Chapter 97: January 2009 – June 2009
“Train people well enough so they can leave. Treat them well enough so they don’t want to.”
– Sir Richard Branson
THE WELLSTONE ADMINISTRATION AT THE START OF 2009
Vice President: former EPA Administrator Bob Ross
Secretary of State: outgoing US Ambassador to the UN, former US Ambassador to the UK, and former Governor Harvey Gantt
Secretary of the Treasury: former Assistant Treasury Secretary and former UAW VP David Alan Curson
Commissioner of Internal Revenue (the IRS): state auditor and former state representative Gregory Gray
Secretary of Defense: US Marine Corps Gen. (ret) James Logan Jones Jr.
Attorney General: incumbent Attorney General Ralph Nader
Deputy Attorney General: Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of California Joyce L. Kennard
Postmaster General: US Rep. Harry Britt
Secretary of the Interior: former Governor Larry J. Echo-Hawk
Secretary of Agriculture: United Farm Workers co-founder, labor leader, and civil rights activist Dolores Huerta
Secretary of Commerce: US Senator, former FCC division leader, attorney, and consumer rights advocate Gloria Tristani
Secretary of Labor: United Auto Workers Ronald A. “Ron” Gettelfinger
Secretary of Education: outgoing Governor Jim Hunt
Secretary of Health and Humane Services: incumbent HHS Undersecretary and former Director of the Office of Management and Budget Sylvia Mary Mathews Burwell
Secretary of Transportation: Governor Richard J. Codey
Secretary of Veterans’ Affairs: Governor Corrine Wood
Secretary of Energy, Innovation and Technology: biotechnology pioneer and Human Longevity, Inc. co-founder John Craig Venter
Secretary of Community Development: US Rep., former state senator, and ordained Pentecostal minister Rubén Diaz Sr.
Director of Central Intelligence (the CIA): incumbent CIA Deputy Director for Science and Technology, former NYC Police Chief, former police officer, and former EMT Kathy Boudin
Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (the FBI): former FBI Associate Deputy Director, attorney and criminal justice reform activist Joanne Deborah Byron
US Trade Representative: former Resident Commissioner of Puerto Rico Anibal Acevedo Vila
Administrator of the Small Business Administration (the SBA): US Rep. Dierdre Kathryn “Dede” Scozzafava
Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (the EPA): incumbent EPA Administrator Lisa Perez Jackson
Administrator of the Overwhelming Disaster Emergency Response Coordination Agency (ODERCA): US Rep. Jeff Merkley
THE PRESIDENT’S EXECUTIVE OFFICE
White House Chief of Staff: outgoing Chief Economic Policy Advisor, former St. Albans Mayor, and former City Ward Alderman Jeffrey P. Weaver
Chief Domestic Policy Advisor: Queens Borough President, former NYC City Councilperson, former state assemblyperson, attorney and “Basic Rights” advocate Helen M. Marshall
Chief Economic Policy Advisor: author and pediatrician Margaret Flowers
Chief Foreign Policy Advisor: former US Rep. Raul Grijalva
Chief National Security Advisor: former US Rep. Ralph Bradley Miller
Director of the Office of Management and Budget: academic and former Chair of the US Presidential Council of Economic Advisers Robert Z. Lawrence
White House Communications Director: senior advisor Stephanie Cutter
White House Appointments Secretary: media consultant Tammy Lee
White House Press Secretary: outgoing White House appointments secretary Mabel Teng
Administrator of the Small Business Administration: US Rep. and former business owner Jerry R. Janezich
Other Counselors and Advisors: outgoing US Secretary of Commerce Robert Reich
; political analyst Bob Beckel
; economist Paul Krugman
; 2000 and 2008 campaign staff members William McLaughlin
, Tm Lapic
, and Mary McEvoy
; and public policy analyst Joe Stiglitz
Solicitor General (representative of the Federal Government before the Supreme Court): Jerome A. Holmes
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff: outgoing Secretary of the Army Johnnie Corns
Secretary of the Army: former US Senator and former Governor Bill Bradley
Secretary of the Navy: former US Senator John Georges
Federal Reserve Chairman: outgoing Commerce Undersecretary Thomas Rukavina
NASA Administrator: incumbent NASA Administrator Shannon Matilda Wells Lucid
To Australia: US Ambassador to New Zealand and former Deputy White House Counsel Cassandra Quin Butts
To Brazil: Mayor of Chicago, Illinois Richard M. Daley
To Canada: musician, former Governor, and former Justice of the Peace for Kerrville, Texas Kinky Friedman
To China: former Mayor of Detroit, Michigan George Cushingberry Jr.
To France: former Mayor of New Orleans, Louisiana and former US Rep. Mary Loretta Landrieu
To Germany: former US Senator Pat Schroeder
To Italy: Governor Andrew Cuomo
To Japan: former Mayor of Boston, Massachusetts Melvin H. “Mel” King
To Mexico: human rights activist, former US Rep., and former member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors Margo St. James
To Russia: former state House Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher
To South Africa: businesswoman and retired US Air Force Major Jenean Michelle Hampton
To the U.K.: former US Senator US Senator Paul Vallas
To the U.N.: outgoing US Ambassador to Egypt and former ODERCA Administrator Bill Gwatney
…The main avenues used to implement the new administration’s agenda were executive orders, court rulings, and, the most common procedure, supporting members of congress tasked with introducing legislation key to the President’s goals. Before January was over, first major order of business was backing omnibus legislation introduced by Congresspersons Amy Stephens (D-CO) and Preston Love Jr. (D-NE). The Stephens-Love omnibus bill, officially the “Spending For A Better Today And Tomorrow” Bill but informally called the “Wellstone Public Works Package” by most media outlets, aimed to implement a collection of public works programs meant to both maintain the steady economy, keep unemployment low, and combat Global Climate Disruption by laying down communication and transportation infrastructure that ran on renewable energy. This included 1) financial incentives for auto companies to produce more electric vehicles 2) financial coverage for some communities so they could afford to install more charging stations for said vehicles, and 3) modernizing infrastructure and energy consumption via government contracts to domestic companies, albeit only ones approved of by the US Labor Department and relevant labor organizations.
The bill also aimed to provide funding for more affordable housing units, with the President re-iterating that “government contracts will not be awarded to any companies that do not make their products within the US.” Labor Secretary Ron Gettelfinger contributed to the endorsements for the Stephens-Love bill, telling reporters “I’m not some idealist isolationist, but the fact remains that there is a corporate global chase for the lowest wage which creates a race to the bottom that no workers, in any country, can win
With this in mind, Gettelfinger and Wellstone sought to support unions lobbying for fairer trade agreements, such as ones that included provisions for worker rights, and workplace environment provisions.
Meanwhile, US Attorney General Ralph Nader continued to defend labor unions from attacks hurdled upon them by Big Business via working with the Justice Department and state-level AGs and Labor departments to remove obstacles to workers forming unions at state and federal levels, similar to President Jesse Jackson’s efforts to demilitarize police precincts...
– Roberta Gillespie’s Watershed: An Assessment of The Wellstone White House, Princeton University Press, 2016
– President Wellstone, in front of the US Capitol Building in D.C., pushing for the passing of the Stephens-Love Omnibus Bill, 1/29/2009
RUSH LIMBAUGH JOINS OTHERS CO-SPONSORING NATIONAL INITIATIVE TO ABOLISH THE ELECTORAL COLLEGE
…the group of American citizens hoping to dismantle the Electoral College before the 2016 election is held oppose the body’s use on the grounds of elitism, with Limbaugh claiming “the institution is a bastion that defends the haves from the have-nots.” He continued, “It was established two hundred years ago by rich snobs who believed that the average American was too stupid to make informed decisions, that Americans who had just fought for freedom were too dumb to make their own decisions. And now we are still letting them push the little guy around. Now it’s a blockade to protect the interests of the super-wealthy, a means through which they can make sure that their preferred candidate wins every time.” Limbaugh concluded with “It is an affront to the very concepts of America and democracy, and it must be abolished immediately!”…
– usarightnow.co.usa, 1/30/2009 e-article
DE BEERS DIAMOND COMPANY PLEADS GUILTY IN PRICE FIXING CASE, $100MILLION FINE EXPECTED
– The Wall Street Journal, 2/2/2009
When it came to outer space, Wellstone was reluctant to approve of some of NASA’s bold proposals. The President did not see why America needed to build a Moon base, but did like the sound of Solar Energy satellites.
