Book 3 Chapter 4

Book 3 Chapter 4

            I had written few executive orders as President; almost all of those were associated with the West Coast rioting fiasco. Every time I did that, I was reminded I was only a place holder. That was over now with many of those that had called me a place holder were now on their way out.

            I directed an aide to get me copies of all the executive orders put into effect by the last 5 presidents. I called in the chief of the White House legal team Alex Crabtree.

            ”I want to know if there are time limits on executive orders or are they forever. I want to know if previous executive orders are still influencing programs and agency policies,” I said.

            Congress was in a pickle on funding again. This year – just like last year and the previous 30 years – they had not fully completed the budget funding on time. From October until January there was one continuous funding resolution after another. They would pass this piece then another piece and never the whole piece.

            They sent another resolution to get by Thanksgiving so they could go home. I vetoed the resolution and sent a note that the resolution would not be signed in its current state. They needed to send one representative and one senator to the White House to negotiate a binding final solution to the budget crap that they had been dancing around for weeks.

            To put more heat on Congress I issued an executive order to freeze to all hiring by the federal government until all budget and revenue issues were resolved and a balanced budget was approved.

            I called the Secretary of Defense and the secretary’s of the individual forces and the Joint Chiefs to a meeting at 1300. I was going to rock them to the core.

            I then had a letter sent to all agencies to produce concrete plans to reduce their budgets by twenty percent and to submit those plans to the White House in no more than 30 days. Let the fun begin! I figured if I asked for twenty they would come forward with five.

            Congress was heading towards another trillion deficit. I was determined there would be no more of them.

            I called Secretary of the Treasury Morrison for a 1500 meeting. I told him to bring several IRS people who could think and chew gum at the same time to give me numbers on revenue.

            I had Troy set up a series of meetings with the incoming Conservatives, Representatives and Senators and then meetings with the ones that were reelected. I had campaigned for all of them in one way or another and the PACS had paid for a lot for advertizing. I was going to start the process to call in some of those favors.

            I sent Harry a press release that the White House would begin hiring investigators and prosecutors for the new White House investigative branch. That branch would have subpoena powers as well as the authority to forward cases to the Justice department for prosecution, the same as Congress.

            The branch would be used to develop policy and funding levels and also fret ferret out false and misleading testimony from all the departments and agencies of the federal government that had led to mismanagement and hundreds of billions in the waste of federal funds.

            In all the years that Congress had that responsibility, not one federal official had ever been sent to jail or lost their pensions or job for lying to the government or lobbying for special interest positions, conflicts of interest in decisions they had made, personal, party or for profit. Too many had used their position to leverage high paying jobs or huge profits after leaving government.

            I had run the idea past constitutional scholars, but there was no firm answer or consensus from them. The only thing left to do was to start it, use it and then let the Supreme Court figure it out.

            At 1300 the Joint Chiefs and the Secretary of Defense were in the meeting room.

            ”With the demise of Iran and Russia an ally now, there should be opportunities to combine, reduce and eliminate a number of bases in Europe and the Middle East as well as the US. Some of those forces may need to be moved into a better position to respond to China,” I said.

            ”I want a list of all US bases worldwide and at home. I want to know if they can be closed or consolidated with other bases and closed. I want that list in 30 days.”

            ”I am also firmly suggesting that ALL West Coast carriers be moved further west to apply more pressure on China and move several East Coast carrier task forces to the West Coast. Move the carrier task forces to Pearl, Guam, Subic Bay, Japan and hopefully in Russia in an expansion of that agreement,” I said. ”I will meet with President Orbatch at the G8 conference next week,” I added.

            “To allay some of your fears I want the domestic base closings to gain concessions from Congress. I want them to rein in domestic spending. The fear of losing bases in their states might help do that. Given the events of the last six months, I am sure there are places where cuts can be done,” I said.

            ”We knew there would be changes in the military with the threat level from Iran gone and Russia down. We will have everything completed by then that we have been working on and more ideas,” General Ingram said.

