Debt Ceiling Question: Will Rogers Solved It Years Ago

Okay, readers. Let’s begin today’s column with a multiple-choice question: Why does Congress need to raise the Debt Ceiling again?
A. Less tax money was collected than in previous years.
B. More money was spent than previous years.
C. Both A & B.
D. Neither A nor B.

As you ponder that question, here are some helpful facts. (Data are from various government sources.) In 2012 our government spent $3.8 Trillion. In 2022 they spent $6.2 Trillion, an increase of more than 60%.

Federal tax receipts from all sources (includes ~50% income taxes; 30% payroll taxes; 8% corporate) were $2.5 Trillion in 2012 and $4.8 in 2022. Presidents and Congress continue to spend far more money than received.

Our federal debt was $16 Trillion in 2012. And now it’s almost $32 Trillion. In only ten years the government increased our debt as much as in the previous 235 years. If a family or business behaved the same way, they would go bankrupt.

About 3 million fewer people are employed today than three years ago despite having several million open jobs. Most of the 3 million are receiving money from the government instead of paying taxes.

If Congress and Presidents had followed advice from Will Rogers for the last hundred years (see the quotes below), they would not be arguing over a Debt Ceiling. And I would not have thrown all these numbers at you today.

The answer to the opening question is… B.

Another multiple-choice question I could have asked is, “Why does Congress overspend?” But the number of “choices” would total 566 (one for each Representative and Senator in Congress, and one for the President).

The Super Bowl match up is set for Feb. 12. Philadelphia beat San Francisco 31-7 and Kansas City beat Cincinnati 23-20. Will Rogers, a proud Cherokee, will naturally root for the Chiefs.

Historic quotes by Will Rogers:

“We never will get anywhere with our finances till we pass a law saying that every time we appropriate something we got to pass another bill along with it stating where the money is coming from.” DT #1733, Feb. 12, 1932

(Instead of being in Congress) “suppose you got $100,000 a year for working for a firm and you spent $200,000,000,000 of their money that you didn’t have and you didn’t know where you was going to get it, how long would you be working for that firm?” DT #1813, May 16, 1932

“Nobody can kick on honest deserving relief, and nobody can be blamed for kicking on relieving somebody when they won’t work. The government has got to find some way of telling them apart.” DT #2650, Feb. 1, 1935

          “Half the people in the United States would rather collect one dollar from the government than get $10 from [working].” WA # 119, March 22, 1925

“As soon as we get used to this overdraft why it won’t be so bad, but it’s just while it’s new that everybody’s attention is focused on it. You know a Billion is getting so it’s a lot of dough, even in these hard times.” WA #440, May 31, 1931

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

Scavenger Hunt: Find Joe Biden’s Missing Documents.

Top-Secret Classified documents keep turning up. It seems that when Joe Biden left office as Vice-President 6 years ago, he filled cardboard boxes with documents, photos and souvenirs collected from 40 years in DC. Then, any time he traveled he would stuff a few in his briefcase. That way, he would have something to read if everyone ignored him. As you know, Vice-Presidents are usually ignored and forgotten, both in office and after they leave.

On Friday they found more at the Biden beach house. The first ones were found on November 2 at the University of Pennsylvania, and ever since they continue to pop up.

The discovery on Friday caught the attention of millions of Americans. See, anywhere the former Vice-President traveled in the last few years, patriotic Americans are searching intently for documents he might have “misplaced.”

It’s a nationwide Scavenger Hunt! Conductors on the Amtrak route from DC to Wilmington are searching around his preferred seat. If he visited your office, check file cabinets.  If he slept at your house, look under the mattress. Inspect the seat pockets on Air Force 2.

One place it would be a waste of time to look is along the Rio Grande. Even if he dropped a couple of Top-Secret documents during his only visit near the river, in El Paso, the Mexican Cartel coyotes would have grabbed them.

Like a regular scavenger hunt, Republicans should provide prizes. Draw a name from all of those who turn in a Top-Secret classified document. And offer a grand prize to the one who finds the most.