“How exactly would that work?” Wellstone asked NASA Director Shannon Lucid.
“A solar collector – a giant satellite rigged with powerful solar absorption panels – would convert sunlight into microwaves. On Earth, roughly 60% of these microwaves are lost on their way through the atmosphere due to reflection and other variables, but would be fully absorbed by a satellite outside of the atmosphere.” The head of NASA explained the proposal with much enthusiasm, but admitted, “The most difficult aspect of such an endeavor is the first start of it – the launch itself would be very expensive.”
Secretary Venter noted “We took a gamble on the Marstronaut Mission, why not again here?”
“Because we could sell the idea to the public. Mankind on Mars was inspiring. A big ball of sunlight soakers is not,” Treasury Secretary David Curson answered curtly.
Wellstone nodded and replied to Lucid’s glance of uncertain with more uncertainty: “I like the idea, but we might have to hold off on it until we find more revenue for it. In the meantime, try to see how much of the price tag can be skimmed away, and if there are other fundraising ideas NASA hasn’t exercised yet to back this idea.”
Lucid agreed, “We can try a PR campaign, use social media, the technet to get the word out that, um, sunlight shakers, as Dave called them, is NASA’s next big proposed project.”
– Roberta Gillespie’s Watershed: An Assessment of The Wellstone White House, Princeton University Press, 2016
SENATE PASSES HOUSE-APPROVED FEDERAL MINIMUM WAGE ADJUSTMENT BILL
…the raising of the federal minimum wage to $8.00 an hour 
will effectively raise the minimum wage in a majority of states, most especially in eleven states where there is no state-level minimum wage. Concurrently, the fifteen states where the wage rate is already above $8.00 will be largely unaffected by the rate change. Early proposals of the bill included a temporary wage freeze in order to allow workers to adjust to the new wage rate before businesses and landlords in the aforementioned eleven states respond by raising prices and rent. This proposal was dismissed for being hypothetically too disruptive and ultimately unnecessary. “The President and his economic expert advisors are confident that enlarging worker wages will stimulate consumer spending, which will help businesses, and sill improve worker productivity and reduce employee absenteeism and turnover rates,” explains White House Press Secretary Mabel Teng…
– The New York Times, 2/5/2009
…While the bill that raised the minimum wage was an early success for the White House, it was a relatively minor bill when compared to others still in committee at the time. These larger works of legislation, if ultimately turned into law, would, in theory, strengthen America’s unemployment and underemployment insurance systems, invest more federal funds into early childhood education, expand special needs necessities, provide funding for higher-quality trade schools, and – in one of the President’s most ambitious endeavors – establish free public university education nationwide.
Additionally, the fact that Democrats had been in the White House since 2001 gave certain members of Wellstone’s inner circle much agitation over the 2010 midterms. With the specter of “voter fatigue” dancing in the background of their minds, Wellstone and company sought to pass as many laws and defend as many institutions as possible during the next two years, pulling out all the stops and taking no breaks unless medically advised...
– Roberta Gillespie’s Watershed: An Assessment of The Wellstone White House, Princeton University Press, 2016
“The top 200 corporations of the world produce 86% of carbon emissions. It is high time that the US come together with other countries, and together with the UN and other organizations, to form a united front against tax law loopholes that allow this kind of thing to happen in the first place.”
– US Secretary of Energy, Innovation and Technology John Venter (I-UT), 2/14/2009
BUMP IN SOME BAND STOCKS SUGGESTS INVESTORS TORN ON WELLSTONE ACTIONS
…some companies support Wellstone’s progressive actions while others fear his tax-and-spend proposals will lead to economic backsliding and damage the health of the stock market…
– The Wall Street Journal, 2/17/2009
“The 2000s decade concluded with the confirmation that the two-and-a-half-sided Cold War had indeed been replaced by the multifaceted Trade Wars, with low-intensity rivalries being noticeable between the tech-based Japan and the ‘Middle Eastern Bloc,’ between the services-based India and the increasingly services-based US, and the minerals-based economic powerhouses of China and Russia.”
– Paul Krugman, 2013
…The next large piece of legislation introduced as the Earned Income Tax Credit Bill. The proposed EITC was a refundable tax credit for low income and moderate-income working individuals and couples, particularly those with children, with the amount of the benefit depending on income and their number of children, with relationship status, residency, and child ages also being factored in as well. The credit would apply to US tax forms, and feature a slow phase-in, a plateau of benefit phases, then a slow phase-out for qualified participating families. The downside to this proposal was that it was much more complicated than the current, long-standing and long-popular Negative Income Tax Rebate, and so it was not just conservatives who opposed it. Center-leaning Democrats such as Rep. Bill Nelson (D-FL) called the bill’s proposed program “frivolous, expensive and wholly unnecessary! As a result of this, progress on the bill stalled. Not even suggesting that the EITC program to amended so it would technically fall under Medicaid was enough for it to ultimately die in committee, suffocated by all the laws that made up the US’s public safety net, a patchwork of various legislative efforts to protect the less fortunate and promote consumer spending that had been built up over the past many decades…
– Roberta Gillespie’s Watershed: An Assessment of The Wellstone White House, Princeton University Press, 2016
SENATOR AUCOIN FINDS STRANGE BEDFELLOWS IN ENERGY BILLIONAIRES: The Stephens-Love Bill and Wellstone’s Push For A “Supergrid”
…a wide-ranging network of electrical transmissions, dubbed a “supergrid,” could potentially support global energy transition by smoothing out local fluctuations of wind energy and solar energy – and progressive millionaires of the electricity industry are planning to capitalize on such a proposal should D.C.’s energy omnibus bill passes through congress. As a result, US Senator Les AuCoin has met with corporate lobbyists on the matter of government contracts for such a federal project, with the Senator, a noted environmentalist, later saying “If I can be convinced that it can create jobs without harming Mother Nature, then I’ll vote for the omnibus bill that would see this thing get built.”
The idea of centralizing electricity clusters is nothing new. General Electric has been intermittently collaborating with the US government on public energy projects since the 1960s, with the Johnson administration also working with Sweden’s ASEA to try utilizing high-voltage direct current technology for public works projects. Recent years, however, have seen renewed interest in supergrid proposals due to their potential to combat major issues with wind and solar energy, such as windless and cloudy days.
While the urban clusters of the Eastern Seaboard and the Great Lakes “megalopolis region” of Chicago-Detroit-Toronto have been discussed as the choice locations for establishing a regional supergrid, another, more ambitious plan suggested by US Senator Myrth York (D-RI) is one that is coast-to-coast, stretching from New York City, across Appalachia and the Great Plains to Denver, Phoenix and southern California. Her proposal is based on the UK’s nationwide British Grid/the Grid Code, but on an obviously much more grand scale. However, the US EIT Secretary warns that “a supergrid should be tried out in a large megalopolis region such as the northeastern corridor before it is tried out coast-to-coast,” in order to “work out the bugs.”
While this all sounds very impressive, it must still be remembered that the capacity to transmit large amount (or “volumes”) of electricity is limited because of congestion and control issues, meaning that that is the first major hurdle that needs to be overcome. Practicality, day-to-day operations and maintenance, the integrity of local elements, and other aspects will also have to be considered and addressed as well. On this end, former UK Prime Minister John Lennon may have already established precedence with the collaborative North Sea Offshore Grid established by several members of the E.U. during Lennon’s time in office 
– The Corvallis Gazette-Times, Oregon newspaper, 2/22/2009
WELLSTONE LAYS OUT PROGRESSIVE AGENDA IN STATE OF THE UNION ADDRESS; Conservatives Deride “A Third Jackson Term”
– The New York Times, 2/24/2009
EX-PRESIDENT KEMP HOSPITALIZED, IS RECEIVING “ADDITIONAL” CANCER TREATMENT
…the former Commander-in-Chief announced his unspecified diagnosis last year but has since then kept his cancer battle a private affair, refusing to discuss the situation to reporters or in interviews…
– The Los Angeles Times, 2/27/2009
WHY WORLD LEADERS AND OSCAR WINNERS LIVE LONGER DESPITE AGING FASTER
…one would think from the premature greying and wrinkling of once-vibrant heads like those of several Commanders-in-Chief and Academy Award winners that the stress of success shortens these famous individuals’ lifespan. However, several recent studies – the most recent one being an extensive study published by “The Journal of The American Medical Association” – have shown that this assumption is false. An analysis of all past presidents who died of natural causes shows that the average lifespan for these men should have been 68 years, if they’d aged twice as fast during their years in office as the popular wisdom suggests they do.
