A little post-election political humor 3

By Tom Quiner

It’s been intense these recent weeks as politicking reach a fever pitch. I think it’s time to decompress for a few minutes with a little political humor.

I received the story below from a Quiner’s Diner reader. I think it’s made the rounds over the years. I don’t know who wrote it. But it certainly tickled my funny bone. Hope you enjoy it.

The Birth of Political Spin

Judy Wallman, a professional genealogy researcher in southern
California, was doing some personal work on her own family tree.

She discovered that Congressman Harry Reid’s great-great uncle,
Remus Reid, was hanged for horse stealing and train robbery
in Montana in 1889. Both Judy and Harry Reid share this common

The only known photograph of Remus shows him standing on the
gallows in Montana territory:

On the back of the picture Judy obtained during her research is this inscription:

‘Remus Reid, horse thief, sent to Montana Territorial Prison 1885, escaped 1887, robbed the Montana Flyer six times. Caught by Pinkerton detectives, convicted and hanged in 1889.’

So Judy recently e-mailed Congressman Harry Reid for information about their great-great uncle, Harry Reid:

Harry Reid’s staff sent back the following biographical sketch for her genealogy research:

“Remus Reid was a famous cowboy in the Montana Territory. His business empire grew to include acquisition of valuable equestrian assets and intimate dealings with the Montana railroad. Beginning in 1883, he devoted several years of his life to government service, finally taking leave to resume his dealings with the railroad. In 1887, he was a key player in a vital investigation run by the renowned Pinkerton Detective Agency. In 1889, Remus passed away during an important civic function held in his honor when the platform upon which he was standing collapsed.”

[For the record, I checked this out at Snopes.com and none of it is true. It’s still awfully funny!]

A mandate for restraint Reply

By Tom Quiner

Prepared by Randall Hoven

In the 2006 midterm elections, Democrats picked up 31 seats in the House and 5 Senate seats.

In the 2008 elections, Democrats picked up another 21 House seats, 8 Senate seats, and the White House.

There are a number of factors that decide elections. One of the critical factors in Republican’s fall from grace was spending and big government.

President Bush had run as a “compassionate” conservative. Under his administration, federal spending increased by 54 percent. By contrast, it had only increased 12 percent in the Clinton/Gingrich years. Subsidy programs increased by 30 percent under Bush II. Government employment exploded by 1.6 million jobs. Government regulations increased by 70 percent.

At one point he tripled spending for the Department of Education. The list goes on.

Voters threw the bums out. And yet Mr. Bush’s spending appetites pale to President Obama’s as you can see in the chart above.

In yesterday’s elections, the party that voters loathed two short years ago picked up a staggering 60 House seats and at least 6 (and probably more) Senate seats.

Have voters once again fallen in love with Republicans? I don’t think so.

I think they’ve fallen out of love with President Obama and his leftward lurching party.  “Hope and change” sounded good two years ago, now the bill has come due.

Quiner’s Diner has chronicled the Democrat’s spending tsunami many times. Here are a few morsels:

• Whereas the average annual deficit under President Bush II was $251 billion dollars, the Congressional Budget Office estimates that President Obama’s budgets and proposals will produce a $1.056 trillion average annual deficit for 2009 through 2020.

• The deficit for the last fiscal year Republicans controlled the budget, 2007, was $161 billion.

• The smallest expected Obama/Pelosi/Reid deficit based on Democrats’ plans is $724 billion in 2014 according to CBO projections.

Yesterday, the electorate spoke loud and clear: show some restraint.

We threw out Republicans for reckless spending the previous two election cycles.

We did it again to Democrats yesterday.

Washington, are you listening? Show some restraint.

Here in Iowa, voters sent a message of restraint to the three Supreme Justices up for retention. We threw them out for imposing gay marriage on Iowa. Voters are acutely sensitive these days to radical liberalism.

The voters said they don’t want Democrats hijacking America with their liberal agenda, just as they told Republicans that they don’t want them hijacking America with their liberal spending habits.