While you’re searching for Biden’s mishandled classified documents, see if you can find out how his Administration kept the original discovery in his Wilmington garage a secret for two months. And another mystery you might solve: figure out which of the 36 top legal Interns at the Supreme Court released a draft of the abortion ruling, resulting in the attempted murder of Justice Gorsuch.

Sorry, I got off track. Back to the classified documents… What’s in them is more important than the number found or where they wound up. We don’t need to know the details. But we would like to know if any relate to China, Ukraine, Russia or other country that involved million-dollar deals for the Biden family.

I think the real reason Joe Biden hauled out all these documents was his intention to write a book of Memoirs.

Today is Lunar New Year and people of Asian heritage are celebrating around the world. This begins the Year of the Rabbit. Here’s a Will Rogers connection for you. When Will attended Kemper Military Academy at Boonville, Missouri he played “wide end” on the football team. He was fast, so they called him… Rabbit.

Speaking of football, the National Football League championship run is down to four teams: Cincinnati Bengals, Kansas City Chiefs, Philadelphia Eagles and the San Francisco 49’ers. Most NFL fans agree these are the best teams. The one that wins the Super Bowl in 3 weeks will truly be a deserving champion.

Historic quote by Will Rogers:

“Senator… When you write your Memoirs — That’s another Cherokee word; means when you put down the good things you ought to have done, and leave out the bad ones you did do — well, that’s Memoirs.”  Saturday Evening Post, March 12, 1932

Top Farmers Share Secrets. Did Presidents Share Top Secrets?

I was invited to speak at another agriculture conference this past week, in St. Louis. This was the thirty-first National No-Till Conference, presented by Lessiter Media, which publishes the “No-Till Farmer” magazine and other periodicals and books, plus Podcasts. I’ve attended all thirty-one conferences.

The conference had about fifty presenters so I can’t list ‘em all. David Hula of Virginia, Randy Dowdy (Georgia), and Russell Hendricks (North Carolina), are champion corn growers who shared their tips to increase production. Marion Calmer (Illinois) has done research on his farm for thirty years and designed innovative components for corn harvesting with combines. Phil Needham (Kentucky) shared tips for wheat growers to increase production and profits, such as planting in rows spaced 5 inches apart.

Two others who have developed new technology and equipment to make grain farming more efficient are Rob Saik (Alberta, Canada) and Gregg Sauder (Illinois). Several leading farmers and university professors also spoke at the conference which lasted from Tuesday to Friday. I’m mentioning this because my talk on Friday morning (presented with Vinayak Shedekar, a new Assistant Professor at Ohio State University) was a review of the latest practical no-till research and a look at the future. By Friday, half of the “future” technology we planned to talk about (including new uses of drones and robots) had already been introduced by previous speakers who had developed and were using it. That shows you how fast technology is advancing to make food production more economical and environmentally friendly.

At the beginning of the conference on Tuesday, I was the Moderator for a series of presentations by 10 companies with innovative products to make farming more efficient (and therefore reduce the cost of food). To wrap up the conference on Friday, I moderated a panel of three farmers who shared 50 tips on growing soybeans. As I closed the conference with about 800 farmers who plant crops without plowing the ground, I slipped in a favorite Will Rogers quote from 99 years ago, “The farmer has to be an optimist or he wouldn’t still be a farmer.”

While I was occupied in St. Louis, we learned about some questionable decisions by people who ought to know better. When Joe Biden left office as Vice-President in January 2017, he took a few boxes of Top Secret Classified documents with him to Delaware.

Nobody knows where all these boxes have been the last 6 years. At least one was found in his garage beside his ’67 Corvette, another in a closet, others in the basement (where Mr. Biden campaigned from for the entire 2020 election) and a box ended up in Philadelphia at the University of Pennsylvania. These Top Secret documents were discovered before the November election, about the same time that President Biden was scolding President Trump for having Top Secret documents at his Florida home. This just shows that you need to be cautious who you criticize, because you may end up guilty of the same practice. This may also knock both of the old codgers out of the 2024 election.

In Los Angeles, the University of Southern California wants to ban the word ‘field.’ The last two weeks I have been with farmers and ranchers whose livelihood depends on what grows in their fields. I think those professors in the School of Social Work at USC have forgotten where their three meals a day comes from. Do they dislike California farmers for using water to irrigate their fields that they prefer to have available for their hot tubs and swimming pools? Maybe they should ban the word ‘work.’

