2018 Presidential Election

The New York Times
Friday, December 14, 2018
MOLLOY, OTHERS, INVOLVED IN TORTURE DURING HASSAN MISSION
By Kyle Schroeder and Christy Chambers
WASHINGTON — The New York Times has obtained documents alleging that Delaware Governor Declan Molloy and other soldiers in his unit engaged in acts of torture against prisoners of war in December 2011 during the hunt for Syrian President Jamil al-Hassan.

In September 2015, when Declan Molloy was running for governor, the late Christopher Graves, a Captain in the U.S. Army who served with him in Syria, approached several news and media organizations, including The New York Times, about their group's actions in the Syria. Graves sold the rights to his story, which was completely uncorroborated at the time, to internet news blog Paul Gansler Daily, operated and owned by actor and radio host Paul Gansler. When Gansler died of a cocaine overdose in June 2016, the website defaulted and the accompanying organization went bankrupt. The Graves story, among other documents, were held by a trust controlling Gansler's assets after his death. These documents were exposed by the December 2016 destr.0yer hacks, which several media organizations were targeted by, and then came into the possession of Russian intelligence. Earlier this year, they were leaked to Russian media, who mentioned the details in connection to the death of Anatoly Evgeniiev, a veteran of Syria and opposition politician who was found dead in his hotel room.

Evgeniiev was one of the Russian soldiers who participated in the mission to locate Jamil al-Hassan. In Russian political circles, it is well known that he often bragged about the mission and claimed to have delivered the killing shot to the Syrian president. In a 2013 security clearance interview with Russian intelligence, Evgeniiev admitted to torturing captured Syrian soldiers in order to extract information about al-Hassan's whereabouts. He named two other Russian soldiers as participants, one of whom was killed in the firefight at the Al-Hasakah compound, and another whose fate is unknown. Evgeniiev also stated three Americans were involved, but did not name them. Evgeniiev said that three Syrian soldiers were subjected to various methods of torture, including waterboarding, mutilation, and beatings, and that all three were killed. He takes credit for coming up with the idea and convincing the Americans to assist them.

Christopher Graves, in his recorded statement to Paul Gansler, said that he, Declan Molloy, and Sergeant Trevor Romaine participated in and facilitated torture. However, Graves said four Russians were involved, not three. He also identified a Private Jason Collins as being aware of the actions after the fact. Collins was also killed at Hasakah. Trevor Romaine committed suicide in 2014, jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge. With Graves's death last week, Declan Molloy and the unidentified Russian (or Russians) are the only ones involved presumably still alive. Graves stated that Romaine was the lookout, but killed one of the Syrians when he tried to escape. The other two were killed by the Russians. He admitted to conducting the waterboarding while Molloy questioned them, with Evgeniiev as the translator. He accused Molloy of beating them the most, but also said Molloy showed remorse and was opposed to killing them. Graves's account largely overlaps with Evgeniiev's.

Graves's ex-girlfriend, Elizabeth McShane of Providence, Rhode Island, tweeted last week that he was killed "for what he knew" and that he did not kill himself. The official report on Graves's death maintains that it was a suicide by gunshot. When reached for comment by the Times, McShane stated that she called Paul Gansler over two dozen times in 2015 and 2016 to request updates on what he was doing with the story. Gansler threatened legal action against her if she did not stop calling her, and filed for a restraining order against her two weeks before his death. McShane interrupted Gansler's funeral and was arrested for harassment, although the charges were dropped. She then made several visits to Molloy campaign headquarters in Dover, Delaware, in an effort to confront Molloy directly. She never met with him and eventually stopped. McShane and Graves broke up in July 2017, after which point she says they had no more contact.

Anatoly Evgeniiev's widow, Katya, living in exile in London with their children, agreed to speak with the Times. She said that Molloy was "definitely" one of the three Americans involved in the torture, and that when Molloy made international news during the election, Evgeniiev identified him to his wife as "that American son of a bitch, lying son of a bitch," adding "he did it, he was one of them." Mrs. Evgeniievna also says her husband believed the foiled terrorist attack on Molloy's inauguration was actually a revenge plot by radical elements in the Syrian military still loyal to al-Hassan, although there is no other evidence for his theory.

Governor Molloy's office was reached for comment. There was no response.

