Another Sunday morning. While the sun is rising in the east, I find myself again in front of the laptop banging out semi-coherent thoughts, hoping to make sense of them in the next several hundred words. This, like most mornings, I wake with a head full of questions.
Questions of life, questions of politics, questions of economics, and questions of the things which, quite frankly, would drive a lesser man insane.
Hard questions require hard answers - and I'm just the guy to find them. Yes, I've looked for the answers online. I've watched the news for the past three nights - but the answers I'm looking for there, do not appear. Join me as I search for truth using the time-tested tool of scholars passed down from generation to generation (since 1950!).
In desperation, I rummage through my sons' old toy box, dig down past the old Halloween masks, miscellaneous broken game remnants, and beneath a dog-earred copy of my oldest's Boy Scout handbook I find what I'm looking for.
The Magic 8 Ball
I pull the Magic 8 Ball out from the toy box, walk to the kitchen, grab four paper towels, a bottle of Windex, and I proceed to remove almost a decade's worth of dust and neglect from my scratched black friend (ahem, this is NOT a Racist comment - it's a Magic 8 Ball, okay? Don't go there!).
A few sprays, a few wipes, then a few more sprays and a few more wipes, and Abracadabra - the Magic 8 Ball gleams anew! My Portable Plastic Prophetical Orb stands by to answer my 'Hard Questions' on a Sunday morning:
I begin with the official Magic 8 Ball invocation (which I make up as I speak them aloud):
"Mighty Magic 8 Ball, answer my questions as quick as you can, I've got questions, more than I can stand. Answer them true, answer them now, answer them for the man they call 'The Cow'. Answer my questions one, answer my questions all, answer my questions you wonderful Magical Ball."
Question 1: "Magic 8 Ball, after being stashed in the toy box for 10+ years, is there any magic left in you?"
Magic 8 Ball Response: "You may rely on it"
Question 2: "Will the world end on December 21, 2012, as predicted by the Mayans?"
Magic 8 Ball Response: "Ask again later"
Question 3: "How much later, it's only 8 months away?"
Magic 8 Ball Response: "Better not tell you now"
[Okay, so the thing IS working -- now, on to the hard questions]
Question 4: "I keep reading that American workers are no longer looking for jobs, so even though new unemployment claims are HIGHER than the number of jobs created, unemployment continues to FALL. Will the Bureau of Labor Statistics continue to cover up the actual percentage of the unemployed until there's a Republican in the White House? Therefore making him / her look bad in comparison to Obama?"
Magic 8 Ball Response: "Yes – definitely"
Question 5: "Is it true that if the BLS used the number of workers in the work force in June of 2009 to calculate the true unemployment that the current rate of unemployment for April 2012 would be in excess of 11%, rather than the 8.1% figure released this week?"
Magic 8 Ball Response: "It is decidedly so"
Question 6: "I found this chart on Investors Business Daily which shows that 5.4 MILLION workers and families have been added to the ranks of the Disabled (receiving Disability benefits) since President Obama took office. Also, that the rate of 'newly disabled' is TWICE the rate of new job creation in America. Could this possibly be true?"
Magic 8 Ball Response: "As I see it, yes"
Question 7: "I mentioned in prior posts that no President (other than FDR) has ever been re-elected with an unemployment rate above 7.2% (the rate at Reagan's re-election). Do you believe that the fall in unemployment from 9+% to this week's 8.1% is politically calculated vs. factually-based?"
Magic 8 Ball Response: "Signs point to yes"
Question 8: "Will President Obama be re-elected for a second term?"
Magic 8 Ball Response: "Cannot predict now"
The above represent the 8 main questions I wanted answered this morning. My boys' Magic 8 Ball performed remarkably well for a toy which cost us less than $10 ten years ago. As I was ready to re-open the toy box and toss the little black oracle back, another question came to me.
One that I thought I already knew the answer to, but I asked, nonetheless...
Question 9: "Magic 8 Ball, what will the core focus of President Obama's re-election campaign be? Will he talk about his achievements in the Economy, in Health Care, in National Security? What will he base his campaign on?"
I gave the ball a quick flip, angled the little dark window towards me, and read the following as it floated into view:
Magic 8 Ball Response: "It's George Bush's fault"
Best $10 we ever spent on those kids...
Now if I could find one that gave stock advice, I'd have it made.