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.

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Book 3 Chapter 3

Book 3 Chapter 3

            Friday night and Saturday morning were family time; there were just so many things that had been put off in the last ten weeks. It was fun to spend unrushed time with JJ, RJ, Sara and Takeo. It seemed they had learned so much in ten weeks.

            At 1300 we were we were in the dining room with Clarence, Duke and their wives, sitting at the large table.

            They were surprised when they were handed menus by the Secret Service hired waiter. ”The chef will prepare anything you want from the lunch menu. What may I get for you to drink?” he asked.

            ”My oh my, servants and a personal chef, you have moved up since I was here last,” Duke said.

            ”Not by choice; there have been a couple new death threats. My meals have to be fixed by the Secret Service chef or prepared under his watchful eye, or even tasted by the official food taster before I can eat it. I can’t even eat things I make myself, without getting the evil eye.”

            ”Instead of going through all that, it’s easier just to let them fix it for me and the rest of us at the same time,” I said.

            ”That’s terrible, even things you cook yourself? I could never stand for that,” Elva Dukes said.

            ”It takes some getting used to,” I said.

            We talked a few more minutes and then the lunch items started arriving. We had a good lunch.

            ”I said this was to be a business lunch. Now that we are well fed and uncomfortable, Marcy and Lorrie have a couple things they are planning and wanted to make you aware, plus they want your thoughts,” I said.

            ”JBG is making plans to develop the two parcels we have on the Island. The first parcel – the fifty acre one closest to the bridge – we are wanting to build two multistory commercial buildings,” Lorrie said.

            ”They are to be one hundred and ten stories tall, divided into retail, office and residential complexes, two thousand feet apart. They are to be connected by a glass enclosed tram at the second story level over a multi-arch historic looking bridge. The footprint of each tower is two hundred and fifty feet square,” Lorrie said.

            ”The upper levels will be restaurants on both buildings. From those restaurants you will be able see the lights of Norfolk, possibly Richmond , Washington , Philadelphia, Wilmington Delaware and New York city on a clear night,” Lorrie said.

            ”At one thousand four hundred and two feet, they will be the second and third tallest buildings in the United States. They will be majestic centerpieces for Queens Anne County pointing to the future. There will be over twelve million square feet of space in them.”

            ”There will be a medical center to serve the employees and residents in one of the buildings. There will also be helipads for both buildings,” Lorrie said.

            ”Each building will have its own ten story parking garage and there will be additional parking to the east side of the complex. The area to the west of the complex to the bay will be walking trails, greenery with tables and covered areas for lunch along with recreation and fountains,” Lorrie said.

            ”The first fifteen stories we think will be retail in each with the next fifty stories to be office space. Some of it for JBG as we have administrative offices scattered everywhere and are running out of space. We are going to consolidate much of it into one location. We are expanding and these buildings are only a small part of that expansion,” Lorrie said.

            ”The stories in between will be age restricted residential with one tower having reserved penthouse apartments,” Lorrie said.

            Marcy passed out artist concepts of the grounds layout and project. It looked good; I liked it.       

”The other project is the two hundred acre plot. We want to turn that into a first class RV resort with a water park that the local children could use in the summer time. There is no water park on the shore except for the few small ones at the ocean beaches.”

            ”The RV resort would be full hookups, with a camp store, laundry and bath houses. There would be a boat ramp with a fishing and crabbing pier. The lanes would be black topped as would the RV sites with concrete pads. Trees would be planted to separate the RV sites. The amenities would be limited to registered campers,” Lorrie said.

            ”My turn!” Marcy said. ”The cost of the two projects is four billion dollars. I estimate that the county would collect over one hundred and fifty million annually in property taxes on these two projects. That is equal to the current county wide tax collections. The experts estimate that it could add up to forty thousand long term jobs to the county employment numbers.”

            ”Let me talk about sweeteners,” Marcy said.

            ”JBG will grant twenty five million to the county water and sewer department to upgrade the sewer plant as soon as the projects are approved. JBG will drill a new well and pay for a new water tower wherever the experts think it needs to be placed,” Marcy said.

            ”JBG will work with the state on improvements for the highway that runs south on the island behind the plot.”

            ”Now what we want. We want the county to waive the impact fees and let me explain why,” Marcy said.

            ”As you know, the impact fees are to pay for building new schools, fire departments, police and water and sewer. JBG is paying up front for the water and sewer so the work can start immediately once the projects are approved and not have to wait on funding, possibly delaying the project to completion.”

            ”JBG security will supply all security for the buildings because of the risk of terrorism and as not to tie up county police resources. JBG is far better equipped to handle any terrorist threats than the local police. We have listening posts and undercover personnel in some of the worst places around the world,” Marcy said.

            ”High rise buildings of this type require special fire fighter training and equipment. The volunteer system in the county does not have the equipment or the necessary training and honestly, will never have it.”

            ”The buildings will have their own paid fire department that is specially trained in fighting high rise emergencies by either the NYFD or the Chicago Fire departments, as well as recurrent training as needed to remain proficient.

            ”That training and equipment is going to run into millions, a fee that JBG should bear – not the county.”

            ”The residential sections of the building are going to be age limited and expensive. There will be few children who will require public schooling. We believe most of those who have school age children will be attending private schooling and there may be a private 1-12 grade school in one of the towers, if there is enough demand,” Marcy said.

            ”Once the plans are announced I expect Baltimore, Baltimore county, Washington and Philadelphia as well as other states to try to do everything they can to move the buildings to their areas. As you know from past experience, they will offer all kinds of special tax incentives and plans plus legal maneuvers. We haven’t asked you for special tax plans, just waive the one time impact fee,” Marcy said.

            ”Now is where we want to hear from you. What do you think about the projects? Do you have questions, would you support the plans?” Marcy asked.

            They talked for an hour with me saying little, just listening. There would be no public release until the bore samples were completed and determined that the project was a go.

            ”Do you want a big presentation at the county meeting or do you want a low key just dump the tons of blue prints at planning and zoning?” I asked.

            ”Do the big presentation. More bang for the buck,” Duke said.

            After they left, we girls went to the gym through the tunnel, worked out lightly for a while and then built up to the hard stuff. It was after dark when we decided to call it over for today.

            Mom wanted us to go to church as a family again. It had been a while so we agreed. Sunday morning – in the Beast and several Suburban’s – we went to the little country church that Jake and I went to as kids. Lots of things had changed, while many had not. It had been almost a year since we were here last. Mom and Lisa were happy, so all of us were. The media groups were upset and that was just tough.

            The chefs had a Sunday feast prepared when we returned. They must have been doing a trial run for Thanksgiving that was a few days away.

            Christmas this year was going to be interesting. Mrs. Thomas had handled all the White House decorating for seven years. My mates were going to come over and help with that this time. For the first time in years there would be small children in the White House on Christmas morning.

            Monday morning I was back to the oval desk. There was a light cold rain in Washington; even so it didn’t stop the paid demonstrators. I wondered what their paid beef was this morning.

            Vice President Harrison came in at 1000 after all the morning updates which always took longer on Mondays.

            We talked about the progress in the Iran negotiations and where we wanted to go with the follow up on them. VP Harrison was making the trip to Russia to carry the payment over to President Orbatch and then stopping in Iran to personally review the progress and give me a firsthand report.

            Treasurer Albert Morrison was escorted in by an agent carrying two attaché cases with the fifty billion that was the installment. There was only one more to go before the balloon payment. The missile and submarine destruction was ahead of schedule. I wrote out a check from Pirates Bank to the treasury.

            The final grain and food delivery had been completed. The Russian corn and soybean crops had been average – nothing to brag about but it would be enough to get to spring.

            After the Secretary of Treasury left, ”Someday I hope you will be able to tell me where you found nearly a trillion dollars that you could spend for that agreement,” Vice President Harrison said.

            ”It is not exactly one of those things that if I tell you I will have to kill you, but at the moment it is close. Once the deal is finished and closed, I will fill in all the pieces for you,” I said.

            ”What happens if someone carries out the contract on your life before the deal is finished?” he said.

            ”In that case, you are standing much too close to me. Marcy knows the scope of the arrangement and would see it through,” I said.

            Orbatch was wanting to buy live cattle to rebuild their beef herds faster after so many cattle had been eaten as food in the last few years. I had no problem with it. The Secretary of Agriculture was against it. Besides being against it, he was getting vocal in his opposition of it to the media.

            There were other things he had started to do that I was dissatisfied with. He was trying to change agriculture policies without guidance from the White House since the election.

            He was one of the few that had not tendered his resignation since the election. I would give him one more week then prod him by having Connie mail him a letter of intent to terminate.

            Another one that was in trouble was the Administrator of the EPA. President Thomas and he had had a tenuous relationship at times when he tried over-extending the wings of his department. But now he was trying again and I wondered why he had waited so long after I had assumed the presidency.

            He was trying to bring back old programs that had been failures at best. I guess he thought he could fix failures with enough money. Now there was going to be a money problem for a while. I intended for him to go down the road the same way as the Secretary of Agriculture.

            There were plenty more things that were going to change and I was not waiting until January 20th.

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Book 3 Chapter 2

Book 3 Chapter 2

            It was Friday – the last day – and then I was going home to be with my mates and the kids. I went to the fitness center at 0500. I woke up early and decided to work out this morning instead of in the evening. The government had bought several of the gym machines that I liked to use at the gym for the fitness center.

            It was 0730 before I knew it. I needed to make a call at 0730 from my office to Prime Minister Attenborough. I didn’t have time to go shower and change so I went to the office in my gym shorts and tee shirt. I would go shower and change later.

            I completed my call – it took forty five minutes instead of the fifteen that I thought it would. General Ingram and others were waiting to come in so I ended up wearing the slightly tight sweaty tee, gym shorts and tennis shoes most of the morning. I finally sent one of the house attendants to my room to get me a pair of camo pants, a shirt and belt.

            ”We have reduced the troop level in Iran as low as we can for a while. All the B52 and B21 bombers and their support groups are back at their assigned bases. Ten of the assault landing ships have picked up their equipment and troops and are headed to their home ports.”

            ”All the National Guard are back to their states. Other than the rest of the assault landing ships, the drawdown to the levels we think we need are complete,” General Ingram said.

            ”I’m glad to hear that. The troop levels that are there now are going to be there several years, at least,” I said.

            ”Has there been any more information on the number of Iranian troop numbers thought to be deceased?” I asked.

            ”No, we really haven’t been looking for any more. Some of the construction teams have started filling up bomb craters left from the seismic bombs. They will be packed level ground in a year or two, ready for more buildings.”

            ”The areas where they were enriching uranium are showing some radiation leaks. They are going to be filled and covered with concrete as soon as possible,” he added.

            ”Do you want any investigation at the IRG weapons research sites or their command centers?” he asked.

            ”No, just push the debris into the depressions, cover it with dirt and concrete. There is just too much danger from unexploded ordnance,” I said.

            ”That’s the position that General Irons and Downs argued. We are all in agreement so I will send the orders,” he said.

            ”Are the Iranian civilians getting everything they need to stay peaceful?” I asked.

            ”You should ask the State Department about that,” General Ingram said.

            ”I’m going to, but I want your assessment and of your people on the ground as well. I don’t like surprises. Sometimes what one group thinks is unimportant is very important to others and can lead to very serious issues,” I said.

            ”I will make the calls and get back to you before the end of the day,” he said.

            ”On another matter, your appointment as chairman of the Joint Chiefs expires in January. Are you open to being appointed to the position again, or do you want to retire out of the service – as most do?” I asked.

            ”Honestly, I have not given it a thought,” he replied.

            ”Think about it – I would like you to stay. But if you and the wife have made plans for a life after the military and White House service, I wouldn’t want to interfere with your plans,” I said.

            It was one item off the list that Connie and vice President Harrison had been working on. It was already several hundred items long. Connie had gone back through President Thomas’s first administration papers to generate all the positions that I had to fill if I didn’t want the current people in them.

