Weekly Comments: Football has more fans than Congress

#773 Sept. 22, 2013

COLUMBUS: Football is off to a good start and has never been more popular. Meanwhile, Congress is coming to the end of the fiscal year, and has never been less popular. Could it be because the average football coach is smarter than the average Congressional leader?

Congress is facing a pile of decisions, none bigger than whether to fund the entire government. Democrats want to fund 100% of it; Republicans want to fund about 95%. The big disagreement is over the Affordable Care Act and who gets blamed if millions of people dependant on the government don’t receive their payments October 1. When your government runs through Ten Billion a day and you threaten to shut off the spigot, it gets attention.

A lot of that spending is right there in Washington. Yes, the rest of the country is kinda suffering through hard times with high unemployment, but Washington is booming.

President Obama says he will not negotiate any changes with Republicans. Of course that’s after he already made a bunch of changes in the original ACA. He said it wasn’t a tax, but the Supreme Court says it is. He allowed big companies and certain unions to delay it a year, but not small companies or individual families. Congress and their staff members are exempt, and so are IRS employees, including thousands of new ones who will enforce the healthcare law. If it’s so great, why do the people who wrote the law, and those who will enforce the law, want to make sure the law does not apply to them? Those folks should be the first ones to sign up.

In Kenya, more than a hundred people were shot at a mall by an Islamist terrorist group based in Somalia. And, unbelievably, some of the Islamic killers are Somali-Americans. How disgusting is it when we allow Somalis to come here to escape the terror at home, and they turn against us.

Miss New York got selected as Miss America. She’s a lovely, talented young woman, very deserving, but some folks didn’t like it because she’s an Indian-American. If you confuse Indian-American with American Indian, blame Christopher Columbus. When he landed in 1492 he was more than ten thousand miles short of reaching India but that didn’t stop him from claiming the natives were Indians. Since there were no geography teachers around to correct him, we’re stuck with the name.

Historic quotes by Will Rogers:

“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

“Today minds are not on politics, they are not on national affairs, they are on football. Millions of football fans are going to football games. Mind you, I think it’s a great thing.” DT #726, Nov. 23, 1928

“No matter how hard times are you can always find enough to attend a football game. Football should prosper. It has given more employment to the young men of this country than any other industry.” DT #1352, Nov. 23, 1930

How to win a war: keep quiet

Wow, the last two or three weeks a fellow that only reads a paper once a day has no chance of keeping up on the news. With President Obama, Kerry, Assad and Putin puttin’ in their two cents, the story on Syria changed direction faster than Miley’s twerking hips.

Remember when we had five warships in the Mediterranean ready to fire cruise missiles at Syria? Abruptly, the President decided to wait till Congress finished their vacation. Soon the war changed from missiles and B-1 bombers to “unbelievably small.” For awhile I thought Obama had read my Weekly Comments where I suggested he challenge Assad to a duel… using water pistols. Squirt! Squirt! would be “smaller” than Boom! Boom! The question now is, is a “Squirt” larger than a Pinprick?


Secretary Kerry blurted that if Assad gave up his chemical weapons then we would back off, but he said he was sure Assad would never agree to do it. Before a reporter could even get that change of direction in print, Putin got wind of it and jumped in with an offer to arrange it. Oddly, we took Putin serious even though he had been assuring the world that Assad did not have any chemical weapons, only the rebels did.

Next Obama went on national television to announce a possible diplomatic end to an unbelievably small war before it started. Then Putin, or an impostor, wrote an editorial for the New York Times. I say “impostor” because it read like it had been written by an American, not some Russian who worships Stalin. Next Assad himself goes on NBC television, speaking English! What gives?

My, how things change. A couple of years ago, on the Egypt uprising, our President was leading from behind. Now, on Syria, he is leading from behind Putin.

Maybe we should let Putin have Syria, but only if he agrees to take Afghanistan off our hands. And he must leave Ukraine alone.

Nobody knows how this will end, or if it will end. I can tell you though how it got started: our President and his crew talk too much. He started it himself when he announced that Assad has got to go, and then piled on by drawing a red line. If they had shut up and kept Assad guessing instead of assuring him he was in no mortal danger, then Obama would be holding the cards instead of Putin. Instead of battleships off the coast, sneak in a couple of submarines. If you’re planning a war, follow General Eisenhower’s example, not Chamberlain’s.

Syria, Egypt and Libya are getting the attention. But Iran is the one to worry about.

Historic quotes by Will Rogers:

“The smartest statesmen are the worst fooled when anything comes up quick.” WA #418, Dec. 28, 1930

“There is one thing no nation can accuse us of, and that is secret diplomacy.” WA #45, Oct. 21, 1923

Did Obama outsmart Syria’s Assad?

President Obama is shrewd. Although many see his delay as backtracking on his red line declaration, he just outsmarted Assad. After a speech on Saturday, Obama goes off to play golf and Assad can’t even play putt-putt. He won’t pick up a golf club for fear the first ball he hits will blow up in his face. Obama flies to Europe to meet the popular Swedish bikini team but Assad must hide behind women in burkas. Then Obama goes to Moscow, and Assad is saying, “Hey, I thought Putin was on my side.”

Delaying for a couple of weeks is no problem. FDR and Churchill took 3 years preparing for D-Day. Eisenhower made that plan work out ok.

Really, our President should take this argument directly to Assad. Challenge him to a duel. One on one. Man to man. Think of all the millions of borrowed money it would save us. The weapon of choice for the duel? Water pistols. Let ‘em battle it out for 3 or 4 days. If Obama can drown him, so be it.

Too bad we can’t just put a high fence around that region and let all those Shiite, Sunni, and other Muslim tribes fight among themselves like they have been doing for centuries.

With our President occupied with Syria and the Middle East, here’s a bit of good news that may sneak through without him hearing about it. A company is planning to build a Billion dollar pipeline in Ohio to transport liquid fuel made from natural gas. Did you know we can make methanol out of this gas and replace gasoline from OPEC oil? Since Obama and his environmental supporters are determined to outlaw the Keystone pipeline that would transport Canadian crude, we’ve got to keep this Ohio pipeline a secret.

When Congress returns they have to deal with Syria, but that’s just a start. The farm bill, immigration, debt ceiling, healthcare are all staring ‘em in the face. You might compare Congress to a football team in their first game of the season: they should have plenty of energy because they did nothing for eight months. But they could still lose 50-0.

Labor Day weekend did not have a whole lot to celebrate this year. The economy is still staggering along. Most new jobs are part time and some old jobs are being cut to under 30 hours. A few fast food workers protested because they were convinced they should be paid $15 an hour instead of $7.50. But it’s not gonna happen. Here’s the best advice: if you want a $15 job find out what it takes to earn it. If frying burgers, sweeping floors, spinning a rope, telling jokes, blowing a horn, dancing the two-step, or whatever else you’re doing doesn’t land you in that desired salary range, then learn a new skill. If you got downgraded because of the economy and you’re working two jobs to make ends meet, hang in until the job market returns.


Historic quotes by Will Rogers:

“The smarter a nation gets, the more wars it has. The dumb ones are too smart to fight.” WA #501, July 31, 1932

“I can think of nothing more unpopular than a strike.” DT #2228, Sept. 24, 1933

“Every holiday ought to be named ‘Labor Day.’ If we could ever get vacations down to where you wasn’t any more tired on the day one was over than on our regular work day it would be wonderful.” DT #2210, Sept. 4, 1933