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« Reply #375 on: December 27, 2010, 08:04:57 pm »
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I've just read it.. not bad ^^
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My evolution (by The Political Matrix):
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S: -6.78 -> -6.09 -> -7.30 -> -7.13 -> -8.09 -> -8.35 -> -9.04 -> -8.61
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« Reply #376 on: December 27, 2010, 10:42:54 pm »
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2009


Speaker of the House Mike Pence

Despite barely winning the 2008 Presidential election, President Kyl begins his term with high approval ratings due to his well-received inaugural address.  Along with Speaker Pence and Senator Ensign, Kyl outlines three goals for his first one hundred days in office: 1) establishing a flat income tax system; 2) passing a treaty with Russia to reduce each nation’s nuclear stockpiles by half; 3) creating a national school voucher program for lower-income students.  Though the second goal is expected to receive unanimous approval, the others are likely to meet fierce opposition from Democrats, who maintain a majority in the Senate.

In his first international trip, President Kyl travels to Moscow to meet with Russian President Dmitri Medvedev.  The two speak frankly of the dangers of nuclear weapons, having so recently seen nuclear war and its consequences.  Along with diplomats and advisors, the two leaders tentatively agree to the Nuclear Arms Reduction Treaty (NART).  The treaty entails the destruction of half of each nation’s nuclear stockpile to be enforced by the IAEA.  While the treaty would likely be approved by the United States Senate, Medvedev is unsure of the response from the Russian Duma or his predecessor (some would say boss) Vladimir Putin.  Despite the uncertainty over Russia’s approval of the treaty, President Kyl and Secretary Richardson return home to high approval of their diplomatic mission.

CNN POLL
February 16, 2009
Do you approve of the job President Kyl is doing?
[67%] YES
[22%] NO
[11%] UNSURE/IN BETWEEN


Back in Washington, the House is locked in intense debate over a bill to revise the tax code into a national flat income tax.  The bill was largely written by Majority Whip Jeb Hensarling and Republican Conference Chairman Eric Cantor and is supported by most House Republicans.  However, some moderate Republicans stand in opposition, most notably Congressman Dave Reichert, who sits on the powerful Ways and Means Committee which controls tax policy.  “The progressive tax system ensures that those who benefit most from America’s freedom contribute most to her well-being,” says Reichert.  “While taxes need to be constantly re-examined and ideally lowers, a flat tax places undue burden on those who cannot afford to shell out more money to the federal government.”  The Republican House leadership responds to such challengers by threatening committee seats and advancement opportunities.  The brutality is matched by the Democratic Whip, Rahm Emanuel, who engages in the same tactics.  The bill eventually passes the House on exact partisan lines and moves on to the Senate.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Senate Majority Whip Harold Ford have pre-empted the bill’s arrival in the Senate by individually meeting with all Democratic Senators.  Senator Mike Ciresi of Minnesota notably stands against his party, supporting flat tax as a method to stimulate the economy.  He is joined by several other moderate Democrats such as Joe Lieberman.  Schumer is hesitant to use forceful measures to pressure his Senators to vote a certain way.  Meanwhile, Republican Leader John Ensign and Whip Kay Bailey Hutchinson have unified their party in favor of the measure.  Both Schumer and Ensign agree not to filibuster.  The American public is surveyed as being strongly opposed to the proposal, with nearly 70% in opposition.  This is credited largely to a media campaign by Senator Ford to portray the bill as elitist and the bill’s authors and supporters as not aware of the suffering of ordinary Americans.  Despite this, the bill passes Senate and is signed by President Kyl on March 11, 2009.  

