Thursday, May 13, 2010

Rubber Stamp?

You seriously had the gall to mention rubber stamp and weren't apologizing for your own contributions during the Bush administration?

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Senator McConnell Joins American Idol Contestants

Dear Senator McConnell:

We’re in the final weeks of American Idol, when my heart aches for the kids who have worked so hard, come so close, and can feel the breeze of defeat racing toward them. Being of the bleeding-heart ilk, working up enough emotion to cover you along with Crystal, Lee, Casey, and Mike - the remaining four contestants - came naturally last night. Interestingly, I saw a little of you in Mike, who the judges saved after he hit bottom a few weeks ago and who obviously didn’t think that meant he needed to step up his game. I also saw a bit of you in Casey, who can’t seem to find the heart to do what is necessary.

After the show, I texted my votes for Crystal and Lee, hoped the American people would recognize their talent and dedication and do the same, and directed the remainder of my concern to you. Even though you are not up for re-election this year, you surely must have felt that breeze this week when God spoke, and fate validated the tired when it rains it pours cliché.

As if having the news of an increase of 290,000 jobs in April come out almost at the exact moment you started running your “President Obama’s spending threatens to destroy more jobs” ad for Tray Grayson wasn’t bad enough, God sent a rather frightening warning against drill, baby, drill, your party’s most understandable slogan in recent years. I guess you probably know I am neither religious nor an expert about the oil industry so I will bow to the expertise of Republican Governor Perry of Texas, who continues to defend his belief that the oil spill can legally be determined to be an act of his god. I will also defend you when you flip flop on drill, baby, drill because, like the American Idol contestants are wise to listen to the judges, you will be wise to understand that Governor Perry’s god is seriously against offshore drilling.

And finally, what luck, at a time like this, to have those Brits show what can happen when reasonable people put their country before their party, huh? Seriously, when it rains it pours (literally, this week). Since I’m a cup-half-full kind of person, I am going to see this as the bright light shining on them, and not as a finger pointing at your obstructionist party.

Hoping you’ll move toward the light,


Unrelated but interesting:
Pants on Fire

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Happy Mother's Day, Senator McConnell

Dear Senator McConnell:

I have enjoyed many roles in my life – daughter, sister, cousin, friend, wife, employee, volunteer, advocate, writer, musician, sit-down comedian, grammar Nazi, - and now, obsessed letter writer, terrible painter, and wannabe gardener. While I shamelessly admit that I am not the picture-perfect, stay-at-home, domesticated, Susie-Homemaker/Betty-Crocker kind of mom who campaigns for martyrdom with endless tales of how I sacrificed every second of my time to my children, I do treasure my children and consider my role as a mother the most rewarding role in my life. Some might consider it rationalizing, but I hope to convince them, and you, that the time I spend writing to you is every bit as important to my children and grandchildren as the time I spend baking cookies and drawing with sidewalk chalk. Saving their world is better for them in the long run than eating a plate of cookies.

(Okay, I bake cookies once a year and write to you once a day. Honesty still feels good.)

I know you are not a mother and even argued that point with a guy I heard call you that. Still, I want to wish you a happy day and use this opportunity to deliver a couple of long overdue gifts, as well as to thank you for the gifts you have given American mothers today.

My first gift is an introduction to United Parcel Service, Inc. (NYSE: UPS) , the world’s largest package delivery company. Although their headquarters are in Georgia, they have a tiny little – no, wait – honesty does feel good and you are a big boy who can handle embarrassment – they have a HUGE Worldport air hub operation in Louisville, Kentucky (a short drive from U of L if you want to visit and learn more about it).

I hope you are sitting down for this next part. Listed among United Parcel Service’s major competitors is the United States Postal Service. In your letter dated September 9, 2009, you said to me:

“In your correspondence, you expressed your support to a government-run insurance plan, sometimes called a ‘public plan option’. While this might seem like a good ‘option’ at first, in reality would soon become the only option. That’s because private companies couldn’t possibly compete with government, which could use an unlimited amount of taxpayer money, dictated prices to doctors and undercut current coverage for millions. Nonpartisan experts have estimated that enacting this so-called option could cause 119 million Americans to lose their current insurance and end up in a government-run plan. And that’s where our real troubles would begin. As we see in countries that already have government-run health care, once government takes over, it starts limiting access to care.”

I realize now that I forgot to list editor as one of the roles I enjoy.*

Now that you’ve met UPS, I am sure you must regret terribly the misconception you propagated in the letter I quoted. I wouldn’t be concerned enough to risk embarrassing you this way if I believed you penned that masterpiece solely for me, since I knew the truth when I read it, but I don’t believe that. I suspect that same letter went to the many people who wrote to tell you they supported a public option. My next gift to you is that I will spread the news about how UPS just slipped your mind, and I’ll do what I can to clear up the faulty impression you tossed out. I’ll inform people about the progress of the health care bill that passed without your help, and as they shed the false fears that you and so many other Republicans generated through misstatements and letters like the one I quoted, I’ll remind them how much better health care reform can be if we go back and add that public option. (Don’t worry; I’ll address your errors regarding what “we” see in other countries in more detail another letter.)

I speak only for myself but am sure many mothers would join me if they had the chance. (Would it be okay for me to speak for THE American mothers? Nah. I’m sure there must be a few ungrateful wenches who won’t agree so I’ll stick with honesty.) Thank you, from the bottom of my bleeding heart, for failing to block health care reform. I’m sure, now that President Obama announced the progress, you are pleased with that failure as well.

In case you missed it, here’s President Obama’s weekly address: Health Reform Starts to Kick In

*I’m sure your office staff must miss my editing, so here’s a gift for them:
“In your correspondence, you expressed your support to a government-run insurance plan, sometimes called a ‘public plan option’.[since the buzz words were public option without plan stuck between them, not knowing this reflects very poorly on how well you listen to THE American people] While this might seem like a good ‘option’ [Why would you offset this word with punctuation when you go on to say you don’t think it will be an option? Redundant and – well, as unprofessional as my writing. It works for me because my intent is to let you know I mean to insult you.] at first, in reality would soon become the only option. [You state this as fact when it is not a fact. Not good for earning trust. I would suggest adding ‘might possibly’ before ‘become the only option’, and even that’s a stretch] That’s because private companies couldn’t possibly compete with government,[oooops, caught with your pants down here.] which could use an unlimited amount of taxpayer money, dictated prices to doctors and undercut current coverage for millions. Nonpartisan experts have estimated that enacting this so-called [unprofessional and childish] option could cause 119 million Americans to lose their current insurance [did you even consider mentioning that they would still be insured under the new plan, along with the number of uninsured people who would finally have some coverage? Think about that for a second?] and end up in a government-run plan. And that’s where our real troubles would begin. [Silly you. The troubles began long ago and that was the reason for this whole discussion] As we [Nope. Once again, this is what YOU see. Sometimes, when one person sees things that others don’t, that one person is delusional. Might not want to invite this type of scrutiny] see in countries that already have government-run health care, once government takes over, it starts limiting access to care.”

Anxiously waiting to thank you for Wall Street Reform,


A Few Words (Seriously, Very Few) About Wall Street Reform and Debate For Senator Mitch McConnell

Dear Senator McConnell:

I promised President Obama I would write this open letter since you consistently deny hearing from constituents who have working brains and consciences. I am a person, yet you never include my voice when you presume to speak for THE American People.

Debate, Senator McConnell, is not difficult for people who are informed, honest, and passionate. Your refusal to debate every bill that comes up tells me you must not be any of those. As much as I have criticized your poor leadership, I must admit that this is the one area in which your party has embraced your technique and trickled it down (whoa, nice to realize that finally worked with something). On the internet, people who actually support your position can’t spell filibuster or ignore those of us willing to debate facts so they echo your sentiments with statements like, “Your [sic] dumb!!!!!!!!!!!”, (which reads in a grating, Sarah Palin voice). On the streets, they shout, Baby killer or Communist, grab their pants before they fall past their knees, and deliver hand gestures, sometimes one finger and sometimes the pistol.

