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News: Atlas Hardware Upgrade complete October 13, 2013.

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13801  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Government / Re: Atlasian Agriculture Reinvestment Bill (Debating) on: May 17, 2009, 01:41:04 am
I'd just like to comment on the amusing fact that this bill is called a "Reinvestment" while it makes cuts in every area. Tongue
13802  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Election What-ifs? / Re: The People's Party Remains, 1888- on: May 16, 2009, 06:17:26 pm
1909 Continuation #3
The Constitutional Crisis of 1909

The first major battle in the new House of Commons begins on September 14th, when Prime Minister Lloyd George again introduces the 1909 People's Budget identical to the previous attempt earlier in the year. A strengthened New Liberal-Labour coalition argues in favor of it, explaining in detail that "the taxes within this budget affect not those on the bottom, but those at the top, to fund programs which would build British society from the ground up!" Balfour and his Conservatives continue to argue that taxes on the upper class still have detrimental effects on the economy, because they can also target the employers.

Despite the Conservatives dragging out the debate over the budget (at one point in the proceedings, threatening to storm out of the chamber in protest) and assailing the "massive wealth redistribution," the People's Budget passes in the House of Commons for a second time on September 27th, 382-288. All of Britain watches as the budget again moves to the defiant, heavily Conservative House of Lords.

The Conservative Lords wrestle with how to handle the situation. Most of the Conservatives still stand in firm opposition to the budget, and make requests for changes before passage. Lloyd George and Richard Bell, however, refuse to budge on the bill, asserting the Lords has no right to reject or demand changes to legislation on financial matters passed by the House of Commons. After a much more subdued discussion, compared to earlier in the year, between the Conservative Lords, they narrowly reject the 1909 People's Budget on October 4th, to the surprise of the New Liberals, who expected them to cave under the King's threat.

On October 7th, the Parliament Act of 1909 is brought to the floor of the House of Commons which would limit the legislative blocking power of the House of Lords dramatically. Conservatives again oppose this, labeling it "New Liberal tyranny" but Lloyd George and Richard Bell counter that the "duly elected government" shouldn't be blocked by "a handful of aristocrats." It passes in the House of Commons over Balfour's vocal opposition, but it too falls victim to the House of Lords' contempt for the coalition-run House of Commons, and is rejected by the Lords by the vote of 136-104.

Later that week, after the Conservatives had called the King's threat believing it to be a bluff, King Edward VII made an announcement regarding the controversy surrounding the budget and the rejected Parliament Act.

Quote from: King Edward VII, October 25th; 1909
The House of Commons, ruled by the duly elected New Liberal & Labour Coalition, have twice passed what has come to be known as the "People's Budget." Prime Minister Lloyd George came to me after the House of Lords rejected that budget bill in February of this year, and asked for my help. To be sure of that support amongst the people, I requested the Prime Minister call elections, to reaffirm this support.

The Prime Minister did so, and his New Liberal-Labour Coalition elected firmer than the previous election. The House of Lords has chosen for a second time to intervene in matters where they have no business intervening, interfering with the processes of the duly elected government of Britain by rejecting the aforementioned budget bill and further Acts designed to limit the power of the Lords. After much consideration, the House of Lords has left me no option but to use my power to appoint a total of two hundred-forty additional New Liberal & Labour Lords.

Conservatives across Britain react violently to the news, sparking protests throughout London and within the government. Balfour leads the Conservative Party on a protest, walking out of the government on the following day, after the appointment of one hundred-ninety New Liberal, and fifty Labour life peers to the House of Lords, expanding the size of the Lords to 480 total seats. Though New Liberals are pleased with the King's assistance, many of the more moderate members of the Party express quiet concerns over the level of protests and the controversy surrounding the House of Lords.

On November 10th, after much of the initial Conservative protests had calmed, Prime Minister Lloyd George for the third time introduced the 1909 People's Budget with the full support of the King. Balfour and the Conservatives in the Commons threatened to walk out again in protest, but this time some of the more moderate New Liberals wavered, despite the urging of the New Liberal leadership and the Labour Party, agreeing to lessen the land taxes a bit and take up additional school lunches in a separate Act in the following year. Richard Bell is upset by the wavering of certain NLP members, but is assured by Lloyd George that the miscellaneous proposals will be dealt with. The People's Budget passes in the House of Commons for the third time on November 12th, 402-268.

