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Celestial Healer wrote:
Brent wrote:
At paragon tier the must take paragon path is Lightning Fury. It's key ability is that it negates any resistance an opponent has to lightning and thunder damage and if they have immunity they are treated as only having resistance equal to one half their level, which is then reduced to nothing by the part that treats all resistances to lightning and thunder as negated.

Your DM lets you get away with this? Given that Storm Magic spell source is a prerequisite of the Lightning Fury paragon path, if they wanted "immunity" to become "no resistance whatsoever", they would have said so, not make you combine various features to come up with it on your own. More realistically, the paragon path feature supercedes the class feature in this instance. Maybe somebody can show me where I'm wrong, but this just doesn't make sense to me.

Mind you, I would like it to be that way, since I am playing a storm sorcerer right now, but I'm just not buying it.

I like the dual implement tip, though. I'll have to remember that.

Even if my interpretation is wrong, how many monsters are there with lightning immunity? Most just have resistance and all resistance is completely negated. Even for high level monsters with immunity, you will still do A LOT of damage every round using the methods I outlined. Never mind the damage output from criticals that are maximized. I know of no other class that can gain that benefit from a feat. At level 30, base damage output is even higher.

As for my "DM" letting me "get away with it", reread my post. I am the DM and it is my player who has the storm sorcerer. My interpretation of the written rules was that the paragon path converted lightning immunity to lightning resistance. At that point, I interpret the storm soul would further reduce the resistance by an amount up to 15. So against say a level 35 solo that was lightning immune it would only have effective lightning resistance equal to 2 against a storm soul/lightning fury sorcerer. If I am wrong, no skin off anyone's nose as it is my game that I am DMing. The Storm Sorcerer still dishes out phenominal damage regardless of if you go with your interpretation or mine. I've seen no other striker that can come close on a constant round by round basis in damage output to the sorcerer. Either way, most monsters have resistances to elements not immunities. So unless I am purposefully trying to stack every encounter with Lightning immune monsters, my storm sorcerer players damage output isn't even going to be slowed in the slightest. Again, he will consistently drop 100 pts of damage a round and with criticals will routinely exceed 200 pts a round. Even against a level 35 solo that type of damage output will end the battle in 10 rounds at most. It isn't even accounting for the other players and what they are doing.

Anyway, I have shown where his damage output comes from. The paragon path feature that eliminates all resistance to lightning and reduces immunity to resistance almost makes the storm sorcerer/lightning fury a broken combo. The storm sorcerer is also the only character that I know of who has a feat they can take that maximizes ALL of their critical hit damage dice. With a +5 staff of ruin that is 50 extra damage on a critical. With a +6 staff it is 60 extra damage on a critical. With the ability to get criticals on 19-20, criticals come up very often at my gaming table for the sorcerer player. Add on the feat that lets him get another free action at will power when he crits and the damage stacks up fast. Personally, I think it is a good thing. Damage scalability relative to monster HP is a tough nut to crack at high levels. Having classes that can actually lay a wallup in damage at high levels is good for keeping those solo battles from grinding out like the OP was talking about.

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detritus wrote:
Some what of a threadjack, but how would you make a sorceror do that much damage? We have a level 3 one in our group and he doesnt seem to keep up to well with the damage, but it could be poor power/feat selections, and of course not in the paragon tier yet. Do they get that much better?

In short, yes. They do get that much better. I have a player that is level 22 and is playing a changeling sorcerer (boosts to Dex and Cha) and a Storm Sorcerer with Storm Magic build from Arcane Power. The keys to the damage output are Tempest Magic (increases damage with thunder and lightning powers by 1 per tier), Dual Implement Spellcaster (lets you add the enhancement bonus of an offhand implement to damage roles with arcane powers), and the Staff of Ruin (adds damage to all arcane powers cast using it as an implement as an item bonus equal to the enhancement bonus of the staff. So for example, if you had a +2 Staff of Ruin (lvl 8 item) you would do 2 damage from enhancement, 2 damage from item bonus, and additional damage from your offhand implement).

At paragon tier the must take paragon path is Lightning Fury. It's key ability is that it negates any resistance an opponent has to lightning and thunder damage and if they have immunity they are treated as only having resistance equal to one half their level, which is then reduced to nothing by the part that treats all resistances to lightning and thunder as negated. Key spell at paragon tier is Lightning Daggers. It does 2d4 plus Cha+Dex mod damage if you are a sorcerer and for the rest of the encounter you can repeat the attack every round as a free action. So to do some quick math for you.....

22nd level Changeling Sorcerer starting stats as follows

Str 11
Con 14
Dex 16
Int 12
Wis 8
Cha 18

Stats at 22nd level

Str 15 (+1 at 11th, 21st +2 level Demigod Class Feature)
Con 16 (+1 at 11th, 21st level)
Dex 22 (+1 at 4th, 8th, 11th, 14th, 18th, 21st levels)
Int 13 (+1 at 11th, 21st level)
Wis 9 (+1 at 11th, 21st level)
Cha 26 (+1 at 4th, 8th, 11th, 14th, 18th, 21st levels +2 Demigod Class Feature)

Paragon Path - Lightning Fury
Epic Destiny - Demigod

Feats: 1 - Tempest Magic 2 - Implement Expertise Staff 4 - Dual Implement Spellcaster 6 - Toughness 8 - Improved Initiative 10 - Oncoming Storm 11 - Arcane Spellfury 12 - Danger Sense 14 - Paragon Defenses 16 - Fleet Footed 18 - Ritual Caster 20 - Sorcerous Reserves 21 - Sorcerer Implement Expertise 22 - Fury of the Storm

Retrain 21 - Lose Sorcerous Reserves for Quickened Spellcasting

I won't go through all the powers, but Lightning Daggers is cast the first round of combat. After that you are getting a minimum of 2 powers cast every single round. One as a standard action and Lightning Daggers as a free action. If you use Quickened Casting you get 1 more as a minor action, and spending an action point gets you a 4th one if you want it as a standard action.

Now, Sorcerer Implement Expertise gets you a critical hit with a sorcerer implement on an arcane power on a 19-20. Fury of the Storm Maximizes the Critical Hit Dice from any critical hit attack. There are lots of Magic Items but here are the two critical ones for damage purposes.

+5 Staff of Ruin (Lvl 23 item)
+5 Magic Dagger (Lvl 21 item)

Here is your damage breakdown on the two spells you get every round once you cast lightning daggers just using your at will Lightning Strike as an example of the 2nd spell besides Lightning Daggers....

