The United States of America has been recovering from the Second Great Depression for more than two centuries when the Jack of Harts stories begin. People are healthy thanks to medical sciences. Genetic engineering has Uplifted numerous animals to human level sentience. And yes, even smart dogs and cats still hate each other. And corruption is as rampant as it ever was. Jack likes to joke that if the Shang had limited their initial attack to Washington DC alone, the vast majority of Americans probably would have applauded them. There is far more truth in that joke than many would be comfortable admitting. And when the junior Senator from Colorado was the highest-ranked Survivor, she had a lot of work to do. Jack still says that she was the first President worthy of the position in his lifetime. Possibly the only one.