Reporting was contributed by Diego Rivera in New York and Cheryl Kizer and Damon Bauer in London.
 
Rob Cole, a former state senator and teacher, was a surprising candidate for governor. After numerous other high profile candidates declined to run, Cole won the nomination. With the money flowing and the Lewis campaign collapsing, Cole delivered the death blow in the debate and won the election. However, Cole was not able to govern effectively as a Republican, and with Lewis out of the picture, Cole fell in popularity. In his re-election bid, he faced Attorney General Hakeem El-Amin, who was far more popular. Cole lost and will be leaving office on December 31, 2018.
This combined what happened with Cole in 2012 and 2014. In 2012 when he ran for the Senate he gave Andrew Thorn a surprising run for his money, only losing narrowly. His performance inspired him to him for Governor in 2014 and was the expected Republican Front runner.
 
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politico.com, Friday December 14th


Seaborn team offer flood of announcements as Cabinet nears completion

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The transition team handling to development of President-Elect Sam Seaborn’s administration released as series of announcements this morning as a number of key positions were filled across the Cabinet and White House staff.

The highest profile of the announcements was that of businesswoman Shannon Frost who will take the role as Secretary of Commerce. Ms Frost was once touted as potential Vice-President and is close to incoming VP Franklin Hollis. Sources close to the administration have suggested that this is “very much a Hollis pick”.

Another familiar name will be Charlie Young who will take on the role of Trade Representative. Mr Young served in the Bartlet White House firstly as the President’s Personal Aide and then as Assistant to Chief of Staff CJ Cregg. Since leaving the White House he worked in the private sector and most recently representing Washington DC as their delegate in Congress.

In a surprising announcement Maine Governor, and former Presidential candidate Paris Stray was confirmed as the nominee for Ambassador the UN, a move that led to head scratching from some due to her lack of diplomatic credentials.

On top of the cabinet announcements it was confirmed that Marcus Blakemore will continue as Director of the FBI and that Andrew Delaney, a former Deputy Treasury Secretary has accepted the role as Director of the Office of Management & Budget.

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Charlie Young
 
Another familiar name will be Charlie Young who will take on the role of Trade Representative. Mr Young served in the Bartlet White House firstly as the President’s Personal Aide and then as Assistant to Chief of Staff CJ Cregg. Since leaving the White House he worked in the private sector and most recently representing Washington DC as their delegate in Congress.

How is Charlie qualified to be Trade Representative? It’s usually given to someone with a background in economics or business.
 
How is Charlie qualified to be Trade Representative? It’s usually given to someone with a background in economics or business.

I'd respectfully suggest that many cabinet appointments aren't exactly driven by qualifications. I'd also add that Ron Kirk, Rob Portman, Mickey Kantor all held the position and weren't exactly from economics or business backgrounds.
 
I'd respectfully suggest that many cabinet appointments aren't exactly driven by qualifications. I'd also add that Ron Kirk, Rob Portman, Mickey Kantor all held the position and weren't exactly from economics or business backgrounds.

Ok. Didn't mean any disrespect. Sorry if it came off that way. I was just wondering.
 
Here's hoping Samuels makes it to March 16th and breaks the 'curse' of his three immediate predecessors not reaching four years in office.
Samuels will over take Andrew Carter's 1,431 days in Office on Thursday February 14th 2019 and he will be the longest serving post Thatcher Conservative PM.
 
Isn’t there a Brexit drama in this TL? It might add an interesting dynamic to the overall storyline! Also no response about what kind of role Seaborn has earmarked for August Adair in his role as Secretary of State, will he have a position of prominence at the foreign policy table! Or will Seaborn & Reese run foreign policy through the NSC shop (e.g. Nixon-Kissinger/ Carter-Brzezinski)? Or will Adair have a Vinick kind of function?
 
Isn’t there a Brexit drama in this TL? It might add an interesting dynamic to the overall storyline! Also no response about what kind of role Seaborn has earmarked for August Adair in his role as Secretary of State, will he have a position of prominence at the foreign policy table! Or will Seaborn & Reese run foreign policy through the NSC shop (e.g. Nixon-Kissinger/ Carter-Brzezinski)? Or will Adair have a Vinick kind of function?
Did you actually read the interview with Andrew Carter?
 
Since I'm busy tomorrow and the EC vote is going to be held on Monday, I figured it's time to show the updated Seaborn cabinet.