Ligthning Daggers Damage 2d4+36
Damage Breakdown
+8 Charisma
+6 Dexterity
+4 Storm Power Class Feature
+5 Enhancement Bonus Staff of Ruin
+5 Item Bonus Staff of Ruin
+5 Enhancement Bonus Magic Dagger from Dual Implement Spellcaster
+3 Tempest Magic (increases to +6 if bloodied)

Lightning Strike 2d8+36
Damage Breakdown - See above

If you critical hit you automatically add 50 damage from the Staff of Ruin and the epic feats I already outlined. If you hit with both Spells each round (and you should given the right feats to boost attack bonus) you will do a minimum of 2d4+2d8+72 damage a round. On average that is 82 damage. If you critical once you add another 50 damage. For kicks and giggles my player also uses the Lightning in the blood paragon class feature and likes to get right on top of his enemies causing them to take 2d6+8 damage for being adjacent to him. He has the armor from the Seekers of the Ashen Crown that lets him cast without provoking attacks of opportunity so he likes to be up close. For his minor action he will add another Lightning Strike for fun sometimes and if he really wants to lay the hurting down he will hit with another high level power with an action point. Each time he adds damage dice plus 36 minimum. If he criticals on anything he adds 50 more. I've had him do 250 damage in a round because he also has the feat that lets him cast an at will power as a free action if he criticals with an at will power. In that particular round he got 5 spells off: 1 for his standard action, 1 for his action point, 1 for his minor action, lightning daggers as a free action, and 1 more at will as a free action after criticalling with his one minor action at will attack. Total damage before rolling dice was 36x5+50 or 230. Anyway you get the idea. Sorcerers are the kings of striker damage output right now. The lightning furies ability to negate resistance and immunity pluse the Storm Sorcerer's feats that improve critical threat range and maximize critical dice seal the deal.

Hope that helps.

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The key to effective wizard playing in 4e IMHO, is the status effects more so than the damage. If you want an arcane spellcaster that does damage, play a sorcerer. Even in the heroic tier, sorcerers drop sick damage on single targets. At mid paragon tier it becomes almost ridiculous. By epic tier a well built sorcerer will drop over 100+ damage every single round, 200+ if criticalling. Anyway, the main thing is to decide what it is that you really want to be able to do. Wizards excel at crowd control and status effects. Using a proper orb of imposition and actually building the wizard for it, you can sleep lock almost any one monster in a typical battle. At first level you can make a wizard that has 18 Int and at least 16 Wis and force an opponent to roll 13 or better to avoid falling unconscious with a Sleep spell. Then it is coup de grace city. Any effect that dazes or stuns opponents is very useful because action control is a major role for the Wizard in 4e. It is also one of the most powerful. Watch that big solo dragon cry like a baby when you put a persistent daze effect on him.

Anyway, if your goal is to do lots of damage as an arcane caster the Wizard is a suboptimal choice. Although if you play a Deva and take the right feats you can still put pretty sick damage on an opponent using Dual Implement Wielding and a Staff of Ruin. It just all depends on what it is you really want your character to be able to do.

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I have found that I haven't really run into any "grinds" with my group despite several solo fights with stuff that would cause a grind I thought going in. The part composition is 2 defenders, 2 strikers, 1 leader. The strikers are a sorcerer and an avenger, the defenders are a fighter and a paladin, and the leader is a bard. They are level 22 and recently fought an ancient white dragon (level 24 solo) and the fight lasted only about 35 minutes. The sorcerer is a Storm Sorcerer, Lightning Fury, Archlich build and drops a sick amount of damage every round with the combo of his lightning daggers (free action attack every round once cast), quickened casting feat (one at will as a minor action once per encounter), and the two sorcerer feats that maximize critical damage dice and allow a critical with implements on 19-20. He is a dual implement wielder with a staff of ruin +5 and a +5 dagger and routinely drops 50-60 damage per spell he hits with and with lightning daggers routinely gets off 100+ damage a round. On critical hits it isn't uncommon to see him drop over 200 damage in one round. The Bard has a power that also comes in handy that lets the entire party use an at will or basic attack as a free action on her turn (it's called final chorus or something like that).

Anyway, my thing is that in the 4 solo battles they fought, none of them went more than 45 minutes including additional monsters in some of them. Maybe I just haven't run into the grind myself, but it seems to me that the party is doing just fine on damage output and they aren't particularly stacked with strikers and have no controllers.

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Cosmo wrote:
Brent wrote:

I regret that the economic crisis has finally hit my family at the level that requires me to trim any remaining non essential expenses from my budget. So I need you to cancel all of my subscriptions to Paizo products. You guys make awesome stuff, but I simply can't afford a month to month subscription anymore. I saw in my email that they had already planned to ship the March stuff, so if you can I would appreciate it if you could intercept that and refund me the cost on it.

You guys have been incredible and I hope some day if and when our financial situation turns around that we will be able to afford to get the subscriptions and catch up on the stuff we missed. Thanks a bunch!!

Well, I was able to get your subscriptions canceled, but I cannot stop the March shipment at this point. To get a refund, please just return the package (refuse delivery) and I will issue you a credit upon receipt.


Since it is already mailed Cosmo, don't worry about it. I will just keep that last shipment and it will give me one less thing I need to try to get caught up on if/when I can afford subscriptions again. Thanks!

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I regret that the economic crisis has finally hit my family at the level that requires me to trim any remaining non essential expenses from my budget. So I need you to cancel all of my subscriptions to Paizo products. You guys make awesome stuff, but I simply can't afford a month to month subscription anymore. I saw in my email that they had already planned to ship the March stuff, so if you can I would appreciate it if you could intercept that and refund me the cost on it.

You guys have been incredible and I hope some day if and when our financial situation turns around that we will be able to afford to get the subscriptions and catch up on the stuff we missed. Thanks a bunch!!

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Am I the only one who finds that in these horrible economic times when any of us would love to go to Paizocon that someone feels the need to come, and solicit financial support on this website to get the money to go to something the vast majority of us can't afford but would kill to do?

I haven't had a vacation in 9 years. I have to use virtually ever day I get off in a year taking care of sick kids or working anyway to support my family. But I'm not on this site begging strangers for money so I can go have fun. This thread bothers me more than just a little. It's like having someone sit outside your favorite game shop with a cup and a sign saying "please donate money for game supplies" while I work my tail off to be able to afford the stuff I am going to get.

There is a time honored way to get the money to do the things you want in life without shamless begging. It's called working for it. Even my 7 year old knows she has to do her chores to get her small allowance that she saves to buy things she wants. Absolutely pathetic.

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Valeros: "Birthmark my arse, if that dagger is a birthmark my manhood is a longsword. "Bladesaholic" got a tatoo."
Merisiel: "Your mine V."
Seenah in unison: "Val, if I were you I would take my chances fighting naked against the guy hiding with the blood drenched sword, we don't have the gold to get another priest for you."

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Andrew Turner wrote:
I liked this AP because there was so much story. Nonetheless, I was curious to see Ali's full stats, as well. Maybe we could access this kind of stuff as web enhancements in the future. Personally, I hope the amount of Pathfinder fluff increases over time. Good fluff and artwork attracts new players --and keeps sad, playerless blokes like me :-(

I completely agree with loving the Pathfinder fluff. I just prefer the AP Volumes to be adventure path and crunch heavy. I subscribe to the chronicles, modules, and companion lines and if they want to put more fluff into pretty much any of them I am totally on board. For the AP, I DO want them to have awesomeness in places other than the adventure....It's just that I want the PRIMARY focus to be the adventure. So if there is a decision of cutting some of the fluff to make the adventure fleshed out better, I prefer they flesh out the adventure.

That said, JJ's comments work for me and I look forward to seeing what incredible awesomeness they have for us in the Legacy of Fire. I totally believe in the guys at Paizo and I wouldn't be a superscriber in such a difficult economic time if I didn't. I loves me some fluff too, so I think we feel the same way. They have set a really high bar on this AP thing, so I expect their absolute best in those AP's. I feel confident they are giving me that, and JJ's comment lets me know he has heard my few criticisms. Consider me satisfied once again with how Paizo puts the customer first.

