Trompler Foundation Archives
The HOWDEE Papers 2
30 May 2008 Worsening economic conditions culminate in several alarming milestones being reached within a 24-hour period: U.S. national unemployment rate at 10%, price of oil hits $150/barrel, and it now takes 2 dollars to buy 1 euro. Federal Reserve Chairman Bernanke tells the Wall Street Journal: "We’re probably in a recession, but it might be some new kind of economic cycle we've never seen before."
07 Jun 2008 With the conclusion of the Puerto Rico primary, Barack Obama retains a commanding lead in delegates but not enough to automatically earn the Presidential nomination of the Democratic Party.  Obama calls on Clinton to drop out of the race "for the sake of the party and the nation;" Clinton resolves to carry the fight to the convention in August.
18 Jun 2008 First cached coinage of "Katrinavilles" to refer to increasing numbers of "economic refugees" living in tents and noxious surplus FEMA trailers.  The largest such encampments exist outside Phoenix, Detroit, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, Cincinnati, and Oklahoma City.
02 Jul 2008 John McCain announces that Condoleeza Rice has accepted his invitation to be the Republican nominee for Vice President of the United States.
05 Jul 2008 A Democratic superdelegate from Calfornia, pledged to Obama, is shot and killed in his home.
08 Jul 2008 In Florida, a Clinton-pledged superdelegate is murdered at the state capitol.
22 Jul 2008 Governor Mike Huckabee orders Arkansas National Guard to contain and incarcerate "rioters" in Little Rock’s Katrinaville.
25 Jul 2008 Dressed in the robes of a Buddhist monk, Al Gore appears on Oprah and announces that he reclusing himself from public life.  Gore has resigned from all organizations and foundations, made his farewells to his family, and dismissed his Secret Service protection.  He walks off the television set into the studio audience and is never seen again.
03 Aug 2008 An estimated 300,000 economic refugees converge on a San Diego hotel where Bill Clinton is speaking and fund-raising on behalf of his wife’s campaign.  The California National Guard is required to help the Secret Service extract Clinton with a resulting death toll of over 400.
06 Aug 2008 Hillary Clinton gives a speech vowing to continue her "crusade" to the Democratic convention and beyond, running as an independent if necessary.
14 Aug 2008 A series of power outages, computer crashes, traffic accidents, and other disturbances culminating in riots by an unknown number of people paralyze the New York cities of Buffalo, Rochester, and Syracuse.  Communication and transportation networks are disrupted for three days.  The New York National Guard refuses to obey the orders of the acting governor to restore peace to the affected area, slowly spreading east toward Albany.
16 Aug 2008 Citing border security, President Bush orders the 10th Mountain Division to support the Department of Defence Against the Dark Arts Homeland Security to restore order to Buffalo.
17 Aug 2008 Civil disturbances and infrastructural disruption in Rochester and Syracuse abruptly cease at 8:00 a.m. EDT without any compulsion by the military or law enforcement.  The death toll in the eastern part of the affected area will eventually reach 93.  Buffalo continues to be a blacked-out war zone.
20 Aug 2008 Order is restored to Buffalo.  When the media are permitted to enter the area, they dicover that several blocks in downtown Buffalo have been totally destroyed.  No government spokespersons or local survivors can explain the destruction.  The final death toll is never determined, but is eventually estimated as over 2,000.
21 Aug 2008 Video files purporting to be amateur movies from Buffalo show up on YouTube and appear to show missiles striking downtown and resulting in explosions and fires.
24 Aug 2008 On the eve of the Democratic convention, Hillary Clinton gives a brief address announcing that she is withdrawing from the race and donating her remaining war chest to the Democratic National Committee.  Clinton takes no questions and cancels plans to attend the convention.
25 Aug 2008 The Democratic National Convention opens in Denver without incident.  The Homeland Security Advisory System raises the "terror alert level" from Elevated (yellow) to High (orange).
26 Aug 2008 Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano addresses the Democratic Convention and accepts their nomination for Vice President of the United States.
28 Aug 2008 Barack Obama accepts the Democratic nomination for President of the United States
30 Aug 2008 Fidel Castro dies.  The Cuban government reports the cause of death as "pneumonia complicated by old age."
31 Aug 2008 President Bush nationalizes the Minnesota National Guard and declares martial law in St. Paul in order to provide security for the Republican National Convention.
02 Sep 2008 World governments (with the predictable exception of the U.S.) send delegations to Castro’s funeral.  NBC pre-empts Joe Lieberman’s address to the Republican Convention to carry live coverage from Havana by Michael Moore.
