Is Obama ready to drive a Chevy?

June 26, 2011

COLUMBUS: There are plenty of families in this country facing huge debts brought about by home mortgages, credit card bills, lost jobs, or medical bills. But any one of these is nothing compared to the $14,000,000,000,000 deficit strapped around our necks by the folks in Washington. Even if you owe nothing and have money in the bank, your share of that debt for a family of four is almost $200,000.

President Obama is finally ready to enter the ring with Republicans to fight it out over the debt ceiling. But really, it’s a simple arithmetic problem, addition and subtraction. Republicans don’t want to add any taxes and the President don’t want to subtract any spending. He brought thousands of new federal employees to Washington to carry out his platform, and he hates to backtrack. Kinda like the guy who financed a new Cadillac just before he went bankrupt, he don’t want to give it up and go back to a Chevy. Well, the way this country is spending itself into a deeper hole, pretty soon he’ll be driving a horse and buggy.

Senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma has his own plan for the deficit, in case the President decides to punt. He says he can reduce it almost a Trillion dollars a year for the next ten years. But he will make the President show his cards first before giving even a hint of how he can do it. Since Tom is a doctor, I suspect he will propose that people stay healthy to reduce the cost of getting them well again. And because everyone insists on living longer, he may propose that we keep working longer, too.

The President announced that 10,000 troops will be leaving Afghanistan soon. On their way home he wants them to stop off in Libya and take out Gaddaffi.

In New York, the wedding lobbyists, combined with the divorce lawyers association, convinced the Legislature to add several thousand prospective brides and grooms. I read where the average wedding costs almost $25,000, so this will be a nice boost to the wedding business. I have not read anything lately about the cost of a divorce, but you can bet, with more clients around the corner, those New York lawyers will raise their fees. “I maintain that it should cost as much to get married as it does to get divorced. Make it look like marriage is worth as much as divorce, even if it ain’t. That would also make the preachers financially independent like it has the lawyers.” (1928)

Historic quotes from Will Rogers: (from Weekly Article #661)
 “It’s a beautiful morning in Seattle, Wash. Wiley and Mrs. Post have been here a few days getting the (plane) from wheels to pontoons.  Seattle is a great travel corner. Mrs. Post and Wiley and I drive out to the field. It’s a combination land and water airport, called the Great Lakes Airway, right on beautiful Lake Washington.
Girl newspaper photographer, very efficient and pleasant, in fact all of ’em are. They seem to know we don’t know where we are going ourselves and they don’t insist on us telling ’em. Well, they ’bout got the gas in; Wiley is getting nervous. I am anxious to get going too. I think we are going to have a great trip, see lots of country that not too many have seen.”
 WA #661, written Aug. 6, 1935

#660 June 19, 2011

Folks, those of you who read this by email or on my website know this is Weekly Comments #660. Well, Will Rogers wrote Weekly Articles, and his last one was #666. For the next 7 weeks, to honor his memory, I plan to include quotes from his WA of the same number as my WC.

Weekly Comments: President Obama trades shovels for golf clubs

COLUMBUS: That young Irishman Rory McIlroy showed everybody how to play golf this weekend at the U.S. Open.  Of course he wasn’t the only one golfing around Washington; President Obama invited Speaker Boehner and Ohio Governor Kasich to join him and the Vice-President in a round. “About all there is to prominent men nowadays is their golf. Just imagine if Lincoln had had golf to add to his other accomplishments. There is a boy you would have been proud of.” (1923)

President Obama announced the reason his stimulus program did not work was because a lot of so-called shovel-ready projects were not actually shovel-ready. Most of us knew that two years ago, but he just now learned it.

I’m no economist, but I think to put people to work he needs to build more shovels. Park all the bulldozers, backhoes and earth movers; give a shovel to all these thousands of new college and high school graduates without a job and let them do the digging. Of course one reason they are unemployed is because they did not do enough digging through the want ads four years ago. You would be surprised how many students had no clue that jobs were kinda scarce for young professionals in art, or European history, or flute, or interdisciplinary studies.

The President is concerned than technology is hurting the economy. He’s got it backwards. Technology grows the economy, even with fewer jobs. No contractor is going to replace a D9 Caterpillar with a hundred men with shovels. Look at farming. Nobody wants to hoe corn, pick cotton, shock wheat, pitch hay or milk cows. If a farmer can’t do it with a tractor and equipment, why it’s hard to find a man to do the work, unless maybe he’s from Mexico or China.

The Republicans held a debate on CNN. Newspapers criticized the 7 candidates because they only yelled at the President, not at each other. Remember, these are Republican candidates; it’s the Democrats that try to knock each other out. “Naturally the Republicans want to put their best side forward. They are just trying to figure out which side is their best.” (1932)

The Missouri River is at record levels because of too much rain. In Arizona, fires have burned over 800 square miles because of no rain. We can’t seem to get the weather we want where we need it.