            Another few off the list was that I asked all the house staff to stay on. I had also asked Connie and Kitty Winn to continue as my personal secretaries. I had asked Troy to stay on as my chief of staff.

             I had a ghost of a thought to find a couple of young males for the spot. For nothing more than to give the Washington gossip columns something to complain about as a distraction, but better instincts prevailed.

            After lunch I was to meet a delegation from the District of Columbia and a delegation from the House and Senate. I had a good idea what they were wanting before the January fifth change of power in the House and Senate.

            I ate lunch with my staff in the White House cafeteria. I ate light – just a salad. I was determined to work against the formation of ‘secretarial ass’ as often as I could. I intended this morning’s early romp in the gym to be a nearly every day event.

            We talked weather and the weekend’s football games. A couple of the men were into football big time. The Christmas Day game was the Cowgirls – as they were now nicknamed because they had not won a game in three years – against the Lions. The death of Jerry Jones had destroyed the once powerhouse franchise and it kept getting worse.

            We discussed how the NFL had not recovered from the kneelers, BLM debacle, Covid disaster and the push to be politically correct. The result was an infuriation that the fans had not forgiven.

            To make matters worse, the NFL leadership was in the midst of major rules, changes that were going to make the sport into playground touch football. They had finally thrown all visions of it being a real man’s game by caving into the players’ union demand.

            Just about every kind of tackle was a penalty. The quarterback could not be thrown to the ground in any manner nor could he be tackled below the waist, and any hand contact to his helmet was a penalty. The safety and defensive players had to stay at least an arm’s length away from the receiver until after the ball was caught.

            The goal was to create high scoring games and end injuries to one hundred million dollar star players, hoping to draw interest back to the game. Instead they were driving fans away. Stadiums were no longer filled – tickets were just too damn high and TV ratings were down every year. The viewers were getting sick of five minutes of game and ten minutes of ads, and even more ads by split screen.

            At 1300 the Secret Service led the liberal group back to the meeting room; there were too many for the seating in the Oval Office.

            ”Good afternoon Senators Able and Myers, Representatives Jillson, Humphries and Stewart. Mayor Deblossom and I believe it is council ladies Hebron and Inez, it’s good to see all of you here today,” I said.

            ”My notes say that you are here to discuss the prospect of statehood for the District,” I said.

            ”Former President Thomas indicated that he would have been supportive of such a proposal before he passed,” Senator Able said.

            ”The residents of DC deserve to be able to vote for senators and voting representatives in congress. To deny them that right is an injustice, immoral and unconstitutional,” Mayor Deblossom said.

            ”I am lucky enough to have President Thomas’ notes and I read in them that he was as opposed to Statehood for the District as I am. Where you got the idea he was supportive is beyond me and calls for an investigation,” I said.

            ”To expand on that a little, Connie pulled up the historical information on the district. I read it to say the intent of making it a district and the permanent capital of our nation was to avoid the possible conflicts a state designation could cause and that would hamper the federal government,” I said.

            ”The district had a thousand murders last year and I believe there have been no arrests in ninety five percent of them. Robbery, theft and assault has been rising twenty percent a year for the last five years, again with few arrests.”

            ”Carjacking is doubling every year. I believe it is almost fifteen hundred jackings for a city of eight hundred thousand, ten times as high as any other city this size,” I said.

            ”What was once a booming international tourist area is now unsafe to visit after dark – and some places in the daytime,” I said.

            ”You don’t even respond to shoplifting and many other crimes anymore and if you do, it is catch and release. Drug and drug associated crimes are out of control. I see no advantage to giving the District statehood,” I said.

            ”You let protesters and anyone with a grievance run wild, defacing and destroying private, city and federal property. You make no attempt to control them,” I said.

            ”Just how are we suppose to control them?” the mayor asked.

            ”You can start by placing limits on where they can protest. The constitution says we have a right to peaceably protest but it allows you to designate areas for demonstrations – like the parks. You can also limit things so that only one major group can protest a day, thereby eliminating so much trouble in the streets. You can control that under the public safety laws,” I said.

            ”Citizens using the roads and streets – businesses have a right to be able to conduct business just as much as protesters,” I said.

            ”You also need to require a deposit for extra police duty and trash cleanup. Use historical costs to come up with the fees. That would put a damper on big demonstrations.”

            ”If the voting issue bothers your residents so much, they can easily move to Virginia or Maryland,” I said.

            ”The truth of the matter is the District was never intended to be a residential area to begin with. It was to be Capital of our country and the center of our federal government and future expansion thereof. Not one of the world’s top ten crime cities!” I said.

            ”After January fifth when I have more power, I’m going to put in a motion some rules about having the feds condemn and then buy all the private land and rid it of the trash, including the living and the buildings. Half of the city buildings can already be condemned as unfit and a health hazard,” I said.

            ”You have volumes of rules and regulations for new buildings but you allow public housing and rental housing to become trash dumps and junk cars line the streets,” I said.

            ”Senators, if you are wanting to add states I have several suggestions; Maryland and Virginia’s eastern shore into one state, Virginia itself needs to be two states and the same with Pennsylvania and California,” I said.

            After an explosion of four letter words they left. That didn’t bother me but I did have the Secret Service flag the Senators and Representatives as no longer approved visitors.          

            I knew what they were trying to do and that was to get more liberal senators any way they could, before they lost what little power they had caused by the election. With liberal losses so drastic, it was either now or wait a long time.

            At 1600 Marine One carried me to Morton Field. One of our Suburbans carried me to the house.

            Marcy wanted me to attend tonight’s office meeting. I made the trip through the tunnel; no one needed to know I was meeting with the girls about JBG business.

            The regular business meeting was over and they met me in the basement meeting room.

            ”Bob’s Construction has the replies to the construction proposal for the two projects on the island. He sent copies of them to me. They are suggesting that a ground survey with bore hole testing be done before moving forward with the big one on the fifty acres.”

            ”There is no need to start engineering or design until the condition of bedrock and other underground features are known for certain. If the bedrock is unstable or won’t support the projected weight of the project, then there is no going forward at the proposed site,” Marcy read from the emails.

            ”All the designs are in computer aided drawing programs. All that the engineers would have to do is load in the specs and then make any changes on a floor by floor basis. The international building codes already exist and there are few structural changes that can be made without months or years of re-engineering, testing and approvals,”

            ”There were several companies attached to the letter that would do the required testing confidentially,” Marcy said.

            ”I think we need to do the testing as they recommended. Are we still in a position to finance the project in house or is the tax department suggesting something else?” I asked.

            ”They are working on the numbers based on projections, which is difficult. Midwest Bank would be most interested in providing all or part of the financing, if we choose that direction,” Mercy said.

            ”Do we need to make advances to the commissioners before getting too far in?” Marcy asked.           

            ”I’ll call Duke Justice and Clarence Hallworthy and invite them to a private lunch tomorrow. I think we should all be there,” I said.

            A few minutes later it was all set up for 1300 here at the house.

            One thing I wanted to do was work out in the gym with my mates for a couple of hours before a light supper. The girls agreed – as long as we ended up in the hot tub.

            Another issue that we discussed was small drones. They were starting to be seen around the office and buzzing the house.

            The Secret Service had been trying to locate the source but without any luck. Even when electronic jammers caused them to land, they would be gone before the agents could get to them. All drones had a homing feature that directed them back to the start of their flight if they lost signal.

            I ordered the JBG security to start shooting them down with shotguns. Serial numbers on them would lead the investigators to owners. The agents could not take action against the drones – only the operators, once they knew who they were.

            When I was at Summers Road a square mile was a no fly zone without authorization and had been for over a year. Andrews, Morton and Dover’s Doppler radars were watching closely for larger aircraft but low level small drones were tough to find.

            Dover now had a dozen F15 Strike Eagles, F16 Fighting Falcons and several A10s that routinely patrolled the area when I was home. There were others at Andrews.

            There were A10s at the Middle River National Guard base, but they could not be loaded with weapons. All the presidential protection planes at Dover were fully armed, loaded for bear.

            If the Secret Service knew it, they had not acknowledged it, but there were two Air Tractors at Morton loaded with weapons. One had rockets and missiles and the other had mini guns. Andy had assigned them to my JBG security team.

Edit by Alfmeister

Proof read by Bob W.

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B.J.Jones the Story of My Life Book 3

Book 3 Chapter 1

            Wednesday morning we watched the morning news while we were eating breakfast. The media was still crunching the numbers and filling the airtime with all kinds of scenarios for Finney to win, same old liberal news. We didn’t read the numbers that way.

            I called Vice President Harrison to see if we were thinking on the same track. We agreed to meet at the campaign headquarters in ninety minutes. He had to come from Observatory Circle – the Vice President’s residence in Washington.

            We had the Secret Service coordinate arrival times so we would arrive together. The shopping center was packed with media spectators and well wishers.

            I was an easy find – the Secret Service insisted we ride in the beast and it stuck out like a long eared mule at a cattle auction. At the entrance to the industrial park we were met by State Police and county Sheriffs. I wanted to get out and walk to the headquarters but the Secret Service refused, even though I had both sets of body armor on. I had to endure the slow snail’s pace ride to the door.

            Vice President Harrison’s procession was parked beside us. Both of us stepped out at the same time and waved to the crowd. The media was yelling, trying to get a statement.

            The Secret Service and the police had roped off an area for the media. Vice President Harrison and I shook hands and then raised them in a sign of victory for the media.

            I asked the state police Captain if he had a bull horn I could use to speak to the well wishers.

            ”Thank you all for coming out today. The numbers look even better this morning than they did last night. It looks like the electoral vote is going to end up better than the 325 we now have. With Puerto Rico now a state, it takes 275 to win. It was a short campaign and believe me, I am glad of that. With the war and the problems in New York I really didn’t have the time to campaign like I should have,” I said.

            ”At least on January twentieth I can officially move the rest of my things into the White House for a four year stay. For that I need to thank everyone that voted not only for me but that other guy who is still wondering if I am an encyclopedia on steroids.” I said.

            ” I think this should put an end to all the snide comments about not being the real President, just a place holder. This is as real as it gets – this vote settles it,” I said.

            The liberals had been using the place holder comment every time I did something they did not like, usually adding, ‘‘Just wait, she will soon be gone – then we will get our way.”

            ”In a few days Vice President Harrison and I will sit down to review the people we have, finalize my administration, the goals and the policies of our administration,” I said

            ”I’m sure that my mentor and teacher in the world of politics – President Thomas – is looking down and cheering today’s victory,” I added.

            We walked inside to cheering campaign workers. The White House media group followed with cameras.

            ”Today we can take a break and celebrate victory after ten weeks of nonstop work, hundreds of thousands of phone calls and speaking to millions of Americans. Some of them were standing in crowded venues, some standing in the cold and rain or in the comfort of their living room or car.”

            ”They were listening to my message and my words that all of you worked hard day after day to make them want to vote for me. They heard our pleas for contributions so we could carry the fight to every corner of America and they sent money. They decided that our promises, our vision of the future is the one they wanted. We must deliver,” I said.

            ”They voted. I’m sure the numbers will change but one hundred million votes were cast for the conservative party compared to the sixty million for the liberal progressive communist. Yesterday they – the liberal communist media – were predicting a landslide – but they had the wrong party picked for it,” I said.

            ”It wasn’t just that they voted for the presidential ticket, those votes carried over in the conservative Congressional races as well. Conservative senators and house members were reelected. Fourteen new conservative senators are to join them. We have a twelve senator majority in the Senate. They lost – we won. ” I said.

            ”In the house there are still some seats in limbo, but as it stands now we conservatives have a sixty seat majority. They lost – we won big time.”

            ”But the fight is not over! We must look forward to the congressional election in two years. Traditionally the President’s party loses some congressional seats at the midterm. I am determined that not happen and that we pick up more seats,” I said.

