What is Washboard Express?

Washboard Express is a way for me to express my own opinions, to be a provocative gadfly, by writing a "letter a day" to the President. I may miss a day here and there, because sometimes my family with be my first priority, but my goal is to write a total of 365 letters, representing one full year. To say I have opinions about most things would be to understate the obvious. Those of you that know me, know this is true, those who don't know me, will learn that it's true. The Washboard is a reference to going back to basics and "keeping it clean," so if you would like me to post your comments or opinions on this blog, I only ask that you be respectful. So go ahead, express yourself, and I look forward to an exchange of ideas and opinions.

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Letter #134... Dear Mr. President... Thank you and Happy New Year!

Dear Mr. President:

What a year this has been for both of us… 2011 with all it’s ups and downs has still been a year with much to be grateful for, and I for one, am grateful that you are my President. In 2012 you will continue to be my President because I have no doubt, what-so-ever, that you will be re-elected again by an overwhelming majority.

Happy New Year Mr. President... 2012 is going to be the Year of the Democrats
You must be ecstatic with the cast of characters the GOP is parading around the country under the guise of Presidential candidates. I have loved every minute of each debate, all faux pas uttered by each clown at every campaign stop, and the incredible spate of out and out lies spewing forth like foam from the mouths of a pack of rabid dogs. This GOP clown show is going to be the gift that keeps on giving, and you will be the ultimate benefactor of their collective insanity and stupidity.

In spite of the intractable obfuscation coming from the Republican Party, you have managed to find and eliminate Osama bin Laden, end the Iraq war, pass health care reform, end DADT, and extend the temporary payroll tax cut for the middle class.  

For these things, and much more, I thank you Mr. President! Thank you for being who you are and caring about ordinary Americans, and thank you for bringing honesty, intelligence and integrity back to this country and the White House.

I just want you to know that while so much more could have been accomplished, the only mistake you made was believing that you could get even the tiniest bit of cooperation from even one Republican. Something has changed in the GOP’s DNA, they seem hell bent on self-destruction instead of self-preservation… they’re a tad off center, if you know what I mean. (Some call it batshit crazy)

While the majority of my letters contain some bit of advise… this one is intended to simply say thanks for being my President. I look forward to 2012 knowing that we, as a country, and as ordinary citizens, are in good, capable, caring hands.

While many say that there is no difference between Republicans and Democrats, that both parties are owned by Wall Street, that corporate interests trump people interests… there is still one big difference between the parties… the Democrats care about human beings, they know that $1000 dollars is a lot of money for ordinary families, and they know that we are not put on this earth to accumulate as much money as the Koch Bros. We’re put here to help one another, to be our brothers keepers, and to give help to the least among us… because that is what makes us human and that’s why we’re proud to be Democrats.

Happy New Year Mr. President… the best of everything in 2012… and thanks again.

Most Respectfully,

Marcia Reimers,
Your Gadfly Granny

Friday, December 23, 2011

Letter #133... Dear Mr. President... Yes, $40 makes a difference.

Dear Mr. President:

President announces extension of tax cuts for the middle class
Earlier this week you asked the American people what $40 dollars less in their paychecks each week would mean to them or their families. Well it turns out quite a lot, as over 300,000 people responded to your question you learned that it does make a difference in a variety of ways most of us cannot even imagine.

While you learned about what a difference $40 dollars may make in peoples lives, the people also learned the difference between whom the Republicans care about and who the Democrats care about. The Republicans only passed the two-month extension of benefits under duress and pressure from you, House and Senate Democrats, a few Republicans concerned with GOP re-election prospects, and the public.

We learned that Republicans would rather continue to cut taxes and protect the wealth of 385,000 multi-millionaires rather than extend the tax cuts and unemployment benefits for 160,000,000 American families, once again proving that they do not care one iota 99% of the population.

Here’s what the Republicans do not understand about that $40… when you take it away from the wealthy, it means nothing, literally and figuratively, because it would not alter their lives or their spending habits in any way what-so-ever. When you take that $40 away from average families, it comes at the expense of not only the family, but, our already struggling economy. If that $40 is missing every week from someone’s paycheck, it would not be available to purchase groceries, or purchase cloths, buying gas, eating out, etc… etc… which in turn would hurt businesses that are just beginning to see a turn-around in the economy.

The snowball effect of those losses could devastate our fragile economy just when we can see recovery on the horizon, and that’s the difference between Republicans and Democrats… they don’t care about recovery as much as they care about seeing your presidency fail, which in turn means that America fails and more Americans suffer.

What the Republicans seem incapable of understanding, is that $40 can quite literally, mean the difference between life and death. While we heard about the things people would have to do without, there are some things that people cannot do without. That $40 can be the weekly tank of gas that gets a person to dialysis, or chemotherapy sessions, or for the daily radiation treatments to shrink tumors in cancer patients… yes, it can literally mean the difference between life and death.

Speaker Boehner stands alone after caving to public pressure
The difference between what you are trying to do for the American people is evidenced by the press conference with ordinary citizens standing with you… while in contrast, Speaker Boehner stood alone to announce that his Party had backed themselves into a corner and the only way out was to vote for the extension of tax cuts for the middle class… something they were loath to do… even though this is the ‘season of giving.’

Most Respectfully,

Marcia Reimers, 
Your Gadfly Granny

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Letter #132... Dear Mr. President... A Promise Kept, and One We Need.

