Thursday, January 8, 2009



I know every time you see those words – Dear Mr. President – you probably think of that really cool Pink song, but trust me, I’m so not that cool. No, actually I’m sending this before your first day in the White House, in hopes that I can get your full, undivided attention for a few minutes. With all due respect, please…turn off your cell, lose the headphones, put the DVR on pause and just give me 10 solid minutes. Call me crazy, but I figured maybe you’d be interested in my top five requests of you for the next eight years - yes, eight…I’m an optimist, like you.

1. Since for all intents and purposes the U.S. government is nationalizing the auto industry, I’d appreciate it if you would deflate the CEO salaries. The Chrysler guy, Robert Nardelli doesn’t reveal his salary, because Chrysler is privately owned. But here’s what we do know: his last employer, Home Depot dumped him, but the fall was cushy. The severance package was reportedly worth more than $200 million. GM’s CEO, Rick Wagoner grossed $2.2 million in 2008. Ford’s CEO, Alan Mulally is at $2 million plus bonuses. Have you seen America's parking lot (right)? Many people (including me) are driving 10-year-old cars and earning…well, let’s just say not $2 million annually. Perhaps you could do something real innovative like tying CEO salaries to productivity, sales and overall job performance. Any thoughts on this?

2. Listen, is there anything you can do about Anne Coulter? Short of revising the First Amendment, I mean. There just has to be a way to make her stop talking. Really, I'm not asking you to do anything about her 1970s Gloria Steinem hairdo or that crazy wardrobe of hers. But what if you just made her an ambassador? Oh, I know, I know. She’s no diplomat. But just send her somewhere. I’m thinking Bangladesh. Or how about Chad? There she could be one of those women who carry baskets of water on their heads. Barack – may I call you Barack? This is a matter of national urgency. Puh-leaze have a Come To Jesus chat with Anne and explain that the Freedom of Speech we enjoy in America comes with strings called “responsibility.” Poor, leggy Anne – somebody forgot to tell her that part.

3.So sorry to bring up sore subjects, but could we talk about George Bush? I’m worried. I mean George is moving into his new $2.2 million dollar home in the tony Preston Hollows enclave in North Dallas, where they didn’t even let black people in until the year 2000, and he’s going to be doodling in the den trying to figure out how to make his new library pretty and all that. But my concern has to do with war crimes. Was it really okay that this administration allowed water boarding, the interrogation technique that simulates drowning? Is it just me or is there something just a little whacked out about water boarding in the 21st century in a civilized society? Representative John Conyers, who as you know, is the House Judiciary Committee Chairman, wants to assemble a bipartisan committee to investigate this and illegal wiretapping by the Bush administration. Okay then. Let’s do it. Why? Because if we don’t hold Bush accountable for arguably torturing detainees, then what is to stop future Chief Execs from doing the same or worse? And as I said…we’re civilized, right? And since we only have about a scintilla or privacy left in our culture, shouldn’t we do everything possible to safeguard it? Wiretapping? I don’t like it. Do you? Here’s how I see it: We invaded Iraq for no reason; we tortured detainees who may have had nothing to do with the 9/11 attacks and then we wiretapped anybody who we deemed suspicious, even though our suspicions were largely unfounded. And we’re the United States of America. Could you weigh in on this, B? May I call you B?

4. How was your lunch with Carter, Clinton, George, Sr. and President Bush? Is it true you had Mexican food? That’s the scuttlebutt on the street. Wouldn’t that have been a great moment for the first use of Laura Bush’s $587,000 worth of new White House china? I’m not nitpicking here, but B, don’t you think half a million dollars and change worth of plates is a bit extravagant at a moment when record numbers of Americans are losing their homes and jobs? The other day somebody said unemployment may hit eight percent this year. You yourself said the economy is going to get worse, much worse in 2009. Laura spent half a mill on plates. And then she posed for pictures with her new plates, in the exact moment the American dream seems to be dying. And then she tried to justify the expense by saying it was ordered three years ago. Listen, I live in New Orleans. Need I remind you or Laura what happened here just over three years ago? Not to be nasty here, but we really don’t want to hear about china. We would like to hear more about federal dollars that were promised to us for rebuilding our city that have yet to float through the bureaucracy. You might be surprised how many homes could be rebuilt here with $587,000. Could you just do us all a favor and do a walk-through of your new house and see if she also snuck in a bunch of new linens and flatware and maybe wine glasses? We found out she bought a new rug, but nobody’s giving us a dollar figure on that. We’re a little pissed down here. Can you blame us B?

5. Look, I’d love to talk to you about some other stuff – AIDS funding, Darfur, that pesky Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, China and Russia buying up all the prime NYC real estate, gay marriage, breast cancer research, Cuba, Bernie Madoff, and that idiot who’s destroying the Plaza Hotel square foot by square foot, Rush Limbaugh’s salary…oh God, I could just go on and on, couldn’t you? Why not bring Michelle and the kids down to New Orleans and we’ll have dinner at Arnaud’s and then go on the devastation tour? Won’t that be fun? Maybe you could meet Mayor Ray Nagin while you’re here and gently persuade him to resign a little early, and if you want, we can drive past former Congressman William Jefferson’s house and point. Just text me and give me some dates and let’s work it out.


1 comment:

Joan Eisenstodt said...

I am willing to deliver this to the White House gate on 1/21. What do you think?
Oh.. and could you add a job for Joel to the list? Homelessness just doesn't suit me.