Presidential Pen Pal: Bye Bye Bye

Donald John Trump emailed me. A lot. So I decided to answer. Maybe we’ll become one of those great literary couples known for their letters. Maybe one of us will get a visit from the FBI. You never know. #trump #humor #trumpfunny #deardonny #presidentspenpal #presidentialpenpal #comedy #politics #politicalhumor
The curb of history.

As *NSYNC Once Sang… Bye Bye Bye.

January 16, 2021

Dear Donny:

You truly have been an historic president! Donny, if your goal was to be remembered, check! Checkity-check! Impeachment #2 is one for the record books. Congratulations?

I’d like to think you’re going to get convicted this impeachment. You’ve tried so hard! But so many members of Congress seem to consider that oath to protect and defend the Constitution the way most drivers consider speed limits – as a suggestion to ignore whenever it’s inconvenient. Armed terrorists stormed the halls of Congress, smeared poop, stole stuff, threatened to hang the Vice President and killed a cop, but it wasn’t enough for many of them to feel they needed to act. So the Lawn Order set is okey dokey with violent insurrection, vandalism, threatening elected officials, and murder. What’s their standard for things that demand immediate, decisive action? Alien invasion? Burned mac n’ cheese in the Congressional dining room? A Black kid selling lemonade?

Mitch McConnell couldn’t kick that can down the road quickly enough. Who knew someone his age could move that fast? All he needed was the right inspiration. You ask me, he’s delaying because most of the Republicans in Congress are hoping you’ll get convicted by a Senate that’s majority Democrat, so you get convicted but their red handprints aren’t on it. The Lion in The Wizard of Oz had more courage at the start of the movie than these people can muster after years in office. Some of them were objecting to the results of the same election that put them in Congress, which is… what’s a polite word for dumb as a bag of hair and crazy as a raccoon on meth and steroids?

It chilled and saddened me, Donny, to see your supporters. I don’t just mean seeing them in the halls of Congress acting like they were doing GI Joe cosplay. I mean seeing them. I’m still confused about the dude in the cow hat. His mommy complained that he wasn’t being fed organic food in jail. Seems like an invader would be able to subsist on things not sold at Whole Foods and cooked by his mommy. The Book Club refers to him as “Buffalo Boob” and “Buffalump.”

Another one of them goes by the code name “Baked Alaska.” Baked Alaska is a dessert made of an ice cream cake covered in meringue. Your “soldiers” include a guy who thinks he’s a cow who needs organic hay, and a guy whose code name tells the world that when the heat is on, his bottom gets soggy and he falls apart. I’ve heard the term “ragtag army” before, but now I really understand it. You couldn’t get a full cup of sanity if you milked that entire crowd.

Speaking of the Book Club, they send greetings, but I don’t think I should use that kind of language to the President. Marty called me. He’s so quiet I forget he’s in the Book Club. The thing with quiet people is you don’t know if they’re deep and quiet, or just quiet. I couldn’t even tell you which political party he belongs to, if any. Anyway, when we used to meet in person, Marty never said much. (I know, you’ve never stopped meeting in person, Donny – you just meandered around, spreading Covid and conspiracy theories like some lunatic lost sheep, but many of us have people we care about.) He just walked in, took his seat, and listened. Or maybe he wasn’t listening. Maybe he just liked Spud’s home-made cinnamon rolls. Anyway, for the longest time I just sort of forgot Marty was there.

So when he called me, it was a surprise. He was watching your terrorists riot in DC. The first one. Yes, I know you’re planning another. Everyone knows. Except maybe Capitol security. Marty said we should read the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights. I said maybe he joined after we did that. He was pretty annoyed that I didn’t remember he’d been in the Book Club since the beginning, but he said we needed to read it again, so we did.

And you know what, Donny? He was right! We missed some stuff the first time. For one thing, did you know there is one crime spelled out in the Constitution? I’d ask you to guess what it is, but it’s not fair to ask someone to guess about something he’s never read, so I’ll tell you: treason.

It’s both very specific and open to interpretation, which is interesting. Treason is levying war against the United States, or “adhering” to their enemies, giving them “aid and comfort.” So what constitutes war against the United States? It’s not a stretch that inciting a violent mob to march on Congress and demand the Vice President overturn the results of a legal election (and you know it was, Donny – lawsuits all over the place, tossed out for lack of evidence, even by judges you appointed) could be considered treasonous by the first definition. I don’t think it’s required for you to say, formally, “Let’s do some war on the United States!” Pretty sure your “Go git ’em!” is enough.

Who are our enemies? People who tried, with some success, to interfere in two Presidential elections and seem to have put out bounties on our troops seems like a good guess, Donny. You couldn’t give Putin more aid and comfort than you already have without rubbing his feet and making him breakfast (I looked it up. He likes oatmeal and cottage cheese. Sure, YOU know that, but I didn’t). As far as “adhering,” well, you sure haven’t held Russia accountable for anything, not putting bounties on our troops, or influencing our elections or major hacking… If you were any more adhered to Russia you’d burp after Putin finishes his oatmeal.

Treason requires two witnesses to stick, but heck, you were on camera spreading conspiracy theories and telling people to march on the Capitol and fight. They comb through your tweets and speeches, you’re done. Since I know you’re pretty much down to people who are lawyers the way a pig in a tutu is a ballerina, I looked up the punishment for treason: “Whoever, owing allegiance to the United States, levies war against them or adheres to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort within the United States or elsewhere, is guilty of treason and shall suffer death, or shall be imprisoned not less than five years and fined under this title but not less than $10,000; and shall be incapable of holding any office under the United States.”

And Donny, you still haven’t, as of today, done the most important thing you could do to calm all of this – concede. Admit defeat. You know you lost. Recounts of recounts. So many lawsuits with so little to show for them.

Good news for you, Donny – you don’t automatically lose your pension (although if you’re dead, will you care?). Seems like you should, right? Why would taxpayers fund the retirement of a traitor? You could, if Congress decides to take it away, but it’s not cut and dried. Ditto for that million-dollar travel allowance (unless you take door #2, with lifetime Secret Service protection, and in your case, I would). Congress can take that away, if they think of it, but if they don’t, you could be the first President to have Secret Service protection in the slammer! Bet they’ll be thrilled to pull that duty! Unlike the poor people assigned to Ivanka and Jared, people in prison at least get toilet facilities. Not so private, but functional. I’m sure your detail will be appropriately grateful.

Sedition is a different kettle of rotten fish. It’s not a Constitutional crime. Think of it as the difference between Don Jr. and Eric. Both awful, but one is clearly worse (hah, made you laugh, Donny!). Sedition is any conspiracy to overthrow, put down or destroy by force the government of the United States, and includes a lot of different crimes. It’s a big pot of stew where part of the meat is so rotten it floats and the rest is a combination of moldy mystery bits.

It’s possible to suggest the use of force against the government without actually performing sedition on it, but it’s a dicey tightrope to walk. You can say, “Someone ought to force so-and-so to do such-and-such, but cross into “march on the Capitol and punish!,” you’re probably over that line. You tried to be cagey about it, but let’s face it, Donny, subterfuge ain’t your thing. You like to speak in declarative, even combative, statements. And random word burps. If anyone can prove a conspiracy, you’re sunk. Here’s where your administration’s famous inability to organize anything is your friend. Just point to your response to Covid19, now Covid 19, 20 and the way it’s going, 21, as proof you guys couldn’t organize a hopscotch game. Lean on your incompetence, Donny. Lean hard.

Terrorism is something you find in U.S. Code, so law, but not a clear violation of the Constitution. It’s domestic if you’re a U.S. Citizen and foreign if you’re not, but either way, a problem. Any violation of federal or state criminal law intended to intimidate or coerce a civilian population or influence government policy by intimidation or coercion. You done that, Donny. You done that a lot. I hope the whole plot to assassinate Pence and some members of Congress doesn’t have your fingerprints on it. Attempting to affect the conduct of the government by assassination, kidnapping and/or mass destruction is The Big No-No of domestic terrorism, and for sure some of your followers were caught trying to do all of that. Buffalump and the rest say you should pardon them because they were there at your invitation. How do you tell your friends from your enemies? They all get you into trouble.

So your calendar is no longer “will do unspecified Presidenting stuff all day.” It’s not even “golf.” It’s likely to be “something involving prison.” Can you pardon you? Probably not, and it’s nothing to brag about that you’re considering it. If you resign today, would Pence pardon you? Ehhh, maybe, but you did sic a lynch mob on him. He’d forgive even that if it helped his career, but his career is pretty much “take a bow and exit” now, and he knows it.

The good news is, I seriously doubt they’ll pot you for treason. Not that I doubt you committed treason. You shouldn’t think I’ve lost faith in your abilities, Donny. I believe you did the treason, the sedition and the domestic terrorism. You are, as you’ve said once or twice, the best. I just don’t think they’ll shoot you for it. You’re an old man, for one thing. The optics of “ready, aim, fire” aren’t so good when one side is lean, fit military people and the other is a wrinkled orange fart. No offense meant. Plus, you’ve got a lot of co-traitors. So it’s probably prison. But then, you were headed that way anyway.

Which reminds me – speaking of people going places, please ask your staff to leave the White House as they found it. There’s footage of a guy exiting with a bust of Lincoln. Considering the trouble you’re already in, you’d better have receipts for everything.

I’ve said it before: you’re an overachiever, Donny! True, at stuff nobody should even think of doing, but it’s an accomplishment of a sort. If the only thing you’re good at is explosive diarrhea, you can either try to get help for your problem or take your pants off and go for the world record, right?

Would have been nice if you’d brought that dedication to fighting Covid. I know, it’s not on your radar that over 390,000 human beings are dead in the U.S., Donny, as of today. We’ll hit 400,000 before you go. When this started, 500,000 dead was our worst-case scenario. Now it’s the best we can hope for. You knowingly misled people, and then when it came out, instead of admitting it and telling the truth, you doubled down rather than have to admit you were wrong, and it’s close to costing us our country. Had you been nearly as interested in saving Americans as you’ve been in whatever the hell your actual game was, we’d be praising your name to the skies.

Kids in cages, Covid, economic destruction, violent insurrection, and you’re upset about not being on Twitter? Donny, Twitter is a business. You’re all about the rights of businesses to do as they please, right? Nobody’s guaranteed a platform on social media, and you need to just lie low from here on, Donny. As maybe your only friend, I’m telling you to take this opportunity to shut up and stay out of the limelight.

If you just go off and play golf somewhere and keep your thoughts to yourself, you might still survive your Presidency. Many of us won’t, but you’re the cockroach of politics. Please don’t take this wrong, Donny. You trail filth, but you don’t seem to catch the diseases you spread. Well, except for Covid. Please try to remember you can get it again and prison doesn’t offer the sort of medical care you got as President. Hardly any place does. For sure it’s not available to the rest of us.

Don’t worry about writing back. You need to keep a low profile and like almost everyone in America, I need some rest. I’ve been here for you through scandal and disaster after disaster, so don’t take it wrong when I say I need a long period of boredom and normality, and you just aren’t conducive to either. You’re exciting at a time when excitement is the last thing any of us needs. God, I miss my plain old life I used to complain about. But I wish you luck. Not as much luck as I wish our country, just a teeny, tiny bit. It’ll have to do. It’s all I have to spare at this point.

As for us getting pancakes, I have absolutely no idea when I’ll be able to meet anyone at a restaurant or anywhere else, so let’s table that indefinitely. The optics of getting breakfast with someone who tried to break America aren’t ideal. I have to protect my brand, which I must have, since everyone else seems to. You understand. Or maybe you don’t. I’ve never really been sure how much of all of this was deliberate. I guess we’ll find out.

That wall of yours seems like the best analogy for your Presidency, Donny. You said you’d have built 500 miles of wall by now. You actually built about 50 miles of new wall. You said Mexico would pay for it. When they wouldn’t, you said taxpayers would pay for it and Mexico would reimburse us. They didn’t and they’re very clear that they won’t. You said it would cost $8 billion for 1,000 miles. So far, we’ve spent $15 billion, money we needed to take care of our people, and added just 50 miles to the old wall.

After your supporters stormed the Capitol, vandalized the halls of Congress, threatened to kill the Vice President, members of Congress and elected officials nationwide, and killed a cop, you traveled, during a pandemic that has killed almost 400,000 Americans so far, to give a speech praising yourself in front of that very expensive, very little section of wall, which is, for the record, ten percent of what you promised (to be generous). You under-delivered, overcharged, and left America holding the bag, all for a piece of set dressing for you to take your picture with.

In the end, we needed a President, but you just wanted to play one on television.


Your Former Pen Pal


The Migration of the Drooling Dimwit

January 7, 2021

Dear Donny:

I have so many questions! I imagine Congress will, as well. First off, what was up with Buffalump? Buffalo Boob? The halls of Congress were invaded by a bunch of loonies and there he is, pale as watered-down water, wild-eyed, wearing his bovine bonnet… what the hell? Was he protesting on behalf of bison? Against good clothing choices? Winter in DC and he chose to go shirtless? And what was it he planned to do once he got in? So many questions. Btw, since he’s a friend of yours, you might let him know that “shirtless” is not his look. He and Discount Wolverine, Onion Towel and the rest are an argument against being able to see stuff. Just sayin’.

Anyway, there he is with his herd of Drooling Dimwits, people who traveled from around the country for the chance to wander around like drunk high schoolers who broke into the Principal’s office, embarrassing their relatives for the rest of history, and WHERE were YOU? Donny, you got them all riled up, pointed them at Congress and let go, then disappeared. What did you think was going to happen? You told them you’d be right there with them, then scurried off to your bunker.

Where were the adults, come to that? Police officers were helping people invade the Capitol, on camera. Let the firings begin! Where was the National Guard? The FBI? With thousands of rioters at the Capitol, there were few arrests, although there was plenty of evidence. If the sticky fingerprints were blurry, the selfie shots, live videos, and Twitter posts weren’t. And some of your followers were PROUDLY telling reporters their names and where they were from, and that you invited them to do what they were doing. The FBI has set up a tip line to “assist in identifying individuals who are actively instigating violence in Washington, D.C.” Donny, have you thought about dyeing your hair? Does polyester take dye?

Where was the military? What do we pay for a standing military for if not to protect the Capitol from invasion, for starters? BLM protesters show up, almost entirely peacefully, and the Capitol is armed like a GI Joe display at a toy convention. Buffalo Boob and his nutcase army invade Congress and they get treated like they showed up for high tea.

Where were the GOP lawmakers loudly telling these people to put down their guns and go home? Those are the only people they might have listened to, had they shown a united front, but no. So this effort to overturn the election was not a defense of democracy. Democracy was under direct attack from armed terrorists and for the most part, GOP lawmakers were busy saying it was a glorious day and although they were cowering in fear for their lives, they were there in spirit with people smearing poop around the Capitol, threatening them and the VP, and killing a cop. Today they’re busy saying day isn’t day, up isn’t up, and those people in MAGA hats bearing your flag aren’t Trump supporters.

Which brings me back to: Donny, where were you? These people invaded the Capitol bearing your flag. Instead of telling them plainly that you were horrified and they should stop, you confused them more and sorta, weakly, mumbled that maybe they should go home, while assuring them they had every reason to do what they were doing. You swore to protect and defend the Constitution, Donny, so where were you?

Your “brand” is trashed. Your “legacy” is toast. Your Presidential Library will be a printout of a bunch of recklessly irresponsible, factless tweets and a pile of court records. Your kids have floated the idea of running for President and I think I can speak on behalf of every person who truly loves America: tell them they had better not. They’d better not, that’s all. If they have one working brain cell among them, they’ll lie low and keep quiet — they’re staring at prison doors as it is.

Tell me this — WHY would “antifa” dress up for Trump supporter cosplay to delay Congress formally accepting an election they WON? And what’s so wrong with being anti-fascist? We fought a war against fascism. I know you’re not one for reading, but there are a lot of movies and television shows about WWII, so you must have heard of it (spoiler, the Good Guys come out on top).

Plus they keep arresting terrorists who are very clear that they were there at your invitation. Plus-plus Rudy left a phone message on the wrong voicemail begging a member of Congress to slow down the process in Congress. Slow it down for what, Donny?

Mostly, you’ve been, as a President, like the twist ending to a movie, “We had multiple disasters, AND THEY WERE ALL THE PRESIDENT!” Well, now it’s officially official — the movie is almost over. It could be over now, Donny. You could go home. Leave your popcorn tub on the floor (they’re going to have to fumigate the White House anyway — it’s a Covid hotspot. Did you know that?). I know it hurts that so many places have told you not to come there, but there must be someplace you can go. Russia’s a big country, and Vlad has reason to love you. Of course, you may end up closer to home, enjoying the luxuries of America’s prison system.

Donny, you don’t have many true friends. I may be the only one you have. A true friend will tell you when you’re off the rails. You are off the rails. Donny, you’re off the rails, off the railroad easement, and down the hill with your caboose in the river and your luggage scattered in the brush with coyotes carrying off your underwear.

That should have been your campaign slogan, Donny. Not the bit about your underwear. “Donald Trump: Off The Rails and In The Brush!” Okay, maybe you should have added in the part about the coyotes.

