I was up early and had a light breakfast before going to the oval desk. I was there even before Connie and Troy arrived. I practiced tonight’s speech on the teleprompter; I was satisfied with the speech.
Aides started arriving with notes and information I needed to look at. One of them stated that Oregon’s legislature had worked until midnight. I wondered if burning the midnight oil was moving towards a solution or just for show. Twelve more hours would tell.
Another extended email was from General Wainwright and the head of ICE. With martial law they had fast tracked so many for deportation that there was a shortage of planes to carry them to back to Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. Two hundred thousand had been deported to Mexico alone and it was estimated that another two hundred thousand had left on their own.
It was only a drop in the bucket to the estimated twenty million thought to be in California alone.
Another was a note from the Navy. The Truman and Washington were at sea and had completed all redeployment training and tasks. They were returning to Norfolk for weapons and supplies. Those tasks would be completed in four days. The aircraft would be flown to the carriers as they were once more underway. They would be headed for their duty stations in the Indian Ocean and arrive there in ten days. Two down, five to go.
The Kennedy had been at Newport News two weeks; hull cleaning was under way. Ship fitters were removing the tons of corrosion preventative on the ships interior. Specialist were verifying all kinds of ships systems. Radar masts and towers were being reinstalled. Several new radars systems were also being installed.
Close in defense systems were being replaced with systems intended for the new Kennedy including new missile defense systems.
The Kennedy name plate, ship’s medallion and bell were gone, already attached to the new Kennedy. The Chief of Naval Operations wanted a name for the ship. It was simple – the USS Alexander Thomas CV67A. A new ship’s bell was in the process of being cast.
If one of the new unnamed Fordson carriers were to be completed, it would be named for Thomas and the medallion and ships bell transferred to it. Then the CV67A would be used as a museum ship – which was unlikely – or else scrapped or sunk as a target or for fish habitat and diving. A sad ending for a grand ship that had projected the power and might of the United States for fifty years on the oceans of the world.
It was 1000 when Caroline Brady and her family arrived at the White House. Their suitcases had been dropped off at the guest house. Her family was given the grand tour of the White House while Caroline and I started discussions.
”Have you thought about the offer and all the consequences that will take place? Your personal life will be laid bare for the world to see,” I said.
”We are prepared, we have led a clean life and we went through all of this when I was appointed to the Court of Appeals. I’m ready for it,” she said.
”That’s good. I have read through the questions that were posed to you for that appointment. Let’s clarify some of the answers, then I have a few questions of my own,” I said.
Connie, Troy and VP Harrison joined on the questioning. Two hours later we were finished. I was satisfied. To find out how the VP and Troy felt, I suggested a break so Caroline could find her family.
The senators would have days to question Caroline in various committees plus there were hearings in the full Senate before they would vote. It would be a month or more before the process was complete.
VP Harrison, Troy and I met at the coffee pot. We were all in agreement; Caroline was my candidate. I found her in the lobby looking at the historic pictures with her family.
”I’m pleased – I want you for my nominee for the Supreme Court. Do you want a few minutes discussion time with your family before we call a news conference?” I asked.
”Yes please,” Caroline replied.
”I’ll be in the Oval Office, come find me when you are finished. If you want a quiet place to talk, the meeting room is empty,” I said pointing to the room.
I went back to the Oval Office. In fact I met Troy, Attorney General Dunne and Eric Roberson there. Eric was the director of DHS.
”Are you going to sign the papers for Oregon?” Eric asked.
”I gave the governor and the legislature until 1700 to do the necessary things to avert martial law and enforcement. I haven’t heard anything yet,” I said.
”They are still in session or were a few minutes ago. The reason I came is DHS has been looking into the drugs getting on the streets in Portland.”
”They are coming in through the port. We have identified the people and groups at the port and have them under surveillance.”
”We have narrowed it down to a couple of the police departments giving cover and two city administrators involved. If you go with your plan, we want to make the arrests at the same time,” Eric said.
”If you don’t order the army in, we will wait a few more days,” Eric added.
