2018 Presidential Election

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Wednesday January 6th 2021

Electoral Commission approves East Anglian Devolution Party name change


The electoral commission has approved the formal name change of the "East Anglian Devolution Party" to the new name of "Anglia First." The Party which was formed a decade ago to campaign for devolution for the East of England. It's candidates have won elections in Norfolk winning the Norfolk gubernatorial race in 2013 an d the elected Mayorship of Norwich.

The Party name change has been pushed through by new party leader Ron Sutton to "reflect our policies and aims ", and has taken it's name in part similarity to that of the Yorkshire First Party.
 
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117th United States Congress

Senate Committee Memberships
Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee

Chairman: Fletcher Carey (AR)
Ranking Member: Hubert “Arkansas” Smith (AR)
20 Total Members: 12 Republicans, 8 Democrats

Republicans:
Ann Choate (MS)
Max Lobell III (GA)
Gina DiMeo (ID)
Laura Shallick (MO)
Joe Joeckler (IA)
Barbara Layton (NC)
Matt Chantler (ND)
George Wirth (MT)
Terrance H. Schraeder (KY)
Peter Gault (KS)
Hamilton Crooks (SC)

Democrats:
Sarah O’Brien (VT)
Stephen Wilson (ME)
Ben Newell (CO)
Rudi Robinson (IN)
Rick Remick (LA)
Matt Clausen (PA)
Lara Mansfield (MN)


Senate Appropriations Committee
Chairman: Emmit George (NE)
Ranking Member: William Wiley (WA)
30 Total Members: 18 Republicans, 12 Democrats

Republicans:
Dan Hammond (TN)
Dylan McNamara (MS)
Kent Harris (WY)
Robin Fulton (SD)
Robert Cantina (AK)
Cody Riley (AL)
Robert Roanoke (OK)
Davis Roberts (TX)
Dylan Garrison (OH)
Carlin Cassidy (PA)
Joe Joeckler (IA)
Carlos Cabrera (CO)
Matt Chantler (ND)
George Wirth (MT)
Lewis Henderson (MO)
Sam Hedrick (WV)
James Lincoln (KY)

Democrats:
Arthur Breech (HI)
Vic Huntington (NV)
Andy Ritter (NM)
Becky Reeseman (MI)
William Katt (ME)
Rudi Robinson (IN)
Marietta Nerlinger (VT)
Antonio Rodrigues (AZ)
Joe Derrick (MD)
Nate Bradshaw (WI)
Lara Mansfield (MN)



Senate Armed Services
Chairman: Sam Wilkinson (KS)
Ranking Member: Andy Ritter (NM)
26 Total Members: 15 Republicans, 11 Democrats

Republicans:
Herman Morton (WY)
Clark Gibson (ID)
Dylan McNamara (MS)
Patrick Stacy (TN)
Robert Cantina (AK)
Max Lobell III (GA)
Mark Cumberland (TX)
Michael Rojas (NM)
David Morrison (LA)
Barbara Layton (NC)
Jasper Irving (IL)
Brad Maxwell (SC)
Bryce Bradley (IA)
Tim Masters (SD)

Democrats:
Dante Jenkins (NJ)
Arthur Breech (HI)
Chris Casey (CT)
Andrew Howard (WA)
Hubert "Arkansas" Smith (AR)
Jim Velasquez (RI)
Louise Thornton (VA)
Matthew Spencer (NV)
Tim Burrell (NY)
Marietta Nerlinger (VT)



Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee
Chairman: Herman Morton (WY)
Ranking Member: Michelle Van Dorn (CT)
25 Total Members: 13 Republicans, 10 Democrats

Republicans:
Ann Choate (MS)
Marc Elderton (UT)
Gina DiMeo (ID)
Charlie Forrester (GA)
Tanner McClay (FL)
Fletcher Carey (AR)
Alan Garland (AL)
David Morrison (LA)
Brad Maxwell (SC)
Lewis Henderson (MO)
Ellie Wilkins (NH)
Jamie Muller (ND)

Democrats:
Andrew Thorn (NY)
Ryan Lyndell (MA)
Sarah O’Brien (VT)
Nicole Kershaw (CA)
Clare McAuley (DE)
Matthew Spencer (NV)
Joe Derrick (MD)
Tony McMichael (AZ)
Alex Crossley (NJ)


Senate Budget Committee
Chairman: Alan Garland (AL)
Ranking Member: Mitch Bryce (IL)
24 Total Members: 14 Republicans, 10 Democrats

Republicans:
Dan Hammond (TN)
Dylan McNamara (MS)
Charlie Forrester (GA)
Bill Daniel (NE)
Sorah Wheeler (AK)
Laura Shallick (MO)
Ruth Norton-Stewart (OH)
Marc Elderton (UT)
Curtis Ryan (OR)
James Clarke (WI)
Jamie Muller (ND)
Hamilton Crooks (SC)
James Lincoln (KY)