I’m sure you realize this does not help your cause, win friends or influence people, or widen what’s left of your base. Since it also does nothing for my community or my country, I would like to help you turn things around. I found a couple of internet sites devoted to teaching the art of debate. I copied an excerpt from triviumpursuit (here, followed by a link to the full version.

How to Get Started in Debate:

There are two things you will have to study if you want to participate in debate:

1. The principles of debate—logic, evidence, case construction, proof, refuting arguments, rebuttal, the brief, etc. Pick 3 or 4 debate books out of the debate bibliography located elsewhere on this web page and study them thoroughly (I especially recommend An Introduction to Argumentation and Debate by Christy Farris). View the debate video put out by Home School Legal Defense (watch it several times). Observe as many debates as you can. This will be difficult for some, but you might look into attending some college debates or government high school debates or private school debates. The more you observe and study the more familiar you will become with the procedures and terminology of debate.

2. The current debate topic. Each year there will be a different topic. It is best if you can start studying in June the topic for the coming school year. Studying the current debate topic is the most important part and the most time consuming part of debating. You must study the subject thoroughly, to learn all that is to be known about it. The more time and effort you give to preparation, the more effective debating you will do. The following are a few ideas on how to approach the study of ANY debate topic. Some of this information is taken from How to Debate by Summers, Whan, and Rousse.

We suggest that you follow these four steps:

1. Read for background information about the subject.

2. Prepare a comprehensive bibliography.

3. Collect as much material as you can find.

4. Read and study the material discovered.

From Triviumpursuit

(Please note that this site also links to a great ad for The Fallacy Detective, 38 lessons on how to recognize bad reasoning, written for Christian students so I think you will like it.)

If that seems like too much reading (see, I remember how much you hate to read), you can find a single-page lesson on debate here.

President Obama (he’s getting a little demanding, huh?) is also asking that you put the interests of the country ahead of your party. I think learning to debate before next week’s vote would be a great first step.

We need Wall Street Reform. What happened? You guys used to be such big fans of reform and suddenly, now that we have a President who is willing to go after big reform, you have cold feet? Some people would say, “Careful what you wish for,” but I favor a more positive messages like the first step is always the hardest and later you’ll look back and realize that the hardest times were the ones in which you learned the most. Be brave, Senator McConnell! Should you choose not to take my advice and retire immediately, you still have time to rescue your reputation. It will take some huge moves but I have faith that you can do that.

Speaking of time . . . you do realize that it is much too soon to judge the benefits of the economic stimulus and health care legislation, don’t you? You were only kidding (and not in a funny way) on Monday when you made those ridiculous statements about how the Democrats haven’t delivered, right? You might want to stop that because, seriously, you are no Jon Stewart and these jokes are flopping, big time.

In case you didn’t get the message, or this was too long for you to read, or you don't know me at all yet – I am in favor of Wall Street Reform, with no amendments (dilutions, sell-outs) to protect your pals and put THE American people at risk.

Eyes on you,


Senator Mitch McConnell (aka Phil A. Buster) and the Kentucky Derby

Dear Senator (you choose, McConnell or Buster):

You probably won’t be surprised to learn that I thought of you several times on Derby Day. It started when I asked my grandson why race horses always turn their heads toward the lead horses and he refused to stop texting and Google for the answer, and ended when I got stuck with a losing horse in the five-dollar jackpot. I should have prepared for the jackpot drawing instead of waiting until there was only one horse left and I was sure someone had drawn the winner, same as I should start looking today for Republican primary challengers in your next race should you decide to stick with other Americans who refuse to retire either because they are selfish and have no hobbies or interests, or because they can’t afford to give up employer-sponsored health insurance. (As for the Derby pick, I must confess that I would not have selected Super Saver as the winner, even if there had been a full cup of folded names and I had been allowed to peek.)

I gave the grandson a break since he is eleven and I understand how he might not have wanted the other tweens at the party to think he was as strangely obsessed as his Gramma with information and fact seeking. I also know he will not take advantage of that break. Any minute now, I expect a phone call with an apology and a long explanation about how a parent or sibling reminded him that I did not receive an answer to my question so he investigated and found one for me. When that happens, I will think of you once again since, in all the years of questions and corrections, you have never once come back to me with a response with so much as a hint of investigation or self-reflection.

Is it too much to hope that I at least crossed your mind once on Derby Day?

Five dollars poorer today,


Senator McConnell Fails Reading Comprehension Again and Gets New Name as Consolation Prize

Dear Senator McConnell aka Phil A. Buster:

My niece expressed concern for my health last night because I was hoarse. I confessed that I had worn out my voice after being on the phone the entire day, and realized that meant I owed THE American people an apology. It’s quite possible that burning ears contributed to your disgraceful job performance yesterday.

This is bittersweet. Much as I regret your performance (and know it would have been the same whether or not I discussed your increasingly humiliating representation and lack of leadership), I am equally encouraged by the realization that I don’t have to initiate these conversations or explain who you are any more. I have successfully altered the dynamics of name recognition by letting everyone know how important you are to me and, in turn, the huge role you play in their lives even when they aren’t paying attention.

Lest you feel uncomfortable about the laughter that accompanies my conversations about you, I assure you that we laugh with you, not at you. There really is nothing humorous about your total disregard for your constituents or your country but sometimes we have to laugh to keep from crying. I do know you well enough to doubt that you are laughing at yourself and trust it is fair to count your laughing at us through your actions as the qualifier in laughing with you.

About finance reform, broken-record, Phil A. Buster, do you honestly think you can get away with the same attempts to deceive again? You tried this same absurd routine with how many issues now? We (I’m not alone and you know it, even if you continue to lie and say you haven’t heard from people who don’t agree with you) have had enough of your – not enough time, too many pages, my party can’t remember what they want from one day to the next, if you don’t do it our way even though we don’t have a way it isn’t bipartisan, we have no intention of ever cooperating for a bipartisan effort on anything, watch us hold our breath and stomp our feet like toddlers, obstructionism.

Honestly, Phil, your obstructionism is childish and abusive. I thought about that yesterday when a cousin (not the one whose heart I broke last week by telling her that, thanks to you, she doesn’t support troops the way she thinks she does – I have many cousins and promise I’ll get around to introducing them all) told me she plans to work time into her schedule to become a legal volunteer for abused women. She had a particular abuse case weighing heavily on her mind at the time so I didn’t change the subject. However, I do wonder if there is a point at which we can legitimately claim damages for your abuse. Purposely misleading people with false information that you hope will scare them into supporting your selfish goals is abusive, Phil. Preying on the ignorance of your apathetic base is disgustingly abusive, and disregarding those of us who point out your errors is unacceptably abusive.

Once again:
The bill does not ensure future bailouts. The bill is designed to liquidate failing companies, not bail them out. No matter how many times you repeat this lie, you will still be WRONG.

Looking forward to proving that YOU are not too big to fail,


Why I Think Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck Overshadow Mitch McConnell

Dear Senator McConnell:

I won’t (can’t) deny the obsession now. I woke this morning with you on my mind. But, I don’t think this is necessarily a bad thing. If persistence pays off, people will thank me later.

I’ve wondered how you feel about holding what should be the highest position in your party, yet all you get is bad press while your party idolizes people like Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, and the Turdblossom. I actually felt sad for you – until my aha! waking thoughts this morning. Now, I suspect you might be party to the bigger scheme, and I feel sorrier for your prey.