Voters don’t like liberalism. We like restraint.

Coming Wednesday: Quiner’s Diner election wrap up Reply

By Tom Quiner

I’m getting ready to head down to my family room to watch election coverage. Check back tomorrow for Quiner’s Diner humble reactions to this watershed election.

God bless America. [Note to the President: God is the Being who grants us inalienable rights, including a right to life. Read the Declaration of Independence for details.]


The President of the elite 2

By Tom Quiner

I have just completed writing a musical called “The Pope of the People.” It covers John Paul II’s ( JP2) first ten years as Pope (click the icon on the right for more info).

What was striking about this man was the way he connected with ordinary people. I talked with a local priest, Monsignor Frank Bognanno, who was with the Pope when he came to Des Moines.  He was struck by the Pope’s connection with the Iowa people when he came to the Irish Settlement (his parish at the time) and Living History Farms in 1979. He was struck by the Pope’s love of the land. He was struck by the simple humbleness of this man from Poland.

The Pope is one of the most powerful men in the world.

The President of the United States is one of the most powerful men in the world, too.

I can’t help but contrast two powerful men on this night of an important American election.

President Obama does not relate to ordinary people. He comes across as being above us.

He revealed a lot on the campaign trail in 2008 with this comment when he thought no one was recording it:

“And it’s not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy toward people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.”

We’re “them.” He makes it clear he’s not one of “us.” He’s not a President of the people.

If we’re part of the Tea Party movement, we’re racist.

If we’re concerned about the Federal Government’s inability or unwillingness to enforce immigration laws in Arizona and we pass tough state laws to compensate, we’re racists.

The President and the Speaker and the Majority Leader told us we’d like Obamacare once we learned what’s in it. We hated it before it was passed. We told the President we hated it. They passed it anyway. As we learn more about it, we hate it even more.

The President and the Speaker and the Majority Leader ignore our feelings. They know better.

The President today characterized those who disagree the President and the Speaker and the Majority Leader as “enemies.” We are the President’s enemies. He told us so.

There is only one thing left to do, and that is to vote against the President’s and the Majority Leader’s and the Speaker’s agenda.

They don’t speak for us.

Our President has made it very clear: he’s not the President of the people. He is the President of the elite.

Federal Spending for Dummies Reply

By Tom Quiner

I have a simple and effective way to assess federal spending.  I call it Federal Spending for Dummies.

Use it as a handy voting guide tomorrow when you head out to vote.

Here’s how it works. I take the total amount of money the federal government spends each year, including off-budget items like social security. I adjust it for inflation, putting everything in 1980 dollars. Then I divide by the U.S. population for that year.

We end up with the average amount of money spent per citizen.

“Federal Spending for Dummies” levels the playing field by creating a simple way to accurately compare spending from year-to-year, from decade-to-decade.

Let me put this in perspective for you. In 1980, the year Ronald Reagan was elected President, our country spent an average of $2601 per citizen.

By 2009 the number had increased to $5002 per citizen. We’ve witnessed a stunning increase since Democrats regained congress in 2006. The Nancy Pelosi Congress has increased that number From $3642 in 2006 to $5002 in 2009.

Presidents get too much credit and too much blame when it comes to budgets and deficits. After all, it’s Congress that actually has the power to spend the money.

If you’re comfortable with the direction of the country and with this level of spending, your choice is clear. Vote Democrat.

If you’re concerned that this level of spending is unsustainable, you’ve got to consider Republican candidates. If you’re hesitant about Republicans, I understand. The Gingrich Congress of the 90’s did an admirable job restraining spending. They helped to get our budget back into a surplus. But the spending really ratcheted up in the Dennis Hastert years. Republicans paid a huge price in the 2006 elections for this level of profligacy.

But now Republican spending looks like chump change compared to the Pelosi years.

It’s time for a course-correction. Look at my Federal Spending for Dummies chart above. It’s clear we’ve got to do something fast. Republicans, can we trust you?

I believe the answer is yes. Why? Because the Tea Party Movement will keep them honest … or throw them out.