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|An Independent in 2000|
|Science & Technology|
Point of Divergence
- A Seattle couple discover an infant lost on a hiking trail in Mt. Rainier National Park. His family is nowhere to be found and there is no evidence of where the child came from. The couple decide to adopt the child after they the ranger station informs them that their have been no reports of parents losing their children. He is adopted as Charles Malcolm Edwards.
- President John F. Kennedy is shot while in Dallas. Vice President Johnson is sworn in on Air Force One.
- Charles Edwards enters into the Propulsion Engineering program at UC Berkley, where he minors in Political Science.
- Jimmy Carter is elected the 39th President of the United States.
- 'Edwards' mother dies of untreated ovarian cancer. When he learns that their medical insurance wouldn't cover his mother, Edwards vows to never let his tragedy befall anyone else. He changes his Major to Political science and minors in Propulsion Engineering.
- Edwards' graduates from Berkley with a Doctorate in Political Science, and honors from his work in the Propulsion Department of the University.
- President Reagan wins his re-election over Vice President Walter Mondale.
- Edwards' founds Seattle Dynamics, a Propulsion Firm that specializes in Scramjets. Edwards signs his first contract to the military to develop a stealth cruise missile. His IPO at the end of the year makes him millions more.
- Vice President George Bush defeats Paul Tsongas for the Presidency.
- Edwards designs, builds, and tests the world's first Pulse Detonation Jet Engine; he becomes a household name overnight.
- The Air Force purchases the PDE for the F-15SE Super Eagle and F-18E Super Hornet fighter jets. The already over-budget F-22 and F-35 programs are canceled in favor of simply upgrading existing aircraft with the superior engine technology of the PDE.
- Seattle Dynamics receives the contract to develop the engines for the National Aero-Space Plane.
- Boeing announces the development of the 777 Hyper-Cruiser, an aircraft that will make a three hour flight from New York to Tokyo. The Hyper-Cruiser is to take the place of the NASP due to budget cuts.
- In the presidential election Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton defeats President Bush due to an economic downturn and the presence of third party candidate Ross Perot.
- Edwards announces his candidacy for mayor of Seattle.
- Running an energetic and disiplined campaign, Edwards usurps incumbent Norm Rice.
- Republicans recapture both houses of congress.
- Edwards begins his tenure as mayor by reducing government waste by billions. He changes zoning laws to encourage growth, and redirects funds for Medical Care Subsidies.
- Edwards begins the Emerald City Program. A long term goal to increase development and promote economic growth. The program includes provisions for taking the height cap off of Seattle sky scrapers; buying thousands of destitute homes and business to be bulldozed and replaced by new high-rises and apartments; and the creation of multiple public works projects that include two new stadiums, a massive new port, and a new airport.
- President Clinton defeats challengers Bob Dole and Ross Perot in the presidential election.
- Seattle begins construction of what is to be the worlds tallest building, the Emerald Tower. Set to be 2100 feet tall, and act as a vertical city, it is to be finished in 2003.
- Mayor Edwards receives national attention when on the Tonight show he calls for Congress to remove President Clinton from office for lying under oath, stating, "It is ridiculous that we would even consider allowing this man to continue to serve office after breaking federal law, and no Jay, I'm not talking about how he got a BJ, that's what this trial is about, I'm talking about what this Impeachment is about. When the President lies under oath, he is betraying his sworn oath to the Constitution, and that is unacceptable." Clinton still managed to avoid removal from office.
- Edwards wins a second term as mayor in a monumental landslide.
- Edwards, now one of the world's richest men, begins a second term as mayor. Seattle now one of the wealthiest cities in America, and education and healthcare are free within the city. Their are now growing calls for a 2000 presidential bid.
- The World Trade Organization comes to Seattle, but before the convention begins Mayor Edwards meets with the WTO to plead with them to discuss "Fair Trade" not just free trade. He warns them that if they don't, the city will likely descend into chaos if they don't at least act like they are interested in the concerns of the people. The WTO agrees to allow Mayor Edwards to give a talk on Fair Trade, the protests never descend into chaos, and the Battle in Seattle is avoided.
- Edwards releases his first Autobiography, Hope from My Mother: The Principles I Live By. The novel is a huge success and would be comparable to Barack Obama's Audacity of Hope in OTL.
The New Millennium
- May: Governors and Representatives of Washington, Oregon, California, Illinois, and Virginia all flood into Mayor Edward's office to beg him to run for President.
