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realisticidealist
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« on: February 24, 2012, 11:11:20 pm »
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I started writing a timeline over a year ago with the intentions of creating an epic masterpiece that went into the future and made a bit up for liberalrepublican not updating "A Time for Unity" while also creating something unique. Well...I quickly found that life passed my timeline by and I mostly gave up on it. I just recently found it again, and while it's largely anachronistic now, I still had a number of pages written, and there's really no point in it just sitting on my computer doing nothing.

So, I'm going to try to get it going a bit more, though the new stuff will likely change up the form and pacing. I have a pretty detailed layout of what the plot is, much moreso than my last timeline attempt. This one starts in 2008 and goes into the future, and incorporates a number of fictional characters who are really the point of the story. In a lot of ways, it isn't like most of what's on here.

I also really enjoy weaving in showouts in my writing to music, movies, etc that I really like, hopefully quite subtly. If you can catch them, you get a prize. Maybe.

I'll post what I've already written over the next few days and when school permits write more. I have no guarantees for you that I'll make it through, though you can say that for most every timeline. Anyway, let me know what you think. I hope you enjoy it.
« Last Edit: February 24, 2012, 11:30:39 pm by realisticidealist »Logged

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« Reply #1 on: February 24, 2012, 11:12:11 pm »
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Prologue

My name is Daniel Holland, and I was born into a world that has since passed away, and soon I shall go to join it. I have lived a life that is unmemorable, but I have had the highest honor to have lived in such a momentous time. I stood side-by-side with titans, and I will be forever thankful for every second I had with them.

I was a journalist in another life. Growing up, my family was one of the millions who lost their career, their home, and everything they ever knew in the Third Depression. My grandparents died on the streets of Baltimore from starvation; my uncle was gunned down for refusing to give up the little food he had. I was lucky though; a family friend who worked at Fox, one of the last three news networks, gave me an internship that I ultimately parlayed into a job as a reporter for NBC News in Washington, DC. For twenty years I reported on national politics, ultimately covering five administrations, and personally becoming good friends with three presidents. In 2037, I started attending college, retired from reporting four years later, and ultimately became a professor of American history at Georgetown University in 2046.

This work includes my story; however, this is not about me. I write these things only because I may be the last person who can retell the events that led us to where we are today, and because I believe that I was in a unique position for these most important events in world history. Even now, as I write this, the number of people who can remember life in the United States before The Fall is less than ten thousand.

The story of the twenty-first century can not be told without mentioning six complicated individuals, who for better or for worse have defined the course of this world for the rest of time. Each had their share of flaws, some more so than others, but all were immense figures who did only what they thought was best for their country and for their people.

And so, that the world may never forget, I have dedicated the rest of my life to writing this story of you, of me, and of us all, this final and definitive history of the last fifty years of the United States of America.

Next: How the Saviors Were Unable to Save Themselves
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« Reply #2 on: February 24, 2012, 11:14:11 pm »
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PART ONE – Redemptive Suffering

Chapter One – Waste a Moment

It would come to be said that the election of 2008 was the best and the worst thing that ever happened to America. I was only eight at the time, but I remember even now the tears of jubilation from my family the night the first African-American won the presidency of the United States. The young Barack Obama, a charismatic preacher of a post-partisan polity, brought with him to the White House a sense of renewed hope for a better America. The sins of the old nation had been atoned, and together, he promised, we would build a new country founded on acceptance and trust. But I also remember how quickly these hopes and dreams slipped through our collective fingers, lost like tears in rain, and how soon those very same tears of vindication ran instead from desolation.

The collapse of the financial market in September of 2008, on the back of a subprime mortgage crisis leading to a meltdown in the banking sector, ratcheted the unemployment rate from 6.3% to over 7.5% by the time Obama was inaugurated in January of 2009. As the nation continued to bleed jobs over the coming months, the new president vowed to halt the decline with fiscal policy. The bank bailouts near the end of the preceding George W. Bush presidency had somewhat poisoned the waters in the public’s mind against new spending, however, seeing it as a giveaway to elite interests at the expense of the common people.

Barack Obama was never one to try to rock the boat more than necessary, and he sought more than anything to achieve the maximum level of consensus. It should have, perhaps, been no surprise when he largely delegated the construction of what would be known as the stimulus package to Congress; by them ironing out the details between the parties and waging the political battles, Obama could sign a bill that was battle-tested and would be the least contentious. While this may have possessed some appeal in the mind of the president, the result was an incoherent nightmare. The bill which Obama eventually signed in February, $787 billion in a combination of tax cuts, transfer payments, and increased spending on a myriad of small projects, lacked any sense of specific focus or purpose. Additionally, this did little to sate either side; the economists on the left attacked the bill as too small and compromised to be effective, and the right attacked it as a debt disaster.

This style would come to epitomize the Obama governance. In June, Obama began a push that would define his term, that of healthcare reform. Even with unemployment touching 9.5%, the president decided to tackle an issue that had long eluded the Democratic Party. To some, this move seemed ill-timed in the midst of the worst recession since the Great Depression, but many on the left were eager to taste victory. Obama again delegated the process to Congress, but this move would cost him dearly.

The Republican Party, feeling shut out from the legislative process, was all too willing to stand against anything that Obama did, knowing that his failure was their success, and that he would surely try to appease them; to this end, they had two main weapons that they used to undermine his efforts. First, on the procedural side, their frequent use of the filibuster in the Senate would grind deliberations to a halt; it only took one Democratic defector from an ideologically varied caucus to effectively kill legislation. This gave the moderate elements within the Democratic caucus tremendous power that they would come to wield often, and it was perhaps this internal strife within the Party that would ultimately presage its disaster to follow. Additionally, the Republican Party was devastatingly effective in messaging, though in a time of economic crisis it wasn’t hard to paint a sordid picture of the incumbent party. Nevertheless, the Republicans were masters of framing. Aided by Fox News and a near monopoly on talk radio, they began to cultivate the grassroots animosity that existed towards the government. These activists were extremely enthusiastic, and it would be they who would grab the narrative.

Obama’s deadline of the August recess for passing health care reform came and went, largely thanks to down-the-line Republican opposition and a Democratic Party divided between more liberal and more moderate members. As members of Congress returned to their home states and districts for town hall meetings, they were barraged by angry protestors. These protestors, angered by the perceived elitism of the bank bailouts, the stimulus package, and the prospect of an uncertain health care reform, disrupted town hall meetings by shouting down Democratic Congressmen, paraded guns in a show of second amendment support, and occasionally caused fights to break out amongst the audiences. Fueled by the dueling networks of Fox News and MSNBC, the already nervous air became tense and foreboding.

This disparate grassroots movement, which would come to be known as the Tea Party movement, effectively captured the attention of the nation for the late summer months. By only a few weeks in, many Democrats began canceling their appearances for fear of reprisals. Some protestors threatened to lynch Obama and other African-American congressmen; others burned depictions of Wall Street executives in effigy.

