New Alternate History Novel Debuts In Which Donald Trump Wins 2016 Election

by Mark Saporta, Counterfactual Correspondent

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To widespread popular acclaim, beloved alternate history author I. T. T. Line released his third and most detailed work to date earlier this week. Titled Make America Great Again, the novel delves into a thorough examination of an alternate 2016 election in which businessman Donald J. Trump defeats Hillary Clinton and becomes the 45th President of the United States.

The real 2016 election was, of course, a subdued affair. After attaining a massive early financial lead, Jeb Bush steamrolled his primary opponents and was a lock for the Republican nomination by February. For her part, Hillary Clinton ran nearly unopposed for the Democratic nomination, easily winning every state. The general election was then relatively genteel and policy-focused, in contrast to the vicious elections of the last twenty years, and Clinton/Booker defeated Bush/Walker by a comfortable margin of four points.

In Make America Great Again, Line asks readers to consider a completely different and in some ways diametrically opposed reality. In his book, the Republican primary is thrown into chaos as Trump bombastically joins the fray in the summer of 2015. Starting from his announcement speech, he publicly shows no regard for consistent and feasible policy positions, the well-being of anyone who isn’t a white male, or even basic human decency itself. Nonetheless, he rises and rises in the polls, running roughshod over a slate of candidates from across the Republican spectrum and a party apparatus that can’t seem to muster a defense. In the meantime, Clinton finds herself in an unexpectedly difficult race against an unexpected opponent: 73-year-old democratic socialist Bernie Sanders.

The action only continues once both Clinton and Trump are officially nominated, with the former facing down a persistent scandal concerning proper handling of classified material and the latter lurching from massive gaffe to massive gaffe (without spoiling too much, it is worth mentioning that the words “grab them by the pussy” feature near the end of the book). Despite three clear debate victories, a far superior campaign, and the wholehearted support of the increasingly popular sitting president, Clinton’s early lead tightens to three points by November.

Finally, in the climax of the novel, Trump defies the expectations of pollsters, politicians, and the media alike by pulling off a small but solid Electoral College lead and nearly tying the popular vote. The book ends with his victory speech early on November 9th, deliberately leaving the reader uncertain about what’s next for this alternate America.

Naturally, this timeline is incredibly implausible; Line admits as much in the preface. Nevertheless, Make America Great Again is an excellent read for anyone looking for in-depth alternate history, a view into the dark depths of the American psyche, or even just a good political thriller.

Mark’s Review: 4.5/5 Highly Recommended

Hillary Clinton to Take Four Week Vacation

by Mark Saporta, Only Senior Political Correspondent

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In an unprecedented show of confidence, Democratic nominee and President-elect-elect Hillary Clinton’s campaign has announced that the candidate will spend the rest of the race on vacation with her family in Martha’s Vineyard, MA.

Seeing virtually no upside to Clinton holding more campaign events, fundraising further or being in the public eye whatsoever, the campaign plans to give her a nice breather while she wins the Presidency more or less by default.

The full press release out of Clinton’s Brooklyn campaign HQ has been transcribed below:

“After a series of devastating gaffes by Donald Trump, culminating in the release of a video in which he claims he can grab women ‘by the pussy’ thanks to his celebrity, the Cantaloupe Colossus has effectively scuppered any chance he ever had of becoming the 45th President.

If the deal hadn’t been sealed when congressional Republicans began deserting Trump in droves, it certainly was following a barely-adequate debate performance in which he ‘apologized’ for about five seconds and then tried to change the subject as quickly as possible.

And that’s not just talk. Recent polls, both national and in the eight to ten states that we actually give a shit about, have shown momentum in our favor from the moment Trump first uttered the name ‘Alicia Machado.’ We were just one or two points up before the first debate; now, we’re up six and rising. It would take an unprecedented turnaround for us to lose now, and, as you know, the 2016 campaign up until now has been about as conventional as it gets.

Now, we at Clinton HQ aren’t stupid. We know our candidate is among the least popular people ever to run for President. It’s become readily apparent to us over the last 18 months that the less people are paying attention to her, the better we do. So, we are not going to waste this beautiful moment of self-immolation by trotting her out fifty more times to say a few platitudes and talk about policies that, let’s be honest, nobody is paying attention to anyway.

But enough about that. It’s time for Hillary, and indeed all of us, to kick back, relax, and watch as we make history in the most depressing way possible. See you on the 8th!”

At press time, Hillary Clinton had secured a private server for storing her vacation photos.