            ”As a party we need to start grooming young hard-working dedicated conservatives now, not weeks before the primaries. We cannot allow ourselves to fall into an over-confident stupor.”

            ”We won by your hard work and the hard work of thousands of volunteers canvassing neighborhoods across America. We won by the hard work of elected local conservatives carrying our message to their districts,” I said.

            ”There are no words that can adequately express how grateful we are for the support from my family, my friends to those in this room, this state and our nation. Thank you one and all.”

            ”There will be no more tip-toeing around the delicate issues. Speak softly is now a bull horn and the big stick is now a tree trunk the size of a sequoia. Either get on board the train or get out of the way because the fireman got a bigger shovel and a full load of coal,” I said to cheers.

            I stepped down off the box so Vice President Harrison could speak. Like me, he emphasized the size and scope of the victory. It had been an expensive victory; the conservative party had spent over two billion dollars. One billion of which had been made from the fundraisers, another billion in response to the call for donations.

            The super Pac that Jeanna, GW Mclintock and Marcy had formed had spent nearly one billion five hundred million. There was five hundred million to start a re-election campaign. That needed to be started near the end of the first year. But I would start much sooner – I would call it ”The Thank You Victory Tour,” just to piss off the liberals some more.

            By the end of the day the absentee ballots had improved our numbers. I had 337 electoral votes. All the fancy number crunching and scenarios by the liberal media were for naught. The liberals’ media were crying in their green tea, wondering what went wrong. How could this have happened? How could the people ignore the utopia society they promised for the poor and immigrants at the expense of the middle class?

            At 1200 Albert Finney called and conceded the election, victory was mine.

            ”Albert Finney just called and conceded. The victory is ours,” I said while standing on a wooden box in the big room.

            Now was the time for celebration. Cases of champagne were brought out and hundreds of those disposable glasses. For this occasion I filled my glass for the toast and ignored the taste.

            ”Here’s to eight more years,” I sent the message; this was just a start. The cheers were deafening. I had just cranked the media up already.

            Customarily when elected a new President formed a new cabinet. The problem was I liked the people I worked with and for the most part they were going to stay. The people I needed to reward with a government jobs were going to have to settle for Ambassador positions and the hundreds of lower level jobs.

            All that meant I had an easy transition ahead and three months to breath breathe. The phones started ringing, congratulations coming in from everywhere. Russian President Orbatch called my personal cell phone as did Prime Minister Attenborough and many others.

            After the celebration died down, we sent everyone home with a reminder  to those who were hired to work in the campaign HQ. They were to continue to come in to finish up the necessary campaign work and filings and to pick up their paychecks until the end of the year.

            Vice President Harrison left for the circle and my mates and I left for Summers Lane; I was spending the night at home.

            I had a wonderful evening together my family, all my family. Jake, Mindy and their twins, Jason, Lisa, Jeanna, Mom, Dad, and of course our kids. The Secret Service chefs cooked a great celebratory dinner for us.

            It was the first time in ten weeks that we had all been together for a family meal, something that I missed.

            Thursday morning I was on my way back to the White House, There was work on my desk to take care of and I needed to start the review process and changes for my new administration.

            At 0700 I was sitting at my desk, looking over the last several weeks of general updates from various agencies. The important updates were delivered in person every day, either personally or by MTAC.

            Vice President Harrison and I now had a lot to do in the next few months. I sent him a text that we needed to set up several planning meetings at his convenience.

            Well wishers were calling in all morning with congratulations. The Joint Chiefs, the members of the national security group and the groups from the basement sections all stopped in at various times all morning.

            The Joint Chiefs – all them – were in with the latest updates on several areas that had been interesting in the last few weeks. Frank Love came in with them.

            ”Army and Air Force intelligence was actively monitoring the Lufthansa Airbus flight from Japan to Shanghai. We weren’t the only ones watching,” General Ingram said.

            ”The KBG was more active than anyone. We have found out they had operatives working the flight line at Tokyo International where the Airbus laid over for four hours. There was an electronic transmission from an unidentified source just seconds before the explosion,” Frank said.

            ”The USS Scorpion was shadowing a Russian boomer that surfaced twice that morning to make radio transmissions or to monitor them. One of those radio transmissions was thirty seconds before the plane exploded. The submarine had been at periscope depth for 30 minutes,” General Ingram said.

            ”Normal transmissions to submerged Russian subs are carried out the same as ours, with the sub trailing long antennas while underway. The only reason to come to periscope depth is to extend the short wave antenna for satellite communications or else land or air communications,” General Ingram said.

            ”Why would the Russians want to down the flight?” Frank asked.

            ”The Russians were voicing more objections to the China social media deal, more than we were. They viewed it as a tool the Chinese were going to exploit as a backdoor into Russia, especially in the west. The eastern block was relaxing rules and regulations to escalate trade with the European Union,” I said.

            ”President Orbatch and I discussed the issue when I was there. I told him that we were going to try to place limits on the agreement but I didn’t have high hopes of being successful,” I said.

            ”He asked if I would be opposed to Russia applying pressure or their own solution because it was an American company.”

            ” I told him I had no objections since Congress and other pressures didn’t sway Sucker or Terpshaw,” I added.

            ”They may have done us a favor bigger than you think. Inheritance tax is going to be enormous with the changes that were done. Five million is the exemption and eighty five percent the rate, plus putting the money in a trust no longer avoids the inheritance tax. Treasury is going to get a real boost out of the events of the last few weeks.”

            ”We might be able to fund some research on Enterprise NCC1701,” I said and added a wink.

            ”I have a meeting with Orbatch first of December and OPEC in January. I will check him out, see what he is willing to disclose. In the meantime destroy all the information you have collected including any hard drives. Any possible leaks would have no advantage to us at this time, don’t you agree,” I said.

            ”I believe you are right, it will be done,” Frank said.

            ”I want an update on the variable yield warheads. I want to know when we are going to change them out. Turkey will be one of the first in the NATO group to get them,” I said.

            While I had a few minutes to think, I wrote my thoughts on a legal pad of things I wanted to change. I would call my staff together to discuss them tomorrow and to ask for their input.

            On another legal pad were things I wanted to change at the party level. I called Carl Isham and set up a meeting for next week. I knew without a doubt, the socialists would waste no time investigating what went wrong in their loss and make adjustments.

            Edit by Alfmeister

            Proof read by Bob W.

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Book 2 Chapter 200

Tuesday morning the first call before the day had even started was from party chairman Carl Isham. The party had succeeded in purchasing two blocks of time on the three major networks at 2000; the beginning of prime time. Each was on Monday evening so one would air the evening before most states opened early voting and the other eve of the general election.

            General Ingram was the next in with updates on the troop withdraw and the fleet exercise in the South China Sea. North Korea had suddenly gone quiet and patrol boats that had been acting like a bunch of busy bees disappeared back to their ports.

            Secretary of State Dean was in next. We had a two hour discussion on Iran and the election of delegates to modify and approve the proposed constitution. The election had gone well with almost no problems. Most of the problems were from confusion and an attempt to do things the old way.

            The Army demolition unit was still destroying weapons and explosives collected from the population and former military sites. So far there had been no mishaps. Citizens were still turning in weapons and pointing out former military storage sites.

            I was added to a conference call with Andy, Vicky, Ching Lee and Jenny. The discussion was about hiring more people for the security department. Black and Bear were working on more contracts for southern Africa and we were still short for Cameroon and Nigeria.

            ”If we are short people then hiring is a no brainer, but don’t forget that in eighty days you are going to get the thousand back from the Iran contract,” I said.

            ”These numbers we need are assuming the men in Iran are going back to their assigned work areas in eighty days,” Vicky replied.

            “Work up a poster and I will see it gets posted at the military bases, recreation areas, on bulletin boards and to the teams doing departure interviews. That about all I can do at this time,” I said.

            ”That’s all we can ask. We didn’t know if that avenue was still open to us or not,” Vicky said.

            ”Everything is supposed to ready at 1900 for you to make the TV commercials at the campaign center tonight. Carl has several scripts that look good. They are going to shoot some fifteen and thirty second ads as well,” Jenny said.

            ”I’ll be there on time, see you then,” I said as I closed out of the conversation.

            At noon media sites were going crazy and the Finney campaign was playing defense and cover-up. Finney was suddenly unavailable for his daily press briefing, promo breaks or anything.

            His media person refused to answer any questions. The police departments that had covered up the incidents were being hounded by reporters for statements. The police officers that made the stops and arrests were being hounded by reporters for statements. Freedom of information request papers were flying in every direction.

            The diehard liberal stations were already claiming the data bogus, possibly fabricated and unreliable; some even reporting it came from abroad.

            Russia was always an easy target but then Britain’s MI 5 was gaining reputation for dirty tricks as were Romania, North Korea, China and the Czech Republic.

            The Justice Department was being called upon to investigate its source and authenticity. Liberal Senators and Representatives were calling for an immediate Congressional investigation.

            With Congress on recess in a few days, nothing would be done before the election. The freedom of information requests could take months, depending how hard the individual agencies wanted to fight them.

            At 1800 I was walking through the door to the campaign headquarters – greeting people – as I made my way to the rear of the building where I knew the recording studio was.

            Carl Isham, Paul Ryder and a dozen more were waiting with my mates. We had a good laugh about Albert Finney’s problems today. He did offer a half assed apology last night, obviously not serious. That didn’t matter now – he was between a rock and a hard place while looking for a cave to hide in.

            With the liberal mentality that they could do no wrong, I figured his woes would last a week before his liberal media backers would have done everything to squash it and change the direction of the public’s focus.

            I read all the scripts several times then read them out loud. Two makeup ladies worked their magic. There were also three changes of clothes to see what the camera liked best. When everyone was satisfied, I stood on the X taped to the floor.

            Behind me was the black draped wall with the flag of the President and the United States. There were lighting people and several different camera men for camera angles.

            What I was to say was projected on large screen ahead of me; an oversize teleprompter. I did each of the long speeches four times – they were for the five minute national ad buys for the two Monday nights. I changed clothes three times and repeated the speeches.

            While the professionals reviewed all the videos and edited them, I worked on ads for the fifteen Senate races I wanted to keep. I was going to campaign with each of them at least once over the next two weeks.

            After that there were voice recordings made endorsing conservatives running for House seats, especially those races that were going to be close. I was going to do hundreds of them or as many as I had time.

            The old standby was brought in for a quick supper. There was pizza from almost every pizza shop in the area for everyone in the building. Pizza must be some kind brain food; it was always the go-to food when things were complicated or rushed.

            Many of the scripts were the same, just a name change and sometimes adding a precinct or district. Cue cards had already been filled out to speed things up. I was doing one every forty five seconds with multiple devices recording.

            I was finished at midnight and called for a quick meeting with my mates, Carl and Paul. I wanted to know from Carl the financial situation – how we were doing on contributions – would the party have enough funds for a final media push in the final week?

            I was glad to hear contributions were up considerably, but. There was always that word – but. For the next twenty minutes Jenny laid out how the Super PAC was going to help the fifteen Senate candidates and many of those running for the house spots.

            The Senate candidates were in a tough spot. Even though some big spending liberals had died, the liberal candidates still had plenty of money. With decisions made I flew back to Washington. One of those decisions was more polling on the Senate candidates and assigning someone to help them and improve the numbers.

            The Generals were in early with updates. Another ten thousand troops were going to be coming home from Iran starting today. The rest of the National Guard was also coming home. It would be a slower pace for them because they had to pack up equipment to bring with them.

            The investigation into the New York mess was in its third week of work. The debris from the Soweto was being hauled away to a landfill where authorities could go through it with rakes, picks and shovels and could fill cases of evidence bags.

            They had learned a lot from the twin towers collapse. It went slow at the beginning but moved a lot faster at the end. New York started out using the faster method this time.

            Eric Roberson – Director of Homeland Security – was at the door.

            ”We have problem with the Bloomfield building. NYFD is refusing to enter the building to search it for bodies. The building is swaying, moving way more than normal in even a light wind.”

