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We distort, you deride
Tuesday, June 27, 2017, 17:36:UTC)(
15 January 2017
The President — who assured an anxious nation that it would not matter that Congress had rejected his signature initiatives, because "I have a pen and a phone" with which to enact them into law anyway — no longer has an Obama-phone. He might not have an Obama-pen, either, as he may have also pressed the button on top to retract its notorious tip for good.
The Washington Times reports that callers to the Constituent Comment line (+1.202.EAT.DIRT) have not gotten their calls answered for weeks. One can only imagine a junior reporter, dialing the number for weeks and imagining his name in the by-line of a Front Page scoop. The report says that callers do not reach eager young interns working for credit toward their degrees in Minority Grievance Studies, but instead get a recorded message. It assures them "your comment is important to the President." Whatever it was.
Constituents can take heart that their unrecorded comment will be responded to in person, if found to threaten the President, by a personal visit by the Secret Service. High-income malcontents can look forward to a meeting with several employees of the IRS.
The "pen and the phone" were of decreasing utility anyway. For example, Mexicans who believed that the President's power to "prioritize enforcement of the laws," if one ignores that oath he took, put some gravitas behind those shiny new work permits, have been told otherwise by a veritable Who's Who of federal judges.
Though the White House no longer has its Obama-phone, it reportedly still has its Bat-phone, in case someone needs to call the Caped Crusader. He is leading a secret double life as unassuming Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, with his sidekick Paul "The Boy Wonder" Ryan.
President-elect Donald Trump cannot be telephoned, either, at his personal number at the Trump Tower. However, admirers can follow him on Twitter and get pearls of his wisdom, each pearl about the size of a kernel of rice.
In the final days of Mr. Obama's eight-year Presidency, he has had little time for anything except putting millions of acres of wilderness and ocean floor off limits forever, freeing criminals, and awarding Joe Biden the Medal of Freedom. The Vice President has had an ongoing commitment to "free" speech, until someone in the Oval Office finds it necessary to issue a retraction or apology.