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Out of the Ashes: 1960 playtest restart


Vols21
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New Cabinet:

*State Elliot Richardson 
Treasury George W Romney
Defense Robert McNamara
Attorney General Samuel Pierce
PM Gen Sherman Adams
*Interior David M Kennedy
Agriculture Clifford Hardin
Commerce John W Snyder
*Labor Henry Morgenthau

HEW

Sinclair Weeks

wholesale changes as only 3 remained from the original cabinet - (marked by *) and upgrades all around.   It was a pain trying to find someone from all the regions and still appease the proper lobbies, but we did alright.  Changes to Cabinet Level positions were not as drastic:
Melvin Laird steps in as Sec. of Navy
Our new National Security Advisor is Lloyd Bentson

Former NSA Dean Rusk moves to London and is the new ambassador to England

The cabinet now has one 5-admin and four 4's,  the rest are 3's (no more 2's!!)
Ambassadors have a 5 (Kissinger), four 4's and the rest 3's.    
Maybe the biggest adjustment saw former Postmaster Caspar Weinberger become the Key Advisor (4 replaces a 2).   I started to just swap him and Casey, but still had issue with putting the former spy master over the US Mail.  So Sherman Adams was tabbed as Postmaster General.

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38 minutes ago, Vols21 said:

New Cabinet:

 

 

*State Elliot Richardson 
Treasury George W Romney
Defense Robert McNamara
Attorney General Samuel Pierce
PM Gen Sherman Adams
*Interior David M Kennedy
Agriculture Clifford Hardin
Commerce John W Snyder
*Labor Henry Morgenthau

HEW

Sinclair Weeks

wholesale changes as only 3 remained from the original cabinet - (marked by *) and upgrades all around.   It was a pain trying to find someone from all the regions and still appease the proper lobbies, but we did alright.  Changes to Cabinet Level positions were not as drastic:
Melvin Laird steps in as Sec. of Navy
Our new National Security Advisor is Lloyd Bentson

Former NSA Dean Rusk moves to London and is the new ambassador to England

The cabinet now has one 5-admin and four 4's,  the rest are 3's (no more 2's!!)
Ambassadors have a 5 (Kissinger), four 4's and the rest 3's.    
Maybe the biggest adjustment saw former Postmaster Caspar Weinberger become the Key Advisor (4 replaces a 2).   I started to just swap him and Casey, but still had issue with putting the former spy master over the US Mail.  So Sherman Adams was tabbed as Postmaster General.

I could be mistaken, but I don’t think regional balance matters after civil war era.

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41 minutes ago, MrPotatoTed said:

It stops leading to civil domestic stability problems after the civil war era.  It does potentially lead to party popularity issues until era of terror.  Not sure if there’s a historical basis for that.  But that’s how V currently has the rules written.

that must be a recent chance (since we started the second playtests).   The -1 election penalty in snubbed regions makes sense in a way (especially in the South, but not as sure about the others).   Danger is it opens the door to block someone from a region just for that reason (if opposition has the majority in the Senate)

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31 minutes ago, Vols21 said:

that must be a recent chance (since we started the second playtests).   The -1 election penalty in snubbed regions makes sense in a way (especially in the South, but not as sure about the others).   Danger is it opens the door to block someone from a region just for that reason (if opposition has the majority in the Senate)

Yeah, I believe it is a recent change.  Even though I've been running playthroughs for three years now, I always reread a section before I run it just to make sure V hasn't changed it recently.

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Image result for samuel pierce

Some history was made when Samuel Pierce was selected as the Attorney General.   The Harlem native is a former Undersecretary of Labor under Eisenhower and was appointed as a Judge in New York City by Gov. Rockefeller.    Pierce is also an accomplished attorney having successfully argued before the Supreme Court on behalf of Martin Luther King and the New York Times.    His nomination met some vocal opposition from a bloc of Southern Democrats, namely Byrd and Thurmond.  However, Senate Majority Leader was able to thwart their efforts to sabotage his appointment and he passed the Senate 88-12.  

