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Chapter 142

August 9, 2013
Posted at 2:03 pm

Interesting question - how is Sheriff spelled? I have seen Sheriff and Sherriff. My spell checker allows either. Google doesn't seem to know the difference. Most of the time things point to the single R version, but I think both are allowed.

A few typos were found in some preceding chapters. Fixed.

The Al Sharpton episode was suggested by a reader, TeotwawkiTommy, and I thought it was delicious and hilarious - and probably quite accurate. Mister Sharpton has a flagrant disregard for the facts if they get in the way of his narrative. I remember the Tawana Brawley case quite well.

A surprising number of questions have been raised as to Presidential succession. Several readers have argued that Carl is not allowed to name a new VP. Let's set the record straight! Presidential succession deals with two specific pieces of legislation. The Presidential Succession Act of 1947, passed after the death of FDR, outlines who becomes the President, and in what order. If the President dies, the VP gets the job. If both die, it's the Speaker of the House. If all three are gone, we go to the President Pro Tempore of the Senate. After that you go to the Cabinet, in the order of seniority of the department: State, Treasury, Defense , etc. That's the sort of thing that happens only in thrillers about Washington being destroyed.

However, if the VP slot is empty, which has happened several times, the 25th Amendment applies. Section 2 states that the President will nominate a candidate and then both houses of Congress vote on him/her. This has happened twice since then, when Nixon named Ford, and then when Ford named Rockefeller. Several people stated that Ford got the job because he was the Speaker of the House. That is incorrect. Ford was the House Minority Leader; the Speaker was Carl Albert, a Democrat.

One of the more controversial aspects of 9-11 was the Able Danger issue. There really was a DIA program called Able Danger, relatively new, that used data mining techniques to try and identify terrorists. In 1999 this was a very new idea. It came to light in 2005 and the DIA ordered it shut down and the records destroyed and the operators to refuse to testify. Supposedly the program identified some possible terrorist names, though it never determined what actions they were going to commit. I am not some conspiracy theorist! This was a real program with a real Congressional investigation. It never went anywhere, and without any records, it is a dead end. However, if Carl were to learn about it, I think his actions would be as I've described.

Bonus points if you recognize who President Blue was.