Who wants to ban gas stoves? Definitely no one who has been cooking with gas for generations. But a few politicians decided gas is bad and we should cook with electricity instead. And where does electricity come from? Forty percent from natural gas.

Historic quote by Will Rogers:

“If you ever injected truth into politics you have no politics.” WA #31, July 15, 1923

Spoke to Tennessee Cattlemen. Republicans Elected a Speaker. President Biden Visited El Paso.

If you ever get the chance to see and listen to Dr. Temple Grandin, Trent Loos, Jason Brown and Congressman Mark Green you will go home inspired.  Even one would be enough, but all four spoke at the Tennessee Cattlemen’s Winter meeting on Monday. What a way to start a new year!

You may know that Temple Grandin has written a dozen books and had a movie made about her work as an autistic expert. Given her autism, she “sees” her surroundings just like a cow or a dog does. I met her in 1974 at an agricultural engineering conference. For fifty years she has influenced the design of cattle handling facilities on ranches, at beef feedlots, and meat processing plants. And she is a powerful advocate for anyone with autism.

Trent Loos is a rancher who broadcasts “Loos Tales” on radio and social media. He is an engaging speaker who connects rural and urban audiences, especially youngsters.

If you haven’t heard of Jason Brown, check him out. He was a star center for the St. Louis Rams (now in Los Angeles) who left football to buy and operate a 1000-acre “First Fruits Farm” in North Carolina. His family grows vegetables, including sweet potatoes and cucumbers, and donates the crops to relieve hunger.

I got to annoy the same fine bunch of cowmen and women as their after-dinner speaker. Veterinarian Hugh McCampbell laughed at all my jokes even though I left out his favorite line: “The best doctor in the world is the Veterinarian. He can’t ask his patients what is the matter – he’s got to just know.” (1927). My old friend John Bradley not only raises some of the best beef in Tennessee but knows more about growing cotton without plowing than anybody. Kate Maher represented the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association.

Vaughn Moore was in the audience and explained to me afterwards that wine and grape juice are not the same. And he quoted the Old Testament, (Numbers, Chapter 6:3) to prove it. Well, I already knew they were different, and not just in price, but it’s good to know the Bible agrees with me.

After a raucous week in Congress, the Republicans finally agreed Friday night on Kevin McCarthy as Speaker, on the 15th vote. On the first 14 votes as many as 20 were against the 200 who supported McCarthy, and they refused to budge. They appeared to vote against McCarthy, but in reality they were voting against the dictatorial reign of Speaker Nancy Pelosi. They insisted on, and received, assurances individual House members would have more rights concerning budgets, amendments, voting procedures, and committee assignments.

If you are a Republican concerned that another Californian is replacing Speaker Pelosi, don’t be. He is from Bakersfield, in the eastern, common-sense part of the state.

Did you see President Biden beside the Rio Grande River at El Paso today as he watched immigrants wading across and entering the U.S. illegally, as about 25 Border Patrol agents, including 4 on horseback, let them through?  He was protected by bullet-proof glass as he peered across the river at Drug Cartel coyotes. (He didn’t need the protection because they all love our President.)

What? He never went to the river? He didn’t see any illegal immigrants? Ok, I guess he was too busy talking with Texans mad about immigrants invading their roads, homes and ranches. What? He didn’t see any of them either? Oh well, at least he got to enjoy some shirt-sleeve weather on his way to Mexico City.

This week I’ll be in St. Louis with several hundred farmers who are growing corn, soybeans, wheat and other crops without ever plowing. Yes, it works. The “no-till” system produces plenty of crops, reduces costs, and benefits all of us by improving water and air quality, and reducing global warming.

I saw that environmentalists are suggesting instead of throwing out our Christmas trees that we eat them. If they insist, they are welcome to chew on my Norway Spruce. Meanwhile I’ll chew on a T-bone steak.

Historic quotes by Will Rogers:

During the 15 votes in Congress, several folks pointed out that Will Rogers needs to switch his famous quote. So, here it is, reversed: “I’m not a member of any organized political party… I’m a Republican.”