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I was a bit disappointed with the Second Darkness as a whole. In Pathfinder 18 specifically, we didn't get a stat block for Alistraria. We get this awesome picture, but just some vague information about her having some rogue levels and being too tough for the party. I would have liked a full write up. We have references to some things like Set pointed out without those thing being fleshed out in the actual adventure.

I don't normally like complaining about the Pathfinder products because they rock so much, but it is starting to feel like the AP's are getting more skeletal to me with details that would make the adventure better being left out in the name of adding the set pieces, more flavor articles, and the fiction. During the Rise of the Runelords and even the Curse of the Crimson throne, they felt like Adventure Paths. The Second Darkness too often felt like a bunch of encounters thrown together and stripped down to only the bare minimums instead of a true AP. I understand the appeal of adding as many different sorts of things to the Pathfinder volumes as possible to appeal to the broadest audience and would keep the bestiaries and the adventures, but I find that for a product I buy for the AP that too much of the AP is being sacrificed for other things.

I feel dirty for having said all that, because you guys do such a phenominal job. That said, I am not particularly happy with the direction the AP's have been taking with format and content of late. I probably just need to have a more panoramic view of things. I hope you see this as constructive criticism instead of just sour grapes.

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Bush's presidency is very tough to judge objectively right now. The country is quagmired in two wars at least one of which we shouldn't be in. The economy is in shambles. Partisan politics are at an insanely high level. The perception of our nation to the rest of the world has taken a negative turn. There is just a lot of bad stuff going on in our country right now.

How much of that is Bush's fault? That's tough. It's really easy to blame the nations leader when things aren't going well and to credit him when they are. A lot of what is happening has it's roots in places other than Bush's incompetence. If I had to grade him today I would give him an F. In 10 years I might feel differently. Bush Sr. was in my opinion a very good president(a B to B+). Dub-ya is nowhere in the same vicinity as his father IMHO.

One thing I do know, is that it is going to take a LONG time to undo the mess that the country has gottten into on W's watch. Whether his fault or not, he was in the highest office in the country when a lot of this mess avalanched into a national crisis. For now, I am thankful he is done and we are moving on to a new administration.

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I was as anti-4e as anyone could be after the announcement and even in the weeks following release. I tried playing it once and hated the gameplay and walked away from it. My wife read the books though, and basically pestered me til I relented to play again. The second time around, I had a ton of fun. Now, I love playing 4e and have managed to dispel a lot of my own misconceptions about it. I think the reason I disliked it so much the first time I tried it was because I "wanted" to not like it. Now I think it is one of the funnest games I have played. There is no doubt a schism that has been created by 4e and the horrific way in which the PR for the change was handled. That said, I think a lot more who are against 4e would find they actually do like it if they would try playing it for a bit.

Oh well, thats the way the cookie crumbles.

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I actually like this book. The info on the planes works well. There are aspects of the direction they've chosen to take things that I don't care for, but on the whole I like what they have done with the new planes and new organization of things. I would give this book a solid 4.5 out of 5.

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Absolutely horrible news. There are some names on that list that literally laid the foundations of modern fantasy roleplaying. I hope they all find jobs soon and that their holidays are not overly negatively impacted by these decisions. For all the "success" of 4e, I don't understand why they are in a position to need to trim some of their best talent. Best of luck to all those affected.

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I don't like the cover for this one as much as I did the first three AP's covers. That said, it could grow on me. I am looking forward to this path, although not as much as I am the one after it.

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pres man wrote:
Uzzy wrote:
Wouldn't a change back to the Clinton era be a HUGE improvement for America?

We'd need a Republican Congress to get all those previous benefits. With a Clinton era executive branch and a democrat congress, not so much.

If the Dems don't get a filibuster proof majority, then I think the Reps should be very careful about doing filibusters. They need to vote against things that they think are bad, but still allow the Dems to do them, so that if they really are bad, they can blow up in the Dems face. "Hey we told you it was a bad choice, we voted against it, but these are the folk you wanted to decided things."

Theres a refreshing philosophy. Lets hope things go bad so it blows up in the democrats face. Thats partisan politics at its finest. I would hope that regardless of what party has majority control that we all would wish for things to go well. Who cares who gets the credit. Just get the country pointed in the right direction again. I personally long for the days when the biggest problem we had was the Starr report and a president who was doing interns as a pasttime. There were things to not like about Clinton, but the country for the most part was very healthy under his leadership.

Be that as it may, it is quite apparent that the right is chomping at the bit to start burning Obama at the stake even before he has been sworn into office. It's mind blowing to me that people who care enough about our country to be interested in it's politics (which anyone who is a major supporter of either party is almost by definition), would want our leader to fail on a colossal scale just so they can get power again. I have felt like the Bush administration was like being shackled in the 9th layer of hell these last 8 years, but I have still wanted him and our leadership to succeed. I believe in Barack Obama as a leader and feel confident we can achieve great things under his administration. But even if McCain had won, I would still be hoping that he would be able to succeed in leading this nation where it needs to go. Certainly I wouldn't be wishing for him to suffer a catastrophic failure just so the Democrats can win the next election.

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My personal guess is that he is probably something like Fighter 2/Bard 4/Rogue 2/Pathfinder Chronicler X. Where X is equal to somewhere between 2-4. Personally, I am glad he is being built to match the story instead of for optimization. When I get stats for a character in a story, I want an approximation that explains how they did the things they have done in the story, not the character with the most twinked out stats. I also like characters with flaws. That is what makes Eando so interesting. He readily admits that he is somewhat selfish and that he isn't above some hard core payback when he is betrayed. Personally, I think he exemplifies what Pathfinder is all about. It is a complex, grown up, world where people face real decisions and battle real evil. I don't need to imagine why Ogres mess with my head. You guys showed me with the Grauls. It's like that for the entire world. It's what makes Pathfinder great. I can't wait to see what you have in store for us with Eando.

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I bought this book and it is crunch heavy. That said, the art is very good, and the 4e stats for the new chromatics (Brown, Grey, and Purple) was appreciated. As a side note, the "new" chromatics are in fact the dragons that used to be called Sand = Brown, Fang = Grey, Deep = Purple. So all of them have seen stats in 3.5 at one time or another. Some of the other draconic creatures are nice. The ecology stuff is a lot of reprint material from the 3.5 draconomicon, so that part isn't as useful the second time around. That said, for new players coming into 4e (a major goal of the new edition is getting new younger players), getting some of the 3.5 Draconomicon stuff repackaged for 4e is not a bad idea.

On the whole I would probably rate the book around 4 out of 5 stars. It wasn't so good it made me question how my life was complete without it, but it was a good book. Solid stats with good art. Nothing mind blowing (besides Tiamat's stats which are just brutal in 4e). On the whole I would recommend this book. It like Martial power is crunch heavy, but that is what I want when I buy a monster book/class expansion book.

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Heathansson wrote:
Brent wrote:

The passive aggressive attacks here thinly veiled behind "I was just telling it like it is and being honest" excuse making is borish and tastes like vomit.

Odd, at times you seem to resemble that remark.

Yeah I guess I do. Thats something I have to overcome.

