Anheuser-Busch announced that the Clydesdales would not appear in Budweiser's holiday advertising campaign this year. The big horses have represented the big beer company since before December 5, 1933, the end of the disastrous social experiment called Prohibition that bequeathed organized crime to a thirsty nation where, as Will Rogers famously remarked, “the only way you could tell a Citizen from a Bootlegger is that the Bootlegger would be sober.”
The National Constitution Center blogged on the role of the Clydesdales: “Incoming President Franklin D. Roosevelt had the Volstead Act amended in April 1933 to allow people to have a beer, or two, while they waited for the 21st Amendment to be ratified. The first team of Budweiser Clydesdales was sent to the White House to give President Roosevelt a ceremonial case of beer.”
“If a state ever once goes dry it will stay,” the Cherokee cowboy predicted, “as there is enough Whiskey peddlers to keep it voted that way.” Congress, Rogers said, “voted dry and drinks wet.”
It’s ironic that the most prominent critic of Prohibition was the country’s most prominent Indian, but after all the bad things Rogers predicted came to pass, there’s no Prohibition left outside of Indian reservations.
When I told my cousin Ray Sixkiller about the Clydesdales getting sidelined, he hit me with another Rogersism: "A man that don't love a horse," Will Rogers wrote in 1924, "there is something the matter with him. If he has no sympathy for the man that does love horses then there is something worse the matter with him."
The New York Times caught on to what tribal people in Montana have been saying for years. Glacier National Park is losing glaciers at a rate that will leave none in 30 years, after melting from 150 to 25 in the last 100 years. One of many consequent changes in the ecosystem will be loss of wolverine habitat. “I think,” Cousin Ray suggested, “we should send the homeless wolverines to live with Sen. Inhofe.”
Climate change denial is for politicians; bankers can’t afford it.
Bloomberg News reported that Antonio Weiss, investment banker at Lazard, has been nominated Treasury Undersecretary for Domestic Finance, a job that pays $167,000 a year. Weiss leaves a job that paid him $15.4 million in the past 23 months and Lazard has agreed to redeem his unvested income, which translates to about $16.2 million in stock and another $5 million in deferred pay. “Last time I was down at the lumber yard,” Cousin Ray noted, “revolving doors were a lot more expensive than other kinds.”
Lazard’s other public service, in addition to giving up Weiss, was a report on the cost of renewable energy to generate electricity.
Solar power at grid scale costs 5.6 cents per kilowatt-hour. If government subsidies end, that cost will rise to 7.2 cents.
Wind power at grid scale costs 1.4 cents per kwh. If government subsidies end, that cost will rise to 3.7 cents.
Coal is 6.6 cents not counting pollution costs.
Natural gas is 6.1 cents with pollution costs more tilted toward carbon dioxide than particulates.
Lazard did not figure the cost differential if fossil fuel subsidies were repealed. The three fossil fuel subsidies most expensive to the taxpayers are the depletion allowance, the allowance for expensing intangible drilling costs, and the application of the domestic manufacturing tax deduction to oil and gas. “Repeal,” Cousin Ray snorted, “ain’t gonna happen.”
Offering a clue why fossil fuel subsidies will not be repealed, The Texas Observer gave favorable notice to a book by Republican Bill King, who has probably committed political hari kari by picking the title, let alone writing it: Unapologetically Moderate: My Search for a Rational Center in American Politics. “He’ll have plenty of time to search,” Cousin Ray remarked, “because he’ll never work in politics again after talking like that.”
Even further off the political center, citizens of Wunsiedel, Germany pranked the neo-Nazis who demonstrate in memory of Rudolf Hess and in support of Adolf Hitler every year by contributing money for every kilometer walked to Rechts gegen Rechts, an organization dedicated to deprogramming young people caught up in the neo-Nazi movement. In the past, Wunsiedel pranked the swastika fans by giving away t-shirts that would, upon first washing, change from pro- to anti-Nazi messages.