Conservatives hail the passage of the flat tax as a historic achievement and much credit is given to Speaker Pence, who included the measure as a hallmark of his legislative agenda.  However, the majority of Americans are upset at Congress having passed a bill so overwhelmingly opposed by the public.  Senator Barbara Boxer calls the Republican Party “completely numb to the pain of the American people.”  Privately, Boxer leads a challenge to Schumer’s leadership of the Senate caucus, though first urging Harold Ford to challenge his boss.  When Ford refuses, Boxer begins soliciting support to run for Senate Majority Leader.  After gathering over thirty signatures from frustrated Democratic Senators, Boxer forces an election.  Schumer stands down and Boxer is elected unopposed, with Ford remaining Whip.  Boxer’s first order of business as Majority Leader is to punish disloyal Democrats with a revocation of key committee assignments.  Upon being stripped of his committee seniority, Senator Ciresi announces his switch to the Republican Party.  “The new Democratic leader is evidently not a supporter of one’s American right to have an opinion and act in the interest of one’s nation,” says Ciresi.


Senator Mike Ciresi

The Democratic media campaign against flat tax is effective and results in shrinking approval ratings for President Kyl.  Nevertheless, he urges Congressional Republicans to proceed with his second major domestic agenda item: a federal school vouchers program.  The attention of Washington and the entire nation is diverted on March 29, 2009 when disturbing news is reported:

*Disclaimer* The events portrayed below are not at all the wishes of the author and are merely being described for the purposes of entertainment.

CHECHNYAN TERRORISTS ATTACK MOSCOW METRO, AT LEAST 50 DEAD


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« Reply #377 on: December 28, 2010, 03:59:12 pm »
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Tonight: What will the Russian leadership's response be to the attack?  Also, how will the rest of the Republican Agenda pan out?  Stay tuned as 2009 becomes the year of a world in decline.
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« Reply #378 on: December 28, 2010, 04:04:30 pm »
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Looking forward to reading it!
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« Reply #379 on: December 28, 2010, 08:34:03 pm »
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Looking forward to reading it!
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« Reply #380 on: December 28, 2010, 10:19:09 pm »
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A Cold Resurgence



In the aftermath of the March 2009 Moscow terrorist attack, the world bears witness to what had so long been speculated: despite Vladimir Putin ostensibly stepping down to the number two position in Russia, he remains the nation’s undisputed leader.  He lingers behind Medvedev whenever the latter is in public and begins to more openly assume his former role.  Putin orders to Russian military to assume total control of Chechnya and begins to enact policies which raise the eyebrows of many foreigners, including Secretary of State Bill Richardson.

In an interview in late April, Secretary Richardson states, “The interment of innocent Chechnyans and the tactics used by the Russian military and police forces reminds us of the days in which pogroms took place and whole towns would be exterminated.  It is a road we have seen Russia hint at going down, but never has it been so evident.”  When asked whether he has advised President Kyl to pressure Russia to maintain human rights standards, Richardson confirmed he had.  Privately, President Kyl had spoken with both Putin and Medvedev; the former was particularly offended by the call, asking the American President, “What would you do if dogs like these attacked a subway in New York?”  Kyl is determined to avoid a standoff which would significantly deteriorate US-Russo relations and plunge the world back into a chaotic state. 

Secretary Richardson increasingly finds his advice ignored by President Kyl and outright opposed by other administration officials, such as Homeland Security Secretary Peter King, who proposes a similar mentality when dealing with anti-American terrorists at home and abroad.  In June of 2009, Bill Richardson resigns as Secretary of State, publicly citing irreconcilable differences between himself and the President.  In a subsequent interview, Richardson states, “How can President Kyl seek to place America as the leader of the free world when he allows other nations to brutalize their own populations?  Our commitment to liberty, peace, and democracy means nothing if we don’t act upon it.”  Richardson plans to write a book outlining his views on foreign policy and plans a speaking tour across the country, as well as a global tour meeting with foreign leaders.  Some see these moves as Richardson establishing himself as a Presidential candidate for 2012.