Dear Mr. President:

It’s been about a week since my last letter, but like most Americans I’ve been a little busy this year. Not with the hustle and bustle of the holidays, because we keep it relatively simple by just buying gifts for our nine grand children, but with health related issues of family members.

Yea... they'll be home for Christmas!
So this letter is really about two things… first and foremost is my eternal gratitude that all of our troops in Iraq will be home for the holidays. This is first not because it is the most important thing in my life at the moment, but because it affects so many more lives.

The mothers who will be able to rest now, knowing that their sons and daughters are out of immediate danger. The wives that will be able to go to bed at night with their husbands lying safely beside them… even if they may be suffering from PTSS, or other maladies related to the war, because at least now they can work on the problems together, as a family. The brothers and sisters that have their sibling restored to their lives even if they’re miles apart… at least they know that sibling is once again out of harms way. And then there’s the children… the children that no longer have to go to school, or go to bed wondering if mom or dad will ever come home. I can’t even imagine how stressful that must be on children, especially since they hear so many stories of parents that don’t return home.

Not home for the holidays
So thank you for keeping the promise you made during your inaugural address… it may have taken longer than any of us imagined, but it is a promise kept. In addition, it was done in an orderly methodical way that benefitted not just our soldiers but the Iraqi’s as well… and thank you very much… done without all the “Mission Accomplished” false bravado exhibited by GWB on the USS Abraham Lincoln, back in 2003.

Secondly… once again I am grateful for Medicare and the benefits it has afforded my family. Most specifically my son Jeff who’s on disability has just recently been diagnosed with a very aggressive form of pancreatic cancer. He’s one of those people that for whatever reason (we joke that if it weren’t for bad luck, he’d have no luck at all), has been plagued with health problem since he was in his teens. He had a kidney transplant at 20, lens implants for cataracts in his 20’s, bi-lateral hip replacements in his 20’s and again in his 30’s, and now this devastating diagnosis.

But on the positive side… he’s been covered by Medicare and had excellent care, and for this, I am extremely grateful. I know of too many people that do not have any insurance and are suffering because they lack the basic resources so necessary to fight, or even manage the ravages of cancer. So in one sense, Jeff is one of the lucky ones… and for the rest that aren’t as lucky… you must work to change the status quo and either provide Universal Health Care, or expand Medicare to cover those without insurance, before the end of your next term in office. Yes, I said your 'next term' because you will be re-elected.

Remember that health care is a 'basic necessity' for everyone… not a right or a privilege for  just the rich and well off. Please work on that Mr. President, and thanks again for all you do.

Most Respectfully, 

Marcia Reimers, 
Your Gadfly Granny

Friday, December 9, 2011

Letter #131... Dear Mr. President... Why I Champion the Underdog

Letter #131

Dear Mr. President:

They say that we are often shaped by our earliest memories, and that we only have strong memories of the things that were either very happy or conversely, very sad or unhappy.

What being left out looks like.
My earliest memory is when I was not quite 4 years old and I was standing on the front porch of our home in Alameda looking through the front window at my sister opening her birthday presents. I was locked out of the house because my sister only wanted her school friends at her party, not her little sister. I recently asked my sister if she remembered that or was I just imagining it? She said she did remember and has often wondered why our mother let her do such a cruel thing.

The simple answer to that is, because she wanted my sisters birthday to be special and my sister was only 7 years old and wanted a birthday without her ‘baby’ sister interrupting. My mother, on the other hand, should have known better, she should have explained that while I was younger, and may be pesky at times, I was still her sister, a member of the family and would not be ‘locked’ out.

So that simple memory of being shut out of an event, is probably why I have always been such a fierce supporter of the ‘underdog’… I simply cannot stand to see anyone ‘left out’ or treated as somehow unworthy, undeserving, or unequal in any way. And that is why I reacted so strongly to the CA Capitol Christmas tree lighting ceremony on December 7th when the children and their parents were fenced off from the festivities. It’s bad enough that the tax paying public was denied equal access, but watching the kids treated like wretched little animals, held back by fences, as if they were dirty, cur dogs… was just too much… a disgusting example of  ‘class warfare’ at its worst.

The same kind of class warfare is being played out in Alabama… having passed one of the most stringent immigration laws making it illegal for an immigrant to fail to carry registration documents. What seemed like a good idea, and a good way to get rid of the ‘immigrants’ they don’t want in their state… ‘Hispanics’… and after making fools of themselves by arresting not one, but two foreign executives of the Honda and Mercedes plants… Robert Bentley, the brilliant Governor, who was eager to sign the legislation into law, is now back-peddling because of the backlash from big business.

Gov. Bentley is now contacting foreign executives to tell them their companies are welcome in Alabama… “We are not anti-foreign companies. We are very pro-foreign companies,“ he said.  So now we get to the meat and potatoes… he’s pro-foreign as long as it’s the ‘right’ kind of foreign… the kind of foreign that brings big money to the state… not the kind of foreigners that are there to pick the crops, clean the motel rooms, or wash dishes in restaurants, but the ‘good’ kind of foreigners that build cars.

If that’s Alabama’s example of “Southern Hospitality”… I think I’ll just stay home.

Most Respectfully,
Marcia Reimers, Your Gadfly Granny

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Letter #130... Dear Mr. President... When Did Our Children Become Security Risks?

Dear Mr. President:

What has happened to our country? When did ‘we the people’ become the enemy? When did parents pushing strollers, and carrying small children become a threat to our government? And how is it that we’ve come to fear children to such a degree that we need to keep them behind fence barriers?