The Associated Press reported that in Kenya, “mobs of men have attacked women wearing mini-skirts and any outfit they consider too revealing including tight-fitting or sleeveless clothes.” At least two women have been stripped naked by mobs of men. The men claimed authority from God, but it was the Christian version, not the Muslim one. Cousin Ray was puzzled. “They say the women are wearing too few clothes so they rip off what clothes the women are wearing and leave them naked in public? Say what?”
USA Today got an interview with noted family values advocate Adrian Peterson, who has six children by six women and is currently suspended from the NFL for felony child abuse plea-bargained down to a misdemeanor. Peterson “disciplined” a four year old with a switch. In the interview, he promised never to use a switch again. “I still wonder,” Cousin Ray said, “about a grown man who needs a weapon to deal with a four year old. There are plenty of other weapons available.”
The Associated Press reported that Marine Capt. Derek Herrera, paralyzed from the chest down by a sniper round in Afghanistan, will walk across the stage to receive the Bronze Star he was awarded for his actions in the Afghan engagement and to finally accept the medical retirement he fought until he could walk out of the Marine Corps like he walked in. Herrera became the first American to buy the ReWalk system recently approved by the FDA. The MARSOC Foundation helped cover the $69,500 tab. Like the Wounded Warriors Project, MARSOC uses private donations to go state-of-the art for fallen GIs, something the government claims it cannot afford.
KRGV.com reported that Heriberto Alanis was sentenced to 8 years in prison for his 11th conviction of driving while intoxicated and speculated that might be a state record. I don’t think so. I personally saw a guy with more than 11 before I quit being an active judge in 1995.
In a classic Friday news dump, the House Select Committee on Benghazi and Stopping Hillary Clinton snuck out with a report that six months and $3.3 million dollars had uncovered the shocking news that the five previous governmental and one non-governmental reports were correct. There was no stand down order. There was no purposeful lying to the public. There was no shipment of arms from Libya to Syria. There was no there, there.
Fox News devoted all of 30 seconds to the report and mentioned that it showed the violence in Benghazi was not in fact started by a video perceived as blasphemous by the rioters. It showed nothing of the kind, but Fox apparently could not admit that the President and the Secretary of State did not conspire to kill Americans and cover it up.
The Los Angeles Times reported that a suicide bomber detonated himself at an infidel volleyball tournament in Afghanistan, killing 45 and injuring many more. There was no immediate count of how many casualties were children.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was last seen in these pages claiming that Muslims beat Columbus to the Caribbean. Siobhan O’Grady, writing in Foreign Policy, declaimed that Erdogan “more and more resembles the drunken uncle who shows up to Thanksgiving dinner uninvited and makes everyone uncomfortable with his verbal bombshells.” Ms. O’Grady’s remarks came on the occasion of Erdogan attending a “women’s justice summit” to proclaim that women are not equal to men. He claimed that it’s not possible to explain the “delicate nature” of women to feminists because “(feminists) don’t accept the concept of motherhood.”
Erdogan previously has advocated that every Turkish woman should give birth to three children. “Does that include feminist women,” Cousin Ray asked, “or is that to make up for the feminists who won’t accept the concept?”
Business Insider reported that what happened last year in Cleveland happened again this year in Oklahoma City. A Wal-Mart is having a food drive for Wal-Mart employees, this time in the state that passed a law banning localities from enforcing a minimum wage higher than the federal minimum wage.
The Indian nations located in Oklahoma have roundly ignored this law. The Cherokee Nation especially undermines the low wage policy because it is the largest employer in Northeastern Oklahoma. Wally World claims their average wage across all full timers is $11.83 an hour. That may be so when you use higher level pay to average against employees making less than $9.
When full time employees can qualify for food stamps and rent subsidies and Obamacare subsidies, that is corporate welfare. Cousin Ray, a Republican of the old school, agreed and hoped the 19 year old who started the Oklahoma food drive would not get burned.