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Casting:

Franklin Hollis: Xander Berkley (show)
August Adair: Keith Carradine
Meredith Payne: Regina King
Jack Shannon: Daniel von Bargen
George Montgomery: Robert Foxworth
Sean Boone: Hayden Christensen
Karen Kroft: Lucinda Jenney (show)
Shannon Frost: Helen Hunt
Abigail Bartlet: Stockard Channing (show)
Mark Richardson: Thom Barry (show)
Will Bailey: Joshua Malina (show)
Paris Stray: Catherine Bell
Charlie Young: Dulé Hill (show)
Andrew Delaney: Bill Camp (new character/casting)
 
And Part 2 of the "TWW cast infoboxes". Josh, Toby and Mandy were posted earlier and Leo, Bartlet and Santos even earlier.

This leaves every remaining main character (Sam, Abby, Charlie, C.J., Will, Kate) whose infobox will change next month and so I will hold off on making/posting new ones until then. (Kate Harper is the NSA Director for Walken, so even if she does not get picked for a position in the Seaborn administration, will remain in office until Walken leaves)

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  • All three of the middle names are my own creation, since they're never said or mentioned in the show. A good rule of thumb for my "non-show!canon middle names" is that I either try and take from character's parents' names (in case of male characters), the actors' own middle names or allusions to other roles they portrayed.
  • Vinick's signature is my own crappy attempt at imitating the style of Alan Alda's signature using a mousepad.
  • Vinick's term in the state assembly is slightly different than previously listed (1979-1983), since California's state legislators are sworn in in the December of the year they're elected rather than January of the year following.
  • Vinick's successor in the state legislature is Chuck Edison, who was recently defeated for re-election in California's 4th district. Note that Vinick lives in a completely different part of California than Edison. They occupied the same seat because the post-1980 Census redistricting moved the 36th from Santa Paula to the interior.
  • Donna's birthplace of Warroad, Minnesota being retroactively in Canada was revealed in "Dead Irish Writers" (season 3). Since Canada has birthright citizenship, Donna is technically a dual citizen.
  • Annabeth Schott's resume from the episode where she's introduced (seen in a split-second establishing shot) probably can be regarded as semi-canonical at best. As @Tim Thomason points out, it makes Schott 16 years older than her actress, runs into continuity problems within the show itself, and doesn't show things that other characters say about Annabeth (that she's the producer for Taylor Reid). So, I've taken bits and pieces of it. I've kept her education and hometown (of the fictional town of Barwood, Virginia) as the same as the resume, but the rest has been loosely adapted. I'm establishing Annabeth as only 6 years older than Kristen Chenoweth instead of 16 and stuck her as more of a television producer/media figure than a staffer, which is what the resume lists her pre-show resume as.
  • Since Annabeth's highest public office (Press Secretary to the First Lady under Helen Santos) lacks a whole lot of RL Wikipedia love (essentially the only holders who are continuously shown to have it in their infobox are the people who held it within the last few years IRL), she's the only main character who doesn't have an "officeholder" infobox.
 
Updated list of contemporary British Prime Ministers. Hope everything is correct.
One minor thing, the 2004 election was in June 2004 not May on Thursday June 10th, Graty became PM the following day after Meyer resigned, despite neither party getting a majority in the Hoc, the Tories where the largest party, and despite being in "power" Meyer refused to try and attempt anti Tory coalition to keep the Tories out and he resigned. Graty did a "confidence & supply" agreement with the Liberal Democrats. (Note not like the full coalition in "the real world" in 2010 but exactly what the Tories have with the DUP now in "the real world"), it lasted for three years.
 
One minor thing, the 2004 election was in June 2004 not May on Thursday June 10th, Graty became PM the following day after Meyer resigned, despite neither party getting a majority in the Hoc, the Tories where the largest party, and despite being in "power" Meyer refused to try and attempt anti Tory coalition to keep the Tories out and he resigned. Graty did a "confidence & supply" agreement with the Liberal Democrats. (Note not like the full coalition in "the real world" in 2010 but exactly what the Tories have with the DUP now in "the real world"), it lasted for three years.
I've fixed the dates for Meyer and Graty. It seems like Wikipedia depicts confidence and supply arrangements as depicted, a gray box in the election to indicate a hung parliament but still blue boxes for the ministry.
 
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