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Saturday, March 01, 2003 ISSUE #263
 

March 1, 2003

COLUMBUS: Ohio is celebrating a birthday today. Number 200. The Governor and the Legislature are meeting down in the first capital, Chillecothe, where the state began in 1803.

Ohio is not in as good a shape today as it was then. Governor Taft spent almost all of 2002 telling how well off the state was. Folks believed him and re-elected him.

The day after the election, he discovered the state was broke. This came to him in a revelation from the state Treasurer, a fellow Republican. Ever since, the governor has been trying to lead the Legislature to the empty hole where the money used to be, but the Legislature still hasn't discovered it. You know, if Columbus hadn't been any quicker at "discovering" than this Legislature is, the whole country might be speaking Cherokee.

Every time the governor finds a new source of revenue to fill the hole, the Legislature says, "No, we don't need it 'cause we can't see the hole."

The Governor is exhausted from all this talking and looking and leading. Why, he couldn't blow out 200 candles, even if the state could afford a cake.

Ohio is suffering through some tough times, about the same as 49 other states. These officials elected in 2002 ain't so sure they were the winners. They think maybe the fellow they beat was the real winner.

Ohio had another reason to celebrate today. It didn't snow. We still have snow, plenty of it, but it did get warm enough to melt some. March didn't exactly come in like a Lamb, but after suffering the Lion's roar the better part of three months, today at least compares favorably to a baby goat.

Arnold Schwartzenegger's Body Builders and Fitness fanatics are in Columbus, about 70,000 of them. If that ain't enough muscle for you, every high school wrestler in the state is here for their tournament. If it snows tomorrow, and there's a 50-50 chance, we've got plenty of strong men and women to shovel sidewalks.

Maybe we should send Arnold to Baghdad. Mr. Hussein was eager to chat with Dan Rather, and debate George Bush, but whether he'd want to be in a room alone with Arnold, I've got my doubts.

Saddam has other worries. There's a dark moon on Monday. That might be a good night for him to surround his bed with a bunch of those human shields. If one of those laser bombs can burrow through twenty feet of solid concrete, I don't know how much good they will do him. Maybe if he can get them real close together, because they're awfully hard-headed. Nothing gets through.

Mr. Rogers died this week. Fred Rogers (no relation) was on television for thirty years, and what your children saw on the screen was the way he lived his life every day. He may not have brought the fame and fortune to Pittsburgh that an Andrew Carnegie or Mr. Mellon or Terry Bradshaw did, but no man brought more love and respect to the neighborhood.

Historic quotes from Will Rogers:

"I went down to Columbus, Ohio. That's the town where the Capitol is located in a big square, and a lot of squirrels running all around. Well I never saw the squirrels looking as poor. You see the State Legislature has been out of session. They haven't had a single thing to gnaw on." WA #151, Nov. 1, 1925


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