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  • 3 months later...

real world issues have kept this project on the backburner for a while, but getting it going again.    

one thing I did while in limbo was devise some "rules" for deciding Congressional votes (since they are all basically AI driven) and I think the randomized models work pretty well based on the first set of bills.   It's easy when the bill helps or hurts your faction,. so it's mostly the more moderate factions where they apply since very few proposals impact them.  The moderate faction starts at 50-50 but the bill gains or loses support based on which party proposed the bill, if their party leader supports it or not, and the actual make-up of the faction (we know it's mostly moderates, but is the rest more conservative or liberal).   This system was helpful in keeping me from allowing any biases to filter into the results and kept things interesting.   They were a true "swing vote"   
Another facet I tested out was "Presidential pressure/influence"   With promises, the President can often sway some fence sitters to his way of thinking (good example is when Ronald Reagan was able to get much of his legislative agenda including huge tax cuts thru a Democratic Congress and more recently Joe Biden worked to get Joe Mancin to back his.   (I used a simple approach - the President could roll the number of 6-sided dice that corresponds to his Command rating.   a 5 or 6 would allow him to roll again with the number x 10 being the percent of a faction he could sway.   example, a 2 means 20% of the targeted faction would defect.   Not usually big numbers, but could help in a close vote for something the President really wanted to get passed.    (in my first test, he didn't succeed so it didn't come into play).

that all being said, I'll start posting some discussion of the proposed legislation and set the stage for some of the back-room bickering that took place.   (partly buying some time to allow me to start working on the election process behind the scenes - it takes a while doing this for every faction and state.    Can't wait for the actual game so the computer can take over a lot of the tedious processed.

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President Bricker met with Senate Minority Leader Everett Dirksen, Senate Whip Thomas Kuchel, House Minority Leader Charles Halleck, and House Whip Gerald Ford to discuss and plot their Legislative action for the next session.     They knew they would need some help passing anything after losing both houses of Congress in the midterms.   They thought they could get the votes in the Senate with Majority Leader Johnson’s support of some of the agenda especially when dealing with the pending economic crisis brought about by the massive military spending in the previous Session.  However, Speaker Tip O’Neill seemed to have a different agenda in mind with more massive spending bills and even a second New Deal type agenda.

They agreed they needed something to curb spending, and President Bricker wanted to also reel in the labor unions (a position that led to his defeat in the Ohio Senate race before running for President).    He then invited Senators LBJ and Richard Russell to the White House along with House Minority Leader Jesse Helms and Whip Jim Wright from the majority party- all who were known to have more center- Right leaning views as opposed to the more liberal Speaker, so the President thought he might be able to work out some deals before meeting with the Speaker.

image.jpeg.b7864ed1d32938ca85f101703bf60f0f.jpeg

Edited by Vols21
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After his negotiations with the Congressional Leaders, President Bricker knew some of the proposals would be dogfights, but was hopeful there would be enough compromise to get important legislation passed while preventing some potentially harmful bills from advancing.   Some of the proposals are:

Senate

Style Bridges:  ban required union dues 
Barry Goldwater:  Restrictions on union actions including strikes
Jacob Javits: Subsidies for mental health facilities and research 
Prescott Bush:  asked for a National Holiday to honor. Christopher Columbus 
and the big one
Carrol Reece:  privatize Social Security 

Harry Byrd:  ban the black panthers and similar militant organizations 
Robert Byrd:  create Fair code for collecting information onindividuals
Eugene McCarthy;  DC statehood 
Olin Johnson;  create committees to establish national primaries 
Sam Ervin:   Grant funding to police for research
Ray Madden:  criminalize marijuana
Ralph Yarborough:   Ban lynching nationwide

House proposals 

Chester Morrow:  immigration reform to reduce who can enter the country
Shirley Temple:   Propose bill to fill vacant judges on circuit courts (adds +1 to random judicial statesmen)
Gardner Winthrow:  create welfare for needy families
John Gurney:  regulations on internal affairs of labor unions

