A good belly laugh lifts the spirit and rejuvenates the soul. Which brings me to Michele Bachmann.
I needed to pull up only a single recent news item to get an evening’s worth of mirth. This is courtesy of the Worthington, Minnesota, Daily Globe. Bachmann has started a multi-day blitz through Iowa in a run-up to the first primary caucus of the 2012 election cycle. Her comments are sure to bring merriment to all within voice range. Where to start?
“Iowa chose Barack Obama, now Iowa has to choose Barack Obama’s replacement,” Bachmann told the crowd in the restaurant.
This was starting to get interesting. Let’s see what else she had to say.
Bachmann then went on to list various issues she had challenged the president on, from cap and trade to illegal immigration.
“I can’t wait to stand on the stage with him during the debate and completely deflate everything he’s said about our economy,” Bachmann said.
She began to detail what was wrong with the country and what she would, given the chance, do about it.
Bachmann also discussed gas prices, saying when Obama took office, gas prices went up.
“I want to bring gas prices back to $1.79 a gallon,” Bachmann said. “And we can because the United States is the number one energy resource bridge in the world. The problem is the federal government has locked up all the oil and natural gas and coal, and said, ‘Forget it, we’re not going use it anymore.’ Not me — I’m going to legalize it.”
That’s interesting and very amusing. I can tell I am going to have an enjoyable evening. Let’s see the story behind this. I went to GasBuddy.com and pulled down their price history chart.
The chart shows prices peaking in early July 2008 when George W. Bush was president. I was in North Hollywood, California, about this time, and for me the price for regular peaked at $4.46 per gallon about 18 July. The chart shows a precipitous plunge as the economy tanked, most likely Obama’s fault, but we can’t prove it.
As the shock wore off, and people came to their senses, people started spending again and driving again, and the price began to rise. The price of gasoline is driven largely by demand, and the price drop was due to a drop in driving, and the subsequent increase in price has been largely due to an increase in driving, not completely due to an upturn in economic output, which has not picked up all that much since 2008. The lowest I paid for regular gasoline recently was $1.25 per gallon at a Kroger store in the north Dallas. That was in early 2009.
The price of regular gasoline has since spiked again, in May of 2011, not quite as high as it was in July 2008, but enough to get some notice and enough to make Bachmann think she could get some traction. The price is currently back down to what it was right before Obama was elected in 2008. If Bachmann can get it down to $1.79, more power to her. How many people are going to stop driving when she becomes president?
Bachmann also spoke of immigration, saying if she was elected she would put up a wall in the southwest area of the U.S.
That sounds like a wonderful idea. A great barrier wall will keep out all those undesirable people from south of the border. But wait! I have a better idea. If we stop paying illegal aliens to come here, they will stop coming.
Only kidding, folks. Of course we are not going to stop paying them. That’s what makes this country so great. We make it illegal for people without the proper papers to come here to work, so when they do come they can’t complain about low wages, no Social Security, no worker’s compensation, no pay for overtime worked, unsafe working conditions. Employers get this gorgeously cheap labor, and when somebody gets sick or hurt on the job the taxpayers in the community pick up the costs, not the employers.
It is against the law to hire somebody who is here illegally and who does not have the proper work visa. You are invited to get elected to public office and start pushing to enforce this law. You will find your corporate campaign contributions start to dry up like a cow patty on a Texas summer day. While you are at it, please ask every elected official (Republican and Democrat) who has ever hired illegal domestic help to send me a dollar. I need to retire next year.
“I’m going to make English the official language,” Bachmann said. “We will end welfare subsidies for illegal aliens, and I’m going to end the practice of anchor babies — where illegal aliens come into the United States and have a baby, and that baby is given American citizenship and immediate access to welfare benefits”
I have been hearing this “English the official language” crap for years now, and it does not make a lot of sense. This appears to be a solution in search of a problem. Reality belies the idea that the English language is in danger in this country.
I lived a few months on Lankershim Boulevard in North Hollywood, California, and my friend Greg and I were the only people living in the apartment complex who could not speak Spanish. However, English was never in danger, even there. This was brought home to me one day as I was walking by the pool where some grade school kids were playing. One little girl became disgusted with a certain little boy, and she told him what he could do with himself in English I have not heard since I served on an aircraft carrier in the North Atlantic.
I once attended a business conference in Spain, where they speak Spanish, of course. Of course Spanish is not the language of this region of Spain, which supports three Spanish-like languages. Using my best Spanish I asked a sales clerk if she spoke Spanish. She replied “un poco.” The conference was hosted by the Telefonica, the Spanish telephone company and was attended by people from nearly all European countries plus Japan, China, etc. The conference was conducted in English. At the time I worked for a French company with headquarters near the Champs Elysees in Paris. The language spoken at this place is English.
I live in San Antonio, Texas, one of the most Spanish-speaking cities in the United States. You will hear some Spanish spoken on the street and in the stores, but the English is excellent. Of course, the people building the house across the street from me seem to speak only Spanish.
I am not going to dig too much into this “anchor baby” farce except to remind Bachmann that an amendment to the Constitution gives citizenship to everybody born in the U.S. And, these “anchor babies” are not going to take anybody’s job. These children are U.S. citizens with all rights of citizenship. They will be educated in the public schools and receive the same bad education as everybody else’s kids and will have a tough time finding a job, because employers will want to hire illegal aliens who will work for low wages, off the clock, without insurance and worker’s compensation.
“The fact is, we need the most conservative candidate we can get,” Bachmann said.
I hope that does not mean we need the most idiotic candidate we can get. If that’s what we need, then Bachmann is our guy.