- Edwards announces his candidacy for President as an independent. Utilizing the power of internet donations and webcasts of his speeches and policies, Edwards quickly establishes dominance on the West Coast, running on a campaign for Universal Healthcare, Education Reform, and continuing fiscal responsibility.
- Edwards campaigns hard for several months before taking defeated Republican John McCain as his running mate.
- Bush and Gore are easily nominated at their respective conventions.
- As the fall campaign progresses Edwards begins to lead in several key states. With a Gore victory beginning to look unlikely many Democrats switch their allegiance to Edwards giving him much needed boost in many other states.
- During the debates Edwards proves himself as a successful and effective arguer, easily beating both Bush and Gore.
- On election day Edwards takes the most states and electors as well as the popular vote but does not receive the 270 needed to be elected president.
- As the election passes to the house Edwards receives the backing of Democrats and Independents with Republicans leaning Bush.
- With some Republicans unsure about voting against the winner of such a wide margin in terms of the popular and electoral vote, Edwards seizes an opportunity to deliver a stirring speech before the House of Representatives. Edwards' words soon prove to be enough to convince some Republicans to vote his way.
- In the final house vote Charles Malcom Edwards is elected president of the United States.
- After several successful debates, and the announcement of Senator John McCain for his VP slot, Mayor Edwards is elected the President of the United States with a 40% plurality. His first 100 days are marked by the Right Track Act, the Nana Act, the massive reductions in spending, and the reform of the military to a lighter, more agile force.
- Russian President Vladimir is visited by President Edwards for their first meeting. What was hoped to be a formality by Russia, ends with Edwards asking Russia to join the US in a new series of nuclear arms reduction and the ban of nuclear materials, if the US agrees to halt development of the Missile Defense Shield until an agreement can be made between all nations about comprehensive nuclear proliferation.
9/11:Two passenger aircraft crash into the World Trade Center, one into the Pentagon, and one is brought down in Pennsylvania. President Edwards immediately orders a covert operation to capture and kill the plotters. The action is broadcast uncensored across the world and Edwards issues a single threat, "Don't ever think you can attack the people of this country, and get away with it." The act is controversial, but within three months following the subsequent invasion of Afghanistan, terrorist cells all over the world are being turned in by their nations that harbor them. In some circles there was talk of impeachment articles being passed against Edwards for torture, though when it became obvious that the Constitution does not apply to foreign citizens, the issue was promptly dropped.
- President Edwards condemns the proposed Patriot Act in its current form, stating that it effectively gives the Executive Branch the right to ignore civil liberties and Constitutional Law for the purpose of tracking down terrorists. He also stated that, "While we experience a new enemy that holds no value to the lives of the innocent; driving us to abandon our highest held beliefs in the face of fear, would be a far greater victory for any terrorist group than the September 11th attacks could ever have hoped to have been." These are put in a famous letter explaining why he vetoed the legislation.
- The Patriot Act is revised to establish a Department of Homeland Security, and increase Airport and Border Security. Secretary of Commerce and Transportation Nader's proposed aircraft doors are immediately put into effect, and Air Marshals are put on every American airliners.
- With the War on Terror going so well, Edward's is able to pass his United States National Health Insurance Act with little effort. The War in Afghanistan proceeds swimmingly, many acclaim the success to Edward's military reform, and the invention of the Mobile Palisade.
- Russia reluctantly agrees to send troops into Afghanistan to assist the war effort. There are growing calls for Russia to join NATO from outside and within.
- China refuses to join the War in Afghanistan, though continues to support the War on Terror. Currently the nation is vastly increasing efforts to stop drug trafficking, and is working with the other members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization to crack down on illegal arms dealing.
- Stem Cell Research gains funding in America, and the Kyoto Protocol is revised to encourage growth while cutting emissions. When Iraq is confirmed to have used VX gas in the Kurdish Genocide, Edwards implores the UN to arrest Saddam. The UN Multilateral Force does so in a matter of weeks, placing an intern government under martial law and dividing up Iraq into three new Republics. Though internal hostilities are much smaller than OTL, (primarily because the Sunnis, Shia, and Kurds now have their own independent nations) the UN maintains a presence in Iraq until 2006. The year ends with the US beginning its New Frontiers Program for space exploration.
- NeoConGate begins in America, and by the end of the subsequent impeachment proceedings, President Edwards (just barely escaping impeachment) disbands the DHS, and breaks it up into the far more nimble agencies it was made of.
- Turkey recognizes Kurdistan in exchange for full European Union membership.
