Discussion in 'Alternate History Books and Media' started by Marky Bunny, Jul 1, 2018.
Yes. The attack to the twin towers never happened in the west wing universe
Good to know.
The attack happened during the filming of the third season of the show and acknowledging it would be quite against the rules for film and tv shows in that period AND would mess a lot with the scenario o& the TV series... instead they started to introduce Qumar first and then Abdul Shareef (who is the WW analogue of Bin Laden)
Yes I remember that from season three.
All well explained.
During the season two opener "In the Shadow of Two Gunmen-Part One",when the vice-president and Leo discuss the assassination attempt, Nancy McNally mentions the whereabouts of various cell leaders, "including Bin Laden", is unknown. This is the only time that he is mentioned directly in the show. Of course the 2001 World Trade Centre attacks did not happen in the West Wing world, although Al-Qaeda itself is mentioned a couple of times during the 2006 election.
Al-Qaeda and Bin Laden existed well before the Twin Towers so is logical they were named before and after 2001 in the show but the last episodes of third season of West Wing represent an analogue of the World Trade Centre attacks, with Shareef in the place of Bin Laden and the Bahji terrorists instead of Al-Qaeda (main differences are who in West Wing the terrorist attack failed and their (unofficial) leader get killed)
"Isaac and Ishmael" was a special episode in response to the 9-11 attacks, which may have been planned in the WW universe but prevented & replaced with a different version of the War on Terror involving Qumar & Zoey's kidnapping.
11.23.2019 07:00 AM
"Fake News" Is Making It Impossible To Find The Truth In Cyprus
In the aftermath of the May explosion and fires in North Nicosia that left over 5,000 dead and thousands more displaced, authorities on both sides of the border of Cyprus are searching for answers. The massive blast that took place in downtown North Nicosia, the capitol of Northern Cyprus has not had its cause formally revealed even months after the tragedy. Many articles have been written as to why we may never clearly know the exact cause of the explosion, all coming down to the fact that no unobstructed footage of the epicenter of the explosion has survived, and that even with the best forensic technology differentiating between chemicals used to cause the explosion and the residue of the buildings and structures burned or destroyed in the explosion and aftermath is a nearly impossible task.
But that hasn't stopped members of parts of Greek- and Turkish-language social media from claiming to know the truth. According to Facebook, conspiracy theory videos allegedly showing men planting a bomb at the epicenter minutes before the explosion are being shared thousands of times each week by users on both sides of the Aegean Sea. Members of the European Hate Group Watch have spread alarm that both Golden Dawn and the Grey Wolves have been using the videos, which experts say are either faked or edited using footage from unrelated CCTV cameras in use in Northern Cyprus.
"We have seen an increase in web traffic on the websites of both Greek and Turkish extremist groups," Jan Sobowieski, president of the group, tells WIRED. "The vacuum of official explanation has naturally led to the paranoid, far-right nationalists gaining traction, especially in the Turkish Cypriot community which almost all of the victims belonged to."
That's not to say that the governments have been doing nothing. Cypriot President Stavros Velkos has successfully pushed for hundreds of refugees from Northern Cyprus to temporarily be housed in Nicosia during the rebuilding effort, and temporarily demilitarized the border in May and June to allow for humanitarian aid. Turkish President Ahmed Faria has called conspiracy theories that the attack was an attempt to justify a re-unification of the island under Greek Cypriot control "foolish" and said that Turkey would await the results of the international investigation into the fire (critics charge that Faria expressed a less-dismissive attitude to the theories of a Greek "false flag" before a meeting with NATO Secretary-General Jonas Bakke last week).
But on both sides of the re-militarized Cypriot border, official explanations are drawing increasingly more skepticism.
"Some people are being paid to keep the cause quiet, or there is something that the authorities do not want revealed that makes them look like incompetent crooks," Gizem Saygun, who lost her mother and two cousins in the fire, said. "What other cause could there be for no explanation, six months later?"
Georgios Rizoulis, a resident of Nicosia who lived through the 1974 invasion and partition of the island, similarly believes that there is more to the disaster than meets the eye. But in his mind, it is a nefarious attempt by the Turkish Cypriots to gain the world's sympathy ahead of a new invasion. "Who is to say what the Turks will do?" he says, when challenged. "I have always said they are just waiting to finish what they started [in 1974]. Maybe they think this is the time to do it."
Happy Thanksgiving from the UK.
And it gives me the excuse to post this video
"Hi, I'm Salvatore Parker. You may remember me from such posts as 'Lauren Parker-Seaborn's backstory' and 'Here Comes California's Governors'"
Phil Hartman as Salvatore Parker (new casting)
Friday November 29th 2019
Lamont wins Hackney South & Shoreditch by-election for Socialist Alliance
Labour hold Darlington and Manchester Central
As expected for Labour Chancellor Daniel Lamont won back his old seat of Hackney South and Shoreditch for the Socialist Alliance.
