|Sunday, May 25, 2008||ISSUE #501|
Senators' grilling slows oil men's drilling
COLUMBUS: The Senate invited the Big Oil men to Washington for a meeting last week. When they went in, oil was $130 a barrel, and by the time they got out it was $135.
The more those Senators lambasted 'em, the higher the price jumped. Every single word of criticism cost the American driver an extra 1.9 Million dollars. (Normally it would have been just an extra 1 Million dollars, but everything priced by an oil company has "point nine" tacked on to it.)
Sen. Patrick Leahy was the lead antagonist. He represents that big oil producing state, Vermont. He was more interested in how much these men made last year than in whether they could produce enough oil to keep Vermont warm next winter.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California complained about high prices but didn't offer to let 'em drill off her coast. Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinios pointed out that no company in America should be allowed to make a profit above ten percent, "Where is your corporate conscience?" (At that last comment a young assistant whispered to the Senator, "Last year McDonalds made 15% and Microsoft 30%.)
You might remember that when these same executives visited the Senate for their monthly confab in April oil was $95. At this rate I think all prospective summer vacation travelers will agree with my plea: Cancel the June meeting!
While the Senate was conferring with the oil men, the House passed the Farm Bill. They had been working on it two years. They sent a copy to the President, he took less than ten minutes to veto it and ship it back, then the House overrode the veto twenty minutes later. Then, someone read the bill that had been vetoed and overrid, and discovered a chunk of it missing. It may take another two years to straighten out the mess.
They call it the "Farm Bill", but three-fourths of it goes to pay for food stamps and nutrition programs. Really, it should be named the "Food for Poor Americans" bill. The President might still veto it, but at least Laura would make him read it first.
I heard on the radio about a farmer in Tennessee who parked his tractor and is plowing with mules instead. He said he couldn't afford to buy fuel. Well, it's hard to argue with such a down-to-earth old gentleman. Only trouble is, compared to a big tractor, by the time those mules finish plowing it'll be August, and too late to plant anything but turnips and buckwheat.
Senator McCain invited a bunch of prospects to his Arizona ranch for a barbeque this weekend. He's personally inspecting the political views and etiquette skills of possible V-P candidates. Meanwhile Senators Obama and Clinton went to Puerto Rico digging for delegates. What's this country coming to when Puerto Rico has the final say in who gets nominated for President? You would be surprised at the number of Democrats sneaking in there from Florida so their vote will count.
Historic quotes from Will Rogers:
"United States Marines landed at Vera Cruz, Mexico, to protect Standard Oil interests. (The) next week Standard Oil, in repayment for Marines' courtesy, raised price of gas 3 cents." WA #111, January 25, 1925
"Say, young John D. Rockefeller, Jr. kinder jarred the oil boys dident he? He has the idea that the business can be run at a profit and still keep it off the front pages and out of the Senate investigation room. It seemed rather a novelty to have a man testifying before the Senate that would tell them what they wanted to know. I wouldent doubt that they would keep him as a regular testifier about everything, for all the others refuse to answer for fear it will be used against them later when they come to trial." WA #270, Feb. 26, 1928
"It was us leaving the Mule and taking to machinery that put us in the dog house. That's why I think in a lot of things we got to get back to old principles. The Mule has got to bring the farmer back just the same as many other common every day thing has to bring us all back. The difference between good times and bad times is gasoline, and what goes with it." WA #636, March 3, 1935
"The farmer deserves a profit, but the guy that's not eating deserves a meal more." DT #2228, Sept. 24, 1933
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