We’re dealing. But is it good for us or the world?

Are China and Iran thankful?

Iran and China are in a race to see who can make the best deal with us. You can talk all you want about a Black Friday sale where you get a wide-screen TV for a dollar, but China signed a deal where we will cut carbon emissions by 25 percent by 2025. And what will they give in return? Nothing until 2030. And until 2030 they are free to keep increasing their carbon output to cancel our cuts.

If you want a hint on what it costs to greatly reduce pollution, look at what they did in Beijing when president Obama and other world leaders were there for a conference. China wanted those leaders, and all the TV cameras, to see sunshine and clear skies instead of thick smog. So here is how they did it: they shut down half of their manufacturing plants and told car owners to keep ‘em parked every other day. Of course, nothing that drastic will be needed to meet our part of the agreement, but still…  Well, there is one good angle from this China agreement; we can sell more coal to China to generate their electricity to offset the loss of coal burned here.

Iran was looking over our shoulder on the China confab and figuring out what kind of a deal they can get on their nuclear bomb. They don’t have a bomb yet, but it’s kinda like a new Ford with the spark plugs missing. They promise to keep the spark plugs on a shelf if we remove all economic sanctions. Israel says we should take away their spark plugs and all four tires, then destroy the Ford.

You’ve probably heard of “Net Neutrality.”  I ain’t sure myself what it is, but it has something to do with the internet and how it’s paid for. I think the debate is whether a person who spends all day watching movies sent live over the internet should pay more than someone who only uses it to check email twice a day. I don’t know the answer, but it will give you something besides football to argue about when the family gets together for Thanksgiving.

Historic quotes by Will Rogers:

       “Thanksgiving Day. In the days of our founders they were willing to give thanks for mighty little, for mighty little was all they expected. But now neither government or nature can give enough but what we think it’s too little. Those old boys in the fall of the year, if they could gather in a few pumpkins, potatoes and some corn for the winter, they was in a thanking mood. But if we can’t gather in a new Buick, a new radio, a tuxedo and some government relief, why we feel like the world is agin us.”  DT #2594, Nov. 28, 1934

       “Didn’t we pass an immigration law to keep people out of our country? Well that was all right. It was a good law. It’s our country and we got a right to say who shall come in.” WA #223, March 20, 1927

Fooling Americans

You know Lincoln’s famous quote, “You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.”  Well, it took 150 years and an economist from MIT to prove him wrong.

Professor John Gruber was hired by President Obama to write the Affordable Care Act in a convoluted way that would fool the Congressional Budget Office, newspaper reporters, and enough Senators to get it passed. Even then they had to persuade a Senator from Nebraska with the “Cornhusker Kickback” and Sen. Landrieu with the “Louisiana Purchase.”  Only when the law reached the Supreme Court did John Roberts see through the gobble-de-gook and say, “Boys, it’s a tax, not a mandate,” and that’s all that made it legal.

This great school in Massachusetts, MIT, is known for producing engineers, not economists. An engineer knows that if he lies, a bridge might collapse, an engine can fail, or an airplane fall out of the sky. He would be fired, and maybe hung. But an economist… when he lies he gets praised for putting something over on the people because it will be good for ‘em in the long run.

You may remember that last Friday I was in Washington. I was invited to speak at a Leadership Breakfast in nearby Rockville, Maryland on “Common Horse Sense Leadership.” Of course I had to depend on my friends for the best tips on being a leader, friends like Henry Ford, Amelia Earhart, Gen. Billy Mitchell, President Roosevelt and a few others. I told ‘em I was proud to be invited because no place today needs lessons in leadership more than Washington.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren gave her assessment of the economy, “Wall Street is doing very well, CEOs are bringing in millions more, and families all across this country are struggling.” She’s right. The Great Recession that started in 2008 is over according to most economists, but if you’re stuck without a job or working part time, it’s not over. Maybe this lame-duck Congress can make some progress on jobs, like approving the Keystone Pipeline that’s been held up for six years.

On November 11, I spoke at a retirement center in Columbus. I told them that since I just turned 135 it was a pleasure to address an audience of the same age range. We had several veterans and the rest of us showed our appreciation. I started at 10 o’clock and they seemed pleased, being Armistice Day, that my one-hour talk would end at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month.

Historic quotes by Will Rogers:

            “Everybody is knocking this lame-duck Congress, but do you know those fellows have a chance to make a real name for themselves and make us ashamed that we fired ‘em? They know exactly how the people voted… So when any questions come up all they have to do is read the election returns. Course, if they want to still be on the minority side of all these things we will know exactly why they was defeated.” DT #1976, Dec. 4, 1932
“An awful lot of people are confused as to just what is meant by a ‘lame-duck Congress.’ It’s like where some fellows worked for you and their work wasn’t satisfactory and you let ‘em out, but after you fired ‘em you let ‘em stay long enough so they could burn your house down.” DT #1980, Dec. 8, 1932

Will goes to Washington

The election results can be summed up pretty well by something I said many years ago: “I’m not a member of any organized political party…. I’m a Democrat.”

About the only Democrat who does not recognize a shellacking is President Obama. He says he has the support of the two-thirds of the population who were too lazy to go to the polls and vote, so he’s gonna look out for their interests.

On Friday the President invited Boehner and McConnell and other leaders in Congress to the White House for lunch. Served them sea bass and a 6-pack of Honey Ale. That might get a Harvard professor in an agreeable mood, but for these Republicans from the Heartland, rib eye steak and Budweiser would go down smoother.  Speaker Boehner seemed to want to work on getting more jobs created to improve the economy while the President appears most interested in having another ten million Mexicans arrive to fill those jobs.

I was in Washington Friday, and would have enjoyed an invitation to sit in on that high level discussion. Instead, I spent the lunch hour on Capitol Hill, kinda at the invitation of Congressman Markwayne Mullin of Oklahoma. I had met him last Saturday at Claremore, and he told me to stop in his office and sit a spell. Since he would not be there himself, I could even use his office. He didn’t really say that last part, but I did get to sit in his chair for a few minutes.

I toured the Capitol and got to see “my” statue which kinda guards the door to the House of Representatives. Television news folks are usually in the wide hallway beside the statue, but they must have all been over at the White House. I also got into the Supreme Court chamber.  The nine Justices were not there so it was peaceful and quiet, no arguing.

Also went to the World War II Memorial for a while. I had a special reason to be there at the time. The entire National Mall was being prepared for a huge crowd on Veterans Day, Nov. 11. That day is set aside to honor those men and women who fought and served our country so we can live in freedom and have the right to vote. Or for two-thirds, not vote.

Historic quotes by Will Rogers:

“If your side lost, don’t take it too much to heart.  Remember there is always this difference between us and Italy. In Italy Mussolini runs the country. But here the country runs the President.”  DT #1954, Nov. 8, 1932

“Their greatest trait to recommend the Democrats is optimism and humor. You’ve got to be an optimist to be a Democrat, and you’ve got to be a humorist to stay one.” Radio, June 24, 1934

“The trouble with the Democrats up to now has been that they have been giving the people ‘what they thought the people out to have’ instead of what the people wanted.” Saturday Evening Post, March 30, 1929