I shut down the office early; there was little going on other than the media orgy about the ones going to Iran. None of them were happy, for all kinds of reasons.
The Secret Service agents that had been wounded in the Pakistan attack and the attack on the Capitol steps were all back to work now. Several had brought me Soldier of Fortune and various other gun magazines when they came back to work. It was the kind of reading they were doing while they were convalescing.
It was mostly because every issue had some kind of an article on the various terrorist attacks on me and operations that JBG carried out. Filled with information from anonymous sources, it was interesting reading.
There were even articles and breakdown descriptions of the parts of the Glock – my personal weapon of choice – along with performance charts.
It was in these magazines that I became aware on the increased attacks on the Second Amendment by the anti gun crowd, liberal politicians and by liberal states. There had always been those against the second, thinking it would make crime go away.
They were putting pressure on the banks supplying operating capital through boycotts, letter writing campaigns and protests at stockholders’ meetings. It was becoming a serious problem.
Several major banks and credit card companies had shut off all funding and were refusing to process checks and credit cards to the companies and retailers selling ammunition and weapons.
Winchester was long gone, bankrupt, bought and sold and bankrupt again and in receivership. Remington was in the same boat; bankrupt, sold, bought and sold multiple times. A holding company had the patents and buildings and manufacturing equipment.
Ammunition manufactures were no better off. Pressure was being applied from the anti-gun lobby – as usual, blaming the gun and not the person pulling the trigger. As well as environmentalists complaining about lead pollution, trying to use it as a hammer against the industry. They were citing all kinds of things including noise created by firing weapons and shell casings creating trash. All the anti-gun groups were on a mission to close down all shooting ranges, training facilities, gun shops and even now were wanting to close down all hunting in all states.
They were trying to close down all hunting on federal lands but that was going nowhere. I had already vetoed a couple bills trying to get the law forced in by attaching amendments. I let it be known that any and all bills that tried to restrict hunting on federal lands or hunting on private property was DOA at the White House.
I made a note to question Jeanna about the credit card issues. If anyone would know about alternatives, she would. I was sure problems were coming our way at some point. I needed to check with Marcy to see if there were any funds left after she made all the business changes she wanted.
Tuesday morning it was more of the same for Washington; politics was heavy in the air. All the newly elected representatives and senators were making the rounds trying to find out the things they were supposed to be doing and how they were to do it.
Many made the mistake of hiring the staffs of representatives that were defeated in the election. In my opinion they were simply hiring the swamp and it was one more reason nothing ever changed in DC. They all had a song and a dance on how great they were, how many contacts they had and how much they could do for the new rep.
This afternoon I met with the new House and Senate leaders. I presented my agenda for the new Congress. There was to be a new emphasis on nuclear and fossil fuels as backup for solar and wind. I planned to eliminate completely the subsidies for wind and solar.
The government had spent two trillion dollars of tax payer money over the last two decades developing the liberal utopia green dream, only to be caught short on power when needed. It wasn’t working, and the solar panels were failing with age at a much faster rate than predicted. Some were needing to replaced at ten years old when they were supposed to last thirty years.
They weren’t recyclable as promised; landfills were taking thousands of tons of them daily. Yet there were those appointed in the energy department that wanted hundreds of billions more money
so for the government to pay for new ones. I had succeeded in the budget just signed to cut the funding by fifty percent and now in next year’s budget I wanted it gone completely.
The wind generators were just as bad. They were unusable in heavy snow, icing and freezing weather even though they were supposed to have heated components. The gear boxes were self destructing, the generators starting fires that were impossible to put out so high in the air.
I gave the leaders a list of my priorities. Reliable electric energy was at the top followed by creating new jobs. Improving our highways was third. Fourth was reducing and in some instances eliminating overbearing government regulations on business.
Another was ending the homeless problem with housing projects copied from the new California, Oregon and Washington State models. The plans were working and I wanted it expanded elsewhere. The streets in California were safe and clean today. The numbers of homeless in the camps were being reduced everyday as they found jobs and affordable housing was being completed.
I wanted an overhaul of the judicial system – not only the Supreme Court but the entire Federal system and all the lower courts as well. I wanted harsh penalties to reduce crime in the streets. The catch and release programs and policies had been miserable failures. All crime was increasing by double digits each year in the cities.
I wanted murder to be a federal crime with only one penalty – death to be carried out in one hundred and eighty days after the trial – with the trial going directly to the Supreme Court for review, side-stepping twenty years of appeals. I wanted it done in a way that no President could stop the process, other than a presidential pardon or a repeal by two different sessions of Congress.
I wanted to maintain our strong defense, but I wanted it smarter. I wanted the funding spent on things that worked. I wanted real accountability from defense contractors and they knew it.
And above all I wanted taxes reduced as business improved and the waste was gone out of government. The savings from December’s final budget cuts were going to save ten trillion dollars over the next ten years. This year’s planned budget changes would make it balanced, I hope.
I failed to understand why the Congress-critters always talked about budget cost or savings over the span of a decade, like there was some magic in it to happen. If there was red ink this year, there would be even more next year, so the decade thing was a joke.
The next four years of my budget were only going to get better as the nuclear weapons were reduced and the troops numbers were reduced along with the base changes. And then there was the wealth tax plus the growth in the economy creating more tax revenue.
