Publisher’s ink: President Houdini inspires 2014 predictions

By From page A5 | January 22, 2014

Another year has passed, as if acclaimed magician Harry Houdini waved his wand across the calendar while reciting a few mystical words and the past 12 months just went …“poof!”

Houdini, “The Handcuff King,” master illusionist and grand entertainer, thrilled his audiences with feats of magic.

Obviously this talent isn’t a lost art. Our present day master illusionist, Barack Obama, also has the uncanny ability to fool his audience with sleight of hand and diversion. With a wave of his scepter (more powerful than your average wand), Obama pulled off the granddaddy of all illusions by making healthcare insurance and doctors disappear right before the eyes (or should we say lives?) of five million Americans.

With his stage assistant Nancy Pelosi by his side the American public is finally seeing what was written into the law and hearing what many are finally realizing: “Now you see it … and … now you don’t.”

If you thought 2013 was a rollercoaster ride, wait until you see what this year has in store. Following the performance of President Houdini, I decided to place some blank slips of paper into a hat, recite my own gibberish and click my heels three times for this year’s predictions:

Millions more lose healthcare coverage

As if five million people dropped from private insurance coverage wasn’t enough. When the employer mandate kicks in this year people will be astounded by the number of people losing coverage. Small businesses everywhere will simply pay the fine than provide coverage for employees.

Hillary throws her pantsuit jacket into the race for president

Come on. Is there not one person out there that believes Hillary Clinton isn’t going to make a run for her old office? She and Bill left some of the silverware behind while their staff was busy pulling “W”s off White House computer keyboards.

Republicans regain control of both houses

Midterm elections will go the Republican way. Obamacare and not the government shutdown will be the key factor. And now with a two-year budget passed by both political parties, the campaign trail is wide open for incumbents. The race to watch will be that of Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA). She’s backpedaling away from her support of Obamacare so quickly Obama can’t issue executive orders fast enough to save her seat.

Placerville round-a-bout heads straight ahead

Change is difficult for some folks and nearly impossible for others. Replacing the old Clay Street Bridge and re-aligning Clay Street with Cedar Ravine to improve traffic flow will advance. Those opposing the round-a-bout as a solution might want to invest in another saddle blanket for their primary mode of transportation.

Dennis Rodman named ambassador

Okay so we don’t have an embassy in North Korea. This shouldn’t keep us from having a dialogue with “Dear Leader” Kim Jong-un. Perhaps Rodman could explain the difference between a blocked shot to the rim in basketball lingo to that of an executioner’s shot to the head.

Vladimir Putin receives Nobel Peace Prize

After diffusing the Syrian chemical use problem and taking Obama’s red crayon out of his hand, Russian President Vladimir Putin deserves the big peace trophy. Of course true peace in Syria won’t be realized until another 100,000 dead bodies litter the streets. By that time there won’t be anyone left in the country.

Iran joins the nuclear family of nations

Welcome to the club. Iran is right on schedule to complete its development of nuclear weapons technology. Will any local peaceniks with extra “Give Peace a Chance” bumper stickers lying around please mail them to the Iranian ministry? We’ll all breathe easy knowing this friendly Middle Eastern country has nukes.

Perhaps Secretary of State Kerry can convince President Houdini to perform another one of his acts of illusions and make this threat disappear. Better yet, maybe he could make Houdini himself disappear. I predict that will happen three years from now.

Richard Esposito is publisher of Village Life and the Mountain Democrat.

Richard Esposito


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