-----------------------------------------


Senate Majority Leader Barbara Boxer

On the domestic front, the Republican House leaders put forward their second major proposal: a federal school vouchers program.  While the bill easily passes the House due to the Republican majority, it encounters difficulties in the Senate.  Unlike Chuck Schumer, Barbara Boxer proves to be a cutthroat party leader.  The Democratic Caucus is united and prevents the passage of the bill.  Boxer’s abrasive tactics and bombastic speaking title garner her significant notoriety, but Stephen Colbert proves that not all publicity is good publicity when he dubs her, “The Biggest Bitch in America.”  However crude, most Americans seem to agree, as Boxer has a 79% disapproval rating.  The fact remains she is an extremely effective party leader for Senate Democrats. 

In the summer of 2009, the 2010 midterm campaign season begins softly.  Senator Harold Ford, along with Democratic campaign committee chairmen Mark Pryor and Chris Van Hollen, aim to recruit a wide range of candidates to challenge even entrenched Republican incumbents.  Meanwhile, Republican campaign committee chairmen John Thune and Paul Ryan intend to do the same.  Both travel extensively nation-wide while performing the duties of their role, prompting speculation that the two may be laying the groundwork for Presidential bids.

Stay tuned for Part II of this update.
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« Reply #381 on: December 28, 2010, 11:27:56 pm »
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2009: The World in Decline

Throughout the year, a worldwide recession had worsened into a near-depression.  In the United States particularly, unemployment rises to a staggering 15% in August 2009.  Though Treasury Secretary Christopher Cox becomes a public scapegoat, the American people had been plagued by their excessive spending habits over the prior decade.  Prominent Democrats such as Senators Boxer and Ford criticize the Republican Party for pushing flat tax through Congress at a time when the lower and middle classes cannot afford to take on a larger portion of funding the government.  To these objections, Vice President Pawlenty states, “If they’re worried lower taxes will not be able to pay the bills for the federal government, they need to ask themselves why they’ve committed to funding so many programs.  You can’t blame Americans for excessive spending when the Democratic Party has bankrupted our nation.”

The situation is made worse by the plethora of able laborers – World War III veterans who have returned home.  The number of homeless veterans skyrockets as there are no jobs in the market.  Veterans Affairs Secretary Richard Myers urges President Kyl to consider several New Deal-style projects to increase labor opportunities for veterans, but Kyl refuses, not wanting to increase government spending.  Former Secretary of State Bill Richardson criticizes Kyl in a guest lecture at Brown University, saying, “The President has not only ignored the values for which our troops fight, but has ignored them after they have risked it all for our nation.”  With the midterm elections of 2010 approaching rapidly, many begin to speculate about possible 2012 Presidential candidates. 

President Kyl’s controversial performance has led to talk of a potential primary challenger, with some pointing to Congressman Dave Reichert a possibility due to his opposition to flat tax.  His sinking approval ratings (a mediocre 43% as of January 2010) have led to countless Democrats gearing up to run.  The list includes former Secretary Richardson, Senate Majority Leader Barbara Boxer, Senate Majority Whip Harold Ford, Senator Barack Obama, House Minority Leader Ed Markey, former Senator and 2008 nominee Dick Durbin, and others.  With the fragile state of the nation and the globe, the 2012 Presidential election will have a great impact and thus looks to be hotly contested.  Start your engines.

NEXT: How will the midterm elections play out?  As the dust settles, the 2012 campaign begins.  Also – tensions rise due to a security scare in the homeland.
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« Reply #382 on: December 28, 2010, 11:39:29 pm »
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Secretary Cox claimed that he had a terminal illness and milked the sympathy for all it was worth. It then emerged that, actually, he didn't. He lied. In fact his entire personality was a lie. There was no Secretary Cox and there never had been. No terminal illness either. People who were close to Cox - or had thought they were - felt used and the rest of the nation felt just a little bit angry.

