Vice President Biden dies of a stroke. New Mexico governor Bill Richardson succeeds him as the first hispanic Vice President.
China launches an anti-missile missile at a defunct satellite. While the test is a success the debris from the satellite begins to strike other satellites more frequently than previous tests. As more debris is created world communications networks begin to crash. A Kessler Syndrome is the end result when a large chunk of debris hits the International Space Station. Access to space in now impossible.
The three gorges damn breaks due to higher sea levels. China begins fighting civil unrest in the interior.
All private space flight companies have gone bankrupt or folded. As well as most federal projects. NASA is now dedicated mostly to debris monitoring of high orbit military satellites and ground based observations. All future manned space flight programs are cut.
Theo Bell, a young entrepreneur in Tacoma, WA; whose company had to close down due to the Kessler Syndrome, is elected to Washington's 8th Congressional District over incumbent Dave Reichert.
Members of the UN Security council demand that China pay reparations for damages done to the Global satellite network. China, already fighting an internal conflict refuses. The US and Russia are the most vocal about this; Both countries form a stronger alliance with the creation of a Russo-American Missile Shield. The US refuses to repay any debts to China, and begins an embargo of Chinese goods.
The Chinese economy crashes, and Communist hard-liners begin to take control of the PRC.
Part of the Greenland Ice Shelf falls into the ocean, sending sea levels rising by 2 meters. The North Atlantic fishing industry suffers and million suffer around the world in the Famine of 2015.
During the 59th Inauguration Day ceremonies, Washington DC is struck by a low yield suitcase nuke; killing President Richardson (having only been officially President for 57 minutes) the Supreme Court, Joint Chiefs, and every member of the US Congress, save for Theo Bell, who could not attend the ceremonies due to his father recently being hospitalized after a diabetic stroke. The nation is sent into chaos. With no one aware of who is in charge, members of NORAD announce that they have confirmed that one US Congressman is still alive and by order of the 25th Amendment must be sworn in as the 46th President of the United States. Congressman Bell is secretly moved to Cheyenne Mountain where he is sworn in on January 22nd by a US Army Judge Advocate General.
President Bell, still shaken by the recent chain of events, gives a speech from Cheyenne Mountain asking that Senate and Congressional appointments and special elections begin immediately to replace the US Congress, he announces that he will not take legislative action outside of his duties as Commander-in-Chief until the Congress has been restored, and thus will become Acting President of the United States for the remainder of former President Richardson's term. He announces that Washington will be rebuilt to its former glory, but in the meantime the US Capital will be moved to nearby Colorado Springs, which has easy access to Cheyenne Mountain.
President Bell calls what is left of the CIA and members of the military and the new Joint Chiefs of Staff to immediately begin looking for the purpotrator of the attack. Most suspect China.
By early Mach the US Congress has been refilled by special elections and Governor appointments around the country. Many are former members, but most are political greenhorns. The RNC and the DNC form a coalition government under the National-Union Party, pledging full support to President Bell, members of the Conservative and Libertarian parties form a coalition opposition faction.
President Bell announces his cabinet picks, all of which are easily confirmed.
President Bell orders NEST teams enter the DC fallout zone and begin evacuating and caring for any survivors. He also requests an expedition be made into the National Archives, Smithsonian, and CIA headquarters. The Bill of Rights, Declaration of Independence and US Constitution have all survived the blast, protected in their 3 inch thick bullet proof glass casings in the national archives, and thus are moved to Cheyenne Mountain for safekeeping.
With the national dept streched to its limits President Bell begins his, "Break Even" Program. A plan to ballence the US federal Budget. He gives a speech on how in this time of crisis the American People must be willing to sacrifice for the greater good of the country. Taxes on the richest Americans are raised to 90% as they were during the 1950s.
President Bell signs a bill into law that removes the clergy from the tax exempt status.
The UN controversially brings India and Israel into the Security Council as Permenant Members.
Russian and Indian intelligence agencies confirm that the attack on Washington DC was conducted by the Pakistani supported Taliban. President Bell calls for a Declaration of War against Pakistan.
The United Nations expels Pakistan from the organization. Full support is pledged to the US and a coalition of nations rally to begin a massive assault on Pakistan.
China apologizes to the US for messing up the satellite network and joins the Russo-American missile shield.
President Bell orders bombing runs of Major Pakistani trade ports and military instilations. The Russo-American-Chinese missile shield goes fully online once bombing commences.
January 20th: President Theodore Bell is sworn in officially as the President of the United States in front of an international audience in the US Capital of Colorado Springs, with Mitt Romney as his Vice President.
Congress Passes Medicare Part E, giving every American free access to medicare.
Most of Washington DC is rebuilt - the White House and the US Capitol Building are still heavily damaged by the nuclear attack.
Halloween, October 31st: Islamabad falls to Coalition forces. The Pakistani leadership surrenders unconditionally in the council chamber of the Pakistani Parliament building. The Treaty of Kandahar dissolves the state of Pakistan, breaking it up into Pashtunistan, Balochistan, Waziristan, and the rest ceded to nearby India.