Instead, the study found, these presidents lived an average 73 years. And indeed, 23 of the 34 presidents who died of natural causes lived longer than expected, compared with other men their age during their lifetimes.
For our earliest presidents, the longevity effect was especially pronounced. The first eight leaders of the U.S. lived on average 79.8 years, yet life expectancy at birth for men in the 18th and early 19th centuries was under 40
Additionally, some Presidents have survived an exceptionally long time: John Adams and Herbert Hoover each lived to be 90 years old, age Colonel Saunders lived to be 100.
One very possible explanation for this phenomenon is these individuals having access to wealth, education, and top-of-the-line health care, but research suggests that other factors are at play here as well. “We know that stress has a Goldilocks effect on most people, where both too little and too much are not preferred because either can actually weaken your heart and be detrimental to your health. Perhaps Presidents and actors find the right balance and have the right level of stress in their occupations,” says one analyst who worked on the most recent of these studies. “The stress ages them faster, but in exchange for extending their lifespans. Sounds like a sweet deal to me, to be honest.”…
– Time Magazine, late February 2009 issue
ANCHOR 1: “…Well I for one think it’s very smart of President Wellstone to capitalizing on the Democratic Party’s 2008 electoral successes and push for these massive tax overhaul and economic restructuring to reverse the trend of recent decades, of the middle class shrinking as the poor and rich sections increase.”
ANCHOR 2: “Yes, but already he’s receiving some pushback from the remaining moderates in the party. That’s not to say he hasn’t made any inroads so far, because he is getting stuff done, but it’s not at the very fast, very huge, um, scale, scope and, uh, pace that he proposed on the campaign trail last year.”
ANCHOR 1: “Well I think that says more about the complexity of the office more so than the work ethic of its occupant.”
ANCHOR 2: “But the thing is, though, the fact is that Wellstone was Vice President for eight years, so, what I’m saying is during that time, uh, he should have gotten a good idea of this job’s, uh, ropes, you know?”
ANCHOR 1: “He did get a good view of the job during those years – that’s how he’s already gotten so much done. For instance, just last week, he extended the coverage of the 2001 Dairy Farm bill and met with Pentagon leaders to discuss banning hypersonic missile production in the US…”
– ABC News, roundtable discussion, 3/1/2009
Senate Finally Passes Stephens-Love Omnibus Bill, 54-49-1; Wellstone to Sign It Into Law “Immediately”
– The Washington Post, 3/3/2009
CONSERVATIVES, WEALTHY BUSINESSMEN ARE “OUTRAGED” AT TAX HIKES FOUND IN NEW FEDERAL OMNIBUS SPENDING ACT
– usarightnow.co.usa, 3/9/2009
More recently, an additional “health-conscious” KFC menu item that has popped up is the corporation’s potato wedges, which they claim are a healthier alternative to fries. This, however, is clever on KFC’s part – the global chain has never sold fries, meaning these wedges are not replacing any fries… Similarly, but more honestly KFC now offer small apple turnovers as a less-calories alternative to KFC’s classic apple pie offering.
…The hot and spicy popcorn chicken, phased out under CEO Herman Cain, was finally reintroduced in American outlets nationwide in March 2009…
Above: a KFC Family Meal Deal, c. 2009
– Eric Schlosser’s Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal, Mariner Books, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2012
MEXICO’S JOBS REPORT IS “HEALTHIER” THAN EXPECTED; Country’s Treasury Department Credits US, Mexican Government Investments For Aiding Growth
– financialtimes.co.usa/international_news, 3/12/2009
HESELTINE GREETS MCTEER IN LONDON FOR TRADE IMPROVEMENT TALKS
…despite their stark political differences, sources close to the meeting say that discussions went smoothly. “The conversation was amicable, which likely is what allowed it to be so successful and productive,” notes one anonymous source. Indeed, both leaders seem ready and willing to finalize a trading agreement that would see an improvement in the natural gas production in the Western Provinces of Canada in exchange for no tariffs on certain Canadian goods entering the U.K….
– The Daily Telegraph, 3/15/2009
…The first government contract for the Northeastern Supergrid Project has been announced. The federal government and several state governments will be working with General Electric to establish a strong electrical transmission network ranging from D.C. to Boston, which will allow high volumes of electric trading across the states of Potomac, Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachusetts. In other political news, President Wellstone met with the Department of Education to discuss student loans and teacher wages…
– KNN, 3/19/2009 broadcast
…With the conflict over Polish natural gas pipelines being considered a draw in Russia, President Oleg Malyshkin turned his attention to his country’s borders. Privately, he discussed with his military ministers to discuss how to ensure him re-election. Among the discussions, the possibility of becoming “more aggressive” was raised, with it being suggested that Russia proper become more antagonistic toward one of the more independent-minded nearly-autonomous oblasts such as Kalmykia, Tuva, or Bashkortostan, under the guise of alleged breakaway endeavors, or that Russia proper try to absorb the partially recognized and fairly stable nation of Alania (formerly North and South Ossetia) under the guise of needing to maintain order. At these meetings, Malyshkin also reportedly expressed frustration and disappointment at the conflict in United Turkestan reaching a peaceful conclusion. Malyshkin allegedly had wanted to use the chaos in Uzbekistan as an excuse to invade and possibly bring the Turkestani Nations back into the fold, but had chosen to instead argue with the Polish government over energy pipeline ownership instead over more pressing economic concerns.
After these discussions, Malyshkin began publicly expressing interest in warming relations between Russia and Turkey, saying that “the protectors of the entrance of the Black Sea” would benefit from trade with the NDRR…
– Alexander Korzhakov’s After The Pact: Post-Cold War Russia And The Twenty-First Century, St. Petersburg Press, 2020
…I will admit that I also contributed to the black market activities of places like Botswana in Africa and Myanmar in Asia. But not because I enjoy sticking around sticky, sweaty, disease-infested hellholes. This was largely due to profits in South America drying up faster than a mouth full of cinnamon powder. And because several leads in central Asia didn’t pan out, which was more than just a little disappointing. I would have made a killing in United Turkestan! They were so close to the edge, but Karimov’s successors were just too laser-focused on national unity, as ridiculous as that is, always was and always will be, for the UT in my opinion. But I digress…
– Tommy Gun Thompson’s With Cold, Dead Eyes: A Gun Runner’s Confessions, Borders Books, 2015
The Herring Network Has Just Absorbed Newsmax Media
...the press release also states that THN will use both names separately, which is odd to me. My guess is it has something to do with branding, using the one label for more raunchy stories and the other for a wider and more general audience. It’ll be interesting to see how this plays out. Any thought, anyone?
– euphoria.co.usa, a public pop-culture news-sharing and chat-forum-hosting netsite, 3/23/2009 posting
THE STORY BEHIND THE FAWLTY TOWERS PROMO FOR GORDON RAMSAY’S KITCHEN CHAOS
…Last month, actors John Cleese, Prunella Scales, and Andrew Sachs reprised their famous roles of Basil Fawlty, Sibyl Fawlty and Manuel of the celebrated “Fawlty Towers” comedy series for a small promo spot for ITV’s “Kitchen Chaos with Gordon Ramsay.” With a running time of only 2 minutes and 35 seconds, the extended advertisement marks the first time that all three thespians have worked together on a project since 1979.
The TV commercial opens with old footage of an establishing shot of the original Fawlty Towers hotel before cutting to a recreated interior of its kitchen and dining room. There we see Chef Ramsay insulting the management and the cooking. Basil, defensive, says "Well we used to have another person on staff here for these sort of things, but ever since she launched a successful artistry career she's hasn't shown up for work," a reference to the character Polly Sherman, the maid in the classic series, and how the actress who portrayed her, Connie Booth, refused to participate in the promo spot.