Lamont beat the Labour Candidate Gary Mills with 46.5% of the vote to Mills 29.7%, a majority of 10,140 votes, a swing of 31.25 against Labour.
In the other two by-elections, Dominic Simon held onto Darlington, the seat of former Labour leader Andrea Benn by 3,275 votes, a majority vastly reduced from the 12,000 plus majority achieved by Benn at the General Election less than 15 months ago. The National Peoples Party Phil Heggarty beat the Conservatives into second place by around 500 votes, although both parties saw an increase in their % share of the vote. In Manchester Central Kate Wells, the former Shadow Chancellor who dramtically lost her marginal seat of Watford at the General Election returns to the House of Commons with a slight increase of her % of the vote and overall majority which was 28,145.
Full results below
(Thanks to @lord caedus for the Wiki Boxes)
Saturday, November 30th 2019
Pope Clement calls nuclear weapons "immoral" and calls for nuclear disarmament during visit to Hiroshima
Hiroshima — Pope Clement XV, in his first visit to Japan, called nuclear weapons and the maintenance of nuclear arsenals "immoral" and called on the nations of the world to destroy their nuclear stockpiles. Speaking in the city of Hiroshima, the Pope paid his respects at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park that honors the estimated 90,000-140,000 people that were estimated to have been killed when the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city on August 6, 1945 during the final days of World War II. Three days later, another atomic bomb would be dropped on the city of Nagasaki, killing an estimated 39,000-80,000 people.
After meeting with a few very elderly hibakusha (persons affected by the atomic bombings), Clement decried the possession of nuclear weapons by nations around the world, urging the destruction of these "dangerous and immoral weapons" whose creation and stockpiling "wastes vital resources that could be used to facilitate peace and alleviate suffering."
Prime Minister Ayeka Jūchirō thanked the pope for his visit to Hiroshima and "meeting with those who suffered as a result of the bombings", but stopped short of endorsing his push for nuclear disarmament. Despite Japan's history as the only nation to have ever been victimized by a nuclear bombing, the nation has been under the United States' "nuclear umbrella" since the beginning of the Cold War, which many in her Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) see as an invaluable deterrent against both China and North Korea.
The pope's call for the "peaceful use of the atom" instead of the "wasteful and immoral turning of [atomic energy] towards destruction" attracted criticism from anti-nuclear energy activists, who cite the 1986 Chernobyl disaster and the 2006 San Andreo near-meltdown as evidence to nuclear power's inherent danger.
Saturday, November 30th 2019
Straus keeps possibility of 2022 bid open
Former Senator Haydn Straus said he was "open" to running for president in 2022 in an interview with Jacobin. Speaking to the democratic socialist magazine, Straus, who campaigned on the Green Party ticket last year and took six percent of the vote, said he was "open" to running in three years' time if President Sam Seaborn starts to "backslide on his progressive pledges."
"He's pledged to do some things I campaigned on," Straus said. "Gun control, fighting climate change, invest in infrastructure and fix our nation's tax structure away from hurting the working poor and towards making the rich pay their fair share. If he keeps to it—or keeps trying, anyways—I'll weigh my options when it comes time. But if he starts backsliding, I won't hesitate to run again."
Straus' performance, the best for a third-party candidate since Jim Buckner's independent run in 1998, is cited as a key factor in the closeness of the 2018 contest, where President Seaborn very narrowly defeated former Secretary Henry Shallick in both the popular and electoral vote. The 71 year-old, who represented Ohio as a Democrat in the Senate from 2011 until 2017, has maintained a strong following among left-wingers, especially younger progressives who soured on the President after his selection of billionaire Franklin Hollis as his running mate in 2018.
If he were to run again, Straus would most likely run as a Green candidate. Last year's campaign performed well enough to grant the party automatic ballot access for the 2022 election in a majority of states, making it very likely that the Green ticket will again be on the ballot in all 50 states and the District of Columbia by the time Straus would potentially launch another presidential campaign.
Saturday, November 30th 2019
Senate Republicans backtrack on infrastructure spending
Faced with another punishing winter ahead, Senate Republicans have returned to the bargaining table on infrastructure spending for the next fiscal year. After keeping infrastructure spending largely to the same levels as the 2017-2018 budget (the final one passed under President Glen Allen Walken), Senate Majority Leader Cody Riley (R-AL) signaled that the party would be open to an increase in infrastructure spending.
Appearing on the morning show Fox and Friends, Riley said that his caucus was open to an increase in federal highway spending and bloc grants to states for infrastructure, but that other proposals would be "difficult to pass". "The fact of the matter is that these severe weather events are hurting our roads and bridges harder than we had been told," Riley said in an interview with Fox hosts. "So we need to start investing in our roads, but it should be up to the people who are using those roads to say how they spend that money, not Washington."
