2018 Presidential Election


Wednesday, March 27th 2019

Frost confirmed as Secretary of Commerce

Businesswoman Shannon Frost was confirmed to the position of Secretary of Commerce today with a 58-41 vote in the United States Senate. Frost, who is known for being one of the countries' most accomplished female entrepreneurs, faced speculation that she might withdraw her nomination after her main advocate within the administration, President Seaborn's running mate Franklin Hollis, lost the contingent vice presidential vote in January. But she did not withdraw her nomination and now will be the final secretary installed in President Sam Seaborn's initial Cabinet.

"I am thrilled to have received so many votes after what, admittedly, was a tough confirmation process," Frost said after her vote. "I look forward to helping lead the Commerce Department through the critical 2020 Census and to make the department as streamlined and efficient as possible." Frost will be sworn in tomorrow afternoon, after her financial investments and various ownership stakes have been officially sold or put into a blind trusts now that she has been confirmed.

Frost's confirmation has been greeted as a morale booster in a White House that was the first to suffer the humiliation of a Cabinet nominee's rejection by the whole Senate since Dwight D. Eisenhower sat behind the Resolute Desk and is engaged in its first budget fight with both congressional Republicans. The only two remaining Cabinet-level positions, Chair of the Council of Economic Advisers and Administrator of the Small Business Administration are likely to be filled within the next week, as both nominees (former Nevada governor Randy Broughton and former Indiana senator Dameon Matteo, respectively) were confirmed with overwhelming margins in their respective committees earlier today.


Wednesday, March 27th 2019

Hunter meets with Cuban President Cueto-Díaz to discuss refugee, trade and diplomatic issues

Santo Domingo, D.R.
Vice President Jack Hunter met with Cuban President Miguel Cueto-Díaz in the capital of the neighboring Dominican Republic today in what the administration says are "the first of many" in a series of talks with the Cuban government, hoping to hammer out an agreement on several issues between the two countries, including agreements on refugees from Cuba as well as the American trade embargo on Cuba and lack of diplomatic relations between Cuba and the United States. Hosted by Dominican president Gustavo Morales, the two men held what many say is the highest-level talks between the United States and Cuba since the United States broke off diplomatic relations with the island nation in 1961.

Thousands fled from Cuba during the country's civil war which lasted from 2014 to 2017, and while many have acclimated to the United States, many wish to return home now that the fighting is done. But since there is no diplomatic relations between the two countries, no direct trips can be arranged and many refugees remain too poor to afford indirect routes via a third country that recognizes both the United States and Cuba. Cuba's recovery from the war, which saw the deposition of Raúl Castro in favor of a new generation of communist leaders such as Cueto-Díaz and his predecessor Rosa Leon Silveira, has been stunted because of its inability to trade with its much larger, richer neighbor. As such, the number of people attempting to sail from Cuba to the state of Florida on makeshift rafts continues to exceed the pre-war total.

"I have hopes that a continued dialogue will allow us to begin a new chapter in our relations with the nation of Cuba." Hunter said. The vice president did not respond directly to a question on whether American recognition of the Cuban government had been discussed, but did say that the administration has not "closed off any options" on American policy towards Cuba.

The meeting triggered outrage from several Republicans, including Florida Governor James Ritchie, who called the idea of normalization "wrong-headed", while Senator Kent Harris of Wyoming, Chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said that recognition of the regime would be "rewarding a totalitarian regime" and "compromising American values". Some Cuban-American groups were similarly disgruntled by the news of the meeting, with the Center for a Free Cuba, a Washington D.C.-based organization of Cuban exiles promoting democracy in Cuba, saying that recognition "at this point in time" would serve to "legitimize an undemocratic, totalitarian regime that has deprived several generations of Cubans of their rights to life, liberty and property."

The issue of whether to continue or end the Cuban embargo has confronted every president who took office after the end of the Cold War. Meetings were held between US and Cuban representatives during both the Bartlet and Santos administrations, although no changes came about before both presidents left office while the Walken administration did not challenge the status quo in part because of the civil war and immediate aftermath.


Thursday, 28 March 2019

College of Cardinals came close to electing a pope from the Americas

According to vote tallies of this month's papal conclave that elected Pope Clement XV obtained exclusively by Il Messaggero, two candidates from the New World came very close to obtaining the papacy at different points in the three-day conclave. Totals for the first ballot had no candidate garnering over 30 votes, with Cardinal Secretary Francisco Petrucci, who was thought to be the frontrunner before the conclave, never rising above fifth place behind Sebastian Gómez of Chile, Vincent Bouchard of Canada, Joseph Wambui of Kenya and eventual winner Eduardo Ramos of Portugal (who became Clement XV after his election). On the third ballot, Gómez emerged as the front-runner and reportedly won 61 votes on the fourth ballot, with Bouchard in second with 36 followed by Ramos with nine. But before the fifth ballot, that probably would have resulted in his election, Gómez reportedly announced he could not serve as pope after contemplating what he called "troublesome associations and involvement" with members of the military dictatorship led by Augusto Pinochet that led his country from 1973 to 1990 that he had previously not disclosed.