Democrats:
Robert Greys (OR)
Jimmy Fitzsimmons (MA)
David Kuhio (HI)
Nicole Kershaw (CA)
Becky Reeseman (MI)
Ben Newell (CO)
Clare McAuley (DE)
William Katt (ME)
Joe Derrick (MD)


Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee
Chairman: Jeff Heston (UT)
Ranking Member: John Huntingdon (RI)
25 Total Members: 14 Republicans, 11 Democrats

Republicans:
Dan Hammond (TN)
Randall Thomas (MI)
Alan Garland (AL)
Bill Daniel (NE)
Carlin Cassidy (PA)
Jasper Irving (IL)
Gibson Carluke (IN)
James Clarke (WI)
Carlos Cabrera (CO)
Rob Buchanan (VA)
Daryl Lukins (OK)
Mac Walters (WV)
Felix Moore (NH)

Democrats:
Arthur Breech (HI)
Dante Jenkins (NJ)
Stephen Wilson (ME)
Jimmy Fitzsimmons (MA)
Andrew Howard (WA)
Cain McClelland (MD)
Clare McAuley (DE)
Matthew Spencer (NV)
Antonio Rodrigues (AZ)
Alicia DeSantos (FL)


Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee
Chairman: Clark Gibson (ID)
Ranking Member: Vic Huntington (NV)
23 Total Members: 13 Republicans, 10 Democrats

Republicans:
Kent Harris (WY)
Sorah Wheeler (AK)
Laura Shallick (MO)
Davis Roberts (TX)
Michael Rojas (NM)
Curtis Ryan (OR)
Ruth Norton-Stewart (OH)
Carlos Cabrera (CO)
Matt Chantler (ND)
Terrance H. Schraeder (KY)
Daryl Lukins (OK)
Mac Walters (WV)

Democrats:
Robert Greys (OR)
Chris Casey (CT)
Andrew Howard (WA)
David Kuhio (HI)
Mitch Bryce (IL)
Jim Velasquez (RI)
Ben Newell (CO)
Tony McMichael (AZ)
Kurt Carner (MT)


Senate Environment and Public Works Committee
Chairman: Sorah Wheeler (AK)
Ranking Member: Robert Greys (OR)
19 Total Members: 12 Republicans, 7 Democrats

Republicans:
Herman Morton (WY)
Clark Gibson (ID)
Robin Fulton (SD)
Marc Elderton (UT)
Kenny Sattler (NC)
David Morrison (LA)
Jasper Irving (IL)
George Wirth (MT)
Jamie Muller (ND)
Sam Hedrick (WV)
Peter Gault (KS)

Democrats:
Sarah O'Brien (VT)
David Kuhio (HI)
Becky Reeseman (MI)
Ben Newell (CO)
Rick Remick (LA)
Kurt Carner (MT)


Senate Finance Committee
Chairman: Randall Thomas (MI)
Ranking Member: Ryan Lyndell (MA)
23 Total Members: 13 Republicans, 10 Democrats

Republicans:
Patrick Stacy (TN)
Jeff Heston (UT)
Mark Cumberland (TX)
Charlie Forrester (GA)
Fletcher Carey (AR)
Carlin Cassidy (PA)
Curtis Ryan (OR)
Ruth Norton-Stewart (OH)
Tanner McClay (FL)
Bryce Bradley (IA)
Mac Walters (WV)
James Lincoln (KY)

Democrats:
John Huntingdon (RI)
Mitch Bryce (IL)
Nicole Kershaw (CA)
Rudi Robinson (IN)
Clare McAuley (DE)
Matt Clausen (PA)
Alex Crossley (NJ)
Nate Bradshaw (WI)
Peggy Jones (MN)


Senate Foreign Relations Committee
Chairman: Kent Harris (WY)
Ranking Member: Joseph McKenna (DE)
19 Total Members: 11 Republicans, 7 Democrats

Republicans:
Cody Riley (AL)
Marc Elderton (UT)
Sorah Wheeler (AK)
Robin Fulton (SD)
Davis Roberts (TX)
Robert Roanoke (OK)
Ruth Norton-Stewart (OH)
James Clarke (WI)
Rob Buchanan (VA)
Felix Moore (NH)

Democrats:
William Wiley (WA)
Andrew Thorn (NY)
Ryan Lyndell (MA)
Michelle Van Dorn (CT)
Jim Velasquez (RI)
Cain McClelland (MD)


Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee
Chairman: Patrick Stacy (TN)
Ranking Member: Nicole Kershaw (CA)
23 Total Members: 13 Republicans, 11 Democrats

Republicans:
Max Lobell III (GA)
Jeff Heston (UT)
Robert Cantina (AK)
Dylan Garrison (OH)
Joe Joeckler (IA)
Tanner McClay (FL)
Kenny Sattler (NC)
Brad Maxwell (SC)
Gibson Carluke (IN)
Ellie Wilkins (NH)
Sam Hedrick (WV)
Terrance H. Schraeder (KY)