”There is a news conference in a few minutes. I’m going to introduce my nominee for the Supreme Court to the nation. Let me find her – I’ll make the introductions and you can stand with us for the news conference,” I said.
Thirty minutes later the news conference was over and Caroline was left to her handlers – in this case it was the VP for the evening. The public relations would start tonight; a private dinner with key senators.
Jenny, Marcy and my two little men were headed with me to Andrews for the fundraiser in Vermont. Ching Lee and Vicky were not back from Dubai yet. Lorrie was staying home to watch the little ones.
Marine One carried me with an abbreviated staff to Andrews where Air Force One was waiting.
I did the usual politicking meet and greet and then gave them the ‘Out of their seat’ speech. I closed with the eight more years chant. It had gone over so well at Vegas that Adam insisted on using it to close out the fund raiders.
I was back in the White House and in my bed with Jenny and Marcy at 0200. At 0700 we were finishing breakfast. A JBG 406 was taking them home. Lisa would be late starting home schooling today. I turned to other issues.
After updates it was time to deal with Oregon and Washington. I had an aide call Oregon’s Governor Roseberry. Once the connection was made I was handed the phone.
”Did you reach an agreement along the requirements that were suggested?” I asked.
”Yes. With the army troops in town it wasn’t as much trouble as I thought it would be but it was still rough. Where do we go from here? Will the troops leave soon?” he asked.
”No, they are going to stay and help FEMA. We will temporarily copy the California model with emergency tents and services.”
”I need to put martial law into effect to be able to use the troops to collect the homeless. You will order your state police to report to the commander of the military to help collect up the homeless,” I said.
”State and local agencies will have to do the street cleanup,” I said.
”The military will assist FEMA in setting up the camps and proper facilities to care for them. Assistance from state agencies will be required and forced under martial law.”
”The goal here is to get them off the street, properly feed them and get them medical attention. Then we can address why they are homeless and correct it,” I said.
”With your swift action to provide funding and with what I anticipate full support and assistance in correcting this issue, I can see no need for any legal action against the elected officials. I will meet with the AG in a few minutes to verify that thought. Fax me a copy of the law you have passed,’’ I added.
I called the AG, then General Ingram and asked him to come to my office. The discussion was interrupted by a request for VCATS from Andy, Ching Lee and Vicky. They were on their way home from Dubai. They had stayed overnight and spent an extra day on the Boxer.
I couldn’t wait to hear about that experience from the girls.
”We have contracts we can live with for ninety days. There is also a clause that will allow the contract to be extended as needed. The financial portion is as Marcy specified, to be finalized at a meeting next week with the Navy in Washington,” Vicky said.
”We did have one problem on the way back from the USS Boxer. Three Iranian helicopters shadowed ours, at times trying to force us into Iranian airspace. I radioed for the Air Tractors to assist. When they showed up the Iranians left,” Andy said.
”When do the six ships report to Admiral West?” I asked.
”The captains report to him tomorrow for policy and procedures update and the ships start the first patrol on Saturday,” Andy said.
”When are the next shipment of ships to arrive?” I asked.
”The six from Texas and two more from Israel will be coming out of the Red Sea tomorrow,” Andy said.
”OK, at least that will keeps things balanced. Will chat with you later,” I said as I closed the window.
”I’m surprised you let your mates go that close to Iran,” General Ingram said.
”If I had made the decision, they would not have been there. They are the bosses now – it was their decision,” I said.
I signed the order putting martial law into effect in Oregon. General Ingram went to move the troops around sending ten thousand to Oregon and five thousand to Washington State.
There was already twenty thousand at various bases in Washington that could be utilized. They were ordered to assemble at base and stand by.
The order was conveniently leaked to the media who were already on alert after the one hundred Humvees had been scoping out the capital and city hall.
If the politicians in Washington capitulated quickly to avoid possible jail, the west coast mess would soon be over. Then it was on to New York and New Jersey.
The rest of the troops in California were being sent back to their home bases. Their job was done unless something went screwy.
Edit by Alfmeister
Proof Read by Bob W.