The fifth and sixth ballots show Bouchard assuming the top position with Gómez's withdrawal, leading with 41 and then 46 votes respectively. By the seventh ballot, Ramos overtook him, earning 52 votes to Bouchard's 50. On the eighth ballot, Ramos took 69 votes, with Bouchard falling to 33 and Wambui in a distant third with 13. It appears that before the ninth ballot, Wambui also withdrew from consideration, perhaps not wanting to prolong the balloting if the ninth ballot did not elect a pope (a failure would have resulted in a mandatory day of prayer and reflection where no voting could have taken place). It is recorded that Ramos received 86 votes on the ninth and final ballot to cross the two-thirds majority threshold and be elected pope, with Bouchard receiving almost all the remaining votes with 30 cardinals voting for him.

The tallies, having been secretly recorded then smuggled out of the Sistine Chapel after the papal balloting, have been confirmed by other unnamed sources as being "fairly accurate" to the totals each candidate obtained on various ballots. Divulging events within the conclave is punishable by excommunication, and no official tallies of the votes were kept after each ballot, meaning that there is no official way to confirm the reported results.

First Ballot
Sebastian Gómez (Chile): 29
Vincent Bouchard (Canada): 25
Joseph Wambui (Kenya): 24
Eduardo Ramos (Portugal): 20
Francisco Petrucci (Italy): 14
Martino Fabbri (Italy): 2
Carlos Ortega (Spain): 2
others: 3

Second Ballot

Gómez: 35
Bouchard: 26
Wambui: 22
Ramos: 21
Petrucci: 13
others: 2

Third Ballot

Gómez: 44
Bouchard: 32
Wambui: 18
Ramos: 14
Petrucci: 8
others: 2

Fourth Ballot

Gómez: 61
Bouchard: 36
Ramos: 9
Fabbri: 4
Ortega: 4
Petrucci: 2
others: 3

Fifth Ballot

Bouchard: 40
Ramos: 34
Wambui: 15
Ortega: 10
Fabbri: 9
Ortega: 7
others: 4

Sixth Ballot

Bouchard: 46
Ramos: 41
Wambui: 10
Fabbri: 9
Ortega: 7
Petrucci: 4
others: 2

Seventh Ballot

Ramos: 52
Bouchard: 50
Wambui: 11
Ortega: 3
Petrucci: 3

Eighth Ballot

Ramos: 69
Bouchard: 33
Wambui: 13
Ortega: 2
Petrucci: 2

Ninth Ballot

Ramos: 86- elected
Bouchard: 30
Petrucci: 2
others: 1
Public Service Announcement
Just an update on tonight's UK by-elections. The results have been done and sent to @lord caedus to do a couple of wiki info boxes. I could do some live coverage, it depends what time I get back in tonight, and how I feel. If I don't then I will post the result and summary during the morning UK time (Friday).
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Friday March 29th 2019

Labour win Bermondsey and Old Southwark by-election and hold on to win in South Shields

Labour won the Bermondsey and Old Southwark by-election overturning a Liberal Democrat majority of 11,268 with a majority of 4,485. The seat and it's previous seats had been held by former Liberal Democrat Leader Robert Richardson who resigned to take a job in Geneva.

Labour leader Andrea Benn said the party's candidate Patrick Allinson had pulled off a "stunning victory" and it showed that the Labour Party " was on the way back towards Government".

In South Shields, Labour held on against a fierce challenge from the National Peoples party, with Alan Owens holding onto the seat by 1,661 votes, suffering a near 16% swing against it, reducing the majority from previous MP's Stan Dove's majority at last years General Election from 15,134.

NPP Leader Robert Webster said it's performance in a safe seat in what was regarded a Labour heartland showed "we are the now the main opposition to Labour in the North-East, we are party standing up for the working class" adding "if the election had gone on a couple of more days, I think Tosh (candidate Tosh Donaldson) would have won".

It was a bad night for the Liberal Democrats after losing the Bermondsey election they only polled 760 votes in South Shields, a fall of nearly 2.5% since the general election. The Conservatives will be happy with the results in seats they really had no hope of winning, in both seats they increased their share of the vote. In both seats the Socialist Alliance did save their deposits.

Full Results:

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The time has come.

