Kentucky Fried Politics: A Colonel Sanders Timeline

Chapter 86: January 2003 – August 2003
Chapter 86: January 2003 – August 2003

“The greatest threat to victory is the acceptance of failure as a possible outcome.”

– Nick Rowe (TTL)

Cain and company planned on 2003 being the year the company finally bounced back. SARS was expected to go away before its conclusion, and FLG Inc.’s CEO had finally yielded to the FLG Board’s calls to harness the technet for delivery on top of the pre-existing drive-thru model.

But unknown factors always have a funny way of throwing plans off-course. For KFC, the factor in question was an explosive and scandalous exposé, courtesy of the Associated Press. According to the report, KFC had contracts with several chicken farming corporations where the living conditions of the chickens was unquestionably inhumane – unsanitary cages so cramped that many birds were permanently disabled from broken legs, wings and spines, workers brutally throwing the chickens into “the killing machines,” breaking their necks in a manner of treatment not even fit for the likes of Lynwood Drake. The photographs and videotapes sneaked out of farms – appropriately nicknamed “holding cells” – in Nebraska, South Dakota and Missouri spurred on calls for people to boycott the company and bolstered the efforts of animal rights groups such as HATS (Humane Animal Treatment Society) and NAPO (National Animal Protection Organization).

Inside FLG Inc., Board members met with PR executives to coordinate damage control. On the fourteenth, two days after the scandal hit the pavement – and, more prominently, the technet – David C. Novak, KFC CEO since 2000, told reporters “their decrease in quality in their attempt to cut corners and costs was completely unbeknownst to us, possibly hidden from our inspectors.” It appeared the company’s plan was to pin the scandal almost entirely on the farms in question, only for FJG Inc. CEO Cain to go off-script…

– Marlona Ruggles Ice’s A Kentucky-Fried Phoenix: The Post-Colonel History of Most Famous Birds In The World, Hawkins E-Publications, 2020

“That report is biased hogwash funded by our competitors. Those pictures were taken out of context, and that video is heavily edited. The journalists who turned out this pack of lies may face legal consequences for this heinous slander.”

– Finger Lickin’ Good, Inc. CEO Herman Cain, 1/15/2003

But to the annoyance of Herman Cain, there would be no legal challenge to the exposé. Cain’s comments only worsened as the week went on, as he contradicted himself on the sixteenth; he claimed he had never met with their farm managers of the Missouri farms in question despite journalists releasing footage of Cain conversing with said managers at the 2001 Finger Lickin’ Good Inc. Restaurant Manager Convention in St. Louis. The main problem with Cain discussing the matter with members of the press was that it occurred within prior discussions with Board members. The BoD and others within the company management knew that, this time, the scandal being a fabrication was not the case. While it was false that KFC approved of such animal treatment, it was true that KFC had cut back on regulations in order to maximize profits and loosen up cash flow to pay worker salaries. Cain’s decision to double down and call for other news outlets to inspect the other farms that worked with KFC on the seventeenth worsened the company’s situation even further.

According to Novak, him and the other CEOs and COOs of FLG Inc.’s chains had to “stage a mini-intervention,” meeting with their boss on the eighteenth to convince him to let PR stabilize the situation. Two days later, Novak announced the chain had terminated their business deals with the farming companies in question due to a “good faith” section of their contracts being violated, leading to a court challenge from the Nebraskan farm company “Platte Plucking Farms Inc.” They were joined by the South Dakota and Missouri farms after all of them were shut down by health inspectors the next month.

Meanwhile, KFC’s PR and HR worked overtime to address customer concerns, while the company’s numbers-crunchers sought to improve cash flow by no longer tying quality controls to it, but this was initially unsuccessful…

– Marlona Ruggles Ice’s A Kentucky-Fried Phoenix: The Post-Colonel History of Most Famous Birds In The World, Hawkins E-Publications, 2020


…“Their fight for equality is similar to the fight against slavery, and, more so, to the fight against anti-miscegenation laws that once prevented interracial marriage,” the President said today when praising BLUTAG veterans of KWII, and ultimately became the first incumbent US President to publicly endorse the notion of extending marriage rights to BLUTAGO Americans. Of the five living former US Presidents (Mondale, Denton, Kemp, Bellamy, and Dinger), only Mondale and Bellamy have publicly supported same-sex marriage, both in 1994…

Comments Section:

Comment 1:
Had I known he thought this, I wouldn’t’ve voted Dem in Novem.

Comment 2:
Good on ol’ Jesse. Stand up for what you believe in, I always say.

Comment 3:
If he’d said this in October, the Dems would have lost the Senate and House.

Reply 1 to Comment 3: No he wouldn’t; Democrats kept talking about how JJ’s handled SARS way better than other countries, and we’re all enjoying those stimulus checks

Reply to Reply 1 to Comment 3: I dunno I think if that mid-November spike in cases had hit before the elections the Democrats would have at least break even then, yeah?

–, 1/22/2003 e-article


…The cheering crowd in the stadium seemed eerily quiet at only 20% seating capacity. Federal and state requirement, plus concerns that the game could become “another Toronto,” as in a major center for “superspreading,” led to the typically large crowds to shrink and the tailgating parties to be cancelled. But pigskin enthusiasts across the country nevertheless cheered on the players and partook in Superbowl traditions, just from the comforts of their own homes instead of in-person...

The New York Times, 1/26/2003


…The new Governor of California, Republican Dana Rohrabacher, has in the past expressed strong pro-Russia opinions. Rohrabacher won last November’s gubernatorial election by a narrow margin over an increasingly unpopular and controversial incumbent…

The Washington Post, 1/27/2003


…despite many Americans breaking quarantine and safezoning measures nationwide during the Winter Holiday season to visit loved ones for Christmas, Hanukkah and other religious observances, cases of new SARS cases were lower than anticipated. In our state, for instance, the last Arizona resident to be tested positive for SARS was so on December 29, after visiting grandchildren in California. The national rate of cases is on an uneven decline, but a decline nonetheless…

The Arizona Republic, 1/28/2003

…We now turn to politics, where Senator and former Vice President Mike Gravel has introduced legislation for the abolishing of the IRS. Gravel has been critical of the complicated nature of America’s tax system, especially its alleged pro-wealth loopholes, and believes the simplest solution is to dismantle the service and replace it with a new, smaller, simpler organization. Since returning to the US Senate in 1999, Gravel has also voiced support for abolishing the Federal Income Tax, alongside other taxes and several social service programs, in favor of implementing a 20% National Sales Tax and a Federal Aid Dividend Program…

– ABC Morning News, 1/29/2003

MCTEER REORGANIZING CABINET: Ministers Jane Sterk, Lorne Nystrom To Stay, Former Hockey Player Bobby Orr To Be New Health Minister

The Toronto Star, Canadian newspaper, 2/2/2003


…While the states and much of Europe are seeing their rates of transmitting SARS continue to fall, the virus is still quickly spreading in India, and the authorities are struggling to keep the situation under control. The cramped living conditions in the country’s northern “belt” of urban centers makes quarantine and safezoning measures difficult to maintain. Additionally, Indian citizens fleeing these urban areas seem to be spreading SARS to more spread-out populations, which is leading to violent incidents between those areas' locals and “the urban refugees.”


Above: People boarding a bus in New Delhi without adhering to spacing and masking measures, save for a few

The Daily Telegraph, UK newspaper, 2/2/2003

The top three House Democratic leaders (Speaker Barbara Kennelly, House Majority Leader William Herbert Gray III, and House Majority Whip Ed Markey) were torn over Jesse Jackson’s suggestions to Secretary of State Ann Richards that the US “might just have to” intervene in India.

“Our numbers are dropping. We’re doing better than expected, while India’s doing worse than expected. Their numbers keep rising, their mortality rate is higher than ours. What I’m saying is that the situation is under control here, but out of control over there,” said the President in this multicaller teleconference.

“What about the Prime Minister of India?” Asked Kennelly.

“Lal Krishna Advani? That man balked at my proposal. Just medical advisors and experts, some supplies, extra masks made over here instead of over there. Isn’t that ironic – that their numbers are rising because their mask sweatshops are staying open? I tell you, that old buzzard, he’s gonna kill half his own countrymen if he doesn’t take this thing more seriously.”

“Well, how do you twist another world leader’s arm?” Gray inquired.

“I was thinking of condemning his actions at the UN. Lee’s up to it,” the President said about his UN Ambassador, former US Congressman Lee Hamilton.

“Maybe a bluff, like the threat of a trade war, would be taken more seriously than just harsh words,” suggested Kennelly.

“I don’t know, maybe we should remain focused on our own cases before we try intervention in India,” Gray countered. “We shouldn’t strain ourselves with a nation with nearly three times as many people and nearly ten times as many cases.”

“Well we have to do something, we can’t just turn a blind eye to their suffering just because their leader is,” responded Jackson.

“I agree,” spoke Markey. “Lal Krishna Advani’s actions do not define his nation and he will not be in office forever. When he’s out and this pandemic is over, we’ll want to be on friendly terms with the industries, businesses, and people of India. And we can better assure that by establishing a humanitarian reputation now, when they as much help as they can get.”

“We just need to get certain Indian politician – regional leader, you know, the governors of India’s states and territories – to sign some agreements with us,” noted Ann Richards.

Jackson nodded and politely but sternly replied, “Then let’s get on with it, huh?”

– Jim Droder’s, Behind The Masks: SARS vs. The World, Sunrise Publishers, 2008

COCAIN’S LEGACY: A Special Report; A Drug Running Its Course Begins Hiding With Its Users

…much like the crack epidemic of the 1980s, the new generation of adolescents and young adults are taking notice of the past twelve years and taking note of the powerfully destructive tendencies of drug abuse, with particular scrutiny aimed at cocaine. According to extensive polling, the rate of narcotic use among Americans under 18 is at a ten-year low. The damaging effects of cocaine are seen across racial lines as well as generational groups. Cocaine has been linked to a 20% increase in the homicide rate for black male victims under 25 during the 1980s, a rate that peaked at 24% in 1999…

Time Magazine, early February 2003 issue

“They’re called Do-Nothing Democrats for a reason. It was Denton and Dinger who are responsible for the gradual drop in recreadrug use among young people. It’s just that Bellamy and Jackson were in office when their zero-tolerance recreadrug policies really started taking effect!”

– US Rep. Bo Gritz (R-ID), 2/13/2003

“WE WILL LAND ON THE MOON IN FIVE YEARS”: Saudi Space Agency Announces Bold Plans For 2008


Comments Section:
ANONYMOUS: “Of course they want to claim the moon – a cresent moon is on almost all of their flags!”

–, 2/15/2003 e-article


…It is already legal to use marijuana, if authorized by a physician, in Alaska, New Mexico, and the “first three” states of Massachusetts, California and Colorado [1]. Recreational marijuana, which requires no prescription, is only legal in Alaska and New Mexico, though Colorado may soon join that list. …Overseas, medical marijuana is legal in much of Europe, including the UK but not France, as well as in Australia and Brazil…

The Chicago Tribune, 2/16/2003

…And in California, Governor Dana Rohrabacher is facing controversy and criticism for his friendly attitude toward Russia. The Governor is fiercely defending his travelling to Moscow in 2000 and 2001, officially as Chairman of the US House Subcommittee on Space and Aeronautics, amid claims that his pro-Russia tendencies are hurting American businesses and workers in California. A strident advocate for space exploration, especially US-led space exploration, Rohrabacher claims there is, quote, “nothing nefarious about any of this,” unquote...

– KNN, 2/17/2003 broadcast


…with only seven Congresspersons (most vocally Republican Bo Gritz of Idaho) in opposition, the House today approved of a bipartisan resolution condemning several white supremacist and white nationalist groups, including all of the multiple minor groups using the name “Ku Klux Klan.” Demonstrating Republican calls for upholding President Dinger’s “domestic security” policies, GOP leaders agreed with Democrats that such groups “impede American freedoms and have no place in the twenty-first century,” said House Minority Leader David Emery (R-ME).

Rep. Bo Gritz, on the other hand, criticized the resolution by noting “what about the X-Men, and other Black nationalist groups. The resolution officially condemns all hate groups and groups supporting and promoting the persecution of groups based on race. Well what about Black supremacist groups, does this cover those groups? You say it technically does, but how do the American people know that for sure?”

The resolution has no force of law, but it is meant to be a powerful display of political unity, as 382 Congresspersons are now on record condemning these groups…

The Washington Post, 2/19/2003


…Roscosmos’ collaborative Russia/UT space rocket project failed during the engine burn, causing it to crash back into the Aktobe Testing Grounds, located in rural western Kazakhstan Nation. The resulting explosion has incinerated half a hangar and has injured at least seven people, to varying degrees of severity, most likely from high burns and shrapnel...

–, 2/21/2003 e-news article

…While ten people flew across the cosmos, thousands back on Earth were living in fear of De Beers, an international corporation controlling 40% of the world’s rough diamond mining and distributing. The corporation’s operations in Botswana were atrocious but gaining international condemnation thanks to the technet. With each passing year, more people became aware of how De Beers’ acts: of the thousands of indigenous San Bushmen people the corporation was trying to forcibly relocate since diamonds were discovered in San Bushmen lands in Botswana in the late 1980s; of the corporation artificially inflating the price of diamonds; of De Beers’ use of slave labor to operate the mines; and of the corporation’s indirect links to the corruption of local and regional government officials in Botswana, who sought to ensure workers failed whenever they sought better treatment via political venues.

The San Bushmen people, though, was not without friends. The non-governmental organization Survival International was in their corner, claiming the corporation’s forced removal of San Bushmen from their homes and homelands equated to a cultural genocide. A major ally, though, was found in President Jesse Jackson. Under his administration, the US government condemned De Beers’ work ethics, and amplified legal actions. Jackson also discussed the matter with President Chris Hani of South Africa; since entering office in 1994, South African-Botswana relations had waned considerably due to Hani’s anti-corruption measures.

After attempts to pressure the corporation into altering their policies went nowhere, the Jackson administration tried a different approach, and went after De Beers’ books. In late February 2002, the US Department of Justice charge De Beers of price fixing in connection to their distribution of diamonds in US markets, and soon, via an executive order inevitably upheld by the courts, banned it and intermediaries from selling what Jackson called “De Beers’ blood diamonds” in all 50 states and territories. The subsequent legal battle went on for several years, with Jackson and company remaining a thorn in the corporation’s side the whole time…

– author A’Lelia Bundles’ Consequential: The Presidency of Jesse Jackson, Random House, 2015


…the former colorectal cancer survivor passed away suddenly from an unspecified ailment…

The Orlando Sentinel, 3/1/2003


…Dana Rohrabacher was elected on a platform of dismantling Governor Kathleen Brown’s “War on Mary Jane” by legalizing recreational marijuana (along with supporting entrepreneurs and small business owners), making this the most pro-marijuana state law in the union. …At last week’s ceremony at which Rohrabacher signed the bill into law, he said “The Recreadrug Wars are costing Californians individual freedom and is responsible for gang violence, civil forfeiture, poverty, and the militarization of the police”…

The Sacramento Union, 3/2/2003

“Not all Blacks back Jesse. There are Blacks who are conservative, there Blacks who are liberal, there Blacks who are progressive, there Blacks who are libertarian, and there are Blacks who are populist. There are Blacks who are nationalist, there are Blacks who are moderate, and there are Blacks who are centrist. To corral all of them together into one bloc, into one party, into one voting bloc, based on color instead of content, would create a political tent so big, P. T. Barnum would rise from the grave out of sheer jealousy alone! I oppose the US having just one political party for just one very diverse group of people for the same reason why I opposed Russia being a one-party system during the Cold War – because opposition and political competition is healthy, and play a vital and necessary role in our country’s people’s ability to exercise their freedom of choice.”

– Former VP James H. Meredith (R-MS), 60 Minutes interview, 3/3/2003


Kommersant (The Businessman), Russian newspaper, 3/6/2003

SOURCE: Supreme Court Likely to Rule on Same-Sex Marriage “Soon”

…petitions for writs of certiorari have already been filed with the Supreme Court…

The Washington Post, 3/9/2003

…Forest fires have broken out outside of Voronezh, in southwestern Russia, in a furious blaze spreading across the region’s forest steppe that truly highlights the destructive effects of Global Climate Disruption, or GCD…

– The Overmyer Network, 3/11/2003 broadcast


– The Yakima Herald-Republic, Washington state newspaper, 3/15/2003


…an official “inquiry” is being opened into claims of foreign influence being present in both Rohrabacher’s gubernatorial campaign and in his current gubernatorial staff…

The Los Angeles Times, 3/16/2003

MARS MISSION UPDATE: Propulsion Systems, Life-Support Equipment Functioning Normally

– NASA press release, 3/18/2003


The Guardian, UK newspaper, 19/3/2003

…In March 2003, a new competitor emerged out from its regional success in the American northwest. The Herring Network, founded in 1999 in Reno, Nevada, was the brainchild of Robert S. Herring Sr., a businessman who decided to found a hard-c conservative media company in Reno Nevada to protest what he viewed as America’s biased media companies (the big five: ABC, NBC, CBS, TON, KNN). At the time, Herring was a major supporter of President Dinger and the Wide-Awakes movement spawned out from jingoistic supporters of the Second Korean War. “Overmyer’s at least centrist, so is Kennedy and Turner, to a lesser extent, but the older three, especially NBC, they were just too much for me. And then, year later, their downplaying of Jackson’s overreach of Presidential powers during the SARS pandemic, that was the final straw,” said Herring in a 2015 interview. Herring invested much of his fortune into expanding the scope of his network across the plains as the SARS pandemic slowly subsided, and offered viewers “different takes” on political and social events in ways that appealed to certain conservative viewers…

– Michael O’Connor’s A Tale of Two Teds: How Kennedy And Turner Built A Media Empire, Greenwood Press, 2017

…The US military budget for 2004 was slashed even further than it was for 2001, 2002, and 2003…

– author A’Lelia Bundles’ Consequential: The Presidency of Jesse Jackson, Random House, 2015


…Rohrabacher, whom Russia favors so highly the Kremlin gave him a code name, may have possibly accepted Russian government “kickbacks” after signing a trade deal with Russia’s Trade Minister back in February. The deal itself was controversial as pundits on the left and right claimed to was too beneficial to Russian manufacturers, to the detriment of California workers…

–, 3/22/2003

“Apparently, the Governor was convinced to run into order to ensure a better trade deal for a foreign entity, which, apparently, is only legal if you don’t accept payments each time you do something that favors that country over America.”

– Brian Williams, NBC News, 3/23/2003

“Dana put the interests of Russia ahead of the people of California, who were essentially tricked into voting for him, deceived by a heinous cad of a man.”

– Rev. Jerry Brown, 3/24/2003

POLL: US Citizen Approval of President Jackson’s Handling of the SARS Global Pandemic

Approve: 58%
Disapprove: 31%
Uncertain: 11%

– Gallup, 3/25/2003

…Bulgaria has become the latest country to join the European Union. With E.U. officials approving of Bulgaria’s final legal, they should officially join the international organization on the first of June…

– BBC News, 27/3/2003 broadcast

…Russian officials claimed that their nation’s record-breaking forest fires in 2003 were the direct fault of embers from post-SARS “survival party” celebrations. Their Interior Minister make note of similar celebrations occurring in those campaign grounds for decades, but not the apparent lack of major forest fires breaking out in the region before. This is because of the truth of matter, that the region’s dry climate was becoming more arid due to irresponsible shifting cultivation and by slash-and-burn tree clearing practicing that the Interior Ministry had allowed logging companies to perform since the NDRR’s conception in the mid-1980s. Records leaked in 2013 reveal the Russian government largely dismissed GCD concerns under Lobkovskaya and her predecessor, and regulations were often ignored or simply not enforced until late 2005...

– Avril Stevenson’s A Collective Need: The Race To Reverse Global Climate Disruption, Simon & Schuster, 2020


…With the Prime Minister of India refusing to accept “any foreign aide” from the US government, federal officials have assisted the Texas state government, and several mask-making businesses, in establishing a “humanitarian business deal” with the Governor of Uttar Pradesh, India’s most populous state. Home to the most densely-populated areas of India, Uttar Pradesh is considered to be the most-populous country subdivision in the world. In this section of northern-central India, the SARS mortality rate is at nearly 20%, staggeringly higher than the world average of 8.5%, due to hospitals being overwhelmed and the region’s difficulty in establishing safezoning measures; in addition, ethnic clashes between majority Hindus and minority Muslims have only worsened the situation over there...

The Houston Chronicle, 4/2/2003


…an E-frame model first designed in the 1990s and inspired by the Jaguar E-type, the 2004 model harnesses the sweeping lines of the classic “vintage” car it emulates, but with all the latest amenities and features without compromising the look of the car. With high performance ability and durability, the Growler is an homage to the 1960s that is brilliant and beautiful.


Production and release of the 2004 model was delayed by the 2002-2003 SARS pandemic, and so Ford heavily promoted it online. The utilization of e-commerce during this period proved how helpful the technet could be in regard to both communication and commerce...


Weight: 1,550 kilograms

Engine: 5.0-litre V-8

– [2]

…With the National Initiative Amendment now in the hands of the states, Mike Gravel turned his attention to foreign policy. He was consistently critical of Jackson treatment of American intervention in Colombia, saying “We should not stay in there until the peace treaty is ratified, we should pull out right now. We should have pulled out over a decade ago!” in 2001. Hoping to prevent a possible primary challenge from the former Vice President, Jackson held teleconferences with Gravel several times in the spring and summer of 2003. They primarily discussed the merits of intervention, with Gravel calling American peacekeeping forces in Colombia “militarism veiled as humanitarianism.” The two politicians agreed the foreign aid was almost always warranted, but differed on approach. When Jackson brought up the chaos in India, Gravel adamantly refused to support a military approach even hypothetically: “You send in doctors to heal, not soldiers.”

It is debatable how influential these private discussions were, at least in the short term. While many WH officials claim they convinced Gravel against running for President in 2004, others, including Gravel’s second wife, claim he had already decided against another run weeks beforehand…

– Nancy Skelton and Bob Faw’s Thunder In America: A Chronology of The Jesse Jackson White House, Texas Monthly Press, 2016

…In mid-April 2003, CIA officials together with Colombian national police successfully thwarted an AUC plot to bomb the FARC/ELN/Government peace accords negotiations commencing in Bogota. The incident led to some concern that the negotiations were occurring too slowly. Jackson responded to these concerns three days later, by noting at a meeting with the President of Colombia that “Peace is not just a word but a process. And even after the process of peace has been completed, there are always continued conflicting interests. This is seen in nations, in states, in counties, in cities, even in some families. But we cannot give up on peace simply because the length of the process eats away at our patience and makes us want to give in to our natural urges for immediate results.”…

– author A’Lelia Bundles’ Consequential: The Presidency of Jesse Jackson, Random House, 2015


The New York Times, 4/11/2003

“IT SEEMS ASSEMBLY LINES ARE STILL HOTSPOTS”: Governor Cantalupo Passes New Factory Regulations As SARS Cases Resurgence Linked To Re-Openings

The Chicago Tribune, 4/21/2003


The Louisville Courier, 4/23/2003

…According to this latest investigative report from The Sacramento Union, the FBI had warned Presidents Dinger and Jackson that Rohrabacher, a US Congressman from 1989 to 2003, was “an interest” to the Kremlin under Russian President Viktor Chernomyrdin and incumbent President Nina Lobkovskaya, but did not consider the then-congressman to be a serious risk to our nation’s security…

– KNN, 4/24/2003


–, 4/29/2003 e-article


Baghdad, IRAQ – When two-term incumbent President Abd ar-Razzaq Said al-Naif opted to retire after twelve productive years in office, he established a major precedence…


…Saleh Muhammed al-Mutlaq won the Presidency of Iraq on May 1st by a 7% margin in the popular vote, but due to neither major candidate winning a majority of the popular vote, the end result of the election was determined by a national representative system. Said system was the Council of Representatives (in which a candidate needed a 2/3rds majority to win) until the implementation of the US-inspired Iraqi Electorate College was established in 1991.

Four candidates won districts in the election: Saleh Muhammed al-Mutlaq (b. 1947) of the ASU (“moderate” faction), a former Ba’ath Party member who supports reforming Iraq’s justice system; Ahmed Chalabi (b. 1944) of the (ASU “conservative” faction), a businessman with close U.S. ties; Ahmad Husayn Khudayir as-Samarrai (b. 1941) of the Iraqi Ba’ath (reformed) Party, a career politician who underperformed and won only one Electoral Division; and Ibrahim al-Jaafari (b. 1947) of the Dawa Party, anti-Israel politician who made some inroads among Kurdish and even some Sunni populations with a negative campaign that blamed all non-Iraqi people for Iraq’s infrastructure issues, and won only one Electoral Division but still accused all three other candidates of individually committing voter fraud – “especially” al-Mutlaq because “he was the one who was successful at it.”

On May 2, 2002, the Electoral College was deadlocked like so:


Al-Mutlag had 66, Chalabi had 59, as-Samarrai had 10, and al-Jaafari and 8. However, one the second convening of the EC on May 3, as-Samarrai threw his support to al-Mutlag, giving him 76 of 143 EC votes – a majority, and thus the Presidency…

–, 5/8/2003 e-article


…This week, New Hampshire’s Preservation Society is hosting a fundraiser to cover the latest round of repairs made to The Old Man of The Mountain, the Granite state’s most famous landmark. The “Old Man” is a naturally-created rock formation of five granite cliff ledges in the state’s White Mountains that, when viewed from the north, resembles the profile on an elderly man, with a heavy brow and a powerful chin, jutting out the side of a mountain. In the past several decades, several New Hampshire Governors, from Malcolm McLane to Ovide Lamontagne, have helped preserve this iconic image, but erosion is still damaging this source of regional pride.

The mountain’s freezing temperatures make weather-proofing measures increasingly difficult. Prominent cracks in The Old Man’s “forehead” have existed since at least the 1920s, meaning that the profile is starting to erode away, but not if the people of the Granite State can help it. Cement, plastic covering, steel rods and turnbuckles are giving this Old Man one doozy of a facelift.

The NHPS’s fundraiser with feature several local and prominent rock bands such as Tim McCoy and The Papercuts, Scissorfight, and Joe Asselin, with the proceeds going to the NHPS for The Old Man of the Mountain and other state landmarks...

The Boston Globe, 5/11/2003


…Saudi Arabian media claim the “megarocket” exerts 3.1 million pounds of thrust upon ignition, and exceeds all ballistic requirements for such a rocket in terms of new materials and designs. The test-firing demonstration was closed to media outlets, but the state agency has released footage and photographs of the test…

The Guardian, UK newspaper, 15/5/2003


…President Dinger campaigned hard in majority-Latino communities, arguing that intervention in Colombia and Mexico was crime-based, not ethnic-based. The move seemed to pay off, as the 2000 Presidential Election results revealed a rise in Latinos voting Republican, up 22% from 1996. However, this may have most likely been due to Dinger campaign’s depiction of Jackson as a left-wing extremist – a characterization that likely reminded older Cuban-Americans of the Castor Regime that plagued Cuba in the early 1960s. …In Puerto Rico, the number of locals supporting the GOP has slipped down 5% in the past year as Jackson increases funding for rural and development programs for the Caribbean Commonwealth. Most PRs, though, show little preference for either party according to another poll. In another indication that President Jackson is winning over more Hispanic voters as the years pass, the 2002 midterms showed a 12% drop in GOP support and preference among Latino American voters nationwide. …Republicans will have to try and appeal to this demographic if it wishes to stay competitive in certain geographical areas such as the American Southwest, and if it wishes to be a major player in Puerto Rico, should it become a state in the near future…

The Boston Globe, 5/20/2003




> Is it safe to go back to normal now?
>> Maybe. My governor’s already lifted restrictions a while back, but I’m keeping the masks on until Prezy JJ gives the okay.
>>> I’m waiting until Bellamy says its over.
>>>> Carol Bellamy 4 Pres (again) 2008!

> It looks like we’re finally in the clear! We got lucky, it was a lot worse outside the US.
>> Tell me about it – a work as an EMT, and while we have several cases, we here in West Virginia didn’t even see a single fatality!
>>> I think we had like 1 or 2 deaths here in Montana, but there were hundreds of casualtys in NYC, right?

–, 5/25/2003

To wrap my head around it, I imagined they were being sent by messenger pigeon. As communication signals traveled at the speed of light through space and satellites, the delay between messages sent back and forth from Houston and the Milestone was several minutes. At the halfway point of the Mars-bound leg, it was approximately 17.5 minutes. I spent those minutes reviewing the monitors and imagining that we had sent out some homing pigeon in a little spacesuit, and that he’d be back with Houston’s reply in roughly twenty minutes. It helped pass the time.

“Glad to hear you’re all holding up. Situation normal and on schedule back here. We do have some personal news for Engineering Commander Krikalev, though. Congratulations, Crackle, your wife gave birth to a healthy baby boy yesterday. We think it best to hold off on the passing out of the cigars until after you’ve returned, though.”

McCool immediately pulled out his good luck charm, a small vial kept around his neck. Inside the tiny clear container was a dried-up four-leaf clover the pilot had found an hour before he was selected for the mission. After crossing himself with it, he explained, “In space movies, whoever discusses their family the most is always the first to go.”

“Good thing we’re not in a movie, then,” Commander Polansky replied. “Let’s see. Readings are normal. Supplies are good, engines are good.” He nodded to Zorba, who nodded back to confirm. “We just need an update on the payload to send out the next message.”

They looked to me. “I’ll get Frankie.”

Frankie Chang Diaz, Payload Commander, was soon with the rest of us in the front of the ship, where the rotation of the shuttleplane’s front section granted us artificial gravity. As he concluded his report, confirming the payload was secure, he began to rub his eye.

“Something wrong with your vision?” Asked the Doc.

“No, I’m just a little fatigued from starring at the monitors for too long, I suspect,” answered Frankie.

“Remember the 20-20-20 rule. Every 20 twenty minutes, look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds,” Sharman suggested.

“I know, thanks anyway, but I know.”

Doc shook her head. “You’ve been spending too much time in the gravity-free shafts, Frankie. I don’t like it. Commander, requesting permission to give the Payload Commander a physical checkup.”

“Permission granted,” answered Polansky, who then said to Frankie, “Better safe than sorry, Frankie.”

“Understood, sir. Not a problem.”

– Michael P. Anderson’s A Million Different Things, Borders Books, 2006



Above: FLG Inc. CEO Herman Cain argues with reports in January 2003

…the head of KFC’s parent company, Finger Lickin’ Good, Inc., is in hot water for implementing cost-cutting measures during his tenure that have tarnished KFC’s reputation and quality standards for the sake of yielding profit. Cain is reportedly fighting off opponents inside KFC management, including company elders such as Millie Sanders, Pete Harman, and former US Senator Harland “Harley” Sander Jr., who is the most publicly vocal of the three in his castigating of Cain’s business ethics and priorities...

The Hollywood Reporter, 5/28/2003

…The internal divisions leaking into the public light hurt the company’s reputation among investors more so than the scandals. Carefully, Harley and Millie began to teleconference with several members of the FLG Board of Directors in order to see if Cain still had the support of a majority of its members…

– Marlona Ruggles Ice’s A Kentucky-Fried Phoenix: The Post-Colonel History of Most Famous Birds In The World, Hawkins E-Publications, 2020


El Espectador, Colombian newspaper, 6/1/2003

…In Washington, D.C., oral arguments were heard in a US Supreme Court case that could lead to the judges making a nationwide ruling on the legality of BLUTAG marriage, also known as same-sex marriage…

– ABC Morning News, 6/4/2003 broadcast

Mars Mission Control back on Earth, in Houston, received our message 19.2 minutes later. “We have had a medical incident.”

During sleeping hours, P.C. Chiang Diaz felt uncomfortable and upon waking up immediately reported to Doc that he had essentially lost vision in his left eye.

“Could be from eye strain?” Asked Polansky.

“Possibly, but unlikely, Commander,” Doc Robertson began her analysis. “It’s most likely a blood clot issue. Or a blood vessel burst. His eye’s got blood in it. Now, blood clot issues have been experienced onboard the I.S.S. several times, but this,” looking back at her patient, lying on the bed, resting, with a bandage over the left side of his face, “This could be much worse than any of those incidents. But what is most, um, concerning about the situation here is the high number of factors involved. There’s age – he’s the oldest one on board. There’s the total amount of time in space – maybe his was from previous space time clocked in before the mission. I mean, he did stay aboard the ISS continuously for over a year, but that was close to Earth.”

“Say what you mean, Doc,” Zorba spoke, “We’re in uncharted medical territory out here.”

Polansky gave him the look. “Diamandis.”

“Blood clot are supposed to hit your legs, maybe your arm, not the back of your eye. We know where we’re going but we don’t know what we’re getting into here.”

“Zorba! What’s with you, man, are you having a panic attack?”

Realized he’d raised his voice and took a deep breath. Exhaling, he answered “Maybe” in a calmer demeanor.

“Then go clip yourself to the wall and get a bit of rest until Robertson can see to you.”

The transmitting delay felt much longer than it actually was. I imagined a homing pigeon fighting his way through a hailstorm. With one eye closed.

Finally, NASA replied back. They informed us of their decision: to leave the deciding up to us. “Robertson is the medical physician. If she says he should not risk going to the surface, then Anderson will take his seat on the Seeker 3.”

I could say only one word. “What?”

“We need the landing party to be in the best of health,” Commander Polansky concurred.

“But… This is Frankie’s turn. This is his final mission, his only chance to – And, and I’m – ”

“His understudy,” Sharman noted.

“Mike,” said a voice behind me.

I turned around; Frankie had woken up.

“It’s alright,” he said, “Circling around Mars is good enough for me.”

Doc agreed with Polanski, “Michael, if he went down, he could have further visual problems. That could complicate if not compromise the mission. I just can’t approve of him heading down.”

It was with bittersweet sadness that I accepted to change, that I would take Payload Commander Chiang Diaz’s seat on board the Seeker 3.

As we sent out the message confirming this seating adjustment, Frankie said to me in a voice full of sincerity, “Make me proud, Mike.”

I answered, “Come on, man. You know I will.”

– Michael P. Anderson’s A Million Different Things, Borders Books, 2006

…It now appears that Russia’s foreign ministry recruited Republican Dana Rohrabacher to act as a, quote, “agent of influence,” unquote, but this latest development from the state Attorney General’s office suggests that the ministry began recruitment efforts only after Rohrabacher had decided to run for Governor…

– CBS Evening News, 6/21/2003

“Make no mistake – I am innocent!”

– Governor Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), 6/22/2003


– The Hollywood Reporter, 6/23/2003


…the announcement on the status of SARS within the borders of Germany comes after 40 straight days of zero new cases in said country…

The Daily Telegraph, UK newspaper, 25/6/2003

…The warden of a prison complex in Los Angeles has been arrested for allegedly purposely exposing Black inmates to the SARS virus. Stemming back to a scandal that began in October when a whistleblower led to security guards being indicted earlier this year, an inquiry into the sanitation conditions of the prison as launched by California’s state Attorney General Bill Lockyer. L.A.’s Twin Towers Correctional Facility opened in California in 1997, and had until recently maintained a low profile during President Jackson’s calls for prison reform...

– KNN, 6/26/2003 broadcast

TIMING IS EVERYTHING: A Review of “Wonder Woman”

“Is it worth risking my life over?” That is the hyperbolic but succinct question on one’s mind when contemplating whether or not to go to the theaters to watch the superhero action flick “Wonder Woman.” Starring Argentinian actress Carolina Ardohain as the titular heroin, this latest superhero film was greenlit after audiences responded positively to her side-character’s appearance in the 1999 blockbuster “Justice League.” A stand-alone adrenaline flick aimed at male and female demographics, it’s been promoted on TV – and on the technet – as a movie full of jaw-dropping action sequences so intense that a TV release would not do it justice; Warner Bros. held off on releasing this film for over a year, until SARS case rates dropped significantly from where they were during last year’s “peak” in the spring. Despite viewers being seated five feet (or two-to-three seats) apart in nearly all big screen locations, many audiences this summer are still very wary of the SARS pandemic.

Though ticket sales are vital to their business projections for the movie, Warner Bros. and DC can breathe a sigh of relief when it comes to reviews: both critics and audiences are praising this film, and I agree with them. Wonder Woman indeed features spectacular fight scenes, from the main character’s upbringing to her fights in World War Two.

While I cannot tell anyone to risk their health to see a movie, I can say that if you can watch this one in a way that you assess is safe, for you and those around you, then I say go for it!

The New York Times, side article, 6/27/2003

“I’m feeling great. I feel great because I love what I’m doing. I’m playing a major role in the fight against President Jackson’s radical agenda. That is what is keeping me going. His mishandling of the SARS pandemic – nearly a thousand Americans dead – it emboldens me to oppose his extremist plans. It fuels me.”

– US Senator J. Strom Thurmond (R-SC), South Carolina’s WAGP 88.7 FM Christian talk radio, 6/29/2003 interview

…With summer truly beginning and the rate of global cases dropping in most countries, it is very possible that we are almost out of the woods… India and China were significantly hit by SARS, with India having over 185,000 cases and over 18,000 deaths so far, China having over 287,000 cases and roughly 25,000 deaths so far. ...Canada, host of the “superspreader” hotspot that was the 2002 Winter Olympics, has handled over 27,000 cases and over 3,200 deaths so far, while the U.K. experienced over 14,200 cases and just over 1,100 deaths so far…

…Due to the quick implementation of aggressive preventative measures in the U.S., that nation’s numbers are noticeably lower: roughly 11,500 cases, and between 840 and 970 deaths so far…

…Australia, Russia, central Asia, China, parts of Europe, and Central America were the regions hit worse during this global crisis; on the flip side, South America and Africa were least impacted, with the latter area being practically untouched…

–, 6/30/2003

“I strongly disagree with the President’s recent comment that Black people who vote Republican are trying to act white. Children can’t achieve unless we raise their expectations and turn off the television sets and eradicate the slander that says a black youth with a book is acting white. The President’s comments do not at all support this notion, but instead only promotes the narrow way of thinking that all Black people must act in a single certain way.” [4]

– Barack “Rocky” McCain, former Chief of Staff to Vice President James H. Meredith, Meet the Press, 7/1/2003

Trivia Facts:

Trivia Fact No. 1: The Manned Mars Mission Made Treasure Planet A Reality

Treasure Planet surprised Disney executives when it dominated The Box Office on opening weekend in July 1998. Initially, many higher-ups at the Disney company did not believe that the concept “Treasure Island, but in space” would work. However, Lee Iacocca’s call for a manned mission to Mars in 1993 led to a resurgence in people being interested in space travel. Hoping to capitalize on this, the first film was greenlit in 1993.

Trivia Fact No. 2: Expanding On The First Movie

The first film took over four years to make due to rewrites and the cost of its technological design. The surprise success of the first movie spawning two sequels and a two-seasons-long TV series. Both sequels and the series used elements from the original source material, and elements that were left out of the first movie. Examples include the second film diving into Silver’s backstory, an action sequence concerning an ambush, and the introduction of characters Allardyce, David Pew, Abe Gray, and Redruth.

Trivia Fact No. 3: The Third Film Was Purposely More Mature

Some critics noted that some elements of the second film made it very much like the first. To avoid a third “similar rehashing” of the first film, as one critic called the first sequel. The franchise founders set the third film after the series, when Jim is at the Academy, to when Jim is an adult commanding a ship of his own. The third film also draws inspiration from other seafaring books of the 18th and 19th century, such as Daniel Defoe’s “Robinson Crusoe” and Sir Walter Scott’s “The Pirate.”

Trivia Fact No. 4: A Delicate Opening

The second movie of the franchise, often called “Treasure Planet 2,” premièred on July 4, 2003, to critical acclaim, and was considered a sleeper hit, doing modestly at the box office before gradually doubling the money put into it by the end of the year 2005. The film saw a limited release due to the US and much of the world slowly weaning off of safezoning measures imposed during the SARS pandemic of 2001-2004. The film was even re-released in theaters in the summer of 2004, though some claim that that action was to siphon off moviegoers from a Warner Bros. Animation film.

Trivia Fact No. 5: Nirvana Contributed to The Soundtrack

Guitarist and mental health advocate Kurt Cobain openly loved the first film, especially the “troubled pre-teen angle Disney gave Jim” Hawkins.

