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Sunday, June 28, 2009 ISSUE #557
 

Congress to replace oil from overseas with wind from Washington
#557    June 28, 2009

    COLUMBUS: I flew back from Reno Thursday after contributing slightly to the local economy. The Reno Gazette-Journal reported their state economy is so bad they are laying off university professors.

    Then I read in the Columbus newspaper that the Ohio Governor plans to solve the state budget problems by – now get this – introducing slot machines. Considering the shape Nevada is in, with their millions of slot machines, I rather doubt they will do much to close a $3 Billion gap for Ohio. But give the governor credit; all five days I was gone he was on the job, working. No side trips to South America.

    In Washington, while President Obama had everybody focused on changing health insurance, Congress passed a bill to make all our best fuels more expensive. Now I don’t mean to sound like a Rockefeller in singing praises of oil (and coal and natural gas for that matter), but the reason oil is so popular is because nobody has discovered anything better. You may remember that before crude oil started oozing out of the Pennsylvania hills, we depended on whale oil. It didn’t take an act of Congress to get us off whale oil (although if our current Congress had been around at the time such a bill would have at least been introduced). Their heart may be in the right place; they think our part of the planet is getting warmer, and they did have the good sense to wait to pass it until most of the country was wilting at 90 to 100 degrees.

    The Senate hasn’t seen the bill yet, so there is some hope for common sense. A young friend of mine sent a note that “Passage of the Cap and Trade bill and continued federal debt would mean we are trading our dependence on oil for dependence on credit.” Of course the ones we will depend on for loans are China and India. They’ll have plenty of extra dough because they don’t have a Cap and Trade bill.

    On Saturday I was at a reunion of some older folks, and they aren’t too thrilled either at the direction the country’s headed. They remember when electricity was a luxury and more people walked than drove. They probably got by on 20 percent of what they use now, which is what the President wants us all to do by 2050.

    Last week we lost Ed McMahon, Michael Jackson and Farah Fawcett. They all made millions, but two of the three died a pauper. They’ll all be missed in their own way.   

    Next Saturday is Independence Day. As we celebrate, remember the ones who sweated over the Declaration of Independence in 1776, and those who have fought to preserve it since. The women in Iran understand that independence from tyranny is worth fighting for.

Historic quotes from Will Rogers:
    “There is one rule that works in every calamity. Be it pestilence, war or famine, the rich get richer and the poor get poorer.  The poor even help arrange it.”
DT #1019, Oct. 31, 1929
    “Never blame a legislative body for not doing something. When they do nothing, they don't hurt anybody. It's when they do something is when they become dangerous.” DT #1038, Nov. 22, 1929
    “... reunions... To talk of old times with old friends is the greatest thing in the world.” WA #169, March 7, 1926


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