Democrats:
William Wiley (WA)
Robert Greys (OR)
Vic Huntington (NV)
Michelle Van Dorn (CT)
David Kuhio (HI)
Cain McClelland (MD)
Matt Clausen (PA)
Antonio Rodrigues (AZ)
Marietta Nerlinger (VT)
Peggy Jones (MN)



Senate Governmental Affairs Committee
Chairman: Ann Choate (MS)
Ranking Member: William Katt (ME)
16 Total Members: 10 Republicans, 6 Democrats

Republicans:
Alan Garland (AL)
Laura Shallick (MO)
Ruth Norton-Stewart (OH)
James Clarke (WI)
Bryce Bradley (IA)
Ellie Wilkins (NH)
Daryl Lukins (OK)
Peter Gault (KS)
Tim Masters (SD)

Democrats:
Andy Ritter (NM)
Hubert “Arkansas” Smith (AR)
Joe Derrick (MD)
Alex Crossley (NJ)
Gabe Tillman (CA)



Senate Judiciary Committee
Chairman: Dylan McNamara (MS)
Ranking Member: Andrew Thorn (NY)
22 Total Members: 12 Republicans, 7 Democrats

Republicans:
Sam Wilkinson (KS)
Randall Thomas (MI)
Jeff Heston (UT)
Mark Cumberland (TX)
Dylan Garrison (OH)
Michael Rojas (NM)
Bill Daniel (NE)
Barbara Layton (NC)
Lewis Henderson (MO)
Rob Buchanan (VA)
Hamilton Crooks (SC)

Democrats:
Stephen Wilson (ME)
Rick Remick (LA)
Louise Thornton (VA)
Gabe Tillman (CA)
Alicia DeSantos (FL)
Lara Mansfield (MN)



Senate Rules and Administration Committee
Chairman: Gina DiMeo (ID)
Ranking Member: Andrew Howard (WA)
19 Total Members: 11 Republicans, 8 Democrats

Republicans:
Emmit George (NE)
Ann Choate (MS)
Kent Harris (WY)
Robin Fulton (SD)
David Morrison (LA)
Robert Roanoke (OK)
Joe Joeckler (IA)
Kenny Sattler (NC)
Sam Hedrick (WV)
Felix Moore (NH)

Democrats:
Joseph McKenna (DE)
Andrew Thorn (NY)
Jimmy Fitzsimmons (MA)
Rudi Robinson (IN)
Louise Thornton (VA)
Matthew Spencer (NV)
Lara Mansfield (MN)


Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee
Chairman: Mark Cumberland (TX)
Ranking Member: Stephen Wilson (ME)
19 Total Members: 11 Republicans, 7 Democrats

Republicans:
Patrick Stacy (TN)
Fletcher Carey (AR)
Bill Daniel (NE)
Dylan Garrison (OH)
Tanner McClay (FL)
Brad Maxwell (SC)
Jasper Irving (IL)
Gibson Carluke (IN)
Ellie Wilkins (NH)
Mac Walters (WV)

Democrats:
Arthur Breech (HI)
Vic Huntington (NV)
Michelle Van Dorn (CT)
Alex Crossley (NJ)
John Huntingdon (RI)
Peggy Jones (MN)



Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee
Chairman: Davis Roberts (TX)
Ranking Member: Sarah O'Brien (VT)
15 Total Members: 10 Republicans, 5 Democrats

Republicans:
Robert Cantina (AK)
Max Lobell III (GA)
Herman Morton (WY)
Carlin Cassidy (PA)
Barbara Layton (NC)
Carlos Cabrera (CO)
Rob Buchanan (VA)
Daryl Lukins (OK)
Peter Gault (KS)

Democrats:
Chris Casey (CT)
Cain McClelland (MD)
Antonio Rodrigues (AZ)
Kurt Carner (MT)



Senate Indigenous Affairs Committee
Chairman: Robert Roanoke (OK)
Ranking Member: David Kuhio (HI)
14 Total Members: 8 Republicans, 6 Democrats

Republicans:
Emmit George (NE)
Sorah Wheeler (AK)
Michael Rojas (NM)
Joe Joeckler (IA)
Kenny Sattler (NC)
Matt Chantler (ND)
Tim Masters (SD)

Democrats:
Becky Reeseman (MI)
Jim Velasquez (RI)
William Katt (ME)
Gabe Tillman (CA)
Tony McMichael (AZ)



Senate Select Ethics Committee
Chairman: George Wirth (MT)
Vice Chairman: Chris Casey (CT)
6 Total Members: 3 Democrats, 3 Republicans, tie-breaking vote goes to the chairman

Republicans:
Emmit George (NE)
Lewis Henderson (MO)

Democrats:
William Wiley (WA)
Matthew Spencer (NV)



Senate Select Intelligence Committee
Chairman: Dan Hammond (TN)
Vice-Chairman: Dante Jenkins (NJ)
18 Total Members: 8 Republicans, 7 Democrats (+3 ex officio members)

