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Edwin Washington Edwards, 38th President of the United States of America
The Edwards Cabinet
Vice President: Jerry Brown
Secretary of State: Jeane Kirkpatrick
Secretary of the Treasury: Bill Waller (October 1977; Resigned), Vacant (October 1977 - December 1977), Otto Passman (Acting) (February 1979; Resigned), Vacant (February 1979 - March 1979), Raymond L. S. Patriarca (Acting)
Secretary of Defense: Al Gore Sr. (February 1977; Resigned), Vacant (February 1977 - May 1977), Louis J. Roussel Jr. (Acting) (October 1978; Resigned), Carl Kotchian (Acting)
Attorney General: Robert F. Kennedy (February 1977; Resigned), Vacant (February 1977 - June 1977), Thomas J. Maloney (Acting) (January 1979), Vacant (January 1979 - March 1979), Harrison A. Williams (Acting)
Secretary of the Interior: Jimmy Carter (October 1977; Resigned), Vacant (October 1977 - November 1977), John Jenrette (Acting)
Secretary of Agriculture: Robert W. Straub (October 1977; Resigned), Earl Butz (Acting)
Secretary of Commerce: Eugene McCarthy (February 1977; Resigned), Vacant (February 1977 - June 1977), Billy Tauzin (Acting) (March 1979; Resigned), Vacant
Secretary of Labor, Housing & Human Health: Cesar Chavez
Secretary of Technology: Buzz Aldrin
White House Chief of Staff: Bill Clinton (January 1979; Elected as Governor of Arkansas), Stephen Edwards
A Picture of Acting Treasury Secretary Raymond L.S. Patriarca outside a Treasury Building
- Having made several deals in order to gain the nomination, much of Edwards's Cabinet was not picked by him, with the only two positions he selected being Secretary of Agriculture & White House Chief of Staff. For Agriculture he selected the environmentalist Governor of Oregon, Robert W. Straub and for Chief of Staff he picked a young star from his campaign, Bill Clinton.
- Things immediately hit an impasse on the Congressional front as the many new, young, left-wing Democrats went against the Party leadership and elected Ron Dellums as the first Black Speaker of the House.
- Not only did they upset the Party leadership by breaking ranks, they also upset the... sensibilities... of many of the now quite aged Southern Democrats, particularly those in the Senate who had survived the investigations of the MacArthur Presidency. A quote reportedly by Sen. Strom Thurmond of South Carolina, the Chair of the Armed Services Committee, stated that "I won't accept legislation from a N\***r."* Another quote stated to be from Sen. Robert Byrd of West Virginia, the Chair of the Appropriations Committee, says "There is no Speaker of the House. There is only an uppity N\***r that thinks he is in charge."* One from Sen. James Eastland, a Democrat who had defected to the American Nazi Party and than returned back to the Democrats after the ANP collapsed and was now President Pro Tempore, stated that "This government was made to be run by one race and one race only, the superior White Anglo-Saxon Protestants. There is absolutely no way that an inferior N\***r, especially a Socialist N****r, can ever handle anything more than a bushel of cotton."*
- What should have been a great time for Democrats, with large majorities in both houses of Congress and a Democrat in the White for the first time in 24 years, only became a disaster as the large ideological divisions within the changing Party were exacerbated as the various factions began to openly fight for control.
- In addition, after the Northern Ireland Crisis came to a head just a month into his Presidency, he ended up losing three of his Cabinet members due his complete disinterest in foreign affairs, giving the hawkish Kirkpatrick free reign within that theater, along with him blowing off the recommendations of Gore, Kennedy, and McCarthy, preferring to micromanage domestic affairs.
- With Congress in deadlock and Edwards having alienated a significant portion of the Party with his blatant disrespect of his Cabinet, he was unable to get any of his proposed replacements accepted. So after several months, he officially designated Acting Secretaries to much controversy. For Defense, he appointed major campaign donor, horserace owner, and businessman from Louisiana Louis J. Roussel Jr., for Attorney General, Illinois "heater judge" Thomas J. Maloney, and for Interior, an ally of Edwards in the Louisiana State House.
- In June of '77, Disney appeared in a special edition of 60 Minutes with Mike Wallace, in which he revealed that Nixon essentially "couped" him and gave Wallace several tapes from the White House, which provided concrete evidence of Nixon's bullying of the stroke-weakened Disney in the Oval Office. The FBI immediately opened an investigation into Nixon and his associates.
- However, Edwards's gambling and rice broker scandals would redirect public attention away from the investigation, which would quietly proceed.
