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Member since: 2001
Number of posts: 23,022

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It just occurred to me why Paul Ryan might be quitting.

To take a job as President Mike Pence's VP, perhaps? Ryan has been vetted for that job before.

Maybe Ryan announced his departure to give the House leadership time to re-organize. Maybe Ryan knows Trump is a goner. Maybe the Pence transition team is ready to step in, with Ryan as VP, when Trump bites the dust.

Maybe. Time will tell.

One good thing about South Carolina: Spring.

Stormy's Suggestion for the Donald's Theme Song: "Salt Peanuts."

If you have ever played in a big band, as I have (string bass), and played the classic Dizzy tune "Salt Peanuts, Salt Peanuts" you know that the bands' chance to sing in chorus on this one usually results in the lyrics, "Soft Penis, Soft Penis." Take it away Dizzy!

I will be 70 next Friday ..

Then, I will start smoking. And drinking hard liquor. At this point, nothing to lose. We are so fucked.

Combat Mission: Redux

Noon, local time:

It is near 100 degrees F, but feels much hotter in the ubiquitous tropical heat of Cam Rahn Bay. The port engine -- one of two big Wright Cyclone R-3350-30Ws -- is a bitch starting, but growls and coughs. Both inboards started, we taxi for takeoff. The flight engineer starts the two outboard Westinghouse J-34 jets and finishes reading the checklist as we lumber onto the runway for a “feet wet” (over water) departure.

12:30 local time:

Hon Tre Island slides under the port wing as we climb into mercifully cooler air over the azure South China Sea. “Portcall” tactical control calls a flight of southbound F-4s, which pass uncomfortably close on the starboard side. The mission controller comes forward with a report on the mission gear status and takes our orders for breakfast, which he cooks in the small galley aft of the wing beam. Steak and eggs for me, please. And coffee black.


South of Tuy Hoa, where Bain Wiseman was shot down and KIA a few months earlier. Bain was my best friend in flight school. Actually, carried as MIA for a long time. But Bain is on The Wall. Look it up. Bain Wiseman.

14:00 local time:

We are abeam Hue, still “feet wet.” Today, we are to turn west, just north of the DMZ. Route Pack-1 in North Vietnam. Quick ECM shots with eight Navy F-4Js providing combat air support. I accept the odds. The flight engineer and mission controller confirm the final check of mission and survival gear. Another black coffee, please. Show time. One pass, haul ass. Then into Laos.

Holy shit! SAMS! For me? For the F-4Js? Sail on! They passed me up. The Navy guys in the F-4s heard my SAM! call on UHF guard - 243 mHz, and jinked. No blood .. no foul. Yet.

14:30 local time:

“Panama” tactical clears us out of RP-1 (southern North Vietnam) into the Laos target area, which today is a long oval racetrack from just outside the Mu Gia and Ban Kari SAM arcs to points way down the Ho Chi Minh trail in the “Steel Tiger” area of Laos. As we make the turn over the North Vietnam/Laos border we hear “King” on guard talking with a “Sandy” (A-1 Skyraider) which has come off a target near Tchepone with battle damage. Now a “Mayday” from Sandy … he is going down near the trail. Shit. We’ll be starting the day working SAR (search-and-rescue) on Sandy. We have 14 hours of fuel. We will be in this shit for quite a while.

5:00 local time:

Sandy was working an RF-4C “Strobe” shoot-down. The Strobe pilot was in the basket being hoisted aboard the Jolly Green when Sandy got hit. Sandy lead watched his wingman’s chute and provided close air support until a second Jolly Green arrived. We loitered nearby with the DF gear ready. Didn’t need it today. This is exactly where I learned to mother-fucking cuss.

16:00 – 18:00 local time:

Standard mission on the trail. Lotsa coffee.

19:00 local time:

Darkness comes quickly in the tropics. Now it gets scary ‘cause you can see the 37mm and 57mm anti-aircraft fire from the batteries along the trail. Russian ZPUs. Five round clips. I'm sure today's NRA would LOVE it! We are seven hours into the mission with eleven more to go. Yes, coffee black, please. Thanks.

21:00 local time:

The mission controller is back up for our dinner orders. Steak and eggs again. More coffee. “Moonbeam” calls a SAM launch, vicinity of the Mu Gia Pass. No sweat for us. I hear Navy A-4s sceaming on guard to jink. No “maydays.”

23:00 local time:

We are fighting sleep now. The wa-wa-wa of slightly out-of-sync props is the most soporific sound in the world when fatigue is driving. Like out-of-tune violas. The trail is coming alive, though. The NVA are so brazen that they are running convoys with lights down the middle of the A Shau Valley. “Nail 15” calls for snake and nape on a line of trucks near Ta Bat. Two F-4s from Phu Cat respond.

00:30 local time:

Moonbeam calls an “Arc Light” (B-52) strike on the Khe Sahn 270 for 30 miles. A SAM battery near the DMZ opens up on the B-52s. A 57mm battery near Tchepone opens up on us. Green balls float softly towards us, dropping away a couple of thousand feet below. Here’s to you Mrs. Robinson, Jesus loves you more than you can know …

01:00 local time:

The eastern edge of the target area is getting difficult to work. There are multiple fire missions (artillery) from numerous FSBs near the A Shau. An Army OV1 Mohawk on a SLAR mission on the trail has battle damage. We pick him up visually near Khe Sahn as he limps back to Phu Bai. He makes it home.

02:15 local time:

The flight engineer and mission controller secure the aircraft for a refueling stop in Danang. All mission related documents are locked in canvas bags and all trash is stuffed into burn bags. A Morse intercept operator from the back, bleary-eyed and shaky, brings me another cup of coffee.

02:45 local time:

Danang tower clears us for a visual to follow a flight of Marine F-4s on a 270 overhead break from the west. We land and taxi in for a load of 115/145 aviation purple passion (gasoline).

04:45 local time:

We are airborne again. Southbound, feet wet, RTB (return to base). We will burn the aux jets all the way to Cam Rahn Bay. We are doing 280 knots (325 mph). We are dangerous. We are nauseated from the coffee, but we still pour it down. Pour it down and pour it on.

06:00 local time:

We touch down at Cam Rahn at exactly 06:00 local time, eighteen hours after departing on what was a rather typical mission. The strongest drug available to us was caffeine. We are wired now. We will unlock the club and have the breakfast of champions: a couple of beers, a cigarette or two, and a good puke.

This needs to be the Democrats' theme song for the 2020 election.

"I Can See Clearly, Now" ** With 20-20 Vision!

"Sorry to be crass, but we have the motherfucking receipts." Bess Kalb (Kimmel writer)


God have mercy on your NRA-kept souls:

Richard Burr

Roy Blunt

Thom Tillis

Cory Gardner

Marco Rubio

Joni Ernst

Rob Portman

Todd Young

Bill Cassidy

Trump had his parade last August in Charlottesville ..

Military parades have downsides ..

Emmy Dancing on Osborne Fire-Finder

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