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Day 461 – Letter to French President Macron: I’d Hire You To Babysit My Kid!

Day 461 – Letter to French President Macron: I’d Hire You To Babysit My Kid!

Dear President Macron,

There have been several jokes cast in your direction over the last 24 hours due to the affection you have shown during your extended handshakes and hugs with our dear president.  Much has been written about your stance vis-à-vis Mr. Trump, with some suggesting that by being a friend to the president you are leveraging a unique opportunity to place yourself at the forefront of the world stage and further France’s goals. You seem to be balancing your role well, achieving praise from the president while speaking to Congress about a new Iran accord and climate change, two policy initiatives toward which the president has been quite antagonistic.

Politicians here in the United States would seemingly benefit from your deft approach to coddling this toddler.

When you spank a toddler, what does the toddler do?  Learn how to hit you harder. (a.k.a War)

When you scream at a toddler, what does the toddler do?  Scream back! (a.k.a. Twitter War)

When you take away the toddler’s toys, what does the toddler do?  Try to take away yours! (a.k.a. Trade War)

You have realized that sometimes a president toddler just wants his hand to be held, to be listened too. (This may especially be the case when his wife mother doesn’t want to hold it.)

As with parents of toddlers, your approach is a struggle for our politicians as they don’t want to be seen as giving in. They struggle to see the forest through the trees, and seemingly want to escalate with the president instead of, well, perhaps letting him hold them for uncomfortably long periods of time.

Will you be made fun of for taking this approach to the president?  Of course. But you can hold your head high, because at the end of the day you know that the relationship between our countries will last long after this president leaves office.

Thank you.

Sincerely,

Letters2Trump

Day 460 – Letter to Administrator Pruitt: This Whole Environmental Protection Thing Seems To Rub You The Wrong Way. Why Not Quit? Everyone Happy? Win Win?

Day 460 – Letter to Administrator Pruitt: This Whole Environmental Protection Thing Seems To Rub You The Wrong Way. Why Not Quit? Everyone Happy? Win Win?

Image from NeKelleher.com

Dear Administrator Pruitt,

I grew up never witnessing a bald eagle in flight—there were barely any left—and now find it amazing that I can walk across a parking lot in the DC suburbs and look up to see one flying overhead. I’m a big city-cum-small town-cum country girl. I was born and lived in Flint, Michigan; we later moved to the country and were surrounded by pastures and farms; and as an adult I’ve lived in San Diego, San Francisco, Chicago and DC. My dad believed in child labor when it came to his own children, so I was fortunate enough to learn about hard work. One summer, we planted 500 white pine seedlings on our property. I realize now that this was a conservation effort on my dad’s part, an attempt to anchor the steep hill upon which our house sat and prevent the soil from sliding into the lake below.

I have a great appreciation for the outdoors, nature, and the environment. I try my best to impart these values to my two teenaged boys. No easy task, let me tell you.

I worry about them—that they are growing up spoiled. Not because of what we buy for them, but because of the tremendous job that past administrations and the EPA have done for our great country. Bald eagles are everywhere now.

My children have played in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, canoed on the Shenandoah River, skipped rocks across Yellowstone Lake, fished on the Great Wicomico, and tubed on Canyon Ferry Lake, MT. They have visited Old Faithful, followed the creek that carved out Natural Bridge, and have gone spelunking in Rushmore Caverns. We’ve driven across the country and seen many animals in their natural and free habitats: bears, geese, elk, mule deer, coyotes, moose, and buffalo. They’ve visited the Pacific Northwest, the Continental Divide, the California and Atlantic Coasts, the Southwest and the Florida Gulf. My greatest fear is that they will take the beauty of our nation’s gifts for granted.

It is our job, my husband’s and mine, to teach them about the past so that their children don’t grow up with the catastrophes that peppered the years of our youth: Three Mile Island, the Love Canal, and the East Helena Smelters to name just a few. Experiencing these manmade disasters taught us to respect not only our great country, but the planet as a whole.

Your job, however, is to protect the intelligent, hardworking, selfless government employees hired by the agency you now administer. Cut the waste where you find it. Reduce the red tape which so plagues our government. But do so with mindfulness. Before you make a decision, remind yourself of that which you were appointed to be: The Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency. Ask yourself this: Will this action “protect human health and the environment — air, water, and land?” If your answer is “no,” then please go back to the drawing board. We, as Americans, need you to be better than your predecessors, just as we will expect your successor to be better than you.