The new House of Lords receives the budget the following Monday, November 15th, 1909. Conservatives quietly curse the King for interfering in the political process, something which is only rarely done, but realize opposition in the House of Lords is now pointless, and it will be in opposing hands for decades to come. Being doubled in size, and full of recently appointed New Liberals and Labour lords, the People's Budget passes swiftly, 359-121. Prime Minister Lloyd George writes to the London Times on the much sought-after victory:

Quote from: Prime Minister David Lloyd George; London Times, November 19th; 1909
This was a battle that was inevitable. Entrenched interests from all over Britain came together to fight against the cause of the common man, that was the cause, the dream, that sent the New Liberals to office. We were sent to office to help the underprivileged and lift up those who simply needed the opportunity for success.

This was a long and stressful year for certain, but it was a year which I believe will go down in history as the year which broke the cycle of aristocracy, greed, and oppression. Let the history textbooks have their first draft of this time: "The partisan warfare that raged around these topics was so fierce that by the end of 1909, this country was brought to the verge of civil war, and the common man prevailed."

New Liberals and Labour members regroup themselves for the winter in preparation for further reforms in the coming year, with medical care, school lunches, and the power of the House of Lords at the top of the agenda.

On December 2nd, President Debs promises to lay out in detail his plans for what he called "State-Owned Corporations" as part of his plan for "public market alternative" to the private market, and for foreign trade in the coming months ahead. Republicans also plan on pressing for New Mexico and Arizona statehood.

By December 31st, 1909, nineteen states have ratified and four states rejected the Women's Voting Rights Amendment: Nebraska, Kansas, Wyoming, Wisconsin, North Dakota, South Dakota, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Colorado, Ohio, Illinois, Minnesota, Montana, Idaho, Utah, Texas, Indiana, New York, Pennsylvania; Ratified. Virginia, Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee; Rejected.
13803  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Election What-ifs? / Re: The People's Party Remains, 1888- on: May 16, 2009, 06:16:31 pm
1906 Continuation #2:
United Kingdom General Election of 1909

In anticipation of the August General Election, to be held in the month's first week, partisan fury had erupted across the UK. The House of Lords was held in low esteem, New Liberals were being portrayed as socialists by the Conservative Party, while Conservatives were being portrayed as the uncaring, wealthy, elite. Despite King Edward's promise to appoint hundreds of New Liberal lords if the Lords did not back down, Conservatives refused. Through all of this, however, the coalition between the NLP and Labour was popular amongst the poor, and further liberals reforms demanded by the still suffering public.

A Conservative Party campaign poster, attacking Prime Minister Lloyd George's Liberal Reforms on charges of Socialism.

Promises were made on all sides throughout June and July, with the NLP promising to implement protections for trade unions during strikes, and mandating improved safety and living conditions on merchant vessels, as well as following through on the People's Budget which Lloyd George assured "would affect only the rich man." Feeling the ever-so-slight increasing popularity of the Labour Party, Lloyd George also promised to continue their partnership. New Liberals also made curbing the power of the House of Lords a rallying cry, claiming they were "interfering in the proper elected government" and "only interested in their well-being."

Richard Bell of the Labour Party made promises to introduce a bill to create a national insurance program, designed to provide medical care for all of those who fall under a certain income level. Labour soon adopted the slogan "The Lords must go!" throughout July, as many of the more radical members of the Party believed it was the proper time to abolish the Lords altogether. Arthur Balfour, leader of the Conservatives, promised to oppose any new tax increases which the Conservatives claims would be "felt on every street and in every home."

The elections were held from August 2nd to August 13th, 1909.

House of Commons Results: 670 Members

New Liberals: 300 Seats
Conservatives: 252 Seats
Irish Parliamentarists: 64 Seats
Labour: 46 Seats
Various Other Parties (Independent Conservatives, Social Democratic Federation, etc.): 8 Seats

The New Liberals once again emerge victorious, picking up three seats, and hold a total of 48 more seats than the Conservatives, who picked up a net gain of four seats due to the merging with the Independent Liberal Party. The Irish Parliamentary Party managed to pick up an additional seat in a close race between an NLP candidate, but the biggest gains were made by the Labour Party, picking up a total of seven seats. The NLP speculates that the radical anti-Lords positions of the Labour Party made their position stronger among more radical members of the New Liberal Party.

Conservatives are angered at their losses to the New Liberals, despite their slim gains due to the merge with the Independent Liberals. Balfour begins to immediately gear up to oppose the strengthened coalition between the NLP and the Labour Party in the House of Commons, and privately asks his counterparts in the Lords to oppose any efforts to pass the People's Budget for a second time. Richard Bell, Labour leader, says on the following day: "The people spoke, and the Lords are who they spoke against."

