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Day 481 – Letter to Congress: Context, Perspective and the Real World (With Some Wisdom From Bob Dylan Thrown In).

Day 481 – Letter to Congress: Context, Perspective and the Real World (With Some Wisdom From Bob Dylan Thrown In).

Image from SnapGalleries

Dear Senators and Congressmen,

The District of Columbia, where you all spend some of your “working,” time has been described, with varying degrees of cynicism, as “100 square miles surrounded by reality.” Just  in case you hadn’t noticed, those of us who are required by life’s odd little circumstance (like not having rich mega-donors to supplement our meagre incomes) to live in the real world are becoming a trifle tetchy about the way things are running there in the political version of La-La Land.

Why, you may wonder is this the case. It’s easy – I mean really easy – to put the blame on the orange hairball in the White House and the collection of moss, cat litter and possum excreta he has assembled as an administration. However, those of us of an age fortunate enough to have had an eighth-grade civics class remember there are three branches of our government, which are designed to provide checks and balances to combat the excesses of the others. That is the context we are working from.

Now for the perspective. News Flash: you honorable ladies and gentlemen of the Senate and Congress are missing in action. I primarily fault the Republicans, but too many Democrats fall into this category also. Depending on whose polling you read, your approval rates are somewhere between 10% and 17%. This is ridiculous.

With the extreme narcissism and lack of ability the president displays as a regular habit, it becomes more and more of a necessity for the Legislative branch to start checking and balancing the Executive, reminding him of who truly elected him and why. And yes, it would probably be a good idea for all of you to do a bit of soul-searching in that area also. The real world, ladies and gentlemen, the one which the majority of Americans are of necessity living in, simply does not work the way you in D.C. would wish. Here, people are struggling to make ends meet. Hell, a lot of us are struggling just to find those ends.

The American people – citizens or not – deserve, by birthright, to be able to provide decent food and shelter for our families, to guarantee our children a decent education, college included. We deserve safe roads, bridges and clean water and power supplies.

We deserve to have wages that keep our children, elders, and infirm from living in poverty. We deserve health care for all, which is not governed by greed and excess profit motives, and which allows a level of health security at least equal to the rest of the developed world.

We deserve the opportunity to go to school, church, a concert or theater without worrying about being shot by a piece of ordinance deigned to fight wars. We deserve the absolute right to life, and not worry about being killed or otherwise hated because of the color of our skin or the religion (or lack thereof) we choose to practice.

Ladies and Gentlemen of Congress, the fact that we don’t have most of these things right now and are experiencing some of the toughest times America has had is, in the largest part, on you! It is far past time for the Legislative branch to start flexing its muscles, put steel in your spines, or whatever cliché moves you, and do what’s right and  proper for our country.

There are elections coming up. The days of reckoning are at hand. As Nobel Laureate Bob Dylan said,

“Come senators, congressmen
Please heed the call
Don’t stand in the doorway
Don’t block up the hall
For he that gets hurt
Will be he who has stalled
There’s a battle outside
And it is ragin’.
It’ll soon shake your windows
And rattle your walls
For the times they are a-changin’.”





Day 466 – Letter to Congress: Mayday! The Ship Is Going Down and You Have Jumped In The Last Lifeboat.

Day 466 – Letter to Congress: Mayday! The Ship Is Going Down and You Have Jumped In The Last Lifeboat.

Image from Pinterest

Dear Congress,


I would scream the international cry for help if I thought it would make any difference. We all know it won’t.  You’ve checked out carrying your pensions, your lifetime healthcare, your book deals, your mistresses, and your corporate sponsored off-shore tax sheltered bank accounts. Sweet deal.

We didn’t hear the part of your oath of office where you added the suffix “ish” and the disclaimer “maybe.” We didn’t notice your hand slip off the Bible and the Qur’an to the MAD Magazine hidden underneath. Saddest of all we trusted you.  We may not agree with your philosophy of economics or justice. We might have grown up in different ethnic and religious homes and communities. But we trusted you had the best of the country at heart; if not for us, at least for your own family and self-interest.

