Discussion in 'Alternate History Books and Media' started by Marky Bunny, Jul 1, 2018.
Damn and I was looking to "crack" a joke.
Public Service Announcement
As we only have five gubernatorial elections tonight, I didn't see the point of "live coverage" of these elections. Of course because I am in the UK, when I do "live coverage" it means me staying up through the night. I don't mind doing it for Presidential years and even the mid-terms, but I cannot see the point in doing it this year.
The results will be posted Wednesday, and I know @lord caedus will have another of his excellent Wikipedia boxes ready for the results.
Wednesday November 6th 2019
Gubernatorial Elections go as expected
The five "off-year" gubernatorial elections went as expected with no major upsets, although both Walter Collins and Ethan Butler did better than the polls had been suggesting.
Collins reached 60% of the vote in Oregon with his opponent Candice McColl falling away to just 37% with Socialist Debbie Kelly 3%. In South Carolina Ethan Butler seemed to enjoy a late surge, polling just over 59% with Nate Singer just under 41%. In Kentucky Governor Ed Barrie won with just over 53% with Jack Lucas on around 40.50% and independent progressive Leo George 6%.
Alan Fisk won re-election in Mississippi and Janet Lorton in Vermont.
Some infoboxes of the results. First, the gubernatorial results:
Then, two former southern governors' failed election bids against the incumbents:
Cast (not previously listed in current thread)
Brianna Brown as Kate Hodder-Shaw
Gabriel Macht as Ethan Butler
Christopher Lawford as Nate Singer
Gault and Daniels were previously established as this year's leaders of the Republican and Democratic Governor's Associations.
IRL, South Carolina began electing the lieutenant governor alongside the governor in 2018 and having inter-office vacancies appointed by the governor instead of its previous system of separate elections and the Senate president pro tem automatically succeeding to the post in the case of a vacancy. Since the impetus was Nikki Haley's first LG resigning after an ethics investigation, and no state senator really wanting the promotion to the pretty powerless office, I've opted to have them retain the old system here.
It got missed, but Singer's actor passed away in 2018, so he (unintentionally) joins the ranks of living WW characters portrayed by deceased people.
Surprised to see all the incumbents re-elected, even Fisk.
Looking at the incumbents
Has turned into a popular Conservative Governor, had plenty of support and money from the Christian right. Lucas was a decent candidate but never really stood a chance of winning especially with independent progressive Leo George taking votes from him.
As was mentioned in the preview article last week, Fisk has managed a balancing act and won again with much the same vote. Hodder-Shaw believed she was owed another go and lost again. I suspect another Republican would have done better and may have beaten Fisk, but there you go.
On paper it looked like Collins should been in trouble, a Republican Governor from a Dem leaning state, but Collins has established himself as a "Vinick Republican" Governor. McColl blew any chance of winning with the bad debate performance. Was swing for McColl based on 2015, because Chang did so badly then.
South Carolina=Ethan Butler
Butler has more or less emerged as the front-runner for the 2022 Republican Presidential nomination if he decides to run. Again like Walter Collins he is not in the mould of his Father, yes he is Conservative but his work in focusing on homelessness and working with private companies has been a success. Singer again believed he should have a second go but he was always going to lose.
A Democratic Governor of Vermont Lorton was going to win re-election, period. Improved performance from Cleacy and he gained a small swing, but was never competitive.
Full 2019 Results in PDF form.
Special Feature: Congressional Retirements (updated)
With the first off-year elections of the Seaborn administration now over, members of Congress are preparing to launch their reelection campaigns for 2020. But not all of them have decided that their current position is where they want to be for the next two (or six) years. Many are retiring, while some are leaving to seek other offices.
Courtesy of the NBS politics team, here are the 35 members of Congress who have decided not to run for their current offices as of November 8th:
KS: James Taglio (R) (in office since 1991) — The chair of the Budget Committee, Taglio is the senior-most junior senator. Aside from that bit of trivia and being able to cruise to victory every six years since 1990, he hasn't compiled an impressive legislative resume. It's understood that he wants term-limited governor Peter Gault to succeed him, but Gault has not stated if he will run for the seat.