All antagonistic innuendo aside, I am sorry for attacking you or conservatives or whoever else. I don't want to continue being part of a pointless escalating argument. I genuinely am sorry that Obama's election is as miserable to you as it appears from your posts. I don't mean that in a sarcastic way. Truely I don't. I honestly do hope that it works out that the Obama administration is as positive as I think it can and will be, and if it is that it will alleve your frustration with his election. I know what it is like to have an administration in office that you despise and can't wait to end. I endured it with Bush. So I really can empathize with your frustration. I personally feel that you will be pleasantly suprised with what our government can accomplish with Obama as president and with a cooperative congress.

Anyway, again you have my apologies.

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Tarren Dei wrote:
Brent wrote:

C'mon Brent. Delete that before you do get banned.

EDIT: And I'm sorry to hear about your brother. We have something in common there.

There I deleted it. I'm just so sick and tired of these generalizations that say if you aren't just wildly successful it is because you aren't working as hard or sacrficing as much as those that are. I do think it is long past time for me to stop participating in this messageboard community though. The passive aggressive attacks here thinly veiled behind "I was just telling it like it is and being honest" excuse making is borish and tastes like vomit.

This used to be a great place. Now it's like a village infested with an E-bola epidemic.

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Ladies and Gentleman, I give you the first African American President Elect in the History of the United States. Ladies and Gentlemen, President Elect Barack Obama!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Heathansson wrote:

1,461 days and counting.

Hope you're right, dude.
I hate playing Cassandra, I really do.

Obama is up in the popular vote still as well. I think America simply wants this man as president. I am sorry you are this against him winning. Whatever your beef with him, I hope the next 4 years for you aren't as bad as the last 8 under Bush have been for Democrats and Americans in general. This country has had some really tough times. I think you will be pleasently suprised at how much good comes out of Obama winning this thing. Either way, no matter what party you support or what candidate we are all Americans. It's time to put this campaign behind us and get to work fixing this country. When you are ready, we will save a spot for you to jump on board.

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Digitalelf wrote:

I'm a conservative first, and a Republican second...

And I am very unhappy in the direction the liberal left is leading this country...

For the record, I don't think Bush or McCain for that matter are conservative. Bush spent like a liberal, and McCain, well...

I think Obama will expand the government (thereby raising our taxes), and I also think McCain will do the same thing...

An "expanded government" = a big government. A government that has its hands all over the place because there is a belief that we a stupid and cannot take care of ourselves. A government that gives us a hand-out (as opposed to a hand-up which is what people really need if they're down)...

Handouts just create a since of entitlement...

[/end rant]

-That One Digitalelf Fellow-

How would you delineate the difference. What qualifies as a "handout" versus a "handup" in your opinion? Right now there are people in this country giving everything they have to make it. They are working hard, making sacrifices, and in some cases losing everything they have. If a family already has a primary bread winner working full time and a secondary working part time and still fall 40% below the poverty line for their income, how would you give them a "handup".

It's easy to use words like that as though they are inherently obvious. I just think the conservative idea of a "handup" really amounts to a "sweep under the rug and out of site". I've lived my whole life below the poverty line. I have had to work myself to death to be in a position to finish an education and work my way into the middle class. When my jobs get squeezed by the economy, it's my hours that get cut not the owner's. When I have to pay $800 at a pop after insurance to get the steroid injections I need in my back to be able to walk, it's my family that doesn't have enough food on the table not the physician making six figures off my health problems. I'm not getting a hand up from anyone. Heck, I am lucky to get a boot to the face on most days. Nevermind a hand. But to make it less about me for a second....

I have a neighbor where I live who is a single mom. She has 2 kids and her husband left her right after the birth of their second child. She works full time during the day and goes to school at night to try to get her education. She has no family here. She doesn't have the money to feed her sons, pay her rent, and pay for school and then cover childcare on top of it. She leaves her house to work at 7:30 and gets home from school about 8 or 9 most nights. She could desparately use some money to put down on a more reliable vehicle, or to help cover her childcare costs. Yet what does she get from our government? Nothing. Why? Because the social services don't have enough funding such that even though she qualifies based on income and family situation, there are just families more needy than hers. It's almost a mirror image of the siuation my family is in except my wife and I are together and have 3 kids instead of 2. She isn't some lazy leach trying to bleed off society so she can sit at home with rollers in her hair and watch soap operas. She is working 13 hour days to try to get to a better life. But noone is looking out for her when she has to choose between antibiotics for her sick son or diapers for her infant because there just isn't enough money to go around.

Now here's the kicker. What would be a "handup" for this lady. How would it be a "handup" instead of a "handout". She is already doing all the right things to change her life. What she needs is better social welfare so that it isn't so hard for her to give herself the hand up. If they just cut her a check to help with her bills while she finishes her education someone would say it is a handout. But I think that if they did, then she could finish that education and put double her current salary back into the economy, which is better for everyone. As it is, she is facing having to leave her apartment to live with her parents or quit school because she just can't afford to survive and try to improve her lot in life at the same time. I only point this out to say that "handouts" are so much more complicated than just giving the poor money taken from the rich. This lady needs better social welfare so that she can get to a point she can support her family. But that would take time in which she would be heavily dependent on the system to survive, shelter, feed, and clothe her family. In the short term it would be a handout that helps her most. Longterm though, she will contribute more to the economy and society if she has that help now when she needs it.

Anyway, everyone has their own view on the best way to help people like her. My thing is that people talk about social programs like they are being vicitimized by a government sanctioned Robin Hood. That just isn't true.

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Garydee wrote:
Brent wrote:
Heathansson wrote:

It's all good. Now that it's over,....I can see your point.

Obama's popularity rating is going to be so bad in 4 years, that you could run Bimbo the Candy Bear against him. So, like, even if the fairness doctrine goes through the senate, it won't matter.

You really just hate Obama huh? Did he sleep with your wife or something? I look at Obama's ideas and see a lot of promise for making this country a better place. He is a smart man and a strong leader. Even if he isn't as great as I think he will be, I don't see how anyone could screw this country up worse than Dub-ya has.

Listening to some of this is like watching McCain's face in the last debate, a whole lot eye-rolling, sighing, and general disdain for Obama. If he wins this presidency, I would stake my life on the bet that he will be quite popular as a president and that this country will be a better place in 4 years than it is today.

I agree that Obama is a smart man but where do you get he's a strong leader? What has he lead that gives you that impression? I'm not saying that he can't be a good leader but he seems very inexperienced to me.

I don't think inexperience equates to a lack of strength as a leader. During the entire campaign he has been even-handed under pressure and not succumbed to frustration when the opposition throws him a curve. He has been attacked mercilessly about every person or group he has ever associated with (even relationships he had years and years ago). He has weathered the storm and come through it better than before. A man who was a weak leader would fold under the blitzkrieg the GOP has put on to try to discredit his character and qualifications. He hasn't backed down from any challenge, and it wasn't he that came away from the presidential debates looking flustered and out of his depth.

I like John McCain. I really do. I just don't see anything in him that I have't seen already for the last 8 years. I am opposed to Palin for reasons I have documented in many threads on this site. The thing about Obama though, is that he inspires me. He makes me think that the decline of this country can be turned around and that the American dream isn't just for the super wealthy. His leadership is so strong that one of the most prominent members of his opponents party came out to publicly rally support for him (read Powell, Colin). Great leaders have to start leading somewhere. A lot of Americans think that Obama is ready to do that very thing right now. By tomorrow we will know if enough Americans felt that way to get him the job. You don't have to be experienced to be great at something. Some are born with natural ability and then work their tail off to hone it. Obama is like that I think.

