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Sunday, November 21, 2010 ISSUE #630

Pat-downs, deficits, and giving thanks
Nov. 21, 2010

    COLUMBUS: If you’re one of those airline passengers fretting over the new security procedures, I suggest you call your doctor and request, as a precautionary measure, an "internal urological examination." After they look around in there a while for kidney stones, even if they come up empty handed, those TSA pat-downs won’t seem so intrusive.

    Ireland announced they need a bailout. I’ve always had a soft spot for Ireland. And I figure if every American who can trace their roots back to Ireland would send them a check for maybe $50, why that would help get them out of a hole. Of course it was the bankers who caused the financial meltdown (does that sound familiar?) so you may be reluctant send your dough to a country whose big bankers are just as shrewd, conniving, and underhanded as ours.

    The United States is in a hole far deeper than Ireland’s. President Obama appointed a Commission to look for ways to eliminate the deficit and last week the Chairmen, Mr. Boles and Sen. Simpson, gave a preliminary report. From the reaction in Washington, you would have thought the world was ending. Republicans whined about paying more gas taxes and cuts to defense. Democrats howled about eliminating tax deductions, lowering tax rates, and the prospect that a 5-year old might have to work an extra two years before collecting Social Security. This yammering was caused by some reasonable men and women who have come up with ways to reduce our overspending by half. Imagine the ruckus if they had proposed eliminating it all together.

    When you are spending $3.6 Trillion and taking in $2.1 Trillion, you gotta do more than skip a meal once in a while to balance a budget. One of their suggestions is to eliminate 20,000 federal employees (out of 200,000). I think it can work if we find the 20,000 who are responsible for spending the excess $1.5 Trillion every year, and get rid of them along with their budgets. We might lose a few Senators and Congressmen in the process (and a couple of Cabinet Secretaries), but that’s just the price you have to pay for sanity.

    This is Thanksgiving week. Besides being thankful for the farmers who provide the food for a bountiful feast, I’m glad to live in a country where a nut can write stuff like this and put it in a newspaper without fear of arrest or getting shot. 

Historic quotes from Will Rogers:

    "This is Thanksgiving.  It was started by the Pilgrims, who would give thanks every time they killed an Indian and took more of his land.  As years went by and they had all his land, they changed it into a day to give thanks for the bountiful harvest, when the boll-weevil and the protective tariff didn't remove all cause for thanks."
DT #417, Nov. 23, 1927.

    "I have been in twenty countries and the only one where American tourists are welcomed wholeheartedly by everyone is in Ireland. They don't owe us and they don't hate us." DT #3, Aug. 1, 1927

    "A Senator named (Millard) Tydings the other day introduced a bill where the government couldn't appropriate more money than was coming in. That is, if you didn't have any money you could not dole out any. Well the Senate like to mobbed him. They called the idea treason, sacrilegious, inhuman and taking the last vestige of power for a politician, that is, the right to appropriate money which you don't have." DT #2024, Jan. 29, 1933

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