KY: Calvin Bowles (D) (in office since 1997) — If there were a dagger through the heart of Democratic strategists looking to retake the Senate next year, it was the news that Calvin Bowles would retire. Bowles is the only Democrat in Kentucky's delegation and has stubbornly held on as his state has drifted more and more into the Republican column. But age and the special election for the state's other Senate seat next year finally seems to have convinced him to hang up his spurs. The seat has instantly flipped from "toss-up" to "likely Republican" with the news.
MT: Robert Starkey (D) (in office since 1999) — Another aging red state Democrat opting to retire, Starkey managed to stay in office for two decades by being true to himself: a gun-toting rancher and veteran who also was an outspoken liberal on most issues. Unlike his colleague from Kentucky, Starkey's departure isn't necessarily a hit to Democratic ambitions. Popular former governor Kurt Carner (D) has announced his intention to run for the seat, keeping Big Sky Country in the "toss-up" column.
SD: Jim Simon (R) (in office since 2009) — Jim Simon had the pleasure of turfing out then-Senate minority leader Wendell Tripplehorn in 2008, and retaking leadership of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) committee from Nichole Kershaw in 2016. That will have to content the 83-year old as he retires, avoiding what was sure to be a bruising primary from any one of the South Dakota Republicans who feel that Simon's time as passed.
House of Representatives
AR-04: Tucker Johnson (R) (since 2015) — Hubert "Arkansas" Smith (D) is yet another endangered red-state Republican, and Johnson is looking to take him out. He's the current frontrunner for the Republican nomination and stands a good chance of getting promoted to the Senate next year. His district, taking up the southwestern portion of the state, is safely Republican.
CA-29: Guillermo Augusto (D) (since 1981) — Floated as a possibility to replace President Seaborn in the Senate late last year, Augusto didn't get the job and is calling it quits on his current one. The dean of California's congressional delegation has been in office for 38 years, serving for eight as chair of the DCCC that is now looking for his replacement. His Los Angeles-based district will almost certainly elect another Hispanic Democrat to represent it in Washington.
CA-47: Brendan Harper (D) (since 2011) — Harper didn't even wait until Governor Abbie Heilemann (D) declared that she was not running in the Senate special election next year to announce his own candidacy. Harper, a member of the Blue Dog caucus, is hoping that he can take out the incumbent senator Gabriel Tillman (D), an outspoken progressive, in the Democratic primary by appealing to the many Californians who have switched from Republican to Democratic since Arnold Vinick's presidential run twelve years ago. His congressional district has shifted leftward since Harper's term began, and his successor will almost certainly be to the departing congressman's left.
CA-53: Ellen Bloomberg (D) (since 2009) — The San Diego Democrat is retiring after 12 undistinguished years in Congress as the capstone of a long public career. The real battle to succeed her will be in the Democratic primary.
CO-04: Matthew Garner (R) (since 2015) — Garner is hoping to unseat Ben Newell (D) in what's likely to be a Republican year. He's almost certainly going to be the Republican nominee, and the best shot at taking out someone who has been talked about as a possible running mate for President Seaborn in 2022.
FL-12: Tom Riddle (R) (since 2003) — With Governor James Ritchie (R) term-limited, Riddle is finally taking the plunge for higher office and running to succeed him. He's already unveiled an impressive warchest and is likely going to outspend Ritchie's lieutenant governor George Phillips by a substantial margin in the Republican primary.
GA-07: David Horton (R) (in office since 1995) — Horton has been a bog-standard Republican in his 24 years in Congress and has a scant legislative record. His successor is almost certain to be a Republican, although hopefully more colorful.
IL-01: Todd Evers (D) (in office since 1983) — Dean of Illinois' congressional delegation, Evers finally opted to retire after 36 years in Congress after yet another round of ethics investigations, this time into allegations of featherbedding his offices to provide cushy jobs to relatives. The First is a majority-minority (and heavily Democratic) district, although Evers' successor will likely not have ties to the original Black Panthers like Evers did.
IL-02: Barry Robinson (D) (in office since 2005) — Robinson's decision to challenge Governor Teddy Hart (R) instead of senator Jasper Irving (R) in 2022 seems motivated by the fact that the Democrats are looking increasingly unlikely to win control of the Senate back next year, while the state's legislature is firmly in Democratic control. Robinson's entrance has turned the race around completely, with the charismatic African-American representative causing wavering Democrats that voted for Hart three years ago to return to the fold.
