Injecting Truth into Politics. Halloween Costumes

Were you surprised to hear that gasoline was $5.00 a gallon in January 2021 and now it’s down to $3.39? That’s what President Biden said last week. However, most of us will recall gasoline was less that $3.00 when the President took office, not $5.00. Today it’s around $3.75 here in Ohio. As Will Rogers wrote in 1923, “If you ever injected truth into politics, you have no politics.”

(Background: Will wrote about Dr. Robert House of Texas, “who has invented a serum that when injected into you will make you tell the truth, at least for a while… It really is a wonderful thing, and if it could be brought into general use it would no doubt be a big aid to humanity. But it will never be, for already the politicians are up in arms against it. It would ruin the very foundation on which our political government is run.” WA#31, July 15, 1923)

       Do you think Elon Musk will inject truth into Twitter?  At the very least, maybe we’ll get to read lies from both sides instead of just one.

President Biden gave a speech Wednesday where he laid out how he is working to get inflation below 8%. Most of us are well acquainted with inflation because we buy gasoline, pay for heating our homes, and shop for groceries every week.

So, what does the President see as the #1 inflation item to tackle? Legroom on airplanes. He insists that airlines must stop charging passengers extra if they want 6 more inches of legroom. Oddly, he says this is unfair to ‘people of color.’ Does he think they have longer legs than people of no color? Can’t we find an issue that doesn’t involve racism?

By coincidence I’ll be flying to Tulsa this Thursday on Southwest Airlines. Maybe I’ll ask the boarding agents if I can have one of those seats with 6 more inches of legroom. I’ll ask with a smile because I already know the answer. They’ll say, politely, “Sir, the legroom for every passenger seat on the plane is the same. No extra charge.”

You probably know that 5,500,000 illegal immigrants have crossed our border with Mexico since January 2021. But half the country didn’t know we had a problem with illegal immigration until 49 of ‘em landed in Martha’s Vineyard in September. Maybe our major News outlets would have reported it earlier if 5 million had landed in Massachusetts instead of Texas and Arizona.

I heard we will spend $10 Billion on Halloween. Besides buying candy and costumes, dog owners are dressing up their pooch. I know children like fancy costumes. But would a Border Terrier look in the mirror and wonder, “How would I look in a Kamala Harris costume.”

How about putting a costume on your cat? Don’t even think about it! For most cats, with the scratching and clawing, your own scary costume would be splattered with real blood.

(I welcome your suggestions on matching a dog, or cat, with a politician.)

Historic quotes by Will Rogers:

“Politics is a great character builder. You have to take a referendum to see what your convictions are for that day.” DT #1199, May 29, 1930

“I love a dog; he does nothing for political reasons.” DT #2288, Dec. 3, 1933

Why can’t we produce our own oil?

What is your opinion on the future of fossil fuel? Do you want to phase out of oil and gas drilling by 2030? Do you think it’s possible?

Can solar and wind energy replace all fossil fuels by 2050? Are the people who believe that ‘tilting at windmills?’

Regardless of YOUR view, many environmental activists, including several in Congress and the Biden Administration, want us to stop drilling. They want to pass a law forbidding banks from lending money to companies in the oil, gas and coal business. Does that make sense? If not, you had better vote November 8.

Here’s my opinion: Expecting this country to prosper without fossil fuels is fantasy.

I also respect the decision of anyone who decides to get ‘off the grid,’ commute by bicycle, and grow their own food. However, I don’t appreciate anyone trying to force me to do the same.

To bring back a phrase from the 1930s, “Now we’re cooking with gas.” (Young folks may not know it also has a figurative meaning: doing something really well, achieving something important.)

Something the U.S. does really well is produce oil and gas. Thanks to a recent invention called horizontal drilling, the efficiency and cost of getting crude oil and natural gas from deep in the ground improved dramatically.