I guess the answers to those questions are… when they come to the California Capitol Christmas Tree lighting ceremony. I was always under the impression, and correct me if I’m wrong, that ‘we the people’ collectively own our public places and public buildings. Apparently unless you obtained a red wristband and were part of some elite group, were you actually ‘allowed’ to get close to the annual tree lighting event at the Sacramento State Capitol.

Last night as part of my birthday celebration, my husband and I attended the so-called ‘public’ tree lighting ceremony. However, when we approached we noticed that metal barricades had been set up surrounding the event. The barricades extended from each side of the west entrance building to the sidewalk and around. Inside the fenced area were approximately 200 chairs set up in front of tree and a stage. I’m still not sure who most this select group was but it was my guess that these were capitol staffers and their families. There were tables set up with coffee, hot chocolate and cookies for the ‘insiders’ and several Santa’s passing out programs and candy canes to the lucky children inside.

Canned food stack blocking view
Those of us outside had nothing, nada, zip, zilch. The three little girls clinging to the fence just in front of us were quietly waiting for something to happen… all the while watching various kids from the inside come over to the fence and throw their empty cups in the garbage placed next to the barricade. To the right of us was a huge stack of canned goods on pallets intended for the homeless or food for families that was donated by local grocers. That’s wonderful, but for those of us on the outside, it only served to further block an already limited view.

And then there was the ‘security’ of this very dangerous event… men on the roof of the capitol, men in black trench coats with the earphone thingy in one ear, state troupers in uniform, city police, and last but not least… the three horsemen of the apocalypse on huge Clydesdales standing by in case… in case of I don’t know what.
Secret Service Trench Coat Guy
The Three Horsemen of the Apocalypse
 I can certainly understand setting up a tent or staging area for the politicians and dignitaries… I can even understand ‘roping’ off some of the seats for the families of those performing and other ‘important’ people, but about a third of the seats weren’t even used. And once the important people were seated, why couldn’t the rest of us be allowed in… to get just a little closer to tree and the performers?

What were they afraid was going to happen? Did they think we were going to mug the Santa’s and steal their candy canes… were we going to rush the Christmas tree and steal the ornaments? These were families, and ordinary citizens that came to see a tree lighting… have we become so cynical and frightened of each other that we need to leave children clinging to barricades just to listen to carolers and watch a tree be lit?

What did these kids learn from this experience? The ones on the inside learned that they were somehow better and more privileged then those on the outside. That 1% mentality we see being played out across the country, is that what they felt? And what about the kids on the outside, how did they feel watching Santa pass out candy canes to the ‘good kids’ on the inside? Were they feeling like the 99% of us that feel left out of the ‘perks’ afforded the 1%?

 Hooded child on fence looking in.
I have to tell you Mr. President, I was ashamed of Governor Brown, Mayor Johnson, and everyone else associated with this event. Ashamed at how we as a society would allow this to happen and then tolerate it. How dare they fence families off from a public event? How dare they treat some children like second-class citizens denying them the same experience as the ‘inside’ children? How dare they treat taxpaying parents like common criminals without the slightest provocation? Don’t our taxes support those buildings, those grounds, that Christmas tree, and the staff that erected it? Yes, the tree itself was donated, but not the labor to erect it, decorate it, protect it, and the electricity to light it night after night… those are public funds and the public was denied equal access to this public event… shameful! Disgusting! Appalling! And don’t even get me started on how “unchristian” like this spectacle was.

What has this country come too, that we treat people this way? Don’t tell me it’s because our society is any more dangerous then it’s ever been, because I don’t buy it. Could it be that those 1%ers, those inside the fencers, know that they have done nothing to deserve that kind of special treatment, and the rest of us have done nothing to deserve being treated as an outside the fencer? Are they afraid we just might get a tad bit angry over such unequal treatment?

If I had been a parent of those ‘outside children’ I would have taken them home the minute I saw the barriers and realized that my children weren’t special enough to be inside. I would have never subjected them to the humiliation of being treated as second class… unworthy of a candy cane from Santa, or a cup of hot chocolate on a very cold night, kind of children And treated like the garbage cans put in front of them for the inside children to discard their cups and candy cane wrappers kind of kids.

Am I mad? You bet I am… I’m mad at, and for every one of us that have allowed our country to fall to this level of degradation and segregation… and you should be mad too. You should be mad as hell, that as President of this once great country, that we, as a society, have sunk this low… that we are now afraid of children.

Most Respectfully,

Marcia Reimers
Your Gadfly Granny

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Letter #129... Dear Mr. President... "It's My Party and I'll Cry if I Want too..."

Dear Mr. President:

Your Gadfly Granny is 66 today!
“It’s my party and I’ll cry if I want too…” Today is my 66th Birthday and I’m so happy to be ‘vertical and ventilating’ because every day above ground is a great day. So what is there to cry about, you ask? Plenty.

Not for myself because I’m has happy as a pig in mud, but for the millions of people who have lost their jobs, lost their homes, lost their health coverage, and yes… lost their hope. I cry for the children all over the world that go to bed hungry, or live in such miserable conditions that there is no future for them. I cry for our men and women overseas that will not be home for Christmas, and for those that may not make it home at all.

I know these are things you cry about also, because I know you are a good and decent man. I know that you feel the pain of the people that write you gut wrenching letters… most of which you don’t see because there are just too many, but you know about them all the same. I also know there is very little you can do about most of the misery people are experiencing during these trying days, and I know how much you would love it to be otherwise.

