New Deal Coalition Retained III: A New World

Completely forgot about this update. Sorry about that. Anyway, liking the details given to all the various successor states.

BTW, this update hasn't been threadmarked yet. Someone should fix that.
1995 General Update

The Carson-Kemp Commission and Fallout

“On January 5th 1995, the Results of the Carson and Kemp commission had came out, linking both concussive and sub-concussive hits in football to brain damage in kids and teenagers. It also noted that football-related head injuries were, and would be, a preventable financial drain on AmCare. The report noted that “so long as we strive for Healthcare for all, it is in the best interests to prevent injuries before they happen, so that doctors can focus on other cases which can’t be as easily prevented”.

Lobbied for by Spiro Agnew, head of the PTC, and Vince McMahon, Progressives and Republicans worked together to pass the Lamm-Lewis Bill on Athletic Safety. This bill banned participation in football (excluding variations of the sport like flag football), until legal consent age of 21, which would effectively kill off the sport as talented would go elsewhere. NFL Analysts predicted that legal gambling could save the sport regardless, but George Wallace had passed a formal, and strict, ban on sports gambling, one that included so called “Fantasy Sports” according to the courts. The PTC, MLB, and ASA all started an “astroturf” campaign, mobilizing mothers, doctors, and teachers against football. They believed that by working together they could break the NFL and NCAAF, and claim dominance in sports. They simultaneously went on a united community engagement spending spree, trying to build deep community relationships that would replace the grassroots relationship Americans had with football.

McMahon said in a later interview: “We could kill the NFL, but grassroots high school football was harder. High School football is crap sports, quite frankly, but everyone in those small towns participates, that’s what makes it succeed. Without the games who do the cheerleaders cheer for? When does the band perform? When do we learn about the Homecoming King?, We at the ASL were trying to do with our soccer programs, but we always had the issue that we had to siphon the best talent to academies to develop the best players”. While grassroots tennis, soccer, and baseball had made large improvements at the grassroots level (especially tennis), they had trouble ingraining themselves in Dixie. While baseball games, tennis matches, and soccer tournaments could bring towns together in the North, East, and West, in the South, Football remained king. As George Wallace once said in opposition to the bill, breaking with the Democratic majority, “Football isn’t just a sport down here in Alabama. It’s a religion.” In the rest of small town America though, the sport of choice seemed on the way to balkanizing.

Where else would the band play and the cheerleaders do tricks?

Smaller non-Big 4 Regional sports also found gain attempting to fill football’s void. Lacrosse, formerly popular in only a few areas in the Northeast, also found an evangelist in New York senator George Pataki. Promoting the sport as uniquely New York’s, the state was gaining a maturing lacrosse league even before the war. (Championships tended to be lopsided, with only about 10 towns from Long Island and from the Finger Lakes region usually making it to the championships though). Colleges in the Northeast got into the action, with the Ivy Leagues like Yale, Columbia, and Brown, and other schools like to a lesser extent Georgetown, Fordham, Loyola and Stony Brook forming lacrosse leagues.

Other parts of the country such as California and Oregon formed burgeoning cricket leagues, which often stand as a challenge to the heavyweights, New York and Pennsylvania. By far one of the most unexpected sports to carve a niche in America was cricket. Winston Churchill Jr. once wryly noted that America was finally learning the proper form of the sport instead of “that bastardized sport they call baseball”. Imported to the United States during the 60s by the Indian Diaspora, in the cities of the Northeast and California, as well as suburbs with high Indian and Pakistani minorities, cricket ended up for the most part replacing baseball in many schools. Speaker Modi once visited an inner city to see the opening game, even throwing first pitch (cricket did not usually have this in their games, this was an American addition).

Cricket also benefited heavily from the collapse of Golf, which lacked interest from TV stations especially post-war. Post-war, as the new cultural consensus emerged, Golf simply failed to enter the picture. Few new courses were built. In addition, luxury tastes simply moved on from the sport. Inflation also killed demand for expensive golf equipment even amongst the wealthy. The mid-nineties health craze meant that a sport involving carts was no longer fashionable. The post-war resurgence in religiosity meant that such a long game (even relative to cricket) seemed idiotic. Even the baby boom stood against the game, shouldn’t the father be at home raising his kids instead of avoiding them? Cricket, the sport of “the more cultured parts of the world” (the British Empire and her Subjects) entered this niche (though it had fierce competition from tennis), though it was more popular amongst the lower classes than Golf ever was. Two styles of cricket in the US, one brought in from the Indian Diaspora and one amongst the old WASP elites would compete for the soul of the sport. One emerged from the inner cities and the other from he new luxury Cricket, Swim, & Tennis Clubs. This dichotomy would make for great television. In 2007, America even did what was once thought impossible, and became a test nation, though they definitely still are one of the worst teams.

College Club Cricket

For the rest of the country, baseball is still America’s pastime, one of the Big Four.

The World Series (which recently actually became global with the entries of Japanese and Korean teams into the tournament) is still one of the most anticipated tournaments of the year.

Overall, interest and participation in sport increased greatly post-war. It was bolstered at first by a mid-decade health craze but it would be incorrect to say this was the only source. The baby boom lead to a huge growth in youth participation, bolstered by the words of various child health experts and parenting advice programs on television. However, the common beleif was that “the family that plays together stays together” leading to increased adult participation as well. Lastly, the HEW Secretary obtained funding to launch a nationwide “patriotic call for exercise” to clamp down on preventable diseases that could have bankrupted AmCare. This call also supported participation in competitive sports, especially between local communities, “to build the small town spirit that built this nation”.

Meanwhile, in Congress…

Overwhelmingly, outside of diehard sports partisans (who favored their sport above all others), men were against banning Football according to polls. However, the issue militantly mobilized otherwise moderate suburban female voters that while traditionally Rockefeller Republicans, had pulled the lever for Iacocca in 1992. In addition, Urban Progressive voters, city councilors, and mayors came out against football. Dick Lamm knew that these voters were increasingly disappointed by the centrist-ting of the Progressives. He thought he could throw them some red meat by forcing the Lamm-Lewis Bill. In addition, he could demonstrate the power of the Progressive Party by forcing Republicans to put this to a vote. (Those in the House already knew that, with the Progressive Party a bane on legislation).

