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126  General Discussion / History / Re: Opinion of Leon Trotsky on: August 12, 2016, 10:24:39 am
Permanent FF.
127  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Nixon vs Hillary on: August 12, 2016, 10:18:03 am
Depends on Nixon's VP. Y'know, considering an inevitable impachment.
128  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Clinton campaign releases dankest ad on: August 11, 2016, 08:57:42 pm
"Even with my post-ironic lenses, this made me want to kill myself." A+ Comment
129  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Election What-ifs? / Re: You Can't Shoot An Idea on: August 11, 2016, 08:41:30 pm

Leaders of the Two Koreas: (Left to Right) Kim Il-Sung and Syngman Rhee

  "No longer can the truth of Communist aggression go unheeded. Diplomacy has failed us and it is past time we move on to more serious measures to curb this threat. The Soviet Union has spread its evil ideology across Asia, now securing a heinous ally in the Red Chinese. This combined force may prove to eliminate any buffer between Communism and the Eastern Hemisphere. Recent maneuvers in Korea indicate the time to act is now."

  This sentiment expressed by Deputy Defense Secretary Robert Lovett on June 25th, 1950 encapsulated the rising international tension in regards to Korea. Following a tense standoff, North Korean armed forces, led and directed by Kim Il-sung, effectively declared war upon the South on June 25th in their crossing of a mandated border into the South. Standing by his pledge to protect global democracy, President Dewey immediately allocated limited naval support to the region and urged the United Nations provide assistance.

  The president, hoping to avoid a drawn-out conflict across the Pacific, stated that he would seek the protection of South Korea and end the conflict with "unilateral and total peace." Dewey succeeded in enlisting the assistance of George Marshall, Army Chief of Staff under FDR, and famed, retired tactician General Charles Summerall. These two well-seasoned men organized three divisions officially referred to as the "Korean Defense League."

  Although President Dewey recruited the nation's best military personnel to organize an intended swift war, anti-Communist hardliners were hardly appeased. Freshman Senator Joseph McCarthy (R-WI) declared his sour temperament to reporters on a daily basis. McCarthy fumed, "It is vital Dewey name this an offensive war against the wicked forces of Communism instead of his, frankly unacceptable, present direction." Indeed, the president's move to call war in the name of defense of North Korea proved controversial within the party.

   Dewey was no fool, however. He understood from the advice of his military aids that seeking unconditional surrender could mean the entrance of China and the Soviet Union into the conflict. President Syngman Rhee of South Korea made it clear that he intended to overtake the North and unite the nations. This exact sentiment had been the one most desired by the U.S. military higher-ups. According to those present at Dewey's tense cabinet meetings, General Summerall, Brownell and the president himself were the three lone voices advocating a solution short of completely vanquishing North Korea from the map.

  Several weeks of bloodshed passed as the United States Army overtook the 38th Parallel and pushed the fledgling North Korean military beyond P'yongyang. The president ordered advances to halt prior to reaching the province of Kaechon while UN forces occupied outposts in Hungnam. Secretary Ostertag explained to a hostile press corp in early-October, "The president's end-goal is the ultimate abolition of international Communism. This is our destination following a carefully plotted journey. There shall be no involvement of Chinese Communists nor Russians into this conflict. There shall be no atomic exchange. There shall be no wasted blood."

  Although the American Right denounced this tactic, including General MacArthur who urged the president confront Red China directly at the Yalu River, Democratic moderates and most Republicans agreed that the United Nations' defense of South Korea had been a success and, subsequently, the Communist army was driven into submission. Immediately after Ostertag revealed the new, cautious foreign policy of the United States, events moved along quickly as global opinion towards the Korean conflict flipped in favor of peace. The UN thereby gathered to discuss how best to handle Korea, with 15-1 in favor of an immediate armistice. In a matter of days, the organization concluded that a swift armistice would be the proper short-term solution.