I know that 70 years ago today, after the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, this country was forever changed. What have we learned over the last 70 years? Not much it seems. We’re still at war, we’re still faced with economic hardships not experienced since the depression, and this country is struggling for it’s very survival.

What is different is that we’re also fighting each other, and that is a monumental tragedy. Our common enemy is ourselves. During WWII this country pulled together for the common good of the people, the country, and the world, but not anymore. We fight over nuances now… like who’s paying a higher percentage in taxes, the middle class or the rich? Who creates jobs, the wealthy corporations, or the small business owner? Does life begin at conception, or when a heartbeat can be detected? Which of the current crop of candidates is the real ‘family values’ candidate? How many divorces are acceptable before a candidate becomes unacceptable… like any of this minutia is even remotely important in the larger scheme of things.

What is important, is that we need to find a way to stop this ridiculous bickering and focus on what really matters… feeding people, housing people, employing people, educating our children, ending the wars once and for all and bringing our people home. And until that happens… it’s my party and I’ll cry if I want too.

Most Respectfully,

Marcia Reimers
Your Gadfly Granny

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Letter #128... Dear Mr. President... While Cain Circles the Drain... Who's Next?

Dear Mr. President:

How often have we heard the words… he/she needs to take ‘personal responsibility’? Over and over again, from the right and from the left, people need to take personal responsibility for their own actions.

The GOP's Family Values Candidates
As we bare witness to Herman Cain circling the drain, we see blame being assigned to everyone but Herman Cain. It’s a media smear campaign… it’s these women just wanting to make a buck and have their own 15 minutes of fame… all, unfounded allegations… but not one word about his own actions.

Sadly, he’s not the first, and probably the last… but only the latest to be caught. A partial list that includes Gary Hart, Bill Clinton, John Edwards, Rudolf Giuliani, John McCain, Newt Gingrich, and now Herman Cain. Cain reported to have “…suspended his campaign for the Republican nomination on Saturday in a defiant, unapologetic blaze of glory.” Interesting that being unfaithful to ones wife with multiple women, with one lasting over 13 years, is considered a feat of ‘glory’.

What is even more appalling is the fact that he is suspending his campaign that effectively lets him continue to raise cash to pay for his failed faux candidacy. Because anyone who is delusional enough to think that his campaign was anything other than a book tour, need to have their heads examined.

Look who's laughing Now
Here is the really sad and pathetic part of this whole mess… The genuine “Family Values” guy, Mitt Romney, is being thrown under the bus by his own party. Like him or not, flip-flopping aside, he’s a decent man that hasn’t cheated on his wife and has managed to raise a very nice family.

And whom are they throwing him under the bus for… Newt Gingrich, cheater extraordinaire… affair, divorce, affair, divorce, 3rd marriage to the woman he cheated with. He’s the Republican “Family Values” Party’s new ‘shiny star’…

Then in 1999 while spearheading the impeachment proceedings against President Clinton, Gingrich was caught having an affair with a 33-year old congressional aide. And for all those people with short memories, the coup de grace … back in 1978 when Gingrich was running for Congress his campaign slogan was… “Let Our Family Represent Your Family.”

I have to ask Mr. President… who will take responsibility for the next GOP loss, the Party or the person? Because if these are the best candidates the GOP has to offer in the way of family values, they will surely lose. Lose because they are more morally bankrupt than even I imagined.

Most Respectfully,

Marcia Reimers
Your Gadfly Granny

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Letter #127... Dear Mr. President... Look Who's driving the Bus Now!

Dear Mr. President:

Rosa Parks
December 1st is an important day in history… this is the day that in the segregated town of Montgomery, Alabama in 1955, Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat to a white man and move to the back of the bus.

I remember the marches that followed, lead by Dr. King and I remember one of the most successful boycotts in history when blacks refused to ride the buses for 13 months.

When the Supreme Court upheld Browder v. Gayle, striking down laws requiring segregated seating on public buses, King said, “We came to see that, in the long run, it is more honorable to walk in dignity than ride in humiliation. So …we decided to substitute tired feet for tired souls, and walk the streets of Montgomery.”

I can’t help but feel, that while there have been innumerable laws passed ending the practice of segregation, the minds of many remain unchanged as they cling to the idea that one race is somehow superior to another.

Portrait of Herbert B. Fields
I like to think of the different races as a color pallet, where different colors are mixed to create just the right effect a painter is looking for. Having painted a little myself, I remember trying to paint a portrait of my father from a black and white photo, which was all I had to go by, because he died when he was 50 and I was 20.

Any school child can tell you that you can’t use a white crayon on white paper to represent Caucasians. They can also tell you that the black crayon is way too dark for a Black/African Americans. If you’ve ever painted you know that it takes many colors to represent each ethnicity. Mid-tones require raw sienna and alizarin crimson, neutral tones require cobalt and ultramarine blue, yellow ocher and burnt sienna for a redder complexion and burnt umber for the warm shadows.

The point Mr. President, is this nation and its people are not a box of crayons, we do not stand alone, each of us just one color, we are all a perfect blend of many colors making each of us as distinct and as unique as our finger prints, and yet, the color of our skin continues to divide and separate us as if we were just one color.

Rosa Parks would be proud that you’re now ‘driving the bus’ Mr. President, I think she’d be proud that you choose to ‘walk in dignity’ and choose to see Americans as the wonderfully diverse and colorful pallet that makes up our American culture, for only when we are truly integrated will we truly be free.

