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The Artful Dodger

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The Artful Dodger last won the day on July 18

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  1. This is an important announcement. If you have published interviews, please post a copy in your press box. This is the way I can catch them for grading purposes rather than looking at who's done interviews. This is going to be the rule for affinity ratings going forward since the way I grade you is that I look at your posts and work my way on grading you.
  2. Republican Party Affinity Ratings August 6, 2019 Format - Example Name (Party - State). Total Points: Conservative Points - Moderate Points - Liberal Points. Explanation ===================================== Adam Bishop (R-Iowa). 85: 38-27-19. The Iowa Republican is a smart blend of Missouri Senator Josh Hawley (R-Missouri) and Joni Ernst (R-Iowa). I want to review a few things of what he’s done. He’s pushed for more aid to farmers to start up their farms, protect minors while they’re browsing on the internet, require companies to get approval from the Federal government to export certain technologies to China, and touted his vote to protect against fraud in the naturalization process. Not only that, he is pushing for institutional response for shared responsibility in taking on a student’s college debt by requiring them to pay into the default of any loan. This might be a proto-Fitzgerald/populist Republican that is not so far, shared by the rest of the Republican Party. But it’s another bold strokes GOP character that is both tending to Iowa concerns (farmers) and national concerns (China, immigration, and others). It’s a fairly conservative coalition Bishop is tending to, and seeking to rack up votes. But it’s also winning support from swing voters and even some Democrats without being over the top. This might be “galactic brain” Trump. This is not Fitzgerald, with the focus on issues that appeal to the GOP coalition only; this is pretty Ernst - like stuff, where you get some broad appeal to the Democrats and independents. Adam Davis Benson (R-Utah). 85: 68-17. The Deputy President Pro Tempore (technically; functionally, the President Pro Tempore). Basically, I envision him as the intellectual engineer of the Senate Republican conference. If Fitzgerald is the firebrand who goes his own way, Benson is the more thoughtful careful Republican. And this has not always gone well. First of all - the amendment to cap 9/11 benefits to 2026 ran directly into a firestorm by Senate Democrats who were deliberately using it as a weapon to make the Senate GOP look weak and anti-9/11. Benson had a lot more success in his next endeavor - making the filibuster weaker. (Or different). That received support and overturned the Chair’s decision (Vice President Biden), and thus paved the way to strengthen the GOP’s hand in the Senate. Arcane - but important. He backed concealed-carry in a vote and backed Kate’s Law in a speech - all good. He lost points for missing some votes, however. But as noted, he has cast himself as the Senate GOP’s intellectual power. Kyle Andrew Fitzgerald (R-Texas). 95: 59-36. The populist proto-Buchananite Republican who is now the possible GOP nominee for President has a lot to say and do. He is first of all, an unconventional Republican. He is a Republican to be clear, on all the issues that matter - abortion, gun control, tax cuts (for the most part), but he is not a Reagan Republican. He is a Republican of the Pat Buchanan tradition; pro-tariffs, hardline on China, especially hard on immigration. I don’t want to cover his stuff - he and everyone knows what they are - but they range from a national e-Verify to tariffs on undervalued currency nations to targeting sanctuary nations to targeting lobbyists (this is part of his anti-elitist crusade). This is a character that is playing in a Republican Party that hasn’t accepted this ideology since George H.W. Bush dispatched Pat Buchanan in 1992. It is not even sure how the neoliberal wing of the GOP would accept a Fitzgerald White House. But it is uniquely breaking the mold and uniquely smart in the sense that it may appeal to enough of the country to secure 270. This is a character with a lot of ideological thoughts (although many have made the mistake of thinking Kyle Fitzgerald isn’t an intellectual; he is, in fact, a thinker in his own way. Just look at the work he’s put into this character and you get the view this is not an unintelligent player). Is it a dangerous character? Absolutely. It is a character that would enrage free market small business Republicans and Latinos but it would be also a character appealing to populist Democrats and base Republicans after the 2008 crash. It’s a character designed to either win by a squeaker or lose by a blowout. The groups it ticks off is almost equal to the groups it can attract. I will say this, Fitzgerald has reinvented in many ways what it means to be a Republican with this character without being a fender bender like a certain New Yorker who angrily tweets nonstop. He is not the same cookie cutter Republican many others are. And this is a character innovative and novel enough that I have rarely seen it replicated to this degree and depth anywhere else - most other people are too repulsed by the real life ideology or too afraid to try it. And it shows in the ratings. He’s at 50-45 before you add his leadership bonus, an almost even split, which is amazing given how slanted to the left the Democrats were. This is where his tariffs, lobbyist stuff, and constant attacks on the GOP orthodoxy gets him (attacking the Walton family, for one, is not something that is done in GOP circles). Anthony Granata (R-Illinois). 85: 67-18-0. To put it this way, Senator Anthony Granata is a very conservative figure out of Illinois. If we ever had approval ratings, Granata would win all the Republicans and downstate but would enrage Chicago and the Collar Counties. His Presidential run was short lived but sought to cast himself as a conservative alternative to Kyle Fitzgerald (didn’t work; he ended up endorsing Fitzgerald for the Party’s nomination) - ranging from opposing ObamaCare to talking about the broken immigration system to cutting the EPA to advocating withdrawing from the Iran deal. On the floor, he’s voted for the fair trade act with China, the lobbying ban, and supported Concealed Carry on the Floor. He’s also raised a public cry against the Democrats on their suspension motions and bashed Minority Leader Robert Powell for suggesting Bush rigged Florida and as a weak leader. Now, this is a character playing well in Peoria, but Illinois is much more than that - it is Chicago and the Collar County dominated. A Republican, winning Illinois, must rack up votes downcity and around the Collar Counties (racking up 55% there, and north of 65% downcity). Granata seems intent to play to his conservative bonafides, but one might wonder if he’s leaning too hard on them. Nevertheless, a solid character. Michael Madison (R-Missouri). 