When Congress reconvened in September, the political process ground to a halt. Many Democratic senators and congressmen no longer wanted to fight the populism that was surging through the country. Additionally, with the unemployment rate breaking the 10% mark, many sought to abandon the health care reform initiative entirely. In early November, the Democrats lost the governorships of both New Jersey and Virginia, another sign that the public was frustrated with the direction of the country.

Obama, however, refused to let reform die. Using all the political capital he had, he entered into the debate for the first real time with addresses to Congress and barnstorming. Through his actions, negotiations with Congress, and the simple knowledge that, if they failed, the Democratic cause would be lost for future elections, the House passed a bill in November, and the Senate managed to break a filibuster, and on Christmas Eve passed its own health care reform bill. The bill was then sent to a conference committee, but it again stalled.

Both bills that had been passed were rather bitter pills to swallow for the left, especially the activist left that had fought so many years for reform. The bills did not contain single-payer, a public option, or even a Medicare buy-in, the toll of compromising with the moderate Democrats in the caucus. This fact, in addition to the preceding bills produced by the Obama administration, served to further disillusion the left and destroy their morale. Perhaps the starkest example of this dearth of enthusiasm was the special election for Senate in Massachusetts in January of 2010. This highly liberal Democratic state was not immune to the populism sweeping the nation, and, in combination with low Democratic turnout, it elected Scott Brown the first Republican Senator from the state since the Second World War, 52%-47%.

The special election served as a notice to the Democratic Party to get their act together, especially as they now lost their hypothetically filibuster-proof majority. In March, they readdressed the unemployment crisis with a small jobs bill, which served little purpose other than to give the Democratic Party something to show their constituents. In April, under tremendous fury by Tea Party activists, the House passed the Senate version of health care, giving the Obama administration a large political victory, but it would ultimately be a pyrrhic one, galvanizing the right, but giving the left little more than a temporary boost. In July, the Democrats managed to pass a financial regulatory bill, but it too suffered from the same problems that plagued the previous works of the 111th Congress. It, however, would be the last major political victory of the Obama administration.
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« Reply #3 on: February 24, 2012, 11:14:59 pm »
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The fatal flaw of the Obama administration was the lack a coherent economic prescription. With unemployment steadily at or near 10% for much of 2010, and the majority of the public anger directed at the economic climate, the administration advocated for and implemented an economic hodgepodge. They would cut taxes and raise taxes; they would raise spending and cut spending, and with the states forced to cut back on spending, the net economic effect was contractionary, when the economy was already severely deflated. This cognitive dissonance was partially forced by the Republican Party’s pivot to concern for debt and deficit issues early in 2010, but also equally by the inexperience and non-expertise of the administration on economic matters.

And the world itself, it seemed, also found the religion of austerity. In Europe, after the default by the Greek government, the European Union began drawing down on aid to its member nations, and many countries such as Germany, Spain, and Ireland all took steps to eliminate deficits. While this served to inflate the value of the euro, unemployment rates across Western Europe steadily climbed for the duration of 2010.

Back in the United States, the Republicans attempted to bring fiscal discipline to the federal government. They began to filibuster or outright reject extensions of unemployment benefits, claiming that they were unfunded liabilities, and only added to the deficit. The Democrats were largely powerless to stop it.

While the unemployment rate began to stabilize at 9.5%, due in no small part to the implementation of the 2009 stimulus plan and the Census, those who were already unemployed started to see their benefits evaporate. The August recess came without an extension and saw a second round of heated protests by the Tea Party and the unemployed, all angry at the government, but not really in support of any one faction. The messages of these protests were themselves dissonant. Many decried the deficit and debt, still more sought aid to the unemployed, and others attacked the president from the left for his handling of a large oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Several protests in Michigan and Ohio turned violent, resulting in the accidental killings of three people. Two Democratic representatives saw their houses broken into and looted, and several Hispanic staffers were assaulted near Tucson, Arizona.

After the recess, Congress essentially shut down to campaign for the November midterm elections. With a strong anti-Washington current running through the country, the results of the races were hardly a surprise. The Democrats lost seven seats in the Senate and 41 seats in the House, narrowly flipping control to the Republicans (for more detailed results, see end of chapter). The results were a large victory for the Republicans, who viewed the results as a repudiation of the Obama governance, and weren’t afraid to seize the narrative.

With an almost complete halt of domestic governance seemingly looming in 2011, Obama and the Democrats settled into a defensive position. Prospects of passing bills in the lame duck session arose, but were soon turned back, including on an extension of the massive 2001 and 2003 Bush tax cuts. Several Republicans began to declare for the upcoming 2012 presidential election, and it looked almost certain that one of them would be celebrating in two years time. This frigid realization echoed the winter outside, which would bring with it massive snowstorms to the Northeast due to an unusually strong La Nina, and the highest death rate to New England from storms in decades. As his people, many unemployed and homeless, huddled freezing in the streets, Obama could no nothing but sit and watch, powerless to help the people who once trusted in him.
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« Reply #4 on: February 24, 2012, 11:16:19 pm »
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2010 Election Results

Senate Results:


Democratic: 50
Republican: 48
Independent: 2 (Caucus: 2 Democratic)

Pick-ups (*Incumbent)
AR: John Boozman (R) over Blanche Lincoln* (D), 60%-39%
CO: Ken Buck (R) over Michael Bennet* (D), 53%-46%
DE: Mike Castle (R) over Chris Coons (D), 62%-37%
IL: Mark Kirk (R) over Alexi Giannoulias (D), 49%-46%
IN: Dan Coats (R) over Brad Ellsworth (D), 55%-44%
NV: Sharron Angle (R) over Harry Reid* (D), 47%-45%
ND: John Hoeven (R) over Tracy Potter (D), 80%-16%

Gubernatorial Results:


Republican: 29
Democratic: 20
Independent: 1

Pick-ups (*Incumbent)
CA: Jerry Brown (D) over Meg Whitman (R), 50%-48%
CT: Dan Malloy (D) over Tom Foley (R), 51%-49%
HI: Neil Abercrombie (D) over Duke Aiona (R), 59%-40%
IA: Terry Branstad (R) over Chet Culver* (D), 58%-40%   
KS: Sam Brownback (R) over Tom Holland (D), 65%-33%
MI: Rick Snyder (R) over Virg Bernero (D), 58%-41%
MN: Mark Dayton (D) over Tom Emmer (R), 46%-44%
OH: John Kasich (R) over Ted Strickland* (D), 52%-48% 
OK: Mary Fallin (R) over Jari Askins (D), 68%-31%
PA: Tom Corbett (R) over Dan Onorato (D), 57%-42%
RI: Lincoln Chafee (I) over Frank Caprio (D) and John Robitaille (R), 40%-35%-24%
TN: Bill Haslam (R) over Mike McWherter (D), 56%-43%
WI: Scott Walker (R) over Tom Barrett (D), 54%-45%
WY: Matt Mead (R) over Leslie Peterson (D), 70%-30%

House Results
Republican: 219
Democratic: 216

Next: How a Divided Government Divided the American People
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« Reply #5 on: February 24, 2012, 11:17:34 pm »
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Chapter Two - Take Away the Summit

“On every account we have seen toll of this administration. They have stolen our jobs, they have stolen our futures, but they have not stolen our resolve. The people have seen who is responsible for their afflictions, and they have turned to us instead. They have given us sole possession of the great might of their will to reverse this course to ruin. We have taken the House. With their help, we will take the Senate and the Presidency, and we will at long last take back our country.”
   
-Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), 2012 Republican National Convention Address

As 2011 opened, momentum and public opinion were certainly not on President Obama’s side. The Republican Party had just taken back the House of Representatives, and the Senate was nearly deadlocked between the two parties. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid had lost reelection, propelling New York Senator Chuck Schumer to the post. Nancy Pelosi too had been forced to step aside as Speaker of the House, with Republican John Boehner replacing her.

Without control of the House and with no ability to break a Republican filibuster in the Senate, the Democrats were powerless to pass their own bills, but they certainly had the power to stop the Republicans from passing their own. The result was massive gridlock on the domestic level. House Republicans immediately sought debt control, advocating large spending and tax cuts, and clamored to repeal health care reform, refusing to pass any budget that did not meet these standards. Conversely, Senate Democrats, with a few defectors, were reluctant to go along with Republican austerity plans.

The economy was stable, but only on paper. GDP marginally increased, and the unemployment rate stood at 9.5% for the first half of the year, but the underemployment rate continued to climb. At the same time, Republicans continued to block unemployment benefits, causing a bump in foreclosure, bankruptcy, and homeless rates. In many large cities, crime rates began to reverse their decades-long decline. Many people at all ends of the political spectrum increasingly grew frustrated at the extreme partisanship in the government, and its inability to produce solutions, although there was little consensus over what needed to be done.

In late February, Obama met with both parties’ leaders from the House and Senate to negotiate the terms of the federal budget. What they came up with pleased no one. The resultant budget called for two-year extensions of the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts, and spending cuts in a wide variety of areas, most notably Medicare, Social Security, and health care subsidies, but all were much smaller than Boehner wanted. Furthermore, the two sides were unable to find a compromise of unemployment. Schumer walked away and refused to speak about the issue. Sources reported that Schumer was privately furious with the President over his “concessions at every turn.”

The entire Progressive and Congressional Black caucuses and many liberal Democrats in the Senate immediately announced their refusal to support the new budget, while a number of conservative Republicans did the same. Boehner, cognizant of the results of the budget crises under the Clinton administration, decided to move forward in the House with the President’s budget, however. After a contentious debate, a coalition of Republicans and Blue Dog Democrats narrowly passed Obama’s budget through the House in May of 2011. Schumer very reluctantly brought the budget before the Senate, which eventually passed by one vote, with the Republicans making up most of the votes for.

After the budget process, little made it through Congress. Obama, who had hoped to reform energy, immigration, and a host of other issues, was forced to abandon his lofty goals. Although temporary partners, the Republicans returned to being thorns in the President’s side, occasionally passing health care repeal bills, social issue bills, spending cuts, and tax cuts through the House that would go to die in the Senate. While they failed to go anywhere, they began to give the impression that the Republicans were the only party willing to act in the midst of the economic crisis. Simultaneously, they continued to block anything the Democrats wanted in the Senate, though this tale was of little interest to the media.

A number of Republicans started to declare their intentions for the presidential nomination throughout this time. Several minor candidates dipped their toes into the race, but the first candidate seriously regarded by the media was Mississippi governor Haley Barbour, and he was shortly followed by former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty. In April, to little surprise, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney declared; he quickly became the frontrunner in the eyes of most. Romney was taken down a few degrees with two more announcements the following month, that of former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich and former Alaska governor Sarah Palin, both of whom quite shook up the race.

The narrative of the year soon moved away from the deadlock in Congress and to the presidential race. Palin’s candidacy attracted both enthusiasm, especially from the Tea Party, and hatred by many voters, but she consistently polled in the mid-twenties nationwide throughout the year, occasionally leading. Gingrich polled in the teens throughout, but Romney was at most times the out and away favorite. Raucous, vitriolic Tea Party rallies and brutal debates throughout the summer, all characterized by personal attacks on both other candidates and Obama, focused the nation like a laser on the contest, and Republican enthusiasm remained high as fewer and fewer put their trust in the government.

Meanwhile, Obama shifted his focus to international issues, an area that Congress had less direct control over. In late July, he confirmed the drawdown on troop levels in Afghanistan, though he extended the timeline by two years, and even announced that the drawdown in Iraq was ahead of schedule. Ethnic infighting in both countries was at low levels throughout most of the year, but attacks in Afghanistan began to climb throughout August and September.

At the same time, tensions in other Middle Eastern countries were growing to high levels. Revolutions overthrew the governments of Tunisia and Egypt, the latter of which thereafter publicly scorned the Obama administration for their non-support. Elsewhere, violence escalated in Israel as both sides, forsaking peace, increased their attacks, and, in early September, events culminated in a blood-filled large-scale military police action against Gaza by Israeli forces. The subsequent capture and execution of the head of Hamas enraged many nearby Arab nations. Iran, already experiencing renewed internal turmoil, lashed out at Israel and launched a preliminary air attack on Israeli military installations in October. However, the skirmish was short lived, as the Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the current Ayatollah were removed from power and arrested in an American-aided and student-backed bloodless coup.
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« Reply #6 on: February 24, 2012, 11:18:18 pm »
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This blatant interventionism gained Obama few fans either at home or abroad, but the dethroning of Ahmadinejad was extensively seen as a positive action by most Americans. Reactions differed in other nations, specifically in Pakistan, which officially cut its ties with the United States. Soon, Pakistani-made weapons increasingly began showing up in attacks on American troops in Afghanistan. At this point, Obama announced that the drawdown was indefinitely postponed, a defeat the Republicans were sure to pounce on, and did so as they swept all three gubernatorial races in November. However, even with little fanfare, the American military officially ended its active presence in Iraq one week before Christmas, allowing the officers to return home for the holidays.

The New Year was greeted with the official onset of the presidential primary season, at least for the Republicans (for more detailed results, see end of chapter). The first contest of the year, the January Iowa Caucus, resulted in a narrow victory by Palin on the back of high evangelical turnout. Romney, Gingrich, and, to a lesser extent, Pawlenty finished not far behind. Next came New Hampshire, which gave Mitt Romney over 40% of the vote, and a surprising second place finish to Gary Johnson, though he did not win a single county. Later that week, Nevada and South Carolina voted. Nevada produced a similar result to New Hampshire, while South Carolina was more hotly contested. Haley Barbour made his stand there, but it wasn’t enough to deny a very narrow victory to Newt Gingrich over Mitt Romney. After the contest, Barbour and Pawlenty suspended their campaigns. Three days later, Romney won Florida easily, putting him back into the frontrunner position.