04 Sep 2008 The McCain-Rice ticket is approved by the Republican Convention.
26 Sep 2008 Tenzin Gyatso, 14th Dalai Lama dies suddenly while visiting Tokachi Shrine on Hokkaido, Japan.  Neither the local authorities nor the Tibetan government-in-exile release a cause of death.
27 Sep 2008 The People’s Republic of China re-affirms its authority to identify the 15th Dalai Lama, despite the steadfast reservation of this authority by the Tibetan government-in-exile.  Michael Moore, already in India making documentary about outsourcing, travels to Dharamsala to document the funeral for Tenzin Gyatso.
02 Oct 2008 U.S. national unemployment reaches 15%, the price of oil reaches $175/barrel, and the Yuan is trading 4:1 against the US Dollar.
03 Oct 2008 The Dow Jones Industrial Average tumbles 504 points in a single day.  The Homeland Security Advisory System lowers the "terror alert level" to Guarded (blue) for the first time since the system’s inception.
The events of 16-21 Oct 2008 later become collectively known as "the October Surprise" or "the Flicker":
16 Oct 2008 Astronomers around the world report indications that unprecedented solar activity will result in widespread interference with satellite and cell phone communication within 24 hours.
17 Oct 2008 As predicted, solar flares interrupt cellular and satellite transmission in regions directly exposed to solar radiation.  Not predicted is the interruption of all transoceanic Internet communication, regardless of solar exposure.  Most land-based bottlenecks are also severed/overwhelmed, as are all domain name servers.  Absentee ballots for the November begin arriving at voters’ homes, and several reports of misprinted ballots appear just before the Internet is disrupted.  Panic erupts in several U.S. cities, leading to widespread looting and rioting.
18 Oct 2008 Radical Islamists in the Pakistani government, backed by elements of the ISI and the Pakistani Army, launch a coup d’etat against the secular President.  Confused fighting breaks out all over the country, and India’s military goes on full alert.
19 Oct 2008 An earthquake strikes the North Pacific Ocean.  Seismologists later determine the epicenter to be 42° 12' N, 169° 30' E, but they never agree on the intensity, ranging from 7.4 to 9.5 on the Richter Scale.  The resulting tsunami spreads across the entire Pacific, reaching as far as New Zealand and southern Chile, but the greatest devastation is felt in Japan, Kamchatka, Alaska, British Columbia, Washington, Oregon, northern California, and Hawaii.  The continuing communication disruption greatly hampers all but the most sophisticated tsunami warning systems, and the death toll is later estimated at exceeding 50,000.  Waves reaching 40m in height are recorded in Hokkaido, where the most dramatic inundation of inhabited coastline occurs.
20 Oct 2008 Two nuclear explosions, approximately 200 kilotons each, are detected in the Waziristan province of northwestern Pakistan.  No evidence of missile launches are ever produced, and no credible government or agency ever takes responsibility for detonating the weapons, which largely conform to the type of warhead known to comprise the Pakistani arsenal.  The increased solar activity has ceased, but the Internet remains fragmented.  Civil unrest has now spread to major cities on every continent.
21 Oct 2008 Transoceanic Internet connection suddenly returns, and complete restoration is established 20 hours later.  Later, however, there is widespread agreement that IP responses are now "just a bit slower than they used to be."
23 Oct 2008 The Pentagon announces that the 19 Oct 2008 tsunami inflicted catastrophic losses upon many U.S. Navy assets, the most dramatic of which was the total loss of an entire carrier group.  The USS John C. Stennis and her escorts were less than 100 miles from the epicenter at the time of the earthquake, and all ships have disappeared without a trace and with no survivors.  Severe damage and loss of life is also reported at U.S. Navy bases at Yokosuka (Japan), Pearl Harbor, and San Diego.  The Pentagon also announces without explanation the complete destruction of the U.S. Navy base at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, despite the absence of seismic activity in the Caribbean.
24 Oct 2008 While civil unrest in many cities across the globe seems to have spent itself, President Bush announces that rioting in Cuba has escalated to full-scale civil war, exacerbated by reports of antibotic-resistant tuberculosis throughout the island.  To halt the potential epidemic, Bush declares a quarantine of Cuba and orders the U.S. military to intercept and turn back any aircraft or marine vessels attempting to depart or approach the island.  The Cuban government fails to respond to Bush’s declaration, but private Cuban citizens deny the reports of civil war and epidemic.  The Cuban military continues to enforce the DMZ bordering Guantánamo Bay, so no independent investigation of the base can account for its silence.  The nationwide "terror alert level" is raised to High (orange).