Our generation has worked very hard to give our children and your children and everyone else’s children a better quality of life. Cleaner waterways, breathable air, successful regeneration of endangered species, and spectacular federal, state, and county parks and preserves. Let’s make sure that our children are not left with the same burden we inherited from our parents.

Sincerely,

Letters2Trump

P.S. Please leave this on your desk for you successor when you’re fired.

P.P.S. It’s still all about Russia.

Day 459 – Think of Earth Day as “Save Your Own Ass Day, Mr. President.” We Thought That Might Appeal to Your Ego and Maybe Put It In Terms You Understand.

Day 459 – Think of Earth Day as “Save Your Own Ass Day, Mr. President.” We Thought That Might Appeal to Your Ego and Maybe Put It In Terms You Understand.

Image from Snopes

Mr. President,

Look, I’ll be honest with you. I’ve never been nuts about Earth Day either. It seems to bring out a weird combination of people wearing shiny new $300 coats and balding guys with really long hair, which, I gotta say, are both genres I’ve never much trusted. A real environmentalist would reduce consumption instead of buying the latest North Face, and go bald with dignity, right? But I digress.

We just had our annual Earth Day, regardless of how you or I feel about it, and though my first paragraph was more joke than substance (it was an “attention getter,” a technique your ninth-grade English teacher might have required you try in one of your essays had you ever written any of your own, which, let’s face it, everyone here knows almost certainly never happened), I really do have a problem with Earth Day.

Earth Day leads to banners that say things like, “Save Mother Earth” and “Save the Planet,” but that’s wildly egocentric. I’m not the first to say this—a friend recently pointed out that George Carlin said the same thing years ago—but the planet will be fine. We are not going to destroy Planet Earth.

We are, however, destroying us. We are not destroying Earth—we are over a century into destroying the climate that supports human life, though. To be sure, we humans are driving a mass extinction. Climate change is slaughtering thousands of species, so I don’t mean to sound glib. We are clearly destroying much of the planet’s life. You probably doubt that, but you’re a rich man, Trump. Go to a remote resort, and snorkel around some coral reef—let us know how it’s looking.

Still, even with an Anthropocene mass extinction, we are never going to destroy the planet itself. We will suckle the carbon teat for the dollars it gives us until we are gone, but the planet will remain. We are the guy who shoots his whole family before turning the gun on himself but does not burn down the house. The house remains with the remains inside it. The planet will endure, but we will have killed ourselves for the easy cash of carbon.

Yes, we are egocentric, but I feel like you can identify with that. Egocentrism isn’t all bad, though, because a little self-preservation can go a long way. Mr. Trump, here’s a helpful Rosetta Stone: Every time you hear “the planet” or “Mother Earth” or any other synonym, replace it with “Trump’s ass.” You don’t care about taking action to halt climate change to save the planet, but you’ll sure as hell do anything to save Trump’s ass.

So, Mr. Trump, save your ass. Open all the climate accord talks anyone asks you to. Even if we act today, we have still screwed up beyond all comprehension, but if you act immediately, you might, might just save Trump’s ass.

A note to all readers who aren’t Donald Trump: If we are snickering at “Trump’s ass,” replace it with our own names. There is no such thing as a “Climate of One.” We in this mess together. The planet does not care. Our remains will remain, and the rats will gladly take over once we’re gone.

Sincerely,

Letters2Trump

 

 

Day 458 – Letter to Mick Mulvaney: Snuggle Up to Those Payday Lenders, Mick. You Might Need One As a Floaty If That Swamp Water Gets Any Deeper.

Day 458 – Letter to Mick Mulvaney: Snuggle Up to Those Payday Lenders, Mick. You Might Need One As a Floaty If That Swamp Water Gets Any Deeper.

Image from NPR

Dear Mick Mulvaney,

How far into the swamp that your boss Donald Trump promised to drain have you fallen? It looks as if you are up to your neck. Your actions over the last few months with payday lenders have been reprehensible. You accepted over $60,000 from this group while you were in Congress. Meanwhile the poor have lost their shirts and in some cases their homes trying to repay payday loans that typically exceed 400% annual interest and run as high as 750% annual interest rate.

