Book 2 Chapter 161

I was up at 0400 and in the side office reading updates while eating breakfast. At 0445 I was just settling into the Oval Office when Anton, President Orbatch and a couple aides came in.
They were Connie, Troy, Emit Dadds – a State Department Russia expert – and a CIA Russian expert. The two experts were to listen and evaluate but to offer no comments to the discussions that were to begin in the office at 0500, so there were a few minutes of open conversation.
“How are things in the homeland today?” I asked.
”Not getting any better but the announcement of this meeting has raised expectations and has taken some of the fire out of it for now,” Anton said.
”What about all the Chinese troops and equipment massing at Altay border, are you going to have war games with them again?” I asked.
I knew they weren’t – there were no Russian troops in the area to amount to anything more than beefed up border guards. It was also where the natural gas pipelines from the territories crossed into China and fed the Chinese industry. It was a huge pipeline, over six feet in diameter.
There had been no war games with China for couple of years. Not since the loss of the carriers.
”No, there are no war games planned with anybody. There should not be any troops there by agreement. Our satellites have failed for that area – yours must be working,” President Orbatch said.
”They are sending a lot of messages back and forth between the China troop garrisons and Beleshi,” I said.
”Beleshi is where multiple pipelines come together. There the gases are metered and combined into the big pipe to China,” President Orbatch said.
”Is this the gas supply that China is delinquent on making payments for?” I asked.
”Your information is good, yes very delinquent! They are slow and getting slower, only making partial payments. They blame the shortage of money on manufacturing returning to the US under Trump and then Thomas as a result of the pandemic of the early 20s,” Anton said.
”Well, they are really going to be pissed because there is a bill on my desk that requires all medicines sold in the US to be one hundred percent made in the US and it requires ninety five percent of all medical equipment and supplies to be manufactured in the US.”
”It’s been happening in stages; the final stage is in one year. China had a lock on medicines and medical equipment after Obama put a tax on medical equipment, but the manufacturing is all coming back now. Twisting some arms and political pressure was required in some cases. Other manufacturing took the pressure and started to return as well.”
”Another bill requires customs to inspect all containers that are not certified from approved manufactures as they come off the ships. If contraband or bootleg materials are found, the ship can be impounded indefinitely or seized. All of that is really going to hurt, as least a bit,” I said.
My staff came in and the real discussion started.
I received a text from Jenny, ”Marcy, Vicky and I are airborne, will arrive in Thimble Shoals in ninety minutes.”
”Being direct and to the point as I am known for, what is it you are seeking?” I asked to get things started.
”We need help of all kinds. We need grain to feed the masses and livestock until the fall grains are harvested. Loans to pay people with. We need help to get our petroleum industry back up. We need to stop a war,” he said.
”The treasury was pillaged over time, then the military disaster followed by years of drought has been just too much. This year’s planting is looking to be the best for years but the winter wheat is twenty percent of what it should be.”
”Food and funding for to pay workers is what it is going to take to stop the unrest,” President Orbatch said.
”We can help with the grains; we have a surplus in storage. Shipping can happen immediately,” I said.
The US had for decades kept emergency grain reserves in case there were excessive flooding, droughts, or insect attacks. It was kept in several central storage sites; Norfolk, Wilmington North Carolina, Chicago, Houston and Mississippi.
Grain can only be stored so long; the seed hardens, loses its oil content in the case of soybeans and becomes more susceptible to mites, weevils, mold and other insects. The grain experts decided on four years maximum storage given the changing humidity levels in the US. Every year twenty five percent was sold and replaced with the recent crop.
The current government reserve level of all food grains was one hundred million bushels each of corn, barley, wheat, soybeans, sorghum, oats and rye. As with all things with government, it was sold off by bid process.
Cargill – the world’s largest grain buyer in the world, Tyson, Purdue and Mountain Farms were the usual bidders.
There were others simply bidding to make a buck; the Soros family, Warren Buffet Inc and Bain Capital – a firm started by Mitchell Romney – also owned interest in grain companies nationwide.
All of them had it figured to make megabucks at the taxpayer’s expense. The normal bids were usually ten to fifteen percent of market price. The bids were fixed, depending on location and by who owned the granary. An inside job just like the sale of parts and equipment to the government.
The grain never moved – just the numbers on a computer screen and owners name – until the next grain order and then it would be shipped as new grain.
When the government put out bids to buy things, the bids were double or triple the cost covered under the need for meeting MIL spec testing. Back room deals were sometimes made between divisions of the same company to run up bid prices. The result was trillion dollar defense budgets with built in cost overruns and delivery delays. It happened with every major purchase the government did.
I had a staff member sent a note to the Secretary of Agriculture to publish a cancellation notice for all surplus grain sales for the next six months, effective today.
I was sure that a few Senators’ phones would be ringing within hours, demanding answers.
“What do you want to help us?” President Orbatch asked.
The negotiations lasted until the lunch that was served in one of the private rooms.
”You may want to eat light. We are going to my eastern shore house for a cookout tonight,” I said.
The afternoon session was grueling as I explained the possible ways we could come to an agreement. I had dozens of options that combinations of might be enough. I needed to get enough to convince a majority in each house to approve the proposal. We made progress, slow progress.
At 1500 I received a text from Jenny, ”We are on our way back, will land in thirty minutes, looking forward to the cookout. We found what you wanted and we got it all handled in a way we think will work by your instructions.”
We knocked off at 1600. An hour later after freshening up, the Beast carried President Orbatch, Alyona, Anton, Svetlana and me to 1001 Summers Lane for the cookout.
Vice President and his wife followed in a backup Beast along with selected news crews.
I had drafted the family and the cooks at the airport restaurant to prepare a traditional Memorial Day feast a few days early for our guests.
The vehicles had been moved over to the parking lot and a tent had extended the garage to allow for the additional tables and chairs.
All the food was fifteen minutes from being ready; it would take that long to go through the introductions. Andy, his wife and children as well as Paul Drake – his second in command – had been invited. It was good to see Shelia, Sandy and William again.
The feast left everyone over fed and lazy; it also soothed over the tensions of today’s negotiating sessions. Tomorrow would be just as testy, but progress was being made.
Edit by Alfmeister
Proof read by Bob W.

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2 Responses to Book 2 Chapter 161

  1. joe h. says:

    Anther A➕➕➕
    Wow….that was great.
    Why are we left always wanting more😊?

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