Sidney Yates:  Subsidize costs of raising and selling products on farms
Ed Jones:  offers to tax producers of farm equipment to pay for the farm subsidies 
Claiborne Pell:  limit child labor in factories 
Ezeikial Gathings:   Also wanted to privatize Social Security (just realized it was proposed twice)
Martin Dies:   Deport immigrants based on census quotas
Daniel Flood:   Abolish metallic currency in favor of Fiat currency
Hatkey Staggers:   Register each adult immigrant with Federal Government  

some of these are bound to spark some heated debate.   Stay tuned

Edited by Vols21
Missed one
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image.jpeg.44001d99d037c1e6dae16d80e0c3c255.jpeg  vs    Image result for jesse helms

Speaker of the House Tip O'Neill calls his top LT, House Majority Leader Jesse Helms to his office to discuss strategy on the upcoming session.   He explains how he really wants to get the Ban on Lynching passed.  He also wants to protect the Labor Unions and the New Deal by not allowing Social Security to be privatized.    Majority Leader Helms tried not to laugh as he asked if the Speaker planned to outlaw Sunday picnics after church too.  "it seems a lot of your ideas just won't go over well with the fine folk in the South, especially my home state of North Carolina.   We need to rethink your strategy"

This meeting may very well foreshadow the friction we will see in the 1964 Democratic primary as these 2 factions will be battling for supremacy of the party.

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big red phone.jpg

Since that meeting with Helms did not go as planned. Tip barks at his secretary to call China right away - "I don't care what time it is there.   Get me Ambassador Roosevelt on the phone!!"   While he waits, he opens up a care package that he received earlier today from an old friend in Minnesota.    mmmmm fresh cheeses.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Legislation 

some of the proposals were slam dunks and others more contested.   Here are the easy ones:

Make Columbus Day a federal holiday - passed with no opposition (my, how times have changed) as did the bill to fill vacancies for federal judges.

Grant funding to local police departments:  passed house 358-89 and Senate 78-22

Create Committee to establish nationwide primaries passed both by the same numbers   (wide spread support after the craziness in the Republican convention in 1960.

Federal criminalization of Marijuana - passed 335-32 and 78-22

Subsidize facilities and research for Mental Health passed 317 to 130 and 67-33

Ban Requirements for Union Dues passed 358 to 89 and 65-35

a handful of items never made it to the floor for a vote and were killed in committee:
Ban unfair labor practices including strikes (seen as a victory for Speaker Tip)
immigration reform - 3 proposals failed to garner any support

 

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Legislation part 2

the more contested proposals as it came down to Helms vs Tip in the house and Senator Byrd the leader of the Democratic party in full support of Helms and the conservative positions.   Tip relied on statehood friends like John Kennedy who still wasn't too happy that Tip did not support his run for President in 1960 (siding and riding the roads with Humphrey instead).

1)  Ban Requirement for Union Dues:    358-89 and 65-35 it passes and Tip sulks 

2)  Ban the Black Panthers and other militant groups:  passes 304-143 and 56-46

3)  DC Statehood - Tip sees it as a chance to increase his influence.  It gets voted down in House:   143 to 304

4)  Ban Lynching Nationwide - some hot debates here.  But it also fails in the house 159-278

5)  Abolish metaliic currencies - voted down 169-278

6)  Privatize Social Security - a real hot button    President Bricker called Congressman Howard Buffet and his son Warren to help with the details (Buffet's assistance came at a cost).    After much debate and arm twisting - the bill passes the House 278-169 and passes the Senate 65-35.    Byrd and Helms are all smiles

7)  Farm subsidies:  Buffet got President Bricker's support and promise not the veto the bill to help farmers all over the country
It passes 281-156 and 67-33

#8)  Tax Producers of farm equipment  -- to help pay for the subsidies.  It also passes by the same margins.

9)  Limit Child Labor in factories:   what a floor fight!!   alliances forged in earlier battles fell apart here 
in the House, it looked like Tip Oneill would score a big win, but then GA Representative Carl Vinson rallied his side with his debate and then Minority Leader Charles Halleck took to the floor with fiery words that turned the tide just enough.  Final Vote:  218 in favor - -219 opposed.  The proposal to limit child labor fails.

