I’m tired of the blame game; here are some constructive ideas for our president:

• Keep your mother away from poor people, she might say something insensitive.

• Don’t put unqualified, inexperienced college buddies in charge of the federal disaster program, unless you believe highly trained horses can rescue people.

• Hire someone to clear the brush at the ranch ” you’ve already used up all of your vacation days plus two personal days.

• Convince Americans that the only reason you’re riding a bike is you can’t afford gas. That would start more of us pedaling.

•  If you’re going to lie about weapons of mass destruction, make sure you plant some WMD’s where our soldiers can find them. Didn’t anyone ever tell you not to tell a lie that can be checked?

• If you meant to invade Iran instead of Iraq and you were only off by one letter, it’s OK, we all make mistakes.

• Listen to your wife more. She seems sensible and man, can she read!

•  Fire the staffer who thought it would be a good photo-op to show you looking out the window of Air Force One with concern at the devastated Gulf Coast.

• Come down hard on these political cartoonists who distort your features in such grotesque ways. I’m no judge of male beauty but I think you’re kind of a good-looking guy.

• To echo the dad of a dead Marine: bring in enough soldiers to finish the job, or withdraw the troops from Iraq. Marines are supposed to be conquerors, not babysitters. As the dad said, his son’s a hero regardless of the outcome of the war.

• Next time there’s a mother of dead soldier waiting to talk to you outside your ranch ” go see her, how can it hurt? You could even get in some mountain biking on the way.

• Get some help for your untreated alcoholism. If you quit drinking and don’t treat the underlying cause, you’re a “dry drunk” who still functions as an alcoholic. Maybe you need to personally “bottom out” but don’t drag the whole country with you.

• Give up on turning the U.S. into a fundamentalist Christian state ” you and your buddies make the Shiites look moderate.

• Develop some fiscal sanity. You keep spending more while cutting taxes. I’m surprised our economy hasn’t been wiped out by overdraft fees. Besides, taxes aren’t evil: look how investing tax money in the infrastructure and social services for the poor could have alleviated the misery in New Orleans.

• Don’t worry about your sinking popularity; fire the idiots that helped get you into this mess. Start with Rumsfeld. 

• If you continue your stubborn ways, you’ll only be helping the Democrats. Instead of focusing on things the Bible prohibits, read the passages that encourage compassion for the poor and social equality.

C’mon, you’ve got three years left ” that’s time enough to start changing the disastrous direction this country has taken. If you don’t, I’ll draw pictures of you with really big ears.

John Rice is a columnist/novelist who has seen his family thrive in Forest Park. He has published two books set in the village: The Ghost of Cleopatra and The Doll with the Sad Face.