#438, January 8, 2007
COLUMBUS: While I was away we lost a President, hanged a Dictator, fired some coaches, and tonight crowned a new college football champion. The Florida Gators chewed up the Buckeyes of Ohio State, 41-14. That loss ended a long string of victories and put a damper on all the intended celebrations around here. When you give up 80 points in two games, you’re likely to lose at least one of ’em. Chris Leak played like a champion quarterback and his team and the SEC deserve the applause.
President Ford died at 93. One time in the 1920’s I said on the radio, “There ought to be a Ford in the White House, they’re everywhere else.” (Of course I was referring to my friend Henry Ford, and the fact that half the cars in the country were Model T Fords.) Henry never wanted to be President, and frankly neither did Gerald.
President Ford modestly said one time, “I’m a Ford, not a Lincoln.” Today, President Bush don’t claim to be a Lincoln either, but he hopes he has finally found his own General Grant. Only problem is Congress says, “Hold on, we’d prefer another McClellan.”
They put in a new rule to make Congressmen ethical. That’s the claim. They should have done it before they was elected, because it’s almost impossible to get one to reform after he’s in.
With this new rule, they’re not allowed to ride anywhere in a lobbyist’s airplane. That’ll have a big effect on corruption. Previously, they had to fly across the country or all over the world to collect their share of the corruption. That’s why they could only spare 2 or 3 days a week for work. From now on, all imaginable corruption will be available right there within walking distance of the Capitol, at least as long as the Democrats are in.
The Lobbyists new slogan is, “Why fly when you can walk.”
Congress announced they would work 5 days a week and pass all important bills in the first 100 hours. See, that leaves ’em plenty of time for walking around Washington, and by Groundhog Day they can all go home. Or to New Hampshire.
Oklahoma was big in the news on January 1. The Rose Bowl Parade in Pasadena kinda highlighted Oklahoma for celebrating 100 years of statehood in 2007. The state rounded up a couple of floats, some of our best singers, and horsemen to entertain the crowds. There was even a fellow about 20 feet tall on one of the floats that looked a lot like me, except he was all covered with flower petals, including the lasso, so it maybe coulda been Tom Mix or Gene Autry.
A few hours later that grand birthday celebration was cut short when the University of Oklahoma lost in the Fiesta Bowl; they not only lost, but lost to Boise State. Most folks say it was one of the most exciting games ever, but that don’t make Oklahoma feel any better even if the loss was by one point in overtime. Still, it’s not as bad as losing by 27.
Bill Cowher resigned as coach of the Steelers. The next day, Nick Saban made his first official announcement as the new coach at the University of Alabama, “I have no interest in becoming coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers.”
Donald Trump and Rosie O’Donnell have been feuding over Miss USA. After days of name-calling, Mr. Trump really stirred up controversy when he said he would allow her to appear in Playboy, not only allow but encourage her, as Playmate of the Month. That drew the ire of every beauty queen who ever wore a tiara, but the next day he explained he had mis-spoken: the only one he wants in Playboy is Rosie.
Even something as innocent and delightful as honoring the first baby of the New Year drew criticism. What used to be just a picture in the local paper and a box of baby food and diapers from the Main Street merchants got changed when Toys-R-Us offered $25,000. You thought the women in Germany were weird for standing on their heads for a week to delay birth until January 1, but this cash prize caused a worldwide stampede of expectant mothers to our shores. We already had millions crossing our borders, and now a Chinese woman who slipped in demands the grand prize for her youngin’. Here in Columbus the first baby was from a Mexican woman, and she didn’t collect enough to hardly pay for the trip. Altogether these New Years baby contests add a few thousand new citizens we didn’t bargain for. You can’t blame the babies, yet when you figure it up, it’s kind of an April Fool’s joke on America.
Weather has been unusually warm the last month. We got as much snow as ever in this country, except it all landed on one state. Every weekend Colorado gets another couple of feet. Cattle are starving and ranchers are hauling hay to all they can save. Everyone else is happy, even tourists. They all like to ski, and now they just drive up toward the ski lodge till the car gets stuck or hit by an avalanche and can’t go farther, then they take the skis off the car and ski home. It’s more fun and they don’t have to pay for the lift.
Saddam Hussein stretched a rope and it took ten minutes for the video to show up on YouTube. When you shoot a hidden video in the U.S., you get everyone on the cover of Time; in Iraq you may be the next one hanged.
Historic quotes from Will Rogers:
“No man is great if he thinks he is.” DT #810, March 1, 1929
“A Lobbyist is a person that is supposed to help a Politician to make up his mind, not only help him but pay him.” WA 348, August 25, 1929
“Putting a lobbyist out of business is like a hired man trying to fire his boss.” DT #2704, April 5, 1935