Majority Leader Lugar, after receiving notification of Progressive Unity, decided to unite the Republicans around the bill. Speaker Modi had qualms. He wanted to defend the now rising Texan Republican Party, which he believed could be the kingmaker in Republican politics. He knew that if Football youth participation was banned, all of the work he and his compatriots had done to gain the rural vote would be lost. However, as a new speaker, he decided to follow in line, especially after Perot promised future cooperation on the budget. Southern Republicans were allowed to defect, (the same for the Democrats), but some of the more suburban congressman were whipped into supporting the bill. In the senate, defections from the Texas delegations were mitigated by progressive unanimity and surprise endorsements by Bob Casey Sr. and Bernadine Haley. After cloture was approved by a united Republican-Progressive Vote (ending a filibuster by Jesse Helms) all eyes looked at Iacocca, who had yet to comment on the bill.

Dick Lamm speaking to national media outside of The Capitol

Iacocca was unsure what to do. He personally agreed with the bill and felt that as a “DC Outsider President” he should push beyond party lines and vote for it. However, he received a phone call from a trusted confidant from Washington who had extremely ran home the point that he should veto the bill lest he endorse and financially support a Jesse Helms 1996 primary challenge.

Iacocca used his veto powers three days after Lamm-Lewis passed. Southern Republicans, lead by Phil Gramm, spoke in unison to party leadership the next day and refused to vote for it. Realizing the bills defeat, and feeling that the Progressive Party had played them, Lugar and Modi didn’t even bring the bill to a vote.

After the hearings, debate, bill, and veto voters were frustrated at Washington. Many felt that DC was controlled by special interests that determined what was voted on and wasted time. Voters looked for a uniter “to reflect an America united in all its states, if not in Washington”. Culturally Americans felt united, but DC didn’t reflect this. The public had appreciated Iacocca’s veto, but still felt that he couldn’t control Dick Lamm. After WWIII, all of this infighting and division over Football seemed silly. This sentiment would grow as other more serious social issues would come to the forefront….

While many people didn’t expect this political Punch-and-Judy show to have long term repercussions, presidential campaign historians would later believe that it had a profound impact on the 1996 Republican Primary.”

Excerpts from The Football Crisis and the 1996 Election: The Hidden Connection by Newt Gingrich

John Lewis used the Football Issue to make himself look less squishy, and seen by others to have “built a reputation as a moderate that actually has a backbone” (New York Times 2/10/1995). At the time he was polling highly, had strong financial connections with the Rockefeller family donor base, and had just had a documentary made of his earlier days in the civil rights movement. However, thanks to this conflict, he now looked petty in the eyes of voters and as someone who would ignore the issues that mattered to the Republican Base and instead catered to donors. However, he did have his stock raise amongst “tennis moms”, concerned mothers who wanted to keep their kids safe and for Washington to protect them, who would become his core constituency. Overall, his poll numbers declined.

John Lewis enjoying an Ice Cream to "make himself feel better after the Veto"

Out West, two governors saw their political press rise thanks to their avoidance of the issue. Jane Dee Hull, the Governor of Arizona, and Bundy, Governor of Washington both deflected the issue by saying Football should be “safe and legal”. Bundy famously started attending Supersonics Basketball Games with other Washington Celebrities, endorsing the “Pacific Pastime” as “safer and with twice the action”. Comedians quipped “and with twice the drugs”. (a reference to the Len Bias Scandal. Basketball player Len Bias, considered by some a friend of Bundy, had been caught taking cocaine, eventually getting arrested.) Iacocca added in, telling reporters: “Bundy can’t choose whether to hang druggies or hang out with them!”

Jane Dee Hull would force the High School associations to ban dangerous kickoffs, but did attend the state football championships. She also managed to secure state funding for the major warm up tournament to the American Clay Court Championships and the American Junior Championships (ITTL EQ to Little League World Series). This appealed to the tennis-mad Korean-American Republican base in suburban Phoenix. His straddling of the issue, while embracing base Republican support for tennis, made her look like someone who could navigate the complicated nature of the Sixth Party System.

Dick Lamm, the man who pushed the legislation through and stalled Congress for months on it, earned his nickname “the senate pest”. He also had managed to placate the Urban Progressive wing of the party, albeit temporarily, whilst infuriating the more doctrinaire libertarian minaprogressives. (Iacocca’s minor heart attack during the time of the debate wasn’t directly related to the sports debate, though it was a sign the stresses of the job were definitely hurting his health.

Shortly after the football debate, he announced he would not be going for a second term, leaving the race for the Democratic primary wide open, and giving America its first one term president in 28 years.) The failure of the Lewis-Lamm Bill stung the Progressive Party. Iacocca had placated the Robertson-Helms southern wing and kept the party together. However, he seemed incapable of rallying a discordant congress. Congress had wasted time, but the President got blamed. While nobody hated the President, he seemed “stuck in traffic” while the nation moved forward.

Even in the saddest TV Address of his tenure, Iaccoca cracked a great joke...