With the seating of the new House of Commons to be taking place within weeks, Prime Minister Lloyd George returns to King Edward VII on August 16th, to discuss the viability of appointing several hundred New Liberals to the House of Lords. Edward agrees to do so using his power as King, only if the Conservatives in the House of Lords refuse to pass the People's Budget for a second time.

On August 26th, Representative Burleigh Spalding (P-ND) introduces the American Waterway Protection Act, legislation which had failed twice previously during President Pattison's administration in 1904, and 1905. The Act would penalize individuals who disposed of waste in rivers, lakes, ponds, dams, ports, harbors, channels, and other waterways, and require a permit from businesses to do so, under threat of heavy fines. Democrats still largely oppose the Act, but due to the more moderate language of this version, are more receptive than previously. Minority Leader Rice Pierce (D-TN) expresses concern over the "broad reach" of the Act, but some Democrats are content.

The American Waterway Protection Act passes easily, 269-121 (One representative absent) and moves to debate in the Senate on September 1st, 1909. Majority Leader La Follette (P-WI) and Senator William Harvey (P-IL) argue passionately in favor of the Act, listing off deplorable conditions in a number of the country's rivers and a lack of "any serious environmental protection." Minority Leader William Taft (R-OH) concurs with the Populists, also worried about "the future of the wildlife of Ohio and surrounding states." Democrats claim the opposing side is exaggerating certain examples, but many Southern Democrats are also swayed by the Populists and the deteriorating condition of the more prominent American rivers over the recent years. The American Waterway Protection Act passes in the Senate on September 4th, 70-22, all of the no-votes composed of Democrats. President Debs signs it into law September 7th, 1909.
13804  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Election What-ifs? / Re: The People's Party Remains, 1888- on: May 16, 2009, 06:14:30 pm
1909 Continuation

The 1909 Women's Suffrage March in New York City, sponsored by the National Women's Suffrage Association.

On March 30th, several Democratic senators meet in private with Minority Leader Blanchard about standing down the opposition, after blocking the advancement of the Women's Voting Rights Amendment for nearly three weeks, warning that if Blanchard doesn't doesn't stand down, the Democratic Party will be "irreparably damaged" and that they would be forced to circumvent him by voting with the Populists. Blanchard heeds this advice, he too believing that suffrage rights were inevitable, and allows a vote to be held on April 2nd.

The Women's Voting Rights Amendment finally passes in the Senate, for the second time in two years, by a vote of 66-26, several more votes than necessary. It moves to the House of Representatives the following day, where Populists are optimistic that due to the recent elections, and the wide passage in the Senate, the Amendment will pass handily there as well. Majority Leader Alonzo Shuford (P-NC) and Speaker of the House John Lind (P-MN) argue together in favor of it on the floor, in opposition to some Southern Populists and Democrats. Populists manage to move the debate process along over the next several days, dodging fears of a Democratic insistence on further debate, and a vote is called. On April 9th, 1909, the Women's Voting Rights Amendment at last makes it through congress, 287-104.

President Debs and Women's Rights organizations all over the country rejoice at the news. Debs releases a statement saying "I applaud the congress for a job well done. The rights of women across the country have never been something to be lackadaisical about, and I hope the states will have ratified the Amendment by this time next year."

On April 20th, despite the fighting within the House of Commons, Prime Minister Lloyd George decides to bring forward another Liberal Reform to strengthen the ties between the New Liberals and Labour before the August elections, introducing the Miner's Rights Act of 1909. The Act is something Labour has long wanted, a limit to the work day of miners across the UK (an eight hour limit) and guaranteed ability to sue mine owners for neglecting the workers' safety. Lloyd George argues that many miners in the United Kingdom are overworked, and have little ability to sue their employers for negligence towards bad working conditions, which several surveys had found are the case in some of the UK's largest mines.

Conservatives oppose allowing workers more ability to sue their employers, with Balfour asserting that "such a policy can only hurt the coal-mining business through the abuse of worker 'protection' laws." Despite Conservative opposition and the opposition of the mine owners, the Miner's Rights Act of 1909 passes, 417-250, three members of parliament absent due to illness. In the House of Lords, the Conservative majority contemplates rejecting the legislation as a show of force, but bows to the pressure from the public and the House of Commons, passing the Act by a vote of 167-73.

Four states ratified the Women's Voting Rights Amendment by the end of April, 1909: Nebraska, Kansas, Wyoming, and Wisconsin.

