2018 Presidential Election

OOC: I was looking around on the old thread and I was surprised to see that a couple crew members on the original starship Enterprise had been cast via pictures but not text (which made it impossible to find them via search). So I decided to change that, and also add one new character for one of the original crew actors who has sadly passed away:

Walter Koenig as Kevin Harris
Nichelle Nichols as Martha Vickers
George Takei as Max Imanaga
James Doohan as Siân Morgan (new character)

  • Harris was established as being the cousin of GOP senator Kent Harris. His announcement that he was resigning due to health issues (Parkinson's disease) kicked off the leadership challenge that deposed Mark Sellner in favor of Carol Gelsey. Harris was listed as being a former lieutenant governor, but since Wyoming is one of the few states that doesn't have that position, I've retconned that to the position of Secretary of State (the next in line to become governor in both IRL & OTL)

    I admit I chose his birthplace as a deliberate nod to Koenig's role as Chekov. His death date the same as Anton Yelchin's untimely IRL death.

  • I had brought Vickers back in the new thread before, so this was an easy one to do. She's the only (named) delegate to Congress so far, given that I haven't really been motivated to round out the list for people that can't actually vote on legislation.

    Her son's name being wikilinked is a reference to Nichols' RL son being a small-time actor and radio host. Something that isn't stated in the infobox is that he's on the DC Council, largely on the basis of his surname.

  • Takei was obliquely cast as Imanaga, who I based pretty obviously on Daniel Inouye. The age difference between Inouye and Takei (13 years) meant that I had to make Imanaga a Korean veteran instead of being a World War II one. The fact that Takei still has all of his right arm meant that Imanaga wasn't as grievously wounded as Inouye was IRL, but he still emerges as a war hero.

    Since Takei/Imanaga would have been pretty young (56/64) for a senator to not seek reelection, my idea is that he was implicated in something similar to the Keating Five scandal and opted to retire rather than face a tough primary fight. Imanaga having never married is a subtle indicator that he may have shared some of his actor's traits in who they're attracted to...or it could just be that he never found the right person for him. It happens even to politically powerful war heroes.

    Milton was established as being the Senate Democratic leader at least from 1987 to 1991. My headcanon is that he took over from Byrd in 1985, so he was the Democratic leader (Senate Minority Leader) when Reagan had his stroke ITTL.

  • Morgan is, as listed, a new creation completely inspired by Welshy (who was created when Doohan decided not to appear on the Futurama episode in question alongside the rest of the Enterprise crew). My story for him is as follows:

    Morgan was born in Scotland (a nod to Scotty) to Welsh-speaking parents who moved the family back to Wales when the Great Depression hit. He grew up there and when he turned 18, joined the British Army to fight Hitler. Despite not being a college graduate, Morgan was commissioned as an officer in the South Wales Borderers. He led his troop on the D-Day landings (as Doohan did IRL) and was wounded in the Normandy campaign, losing the right finger on his left hand to a German bullet (IRL Doohan was shot by a nervous Canadian sentry later on D-Day and lost his finger as a result of that). He stayed in the service to help the demobilization effort and left as a captain. His experiences in the war reignited his pride in his Welsh heritage and he returned hoping to serve his homeland. He fell in with groups looking to strengthen and preserve the Welsh language (a nod to Doohan's contribution to the Klingon and Vulcan languages in the Star Trek movies) and changed his name by deed poll to Siân after he formally joined Plaid Cymru.

    He was elected to Parliament in the February 1974 elections to the seat of Caernarfon, and when longtime Plaid leader Gwynfor Evans retired in 1981, he was elected to succeed him. Morgan continued Plaid's push for protections and resources for the Welsh language and badgered Prime Ministers Thatcher and Reed to create a Welsh Assembly; Reed eventually put Welsh officially on par with English in Wales in 1993, and devolution for Wales would have to wait until 1997. Morgan retired from the party leadership at the party's 1994 conference, in part due to health issues exacerbated by his war injuries. He refused the offer of a life peerage and died in 2005 at the age of 83.

  • For those keeping track at home, that means for a brief moment in time, the UK had Scotty (Morgan), the Fifth Doctor (Reed) and three James Bonds (Ricky Meyer, Jack MacDonald, Brendan McGann) leading their political parties (PC, Conservatives, Labour, SNP & Sinn Féin respectively).
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Leonard "Doc" Jackson
Born: Atlanta, Georgia, 1920
Died: Decatur, Georgia, 1999
Served: U.S. Army Air Force, 1943-1946
Education: Emory University School of Medicine, 1946-1950

Party: Democratic
Representative for DeKalb County, 1956-1970, Junior Senator, 1970-1978, Senior Senator, 1978-1989
Years in office: 1956-1989

Known for his genial humor, Jackson entered local politics after gaining his medical degree, winning his first election in 1956 while continuing to practice medicine. He served as part of Georgia's Democratic delegation to the 1960 and 1964 Democratic conventions. Health care was his main concern. He retired from political life in 1990 due to declining health.