Then, in a reference to the “Waldorf Salad” episode of Fawlty Towers, Ramsay discovers that Basil is running the kitchen with Manuel because, as Basil puts it, “our regular chef hasn’t shown up for work in 29 years. We’re thinking of firing him.” Upon Ramsay exploring the storage bids, he exclaims, shocked, "You have so much rotten food here!" Basil counters with "Yes, well, some of our regulars like rotten food. Matches their personalities and all that sort of thing."
Basil next complains about Ramsay in a “mockumentary confession” cut, saying “Just who the bloody hell does this 'Ramsley' fellow think he is, the bloody Earl of Sandwich?” The short then sees Ramsay praise Manuel’s years of dedication to his job ("How have you put up with it for so long?" is how Ramsay ends his brief monologue. "Que?" is Manuel's reply.), condemn Basil for his poor management and decision-making skills, and convince Sibyl to hire “an actual chef.”
Ramsay also convinces Sibyl to redesign the kitchen and dining room to give it a more modern and more inviting look despite Basil’s protests, which Sibyl sharply dismiss. We then cut to the finished remodeling which Sibyl and Manuel love, while Basil grumbles about Ramsey disrupting a “perfectly passable hotel.”
Cleese and company had been under pressure to create more episodes of Fawlty Towers for decades, but to no avail. With Connie Booth (Polly) having retired from acting for years, and Scales and Sachs moving on to other acting projects, the prospect of more episodes seemed dim. In a 2004 BBC interview, Cleese explained that “everyone would be excited if we did [bring it back] but…the bar has moved so high that a remake would be good but not very good
Cleese expressed belief that “you can’t top the best. There’s just too much anticipation. The audience’s expectations are too high now, that even if we spent months on the script and made it with great and wonderful performance, it’d still be disappointing to some, because you just can’t top the top.” Not even former Prime Minister John Lennon, who reportedly loved the classic 1970s TV series (“I love Fawlty Towers
. I'd like to be in that. [It's] the greatest show I've seen in years... what a masterpiece, a beautiful thing” 
) and offered to appear in the revival as a “typical offbeat guest,” could not get Cleese to agree to any one of the thousands of spec scripts reportedly sent the latter's way over the decades.
Except for this one. According to John Cleese in an interview with the BBC, held in the same week that this promo aired, the script for this ad was different in that it was a brief promo with a few lines, and was only an extended commercial and not an actual renewal of the series. Cleese explains that the producers of the reality series “Kitchen Chaos” reached out to Cleese, Scales, Booth and Sachs about the proposed ad, and with Cleese considering their script both “funny [and] respectful of the original,” Sibyl and Manuel agreed to revive their roles for it. While Booth, who is Cleese’s ex-wife, declined to step out of retirement for the spot, she, according to Cleese, has “no regrets about” not appearing in this special promo spot…
– theguardian.co.uk, 28/3/2009
“Still, I’ll tell him to get some salad cream. I mean, you never know when
Colonel Sanders is going to drop in, do you?
– Basil Fawlty (John Cleese), Fawlty Towers, Gourmet Night (Season 1, Episode 5; first aired 17 October 1975) 
“The American people are smart. They understand that government, the corporations, and the media are against them, but the military and police are not. They cannot be fooled and they will not be fooled by the nanny-state red-tape of this Third Jackson Term.”
– US Senator Stan Jones (R-MT), 3/29/2009
…As the Baby Boomer population began to enter retirement, an older generation of computer users were appearing on and seemingly dominating the technet. Online shopping, a long-struggling niche aspect of the technet up until it exploded in popularity during the SARS pandemic, became increasingly used by the aging, and boomer-centric sites swiftly rose in prominence by the start of the 2010s...
– Joy Lisi Rankin’s Computers: A People’s History of the Information Machine, Westview Press, 2018
…for the first time ever, the DOW Jones Industrial Average has closed above the 10,000 mark, at 10,009.34, a clear sign of a healthy economy…
– ABC Morning News, 4/4/2009 broadcast
KFC OPENS 300TH MEXICO OUTLET
...The fast food mega-giant is joining other companies who are expanding into the bustling economy south of the border. Experiencing a miniature boom of sorts in recent years, the improvement of the standard of living in Mexico is drawing in foreign investments…
– The Los Angeles Times, 4/7/2009
…In a major boon for the Wellstone administration, the US Supreme Court has ruled 7-to-2 that North Carolina’s ban on stem-cell research is unconstitutional, a ruling that will in all likelihood allow doctors in North Carolina to use the controversial practice in experiments meant to study stem cells and determine how effective they are, in an effort to generate healthy cells to replace diseased cells and damaged tissues in patients…
– KNN Breaking News, 4/11/2009 broadcast
JESSE JACKSON: HIS LIFE AFTER HIS PRESIDENCY
…having recently spoken at a church service at the First Baptist Church in his new home town of Charleston, South Carolina, the former President sat down with us for his first post-Presidency interview… While working on his memoirs, Jackson is also accepting speaking engagements for charity events. He plans to remain involved in multiple efforts to “preserve African-American rights” and to ensure that “all Americans have equal opportunity.” In this effort, Jackson is currently involved in “Our National Community,” a NPO program Jackson has co-founded that aims to improve the quality of life nationwide. Most recently, for example, the ONC is aiding low-income Chicago residents. Jackson is also involved in a NPO promoting Mental Wellness program founded by Jesse Jackson Jr. earlier this year. …While no longer in D.C., Jackson is still involved to national politics, reportedly serving as an unofficial advisor to President Wellstone, vidcalling the Commander-in-Chief “from time to time” and visiting the White House at least twice since moving out in January... Jackson expressed regret at not passing slavery reparations when he had the chance, saying “2005 was the year for that, and Katrina could have been key to it, but our focus at the time was building up and protecting the accomplishment made during the first term.” Jackson also expressed disappointment in his fellow Democrats for not being more supportive of reparations, and for failing to get free community college passed. However, the former President is “happy to see” Wellstone making “great strides” to get the free college proposal implemented…
Pictured: former President Jackson attended church services on Easter Sunday, April 12
– The Atlantic, April 2009 issue
N.J. TO TURN 166-ACRE ROCK QUARRY INTO PUBLIC PARK
…the decades-old Moores Station Quarry in Hopewell Township will become a public park. According to the Mercer County Parks Commission, the endeavor is part of a series of major public works projects that were approved of and signed into effect via state bill by Governor Richard J. Codey (D) shortly before resigning to become the US Secretary of Transportation earlier this year…
– The Daily Record, New Jersey newspaper, 4/18/2009
Syndicated Television Series
Premiered: September 8, 2006
Concluded: June 8, 2012 (six seasons total)
Genre (s): action/sci-fi/space-western/adventure/drama
Directors (main): Damon Lindelof
Writers (main): Tracy Tormé, Roberto Orca, Alex Kurtzman, Robert K. Weiss
Produced by: Cayuga Productions, Square Dog Productions, CBS Television Distribution, CBS Productions
Steve Buschemi as Jack Hershey
Sharice Davids as Owaissa Stryker
Scott Kleeb as Ryan Ouhtlowd
Rachel Joy Scott as Genevieve Throckton
Djimon Hounsou as Artemis “Tempo” Decatur
George Tootoosis as Shaw Yellowfire (season 1 only)
Giancarlo Esposito as Kostas Nyersos
Craig Bierko as Avlayon Malkin
See Full List Here
Spies in space – rival space republics employ agents of espionage to pursue each other in cat-and-mouse games that veteran spy Jack has grown tired of until his action-hungry new partner Owaissa shows up to improve the agency’s productivity, only to find out that she may have bitten off more than she can chew.
Trivia Fact No. 1: It Made Headlines In 2009 Over A Censoring Error
The series received infamy when the Season Three episode “The Babylonian Computer” aired on April 23, 2009; halfway through it, the character Malkan bellows “Oh f*ck Ryan Ouhtlowd,” and because the line sounded phonetically identical to the saying “Oh for cryin’ out loud,” the comment slipped past the censors, who didn’t notice the main character Ryan’s last name was Ouhtlowd; due to the fact that the series was rated PGR, the writer of the episode was forced to take a month-long leave of absence, but this was not enough to avoid ontech criticisms, which continued for several weeks before dissipating.