Republicans:
Sam Wilkinson (KS)
Gina DiMeo (ID)
Charlie Forrester (GA)
Lewis Henderson (MO)
Bryce Bradley (IA)
Terrance H. Schraeder (KY)
Hamilton Crooks (SC)

Democrats:
Mitch Bryce (IL)
Louise Thornton (VA)
Tim Burrell (NY)
Gabe Tillman (CA)
Alicia DeSantos (FL)
Nate Bradshaw (WI)

3 ex officio members: Cody Riley (AL) as Majority Leader; Jimmy Fitzsimmons (MA) as Minority Leader; and Andy Ritter (NM) as Ranking Member of Armed Services Committee.
 
Changes from the last Congress' previous Senate committee leaderships:
  • Calvin Bowles (D-KY) retired from Congress; Michelle Van Dorn (D-CT) took over as ranking member of the Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee.
  • Alan Garland (R-AL) assumed chair of a separate committee; Ann Choate (R-MS) took over as chair of the Governmental Affairs Committee.
  • Clark Gibson (R-KY) term-limited by Republican caucus rules; Sorah Wheeler (R-AK) took over as chair of the Environment and Public Works Committee.
  • Jim Simon (R-SD) retired from Congress; Patrick Stacy (R-TN) took over as chair of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee.
  • Patrick Stacy (R-TN) term-limited by Republican caucus rules; Clark Gibson (R-ID) took over as chair of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee.
  • Robert Starkey (D-MT) retired from Congress; Hubert "Arkansas" Smith (D-AR) took over as ranking member of the Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee.
  • James Taglio (R-KS) retired from Congress; Alan Garland (R-AL) took over as chair of the Budget Committee.
  • In previous Congress:
    • James Lancaster (R-KY) died in office; George Wirth (R-MT) took over as chair of the Select Ethics Committee.
 


Friday, January 8th 2020

Eliches announces run for fourth term

Minsk — President Sergei Eliches announced today that he will run for a fourth term as Belarus' president. Speaking to a meeting of supporters, Eliches said that he would run for another five-year term in November's elections "after much consultation and deliberation", saying he was reluctant to remain in power but that his hand was forced by no successor "showing himself ready" at this point in time.

Eliches has ruled Belarus since the 2005 "Cornflower Revolution" toppled his predecessor Alexander Lukashenko and ushered in the country's second experience of democracy. He is not bound by the term limits imposed by the post-revolution constitution, as they do not apply to the president who was in office when the document was formally adopted in January 2007.

Although international observers say that both the 2006 and 2011 presidential elections were conducted "freely and fairly", most international observers say that the country's 2016 electoral campaign was "not conducted transparently", with opposition groups and election observers describing multiple instances of ballot-stuffing and police harassment of opposition candidates.

Opposition leader Svetlana Lebedka called the announcement "unsurprising" and criticized Eliches for what she described as his lack of morals. "He doesn't want anything but to hold on to power," Lebedka told ACN, "there is no consistency to any of the government's policies unless it involves keeping [Eliches] in power."

Eliches will be 71 years old when the next presidential term expires in November 2026. Several world leaders have governed effectively at that age, but Belarusians both abroad and domestically have concerns that he would be healthy enough to make it that long because of a shadow that still hangs over large swathes of Belarus: Chernobyl.

In the immediate aftermath of the 1986 nuclear disaster, radioactive contamination fell over southern Belarus, including Gomel, where Eliches lived with his young family. His daughter Tatsiana, four years old at the time, developed thyroid cancer as a result of the radioactive fallout and had to have most of her thyroid removed. Although he publicly maintains that he suffered no ill health effects from Chernobyl, once proclaiming erroneously that "healthy and strong adults can handle all but the most intense radiation", it is widely believed that Eliches is suffering from health issues that were caused or exacerbated by his exposure to radioactive fallout from his residence in Gomel at the time of the disaster or his work as a construction engineer in contaminated areas of Belarus.

Tatsiana, now a linguist at the University of London, has publicly criticized her father's refusal to step down after his second term and his strong support of Russia's government. She declined to speak publicly on the announcement, instead reiterating her call for her father to leave office and hinting that he suffers from serious health issues. The government of Belarus issued a response saying that "Dr. Tatiana Eliches is mistaken. Her father, President Sergei Eliches, is in remarkable health for a man of his age and it is irresponsible for her to use her relationship to him to spread false information and give comfort to those who would undermine Belarus."
 
Was going to just include President Eliches' infobox in a future set, but it turned out to be so long that it spawned its own small set:


Casting
Brad Dourif as Sergei Eliches
Fiona Dourif as Tatsiana Eliches (new character)

Based off the OTL revolution that occurred roughly around the time. Going back and looking at the episode where Lawrence Lessig (played by Christopher Lloyd) helps the Belarusians devise a new constitution while Toby argues with them, it's said that Zubatov's newspaper Sovetskaya Belorussiya (ironically IRL a huge supporter of Lukashenko) "helped bring down the last dictator." Since Belarus has only had the one dictator (Lukashenko) since the fall of the USSR, I went with that something had happened to topple him in the recent past from when the episode took place (February 14, 2006 according to the West Wing wikia).