Donny, the House is already talking impeachment. It should be a clear case, but apparently some members of Congress don’t seem to mind if you tank democracy so long as they can ride it to the bottom.

Anyway, we’re probably not going to have the chance to have those pancakes, Donny, not if there is one legislator in America with any courage, common sense or patriotism. Guess we’re about to find out. For sure it’s not Ted Cruz. That much we know.

Tell Melania I said hello. Is she busy redecorating the bunker, or does she still have packing to do?


Your Pen Pal


Going Coup-Coup Nutz

Dec. 29, 2020

Dear Donny:

Look, I know I said I’d never write you again. I was pretty angry with you. People are still dying by the thousands in America from Covid19 (btw, did you see where they’ve traced it back to somewhere else before China? Turns out it’s not “The China Virus” after all. We may never know for sure where it started. Maybe you should send Xi Jinping a nice floral arrangement. Or an honorary doctorate from Trump University). Then you lost the election, in so many places and ways. You’re nothing if not thorough, Donny! Most people are content to lose a thing once and be done with it. And through it all, you keep asking for money. You may be the first candidate to continue to fundraise for a Presidential election he’s lost multiple times.

So I was miffed with you. Still am, a bit. But since you’re determined not to pay for your own golf until the very last second, I figure if you’re going to stick it out, so will I. We can’t meet for pancakes for at least six months anyway. Or anything else.

Do you hear from Mike Pence? Last I read, he was planning to stand up before Congress on Jan. 6 and admit what everybody already knows, including you – Mr. Biden won the election. Some people are hoping he’ll stage a coup, but really, Donny… Mike? We’ve hardly even heard from him for four years. Even after you named him head of your Covid “task force,” he just emerged periodically, mumbled something vague, then disappeared back into his hole, leaving us with six more weeks of Covid. He was, as a leader, the answer to the question, “What if you mixed a groundhog with a Ken doll?”

He’s still the head of your Covid “task force.” Is there so little to brief Kamala Harris on that he can quit being VP before she’s even sworn in? We’re up to over a third of a MILLION Americans dead of Covid, Donny, and you’re leaving us on track to hit half a million before this is through. If the task force has been working all this time on some Hail Mary miracle play, now’s the time to let the next team know where you hid the ball.

I think when you picked him as your Veep, you assumed you guys would be a reverse mullet: party in front, business in the back. Instead, you got a guy whose most notable accomplishment to date is that he’s the most famous person who calls his wife “mother.” There are also reports that immediately after the Jan. 6 meeting with Congress, he plans to leave the country on “vacation.” Vacation from what. Donny? He’s already off skiing in Colorado. It’s not like there’s nothing going on in D.C.

Speaking of which, hang on to your gold toilet seat, Donny: some of your fans are talking about holding a Civil War in your honor. You’d probably prefer a truck full of money, but they want to give you a war.

I kid you not, Donny! It sounds loon crazy, because it is, but some of your most goggle-eyed fans are talking about seceding from the union. This is what we get for not being better about teaching history. My own history classes were a while ago, so the Book Club got together online and read “Uncle Sam and Lady Liberty See A Divorce Lawyer.” It’s interesting stuff. This is just a bit of what we found out:

  1. The federal government has options: To put it in terms you’ll understand, the Constitution doesn’t include a pre-nup. The procedure for leaving the United States is not spelled out. So Congress and the Supreme Court can say, “Okay, good luck with that,” in which case the people in Glorious Trumpistan or whatever may be foreign nationals, having voluntarily given up their United States citizenship. If, say, Alabama seceded, and the federal government said it would accept it, those people now belong to Alabamania, or whatever – not the U.S. Or the feds can just say “No,” in which case it’s no, unless you want to go to war.

  2. It unclear if you secede if you’re at war with the United States or just a terrorist. This is not a fence you want to sit on, Donny. Two words: Guantanamo Bay.

  3. You know what they didn’t have during Lincoln’s Civil War? Social Security. No Medicare or corporate handouts or… So if your state secedes, and the U.S. allows it, it’s iffy whether or not you get anything. Again, Congress will determine those rules. Even if they grant you whatever you’ve put in to Social Security, you first have to go through a bunch of hoops since you’re now living “overseas.” Farm subsidies? That’s now foreign aid, comes from a different branch of the government, and has different requirements.

  4. Your senators and members of the House no longer have a vote. Foreign governments don’t get to have representation in Congress. I guess if you have an issue you can talk to your ambassador, if Floridoria, or whatever they call it, establishes diplomatic relations with the U.S.

  5. The states that secede have to decide if they’re going to be one country together or separate ones. There’s something to be said for and against either choice. One country means you get to negotiate treaties together. But the if the former states aren’t contiguous (all touching, basically), one of the things they have to negotiate is travel from one part of their country to another. The citizens of Trumpistan wouldn’t be able to just go where they please if it’s across United States territory or airspace, and after a war, the USA might be a touch hinky about that. Set up separate countries, and each country negotiates with the United States separately.

  6. You know what the citizens of Trumpistan are going to be, besides wildly enthusiastic about you? Poor! As in “dirt poor.” See, many of the states that might secede are great, but most aren’t economic powerhouses. If your state is one of the 40 or so that gets back more than it pays in to the country, you’d be crazy to leave the union.

  7. They’re also likely to be hungry. It takes time to negotiate trade deals.

  8. Militarily, you’re likely to have problems as well. You won’t be President of the United States. In fact, you’ll be a traitor (like, officially, not just as a hobby). You will have an assortment of dudes with guns, but I’ve seen some pictures of what you’re working with, and my bet is on the United States, militarily. Some service members might decide to stay with you, but the bulk of the organization will be in the U.S. And probably planning to bring you down. You’ve burned a lot of bridges. There’s also:

  9. What happened last time. Maybe you haven’t heard, but the Civil War didn’t go well for the guys who tried to leave. It really did not. And it’s highly unlikely that the U.S. will allow you to just go. And you won’t have a solid base of support. You did lose the popular vote, after all, and not all of those people live in New York.

It’ll be bad for business, and business already has a pandemic to contend with. It’ll be lousy for your brand. And Donny, it’s hard to play golf with bullets whizzing around you. I’m not sure if it’s considered a handicap if a bullet hits your ball, but it’s damn sure one if a bullet hits you.

Time to do what you can to rescue your brand, Donny, and even yourself. Time to stand up and tell people you do not condone violence, or secession, and you’re going to watch Biden get sworn in and smile if it kills you, and God Bless America.

At least think about it, Donny, before you get carried away by all this. Mike does not seem the sort to help stage a coup. Interferes with one’s skiing.


Your Pen Pal


Thank You From The Bottom Of My Pen

November 7, 2020

It’s time to break that fourth wall actors keep talking about and thank some people from my very full heart. As it stands today, Joe Biden has been declared the winner of the 2020 Presidential Election. Trump has declared that he will continue campaigning and may run again in 2024, if he can’t figure out a way to game this time. My prayers are with all of us today, and I wish we were done with this, but I’m going to put my faith in all those dutiful election workers, weary to the bone, who are dealing with an historic mountain of ballots. I used to be one of you (for years) and know the job is hard enough without armed people who want to “watch” you.

I started writing “Dear Donny” in 2016, when the pundits were assuring us that he’d never be the GOP candidate, never get elected, but to a few of us, it seemed clear that’s where we were heading. The Trump campaign was sending me letters and emails several times a week, telling me how in danger I was from my fellow Americans and always, always urging me to send money. They were couched as personal letters and I thought, “Would it be interesting if someone truly believed they were?”

It’s always been a small platform, although not as small as it looked on the surface. I honestly thought nobody was reading it for a long time, then I started hearing from people who told me they were government employees and shared it with friends on the sly, but couldn’t so much as “like” a post on Facebook lest they lose their jobs. I heard from journalists who had the same problem. One reader claimed to be working in the White House at the time. Either he read it at home or in the loo — I didn’t learn which. I’ve had people reach out to me privately with questions because they felt that Donny’s Pen Pal always told the truth as far as she could identify it in this maelstrom of misinformation in which we’ve lived, and they forced me to research every column when I’d rather just crack snarky jokes. My favorites have been the book clubs, where one person “officially” reads it but the members of the book club read it to each other.

It’s given me a place to talk about things that have been going on. Without it, I’d have been marching down the street, screaming at strangers. I’ve been threatened a couple of times, insulted a lot, but also gotten to have interesting conversations with people from every party who care about this country.

So thank you. Thank you to every person who’s ever read Dear Donny. Thank you to the people who shared it with friends or family, openly or privately. Thank you to my patient editor, Alastair. Thank you to the Dear Donny Book Club, known as Lucy, Rosemary, Spud, Lindy, Kim, Marisa and Penny (plus occasional others). Thank you to the memory of Margery and everyone who has fallen to Covid19.

And thank you to every single person who voted for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, who staffed a polling place or processed ballots no matter who you voted for, and every person who is going along with this messy process determined that democracy is more important than any one election.

Will there ever be another Dear Donny? I hope not, for all our sakes. If a Trump, any Trump, with delusions of grandeur makes another run at The White House, who’s to say?




It’s Been Fun — Well, No, It Hasn’t

November 7, 2020

Dear Donny:

We’ve been pen pals since 2016, back when people were saying there was no way you’d ever be the GOP nominee, then no way you’d be President. You ran to improve the value of your brand, and you ran the con as any accomplished con artist would. The secret to a good con is that you believe it, at least a little. As Professor Harold Hill says in “The Music Man” when explaining how he sells hardworking rural people music instruments for a band that will never exist, “I always think there’s a band, kid.”

You said you’d run that first race using your own money and accept no donations — but then you saw how much money might be donated, and you weren’t exactly flush with cash. It had to be explained to you that money donated to a campaign isn’t just your money to spend as you please.

Your taxes were being audited, but you realized you could claim, erroneously, that you couldn’t release your tax returns as other candidates always do, because of that. You were being investigated for sexual misconduct, including with a minor, and someone explained that as President, it was harder to imprison you.

You sat with piles of blank paper claiming they were proof that you were fabulously wealthy, but evidence suggests you were nearly broke. When you saw the money roll in for playing golf on your own golf course at taxpayer expense, you played golf more than anyone who isn’t in the PGA. And people who wanted something from the President of The United States started renting your properties. Plus being President made it tougher for the holders of your millions of dollars in loans to demand payment. Suddenly, being President became a money-making opportunity.

Having cheated on every wife you ever had, paid money to a porn star for her silence about the affair you had while your wife was pregnant, hung out with sexual predators and run a scam charity, you gassed people to get them out of your way to pose in front of a church you don’t attend with a Bible you don’t own. But having somehow obtained the cooperation of a few church leaders, you presented yourself as a Christian man. To you, it was all just optics.

You live in a world of optics, brand and ratings. You’re a creature of television, and really, not much more than that. You thought not wearing a face mask during a global pandemic made you look macho, so you encouraged people not to wear them even as hundreds of thousands of Americans died. You ignored the advice of experts, the plans prepared for just such an event, and the people gathered to be ready for it. It had to be your plan, even though you knew nothing about infectious disease or public health. You hung doctors, nurses and medical people out to dry. You exposed your own supporters, your own staff and your own family to a serious, possible fatal, disease, because you needed cheering crowds.

Republicans donated to Biden’s campaign, made commercials to urge people to register, and vote, for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. You forgot about the moderates, Donny. About the people who saw what was happening in this country and linked arms with their neighbors, family, friends and total strangers from every party and no party to vote for a chance at something better. So now you deal with the optics of losing because you couldn’t run on your record. But you do have the comfort of knowing the largest number of people ever voted to do just what you said we should, vote to make America great, truly great, again.

I saw some of your recent press conferences and Donny, honey, you’re not well. Most of what you said wasn’t even complete sentences in English. Trying to follow it was like trying to spell words using alphabet soup noodles thrown into the air in a wind tunnel.

You don’t have time for lawsuits, although I know how much you love them. They need time to fumigate before the Bidens move in — the White House is now a Covid hot spot and the scene of superspreader events — and you need time to pack.

Melania would help, I’m sure, but she’s no doubt re-reading her pre-nup.

It’s been an interesting ride, Donny, but all rides come to an end. Time to head for the clubhouse.


Your Pen Pal


Diva Democracy

November 2, 2020

Dear Donny:

I realized today that the election is tomorrow! Does that feel as strange to you as it does to me? You started campaigning for re-election in your inauguration speech. If there’s anything you’ve done more than play golf, it’s campaign. So it feels both as though election day should have been a year ago, or a year from now. Time is just more fluid than it used to be.

You held rallies everywhere they’d have you, and places where they asked you not to come, even when it became clear the real souvenir people would take home was Covid. You even held rallies at the White House, which was a weird choice, since it’s not yours. Donny, you don’t pay taxes here, so let me explain – for an American taxpayer, you having a rally at the White House is like having someone you hired to look after your house for a while holding big, expensive parties and charging them to you. Be honest, Donny, did you ask about putting your name on the White House? It fell through when they told you that you couldn’t charge the taxpayers a licensing fee, didn’t it?

Anyway, we don’t know how it’s all going to come out. I should be hoping you win, shouldn’t I? I’m sorry, Donny, but I can’t, not just for all of us out here, but for you. You never really wanted to be President. You ran because your “brand” was sagging and it was a good way to get attention. Then you found out you could make money off of it – the longer you hung on, the more attractive all those golf courses and hotels with your name on them were, and then there were all the tax breaks for you and your friends (and rich people you hoped would like you for it). Then someone told you that it might keep you out of jail for a while. The problem came, Donny, when you decided that’s all it was about, making money and avoiding prison. You never really became a President, and we really need one.

It hasn’t been good for you Donny. Some Presidents rise to meet a crisis and become more than we thought they would. Some become less. You’re really about the same. It hasn’t aged you, and it’s supposed to. It hasn’t brought out the best in you, that’s for sure, or your family. Junior as much as urged your supporters to run vehicles off the road. You’ve done all you could to prevent people from voting and almost trashed the post office entirely.

You don’t really expect to win, do you, Donny? You didn’t even bother to come up with a new slogan! Whatever your plans would be, if you have any, you haven’t shared them with those of us who are literally living or dying by what our President does. But it’s so hard to have the world watch you quit something in disgrace. Hundreds of thousands of Americans dead from a pandemic you did nothing to stop, kids in cages and God alone knows where their parents are. Thugs merrily attacking their fellow Americans. Jobs gone, lives in shambles and a fearful, weary country just praying someone will save us.

Which is a job you never wanted. Once you found yourself President, you did what you knew how to do – you performed. You thought if you told us things were better we would make them better and love you for it. You hustled, created photo ops and made demands. You did everything a television diva expects to do.

But we didn’t need someone to play President. We needed, need, someone to be President. Things are a mess, Donny, and you know you have no interest in digging deep and doing the hard work that will be required to work on the problems. It frustrates you so much when you say things are great and the situation demands more than that. So for your sake, and ours, Donny, I hope you get to go play golf and let someone else worry about digging us out of the hole we’re in.

Even if you win the vote, Donny, it’s probably a good time to exit, stage right. That way you can retire as a “winner.” I know that’s important to you. Why not start packing now? Spend the rest of your life going from golf course to golf course and let Melania spend her days shopping. I may be the worst golfer ever, but if you retire, I’ll meet you for golf, once that’s a thing again. There’s a city course here and the fees aren’t too bad. Their hot dogs are okay, and I know how you like junk food!

I pray everyone’s tired enough to just wait until the votes are all counted, sigh with relief or disappointment, and get about rebuilding. Democracy is more important than any one election. That’s part of America’s brand, and our brand needs a lot of polishing now. The best way people can show patriotism after they vote this time is just to stay home, rest and get ready to save the country.

We’ve been friends for four years now. I just realized that this morning. You started writing to me in 2016, and I wrote back. Some day, a team of historians (and let’s face it – it’s gonna take a gang of them) will wade through the court records, reports, audits and everything, and I’ll be a tiny footnote, the size of one bug that splatted on the windshield of an 18-wheeler, the friend who nagged and pleaded with you, commiserated with your problems, and never gave up hoping you would become the President we needed.

If Biden takes the big chair, I’ll still buy you those pancakes I promised, once going places is a thing again. Yes, I’m disappointed in you, and more than a bit upset, but I still wish you the best. In this case, I think good fortune for you and for us will be for you to step off the public stage. So good luck, Donny. Let me know how it turns out. I’ve made a blanket fort out of the dining table to wait for the results. Give my best to Melania, if you see her. It may be a year before we can meet at that restaurant, but tell her the offer of pancakes holds for her as well.

Very sincerely,

Your Pen Pal


October Surprise (?)

October 27, 2020

Dear Donny:

Happy Halloween! I know I’m early, but all of 2020 has seemed like Halloween, hasn’t it? More like the movie “Halloween” than the actual holiday, at least as I remember it. This year, having kids out trick or treating feels about as sane as sending them into a zombie apocalypse to catch Pokemon.