“There will never be any class of people in our country that can replace the old cowman for common sense, humor and fine citizenship.” DT #2606, Dec. 12, 1934

“With every public man we have elected doing comedy, I tell you we don’t see much of a chance for a comedian to make a living…. They can do more funny things naturally, than I can think of to do purposely.” WA #57, Jan. 13, 1924

Congress, Borders, Bees, and an Obama Trail. And Merry Christmas.

This week I was planning to write about immigration (which nobody can agree on) but then our Lame Duck Congress passed a $1,800,000,000,000 Inflation Increase Act.

Will Rogers had the perfect description of a Lame Duck Congress. “It’s like where some fellows worked for you and their work wasn’t satisfactory and you let ’em out, but after you fired ’em, you let ’em stay long enough so they could burn your house down.” (DT #1980, Dec. 8, 1932)

The bill has over 4000 pages of fine print and Senators had only a few hours to read it. It’s a Democrat bill, but 17 Republicans voted for it, maybe because it has several million for border security. Those Republicans missed the tiny paragraph that it is for securing the borders of Egypt and other Middle Eastern countries. No money to protect our own border. So, it’s okay for ‘em to wade across the Rio Grande, but not the Nile.

There’s $3,000,000 for “Bee-friendly highways.” First, bees don’t need a highway; they fly. If you want to make our roadsides friendly to bees, stop mowing. That would save a few million and attract bees. However, if you get a flat tire, that’s bad enough without being attacked by a swarm of hornets.

And former First Lady Michelle Obama gets $3,600,000 for a trail. I guessed it was to build a walkway from the back door of their mansion at Martha’s Vineyard to the beach. But it’s in Mississippi. Will she fly from Massachusetts down to Mississippi every morning to walk her trail? Besides our former President has $70,000,000. Let him give his wife a trail for Christmas.

Stanford University made News this week by publishing 13 pages of banned words. Words they want replaced include: immigrant, handicapped, grandfather, American, and the colors black, white, red, yellow and gray. This was compiled by a grad student who wrote it as a thesis for a Master’s Degree. But “Master” is banned so they gave him/her/it/them a Ph.D., which appropriately for this research, means Piled Higher and Deeper. (I’m joking about the grad student. The list was made up by employees and a couple of professors in the information technology department. That wasted more money than paying a lowly grad student.)

I heard that a quarter of toys are bought by adults for their own pleasure. If you think this is a new fad, read the first Will Rogers quote below.

Historic (Christmas) quotes by Will Rogers:

“I am too busy replacing presents to write today. I bought some mechanical and electric things for the kids and wore ’em out playing with ’em myself.”  DT #120, Dec. 23, 1926

“Men, act surprised this morning as if you didn’t know the tie was coming.”  DT #121, Dec. 24, 1926

“Well, tomorrow is ‘wish’ day. Everybody is ‘wishing’ somebody something, and I guess it’s just as well everybody don’t know what they are being ‘wished.’ But, generally speaking, we do have good cheer in our hearts on Christmas. ‘Course, we can’t hardly wait till the day is over and to get back to our devilment again.” DT # 1379, Dec. 24, 1930

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from the Reeder family. And from the Will Rogers family.

Who Do You Trust: Congress? FBI officials? Former Twitter Employees?

Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) found out he is disliked by both Democrats and Republicans. You’ll remember that President Biden pushed for a huge spending bill for at least $2.5 Trillion. Only two of the fifty Democrat Senators questioned that massive bill: Manchin and Sen. Sinema (D-AZ). They stood up to the other 48 for months. Republicans cheered them from the sideline.

Eventually, in July, Manchin (and Sinema) agreed to vote for a much smaller $750 Billion bill with a misleading name, Inflation Reduction Act. That allowed the bill to pass, 50-50, with VP Harris breaking the tie. In return for his support, Manchin was promised that Congress would vote to speed up the process of approving energy projects, especially new pipelines for oil and natural gas.

Removing ridiculous roadblocks to new energy projects is popular for the average American because of inflated prices for gasoline and home heating. Why delay pipeline construction for four years when it should be approved in a few months?

