One Bourbon, One Scotch, and One Beer

Hey there, fellow political pundits.


What do you want to see on this blog? Threaded  or linear comments? Suggestions for pictures? Hierarchy? I’ll try to incorporate any suggestions that have popular requests. Keep in mind, I’m learning this stuff as we go along.

Mr. Universe

About Mr. Universe

Mr. Universe is a musician/songwriter and an ex-patriot of the south. He currently lives and teaches at a University in the Pacific Northwest. He is a long distance hiker who has hiked the Appalachian Trail and the Pacific Crest Trail. He is also an author and woodworker. An outspoken political voice, he takes a decidedly liberal stance in politics.
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11 Responses to One Bourbon, One Scotch, and One Beer

  1. Bart DePalma says:

    Linear comments to avoid scrolling up and down and PLEASE dark print against a light background. My old eyes would thank you forever.Thanks.

  2. filistro says:

    Hey Mr U! Good to see you back. I had no idea what a truly ambitious hike you’d embarked on… I’ll bet Old S’Cool is looking trim, tanned and terrific these days :-)I stupidly went on a long hike at the end of August wearing loose-fitting athletic sandals, and my left foot developed a nasty case of plantar fasciitis. God, it hurts. I’ve been diligently treating it with ice, stretching, massage and rest, and it’s getting a bit better. If it doesn’t clear up initially you have to rest it as long as 6 months which is just unthinkable… NO CURLING????… so I’m trying hard to be good.As to the site, I have a few thoughts. (When don’t I, eh? :-)First, thanks so much for doing this along with the million other things you need to do at start of term. It’s wonderful of you.Second, I was really touched by WA7th’s (hi sweetie!) abject gratitude at finding this site and connecting with everybody again, and it made me think… did you save the e-mails of everybody that contacted you before the old site shut down? If so, could you possibly send out some kind of bulk e-mail letting them know you’re open for business? I think a lot of lost souls may still be wandering around the vast blogosphere, searching for their old home.Third.. threads vs. linear… I’m really tron. Threads allow for a one-on-one conversation on a single conversation (and are great for nailing Brad to the mast as he so richly deserves 🙂 but when the site gets busier it’s easy to miss posts. I think maybe (for a while at least) it should be linear like the old site was, so the bottom posts are the most recent ones… at least until we get used to the new format. Then we could maybe vote on going to threads?Finally… I’d be happy to do the odd article as previously agreed (I have a LOT of stuff to say about the current political situation) but I don’t know how to post them. So if you like, send me an e-mail with instructions? My foot is mostly immobilized, but the brain still seems to be working after a fashion.Again thanks… you’re a mensch.And to everybody who’s lurking… c’mon in, the water’s fine. And it’s WONDERFUL to be back!

  3. Jean says:

    Bart and I are 100% in agreement – dark print against a light background please and also linear comments make it easier to stay in the loop and not miss other’s comments.

  4. The Real Mike Is Back says:

    Well, I’m a lurker. That is to say, I was an early commenter in the 2008 primary, left because of some nihilist point by PeteKent or MuleRider, came back (ergo my name), then bolted again because sifting through hyper partisan nonsense was not how I wanted to spend my time during the home stretch. A few of us, led by the erstwhile Virginia Conservative, formed a similar site. It died, and so I’ve looked for a forum like this post-move to NYT.My testimony is given!I do not engage in partisan politics. The math is much more fascinating, and how it either gets it right or wrong.A long time ago, I used to be one of those staffers for a member of the House. I’ve seen the human side of the political process. It ain’t pretty.I’d like to see more of a focus on the following. I am not a fan when I see a poll that says, for example, Harry Reid is tied with Sharron Angle, but there are 12% undecided. What I’d like to see are some plausible scenarios that a candidate can take from that snapshot, based on undecideds, prior election history, and estimated cash on hand. It would answer the following: What’s the most likely way Candidate X can win based on the snapshot and amount of time left?Thanks. Nice to be in the water.