All those people who say they wish it could be Halloween all year long got their wish, didn’t they, Donny? With unemployment so bad we have to hope our economy can rise from the dead like Dracula, and coronavirus doing a Godzilla on us, 2020 is the year that makes Halloween seem redundant. We’ve been scared and eating too much candy since March. Who knew we’d ever have a Halloween where the scariest thing was that everyone WASN’T wearing a mask?

Halloween or no, it’s hard to keep our spirits up. Donny, I know you don’t keep people around you who know anything about Covid19, but somebody has to be willing to tell you the truth: today will mark 225,000 Americans dead from coronavirus. There is no humor to be found in that.

Even among those who survive, there can be long-term damage. Maybe lifelong. We just don’t know yet. Hospitals in many places are struggling. Infections are up and the deaths continue to rise. Doctors and nurses are beyond exhausted. People are dying without family to comfort them. Donny, I say this as your friend, you have screwed up past the point of redemption. Once you burn the house down, you can’t fix it. You have to hire new people to build a new house.

I know this will probably make you angry, Donny, and I don’t have so many friends that I can afford to lose any more. The book club isn’t even meeting online now. Spud and I are what they’re calling “long haulers.” I won’t bother you with all the details, but we both caught Covid19 and are still dealing with it months later. We get winded just walking around the house, and sometimes my heart pounds so hard I think it wants to come out of my chest for a little chat.

And my God, Donny, I don’t know how to tell you, but we lost Margery. She didn’t seem to have a bad case of it, but then one day she just couldn’t breathe. She had to talk to the hospital about how to get there without infecting anyone else. Her husband couldn’t come with her and her kids couldn’t visit. She was so scared, Donny! We texted each other until she couldn’t any more, then the next day we got word that she, and her little granddaughter, had passed.

She caught it at a birthday party, can you imagine? Seventeen family members got together to wish someone happy birthday, only one didn’t know he was infected. He’d gone to a bar a couple of days before to have a drink with friends. They all thought it was okay. They felt fine, so nobody wore a mask, and once they’d had a drink or two, they didn’t think about distancing.

He felt okay, so he went to a birthday party for his eleven year old nephew, and he brought coronavirus with him. Eight of the people there got sick, and three died, including Margery. Nobody in the book club can talk to anyone else or we start crying and can’t stop. They didn’t have access to the kind of free health care you do, Donny. They couldn’t demand experimental treatments and teams of round-the-clock doctors and nurses assigned to just them. Unlike you, their families will be saddled by crippling medical bills. Why would you try to take away health care protections from people during a pandemic, Donny?

Our funny, silly, wonderful Margery died all alone in a hospital bed.

I heard you say that you “like downplaying” Covid19. And now you act like we should stop talking about it because you’re bored with it and it makes you look bad. Well Donny, it makes you look bad because that’s how your handling of this virus has been. It’s been bad. From disbanding the pandemic response unit through inadequate testing and not urging people to mask and distance, you’ve made so many ghosts you might want to spend Halloween in a locked room with all the lights on. 225,000 ghosts can make quite a racket, I imagine.

Honestly, Donny, I’m so mad at you I no longer want to buy you pancakes. Make your own damn pancakes. If you learn to do that, at least you’ll have learned to do one useful thing while you were President. When you were running in 2016, you said that while you didn’t know anything about government, you were going to learn more than anybody’s ever known about it. In the end, and Donny, as maybe the best friend you’ve ever had, I hope this is the end, you’ll leave not knowing a single thing more than you knew the day you started.

Leave anyway, Donny. What with your tax cuts for the rich, interfering with the election, and Covid19 – trust me, you’ll be remembered. 225,000 dead. Our sweet Margery. There’s no way to leave on a high note, Donny, so just leave.

Very sincerely,

Your Pen Pal


Make America Something Something

September 30, 2020

Dear Donny:

Wow, it feels like old times, doesn’t it? You’re the GOP nominee for President, and I’m getting lots of letters from you asking for money. Just like 2016! Well, except that 206,000 Americans and the economy were still alive back then. But otherwise, it’s feeling very familiar. Even your slogan is the same one. “Make America Great Again!” Or is there supposed to be another “again” on it, now? You’ve already had four years to make America great again, or at least better, so are we trying to make America great again, again?

There’s almost six weeks left to go, so plenty of time to think of a new slogan, Donny. You really should. The first time, MAGA implied that as good as things were, they could be a lot better and you’d make them not just good, or better, but GREAT! But I think we can agree that things aren’t great. Over 206,000 Americans dead of Covid19 and the economy is limping.

I heard the latest slogan you floated last night, “Proud Boys stand back, stand by.” I was all the confused. Could you explain, please? I had no idea who the Proud Boys were. It sounds like the name a bunch of third graders would come up with for their club that meets in mama’s basement. I have so many questions, Donny. First off, why “proud boys?” What do they have to be proud of? Being boys? That’s an accident of birth, not an achievement. I mean, if that’s all you’ve got going for you, I’m not going to tell you not to celebrate it. I imagine it’s great being a boy, in some ways. Jobs pay better, for one thing. And you can pee standing up. But people tell you not to cry and that has got to be tough, this year especially.

Scooter looked them up. She says they hate, well, everybody. They’re just sort of multifaceted bigots. And they are angry, Donny. Not specifically, just generally. It seems to be a club for people with anger management issues waiting for someone to notice them and lead them to… well, clearly not glory… something. So maybe they’re a good fit for the slogan you already have. It’s vague and so are they. And they idolize you. You might want to keep your distance, Donny. They love you to a degree that could be very awkward in person, and Billy Barr seems like the jealous sort.

But you’re lonely. I get that. Melania won’t even hold your hand, and these guys seem like if you touched their guns, they’d faint.

Don’t feel too bad about the debate. It was mean of Chris Wallace to ask you such hard questions. How could you be expected to reject white supremacy and radical racist terrorists without giving you time to think it over?

So let’s move on and figure out a new slogan. MAGA won’t work, and “Whackos and Bigots Get Ya Guns” doesn’t make a pithy acronym you can put on a hat (“WABGYG!”). Considering you’ve been President for four years already, Donny, you can’t really run as the brash outsider who’s going to fix things. You and yours got us where we are.

Presidents run on their records when they’re going for re-election. Voting for a President twice is basically saying you like how things are and want more of it. I wouldn’t recommend that strategy, Donny. Nobody with sense wants more of this! If you can’t run on your record after four years on the job, it’s best not to remind people of it. All that great stuff you said you were going to do should be about half done by now. We should be halfway to greatness, at least compared to 2016, and we’re just not. For example, you said you were going to drain the swamp, but I think we can agree that dredging the swamp deeper and changing the alligators regularly isn’t the same thing.

Maybe you could use “The President FORE you” as a slogan? You do play a lot of golf, Donny. You were pretty harsh about Obama playing golf, and he only did that about 98 times during his entire presidency. You said if you were President you wouldn’t play golf because you’d be too busy. Good to know the job isn’t as hard as you thought it would be! You’re at over 260 golf games in four years! Everybody needs a hobby, and I wouldn’t mind so much if you were paying for it, but did you know taxpayers have shelled out over $200 MILLION dollars for you to play golf at your own resorts? No kidding! And every time you do it, your golf resort makes at least $20,000 per day, just to start? It’s a good thing you said you wouldn’t take a salary as President, Donny! That $400,000 salary per year pays for… let’s see… all but $198 million of it. Maybe you could offer to take a salary and pay for your own golf?

Through the pandemic, working Americans have gotten one check for $1200, and not everyone even got one. I know you were raised rich, Donny, but you aren’t rich yourself, so you should understand that the “optics” of spending millions of taxpayer dollars to pay yourself to play golf when people are losing their jobs, homes and savings aren’t good. I know you wear a wig and hang out only with rich people, but Marie Antoinette isn’t a good look for a president running for re-election, and “let them eat cake” didn’t work so well for her.

In 1980, Ronald Reagan asked voters, “Are you better off now than you were four years ago?” I wouldn’t use it as your slogan, though. That wouldn’t end well. I polled the Book Club and we have a few suggestions:

“Nowhere to go but up!” Admittedly, that doesn’t spell out an acronym that would look good on your merch, but I think it’s optimistic, and we need that right now.

“I Do Idolize Only Trump” That was Spud’s suggestion. I didn’t have the heart to tell her that means your merch would have IDIOT written on it.

Marisa suggested, “America’s Chauvinist Loony Uncle.” I had to explain why ACLU wouldn’t be a good fit. She promised to think up something better.

So we’re still hard at work on ideas. But you’ve got a lot of highly-paid people, some of them on the Coronavirus Task Force, who have no experience in what they’re supposed to be doing. Maybe one of them was in advertising before? I bet they’d be happy to work on something they actually understand. Be fair, Donny — infectious disease control is hard to manage if you don’t know anything about science or medicine. Branding, though, they might understand. Give them a break. They weren’t accomplishing anything useful regarding Covid19. Everyone needs to feel useful.

Have fun prepping for the next debate. There are two more. Does that thought tire you out as much as it does me? Maybe not. You have so much energy you couldn’t even stop talking for a minute! It looked like you were going to lope across the screen and into the commercials, shouting at the couple in the bathtub in the erectile dysfunction ad. Lindsay says you know a lot about drugs. Not sure what she means by that. Anyway, talk to you soon. If you find out what the Proud Boys have to be so proud of, please let me know.


Your Pen Pal


Smoke and Mirrors

July 29, 2020

Dear Donny:

I got your letter! It’s always an honor to get a letter from the President of the United States, calling me your “Fellow American.” Even when you ask me for money. It is weird how much you ask for money, Donny, but at this point in your life, it’s probably just a habit. You’ve asked so many people for money for so long, “please send me a contribution” is like when normal people say “like” or “y’know.”

You said in your letter that you’re counting on me to tell you the truth. Wow. Considering how many people you have around you, I’m touched that you asked for my advice, Donny! Although you may not be as surrounded as you usually are. The people you hang out with keep turning up positive for Covid19. The Secret Service must not know whether to protect you from other people, or themselves from you. Sounds tiring. Secret Service agents, people in the cabinet, politicians you visit…you’re absolutely surrounded by positivity, of a sort.

We all feel surrounded, Donny. Over 4 million Covid cases in the United States so far, and by the time I finish this letter, we’ll be at 150,000 dead from Covid, just in the U.S. Did you know that? I know you told hospitals to send the White House all their information on Covid cases, instead of sending that info to the CDC, but does whoever get that info at the White House tell you? We’re #1 in the world, but in a way that nobody ever wants to be.

Four years ago, you said you were going to “Make America Great Again.” How’s that going? I can’t wait until it starts! By the way, what’s your slogan this time? You can hardly use Make America Great Again when we’re leading the world in Covid infections and our economy is limping. I have a slogan idea you can use, Donny! “Oops, I Did It Again!” Okay, it’s from Britney Spears, so you should ask her, but isn’t it a perfect fit for you? You could even ask if you can use the song as an anthem.

Ask first, though, Donny. A lot of the musicians whose music you’ve been using aren’t happy about it. If you get permission (although I know that’s not something you’re used to doing), she might teach you the dance from the music video, and you could have someone film you doing it while balloons drop from the ceiling, like in a convention. I wouldn’t try wearing the costume, though, Donny. Bare midriff doesn’t seem like it’d be your look.

Speaking of conventions, what’s going on with that? You were having in one of the Carolinas, then Florida, then it was called off, but I just heard it’s back on. Only it seems a lot of the GOP people would rather not come. Understandable, considering that thing in Tulsa and the one Mt. Rushmore were germfests. So what’s the plan now? You should ask a doctor if it’s possible to have a big gathering anywhere with people yelling and spraying germs on each other.

Which reminds me – maybe it’s time to give someone a very long pole and get them to nudge those sort-of doctors off your lawn. The ones saying people don’t need to wear masks, and that hydroxychloroquine cures Covid. One of the “doctors” saying that also thinks that people having sex with demons is a big problem. I know doctors often have to deal with yucky stuff, but there’s enough yucky stuff in the world. They don’t have to make stuff up! Anyway, if he thinks that’s a big problem, seems like he’d be working on that, ’cause he clearly doesn’t know anything about Covid.

That’s who thinks we don’t need to mask, and should all be taking random drugs that could give us heart trouble – a bunch of people as crazy as a meth-addicted raccoon.

Who thinks we should mask, distance, and not prescribe drugs for ourselves shown to not help with Covid at all? Real doctors. Infectious disease specialists. Sane people. You asked for my opinion, Donny, and it seems that if you’re trying to deal with a highly contagious disease where hundreds of thousands of people are dying and businesses are going under, that’s who you ask for advice. Sane people who actually know something about it.

Oh, before I forget, I know you’re terribly worried about people voting, especially by mail. You can relax. Vote-by-mail has been around since the Civil War and it works just as well as voting in a booth. Considering Covid, it’s a lot safer, and makes it possible for lots of people to vote who might not be able to make it to a polling place, especially since some states are cutting back on the number of polling places. That’s the goal, right, Donny? For as many of our citizens to vote as possible? You often vote absentee, so you can tell people it works just fine. Maybe talk about that – you actually know a little about it, since you’ve done it – and leave talking about Covid to Dr. Birx (love her scarves), the Surgeon General, and Dr. Fauci (I miss him!).

Dr. Fauci is such a practical, calm guy. We need more of that, Donny, especially now. And people who really know what they’re talking about. Oh – and please forward all the info you get from the hospitals to the CDC. I know they’re scared of you, but they are good at putting information together. Or better yet, you could just go back to giving the CDC the information and they can put it all together for you in a nice report that will look impressive on your desk in photo ops.

Anyway, thanks for getting in touch and asking what I think! Good luck getting those weirdos off the White House grounds, Donny. You could try holding up a broom and yelling at them to get off your lawn. Or tell them you saw somebody having astral sex somewhere and send them off to deal with it. That seems to be about their level.

Take care, and wear your mask (over your mouth AND your nose, Donny).

Talk to you soon, sincerely,

Your Pen Pal


Restless, Testless (and Tasteless)

April 27, 2020

Dear Donny:

Hi! Sorry I haven’t written in a while, Donny. Like so many people lately, I’ve been sick. Isn’t it awful what’s going on? I can tell the strain is getting to you a little. When you go on camera to reassure America that you’re still magnificent, you don’t sound as convinced as you used to.

Isn’t it awful the way those nasty reporters keep asking you questions? You’d think it was their job to sit there and ask you stuff. What do they think they’re doing, Donny, asking you about what you’ve done or said or how things are going? You’re not responsible for any of that, right?

I don’t want you to worry, Donny. It’s not good for you. You didn’t sign up for this job to have to worry about people you’ve never met, or even people you have. That’s not why you became President. You became President for the sweet perks and the access, and sure, the attention, but not negative attention! Isn’t Mike Pence having the reporters swear allegiance to you before coming in? I mean, sure, the Fox people and OAN have to do that to get a job, but the others act like don’t even work for your campaign.

You didn’t take the job to answer to people or get all involved with politics. You’re an outsider, even now! That’s the thing about you, Donny. You stay true to who you are. Even if you get re-elected, you’ll still be an outsider. Look at all of the outsiders you’ve brought in with you, people with little or no experience. A sleepy former brain surgeon is in charge of housing. Heck, we now have a dog breeder in charge of our day-to-day response to coronavirus. That’s awesome! Labradoodles are really smart. I’m sure they’ll come up with something, probably involving throwing a ball.

I’d have gotten in touch earlier, Donny, but I’ve been sick with what they’re calling “symptoms consistent with Covid19.” They have to call it that because there aren’t enough tests even to test people who are sick. Alex Azar, the guy you put in charge of Health & Human Services, said way back in January that they had a test and, “We will be spreading that diagnostic around the country so that we are able to do rapid testing on site.”

I wish he’d tell my health care provider. When I had a high fever, I wasn’t tested because there were no tests. Now I don’t have a fever, so while I’m not completely over it, I can’t get a test because I’m not sick enough. We’ve tested a whopping 1% of our population even now, Donny. We don’t know how many people have this, but we know it’s a lot more than the number of confirmed cases. I mean, it has to be. It can’t be less.

People who actually know stuff about illness say we can’t open up until Alex finds all those tests he seems to have lost (try looking in the coat closet. That’s where I store things so I won’t forget where they are and I can find them years later). They also say if we open up without testing and tracking, this comes back even worse by autumn. So tell Alex to stop whatever he’s doing (what is he doing, Donny, when he’s not conferring with those Labradoodles he hired?) and find those tests.

Oh… and Donny, what did I tell you about your sense of humor? Gobbling hydroxychloroquine? Injecting disinfectant? Under certain circumstances, the idea of the President of the United States responding to a pandemic by suggesting we take Lysol shots might be hilarious, but not now, Donny. And how is light supposed to work? The virus is in the cells, so how do we get light on cells inside the body without opening up… Donny, that’s not what you mean by “opening America up,” is it? Tell me it’s not.

If you wanted to be a standup comic, you took the wrong job. People don’t look to the POTUS for a laugh, especially in such a scary time. We need you to hold our hands. Not literally. I know how much you like to touch people, Donny, but not now. I’m sure Melania is going through withdrawal, wherever she is. Where is she? Haven’t heard a peep out of her in some time.

And no more losing your shit, Donny. Toilet paper is hard to find.

