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"But the unemployment rate has been low only because government programs, especially Social Security disability, have effectively been buying people off the unemployment rolls and reclassifying them as ''not in the labor force.
This one right here has left us all speechless.
Dai Vernon also known as "The Professor" is widely regarded as the most skillful sleight of hand artist to ever perform magic and among the most influential card magicians of the 20th Century. He is credited with inventing or improving many of the close-up tricks using cards, coins, and other small items that are employed by professional magicians to this day.
In 1922, Harry Houdini was the best known magician in the world. Forty eight years old and at the height of his powers, Houdini was so confident of his skills and understanding of magic that he challenged magicians everywhere to show him any trick they might be able to perform three times, and guaranteed that he could tell them how it was done. At the Great Northern Hotel in Chicago, Illinois, young Dai Vernon took the great Houdini up on his offer, performing his "The Ambitious Card" trick for Houdini not three, but seven times in a row with Houdini failing to explain it.
The first video below is a Dai Vernon performance of his version of the Cup and Balls Trick, which version is every bit the standard among magicians as Celebrate and Joy To The World are among wedding bands.
"The Professor" Dai Vernon.
This second vid is an updated version of Vernon's "The Ambitious Card" trick, otherwise known as "The Trick That Fooled Houdini".
See ya Tuesday.
"We can not and will not sustain deficits like these without end.
Contrary to the prevailing wisdom in Washington these past few years, we can not simply spend as we please and defer the consequences to the next budget, the next administration or the next generation.
We are paying the price for these deficits right now.
In 2008 alone we paid $250 billion in interest on our debt, that is more than three times what we spent on education that year, more than seven times what we spent on VA healthcare.
So if we confront this crisis without also confronting the deficits that helped cause it, we risk sinking into another crisis down the road as our interest payments rise, our obligations come due, confidence in our economy erodes and our children and grandchildren are unable to pursue their dreams because they are saddled with our debts.
That's why today I am pledging to cut the deficit we inherited by half by the end of my first term in office.
This will not be easy - it will require us to make difficult decisions and face challenges we have long neglected but i refuse to leave our children with a debt they can not repay.
And that means taking responsibility right now in this administration, for getting our spending under control."
He's better get off his boney butt and get it in gear if he expects to make this one ... that's the joke you see, he never expected to make this one.
I knew this one was inevitable.
Among the opinions that I freely share with anyone willing to listen is the notion that there is next to nothing that separates the two candidates presesently running for the office of President of the United States. Furthermore, if you look at the practices of their respective administrations there is next to nothing that distinguishes the administration of Barack Obama from that of George W. Bush and indeed very little that distinguishes either Bush administration from Bill Clinton's discounting the spectacular opportunities for policy adventures afforded the latter Bush by virtue of the wildly more succesful attack on the World Trade Center that occurred on his watch.
This notion frustrates Republican/conservative types to no end as they consider themselves to be the only grownups in the room and as such the only possible responsible viewpoint on any issue you might care to name, while at the same time infuriating Democrat/liberal/progressive types to near apoplexy as they view themselves to be the best possible people imaginable by virtue of their tender hearts and pure intentions all the while loathing with the deepest passion imaginable anyone who has the temerity to oppose them on any issue.
So anyway, I was at the soccer game the other day watching the youngest Roanboy command the midfield, when I chanced upon one of my Republican/conservative type friends who visits us here from time to time and is exasperated with me for refusing to support Mitt Romney.
Finally completely frustrated, he said to me, "Youre so f&#$%@^ smart, what would you do?"
"I'm Emperor?" I ask, delighted at the prospect.
Look of disgust.
Then I rattle it off in about 18 seconds.
1. Break up the media near monopolies. Allow for ownership/investment of only one media outlet, be it newspaper, televison station or radio station per state.
2. Break up the banks. Bring back Glass Steagall word for word at minimum. Better yet, legally segregate retail banking from investment banking from propriatery trading from brokerage from insurance from fee based research.
3. Abolish the Federal Reserve Bank.
4. Disengage from all foreign entanglements including NATO and bring all of our troops home.
5. Establish term limits of 3 terms for Congress and two for the Senate.
6. Establish term limits of 25 years for all public employees. Some time in the private sector would do most of them a world of good.
7. End the "War on Drugs". Legalize it, tax it, use the money you save for treatment.
8. Close the Department of Homeland Security. Hold parties at airports all over the country and beat the shit out of their equipment with sledge hammers. Make transportation companies responsible for their customer's security.
9-a. Establish a flat tax of 10% on every dime of income over twenty thousand dollars, regardless of source, regardless of the form (benefits are income) from every entity, while removing deductions for mortgage interest, state and local taxes, charitable contributions ..... everything. End FICA
9-b. Remove depreciation and depletion allowances from corporate tax returns along with interest deductions, allow business entities to expense capital purchases along with business expenses in the year they occur on a cash in cash out basis. Treat debt for purposes of acquiring capital purchases as income. Get it? You can expense capital improvements in the year they are acquired to the extent they are unleveraged.
10. Hire the nastiest prick I can find with some prosecutorial experience to hold a public investigation of the attack on the World Trade Center of September 11, 2001. Give him every dime he asks for. Hell, offer up a bonus for every conviction that results in a hanging ..... make it a big one.
"How's that just for starters?" I asked, just as innocently as I am able.
He won't be back bothering me anytime soon.
No, that's not me in the picture although I used to look a lot like that ..... before the operation.
The way Mr. Keyes sees it, one bank owned, neocon pawn is as good/bad as another.
So he asks himself, "Do you take the demonstrably competent candidate who will be elected with the mantle of conservative legitimacy that allows him to proceed with the identical agenda as the liberal stumblebum who has yet to demonstrate much in the way of any real competence at anything beyond getting himself elected and seems far more interested in his golf game than in implementing anything that resembles real policy anyway?"
That there is one helluva question if you ask us.
Since we're on the subject.
I have never closed the section of any tape I've ever made offering Life During Wartime and The Walls Came Down with anything other than the Nick Lowe penned and produced, international classic What's So Funny Bout Peace Love and Understanding.
I see no reason to not continue with that practice here.
This is Elvis Costello on guitar and vocals. Steve Nieve on keyboards, Davey Faragher on bass, the great Pete Thomas pounding the drums and singing along just a little.
Evis Costello and the Attractions, Pickups or Imposters ... take your pick.
What's So Funny Bout Peace Love and Understanding.
Usually Rockpile with Teacher Teacher comes next, but we're probably moving on this time.
This is Patrick Clawson of the Washington Institute for Near East Studies suggesting that the US should provoke Iran into a war.
Please excuse our blunt approach here, but to our way of thinking among the gravest problems facing this country are the not just a couple of murderous, neocon psychopaths much like Mr. Clawson here who have been entrusted with positions of power and/or influence.
Within that post was a link to a Forbes piece in which they opined that this was a one off deal and that it was higly unlikely that anyone would go to the trouble of counterfeiting gold bars on a large scale.
After we got up off the floor from from our uncontrollable fit of rib breaking laughter, we offered the opinion that it was bars measured in kilos and up that would be of concern.
On behalf of both Forbes and ourselves.
At least ten counterfeit ten ounce bars have been discovered on Manhattan Island in New York City.
Now, here's the real interesting part ... at least to us.
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