IA-02: Dennis Sanders (D) (in office since 1997) — An Iowa Democratic institution is retiring. Sanders has kept the flame of Iowa liberalism alive for over two decades, and his absence will be deeply felt in the state party. His departure is poorly-timed for the Democrats, who will suddenly have to expend many more resources than expected if they hope to keep the Second blue in the next Congress.
KS-03: Jardine Mantell (R) (in office since 1981) — At 83 and having been in Congress since Jimmy Carter's lame-duck presidency, Mantell is finally heading out the door after decades of exasperating and confounding Republicans and Democrats alike. The House will not be the same without his eclectic (and sometimes horrific) ties. His district has been trending more Democratic than would be expected, given Kansas' rock-ribbed conservatism, but in a Republican year, there is little the GOP will have to worry about other than picking a more conventional person to represent the district.
MA-07: Alan Trent (D) (in office since 1981) — Chair of the Intelligence Committee and dean of the Bay State delegation, Trent is ending a long public career that saw him briefly become the nation's most visible gay elected official. He's retiring, according to those in the know, in part because of the retirement of long-time colleague and friend, former representative Sam Fellows (R) and the likelihood that his party will be in the minority for the first time since 2007 come January 2021. The seventh district has become increasingly diverse, and it is very likely that whomever succeeds Trent will not be a white man.
MD-05: Albert Fife (D) (in office since 2013) — Fife is retiring to challenge Owen Wells, the popular "Vinick Republican" governor of Maryland. Time will tell how serious Fife's bid is, but given Maryland's deep blue tint and resume, Wells would be wise not to write off this challenger yet.
MD-07: Elijah Mays (D) (in office since 1991) — "The Conscience of Congress" and chair of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee has been struggling with a series of health issues this past session and last week made it official that he will not seek a 15th term. A majority-black district, Mays' successor will likely share his race, but not his background as a street preacher to the downtrodden or uncompromising attitude on speaking out on moral issues regardless of the political cost to his or her party.
MI-04: Gus Edwards (R) (in office since 2011) — The congressman from central Michigan told his constituents that he's leaving because of the "rancorous atmosphere in Washington", but insiders say it is an open secret that he has come to loathe Republican leadership in the chamber and the direction they are taking the party. While Edwards' successor is almost certain to be a Republican, they are much more likely to be supportive of Minority Leader Mitchell Harris (R) than Edwards ever was.
MN-01: Bill Vanderleen (D) (in office since 2007) — Vanderleen was able to ride out several tough reelection fights (2008, 2010, 2014) but his undistinguished record has come back to bite him this time around with the possibility of a Republican wave. He has taken the easy way out, and moved southern Minnesota's House seat to "likely Republican" unless Democrats can find someone with a personality and some ideas to run here.
MO-01: Clay Richmond (D) (in office since 1971) — Richmond is finally leaving Congress after almost a half-century of representing his constituents. He's the longest-serving African-American representative in history, and is tied for tenth longest-serving all-time. Other than longevity, he has a surprisingly sparse record, having been largely content to funnel money back to his St. Louis district. His campaign apparatus has been grooming his son Clay Jr. to take over the seat, but progressive activists in St. Louis have already promised a tough fight to prevent a dynasty from being established.
NY-05: James Gatsby (D) (in office since 1985) — James Gatsby will sorely be missed on Capitol Hill, not just by the progressive Democrats who count him as an icon. He's an old-school gentleman (who still wears three-piece suits with matching hats) whose leadership of the House Foreign Affairs Committee has been praised for his even-handedness and mentoring of younger committee members. Gatsby's district is minority-majority and he's expressed his wish for his successor—"whomever he or she is"—to "look more like the median resident" of the district than he does.
NH-01: Franz Duke (R) (in office since 2007*) — Duke is ending a House career that began when he first was elected to represent the district in 1986 to succeed an up-and-comer named Josiah Bartlet who decided to run for governor. After first retiring in 2001, Duke came back in 2006 after his successor Ken Campbell (R) retired owing to medical issues, defeating then-President Bartlet's son-in-law Doug Westin. He flirted with retiring in several different cycles, each time being convinced by the NRCC to run in order to keep the district red. This year, however, he finally had enough and announced he's retiring for good. This is one of the few seats the Democrats have a chance to flip next year with Duke gone.
