#553 May 31, 2009

Weekly Comments: Obama’s plate full with GM,  judge, nukes and expensive date.

COLUMBUS: Whoever said, “As General Motors goes, so goes the Nation” sure hit it right. GM is bankrupt, and at the rate our government is spending and printing money, the Nation soon will be, too.

GM will be 70 percent owned by the United States, and the United States will be 70 percent owned by China. When China runs out of cash to loan us, we’ll just crank up the old printing press. By the end of the year, economists say we will borrow $1,000,000,000,000 and xerox another $1,000,000,000,000.

If you’ve got, say, $100,000 holed away for your retirement, with inflation don’t count on living high on the hog. In ten years it may take $100,000 just to buy a new Chevrolet. Hang on to your house because that new Chevy, proudly designed in Washington, will be way too small for sleeping.

The President nominated Judge Sonia Sotomayor for the Supreme Court. She appears to be a fine, experienced judge. Others were also available, but he figured Puerto Ricans have been here over a hundred years, and there’s never been one on the Supreme Court.

I’ve never heard anyone stand up in Washington and say, “Let’s name an Indian to the Supreme Court. They’ve been here longer than anyone.”

The President has his hands full. North Korea and Iran are racing each other to see who can be the biggest annoyance with nuclear weapons. So he’s headed to Egypt and Saudi Arabia to try to line up some help in corralling those two. Osama bin Ladin and the Palestinians are still drawing attention. Pakistan needs propped up. Joe Biden and Nancy Pellosi can’t pass a microphone without yowling in it. About the only ones he has no worries about right now are the Republicans. They’re content to battle each other.

President Obama took Michelle on a date to New York City, including dinner and a Broadway show. Some people criticized him for a trip that cost about $100,000. But let me ask you, fellows, if you had a chance for a Saturday night “date” with a First Lady, wouldn’t you want to spend a little extra to make sure she had a delightful evening?

At least this time, when Air Force One flew to New York City, the President was on it.

Historic quotes from Will Rogers:

“We’ll hold the distinction of being the only nation in the history of the world that ever went to the poor house in an automobile.” Radio broadcast, October 18, 1931

“But poor Mr. Hoover! Whoever he appoints [to the Supreme Court], that Senate will hold a two weeks’ clinic over the body. Just offhand, Lindbergh would be the only one I know of that they might let pass. And I’ll bet there would be a couple object to him.” DT #1130, March 10, 1930

#552 May 24, 2009

Will offers his view of the economic situation

COLUMBUS: Washington had good news this week for folks that like to spend and spend and put it on their credit cards. If you get behind and miss a payment or two, it won’t matter. The other card holders will carry you.

Secretary Geithner wants to put a cap on bankers’ salaries. When a man is borrowing half of all the money he’s spending, he probably shouldn’t rile the bankers. On the other hand it seems like a good idea; I’ve sure told my share of jokes on the bankers. And suppose they take this salary cap all the way to Hollywood. Whether Barbara Streisand or Tom Hanks could get by on $500,000 a year, I got my doubts.

A bunch of Chrysler dealers are being shut down. General Motors is closing a bunch more. I’m partial to Ford, but this ought to be a good time to buy a new Chrysler, and maybe a Pontiac. These dealers only have a month or two to get rid of the cars, so they’re dealing. Besides, with this new announcement from Washington you can put the full cost on your credit cards and maybe spread the payments over ten or twelve years.

This whole situation defies logic. If you want to sell more cars, give your customers fewer places to buy ‘em? But entice them with easy payments that can last way longer than the car.

Keeping Islamic terrorists at Guantanamo is looking like a better deal. Europe complained about the prison for years, but when European countries were offered a chance to take a few of the prisoners off our hands, they turned us down flat. When it comes to war, Europeans are good talkers.

If we’re forced to take those terrorists into one of our 50 states, I propose Nevada. I don’t have anything against Nevada; it’s a great state for gamblers, divorcees and wild horses. There’s no place lovelier than Lake Tahoe. But we have spent $10 Billion in Nevada, mainly tunneling out a huge storage space under Yucca Mountain for nuclear materials. Senator Reid says he will never accept a single pound of nuclear material, so I would propose a deal. Either give us back the $10 Billion, or take the prisoners.

It’s the cheapest place to store these terrorists. Build a steel gate across the entrance and put them in there. Once a week bring in a truck with plenty of food and water. Let ‘em take care of each other. No guards inside. Or lawyers either. Yucca Mountain was designed to hold nuclear waste for millions of years; it can easily hold these Gitmo prisoners for a hundred.