But a bill introduced last week in the Lame Duck Senate, left out the promise to Manchin. He got blindsided. Democrats don’t like that he forced them to cut almost $2 Trillion from their “Inflation” bill. Republicans don’t like that he agreed to spend $750 Billion.

Oddly, President Biden lashed out at energy companies for spewing methane (natural gas) into the air from oil wells while opposing construction of pipelines that would transport that gas to electric power plants, businesses and homes. On a bigger scale, the lack of rapid permitting is keeping us from becoming energy independent again and exporting adequate supplies of LNG (liquefied natural gas) to Europe to replace Russian gas.

Meanwhile, our Strategic Petroleum Reserve is being drawn down by President Biden to artificially lower the price of gasoline. And the largest storage of crude oil in the world, located at Cushing, Oklahoma, is also far below capacity.

Elon Musk has released more disturbing news about Twitter. We learned that before the 2020 election, high officials in the FBI and other federal agencies were meeting weekly with Twitter employees, encouraging them to ban comments from Conservatives and anyone who was pro-Trump or anti-Biden. This included any information from Hunter Biden’s computer. Yes, these officials were in the Trump Administration, including FBI General Counsel James Baker. Then a few months before the election, Baker left the FBI and began working as General Counsel for… Twitter. When Musk learned about these shenanigans this week, he fired Baker and about 80% of the other employees.

Time magazine named Ukraine President Zelensky as its Person of the Year. Considering the liberal slant of Time, I’m surprised they didn’t name James Baker instead. For 2023, I hereby nominate Elon Musk.

Considering the actions at Twitter, Facebook and most of the mainstream media, are you surprised at Trump’s reactions since the November 2020 election? We don’t have to agree with or condone his comments to understand his frustration.

Imagine if individuals in your company, organization or family were secretly working to undercut your leadership, how would you react when you learned the truth? You might vehemently express your displeasure, including a few posts on Twitter.

Historic quotes by Will Rogers:

“Now they [Senators] wouldn’t be so serious and particular if they only had to vote on what they thought was good for the majority of the people of the U.S. That would be a cinch.” WA #78, June 8, 1924

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

“This is a very momentous Congress that is in session. They have appropriated more money than any Congress ever did, but I guess that is all right; we are not paying our national debt, anyhow. We just keep on adding to it, so it don’t matter how much it is.” Radio, June 11, 1933

Twitter Sinners Exposed. Railroad Strike Avoided.

The sins of Twitter were revealed by Elon Musk Friday evening. If you happened to be watching CNN or MSNBC (or the Utah upset of USC) you may not know that Twitter employees were acting as agents for the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and the Biden family. They routinely blocked any negative information about Joe Biden, including blocking anyone who tried to share that information.

The most blatant example was in October 2020 when a computer belonging to Joe Biden’s son was analyzed by the New York Post. Emails and documents showed that Hunter Biden received millions of dollars from the Communist Chinese government and that 10% was reserved for the “Big Guy.” Hunter’s ex-business associate Tony Bobulinski verified that Joe Biden was the “Big Guy” and was actively involved in the deals. You probably remember that Joe Biden called it Russian disinformation. So did Twitter and most major news organizations. The most blatant and influential lie was a letter signed by 50 former Intelligence Agency officials.

Without knowledge of this incriminating information, a record 80 million people voted for the “Big Guy.”

About the only people who knew the truth about the laptop computer before the 2020 election were ones who watched Fox News. Here’s a shocker: CBS News announced a couple of weeks ago that their investigation had verified the information on the laptop was authentic. Wow, it only took ‘em two years. In response, MSNBC proudly announced they were also investigating Hunter’s computer and, with luck, could have an answer by December 2024.

A railroad strike was averted. Back in September, President Biden bragged that he had negotiated a new labor contract with the unions. Actually, the only agreement he got was to postpone any strike until after the November election. After he failed again last week, he passed the buck to Congress. They passed a law requiring all rail workers to accept the 24% wage increase, with one sick leave day, and a requirement they will not strike for two years. (That’s conveniently right after the 2024 election.)

