Is the $450,000 Lawsuit Real or Fake News?

By now you’ve probably heard about a Billion-dollar lawsuit filed on behalf of thousands of illegal immigrants separated from their children when they got arrested for entering illegally.

See, instead of throwing the entire family into a jail cell, our Border officials figured it would be better to only jail the adult illegal immigrants. After all, if your local sheriff arrests a man and woman for selling drugs out of their house or apartment, they don’t put their kids in the cell with ‘em.

But some shyster lawyers came up with a plan to “get rich quick” by suing the government for putting these innocent children some place other than prison with their mom or dad. And to make it worthwhile these lawyers decided their share for each separated kid should be $150,000. They rake off a third which explains why they are demanding $450,000. That’s $450,000 for EVERY child. I bet any that got separated before January 20, 2017 aren’t eligible, and any child separated since January 20, 2021 ain’t either.

Was this fake news? Did they accidentally add three zeros when they meant $450? Today is a time for Halloween pranks, but this is more like an April Fool’s joke.

But the lawyers in the Biden Administration are taking the lawsuit serious! Now that’s scary. We never give any amount like this to children of murdered police officers, firefighters who die, or health care workers who died of Covid.

In July 1935, the American Bar Association invited “me” to speak at their convention in Los Angeles. They proudly said they were gathered ‘To save the Constitution and preserve State’s rights.’ But I told those 3500 lawyers, “What they ought to be here for is to kick the crooks out of their profession… They seemed to kinder doubt just who would have to leave. Pretty serious, some of ’em. But the big percentage are regular guys.”

I hope the Bar Association will track down these shysters who filed the lawsuit and disbar them. That is if they are American citizens. If any of them are here illegally, kick ‘em out of the country.

Now, you and I both know there are more important problems facing this country than trying to please a gaggle of lawyers. That’s why I’m still suspicious of this news story. Could it have been leaked so we wouldn’t notice how many Trillions of dollars our President will promise countries at the Climate Summit this week to deal with rising sea levels and warmer temperatures? Or maybe the rising cost to heat our homes this winter? Do they want us to forget about the hundreds of Americans being held by Taliban terrorists in Afghanistan?

Historic quotes by Will Rogers:

“American Bar Association yesterday come out very strong against unethical and shyster lawyers. Looks like I been vindicated.” DT #2793, July 18, 1935

“Say, did you read about 300,000 grown folks in Chicago [on] Halloween? They tore down a [World’s] fair that it took ’em two years to erect… It’s just the old kittenish Chicago spirit. They just love pranks, shooting each other or something, then too, modern plumbing has about done away with Halloween fun anyhow.” DT #2570, Nov. 1, 1934 [in the old days outhouses were often overturned for “fun”]

(I attempt to write with Will Rogers’ style and philosophy, poking fun at issues and political decisions. As an engineer I also try to offer solutions and common sense.)

Climate Change, Taxing Billionaires, and the Biden 2020 Discount Card

President Biden is insisting that Congress pass the multi-trillion-dollar bill, including all the “Green Energy” guarantees, before he heads to the Climate Change Summit in Glasgow, Scotland. Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia is standing in his way. (He knows his constituents better than Biden or Sen. Bernie Sanders does.)

Actually, President Biden does not need this bill to show our progress on climate. When he is called on to speak at the Summit, with the other two hundred nations eagerly waiting to see how many trillions of dollars we will provide them to cut emissions, he should simply utter two sentences, “Since 2005, we cut our carbon emissions by 15 percent. When you other countries, especially China, India and Russia, cut your carbon emissions by 15 percent, we’ll talk.”

Biden must then walk out the door, taking his 13 Cabinet Secretaries with him, and fly home. By leaving Scotland a week early, Biden (and several of those 13 Cabinet members) will have time, finally, to visit our border with Mexico.

President Biden reminded us he HAS been to the border. In 2008, he landed in El Paso and headed north into New Mexico. Maybe he is afraid to return to “El Paso” because, like the Marty Robbins song in 1957, “Off to my right, I see five mounted cowboys, off to my left ride a dozen or more. Shouting and shooting, I can’t let them catch me.” For Biden, those “mounted cowboys” are Republicans and disgruntled Democrats and Independents.

President Biden continues to promise that if his $3,500,000,000,000.00 proposal passes, no one with family income under $400,000 will pay more. Considering recent inflation price increases, this will be tricky. For this plan to work everyone in that “Under $400,000” income group would be given a special “Biden 2020 Discount Card” similar to your Covid vaccination card with a personal barcode.

