Photo credit: Reuters

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Obama's Belt Buckle

Dear Mr. President,
Your December 12 letter arrived today thanking me for “the letter you sent this spring and for sharing your thoughts. I read your message with interest.” No clue which of the 55 letters I sent this spring you’re referring to or what issue but you repeated the standard “my highest priority is the safety of the American people,” so it might have something to do with your covert wars or drone strikes or assassination program or your war on whistleblowers or indefinite detentions or who knows what. The next sentence is also puzzling: “Tough times and big decisions will necessarily bring our ideas about how to move forward into starker contrast.” No clue in the letter what big decisions you’ve got in mind but a big decision would be to shut down the NSA and the CIA and cut the Pentagon budget in half next year and half again in 2015 and use the money to restore the social contract and the social safety net. Another big decision would be to double tax rates on corporations and the rich and use that money to rebuild our infrastructure. How about single-payer healthcare? Or ending covert wars? How about amnesty for Manning and Snowden and Kiriakou and all the other whistle blowers? All big decisions and all about as likely as a snowball in hell. I’d like to think you actually read one of my letters this spring and considered the issues I raised but you’re a busy guy with important things to do, like attending the weekly Kill List meeting to decide who gets whacked this week, and keeping all your secrets secret and the tech companies tamped down and the countries we spy on mollified, and keeping the good times rolling for your rich patrons. Your letter came in a 9 x 12 manila envelope, First Class, $1.32 postage and “DO NOT BEND” stamped on the front. At first I thought maybe it was some kind of diploma thanking me for pointing out the counter error on the “Contact the White House” web page (my December 14 letter) or maybe even an award for the most letters of complaint sent to you over the past year, but when I opened that big envelope there was just this dinky 5 sentence note on a sheet of your 6½ x 9 stationery with your robosignature and a piece of cardboard like the back of an 8½ x 11 yellow tablet to make sure it didn’t get bent. When I thought about it however, it fits your MO; great packaging but little content. That envelope today was kind of analogous to a Texas belt buckle: the bigger the buckle, the smaller the man. If you get my gist.

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