I’ll admit I know nothing about railroad labor negotiations or what role Congress or the President can play. Do the railroads have to pay all the costs, or are taxpayers stuck with part of it, such as sick leave days? Do the workers already get paid vacations? And finally, if inflation had remained at 2% instead of 8%, would the unions have demanded a 24% raise?

Historic quote by Will Rogers:

      “Unions are fine things… A strike should be the very last means for it is like war. It always falls on those who had nothing to do with calling it.” DT #2186, Aug. 6, 1933

Lame Duck. Rail Strike. And Illegal Immigrants Voting

Now that Thanksgiving is past, the country will shift from turkey to duck.  As in Lame Duck. Congress will spend two weeks taking up bills they couldn’t pass in two years.

Will Rogers offered this definition of a Lame Duck Congress, “It’s like where some fellows worked for you and their work wasn’t satisfactory and you let ’em out, but after you fired ’em, you let ’em stay long enough so they could burn your house down.” (DT #1980, Dec. 8, 1932)

The biggest problem Congress might face is a rail strike, scheduled for December 9. I’ve heard it would cost our economy $2 Billion a day.

Did you know that any one of the 12 rail unions can veto a labor contract? You’re probably surprised there are 12 unions workin’ on the railroad. Two of them are the International Brotherhood of Boilermakers and the National Conference of Firemen.

Boilermakers? Firemen? Those guys must be at least 80 years old. There can’t be many steam locomotives left with boilers that depend on coal shovelers. At least not ones pulling a long string of rail cars loaded with coal, crude oil, corn, or cargo containers from China.

Another major ongoing problem is illegal immigration. At least 5,000,000 have entered since President Biden took office. Homeland Secretary Mayorkas is kinda stuck between a rock and a 30-foot steel wall. Congressman Kevin McCarthy of Kern County, California, the apparent incoming Speaker of the House, plans to pursue impeachment of Mayorkas unless he agrees to stop immigrants at the border and send them home. But Mayorkas is doing exactly what President Biden wants, redefining an ‘open border’ as a ‘secure border.’ So, he is squeezed between impeachment or getting fired. What a choice.

Meanwhile, the Washington DC city council and mayor passed a law that anyone who has spent 30 days there can vote in elections. Does that include lobbyists and foreign diplomats? I think the real reason for the law is because Texas Governor Abbott is busing illegal immigrants: if Republicans keep sending us thousands of immigrants, we’re gonna let ‘em vote.

Analyzing the Election. Happy Birthday President Biden.

If you want to get elected to an important position, it helps if you’re already in that position. No matter how their state performed the last 4 years, sitting Governors in 26 out of 27 states were reelected. U.S. Senate candidates had a similar result. And if Senator Warnock beats Hershel Walker in Georgia’s runoff, it will be 100% incumbent victories. This would give Democrats a 51-49 majority in the Senate and they wouldn’t need VP Harris to break a tie.

About the only way to beat an incumbent is to outspend ‘em. For the House of Representatives, the ones who spent the most won 96% of the races. It seems kinda odd that Democrats received more money than Republicans, yet Republicans won 3 or 4 more of the 435 seats than Democrats. Even a small change in numbers gave Republicans control, ending Speaker Pelosi’s long reign. (Data were reported in The Kiplinger Letter.)

Not many years ago, Republicans donated far more money than Democrats. Somehow several rich men and women who became millionaires as a Capitalist, seem to become Liberals in their older years.

Although voters complained about the economy, inflation, illegal immigration and drugs, they voted for Senators who supported a President with the lowest approval rating in recent history. Two-thirds said the country is on the “wrong track,” but they seem to like it that way.

Abortion was not a main factor in polls, but became a main factor in the voting booth. I think this Will Rogers quote explains it if you replace the word ‘drink’ with ‘abortion:’ “I have always claimed America didn’t want a drink as bad as they wanted the right to take a drink if they did happen to want one.” (DT #2083, Apr. 7, 1933)

Happy birthday #80 to President Joe Biden. Politics aside, reaching 80 in good physical shape is worth celebrating. It’s also a good time to decide to retire in a couple of years and let younger folks battle it out in 2024. One youngster in Florida is running: 76-year-old Donald Trump.