Here’s how it would work. For example, buying gasoline at the pump, scan your barcode and the price will instantly drop to what it was at the end of 2020. Instead of paying, say $3.49 a gallon, the price will drop to $2.33. At the grocery store, you’ll pay only $5.00 a pound for bacon, not the list price $8.00. Buying a new vehicle, you’ll automatically get a $6000 discount without having to buy electric.

Of course, this is ridiculous. We’re all going to pay.

So, according to President Biden, who will pay the $3,500,000,000,000.00? The latest strategy is to tax the accumulated wealth of billionaires without waiting for ‘em to die. According to Forbes magazine, we have 753 billionaires in America. If the IRS took every dollar these folks have accumulated it would not cover the cost of this “human infrastructure” bill over the next decade.

Former President Donald Trump is one of those 753 billionaires. In 2017 he was worth $3.5 Billion. How much is he worth today? I recall asking in a “Weekly Comments” if readers thought he would have more wealth, the same, or less wealth when he left the Presidency. Many figured he wanted to be President so he could build his empire. Do you remember the new Trump International Hotel in DC where visiting dignitaries and lobbyists were staying? And the many government-sponsored conferences at various Trump properties around the world?

Well, Forbes has the answer. Trump’s wealth did not stay the same. During his four years in office, the Trump family lost $1 Billion. Yes, he still has $2.5 Billion. And he lives at a south Florida resort protected by a wall built at taxpayer expense.

Just for fun, you might plan to check on President Biden’s wealth (and Hunter’s) when he leaves office in 2025 compared to when he became Vice-President in 2009.

Historic quotes by Will Rogers:

“An inheritance tax… on an estate of say $10 million, why the government will take about 90 percent of it, and then giving the off-spring 10.  And then on estates of a 100 million, 200 million, a billion, and like that, well, the government just takes all of that and notifies the heirs, ‘Your father died a pauper here today.’” Radio, Apr. 28, 1935

“The whole trouble with the Republicans is their fear of an increase in income tax, especially on higher incomes. They speak of it almost like a national calamity.” DT #1435, Feb. 27, 1931

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

High Prices, Empty Shelves, Backlogged Ports and Scarce Fuel 

Higher fuel prices and empty shelves in stores have let all of us know we have a problem. An economist wrote last week, “Don’t blame solar and wind energy.” Right. So, who (or what) is to blame?

President Biden came out against our fossil fuel production on his first day in office. He cancelled the Keystone XL pipeline and placed restrictions on new drilling. As a result, our oil production has gone down and gasoline and diesel prices increased at least a dollar a gallon. Natural gas prices are predicted to cost 30 percent more this winter. Instead of exporting oil and gas, we depend on Saudi Arabia and others for imports (the same OPEC countries that started the 6-month oil embargo on this date in 1973).

Unbelievably, after forcing a scarcity in American oil and gas, the President asked the producers to cut prices. Senate Leader Chuck Schumer agrees with the President and claims that higher prices this winter will force poor and middle-class people to decide whether to feed their families or keep warm.

On the supply chain issue, the person most directly responsible for working on it is the Secretary of the Transportation Department, Pete Buttigieg. You might be surprised to learn he has been on a 12-week paternity leave (on full salary) because he and his husband decided to become “birthing persons” through adoption. Now, I’ve got no objection to the adoption. But how can the person in charge of Transportation, reporting directly to the President, take off 3 months while the country faces the worst supply chain crisis in our history.

The ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles seem to be the epicenter of the crisis because 40 percent of all container ships arrive and depart there. The lack of trucks to transport containers has been blamed. Well, the brilliant minds in charge of California state government ruled that only trucks built in the last 10 years are legal. And the state prohibits non-union drivers. How can vehicles (and drivers) that are legal throughout the country be prohibited in California? Instead of attacking this problem head on by telling Governor Newsom to relax their rules, President Biden simply asked that ports unload container ships around the clock, 7 days a week.

Here’s another self-inflicted problem for California. They are banning lawn mowers, chain saws, and any other machine powered by a small gasoline or diesel engine because they don’t have expensive emission controls like cars and trucks. (Actually, they would prefer to ban all lawns; they have almost banned tree cutting and brush clearing.) All such devices will have to use electric power in the future even though the state is tight on electric availability and residents must deal with frequent rolling blackouts.

The weirdest item on the list of banned gasoline engines is a portable generator. Let that sink in. From now on, only generators powered by electricity will be available for emergencies when the electricity goes off. They’ll have to run an extension cord to Nevada.

