Longing for truth; losing a basketball hero

Columbus: While the Impeachment trial continues in the Senate, the Democratic campaign will reach a milestone in the next couple of weeks. The Iowa caucus and the New Hampshire primary often narrow the field of candidates.

This year may be different. Look only at the number of delegates earned by each of the top 4 or 5 candidates. Those numbers will be small with very little difference between them.

As the Nevada and South Carolina wrap up February primaries, we may be surprised how few delegates each candidate has.

A challenge for all candidates, including Trump, and the Impeachment lawyers is to stick to facts. Tell the truth. Or when expressing an opinion, make sure your audience can hear the opposite side, too. Give folks information so they can think it through and make fair decisions.

Kobe Bryant died today when his Sikorsky helicopter crashed, killing all 9 on board. Undoubtedly, you know about the tragedy. Jerry West was the General Manager of the Lakers who made a deal so the 17 year-old Bryant could be drafted and play in Los Angeles. Today West said, “He was like a son to me. This is a God-awful day.”

I want to emphasize a quote by Kobe. In an interview at the end of his last game after 20 years as a Los Angeles Laker (April 2016), he said he wanted to be remembered as a “talented overachiever.” (I had the) “talent but I WORKED AS IF I HAD NONE.”  Wow. Imagine if those of us with average talent worked as if we had none. Think of all we could accomplish collectively!

Historic quotes by Will Rogers:

“It’s only the inspiration of those who die that makes those who live realize what constitutes a useful life.” DT #2056, March 7, 1933

“The less a voter knows about you, the longer he is liable to vote for you.  I think you will find that campaigns have ruined more men than they have ever made.” Life magazine, Oct. 28, 1928

“With the elections coming on you are going to be fed up with a lot of hooey about a lot of things. Naturally the [candidates] are to put their best ‘side’ forward. They are just trying now to figure out which side is their best.” WA #492, May 29, 1932

“You can’t beat an Administration by attacking it. You have to show some plan of improving on it.” WA #101, July 26, 1928

“I don’t know of any quicker way in the world to be forgotten in this country than to be defeated for President.”  WA #382, July 6, 1924

Post-Royalty, China, USMCA, DOA and ROPT

Columbus: Harry and Meghan are no longer Royalty. She’s going back to acting. Harry can find work as a professional speaker. No need for support from Britain or Canada. They can afford their own bodyguards, thank you.

Speaker Pelosi signed the Articles of Impeachment with fifty gold-plated personalized collector pens. Seven House members carried those Articles across the Capitol to the Senate. That solemn procession resembled a funeral with six pall bearers carrying, and a preacher walking behind the coffin. Instead of those Articles being DOA, Speaker Pelosi hopes for ROPT. (Removal of President Trump).

Meanwhile, in news affecting the well-being of 350 million Americans, China signed an agreement to buy more of our manufactured and agricultural products, and the trade agreement with Canada and Mexico was finalized.

Farmers are optimistic these deals will lead to more sales of soybeans, corn, cotton, rice, beef, pork, chicken, milk, rice, wheat and about any other product you can name, including almonds. The China deal may be the bigger one, if they follow through and do what they promised. Mexico and Canada are more dependable.

The Kansas City Chiefs are back in the Super Bowl after a 50 year absence. They will play the San Francisco 49ers, who won 5 championships, mainly with Joe Montana and Coach Bill Walsh in the 1980s, and lost in 2013.

Concerning the quotes below, I included these in Weekly Comments 3 years ago, as Donald Trump was beginning his first year as President. It’s worth reading them again as Trump enters the final year of this term. Of course if the Democrats in Congress get their way, this would be his final month.

Historic quotes by Will Rogers:

 “If there is one thing that a politician hates worse than a recount, it’s somebody that is not in their business.” Life magazine, May 31, 1928

“There is nothing impresses ‘common folk’ like somebody that ain’t common.” DT #612, July 12, 1928

“Things in our country run in spite of government; not by the aid of it.” DT #1930, July 28, 1930

“People don’t change under governments; the governments change, but the people remain the same.”  There’s Not a Bathing Suit in Russia, 1927

“Every man gets an opportunity once in a lifetime.” DT #2077, March 31, 1933  [today I would say, Every man and woman…]

Prince Harry, Meghan, Edward and a horse named Will

Columbus:  Forget about Impeachment. Ignore the Democrat debate.

Let’s talk about Meghan and Prince Harry. Everybody in England is riled up because they are stepping aside from the royal family to live on their own.

Meghan is getting most of the blame. I think she is tired of bad press when she is playing second fiddle to the sixth-in-line for the Throne. If Harry was first in line, it might be worth the harassment, but not when there is zero chance of sharing the ultimate Crown with her Prince.

