Will Rogers Goes to Washington, Visits Congressman

While I was in Washington last week I stopped in the “old joke factory” to see what Congress is up to. Mainly I went up on Capitol Hill to visit “my” Oklahoma Congressman Markwayne Mullin. His office is in the Longworth House Office Bldg, named after an old friend, Speaker of the House from Ohio, Nicholas Longworth. After chatting about ten minutes he said, “I’ve got to go cast a vote. Come with me and we’ll take some photos in front of your statue.” Now I ain’t braggin’, but I bet there’s not a one of you that ever had your Congressman offer to pose for a picture in front of your statue.

At the start of the tunnel leading to the Capitol I had to go through security. Those guards do a fine job protecting the Capitol because I had to empty my pockets just like at the airport. Congressman Mullin carried my saddle bags and lasso because he wasn’t sure if they would be allowed in there for a visitor, even one with a statue, but they trust a Congressman.  Striding through that long tunnel he looked right at home with saddle bags slung over his shoulder with a lasso hanging down, because he’s a rancher. He also runs a plumbing company but I won’t get into that. But I can see where plumbing tools could come in handy in Congress, especially when a bill gets clogged up with too many crappy amendments.

Well, we got to the entrance to the House, and right there, keeping an eye on Congress, is “my” statue. One of his assistants, Liz, shot a few photos of us, and he said “So long,” and went in to vote. Liz helped me find my way out. We went through the big rotunda under the dome, and she said it would be closed soon because of construction. You’ve all seen the scaffolding surrounding the dome on the outside; now they are ready to start work on the underside of the dome.

Meanwhile, Secretary Kerry was telling the Senate about the Iran nuclear deal he negotiated. He likes it, President Obama likes it, Iran’s Ayatollah Khamenei likes it. Also Russia, Hezbollah, and the UN. But Israel, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt, and average Americans don’t trust Iran with a nuclear bomb. We don’t even trust ‘em with a bazooka.

Do you know Donald Trump is running for President? Of course, it’s all over the news, and I mean all over it. There’s 15 other Republican candidates who are lucky to get 5 seconds of air time. Trump was in Laredo, Texas, facing off against Mexico. Next week, August 6, he’ll be in Cleveland facing off against 9 of those other candidates. What a show! Even Hillary will tune in.

President Obama continues to insist the Gitmo prison needs to be closed because it is costing far too much taxpayer money to house a few Islamic terrorists. Meanwhile, he is on a 2-day trip to visit his relatives and leaders in Kenya, costing us taxpayers $1,000,000,000. Wouldn’t it be more sensible to fly a thousand Kenyans to Washington for 2 days? Bring a few Ethiopians, too.

Historic quotes by Will Rogers:

“A diplomat is a man who tells you what he don’t believe himself, and the man he is telling it to don’t believe it any more than he does.” Saturday Evening Post, June 9, 1928

“During this hot weather I don’t want the blame of settling anything wrong… Heat and reason don’t go together. There’s going to be a lot of spouting from the radio and from the speakers’ platforms all this summer. There’ll be more perspiration than common sense flowing.” Radio, June 9, 1935

“What this country needs is more working men and fewer politicians.” WA #95, Oct. 5, 1924

Lowering a flag; protecting Ten Commandments in Oklahoma; selling some Greek ruins

In South Carolina, a state where they practice forgiveness and grace instead of rioting and looting, the Confederate flag was removed from the state capitol grounds and taken to a museum. TV and radio commentators are speculating this will end the murders of innocent black people, but only if all vestiges of Confederate generals and other Southern heroes are also removed.

Congresswoman Pelosi of San Francisco says no state flag that includes even a hint of that Confederate emblem should be allowed in the U.S. Capitol. In response the Governor of one of those states replied: We’ll work on cleaning up our flag; meanwhile you concentrate on cleaning up the sanctuary city mess in your hometown that let an innocent woman be killed by an illegal Mexican felon who had been deported five times.

Now that the flag is down, serious people are asking: Will this create jobs and solve the unemployment problem? Will our schools improve so students learn better and faster?

Speaking of removing objectionable symbols, the Oklahoma Supreme Court wants to tear down the Ten Commandments monument on the capitol grounds in Oklahoma City. Before they take a sledgehammer to it, those justices need to go back and read what Oklahoma’s favorite son, Will Rogers, wrote, “Whoever wrote the Ten Commandments made ‘em short. They may not always be kept but they are understood. They are the same for all.” Later he joked, “When Congress gets the Constitution all fixed up, they are going to start on the Ten Commandments, just as soon as they can find somebody in Washington who has read them.” Governor Fallin stepped in front of the monument and said, “No, this monument will stand.” In fact, she will request that every worker, every legislator, every judge, every lobbyist stop and read all Ten of the Commandments before entering the Capitol. Why, a bunch of those old lawyers will do well to pass 7 out of 10.