Hillary Clinton Found to be Human; Qualifications for Presidency Under Question

by Apratim Vidyarthi, terrified-of-the-future-of-the-country-columnist

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In a shocking turn of events, Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton showed up to Zack Galafakakakanakis’ renowned news program Between Two Ferns, citing a desire to make a serious announcement that was likely to appeal to millennials. On the show, Clinton expressed sarcasm, disdain, and other emotions that most millennials had earlier concluded that Clinton did not have due to her being a robot. This major campaign announcement—that Clinton is indeed one of us—has the potential to change the shape of this election by around 0.2 percentage points.

At the debate Monday, her opponent Donald Trump attacked this quality, calling it her “tragic flaw.” He was quoted as saying, “Listen to me, because I know what I’m talking about. I have investments in Chicago, great town, Chicago, and what we need is to make America great again, and I just don’t think a human like Secretary Clinton is going to do that. Don’t get me wrong, I have—I’ve always had a great relationship with the human community, I just think we need to reinstate certain policies that have worked in the past to keep corruption in check, like the stop and flick policy.”

When the debate moderator pointed out that stop and flick was ruled unconstitutional for disproportionately targeting warm-blooded candidates, Trump flicked his own tongue in an ostentatious display of his lizard-folk heritage and supposed ability to lead.

Clinton’s declaration of humanity comes in stark contrast to Trump’s unfettered racism, sexism, lack of logic, and obsession with gold. Several biologists and prominent scientists have claimed that Trump’s behavior and looks are more reflective of snake people than of the dignified lizard race to which he claims to belong.

Whatever the result of this election, it’s sure to be historically significant. America will have either its first human president since Herbert Hoover or a disgraced lizard in a cheeto costume. Stay tuned to find out!

Apratillary Clinton

Apratillary Clinton

Politician, female, pantsuit stylist, policy wonk, and political punching bag.

“I like to have fun. I can connect with the youth. Is that what they’re calling it these days? The youth? I can connect with people, but I am not a good politician. I promise you I am not a computer — Marco Rubio is. Rinie Sandfair isn’t even a Democrat, and doesn’t know about policy. I know policy. I am policy. I will write policy for you. I will be your policy. I will give you whatever you want. You want Rinie Sandfair to go away? I’ll make him go away. You want Donald Thatchrump to be the orange face of racism? I will do that. You want more pantsuits? Just look at me. You want me to make jokes? I can do that. Vote for me. I am fun.”

Imperfect Person Visits Imperfect Campus

Thatcher Montgomery, Lukewarm Hillary Enthusiast

The Carnegie Mellon student body was split on Hillary Clinton’s visit to campus on Wednesday, with some unhappy due to the fact that she is a fallible human being, and others supportive of her despite the inherent flaws that come with existing.

readme didn’t attend the event itself, seeing as readme had a prior engagement at the printers when the event happened, but it did manage to get opinions from students on both sides of the issue.

Some students were worried that Clinton’s past was made up of poor choices and wrong decisions. One student elaborated, stating that “despite her pioneering efforts as a female politician and the work she’s done as First Lady, Senator, and Secretary of State, she’s also done a lot of things I don’t like.

“That’s why I dislike the fact that she’s coming to talk to people similar to me, and think it’s outrageous that any CMU student would want to see her. Presumably, they don’t like her either, and because she cannot ever reach true perfection but is stuck in her deeply flawed mortal coil, she can’t have anything to say worth listening to.”

Another student disagreed, however, claiming that “just like the rest of us, Hillary’s made some mistakes, sure, like her friendship with big business and her private email server. But hey, who wouldn’t be friends with big business when you can charge ‘em a cool 353k to have dinner. And her struggle against the imperfect nature of humanity and the meaningless of existence makes her something of a hero, in my eyes.”

A third student didn’t seem to care much one way or another. “I mean it’s cool to have a presidential candidate on campus, but I’m not personally a huge fan so I might not go. My biggest issue is why the fuck it’s being held in Skibo gym? Does she really want to drive home the fact that we need to invest in higher education and infrastructure? Or maybe she’s confused and thinks it’s kinda like the actual Skibo castle.”

The event was purportedly well-attended, despite the complaints. Clinton’s speech was focused on issues important to CMU students, like affordable higher education, the economy and job market, and immigration. The only protestor was a streaker, who was quickly tackled by secret service agents and escorted out the door. Afterwards, Clinton played four square with Sigma Alpha Epsilon. Bill also showed up and played some sick saxophone beats while Chelsea freestyled over the top.

Students protest Donald Trump fence while rest of campus burns

Rin Fair, prioritizing editor

With Carnival, exams, and the end of the year rapidly approaching, not to mention Hillary Clinton’s upcoming campus visit for her 2016 presidential campaign, and a petition circulating about sexual assault on campus, readme decided this would be a good time to talk about what really matters. The Donald Trump fence.