The Senate approved funding to increase infrastructure spending to $27 billion per year last summer, a far cry from the $200 billion asked for by the White House and congressional Democrats. Senator John Huntingdon (D-RI), ranking member on the Senate Commerce, Science and Technology Committee, had criticized the "miserly" increase in infrastructure spending at the time and had predicted that the Senate would again revisit infrastructure spending increases before the year's end. He is cautiously optimistic about the majority party's change of heart.
"This is a positive step for the majority leader to take," Huntingdon said as he was greeting constituents in Providence. "I'm not thrilled that he's already putting conditions on what we can negotiate [spending] increases on, but we have to start somewhere."
Updated Current make-up of the House of Commons
Labour 255 (-2) (By-election defeat in Hackney South & Shoreditch on 28/11/19 & the election of Labour MP for Bootle Jack Smith as Speaker of the HOC on 18/11/11)
Liberal Democrat 14
National Peoples 13
Socialist Alliance 1 (+1)
Vacant seat 1 (Former Speaker Anthony Walker's Seat of Esher & Walton. By-election due on 16/01/2020)
Conservative Majority: 22 seats
Working Conservative Majority: 29 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 three by-elections held on 28/11/19)
Wednesday, December 4th 2019
Seaborn kicks off first G8 summit by announcing withdrawal of 1,500 US troops from Qumar
Biarritz, France — President Sam Seaborn started his first G8 summit as leader of the United States by revealing that 1,500 American troops would be withdrawn from Qumar by the end of the month. Seaborn, speaking ahead of the meeting with French President Giselle Trenier, the event's host, said that 1,100 would be returning stateside, with the remainder being redeployed to American bases in Germany and South Korea.
"I am pleased that the military situation in Qumar has allowed for over a thousand men and women who have served faithfully in Qumar to return home during this holiday season," Seaborn said. The president cautioned that the Qumari military is not yet capable of maintaining order in the entire country and that the American soldiers who will withdraw largely were based in towns or cities whose security duties have been taken over by Qumari forces performing "exemplary" according to Department of Defense observers.
Roughly 55,000 American soldiers remain in Qumar, with nearly 5,000 from the United Kingdom and nearly 1,000 more non-combat troops from other nations. This is roughly one-quarter of the total number of foreign soldiers that were in Qumar at this point last year; the withdrawal of the People's Republic of China and Iran from Qumar and the neutralization of many Bahji hideouts in northern Qumar thanks to total American air dominance has seen the need for massive amounts of soldiers largely disappear.
The Iran-Qumar peace framework, climate change and global trade are all topics that the leaders of the G8 have promised to discuss in their meetings over the next three days. This will be the last meeting attended by Japanese Prime Minister Ayeka Jūchirō, whose final term as leader of her Liberal Democratic Party expires next October. Jūchirō has attended every G8 meeting since 2013 and served as host of the 2016 summit held in Shima, Japan.
Salvadore Parker's infobox got me thinking that there are still some First Ladies (including a de facto one) that didn't have an infobox done. That's now fixed.
Cast (all previously established)
Tippy Hedren as Allison Bush
Lauren Bacall as Cissy Newman
Diana Douglas as Libby Lassiter
Wendy Crewson as Mary Walken
I killed off both Libby Lassiter and Allison Bush, so most of these are just rehashes of their obituary articles. Most of the Cissy Newman & Mary Walken ones similarly don't have a ton of new information added besides things like exact dates of birth, middle names, etc..
Cissy Newman joins the group of "WW characters who are still alive, but their actors are dead" club. Too bad we didn't cast Tippi Hedren as Newman and Bacall as Allison Bush back when the casting choices were made (and Bacall was still alive). Oh well.
Allison Bush's status as a First Lady was that of a de facto one since Nancy Reagan retained the title during her husband's incapacity. Similarly, Mary Walken wasn't styled as First Lady during her husband's brief acting presidency, although that one was due to both the sympathies of the nation as the Bartlets dealt with Zoe's kidnapping and the very short time frame between Bartlet's handover and Zoe's rescue.
Cissy Newman was established as being raised in Kennebunkport, Maine, but I put her birthplace as Newton, MA as a nod to Jane Morgan, a Kennebunkport native who is around the same age.
Her status as a college dropout is similar to that of Rosalynn Carter, who dropped out of college to help her family. ITTL, she's the most recent First Lady without a post-secondary degree (IOTL, it's the incumbent First Lady)--I didn't explicitly point it out in her box, but Helen Santos similarly graduated with a college degree from UC-Irvine.
Jerry Brown was unmarried when he was governor of California (he married before his second term IOTL, but this was his only term ITTL), so there was no First Lady of California between Nancy Reagan & Libby Lassiter.
