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.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Letter #155... Dear Mr. President... Let them Cry, this is a Win for All Americans

Dear Mr. President,

Congratulations, you deserve a huge ‘THANK YOU’ from the American people, including those that do not understand just what the Affordable Care Act does for them. You know, and I know, that this is just the first step towards a single payer plan, but it’s a very big and important step.

This isn't your Party, but you can Cry if you want too.
I listened to your speech after the Supreme Court upheld all of the provisions of the ACA, and you did a terrific job of explaining just what it means for ordinary Americans. I also saw the list of benefits posted on the White House web site. My one suggestion would be to add just what is in effect now, and with each check point the date it was implemented or will be implemented, and then publish the heck out of it… the general public is a little slow on the uptake and sometimes they need to be hit between the eyes with a two-by-four before it finally sinks in.

Check it Out!
It’s a message that every single Democrat should carry to every corner, and nook and cranny of this country, along with their own two-by-four.  It’s a message that you need to drive home at each and every opportunity, including how much of it is like RomneyCare, and just how successful RomneyCare is in Massachusetts. Just keep hanging both RomneyCare and ObamaCare around Mitts neck like a gold medal from the Olympics, and watch him squirm because he can’t trash what he started in his home state without looking like a complete fool. Extol the virtues of his plan and tell the American people that just like Massachusetts, very soon at least 98% of adults and nearly 100% of the children in this country will be covered.

Thanks again Mr. President, for fighting to provide all American’s with affordable health care… for the first time in a long time SCOTUS did the right thing in upholding the provisions of this vital piece of legislation.

Keep on fighting for us Mr. President, we need you on our side for another four years… for some of us, our very lives depend on it.

Most Respectfully,

Marcia Reimers,
Your Gadfly Granny

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Washboard Express: Letter #154... Dear Mr. President... Why Would You Share Ignorance?

Washboard Express: Letter #154... Dear Mr. President... Why Would You Share Ignorance?

Letter #154... Dear Mr. President... Why Would You Share Ignorance?

Dear Mr. President,

What’s wrong with people these days, why don’t they want to hear the truth anymore? Why, when confronted with actual facts, do they insist that ‘someone’ made up the facts? Why is this mentality so widespread, and when are we going to take our heads out of the sand? 

I have a friend that I went to high school with that recently posted a reply to one of her friends, that she shares things on Facebook as long as they’re not political, because she gets so many that she doesn’t look at any of them.

In fact Mr. President, that’s not quite true… she shared a post that I believe was very pointed and political, and here is the post verbatim, typos and all.

“SO LET ME GET THIS STRAIGHT… If you cross the North Korean border illegally, you get 12 years hard labor. If you cross the Afghanistan border illegally, you get shot. Two Americans just got eight years for crossing the Iranian border. If you cross the U.S. border illegaly, you get a job, a driver’s license, food stamps, a place to live, health care, housing, child benefits, education, and a tax free business for 7 years? No wonder we’re a country in debt. LIKE AND SHARE IF YOU AGREE!!!!”  

The person she got it from had 5 likes and 1,106 shares, and she had 6 likes and 42 shares. My response was: “So let me get this straight… if only 6 people liked it, why did 42 people share it. Why would you share something you don’t like?” One can only imagine how many others ‘shared’ it as well.  I can only hope that this was only meant as political hyperbole, used to evoke strong feelings or to create a strong impression, but is not meant to be taken literally, but that would assume that all those people that saw fit to share it, actually knew it to be factually incorrect.

Does anyone ever question these outrageous claims? Illegal immigrants are never guaranteed a job; in fact, they’re often exploited and work for much less than others get for the same work because they are afraid to complain. If getting a drivers license was so easy, why are there so many driving without a license and insurance? Most would never apply for food stamps, or child benefits because the risk of being deported is too great. Health care is sought only under extreme conditions, and then it can only be provided through emergency care at a hospital. Yes, their children can, and do go to our public schools, but a tax-free business for 7 years, is just ludicrous.

Even Ostriches aren't this stupid.
The frustrating part of this is that you can’t even talk to these people, they don’t want to hear it, but I suppose it’s like the quote from Thomas Paine – “Attempting to debate with a person who has abandoned reason is like giving medicine to the dead.”

When are the American people going to take their collective heads out of the sand and start thinking for themselves?

Most Respectfully,

Marcia Reimers, 
Your Gadfly Granny

Monday, June 18, 2012

Letter #153... Dear Mr. President... The 4 N's of the Repocalypse Party

Dear Mr. President:

The American people have had enough of the 4 N’s of the Repocalypse Party, and that is why you should continue with your message of ‘Hope and Change’ from the campaign leading up to the ’08 election…  The Republican Party’s Henny Penny mentality of “the sky is falling” is getting old and people are sick and tired of living in fear of everything and everyone.

