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Adjutant
 
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Post 20 Dec 2013, 8:02 pm

I didn't mean to be a spoiler for you, Mike, as you said you were watching the Kevin Spacey/American "House of Cards" and it seemed like those of you who commented on the BBC series were referring to that one, instead, and had seen all of it (But again, you know what they say about "assuming", right?) so I humbly apologize for my bad form in doing that.

I was about to contest King of Swords, that Ford was Speaker, not minority leader. But I'm wrong, he was the House Minority Leader; thus, being the leader of the largest republican (moderate) faction in Congress, he would have been the obvious choice for VP for Nixon. Although I understand Nixon was considering several others, including Sen. Nelson Rockefeller of NY (who ended up Vice-President anyway, once the vice-presidency became vacant for a 2nd time within the same year, if I am not mistaken.)

It was not until 1967 that a constitutional provision actually existed for filling a vacant vice-presidency when a vice-president became president following the latter's death, resignation or removal from office; from November 23, 1963 to January 20, 1965 there was no Vice-President of the United States. You had to wait until after the next presidential election to have a vice-president again.

And yes, usually the term "congressman" or "congresswoman" refers to a member of the House of Representatives, not both houses (unless you deliberately use the term collectively) although a congressman is sometimes shown on TV or something as "Rep. Charles Wilson (D-TX)" for example. It's like the term "MP" if I am not mistaken: it might mean "member of Parliament", but is only used to refer to a member of the Commons, not both chambers. The proper verbal mode of address for a member of the House of Representatives is "Congressman Smith" or "Congresswoman Jones".

Also true, as I said, it is practically unheard of for a Representative/congress[wo]man to be elected President of the United States. I *think* the last time it happened was the nomination and election of Abraham Lincoln, and he was actually an EX-congressman, not an incumbent, but that was a special case. All things being equal, presidents are either Senators, or state Governors, or even [very occasionally] incumbent vice-presidents.

Anywho, my principal beef with parliamentary democracy was that, in most countries whose systems I was familiar with (ex political science major), the public usually has no influence directly from the ballot box over who gets to be Party Leader; which is such a critical thing considering that (s)he is (usually) the very one who becomes the head of government (Prime Minister/Chancellor/Premier/President of the Council of Ministers/etc.) should his/her party take control of parliament. I was told that in Australia, a senator was Prime Minister once, but only an "accidental" one (PM Harold Holt was presumed dead after swimming in some very rough waters, I am told, and this senator happened to be No. 2 in the Party).

Sorry; I meant to post this last night but had to save it as a draft and all that.
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Post 18 Mar 2014, 6:06 am

I'm about half-way through the second season. Man, this is a really good show, and I would NOT want to meet Frank Underwood on a Diplomacy board.
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Post 18 Mar 2014, 6:11 am

Wife and I watched the whole season. Frank is one of those anti-heroes that you root for and then wonder why you're rooting for such a conniving bastard.
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Post 24 Mar 2014, 10:27 am

geojanes wrote:Just finished "House of Cards" this weekend. It is a worthwhile way to spend 13 hours of my life: Netflix makes it so easy to fill those wasted hours: I must have watched half of the episodes on my phone while waiting for this or that. I didn't give the title any thought until the last episode. By then it was, "Oh . . . now I understand the title." Next season is going to be even better, I bet, and then I'm guessing it will end.


Binged watched the remainder of the second season, and I laugh at this quote of mine: Last year I thought the second season would be about the House of Cards coming tumbling down! Hah! That house of cards is being built higher and has been reinforced! Ain't no strong wind going to blow that down!
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Post 12 Jun 2014, 7:35 pm

Interesting series but I stopped watching it after a few episodes (Kevin Spacey American one). And what's all this about the State of Maryland giving THOC tax breaks to film here or something? There was quite a bit of talk about that a while ago in the General Assembly. But I do not remember the exact details.

Dunno it just didn't seem as good as the UK version.
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Post 13 Jun 2014, 10:41 am

JimHackerMP wrote:Interesting series but I stopped watching it after a few episodes (Kevin Spacey American one). And what's all this about the State of Maryland giving THOC tax breaks to film here or something? There was quite a bit of talk about that a while ago in the General Assembly. But I do not remember the exact details.

