Book 3 Chapter 14
Wednesday morning the attorneys from the Justice Department were in the federal courthouse arguing the case for the unemployment reductions. The court on Monday dismissed the injunction letting the cuts proceed. The unemployed workers union immediately filed an appeal to the next higher court. That hearing was today.
It was late in the afternoon before the hearing and arguments finished. At 1600 the three-judge court ruled that the actions by Congress to cut the program were within bounds of its constitutional authority and denied the appeal.
The only place left to go was an emergency appeal to the supreme court. The court refused to hear the case effectively ending it. It was a little victory of the many battles to come.
My routine had taken a more normal look after the inauguration. That was a breakfast with whatever family had stayed over. If there was anything that the intelligence group thought was important it was in a sealed folder placed on the desk by the entrance to the living quarters for me to carry to the cafeteria to read while waiting on breakfast.
My clean coffee mug was always by my place on the table with a pot of coffee. If there was no sealed folder, the reports would be on my desk placed in the order of importance by Connie. The first four were ordered by CIA, DHS, FBI, and the Joint Chiefs. They were followed by other agency reports.
Connie also kept a full week’s schedule of my meetings and appointments – leaving an hour a day open for the unexpected – in an open notebook on my desk. Every morning the previous day was removed, and one added for a full seven day look at my calendar.
The table that I had placed in the Oval Office on that first day was still there and still being used as it had then. There was a folder for every meeting scheduled for the day with previous meeting information, reports and proposed agenda and possible talking points.
If the meeting was with people I did not know closely, there was a picture of them with background information.
I kept a phone log of all my calls in and out and the time they were placed. All the calls that came in on the landline phone were recorded and transcribed with the recordings destroyed when they were twenty – five days old. If they were kept thirty days, they had to be sent to the permanent archives.
Everyday on my JBG email Robert and Andy sent me the daily updates and intelligence and happening in the world of JBG. I used VCATS to communicate with the rest of my mates and the boys.
I was pleased to read in them that two more central American cartel drug lords had been captured and their manufacturing destroyed. Doc Burns had had the drug lab up and running for six months and was now fully staffed. In an average month two thousand drug samples were logged in for testing.
It was results of those tests that led to the arrest of the latest two cartel drug lords. The testing narrowed down the locations of the labs and origin of the ingredients.
The Doc was making a special trip to Matador for interrogation before any information became worthless. Vicky had locked down the numbered accounts in Pirates Bank.
With the cartel drug operations retreating and getting closed down and Iran out of the drug business, drugs were getting harder to find for the peddlers. China, India and Pakistan were trying to replace the cartel. But the seizure of two container ships for carrying illegal drugs to the port of Los Angles and one in New York put a big damper on that.
In the past the DEA and the DHS usually just seized the junk but with prodding, they seized the ships. The ships were unloaded and more containers were found containing drugs destined for different ports the ships stopped at. The seizures were working its way through the court system.
Now the junkies were turning to homemade designer drugs. They were presenting a different problem for law enforcement. Restrictions were placed on some of the ingredients for the homemade brew including removing them from the shelves or requiring signatures and valid ID’s like those needed for purchasing cigarettes.
Other things were back to normal again – Somalia was heating up again. The war lords had cooled off in the area when I was pounding Iran and while all the forces were there. The civil war and all its atrocities were on again. Without the Iranians funding them, they had resorted to piracy again.
The JBG fast ships had so far intercepted several attempts to pirate tankers. As with all terrorists, they changed to a more profitable line. Attacking small fisherman – stealing their catch, their fishing scows and throwing them overboard leaving them to drown.
The poor fishermen were defenseless; very few had radios to call for help and even fewer had weapons. Their only recourse was to fish closer to shore where there was a chance of escaping into the coves and of course, fewer fish for the dinner plate.
The same was true with the civil war in the Sudan. The refugee camp was getting a few victims of the fighting and then there was the women and children making their way to the camp to escape the fighting and trying to survive.
JBG had finished off another group of rebels crossing into northern Nigeria near the border with Chad. That was the third group of raiding parties in the last month.
