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Guardrails everybody!

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Indiana, Mother of Vice Presidents

Well, the moral of the story
The moral of this song
Is simply that one should never be
Where one does not belong:

Two days after the January 6 attack on the US Capitol, President Donald Trump’s top military adviser, Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Mark Milley, single-handedly took top-secret action to limit Trump from potentially ordering a dangerous military strike or launching nuclear weapons, according to “Peril,” a new book by legendary journalist Bob Woodward and veteran Washington Post reporter Robert Costa.

Woodward and Costa write that Milley, deeply shaken by the assault, ‘was certain that Trump had gone into a serious mental decline in the aftermath of the election, with Trump now all but manic, screaming at officials and constructing his own alternate reality about endless election conspiracies.

‘Milley worried that Trump could ‘go rogue,’ the authors write.

“You never know what a president’s trigger point is,” Milley told his senior staff, according to the book.

In response, Milley took extraordinary action, and called a secret meeting in his Pentagon office on January 8 to review the process for military action, including launching nuclear weapons. Speaking to senior military officials in charge of the National Military Command Center, the Pentagon’s war room, Milley instructed them not to take orders from anyone unless he was involved.

“No matter what you are told, you do the procedure. You do the process. And I’m part of that procedure,” Milley told the officers, according to the book. He then went around the room, looked each officer in the eye, and asked them to verbally confirm they understood.

“Peril” is based on more than 200 interviews with firsthand participants and witnesses, and it paints a chilling picture of Trump’s final days in office. The book, Woodward’s third on the Trump presidency, recounts behind-the-scenes moments of a commander in chief unhinged and explosive, yelling at senior advisers and aides as he desperately sought to cling to power.

It also includes exclusive reporting on the events leading up to January 6 and Trump’s reaction to the insurrection, as well as newly revealed details about Trump’s January 5 Oval Office showdown with his vice president, Mike Pence.Woodward and Costa obtained documents, calendars, diaries, emails, meeting notes, transcripts and other records. . . .

Milley’s fear was based on his own observations of Trump’s erratic behavior. His concern was magnified by the events of January 6 and the ‘extraordinary risk’ the situation posed to US national security, the authors write.

Milley had already had two back-channel phone calls with China’s top general, who was on high alert over the chaos in the US.

Then Milley received a blunt phone call from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, according to the book. Woodward and Costa exclusively obtained a transcript of the call, during which Milley tried to reassure Pelosi that the nuclear weapons were safe.Pelosi pushed back.

“What I’m saying to you is that if they couldn’t even stop him from an assault on the Capitol, who even knows what else he may do? And is there anybody in charge at the White House who was doing anything but kissing his fat butt all over this?”

Pelosi continued, “You know he’s crazy. He’s been crazy for a long time.

“According to Woodward and Costa, Milley responded, “Madam Speaker, I agree with you on everything.”

I wish to return this Constitution, it is scratched.

Even though Pence stood up to Trump in the end, “Peril” reveals that after four years of abject loyalty, he struggled with the decision. Woodward and Costa write that Pence reached out to Dan Quayle, who had been the vice president to George H.W. Bush, seeking his advice.

Over and over, Pence asked if there was anything he could do.

“Mike, you have no flexibility on this. None. Zero. Forget it. Put it away,” Quayle told him.

Pence pressed again.”You don’t know the position I’m in,” he said, according to the authors.”I do know the position you’re in,” Quayle responded. “I also know what the law is. You listen to the parliamentarian. That’s all you do. You have no power.”

Dan Quayle?

It’s 5 o’clock somewhere.

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