Dunno it just didn't seem as good as the UK version.
Have watched up to the Peach-thingy episode (so not all that far in), and would say that I do quite like it in a different way to the original UK series. There is more story (and more character development), and it's a little slower to build (but I like that about older TV series), and Spacey is hamming the character up a real treat.

I'm not a big expert on tax breaks in the US states for film productions, but looking at this http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Movie_prod ... e-by-state it seems that virtually every state offers some kind of break for movies (so may also for TV, and if they don't is that fair?), and of the few who don't there are situations where there are no taxes to give breaks on.

So not sure why this one example would be a big deal. Maryland offers cash rebates, sales tax exemptions, lodging exemptions and 'free-free' locations for movies.
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Post 15 Jun 2014, 11:02 am

Well, Maryland has been raising taxes and cutting services, meanwhile, this show gets a tax-break for filming in our State someone just told me. Very nice.

I thought the neighborhood Francis Underwood lives in--probably meant to be the posh area of D.C. known as "Georgetown", which is actually older than D.C. and the federal capital itself, where a lot of members of Congress live. I thought it looked rather suspiciously like Baltimore, in fact.

Again, by the way, sorry for making a spoiler earlier. Sorry if I pissed anybody off, that was just a gigantic politeness-brainfart on my part (i.e., not very polite or thoughtful at all).

I've watched up through the peach episode, too, where [and this isn't a spoiler: it says it right on the Netflix summary of the episode] the thing with the girl and the big peach statue/thigny happens whilst he is trying to do his education package for the President. You can see how in the American system there really is overlap between the legislative and the executive, whether it was intended that way or not. In that one respect at least, presidential and parliamentary democracies are not too too different from each other, even if it is intended to be that way in a parliamentary system, but not originally intended to be so in the United States. Same thing happens, just kind of in a different way, and in a backwards direction. But I think maybe I should make a post on that in the political forum, eh?

Yeah, I just do not like Francis Underwood as much as Francis Urquhart in some ways. But it was funny in episode one, where he's talking to the cameras [this is not a spoiler, it does not reveal anything of the plot, so keep reading] where Underwood says:

"Power is like Real Estate: it's about Location, Location, Location. The closer you are to it, the more important you are. And years from now, when people watch this event, they'll see someone just at the edge of camera..." etc. And when the crowd cheers as the camera pans out, he's looking at it, waving. Very clever.

Also think it is clever that Francis Urqhuart's (sp?) initials are quite literally F.U. I don't know if that's used in the U.K. the same way it's used in the States. Sorry, a little middle-schoolish in my humor (or humour) today, but that's just par for the course on a day like today. :razz:

Again, my apologies for my bad taste in the spoiler I made on page one, after this thread was started.
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Post 23 Jun 2016, 4:36 am

geojanes wrote:
geojanes wrote:Just finished "House of Cards" this weekend. It is a worthwhile way to spend 13 hours of my life: Netflix makes it so easy to fill those wasted hours: I must have watched half of the episodes on my phone while waiting for this or that. I didn't give the title any thought until the last episode. By then it was, "Oh . . . now I understand the title." Next season is going to be even better, I bet, and then I'm guessing it will end.


Binged watched the remainder of the second season, and I laugh at this quote of mine: Last year I thought the second season would be about the House of Cards coming tumbling down! Hah! That house of cards is being built higher and has been reinforced! Ain't no strong wind going to blow that down!


Finished the 4th season, 52 episodes of Frank and Claire. It seems that they're reinforcing that house of cards with concrete.
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Post 06 Oct 2016, 3:43 am

My father was binge-watching it, and I saw the scene where they needed to pass some bill and the senators were refusing to come to the chamber, so he had the Sergeant at Arms place them under arrest and forcibly bring them into the chamber so they would vote on it.

That wasn't a set constructed to look like the real US Senate chamber, and there is a reason for that. I'm pretty sure that that is the House of Delegates chamber in Annapolis. In fact, I think I remember they got a tax credit for that.