            ”Engineers are wanting to clear all the debris from the Soweto building and blow the pillars to cause the Bloomfield building to fall into the vacant lot that once held the Soweto building,” Eric added.

            ”That sounds like a reasonable plan to me. I guess the mathematics have been double checked to make sure the Bloomfield building will fit in the lot under those conditions. What about the explosion of debris to the adjacent buildings on both sides of the streets?” I asked.

            ”What kind containment plan had been developed for that?” I added.

            ”They are going to plywood the fronts of all the buildings sixteen feet high. In front of that they are going to hang heavy duty blast curtains one hundred feet high off crane booms held by cables.”

            ”At the time of the demolition the fire department is going to flood the lot and the falling debris with water from dozens of ladder and tower trucks to keep the deadly dust down,” Eric said.

            ”All that sounds reasonable, so what is the problem?” I asked.

            ”They want to know if the military will use helicopters and blast the pillars next to the Soweto property to make it collapse that way?” Eric said.

            ”There is no guarantee for sure what way it will fall unless they attach cables to winches to put tension on it. I can’t see the military wanting the liability unless they do something to increase the chances of success besides potluck,” I said.

            ”What about a demo company to put it on the ground?” I said.

            ”Four of the biggest have been to look at it and want nothing to do with it,” Eric replied.

            ”I’ll call them up and tell them to do more engineering. But you would authorize Army helicopters to blow the pillars?” Eric asked.

            ”I’m sure the General will want the Army to do an assessment of their own. If they are satisfied I will approve it,” I said.

            Using military equipment and missiles in a civilian setting carried all kinds of risk. But – there was that word again – but a quarter of Wall Street was shut down from the explosions.

            The Bloomfield building was sitting there teetering on the edge. It would eventually come down on its own but when? A week, a month, six months and in what direction would it fall? It needed to come down on New York’s schedule and place of choosing and soon.

            A quarter of Wall Street was shut down, seven city blocks out of the middle of it. Seven city blocks with heavy damage and depending on the Bloomfield building, how soon they could be repaired? Buildings in twenty blocks had damage.

            Wednesday morning was the last day before the congressional break and Congress was deadlocked on two bills that needed to be passed. Important people that should have been on the floor were packing up. Vice President Harrison was in the Senate chambers instead of campaigning.

            At 1500 I closed my desk and rode to Andrews to start four and a half days of campaigning. This trip was a mix of must win states and campaigning for the Senate seats I wanted to add on my side. Some of these states I had been to already as many as three times and would repeat several more times before Election Day.

             It was Sunday night before I got together with my mates. Air Force One landed at Morton Field at 0000. My mates were waiting for me. We made up for time apart behind closed doors; I was spending Monday at home to be with my family and boys.

            We were late getting to the kitchen for breakfast. We six girls in the big shower turned into too much fun. When I dressed, I need to wear a turtle neck to hide the evidence of too much fun last night and this morning. It had been too long and our bodies and souls needed that kind of rush.

            Today was going to be a mix of Presidential, JBG and campaign things – in that order. I spent the morning on MTAC to first the Generals, then to Dick James of the State Department and finally to my staff at the White House.

            I had lunch with the girls and boys. After that there were a couple hours of JBG business I was caught up on.

            Lorrie now had eighteen full service truck stops open for business with eight more to be open by the New Year. It was now a separate division with a VP reporting to Lorrie. Lorrie had four thousand rental houses on the Gulf Coast and East Coast. The two islands in the Caribbean, the French Alps ski resort and two ski resorts in the Rockies were under a VP reporting to Lorrie.

            Jones Aviation – including the fuel farms and the fuel terminal on the bay – was under a VP reporting to Lorrie. Jones Aviation now had – with the latest acquisitions – twenty five C5 M models, thirty 747s; twenty as water tankers for forest fire fighting under contract to the US Forest service, five in passenger configuration and five in freighter configuration. JBG Aviation had ten C130s; two C130 L models and two C130J models.

            JBG Aviation had four hundred Black Hawk helicopters with three hundred eighty other helicopters – mostly Bell 406 – leased to the State Department. There were fifty Gulfstream G5, G550s, and G650 long range in the fleet.

            There were fifty Air Tractor turboprop ground support planes in the security department in Mexico, Central America, South Africa, Nigeria and Cameroon.

            There were also three Boeing business jets under multiple short term leases and two Bombardier 200 commercial propeller planes under contract doing daily commuter flights. There was a third 200 for backup. There were many more inspections required on commuter aircraft. There were another fifty smaller prop and jet planes used on lease, training or rentals.

            The security department was split a couple different ways. The college security was five thousand strong and answered to a VP who reported to Ching Lee and also included other security projects. Those projects were VIPs who we furnished bodyguards for, mall security, convention and stadium security. The Polokwane operation reported to Ching Lee with its security group reporting to Andy. The PR department and all advertising reported to Ching Lee.

            The embassy security group reported to a VP who answered to Vicky, Andy and Robert. The political needs went to Vicky and security to Andy with the intelligence gathering to Robert. All intelligence from all gathering sites went to Roberts’s group. Each embassy security team had at least three intelligence officers who monitored classified things twenty four hours a day.

            The Pact country security arrangement was heavy on intelligence gathering as were the OPEC contract sites. Many sites often had a CIA person or persons working with them. The CIA paid JBG handsomely for the privilege; in many cases the CIA carried only the JBG IDs.

            The Mexican security, the security zone leaders, the Pact countries leaders reported to Andy.

            The four training sites – Fort Smith, Polokwane, Fort Adams and Fort Dean – reported to Andy thorough a commander at each.

            Human relations, legal and training – both for security and other needs – reported to Jason and Jenny through vice presidents. Human relations did all hiring, firing, benefits. The legal department covered all legal needs plus Curtis Warren’s law firm was on payroll when needed and for international needs.

            Marcy was President and Chief Financial Officer since I had become active in the Task Force. MAAR – thru several vice presidents – reported to Marcy as well as did all the accounting.

            MAAR owned three hundred thousand automobiles and other equipment. Fifty thousand were leased to five utilities including bucket, line trucks, bulldozers and everything that moved on tracks or wheels. Another two thousand were leased to the US government and other governments. These were armored Suburbans at two hundred thousand each and the ones to the US government had to be replaced with new ones every five years.

            Ones that came out of service were rehabbed and used for our security divisions. Those that had reached end of life were cut up for scrap in back lots or used for training. No armored Suburbans were sold to the general public.

            In the accounting division was the tax section; it was responsible for all things taxed worldwide – taxes we paid to states, property taxes to foreign governments, payroll taxes to federal and state – everything. We had hired dozens of former IRS personnel for that department.

            They estimated taxes we would owe and how to offset them by buying property and equipment from golf carts to jet planes.

            Major lands we owned included the mine property in South Africa (a million acres), a thousand acres of oil lands in Cameroon, the fifteen thousand acre Fort Dean in Louisiana, and the one million acres in Montana that was once part of Black and Bear. It was now our cattle ranch. We owned property in sixty countries, mostly hangars for helicopters and a twenty acre training and command site in Loures Portugal.

            We got into farming by accident. When we bought Morton Airfield it was in the middle of a thousand acres. Pop-Pop Jones was a farmer, Dad grew up on the farm and Jake and I spent a lot of time at the farm. Instead of renting out the farmland, Dad and Jason wanted to farm it. Hobby farming was another name for it.

            Not long after that we bought the three thousand acre Ratz farm behind it because they were complaining of noise and old man Ratz decided he wanted to move to Florida.

            Jason and Dad had leased the Bay Farm hunting rights for a couple years for goose and duck hunting. A couple years later we bought the two thousand acre farm on the bay. On the tax department’s advice we bought eighteen hundred acres near Ruthsburg and another two thousand on Damonson Town Road.

            Dad’s and Jason’s hobby farm operation now had twelve thousand acres in the county and ten employees. The nine thousand acres in Nebraska was rented out to a farming interest there.

            Then there was Jeanna’s oil field gimmick – we bought the four thousand acres next to it so angle drilling could be done, putting wells on our property. On top of that on the advice of the tax department, we bought two more adjoining farms and another five thousand acres from the bank as oil investment properties for a fast write-off. It seemed we were always doing something that would change taxes in our favor.

            With ten producing oil wells and more to come, the gold and diamond mines plus owning forty percent of Thimble Shoals Bank – the tax department was continually telling the girls to build and buy to offset taxes.

            We owned other smaller properties that weren’t connected to Lorrie’s rentals. We bought the old mall at the Narrows for the task force connected drug lab. The rest of it was now JBG office space. The Morton Hotel was all office space, the Horsey House was also all office space and we still did not have enough. We had converted as much of the gym to office space as possible.

            We owned two parcels on Kent Island next to the bay. One was two hundred acres and we had talked about putting an RV resort and a water park on it. There was no water park in the area for the kids. The second was fifty acres and today we talked about one multistory office building now that the county had finally changed the height rules to save open areas.

            JBG now employed eighty thousand men and women assigned in one hundred and eighty two countries.

            Vice President Andy Reddick – head of security – and Vice President Robert Dunn – head of our intelligence and IT group – were our two highest paid employees they each made $50,000 a week plus perks -a lot of perks. Without them JBG could be in bad place. The CIA and FBI had tried to hire Robert but couldn’t match the pay or the benefits.

            I had new respect for my mates and the leaders for what they had done at JBG while I was away playing politics.

            Politics was next on my list for today. We went to the campaign headquarters so I could do an interview for tonight’s news. Three news networks each had twenty minutes of which they would use probably use five minutes or less for their newscast. Tomorrow it was one week to the election.

            We went to supper and then watched all three networks to see the high priced ads we had paid for. At 2000 all three networks ran the ads. The specialist had volunteer viewers so they could evaluate the ads effectiveness. It placed high but not perfect. It was the best we could expect. The networks would have an opinion tomorrow.

            This week was all campaigning; Troy and some of my White House staff were going along with my mates. There were twenty eight stops this week and twenty interviews for the news media.

            Tuesday I did an MTAC with the Generals while in Air Force One. They wanted to bring home another twenty thousand troops home from Iran.

            ”If you feel comfortable and have confidence in the reports then do it. I will not be happy if we have to send them back,” I said.

            I worked the information into the next campaign stop. It was another crowd pleasing announcement.

            Finney was AWOL for most of the week – he came out Friday for a big campaign push but did not take questions and admitted no wrong. He was behind in the polls but not by as much as I would have expected.

            My final TV campaign push started Saturday with the college football games and Sunday during the NFL games. Monday we returned home at noon. JBG needed some guidance and more TV interviews from the campaign center.

            Monday night our last campaign ads were on media. The five minute ad ran just before kickoff for Monday night football and on the other networks my other ads ran several times during the game. The last ads were during the late shows. If voters had not made up their minds by now, either they were going to flip a coin and vote or not vote at all.

            Tuesday was a day to relax with family and vote. My family and mates voted under the watchful eyes of the TV cameras at the high school. There were other local officials there as well, it had been planned to get the best coverage. It was all over as far as I was concerned, except for the fat lady singing.

            I called the Generals, Andy and Robert for updates. I heard what I wanted to hear – all was quiet everywhere today.

            At the campaign center enthusiasm was high- all the exit polling was good so far for the Senators I tried to help. The House candidates looked to be close but in our favor by a good margin.

            Elections were fickle in this day and time as we watched the returns come in. With the absentee votes to count, the outcome would not be known for a day or two, maybe more. In some states the margin of victory was enough the absentee ballots would not change anything. In the must win states it was too close to call and the absentee ballots meant the difference.

            I sent everyone home at 0200; they were exhausted, so were we. Hopefully tomorrow we would know and agreed to meet at noon and crunch the numbers.

            The story of BJ has lasted eight years and three months. I want to thank Alfmeister for all the work he has done with the editing. I want to thank Bob W. for the proof reading and Joe for his input and suggestions.

