Sunday, October 31, 2010

Weekly Comments: Election campaign climaxes, alibis are next #627

Folks, I’ll be on the road this week, in California and Oklahoma. In Long Beach Tuesday (election day), I’ll speak about soil at the national convention of agronomists and soil scientists, then fly to Oklahoma for Will Rogers’ birthday celebration, Thur.-Sat. I hope to see a few of you.

Weekly Comments: Election campaign climaxes, alibis are next
#627 Oct 31, 2010

COLUMBUS: This election campaign is climaxing in Ohio. Bill Clinton and Vice-President Biden were here. And President Obama was in Cleveland today pushing Democrats to vote. You know, when it takes a President to convince Cleveland to vote Democratic, prospects ain’t looking so good for Democrats.

Over in Yemen a few disguised bombs were air mailed by way of FedEx to the US. The good news, for now, is they were intercepted before any exploded. Yemen is an Arab country, pretty much controlled by Al-Qaida. Everyone knows Muslims did it. But you’ll be surprised how many TV commentators will question that conclusion. They’ll say, "It’s not fair to blame it on Muslims. Those bombs could have been put together and mailed by Jews or Hindus or even Methodists."

When it comes to elections, there was one held in Indianapolis last week that hardly anyone can argue with. The National FFA selected their officers for next year and the President is from Oklahoma. Riley Pagett is a member of the Woodward FFA Chapter out in the western end of the state. He and five other officers will be traveling the country, speaking on behalf of what we used to call Future Farmers of America. Several previous national FFA Presidents have gone on to outstanding careers and Riley is sure to join them, if we can keep him out of politics.

Speaking of elections, if you are visiting the United States either legally or illegally, and you’ve got a hankerin’ to vote Tuesday, go to Arizona. See, two federal judges ruled that you don’t have to be an American citizen to vote in Arizona. I know a few Canadians who may fly south early just to have a say in how this country is run. From now on, when it comes to questionable election results, Arizona will rank right up there with Chicago.

Historic quotes from Will Rogers: (on elections)
"We cuss ‘em and we joke about ‘em, but if they wasent in (Congress), why, they would be doing something else against us that might be worse." Saturday Evening Post, July 24, 1926

"Our system has been that when a man is defeated at election he is appointed to a bigger job than the one he was defeated for." DT #1346, Nov. 16, 1930

"In this country people don't vote for, they vote against. The votes was against Hoover [in 1932]. It doesn't matter who was running." Radio, June 9, 1935

"A flock of Democrats will replace a mess of Republicans in quite a few districts. It won't mean a thing. They will go in like all the rest of 'em, go in on promises and come out on alibis." WA #403, Sept. 14, 1930

Randall Reeder
Will Rogers Today
Need a Speaker? Hurry up and hire me before I die... again.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Weekly Comments: Will offers plan for a gutsy candidate #625

Oct 17, 2010

COLUMBUS: The federal deficit is $1.3 Trillion this year. The President says the economy is improving because last year it was $1.4 Trillion.

President Obama was back in Columbus today. He’s been in Ohio a dozen times lately, rounding up votes. He’s telling Democrats, "Even if you don’t have a job, vote for the Democrat anyway. No use for both of you to be unemployed."

Speaker Pelosi’s comment about "more bang for the buck" is getting attention. You would be surprised the number of Democrat candidates who are carrying rifles in their TV ads. In West Virginia, Joe Manchin is not only carrying, but firing. He shot a hole plumb through the Carbon Tax and Trade bill. A lot of Democrats in Congress are taking aim at Pelosi.

Every candidate has been asked exactly how they will cut the deficit. Nary a one has been honest enough to answer, for fear of losing a couple of votes.

Here’s what I suggest for a candidate to announce next week, "Let’s raise the Social Security retirement age to 70 or 72. There will be no inflation adjustment for next year because there was no inflation. Be patient because inflation will take off sooner or later, and we’ll scrape us a small increase for you. For those on Medicaid, you better find a way to live healthier because you’re gonna pay half. Same for Medicare except you pay a quarter, including for drugs. For unemployment, forget about 99 weeks of checks. With my plan, the first week you get 100 percent, and it declines every week until after 29 weeks it’s zero. Currently you wait till the checks stop, then find a job. From now on, you decide how low to let it go before you get off the couch. We’ll raise the income tax, but only on the half that aren’t paying any. It’ll only be 5 percent, and it will give these poor folks a stake in wanting government to spend wisely. We’ll eliminate all public employee unions. If you want to join a union, work for a private company.
We’ll phase out home mortgage deductions. It’s the tax advisors that convince people to keep a maximum mortgage until they’re 80; take out that loophole and they’ll pay off the house by 50 or so, and be glad of it."