What comes after that, though?
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« Reply #383 on: December 28, 2010, 11:44:52 pm »
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Secretary Cox claimed that he had a terminal illness and milked the sympathy for all it was worth. It then emerged that, actually, he didn't. He lied. In fact his entire personality was a lie. There was no Secretary Cox and there never had been. No terminal illness either. People who were close to Cox - or had thought they were - felt used and the rest of the nation felt just a little bit angry.

What comes after that, though?

Thank you, Al.  Perhaps you could use the thread to comment on my timeline, which I have returned to complete, rather than rehash old news which has been discussed greatly elsewhere.
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« Reply #384 on: December 29, 2010, 12:53:55 am »
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If you enjoyed the update, please let me know!  I see the "views" go up by hundreds per day, but if I know you all are enjoying it, it is all the more motivation to continue.  Smiley
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« Reply #385 on: December 29, 2010, 03:41:00 pm »
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The next update will be tonight.
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« Reply #386 on: December 29, 2010, 04:13:53 pm »
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What happened in the 2008 Senate, governor, and House races?
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« Reply #387 on: December 29, 2010, 04:52:10 pm »
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You know, rereading the beginning of the timeline, I just realized you never posted results for the 2000 or 2002 Senate elections. Since Bush did better than OTL in 2000, I decided it was logical Republicans would also do better downballot; since Roy Barnes is reelected, it must follow that Democrats did better than OTL in 2002, as well.

I came to the conclusion that the following five races that went Democratic IOTL went Republican in your timeline: that in Florida Bill McCollum defeated Bill Nelson; that in Michigan Spencer Abraham defeated Debbie Stabenow; that in Nebraska Don Stenberg defeated Ben Nelson; that in New Jersey Bob Franks defeated Jon Corzine; and that in Washington Slade Gorton defeated Maria Cantwell.

Since 5 Republicans were elected in 2000 that weren't OTL, five Democrats in 2002 are needed to balance this out. Therefore; I conclude that in Colorado Tom Strickland defeated Wayne Allard; that in Georgia Max Cleland defeated Saxby Chambliss; that in Minnesota Paul Wellstone defeated Norm Coleman (obvious since Wellstone was a candidate in '08); that in Missouri Jean Carnahan defeated Jim Talent; and that in New Hampshire Jeanne Shaheen defeated John Sununu.

You specified the results in 2004; but alternate results in 2000 would result in alternate results in 2006. You only said that Harold Ford, Jr. was elected in Tennessee and Mike Ciresi was reelected in Minnesota; you do not specify any other non-OTL results in 2006, but merely state that seven Democratic pickups occurred. Missouri is held by Jean Carnahan. We can have the other five pickups from OTL, plus Ford; we need only one extra. We can have McCollum, Gorton, Stenberg, and Abraham be reelected; our alt-N.J. Senator, Bob Franks, was suffering from cancer by 2006 (he died from it earlier this year); let's say Thomas Kean Jr. was elected to his seat after his retirement. As for that extra Democratic pickup...let's say Craig Thomas dies a couple months early, and the voters, rather than elect a dead man, in a huge fluke, elect Democrat Dale Groutage a Senator from Wyoming.

Can all this be canon?
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« Reply #388 on: December 29, 2010, 09:42:55 pm »
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Vosem, I appreciate the thought you put into the post.  I can confirm only a few of the below, but your theories could be assumed to be accurate.  Max Cleland remains a Senator as of now (2009 in the timeline), so therefore was re-elected in 2002 and 2008.  Wellstone, as you point out, was re-eleted.  I can confirm Kean in New Jersey as a successor to Franks, Gorton defeating Cantwell, Shaheen defeating Sununu, and Carnahan defeating Talent.  I will consider the rest of your projections to see if we can make them "canon."  Thank you again!  Smiley
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« Reply #389 on: December 29, 2010, 10:29:36 pm »
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2010 Midterms: A Battle of Personalities

Nearly all political analysts agree that President Kyl’s first year in office has been underwhelming.  Despite the monumental achievement for conservatives of passing the flat tax proposal, it has gone over poorly with the American public.  An attempt at reducing longstanding nuclear tensions with Russia stalled as the Russian government was radicalized after the Moscow attack.  Finally, the school vouchers proposal was defeated by the Democratic Senate majority.  Though Kyl’s first State of the Union retains the optimistic tone of his inaugural address, it does not resonate with an increasingly cynical American public.  