Recently, I read Bob Altemeyer’s The Authoritarians. It was a moving, validating experience because, finally, someone with credentials, years of background experience, and actual scientific studies confirmed what I had been saying for years. Of course—you probably know this about me by now—that wasn’t the end of it for me. I dove into a bigger study of authoritarianism and even started writing my own book in response.

What hit me this morning was the secondary definition of authoritarian – political power in an authority NOT responsible to the people. Wow. For a little bitty word, NOT holds a lot of power for someone in your position.

Here’s how I see the bigger picture. I trust you will let me know if I’m off track.
If you allow FOX Entertainment-disguised-as-news, Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, and the Turdblossom – overbearing personalities who are NOT responsible - to manipulate a base that bows obediently to authority for you, you’re off the hook. They can lie, incite violence, solder the division between church and state . . . and you and your party can feign innocence when it all blows up.!

Isn’t that exactly what you were setting up when you excused the violent nature of McCain/Palin groupies as “energetic” instead of calling it like it was? And now, you have an entire Tea Party of gun-toting bigots following in their footsteps that your party is trying to pretend aren’t related to you?

Brilliant! But also scary.

Feeling enlightened,


Energetic Open Letter to Mitch McConnell

Dear Senator McConnell:

I haven’t written in a while because it seemed such a waste of time. Your form-letter responses often started with, “As you know,” and followed with the exact opposite of what I knew and what I had stated in my letters. That told me, if you had bothered to read my letters, you must have hoped I was someone who would fall for your inaccurate talking points without investigating – someone who would turn her brain over to you and assume she must be wrong if you say so – someone who doesn’t keep up – a Republican. The process seemed pointless since it only created negative energy for me, so I stopped writing to you and focused on politicians who haven’t sold their souls and my future to a dead party.

Now that you’ve said it is “absurd” for Democrats to criticize the mob-style tactics being employed at town hall meetings, and you think it is a sign of weakness for anyone to demonize those mobsters because, to you, they are simply “energetic citizens”, I want to thank you for unleashing and inviting my energy. Are you proud of using a three-year-old But Mo-o-o-oom, he did it first defense/excuse, or is that just the level you think your supporters might understand? A good parent/leader might have used this opportunity to point out an example of how effectively organizing positive, hopeful people works. The Obama Presidential campaign would have been a good example.

I think your comments about these hired-goons were totally irresponsible. If you don’t know that they are hired goons, shame on you for being so out of touch. If you do know and condone that, shame on you even more for promoting dishonesty, obstructionism, ignorance, and violence. What kind of leader would do that? In the past, I said that, although I disagree with you politically, I thought you were a good person. This changes my opinion. My family is politically active. By condoning these tactics, you just put my life, and the lives of everyone I love in danger, and a good person would not have done that.

You blew yet another opportunity to appeal to your supporters to stop the nonsense and debate or ask questions like intelligent, responsible adults. Although many have warned me against assuming, I believe there are times when history and experience prove more valuable than their clichéd advice. History and experience tell me that when a “leader” sees escalating problems and excuses or rationalizes them, he is promoting more of the same. You do know that there are groups of hateful, bigoted, ignorant “energized citizens” on your side, arming themselves (sadly, a great number of them in YOUR state) and preparing to do “whatever it takes” to make sure President Obama doesn’t succeed at anything, right? They don’t care if they go down and take the rest of us with them when he fails – as long as he fails. (No need to answer rhetorical, “energized” questions. I know you can’t have your head buried too deeply to know these things.)

Your admission that you can’t predict what might save jobs is something I hope every voter in this district will think about when it’s time to decide if you need to retire. The fact that you projected your inability onto others is, in my opinion, the true sign of weakness you should have focused on this morning. I don’t expect you, or any other politician, to know everything about everything. But I do expect you to know to whom you can turn to for the information you need in order to make informed statements and decisions. If you were open to listening to citizens outside your party I'll bet there might be someone right here in Kentucky who could help you understand how to predict ways to save jobs.

Regarding your statements about “astronomical spending” – are you ever going to address the astronomical spending on illegal, unnecessary wars that got us into this mess in the first place?

Your state gave birth to Humana, the biggest disgrace and lesson about how for-profit medicine drives costs through the roof while thumbing a nose at quality. Shame, shame, shame on you for not learning anything from that experience.

And finally, please clarify when you make statements about how Americans feel and what Americans want. You never speak for me so I would appreciate your prefacing those statements with an honest percentage of Americans you are speaking for.

That’s it for today. Stay tuned; I plan to use this newly released “energy” to catch up with the months I’ve missed.


Where’s the Consistency on Finance Reform, Senator McConnell?

Dear Senator McConnell:

Before you think I went off the deep end or gave up what little life I have, I’m writing twice today by special request. I had already started on the support the troops/veterans letter that my cousin’s Facebook activity prompted when a friend requested that I ask you about your misguided views on finance reform. I wonder if that means you don’t accept letters from THE American People in other states*, or if your form-letter response didn’t make sense to her. It looks like one of us is becoming popular – and maybe not in a good way.

I’m as confused as my friend about your views on finance reform. Even after the White House issued that rebuttal of your misguided views, you kept right on repeating them and denying that you’re in bed with Wall Street. I understand that denial, since you might think people mean it literally and that’s how rumors get started. They don’t. They actually mean that you are courting them, which I believe is a fair statement since you did meet with them to ask for campaign money and we all know they aren’t going to give you anything without some strings attached. I will say, right here for everyone to see, that I don’t think the favors they ask are sexual, if that makes it any easier to swallow.

First, you keep pretending you want bipartisan bills, yet you refuse to cooperate with the party that the American people elected (I know, I’ve been on you about saying THE American people, but it sure fits better when I speak about the MAJORITY than when you mention the teensy minority you represent). Does this, in any way, make sense to you? When your party hijacked the country through stolen elections, you called it a mandate, rubberstamped everything Bush wanted, and filibustered anything the Democrats proposed because – well, I guess because you weren’t interested in bipartisanship back then. Now that the Democrats have won control, you think that mandate means nothing? Isn’t that hypocritical, even to you?

Your party has proven that you don’t really want anything bipartisan, and are even saying you don’t want the things you said you wanted a few months ago. (Remember when you voted against pay-as-you go? And when you pushed for quick rubberstamping of Bush’s bailouts for Wall Street, saying we’d clean up later? I say we should call your bluff; scrap Dodd’s bill and start over with NO concessions. Those were only granted to appeal to your non-existent sense of bipartisanship and you don’t appreciate them. Shoot, you even whine about having to read them. You’d save face and maybe even earn respect if you would just say, “I don’t want to read this so I’ll trust what those who have worked on the bill think.”

Again, (this is why the authoritarian family members make fun of me for always looking for facts, and facts, and more facts) I searched to make sure my memory was correct. Sometimes it fails me and I’d hate to make a fool of myself by accusing you of something you haven’t done. Unfortunately, almost every site that documents your campaign contributions is too busy to get into tonight. Guess I’m not the only one double-checking my memory. I know you didn’t get all of your campaign money from Abramoff, and that Wall Street means a great deal to you but will have to come back with details later.

I did find a few things of interest, however.

You made the CREWS corrupt list with a couple of ethics scandals.

And Hillary Clinton raked you over the coals (ouch) about some things that look even more dualistic now than they did a year ago: incomes went down under the Bush/McConnell regime, you voted to balloon debt under Bush . . . Wait, hear it for yourself (gets good around 4:07)

What I've said here might not be totally related to your comments about Finance Reform, but I think consistency is the most important trait we should look for in a politician. In that respect, everything you have been inconsistent about is related.
I know this isn’t quite what my friend had in mind, and I apologize to her. It’s the best I can do tonight, and it might give you a starting point from which to start explaining.