As for my father’s portrait… just too many colors… I never did get it right.

Most Respectfully,

Marcia Reimers
Your Gadfly Granny

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Letter #126... Dear Mr. President... Say Goodbye to the Cain Train, and Make Room for Buddy.

Dear Mr. President:

The “Cain Train” has run out of track, it has come to the end of the line, so maybe now it’s time to “Make Room for Buddy.”

Make Room for Buddy
Unbeknownst to most people, Buddy Roemer is also running for President on the Republican ticket but you sure wouldn’t know it judging from the debates we’ve seen thus far. As you know Mr. President, Buddy Roemer served four years in Congress as a Democrat and was the Governor of Louisiana as both a Democrat and Republican. In addition, he has an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School, and is the CEO of Business First Bank… which by the way, needed no federal bailout money.

I mention this because Mr. Roemer has been completely ignored by the GOP and can’t even get an invitation to any of the debates in spite of the fact he is arguably one of the most qualified candidates on the ballot. Why do you suppose that is?

Could it possibly be because he is basically running on a single-issue platform… Campaign Finance Reform, and campaign reform is the last thing that Republicans, or Democrats for that matter, want to talk about? Is that why they don’t want Buddy on the stage… exposing them for the frauds they are? Are they afraid that he will throw Citizens United in their phony faces? You bet!

Say Goodbye to Herman Cain
Herman Cain has been huffing and puffing down his own track in order to sell his book and increase his speaking fees… wasting the time of the American people with his faux campaign swagger. And yet, Cain has been invited under the GOP ‘Big Top’ because he was the ‘token’ black Republican face the GOP could point to in order to disguise the fact that the Party consists of mainly ‘old white men.’ There, I said it… they needed a black face in their largely white crowd… everyone knows it but nobody wants to say it, and nobody wants to admit. But you and I know it’s true.

All the tip-toeing around, the platitudes about being inclusive, and all the… ‘but we love Herman’ rhetoric… liars, liars, liars… they don’t give a tinkers damn about Herman, they just needed that ‘black face’ on the stage with them, and I admit, he was fun for a while. But you watch Mr. President… he’s going to be history, because now he’s just an embarrassment to ‘The Party’… so say goodbye to Herman.

Now, wouldn’t it be novel for you to propose to the GOP that they include a man who’s eminently qualified to join them on that stage, after all, what threat could he possibly be to any of them… isn’t it time to “Make Room for Buddy?”

Most Respectfully,

Marcia Reimers
Your Gadfly Granny

Monday, November 28, 2011

Letter #125... Dear Mr. President... Please Pass the Prozac... I Must be Crazy.

Dear Mr. President:

It’s official… Republicans and the GOP are certifiably insane. I’ve declared it, you know it, and now the whole world knows it. According to a quote by Einstein, the definition of insanity is:  Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Albert Einstein ...

Doesn’t that explain why Republicans insist on cutting taxes for corporations, millionaires/billionaires, raising taxes on the middle class, and then expecting the economy to change and the deficit to be reduced?

Doesn’t that explain why Republicans refuse to pass the American Jobs Act, yet expect the long-haired hippies of OWS, returning Vets and the chronically unemployed to just… ‘get a job’?

Doesn’t that explain why the Republicans on the supercommittee failed to put anything on the table except some poorly defined tax reforms in exchange for even lower tax rates for the rich, but those same Republicans will be the first to blame you when the automatic cuts to the Pentagon budget go into effect next year?

Doesn’t that explain just about all the craziness of Republicans and the religious right wing nuts that hate all things “Obama”… even if you’re the only one that gives them any hope at a decent education for their children, while all the Republicans want to do is cut, cut, cut? Or, give them a shot at some kind of health care if they’re uninsured?

Doesn’t that explain why the Republicans signed the Grover Norquist “No Taxes under any circumstances” pledge? Doesn’t that explain why they all drank the cool-aid served up Norquist style… drink or you’ll never get another penny in campaign contributions?

What is wrong with these people? Are they so myopic that they will cut off their own noses and the noses of their constituents, to spite their faces?

I know, these are stupid questions, so I guess I’m just as crazy for asking the same questions over and over again while expecting different answers.

Please pass the prozac, it must be time for my meds.

Most Respectfully,

Marcia Reimers
Your Gadfly Granny

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Letter 124 - Dear Mr. President - The Turkey's at the Table.

Letter #124

Dear Mr. President:

Wishing you a very Happy Thanksgiving this 24th day of November... you'll notice that this is the 124th letter I have written to you, and one-third of the way through the 365 I plan to write.

So in keeping with this wonderful American holiday I want to thank you for being my President, I don't always agree with your decisions, but I am always proud of you and the First Family. Not since the Kennedy's have we had such a gracious, courteous, and commanding, and beautiful First Family. Thanks you so much for bring those qualities back to the White House.

With that said, I want to talk a little about the eight turkeys on the campaign trail and their latest round of "oops" from the last debate.

Herman Cain still insists that the mountains in Iran are a problem when it comes to protecting ourselves from their nuclear threat. Thanks Herman, please pass the gravy.

Mitt Romney doesn't know his first name is Willard. Wasn't Willard some movie rat?

Michelle Bachmann is still clueless and irrelevant. Please pass the peas & carrots.

Rick Santorum continues to harpoon the other seven turkeys, but he's the only one that doesn't need a box to stand on for the debates. Please pass the rolls and butter.

