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Day 1: A time-travel machine for the NSA
There is no doubt that the biggest, longest lasting, and most soul-sapping story of 2013 was that of Edward Snowden and the information he stole from the NSA and released to accomplices throughout the world.
Although just about anyone who has ever read a news story over the last fifty years knows that the U.S. watches its enemies, this story has completely spiraled out of control. There's probably no way that the usually quiet and shy NSA can put this genie back in a bottle without changing its name to the Department of Phish and Gaming.
In any case, we're sure they'd like to go back before Snowden did his dastardly deed and prevent it from happening. So, to the NSA, we give the gift of a time machine.
Whatever you do, when you travel back in time, don't talk to or touch your grandfather.
Day 2: A heart for Congress and HHS
There are millions of people without healthcare in the United States. Our health insurance system is the largest in the world. Even though many people have health insurance and have paid for it, when it comes time to file a claim, the insurance companies manage to weasel out of paying.
As a result, the majority of bankruptcies in the US have been health insurance-related, many of them from families who had good, solid health plans.
To a congress and a president who somehow managed to pass a healthcare reform bill and still leave all the paying power in the hands of the insurance companies, we gift a heart. Because the bill that was passed wasn't designed for the benefit of Americans, it was designed to be something the healthcare industry was willing to swallow.
Now, of course, Healthcare.gov has become its own worst enemy. So, if it turns out that our heartless leaders and healthcare industry lobbyists reject the heart, our consolation gift is a working Web site. I hear that kids in their teens can build Web sites. How cool is that?
Day 3: Get out of work free card for Congress
In an astonishing display of complete incompetence, the United States Congress somehow managed to shut down the operations of the United States government this year for 16 days.
While we can fully understand the desire of almost anyone to stay as far away from politicians as possible, once you run for election and get elected, you're expected to do your job.
Even so, if you're incapable of leading and just can't handle the idea of putting your constituents first, above even your own petty partisan interests, we have a gift for you.
This year, as part of our 2013 gift guide, we're going to give each member of Congress a get out of work free card. Now, we know you all take very long recesses (and does it worry anyone that we use a term reserved for kindergarten children to refer to our leaders' breaks?). Even so, this card will entitle you to leave work for one day during the year in a huff, no matter how inconsequential or damaging your argument might be.