Monday I went back to Washington. There were no surprises; I expected a fiasco and it was. Some of the Congress-critters were back – those that wanted to give the appearance that they were doing something. The rest were on taxpayer funded junkets – mostly to exotic tropical locations – and took their families as guests.
With so few back, those that were had unlimited TV coverage and could propose all kinds of bills and laws on TV, knowing they would never see the light of day other than on a news circuit.
Of course there was unlimited bashing of the JBG security zone, the delays and me. At the security checkpoints this weekend things went a lot smoother. Several things were the reasons why.
One – the number of illegals trying to cross into the US had dropped nearly to zero so the thousands of DHS agents had little to do.
Many of those agents and drug canines were contract employees. Vicky had negotiated with the company to add them to the inspection sites. The inspection lanes went from fifty lanes to one hundred and fifty lanes over the weekend.
With the right paperwork, the new computer systems using facial scans of the occupants and the additional people trained to look for contraband, the wait times were down to an hour or less.
The first week there were thousands trying to cross without any paperwork at all, only to be turned back. By the second week, the majority had paperwork.
The numbers trying to cross illegally in the barren spaces went up substantially. They were the ones filling the jail and temporary jail that had to be built.
Tuesday I was leaving on another PR meet and greet, this time three days and of all places – France. I was going to have a good time this time around. The trip was nothing more than a PR trip. No scheduled negotiations , however I was sure there would be private talks about the prisoners we had left at Matador.
The tribunal was still having trials but at a little slower pace. So far fifty drug and cartel thugs had met their fate and seventy of the original two hundred and thirty had been executed. Everyone that was going to wear a vest or be a shooter was going to meet the hangman.
The jail was staffed and holding cartel members and human traffickers caught trying to get across the border.
The new jail on the western end of the security zone was done and Bobs Construction group was back on the shore. They were working on the mall conversion for our forensic lab. The plans were doubled and then tripled.
With so many countries coming on board, what I thought would be a few hundred a week was now a thousand a week in samples to be tested and checked, and still growing. So far all the countries that had joined were willing to pay a fair fee for being a member and using the service.
Tuesday morning Air Force Two picked me up at Morton. There were no State Department people or DOD people on the flight, just my bodyguards and former Vice President Mason’s travel staff. They planned the trip from beginning to end; the official visits, hotels, transportation and official functions.
Wednesday was the first official meeting between French officials and me. I met with my equivalent and spent the morning reviewing a host of ideas and proposals. There was a discussion about NATO progress in adding troops and expansion.
Wednesday night there was an official reception and another meet and greet. It was much more laid back than the last one I did here. This time there were the usual VIPs and prestigious French individuals.
I did get a long private talk with Louis about the terrorists still held at Matador. The powers to be were happy with the declining cost but never asked why.
I did find out that Vicky, Ching Lee, Andy and several of his people were coming to Europe for a joint meeting with all the Pact countries in two weeks. The meeting was to update all the leaders, something that was required in the contracts.
Behind the scenes arrests had been going on since the French assault. The records seized at the training center were still paying off all over Europe.
Friday I spent the day with the President going over agendas, his policies, plans and party goals. Monday I was to come back to continue the discussion on policies.
Friday was also full of surprises. A group of House radical representatives filed suit in Federal court challenging my Vice President nomination, the vote in the House and Senate without the proper investigative procedures, appearances and testimony before judicial committees and debate.
The President’s legal team and I discussed the suit and authorized them to do all the necessary steps. In their opinion it was nothing but a stunt. Those representatives had time to object and make changes before they voted.
I finally began making a real effort interviewing my staff. It was only fair to them. They needed to know if they were going to have jobs with the change.
The travel staff I had already accepted but made changes in. All trips would be submitted to my JBG security for analysis from a security standpoint.
After the Pakistan incident and the fiasco in India with the State Department people, all people accompanying me would be investigated as well and possibly interviewed on the subject material to be discussed.