            Without the readers there would not have been a story. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. The story has been downloaded 1.4 million times and the closing score for book 2 is above 8.6. Again I thank you the readers for support for those eight plus years and the over six thousand e-mails.

            As with some of the chapters I closed with a cliff hanger, I close the book on BJ the same way.

            This is the end.

             Jack

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Book 2 Chapter 199

The carrier fleet had made its swing to the Sea of Japan and anchored off South Korea for a couple of days. Then it carried out a week of air operations. North Korea’s President was hemorrhaging crap, calling the fleet a major provocation and an invitation to war. He was on every media he could find, even calling into ZNN making threats.

            Today the B52s flew over South Korea and buzzed the fleet on their flight to Russia. B21s returned to their base in Japan were also flying over South Korea and buzzing the fleet.

            China’s ambassador was in the lobby – without a formal request for a meeting. ”I have a verbal message from the President of North Korea. You are to remove your fleet and bombers from the Sea of Japan or war will be immediate,” he said.

            ”You can tell Crap mouth if it is such a provocation that he needs to step up to the plate and do something about it. Otherwise he needs shut his mouth, go back to his harem and hope I don’t take offence to his statements. You can also tell him none of his scientists assisting Iran’s nuclear ambitions survived. You can also tell him that there are serious consequences coming his way. The best thing for him to do is shut his mouth or to bend over and kiss his sorry ass goodbye!” I said.

            ”Do you want me to put it in writing for him?” I asked.

            ”No, that won’t be necessary. I think I can relay the meaning of the message,” the Ambassador said.

            I spent four more days and nights on the campaign trail, then home again on Sunday night. The girls had spent the four days with me. They were spending Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday at JBG. Six weeks to the election.

            The first two wells in Cameroon were productive. The next two were dry – no oil or gas. The next four were productive. The pipelines were being run down to the trunk line to the refinery. Twelve hundred JBG security were now in Cameroon and Nigeria.

            On Tuesday they had killed a ten man scouting party from one of the new groups. Elsabab had started showing up on fliers posted on poles and bulletin boards threatening local election officials.

            I read the updates from the Joint Chiefs – twenty thousand more prisoners had been released, there were seventeen hundred deemed unfit to release. The maximum prison outside of Tehran was their destiny, then advanced interrogation and execution. Two thirds of the National Guard were now on their way home.

            Last week’s campaign swing had been through the north central region. This week’s was mid central with Iowa, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Tennessee and Kentucky. I was home again on Sunday night with the girls. It was five weeks to the election.

            The weekend’s news was on the liberals again. Tom Bennett did a naked swan dive from his twentieth floor penthouse Friday afternoon in broad daylight. Two high end call girls were found bound, gagged and dead in the living room and bedroom. The door had to be broken down to gain entrance by the police. It was double chained from the inside.

            On the coffee table were ten lines of cocaine mixed with fentanyl and evidence that at least that many had been inhaled. The call girls were killed as some part of a sexual ritual. The coroner’s report said they were so high on drugs they were unlikely to have felt a thing or understood what was taking place. The knives used to kill them were still in the bodies and Bennett’s fingerprints were on them, along with his DNA in the women.

            It was beginning to look like God had a sudden dislike for liberals the way they were suddenly dying – or was Andy involved?

            On Monday more ads were made to counterpoint what Albert Finney’s campaign was trying to exploit. The polls said I had a twenty point advantage on him. I expected the campaign to start getting very dirty. Desperate men do desperate things, including throwing caution to the wind.

            I did four more news programs that were to air during the week. The hot topic for the today’s news was that there was a large fleet presence in the South China Sea. The Philippines were building their island base that China had tried to prevent. They had dozens of ships driving pilings and pumping sand.

            China had its hands full following the American fleet as it sailed around the island of Taiwan and did aviation exercises in the South China Sea. They were not happy that the Navy was in force there.

            The East Coast heavy carriers left the fleet and headed back home through Panama Canal or to their duty stations off the east coast of Africa through the Suez Canal. One heavy carrier group was left in the Indian Ocean. One West Coast task force was to ply the South China Sea near the Philippine’s new island.

            The light carriers were to start picking up their troops and equipment and return to their home ports or assignments.

            This week’s campaign tour carried me back to states that I would have to win to carry the electoral vote; Florida, Pennsylvania, Texas, Ohio, California and the Carolinas. It was four weeks to the election.

            This week was the first election in the new Iran. It was for delegates to develop and ratify a new constitution. Ninety five percent of Iranians over the age of fourteen had identity cards. The voting age was eighteen.

            The girls and I were home again on Sunday evening. There was plenty of JBG business for them to catch up on. Gold shipments from Polokwane were being stacked in the secure hangar. There was simply no time to stack the bars in the basement vault rooms.

            Vicky, Ching Lee and Andy were flying to the Pack countries for more meetings on terrorism. It had been quiet for a while but a new group of terrorists were starting to show up on intelligence reports. They were former ISIS and rogue terrorist from Africa. JBG intelligence gathering stations were following a dozen other small groups.

            When they returned from Europe they had meetings with Mexico and our other Central American security customers.

            Wednesday afternoon I was on the campaign trail again, first stop Texas with four big rallies. I beat Albert Finney like he was a wet dog. From there I went back to Florida and then to Pennsylvania and Ohio. Sunday I was back at home meeting with the girls. The polls had started to do crazy things for some reason; I dropped ten points in five days without explanation. At this point I was too busy to worry about it. My campaign researchers were trying to find out why.

            Monday morning I met with the Joint Chiefs and Vice President Harrison. We made the decision to reduce the troops in Iran by fifty percent starting tomorrow. 747s would begin returning the soldiers to their home bases. China was pissed but still buying the Iranian oil.

            Congress flooded my desk with bills and then went into recess so the members could run their elections. That was one of the problems; too many of the bills were feel good special interest so the politician could go to their home and brag about all the bills passed to benefit his district.

            I vetoed more than I signed.

            On Monday afternoon Finney and his associates began personal attacks against me and my family. First he started with that I wasn’t that poor woman that I wanted everyone to believe I was. Next he challenged the medals I had earned in the war – there was no way a woman could earn those kind of medals. The Marines was just passing out feel good medals.

            Then he challenged the number of contracts JBG had with the government and foreign governments, why they were allowed and why some were listed as classified.

            Then he started trashing my mates, my lifestyle and the boys as illegitimate bastards.

            Everybody in both offices were pissed. Andy was ready to send a cleanup team after him. I shut that down immediately. Andy had two new cleanup teams at his disposal and was itching to try them out.

            They had the new Russian long range sniper rifle. It was a copy of the Barrett but had an eight inch longer barrel and was fifty five caliber instead of fifty along with a huge noise suppressor and a much more powerful scope. The bullet was the same weight as the fifty, had a slightly faster velocity, a flatter trajectory and two thousand yard plus kill range in the right hands.

            ”OK, so you want to play that game. You just went too far,” I thought.

            I had the file Robert generated on him and his VP candidate. I hadn’t read it or even looked at it for that matter. It was time to do that.

            I looked at his college grades and papers, he had been a member in good standing with the American Communist Party until his run for public office. That would have little impact the way the younger voters seemed to think. But it might make some difference.

            There was more damaging information – he had a police record that might raise eyebrows. Two drunk driving arrests in his home state that he cleared by pleading guilty before judgment – a process unheard of in this day and age for drunk driving.

            In another one of them was an investigation into a hit and run and driving under the influence. The charges were dropped by the prosecutor after he held the case past the must file date. It seemed like a normal policy for certain people in liberal circles.

            In another case the charges were dropped after the arresting officer failed to show up for the court date. The arresting officer quit the force and moved to the Bahamas a few days later. Just before his last senatorial run he had the records expunged.

            Once in the files, on computer, no matter what one does there someone can find it and Robert did. There were other incidents involving alcohol. The police were called to his home for disturbances. He obviously had an alcohol problem.

            Then there were marriage problems. His wife had a private detective investigate him for infidelity on two different times. The private detective believed in all things modern but lacking on security for his computer systems.

            There were surveillance photos of him taking his mistress out to private restaurants. There were even pictures of them kissing and then in the bedroom undressing in her apartment. The wife filed for divorce but withdrew the papers later.

            The second investigation involved call girls and prostitutes; plenty of pictures of dozens of girls – all more than once by the dates of entry. Then the investigation was abruptly stopped. The private investigators license was suspended.

            The next investigation was at the Congressional level. He had been accused of sexual harassment by multiple staff members over his years in congress. Congress had created a secret slush fund decades ago for just such instances.

            Over the years six of his female staff members had been paid off from this slush fund, signing vows of secrecy to get millions of dollars. Robert had apparently hacked the Congressional files to get that information. He found all six of them with payoffs and copies of the investigations. I had Connie black out the ladies’ names and signatures.

            Then there were pages of campaign funding violations and emails with incriminating evidence by his staff telling donors how send the funds to circumvent election laws.

            I looked at all the sheets to make sure there was nothing to implicate JBG, Robert or any sources, then using latex gloves I ran them through the fancy copier. I made twenty complete sets.

            A top sheet said, ”This pack has been mailed to twenty news outlets,” – that was so they wouldn’t try to bury it. It was signed, ”Carl Snowden the 2nd”. Snowden was the noted leaker of classified information from the past.

            Connie typed up twenty address labels for the twenty news outlets I was sending them to. It was weighed on the postal scale and five one dollar stamps were put on them so there would be no postage meter numbers to trace. The return address was the address for the British embassy.

            I sent Ziva and Abra to deliver them to two different post office drop off boxes and told them to wear a full face mask. I would know in a day or two which outlets was going to try to cover it up for Finney. But I was sure there would be several that would run with it.

            It was politics and I could have dealt with it if it was just me. When Jenny called on a video call I had never heard or seen her so mad. My other mates were not happy either.

            ”I’ll take care of it, calm down,” I said.

            I asked Troy to find out where Finney was speaking at today, I knew he was campaigning seven days a week.

            A few minutes later I learned he had a rally at Virginia Beach tonight at 1900.

            I called Donald Gardner, the senior Secret Service agent, ”I want several Suburbans sent to NAS Virginia Beach and stand by. Find out who the agents are that are providing security for Finney so you can contact them directly when we get there. I want five minutes alone with him before he goes on stage tonight and I don’t want him to know I am coming. Make it happen,” I said.

            He started to object but decided against it. Virginia Beach NAS was a little over a hundred miles – an hour’s ride in Marine One. We would leave here at 1830.

            I went upstairs and changed clothes to the camo pants and shirt and camo jacket the Secret Service had given me, then to the kitchen to eat a quick supper. Marine One was landing as I was finishing eating.

            I chose Ziva, Abra, Donald Gardner, Greg Archer and Charles Brewer for my close in bodyguards. They were the ones that I walked in center of when out and around. With the rest of the required transport group it took two helicopters. We landed with plenty of time to spare.

            Donald had sent six Suburbans so there were plenty of room from all of us. Since there was no announcement I was coming, there was no formal arrival greeting party and that suited me just fine. The pilots had flown in using the N numbers.

            They stopped at the rear door of the arena. Donald went inside to pull rank on the Secret Service agents that were guarding Finney and to run everyone out. A few moments later we went in, Finney was in a meeting room with several aides and several Secret Service agents.

            ”What are you doing here?” Finny asked.

            ”Everybody out except Mr. Finny,” I ordered.

            ”’At least one of his team and one of us has to stay,” Donald said.

            ”Okay everyone else out – Ziva can stay for me, James Street for Finney,” I said.

            James Street had worked in the White House for as long as I was at the White House and had been involved. He and I got along great; he was as hard as I was. When it came time for the Secret Service to provide Finney with Secret Service it was by draft; James didn’t want to go but was given no choice.

            After the door closed, ”It has been policy and an understood tradition almost forever that children and spouses of the candidates were off limits,” I said.