            ”The survey of Subic Bay has been completed. What is left of the base is in better condition than we were led to believe. It’s what we need to improve our position in the South China Sea as you directed,” Admiral Block said.

            Subic Bay Naval Base and the Clark Air Force Base had been big military bases for the US since the big war. Political corruption and a declining Philippine economy had been the beginning of the end of the bases there. The corruption started with the Marcos family and grew.

            The result was massive cash payment demands for the US to continue to have bases there. The military and the US government balked at the demands which resulted in lengthy negotiations that went nowhere.

            The eruption of Mount Pinatubo in 1990 resulted in heavy damage to both bases, making them too expensive to rebuild and pay the lease demands. The US walked away and expanded other Pacific military bases.

            Philippine presidents since then had a love – hate relationship with the US, bordering on insanity at times.

            China was back to claiming every sand bar shoal waters as theirs, based on centuries old hand drawn maps already dismissed by the treaties of the seas courts. They were making man-made islands into military post to reinforce their claims on total sovereignty over the South China Sea and everything it touched.

            I had intervened in some of the disputes by sending the carriers to spend several weeks in the South China Sea in support of the Philippine position. Two carrier task forces were still there doing operations in the area.

            ”President Santos will be here for a summit in a few days. Will the survey be completed on the old Clark Air Force Base by then and will you have estimates for the hangars?” I asked.

            ”Both should be completed. I will check on it and put a rush on it,” General Ingram said.

            ”The notice to Congress will be sent out today on the base consolidation and Harry will give a media briefing later today,” I said.

            I called Prime Minister Attenborough to give him a heads up so he would not be blindsided by the base cut-back announcement. Then I called German Chancellor Hermann where we had the most bases. All agreed to discuss further at the G8 meeting.

            I received a note from Harry that my appearance would be appreciated.

            I ordered an emergency delivery of donuts and coffee from the agents favorite donut shack. They set them up on a table behind the divider. I took one glazed donut and my coffee mug and sat on the edge of the stage in front of Harry and ate the donut while Harry continued to give the daily briefing.

            The reporters became fidgety, looking around, expecting agents to bring donuts from behind them.

            When they didn’t, ”Madam President, did you forget something,” one of them in the back said.

            ”That was a great donut! I think I will have another,” I said as the agents brought the table and the donuts out on cue.

            ”Harry will you join me in a donut and coffee,” I said.

            Harry got himself two donuts and a cup and then sat down beside me.

            ”You know, you play this group better than anyone I have ever seen,” he said.

            ”Possibly, but I expect things to get heated up from here on out,” I said.

            ”That was good. But I’ll have to add an hour in the fitness center tonight to make up for it,” I said standing behind the podium.

            ”Harry says you have some questions for me. Who wants to start the inquisition?” I said.

            ”You sent notice that there may be a military base realignment and possible closures both in the US and abroad. Would you expand on that? Multiple state governments are already ringing alarm bells,” a reporter asked.

            ”Europe and the Middle East are prime candidates for closures, realignments and reductions. Africa and the West Pacific are candidates for expansion. All of those will require lengthy negotiations, ” I said.

            ”Even with the elimination of Iran, the terrorist threat continues to grow. New groups pop up every day in Africa and South America with all of them looking to be the next ISIS. The long term challenges are huge and never ending,” I said.

            ”As far as domestic bases go, I’m looking for substantial reductions. West coast training costs are three time higher than southern east coast facilities,” I said.

            ”With reduction in troop levels comes a reduction in recruit training, so some things need to be closed,” I said.

            “Some members of Congress are saying that you do not have the authority, that bases come under Congress’s authority,” a reporter said.

            ”The President is Commander In Chief of the military and I think that throws a broad blanket over the bases that house and support them. Congress will certainly have input, but the final decision will be mine and the Joint Chiefs, also costs are going to figure into it. We need to get every pennies worth from every dollar,” I said.