Historic quotes by Will Rogers: (from Weekly Article #660)
 “A week or so back I went out to the flying field in Los Angeles to catch the plane for Seattle. Bill, that’s the first born, and his Mother were with me, and I was off on a little sightseeing trip with Wiley Post. When my wife knew it was with Wiley, it dident matter where it was we was going and she was mighty fine about it. Well, she is about everything. You can’t live with a comedian long without being mighty forgiving.
Seattle? That’s a whole story in itself. The Gateway to Alaska, to the Orient, to Canada. Have to tell you about that and seeing the big bombing plane they was just finishing for the Army. Biggest in the World
 [Boeing B-17, Flying Fortress].
Yes, sir, a plane is a great place to see anything, only the wings are right under where you want to look and you can’t see anything. Did really see Mount Shasta. They couldent hide it under the wings.” WA #660, written August 6 or 7, 1935

Europe hasn’t changed in 80 years

June 12, 2011

COLUMBUS: The stock market is going down, and  unemployment is headed up. If you want a job go to Texas, North Dakota or McDonalds.

The newspapers forced Alaska to print off all the emails sent by Governor Palin. Then they found they had laid off so many reporters they had to ask volunteers to read through ‘em all to dig up dirt. They offered prizes to the readers who found the dirtiest ones. Wonder which governor they will tackle next.

Actually what they were looking for in the emails was attached photos of Sarah. They’re tired of looking at Weiner’s.

The President is delighted with any news that draws attention away from the pending doom of the debt limit. When you’re spending ten dollars for every six you take in, the last thing you want is a front page story asking which four dollars you intend to cut.

The Republican candidates are having another debate. Tim Pawlenty, who has been described as dry and lacking enthusiasm, announced Sunday that, if elected, he has no intention of being the “Comedian-in-Chief”. That’s good news for comedians. We don’t need the competition.

Here is it the middle of June and the Dallas Mavericks knocked off the Miami Heat to finally end the basketball season. The only thing more out of place than basketball in June is ice hockey. LeBron James thought he had assembled an unbeatable team a few months ago, but Dirk Nowitzki has been building a team for a dozen years.

Defense Secretary Gates sure shot into a hornets nest when he criticized Europe for not carrying their weight. If France and Germany got half as mad at terrorists as they did at Gates, why the Taliban and Al Qaeda would be wiped out in a week. NATO has 28 countries, but they expect us to pay 75% of the bills. Europe likes to go to the beach for six weeks while Uncle Sam is their life guard. They get a tan, we get taken. Europeans dislike the prospect of war because they might have to buy another gun. Gadaffi is safe because Europe ran out of ammunition.

Historic quotes by Will Rogers:

“Any fool can fight a war, but it takes a smart man to jar any loose change out of any part of Europe… It is much easier for America to whip a Nation than it is to collect a dollar from them. There is only one way we could be in worse with Europeans, and that is to have helped them out in two wars instead of one.” Saturday Evening Post, July 10, 1926

 “They say all (European) nations are sore at us, but unfortunately for us they didn’t get sore at us quick enough. If they had, we would have saved money. We are the ones that should be sore at them for not getting sore at us quicker.” DT #125, Dec. 29, 1926

“That’s one good thing about European nations: They can’t hate you so bad they wouldn’t use you.” Radio, March 31, 1935

Football gets deflated in Ohio

June 5, 2011

COLUMBUS: Coach Jim Tressel and his wife Ellen were in church this morning (Sunday). That may surprise you. See, he was forced to resign from Ohio State University after a star quarterback traded some priceless sports memorabilia for tattoos and a fancy car. The coach tried to keep it a secret so he could get another good season out of the quarterback, especially another win over Michigan. But keeping secrets about broken rules is a hanging offense in college football akin to being in bed with the Devil. Well, today he was in the pews with the Methodists.

[update, June 7: the Quarterback who caused the problem also “resigned” from OSU]

For years, the symbol of Ohio State University has been Brutus Buckeye, proudly frolicking on the sidelines. For now, Brutus Buckeye has been replaced by a Deflated Football.

I just returned from Peoria, Illinois. This part of the state is always forced to explain that although they reside in the same state as Chicago, the only thing connecting them is the Illinois River. I saw a headline in the Chicago Tribune: Man kills 2, gets house arrest. Around here, the same murderer would never even see his house again, and certainly not get sent there permanently.

Last year I was here for the same event, international competition among college students to see which school can design and build the best Quarter-Scale Tractor for pulling. These are mostly agricultural engineering students, and they work all year. They start with a 31-horsepower engine from Briggs & Stratton and 2 tires from Titan, and figure out the rest themselves. Just like the big tractor pulls, the pulling is the most fun. But these students also write a report, give a speech about their tractor, and get questioned about details by engineers from Caterpillar, John Deere and the other companies. These students had fun while competing, and many will enjoy their future careers, designing tractors for real.

Historic quotes by Will Rogers:

“Dr. Wilce, the Ohio State coach, just showed me their new stadium, seating 100,000, built by hard study and excellent scholarship. They lost to Michigan by a kick after touchdown [17-16]. He has 400 students practicing day and night in relays to kick goals… I suggested they practice making another touchdown, then they wouldn’t have to worry about the goal kicking.” DT #139, Jan. 14, 1927

 “After a football (soccer) game in Lima, Peru, five were killed… Up here we don’t kill our football players. We make coaches out of the smartest ones and send the others to the Legislature.” DT #1389, Jan. 5, 1931