- Things continued unsteadily as more & more scandals swirled around Edwards, with rumors of illegal campaign donations, more bribes, and a quashed investigation into his tenure as Governor culminating in the resignation of even more cabinet members before the end of his first year in office.
- As before, he would not be able to officially fill the vacancies and would have to appoint politically connected acting secretaries, only adding to his long list of controversies.
- Secretary of Labor, Housing & Human Health Cesar Chavez would work to push for his pet issues; namely collective bargaining for farmers and halting illegal immigration, which he has labeled as a "threat" to organized labor.
- Edwards would agree with Chavez on these two fronts, and would try to get Congress to pass legislation to this affect. Vice President Jerry Brown would also work with Chavez to pass legislation guaranteeing the right to collective bargaining for farmworkers.
- The culmination of this effort would be the Agricultural Labor Relations Act of 1977, which would "ensure peace in the agricultural fields by guaranteeing justice for all agricultural workers and stability in labor relations," and explicitly encourage and protect "the right of agricultural employees to full freedom of association, self-organization, and designation of representatives of their own choosing, to negotiate the terms and conditions of their employment, and to be free from the interference, restraint, or coercion of employers of labor, or their agents, in the designation of such representatives or in self-organization or in other concerted activities for the purpose of collective bargaining or other mutual aid or protection."
- The bill would initially not achieve enough votes to pass the Senate after barely passing the House, several Senators would suddenly flip and the bill would pass towards the end of the year, a rare achievement.
- '78 would open with a push to base severance taxes on oil on a percentage of the price of each barrel rather than a flat rate. This would upset environmentalists, however Senators Gravel & Hart would end up providing key support to the bill passing, breaking ranks with many of their more left-wing Democratic colleagues.
- This would provide a much needed boost to both government revenue and the economy, as the bill also opened up federal land to oil and natural gas drilling, most notably with Oklahoma oil tycoon T. Boone Pickens rapidly expanding his corporation, BP.
- Edwards would call for the new projected revenue increases to go towards what he called "Share the Wealth 2.0." While many agreed with the sentiment, the disagreements over implementation, how much would go towards existing welfare programs, what new programs would be started, etc. ended up derailing the initiative, although Edwards would keep bringing it up as an example of his "natural genius," despite offering no specifics.
- Extra funding would go towards the space program & the Department of Technology after much pressure from Brown & Sen. John Glenn.
- Suspicions have risen over the meteoric expansion of the United Farm Workers of America, as many accuse Chavez of rigging unionization votes across the country and of stacking the Department of Labor, Housing & Human Health with allies.
- The biggest scandal of all would break a mere three weeks before the Midterms. In a stunning expose by an anonymous staffer, going by the name of "Deep Throat," leaked to the New York Times an alleged sex-for-vote arrangement between Pres. Edwards and Senators Mike Gravel & Gary Hart and Rep. Wayne Hays, although the source also claimed that there were more as well that they did not know the name of that were involved. With the NYT first publishing the news under the sensational headline "A PIMP IN THE WHITE HOUSE? PRES. EDWARDS GIVES WHORES FOR CONGRESSIONAL VOTES!" Edwards, when asked about the now widely publicized news later that day, he would make a joke saying that "All my secretaries love me. And why not, I'm a wizard under the sheets."
- After the devastating losses the Democrats faced in the Midterms, the incoming Congress prepared articles of impeachment and immediately began hearings.
- The pressure was now also on the ever-growing list of complicit elected officials in Edward's schemes, as though those initially implicated held on past the election, by February their position's were untenable, with Senators Gravel & Hart being the first to go.
- Even some of Edwards's Acting Secretaries resigned after the formal impeachment hearings began in the House, resulting in Edwards replacing them with even more controversial figures.
- One of his choices in particular would be very controversial, as he would pardon former Sen. Harrison A. Williams and than make him the Acting Attorney General.
- Acting Secretary of the Interior John Jenrette would be busted in a FBI sting operation, called ABSCAM, in which several government members were offered bribes to give political favors to a fake Arab company. A clip from audio tape of his conversation with one of the undercover agents has been repeated widely by the news, in which he tells the agent, in response to whether or not he will accept the deal, and bribe, "I've got larceny in my blood. I'd take it in a goddamn minute."
- However, Edwards would defend him and immediately issue a pardon for him when the FBI brought charges forward.
- Edwards would also issue pardons to Gravel, Hart, Robert Hayes, Spiro Agnew (who had by than spent 4 years in federal prison), Nixon (who had just had federal charges brought against him), and several more government officials who had been investigated by the FBI in both the ABSCAM sting, being bribed with money & prostitutes from Edwards, and from accepting bribes from Lockheed, along with several mobsters.