Let me focus on oil. In the first half of 2022, the U.S. produced 11.6 million barrels per day (b/d). We use more than that, so more oil had to be imported. The price of gasoline jumped to over $5/gallon. In an attempt to lower the price, President Biden decided to draw 1.0 million b/d from our Strategic Petroleum Reserve. (That’s a massive storage of crude oil in old salt mines under Texas and Louisiana that was created in the late 1970s for emergencies, like a war.) A couple of weeks ago Saudi Arabia and other OPEC producers decided to cut their output by 2.0 million b/d to raise the worldwide price. Of course, President Biden objected. So, the President ordered even more oil to be pumped from the Reserve, at least until after the election.

You may be wondering, “Why can’t we produce more than 11.6 million b/d ourselves?” We can, and we did! Oil production in the US increased from 9.2 million b/d in March 2017 to 13 million b/d in March 2020, making us a net exporter of oil. Of course, Covid knocked it way down. Considering how rapidly oil production increased in those 3 years, we could easily eliminate oil imports and lower the price of gasoline and diesel if our elected officials got out of the way.

Historic quote by Will Rogers:

“Our children are delivered to the schools in automobiles. But whether that adds to their grades is doubtful… It’s also a question, what we can convert these 4 billion filling stations into in years to come [when the oil runs out].” Saturday Evening Post, June 2, 1928

Tall Tales, Lies and More Lies

       “If you ever injected truth into politics, you have no politics.” Will Rogers wrote that 99 years ago (July 15, 1923), and some politicians have been perfecting their skill at truth avoidance ever since.

President Trump was accused of telling the “Big Lie.” There are so many lies in politics it’s hard to judge which are small, medium, big, or biggest.

We now know the famous “Steele dossier” accusing candidate Donald Trump of Russian collusion in the 2016 election was a lie. The dossier was financed partly by candidate Hillary Clinton. The FBI offered Mr. Steele $1,000,000 if he could prove the accusations were true. Unbelievable! Who in the FBI, other than Director Comey, could make such an offer? Please tell us.

In October 2020, fifty Intelligence officials signed a letter claiming the Hunter Biden laptop computer stories had “all the earmarks of Russian disinformation.” Even though he knew the truth, candidate Joe Biden quoted that letter in a Presidential debate, saying absolutely the stories were Russian disinformation.

This week on Fox News, one of those fifty officials said if you read the full letter, you would see they were not sure the stories were Russian disinformation. And furthermore, anyone who reached that conclusion was at fault because they didn’t look up the exact meanings of the words used. Would you like to know who meticulously composed that letter? And who got 50 high-level Intelligence officials to sign it? Please tell us.

Despite Joe Biden and all our major news outlets “misinterpreting” the letter, not one of the fifty publicly clarified the exact meaning of the words used. They, and Joe Biden, let the voters believe a lie to influence an election. Will the FBI offer $1,000,000 to disprove the lie? Is impeachment in Biden’s future?

The January 6 Select Committee showed a video of Speaker Pelosi and Senator Schumer desperately calling for more police support during the riot in the Capitol. The video was recorded by Pelosi’s daughter. Earlier we learned that the Secret Service intercepted messages on December 24 that Oath Keepers planned to attack the Capitol on January 6 and harm members of Congress.

Would you like to know if Speaker Pelosi’s daughter was videotaping when the Secret Service informed her about the impending danger? We know there were more direct reports to Congress on or before January 4 which should have rung alarm bells in the Speaker’s office. She had to know that protecting the Capitol with bike racks and a modest number of Capitol Police would be no match for radical insurgents. Did Pelosi have a reason to ignore the warnings and delay until the afternoon of January 6 to call for help from the National Guard?

I’m sure you remember when the Border Patrol agents on horseback were accused of whipping illegal immigrants from Haiti. Those agents work for the Secretary of Homeland Security, Alejandro Mayorkas. Hours after he learned his agents were simply doing their job, not whipping anyone, he spoke at a White House news conference and repeated the lie.