If the lukewarm attitude towards the President was not enough, Republican Senate leadership transitioned due to a sex scandal which forced Senate Minority Leader John Ensign, Kyl’s political protégé, to resign as leader.  Kay Bailey Hutchison reluctantly assumes leadership of the Republican Caucus, with John Thune assuming the role of Minority Whip in addition to his leadership of the nationwide Republican Senatorial campaigns.  Hutchison’s charm, wit and style serve as a counterpart to the brash Barbara Boxer in the eyes of the American public.  Her popularity increases every second she appears on television and her name quickly becomes synonymous with the Republican Party just as Boxer has become identified with the Democrats.  A battle of personalities is exactly what the Republicans are looking for: Barbara Boxer serves as a lightning rod for every Republican running for Congress to attack.

One notable Republican Congressman not running for re-election is Dave Reichert.  The Washington moderate is seen by many to be laying the groundwork for a primary challenge to President Kyl in 2012.  His newly formed political action committee is called Americans for Accountability and he travels the nation connecting with disillusioned moderate Republicans on every issue from flat tax to foreign policy.  Some focus is taken off Reichert in early 2010 when rumors circulate around the Beltway that President Kyl, 67 and not particularly healthy, is considering not running for a second term.  Privately, Kyl does not trust Vice President Pawlenty, who fell below expectations in the 2008 campaign, to be able to win a national election or be an effective President.  In June 2010, Kyl confirms that he will be running for a second term but noticeably evades the issue of whether Pawlenty will be on the ticket.

Vice President Pawlenty has been touring the nation campaigning for Republican candidates to establish himself as Kyl’s natural successor in the event he did not run.  Now that Kyl is confirmed to run in 2012, Pawlenty seems desperate to remain on the ticket and aims to prove his effectiveness as a campaigner.  Other Republicans who serve as national surrogates include Speaker Pence, Leader Hutchison, Senator Thune and Congressman Hensarling.  Capitol Hill is noticeably empty as its usual occupants are dispersed across the fifty states aiming to have an influence in who fills the chambers next year.  As respected columnist William Safire writes, “Our elected representatives spend more time campaigning than legislating.”  

----------------------------------------------

The American peoples’ focus on the campaign is broken when it is revealed in late July that the National Security Agency had discovered and prevented a massive terrorist attack from taking place during Independence Day celebrations in Boston.  Four Muslim American youths were arrested in a Fort Lee, New Jersey diner as they were ostensibly on their way north from their Georgia university to commit the heinous act.  Homeland Security Secretary Peter King drafts a memorandum for President Kyl in which he urges him to issue an executive order allowing “preventative internment facilities” to be constructed across the nation.  These facilities would serve as holding stations for suspected terrorists while they awaited investigations by federal intelligence agencies.  

President Kyl issues such an executive order, drawing severe criticism from some, including Senator Paul Wellstone, who states that similar facilities were the first step towards concentration camps in Nazi Germany.  Objections go largely ignored, however, as the nation is on alert knowing that terrorist cells are actively seeking to harm American civilians.  Democratic leaders are hesitant to attempt an override of the executive order, fearing doing so would make them look weak on security months before a crucial election.  The order goes unchallenged and the first facility is constructed near Fort Benning, Georgia, with others soon following in rural areas across the country.