Changes in the Supreme Court

During his term on the presidency, president Iacocca appointed a total of three justices to the highest court in the land. These were to replace in order, Justice Thurgood Marshall, Justice Byron White, and Justice Harold Carswell. After Thurgood Marshall’s death in 1993, Iacocca’s appointment of the court was Rosemary Barkett, the chief justice of the Florida Supreme Court at the time. Nominated partially to throw a bone Kennedy liberals in Congress, as well as her credentials and likely sympathetic voting record, Barkett’s nomination sailed through the court without much fuss, in an almost unanimous decision. Progressives supported her as she was seen as a candidate who would support a repeal of Obey vs. Dyke. After the death of Byron White in 1994, Iacocca nominated one Alan Dershowitz to the court as well, also passing without fuss, shortly before the midterms. Dershowitz’s civil libertarian and liberal political leanings earned him the support of the Democratic Party and of the Progressive Party, and he was respected by the Republican Party for his handling of the law. He was well known in the media for defending “Hanoi” Jane Fonda, and Kenneth Bianchi, noted as performing admirably in the courtroom. At the time of his nomination he was serving on the Third Circuit of the District of Appeals. After the big gains made by the Progressives in the 1994 Midterms, they attempted to contest the nomination of former Independent Delaware senator, (though he caucused with both the Republicans and Democrats at different points in time, more recently with the Democrats) Joseph Biden. He would be replacing Harold Carswell, who died that year. Attempting to gain a judge with more minaprogressive leanings, (some floated Ruth Bader Ginsburg around, though those ended up getting shot down for those looking for a less political choice), the Senate delegation attempted to filibuster the bill, though with a supermajority on the court, they were ignored after a vote for cloture. Joseph Biden became an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court. Overall, Justice Barkett proved to be one of the more liberal members of the court, while Dershowitz slowly made more conservative decisions during his time as justice. Biden stayed consistently a moderate liberal.

Biden talking to reporters afetr the first round of Judicial Hearings.

Justice Derschowitz

Conspiracy Theories

Every ideology has its crazies and all three parties were no exception to this. Popular conspiracy theories often involved plots to set up dystopian new world orders, with each having their own version. While conspiracy theorists were relatively unpopular during the 90's, the worst case scenarios they came up with are often reflective of their own views, and what they fear the most.

Communonationalist conspiracy theorists believe that the LibCons want to privatize the US army, and disband the constitution, so that [Insert Global Corporation here], using their armies of Angry Black Men, can rule the US in an Anarcho-Capitalist Society puppeted by the Chinese. One where Christianity is for the most part banned and adherents are outright persecuted. And of course, before this, white southerners will be put into slavery as reparations for the civil war, and sold amongst the corporations for use in the McMines™. All the factories are rundown and in disrepair, while America is flooded with cheap foreign goods, and America bows to the devil that is free trade.

Tinfoil hats can protect one from Corporate Atheist Propoganda

Minaprogressive conspiracy theories believe that Democrats and Republicans are working together to institute Theocratic Law and ban travel or trade outside the United States. They’re fearful that they’re going to take their guns, some extreme minaprogressives believing banning semi-automatic rifles is the first steps to forming a theocratic 1984. Margaret Atwood’s A Handmaid’s Tale is also a favorite of many such conspiracy theorists. They are also often afraid of being shut out of government by a cabal of the two major parties, which they see as scared of the Progressives upending the order, and who secretly wish to see a return to the fifth party system.

Liberty Conservative conspiracy theorists have the perception that a racist deep state exists in America, run by the Democrats and the communist, err, progressive party, itching for the chance to see a Jim Crow America puppeted by a resurgent USSR (no matter how unlikely the latter is, it is an extremely common fear in America that this may happen while America isn’t looking).

Rumsfeld and Iacocca were both not immune to such theories either. This is not even mentioning about the theories as to other presidents….

As the president during World War III, many conspiracy theorists believe Rumsfeld started the war to further his own interests, gain power, or even to win his second term...Secretly engineered the election of the Freyist Party, started false flag attack to get chemical weapons used in the war, was actually secretly a communist.

Iacocca was believed to be secretly a puppet of George Wallace, who really ran the show in the White House. This was based on reports that George Wallace frequently made visits to the White House, though neither Wallace nor Iacocca commented on this....

"The Real President"
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What has the lovable Mr. Wallace been up to since he left the White House?
After his presidency, Wallace wrote his memoirs (there full sets of them) and stayed active in Democratic politics. He also makes Social issues and Foregin policy hawkishness his mainstaying issues,campagning for the Briggs amendment in California and telling Iaccoa (to whom he is a frequent advisor) to Nuke Russia.
Ok, the importing of Cricket to America with the Indian diaspora was not something I anticipated, but I love it all the same :D

So it's the banning of guns by the government that will lead to the Handmaid's Tale. God, that line made me bust a gut. Great job!
ITTL Supreme Court as of 1995:

Chief Justice Robert Bork (Reagan Appointee); Conservative
Justice Robert F. Kennedy (Wallace Appointee); Liberal
Justice Bill Baxley (Wallace Appointee); Moderate
Justice James Meredith (Reagan Appointee); Conservative
Justice Phyllis Schlafly (Reagan Appointee); Conservative
Justice Emilio Garza (Rumsfeld Appointee); Conservative
Justice Dan Lungren (Rumsfeld Appointee); Conservative

Justice James Thompson (Rumsfeld Appointee); Liberal
Justice Rosmary Barkett (Iaccoca Appointee); Liberal
Justice Alan Dershowitz (Iacocca Appointee); Liberal

Justice Joseph Biden (Iaccoca Appointee); Moderate

Bork is like Scalia, Kennedy is Breyer, Baxley is Byron White, Meredith is Thomas, Schlafly is a farther right version of Thomas, Garza is like Alito, Lungren is like Roberts, Thompson is like Blackmun, Barkett is like Kagan, Dershowitz is hard to say (probably Kennedy on size of government, Ginsburg on everything else), and Biden is like O'Connor
The Iacocca Doctrine

In the aftermath of World War Two, the Truman Doctrine guided America’s Cold War policy, stating that America would come to the defense of nations under the threat of Soviet aggression, the policy of containment which defined that 40 year period between world wars.

The Iacocca Doctrine had a similar basis. The foreign policy decisions of president Iacocca would act as a guideline for American foreign policy in the new world order of the 90s onward. Despite a few overseas blunders during his term, his foreign policy guidelines for America are still used by presidents to this day.

Key achievements of Iacocca's foreign policy included:

-Resolution of the Rwanda Crisis

American intervention in the region was likely crucial in keeping tensions from exploding into all out conflict between the two tribes, or worse.

