Several people caught a few date typos in 133, specifically 1982/1992. Ooops. Fixed it. There were enough complaints I did a quick edit & reposted the chapter. Thanks.
For the readers who commented that a single 60 Minutes episode wouldn’t be enough to fix the problem – of course not! Never said it would. I hope you’re happy now.
Could the recall to active duty and court-martial actually occur? Actually, in theory, yes. Carl has certainly completed his active duty commitment, and his medical retirement wipes out his inactive commitment. However, generally speaking you are an officer for life, unless you actually resign your commission, and are thus theoretically subject to recall. Historically a number of retired officers have voluntarily asked for recall, usually during wars, to help. I think we can safely say that Carl wouldn’t have resigned his commission. In any case, while it might be far-fetched, it would be possible.
Chapter 134 is the end of Book 6. Do we get a repeat of what happened in Carl’s first life, with Gore recanting his conciliation, or did Bush actually win? What would a Bush Presidency look like with Carl around instead of Cheney? Momentous times are ahead for Carl and the nation, and Carl will be going to a very dark place.
There will be a lengthy hiatus while I work on Book 7. It will realistically take a minimum of 2-3 months before I can start publishing. I know some of you won’t want to hear that, so I have a website for you to visit. Check http://www.dial-a-prayer.com/ to learn what you can do to help get the next chapters published.
It was pointed out that in 127 I mentioned that Bush phoned with the account number, preventing any chance of DNA being used to identify him. OK. True. I changed it so that the account number was messengered over. That should be good enough.
Lots of people are still informing me of which laws have been broken and the various penalties for anybody actually leaking classified material. This is all very interesting, but totally irrelevant. We are dealing with Washington, not the real world, and this is politics, not the law.
Leaking information is a spectator sport in D.C. It happens on a daily basis, and almost never gets prosecuted. For one thing, the reporters and media have an ironclad get-out-of-jail-free card in the First Amendment. It is nigh on impossible to force a reporter to divulge a source. Politicians and staffers leak info to show how important they are, to impress people, to seal the deal with a girl – information is power and power is the ultimate aphrodisiac. The only sin is in getting caught, which simply proves you aren’t ready to play the game.
The average Washington politician or staffer has the attention span of a beagle. They don’t think of long term consequences. Long term is the span of the next news cycle. Most of them would sell their mother in a Moroccan bazaar if it bought them favorable coverage on the evening news today. There is no penalty to them to do so. If they get caught they can weasel out of it based on their ‘principles.’
So, in reality, nothing will happen to whoever leaked Carl’s file. It just won’t happen. If Carl quits the race in disgrace, the spigot gets shut off and his enemies go away happy. The only way it gets worse is if Carl doesn’t go away. Hmmm…what might happen then?
Yes, it’s time for some cliffhangers. I know how everyone loves them.
Several people commented on the various illegalities committed during the leak of the classified information from 1981. This law was broken or that law was broken. The critical thing is that this is about politics, not the law. The odds of anybody actually going to jail are incredibly low. If this were to actually happen Carl would be dumped from the ticket, so he could ‘focus on fighting the unjust allegations.’ Dumping Carl almost certainly dooms the Bush ticket, no matter who takes Carl’s place. Meanwhile, with Carl out of the way, the spigot of leaked info is shut down, since no more needs to be leaked. The papers & networks will never give up who gave them the info. Carl can’t fight it because he can’t fight a ghost. He is out of politics completely, after he loses reelection.
On the other hand, if Carl doesn’t quit all bets are off! Whoever leaked the info will probably be forced to double down. It should be…interesting.
Everybody seemed to like the convention speech. Have I ever been a speechwriter? No, but I have heard my fair share of speeches. An important thing to remember is that there are different types of speeches. With a convention speech one of the biggest goals is to amp up the energy level. It isn’t a policy speech like a State of the Union address or a service academy graduation. You are in front of thousands of fellow true believers and the real goal is to fire them up on national television. They will be prepared ahead of time with posters and signs, and you want them rocking and rolling by the end, ready to go out and riot in the streets. Sound bites, syncopation, and catchphrases are critical. It is not the time for calm and cool headed thought. Most real politicians who do these things practice them for hours ahead of time in front of critics (which we saw Carl doing.)
At the end of 131 we see something come up that quite a few people have been expecting before now. I always expected to have this surface, but just wanted to play with the timing. There will be a lot more to come in future chapters.
I am getting a lot of speculation about what will happen next in the story. Some is quite amusing and some has it pegged to a T. Very interesting.
Not a whole lot to say about this chapter. It’s relatively short, but it sets up some future chapters. I can anticipate one comment I know I am going to get – Does the Presidential candidate really want the Vice Presidential candidate to be such a good speaker at the convention? Doesn’t that detract from his own performance?
The answer is No. He wants every speaker to be great, for several reasons. First, if everybody else is good, the pressure is less that he has to be great. Second, if the VP candidate nails it, the Presidential candidate looks wise and statesmanlike for picking the VP. Third, an exciting and well run convention can boost donations and poll numbers significantly. Bush ran good and well organized conventions both times. McCain’s was good. Obama’s were better. Romney’s wasn’t good. These are just my opinions, but it shows there are good conventions and bad ones.