Helakal and Zubatov were shown in the episode, with Helakal being described as "the one honest legislator" in the previous government. Sergei Sidorsky was the OTL Belarusian prime minister at the time the revolution (both ITTL & IOTL) occurred. The flag next to the Belarusian flag in the "opposition" side is the flag that was used before Lukashenko changed Belarus' flag to mirror its old Soviet one.

The photo is from the OTL protests that began against Lukashenko last year.
Tatsiana's entire character essentially was created because I found that the actor who plays Eliches happened to have a daughter who is also an actor. As mentioned in the article, Tatsiana had most of her thyroid removed, so underneath her shirt collar, she has a Chernobyl necklace like quite a few people who were children in certain areas of Belarus, Ukraine and Russia in the years after the disaster.

Like her father, her name is shown written in both Belarusian (top) and Russian (bottom) underneath her name in Latin characters since Belarus uses both languages officially.
Eliches' photo is Brad Dourif that I've edited using FaceApp and Paint.net. I've basically given him a mustache and made his skin much more wrinkled and full of liver spots than Dourif is IRL.

The Belarusian constitution forbids the president from being a member of a political party while in office, so Eliches is technically an independent but is the unofficial leader of Belaya Rus (like OTL, a party that essentially is just a party dedicated to being uncritically supportive of the president).

For his backstory, I grabbed his birthplace by finding a couple OTL top Belarusians (including Sidorsky) were from Gomel and then it went from there once I remembered that Gomel was one of the regions most affected by Chernobyl. My headcanon is that Eliches was an engineer in Gomel after his military service (conscription was mandatory in the USSR) and although he wasn't a liquidator, he worked in heavily-contaminated areas that were later added to the Polesie State Radiological Reserve. His attitude towards radiation were sadly not that unusual even among Chernobyl liquidators (thanks mainly to the Soviets lying about or downplaying the harmful effects of ionizing radiation to their citizens), and his wife's death last year is another hint that he's wrong/in denial about it.

He became involved in politics after the fall of the USSR and served briefly in the legislature (the Supreme Soviet was Belarus' legislature until the adoption of a new constitution in 1996) after winning a seat in the first post-Soviet elections, but declined to continue after seeing Lukashenko's dictatorial turn.

He joined the opposition to Lukashenko and became a key figure in the post-Lukashenko era and being named president due to not being associated in any way with the regime. But gradually he begun to emulate his predecessor more and more as his presidency wore on. He retained the Soviet-era symbols Lukashenko had put in place and remained in the Union State with Russia (notice all the "Chair of the Council of Ministers" are all TTL's Russian PMs since Eliches took office) and, as the article mentioned, is now more than willing to ditch his democratic principles to remain in power (a sad reflection on several OTL rulers who came to power promising democracy, but who ruled as autocrats).

Also, this has absolutely nothing to do with Dourif's role as Gríma Wormtongue in the Lord of the Rings trilogy and how his character helps turn King Théoden from a strong and vibrant king into a decrepit puppet of the villain Saruman. Do not read anything into it. /s
 


Monday, January 11, 2021

White House announces Edie Ortega as new Deputy Chief of Staff

The White House announced today that President Sam Seaborn has named longtime Democratic campaign staffer Edie Ortega to be the new Deputy White House Chief of Staff and Senior Advisor for Public Engagement.

White House Press Secretary Cassie Tatum said that Ortega emerged from a field of "several qualified candidates" to take over from Kevin De Vost, who has taken a leave of absence from the post before being confirmed earlier today to the post of Ambassador to South Africa.

"The president is very happy that someone as experienced in the hectic world of campaigning and as dedicated as Edie agreed to join the team." Tatum said.

Ortega is a veteran of several Democratic presidential campaigns, including Seaborn's successful 2018 campaign. She had worked as a consultant for several Democratic campaigns last year, including Jessica Gelsey's successful gubernatorial campaign that saw the 34 year-old become the first Democrat to win Florida's gubernatorial election in nearly three decades.

Several other candidates, including Democratic political advisor Lester Howard, were reportedly under consideration for the position. White House Senior Advisor C.J. Cregg will take over De Vost's portfolio of Senior Advisor for Policy.
 
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Atlantis Cable News


Fisk signs bill to change Mississippi flag in special ceremony

Jackson, Mississippi- Mississippi Governor Alan Fisk has signed the bill that will officially change the flag of the State of Mississippi. The bill was passed by both Houses of the Legislature yesterday by slim margins. Changing the state flag has long been a goal of Alan Fisk since he first took office five years ago. The bill was signed in a special ceremony this morning, following which the old state flag, which contained the Confederate Army battle flag, was lowered for a final time over the State Capital. Once the new "Magnolia" Flag was raised over the Capital, Governor Fisk gave a brief statement.