25 Oct 2008 The Islamist coup against the Pakistani government collapses, but martial law remains in effect indefinitely.
28 Oct 2008 President Bush tells reporters "Maybe this isn’t the best time to have an election."  The "terror alert level" specifically for the Washington, D.C. region is raised to Severe (red).
29 Oct 2008 White House Press Secretary Dana Perino denies that President Bush is "seriously contemplating" suspending the November general election.
04 Nov 2008 Election Day.  Confusion over misprinted absentee ballots and challenges to the voter registration of millions of economic refugees taint the reported results from hundreds of precincts.  Exit polls and early returns suggest Obama winning the popular vote, but the electoral vote count is close enough that neither candidate concedes any state contest, and the final result is put off at least until each state certifies its election result.  Mandatory recounts commence in almost every metropolitan area.  Rioting erupts in two dozen U.S. cities.
05 Nov 2008 Several large explosions destroy the Arizona capitol building in Phoenix, killing 12 of the 30 state senators, 37 of the 60 state representatives, Arizona Secretary of State Jan Brewer, and four of the state’s ten appointed Presidential electors.  Uncontrolled fires in Phoenix augment the panic and disorder caused by the riots, now the largest in the country.  Governor Napolitano declares a state of emergency and appeals to the federal government for assistance; FEMA declines to provide federal funding, resources, or personnel.  The nationwide "terror alert level" (including Washington, D.C.) is lowered to Elevated (yellow).
07 Nov 2008 Worsening civil unrest compels Governor Napolitano to relocate the state government to Tucson.  Napolitano also appoints former Governor Bruce Babbitt to be Interim Secretary of State.  Arizona Speaker of the House James Weiers contests Napolitano’s authority to relocate the government and challenges Babbitt’s appointment as unconstitutional.  The McCain campaign files suit in Maricopa County Superior Court and moves for an injunction against Babbitt’s appointment.
08 Nov 2008 Speaker Weiers assembles 10 of the 18 surviving state senators and 10 of the 23 surviving state representatives at the Scottsdale Convention Center, declaring themselves "the true Arizona State Legislature" and asserting the authority to approve or disapprove gubernatorial appointments to fill vacancies in elective offices, such as the Secretary of State.
10 Nov 2008 Maricopa County Superior Court Judge John A. Buttrick enjoins the Babbitt appointment to Secretary of State.  Napolitano orders state Attorney General Terry Goddard to appeal the injunction to the Arizona Supreme Court.
12 Nov 2008 The Arizona Supreme Court affirms the injunction against Babbitt.  Goddard petitions the U.S. Supreme Court to hear the case.
13 Nov 2008 One of Arizona’s six surviving Presidential electors declares that he will pledge his vote to the state election result "certified by the authority of the Scottsdale Legislature."
14 Nov 2008 The U.S. Supreme Court declines to hear McCain v. Arizona, letting the injunction against Babbitt stand.  Napolitano orders the Arizona National Guard to "evacuate" the Scottdale Legislature to Tucson, and the remaining Presidential electors are sequestered.
15 Nov 2008 Ranking officers of the Arizona National Guard are divided over recognizing legitimate command authority.  After several hours of confusion and redeployment, a significant portion of the National Guard assembles in Scottsdale and declares its loyalty to the Scottsdale Legislature.  The Arizona Highway Patrol remain firmly behind Napolitano.
17 Nov 2008 Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio accepts the election of the Scottsdale Legislature to the "office" of Acting Governor of Arizona.
19 Nov 2008 Most states certify their Presidential election results.  The only states still with uncertified results are Arizona, Florida, Missouri, Ohio, Alaska and Rhode Island.  Of the states with certified results, the electoral vote totals are: Obama 264, McCain 205.
24 Nov 2008 The Scottsdale Legislature appoints nine new Presidential electors for Arizona, while Napolitano appoints five new electors in Tucson, making two full delegations of ten electors each.
25 Nov 2008 Simultaneous suits are filed in U.S. District Court enjoining the appointment of rival electors.  The cases are consolidated and assigned to Senior Judge Robert C. Broomfield, who declines to hear argument until after the Thanksgiving weekend.
02 Dec 2008 Judge Broomfield grants all motions enjoining the appointment of new electors until such time as a special election can be held "to restore the integrity and legitimacy of the Arizona State Legislature."
03 Dec 2008 "Acting Governor" Arpaio appoints himself Secretary of State and certifies John McCain as the final winner of Arizona’s Presidential election.