Who is Jon Huntsman, who knows what he stands for, or if he's even at the table?

Ron Paul still wants to end everything... all wars including the war on drugs, legalize everything and let the churches take care of sick people... and this coming from a Doctor. Oh that's right he's from Texas... 'nuff said. Please pass the cranberry sauce.

Rick Perry, this turkey has shot himself so many times he's practically bled out. He still believes that you have done nothing to keep this country safe. It's not clear whether it's his 'people' that are clueless, he has no access to the news, or he's just dumb as dirt. Considering his meteoric rise and, fall since joining this flock, I'll have to go with the latter. Excuse me Rick... could you please pass the dark meat?

Last, but not least... Newtie Gingrich... the new Democrat at the table, praying that we feel some compassion for the immigrants that have been here for years, go to church and pay taxes. He implores us to think about our family values and not kick these poor souls out of the country... This coming from a guy who wants poor kids to clean their own schools. This pompous, bombastic, strutting turkey is so full of himself, it's obvious that he's the one that consumed all the stuffing. I'd say please pass the stuffing, but alas... Newtie ate the whole bird, stuffing and all and is throwing the meatless leg bone Oliver Twist... "There kid, you're the one who wanted some more. Enjoy... now say your prayers and be grateful for what you've got."

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving Mr. President, you've earned it.

Most Respectfully,

Marcia Reimers
Your Gadfly Granny

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Letter #123... Dear Mr. President... A GOP Return to the Draconian Days

Dear Mr. President:

“Please, sir, I want some more.” – You may recognize this simple polite request coming from the impoverished orphan, Oliver Twist, in the novel by Charles Dickens. Just reading the quote instantly congers up the stark image of a dirty, emaciated Oliver holding his empty gruel bowl aloft in front of the “master,” and asking for more.
"Please, sir, I want some more."

This is what the Republican Party has come to represent, but instead of England in the 17th century, it’s America in the 20th century, and more specifically GOP candidate Newt Gingrich in particular. Gingrich has promised “extraordinarily radical proposals to fundamentally change the culture of poverty in America.” And that’s what Americans should be afraid of… he will take this country back to the dark and bitterly cruel era of workhouses and orphanages.

So just as Oliver was to be ‘educated’ and ‘taught a useful trade,’ Gingrich would have students in poor neighborhoods clean their own schools, but only after they had spent the day studying. Gingrich blames the core policies of protecting unions for crippling the children be not allowing them to work before their mid teens. He further insists that, “it is tragic what we do in the poorest neighborhoods, entrapping children in, first of all, in child laws which are truly stupid.” Gingrich suggests that these schools should fire the unionized janitors, have one “master” (his word not mine) janitor, and then pay local students to clean the school.

Yes, ‘Master’ Gingrich believes it would be just the thing to ‘lift’ these students up so they can “begin the process of rising” out of poverty. And for this, I’m sure he thinks the kids should be so grateful they’d perhaps say a little prayer for him every night thanking him for his Christian generosity, just as the boys in England’s workhouses were taught to do before they were “allowed” to sleep before getting up again at six the next morning to begin another day of humble service for their gruel.

Yes, Mr. President, the GOP would return us to the draconian days of merry old England where only the rich and privileged prospered. And isn’t that just what they are proposing on a daily basis… Tax cuts/breaks for the super rich, slashing Medicare and Medicaid, decimating Social Security, protecting large corporations, and eliminating all the environmental protections it has taken fifty years to accomplish? What next, abolishing Child Labor Law… in a Gingrich world, yes.

Gingrich wants to challenge the existing child labor laws so children in poor neighborhoods will have the ‘opportunity’ to learn how to be janitors, “earn some cash,” “begin the rising process” and as a bonus, “they’d have pride in their school.”

Really Mr. President… is this the GOP plan for America’s children?  Sadly, it is.

Most Respectfully,

Marcia Reimers
Your Gadfly Granny

Monday, November 21, 2011

Letter #122... Dear Mr. President... The Neanderthals of NASCAR...

Dear Mr. President:

I’d like to apologize on behalf of all ‘decent and respectful’ Americans for the despicable way the crowd reacted to the First Lady and Dr. Biden when they attended the recent NASCAR season finale.

As I was taught and I’ve tried to teach my children… you may be poor, you may be out of work, you may not even have two nickels to rub together, but there is never an excuse for being rude. That’s not to say that I haven’t, on occasion, had a knee-jerk reaction to something or someone, and responded in a rude way… because I have, and I think we all have at one time or another.

However, when the First Lady and Dr. Biden attended the Homestead Miami Speedway to serve as Grand Marshalls in support of ‘Joining Forces’ initiative to hire and train veterans, there was no reason and no excuse to boo these caring and wonderful women. After listening to the video it was obvious that there were a few loud boos from the considerable crowd, which appropriately, had just given a rousing cheer for Army Sgt. Andrew Barry and his family.

I’ve looked at all the web sites, read several hundred comments and come to the conclusion that they weren’t really booing the ladies… they were in fact booing you and your administration, because many of the comments contained the same old ‘themes’ that have surrounded you since being elected… he’s a Muslim, he’s a communist, socialist, fascist, out of touch, Christian hater, elitist, bigot, etc… etc… but nothing you haven’t heard before. It was in fact, an ugly reminder of just how the political divide in this country has been taken so personally.

