At 0400 my mates and I were at the end of Sawyers Road waiting on the rest of the hunters. The only other car here belonged to Curtis Warren; he was sitting in his car by himself.
It was a perfect time to have a quiet talk. I tapped on the window then slid into the passenger seat.
We talked about the cold and hunting for a minute.
”Speaking of hunting – I’m doing some for the White House. Years ago you turned down a chance to sit on the Supreme Court. What are your feelings about it today? Would you be interested to take a pay cut, lose a little freedom and independence for a seat on the court if it were offered now?”
”Does the fire to serve the nation in that capacity still burn? I’m looking for one great person to be the one I appoint, ” I said.
”It would be an honor but you are right. I enjoy the freedom of being independent. Thanks for the consideration but no, I will pass,” he said.
Then I named off the three I had sent to the investigators. We talked about each one – the pros and cons of each. It was going to be a tough choice – maybe the checks would eliminate someone.
I had a feeling it was going to be an agonizing decision. That fancy research group I had was going to get the whole list to research on Monday.
Monday I was going to be busy working on the State of the Union speech that I had to give on Tuesday night – if the government was open for business.
The rest of the hunting party arrived. Today was going to be a little different; my mates and I were going to one blind and the guests divided in the other two blinds.
By 1100 everyone had their limit and the Gators were bringing everyone to their cars. All the media was allowed to take pictures of the geese and my mates. Anyone that objected would just have to get over it. Again we went to the inn to have lunch before we parted ways.
At home I reviewed the day’s security reviews; they came every day. If there were something critical an agent would have hand delivered it to me no matter where I was. There was a coding system to determine the importance.
I spent the afternoon with the boys on the floor with blocks. They wanted me to help with their homework, numbers, words and coloring. When they crashed for a nap I spent the time holding Sara and Takeo.
Monday and Tuesday I was going to be alone at the White House. Marcy and Jenny were flying to Thimble Shoals for the bank meeting Tuesday morning. Tuesday night my family was going to be sitting as guests in the joint session of Congress as I spoke to the nation.
At 2100 Saturday night Congress had finally agreed on a budget that I could agree to sign. Eighteen of the thirty sub-agencies I wanted cut were closed; the remainder were reduced by half and were to be closed next year. Eighteen thousand federal workers were changing jobs. Hiring was put on hold until all found jobs in other departments.
With that reduction and the change in immigration programs, five hundred billion was cut from the budget. It was still a trillion in red ink. The good things was the Defense Department held its own with the Navy and the Air Force getting fifteen billion more to fix or improve maintenance and to improve availability.
There was a lot of critics that were upset in Congress. There were new transportation taxes; gas and diesel tax increased by five cents. There was a new tax on electric cars to make up for the gas tax they didn’t pay. There was a one dollar increase in the airline ticket tax. All those funds were now dedicated and could not be used as general revenue.
The good thing was transportation funds could only be used to fix highways and bridges. It could not be used for environmental improvements associated with highway improvements. That money had to come from the EPA funds. The transportation fund could no longer be raided for general funds. No project could be stalled for the lack EPA funds.
There were improvements in VA funding and veteran benefits; something long needed.
House and Senate leaders were on the way with the budget to get it signed tonight and in time for a photo op to hit the evening news cycle.
I called Hanna, Melinda and Elmo to see if they wanted to be the reporters covering the event.
The signing and statements lasted a half an hour, politics as usual.
A courier left several packages from Adam Pierce at the gate. It was the first draft of the State of the Union speech. I would have to find time to read over it tonight or tomorrow. It included a thumb drive and a teleprompter in a much bigger box.
Early Sunday morning we went to the gym and worked out hard for an hour. Mom and Lisa wanted us to go to church as a family. Mom felt that I now needed all the peace and protection I could get – even from heaven – if it was possible.
We all dressed modestly. I wore the light body armor that I always wore and a pant suit. A couple of my mates wore long skirts. Our two little men were in suits and ties. I wondered where Jenny found suits that small, but they sure looked sharp!
We walked outside to get in the Suburban. There was no Suburban. The Beast was backed up to the garage. The Secret Service had struck in the middle of the night.
The ‘Beast’ was the presidential limo, all one point five million dollars of it. The glass was top secret – it was supposed to stop the bullet from an elephant gun at point blank range. The tires were bulletproof and able to run with no air in them, so much for a smooth ride I thought.
There was steel in the doors, under the floor and in the roof. There were steps that came out with the push of a button on all four corners for agents to stand on when the car was going slow in parades along with hidden handles for them to hold onto. There were hidden gun lockers on each corner. The engine was a Duramax diesel with a Banks high-performance kit not available to the public. In the back was a liquor cabinet and a mini refrigerator with ice.
There were three phones in it; red, black and white. I wondered where calls on them went to. I was going to ask that question before I made any calls or answered them. I wondered why I had not been briefed on the thing before now.