Wednesday I started meeting the new members of Congress. There were congratulations and handshakes for the cameras and then serious business. I met them in groups of twenty.
I reminded them of all the hard work and money my election team spent working to get them elected. We were elected by enough margin that we had a mandate to get the things done we had campaigned on. I expected full support from them and an expedited process to get it done.
Wednesday at 0100 there was a knock on my door. Militants from Pakistan had attacked with rocket and mortar fire on one of the Army posts on the Pakistan – Iranian border, injuring twenty soldiers. It was the same group taking credit for the attack that had attacked me in Pakistan when I was filling in for the Vice President.
If they thought running back to Pakistan was going to give them cover, they were wrong. After checking in with the night DOD crew I went back to bed. Wednesday the Pakistan Ambassador was going to be summoned to the White House. I would bet he would not like the conversation.
At 0800 I called Melinda.
”Hey girl friend, where are you at this morning?” I said.
”Outside on the grass getting ready to report on last night’s attack, as soon as someone gives me something to work with,” Melinda said.
”I’ll give you this – twenty injured, a couple serious – but there were no fatalities. The President is very pissed. That’s for the record,” I said.
”Now off the record. If I sent you a script, would you do a fake news report for me? There is someone I want to torque up very badly later this morning. Just send it to me, don’t broadcast it. Make sure you are away from the other reporters when you do it,” I said.
”Sure, OK!” Melinda said.
I wrote it up and had an aide carry it out and hand deliver the script to Melinda.
Twenty minutes later I was reviewing the report from the script. It was just as I wanted. I called Melinda.
”Thanks, you will get an exclusive. I will see to it that you and only you and the camera get carried to ‘Forward Base Hammer’ in the province where the attack took place to interview the troops and view the damage – if you like – when you arrive in Iran on Sunday,” I said.
”Hey, that would be great,” Melinda said.
I summoned Pakistan Ambassador Fazel Al Farsi to be at the White House in an hour.
Ambassador Farsi was humble when he was brought in by the assistant Secretary of State Troy, Connie and General Ingram. Before he said anything, I played Melinda’s report.
”This is Melinda Schaffer reporting from the White House lawn. Last night at 0100 in eastern Iran, aligned militants from Pakistan crossed the border into Iran and fired over fifty mortar and RPG rounds into Army forward base ‘Hammer’. Twenty soldiers were seriously injured. There were no fatalities. Intelligence gathered indicate this was the same group of militants that attacked President Jones when she was filling in for the former Vice President.”
”Additional evidence suggests that the arrest, trials and executions of the militants was staged under pressure by the Iranians with the militants quietly released. The word is the President is very pissed.”
”Information from a reliable source a few minutes ago said that the two carrier task forces assigned to the joint US/Russian base were ordered to sea immediately. The task force assigned to Guam and the task force assigned to the Yokohama navy base were ordered to sea. The two task forces that are doing a port call to the newly approved US Navy base at Subic Bay were also ordered to sea. Destination for the all these task forces is the Persian Gulf area.”
”One more bit of information from that source is the two B52 squadrons that are stationed in Russia and two B21 Bomber groups from Lackland Air Force Base have been put on alert status BLUE. Alert status BLUE is armed with the crew on standby and ready to depart on thirty minutes notice. This is Melinda Schaffer outside the White House.”
I slammed my hands hard down on the desk, startling everyone sitting at the table.
”You Ambassador sat in this office and all but promised in blood that the militants that attacked me would be executed. Now I find out the trials and executions were staged!” I said.
”Several months later you were in this very office and promised that Pakistan would control the Iran-Pakistan border and that there would not be any fighters crossing into Iran, and now this happens,” I said.
”If I don’t see concrete results in that border province in forty-eight hours, all hell is going to happen there. I will see to it there are no more attacks on our troops from your side of the border,” I said.
”I will remind you, Pakistan is a nuclear power,” Ambassador Farsi said.
”Yes, with half of your nuclear warheads in deep mines leaking radiation, unsafe for even your own nation. I will remind you that Iran launched eight hundred missiles in just twenty minutes within a distance of fifty miles or less at our ships; we shot them all down. Not one hit,” I said.
”We have added a lot more missile and aircraft defense to the arsenal in the area. Do want to find out if you can do any better?” I said.
”No! I think not. I will relay your demands to my premier with instructions to contact you immediately to defuse this problem,” he said and then left.
”I’ll send the orders to the carrier task forces to go through the process of getting ready to sail. I’m sure Pakistan is buying satellite time from the Chinese,” General Ingram said.
”And then have them sail. It will be easy to recall them and write it off as a rapid departure drill,” I said.
”Agreed,” Ingram said.
I called President Orbatch to inform him the carriers would be gone on a drill for a few days and possibly the bombers as well.
The call lasted an hour; in the process another visit to Moscow was inked onto the calendar for next month. We would celebrate the destruction of the last of the group of missiles for the treaty. The first two former weapons factories would go into production producing agriculture parts for export to America. I would visit both while I was there.
The following month Orbatch was coming to DC to do the same with a class of our missiles. Their inspectors had been certifying the numbers destroyed in Texas as we were making progress on our part of the agreement.
Edit by Alfmeister
Proof read by Bob W.