On May 17th, House Majority Leader Shuford brings to the floor legislation encouraged by President Debs titled the Income Tax Fairness Act which would restructure the income tax brackets, changing the top bracket from "Taxable income over $400,000" to "Taxable income over $200,000" and greatly increase the top income tax from 9% to 50%. Debs argues that such profits are "clearly excessive and the remaining income more than enough for a comfortable living" and would be "better utilized for the public good."

Populists are firmly in favor of the act, believing that well funded public projects would benefit the country more than "a handful of wealthy" while Democrats firmly oppose it. Populists in the House fear no backlash, due to the fact that most of their voters are the poor and underprivileged, but the Democrats and Republicans often are more friendly to businesses. Republicans are split, questioning the necessity and the far reaching percentage of taxable income, but there is no serious opposition from their side. On May 21st, the House passes the Income Tax Fairness Act over Democratic opposition and allegations of "socialist tendencies and dangerous naivete" by a vote of 239-150. (Two representatives absent.)

The Senate takes up the Act on May 21st, but opposition is stiffer. Majority Leader La Follette argues in favor of it's necessity and asserts it is "perfectly fair" because citizens should "pay more for what they earn." Minority Leader Newton Blanchard (D-LA) proposes an amendment that would lower the tax rate to 40% as a compromise, arguing that "taking half of a man's hard earned money is downright thievery!" The amendment passes because Populists fear Republicans joining the Democrats on the final vote, over President Debs' vocal opposition, and the amended Income Tax Fairness Act passes by a vote of 62-30. While in conference, the amended Act is accepted by House leaders and is passed again 246-142. (Three representatives absent.) Debs unhappily signs it into law on May 28th, 1909. Business publications would later refer to this as "The Debs Hike."

On June 14th, reports come to light that Germany is mass producing what they call "Anti-Aircraft Guns" after developing the first efficient prototype easily mass-produced. Several types had been attempted by the German armed forces, such as thicker and more powerful models that lacked maneuverability, and lighter more mobile models that lacked the punch necessary to do serious damage.

Soon after, Britain, France, and Russia swiftly adopt similar designs and generate more funds in an effort to match the production of the Germans. President Debs officially declines to seek increases in funding from congress to do the same on June 21st, denying its necessity.
13805  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Election What-ifs? / Re: The People's Party Remains, 1888- on: May 16, 2009, 06:12:40 pm
The First Term of President Eugene V. Debs (P-IN), 1909

Library of Congress photograph; President Eugene V. Debs, March 25th, 1909

Throughout the Winter of 1908-1909, the New Liberals had been contemplating new fiscal policies in light of their recent reforms. The Liberal Reforms still had many goals left to accomplish, and Labour was getting antsy with the slow movement so far due to the constant opposition of the Conservative Party and concerns over budgetary constraints. Prime Minister Lloyd George and Labour leader Richard Bell met privately with other members of parliament throughout December to discuss proposals designed to bring in more revenue in order to fund further reforms, and live up to their promises to protect the lower classes and end the special treatment of the wealthy.

On January 19th, Lloyd George proposes the 1909 People's Budget with the full support of the NLP, Labour, and most of the Irish Parliamentarists. The People's Budget would increase funding and pension payments, as a condition for Labour support, towards the Pension & Securities Act of 1908 passed by the parliament in the previous year, expanded medical care for school children, and institute a variety of new taxes directed at the wealthy.

Conservatives react with horror towards the new taxes included in the budget, which include a new land tax, the size of which is varied by the amount of land an individual owns, new and increased inheritance taxes, and an array of income tax changes. The base income tax rate under the 1909 People's Budget was 3.5% for all annual incomes under £1000 (a .3% decrease), for incomes from £1000-£2000, the tax rate was increased to 5.5%, for incomes from £2000-£3000, the tax rate would be 7.75%, and for all incomes above £3000, the tax rate would be increased to 10.5%. Many Conservatives were large landowners themselves, a fact which Prime Minister Lloyd George was quick to point out.

Arthur J. Balfour, new Conservative Party leader in the House of Commons, fiercely opposed the budget on the debate floor. "Taxes do nothing but cripple the businesses of this Kingdom, the individuals of this Kingdom, the families of this Kingdom. It is nothing short of robbery!" Lloyd George, speaking up through the cheers of the Conservative MPs, countered by saying "The people of the United Kingdom sent myself and my party to this chamber to break the same cycle the Conservative Party has repeated over the last several years. Poor people in this country are suffering, the unemployed are suffering, children are suffering, Mister Balfour, you know it, and you see it. All of these measures affect only the richest of this land. Curiously, that happens to include some of the greedy people sitting behind you."