GOP SENATOR INTRODUCES ELECTORAL COLLEGE ABOLITION AMENDMENT
…US Senator Barbara Vucanovich (R-NV) has introduced on the senate floor a bill that would abolish the Electoral College and establish a “direct election” voting process in its stead. Public reaction to the disparity between the winner of the electoral vote and the winner of the popular vote in last year’s presidential election has led to a rise in calls for the Electoral College to be either amended or abolished outright. Vucanovich’s bill would perform the latter, via a new Constitutional Amendment, which would require approval from both chambers of congress and 39 states to become law.
Vucanovich’s bill is similar to one put forward by US Representative, and member of the House Judiciary Committee, Bob Inglis (R-SC). Last month, Inglis introduced a House Joint Resolution calling for a new Constitutional Amendment that would add a two-round system to US Presidential Elections, where a runoff election would be held if the first-place finisher receives less than 40% of the popular vote.
While informal polling has suggested that an overwhelming majority of Republican voters back E.C. Abolition, only a majority of Republican lawmakers in D.C. have supported the notion. One notable member, US Senator Hillary Rodham-Clinton (R-TN), has recently expressed having some reservations on removing the Electoral College, telling the Post
last week “We shouldn’t be so hasty to remove a 220-year-old institution just because it hasn’t work the way one side of congress wanted it to once or twice out of over fifty uses,” claiming “partisan divide usually leads to decisions and legislation that are one-sided and reap even more national division.”
Apart from US Senator Evan Bayh (D-IN) and some Democrats holding conservative US Congressional seats who agree with nearly all Republicans, nearly all Democratic lawmakers on Capitol Hill are either staying silent on the matter or are defending the Electoral College…
– The Washington Post, 4/26/2009
“It’s funny watching these Republicans refuse to play by the rules. Wellstone won the election. Deal with it.”
– Actress and activist Alyssa Milano, 4/27/2009
GALLUP: Wellstone Ending His First 100 Days With 59% Approval Rating
– usarightnow.co.usa, 4/29/2009 e-article
WELLSTONE’S FIRST 100 DAYS: A REVIEW
…The President is taking full advantage of his party having majority control of the both chambers of congress. Even if conservative Democrats have opposed his agenda’s most progressive aspects such as protecting worker cooperatives, the President has abled to get congress and his allies on Capitol Hill to pass major legislative works such as the Stephens-Love omnibus bill, the EITC bill, and the “Supergrid” bill…
– The Boston Globe, 4/30/2009
IRAQI PESIDENT ACCEPTS FAILED RE-ELECTION BID, ESTABLISHING A PRECEDENCE WITH DIGNITY AND POISE
…After losing his bid for a second six-year term yesterday evening, Iraqi President Saleh Muhammed al-Mutlaq, a member of the “moderate” faction of the ASU and former Ba’ath Party member, has finally announced that he accepts the election results and will not contest them, marking the first time that an Iraqi head-of-state has lost power peacefully. Al-Mutlaq lost support from conservatives in the country for his support of moderate justice reform measures that were raising pressure on local authorities to crack down on domestic abuse. This policy position led to yesterday’s Iraqi Presidential election pitting the embittered incumbent against Nouri al-Maliki of the conservative “People of Iraq” party, whose candidacy was rife with controversy over past anti-Zionist comments of his despite his current political stances. As a result of this and his nationalist rhetoric, it is feared by some analysts that the Presidency of Al-Maliki may very well result in Iraq-Israel relations being at their worst in over 40 years.
Al-Maliki won the election with a margin of roughly 8%, but with a plurality of roughly 47% of the vote; he received a narrow majority of the Electoral Vote in Iraq’s Electoral College. Interestingly, two other candidates in the election may have played spoiler against al-Mutlaq. According to several published polls, and given their similar ideologies, Ayad Allawi of the “Pro-West” faction of the ASU and Rafi Hiyad al-Issawi of the National Glory party seem to have pulled more voters away from al-Mutlaq than from al-Maliki. …Al-Maliki will be sworn in on May 8th…
– The Boston Globe, 5/2/2009
BOCHENCK ELECTED POLAND’S NEXT PRESIDENT
…her inauguration on the 23rd will mark the first time in Poland that a female President succeeds through election another female President, as the incumbent and outgoing President of Poland is Hanna Gronkiewicz-Waltz of the Civility Party.
Gronkiewicz-Waltz’s endorsement of Bochenck have may played a key role in tonight’s election, as the term-limited incumbent is highly popular at the moment. Her administration successfully blamed Russian oil and gas companies for last year’s Russo-Polish energy crisis, while Gronkiewicz-Waltz herself has been praised for negotiating a trade deal with Russia that ended the situation.
…Marshal of the Polish Senate Krystyna Bochenck, age 55, of the Civility Party, is a centrist supportive of “responsible” healthcare expansion. She won the election over Prime Minister Donald F. Tusk, age 52, of the Christian Democratic Party; Tusk, who supports free-market policies, most likely came in second place due to his claims that “government interference on both sides” was responsible for the 2008 energy crisis, proclaiming “the people are innocent, but their representatives and leaders never are.” Senator Piotr Duda, age 46, of the Solidarity Party, ran to the left of Bochenck and came in third place…
– The Chicago Tribune, 5/2/2009
WELLSTONE SIGNS FOOD SAFETY ENHANCEMENT BILL INTO LAW, GRANTING NEW POWERS AND GUIDELINES TO THE F.D.A.
– The New York Times, 5/6/2009
NET TRAFFIC REPORT: Calls For Abolishing The E.C. Are Prominent On Pro-GOP Netsites, Less So On Pro-Democratic Netsites
– thelosangelestimes.co.usa, 5/9/2009
JUSTICE LORD TO RETIRE!
…Associate Justice Miles W. Lord has announced his decision to retire from the US Supreme Court “as soon as a replacement has been confirmed.” Lord cited his decline in health and his wish to spend more time with his family, especially since his son suffered nearly fatal heart attack at the age of 59 last year… One of the oldest men to ever serve on the Supreme Court, Lord, age 89, has been on the bench for 36 years, longer than any other male justice currently serving; only incumbent Justice Sylvia Bacon has served longer. …Lord, a Mondale appointee, is considered to be an “activist judge,” known for supporting environmental protection and consumer protection efforts, and opposing corporations in multiple court cases; in 1974, he famously declared “this court cannot honor profit over human life.” 
…This will be President Wellstone’s first Supreme Court appointment…
– The Washington Post, 5/12/2009
…With the Democrats holding 56 of 104 Senate seats, Wellstone ignored Republican calls for a centrist appointee and instead focused on finding a progressive justice or judge that moderates within his own party would approve of when the time came for their confirmation. Additionally, the diverse composition of the Supreme Court – three women; two Hispanic, two African-Americans; two Jewish; each hailing from a different state, all of which were spread across the map (Puerto Rico, Texas, Georgia, Minnesota, Colorado, Connecticut, Pennsylvania and Potomac) – allowed Wellstone to study the ideologies of vetted candidates instead studying their ethnicities as well.
The Wellstone Administration’s “long list” of candidates contained a host of progressive judges and justices: Appeals Court Judges Marianne O. Battani of Michigan (b. 1944), Rubén Castillo of Illinois (b. 1954), Michael A. Chagares of New Jersey (b. 1962), Robert Charles Chambers of West Virginia (b. 1952), Denny Chin of New York (b. 1954), Frank Hoover Easterbrook of Illinois (b. 1948), Roger L. Gregory of Virginia (b. 1953), Denise Page Hood of Michigan (b. 1952), David M. Lawson of Michigan (b. 1951), Algenon L. Marbley of Ohio (b. 1954), Michael Joseph Reagan of Illinois (b. 1954), Victoria A. Roberts of Michigan (b. 1951), Edmund Albert Sargus Jr. of Ohio (b. 1953), and Diane Pamela Wood of Texas (b. 1950) were all considered to be highly qualified for the job. Also considered were Penn U Law School Professor of Law and Criminology Stephanos Bibas (b. 1969), former US Deputy Attorney General Jamie S. Gorelick (b. 1950), former US EEOC Chair and incumbent US Solicitor General Anita Faye Hill of Oklahoma (b. 1956), Harvard Law School Professor Elena Kagan (b. 1960), US Senator (D-DE) Midge Osterlund (b. 1947), and Georgia Supreme Court Chief Justice Leah Ward Sears (b. 1955)…
– Linda Greenhouse and Morton J. Horwitz’s Sustaining Liberty: The Supreme Court Under Our Current Chief Justice, Sunrise Publishing, 2020
WELLSTONE SIGNS FRAUD ENFORCEMENT AND RECOVERY BILL INTO LAW
– The New York Times, 5/17/2009
ANCHOR: “…and in California, Governor Grammer is poised to sign a housing projects regulation reform bill into state law. The new law would end city-level provisions, exclusions and loopholes that reportedly benefit wealthy land developers to the detriment of homeowners.”