Just days after the tragic passing of two members of our campus community, CMU students have highlighted on another travesty that your Facebook feed might have you believe is just as important. Donald Trump’s name has been painted on the fence.

CMU is excellent at coming together when a tragedy occurs. Last week, our newsfeeds were flooded with messages of support and comfort. This week, everyone is protesting the Trump fence in solidarity. Perhaps next week, we can rise up and overthrow CulinArt if we put our minds to it.

readme is proud to be part of  such a community, where students can freely discuss the issues they find important: Donald Trump, sexual assault, Hillary Clinton, and stress culture (note: these are in no particular order).

readme, along with its brothers in the CMU community, fervently disapproves of this fence-painting atrocity. It feels that this pro-Trump message is taking attention away from the urgent issues that we need to address on campus. readme, of course, moved to paint the fence for Cthulhu instead. That should be much less dismissive of the problems that plague our university.

Clinton: No Worries re. Sanders

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Mark Saporta, Substanceless Inanity 2016 Correspondent

Despite recent polling showing underdog Democratic primary candidate and unabashed Brooklynite Bernie Sanders in the lead in both Iowa and New Hampshire, Hillary Clinton’s press team has insisted that her campaign has precisely zero concerns about his rapid rise. Furthermore, they have claimed, they have understood the wizened 74-year-old socialist who had up until recently had virtually no name recognition outside of Vermont to be a potentially dire threat to their political fortunes since he entered the race. Your political correspondent, as infallibly committed to the next big scoop as always, decided to follow up on this bold assertion by interviewing top Clinton surrogate and not-a-David-Brock-stand-in, why-would-you-think-that John Misty about how the Clinton campaign is handling the new polls:

readme: So you’re really not worried about Sanders potentially winning upsets in Iowa or New Hampshire?

Misty: Worried? Me? Why would I be worried? Should I be worried? What would I be worried about? I’M NOT WORRIED.

readme: ….Are you sure? You sound kind of worried, if I’m being honest.

Misty: No, no no no. Our campaign has anticipated Sanders’ rise since last year! No, since last decade! No, even further…Let me tell you a tale, young one. A tale that will prove to you and all your ilk that we’ve expected this all along!

readme: I…guess so? Shoot.

Misty: Long, long ago, deep in the mists of time, a boy was born. This boy was to be christened Bernard, and his birth was felt by pollsters across the nation. For this boy was destined to be the Great Challenger, the one spoken of in the prophecy, the one who would one day rise up to do surprisingly well against BUT NOT DEFEAT THAT’S IMPORTANT a great political foe. We knew about the prophecy, of course, as all Democratic party elites did, and we used every tool at our disposal to stop him from running for President. Sadly, despite over seventy years of machinations, we were unable to prevent this dire fate, and he announced his category in May 2015. So yeah, we’ve been expecting him to do well. He’s not going to win, obviously. That’d be crazy.

readme: …Welp.

Misty’s final declaration was followed by several seconds of nervous laughter and hair-scratching, as well as the visible formation of sweat on his forehead.

At press time, DNC chairwoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz was completely unworriedly huddled in a boardroom, tearing her hair out.

Hillary Clinton is “Just Like You”

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Kwanpo Cheng, Youth Correspondent

With the Democratic nomination in sight, Senator Hillary Clinton has redoubled her efforts to portray herself as the most viable, humane candidate for the upcoming presidency. She will have to win the initial primary against major competitor, Senator Bernie Sanders, and all the other candidates we have already forgotten.

“Major campaign efforts went into creating a large presence on the ‘Internet,’” Senator Clinton said in a recent interview. “It’s a strange contraption Al Gore invented, and all the youths have been on and I recognized the need for me and my image to also be with those youth on the internet. I am on the Twitters, Instagrammy, and basically any other website you can imagine. If you use it, I will be there, providing updates about my life that you did not realize you needed. Please vote for me,” she added in a low whisper.

Senator Clinton is also just like us. Sometimes, voters forget that she is a senator at all. When several supporters were asked about their views on the candidate, they responded they initially believed she was a young, hip, fun, hilarious, meme-wielding woman. One supporter said he really related to how Senator Clinton lifts thirty pounds on a daily basis, while occasionally pigging out on thirty pints of chocolate mint ice cream at home. “I don’t really care what her stance is as long as she thinks Chandler is the best of them all.”

Most recently, the Benghazi hearing has been nothing but a strong boost to her mirror image. When asked if her use of a private email server exposed classified information, she responded, “I love Gmail. It is the best email service, much better than Yahoo!” When the committee looked bewildered, she added, “I also helped New York rebuild after the 9/11 attacks,” and was met with thunderous applause.