-Final partition of the USSR

Russian revanchism was quite high at the time, and if the FRR unified the entirety of Russia, it’s thought that it’d only be a matter of time before a strongman swooped in and took the reins, restarting the Cold War with the West, possibly with a different ideology. The FRR is thought to only peacefully exist today as a democracy because of the strict limits on its army, and strict limits on pro neo-communist movements. It and a few other Russian countries are thought to be fully desovietized by the general population, but the idea of the states reunifying today without consequences for the West seems like a mad dream.

(Some like Gerhard Frey bring up the idea that even the Russians, which the German public believe have menaced Germany and the world consistently over the past century, can been redeemed. Though for many Germans who lived through Operation Konstantin, or Soviet occupation they see no desire in leaving Russia as anything other than a collection of statelets).

-Intervention in Siberia to curb Zhirinovsky's power.

The neutralization of Zhirinovsky's Russian Republic with the EMP strikes two miles above Siberia disabled the nuclear weapons in his arsenal, and prevented him from becoming an even bigger menace to the Russian states.

-Overseas Corruption Elimination Act

(More detail further down in the update)

-1995 UN Biological Weapons Convention

Thanks to successful lobbying by his UN Representative William Jefferson Clinton, in arguably the greatest triumph and multilateralism, the United Nations agreed to pass the Marburg Resolution, which banned biological weapons and gave the International Biological Weapons Commission full authority to investigate all military facilities for evidence of their construction. The punishment for failing to comply was immediate sanctions, without a vote required (so that no single nation would stall sanctions proceedings), and an immediate emergency vote to consider military intervention. It was an unprecedented restriction on national sovereignty for the betterment of the greater good.

The United States, China, India, Germany, and the Second Timurid Empire (looking to become a major power), all headed this international effort. The scare of the Marburg virus and the devastation wrought on South America proved a warning to the rest of the world. The disease was dangerous, and it was only through uncommon international cooperation, exceptional leadership, and luck that a pandemic was avoided. Now, the great powers of the world would gradually eliminate their stockpiles over the next five years. In addition, the Timurids would work with the Chinese and Germans to prod the various ex-Soviet Republics to release (and in some cases find) the ex-Soviet biological weapons stockpiles. The fear of the Marburg epidemic ensuing again had led surprisingly led to cooperation from rogue states like Serbia and North Korea. Unleashing biological weapons on a nation can easily backfire on one’s own nation as well…

In short, the Iacocca Doctrine followed the idea that America was the world’s policeman and a protector of freedom. The nation, in this new unipolar world, should act as a neutral arbiter of disputes which it has no involvement in, and choose to take the morally right side. Problems, if possible, should be eliminated before they even become a major issue. Without a rival to compare itself to and try to defeat, America could bask in its position of dominance. Parts of this appealed to isolationists and interventionists alike. Isolationists were on board with the idea of staying uninvolved in world politics, letting nations throughout the world to have their disputes, but acting as an arbiter when two sides of a conflict eventually did come to the negotiating table. Interventionists thought it was America’s duty to prevent conflict from reaching a boiling point when possible, and that the nation would end up giving a moral guideline for other nations to follow its example.

The Double Whammy of Inflation and Drugs

Iacocca's automobile trade war lead to retribution from Europe, especially in the steel department, where France and others instituted export quotas, eventually it became a part of a growing rift with the French, which continued into the next presidency as well. While U.S. manufacturers had access to steady supplies of American steel, the manufacturing industry often used foreign steel, as its emphasis on later stages of production forced many companies to import. In addition, tariffs on US agricultural products were raised. Generally, global and transatlantic trade had been nearly bled to death by WWIII already, and now it seemed what little had survived would be gone.

The steel crisis had began. US automotive, aeronautical, and construction companies found that they had to cancel numerous projects, product lines, and new developments as the supply of additional steel required dried up. Industries dependent on US government funds, like defense, were initially unaffected as as they relied on domestic steel. But this would not be true elsewhere.

Lockheed had its major Fort Worth civilian plant (a new post-war addition) grind to a halt. Management in response, decided it would sacrifice an average of 5% of its profit margins to outbid other companies for domestic steel. This set off a national bidding war that drove up prices on manufactured goods. This became especially critical given that the larger, more steel-reliant, post-war reconstruction projects were still not yet completed (a famous example being the New Chrysler Building, and to a lesser extent the restoration project on the Statue of Liberty though since America got its copper mostly from domestic and Chilean productions, the project was at best only delayed.) In addition, this bidding war bled into other goods-such as aluminum, oil, and even food (threshers and tractors increased more in price than any other good at this time, and relief from the Agriculture Department “Was peanuts” (Anonymous Iowa Farmer-1995) which led to a rapid increase in crop prices). For a crisis involving steel and automobiles (including Chrysler) to occur under Iacocca's rule would haunt the man. In his biography, Iacocca wrote that “What we now call the 1995-1996 steel crisis gives me a share of sorrow to this day”.

Standard and Poor’s, Moody’s, and Fitch, all agreed, in response to the trade war, high inflation, increased government spending, and 0.7% growth in 1994 to downgrade US debt from AAA all the way to AA after Iacocca's Fed Chair Pat Choate vastly devalued the US Dollar, an indication in their minds that the US might try to inflate out of its debt. Many considered the prognostication aggressive, some argued that it was mostly intended as a message to Iacocca, but it rapidly had an effect on the American economy. Interest rates went up again, slowing growth. Iacocca was furious as he know felt it was going to be impossible to pay off debts from WWIII for a while as a result of this. The National Debt now became a major issue. While the US economy was not in recession it was basically at 0% growth, emblematic of the middling to sub-par performance of his domestic policy….

