#513 August 17, 2008

Michael Phelps gets Gold; Russia settles for Land

COLUMBUS: Russian diplomats announced in the newspapers they will start pulling out of Georgia on Monday. And they promise to finish pulling out by Friday, August 22. Of course that’s August 2038.

Our newspapers would save a lot of front page space if they only report on what Russia does, not what they say. Their diplomats say “Retreat”, their Generals say “Charge”, and their tanks listen only to the Generals.

I’ve heard a lot of blather on what we should do to Russia. No one has suggested that Germany and Poland get together and bomb Moscow. So that might work.

Europe makes fun of us for complaining about gasoline costing $4 a gallon. Well, if Europe would just tell Russia, “We don’t want your oil and gas”, now that would do it for sure. All of Europe is on vacation this month, so let everyone stay put, don’t drive, don’t fly. Russia would buckle first, because Putin can’t do without oil dough near as long as a European can go without working.

Tension is building for Democrats and Republicans. Both Senator Obama and Senator McCain are getting around to naming a Vice-President. They feel compelled to pick one, although the country would prefer to go without.

Obama plans to use the most up-to-date technology and send out his announcement by text message to 50 million supporters. McCain says he’ll use his latest technology and send telegrams.

But it won’t matter how these candidates intend to announce their V-P, some news hound will dig up a clue and put it out first. Don’t be surprised if it’s the National Enquirer.

Over in China, Michael Phelps cleaned up with 8 Gold medals in swimming. It’s a great accomplishment, never been done before, but is it 8 times greater than our basketball team maybe getting 1? Suppose basketball was divided up like swimming. You’d have 4 on 4 basketball, 3 on 3, 2 on 2; even HORSE. Maybe play one day on a short court, and the next day on a long one. Add a basketball relay for dribbling and another for dunking. Then LeBron and Kobe would have an equal chance with Michael.

Historic quotes from Will Rogers:

“If I wanted to start an insane asylum that would be 100 percent cuckoo, I would just admit applicants that thought they knew something about Russia.” DT #1291, Sept. 14, 1930

“Russia is a country that looks like it was invented for arguments’ sake.” Notes, undated

“The whole (Republican Convention) has degenerated into nothing but a dog fight for Vice President…. Men who two days ago wouldn’t even speak to a Vice-President, are now trying to get to be one. They have weeded the Vice-Presidential candidates down now to just the following: ninety-six Senators, 435 Congressmen and forty-eight Governors.” June 13, 1928

“(The Democrats) will try to straddle (Prohibition) the same way the Republicans did…. Anything that is done will have an awful good chance of having some comedy attached.
For there is only THREE other things to do, and here they are: Nominate with Al Smith a dry Vice-President. Well there is a surefire laugh, for you then have an animal with a WET head and a DRY tail. Now you may salve the drys with a dry Vice-President. But up to now no one has ever paid enough attention to one to know if he is pickled or petrified.
The next thing they can do is nominate for Vice-President a man that no one knows whether he is wet or dry. In other words, a man that has remained of so little interest to the country that no one has ever taken the trouble to find out.
The third plan, is to nominate anybody, either wet or dry, as Vice-President and then put in the platform a strictly dry plank. That brings more laughs. Smith, running on a dry platform. That’s like turning a whale loose in Death Valley.” 
June 25, 1928

#512 August 11, 2008

Olympics news competing with War and Sex Scandals

COLUMBUS: The Olympics started over in China, on 08-08-08. That date is supposed to be good luck in China, and it was until 08-09-08. Then the Chinese basketball team got drilled by the American team.

With the whole world focused on the Olympics, Russia decided that was a good day to attack the Republic of Georgia. Those two are about to go to War over a place called South Ossetia. All together now, raise your hand if you never heard of South Ossetia. How many didn’t know Georgia was a republic? President Bush can’t do much about this situation, but he did call Putin to condemn the bombing, “We support Georgia, and we want you to stay out of there. And if you take one step into Alabama, we’ll come and get you.”

The price of oil has been going down. Not far enough, but still, it’s better than going up. Have you noticed, nobody is jumping on the oil speculators lately. I flew out to Tulsa on Wednesday, and the big news in the Tulsa World was about a prominent local company you probably never heard of, SEM Group. They’re bankrupt because they lost $2.4 Billion in the past year speculating on oil. So this speculation isn’t all milk and honey.