"When I first took the oath of office five years ago, I pledged to each and every one of you that one of my top priorities was to rid our beloved state of all of the final vestiges of the Confederacy; most importantly, our State flag. Today, we have done so. We have written the next chapter of our history. And though we have a long road ahead of us, today we have taken the first great strides."

The White House was represented by Deputy Communications Director John Edwards, who has long be an outspoken proponent of what he terms "de-Confederatization". Edwards had previously signaled that Governor Fisk had the full support and backing of President Seaborn. Edwards told reporters that he was hopeful that today resents a sign of things to come in the South, and that he shares the vision of President Seaborn of a bright and vibrant future for an American South that divests itself of its shameful past.


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Wednesday January 13th 2021

Josie Bail "considering Ohio gubernatorial run"


Sources close to Ohio Congresswomen Josie Bail have told NBS that she is "considering a Ohio gubernatorial run" next year. Bail served one term as Governor in the 1990's after winning the election aged just 32 years old in 1992. She would narrowly lose re-election four years later. She has been in Congress for twenty years, and briefly ran for the Democratic Presidential nomination in 2014. In 2010 Bail was defeated for the Democratic Senate nomination by Haydn Straus, who has already made it clear that he himself is considering running on behalf of the Green Party.

Bail who is frequently mentioned as a serious candidate for President Seaborn's running-mate next year has privately indicated to many in the party that she doesn't want the Vice-Presidency and would rather end her career back in the Governor's Mansion. Both Bail and Straus believe that Republican incumbent Governor Art Scheider is beatable. The former Air Force General has current approval rating of only 41% in the state, and the Governor has clashed with his own party in the State who control both houses of the Ohio General Assembly on several issues over the past two years.
 
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New Congress, new infoboxes. But this time it's for the White House top staff (and the recently-departed key staff) who haven't had their infoboxes done before:


And updated infoboxes for the president & First Lady (mostly to add the inclusion of the Seaborn twins and a more "official"-looking portrait of Lauren Parker-Seaborn):


Cast (all previously established)
Diana-Maria Liva as Edie Ortega
Sharlto Copley as Kevin De Vost
Chris Rock as Mark Sterns
Connie Britton as Connie Tate
Claire Coffee as Cassie Tatum
Billy Miller as John Edwards
Jordan Fisher as Jace Manning
Rob Lowe as Sam Seaborn
Anne Hathaway as Lauren Parker-Seaborn

Like a lot of this set, Ortega shares her birth date with her actress. But I've had her be from Los Angeles instead of Cincinnati where Riva is from--she has an argument with Lester Howard (he wasn't given a surname in the show) in the show about there being "a little black/brown friction in the 'hood, if you haven't noticed" to Bram Howard (who she calls a "Venezuelan from Princeton") in the episode where a Latino cop shot and killed a black 12 year-old who came out of a stolen car with a plastic gun made to look real and Cincinnati has a very low Hispanic population (didn't even break 1% until the 2000 Census).

Ortega's alma mater Ohio State University is a reference to Riva's home state, her middle name as 'Lilian' as a reference to Riva's character (Lily Rodriguez) on another Sorkin show (Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip).

Her predecessor as head of the Office of Public Engagement was a new person who presumably let the administration to do something else.
De Vost was on a leave of absence after being nominated for the position of ambassador and wasn't replaced for a while. The perils of trying to do a big staff change in the holiday season, I suppose.

De Vost is the child of white South African political refugees who fled after openly opposing apartheid, technically not an immigrant himself. I had him from Atlanta becaue Sharlto Copley can kinda pull off a southern accent and my brief YouTube searches didn't find him attempting a General American accent.

De Vost's middle name is a reference to Neill Blomkamp, who Copley has frequently collaborated with.
Despite Sterns' home state being Connecticut, I'm establishing him as being born in New York City since Rock himself grew up there (although he was born in South Carolina). My headcanon is that Sterns attended the University of Connecticut and stayed there after he graduated. His wife's name is a shout-out to his role as gangster Loy Cannon on the latest season of Fargo.
The West Wing wiki establishes Tate's first name as Constance, which is also Connie Britton's real first name, so that seems appropriate. I took the rest of the background from Britton (born in Boston, birth date, etc.) and the show established that she has a PhD in political economy from Oxford. I figured she would have stayed somewhat close to home for her undergraduate and master's degrees, so I had her attend Dartmouth College (a two hour drive from Boston).

Looking back on it, she wasn't established as being married to Collins until around 2016ish, with their relationship being hinted at in 2010 with Collins established as being married to another woman. My headcanon is that Collins' marriage was failing at the time and he opted to divorce his wife soon after that article was written, and he and Tate married about a year or so later.