----------------------------------------------


Senate Minority Leader Kay Bailey Hutchison

As the election approaches, the campaign becomes Boxer versus Hutchison, and Republicans are thanking their lucky stars.  Boxer holds an approval rating of 19% of the American public, while Hutchison’s is a solid 74%.  In the generic Congressional ballot, Republicans lead nationwide with 57% compared to the Democrat’s 41%.  The undecided number is noticeably lower than in most election years.  Republicans need only three seats to obtain a majority in the Senate and appear to be at no risk of maintaining their House majority.  In gubernatorial races, especially critical due to upcoming redistricting, Republicans have advantages nationwide.  Democratic strategist James Carville comments in October, “You’ve got a President who isn’t loved, an economy in shambles, a world going down the toilet, security threats at home, and Barbara Boxer is outweighing all of it.”  Carville perhaps has summed up what most Democrats are thinking.

On Election Day, the Republicans overcome the historical factors against them and increase their majority in the House and in gubernatorial seats, but most importantly win enough seats to obtain a Senate majority.  The critical seats which made the difference were Colorado, in which attorney Ken Buck defeated Ken Salazar; Nevada, where Congressman Jon Porter defeated Harry Reid; and most notably California, where Barbara Boxer was defeated by businesswoman Carly Fiorina.  In her Election Night victory speech, incoming Senate Majority Leader Kay Bailey Hutchison proclaims, “The era of American greatness is only beginning.  Together, with the confidence of the American people, we move forward towards our nation’s destiny.”

NEXT: The Democratic defeat yields division among the ranks.  Who will rise to challenge the now-dominant Republican Party?
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« Reply #390 on: December 30, 2010, 12:33:13 am »
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December 3, 2010

Today is the groundbreaking ceremony for the Wesley K. Clark Library and Presidential Complex.  When determining a location for the complex, Clark considered Arkansas, but was deterred by the presence of the Clinton Library.  Instead, he chose West Point, New York, within a mile of the Military Academy which formed his life.  The planned $50 million complex will likely be completed by 2012.


Former President Roy Barnes

At the ceremony, President Kyl commends his predecessor’s service to his nation not only as President.  “President Clark showed me not only how to be America’s leader, but how to be a good American,” says Kyl.  Perhaps the most surprising speaker is former President Roy Barnes, who had largely remained outside the public eye since he resigned from office in 2006.  Barnes appears far healthier and more jubilant than he has been since the 2004 Presidential campaign and is, for the first time, considered funny.  “When I think of Wes Clark,” begins Barnes, “I think, ‘How did I let this son of a gun show me up?’”  He goes on to heavily praise Clark, even saying that selecting him as his running mate was the greatest choice of his political career.

His comments are echoed by Clark’s second-in-command, former Vice President Richard Holbrooke.  Holbrooke enjoys extensive popularity due to his role in negotiating the end of World War III and the Second Korean War, both with favorable results for the United States.  Many Democrats are urging Holbrooke to run for President in 2012, but the statesman will not budge.  His well-received speech reminds those watching why he has been an effective American diplomat for decades and why the greatest leaders are usually those who never seek the Presidency.  President Clark begins his remarks by commending Holbrooke on his lifetime of service.  “I learned in my three years as President that the reason some of my predecessors are considered great is because they had great men advising them.  If history judges my Presidency to be a success, there needs to be a note indicating that it was due to Richard Holbrooke.”

Unfortunately, former Vice President Holbrooke dies ten days later of a heart attack at the age of 69.  His body lies in state at the Capitol Rotunda and his funeral is broadcast on national television.  Dignitaries from across the world attend to pay their respects to the man who ended two of the greatest conflicts in the history of mankind.


Richard Holbrooke (1941 – 2010)
This update is dedicated to his memory.