04 Dec 2008 Florida, Missouri, Ohio, Alaska, and Rhode Island all certify their final Presidential election results and award their electoral votes to John McCain, bringing his total (not counting Arizona) to 264.  Arizona Interim Secretary of State Babbitt certifies Barack Obama as the final winner of Arizona’s Presidential election.  The McCain campaign petitions the U.S. Supreme Court to rule on the issue of who has the authority to (re-)constitute Arizona’s delegation of electors.
06 Dec 2008 Napolitano orders the Arizona Highway Patrol to arrest Arpaio, the Scottsdale Legislature, and the Scottsdale electors.  Napolitano also "advises" the Arizona National Guard not to interfere in "this civilian administrative controversy."
07 Dec 2008 Battle of Pichacho Pass.  Arizona Highway Patrolmen exchange gunfire with Maricopa County Sheriff deputies on Interstate-10, each side supported by elements of the Arizona National Guard.  The engagement is undecisive after 120 total casualties.
10 Dec 2008 The U.S. Supreme Court rules in McCain v. Babbitt, vacating Broomfield’s injunction but stopping short of ordering a special election for a new Arizona Legislature, "as the remedy would outweigh the instant injury."
15 Dec 2008 Presidential electors meet in state capitals throughout the U.S.  Rival Arizona electors meet in Scottsdale and in Tucson; the former vote for McCain, the latter for Obama.  Counting the Scottsdale electors as legitimate, the Electoral College vote would be McCain 274, Obama 264.  Counting the Tucson electors as legitimate, the Electoral College vote would be Obama 274, McCain 264.  All electors voting for McCain for President also vote for Rice for Vice President, and all electors voting for Obama for President also vote for Napolitano for Vice President.  All electors certify, seal, and mail their votes to the Office of Vice President for presentation to Congress.
18 Dec 2008 Civil order restored in most U.S. cities, including Phoenix.
24 Dec 2008 President Bush issues blanket pardons "for any crimes committed before this date" to Vice President Cheney, Secretary of State Rice, former Defense Secretary Rumsfeld, former CIA Director Tenet, former Attorneys General John Ashcroft and Alberto Gonzales, former Deputy Assistant Attorney General John Yoo, former Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, former Defense Undersecretary Feith, Richard Perle, and 45 other current and former administration officials and policy analysts.
02 Jan 2009 At 1:05 a.m. EST, the Washington, D.C. region goes on full military alert, and the "terror alert level" is raised to Severe (red).
At 2:15 a.m. EST, rumors and reports appear on the Internet stating that "someone or something" has attacked the White House.
At 5:30 a.m. EST, a video appears on YouTube depicting a giant rabbit bounding across the White House lawn, mauling soldiers and Secret Service agents, then escaping into the darkness.
At 7:30 a.m. EST, the White House announces the death of President George W. Bush.  No cause of death is immediately forthcoming.
At 9:10 a.m. EST, Richard B. Cheney is sworn in as the 44th President of the United States.
At 9:45 a.m. EST, the original rabbit video disappears from YouTube, although several obvious parodies remain.
At 1:00 p.m. EST, the White House announces that President Bush died "of cardiac arrest and liver failure."
03 Jan 2009 The 111th United States Congress is seated.  The U.S. Senate is composed of 49 Democrats, 49 Republicans, and 2 Independents (Lieberman-CT and Sanders-VT).  The U.S. House of Representatives is composed of 293 Democrats and 142 Republicans.
05 Jan 2009 State funeral for President Bush.  The Department of Defence Against the Dark Arts Homeland Security prevents Michael Moore from entering the District of Columbia, and Moore wanders about College Park, Maryland asking people on the street what they think Bush’s legacy will be.  Former President Carter declines to attend the funeral.