With all that, there was just enough room for the six of us, two little boys and two in carriers.
The small church would be full with us and a few agents. The rest of my family arrived as we did and took our seats.
I refused to allow the official photographer permission to take pictures inside the church. They were going to have to be happy showing us walking in.
It was noon when we exited the church; there was more media this time. I ignored the questions and we went home for lunch. The afternoon and evening went fast, between family and reading through the speech family and little boys and girls.
Before I knew it I was in Marine One flying back to the White House. It was an early 0600. The daily briefs were already on the desk.
Trouble was brewing on several fronts. Today there were riots in San Francisco. It was the fourth time in the last two years. It wasn’t connected to terrorism so the task force was not involved.
California was extremely liberal and was a sanctuary state for decades. First on illegal drugs, they were one of the first to legalize marijuana and refused to prosecute hard drug possession and open public use. They welcomed illegals from anywhere with open arms for decades. There were more foreign speaking individuals there than there were English speaking.
They had the highest taxes in the nation. There was now a five dollar a gallon state tax on gas, six dollars on diesel and five on jet fuel. Property taxes were so high there was almost no middle class left. All that was left were millionaires, celebrities and upper middle class who could afford the gated communities.
Illegals and homeless made up most of the population in the cities. Many people moved out of state to Nevada, Arizona and Oregon and commuted for the high pay, unable to own houses there.
The homeless problem started around 2010 in San Francisco and by 2022 had spread to every major city – Los Angles, Sacramento and others – where they would get the most handouts. The police were forbidden to run them off or arrest them.
The homeless problem was not the first for San Francisco. America’s porn revolution started there in the late sixties. Mitchell Brothers studios produced the first 8mm porn films, then VHS.
Linda Lovelace, Georgina Spelvin, Annette Haven, Marylyn Chambers and all the rest started making porn for them and doing live sex shows in their San Francisco clubs. ‘Deep Throat’, ‘Behind the Green Door’ and ‘The Devil and Ms. Jones’ were only the first of the sexual revolution and movie block busters for the porn industry as it became mainstream.
The cities bent over backwards for the homeless; public urination and defecation was normal and no longer an offense. The city countered by building open public urinals and toilets that changed nothing. Piles of used needles littered the streets, making them unsafe for children to walk down.
Beggars were accosting everyone. Even the police stopped walking beats after many were doused with urine and feces. They only responded when called. It had become unsafe to even drive on some streets or stop for stoplights.
Streets and sidewalks business entrances were blocked by tents or cardboard boxes used as shelter. The cities started poop patrols to scoop up the sidewalks, pickup up the plastic bags of feces and pressure washed them with disinfectant, washing it down open water drains that went directly into the ocean.
Beaches all up and down the coast were closed year round because of e-coli contamination from piles of human waste left in the sand and tides moving the drain runoff along the coast.
The riots had started Saturday over a seemingly minor incident, as they did every time. A homeless person had tried to force his way into a car. The woman driver sped off dragging the man to his death and that started it all.
San Francisco did as they normally did – let them riot and loot until the problem died from exhaustion and then gave away free packets of marijuana so they would go somewhere and sleep.
The city then asked for millions in disaster money to clean up and offer the rioters more freebies to play nice for a while.
San Francisco’s mayor was the first to call asking for disaster funds. An hour later the Governor called, first DHS and then the White House.
Troy put up the stall that I was in a national security meeting and could not be interrupted to allow me time to research the news about the riots and evaluate what was happening and what I wanted to do.
Fifty city blocks in the retail section had been looted, the exact same area as the last three riots. According to the late night news reel, one hundred people had been detained but no arrests, not even for looting.
I wondered why and the answer was easy – on the page sixty two continuation of the story in the LA Times. California passed a law a decade ago to eliminate the backlog in the courts and reduce persons in jail.
The law made any theft of less than seven hundred and fifty dollars non punishable. The police would not even show up and if they did, they would not arrest. California had turned into a petty theft and shoplifting paradise. The stores no longer stocked the shelves. They kept all the merchandise in locked back rooms until a customer asked for something.
Internet sales were booming for home delivery, anything to keep out of the city. The city countered by adding delivery fees to packages delivered in city zip codes. The story was they were trying to reduce congestion and auto pollution.
Shoplifting had ballooned out the roof. Druggies were shoplifting, walking out the door and selling it to Mexicans in vans destined for Central America. That answered how all the illegals trying to get across the border had the latest fashions and cell phones. They bought it from smugglers at pennies on the dollar.
I quickly decided there was to be no disaster declaration and no money – once maybe but fourth time – no way. The money wasn’t doing anything but buying more drugs and misery.
What I did do was call the Attorney General, Eric Roberson of the DHS, the FBI and the EPA for a meeting. I wanted some answers.
Edit by Alfmeiser
Proof read by Bob W.