can't afford, he's trying to steal from the state clean water fund to pay for it, and e) basically all the independent audits have said it'll be a financial disaster that has no hope of ever paying for itself because setting tolls high enough to do so will lead to a "death spiral" of disuse; f) let alone setting tolls high enough he's basically put any hike off the table because who cares about externalities, or fiscal responsibility, or the future, or any of the other zillion things that the TZ construction money would be better used for.  All that matters is shiny photo-ops and pandering to spoiled motorists.

I mean, yeah.  At some point the Tappan Zee will have to be replaced.  But it needs to be replaced right, with dedicated transit lanes and a sustainable (i.e. not drastically increased) number of car lanes and a responsible funding source that doesn't steal from other important (and not-actually-related) programs and which is similarly, tolled at a responsible level. 

Cuomo's plan, as is?  Pure boondoggle.
19  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Just when I thought Cuomo couldn't stoop any lower... on: January 27, 2015, 08:17:45 pm
And, just to make clear: I could understand and forgive this sort of car-only thinking if Cuomo was the governor of a more rural state like Iowa or Mississippi.  (Well, I still wouldn't necessarily like it, my views being what they are, but I'd live with it. Tongue)  But one would think that even the city-phobic and transit-averse among us here could recognize that New York of all places is a different animal, and that Cuomo's priorities are perversely hostile to not just the needs of NYC, but really by any remotely fair accounting the needs of the state as a whole.
20  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Just when I thought Cuomo couldn't stoop any lower... on: January 27, 2015, 07:53:36 pm
F**ker decides to pre-emptively shut down the MTA so he can appear "tough on weather" despite the agency not really wanting or needing a shutdown (it'd cost more to stow all those trains and cancel all those shifts", leading to the ghastly spectre of trains running with normal- empty- service inside stations barricaded off to riders.


"I think it’s horrible, purely political decision, not based on anything that’s needed," the insider said. "It seemed like cutting out a necessary lifeline unnecessarily." The paper also pointed to a Transportation Authority data scientist who lamented the decision to shut down the subway on Twitter. "Not a good plan from the governor," Samuel Wong wrote shortly after Cuomo's announcement. "The startup procedures will be fun."

And this in the wake of Cuomo deciding to, in his recent budget announcement:

* rob the MTA's operating budget to pay for debt service, with only vague promises of filling to back in from the General Fund (which of course he can and will revoke as soon as convenient)
* screw other state transit agencies even worse, so it's not like it's an NYC-only thing, the traditional cores Upstate are getting bent here too
* use the bank settlement windfall to mostly keep tolls down on the Thruway (and let's not forget about his Tappan Zee boondoggle), while of course subway riders are going to have bi-yearly fare hikes until the end of time, because apparently city dwellers are less fully human than suburbanites or something
* barely touch the MTA capital plan, which is pretty scary as far as procuring contracts goes, and keep in mind that this plan is VERY modest and deals with only the most bare-bones necessities like state of good repair and the desperately-need Phase 2 of the SAS...

I could go on and on all day.  It's clear that Cuomo wants nothing more than to stick a shiv into the beating heart of his state, to ignore the actual pressing needs of millions of New Yorkers, to pander to the extremities by depriving the core which not only is a full half the state population, but also simultaneously has the state's most needy while serving as the economic dynamo without which those extremities would be up sh*t's creek...

Anyway, you get the idea.  I could keep ranting on but let's call that enough for tonight.  Aaaaaargh. F**k Cuomo.  F**k him right in the eye.
21  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Napoleon Memorial Thread #RIP on: January 27, 2015, 05:18:33 pm
Sock on you crazy diamond.
22  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Your 3 favorite/least favorite Obama and Romney states on: January 27, 2015, 12:43:15 pm
Favorite Obama States: Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania

Favorite Romney States:  Alaska, North Carolina, Louisiana

Least Favorite Obama States:  Michigan, Florida, Nevada

Least Favorite Romney States:  Arizona, Oklahoma, Arkansas
23  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: DEMOCRATS ONLY: Atlas Presidential Election, 2015 Democratic Primary on: January 27, 2015, 12:16:47 pm
Isn't Miles the guy who hates gay marriage but refuses to explain why because he thinks it unfriendly to disagree with people?

Anyway, I'll go with Madeleine. Flo is my second. How were the options picked btw? I feel I only know half the field. Tongue

Miles does hold some socon views (pretty sure he's pro-life), but he's evolved on the marriage issue.

Anyway, Madeleine is obviously my choice as well.  
24  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Opinion of #DeflateGate? on: January 27, 2015, 12:07:33 pm

The farce of the NFL’s “Deflate-Gate” affair has become hysterical enough that prominent astrophysicist Neil DeGrasse Tyson felt the need to weigh in on Twitter, and in the space of 125 characters, Tyson managed to bungle some straightforward fundamentals of science.
25  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Do you like garlic? on: January 26, 2015, 07:58:43 pm
You garlic lovers would probably appreciate the soup that this thread inspired me to make tonight.

Thinly slice 3 cloves of garlic and lightly brown them in 1/4 cup of olive oil. Remove and save the garlic but leave the oil in the pan. Fry 4 thin slices of bread in the oil (day old bread works well). Remove the bread when lightly browned on both sides and allow to cool. The bread should have absorbed the oil. When cool, cut the bread into 3/4" squares.

In a pot add 4 cups chicken stock, two teaspoons paprika, 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and fresh ground black pepper. Add the fried bread and bring the broth to a simmer. After simmering 10 minutes, add the reserved toasted garlic. Continue simmering for another 10 minutes.

While the soup is simmering beat 3 eggs until slightly foamy. After the soup is simmered, turn off the heat and add the egg letting it form strands in the soup (stracciatella). Serve hot.

I enjoyed my soup with a cold crisp Cote de Provence rose.

Ooooo.  I am going to have to bookmark this post for future reference.
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