            ”While Congress controls the funding to build new bases, the decision to adjust bases to fit the needs of the military will be decided by the military. Excess monies from base realignment will be used as necessary to make the changes or returned to the Treasury,” I said.

            I answered questions for an hour and called an end to the news conference.           

            Days became weeks – Thanksgiving was in the history books. I did the noble thing and pardoned the White House turkey for the media. The cooks already had several in the pots cooking. The White House Thanksgiving dinner was a feast in itself. All my mates, staff and the kids were in attendance. JJ and RJ were little gentlemen. They were getting used to the suit and tie routine for many of the things we had to do as a family.  

            After an official White House Thanksgiving dinner for all the staff, I went home to have one with my family the next day.

            After the dinner there was going to be a big business meeting. Since the June attack on the destroyer in the Persian Gulf, Marcy had been on a mission to diversify JBG’s income streams. She was worried – and rightly so – that the security division was going to lose substantial foreign contracts.

            JBG had thousands of men and hundreds of millions – even billions – of dollars tied to those contracts. Losing them and we would have to lay off thousands and we did not want to do that, not without looking for serious alternatives first.

            My mates had already done a lot in that direction with the Nigeria oil land deal and the refinery. In the last month a deal had been reached for the second refinery that we were supplying security for. It was older and needed a lot of upgrades that had been put off because the financial needs of the Nigerian government wouldn’t allow it to be shut down for months.

            Now with our refinery in full production with more royalties going to the government, the other refinery could be shut down for the repairs and upgrades. But Nigeria didn’t want to spend the money out of the new royalties so another deal was reached to sell the refinery to JBG with a long term contract and of course – oil royalties to the government.

            Everything helped because the expanding oil fields and production required additional security. But it wasn’t enough for Marcy – she wanted more different streams of revenue and wanted them soon. To do that was going to take money and a lot of it.

            We had a basement full of money that we couldn’t use; hundreds of billions of dollars in uncut diamonds. The only diamond revenue that was being utilized and reported was the ones sold through Thimble Shoals Bank, the rest were shown as raw inventory and went to the basement. They were only sold when Marcy’s reserve level dropped below her target levels.

            There were ten years of mine output that had been hidden that was now in the basement.

            Then there were the billions in gold where the only reported income was what was being sold again through Thimble Shoals Bank – the rest shown as unprocessed material.

            There were the billions in currency we had taken from the prince and other raids associated with the terrorists. There were even more billions in US treasury notes.

            Then there were the untold millions more we had taken from the drug cartel plus the money laundering we had done changing the dirty money to clean money.

            I had always believed the Treasury notes and all of the money from the prince would have to be burned. There was simply no way to safely explain where it came from without going to jail.

            My mates had not given up looking for a way. Marcy found it through the secrecy of Thimble Shoals Pirates Bank. With us now holding five of the ten directorships, we could influence policy. After much debate and months of legal maneuvering, Thimble Shoals Pirates Bank was going to allow an investment corporation to be formed while covered under its secrecy laws.

            Curtis Warren and Howard, Howard & Fine had spent weeks on Thimble Shoals writing the laws, policies and guidelines of corporations for the Directors – us, the government of Thimble Shoals and the bank.

            Only one would be allowed for the first two years to evaluate and streamline the process and determine how it was to operate. That one was owned by my family [the six of us] and was to be called ‘Thimble Shoals Pirates Bank Critical Investment Corporation’ [TSPBCIC]. There was just so much that could be read into the name or denied.

            Marcy’s plan was to move all the diamonds, cash and treasury certificates to Pirates Bank for the new corporation and set it up as the cash reserve operating funds.

            The uncut diamonds would be evaluated and sold to the Thimble Shoals International Bank and then sold as the market would allow, giving TSPBCIC additional billions of cash to work with.

            The gold bars would stay in the basement for the time being. It was just too much to go through to crate it back up and ship it to Thimble Shoals. It would be shown as assets of JBG Mining Division in secure storage. Marcy knew how much was there. An inventory sheet came in each crate with serial numbers of the bars.