On Super Tuesday, Romney won most of the large states and the Northeast, including California, Missouri, New York, and New Jersey, while Gingrich won three Southern states. Palin won only Alaska, Oklahoma, and North Dakota, and Romney jumped out to a large delegate lead. Gingrich dropped out and endorsed Romney, but Palin and Johnson vowed to fight on in a manner similar to Mike Huckabee and Ron Paul in the 2008 primaries. Romney, however, swept the remaining states, and on February 28 sealed the nomination with victories in Michigan and Arizona.

With the nomination secured early, Mitt Romney spared no time in pivoting to the general election. Romney’s campaign was primarily based on a message of economic responsibility and aiding businesses through tax reductions, while he largely ignored social issues whenever possible, contributing an existing hesitation on the part of social conservatives, on top of his Mormonism and past positions, to openly support his candidacy. He, however, had no hesitation in bashing Obama’s foreign policy as one “of retreat and defeat.” While his message lacked a certain economic coherence, it was an angry one, representative of the mood of a good portion of the nation, and it presented a refreshing change from the stoic, somewhat distant reflection of President Obama.

However, Barack Obama had no qualms about turning himself back into candidate Obama, a mode that quite suited his strengths. He was more than able to use his soaring rhetoric to point out many of the accomplishments of his presidency: health care reform, financial regulation, ending the Iraq War, bringing the economy back from the brink, and continuing to reduce the unemployment rate—even if only marginally to 9.2%, falling from a high of almost 10.5%. He also pointed to the Republican-controlled House as obstructionists, and that it was the Republicans in the Senate that continued to deny unemployment benefits. His campaign was well-funded and sleek, and in spite of the conditions, he managed to stay within five points of Romney for most of the summer months.

In late July of 2012, looking for a weapon to distance himself from Obama, Mitt Romney selected recently elected Florida Senator Marco Rubio as his Vice Presidential running mate. While the selection worried some in Republican circles, it did present the public with another exciting reason to support the Grand Old Party, and it certainly fired up the Tea Party activists who were otherwise tepid about Romney. Here was a young, charismatic, and unabashedly conservative Hispanic, the first to be on a presidential ticket, and he served as a remarkable foil to the President himself. The selection also presented any opportunity to help mend the divisions created between Hispanics and the Republican Party that were exacerbated by immigration feuds in Arizona and Texas. Best of all, he did not have the problems that the Sarah Palin selection had for John McCain; Rubio was polished and ready for primetime.

The Republican National Convention was held in Rubio’s backyard of Tampa, Florida in late August; it was one of the most highly attended conventions to that point. While Wisconsin representative Paul Ryan delivered a well received keynote address, it was Rubio who stole the show. His speech was fiery and bombastic, and received equal ratings to Palin’s 2008 speech, and being surrounded by a partially hometown crowd aided as well. Comparatively, Romney’s speech was tepid, but it still delivered the conservative red meat.

The following week, the Democratic National Convention was held in Cleveland, Ohio, an area exceptionally pained by the unemployment crises. In contrast to the Republican Convention, the DNC was low key. Although speeches by Obama and keynote speaker New York governor Andrew Cuomo were well received by pundits and presented a more hopeful tone than the Republicans, neither speech was widely watched and the stage generally lacked a sense of urgency. Following both conventions, Mitt Romney’s support bumped up to a seven percent margin in nationwide polls, but soon that all changed.
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« Reply #7 on: February 24, 2012, 11:20:52 pm »
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On September 15, 2012, American troops in Afghanistan skirmished with a large number of Pakistani militias aiding al-Qaeda remnants near the border. The battle spilt over into Pakistani territory, and the Americans forced the militias deep into the mountains. The Pakistani military responded by retaliating and surrounding them. Cut off from supplies, the American unit retreated to a secluded valley to wait for assistance. While waiting for five days for reinforcements, a native Pakistani was captured attempting to forcedly escape the valley. It was later determined that the shaven man was none other than the infamous Osama bin Laden, who had made a rare and secret visit to the border region to visit a dying friend. He was captured eleven years and nine days after the infamous attacks he masterminded.

News of bin Laden’s capture shocked the world. The Pakistani government quickly became enraged at the NATO forces for violating Pakistani territory, but they were largely ignored by the international community. In the United States, the news gave Obama a much needed boost as he declared that the victims of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks would finally get justice. It was determined that bin Laden was to stand trial before the International Criminal Court in The Hague for crimes against humanity, as no court in America could objectively try him. Although Romney and the Republicans decried this move as too lenient, their voices were largely lost in the momentous news.

Shortly thereafter, the presidential debates began, but, despite what was expected, it was Romney who was on the defensive. When he decried the Obama administration as powerless and incapable of getting things done, Obama easily retorted that they had already done what no one else had ever been able to do in capturing the most wanted man in the world. His message was positive, draped in nationalism and unity, and in using it, he effectively undermined the Republican foreign policy message and captured what was until then seen as a Republican strength.

While Rubio soundly defeated Vice President Joseph Biden in their debate, Obama again put Romney on his heels in the final contest, and, just weeks before the election, he had managed to move all of the momentum in his favor. His string of good luck continued when the quarterly unemployment rate was announced at 8.9%, and in the final polling average, Obama came even with Mitt Romney.

On November 6, 2012, President Barack Obama stunned the nation as he narrowly won reelection, 49%-48%, with the electoral vote at 275-263 (for more detailed results, see end of chapter). His electoral victory rode entirely on the back of the state of Ohio, which voted almost identically to the national vote, partially due to extremely low turnout in the Ohio River Valley. Obama managed to win despite losing six states he had previously won, losing Independents, and losing ground in the Hispanic vote, though he did relatively over perform in the South.

In Congress, however, the tale was much different. The Republicans gained a net three seats in the Senate, flipping control their way. The House composition changed very little, as the Republicans gained only four seats. Congress was once again in the hands of the Republican Party, and there was to be a truly divided government. While the Democrats celebrated Obama’s victory, it would come to be a victory they would certainly regret; while for now they controlled the Oval Office, it would come at the price of losing for decades to come.

