This comic is about disputed territories and polar orbits.
The two disputes referred to here are the Israeli-Palestinian dispute and the Texas-Oklahoma dispute. The satellite would probably require a polar orbit to reach both Palestine and Oklahoma, which cannot be achieved from a launch at Cape Caneveral, as the launch trajectories would fall in heavily populated areas.
The reason the Vandenburg option is an alternate history is because there actually were plans to launch shuttles from there before the Challenger accident occurred. After Challenger was lost the polar orbiting missions were scrapped and Cape Canaveral became the sole launch site for the Space Shuttle.
In the alternate history, mentioned in the title text, the rules forbidding orbital launches from Caneveral don’t exist, either because nobody cares what happens to the Outer Banks (which would be in the flight path) or nobody likes them and they’re deserted. The entire reason for this even being pointed out is just Randall being obsessive-compulsive.
- Cueball: Okay, people. The orbiter is passing south of Iceland. The next scheduled check-in will be at 32.0N 35.5E, over the Palestinian territories.
- Off-screen character: You mean over Palestine?
- Frank (off-screen): You mean over Israel?
- [Beat panel.]
- Cueball: I've rescheduled the check-in for 35.2N 96.6W,over Oklahoma.
- Frank (off-screen): You mean occupied North Texas?
- Cueball: Dammit, Frank.