We all remember the phrase penned in the 1970’s by William Safire, for Spiro T. Agnew because of his particularly acrimonious relationship with the press … the Nattering Nabobs of Negativity. Then again in 2009, John W. Dean wrote an eye opening piece titled, The New Nattering Nabobs of Negativism Are Gunning for Obama’s Judicial Nominees: A Republican Strategy That We Must All Hope Fails http://writ.news.findlaw.com/dean/20090417.html - outlining the blatant attack to block all of your nominees to the Federal Courts.

The Repocalypse Party's vision for America
The 4 N’s for the Repocalypse Party, and in particular, Mitt Romney, stand for Nattering Narcissistic Nabobs of Negativity. The way he prattles (nattering) on about nothing, or when he’s talking about how ‘he’ saved the auto industry, or how you actually used ‘his’ ideas for kick starting the economy (narcissist), or making $10,000 bets, or talking about his Cadillacs, his companies, and his wealth (nabob), or his attacks on Social Security, Medicare, Education, public funds for infrastructure, and a myriad of other programs that benefit ordinary people (negativity)… Romney epitomizes the entire Repocalypse Party.

The Repocalypse Party believes that the only way to save this country is to reject any, and all of your ideas, and programs that would actually move this country forward. How can they be so against you that would they would sacrifice the American people, and the entire economy just to regain the White House? I realize that’s a rhetorical question because we all know that they only care about themselves and the ‘1%’. That entire concept is about as ‘negative, as you can get… because it’s ‘against’ everything.

So you keep doing what you do best Mr. President… inspire people, encourage people, and protect the programs that are safety nets for ordinary people. And, continue to speak up for programs that put people to work, that protect personal freedoms, and that ensure that everyone pays their fair share… including the 1%.

That’s what we want to hear, that’s what we need to know… a ‘positive’ plan for moving the country forward… we’ve had enough of the “4 N’s of the Repocalypse's”.

Most Respectfully,

Marcia Reimers,
Your Gadfly Granny

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Letter #152... Dear Mr. President... Show the Bums the Door!

Dear Mr. President,

First let me wish you a very happy Father’s Day… one only needs to watch you with Sasha and Malia to know that you are an excellent father, because you can see it in their faces when they are with you… so Happy Father’s Day, Mr. President.

Next I would like to respond to the incident when The Daily Caller’s reporter, Neil Munro, interrupted your formal announcement on immigration, and I have a suggestion that I think should be implemented for future Presidential statements, and that includes when you address a joint session of Congress. 

To say that Munro was rude is a gross understatement… he should have been escorted by a Secret Service agent, out of the Rose Garden immediately. The fact that the site’s editor in chief, Tucker Carlson, said he was proud of Munro goes beyond the pale of civility and proper decorum for reporters, and I don’t care which party they are affiliated with.

New Policy...Have Secret Service eject him immediately!
And then for The Daily Caller to tweet, “We are very proud of, @NeilMunroDC for doing his job,” is appalling. His ‘job’ was to listen, and gather information, and if… and only if… it was appropriate, could he hope to be recognized by the President and then ask his question. The excuse we heard that it was a misunderstanding is both pathetic and lame… he knew exactly what he was doing. If he was doing his job he would have had his recorder out, or a notepad to take some notes, not standing there with his hands in his pockets like he was waiting to take his turn at golf. There was no excuse, and there was no reason for his blatant disrespect and rude behavior. If it truly was a mistake, he would have apologized on the spot.  

As much as I detested G.W. Bush with every fiber of my soul, I could not condone someone from another country throwing shoes at him. I understand why the guy was so upset, but there is no excuse to show that level of blatant disrespect for any President or Head of State from any country.

So my suggestion is this: Send out a memo to ALL news media, that when the President is addressing Congress, conducting a press conference, or making a formal statement, interruptions will not be tolerated, and the person, or persons, will be immediately escorted from the event. And further, the agency or media organization they represent will not be invited back, unless and until, the White House receives a formal apology, and the apology is printed and broadcast for the public.

The incivility and blatant disrespect we are witnessing these days has got to stop. You, and the office of the President, deserve better… and by the way, you did the right thing in protecting the innocent children of illegal immigrants.

Most Respectfully,
Marcia Reimers, Your Gadfly Granny

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Letter #151... Dear Mr. President... You Dropped the Ball in Wisconsin

Dear Mr. President:

We may not be elephants but many of us have long memories… yours truly included.

