2018 Presidential Election

It actually makes it harder, SJH is near but it’s on the wrong side of the border. A former American President going there would be akin to Carter going to East Berlin
That's a good point. What if Lassiter asked the Guantanamo Bay Navel Base to acquire the sand for him and they got it through various back channels within Cuba?
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Thursday September 24th 2020

Wyoming Gubernatorial debate will take place without independent candidate Tomaricho

The first debate in the Wyoming gubernatorial election will take place tonight in Cheyenne between the Republican incumbent Governor Simon Watts and his Democratic challenger Kate Powell, the State Senate Minority Leader. The focus though is the candidate who has not been invited to take part in the debate hosted by KGWN-TV and the Wyoming Tribune Eagle newspaper, former Democratic Mayor of Cheyenne and now outspoken internet Talk show host, John Tomaricho who is running as an independent Populist candidate.

It was agreed that only candidates who have been polling above 10% in the polls would be invited to take part, Tomaricho has been on the edge of that figure, polling on average between 9 & 12% in the polls, he had been expected to be invited to take part, but a statement put yesterday by the debate organisers said Tomaricho "had not reached the threshold to take part". An angry Tomaricho speaking on his internet radio show last night called the decision "a total stitch up by the corrupt old party's" adding "they don't like my message, both the Republicans and Democrats are part of a conspiracy to stop the views of ordinary Wyoming citizens from being heard, I am gaining ground against both of the establishment candidates". adding "I did think about turning up at the debate, but what's the point, but I will be on here fact-checking these two corrupt candidates".

A spokesman for Governor Watts said "The debate hosts made the decision who was invited to the debate not us nor the Powell campaign" adding "it's no conspiracy, that's the problem with Mayor Tomaricho, all he wants to talk about are his conspiracy theories, Governor Watts and State Senator Powell, want to talk about the future of our state".
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That's a good point. What if Lassiter asked the Guantanamo Bay Navel Base to acquire the sand for him and they got it through various back channels within Cuba?
The implication is that he filled the jars himself while visiting old battlefields. But Cuba isn't mentioned verbally, rather "Korea, the Philippines, Vietnam, and Europe," as well as dirt jars from the Civil War (so Pennsylvania, Virginia, states like that). I'm sure it was South Korea, because North would be an insane non-starter.

He might have used back channels (for someone like him, a phone call would suffice, and San Juan Hill could be visited by any "European tourist" on the CIA's payroll), he might even have written privately to statesmen of places he was not allowed to visit diplomatically (Cuba, North Korea).

It might be doable for Lassiter to visit Cuba, maybe very early in the Bartlet administration, but it doesn't jibe well with the Cuba mentions in the show and, unlike Carter's substantial 1994 trip to North Korea, would have to be just a strange touristy visit.

I'm interested in how well-received his trip to the Philippines was. The episode was intended to reference the Philippine-American War of 1899 to 1902, but we know from this thread and other episodes that Lassiter himself caused American blood to spill in the Philippines. The trips to Korea and the Philippines were probably very personal to him.

Monday September 26th 2020
Reprinted from Orange County Register
Grand Opening of the "Mud from America's Boots" Exhibit scheduled.

After an exhaustive two year renovation the Owen Lassiter Presidential Library is opening the exhibit that occupied a great deal of Owen Lassiter's post presidency, collecting soil from any battlefield where American soldiers lost their lives or spilled blood. The exhibit will be open 7 days a week, and has accompanied a surge in donations to the Presidential library, which was facing issues after the expensive remodel to build a hangar for the former Air Force One that served both President Lassiter and Bartlet. The exhibit called 'Mud from America's Boots' has existed in various forms at the museum before but never before has the collection been fully of display. Although some people might not see the appeal of jars of dirt sitting on shelves, the exhibit has been praised by Veterans Groups, for the infographics that explain America's reason for getting involved in the conflict usually with extracts taken from Lassiter's own journal about asking for the dirt.

The genesis for Lassiter's passion project originated from the trip with President Bartlet to Manila in the opening days of the Bartlet Administration. President Lassiter was happy to go and visit with American troops securing Phillipines before the new elections, and while President Bartlet was visiting Manila, and meeting with the daughter of former Phillipine president Joseph Barrica, President Lassiter visited America's military base where he greeted troops coming straight off a deployment from a helicopter, there talking with the troops, he spotted one off duty soldier taking of his boots caked with mud. This is how the exhibit first got started, and over the course of the trip he had the first 12 jars of mud. Bataan, Luzon, Corregidor and others were soon sent in a nondescript Fedex package back to Costa Mesa. Numerous photos and media outlets led with cover photos of President Lassiter visiting the troops, and not then President Bartlet meeting with Filipino Leaders in Manila. For one brief moment the difference between the two presidencies were palpable. In fact some photos of the trip are erroneously used as pictures of President Lassiter in the Philippines even if he never visited the country during the Philippines conflict, and only visited the country once before on a state visit in 1994.

