Something at the border; Biden’s first press conf.; Senate filibustering

At the border with Mexico, we have a situation, emergency, volunteer opportunity, challenge, crisis, catastrophe, or celebration. Take your pick.

Do you know who is in charge of immigration at the border? You probably said President Biden, or the Border Patrol, or ICE, or FEMA or the Texas Rangers. Sorry, none of the above. The ones in charge today are the Mexican cartels. They are collecting millions every day, while we are spending millions every day dealing with the results of an open border policy.

What are the consequences?

For example, are you a widow living alone on a ranch in Texas, New Mexico or Arizona fairly close to the border? You might sleep with a pistol under your pillow. The same President who is opening the border to immigrants without screening is contemplating ways to take away your guns.

No matter which word you “picked” at the top, we have a messy consequence because the gates were opened before we were ready for a surge.

Imagine if the Dallas Cowboys announced they would play a special extra game against the Green Bay Packers and every seat would be free. All food (beer, soda, hotdogs) would also be free. They also announce that the gates will open at 6:00 a.m. but please, please, please don’t come until 9:00 because we won’t have any ushers, concession vendors, or police there until 9:00. Now, in case you’re not a football fan, here’s a hint of what would happen: by 7:00 a.m. 200,000 people from all over the country would already be jammed into an 80,000-seat stadium, and 100,000 outside still fighting to get in. When the national TV broadcast is scheduled to start at noon the screen is blank. The camera operators and no other media folks could get through the mass of people. The only visual evidence we have of this mess is video from the Goodyear blimp, and believe me, it’s not a pretty sight. Those 300,000 did not get what they expected when they left home.

Ok, the Dallas Cowboys would NEVER let this happen. So, why is the U.S. government allowing a similar situation? (see two Will Rogers quotes below)

I heard the President of El Salvador, Nayib Bukele, say that his country has lost one-third of their population through emigration to the U.S. Can you imagine losing a third of the population of your town, county or state? Ok, I know if you could select the ones to get rid of, you’re all for it.

Seriously, suppose Ohio enticed 2.5 million Indiana citizens to move to Ohio. What would be the impact on the 4.3 million remaining in Indiana? One-third fewer workers. A third fewer students in schools and colleges. Fewer teachers… fewer farmers… even fewer politicians. Sure, you like that last one.

President Biden named his Vice President to take control of the border. Now don’t laugh. If she’s smart, Kamala Harris will refuse the offer. If ten million people stream across the border, undocumented, in the next three years, she and Democrats in Congress will be pounded in the 2024 election. She previously compared the Border Patrol to the Klan and objected to stopping illegal entry. If Biden-Harris remain in office until 2028, we’ll have twenty million more who have crossed the border and President Bukele will change the name of his country to Empty Salvador.

President Biden held his first press conference. Did you notice any difference compared to a typical Trump press conference? I kept waiting for the CNN fact-checker to jump in and exclaim, “No, the vast majority trying to cross the border have NOT been sent back. It’s only 13 percent.” When Biden said border crossings were the same as under Trump, no fact-checker yelled, “No, President Trump reduced the number by almost 90 percent, and the monthly totals have more than doubled since President Biden was elected.”

Biden emphasized his opinion that the Senate Filibuster is racist. Interestingly, Democrats adopted the Filibuster, which currently requires 60 votes to pass most bills, during the “Jim Crow” era. As a Senator, Biden praised and used the Filibuster. As a Senator last year, Harris used the Filibuster to block a “police reform” bill introduced by Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina.

Don’t be confused by thinking the only argument is about whether a Senator can hold up a bill by talking for hours or days. The key part of “filibuster,” defined by rules of the Senate, is that it takes three-fifths of the Senators (currently 60 out of 100) to bring the debate to a close. Changing the filibuster means that 51votes (including the VP breaking a 50-50 tie) would pass a bill. President Biden is determined to get a national voting standards bill, a green energy infrastructure bill, a tax increase, and probably others passed in the Senate with 51 votes. Whenever you hear the word “filibuster”, think “60 votes.”

Historic quotes by Will Rogers:

“The American people are a very generous people and will forgive almost any weakness, with the possible exception of stupidity.” WA #63, Feb. 24, 1924

“Everything seems to have a trend to the liberal nowadays. Congress wanted a short time ago to rewrite the Constitution… A liberal is a man who wants to use his own ideas on things in preference to generations who, he knows, know more than he does.” WA #8, Feb. 4, 1923

(In a filibuster) “Senator (Tom) Heflin of Alabama held up all Senate business yesterday for five hours. That’s a record for narrow views.” DT #174, Feb. 18, 1927

“One of those filibusters held up Boulder Dam for seven years, and when it came to a vote only eleven men were against it.” DT #745, Dec. 16, 1928

Farmers, food, filibusters and a flailing governor

This is National Ag Week. You might not have noticed, but our farmers and ranchers (and almost everyone else in agriculture) have been working steady for the past 51 weeks.