2012 Election Results – General

President Results:


Barack Obama (D-IL)*: 49.2%, 275 EV
Mitt Romney (R-NH): 48.5%, 263 EV
Others: 2.3%, 0 EV

Senate Results:


Republican: 51
Democratic: 48
Independent: 1 (Caucus: 1 Democratic)

Pick-ups (*Incumbent)
CT: (D) over Joe Lieberman* (I), 55%-40%
ME: Chellie Pingree (D) over Paul LePage (R), 54%-43%
MI: Pete Hoekstra (R) over Debbie Stabenow* (D), 49%-48%
MO: Todd Akin (R) over Claire McCaskill* (D), 56%-42%
MT: Denny Rehnberg (R) over John Tester* (D), 59%-39%
NE: Dave Heineman (R) over Ben Nelson* (D), 56%-41%
VA: Bob McDonnell (R) over Jim Moran (D), 52%-47%

Gubernatorial Results:


Republican: 32
Democratic: 17
Independent: 1

Pick-ups (*Incumbent)
MO: Peter Kinder (R) over Chris Koster (D), 51%-49%
NC: Patrick McHenry (R) over Beverly Perdue* (D), 57%-43%

House Results:
Republican: 223
Democratic: 212

2012 Election Results – Primary

President Results (Republican):


Blue: Mitt Romney
Red: Sarah Palin
Green: Newt Gingrich

County Results (some archival data missing):
« Last Edit: February 25, 2012, 01:07:46 pm by realisticidealist »Logged

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« Reply #8 on: February 24, 2012, 11:23:34 pm »
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Chapter Three – The Greatest Thing You’ll Ever Learn

December 21, 2012 came and went, and the sun would rise on the twenty-second as it had innumerable times before. I had convinced my parents to let me stay up late that Friday night, and I remember anxiously watching the seconds tick down to the winter solstice, hoping that maybe, just this once, something extraordinary would happen. When the minute hand broke past the twelfth minute of the eleventh hour past noon, my heart sank. My mother later told me that there had been honking in the streets surrounding our neighborhood, and some minor riots in a couple inner cities across the country, but the only thing that I cared about was that after months of waiting, this day was nothing but a disappointment, and that tomorrow would be nothing but another day.

It snowed throughout that night in my Baltimore suburb. Little sleep would find its way to greet me as I lay awake in my bed. My friends and I were nuts about conspiracy theories and all manner of esoteric beliefs. Talk of UFOs, secret societies, military conspiracies, and legendary beasts were our favorite pastime, so it was no surprise that the myth of 2012 enraptured us so. Perhaps it was our attempt to call mystery into an otherwise mundane and repetitive middle school life, but regardless of why, we couldn’t get enough. We even had a wager going on how the world would end on that ominous day; my best friend at the time, Taylor, swore that aliens would come to take us to the stars, while I chose a shift in the magnetic polarity of the Earth.

The next morning, my mom took me out to buy last minute Christmas presents for her siblings and my cousins. For the first time that I could remember, there had been little, if any, talk of Christmas events in my family. My mom had lost her job in July, but my dad’s income was enough to cover most of our bills. Although I had set my heart for most of the year on the dream of getting the new 3D PlayStation system, I could tell that it wasn’t going to happen.

The ride in our van through the fresh snow to the mall took longer than usual, but I little noticed. I was numb, and the snow and grey skies served quite well to hypnotize me. I little remember the actual shopping that took place on that day, but I vaguely recall the many empty storefronts of the smaller outlets, and the many clearance signs that dominated the stores that were left.

On our return trip, the van ran out of gas about a mile from home. My mom usually waited as long as she could before filling up, as the cost per gallon had risen and not dropped any lower than $4.40 since October. She pulled us off to the side of the road, and tried to call my dad at home, but couldn’t get an answer.

“Looks like we’re walking home. We’re not that far away,” she said, reaching back to make sure I was bundled up.

The wind was cold but not terribly strong, though it made it difficult to keep my hood on. I walked several steps behind my mom, who had to stop several times as I fell behind. I could tell that my slow pace was irritating her, but I didn’t really care. I really didn’t care about anything at all at that point.

When we got back home, my dad was sitting at the table hunched over, with an open letter in his left hand; the television was on in the other room, and a half-drunk beer sat on the coffee table. He glanced over at us as we walked in, and looked at my mom with eyes red from crying. My mom went over to him, and read the letter. Her hand went to her mouth for a second.

“What? Why?” she asked as she sank to the chair next to my dad, “Of all times, why did it have to be now?”

“I can’t believe they couldn’t even tell me in person,” he said, shaking his head slightly.

I just stood there, not knowing anything about what was happening, though I wasn’t very interested either. Mom looked over at me after a few seconds and shooed me into the other room. I lay on the sofa in front of the television and zoned out. Images of a fire on the Key Bridge, sprawling lines of unemployed at the Convention Center for a job fair, and renewed fighting along the Colombian border flashed before me on the local news, but meant nothing to me.

My parents left for their room some time while I was laying there. Muffled shouting and crying came through the walls for the next few hours. My mom later told me that my dad had been laid off of his job, just days before Christmas, and only two weeks before he had put in the necessary years for his pension. With the state of unemployment benefits and the job market, it was uncertain whether we could even afford to keep our house. My mom did her best to look optimistic, but she was a poor liar. For some reason though, the news didn’t frighten me; in fact, I didn’t feel anything about it at all. Rather, it seemed but another random factoid to know and nothing more.

There was a noise that night, a terrible noise, the likes of which I’ve heard only twice in my life. It was a sound my father made, a sound whose evil reached down into what little soul I had at that point and tore it apart. It was followed by several crashing noises as well. I didn’t know what they were, and no one ever attempted to explain. When I came downstairs the next morning, the clock on the wall outside my parent’s room lay broken on the floor, its hands frozen at eight twenty-eight.

My parents did little talking the next day, but I could see a bruise beginning to form on my mom’s cheek. It was perhaps that bruise that struck me more than anything else, for in it I could clearly see the truth. The noises I could hide from, I could bottle away, but here, the truth stared straight back at me. Although my mom never talked about it in all the years I knew her, and though she tried so hard to cover it up, for this one moment I could see straight through the façade.

I realized that day that promises were nothing more than intentions that lasted only as long as they were convenient, and that hope was nothing more than an inconvenient promise.

As it turned out, I wasn’t that far off.

Next: How the Waters Would Turn Ablaze
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« Reply #9 on: February 24, 2012, 11:24:49 pm »
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Good start. FYI, it was liberalrepublican, known as "Dan the Roman" who did "A Time for Unity", not Mr. Moderate. I'm actually currently working on a future dystopia timeline myself as part of a promise to two friends to start working on a novel.

EDIT: Haven't read your latest updates, started posting after the primary results update.
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« Reply #10 on: February 24, 2012, 11:25:54 pm »
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Good start. FYI, it was liberalrepublican, known as "Dan the Roman" who did "A Time for Unity", not Mr. Moderate. I'm actually currently working on a future dystopia timeline myself as part of a promise to two friends to start working on a novel.

EDIT: Haven't read your latest updates, started posting after the primary results update.