NY-15: Gabriel Martinez (D) (in office since 1987) — Unlike most retirements announced so far, Martinez doesn't seem to have considered leaving Congress before this summer. A few weeks ago, he announced that he had been diagnosed with Parkinson's and would not run for a 17th term. This is the most Democratic district in the nation (with a Partisan Voting Index of D+44), so it is likely whoever wins the Democratic nomination will likely also serve 32 years with little opposition.
NY-17: Steve McKenna (D) (in office since 1989) — McKenna has been an able representative in getting his district's interests heard in Washington, but is an otherwise unremarkable rep. The seat is likely to be Democratic, but a Republican wave could theoretically turn the 17th red for the first time in decades.
OH-12: Mary Ann Summers (R) (in office since 1979) — Summers is one of two House Republicans left who began their congressional career in the 1970s and is unofficially the longest-serving LGBT representative in history, even if she publicly refuses to come out as a lesbian despite it being an open secret in Washington and in Ohio political circles. Her successor is going to be another Republican, although it is unthinkable that it will be one who could survive a sex scandal with prostitutes of the same gender like Summers did back in the early 1980s.
OK-05: Daryl Lukins (R) (in office since 2007) — Lukins has been unhappy with the Republican leadership in the House since Jim Arkin stepped down in 2012 and it seems like he's decided six years under Mitchell Harris' leadership is enough. He hasn't ruled out the possibility of challenging either Bradley Denning for senate or Rob Kenny for governor, and Republicans are eager to keep one of the most prominent African-American Republicans in office. His Oklahoma City-based seat will almost certainly elect a Republican, but almost certainly not one who likes the Thunder as much as Lukins.
PA-15: Matt Addams (R) (in office since 2011) — With Morgan Mitchell term-limited as governor, Addams is hoping to continue the GOP's hold on the Keystone State's gubernatorial mansion. His western Pennsylvania district is strongly Republican, and a fierce primary battle is sure to follow now that Addams is leaving.
TX-06: Patrick Quinton (R) (in office since 1975) — Quinton is the longest-serving Republican in Congress (although he was a Democrat for the first five years of his tenure), and the last member to have first entered office while Gerald Ford was president. The Republican primary field to replace him is already incredibly crowded, with nine candidates having announced their candidacies.
TX-23: Luis Lamberto (R) (in office since 2011) — Running along Texas' southwestern border, the 23rd has elected Lamberto to represent it by narrow margins five times, but the young Latino congressman has decided to retire instead of seeking a sixth term. The announcement that the Libertarian Party of Texas would field a candidate in the race played a major part in the decision, as did reported frustration with parts of his party's opposition to immigration reform. The Democrats have a strong candidate to retake the seat in the person of state representative and Kazakh War veteran Gina Ramírez, who announced her candidacy last month.
TX-32: Margot Knight (D) (in office since 2011) — Knight only held on in 2018 thanks to a third-party challenger taking votes away from the Republican, and with the Republicans poised to do even better next year, she announced that she will return to practicing law in 2021 instead of being in Congress. While Democrats could theoretically hold this seat, the odds are slim without Knight around.
UT-01: Ford Brimgardner (R) (in office since 1987) — Known as "The Walrus" on Capitol Hill for his size and mustache, Brimgardner is planning on leaving office after 34 years of service, the longest-serving House member in Utah history. His northern Utah district is overwhelmingly Republican, and a crowded primary fight is sure to follow.
WV-01: Mac Walters (R) (in office since 2011) — Rachel Mears is one of the most vulnerable of the red-state Senate Democrats and after briefly planning a challenge to popular Governor Chuck Black (D), Walters is deciding to take the less arduous road and challenge her instead. He's likely to be the strongest candidate the Republicans will find for getting Mears out of office and strengthening their Senate majority. His district, which stretches across northern West Virginia, will almost certainly elect another Republican in 2020.
WV-02: Pat Smigel (D) (in office since 2011) — Smigel barely won re-election in 2018 with a Republican opponent whose recent move to the district from Maryland rankled district residents, so it's no surprise he's opting to pack it in when the national environment looks like it will be GOP-friendly and the state party has recruited actual West Virginians to run against him. It will take a miracle for this seat to avoid going Republican.
SPECIAL MENTION: OH-07: Ulysses Wilton (R)* (in office since 2011) — Congressman Wilton is resigning from Congress effective on November 21st after his young daughter was diagnosed with leukemia. Wilton's seat will have a special election during the current Congress, and is all but assured will remain in Republican hands.