The European soil samples were mostly acquired during a post presidential trip ostensibly at the invitation of the European Union, and taken alongside Secretary Berryhill's European tour in 2001. Unlike the Phillipines trip this one was much lower profile, and mostly had Lassiter visit American battlefields and WW2 memorials. In South Korea, former president Lassiter notably visited as a private citizen, and notably there are empty jars in the Korean War shelves for battles that have been unable to be acquired due to relations with North Korea.

Owen Lassiter's trip to various Latin American countries was ostensibly labelled as Bartlet's apology tour in conservative media outlets but despite rumors Lassiter himself was the greatest advocate for the trip, and he called the trips humbling. Other notable samples such as San Juan Hill, Iraq and others were acquired by tourists or staff in the employ of Lassiter. Most notably the Civil War Battle dirt, did cause some outrage in the American south following interviews on local network affiliates where Lassiter made a point of saying he took soil samples from the Union side of the battlefield, and once the footage was found again in 2007 it was used multiple times on youtube edited by liberal political activists that even the proud conservative Lassiter didn't defend confederate lost causers. It should be noted however that numerous American military facilities were renamed following renovations and the flag code were updated in 1996 which forbid the display of flags on military bases except for US Military flags, US Departmental Flags, and the State Flag, although it hasn't stopped online "journalists" from scouring photo archives to find photos or quotes from Lassiter about the Confederate Flag, of which there are few (the most notable is a wide shot of President Lassiter walking the infield before the start of the Daytona 500 and a confederate flag is hanging on an RV. A later shot of the infield was taken during the race after Lassiter had left with the flag removed).

Richard Lassiter and his family are due to open and cut the ribbon to the exhibit at a gala event planned for Monday night, with donations going to the Library's operations and an associated PAC.

- The Phillipines trip was seen as a disaster by Bartlet. Instead of showing a strong political win in the Phillipines, it was the genesis of Bartlet's poor relationship with the military in it's early days as the planning for the trip had Jed rarely leave Manila. Lassiter visited the troops and made officers appreciate Lassiter's presence and felt snubbed by Bartlet. Planning of the trip was done by Josh. This combined with the Mary Marsh debacle is what nearly prompted Bartlet to fire Josh. A bad trip to Manila and Mary Marsh, he was ready. So the "trip" probably happened a month or so before the events of the pilot

- Lassiter was willing to take on the role of unofficial ambassador mostly to GET the soil samples, but he wasn't too useful in this role as after the Berryhill trip Lassiter was seen as too erratic. The Latin America trips (following a bad incident in Mexico) prompted Lassiter to have volunteers help

- Lassiter I'm trying to imply was actually quite irritated by the Confederate Flag, but realized it was politically contentious to go against it. Might be that there is some family history or something else that sparked his dislike. I could see Lassiter wanting to just rename a bunch of bases at some point or snubbing the governor of Mississippi or some other confederate flag state and his chief of staff talking him out of it. For him it was his bug bear issue, like how Bartlet could never lose New Hampshire, or Santos on abortion. For Lassiter it was the confederate flag and he couldn't do much about it besides what he did.

...That or he was a history nerd and just went "That's not the Confederate flag, if they want the confederate flag tell them to fly the actual stars and bars, or that confusing white flag with the red vertical stripe, cause unless you are on a confederate naval ship that flag has no business flying."
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Sunday, September 27th 2020

Street clashes ahead of crowded first round of Kazakh elections

— Authorities in Kazakhstan have reported a fourth consecutive day of political street fights in at least one major city as the country gears up for its most contentious election in a decade. The Ministry of Internal Affairs reported that dozens of people were injured and nearly 50 were arrested in Almaty, the nation's largest city, after a clash between supporters of Vladimir Zhirov, an independent candidate for president who has openly called for the nation to strengthen its ties to Russia, and those of the Nurly Zhol ("Bright Path") party of Kazakh nationalists. Minister of Internal Affairs Kalmukhambet Mukhamedzhanov said that the country was seeing a rise in "hooliganism" and warned of "outside agitation" that was exacerbating underlying tensions within the nation.