Luckily he found his own success in foreign policy, improving his standing among the American people when thinking of his legacy. Historians in particular look fondly on Iacocca's presidency and reward his commitment to a stable transition to peacetime and helping along a new spike in birth rates to help recoup losses from large civilian and military casualties from WW3. His commitment to banning biological weapons is regarded as one of the most important and successful international agreements in history by scholars. Iacocca was nicknamed “The President your Professor loves but your dad hates” in a 2006 biography, an analysis which summed up his positive, if mixed legacy.

The Growing Drug Crisis

The Drug Crisis in America had been on the underside for years, and to understand it, one needs to understand many of the factors involved. One big, but overlooked source of drug trafficking were white nationalists. The KKK and other white supremacist groups were in dire straits for decades. They were losing support in many states outside of the South, and with it much of its funding as well. Many of their members in government positions or police departments found themselves fired and they were no longer even on the minds of the average American. The KKK in particular very stupidly played much of their cards into Operation Red Dog (A/N: Same Operation as OTL except with somewhat more manpower behind the KKK, and some level of success until the KKK members involved get killed in a firefight with Caribbean forces), and with the death of David Duke it had lost its leadership. Federal leadership was in the process of cleaning out leaders one by one, and the group was left even weaker than before. To add insult to injury, former white nationalist, Lincoln Rockwell mocked his former compatriots on national radio. And so they turned to the drug trade. One drug which gained prominence was made using a plant well known to many of its Southern members being Sassafras. Extract of Sassafras oil had contained Midomafetamine, a drug often used in psychotherapy, better known on the streets as Sass and Molly. The KKK got involved in trafficking the drug across the country from profit. Meth made a fair part of their trafficking too, easy to make in trailers or labs, and used frequently among the poor in rural areas. Though their real money maker was what they called “Designer Drugs”, expensive drugs which they sold to the rich. Designer Drugs are analogues to illegal substances created to avoid detection or laws which declare the parent drug illegal. As new types of drugs kept popping up, federal enforcement found it almost impossible to keep up. Drugs like Mosquito (DragonFLY), and Zydro became extremely popular in the growing rave culture in colleges.

South America had been seeing growing chaos in the aftermath of World War III, and when things eventually did stabilize in most areas (except Brazil, dealing with a civil war), Chile was the only liberal democracy, the rest were just complete tinpot dictatorships, and the Defenders of Inti, a growing menace to the Peruvian junta, was also getting into the drug trade. Cocaine and the native Peruvian drug "yage", clinically known as DMT, were especially popular in the U.S. The NCA seemed impotent in its efforts to stop the importation of drugs into American ports, languishing under the Iacocca administration. And yet America seemed in the dark about the drug crisis, not understanding the full extent. As the crisis became large, it slowly began to enter the public conscience, as stories came out of how major cities from Los Angeles to New York were beginning to be hit with an influx of drugs hitting both the inner cities and younger, richer college students and young adults. Soon though, it was all the News Media would talk about, in a sort of self-perpetuating spiral of paranoia. For many it felt like the drug crisis came out of nowhere, and many with teenagers and young adults in college many parents were concerned if their kids were becoming drug addicts.

A frightening documentary in this period which drove home the problems in America’s collegial drug crisis in particular was the movie Animal House. Created by filmmakers Gavin McInnes and Shane Smith, the two visited well known party schools and elitist universities, giving Americans an inside look into the culture into the lives of some of these students, some of them who on the outside were straight A students and athletes dependent on drugs like cocaine and zydro. The worried “tennis mom” demographic of America saw this and got extremely upset. Some parents even went far to even believe in rather dumb conspiracies, like that pharmacies and drug corporations were also behind it, however many people dismissed such a belief as being completely stupid. But nonetheless this did cause a huge effect in the television and film industry, in which many movies even those that weren’t rated for minors had to censor or delete scenes in which it shows characters doing drugs. The controversial Christian organization called Christian Parents of America (known for their racism, prejudice towards other religions, xenophobia, homophobia, and anti-science) even got involved in the mass panic, stating that films and television shows that even showed drug usage would “brainwash” American youth into thinking that drugs are “cool” and not “sinful”. Of course many sane people didn’t buy into that bullshit and thankfully many did view it as utter bullshit.

But still due to the mass paranoia, the government had to even make anti-drug advertisements to at least inform youth of the dangers of these harmful drugs. Some anti-drug ads even showing animations of popular characters like Mickey Mouse, Bugs Bunny, and even the latest popular blue hedgehog named Sonic.

Anti-Corruption Success

One of Iacocca's finest tripartisan achievements was the Overseas Corruption Elimination Act. This act would eliminate the then common American business practice of bribing off foreign officials in return for contracts. Most European states had already passed such laws, but the past administrations of both parties had believed that US business ties to various corrupt states were essential to preserve the balance of power.

With the Cold War over, Iacocca felt that the federal government had to reform US business practice to be more open to the rest of the world. In addition, American companies spent too many resources on bribes that needed to be moved towards developing the technology that would ensure American competitiveness through the 21st century. In the short run, anti-corruption measures would send a message to Europe that the US was not blanketly anti-trade and wanted to resolve the trade war (though this wouldn't happen until later). It was also limiting American investment overseas and causing tensions in some Third World countries as corporations offered bribes to officials to overlook unsafe or illegal practices, or in the case of Honduras with the company Chiquita, influencing the elections themselves.

Antonin Scalia (R-Texas), Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio), and Paul Wellstone (P-Minnesota) all worked together to craft the OCEA. The OCEA prohibited American corporations or individuals from influencing foreign political officials with personal gifts, payments, or rewards. Any corporation or individual whose business involves US components, factories, offices, etc. is subject to this act. For example, an expatriate can be prosecuted for bribery that occurs completely within another country. Also, all publicly filed companies have to file compliance reports to the SEC. Lastly, covering up bribery would now result in massive fines and jail time for company executives.

Iacocca hoped that this act would help send a message to the rest of the world, and called for an international agreement to replace the now failing GATT superstructure of trade. However, the French, joined by the Germans, were still furious about Iacocca's auto tariffs (and existing agricultural tariffs) and bluntly announced “we will not bow down to American Overlords”. In addition, India and China refused “to become part of the American Empire. Even Winston III shied away from such an agreement, instead proposing a Commonwealth free trade zone. At home, the auto unions and southern wing promised they would never approve such a motion. And so the trade war raged on. And America began to look forward to the presidential election.