- Kurdistan begins inviting foreign oil companies into their nation.
- After the Neo-Conservative Conspiracy comes to light, Edwards fires his Vice President and Congress files Impeachment Proceedings on 55 government officials. Edwards declares his New VP to be Defense Secretary Wesley Clark, and begins his campaign against McCain in the 2004 election.
- The US sends far more aide to the Tsunami Zone than OTL, so much so that India signs a new trade and security agreement with the US ensuring significant reductions in nuclear materials.
- Russia finally elects to join NATO as a full member, though declines all proposals to join the EU. Still a member of the SCO, Russia begins to act as a bridge between East and West.
- President Edwards wins his re-election with 53% of the electorate. When Hurricane Katrina makes landfall in New Orleans, the Edwards administration gains international respect for his handling of the disaster. The new US shuttle makes its test flight for the Moon.
- The New Orleans Protocol are signed by the end of the year with the conclusion on the International Forum on the Study of Climate Change. The measures set by the Protocol, push for an international cap on greenhouse gas emissions, and implement the cap and trade system world wide. An International research forum is created to further the exchange of climate combating technologies, and a measure to reduce emissions to 80% of 2000 levels by 2050 is passed. The Europeans commit to achieving that goal in 2025, the US in 2020.
- The New Orleans Protocol is approved by Congress, it contains legislation that rewards companies and indulges multi-corporation owners that continue to make their products in the United States, mitigating foreign outsourcing.
- A project is approved by Congress to stop illegal immigration, while another project was also approved to build stronger dikes.
- Humanity returns to the Moon with the new US Space Shuttle Orion. Captained by Commander Eileen Collins, the crew begins to establish the first lunar base, as they prepare for their two week stay. The crew of seven, made up of four Americans (Collins, Barbara Morgan, Scott Parazynski, and Anna Fisher), two Russians (Sergei Krikalev, the first Russian on the Moon, and Alexander Kaleri), and one British astronaut (Michael Foale), is signaled as a continuing effort towards international Unity.
- The Civilization Acts, which were a collection of Acts, were passed.
- A US mission to 433 Eros, captained by Commander William Oefelein, yields ten time the US GDP in mineral rights. NASA immediately contracts multiple private space flight companies to mine and ship the precious metals back to Earth.
- With the largest surplus in history, President Edwards declares a moratorium on the majority of taxes, and passes legislation that directs the surplus to the people as subsidies and entitlement programs. What becomes the Civilization Acts creates a series of new programs and causes a surge in the US economy to a level unseen at any other time in history. Free and Universal Healthcare is expanded to include high quality care, Right Track is given more funds to insure college for any citizen who wants to attend; Habitat for Humanity is given over a trillion dollars to ensure a home for every American, and the US Job Corps is creates to obliterate unemployment.
- Negotiations to end the Genocide in Darfur break down, the US and Europe ask the UN to send in peace keepers to block the Sudanese from killing any more people in Darfur.
- With the US average income now close to half a million dollars per person, the US economy is exploding. With cheap materials in large supply and mineral deposits (other than precious metals) like iron ore, bauxite, lead, copper, and other minerals used as raw materials discovered in larger supply, high quality American goods can be purchased by the average citizen. To cope with the rising economy, the Federal Reserve raises the interest rates to the point where the dollar is worth as much as it was in the late 1800s. Inflation evaporates, and the US pardons all debts from every country that has ever owed money to America. More and more goods from the US are becoming popular around the world.
- The US Space Program is expanded to begin manned exploration of Mars by 2012, using the massive IEV. NASA is now given discretion over two trillion dollars of the US budget. They immediately begin allocating them to private firms to build a civilian space industry, and put billions into building the IEV and the new Lunar Base.
- By April, US goods are the most desirable in the world, with the US economy supplanting those of every other country. Europe, in an emergency session, passes in popular referendum the European Constitution, and establishes Europe as a single country. China concedes to Taiwan's demands to move to a more democratic government and unites with Taiwan and Mongolia.
- In an emergency session of the Organization of American States, the crippled economies of the other North American nations, propose a Unity under the US Constitution. President Edwards signs the Panama Act by the end of the year and the US expands to encompass all of North America.
- The UN sends peace keepers into Darfur. They close off the region with mobile palisades.
- The G8 is reformed to include China, Brazil, South Africa, and India.
- Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez is implicated in funding drug cartels when a leader of FARC is killed. Edwards condemns Chavez for "Trafficking a poison that has corrupted our nation's youth" and silently funds opposition groups who re-enter the national assembly with a majority and impeach Chavez.