We remember back to 2000 when all eyes were on Florida’s recount, before the Un-Supreme Court selected Bush over Gore.

We remember back to 2004 when all eyes were on Ohio when the sudden shift in votes for Bush gave him an unexpected, and still unexplained, victory. This was confirmed in a deposition given by the late Michael Connell, the IT guru for Bush and Rove, and the creator of the controversial system that transferred Ohio’s vote count on election night to a partisan Republican server site owned by SmarTech, a firm that had the capability of easily changing the outcome of the election. In fact the entire system was set up and designed for voter fraud. After giving that deposition, Connell died in a suspicious plane crash just a month and a half later.

You dropped the ball and missed the point
We remember in 2008 when McConnell, Boehner, and Cantor vowed to make sure you were a one term President, and in 2010 the Democrats took their eye off the ball and we got the radical right TeaPublicans that have managed to put a strangle hold on your ability to move this country forward.

Now in 2012 when all eyes were on Wisconsin and the stakes were enormous, you, and the DNC dropped the ball by not going all out for Barrett. To say that this fight was for the people of Wisconsin to win without interference was just plain absurd. Clearly the “outside” money that poured into the Walker coffers came from outside of Wisconsin… how is that not interference?

The naiveté of even imagining that the Koch Bros, Carl Rove, et al, would not pull out all stops to make sure Walker remained as Governor is astounding. The last minute cash the DNC gave was pathetic, as was the short video put out telling the people of Wisconsin that you supported them. You may have supported them, but you most certainly didn’t have their back. You failed in your leadership of the Democratic Party, when you failed to respond to the desperate need of the WI Democrats.

The problem with the Democrats is they get upset with people like me for speaking up and saying what’s on the minds of most of us, but failing miserably to hold you and the DNC at least partially responsible for the loss in Wisconsin.

I have been a strong and outspoken supporter of yours since you were elected, I have donated countless small donations to your campaign and written countless letters… and why, so you can turn your back on the Democrats in Wisconsin?

Just remember Mr. President, if you lose in November it could be because you dropped the ball, and because what was at stake there was not just about Wisconsin politics… it was about big money buying elections, and you should have done more to stop it from happening…. That’s what a leader does.

Most Respectfully, 
Marcia Reimers, 
Your Gadfly Granny

Monday, June 4, 2012

Letter #150... Dear Mr. President... Please Don't Forget about Kelly.

Dear Mr. President:

We cannot save our way to prosperity, and we cannot to cut programs and services and create jobs at the same time. We need to create instead of cut, and grow instead of shrink. 

Where are the Republican "Job Creators"
The conversation you need to have with the American people is about jobs, jobs, and more jobs… when people have jobs the economy will change. But, as long as the Republicans can force you into talking about ridiculous things like gay marriage, abortion, women’s reproductive choices, or whether or not you intend to take away their gun rights, the more likely they are to win in November.

For President Clinton, it was “the economy stupid” and for you Mr. President, it is  “jobs, jobs, and more jobs.” The economy will rebound when people have jobs that pay a living wage. Those 15 million people without jobs are not sitting around waiting to be saved by their government… they want to work. Many of those people are college graduates that have been out of work for several years and have long since exhausted all benefits, and are faced with employers that advertise the “unemployed need not apply.” What are these people to do?

In a recent online discussion with a woman named Kelly, who’s been out of work for 3 years, and was saying how difficult it is to find the silver lining when bad news on the jobs front just keep getting worse. The weak jobs report not only had an adverse effect on the market, but also people like Kelly. She wrote that she is scared to death that she will NEVER be able to find a job again – nothing more than a temporary, part time and low wage job. Kelly agrees that we MUST throw the GOP bums out of Congress, but she can’t pretend like everything is fine because it’s getting increasingly worse… her ability to look for work, to buy food, shampoo, toothpaste, and prescriptions… and she lays the blame right on the back of House Republicans – and the corporate CEO’s who keep outsourcing our jobs.

Kelly is not without hope, she has goals and dreams that she is actively pursuing, thanks in part to the fellowship training program through the Center for Progressive Leadership – about starting a non-profit to help people like her. Kelly says, “if I can’t find a job – and corporate America has made it clear they aren’t going to give me a job, then maybe I have to try to find a way to make my own job. A job that will use the experiences of the last 3 years to make a difference in the lives of people who have been forgotten by so many others…”

Please don’t forget about Kelly, and the15 million others that need your help.

Most Respectfully,

Marcia Reimers
Your Gadfly Granny