I started with a question about blame. Well, instead of placing blame, let’s use logical thinking and common horse sense to find solutions.

Historic quotes by Will Rogers:

“You all know we struck oil here in southern California. But did you let anybody else know? No, you didn’t say a word about it…  you are so darn modest you won’t let the world know what we have.” WA #47, Nov. 4, 1923

“John D. Rockefeller says: ‘Love is the greatest thing in the world.’ You take a few words of affection and try and trade them to him for few gallons of oil, and you will discover just how great love is.” WA #59, Jan. 27, 1924

Congress Investigates Facebook and President Trump. Attacking Senators Manchin and Sinema.  

Facebook is getting grilled. A Whistleblower reported that Facebook knew young girls were suffering mentally from viewing pencil-thin peers on Instagram (owned by Facebook). Since the Whistleblower testified to Congress, complaints have broadened out to include political postings, either because they are, or are not, allowed on Facebook. Two examples: they squash news about Hunter Biden, and promote climate change warnings.

Another complaint is the bombardment of ads that follow any random product search. Here’s an example. Last year, I wanted to embellish a 1923 Will Rogers story about corsets. To find a modern-day version I went on I perused the site (professionally of course) for a few minutes. I found some good material to embellish my story, including this ‘product review’ from a customer: “I give this product a thumbs up, but initially I couldn’t get the damn thing on.” Then, for months, ads for ladies’ underwear showed up on my Will Rogers Facebook page!

Meanwhile in Texas… Who’s in charge of our border with Mexico? If you said “Kamala Harris,” you are mistaken. The Mexican Cartels rule the border. For a fee of at least $5000 each they transport immigrants across the Rio Grande and turn them loose. At a rate of 1000 immigrants a day, that adds up to real money. And it’s easy money since they aren’t confronted by Border Agents on horseback.  And the best part for the Cartels is that while our Border Patrol is tied up managing these immigrants, the Cartel slips millions of dollars’ worth of drugs across unprotected areas. Along the border, Texans are shouting, Let’s Go Brandon!

Last week the Cartel fired shots at National Guard troops on our side of the river. They are causing more chaos than anyone from Mexico since Pancho Villa a hundred years ago. Back then, when President Wilson got word of Villa’s raids across the border into New Mexico he ordered the Army, led by General Pershing, to stop the attacks. Why doesn’t President Biden follow Wilson’s example?

Also last week, I watched CNN more than usual. For a while it seemed Trump was still President. I learned that Congress has subpoenaed him, hoping he will admit he ordered and funded the January 6 attack on the Capitol. Democrats in Congress are determined to find out from Trump’s staff if they provided rifles to the insurrectionists. (The answer is no).

President Trump definitely deserves blame for not stopping his supporters when he learned what the worst of them were doing in the Capitol. I hope he testifies. I hope they release the videos of people peacefully wandering through the Capitol Rotunda. Do you think Speaker Pelosi will testify about the lack of preparation in the days before January 6 when officials knew trouble was brewing?

Erin Burnett, on her CNN show, interviewed Treasury Secretary Yellen. Erin stated that the top 1% of income earners pay 40% of taxes and the top 20% pay 80%. She then asked Secretary Yellen how much those groups should pay. Instead of honestly answering the question, she rambled on, saying big corporations should pay more and 140 other nations agree with her, that stepped-up basis for inheritances should be eliminated, the Trump tax-rate reductions should be eliminated, and the top tax rate should be 39.6%. Secretary Yellen never came close to answering that direct question. She could have said, with a straight face, “The wealthiest 1% should pay at least half of all income taxes and the top 20% should pay about 90%.” That’s the goal, although no one in the Biden Administration will admit it.

Concerning another Biden goal, Senator Joe Manchin has been taking most of the flak for opposing the $3,500,000,000,000.00 bill. Now Senator Krysten Sinema of Arizona is getting attacked for the same position. Protesters chased her into a Women’s restroom and yelled at her in her stall. The Senator is fortunate it wasn’t an old-fashioned outhouse of years ago. The protesters would have pushed it over with her in it. After she escaped from the toilet on the Arizona State University campus and got seated on a plane to Washington, Sinema was harassed again, by two illegal immigrants. No relief for Sinema, in or out of a stall. Now, if protesters ever tried to attack and film Sen. Manchin in a restroom stall… Well, you can probably guess where they would end up. And their expensive smartphone.

Tomorrow is Columbus Day, also currently known as Indigenous Peoples’ Day. I think my Cherokee friends approve.