While we're on the subject of education, I figured that Glen Allen Walken would have wanted Mary to remain in school when he was returning home from Vietnam and taking over his family's business, so she graduated with a four-year degree while he had to make due with an associate's. This makes her the first and only First Lady (in both OTL & TTL) that had a higher degree of education than her husband.
Just a sign of how much 2018 saw a generational change at the White House: the age difference between the outgoing First Lady (Mary Walken) and the incoming one (Lauren Parker-Seaborn) was 27 years. The most recent time in either TL that's topped that mark? When Mamie Eisenhower (aged 64) handed the social duties over to Jackie Kennedy (aged 31).
OOC: I just realized that we needed a new Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff now that Hegland's third term would have expired, so here is an idea that was floated last year around this time that I've decided to steal adopt:
Photo by Catherine Dent
Claire Grace Eckhart (born April 14, 1963) is a United States Air Force general and the 18th Chairwoman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. She is the first female member of the Joint Chiefs and the most senior female military officer in American history. Previously, she served as the 21st Chief of Staff of the Air Force. Eckhart succeeded Raymond M. Hegland in the role of Chairman of the Joint Chiefs on October 1, 2019, following confirmation by the United States Senate.
Born in Raleigh, North Carolina to Fred and Mary Hale, the future general grew up enraptured by her businessman father's stories of his service in the Air Force during the Korean War. After graduating from the University of Connecticut with a bachelor of science in mechanical engineering in 1985, she was accepted into the Air Force's Reserve Officer Training Corps program. She was commissioned as an officer in 1987 after qualifying as a pilot. She met her husband, fellow Air Force lieutenant Mark Eckhart shortly after being commissioned, and the two married in 1990.
When the Air Force's restrictions on women flying combat missions was lifted in 1993, Eckhart was one of the first women to qualify as a fighter pilot. Then she made history as the first woman to fly a combat mission, undertaking several missions in her F-16 during the Kosovo War in 1994 and 1995 before she became pregnant with her daughter. After giving birth and returning to duty, Eckhart flew several more combat flights during the Invasion of the Philippines before being assigned to serve as commander of 366th Operations Group in 2000. She moved up the ladder of command, taking over the 52nd Fighter Wing in 2004 and the 49th Fighter Wing in 2006.
Eckhart was appointed head of the Air Force Central Command (CENTCOM) in 2012 after her predecessor resigned following the Jerusalem Attacks, a role she served in for two years. In 2016, she was appointed Vice Chief of Staff of the Air Force, and was promoted to Chief of Staff of the Air Force in 2018 under President Glen Allen Walken. One year later, she was nominated by President Sam Seaborn on the advice of Secretary of Defense Jack Shannon (himself a former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs and Air Force general) to replace Hegland as head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Her term as Chairwoman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff expires in 2021. Owing to changes instituted in the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), any chairs or vice-chairs appointed thereafter will be limited to a single four-year term. Both she and current Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Matt Stoutt (USAA) are eligible for reappointment to a four-year term ending in 2025.
Eckhart's husband Mark is a former Air Force officer, having received a medical discharge after suffering severe nerve damage in his left foot following a car accident in 1996. Her daughter Chloe is a Second Lieutenant in the Air Force stationed at Malmstrom Air Force Base in Montana.
But if she was appointed to Chairman in 2019 shouldn't her term expire in 2023? With a second term going up to 2027?
I assume the NDAA is to bring this universe in line with the fact that in our TL Chairman of the Joint Chiefs can only serve one term? (Is it clarified anywhere why this doesn't seem to be true in WW?)
The new term length doesn't take effect until the incumbents' (Eckhart & Stoutt) current terms expire, in this case, 2021. They are also grandfathered in so that any previous two-year term does not count against the one-term limit, making them eligible for reappointment to a four-year term.
Yes, this is to bring TTL into line with OTL. The previous law in both OTL & TTL actually allowed for the Chairman to serve three two-year terms (if he hadn't served as Vice Chairman for a term; in that case, he was limited to two terms as Chairman), but OTL tradition kept all but one CJCS (Earle Wheeler, who was Chairman at the height of the Vietnam War) topping out at two terms. ITTL, with three of the last four (Fitzwallace, Shannon, Hegland) chairmen all being in office for an unusual third term, there's more impetus to rein in what some in Congress and the defense community view as the executive branch essentially using the possibility of a third term to keep their chief military adviser around if they like them and to not offer it if that adviser displeases them. This view was helped in no small part by the fact that the only one of the four most recent CJCS who wasn't reappointed to a third term was Nicholas Alexander, who had a brief independent presidential bid in 2010 where he criticized both parties, while Fitzwallace was (fatefully) used as an envoy to the Middle East by Bartlet and Shannon became Secretary of Defense to Sam Seaborn after serving as JCJS for most of his former boss' (Santos) administration.
Separate names with a comma.