Saturday, November 9th 2019
Sesame Street celebration gets West Wing visitors
The long-running PBS show Sesame Street celebrated 50 years of educating and teaching American children tonight with a special on PBS that saw visitors from the White House. The special, hosted by actor Leo Gordon, titled "Sesame Street's 50th Anniversary Celebration", features Gordon reuniting several Sesame Street alumni, the current cast and celebrity fans, alongside a rare appearance from Kermit the Frog.
The 50-minute special's plot involves Gordon's attempt take a picture celebrating the show's anniversary in front of the iconic "Sesame Street" sign. Only, the sign goes missing and Gordon, Elmo, Abby and others have to locate it with the search interrupted by musical numbers. White House senior adviser C.J. Cregg (who previously appeared on Sesame Street alongside then-First Lady Abby Bartlet in 2004) and First Lady Lauren Parker-Seaborn arrive late into the special after Gordon expresses frustration and is ready to give up. The First Lady then leads in a musical number about working together to solve problems, and soon afterwords, the sign is found and the special ends with the photo taken during a large surprise party thrown by Big Bird and Mr. Snuffaleupagus.
The special was shot in May, but both Cregg and Parker-Seaborn's participation was kept secret until yesterday night, when reports of the First Lady's appearance broke. White House Press Secretary Cassie Tatum said that the decision to keep their appearances secret was to "give PBS full discretion on whether to keep scenes [with Cregg and Parker-Seaborn] in, or remove them without fear of public backlash." Tatum added that both the President and First Lady are "big fans" of Sesame Street and that the President felt his presence in the special would distract from the show's celebration.
While the special aired after many young viewers would have been ready for bed (or not to watch an hour-long program), the special is available for streaming on both PBS and HBO+. Regular episodes of the show's 50th season begin next week.
First Lady Lauren Parker-Seaborn with Big Bird (l) and Mr. Snuffleupagus (r) (photo by Anne Hathaway)
'CJ and Big Bird are so tall that when they do cartwheels, they kick God in the chin.'
Sorry, I just had to do one X)
I have been on this site too long and thought this image was saying Big Bird was an Independent and Snuffy was a Republican
Did Ed and Larry come back to the Seaborn administration? They can be Bert and Ernie.
Just noticed something interesting, I am just watching Series Six of "Homeland" and someone named "Hoynes" was the beaten Presidential candidate in the 2016 Presidential election in the "Homeland" universe.
"Things got awkward for Parker-Seaborn when Snuffleupagus asked her if she thought it was acceptable to raise taxes on 'hard-working job creators'"
No, they're busy being podcast hosts.
Now I'm imagining those two briefing an increasingly skeptical Leo on the "rubber ducky" theory of consumer confidence.
Great job on the Sesame street post.
Probably the writers were either fans of the West Wing or its a coincidence. Either way cool.
Tuesday November 12th 2019
Breaking News Breaking News
Anthony Walker Speaker of the House of Commons dies
The Speaker of the House of Commons Anthony Walker has died. He died at St Thomas Hospital opposite the House of Commons after two serious heart attacks. The 72-year-old who has been Speaker since May 2009 suffered his first attack at his official residence "Speaker's House" in the northeast corner of the Palace of Westminster at around 1.PM this afternoon. He had a second heart attack in the ambulance on the way to hospital and was pronounced dead at 13.40.He leaves behind his wife, Elizabeth, three daughters and two son's.
He was regarded as a man of integrity - decent and honest by all sides of the House of Commons. Walker first stood for Parliament unsuccessfully at the October 1974 General Election, and again at the 1979 General election before being elected for the safe Conservative constituency of Esher at the 1983 general election. Walker famously did not take any government job throughout his long Parliamentary career, instead focussing on his position as editor of Reform, a post he held until 2006. He became MP for the new seat of Esher & Walton in 1996, and was elected Speaker in May 2009 after the resignation of Richard Rider.
Before anyone asks, Tom Wilkinson has not died.....
Oh and I love by-elections!!
Who are the candidates for Speaker? Any women? And will they wear the wig?
And is that a Yes Minister reference I spot?
Haven't decided yet, will probably be a Deputy Speaker, and yes that is a Yes Minister reference.
Separate names with a comma.