There is no OTL Wikipedia article for the position of Director of Legislative Affairs, hence the title not being linked. Her predecessor Owens was Director of Political Affairs for Walken, which I'm guessing involved taking over the Legislative Affairs portfolio after Cliff Calley left to run unsuccessfully for Governor of Virginia.
The only thing the show established about her that was established is that she got a degree in American history at the University of Texas (after trolling Will by saying she studied at the "London School of Ballet"). Her birthplace in Portland is a nod to Coffee playing a supporting character in the series Grimm, which is set there.

Tatum's deputies are of course also completely new and unimportant, but Calamita's last name is also a reference to another character on the latest season of Fargo.
MD wrote his backstory, including his military career. Basically Edwards was an Army paratrooper who saw combat multiple times, fighting in three different conflicts and getting wounded twice, very seriously the second time during an encirclement of the retreating Syrian Army after their invasion of the Holy Land and Lebanon. He's also pretty highly decorated: in addition to his Purple Hearts, he earned the Silver Star, two Bronze Medals and six Good Conduct Medals before retiring after 20 years' service.

He was established as being from Texas and after he left the service, worked as media advisor to then-Governor John Hoynes in the final year Hoynes was in office (2016-2017) before joining NBS and ultimately the administration.

Edwards' middle name is a reference to both Miller himself and his character in The Young and the Restless.

His office is also too low to warrant an "officeholder" infobox (RE: Sam and Will's infoboxes don't include their stints as deputy comms director), so he's just on the default "person" infobox similar to how Annabeth doesn't have an infobox using the "officeholder" template.
Manning's predecessor as the final (or only?) body man under Walken is a new throwaway character.

I put Manning somewhere where he could play baseball year-round growing up (since I established him as a wannabe pro baseball player whose career was derailed by arm injuries). His attendance at UCLA (my headcanon is that he was originally on an athletic scholarship before his arm was injured, where he began studying politics and eventually graduated) somewhat hints how he got in the running to become Sam's body man, since UCLA is of course in Los Angeles, has a really good collegiate baseball team, and Sam made some references in the show that hint he's a baseball fan.
 
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Friday January 15th 2021

Why Republicans are reluctant to get into the Presidential race
A Special Report
By Mark Bunn with Bruno Gianelli


We are two weeks into 2021 and so far only two Republicans have declared their presidential intentions so far, former Michigan Congressman Gus Edwards and former Oklahoma Senator Alan Duke. Vice-President Jack Hunter confirmed before Christmas that he would not be seeking the presidency next year whilst James Ritchie made clear that he would not run if he wins the race as expected to be the next chair of RNC, the election of which is due next Thursday. Former Nebraska Governor John Moore has also all but ruled out running as well. The question being asked is why so many Republicans seem to be so reluctant to get into the presidential race.

After what was a successful set of mid-term elections, in taking back control of the House , making five gains in the Senate and gaining in the gubernatorial races in Oklahoma and West Virginia, it should have set up favourable conditions for a Republican presidential win in 2022. But the issue is not as clear cut as that. Despite these successes at a state wide level, their is a real worry over the presidential race.

Bruno Gianelli is in a very privileged position to look at the 2022 race, having ran both President Bartlet's landslide re-election win in 2002 and Arnold Vinick's defeat four years later. He is now retired from politics and living in Essex County in New York told us "The reason the likes of Ethan Butler, Ruth Norton-Stewart and even Barbara Layton are reluctant to get in, is that are looking at 2018, as well as the two races in the past decade and thinking is it worth it. President Seaborn isn't a bogey man, and his administration has been broadly competent" adding "In 2018 the left-wing vote was divided because of Haydn Straus Green party performance in winning 6% of the national vote and despite this he still won in both the electoral college and the popular vote, if someone like Henry Shallick couldn't win then after eight years of a successful Republican President in President Walken, many Republicans are saying what real hope do we have of winning back the White House next year".

Popular Republican Governors in traditional Democratic states such as Oregon's Walter Collins and Maryland's Owen Wells don't seem to want run in 2022, both seem to have an eye on 2026, which look to have better odds of a Republican win "The Republicans best hope of winning would be someone like Governor Collins or Governor Wells, both are broadly "Vinick/Walken Republicans" and both would draw independent support, but both don't want to get in this time around". The other name that comes up is another Governor South Carolina Governor Ethan Butler "Butler is an interesting one to look for, he is a Conservative but has used that on what are normally Democratic issues such as poverty and homelessness, but like Governor's Collins and Wells, he seems very reluctant to get in". The name James Ritchie comes up next "I am probably not the best person to talk about the Ritchie's" adding "I am not exactly their favourite person after the 2002 campaign", adding "It is probably best that he (James) is focusing of becoming the next RNC Chair".