Hi everyone. I'm adding this post with a heavy heart as it will, in all probability, be my last.

After the recent break I'm now sure that it's time to move on from this thread that has been such a part of my life for over 10 years. The truth is that I've simply ran out of ideas to keep going and every time I've tried to write something it's become more and more of a chore. There is no way that I want what has effectively been a labor of love for a decade to become that.

I owe Mark a debt of thanks for coming on this journey with me. I think we've produced something that stood the test of time, that I hope the people who've read have enjoyed and the people who still find the thread and read it from the start will continue to do so. I love the depth of the world that's been built, the characters and stories we've told and the inputs from so many people.

I'd also like to thank the various other contributors over the years, Tim Thomasson, KahukuMan, lordcaedus, Mountain Dew, ajm8888 and quite a few others whose names I can't recall. Your contributions in keeping things going and inspiring plot lines and developments have been terrific. I will continue to drop in and read where things go from here.

So long everybody,

Disputed (a little known fact that my name is actually hidden in this story somewhere but I'll leave that one with you all)
Without Disputed this story would never have become what it is today. When he came on board in early March 2009, the thread had been going some four months, but in my mind wasn't really going to get much further, but he gave a fresh edge and a different angle.
It is much his story as it is mine.
I will still be around but as I have said I am taking more of a back seat role as well, at least for the next couple of months.
Updated Current make-up of the House of Commons
Conservative 335
Labour 257 (+1)
Liberal Democrat 14 (-1)
National Peoples 13
DUP 10
SF 5
PC 4
Speaker 1
Conservative Majority: 20 seats
Working Conservative Majority: 27 seats*
* Excludes the Speaker, three Deputy Speakers (two Labour and one Conservative) and the five Sinn Féin members (who follow a policy of abstentionism).
(+/ on last General Election includes the two by-elections held on 28/03/19)
An infobox roundup of every box in the first 100 pages or so. Includes boxes made by both myself and @Excelsior.

2013 UK general election in North Southwark and Bermondsey, 2018 UK election in Bermondsey and Old Southwark, 2013 and 2018 UK general election in South Shields
Annelise Byers, Denise Byers, Joe Byers
Arnold Vinick, Donna Moss, Annabeth Schott
Australian federal election, 2018
Ayeka Juchiro, National Diet of Japan, Arata Kanzaki
Daniel Maddox, Cody Riley, Evelyn Baker Lang, Alex Baumann, Uzochi Nzele, Pope Victor IV (partially outdated)
Democratic Party, Republican Party, Jimmy Fitzsimmons, Mitchell Harris
Democratic Party presidential primaries, 2018 and Republican Party presidential primaries, 2018
French legislative elections, 2018
G8 leaders (partially outdated)
George P. Bush, D. Wire Newman, Matthew Santos, Leo McGarry, Josiah Bartlet, Owen Lassiter, Roland Pierce
Glen Allen Walken, Sam Seaborn
Governors of Minnesota
Governors of New York
Henry Staub, Robert Ritchie, Jim Buckner, Ryan Lyndell
House of Representatives committee chairs and ranking members
Isaac Sidley, Mike Brace, Benjamin Boma, Samantha Bowman, Jack Caton
Jack Coll, Patrick Brazil, Matt Smith, Malcolm Cutter, Victoria Thorpe
Josh Lyman, Toby Ziegler, Mandy Hampton
Justine Avery, Carol Gelsey, Roy Ashland, Jeff Haffley, Joseph Furman, Rudi Robinson, Kang Sun-u, Ricky Meyer
Kevin Clarkson, Lauren Parker-Seaborn, Kate Crossley, Harry Kimble
Lewis David Eisenhower, John Hoynes, Bob Russell, Eric Baker, Wendell Tripplehorn, Elizabeth Clark, Jack Hunter
London mayoral election, 2018
Marty (Seaborn), Andrew Thorn, Nicole Kershaw, Sean Boone
Mayors of New York City
Mayors of San Francisco
Mexican presidential election, 2018
Natalya Romanova, Richard Samuels, Giselle Trenier, Qian Min
Percy Burns, William Smith, Sir Henry Mershan, Lord Shannon of Hastings, Henry Reed
Pope Clement XV, 2019 papal conclave
Presidents of Kazakhstan
Presidents of the United States
Prime Ministers of Canada
Prime Ministers of the United Kingdom
Proposed Seaborn Cabinet
Renata Barrica, Manab bin Hessani, Efraim Zahavy
Russian presidential election 2015, French presidential election 2016, Canadian federal election 2017
Samuel Wilkinson, Henry Shallick, Franklin Hollis, Haydn Straus
Seniority in the United States Senate and House of Representatives
Sir Reginald Styles, Lord McNair of Cowal, Leslie Maddox, Robert Miner
South Shields, Bermondsey and Old Southwark by-elections
The Doctor
United Kingdom general election, 2018
United States presidential election, 2018
United States presidential elections, 1986, 1990, 1994, 1998, 2002, 2006, 2010 and 2014
United States Senate, House of Representatives, gubernatorial elections, 2018 (includes outdated presidential election infobox)
United States senators from New York
What's Next?
Will Bailey, C.J. Cregg, Kate Harper, Charlie Young, Abigail Bartlet