Stiff upper lip, Donny. You probably won’t even have to bother with press conferences come November. When things get tough, just look forward to quarantining in one of your hotels. We’ll all be able to look back on your Presidency and know that we are where we are thanks to you.


Your Pen Pal


The 4th Wall (And So Many Things) Broken

April 6, 2020

Today I’m going to do something I never expected. Instead of today’s “Dear Donny,” I’m going to do what actors call “breaking the 4th wall,” and talk directly to you, the reader.

There has never been a time when you could see your own small contribution to a larger, heroic effort so clearly. Usually, you’re asked to contribute in a crisis, but you have to take it on faith that your one bit makes a difference.

In this crisis, you can see your efforts to #flattenthecurve make a difference in real time. In places where people are staying home if possible and practicing good physical distancing and hygiene habits, the rates of transmission of #covid19 are going down!

Doctors, nurses and other health professionals urgently need you to continue to do this (or start, if you haven’t, and what have you been waiting for?). In so many places, they’re overwhelmed. Don’t let them drown. Save them, yourself, your loved ones, your world.

It’s a surreal, frustrating, freaky time to be a human on this planet, but there are things you, personally, can do to make this better.
And the longer you wait, the longer this lasts. It won’t help if we just move the curve back. We need to stomp this sucker flat.

If you’re still thinking this isn’t serious, I couldn’t blame you. Some politicians and entertainment people (I’m not going to call anyone a reporter or anything “news” unless it’s fact-checked and adheres to proper reporting procedures) continue to downplay this. They’ve done irreparable harm and should face consequences. Because they’re lying, in a pandemic, and contributing to human misery and death.

If you’ve been confused, here’s what you need to know: We aren’t even testing everyone who’s symptomatic. Testing is sketchy and spotty even now. So this is definitely bigger, not smaller, than we know. There are many undiagnosed cases, people who have the symptoms but haven’t been tested, so they aren’t counted.

Death tolls are low for the same reason. Many people are symptomatic, and dying, but the cause of death isn’t specified as Covid19, because they haven’t been tested and diagnosed, so it’s not official. So more people are dying of this than our official count shows.

Since this can be transmitted by people who have it and don’t feel it, or don’t yet feel it, assume you have it and act accordingly. Protect your neighbors, family, friends, coworkers. This also helps protect you, btw, so that you don’t catch it if you don’t already have it.

You will never have a better, easier chance to be a superhero. Doctors, nurses, researchers, first responders, all the grocery clerks and truck drivers keeping us going — they are counting on you. You, personally, right now.

If your answer is “no,” please don’t tell me. I hate to think that little of anyone. I’ll just continue to believe you’re a good person and if you haven’t figured that out, you will before it’s too late.


Show Me The Money (and Dr. Fauci)

April 1, 2020

Dear Donny:

How are things at the White House? Congratulations on your great ratings (I saw your tweet). Doesn’t it make you wish you’d been giving press conferences all along? They’re kind of like rallies where nobody’s been paid to clap. Please don’t be mad – I don’t watch them any more. I’m pretty much obsessed with getting news about what’s really happening with this Covid mess, so I don’t have a lot of viewing time for unrelated stuff.

Happy April 1st, or as Spud calls it, “The 92nd of Coviduary.” I hope you got the memo, Donny – April Fool’s Day has been converted to Shit Keeps Happening And We’re Exhausted, an ongoing global event you celebrate alone with a tub of ice cream. Sweat pants never had it so good. When this is over, it’s going to be hard to cram everyone back into unforgiving pants. That could be an employment project, Donny! Those of us who are working out like we’re in a prison movie can be hired to shove those of us who are getting through by carb loading into our work clothes.

I’ve never been an April Fool’s Day fan. Practical jokes tend to be neither. Although some people still clearly haven’t gotten word and are continue to do things where you’re hoping it’s just a bad joke. Rich people, for sure, at least some of them. It’s been interesting to see how the big-money people are responding. I know how the regular-money people are. Their days are spent trying to negotiate the unemployment system, many for the first time. But what are rich people doing?

There are billionaires, and there are billionaires. Bill Gates is funding research to find a vaccine and treatments for Covid19. Mark Cuban is paying his workers during the crisis. I know you don’t like him, Donny, but that’s still great. Sheldon Adelson (who owns The Venetian and The Palazzo on the Las Vegas strip says he’s paying employees, too (the Book Club is talking about a trip to one of those casinos when going places is a thing again).

Mac Benioff of The Salesforce said he’ll continue paying hourly workers even though the offices are closed. Tim Boyle of Columbia Sportswear cut his own salary and is continuing to pay his retail employees. Dan Gilbert of Quicken Loans is waving rent and building expenses for many restaurants and retailers. What are you doing at your properties, Donny?After all, you aren’t just a President. As you keep reminding us, you’re a businessman. How are your businesses handling all this?

Then there are… others. Richard Branson of Virgin Atlantic asked his staff to take eight weeks of unpaid leave (so the Book Club won’t be flying Virgin Atlantic on that trip to Vegas). David Geffen posted photos of himself “self-isolating” on his $570 million yacht (how is it isolation with a crew? Or is he piloting that enormous thing himself?). He later said he would donate $1 million dollars somewhere. How can someone afford a $570 million yacht, expenses and crew, but only come up with $1 million to help in a global crisis? David Green keeps his Hobby Lobby stores opened until forced to close and is offering employees a paltry 75% of their pay for a whole two weeks (it’s funny how rich people think they’re rich because God loves them and they’re special, Donny. I know you haven’t read it, but the Bible didn’t have great things to say about rich people).

So where do you fall, Donny? I’ve been waiting to hear about all the great donations you’ve been making, but you haven’t mentioned a thing! You’re not one to miss a chance to Trump-et what you do (sorry, couldn’t resist). Of course, your history of donations is giving things like giant portraits of yourself. Just so you know, Donny, that is not what this situation calls for. In case you thought it did.

But then, you never did release your tax returns like every other Presidential candidate, or President, has done for years, so maybe you’re not rich. Are you still hurting for money? You’ve had all those people staying in your hotels hoping to get a word with you… are you still not managing to turn a profit, Donny? If so, you might ask Dan Gilbert for a few bucks. Or that pillow guy you’re so excited about.

Tell Melania “hi” from me, wherever she is.


Your Pen Pal


Secret(ed From) Society, or The Hidden(est) Figures

March 23, 2020

Dear Donny:

Are you okay, sweetie? I know you say you tested negative for Covid19, but you don’t seem well. I’ve been watching your press conferences, and while it’s great that you’ve finally decided to talk to America and all, watching you have trouble pronouncing simple words (it’s co-vid, Donny, not “the Chinese virus. How can you pronounce “Chinese” but you can’t say “Covid?”), whiff pitches, and insist everything is great makes me wonder what it is you do have.

Are you smoking too much weed? I’ve heard that makes you paranoid. The way you went off on that reporter for asking you to give the American people hope… Donny, that wasn’t even a soft pitch. That was a T-ball, and you didn’t just whiff it, you stood there accusing the ball of being nasty, the tee of having it out for you, and the bat of being part of a conspiracy.

Speaking of conspiracies… boy, you do see who people really are in an emergency, don’t you? Most of us are trying to pull together, but some of us have no sense of direction, while others can’t tell the rope from a rattlesnake. Idiots insisting on a “right” to party (please explain to them that the Beastie Boys were just singing a song, not an Amendment to the Constitution). All kinds of loony theories out there. Here’s one I haven’t seen but I’m wondering about: is this a Russian plot?

It’s not China’s plot. They’ve been hit by this worse than anyone. Russia’s pretty much the only place not reporting many cases. Putin’s arranging to be “President” for life, which is essentially being a dictator with a nicer title. Now there’s noise about canceling the 2020 election here (which, while we’re talking about it, no. Just… no). And Putin’s saying he’s sending troops to “help” in Italy. Is he sending troops to “help” in other places, too? I hope he’s not sending anybody to “help” us. He’ll help us right out of democracy.

Stay with me here, Donny. You know that several U.S. Senators were briefed about how bad this was going to be and before telling US what was going on, sold off their stocks? Now there’s nasty for you. But I realized, you’ve never released your tax returns (the way other Presidential candidates do). And when you said you were “social distancing” from your businesses, you presented as evidence a stack of “reports” made of blank paper. So we really don’t know whether you sold off stocks based on inside information or not.

Part of me would be very angry with you, Donny, if all of this is true. While it would, in theory, be very cool to have a friend who is an evil mastermind, like a lot of things, I suspect it sounds like more fun than it really is.

Was everything leading up to this? Are you about to declare yourself “President For Life” and stop the elections so Vlad can take over?

I guess we’ll know in November. If there’s an election and you win, or there’s no election at all, we’ll start laying out the good dishes and expecting a visit from Vlad’s “helpers.”

I really believe we’re going to make it to November. If I’m wrong about you and you’re innocent, chalk it up to cabin fever, and we’ll have that breakfast once the election’s over and your schedule is free. Here’s how much I believe in you – let’s mark our calendars for brunch November 4th. Hopefully things will be better by then and we can go to a restaurant.

Wave to Melania for me if she comes out of her bunker!


Your Pen Pal


Going Viral – We’re (Not) Getting Testy Here

March 16, 2020

Dear Donny:

How are you? I heard you tested negative for coronavirus, which is wonderful! Congratulations on being able to get tested!

I wish I could. Still stuck in a single room. Two if you count the bathroom. Still sick, still quarantined, still isolated from my family. Can’t find out if I have the “Dreaded C,” though, as I haven’t been on a cruise. It seems unfair, Donny. Because I haven’t been able to afford to go on a cruise or jet off to Paris, I can’t get tested for Covid-19. As soon as I can afford to go on a cruise, I probably should, to be sure I get tested for whatever comes next. Well, once I can afford it and once I can leave my room.

This isn’t some plan you cooked up to get rid of the poor, elderly and disabled, is it, Donny? You can tell me. Who am I going to tell? I’m the only one in here. I can’t even pet my dog. I’m not feeling sorry for myself, though.

Not mostly, anyway. The people I feel sorry for are doctors, nurses, and people at the Centers for Disease Control and National Institutes of Health and Medicare. Here you’ve cut or tried to cut their funding every year. Even when Congress stopped you, the population rose as their funding stayed pretty flat, which is basically a cut. Donny, that’s like keeping the pie the same size, but making the slices thinner. Bet you wish you hadn’t disbanded the NSC’s Pandemic Unit now, huh? Well, hindsight is 20/20. And no more than 98.6, hopefully.

I’m holding up. The occasional panic attack when I cough, of course, but otherwise I’m making what I can of life in a little space. At least it’s not as crowded in here as it is for passengers returning from overseas. Have to admit, Donny, I don’t get the idea there. People come back, some of them have Covid, some don’t, so crowd them together tighter than dudes surrounding the pretty girl at the bar, and have them stay that way for hours. Let them share pencils and clipboards while answering a questionnaire. Then don’t test them all and send them off to quarantine on the honor system. I thought the point of all of this was to slow the spread, not make the world’s largest petri dish and then ship pieces of it around the country.

A lot of how you’re handling this is confusing, Donny. All of it, really. Still, you’re my friend and I don’t want to depress you by dwelling on stressful things, not even if you’re the thing. Mom used to say that it’s the rare wind that doesn’t blow somebody some good, so I’m looking for good things to think about. This is what I’ve come up with so far. If you think of something, let me know and I’ll add it to the list:

Things We Can Get From This
(Besides What We May Already Have)

  • There are people living now who will never, ever forget to wash their hands for 20 seconds. We always should have been doing that. Influenza, coronavirus, SARS, MERS, the list goes on. The world is a dirty place, and as a friend says, “People are gross.”
  • We can finally stop hearing popularity referred to as “going viral.” Ain’t nobody want to go viral any more.
  • Even introverts like me will appreciate seeing those “same old faces” we haven’t seen in what feels like a hundred years.
  • No more handshakes. People with arthritis will cheer.
  • Introverts are finally having our moment to shine. “Follow me! I know the way!”
  • Germaphobes can finally come out of the closet with pride and say, “See? We told you!”
  • The people who fill every moment with noise (shouting into cell phones in public, music that’s so loud it vibrates the filling in your teeth) have a chance to learn to appreciate silence, and find out what peace sounds like.
  • All those people who keep telling us our problem is “too much government” have been proven wrong. This kind of thing is what we have government for – to take on the big problems we can’t take on individually. I’ll be surprised if anyone gets an unemployment check to cover food and rent sends it back, or if, when a vaccine is available, you get a lot of people refusing them.
  • The anti-vaxxers may reconsider, to the benefit of themselves, their families, their communities and the world.
  • People who haven’t been able to afford to go on a cruise are now getting to have that experience without leaving home.
  • The chance to really see our government in action, inaction, chaos and confusion, and figure out if this is what we were looking for when we voted.
  • A greater appreciation for the simpler things in life. Toilet paper hasn’t been this popular since they stopped building outhouses and publishing the Sears Roebuck catalog.
  • People too young to get winking references to the Sears Roebuck catalog now get the joke.

Email any time, Donny. I’ll be here. Right here. Or maybe a few feet away. Not far. Just remember, illnesses come and go. It’s what we do about it that makes all the difference. Oh… so far, we still get mail delivery, but my fantastic health care hasn’t arrived. You did send it, right?

Wave to Melania if you see her. And really, Donny, you’re supposed to demonstrate good behavior through all this. Stop shaking hands! And no grabbing anybody by anything. Talk to you soon. I hope.


Your Pen Pal


Going Viral – Germ of an Idea

March 14, 2020

Dear Donny:

Sorry I haven’t written in a while. I’ve been sick. Which is what I wanted to talk to you about. As usual, you seem to have trouble getting information, and there are things you need to know.

Don’t worry too much about me, Donny. I don’t have coronavirus, maybe. We don’t know. See, there aren’t enough test kits, so most people who are sick aren’t being tested. We have zero idea how big coronavirus has gotten. We only know that it’s worse than we know, but how much worse is a mystery. Unless you’ve been on a cruise ship recently, or or overseas, or touched one of the few people who has been tested already and gotten a positive result, you don’t get tested. So we know it’s worse than the official figures, but no idea how much worse.

The world goes through these pandemic things periodically. Fortunately, not all the time, but it happens. Why do you keep trying to cut the CDC budget, Donny? And you a germaphobe (so you say — you do like to touch people). You disbanded the National Security Council’s Pandemic Unit, which was created to get us ready for exactly this, even though experts said it was a good thing. How many times do I have to tell you, Donny, you don’t get rid of something important until you have a new one and you know it works. You might want a new garage door, but you don’t take the old one off until you have a new one, because it leaves a gaping hole in your house and anything could come through it. You keep banging big holes in the house then being surprised when bad stuff comes in.

Speaking of getting rid of old stuff before you have better new stuff: health care. Donny, I know you don’t listen to you when you’re talking, but you promised us fantastic health care. All of us. Something so much better than the Affordable Health Care Act. Could you please check around the White House? It might be lying around behind a sofa somewhere. We never got it. Maybe you forgot to mail it? If you could let us know when it’s going to be here, that would be great. And we really can’t wait until November. We needed it yesterday.

I don’t want you to worry, Donny, but I’m in self-quarantine now. The CDC has recommended that people who are sick isolate themselves within one room of the house and one bathroom. We’re lucky. Our house is little, but it has two bathrooms. My husband and I are both in the higher-risk groups (underlying conditions), so to protect him, our friends and our community, once the CDC made that recommendation, we put me in quarantine. We don’t know if what I have is coronavirus, after all. Since I can’t get tested, here I stay until I get better (please God), or have to go to a hospital.

If I could get tested and we knew I didn’t have coronavirus, I could go out and be with my husband and pet my dogs, but as it is, here I sit. You see, you announced that there were plenty of tests, but there aren’t. And health care providers aren’t sure who they can test. Some are testing anyone with likely symptoms, and others, like mine, are testing exactly who they are told to test.

So nobody knows if I have it, or who has it. We only know a lot of people do and aren’t sure or have no idea that their “colds” are part of a global pandemic. Which is no way to manage things. So if you could restore the Pandemic Unit, give the CDC and NIH funding so they can get on top of this, and mail that fantastic health care, it would be wonderful.

We’ll wait as long as we can. Which isn’t long.

Wave hello to Melania. And get yourself and your family tested, Donny. You’ve been in contact with people who have tested positive, plus you’re maybe still even rich, so they’ll definitely be willing to test you.


Your Pen Pal


Still Going Viral

March 2, 2020

Dear Donny:

How are things at the White House? Does everything smell like hand sanitizer? I bet you can get it there whenever you want, right, Donny? Is there MAGA hand sanitizer? If so, could you send me a bottle? Make it a big one so I can share. Just send a tanker truck. I heard a mom in the store tell her toddler, “Ben, you HAVE to stop TOUCHING everything! They’re OUT of hand sanitizer!”

That reminds me of the time I went to the state capitol here. In front of the Governor’s office is a huge statue of a bear (there’s a bear on our flag). A highway patrol officer told me cheerfully, “Never touch the bear!” I told him I knew I wasn’t supposed to touch statues, like in a museum. He said, “No, it’s because you’d get sick. Every school kid and tourist who tours the capitol touches that bear. We call him “Bacteria Bear.” Eww!