The German-Polish Border Commission

Borders of Germany and Poland after the German-Polish Border Commission

One of the most important parts of the postwar process was of course, the German-Polish border commission. This would be one of the most important events of the post-war peace process, as this was one of the main reasons the war started in the first place. It would require moving at least millions of people, and the gravity of the situation was not understated when the commission went to work. Before the demarcation of the borders, it was agreed beforehand that Germany would regain at the very least both East Prussia including Danzig and Stettin, with everything else being left for the future.

Even if Germany got a full return to Weimar borders, the Poles weren’t getting a completely unfair deal with the return of the Kresy, which was plenty enough to relocate Poles in the land they would lose. The Polish government under Lech Wałęsa spun it as making right the wrongs of the Soviets, with an attempt made to relocate families that lived in the Kresy before World War II and now lived in land to be given to Germany, to their old homes. There was also the issue of natural resources, as Upper Silesia had many deposits of minerals and importantly, coal. Upper Silesia was also an industrial area, and was opening up rapidly to investment from Western powers. Then, there was also the issue of Poland needing a port of its own. While Germany offered up Danzig’s port to be open to the Polish free of customs, the Poles knew that if relations soured with the Germans (unlikely as that since the Polish people overwhelmingly favored the West and especially seeing the Germans as liberators, willing to go to war with the Soviets to save them), they would be fully under the mercy of the government and practically landlocked. And so the Poles had that in mind when entering the negotiating table with the Germans. Keep as much coastline as possible, especially ports. And try to keep Upper Silesia and if possible, the city of Wrocław. Western Poland also tended to be more built up compared to the poorer East, a result of the negligence the Russian Empire had when developing Poland, then a backwater. This was quickly beginning to change however as development took place during the Soviet occupation as well, and investment in Eastern Poland began to flow in.

From an English language commercial by the Polish government.

While the Oder-Neisse Line had partially (though only barely) justified itself using the borders used by the Piast Dynasty a millennia ago, the new borders justified themselves (though again only barely) as similar to the borders of Poland in the 1400’s, a time which was closer to the reality of the situation pre-WW2 then it was during the Piast Dynasty.

That is to say, Germany would regain Lower Silesia, Neumark, and most of Pomerania, though Poland would keep Upper Silesia and Ustka, which would become its secondary port after Gdynia. Neither side was totally happy with the settlement, Germany wanted to see a return to all German majority areas from the Weimar Republic, and Poland wanted to keep Köslin and possibly even Breslau. But it was satisfactory enough. Poland actually even came out with the better end of the deal, oddly enough.

The migration process itself was less of a hassle then it had been in World War II, for one it would be completely voluntary. Poles or Belarusians and Ukrainians could stay in Germany or the former Kresy as long as they made an effort to learn either German or Polish. And those who could prove ancestry in the region for at least 80 years could also stay, as they were just as welcome in the land as anyone else in their opinion. Many Silesian Poles decided to stay and assimilated into the native Silesian community. Lwow (formerly called Lviv) and other cities in former Ukraine polonified quickly, though the countryside and suburbs took time. The Belarusian community in Poland had to do some soul searching for a while, many of them were out of touch with their heritage, many of them preferring to speak in Russian, indeed in Belarus proper Russian almost became an official language, before the government began a Belarusian nationalistic approach by making Belarusian the only main official language (albeit using the Latin-based script instead of Cyrillic despite it being using used by the Belarusians for centuries). When it came to religion many Belarusians were still Orthodox, but there was now a recent change in which many young Belarusians either converted to Roman Catholicism (since Catholicism was common in Poland since the days it converted to Christianity) or were atheist (which the majority of the younger population were, seeing the horrors of World War III and living under harsh rule by the Soviets made many Belarusians who were children at the time feel that either God abandoned the world or that God was a jerk who never cared for humanity to begin with). When it came to assimilating into Polish society, majority of the younger people ended up becoming integrated as they began to learn Polish while still speak their native Belarusian tongue at home or with other Belarusian friends. Belarusian youth also sometimes adopted Polish-like surnames as a way to fit in. However the older generations of Belarusians absolutely refused to assimilate into Polish society, even going as far to refusing to learn to speak Polish, and with the younger Belarusians assimilating they saw this as betrayal. However the Polish government was very devoted to polonizing Belarus, seeing it as easier then with the Ukrainian population. Many Poles also were on board with the idea that the Belarusian identity was artificially created to the Soviets, though this isn’t completely true at all. They couldn’t do much of anything to the Belarusians and Russians refusing to be “polonized”, but the Polish nonetheless renamed many cities in Belarus under Polish names and as such many examples being the towns of Nieśwież (formerly called Nyasvizh or in Belarusian Cyrillic as “Нясвіж”), Berezyna (formerly called Bierazino/Беразіно́), Smolewicze (formerly called Smalyavichy/Смалявічы), Zasław (formerly called Zaslawye/Засла́ўе), Hancewicze (formerly called Hantsavichy/Ганцавічы), Kojdanów (formely called Dzyarzhynsk/Дзяржы́нск), Wysokie (formerly Vysokaye/Высокае), Kamieniec (formerly called Kamyenyets/Ка́менец), Świsłocz (formerly called Svislach/Свiслач), Lachowicze (formerly called Lyakhavichy/Ляхавічы), Jelsk (formerly named Yel'sk/Ельск), Iwacewicze (formerly named Ivatsevichy/Івацэвічы), and Oszmiana (Ashmyany/Ашмя́ны). As such many towns in Polish Belarus were given Polish names either the names of what they were once called back during the Interwar Period or even as far back during the time of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. Many things were in the need to be renamed, and for a while a board was even set up to rename towns and villages after any sort of Polish name from that area, or famous Poles in the region or were born in that region.