For any candidate who will make that proposal I can guarantee one thing: on November 2 he’ll lose. But in 5 to 10 years, people will be telling him he was right.

The rescue of those 33 Chili miners was an inspiring engineering achievement. A determined President went out and got the brightest, most experienced drillers in the world and turned them loose. NASA helped design the recovery capsule. And the miners were brilliantly organized and disciplined.

The first big football poll came out tonight. Oklahoma and Oregon are on top, and that means only one thing. Next Saturday, look for them to get beat.

Historic quote from Will Rogers: (Note that 2010 is kinda opposite of 1930.)
"My advice is, keep the Republicans in power. Otherwise you will add to the unemployment for, if you throw a Republican out there is nothing else he can do, while a Democrat must be able to making a living out of office. Otherwise he would not be living." DT #1335, Nov. 3, 1930

Randall Reeder
Will Rogers Today
Need a Speaker? Hurry up and hire me before I die... again.

Weekly Comments: Politics getting smelly close to the election #624


COLUMBUS: The news got even worse for the Democrats this week. Unemployment is stuck at close to ten percent, and one out of every seven Americans are poverty stricken. And more of them than ever live in foreclosed homes in the suburbs.

Of course it was moving to the suburbs that caused a lot of these problems. When everyone lived in a big house in town, maybe with your in-laws and a bunch of kids, you could walk to work or school. I blame Henry Ford. When he started making the Model T Ford so cheap that just about anyone could afford one, why we moved out of town, built our own house and drove everywhere. Now you’re stuck with two cars and two mortgages. And when your two jobs disappeared, sharing a big house in town don’t seem so bad.

Speaker Pelosi announced that the best economic recovery plan is to hand out more food stamps and unemployment checks. She said that will give the "most bang for the buck." Well, I don’t know what economist she has been talking to, if any. I figure the loudest bang you’ll hear from these out-of-work men will be when they go into the woods aiming to shoot a buck. That can get you more meat than a month’s worth of food stamps.

We only have three weeks till the election. Can you survive that long? With some of these political ads on TV, you’ve got to not only cover your ears and close your eyes, but hold your nose, too. There seem to be more polecats running than usual.

Everybody knows there will be a bunch more Republicans elected to Congress. But the Democrats aren’t giving up without a fight. Why, there’s a few Democrat candidates cussing the President more than the Republicans are.

In West Virginia, the governor is running for Robert Byrd’s old Senate seat. He has come out against just about every one of the President’s policies, but still claims to be a Democrat. Most voters are telling him, "You stay as Governor and let us send someone else to clean up Washington."

Historic quotes from Will Rogers:

"We'll hold the distinction of being the only nation in the history of the world that ever went to the poor house in an automobile." Radio, Oct. 18, 1931

"There is something about a Republican that you can only stand for him just so long. And, on the other hand, there is something about a Democrat that you can't stand for him quite that long." DT #1955, Nov. 9, 1932

(After the dedication of the new Will Rogers Hotel in Claremore, Oklahoma) "I know now how proud Christopher Columbus must have felt when he heard they had named Columbus, Ohio, after him." DT #1111, Feb. 16, 1930

Randall Reeder
Will Rogers Today
Need a Speaker? Hurry up and hire me before I die... again.

Weekly Comments: Congress prefers campaigning to voting #623

Oct. 3, 2010

COLUMBUS: McDonald’s may be dropping health insurance for their employees and that’s got Democrats in Congress concerned. After November, that’s where some of these folks may be working.

As for McDonald’s, the folks who should be concerned about health insurance are the ones eating there. But really, I’m not going to take potshots at any hamburger joint. I’ve raised (and eaten) enough beef in my time to know it won’t hurt you. If you want to stick to eating only vegetables, that’s fine with me. But I’ll take my chances with ham or steak or chicken breast meat along with potatoes, soup beans and onions. And cherry pie. Now that’s good eatin’.