– [5]

…With Democrats having an even larger majority than at the start of the Jesse Jackson Presidency, Senator Peter Diamondstone (Liberty Union-VT) introduced a bill that, if passed into law, would tie the nation’s bosses’ income rise rates to employee income rise rates. “Essentially, if your boss’s income rises 5% between 2004 and 2005, your own income must rise by a minimum of 2.5%.”

Multiple Republicans, and some moderate and conservative Democrats, reeled from the proposal, arguing that “this proposed authoritarian seizing and controlling of the private sector and small businesses” would suppress the entire concept of the free market system, and claiming that it would ruin economic growth and freedom if passed. As expected, the Democratic Senate leaders made sure the bill died in committee; Diamondstone responded by claiming this action “proves both parties are in the pockets of the corporate elite.”

Even so, Diamondstone pressed on with his attempts to pass many – or, at least, any – of his other socialistic policies, such as nationalizing the banks, transportation systems, energy sources, and the media, capping income levels so no American citizen can be a billionaire, disbanding state-level National Guards and replacing them with civilian militias, eliminating the voting age, and opposing water fluoridation and genetically modified foods, among other “radical” policy positions that made Jackson actually look moderate by comparison…

– Nancy Skelton and Bob Faw’s Thunder In America: A Chronology of The Jesse Jackson White House, Texas Monthly Press, 2016


The New York Times, 7/11/2003

“Well, astronauts are a lot like truck drivers, aren’t they? Condensed into small space, you know? But, we’re all condensed into small spaces right now, so these brave man and women are essentially stuck doing quarantine for an extra year. A least they have a unique view to stare out into.”

– Christiane Amanpour, KNN coverage of the 2003 Mars Mission, 7/14/2003


…In tonight’s runoff election, Marie-Segolene Royal of the Socialist Alliance defeated Francois Bayrou of the Centrist Party, 52.6% to 47.4%. Royal, a former member of the National Assembly who served as the head of three different ministries under outgoing President Claude Estier, defeated Bayrou, as well as Jean-Louis Debré (of the Republican Party), Marie-France Stirbois (of the National Front), and others, in the first round of voting that was held on the ninth of July 2003. …Royal will be sworn in on July 30…

The Daily Telegraph, 23/7/2003


…After two years of negotiations, Colombian guerillas leaders today signed a non-aggression treaty with the President of Colombia in Bogota. Due to safezoning measures, the heads of the multisided conflict saluted one another from across a large room, with each man at a separate table. President Jackson VidCalled in to the signing ceremony to congratulate the participants and urged the members of F.A.R.C. and the Colombian government to work together to “solve the mutual problem” that is the A.U.C., a right-wing Colombian terrorist group who refused to enter negotiations…

The Washington Post, 7/27/2003

…On July 30, Richard P. “Rick” Cheney finally launched his long-awaited bid for the US Presidency. His stern and militaristic “law-and-order” campaign, which targeted recreadrugs and supported private prisons at a time when they were on the decline, was reminiscent of the one that Jeremiah Denton had run on in 1980. Almost immediately after entering the race, Sherriff Joe “Kill ’em all” Arpaio and US Rep. Bo Gritz endorsed Cheney, and in doing so greenlight the Wide-Awakes to rally around the former New Mexico Governor…

– Richard Ben Cramer’s What It Takes: Roads to The White House, Sunrise Publications, 2011 edition

…SpongeBob’s outlets operated at 30% capacity during the SARS pandemic in order to maintain safezoning guidelines, and did so until 2004, months after most other national chains had ended safezoning in the summer and fall of 2003. The pandemic also lead to a shift in advertising for the franchise. For example, the side character Dr. Flotsam from the SpongeBob cartoon series, “The SpongeBob Zone,” began appearing in commercials as a health inspector approving of the restaurant’s cleanliness and good food.

The franchise’s introduction of a health-focused character as a way of addressing a rise in concern over a health issue had been done before in 2000. The rise in the number of children suffering from peanut allergies (for reasons still not entirely clear) at the turn of the century led to the Rosie Cheeks feature in an episode of The SpongeBob Zone focused on how to use an epipen. An image of cartoon squirrel also is placed next to items on the menu containing or made in the same place as items containing peanuts, walnuts, and other nuts…


…Breaking News: The FBI has confirmed that they are in fact indicting California Governor Dana Rohrabacher for willingly committing the felonious act of accepting bribes from a foreign entity in order to influence official state policy and legislation...

– The Overmyer Network’s Nighttime News, 8/1/2003 broadcast


…The California state house approved three articles of impeachment earlier today in a teleconferenced assembly of state lawmakers… In the past, the Governor has described teleconferenced sessions as illegal despite a “remote sessions” bill being passed in February 2002… It is currently unknown how Rohrabacher is planning to handle or address the mounting scandals concerning his closeness to foreign entities…

The Washington Post, 8/3/2003

Mars was in sight. It would only be another more days.

Frankie was still having vision issues, from having we now knew was a pulmonary thrombosis that originated in his leg but had travelled to his brain during his extended stays in the gravity-free shafts of the shuttleplane. There was concern that he had experienced the equivalent of a mini-stroke, and so was still not cleared for being in the landing party.

Thus, I joined Kicker, McCool, Sharman, Payette and Crackle in prepping for what we all kept calling “The Big Day.” The Seeker 3 was a fine vessel. It was smaller than one would expect it to be, but as it was to the Milestone how a lifeboat is to a yacht, I should not have expected that much comfort. It had just enough room for six astronauts, scientific instruments and equipment, and several weeks worth of provisions. The first Seeker had been scrapped due to a design flaw, and the second Seeker had been damaged beyond salvaging in a flight test gone awry that left two astronauts with minor injuries and placed on the “understudy” list in 2001.

Nevertheless, I was highly confident that the vessel would serve its purpose of transporting us safely from the Milestone to Jezero Crater and back.


Above: Jezero Crater and surrounding areas

As I looked through the windows, staring, almost mesmerized by the Red Planet seemingly growing in size as we approached it, I thought about a line from William Shakespeare, a line I thought was very apt for this landmark moment in human history: “It is not the stars to hold our destiny but in ourselves.”

– Michael P. Anderson’s A Million Different Things, Borders Books, 2006

[1] As mentioned in August 1999 ITTL.
[2] Photo found here:
[3] Originally called the Orange County Airport; it was not renamed John Wayne Airport on June 20, 1979, because Wayne said “awful” things about the “role” of women during the First Ark Wave (1970), on top of those OTL race comments from the 1970z; instead, it was renamed after Bessie Coleman!
[4] OTL quote, from his OTL 2004 DNC speech
[5] This segment (and some (hinted-at) plot elements) were inspired by comments made in the comments section of the youtube video “Treasure Planet 2: The Cancelled Film’s Untold Story”

The next chapter’s E.T.A.: October 15!

Why are the colors of the Aus politcal parties all buggered up Labour has always been red while the Greens are a light Green, the coalition is a blue.
I noted that mistake/oversight of mine in the notes section of that chapter.
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Wow was not expecting SARS to happen in the new millennium! Especially with a certain virus happening this year. I also liked that Labor won in Australia! Also glad no war on teterror ITTL. Keep up the great work
Wow. A lot of things to read up on. Still, great stuff here. A version of Sars. If you haven't covered these people, or pop culture events already in some way. Joe Biden, Sergey Lavrov, Vladimir Putin, Yevgeny Primakov, Ann M Martin. Have some likely pop culture ideas I can PM you, if you'd like.
Chapter 87: August 2003 – February 2004
Chapter 87: August 2003 – February 2004

“One should respect public opinion insofar as is necessary to avoid starvation and keep out of prison, but anything that goes beyond this is voluntary submission to an unnecessary tyranny.”

– Bertrand Russell

August 27, 2003. That was when Mars made its closest approach to Earth in over 60,000 years. Timing, opportunity, and luck all seemed to be on our side.

“Now remember, no keggers while your down there,” joked Frankie.

“Yeah, I wouldn’t want to miss out on that,” Zorba added.

“Don’t worry, Frankie keep I’ll an eye on them,” replied Willie McCool; my guess is our pilot thought it was inappropriate, given Frankie’s temporary eyepatch, for he then said, with a switch to a more serious tone of voice, “Um, no offense,” while motioning with his hand to his left eye.

“None given, none taken,” answered Frankie with a polite shrug.

Kicker, Willie, Charmin’, Poutine, Crackle and I boarded the landing module Seeker 3 without incident and soon detached from the Milestone to begin orbital descent.


“Contact light, and we’re clear for– ”

The module came to a stop with a sudden and awkward lurch to the left, slanting and sliding into the touchdown spot in Jezero Crater. Sensors had not been able tell the exact strength of the soil below us, for the Seeker’s weight had collapsed a more malleable section of the Martian surface. A planet covered in volcanic basalt rock, and we touched down in a thicker-than-typical mound of Martian dust, a top layer of soil containing sodium, potassium, chloride and magnesium, fine like talcum powder, and, in this one spot in particular, just as collapsible under the weight of our module as a sandcastle is under the weight of a dune buggy’s speeding tires.

“Status report, people,” asked McCool.

“Scanners functioning normally,” stated Sharman, “oxygen systems and life support systems normal.”


“Fuel’s not damaged, no detectable leakage of any sort. A manual inspection would not hurt, though,” Crackle reported.

“Well, the plan is to step outside anyway. Suit up, everyone,” McCool put on his helmet and unbuckled himself.

When everyone was prepped for exiting the module, and we had all double-checked each other’s suits for good measure, our CO tried the door on his side of the module to discover one overlooked aspect of the Seeker 3 coming to a stop at a 20-degree angle on its left.

“The door’s jammed over here. It’s pushed up and into the ground.” McCool turned around, said, “We’re not getting out this way,” and then looked at me.

My seat, the one originally intended for Frankie Chiang Diaz prior to his health crisis, lied beside the only other entryway into the vessel. “Um, here, let me scoot over, sir.”

“Denied, Anderson. Look at the space in here. Attempting to, um, scooch over across those controls could be damaging. To your suit, to the controls...”

“Then you and I can just back up and – “

“It’s too risky, Mike,” Sharman said as she looked at the space surrounding us. “There’s not enough floor clearance. You could damage your suit, and the three spare suits are in the back over here,” she pointed over to the corner of the cabin, which was starting to feel smaller and smaller the more we discussed the matter.

Kicker just came out and said it. “Mike, either you step out first to make room for the rest of us, or none of us are going anywhere.”

I sighed, “Where are those robot rovers when you need them? They could open Willie’s door from the outside, I’d bet.”

“The Surveyor’s ten miles northeast of us,” Poutine spoke up. “Oh, you were being sarcastic, weren’t you? Right. Sorry about that.”

I took a deep breath and exhaled, “Well, alright then.” And I thought, God, I hope I remember your line, Willie.

The stepladder down was, roughly, a foot off the ground, but I eyeballed it and I believed I could jump it with ease. Being 38% lighter than I was on Earth due to Mars’ gravity, my steps had a bit of a bounce to them, but it was a bounce noticeably smaller than the ones made when Gus Grissom, and then Ted Freeman, stepped onto on the Moon in their own famous descent off a stepladder on March 7, 1969, more than 44 years prior.

33 million miles away, roughly 2.5 billion people, more than a third of the world’s population, was watching the almost-live feed from the cameras and transmitting equipment the Surveyor and Discovery rovers had set up for us months prior. I found comfort in the fact that none of those 5 billion eyes could see my face through my sun visor. If they could see my face, many would cheer, and, undoubtedly, others would jeer, at the surprise – that I, not, Willie, was to become the first man on Mars. I myself would have retched from the unwanted limelight and attention.

I was not supposed to even be in the Seeker 3; I was supposed to work aboard the Milestone. Instead, because of a blood clot taking out my superior’s eye, and then because of loose soil and a jammed door, I, Michael Anderson, a payload commander for NASA, an Air Force Lieutenant Colonel, a timid but adventurous African-American man from Spokane, Washington, became the first human to step foot on Mars.

As I took the small leap off the ladder and, upon landing, took in the scenery – the dawn sky had some blue to its overall pinkish tone, a reversal of the color palettes of Earth’s sunrises and sunsets, and the rocky terrain had more shades of yellow, red, orange, grey and brown than I anticipated – I found myself to be at a loss for words. A sort of mental fog rolled into my head as I soaked in the moment, the realization of where I was. McCool was supposed to say, “We have journeyed far in the spirit of discovery and in pursuit of answers, and with that footstep, we just made history.” All I could say was “My stars, what a view.” McCool would instead say the scripted line as he descended next.

Internally, I cracked the old joke, Hey, I think I can see my house from here!


Above: Willie, sun visor up, preparing for the flag planting (left); me, sun visor down, taking a look beyond the crater (right)

– Michael P. Anderson’s A Million Different Things, Borders Books, 2006

“Oh, they definitely found something up there. They’re just not saying what.”

“You really think so?”

“Do you really think the government would let NASA spend all that time, effort, and money just on some trip to some lousy crater? Oh no, they found evidence of intelligent life up there. Just look at the live feed, and you’ll see how often they ‘lose’ the image for a few seconds, or even for several minutes.”

“From solar flares.”

“From alleged solar flares, but they almost never lose audio contact. That’s just too convenient. There was some kind of cover-up, I tell ya. How else could they have gotten whatever they found up there into the Seeker 3? On the return trip, they’ll probably keep it on ice in the food supply area, now that the from-Earth half of the food supply’s gone, hey, all that empty space, it’s the perfect hideaway!”

“I suppose.”

– Host Art Bell (before his retirement from the program in late 2003) and recurring caller Conspiracy Joe on KDWN’s late night political call-in talk radio program Coast to Coast AM, Sunday 8/29/2003

“Our presidents can send people to other plants but can’t send food to other mouths. The SARS pandemic has proven beyond a reasonable doubt that a strong, centralized, nationalized government is best equipped for handling national emergencies. If Russia was still the Soviet Union, they would have only had a fraction of the number of SARS cases they got. …We need to work for more competent and compassionate leadership in the Congress and we need a true representative of the people in the White House. That’s why I’m running for the Democratic nomination for President.”

– US Senator Peter Isaac Diamondstone (Liberty Union-Vermont), 8/30/2003

As September approached, the SARS crisis in the US was essentially lower for a majority of states, with cases dropping to below those of the common cold and the seasonal flu overall. Despite these optimistic signs, parents homeschooling their children remained on the rise. Thousands of children would not return to public school in September 2003 over parents’ fears concerning their children’s health and safety. However, 60% of the children homeschooled in the 2003-2004 school year would return to either private or public school by the start of the 2007-2008 school year…

– Tim Brookes’ SARS, Governance, And The Globalization of Disease, Borders Books, 2014

The marstronauts tried fast-growing produce like radishes. They were only staying for a fortnight, or two weeks, and that is how long that vegetable takes to bear fruit after breaking through the soil (they had germinated on board the Milestone and kept delicately in cargo during the descent to the surface); hence the term “a radish’s worth of time” catching on in the astronomer community and ultimately becoming a fairly common phrase.

While Sharman and McCool tended to radishes and other crops in the temporary inflatable greenhouse, Melvin and Payette installed solar panels and related equipment in order to study the Martian atmosphere. Anderson and Krikalev tended to the engine systems and to the task of digging out the Seeker 3 so it could launch back to the Milestone properly. All systems were checked and maintained regularly by all six members of the landing party; contact and communication with the Milestone was frequent. Every night the crew shared meals and slept without elbow room in the small cabin of the Seeker, and every day they ventured out on the surface.

The collecting data – mainly via soil samples – was meant to help scientists determine exactly the Red Planet’s history. The planet, especially Jezero Crater, had experience repeated periods of wet and dry climate, and the nature of several unique features at Jezero Crater were documented in depth.

On August 29, Krikalev and Payette ventured south of the landing site to seek out water sources and document landscape features. The next day, the Surveyor rover dropped by, but was more interested in photographing the marstronauts’ boots than stay still for a photo-op before heading west. Testing for radiation, and studying the effect of wind and sun on Mars was daily.

Back on the Milestone, Dc Robertson continued to study the effects of prolonged weightlessness on the human body. “Bone mineral density loss, central nervous system issues, eyesight impairment,” Robertson counted off.

Commander Chiang Diaz understood the opportunities his condition was giving her, but he found no comfort in it. “I’m your guinea pig, eh, Doc?”

In the Milestone’s Black Box recordings, you can hear Robertson reply, “Frankie, of course not! Ooh, that’s so morbid!”

Chiang Diaz then remarks. “Eh. Any way that I can help out will make this trip worth it. I hope.”

Back on the surface, the landing party did physical testing of their own, observing weight, strength, health, performance, and other physical differences between activities on Mars versus activities on Earth.

On August 31, The Manned Mars Mission confirmed to NASA that Jezero Crater was once flooded with water, and now had a very diverse assortment of clay deposits and clay minerals such as magnesium and even small amounts of iron, which form in the presence of water. The lake bed in the center of the crater, discovered in 1998 and from which the crater received the name Jezero (in several Slavic languages it is the word for Lake), was found to have grooves similar to the rings of a tree, and gave enlightening insight into the details of the planet’s history.

The search for signs of ancient life, however, continued on with only circumstantial on non-indisputable evidence to promote the idea. The Seeker’s cargo compartments were filled to maximum capacity with samples of sediment layers for good measure.


On September 10, the Seeker 3 reconnected to the Milestone and began the long trip home.

– Harland McKeeble’s Dreams, Reality and Legacy: The Epic Journey of The Milestone and Seeker, Heinlein Books, 2020


The Sacramento Union, 9/2/2003

…On the morning of September 3, when state police visited the Governor’s mansion, workers and interns informed them that the Governor had disappeared. At some point during the point, he had left the premises. His car was gone, and so were two suitcases. Police put out an APB for Rohrabacher after inspecting the room. Upon Dana’s wife suggesting they check the airports, Governor Rohrabacher was soon found at Sacramento International. He was attempting to board a flight to Vladivostok…

– Robert Stewart’s Radical Capitalist: The Story of A Freewheeling Dana Rohrabacher, Herald Tribune Press, 2015

…With Dana Rohrabacher being convicted and removed from office by the state senate, Lieutenant Governor John L. Burton is now the Governor of California…

– CBS Evening News, 9/3/2003


– The Los Angeles Times, 9/5/2003

…September 6 brought about yet another race riot, this one in Socorro, New Mexico. A minor traffic stop led to a police officer putting an 81-year-old Hispanic man in the hospital after the senior citizen questioned the reason for him and his grandson, who was driving, being pulled over. Rumors that the elderly man was killed only increased the crowd soon protesting the police station. A couple of pepper spray spurts later and the street corner was inundated with riotous frenzy. Jesse Jackson immediately responded to “Hispanic-Americans fighting back against police brutality” toward the growing Hispanic community in Socorro by personally flying west, his Attorney General to tow in highlight the judicial answers to the injustice brought on by racism in police culture...

– Nancy Skelton and Bob Faw’s Thunder In America: A Chronology of The Jesse Jackson White House, Texas Monthly Press, 2016


…In his speech, the Attorney General called for peace and reconciliation between “all members of this richly diverse community.” …“This riot, as terrible and destructive as it is,” Jackson told the assembly of Hispanic locals, “highlights the very issues that must end – not just here, but anywhere and everywhere else in these United States where communities are divided on race, where working classes either oppress or are oppressed, and where these divisions are strengthened by poor education and employment inequality. …Any prohibition of any of our fellow American citizens from having a life that is free, fair and equal, solely due to their skin color or country of origin or any other type of prejudice, is a betrayal of the very foundations and ideals of this republic.” The Attorney General then met with the Mayor while the President met with police officials…

– The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 9/7/2003


The Chicago Tribune, 9/8/2003


…Herman Cain, the CEO of KFC’s parent company, Finger Lickin’ Good, Inc., has abruptly given the multimillion-dollar global corporation two weeks’ notice in order to launch a run for the US Senate seat being vacated by the retiring incumbent, Dr. John Skandalakis (D-GA)...

The New York Times, side article, 9/9/2003

…Cain knew that the Board was considering firing him; he did not want to give them the satisfaction, nor allow them to ruin his career. The retiring of Senator Skandalakis gave Cain an opportunity – an exit strategy – and he took it.

His brisk departure pleased Harley, who told the Board in a teleconference, “We can finally do what I’ve been saying we should do – improve standards and customer outreach, not cut corners. Give a little, get a lot, but give a lot, and you get even more.” Harley wanted the parent company’s new CEO to chart a new course for Kentucky Fried Chicken.

Cain’s remaining supporters on the Board only humbly commented on the positive aspects of his tenure and legacy. KFC’s domestic sales decline did continue under his watch, but it did slow down considerably from the 1999-2001 freefall. The Board credited Cain’s BEAM program, that taught workers how to “make our patrons smile” by teaching employees how to smile, present themselves, and be well-received by customers, as being behind the stopping of the freefall. As a result, this program was one of the few elements of “The Cain Era” left intact after his departure from FLG Inc.…

– Marlona Ruggles Ice’s A Kentucky-Fried Phoenix: The Post-Colonel History of Most Famous Birds In The World, Hawkins E-Publications, 2020


…the search to succeed outgoing CEO Herman Cain has already ended thanks to “Company Elders” Harley Sanders, Mildred Sanders-Ruggles and Pete Harman all endorsing a single candidate. Initially a Sunday school teacher, Mary Lolita Starnes Hannon, 72, joined the “KFC family” in 1962, and oversaw the operations of 24 KFC outlets in Mississippi by 1980, at which point she became regional manager, and then joined the FLG Board of Directors in 1989. Outside of KFC, Hannon supported Colonel Sanders’ charitable donations to religious organizations; she is also known for opening her home to religious, social, and charitable gatherings, leading to her being well-connected and to her developing a friendly rapport with The Colonel. [1]. Hannon was chosen over KFC Head Executive David Novak, Takeshi Okawara (the head of KFC Japan), and several other potential picks, all from inside the company, in contrast to Cain, who was an “outsider” selection. The Board likely hopes that a leader with deep roots in the corporation, in tune with its work culture and familiar with both its basics and details, will set FLG Inc. in a new and better direction, and finally turn the company around after years of domestic stagnation…

The Wall Street Journal, 9/12/2003


The Washington Post, 9/14/2003

On September 15, the Supreme Court made its landmark “Brill v. Cohen” decision. Associated Justices Schroeder, Lord, Nealon, Bacon, and Sandel, and Chief Justice Page in positioning themselves on the one side; Associate Justices Sneed, Garza, and Thompson found themselves on the other side.

Thus, the Supreme Court ruled 6-to-3 that the fundamental right to marry is guaranteed to same-sex couples by both the Due Process Clause and the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment of the US Constitution, which was adopted all the way back in 1868. The ruling thus required all 50 US states and the federal district of Washington, DC, plus all US territories, commonwealths and other “Insular Areas,” to recognize and allow the performance of same-sex marriages and issue marriage licenses, certificates, and/or other required documentation, on the same terms and conditions used for opposite-sex marriages, and with the same rights and responsibilities that come with marriage.

At the time of the court decision, either same-sex marriage or “civil unions” were already legal in 26 states (starting with Massachusetts in 1995) and in Washington, D.C., with several state legislatures already in the process of legalizing it.

The Supreme Court case actually stemmed from seven lower-court cases from five states culminating in a multi-state class-action lawsuit being filed in 2001 over discrimination after two lower-courts ruled against the plaintiffs arguing for same-sex marriage legalization. One of the cases began all the way back in 1997 over a funeral director refusing to host services for a widower and his deceased husband, upon learning that “Michelle” was a French man, not a woman, despite the director having already been paid for said services. A second central case centered on Indiana’s Health Commissioner Dr. Neal L. Cohen, who had denied a marriage license to community organizers David P. Brill and Matt Foreman. Nearly a year after oral arguments and briefings were made for both sides (with Brill received legal assistance from Mark Leno, Fred Karger, and other prominent individuals), and with the Supreme Court consolidating focus on the most pressing and prominent case – the one concerning Indiana’s Health Commissioner, hence “Brill v. Cohen” – the judges’ ruling essentially reversed the Indiana circuit court ruling, on the aforementioned grounds of violating the 14th Amendment.


Above: the Supreme Court building

– Brandon Teena’s The Rise of BLUTAG Rights: The Story of the Bi-Lesbian-Undefined-Trans-Asexual-Gay Movement, Scholastic, 2019

…Denny Rehberg, Republican Governor of Montana, is refusing to acknowledge this month’s landmark Supreme Court ruling, and so is ordering law clerks across to state to not give out marriage licenses to same-sex couples…

– KNN, 9/16/2003

“The South’s desire for the federal government to keep its hands off how they do things is very understandable. The South has been this way since forever. In the words of Henry Grattan, ‘Control over local affairs is the essence of liberty.’ The people of the South understand this sentiment and what this means. However, there is a difference between being a state and being an autonomous territory, and the southern states have to acknowledge that with all of the benefits of being in the union comes what to some of them may be the detriment of having to follow and obey the major orders, rules, and rulings sent out by Washington, by Congress, and by the Supreme Court, to all US states, northern and southern.”

– Former US Senator Sam Nunn (D-GA), 9/17/2003

The deadliest post-ruling attack happened on the night of September 19, when The Cactus Jack, a BLUTAG bar in Zanesville, Ohio, was hit in an arson attack. While most the people inside managed to get out without serious injury, many did receive burn wounds, and, tragically, the building burned to the ground, taking with it 17 patrons and half of the staff members on duty that night. The tragedy highlighted the level of homophobia that still existed in the US, and made BLUTAG activist Brandon Teena announce “The Supreme Court ruling will mean nothing if we cannot convince our opponents that we do not want opponents. We want to be treated equally by not just American law but by our fellow Americans.”

– Matthew Wayne Shepard’s Unmasked And Unafraid: A History of the BLUTAGO Rights Movement, Pressman Publications, 2020


The New York Times, 9/20/2003

LOVE IS LOVE IS LOVE: With Same-Sex Marriage Now Legal, Can Polygamy Please Be Next?

…already, several individuals and groups in four separate states have filed for “multi-party” marriage licenses, using the argument that the choices of three (or more) consenting adults should not be regulated by the government. If our country truly upholds and follows the concept of the separation of Church and State, then whatever happens to the souls of polygamists is between them and God – it is nobody else’s business…

– The Deseret News, Utah newspaper, controversial op-ed, 9/21/2003


– The Columbus Evening Dispatch, 9/22/2001

[vid: youtube: Ioxk2nHop2I ]

– Harley Brown for Mayor Commercials, 9/24/2003

“The citizens of America who oppose the President’s mishandling of SARS need to have a real voice in this election, and they need to have a real leader in the White House. That is why I am running for President.”

– Former Governor Bettye Frink (R-AL), 9/25/2003

However, Shintaro Ishihara’s fall from power did not end with him losing the office of Prime Minister. Nearly two years later, with the LDP increasingly uncomfortable with his fiscally conservative and isolationist positions, Ishihara was being kept out of party discussions and ignored by moderate and liberal party leaders. Sensing a majority of members of the Diet wanted to essentially ousted from the LDP, he left the party to found his own…

– Alec Dubro and David E. Kaplan’s Yakuza: Japan’s Criminal Underworld, University of California Press, 2003

ISHIHARA FORMS NEW CONSERVATIVE PARTY: Former PM Vows To Win Next General Election With A “Red Sun Coalition”

…anti-American sentiment from the early 1990s are persisting nationwide, especially among older and middle-class voters who approve of Ishihara’s more populist talking points…

The Asahi Shimbun, Japanese newspaper, 9/29/2003

Was S.A.R.S. Created In a Lab?

Okay, so I first though the Republicans created SARS because it looked like it was going to hurt the Jackson White house, but after Prezy JJ responded to it so quickly I thought it was too quickly and the Democrats actually gaining seats in November made me think they had something to do with it breaking out to create a rally-around-the-flag effect for the midterms. But now I’m starting to think maybe someone else benefited from it, maybe Xinjiang separatists or some anti-social introverted extremists. What do you think?


I think your abode lacked proper air circulation during quarantine.

–, 1/11/2013 posting thread; initial poster was banned for site rules violations soon afterward


The New York Times, 10/2/2003

…The peace agreement benefited the Jackson administration was well. The hostilities in Colombia seemingly coming to an end severely cut into Republican criticism of Jackson’s handling of foreign policy issues, and caused support for anti-immigration Republican primary candidates to begin to decline. President Jackson’s strategy team touted their boss as being a “tried-and-true peacemaker,” and in Colombia, “the fight [being] won” was a boon to popular Colombian President Andres Pastrana Arango, as recreadrug cartels not being arrested began to lose power and control in Colombia, and in turn flee to Central America and elsewhere…

– Miguel LaRosa and German R. Mejia’s Colombia: A Concise Contemporary History, Chronicle Books, 2013


…Shearer is a sort of jack-of-all-trades, working primarily as a radio host since 1981, but has also been an actor, voice actor, comedian, writer, author, musician, director, and producer. Beginning his career as a child star, he was a cast member on SNL from 1979 to 1983, and voiced several recurring characters on the animated shows “Life In Heck and Other Fun Places” and “Futurama,” among other roles. First visiting New Orleans in 1983, Shearer moved to the city in 1988, and began being politically active soon afterward. Shearer has been critical of outgoing Governor Fox McKeithen’s policies, and entered the gubernatorial race as a businessman and outsider. …Republican Huntington Downer, a self-described “outsider” candidate, and Shearer, a middle-of-the-lane Democrat, and defeated Democrats Richard Ieyoub, Buddy Leach, Randy Ewing, and J. E. Jumonville Jr., among others, for first and second place, respectively, in tonight’s jungle primary…

– The Opelousas Daily World, Louisiana newspaper, 10/4/2003


…recognizable by the baseball cap and dairy farmer overalls he wore at all times, even in the halls of the US Senate building, and by his thick Vermont accent, Tuttle startled pundits, and even himself, by winning primary and general elections for a US Senate seat in 2000. He had run as a protest candidate, and had modeled his campaign after the one depicted in the cult film “Man With A Plan,” in which Tuttle starred. Tuttle made headlines by promising to resign from his as soon as a dairy farm protection bill was passed, a promise he ultimately kept. Vermont’s “favorite son,” who made friends across DC and the Green Mountain state, and across the aisle, Tuttle passed away peacefully in his sleep, from the effects of a heart attack he had suffered several days before, after spending a long day planting potatoes in a small garden behind his humble abode. His body is spent, but his legacy will undoubtedly live on...

The New York Times, 10/5/2003


…a freak circuit breaker accident shut down electricity across London proper for seven hours, starting yesterday evening at 5:00 PM...

Le Parisien, French newspaper, 10/6/2003

With foreign policy a no-go, Republicans went after Jackson’s handling of domestic affairs, claiming his rhetoric on recreadrug legalization and police reform as “immoral” and “dangerous,” and his expansion of the federal government and welfare programs as “oppressive” and “un-American.”

When former VP James H. Meredith began ramping up his Presidential campaign, however, he tried out a different tactic – going through old footage and reports on Jesse Jackson to uncover controversial or contradictory tidbits. On October 7, a pro-Meredith political group, the generically-titled Meredith For America, first aired a 30-second ad in which a narrator thundered, “Jesse Jackson says the Republican Party ‘harbors racist extremists.’ But in 1978, he actually supported the GOP!” The ad then showed Jackson, in archive footage, stating “Black people need the Republican party.” The ad, however, pulled the clip out of its full context. The full statement, made prior to Jackson even considering running for public office, went as follows: “Black people need the Republican party to compete for us so we can have real alternatives… The Republican Party needs Black people if it is ever to compete for national office.” [2] The group’s use of only the quote’s first six words was derided by Democrats as “misleading” and “deceptive.” Interestingly, both Jackson and Meredith stayed mute on the controversial ad until the subject ultimately left the news cycle…

– Nancy Skelton and Bob Faw’s Thunder In America: A Chronology of The Jesse Jackson White House, Texas Monthly Press, 2016

“I am going to run for the White House and I am going to win.”

– US Senator Hillary Rodham-Clinton (R-TN), 10/9/2003

…By mid-October, Jackson’s inner circle was worried that his approval ratings were increasingly inflated. While never dropping below 45% through 2003, there was concern that, as the SARS crisis became more of a memory for Americans, conservative claim would start to chip away at support pulled from moderates and undecided voters. Some “Country” (as in “deeply”) Conservatives like Senator Helen Chenoweth (R-ID) accused the White House of taking advantage of the SARS pandemic to implement totalitarian policies, and others like her claimed Jackson was successfully establishing “an anarchist police state over our country,” as US Congressman Ben Lewis Jones (D-GA) put it. Jackson’s 2004 campaign director decided the President had to step back “a bit” from his boldest policies until the Republican primaries had generated a nominee, allowing the campaign to better organize and fine-tune their message for American voters next year: that Jesse Jackson had proven himself to be a leader worth keeping around for another four years…

– author A’Lelia Bundles’ Consequential: The Presidency of Jesse Jackson, Random House, 2015

“I’m sick of hearing my fellow Americans say that their own country sucks because industrialization is destroying the planet. That we’re the most to blame for Global Climate Disruption. We’re not the only country that uses coal, you know! We alone cannot be blamed! If anything, these east coast elitist hypocrites should point the finger at China – they produce more coal for each Chinese citizen than we produce for each American citizen! Way more!”

– Former US Senator Bernie Goetz (R-CO), 10/11/2003

“FEEL THE BERN, ELITISTS!” Larry McDonald Endorses Bernie Goetz

…McDonald, the 68-year-old former Democratic US Congressman and former third-party Presidential candidate, who was recently diagnosed with Parkinson’s, has thrown his support behind Republican presidential candidate Bernhard “Bernie” Goetz…

The Atlanta Journal, Georgia newspaper, 10/12/2003

…The day of vindication finally arrived for Silicon Valley. On October 14, 2003, the US Supreme Court overturned California’s state supreme court’s 2000 ruling that technet anonymity presented a risk to security and personal privacy. The overturning established that technet sites were, in fact, not like the US Postal Service, with letters and packages requiring names and addresses, and that it was irrelevant whether or not a site was established by members of or in the private or public sectors. The ruling was a boon to the US technology industry, as it allowed technet sites to finally resume anonymity practices without fear of judiciary opposition...

– Joy Lisi Rankin’s Computers: A People’s History of the Information Machine, Westview Press, 2018

A COUNTRY IN CRISIS: How It All Went Wrong (Again) In India

…as a second SARS wave grips the Indian subcontinent, the nation’s government it at last ramping up efforts to combat the infectious virus. That in itself, however, has presented its own problems: reports of police brutality – especially toward Muslim citizens – sparked riots in September and earlier this month, resulting in at least 50 deaths and possibly contributing to the rise in SARS cases. …“Because of how high the pathogenicity of the virus is, containment requires aggressive tactics to isolate the sick, quarantine their contacts and implement social controls. Sadly, India’s officials are not doing this right,” laments US Secretary of State Ann Richards… …seemingly on its way to recovery during the summer months, India’s numbers are sharply on the rise once more, and unless India’s police and government focus more on preventative measures and end police brutality and racial/ethnic hostility, order may not return any time soon to the country’s collapsing cities and infrastructure…

Time Magazine, mid-October 2003 issue

THE ST. ALBAN’S RAID: An Enjoyable Break From SARS Woes

…This made-for-TV dramatization of the real-life St. Alban’s Raid depicts the life of Bennett Henderson Young, a 21-year-old Confederate soldier who, towards the end of the American Civil War, escaped with a posse of fellow soldiers to Canada and invaded a quiet Vermont community in the hope of rekindling the war, only for things to not go as planned. Starring 27-year-old Leo DiCaprio as Young as a young man in way over his head, the filmmakers work hard to make the main character the kind that the audience loves to root against without making him hard to watch. DiCaprio presents Young with charm, making him seem to be more foolhardy than villainous. Young’s use of a dubious concoction dubbed “Greek fire,” and his inability to handle neither his cohorts nor the unafraid townsfolk only highlight the lighter moments of this good-intentioned action-dramedy…

Variety, 10/22/2003


…as older Latino-Americans are usually more socially conservative, Republicans hope this will lead to them backing more GOP candidates in next year’s elections. …Former President Jack Kemp is calling for an “Earn Your Citizenship” program for illegal immigrants. Such a program which prevent illegal immigrants from facing charges so long as they, upon entering US territory, immediately report to immigration offices to fill out paperwork to live in US legally. Kemp has been supportive of Jackson’s efforts at immigration reform despite their political differences. The former US President’s comments come weeks after announcing that, despite months of heavy speculation, Kemp, 69, will not run for a full Presidential term next year...

The Washington Post, 10/24/2003


…the general mood tonight is also one of relief; is that things seem to finally be getting back to normal, after the 2002 World Series was cancelled over concern that the games would serve as a SARS “superspreader” hotspot…

– The St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 10/25/2003

1994: Los Angeles Dodgers (NL) def. Cleveland Indians (AL)

1995: Anaheim Angels (AL) def. San Francisco Giants (NL)

1996: Houston Astros (NL) def. Baltimore Orioles (AL)

1997: New York Yankees (AL) def. Milwaukee Brewers (NL)

1998: Boston Red Sox (AL) def. Florida Marlins (NL)

1999: Houston Astros (NL) def. Louisville Colonels (AL)

2000: New York Mets (NL) def. Seattle Mariners (AL)

2001: Texas Rangers (AL) def. Arizona Diamondbacks (NL)

2002: cancelled due the SARS pandemic

2003: St. Louis Cardinals (NL) def. Boston Red Sox (AL)


…US-Russian relations were icy under Jackson and Lobkovskaya, but both leaders managed to maintain a respectable professional rapport, if not a warm personal one. In fact, Jackson made better inroads with the leaders of Pakistan during the early years of the 2000s decade, getting that nation’s Prime Minister in 2003 to agree on the gradual eliminating of all of its materials, equipment, and programs aimed at producing weapons of mass destruction over the course of ten years – on the condition that India agree to the same denuclearization policy. Some historians have suggested that this proviso is what made Jesse Jackson son invested in India’s sociopolitical state during the SARS pandemic, as a stable government and a healthier economy and social climate would make it easier for Jackson to convince India to agree to the same program…

– David Tal’s US Strategic Arms Policy After the Cold War: Globalization & Technological Modernization, Routledge, 2020


…after months of considering it, to the point that he was being called the “Huntsman the Hamlet,” three-term former Governor of Utah Jon Huntsman Sr. has announced today a run for the US Presidency...

– The Salt Lake Tribune, 10/28/2003

HARLEY BROWN RIDES AGAIN: Former Congressman Elected Boise Mayor

…Harley Davidson Brown has been elected to serve a four-years-long term as Mayor of Boise (set to begin in January 2004). Brown won by a plurality in an official nonpartisan race, besting four other candidates – city councilwoman and initial frontrunner Carolyn Terteling-Payne, incumbent Mayor H. Brent Coles (running for a third term after surviving a recall effort in 2001), state representative David H. Bieter, and activist Mohsen “Max” Mohammadi. …Incumbent Mayor Coles came in third place due to ongoing accusations of mismanaging funds for personal use. An Ada County grand jury is investigating claims of Coles presenting a fraudulent account and misusing public money. Both Brown and Terteling-Payne called for the formation of an Office of Internal Auditing while on the campaign trail. …Brown, who lost re-election for a second term as the US Representative from Idaho’s First District in 2002 by a narrow margin, ran as a populist anti-corruption candidate known for traveling to campaign stops on in his prized Harley Davidson motorcycle. …It is possible that Coles and Terteling-Payne each refusing to bow out of the race split the anti-Brown vote…

The Idaho Press Tribune, 11/6/2003

…We can now confirm that Gatewood Galbraith, the Democratic Governor of Kentucky since 1999, has won a second term over Republican state senator Rebecca Jackson, a former teacher and education reform activist. Despite both candidates being passionate on the campaign trail and running on populist platforms, debates between the two candidates were polite and professional. Galbraith defeated Jackson by a margin of roughly 5%...

– CBS Evening News, 11/6/2003 broadcast


…Chaney, 60 was endorsed by incumbent Governor Unita Zelma Blackwell, who retired this year despite being eligible for a second term due to declining health. Chaney was previously appointed to James H. Meredith’s US Senate seat upon his ascension to the US Vice Presidency; Chaney served from 1995 to 1997. Beginning his political career as a Civil Rights activist in the early 1960s, Chaney gradually became a conservative Democrat as a backlash to the perceived negative after-effects of the “nik” (beatniks, peaceniks, and shoutniks) generations of the late 1950s and early 1960s. …Chaney easily defeated retired Sheriff and former state senator Cecil Ray Price, 65. Price, a hard-r social and fiscal conservative whose time spent as both a Deputy Sheriff and a Klansman in the 1960s came under intense scrutiny during the campaign, lost by a margin of 11%...