  Syngman Rhee, who forever adamant in the righteousness of his cause declared that he would reject any calls for peace by the United Nations, begrudgingly (and somewhat suspiciously) folded to demands set by the United States to seek an armistice. Negotiations would continue throughout the following year, but, at last, on November 12th, 1951 in the city of Kaesong, delegates from North and South Korea agreed to a total ceasefire. The terms were somewhat muddled and a treaty was never signed, but the war had reached a quiet end with each Korean government remaining in power.

"The Korean Armistice never managed to bring on that Jap Surrender euphoria."
Herbert Brownell, Jr.
130  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: This article utterly destroys Jill Stein in every way on: August 11, 2016, 06:30:37 pm
Stein is not the greatest candidate for the Left, obviously. She needs to be clear, concise and well-researched in her positions as to avoid trash-worthy hit pieces like this one. At the same time, articles like this demonstrate the hypothesis that Stein is a threat: which is exactly what helps increasing awareness. The majority of Green supporters already know these things about her (and her less-than-fantastic choice for running mate) and support her regardless.

The only genuine criticism in this piece is her position reversals, which, granted, would be rather harmful to her campaign if morons weren't distracted by the petty wifi remark. Comparing her to Trump is rather excessive.
131  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Election What-ifs? / Re: You Can't Shoot An Idea on: August 11, 2016, 05:20:52 pm
Well, bye, bye, Mr. Sam; this will certainly have effects in Texas politics...

He will be missed. Sorta feel bad for the fate I made for him Tongue

This is fantastic. The world you're building (or re-writing) is concise and expansive all at once. The divergence is smart and believable; the Civil Rights plank of the 1948 Democratic platform definitely altered history with regards to whether Wallace or Thurmond became the strongest point of third-party opposition.

As a law nerd I'm most interested in history of the courts, and so far you haven't touched on President Dewey's relationship with the judicial branch. This term won't be terribly exciting, as his only appointment will come from Justice Frank Murphy's death, but it does pose some interesting possibilities for who Dewey can elevate to the bench. Like Tom Clark, Brownell seemed to be an easy choice as Attorney General (as three former AGs were on the bench at this time: Robert Jackson, Harlan Stone, and Murphy himself), but his candidacy appears to have been Borked. Hugh Scott would be a sure vote for Brown in the coming years, but Taft and Co. could put up a fight.

Excited to see where you go with this!

edit: I actually forgot about the (extremely forgettable) Sherman Minton. Dewey will get two appointments in 1949.

Thanks for your input, glad you're enjoying the timeline thus far. I definitely try to keep my althis tales out of the realm of "and so it turned out Dukakis was an alien all along!" territory. The historian in me doesn't approve of alternate history/elections in general, so I try to grapple with that by keeping things as realistic as possible (within context obviously).

Was actually doing some research this morning on the topic of judicial appointments. That will be addressed in an upcoming part, though giving away any more than that could unveil a spoiler :V
132  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Opinion of US Presidents Series: Franklin D. Roosevelt through Lyndon B. Johnson on: August 11, 2016, 05:11:58 pm
Each of these have their stellar highs and hideous lows. Averaging for my scores.
Truman: HP
Eisenhower: FF
Kennedy: FF (favorite)
133  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Opinion of Warren Buffet? on: August 11, 2016, 02:56:01 pm
Major HP. Regardless of supposed liberal politics, Buffet is another born-into-wealth billionaire who's attitude about his "earned" wealth is utterly sickening. He's repeatedly advocated against serious financial reform, has actively invested in corrupt organizations and firms, and even advised the budget-cutting operation of Gov. Schwarzenegger.

"There's a class war alright. My class is making the war, and we are winning."
--Warren Buffet
134  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Republicans tell RNC Chairman Reince Priebus to de-fund Trump on: August 11, 2016, 02:39:58 pm
That would be a smart move, but the bad press would be a disaster.
135  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Who will Jim Webb vote for? on: August 11, 2016, 10:01:46 am
136  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Who would you vote for in a hypothetical election on: August 10, 2016, 02:55:03 pm
Gorby easily.
We could use some glasnost right now.
137  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Should 3rd amendment people do something about Clinton? on: August 10, 2016, 02:49:14 pm
Trump's only in favor the anti-veteran 3rd Amendment so soldiers won't be allowed in his vast portfolio of penthouses.
138  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: If Hillary wins, which Republican will she have in cabinet and what post? on: August 10, 2016, 08:13:42 am
Very few. Likely a Huntsman or Collins somewhere.
I'm more worried about her supporting proto-Repubs like Garland.
139  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Election What-ifs? / Re: You Can't Shoot An Idea on: August 09, 2016, 08:19:46 pm