Ukrainians on the other hand were largely left alone, though many took the option to move to the Hetmanate, the government there eager to boost their population with the new migrants. Many settled in Ukraine’s newly conquered regions in the South, nearly 4 million making the trip. Astrakhan, on the Caspian, was an especially popular destination. But in Poland the Ukrainians were largely left alone, and given a lot of autonomy in the nation, guaranteed a certain number of seats in parliament, and having many government functions carried out in the language.

Iacocca's Moon Base

“We choose to go to the Moon, because in this day and age, America needs something which will rally us together, and what better to know that whenever we look at the moon at night, that there are American citizens there, living out a giant leap for Mankind.”

-Lee Iacocca-

President Iacocca was thinking of his legacy after his heart attack. Knowing he only had a year and a half left in office, he felt he needed to finish off his presidency with something that would make him be remembered. He had already done a successful job in setting up America’s future foreign policy in the postwar environment, in later years called the “Iacocca Doctrine”. But outside of that, domestically he was seen as at best an OK president, not the worst but not the best either, a middling president whose last two years would see him a lame duck as gridlock in congress stopped him from achieving as much as he wanted to. He needed something which could carry tripartisan appeal. What better than reaching the heavens?

Recently there was a proposition in Congress to cut NASA’s budget, something which angered several congressmen in districts which benefited from the jobs work on NASA missions had brought their state, (though William Proxmire, in retirement showed support for the bill). Debates like this were frequent during his presidency, as part of the overall post-war debate continued over what parts of the agenda from the Second interwar period should be kept and which were unnecessary relics of the past. Many argued that NASA had almost no purpose at this point, and that expeditions into space were vanity projects, a holdover from the time that America wanted to beat the Soviets at anything and everything. And nowadays most of the world was on America’s side, and its growing (though still non-threatening) rivals, China and India, didn’t have space programs as developed as even the nascent German space agency, which recently sent its first man into orbit around Earth. There was still the issue of all the jobs that may be lost from gutting the agency, but it seemed to be that NASA was on the way out…

Alabama Senator Richard Shelby was upset. His state had gotten a lot of funding and jobs from NASA projects, especially the city of Huntsville, home of the Marshall Space Flight center. He called for more funding for NASA, and had an idea for something that would warrant an increase in funding. He called for the idea of something which captured the imagination of sci-fi in recent years, and had been casually bounced around as a proposal in Washington for years. The idea of a moon base. The plan was likely going to fail and end up like many half baked space travel plans in recent years, but the president made it his own. He saw this bill as the basis for what might become one of his crowning achievements, and worked to see it through. The at first unlikely proposition began to see the light of day after the president’s hard efforts to get the pill to pass. It found opposition mostly from fiscal conservatives wary of spending money on such projects. But the project found support from Democrats, Republicans, and to some extent Progressives who saw this as the perfect way to boost national pride. After personal efforts to convince swing votes and concessions to the Progressives like a rider for extra farm subsidies.

Hearkening back to the eras of the Space Race and the other speech about going to the Moon, Iacocca pledged that in ten years, there would be men on the moon yet again, working on a permanent facility in its polar regions. All for the cost of around 25 billion dollars, surprisingly cheaper then expected. Of course, to get to the moon required the need for a rocket, and more funding for NASA.

Unfortunately, the Saturn V was discontinued due to a lack of suitable payloads in 1980. Though one of the more powerful American rockets up for the job, the Titan II, could send some material to the Moon. The rocket, built at the time by Lockheed Martin, was mainly equipped as an ICBM though many satellites had been launched to low earth and geostationary orbit using the vehicle. And it was still quite capable of carrying up to three tons worth of stuff into Trans-Lunar Insertion. An upgraded version of the rocket, in the works to be completed by 1999, was able to carry double. (Down the pipeline was also the Space Launch System, or SLS, a super-heavy rocket inspired by the Saturn V. It would be a monster of a rocket, and if it went to plan, would have a reusable first stage in later iterations.) Before astronauts landed on the surface, many components of the base would be supplied by regular missions to the moon, incrementally building up the base. The German, French, and British governments immediately jumped on the idea, pledging that they would contribute to building the base as well. Other countries were interested in sending astronauts and experiments in the future. (Eventually a system similar to the Soviet’s former Interkosmos program was created, allied nations were able to send over astronauts and experiments of their own with help from the American space program.)

As for extra funding for NASA, funding for it had increased to a full 1% of the budget, (this took a lot of maneuvering for it to end up seeing the light of day to.) Even still, some programs had been gutted to accomplish the rather expensive goal of a Lunar Base. Mostly much of NASA’s Aeronautics research and its Earth Science budget (The fossil fuel lobby celebrated the latter for obvious reasons).

To start off, the first modules of the base would be sent to the moon in unmanned missions, with humans arriving later the next year. The site for the base was chosen as an underground cave nearby for protection from meteorites and atmospheric phenomena. Modules would continually be brought over to the moon along with expeditions, slowly expanding the base. The goal was for expeditions to eventually reach some level of self-sufficiency as astronauts grew crops of their own during the lunar day in greenhouse, and made their own rocket fuel from the lunar ice. Scientists likened the moon base as a possible “gas station” of sorts in the future when humans travel further into deep space. And as a mission to the Moon was nowhere near as challenging as say, a mission to Mars, it didn’t take long for the first parts of the moon base to reach space.