The Dallas Morning Herald, side article, 11/6/2003


…Roberta Achtenberg, who has served since January 2000, was first elected in Nov 1999…

The Sacramento Times-Union, side article, 11/6/2003


…In a race featuring two political outsiders, Shearer (a Democrat) edged out opponent Huntington Downer (a Republican) by a margin of roughly 3%...

The Houston Chronicle, side article, 11/15/2003

…In Cuba, a special election for President has just ended, and it seems incumbent Acting President Jorge Luis Garcia Perez of the Conservative Party has defeated his challenger in a landslide. His opponent, Provincial Governor Felix Rodriguez, is a pro-US liberal from the island nation’s Stability Party...

– KNN, 11/17/2003 broadcast

A BATTLE FOR THE SOUL OF THE PARTY? Meredith Defends Jackson In GOP Debate

…in contrast to most of the other candidates on stage, former President James H. Meredith pushed back against vitriolic and possibly-racist rhetoric against the incumbent President, saying such rhetoric is “unprofessional and disqualifying.” …Former Senator Bernie Goetz defended his previous statements by saying “every American has the right to say what they really think about the President. If I want to call Jesse Jackson a dictator for telling everyone to wear masks, for pushing people around and telling them how to keep themselves safe rather than let adults act like adults and use their own common sense to take care of their own health, I have the right to do so.”…

The Boston Globe, 11/19/2003

WILLIAMS: “Protests in St. Petersburg ended violently last night when city police dispersed a crowd of protestors with tear gas and fire hoses. Several dozen protesters have been arrested for violating safezoning measures that are still being implemented in Russia, as SARS case rates are only recently beginning to drop over there. We now take you live to the scene of the protests with our foreign correspondent.”

HARRIS: “Brian, I’m here with local resident Vlad Putin, a community organizer who played a role in mobilizing people online to participate in last night’s protest. Mr. Putin speaks several languages, including English. Sir, what was the goal of the protesting?”

PUTIN: “People who need medical assistance are being forgotten in this pandemic. There is no room at hospitals. We want the government to allow medical attention to be given at community centers, churches, gyms, schools, any place where there is room. Even tents at parks if necessary.”

HARRIS: “Did you expect local police to respond the way they did?”

PUTIN: “Yes, because I know firsthand how the city, oblast and national governments view protests – they are not to be tolerated. And at one point in my life, I also believed that. I was a KGB officer until the day when, during a protest, a stray bullet to the spine killed everything below my waist. And the bullet was from a fellow KGB officer, no less [3]. I remember how I was before then, back when I didn’t need a chair to move around. The police and the KGB, I know, will not tolerate us unless we make them tolerate us, make them address us, make them help us. We need better medical assistance, we need actual leadership from the Kremlin. We want fairness and safety for all Russians everywhere, and if that change doesn’t come from the top, then it must start at the bottom, with local changes and challenges.”


HARRIS: “…Back to you, Brian.”

– NBC News, 11/21/2003 broadcast


…an effort to draft retired US Army General Gary E. Luck to run for the White House next year has failed. Earlier today, Luck, who oversaw US military operations in the Second Korean War, making him a War Hero and household name in 1996, announced “I refuse to partake in this or any later election cycle. I will not run now and I will not run later. I will not run in any of the primaries, I will not be involved in any contested conventions, and I will not run third-party. I will not run as a favorite son, as a last minute replacement, or as a write-in candidate in any primary or general election contest. I have no interest in coming out of retirement when I am more than confident that there are other people better suited for the job.” The announcement was a crushing blow to his supproters: “We were really hoping he’d end up being another Dwight D. Eisenhower, not another William T. Sherman,” says one disappointed member of the Draft Luck campaign…

The Washington Post, 11/24/2003

“WE MIGHT STILL NEED MORE PODIUMS”: Who Is (and Isn’t) Running In the 2004 Republican Primaries

…Former Governor Jim Gilmore has endorsed George Allen due to the latter having a much higher national profile. Former Congressman “Doug” Wead of Arizona has signed on to the Nolan campaign as an advisor, while Governor Darrell Issa of Illinois declined to run, after initially expressing interest in doing so, most likely due to several scandals tied to his administration. Governor Ellen Craswell of Washington state, a two-time cancer survivor, ultimately declined to run over health concerns, while House Minority Whip Scotty McCallum of Wisconsin, a lifelong politician and a US House member since 1985, decided to seek another congressional term after initially considering a bid. Governors Steve Goldsmith of Indiana, Doug Swanson of Nevada, Kay A. Orr of Nebraska, Bill Haslam of Tennessee, Bob Inglis of South Carolina, and Pat Saiki of Hawaii have all declined, as have Senators Buddy Roemer and Clyde Cecil Holloway of Louisiana, and Larry Williams of Montana...

–, 12/1/2003 e-article



Above: The Logo for this international anti-desertification endeavor, which aims to increase the quality of life in sub-Saharan Africa, thus helping millions of people

Time Magazine, mid-December 2003 issue

…In international news, the President of Iraq today signed a landmark treaty with the head of the Iraqi Kurdistan Special Region, allowing for further autonomy for the local ethnic Kurds of that contentious section of Iraq…

– NBC News, 12/13/2003

MARS MISSION UPDATE: Propulsion Systems, Life-Support Equipment Functioning Normally

– NASA press release, 12/18/2003

Republican leadership in Congress – namely, House minority leader and former Speaker David Emery, and Senate leader Webb Franklin – were growing worried about the direction of the party as the 2004 primaries approached. Polls were suggesting that a rising number of party members were embracing its “radical” conservative faction, conflicting with the RNC’s attempts to woo over minority voters.

…Because support among Hispanic Americans appeared to be “steady and stable at the time,” as he put it in his recent autobiography, a major concern for the party, at least in David Emery’s eyes, was African-American support. According to the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies & Pew Research Center, African-American Party Affiliation studies backing back to 1936 showed that the GOP’s “high point” concerning African-Americans identifying as Republican was all the way back in 1940, when there was a 40%-40%-20% split of the Black vote, between Democrats and Republicans and “other/independent,” respectively. [5] That number dipped to 22% in 1960 and, after the passing of the 1962 Civil Rights Act under President Johnson, plummeted to 12% in 1964, only for President Sanders’ domestic actions – most notably, expanding housing and employment opportunities for African-Americans – to boost said percentage all the way up to 26% in 1968. Since then, the numbers hovered between 20% and 30% in presidential elections, except for 1996, when James Meredith became VP (and Jesse Jackson lost the 1996 Democratic primaries to Glenn despite getting more votes than Glenn); in that election cycle, the number of “Black Republicans” shot up to 38%. In 2000, though, with Jesse Jackson leading the Democratic ticket, the numbers sank again, this time all the way down to 24%.

The GOP share of “The Black Vote” was even more embarrassing, with no candidate ever doing better than Eisenhower did in 1956 (winning 39% of the vote). In 1964, 11% of African-Americans voted for the Colonel, but that number doubled to 23% in 1968, and to 25% in 1972. The numbers hovered between a quarter and a third before Meredith’s appointment occurred; that lead to a modern-era “high water mark” of the GOP winning 35% of the African-American vote in 1996. In 2000, that share plummeted down to 25%.

These numbers cemented Emery’s belief that Meredith was the only GOP primary candidate who could win the Black vote, and other minority voting blocs – and with them, the Presidency – in 2004. The hard part was convincing white Republicans to vote for the former VP…

– Richard Ben Cramer’s What It Takes: Roads to The White House, Sunrise Publications, 2021 edition


The Daily Telegraph, UK newspaper, 26/12/2003

…Thousands of homes collapsed like sandcastles over here because they were built by the homeowners themselves using the centuries-old mudbrick technique, a style traditional for Iran but not best suited for earthquake resistance… There’s the Shah of Iran, helping to lead the cleanup efforts, and – oh! Oh, it looks like, yes, there are some survivors and – and the Shah is joining the rest of the emergency crewmen to pull the people. This is truly an amazing site, the Shah working alongside these laymen to help out. We’ll try to get closer...

– BBC Special Report, 12/27/2003 broadcast

The Kerman Earthquake left a deep impact on Iran. Government officials even suggested the nation’s capital of Tehran, located on the other side of the country, be relocated over an almost-paranoid fear of another earthquake striking the country. The Shah opposed the notion over logistical and cost concerns, and decided that a better use of their funds was the redevelopment of the Kerman province, especially the urban centers of Bam and Baravat, the latter of which had almost no homes still standing.

The quake was an eye-opener for the Iranian government and led to the establishing of new construction regulations. Plans to completely redevelop the Kerman Province to be “a display” of Iran’s architectural capabilities, and sought to harness technological innovation in building up the region. The government worked with both international organizations and local engineers and other groups both in and out of the country to reconstruct…

…A photograph taken of the Shah pulling out a young adult survivor alongside three volunteer firefighters became an iconic image that served as a general representation of his popular rule, in stark contrast to that of is father...

– James L. Gelvin’s Lines In Sand: The History of The Modern-Day Middle East, Oxford University Press, 2010 edition

...While the rate of SARS transmission finally began to drop and the government began to regain control of the situation, President Lobkovskaya depended on Yevgeny Primakov to minimize the pandemic’s damage to Russia’s reputation abroad. Starting out as a journalist for Pravda, Primakov had spent the past thirty years developing an impressive range of diplomatic expertise, and was now serving as Russia’s Ambassador to the UN. At the time, and in her memoirs, Lobkovskaya commends Primakov for his tireless work to improve relations with China, India, and the West in a continuation of his advocacy of multilateralism. Her praise made Primakov popular among conservative circles, but despite his own political tendencies – he previously served in the National Assembly under President Volkov, and had considered running for President in 1990 and 1995 – he declined to run for President in 2005, but cited his age (75 in mid-July 2005) and declining health as the main reasons for doing so.

Another notable diplomat at this time, less political than Primakov but more influential than he in the post-SARS years, was Sergey Lavrov, Russia’s Ambassador to India. Having contributed to peace talks in the 1990s that ended the Sri Lankan Civil War, Lavrov met with America’s Ambassador to India in order to coordinate SARS relief efforts in Uttar Pradesh. Both Russia and the US hoped to lead efforts to impede SARS transmission and reassert infrastructure aspects in order for hospitals and delivery systems to function well without damaging relations with India’s government, which was struggling to not appear weak on the world stage despite their number of SARS cases remaining the highest in the world by the start of 2004. Lavrov found the correct balance of intervention, between supervision and direct involvement, which he called “constructive assistance.”…

– Victor Cherkashin’s Relentless: The Leaders of Post-Soviet Russia, Basic Books, 2020

…The new CEO quickly began correcting her predecessor’s attempts to introduce more cheaply-made Kentucky Fried Chicken in certain select outlets in order to test if they could replace the original recipe. Naturally, the inferior product, dubbed “New KFC,” was testing very poorly. A poll attached to the company’s January 2004 Quarterly Earnings report revealed that customer views of KFC quality actually worsened after the rather covert introduction of what was quickly becoming an embarrassing attempt to scrimp on (or “economize”) KFC ingredients and procedures.

Hannon was livid, bellowing at the first company meeting of 2004, “Every time we try altering the damn recipe, people complain. So let’s stop try to fix what isn’t broken!” Instead, the company began looking into more diversifying the menu by taking regional menu options from oversees and introducing them to domestic outlets.

Up first was Kentucky Fried Chicken Tikka Masala. This dish was selling very well in KFC-UK and KFC-Bangladesh outlets because those branches had capitalized on the fact that there is no standard recipe for the hot dish. The most common version consist of chunks of boneless chicken, marinated in spices and yogurt, and roasted in an oven. KFC thus utilized the pieces of chicken left over from prepping wings, legs, and breasts, by breading them in a special variation of The Colonel’s Eleven Herbs and Spices (which meant the company just added low-fat fresh yogurt to the mixture) and pressure-roasted them. The new concoction required a new ad campaign, and with it, Hannon hoped the company would see a return to dominance in the US fast-food market…


Above: a classic example of Chicken Tikka Masala, served with rice and flatbread, somewhat similar to KFC’s version, first introduced in the US in 2004.

– Marlona Ruggles Ice’s A Kentucky-Fried Phoenix: The Post-Colonel History of Most Famous Birds In The World, Hawkins E-Publications, 2020

“I’m a former businessman, so I know how to keep the economy healthy without gutting the military’s budget and subsequently leaving our country completely defenseless in order to avoid a deficit and as a result violate the Balanced Budget Amendment. I want to apply tried-and-true business methods to the direction of public affairs. …I strongly oppose idea of the federal government instigating a ‘redistribution of wealth,’ like what Jesse Jackson is rumored to be considering, because it will discourage that part of the American spirit that believes that any fortune can be amassed if you think smart and work hard. It will also discourage foreign investors and lead to more of our own unpatriotic and unscrupulous millionaire and billionaire businesspersons to take their business elsewhere, to other countries, in order to not lose all they worked hard for to something like this alleged redistributing wealth plan.”

– Former US Senator Bernie Goetz (R-CO), Herring World News interview, 1/9/2004

REPORTER 1: How are the Marstronauts holding up on so far?

PRESS SECRETARY: The crew members are getting along well, if that’s what you mean. They are keeping busy conducting experiments onboard.

REPORTER 2: How is commander Chiang Diaz’s condition?

PRESS SECRETARY: He has noticeably improved from the health scare. The vision in his eye is still weaker than it was before the incident, but it is expected that he will return to having 20/20 vision by the time they touch down.

REPORTER 3: Speaking of which, when exactly are they due back?

PRESS SECRETARY: The Milestone and Seeker should re-enter Earth’s atmosphere in early March.

REPORTER 1: Just in time to vote in the primaries!

[scattered laughter]

REPORTER 1: Unless you guys somehow figured out how to get them to vote from all the way out there.

PRESS SECRETARY: That, I’m afraid, is the only hypothetical scenario that we did not anticipate.

[scattered laughter]

– transcript, NASA press briefing, 1/11/2004


The Washington Post, 1/12/2004

TEACHER: “That is how congress works. Take-take for example this controversial bill passed late last year, a-a defense appropriations bill, ah, that President Jackson just now passed just now. 3/5ths, or 60 Senators of the total 100 Senators, were needed to move the l-legislation to a vote through a cloture motion, w-which closed debate on the bill. The same measure, uh, the same motion, it works same for nominations, too. Uh, thus, 60 Senators are needed to end a filibuster. And when it looked like Senator Chenoweth was going to f-filibuster right, uh, just before the Senate could leave for winter break, Senate Democrats had just enough votes – let’s see, that’s 57 Democrats, plus the two Democratic-caucusing Independents, plus liberal Republican Bill Weld – yeah, just enough votes to prevent the bill being filibustered. Uh, yeah?”

STUDENT: “What about recent calls to have Senator Pete Diamondstone and Congressman Bo Gritz expelled from Congress? How serious is all that?”

TEACHER: “Well, Pete and Bo should be happy to know – huh, that rhymed, heh – um, uh, they, uh, that the voters will kick them out of congress before congress kicks them out of congress. You see, their fellow lawmakers need a supermajority to expel someone from either chamber, but, uh, doing so has always been reserved for major things like outright federal crimes being committed, n-not for rhetoric.”

– guest lecturer and former US Senator Joe Biden (D-DE) [6], Delaware State University, taped class lecture, 1/14/2004


Washington, DC – Savannah Diane Rodham-Clinton and Bradford Corbett Bush are proud to announce the birth of their first child, a son named Harland Sanders Bush. Weighing in a 9 pounds and 7 ounces, the newborn Harland is named after the former US President, Harland “Colonel” Sanders. Harland’s mother’s mother is Hillary Rodham-Clinton, a US Senator currently running for President. Harland’s father’s father is George W. Bush, the Commissioner of Baseball whose father-in-law was former US Vice President Richard Nixon. Savannah and Bradford met, live, and work in the DC area for numerous political organizations, promoting a wide variety of causes.

The Washington Times, celebrations section, 1/15/2004

CHURCH AND STATE: Why Religious Conservatives Are Backing Jesse Jackson

Time Magazine, mid-January 2004 issue


– The First Couple attending a Sunday church service, 1/18/2004

“…Jesse is not this wild radical that half of the GOP field is trying to make him out to be. For instance, he’s not extremist enough to ban nuclear power because Jesse is smart, he is aware that nuclear power is low carbon and basically renewable, and it just needs to be handled very carefully, and that means maintaining top-of-the-line high-quality safety regulations for nuclear power plants. Plus, banning nuclear energy would lead to Americans more reliance on oil and other fossil fuels, not more reliable on electric, solar, water and wind because, while those industries and energy sectors and catching on very well, their infrastructure and familiarity is still not there yet for most Americans. Instead, the President backs tight regulations, ‘oppressive red tape’ like some Republicans label them, and Jesse is also promoting the opening of more thorium power plants, which are much safer than nuclear power plants…”

– White House Chief of Staff Ron Daniels, NBC’s Meet the Press, 1/23/2004

Rohrabacher Trial Begins Today: Disgraced Former CA Governor Accused of Treason, Bribery, Multiple Other Charges

The Los Angeles Times, 1/26/2004

MARTIN: “What amazes me is that the Diamondstone candidacy was actually foretold nearly a hundred years ago in the prophetic 1907 novel ‘Lord of the World,’ [7]. According to the book, an antichrist from Vermont will bring about a religious war and the end of the world. Diamondstone is openly agnostic. He is a denier of God and the True Faith. He is an unhinged radical who, if given the nuclear codes, will undoubtedly bring about a nuclear Armageddon!”

NOORY: “Okay, I agree that that is freaky, but don’t you think that this kind of rhetoric will only help the Jackson campaign?”

MARTIN: “No – it’ll keep the American people from bringing about The End Times through atomic fire!”

NOORY: “Okay, alright, fair enough, fair enough...”

– Host George Noory and recurring guest Xander Martin, KDWN’s late night political call-in talk radio program Coast to Coast AM, 1/29/2004


Helsinki, FIINLAND – After coming in first place in the first round of voting on January 16, Dr. Pekka Puska, has won a decisive victory in tonight’s election for President of Finland. Puska, 68, is a celebrated health leader often credited for overseeing the life-extending changes made to the Finnish diet in the 1970s and 1980s; as the nation’s long-serving Minister of Health, Puska worked with leaders across Finland to ensure food shipping lines and energy use remained uninterrupted during the SARS pandemic, and repeated appeared on Finnish television to inform citizens on how to maintain and improve their diet and mental health during the crisis. Puska ran for President on a Green/Social Democratic Alliance ticket, and won over centrist former Prime Minister Esko Aho, 49, of the Centre ticket, by a margin of roughly 21%...

The Guardian, UK newspaper, 6/2/2004

“To be President, you must have the necessary qualities. You must be a man of logic, tolerance, understanding, honesty, and integrity. Bernie Goetz does not have these qualities. …Bernie has presented division and bigotry as individuality and order. …As President, I will bring honesty and integrity to the White House, and I will bring peace and justice to the United States of America.”

– James H. Meredith, GOP Primary Presidential debate, 2/3/2004


…the LDP gained seven seats tonight thanks to incumbent Prime Minister successfully fending off right-wing attacks from three conservative parties who all nominated former PM Shintaro Ishihara. Ishihara, whose candidacy was once again endorsed by yazuka syndicates, continually failed to do better than 38% in polls taken before the election…

The Asahi Shimbun, Japanese newspaper, 2/6/2004

HOW FAR CAN PETE GO?: More Than An Uphill Climb For An Unapologetic Marxist

…Senator Diamondstone’s self-described “crusade” aims to establish a non-violent sort of crypto-utopian society were government is large but peaceful. Pete’s chances of primarying the popular incumbent President are somewhere between slim and nil, but it may be possible for the openly Marxist politician to influence the party’s official platform for the 2004 general election in some small way. That, though, will depend on how many delegates he receives in the upcoming primary contests, and judging by his standing in the polls – where he hovers between 5% and 0% – well, we refer back to the aforementioned slim-to-nil chances…

The Burlington Free Press, 2/11/2004

DJ: …Alright, so another Republican primary debate was held tonight, and it looks as if, out of the one dozen candidates on the debate stage, those considered to be the top winner of the night are Goetz, Huntsman and Meredith. Now, Goetz started off on the wrong foot by criticizing safezoning, but quickly turned it into a call for individualism and, I guess, libertarianism:

GOETZ (in clip): If you’re an adult, and your responsible to drive a car or raise children or own a business, the government should trust you to keep those around you safe during a crisis. Imposing heavy fines for not maintaining safezoning measures means the government doesn’t trust the American citizen to do the right thing! Listen, you can’t let yourself be pushed around. You can’t live in fear. That’s no way to live your life. [8] And if you are a smart, intelligent and wise individual and you know what you are doing, then the government should get off your back!

DJ: Huntsman, meanwhile, seemed to play to the more religious crowd with optimistic rhetoric:

HUNTSMAN (in clip): A crisis creates the opportunity to dip deep into the reservoirs of our very being, to rise to levels of confidence, strength, and resolve that otherwise we didn't think we possessed… Life is not a game of Solitaire; people depend on one another. When one does well, others are lifted. When one stumbles, others also are impacted. There are no one-man teams—either by definition or natural law. Success is a cooperative effort; it’s dependent upon those who stand beside you. [9]

DJ: And then there’s former Vice President Meredith, who had a few things to say that got lots of applause from the audience, but will definitely lead to criticisms from the left:

MEREDITH (in clip): Integration is the biggest con job ever pulled on any group of people, any nationality in the world. It was a plot by white liberals to gain black political power for themselves and their wild ideas, and for a few black bourgeoisie who were paid to exercise leverage as black spokesmen… Have you ever hear of Irish, Poles, Germans, Italians and Jews being integrated? They go anywhere and just enjoy their rights. Why call it integration when black folk do the same thing? It’s a con job. [10]

– WDRC-AM, 2/17/2004 radio broadcast

“Twelve years is enough, thanks,” John said. He was clearly fatigued from the responsibilities of the office. John had planned on resigning right after the Queen’s Jubilee, only for SARS to appear. The subsequent crisis demanded immediate action, and that meant delaying stepping down until the country was safe enough and stable enough for a leadership election to commence. John made his decision known to his ministers before the press were let in on it, and with John’s approval rating at 63%, the decision split the cabinet. One half though he should capitalize on the popularity to pass more laws, despite John having already passed healthcare reform, improved housing, lowered unemployment (save for jobs lost during the SARS Pandemic), and had enacted progressive laws for environmental protection, BLUTAG marriage, and medical marijuana. He felt his job was done: “You get no thanks overstaying your welcome.”

– Lyn Cornell-Lennon’s memoir, Lennon & I: Our Lives: From Liverpool to 10 Downing Street And Back Again, Thames Books, 2017

…When Prime Minister John Lennon announced on 20 February that he would step down from the job and resign from parliament in under a month, the race was on to see who in the Labor party would succeed him to office… [11]

– Jacqueline Edmondson’s A Legend’s Biography: The Lives And Times of John Lennon, London Times Books, 2010


…The RNC Chair laments, “At this moment in time, the race for the nomination is without a clear frontrunner. It’s pretty much anybody’s guess who will end up the nominee right now.” …When asked about the upcoming March primary contests yesterday, former President Kemp remarked “It all depends now on how the people vote!” [12]

The Washington Post, 2/25/2004

[1] OTL bio bits pulled from (and thus can be found) here:
[2] OTL comment, according to Source 24 on Jesse Jackson’s wikipedia article:
[3] As previously mentioned in the March 1982 chapter
[4] OTL endeavor!:
[5] This statistic was found via a graph found on google images, belonging to the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies & Pew Research Center
[6] @historybuff : I mentioned before, but only in passing, that Biden lost re-election in 1996. This was because it was a really good year for Republicans, so he ran to the right of the Democratic party to win over conservatives, while the Republican nominee ran to the left to be competitive in a state as left-leaning as Delaware; the result was a narrow loss of a two-term incumbent (Biden lost the 1972 Senate race ITTL, but served as the Governor of Delaware from 1977 to 1985 before winning a US Senate seat in 1984 and again in 1990). He sat out the 1984 Presidential primaries due to Denton’s high popularity, and he sat out the 1988 primaries due to his OTL aneurysm incident occurring earlier than it did IRL. His political career is essentially over, though he has publicly expressed interest in running for public office again someday. Also, @historybuff : I’m not familiar enough with Ann M. Martin or “The Baby-Sitters Club” to know for sure how her books ITTL would differ from OTL. Maybe the 1990 TV lasts a few more years? Certainly more than just 13 episodes! And, since, I believe, the books were popular in the 1980s, maybe the TV reboot gets made in the 2010s instead of in 2020 like OTL? If you concur, then I’ll cover it in one of the 2010s chapters (like, 2017 or so). Sound good?
[7] This dystopian thing: (I think someone on this site mentioned it a long while back…?)
[8] Italicized piece is from OTL:
[9] Italicized bits were found here (along with some other good JHSr. quotes):
[10] Entirely from OTL, as found here:
[11] @Igeo654 and others: any suggestions for should be PM John Lennon’s successor?

[12] Speaking of which, ahead of the 2004 Republican primaries, I made a preference poll for y’all:
And here’s a quick breakdown of the 20 candidates found on the poll:

George Felix Allen of Virginia, age 52 – a Governor from 1994 to 1998 and a US Senator since January 2003, Allen also served as the US Ambassador to Venezuela from 1998 to 2001; he is running as a self-labeled “Colonel Conservative,” but many pundits state his record shows more right-leaning tendencies when it comes to social welfare issues.

Mario Biaggi of New York, age 87 – with a political resume dating back almost forty years, Biaggi is a candidate with experience; he was a Governor from 1967 to 1981, during which time he played a crucial role in the 1971 Attica Prison Massacre, and a US Senator from 1981 until his retirement this year; having run for President as a Democrat in 1968, 1972, 1984, and 1988, that party’s shift to the left has convinced this former police officer to run in this election cycle as a Republican with a campaign defending “our boys (and gals) in blue.”

Ben Nighthorse Campbell of Colorado, age 71 – a Native-American, Campbell has been a Republican since 1991 and a US Senator since 1993; with a reputation for being independent-minded and at time bipartisan, Campbell claims he would appeal to undecided voters in November better than any other Republican; his campaign is focused on minority rights, and on balancing environmental protection and Native American land sacredness with the financial gain that comes from fossil fuels and land put aside for sun farms.

Richard P. Cheney of New Mexico, age 67 – not to be confused with US Congressman-turned-corporate lobbyist Richard Bruce “Dick” Cheney of Wyoming, Rick Cheney was a Governor from 1995 to 1999, and the US Ambassador to Norway from 1999 to 2000; having survived an attempt on his life by members of a Mexican recreadrug cartel, Cheney’s campaign is focused heavily on law enforcement, defending police precincts and reversing Jackson’s drug policies.

Joseph Maxwell “Max” Cleland of Georgia, age 62 – a retired US Army General, Cleland has never held public office before but has a diverse military background, having served in some capacity in nearly every major American military confrontation since 1964 (Cuba, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Uganda, Angola, Libya, Nicaragua, and, most famously, Korea); Cleland believes Jackson’s annual cuts to the military’s budget are leaving the US vulnerable, and that a more pro-military President is needed; he supports programs for veterans and, interestingly, may have social and even fiscal views that are to the party’s left.

Hillary Diane Rodham-Clinton of Tennessee, age 57 – Clinton was a Governor from 1991 to 1995, and has been a US Senator since 1997; Clinton, initially an Illinoian, canvassed for Republicans in 1966 in Tennessee, which is where she met her future husband George Stanley Clinton, with whom she had a son (Bill, b. 1975) and a daughter (Savannah, b. 1977); her working for Governor Pusser led to her gaining an anti-corruption reputation, while her tenure as governor has won the support of many teachers unions and other professional groups in this election cycle so far; she is running as a “sensible moderate.”

Lowell Jackson “Jack” Fellure of West Virginia, age 73 – a retired engineer who opposes the very concept of the technet and was a Lieutenant Governor from 1985 to 1989, Fellure was the GOP nominee for Governor in 1992, and the “Exposure party” nominee for Governor in 1988; a “Country Conservative” who occasionally makes appearances as a commentator on radio and TV programs, he is running a “low-key” (or “slow-and-steady”) campaign based on his highly-religious and deeply-conservative social views.

Bettye Frink of Alabama, age 71 – a Governor from 1995 to 1999, Frink is a fiscal centrist with religious flair; Frink, whose main focus is the Treasury and economic recovery and diversification, has served in various statewide office since the 1950s, and originally as a moderate Democrat; her emphasis on IRS reform, tax code simplification, and protecting Social Security appeals to older voters, while her rhetoric may win over more religious and evangelical voters.

Bernhard Hugo “Bernie” Goetz of Colorado, age 57 – a US Senator from 1997 to 2003, Goetz grew up in New York but moved to Colorado in 1984, where he owned a hardware store that he grew into a statewide franchise before expanding into real estate in Denver; a libertarian-minded populist who is heavily pro-gun and favors making marijuana "a legitimate business," Goetz, whose surname is pronounced like “guts,” is running on a strategy of securing the support of “forgotten Republicans,” i.e. blue-collar, non-college educated members of the GOP; though he says he appeals to businesspersons big and small, his campaign also (alleged) features some racist undertones.

Gilbert William “Gil” Gutknecht Jr. of Minnesota, age 53 – a US Senator from 1997 to 2003 whose surname is pronounced “GOOT-neck,” this Republican moderate hopes to appeal to enough conservative Democrats and white ethnic voters in enough GOP primaries to clinch the party’s nomination; his campaign focuses on “small town issues” such as small business ownership and college affordability.

Fred Hemmings of Hawaii, age 59 – a former award-winning professional surfer, Hemmings was a Governor from 1990 until his resignation for a diplomatic post in 1997, serving as the US Ambassador to Australia from 1997 to 2001; a lifelong opponent of recreadrug culture, Hemmings also supports efforts to construct wave turbines to power coastal cities; Hemming also plans on running on his record as Governor.

Lamar Hunt of Texas, age 72 – a businessman and sports promoter with abundant wealth, Hunt is the brother of incumbent US Ambassador to New Zealand Swanee Grace Hunt, and the son of billionaire oil tycoon H. L. Hunt (who the famous TV character J. R. Ewing is partially based on); Lamar Hunt is spending much of his own fortune on this campaign, through which he is spouting conservative-populist promises of deregulation and investing in “safer fracking” procedures while also supporting the tiring notion of running the federal government like it is a business, in order to cast himself as “another Iacocca.”

Jon Meade Huntsman Sr. of Utah, age 67 – a millionaire businessman with close ties to KFC and a Governor from 1989 to 2001, Huntsman led his state’s growth in industrial, agricultural, and tourist sectors during the 1990s decade, ad was commended by President Jackson for his handling of the SARS pandemic; as Governor, Huntsman also oversaw his state’s Attorney General go after “rogue sects” of the LDS religion over allegations of “underage pestering” and other offenses.

Alan Lee Keyes of Maryland, age 54 – an African-American diplomat by trade, Keyes has served in every Republican White House since 1981 in a variety of posts, including assistant Secretary of State under President Dinger (from 1995 to 1997) to White House Deputy Chief of Staff under President Kemp (from 1987 to 1989) to US Ambassador to Zimbabwe under President Dinger (from 1997 to 2001); Keyes is running a populist, socially-conservative campaign.

Walter Fox McKeithen of Louisiana, age 58 – a Governor from 1992 to 1996 and again from 2000 to 2004, McKeithen almost always goes by his middle name; McKeithen has already won a few labor endorsements due to his campaign call to “protect hardworking Americans everywhere”; McKeithen was also commended by members of both sides of the aisle for his handling of a race riot in 1995 and for his handling of the SARS pandemic.

James Howard Meredith of Mississippi, age 71 – a US Vice President from 1995 to 2001 and a US Senator from 1979 to 1995, Meredith is trying to be seen as a candidate that all of the party’s factions can rally behind despite he himself being very conservative; nevertheless, Meredith’s broad-reaching campaign has already been endorsed by former US President Larry Dinger, and the Iacocca family, and even two former KKK leaders, along with Charles Evers, and several other prominent Black Republicans.

Marilyn Neoma Shuler Musgrave of Colorado, age 55 – a US Representative since 1997, Musgrave is moderate-to-conservative Republican who is calling for tax cuts across the board; additionally, Musgrave advocates both gun rights and women’s rights; Musgrave may have a rising base of supporter out west; at the moment, religious primary voters are torn between Musgrave, Frink, Fellure, Keyes, Meredith and Rehberg.

David Fraser Nolan of Arizona, age 61 – a Governor since 1999, Nolan is a “Libertarian” Republican, or “Liberty-Conservative” Republican, as others call it; a longtime supporter of fiscal conservatism and social liberalism, his initial response to the start of the SARS Pandemic was slow, but he more than made up for it by April 2002, implementing travel restrictions, and quarantining and safezoning measures in order to keep Arizonans safe; Nolan plans to run on his gubernatorial record, but also on the positive benefits of recreadrugs.

Dennis Ray “Denny” Rehberg of Montana, age 49 – Rehburg, the Governor of Montana since 1997, is the youngest candidate in the race; sporting an iconic moustache and plaid shirt as part of his “rugged outdoorsman” image, Rexburg, a defender of mining and fracking who is running on his gubernatorial record, supports expanding gun rights, opposes the US Supreme Court decision that legalized same-sex marriage nationwide, and is “pro-police” in the face of the Jackson administration’s police reform efforts.

William Floyd “Bill” Weld of Massachusetts, age 59 – a US Senator since 1991, Weld is indisputably the most left-leaning candidate in the race, a lingering remnant of the Rockefeller Republican at the national level; he stands out from office candidates by actually defending Jackson on several front, and so his campaign is primarily focused on tax reform and reigning in government spending without hurting those who need the support of the welfare state.

Please vote!

The next Chapter’s E.T.A.: October 29!

...okay, given how Bernie Goetz is running for President, I really have to wonder how "We Didn't Start the Fire" would be written ITTL.
TTL's version of that song was included in the 1989 chapter! :)
When did Wendyburger get renamed Wendy's ITTL?
1987, over concerns people were confusing it with Whataburger.
Loved it. Hope Meredith is the Republican nominatee against Jackson two African Americans from different parties running for President. Historic
Thanks! We'll see how well he does in the primaries...
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...okay, given how Bernie Goetz is running for President, I really have to wonder how "We Didn't Start the Fire" would be written ITTL.
Started reading this today (have reached 1965), am really liking it.

Also, this TL made me eat KFC for the first time (here at home we were going to have delivery, convinced my mum to order KFC, which she disliked but hadn't eaten in over 5 years) and I really liked it, we didn't order the original recipe (she though I would think it was too spicy), but agreed to have the original next time.

So thanks for that @gap80!
Just reached the end of 1990 after binge reading up to it since my last post. And I must say I loved it, I found it funny (in special the changes in therminology, the end of the Mason Family, the changed careers and marriages of various historical and political figures, the fact that you never show Harley face...), awesome (the Sanders presidency and the ways in which the world of this TL has already come farther than in OTL while still being on the 90s), surprising (the earlier end of the Cold War, the fact that Fried Chicken was the answer for peace on the Middle East, Hoover's end and what's happening in China) and at some times saddening (Ho Chi Min's death, the Iranian kidnapping).

The last chapters have been particularly heartwrenching, I tend to bond with the characters when I read so I felt rather emotional when the Colonel's death started nearing, his birthday made me start tearing up a bit (it didn't help that it was very similar to my last christmas with my grandfather, since we all knew there wouldn't be another one and I think I spent more time wanting to cry than partying), and the reactions to the colonel's death made me cry.

Now that the he has passed, I think I'm going to stop reading the TL for a bit (since its the only thing I did for the past two days), rest and then finish reading up to the latest update.

Again, splendid job @gap80.

EDIT: PS, a thing I was curious while reading: did the PODs cause Star Wars to never be made or (A) I didn't notice (B) it simply wasn't commented?
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Chapter 88: March 2004 – August 2004
Chapter 88: March 2004 – August 2004

I get a high when I smell roasted pork with sauerkraut.”

– Bernie Goetz (OTL) [1]

…In the pre-primary season, Goetz’s campaign suffered from it attracting the attention and praise of openly racist, sexist, and homophobic individuals. The controversial nature of this major part of his support base surrounding his candidacy made headline news on March 1, when video of a Goetz stump speech from his 1996 Senate run began circulating online. The short clip consisted of Goetz saying the now-infamous line: “Society is better off without certain people.” [2] When reporter asked the Republican about this video, Goetz proclaimed that the segment was taken out of context. “I was referring to muggers, murderers, pedophiles and other members of the scum of society that live off of creating misery for others. I wasn’t saying something that was meant to be seen as racist.”…

– Nancy Skelton and Bob Faw’s Thunder In America: A Chronology of The Jesse Jackson White House, Texas Monthly Press, 2016

“..I think the members of the media that are in the pockets of the Democrats, or however than phrase goes, the ruling party’s puppets, they’re digging up old comments and putting them out there without proper context in order to distract everyone from their shortcoming. They’re not talking about the thousands of factory workers still jobless since the pandemic first hit. We’re not talking about homicide, or about the dangerous criminals that Jackson has restored voting rights to, or about Jackson doing nothing to stop the rise of outsourcing. Or about how the economy is doing better, but it is not doing better for everyone, including the middle class. Let’s talk about all that stuff instead…”

– Bernie Goetz, 3/2/2004

“Goetz’s attitude to America’s troubled and at-risk youth, and his acceptance of racist elements supporting his campaign, are not representative of the character and morals of the Republican party.”

– Former US President Larry Miles Dinger, 3/3/2004


The Tuscaloosa News, Alabama newspaper, 3/4/2004

…based on the latest polling, it looks like Bernie Goetz’s poll numbers are actually going up, especially among blue-collar workers…

– KNN, 3/5/2004 broadcast

…A major issue facing the Meredith campaign was social conservatives in the party who were “not comfortable” with the former Vice President’s race. As Goetz gained more media attention, Meredith’s staff saw a notable shift in Republican primary voter allegiance. “The remaining modern-day Wide-Awakes had found their candidate, and it was Bernie,” later noted Barack “Rocky” McCain, the Chief of Staff of Meredith’s campaign…

– Richard Ben Cramer’s What It Takes: Roads to The White House, Sunrise Publications, 2011 edition

“I don’t buy Jackson’s approval ratings being so high. I think the 2002 primaries was a fluke influenced by anti-Jackson voters being too busy working to vote against him more than so it had to do with his handling of the SARS pandemic.”

– Bernie Goetz, 3/7/2004

…MP for Derby South Margaret Beckett was the initial frontrunner, only for her candidacy to suffer from accusations of nepotism for her hiring her husband to manage her office. Then there was that matter over her travelling expenses; that, and thru inquiries into the cost of her London flat, made for bad press, and reminded MPs of the luxuries-related “scandals” of the outgoing PM. As a result, attention soon turned to another MP: Harriet Harman of Peckham, was to the left of Beckett, and was endorsed by Lennon and her friend Patricia Hewitt, the Home Secretary. A third candidate, MP for Blackburn John Whitaker Straw, sought to be a compromise between the left and far-left wings of the party, similar to Harman; a fourth candidate 35-year-old MP for Pontefract and Castleford Yvette Cooper, called for a generational changing of the guard and for the absorption of the far-left United Kingdom Intrepid Progressive party; MP Gordon Brown was only a candidate for two weeks before bowing out to support Harman. Ultimately, the selection came down to Harman and Straw, with Harman eventually winning, making her the UK’s second female PM. As she entered office on the eighth of March, Lennon left for his vacation home, ebullient at the twelve productive but frustrating years now being behind him. …Lennon smiled at the early success of the Child Trust Fund, a savings account system for UK children he managed to establish in 2003, and one of his last major acts as PM. Lennon’s tax policies were schizophrenic, wanting to ensure a safety net for people without suppressing innovation and investments from the top, and thus had caused the middle class, then the top, to be saddled with high taxes. Thankfully, Lennon’s successor stabilized things with a more clear “top-down” tax distribution system. Lennon was also proud of passing the Gender Identity Recognition Act of 2001, which allowed transsexual citizens to have their reassigned gender legally recognized by law...