A Federal Judge in Washington gave a sentence that can serve as a guide for thieves stealing from hundreds of stores, including Target, CVS, Apple, and small local shops. The Judge sent a man to prison for 3 years, and required him to pay $2000 to cover the cost of the merchandise he stole.  At that rate anyone stealing a car would end up in the ‘big house’ for about 20 years. And if you steal diamonds from a store on Rodeo Drive in Hollywood, you get a life sentence.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Historic quote by Will Rogers:

      “Elections are a good deal like marriages; there’s no accounting for anyone’s taste. Every time we see a bridegroom, we wonder why she ever picked him, and it’s the same with Public Officials.” (WA #126, May 10, 1925)

Election’s Over (almost); So Cheer Up.

The election was Tuesday. Counting the votes was Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday…

For Arizona and Nevada, counting votes is like a cricket game. Most cricket games last 3 or 4 days. But did you know an England vs. South Africa cricket game once lasted nine days. Arizona vs. Nevada may break that record.

If you think election counting issues only started a few years ago, think again. Here’s Will Rogers: “I hope some of the men who get the most votes will be elected… If I was running for office I would rather have two friends in the counting room than a Republican Slush fund behind me. More candidates have been defeated after 6 o’clock in the evening than were ever defeated during election day.” WA #100, Nov. 9, 1924

“Did you ever hear of as crazy a law as Kentucky has? They make ’em wait twenty-four hours before counting the votes. That’s to give the counters a chance to think it over and be honest. Twenty-four hours is supposed to make you honest in Kentucky. Why not wait till both candidates are dead, then there can be no crookedness shown.” DT #1339, Nov. 7, 1930

President Biden has had Democrats in charge of both the Senate and House for two years. A reporter asked him, “If you lose the Democrat majority in the House, and maybe the Senate, what will you change in the next two years?” His immediate answer: “Nothing.”

Really? With record high prices for gasoline and groceries, fear of being attacked on the subway or sidewalk or pulled from your car, and illegal immigrants flooding across the border, he can find “nothing” to change?  But give the President credit; he understands his voters. In a lot of states and Congressional Districts, a surprising number of Democrat voters don’t mind inflated prices, high crime rates, and illegal immigration as long as they can have abortion as a birth control option.

No matter which way the votes go (eventually) in Arizona, Nevada and Georgia, Congress will be about evenly split. Here’s Will Rogers again, “Washington, D. C. papers say: ‘Congress is deadlocked and can’t act.’ I think that is the greatest blessing that could befall this country.” WA #59, Jan. 27, 1924

The biggest shock to me among Senators elected was that 2.5 million people in Pennsylvania voted for John Fetterman. I was going to joke that it should not be a shock because even dead men have been elected. And then I read, also in a Pennsylvania election Tuesday, that a man who died a month ago was elected! Democrat Tony DeLuca defeated his Green Party opponent for the state Legislature. Voters for DeLuca figured a dead man would better serve their district than a live person who plans to cut off their gas and oil.

Let’s completely ignore Senator-Elect Fetterman’s stroke (we hope he fully recovers): what qualifications, work experience, and passion did he bring to the campaign?  Here’s a reminder from Will Rogers, “Funny thing about being a U.S. Senator, the only thing the law says you have to be is 30 years old. Not another single requirement necessary.”  (June 21, 1935)

On Friday, Nov. 11, we ignored politics for awhile to celebrate and honor our Veterans. As Will Rogers said in a speech, “Take care of the ones who fought in the last war because we might want to use ‘em again.”

          Christmas is right around the corner. An 80-foot-tall Norway Spruce was delivered to Rockefeller Center in New York City. Now, when you stretch to place the star on top of your family Christmas tree, be glad you don’t have to decorate this one. The “star” weighs 900 pounds. Thankfully, they will wait until after Thanksgiving to light it.

Historic quotes by Will Rogers:

“When the votes are counted, let everybody, including the candidates, get into a good humor as quick as they got into a bad one… So cheer up. Let’s all be friends again.” DT #1953, Nov. 7, 1932

“If your side lost don’t take it too much to heart. Remember there is always this difference between us and Italy. In Italy, Mussolini runs the country. But here the country runs the President.” DT #1954, Nov. 8, 1932