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Sunday, August 03, 2008 ISSUE #511
 

Hot weather makes Congress and Wall Street plumb nutty

#511 August 3, 2008

COLUMBUS: This summer heat is wreaking havoc on Wall Street and Washington. They're nice folks at heart, but they are just plumb nutty.

All these big companies turned in their quarterly reports. Wachovia lost $10 Billion, and, boy, did that affect their stock price! It immediately went up 20 percent.

Then Exxon-Mobil announced a $12 Billion profit, and their stock price dropped. It's down 10 percent since January.

Next, General Motors admitted they lost $18 Billion. I haven't heard, did their stock jump more than Wachovia's?

Congress gets nuttier every day. You folks know that three-fourths of the country is complaining about paying $4 a gallon for gas. (Of course the other fourth don't own a car.) But last week Congress, now get this, Congress voted that, given a choice, we should pay more than $10 a gallon rather than drill for oil along our coasts.

Then as soon as they voted, they adjourned and flew home for a long summer vacation. Well, I've got a solution to this mess they got us into. For those who voted in favor of $10 gas, make 'em drive home paying $10 a gallon. And force all their staff and close supporters to pay the same $10 during this 5-week holiday. Then make 'em drive back to Washington. Of course, if everyone was paying $10 a gallon they would have an easy road trip: no traffic to slow 'em down, unless you count pedestrians and bicyclists, and a few of us on horseback.

At the other end of the Capitol, 10 Senators got together and announced they would let 'em drill off the coasts of their states. It sounded like a good plan, but it was the wrong states. Sure, Louisiana and Georgia and South Carolina are among the 10, and that's fine. We applaud their generosity. But for those other Senators, how much oil can we expect from "offshore drilling" in Tennessee, Nebraska and North Dakota? Now global warming may be serious business, but even Al Gore hasn't predicted the Atlantic Ocean will approach Fargo.

Historic quotes from Will Rogers' last radio broadcast:

"A man that talks on the radio to an audience in warm weather kind of affects his mind and the audience's, too. Heat and reason don't go together, anyhow. I'm just warning you what you're going to get this summer. There's going to be a lot of spouting from the radio and from the speakers' platforms all this summer. There'll be more perspiration than common sense flowing, and the whole political thing has come now to a pretty direct division point. I mean there's been a direct split in the parties.

So all this talking and all this spouting, and all the hard feelings and all the perspiration that's going to be smeared about all this summer will just be a total loss. Conditions win elections and not speeches, and these denouncing orators should remember that every time they cuss the President they lose friends. They may get some applause from a partisan audience, but we still think it's the highest office in the whole world. And we always think, and we have justification in that thinking, that it's always held by the highest type of men, regardless of which party they belong to. So any denouncing, no matter which side he's on, he loses more votes than he gains.

Now don't get all heated up in arguing and get mad over these problems all summer. Everybody is trying to save the country, only they're trying to do it in different ways, and it's too big for all of them put together to spoil, anyhow. See? So, good-bye and I'll see you this fall." Radio broadcast, June 9, 1935 (Will died in a plane crash in Alaska, August 15, 1935)


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