Mukhamedzhanov's boss, Prime Minister Tomar Sarsenbaev, is the candidate of the National Social Democratic Party (NSDP), who is seeking to replace term-limited president Erik Tuleev, founder of Nurly Zhol. Tuleev, for his part, echoed Mukhamedzhanov's statements, but was more pointed in blaming Russia for "stirring up trouble."

"They do not want another Tuleev," the president said. "Someone who will refuse to back down when our national interests are at stake...They are looking to undermine our elections so that they can put someone they can control in charge."

While Western intelligence agencies have evidence that misinformation campaigns originating from Russia have been attempting to influence Kazakh voters, they have thus far shied away from blaming state agencies for the meddling.

"There are millions of Russians who at one point resided in Kazakhstan [when both countries were part of the Soviet Union], or who have family who reside there," CIA Director Sharon Tabor told Congress, when asked on the subject. "While the misinformation campaigns are extensive, we cannot directly rule out non-state actors [in Russia] attempting to influence Kazakh elections for unknown ends."

Kazakh voters will go to the polls on Saturday, October 10th to elect the country's second democratically-elected president. In the likely event that no candidate receives a majority of votes cast, a second round between the top-two candidates will be held two weeks later on October 24th. Nearly a dozen candidates are running to succeed Tuleev, but observers say only four have a realistic shot at winning: Sarsenbaev, Nurly Zhol candidate Marat Kusherbayev, Mukhtar Mutaliyev of the populist Erkin Ult ("Free Nation") party and independent Dariga Issetova, daughter of late president Ismail Issetov, whose 2006 assassination eventually resulted in the country being occupied by Russia, China and the United States. Some experts suggest that Zhirov could enter the top-two as a result of his base of support in the country's Russian minority, which makes up 20 percent of the population, but that his appeal is almost nonexistent outside of that group.
OOC: And the final wikibox and write-up for the presidential elections covered in this thread and its predecessor:

The United States presidential election, 2014 was the 58th presidential election, held on Tuesday, November 4, 2014. Incumbent Republican President Glen Allen Walken and his running mate, Vice President Elizabeth Clark, defeated the Democratic ticket of senator Jimmy Fitzsimmons of Massachusetts and former senator August Adair of Ohio.

As the incumbent president, Walken won the nomination of his party with no serious opposition. The Democrats experienced a competitive primary, with several candidates entering. After the early contests, the race narrowed to Fitzsimmons and former vice president Bob Russell of Colorado. Fitzsimmons would clinch the party's nomination in April 2014, despite Russell winning a majority of votes in the Democratic primaries.

The economy was the largest issue in the campaign. Walken campaigned on continuing his economic program of tax cuts to stimulate economic growth and reduced government spending, which he credited for the country's recovery from the late-2000s economic recession. Fitzsimmons criticized Walken's policies as benefitting only a few wealthier Americans and ran on a traditional liberal platform of increased taxes on the wealthy to better fund government programs to aid the poor and unemployed.

Other issues discussed during the campaign were same-sex marriage, immigration, healthcare, abortion, gun rights and the nation's foreign policy. The victory in the Syrian War and the final withdrawal of American soldiers from Gaza and Kazakhstan early in the Walken administration were offset by the government's inconsistent policy towards Cuba, which erupted into civil war in June and begun a small exodus of refugees to the state of Florida.

The election was extremely close, with Walken winning 270 electoral votes and 50.1% of the popular vote to Fitzsimmons' 268 electoral votes and 49.9% share of the popular vote. Walken won several states that he had lost in 2010, including the swing states of Nevada, New Mexico and Pennsylvania, while losing several states that he had won in 2010, including Florida, Michigan, New Jersey, Ohio and West Virginia.

Walken's margin of victory was the narrowest of any president who had won a majority of the popular vote, and marked the first time since the disputed election of 1876 that one candidate received the minimum number of electoral votes needed to be elected president. He became the first incumbent since Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1944 to win re-election with a smaller number of electoral votes and a narrower margin in the popular vote than he had won in the previous election. He became the first Republican ever to be elected president while losing Ohio, and also the first Republican since Calvin Coolidge in 1924 to win a presidential election while losing Florida.

Walken served as president until his term ended in January 2019. Combined with his three days as acting president in May 2003, he became the only person since the passage of the Twenty-Second Amendment who has served or acted as president longer than two full presidential terms. Fitzsimmons remained in the Senate and has served as Senate Minority Leader (as head of the Senate Democratic Caucus) since 2017.