Speaker of the House Samuel T. Rayburn

 Throughout Dewey's first two years, the Democrats struggled deeply to retain strategic unity. Initially, the party remained steadfast in support of their once-president Harry Truman, with some holding firm to Governor Laney's call for a reevaluation of the Ohio vote. Once Truman offered his final concession and Dewey took office, the former president expressed his enthrallment in exiting the dirty realm of national politics. He was satisfied with the foreign policy direction of President Dewey and did not prove to be a common critic of the Republican leader. The divisiveness in the Democratic Party was left to fend for itself, meaning various leaders took up control of these sects.

  Democrats, for the most part, were more than willing to work with Dewey in accomplishing security measures and providing governmental assistance to those stuck in poverty. These centre-left "Truman Democrats" held dear the legacy of their past president and worked diligently to secure bipartisan agreements with Dewey having to do with foreign policy arrangements, tax alterations and otherwise. This briefly became the mainstream of the Democratic Party, and establishment Truman Democrats constituted roughly 3/5ths of the total party.

  "We were scrambling in the dirt by 1950," explained Matthew Connelly decades later. "The moderates held on in the immediate aftermath of the election and we thought it best to follow the insistence of President Truman to express willingness to compromise. [To Co-Host Roger Mudd] As you recall, the day following the midterm elections the Post printed something along the lines of 'So Goes the Captain, So Goes His Ship.'"

  Connelly found himself, in the early 1950s, working for various Democratic candidates for Congress. He brought to prominence a handful of "miracle" Democrats who managed to survive the thrashing of '52. Allied with Truman's former chief aid, Rep. John Lesinkski Jr. (D-MI) and James J. Murphy (D-NY) were able to withstand Republican favorites. Connelly, struggling to rebuild notoriety following Truman's failed bid for re-election, put himself out there as much as possible.

  "Sam Rayburn was our rock. He is why nobody heard the term "Dixiecrat" before the 50s." Connelly explained. "Sam called himself 'The Bridge', meaning he interlocked the wildly different Northern and Southern Democratic factions with ease. We who had been in the business since FDR knew and respected his ability to guide the House in the direction the president preferred. Imagine my elation when he requested I of all people work on his campaign."

  Speaker Sam Rayburn (D-TX), leader of the House since 1940 (with a brief reprieve in the 80th) effectively opened up initial compromises between Truman Democrats and President Dewey. Rayburn prided himself on his openness to bipartisanship. To him it was a virtue. To his constituents, it was a horror. Texas Attorney General Price Daniel (D-TX) announced in January of 1950 that he would be challenging Rayburn for his House seat. Speaking before an audience in Paris, Texas, Daniel stated, "Like many of you, I believed in Speaker Rayburn once, but his present direction is a disgrace. Our identity as a party shall whither away with Texan influence in Washington if we stay the course."

  Brushing off the Congressional challenger, neither Rayburn nor Connelly paid much attention to the race or the message espoused by the Texas AG. Distracted by broader goals to preserve the Democratic majorities, Rayburn failed to realize that his massive polling lead slipped within three weeks from +29% to +5%. Connelly and Rayburn scurried in a panic back to the latter's home district to campaign, and they did so rigorously. Though the team far outspent Daniel and drew larger crowds, Rayburn was defeated by 284 votes. As Connelly (and truly, the whole of the party) would discover, this race was emblematic of the entire country.

The Truman Curse: House Speaker Defeated By Smallest Margin in District History
The Texas Observer, March 1950
140  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Post your most controverserial oponions on: August 09, 2016, 10:24:28 am
Guns are not the issue in mass killings.
Israel does not have a right to exist.
Global working class revolution is inevitable.
Oh, and the Matrix was a crap film.
141  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Opinion of Jill Stein? on: August 08, 2016, 05:29:02 pm
FF. There were better options but she's stronger on tv than Bernie was.

