Will Rogers “interviews” President Obama

After the State of the Union speech, President Obama granted interviews only to 3 young YouTube internet folks. He figured that’s the only way to reach young voters who would never watch an hour speech on regular TV.  One was named Glozell and she wore green lipstick. She attracts viewers who like to watch a woman eat Fruit Loops in a bathtub filled with milk while wearing a bikini. That’s an essential segment of voters. At least for American Idol.

I persuaded him to sit for an “interview” with me, so he could reach the old folks who likely went to sleep before the speech, or maybe in the middle of it. They eat their oatmeal in a bowl and do their swimming in a pool. And they vote! In elections!

Will Rogers: Mr. President, thanks for talking with me. You are the president of all the citizens. But some wondering, do you like representing the “right half” of the nation? Obama: “Of course I represent ALL Americans, left and right. Without the right, no way I could satisfy the left.”

WR: Do you favor people who save money by investing in the stock market and in savings accounts, such as a college fund for their kids?  “Yes, absolutely. I want them to invest and save and make money, so I can tax ‘em.”

WR: You have stated that everyone should pay their fair share. What is the fair share for the top 1%? They currently pay almost 40% of the total while the bottom 50% pays about 2%. Obama:  “As you know, I feel the half at the bottom should pay nothing. And the middle class has suffered with lower incomes, so they need relief. To be fair, the fat cats at the top need to contribute more, at least 50% of the total.”

WR: So for someone making, say a million a year, how much should they pay? Obama: “Oh, they should pay about 75% in taxes. They can afford it.”

WR: You know, in 3 or 4 years, you and Mrs. Obama will be making at least a million.  Obama:  “Oh shucks! Well, we’ll buy new houses in Hawaii and New York and California so the mortgage deductions will knock down what we owe. I hope tuition at Harvard for our daughters will be deductible, too.”

WR: A Japanese hostage was beheaded this week somewhere in the Middle East. Do you have any idea who did it? Obama: “We’re pretty sure it was terrorists.”

WR: Could it have been Islamic terrorists? Obama: “Well, that would be unfair to the Muslim community. Those terrorists wear black, covered head to foot, and all you can see is their eyes. Who knows, it could be Coptic Christians, or even Israelis.”

WR: You oppose the Keystone XL pipeline. I probably shouldn’t tell you, but they are planning big new pipelines in Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. Any objection? Obama: “Really? Wow, I’ll call my EPA head and have her stop ‘em. Those things are dangerous, and contribute to Global Warming. That’s the biggest problem facing us, global warming.”

WR: Thank you, Mr. President. I know this information will be appreciated by my readers. Both of them.

Harvard professors riled up over Obamacare

Mitt Romney is pondering a third run for President. He’s kinda taking after William Jennings Bryant who ran in 1896, 1900 and 1908. Do any of you remember reading about President Bryant?  Well, no, because he lost each time, to a man from Ohio.  Bryant was a good, honest man and so is Romney, but whether he could win in 2016 I’ve got my doubts.

The Affordable Care Act has riled up the professors at Harvard.  The same elite faculty that helped write it and get it passed through Congress are now complaining because their health insurance costs went up.  The university pays 90 percent of it, but they object to kicking in their 10 percent share.  If those cantankerous professors teaching such essential classes as Ancient Greek or English Literature or something called Women’s Studies are not satisfied with their current status, Harvard may cut ‘em back to 29 hours a week and not pay any of their health costs. Anyway, when it comes to Women, a man can study women for fifty years and still not understand enough to get even a D minus.

The State of the Union speech is this week. I heard President Obama will propose that 2-year community colleges will be free to the students. It won’t get passed by Congress so I have a better idea: let high schools and vo-tech schools teach the same courses as those community colleges. Teach ‘em common sense and something useful to get a good job. Skip ancient Greek. Any student that feels compelled to learn Greek can pay his own way to Harvard. Or to Greece.

I wonder if President Obama will talk about Social Security and other entitlement costs. Most of us old folks don’t want to hear any bad news about Social Security, including what year it’s projected to go broke.  We paid into it so we ought to keep getting our share.  The only problem is too many of us are living a long, long time, and way beyond 65. I read in the newspaper that we have been adding a year to our lifespan every four years. We like living longer but no one wants to work longer.

When Franklin Roosevelt started Social Security in 1935 about a third of workers lived long enough to collect a check. And we have stuck with 65 as the retirement age, except lately nudged it to 67. Here’s something for you to ponder: if the other President Roosevelt (Teddy) had started Social Security the age to collect would have been about 58. Or suppose Lincoln had included a retirement plan in his Emancipation Proclamation; the age to start collecting retirement checks would have been around 40. Of course back then almost everybody was a farmer, and it wouldn’t matter because farmers seldom retire.

Football season is winding down.  Ohio State beat Alabama and Oregon for the college football championship. And in the NFL the Seattle Seahawks return to take on the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl.  East Coast vs. the West Coast for only the second time in 30 years.

Historic quotes by Will Rogers:

“My old friend William Jennings Bryant is the greatest character we have in this country today.  No one has ever been able to understand the unique and uncanny power that he seems to hold over the Democratic Party. Since 1896 he has either run himself or named the man that would run.” Convention Articles, July 10, 1924

“Mr. Hoover delivered his prescription to Congress yesterday on the ‘condition of the country.’ It was 12,000 words long. That’s how bad shape we are in.” DT #1048, Dec. 4, 1929

Lack of Eggs in California and Gas in New York

Starting a new year, California and New York are leading the country in peculiar decisions. California voted to give a laying hen almost twice as much floor space as she has been accustomed to. So egg producers were kinda forced to get rid of half their Leghorns (probably sold ‘em to Col. Sanders) and now there is a severe shortage of eggs.

See, the voters were fooled into thinking that if you give an old hen twice as much space she’ll lay twice as many eggs. So why don’t they just buy eggs from another state? Well, the California legislators took it upon themselves to pass a law that farmers in the other 49 states had to get rid of half their hens, too. That is, if they wanted to sell eggs in California.

Now, whether Californians will ever vote to eliminate half the hogs, I got my doubts. They might give up some eggs, but not bacon.

California also banned plastic bags from grocery stores. The store can give you a choice of empty cardboard boxes, which works fine if you have a cart full of groceries. (Sam’s Club has been doing this for years.) Of course, if all you wanted was a dozen eggs, and now you can only get half a dozen, just put ‘em in your purse.

In New York the governor banned hydraulic fracturing for gas and oil wells. I wonder if he also banned gas and oil (and gasoline) from fracked wells in other states from crossing New York borders.

President Obama started this whole idea a few years ago when he decided to eliminate electricity generated from coal. He knew the price would jump, but I read today that as those power plants shut down in a couple of years we are likely to have blackouts.

Who knew that 2015 is an election year? Jeb Bush, Hillary Clinton, Mike Huckabee, Chris Christie, Joe Biden and a dozen others are already gearing up for a run with a finish line 22 months away.  Ohio is in the thick of this super marathon. Republicans have announced they will hold their convention in Cleveland. And there’s a 50-50 chance Democrats will meet in Columbus.

Back in the 1920s and 30s Will Rogers proclaimed proudly that he had helped keep the Presidential Conventions out of his state of Oklahoma. So I feel like I have let down my fellow Ohioans.  The only previous convention in Ohio, or at least the most recent, was the Republican convention in 1924. Will was there, and I’ll tell you more about it later.