Despite Conservative rioting in the House chamber, a vote is forced on the People's Budget on January 27th, 1909. Over the objections of the Independent Liberals and the Conservatives, the budget bill passed with the combined votes of the New Liberals, Labour, and most Irish Parliamentarists, 371-299. It moved to the House of Lords, where it immediately stalled.

The Lords had never historically seriously opposed the power of the House of Commons over fiscal matters for over two centuries, but since the rise to power of the New Liberal Party, the large Conservative majority in the House of Lords had become increasingly defiant, resulting in the slow down of the implementation of several of the Liberal Reforms, and a scathing public response to the Conservative Party. Despite urging from the NLP, the Lords dragged out the process of passing the People's Budget for two weeks. In a stunning move, on February 15th, the Conservative controlled House of Lords rejected the budget bill by the large margin of 178-62.

Prime Minister Lloyd George, Labour Party leader Richard Bell, Irish Parliamentarist Leader John Redmond, and Lloyd George's confidant Winston Churchill, immediately protested the rejection of the budget, declaring the Lords has "no right" to challenge the "House of Commons' power over the purse" and party members began to demand the reintroduction of the 1909 People's Budget to force the issue onto the Lords once again.

Lloyd George, in his requested audience with King Edward VII on February 24th, 1909, asked that the King appoint several hundred New Liberal peers to the House of Lords, to forever neutralize the defiant Conservative majority and pass what he called "the will of the people." Edward VII promised he would do so, if Lloyd George would call an election later in the year, and they retained power. Lloyd George promised the King he would call for new elections to be held in August.

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) is founded on March 1st, 1909, in New York City, in response to several race riots that had been taking place over the last several years throughout the South and Southern Illinois.

Back in the United States, President Pattison was winding down his administration, and the Populists were beginning to move into town. With no serious legislation passed over the course of the Winter, (the Populists and Debs preferring to wait until they took power) it was a quiet several months in Washington, D.C. On March 4th, Eugene V. Debs was inaugurated as President of the United States, and the new congress, sworn in. Debs delivered a short speech detailing some of the things he hoped to correct over his first term.

Quote from: Excerpt of President Debs' Inauguration Speech, March 4th; 1909
There was a time when I thought I would never attain this office, a time when I thought my pursuit in leading this nation would be forever fruitless. I would just like to take a moment and thank all the people who voted for me. We shocked the upperclassmen who opposed us! Stunned the robber barons and the trusts who thought us a joke! Baffled the anti-suffragists who considered our cause too idealistic! We will continue to surpass expectations and make our mark on history, always stunning the naysayers at every opportunity!

My presidency will lead the charge to engage in stricter oversight of the business combinations, to regulate emerging automotive industries, stimulate the manufacturing sector this country relies on so heavily, and to create a new string of United States Federal Corporations, which will be owned by the this government, to offer competition to the private market this country desperately needs.

This plan will create employment opportunities for thousands, and offer products at competitive prices. Some of these Federal Corporations will be designed to do business with poverty stricken nations, to protect them from the growing abuses and poor working conditions being allowed by powerful corporations originating here in the United States, and to develop their nations along the proper values of any respectable power, social justice and economic fairness.

And we will lead the charge to give all women across this country the right to vote, to participate in the political process, as many Populist states have already done! There's a saying in the West, "a Populist woman is twice more reliable than any Democrat is!"

After the initial celebration, business of the congress had to be done. John Lind (P-MN) was selected as Speaker of the House, Alonzo Shuford (P-NC) elected Majority Leader of the House of Representatives, and second-term Senator Robert La Follette (P-WI) as Majority Leader of the Senate, following James Kyle's retirement.

On March 10th, 1909, the Women's Voting Rights Amendment is brought forward for the third time and this time, Populists are ready. Majority Leader La Follette and fellow Populists stand firmly in favor of extending voting rights to all women. Democrats however, are still opposed, but their strength is considerably weakened from the year before. Even though a majority of Democrats still oppose suffrage, the proportion of Democrats opposing suffrage continues to weaken, realizing that the mood of the public is strongly against them and without changing their positions, they stand the risk of losing even more seats. Minority Leader Newton Blanchard (D-LA), however, is still as opposed as the year before.