As for who is likely to get into the race, Gianelli said "If Butler declines to run, then Senator Layton is an obvious runner, but it is clear her running is dependent on Butler not doing so, I think Andrew Wu (the former Governor of North Carolina) is going to get into it, the two names who could win the nomination and could give the President even more sleepless nights are two other Senators, New Mexico's Michael Rojas and Virginia's Rob Buchannan, both are moderates from swing states, but I feel their hardest part would be to win the nomination rather than the general election". As for the two already declared candidates, Edwards and Duke he says "Edwards has no name recognition, he has little to no chance of winning, as for Duke he is going to try and build on Gault's campaign in 2018, which almost worked, but you have to remember with Gault, he used the outsider angle and although he was a Conservative he certainly ran a smart campaign especially with his outreach to the LGBT community, I just cannot see Duke doing that".

Away from the Republican side the topic of President Seaborn's running-mate comes up "The President has to get it right this time, he cannot afford another massive mistake like Frank Hollis, I suspect it is going to be someone like Senator Rudi Robinson or Senator Ben Newell, or possibly even Governor Hoffman of New Jersey, if she wins re-election later this year, he isn't going to risk another left field pick like Hollis".

See the full interview with Bruno Gianelli on "NBS Tonight-Sunday Evening at 9.PM".
 
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I know that the great Ron Silver passed away in 2009, but here Bruno just retired to New York as he said he was going to do at the end of Series 6.
 
Buchanan is in the toughest spot. Virginia is trending blue. He was a popular and successful Governor but he barely won the Senate race in 2018. If he decides to run for President, it will likely be an all-or-nothing deal. Running for President, losing in the primaries, or losing to Seaborn, and then turning around and running for reelection to the Senate in 2024 will really test the patience of Virginia voters.
 
Remember, there are 22 months until the 2022 election. That is multiple lifetimes in politics. Remember in the spring of 1991 after the Gulf War when all the big name Democrats that had been interested in running in 1992 were all running away from the race because everyone thought Old Man Bush was invincible? A year and a half later, what happened? The lowly Governor of Arkansas beats Bush.
 
2026 does seem to be a better bet. Seems like voters are usually reluctant to give one party the Presidency for more than 8 years at a time. Bartlett/Santos was a fluke. As popular as Bartlett was, Vinick was consistently ahead comfortably up until the nuclear disaster, and even after that, Santos barely squeaked by, and Vinick still won the popular vote. Had it not been for the nuclear accident, Vinick would have won by at least 5 points in the popular vote and at least 350 electoral votes.
 
2026 does seem to be a better bet. Seems like voters are usually reluctant to give one party the Presidency for more than 8 years at a time. Bartlett/Santos was a fluke. As popular as Bartlett was, Vinick was consistently ahead comfortably up until the nuclear disaster, and even after that, Santos barely squeaked by, and Vinick still won the popular vote. Had it not been for the nuclear accident, Vinick would have won by at least 5 points in the popular vote and at least 350 electoral votes.
Yes, the math here is more or less spot on. Based on the results, I would say Vinick gets to 365 electoral votes, if you flip all the states Vinick lost by under 5%, he would get Arizona as well, but feel that Santos would have probably held onto Texas.
If it was 365 electoral votes, it would be all states under 4.5% of the vote (he would flip Oregon, Missouri, New Hampshire, Minnesota, South Carolina, Nevada, Michigan, Connecticut, Colorado & Pennsylvania).
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Vinick & Sullivan 365
Santos & McGarry 173
 


January 16, 2021

Presidential Hat Steals Show

GREEN BAY -- Aaron Rodgers had a great game, leading his Green Bay Packers to a 32-18 victory over the Los Angeles Rams and giving the Packers home-field advantage at the NFC championship game for the first time since 2007. But no one is talking about Aaron Rodgers' two passing and one rushing touchdown, nor his 296 passing yards (compared to the Rams' Jared Goff throwing one touchdown pass while racking up 174 passing yards). Instead, the President of the United States is stealing Rodgers' thunder.

President Sam Seaborn, a noted Rams fan, got to watch Los Angeles' season end. Perhaps concerned about the image of the Commander-in-Chief being decked out in Rams gear, or concerns about alienating voters in the swing state of Wisconsin, Seaborn was captured by Fox camera crews wearing a black baseball cap with the National Football League's logo.


President Seaborn, pictured with the now-infamous "NFL hat"

Within moments, social media was abuzz.

"POTUS ready to sub in if one ref gets hurt", one Twitter user joked. Another said the president's favorite player was in fact, league commissioner Roger Goodell. "If this is how @.POTUS decides which clothes to wear, no wonder he had trouble picking a VP" another said, a burn on the president's famously botched selection of Inksoft founder Franklin Hollis as his running mate three years ago.

The hashtag "#nflhat" is currently one of the top trending hashtags on Twitter in the United States, and the Google search for "NFL hat" has skyrocketed in the hours after Seaborn's image was broadcast.

Rodgers, for his part, took the spotlight stealing in stride.

"I'm just glad to be the one not getting meme'd." the quarterback said.

UPDATE: The First Lady seems to share social media's opinion on her husband's headgear:

 
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