95: 59-36-0. Senator Michael Madison is a hard-line conservative who I would estimate to have 87% support among conservatives but middling support among moderates. In the Missouri of 20 years ago, he would have been in a tough race, like Senator Jim Talent, but luckily for him, Missouri isn’t the same state it was 20 years ago (fun fact: Missouri voted for the Republican ticket every election since 2000 and lost it’s bellwether status in 2008). The important thing to note about Senator Madison is that whatever weakness he demonstrates on his independent flank, he makes up for it in the GOP flank. Missouri is 50% conservative, which is all what you need to know. And to start with, Senator Madison is the RNC Chair. Senator Madison has pushed gun rights, anti-abortion bills, and cracked down on illegal immigration. He is the sponsor of Kate’s Law, Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act, and the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act, all of which received Senate floor time under Majority Leader Kyle Fitzgerald. He has highlighted his social bonafides by promoting his pro-life credentials both in press releases, tweets, and on the Senate floor. To the moderates, he gave the fair trade with China Act (popular in the Midwest, by the way). But he also alienated moderates with attempting to come to Senator Adam Benson’s defense in the 9/11 bill and fell into the Democratic trap there. The abstention on the lobbying ban also attracted some concern and interest; especially in the St. Louis suburbs and the Kansas City suburbs that people like Jason Kander run well in. Being iffy on lobbyists being banned is an opening for Democrats to take him on but it’s also a deep red state. Overall, I’d rate him fairly safe in Missouri. Good work and strong output. Senator Driscoll and Senator Tillman need to contact me if they want ratings. They seem to have fallen off the map abit. If they do, I’ll do theirs tomorrow.
  3. Welcome Bolster. Join our discord.
  4. 1. Join our discord. 2. Join our discord. 3. I'm working through your affinity ratings. 4. I'll have a new story / possible scenario for you all to stew over.
  5. Democratic Party Affinity Ratings August 2, 2019 Hugo Ballard (D-Florida). No record - insufficient data. Madeleine Hayden (D-Connecticut). Need more data - very new, so no real ratings yet. Michael Jordan (D-New York). No record - insufficient data. Tyler O’Malley (D-Wisconsin). 75: 0 - 0 - 75. The Senator from Wisconsin is a very low key Democratic Senator, to the point of being invisible. He ran for President (which didn’t go anywhere). Beyond that, it’s hard to quantify the Senator except to say that he should be more active. Robert Powell (D-Colorado). 95: 0 - 19 - 76. As a test of his scores, Robert Powell is more liberal than Christina Tillman. The Senate Minority Leader is an active and aggressive attack dog that has routinely gone after the Republican majority on various issues ranging from abortions to the Senate filibuster rule changes and concealed carry. Routinely, he plays to the Left (which is not necessarily the greatest idea in Colorado, a state that only went Obama in 2012 51-46%). But there’s also evidence he knows this and has pushed important moderate legislation like lower prescription drug pricing, pushing outlawing gerrymandering, and passed an amendment to ban lobbying for the lifetime of the lobbyist. However, on balance, it’s a pretty liberal record and public persona that the Minority Leader has. Whether this will successfully vault him into the Majority Leadership is open to debate. Christina Tillman (D-California). 95: 0 - 23 - 73. The presumptive Democratic Nominee for President - hailing from California - is a very liberal Democrat. Almost no affinity points went to the “conservative” side of her affinity ratings - meaning that her support is by and large slanted towards the Democratic Party. She’s the presumptive nominee of the Democratic Party and she’s consistently taken the “vote and act liberal while portraying herself as a moderate,” which is similar to how President Obama ran in 2008. In the Senate, she’s voted against concealed carry, attacked the Republicans for pushing legislation to end taxpayer funding for abortions, pushed back against the GOP attempt to amend the filibuster rules and sought to legalize medical marijuana nationally (a position championed by Democrats but supported by moderates). And her $15 minimum wage press conference with Senate Minority Leader Robert Powell (D-Colorado) caps off what is a very liberal run. If this affinity rating was done to match California’s ballpark demographics, she’d be well above water. Nationally, she is running on the hopes that a liberal coalition buttressed with support from independents will elect her president. Calvin Ward (D-Massachusetts). 85: 0 - 12 - 73. Basically, Senator Ward is a more lowkey figure than the other Democrats. He’s a Senator from Massachusetts, so, predictably liberal. His activity has been attacking the GOP for not filling Scalia’s seat, bashing the GOP for what he sees as federal overreach in mandating that Massachusetts accept Michigan’s concealed carry laws, and famously took the lead on attacking the RNC on the 9/11 permanent authorization. He also gave a strong pro-labor speech in Detroit and is currently fighting the GOP on the Senate Floor on their drug bill.
  6. They go here; sequestered by party.
  7. (You need 60. You did not end the 60 vote threshold).
  8. The majority overrode Vice President Joe Biden's ruling. Therefore, the majority's ruling is binding, as I understand it. Basically, the majority has made it so that by a simple majority, the Senate nuclear option was utilized to eliminate the filibuster threshold in a certain situations. As I understand it, that situation has now been met. Of course, the Minority can appeal the Chair's ruling as the Chair has noted. I would advise the Chair he may proceed with a vote, absent a motion to appeal his ruling.
  9. Robert's Rules of Order (5th edition) indicates that a presiding officer must recognize a request for unanimous consent; the motion usually being made when there is no minority to object. The request is traditionally made when there is no objection expected. So, in this case, I would advise the Chair that the request must be recognized before an objection lodged - and that objection would be 24 hours.
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