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Sunday, February 09, 2003 ISSUE #260

Weekly Comments #260, Feb. 9, 2003

COLUMBUS: Did I tell you about the call I got from Tom Delay last month? Well, I don't often hear from a Congressman so there didn't seem to be much harm in listening.

Actually it was a very nice woman calling me from the office of the House Republican Leader. She said that Congressman Delay wanted me to become the honorary chairman of the Republican Tax Cut Plan for the state of Ohio.

Well, this chairmanship seemed like a lot of responsibility...for a humorist. Then she played a tape of Mr. Delay with his personal invitation for me, and he is sure persuasive.

The lady came back on and said I would be one of 360 chairmen for Ohio. That was a relief because I would only have to hold this title of Chairman for one day a year. She didn't say exactly which day, but if it's going to be "The Rogers Republican Tax Cut Plan Day", it's most likely April 1.

Since it is to be an "honorary" assignment, I figured that it don't pay nothing. She said that was correct, and it won't cost anything either.

But in the next sentence she said Mr. Delay planned to run a full page ad in the Wall Street Journal for tax relief. And for $300 I could have my name listed in there, along with all of the other great Republican honorary chairmen.

Now having your name listed on a page with 360 other men, times 50 states, what harm could it do? Why, that's 18,000 names, and the print would be so small even a Young Democrat would give up reading before he got half way to the R's.

But I turned 'em down. Then she said, "You can still get in for $200." I said no again, and she asked, "How about $100, and you can settle up with small monthly payments."

I had to laugh at that one. I'm not one to advise the Republican Party, but I wonder about this plan. Do they really want honorary chairmen for the Grand Ole Party who can barely scrape together $20 a month?

And honestly, doesn't the Wall Street Journal seem an odd place to run an ad favoring tax cuts? I imagine 98 percent of the readers are already sold on tax cuts. And the other 2 percent don't pay any.

Now I just heard today that the Republicans have been meeting this weekend at the Greenbrier Resort over in West Virginia. I don't know if these Honorary Chairmen were invited to their powwow, but a stay at the Greenbrier could've been worth the whole $300.

I think I'll hold out and see what the Democrats offer.

Next week we celebrate President's Day. For a short month, we have had a lot of Presidents born in February. Mr. Lincoln, Franklin Roosevelt, Ronald Reagan, William Henry Harrison, and Washington so far.

They say any child in American can grow up to be President. But if you want to improve the odds for your next baby you might arrange for a February birth. And maybe include George in the name.

Historic quotes from Will Rogers:

"Now this is President's Day. We generally recognize anything by a week. We have Apple Week, and Potato Week, and Don't Murder Your Wife Week, and Smile Week... So somebody hit the bright idea, and they says, 'Well here, if prunes are worth a week, the president ought to be worth something anyhow.' And so they figured out they couldn't give him a week, but they could – they compromised on a day." Radio broadcast, April 30, 1033

"Republican presidents, they never went in much for plans. They only had one plan. It says, 'Now, boys, my head is turned; just get it while you can.'" Radio broadcast, April 21, 1935

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