Howie Hawkins would've been legit.

142  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Hot take on Evan McMullin's campaign? on: August 08, 2016, 02:49:55 pm
NeverTrumpers should support Johnson. So HC.
143  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Bernie Sanders on Twitter: "We have virtually no voter fraud in America..." on: August 07, 2016, 10:53:15 pm
Feel like this was supposed to be an anti-Voter ID Laws tweet, but the messaging was unclear.
144  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Opinion of US Presidents Series: William H. Taft through Herbert Hoover on: August 07, 2016, 09:21:32 pm
All HP
145  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Hillary to Police: Don't Endorse Me on: August 07, 2016, 04:24:07 pm
I have no problem with this.
146  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Election What-ifs? / Re: You Can't Shoot An Idea on: August 07, 2016, 12:44:14 pm

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization

  Heading through the latter portion of 1949 and early 1950, President Dewey began to, at last, corral behind him the whole of the national Republican Party. Though hardliners like Taft remained forever at ends with Dewey and the Eastern Establishment, the conservative anti-Dewey faction steadily dwindled from a respectable bloc to a handful of purists. Press Secretary Harold Ostertag, when asked by a reporter what the president thought of Taft and the Conservative Coalition, answered, “In total honesty, I have yet to hear the president speak on the matter.” 

  Dewey won a great deal of respect from conservatives when he declared that, especially following the Alger Hiss ordeal (a suspected Soviet spy working in the State Department), the White House would conduct in-depth background inquiries for any and all employed by the administration. “Under my watch,” Dewey sternly remarked, “there will be no question of loyalty to the United States.” This was, no doubt, a bone thrown to the adamant anti-Communist contingent. Dewey’s signing of the Central Intelligence Agency Act in June of 1949, a measure which expanded the powers of the CIA, also proved to boost his approval among conservatives.

  All in all, however, the one phenomenon Thomas Dewey wished to avoid under his presidency was a heightened sense of fear or growing suspicion of ‘suspected’ Communists. This fear was already alive and well by the time of the election, but had mainly been limited to concerns regarding the Soviet Union. On that front, Dewey, like Truman before him, was unwavering in the belief that those countries spouting and exemplifying “totalitarian human rights abuses” required attention.

  President Dewey applauded Congress’ ratification of the North Atlantic Treaty in April of 1949, believing that international cooperation was vital in procuring the end of Communism abroad. Secretary John Dulles became an ardent supporter of NATO, stating that securing an international pact against Soviet expansion was a step towards “liberation”.

The Chicago Daily News: National Survey 1950
Do You Approve of the House Un-American Activities Committee?

Strongly Approve31%
Neutral/No Opinion03%
Strongly Disapprove04%

  When it came to domestic matters, Dewey insisted that, barring acts of malicious intent including espionage, the federal government should have no role in limiting or legislating thought. Just as he said in the Oregon debate, outlawing Communism would grant the ideology martyrdom. Instead, Dewey believed it was vital to reveal the true dangers of Communism out in the open to permanently de-legitimize the ideology. Therefore, President Dewey chose to highlight this argument as a centerpiece in his famed State of the Union address.

  On January 23rd, 1950, a mere two days following the conviction of Alger Hiss, Dewey began his plea to Congress. Dewey, without question, shone brightest when he stood by his convictions regardless of policymakers demanding he be neutral. Prior to running through the objectives of his administration (when he made clear the strengthening of the republic through providing reduced-cost housing), Dewey spoke to internal security.

  The president began with a reveal of the controversial Polecat Commission. This executive commission would study and report on “the effect of communist penetration on all segments of American life.” Utilizing reputable experts and studious preparation, the mission of this proposal would be the complete “unmasking” of Communism. Unlike HUAC which failed to act impartially and sought “scare-headlines and flashy witnesses”, the Polecat Commission would receive input from both liberals and conservatives and not be put on as a carnival show. Instead of accusing individuals of taking part in Communist conspiracies, the commission sought to plot the impact of Reds in a broader sense and “ensure we avoid” treating the issue as “Salem had the witch trials.”