– Jacqueline Edmondson’s A Legend’s Biography: The Lives And Times of John Lennon, London Times Books, 2010

GOETZ GETS GRANITE STATE! Insurgent Senator Wins Over Weld, Huntsman, Others In First-In-The-Nation GOP Primary Contest

The Cleveland Plain Dealer, 3/9/2004

THE MARTIANS HAVE LANDED!: Ares Program Astronauts Splash Down In Pacific After 14-Month Round Trip To Mars!


Above: the Seeker 3 landing module (above) lands in off the coast of Palikir, the capital of the Federated States of Micronesia

The New York Post, 3/10/2004

…Entering the atmosphere faster than we should have made for an awkward landing, with only the parachutes and emergency reverse-thrusters minimizing the damage. Instead of Crackle receiving a broken arm, he got a sprained one. We could have received broken ribcages or concussion, but due to the data received during the demises of the Seeker 1 and Seeker 2, our vessel held up under the friction of such fast-moving force coming to a sudden stop.

The separately-deployed cargo segments landed safely and without incident. [snip] We each quarantined separately for a month, but were allowed to speak to family members, friends, well-wishers and reporters happy to ask us the same kinds of questions that were asked by seemingly every reporter that came before and after them. Eventually, I had to cut back to handling no more than three reporters a day, while Crackle stopped granting reporters Q&A chats after the first week…

– Michael P. Anderson’s A Million Different Things, Borders Books, 2006

“So, what’d I miss?”

“Well, let’s see. Wages are going up but so is the price of pretty much everything, same-sex marriage became legal in all 50 states, John Lennon left office, another comic book movie’s coming out soon, their doing construction on some new super-train thing downtown, the Governor of California got arrested for treason, Kurt Cobain and Courtney Love broke up but then patched things up, several vaccines for SARS have been made but none have been cleared for public use yet, the voice of several of the side characters on Futurama is now the Governor of Louisiana, I think India is collapsing in on itself, and the Denver Broncos somehow won the Super Bowl.”

“Well, at least it’s nice to see nobody blew up the planet while we were gone, but I meant how are the boys?”

“Ha-ha! Oh, I’m sorry, hon. They’re all doing fine in school – their grade are steady despite all the attention their getting. When your Dad’s the second man to step foot on Mars, you suddenly have a lot of friends hanging around the house.”

“So no trouble at school?”

“Well…there was one incident.”

“What incident?”

“Well, apparently, there’s a boy a school whose parents are, how to put it, a bit on wrong side of history, w-with race?”


“Yeah, and, a few weeks ago, he apparently approached our boys and began insulted you for allowing Mike to exit the Seeker first. The boys ddn’t take too kindly to his remarks, so, they stood up for their old man.”

“How seriously did they stand up for me?”

“They gave him a black eye, but only after the boy gave our youngest a split lip.”
“Hm. Good for them. They’re tough like me, and caring like you. We’re raising them right, you know that?”

“Yeah, well, as soon as you get out of quarantine, you have about 14 months of raising to catch up on. Do you know that?”

“Um, I do now…”

– transcript, picphone e-chat between Willie McCool and his wife Lani, recorded by NASA’s data security department, 3/12/2004


The Salt Lake Tribune, 3/12/2004

“I really shouldn’t say this, because it could be misinterpreted as a bit thing, or as an anti-NASA thing, but it’s not. What I want to say is that, while I can’t tell you for certain that life does still exist on Mars, I can tell you one thing: >rubs area around eye< I’m never doing that again. One nearly-lost eye is enough for me, thank you!”

– NASA Payload Commander Frankie Chiang Diaz, TON interview, 3/14/2004

…On the fifteenth of March, Chairman Zhu Rongji gave a speech before the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China to summarize the achievements of the past twelve years, to tout the successful aspects of their response to the dissipating SARS pandemic, and to unofficially endorse Minister Bo Xilai to be his successor, all but guaranteeing Bo would win the position in the upcoming selection process.

Bo Xilai, 54, as a reformist Secretary of Tourism, was still being hailed internationally for sounding the alarm on the SARS virus as it was spreading out of the PRC. Initially trying and failing to pin the outbreak on him, foreign support for Bo made Zhu change course and, soon enough, began to believe his own propaganda. As far as anyone in the politburo could tell, Bo was one of the party’s least corrupt members if corrupt at all, as the latter seemed to be the case. Zhu’s selection was thus seen as a way of improving international relations in order to strengthen commerce and trade relations, of doubling down on and ensuring the preservation of Zhu’s own anti-corruption legacy, and of pumping “young blood” into system with an almost “generational” transferring of power…

– David Tal’s US Strategic Arms Policy After the Cold War: Globalization & Technological Modernization, Routledge, 2020

…In tonight’s two Republican Presidential primaries, former Vice President James Meredith secured victories in both contests, winning Georgia by a plurality of votes and Maryland by a majority of votes over fellow candidates Bernie Goetz, Jon Huntsman, and several others still in the race. The results are not good news for the campaign of Senator Hillary Rodham-Clinton, who campaigned heavily in Georgia. The same can be said about the candidacy of former Ambassador Alan Keyes of Maryland, who had hoped to eon his home state in an upset…

– CBS Evening News, 3/16/2004


…public awareness of the Garden State’s succession issues have risen in recent years after Governors Trump-Giuliani, Pucci and O’Neill each left office with over a year left in office; without a Lieutenant Governor, the state’s executive branch was led by the Senate Majority Leader, who served as Acting governor. …The situation regarding the head of the state government also being the head of the state senate is considered to be “untenable” by state Republican Party. “The senate leader is chosen by the senate, not the voters, and the acting governor serving simultaneously in both the executive and legislative branches is a clear breach of the separation of powers mentioned in the New Jersey constitution of 1947. Thirdly, when Senate Majority Leader Richard Codey, a Democrat, succeeded Governor Trump-Giuliani, a Republican, he reversed several of her policies despite the voters electing Trump and her policies, not Codey’s as his,” explains State Republican Party Chairperson...

– The Staten Island Advance, NYC newspaper, 3/18/2004

…President Jackson and his inner circle purposely encouraged news coverage of the Diamondstone campaign in order to capitalize on the Vermont Senator’s claims that Jackson was too much to the center for the US. Pete essentially took the label “radical” off of Jackson and placed it onto himself, and Chief of Staff Ron Daniels was sure to make the media notice. [snip] On Tuesday, March 23, the Vermont Presidential primaries were held for both major parties. In the GOP, Senator Bill Weld of nearby Massachusetts won easily. On the Democratic side, there was genuine concern over what the political ramifications would be if Diamondstone were to somehow manage to win his home state. Fortunately for the Jackson White House, the President won with 76% of the vote; Diamondstone came in second with 19%, and with several minor candidate receiving the remaining 5% of the vote…

– Richard Wolffe’s Reselling Hope: The 2004 Election, Hachette Book Group, 2005

…In preparation for a planned moonshot in 2008, the Saudi Arabian Space Center, MAA, is maintaining a delicate collaboration with Iran to use the latter country’s test rocket launch sites in Shahrud and Qom, in the northern half of the country. But just a few minutes ago, an unmanned space rocket being tested by the Saudi Arabian Space Center in Shahrud crashed and exploded immediately after liftoff, releasing what is being described by our sources in Shahrud as a toxic cloud of sorts into the surrounding areas in an apparent failed launch test…

– KNN, 3/26/2004 broadcast

HUNTSMAN: “Most of us care about one another. Human beings have considerably more in common with one another than they do differences. One’s religion, political persuasion, family, financial and social status, or vocation does not hamper the common thread of personal decency running through most of humankind. [3]

MEREDITH: “If black people use their resources properly, they can become as competitive as any group in society – take control of our neighborhoods, our businesses, our schools, including our teachers. The only thing keeping Black people from doing it is this idiotic idea about integration, about being racially balanced.” [4]

HUNTSMAN: “Wealth isn't always measured in dollar signs. We each have time, talent and creativity, all of which can be powerful forces for positive change. Share your blessings in whatever form they come and to whatever level you have been blessed.” [3]

GOETZ: “We all saw how hectic things got two years ago. Fights breaking out in stores as people duked it out over the last hand sanitizer on the shelf. People can be very dangerous, and when that happens, you need to be able to protect yourself. Apply that logic to the country overall, and you’ll see just why we need a strong defense military.”

MEREDITH “I am an honest politician. I will not tell you that I have all the answers. Only the family of God can solve the problems of our time. I can only lead our government to those solutions, because I have the leadership skills that is needed for the office of the Presidency.” [4]

HUNTSMAN: “There is a fun fact that suggests America has 40 lawyers for every engineer, whereas China, emerging as one of the world’s most dynamic nations, has 40 engineers for every lawyer. I am not sure exactly what that says, but it can’t be a plus for the United States. It may only be coincidence that the explosion in ethical and legal lapses in the business world parallels proportionately the increase in lawyers.” [3]

– Snippets from the GOP Presidential primary debate in Reno, NV, 3/27/2004

…The March Cluster fell on Tuesdays the thirtieth. Twelve states voted for both sides of the political aisle in the biggest hurdle to overcome for low and middle tier candidates. On the Democratic side, Diamondstone’s results numbers returned to the single digits. The Republican side, though, was more interesting. Huntsman won Arizona and Oklahoma by regional appeal, and Delaware over Meredith by a narrow margin. Meredith won DC in a landslide, Missouri by a hair, and South Carolina in a nail-biter as some local Republicans were torn over his race, versus his noted conservatism. Rodham-Clinton won only her home state as her war chest began to diminish in size; Campbell experienced a similar night, edging past fellow Coloradan Goetz to win The Centennial State. The real surprise, and “winner,” of the night was Goetz, who exceeded expectations and recent slips and downward slides in polling by winning four contests – Iowa and Virginia, with Meredith coming in second place in both; Michigan, where Huntsman came in second place despite the all the effort that the former Governor’s campaign had placed in said contest; and Washington, Goetz won by a fair margin…

– Richard Wolffe’s Reselling Hope: The 2004 Election, Hachette Book Group, 2005

“As there is no clear path forward for my campaign, I am hereby withdrawing my bid for the Republican nomination. …While I am saddened by the unexpected demise of my candidacy, I am pleased and proud to endorse James Meredith for President.”

– Former US Ambassador to Zimbabwe Alan Lee Keyes (R-MD), 4/2/2004

…The book was successful in influencing school lunch programs in several states. By 2004, rising obesity rates among Americans under the age of 22 – especially among college students – fueled further technet-based calls for healthier school food options. School districts ending the practice – once highly common in the 1990s – of welcoming fast-food companies into school cafeterias as a way of better funding the schools’ lunch programs. To cover the cost of healthier school menus, districts turned to various fundraising efforts; some even took out government loans. In April 2004, the US Secretary of Agriculture Jim McGovern sought to help by beginning to push for school funding reform, and urged congress, or at least state governments, to pass legislation that would make it easier for schools – and/or even incentivize schools – to switch to more healthier food menu item options…


…Okay, and of course, the big news of the night, the results of the latest round of Republican presidential primaries were held tonight, and with the exception of Nebraska, all of the results of the contests have been announced. Huntsman won Maine and Pennsylvania, uh, Meredith won his home state of Mississippi. Meredith, uh, also won the Virgin Islands primary and the Puerto Rico primary. Let’s see, uh, Goetz secured North Carolina, he obtained the Guam primary, and he won Indiana. Oh, and uh, hey, they just announced that Goetz edged out Meredith and Huntsman to win Nebraska’s primary, too. So, uh, yeah, overall a good night for the top three contenders…

– WBRG, Virginia news/talk/sports radio, 4/7/2004

CAMPBELL DROPS OUT, ENDORSES HUNTSMAN: Opts To Fold Campaign After Underperforming In Last Night’s Primaries

…The retiring US Senator told the crowd of supporters, “I don’t want to take donations when I can tell that I won’t win this. That’d be a waste of your money. As a fiscal conservative, I can’t condone that.”…

The Boston Globe, 4/7/2004


…The former Governor of New Mexico has bowed out of his bid for the Republican nomination for President, following his failure to win any states on Tuesday’s cluster of presidential primaries. In his announcement, Cheney, a supporter of the War on Recreadrugs and of “tighter” immigration laws, offered a “warning” to the remaining Presidential candidates, claiming that a “dangerous” immigration crisis will arise from the former North Korea “if Americans are not vigilant and watch who we allow in.”…

– The Las Vegas Review-Journal, 4/8/2004


…Of the 40% of surveyed Americans who stated that they do believe that NASA is concealing important information or data from the general public, 62% stated that they believe that said concealed element is evidence of past life on Mars, while 18% stated that they believe NASA is concealing proof of intelligent life currently existing on Mars. The remaining 10% stated several other beliefs…. According to the polling report, the amount distrust in NASA has actually increased since last August, with the general view being that “many are disappointed we didn’t come across some massive subterranean alien society up there,” explains one Gallup analyst, “and many have turned that feeling of disappointment into a feeling of suspicion, almost like a sort of denial”…

The Los Angeles Times, side article, 4/9/2004

…breaking news coming out of China tonight, where investigative journalists have published a bombshell exposé. According to the in-depth study, at least seven Chinese provincial leaders partook in embezzlement and bribery schemes in the weeks between the SARS virus leaving China and Chairman Zhu declaring a national emergency…

– ABC World News Tonight, 4/11/2004

…The police investigations confirmed the accusations spreading like wildfire through the grapevines of China, as word of mouth worked much faster than the state-owned media. The result was a wave of purge-like investigations and arrests aimed at the nation’s former Health Minister, seven provincial leaders, the managers of the Haikou Resort and other hotel operators in Hainan, among dozens of other lower-rank officials.

When the Zhu had them arrested, the nation’s leader made it clear that he would uphold zero tolerance for any activities that threatened to “tarnish the glory” of the People’s Republic, stripping the top politicians caught up in the scandal of their Communist party memberships and even having their families and inner circles arrested and interrogated for safe measure.

Behind closed doors, the interrogations of the alleged ringleaders was brutal and relentless. During one “session,” Bo Xilai stood in the room as the former Governor of Zhejiang was essentially tortured, until finally confessing “I’m not the only one. I just don’t know the names of the others, but you’re right, there are others.”

Bo Xilai raked him over the metaphorical coals. “Prove it, you dirty louse!”

“If I could, I would have already!”

“Wrong answer.” Bo nodded to the “interrogators,” and left as the fallen politician screamed out in agony.

– Omar Khan’s Breadstick Bridge: The PRC And The SARS Pandemic, 2009

…Tuesday, April 13 was an unlucky night for the Meredith campaign, as Goetz managed to squeeze on past him in the Kentucky primary, where the former VP was expecting a win. The two other primaries held that night were less narrow; Huntsman predictably coasted to victory in Idaho, while Goetz won Hawaii (thanks to a strong endorsement from former Governor Fred Hemming, who was still very popular among the state’s Republicans)…

– Richard Ben Cramer’s What It Takes: Roads to The White House, Sunrise Publications, 2011 edition

CANTALUPO DEAD! Illinois Governor Suffers Fatal Heart Attack, Age 60; Lt. Gov. Corrine J. Wood Takes Office

The Chicago Tribune, 4/19/2004

TONIGHT’S PRIMARY RESULTS: Goetz Wins West Virginia, Meredith Wins Arkansas, Huntsman Wins Utah; Jackson Wins All Three With Ease

–, 4/20/2004

“I am suspending my candidacy but I am not ending my fight for the protection of the rights of our children, our teachers, our national morals, and of women everywhere.”

– Hillary Rodham-Clinton, 4/21/2004

“I also have the technet to thank for this campaign doing so well. We were able to really utilize it to get our message out there. And I think it’s wonderful the media has much less power to form public opinion than it used to because of the technet.” [1]

– Bernie Goetz, 4/23/2004


Hollywood, CA – Standing on the Paramount soundstage, Grammer scans the remains of a set stripped away of its furniture, knickknacks and fake apartment walls. The conclusion of Frasier is about to air, having had a highly successful run on TV since 1993. Grammer describes the experience as “living out a character actor’s dream.” Indeed, Grammer managed to parlay a four-episode guest spot into the longest-running and almost certainly the most lucrative acting job in sitcom history. Only James Arness, on “Gunsmoke,” has played a single role for so long in prime time. Frasier Crane has brought Mr. Grammer critical acclaim – three Emmys and two Golden Globes – and a salary that is said to be about $2million an episode. (Wearing a pair of $15 white trousers bought during one of his monthly trips to Costco, Mr. Grammar said that his paycheck had never been reported accurately).

But the fame comes with the problem of many adoring fans having difficulty separating the actor from the character. Many a time, fans have confused Kelsey Grammer with Frasier Crane, which Grammer says can be frustrating when he tries to “be in real life.” In one famous instance, when Mr. Grammer visited Africa in 1996, a Masao warrior addressed him as Frasier. Such notoriety can be annoying in reality, but in television, such ubiquity can stall, or even kill, a career. “Television overfamiliarizes people with you,” Grammer said over lunch in his office during several days of interviews in March. “So preconceptions about who I am may take a while to die.” In other words, he can leave “Frasier” – the final episode will be broadcast on May 13 – but can he leave Frasier Crane behind?”

The character that's come to define him was born, Mr. Grammer said, ''as a plot device.'' In 1984, ''Cheers,'' in its third season, needed a new romantic interest for Diane, the fussy intellectual barmaid played by Shelley Long. The effete psychiatrist Frasier Crane became the catalyst for her final breakup with Ted Danson's Sam and also provided ballast for the show's blunt barroom humor, so Mr. Grammer was invited to stay on. ''We kept him around for the banter,'' said James Burrows, one of the creators and directors of ''Cheers,'' who has also directed many episodes of ''Frasier.''

When ''Cheers'' ended, NBC saw spinoff potential in Frasier Crane, and the former plot device became a full-fledged person. The new Frasier moved to Seattle, his hometown, for a job as a radio psychiatrist and the barroom good fellowship of ''Cheers'' was replaced by what Mr. Grammer called ''a more mature set of relationships'': with his ailing father, his ultrafastidious brother, his feisty producer and his father's semi-psychic caretaker. For Mr. Grammer, whose family life has been marked by tragedy (his father
was murdered in a home invasion, and a half-brother of his lost both legs in a shark attack), Frasier's family became a kind of surrogate for the paternal and fraternal relations missing in his life. ''These relationships I learned at work -- having a father, having a brother,'' he said. ''I don't have those things,” says Kelsey. His sister, writer Karen Grammar, explains further, “Growing up, it was just our mother and the two of us. I guess with Frasier ending, it’s like he has saying goodbye to a second father, and even to a second family of sorts.”

During a winter visit to his Polynesian plantation home in Maui, Mr. Grammer said, he pondered life after ''Frasier.'' He opened the Bible at random and placed his finger on the page, and the verse he found was, ''You will be tilled and sown.'' He liked that answer. [5]

Thus, Grammer stands on both an emptying stage and at a crossroads. Several acting projects are forthcoming, ranging from movies to theater work. But in regards to the long-term projection of his career, his future is uncertain. “I don’t really know what big thing I’ll do next. I don’t mind hopping around from one project to the next, but a long-lasting, stable gig in not without its plus side,” he contemplates aloud. “Well, I’ll always have Dr. Schwarzchild,” referring to the popular recurring character he enjoys voicing on the long-running animated series “Futurama,” which was recently renewed for three more seasons…

The New York Times, entertainment section, 4/25/2004

…Huntsman bet all his chips on Ohio heading into the April 27 collection of primaries that the media had dubbed “the Arcadian Cluster.” On Tuesday the 27th, Huntsman once again came in third place in several contests, losing Rhode Island and New York to Goetz, and Massachusetts and American Samoa to Meredith. Weld won Connecticut, but the loss of his home state of Massachusetts was the final nail in his campaign’s coffin. The final state called, the Buckeye State, ultimately went to Goetz in a crushing blow to Huntsman’s faltering campaign...

– Richard Wolffe’s Reselling Hope: The 2004 Election, Hachette Book Group, 2005


– Huntsman and his son Jon Jr. responding to the “shocking” surprise loss of the Ohio primary, 4/27/2004


The New York Post, 4/29/2004

….And in Poland, popular incumbent President Hanna Gronkiewicz-Waltz of the Civility Party has just won re-election, obtaining a second term with roughly 56% of the vote, over three major challengers: the moderate Waldemar Pawlak of the Christian Democratic Party, the far-right Janusz Korwin-Mikke of the Polish Right Party, and Janusz Sniadek of the Solidarity Party…

– BBC, 5/2/2004 broadcast

“I’d just like to thank Senator Biaggi for bowing out and endorsing me. Like me, Biaggi understands the need for law and order. And I’ll say this, Biaggi is a braver man than me when it comes to doing something about hoodlums because he became a cop in New York City. I lived in New York City when it was a dangerous place for being a cop. I supported the NYPD, but I didn’t join it. Instead I moved out of The City because it was becoming a dangerous place again. When Biaggi went to DC after many successful years as Governor, that’s when NYC went back to hell. It became the kind of place where gun ownership was a must. Because if someone tries to enforce their will on you and you have a gun, they have a problem, not you.” [1]

– Bernie Goetz, 5/3/2004

…Tonight’s Republican primaries were a boon for the Goetz campaign, who has just won the states of Florida and Oregon, while the Meredith campaign only won the primary contest held in Minnesota…

– CBS Evening News, 5/4/2004 broadcast


…The race has come down to just Meredith and Goetz; while Goetz has won more primaries, Meredith has a slight lead in delegate count…

– The Desert News, Utah newspaper, 5/5/2004

…Another newspaper comic to become a TV series was Aaron McGruder’s cult classic, “The Boondocks.” Created in the mid-1990s while McGruder working as a music DJ, The Boondocks became a web comic in 1996 and was appearing in over 100 newspapers by the start of 2000. Its premise was partially on the creator’s own experiences (McGruder was born in Chicago in 1974 but grew up in Boston after his father landed a job there), The Boondocks focuses on the lives of the wise-but-pessimistic Malcolm Freeman (named after Malcolm X) and his younger brother, the optimistic Ralf Freeman (named after Ralph Abernathy), after they are relocated from Chicago to live with their grandfather in a majority-white suburb outside of Boston. Among the supportive cast of this highly controversial show was the repeatedly-behind-with-the-times rapper Thugtastic (and his “evil” (corporate sellout) twin brother Funkalicious), a W.A.S.P. teenaged girl named Aubrey wishing to be more connected to Black culture, and the most controversial character in the show, Uncle Ruckus, a self-hating African-American neighbor of the Freemans.

Despite the content of the comics being highly polarizing, drawing criticisms from liberal and conservative groups and individuals, McGruder sought to make it into a TV series. After TON’s Ton-o-Toons, Turner-Kennedy Broadcasting’s The Cartoon Network, and several other networks declined, McGruder convinced The USA Network to give the show a chance, citing the success of Dutchman and other “edgy” content that fared well for USA in the past. As McGruder expected, the first episode – depicting Uncle Ruckus campaigning for Bernie Goetz for its B-story – was met with both praise and condemnation, not just for Uncle Ruckus, but for its attitude to then-candidates Jackson, Meredith and Goetz. Malcolm’s approval of Peter Diamondstone (“that Senator from Vermont”) for being “less corporatist than the rest, and Uncle Ruckus claiming Lynwood Drake was Black, were singled out more than once. Additionally, production and scheduling issues led to an irregular release date schedule for the first season; the pilot aired on May 8, 2004 but the next episode would not air until 23 days later, and the third episode aired 11 days after that. As a result, McGruder did not expect a second season to be greenlit. To his surprise, the controversies surrounding the show that improved the Network’s presence in the TV animation market, and a better-organized release schedule was made for the second and third season that the USA Network signed off on in late 2004…

– Wheeler Winston Dixon and Dan Rumbles’ A History of Comic Book Movies, Springer Publishing, 2007 e-book [6]

…We can now confirm that James Meredith has won the Republican Presidential primary in Louisiana, which makes for two victories for the former Vice President tonight. Earlier tonight, Wisconsin was called for Meredith as well, while former Senator Bernie Goetz was declared the winner of the GOP contest in Alabama…

– KNN, 5/11/2004 broadcast

My great-grandfather was the last ruler of the Choctaw Nation, and from birth, I was taught that my role was to restore the power and the glory to my bloodline.” [4]

– James H. Meredith, campaigning in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, 5/13/2004


…In a major blow to the Meredith campaign, Bernie Goetz has won the crucial delegate-rich state of Texas, as well the states of Kansas and South Dakota…

The Orlando Sentinel, 5/18/2004

John’s post-parliamentary withdrawal from the public eye was surprisingly shorter than the previous two withdrawals that he had made in the 1970s. Wishing for some peace of mind, we vacationed at an acquaintance’s secluded estate north of Manchester, then took a private yacht down to the Isle of Wright, and then flew on down to the Canary Islands before returning home to Liverpool. John wanted to loosen up. “Feels good to get out of there,” he said at the start. “That was all too stuffy.” He was happy to spend more time with family, especially his grandchildren.

About two months into his retirement, though, John was becoming restless again. He needed a challenge, a goal, and activity. One fateful day soon into this feeling, John was babysitting young Patrick, his six-year-old grandson and the son of John’s daughter Mary. The little scamp hadn’t seen much of his grandpa since his Christening. Naturally inquisitive, Patrick snuck away from John at one point and found his way to John’s old recording. When John finally found him, fiddling with his old guitar, He immediately pulled him back.

“Careful! A pop of one of those strings and you’re a Cyclops, ’Trick!”

But Patrick continued to look at the guitar, and wondered aloud what it was doing collecting dust.

“What? It hasn’t been that long.” John said as he walked over to it. Grabbing the neck, he let out a gasp as he realized the condition of the sound board. “I mean I fiddled with one back in London during m spare time, but, I didn’t think to ask for someone to check up on this one.”

He looked back to Patrick, whose eyes were showing that he was only getting more questions than answers from listening to this graying man.

“This was one of my first guitars, sonny. I used to play it all the time back in the day with, uh, some friends of mine.”

Not sure what his grandfather meant, the young tyke asked “Why can’t you play with your friends now?”

“It’s complicated.”

“How? Are they not your friends anymore?”

“No, I still care them, but…”

“Mama says if ifs and buts were candy and nuts we’d all have a Merry Christmas.”

“Hag. Out of the mouths of babes, how you like that?”

Later that day, Lennon reconnected with Paul McCartney. The first thing Paul said to the former PM was, “You didn’t burn that parliament place down to the ground, John, I’m disappointed in you.” Both chuckled as the ice began breaking…

– Lyn Cornell-Lennon’s memoir, Lennon & I: Our Lives: From Liverpool to 10 Downing Street And Back Again, Thames Books, 2017

…Getting the band back together required a plan. With the cancer-stricken George concerned over what a tour would do to his health, the four aging men agreed to a reunion special of some kind. …Meanwhile, Lennon’s description of the Beatles’ history and breakup were differing greatly from the stories Paul McCartney had been telling the news over the years. The conflicting claims led to some hostility between the two musicians to seep out despite both trying to get along with the other for the sake of the benefit concert/reunion special. …No longer in politics and thus no longer needing to be careful not to swear, Lennon was happy to tell his side of how the iconic band broke up…

– Pat Sheffield’s Dreams, Reality, and Music: The Love Story of One Band and the Whole Entire World, Tumbleweed Publications, 2000

...After weeks of interrogations, several ringleaders were “brought out” for trial.

Zhang Xiaoyu was the Deputy Health Minister who had conspired with Director of the PRC’s F.D.A., and state-owned pharmacies, to raise prices on health products during the early stages of the SARS pandemic, and knowingly allowed tainted health and sanitizing products to be sold to citizens. This made Zhang amass a small fortune of roughly 24 million yuan (US$3.4million) in exchange for getting hundreds if not thousands of fellow countrypersons sick. His allowance of companies replacing glycerin in cough syrup with diethylene glycol was ultimately linked to the deaths of at least 100 people, though over half of them were elderly citizens who had SARS at the times of their deaths.

Wen Qiang, a judicial official and high-profile party member, was the second major name taken down in Bo and Zhu’s anti-corruption crackdowns. Despite Wen himself leading the arrest of criminals in the late 1990s, Wen was accused of misappropriating over 30 million yuan in health and medical funding for use by himself and allies, and of insider trading violations, at the start of the SARS pandemic. He was formally charged with taking 12 million yuan ($1.7m) in bribes. He was a close ally of Li Zhaozhuo, the former Governor of the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region who had been sent to prison for an earlier corruption charge in 1997.

Their quick and speedy public trials were Zhu’s attempt to salvage his legacy and his nation’s reputation before he left office with a media campaign that deflected blame off of him and onto the accused. Bo’s unwavering support for the trials kept him on Zhu's good side throughout the months-long process of arresting, trialing, and sentencing.

The sentences were controversial, but not without precedence. In late 2000, Cheng Kejie, the former Chairman of Guangxi and former Vice Chairperson of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress, was executed for bribery.

The first of those found guilty was Wen Qiang, whose sentence was carried out on May 24. Wen was executed by lethal injection and his wife was imprisoned for ten years. By the end of the month, five senior police officers from Hainan and Guangdong were imprisoned, and two former police chiefs were executed for failing to maintain order during the most chaotic weeks of the pandemic...

– Omar Khan’s Breadstick Bridge: The PRC And The SARS Pandemic, 2009

...Goetz surpassed Meredith in delegate count considerably by winning all three primaries held on May 25, besting Meredith in Wyoming, Alaska, and Illinois. Goetz performed even better than expected in Illinois as he gathered momentum while Meredith continued to falter…

– Richard Wolffe’s Reselling Hope: The 2004 Election, Hachette Book Group, 2005


…In his concession speech, the former Vice President proclaimed his belief that “Nothing is a bigger waste of time than regretting the past and worrying about the future.” [4]

The Washington Post, 5/27/2004

“Immigrants are a blessing, not a curse; a benefit, not a detriment; a positive, not a negative. This country was built on the backs and sweat and toil of immigrants. They are our ancestors; apart from the descendants of people brought over here via the slave trade, and the indigenous Native Americans, everyone here is the descendent of an immigrant, including Mr. Goetz. Immigrants built the past, they are building the present, and they are building the future is a constructive and positive way that Mr. Goetz’s divisive rhetoric never will!”

– Jesse Jackson, 5/30/2004

…Now running unopposed, Goetz swept through the remaining primaries of the final “cluster” night of Tuesday, June 1. New Mexico, North Dakota, New Jersey, Montana and California all went to the controversial Coloradan, though several thousand primary voters wrote in votes for several withdrawn candidates out of protest, to the point that Goetz actually won New Mexico with only 74% of the vote – a clear sign that not everyone in the GOP was happy with Bernie Goetz being their party’s Presidential nominee...

– Richard Ben Cramer’s What It Takes: Roads to The White House, Sunrise Publications, 2011 edition


Other candidates:
Mario Biaggi = 177,771 (0.9%)
Alan Lee Keyes = 158,019 (0.8%)
Richard P. Cheney = 118,514 (0.6%)
All other votes = 19,752 (0.1%)
Total votes = 19,752,314 (100%)

– [7]


…fans of Jeff Daniels and Jonathan Brandis will be saddened to learn that The Overmyer Network has cancelled the TV series “Mercy,” meaning that a fourth season of episodes will not be produced after all. An edgy comedic farce starring Daniels as Dr. Mick Gravjikova, and Brandish as the Doctor’s friend Jordan Rhodes, a medical intern, Mercy followed the antics of a doctor at a fictional Mercy County Hospital with a perfect home life (with healthy kids, a stable romance with his wife, and picturesque family outings) but is absolutely terrible at his job. In the pilot alone, Dr. Gravjikova nearly kills two patients, puts his superior in a coma, and avoids prison time due to a technicality. Often using dark humor to jab at issues concerning universal health care – exaggerating the long lines, pill perscriptions, massive amounts of paperwork, and overwhelming courteousness – but also covering more contriversial subjects such as recreadrugs, workplace pestering claims, insurance fraud, and stem call research.

The series began airing in September 2002 after Season 1 finished filming just before the SARS pandemic temporarily brought studio productions to a grinding halt. Capitalizing on the show being set in a hospital, much of Season 2 was filmed either by having actors in separate identical rooms and using editing to make it seem like they were all in one room, or by acknowledging the pandemic and having all actors and characters act out the episodes while wearing hazmat suits, but acting as if the suits don’t exist. Using levity in the midst of a deadly virus outbreak led to the show havin to take on a different tone that was more sobering and less zany than Season 1. Season 3, which was filmed in last summer, was a return to the initial roots of the show’s premise.

Unfortunately, low ratings from Season 2 have stayed on for Season 3, and in the face of diminishing returns, TON has announced that it will not grenlight a fourth season. However, as some fans of the show may likely point out ontech, Mercy was also unable to overcome repeated accusations of it being a rip-off of the short-livee series “Scrubs,” which lasted for only two seasons due to issues with the writing and cast, and claims that Daniels’ character was a rip-off of a “Futurama” character named Dr. Nicholas Devlin Percival McCrackenthorpe III, a recurring side character and rival of series regular Dr. Zoidberg...

–, 6/8/2004

Lal Krishna Advani wanted India to lead the world at the dawn of the 21st century, but he must have made the declaration on a monkey’s paw. As the SARS pandemic approached its end, India led the world in high transmission and mortality rates, instead of in the technology and service industries like how Advani had envisioned it would be. The Prime Minister blamed minorities for not upholding sanitation practices, but the government did not actively enforce any safezoning measures. Outside the country, India’s government received international condemnation for using the pandemic as an opportunity to persecute minorities living in India, who suffered disproportionately higher SARS infection rates than Hindu citizens. But despite the PM’s insistence that the rest of the world was “greatly” exaggerating the pandemic, pro-Advani Hindu citizens were nevertheless dying from the virus, and by 2004, the 76-year-old Advani had become massively unpopular among an overwhelming majority of the people. Deadly clashes with police and citizens only lowered his approval ratings. As the nationwide crisis continued, Advani’s support among members of his own party slowly eroded away, as the right-wing Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) faced potentially incredible losses at the next election.

As 2004 continued, mounting calls for Advani to resign went unanswered, leading to anti-Advani BJP MPs opting to explore both avenues for the removal of a PM. In India, the Prime Minister serves at “the pleasure of the President” and with the confidence of Parliament’s lower house, the Lok Sabha. A simple majority of the Lok Sabha’s members can remove the PM from office prematurely via a vote-of-no-confidence, while the President can simply dismiss the PM.

The Presidential Dismissal option was unlikely. In mid-2002, as Advani’s approval ratings were slipping but were not yet below 50%, right-wing BJP candidate Padinjarethalakal Cherian “P.C.” Alexander won that year’s Presidential election over left-wing independent candidate and former Chief Justice Aziz Mushabber Ahmadi. Believing Alexander would refuse to dismiss Advani, the Lok Sabha held a vote that showed a loss of confidence in 77% of the Lok Sabha, thus triggering his removal from office. Weeks later, Advani was even rejected from his own party in an attempt to save face and distance themselves from him ahead of the new parliamentary elections of late 2004.

The BJP voted in Aral Bihari Vajpayee and the eleventh PM of India on June 9, and he entered office at the age of 79 a week later. Vajpayee immediately reversed several policies, launched a series of investigations into police brutality cases, most notably persecuting the police involved in the deadly Lucknow Riots (or “Massacre” as others called it) of 2003, and accepted international medical assistance to improve hygiene practices in Uttar Pradesh and other areas…

– Rajiv Ahir and Kalpaha Rajaram’s A Brief History of Modern India, Borders Books, 2021

India has a lot to offer the world because Indians are voluntarily vegetarians.” [1]

– Bernie Goetz, 6/17/2004

…In the summer of 2004, after 20 straight failed attempts to make it to the World Series, ten players of the San Diego Padres team announced they were funding an expensive “combing” of Brush Creek and the Missouri River in the hopes of finding the vandalizing Colonel statue and breaking the alleged curse plaguing the team. Return to the scene of the crime, a KFC located south of Kansas City’s Royals Stadium, since renamed Kauffman Stadium, the team members collectively spent US$4.2million on an extensive and exhaustive river-dredging endeavor. Checking the bed of the creek that flowed into the Missouri was the simpler task, but it only proved that the statue had not remained in Brush Creek. The massive search of the Missouri River was a much more daunting undertaking; while over 75% of that body of water is only six feet deep at low tide, the middle fourth can go as deep as 40 feet, to say nothing of the currents and the presence of boats that made inspecting the waters downriver from Kansas City slow, difficult and at times even dangerous...

– Paul Ozersky’s Colonel Sanders and the American Dream, University of Texas Press, 2012

…Bernie Goetz’s running mate selection process was handled chaotically, as the nominee-in-waiting clashed with his campaign organizers over what “the message” of the selection should be; “the bottom of the ticket has to send the right message to the voters we need to draw in to win,” argued campaign staff chief Nichols. Goetz argued that Republicans would “unquestionably unite behind” their ticket regardless of the second-place holder, and instead wanted to appeal to undecided voters, because, in Goetz’s own words, “they care more about image than substance.” Some within the campaign promoted “doubling down,” as in pick a populist or libertarian to cement Goetz as a man dedicated to his ideals, “unwilling to compromise is beliefs for political gain.” Others doubted that this would encourage anti-Goetz Republicans to hold their noses and vote for him instead of sitting this election out in protest, and instead pushed for a running mate that would promote party unity.

Among the vetted candidates, Goetz favored fellow populist Governor Denny Rehburg of Montana due to Rehburg’s support from conservative religious groups during said Governor’s brief presidential bid in 2003. To make up for his own lack of military experience, Goetz also favored retired General Eldon Bargewell of Virginia, the former second-in-command of Special Operations Command Korea during KW2, and now Dean of West Point. A third populist pick was US Senator Helen Chenoweth of Idaho, who had the potential to win over female voters. Other members of the Goetz campaign, though, pushed for more moderate, religious, or establishment-friendly options. US Senators Spencer Bachus (AL), Bob Barr (GA), John Boozman (AR), Kay Bailey Hutchison (TX), Jack Lousma (MI), and Jon McBride (WV); Congressmen Bob Inglis (SC) and Bill Howell (VA); and former Governors Ed Schafer (ND) and Mike Gabbard (HI) were all purportedly vetted to various degrees…

– Richard Ben Cramer’s What It Takes: Roads to The White House, Sunrise Publications, 2011 edition

…In the People’s Republic of China, the country’s Communist Party leadership announced the selection of Bo Xilai, the nation’s Health Minister and former Tourism Minister, to succeed Zhu Rongji as China’s head of state. The state party’s official announcement says that the decision was unanimous. Bo Xilai will enter office a week from today, on June 28…

– CBS Evening News, 6/21/2004


– Bo Xilai, 6/28/2004

GOETZ’S RUNNING MATE ANNOUNCED: Retired Army General Eldon A. Bargewell Joins GOP Ticket!

…aiming to shore up support from southern voters and the US military, Goetz’s highly-decorated VP hopeful has since 2001 served as the Dean of the US Military Academy, better known as West Point. Bargewell, 56, joined the US Army in time to participate in Operation Spicy Strychnine (more commonly called Operation Fried Charlie 2.0 by military personnel), the massive 1967 military undertaking that overthrew the oppressive Viet Kong government of communist North Vietnam in 1967. After that, Bargewell played various roles in US military operations in Cambodia, Laos, Angola, Uganda, Libya and Nicaragua. As a Lieutenant General, Bargewell oversaw ground troop activities at the DMZ during the Second Korean War, as a leading member of Special Operations Command Korea, in 1996. He became a General in 1997, retired in 2001, and soon after settling down in Virginia began supporting local Republican causes, but declined to run for the US Senate in 2002…

– their home state’s newspaper, 7/2/2004


…Even though John Lennon’s contributions are minor and at the last minute, they liven up and enrich the overall composition of McCartney’s “Foolish Penny.” The album is an assortment of songs which encapsulates the aura of Classic Paul, the one we first fell for sixty years ago...

– Variety, review section, 7/7/2004

“It is pathetic how the White House is trying to present the issue of job creation. Jackson’s record, his number of jobs created under his watch, is much lower than Dinger’s was at this point in his Presidency, in almost the fourth year. But Democrats use the SARS pandemic as some lame excuse for Prezy-JJ’s poor leadership instead of just admitting that they are creating an overwhelmingly huge welfare state that is keeping people from working hard. It incentivizes young men, able-bodied people, it motivates them to sit around all day, basically living on disability without actually having a disability. The welfare state encourages sloth, of expecting something for doing nothing. And that eats away at our country’s own can-good attitude, its basic principle that any and all riches and power and comforts will come to you if you hard work enough for them.”