"As has been said, Women already have representation through their husbands, and their families. They are not in need of additional representation!" Blanchard declares on the Senate floor. La Follete disagrees, channeling the memorable speech of the previous year by Former Minority Leader James Kyle. As debate rages on, and money pours in from churches and businesses across the Southern United States, the oppositions continues, with Blanchard threatening to use all minority powers to block advancement to a vote, despite some Democratic senators expressing worry behind closed doors. Marches are led by National Women's Suffrage Association across the nation in a show of support for women's rights.
13806  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Who is the worst president of United States ? on: May 16, 2009, 02:21:07 pm
Buchanan, but GWB gives him a run for his money.
13807  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Who is the best president of United States ? on: May 16, 2009, 02:18:14 pm

TR, and Lincoln are close.
13808  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Opinion of the Issue, Part 54 on: May 16, 2009, 12:37:10 am
I picked "Lean Yes," by which I mean, "Yes, but do it right."

13809  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Is this guy a good father or a bad father on: May 16, 2009, 12:36:10 am
FF father and judge.
13810  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Obama to name Jon Huntsman as Ambassador to China on: May 15, 2009, 09:24:46 pm
Why in the world would someone do that?
13811  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Gay Marriage/Civil Unions in 10 years on: May 15, 2009, 07:10:26 pm
Haha. In states like New Hampshire and Maine, legislators enact marriage equality, and in South Carolina, they do stupid things like that. It shows a regional divide.

Look at this, a 9 year old Denver child organized a rally tomorrow Smiley Cute.

That's so encouraging Smiley

Ethan wanted to do something after learning one of the children in his neighborhood had two moms who are unable to be married in Colorado. He called local officials, worked on the permits to hold a rally, created a lineup of speakers and hung fliers around town. Ethan's rally is Saturday at noon on the West steps of the Capitol, and he says the message is simple.

"People should be treated the same and they should have equal marriage rights and equal protection."

Awesome and really sweet to hear from a 9 year old!
13812  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Constitutional Convention / Re: Parliamentary Bicameralism (Discussion Open) on: May 15, 2009, 06:52:55 pm
Elections would typically be the method, I would imagine. Especially since they're likely to happen more often under a parliamentary model.
13813  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: More Americans Pro-Life Than Pro-Choice, Gallup Shows on: May 15, 2009, 05:19:50 pm
Take abortion rights away and see how long those numbers last.
13814  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Election What-ifs? / Re: The People's Party Remains, 1888- on: May 15, 2009, 04:09:39 pm
1909 is in the works, but before I did any of that I wanted to edit part of the introduction, more specifically, 1892. So this is the area that I edited up to the election in 1891-1892

Quote from: Edited 1891-1892 Section
[Introduction] Events of 1891-1892: Populism Spreads

When the new congress convenes in Washington DC, President Harrison and his Administration are increasingly concerned. Republican gains were completely erased, and Republicans were swept in the West and Midwest. Couple this with whispering of Democratic and Republican defections for what was "The Voice of the People," a series of articles appearing all over the country’s newspapers praising greater than expected Populist gains, and the situation for any Republican looks very grim indeed.

The Populists, however, are elated with the mark they've made on the House of Representatives and the Senate and immediately push for legislation enacting the direct election of Senators, and a Farmer's Assistance Administration, which would give financial assistance to struggling farmers throughout the South and Midwest, who the Populists argue were the hardest hit by the McKinley Tariff of 1889 and previous tariff increases, which they also propose slashing considerably.

The Majority Party (Democrats) are torn on taking up the legislation. The pro-business wing of the party refuses to consider such legislation, citing the Democratic attacks on the "Billion Dollar Congress" as reasons to refuse additional spending, while the Pro-Populist factions of the party, centered in pockets of the South such as Florida, North Carolina, and Alabama, are sympathetic to legislation to assist farmers. When the Republican Party refuses to support such proposals, the Democratic Party breaks towards the same positions, and it looks like the Populist Party will have a long and unproductive two years in Washington.

Reports come to light in mid-1891, published in The Progressive Farmer and The New York Times that the Sherman Anti-Trust Act, passed in the previous year, is rife with loopholes, allowing corporations to control industries such as the sugar, tobacco, and railroad industries. This forced workers in certain areas of the country to work for large businesses for little pay and long hours. Head of the United States Civil Service Commission, Theodore Roosevelt, largely echoes Populist disappointment calling the report a "national tragedy."

Jacob Coxey (P-OH) is overheard in his district by reporters complaining about the Sherman Anti-Trust Act, calling it "a complete and utter sham" and remarking "It defines a corporation as a person! What manure! Combinations are tools of the state and of society."

The Chinese Exclusion Act is brought forward for renewal & revision in February 1892. It is renewed for ten years, once again suspending Chinese Immigration to the country. This Act is strongly supported by Labor Unions and Populists, who argue that Immigration lowers wages and hurts American jobs. Despite Republican opposition, most of who label it "the legalization of racial discrimination" the extension passes 232-100.