On our money problems,  we’re always saying this high debt will be tough on our children and grandchildren. But the way it’s going lately, it’s us, too. With this spending drunk we’re on, it won’t wait for us old folks to die off naturally. What inflation doesn’t take from us, higher taxes will.

Now I’ve always been an optimist. But it’s getting tougher when our leaders in Washington tell us the whole country ought to be like California.

Historic quotes from Will Rogers:

“Why don’t somebody print the truth about our present economic situation? We spent six years of wild buying on credit (everything under the sun, whether we needed it or not) and now we are having to pay for ‘em under Mr. Hoover, and we are howling like a pet coon.
This would be a great world to dance in if we didn’t have to pay the fiddler.” DT #1224, June 27, 1930

 “If you got a dollar, soak it away, put it in a savings bank, bury it, do anything but spend it. Spending when we didn’t have it put us where we are today. Saving when we’ve got it will get us back to where we was before we went cuckoo.” DT #1353, Nov. 24, 1930

#551 May 17, 2009

A new speech for Speaker Pelosi

COLUMBUS: President Obama had a tough week. He’s trying to solve health care, global warming, and bankrupt car companies, and all the country wanted to talk about was abortion, taxes and Nancy Pelosi.

He announced that letting the military conduct the trials for the Gitmo terrorists ain’t such a bad idea after all. He’s working on Pakistan and Afghanistan to convince them to wipe out the Taliban and Al-Qaeda. This week he may decide to let Israel represent us in dealing with Iran. Some of his old supporters say he deserted them, changed his theme from “Yes We Can” to “Four More Years.” He’s trying to pick out a Supreme Court judge to win ‘em back.

President Obama decided not to release the pictures that might embarrass the military.  Now all we gotta do is get Hollywood to stop releasing pictures that embarrass the country.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi is in a jam. She’s had a horrible week trying to explain her recollection of top secret meetings with the CIA.  So far she’s failed. So in the interest of peace in Washington, I’ve prepared the following speech for her to give to the nation tomorrow.

(Speaker Pelosi) “Here’s the honest truth.  The reason I don’t remember any details about those meetings is this: I slept through them. Nobody noticed because my eyes were wide open and I was smiling. My eyes and mouth are welded in this position. I apologize to the CIA and to the country. I finally learned how to stay awake during boring meetings and speeches: every minute or so I jump up and applaud. You may remember I practiced that in January during the President’s address to Congress. I ask your forgiveness.”

On Sunday President Obama gave a speech at Notre Dame and got an honorary degree. The University invited him in a shrewd attempt to draw attention away from football. They aren’t winning like they used to with Knute Rockne. There were a few protestors, but mostly the students and faculty liked him because 90 percent voted for him. Kinda like that Washington press corps dinner last week.

Our astronauts fixed up Hubble, made it better than the original and fit for another five or ten years. If every car dealer in the country had a shop crew that skilled, we wouldn’t need any new ones. In fact many of them do, and that’s one reason they ain’t selling as many cars.

In the Preakness horse race Mine That Bird beat all the colts, but got knocked out by a filly. Rachel Alexandra is the Babe Didrikson Zaharias of horse racing.

Historic quotes from Will Rogers:

“…this Texas wildcat Babe Didrikson believes that she can do anything, and the funny part about it is she can. There is none of the sports that she can’t do and do well. She is an athletic marvel… This old Texas girl said she would ride, rope, or play polo against me, and I bet she could beat me in any one of ‘em.” WA #502, Aug. 7, 1932

“Rollins College, Winter Park, Florida, wants to give me (an honorary) degree. Now what in the world would I be doing with a degree? A lot of guys that earned ‘em don’t know what to do with ‘em, much less me that wouldn’t know what one was.” WA #621, Nov. 18, 1934