– Rush Limbaugh, KFBK-AM radio, 7/11/2004 broadcast


…Herman Cain, businessman and former CEO of KFC’s parent company, Finger Lickin’ Good Inc., tonight won the Republican nomination for the US Senate seat being vacated by incumbent US Senator John Skandalakis, a conservative-to-moderate Democrat. Also tonight, John W. Carter, a US Representative and the son of former US Senator and former US Secretary of State Jimmy Carter, won the Democratic nomination for said seat against token opposition. Cain, who backed Meredith in the Presidential primaries, ran on an anti-establishment platform while quietly distancing himself from Goetz; meanwhile, both of his primary opponents, former US Congressman Michael A. “Mac” Collins and state senator Brad Raffensperger, openly supported Goetz. Mounting an energetic campaign, Cain tied Collins to “the D.C. establishment” and Raffensperger to “the rest of the Atlanta fat cats.” While Collins won endorsements from Republican politicians such as Congressman John Isakson, who declined to run in this race after breaking his leg in an accident, Cain gradually won over a unique coalition of supporters consisting mainly of conservative and moderate non-whites, and white and non-white businessmen to win over his opponents, winning 51% of the primary vote to Collins’ 34% of said vote, and Raffensperger’s 15% of that same vote...

The Atlanta Journal, Georgia newspaper, 7/13/2004

“Jesse Jackson’s slow stripping of the military budget is weakening our national defenses, and his promotion of weakening our police precincts is endangering the lives of all law-abiding citizens. This is reckless endangerment of the well-being of the American people. Jackson says he is doing these things in the name of liberty. But he is, in reality, willfully ignoring the understood fact that order protects liberty and liberty protects order. Just because we are not at war today does not mean that we will not be under attack tomorrow. Security is always seen as too much until the day it is not enough.” [8]

– former Chief Justice of the Missouri Supreme Court and Chair of the Domestic Security Advisory Council (1998-2001) William Hedgcock Webster (R-MO), speaking at the Republican National Convention (Day 1), 7/16/2004

…Meredith’s milquetoast endorsement of Goetz, however, was quickly overshadowed by Kelsey Grammer’s speech later that same day. Grammer, a Republican who was an early supporter of President Dinger and campaign for him during the 2000 election, was invited to speak at the 2004 RNC over the assumption that his celebrity status would bring in more viewers. Scheduled for July 18, the second night of the event, his speech caused at ruckus with lines like “When you vote for a clown, you should expect to get egg on your face. One way to tell which candidate is a clown is seeing which one is laughed at for their ideas being ridiculous and backward, jeered for being harmful and bigoted, and heckled for being hackneyed and hollow.” As Grammer continued on, his promoting of popular ideals such as “sensible law enforcement” and “respect for all cultures” while not even mentioning Goetz (“this former Senator”) by name led to backlash. Grammer was received more boos then applause by the end of the speech, and he left the convention immediately afterward over safety concerns…

– Richard Ben Cramer’s What It Takes: Roads to The White House, Sunrise Publications, 2011 edition


…Under a banner reading “A Better Tomorrow” and flanked by his wife and running mate, Bernie Goetz stood before the convention floor with a smile stretched across his face and his fists raised triumphantly. Balloons dropped from the ceiling as his supporters in the stadium continued to cheer on. In his acceptance speech, Goetz promised to defeat President Jackson in the November election, adding that he will “mop the floor with him”...

The Washington Post, 7/19/2004

…Zhang Xiaoyu, the now-disgraced former politician, was found guilty of taking bribes (such as from pharmaceutical company owner Cao Wenzhuang) and dereliction of duty in the final major trial of 2004. He was executed on July 21 for allegedly causing SARS to get out of control, for accepting bribes, and for giving bribes to corrupt police officers. Declared a “great danger” to the nation and held partially responsible for the decline in the PRC’s global reputation, the national courts rejected his appeal for leniency and he was executed on schedule, though the method of execution was withheld from the press, with multiple unsubstantiated reports claiming that he was shot by a firing squad and then placed in an electric chair “for good measure,” and “just to be sure.” However, it was revealed in a 2009 expose that he had actually been executed via lethal injection...

– Omar Khan’s Breadstick Bridge: The PRC And The SARS Pandemic, 2009


– Gallup poll, 7/22/2004

…During Jackson’s re-election bid, CPA Jerry Blanchard of Charlotte, North Carolina [9] planned and attempted to assassinate the President at a political fundraiser in Clarksville, Tennessee; he believed that Jackson was “the anti-Christ,” that Jackson winning re-election would bring about Armageddon, and that Bernie Goetz was “not strong enough to destroy this evil,” as he told a motel manager in Clarksville on July 24. The manager immediately informed local police that Blanchard had treated to use a pistol he had stolen from a relative to assassinate Jackson. On July 25, Blanchard was arrested outside of one of the city’s Democratic Party offices, where he was trying to harass employees into divulging the President’s schedule for the fundraiser, promoting security to be called in. The fundraiser went without incident on July 27. On June 3, 2005, Blanchard was sentenced to ten years in prison for violating several right control laws…


“We are working with states and communities to change violent tactics. We seek to fight crime rates with prevention, uh, preventative measures, with ‘community police,’ better DNA testing, and ‘get clean to get out’ policies. We are still working with governors to end for-profit prisons, too. And, uh, you know, last week’s incident, you know, when a disturbed man behaved belligerently and violently at Democratic Party office in Tennessee. The man apparently pulled a knife out, and security talked him down. That incident is a good example of how to approach a hostile individual. The police were calm, maintained eye contact, kept neutral faces, didn’t engage in challenges and attempts made to goad them into doing something hostile. They took it slowly, respected his space and were able to reach, make him listen, and, um, well, were able to talk him down.” [10]

– US Attorney General Harry Thomas Edwards, Meet the Press guest appearance, 8/1/2004


…These are no typical Olympics. 22 countries are boycotting, attendance is 25% lower than anticipated, sanitizing stations are everywhere, and hundreds of thousands of people worldwide have announced online their decision to boycott the games in response to several dark clouds hanging around over China. It is a collection of elephants in the room, identified as the Chinese government’s initial response to SARS, and the government’s anti-corruption purges and executions of recent months. With roughly a million people dead and thousands suffering long term or even permeant health impairments, millions blame China for poor decision making at the onset. …The PRC’s government is clearly trying to move on, with former Chairman Zhu taking a back seat to these Olympics despite Zhu being the one credited with securing the games for China seven years ago...

…Domestic and international opinions about Bo and Zhu are on display as well. When Zhu rose from his seat, there were more jeers and cheers; when Bo stood, the reverse happened…

The Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 8/6/2004

>MOTHER-POST: Lucas Just Said He’s Finally Open To A Star Wars TV Series!

After years of reluctance and hesitance, George Lucas just in a TumbleweedTV interview that he’s “serious” about bringing the franchise to television. This could be a great opportunity for the franchise to focus more on world-building than on spectacle. I wonder when it’ll take place, during the First Trilogy (1977, 1980, 1983) or the Second Trilogy (1994, 1997, 2001)?


I hope they go through with making one this time to fill in the blanks in the timeline. I also hope it’s different from Episode I: The Knights Arise, because tat one felt like a TV show squeezed into one movie. It was episodic and complex but in a bad way. At least we got the villainous Maltegogh (played by Lance Henriksen) out of it.

>>REPLY 1 to REPLY 1:

Yeah, it’s not that great, but for newbie, skipping it over would make the rest of the trilogy too confusing to follow. The only parts they’d enjoy would be the parts with Darth Maul, the sexy and ruthless female sith lord played by Maggie Cheung [11].


A syndicated TV show could make for some good character development! Here’s hoping Taaffe O’Connell & Melody Thomas Scott reprise their roles for it!


It might do well if they put as much effort into it as they did put into Episode III: Guardians of The Force. I mean, that movie was the jazz! I had everything – explosions, hand-to-hand fights, chases, that annoying actor from Episode II getting his a$$ handed to him, and that fight sequence between Samuel L. Jackson and Boba Feet? Awesome! Have it be an action-packed thrill ride and I’m watching it for sure!

>>REPLY 1 to REPLY 3:

At first I thought following teenaged Boba Fett join the Separatists under Count Dooku just so he could track down Mace Windu to avenge his father’s death [11] was going to be a letdown like Episode II. Thank goodness it wasn’t! Personally, I’d prefer if the show, if it even gets made, explors the different planets of the SWU, like an anthology series.

>>>REPLY 1 to REPLY 1 to REPLY 3:

Sure, most of it was cool, but revealing that Han Solo grew up on Kashyyyk, as an orphan raised by a family of wookiees, explaining his fluency in their language and customs? [11] That bit was too trite and contrived for my taste. Sometimes, less is more and that bit just took away too much “mystery” from the character, instead of making me more interesting in him. But maybe that’s just me. I dunno. Whatevs.


Good to hear! Or read, whatever. Maybe they’ll make it non-canon, and in doing so recon away some of the prequel’s mistake. You know what I’m talking about. I’ve said it before but I’ll say it again. The most polarizing (and in my view, terrible) revelation of the prequels was that, technically, Emperor Palpatine is Darth Vader’s father. “I used the power of the Force to will the midiclorians to start the cell divisions that created you. You might say I’m your father[S1]. Worst line ever, in my opinion.

>>REPLY 1 to REPLY 4:

Worst twist ever.

>>REPLY 2 to REPLY 4:

Worst thing ever!

>>REPLY 3 to REPLY 4:

I thought that was cool. I’ll log out now.

–, a public pop-culture news-sharing and chat-forum-hosting netsite, 8/12/2004

..Two years after the peace treaty was signed and the guerillas returned to civilian life, the President of Colombia opened up a new avenue of “honest business” by signing into law legislation that created the legalization of marijuana (being used, grown, transported and/or sold) in Colombia…

– Miguel LaRosa and German R. Mejia’s Colombia: A Concise Contemporary History, Chronicle Books, 2013

…The Beijing Olympics Closing Ceremonies were today, bringing the gathering of international athletes to a close with an impressive lightshow and choreographed symbolic sequences touched off by fireworks in a dramatic showcasing on China’s technological abilities…

– BBC News, 8/22/2004

…The weeks-long dredging of several miles of the Missouri River, from Kansas City right up to where to joins the Mississippi, in search of that KFC statue produced several disposed bodies, lost trinkets, and abandoned cars and farming equipment, along with valuable data and other information that scientists, ecologists and geologists could use in papers and studies. But the San Diego Padres found no sign of the missing Colonel Wanders statue…

– Paul Ozersky’s Colonel Sanders and the American Dream, University of Texas Press, 2012

While Diamondstone did serve his purpose of making Jackson much more palatable to suburban and undecided voters, the White House made no plans to adopt any of the Senator’s policies or proposals. But Diamondstone was still entitled to four convention delegates, and Diamondstone made sure they tried to have some influence over the party platform in some way. In the end, the delegates managed to get one concession from the national party. It was not nationalizing hospitals, not tighter regulation of the FDA to a level of consumer protection that made Senator Ralph Nader blush, not giving “salaries” to grade school students as a reward for good grades, not setting a “salary cap” via a 100% tax that would make it so no American can have a net worth exceeding $1billion, not even raising the minimum military enlisting age from 18 to 25; it was reducing prison stances for non-violent offenders nationwide, which was already supported by the President but just not as openly. “Because Pete ran on it, we were easily able to claim to suburban voters that the prison reform aspects of the official party platform were only there because we needed to throw a bone to Diamondstone due to his four delegates,” said one assistant to White House Chief of Staff Ron Daniels. “And when the time came to implement those reforms, we’d chuck it up to Diamondstone, too!”

The rest of the national platform, though, was embraced by Jackson. After running on racial justice in 2000, he was now running on education, calling for Free Community College For All and cancelling “overwhelming” student debt. Second to that issue was the Civil Rights Enforcement Act proposal. When it came to police reform, Issue Number 3, Jackson downplayed the shorter-sentences plank to instead tout his strides in efforts to reform police precincts via precincts training police in non-violent crisis intervention and de-escalating practices. During his first term, little work had been done on combating private prisons apart from improving sanitation and health in prisons amid them being hotspots for SARS cases. Jackson aimed to finally better address prison issues as soon as began his second term.

Jackson’s inner circle was optimistic in the summer. They were certain that the American people would re-elect him because, despite falling short on several promises, they had several kept promises that they could ride on, and could blame SARS for “distracting” their administration from the rest. “We originally had a busy schedule for 2002, but the SARS virus showing up made us have to prioritize and put several goals on the backburner,” explains one anonymous former member of Ron Daniels’ staff. Stronger consumer protections, to the approval of Senator Ralph Nader, were set to be handled by cabinet leaders, with Secretary Jim McGovern saying “The essentials of life – housing, food, water, education, health care, and purpose – are human rights, not privileges” and aiming to put millions to work repairing, revamping, and improving America’s water transportation and utilities systems.

At the 2004 DNC held in late August, Bern Sanders, the media titan and close confidant of the President, proclaimed “Jesse Jackson uniquely and alone has shown the courage to tackle the most important and basic issues facing working class Americans, poor people, elderly people, environmentalists, peace activists, woman, and America’s minorities.” [12]


Above: Jackson with family (left to right: Yusef, Jesse Sr., Jacqueline, and Jonathan)

– Richard Ben Cramer’s What It Takes: Roads to The White House, Sunrise Publications, 2011 edition

[1] Italicized part(s) is/are OTL Goetz quote(s) (pulled from interview taken by Cal Fussman, 11/5/2012)
[2] Italicized bit is an OTL quote pulled from here:
[3] This is an OTL bit found here (along with some other good JHSr. quotes):
[4] The passage in italics is an OTL quote, pulled from here:
[5] Italicized segments are from this OTL NYT article:
[6] What other “major effects” do you think a Jesse Jackson Presidency would have on The Boondocks, @Igeo654 ?
[7] The picture of HRC was from an episode of “Full Frontal With Samantha Bee” (and since it had been in a folder on my computer since 2016 (!), my guess is it’s from a relatively old episode); the popular vote distribution is based on the results of the last chapter’s poll as of 10/18/2020
[8] Italicized bits are (apparently) OTL quotes:
[9] Real-life person:
[10] Based on the more detailed information found here:
[11] This plot/character bit is based on some of the OTL abandoned ideas that can be found here (and any bit(s) in italics is/are a direct quote from this same source, too):
[12] OTL, and found on his wiki article (Source 268 (a youtube video of a 1988 speech))

Also: @Peppe , my apologies for not replying to your comments sooner; I had two job interviews this week, so I took a brief break from this site to better prep for them. Anyway, thank you for the compliments! I’ve mentioned Star Wars in this chapter since I last mentioned the franchise in the 1994 chapter. I’m sorry The Colonel’s death made you remember that. I can relate; my grandmother and last living grandparent passed away in October 2018 at age 86; I’m sorry for your loss. I bet he was a great man!
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Chapter 89: September 2004 – February 2005
Chapter 89: September 2004 – February 2005

“Fear can hold you prisoner. Hope can set you free.”

– Stephen King (OTL)


– Goetz’04 primaries logo/slogan, meant to clarify how the candidate himself pronounced him surname (as many were initially pronouncing it as “gets” instead of “guts”), first used c. early-to-mid 2004

Go With Your Goetz: For The Good Of The Country

– Goetz’04 slogan, first used 9/1/2004

…And down in South Africa, that nation’s President-Elect, Mangosuthu Buthelezei, was sworn into office earlier today. Buthelezei, age 75, has been a highly controversial politician in South Africa for decades due to accusations from opponents that Buthelezei supported paramilitary groups and encouraged acts of violence against whites during the Apartheid Era. However, due to his many years of public service improving the quality of life for all South Africans, Buthelezei won enough white South Africans to win the August 25 Presidential election outright. Outgoing President Chris Hani and former Presidents Steve Biko and Nelson Mandela also spoken highly of Buthelezei during the election campaign, allowing the new President to win over challengers Mathinus van Schalkwyk and Peter Marais…

– BBC News, 1/9/2003 broadcast

POLL: “If the election for President was held today, whom would you vote for?”

Jackson: 46%

Goetz: 42%

Undecided/other: 12%

– Gallup, 9/2/2004

“I’m running for a second term in the Senate so I can keep on fighting for the American people from that chamber of corruption, and I encourage everyone who loves freedom, peace and equality to help my good friends Dennis J. Morrisseau and Rosemary Jackowski get more ballot access. Right now, they are on just 21 state ballots, so please, visit their netsite, sign the petitions, and vote Morrisseau into the White House this November.”

– Peter Diamondstone (LU-VT), 9/4/2004

Another controversial aspect of Chik-fil-A’s founder was his political activities. In early September 2004, then-83-year-old S. Truett Cathy endorsed and strongly stumped for then-Republican Presidential nominee Bernhard Goetz, saying that Goetz would “keep the gays at bay” and “bring the heathens of the world closer to God one way or another.” The businessman’s statements caused the franchise to lose several sponsors and busyness partnerships as well as disapproval and condemnation from a host of individuals and groups, from celebrities and culinary bigwigs to politicians and activists.

KFC heads relished their rival’s sudden slip from grace, savored the moment, and then capitalized on it for all it was worth. Chik-fil-A hoped the cretins surrounding the incident would die down and the incident itself would soon be forgotten in the busy news cycle of the election year. KFC made sure this wouldn’t happen; less than a month after the comments were made, KFC was airing three 30-second commercials using archival audio footage of Colonel Sanders, seemingly praising the BLUTAG community as being “brave folks,” then cut to footage of Cathy’s comments.

KFC’s domestic sales were already turning around, but the commercials only helped, while Chik-fil-A’s boycotts from various groups ranging from online petitions to on-the-ground protests kept one of their biggest competitors at bay.

It was only recently that debate arose over the context of the audio used on the commercials, which leaked documents suggested were pulled from footage in which The Colonel was actually describing Civil Rights activists as “brave folks,” and not BLUTAGO-Americans [1]

– Eric Schlosser’s Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal, Mariner Books, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2012

…The Jackson campaign invested heavily in door-to-door canvassing, community outreach, and techsite advertising in a strategy that combine old and new voter mobilization techniques. However, the marketing strategies and image tactics from 2000 could not be reused, for Jackson was no longer attacking an incumbent – now he was the incumbent trying to brush off attacks. Instead of calling for a changing of the guard, Jackson now had to resell his candidacy to the American people. “Keep Hope Alive” was essentially replaced with “Keep Me Around For Another Four Years.”

In early September, Jackson revisited his home state of South Carolina, and was joined onstage by US Senator Fritz Hollings. At the political event, Jackson retold his career, about how he worked in Chicago during the 1960s, but was born and raised in South Carolina, as were his children…


…Jackson became National Director of Operation Breadbasket in Chicago in 1967. After Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. stepped down from leading the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) in 1970 over the scandal that indirectly led to the Ms. Arkansas Scandal and thus contributing to the First Arkwave, Jackson’s rival Ralph Abernathy became the new leader of the SCLC. However, when Abernathy died in plane crash in 1971, the organization’s new leader became Unita Blackwell, who moved the national office of Operation Breadbasket to Charleston in 1971, citing Jesse’s success in the Windy City and expressing hope that he could do the same for South Carolina.

– researcher Brenda J. Hargis’ Emboldening: The Jesse Jackson Presidency, Sunrise Publications, 2017

“Well, people, it looks like the Democrat Rats are really running out of things to criticize about me, because now their friends in the media are complaining about this minor incident from my early years as a hardware store owner. They’re upset about this time back in 1987, when I shot a thief in the leg. The cops found a gun in his jacket pocket. If I hadn’t kneecapped him, I’m certain he would have killed me. Now I defended myself and my store, as any businessman, or any person with a gun behind the counter, would have done in that kind of situation. But now only are the members of the media that are in the pockets of the Democratic establishment taking the hoodlum’s side, but the puppets are also completely ignoring the fact that that punk had several priors, you know, a pretty bad rap sheet, and the fact that he got off easy. Just juvie and community service. He was sixteen, and he was tall. Honestly, they should have tried him as an adult. But I suspect then-Mayor Wellington Webb pulled a few strings, you know? That incident are part of the reason why my feud with that guy kind of started, in fact. He was too oppressive to businesses. But anyway, my point, people, is that I’m not the bad guy there, like how I’m not the bad guy now. You’re all smart enough to realize that. Good for y’all. And I’m not sorry about that incident, either. I am not sorry for it at all. I would, without hesitation, shoot a violent criminal again.” [2]

– Bernie Goetz at a rally, Chesterfield, MO, 9/15/2004

POLL: “If the election for President was held today, whom would you vote for?”

Jackson: 47%

Goetz: 43%

Undecided/other: 10%

– Gallup, 9/18/2004

…John and Paul each claim to have come up with having the reunion special be tied to a charity event, but in 2008, Paul confessed that putting on a benefit concert for SARS survivors was John’s idea.

Ahead on the concert, John told reporters “I think drumming up support for them this way is a better use of my time trying to work with parliament some more,” but was quick to boast about how he had already passed legislation for SARS survivor relief 10 months before leaving office…


[note: please ignore the poor cropping at the bottom there (D'oh!)]

Above: Ringo, John, Paul and George rehearse new material ahead of the September 20 concert, The Beatles Reunion Charity Benefit Special, which was held at the Millennium Dome.

…George would die from cancer ten months later, at the age of 62…

– Pat Sheffield’s Dreams, Reality, and Music: The Love Story of One Band and the Whole Entire World, Tumbleweed Publications, 2020 edition


…Tse is being lauded for volunteering to save dozens of patients at four hospitals in Hong Kong, even after becoming infected with SARS twice, with the double-infection leaving her with permanent breathing problems. Arriving at the ceremony sporting an oxygen tank on her back to assist her SARS-damaged lungs, Tse, 36, accepted the award graciously, and in her prepared speech, encouraged “all who can” to contribute to SARS research and organizations aiding SARS survivors. “More needs to be known. Knowing more will help more people”…

–, 9/21/2004

POLL: “If the election for President was held today, whom would you vote for?”

Jackson: 45%

Goetz: 42%

Undecided/other: 13%

– Gallup, 9/23/2004


Chicago, IL – at a Democratic fundraiser hosted by US Senators Katie Beatrice Hall (D-IN) and Paul Vallas (D-IL), guests were treated to an unexpected surprise… “This election is more important than our differences,” Biggie Smalls, a.k.a. The Notorious B.I.G., a.k.a. The Big One, told the crowd. Smalls backed Meredith during the Republican primaries, while Tupac (along with Malcolm X and other members of the so-called “revolutionary left”) supported Diamondstone during the Democratic primaries. …The years-long rivalry between these two artists came to a head in the mid-1990s, when the “thug life” depicted in rap was accused of promoting and provoking violence. The assassination of Lee Iacocca, and several rappers being either killed or wounded in shootings, occurring during this period led to the rap industry scaling back their “pro-violence” image. For instance, Biggie’s 1997 “First To Last” album, a noted departure from his previous collections of songs, had noticeably lighter tone than many has expected from The Big One...

– The Los Angeles Times, 9/25/2004


The Wall Street Journal, 9/26/2004

…By the end of their fifth season in early 2004, the ratings were dropping again, and it seemed the cavalcade of controversies would not be renewed after season six. Then along came a certain politician.

The ascendance of Bernie Goetz helped L&S by allowing McFarlane to make Season 6 premier with a politically sharp episode in an attempt to boost the floundering ratings. The episode, “Landslides and Scrapes,” aired on September 27 and centered on thru introduction of the show’s Mayor character, an corrupt and possibly unhinged public official who was a bully in Larry’s old middle school. The plot focused on Larry trying to return a football helmet he stole from the character’s locker in school several years ago, only to unintentionally thwart Mayor Ernie Wimbleweed’s bibles-for-guns racketeering scheme. It’s another episode with plot elements that may be too mature for younger audiences, but they are mainly in the background. Nevertheless, Ernie was clearly a parody of Bernier Goetz, and that led to enough criticism for audience numbers to improve, as new viewers tuned in to this supposedly mature children’s show.

Interestingly, before the election had even occurred, McFarlane had decided that Mayor Wimbleweed was to become a prominent recurring character in the series if Goetz won, and was to be used rarely, in small doses, if Goetz lost...



…L&S’s ratings continued to decline as the years continued on, and the show was ultimately not renewed for an eleventh season. Larry & Steve aired their final episode in 2009, after 10 seasons and roughly 11 years on the air.

The show’s creator has synced branching out into other genres and industries, but most of these projects have been largely hit-&-miss, usually picking up a cult status, especially his more…risqué projects that most audiences saw as falling flat for one reason or another...

– segment of video essay, “The Consistent Inconsistencies of Larry And Steve,” uploaded to on 11/15/2019

“Jackson can’t lose this. I mean that in two ways, one being that the country can’t afford it and that he really shouldn’t lose, given the scope of his support. The President has the backing of religious people, those favoring social services, minorities, college-educated whites, women, and even many veterans. The only voting bloc he’s not winning over, it seems, is the racists. Goetz’s got that vote locked up tight. And, you know, I’ve dealt with racists in the past, like when I used to work for a radio station in Denver. It’s how on got this scar here, and this, uh, this bullet wound over here. Lots more Goetz types out there than you’d think. And their once-rare public rallies for Goetz are only getting bolder as election night nears. The voters need to nip this rise in racism and anti-Semitism in the bud. Even if the polling suggest he’ll win in a landslide, that’s not a guarantee. People have to vote; Jackson needs to win this!”

– radio host and political commentator Alan Berg (1934-2018), 9/30/2004

“GOETZ IS NUTS!” Dozens Declined RM Spot Over Bernie’s Base And Rhetoric

…US Congresswoman Laura Lane Welch was among several Republican politicians approached by the Goetz campaign with the offer of running mate. Like most, she turned down being vetted over a dislike for Goetz’s candidacy. “Mr. Goetz may not personally believe in the certain views that many of his supporters share, but the fact that he embraces those certain supporters instead of disavowing or downing them is enough to keep others away,” the retiring legislator said in a radio interview yesterday evening. “His people must have asked dozens of folks to join his sinking ship of a campaign, only to step back over the vitriol that seems to cling to his candidacy.” According to Welch, even Goetz’s attempts to shift to the right at the start of the primaries failed to rouse support from conservative Republicans such as herself. “Not only does his campaign serve to harbor negativity and bigotry, but his initial backpedaling and flip-flopping on several issues before, during, and after the primaries has turned off so many people, and when party unity and a broad support base are really needed to win in November, too!”

The New York Post, 10/1/2004

“When you plant a garden, you can’t just walk away from after it bursts out through the ground but before the real fruit shows up and ripens. You’ve got to see it through all the way if you want to reap what you sow. Since 2001, income and wealth inequality conditions are improving, but the conditions can be even more fair and even more level if we stay the course. Inequality is eroding away, not just when it comes to the life quality of the lower class. It is eroding away at the American middle class itself, too. And why? Because, unlike my opponent, this administration understands that the entire point of this government is to provide for the people. In this current age, this government, this administration, this presidency aims to help and protect those who cannot help and protect themselves on their own. To look to improve the lives of all people, not to a dog-eat-dog mentality to permeate our industries; to inspire and encourage people to be the best they can be, not to cut down those who think differently or act differently, for they could be the Einsteins and O’Keefes and Hemingways and Jonas Salks of tomorrow; to promote understanding and love, not ignorance, bigotry, and hatred. It is the correct thing to do, it is the moral thing to do.”

– Present Jesse Jackson, campaigning in Clover, rural Virginia, 10/2/2004

“This very well may be the first autumn without a case of SARS since the initial outbreak in late 2001. No new cases of the pandemic strain of SARS, which caused or directly contributed to roughly 983,000 deaths worldwide over the past three years, have been confirmed outside of India in ten weeks, and no new cases have been confirmed inside India in seven weeks. It is apparent that this pandemic has run its course, thanks to the quick thinking and hard work of all people around the world, united in a thankfully brief era of international crisis.”

– Lee Jong-wook, Director-General of the World Health Organization, unofficially declaring the SARS pandemic “over,” 10/3/2004

…The first Presidential debate of the autumn campaign was held on October 5 and focused mainly on foreign policy.

In regards to international commerce and humanitarianism, Jackson reiterated that he preferred direct aid and debt relief to impoverished nations instead of using trade reform as a way of helping them, as he believed that deregulation of trade policies only benefits corporations and exploits foreign labor. Goetz took the reverse stance, proclaiming that regulations interrupt the “natural flow” of the free market system responsible for innovation and technological advancements. When asked “what would you have done differently if you had been President during the pandemic,” Goetz replied “That’s in the past. This debate is about what I’ll do over the next four years, let’s not bring in hypotheticals.” When pressed on the topic, Goetz noted that he would have enforced “less severe and less restrictive” safezoning measures, arguing that those “allowed under Jackson suffocated our economy.” Goetz criticized Jackson’s business regulations as well, and while he generally ignored the markets recovering, the former Senator did note the types of jobs that were not returning. To this, Jackson countered by pointing out that new jobs had replaced old ones as more businesses began to harness the positive aspects of remote work.

When the subject of humanitarian aid came up, Goetz boasted his anti-interventionist stance, but noted that “North Korea-like situations” were the exception. The then added, “Still, we need to beef up the military so we never have to use them except in times of defense. If the military’s beefed up, only fools would dare mess with us.”

Overall, Goetz performed much better than expected, and he saw a slight rise in the polls immediately afterward...

– Nancy Skelton and Bob Faw’s Thunder In America: A Chronology of The Jesse Jackson White House, Texas Monthly Press, 2016

POLL: “If the election for President was held today, whom would you vote for?”

Jackson: 47%

Goetz: 42%

Undecided/other: 11%

– Gallup, 10/6/2004


– Chris Rock interviewing President Jesse Jackson, The Chris Rock Show (1997-2005), 10/9/2004 [3]

“Wellstone won this debate hands down. The VP held his ground on foreign policy, and he knew what he was talking about when answering questions on domestic policy. He was passionate, compassionate, and professional. None of that could be said about Bargewell. He was aggressive to the moderator, had this weird scowl-like expression on with his face much of the time, and repeatedly interrupted the VP. Eldon may have gotten a few jabs in about a weak military, and he certainly knew his stuff about the Army, but the problem for him was that army stuff is all he knows. Bargewell failed to answer even basic questions about taxes, commerce, trade, housing, food insecurity, statehood. He even fumbled the question about police precinct reform! How does a military expert fail to talk about militarization?! That guy, though, he just tried to tie and relate every topic to the military. Saying trade is like the Army sharing intel with the other branches of the military, which doesn’t make sense as an analogy. Comparing housing to, quote, ‘comfy barracks,’ unquote, and food drives to rations and whatnot? Is that really going to win anybody over? At this point in the race, the sides have been formed and the job of the running mate is to play to undecideds by propping up the one heading their ticket. Wellstone did that without too much bull, praising Jesse’s handling of SARS and economic recovery, while Bargewell just mentioned Goetz’s name from time to time like he was an afterthought.”

– Hunter S. Thompson, reviewing the 2004 VP debate, Saturday 10/12/2004

BOBBITT THE BEATER: Investigator Blows Lid on Senate Hopeful’s Cover-Up of Lewd Past

Tucson, AZ – An Arizona Republic exposé article by investigative reporter Lorena Gallo has revealed that a GOP nominee for a US Senate seat had been lying about the past 19 years of his life to hide a history of sexual pestering and run-ins with law enforcement.

John Wayne Bobbitt, a single and childless 37-year-old state senator since 2001, may seem like a typical Goetz-backing politician, but Gallo has discovered that Bobbitt was twice arrested for assault and battery, first in Las Vegas in 1985 and again in Manassas Junction, Virginia, in 1990; in each case, he was initially accused of beating his first wife, only for her to decline pressing charges. Now, though, with Gallo’s urging, two of Bobbitt’s three ex-wives have come forward to warn people about his “sick” personality. “This is not slander, this is the truth,” says the first ex-wife, Margaret Thompson of Roanoke, Virginia, “That man had me believing that I was worthless and would be nothing without him.” His second ex-wife has polaroids of some of the many times when Bobbitt would severely beat her. The third wife has documents from a Nevada abortion clinic, and states “I wanted to have children, he didn’t. On the second pregnancy, he literally dragged out of the car, and I kicked and screamed, but he just beat me until I agreed to kill our baby.” Former aides of Bobbitt also back up their stories by recounting his history of sexual pestering. “This kind of behavior should have died out in the first Arkwave if not the second,” writes Gallo in the expose, “maybe it’s time for a third.”

The New York Post, 10/14/2004

The second Presidential debate was held on the nineteenth and focused primarily on domestic issues. Goetz started off the night with a call for reversing the gun restrictions passed in 1995 and 1996. President then quickly reminded Goetz that those laws had been passed because of how President Iacocca was assassinated, leading to Goetz fumble through a rebuttal that did not mention or acknowledge the cause of Iacocca’s premature demise. Then came discussions on energy, with Goetz disagreeing with Jackson on the value of fracking.

Another major topic in the debate on which both candidates disagreed was the proposed admittance of Puerto Rico and DC into the union as the 51st and 52nd states. Despite the rise in interest and possibility that such admissions would occur in the near future, Goetz openly questioned the validity and legitimacy of the movement, suggesting it was “propped up” by Democrats and had “no real, actual support in Puerto Rico itself.” His comments offended and upset many conservative Hispanics in the GOP, who later or immediately criticized him for the comments; several non-Hispanic Republicans privately voiced concern that the reply would “cost [the party] the Hispanic vote for years” if Goetz lost the election over this comment.

Overall, Goetz was seen as doing poorly in this debate. Jackson, on the other better hand, was more prepared than he was for the first one, and thus, this time, the incumbent was viewed as the winner of the debate.

– Nancy Skelton and Bob Faw’s Thunder In America: A Chronology of The Jesse Jackson White House, Texas Monthly Press, 2016

POLL: “If the election for President was held today, whom would you vote for?”

Jackson: 52%

Goetz: 39%

Undecided/other: 9%

– Gallup, 10/21/2004

…The true “Autumn Surprise” of the 2004 race finally arrived three days ahead of the third send final Presidential debate, when audio leaked from a private Republican fundraiser held in Washington, D.C. In the audio, one can clearly tell that Goetz has been caught on a hot mic telling a lobbyist that he is “still open” to the idea of privatizing Social Security. Goetz then rants about the “ridiculousness” of gun safety: “You get in big trouble for shooting people. It’s serious business. But I also feel a lot of people probably deserve being shot, and a lot of people deserve being killed.” [2]

The public releasing of the audio sent Goetz’s campaign into a panic before Chief of Staff Nichols took control of the situation, telling his subordinates and the candidate that they would to downplay the comments at the upcoming debate and increase focus on the campaign’s them of “defending our national borders.”…

– author A’Lelia Bundles’ Consequential: The Presidency of Jesse Jackson, Random House, 2015

JACKSON: “It truly says something about one’s character when they make comments like that. The successes of my administration shows that you need heart and compassion and understanding for your fellow Americans. That is why we sent out the stimulus checks during the pandemic. That is why we expanded the Voting Rights Act and launched anti-GCD initiatives. Because nobody deserves being deprived of a well-deserved retirement, and nobody deserves to be killed. Mr. Goetz, your comments were despicable and you owe the American people an apology.”

GOETZ: “Look, we’re focusing on the wrong subject here. Leadership of the world’s most powerful country on Earth can’t be placed in the hands of a softie. You need to be able to prove to the enemies of peace that you will not tolerate them. To look at the recreadrug lords, the gun runners, the third-world despots and the countries like China and India that wish to take advantage of America’s good, decent and generous behavior to rip us off when it comes to international trade and outsourcing, stare ’em straight in the eyes, and tell them, ‘Hey – you mess with us, we mess with you.’ But under your administration, the US military budget is at its lowest level since 1980...”

JACKSON: “The economy is stable and is back to pre-SARS conditions, plus we have overseen the creation of more jobs as employers utilize the possibilities of the technet, which everyone saw during the lockdowns can be a valuable tool for remote jobs. This administration, if re-elected, will in the next four years continue the policies of the last four years…”

GOETZ: “I support small government except when a large government is needed to ensure a strong national immigration policy and strong law enforcement at all levels, and to defend the lives of freedom-lovers living in hell-hole countries abroad from Hitler wannabes. With all other cases, I say that, well, if you need help, what would you rather seek help from – the cold, impersonal bureaucracy of a federal government, or the welcoming in of a caring friend, spouse, or family member?”

JACKSON: “Our immediate response to the SARS pandemic and the success of the Manned Mars Mission prove the benefits that come from international collaboration.”

GOETZ: “In the world of geopolitics, you can’t afford not to be cutthroat and serious so that over countries don’t try and walk all over you. It’s foolhardy to believe that all countries will just agree to pay fair when it comes to trade. We need a President who will put the American workers ahead of foreign labor, who understands that outsourcing is never a good thing. I say keep American enterprises in America, and one way to do that is to lower the administration’s suppressive regulations.”

JACKSON: “Greatness is determined not through firepower but by choosing to hold off on using warfare until all avenues for a peaceful resolution have been tried.”

– Snippets from the third general election Presidential debate of 2004, 10/26/2004

POLL: “If the election for President was held today, whom would you vote for?”

Jackson: 59%

Goetz: 35%

Undecided/other: 6%

– Gallup, 10/29/2004

Anchor DAN RATHER: “Now, I’m trying to be fair, unbiased and balanced here, but do truly believe that Goetz is going to win?”

Boulder University President CONDI RICE: “Yes. You cannot trust the polls, people. Dewey trusted the polls in 1948 and look what happened – he lost considerably to Harry Truman. You have to look at the people and what the incumbent has done for this country. The people always publicly join bandwagons and say they’ll vote for whoever they think is the popular candidate. But with the privacy of the ballot comes the truth of their analysis of who should serve over the next four year. In 1948, the people looked at the incumbent and saw Truman had ended World War Two and helped out lovers of freedom with the Berlin Airlift. Now, the people are looking at the incumbent and see an oppressive government that wastes their taxpayer money and forces people to stay indoors or wear masks over something that didn’t even kill a thousand people in this country.”

Lawyer and community organizer Janice Fine: “But that’s just why Jesse will win – because he kept them safe and prevented our numbers from being as bad as India’s or Russia’s or China’s, and ensured financial relief for the monetarily insecure in order to keep the Negative Income Tax Rebate program solvent. How many countries suffered financial issues, went in the red, for saw taxes spike because of SARS? Not the US, and Jesse didn’t even violate the BBA to do so, either!”

Political author HUNTER S. THOMPSON: “Yeah, I agree with Janice, it will be a blowout for Jesse next Tuesday. Condi, there might be a lot of racists lying to pollsters wend saying they’ll vote one way and plan on voting the other way, but it won’t be enough to make up the difference in the polls, or the number of Republicans defecting to Jackson/Wellstone ticket. You know something’s up, that something bails going down inside the GOP, when you go online and see ads everywhere reading ‘Republicans For Jesse Jackson,’ Condi.”

Journalist BOB SCHAEFFER: “Um, but, Condi does have a point. Condi, I agree that many Goetzers are misleading pollsters, but a big voting bloc here is undecided voters. And if anything turns them away from Goetz, it would be his debate performances. His demeanor, inability to answer several questions well, his posturing, the fact that he kept glancing over to the clock on the side on the wall during the second debate. The sweating, the shiftiness, it’s all superficial, but because undecided voters aren’t too ideological motivated, it’s the superficial that often wins them over.”

RATHER: “But at least this Tuesday not be too bad for Senate Republicans, right? Because more Democratic incumbent seats are up for grabs tonight?”

THOMPSON: “And because of how many Republicans are distancing themselves from Goetz. Especially that House GOP minority leader guy, David Emery.”

RICE: “I don’t know, I’m still convinced he’ll pull off a Truman-type upset. Bernie’s spending a lot of focus on Ohio and Florida, you know.”

FINE: “Yes, he’s essentially dismissing the Rockies, the plains, the south, and even Texas in favor of focusing on several historically decisive bellwether states like Missouri and Illinois. The strategy is as outdated as his views.”