Often describing himself as "an old country doctor," Jackson became known for saying "I'm a doctor, not a..." when asked policy questions not related to health issues.
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I used Toho actors in Japan as it is a big studio of Japan. Plenty of good choices for possible people. I left Who and Star Trek actors to others.

Francis Elliott, Tamsin Whittier-Hall
December 19, 2019, 01:00 AM

Times 2: Hannah Martin adjusts to life as American stay-at-home mum

Former MP Hannah Martin in October (photo by Keeley Hawes)
Former MP Hannah Martin has moved on from being Shadow Home Secretary to stay-at-home mum to her three children. Martin, who resigned from her seat in Parliament in September, has relocated to Chicago with her eleven-month-old son Tyler, moving in with her husband, Speaker of the United States House of Representatives Daniel Maddox. It's a bit of an adjustment for her, moving from the top political circles in London to long days indoors hiding from Chicago's brutal cold.

"If I had known how bloody freezing it is (-3° when we meet) here, I would have made him move to London," she says, half-sarcastically as we have tea in her Chicago flat. When she ran for Labour leader in 2014, issues over her marriage to Maddox led her to decide not to seek American citizenship. In fact, she hadn't sought status as a permanent resident in the United States until after the 2018 general election because she knew that would be used as an attack by political opponents. She has since gained permanent residency and is working on securing permanent resident status for her two children from a previous marriage before the next school year starts in September. The two are living with their father, a solicitor in Manchester, until then.

"It's hard being away from them," Martin says, "We chat every day on FaceTime, but it's still difficult as a parent not to be there."

Maddox is frequently in Washington, and after an exhausting move across the Atlantic with an infant "whose ears popped when we left Heathrow, then again when we landed in New York", Martin isn't planning on flying anywhere for "a few more months at least." With that in mind, she's been taking some much-needed down time when her husband is away, mostly exploring Chicago and acclimating to life in the States. "Besides the obvious things—weather, accents, food—there's really always an election going on here," she says. "The politician in me says it's marvellous, but at the same time, it's a bit mad."

She still keeps tabs on politics back in the United Kingdom (she's supportive of Labour leader Jack Coll and says she's "morbidly curious" who will replace Richard Samuels as leader of the Conservatives before the next election), but says her own political career is "almost certainly" over. She's not eligible for American citizenship until 2024, anyways, and has no plans to move back to Britain. Martin says she's had employment offers from several American companies, but says she'd like to either pursue non-profit work or help the Democrats keep their majority in the House of Representatives in next year's elections.
OOC: With the year (and decade) coming to an end, here's a couple infoboxes of a few things from the first 11 months of the Seaborn administration:

  • The base for the Seaborn inauguration photo is Frank Underwood's inauguration from the American House of Cards.

    This will be important when Lauren Parker-Seaborn becomes Sam's running mate and then successor in The West Wing Season 24. :p

  • McKellar & Soleimani are new creations and military commanders.

And an election box for the VP contingent election that Jack Hunter won:


Friday December 20th 2019

Esher & Walton by-election confirmed for January 16th

The Esher & Walton by-election will be held on Thursday January 16th. The election is required after the death of former House of Commons Speaker Anthony Walker. There has not been a contested election in the seat involving the Conservative, Labour and Liberal Democrats since the 2007 General Election.

The local Conservative Association has confirmed that the former Business Secretary Martin Greenwell, who lost his seat in Great Yarmouth at the General election last year by just five votes has been adopted as the Conservative Party candidate. Greenwell had been regarded as a rising star in the party and a probable leadership contender before his defeat.
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Very weird that the "real world election" on December 12th turned into an election very close to the 2013 Election I did on the original thread. It also has similarities to the fictional 2011 election as well.
  1. Election held only 2 and half years since the previous election.
  2. Election held in winter (November in 2013, December in 2019).
  3. Tories started out ahead, Labour did better than expected, increased in the polls, polls predicting hung parliament or narrow Tory win, before improved debate performance for the incumbent Conservative PM and then a late surge in the polls to give him a landslide win.
  4. Labour got 200 seats in 2013, they got 202 seats in 2019.
The Conservative seat total was very close to the 2011 election and the same majority of 80 seats.
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Very weird that the "real world election" on December 12th turned into an election very close to the 2013 Election I did on the original thread. It also has similarities to the fictional 2011 election as well.
  1. Election held only 2 and half years since the previous election.
  2. Election held in winter (November in 2013, December in 2019).
  3. Tories started out ahead, Labour did better than expected, increased in the polls, polls predicting hung parliament or narrow Tory win, before improved debate performance for the incumbent Conservative PM and then a late surge in the polls to give him a landslide win.
  4. Labour got 200 seats in 2013, they got 202 seats in 2019.
The Conservative seat total was very close to the 2011 election and the same majority of 80 seats.
Not sure how you did it. Time traveler...;)

But Merry Christmas.

Wednesday, December 25th 2019

Whirlwind Christmas for President Seaborn

It was a Christmas to remember at the White House for President Sam Seaborn's first holiday season as commander-in-chief. The president set an ambitious schedule, arriving in Qumar to celebrate Christmas briefly with American soldiers stationed there before flying back to Washington to spend the holidays with the First Lady and her family.