- He would also make Raymond L. S. Patriarca, a suspected mob boss from Rhode Island, Acting Secretary of the Treasury and make the President of Lockheed, Carl Kotchian, Acting Secretary of Defense.
- By now, the public was completely against Edwards and the House voted overwhelmingly in favor of impeachment by the end of March '79.
- The Senate would than swiftly begin the trial to convict & remove him from office, with everyone being able to tell what the decision would be, that the trial was basically a formality.
- Knowing now that his time was in office was coming to an end, Edwards is suspected to have begun to embezzle millions from the Treasury with the help of Patriarca, in preparation of fleeing the country before he could be convicted by the Senate.
Secretary of State Jeane Kirkpatrick at a Press Conference
- Edwards had absolutely no interest in foreign policy, which effectively means that Secretary of State Jeane Kirkpatrick had total control over America's foreign policy during her term.
- Her support for the UK after the Battle of Belfast resulted in much controversy, especially as she denounced Ireland for "stoking tensions" there.
- She would also face criticism for her willingness to openly support authoritarian regimes around the world as they favored America & American businesses in their dealings, with her outlining what is now know as the Kirkpatrick Doctrine in a speech, stating that "Traditional autocrats do not disturb the habitual rhythms of work and leisure, habitual places of residence, habitual patterns of family and personal relations. Because the miseries of traditional life are familiar, they are bearable to ordinary people who, growing up in the society, learn to cope. Revolutionary Communist regimes claim jurisdiction over the whole life of the society and make demands for change that so violate internalized values and habits that inhabitants flee by the tens of thousands."
- Kirkpatrick would also take on a belligerent stance in dealings with the other superpowers, making the newly opened relations with Germany turn cold. Relations with the Soviets would also continue to drop, with Suslov referring to Kirkpatrick & America as "the chief exporters of capitalistic oppression."
- Her meeting with longtime Brazilian President Jânio Quadros, who has been criticized for rigging elections, has helped bring Brazil back into line with America, with embargoes on Brazil being ended.
- Arms exports and other forms of aid would also increase at Kirkpatrick's direction, although several Congressmembers would attempt to halt them with little affect.
Associate Justice David L. McCain
- Edwards would get the opportunity as soon as he entered office to fill a vacancy on the Supreme Court, having been left by the death of James Farley.
- He would initially try to get Illinois Judge, Thomas J. Maloney, appointed, but he would face to much opposition and would have to withdraw the nomination.
- Next, he would reach across the aisle to the Republicans, so as to bypass the left-wing Democrats by nominating David L. McCain, a Republican member of the Florida Supreme Court.
- His gambit would work and McCain would rise to the Bench.
- Despite being well over 80 years of age, Chief Justice John W. Bricker would defy calls to resign, not wishing to let a Democrat choose his successor.
- High profile cases that happened during this time were the upholding of "blue laws," bans on pornography and nudity, the upholding of Miranda Rights, ruling that border patrol agents do not require reasonable suspicion, in the same way that it is required for police officers, to stop vehicles near the border and ask about citizenship and immigration status on the basis of it being necessary to investigate potential threats to national security , the extension of 14th Amendment Rights to Woman in respect to banking discrimination, and the rejecting of the authority of corporate towns and "model cities," such as Disney's EPCOT, to infringe on the Constitutional Rights of their inhabitants.
Jean-Marie Le Pen, the new Dictator of France
- On September 11, 1977, President Salvador Allende of Chile, an open Marxist-Leninist, was overthrown in a military coup led by the Commander-in-Chief of the Chilean Army, Augusto Pinochet, who declared himself as President, suspending elections.
- After the death of Gamal Abdel Nasser in 1970, pro-democracy forces took to the streets, as Nasser's popularity had waned greatly due to his failure to get other Arab nations to unite with Egypt in his Pan-Arab dream and for his failure to spark a revolution in the Hashemite Kingdom. However, the new President, Khaled Mohieddin, was far too Pro-Soviet for Kirkpatrick, and when a majority of the soldiers in the army rose up against him with the support of Al-Gama'a al-Islamiyya, installing as the new leader of Egypt, Omar Abdel-Rahman, the "Blind Sheikh," Kirkpatrick was quick to recognize the new government, which has drawn criticism for it's implementation of Sharia Law in Egypt.
- In early 1978, General Manuel Noriega overthrew President Guillermo Endara in Panama, who had previously voiced support for retaking the Panama Canal. Noriega, on the other hand, has made moves to allow for even greater American investment in the country.
- In Vietnam, President Ngô Đình Diệm & the Cần Lao Party once again won over 95% of the vote in the elections. Protests erupted across the nation as people protested the election results, claiming they were rigged. In response, the military would quickly move to crush the protests.