This happened on August 4th, 1995, during an unmanned mission. The first men to land on the moon for the first time since Prometheus 20 wouldn’t come until after Iacocca's presidency though, and for a while it seemed like the project would be abandoned by the next president. The new administration, though, decided to carry on with the moon base idea as well despite going over budget and behind schedule, and many in the House and Senate calling it a useless money hole. They just didn’t have the political capital for it, especially seeing the spike of interest in space seen after the first modules landed, and NASA receiving the first pictures of the moon in 19 years. Calls for scrapping the administration’s previous plans because of concerns for the base’s budget would be unpopular anyways. Hope of new sciences being tested on the Moon, as well as the sheer prestige factor of the mission made it untouchable compared to proposed missions to Mars, which got nowhere and were canceled soon after the next president came into office. The International Moon Base would eventually see their first astronauts, two American men, and a German woman, in July 8th 2000, finding many of the components of their base already there to be set up. Included was an experimental “3D Printer”, which was created so astronauts could create tools of their own while on the moon. The process proved useful for making tools needed by astronauts, though kinks in the process showed it would be a while until the base could make for example, building materials for entire habitats. Testing discovered Helium-3 on the Moon, a rare isotope of Helium on earth, but plentiful enough on the Moon. The astronauts stayed for an entire week, leaving on the day on what on earth was a lunar eclipse, but on the moon, a Terran eclipse.

The Indian government showed interest in such a mining operation, and went to work attempting their own mining operation to the moon. Its space agency went into overdrive to catch up, eventually sending its first man into space and later joining America and the former Soviet Union as the third nation to put men on the moon in 2005... 2005 was also an important milestone. As on June 15th, after Iacocca's death, and 10 years after the initial announcement which started it all, the crew of the International Moon Base finally were able to create rocket fuel of their own using the lunar ice itself, a major step in maintaining self-sufficiency, but not to the full level that Iacocca had predicted in his speech 10 years before. Astronauts were on their way though. While new modules needed to be shipped on Earth on Titan, and later the SLS and other rockets from companies like SpaceX, repairs and tools were often created on the moon, using the lunar regolith as a base. Plants grew well in lunar soil when mixed with water and fertilizer, some hardier plants and algae were able to do well with just the regolith and water, their decomposed remains fertilizing the soil with organic material.

Another important lesson learned from the moon base was the effects of isolation on the crew, and how to balance the workload with the crew with free time.

This included the Mutiny on the Moon. Members of Expedition 6 were staying for four entire months on the moon base, a jump compared to the time spent by Expedition 5, just one and a half. This mission had been rather demanding of the crew, as they were expected to keep a similar cadence as the mission (which had been run by veteran astronauts as compared to the current crew, four of them being rookies), and they inevitable fell behind on schedule. Tensions with mission control were running high, and the astronauts were sick of the increasing workload. Eventually they decided enough was enough and that they wanted to take a break from their demanding bosses. Lead by astronauts Jimmy Fletcher, son of the NASA administrator during the Rumsfeld years, and Erik Christian, an earth scientist, the seven astronauts on the base cut off all communications with earth and ran the base themselves for half a week. Christian and Fletcher led negotiations with NASA when Mission Control became concerned as to how they were going. They eventually got what they wanted and received a lower workload. When they finally returned to earth, however, they were fired and prevented from going back to space again. The mission had taught NASA a valuable mission in the effects of isolation on human beings and the effect on a crew.

The International Moon Base and its projects have proven greatly beneficial for scientists looking to see the effects of working in deep space, with the Moon acting as a testing ground for future missions like those to Mars or even possibly Venus. Its final cost after the station was entirely completed was 70 billion dollars, almost 3 times above the proposed budget, and finished 5 years behind schedule in 2015. It is thought though that it has or will soon recoup the costs thanks to the new technology tested and pioneered by those working on the Moon Base. 3D Printing had advanced leaps and bounds thanks to NASA investments, being used back on earth to simplify the manufacturing process of parts, as well as models for patents and manufacturing. Use in the commercial market has stayed a largely niche industry. The long term effects of low gravity on the human body was also researched, leading to critical research into osteoporosis and towards how colonization of the Moon, Mars, or other planetary bodies might go.

Reusable Rockets

After the base was created, rocketry has become more efficient as reusable rockets have entered the stage, these experimental rockets were first created by upstart rocket company, Exacutech. Founded in the early 90’s by an early investor of DeLorean named Steven Jobs, Jobs was always a visionary at heart, and always wanted to find a way to leave a mark on humanity. So he looked to the heavens and found his company there. After a bad start and a sting of failed launches, Exacutech eventually nailed an attempt to send a spacecraft, which it called the Dragon, to orbit. In fact they did so well that soon after they got contracts from the Department of Defense to launch a series of satellites, the purposes to this day are unknown but what is known is that there were at least 12 of such launches over time launched into Medium Earth Orbit. (Popular theories by space enthusiasts state they were involved in navigation for military personnel). Boeing got on board with the idea too, not wanting to be shown up by an upstart. They fully committed with the idea soon after a famous study which found that contrary to popular wisdom of the time, reusable rockets were feasible enough to try and may reduce costs by 50%. After testing progressively bigger rockets, Boeing had its first Vulcan rocket, sending a satellite into space. It was an expendable launch as they didn’t have the fuel budget for returning to Earth though. The upstart rocket company Exacutech had eventually nailed landing the first stage of their Macintosh, followed soon after by Boeing. Importantly for the moon base, in particular, the Macintosh Heavy was 100% reusable on both stages, and capable of going to the moon in later upgrades...This was taken to its logical extent in 2014, with its first fully reusable flight to the moon. The rocket could vertically land on the landing site, (nicknamed “Mostly Harmless” by the crew in reference to Douglas Adams’s books), load with the members of the expedition at the time, and then vertically land during the return to earth. Nowadays the government has slowly begun to let private space companies from North American and Europe take advantage of it. The base mostly is supplied by rockets from private rocket companies, including astronauts, an improvement from the times when NASA was the only American entity capable of carrying humans into space. Nations from all over the world have been represented, including the South African company SpaceX, based in Terra de Boa Gente. Missions into the outer solar system have also been allowed higher payloads as a result of the use of the moon as a way station, taking advantage of the lower gravity and the fuel depots developed there. Future administrations would fund contests such as the Mars Prize, a contest to develop a satellite which could enter Mars orbit and take in data from above. The pay out of 100 million dollars spread among many groups had helped fund a wave of companies, the NewSpace. The Space Race of today would be among the private sector.
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