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Heathansson wrote:

It's all good. Now that it's over,....I can see your point.

Obama's popularity rating is going to be so bad in 4 years, that you could run Bimbo the Candy Bear against him. So, like, even if the fairness doctrine goes through the senate, it won't matter.

You really just hate Obama huh? Did he sleep with your wife or something? I look at Obama's ideas and see a lot of promise for making this country a better place. He is a smart man and a strong leader. Even if he isn't as great as I think he will be, I don't see how anyone could screw this country up worse than Dub-ya has.

Listening to some of this is like watching McCain's face in the last debate, a whole lot eye-rolling, sighing, and general disdain for Obama. If he wins this presidency, I would stake my life on the bet that he will be quite popular as a president and that this country will be a better place in 4 years than it is today.

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I really do think we should do a popular vote and leave it at that. It would make each persons vote feel more important. The electoral college just isn't needed in the modern age of internet and mass media.

I find the Obama=Socialist argument to be a funny one. I was pretty sure he was a democrat, not a socialist. Unless the argument is that democrat=socialist, in which case it is still an exagerated generalization. Rational thought doesn't figure into politics. It is just a child beauty pagent in which each parent can only see everything right with their kid and none of their flaws. Same deal with voters and their candidate. Every negative comment about McCain is dismissed as misunderstood while every negative comment about Obama is taken without so much as a blink by the Republicans and vica versa for the Democrats.

I just want this election to be over so we can actually start working on fixing this countries problems. That said, I will gloat a bit if Obama the "socialist" wins. "snark"

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Very tight race in the popular vote so far. CNN has some mistakes. They've called Michigan for Obama but have McCain leading in votes there. They have already called Pennyslvania for Obama, but I think it is too early to call that one for sure. For the most part there are no big upsets yet and it looks like it is going to come down to the 5 or 6 battleground states again (man it makes me feel like the only states that matter come election time are Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Florida, and Indiana). It seems like very election it's one of those states deciding it for us all.

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CNN now has Obama with 77 electoral votes to 34 for McCain and a popular vote of 2,797,415 votes for Obama and 2,523,547 votes for McCain.

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Heathansson wrote:

McCain's winning the popular vote!

Yay electoral college![/sarcsnark]

Al Gore can relate to that pain as well. As for me, I voted for Obama and was happy to do so. Several of the battleground states are still close, so I think this election is far from a sure thing. I just hope Democrats learned their lesson in 2000. No matter what CNN says, no matter how sure a thing it looks make sure you show up and vote.

My state will absolutely be for McCain, which I don't particularly like. That said, I too would support doing away with the electoral college and going to a true democracy. That way every vote really does count. Personally, I think this whole election probably comes down to Pennsylvania and Virginia. I might be wrong and it is too early to know for sure. That said, I am optimistic that Obama will win this thing and we will inaugurate our first African American president.

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This post will contain spoilers for Pathfinder #15, so if you don't want it spoilered don't read on....

When I first saw the cover art for Nolveniss I got it in my head he was going to be this Demon Summoner type Wizard who leads the Drow at Celwynian. So when they made him an Illusionist I was a little let down by it. Anyway, I want to make some changes to him without completely redoing his entire stat block to make him that kind of Demon Summoner I had envisioned. So what changes should I make. The obvious one to me is to change him to a generalist Wizard instead of an Illusionist so that he doesn't have Conjuration as a prohibited school. I think probably taking away Spell Focus Illusionist from his feat list makes sense, but I am not sure what to replace it with. Perhaps Dark Adept? Then for his spell list, I think maybe taking away a few of the spells like Shadow Conjuration and such and maybe throwing in a few summon monster spells? If any of the designers or just messagboard folk have some suggestions I would appreciat it. I don't want to completely overhaul him, I just want to tweak him to make him more Demon master than shadow illusionist.

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If we are talking about recent movies, the Strangers was pretty scary I thought. The Blair Witch Project really scared me hardcore the first time I saw it. I found Hostel not so much scary as it really messed with my head. The Exorcist I saw as a kid and it was truely frightening. Now I find it funny more than anything else. Se7en I found to be genius though not particularly frightening. Hellraiser got me really bad the first time.

I vaguely remember this old flick about voodoo and this guy looking for a family memeber that scared the bejebus out of me. Can't remember the name or any of the actors for the life of me though. Great thread!

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The original Starblazer was greatness. I watched it religiously as a kid. I can even still hear the theme music in my head.

We're off to outerspace
We're leaving mother earth
To save the human race
Our Star Blazers!!!

Searching for a distant star
Heading off to Iscandar
Leaving all we love we behind
Who knows what dangers we'll find

We must strong and brave
Our home we've got to save
If we don't in just one year
Mother earth will disappear!!

Fighting with the Gamalans
We won't stop until we've won
Then we'll return and when we arrive
The earth will survive
With our Star Blazers!!!

God I loved that show growing up. The Argo was sweet, but I have to admit that the Andromeda was my favorite ship on the show. It killed me as a kid when it got destroyed against the comet empire. I heard there was talk of a live action Star Blazers for awhile but that it got shelved for various reasons. Here's hoping they actually do it.

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Information recently uncovered shows that Joe the Ice Weasel doesn't make anywhere near enough money to be effected by Sebastian's tax on ice weasels making over $250000 a year. Further, records seem to indicate that not only does Joe the Ice Weasel not make enough money to matter in the discussion of Sebastian's tax plan, he is not even licensed as an ice weasel. Don't listen to Heathansan's propoganda. Joe the Ice Weasel is not being discriminated against, he isn't even an ice weasel.

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An AP based in Cheliax screams out awesome. I can't wait to see what diabolical suprises you have in store for us. I loves me some Cheliax.

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I'm not a big fan of Evangelion mostly because I never could really follow the story. It suffers from the same problems as Noein I think as both are convoluted. I read on Wiki or somewhere that the guy that wrote Evangelion was suffering from mental illness or something like that and the end of the show was supposed to be some sort of expression of that struggle. I wish I could remember where exactly I read it. Meh.

Other great animes....

Outlaw Star was mentioned by a few folks and it was a good story.

Bebop is an all time great and deserves to be mentioned with the legends of anime. I hated the ending, but that is probably what made the ending great in this case. I have a lot more respect for it now than I did 10 years ago.

My wife loves Inuyasha, but I was never able to get into it.

I like Yu Yu Hakusho a ton. For what is basically a fighting anime, there is some really great story involved in this one. By the demon world parts of it at the end it had lost some steam, but the dark tournament and even parts of the Shunsui arc were greatness.

Dragonball Z - Still rated as one of the most successful animes of all time. I loved it as a teenager. As an adult I find it to be corny in the extreme. I once described this show to a friend as roughly 15 episodes of guys firing energy blasts at each other simultaneously until one guys beam overpowers the other guys beam, 3 episodes of story, and 143 episodes of guys screaming like they have hemhroids while they power up. There are aspects of this anime that still show up a lot in modern anime, but at this point in my life I can't watch this show for more than 5 minutes without getting cancer or turning it off.

