Happy Vacation Week, Mr. President. Smoke?

Dear President Obama, Hope you have a refreshing week on Martha’s Vineyard!  Seems like you could use it, because you came this close to telling us more of the truth than we could handle in your press conference the other day. We knew that you were absolutely going to proceed in a lawful, orderly way to just about the same place we are at right now with respect to the surveillance state. We had guessed that Vladimir Putin was a slouching bad boy. We already figured that just saying the words “Edward Snowden” out loud would provoke you to make laughable claims about your own respect for our constitution.

But thank goodness you did not tell us that you were going to set up a Massachusetts version of the “fierce Andean rite” described in this morning’s NYT. Your very own Chilmark basketball court will be just as festive as Coyllurqui, Peru this week as you choose your next Fed chairperson by lashing together Larry Summers (as the bull) and Paul Krugman (as the apu, or condor, tied atop Summers, trying to scratch his eyes out). Janet Yellen, Paul Volcker, and other current and past Fed governors will be the bullfighters. An announcement of who survived is expected in the fall.

Sour fermented corn liquor will be served courtside, of course, but, Mr. President, do the American people a favor and have a smoke on us. You seem to have noticed that you, like the pope, never have to run for office again. That has to be a freeing thought. But you have at least a year or two left of making big decisions. Think of us, not your wife or daughters. They will be fine. Would you believe, by the way, that my mother-in-law turns 99 today? Been smoking since Calvin Coolidge was president. And still totally motivated to walk down the hall to the smoking room four or more times a day. Got her a fresh carton just the other day. Believe it, or not. Go for the gusto, Mr. President. It’ll make the rest of your presidency so much more relaxing for all of us citizens–excepting perhaps the losing Fed candidate, as you stub out your butt next to her or him.

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