Running to catch MSNBC in case this is the day you decided to come clean,


• I think politicians in federal seats are responsible to all of us. When what is best for everyone concerned doesn’t meet the desires of their constituents, it is their job to explain the bigger picture so that their constituents understand a vote that might appear strange without that understanding. So, if any of you outside Kentucky would like me to deliver your letters to him, I will be happy to do so.

Help Me Tell My Cousin That, Thanks to You, She Doesn’t Exactly Support The Troops, Senator McConnell

Update: The fact that President Obama had to sign an executive order to get the mental health access our veterans need is proof that the Republican Party does not care about veterans.

Dear Senator McConnell,

My cousin joined a Facebook Group this morning called Let’s find 1 million people who actually SUPPORT our Veterans. (Isn’t it cool how Facebook enables us to watch what our friends and family do and it isn’t even considered stalking). I didn’t click on the group because I’m often disappointed to discover that people say they support troops and/or veterans when, in fact, the only support they show is lip service possibly with a little flag waving on the side. Instead of setting myself up to be disappointed, I decided I would actually do something in my cousin's honor.

I’ve protested wars. I’ve written to people who served when my protesting didn’t do much good. I’ve had Fort Knox soldiers over for meals, and I’ve written to politicians (I’m sure you must remember my letters) asking that they not send our young people to war unless absolutely necessary. In the past, I tracked down many homeless vets to give them food, pocket change, gloves, etc, and I wrote about them – even created a homeless group on Gather where we could collect stories and articles about them all in one place. I’m sad to say that I couldn’t afford to personally send the equipment they didn’t have the first few years of the Afghanistan and Iraq wars – but you can believe I would have sent it if I had had the money. I’ve even stared into the frightened or dead eyes of young men who came home changed forever, and tried my best to console them.

Since you represent me, and your votes in the Senate are ultimately the most I can offer troops and veterans, I decided to check out what I have really done--via you--for them. I’m not real pleased with what I found. I have the comfort of knowing that I voted for your opponents but, alas, that didn’t really do the troops much good.

You voted to send troops into Iraq under false pretenses and have yet –at least that I can find—to apologize for that. Please direct me to those apologies if I missed them because I sure would like to be wrong about this.

In 2004, you countered an amendment that Senator Ted Kennedy proposed asking that Bush submit reports to Congress on the strategy in Iraq. Opponents (mostly Democrats, of course) thought your amendment was not strong enough because it failed to require an estimate of troops needed in the future. I’m still confused by your position on this. For those who want to support the troops, will you ever explain why you didn’t think planning ahead was important?

In 2007, you seemed (at least to me) to only muddy the waters when you and Harry Reid tried to come to some sort of agreement regarding how to debate nonbinding resolutions regarding the surge. If I understand correctly, you pretended this had to be done quickly but then wanted each of the three resolutions to require sixty votes to pass. In the end, you and Reid couldn’t come to an agreement and Republicans blocked that bill (sounds familiar, huh?) and you played it off like it wasn’t important. It came up again, without much debate, and you guys filibustered, holding Harry Reid hostage to a promise that the Senate would continue to fund, without further debate, a war started on lies. Sigh. In all honesty, this feels more like supporting the people who wanted the war than it does like supporting the troops.

And then, in 2007, you pulled what looks like bullying tactics to me by threatening to block a Democratic effort to include a date for troop withdrawal in the Iraq spending bill and then said something akin to, “Oh, never mind, my buddy will veto anyway.” Again, sending those kids into a war based on lies and then refusing to fund them if the funding included a plan to get them out of a war they should never have been sent to in the first place does not seem like support to me.
Since I’m no expert, I checked to see how experts rated you. Here are the results:
2007-2008 In 2007-2008 Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America gave Senator McConnell a grade of B.

2006 Senator McConnell supported the interests of the Disabled American Veterans 60 percent in 2006.

2006 In 2006 Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America gave Senator McConnell a grade of D.

2006 Senator McConnell sponsored or co-sponsored 0 percent of the legislation favored by the The Retired Enlisted Association in 2006.

2005 Senator McConnell supported the interests of the Disabled American Veterans 33 percent in 2005.

2004 Senator McConnell supported the interests of the Disabled American Veterans 0 percent in 2004.

2004 Senator McConnell supported the interests of the The Retired Enlisted Association 0 percent in 2004.

2003-2004 Senator McConnell supported the interests of the Vietnam Veterans of America 50 percent in 2003-2004.

2003 Senator McConnell supported the interests of the The American Legion 100 percent in 2003.

2001 Senator McConnell supported the interests of the Vietnam Veterans of America 76 percent in 2001.

1999 Senator McConnell supported the interests of the Disabled American Veterans 33 percent in 1999.

1997-1998 Senator McConnell supported the interests of the Vietnam Veterans of America 0 percent in 1997-1998.

1989-1990 On the votes that the Vietnam Veterans of America considered to be the most important in 1989-1990 , Senator McConnell voted their preferred position 50 percent of the time.

I have one statement about this list, and one question. If this were my report card, I would have been grounded, and not very proud to claim it. My question – how’d you manage to get on the good side of The American Legion?

Did you really say, “Nobody is happy about losing lives, but remember, these are not draftees, these are full-time professional soldiers”? To whom were you referring? The kids who joined because they couldn’t afford college? The ones who volunteered because they were told they’d be next on the list anyway but would get a bonus if they went ahead and volunteered, only to be sent home days short of the time required to get that bonus and then sent back out weeks later? Surely, not the ones who joined before they knew they would have to serve under Commander in Thief Bush, who would send them into a senseless war? Please, tell me you meant the Blackwater guys.

Filibuster. I know it’s a sore topic these days but I have to bring it up. TWICE you filibustered Senator Webb’s amendments to restore proper troop rotation and rest between tours? Seriously? Nope. There is no way I can consider this supporting the troops.

My cousin has the biggest heart you’d ever hope to encounter and breaking it by telling her just exactly how she supports the troops through you is going to be one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. Worse even, I think she might have voted for you.

Senator Mitch McConnell repeatedly refused to provide any responses to citizens on the issues through the 2008 Political Courage Test when asked to do so by national leaders of the political parties, prominent members of the media, Project Vote Smart President Richard Kimball, and Project Vote Smart staff. What is the political courage test?



A Love Letter for Mitch McConnell

Dear Senator McConnell:

Nippy Katz (not his real name) sent me into an emotional tailspin after my last letter by suggesting that my relationship with you might be toxic. I rode out a long ewww, choked back a denial that we have a relationship, and then got scared. One-sided relationships do count and some people don’t differentiate between romantic and platonic relationships. I could be in trouble if Elaine, the LMPD, the FBI, or the secret service don’t differentiate and think along the same lines as Nippy.

What happened next surprised me. First, I want you (and Elaine, and the LMPD, and the FBI, and the secret service) to know that my obsession with you is purely platonic and my desired outcome political. If I were looking for anything else, I would compare you to Joe (also not his real name) and run as fast and far from you as I could get. Joe was my puppy love. He said he loved me and I was thrilled, although to me true love meant I held his hand while he carried my schoolbooks but I’m pretty sure he expected more. My heart (or maybe just my self-esteem) suffered greatly when I discovered Joe was also telling Patty (nope, not her real name either) that he loved her. He explained that he truly loved me but had to say the right words to her so she would give him ‘what he needed’. I bought it for a while because – well, I was young and stupid. Fortunately, I didn’t stay stupid forever. I broke up with him and decided never to be so gullible again.

On the platonic side, this is exactly what you’ve done this week. Same as Joe, you told Main Street you love them (“We won’t solve this problem until the biggest banks are allowed to fail”), and then tried to excuse away playing kissy face with Wall street (Please give me ‘what I need’ - campaign dollars - to protect you from the Democrats who want to stop you from – well, getting what you need from Main Street). I almost felt fourteen again, and not in a good way. However, this is a love letter so I refuse to stop on a negative note.