Wednesday, September 30th, 2020

Judiciary Committee approves Olivia Emmett Franklin for Supreme Court, sends nomination to full Senate

The Senate Judiciary Committee has voted to approve Olivia Emmett Franklin's nomination to the Supreme Court by a 13 to 9 margin, sending her nomination to the full Senate.

All ten Democrats on the Judiciary Committee voted in favor of President Seaborn's nominee to replace retired justice Rachel Carmine, and were joined by three Republicans: Rob Buchanan (VA), Dylan Garrison (OH), and Michael Rojas (NM).

Republican have a slim majority in the Senate (52 seats to the Democrats' 48), and can afford only two defections; Vice President Jack Hunter, in his role as President of the Senate, would cast a tiebreaking vote if necessary and some White House sources fear that Hunter could vote against a Franklin nomination if given the chance. The defections of three senators from swing states, however, means that the Republican leadership will be unlikely to prevent further defections from vulnerable incumbents such as Jasper Irving (IL), Joe Joeckler (IA) or Curtis Ryan (OR).

On the Democratic side, Bradley Denning (OK) was seen as the most likely "no" vote, but in the end, he joined the rest of the committee's Democrats to advance Franklin's nomination.

Franklin's nomination will now be taken up by the full Senate, with a floor vote scheduled for next week.

Friday October 2nd 2020
Iraqi President al-Faruq announces new Government

In a surprise move Iraqi President Rashim Klalid al-Faraq has announced the formation of a new government and the handing over of the post of Prime-Minister, as well as the announcement of a Deputy Prime-Minister, Vice-President, Foreign Minister and a Minister of the Interior,

In the announcement which was arranged through the Swiss Embassy in Baghdad, one of two nations who still have a presence in the country (the other being Peru) who where asked to provide "independent observers". Omar Awad was announced as the Prime-Minister with Kamil al-Jabouri in the newly created post of Deputy Prime-Minister. Muhammad al-Dulaimi is the Vice-President, with Fuad Abd Abbas as Foreign Minister and another new post in the creation of a Minister of the Interior taken by Hamid al-Hashimi.

It should be noted that al-Raraq and his new ministers all wore civilian clothes, rather than the green military fatigues of the Saddam Hussein days. It seems that the new President is trying to point his government in a new direction and break from the days of Hussein whilst retaining Ba'aath Party countrol.

Former US Secretary of State Bradley Gilmore told NBS "We are seeing a clear break from the Saddam Hussein era, al-Faraq clearly feels secure enough in power to become less of a one man government, although not much is not know about the five men announced they are of course Ba'aath party loyalists and clearly loyal supporters of al-Faraq, and we are clearly a long way from seeing a democratic government in Iraq, this is clearly a very small but significant step in the right direction for the Iraqi people and the Middle-East in general".
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No, YOU listened to too much Pontifacts in one sitting, made an infobox for one ATL pope, then realized you could update the pope list now that Victor has retired.

Cast (all previously established)
Pope John XXIII as himself
Donal Donnelly as Pope Paul VI
Gene Greytak as Pope Celestine VI
Sebastian Shaw as Pope Paul VII
Sidney Poitier as Pope Emeritus Victor IV
Pepe Serna as Pope Clement XV

  • Most of the backstory for the pre-Victor popes was laid out here. In that one, the two Pauls (VI & VII) were Servants of God, not Saints, but I imagine the ten-year gap has resulted in them both being upgraded to sainthood by either Victor or Clement.

  • Yes, I also made ATL coat of arms for all of the non-OTL popes...except Celestine VI, who uses OTL John Paul II's coat of arms.

  • Redemptoris missio is an OTL papal encyclical that Paul VII used instead to try to get Catholics evangelizing in the old Warsaw Pact as the Soviet Union crumbled.

  • It's not mentioned in the list, but of the five ATL popes, three (Celestine VI, Paul VII, Clement XV) are from nations that OTL have had only one pope. IOTL Netherlands hasn't had a pope since Adrian VI (1522-1523, mentioned in Celestine's entry), England since Adrian IV (1154-1159), and Portugal since John XXI (1276-1277).

    Compared to OTL, there are two fewer countries that have never had a pope (Poland, Argentina) and one that has (Rwanda). With no Pope Palpatine, modern-day Germany ITTL hasn't had a pope since Stephen IX (1057-1058).