Right now, we’re trying not to touch anything. Covid-19 is still spreading. You said you asked the drug companies to “…accelerate whatever they’re doing in terms of vaccines.” Accelerate how, exactly? Make it in the bathroom sink? Skip testing? Guess?

Did you know that drug companies mostly hate to make vaccines? It’s true, Donny. Unless a disease hangs around and comes back (like the flu), there’s usually not a big market for the vaccine, especially with tinfoil-hat anti-vaxxers wandering around saying vaccines cause ear wax and such.

You have something in common with the drug companies, Donny. You both like to make money. If they think a disease will run its course before they can get a vaccine out, there’s no incentive to make it. Ditto if they don’t think lots of people will want to get the vaccine, and you know how people are. Once things calm down, they don’t feel the need to get the vaccine, even if the disease will come back. If coronavirus becomes a “thing” and we have “coronavirus season” the way we do “flu season,” then the drug companies will probably make the vaccine. Until then? Probably not.

That’s why people periodically call for the NIH and CDC to take over developing and producing vaccines, which are more of a public health thing and should be readily available so everyone can get them. It’s in our best interests for as many people to get vaccinated as possible, even if we have to offer them free. If enough people are vaccinated, a disease can “starve” until it just about stops spreading at all. You don’t even have to like Universal Health Care to get behind this. Some public health issues are just too important to left untended in the hopes someone will figure out a way to make a buck from them, Donny. It’s like cleaning my toilet. Nobody pays me to do it, and if I waited to do it until someone paid me, by then it would be a huge mess and would probably kill people.

Sorry. I know you’ve never cleaned a toilet in your whole life. You probably pay someone to poop for you once a year. You always look a bit… backed up. It must be interesting to only hang out with rich people, kind of like living in a gated community of space aliens. Let me try an analogy that’s closer to your life experience, since public health problems cause lost productivity. Taking care of public health is like checking up on your accountants. If you don’t do it regularly, you’re going to lose a lot of money and not be able to afford the people who poop for you. Meantime, let me know when that hand sanitizer truck is going to arrive, so I can tell my neighbors. You could even send some MAGA buckets for them to fill! And MAGA masks! We could call it a rally!

Wave to Melania for me if you see her.


Your Pen Pal


Going Viral

February 28, 2020

Dear Donny:

How are things at the White House? Do you jump a foot in the air when someone sneezes, or just fire them?

Can rich people even get Coronavirus? I have to ask because you seem a lot more concerned about the stock market survives this than how we do. You wouldn’t be the first rich person not to understand that he needs other people. I don’t mean in a touchy-feely way (God, no!). I mean really.

I know reality isn’t your favorite place and you spend as little time as you can there. I can sympathize, Donny. Lots of us are finding reality even more challenging than usual. But didn’t anybody explain that the stock market is really made up of people?

It’s not a magic place that exists outside of reality, Donny. It’s essentially a casino where some people bet on what other people will do, like buy stuff. If you run out of people, there’s no stock market.

Sick people don’t shop a lot. They don’t go to restaurants. They don’t go to theme parks. And you can probably get a great deal on a cruise right now. Sick people stay home being miserable and trying not to die. Which, to put it in terms you’ll understand, Donny, isn’t good for the stock market.

You blamed the head of the CDC for the stock market taking a downturn, and told him to shut up about the whole depressing public health thing because it was bad for the stock market. Lots of sick people is worse, Donny. Figuring out what diseases are going to be a big problem and telling people what to do about it is his job. If the doctors at the CDC don’t do that, we might as well not have one.

Of course, you’ve been trying to cut the CDC’s budget every year. You said they shouldn’t have doctors “sitting around,” and that you could hire them again “very quickly” if there was a crisis. Getting the funding restored to the CDC so you could start hiring would require Congress, and “quick” isn’t exactly in their skill set.

You put Mike Pence in charge of the country’s response to the coronavirus outbreak. It’s hard to follow your thinking. Before he was Vice President, Mike was in the House of Representatives for a while, and a governor. Before that, he was a lawyer. What I’m saying is, his medical experience is zero. And there were some real questions surrounding his handling of HIV when he was a governor. There are a few medical doctors in Congress. Maybe Mike should get them together? I know you like to hire outsiders without prior experience, but it seems like someone with medical experience should be involved in the decision-making process here.

Then Don Jr. got on Fox and, Donny, it’s time to put Don Jr. somewhere safe for his own good. He claimed, based on nothing at all, that Democrats hope this virus kills “millions of people” to keep you from getting re-elected. Maybe he already has the virus and the fever is making him hallucinate? I almost hope so, Donny. The alternative doesn’t say much for his sanity.

I’ll tell you what’s not good for your chances of re-election, Donny: muzzling the people who know what’s going on, putting people who don’t have a clue in charge of anything, and other people who are clearly not in their right minds running around stirring up trouble. Okay, I know, I know, it worked for you in the past. And Vlad helped a lot. But Vlad is going to have his hands full, if he doesn’t already. There are already a couple of cases of Covid-19 in Russia, that we know of. You know how he likes to manage information, so it’s probably more.

Meantime, best tell Don Jr. to keep his mouth closed, Donny. Not just when he coughs, either. Maybe it’ll become a habit. That way, at least one good thing would come out of all of this.

And when you think of cutting funding for the CDC again, think about the stock market. Sometimes you have to spend money to make money. Or to survive long enough to make money.

All the best to Melania if you happen to see her. And remember, wash your hands before and after tweeting. And during. Maybe just instead of altogether.

Talk to you soon (I hope),

Your Pen Pal.


Donny, there are a TON of movies you can remake!

(Un)Leading Man

January 26, 2020

Dear Donny:

It seems like everyone is talking about the impeachment trial, so I thought you could use a laugh. I hope you like this cartoon! It’s hard to top that tweet you posted with your face on Rambo’s body, Donny, but the book club debated films you maybe could have starred in, and someone (not saying who) suggested this classic comedy from the 70s. Imagine you as Steve Martin. He’s actually rich, I think, and lots of people like him. That’d be a fun change!

So… the trial. I’ve never seen a jury so determined to let someone off, to the point of not wanting to hear evidence, or witnesses! Remember back when you said you could murder someone and your followers would forgive you? In 2016 you said, “I could stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn’t lose voters.” It must be nice to have actual U.S. Senators among your fans!

Moscow Mitch considers you family, now, Donny. He’s so uninterested in whether or not you broke the law, he nodded off during the trial! People made fun of him for it, but he’s already decided you’re innocent, no matter what you did, so what’s to stay awake for?

Poor Lindsey. I think it’s mean that people are calling him “Gutless Graham.” That’s the kind of nickname that sticks to a person, Donny. How did you win him over? He was no fan of yours, but now he’d help you rob houses. He sort of is already.

But there are other things going on besides this impeachment… Is it a trial, the way Mitch is running it? Maybe “thing.” Impeachment thing. Anyway, Donny, there’s a lot going on. So it’s no big surprise that you’re forgetting things you say. You promised before you won that you would protect Medicare and Social Security, but just recently you said you’d look at cutting them, because “that’s actually the easiest of all things.” That’s like saying there are people crossing a canyon on an old rope bridge, and it’d be easier to just cut the ropes so you don’t have to wait for them.

You’ve said you were “liberal on health care, we have to take care of people that are sick.” And you said universal health care was something you like, because, “What’s the country all about if we’re not going to take care of our sick?” You even said you hated abortion, “and yet, I’m totally for choice. I think you have no alternative.” That’s a sensible position – you’re against it for yourself, not that you could actually have one, but you know what I mean – but don’t feel like you get to make that decision for someone else. The problem is that since the invention of Twitter, you say so much it’s hard to track what you said from one hour to the next, let alone day to day. You’re about as consistent as gelatin in an earthquake.

I blame Mike Pence. When he was explaining the job to you, he probably presented it as “You’ll be our Tweeter in Chief! Now go out and stir up some controversy to drive up our ratings!” Thing is, all of this is driving your ratings down. Good thing Mitch and Lindsey are there to make sure you can’t be canceled! But please tell Moscow Mitch to try to stay awake during the trial, for appearance’s sake.

Take care, and say hi to Melania if you ever run into her,

Your Pen Pal


Mad Skills

January 20, 2020

Dear Donny:

I just realized, it’s 01/20/2020! Sounds like the sort of day to celebrate clear vision, doesn’t it? What’s your vision for America, Donny? I get the “make the rich richer” part. That’s clear. Even a tax break meant to encourage jobs and growth in poor areas got co-opted for luxury projects by wealthy developers, some of them names you would for sure recognize, since you cashed their checks. How’d that happen, Donny?

Did your vision include the impeachment trial? You’ve been sued so often it probably just rolls off you by this point, but Donny, our Constitution and our whole country is on trial.

I think I’ve finally figured out the key to your plan. If I’m right, mention Joe Biden. I’ll be listening. Here’s my theory, Donny. When you took office, you had a wish list. Things you wanted to do, like cut taxes – at least for the rich. You never expected to finish your first term in office, so you had to blow lots of smoke to give you cover while you got to as much of your wish list as possible. You knew you’d break laws. At some point, someone told you about impeachment.

That’s when you started laying the groundwork for an insanity defense.

Donny, it’s brilliant. You’ve said a lot of crazy stuff. So much that people who support you say things like, “You can’t take what he says literally.” The first few times I heard that, I thought, “What? The guy who wants to be President of the United States says stuff and we’re supposed to guess what he means? He does know he’s running for President, not applying to be a game show host, right?”

When you got elected, you pumped the volume on the crazy speakers up to 11. Every day, sometimes several times a day, you say things that make zero sense, or are obviously not true. You do things that are so awful people get numb, and things so bizarre your supporters run around trying to come up with explanations that make some sort of sense. The anchors at Fox News are looking decidedly tired and seedy, and how many press secretaries are you up to now? These people need a break, Donny. Evil can take days off, you know.

I can only think of two explanations. One, you think you’re on a reality-TV show, so you’re doing the most melodramatic stuff you can think of to drive up ratings (if it’s that one, Donny, please ask someone to explain the difference between television and reality. Ask someone outside the White House). Two, you’re not nuts, but you knew it was likely you’d be impeached and started laying down the most solid insanity defense in history.

I want to help, Donny. You’re the only evil mastermind I’ve ever had as a friend (so far as I know). If against everything Billy Barr, Moscow Mitch and Low-standards Lindsey can do, you’re going to be convicted, just ask, and I’ll testify. Moscow Mitch says he doesn’t want to muck up the trial with evidence or witnesses (how is he a U.S. Senator but he doesn’t understand how trials work?). Low-standards Lindsey said he’s already made up his mind without seeing the evidence or hearing witnesses. But this could backfire on you, Donny. Anyone who puts as much time into proving he’s bonkers as you have may have gotten so good at it his brain can’t tell the difference any more.

So take care, Donny. I’d wish you a happy Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, but you cut school nutrition requirements for little kids on Michelle Obama’s birthday (which seems counter to the spirit of the occasion), so I’m guessing that you probably don’t celebrate this particular holiday. I will point out, Donny, that our economy depends on a supply of healthy, productive workers, and lots of kids get their main, sometimes only, real meal at school, so messing with the nutrition of growing kids screws up our future productivity and economy. Ask a conservative. There are still a few left. They’re just not in Congress.

Let me know if you want me to testify. You’d have to pay my travel expenses, but I’ll be happy to swear that your wits have been misplaced. While I’m there, we can search for them in the White House sofa cushions. Maybe your moral compass will turn up, too. I’d look for Moscow Mitch’s and Low-standards Lindsey’s, but there’s no reason to think they ever had them. Something to keep in mind when you’re buying them gifts next Christmas. You’re going to owe them something really nice. Like, really nice.


Your Pen Pal


Political Theater

January 13, 2020

Dear Donny:

Does your throat ever get sore? I’m thinking about that because I’m getting over the flu and it’s taking forever, especially the sore throat. You never seem to get hoarse or have a sore throat. Maybe that’s because you yell a lot? You do yell a lot, Donny. Were you always like that? When I try to imagine you as a little kid, I picture the teacher calling your name during roll call, and you answering, “HERE! I’M HERE! AND I’M THE BEST STUDENT EVER! I KNOW MORE THAN YOU DO! I KNOW MORE THAN ANYONE!”

Your normal voice seems to be a bellow. You’d make a lousy ninja, Donny. Your whole life is about being noticed. You couldn’t enter a place without being caught. “I AM THE BEST NINJA EVER! NOBODY SNEAKS LIKE ME!”

And lately, you’re backing up your shouting with drones and soldiers. That’s a little scary, Donny. So tell me, how much of this is real? Are you just trying to distract everyone from the impeachment trial? You do have a tendency to haul your trash onto the front lawn and light it on fire whenever you want to distract people. How much is just theater to keep us all looking somewhere else while you’re stealing our wallets? You say or do something outrageous and often disastrous (for other people), leaving your staff to run around in circles trying to make it look okay, but later on we find out you were actually doing something else the whole time. I wish I could be there to see it all behind the scenes. I’ve seen Cirque du Soleil, but they don’t have half the number of people spinning and juggling that you do.

You’re like a magician. A really loud magician. We saw a magician perform recently, one of those who does close up stuff where they don’t rely on spectacle to keep you from seeing what they’re really doing. Magic, as you know, depends on distraction. You have to get people to look somewhere else while you palm a card, or produce the hamster from your pants. This guy really did pull a live hamster out of his fly. He was good, Donny, but we both know you’re even better.

So while you have us all looking “over there,” what are you hiding, Donny? What card did you palm? I’m so curious! Your tricks are really impressive. We won’t find out what’s up your sleeve for years. I don’t know if I can wait that long! If you tell me what you’re really up to, I promise I won’t tell!

Lots of people are mad at you and lots of other people are yelling at the people who are mad at you… so pretty much just another day at the Trump White House. Mitch McConnell is in charge of your trial, really. They call him “Moscow Mitch” now, and funny enough for a U.S. Senator, he doesn’t seem to mind it at all, but then, ethics has never been a big thing in his life. He’s said he doesn’t think we need to bother with silly things like witnesses and evidence. You might have someone run on down and explain to him what a trial is. You know from trials, Donny! Don’t send Billy Barr or Rudy. I’m not completely convinced they know much more than Mitch.

A lot of things make sense now that I’ve finally figured out your style, Donny. All magicians have a style, top hat and tails, or jeans and tee shirt, grand gestures or subtle movements, splashy special effects or close-up magic that makes you wonder how anyone could get away with that without being seen. I think your style is flashy-loud, like lights and bells going off in a casino. When a slot machine pays off, even if it’s just a few cents, it makes a big noise and flashes lights, so you notice someone got paid. Now, he may have spent $50 to win 50 cents, but all the lights and noise keep you from noticing the other 100 people who didn’t win anything. You make lots of noise and make those lights flash so we don’t see you palming cards.

I’ve never had a criminal for a friend before. Well, not an active one. Certainly not one who is so proud of it. Remember when you said Republicans were so dumb you could kill someone and they wouldn’t care? I don’t believe that – I mean, real Republicans have been for civil rights and cleaning up the environment, and the stuff that we used to take pride in, and are sticklers for the rule of law, personal responsibility, the Constitution and all that. But by your own admission, you’re not a Republican, really. You’re a Trumpian. Your party is you.

Even people who think they have you figured out get taken in by your shtick, so you don’t have to be concerned that they’re on to you. By now they may suspect that you’re tweeting whatever it is to distract them while you palm cards, but they still feel like they have to look over there, so the trick still works. And why change it when it’s still working? But come on, Donny, just between us, what are you really up to?

If you’re about to make a hamster come out of your fly, I’m not entirely sure if I want to see it, or very much want to not see it. Either way, it can’t be much fun for the hamster.

Talk to you soon. Give my best to Melania if you see her!


Your Pen Pal


Stampeder Of The Free World

January 6, 2020

Dear Donny:

There are moments in a friendship where one person does something that leaves the other person whomper-jawed. A mix of stunned and confused that a friend used to refer to as “Well shit on the floor, Louise!” I asked her what life experience prompted that saying, but she wouldn’t tell. I never did meet Louise.

It’s the kind of perplexed shock that leaves a person mouth agape, making guttural noises. To be fair, you’ve caught me brain blank more than once, but this time, Donny, my flabber is gasted. “What the hell?” seems inadequate to the need, and “Are you friggin’ nuts?” is rude.

Donny, did you just take us to war?

For the record, you’re right about one thing. The guy you had killed was an evil, nasty dude. Reports I’ve seen say that Gen. Qassem Soleiman was responsible for planning attacks on Americans. But it wasn’t news, Donny. He’d been doing the same thing for years. Two former Presidents, G.W. and Obama, had each decided it wasn’t a good idea to take him out, because it would inspire retaliation against military and civilian targets here.