😎

 

 

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Posted (edited)

Faction gains after President Bricker signed all these into law

Red Team

Will - Traditionalist:    2700
Vols - Conservative:  2350
Tyler - Moderate:       1650
Lars - Center-Left      1100
Orange - Liberal          -100

Blue Team

Brad - Southern Traditionalists:   5100
Short King:   Center-Right:            1750
Murman:       Moderate:                  550
PMan:           Liberal                       -150
MarkW          Progressive, far left: -950

Leader of the Democratic party, Senator Byrd scored major points for his Southern hard-liners.    These folks love what the Democrats are doing for them in Congress.  Meanwhile, the liberals are not so happy and looking for changes (+2 red)
 a lot of the point gains came from the Farm Subsidy bill - since it gives 100 pts to every Gov, Senator, and Rep from states where agriculture is king.  Those points made half of some faction totals, and turned a few negatives into positives.

 

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Senator Harry Byrd and Jesse Helms celebrated their legislative achievements.  They laughed that they may have given Tip the gavel to appeal to his ego, but they kept all the power to themselves.   They conferred with other power brokers like LBJ and JFK, thanking them for their support on most issues.   They all agreed that if the far left factions could have just moderated their positions a little, they could enjoying this bounty of wealth too.    The topic of conversation drifted to whether Kennedy had any desires to run for President again.   Many in the room wondered if Senator Byrd might also have higher aspirations after working with Johnson and Helms to score such a great success.   No one wanted to show their cards just yet.

Meanwhile, the crafty Speaker met with confidants to plot strategy for the 1964 elections.   Tip said he would personally campaign all across the northeast and upper Midwest to ensure more liberal candidates are elected.  "We need to replace these middle of the road guys with Democrats more in line with our way of thinking and only then can we push back on this conservative agenda and control Congress.   Plus we need to rally behind a strong, more Liberal candidate for President this time.  No more elitist "Kennedy or Reagan dream tickets"   we need a man of the people to lead our charge.   Now just who will this man be?"

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Appointments to federal circuit courts 

President gets to fill some vacancies (1 per faction in his party, all selected by a random roll)

Trad:  "former Congressman" Dick Poff from Virginia   (real life VA Supreme court)

Conservatives:  Former State AG and current LT Gov from SD, Joe Bottum (real life - appointed to SD Circuit court in 1965. so not far off)

Center:  Jesse Udall - AZ Supreme court (current and real life which he was until 1972) -- his Judicial moves from 2 to 3.

Center-Left:   John Paul Stephens from Illinois - former Supreme Court law clerk, and currently is a leading antitrust litigator.  (in real life Nixon appoints him to Court of Appeals in 1970 and later reaches the Supreme Court - this random appointment in the game sets him up for that)>  Judicial rises from 3 to 4!!

Liberal:  Herbert Brownell - at the urging of Gov. Rockefeller, Ike's former Attorney General from NY gets the nod (in real life, he was considered by Nixon to replace Warren when he retired, but Brownell declined)

this feature really helps out in the game as most of these guys were not going to do much else (3 with Jud ratings of 1, which got bumped to a 2 - which won't help them much) and it sets up 2 of them for possible appointments to the Supreme Court in later years.   Of course they won't be doing anything in these new roles, but it gives them something interesting to do within the game (and increase their statesman rating a little bit)    For storyline purposes, it allowed me to show some power that Rockefeller wields in NY and maybe adds to my in-game "feud" in Illinois between Gov. Stratton and members of the President's faction - as Stephens is not part of Stratton's faction and was not his first choice for the bench.

