A comedian President in Ukraine; why not Will Rogers in America?

Back in 1933 I wrote, “With the politicians horning in, our comedian business is getting overcrowded.” Well, it took until 2019, and a fellow in Ukraine, but we finally have a comedian who horned in on the politicians. His name is Zelenskiy and he is the new President of Ukraine.

In case you’re wondering, he did not collude with Russia. He is anti-Putin and wants Ukraine to be independent of Russian influence. He may not get ‘em to give back Crimea, but he will fight to keep Russia off the mainland. You may not know this, but Ukraine has almost 20 percent of the absolute best agricultural soil in the world. He is determined to hang on to that land for his farmers.

The victory by the humorist Zelenskiy, who is also an actor, gives hope to a few of us Americans with high ambitions. For 2020, there’s already 20 Democrat candidates and a couple of Republican challengers to Trump. With a wide open field I know a few comedians who are tempted to jump in. Among all those candidates, not a one is funny, at least not intentionally.

Is it time to dust off the “Will Rogers for President” campaign buttons? My first run at it was in 1928, and then again in 2016. What chance does Will have in 2020? Well, in those previous elections I got as many Electoral College votes as Joe Biden.

Bernie Sanders and Biden have already shown that age is no limiting factor to running. So being 140 on Election Day is no handicap. Here’s a plus, especially for a Democrat… I’m quarter-blood Cherokee, and I’ve got the papers to prove it. I’ve been married to the same wife, Betty Blake, faithfully, although that may not make any difference for a politician today. Concerning income tax reports, if it’s ok with Betty, you can look at all of ‘em for a hundred years. The only embarrassment might be in the amount of second mortgages on Oklahoma farmland that were slow getting paid. As a Democrat, my views on federal taxes may not get me many votes (see below). But like most politicians, I probably have said something almost opposite on other occasions.

Historic quotes by Will Rogers:

“The crime of taxation is not in the taking it, it’s in the way that it’s spent.” DT #1764, March 20, 1932

“It costs ten times more to govern us than it used to, and we are not governed one-tenth as good.” DT #1770, March 27, 1932

“If you ever injected truth into politics, you would have no politics.” WA #31, July 15, 1923

Income Taxes, Black Sunday (Dust Bowl), and Mueller Report

Let’s start with a few comments from Will Rogers on Income Taxes. (In those days taxes were due March 15.)

“This is income tax paying day. There is going to be no attempt at humor, for it would be mighty forced. No two can agree on what is deductible. When it’s made out you don’t know if you are crook or martyr. It’s made more liars out of the American people than golf.” DT #822, March 15, 1929

“This is income tax day, and I am in no shape to be funny. Why don’t they do it all like they do the gasoline tax? You pay it when you buy it… But no one that made enough to pay a tax this year should kick.” DT #1449, March 16, 1931

“You can’t legitimately kick on income tax, for it’s on what you have made. You have already made it. But, look at land, farms, homes, stores, vacant lots. You pay year after year on them whether you make it or not.” DT #1798, April 28, 1932

“The crime of taxation is not in the taking it, it’s in the way that it’s spent.” DT #1764, March 20, 1932

You probably know the Dust Bowl lasted a few years in the 1930s. The absolute worst day, Black Sunday, was 84 years ago today, April 14, 1935. If interested, History.com has a good article on it, written in 2015. Here’s the link: https://www.history.com/news/remembering-black-sunday-80-years-later?fbclid=IwAR0ERH768tcD7hilYMOBnRB6d2_XnPCQ7m5XS5sC-UkKJV5192C0Nk0Lipw

Will Rogers had a few comments about the dust storms.