Stand Along Complex - A really good show that you have to watch a bit to fully appreciate. The animation itself is gorgeous and the story is equal parts complex and action packed.

Death Note - My wife swears by this show. I don't mind watching it but would pick other shows over this one if there were a choice.

S-Cry-ed - I actually really like this show personally. The american voice acting grates my nerves to no end, but I love the concept for the show as well as the inventiveness of the battles. The american actor for Kaname's voice makes me want to stab myself in the eye with a fork and the voice for Kazume is needlessly "I'm gonna kick your asses" all the time. A show that is much better with the japanese voice acting and an underated show in general in my opinion.

Karas - This is a stand alone movie anime but is wicked cool. Easily one of my favorite anime "movies".

Full Metal Alchemist - A very dark anime sprinkled with over the top lame humor. The story for this and some of its thematic undercurrents are very much adult oriented, but the merciless "short" jokes and random "exploded face big eye emoto-scenes" detract from it to an extent. When it is actually taking itself serious it is greatness, but when it isn't it sucks rocks. The follow up movie Conqueror of Shambala resolves some things the story sort of leaves hanging in a good way.

FLCL - Not even sure this is a real anime or just a bad drug trip overlayed with a 4 day insomnia bender. This show makes less sense than well, anything. Everyone I know who has heard of it loves it, which just proves that only people doing drugs even watched it.

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I was suprised to see how heavy you guys took him Evoker and now even more suprised to see you already made the plunge into Eldritch Knight. I am really digging the way you are putting him together. I'm really happy you guys decided to go ahead with the PRC for his build as I think it makes him A LOT more effective as a multi class. One of my biggest worries about him as a playable character was that against Drow and Demons and the sorts of things I expected to see in the endgame of this path, that his spellcasting would be effectively useless against spell resistances because his caster level would be quite comparitively low.

Now all that said, the Eldritch Knight PRC totally takes care of that and because you only took the single leve of fighter, he will also have access to 6th level spells by 14th level. That opens up a world of options for him in the end game. You guys rock. Of the 12 iconics you guys did, I think Selytiel is by far the coolest. Which is saying something, because all the iconics are pretty much a 10 on the cool factor.

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Looking at the pdf, this product is full of awesome. The acticle on the drow had incredible art and some of the best "drow" ideas I have seen generated in a long time. I liked the adventure and found the Armageddon Echo itself to be a phenominal site based adventure component. I was a little disappointed in the build of Novelniss as I expected him to be some kind of drow demon master with the art on the cover, so I was a little "meh" about the direction you chose to take him.

The iconics are awesome and I am loving their party mix. Seltyiel is looking sweet and already has started into Eldritch Knight, which I think completely rocks. I am glad you guys decided to go ahead and use a PRC for him as it makes that multiclass build way more effective. On the whole I give this adventure 5 stars. The support articles would get 6 stars if that were possible. Keep up the great work.

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Ross Byers wrote:
Brent wrote:
House 212 Democrats 221 Republicans 2 Other (51% Republican Majority so not fillibuster proof)
The House can't be filibustered. A simple majority is sufficient to make someone stop talking in the House. Filibusters only work in the Senate.

Thanks for the correction.

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I'm a teacher and working on a degree related to teaching both. This fall I taught a course at Kansas State University on Laboratory Techniques in teaching the sciences for secondary education majors. I am also doing student teaching as well as designing some new labs at the local high school as part of a science teaching methods course I am taking. I have a Bachelor's degree in Biology with a minor in pre-medical studies and right now I am in the second to last semester of a Masters degree in Curriculum and Instruction as well as a Graduate certificate in Secondary education. In the spring I am doing a full time student teaching internship and next may I will finish my degree, certificate, and be licensed to teach Biology in the public school system. By next fall I expect to be teaching full time doing exactly that. I also tutor high risk high school kids in Genetics, Cell Biology, and Evolutionary Biology. So I am a teacher, student, and future teacher all in one.

And thanks in advance for the apple.

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pres man wrote:
Brent wrote:

All of that said, I am not worried about it. It is very likely we are going to elect a democrat president and have an outside shot at a fillibuster proof congress. If such a thing happens, I can't wait to hear how the right is going to spin it that everything positive that happens was just stuff that Bush or the Republicans set up before the Dems got control. But that is neither here nor there. America is ready for a change to the leadership of this country. With any luck, we are headed for some sweeping changes for the better.

Be careful about what you wish for. If the Dems do get a filibuster proof majority and the presidency, that means anything that goes wrong in the next 2-4 years is going to fall 100% on their heads. Yeah they can claim the good stuff, but people don't get voted out for the good stuff.

Of course they can always try to spin it that the bad stuff is just things Bush and the Republicans set up before the Dems got control. ;)

To be clear I am not wishing for a fillibuster proof majority. What I do want is some major changes to the way our government is being run. I totally get and agree that our entire government has pie on it's face right now. Like most American's, I want to see the economy healthy. I personally want stronger social welfare than presently exsists. I don't want to give those who are unfortunate a free pass, but I think the current system is killing families trying to get on their feet. I have a family of 5, and right now we are living on one full time income and one part time income while we are trying to finish our educations. I teach one class at KSU, and I am presently doing some student teaching in preparation for full time student teaching in the spring, as well as taking a full time course load. Our family has to take out exhorbitant amounts of student loans to survive because we just can't afford to live without it. I pay over $1000 every month for daycare and have a household income less than $35000. You do the math. State assistance for daycare has offered to give me, and I'm not making this up, thirty dollars a month to help with childcare. Thirty freaking dollars out of the almost $1100 I am paying. I get no assistance for food, and I am paying nearly $500 a month for insurance coverage for my family before you count prescription costs for my sons asthma. Between health insurance, healthcare, and childcare I am paying in excess of $1800 every month before I get a penny. Then I have to pay rent and buy food on what is left, not to mention a car payment. I am more than 40% below the poverty line for my families size and income. But I can't get help with anything. There are still some corners I could cut, but right now I am not willing to take away the small amount of entertainment my wife, my kids, and I have left just to try to squeeze another $50 a month out to put into bills.

The system needs to be better. I am not a free loader. I put in close to 80 hours a week between finishing my education, working, and student teaching. I also volunteer my time for several charities and tutor at risk students for free with my own time. My wife works full time, and is a full time student herself. We are trying to work our way to being in the middle class and to being able to give ourselves the life we want (and we aren't trying to be rich, just not poor). We aren't lazy and we have done nothing wrong outside of having children before we had the money to support them. That is on us, but I don't believe in abortion (one of the areas I am conservative) and we were too little too late on birth control (youthful naievity). Yet despite all of that, we don't qualify for social assistance because these programs have inadequate funding, and have insanely strict restrictions because of the number of people that need it. We can't get a house because we don't have perfect credit, and even if we did it is almost impossible to find a way to save 20% down on a home at current market prices. The American dream has become an exclusive club where if you aren't lucky enough to be wealthy than you have no chance of getting in. One of my parents was a high school dropout. The other was a janitor until her back gave out. I have had to put myself through college and I don't have anything I didn't earn myself. I am the first in my entire families history to earn a higher education. I'm busting my tail for a better life.