– CBS News, round-table discussion, 10/30/2004


Jesse Jackson (SC) / Paul Wellstone (MN) (Democratic) – 78,720,536 (58.2%)
Bernie Goetz (CA) / Eldon A. Bargewell (VA) (Republican) – 54,238,719 (40.1%)
All other votes – 2,299,397 (1.7%)
Total Votes – 135,258,652 (100%)


The remaining 1.7% of the popular vote was by won by several third-party and independent candidates; the Socialist Alliance ticket (Dennis J. Morrisseau (VT) / Rosemary Jackowski (NY)) came in third place with 0.8% of the total national vote (and receiving roughly 5% of the vote in Vermont), while the Patriotic Front ticket (Barbara Coe (CA) / Scott Lively (MA)) came in fourth, and the True America ticket, the United Freedom ticket, Pragmatic ticket, and Family ticket came in fifth, sixth, seventh, and eighth place, respectively...


…Florida was closer than usual for a Republican state, especially since Florida has not voted for a Democratic nominee since 1948 [4], while Ohio confirmed its Republican lean. Kansas went blue due to the work of former Governor Jim Slattery, a Jackson surrogate who worked to “remind” Kansans that it was Jackson’s renewal energy policies responsible for the state’s economic recovery going smooth as wind turbines and sun panels began to add variety and diversity to Kansas’s seemingly-endless fields. …The ten closest states of the night, in order, were Texas (by 0.07%), Louisiana (0.11%), Kansas (0.24%), Montana (0.39%), South Dakota (0.57%), Missouri (0.79%), South Carolina (1.14%), Ohio (1.28%), Florida (1.54%), and Mississippi (1.87%)…

– Richard Ben Cramer’s What It Takes: Roads to The White House, Sunrise Publications, 2011 edition

“The campaigning has concluded, but our work is far from over. Now is the time for healing. …What unites us as a nation is our differences, for they make us unique, so we should celebrate the strength of our nation and the accomplishment of tonight, the culmination of months of hard work that y’all put into this race.”

– Jesse Jackson, 11/3/2004

November United States Senate election results, 2004

Date: November 2, 2004

Seats: 34 of 100
Seats needed for majority: 51
New Senate majority leader: Robert Byrd (D-WV)
New Senate minority leader: Webb Franklin (R-MS)

Seats before election: 57 (D), 40 (R), 2 (I), 1 (LU)
Seats after election: 62 (D), 36 (R), 2 (I), 0 (LU)
Seat change: D ^ 5, R v 4, I - 0, LU v 1

Full List:
Alabama: Doug Jones (D) over Tim James (R) and Bettye Frink (Rational Republican); incumbent Mary Texas Hurt Garner (D) retired
Alaska: Kevin Danaher (D) over Jerry Sanders (R), Marc Millican (I), and Jim Dore (HIP); incumbent Frank Murkowski (R) retired
Arizona: incumbent Eddie Najeeb Basha Jr. (D) over Garrett Wood (Republican (write-in)) and John Wayne Bobbitt (R)
Arkansas: incumbent F. Winford Boozman III (R) over Winston Bryant (D)
California: incumbent Mike Gravel (D) over Howard Kaloogian (R) and Marsha Feinland (Natural Mind)
Colorado: Mark Udall (D) over Bob Schaffer (R); incumbent Ben Nighthorse Campbell (R) retired
Connecticut: incumbent Chris Dodd (D) over Jack Orchulli (R)
Florida: incumbent Michael Bilirakis (R) over Nan Rich (D)
Georgia: Herman Cain (R) over John W. Carter (D), Denise Majette (Green), and Allen Buckley (Liberty); incumbent Dr. John Skandalakis (D) retired
Hawaii: incumbent Daniel Inouye (D) over Campbell Cavasso (R)
Idaho: Bo Gritz (R) over Lawerence Denney (Rational Republican), Wendy Jaquet (D), and Scott F. McClure (Independent Democrat); incumbent Bethine Clark Church (D) retired
Illinois: incumbent Paul G. Vallas (D) over Steve Rauschenberger (R)
Indiana: incumbent Evan Bayh (D) over Marvin Scott (R)
Iowa: incumbent Patty Jean Poole (D) over Jerry Kohn (R) and Albert Franzen (I)
Kansas: incumbent Bob Dole (R) over Lee Jones (D)
Kentucky: incumbent Patrick “Kelly” Downard (R) over Paul E. Patton (D)
Louisiana: Chris John (D) over incumbent Buddy Roemer (R)
Maryland: incumbent Barbara Mikulski (D) over E. J. Pipkin (R)
Missouri: Wayne Cryts (D) over Mike Steger (R); incumbent Bill Bradley (D) retired
Nevada: Dina Titus (D) over incumbent Patricia Anne “Patty” Cafferata (R)
New Hampshire: incumbent Lou D’Allesandro (D) over Sharon Carson (R)
New York: Allyson Schwartz (D) over Howard Mills III (R); incumbent Mario Biaggi (R) retired
North Carolina: incumbent Nick Galifianakis (D) over John Ross Hendrix (R)
North Dakota: incumbent Kent Conrad (D) over Mike Liffrig (R)
Ohio: incumbent appointee Peter Lawson Jones (D) over Nancy Putnam Hollister (R) and Tony Patrick Hall (Independent Democrat)
Oklahoma: Brad Carson (D) over incumbent Marvin Henry “Mickey” Edwards (R)
Oregon: incumbent Walter Leslie “Les” AuCoin (D) over Al King (R)
Pennsylvania: incumbent Bob Casey Sr. (D) over Betsy Summers (R)
South Carolina: incumbent Fritz Hollings (D) over Jim DeMint (R)
South Dakota: incumbent Teresa McGovern (D) over John Thune (R)
Utah: incumbent Lyle Hillyard (R) over Paul Van Dam (D)
Vermont: William Sorrell (D) over Peter D. Moss (R) and incumbent Peter Diamondstone (Liberty Union)
Washington: incumbent Gary Locke (D) over George Nethercutt (R)
Wisconsin: incumbent Bronson La Follette (D) over Tim Michels (R)


United States House of Representatives results, 2004

Date: November 2, 2004

Seats: All 435
Seats needed for majority: 218
New House majority leader: Barbara B. Kennelly (D-CT)
New House minority leader: H. Dargan McMaster (R-SC)

Last election: 227 (D), 207 (R), 1 (I)
Seats won: 238 (D), 197 (R), 0 (I)
Seat change: D ^ 11, R v 10, I v 1


United States Governor election results, 2004

Date: November 2, 2004

Number of state gubernatorial elections held: 11
Seats before: 33 (D), 16 (R), 1 (I)
Seats after: 35 (D), 14 (R), 1 (I)
Seat change: D ^ 2, R v 2, I - 0

Full list:
Delaware: incumbent Ruth Ann Minner (D) over Bill Lee (R)
Indiana: Jill Long Thompson (D) over David Martin McIntosh (R (official write-in)), Ken Gividen (Liberty) and Jonathon Sharkey (R/WVP); incumbent Steve Goldsmith (R) retired
Missouri: incumbent Cynthia Bowers (D) over John Swenson (R)
Montana: Thomas Lee Judge (D) over Bob Brown (R); incumbent Denny Rehberg (R) retired
New Hampshire: Kelley Ashby (R) over John Lynch (D); incumbent George Condodemetraky (D) retired
North Carolina: incumbent Jim Hunt (D) over Patrick Ballantine (R)
North Dakota: incumbent Tracy Potter (D) over Roland Riemers (R)
Utah: incumbent Enid Greene (R) over Scott Matheson (D)
Vermont: Deborah L. “Deb” Markowitz (D) over Peter Plympton Smith (R); incumbent Howard Dean (D) retired
Washington: incumbent Norm Rice (D) over Michael Patrick Shanks (R) and Ruth Bennett (Liberty)
West Virginia: Bob Wise (D) over Monty Warner (R); incumbent Cecil Underwood (R)



…The unofficial caucus of Greek-American lawmakers saw the retirement of Dr. John Skandalakis (D-GA) this year. However, Chris John (D-LA) and Dina Titus (D-NV) were elected last night, the latter in a majority (thus runoff-free) grab of the vote in his home state. With Mike Bilirakis (R-FL), Nick Galifianakis (D-NC), Paul Sarbanes (D-MD), Olympia Snowe (R-ME), and Paul Vallas (D-IL), John and Titus increases the caucus’ number to a total of seven Greek-American Senators. …US Rep. Dina Titus’ victory was much closer than that of John’s, but ultimately received 50% of the vote, versus the 49% won by her opponent, a moderate incumbent... In total, Democrats swept five seats in the Senate, and were poised to win a sixth until the nominee for a Kentucky seat suffered a scandal in October…

The Atlantis, Greek-American newspaper, 11/3/2004


–, 11/3/2004

STATE REFERENDUM PASSES: New Constitutional Amendment Will Establish Lt. Gov. Post

…the new addition to the state constitution, first introduced in state congress in July of this year, will create the office of Lieutenant Governor as a means of resolving a succession controversy plaguing the Garden States for several years now. The new statewide elected position will officially come into existence at the start of 2006, after an inaugural lieutenant governor has been elected in the general elections being held this November. The amendment clarifies that the lieutenant governor candidates will be the running mates of the gubernatorial candidates…

The Star-Ledger, New Jersey newspaper, 11/3/2004


…given the high number of charges made against him, plus a class-action lawsuit led by former female staff members, Bobbitt’s “will be dealing with the legal consequences of his behavior for years. His political career is over,” according to Arizona’s state Attorney General…

The Washington Post, 11/7/2004


…last year’s manned mission to Mars was the magnum opus of his career. Now that it has been achieved, Dale Myers is stepping down… Sources have in recent weeks claimed that Jackson aims to take NASA in “a new direction” come 2005…

The Houston Chronicle, 11/18/2004

THE FALL OF THE G.O.P.?: How Republicans Have Lost Their Way – And How They Might Come Back

…it is chilling that exit polling revealed that the improving economy and Goetz’s statements on Social Security were the top two reasons why people voted for Jackson over Goetz, with the issue of racism playing a much smaller role in the formation of the election results than expected…

Time magazine, late November 2004

…“I won’t sugarcoat it – we got spanked in this cycle,” then-RNC Chair John Andrews told a gathering of supporters in early December 2004. The sheer size of the margins and loss of support among women, minorities, college-educated whites, and other demographics Andrews and others viewed as being “me to the long-term survival of the Republican Party” convinced party leaders to finally, openly, and publicly disavow the Wide-Awakes movement, hoping to push them and the more open racist and misogynistic GOP members and affiliates back to the fringes of the party’s “big tent”…

– Anne Meagher Northup’s Chicken and Politickin’: the Rise of Colonel Sanders and Rational Conservatism in the Republican Party, 2015

…The campaign had had grave concerns that either Huntsman, a soft-spoken moderate, or Meredith, a religious African-American, would chip away enough at the President’s numbers to pull off a victory in a general election. Hoping to see their boss compete against a less executable Republican nominee, Jesse Jackson’s communications team set about an under-the-radar strategy to prolong the primary contest by pushing out – often through third parties – the kind of research that could hurt Huntsman and Meredith. The “Savannah Team” of South Carolina-based researchers was deeply frustrated by the lack of serious campaigning by Huntsman’s rivals: there seemed to be no opposition research and no effort to expose the record of the man who, at the time, was alternating frontrunner status with Meredith in the polls. The solution was to weaken the likely nominee with an extended contest that would push the candidate and his party further to the right, and thus improve of odds of winning re-election. [5] They did not anticipate this strategy’s ultimate level of success…

– Richard Wolffe’s Reselling Hope: The 2004 Election, Hachette Book Group, 2005

“If it wasn’t for the economy doing better in the third quarter I would have won. Maybe doing better in the debates would have helped, too. I’m not sure what’s in store for me next. I might run for public office again, someday, but for right now, I’m okay taking a break from things. I’m going to take a breather, maybe learn to paint or something. Heck, I might just sit around and feed squirrels in some park somewhere. I like squirrels, they’re always happy to see you, especially if you’ve got a bag of nuts with you. Not like pigeons, who just fly around and leave droppings everywhere. They’re nasty little winged rats, that’s what they are. If I ever become a pigeon feeder, shoot me.” [2]

– Bernie Goetz, Herring Network News interview, 12/12/2004

US Senator Kirkwood Fordice (D-MS) he initially planned on resigning upon receiving a leukemia diagnosis in 2001, but concern that then-Governor Unite Blackwell would nominate a “radical” Democrat, he decided to stay in office, and became invested in Mississippi’s 2003 gubernatorial election. When Democrat James Chaney won said election, Fordyce continued to stay in office, and hoped he would be able to retire in early 2008. Instead, he passed away on December 14, 2004, at the age of 70. Governor Chaney appointed moderate Democrat Erik Fleming to his Senate seat.

With the addition of Fleming to the roster, the US Senate now had serving in it a total of 63 Democrats – D. Jones, Danaher, Braun, Basha, Tucker, Gravel, Heath, Udall, Dodd, Frawley, Osterlund, Penelas, Mink, Inouye, Vallas, Hall, Bayh, Poole, Osborne, John, Sarbanes, Mikulski, Kennedy-Roosevelt, Collins, Humphrey, Belton, Fleming, Wheat, Cryts, Mudd, Sorensen, Nevenic, Titus, Hollingworth, D’Allesandro, Jiménez, Mondragon, Kaplan, Schwartz, Blue, Galifianakis, Glassheim, Conrad, Anderson, J. Jones, Carson, AuCoin, Kanjorski, Casey, York, Roberts, Hollings, McGovern, Clement, Leland, Pollina, Sorrell, Scott, Unsoeld, Locke, Byrd, Feingold, and La Follette.

– Gary C. Jacobson’s The Power and the Politics of Congressional Elections, Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2015

2001-2004 SARS Pandemic Mortality Rates By Country (based on confirmed deaths, not suspected deaths, and based on an aggregation of WHO reports and official national reports (see our totaling model for further details)):


Brazil: 189,700 cases; 23,500 deaths (rate of 12.4%)


Canada: 35,115 cases; 3,559 deaths (rate of 10.1%)


China: 291,000 cases; 25,892 deaths (rate of 8.9%)

Colombia: 48,600 cases; 3,355 deaths (rate of 6.9%)


India: 8,450,000 cases; 1,090,050 deaths (rate of 12.9%)


Japan: 31,243 cases; 2,031 deaths (rate of 6.5%)


Mexico: 14,700 cases; 985 deaths (rate of 6.7%)


Russia: 1,595,000 cases; 180,240 deaths (rate of 11.3%)


United Kingdom: 14,270 cases; 1,168 deaths (rate of 8.2%)

United Korea: 11,233 cases; 847 deaths (rate of 7.5%)

United States: 12,502 cases; 891 deaths (rate of 7.1%)


Global Total: 15,129,012 cases (confirmed); 1,119,546 deaths (confirmed) (rate of 7.4% (average))


THE SCARS OF SARS: Life In A Post-Pandemic World

…The pandemic did not affect countries equally. For example, the United States experienced the pandemic for roughly two years (from February 2002 to late 2003) and experienced three major waves (the first in early 2002, the second in the post-midterm months of 2002, and the third in early-to-mid 2003), while India, arguably the worst-hit country, experienced at least five major waves and experienced the pandemic from January 2002 to early 2004.

…With no less than 15 million confirmed cases, SARS killed at least 1.1 million people globally by the end of the pandemic’s run this year. Compare these numbers to the largest pandemic of the twentieth century, the 1918-1920 influenza pandemic; that one killed roughly 50 million worldwide. SARS was closer, in terms of fatalities, to the 1889-1890 flu pandemic that killed 1 million worldwide, and the 1957-1958 influenza pandemic that killed 1-4 million worldwide, while the common flu kills roughly between 10,000 and 50,000 people in the US each and every year. “The biggest reasons for this pandemic feeling a lot deadlier was technology, access at your fingertips,” explains Charles Sidney Hirsch, pathologist and Chief Medical Examiner of New York City. “Make no mistake that the SARS virus is a once-in-a-century virus that, with its ferocious rate of transmission, virulently high mortality rate, and the extremely severe and harmful effects it has on those who survive it, very easily could have infected millions of more people. It didn’t because of the decisive preemptive measures taken by UN Secretary-General Carol Bellamy, international cooperation between most countries, and civilian compliance with emergency measures overall. But it felt like it was as bad as it easily could have been because of public media, because of the technet and TV reports. There was no 24-7 live news coverage in 1918. Because of technology, people were aware of nearly everything going on, and that made for some very scary viewing, which, in fact, may have helped keep the death tolls as down as they were.”

…Past pandemics also offer clues to how humanity will have to approach the SARS virus in the upcoming years and decades. “The Spanish Flu devolved into an endemic disease that circulated around for roughly four decades as a seasonal virus before finally going away for good. We will most likely see the same occur with SARS, with regional levels of severity varying from country to country,” says head virologist of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City, NY…

…While divorces and domestic abuse cases went up, lockdown caused air pollution to drop worldwide dramatically. In July of this year, the amount of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) emissions from factories, transportation and other sources shut down by quarantine dropped 70% from levels recorded in January 2001. However, NO2 output levels from China have bounced back from that country’s 2002-2003 slump since the nation’s “reopening” early this year. Nevertheless, the positive environmental conditions brought about by people cutting back of fossil fuels gave us a glimpse at how powerful the removal, even a temporary removal, of our carbon footprint can have on planet Earth. “This window into what could be should inspire us all,” says outgoing EPA Director Bob Ross, “Now we have the data to back up the calls for switching to renewable, less harmful forms of energy. We gave Mother Nature a break from us. She enjoyed it. But we owe to her and to ourselves to try to live harmoniously with what is still the only planet we call home.”

…With the virus apparently “beaten,” and citizens around the globe adjusting to the ways of the pre-SARS world surprisingly quickly, millions are voicing optimism for the years ahead. Says former US Secretary of Health and Welfare Jim Ramsted “Good and better times may finally be just around the corner!”

Newsweek, late December 2004

…We can now confirm that a major tsunami has hit the island country of Indonesia, most likely caused by a powerful earthquake off the coast in the Indian Ocean. Seismologists are saying the quake may have been more than 9.0, at the high end of the Richter scale, meaning this quake has in all likelihood destroyed bridges, toppled buildings, and decimated roads. Likely caused by a fault plate rupture, this earthquake is being called an undersea megathrust earthquake by scientists, and according to reports out of Indonesia, massive waves have inundated western Indonesia. Thousands may be dead, and entire communities may have just been wiped out. This is a developing story. We will have more details as they become available to us. Please stay tuned…

– KNN Breaking News Alert, 12/26/2004


The New York Times, 12/30/2004

…The December 2004 fault line rupture, the third-largest ever recorded (after the Great Chilean earthquake of 1960 and the Good Friday earthquake of 1964), and with the released energy of 1,500 Hiroshima bombs detonating at once, resulted in the deaths of over 250,000 people in 12 countries, making it one of the deadliest natural disasters in recorded history. …The advancements of individual recording devices such as cellular phones and other camera equipment allowed for the destruction to be caught as it happened, capturing gigantic waves overturning boats like bath toys, toppling buildings like houses of cards, and sweeping away coastal communities like a broom sweeping away dust; these shocking records soon found their ways onto the technet, and possibly contributed to the immediate responses from civilians around the world...


Above: an aerial view of the record-breaking devastation

…The effects of the quake and subsequent tsunamis prompted worldwide humanitarian responses; with just a few weeks, millions of individuals had donated to international aid organizations and charities alongside multinational pledges…


…Prime Minister of the UK Harriet Harman greenlit “Operation Garron,” a military relief operation, to assist recovery efforts in Indonesia. The Royal Navy and RAF embarked on delivering aid supplies and participating in relief work starting on January 2nd, patrolling areas hit by the 2004 Tsunami in search of survivors, and using helicopters to assist locals in clearing wreckage. However, Indonesia’s government was conflicted over allowing ground troops to land on Indonesian territory due to past confrontations with British-led troops [6]. Indonesian leadership ultimately refused to allow help from land-based foreign military personnel, and instead welcomed in volunteers from charities, non-profit organizations, and other non-military and non-government groups and organizations…


Republican House leadership election, 2005:

Date: January 10, 2005

Seats: All 197 Republican-held seats

Seats needed to win: 99



David Emery (ME) successfully best Robert Smith Walker for Republican House leadership in 1995, and served as Speaker from 1995 to 2001. To the left of the party, his ascension was a backlash to Walker being too far to the right ideologically and declining popularity among American voters and fellow GOP lawmakers. However, after Emery failed to lead the party to victory in three consecutive midterms, his own popularity was down within the party. Worsening the situation for the former speaker was the party becoming increasingly conservative, making his moderate record conflict with the goals of high-ranking conservative Representatives. As a result, Emery was challenged for leadership by Dorgan McMaster (SC), a Congressman since 1991 and House minority whip since 2001. McMaster blamed the loss of the House in 2000, 2002, and 2004, and of the 2004 Presidential election, on Emery being “far too liberal” to lead the GOP and “too polite” to the Jackson administration, and soon gained support. By the time of the election, all other anti-Emery candidates dropped out to rally behind McMaster.


McMaster – 125

Emery – 72

McMaster drew support from Congressional districts in the south and west, where many Republicans (including many Representatives) blamed unenthusiastic moderate Republicans for low voter turnout, essentially claiming their inability to embrace the Goetz campaign was responsible for four more years of President Jesse Jackson. “The majority conservatives in the party used me as a scapegoat,” Emery claimed in a 2020 book.

Following his loss, Emery at first declined to resign from his House seat, but upon McMaster threatening to strip him from party leadership committees and other entitlements, rendering him powerless within the GOP, Emery made the “shocking” decision of filing as an Independent and running for re-election as one in 2006.



The Guardian, UK newspaper, 15/1/2005

“We are bound together as one united and indivisible nation by our faith in a mighty God and our faith in our fellow Americans. We in this administration will continue to steady our humane, just, peaceful course in ensuring Americans have food, shelter, and purpose.


There will be a great focus over these next four years on protecting families, mom-and-pop shops, and the environment; we in this administration will continue to lift up the downtrodden, the poor, the sufferers of food insecurity, drug addiction, and disease, including helping the WHO stomp out SARS virus strains wherever they remain. We can do this for we had accomplishment such wonderful feats before; scientists eradicated smallpox with an extensive and exhaustive international collaborate effort over 36 years. The next four years will also see the United States of America lead the world in combating GCD, warfare and famine, in order to leave behind for our children a world better off than how it was when we were their age.


Now is the time for redemption, healing, and unity. Life is what you make of it. You can choose to live in darkness, or you can do the brave thing, and choose to work hard to live in an age of enlightenment, jobs, peace, and justice. To shed light onto darkness, to heal wounds, to rekindle the fire of hope that for many felt extinguished during the darkest times of the 2002 pandemic. But we overcame the darkness and we did not do so alone. We could not have done so alone. For we had to come together, listen to one another, and care for one another. That is how we repelled the darkness. With love and care for each other, going beyond the love of friends and family, beyond the love of neighbors and community, to that rare love that is the love for the stranger. The power of love, faith, and hope is limitless and infinite, boundless and forever. A with the power of love, of faith and hope, we have prevailed over crisis and darkness time and again. We will not let this opportunity for another four years of progress slip on by. We will not take the mandate of November’s elections for granted. I agree that there is much more work to be done, America, so let’s get to it!”

– Jesse Jackson’s 1/20/2005 inaugural speech


Vice President: incumbent (since 2001) Paul Wellstone (D-MN)

Secretary of State: incumbent (since 2001) Ann Richards (D-TX)
Secretary of the Treasury: incumbent (since 2001) Timothy Peter Johnson (D-SD)
Secretary of Defense: Lt. Gen. (ret.) Claudia Jean Kennedy (D-VA) (incumbent retired in February 2005)
Attorney General: incumbent (since 2001) Harry Thomas Edwards (D-DC)
Assistant Attorney General: Judge of the US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit Frank Hoover Easterbrook (D-IL) (incumbent retired in January 2005)
Postmaster General: outgoing CD Undersecretary for Suburban Development and former St. Paul Mayor James Scheibel (D-MN) (incumbent retired in January 2005)
Secretary of the Interior: outgoing US Senator Ben Nighthorse Campbell (R-CO) (incumbent retired in January 2005)
Secretary of Agriculture: incumbent (since 2001) Jim McGovern (D-MA)
Secretary of Commerce: incumbent (since 2001) Robert Reich (D-IL)
Secretary of Labor: incumbent (since 2001) Richard A. Gephardt (D-MO)
Secretary of Education: incumbent (since 2001) Dudley W. Dudley (D-NH)
Secretary of Health and Welfare (renamed Health and Humane Services in 2003): outgoing CD Undersecretary for Urban Development, former US Rep. and former state rep. Babette Josephs (D-PA) (incumbent retired in December 2004)
Secretary of Transportation: incumbent (since 2001) Toney Anaya (D-NM)
Secretary of Veterans’ Affairs: incumbent (since 2001) Mary Ann Wright (R-AR)
Secretary of Energy and Technology: outgoing Undersecretary of Education, former NASA Communications Director, and former school superintendent Barbara Radding Morgan (I-CA) (incumbent retired in February 2005)
Secretary of Community Development: outgoing CD Undersecretary for Rural Development and former Navajo Nation President Peterson Zah (D-AZ)

Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA): former Governor, counter-terrorism expert, and former Deputy FBI Director John P. O’Neill (D-NJ) (incumbent retired in October 2003)
Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI): incumbent (since 2001) Raymond Walter Kelly (I-NY)
US Trade Representative: AFL-CIO affiliate, trade union activist and labor leader Arlene Holt Baker (D-TX) (incumbent retired in January 2005)
Administrator of the Small Business Administration (SBA): former Philadelphia Mayor and former state Attorney General Edward Gene “Ed” Rendell (D-PA) (incumbent retired in December 2003)
Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA): chemical engineer, physicist, state Commissioner of Environmental Protection and former academic administrator Lisa Perez Jackson (D-NJ) (incumbent retired in December 2004)
Administrator of the Overwhelming Disaster Emergency Response Coordination Agency (ODERCA): Chief Risk Assessor for ODERCA and former Administrator of the Federal Highway Administration Rodney Slater (D-AR) (incumbent retired in January 2005)

White House Chief of Staff: incumbent (since 2001) Ronald Daniels (D-OH)
White House Deputy Chief of Staff: incumbent (since 2001) Morton Halperin (I-DC)
Counselors to The President: incumbents (since 2001) William J. Antholis (I-VA) and Kevin Alexander Gray (D-SC)
Chief Domestic Policy Advisor: National President of the Mexican American Political Association Nativo Lopez (D/LRU-CA) (incumbent retired in December 2004)
Chief Economic Policy Advisor: incumbent (since 2001) Jeffrey P. Weaver (D-VT)
Chief Foreign Policy Advisor: incumbent (since 2001) Randall Caroline Forsberg (I-MA)
Chief National Security Advisor: incumbent (since 2001) Louis Freeh (R-NY)
Director of the Office of Management and Budget: incumbent (since 2001) Gerald Austin (D-OH)
Other Counselors and Advisors: political analyst Bob Beckel, political adviser Frank Watkinds, campaign policy director Frank Clemente, field director Eddie Wong, political strategist Peter Daou, social critic and progressive philosopher Marcus Raskin, and neorealist philosopher/respected political strategist/historian/author/former Advisor to the President John Lewis Gaddis
White House Communications Director: incumbent (since 2001) Betty Magness (I-DC)
White House Appointments Secretary: incumbent (since 2001) Mabel Teng (D-CA)
White House Press Secretary: incumbent (since 2001) Pam Watkins (I-DC)
President Jackson’s personal secretary: incumbent (since 2001) Jehmu Greene (D-TX)

Solicitor General (representative of the Federal Government before the Supreme Court): lawyer, law professor and former Chair of the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Anita Faye Hill (D-OK) (incumbent retired in January 2005)
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff: incumbent (since 2001) Henry Doctor Jr. (I-SC)
Secretary of the Army: incumbent (since 2001) Johnnie Corns (I-WV)
Secretary of the Navy: incumbent (since 2001) Norman Mineta (D-CA)
Federal Reserve Chairman: incumbent (since 2001) William A. “Sandy” Darity Jr. (D-VA)
NASA Administrator: biochemist, former astronaut, former lead CAPCOM at Mission Control, and Chief Scientist of NASA Shannon Matilda Wells Lucid (I-OK) (incumbent retired in December 2004)

To Argentina: incumbent (since 2001) Jim Folsom Jr. (D-AL)
To Australia: incumbent (since 2001) Eni F. H. Faleomavaega Jr. (D-AS)
To Canada: author and former Governor Nora Dauenhauer (G-AK) (incumbent retired in January 2005)
To China: incumbent (since 2001) Bucky Ray Jarrell (D-KY)
To Colombia: incumbent (since 2001) Joseph Samuel “Joe” Nye Jr. (I-NJ)
To France: former New Orleans Mayor, former Lieutenant Governor, former H&W Secretary and former US Rep. Maurice Edwin “Moon” Landrieu (D-LA)
To Germany: incumbent (since 2001) Paul R. Soglin (D-WI)
To Israel: incumbent (since 2001) Norman Gary Finkelstein, PhD (D-NJ)
To Italy: incumbent (since 2001) Mario Cuomo (D-NY)
To Japan: incumbent (since 2001) Adlai Stevenson III (D-IL)
To Korea: incumbent (since 2001) John Lim (R-OR)
To Mexico: outgoing US Ambassador to Afghanistan and former CIA Director Linda Rose Carotenuto Cleland (I-NJ) (incumbent retired in February 2005)
To New Zealand: outgoing Governor Heinz Sablan Hofschneider (R-NM) (incumbent retired in December 2004)
To Russia: incumbent (since 2001) James Robert “J. R.” Jones (D-OK)
To South Africa: incumbent US Ambassador to France and former Governor Cleo Fields (D-LA) (incumbent retired in December 2004)
To the U.K.: incumbent (since 2001) Harvey Gantt (D-NC)
To the U.N.: President of Refugees International and former spokesman for the US Department of Defense Kenneth Hogate Bacon (I-RI) (incumbent retired in February 2005)


…NASA’s new leader became former astronaut Shannon Lucid. Born in China to missionary parents in 1943 and primarily raised in Oklahoma, Lucid was a biochemist who joined NASA in 1978. While officially independent/apolitical, her support of several fiscally conservative stances was seen as both a bone thrown to the Republicans, as a way of placating fears on the right of Jackson being a “socialist would-be tyrant” like the new House Speaker had once called him, and as a signal of what significance NASA would play in the federal government’s annual budgets of the next four years...

– researcher R. Cargill Hall’s Impact: The History of NASA, Dover Publications, 2018 edition


…As countries jockey to make large donations, Bellamy notes that “competitive compassion is better than no compassion,” but stresses the need to fulfill funding promises made in the immediate aftermath of the earthquake and tsunami that have ravaged much of coastal Indonesia…

The New York Times, 1/28/2005


The Washington Post, 1/30/2005


The Guardian, UK newspaper, 2/2/2005


…law experts are divided over whether or not our lawmakers are actually breaking the law by Democrats ignoring Article 4 of the top law of the land in their latest effort to expand their number of seats on Capitol Hill – by granting a city statehood and condensing Capitol Hill into a tiny strip of land…

–, 2/3/2005 e-article

…The Department of Justice has formed a Statehood Requirements Special Task Force in order to determine what legal hurdles await our representatives trying to grant statehood to Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico...

– ABC Morning News, 2/5/2005 broadcast

HOST: …well say what you want to bout Prezy-JJ – just keep it clean since we’re on the air – but you have to admit, urban repair methods are improving. I mean, I think it’s really smart that, um. Did you see this the other day or last night? Some people in the Department of Transportation, I think, they’re studying how the ancient Roman Cobblestone Roads have managed to hold up for so long and their comparing them to our modern road-making ways. So, you know, hopefully, constant roadwork clogging things up on Route 74 will soon be a thing of the past.

GUEST: Naw, naw, you’ve got it all wrong, sir. State and federal transportation departments purposely build roads that fall apart easily and quick, so, that way, they can hire more deadbeats to rebuild them. Keep people employed, and they won’t complain. It’s just the government’s way of keeping the lower classes preoccupied with meaningless work so they don’t get wise to how they are being had and then rise up against it.

HOST: Yeah, now, see, that doesn’t mesh with that report I was talking about. Why would they be studying what works if they don’t want it to work?

GUEST: Because it’s a conspiracy, man!

HOST: Right, I forgot who I was talking to here – Conspiracy Joe, the guy who was too much for even George Noory of Coast to Coast AM to deal with.

GUEST: Hey, you invited me here.

HOST: That’s not an insult!

GUEST: Sounds like an insult.

HOST: Not to you. It is, but it’s not to you, I’m insulting George Noory. And George Noory, if you’re listening, I don’t mean to offend you either. I’m just saying that George Noory can’t tolerate the mastery of Conspiracy Joe’s thought process. It’s…really something.

GUEST: Thank you!

– WAAV (980 AM) news/talk Leland, NC, 2/6/2005 radio broadcast

…Jackson worked with congress to bolster his overhauling of the tax system, hoping to ensure that top marginal income rates remained fair throughout his time in office. He collaborated with progressive, moderate, and even some conservative Democrats to dismantle preferential treatment loopholes found in capital gains tax laws already on the books by essentially re-writing the books.

However, the two biggest acts of legislation of 2005 of which Jesse Jackson was the most proud were the Police Accountability Act and the Voter Roll Act. The former was a large package that aimed to hold police responsible for procedural misconduct; the latter was even larger, stricking down voter roll purging, and working to establish new ethics codes and campaign finance regulations ahead of the 2006 midterms…

– Nancy Skelton and Bob Faw’s Thunder In America: A Chronology of The Jesse Jackson White House, Texas Monthly Press, 2016

…The abysmal results of the Goetz-Bargewell ticket left a foul taste in the mouths of GOP string-pullers. Head party leaders saw the collapse of support among women and minorities as a sign that the party had to shift further to the center if it wished to remain electable, or at competitive, at the national level; in February 2005, former Chief of Staff John Dinger, a noted moderate, was made the new Chair of the Republican National Committee in a clear rebuke of “Country Conservatives.” The backlash to this was basically ontech rants and ineffective boycotts from strong-c conservative types such as Estus Prikle and Tommy Tancredo. Behind closed doors, Dinger supported efforts from the likes of Bill Weld and Herman Cain to “lead the south by helping [it] evolve on racial issues,” as Cain supposedly put it, according to a 2013 WSJ article. “Because now is the time for that. Now, when open-faced racism was been unobjectionably and unquestionably rejected by the people, now is the moment for moderates to shine. Now is the time to reject, expunge, and erase the worst members of our party, say to them, ‘listen – we can’t win with your backward ways,’ and lead the party in a better direction away from the past and toward a brighter future”…

– Anne Meagher Northup’s Chicken and Politickin’: the Rise of Colonel Sanders and Rational Conservatism in the Republican Party, 2015


…not long ago, Wellington Webb had an approval rating of over 80% and was the frontrunner for the President. But now, in his third term as Governor of Colorado, the iconic individual is seeing his approval ratings slide below 40% as his state political opponents go after the negative effects of his time in office. The biggest sticking point influencing public opinion is his restructuring of Colorado state law regarding prison and prisoners, essentially making it impossible to run a for-profit prison in the state. His opponents claim this has caused for-profit prison businesses the leave Colorado and votes to other states, causing the state economy to have a slower time recovering after the SARS pandemic shut down the state for 19 months. ...Since Webb gave no official reason for it, we can only assume that Webb today announced that he was not going to run for a third term in 2006 due to his drop in approval ratings…

The Gazette, Colorado Springs newspaper, 2/15/2005


The Washington Post, 2/16/2005

…Efforts to improve legal immigrant rates that were taken in his first term were taken up a few more notches in his second. In the boldest expansion of guest worker programs since President Bellamy’s 1989 expansion of fair pay employment programs for Mexican labors and visa workers, President Jackson worked with congress to abolition caps on H-1B visas, in order to promote “global trade instead of global wars.” Former Presidents Mondale and Kemp, who themselves had passed immigration reform in 1974 and 1988, respectively, supported the move.

Jackson next called for a higher carbon tax in order for the US to better combat the effects of Global Climate Disruption…

– researcher Brenda J. Hargis’ Emboldening: The Jesse Jackson Presidency, Sunrise Publications, 2017


…Last week, the Jackson White House released a strong jobs report on the fourth quarter of 2004. The report shows that labor force participation (i.e., the share of Americans that are either working or looking for work) is still rising, and that wages are stable.

However, labor force participation and the employment-population ratio, while much better and improving, are doing so at a slower than expected rate. The long-term effects of the SARS pandemic may be to blame. “The months-long SARS lockdown affected the US socially as well as economically, and in the case of motherhood, both,” Babette Josephs, US Secretary of Health and Humane Services, explains. “Staying with their families prompted many mothers to reassess their priorities, leading to some entering college or the job market once the crisis subsided. However, even more mothers opted to stay at home after the crisis was over rather than re-enter the job market.”

Despite this increase in the number of unemployed adults, the national unemployment rate is down due to it not including those who are willingly no longer looking for work. As a result, the Jackson administration is touting this report for showing a 10-month stretch of uninterrupted job growth, from February to December 2004, with the private sector experiencing slightly more growth than the public sector did during the entirety of that period…

The Wall Street Journal, 2/18/2005 [7]


…According to the US Attorney General Harry T. Edwards, the Statehood Requirements Special Task Force set up under the US Department of Justice has determined that admitting Washington, DC as a US state will require the passing of a US Constitutional Amendment… “The District Clause of the Constitution, Article 1, Section 8, Clause 17, describes the Federal District as, quote, ‘not exceeding ten miles square.’ [8] Washington DC is 68 ‘miles square.’ So, if anything, the redrawing of our federal capital to confine the direct control of the federal government would make D.C. more constitutional, not less constitutional,” says White House Deputy Chief of Staff Morton Hampering. The federal government having direct control over the seat of government is needed “for protection in the exercise of their duty” as President James Madison once put it [8]. Essentially, the condition aims to protect federal lawmakers from physical altercations.

However, what makes an Amendment necessary is the need to repeal an earlier D.C.-related Amendment that concerns the Electoral College. The 23rd Amendment was passed in 1961 under President Lyndon Johnson, and it granted 3 electoral votes to “the seat of government,” which is Washington, D.C. SRS Task Force members pondered if the amendment would become null and void if only the federal buildings and no official residences made up D.C. “In order for it to work without an amendment, the new federal district would have to have no official residencies. However, the only people who definitely would be residents of the new shrunken federal district would technically be whoever’s living in the White House, meaning that it is possible that without its repeal, the First Family would get three electoral votes in the Electoral College,” explains the Task Force leader.

The 23rd Amendment’s official wording is “The District constituting the seat of government of the United States shall appoint…a number of which the District would be entitled if it were a state.” The phrase “if it were a state” concerned the lawmakers, who believe that this wording would not render the amendment “null and void” because the electors mentioned are meant for the seat of government, and not for the District of Columbia itself...

On the plus side, it has been determined that Article 4, Section 3, Clause 1 of the Constitution allows for the admittance of Puerto Rico as a state without the need for an Amendment-repealing Amendment…

The Washington Post, 2/22/2005

[1] I actually don’t know what The Colonel’s thoughts were on LGBTQ+ community; I couldn’t find any information regarding his thoughts on the subject prior to his OTL death in 1980. I would like to assume that, due to his support of racial integration and opposition to racism, as noted in the documented evidence that I noted in the notes sections of earlier chapters, that this means that he was not homophobic. However, due to the fact that one can be homophobic without being racist (just look at NY state assemblyman Charles Barron, for example), and given The Colonel being responsible for the First Arkwave ITTL due to his OTL actions and comments, I cannot just assume that The Colonel was pro-LGBTQ+ in OTL. Actual evidence is needed for Sanders’ depiction here to be in-character and historically accurate. If anyone knows of any primary or secondary sources concerning The Colonel’s opinions on the subject/topic, please let me know!
[2] Italicized piece is a quote from OTL:
[3] Full OTL interview found here; it's quite a good one:
[4] The success of the Cuban War means no Cuban refugees fleeing communist dictatorship in Cuba over course of several decades; as a result of this lack of an influx of Cubans into the US, most of whom relocated to Florida, the Sunshine State has a significantly smaller liberal Hispanic population, contributing to making the state be a reliable Republican state ITTL.
[5] Passages that are in italics are taken from page 73 of an OTL paper book that I own: Richard Wolffe’s “The Message: The Reselling of President Obama,” Hachette Book Group, 2013 (ISBN: 978-1-4555-8156-6); this was Obama’s strategy in OTL!
[6] OTL according to OTL’s Operation Garron’s wiki article.
[7] Some market/economic terms/phrases were pulled from here:
[8] As described here:

The next chapter's E.T.A.: either tomorrow or November 5th.
Last edited:
Chapter 90: February 2005 – December 2005
Chapter 90: February 2005 – December 2005

“Faith makes all things possible; love makes all things easy.”