06 Jan 2009 The U.S. Congress meets in joint session to count the electoral votes and declare the winner of the Presidential and Vice Presidential elections.  As the office of Vice President is currently vacant, President pro tempore of the Senate Robert C. Byrd presides.  As election contestants, Senators McCain and Obama agree to recuse themselves.  Senator Clinton is also mysteriously absent, despite having in been in Washington the previous day to attend President Bush’s funeral.  Staff from the Office of the Vice President present the electors’ votes to the Congress in alphabetical order.  When Arizona is called, only one envelope is produced.  The contents of the envelope turn out to be the votes cast by the Scottsdale electors; the Tucson electors’ votes are not in evidence before the Congress.  Despite vocal objections, Senator Byrd permits the Arizona electoral votes to be counted for McCain/Rice.  Before McCain/Rice’s vote total can reach 270, however, verbal and physical agitation by several legislators compel Byrd to declare a recess for consultation with the leadership from both parties.  Thirty minutes later, Byrd returns to the floor to enter an objection to Arizona’s electoral votes.  The final vote tally is McCain/Rice 264, Obama/Napolitano 264.  Per the Twelfth Amendment, the Senators retire to elect the new Vice President while the House of Representatives vote to determine the winner of the Presidential election.  In the House, the state delgations from Arizona, Ohio, and Louisiana are evenly divided and so take themselves out of consideration.  Senator Obama is declared the winner on the first ballot, 24 to 23.  In the Senate, the 48 Republicans vote for Rice while the 47 Democrats plus Jeffords vote for Napolitano.  News of Obama’s early victory in the House does little to sway Senator Lieberman, who petulantly abstains.  President pro tempore of the Senate Byrd breaks the tie in favor of Napolitano.  Byrd dies later that evening, cause of death reported as "cardiac arrest and liver failure."
20 Jan 2009 In the most heavily-militarized inauguration since Andrew Johnson’s, Barack H. Obama is sworn in as 45th President of the United States, and Janet Napolitano is sworn in as 47th Vice President of the United States.  Out-going President Cheney declines to address the crowd and takes an Air Force jet directly to his Wyoming compound, a 150-square-mile no-fly-zone dubbed the "National Redoubt" by The Corner and "Area 52" by Daily Kos.
25 Jan 2009 The "terror alert level" is lowered to Guarded (blue).
26 Jan 2009 The People’s Republic of China rings in the the Year of the Ox by invading Taiwan.  Sleeper agents, surgical missile strikes, and surprisingly well-executed airborne assaults cripple Taiwan’s defenses.  Resistance is crushed nine days after the invasion.  The U.S. urges peaceful reconciliation throughout the conflict, but no military action is threatened.
10 Feb 2009 A special election is held in Arizona to fill the office of Governor and those offices vacated by the capitol bombing.  Joe Arpaio is elected Governor in a landslide.
27 Feb 2009 Secretary of State Biden addresses the Iraqi National Assembly in Baghdad to outline the Obama Administration’s "Forward Plan" for reducing the American military presence, marking the first official use of "partition" in American policy for Iraq.
04 Mar 2009 Iraqi Kurds declare independence from Baghdad and proclaim Republic of Kurdistan, the borders of which include Mosul, Kirkuk, and territories inside both Iran and Turkey.
08 Mar 2009 Turkey invades Iraqi Kurdistan.  President Obama directs U.S. forces not to fire on Turkish troops.
14 Mar 2009 Turkish forces capture Mosul.
17 Mar 2009 Turkish surface-to-air missiles destroy two U.S. warplanes over non-Kurdish Iraq.
21 Mar 2009 Turkish forces capture Kirkuk.
24 Mar 2009 Turkish forces halt their advance and consolidate their territorial gains, largely respecting the partition borders advocated by the Biden "Forward Plan."  Kurdish leaders resign themselves to an insurgency waged from the mountains and from across the Iranian border.
26 Mar 2009 Thousands of refugees start thronging the coastal regions of Venezuela, reporting "organized, intelligent" swarms of an unknown species of large wasp.  The wasps are allegedly 10cm long with a fatal sting, and they have been systematically attacking human habitations throughout the Venezuelan interior.
01 Apr 2009 Scooter Libby publishes a memoir of his years in Vice President Cheney’s office.  The chief revelation is that Osama Bin Laden had been captured by the Pakistani ISI on 28 Aug 2001, but American intelligence failed to interrogate Bin Laden until after 9/11.  All subsequent statements and videotapes ostensibly released by Bin Laden were in fact produced and disseminated by elements of the ISI and the U.S. Defense Department.  When Libby resigned from the Vice President’s office in October 2005, he last knew Bin Laden to be held in the parts of Waziristan that were sites of nuclear weapon detonations in October 2008.  Former President Cheney refuses to comment on the memoir.
11 Apr 2009 The People’s Republic of China announces that they have identified the 15th Dalai Lama in Lhasa, Tibet.  The Tibetan government-in-exile continues to deny that Beijing or anyone else has the authority to proclaim the identity of the Dalai Lama.
18 Apr 2009 Astronomers report that 27 Near Earth Objects that they had been tracking have disappeared.
02 May 2009 Six entire villages in the Ethiopian Highlands are attacked by anomalously large locusts, killing and consuming all warm-blooded creatures remaining in the area.
24 May 2009 All communication with all permanent human settlements in Antarctica are severed.

Copyright © 2008 by Eric Scharf.  All rights reserved.