- In 1979, the Republic of China would rocked by the leaking of several ultra-secret files that revealed the widespread use of chemical & biological weapons, many of which having been made by the infamous Unit 731. It is believed that the liberal use of these weapons against the Communists in Vietnam was the cause of the deadly pandemics of Bubonic Plague, Smallpox, Typhoid Fever, and other diseases that devastated Southeast Asia in the late '50s. Public faith in the Kuomintang would be shattered, and in the elections later that year, incumbent President Lee Teng-hui, who had worked desperately to separate the KMT from the excesses of Chiang Kai-Shek, would be defeated by the United Opposition Front candidate, the runner-up from the last election, Deng Xiaoping of the Democratic Socialist Party, who would handily secure a victory as the Democratic Progressive Party would receive a plurality in the Legislative Yuan.
- That same year, Ray Kroc, the owner of the popular fast food chain, McDonalds, would travel to Europe to open the first McDonalds in the continent, with them being located in; the UK, Italy, Spain, and in Germany. Kroc would be pictured meeting with Spanish King Alfonso XIV, who had married the granddaughter of the late dictator of Spain, Francisco Franco, at the opening of the location in Madrid and with Italian Prime Minister Italo Balbo in Rome, which would be Balbo's last formal function before his retirement. However the most fanfare would come in Germany, where Strauss would hail the the opening of the first McDonalds in Berlin as a "sign of the progression of world relations for the better."
- In France though, Jacques Doriot, the longtime dictator of France died of a heart attack before Kroc could travel there. Kroc than received a message from the new leader of France, Jean-Marie Le Pen, that his "degenerate, Jew-inspired distortion of food" would not be allowed to "despoil the French palate." Thus, the newly constructed McDonalds would instead be converted into the first of a new chain of state-owned "non-Jewish" fast food.
The Famous Lettering that has Appeared on all of Walt Disney's Latest Films
- Some of the tops songs of Edwards's Presidency were, starting in 1977; "Luckenbach, Texas" by Waylon Jennings, "Rich Girl" by Daryl Hall and John Oates, "Dancing Queen" by ABBA, "Southern Nights" by Glen Campbell, "Dreams" by Fleetwood Mac, "I Just Want to Be Your Everything" by Andy Gibb, "Best of My Love" by The Emotions, and "How Deep is Your Love" by the Bee Gees. In 1978; "Mamas Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys" by Waylon Jennings & Willie Nelson, "Stayin' Alive" by the Bee Gees, "If I Can't Have You" by Yvonne Elliman, "Still the Same" by Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band, "Running on Empty" by Jackson Browne, "Emotion" by Samantha Sang, and "Way Down" by Elvis Presley. In 1979; "The Gambler" by Kenny Rogers, "My Sharona" by The Knack, "Le Freak" by Chic , "Da Ya Think I'm Sexy?" by Rod Stewart, "I Will Survive" by Gloria Gaynor, "Hot Stuff" by Donna Summer, "Y.M.C.A." by Village People, and "Heart of Glass" by Blondie.
- Some celebrity deaths that would happen during Edwards's Presidency were, starting in 1977; Elvis Presley, Charlie Chaplin, Joan Crawford, Allison Hayes, Bing Crosby, Groucho Marx, Alan Reed, and Richard Carlson. In 1978; Robert Shaw, Bob Crane, Will Geer, Barry Atwater, John Cazale, Gig Young, Florence Marly, and Karl Swenson. In 1979; Jean Seberg, Merle Oberon, Ted Cassidy, Joan Blondell, Jim Hutton, Jack Soo, John Stuart, and Zeppo Marx.
- Walt Disney would make his return to movie making after the Supreme Court killed the residential part of his EPCOT plan by serving as Executive Producer on a film that had been pitched in the last days of his Presidency by an aspiring new filmmaker by the name of George Lucas. The film would be called Star Wars, and would star Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker, Jodie Foster as Leia Organa, Harrison Ford as Han Solo, and, coming out retirement for his friend Disney, Ronald Reagan as Ben Kenobi. Al Pacino was initially going to be Han Solo, yet quite early on due to complaints that the script was "too complicated." The movie released in 1977 to rave reviews, with critics hailing it as both a sign of a "new generation of films" from the Walt Disney Company and also as a "much needed personal comeback" for Walt Disney himself. Praises were also given to the soundtrack, costumes, and special effects, with the film reportedly costing well over fifty million dollars to produce.
- Disney would also serve as the main producer on several of his own films. In 1978, he would come out with The Fox and the Hound, which would be praised for being "ahead of the curve."
