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Chapter 143

August 13, 2013
Posted at 12:44 pm

I did a quick fix on Sherriff to Sheriff. Also, I mixed up Barnhart and Barnwell in 142 - fixed.

Quite a few comments on who Carl was picking as VP and Cabinet heads. McCain was a great choice; McCain was a disaster! Pick this guy or pick that guy! Too late, folks. Just like Carl, I had to make a pick. None of these people, Carl included, walk on water. Just like Carl, you will have to live with the choices. As Carl told Charlie, "Suck it up!"

I am amazed that nobody picked up on President Blue. It felt like the old Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, when Johnny and Doc Severinsen played 'Stump the Band' and dared the audience to come up with requests for little know songs. I actually beat you guys on this one!

President Blue refers to a very old comedy album. In the early 1960s, a Boston stand-up comic named Vaughn Meader began doing a routine impersonating President Kennedy's very distinctive Harvard accent. In 1962 he joined with a bunch of writers and they created a comedy album, The First Family. It was an overnight sensation, and sold over 7 million copies. It was an absolutely hilarious parody of the Kennedy family and administration. In one segment, 'Jackie' is giving a tour of the White House, and said, "This is the Blue Room. We've tried to keep it just the way President Blue left it originally." My parents (nowhere near as nutty as Carl's!) owned a copy. As a child, I listened to it many, many times, and memorized huge parts. One favorite spot was when the neighbor's kids came over to play, and when being told that Caroline wasn't home, asked, "Can Lyndon come out to play?" Is it any wonder I ended up a hard core political junkie? I think we can take it for granted that more than a few people who work at the White House (like the Secret Service agents who were laughing) would know about the album.

On a tragic note, JFK was killed a little over a year later. Suddenly you couldn't give the album away, and Vaughn Meader was out of a job. He was totally typecast and never really had a good job afterwards. He sank into depression and alcoholism and drugs, before reinventing himself as a very small time country music singer in Maine. He died in 2004.

Several people commented that American aircraft carriers can't go anywhere near Pakistan because the Pakis are a nuclear power. How come a smart guy like Carl doesn't know that? Well, the fact of the matter is that we don't care and have never particularly cared. We have had more than a few disagreements with them over the years but we have never backed down because of Paki nukes. We routinely maneuver carriers in the northern Arabian Sea. So a few things to remember: 1) The Pakistani's true enemy, at least in their minds, is India, not us. 2) Yes, they have missiles; no, they don't have targeting systems capable of hitting maneuvering American ships out at sea. 3) The Pakistani military runs the country, not the other way around. They have a very realistic expectation of what would happen in a non-land engagement with American forces.