Saturday, March 30th 2019

Rockford: President Seaborn is 'limp-wristed' and is 'bending over and grabbing his ankles' for negotiating with Cuba

Conservative author, radio host and blogger Nash Rockford has drawn widespread condemnation for saying that President Sam Seaborn was "limp-wristed" and saying was "bending over and grabbing his ankles" for the Cuban government. Rockford appeared on CNN's Weekend Express opposite White House senior adviser Amy Gardner to discuss the possibility of ending the five-decade American embargo on Cuba and after Gardner said that an end to the embargo would be "positive" for both the Cuban people and American business, Rockford launched into a harangue.

"I'm not surprised that this limp-wristed Ivy League elitist we have in the White House is willing to bend over and grab his ankles for a murderous, communist regime," Rockford said, visibly enraged. "What kind of thinking person dec—"

"I'm sorry, what?" Gardner said, clearly in shock, before Lemon, who is openly gay, hopped in and ended the segment. After a commercial break, Lemon apologized to viewers for what he described as the "crude and homophobic language" used by Rockford.

Rockford, who is has been one of the most popular right-wing columnists and radio hosts for decades, has not issued a statement following the segment's airing, but reaction has been swift. Social media pressure campaigns on Rockford's sponsors has already begun and several prominent Republicans have condemned his remarks, including former president Glen Allen Walken, who appeared on Rockford's show numerous times before he was elected president and has been friendly to his fellow Missourian for decades. Walken issued a brief statement saying that he was "disappointed" in Rockford and called on Rockford to apologize to President Seaborn.

The White House has not made any statements on this matter, but First Lady Lauren Parker-Seaborn responded at a photo-op with community leaders in Miami. Saying that Rockford's "vile and deranged homophobia has no place in our political discourse", the First Lady joked that the president's "Ivy League education and ability to open pickle jars" were major factors in deciding to marry him.


Rockford and Gardner on Weekend Express with guest host Don Lemon (photo credits: Robert Trebor, Mary-Louise Parker)
Since Rockford was based off Limbaugh, I figured he should say something like this gem that Rush said during Barack Obama's second day in office

Sunday, March 31st 2019

President Seaborn to address Congress on civil rights legislation

The White House Communications Department has announced that President Sam Seaborn has asked for, and received, an invitation from Speaker of the House Daniel Maddox (D-IL) to appear before a joint session of Congress on Thursday April 4, in prime time to address the nation on civil rights for gay and lesbian Americans. On Wednesday, the day before the address, the president will receive Maddox, Senate Majority Leader Cody Riley (R-AL), House Minority Leader Mitchell Harris (R-IN) and Senate Minority Leader Jimmy Fitzsimmons (D-MA) for a previously-scheduled sit-down.

Announcing the joint session, White House Press Secretary Cassie Tatum said that the president will "call on Congress to remedy the lack of protections that allow discrimination based on sexual orientation to continue" and introduce his own proposal to add sexual orientation to existing federal civil rights protections. When asked whether the president will call for Congress to pass a federal law allowing same-sex marriage, Tatum said that was "still under consideration." "Like two-thirds of all Americans, including a majority in almost every state, the president supports same-sex couples being given the option to legally marry and urges the states that do not currently allow same-sex couples to marry to change their laws," Tatum said. "The Office of Legal Counsel is currently reviewing precedent and cases pending before the Supreme Court. If they find that it is legally sound and there are no cases likely [to return] a verdict that will make it superfluous, the president will include that in his address."

The push for gay and lesbian civil rights comes as a fulfillment of a campaign promise made by the president during his inaugural address, and just a day after noted conservative commentator Nash Rockford has begun facing backlash for his crude and homophobic descriptions of the president in a televised segment on CNN yesterday. Opinion polling has shown that 67% of American adults nationwide support same-sex marriage, with the number reaching 83% in the 18-29 age range. A poll by the Public Religion Research Institute conducted in 2017 shows that in 48 states, same-sex marriages hold a majority or plurality of support among adults. Only two states, Alabama and Mississippi, has opposition to same-sex marriage reaching a plurality or majority of support among adults.