Friday, October 31, 2008

Barack Houdini Obama

It was Halloween 1926 … 82 years ago this very day that the world’s most famous magician, Harry Houdini, died right here in Detroit, Michigan. Some say Houdini’s ghost appears annually, on the site of the old Grace Hospital, within the Detroit Medical Center complex in downtown Detroit. Maybe this year he'll pay former Detroit Mayor Kwame "Now Ya See It, Now Ya Don't" Kilpatrick a visit, in his nearby cell, at the Wayne County Jail.

It was Friday, October 22, 1926, when Houdini was boasting about his great muscle strength, that he asked a few people to feel his muscles, which they did. Among the few was a young college student. He asked if it was true that punches in the stomach did not, and could not, hurt him. Jack Price, one of the few present, recalled: “Thereupon he gave Houdini some very hammer-like blows below the belt, first securing Houdini’s permission to strike him. Yet before Houdini, who was in a reclining position at the time, had the opportunity to prepare himself and his muscles for the blows, the student would strike him suddenly and with tremendous force.

Houdini was able to conceal his internal injuries and suffering until the next day. When they reached Detroit, where he was scheduled to perform, his wife Bess summoned a doctor immediately. As Houdini dressed for his performance, the doctor diagnosed him with acute appendicitis and said that an ambulance should be called at once. But Houdini decided to suffer through two of his three acts on stage.

Finally he said, “Drop the curtain, Collins, I can’t go any further.” He still refused to be taken to a hospital. It was sometime after 3 in the morning of the next day, doctors were able to convince him that his condition was critical and that he needed to have his appendix removed. After the surgery, the doctor said that Houdini might live 24 hours at the most. He somehow managed to survive another four days, when on Sunday, October 31, 1926, Houdini died in his wife’s arms at 1:26 p.m. It was Halloween, in room 401 at Grace Hospital, Detroit, where Harry Houdini performed his final disappearing act.

But has he suddenly reappeared these 82 years later in the form of Barack Obama? Three weeks ago, at Real Clear, Kimberley Strassel put it all so fabulously in perspective ...

October 10, 2008
Obama's Magic

By Kimberley Strassel
And now, America, we introduce the Great Obama! The world's most gifted political magician! A thing of wonder. A thing of awe. Just watch him defy politics, economics, even gravity!
(And hold your applause until the end, please).

To kick off our show tonight, Mr. Obama will give 95% of American working families a tax cut, even though 40% of Americans today don't pay income taxes! How can our star enact such mathemagic? How can he "cut" zero? Abracadabra! It's called a "refundable tax credit." It involves the federal government taking money from those who do pay taxes, and writing checks to those who don't. Yes, yes, in the real world this is known as "welfare," but please try not to ruin the show.

For his next trick, the Great Obama will jumpstart the economy, and he'll do it by raising taxes on the very businesses that are today adrift in a financial tsunami! That will include all those among the top 1% of taxpayers who are in fact small-business owners, and the nation's biggest employers who currently pay some of the highest corporate tax rates in the developed world. Mr. Obama will, with a flick of his fingers, show them how to create more jobs with less money. It's simple, really ... he has a magic wand.

Next up, Mr. Obama will re-regulate the economy, with no ill effects whatsoever! You may have heard that for the past 40 years most politicians believed deregulation was good for the U.S. economy. You might have even heard that much of today's financial mess tracks to loose money policy, or Fannie and Freddie excesses. Our magician will show the fault was instead with our failure to clamp down on innovation and risk-taking. He will fix this with new all-encompassing rules. Presto!

Did someone in the audience just shout "Sarbanes Oxley?" Usher, can you remove that man? Thank you. Mr. Obama will now demonstrate how he gives Americans the "choice" of a "voluntary" government health plan, designed in such a way as to crowd out the private market and eliminate all other choice! Don't worry people: You won't have to join, until you do. Mr. Obama will follow this with a demonstration of how his plan will differ from our failing Medicare program.

Oops, sorry, folks. The Great Obama just reminded me it is time for an intermission. Maybe we'll get to that marvel later.

We're back now. And just watch the Great Obama perform a feat never yet managed in all history. He will create that enormous new government health program, spend billions to transform our energy economy, provide financial assistance to former Soviet satellites, invest in infrastructure, increase education spending, provide job training assistance, and give 95% of Americans a tax (ahem) cut -- all without raising the deficit a single penny! And he'll do it in the middle of a financial crisis. And with falling tax revenues! Voila!

Moving along to a little ventriloquism. Study his mouth carefully, folks: It looks like he's saying "I'll stop the special interests," when in fact the words coming out are "Welcome to Washington, friends!" Wind and solar companies, ethanol makers, tort lawyers, unions, community organizers -- all are welcome to feed at the public trough and to request special favors. From now on "special interests" will only refer to universally despised, if utterly crucial, economic players. Say, oil companies ... Hocus Pocus!

And for tonight's finale, the Great Obama will uphold America's "moral" obligation to "stop genocide" by abandoning Iraq! While teleported to the region, he will simultaneously convince Iranian leaders to peacefully abandon their nuclear pursuits (even as he does not sit down with them), fix Afghanistan with a strategy that does not resemble the Iraqi surge, and ... (Drumroll) ... pull Osama bin Laden out of his hat!


You can clap now. (Applause. Cheers.) We'd like to thank a few people in the audience. Namely, Republican presidential nominee John McCain, who has so admirably restrained himself from running up on stage to debunk any of these illusions and spoil everyone's fun. We know he's in a bit of a box, having initially blamed today's financial crisis on corporate "greed," and thus made it that much harder to call for a corporate tax cut, or warn against excessive regulation. Still, there were some pretty big openings up here this evening, and he let them alone! We'd also like to thank Mr. McCain for keeping all the focus on himself this past week. It's helped the Great Obama to just get on with the show.

As for that show, we'd love to invite you all back for next week's performance, when the Great Obama will thrill with new, amazing exploits. He will respect your Second Amendment rights even as he regulates firearms! He will renegotiate Nafta, even as he supports free trade!

Wow … how does he do that?!

1 comment:

Tina R.F.Hemond said...

Stunning analogy - I'm speechless - to the point and brilliant.