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« Reply #391 on: December 30, 2010, 01:39:07 pm »
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250+ views since yesterday.  You all are reading, but are you enjoying?
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« Reply #392 on: December 30, 2010, 02:25:43 pm »
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I am enjoying it very mucho
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My parents are pretty good about smelling a rat. 
Let me put this as clear as I can (saying this to myself, as well, so I can see it): I WILL get a job with CADD and I WILL keep the job.
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« Reply #393 on: December 30, 2010, 02:50:05 pm »
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Si, me gusta muy mucho.
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« Reply #394 on: December 30, 2010, 03:38:06 pm »
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The next few updates will focus on the Presidential campaign announcements for certain candidates.
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« Reply #395 on: December 30, 2010, 09:56:06 pm »
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“A Worthy Cause”



In a move anticipated by all and feared by many, Congressman Dave Reichert announces his Presidential bid on December 27, 2010.  His primary challenge to an incumbent President is historically rare, but was last seen in 2004 when General Wesley Clark challenged President George W. Bush.  Clark received roughly a third of the vote in the states he contested before dropping out and later becoming Roy Barnes’ running mate.  Reichert, who has less national experience and name recognition than Clark did, is thought to have virtually no chance of obtaining the nomination and will likely have an uphill battle to even garner significant poll numbers to remain a viable candidate.

His announcement speech reflects his maverick status in Congress, especially since the Republicans obtained a Congressional majority in 2008.  “From the time I was Sheriff of King County to my time in the U.S. House of Representatives, I have always played by one rule in my political career: I will not be bought, bribed, or threatened into voting against the interests of the people I represent.”  Reichert criticizes the tactics of the House Republican leadership who stripped him from his committee assignments after he led a group of moderate Republicans against the flat tax proposal.  “We are the party of freedom and we stand for the right of every individual to work hard to achieve what is best for them.  The coercive tactics of our party’s leaders have damaged our reputation as defenders of American liberty and this mentality has been sanctioned by our current administration.”  He closes by preemptively responding to the concerns of cynics.  “I am not sacrificing my hard-earned money, my good health and time with my family to get my name in a history book.  A good American will risk his career for a worthy cause.  I am running to win the Republican nomination and win the White House.  The American people believe in freedom and hard work, individuality and accountability, and are firmly against extremism.  I am running a campaign based on these core American values and together, we will achieve the improbable and win this election.”

Mainstream Republicans immediately launch a media attack on Reichert.  Incoming House Majority Whip Jeb Hensarling, one of the authors of the flat tax proposal, says, “Dave Reichert is tarnishing his respectable record of public service by stirring up the pot for no apparent reason.”  Understandably, Democrats come to Reichert’s defense, with Former President Roy Barnes praising his quixotic bid on Good Morning America.  “You’ve got to admire a man who puts principle before politics,” says Barnes.  President Kyl remains above the fray, only commenting through his Press Secretary that he looks forward to an exchange of ideas during the primary. 

A poll released on January 5, 2011 shows that Kyl has no reason for concern.

RASMUSSEN REPORTS
Who would you vote for in a Republican primary?
[72%] JON KYL
[12%] DAVE REICHERT
[16%] UNDECIDED

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« Reply #396 on: December 30, 2010, 10:18:34 pm »
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“Right and Wrong”



On January 3, 2011, Bill Richardson formally declares his candidacy for President of the United States.  A former Secretary of State, Governor of New Mexico, Secretary of Energy, Ambassador to the United Nations, Congressman and businessman, Richardson is among the most experienced men ever to seek the office of the Presidency.  Ever since his resignation as Secretary of State, Richardson has been touring the nation, lecturing at universities, appearing on programs and writing, all stirring up speculation that he was planning to run for President.  Most notably, his book, “Right and Wrong,” which outlines his career in public service, was on the New York Times bestseller list for five straight weeks. 

Richardson’s 2008 Presidential campaign was moderately successful, obtaining a solid third place in New Hampshire in a large field.  However, he truly shined as Dick Durbin’s Vice Presidential running mate.  His significant experience allowed him to defeat then-Governor Tim Pawlenty in the Vice Presidential debate and he was an effective campaigner.  Some criticize Richardson for refusing to wait for Durbin to make a decision on whether to run before making his own.  However, Richardson enters the race as a top-tier candidate and, as the first major candidate to declare, the frontrunner.