On the positive side, another old love called me after reading one of my letters to you in the newspaper. After all these years, who would have dreamed that our shared opinion of the job you aren’t doing would reunite us – and prove, finally, that I am not a black widow. His call, reminded me what real love feels like. He asked the right questions, made me laugh, reminded me of fun times, and most importantly confirmed my belief that real love is based on shared principles and selfless wishes for others. I was able to enjoy hearing about his new life and he didn’t begrudge paying for my Medicare with his tax dollars. Unconstrained by worn out adages and absurd social mores, we discussed politics and religion, and our ideal worlds without even thinking that we have to be just alike, have the same needs, or share a last name in order to want the best for each other. It was nice. Thank you for making it possible.

To bring this full circle, I remembered that my parents taught me that showing love was far more important than saying the words. I’ll withhold the words and continue to show my love for you continuing to vote for candidates who protect all of those wonderful gifts the Democrats have given you over the years. If you’d like to toss a little love my way, you can start by clearing up the confusing messages that make me compare you to Joe.



p.s. Thought you might get a giggle from this. I heard today that GE’s 2007 (not sure about the year) tax return was 24,000 pages long – almost as many pages as your last estimate on the Health Reform Bill.
The White House Debunks Senator McConnell's inane comments about financial reform.

Flowers Don’t Grow in Baghdad, Senator McConnell

Dear Senator McConnell:

I apologize for letting things pile up again. Life, and trying to hang on to it, got in the way. Before you reach for your handkerchief or violin, I assure you that everything balances in my life so I did my share of laughing and celebrating between indignant snits, bouts of pain, and panic attacks over mounting medical bills.

On the positive side, I spent a lot of time outside in this beautiful weather, mostly reading and catching up with neighbors. I want to tell you about my newest friend in the neighborhood, eight-year-old Mohammad. He spotted the tray of garden plants I had started indoors and brought out for a little sun and fresh air, and nearly crashed his bicycle when he jumped off to run up and squat beside the plants.

“What in English?” He asked, his penetrating eyes as wide as he could stretch them.

“Flowers.” I enunciated so he could repeat.

And he did repeat, several times before adding, “No flowers in Baghdad.” He sprawled out on his tummy, eye-to-eye with the tiny starts, and touched them ever so gently. Meanwhile, I struggled to compose myself so he wouldn’t see that my heart was shattering. (In case you missed it, I wrote Do Flowers Grow In Fallujah in 2004, after your party still tried to convince us that Iraqis would greet us with flowers even after we had dropped white phosphorus on them.) After pulling myself together and realizing this adorable child intended to lie in my yard and watch these plants grow, I re-potted a sunflower for him to take home and keep. I doubt anyone has ever made me believe my gift was more appreciated.

Mohammad’s reaction to the flowers and my observations of his family settling into a new home and language (their third) haunts me. This child was born into our war so all he truly knows of his country is scary and barren. Despite what any of us want to think about life in that country before we invaded, we have robbed him of an honest opinion. For the sake of his ancestors, I resent us for his positive view of this new, flowering environment as the better place.

If you can find your heart, I am asking that you escort this family to Thunder Over Louisville this year. I would like very much to hear you explain to them why we pour tons of money into a celebration of war as though it is a fun, beautiful, family event. On second thought, family event might not belong on that list since our war was a family event for them, and the fireworks are beautiful when you don’t think about what they represent and view them with music, but I would like to hear you explain fun and celebratory and how this relates to horse racing to people who’ve lived the real event. If anyone deserves to see the initial reactions of these refugees when the sounds of warplanes and explosions start up in their new city, I think it would be those of you who lied us into this illegal war.

This brings me to a comment you made recently about how people approach you at home. I believe you said, “People know me.” I want that to be a universal truth, not the façade it is now. Recognizing your face is not the same as really knowing who and what you are and believing you are approachable.

Since the sun is the greatest pain relief I know, the first warm sun of the season always prompts reflection of my physical status. This year, I caught myself thinking what a shame it is that we can’t all be Nancy Pelosi – spry, sharp, on top of everything, willing and able to read, comprehend, and explain bills no matter how long they are . . . I’m perfectly content to sit in awe of her and not beat myself up for falling short in comparison. I realize that I have my own purpose and should do the best I can with what I have. Maybe you could do the same?

There is honor in honesty and I see a successful future for you as a guest host for the Iraqi refugees that are pouring into Louisville. Look how your party has embraced half-governor Sarah Palin and left-in-disgrace Newt Gingrich. I’m sure they would do the same for you. As for your constituents, we’re used to not having anyone represent us in the Senate so we would certainly understand if you want to step down now that your party has shoved you aside and turned to the whiney Mormon and the loudmouth shock jock for leadership. Think about it. I promise to support you if you make such a decision, and will help plan a retirement bash.

In closing, I want to thank you for not living in that shameful C Street frat house for punks who refuse to grow up. I admit that I haven’t paid close attention but so far, I don’t think I’ve seen your name connected to this scandal. I trust your silence means the related articles exceed your comfortable reading word count and not that you have reason to dodge questions. In case this is the day that you decide to entertain suggestions, however, I have another. I think it would be a terrible idea to enact Turdblossom Turnaround this time.

If the Democrats have their own frat house disguised as a church, I’m positive Rachel Maddow would have uncovered it and nailed them to the wall already. It would be a huge mistake to try and accuse them of this in a few months because, although that has worked tremendously well for you in the past, you’ve worn it out and even sleepers are waking up to roll their eyes.

I also want to thank you for trying to say some of the people instead of THE American people recently. It didn’t last long but I appreciate the effort. Did you really hear me for once? If not, please humor me because I have enjoyed believing you did.



p.s. It's entirely possible that Mohammad meant Sunflowers don't grow in Baghdad, and that some flowers do grow there. That doesn't change my reaction when I heard his words, nor does it change the truth about how much of that country we have destroyed.

Jamming Health Care Reform Down Senator McConnell's Throat - Open letter, March 17, 2010

Dear Mitch:

The personal tone of the letters I received last week made me certain we must have made it to first name status now. You did acknowledge receipt of my letters, even if your response still indicates no understanding of the words I have written.

I hope my absence the last few weeks didn’t make you think I have been insensitive to your throat fears. I haven’t written because life (and death) got in the way. My uncle died suddenly while on a golfing vacation. That claimed a few days of my time and threw me off emotionally for longer than I would have expected. And I’ve tried to remain upbeat and optimistic since my daughter’s employer laid her off and she needs my support. As you probably know, thinking about you does little to improve my attitude. And, much as I hate to admit it, I sent denial on a little break and wasted several days fretting over how I might pay for the health care I need. So many doctors and tests and so little money. Sigh. The lottery is out since I don’t buy tickets, marrying a rich man is too much like prostitution, and I’m sure I would never get away with robbing a bank since I don’t own a gun.

Still, I assure you, with all of this going on, there was not a day that I didn’t hear or read something from you that made me want to write. (Insert Willie Nelson’s, “You are always on my mind.”) For example, I wondered why you withheld criticism of Senator Bunning’s most recent displays of almost certain dementia. You are outspoken about your dislike for him here at home so your silence on the national scene struck me as pure partisan politics. I’m sure you have a very good reason and my opinion is unfair, so I’ll shut up about this topic and await your rationalization.

I should probably be grateful that you interrupted my pity party with your statements about how reconciliation dooms the party that uses it. (Do you really think that’s the only reason the Republicans lost everything?) A friend heard that with me and asked, “Who is he trying to kid?” My self-esteem slipped out of the party to flatter me by claiming that honor. If cheering me with a good belly laugh was not the motivation behind your “fear the reconciliation” statements, congratulations for accomplishing more than you intended.

