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Saturday, July 12, 2008 ISSUE #508

Wall Street, Fannie and Freddie Fizzle after the Fourth

#508 July 12, 2008

COLUMBUS: America survived another Fourth of July only to have record oil prices wreck Wall Street. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac both lost half their value in one day, which seems logical when you find out they are owed $5 Trillion for mortgages, some of them going back to the 1930s.

But a Senator came to their rescue, claiming they are worth just as much today as they were a week ago. I'm not sure it helped. If I was owed $5 Trillion, and needed a spokesman to boost the public's confidence in me, I don't think I would call on a man from an organization with an approval rating of 8 percent. Better to hire a used car salesman.

When a Congressman, or even a person in high esteem, wants to give you their opinion on oil make 'em admit first whether he's from the city or out in the country. If they live way out where you have to drive for miles to get anywhere, you can bet they want lower gas prices and they're willing to drill for oil about anywhere to get it. If on the other hand, they live in a town where they can ride a bus or train for half price they don't care how much a tank of gas costs because it'll last 'em two months. And the few streets they do drive on, 55 mph would get 'em arrested for speeding.

Well, I'm an old country boy. The sight of an oil derrick a mile or two offshore would no more bother me than one on my own ranch, as long as it wasn't a dry hole. While some folks say it would take ten years to make a dent in oil prices, I say we can do it quicker. If we can put a man on the moon in less than ten years, a couple of months should be long enough to drill an oil well and lay a pipeline to shore. Of course they've got to drill it where there's oil. If you let Congress decide where to drill, it's no wonder somebody predicted gas would cost $7 a gallon.

Senator Obama continues to have problems with preachers. There hasn't been a politician with so many headaches over religious leaders since King Henry VIII. When the Pope refused to lighten up on divorce, Henry started his own Church of England. Whenever Henry had an excess wife to dispose of why he just used an annulment or an axe. As for Senator Obama and his ministers, he at times could be forgiven for wanting an axe, but in the latest episode, a sharp jack knife should suffice.

Historic quotes from Will Rogers:

"You know you really don't know how silly you are till you have to read (what you've written) awhile after it's written. But we are all that way, not only with the written word but with the spoken. If somebody had a dictaphone on us all the time and then we had to sit and listen to it all run off every night or every month, or every year, I bet that would break us from shooting off so much....I sure would hate to be running for something and have somebody dig back through old papers and confront me with all the nutty things that I have shown my ignorance on. You see, conditions and events change so fast that what is passable today is ridiculous tomorrow." WA #630, Jan. 20, 1935

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