President Biden gave a campaign speech on the West Coast, warning that if Republicans win control of Congress, “Inflation will go up.” Somewhat shocking since inflation was about 2% when he took office and now it’s over 8%. Does he also think Republicans would cause crime to increase? Or the number of illegal immigrants crossing the Mexican border? Would deaths from accidental fentanyl poisoning increase?

The New York Times gave President Biden a new title, “Storyteller in Chief.” He has told some whoppers. He said recently he grew up in the Puerto Rican section of Delaware, his son lost his life in Iraq, he attended Synagogue services often on Saturday, he was a “full Professor for four years” at an Ivy League university, his house nearly burned down from a lightning strike, and his son Hunter “is the smartest person I know.”

To be fair to the President, I think he is preparing for life after his term ends. He is practicing for “Tall Tale Contests.”  I know West Virginia holds one every year. Probably most other states, too. However, he will need to read the rules. The one in San Antonio, Texas, pointedly says, “no politicians allowed.” They know the average liar would not stand a chance against a professional.

Historic quote by Will Rogers:

“Candidates have been telling you that if elected they would “pull you from this bog hole of financial misery.” Now is a good chance to get even with ’em, by electing ’em, just to prove what a liar they are.” DT #1334, Nov. 2, 1930

Transitions: Natural or Forced? California’s Backwards Economics

In our history, the United States has gone through many “transitions.” Here are a few examples. At one time half the population lived on farms; today less than 2 percent feed the other 98 percent.

Transportation from the East Coast to the West evolved from horses to railroads to airplanes. Communication transitioned from Pony Express to telegraph to telephone to internet.

For Will Rogers in the 1920s, movies transitioned from silent to “talkies.” And later to color. Now you don’t even have to go to a theater to see a movie.

In the early 1900’s Henry Ford and John D. Rockefeller changed personal transportation from horse and buggy (fueled by locally grown organic oats) to cars (fueled by gasoline available at local filling stations). For farmers, the horsepower in 1900 was about 95% horses; by 1950, 95% of the power was from tractors. Even earlier, homeowners and businesses depended on whale oil to power lamps; then Thomas Edison invented electric lights.

Did these transitions benefit the country? Or did they cause widespread pain?

None of these transitions was forced on us by the government. But today we are in the midst of a transition that IS painful. On purpose!

Since January 2021, President Biden has forced a transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy, knowing that it is “painful.” He intentionally reduced the supply of American oil, and refused to allow pipeline construction for economical transport of oil and natural gas. Yes, Biden is adding one million barrels a day from our precious oil reserves, but OPEC is reducing production by two million.

Massive amounts of money in our economy have been diverted from beneficial industrial and social uses to subsidize costs of solar panels, wind farms, Electric Vehicles, and the installation of 50,000 EV charging stations.

Last week President Biden began a speech on the economy, “Let me start with two words: Made in America.” So, in the Biden Administration, 1+1+1=2.  Of course, we want our goods to be made in America as much as feasible. Computer chips, medicine, medical supplies, automobiles… But one essential item Biden does not want produced in America is fossil fuel. He likes oil from Iran, Venezuela, and Saudi Arabia over oil from Texas or Canada. China increases their use of coal and oil, but we’re supposed to live without ‘em.

Yes, I know the goal is to stop climate change. But even John Kerry has admitted the rest of the world accounts for 85% of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere. If we eliminated ALL fossil fuel use here, the global total of carbon would not decrease 15%. It might even increase because more of our goods (trucks, railroad cars, refrigerators, cement) would be manufactured overseas and shipped here. And not on sailboats. Why would we want people in other countries to suffer with more pollution so we can have a clean environment? Don’t Chinese Lives Matter?

California Governor Newsom decided gasoline prices in his state are too high. So, he wants to raise taxes on Exxon, Chevron and other companies that provide the gasoline. Yes, you read that right. That harebrained scheme would not only INCREASE the price in California, it would do the same in the other 49.