To prove (to myself) that my thinking wasn’t nearly as clouded as it once seemed during my absence from you, I recall the following statement as though you made it this morning: “I’m well known at home and people come up to me all the time to talk about this.” This would have been a great lead if you had followed it with honest information about the numbers of people you’ve heard from on both sides of the issue. Sadly, it ended up being just another self-serving misrepresentation. Call me a softy (or bleeding heart) because I understand. Your game is in jeopardy so you can’t resist whipping out the Rovian cheat sheet. I’m sure that’s why you also blabbed on about plenty of good Republican ideas, none of which you attempted to pass during your turn at “jamming things down throats”.

If you aren’t sitting, please find a seat before reading the next line. Put down your drink, clear your throat, and take a deep breath. I would like to recognize and thank the Republicans who elected Senator John Barrasso. That single act should qualify your party as a major participant in health care reform and shame the AMA. You people improved quality of care by removing from practice one of the most incompetent physicians I’ve seen (that’s saying a lot - ask me about my career sometime if you don’t recognize me). I would be happier if you had found somewhere other than the senate to dump him, but am at least relieved to know he is not treating patients.

About your throat – I might wander off track but I don’t forget where I’m headed – lest you think my heart has stopped bleeding, I heard your fears (repeatedly) about having health care reform jammed down your throat. I empathized, even, since I choked on the Iraq War, the Patriot Act, Justices Roberts and Alito, Medicare Part D . . . you get the picture. True to my optimistic nature, though, I remembered that it is much easier to have something jammed down the throat than up the tighter end, where I had to accommodate the stolen elections in 2000 and 2004. No matter how much of your dishonest rhetoric you believe, you should still be grateful to the Democrats for choosing the less painful orifice in which to do the jamming. The good news, though, is that health care reform won’t be hard to swallow.

(Yes, we do expect you to swallow, with a smile on your face.)

Much love,


February 25, 2010 Open Letter to Mitch McConnell: Health Care Summit

Dear Senator McConnell:

Today’s the day! Finally, President Obama has heard your pleading and invited you in for a Health Care Summit. I’m sure you must be floating on cloud nine since this is your big chance to clear the air and retract all of the misinformation you’ve delivered over the last year.

I hope you will start by apologizing to all of us whose voices you have ignored until now. Surely, you remember us. We must weigh like a huge stone in your gut since we’ve written and called to tell you how much we want health care reform with a public option, and you’ve ignored us. Today can be your huge stoneectomy; come clean and remove that pain.

And then, I’m sure you will want to prevent a nasty post-op complication by debriding those lies about reconciliation. You silly, silly goose. I’m sure you thought we’d get a giggle or two from those absurd comments about this being an unusual or “nuclear” option. There’s a problem with that, though. In order to get humor, people have to know the truth behind it. Not everyone knows that the Republicans were the instigators behind 16 of the 22 reconciliations since 1980 so your humor was lost on them.

The agenda is full and the meeting is only scheduled to last one day, so I’m sure you won’t have a chance to clear up most of your misinformation. No problem. I’m patient and can wait until tomorrow for you to dictate the letter and schedule appearances on all of the news channels that will complete your cleansing. In fact, it might be best for Kentucky’s reputation (you know – that inbred, barefoot, idiot thing that you’ve helped us hang on to) if you say as little as possible. A sincere smile, a brief apology, and a nod toward the President’s plan will be enough.


p.s. If you see Anthony Weiner, will you give him a huge hug for me.

February 16, 2010 Open Letter to Mitch McConnell

Senator McConnell:

"While the American people have already rejected the health spending bills pending in Congress, today it appears the President has heard their calls to scrap the 2,700-page, partisan bill and start over," McConnell said in a statement.

Who do you expect to believe this line of tripe and why do you continue to embarrass and insult us this way? No rational person thinks President Obama’s willingness to coddle your pathetic party has anything to do with him “hearing calls to scrap the bill” or that the bill is partisan. Sane, honest people know that what he “heard” were your dishonest martyrdom about him not considering your non-plan, and your dishonest attack and distract about his promising to televise meetings on c-span, and your feigned ignorance of the fact that it would have taken an additional c-span channel to cover all of the meetings. And reasonable people know that President Obama’s biggest mistake was in diluting the bill to please your party, whose ONLY health care contribution in eight years was an absurd sell-out-to-pharmacy Part D addition to Medicare, so you could pretend you did something that you didn’t and whine later about the cost of “socialized” medicine.

The kids are still waiting to read that 2,700 bill that you obviously have pushed aside, along with letters from “the” American people. They are capable. Yesterday, they took turns reading aloud to me from the book I’m writing about how “some” (note the honesty in that word, as opposed to your misleading use of the word “the”) people got stupid enough to vote for someone like you. They breezed right through, comprehending what they read, even, so I told them that I have volunteered them to help you with bills and letters. Let us know when you’re ready.

Meanwhile, I am an American “people”. Stop misrepresenting me now that I (and many others) have let you know that we do not support your delusions. If you must say stupid things like the quote that started this, make it perfectly clear that you speak for a few confused people when you spew this nonsense, not THE American people.

Words and honesty matter.

Seriously weary,


February 12 Open Letter to Mitch McConnell

Senator McConnell:

You’ll be pleased to see that I’m in a better mood today. I wasn’t at the winter meeting of the Republican National Committee last year to hear it for myself, but I did read your cry for a “post-partisan” era. I knew if I tried hard enough, I would eventually find a common interest or two, and a way that the two of us could work together. It didn’t take long. I’m patting myself on the back already and hope I’ll be able to reach out and do the same with you soon.

Earmarks/Pork: I’m sure it must be terribly difficult to straddle that “stand by your man” and “bring home the bacon to campaign on” line. Feigning disgust for earmarks sponsored by Democrats when you know they remember that you publicly defended your own $1,252,689,325* worth of pork surely must turn your smile upside down and make your tummy churn at night. (How many pages do 166 earmarks add to a bill, and did the other senators complain about having to read that much?)

I think, if you would choose a consistent message and stick with it, your tummy would thank you. (Your staff might thank you also, since the rest of wouldn’t have to overload them with letters and phone calls.) Don’t be afraid to stand up to John McCain (he lost the election which, I think, means the majority of people in this country weren’t impressed with his no earmarks campaign) and other party members who make you look like a hypocrite. They shouldn’t do that to you.

Although there might be another name for the way Senator Shelby held 70 nominations hostage while he tried to get the contracts he wanted for his state, I’m sure you will agree that it is the same as holding a bill hostage for earmarks. Again, you tried to play nice guy for a member of your party and ended up looking uninformed. Your leadership role provides you the opportunity to explain exactly what Senator Shelby was trying to do, and that you support such moves. You don’t deserve to be called names like buffoon just because they expect you to hide their truth.

Responsible Government Spending: Here’s your ace-in-the-hole opportunity to prove that you mean this and that you are willing to take on the Obama Administration. Why are they not aggressively going after Halliburton and Blackwater/Xe/whatever-they’ll-call-themselves-after-this-outing for the millions of dollars both companies stole from this country? To most (more than 51%) American people, a million dollars is an enormous amount of money (might want to tell Michael Steele). I'm not quite as confident with an unsubstantiated 'most' here, but am willing to bet that 'most' of us don’t want anyone to get away with stealing millions of taxpayer dollars from us, hard-earned or easy come.

You will do your reputation a huge favor if you would take on this project, along with pointing out how Bush/Cheny’s privatization of the war with no accountability cost us dearly.

If you pour your heart and determination into recovering what we are due from corrupt corporations, and this administration ignores you, I will be able to defend your position for a change. Wouldn’t that be cool?
See ya soon!