We thought your children and grandchildren might need to breathe clean air, and drink pure water. We thought they might be renewed by walks in the great woods, sailing into an inspiring sunset, catching tasty fish, living in peace, enjoying democracy. We believed you would want your family to gasp in wonder at the Grand Canyon, at Bryce, and Zion. We assumed you would want your grandchildren to stand beside the giant Sequoia trees and Redwoods.  We believed they would want to watch the fireflies at night dancing over the heads of the miles of wheat and oats growing in the fertile breadbasket of the world.

We believed you would want your cousins and grandkids and the children in your town to have great educations.  You’d want your doctor, lawyer, neighborhood cop, fireman, computer shop tech, and auto mechanic to be good citizens. We thought you might desire a society where your kids could go to school, a movie, the mall, or church without the fear of being murdered by military assault weapons held in the hands of the mentally ill, the socially deviant or the hate-filled bully.

We thought we agreed that education trumps ignorance, kindness trumps hatred, benevolence trumps greed, democracy trumps tyranny, and rationality and science trump superstition and fantasy.

We, silly us, assumed you wanted the best for your family…and, by extension, all of us. We were, of course, wrong.

You’ve checked out. You’re lost in the wilderness of greed, fear, and tribalism. You’ve sold us all out to the interests of international corporations…whose children and grandchildren also, amazingly, don’t seem to need to breathe or drink or live in freedom.

There are a few, a very, very few of you who remember that Congress is an equal branch of government.  Your role is to represent the best interests of all of your constituents and the nation.  Your role is to check the excesses of a runaway President.  You have the obligation to challenge power when any part of the government threatens the Constitution.  But we know in this Congress, Trump trumps all other vows, obligations, and authority.

We have screamed MAYDAY.  You have walked away.  Our only recourse is to find new representatives – a full House and Senate cleaning.  Maybe a new Congress will hear our call for help before it is too late.  Before gas and oil cover the whole earth and despoil the oceans.  Before the great forests are clear cut and the grasslands wasted. Before we fall into the next incarnation of the Dark Ages.  Before the Trump kleptocracy divides the world into a few corporate oligarchies, concentrating the wealth in a few dynastic families, and leaving all humanity in poverty and ruin.

mayday, mayday, mayday…..November 6, 2018.










Day 447 – Is The Best We Can Hope For That Everyone Else Will Quit Even If You Won’t?

Day 447 – Is The Best We Can Hope For That Everyone Else Will Quit Even If You Won’t?

Image from CNN

Mr. President,

I am tired of predicting your doom.

I am tired of trying to revivify myself and my friends and people I don’t even like but who suffer under you. Tired of trying to convince us all that good will win out in the end, over you.

Because it hasn’t.

It has had ample time to try, sure. There have been marches, strikes and sit-ins. News coverage and invective. Lines drawn in the sand. And then another, and another, and another.

Every time we are told that this, this one thing would be going too far, would align the whole county —  no, the whole world — against you, it turns out not to be the case. People turn a blind eye. Or they look straight at it and rant and rage and nothing happens. No change comes; no good is done.

I’m tired of trying to say it will be.

Sure, people go on and on about how the wolves are circling you. Calling out your connections, your shady deals, your money passed under the table. The documentation pinning these actions down in the spotlight of search warrants and depositions. The time is nigh, they say.

But you’ve always done that. Been the bad guy. And no one has undone you. No one has stopped you. There are no heroes. I’m tired of pretending there will be.

The best I can hope for is that the people running this wretched masquerade get tired, too. Paul Ryan, for example, has called it quits today. Hopefully more follow. Will more sinister actors rise in the wings to replace his ilk, and yours? Undoubtedly. But perhaps they will do so slowly enough to allow us to recover a little, before again reminding us how little good we have brought to the world, and how terrible we are at protecting it.




