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Sunday, September 14, 2008 ISSUE #516
 

Will comments on Wind, Bankers and Republicans

#516 September 14, 2008

COLUMBUS: I just returned to Columbus from Missouri. I was in Green City Saturday night where the Northeast Missouri Rural Telephone Co-op put on a dinner for a thousand customer/owners and their families. Their motto is "Owned by those we serve." I told them that's a better slogan than the one used by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which is (or should be) "Owed by those we serve."

I told you last week those two are owed $5 Trillion in mortgage payments. Their stock dropped from about $60 to less than a dollar, and this week their CEOs each said that in consideration of their lengthy and valuable service steering these now-bankrupt institutions we should give them a $10 Million bonus. Well, I have another suggestion, but I'll leave the final choice up to you. Should we give each of those polecats ten million dollars? Or ten years?

Ten of our biggest financial institutions got together Sunday and announced a plan whereby each one contributes $7 Billion to an emergency fund. They can each draw from it if they get in trouble. Of course, it's too late for Lehman Brothers Bank because they can't afford the entry fee; probably have a rough time rounding up even $7000.

Now get this... once a bank puts up it's Seven Billion, if it ever finds itself bordering on bankruptcy it is eligible to draw out a third of the total money in the fund. So now, once all the checks clear, the race will be to see who can fail first. Because after the first three failures take out a third each, the others seven will be left holding an empty bag.

I flew back from Kansas City on Southwest. About half the plane was filled with electric company crews who had competed there in the International Lineman's Rodeo. We had so much tailwind from Hurricane Ike that once the pilot got up to about 30,000 feet he just turned off the engines and glided. Good thing these men got home because those 75 mile an hour winds knocked over so many trees and power lines it'll take a week for 'em to get the lights on for everybody. This wind gives us Midwesterners just a hint of what Texans are going through.

Last week I promised to fill you in on our Republican candidates. John McCain says he'll shut down the lobbyists and eliminate earmarked funds going to each state. Sarah Palin supports him 98 percent on the plan. In other words, eliminate pork barrel spending for the other 49 states, but leave Alaska alone. They kinda figure, since they send us so much oil we won't object to sending a few million back up there. After all, they don't have many people, and moose don't pay taxes, even if you threaten to shoot 'em.

Historic quotes from Will Rogers:

"When you see all the bankers in one huddle, and then you go over and get in an opposition huddle by yourself, you can't be all wrong. If they're all going one way, there is something wrong with it." Radio broadcast, May 26, 1935

"Banking and After Dinner Speaking are two of the most non-essential industries we have in this country. I am ready to reform if they are." WA #14, March 18, 1923

"It's a great country, is Alaska, where you have to live off the country, hunt, trap, kill and live. Four mails a year into that place, two and a half months when it's not frozen in." WA #665, Sept. 15, 1935 (written about August 13)

"Small towns was where all our best thinkers come from." American Magazine, December 1929

"Money and women are the most sought after and the least known about of any two things we have." WA #595, May 20, 1934

"Putting a lobbyist out of business is like a hired man trying to fire his boss." DT #2704, April 5, 1935

"The President only tells Congress what they should do. Lobbyists tell 'em what they will do." Notes, October 20, 1929


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