            ”Well traditions and policy have changed this election cycle, at least for you and your family,” he said as he tried to push by me to get to the door.     

            That move was the wrong one for this conversation. I grabbed his arm and turned him, then with my right hand around his throat I slammed his head into the door hard. It was a solid all wooden door. Hard enough he should be seeing stars and I squeezed. Ziva stopped James for interfering.

            ”My spouses and children are off limits and you need to remember that. When you go out there tonight you need to make a long and soulful apology that they will accept. If you have any print ads, TV spots or radio with mention of my family you need to stop them tonight. I can promise you that if you don’t you will regret it – the last thing you want is for me to come see you again. It won’t be pretty,” I said. He was turning blue – I eased off on the squeezing. I shoved him away from the door so I could walk out.

”You saw that she assaulted me. I’m going to press charges,” he said.

            ”I didn’t see anything out of the way – just a friendly conversation – and I have forgotten what she actually said,” James said as he turned to follow me out the door.

            ”Let’s go Ziva,” I said.

            Back at NAS there was a group waiting. Someone noticed the paint job on the two helicopters and knew they were assigned to the Presidential fleet – the Marine guards in dress blues was a sure giveaway.

            Flight line officers, control tower people and guards at the gate got the riot act read to them for not asking enough questions.

            Several rear admirals were in the process of trying to find out who was here and for what. The chain of command should have been notified any time anyone came in with that level of authority.

            There was a delay at the gate – this time by the guards – they asked more questions and looked into the vehicles with lights before letting us through. As we got to the helicopters a group in dress whites were headed to meet us.

            The suitcase and my personal body guards were in and seated before they arrived. I stepped back out and went through the process of introductions and salutes.

            I finally shut it down, ”I hate to run but we need to go. Get those vehicles back to Washington and let’s get in the air. I will be back for a formal visit soon,” I said and turned and climbed up the steps into Marine One.

            It had been a long day and it was not over yet. People were monitoring Finney’s campaign speech. Did he learn anything or would another visit be needed? Tomorrow it was three weeks to the election.

            Edit by Alfmeister

            Proof read by Bob W.

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Book 2 Chapter 198

TV interviews and rallies, more than I could count. Another week was gone in the blink of an eye – nine weeks to the election.

            Iran was progressing, tens of thousands of identity cards were being issued a day. Electrical power had been restored to most of the country. Big generators were brought in to get the supply where it should have been decades ago. They were run off natural gas of which there was an endless supply. There were still more coming to get at least some reserve in the power grid.

            There was an endless supply of general labor – without daily military drills and with a promise of a paycheck for working – they were ready. Many were skilled labor; they were put to work getting the country back together.

            Four super tankers of oil had been sold: China bought one, France another, the United Kingdom got the 3rd and the 4th was sold to Brazil. Contracts were signed for monthly deliveries to those countries. There was money to pay for the things needed to gradually bring Iran back to the twenty first century.

            I had a meeting on Thursday with OPEC group about oil sales, none of us wanted to see the price levels and sales targets destroyed. The last thing needed was an oil war. The Secretary of State and the director of the energy department with the joint chiefs were along for meetings with field commanders. We also brought the usual media detail.

            Air Force One landed at King Salam International for the OPEC meeting. After a private meeting with the King I met with the Air Force commanders for a couple hours. Then I took a Greyhound flight to the USS Thomas to meet with Fleet Admiral Montgomery for an assessment of fleet performance.

            Hanna was talking with a sailor and Jed was filming on the flight deck as I stepped off the Greyhound flight. They had become so accustomed to the air operations they didn’t notice me until the PA announced ”All hands Commander in Chief is now aboard.” Then they started filming me going through the VIP greetings.

            ”If you are ready to go home, get your go bags packed,” I said.

            Then there was a meeting with all the Navy commanders of the war for a first hand update. I addressed the crew while I was there for a job well done.

            Then a helicopter ride to the USS Fordson where I had a discussion with Admiral Bramble and Captain McCoy about any ship issues that required an immediate return to base, ”Well, you should be glad to hear that your shakedown cruise will last at least another two months. There are other objectives in the cards,” I said.

            While I was on the USS Fordson I asked to be guided to Chief Petty Officer Hastings’ work area to see him.

            Melinda Schaffer had been on a video call to ZNN below deck. I recognized her voice as we were passing the cabin she was using. I stuck my head in.

            ”Hey girlfriend, if you are ready to leave here pack your bags – the train is pulling out of the station in thirty minutes,” I said and then walked on.

            I heard her tell the other end of her conversation, ”The President is on board with our tickets home, got to go. ”

            CPO Hastings was at his workstation staring at a flat screen. ”Staring at it won’t make it work any faster,” I said startling him and causing him to jump. Melinda was behind me and filming.

            ”I think the ship has lived up to your letter; you were pouring it on pretty heavy and I am told the Fordson has performed exceptionally well for the first extended shakedown cruise,” I said.

            We talked a few minutes and I posed for a few pictures with him and some shipmates.

            Then I made another helicopter flight to the USS Boxer and met with the command structure for the ground troops, both Army General Irons and Marine General Downs.

            With the Joint Chiefs we discussed future plans for Iran and benchmarks that had to be achieved to move to the next troop draw down. It was a ten point plan.

            One of the early points was releasing as many of the prisoners as possible and getting some or most of the National Guard troops back home as soon as possible.

            Helicopters carried my expanded groups back to the King Salam International Airport. The first thing was to catch up on the important emails and updates, then I was going to bed. I had four hours sleep in the last three days and I immediately had to hit the road campaigning again. A hot shower and the king size bed was going to feel good on the flight back.

            I rested a day at home with my mates; we needed time together and I needed them. I needed time with the boys. I rested but not as much as I would have liked to.

            The media had finally accepted that the explosion in New York was caused by human or computer error. Twelve hundred people had died in the building collapse and the surrounding buildings, including the twelve members of Soweto’s family and all management of Soweto Investments.

             Worse yet was all corporate records were destroyed including electronic servers and backups that were in the basement, also the upstairs safes had been destroyed and contents burned. Someone was going to have one hell of a time trying to reconstruct the accounts to figure out the amounts the millions of investors were due.

            Things were no different for Bloomfield Investments. It had taken four days to put the fires out. The building was on the verge of collapse; it was so unsafe the NYFD had refused all attempts to locate the victims’ bodies.

            All the streets around the buildings were closed creating a traffic nightmare. Huge cranes were brought in to clear the debris from the Soweto building as fast as possible to look for victims.

            Tomorrow was Friday again – eight weeks to the election – and the south-west swing was to start this afternoon. I spent all morning in the Oval Office catching up on reports and the things to keep the country going that a President needed to do.

            Face Time and Twit were not pleased with my run for the presidency. I did not have – nor did the girls – a personal account in either and strictly forbid our security employees from having an account.

            Both used tracking features that could not be turned off and used algorithms that could be used to out our security teams and protocols. Having an account with them or accessing them on company electronics was cause for immediate termination.

            They allowed my presidential campaign account to be hacked several times in a week while locking it down twice and were in no hurry to reinstate it. It was flagged for content that we did not put on while hacked.

            My campaign ads on the system were often delayed and the content changed there by changing the intent and target groups for the ads. Their managers were saying the ads didn’t meet their standards in the form submitted.

            The NSA experts did some hacking on their own and tracked the hacks to be from Face Time’s own computer systems it; was their employees changing the site. My campaign was going to pay millions for ten weeks of ads on the site.

            We had the same problem with Twit.  I finally told the campaign to stop all ads and get our money back, that we would spend it on other media where we had more control on the final product.

            Face Time was working with the Chinese to develop a Chinese approved Face Time system to better track Chinese citizens and interface with the American system. The experts strongly rejected allowing this cooperation because of the national security implications.

            Marcus Sucker – founder of Face Time – strongly rejected NSA and FBI objections to the cooperation and joint venture on the grounds that they had systems to thwart any Chinese attempt to spy and track Americans.

            Marcus Sucker was worth four hundred billion dollars. Zane Terpshaw – owner and developer of Twit – who also was working on a similar joint venture with the Chinese was worth a measly two hundred and eighty billion dollars. Both were at the extreme left of the worst liberals. Combined, they had donated nine hundred million dollars to liberal candidates in the primary election cycle.

            Wednesday morning a chartered Lufthansa Airbus 380 carrying six hundred and fifty Face Time and Twit executives, engineers and designers as well as Sucker and Terpshaw and their corporate staff did a layover in Japan.

            After the layover it continued to Shanghai. The Lufthansa chartered flight blew up at forty five thousand feet over the six thousand foot deep East China Sea. There were no survivors. I advised the treasurer to seize the assets of both individuals.

            I left for the northwest swing of the campaign; Washington, Oregon, Northern California, Wyoming, Nevada, Colorado, and Utah. Three of those I had sent troops into to restore law and order.

            I was expecting the trip to be a protester’s free for all, although polling showed I was points above the liberal candidate and that was a surprise. It was a four day trip.

            On Air Force One I worked on the latest information from Iranian identifications; they were sixty percent done. Iranian TV was back on the air. The daily paper was back to publishing both editions.

            There were daily instructions about coming events. Today they published the date for ratification of a new constitution and election of delegates. In order to vote each person must possess and display the new identification card. Penalty for possession of a counterfeit card or altering a card was the death penalty.

            The push was on to convince everyone to get the mandatory new ID card.

            Thirty thousand of the prisoners had been investigated and deemed as low risk. They had been issued ID cards and transported to their home town. That left sixty thousand to go so far; only fifteen hundred were deemed high risk.

            Congress was trying to pass bills by the dozen. All of them wanted to get back home to campaign. They were being faxed to me as soon as they came to the White House.

            There were big crowds at the campaign stops, even in Washington, Oregon and northern California. It was something that could lead to false hope as past elections had proved. It was easy to get them pumped up for a rally – it was another thing to get votes you could count on Election Day.

            The Federal Election Commission had ended mail in voting for elections. It had proven to be disruptive to the process and open to fraud. The country and the world should know the winner by the next morning, not ten days later. Early voting was still allowed for five days prior to Election Day.

            Absentee ballots were still available for those unable to vote normally. An official request to get one was required. The ballot must have a copy of the voter ID and a driver’s license – all items must match for it to be valid. All absentee ballots must be postmarked three days prior to Election Day or they would not be counted.

            The military qualified and so did foreign workers for absentee ballots – this included JBG employees assigned abroad.

            I was back home with my mates Sunday night. Monday morning there was another round of ads produced for my campaign and endorsements for the fifteen senate seats I wanted to win. The Super Pac was providing funding along with the party for them.

            It was to counter the money from the liberal billionaires that was now greatly reduced. There were just three liberal billionaires pushing money to liberally progressive communists.

            One of those billionaires was Tom Bennett; he was my worst opposition to correcting the problems in California. Stopping the riots and the construction of low income housing was affecting his billion dollar real-estate empire. The riots, looting and burning were being used to upgrade his downtown properties with the insurance money.

            Clearing the homeless was interfering with plans to devalue entire neighborhoods and sub divisions and buy the properties at fire sale prices. The neighborhoods would be cleared and replaced with upscale homes, condos or commercial buildings.

            He was funneling millions into a liberal Super Pac to be used directly against me. Jeanna’s Pac was countering the liberal Pac two dollars to one making it expensive. It was just seven weeks to the election.

            Edit by Alfmeister

            Proof read by Bob W.

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Book 2 Chapter 197

Monday I felt like I was a rubber ball, bouncing from place to place.

            At 0700 the Generals were in with the first reports from Iran and elsewhere. It was going to be harder than we thought to get the political ball rolling for elections.

            The intent was to identify every young adult fourteen years and older and adults by facial scan, DNA and fingerprints to create ID cards that could be used for elections and other purposes now and later. It was an enormous task.

            The process and equipment had been developed by a previous liberal administration to do the same with all US citizens. The excuse was to be able to track all citizens in case of another pandemic. In reality it was to track every citizen all the time.

