Weekly Comments Archive
Archived Issue
Sunday, September 7, 2008
ISSUE #515
#515 September 7, 2008

Conventions Over: Parties Hike Legs, Mark Territories

COLUMBUS: The conventions are over and the path to November 4 is clear. Republicans are going after the Western vote, women and the small town vote. Democrats zeroed in on the East, African-Americans and big city voters. Republicans will concede Hawaii to Obama, but will make him fight for Kansas. Democrats will let McCain have Arizona and Alaska, but they’ll battle for New Mexico and Colorado.

This week I’ll work on the Democrats, and next week see what I can dig up on the Republicans. Senator Obama is mainly associated with Chicago. He seldom mentions his time at Columbia and Harvard Universities; I guess like others of his standing, he’s trying to live that down.

In Chicago in the 1920s and ’30s, Prohibition was a dominant factor, and Al Capone was the headliner. You might say Al Capone was the original “community organizer.” He set the standard for all community organizers to follow, and up to now no one has even come close. Al’s gang had Chicago so well organized he expanded to take in most of Miami, Philadelphia, New York and Los Angeles. How’s that for a political base. But he eventually was jailed, not for murder or selling moonshine, but because he neglected to pay income taxes on his ill-gotten loot.

Senator Biden’s state of Delaware is a fine little agricultural state that is home to DuPont and all those other big corporations looking for lower taxes. Delaware is required by law to support two Senators, the same our bigger states. Under the circumstances, they would not object to giving up one they have nurtured for over thirty years, for the good of the country.

While you were enjoying the football games this weekend as a pleasant diversion from politics (assuming your team won), your government saddled you with more mortgage debt than you could imagine. Even if you have been conservative and only bought as much house as you could pay for, today you also are the unsuspecting owner of your share of Five Trillion Dollars in IOUs. Not Million or Billion, but Trillion. So thanks to the ineptitude of the financiers who ran Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae into the ground, you may own the house you’re living in, plus a share of 5 or 6 others. This kinda puts you in the same category as John and Cindy McCain although it don’t feel like it.

Historic quotes from Will Rogers:

“Well, here we are folks, out in the old city of Chicago… We are barricaded here in the Wrigley Building. The Bugs Moran Gang are holding down the east side of Michigan Boulevard and the Capones are entrenched on the other side…Of course, they do have these gangs here, and they do kill each other. Well, that is their privilege. In the old days, no one would have gone to any trouble if the Dalton Brothers started to shoot the James Boys, would they? This is really, all kidding aside, one of the greatest cities in the world…
You are not going to get me coming out here telling any jokes about these racketeers and gangsters. I arrived in this city intact, and I am going to try and leave likewise. They are a fine bunch of boys, and they are just trying to distribute good cheer among everybody. In fact, I am a kind of racketeer myself. I have been accused of having a racket, and I have come to see what their graft is here, and if theirs is any better than mine. If it is, I may join them. So before the week is over you are liable to see it: Capone & Rogers, Incorporated.
It is all right to scatter good humor at the expense of the Senate, for they are harmless. But these boys carry a gun.” 
Radio broadcast, June 22, 1930

“Everybody you talk to would rather hear about Al Capone than anybody you ever met. What’s the matter with an age when our biggest gangster is our greatest national interest.” DT #1757, March 11, 1932

“Coleman Du Pont, United States Senator from Delaware, has lost use of his vocal cords. Now I feel sincerely sorry for his personal discomfiture, but if his ailment could be made contagions and he distribute it among his brother members of the Senate, his illness would prove to be a tremendous national blessing.” DT #396, October 28, 1927

“When a party can’t think of anything else they always fall back on Lower Taxes. It has a magic sound to a voter, just like Fairyland is spoken of and dreamed of by all children. But no child has ever seen it; neither has any voter ever lived to see the day when his taxes were lowered. Presidents have been promising lower taxes since Washington crossed the Delaware by hand in a row boat. But our taxes have gotten bigger and their boats have gotten larger until now the President crosses the Delaware in his private yacht.” WA #97, October 19, 1924

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