Granted, eating a half dozen Big Macs every day might not leave you feeling chipper. But neither would five pounds a day of broccoli.

Rahm Emanuel is returning to Chicago to run for mayor. Politics in Washington was too mild for him. In Chicago he can cuss out the gangsters and a few stray Republicans.

Washington is deserted. With less than a month till the election, Congress decided it was more important to go home and tell the voters how they intend to vote instead of actually voting. If you want to know where your candidate stands on income tax rates, inheritance taxes, or immigration, just ask. But you can only vote for the person, not how he will vote. In the Lame Duck session, he might do just the opposite. In that two week session after the election, Speaker Pelosi says they will vote on twice as many bills as they have in the previous two years.
In California, the race for governor heated up. Not over how to fix a Fifty Billion Dollar deficit, but rather Meg Whitman’s maid who was fired more than a year ago. It seems Jerry Brown just learned the maid was a Mexican working here illegally, and made an example of her. On TV, Whitman said, "She told us she was legal, we treated her like part of the family, and paid her $23 an hour." The next day two million Californians called Whitman’s campaign office. Not to volunteer, not to complain, but rather to apply for the maid’s old job.

The government announced a warning for anyone traveling to Europe. Al Qaeda is threatening to blow up Europe like they did New York. Well, your odds of being wiped out by a terrorist are probably lower than being killed by a teenager texting while driving. Threat or no threat, here’s what I suggested in 1930: There ought to be a law against anybody going to Europe till they had seen the things we have in this country.

Historic quotes from Will Rogers:
"I'll bet there is more fool things done for publicity's sake that defeat their own purpose than ever aided it." DT #1816, May 19, 1932

"Being serious or being a good fellow has got nothing to do with running this country. If the breaks are with you, you could be a laughing hyena and still have a great administration." DT #1315, Oct. 10, 1930

Randall Reeder
Will Rogers Today
Need a Speaker? Hurry up and hire me before I die... again.

Weekly Comments: Election campaigns are same as 80 years ago #626

Oct 24, 2010

COLUMBUS: President Obama is crisscrossing the country campaigning for Democrats. Sarah Palin is doing the same for Republicans. Don’t know if it’ll help anybody, except maybe the opponents.

Most Democrats running for Congress swear that if elected, they will vote with the Republicans. And the Republicans vow they will never repeat the mistakes they made from 2002 to 2006. With the mishmash conglomeration that’s gonna get in there, Lord knows what shape we’ll be in by 2012.

As bad as the TV ads are, a surefire way for a candidate to get more votes would be to announce, "I’m stopping all campaigning. No more blistering ads, no long-winded speeches, no harassing phone calls. I’m gonna stay home for the next week, sit on the back porch and contemplate our future. Call me if you want to talk. Here’s my number ______."

Baseball decided they should start the World Series before Halloween. The Texas Rangers are in there for the first time, taking on the Giants of San Francisco. All the big baseball experts from east of the Mississippi were hoping for a few November night games in the balmy climates of New York or Philadelphia. They’ll find that these boys out West can play the game too, if they bother to watch.

Historic quotes from Will Rogers: (on election campaigns)

"Come pretty near having two holidays of equal importance in the same week, Halloween and Election, and of the two, election day provides us the most fun. On Halloween they put pumpkins on their heads, and on Election day they don't have to. 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

"My idea of the height of conceit would be a political speaker that would go on the air when that World Series is on." DT #683, Oct 3, 1928

"There should be a moratorium called on candidates' speeches. From now on they are just talking themselves out of votes... You can do everybody a big favor by going fishing, then come back next Wednesday and we will let you know which one is the lesser of the two evils."DT #1948, Nov. 2, 1932

"All you will hear from now until the [election] will be: ‘We must get our government out of the hands of predatory wealth.’ ‘The good people of this great country are burdened to death with taxes." WA #86, Aug. 3, 1924

"The promising season ends next Tuesday, and at about 8 o'clock that same night the alibi season opens. Can you remember back when the promise was made on both sides that ‘The campaign will be run on a high plane’? This campaign ends Tuesday, but it will take two generations to sweep up the dirt." DT #706, Oct. 31, 1928

Randall Reeder
Will Rogers Today
Need a Speaker? Hurry up and hire me before I die... again.