George,

Hey, buddy! How's everything? Long time, no see. I know it's probably taxing to run the entire free world, but hey, a 20-minute phone call is only 99 cents. Is 20 minutes too much to ask from an old chum?

Anyway, how are Papa George and Miss Barbie doing? I saw your dad on the sidelines during the 2002 Super Bowl in New Orleans. I called out to him, and he turned around and sheepishly waved — acted like he didn't know me. He's always reminded me of a genetic cross between John Wayne and Mr. Rogers.

Apparently your daughters are doing well. I have a friend in Austin who says he sees them all the time. Yeah, he owns a liquor store. Just kidding, George. Just kidding. I'm sure Jenna and Barbara are focusing on their studies. Give them my best the next time you see them.

It's hard for anyone to deny that you've handled a number of extremely difficult crises very well over the 2+ years you've been in office. I've often looked at you in those moments on the Fox News Channel and thought, 'Thank God the U.S. Supreme Court could read a law better than the Florida Supreme Court.' The Bearded One would have made Jimmy Carter look like a fantastic president.

But the reason I'm writing, George, is because I watched your State of the Union speech the other night, and something you said kind of concerns me. I'll get to that in a minute. But just between you and me, you're still not the best speech-giver God ever made. You always sound like you're reading, which I know you are but it'd probably be good if you didn't sound like you were. I've got a great idea for you before you give your next speech. Watch a tape of Ronald Reagan. There ought to be a few of those left hanging around the White House. Just pop one in the VCR, watch it, and do whatever Reagan did. Learn to give better speeches, George, or they might start playing "Hail to the Chief" when Dick Gephardt enters the room in two years.

But I didn't write to give you speech lessons. You've done pretty well for yourself without following too much of my advice. I really wanted to talk to you about this $15 billion you've promised to Africa to fight the AIDS epidemic on that continent. Now, as you know, I'm not exactly a big fan of AIDS, George, but $15 billion is a whole lot of money. I don't know if you know this, but Louisiana's coastline is washing away faster than you can say "fuzzy math." In addition to jeopardizing the port that supplies America with 10 percent of its oil, the eroding coast puts at risk the 3 million people who live in southern Louisiana. That's here, in the United States, George, where that tax money originated.

As you know, ol' buddy, I think charity is great, but it's always better when it's actual charity, rather than forced taxation. Let's let people donate money to fight AIDS in Africa, and use the tax money to save the Louisiana coast.

Best of all, George, by most accounts it would cost only $14 billion to all but eliminate Louisiana's erosion problems. You could use the other $1 billion to do something really nice, like buy the Bearded One some tissues. Last time I saw him, he was still crying.

Your friend,

Todd