My bad. It has been a long time since I've read it...
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« Reply #11 on: February 24, 2012, 11:26:26 pm »
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Chapter Four – Out Swimming in the Flood

“It is hereby in the eyes of this court all together fitting and proper that, for his crimes against humanity, the defendant Osama bin Mohammed bin Awad bin Laden shall receive 2,976 consecutive life sentences without the possibility of parole. While it is not normally considered, the death penalty was discussed, but it is the opinion of this court that a sudden death would only serve to glorify his cause. Instead, he shall serve out one lifetime for every man, woman, and child he stole on that terrible day, and when it is that his time finally comes, all I can say is, may God have mercy on his soul.”

   - Verdict read by outgoing Judge Adrian Fulford, International Criminal Court

“It now appears that Hurricane Noel has settled over Galveston Bay, and its storm surge has laid waste to the Barrier Islands and Texas City, with Baytown next. The Galveston Causeway has been broken apart into three pieces, and the city itself is submerged. The barriers have all failed. We fear that any one left on the island is now trapped, and there can be no rescue attempt.”
   
   - CNN Anchor Anderson Cooper, October 18, 2013

For most people, the recession of the early 2010s was something often heard, but rarely seen, much less felt. Everyone knew of its existence, but unless you were among the unemployed, you rarely came into contact with it. There were no bread lines or abandoned suburbs or shanty towns streaking across the country, and those who were unemployed were often able to get by with the help of friends or relatives. Without many of the obvious outward signs of turmoil, it was easy to forget that the nation, and, in fact, all the world stood at the precipice. For our complacency, we almost lost everything.

It was already too late when Barack Obama was sworn in for his second term as president on a windy day in January of 2013. In stark contrast to only four years prior, the inauguration ceremony was met with little excitement or fanfare, but rather the harsh truth that the president could accomplish little with Congress now completely controlled by the Republicans, and that the Republicans would be no less eager the work with him. As such, it was quite easy for many pundits to write him off as a lame duck even before his second term started.

For his part, Obama sought out the new Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to see what they could work together on, but was only met with evasive answers and a general sense of unease. The Republicans quickly set the tone for the term by passing a very lean budget that cut back on entitlements such as Medicaid, unemployment, and welfare by 10% through both houses of Congress as spring approached. Obama’s own proposal was quickly discarded, and, in March, Obama resigned himself to signing the Republicans’ budget.

The Republicans continued to present a problem for the President throughout the middle of the year by pushing large budget and tax cuts through reconciliation, and each time that they were vetoed, the Republicans were quick to attack Obama as a tax-and-spend liberal with no concern for either the deficit or the unemployment situation.

The strategy, while mostly negative, worked to present a stark juxtaposition between the two parties. The Democrats continued to appear weak and defensive, forced to become the Party of No, while the Republicans pressed forward with their own ideas, which while nothing inventive, struck a cord with the populace and painted the Grand Old Party in a very positive light. As a result of this strategy, and Obama essentially giving up on domestic legislation, the President’s approval ratings dropped into the high-30%s. While the government was ceasing to function, the Republicans were continuing to gain strength; by making the government ineffective, they created the narrative that matched the one they had already been telling.

Meanwhile, the unemployment rate, which began to rise again near the beginning of the year, and had reached 9.8% by July, wasn’t the only issue that got the attention of the nation. Throughout the summer, prompted by a record drought in Central Mexico, the volume of illegal immigration coming into the southwestern states spiked precipitously, and along with it came violence. After the murder of a two separate units of border patrol agents near Big Bend National Park in late August, Texas governor Rick Perry declared a state of martial law along the Upper Rio Grande Valley; Arizona followed shortly thereafter with a similar declaration. The tense environment led to the arrests, deportations, or deaths of several hundred Hispanics along the border, some of whom were key members of the Juarez Cartel. The cartel responded by killing twenty-nine American citizens in El Paso over the course of a week, including eight ICE agents.

The Obama administration quickly denounced the moves by Texas and Arizona as unconstitutional overreaches by state governments, and the Justice Department threatened suits against the states involved. The Republicans seized the opportunity and rapidly passed an immigration bill through the House that focused on vastly increasing border security, continuing construction of the border fence, and contained a provision for the deportation of all illegal immigrants living in the country. While the Democrats successfully filibustered the bill in the Senate, the legislative defeat for the Republicans was another public relations boon, as they easily painted the Democrats and Obama as unwilling to do the work of protecting Americans near the border, and that the Republican governors were the only ones who were willing to act.

However, by three weeks after the violence began, the problem started to disappear. Some attributed this to a return of the rains to the Hollow Core, others that the Cartel was losing too many men and shipments to continue skirmishing, but regardless of the reason there soon began a series of events that would definitively erase the drug and immigration violence from the public consciousness for the time being.

In late-September of 2013, fueled by the continuing resurgence of the euro and a fundamental animosity among many of its member nations toward the United States and its continuing interventionism in the Middle East, OPEC announced that it would begin transitioning its cash reserves away from the American dollar. The declaration shocked most of the world, but especially the Obama administration, which had been blindsided by the move. Almost overnight, gas prices in the United States jumped almost a dollar to an average of $5.50 nationwide. This would only be the beginning, however.

About two weeks later, a tropical depression in the Caribbean Sea strengthened into a Category One hurricane, and received the name Noel. Hurricane Noel hit Jamaica and the Cayman Islands before crossing Cuba just to the west of Havana, entering the Gulf of Mexico. While it appeared for a while that Noel wouldn’t become much more than a Category Two storm, on October 12, Noel slowed and ran into a patch of particularly warm water in the east-central Gulf. Up to this point, Noel had been on a course to reach landfall just to the west of New Orleans, a city still reeling from Hurricane Katrina eight years earlier, but Noel suddenly strengthened and veered westward. The following day, Noel reached Category Four status, and on the sixteenth reached Category Five.

Noel’s central pressure dropped to an almost unheard of 885 mb and tore through the central core of the Gulf oil field, heading straight toward Houston. In the early hours of October 18, 2013, Hurricane Noel crossed over Galveston Bay and made landfall at Seabrook, carrying with it a record ten-meter storm surge. The surge completely inundated Galveston Island, destroying most buildings on the island and washing them into the Bay. On the mainland, Texas City, San Leon, La Marque, La Porte, and Baytown were similarly assaulted, and the surge carried upriver even as far as Houston itself.

The damage was catastrophic. Hurricane Noel took with it over a thousand men, women, and children, and destroyed over $75 billion worth of property. Some of the most devastating losses of property were in the oil refineries of Baytown, Texas City, and Deer Park, a loss totaling more than 2 million barrels a day in refining capacity. In one instance, an oil tanker waiting to dock was swept off the Bay and directly into an oil storage facility in Texas City, sending thousands of barrels of crude oil into southern Galveston Bay. Additionally, more than two hundred oil rigs in the Gulf were severely damaged in the wake of the storm. The collective environmental damage of Noel was incalculable, far worse than the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster, extending even so far as to render Galveston Island uninhabitable for many years to come.