#550 May 10, 2009

Weekly Comments: Money-saving advice backfires in Washington

COLUMBUS: Remember a couple of weeks ago I suggested the President could save some tax money by staying home rather than flying everywhere on Air Force One. Well, the next day he stayed in Washington, and Air Force One went to New York without him, costing us $330,000. I also hinted at how much Speaker Pelosi could save if she didn’t fly on an Air Force plane to San Francisco every weekend. Would you believe it, this weekend instead of California she flew to Iraq.
Folks, I meant well, but that just shows you a fellow offering free advice to the government has to be absolutely clear to get the desired results. I thought I wrote in plain English, but I guess not. Instead of saving, those two little episodes cost you over a million dollars.
From now on, before I send any money-saving tips to Washington, I’ll hire an accountant and a lawyer. As kind of a dry run, I sent a draft of this commentary to my accountant. She replied, “The New York flight cost $328,835. Plus 29 cents to print the digital photo.”
So you’re already better off by $1164.71. But if I get around to engaging an attorney, we’ll be back in the hole again.
Last week President Obama said that he was slashing his previously announced $3.4 Trillion budget. Because of the tough financial condition of the country, he had assembled all his top economists and ordered them to report all unnecessary or frivolous government expenses. They did, and it adds up to $17 Billion to be cut. That leaves only $3,383,000,000,000 to run the country. Then Congress got wind of it, and said, “You cut the wrong $17 Billion.”
Now if that wasn’t enough comedy, Saturday night the President entertained the Washington press corps at their annual dinner. The gather every year to raise money for charity and grade the president on his humor. They raised a lot of funds, and it’s a good thing because among the neediest people next year will be unemployed Washington journalists. President Obama was quite funny, actually a whole funnier than the comedian hired to follow him. Of course, he had better writers, and more of them, than she did. While she tried to get laughs by comparing Rush Limbaugh to Osama Bin Ladin, the President compared Dick Cheney to Dale Carnegie, saying that Dick was writing a book, “How to shoot friends and interrogate enemies.” You can’t go wrong joking about Vice Presidents.

Historic quotes from Will Rogers:

“With the politicians horning in, our comedian business is overcrowded.” WA #524, Jan. 8, 1933
“Where other Vice Presidents have done nothing but make speeches, Jack Garner just fishes. If all politicians fished instead of speaking publicly we would be at peace with the world.” DT #2251, Oct 20, 1933

#549 May 3, 2009

Weekly Comments: Will is Whole Hog against Swine Flu

COLUMBUS: Today, I’m standing tall on my soap box, espousing total and unending support for a downtrodden minority: swine.

Over the last hundred years we’ve had the Spanish flu, Asian flu and Hong Kong flu. And now along comes another flu that started in Mexico. So they named it Swine flu. Whoa, why not Mexican flu, or Cancun flu? It just don’t seem fair to innocent hogs.

For these people with swine flu across the country and in different countries, they had all been in Mexico, and not a one of them caught it from a hog. Odds of a hog getting the virus from a man are way better than vice versa. In fact in Canada, a worker on a hog farm returned from Mexico and infected the hogs. But good news, they called in a Veterinarian who treated ’em all, including the man, and they are doing fine.

Some folks suggested the President should close the Mexican border. What a joke! They can’t keep out tons of cocaine, illegal immigrants and kidnappers; what chance do they have against a flu virus. Those clamoring for a closed border aren’t quite clear whether it’s to keep out pigs or people.

The only humanitarian reason for not calling it Mexican flu is more Mexicans vote in our elections than hog farmers. Near as I can tell, everyone’s calling it Swine flu – the federal government, television, newspapers…, everybody except Israel. Doctors say the right name is H1N1 so I propose we all rally behind this catchy name. Let’s agree on H1N1, dispense with blaming the flu on 4-legged porkers, and celebrate with a slab of bacon for breakfast.

Meanwhile in Washington, where pork is served with nearly every bill, Senator Specter woke up last week, looked in the mirror, shed his Republican cloak and emerged a Democrat.

Meanwhile the Republicans leaped into action. Like college coaches, they’re recruiting. Trying to persuade a couple of Democrat Senators to cross over to the GOP. Really, Senator Specter is more like the Pennsylvania version of Louisiana’s Huey Long. He’ll hold out on voting till he sees which side offers the most for Pennsylvania.

We’re getting another Supreme Court justice. You’ll hear various sides and special interests spouting off that “our candidate is the smartest lawyer in America”. Well, I don’t care if they’re smart. Just give us someone with common sense who can read. Put the old Constitution in front of ’em and say, “Here’s your bible; go home and read it before October.”

Historic quote from Will Rogers:

“See this morning where the Supreme Court says Negroes in Texas have the right to vote at Democratic primaries. Certainly will seem funny to see the Negroes and the whites voting the same ticket. First thing you know they will be allowing a white Republican to associate with a white Democrat in the South. It’s before the Supreme Court now. Yours for quality in politics regardless of quantity and color.” DT #191, March 8, 1927