Virginia says “No Santa for Newt”

Dec. 25, 2011

COLUMBUS: In the Christmas spirit, Republican Congressmen compromised with the Senate and President. The President wanted a 2-month Social Security reduction and the Republicans wanted 12. So they compromised on 2.

Workers will get to keep the $20 a week extra they have been getting since January, and it will be “paid for” by homeowners who take out a new mortgage over $200,000.  Let’s see if I got this straight; workers will get the same paycheck they got last year, but some homeowners will have to pay a new additional fee. And this is supposed to revive the economy?

Newt Gingrich has dropped a bit in the polls. Most Republicans say he would be the best debater against President Obama next fall. Only problem is, he has to get some votes first.

Newt got left off the Virginia ballot. He appealed, but Virginia said, “No, there is no Santa Claus.”

Ron Paul has a lead in Iowa. He’s about the only Republican who had not had a turn on top. The media have turned their guns on him, so his time as a front-runner will be short. The only surefire way to win is to make your move in the last day or two before the caucus, and hit the go-ahead basket with a second left in the game. To win Iowa, all it takes is about 35,000 folks with nothing better to do for 3 hours on a cold Wednesday night in January. But first you have to convince them, and that ain’t easy because they take Presidential politics serious.

The radical Muslims don’t care about Christmas or any other religious celebration, including their own. They killed dozens more in Nigeria, Iraq, and Afghanistan. It makes you feel sorry for the majority of Muslims who are as peaceful and friendly as the rest of us.

North Korea , Yemen, Egypt and Libya had a turnover at the top in 2011. If the dictators in Cuba, Venezuela, Iran and Syria could be persuaded to join them it would be a change for the better in world politics.

Historic quotes by Will Rogers:

“This was a very happy Christmas for me. The shirts my wife gave me were the right size for the first time since wedlock. Of course, they were the wrong color, but if married, a man must not be too particular. For awhile it looked like I would spend a perfect Christmas. Then about noon a necktie arrived.” WA #108, Jan. 4, 1925

“If I had collected for every favorable joke I have told about each one of the candidates, and if I had been paid for (every joke) I had told against each one of them, I would be a millionaire.  I have said something good about them when they have done something good, and I have knocked them when they didn’t do so good.  That is why I am generally knocking them.”  WA #100, Nov. 9, 1924

Outlawing tractors could solve jobs problem

Dec. 18, 2011

COLUMBUS: Congress is still arguing over the Social Security tax relief for wage earners. Senate Democrats want it for 2 months, House Republicans for 12. They may be delaying a decision just so President Obama gets a late start on his 17-day, $4,000,000 Hawaii trip. If he was only going to Chicago, they would have let him go sooner.
Of course, Congress is hoping for a full month’s vacation. Rick Perry’s plan for Congress to work a few months every other year appeals to some of those folks. For others it would mean more work than they put in now.
Mitt Romney was on TV making his case to be nominated for President. The difference between him and President Obama kinda boils down to what you mean by the words “free” and “fair”. Mitt says he believes in free enterprise and fair taxes, while the President believes things should be free, paid for by the rich paying their fair share.
Romney offered a jobs plan; “If you want to increase employment, make tractors illegal. All farm work would have of be done by horses and plows.” Of course, he was just making a point. But I’ll go even further with his silly plan: eliminate all weed control products and hybrids and genetically-modified crops. If we did, to do the hoeing, corn shuckin’, cotton pickin’, and other chores it would require the entire population of Mexico. More than a quarter of our farm land would be needed to feed the horses and extra farm workers.
Even with all our modern technology, farmers need more workers. And the government is threatening to take away some of the most dependable workers they have: farm kids. The Labor Dept says if you’ve been driving a tractor since you were 8 or herding cattle on horseback since you were 6, you’ve got to quit. From now on they want you to wait until you’re 16.
If the Occupiers want to meet the real “one percenters”, go to a farm. Roughly one percent produce enough food that the other 99 percent of us can earn a living without having to farm too.
Time magazine named the Protesters their “Person of the Year.” In response to that recognition, the Occupy Wall Street protesters took over a church-owned piece of land, shouted obscenities and got arrested. Meanwhile in Des Moines, a band of Occupiers demanded that military spending be cut in half. In Iowa? Shucks, you could cut half of what the U.S. military spends in Iowa and it wouldn’t amount to a drop in a bucket.
Meanwhile in Egypt, Protesters are being beaten and killed. Egypt’s troops are not as kind to people hurling insults and rocks at them as our police forces are. Those folks appear to be protesting for freedom and free elections. Ours are protesting for free college degrees, free home loans, and (in one case) a living wage for tattoo artists.

Merry Christmas to you. Or Happy Hanukkah or Happy Holidays if you prefer.