- After election violence in Zimbabwe, Edwards asks the UN to send a small army to invade Zimbabwe to depose Robert Mugabe. He is hauled before the International Court of Justice within weeks.
- NATO is reformed into the Northern Defense Coalition, now including just the EU, Russia, and the US. While basically the same alliance, the Coalition is now intended to stipulate an end to strategic nuclear warfare, and eventually put a Northern Missile Shield in place.
- Immediately following the birth of NDC, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, forms the East Asian Co-Prosperity, after the Opt out of Russia.
- The Japanese diet openly consider becoming part of the NDC as well as South Korea.
- Barack Obama wins in a landslide to become the 44th President of the United States.
- Edwards begins to become concerned about a "second cold war," this time between North and South, he holds a meeting between heads of state in South Africa to discuss greater trade integration between global powers and stronger arms reduction. While the meetings bring forth some ideas, even Edwards is subject to the lame duck status of an outgoing President, and very little is actually accomplished.
- March: Tranquility base is given territorial status by the US Congress. While the Lunar population is only 200 people, the hope is to eventually develop the moon for human colonists.
- April 9:The United Australian Republic is formed effectively merging Australia, New Zealand and several Pacific island nations into one republic.
- June 1st: Petroleum deposits are discovered in Somalia, improving its fortunes and a disbanning of all Somalian pirate organizations when former pirates decided to work on the new jobs.
- September 16th: The State Reorganization Act goes into effect.
- November: The Dow Jones reaches 500,000
- December: The Mumbai Terrorist attacks are linked to Pakistan. The Indo-Pakistan War begins
- January: The Indo-Pakistan War Ends with a decisive victory for India and her allies. In the US, Barack Hussein Obama is sworn in as America's 44th President. His speech is centered on a vision of a bright future, and acts as a call to action to the people of the United States and the nations of the World to begin eliminating Nuclear Weapons from use, and to make the progress made in America begin in all nations. The new President then escorted outgoing President Edwards to Marine 1, where he left for Air Force 1 to take him to Seattle. Upon reaching Seattle, President Edwards dismissed his secret service and has not been heard from since.
- February: President Obama signs the Second Bill of Rights into law.
- February 24th: The Northern Defense Coalition meets with the East-Asian Co-Prosperity to discuss a possible dissolution of the entities into the United Nations as "Independent Security Councils." US Ambassador Caroline Kennedy argued that this would allow the two distinct ideologies to co-exist, while maintaining unique security zones for the two distinct cultural zones and climates.
- March: The NDC accepts South Korea and Japan as permanent members of the coalition. The UN completes the Central Asian Trade Lane, a section of the World Highway that runs from Balochistan to Moscow. The European Autobahn is completed by the end of the month and is linked to the Moscow stretch, allowing people to drive from Glasgow to Gwadar. President Malaki of Afghanistan has now proposed possibly allowing the EU to join CATB.
- April: At the G-20 summit in London, leaders from around the world discuss the new role of the United States as the world's only nation with easy access to the space based resources. By the end of the conference the US agrees to begin appropriating half of the funds from space based resources to a UN Global Development Fund. President Obama and Chinese President Hu Jintao meet and agree to begin talks on the creation of a "Global Missile Shield." Many are relieved to see the two agree to end a second cold war before it begins.
- June: A cure for AIDS/HIV is found from stem cells. Soon, people affected by the disease are soon cured and in just one week, HIV/AIDS became extinct.
- July: Made In USA replaced Made In China as the most common label of all products as a result of the booming US economy. Many worldwide businesses relocated to the US. At least 61% of all products are made in the US, and the percentage is still rising.
- September: President Obama meets with African leaders to discuss US plans for massive US economic aid to the continent.
- September 11th: The new WTC is finished on the 8th 9/11 anniversary. It included the new Freedom Tower, several other office skyscrapers, and a memorial and a museum to remind the horrors of 9/11.
- October: The UN creates the UN Department of Infrastructure to deal with infrastructure problems worldwide, even in developed nations.
- January: North Korea detonates a nuclear device in the Sea of Japan. The US and the UN declared economic sanctions on the nation.
- February: With technology rapidly rising in the US, its rank in technology development reached number one. At least an average 12 inventions are invented every week. US families are using more high technology than ever, and its new high-tech goods are becoming more and more desirable in the world.
- February 11: Obama escapes narrow assassination in his visit to Brussels, EU.