Let’s go back in British history to the 1920s and ‘30s for a moment. (Stick with me; you’ll enjoy this.) You know that Harry’s grandmother is Queen Elizabeth and she has been on the Throne since 1952. Her oldest uncle was Edward, Prince of Wales, who became King Edward VIII in 1936. Prince Edward got acquainted with Will Rogers in 1924 and they became good friends through their love of riding horses. Edward mainly rode horses in Fox Hunts and Steeplechase races while Will rode to play polo and rope steers.

Prince Edward (born in 1894) was a very popular bachelor Prince in the 1920s and early 1930s. Young single ladies swooned over him wherever he traveled, including in America. But the newspapers made fun of him for frequently falling off his horse. Will Rogers, being a good horseman, resented such criticisms.

On a radio broadcast (May 18, 1930) Will told about speaking at a banquet in 1924 in New York, with Prince Edward in the audience. “Now according to the usual run of American humor, I am supposed to tell some jokes, Prince, about your falling off your horse. Well, I have never seen a picture of you where you had fallen that the horse hadn’t fallen too. All these people that joke about you falling off, what do they expect a man to do when his horse falls? Is he supposed to remain up in the air until the horse comes back up under him? … So I am afraid we are going to have to find something else to kid the Englishman about besides his horsemanship… If I can’t get hold of something funny in an Englishman besides his riding, I am a mighty poor comedian.”

You may remember that Edward became King Edward VIII in 1936. However, despite having his choice of probably 10,000 young women, he had fallen in love with a divorced American, Wallis Simpson. He was forced to abdicate the throne to marry her. So, his younger brother George became King, and when George died in 1952, his daughter Elizabeth became Queen.

Now suppose history had been different. Let’s suppose Edward had instead married a young English gal, they had a son about 1940, and he remained King until his death in 1972. That son would have become King in 1972, and could still be King today at age 80.

So Meghan and Harry, in this imaginary scenario, you could have fallen in love in obscurity. Harry would still respect and love his father, Charles, and grandmother, Elizabeth (age 93). But no one would pay attention to the young husband and wife, even if once in a while he fell off his horse.

Historic quote by Will Rogers: (one of many about Prince Edward)

“I saw a picture in the paper last summer where the Prince was on one of his horses and its name was Will Rogers. Now I got all swelled up when I saw he had a horse named after me, but maybe that was the one that has been doing all this high and lofty tumbling. As a suggestion if our respective countries want to do something to protect our welfare the best thing I can suggest would be to get us some horses that can stand up. The Prince and I both have to take every precaution to protect our looks. It would be terrible if his face was marred. And I certainly don’t want anything to happen to mine to make it look better. My living depends on it, just as it is.” WA #71, Apr. 20, 1924.

Killing an Islamic General; Adding to Impeachment

Our New Year’s holiday week was interrupted by the killing of Iranian General Soleimani. The mass-murderer Islamic leader had rained down terror on the Middle East for more than 20 years, killing at least 600 Americans. Not everyone was pleased. A couple of candidates for president thought we should have arrested him and brought him here to stand trial.

Iran has been on a rampage for 40 years to dominate the region all the way to the Mediterranean and the Red Sea. You may remember when Iranians stormed our Embassy in Tehran in 1979 and held more than 50 Americans hostage for more than a year. Their goals have not changed.

Now, it’s debatable whether we should be in there. One view is that we should just leave ‘em alone. We don’t need the Middle East and their oil anymore. The other view is that we still have friends there, and we generally support our friends.

Today the Iraqi Parliament called an emergency meeting and a few of them showed up. They voted to expel all American military from Iraq. I have a feeling that if it had been put to a vote of the whole country, instead of expelling Americans they would have voted to throw out the Iranians.

Speaker Pelosi still has the two Articles of Impeachment stuffed in her handbag. She has been waiting for the voters to get riled up against President Trump. Maybe you can blame it on the holidays but so far nobody seems to care. (Well, not nobody. But very few in addition to the ones who already wanted him impeached on Inauguration Day.) One reason is the idea of a President obstructing Congress once in a while has been around since Washington. Another reason is there’s nothing unusual about a “quid pro quo” in politics.

There’s a rumor Speaker Pelosi is digging around for another Article to add on. If she uncovers something serious, then that changes the story completely. But does she really think killing an Islamic terrorist General without telling her and the Islamic members of Congress is impeachable? I got my doubts.

Historic quotes by Will Rogers:

“Did you read all the New Year’s optimism in the papers today by all our leading men and bankers? Every one either a millionaire or an officeholder… Looks like just for the novelty one paper would print just what some poor man saw in store for the coming year.” DT #448, Jan. 2, 1928