It’s that time of year when we pore over the avalanche of catalogs that breed in the vehicles of mail carriers to select gifts for the politicians who have plagued us all year.
For billionaire Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, from the pajama catalogue, we wrap up camouflage PJs so her $20 million security detail can take a break (and save us taxpayers a few bucks).
For humiliated general and outgoing White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, we have culled from the Sharper Image catalogue a customized bobble head of Donald Trump. With a gift that costs only $99.99, Kelly will have his former boss’s image on his desk to do with as he will.
The president is showing no signs of not tweeting. Sad! So he should have a 10-in-1 Flip Pillow ($79.99, Sharper Image) that makes tweeting in bed at 3 a.m., oh, so easy. Because he’s been so, uh, present in our lives, he should get Hammacher Schlemmer’s Brighter Vanity Mirror “that offers a true, full-face reflection” for 30,000 hours. Just $79.95 and maybe he’ll see who he is.
For passionately voluble pro-Trump counselor Kellyanne “Alternative Facts” Conway and her husband, George, who has become a never-Trump kind of guy, we suggest Hammacher’s $149.95 Active Noise Canceling Headphones “to eliminate the distracting sounds of a home, office or when traveling.” Probably a great gift for every politically fraught home.
For Ryan Zinke, the Interior Department secretary bent on revamping the whole department to make it easier to rape the land by taking states out of the picture, a Frontgate $449 Monopoly game so he can study how oil and gas interests more easily can monopolize public resources.
Remember Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III? Attorney General? Constantly ridiculed and then fired by Trump for properly recusing himself from the investigation on just how Russia manipulated the 2016 election? Despite his zestful attack on civil rights, he’s been forgotten. He needs an $82 McKenzie-Childs wine cooler to help him drown his sorrows.
Chuck Schumer, Senate minority leader who got into a war of words with Trump in the Oval Office, alongside House leader Nancy Pelosi, on the questionable wisdom of shutting down the government, should get a Wild West Shooting Set for $39.99. Sharper Image says you line up reusable plastic targets on a plastic log, aim and fire a six-shooter, which sends a beam of harmless infrared light up to 25 feet away. “A direct hit sends the targets flying off the base along with exciting sound effects.” Satisfying.
Speaking of Pelosi, she needs a $99.99 Steady Flying Wi-Fi Camera Drone to see who is plotting against her. Not that it’s a big secret.
For all the Republicans singing the blues over the loss of control of the House and the way-too-often inexplicable behavior of their leaders, Sharper Image has a $59.99 Blues Box Guitar System made out of a cigar box. Comes with a 32-page instruction book, CD and glass slide. Hours of distracting fun.
Beto O’Rourke, the lanky Texan who lost his race for the Senate but suddenly tops Move On’s straw poll for Democratic presidential nominees in 2020, should have Hammacher’s Superior Projection Clock that displays the time on a wall or ceiling, along with the day of the week and indoor-outdoor temperatures and keeps “precise atomic time anywhere within the contiguous United States.” Perfect for an on-the-go candidate who wakes up wondering what time zone and climate he’s in.
Robert Mueller, the former FBI director in charge of the Russia investigation and quietly respected lawman who may have a powerful role in Trump’s fate, never speaks in public and does not tolerate leaks. He needs a way to let off steam. Hammacher has a handheld cordless bug vacuum that can vacuum up 24 crickets in 15 seconds. A bargain at $69.95, it draws bees, spiders and other insects (unfortunately, not traitors, spies or liars) into its telescoping tinted nozzle. Recharges automatically. Provides that nice feeling of accomplishment.
So many pols deserving of recognition. So little time.
How about a holiday where we concentrate on family, children, kindness, generosity, civility, good deeds, charity, faith and love. And don’t give the pols another thought, at least not until 2019.
—Ann McFeatters is an op-ed columnist for Tribune News Service.