So the Book Club has many questions. Marisa said that it came out that your own military advisors presented that drone strike as just one of your options – thinking you wouldn’t choose it because it’s too extreme. You’ve been in office for several years, Donny, so how is it possible they’d never met you before? You like to tromp on the world stage in mud-covered boots. Your most successful venture so far has been being on reality TV, where the most extreme choice is the one you pick because it makes for dramatic tension, which is good TV, but not good foreign policy. So why did these otherwise smart (one hopes) people offer you an option they didn’t want you to take?

If there’s only one piece of cake in the fridge, Donny, and you’re dreaming of eating it later with a cup of coffee and a good book, you don’t offer it to anyone. If they look in the fridge and find it, you shrug and say, “Oh, that, it’s going stale, but I guess you can have it if you really want to.” If they didn’t want you to do it, they shouldn’t have mentioned it. You go to the most extreme option like a mosquito heads for a fat person in a tank top.

Spud wants to know what’s up with threatening the Iranians with hitting 52 targets “very hard” if they retaliate for what you did. With all that’s happened in the world, Donny, are we really reaching back to 1979 for stuff to be mad about? I realize that it was horrible for them to detain 52 Americans back then. I’m not saying it doesn’t matter that they did it. But you’ve never mentioned it before. What other grudges are you nursing from 1979?

Annie’s worried about our soldiers. They’re well-trained and brave, but they didn’t sign up to be thrown randomly at everything that sticks up above ground level. If their leaders were surprised you decided to do this, your average grunt must be all the confused.

Stephen asked what Jared Kushner’s doing about all this. You did put him in charge of bringing peace to the Middle East. Could you pop in and ask him how it’s going? A lot of people really want to know now.

Chloe said she’s stunned Sen. Lindsey Graham is okay with all of this. Congress is usually very protective of its powers, and taking us to war is a Congress thing, ultimately. Although Ginger pointed out that Congress has pretty much been your bitch since day one. All those Republicans who said it was the end of the world if you got elected seemed to have decided you’re the coming of free beer.

With very little searching, Lindy found the following quote from before you were elected:

“If we nominate Trump, we will get destroyed… and we will deserve it.” – Sen. Lindsey Graham, May 3, 2016

He also said you were an opportunist, Donny, not a Republican, unfit to be President, unqualified to be Commander in Chief, and even called you unhinged.

So did he mean what he said, in which case what did you offer him to lie down in front of the door and print “Welcome” on his chest, or was he just irresponsibly blowing bullshit? Does he mean anything he says? Now that you’ve basically invited Iran to come after you, if something happens, don’t hide behind Lindsey. He seems like the sort who might suddenly remember he doesn’t like you at the most inconvenient moment.

Our offer to buy you pancakes still stands. You’re my friend no matter what, and retiring is no shame. You’re in over your head, Donny, and this isn’t going to make the impeachment hearing go away. Your military experience consists of avoiding it, and your foreign policy experience is mostly just insulting people. Just send the word and we’ll put on our helmets and flak jackets and meet you at the diner. Don’t invite Lindsey. Although you could bring some of our soldiers. They must be feeling pretty worried, and while pancakes aren’t the answer to everything, they are called “comfort food” for a reason. We could all use a bit of comfort right now.


Your Pen Pal



The 1,460-Day Year

December 30, 2019

Dear Donny:

What do you think of the cartoon? Since you tweeted that funny picture of your face on Rambo’s body, the Book Club is coming up with other movie and TV characters you could be. I think the Tasmanian Devil is a perfect choice, don’t you?

You could probably use the laugh. You must be tired! The end of a year causes most people to reflect on what they’ve done over the last twelve months, and Donny, just thinking about all you’ve done makes me tired!

When this year started, you had shut down the government. Well, it was still shut down from December of 2018, but you did shut it down three times in 2018 alone. Which is an achievement, Donny. If you can count failing at something as an achievement, and you failed to keep the government going on an epic scale, why not count it? You did it deliberately every time, so you did what you set out to do. Congratulations!

In February, a bunch of your friends started getting arrested for cozying up to Putin and various suspect foreign leaders who interfered in our elections (and have probably been working on 2020 since 2016). Really, Donny, I know you don’t see how foreign governments running our elections is a problem, so long as they like you, but trust me, it’s a problem. It’s in the Constitution. Now that you’re running for re-election, it’s way past time that you read it. No wonder you’re not good at the “protecting and defending” of it you swore to do – you still don’t even know what’s in it!

In March, your cuddle buddy, Attorney General Barr, released a summary of Robert Mueller’s 448-page report. Barr managed to boil it down to four pages, one of which was the title page and another his hand-drawn picture of the two of you rubbing noses. I seem to remember the other two pages used the term “neener neener, he did not infinity,” and “WB + DJT 4Ever,” Donny, but I could be wrong. You also hosted some college athletes at the White House and offered them some fast food takeout.

The NRA convention in April was graced by both you and Mike Pence. It seemed like a weird response to the 22 dead and more than 130 injured in mass shootings that month. Did the NRA lie and tell you it was a rally in support of sensible gun laws, Donny? I bet they did. You must have been so mad you threw their campaign donations right back in their faces! You also (again) hosted some college athletes at the White House and offered them some fast food takeout.

In May, you spoke at the National Day of Prayer service in the rose garden. I can’t recall any President who was such a good fit for “prayer day.” Since you’ve become President, Donny, people are praying like never before! Steve Mnuchin, who, if he’s not your cuddle buddy, deserves to be (he could go on the other side from Billy Barr), refused to provide Congress with your tax returns. They said he was a naughty boy, but that’s about it.

You and Melania visited the UK in June. It was nice to see you two doing something together! The Queen seemed thrilled, although she probably thought you were Boris Johnson. She makes the same face when she sees him. I’m sure that’s her happy face. You know how restrained Brits are. Still, thousands of them turned up for a parade in your honor. The biggest rally you’ve ever had! They even had a giant balloon made of you as a baby! Hard to tell with the accents and all, but I’m sure they were fans from what they were shouting. What’s a “wanker?”

In July, you finally got that military parade you wanted after you saw one in France. I’m sure that with all the military members and their families who could use help, you were smart enough not to spend tax money on it, Donny. How much did it set you back? I’m sure it was a lot of fun for you, but next time, maybe just spend that money on improving a VA hospital or two? Then you celebrated the birthday of America, the great melting pot, by telling some members of Congress to “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime-infested places from which they came,” including one born in New York, another from far-off Detroit, MI, and a third from exotic Cincinnati, OH.

You also had a nice, long talk with Ukrainian President Volodymr Zelensky that proved to be very interesting to a lot of people. They’re still talking about it.

August was busy even for you. At least 38 people were killed in mass shootings, which you characterized as acts of “cowardice.” That shamed legislators into finally passing some reasonable gun laws! Ha ha! Of course it didn’t, Donny. Their position is that you can’t discuss such a thing too soon after a shooting, and there’s never enough time between shootings. You informed reporters that you are “the chosen one,” and lamented that you can’t award yourself a Medal of Honor, but Donny, why can’t you? Once you’re The Chosen One, giving yourself a medal seems relatively minor. Why not a Purple Heart, too? And maybe declare yourself the winner of The Publishers Clearinghouse Sweepstakes (that one comes with money and you get to be on TV).

In September, you met with a lot of people, including Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, which must have been fascinating. Can’t wait to read the transcripts of that when they come out! You also admitted pressuring the Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky to dig up dirt on your political rival. Be fair, Donny, you can hardly accuse Congress of a witch hunt when you’re standing on a chair yelling, “I’m a witch! A really witchy one!” That did make all the discussion of whether you did it or not pointless, didn’t it? You also addressed the UN General Assembly and it went so much better than the year before, when people laughed. Congratulations!

October was mostly taken up by the impeachment inquiry. A number of former members of your administration took the stand to confirm that what you said was true (which had to feel good, Donny – I mean, how many times has that ever happened?). You did use the power of the Presidency to pressure another country into doing personal favors for you. Oh, and Betsy DeVos violated a court order, going after college students for money when she’d been ordered not to. Her confusion is understandable. Education isn’t really her thing. She’s all about the Benjamins, baby!

November was exciting! Not really. They did televise the impeachment hearings, but by then, we all knew you were guilty. You said you were guilty. The question was, Donny, did anyone care? Turns out the answer was a resounding shrug. The same people cared who cared before and the people who wouldn’t care if they saw you using a mirror to upskirt the pastor’s wife still didn’t care. More and more people said yes, you should be impeached, but it wasn’t like they took to the streets with signs and torches. It was more like a bunch of people who’d been mopping up an overflowing toilet for several years finally gave a big sigh and admitted it was time to call a plumber.

So the House took a vote and decided to call the local clown college instead. Seriously, they followed the law and in December, they kicked it to the Senate, where Mitch McConnell and Lindsey Graham said they had no interest in legal shenanigans such as witnesses or evidence, and proposed the nation’s first faith-based impeachment trial, where the case is decided via ouija board and reading tea leaves.

Lots of other stuff happened this year, of course. A mind-numbing amount of stuff. People quit your administration in herds. Many athletes were honored for their achievements with meals that came in paper bags, which might have been more gratefully accepted by the little kids we’re still keeping in prisons, or kennels, or whatever you call them, Donny. It’s as though 2019 has had 1,460 days in it. It’s like you’ve already served your whole second term! So if you’re a bit worn out and want to retire to Mar-a-lago to play golf, you should, with a clear conscience.

Well, not “clear,” exactly. Tired? If Jiminy Cricket had trouble keeping tabs on Pinocchio, your conscience must be in a corner, mumbling incoherently and weeping. You’ve more than earned a rest in 2020, Donny. We all have!

By the way, if you decide to retire, the Book Club says they’ll chip in and buy you whatever you want on the Denny’s menu, even the specialty pancakes. Just say the word.

Here’s to a better new year for us all.

Your Pen Pal


Halloween seems a bit redundant in 2020.

A Very Special Holiday Special

December 20, 2019

Dear Donny:

Season’s Greetings, and Happy Holidays! Also Merry Christmas, if you celebrate that. It probably doesn’t feel like you have much to celebrate, but clearly you still have your sense of humor. I saw that tweet of your face superimposed on Sylvester Stallone’s body. People think you have no sense of humor about yourself, but clearly, you do. You’d make an odd Rambo. The only person you’d mount an all-out campaign to rescue is you.

The Book Club got together and came up with other movies you could have starred in. This is the first one. You would make an awesome Grinch! You’ve spent much of your time in office on a reverse Robin Hood, taking from the poor to give to the rich, mostly you. You may be the first President to make a profit on it. You’d take Cindy Lou’s Christmas tree, roast beast, and last can of Who-hash, then convince her she actually gave it all to you and watch her carry it all out to your sleigh.

No big shock that you got impeached – you had to see that one coming. You did it, after all, so getting accused of doing what everybody knows you did can’t be a surprise. What is a surprise is that you’re losing support amongst the evangelicals. Christianity Today said that Christians who support you need to examine their religious convictions.

Sorry – the word “conviction” is probably a trigger for you about now.

Christian support for you has always been confusing, Donny, until I heard a woman claim you’re a “man of God,” without even laughing, and it occurred to me that you kind of are. It’s just that you’re your own God. Looked at that way, you may be the most devout worshiper in the world.

I do have one gift for you, Donny. You’ve been impeached, but it’s very unlikely that you’ll be convicted. Sen. Lindsey Graham said he didn’t even need to hear any witnesses and had already made up his mind before the hearing even starts. Sen. Mitch McConnell threatened to cancel the whole thing. Clearly they’ve been in office too long. They’ve forgotten the oath they swear on taking office:

“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God.”

Either that, or they think you’re God, too. The more I think about it, the more likely that seems.

So happy Trumpmas, or whatever it is they celebrate in your religion. Do Attorney General Barr, Rep. Nunes and Sen. McConnell bring you gifts? They’re not exactly three wise men, true, but they definitely like giving you presents.

Wishing you a joyous Donny Holidays,

Spud, Marisa, Chloe, Ginger, Annie, Spike, Ginger, Lucy, Rosemary, Jodie, Stephen, Margie, Lindy and the rest of The Book Club, including yours truly,

Your Pen Pal


Blank Checks

November 25, 2019

Dear Donny:

I have a question, Donny (well, I have lots. When you come for pancakes, we’re going to have a good, long talk). I heard that you’re raising record amounts of cash even with all that’s going on. Is that true? Hooray for you, I guess, but you’d think people would wait to see if you get cleared before shoveling money at you. You keep saying how rich you are, so why in the world would anyone toss money at you at all, let alone now? Just curious.

The book club’s been following your story from the Mueller Report (doesn’t that seem like it was a hundred years ago? I came out in March of this year) through your impeachment hearings, but of course you and I have been friends for years. What a ride, Donny! The hearings aren’t done, but one thing is clear – you did it. Some of it you even admitted. So you’d think you know how this story ends, but it’s more twisted than Rudy’s knickers when he’s yelling your confessions for you on TV.

For one (and the Founding Fathers would have been floored to see this), even though you did it, it might not matter, because so many people don’t care! Just between you and me, Donny, was that the plan? Wear people down so by the time the shit hit the fan, nobody had the energy to pick up a shovel?

Marisa was wondering, if people send you money to defend yourself, is that treated like campaign money, or more like a gift? There are rules about campaign money, who you can get it from, how much, how you can spend it. If there’s some left over, it’s not your personal money (I heard you thought it was, but people are donating for your campaign, not so you can get another potty gilded). If they donate it to your defense fund, though, do you get to use it on anything you want? No more portraits of you, Donny. Everybody’s got one who wants one, plus Melania has a few, too.

Chloe read where you changed the campaign funding ethics rules (They really need another name for it. What’s the opposite of “ethics?”). Back in 2017, you were changing the rules so your “legal defense fund” could accept anonymous donations, even from big businesses or foreign governments. I’m sure you didn’t mean to open the door to a U.S. President accepting bribes from businesses and foreign governments, Donny, but you have to admit, this walks like a bribe and quacks like a bribe.

Annie saw an email where you were asking people to donate to your legal defense fund, but if you clicked on the link, it just took you to your regular campaign donation page. In that case, Donny, does that money have to be treated like campaign donations, with rules? Spud pointed out that you probably can’t use that money for defense expenses. I know you’re not good at accounting, Donny (that’s how you got in trouble spending charity donations on yourself), so get a good accountant. The IRS doesn’t mess around. You know who brought down that gangster, Al Capone? The accountants at the IRS.

Donny you have to stop taking money from anyone with a wallet to do whatever you feel like. I know that’s like telling the puppy to leave the Thanksgiving turkey alone while you go visit the neighbors, but… you seem to think being President is like being picked to go into one of those wind machines where they blow money around and you snatch as much as you can. I’m going to tell you something, and it’s important that you get it, both for the rest of us and so you don’t go to prison: being President is not about you. Ask someone to explain that idea to you. Tell them I said to use your name a lot so you’ll listen, and repeat it until you understand. Maybe write it really big in magic marker?

You keep treating the White House like a slot machine and you are going to end up in a small, concrete room with bars on it.

I have a personal request. You know I’m careful about not trading on our friendship, but – could you please lie low this week, Donny? Thanksgiving was hard enough for some of us to get through before. Now, it’s like we should skip the turkey and pie and eat military MREs in bunkers. Take a holiday, Donny. Whatever you’re thinking of doing, just don’t. In fact, don’t do anything. There’s just too much going on. Kids are getting shot. Speaking of kids, are we still keeping kids in detention centers? How will Santa get past the guards? If Rudolph gets whacked, that isn’t, as political consultants say, “good optics.”

We’re tired, Donny. We could all use a break. The Book Club seriously needs to shower. There will still be plenty of time to take bribes and try to pimp out your country for favors after New Year’s. Meantime, play some extra golf.

That way, we’ll all have something to be thankful for.

Wishing you and all of us a happy, and uneventful, Thanksgiving (and say hi to Melania for me if you see her),

Your Pen Pal


Something In The Air Tonight

November 18, 2019

Dear Donny:

How are things on the 18th green? I’m not sure what that means, but it sounds golfey, doesn’t it? Hope you’re getting plenty of bogeys and birdies and stuff.

The Book Club has moved on to Impeachment For Dimwits. Annie and Ginger chewed up their copies of The Seven Habits of Highly Impeachable People, and Chloe set fire to hers (we used it to roast wienies. It’s been getting hungry around here, but existential angst doesn’t inspire one to cook).

While we were gnawing on strangely scented hot dogs (I think it was the glue in the book binding), Lindy read to us from Dimwits. Did you know there’s not a lot of rules about how to conduct an impeachment? Maybe the Founding Fathers left it loose so it could be adapted as needed, or maybe they just didn’t seriously think anyone who could get elected would be dumb enough to trigger it, I don’t know.

Not that I’m saying you’re dumb, Donny. You said you were the most intelligent person with the best words, and I believe you. Look what you’ve gotten away with!

Anyway, while we were getting high off those toxic wieners, we realized how open the whole process is. You don’t have to wrap it up within a certain time, for example. Nixon’s lasted almost a year but he resigned before the end (it was pretty clear where it was going). It ends once the House decides to file charges and kick it to the Senate, or when they run out of things to look into. You could end up being the only President to be impeached after the end of his second term!

