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Sunday, December 22, 2002 ISSUE #253
 

 

COLUMBUS: I'm a few days late. I was waiting to see what the Republicans would do with Trent Lott.

While I was procrastinating, the Pope dumped Cardinal Law and Al Gore traded his "Gore for '04" bandwagon for a hot tub on Saturday Night Live. This Christmas season has turned into a cleansing season.

Now Venezuela is looking at our Senate for ideas on how to get rid of Chavez.

On Thursday Senator Lott decided to give up being Majority Leader, mainly so the networks and newspapers could get back to Iraq and bin Ladin. Tomorrow he will turn the job over to Senator Bill Frist. So it seems we have traded a Mississippi share cropper for a Tennessee heart surgeon, which is a pretty good deal because we're paying him the same amount of money.

You know, if Mr. Frist could convince ALL our health professionals to work for share cropper wages it would pretty much solve the Medicare budget problem.

You might be wondering if Trent Lott is the first public man to ever say or do anything that showed his prejudices and shortcomings. No, there have been a few, and not just Republicans.

(Rather than try to properly chastise Trent Lott myself, let me refer you to the Historic quotes below. Will Rogers was not shy about sharing his feelings about bigots. Remember, there has been more than one minority that has felt discrimination in America.)

One man you gotta feel for is old Strom. Here's a man who has spent the last 25 years of his life trying to right the wrongs of the first 75, then along comes a birthday celebration that digs up ancient history and spreads it out where everyone is obliged to look at again.

In other news, West Virginia decided to let the 4-H kids learn about Indians after all. (see Weekly Comments #223, March 25) At their summer camps they will divide up into the usual four tribes (Cherokees, Mingos, Delawares and Senecas) for purposes of friendly competition, the same as they have been doing for 80 years. You see, the officials dug into history and discovered that, from time to time, there has been competition among our various tribes. Of course, not all of it was friendly.

These young folks will have to accept some restrictions out of respect for Indian culture. They cannot wear a feathered headdress, or put on war paint. They can't say "Ugh Ugh", or other terms learned from reruns of the Lone Ranger.

They will be allowed to hold Council Circle, light a camp fire, and use the traditional cheer of "How How".

No word on one of the hotter Indian issues, whether they can own and operate a casino.

Historic quotes from Will Rogers:

"Senator Heflin of Alabama held up all Senate business yesterday for five hours. That's a record for narrow views.

Tonight in his home capital (Montgomery) I am pleading with Alabama to please not exterminate all Catholics, Republicans, Jews, Negroes, Jim Reed, Al Smith, Wadsworth, Mellon and Coolidge and the Pope.

Of course, my plea will do no good, for Tom knows the intelligence of his constituency better than we do." DT #174, Feb. 18. 1927

"...Jefferson sitting up there on his hill believed in equality for all. But he dident divide up the hill with any poor deserving Democrats. For Democrats were poor in those days, as they are today, and they were deserving then, as they are today. It just seems like they are the Lord's unfortunate people.

...That old Andrew Jackson... all he ever did was pounce on the Indians. He had to be tough to think up all the things he had done to the Cherokees." WA #313, Dec. 23, 1928

"The Jacksonian Democracy consisted of inventing the plan of giving everybody jobs according to how many votes they delivered to Jackson. "If he ain't of your Party, give him nothing. Charity begins at the polls." Then he would go back home, if he had happened to have been defeated, and pounce on the Indians and take it out on them. An Indian had no more right to live, according to old Andrew, than a Republican to hold a job during a Democratic Administration." Saturday Evening Post, March 30, 1929

"Say, with all this argument we have had about what Mr. Taft said when he swore in President Hoover, why not bring out what Vice President Curtis said when he swore in the first six Senators? Instead of saying "with no mental reservations" he got his English and his Kaw mixed and really said "with no mental obligations."

Being in the Senate as long as he has and seeing the type, why the chances are that he was honest with this government and swore 'em in that way purposely. After all, it don't make much difference to the country how they get in there. How to get 'em out, that's our problem." DT #826, March 20, 1929.

"Mr. Coolidge administered last rites for his alma mater, the Republican party. To offset him, I have been asked to give a word of cheer to the party of Jefferson, Raskob, Heflin, and Borah....

My advice is, keep the Republicans in power. Otherwise you will add to the unemployment, for if you throw a Republican out there is nothing else he can do, while a Democrat must be able to making a living out of office. Otherwise he would not be living." DT #1335, Nov. 3, 1932


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