– Dwight L. Moody (OTL)


…Because the US Constitution does not lay out how a state can be formed, and due to the historical precedence established by the past admittances of the current 50 states, lawmakers are confident that a constitutional amendment is not required for Puerto Rico. Washington, D.C., however, has been uniquely exempt from this since 1961 due a Constitutional Amendment granting three Electoral Votes to whatever tract of land is kept for the direct control of the federal government. Thus, the US Congress does not need approval from state legislatures to “upgrade” the the US Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, but it does for the federal district…

The Orlando Sentinel, 2/26/2005


Hollywood, CA – Actor John Belushi has won an Academy Award for Best Performer for his role in the latest drama film by Frank Darabont at the 77th Academy Awards ceremony held tonight. Belushi bested fellow nominees Jamie Foxx, Annette Bening, Robbie Coltrane, Radha Mitchell and Imelda Staunton for the award. …Ever since “Continental Divide” was panned by critics, Belushi, age 56, has repeatedly sought to “prove the critics wrong” and successfully branch out into serious roles. This time, I looks like he has finally climbed his way out of the comedic foil pigeonhole in which he has been more or less stuck for the past 25 years. …Belushi’s performance in “Mr. November’s Whirlpool” is not his first recent “serious” role. Previously, his acting was praised for his supporting role in the 1999 action-drama film The Battle of Point Judith, about the real-life 1945 naval battle between the US and Nazi Germany off the coast of Rhode Island. …Belushi’s achievement at tonight’s awards ceremony a high point in a life of highs and lows; the actor-comedian spent decades trying to overcome drug addiction, taking breaks from acting to enter rehab in 1981, 1983, and 1991. The final rehab entry was the result of Belushi relapsing and almost dying from an overdose in the wake of Dan Akyroyd’s death in a plane crash; Belushi had had a close friendship and artistic partnership with Akyroyd for years, and his death led to Belushi taking a two-year hiatus from Hollywood. As a result, it was not surprising when Belushi praised Akyroyd in his acceptance speech tonight…


Above: Belushi, once best known for his supporting role in “Animal House,” but now known for starring in a wide variety of film genres such as action and drama, graciously accepts his first-ever Academy Award.

–, 2/27/2005 e-article

…The president’s raising of taxes on Capital Gains and the wealthiest 1% produced new revenue to use for social programs that benefited the middle and lower classes. Concurrent with legislation meant to grant statehood to DC and Puerto Rico, the largest revenue-related legislative hurdle of 2005 was Jackson’s push for legislation to end off-shore banking, as billionaire corporations were quick to use such a possibility to avoid paying taxes on their billions of dollars in profit. Several moderate Democrats oppose the notion over vague concerns of “suppressing innovation;” US Congressman Baron Hill (D-IN) noted that the proposed law “Seem[ed] like a noble hill for his administration to die on.” Media mogul Bern Sanders, The President’s “sole billionaire friend” was quick to call them out, claiming boldly on TumbleweedTV that lobbyists and wealthy campaign donors were controlling their decisions. “Not only do we need to limit the possibilities of off-shore banking, but we need to limit lobbyist influence.” The talking points of Sanders were consistently similar to those of the President (as the two progressive men had been close political allies ever since Jackson’s first run for public office back in 1986), leading to many Republican activists such as author and commentator Roger Stone and Baptist Minister Michael Huckabee alleging that either Jackson was “in full control of the media’s narrative…like a dictator” or that Sanders was the “power behind the throne.” These claims were fairly prominent in certain social circles during the late aughts and early-to-mid 2010s…

– researcher Brenda J. Hargis’ Emboldening: The Jesse Jackson Presidency, Sunrise Publications, 2021 edition


…Thurmond had been serving continuously in the US Senate since 1956, making him the longest-serving US Senator in history… Despite moderating his positions on race in the 1970s, Thurmond never fully renounced his earlier positions. Even after a 1997 expose revealed that African-American DC educator Essie Mae Washington-Williams was Thurmond’s illegitimate daughter, Thurmond acknowledged Essie Mae but also defended his pro-segregation efforts of the 1940s and 1950s...

The Greenville News, South Carolina newspaper, 3/1/2005


…the first version of the bill was proposed back in 1995, when several tech companies were merging in order to capitalize on the growing tech industry that accompanied more consumers learning how to utilize the technet…

The Washington Post, 3/2/2005


…Governor Lindsey Graham has announced that he will appoint Strom Thurmond Jr. to the US Senate seat left vacant by the recent passing of Strom Thurmond Sr. …Thurmond Jr., 32, was the US Attorney for the District of South Carolina from late 2000 to January of this year…

The Island Packet, South Carolina newspaper, 3/4/2005

“The focus of my department, and of the President, was to move the nation beyond the debauchery of warfare. Under my supervision, the DVA worked famously with the President to provide medicine, to provide healing of the physical and mental kinds, and to create jobs for our noble veterans returning home from confrontations in Mexico, Colombia, Korea and Central America. With Jackson’s emphasis on social programs, I believe he truly was sincere in trying and aiming to make the United States what he called ‘a post-war nation’.”

– US Army Col (ret) Mary Ann Wright (R-AR), Secretary of Veterans’ Affairs (2001-2009), 11/26/2015 interview

…and in Washington, D.C., the US House of Representatives is taking further action on the proposed admittance of the national capital and Puerto Rico as our next two states. The House Committee on Oversight and Reform is studying the constitutionality of two similar works of legislation – one is a bill for Puerto Rico,, the other is a draft for a Constitutional Amendment – and their specific details concerning in order to ensure that they both indeed comply with the articles found in our nation’s highest laws…

– NBC News, 3/5/2005

“…Link, um, that’s Congressman Lincoln Diaz-Balart, and I, uh, worked on the establishing of the process to enable Puerto Rico to be admitted, while Eddie Bernice Johnson, Al Wynn, and several others focused on the DC aspect, which I will admit was a more difficult thing to do. They had to word it correctly, especially after we realized that creating a state from a federal district had to provide that a federal district still exist in some way and reverse that 1961 amendment to prevent the First Family from having three electoral votes all for themselves…”

– US Rep. Luis Gutiérrez (D-IL), co-sponsor of the Rangel-Gutierrez PR Statehood “51st State”/“Rainbow of Hope” Bill, 2008 interview


…the President’s budget and spending goals have consistently conflicted with the priorities and objectives of the US’s armed forces…

–, 3/7/2005 e-article

…The administration knew not to let the government trifecta go to waste, and used its good fortune to pass even more gun reform measures, with Wellstone leading the charge to lower the impact of or remove entirely the aspects of American life that made for the need for guns in the first place. Disarming, or “demilitarizing” the police; ending the wars on recreadrugs still going on at the state and local levels; and cleaning up neighborhoods to improve home safety were all pushed by Wellstone, the last article even more so than by Jackson himself. A part of that, though, had to do with Jackson working to build up environmental regulations and strengthen federal safety nets. Meanwhile, Wellstone met with conservatives, moderates, landlords, thousands of prominent homeowner’s associations and societies, rent control activists, neighborhood watch groups, and other individuals and groups. He wanted to keep the channels of communication open between local, state, and federal officials, and between opposing groups in order to improve ongoing “safety quality enhancement efforts”...

– Billie Lofi’s The Wellstone Way: The Life of a Passionate Progressive, University of Minnesota Press, first edition, 2017

At the insistence of US Congresspersons José E. Serrano (D-NY) and Nydia Velazquez (D-NY), Jackson sat down with the leading House members opposed to the DC and PR statehood bills.

“I think bipartisanship and leverage would make for a more effective bill. I think we should hold off on making any overseas territories a US state in exchange for Republican compliance in district court picks, as was the original plan,” caviled Allen Boyd (D-FL).

“But now with the trifecta, we don’t need Republican approval for this!” The President spoken sternly but not aggressively as he successfully held back the anger he felt toward this GOP appeaser. “And we don’t even have to worry about the DC Amendment being slowed to a snails’ pace by the ratification requirement like what almost happened to the ERA. 38 states or state legislatures need to ratify it. There are 35 Democratic governors, 37 state legislatures with a Democrat majority, and several states like New Hampshire where the Republicans in control are liberal, or where polls show a majority of the people there support DC statehood. It’ll be a close cut, but if we pass the amendment before summer ends, we could feasibly get to Number 38 before the end of 2006.”

“I’m glad you brought up late 2006. I’m not the only one who thinks all these progressive moves will result in Republican backlash in the 2006 midterms, Mr. President. What we really should do is go for less bold alternatives. Why can’t we just increase federal aid to the Commonwealth and add symbolic representations of our support for them, like adding more stars to the flag?”

“Because that first idea won’t work because the Treasury is already strained and stretched out as it is without us spreading even more funds around, and that second idea is just so shallow and empty that no voter would view it favorably,” was the President’s answer; later, he noted an aide, “They wouldn’t even buy that kind of bullcr*p in Florida, and they voted for Goetz!”

Another conservative “Blue Dog” Democrat at this White House sit-down was Gary Condit of North Dakota, a former oil rig worker originally from Oklahoma who at the time was serving on the Oversight Committee as second Vice-Chair. Hailing from a typically Republican-leaning district, he confessed, “My constituents will give me the boot next year if I vote for making Puerto Rico a state and as a result allowing foreigners into the country and becomes citizens.”

The President’s brow wrinkled from consternation “Eh – that’s not at all what is going on here!”

“Well, a lot of Americans can’t figure that out. It’s amazing how few Americans realize that Puerto Rico is not an independent country, but is in fact a part of the US, just as a commonwealth, which is like a territory but kind of not,” Condit said, almost to himself but outlook.

Jackson replied, “Then we just ramp up the information campaign, get the message out there that they are in fact fellow Americans.”

Condit shook his head with a smirk.

Boyd nodded along in agreement, grimly. “It won’t be enough.”

“Allen,” the President turned to face Boyd head-on. Pausing for emphasis and dramatic effect, he went through with his offering. “If you go with us on this, I promise you’ll have the support of myself and this administration behind you in ’06. We’ll endorse you, we’ll stump for you, and we’ll even be in ads for you. We’ll have your back if you have all of ours. A common political cliché is a politician not keeping his promises. But there’s more to it than that. For promises given to voters are not the same as promises given to fellow politicians”

“How true that is,” Boyd pondered. Jackson held out his half of a possible handshake. Boyd met the hand and gave it a small congratulatory yank. “Alright, Mr. President, but I’m going to hold you to it.”

“Of course. After all, that’s how this game is played.”

– researcher Brenda J. Hargis’ Emboldening: The Jesse Jackson Presidency, Sunrise Publications, 2021 edition

“Thank you, Speaker Kennelly, for allowing me to speak before you and before this committee today on the benefits of medical marijuana. [snip] …And I would know. I became paraplegic in 1991 at the age of 17. I was played on the high school football team. On the bus ride home from winning an important game, there was a crash. I went through the stages of grieving over the loss of the use of my legs, but I only reached acceptance thanks to my nurse, who helped me through the darkest times. We’re now married and have three adopted children. …I think it is miraculous that I was even born at all, given the fact that my parents were from different Texas towns and that they met each other very serendipitously. I think that very fact means that I’m meant to be here to do something important. That’s why I have invested millions, from my books sold and my radio programs and talking gigs and speeches and tours, into invention proposals for the eliminate paraplegia – exoskeletons, nanobot technology, spinal cell research – but until that time comes, thousands of wheelchair-bound Americans, of WBAs, suffer from a plethora of painful complications. And they live in every state. The humanitarian and patriotic thing to do is to give them relief by granting them access to medical marijuana in all 50 states…”

– Disabled rights activist Alexander E. “Alec” Jones, 3/23/2005

…The end of March 2005 marked the first time that domestic sales for KFC were up more than 5% in an internal quarterly earnings/sales report since February 2001… If the first half of the 2000s decade truly was KFC’s “Dark Ages,” as David Novak once called those years, then it only makes sense that the successful years that followed be dubbed “the KFC Renaissance”…

– Marlona Ruggles Ice’s A Kentucky-Fried Phoenix: The Post-Colonel History of Most Famous Birds In The World, Hawkins E-Publications, 2020


Premiered: March 30, 2005

Genre (s): action/adventure/comedy/superhero



Josh Hartnett as Barry Allen / The Flash

Natalie Portman as Iris West

Larenz Tate as John Stewart / Green Lantern

Robert Carlyle as James Jesse / The Trickster

Hugh Jackman as George Harkness / Captain Boomerang

See Full List Here


Trivia Facts:

Trivia Fact No. 1:

This was the penultimate film in which Hartnett starred as the Flash. After “The Flash 2” (2007), Hartnett retired from acting in film.


POPE JOHN PAUL II DIES AT 84: In 26-Year Reign, Reshaped Church And Papacy

The New York Times, 4/2/2005


…the Governor of California has been accused of making unwanted advances on the accuser during a private meeting in 2002. The accuser, a former staff worker of Burton, claims Burton then grabbed her thigh and groped her breast, then attempted to “make further inappropriate and invasive physical contact” before the accuser “immediately swatted him away and bolted out of the room”…

The Los Angeles Times, 4/4/2005

…The Herring Network was quickly becoming the “go-to” channel for “Country Conservatives,” i.e. populists with thinly-veiled racist overtones, but did not become a major thorn in the side of left-wing individuals and groups until the start of the 2010s. Instead, in its early years of the mid-2000s decade, THN’s programming was considered laughable in the eyes of many. In one example, THN criticized the President for wearing informal attire at the White House. In a manner similar to TMZ, THN cameras outside the WH fence followed Jackson exit the White House and head for the grounds’ basketball court for exercise. According to later reporting, the WH doctor had recently informed him that he was “a bit on the chubby side,” and, not wanting to set a bad example for the impressionable youth of the nation, Jackson decided to follow his physicians’ orders and spend more of his little free time on the court. THN proclaimed the President’s informal wardrobe as “a disservice and a disgraced to the hallowed hallways in which Mr. Jackson resides.”


Above: President Jesse Jackson at the White House, wearing a sports hoodie from Bennett College, c. April 5, 2005

Most media outlets criticized the report as being “shallow,” “weak” and “clearly biased journalism.” As the story spread online, celebrities and comedians commented on the controversial coverage as well. For example, comedian Jon Stewart noted on his TV show, Late Night With Jon Stewart (1992-2007) that the story said more about the kind of quality one could expect from THN than it said about President Jackson. “This is their front line of attack? I’m dumbfounded. And they’re just dumb. This, if anything, actually just shows how great Prezy-JJ is. Because this, apparently, is the worst thing he’s ever done. Not covering up a sex scandal, or invading another country, or inciting racial violence. He’s worse – he wore a hoodie! Oh my god! Move over Jeremiah Denton, Larry Miles Dinger, Buz Lukens and Bernie Goetz – we’ve found someone worse than all of you.”

– Joy Lisi Rankin’s Computers: A People’s History of the Information Machine, Westview Press, 2018

…Education funding was a more serious line of opposition taken by Republican talking heads at the beginning of Jackson’s second term. Baseless accusations of “pork barrel” spending (i.e. funds provided by taxpayers being given to special interest groups) at the Department of Education led by Secretary Dudley W. Dudley included claims that the department’s emphasis on assisting underfunded schools was the same as giving “illegal preferential treatment” to low-income neighborhoods, even though such systems were essentially repealed under the Bellamy administration. With Republicans basically locked out of control thanks to the Democratic Trifecta in congress, the Jackson White House did not struggle to pass education reform, but it did struggle to fight back against the claims of “pork barrel politics” running rampant in both the Executive and Legislative branches – claims that would play a significant role in the 2006 midterms...

– author A’Lelia Bundles’ Consequential: The Presidency of Jesse Jackson, Random House, 2015

REQUIEM MASS: Over 4 Million Travel To Vatican City In Mourning To Pay Respects To John Paul II

The Boston Globe, 4/8/2005


The New York Times, 4/12/2005

…All 117 eligible members of the College of Cardinals participated in the selection process, with ecumenical debate concerning the direction of the church being the main theme of the first night on which the papal conclave convened. At 87 and suffering from health issues, Oscar Romero of El Salvador was not seriously considered for the position of pope. Instead, Romero kept track of how his fellow cardinals voted. According to his journals, publishing shortly after his death in 2015, Francis Arinze began at fifth place on the first ballot (7), behind Camillo Ruini (8), Joseph Ratzinger (14), Carlo Martini (18), and Jorge Bergoglio (25) but ahead of Adrianus Simonis (5), Dario Castrillon Hoyos (3), and Peter Turkson (2) (35 votes went to “others”). With Ratzinger and Martini losing support to Arinze on the second ballot (Ruini (14), Arinze (18), Ratzinger (19), Martini (23), and Bergoglio (31); 12 votes went to “others”), both men bowed out of contention in support of Arinze and in opposition to presumed frontrunner Bergoglio. On the third ballot, Arinze shot up from fourth place to second (Ruini (24), Arinze (40), and Bergoglio (42); 11 votes went to “others”), as conservative cardinals rallied behind Arinze in the face of Bergoglio being viewed as being too liberal for the papacy. By the time of the fourth and final ballot, only Bergoglio and Arinze, each representing a different direction for the church, remained in contention.

On April 19, with a margin of 74-to-43, the new and 265th pope was selected...

– Robert Blair Kaiser’s Church In Search of Itself: Pope Patrick And The Battle For The Future, Knopf Books, 2019

…The papal conclave in Vatican City has just announced that they have elected a successor to the late Pope John Paul II. They have announced that the next leader of the Catholic Church is Cardinal Francis Arinze, a principal advisor to Pope John Paul II. Arinze’s selection is one for the history books because Arinze is of African descent, born and raised in Nigeria. Arinze became internationally known back in 1967, when he, as the newly-appointed Archbishop of Onitsha, Nigeria, offered help and guidance to refugees during the Nigerian Civil War [1]. His accomplishments there led to his appointment to the church’s Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue in 1979, which was followed by Arinze serving in various other capacities within the church over the years, making Arinze very well-qualified for the papacy. The selection of Arinze, age 72, will no doubt send shockwaves throughout the religious and geopolitical worlds much like the selection of Pope John Paul II...

– The Overmyer Network, 4/19/2005 broadcast

…The selection of Arinze as the Catholic Church’s first Black Pope was not meant to win over Black people in Africa and parts of the Americas with race, but was actually meant to win over conservatives. The truth is that the pick was as a response, a backlash, to the rise in same-sex marriage legalization across the western world, with national legalization in the US and Spain being the most prominent recent law changes. Pope John Paul II, while sympathetic to the BLUTAG cause, was nevertheless critical of these legal turns of events, and many of the papal electors believed that “a strong moral compass” similar to Pope John Paul II was needed. However, said electors also thought that a “historic” selection would win over younger generations and non-whites as well. And with the Bishop from Nigeria being of fairly conservative mind (opposing homosexuality due to witnessing the horrors of the ISFV Crisis in Africa during the 1980s, opposing members of the cloth marrying, and upholding traditional papal procedures during the conclave), the church’s conservative cardinals had found their candidate in Francis Arinze.

When it came to choosing a pontifical name, Arinze wanted to use one not used before. Names considered included Anthony (after St. Anthony of Padua), Augustine, Seminarian, Sylvester, Thomas (after St. Thomas Aquinas), Ambrose (after St. Ambrose), Raphael, Jude, Lando, Bernard (after St. Bernard of Clairvaux), and Dometius. However, in the end, Arinze chose the name Patrick (after St. Patrick, the patron saint of Nigeria).

Pope Patrick is the first pope to have been born on the continent of Africa since Pope #49, Pope Gelasius I, who ruled from 492 A.D. to 496 A.D.…

– Robert Blair Kaiser’s Church In Search of Itself: Pope Patrick And The Battle For The Future, Knopf Books, 2019


…US Senator Ralph Nader (I-CT), who has played a major role on Capitol Hill in recent weeks, is castigating Democrats who believe the latest “financial fairness improvement” legislation will “negatively impact our high-tax economy by forcing major companies to move their entire operations to other countries,” warns US Senator Kent Conrad (D-ND)…

The Washington Post, 4/22/2005


…In the ten years of marriage that Marilyn Monroe and Henry Belafonte have shared, both have maintained semi-retirement status, appearing in only a few films and television programs, plus the occasional charity cause, as the two 78-year-olds make the most out of their twilight years together...

The Hollywood Reporter, 4/23/2005


The New York Times, 4/24/2005

…In a public announcement, California Governor John L. Burton, currently embroiled in a legal and judicial battle over a sexual pestering scandal, has revealed his intention to resign from office effective noon tomorrow, citing recent inability to work with state lawmakers. This will make Lieutenant Govenror Debbie Cook the new Governor of California…

– KNN Breaking News bulletin, 4/26/2005 broadcast


– The Los Angeles Times, 4/28/2005


The Washington Post, 5/5/2005

“I bet the real reason why it’s taking so damn long to grant DC and Puerto Rico statehood has nothing to do with figuring out what the feds get to keep. They’re treating it like it’s some kind of divorce settlement, they’re bickering over how much the feds get. Three electoral votes and the car, or the National Mall and the Senate gets visitation rights. Get out of here with that! Because you know what? I bet it’s because the feds know that nobody can remember the names of all 50 states. Hear me out. 52’s gonna be asking too much from us. At my last family reunion, there were over 50 of us – so, you know, a small turnout – and I didn’t remember even half their names. If they’re family, and I can’t remember their names, how am I supposed to remember the names of 50 states, half of which I don’t even care about? I’m tellin’ you, 52 states is going to be too much. 50’s got a nice ring to it, it’s nice, half-a-hundred. Right? So you know what? I say they merge some states together to keep the states at 50. Yeah. This way, there won’t be so much spending, you know, of the so many millions of dollars that’ll go into making all new 52-star flags. And for states merging, personally, I say we reconnect the Dakotas and give Delaware to whoever wants whatever’s in Delaware. And, you know what, let’s go even farther and simplify the names. Wyoming should be South Montana. Nebraska should be North Kansas. Idaho should be Practically North Alabama. And Alaska should Really Far North Colorado. There. Problem solved.”

– actor/comedian Marlon Lamont Wayans, 5/6/2005


With today being the ten-year anniversary of Lee Iacocca’s assassination and news stories online showering him with praise, and even far-left and far-right sites have something positive to say about him, I can’t help but wonder how much of his memory and Presidency is being looked at through rose-colored glasses and euphoric nostalgia. Personally, I think he was a good president, but not as great as everyone remembers him as being. His foreign policy was schizophrenic and his domestic policy was lackluster. Thoughts?

COMMENT 1: I know he was a good man, but he wasn’t perfect. That’s why his legacy has some negative sides – lots of people hate Asians because of him.

COMMENT 2: No, he hated Japan’s unfair trading practices and China’s treatment of minorities. That’s government, not citizenry. Lee-I was a great man and a great President!

COMMENT 3: Would he have won re-election?

RELPY 1 to COMMENT 3: Hell yes, it would have been a 50-state sweep!

REPLY 2 to COMMENT 3: No, his handling of the economy would have done him in.

REPLY 3 to COMMENT 3: It depends on who’d run against him. Many people forget that the reason why we got 75-year-old John Glenn as the nominee that year was because more formidable possible candidates like Mario Cuomo, Ralph Nader, and Jerry Litton (and even Bob Ross or Carol Bellamy, maybe) knew they’d lose to the successor of a martyr, and so either didn’t run for didn’t launch a serious campaign. Without the assassination, the primaries would have had many more and more serious candidates.

REPLY 4 to COMMENT 3: It would depend on what happens with Korea. If we end up in a stalemate, maybe a Gravelite would have won. If no war breaks out under Lee, maybe he wins re-election and the war happens soon after (though hopefully still before Kim develops WMDs). Lots of variables at play here!

COMMENT 4: I think that, had he lived, he would have handled Korea about the same as Dinger did. Yes, Dinger had more foreign policy experience, but I think Iacocca would have relied more on the suggestions of the generals and it would have ended pretty much the same way.

REPLY 1 to COMMENT 4: I disagree, I think he would have acted too slowly and more people would have died.

COMMENT 5: Iacocca made me proud to be an American! Here was a guy who worked hard to become a success, designing cool cars, keeping Chrysler from going bankrupt, and improving baseball’s reputation and management problems as MLB Commissioner. He did alright as President. I would have voted for him again in ’96!

COMMENT 6: Most people ignore his feud with Japan because of his personality. He was the kind of guy you felt like you could sit down and have a beer with. He’s going to be mourned and missed for years more to come.

COMMENT 7: He was okay, I guess. It sucked how he died, though. But at least we got some gun reform from it, as morbid as it may sound.

REPLY 1 to COMMENT 7: It was a conspiracy – anti-gun people shot him to make guns look bad!

REPLY 1 to REPLY 1 to COMMENT 7 (moderator): You are getting really close to being banned, dude. Cut it out now.

COMMENT 8: Lee Iacocca was the first President I ever voted for. He was a great leader and would have done even more if he had served for two full terms.

COMMENT 9: R.I.P., Lee – we still miss you.

–, thread opened 5/9/2005


…T. Boone Pickens, a business magnate, financier and corporate investor with a net worth of roughly $1.4billion, is calling for an energy policy that he believes will reduce American dependence on foreign energy. Calling it “The Pickens Plan,” the $1trillion-dollar proposal would connect hundreds of new wind turbine farms together into a “supergrid” that would lower our country’s spending on foreign oil down by 80% in ten years. “A national transmission grid will prevent Chinese energy hegemony and promote national energy independence,” says Boone. Documentary filmmaker Albert Gore Jr., who has studies Global Climate Disruption for over 20 years, believes that an electric supergrid could cut down greenhouse gas production and benefit anti-GCD endeavors, saying “with the way the technology is advancing, the amount of land that would be needed for the supergrid’s electricity transmission corridors, is getting smaller, and new designs and concept could minimize the amount of land affected by such a project.”…

–, 5/14/2005 e-article


– The Ottumwa Courier, Iowa newspaper, 5/17/2005

…The Senate requested additional editions and revisions to the Puerto Rico statehood bill over a proposed “exit clause,” which would allow the new state to leave on the grounds “domestic choice,” via statewide referendum. The author of the revision, Senator Helen Chenoweth (R-ID), quietly added it to the first Senate version of the bill via her spot on the review committee, and claimed that without it, “joining the union will be irresponsible, because it is undemocratic to force people to stay in the union.” President Jesse Jackson agreed with Democrats and several Republicans that keeping the clause would “open the floodgates” for separatists and secessionists nationwide, from far-right militia groups out west to former US Senator Peter Diamondstone (LU-VT), who was calling for more Marxist legislation in Vermont state government from his new radio show in Brattleboro. As a result, the proposed proviso was quickly shot down…

– researcher Brenda J. Hargis’ Emboldening: The Jesse Jackson Presidency, Sunrise Publications, 2017

WHAT’S IN A NAME?: Washington, D.C. Residents Divided Over New Name Proposals

…Some are calling for the retaining of the name “Washington, D.C.” but changing “D.C.” to stand for “Douglass Community” or “Democratic Commonwealth” or something similar, instead of for “District of Columbia”. Other suggestions include Columbia, New Columbia, Potomac, and Douglass…

…we would still have a federal district, just one that only encompasses the capitol building, the supreme court building, the White House, the National Mall, several monuments and parks, and the military installations near downtown WDC…

Time Magazine, mid-May 2005 issue

Meanwhile, across the Atlantic, conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo was reaching crisis levels. Rich in natural resources but lacking the political stability needed to establish the infrastructure that would improve both extraction and domestic benefits, and plagued by a history of its people being exploited and starved, the DRC had been ruled with an iron fist by Mobutu Sese Seko (who renamed the country “Zaire”) from 1965 until his death in 1997. Near the end of his rule, guns smuggled in from the former North Korea in 1996 through the robust Zairian Black Market aided anti-government forces demanding democratization and a legal economy to improve the country’s standard of living. Hutus and Tutsis, persecuted by the Zairian government for decades, allied with anti-government leaders such as left-wing politician-turned-guerilla leader Etienne Tshisekedi (b. 1932), Lumumbist tactician Adolphe Muzito (b. 1957), Tutsi militant Laurent Nkunda (b. 1967), political theorist Ernie Wamba (b. 1942) and Rwanda-based black market businessman Jean-Pierre Bemba (b. 1962).

Upon Mobutu Sese Seko’s death in office, his 27-year-old son Nzanga Mobutu declared himself President, but failed to win enough political and military support as Etienne Tshisekedi was seen as a more legitimate successor. The subsequent Civil War saw Nzanga overthrown in 1998, only for Tshisekedi to be assassinated by a member of his own ministry over an economics debate in September 2004. His successor, Adolphe Muzito, was killed by a Hutu extremist just five months later. Another power struggle ensued, culminating in Jean-Pierre Bemba besting Ernie Wamba for the top spot.

Unfortunately, Bemba believed his position in power was shaky, and with Tutsi communities in eastern Congo opposing his reign, Bemba launched a program to have prominent Tutsis “disappear,” which soon escalated into ethnic cleansing programs in eastern Congo. By the end of May 2005, the country was in a state of Civil WR once more, with forces loyal to Bemba fighting with anti-government Tutsi-allied militant guerilla, led by Nkunda in the east, Wamba in the north, and Moise Katumbi in the south.

The rising death count estimates being reported by watchdog groups caught the attention of the White House, leading to President Jackson to seriously consider mounting a US-led multinational act of military intervention.

– researcher Brenda J. Hargis’ Emboldening: The Jesse Jackson Presidency, Sunrise Publications, 2017

…On May 30, 2005, the House voted and narrowly passed the Medical Marijuana Decriminalization Bill – and House planned to vote on decriminalizing recreational marijuana and legalizing medical marijuana before the end of Jackson’s second term. Specifically, the RMD&MML Act, first proposed in 1997, would remove cannabis from the Controlled Substances Act and erase certain nonviolent, non-repeat cannabis criminal records, according to a statement made by House Speaker Barbara Kennelly’s office. If passed, the states would still have to vote to legalize recreational marijuana, which already has been done in eleven states. This would be a historic moment for the legalizing marijuana movement, with former Governor Cheech Marin declaring it “the most significant reform in half a century.”

Cannabis had been a schedule I drug, often known as a “recreadrug” to distinguish it from pharmaceutical drugs, ever since the Harmful Substances Act of 1966. The law, which was passed under President Sanders, defines it as having “a high potential for addiction and abuse,” and cited it having “no known medical benefits whatsoever,” despite then-prominent Tim Leary arguing otherwise. This bill would essentially reverse the 1966 bill by making marijuana no longer illegal at the federal level, and devolving laws and regulation-making responsibilities down to the states. Some states may not allow recreational drug sales even if the ban is removed, similar to how “wet” and “dry” counties can still be found in states across the country.

But at the time, recreadrug legalization advocates took the moment to celebrate the MMD bill’s passing, as it passed the Senate 52-to-47 and was signed into law by President Jackson later that year…

– author A’Lelia Bundles’ Consequential: The Presidency of Jesse Jackson, Random House, 2015

…Talk of sending our soldiers to fight “someone else’s war” brought about the ire of the isolationist Gravel faction of the Democratic Part, with even Vice President Wellstone suggesting that armed intervention would only worsen the conflict, extending its scope and raising the death tally. Debate on the hill over the merits of intervention ensued, with opponents to such a move being found in large numbers on both sides of the political aisle.

Finally, after weeks of contemplation, Jackson came out in support of the unofficial “Kivu alliance” of anti-government guerrilla, condemning President Bemba and sending “advisory personnel” to the neighboring country of Uganda, which was being used as a base of operations for some guerrillas. However, Jackson did not send in military troops, though he reportedly did discuss the situation with UN Secretary-General Carol Bellamy. His decision appeased nobody, it seems, because Gravelites saw the “glorified gun range instructors” went against non-interventionism while many warhawks, including myself, saw this to be a very weak response, as if he was admitting that his military budget cuts had compromised our armed forces.

Nevertheless, Jackson’s decision, while controversial, polarizing, and highly unpopular, was historic because it marked the first obvious time in which the US government backed a left-wing group over a right-wing group in a foreign conflict...

…Fortunately for him, Jackson would response to the conflict more assertively in early 2006…

– John J. Polonko Jr.’s All’s Fair: What War Makes Necessary, Hachette Book Group USA, 2017 edition

…According to Israeli officials ranging from Prime Ministers Ariel Sharon and Dr. Yosef “Yossi” Beilin to the US Ambassador to Israel and the Israeli Ambassador to the US, Jesse Jackson was highly critical of the Israeli government, viewing occasional scandal outbreaks and signs of internal corruption. He reportedly told his US Ambassador to Israel in early June 2005 that “if constant warfare ever returns to the Middle East, you know it’ll be Israel’s fault.” In a 2011 interview, former PM Beilin referred to Jackson as being “more against the Israeli government than any other American President in history, even more so than Colonel Sanders, who only reluctantly took our side during the War in 1967.”…

– David Tal’s US Strategic Arms Policy After the Cold War: Globalization & Technological Modernization, Routledge, 2020

…Nebraska has become the latest state to approve of the National Initiative Amendment passed by Congress two years ago, as that state’s unicameral legislature voted “yea” on the NIA subject earlier today…

– ABC Morning News, 6/5/2005

“A HISTORIC DAY”: SENATE PASSES DC STATEHOOD AMENDMENT, 67-32! Will Be Sent Out Immediately To The States For Ratification

…Republican Senators Bill Weld and Herman Cain joined the 2 Independent and 63 Democrats voting “yea” on this landmark legislation…

The Washington Post, 6/10/2005

…By the summer of 2005, Saudi Arabia’s goal of landing a manned vessel on the moon were being to grow in popularity. The construction of the launch and testing sites created regional jobs and made Israeli tech companies more willing to invest in the supposedly regional endeavor. For example, Stratus Technologies signed a deal to began working with the Saudi Arabian Space Center, or Markaz Alfada Alsaeudii (MAA) in Arabic, on June 11, 2005…

– Madawi al-Rasheed’s The History of Modern Saudi Arabia, Sunrise Books, 2019 edition

…Because said Montana county clerk and self-declared “moral objector” who refused to recognize same-sex marriage upon its nationwide legalization in 2003 was an elected official, she could not be fired, only impeached or voted out of office. With the next election not being until 2006, and the GOP-majority state congress refusing to impeach her, the newly-elected Governor Judge had the law clerk arrested in February for refusing to issue legal licenses, a primary function of her job. After two weeks, she was released, but due to state law, had still been the county clerk and recorder while in prison. Soon after, the ACLU’s lawsuit against the clerk culminated in the case’s judge ruling in favor of the ACLU on June 14.

Nevertheless, the clerk continued to serve, refusing to resign on religious grounds. As a result, Governor Judge called for a changing to state service rules to make anyone serving time in jail to be ineligible for elected office while serving said time. In the meantime, Governor Judge urged all same-sex couples in Montana to obtain marriage licenses from other county clerks in the state.

Meanwhile, in that same month, a new licensing controversy was gaining media attention. In North Platte, Nebraska, a city law clerk was fired for refusing to issue a marriage license to a man and his transgender (MTF) girlfriend, bringing the “T” in “BLUTAGO rights” right to the forefront of the national discussion as the former city official sought to sue the city for religious discrimination…

– Brandon Teena’s The Rise of BLUTAG Rights: The Story of the Bi-Lesbian-Undefined-Trans-Asexual-Gay Movement, Scholastic, 2019


…A day commemorating not the cessation of slavery, as in when the end of slavery was announced via the Emancipation Proclamation of September 22, 1862, but instead when the last slaves were freed, upon news of the Emancipation Proclamation reaching slaves in Texas on June 19, 1865. President Jesse Jackson is backing a legislative effort to make this day a federal holiday. A joyous day meant to educate and celebrate, the day is often celebrated by African-Americans as “second Independence Day” of sorts; however, the anniversary is nay recognized as a state holiday in seven states – Texas, Oklahoma, Georgia, South Carolina, Minnesota, Chicago, and Florida...

The Washington Post, 6/19/2005


– US President Jesse Jackson meets with former South African President Nelson Mandela during trip to Cape Town, South Africa, 6/22/2005

…I tried to find a more permanent vessel on which I could showcase my thespian diversity, only for each new gig to be temporary and lacking. I think the lowest point on the TV side of things was being on the US version of the UK’s “The Sketch Show.” For movie, the worst job offer was providing the voice of Rothbart on “Barbie of Swan Lake 2: Rothbart’s Return,” a direct-to-MLD [Micro-LaserDisc] abomination of a CRI production and an insult to the legacy and memory of Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. Still, I gave it my best performance, and not even my six-year-old daughter enjoyed the picture overall. I think that that may have done it for me – the lack of promising projects pouring in from an industry that still saw me as a one Frasier Crane.

The one thing that did it for me was the revolving door of governors in my home state of California, each one seemingly worse than the last in one category or another. I remember one point in the summer of 2005, during a family outing, I was trying to rest at a picnic table with my wife when I heard over the radio – a quick perusal of other channels while she was answering a call – that whoever was governor then has passed yet another tax hike on the upper classes. It was offensive how those big-wig fat cats viewed the rich in such poor light. And so after a long rant about it, My Heart’s Darling said to me, either out of loyalty or frustration (I’d like to think the former, but the latter is more likely), “Why don’t you do something about it, already?!”

And then I did something that so many husbands seldom do – actually follow the lady-of-the-house’s advice…

– Kelsey Grammer’s second autobiography “So Far, So Good,” Dutton Press, 2021


The Washington Post, 6/27/2005

WE NOW HAVE A 51ST STATE! President Jesse Jackson Signs Puerto Rico Statehood Bill Into Law!

The New York Times, 7/4/2005

…America’s newest state governor is Rocky Versace, the former US Secretary of Defense who oversaw military tactics during the Second Korean War, and who has been serving as the Governor of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico since 2001. Versace, a moderate Republican, is obligated to appoint two senators to the US Senate, while special elections will determine who will hold the five new seats that have been added to the US House of Representatives. And today, Governor Versace has chosen Puerto Rico’s Attorney General, Luis Fortuno, and state Senator Norma Burgos, both members of the island’s New Progressive Party, which was ideologically closer to the GOP than to the Democratic Party, to join the US Senate…

– NBC News, 7/5/2005

IOC Session No. 117

Date: July 6, 2005

Location: Singapore

Subject 1 of 1: Bidding For Hosting The 8/29/2012-9/9/2012 (or XIV) Summer Olympics

Inspection teams evaluated candidate cities based on accommodations, environmental impact, prior experience, financial impact, legal issues, local public opinion, safety and security standards, transportation feasibility, and the newest high-ranking criteria, sanitation procedures.


Cape Town, S.A. – 26 (Round 1) – 53 (Round 2)

Tehran, Iran – 27 (Round 1) – 29 (Round 2)

N.Y.C., U.S. – 18 (Round 1) – 21 (Round 2)

Seoul, United Korea – 15 (Round 1) (withdrew)

Moscow, Russia – 11 (Round 1) (withdrew)

Barcelona, Spain – 6 (Round 1)

End Result: Cape Town won on the second round

“Alright, alright, let me explain this, let me breakdown this process. When D.C. becomes a state, and the land directly owned by the federal government is going to be carved out from the center – just the federal buildings connected to each other by streets, parks, and the central mall. That’s the Federal Washington DC, the rest is the State of Washington DC, and with Washington State, the US will now have three ‘Washingtons’ to the confusion of millions, unless one of them goes with a new name. I think maybe we should just call the federal district either ‘The Capitol,’ or simply ‘The Federal District.’ It’s cold, but it’s accurate. New special elections for the new House seat and two new Senate seats would be held in this or next November, it depends on how quickly the state legislators will sign off on the amendment. If you look back in history, you will see that ratification can takes just a few months, or a few years. We’re trying to make this case be more like the former kind, if you understand me. Now, despite D.C. clearly favoring Democrats and Puerto Rico leaning Republican, I think Democrats and their affiliates on the island can perform very well in the five Puerto Rican special elections. And, yes, there was, earlier on, debate over a rather tedious demand from some activists that D.C. become the 51st due to the district being a part of the US longer than has Puerto Rico, but the administration’s aim is to get both political entities representation. For that goal, the order that they join the union doesn’t really matter. Finally, I hear D.C. Mayor Jarvis want to make Eleanor Norton and David Schwartzman the State of DC’s first Senators. She has my support on that, for both picks, if true.”