GRAMMER (in footage): “You can’t just say
you’re the best state in the union. You have to prove
– NBC News, 5/20/2009 broadcast
HAHN BESTS BECERRA IN MAYORAL ONE-ON-ONE RUNOFF
…incumbent Mayor of Los Angeles Xavier Becerra (D) has lost re-election after months of controversy surrounding Becerra’s apparent inaction taken about a taxpayer fraud scandal concerning the city’s Employment Development Department and a consortium of local banks. Becerra’s-challenger–turned–Mayor-Elect James Hahn (D) capitalized on the EDD Scandal by running on the subjectively catchy slogan “Vote For Hahn, Not The Con.” …After winning what has turned out to be his sole term over Joel Wachs (D) in 2005, Becerra opposed President Jackson’s police reform efforts in order to appeal to white working-class Angelenos [9
. However, this and other moderate stances have led to Becerra losing support among progressive over the past four years...
– The Los Angeles Times, 5/21/2009
ZIONCHECK FOR PRESIDENT
Premiered: May 23, 2009
Genres: psychological thriller/drama/tragedy/biopic/political thriller
Directed by: Darren Aronofsky
Written by: Mark Heyman, Anthony McCarten and Terri Tatchell
Produced by: Stephen Gyllenhaal and Lisa Bruce
Joel Kinnaman as Marion Zioncheck
Michelle Williams as Rubye Nix Zioncheck
Above: left-to-right: Kinnaman, Marion, Rubye, Williams.
See Full List Here
Trivia Fact No. 1:
The movie is based on the 2005 Phil Campbell book “Zioncheck for President: A True Story of Idealism and Madness in American Politics” (Nation Books; ISBN 1-56025-750-4). The option to make Campbell's book into a feature film was purchased in 2007 by producer/director Stephen Gyllenhaal
JESSE JACKSON RECEIVES THE HOSEA WILLIAMS HUMANITARIAN AWARD
– The Chicago Tribune, 5/25/2009
US HOUSE TO HOLD PUBLIC HEARINGS OVER EARLY EDUCATION FUNDING AND FREE PUBLIC COLLEGE BILLS
…the proposed bill would expand upon the centralized school funding system established under President Bellamy and reinstated under President Jackson, but questions remain over how such programs would be paid for…
– The Washington Post, 5/28/2009
TUMBLEWEEDTV IN TALKS TO PICK UP CONTROVERSIAL NETCOMIC “NEUROTICALLY YOURS”
…the media company behind Tumbleweed Magazine, Tumbleweed Studios and Tumbleweed TV – publisher Bern Sanders’ Tumbleweed Media – has greenlit a wide array of works over the years, ranging from wholesome (“Hosea, Aaron & Ralph,” released through Tumbleweed Home Entertainment) to gritty (“I’m Blowing Off Your Head Part Six,” available for ontech viewing on tumbleweed.co.usa) to political (the 1995 film “Debs: The People’s Warrior”) to whatever the heck was Trey Parker’s “Time Warped,” which aired on TumbleweedTV. Now, the media giant is in the process of acquiring what could be its most risqué series to date – a technet-based animated series covering topics ranging from prostitution and suicide, but also contains Bengal worship and immortal rodents.
Starting out as a net-comic in 2001 before becoming a nettoon series on the Canadian video-hosting site ourvids.co.can, “Neurotically Yours” follows a young woman named Germaine as she struggles to make a living, find her place and her purpose, and also find herself, while also dealing with her opinionated hyperactive pet squirrel, Foamy. The series is known for its dark humor and social commentary. If Neurotically Yours is indeed picked up for a season, it would very likely see a change in its animation style, which is currently rudimentary.
Take, for instance, the following clip from the classic “Demon Toaster” episode, which also highlights the sense of humor found throughout the shorts:
[vid: youtube.com/watch?v=2KyRCQp32p8 ]
…This level of animation quality found throughout the series due to it being independently made by its creator, a one Jonathan Ian Mathers, a man whose origins and background are even more unknown than Tommy Wiseau’s. Mothers, who is currently in talks with TumbleweedTV producers, has stated on his blog that he is “very hopeful” that negotiations will see his controversial series, which currently has a small but strong cult following, go from being an obscure technet-based cartoon shorts series to being cartoon series with full-length episodes…
– thehollywoodreporter.co.usa, 5/30/2009
…Furthermore, Ross actually put his money where his mouth was; in July 2009, for instance, he pledged to donate half of yearly salary to fighting homelessness despite Ross being one of the least wealthy person to serve as Vice President since J. J. Polonko Jr. moved out of No. 1 Observatory Circle in 1989... [snip] …Believing that “getting out of D.C. would be the best use of my time here in D.C.,” and convincing Wellstone of the same thing, Ross announced on July 2 that, starting on Independence Day, he would embark on a 52-state “eco-trek” across the country. Traveling solely by electric modes of transport such as new bullet train lines and a 2008 Volkswagen e-bus, Ross began the informal listening tour in February in order to raise awareness of “green energy,” garner pro-administration media attention, and gather information that could help improve America’s addiction rehab clinics and medical centers (i.e., “wellness centers”), soup kitchens, and homeless shelters in every US state…
– R. Lynn Rivenbark’s With the Stroke of a Brush or Pen: The Life of Bob Ross, Brookings Institution Press, 2012
The Sweathogs (film)
is a dramedy film developed by Peter Meyerson and produced by ABC Productions. The film, which was given a limited theatrical release before being aired on ABC, was made as a precursor to a television revival of the TV series “Welcome Back, Kotter,” which aired on ABC from 1976 to 1981. The film centers on a group of former James Buchanan High School students known as “The Sweathogs” who renew their friendships at their high school reunion.
After their mentor, Mr. Kotter (now retired, but still living in New York City) has a non-fatal heart attack, the former students of the fictional James Buchanan High opt to stay in the city until he recovers, leading to the group helping each other out with their own problems at home and at work, returning to their roots and rekindling old aspirations in the process.
John Travolta as Vinnie Barbarino – a “teen heartthrob” character in the original series, Barbarino is now a doctor being sued for malpractice while also trying to learn how to own up to his responsibilities to his growing family.
Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs as Freddie “Boom-Boom” Washington – the suave smooth-talker of the Sweathogs, Washington is “milking the product endorsement cow for all its worth” after a knee injury ended his basketball career after just two NBA Seasons.
Ron Palillo as Arnold Horshack – the class clown of the Sweathogs has become a sales manager who initially has lost touch with his “real” old self, but after spending time with his old friends, quits his job to pursue an acting career. To save money on rent, he moves in with the Kotters, much to Gabe’s chagrin.
Bobby Hegyes as Juan Epstein – the thug-turned-cop from the original series who has become like Kotter, teaching at the old High School, which at the end of the film is renamed Woodman High to honor Vice Principle-turned-Principle Woodman, who died years ago saving eleven kids, including four Sweathogs, from a chemistry class fire (as the actor who portrayed Woodman, John Sylvester White, passed away in 2005 at the age of 86).