The hearing has been really interesting. I didn’t expect much in the way of laughs, but Stephen R. Castor is hilarious! The way the GOP lawyer kept pressing Ambassador Taylor on whether or not your administration’s diplomacy was “as outlandish as it could be” got us all laughing. That’s like saying you shouldn’t throw away whatever stinks in the fridge because while it smells bad, it doesn’t smell as bad as it could. And when Ambassador Taylor said your policy in dealing with Ukraine was “crazy,” Castor got him to add that it’s “illogical, couldn’t be explained, it was crazy.” Between Castor and Rudy, you really can’t afford any more friends.

So far, this hearing has had it all, in terms of entertainment. Taylor, Kent, Yovanovitch, all with years of experience, serving under both Republican and Democratic presidents. Ambassador William Taylor was the perfect leading man. Experienced, a Vietnam war vet with a bronze star… he seems like a steady, stand-up guy. His point about it being weird to have Rudy leading a separate diplomatic organization of his own was spot-on, Donny. You said you weren’t watching the hearing, so I thought I’d pass that along. Rudy’s entertaining in his way, but Donny, one thing he definitely is not is diplomatic! He’s about as diplomatic as a rabid weasel with jock itch.

George Kent, our senior State Department official managing our dealings with Ukraine, bow-tied and earnest, reminded us of another famous Kent, Clark. Marisa thinks he has a shirt with a big “S” on it under that bow tie. His family has been serving the USA for generations, and this is a guy who’s spent years dealing with governmental corruption in other countries. He said your administration is doing corrupt things in Ukraine that we wouldn’t accept from anyone else. So basically Superman said you’re Lex Luthor.

Marie Yovanovitch, the former ambassador to Ukraine, was the badass chick every good action adventure story needs. She’s very experienced, and got fired without cause (Rudy again. Donny, how many times have I told you, even if Rudy’s in the car, don’t let him put his hands on the wheel!). Even though it looks like you threatened her, she still showed up and testified. It’s the quiet ones you have to look out for.

Castor seems a bit distracted. Even though everyone was there to talk about you, he could not shut up about Joe Biden’s son. That’s got to be annoying. I know you prefer that people just think, and talk, about you, and here we’re spending millions to do just that, and Castor keeps asking people to talk about Hunter Biden. Why don’t you just tell the GOP that if they want to investigate the Bidens they should form a committee and go off and do that, so everyone else can get back to talking about you? Rudy could help him. It would give them something to do and maybe keep them out of trouble.

This is better than anything else on television, Donny. You’ve got yourself another hit! An impeachment hearing is Congress’s chance to really figure out what’s going on, on our behalf, and politically speaking, they have to. Once they’ve committed to the process, they really need to find anything that might be worth the fuss and expense. When the Dems looked at Nixon, they looked at him like the guy in the bar examining every woman there for any possible sign of interest. When the GOP looked at Clinton, they looked into him like a dog who smells a burger wrapper in the trash.

The good news is, Donny, you really like attention, and boy, are you getting it. You’re a star again. Play your cards right, and you could end up with another series after this one, over in the Senate chambers!

Maybe some more birdies and bogeys will relax you. Anyway, The Book Club says to tell you hello. Or something. Not sure. Those hot dogs were pretty potent.

Talk to you soon.


Your Pen Pal


And Now For Something Completely Different

November 11, 2019

Dear Donny:

You have got to come over for those pancakes! We’ve got so much to catch up on. I’ve seen where you’re going around the world asking foreign governments if they want a chance to participate in an American election. That’s nice of you, I guess, but confusing. I thought your friends were all about keeping people from voting. Or maybe you’ve found other ways for them to participate? Is that our new immigration policy – just people who have dirt on someone you don’t like? You can explain it at brunch. Meantime, my book club is a hive of activity.

We’ve searched So, You’re Being Impeached!, and The Little President’s Book of Impeachment, Presidents Are From Mars / Subpoenas Are From Congress, and even The Seven Habits of Highly Impeachable People, and we think you have a chance to get into the history books, Donny, and not just as a note (Donald J. Trump, President, United States 2016-2020), but as a whole page, maybe more!

You’re leaving a legacy. Maybe not the best one ever, but for sure you will be remembered! Years from now, kids will be sitting in Social Studies classes (high school, maybe. Not little kids – you have to admit, Donny, most stuff about you isn’t appropriate for children), reading about how, 244 years after the founding of our country, we had the first candidate for President of the United States who had been impeached before the election.

You’re leading us into, forgive the term, virgin territory here, Donny. As Stephen pointed out, being impeached isn’t being convicted (yet), so that shouldn’t prevent you from running for re-election. Even if you’re impeached and the Senate shows a miraculous speed and ability we haven’t seen in decades, and you get convicted (not fun to contemplate, but you have to admit, interesting) before the election in 2020, it looks like even being impeached and convicted wouldn’t prevent you from running again.

We were surprised. As Chloe said just before she slammed a pan of tater tots on the kitchen floor, “Sweet dancing Moses on buttered toast!” She followed that up with some language I won’t repeat, but you get the idea.

Marisa was reading to us from a legal article and a newspaper, checking back and forth, and she looked up with this expression, kind of sick, but amazed, like when you see a really bad NASCAR crash, and sure, you’re worried about people, but the fireball is really impressive. She said, “Well this farts in church for sure.”

Jodie pointed out that while being convicted would remove you from office, being convicted doesn’t automatically ban you from running again. You wouldn’t think being convicted of doing bad things while you have the job is the best recommendation for getting to keep it, but it’s strange times, Donny. Then she threw her copy of “Seven Habits” into the trash and started stress-eating jelly beans.

That’s when I realized something. I’m not usually the girl who gets big revelations, but it came to me… Donny, you could maybe get around the two-term limit law. You’d need help, but Mike has shown he’s more than willing to carry your water. See, you and Mike get elected in 2020, with a little help from your friends. That’s your two (the 22nd amendment says no one person can be elected more than twice). Even if they removed you on day 2 of a term, it still counts. Then you and Mike switch. He runs as President, you run as Vice-President. I know, I know, being the wing man isn’t your style (and how), but there’s nothing that says you can’t, and Mike is more than okay with letting you run things. You could theoretically be President until 2028.

True, you’d be in your eighties by then. I don’t know that Melania would go for it. She seems to have one foot out of the door already. But I’m sure Vlad can fix you up with someone.

We could end up with a President who’s a convict! That’s going to cause a major ruckus at the GOP. They take pride on being hard on crime. Unless it’s one of theirs, I guess. But think of it, Donny! You’d be the first President in United States history to be a felon (nobody’s been officially convicted so far, so I didn’t see if High Crimes & Misdemeanors includes felony. Surely it’s not just a misdemeanor to betray your country. I mean, we may have had a past President with a parking ticket or two, but nothing on this scale). I was so fascinated by the puzzle that I blurted all of this out in the book club meeting. That was a mistake.

Everybody looked at me like I had three heads. I’ve never seen so many mouths hanging open outside of a bass fishing tournament. Then the stress eating got out of control. Someone was eyeing the taters on the kitchen floor at one point. Ginger and Annie took their copies of The Little President’s Guide to a corner and started chewing on them.

People actually called in sick to work to keep reading. We’ve never had a meeting so exciting. Although a few people could really use showers at this point. If we find out anything, I’ll let you know. If you could send a shipment of fast food, it would be much appreciated. Those floor taters are starting to look pretty good.

Talk to you soon.


Your Pen Pal


This Little Piggy

November 4, 2019

Dear Donny:

How is autumn where you are? Where are you? I never really know where you are, day to day. You don’t spend much time in the White House. Between all that rallying and golfing, when do you find time to do any presidenting? Actually, that’s probably the smartest thing you can do right now – as little presidenting as possible. When you president, it gets you into trouble, whereas playing golf on your own course – even if you fudge your score, who’s going to call you on it?

Is that why you were saying you’re now a resident of Florida? You have spent much of the last few years at Mar-a-lago, so it makes sense. If you’re poor, jaywalking can land you in the slammer, but if I were going to be charged with anything, I’d want to be a rich person in Florida. They’re very understanding in such cases. So no more bankruptcies, Donny.

Speaking of legal stuff, the book club has read “So You’re Being Impeached!” and “The Little President’s Guide to Impeachment.” Next up is “Presidents are from Mars, Subpoenas are from Congress.” It was Marisa’s turn to host. I have to be honest, the more time we spend researching impeachment, the worse the food gets. Nobody owned up to bringing the Mars candy bars and marshmallow fluff, but clearly we aren’t spending much time cooking.

Annie said it’s easier to understand all of this if you think about reality TV. That’s something you understand! For example, you know they’re scripted. More “real-ish” than real. So an impeachment, no matter which side calls for it, is partly scripted. Nobody’s surprised by the time it happens, but people act shocked. Look at how horrified those GOP congress people acted, like they hadn’t heard the news (they have, though, right?). Impeachment is both a legal thing and a political thing. The stuff they’re investigating is real, but the reactions are real-ish.

Spud said that nobody should be surprised that this is going forward, and I’m sure in DC nobody is, despite the hand-wringing. See, the Dems held off a long time. They had to be sure there was a big enough trail of shit to indicate there really was a hog in the closet. Remember what’s-his-name, Geraldo or whatever, who had a TV special where he was opening some old gangster’s treasure chest? There was lots of fuss, and ta-daaah! Nothing. People still laugh about it. Well, the Dems can’t chance making a lot of fuss, opening the closet and there being no hog. So they’ve been staring at the closet and listening for oinks.

They seem to have heard enough oinks to convince them there’s a hog. Otherwise it would be career suicide to blow trumpets and tell everyone to come see what they’ve found in the closet. Some of the hoglets are already doing time, or awaiting sentencing, but they’re after Big Pork.

It’s also their Constitutional duty. You all swear to protect and defend the country and the Constitution. It’s a basic responsibility of the job. True, some of them will be happy to find that hog, but it’s their duty to look closely if they hear a lot of oinking. And here’s where we get into a difference between real and real-ish.

Real: you swore to protect and defend the Constitution and all that, so whether you like it or not, if you suspect there’s something going on that is a risk to the country or that the Constitution says is a “no,” you have to investigate. Nobody says you can’t also enjoy the process, but either way, you have to do it.

Real-ish: Members of Congress from the GOP voted not to open that closet door. Which wouldn’t make sense if they didn’t at least suspect that not only is there a hog, it’s their hog, out of control, and they don’t want people to think they’re responsible. Kind of like when the parent of the kid who’s out of control pretend they can’t see him climbing the lady in the wheelchair (I actually did see that one time). Having stuck by you so far, they’re betting their careers that voters would rather not know if there’s a hog in the closet or not. Real would be if they said, “Okay, we think he’s innocent, but it’s important to make sure and that everyone knows that, so let’s have the hearing.”

Did you know some Democrats actually voted to impeach Bill Clinton? Jodie says it’s true. I’m learning so much about government, and it’s thanks to you!

Stephen says that what happens now is that they hold hearings, subpoena witnesses and documents, plow through everything, and if it’s done properly, it’s not a fast process. But we have to know if we have a hog in our national closet. If you do and you don’t clean that closet, it does not go well. If you don’t, then you can either find someone to explain where the hell the shit came from, or just clean it up and go about your life, but you really do have to look in that closet.

Which isn’t fun for the hog. Not that I’m saying you’re a hog, but you know what I mean.

Time to get ready for the national closet cleaning. I suspect there’s a bunch of stuff in there we need to shovel out. Hopefully pig shit is the worst of it.

Talk to you soon.


Your Pen Pal


Rollover Minutes

October 28, 2019

Dear Donny:

How are things? Is that a stupid question?

Our book club continues to look into impeachment. We’re just not convinced Rudy is the best guy to give you advice, and we saw where you were having trouble getting good lawyers, so Spud went online and got us some used reference books. “The Little President’s Guide to Impeachment” may be a picture book, but it’s surprisingly informative. “So You’re Being Impeached!,” is good, too. Kind of “What to Expect When You’re Expecting,” if what you’re expecting is a subpoena.

It looks like the House really has launched an official impeachment hearing. If you’re confused, it could be because they’re doing it behind closed doors so far, but they planned to change that even before the GOP had that weird parade. Did they know that several of them already had access to everything? Maybe they confused not reading things with not being able to read things? Anyway, it was very dramatic, although they really needed a few banners, and maybe a marching band. I love musicals.

There was a musical about Richard Nixon. Did you know that? An opera. Do you think anyone is working on Trump, The Musical? I wonder what kind of music it would have. Annie says maybe something with tubas and accordions. And bagpipes. Ginger says it could all be set on a golf course, and Mitch McConnell and some of the legislators could be caddies. Stephen asked if that was a metaphor and Marisa said no, it’s too literal for that, but the costumes would be interesting.

Speaking of Nixon, and people do seem to be talking about him again lately, do you know what did Richard Nixon in? The biggest thing was, of course, that he was recorded saying things that showed his intent went against the law. As the saying goes, Donny, check. You do tend to say whatever you feel like in front of cameras, and microphones, and witnesses, then claim you didn’t say it. Or, you said it, but so what? The problem, Donny, is that if you’re being impeached, all of a sudden those recordings become hard to wiggle away from.

The second thing that did Nixon in? Jodie told us. His associates felt the heat and rolled on him. Donny, I don’t know how to put this gently, but… you have a history of turning on the people around you. It doesn’t inspire loyalty when people know you’ll sacrifice them to save yourself. When the House turns up the heat, lots of people may suddenly remember what patriots they’ve always been and sing like birds.

Our book club had to put aside the Mueller Report for more urgent reading, although Spud is still reading it. She’s says it’s going to become relevant again soon, so you’d better make time to go through it. I wish you could come to book club. The food is really good. Chloe hosted this time and told us all to bring some sort of roll. When we got there, she said the theme was people who “roll on you.” You know, people who turn around and give evidence. We had every kind of roll you could think of. You’d be surprised how many foods can be served in a roll, Donny, from those little sausages they call pigs in blankets through cinnamon rolls.

I brought apple turnovers. I didn’t realize what a pun that was when I made them. Seems a lot of people have already turned over, even before the hearing. Lindy said if you held a turnover up to your ear, you could hear George Washington spinning in his grave. I held mine until I got pastry flakes in my ear, but I never heard anything.

Anyway, Perry and Rudy are looking pretty nervous. Halloween is almost here – you could dress up as a Ukrainian go-between and scare the lights out of about half the people around you, but that would be mean, I guess. It’s probably pretty hard for you to come up with a costume where you won’t be recognized, which takes the fun out of it. I can’t think of anything you could go as that’s really orange. Maybe the Kool-Aid Man? Garfield the Cat? Maybe it’s time to skip a few tanning appointments.

What are you and Melania giving away to trick or treaters? Stephen said he bet you were giving away pardons, but I think most people would rather have a candy bar.

Anyway, happy Halloween! Talk to you soon.


Your Pen Pal


The Genuine Article(s)

October 21, 2019

Dear Donny:

I heard you say you thought the impeachment process was unconstitutional, and I thought I’d let you know what I found out. Honestly, Donny, all those lawyers and not one of them has read the Constitution of the United States? It seems like it would be somewhere in the law school textbooks. But Rudy says he’s a lawyer, and he doesn’t seem to have read it, so maybe not. Even if he did explain it, you probably don’t know much. He can be kind of confusing to listen to.

Our book club has been reading up on all of this. We used to only meet once a month, but now that we’re reading about you, we have to meet more often to keep up. You generate a lot of reading material, Donny! You’ve done more for literacy than JK Rowling, although I have to admit this stuff doesn’t zip along like those wizard books. It’s a good thing this hit while peaches were still in the stores. That was our theme. Peaches, impeachment… get it?

I thought I’d start with Articles of Impeachment. The first thing is that these aren’t articles like newspaper articles. I know how you hate those. Articles of Impeachment are articles with a big A. Anyway, Articles of Impeachment just means the charges. You’ve been sued before. Marisa said you and your businesses have been sued something like 3,000 times! So you know from charges. The Articles of Impeachment are the things you’re being charged with.

First Congress makes a list of things to investigate. They hold hearings and collect evidence, talk to witnesses, read documents, that sort of thing. Then they decide if they have enough evidence to charge you with anything, and if so, what. If they charge you, the charges are the Articles of Impeachment, and you are officially impeached.

Now here’s where it gets tricky. See, the Constitution says you can be impeached for “high crimes and misdemeanors.” Spud read us the part where it says, “The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from office on impeachment for, and conviction of, treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors.” But it doesn’t spell out what, exactly “high crimes and misdemeanors” is.

I heard you say you couldn’t be convicted unless you committed high crimes and misdemeanors, but Donny, that’s not how it works. As Lindy put it, it’s not like if you murder someone but don’t spit in the street, they can’t convict you. High crimes will do it. Probably enough misdemeanors would, too. You don’t need both.

Only two Presidents have actually been impeached, Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton. Both got to finish out their terms, because impeachment doesn’t remove you from office. If you’re impeached, then the Senate holds a trial. If the Senate convicts you, then you’re out of office – but that’s never happened (so far). Johnson held on to the Presidency by a single vote in the Senate. He was impeached, but not convicted. Same thing for Clinton. He was impeached by the House, but not convicted by the Senate.