– Bern Sanders, NYC radio discussion, 7/7/2005

VIOLENCE ESCALATING IN CONGO: Should We Intervene Militarily?

…a humanitarian crisis is unfolding in central Africa as a complicated warfront featuring government officials killing civilians and rogue soldiers and guerillas competing for control. The hostility is putting millions of innocent civilians in harm’s way, and it seems that efforts by the U.N. to bring opposing sides to the negotiating table have been unsuccessful…

The Baltimore Sun, Maryland newspaper, 7/11/2005

The 2005 NDRR Presidential Election was held in the National Democratic Republic of Russia (Natsional’no-Demokraticheskaya Republika Rossiya) on July 27, 2005. Incumbent President Nina Lobkovskaya was eligible for a second term, but due to her low approval ratings, criticism of her handling of the 2001-2004 SARS pandemic, and her own declining health, she announced in early 2004 that she would not run for re-election. As a result of this announcement, the election saw a large number of candidates run in party primaries or in the general election as independents.


Candidates (7):

Oleg Malyshkin, b. 1951 (National/Iron Fist) was the Governor of Rostov Oblast since 2000, whose authoritarian measures were credited with keeping SARS cases there far below the national average; the former mining engineer has previously served as the country’s Energy Minister from 1997 to 2000.

Valentina Matviyenko, b. 1949 (Motherland) made a career out of being a diplomat, serving most recently as Russia’s Ambassador to China; after being passed over for the position of Ambassador to the UN, she announced she was running to improve Russia’s standing on the world stage.

B Vladimir Potanin, b. 1961 (independent) is a billionaire entrepreneur who served as First Deputy PM of Russia from 1995 to 1998; he supported deregulating the free markets and improving trade relations with the Middle East, and restructuring the nation’s tax system.

Mikhail Prokhorov, b. 1965 (independent), another billionaire in the race, won his fortune through nickel and palladium mining and smelting companies, and more recently through tungsten extraction for solar panels; he supported an “open markets” trading system and improving relations with the US.

Sergey Shoygu, b. 1955 (Democratic) was Russia’s Minister of Emergency Situations of Russia from 1995 until he was sacked by Nina Lobkovskaya, claiming he had not done enough in response to SARS, and replaced by Ruslan Tsalikov; the firing led to him mounting his first bid for higher officer, and through his candidacy supported using the military to respond to national crises such as distributing vaccines and food during trying times.

Grigory Yavlinsky, b. 1952 (Progressive), a former journalist known for opposing corruption and supportive social support programs, is an economist and former Chair of the National Assembly’s Economic Management Committee; he is a socially liberal, economically center-left, and pro-(Western) European.

Vladimir Zhirinovsky, b. 1946 (Strong Arm), a radio commentator and former member of the National Assembly, made headlines in is first Presidential run by spouting populist and nationalist rhetoric reminiscent of the US’s Bernie Goetz; Zhirinovsky pledged to have a “perfect” SARS vaccine by 2007 and to put on trial several politicians he held responsible for Russia’s SARS death toll being “higher than it ever should” have been.



In the July 13 “primary round,” Malyshkin won over enough middle class voters concerned over family safety to come in first place (25.6%), while Potanin, as one of the country’s richest men, won over enough upper class backers, donors, and middle class voters interested in economic recovery to win second place (23.4%), narrowly advancing to the runoff instead of initial frontrunner Yavlinsky, who came in third place (22.9%). Zhirinovsky came in fourth place (12.4%) and Shoygu won fifth place (7.3%), while the lack of name recognition and the loss of backers and donors to Potanin led to Prokhorov coming in sixth place (4.3%). Matviyenko came in last place (2.4%).

Malyshkin and Potanin advancing to the runoff meant that the election would continue the “hairy-bald” pattern regardless of who won because both runoff candidates were bald, and, in fact, had been the only bald men in the race. Ahead of the July 27 “runoff round,” Malyshkin promoting the implantation of a “flat tax rate” system to streamline the tax system, while Potanin expressed interest in cutting taxes on businesses big and small. On the night in question, Malyshkin won 59.7% of the vote to Potanin’s 40.3%…


FIRST LADY JACKSON: “Jesse Louis Jackson Junior, what is the matter with you?”

JESSE JACKSON Jr.: “Nothing, mom.”

FIRST LADY JACKSON: “You’ve been down in the dumps all day today!”

MICHELLE ROBINSON-JACKSON: “He lost his job at the law firm, Jackie.”

JESSE JACKSON Jr.: “Michelle, please…”

MICHELLE ROBINSON-JACKSON: “She’s your mother, Jess. She would have found out, you know.”

FIRST LADY JACKSON: “Jesse! What do you mean they fired you? Answer me.”

“I lashed out at a client and they took their account elsewhere. I don’t know why I did it. Usually, when someone says something that really jabs me the wrong way, I let it go, but today, I-I just couldn’t.”

FIRST LADY JACKSON: “But you’ve done so much for the firm. Surely they didn’t forget that.”

JONATHAN JACKSON: “Surely they didn’t forget who you’re dad is.”

JESSE JACKSON Jr.: “Hey, shut up, Jon! I’m not going to rely on our dad like I'm some bratty young punk rich kid. This was my screw-up, I’ll deal with it.”

MICHELLE ROBINSON-JACKSON: “Honey, relax, you’ll get another job. Who wouldn’t want you working for them?”

JESSE JACKSON Jr.: “I can think of at least three people. Their names are beside mine on all my business cards. Which I now realize I’ll have to get replaced! Damn it!”


JESSE JACKSON Jr.: “Sorry, Ma, sorry. >deep breath< Okay. Okay, I’m better. I’m okay. I’m okay…”

– White House security camera audio recording, c. July 2005


…now that the Aires Project has concluded, President Jesse Jackson has announced a “re-prioritization” of federal funding, saying that “much is needed for the funding of key social services provided by the federal government.” The White House’s press secretary explained this afternoon that “In order to not violate the Balanced Budget Amendment, it was either diminish NASA funding by roughly 30%, or raise taxes. Think about that – the choice was either NASA budget cuts, or tax hikes.”…

The Washington Post, 8/1/2005

SUKARNOPUTRI ELECTED PRESIDENT OF INDONESIA; Will Be That Nation’s First Democratically-Elected Female Head of State

…the election was unique in that it featured the children of the opposing leaders of the Indonesian Civil War of the 1960s competing for the Presidency after incumbent President Sudharmono (b. 1927) retired due to waning popularity. Megawati Sukarnoputri (b. 1947), the former Vice President and the daughter of former President Sukarno, easily won over the incredibly corrupt businessman Tommy Suharto (b. 1962), the son of former President Suharto, in a very generous landslide…

The Los Angeles Times, 8/2/2005


…“The California branch of the Democratic Party is too moderate,” says Governor Debbie Cook, “My views and priorities are more in line with those of the progressive and eco-friendly policies of the Green Party.” The announcement comes after weeks of heated debate in Sacramento over several of Cook’s proposed policies. Cook also announced that she has convinced her Lieutenant Governor, former state assemblyperson Audie Bock, to change her official party registration from Democratic to Green as well…

The New York Times, 8/9/2005

On August 15, 2005, Kirkwood, MO resident Charles Lee Thornton, 49, attempted to assassinate Jesse Jackson at the White House. Thornton held Jackson and his “oppressive commie-red tape” responsible for his latest business venture, a construction company, failing to pass a city code inspection in January 2004 and being shut down in February 2005 the wake of mounting legal fees. Thornton drove a van to the White House front gate and planned to smash through the gate with it, but misjudged the strength of the gate and crashed the van into it instead. The crash rendered Thornton unconscious and police uncovered illegally-acquired hunting rifles, hand grenades and C4 in the van upon immediate inspection. When interrogated by police, Thornton confessed to attempting to assassinate Jackson, as Thornton believed that Wellstone would “look out for his fellow whites.” Thornton did not learn that the Vice President was Jewish, and that the President was meeting with state lawmakers in Baltimore at the time of his attack, until during his trial in 2006. In 2007, he was sentenced to 30 years for attempted murder, illegal firearm purchases, and shoplifting. He is eligible for parole in 2027.



The Washington Post, 8/22/2005

…Hurricane Katrina made landfall on the 29th, giving severe damage to the gulf coast, killing hundreds and leaving behind billions of US dollars in damages…


Above: an aerial image of Katrina

…New Orleans Mayor Mary Landrieu began evacuating the city relatively early, on the morning of the 27th, because most of that city is below sea level and Katrina’s projected storm surges had the potential to possibly send water above levee tops, causing major flooding. President Jackson declared a State of Emergency later that same day, while concurrently, the Coast Guard began prepping rescue aircraft and other procedures and equipment. On Sunday the 28th, President Jackson prayed with several advisors before meeting with the Administrator of ODERCA and teleconferencing with the Governors of Louisiana and Mississippi; all agreed with implementing evacuation measures and other emergency measures.


…Most major roads in and out of New Orleans were damaged, and urban high rises received extensive window damage. The city’s Superdome’s waterproof outer membrane as peeled off and two sections of its roof were compromised, while Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport did not flood; both locations sheltered thousands unable to evacuate the city in time...

…Hurricane Katrina at its peak intensity was a Category 5 Hurricane, with a peak strength of 1800 UTC and maximum sustained winds (for at least 1 minute) of 171mph [2]… Katrina’s surge was the highest and most extensive in the United States’ documented history, destroying coastal communities and inundating multiple counties in Mississippi and parishes in Louisiana. Biloxi and New Orleans were particularly damaged badly, as were most low-lying and coastal communities. …The total number of deaths was between 800 and 1,200 people [3], though exact numbers were difficult to determine. A plurality of the deaths were in Louisiana, and an overwhelming majority were in Louisiana and Mississippi. Over 100 people were reported “missing” or “unaccounted for.”…

…ODERCA was praised for its immediate response and the National Hurricane Center was applauded for its accurate forecasts

“We have to encourage residents to stop the looting that just started breaking out.” The President said as he took a seat near the window. He thought aloud about how, yesterday, he had reluctantly mobilized the National Guard amid reports of violence, theft, and lawlessness. “6,000 troops have been sent to Louisiana. I pray to God to do more good than harm.”

It was August 30, and President Jesse Jackson was veering out of the window as Air Force One flew over the devastated communities on their way in to Louis Armstrong International. Learning of extent of damage while flying down there, the Commander-in-Chief’s heart weighed heavy for those who hadn’t made it through.

“The rainfall and storm surge rose the level of Lake Pontchartrain, flooding its northeastern shore,” Chief of Staff Daniels informed him. “Pretty much all the parishes surrounding the lake have been hit badly. The communities of Slidell and Mandeville were the worse hit. Several bridges have been washed out, and over half a mill are without power.”

“Then we should be getting as many boats on over there as we can. Get some rescue choppers out there, too,” Jackson spoke.

“St. Bernard Parish, though, was saved by the levees nearby just barely holding back the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet. It came right up to the edge of the structures built there in 1999.”

“So New Orleans’ flood-control systems still holding up?” The President asked.

“Apart from a small breach on the south side of the city, but they’re throwing everything they got at it, and the flood damage has not been too severe. Mainly just the oversized lake is the trouble.”

“Well, thank goodness for that, at least. So, we’re doing everything we can, right?”

“Yes, sir.”

“Heh,” the President thought out loud, “You’ve got to admit, we’re getting much better at handling these kind of things. First SARS, then the tsunami, now this. If The Big One’s to hit California soon, let it be next year so we can get it over and done with.”

“Mr. President,” Counselor to the President William Antholis turned away from his phone, “Tim Johnson at the Treasury says it’s going to cost at least $70billon to cover repairs and reconstruction efforts. It’s not just homes and displaced people. Off the coast, oil rigs, platforms, refineries, the whole oil supply chain’s been damaged. We’re going to have regional gas shortages for at least a few weeks, and the gulf coast highway infrastructure’s messed up, too.”

The President asked, “Is anything else messed up?”

The cabin suddenly jolted a bit, sending Antholis to the ground and causing Daniels to slide into the seat opposite the President’s. The vessel then lurched again, and once more before stabilizing. The airplane was having a bit of an awkward descent.

“What in blue blazes?” Antholis remarked as he tried to get some mid-air sea legs.

The President could see from the window alone that they were at the runway, less than 40 feet off the ground and coming in hot, just before landing, the plane began swaying a bit, but resumed stability once touching down. Air Force One came to a halt farther down on the tarmac than planned, but was otherwise intact.

Up in the cockpit, the pilot and co-pilot were taking deep breaths when the President burst through the door. He gave a quick look to the man in the captain’s chair. He then turned to the co-pilot and asked, “Who is this man?”

“Captain Joe Hazelwood [4], sir, he’s been flying for over 30 years.”

“What happened to our regular pilot? Where’s Davis?”

“Sick leave, sir.”

“I see. Joe?”

The captain looked nervously at him, “Ye, sir?”

“Did we hit turbulence?”

“No, sir.”

“Then what was that?” The President wrinkled his brow as he breathed furiously through his nostrils.

Before the co-pilot could say something, Joe put his hand up to him and said to Jackson, “Nerves, sir. I got a bit shaky.”

Jackson took a deep breath, said “I see,” and stormed off the plane. Heading to the airport to begin the tour of the damaged city of New Orleans, the President demanded both pilots be tested: “see if that Joe guy was drinking. I don’t think I smelled jet fuel over there.”

Captain Hazelwood was back to flying for Delta Airlines by the end of September for drinking on the job.

– Nancy Skelton and Bob Faw’s Thunder In America: A Chronology of The Jesse Jackson White House, Texas Monthly Press, 2016


…the President is enlisting the help of three former Commanders-in-Chief to raise additional voluntary contributions similar to what was asked of said three after the Indian Ocean Earthquake and Tsunami of December of last year...

The Washington Post, 8/31/2005

“In gratitude for the medical relief the United States sent to India during the SARS pandemic, we are now returning favor. In gratitude for their humanitarianism, we are sending tarps, blankets, hygiene kits, and an IDF delegation transporting aid equipment, including 40 tons of food, disposable diapers, beds, blankets, and generators.”

– Indian PM (since February 2005) Sonia Maino Gandhi, 9/1/2005 announcement


…President Jackson is urging a quick amass of federal funds to assist Louisiana survivors of Hurricane Katrina. Louisiana Governor Harry Shearer and New Orleans Mayor Mary Landrieu are still collaborating on relief and rescue efforts with Rodney Slater, the head of ODERCA (Overwhelming Disaster Emergency Response Coordination Agency), and with Dr. Norman Christopher Francis, Chairman of the Louisiana Recovery Authority (the state agency in charge of planning the recovery and rebuilding of Louisiana after Hurricane Katrina swept through the state…

The Washington Post, 9/3/2005

…and in political news, Massachusetts became the eighth state to vote in favor of ratifying the proposed DC statehood amendment passed by congress earlier this year…

– KNN, 9/7/2005 broadcast


…in light of Hurricane Katrina, the Senate raised the House’s proposed amount of funding the bill aims to provide for the improving and maintaining of surface transportation infrastructure. President Jackson has announced that he will sign the bill into law “as soon as possible”…

– The Washington Post, 9/10/2005

…the admission of Puerto Rico had an immediate impact on American pop culture… …In an example of how some TV shows addressed the political development with absurdity and humor, the long-running series Futurama premiered its 2005-2006 season with an episode that opens up on a scene in which the show’s main characters watch a news report on a new planet being added to D.O.O.P. (the Democratic Order of Planets). The character Professor Farnsworth complains “I thought we were done adding planets to the list. Now we have to put another star on the flag,” and then the camera zooms out to show a large flag containing hundreds of stars…



– A screenshot from “Futurama,” Season 11, Episode 1, first aired 9/15/2005


…“If there was ever a time in our nation’s history when the military would try to overthrow the presidency, now would be it. President Jackson’s repeat slashing of military funds year after year could be his undoing. Really, all it’d take is one charismatic high-ranking military official with loyal and very well-organized backers to lead a coup against him at this point.” President Jackson should head this anonymous official’s dire warning and reverse the damage he’s done to our nation’s armed forces…

–, controversial 9/17/2005 e-article


The Chicago Tribune, 9/21/2005

The president navigated out of the Chief of Staff Ron Daniels’ office and began heading toward the Press Briefing Room on the other side of the White House West Wing, with his unofficial entourage of schedulers, aides, advisors and guards surrounding him, nearly orbiting him like a collection of moon encircling a planet. “What’s this for again?” The President asked Daniels.

“The media keeps praising the US Army Corps of Engineers for keeping the New Orleans levees from breaking.”

“Huh! The credit should be going to Cleo Fields. He’s the governor who updated those levees. All the Republican governors before him just neglected them!”

“It’s public opinion, sir. Locals saw the water come to the top but not tip over, and corps members were all over the place right afterward. Every time you turned the TV on to the coverage, there was at least one of them off to the side of the reporter, inspecting damage and whatnot. People tend to draw conclusions, sir. You can’t change the human condition.”

“Heh. I sort of wish I could.”

“Mr. President” said a voice from the door to the Cabinet Room, “I need to talk to you.” It was Ann Richards, looking less boisterous and confident than usual.

“Can it wait for a few minutes, Ann?”

“I’d rather discuss it now. Right now.”

“Alright. Ron, give us a quick second.” The President pulled himself away from his political posse and stood before Richards in the doorway. “What is it, Ann? After this, I’ve got to meet with Tim over at the Treasury. Hurricane Katrina really gutted us. You know it’s the one of the costliest cyclones on record? Nearly $80billion! [5]

“This’ll take more than a second,” Richards replied. “You got a minute?”

Jackson turned his head. “Ron?”

Daniels held up his Dell Stratus, the latest cellular calendar/phone device deemed secure enough for Presidential personnel to use. “Army Corps of Engineers congratulations bit. The people are waiting.”

The President looked at Richards and then back at Daniels. “Two minutes?”

Daniels groaned, “Alright. I’ll introduce you with a summary speech. But be quick, please.”

The Secretary of State and her boss entered the Cabinet Room. The door remained open and the Secret Service detail stood in the doorway while the rest of the entourage went on ahead. Jackson looked again at Richards; she seemed atypically low-energy, and kept looked down or very far away. “What’s wrong?” Jesse asked curiously, “Something tells me this ain’t a diplomatic thing.”

“No, I’m afraid it’s not. I’m very afraid, in fact.” Richards let out a small, almost-bitter chuckle. “You know how Jim McGovern keeps saying that the smoking will end up killing me?”

Jackson’s eyes widened, and he soon found himself shaking his head slightly. “No.”

Richards nodded solemnly. “Esophageal cancer. I just got the diagnosis [6].” Her sigh was shaky. “I really shouldn’t be surprised. Smoking like a chimney and drinking like a fish for half your life will do it to you. To anybody, in fact.”

Jackson ignored the levity. “So what now?”

“I’m going to need to seek some treatment for this. And with China and Russia in disarray and India barely backing away from the brink of oblivion...”

“Ann, if you have to resign, I completely understand.”

Ann blurted out. “I don’t have the time to beat around bushes, Jesse, not anymore, so I’ll just come right out with it. I don’t want to resign, but the doctors say it’d be in my own best interest.”

“I’ll be sad to see you go.”

Ann began, but speak, but just said, “Oh…” and made a polite dismissive hand-wave gesture.

“Really. I know we had some ups and downs during the primaries five years ago, and more at other times since then, but – ”

“Jesse, this is one of those times when you do not need to give a sermon or a lecture or a speech!” Ann exclaimed. She then let out another angry sigh, angry at the diagnosis, angry at her earlier and long-time habits. But then she breathed in deeply, and gave a reconciling sort of addendum. “I know what you want to say, Jesse. And thanks.”

“Ann, I have to say thanks. You helped me out these past five years more so than you’ll ever know.”

She smirked, “Actually, I kind of do, Jesse. I was kind of around here a lot, ya know.”

The President gave his retiring Secretary of State a sincere and sympathetic smile before heading back down the hallway.

“…and without any further delay – I mean adieu – here’s the President,” Daniels left the podium to thank Jackson’s hand. Before pulling away, Jackson noted to his Chief of Staff. “Remember, Ron – the human condition’s more complicated than any TV coverage.”

– Nancy Skelton and Bob Faw’s Thunder In America: A Chronology of The Jesse Jackson White House, Texas Monthly Press, 2016


…the logistics of evacuating tens of thousands of residents living in flood zones and most at risk during emergencies (children, the elderly, the disabled, etc.) were not planned out efficiently enough to avoid or at least minimize the deaths and highly congested traffic conditions that accompanied evacuation, critics claim…

The Austin American-Statesman, Texas-based daily newspaper, 9/27/2005


The Washington Post, 9/28/2005


…Incumbent Prime Minister Harriet Harman (Labour) won a term of her own over Ken Clarke (Conservative) and Charles Kennedy (Liberal Democrats), with the United Kingdom Intrepid Progressive Party losing two of its five seats under the leadership of Bernadette Devlin McAlister. Three other minor parties received one seat each, while indeendent candidate Peter Law won a seat in an upset…

The Daily Telegraph, UK newspaper, 30/9/2005


The Washington Post, 10/1/2005

…Scientific studies were still reporting that China was the leading contributor to greenhouse gases, ahead of amounts produced by the US, the EU, Russia and India. As a result of mounting calls from environmentalist groups, US President Jesse Jackson, by the end of his fifth year in office, was joining the international community, if not leading it at times, in multinational condemnation against the Chinese government’s “irresponsible” behavior toward efforts to lessen if not reverse the effects of Global Climate Disruption. While Jackson’s own “go-green” initiatives were not as “bold” (or “authoritarian,” depending on who one asks) as those of UK Prime Ministers John Lennon and Harriet Harman, his calls for more accountability on the world stage was a positive for scientists and activists. On the other hand, the rhetoric only worsened relations between the West and the PRC, which were still shaky ever since the start of the SARS global pandemic in 2002...

– Carl Krosinsky’s Modern China: A Complex Recent History, Borders Books, 2020

On October 7, Xavier Johannsson, a 21-year-old African-American from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania with mild behavioral issues, was arrested after trying to climb the White House fence with a knife held between his teeth. Johannsson gave false information about his identity, including his name, age, address, and even race, to the Secret Service during questioning, despite officers finding his ID on his person when he was arrested. A study of his activities on the technet revealed his posts on several discussion forums in which he “condemn[ed]” the President, saying “Jesse betrayed his own skin…he prefers helping Puerto Ricans and Jews over Blacks.” Johannsson was found not guilty on an insanity plea and sentenced to a mental health facility in 2006…

– Mel Ayton’s Hunting The President: Threats, Plots, and Assassination Attempts, Barnes & Noble Press, 2020 edition

…Earlier today, Prime Minister Harriet Harman succeeded in working with parliament to deregulate authority for licensing gambling, moving the responsibility for that subject matter from magistrate’s courts to local authorities via the Gambling Act of 2005. However, despite the bill seemingly opposing large government, this is only at glance, for the bill also tightens regulation on online gambling…

– BBC News, 13/10/2005 broadcast


…the court determined that employees can be fired for refusing to perform the “primary function” of their occupation regardless of said employee’s moral reservations. The decision could have major ramification for city employment laws…

– The Omaha World-Herald, Nebraska newspaper, 10/15/2005

…Bo Xilai soon began updating China’s military, commissioning the construction of more warships, and increasing funds for the military’s cyber warfare department and the PRC’s Air Force. …Jackson’s efforts to dismantle the US’s own nuclear stockpiles as well as the supplies found in other countries made Bo consider building up their own in secret, but ultimately backed away from the idea after considering what had happened to the land no longer called North Korea. Instead, Bo permitted the purchasing of old Russian tankers and former NK military weapons, and, additionally, increased China’s weapons trading with African countries such as Somalia, Eritrea, and Botswana...

– Carl Krosinsky’s Modern China: A Complex Recent History, Borders Books, 2020


The Washington Post, 10/22/2005


The Chicago Tribune, 10/26/2005

“It’s very telling how quickly Democratic-majority state legislatures are approving the DC statehood amendment, while I got the National Initiative Amendment through the House and the Senate over two years ago, and it still needs ten more states to be ratified. Even more telling is the fact that only Democratic-controlled states have signed off on the DC amendment, which gives the Democrats even greater partisan power, while of the 28 states that have approved the NIA, which gives more control of the law and government to the people, 15 are Republican-controlled.”

– US Senator Mike Gravel (D-CA), 10/27/2005

“Okay. Let’s make this quick. I’m very busy today. Lots of thing to do, lots of thing, let me tell you, so many, many things.”

“Alight, so I guess I’ll just skip over thanking you for letting me pitch this idea to you?”

“No, you can do that.”

“Thank you, that’s very great of you, ha! You are a great business-making man.”

“I know, I know. You can thank my smarts for my being so talented. I have the best talents, more talents than most.”

“Ha, your smarts are going to love this idea then. It’s so good, it smarts. I have idea for you. Picture this – a movie, or movie trilogy – ”

“So one or three movies”

“ – or two, maybe three – and it’s about you and me as captains of industry, big successful men – ”

“Sounds like non-fiction so far.”

“ – only for us to have to fight off a cult leader with a zombie followers who do attack at our rich places. We’re at it, we fight off them, show off how well we can act. We win. We’re the heroic heroes and we are saving the day.”

“Interesting. How much would it cost to make?”

“Well that’s why you’re in it, because despite my genius opus of The Room, I’m not made of gold, but your buildings are, so I think you could help fund it a bit. I cannot fund it alone. I cannot. I come to you because I heared you are the best.”

“I am the best.”

“And this is a best offer and if you don’t like it I’ll have to offer it to someone else who’s rich.”

“Hmm, this could be a tax write-off thingy.”

“See, that is why you are the businessing man!”

“You’re right about that, and we could film it at some of my properties – it would be free advertising! Yeah!”

“It could go a long way.”

“Is anyone else involved in this?”

“Uh, you mean if other famous people are acting in it?”

“Yeah, I think it.”

“Uh, Skeet Ulrich said no, George Clooney’s agent won’t return my calls, and I couldn’t contact Kathy Ireland. Her house has too big a fence. Very in-inviting. But you know something, Donald? We don’t need them. They’re too expensive to pay anyway.”

“Yeah, you’re right. Besides, if it’s a movie about us, we should be the main focus of it.”

“Very smart.”

“That’s right, I am. You’ve done your research on me for this meeting, I like that.”

“You’re my favorite businessing man. Hi Donald.”

“Alright, contribute to the budget. I’ll have to run it by my tax guys, my, uh, my accountant, agents, and uh, my other money guys, but yeah, I’m definitely on board for this. This could be very good for both of our careers.”

“I think we’re expected to make a lot of money on this.”

“I’m looking forward to hearing that, Tommy.”

“Yes, Donald, and that’s a promise!”

– transcript of audio recording of office meeting at Trump Sunrise Tower, Santa Monica, CA; recorded 10/29/2005 and leaked 12/17/2018

THE DOCTOR IS IN!: Hamburg Beats Catsimatidis In Landslide

…Dr. Margaret Ann “Peg” Hamburg, age 50, was a leading public health figure during the pandemic, as the SARS virus ravaged New York City while Mayor Castimatidis did little to curb it. …In mid-2002, Castimatidis came under intense scrutiny for proclaiming, “I’m not going to force people to do what is necessary for them to do to keep themselves and their loved ones safe. People can use common sense and their own judgement to make those kind of decisions for themselves, instead of demanding their politicians treat them like babies and tell them what they can and can’t do.” Tonight, the voters of New York City voiced their disagreement on this policy.

…Hamburg, an award-winning physician, was Bellamy-appointed Health Commissioner for NYC from 1989 to 2001, was the US Undersecretary of Health and Welfare for Planning and Evaluation from 2001 to 2003, and was the Commissioner of the FDA from 2003 until earlier this year, when city Democrats successfully drafted her into running against incumbent Mayor Castimatidis…

The New York Times, 11/8/2005


…Acting Governor Richard J. Codey has been in office since October 2003, when Governor J. P. O’Neill resigned for a position in the Jackson administration. Codey, as the state’s Senate Majority Leader since 1996, previously served as Acting Governor from 1997 to 1998, after Governor Maryanne Trump-Giuliani resigned for a judicial appointment, and again from 1999 to 2002, after Governor Richard Pucci resigned over a scandal. After giving a well-received speech at the 2004 DNC, the state Democratic Party finally convinced Codey to run for a term of his own. …The election tonight saw the selection of the Garden State’s first-ever lieutenant governor: Codey’s running mate, state Secretary of Education and former School Superintendent Joe Louis Clark of Paterson. Codey/Clark won over the Republican ticket (former Jersey City Mayor Bret D. Schundler and his running mate, state assemblyman Paul DiGaetano) by a margin of over ten percent, with the Green party ticket Green (former state assemblyperson Joan Little and her running mate, activist Matthew Thieke), receiving roughly 2.5% of the vote…

The Daily Record, New Jersey newspaper, 11/8/2005


…in one of a small handful of Republican victories tonight, E. W. Jackson (R), an African-American Baptist bishop, bested former national DNC Chair Terry McAuliffe by a margin of roughly 2.5%... Jackson, a longtime critic of Jesse Jackson who initially backed James Meredith in last year’s primaries before stumping for Goetz, and wants to see the US “move closer and return to the embrace of God,” will be the second African-American to serve as Governor of Virginia, with Harrison Wilson Jr. (D), who served from 1982 to 1986, being the first…

The Bristol Herald Courier, Virginia newspaper, 11/8/2005

…We can now call one of tonight’s special congressional elections. In South Carolina, state Attorney General and former state Labor Commissioner Mike Thurmond of the Democratic Party has defeated incumbent appointee Strom Thurmond Jr. of the Republican Party. The incumbent appointee campaigned heavily, with his older sister Nancy Moore Thurmond being a crowd favorite on the campaign trail, but ultimately, Strom Junior has lost by a margin of roughly three percent. The victor, Mike Thurmond, a graduate of the University of South Carolina’s School of Law who served in the state’s General Assembly from 1987 to 1999, will become the first African-American Senator from The Palmetto State…

– CBS Evening News, 11/9/2005

…Counter to the generally pro-Democrat results of the night, the GOP won back one Senate seat in a landslide, allowing them to break even in that chamber. The win was in Mississippi’s US Senate special election, where incumbent appointee Erik Fleming lost by a 20% margin to former State Auditor of Mississippi Patrick H. “Pete” Johnson, a former Democrat who is the grandson of former Mississippi Governor Paul B. Johnson Sr.…

– Gary C. Jacobson’s The Power And The Politics of Congressional Elections, Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2015


The Washington Post, 11/12/2005


…hoping to form a united front against human rights violations intensifying in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Heads of State from Tanzania, Zambia, and Uganda met with Prime Minister Harman during a conference in London for members of the OACPS (Organization of African, Caribbean, and Pacific States) to find “the best [and] most pragmatic” approach to the continuing crisis…

The Daily Telegraph, UK newspaper, 21/11/2005

HARLAND MORRISON ADAMS (11/26/1932-11/29/2005, age 73) [7]

Merritt Island, FL – Harland Morrison Adams of Snowmass, Colorado has passed away at the age of 73. Adams, the son of the late Margaret Sanders and the grandson of former US President Harland “Colonel” Sanders, had played a prominent role in the expansion of KFC locations in the southeastern US during the 1960s and 1970s, and later served as a regional manager at KFC, overseeing 100 franchise outlets across the Rocky Mountains. Adams also co-founded and co-operated Lyftoff, a ski equipment rental business, and served on the board of directors of several companies. He is survived by his wife Donna, his children Rhett and Tiffany, and his siblings Josephine Wurster and Trigg Adams...



– The Louisville Courier, Kentucky newspaper, 12/1/2005

[Vid: /watch?v= quXhZSjhDOM ]

– KFC commercial, first aired c. December 2005


The New York Times, 12/12/2005

…Harold Charles “Hal” Turner, b. 1962, is a former far-right political commentator and convicted felon from New Jersey. He is a supporter and promoter of various conspiracy theories ranging from Holocaust denial to “the Vril.” In 2007, he was tried for and convicted of attempting to hire someone to assassinate President Jesse Jackson. On December 16, 2005, Turner met with an alleged professional hitman and handed him $50,000 in cash, telling him “you’ll get the second half when the job’s done.” Upon getting clarification that he wanted the President “dead,” FBI agents filled the room and the alleged hitman revealed himself to be an undercover FBI agent. In court, Turner first confessed to the planned hit, and that he had forgotten to pat down the hitman to see if he was wearing a wire. However, Turner soon after retracted the statement, claiming that the police had forced him to sign the confession, and that he knew the man was an undercover agent and was “just testing him.” After nearly two years of litigation, Turner began his 20-year prison term for it on December 2007…

– Mel Ayton’s Hunting The President: Threats, Plots, and Assassination Attempts, Barnes & Noble Press, 2020 edition

…I had had enough of the multiple several years of atrocious governing practices spewing forth from Sacramento. First under Brown, then Rohrabacher, then Burton, and now Cook. Each raised taxes on the wrong people, inhibited our God-given freedoms with anti-productive rules and made a mockery out of The Golden State, a nickname that seemed to be becoming increasing ironic with each passing year. It didn’t matter who was serving in that Italianate eyesore they call the governor’s mansion, for the results were still the same: high taxes for the successful, restrictions on small-business enterprise, abortion-on-demand, and favoring drugged-out wannabe scriptwriters over our state’s brave police officers.

Naturally, I had fought back against such injustices before, defending our sensible laws and calling out the elitists guarding the unbalanced establishment for bordering on totalitarianism to a level far too close for my taste. I lambasted the state’s leadership’s qualities, castigating the value they seemed to have placed onto certain human lives and onto others. But I felt that I needed to do more than just stand on the sidelines.

When I announced my bid for the Republican nomination for California governor, the media didn’t know what to make of it. Of course, actors such as Ronald Reagan and George Murphy had joined CAGOP and sought public office before, but the news still came as a surprise to some of the media hellhounds who suddenly found me to be quite the interest stalking subject. While some thought it was an “unusual” publicity stunt – perhaps an attempt to garner attention before auditioning for a political drama of some kind – other dismissed it as an attempt to garner attention for the race and its “real” candidates, or even as an attempt to spend enough of my own money to avoid paying more in taxes.

But I was serious. And everyone watching soon learned just how serious I was with my bid…

– Kelsey Grammer’s second autobiography “So Far, So Good,” Dutton Press, 2021

“Hey, uh, Jesse?”


“Did Junior seem… off to you today?”

“How do you mean?”

“I mean he’s really been sulking a lot. He was ranting about having difficulty getting into the groove of the new law firm office culture during his visit earlier today, and it just seemed odd.”

“Um, why? He’s trying to adjust to a new job. We both know what that’s like.”

“But just the other day he was happy as a lark! All smiles, the whole shebang.”

“He was probably just in a good mood. Maybe he landed a big client. I’ll ask him the next time I talk to him.”

“I don’t know, Jesse.”

“Listen. Paul. People are allowed to have off days.”

“But that off?”

“Paul, just come right out and say it, huh?”

“It’s not my place to say. He’s your son, you’d know if he was…okay, you know? I mean, has he been taking medication for something. Because that could be the reason for the ups and downs, maybe.”

“Listen, there’s nothing wrong with my son. I’m his father, I should know.”

“Hey, I said it’s not my place. Don’t mean to pry. Sorry.”

“No problem.”

“But you’ll talk to him?”

“As soon as I personally see something is, ‘off,’ as you put it.”

“Fair enough.”

– White House security camera audio recording, c. December 2005

[1] Which was covered all the way back in TTL’s May 1967 (see Chapter 26 for more details)!
[2] Based on Wikipedia’s stats: The storm is slightly smaller than in OTL (OTL’s Katrina had a max wind speed of 175mph) because of the anti-GCD efforts of TTL’s past two decades (Dinger ratifying that treaty in 1996, no presidents dismissing anti-GCD reports, etc.)!
[3] Most deaths in OTL (between 1,200 and 1,800) occurred due to the levees breaking, which didn’t (exactly) happen here.
[4] Who? This guy!:
[5] The cost is much lower than OTL’s $125billion due to the New Orleans levee system not breaking down as badly here.
[6] She was diagnosed with it in March 2006 in OTL.
[7] Real person BTW

The next chapter’s E.T.A.: November 5 or November 12

1) OK. So another change that'll probably come from Jesse Jackson being President is that the more subtle or ''weird'' ads of the early and previous decade will get a longer shelf life and become more influential. Like that Xbox Mosquito ad.
2) As for the Boondocks, expect more development for Malcolm Freeman. The MLK episode? That ain't happening.
3) I do see one where he meets President Jackson and starts down the road to becoming more optimistic as a result.
4) Plus, without 9/11, Fire Coming out of The Monkey's head by Gorillaz is probably gonna be more about the SARS Epidemic if it's gonna be about anything. I wouldn't mind seeing it replace El Mañana as one of the top singles on the Demon Days album TBH.
5) Speaking of music, did Eminem ever got round to doing a cover of Stan with Freddie Mercury?

6) Also, 52 states? There's a flag for that. ^^

1) Interesting; I'll look those up
2) I agree.
3) Consider it canon!
4) I'll look them up and I'll cover the music scene of the aughts in either the 2006 chapter or the 2007 chapter
5) Excellent question; I'll discuss that collab in either the next chapter or the one after that
6) Yes, and at the moment, the flag has 51 stars, but not for very long!
Another great update
Here's another idea. Wouldn't it be interesting if the new state was called Iaccoca in honour of Lee? And I totally support the federal district being simply called ''The Capital.'' Nice sense of minimalism.
I could see it being proposed, but would it gain enough support? Iacocca has little connection to DC or to the statehood movement; I feel like a move to name it after Jesse Jackson or Frederick Douglas would garner more support, at least among locals. I also think that our capital being "The Capital" might not sit well with some. We'll see what happens!
Has Dave Ramsey considered entering politics. (OTL, he's a radio show host who lectures on finance.)
I'm not sure. At this point in TTL, he's possibly going to get a gig on the growing The Herring Network. Should he get into politics?
Never thought I'd see a sane Alex Jones in a TL...
There's a first for everything!
The culture has changed beyond recognition. When we enter the age of Video Sharing and such, nothing will be as we know it. (I wouldn't be the least bit surprised if the Y2K Aesthetic movement survived the SARS Pandemic, unlike IOTL post-9/11.) It's inevitable that Jones will be replaced ITTL. By who, I don't know.
I'll look into "the Y2K Aesthetic." And don't worry - so far, without Jones, folks like Rush Limbaugh, Wayne Allen Root, the folks behind THN, and others are filling in that void.
What's the supreme Court composition ITTL?
Chief Justice:
Alan Page - Minnesota progressive Democrat - Jackson appointee
Associate Justices:
Sylvia Bacon - left-of-center California Republican often siding with Democrat AJs - Sanders appointee
Miles W. Lord and William Nealon Jr. - liberal Democrats - Mondale appointees
Joseph Tyree Sneed III - hard-c conservative - Denton appointee
Mary Murphy Schroeder - Colorado progressive Democrat - Bellamy appointee
Emilio M. Garza and Larry Dean Thompson - moderate-to-conservative Republicans - Dinger appointees
M. J. Sandel - progressive Democrat - Jackson appointee
I have a question how is former President Denton's reputation been considering he had to resign due to a scandal?
Slightly better than Nixon's reputation was, as there was no "it's legal if the president does it" gaffe afterward.
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OK. So another change that'll probably come from Jesse Jackson being President is that the more subtle or ''weird'' ads of the early and previous decade will get a longer shelf life and become more influential. Like that Xbox Mosquito ad. As for the Boondocks, expect more development for Malcolm Freeman. The MLK episode? That ain't happening. I do see one where he meets President Jackson and starts down the road to becoming more optimistic as a result. Plus, without 9/11, Fire Coming out of The Monkey's head by Gorillaz is probably gonna be more about the SARS Epidemic if it's gonna be about anything. I wouldn't mind seeing it replace El Mañana as one of the top singles on the Demon Days album TBH. Speaking of music, did Eminem ever got round to doing a cover of Stan with Freddie Mercury?

Also, 52 states? There's a flag for that. ^^

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Here's another idea. Wouldn't it be interesting if the new state was called Iaccoca in honour of Lee? And I totally support the federal district being simply called ''The Capital.'' Nice sense of minimalism.