The Johnson County War

Throughout the last several years, farms in Wyoming and other areas of the western United States had been dealing with severe blizzards, droughts, and other unfortunate weather, making it difficult for small farmers to properly maintain their farms. As a result of the harsh weather conditions, many crop-fields were decimated and livestock lost. After receiving no help from the government, a group of small farm owners throughout parts of Wyoming banded together as the Northern Wyoming Farmers & Stock Growers Association (NWFSGA) led by farmer Nate Champion, on January 12th, 1892 to do business with one another in competition to the larger and more powerful Wyoming Stock Growers Association (WSGA) that was backed by several large business interests, corrupt politicians, and law enforcement officials.

The WSGA demanded the NWFSGA immediately disband, claiming dominion over the area and its livestock, and that only they had been granted permission to do business in the area by the local government. They ignored their demands, and accused them of lynching several small farmers in the area that interfered with the WSGA’s business, and claimed they were preparing their own “roundup” in which cows and calves would be divided up between the farmers and branded, directly threatening WSGA business.

The Northern Wyoming Farmers & Stock Growers Association, meeting again in the Spring of 1892.

By the Spring of 1892 however, the situation had grown dire. The NWFSGA had rounded up more cattle than the WSGA had anticipated, prompting them to allege the local farmers were engaging in an effort to ally themselves with “rustlers” (cattle thieves) to hurt the business of the WSGA. Throughout March, several farmers associated with the NWFSGA were found dead, but local law enforcement dismissed and downplayed their accusations that the WSGA was behind the murders. It would later come to light that several of the local sheriffs had been bribed by the WSGA to keep quiet and that they could “handle the situation.”

On April 2nd, led by former Johnson County sheriff Frank Canton, a party of skilled WSGA affiliated gunmen attacked the ranch of Nate Champion, burning it down, and later murdering him, leaving a note on his body the NWFSGA would find the next day, “Beware, cattle thieves.” By April 9th, a group of farmers, hunters, and individuals from the local chapter of the Farmer’s Alliance, banded together to arm themselves in their defense, and launch a counter-attack on the WSGA as revenge at the behest of Nate Champion’s final journal entry as his ranch was being burnt to the ground.

The “Farmer’s Militia” (as the media would later call them) attacked the WSGA at the TA Ranch, one of the largest ranches in Johnson County, Wyoming. After an intense shootout, the Acting-Governor of Wyoming was informed of the situation via telegraph and immediately sent a plea to President Harrison requesting swift assistance, and asserting that local authorities are unable to prevent the violence. On April 11th, the 6th Cavalry Regiment intervened and put a stop to the shootout that had been continuing sporadically up until that point.

By April 12th, the “Johnson County War” had become a national news story, and investigations done by The Progressive Farmer would reveal that the WSGA was being supported by wealthy Republican businessmen throughout the western U.S. and the members of the WSGA themselves, Democrats.

The 52nd Congress, however, is remarkably unproductive and accomplishes very little over the year.

Populist Party Convention, 1892

Populist delegates meet in Omaha, Nebraska, later nominating James B. Weaver for President.

The Populists meet in Omaha, Nebraska in mid-1892 to discuss the future of the Populist Party for the first time. Taking advantage of the disastrous “Johnson County War” and those in the WSGA were from both major parties, Populists attempt to spread the news that their candidates would protect small farmers from large farm owning business men, and institute policies that would “aid and lift up” family farms to compete.

The Populists eventually nominate former Republican Congressman and Greenback Party nominee in 1880 James Weaver from Iowa, for President. Former Congressman Weaver selects Former Confederate General and Virginian James G. Field as his running mate and he is quickly confirmed by the Populist delegations.

--(The rest is unchanged)--
13815  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Will Nancy Pelosi be Speaker by the end of the year? on: May 15, 2009, 04:02:03 pm
I don't see any reason to believe she won't be.  It's very rare that a Speaker of the House is actually voted out, and I think enough Democrats like Pelosi for her to keep her seat.

Welcome to the forum. Smiley
13816  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Will Nancy Pelosi be Speaker by the end of the year? on: May 15, 2009, 03:15:32 pm
Don't intrude on the anti-Pelosi circle jerk, px.
13817  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Will Nancy Pelosi be Speaker by the end of the year? on: May 15, 2009, 12:38:27 pm
Of course she will be.
13818  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Are you scared of Obama's health care plan? on: May 15, 2009, 12:37:57 pm
What exactly is Obama's health care plan?