First Lady, at NASCAR finale
From my perspective… I really don’t understand the appeal of watching a bunch of grown men driving around in a circle for what seems like hours (and probably is), other than people are waiting for some terrible accident to happen, because lord knows we aren’t witness to enough tragedy happening all around us on a daily basis. And from the expression on Mrs. Obama’s face, she wasn’t exactly enthralled either.

The really sad, pathetic, and discouraging thing about the whole incident is the lesson these booing Neanderthals are teaching their children and other children in the audience… good manners don’t mean anything, being disrespectful to ones own President is acceptable, and by association they are also showing a total lack of respect for that Veteran and his family with four young boys.

Disgusting… Mr. President, so please convey my sincerest apologies to Mrs. Obama and Dr. Biden for the disgraceful display of unacceptable rudeness on the part of a few attendees that obviously need some basic lessons on good manners. As Emily Post taught us... "Good manners reflect an innate sense of respect for self." There's no doubt in my mind that Ms. Post would be so proud of you as President, the First Lady, and of course Malia and Sasha... all excellent examples of poise, grace, self respect.

Most Respectfully,

Marcia Reimers
Your Gadfly Granny

Friday, November 18, 2011

Letter #121... Dear Mr. President... The Patriotic Millionaires are Begging you to Raise Their Taxes.

Dear Mr. President:

Normally I don’t read Charles Krauthammer’s column, because in my opinion his remarks are perpetually petulant in nature, and today’s was no exception… “Obama’s decisions focus on re-election, not national interest.” See what I mean… positively peevish. And so it starts Mr. President… every thing you do, or fail to do, someone like Krauthammer will say it’s for political gain for your re-election and not in the best interest of the country or the American people.

I say, hogwash! This election should be a no-brainer, and here’s why. You have a secret weapon, a secret weapon called the “Patriotic Millionaires for Fiscal Strength.”

Approximately two dozen members of this group recently met with members of the ‘Super Committee,’ members of Congress and Grover Norquist, asking them to raise taxes on people that make over $1,000,000 a year. This group is the 0.1% of the 1% that the 99% are complaining about in the OWS Movements taking place all around the country.

You may remember this group Mr. President…. this is the same group that over a year ago urged you to end the “Bush Era Tax Cuts” for millionaires that was supposed to expire at the end of 2010. Advise, I may add, you should have taken.

In a statement to the press, the decision to extend those tax cuts for the rich – according to some analysts – permanently underfunded our government. It’s time to undo that damage… it’s time to listen to the millionaires and stop listening to the Republicans, as their lies have finally been exposed by the millionaires themselves.
Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform, shakes hands with millionaire Frank Jernigan, a retired senior software engineer at Google, before meeting with a group of millionaires (AP Photo/Haraz Ghanbari)
You have a golden opportunity to make the case to the American people as to why Reagan’s supply side trickle down economics, and the continuous Republican mantra of “no new taxes’’ didn’t work, doesn’t work, and will in fact never work. The Patriotic Millionaires have made the case for you in a scathing letter to Speaker John Boehner, et al., dated, July 21, 2011. In this nine page letter they accuse Boehner of ‘corrosive, misleading, intentionally dishonest arguments put forth in this critical debate, which Boehner continues to present, even though our country approaches a potentially catastrophic impairment of our financial obligations. And, despite the reality that millionaires, like them are paying lower taxes now than at any time in the last 60 years… and despite the fact that the Bush tax cuts are the single largest cause of the current federal deficit, and that Boehner has repeatedly refused to consider this limited and reasonable step to address our country’s fiscal challenges. http://patrioticmillionaires.org/tax_letter.pdf

There you have it Mr. President… just ask the American people who they’re going to believe, the millionaires who are begging to help save this country by paying their fair share in taxes, or the Republicans who want to continue to cut taxes for the rich while raising them on the middle class, and off the backs of the poor. 

It's time to stop 'shaking down the little guy' and listen to the big guys that are ready to step up to the plate and pay their fair share... and as one of the millionaires put it... the impact on their finances would be the same as a dead fly at a picnic.

Most Respectfully,

Marcia Reimers, 
Your Gadfly Granny

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Letter #120... Dear Mr. President... The Party of Oops

Letter #120

Dear Mr. President:

I have to admit something… I’m really enjoying the new third party… “The Party of Oops”… It’s not just Perry with his oops moment when he couldn’t remember one of the three government agencies he wants to eliminate, it’s all of the candidates.

I only wish I could stay up a little later at night because I’m sure that the “late night” guys are having a field day with the shear number of “oops moments,” so for strictly entertainment purposes, I going to list a few of my favorites.

Oops… who on earth thought it was a good idea for Rick Perry to entertain lawmakers, friends and supporters at a camp named N*****head? Oops.

Oops… How do you say delicious in Cuban? Herman Cain obviously knows something the rest of us have missed… a new language called ‘Cuban’. Cain also didn’t seem to know that China has had nuclear weapons since 1964, having said that China was “trying to develop nuclear capability…” Oops.

Oops… Michele Bachmann believes “…that the very founders that wrote those documents worked tirelessly until slavery was no more in the United States… Men like John Quincy Adams would not rest until slavery was extinguished in the country.” Uuhhh… Adams was the 6th President and was only 8 years old when the Declaration of Independence was signed in 1776. And, apparently Bachmann missed the tour at Mount Vernon that shows the ‘slave quarters’. Oops.

