Tag Archives: Congress

Book Excerpt: Nation’s First Latino President Takes Office

Coming only days after the passage of a controversial trade agreement, recent Supreme Court Decisions on gay marriage and healthcare have many Americans upset with the folks in Washington, D.C., who claim to represent their interests. If you count yourself among them, I think you’ll enjoy the timely excerpt below from Chapter 11 of my recently-released crime-fiction novel, The National Bet:

Click image above to order a copy of the book.

Click image above to order a copy of the book.

With the line of succession to the presidency obliterated, surviving members of the U.S. House and Senate met for five days straight to discuss a one-time, extra-Constitutional means for resolving this never-before-experienced crisis. They were joined by a select number of individuals from outside the legislative branch who had been instrumental in securing the top-level resignations. Together, they worked to select a successor to serve out the remainder of President Obama’s second term.

Minus any smoke signals, several rounds of papal election-style voting took place during an exhausting three-day period until one man, a proven leader without the baggage of a Beltway insider, emerged from the pack.

Governor Franklin G. Rivera was a second-term governor from Wyoming who some people—but not the man himself—liked to refer to as “FGR.” Far more conservative than the three-term president who, decades earlier, had been associated with a similar three-letter acronym, Governor Rivera’s public approval ratings were higher than any other statewide office holder in the country.

With much trepidation, the governor accepted the job just a few minutes before noon Saturday, July 4, 2015.

After taking the oath of office behind closed doors and without fanfare, the nation’s first Latino president addressed the nation at 3 p.m., delivering the first of many difficult messages he would be called upon to share as Commander- in-Chief:

My fellow Americans, many of you have suffered tremendous losses during the past several months. To you, I offer a sincere apology on behalf of every elected official in Washington.

Members of Congress have, with the cooperation of too many American presidents, gotten away with robbery for far too long. They’ve allowed taxing and spending to get out of control. And they’ve allowed government regulation to trample common sense and decency. As a result, we’ve all paid a price higher than most of us care to calculate.

During the next twelve months, I pledge to work tirelessly to establish legal safeguards in our system via which we will do more than simply prevent members of Congress from increasing the national debt. The safeguards I propose will involve imposing stiff financial penalties on individual members of Congress who choose to waste taxpayers’ dollars on any projects or programs that increase the national debt and the burden on our children and grandchildren.

Even more important than that, however, is my top priority—ensuring that all of your assets, taken from you illegally by the previous administration, are returned to you as quickly as possible.

I’ve set July 4, 2016, as the date by which your money, the money that is rightfully yours, will be returned, with interest, to your bank accounts, to your 401K accounts and to your other retirement savings vehicles. It will be a Financial Independence Day when government no longer has its hands on your money.

President Rivera’s speech resonated with the justifiably jaded American people.

After learning more about the energetic sixty-year-old president’s background via biopic news and feature reports that surfaced following his appointment, most Americans seemed genuinely appreciative of the fact his legal-immigrant parents had set a good example for their oldest son and his five younger siblings, all of whom had been born in the United States.

Not surprisingly, they liked knowing Rivera’s parents had realized success as farmers, growing mostly wheat and soybeans on the flatlands of eastern Colorado. And they liked the fact that the new president’s four adult children seemed to be decent, well-educated people not seeking to ride their father’s political coattails.

In addition, they liked the fact he had become successful through hard work, determination and a steadfast refusal to run with the pack when the pack was heading in the wrong direction. And they liked how he seemed to take time to think before opening his mouth to speak and refused to compromise his Christian faith.

Most importantly, they liked how President Rivera’s early actions spoke even louder than his personal history.

In addition to signing an executive order on Day One that banned the use of taxpayer dollars on inaugural activities, he signed another that prohibited all federal employees from participating in inaugural activities, public or private.

The new president also completed the process of appointing cabinet members within two days and warned members of Congress not to waste any time in approving his nominees, saying, “We have important business to take care of!”

During his first year in office, President Rivera worked too hard and slept too little while waging a gallant effort to restore stability. Not a single round of golf was played, and vacations were off limits for White House staffers and all who remained employed on Capitol Hill.

I hope you enjoyed this tidbit from The National Bet. Beyond that, I hope you’ll share it and order a copy to see what happens before and after this presidential moment.

Click here to read other excerpts from The National Bet and my two nonfiction books, The Clapper Memo and Three Days In August.

For links to other articles of interest as well as photos and commentary, join me on Facebook and Twitter.  Please show your support by buying my books and encouraging your friends and loved ones to do the same.  To learn how to order signed copies, click here. Thanks in advance!

Click on image above to order Bob's books.

Click on image above to order Bob’s books.