Marcia Strassman as Julie Kotter – the wife and closest friend of Gabe Kotter, her “world famous tuna casserole” unexpectedly plays a key role in the film’s climax
Jamie Farr as Eugene Curtis, the formal, no-nonsense teacher from the original series who now serves as the school’s elderly Superintendent
Gabe Kaplan as Gabel Mother, the witty titular character from the first series who unwillingly becomes a mentor and advisor to the Sweathogs
After finishing a second term in the US Senate, Gabe Kaplan was convinced by years of fan letters (and Hollywood executives wishing to cash in on the 2000s nostalgia for the 1970s) to write a script for a Welcome Back movie, eventually partnering with other comedic writers from the original series and others to hand in a first draft in 2007. However, Kaplan would only agree to appear in a diminished capacity in the film, and as a recurring guest star should ABC pick up a TV series, which they did in 2008. The film was scheduled to premier months ahead of the TV series of the same name. Reuniting the original cast was relatively easy, save for Padillo, Hilton-Jacobs and Travolta. Padillo, having won an Oscar for his dramatic role as main character in the 1993 ISF drama film “Philadelphia,” was busy with several projects, but found space in his schedule “at the last minute.” Similarly, Hilton-Jacobs had to turn down a supporting role in the 2009 biopic “In The Zone” in order to appear in this film. Travolta, meanwhile, had to be given permission by his probation officer to cross state borders to film his scenes (Travolta was serving a five-year probation sentence (2005-2010) for a sexual pestering incident that had occurred on the set of the 2001 film “Grease 3” in 1999). While initial ontech backlash to Travolta’s character not being recast cast doubt on the film’s potential for success, Travolta’s controversial presence in the film increased interest in the film and in the original series.
RELEASE AND RESPONSE
The film premiered on ABC Movies on July 6 and was given a small theatrical release in select cities. Critics praised the film for effectively merging comedy with serious subjects, thus “balancing humor and heart.” Travolta’s “surprising stellar” performance was especially singled out in reviews and overshadowed activist attempts to boycott the film. Audiences were even more approving of the film, believing it struck the proper balance between nostalgia for the original series and introducing new material to expand on in a revival series. A financial success, the planned revival TV series aired on scheduled.
MCDONALD’S OPENS FIFTH OUTLET IN IRAQ AMID MINOR PROTESTS FROM LOCALS
Above: the McDonald’s outlet in Mosul, Iraq. This latest location of McDonald’s’ Middle East Division is the source of contention from conservative locals who believe the increase in Western influence is detrimental to national culture and domestic businesses.
…“The rise in consumerism is destroying the integrity of the Cradle of Civilization, corrupting the priorities of our nation’s youth,” says one local businessman who claims he had to close his restaurant because “the Devil Arches stole away my customers”…
– The Financial Times, side article, 6/9/2009
…The first legislative fumble of the Wellstone administration actually occurred before the midterms, when US Senator Bill Sorrell (D-VT) failed to get a worker co-op bill out of committee. A worker cooperative is, essentially, an association that is organized, or “self-managed,” by a business’s workers; every “worker-owner” participates in the decision-making within with co-op, in a democratic fashion. In some cases, a business is run by this co-op, and management is elected by the worker-owners, each of whom have one vote. Worker cooperatives are known in the U.K. as producer cooperatives, and have been much more prominent across the pond since the 1970s.
Sorrell sought to implement a federal law protecting worker cooperatives from state-level anti-union laws throughout the first half of 2009, but failed to see his bill even get out of committee due to heavy opposition from more conservative Democrats such as Labor Committee members Warren Mosler (D-CT) and Alex Penelas (D-FL). Penelas and several members of the House led this opposition by publicly stating that they believed that the situation was best handled on a state-to-state basis, as most worker cooperatives used traditional consumer cooperative laws that varied from state to state. Sorrell countered that these differences in state law were part of the problem, but this failed to revive his bill in committee. However, the progressive Vermonter was not without hope, for he soon stated in an interview “We didn’t get the bill past this time around, but you know what they say, ‘If at first you don’t succeed, legislate again.’”…
– Gary C. Jacobson’s The Power and the Politics of Congressional Elections, Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2015
…By early June, Wellstone’s list had shortened from twenty to ten: Rubén Castillo, Michael Chagares, Robert Chambers, Denny Chin, Denise Page Hood, Algenon Marbley, Stephanos Bibas, Anita Faye Hill, and Leah Ward Sears. On June 11, Gorelick publicly declined the position, with Hood following suit on the 14th, as both candidates disagreed with the President on how far the First Amendment can protect slanderous literature. Additional vetting led to Wellstone deciding against selecting Chambers due to previous conservative-leaning court rulings, and deciding against Bibas for past lectures praising various moderate Republican talking points with which Wellstone disagreed.
These eliminations left behind just Castillo, Chagares, Chin, Algenon Marbley, Anita Faye Hill, and Leah Ward Sears – a shortlist that, upon the White House Press Secretary releasing it on the fifteenth, saw much discussion not just among professionals, but among technetters as well.
“It seems these judicial appointments are becoming an increasingly public process,” noted Secretary of State Harvey Gantt. Indeed, each year saw more citizens offer up their own two cents on judicial appointments, and the big events – such as this and the past three Supreme Court appointments – were no exception. Marbley, the only African-American male candidate left in contention, and Sears and Hill, the final two African-American female candidates left in contention, were popular among political junkies, as was the tech-savvy Chin, though the Hispanic-American Castillo and the Greek-American Chagares were not without their fans, either.
However, the selection would not hinge on ontech polls and betting sites, or whichever won some “flavor-of-the-month” competition, but instead would depend on how confident Wellstone was that they would stick to progressive ideals, and how long they would get along with other members of the bench. The days and interviews continued until Chagares withdrew despite being possibly the frontrunner, citing family privacy concerns. Soon after, Castillo and Marbley were privately crossed off the list as the President’s inner circle closed in their selection...
– Linda Greenhouse and Morton J. Horwitz’s Sustaining Liberty: The Supreme Court Under Our Current Chief Justice, Sunrise Publishing, 2020
PETER BEVAN-BAKER WINS UKIP LEADERSHIP
…Bevan-Baker is the first leader of the United Kingdom Intrepid Progressive party from a Scotland seat. Bevan-Baker, who was born in Aberdeen, Scotland in 1962, began his political career as a member of the minor Green party…
– The Daily Telegraph, UK newspaper, side article, 18/6/2009
FEDS GRANT TWO MORE CONTRACTS FOR SUPERGRID PROJECT; Companies Expected To Hire 200,000 Workers For Layout, Installation, Maintenance
– federalwatchers.co.usa, 6/20/2009
TWO MORE G.O.P.REPUBLICAN SENATORS BACK VUCANOVICH’S ANTI-E.C. BILL
– The Boston Globe, 6/22/2009
WELLSTONE NOMINATES DENNY CHIN FOR US SUPREME COURT SEAT
…Chin, born Check Kong Chin in Hong Kong in 1954 before moving with his family to New York in 1956, has been a Judge of the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit since 2005, and was a Judge of the US District Court for the Southern District of New York from 1994 to 2005. …According to a source close to the selection process, Chief Justice Alan Page joined all eight Associate Justices (Delgado-Colon, Garza, Thompson, Schroeder, Sandel, Nealon, Bacon, and the retiring Lord) in supporting the nomination after a series of interview with Chin, Hill, and Sears, the final three candidates for the nomination. “It seems Hill and Sears cancelled each other out and both rubbed Bacon, Thompson and Garza the wrong way,” says the source, “but Wellstone may nominate each one of them if Chin is approved by the Senate.” However, given that the Democrats hold a majority of Senate seats, Chin will likely be confirmed, which would make him the US’s first Asian-American US Supreme Court Justice…
– The New York Times, 6/23/2009
WELLSTONE PRESIDENTIAL APPROVAL RATING:
Approval Among Democrats: 94%
Approval Among Republicans: 35%
– Gallup, aggregate polling, 6/26/2009
DID JESSE JACKSON SAY SOMETHING ANTI-SEMITIC?
…KNN report Carlton Lemon has today announced that in an informal interview he had with the former President, Jackson used “harmful rhetoric” that “could hurt Middle Eastern relations.” Lemon, in his KNN special news report, claims he was “shocked [that he] would something like that from him.”...
– usarightnow.co.usa, 6/28/2009 e-article
JACKSON DENIES MAKING COMMENTS
“He’s not like most Jews, bucking to go to back to fighting with the Arabs so they can line their already-stuffed pockets with the spoils of war profiteering. Nah, Paul’s one of the good ones. Heh. The best of the good ones, in fact!” 