- He also reached out to Stan Lee of the Marvel Comics, and in 1979, he came out with The Amazing Spider-Man, which beat out the 1978 Superman film, which had made over $300 million, with Disney's film grossing over $450 million.
- At EPCOT, the former area allocated to residential housing would be converted into high-tech research areas, with the construction of several bank-breaking projects beginning with much financial assistance from the government, universities, and other scientific groups. These projects would include a particle collider, a computer lab, and a recreation of the Wardenclyffe Power Plant built to modern specs.
- Hugh Hefner, the owner of Playboy, would become a close associate of Edwards's, with him being seen visiting the White House several times a with the President even saying that he had considered making him one of his acting secretaries. Rumors would begin to spread that Hefner was the provider of the promiscuous secretaries Edwards's had in his employ and used in his sex-to-vote scheme. It is also widely believed that the President himself was sleeping with some of the secretaries.
- Also, there were rumors that Edwards had secretly attended parties at Playboy Mansion, rumors many consider to be true after his wife, Elaine, herself a devout Catholic, moved out of the White House, announcing she was seeking an annulment of her marriage.
- Hefner & Playboy would also become one of the first targets of newly elected California Governor Edward M. Davis in '79, and would be the catalyst for the Supreme Court case which upheld California's new law banning pornography & nudity, with Chief Justice Bricker writing in his decision that "the Rights of Freedom of Speech & Freedom of Expression do not give license for licentiousness" and as such, porn was not protected under the Constitution could be outlawed.
Dear Jodie Foster...
All around him, Edwin Edwards's life was crumbling. His wife had left him, the Senate was guaranteed to convict & remove him from office, and his many shady dealings were coming to light daily. So he decided he was going to make one last trip before he would flee the country, with him promising Patriarca a large cut of the funds he was having him siphon from the Treasury into a Swiss bank account. However, his plans would get interrupted by an obsessed fan of a young actress. Mugshot of John Hinckley Jr.
Little did Edwards know, he was being stalked, for several months now, by a 23-year-old man by the name of John Hinckley Jr. After seeing the 14-year-old Jodie Foster portray a child prostitute in the film Taxi Driver
, Hinckley formed an obsession over her, seeing all of her films. However, after the release of Star Wars
and the massive popularity it achieved, he soon became agitated as he feared that he would quickly lose his chance to impress the young actress. He would begin planning of ways to impress Foster, looking at the plots of her movies for inspiration. After continuously returning to Taxi Driver
, and by seeing how much coverage President Edwards's scandals received in the news, he would decide that he would kill the President. By the time he had settled on this course of action, he heard news that the next Star Wars film would come out in 1979, so he began planning & practicing, not wanting to risk making a mistake. Teenage Actress Jodie Foster
After months of preparation and several failed attempts to contact Jodie Foster, the day would finally come, May 6, 1979, the day that The Empire Strikes Back
was making it's premiere. Much to Hinkley's dismay however, he had to follow Edwards's after he left town the week prior, however, he had absconded to Las Vegas, where he had begun a gambling streak, taking up residence in one of the penthouse suites of the Tropicana. Hinkley closely watched his schedules and realized that in the early morning as he left the Tropicana, there were no Secret Service agents protecting him. The Tropicana Hotel & Casino
Hinckley waited for Edwards out in the main lobby of the Tropicana, and just as he had done everyday, he came waltzing through the lobby wearing his signature blue-checkered suit, brushing off reporters who had also been waiting for him. At approximately 9:14 AM PT, just as Edwards was about to walk out the door, Hinckley moved as if he was going to rush out the door before him, but than quickly spun around and pulled out a .22 caliber Röhm RG-14 pistol, firing it six times point-blank into the President's chest. He would be quickly tackled to the ground by nearby CBS News reporter, Dan Rather. Hinckley would not resist, with his goal having been accomplished. CBS Reporter Dan Rather
Edwards would be rushed to the hospital, where he would be pronounced dead 48 minutes later, at 10:10 AM. Despite the large dislike of Edwards, his approval rating being below 25%, people were still shocked by his assassination. When investigators entered the hotel room Hinckley had been staying in, they found his diary, detailing his daily movements & his plans, along with a open letter sitting on the pillow, addressed to Jodie Foster. The Leaked Final Entry from Hinckley's Diary
Now with Edwards gone, Jerry Brown is left to pick up the pieces of a nation that now has a severe lack of faith in the government and is disunited politically. Being sworn into office by Chief Justice John W. Bricker at 10:25 AM in the Oval Office, all eyes are now on the 39th President of the United States of America and on what he will do next. Edmund Gerald Brown Jr., 39th President of the United States of America
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