Day 367 – Letter to Congress and the President: Budget Negotiations Should Not Remind Us of the Itchy and Scratchy Show from The Simpsons. Sigh.

Day 367 – Letter to Congress and the President: Budget Negotiations Should Not Remind Us of the Itchy and Scratchy Show from The Simpsons. Sigh.

Image from Vulture

Dear Members of the United States Congress and President Trump,

I love the television show, The Simpsons. It has been on the air since I was young, and continues to entertain the generations that have followed. When I read about your latest hijinks, I can’t help but think of Bart’s favorite characters: Itchy and Scratchy.

They fight. They fight. They fight fight fight fight fight fight. Fight fight fight, fight fight. The Itchy and Scratchy Shooooooowwwwww!”

Sadly, this is not a cartoon, although you are acting quite a bit like childhood, animated characters. We are now in the midst of a government shutdown, where “non-essential” government workers and functions will cease. As for “essential” government workers and functions, they are expected to continue (without pay, of course). I’m pretty sure the collective members of the House and Senate will not be penalized in their paychecks, even though it is their job performance that is underwhelming. No, it will come off the backs of American citizens. Ah, yes….so much winning.

I have read and heard several different reports as to why an agreement cannot be reached and our government had to be shutdown. First, an agreement could not be reached regarding DACA and protections for Dreamers. President Trump, you have wavered between calling them some of the brightest young people in our nation and wanting to find an outlet for their citizenship to labeling them as nothing more than illegal immigrants and wanting to find the quickest way out the door, so to speak. One of your colleagues reported that trying to negotiate with you is like trying to negotiate with Jello, as you wobble all over the place.

The second reason I would really call just plain stubbornness; the kind you see a child exhibit when they haven’t gotten their way, and they aren’t going to cave because their teeny, tiny, fragile egos can’t handle it (unless you give them a sucker). Unfortunately, I don’t think we can bait you all with candy. Name-calling. Mud-slinging. Blame, blame, and more blame, truly from both sides of the aisle. However, I think the prize for this is going to be given to the White House. Apparently, a phone line for comments directed callers to voice mail with a message slamming Democrats. “Unfortunately, we cannot answer your call today because congressional Democrats are holding government funding, including funding for our troops and other national security priorities, hostage to an unrelated immigration debate. Due to this obstruction, the government is shut down,” a woman’s voice said on the message. Wow. Get it together, people!

Maybe you all need to go sit in the time-out corner together so you can reflect on your own actions that may have led to this shut-down. Personal accountability is a thing that adults do, and I really think you all should try it some time. President Trump, constantly slamming Democrats, especially when Republicans currently hold the majority in all parts of the federal government, is a favorite ploy that you use to keep your followers irate with anyone that may call themselves a Democrat. The rest of us just see it as shameful and unnecessary.

I can only hope this shutdown is resolved quickly. I have heard many people speak about how it adversely impacts our military men and women (which it certainly does), but there are thousands (if not millions) of other federal employees it will affect as well. My sister works for the federal government. She is not a fan of our current president, yet she is very good at her job. She works for the Social Security Administration in one of the Offices of Adjudication and Review. At first she was told she was a non-essential worker, but that was recanted later in the same day. She will be expected to report to work and do her job well (which I know she will) with no pay. She will do so because other American are relying on her. She was a given a document about how to prepare for a government shutdown, which included the recommendation of putting away six months of savings. It would be comical that she was given that document two days before the shutdown, except my sister is a single parent to my two nephews. She doesn’t have the ability to magically make six months of savings appear out of the sky.

So while you all continue your episode of the Itchy and Scratchy Show, I hope you think about my sister and my two nephews. I hope you think about her coworkers, who provide services to Americans with disabilities every day. I hope you put your pride and your political affiliations in the background for even a few moments because if you are really looking to “Make America Great Again” you may want to think about the citizens you hurting while you puff up your inflated egos.


Kimberly Ouellette, Teacher

And Letters2Trump

Day 349 – Letter to Representative Faso: Is This Congress Done Yet?