The president enjoyed a brief Christmas breakfast with American soldiers stationed in the Qumari capital of Jabal Nafusah, continuing the tradition set by Presidents Santos and Walken of spending either Thanksgiving or Christmas with American soldiers deployed overseas. Santos visited soldiers stationed in Kazakhstan every year as president, while Walken visited soldiers in Qumar during his final three years in office.

The president reportedly traveled light on staff as a result of his standing directive to White House personnel to spend time with their families, resulting in an exhausted Seaborn drifting off to sleep mid-interview during an interview with NBS. Deputy White House Chief of Staff Kevin De Vost, running the White House while Chief of Staff Will Bailey is on a presidentially-ordered vacation, apologized citing the president's "extremely packed schedule" and rescheduled the interview.

A reinvigorated President Seaborn came down the ramp at Andrews Air Force base and returned to the White House in time to join First Lady Lauren Parker-Seaborn and her family for a traditional Christmas celebration.

Wednesday, January 1st 2020

Major new laws take effect today

With the New Year having begun, a slew of new laws passed last year now go into effect. Some major changes will happen around the country, including a nationwide raising of the age to buy tobacco, as well as many statewide changes, including minimum wage hikes, data privacy laws, gun purchase laws and more.

Some of the many changes now in effect across the country:

Tobacco purchase age raised to 21 nationally

Many states and municipalities had already raised the age to purchase tobacco from 18 to 21 as part of a push to curb use among teens and young adults. As of today, that is now the law nationwide after a bipartisan bill amending the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act was signed by President Sam Seaborn shortly before Congress adjourned for the holidays. The ban applies to all tobacco products, including cigarettes, cigars, chewing tobacco and e-cigarettes.

Same-sex marriage legalized in Tennessee

Same-sex couples in Tennessee are now able to apply for marriage licenses. The Volunteer State ended its defense of its ban on same-sex marriage after the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 2019, and a federal District Court ruling subsequently found in favor of the plaintiffs who challenged the state's ban. Only ten states continue to define marriage solely as between a man and a woman. The Supreme Court is likely to address the issue during the remainder of its current term.

New York ends cash bail for most offenses

New York State judges will no longer set money (or cash) bail for misdemeanors and most non-violent felonies. The move comes as criminal justice reform advocates say that the laws have kept poorer people in jail awaiting trial just because they could not afford bail, while wealthier people charged with the same offenses could stay free until their day in court. The ruling also frees most of those currently in custody who could not pay their cash bail under offenses where money bail will no longer be offered.

In lieu of cash bail, other forms of supervision, such as mandatory check-ins or calls, will be used to ensure that defendants appear in court. Cash bail will still be used for those accused of violent felonies.

The move is part of a trend among many states to reform their bail systems, with New Jersey and Illinois in recent years having reformed their bail systems. California voters will vote on a bill during this year's midterm elections on whether to eliminate cash bail for most non-violent offenses.

"Red flag" laws go into effect in California, Nevada, Hawaii

Three Western states will now allow family members, law enforcement and others to petition a court to temporarily block a person from accessing firearms if a judge determines the person is a threat to themselves or others. These laws, called "red flag" laws, mirror those adopted in a dozen other states, such as Florida, Illinois and Massachusetts that similarly allow for a temporary confiscation of firearms from a person a court deems to be a credible threat to themselves or others.

The laws are part of a nationwide effort to reduce gun violence and prevent mass shootings.

California changes laws on data privacy, gig economy work, police use of force

A spate of dramatic new laws take effect today in California, ranging from laws on data privacy to "gig economy" work to the use of force by police.

Signed by Governor Abbie Heilemann, California's new laws on data privacy are among the strongest in the nation. The laws will allow consumers to ask companies what data has been collected on them, ask them to delete it, or forbid selling it to third-parties. The law also applies to companies doing business in California that collect their user's data, such as Facebook, Amazon, Google, Apple and others.

The Golden State's new labor law could upend the "gig economy" there: it requires some companies to reclassify "independent contractors" as employees, which provides them with added benefits and protections. Companies such as Uber have already filed suit with the state over the new law. The app-based rideshare program employs thousands of drivers as independent contractors and providing them with benefits enjoyed by employees―such as a minimum wage, and disability or heath insurance―would cut deeply into the business' revenue.

Finally, California lawmakers made an attempt to reduce the number of fatal police shootings by raising the standard for when law enforcement is allowed to use deadly force. New language allows law enforcement in California to use deadly force "only when necessary", a change from the previous standard of "whenever reasonable".

Minimum wage goes up in 21 states

The statewide minimum wage in 21 states and an additional 26 cities and counties has increased as of today. It is the largest number of jurisdictions to raise their minimum wage at one point in American history. In 15 cities and counties, the minimum wage will increase to $15 per hour, while 7 states and 17 counties and cities will have their wages increased due to a rise in either the cost of living or inflation.

The federal minimum wage has not increased since 2009, with states and municipalities having to make increases in the meantime. The Democrat-controlled House of Representatives passed a bill that would gradually increase the minimum wage over the next five years, but the bill has not been taken up by the Republican-led Senate.