I'm wondering this myself.
13819  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Summary of political beliefs on: May 15, 2009, 12:19:53 pm

Abortion: Personally pro-life, but at the same time I don't believe it is the states right or responsibility to legislate morality.

Gay Marriage: Support fully. However, I believe it will be quicker, easier, and more in line with the constitution to leave it up to the states. Look at the wave of gay marriage legalization.

Am I the only one here that notices the obvious contradiction there?

Health Care: Reform and modernization is needed. Oppose all forms of government sponsored health care including medicare and medicaid. First of all, it is a states responsibility, and second, they simply cost too much money. Deregulate, but be careful about said deregulation.

Leaving it to the states is a terrible idea. We've done things like that with certain expenditures in the past and Canada also dumps alot of it's healthcare spending onto the provinces. It always turns out bad because states (or provinces) don't have the ability to bring in revenue like the federal government, and a lot of states are constrained by balanced budget amendments. This either forces states to go into debt or cut other useful services that ends up having negative consequences.
13820  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Congressional Elections / Re: Pennsylvania 2010 - The Official Thread on: May 15, 2009, 11:44:36 am
More trolling. Pathetic.

k thnx
13821  Election Archive / 2012 Elections / Re: You're Advising the Republicans.... on: May 15, 2009, 02:30:23 am
In case you hadn't noticed, Republicans already have a lead on the generic ballot.  Expect it to grow.

You "forum legends" crack me up.

Watch the generic ballot numbers.  When six months go by and I'm proven right, we'll see what you think then.

Prattle on about the 'generic ballot' numbers, I personally don't think generic ballot numbers are a proper way to judge a party's situation. It's sort of like asking "Pizza vs. Pasta" it's so vague it's meaningless. I like pepperoni pizza more than macaroni, but I like spaghetti more than fruit pizza! My point is that asking "generic" questions in this area is stupid, because no one can properly poll a "Dem vs Republican" issue until we actually know the candidates.

In any case, I'm not sure how you can cling dearly to that one thing considering that hispanics and asians, the two largest growing minority groups, are trending against you, young people are trending against you (and have been for a long time), certain key swing areas & states are trending against you (and have been for a long time), Obama's approvals have remained in roughly the same area so far, a record low number of people identify as Republicans, voters have been ditching the Republican party steadily in critical states, people strongly disapprove of congressional Republicans, and people deeply distrust Republican competence on the economy and favor the Democrats by wide margins.

(I posted a long rebuttal to SS about this, I'm Sad no one responded.)

If all that changes in 6 months, then hot damn, I'll leave Atlas, but I think you folks desperately need to come to the bitter realization that people don't like your party right now, at all, and have been slowly trending against you for a decade, and you're probably stuck out of power for a good long time. To make your argument "Anything can happen!" renders any discussion on this site pointless, so I don't even know why you're participating if that's the case.

And what cracks me up is that people think ideology and not events are going to drive political development over the next few years.

I'm not sure what point you're trying to make by that. You're either making a "duh" statement so obvious I'm not getting it or you've mastered the Sam Spade non-statement statement.
13822  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Agree or Disagree: Katy Perry is hotter than Britney Spears at any time on: May 15, 2009, 02:00:17 am
My disdain for Katy Perry cannot be articulated in words, so even though I'm not a good judge of "hotness" (I think Eleanor Roosevelt was cute) Britney Spears Tongue
13823  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Congressional Elections / Re: Pennsylvania 2010 - The Official Thread on: May 15, 2009, 01:42:25 am
You can't really blame Arlen for leaving the Republican Party. I think he did so for personal politically ambitious reasons after seeing that he would never beat Pat Toomey in the GOP primary. That notwithstanding, I do agree with him. The Republican Party has become so polarized that you have to be a conservative to be in the party. Moderates are almost all but gone in the party (save for the Sisters of Maine and the three GOP governors in New England, as well as Charlie Crist and the Governator). The Party of No has quickly become the party of exclusion.

I completely agree with you, but please remember who the author of this thread is when you post things like that in the future. Tongue
13824  Election Archive / 2012 Elections / Re: You're Advising the Republicans.... on: May 15, 2009, 01:39:20 am
In case you hadn't noticed, Republicans already have a lead on the generic ballot.  Expect it to grow.

You "forum legends" crack me up.
13825  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Comedy Goldmine XI: The Atlas Forum Demilitarized Zone on: May 14, 2009, 11:46:56 pm

That's funny how, exactly? It's a legit question in my opinion.

I think he posted it so we'd understand why his second post was funny.

Yup.  Is that against Comedy Goldmine protocol?

I think you're asking the wrong two guys. Tongue
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