            All new gold and diamonds would be shipped directly to Pirates Bank. The oil revenues from Nigeria and Cameroon was to be deposited to TSPBCIC at Pirates Bank, reducing the US reporting income of JBG and taxes.

            The oil and gas reserves, along with future gold estimates were also technically put up as collateral on a massive credit line for Marcy to operate under. I didn’t know exactly what Marcy had in mind. I told her I could not know but she was going to have one massive war chest.

            The final piece was to sell all the assets of JBG on paper to the new corporation at a fire sale price, with us retaining only the gym and the house as our private property. The fire sale price was to be two hundred and forty million – or forty million for each of us.

            Taxes was going to take massive amounts out of no matter how we did it. This left the new corporation with a lot more cash plus eliminated taxes taking so much.

            Mistakes had been made early on in forming our business. Things would have been fine if we had stayed small for the type of business we set up. Now we would have to pay for that mistake through massive taxes that would take ninety five percent without doing it this way.

            To offset the fire sale price for all the arm chair accountants of the media, all six of us would be retain our positions and control in the corporation with lifetime salaries of one million each for the first ten years. Then we would get two million yearly for the rest of our life – on paper. I would not collect any until after I retired from the presidency – it would go in the trust fund administered by Marcy.

            All this was to be able to use the money in the basement and allow Marcy to diversify and buy other corporations and businesses, plus gain money to back up the limits on the line of credit. Pirates Bank was going to issue a line of credit to the full value of the assets. Marcy’s war chest just kept getting bigger.

            Marcy had been looking and buying stocks. Many small to medium corporations had put in place rules and golden parachutes for executives to prevent hostile takeovers.

            The large corporations had done little; they were the ones swallowing the little corporations. They were too big to fail and too big to be swallowed – or so they thought.

            They would keep parts of companies they bought and sell or close the rest, acting as corporate raiders. Little did they know what was coming their way by a determined Marcy!

            They had left the back door of the barn wide open and Marcy’s JBG surrogates were already inside. There were six major companies she had targeted but three were at the top of her list. There was were dozens of others she was investing in to take over.

            She had brokers buying stocks in targeted companies since July. It had been bought under all ten of our names plus JBG, Midwest Bank, Thimble Shoals Bank and several stock brokers. There was a six percent limit on the amount of stock one could own without notifying the Securities Commission and the companies. Marcy stopped the buying at five percent under each name.

            Another thing that was a death blow to the companies was Midwest Bank had been buying options on those business bank debts that were secured by company stock, giving the Midwest Bank the stock voting options. The assumption was the bank would never vote against the company unless the companies were in dire straits.

            Marcy had been using the credit lines we had to make the purchases. The start of the new corporation, transfer of the assets and purchase was timed to take it all over before reporting dates and the New Years rounds of stock holders meetings that took place in February, March and April.

            I signed all the papers and power of attorneys that sold all JBG to the TSPBCIC as did all the girls. Dad, Jason, Jeanna and Jake had already signed. On paper we would sell JBG on December twentieth.

            The fecal material would hit the fan when my tax returns were released to the public as required by law. They would not be released until after April the fifteenth – the last day. I was going to donate all my forty million to various charities so the liberals would have nothing or something to complain about.

            The hope was by then Marcy would have enough stock in the companies she wanted that it would be too late to for them to stop the hostile takeover. Once in control of the companies, she was going to freeze the stock price and take the companies private. JBG would be the parent company for all the paperwork

            It was good to walk the house again; even though it had only been a couple weeks, it seemed like months. It was even better to hit the gym and tanning booth again.

            To the Secret Service’s dismay, I worked on the mats with the Mossad people for four hours and was going to every day I was home and that was for five days. Ching Lee, Jenny and Lorrie were waiting their turn with the padded sticks to work me over, knowing that at some point with the soft job and age I was going to lose to them. Marcy and Vicky were going to referee since they were now three month pregnant; no more stick training for them.

Edit by Alfmeister

Proof read by Bob W.

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