If they had any objections, we would settle it before we left the states and not at the negotiating table.
Former Vice President Mason was improving but oh so slightly. In two weeks I was going to have to use his offices and clerical staff.
Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday I would have been happier to have spent in a foxhole with it raining. The conversations on these days were strictly politics. President Thomas and his staff kept complete detailed dossiers on every Senator and Representative in Congress.
Everything was in them – finances, friends, political weakness and strengths, special interests and hobbies as well as a list of lobbyists that frequented their offices or called. Even their vices were listed. Some of them read like a porn novel.
He even had one started on me but the last entry was several years ago.
Thursday I was back in Air Force Two for a short two day trip to Canada. Another good will and negotiating trip. The two countries were trying to smooth out some rough spots in the lumber, wheat and cattle import-export trade deals between us.
Part of Thursday was a tour of Ottawa and Montreal and of course a state dinner. Canada was no different than the US; the guests at the dinner were a mix of politicians and well to do political cronies.
Saturday there was another party fund raiser. This time it was in Atlanta. Atlanta was a modern city. It laid claim to be the busiest airport hub in the world. It was a major commercial and financial giant with some of the biggest names in aviation and industrial equipment, domestic and import with plants, warehouses or headquarters there. It ranked in the top twenty cities in the world.
I took my mates and Jeanna this time to the fund raiser so they could mingle. It was a fabulous affair. All my mates were decked out in the best dresses and jewels we had. Since my job change there had been shopping trips to fit the part. We could hold our own with the elegant ladies and kept women of a few of the guests.
Marcy had some of the gold coins attached to gold necklaces with diamonds and rubies from the mine. Each of us had one. They quickly became points of interest and conversation pieces. Marcy had one made for Jeanna.
My mates had decided that with me being VP, we should be able to put on the Ritz more often and when we needed to.
I gave the speech on manufacturing and commerce and the need for balance. We needed to trade with foreign countries but not to the point that we lost our industrial and technology advantage.
We needed to grow our cities and infrastructure to stay ahead of demand. Several cities on the west coast had gotten behind and were in trouble because cost of living and population growth had overcome the city’s ability to keep up with infrastructure and necessities for the public.
It was a fancy steak dinner with all the fixings. At ten thousand a plate, I would expect no less.
I sat and listened while their Washington offerings gave their speeches and I tried not to fall asleep.
It was late when we landed back at Morton, way after midnight. Everyone seemed happy, my mates, Jeanna, the covering media and the party brass. They were still wanting me to endorse someone but they were out of luck for now.
Sunday went fast and before I knew it I was back in Washington with former Vice President Mason. I had one more trip this week and two fund raisers.
It was 0900 when I received a coded text to call Andy. ”Call ASAP.”
I called him on the JBG phone.
”I just wanted to inform you that the Air Tractors and Blackhawks are going to attack both of the drug plants simultaneously in about an hour. I have informed Vicky and she has been in contact with Mexican President Martinez and Prosecutor Inez. They have given their approval.”
”Mexico is sending its version of the FBI in after the strikes are over to clean up what is left. Both areas were controlled by the cartel and off limits to Mexican Federal authorities. They plan to move in the confusion and take control of the entire sector. Vicky and Ching Lee are in-route for the news conference,” Andy said.
”Good luck – keep me informed,” I replied.
At home – ten hours later – Vicky and Ching Lee were still high on adrenaline from the media exposure and the success of the joint operation. At the news conference they both excelled in the Q&A and held their own with the federal police.
One hundred and ten high level cartel members and chemists were on the way to the new prison on the western end security zone. They would be held there until there was room for them at Matador where they would be interrogated.
Supper was late, we all worked to make it happen. Then it was time with the boys, then the hot tub.
At 0145 there was pounding on the bedroom door – Jenny and I both jumped out of bed ready to fight.
”Ma-am, we have an emergency, you need to get up. You need to go to Washington,” an agent said.
Edit by Alfmeister
Proof read by Bob W.