Her latest efforts to identify with voters include a 30-day binge at Chipotle, which she believes everyone has done, but doesn’t admit it.

Elections Are Coming

Who Will Sit on the Throne of readme?

Ah, election season. The smell of campaign promises in the breeze, the sound of chirpings made up of vague proclamations of broad values, the sun shining on the smiling faces of career politicians who will do anything they can to separate themselves from the crowd.

 

“But it’s not even 2016 yet,” I’ve heard people complain. “The presidential election is still so far off.” When you’re talking about the most powerful position in the world, the leader of the free press, the commander in chief of a small staff of writers, who cares about the presidential elections? I meant readme’s elections.

 

The chosen few of the electoral college, namely, those active readme members we could entice with candy, gathered last Friday to vote on their leadership for next year. After long deliberations, we entered our ballots, and the count showed that Hillary Clinton won with 98% of the vote. The remaining 2% were for Elizabeth Warren, who wasn’t even running. After trying again, the results remained the same, only the 2% switched to Bernie Sanders, who’s almost as good as Warren. I guess Clinton 2016 is just inevitable.

 

Despite rummaging around the back room of the AB office, we still couldn’t find the bylaws for readme elections. So we called up Clinton, and asked her to be Editor-in-Chef. However, the person on the other end of the line wasn’t very astute, and just kept asking us to “press 1 to make a donation to the Clinton dynasty, er, campaign.” We took that to mean that Clinton declined the offer to helm readme in the upcoming year.

 

The next tally of the votes turned up a bunch of arrowheads. We explained to readme members that A Song of Fire and Ice is a fictional story, and more importantly, that they should be more careful about what they reveal, as they could spoil it for Game of Thrones, the TV show. Although the tables might be turned in the upcoming season. Don’t tell me, I haven’t watched any of Season 5 yet.

 

Finally, we ended up with a current, present, non-graduating member of readme as the Editor-in-Chef for next year. This fine author, namely, yours truly, Thatcher Montgomery, will be whipping up some delicious satire sandwiches for your enjoyment. After much urging, two henchmen stepped up to help my takeover of Carnegie Mell—I mean, to help my production of readme. Rin Fair will be filling the new position of Word Warlock, and will hopefully help keep our issues error-free, which apparently is preferable to error-filled, and Rachel Karp will be our Finance Mage, and magic us up some money so we can continue printing.

 

We look forward to continuing our core mission of brainwashi—of serving students with omelettes made from free-range facts, whipped just enough to inject some silliness. Enjoy this penultimate issue and our final, finals week, swimsuit issue, and consider joining us next year.

Hillary Clinton’s Grandchild an Unfair Advantage

A media storm erupted last week when Hillary Clinton announced her run for the 2016 presidency by having her daughter conceive a child. After all, it’s not like a thirty-four-year-old woman could possibly make the decision to become pregnant for her own sake. As anyone who’s ever had kids can tell you, the only reason your kids will ever have children of their own is so that you can live vicariously through your grandkids. The press hailed the announcement as a brilliant political maneuver: by cleverly deciding to have her daughter decide to have a baby, Clinton makes herself seem that much more sensitive, warm, and maternal, all qualities we Americans require of our female politicians under pain of social humiliation. Pundits, of course, were quick to point out the double standard at play here.

“[It’s] blatantly sexist on its face,” says one Fox News opinion writer. “I don’t recall anyone lauding the fact that Mitt Romney was a grandfather.” Thank you, Fox News, for always checking America on our inherent misandry problem, the only prejudice we Americans still have to overcome in this modern day (we mean, besides us persecuting Christians and being racist to white people, of course). It’s the twenty-first century; misogyny is dead. It’s not like you women really wanted equal pay, right?

For instance, when some pundits wondered if perhaps the impending Clintonchild might make Clinton a worse politician due to her ovaries releasing grandma-hormones that would override all her knowledge of debate protocol and fiscal policy with how to knit embarrassing sweaters and where to buy the most disgusting brands of sugar-free candy, that wasn’t misogyny, just biology. “All I’m saying is that there are certain differences between men and women, differences which are expressed in the exact same way in every man or woman (because those are the only two genders it is possible to be) and which are completely determined at birth by a series of factors that have no cultural component and thus whose validity we should never question,” wrote one blogger on the subject. “How is that sexist?”

Indeed it is not, good blogger. Even if it were, clearly Clinton is the one benefitting from this sexism. After all, as we’ve established, no one ever praised Mitt Romney for being a grandfather. In fact, no one even commented on it at all. It’s almost as though Americans don’t see a male politician’s grand-spawn as having any sort of effect on how good a president they would be. But, no, it’s probably that misandry thing we just said.