  5. filistro says:

    Hi Mike, it’s so nice to see you! I always liked your sane and reasonable approach (and have long suspected you would have some really interesting insider-type stuff to share if you could ever be drawn out… :-)Speaking of being drawn out, I’m going to be posting quite a lot since I can’t do much these days except sit at the computer with an ice pack on my foot. Somebody please let me know if I’m getting really boring and I’ll back off a bit.It’s nice to know that if Pete Kent and and Muley show up, we can enjoy their contributions but also zap them if they get obnoxious. The best of both worlds, no?Anyhow, getting back to your post, Mike… you touch on something that has always intrigued me. Why do we automatically assume “undecideds” will fall 50-50 if the general vote is falling that way? Should pollsters even allow “undecided” or should they push leaners to commit? Personally I don’t think anybody who’s informed enough to vote is truly undecided. I just don’t.I also think you should post your thoughts at the main site… (I know, I know, but do they let SOME stuff through)… and challenge Nate to come up with some kind of formula that would allocate the undecided to one camp or the other based on the variables you mention plus any others that might apply. I’m betting Nate would find that an intriguing intellectual challenge.(Though the poor guy is probably too busy to eat these days, let alone think…)

  6. Mr Universe says:

    Dude! I totally remember you. Welcome back. You should know that PK and MR will not be banned from here (unless MR goes all psycho). You may not recognize me as I didn’t post under the Mr Universe moniker back then but I was on 538 from the get go. Didn’t you choose your name because of another guy who called himself ‘Real Joe’?I can’t be sure if this site will be more than a passing fancy but we’ll give it a try. Good to see you.

  7. mostlyilurk says:

    My name says it all – I did just jump in on another post, however. I lurked at 538 for quite a while b4 the move to the NYT and followed it over there. It’s been a bit disappointing, I think, but still interesting to read. I’m delighted to see this site up and running though will endeavor to be a bit more vocal here (time permitting). Thanks to the “founders” for taking charge of it.

  8. The Real Mike Is Back says:

    I just posted this, but haven’t seen it come up yet.There have been some good questions asked about methodology. I found this to be the most important one as these races stand today on September 16.”There is little empirical basis on which to make a “creative” vote allocation, and so the undecided voters are simply divided evenly among the candidates.”Take a race like Oregon Governor, where there is 12% who have not chosen a candidate yet AFTER Nate has factored in the 538 Snapshot. Dudley is ahead in the snapshot 44.6 to 43.3 over Kitzhaber. Nate’s already taken the polls, weighed them against their house bias, added his regression, and then averaged them.What I take from this is that Mr. Dudley has 5.4% of the way to go to win his election and Mr. Kitzhaber has 6.7% to go. What are some of the paths to victory for either race? (And I don’t live in Oregon, so I don’t purposely know the dynamics of the race)• Effectiveness of messaging in ads• Ability to convey that message• Get the Vote Out campaign (especially early voting)• Voter Enthusiasm (and its gap in this particular election)• Debate performance• Error-free fundamentals of campaigning (stickers and signs, etc.)• Verbal gaffes• Act of the God of your choice (rainy election day)Like Nate says, there is little empirical evidence to make a creative vote allocation. But I believe those are just some of the variables that determine the path to victory. Any others?

  9. shiloh says:

    NO CURLING????Indeed!As that would be unthinkable! ;)Let the record show, I didn’t post pics of the Swedish babes kissing. :)>Yea, already mentioned a lighter background would be more user friendly …carry on

  10. Jean says:

    Mr U,Welcome back! Is there any way that when a URL is included in a comment, that when others click on the URL it would open a new window, rather than taking us away from the 538refugees site? If so, it would be appreciated.

  11. Mr. Universe says:

    Jean,No idea. That’s more technical than I know how to deal with. Although, I think you can right click on links and open them in new tabs or windows. I’m on a Mac. It usually does it for me.

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