“Flew through these dust storms last night. It’s a terrible thing, and it’s going to bring up some peculiar cases in law. If Colorado blows over and lights on top of Kansas, it looks kinder like Kansas ought to pay for the extra top soil. But Kansas can sue ’em for covering up their crops.  On the (Great Plains)  now you’ve got to put a brand on your soil, then in the Spring go on a round up looking for it. These dust storms…. Poor farmer spent a lifetime fixin’ his farm and everything, goes out and looks down at it, and it’s up above him.” (slightly reworded) DT #2697, March 28, 1935

“I defended President Roosevelt when Republicans poked fun at him for wanting to hire young men and boys to plant millions of trees (windbreaks) in all the dry regions across the country. “They called them ‘sapling planters.’ Imagine the government going into the tree-planting business.  What a nut idea.  Well, if the sapling planters had started in about (40 years ago), we’d today be able to see the sun.” Radio, April 14, 1935

The Mueller Report on Russian collusion with Donald Trump, with required redactions, will be released to the public soon. But Democrat leaders in Congress are not satisfied. They are demanding to see the entire report, including Top Secret Classified details, Grand Jury information, and other details that are against the law for the Attorney General to make public. What’s the solution?

I suggest that AG William Barr invite four top Democrats (Pelosi, Schumer, Congressmen Adam Shiff and Jerry Nadler) into his office for a top secret, all day meeting. He would then announce that he is treating them exactly like General Eisenhower did reporters a few days before the D-Day invasion of Normandy, France in 1944. The Attorney General would hand each of these four leaders one-fourth of the total report, with secret information clearly identified, and invite them to read their own portion in detail.

What does this have to do with the D-Day invasion? General Eisenhower told the reporters the exact date and time of the expected invasion. He told them if anyone leaked that information ahead of the invasion that reporter would be hung for treason.

I’ve got my doubts any of the four would accept this offer under those conditions, especially Congressman Shiff. He can’t avoid blabbing into a TV camera for 5 minutes, let alone be expected to keep a secret for 50 years.

More on our new elite university. NCAA basketball championship game

The elite, superior, private university announced last week has drawn tremendous interest and attention. Several professors are on board. When they find out professors will get a good share of the million dollar offerings, you find a lot of friends willing to help out this ole country boy.

Students can learn Art while learning about the Constitution and patriotism. Or major in Education with common sense. Practice speaking more effectively (and texting less.)  If you’re short on credits, take a class on comedy writing and speaking. We’ll have classes in Engineering and Agriculture and Finance with Blockchain. I bet you won’t find these offerings at any other high-class university.

A friend in Florida says we need a Mascot. He gave five great suggestions to choose from: Greenbacks, Gold Rush, Cash Cows, Benjamins, and Spoiled Brats. (That last one could also be the main course at the dormitory lunch counter.)

If we get a Billion dollar bid for the name of the university we’ll be opening in September. I received a good name suggestion, and it could fit with any offer:  __________ U of E&E. That could be mistaken for Entrepreneurship & Excellence, but really it means Elite & Entitled.

So now, the only other thing lacking is million dollar bids by wealthy parents for 250 students.

In college basketball we’re down to the top two teams, Thomas Jefferson’s University of Virginia in Charlottesville and Texas Tech University in Lubbock.  Now Mr. Jefferson and his Wahoos (whatever that is) have been there before but this is the first time a university with a statue of “me” (Will Rogers on his favorite Palomino, Soapsuds) has ever been in the Championship game.

I have no idea what UVA students do to a statue of our third President before big games, but at Texas Tech they wrap the statue in red crepe paper from the top of my head to the bottom of Soapsuds’ four hoofs. You might consider that humiliating. But the students get a kick out of it, and if it helps the team win a game, then I got no complaints. After the game, win or lose, they will carefully unclothe me, you might say, in a manner that might make Joe Biden blush.

Historic quote by Will Rogers:

[This is about a tiny high school basketball team from up in the mountains of Kentucky, but it kinda fits the TTU team out on the flat land of the Texas Panhandle.] “This Carr Creek basketball team kicked up a fuss among the best high school teams in the country (winning a special tournament in Lexington)… There is only eighteen boys at their little country school. They played barefooted and out on the ground. They just had baskets fastened up to two trees…I think it’s the greatest example of what any school any place can do… That’s a great kick to a country school, to know they can go out (and play) just as good as any other school in America.” WA #277, Apr. 15, 1928