* Fiscal Year(s) 2008-2009 Solo Earmarks 112 $697,707,000 With Other Members $554,982,325 All Sponsored Earmarks (166) $1,252,689,325

February 10, 2010 Open Letter to Mitch McConnell

(Not going to pretend you are dear to me any more) Senator McConnell:

I’m sure you know that President Obama is going to protect us, no matter how difficult you and your party make that job for him. Still, I want you to know I am disgusted that you are playing with my safety and then insinuating that he isn’t concerned with protecting me.

President Obama nominated an assistant secretary of state for intelligence and research (Philip Goldberg), undersecretary of defense for personnel readiness (Clifford Stanley), undersecretary of homeland security for intelligence (Caryn Wagner), and representative to a conference on disarmament (Laura Kennedy) – months ago. Senator Shelby has blocked these (and many other) nominees until he gets the contracts he wants for his state. Last I heard, you had a full staff yet you are unable to present even a decent façade of keeping up with your responsibilities. Do you see how petty and dishonest you look when you imply that President Obama is not meeting your standards while your party plays games that leave him hanging with huge holes in his staff?

To make things even worse, I hear the following statements from you:

"I wish to indicate that Senator Shelby has been in discussions with the administration over an issue with which I am not terribly familiar, and I believe that is the genesis of his objection.”

"He is not able to be here at the moment to state his position," McConnell said.

"Maybe in discussions with him, we can make some progress on these, sooner rather than later, but for the moment I am constrained to object on his behalf."

You claimed that you were uninformed regarding Senator Shelby’s blocking of nominees, an issue that has been a major problem for months now? Covered in newspapers, magazines, and blogs, and on every major news channel? Seriously? This is not leadership, Senator McConnell. This is inept, it is lazy, and it is more of the same partisan ugliness that you try to project onto the Democrats.

This is unacceptable.

Your salary is sufficient to cover the cost of a cell phone and I should think you have access to contact information for Senator Shelby. If you lack either of those, I think that is another sign of incompetence. If you have a phone and contact information, you were rude to try and delay this country’s business another day and you were careless with my safety which, again, is unacceptable.

And, finally, I hope your leadership position demands that you counsel Senator Shelby and his spokesperson on the inaccuracy of the following statement:

"If this administration were as worried about hunting down terrorists as it is about the confirmation of low-level political nominations," he said last week,

"America would be a safer place."

The hypocrisy is disgusting.

Until tomorrow,


p.s. Does this mean you have a sense of humor after all?
Senate Minority Leader, Mitch McConnell, gloated yesterday, “Where’s Al Gore now?” If so, you haven't shown that side of your personality often enough, or a consistent grasp of facts to make me feel comfortable that this was a joke. Want to ease my mind?

February 9, 2010 Open Letter to Mitch McConnell

Dear Senator McConnell:

If you’ll let me know when you are in town, I’ll bring my grandchildren by to read that “2700” page bill to you. Seriously, even the baby could get through it in less time than you’ve spent whining about how impossible it is for you and others in your party to read it. You should be ashamed – for pretending it’s too long to read, for purposely misleading people with that number, and for feeding into the rumors that all Kentuckians are illiterate. (Wanna talk about the two-feet of paper the Democrats received a few years ago, in the middle of the night, with not enough time to read, yet all they asked were for a few days to get through it? I’ll dig up the exact bill if you want to pretend you don’t remember.)

Let’s just pretend it really is 2700 single-spaced pages, with half inch margins, in a 10 point font. I’ll pretend with you (for a minute). Even then, any reasonably intelligent person who had been present (and maybe somewhat alert) for debates and discussions all the years that you’ve supposedly been there would be able to read those 2700 pages over the NINE MONTHS you’ve had to read it.

If you don’t want to read the bill, stop this nonsense and just admit it. We deserve that from you. If you admit the truth and ask nicely, I’m sure Congressman Yarmuth will gladly brief you, and walk you through any parts you don’t understand. Not only has he managed to read it, he has explained it in terms that the people I know understand.

On a personal note, you do NOT speak for the American People, or the public, or even for Kentuckians. You speak for some people. Words mean something and your use of the instead of some is misleading. Why do you do this? (That one is rhetorical.)

Please explain exactly who you were talking about when you said the public is overwhelmingly against the health care bill. What public? The occupants of your office? Home? The public you had lunch with on Tuesday or passed in the hall this morning? Who is “overwhelmingly” against this bill? And what do you mean by “overwhelmingly”? Are you implying a percentage? Or that the few people you know who are against the bill are really, really dead-set against it?

You are not speaking for the many people who have written and called to tell you they support the bill. When will you speak – honestly – for us?


p.s. Can you tell I'm losing my patience? You still haven't responded to my last letter and already you've embarrassed me again.

Open letter to Mitch McConnell - February 4, 2010

February 04, 2010 12:01 PM EST

Dear Senator McConnell:

For years, I have written to you about issues that matter very much, to me, to my country, and to my world. I’ve laughed off your form-letter responses that make it clear you either did not read my letter, did not comprehend what you read, or did not plan to give my position any consideration. I understood how you might have thought you owed me—personally—nothing, since I am a registered Democrat and have actively campaigned against you for decades. Today, I am ashamed of my generosity, and my ignorance of exactly how much you do owe me.

You, Senator McConnell, hold my life in your hands. Your votes determine whether or not I am safe and I have the things I need in order to survive. This week, you either misrepresented the way President Obama’s administration handled the Christmas Day underwear terrorist or you remained silent when you thought the Bush Administration mishandled many others. You owe us an explanation because the consequence of your politicizing terrorism is that you endanger our lives. The problem with your dishonesty is that your base admittedly doesn’t bother fact-checking and they repeat your incorrect statements, making intelligent discussion of important issues in our community almost impossible.

I am not so generous any more. I dropped my head and hoped no one knew I was from Kentucky when you made the static cling comment and shook my head over many subsequent absurd statements. I have grown weary trying to clean up your messes and your most recent comments anger me. I stopped accepting feigned ignorance as an excuse for dishonesty from friends and family and I will no longer accept it from you. There simply is no acceptable excuse.

In addition to (or in lieu of) your form-letter response, I await your public explanation and correction with at least as much news coverage as your original misstatement received. I will alert the media of this expectation also.



copied to local media, national media, blogs, the White House, and everyone else I could think of)

I suggest we all do the same every time our elected officials misrepresent the truth - let's hold them AND the media responsible.

Did Mitch McConnell Lose His Calendar, Or His Mind

January 15, 2008

Many of us, especially those who are parents and Kentucky residents, have no trouble recalling situations in which we experienced empathetic humiliation for people who seemed totally oblivious to the fact that they were making total fools of themselves. While others snickered, and the oblivious guy remained smug, we empaths struggled to balance disbelief, sorrow, the urge to stop the ill-advised behavior and, sometimes, disgust, making the situation uncomfortable on many levels.
The first couple hundred times I heard Mitch McConnell make a statement that would have shamed a rational person into permanent hiding, I was sad for him. His wide-eyed, pursed-lipped grin gave him an overgrown Dennis the Menace appearance, or made him look like a sweet old guy who couldn't possibly have made it to his position without a brain cell or two. I credited him with difficulty thinking on his feet.

When I finally realized he was permanently wearing his foot in his mouth and showing no discomfort, I thought it was my duty to try to save the poor man. I sent letters, pointed out his errors, and entered a new realm of lunacy - McConnell correspondence.

My first letter to Mitch McConnell addressed the gross error in his, "Kentuckians care more about static cling than campaign finance reform," statement, made on the senate floor and televised for the world to see. (I almost left Kentucky over that one.) After discovering how gratifying it was to participate in the salvation of my state's reputation, I wrote every time I heard or read a flawed opinion from Senator McConnell, at least until the doctor reminded me that I was not allowed to work a full time job.

I was less forgiving with his letters than I had been with his speeches, since he had time to review and reflect before sending them. It wasn't as though he shot back a personal response; they were form letters, seldom addressing my opinions or questions, and not quick to arrive.