These are the words that former President allegedly said to reporter Carlton Lemon in an interview conducted two weeks ago… The former President has yet to make an official and formal statement on these alleged comments…
– The New York City, 6/30/2009
 Italicized parts are an OTL quote, found via wikipedia.
 It was adjusted to $7.25 an hour at around this time in OTL: http://publichealthlawresearch.org/...ve-map-charts-minimum-wage-rates-1980-present
 OTL electric grid, proposed on schedule here but actually built much earlier here than in OTL.
 Italicized passage pulled from this interesting OTL article found here: https://healthland.time.com/2011/12/07/why-american-presidents-and-some-oscar-winners-live-longer/
 Italicized parts are from here: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/entertainment/8036055.stm
 This is an OTL quote according to this source here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fawlty_Towers#cite_note-55
 The italics is from the OTL episode; the un-italicized words have replaced “Henry Kissinger,” a reference that would make no sense ITTL given that Kissinger never rose in prominence in here; he was briefly a Deputy Secretary of State at that’s it.
 OTL quote, found on his wikipedia page
 TIL that “Angelenos” is the term for Los Angeles residents (https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/Angeleno
 Italicized part here is from OTL: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marion_Zioncheck#Zioncheck_for_President
 Unfortunately based on OTL: https://www.latimes.com/archives/la-xpm-1986-10-19-tm-5850-story.html
(Jackson’s way of speaking here is also based on anecdotes found in this article).
, I've got two questions about the details of the specific things we saw in Kentucky Fried Politics
* Regarding Star Wars
, the Prequel Trilogy came out much sooner in the mid to late 1990s and early 2000s. From the few details we know what it's like in the timeline, it does bear a resemblance to its OTL counterpart, albeit with some notable changes like Maggie Cheung playing Darth Maul (likely a Dathomirian Nightsister), Palpatine as Anakin's father (which means Darth Plagueis still exists) and Han Solo being raised by Wookies on Kashyyyk (which completely contradicts his EU backstory of being a former Imperial pilot assuming if it's still there in TTL) aside from the titles themselves for the first and third films. Since The Knights Arise
is about the backstory of the Clone Wars, this means the cast might not be the same: Hayden Christiansen is too young to play the teenage/adult Anakin Skywalker, Ewan McGregor is still pretty unknown to American audiences and is unlikely to be Obi-Wan Kenobi, which means a big-name actor like Kenneth Branagh or Kurt Russell nabbed the role and Natalie Portman hasn't even reached puberty yet nor started her Hollywood career which means that another actress was Padme Amidala instead like say Christina Ricci since she won hearts of millions as Wednesday Adams in The Addams Family
(assuming if that franchise still exists). Of course, that's if historical butterflies don't result in their acting careers being substantially different such as starring their careers early in another big movie. As for Samuel L. Jackson, it's possible he could have still played Mace Windu since he was already in the movie business with roles in Do the Right Thing
, GoodFellas, Jurassic Park, Menace II Society,
and True Romance.
Ian McDiarmid and Christopher Lee are pretty much a lock to play Palpatine and Dooku in the trilogy, same with Liam Neeson as Qui-Gon Jinn with Temuera Morrison as Jango Fett and Daniel Logan as Boba Fett presumably for the second movie. Spin-off media like the Dark Horse Comics series and TCW (or it's equivalent series) are going to be very different like who knows if Ahsoka Tano even exists and whether the non-film material would be even recognizable. The CGI and special effects will look less advanced since the movies were released at a time when they hadn't been perfected yet. Also, does Jar Jar Binks, the Gungans, and Naboo even exist in this timeline, or does Alderaan and another Gungan-like species replace them in their roles. And what is the title of the second movie?
As mentioned in previous chapters, Colonel Sanders investing in technology helped Bill Gates early in his career and, overall/more broadly, contirbuted to several computer-centric breakthroughs and developments occurring earlier than in OTL. That’s how The Colonel was able to surf the web shortly before his death in 1990. Thus, the CGI (which is called Computer-Rendered Imaging (CRI) ITTL) used for the prequel’s special effects would not be too different from OTL’s.
According to the seventh link found on Jar Jar's wikipedia article, Lucas claims Disney's Goofy was the inspiration behind said character, so some sort of comic relief character would be in the prequels. Maybe Lucas is convinced to use prosthetics instead of solely CRI for the character; I'm thinking maybe Chris Tucker could play him, but that might be replacing a couch on fire with a chair on fire - you still have a problem on your hands. So maybe some more mature comedian like Robin Williams or Dave Chappelle! As for his design, I think his early look was even worse; given that it looks like they were going for this, I want to say, "dragon"-like head shape, very reptilian, maybe they could work on it more and come up with something more humanoid, and use the original design for a "background" swamp creature that briefly bothers or attacks the main characters in one scene. Either that, or maybe they keep the OTL Gungan design and have the comic relief be of a different species that lives on Naboo, if they even decide to call it that in this TL.
Maybe one creature they can have in the background somewhere is the dik-dik, a real-life creature that would actually kind of look more "natural" on an alien planet!
The title of the second movie is The Resistance Endures
, I've got two questions about the details of the specific things we saw in Kentucky Fried Politics
* The timeline's version of the United States is a lot more progressive and left-wing: We've already had a woman on the Moon that inspired Jerrie Parsec from this version of Toy Story
(Jerrie Cobb), a black governor of Virginia (Harrison Wilson), a female President of the United States (Carol Bellamy), a black Vice President (James Meredith), a black Supreme Court Justice (Alan Page) and the last two American Presidents are African-American and Jewish respectively (Jesse Jackson and Paul Wellstone) not to mention that LGBT/BLUTAGO marriage has already been legalized and the District of Columbia/Potomac and Puerto Rico were granted full statehood. There was also an excerpt in one of the chapters focusing on Bellamy's Presidency that mentions riots and looting alongside hurricanes, which means that the Rodney King incident might have happened or at least an ATL equivalent. For BLM, even if they still exist in KFP, the group won't be the same here since U.S. politics are so different from OTL.
Yes, but don't forget about the HIP, the neo-hippies, the Bernie Bros, conservative populists like Goetz, Gritz, Limbaugh, and politically active evangelicals. The Colonel was a very religious man, including during his Presidency and especially in the 1970s and 1980s, so religious conservatism is very much a thing ITTL. It's just that that particular brand of politician hasn't been able to climb up to the Presidency since Jeremiah Denton, though the impact Goetz had on the 2008 election shows that they are a still a powerful/influence force in American politics.
, I've got two questions about the details of the specific things we saw in Kentucky Fried Politics
* What about the status of the MLB, NFL, NBA, and NHL in this universe. Since the Colonel built a sports stadium in Kentucky and there was a reference to a baseball team known as the Louisville Colonels, I'm guessing that the city received big-league football, basketball, and hockey teams. And whatever happened to the NASL, are they still active or did they fold which opened the door for the MLS to emerge as North America's premier soccer/association football league.
Yes, there's an MLB team called the Louisville Colonels and a basketball team called the Kentucky Colonels. ITTL, Louisville is the biggest city in Appalachia and Kentucky, so it's much larger in population size than in OTL. I've mentioned MLB World Series winners in the late 2003 and 1993 chapters, but outside of that and TTL's list of MLB Commissioners (which I'll include in a later chapter), I don't have much info/knowledge on how professional baseball would be different ITTL. Maybe @DTF955Baseballfan
has more thoughts on this (he certainly did during pages 22-26)?
I'm not really a follower of the NFL or the NHL, sorry, but I believe I did mention the Dallas Cowboys winning the Superbowl in January 2003. So I'll cover them in the late 2009 or 2010 chapter! Thanks!
Also: My apologies for taking so long to write this one. I blame writer’s block, being upset over tanking a job interview over the phone, and, to a lesser extent, some family drama concerning the holidays. I also am uncertain over the quality of this chapter. If anything looks off or wrong, let me know how you think I should fix it so I can address it. Thanks, y’all!
The next Chapter's E.T.A.: December 23rd at the very latest!
You haven't properly answered the title of the second prequel movie either so my guess is that it definitely isn't Attack of the Clones.
Edited it, sorry about that oversight: It's The Resistance Endures.
Another great update! Btw just wondering how was TTL's Doctor Who?
I'll include a list of actors portraying the character in the next chapter or so.