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Foreign Policy

The following Ambassadors were sent to increase Trade Relations
Dean Rusk (4) to UK - success
Clark Clifford (3) to France - not successful
Henry Kissinger (5) to Germany - success
 

Arthur Goldberg was sent to Israel to offer a loan and came close to bungling the negations.  not successful

These Ambassadors had the daunting task of improving diplomatic relations 
William Rogers (4) with Spain -- successful!   -- improves to 7
Thomas Pickering (3) with Russian - successful!   improves to 6
Dean Acheson (4) to Japan - successful  - improves to 8
Frankling Roosevelt Jr (3) with China - not successful (came ever so close, 27, needed 25)

All in all, very good term for Foreign Relations.   With his high level summit, and nuclear weapon treaties, plus the work of his Ambassadors and Sec. State, President Bricker has taken us from the brink of war with Russia and animosity with China to near friendly relations with both.   We have a strong alliance with England, France, Germany, Israel, and friendly terms with Japan and Spain.   The Cold War has thawed some, but it might not take much to put it back in the deep freeze with a misstep or 2 on the Interational stage.

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

The Democratic Primary became crowded as several candidates threw their hats into the ring.

The early front-runner is the Leader of the Party, Senator Harry Byrd of Virginia.  The 75 year old wants to build on his recent Legislative successes and throwing all his energy into capturing the White House.

HIs main rival according to the national press will be former Gov. Earl Long of Louisianna.  The 65 year old "Man of the People" is the leader of the left wing faction of the party and a polar opposite the Traditionalist Byrd.   We see them clashing often on the issues.   

Other candidates to watch:
Former Governor Pat Brown of California.    Liberal rising star in the party despite his setback in the last California state election. He hopes to capture some delegates on the west coast to help Gov. Long's cause (same faction).

Senator Robert Kerr of Oklahoma is the Conservative candidate.   He is seen as an ally of Byrd's (same faction) and could be a buffer in the Midwest where Gov Long could have some reach due to proximity.

Wayne Hayes - Congressman from Ohio (the President's home state - which he hopes to exploit by pointing out some flaws of his fellow Buckeye).  At 51, the moderate from JFK's faction is looking to be a consensus builder with voters discouraged by the extreme views of the 2 frontrunners.

Senator George Smathers of Florida.   The 49 year old Moderate is the youngest candidate in the race.  He entered with the encouragement of close friend, Senate Majority Leader Lyndon Johnson.   It will be interesting to see if he can capture the delegates of his home state against the 2 front-runners, but those could be pivotal in a close race.

lastly, is a man endorsed by Speaker of the House Tip O'Neill who wanted a strong liberal voice to bring the party back to the left and the policies of FDR.  Some wanted Senator Jackson from Washington to run, but Tip knew he needed an icon to rally the people behind.   He went no further than the "Father of the New Deal" and man who orchestrated Roosevelt's rise to power:
James Farley of New York.   At 79, he is the oldest candidate and a true longshot, but his job is remind Democratic voters about the importance of the New Deal and try to peel away support from Byrd whose efforts helped "undermine Social Security" when he passed a law to privatize it.   Can Farley gain some traction in the northeast and New England states (where our first primary of New Hampshire will be held)?   

A lot of eyes are on some of these "secondary" candidates to see if they can rise up in the polls, maybe win some states, and if their performance on the campaign trail might enhance their chances at the VP slot if they are unsuccessful in winning the nomination.

 

 

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note:  2 of the 5 faction leaders entered the race.      the reason for the other 3 not entering:
LBJ  - wished to focus on the Senate where he feels he can do more good.  He deferred to the current Party leader
JFK - lost to Bricker badly in the last election and wasn't up to a rematch
Tip O - doesn't have any Command points.

for the minor candidates, I filtered each faction by command and age requirement.  Then I used a random # generator for the number of qualified candidates plus 3 (if the random # was in the +3 range, that meant that faction would not enter a minor candidate, so it left a small chance for that to happen).   Once each random candidate was chosen, I tried to think of a logical reason why they would be running (for storyline purposes - the game doesn't care as we saw with a Hollywood actor running last time even though he had shown no interest in politics until then).    As I read about them, it was interesting to note that Smathers was twice elected as the Florida "favorite son" so we get to see if his streak continues in the game election.

I thought it turned out an interesting mix of candidates for the primaries, but curious to other opinions and predictions.

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