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by: Max Burbank

"I'm the kind of person who likes to be outdoors; it keeps my mind and my spirits up and it keeps me a balanced person,"

"It's important for people to get outside and to work. I'm making a lot of improvements on the ranch, and I find that to be a good part of keeping me a balanced person,"

Is it me, or does this sound like someone a little overly concerned with their mental health? I mean, lots of folks are worried about the whole stupidity thing, what with the British and Russian press running an article today estimating Wís IQ at 91, the lowest of any President ever and only 21 points away from retardation (which legally speaking makes no difference in Texas anyway), but did I miss something? Did the New York times go with a banner headline "PRESIDENT DANGEROUSLY UNBALANCED! NEEDS TO GET OUTSIDE!"

Everyone needs a little R&R now and then. Iím taking a vacation myself. Gonna jam the family and all our traveling gear into our second-hand car and head on down to the Jersey Shore where my Mom has rented a house for a week. Of course, the Commander in Chiefís vaca will be a little different. Heís going to Waco. Heís got a house there. Heís the nationís first Branch Dividian President. And you thought Lieberman was busting the glass ceiling. Heís also taking a month.

A month, okay? And he deserves it.

Never mind that more than half the country thinks thatís shameful. Never mind that most of us are lucky if we get a week of paid vacation. Never mind that if you add all the days heís spent at Rancho Del Privaligio heíd been there a month already since taking office, so by the end of this month heíll have been Ďvacationingí a little more than a quarter of his Presidency. Itís not as if Dick Chenney is on vacation with him. He canít afford to vacation. All the money in the Chenny family vacation fund is going toward utility bills this year. Oh, wait, the Navyís paying for that. I guess he doesnít go on vacation on account of that whole country he needs to look after. You think getting a cat sitter is hard? Never mind that the only pictures the press have to run of W this month are of him playing golf.

George Dubya: A Master in the art of "Golfery"

You wouldnít want to have the Leader of the Worldís Last Remaining Super Power get unbalanced, would you? The constitution doesnít say anything about how much paid time off the Big Guy gets, he could take 365 days a year and thereíd be nothing you could do about it, but he doesnít! If your boss said you never had to come in, I bet youíd take more than a month off! Jesus, itís not like the poor bastard is blackmailing us! Itís not as if heís saying "Iím the Commander in Chief! I have the Nuclear Launch Codes with me at all times! You wouldnít like me when Iím unbalanced, now for God sake, LET ME GO PLAY OUTSIDE!!" You know what I think your problem is? You just have no appreciation of how stuffy the Oval Office can get in summer.

And this is a working vacation, damnit! You think Iím taking a satchel full of papers down the shore this week? I certainly am not. I read in the paper W. got himself a national security briefing in the car on the way to the Golf Course this morning. And heís reading that big heavy book on John Adams! What are you bringing for a beach read? Jackie Collins?

Besides, Old W. has got the image problem licked. Know what he and Laura are doing today in the 100 plus Texas heat? Theyíre going to help build a house for a poor single mom and her two kids. Thatís right. POTUS is gonna go slam a few nails ala Jimmy "Iím the only living ex-president with a shred of decency" Carter. Itís a nice gesture. Almost makes up for all the lumber and hardware three hundred bucks would have bought if she hadnít been too poor to get a tax refund.

I hope someoneís making sure W gets enough fluids. Heís been bragging regularly to the press about how a Texan like him can take the heat. He might keep hammering even after the press have their pictures. Wouldnít want him making up his mind about stem cells or some such on an addled brain. Of course if his IQ really is just 91, itís not like anyone will notice if he gets a little Waco Baked.

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