I'm tired of working so hard while our government is doing nothing to help my family. I'm tired of hearing how corporate fat cats are getting multibillion dollar bailouts while my family has to budget down to the penny to have any quality of life at all. I don't want sympathy, but I am being bled to death by our HMO run healthcare system, and the complete lack of programs to help us support ourselves while we finish our educations. I'm not afraid of hard work and I don't like making excuses. That said, if taxing those with incomes higher than $250,000 will let them provide assistance for a family like mine, or even help mine if it can get passed into law fast enough, then I am all for it. If raising taxes gives us a healthcare plan where I am not paying $5000 a year plus prescription copays, coinsurance, office visits, procedure copays and so on, then I am all for it.

I don't want a free ride, but a hand to help pull me out of the pit would sure be nice. I've seen who the GOP wants to give a hand to, and it sure as heck isn't people like me.

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Emperor7 wrote:
Brent wrote:
For the love of all that is holy, the Republicans had absolute control of our government until the congressional election before this one.

My bold. Sounds like your latest post refutes your previous. As these nuggets might -

So Bush put us into a war with no Democratic support? So the Patriot Act was passed without any Democratic support? So the Bush push to increase regulation on Fannie and Freddie back in 2003 passed because of the Repub majority?

Come on. You're skewing the 'facts' to support your POV.

Here's something I'll give you. Bush is/has been a dufus. I'm not. Talking out of both sides of your mouth won't change my ability to step back out of the party-line rose(hate)-colored glasses and look at things.

As I've said before 'there is plenty of blame to go around'.

Oh I agree there is plenty to go around. My problem is this spin doctoring that says everything positive that has happened has been because the Republicans have passed needed legislation and everything that is bad has happened because the Democrats blocked Republican efforts to do the same. The implication is that the Republicans are only doing what is best and the Democrats are just trying to block it. Not all positive legislation originates in the Republican machine.

All of that said, I am not worried about it. It is very likely we are going to elect a democrat president and have an outside shot at a fillibuster proof congress. If such a thing happens, I can't wait to hear how the right is going to spin it that everything positive that happens was just stuff that Bush or the Republicans set up before the Dems got control. But that is neither here nor there. America is ready for a change to the leadership of this country. With any luck, we are headed for some sweeping changes for the better.

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Well lets look at it shall we....

Here are the statistics on the congress for Bush's entire term in office...(referenced at this site

The 107th congress (2001-2003)
Senate Democrats 50 Republicans 50 (Republican Vice President Holds Tie Breaker)
House 212 Democrats 221 Republicans 2 Other (51% Republican Majority so not fillibuster proof)

The 108th congress (2003-2005)
Senate Democrats 48 Republicans 51 1 Other (I think the other is Joe Liebermann in that instance so he tends to vote democrat but is listed as independent) Vice Presidential tie breaker not needed
House 205 Democrats 229 Republicans 1 other (53% Republican Majority so not fillibuster proof)

The 109th congress (2005-2007)
Senate 44 Democrats 55 Republicans 1 Other (again Joe Liebermann) Vice Presidential Tie Breaker not needed
House 202 Democrats 231 Republicans 1 Other 1 Vacant (53% Republican Majority so not fillibuster proof)

With the 110th congress the democrats gained a majority in the house along with a tie (or is it one seat advantage) in the senate.

There have only been 2 instances in our history where there has been a fillibuster proof congress. The first was FDR and the New Deal. The second was Lyndon Johnson. Despite those two unique occurences, congress has always operated with the potential for a fillibuster, yet we have not had hundreds of lame duck congresses. In Bush's case, he got past fillibusters on his judge appointments because a small group of republicans agreed to vote a specific way on nuclear legislation in exchange for a small number of democrats agreeing not to fillibuster a judge nominee except under "extraordinary circumstances". In practice it worked out the only nominee that got fillibustered initially was Alito by a group lead by John Kerry. He still ended up getting appointed, so Bush got what he wanted. Saying that the Republican simple majorities were not strong enough to allow the Republicans to push there agenda just isn't true. What you are implying is that for the first 6 years of his presidency that Bush was unable to get any legislation passed because of fillibusters. If you can agree that isn't the case, then you have to acknowledge that the Republican majority was getting GOP driven agendas passed.

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Emperor7 wrote:
Brent wrote:
It is hard to blame the Democrats for our current mess when it is the Republicans that have had majority control in both houses

What have you been living for the last 2 years? You might want to check your 'sources'. It's pretty simple - House Majority leader is a Dem, Senate Majority is a Dem. Hence, Dems have had a majority for the last 2 years.

Brent wrote:
I totally understand loyalty to your party, but you are saying that despite having a majority control in ALL THREE BRANCHES of our government that it wasn't the Republicans fault we are in the sorry state we are in?

How does the 2nd part of your argument hold up now? You might want to re-examine your level of loyalty to your party, whatever that might be.

There is plenty of blame to go around.

Yes the last two years. I said that in my last post when I pointed out it had changed in the last congressional election. At that point the Dems gained a small majority in the congress. In this election they can get a large majority. But before that, the Bush administration had a complete trifecta. The last 2 years is small potatoes compared to the 6 years before that when it was Republican control. I'm not the one that needs a bursh up on my "sources". It isn't a "sources" question. It's public knowledge for anyone who wants to bother to look.

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I am a HUGE anime fan. Favorites for me include...

Bleach - In my opinion the best Anime on right now. I can't think of any show I have liked more even going back to Starblazers. Absolutely love the anime and manga of this. The japanese version is finally back in Hueco Mundo and the story is really picking up steam in the manga as well, as the top espada are finally battling SS.

Gundam Seed - I have been a fan of several of the Gundam stories, but this is my favorite. Kira is a bit angsty for my taste, but the story itself is phenominal. The tech on the Gundams themselves is top rate and the animation is gorgeous. I have only begun watching Seed Destiny and it is a great continuation of the story.

Naruto Shippuden - Much better than the first Naruto series with perhaps the exception of the Sasuke retrieval arc. The manga looks like it is beginning to head toward a conclusion as Madara has sanctioned an attack on Konoha and Naruto has finally surpassed Jiraya. I am really interested to see how this is going to play out and whether Sasuke will end up a villain or hero.

There are many more, but I have to go to work. I will post again in this thread later with a more complete list of my favorites.

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It is hard to blame the Democrats for our current mess when it is the Republicans that have had majority control in both houses, the executive branch and a majority of conservative supreme court justices. The Republicans could literally do anything they wanted with our government without any way for anyone to oppose them. Yet it is the Democrats fault that they didn't get things done? For the love of all that is holy, the Republicans had absolute control of our government until the congressional election before this one. In that election the Democrats finally got a majority in one of the branches of congress. Up til that point the Republicans could have almost rewritten the constitution and gotten away with it. But you want to pin the current problems on the Democrats? How does that work exactly?

I totally understand loyalty to your party, but you are saying that despite having a majority control in ALL THREE BRANCHES of our government that it wasn't the Republicans fault we are in the sorry state we are in? We are fighting a war in Iraq we can't get out of. The economy is in tatters. Government spending has spiraled out of control and all of that happened with a Republican government controlling every branch of government. I have no doubt that the Democrats are not blameless in this thing, but trying to absolve the Republicans when they were the ones calling all the shots is a joke. A really bad joke.