Historic quotes by Will Rogers: (on Columbus Day, Monday, Oct 11)

“Being an Indian I don’t mind telling you that personally I am sorry he ever found it [America]. The discovery has been of no material benefit to us, outside of losing all the land. And I am proud to say that I have never yet seen a statue [of Columbus] in Oklahoma.” WA #190, Aug. 1, 1926

“The Columbus celebration has an added significance to Los Angeles, as they want to celebrate the good fortune of his landing on the Atlantic instead of the Pacific side, because if he had landed out here, he never would have gone back to tell the Queen.  He would have stayed right here and nobody would have ever known about America but him.” WA #29, July 1, 1923

Congress Debating a $3,500,000,000,000.00 Bill. Also, Del Rio Expecting More Haitians

Last week the headline was “Don’t Blame a Horse in Texas.” This week it could be “Don’t Blame a Democrat Senator from West Virginia.”

The $3,500,000,000,000.00 bill is still up in the air. Sen. Manchin of West Virginia has opposed it all along, reminding the liberal members of his party that Congress already spent more than $5,000,000,000,000.00 since March 2020 on Covid relief. This week he said he could possibly support $1,500,000,000,000.00 but what he really wanted was $0.00. Ironically, $0.00 is exactly what President Biden and Speaker Pelosi said the $3,500,000,000,000.00 bill would cost us. See, in the version of math and economics practiced in this White House and Washington, (abbreviated as “WhiteWash” math), $3,500,000,000,000.00 = $0.00. And they whitewashed details of what all is stuck into the bill, too.

The House Democrats, led by AOC, and the Senate Democrats, led by Bernie Sanders, decry any reduction at all. Actually Sen. Sanders insists it ought to be $6,000,000,000,000.00 in new spending, which he would claim costs $0.00.

I did not abbreviate “$3.5T” or “$3.5 trillion.” I wrote it out: $3,500,000,000,000.00. If every newspaper report and TV message at the bottom of the screen wrote it as $3,500,000,000,000.00, the public would be outraged.

A few of my regular readers have pointed out that “Weekly Comments” often leans more to the conservative side than Will Rogers did in the early 1930s. Will Rogers was a Democrat, even though he joked, “I don’t belong to any organized political party… I’m a Democrat.” Will supported Franklin Roosevelt in 1932 and liked his decisions in the first year or two. However, Will decided FDR was going too far, making it too easy for people to get government handouts.

I bet you are shocked to learn the Federal government collected a record amount of money last year. (Didn’t Trump cut tax rates?) With extra cash you might expect them to pay off some debt.

But the federal government does not operate like you. Suppose you had a productive year and received a $20,000 bonus. If you had $100,000 credit card debt you would wisely use it to reduce that debt. You would not foolishly buy a $40,000 vehicle, adding $20,000 to your credit card. Of course, you are not Bernie Sanders. He would buy a $60,000 vehicle and put it all on the credit card. With $20,000 cash in his pocket, he would complain to his boss about his low wages.

Two weeks ago, I asked for your opinion on the amount of income taxes that should be paid by three different income levels. Here are the current amounts: The Top 1% pay 40% of federal income taxes. The Top 10% pay about 65%. The Bottom 50% pay 0 to 3% depending on who you ask. Consider these percentages when you hear President Biden say the top income levels don’t pay “their fair share” (which he copied from FDR, below) You will notice he refuses to say what percent they should pay. He knows it would sound foolish to claim, for example, the Top 1% should pay 50% or 60% of total income taxes collected. But that’s his goal.

Meanwhile at the Texas border, where the horses have been put out to pasture, the “campground” at Del Rio emptied out quickly (12,000 released freely into the U.S.). Bulldozers and dump trucks arrived to clear out the trash because VP Harris wants it to look inviting and pastoral. The next bunch of 100,000 immigrants, mostly Haitians, recently crossed the Panama Canal ready to go 2000 miles more to Del Rio. These Haitians deserve credit; they heard President Biden tell ‘em the border is open and illegal immigration is not illegal anymore. They are determined and creative people who will rebuild that “tent city” within 24 hours.

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

 “Here is rather an amazing statement. It was made by the President (Roosevelt), who has access to the records and must know: “Fifty-eight of the richest people in the U. S. paid no Federal tax on 37 per cent of their incomes.”  This soaking the rich has got two sides to it. Roosevelt gets him a pack of humorously called ‘brain trusters’ to help him devise ways and means of trying to get at this extra 37 per cent and the rich get them some lawyers that are just as smart as Roosevelt’s tribe, and their job is to cook up an antidote.” DT #2805, Aug. 1, 1935