1 Enforcing societal standards in the cold. Today, as we ran errands in 13 degree weather and gusting winds to fetch my sick son some chicken soup and DayQuil, my wife witnessed the following episode at the 7-11. With a long line behind him, a man stood at the register meticulously picking lottery numbers. A woman in line confronted him directly, saying, “You came out in this cold just to waste your money on the lottery? You’re sick. Save your money. Be responsible. Get help”
Driving home, we saw many parents walking their children to Alexandria schools (which delayed their opening here two hours.) At an intersection near the school across a parking lot from our home, my wife and I saw a young girl, maybe seven or eight, with her father, about to cross the street. The girl had a winter jacket on and a hat, but only thin leggings and—get this—sneakers with no socks. The wind chill outside here is estimated at -4.
We didn’t say anything to the father. Should we have? I think so.
2. More state lottery ethics. Speaking of unethical state lotteries, which could only become ethical if the states eliminated them, you will recall Item #4 in the 12/28/17 warm-up, about how South Carolina had bollixed up its lottery and is deciding whether to stiff the winners, since there were far too many of them thanks to computer programming error. That state needs to follow the ethical example of Connecticut.
After an error was discovered in how the drawing was handled—involving 100,000 tickets—the lottery posted a notice on its official website saying there was indeed a problem with the drawing, and that “due to an error in the range of tickets eligible for the Super Draw drawing, a second drawing will take place shortly. HOLD ALL TICKETS.” Later it announced, through this statement from Interim Lottery President & CEO Chelsea Turner:
Due to human error, 100,000 ticket numbers were not included in this morning’s Super Draw drawing. Our goal, first and foremost, is to make our players whole. In order to do so, a second drawing will take place shortly that includes the corrected ticket number range. All winning tickets from both drawings will be honored.
3. Bias makes you forgetful, too... The Resistance news media is engaged in an orgy of Trump-Hate porn as juicy rumors and sausage-making stories drip out of the new tell-all book by Michael Wolff, now being treated as virtual Boswell in matters Trump after years of being regarded by the same journalists as a sleaze-merchant. The ugly spectacle did inspire some brain cells to fire and reveal a long forgotten scandal from another White House’s dirty laundry.
Retired general Hugh Shelton, late of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, wrote in his 2010 book “Without Hesitation,” that while Bill Clinton was in the White House, a key component of the president’s nuclear launch protocol—the launch codes!— went missing. “The codes were actually missing for months. This is a big deal,” the general wrote. “We dodged a silver bullet.” The card with code numbers on it that allow the President to access a briefcase, called the “football, ” and launch a nuclear attack was lost by a Clinton aide. Once a month, Defense Department officials conduct an in-person verification to make sure the President has the right codes. Twice in a row, Shelton wrote, a White House aide told the Pentagon checker that the President was in a meeting but gave a verbal assurance that the codes were with him. He was lying.
In 2000, according to Shelton, when the time came to replace the codes with a new set, “the President’s aide admitted that neither he nor the President had the codes. They had completely disappeared.” You know, like in the GEICO commercial…
Explained The Atlantic when Shelton’s book first came out:
Here’s the reality: Losing that identifier card had the potential to create a vast disruption in nuclear command and control procedures.
So Al Gore gets “the call” because Clinton can’t properly ID himself. Gore is confused, lives in Washington, knows the President is fine. He tells NORAD to hold while he tracks down the President, who can’t verify his own identify anyway. Precious minutes (and I do mean precious, seconds count in the nuke business) are lost while civilian and military leadership sort things out.
And that says nothing of the fact that the President would be in gross violation of his duties by allowing the VP to execute an order that is lawfully the President’s to make. Once a strike is authorized by the NCA, the Chairman and Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff pass the order to the U.S. Strategic Command through the NMCC, or through an alternate command site, like Site R in Liberty Township, PA, or through an airborne platform known as TACAMO, which stands for “Take Charge and Move Out.”
Do you recall a big deal being made out of this in 2010? I don’t. This is the first time I ever heard that story. Apparently the New York Times didn’t recall either, since it realted the story this week as if it was the first the paper had heard of it. Shelton was unethical to relate it at all, but at least he waited ten years after Clinton had left office. He also went on the record, and is, oh, about 100 times more credible than the unnamed sources, as well as the named ones, that Wolff relied on. Needless to say, this is a lot more serious than the alleged chaos in the Trump White House before General Kelly arrived on the scene, but in 2010 the news media and the Democrats had no interest in embarrassing the Clintons while Hillary was at State and Obama was in the White House, and the news media had not yet deteriorated in a 24-7 hate propaganda machine determined to undermine public trust in their elected President.