We lost another bank last week for making bad loans. This whole mortgage mess came from people speculating that house prices would only go one way. And it was caused by giving a mortgage to people with no way to pay it back. But there is one little change that could’ve prevented the entire calamity: instead of paying bankers huge salaries for making loans, only pay ’em on what they collect.

John Edwards got back in the news. For years he’s been saying we have Two Americas. Friday he admitted he has Two Women. So they took away his spot on the program at the Democratic Convention. But he was offered a new role behind the scenes: Chief Babysitter. Senator Obama has kinda hinted he would like President Clinton to assist him.

Historic quotes from Will Rogers: (on the 1932 Olympics in Los Angeles)

“Today (Americans) are looking for the ladies’ milliner that put those French “berets” on our American boys (for the opening ceremony). Those “boudwoir caps” are bad enough on a Frenchman, but on an American athlete they are a scream.” DT #1868, July 31, 1932

“It’s awful hard to get your mind on such insignificant things as Republican or Democratic candidates with 1,500 picked athletes of the world breaking records under your nose. If an athlete wins an event and don’t break a world’s record we hiss him out of the arena.” DT #1871, August 3, 1932

“In the bicycle events out here in the Olympics, our riders couldn’t get there in time to change a tire for the foreigners. Too many Fords parked outside our school houses for our young folks to even know how to ride a bike.” DT #1872, August 4, 1932

#511 August 3, 2008

Hot weather makes Congress and Wall Street plumb nutty

COLUMBUS: This summer heat is wreaking havoc on Wall Street and Washington. They’re nice folks at heart, but they are just plumb nutty.

All these big companies turned in their quarterly reports. Wachovia lost $10 Billion, and, boy, did that affect their stock price! It immediately went up 20 percent.

Then Exxon-Mobil announced a $12 Billion profit, and their stock price dropped. It’s down 10 percent since January.

Next, General Motors admitted they lost $18 Billion. I haven’t heard, did their stock jump more than Wachovia’s?

Congress gets nuttier every day. You folks know that three-fourths of the country is complaining about paying $4 a gallon for gas. (Of course the other fourth don’t own a car.) But last week Congress, now get this, Congress voted that, given a choice, we should pay more than $10 a gallon rather than drill for oil along our coasts.

Then as soon as they voted, they adjourned and flew home for a long summer vacation. Well, I’ve got a solution to this mess they got us into. For those who voted in favor of $10 gas, make ’em drive home paying $10 a gallon. And force all their staff and close supporters to pay the same $10 during this 5-week holiday. Then make ’em drive back to Washington. Of course, if everyone was paying $10 a gallon they would have an easy road trip: no traffic to slow ’em down, unless you count pedestrians and bicyclists, and a few of us on horseback.

At the other end of the Capitol, 10 Senators got together and announced they would let ’em drill off the coasts of their states. It sounded like a good plan, but it was the wrong states. Sure, Louisiana and Georgia and South Carolina are among the 10, and that’s fine. We applaud their generosity. But for those other Senators, how much oil can we expect from “offshore drilling” in Tennessee, Nebraska and North Dakota? Now global warming may be serious business, but even Al Gore hasn’t predicted the Atlantic Ocean will approach Fargo.

Historic quotes from Will Rogers’ last radio broadcast:

“A man that talks on the radio to an audience in warm weather kind of affects his mind and the audience’s, too. Heat and reason don’t go together, anyhow. I’m just warning you what you’re going to get this summer. There’s going to be a lot of spouting from the radio and from the speakers’ platforms all this summer. There’ll be more perspiration than common sense flowing, and the whole political thing has come now to a pretty direct division point. I mean there’s been a direct split in the parties.

So all this talking and all this spouting, and all the hard feelings and all the perspiration that’s going to be smeared about all this summer will just be a total loss. Conditions win elections and not speeches, and these denouncing orators should remember that every time they cuss the President they lose friends. They may get some applause from a partisan audience, but we still think it’s the highest office in the whole world. And we always think, and we have justification in that thinking, that it’s always held by the highest type of men, regardless of which party they belong to. So any denouncing, no matter which side he’s on, he loses more votes than he gains.

Now don’t get all heated up in arguing and get mad over these problems all summer. Everybody is trying to save the country, only they’re trying to do it in different ways, and it’s too big for all of them put together to spoil, anyhow. See? So, good-bye and I’ll see you this fall.” Radio broadcast, June 9, 1935 (Will died in a plane crash in Alaska, August 15, 1935)