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So the President Wants to Read our Mail? I Say, "Let him!"


My friend James Meek over at the Daily News reports that President Bush says he can go through my - and your - mail without a warrant. Now, I'm sympathetic to the desires of civil libertarians to protect all of our rights, but I think this could actually be a good thing. In fact, I'll voluntarily share my mail with the President right here. You want to know what's in my mailbox, big guy? Well here you go.

First, I have a billing statement from my student loan company, informing me that I'm in debt to them until the year 3472. I can shorten that duration, of course, if I pay more than the minimum payment of $500 and my own bone marrow each month. Maybe it is too late to make college more affordable to me. But, if you look at the student loan statements of the millions of us who had to take them out, because our daddies didn't come from an aristocratic family, you'd reconsider stalling on this issue.

Next, I have a lovely bill from the surgeon who removed my gallbladder, charging me $4000 because my insurance company suddenly decided it wasn't going to pay the bill. Thankfully, they reconsidered and ponied up, but I still have hundreds of dollars in copayments to the doc, the anesthesiologist, and the hospital piling up. Now, I'm no pansy, but after living without health insurance for about a year, my gallstones really did start to hurt when I did things like, you know, breathe. So I had to get the thing taken out. Because I had to wait so long to get it taken care of, the surgery was a little complicated and I ended up having to go back to the hospital for a week with an infection. So, more bills for me, and one less bed in the hospital for someone else. Now, if you really want to open up mail related to my illness, I'd sure love it if you'd pay my bills, as long as you continue to deny every American quality health care.

Oooh, here is a good one, Mr. President. First, some background. When I was in college, and then earning just $20,000 after college for a non-profit in DC, I had to take out a lot of credit cards. Of course, I had no means to pay them, but at the tender age of 21, I figured this was all "pretend" money. So my credit score is about the same as your IQ. Nonetheless, I've got about 39 offers this month to become a super-duper titanium platinum gold credit card holder, since your bankruptcy "reform" bill ensures creditors would get paid, even if I have to auction off my kidneys on ebay. I have to admit, I'm very much tempted to take up all the offers, but I've sworn off credit cards like a Muslim does pork and booze. I'm not so sure that thousands of other Americans in financial dire straits will be able to say no, though.

I'll also be sure to get my grandmother to send me her prescription drug bills, in case you forget to go and open up her mail. I won't put her age in here, because I'm sure you know that by now, as does the entire Congress, since she sends you all letters all the time, which begin, "I am an XX old widow..." Yeah, sorry about the Jewish guilt she lays on you. But, what you might not know is that old people need pills to live - a lot of them - and you're not giving them a ton of help right now, paying for them.

So, Mr. President, PLEASE, I beg of you, open my mail! Open it all! Maybe you'll learn a thing or two about what real people are going through these days, before you get out there and talk about how rosy the economy is, and how we're just all chugging along. Oh, just please don't open up and send back the Publishers Clearing House. I think I might really have a chance to win next time!