With things looking up with infrastructure and oil production, the Emir Bello wanted another meeting in Washington and meetings with JBG about building several outposts near the Chad border where all the problems seemed to be. Andy had been discussing the possibility about doing just that. The meeting was in four weeks.
I went home for the weekend; I just needed a break and to spend some real time in the better gym. The fitness room in the White House basement was never going to hold all of the equipment I wanted to use. The Secret Service were just concerned that I would get hurt. I suspected they were using that as excuse not to get the equipment I wanted for the fitness center.
I had made up my mind that no matter what the Secret Service said, I was going home on the weekends to get a good workout in the gym with my mates and the Mossad ladies. They were rotating on a two day schedule so at least two of them were with me all the time. I was also going to the gun club to stay proficient with my Glock and the M16.
With it being January, all the hunting seasons were over. I had missed a lot of it, although I did get to go on two goose hunts after the election. Next year I would be able to do more.
I came back Monday morning sore but refreshed for a change. Ching Lee and Vicky were with me as both could use VCATS to do their work from the private residence. I needed that because this week was going to be mentally stressful. I was going to be building and, in some cases, rebuilding more of my administration.
My research group had started going through each agency, looking at people. The cuts that were in the last budget bill needed to happen soon to have the desired effect on the budget numbers. Congress had dragged out approving last year’s budget so that there were only nine months of the approved cuts.
I started with the energy department because they were the one stonewalling nuclear power and rebuilding coal and gas power plants. Previous liberal presidents had filled the department with anti everything except wind and solar production. Those were the very two that were leading us to rolling blackouts. They simply could not be counted on when the electric demand was the highest. The perfect scenario that the department used to project the rosy generation never seemed to coincide with high demand.
The wind didn’t blow or it was overcast enough that output came up short. The answer from the controllers was rolling black outs. Of course, those blackouts never affected the cities of the seats of government. It was always the small towns and rural areas that went dark first and often.
The officials in the agency – instead of accepting that there still needed to be a better mix of generation – only demanded more of the same; more solar panels and wind generators. If the wind didn’t blow on that day, it didn’t matter how many you had – the output was still zero.
Two hundred thousand acres of what once was productive farm land was now covered with solar farms. With the new budget, those subsidies for wind and solar had come to an end. We had spent two trillion on those subsidies in the last forty years.
The officials of the agency were in Congress testifying that the loss of the subsidies was the reason their rosy outlook didn’t happen and were trying to get the subsidies funded again. They didn’t say anything about the fact that there were billions in money in their accounts that was earmarked for those same projects – that had not been spent over the past decades.
In all the agencies combined, there was hundreds of billions of dollars in agency accounts that was just sitting there like it was forgotten. They knew it was there but that didn’t stop them from screaming for more.
I had ordered the GSA to complete a secret audit of all agencies so unspent funds from previous budgets could be recovered. That audit was to be finished in ten days. The recovery – when authorized – would take one day. There were times I liked computers.
Also, in ten days was when the first round of reductions in force was to be completed. The energy department was losing five thousand employees over the next month. Fifty percent of the managers appointed by directors of or for previous Presidents and were experts at burying anything that didn’t fall in line with their liberal ideas – were gone.
The utilities would get a fair appraisal when they were planning additional generation, plant renovations or transmission line upgrades based on merit and facts and not on whims or the directions of special interest groups.
The groups that were against having adequate power were now fighting the nationwide power grid of transmission lines. Their plan was to eliminate the transmission lines and force closure of power plants. The only choice then would be solar panels and wind generation in every community – their ultimate goal.
Like-thinking scientists were producing a bevy of technical papers blaming every disease known to mankind on transmission power line radiation. To help confuse the issue, Hollywood starlets and movie producers were producing horror movies using the danger of the power lines.
The Chinese, North Koreans and a couple South American dictators were financing the groups and movies. The Chinese and North Koreans were two groups to watch.
The week turned interesting – agency people were sending in their resignations as was the tradition. I had lots of research and decisions to work on.
Edit by Alfmeister
Proof read by Bob W.