When you sit down for supper, you’ve got hundreds of choices. If you’re like the Colorado Governor and Sen. Cory Booker, D-NJ, you might feast on beans, asparagus and spinach. Most of us, though, prefer steak, ham or a chicken leg to go with our vegetables. And finish it off with cherry pie or chocolate cake. (See Will’s quotes below)

Senators are arguing over the filibuster rules. Democrats say they want to force a Senator to keep talking for hours and days instead of just announcing “filibuster” and sit back down. But really, what they want is to eliminate the rule that requires 60 votes to pass most bills. The Democrats have a slim 51-vote majority, if they can keep Sen. Manchin, D-WV, in line. If they get the filibuster eliminated, they will try to slip a sentence in there to make it revert back to the 60-vote margin rule if Republicans ever get back in control. (two more quotes)

Governor Cuomo in New York keeps piling up accusations from women. I think it’s eight. By the time you read this it might be nine or ten. That’s bad enough.  But complaints by families of 15,000 who died of Covid in nursing homes should not be ignored.

Cuomo bragged and bagged an Emmy while sending hundreds of Covid patients from hospitals into nursing homes, infecting healthy old folks. Kinda reminds us of “Nero fiddled while Rome burned.” But nobody accused Nero of lighting the fire. (last quote)

Historic quotes by Will Rogers:

“We always have good things to eat at my sister’s in Chelsea (Okla). Beans, kinder soupy navy beans cooked with plenty of real fat meat… then fried ham. Ham gravy is just about the last word in gravy… Beans, cornbread, country ham, and gravy, and then just raw onions.” WA #449, Aug. 2, 1931

“There is not a better day in the world to be spent than with a lot of wise old cowmen around barbecued beef, black coffee and beans.”  DT #2430, May 17, 1934

“The Senate is a body of men… they will talk for two weeks and there is no way stopping them. I suggested a plan one time to shorten the Senate debate.  Every time a Senator tells all he knows, make him sit down. Some of them wouldn’t be able to answer roll call. They are a pretty tough bunch of hyenas, those Senators, but they are likable rascals.” Radio, April 27, 1930

“They filibustered all last night. We pay for wisdom and we get wind.” DT #574, May 29, 1928

“Today they are voting in New York State on whether to keep a Governor two years or four. I think a good, honest Governor should get four years and the others life.” DT #405, Nov. 8, 1927

A year later, Biden building on a Trump foundation

One year ago, March 2020, the coronavirus from Wuhan, China, had exploded around the world (thanks to the Chinese Communist leaders and the W.H.O.) and President Trump shut down most of the country.

You may remember that Trump and his medical advisers were generally optimistic. He even said he hoped we could be back in church for Easter.

Trump, with support from Congress, acted to accelerate development of a vaccine and have millions of doses available by November. Critics made fun of such a ridiculous plan, saying it takes at least 5 years to develop a vaccine. In fact, vaccines were developed, tested, and proved safe by October. By the time he left office, a million doses were being delivered every day.

I mention this as background for President Biden’s short speech on Thursday, because he ignored it. He was empathetic toward families that have suffered (including 530,000 deaths). He promised that if everyone wears masks, gets vaccinated by May 1, and follows CDC guidelines, we might be able to celebrate July 4th with a tiny number of family and friends, outside. Apparently, no one told him that half the country will likely be holding similar gatherings by St. Patrick’s Day.

A Biden quote that I read in a news report caught my eye, “Government can deliver prosperity, security and opportunity for the people in this country.”

Well, government cannot deliver prosperity. Yes, by borrowing $1,900,000,000,000 it can make people believe they are prosperous by sending them a check for $1400. Eighty million people voted for Biden, several because he promised them $2000. Oddly, President Trump made a similar promise. But Speaker Pelosi openly opposed it before the election. After the election, she’s all for it, plus an extra Trillion.

And security? Ask Americans along the Rio Grande if they feel secure. Ask residents and small business owners in Portland, Chicago, Minneapolis and other cities if they feel secure. Ask workers in the oil and gas business if they feel secure. Ask Congress if they feel secure. Oh, wait. Of course, they feel secure; they’re behind a wall protected by thousands of National Guard troops.