US Secretaries of State from President Reagan onwards
Sec of StateYear took OfficeYear left OfficePresident
59Alexander Haig19811982Reagan
60Lewis D. Eisenhower19821987Reagan & (Acting Pres Bush)
61Mike Schafford19871990Newman
62Sidney Gregg19901991Newman
63Carl Renkowski19911997Lassister
64Rita Frederickson19971999Lassister
65Lewis Berryhill19992007Bartlet
66Arnold Vinick20072013Santos (until 2011) & Walken
67Tom Case20132015Walken
68Bradley Gilmore20152019Walken
69August Adair2019-Seaborn

Dzifa Peters elected Green leader
She becomes first visible minority to lead a party in Parliament

October 4, 2020

Peters in a publicity still. (photo: Ngozi Paul)

The Green Party elected Toronto activist and lawyer Dzifa Peters to be its new leader on Monday. Peters defeated her main challengers, Vancouver activist Heidi Frum and Quebec MP Jean-Pierre Poitras (Longueuil—Saint-Hubert) after six ballots to become the first visible minority to lead a party with seats in the House of Commons.

The election to succeed longtime Green leader Suzanne Lewis (MP for Saanich—Gulf Islands), began on September 27th and ended today, with registered Green Party members being able to vote either online or by mail ballot for the party's leader in a "one member, one vote" race.

Peters' victory speech recognized the historic nature of the moment: "We as Greens, once again, are leading the way. We have done something that has never been done before in Canadian politics, to chose a black woman as the leader of a party with MPs from Quebec to the Yukon, and I congratulate us."

The leaders of all the other parties in Parliament have sent congratulations to Peters, with Prime Minister Leslie Van Merhalls (Conservative) saying her election was "a proud day for Canadians of all political stripes" and leader of the opposition Kate Sansellfort (Liberal) saying Peters was "an inspiration" for showing the promise of Canada.

A lifetime of activism

Peters is the daughter of two Afro-Canadian immigrants, with her father from Dominica and her mother hailing from St. Kitts and Nevis. She was born and raised in Toronto, becoming interested in politics from a young age. During her college years, she served as an intern in Ottawa under both Liberal and New Democratic (NDP) members, before obtaining her law degree from the University of Ottawa and returning to Toronto to practice law.

Her legal career has focused on what she described as "fighting against structural inequities and systemic racism" in the country, and she was a co-founder in Operation Black Vote, a legal group dedicated to turning out black Canadians to vote in federal, provincial and municipal elections. She was the Green Party candidate in the 2017 election for the riding of Toronto Centre, which she lost to Liberal MP Bob Bowley. She was a member of Lewis' frontbench team as the International Affairs critic from 2017 until she resigned in order to run for the party leadership earlier this year.

She is the Green Party candidate in the October 26 by-election for Toronto Centre, caused by Bowley's resignation to run for secretary-general of the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development). Lewis will remain the party's leader in the House of Commons until Peters can win a seat.

OOC: Totally not inspired by Annamie Paul becoming the new Green leader in Canada and recognizing her sister is an actress.
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Tuesday October 6th 2020

NBS Election HQ: Gubernatorial ratings
As we are four weeks from election day, we have updated our ratings.
Maryland=Safe (moves from Lean)
North Dakota=Safe (moves from Lean)
Oklahoma =Lean (moves from Toss-up) (Gain)

West Virginia=Lean (Gain)
Rhode Island=Safe
Florida (Rep Held-open seat)
Illinois (Rep Held)
Maine (Rep Held-appointed Incumbent)
Minnesota (Dem Held)
Pennsylvania (Rep Held-open seat)
Washington (Dem Held-appointed Incumbent)
Projected Nationwide Popular Vote
Republican 52% (+1)
Democrat 46% (n/c)
Others 2% (-1)
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Tuesday October 6th 2020

NBS Election HQ: Senate ratings
As we are four weeks from election day, we have updated our ratings.
Kentucky= Safe (Gain-Open Seat)
Kentucky=Safe (Special Election)
North Carolina=Safe
Oklahoma=Lean (moves from Toss-Up) (Gain)
South Carolina= Safe (Gain)
South Dakota=Safe
West Virginia= Safe (Gain)
California=Safe (Special Election)
Minnesota= Safe (moves from Lean) (Appointed Dem incumbent)
New Jersey=Safe
New Mexico=Safe (moves from Lean)
Rhode Island=Safe
Virginia= Lean
Arkansas (Dem Held)
Colorado (Dem Held)
Florida (Rep Held)
Iowa (Rep Held)
Louisiana (Dem Held)
Maine (Dem Held)
Montana (Dem Held-Open seat)
New Hampshire (Dem Held)
Oregon (Rep Held)
Projected Nationwide Popular Vote
Republican 51% (+1)
Democrat 47% (n/c)
Others 2% (-1)
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