Day 349 – Letter to Representative Faso: Is This Congress Done Yet?

Image from Pinterest

Dear Mr. Faso (R NY19),

I trust that next year I will not be writing to you as a constituent. You seem a very pleasant person most of the time. You have very regular features and are always well groomed. Your smile, before it tightens under the stress of answering an unexpected question, is wide, and your teeth are regular and white. My antipathy for you has nothing to do with your looks. As to your not being in my party, I have in the past voted outside my party, once for a Conservative, so it is not really this difference which makes you so unappealing to me.

Your proven inability to separate essential matters from peripheral concerns accounts for my contempt for your representative ability. Your being one of the sponsors for the National Concealed Carry Firearms bill (HR38) is a prime example of this values confusion you have. When you spoke to a group of people at a “town meeting” held outside your 11th county district, you were asked why you supported such a bill, which would permit firearms to be transported secretly all over the country. Your response to the question was that you had a friend who was a hunter and he occasionally left his rifle in the trunk of his car, so you didn’t want him and others like him to be arrested. Really? This is thoughtful? This is adult thinking? This is representation?

When asked in a Poughkeepsie Journal interview with John Penny as to whether you had considered single payer health insurance as a replacement for the Affordable Care Act, you responded, “ I’ve looked at it generally, but not specifically because it’s not on the table.” Which table would that be? You are a member of the Congressional Budget Committee. You bragged about putting an amendment into the Republican health care bill which was later defeated. Representation demands more than looking like an important person. You are required to act on the behalf of the people you represent. You cannot seem to see that this is your number one priority.

So as you finish your stint in Congress and prepare to reenter the lobbying trade, do keep those suits pressed. Lobbying really doesn’t demand all that much.


Letters2Trump and Another Constituent In Search of Representation


Day 328 – Letter to Fellow Americans: Alabama Did It!!! Now Get Back to Work.

Day 328 – Letter to Fellow Americans: Alabama Did It!!! Now Get Back to Work.

Image by Michael Dougherty

Dear Fellow Americans,

Roll Tide!

Alabama did it! They turned up in the special election to fill Jeff Sessions’ vacant seat, and they voted against the alleged child molester and for Democrat Doug Jones. It is okay to take a moment and celebrate; after the hard losses we’ve suffered over the last year, this feels like a chance to catch our breath and smile once again at the sun.

But don’t bask in that Alabama sunshine for too long. Alabama should have been a slam dunk, not a nail biter. No Alabamian in their right mind should have the urge to vote for a grown man who believes that dating a child is okay as long as you have her mother’s permission, a man who believes that getting rid of the constitutional amendments after the 10th Amendment would “eliminate many problems,” a  man who was removed not once but twice from his position as chief justice on the state supreme court because of ethics violations, a man who clearly has no idea how to ride a horse.

And yet, this man somehow earned 68% of the white vote, according to CNN exit polls; he earned 91% of the Republican vote. If it weren’t for the huge turnout by African Americans (who turned out with even more force than they did for the presidential election in 2012), we’d be once again pulling out our hair and rending our garments in rage and disbelief.

So don’t you dare sit back, America.

Don’t you dare consider this race won. Because this race is for so much more than a single Senate seat. This race is for equity and equality for our People of Color. This race is for recognition and respect of the basic human rights and humanity of our LGBTQ family. This race is for safety and safe passage for our Muslim neighbors. This race is for the fundamental right to the autonomy of our own bodies for all women. This race is for the maintenance of our planet. This race is not a sprint. This race is an ultra-marathon, and we’ve only run a 5K.

A rising tide lifts all boats, America. So let’s make sure that this tide continues to rise—not because of global warming—but because of the sheer groundswell of social and political activism brought on by our renewed faith in the humanity of our country. We can and should and will be the country we know that we can be.

Time and tide wait for no man, America. We cannot sit back and simply ride the tide. The time to act is now.









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