Opportunity? Yes, this is the “land of opportunity.” But we also have the “opportunity” to pay off the national debt, which is about $29,000,000,000,000.  That’s around $80,000 for every one of us. (I wonder if those immigrants flocking across our Southern border realize they are co-signing this loan.) Hardly anyone believes he or she will have to repay that debt. We have been told over and over that the 500 richest families can easily cover our debt if we’ll only pass a law to confiscate most of their accumulated wealth, and tax their annual income at around 80 percent.

Can you believe our national debt was only $6 Trillion in 2008? It has accelerated under both Democrat and Republican Presidents regardless of which party controlled Congress. This is a result of a combination of economic emergencies and failure to rein in the routine spending. Even after our tax rates were cut, the taxes collected keep increasing. But spending goes up faster.

Historic quotes by Will Rogers:

“If Socialists worked as much as they talked, they would be the most prosperous style of Government in the World.” Chapter 5 in his book, “There’s Not a Bathing Suit in Russia,” 1927

“The Budget is a mythical beanbag. Congress votes mythical beans into it and then tries to reach in and pull real beans out.” DT #2047, Feb. 24, 1933

Cancelled? Not yet

Columbus: Have you been cancelled?

Perhaps I should change the punctuation on that opening: Columbus, have you been cancelled?

Statues of Christopher Columbus in Columbus, Ohio, have been damaged and removed from prominence and sent to purgatory (storage barn). Will all towns and cities across the country named “Columbus” be forced to change? What about Columbia University, the Columbia River, Columbia Broadcasting System?

Something called “Cancel Culture” has leaped onto the national scene. Maybe “leaped” is the wrong word. It’s more like it dug through the dirt and crawled in through the sewer.

Now, there have been serious, important “cancels” in our past: Slavery, Segregation, Hitler, the USSR. I’m sure you could name others. The Prohibition Amendment (#18) seemed like a good cancellation at the time, but fourteen years later we had to pass the 21st Amendment to cancel the cancellation.

Recent cancellations include Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn, Aunt Jemima, Uncle Ben, and Mr. Potato Head. Others threatened with cancellation include Sir Francis Drake, Girls’ sports, The Eyes of Texas, and the Jeep Cherokee. (Yes, the Chief of the Cherokee Nation in Oklahoma wants Jeep to drop the name. I suggested he do the opposite; advertise and promote the Cherokee in return for Jeep providing a new one to each elected official.)

Dr. Seuss presents an interesting situation, a “partial cancel.” Somebody intent on digging up dirt, especially on heroes, went back in history to the first Dr. Seuss books and found a few negative images. Before we go any farther, here’s a question: are there any images in any Dr. Seuss book that look realistic, like your pets, or like someone you know? No way.

I think most of us have read, seen and heard words and images that we object to. But if the other 99 percent is not racist or anti-women or full of cuss words, for example, we usually ignore those and enjoy the book, movie, music or conversation.

Personally, I’m not concerned about cancellation because I have no culture.

New York would like to cancel Florida. All the rich New Yorkers are moving to Miami. I heard that the most expensive house ever sold was one in Palm Beach for $110 million. There’s an island called Indian Creek (will that be canceled?) across a bridge from Miami Beach. It is 300 acres with a golf course surrounded by about forty multi-million-dollar estates. Apparently, these wealthy folks do not believe in global warming because the value of beachfront property keeps rising much faster than sea levels. And no fear of a major hurricane either.

Historic quotes by Will Rogers:

“Senator [Tom] Heflin of Alabama held up all Senate business yesterday for five hours. That’s a record for narrow views. Tonight, in his home capital [Montgomery] I am pleading with Alabama to please not exterminate all Catholics, Republicans, Jews, negroes, Jim Reed, Al Smith, Wadsworth, Mellon and Coolidge and the Pope. Of course, my plea will do no good, for Tom knows the intelligence of his constituency better than we do.” DT #174, Feb 18, 1927

“See this morning where the Supreme Court says negroes in Texas have the right to vote at Democratic primaries. Certainly will seem funny to see the negroes and the whites voting the same ticket. First thing you know they will be allowing a white Republican to associate with a white Democrat in the South.” DT #191, March 8, 1927

“[VP candidate Charlie Curtis] is a Kaw Indian and me a Cherokee and I am for him… Come on, Injun! If you are elected let’s run the white people out of this country.” DT #589, June 15, 1928

[Interesting fact: Will Rogers was quarter-blood Cherokee, grew up in Indian Territory and became a world-class trick roper. Will learned to rope, starting about age 4, taught by a former slave, Dan Walker, a ranch hand working for Will’s dad. Yes, a Cherokee got his start toward stardom in a “white” world thanks to a black man.]