President Obama will be visiting Oklahoma. I wonder if he’ll talk to the family of the popular sportscaster who was killed by an illegal immigrant who made an illegal U-turn. I doubt it because he didn’t call the father of the young woman killed in San Francisco either. Some lives don’t matter as much as others.

Last Sunday Greece voted against austerity. Today in the standoff with Europe, Greece is about to get hit with a double dose of austerity. Europe says, if you want any more money you must cut government spending, increase taxes, and “sell some assets.” They already rejected my idea to sell a few Greek Isles. So I suggest they auction off some Greek ruins, including the Parthenon. That should bring in a couple of billion Euros. See, in Greece, ruins are worth more than things that aren’t ruined. On taxes, Greece needs to get tough on wealthy tax evaders to bring in more dough. (Maybe they can hire Lois Lerner to go after ‘em.) Europe knows they can’t cut off Greece entirely because young people would riot and some old ones might starve. So they will loan ‘em a few more Euros, and trust the Greek politicians to follow through with their austerity promises.

Historic quotes by Will Rogers: (on collecting debts from nations)

“(Editorials are saying) ‘What are you going to do? You can’t collect, we have to make some different terms.’ (I say) One message of three words will make every nation dig it up and send it over by plane: Pay or default. There is not a country in the world that would dare default. It would spoil their credit. They couldn’t borrow any money anymore.” DT #1962, Nov. 17, 1932

Negotiating with Iran and Greece

Secretary of State John Kerry is still negotiating with Iran. They were supposed to reach a deal June 30, but they delayed it another week. They seem to be getting closer. Yes, closer to us agreeing to all of Iran’s demands. Kerry (and Secretary Clinton before him) should have said, “We’re holding back $130 Billion of your money and refusing to let you sell any oil. We’re going to keep these sanctions until you do two things: quit supporting our enemies in the Middle East, and stop development of nuclear bombs and long-range rockets.” But he won’t. Our only hope is for Congress to block any Iran deal until February 2017.

We’ve got a whole slew of Republicans announcing for President. Bobby Jindal, Chris Christy, Donald Trump. And Ohio Governor John Kasich will announce in a couple of weeks.

But the candidate drawing the big crowds is Senator Bernie Sanders. I’ve been reading about his platform. You know, it’s easy to draw a crowd when your main audience includes everyone who is not working and 40 million on food stamps. They sincerely believe his message that taking 90% of everything the top 1% make will cover all their needs and wants. Want a free college education? Got it. Want free hospital stays? Covered.  Free food? Yes, all you care to eat at the Government Buffet.

Based on Senator Sanders’ campaign, I think he is better suited to be president of Greece.  The voters in Greece agreed with their current leader and said, “No, we will not pay Europe the $250 Billion we owe ‘em, and we expect Europe to give us more so we can live this lazy lifestyle we’ve grown accustomed to.”

This is not a new problem. In May 2010, here is a bit of what I wrote in Weekly Comments. “The problem in Greece? The government overspent and overpromised. Greeks are guaranteed a high retirement income, and they live a long, long time after they retire. The government’s been operating on borrowed money, and the younger folks aren’t thrilled at the prospect of paying off the debt and getting none of the benefits.” A year later in July 2011 I wrote, “Leaders in Greece say they have a debt crisis, but it’s actually a work crisis. Nobody wants to work. They’d rather protest, carry signs, throw rocks, and set fires. Greece needs to sell off a few islands. Those Greek Isles are so popular, you’d be surprised what they’d bring at auction.”

If Secretary Kerry were in charge of the financial negotiations with Greece he would likely agree to write off the $250 Billion debt and give ‘em $10 Billion more so they can all take their annual 7-week summer vacations.

The U.S. women’s soccer team won the World Cup, 5-2 over Japan. They got off to a great start scoring 4 goals in the first 16 minutes. Carli Lloyd had 3 of the goals. She and her teammates should be hired to teach our men’s team how to score.

I’m glad you survived our Independence Day celebrations. Chicago had at least 18 murders and almost a hundred who were shot but survived. But I never heard about any of these shootings on national news, probably because none of them were by a white policeman.

Historic quotes by Will Rogers:

“Greece is frying in her own fat.” DT #2683, Mar. 12, 1935

“That liberty we got [in 1776] was a great thing, but they ought to pass a law that we could only celebrate it every 100 years, for at the rate of accidents yesterday we won’t have enough people to celebrate it every year…What this country needs on July the Fourth is not ‘more liberty or more freedom,’ it’s a Roman candle that only shoots out of one end.”  DT #2782, July 5, 1935