Democratic Treachery Rears Its Ugly Head

EDITOR’S NOTE: Below is a guest post by Paul R. Hollrah, a resident of Oklahoma who writes from the perspective of a veteran conservative politico and retired corporate government relations executive whose life experience includes having served two terms as a member of the Electoral College. Even if you disagree with him, this piece will make you think long and hard.

DEMS by David Donar at http://politicalgraffiti.wordpress.com.

DEMS by David Donar at http://politicalgraffiti.wordpress.com.

As we enter the preliminaries for the 2016 presidential election, Democrats and their allies in the mainstream media… including such heretofore “fair-minded” journalists as Chris Wallace of  Fox News Sunday… are trotting out their favorite “gotcha” questions, reserved exclusively for Republican candidates. To date, their two favorites are: “Are you personally opposed to gay Americans or same-sex marriage?” and “If you knew then what you know now, would you have sent U.S. ground troops into Iraq in 2003?”

No less a liberal icon than Bob Woodward of the Washington Post has set the record straight on the buildup to the Iraq War. In a May 25 appearance on Fox News Sunday, Woodward agreed that George W. Bush may have made mistakes, but that to say he had lied to get us into war was “grossly unfair and inaccurate.” He said, “I spent 18 months looking at how Bush decided to invade Iraq… lots of mistakes… but it was Bush telling George Tenet the CIA director, ‘Don’t let anyone stretch the case on WMD.’ He was the one who was skeptical.”

Woodward continued, “And if you try to summarize why we went into Iraq, it was momentum. That war plan kept getting better and easier, and finally at the end people were saying, ‘Hey, look, it’ll only take a week or two.’ And early on it looked like it was going to take a year or eighteen months, and so Bush pulled the trigger. A mistake certainly can be argued, and there’s an abundance of evidence. But there was no lie in this that I could find.”

Throughout calendar year 2002, policy-makers in Washington and around the world searched for ways in which to eliminate the threat posed by the weapons development programs of Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein. Finally, on November 8, 2002, the U.N. Security Council adopted, unanimously, Resolution 1441. Under Resolution 1441, the Security Council recognized “the threat Iraq’s noncompliance with Council resolutions and proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and long-range missiles poses to international peace and security.”

Resolution 1441 affirmed that Security Council Resolution 678 of November 29, 1990, authorized member nations to “use all necessary means (emphasis added) to uphold and implement Resolution 660 of August 2, 1990 and all relevant resolutions subsequent to Resolution 660, and to restore international peace and security in the area.” It was the authority of the U.N. that member states relied upon in their decision to use military force against Iraq.

Few members of Congress were anxious to see American ground forces engaged in a ground war in the Middle East. Accordingly, during the summer of 2002, under the theory that no dictator can remain a dictator unless his people believe him to be both omnipotent and omniscient, the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI), chaired by Porter Goss (R-FL), authorized funds for an “Infowar,” or SOFTWAR, offensive against Iraq… where SOFTWAR is defined as “the hostile utilization of global television to shape another nation’s will by changing its view of reality.” The goal of the SOFTWAR offensive was to remove one or both of the omnipotence/omniscience advantages from Saddam, advancing the day when the Iraqi people would find it beneficial to overthrow the dictator. (The SOFTWAR concept was the brainchild of my longtime friend, Chuck de Caro, an Information Warfare lecturer at the National Defense University and other agencies of the U.S. defense/intelligence establishment.)

The SOFTWAR offensive authorized by HPSCI, as a supplement to its FY 2003 defense authorization, read, in part, as follows:

SOFTWAR

The budget request contained $63.9 million in PE65710D8Z for Classified Programs for the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Command, Control, Communications and Intelligence)…

The Committee notes that information operations (IO) is increasingly becoming a more significant weapon in modern military, and moreover, asymmetric operations…

The Committee is somewhat concerned that insufficient consideration is paid to developing a capability to shape the information sphere for asymmetric operations… The Committee understands that there has been proposed a concept called Infowar, in which intelligence analysis of the threat Infosphere is coupled with the knowledge management functions of television, and an offensive management plan is developed for execution. The Committee notes that this concept is different from more traditional IO approaches in that it does not “attack” the threat directly, but rather through the threat’s intended public information consumers. The Committee believes this is a worthwhile new approach and believes the Intelligence Community should pursue it vigorously.

Therefore, the Committee recommends $73.9 million in PE65710D8Z, an increase of $10.0 Million in Classified Programs-C3I, for the SOFTWAR program.