  When the speech was over, the media and much of the public proved to be divided on how they felt. Moderates, New Deal Democrats, and Dewey-supporters were relieved that the president was finally cracking down on corruption and espionage in the federal government while conservatives lambasted the president for rebuking HUAC and insisting he could do the job better. Time would tell whether or not this strategy was effective at dealing with Communism as an internal threat, but, in the short-term, Dewey opened himself up to an entirely new avenue of criticism.

“Dewey Tells Congress: I Will Make Communism As Popular As A Polecat”

New York Times Headline, January 24th, 1950
147  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Which world leaders would Trump insult the most? on: August 06, 2016, 09:04:59 pm
The obvious: Peña Nieto

+ Xi Jinping
148  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Election What-ifs? / Re: You Can't Shoot An Idea on: August 06, 2016, 02:54:19 pm

Senator Sheridan Downey Fiercely Opposed Dewey's Policies

  Gallup approval polls in mid-March of 1949 placed President Dewey at roughly 53%, a slight dip from the initial polling which had the president at 55%. In order to preserve the approval of the electorate, show-off the ability of the Republicans in Congress to act on their promises, and because he knew it would benefit the economy as a whole, Dewey announced that he would have a new set of legislation introduced to the House: The National Severance Package.

  Designed explicitly to appeal to portions of both political parties, President Dewey declared in January that these new laws would generate a significant boost to the economy through reducing federal intervention in small business and creating stricter guidelines for trusts and monopolies. In utilizing this deal, Dewey proclaimed, Social Security benefits would see an expansion within five years. Portions of the “NSP” would apply directly to poorer workers: slightly raising the minimum wage while reducing federal taxes.

  Within Dewey’s first year, the majority of this compromise legislation found its way through Congress. However, being described by the press as “too progressive for Republicans and too conservative for Democrats,” much of this legislation ended up trapped. Eventually, some of the more moderate Democratic members of Congress voted affirmatively for measures reducing regulations on small business, but that itself took several months to pass.

  The measure which President Dewey most virulently fought for was the low-cost housing plan. Explaining that, even in a wealthier state like New York, public housing was necessary to reduce the extremities of poverty, the president hoped to secure enough votes to retain this bill in its original form. However, calling into question the power of the federal government, conservatives in both parties refused to even allow the bill to come to a vote. It became locked into committee until September of 1949 when a lengthy Senate debate on the bill resulted in an increased likelihood that an amendment would be added prior to voting: one that would completely eliminate any practical use for the project.

  Senator Pat McCarran (D-NV) deeply criticized the housing plan, referring to it as a “blasted thorn” for the growing housing industry. McCarran was not alone, as many Democrats within Dewey’s first year in office began blasting the president’s legislation as too severe a jolt in an already-growing economy. Senator Sheridan Downey (D-CA) famously remarked that the president was looking to, “implement the most expensive, foolhardy policy I have witnessed thus far." Frustrated from the lack of support in Congress, Dewey took the case to the American people.

  On September 22nd, President Dewey conducted a presidential address explaining exactly what his housing plan constituted and what it could accomplish should it be enacted in its original form. Printed afterwards on newspapers across the county had been the president's electric concluding line. “If you, like me, are deeply disturbed by the effects of homelessness and poverty, then I implore you. Write your Congressman and demand action. [...] Should we fail to secure the betterment of our worst-off citizens, we have no right to declare America Democracy's Beacon." It took some time, but Dewey would sign into law his version of the subsidized housing bill before 1950.
149  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Third Parties Cutting into Hillary Clinton's Lead Over Donald Trump on: August 05, 2016, 10:29:11 am
If things continue the way they are, we may see unprecedented levels of support for third parties. Granted, early in the campaign season third party candidates typically see greater gains in the polls than what they receive in November, but this election has been unusual since Day 1 so ya never know. Doubt it takes much away from Clinton though.
150  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Who will Kaine pick for VP? on: August 04, 2016, 10:49:38 pm
Julian Castro amirite
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