            The real problem was it tracked every citizen, their financials, their jobs, medical, their voting, every phone call – not just the numbers but the actual call itself – every movement and everyone they met or who were near them.

            It was the brainchild of the Silicon Valley computer multibillionaires, internet search engine multibillionaires and several financial multibillionaires – all diehard liberals. The Silicon Valley group already had enormous data server farms and had built dozens more to get it ready for the vertical chip.

            They were one election from getting this forced onto the American people until it and its purpose was leaked.

            That leak resulted in the change of American politics with the election of Alexander Thomas.

            I wanted to use only the facial scan, fingerprint and DNA. The DNA to primarily connect to open terrorist investigations. It would take every Persian speaking employee JBG had, all the US government had and computer operators labs to do the DNA. I ordered the process to begin immediately.

            It was at 1000 when there was a report of a massive explosion in the financial section of New York with massive damage and loss of life including a building collapse. Wealthy people and shakers and movers in the world’s financial circles were unaccounted for. The FBI, ATF and terrorist task forces were dispatched to investigate.

            ”What an inappropriate timing for this to happen!” I thought. But I had no time to dwell on it.

            In fifteen minutes I needed to be in one of the back private offices with the media people so they could record, ”Hello this is Roberta Jones and I approve this message.” I was to do it in several languages; English, Spanish, French, Japanese, Persian, Russian and Arabic.

            In a few days complete ads in my voice would fill the airways. The media team wanted to direct campaign ads to select groups. Since I could speak the languages it would be a big boost over the liberal – or so they thought.

            I finished in time for a late lunch. I was still waiting on official news from New York and all that was coming was bad. The building that had collapsed was the corporate offices of the Soweto investment and brokerage.

            Soweto investments controlled investments worth over one hundred billion. It was founded by George Soweto who was accused of pioneering the collapse of the British pound in the seventies and the Russian ruble in the early nineties.

            Later accusations of trying to manipulate political elections in the old Eastern bloc nations in the late 2010s led to calls for his extradition that were squashed by the Obama administration. His money funded extreme liberal politics and bought the seats of some of the most liberal-socialist politicians elected to office in America and Europe.

            His death only made liberal dreams grow; billions of his wealth was left to liberal and progressive groups. His sons were far more liberal than he was and even went further in their socialist leanings than he did. The media was reporting that the entire Soweto management of operations and all his offspring were in the building at the time for a meeting.

            A reporter speculated the meeting was in response to the new candidate as a result of the convention. The new candidate was the new nightmare in the liberal dreams. It was unusual for all the leadership to be in the building at one time, especially all the senior family.

            I called the Treasurer of the US and had some orders for him, ”Lock down all accounts, personnel, public and commercial of the Soweto family and all accounts of Soweto investments and brokerage including clients. All aspects of their business were located in that building, including the computer systems and all records. The chance for massive theft and fraud now exist,” I said.

            The Secretary of the Navy knocked and came in.

            ”I have the plans for the Navy to make the swing to the East China Sea and South Korea. They will pull out of the Indian Ocean in ten days after restocking all supplies and stores,” he said.

            ”Ok! That is good, I will make a trip there before then. I need to pay a visit to the King and visit a couple ships and Iran,” I said.

            I spent a couple hours with Vice President Harrison. He was going on the road tomorrow for the campaign. We worked on topics that we could stay on as the campaign moved forward.

            At 1500 the first official reports came in from New York. Video from every security and traffic cam was seized.

            At 0945 four Con Edison repair vans from the steam division were parked along the street. The vans were ten years old and were sold as clean fuel zero emissions by using compressed natural gas. Each van had twin thirty gallon aluminum tanks wrapped with fiberglass for strength and impact resistance mounted under the bodies outside the frame.

            They were repairing a buried forty eight inch high pressure steam trunk that ran parallel to Wall Street and supplied heat to the high rises.

            Running parallel to the steam pipe was a twelve inch liquefied high pressure natural gas line that was fed from a refinery. The pipeline fed substations where the pressure was reduced to low pressure vapor that was safe to use in buildings.

            Over the years there had been a number of accidents with high pressure steam in the boroughs of New York. I could remember at least two in the last few years.

            OSHA, the steam fitters unions, the NYC version of OSHA and the NY state OSHA had finalized safety procedures on eliminate accidents when steam utilities were placed back in service after repairs.          

            The real hazard was as the steam pressure was reduced, the steam cooling in the pipes changed back into water that collected in the pipe – in the low spots and there were a lot of them – a lot of water could collect there. The procedure was that the giant valves were to be opened very slowly – one percent, wait ten minutes then two percent and so on.

            The reason was the water in the pipes needed to be slowly heated until it turned back into steam. If the valves were opened too fast that water immediately super-heated to steam and raised the pressures to explosive levels.

            The system operators read the operating instructions to the valve operator and he in turn read them back for verifications. Computers monitored the switches and as he applied the instructions and when operating correctly they had the ability to stop the valves from opening.

            Part of the repair was to replace computer control cables as well as repair and reseal the valve. The entire trunk line had been isolated and the valve was manually operated to ensure the new seals were working properly and not binding. When satisfied with its operation they were to remove the lock-outs and return the automated controls.

            The switch that controlled the valve gearing motor had a 1 to 10 setting with 1 being one percent and ten as one hundred percent open. When closing the setting was 10 to instantly close the valve. The valve operator should have manually reset it to 1 with the computer confirming the setting. Something that now will never be known unless the investigators could recover the controls intact – very unlikely.

            At 0955 security cameras showed the one thousand five hundred feet of sidewalk exploding, throwing concrete hundreds of feet in the air. Five seconds later all four of the vans exploded in a massive explosion. The compressed gas in the tanks had the explosive force of thousands of pounds of TNT.

            The tanks had safety plugs that melted in the event of a fire, allowing the pressure to bleed off and letting the gas burn. With an explosion of this manner the tanks were ruptured before the plugs could melt. This was the second catastrophic event in ten seconds.

            The third was the twelve inch high-pressure liquefied natural gas pipe. Even with the twenty four inch safety barrier of dirt, the steam pipe explosion ruptured the gas line discharging the high pressure liquid gas into the massive open basement of the Soweto building. Ongoing explosions from the vans ignited the basement full of thousands of gallons of natural gas.

            Video showed the twenty five story Soweto building rising straight up and then collapsing as it settled back down, reminiscent of the Twin Towers. It destroyed the city block it was sitting on and damaged the surrounding buildings.

            To add insult to injury, Angus Bloomfield and his family along with a dozen bodyguards was making his morning stroll from his apartment to his office skyscraper that was on the adjacent city block. They were walking by the Con-Ed vans when the first explosion took place.

            Angus Bloomfield was another multi-billionaire estimated to be worth eighty billion; he was eighty one. Financing, investments and media only scratched the surface of things he was into. He had been many things in his lifetime that money, power and influence could buy.

            He had been mayor of NYC, New York Governor and had run several times for President. He plied both Republican and Democrat parties in his quest for power with whichever party looked to be the best at the time.

            As he aged he turned liberal then to an extreme liberal, giving hundreds of millions of dollars to the wackiest liberal and democratic candidates, groups and organizations.

            There was no way they could have survived. I called the Treasurer back and expanded the lockdown to his financial empire and everything it touched. Bloomfield’s office skyscraper was nearly destroyed by the explosion and was now on fire from bottom to top.

            Frank Love, Eric Roberson, Marty Coeburn and Ben Smith of the Terrorist Taskforce were reviewing the video with me.

            I had the best video clips loaded and as a group we went to the media center to explain what we knew so far and give Harry a break from the flack he was getting.

            The news conference lasted an hour with the media refusing to accept any possibility this was caused by human or computer error or aged and faulty equipment. They were determined that it was terrorist event caused by the events in Iran.

            ”There will be an intense investigation and I am sure it will prove to be accidental. Not one of our intelligence sources had any indication of any terroristic activity,” I said.

            I met with my campaign committee and began the process of running for President. For the next ten weeks my life was going to be a blur. Tomorrow the live TV interviews would begin again with me as the candidate.

Edit by Alfmeister

Proof read by Bob W.

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Book 2 Chapter 196

I listened as the girls filled me in on today’s work. Lorrie had rented an entire wing of commercial buildings in the industrial park on Kent Island for a campaign center. It was only a few miles from the home office and a few more from Morton. It was just five hundred yards from the east end of the Bay Bridge.

            Being an industrial building, it was divided into very large offices and large empty work areas. Baltimore Office Supply was delivering office equipment and setting them up now as we talked. They had three warehouses one; in Baltimore, one in Philadelphia and one in Richmond.

            Bobs Construction had pulled all his crews to the building, putting up solid walls and doors to help deaden some of the noise and to keep the sanity of those working there. With walls and such, cable troughs would run across the top. There would be a place to run cables and not have trip and fall hazards.

            Ma Bell had been there all day running phone lines and activating them, then double checking them to see that they worked. Marcy knew how and when to torque them up. JBG had thousands of Verizon cell phones and thousand of business lines and direct numbers to executives.

            A bank of 800 numbers for toll free nationwide was set up. Fiber optic cables were already in the buildings for internet. Robert was sending computers and tech people tomorrow to get those systems up and running. Two days and Jones for President would have a working headquarters.

            Vicky was already setting up the necessary twenty four hour security. Security cameras would capture outside, inside and the parking lots. Entrances were going to be changed and limited.

            It was the new norm for the paid protesters to block, disrupt, threaten and apply graffiti and break windows at campaign offices. Hopefully security could discourage that kind of activity.

            A media team was hired first thing this morning to produce the TV and audio ads. They would set up a media room in the wing to record and develop TV and radio media.

            Carl Isham and Paul Ryder were flying in to Morton tomorrow. They had been pre-purchasing TV and radio ad time spots on all networks and all major market radio stations through their connections.

            That at least gave us a breather until the campaign made our time slot purchases and some ads could start immediately.

            With a combined calendar for all the girls that displayed all the mandatory events and meetings they needed to attend, we started picking out days, nights and weekends we could do campaign stops and rallies.

            After spending the night together with my family, they went back to the shore Saturday morning. They were going to check on the campaign HQ.

            The first ads were to hit prime time viewing tonight. I needed to prepare myself for all the interviews that I was going to have to do. In deep conversation we decided Jenny – for the time being – would be the coordinator handling that.

            She volunteered because the Curtis Warrens law firm was on payroll to handle JBG’s complicated legal matters. Her HR division had multiple lawyers on staff for internal problems, contract interpretation and modification.

            Saturday morning I had a joint meeting with the State Department and the Joint Chiefs. It was a planning session on Iran. Video conferencing with the Boxer and the State Department people in Iran took place. It was a long video conference.

            When the video conference was over, we had an outline for the new government of Iran and a time outline for different events that needed to take place.

            On the political side, first there needed to be an election to write a new constitution. The Iranians would elect the delegates to do this as the first step. One of those would be constitutional limits on the military and the power and influence of Islam.

            There would be a list of disqualifiers for the delegates such as holding any position in the former government or military officers of rank.

            There would be the need to design and develop a new judicial system eliminating any influence of Islam and the Koran. Former judges would be barred from participating. In fact, many were going to be tried and executed for their crimes against humanity with some of the sentences they had handed down.

            On the military side interrogations of the prisoners would need to be finished so it could be decided what risk they posed and their prior involvement in terrorism. Those that posed little or no risk would be freed.

            Iran would need a national security force. The makeup of that force needed to be outlined including what part former officers would have in that force. Many of the low level prisoners could fill the security force.                      

            Saturday afternoon at 1800 Marine One landed me at the Island High School football field. It was directly across from the industrial park. There were too many vehicles in the parking lot at the industrial park. The Island Fire Company engine and ambulance was there to provide emergency standby.

             With all of us in attendance, planning with Carl and Paul Ryder was started. The girls had been here since 0900. I was spending the night at home. Sunday morning I was back to the White House – alone.

