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Monday, November 12, 2007 ISSUE #478

Weekly Comments: Writers on strike; Congress provides the comedy

#478, November 12, 2007

COLUMBUS: Congress passed a bill to spend $23 Billion on water. The Senate voted to spend 11 Billion and the House voted to spend 12, so they compromised on spending 23. See, that's the way they work in there; compromise means asking every Congressman and Senator what he wants, then giving it to him. Nobody asked the taxpayers.

Our southeastern states are drying up, and this bill promises Billions of dollars for 'em, but no water. Building another dam won't help if there's no water running into it. A week of soaking rains would do 'em more good than all the water bills Congress can pass in a year. Seems you just can't get a good hurricane when you need one.

Prospects don't look too good for rain the next few months. Something called La Nina is gonna keep that whole region dry. If this drought spreads to the Midwest, it'll be even worse. Oil over $100 a barrel, and all that corn we're counting on to replace it might wither in the dust.

The writers for television have been on strike for a week. Viewers accustomed to getting their news from Jay Leno and the other late-night shows are turning to their morning newspaper. You know, that's where those Hollywood writers get their ideas, so why not read all the news and write your own jokes.

Say, have you been reading that Alley Oop comic strip? If your newspaper don't carry it, you can find it on the internet at: http://comics.com/comics/alleyoop. For the past month or so Oop has teamed up with another hero you'll recognize, solving a mystery from a hundred years ago.

Historic quotes from Will Rogers:

   "This day is no doubt the greatest day in all the world history. Armistice Day, when you think that a half dozen men could sit down and casually sign a pact to stop millions of men from killing each other. But if they don't stop these guys making these speeches over the radio on Armistice Day, why we are liable to have the same war over again, only worse. If Armistice Day had stopped speeches, it would have done more good than to have stopped war, for speeches is what starts the next war. It's not armament, it's oratory that's wrong with this country." DT #1028, Nov. 11, 1929

   "I just got back from Washington D.C. (Department of Comedy)... Most people and actors appearing on the stage have some writer to write their material, but I don't do that. Congress is good enough for me. They have been writing my material for years.
   Now, they wouldn't be so serious and particular if they only had to vote on what they thought was good for the majority of the people of the U.S. That would be a cinch. But what makes it hard for them is every time a bill comes up they have a million things to decide that have nothing to do with the merit of the bill. The principal thing is of course, 'What will this do for me personally back home?' A man's thoughts are naturally on his next term, more than on his country... If we could just send the same bunch of men to Washington for the good of the nation, and not for political reasons, we could have the most perfect government in the world.
   So all in all I had a very pleasant visit in Washington, found that with all my kidding and knocking our public men, they all seemed to be my friends, It's only when they are actually in action and serious that they are funny. Off the stage they are the finest bunch I ever met."
WA #78, June 8, 1924

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