California has a habit of passing laws that force other states to pay the price. You may remember California passed a law (Proposition 12) four years ago that, essentially, tells farmers across the country how to raise hogs, chickens, eggs, and veal. The California market is so huge that they set the standard. The law is scheduled to start in January. Like the tax on oil companies, this law would raise the price of food in all states. Who wants to pay more for bacon, eggs, and chicken? Who wants a “backwards transition” to raising farm animals like 50 years ago?

Fortunately for the rest of us, the Farm Bureau and Pork Producers have taken this to the Supreme Court. I realize a lot of people are angry at the Justices. But if the Supreme Court throws out that California law, we can all celebrate. With bacon!

Historic quotes by Will Rogers:

“I think most countries have kinder overestimated the importance of our Artists and underestimated the importance of people that did something to help provide Corn Bread and Bacon and cheapen the things we had to have.” There’s Not a Bathing Suit in Russia, 1927

“(It takes) 2 bushels of wheat to get a frying chicken… (and) 3 bushels of wheat to get you two pounds of bacon.” WA #452, Aug. 23, 1931

Hiring Immigration Lawyers. Helping Hurricane Victims. But No Help for Sen. Manchin.

Did I hear this right? The Biden Administration is spending $400,000,000 to hire lawyers to help solve our problems with illegal immigration.

Finally, we’ll have more judges and prosecutors along the border to quickly identify the small number who have a legitimate claim of asylum. Then the other (estimated) 90 percent who cross the border can be quickly deported.

Once this new information is widely known in Central America, Venezuela, Cuba, Haiti, and other countries, the two million illegal immigrants a year rate should drop drastically. That could cut dramatically into the $30 Billion per year the Mexican Cartels collect from immigrants and smuggled drugs. Don’t you agree it’s high time we are back in charge of our border instead of the Drug Cartels?

What? You say I’m WRONG? It’s not $400 million to hire lawyers?

Oh my. I have been corrected. My apologies for raising your hopes about controlling illegal immigration.

Yes, $400,000,000 of our tax dollars are being used to hire lawyers. But they are being paid to REPRESENT the illegal immigrants, to help them STAY here, not to deport them.

Who would ever propose such a boneheaded expenditure? Maybe it was Speaker Nancy Pelosi. She criticized Florida Governor DeSantis for sending 50 illegal immigrants to Martha’s Vineyard because Florida farmers told her, “We need them to pick the crops down here.”

Doesn’t the Speaker of the House know it’s against federal law to hire an illegal immigrant?

What? You say I’m WRONG AGAIN?

I forgot the Biden Administration changed the law. Businesses can hire illegal immigrants with no risk of fines or having those employees deported. The main losers in this scenario are citizens and legal immigrants who are left without a job.

Because of Hurricane Ian, Florida (and the Carolina coasts) will need plenty of workers to clean up and rebuild. Electrical workers from all over the country are already there restoring power. The Biden Administration, especially FEMA, will coordinate with the DeSantis Administration to provide food, temporary housing, and meet other critical needs. The Red Cross and many other volunteer organizations provide valuable help. Construction companies will rebuild roads, bridges, beaches, businesses and houses. Insurance companies will write a lot of checks. That could be the last insurance checks a few companies write in Florida because they may pull out after losing millions.

Senator Manchin (D-WV) had to give up on passing his bill to speed up approval of new pipelines. That delays even longer any hope of finishing the Mountain Valley and Atlantic Coast gas lines. With so many Democrats opposed to any fossil fuel projects, Sen. Manchin may just have to switch parties.

Historic quotes by Will Rogers:

“Did you read how many thousands of students just graduated all over the country in law? Going to take an awful lot of crime to support that bunch.” DT #1527, June 15, 1931

“Senators are a kind of a never-ending source of amusement, amazement, and discouragement.” WA #345, Aug. 4, 1929