His announcement speech is sharply critical of the Kyl Administration and evokes the theme of his recent book.  “Let me tell you something about right and wrong,” says Richardson.  “Forcing the brunt of federal taxes on working-class Americans is wrong.  Constructing internment camps reminiscent of dark eras we thought were long behind us is wrong.  Allowing Russia to commit genocide on its own people is wrong.  This administration and this President have gone about things the entirely wrong way and I am in this race to change course.  It’s time to do the right thing and lead the world by being an example of freedom and fairness.”  The speech surprises many due to its negativity, but immediately makes Richardson the darling of left-wing bloggers, writers and pundits.  Television anchor Rachel Maddow states, “Say what you want about Bill Richardson; you can’t say he doesn’t firmly believe he’s the right man for America.”
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« Reply #397 on: December 31, 2010, 02:22:35 pm »
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I really hope Durbin runs...that would certainly shake things up. And he came so close last time...
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the birth of modern america & onward election Former Vice President Blanche Bruce defeats incumbent President Grover Cleveland in 1904. In an age of unpredictable election outcomes Bruce finds himself reelected in 1908 against an opponent whose name escapes me at the moment. Blanche Bruce served as Vice President under Frederick Douglas whom Cleveland defeated in 1900. His Vice President runs to replace Bruce in 1912.
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« Reply #398 on: December 31, 2010, 03:40:19 pm »
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I really hope Durbin runs...that would certainly shake things up. And he came so close last time...

You will soon find out.
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« Reply #399 on: December 31, 2010, 03:58:17 pm »
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To Run or Not to Run


Senator Dick Durbin accepting the nomination in 2008.

The 2008 Presidential election was the closest in modern history.  Democratic nominee Dick Durbin has nothing to be ashamed of, having won 268 electoral votes and over 49% of the popular vote.  Had a few hundred votes been reversed in West Virginia, Durbin would be President.  Having not run for re-election to the United States Senate in order to pursue the Presidency in 2008, the former Majority Leader has toured the world and finally found relaxation in his retirement, with his work schedule consisting only of a few monthly meetings for corporate boards.  Yet, Durbin is haunted by his past goals which he still seeks to fulfill.

Often asked of his intentions, Durbin responds with the same ambiguity which foreshadowed his 2008 campaign.  He has kept in touch with supporters from across the nation, but particularly in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina.  He regularly meets with former top members of his campaign team as well as former Senate colleagues.  Polls show that he would be the frontrunner for the nomination.  His family is urging him to proceed.  To top it all off, President Kyl, his opponent in 2008, is not particularly popular and many Americans are experiencing buyer’s remorse.  So why is Durbin not moving forward with a campaign?

Some analysts speculate that Durbin will not run since his 2008 running mate, Bill Richardson, is already in the race and is the current frontrunner.  Privately, Durbin regards Richardson as power-hungry and not particularly intelligent and feels that he would have been better off choosing a different running mate in 2008, despite consistent acclaim for Richardson’s performance.  Richardson’s entry into the race is only more motivation for Durbin to run.  It is another potential candidate who could deter Durbin from running.

-----------------------------------

One early January evening in 2011, the phone in Durbin’s Chicago residence rings.  He answers and is intrigued to discover who the caller is.  “Dick, I’m going to do it,” says the caller.  “I wanted you to be the first to know.”  There is silence from Durbin, prompting the caller to continue, “We have worked together very closely.  If you have any reservations about my candidacy or my beliefs…”  Durbin stops the caller mid-sentence.

“I have been urged by friends and family to run,” says Durbin.  “I have the support, the money, everything I need.  All I needed to run was a reason – a sign that the people I fight for will not have a voice if I don’t run.  If you are in this race, everything and everyone I stand for is represented.  You have my blessing and my support.”
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