In fairness, I returned a few of his letters, documenting my thoughts and emotions as I read each line. I wanted him to understand how he had insulted me, in case he was not doing it purposely. For example, when he started his letter with "as you know" and proceeded to tell me the opposite of what I had said in my letter, and the opposite of what the world knew to be true, I understood that to mean one of three things. He disregarded my concerns, had not read my letter, or did not understand English, any of which would be cause for concern.

The latest problem is so baffling that I have not addressed it. In November 2007, McConnell's face cropped up amid the flurry of off-year election ads. He surely was not giving up his Senate Minority Leader position to run for Agriculture Commissioner or Governor. My first thought was that he was supporting or endorsing one of the republicans running for office, but that was not the case.

The McConnell ads continue still. I see Mitch McConnell's face on my television almost as often as I see Clinton, Obama, McCain, and Huckabee. Not only do I wonder what fantasy writer he hired to script the ads, I want to know why he is running them. Did he forget that 2007 was an odd year? Is he practicing for a presidential race someday, or is it exciting to see his ads mingled with theirs? Is Elaine ignoring him so he needsa little public love? Is he testing to see how many fabrications the public will swallow, or how long I'll wait before I write? Does he think he's a comedian?

On a positive note, he might not trust his fellow Republicans who say, "With his resources, he can't be beat."Maybe he is seeing that yes-man Republican dollars aren't all it takes any more, and knows he needs a running start on the 2008 race.

Your Forehead Tells a Story, Senator McConnell

April 18, 2010

Dear Senator McConnell:

My dear friend, Janna, provided the missing puzzle piece when she posted a photo of you on my love letter (April 15, 2010).

Immediately, the whole picture came together. Here’s what I read on your shiny, smooth brow. Republicans elected President Obama. Sure, he had more than enough votes to win, but so did Al Gore and we know how that ended up. Same as you guys have controlled elections for years and will continue to do so until we actually do something about your ownership of voting machines and the lack of scruples that allows you to believe “All’s fair in love, war, and politics,” you controlled this one, too. (quote compliments of Anne Northup when questioned about her misleading attack ad on Eleanor Jordan in 2000 – I can’t find a video to confirm that she included the word love, but that’s how I remember it)

The pattern seems to be that you keep yourselves in power until you run everything into the ground so far you know you can’t dig your way out, and even the sleepers are getting edgy. Then, when things are as bad as they can possibly get and you know you can’t fix it on your own, you let the Democrats win. That way, you can blame the ‘worst’ of times on them, and criticize them for doing the tough, unpopular things that must be done in order to save this country from you. It’s actually quite clever but equally hellbinding*, should you believe such things.

As usual, now that the Democrats are in control, you are pretending to fight everything this administration wants to accomplish. You know your clueless base will buy whatever you are selling, the Democrats have the backbones to put politics aside and do what is necessary, and the clueless will listen at campaign time when you tell them the Democrats "rammed through" policies that you opposed - but that really saved them. And you’ve planted cutsie little puppets like Blackburn of Tennessee, Bachmann of Minnesota, medically-discharged-after-eight-weeks Boehner of Ohio-where-the-sun-shines-eternally, and the babbling Barbie from Alaska to rope in idiots who think pretty faces are more important than brains and convince them that you would never have done anything to help them (and that that’s a good thing – which totally blows my mind).

And your clueless base lives happily ever after, criticizing the Democrats for giving them the things they actually treasure – because you tell them to.

Here’s the tough part for me – I don’t want to accuse you of trying to jump on the cutsie bandwagon with Botox. My conscience tells me that would be an abuse of patient privacy as well as a leap without proof. So, I’m not going there. But I will say that it’s darned near impossible for me to reconcile the sagging jowls and age with that smooth as a mirror brow, or understand how your lips move without the rest of your face. (Feel free to chalk that up to jealousy on my part, since I can’t find a product that will smooth my lines away.)

One other explanation comes to mind. Maybe you have trained yourself not to use facial expressions. If I were going to stand in front of cameras and lie my flat behind off, that’s probably exactly what I would do.

Wrinkled and confused,


*I think I made up the word hellbinding. Let me know if it doesn’t work.
My Apology For the Last Election
February 10, 2009 07:33 PM EST

I have lived with this shame for three months and don't think I can last another day. Hopefully, owning my mistakes and telling you how sorry I am for them will allow me to hold my head up again. Maybe you will understand, and even forgive me.

I think of all those selfish nights when I slept four - sometimes more - hours, knowing there was work I could be doing. The big problem (trust me, I've learned from this) is that I was overly confident. I trusted the wrong people and I will never do it again.

Sure, I typed a few articles, wrote a few letters to editors, left comments and opinions dribbled all around the Internet, made phone calls, attended meetings, spoke with friends and neighbors, pointed out the dishonesty in his ads, and cried a few times. But many days, I did not leave my home, much less my county, and I didn't post five articles a day like I should have, pointing out every insane thing Mitch McConnell said or did.

On Election Day, I did absolutely nothing to keep uninformed people from voting. Worst of all, I turned in Republican voter registrations - even reminded those people to vote. Sorry.

If it helps any, my heart sinks, my stomach burns, and tears burn my eyes every time I hear Mitch McConnell make a stupid statement, or read where he voted against the best interest of the American citizens. I send him letters, almost daily, telling him where I think he went wrong and how disappointed I am in him. For reasons I'll never understand, he doesn't listen to me.

If you forgive me, I promise I will not sleep a minute during the next campaign. Until then, I will try (there are only so many hours in a day) to apologize for every stupid thing he does.

I also promise not everyone in Kentucky is as misinformed as Mitch McConnell and the people who elected him.

Today's list:

I apologize for this antiquated, violent opinion and volunteer to shake him if he believes that it is the appropriate way to get people to think the way we want them to think: "I think it may be time . . . for the president to kind of get ahold of these Democrats in the Senate and the House . . . and shake them a little bit and say, look, let's do this the right way."

I apologize for this absurd statement, and for the fact that he can't remember (age) that his party caused the mess we're in yet he wants more of the same, and for the fact that he doesn't care that the country (and his state) are in a financial crisis and that people are losing jobs faster than he can spit out his rhetoric: "The president was right to call for a stimulus, but this bill misses the mark." (If he believed in helping others, I would offer to chip in on new glasses so he could see the mark.)

I apologize for the University of Louisville for honoring a man who bungles history this way: "One of the good things about reading history is you learn a good deal. And, we know for sure that the big spending programs of the New Deal did not work. In 1940, unemployment was still 15 percent. And, it's widely agreed among economists, that what got us out of the doldrums that we were in during the Depression was the beginning of World War II."

I beg you to forgive me for not stuffing a sock in his mouth before he uttered this ridiculous statement following President Obama's press conference last night: "The legislation moving its way through Congress bears little resemblance to what President Obama described at tonight's press conference...[It] is filled with unnecessary and wasteful programs that will saddle future generations with massive debt."

I apologize for Ross Douthat's rationalization: "McConnell, like all GOP leaders, is in an awfully difficult spot at the moment: He's heading up a party that desperately needs a new direction, but whose most loyal and vocal members want nothing to do with anything that smacks of compromise or centrism. In those circumstances, the thing for Republicans in Washington to do is to talk an awful lot about how conservative principles don't need to change (and they don't, broadly speaking), while eagerly embracing new policy options whenever possible."

And I apologize for these recent votes:
No on the stimulus package
No on the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act.
No on the confirmation of Eric Holder for Attorney General
No on the confirmation of Timothy Geithner for Secretary of the Treasury
No on Children's Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2009 (SHAME, shame, shame on you, Mitch McConnell, for using your childhood illness in your campaign and then voting against this bill.)