The drought across our middle west is not only hurting farmers and ranchers, it is drying up the mighty Mississippi River. Tugboats and barges are dragging bottom. Mark Twain might not recognize it. Huck Finn wouldn’t need a boat, just wade across it.
Dredges are working around the clock to remove the silt and clay so barges can keep “rollin’ on the river.” Much of that muck clogging the bottom of the river used to be good topsoil on farms upstream. If more farmers stopped plowing up land that should not be tilled, there would be less work for the dredges.
Last week I mentioned a comment by Howard Dean about the economy. It turns out that when Howard Dean said President Obama’s campaign team needs to focus on the Economy as the #1 issue, he was actually referring to the Bill Clinton Economy. Let’s see: unemployment under 5% , no federal deficit for three or four years, low oil prices, a booming stock market... It kinda makes you wonder why the new President in January 2009 didn’t adopt the same policies that led to that rosy economic picture. I don’t remember exactly what those policies were, but they worked great until the bubble burst and radical Islamists attacked us.
Maybe Romney should dig up the economic policies of Calvin Coolidge in the “Roaring Twenties” and run on that record.
The Republicans are starting their Convention in Tampa on Monday or Tuesday depending on the weather. Vice-President Biden canceled plans to speak there, so that is one less storm for the Republicans to deal with. The one in Missouri is tough enough, but it is less like a storm and more of a sinkhole. Hurricane Isaac may move farther west and dump some rain in the Mississippi River watershed where they need it.
Since politics doesn’t change much over the years, the following comments will likely apply this week. The campaign may be longer, but the Conventions are shorter.
Historic quotes by Will Rogers: (reporting from Republican Conventions)
“I am being paid to write something funny about this Republican Convention. That’s funny. All a fellow has to do to write something funny on a Republican Convention is just to write what happened.” (1920)
“They commenced to pray. The prayer was very long, but of course the parson may have known his audience and their needs better than me.” (1924)
“The loudspeaker system didn’t work and half of ‘em couldn’t hear the keynote speech. They got mad and got to leaving – but not as quick as those that was sitting near the front and could hear it.” 1932
“Listening to a (convention) speech is like listening to a Chautauqua lecture when you could have gone to the Ziegfeld Follies.” (1932)
“The keynote speaker has the toughest job of any of them. If he points to the accomplishments, he is sunk, and if he views with alarm he is sunk. So we are liable to get two solid hours on the weather.” 1928