Oops… Mitt Romney’s response when asked his favorite fiction genre novel was ‘Battlefield Earth’ by L. Ron Hubbard… really? People already have a perception of Mormonism being a ‘cult-like religion,’ so why would he cite a book by Scientologist, L. Ron Hubbard and then correct himself by saying it was “one of them” but he also enjoyed “Huck Finn?” Oops.

Oops… Newt Gingrich was paid $1.6m from Freddie Mac for his services as ‘Historian’… he has to be the highest paid ‘historian’ in history, and the $30,000 per month he receives for consulting sounds a lot like a Lobbyist fee. Oops.

But this one takes the cake Mr. President… Rick Perry referring to you… “It reveals to me that he grew up in a privileged way, he never had to really work for anything.” What planet does Perry live on where a child, raised by a single mother that once needed to use food stamps, grew up privileged? This is more than a ‘oops’… it’s a disgusting example of stupidity that Perry continues to display every time he opens his mouth to change feet. Oops, did I just call Perry stupid… you bet I did!

So much for the “Party of Oops”… and yes, for Rick Perry's information... you are the smartest man in the room.

Most Respectfully,

Marcia Reimers
Your Gadfly Granny

Friday, November 11, 2011

Letter #119... Aloha Mr. President... The Party of Dismantle, Destroy, Decimate and Deny...

Letter #119

Aloha Mr. President:

Today we're both in the beautiful state of Hawaii... my husband and I are vacationing on the beautiful island of Maui and even though you are here for the APEC Conference... which is all about cooperation, and nations moving forward in the ever changing global economy... this is still home for you.

This day is significant for many reasons... first and foremost is of course Veterans Day... a day to honor all those that have served and sacrificed so much for their country and for all Americans. And to them, we give our heartfelt thanks.

It is also a day to remind you and other world leaders that wars are not the answer to our problems, but talk, cooperation, compromises and a desire for world peace can only be achieved by coming together for the common good of all people in all places around the globe.

We can only achieve these goals by moving forward, for it is the only direction opened to us, and for us. Which brings me to another question I want to ask in todays letter... What on earth does the Republican Party stand for anymore?

In the last debate we heard Rick Perry suggest that we do away with three federal agencies... Commerce, Educations and oops... while Ron Paul suggested that there were really five we should abolish, and suggested the EPA as Perry's third one. And that's the problem Mr. President... the Republicans always want to move backwards, their primary motivation and answer to almost everything is... 'Dismantle, Destroy, Decimate, and Deny' every single achievement and advancement that's been made over the last 50 years.

Just think about the GOP mantra ever since you were elected... dismantle Social Security, destroy Medicare, decimate Medicaid, deny women their reproductive rights, and deny the LGTB community just about everything. Yes, the GOP is so busy looking backwards that they cannot move forward because they have no clue where they're going, and that is why they are stumbling and bumbling through debate after endless debate.

It would be foolish to begin the rebuilding process in the midst of continuous bombing, and that's what I don't understand about Republicans... they cannot even talk about rebuilding America while they are in the process of dismantling, destroying, decimating and denying... and that Mr. President is what you need to keep in mind as you make decisions for the American people... we need, and want to move "forward"... and as Perry so eloquently put it... "This ain't a day for quitting nothing." And to that my only response is, "Yikes"... and this man wants to be President?

Most Respectfully,

Marcia Reimers,
Your Gadfly Granny

Friday, November 4, 2011

Letter #118... Dear Mr. President... Even the Rich can, and Do, Fall.

Dear Mr. President:

Yesterday I talked about how the system works against the poor, and how easily people can, and do become homeless. Today I’d like to tell you another story of how fast things can change even when you think you have it all… the story of Dennis.

After graduating from high school in 1962 Dennis joined the U.S. Army during a time when the buildup in Vietnam was just beginning. He was fortunate enough to serve most of his time as a purser in Fort Leonard Wood, MO.

After his honorable discharge he had a few jobs of varying duration, but his real passion began when he started in the building trade. It wasn’t long before he had a partner and they were building spec homes on the coast between San Francisco and Santa Cruz. Dennis had a lovely wife and two great kids, and lived in a beautiful home he built for himself and his family. They had a big boat, new cars and were living the American dream.

Then came the first Gulf War in 1990… Dennis and his partner had just finished two, million dollar homes that were on the market for sale… sales that never happened because the real estate market came to a screeching halt. What followed were a series of events that have happened many times over, to many other people… the loans from the bank went into default and the properties were repossessed.

Unable to get additional loans, it wasn’t long before Dennis had to sell his boat, cars, TV’s and all the ‘trappings’ that many men feel are necessary to prove they are good providers and successful businessmen. Not long after losing most of his possessions, including his own home, his wife filed for a divorce… by then alcohol had become a problem that exacerbated an already difficult situation.
 Dennis recovering from a stroke and heart surgery
Dennis’ family tried very hard to get him into recovery programs, but he as too proud and too stubborn to get the help he so desperately needed. As one thing follows another, Dennis’ home became his truck with his tools and a few family possessions. After several run ins with the law, his truck was impounded and at that point he lost everything and was living on the streets.

After suffering a stroke, having open heart surgery, getting a little apartment, and maintaining sobriety for over a year, Dennis decided to start drinking again… and went back to being homeless. That was five years ago, and no one in his family has heard from him since. So you see Mr. President… anyone can fall on hard times and end up homeless, alcoholism is a terrible disease, and there, but for the Grace of God, go I… ~ And did I mention Mr. President… Dennis is my brother.

Most Respectfully,

Marcia Reimers,
Your Gadfly Granny