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David Fryer wrote:
Go back to the Powell endorsment, a friend of mine brought this to my attention. How does it help Obama's campaign to portray John McCain as Bush's third term when he has been endorsed by the most visible face of the "steady drumbeat to war" that Democrats kept bringing up? The next time Obama tries to bring up the McBush thing, McCain could simply say, "you're the one being endorsed by members of the Bush administration." Thoughts?

This is faulty thinking as Powell walked away from the Bush administration rather than be a part of it for a second term. It is rather public knowledge that Powell had a falling out with the Bush camp over a number of issues. Powell's endorsement does not tie Obama to Bush in any way. Quite the opposite in fact. The thing about Powell is that he is all class. Right now Republicans are scrambling to find a way to spin or discredit one of the most well known and respected members of their party because he came out in public support of the democrat candidate.

At this point, I think the best way for the Republicans to handle the Powell situation is to say that they respect Powell and admire him being willing to go against his party to follow his beliefs. Then say that in addition to understanding why Powell chose to go the way he did, that he is out of touch with the ways in which McCain is different from the Bush administration and then point out those differences. Take the move by Powell and show that you aren't afraid of it. All of this spin doctoring and desparate stabs to find something wrong with Powell's position reaks of fear. The Republicans have to stop trying to discredit every person that supporst Obama and instead focus on elaborating on the strength's of McCain's ideas.

Showing this type of fear or desparation or whatever it is of the support Obama is getting from a big name political figure like Powell, is not helping McCain's cause.

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David Fryer wrote:
Brent wrote:

I don't know that I would call it creepy.
You're right, creepy might be the wrong word for it. I do think it a little odd though that he would think that saying essentially if Obama gets elected this country is going to be attacked is an attractive selling point. It might very well be true, but it still isn't something that would win votes in my mind.

He's not saying it is a selling point. He is just asking the American people to back the president when the going gets tough. There will be those who are so vitriolic about Obama that they will see a national crisis as a perfect opportunity to try to tear into him instead of trying to support him. Biden is asking Obama's followers to set an example in their communities for standing behind the president instead of trying to use our first crisis as a platform to attack the president.

Again, I hope that the republicans feel the same way. At the end of the day we are all on the same side here. If we face a true crisis or challenge to our nation I want both sides trying to work with the president, not taking it as an opportunity to stab him in the back. Partisanship in this country is too extreme. Biden's comment has no negative implication whatsoever yet here we are trying to talk about some sort of spin about a bizarre selling strategy. I mean come on. Is every word out of a politicians mouth just about swaying voters?

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David Fryer wrote:

Did anyone else see Joe Biden's creepy speech? I know it is almost Halloween but I think he should save the scares for the haunted houses.

In case you missed it, here is what he said as reported by ABC News
ABC News wrote:

"Mark my words," the Democratic vice presidential nominee warned at the second of his two Seattle fundraisers Sunday. "It will not be six months before the world tests Barack Obama like they did John Kennedy. The world is looking. We're about to elect a brilliant 47-year-old senator president of the United States of America. Remember I said it standing here if you don't remember anything else I said. Watch, we're gonna have an international crisis, a generated crisis, to test the mettle of this guy."

"I can give you at least four or five scenarios from where it might originate," Biden said to Emerald City supporters, mentioning the Middle East and Russia as possibilities. "And he's gonna need help. And the kind of help he's gonna need is, he's gonna need you - not financially to help him - we're gonna need you to use your influence, your influence within the community, to stand with him. Because it's not gonna be apparent initially, it's not gonna be apparent that we're right."

I don't know that I would call it creepy. He is just pointing out that if Obama is elected the country will be led by a younger man who hasn't been on the national stage. So it completely stands to reason that the enemies of this country will test his resolve to see if he will stand strong. I certainly hope it doesn't happen, but there are enemies of this nation.

As to Biden's "scenarios", I don't know if that is based of legitimate intelligence or just his own belief on what will happen. Either way though, his advice is sound. If this country is tested and a crisis happens, the American people need to stand behind Obama just as they did Bush after 9/11. The safety and strength of our nation is not a partisan issue. I would hope that McCain's camp feels similarly if such an event were to happen.

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Tarren Dei wrote:
pres man wrote:
Tarren Dei wrote:
pres man wrote:
Off-topic, I just learned that one of Obama's economic advisers is Larry Summers, who was forced out of his job as Harvard's President after making some potentially sexist remarks. Just another reason for women to want to vote for Obama, he understands their concerns. [/snark]

Do you disagree with Summers' belief that there could be a 'nature' component to the gender mix in science?

** spoiler omitted **

My view doesn't really matter (though I do teach math, the female students tend to do better on average than males in my personal experience, whether that is due to social or biological forces, I wouldn't dare hazard a guess).
You'd better not hazard a guess. It sounds like it might be a dangerous thing to do. Even to suggest that the many psychologists who argue that there is a nature component to gender differences might be right could get you in trouble.

I don't think there is any question there is at least some Biological component to gender differences. There is also no question that there is a tremendous cultural and psychological one. I think the interesting questions is how much is strictly Biology and how much is everything else. The only way I could think of that you could really find out would be to run an experiment where you followed cohort groups from birth and had them separated into different environmental and social conditions and maintained a control group that was environment "neutral". Of course, such an experiment would be highly unethical and insanely difficult to keep scientifically valid.

From a purely Biological perspective, females have a lot of advantages over males. That said, one of the few areas in which males have the clear advantage (on average they have larger and stronger musculoskeletal structures) is extremely important to hunter gatherer societies like those that existed early in human history. So at least some of the origins of sexual identity can be traced to those early cultures where males hunted for food while females raised the children and tended to the village (because the males were out hunting). If you take a cultural anthropology course (which I highly recommend), you can see that some of those primitive cultures still exist in primitive parts of the world. They give a rather unique insight into what our early ancestors might have been like. From a cultural perspective it shows how a single Biological difference (that stronger musculoskeletal structure making it more likely the males could survive and succeed at hunting) can be magnified into a cultural gender role structure (females as gatherers and child rearers).

Now to be clear, I am not saying that females are inferior or incapable of doing what males do and did in early cultures. In fact there are entire tribes where those roles are reversed (see Amazons), and some of that is attributable to selective advantage. Which is to say the females were stronger in those tribes and over generations of selection got bigger and stronger while males did not. That is heredity with inheritance at its finest.

In any event, I am sure there is a biological component to this gender discussion. If anything females have a more complete genetic code (as the y chormosome is really nothing more than an incomplete x chromosome), and their are far more sex linked diseases that affect men than women for that reason. How those biological differences have influenced our cultural gender biases is a more complex question though. In any event, Obama's connections to a man that once said such a biological component existed is just another attempt by the right to make this about who Obama knows than what his policies are. That is the tactic of a group desparate to find anything they can to go after Obama because they are losing. Simple as that. We will see if it works come election day, but right now the republican party is worried.

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I'm still trying to understand why it is that the right can make comparisons between Pelosi or Obama and Hitler and it is ok, but if anyone even suggests a similarly negative comparison for someone like Palin then they blow a fuse and implode. You gotta be real careful how you throw around the H word. Is any politician in any party in the U.S. responsible for mass genocide and a world war? Really? There is over the top, and then there is utterly ridiculous.

I am glad that the average american is nowhere near as extreme in their views as this. I mean Hitler???????? Does anyone even realize how horrific a label that is?

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