Historic quotes by Will Rogers:

“Well, there is lots more good cheer this Christmas than last (or the last three) and it’s not all out of bottles either. It’s in the heart, in the confidence and in the renewed hope of everybody. Course there is an awful lot of folks that are not working… But I believe even the most down and out, while he might not see a turkey Christmas Day, he can see one in the future.” DT #2306, Dec. 24, 1933

Minnesota governor targets millionaires

COLUMBUS: I was in Minnesota last week, where Governor Mark Dayton says he wants to raise taxes on millionaires whether the state needs the money or not. New York and California are on the same track. If this tax-raising virus keeps spreading, we may run out of states for these rich folks to move to.

I spent one morning with the County Commissioners. I came away from their state convention convinced that if we let the local folks raise their own money and spend it on local needs, rather than trying to get some back after it’s been sent off to the state capital or Washington, why it would save enough on efficiency to make everyone better off. And counties might be smart enough to figure out ways to attract the wealthy, instead of run ‘em off.

Gov. Dayton means well, and I know he’s sincere. He and his family are heirs to the chain of Target stores so his new tax would take a chunk out of his pocket too. But there may be an ulterior motive: see, if he strips away enough excess cash from the wealthy, then like the rest of us poor folks they will have to shop at Target.

Iowa is the center of the Republican universe for the next three weeks. Basketball, Christmas presents and New Year’s parties will play second fiddle till the Republican Party wraps up their caucus election. But presidential politics won’t slow down the farmers. Hogs and Angus steers have to be fed, Holstein cows milked, and corn hauled to market.

I heard two comments on television this evening that might be classified as “motivational”. The first was, “Keep believing. Impossible things can sometimes be possible.” The second was, “Be persistent. It may take (a few years), but we will succeed.” The first speaker was quarterback Tim Tebow after another come-from-behind win by the Denver Broncos. The second was President Obama talking about job growth and the economy. Nothing against the Broncos, but I kinda wish it was vice-versa. If you’re out of work, you don’t want to wait a few years for a recovery.

When three-fourths of Americans think the country is going in the wrong direction, maybe it’s time to grab the reins and turn the lead horse. Whether we yell “gee” or “haw” may not matter, just do it now, before we go off the cliff.

Historic quotes by Will Rogers:
“You can’t have a picnic lunch unless the party carrying the basket comes.” 
DT #1714, Jan 21, 1932

“I generally give the party in power, whether Republican or Democrat, the more digs because they are generally doing the country more damage, and besides I don’t think it is fair to jump too much on the fellow who is down.  He is not working, he is only living in hopes of getting back in on the graft in another four years, while the party in power is drawing a salary to be knocked.” WA #100, Nov. 9, 1924

Wow, a $110 Billion Christmas gift

Dec. 4, 2011

COLUMBUS: President Obama is working on his Christmas gift list. He wants to give $110 Billion to American workers. He gave the same present last year when it was announced as a one-time special gift, but now he says it would be cruel to be any less charitable this year.

He seems to be depending on the generosity of our millionaires to cover the cost, unless Senator Reid comes up with a better plan. Congress has to act fast though, before those millionaires spend the $110 Billion on Christmas presents. If the wealthy of this country foolishly spend their excess cash on elaborate presents, why they won’t have enough left to help out the President. This year their friends will have to get along with new socks and a necktie.

The unemployment rate dropped to 8.6% as 120,000 found new jobs, which will give our President some relief for the holidays. The stock market is up, which will mean big bonuses for the brokers and more millionaires to contribute to the President’s Christmas fund.

In the Middle East, the radical Muslim Brotherhood won an election in Egypt, Syrian protesters are being shot by the dictator, and Iran trashed the British Embassy. Maybe the safest places over there are Iraq and Afghanistan.

Herman Cain dropped out of the Presidential race. When Bill Clinton heard the news, he simply asked, “Why?” Is it irony that the same weekend Mr. Cain quit, Tiger Woods won his first golf tournament in two years?

I’ll be in Minneapolis later this week. The folks there will teach me how to pronounce Minnesota, and I’ll try to teach them how to say Oologah. I hope to meet that Minnesota couple we hear so much about, Ole and Lena.

Historic quotes by Will Rogers:

“A conservative is a man who has plenty of money and doesn’t see any reason why he shouldn’t always have plenty. A Democrat is a fellow who never had any, but doesn’t see any reason why he shouldn’t have some.” WA #535, March 26,1933

 “People have just got to get more used to debt. Let’s all let the fellow we owe do the worrying and the U. S. will be the happiest land on earth.” DT #2421, May 7, 1934

“President Coolidge said save, and we did. And that brought on a Panic on Wall Street, for the more we save the less they got. And a Panic is better for us than it is for them, for we are more used to it. When Wall Street has a Panic the World knows it. When we have one only our stomachs know it. So there is less publicity in us having one. Wall Street can’t stand a Crisis, but we can lay right down by the side of one and go to sleep.” Radio, March 30, 1930