            Sunday morning at 0800 I made an unannounced visit to Walter Reed to see some of the injured soldiers from Iran’s combat. I spent three hours at Walter Reed by design. The White House press corps was along but I would not allow them to take any pictures of any injured or me with them – unless the injured approved.

            At 1100 I walked in the rear security door to Sunday Morning Live studios. I was making an unannounced visit to Washington Sunday Morning Live. This time it would be just me; the girls were way beyond busy. This visit was a start for the campaign.

            It only took them five minutes to do makeup and wire me up. Someone quickly found a chair for me to push out as the Secret Service took positions on the set and in the audience.

            ”Good morning Arthur, Candy, David; it good to see you again. You said I could drop in any time. Is this a good time?” I asked.

            ”Any time you drop in is a good time,” Candy said.

            ”Good morning Senator Vauxhall, how are things in North Dakota? I really didn’t mean to step in on your thunder today,” I said.

            Senator Vauxhall was a second term conservative senator from the cold state of North Dakota. Minot Air Force Base was in his state, home to the B52s and newer B21 bombers, plus it was the only Air Force base that had operational silo housed ICBMs.

            ”I think you brought the thunder with you; I can hear the jets rumbling overhead. Besides, I get some one on one time with you. I am sure – given Thursday’s announcement – your one on one time is tough to come by,” he said.

            ”The ground war is over, did you expect it to be over so quickly?” Candy asked.

            ”We had a plan and it was not to do what they thought we would do. The heavy bombing campaign was designed to break the back of the IRG from day one and it worked. After that it was just a matter to isolate and destroy their army where ever we found it,” I said.

            ”Madam President, when are the troops and bombers coming home?” Senator Vauxhall asked.

            ”The bombers will be the first group to come home or to their assigned bases in the next couple weeks,” I said.

            ”Madam President – the ICBMs at Minot – how do they stand in the Russia agreement?” Senator Vauxhall asked.

            ”They stay for the time being but the warheads will be replaced with warheads that comply with the agreement limitations. Those upgrades are to start in the next few months. Negotiations to limit the number of ICBMs are slated for next summer. The prospects to reduce that weapons group looks promising,” I said.

            ”Now on to more recent events, up until Thursday it looked like you had no interest in running for President. Thursday night you blew that theory all to hell. According to delegate interviews, no one was expecting you to drop that bombshell. What changed or what happened?” David asked.

            ”Obviously there was some planning,” David added.

            ”My family and I had talked several times and it just didn’t feel right. Then after the debate we felt a little better about making a decision to go in that direction. I still had not made up my mind on Wednesday night, but Thursday’s convention fiasco convinced me it was the thing to do,” I said.

            ”My family was so convinced after the debate that I was in and they were so sure that they had our attorneys draw up all the paperwork and have it ready to file on Friday. They even went as far as to lockdown a dozen web addresses we could use, even the key one ‘Jones for President’,” I said.

            ”I don’t think you will have to worry about any more debates with Candidate Finney. Rumor is he needed medication after the nomination. His campaign has already said there will be no more debates with you come hell or high water,” David said.

            ”You chose Vice President Harrison to stay for the ticket and he accepted. Why not go with someone younger?” Candy asked.

            ”You cannot buy the experience and connections he has at any price. You can buy knowledge but the experience wins every time. Time and time again I have had to reach out for that experience in some of the decisions I have made. We know how each other thinks and what to expect and above all we respect each other,” I said.

            ”Have you found and when do you expect to get into a campaign headquarters?” Candy asked.

            ”Campaign headquarters will be on Kent Island, staff will start arriving tomorrow. The phone banks are operational today and being answered. Contractors are working around the clock to finish it up,” I replied.

            ”When do you go on the campaign trail officially – although it looks like you have been on the trail for months?” Arthur asked.

            ”Mid-week – Wednesday will be the first – with several stops in Florida,” I said.

            ‘‘Florida, Georgia, Arkansas, Mississippi and Louisiana are on the first southerly swing. Stadiums are being contracted.”

            ”The next swing is a north-east swing through New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Rode Island, Connecticut, New Hampshire and Maine,” I said.

            ”The media ads started running last night in major markets,” I added.

            The party flooded the TV with ads Sunday during the sports games and races. Then during prime time and on the cable shows both kinds of ads were run; those for donations and those of a candidate.

            After the show I went back to the island to meet with the girls. They were wanting my input. They really didn’t need it – they were going to spend a lot more time at the headquarters than I was.

            I was impressed with the progress. They sent me pictures of the empty buildings; just big open squares. The people that had leased them before apparently went belly up or moved into buildings that they owned. The building owner paid to have them demoed and cleaned when they were vacated and that helped us a lot.

            Edit by Alfmeister

            Proof read by Bob W.

Merry Christmas to everyone.

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Book 2 Chapter 195

            It was 0200 when Air Force One touched down at Andrews. My phone had not stopped ringing. My staff phones had not stopped ringing, in fact all my mates’ phones had not stopped ringing either. Each of them has a notepad, writing down the calls and information from them.

            There were friends and family promising help and donations along with business partners and clients wishing to help and offering congratulations.

            Keeping Thomas’s political staff was now going to be a God send. They knew the movers and shakers in every state. People we could trust with a state campaign and those we could not.

            Before we left Atlanta arrangements had been made to pick up pieces from the campaigns of the other candidates. Combined they had offices or people in thousands of cities, towns and counties that we could step into.

            Ad campaigns would start immediately. There was more than enough film to paste and clip to put together a quick TV ad campaign.

            Ads would start tomorrow on the national channels. As much as I hated face talk and twitter, official sites would be started on them tomorrow. People who could run a national campaign would be on the way to Washington tomorrow, Carl promised.

            All that posed a set of problems on its own – campaign headquarters – where and how big? How many people would it take? Did it need to be near Washington or could it be on the Eastern Shore?

            The shore made sense in a way. All the overnight freight companies had terminals at Morton. Posters, handouts, printed material and things to set up offices could be on their way across the nation in minutes.

            In the meantime I had other problems to deal with, a new government for Iran to work on, a problem with the Philippines to deal with. They were just a few of the issues on my plate.

            Everybody was on an adrenaline high on the flight home. Champagne and beer was flowing like water. The White House press pool was tying up all the communication lines assigned to them on Air Force One. All of them wanted the first interview.

            There was an energy all over Air Force One; I could just feel it in the air.

            When I stepped off Air Force One there was a crowd of Air Force personnel. I didn’t know that many people worked this part of the base at night. They didn’t; it was everybody that that had access to Andrews. Someone had ordered that the Washington press be allowed on base in a roped off area near where the plane stopped. The tower had been giving reports of our return progress.

            This was breaking every rule in the book; the President is not supposed to campaign on military bases.

            ”I want to thank everyone for coming out and for your support. I want to thank all the men and women of the armed services for the victory over Iran. I want to thank the American people for coming together to support our military service personnel and their families while they have been separated.”

            ”There is still a lot more to do in Iran, there is still a lot to do here at home.”

”You all know by now that I have been thrown into the ring. I intend to put up one hell of a fight to win. That fight starts tomorrow but tonight my family and I are going to have a few quiet minutes together and then a little celebration. Thank you so much for coming out tonight,” I said.

            At the bottom of the stairs while surrounded by Secret Service, I shook a few hands and said a few words of thanks and encouragement.

            It was a short night; I might have gotten two hours of sleep. I walked into the Oval Office at 0800. I had talked with my mates for an hour. I learned a hundred things were taking place today at their direction.

            Dozens of people at the JBG offices had been promoted in the last few weeks, picking up more of the workload from my mates. They were dead serious about winning.

            They had made this decision weeks ago for me. They knew what I wanted in my heart without asking. I would have been happy either way.

            They knew I would have come home on January twentieth and not said anything. Yet I still may get to come home on January twentieth. Elections in the last few years had become unpredictable affairs.

            I didn’t have time to worry about any of that today. The Joint Chiefs were the first in with the copies of the surrender documents. The originals would arrive tomorrow. There were five sets of original articles of surrender- signed by the parties in the Mayor’s house.

            One for my Presidential files, one for the Joint Chiefs, one for the State Department , one for the Smithsonian and one for the National Archives.    

            Certified copies would be sent to the Speaker of the House and one to the President of the Senate / Vice President.

            Today we worked with copies, reading each line to make sure there were no side notes added that changed the meaning of a line or a paragraph at the signing. There were none. Our discussions were interrupted by another call from UN Secretary General Santos.

            ”The UN is sending war crimes investigators to Iran to investigate reports of possible war crimes by US soldiers against the citizens of Iran,” he said.

            ”If there are any complaints against any individual soldiers – and I seriously doubt there are – we will investigate them ourselves. As I have told you before, the UN has no part in the proceedings in Iran. Any attempt by any nation or anyone will be considered hostile activity and be handled as such,” I said.

            ”You cannot stop the International community from investigating those complaints. The Geneva War Crimes Commissions, the World Court and the UN’s International Crimes Commission will be charged to investigate,” he said.

            ”I will remind you that Iran is under total lockdown and will be for the foreseeable future. Only authorized flights will be allowed into Iran, shoot down orders apply to all others. Only authorized vehicle traffic will be allowed; all others are subject to target practice,” I said.

            ”Surely you cannot mean that. If there have been no crimes that fall under war crimes, how can you object to an investigation?” he said.

            ”The simple statement that there is an investigation of potential war crimes will be distorted to imply there were war crimes that will play on the front pages for months. When the investigation determines there were none, it will be buried by the media because it will no longer be a hot button issue, ” I said.

            ”Muslim aligned countries will use such a statement to fire up more radicals and marches in the streets, leading to more terrorism in general and international terrorism putting the entire world at risk. I don’t think you want blood on your hands and that will be the result,” I said.

            ”If you take the time to look at the foreign news services, all is quiet in the Middle East and Northern Africa Muslim countries. Even the Golan Heights areas are quiet. There are no riots and demonstrations. It needs to stay that way.”

            ”The very people that are leading the charges intend to spread misinformation and act as couriers for those that stand to profit from such allegations. The very people you would have investigate are biased and untrustworthy,” I said.

            ”Many expelled dissidents are looking to come back to Iran seeking a fast track to positions of influence and power. I have turned down many requests by them to return. They offer no new ideas except a gradual return to the old ways,” I said.

            ”No investigations and there will be none of that. The best thing that the UN can do is to deny there have been any reports of any war crimes,” I said.

            ”You could be right with some of your positions. But you cannot keep Iran locked down for very long,” he said.

            ”I can keep it locked down long enough to get it started in the right direction, then open it up gradually,” I said.

            I called King El Damon Elaud – we talked for an hour. He was willing to supply fuel to the fleet for another two weeks. That suited the timeline that General Ingram and I talked about for moving them out.

            The Marine, Army units and the Air Force could cover the troops if there were any outbreaks of fighting.

            The entire fleet was going to do a swing through the East China Sea. It was going to show the force off South Korea and North Korea for a few days to send notice to North Korea that I was unhappy with their alliance with Iran. The B52s would fly over the area and return to the Russian base.

            Then the fleet was going to do a swing around the disputed islands area near the Philippines and do air operations for a few days just to let China know the South China Sea was still international waters. Then the USS Reagan’s task force would return to the Russian temporary base.

            The USS Roosevelt and its task force would return to Japan. The west coast carriers would return to assigned fleet duties or return to their home ports. The east coast assigned carriers would return to the Persian Gulf and Indian Ocean for another couple weeks before continuing on their routine fleet assignments. Some of the fleet would return to their assigned ports of call.

            The assault landing ships would begin recovering their equipment and troops to return home. The generals and I would decide in four weeks how many troops would stay for an extended period. I was going to err on the side of more than enough instead of just enough.

            I closed the Oval Office at 1600 to work on the campaign. My mates had just landed in the helicopter; I was sure they had plenty of information.

            Edit by Alfmeister

            Proof read by Bob W.

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