Although some more right-wing pundits had hypothesized the 2010 oil spill to be President Obama’s Hurricane Katrina, this event served as an uncannily perfect heir to that mantle. Despite their experiences with Katrina, the Federal Emergency Management Agency was utterly unprepared for the scale of damage caused by Noel, partially due to large budget cuts by Congress. It took FEMA four days to bring aid, and another three to reach Galveston Island and the western Bolivar Peninsula for search and rescue; it was this slow reaction that more than anything else led to Noel’s high death totals. Hundreds were trapped in the debris from the city, many died from a lack of fresh water, and still others caught disease from the oil- and chemical-ridden water that remained. The utter disaster that was the relief effort sharply damaged the image of the administration among even those who still remained loyal to President Obama.

The damage was not contained to the Houston area, however; Noel’s reverberations echoed across the entire continent. The extensive damage to the oil producing capabilities of Houston sharply raised local gas prices, increased the national average to $6.30, and led to a general rise in the price level across the United States due to increasing costs of production. The result was the unemployment rate jumping over a point to 10.9% by early December of 2013. In many cities across the South, gas stations were forced to ration fuel and create caps on the amount that any one individual could purchase. As lines reminiscent of the 1970s fuel crisis began to form, protests, riots, and looting of gas stations became a common occurrence in a number of cities, which the police of all but the largest cities were mostly powerless to contain. Yet things were only to get worse.
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« Reply #12 on: February 25, 2012, 12:13:54 am »
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This is amazing! Keep up the awesome work!
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« Reply #13 on: February 25, 2012, 01:47:00 am »
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Good start. FYI, it was liberalrepublican, known as "Dan the Roman" who did "A Time for Unity", not Mr. Moderate. I'm actually currently working on a future dystopia timeline myself as part of a promise to two friends to start working on a novel.

EDIT: Haven't read your latest updates, started posting after the primary results update.

Look forward to both more of this and your project Cathcon!
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« Reply #14 on: February 25, 2012, 01:49:05 am »
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This is amazing! Keep up the awesome work!
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Skyrim now, Skyrim tomorrow, Morrowind Forever!

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« Reply #15 on: February 25, 2012, 02:00:26 am »
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This is amazing! Keep up the awesome work!
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« Reply #16 on: February 25, 2012, 12:54:15 pm »
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For a year and a half, skirmishes had been occurring along the Colombian-Venezuelan border, increasing tensions until May of 2013 when the Colombian army launched a full scale invasion of western Venezuela which Colombia justified as a defensive effort. The war rapidly drained Venezuela’s treasury, and there were calls among many in the National Assembly to finance the war by opening up the nation’s nationalized oil supply to American investors. Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, fairly unpopular among his people after essentially installing himself permanently in the position, adamantly refused to change course in either the war front or on the oil question.

By the turn of the year 2014, the Colombian army had surrounded most of Lake Maracaibo and was routinely sending guerillas in as far as Caracas. Western Region Major General Motta Dominguez was captured and executed in the second week of January, and the Venezuelan army faced certain collapse. Faced with a desperate situation and an increasingly unpopular President who refused to negotiate, new CEO Major General Paredes Torrealba and two other generals decided to overthrow Chavez, fully open the oil supply to American markets, and make peace with Colombia.

The plan was to go down on February 12, 2014, but someone from Torrealba’s circle leaked intelligence on the upcoming coup d’etat to Chavez the day prior. When the military moved on Chavez at the Miraflores Palace, they were met with fierce resistance from the still loyal factions of the military and the federal police forces, resulting in the revolutionaries having to settle on a siege strategy. For two days, the loyalists were able to keep the military at bay, but on the second night, Torrealba’s forces broke through into Palace. It was only then that they realized that they were the ones who had lost.

Chavez, knowing that he had no realistic chance to escape, rigged the palace with explosives, and detonated them once the revolutionaries had broken in. The resultant fireball consumed Chavez and half of the Torrealba’s forces. The Major General himself was badly burnt in the explosion, but was not killed. As he lay on the ground outside the burning Palace, he noticed that the valley’s walls were glowing as well. He was not dead, but if he had known at that instant the extent of Chavez’s actions, he probably would have wished that he had been killed. In addition to planning the destruction of the Miraflores Palace, President Chavez sent orders to the remaining remnants of the Western and Central Armies for the immolation of the Venezuelan oil supply.

Using local fishermen and paramilitaries, the loyalists planted charges on over three hundred wells and rigs in the Lake Maracaibo region, and hundreds more across the Orinoco oil shale belt. The attack on the Palace served as the trigger, and the charges detonated in near unison across the forested countryside, taking down hundreds of rigs and lighting a national inferno. Rivers of oil ran into Lake Maracaibo for weeks, turning the water jet black, and for forty-four days and nights the lake burned continuously. In the east, thousands of square miles of subterranean shales were engulfed in flames, and even to this day, smoke fills the polluted skies of the Orinoco region.

The Immolation of Venezuela, as it would be come to known, destroyed over half of the oil supply of Venezuela and desecrated its economy. The country would end up descending into civil war and became an ungovernable quagmire which Colombia declined responsibility for. In the short term, however, the effect on the world markets was shocking. Oil prices saw their third major increase in six months, temporarily spiking up to an average of $9.50 per gallon of gasoline in parts of the United States, though settling around $7.00, with oil trading at over $300 a barrel.

In the face of a massive energy crisis, President Obama opened up the strategic oil reserves, only to find that there was less supply than he had previously thought. As a consequence, the price of gasoline hardly budged. Across the nation, gas lines and rationing produced an anxious and irate public that was all too eager to let their frustrations show.

On the first day of March, riots broke out across the South and Midwest. Highly depressed cities such as Detroit, Pittsburgh, Phoenix, and Memphis were hit the hardest, where racial tensions added to the flames. In Tennessee, Governor Bill Haslam went as far as to declare martial law in five populated counties. The most destructive of the riots occurred in the Houston suburbs, however. In Missouri City, an angry gas line erupted into a mob that attacked and bludgeoned the station owner to death, before several men began to beat several Black and Hispanic individuals. When the riot police arrived, the battle literally erupted as a set of errant bullets and a loose cigarette engulfed the station in a fireball. A similar situation occurred in Mesa, Arizona, leading to the deaths of five Hispanics who were declared by the rioters to be illegal immigrants.

Much of the public anger though, was directed straight at the Obama administration. With the failure of the strategic reserves to placate the masses, Obama desperately searched for a way to stem the crisis. He announced support for price ceilings and floated the idea of nationalizing the oil supply, though he had little backing from either fellow Democrats, partially driven by Obama’s now 26% approval rating, or economists. The Republicans jumped at the notions, crying ‘socialism’ and instead pushed on every news outlet for an immediate repeal of all gas taxes across the country and a lifting of regulations on oil companies.