However, the U.S. Senate, comprised of 50 Republicans and 50 Democrats, changed from Republican to Democratic control on May 24, 2001, when Sen. Jim Jeffords (R-VT) left the Republican Party to become an Independent, aligning himself with senate Democrats. As a result, when the HPSCI authorization arrived in the U.S. Senate as a supplement to the FY 2003 Defense Appropriations bill, senate Democrats decided that it was more important for them to have a political issue to use against G.W. Bush in his 2004 reelection campaign than to avert a ground war in Iraq.

During the months of September and October 2002, when the HPSCI proposal was hopelessly stalled in the U.S. Senate, I assisted de Caro in lobbying key senators, seeking to gain their support for HPSCI’s SOFTWAR offensive.   We met with senior staff aides to then-Sen. Dick Shelby (R-AL), vice chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, and then-Sen. John Warner (R-VA), the ranking Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee. And we met on several occasions with senior aides to then-Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-WV), chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, who, along with the late Sen. Robert Byrd (D-WV), chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, were the key players in the effort to fund the SOFTWAR offensive in Iraq. But the enthusiasm of aides to Rockefeller and Byrd were not in sync with the political games that their employers were playing.

While Democrats made impassioned speeches on the floor of the senate, insisting that the Congress could not give George W. Bush the war powers he sought, and that a way had to be found to remove Saddam Hussein through non-violent means, they were busy behind closed doors instructing the staff of the Senate Appropriations Committee to kill the HPSCI SOFTWAR authorization… our last best hope of averting a ground war in Iraq. Senate Democrats were so intent upon creating an issue to use against G.W. Bush that when they were asked to fund the project for a single dollar, just to get the offensive “in the pipeline,” with supplemental funding to be added during the 108th Congress, they refused even that.

U.S. Army soldiers move down a street as they start a clearing mission in Dora, Iraq, on May 3, 2007.  Soldiers from the 2nd Platoon, Alpha Company, 2nd Battalion, 3rd Infantry Regiment, 3rd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division patrolled the streets in Dora.  DoD photo by Spc. Elisha Dawkins, U.S. Army.

U.S. Army soldiers move down a street as they start a clearing mission in Dora, Iraq, on May 3, 2007. Soldiers from the 2nd Platoon, Alpha Company, 2nd Battalion, 3rd Infantry Regiment, 3rd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division patrolled the streets in Dora. DoD photo by Spc. Elisha Dawkins, U.S. Army.

Thus, as coalition forces prepared for war with seeming unstoppable momentum, the Iraq War Powers Act, P.L. 107-243, passed the Republican-controlled House on October 10, 2002, by a vote of 296-133, and the Democrat-controlled Senate on October 11 by a vote of 77-23. Twenty-eight Democrats, including Senators Rockefeller, Clinton, Kerry, and Biden voted in favor of the war powers resolution.

But that was not the last we heard of Senator Rockefeller’s role in sabotaging the Iraq war effort. In the December 3, 2005, edition of the Canada Free Press, writer Joan Swirsky published an article describing events before and during the Iraq War, titled, Rockefeller’s Treachery.

Ms. Swirsky reminds us of Rockefeller’s Nov. 14, 2005, appearance on Fox News Sunday, during the period in which he served as chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee. In that interview, Rockefeller recalled, “I took a trip by myself in January of 2002 (months before the HPSCI proposal was approved by the House of Representatives) to Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and Syria, and I told each of the heads of state that it was my view that G.W. Bush had already made up his mind to go to war against Iraq – that that was a predetermined set course which had taken shape shortly after 9/11.” It was an entirely baseless charge.

Ms. Swirsky went on to say, “By himself, and fully armed with America’s most sensitive intelligence, Senator Rockefeller decided to go to three Arab countries – including Syria, which is on the State Department’s list of terrorist regimes and a close ally of Saddam Hussein – and literally alert them to what might befall a neighboring Arab state.” Putting this sharply into context, Ms. Swirsky reminds us that, “This was Senator Rockefeller’s judgment only four months after September 11th and a full year before President Bush expressed any intention to go to war.”

Finally, on March 20, 2003, with all multinational coalition forces in place, the invasion of Iraq commenced. And while Democrats continue to this day to try to convince the American people that G.W. Bush and Dick Cheney lied to launch the Iraq War, there is a strong case to be made that it was their own politically-motivated treachery that was most responsible for our entrance into the war. In that war, some 4,500 American men and women, and countless Iraqis, paid with their lives. Clearly, their blood is on Democrat hands, not on Bush and Cheney’s hands.

For links to other articles of interest as well as photos and commentary, join me on Facebook and Twitter.  Please show your support by buying my books and encouraging your friends and loved ones to do the same.  To learn how to order signed copies, click here. Thanks in advance!

Click on image above to order Bob's books.

Click on image above to order Bob’s books.