Trump appointed you as interim head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, a bureau that you stated you would like to see eliminated. To date you have done your best to see it badly weakened. As you recently stated: “A good consumer agency is a weak consumer agency.” The mission of the CFPB is to protect consumers against predatory financial lenders, such as payday lenders, who overstep ethical or legal boundaries. Their primary victims are the poor. They can also be found near almost any military base. Payday lenders collect about $9 billion in fees annually. They have been reported as threatening to garnish pay checks, sue relatives, decimate credit, collect bank overdraft fees, put borrowers in jail, etc…

According to David Lazarus, April 17 Los Angeles Times, you have proposed the following changes to the CFPB: 1) funding by Congress (rather that the independent body of the Federal Reserve), which would give industry lobbyists, like payday lenders, far more influence over how much funding CFPB receives and what it can be used for; 2) make the CFPB director report directly to the president, which means that the president could of course fire that person; 3) give Congress veto power over the CFPB so that if lawmakers or their corporate sponsors don’t like a rule, they can overturn it; and 4) put in place a newly created inspector general to monitor CFPB, to be appointed by the president. In spite of all your cries for change in the CFPB, there has not been a single action by this bureau that went against the interests of consumers.

As reported by NPR’s Greg Allen on April 18, executives with the payday loan industry gathered at the Trump National Doral Golf Club near Miami this past week for receptions, breakout sessions, and a golf tournament.  It has been such a good year for this group under your stewardship! After you put on hold the tough new regulations that had been set to go into effect for the payday loan industry, their stocks have shot up. These rules would have limited the number of loans payday lenders could issue to each borrower and lenders would have to make sure that the borrower had the ability to repay the loan. The industry called that “over regulation” and stepped up their lobbying efforts. Jamie Fulmer with Advance America, one of the largest payday lenders, said your decision to put these regulations on hold is a very hopeful sign.

Well, a spokesperson for the executives who enjoyed their stay at President Trump’s Golf Club says that choosing this site was “just to play golf and for the good weather.” I am quite sure you do not believe that for a minute, Mr. Mulvaney. Just a coincidence that the biggest group of predatory lenders who have received such largess under the man whom Trump appointed would gather at Trump’s golf club rather than a hundred others just as suitable?  I would agree with the famed mystery writer Agatha Christie who said, “Any coincidence is worth noting. You can throw it away later if it is only a coincidence.” Better watch that your head doesn’t sink into that swamp water, Mick.

Sincerely,

Letters2Trump

 

Day 457 – Why You Are Nothing Like My Father But Should Be.

Day 457 – Why You Are Nothing Like My Father But Should Be.

Image from WMKY

Mr. President,

My father, a rock-ribbed lifelong Republican, was the most truthful and principled man I have ever know, or known of. He was always truthful, with friends, enemies, in business and in life. His moral code was not based on any particular creed or religion; rather, he always strove to do right by others, regardless of their politics, station in life, race, religion, or any other factor. He was active in politics, especially Republican politics most of his life, working behind the scenes without asking reward or office but always demanding his same high standards in those he helped get elected and the causes he endorsed. He was always willing to talk to anyone and listened to everyone’s point of view, and was honest enough with himself to admit when he was wrong. And if he detected artificiality, untruth or, heaven forfend, corruption or criminality, he’d work at whatever was necessary to nip it in the bud.

Why this tribute to my Dad, you may ask? It is because of all the admirable traits he possessed, it never ceases to amaze me that you have none of them; absolutely zero!

And even then, you show no sign of remorse, sympathy, empathy or the slightest sense of truly caring about the country which, rightly or wrongly, you were selected to lead. And honestly, based on your recent legal troubles and low polling numbers, the vast majority of voters of both parties feel exactly the same. And yet, like Pharaoh with Moses, your heart is hardened and you will not relent or change.

Sir, I do not present all of the above to demean or denigrate either yourself or the august office you hold; frankly, you have done a magnificent job of doing that to yourself. No, my purpose here is to hope to convince you, for once in your life, to put others – that is, America – ahead of yourself. The best path to accomplish this would be to immediately tender your resignation. That may not cure the ills you’ve brought on yourself, but it would go far to curing many of the ills and curses you’ve inflicted on our country. And, as yesterday’s letter said, you’d be free to pursue those matters of true interest to you.

I realize, being a practical man as my Dad was, that this will probably never be read by or have any effect on you. However, I sincerely hope that those who do read it, and agree with the facts of the total failure of your presidency and administration will get out and vote in the coming elections; replace your out-of-control kakistocracy with more reasonable representatives and replace the GOP in the White House in 2020.

Sincerely,

Letters2Trump

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