Within two days, a bill known as the Sensible Energy Act passed the House of Representatives by a massive margin of 389-35, with widespread support from desperate Democrats. The bill removed all restrictions on where oil companies could drill and most of the restrictions on the methods they could use in addition to repealing all taxes on gasoline and a number of taxes on oil companies. The bill passed the Senate the next day by a 66-34 vote. President Obama announced shortly thereafter that he could not in good conscience sign the bill for he viewed it as a giveaway to the oil companies, and he vetoed the bill.
« Last Edit: February 25, 2012, 01:20:42 pm by realisticidealist »Logged

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« Reply #17 on: February 25, 2012, 12:55:31 pm »
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His veto, by far the most important of his tenure, enraged the public, with flash polls showing that 71% disagreed with the veto, and of those 64% were strongly in disagreement. Within a week, the House overrode the President’s veto by a 327-108 margin, as did the Senate with a 67-30 vote on March 21, 2014. Majority Leader McConnell declared that the vote represented “a day of triumph for reason, sensibility, and the American people.” And so, the bill narrowly became law, and, in doing so, destroyed what little credibility President Obama had left. He could not pass policy. He could not stop the Republican’s policy. He could not even convince his own party to stand with him.

Although it was not instantaneously felt, another, larger problem soon arose from the gas crisis. While it had not been a problem for much of the Depression to this point, the drastic increase in the price of gasoline drastically increased business production costs and transportation costs around the entire world. By the middle of April, inflation began to rise precipitously. Whereas it had been around 1% through most of 2013, it rose to 3% by Christmas, and now climbed to over 10%, though it settled down in June to eight percent. Simultaneously, businesses drastically began to cut back their employees as a means to cut costs, and the unemployment rate for the second quarter shot up almost two points to 11.8%.

Stagflation was here, and there was no immediate solution in sight. Interest rates were already at near record lows, and could not be dropped further. The repeal of gas taxes marginally helped, but the massive increase in the price level could not be overcome so easily. The Republicans, for their part, proposed a plan that focused on massively cutting federal spending and regulations in order to quell the supply shock.

A number of libertarian-leaning members of Congress, led by Republican Senator from Kentucky Rand Paul, immediately began calling for the Federal Reserve to spike interest rates in the vein of Paul Volcker in the 1980s. Under Chairman Ben Bernanke the Fed, an already unpopular institution with the right, had grown steadily more so in the preceding months and was increasingly viewed as an archaic, powerless institution. They initially refused to acquiesce to the Republican majority, but the pressure was quickly ratcheted up.

In mid-April, the House passed the Defeat Inflation Act on the strength of highly conservative fervor. The bill sought to declare the Federal Reserve as a rogue agency, and as such be abolished, and that the Congress could by majority vote set interest rates as they pleased. This move horrified the Federal Reserve, and, after a meeting between Bernanke and McConnell, relented on interest rates. Overnight, the short-run interest rate rose to 4%, with more incremental increases guaranteed in the future.

President Obama almost immediately sought the resignation of Bernanke as Federal Reserve Chair for what he believed was an act of personal sedition toward himself. Within the week, Bernanke accepted the call, and stepped aside, something he later admitted to wanting to do months before. Obama would not get another Chairman of the Fed confirmed in his term.

While the move temporarily jolted the markets, it did manage to halt the rise of inflation. The economy settled down for the summer soon thereafter, but it was a highly uneasy peace. Unemployment remained near 12% with underemployment surpassing 20%, and even more people continued to slowly drop out of the workforce. In the record July heat, race riots flared nearly constantly across the Sun Belt, from San Diego to Atlanta. Fires burned down large portions of inner-urban Memphis and what was left of Detroit. Deaths from heat exhaustion, especially among the burgeoning homeless population, were at 150% of record levels.

All of these things made Washington politicians extremely unpopular, so much so that the August recess saw not a single town hall held. The offices of several Democrats in the Southwest were victimized by arson, and California Representative Linda Sanchez was savagely beaten in what was reported as gang violence.

The fall campaign would have one of the lowest ad rates of any election in American history. Campaigns were receiving virtually zero contributions from the public, and any rallies that were held often were overrun by livid protestors. Those that did run for office had to fly under the radar, holding only small personalized events. While the results of the November midterms were of little surprise to most, three small, mostly unknown races would come to remake the world.
« Last Edit: February 25, 2012, 06:11:32 pm by realisticidealist »Logged

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« Reply #18 on: February 25, 2012, 01:09:11 pm »
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2014 Election Results

Senate Results


Republican: 58
Democratic: 40
Independent: 2 (Caucus: 2 Democratic)

Notable Pick-ups (*Incumbent)
IA: Robert Vander Plaats (R) over Tom Harkin* (D), 49%-46%
LA: Bobby Jindal (R) over Mary Landrieu* (D), 62%-37%
MI: Gretchen Whitmer (I) over Dan Benishek (R) and Roy Schmidt (D), 38%-35%-26%
MN: Erik Paulsen (R) over Al Franken* (D), 46%-38%
SD: Kristi Noem (R) over Tim Johnson* (D), 60%-40%

House Results
Republican: 265
Democratic: 168
Independent: 2
« Last Edit: February 25, 2012, 01:24:02 pm by realisticidealist »Logged

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« Reply #19 on: February 25, 2012, 01:13:34 pm »
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One major problem: Venezuela is only the 4th largest importer of oil to the US.
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« Reply #20 on: February 25, 2012, 01:15:04 pm »
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One major problem: Venezuela is only the 4th largest importer of oil to the US.

What are you referencing specifically?
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« Reply #21 on: February 25, 2012, 01:17:30 pm »
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One major problem: Venezuela is only the 4th largest importer of oil to the US.

What are you referencing specifically?

Eh, the fact that it leads to a total collapse.

Also, what's Elizabeth Warren doing in Michigan?
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realisticidealist
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E: -0.90, S: 2.78

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« Reply #22 on: February 25, 2012, 01:19:54 pm »
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One major problem: Venezuela is only the 4th largest importer of oil to the US.

What are you referencing specifically?

Eh, the fact that it leads to a total collapse.

Also, what's Elizabeth Warren doing in Michigan?

It's not a total collapse in the US, just a price shock. It's a total collapse in Venezuela, though. Also, the Warren thing was something I meant to change. It's fixed now.
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"The greatest thing you'll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return."
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Cathcon
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« Reply #23 on: February 25, 2012, 03:30:46 pm »
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This is awesome!!!
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ChairmanSanchez
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« Reply #24 on: February 25, 2012, 05:17:49 pm »
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This is great! I see the Fed is finally dying Smiley
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America's like that hot chick everyone wants, and illegal immigrants are all the nerds that she should say "no" to.
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