Nixon was never actually impeached. Once he saw the handwriting on the wall, he resigned before his impeachment could move forward. Several presidents have been threatened with it, but it never went as far as impeachment in those cases.

The whole process takes a long time. So even if you get impeached, you may still get to finish out your term. But it’s not the best way to run for re-election. If you really didn’t do anything wrong and you still want to run, you’d better open up your file drawers and march your staff over to Congress so you can get this behind you quickly. “Donald Trump, Not Yet Convicted!,” isn’t much of a campaign slogan.

This is all our book club has so far. If you could kind of lie low for a bit, it would give us a chance to catch up. You generate news the way a tornado makes trash, Donny! It piles up so fast we can’t shovel fast enough to keep up.

Wish we’d been able to get pancakes while we were in DC, but you were always at the golf course. You might want to stick close to home and walk around one day. It’s a beautiful city, and we met so many nice, helpful, welcoming people from all over the world who live and work there. Just wear your comfortable sneakers. The streets are a mess. When are you starting on all of that infrastructure building you talked about?

I’ll let you know what else our book club turns up about impeachment. You’d think the President of the United States would at least get good legal counsel, but Lucy and her copy of “So You’re Being Impeached!,” might be the best source of information you have, from the sound of it.

Oh – before I forget, Penny says to tell you that Obstruction of Justice is an impeachable offense. If you don’t know what that is, come to the next meeting and she can explain it to you. In the meantime, if you see any justice around, don’t get in its way.


Your Pen Pal



October 14, 2019

Dear Donny:

We’re back home from DC now. I’m so sorry we missed you! We did see your helicopter flying by on the way to the golf course. We waved – did you see us?

Boy, things are buzzing in the nation’s capital. People launched into politics before they even told you their names. If your ears are itching, it’s because almost everyone is talking about you. And Rudy. Is he still your lawyer? You said you weren’t sure. It seems like that’s something you’d know, especially now. Rudy says you haven’t fired him (as of today, anyway). Although I’m surprised. Not that he’s your lawyer. That’s he’s a lawyer. You have to admit, he’s not very lawyer-y. More lawyer-ish. Like someone dressed up as a scary lawyer for Halloween.

I’m getting concerned that the stress is playing havoc with your memory, Donny. You seem to be forgetting a lot of crucial stuff. You’re not sure who your lawyers are. One of your lawyers is friends with two guys who were arrested just as they were going to leave the country on one-way tickets, and there are pictures of you with them, but you say you don’t know who they are.

Their names are Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman. They’re Ukrainian-born business people, and may have helped Rudy try to get dirt on Joe Biden and his son for you. Rudy is your lawyer, remember? It appears that he’s been trying to dig up dirt on your opponents on your behalf, the way you may have done talking to the President of the Ukraine. Did you really tell another president that he would have to dig up some dirt on someone running against you, or you wouldn’t help his people?

If so, that’s a problem. One thing you don’t seem to get, Donny, is that being president doesn’t make you the owner of the United States. The country doesn’t belong to you. You’re an employee. You got hired to be the country’s caretaker, to see the owners have what they need, keep things in good repair, keep the lights on, that sort of thing. The country still belongs to the citizens of the USA. All of them. With a population of over 327 million, that means every citizen, including you, only has 0.0000003% of a share, to put it in business terms. Hardly controlling interest.

The resources of the country belong to the owners, Donny, to be used for the common good, not any one person at the expense of the others. So you don’t get to use the money, or the muscle, of the USA to further your own interests. It’s not your money or muscle. It’s ours. Rudy and Billy Barr seem curiously confused about all this, considering one is your lawyer and the other is supposed to be the nation’s lawyer, but Congress seems more than willing to explain it to you.

Don’t be surprised if they’re tough on you. They’re our employees, just like you are, and we’ve tasked them with finding out just what you’ve been up to. If they want to hang on to their jobs, they’ll need to impress us with how well they protect our interests. I’d take one of your other lawyers, just in case. Maybe a few of them. It would be nice to let Rudy and Bill go along, just so they feel like part of the team. If they’re available. Rudy might be penitentiarily engaged, the way things are going.

You’ve never really been anyone else’s employee, so this will be a new experience. I mean, you are now. You’re the employee of the citizens of the United States, not the boss. Billy Barr and Rudy should have explained that to you. It’s not spelled out in the Constitution, but it’s still sort of in there. If you still haven’t read it yet, maybe you should skip a few golf games. It’s past time to read the instruction manual, Donny.

For a few minutes there, you had a new lawyer. Trey Gowdy was going to be your “outside” lawyer (does that mean he’s not housetrained, so he can’t come inside? If a puppy can be housetrained, you should be able to teach a lawyer). Your personal lawyer announced it, but then 30 minutes later Mr. Gowdy remembered that he used to be a member of Congress and can’t lobby until January. How did that slip everyone’s mind?  You can’t wait until January. You need someone to make you some important friends quickly. Friends who could, say, vote against impeaching you.

So now you’re busy trying to find more lawyers. You have a bunch of lawyers. How many do you need altogether? I could ask around.  Would any lawyer do, or does it have to be a former member of Congress?

Once you’re done, head on over and we’ll get those pancakes. If you can. If you can’t, I’ll see you when you get out. Not Rudy, though. He hangs around with some pretty sketchy people, and the diner does have its standards.


Your Pen Pal


Eve of Destruction

September 30, 2019

Dear Donny:

Whoof. Honey. You may get to meet me at the Denny’s in Fairfield sooner than we thought. If you’re lucky. You know I’m your friend, Donny. I will still buy you pancakes. They have great pancakes. But you might want to wear something nobody would expect to see you in, like running shoes and a track suit. I don’t know where Nixon’s friends met him for breakfast after he resigned, and we can’t ask him, him being deceased and all, but as long you don’t wear a MAGA hat, we should be okay. But do wear a hat. And maybe a scarf.

It’s not that I’d be ashamed to eat pancakes with you. But people around you tend to wind up in front of Congressional committees.

There’s no way to sugar coat this, Donny. It doesn’t look good. Didn’t I tell you, way back in the day, that you should have withdrawn from the race before the election? You never really wanted to be president, after all. But you didn’t want to be seen as a quitter, so you said increasingly crazy stuff, whatever came into your head, hoping the voters would make the decision for you.

Pride goeth before a presidency, apparently.

Did you really ask the president of a foreign country to get you dirt on Joe Biden? Tell me you didn’t do that, Donny! It really looks like you did. You did. At first, you just sort of told the press, “So what if I did?”

So what? So presidents can’t just do any old thing they want to do, that’s so what. The founding fathers designed it that way.

Of course, I can see how you got the idea that you could do what you want without consequences. The Democrats have been too scared to do more than whine, and the same GOP members of Congress who tried to help you avoid the White House, saying awful things about you, saying if you were elected it would be the end of democracy, couldn’t roll over fast enough the day after the election. They kissed your butt so often you probably have lip prints permanently branded on your tushie (and no, just for the record, I do NOT want to see them. It feels awkward to have to explain that, Donny, but I sort of feel like I do).

When the founding fathers gave us a government with three distinct branches, it was so each one would provide a check on the others. They didn’t consider that Congress might turn into a giant playground where people are too busy name-calling to actually do anything useful.

But you can be the check on yourself. I know, it’s not fun. It’s not something you’ve done before. But Donny honey, it’s time to come clean. Now. Before your next address involves an orange jumpsuit. I don’t think we can have pancakes together if you’re in a federal penitentiary.

They’re saying you dangled taxpayer money as, there’s no other way to say it, a bribe in return for dirt on Joe Biden and his son. And offered to pimp out our military to someone else. Donny, these people pledge their lives to protect this country. If you offered to sell them to another country to win an election I may not be able to meet you at Denny’s. Or anywhere.

There is some comfort in knowing that you’ll probably still have the company of your family, though. Except Ivanka. Prisons still aren’t co-ed. And Melania. She doesn’t hang out with you much, so maybe she doesn’t know anything. Tiffany will likely still be on the outside. Tiffany, the daughter who isn’t Ivanka. People used to say that as an insult, but now it’s more like a compliment. Maybe they’ll visit. Probably not, but I hope they do.

I think you’ve wrung about every dime you’re going to from being president. Time to “explore other opportunities,” as they say. It’s not like you won’t have a roof over your head, after all. You have a lot of places to stay. I hear Trump Doral is nice. I’m sure the bed bugs are gone by now.

But first, let’s have those pancakes. If you’re free.


Your Pen Pal


Wild, Wild West

September 23, 2019

Dear Donny:

I’m so sorry to have missed you! Why didn’t you tell me you were coming? I realize you didn’t come to where I live, but there’s a Denny’s right off the highway in Fairfield, CA, and we could have met there. The Jelly Belly candy factory there has tours. They even give you a free sample. They have a portrait of Reagan done in jelly beans! I bet they could do one of you, too. I know you get kidded a lot about being orange, which is mean, but they have a lot of colors they could use besides orange. There’s pink grapefruit, tangerine, cantaloupe, chili mango, even orange mango smoothie! One tip, though. They have a line of Harry Potter beans and you do NOT want the orange one. It’s vomit-flavored. I really don’t want to know how they decided that.

You don’t come to California very often, but next time you come, let me know ahead of time and we’ll have lunch at Denny’s and take the jelly bean factory tour, and you can pose for your portrait.

I read where you expected to make $15 million for your campaign while you were here. Donny, you have to remind people that you promised to fund your own campaigns yourself, out of your own pocket. I know how important good manners are to you, but it is okay to say “no” when people offer you money. Just tell them it’s a point of pride to keep your word. They’ll understand.

Was it awkward to come to California? You sued them, they sued you… it can make conversation a bit tense. They’re suing you because you tried to stop them from making sure cars don’t pollute as much. You sued them to keep from having to reveal your tax returns. It had to make things weird, Donny. Is that why you sent a bus for your supporters and took them to an undisclosed location? So you wouldn’t have to stand around trying to talk to people who are mad at you? I bet that was exciting when the surprise buses pulled up! I hope they didn’t think you were hiding them because you were embarrassed to be seen with them, or worse, deporting them!

About the lawsuits, Donny. I really don’t get it. See, the air in California used to be so polluted, people made jokes about the smog, when they could breathe enough to talk. What’s the argument for going back to the bad old days when cars were even less fuel-efficient and the air was cruddy? That’s why the state put in strict regulations about car exhaust and stuff. The federal government approved the California regulations, even though it meant auto manufacturers had to make two different versions of every model, so California could have the cleaner cars but other states could still have the dirtier ones if they wanted to. Not sure why they would, but they could.

Here’s the thing about all the environmental stuff, Donny… you’re old enough to remember when some states had smog so bad you couldn’t breathe, and the Cuyahoga River in Ohio actually caught fire! I would have said that if there’s one thing a river can’t do, that would be it, but it turns out if it’s polluted enough, that’s what happens. So what’s the argument for going back to that? It’s bad for business. Dead people don’t get much done at work. And they don’t buy much.

As for the tax returns… did you forget to tell your lawyers that you already promised to release them? You should keep a notebook and keep track of the stuff you’ve said. The IRS says you can go ahead, no reason not to release them. And every President in recent history has done it. George Bush (both of them). Clinton. Obama. It’s just how Presidents do things. If you don’t, people wonder what you’re hiding. You don’t have to wait for your lawyers, even.

Considering you’re running for re-election already, you’re way late. Just send them to me and I’ll ask my book club to read them and prepare a report. Spud and I are good at book reports, and Marisa would be great at talking to the press. And everyone really wants to read your tax returns, especially after reading the Mueller Report. It’d be like getting the sequel.

So let me know next time you’re coming back to California. I’ll even buy the pancakes. And if you don’t change your mind about rolling back the pollution standards, there’s something we learned during those wildfires last year that you should know: The P-100 face masks are the best for filtering out most kinds of air pollution. The N-95 masks are almost as good. The little ones that look kind of like surgical masks don’t do much, so don’t waste your money on those. Hope to see you next time you’re here. If you have to wear a face mask, write your name on it so I can find you.


Your Pen Pal


The Year of Flying Hats

September 9, 2019

Dear Donny:

How was your weekend? I hope it was interesting. It’s still months away, but 2020 is already looking like an interesting year! I know you’re not in the office much––how do you get work done on the golf course? Does a secretary sit in the golf cart, typing on a laptop? Does your cabinet tie messages to the flags at each tee?––but stuff is happening, Donny.

Your race for re-election is getting more and more exciting. You’ve got challengers! I always think it makes a race more interesting when it’s not just one person running, don’t you, Donny? After all, if you’re the only one on the track, did you really win a race, or did you just run around in circles? So far, Joe Walsh and Bill Weld are the only ones who’ve put their shorts on and pinned numbers to their t-shirts, but more are standing next to the track with their uniforms in hand, checking conditions and which way the wind’s blowing.

You might not believe this, Donny, but did you know that the Republican leaders in a few states have actually considered not even having a primary election? That’s silly. I mean, that’s why states even have primary elections, so contenders in the same party can face off and voters can choose. You might want to call around and let people know you don’t appreciate them saying you’re afraid of losing. That’s basically what they’re saying, after all, when they talk about not having primaries. They don’t think you have a prayer unless there’s not a cloud in the sky, they’ve run all the dirt on the track through a sieve so there isn’t even a tiny pebble to trip on, and nobody else is running.

They don’t think you’re a big boy, Donny. They think you need mommy to protect you and make sure you win.

But you know and I know that real Republicans are tougher than that. And you’re a survivor. Look at all you’ve overcome! I mean, how many times have you been bankrupt, for heaven’s sake? And how many times have you been sued? You’re not just used to swimming with the sharks. You are one!

It was pretty exciting to hear that Joe Walsh was running. But it turns out, he’s not the rock musician who played with The Eagles. That’s a different Joe Walsh. The one running against you used to be a congressman, then he had a radio show. He has a Masters Degree, which is pretty impressive. And he was a social worker. He served one term in Congress, but he was on the Homeland Security, Oversight and Government Reform and Small Business committees. He’s said some pretty stupid things, which he says he regrets now. Mom used to say that everybody does stupid stuff, but worthwhile people own their mistakes and apologize. So hey, kudos to him for not just making excuses.

The other guy who’s said he’s for sure running is Bill Weld. He was Governor of Massachusetts for six years, and is an attorney and a businessman. That’s pretty impressive – he has experience with how government works and business experience. I read where he’s 6’4”, Donny! That’s two inches taller than you. Have you ever met him? There aren’t a lot of people you look up to, so it would have been a strange experience for you.

But there are places where you have a lot more experience than he does. He’s only ever been a Libertarian or a Republican. You’ve belonged to four different parties that I know of! And he’s been married twice, so you’re one up on him there.

Did you know Weld had ties to Ronald Reagan? When Reagan was president, he appointed Weld as the U.S. Attorney General for Massachusetts, then promoted him to Assistant U.S. Attorney General. Weld headed the Dept. of Justice criminal division. He was elected as governor twice and only resigned when he was nominated to be an ambassador, but Jesse Helms didn’t like him (which is a recommendation in Weld’s favor right there), and wouldn’t even grant him a hearing.

That’s a pretty serious contender right there, Donny. Nothing makes you more excited about a race than having someone else to challenge you. Of course I wish you luck, Donny, but I have to admit it’s exciting to see Bill Weld running. If the GOP doesn’t prevent him from having a chance by canceling the race.

If you can’t win a fair primary, how do they expect you to win the General Election? Everybody would know you only got into that race because Mommy carried you over the finish line in your last one. They should have more confidence in you, Donny. Meantime, you might want to walk around the golf course faster to get in training. Just in case.


Your Pen Pal


Accordion to Donny

September 4, 2019

Dear Donny:

I saw more footage of you getting on the helicopter this morning, but I don’t remember where you were going. Don’t you worry that those long ties you wear will fly up and get caught in the rotor blades? Those blades must be higher above your head than it looks on TV. I hope so, anyway. Reporters were shouting to you, but it looked like you couldn’t really hear them over the noise of the helicopter.

The whole “ask me while I’m running to the helicopter” thing is a common presidential tactic. Eisenhower was the first president to regularly use a helicopter. It wasn’t long before presidents figured out that if you talked to reporters while making a beeline for the chopper, you could act like you were being accessible while avoiding questions. Tell ’em to fire up the helicopter and make a dash for it, and let the reporters bark questions at you over the roar of the rotors, like dogs who just saw a squirrel. Cup your hand over your ear and make that universal, “What? I can’t hear you. What?” face. It’s golden.

Just being near a helicopter makes you look cooler. And people think that someone getting into a helicopter has important places to go, in a hurry, and isn’t just, y’know, headed to the Piggly Wiggly for potato salad, or out to play golf. I can’t believe you actually get away with that, Donny! You must giggle every time you get to take Marine One to your own golf course. Did you know it costs taxpayers about $20,000 per flight hour every time you take Marine One or Air Force One somewhere? I’m not complaining, Donny. We’d all do it, if we could afford it.

Maybe you should take a few random taxpayers with you every time you fly! Not just Republicans – everyone is paying for it, except maybe your buddies who are still getting those huge tax breaks – so everyone should have an equal chance. They could help you distract the journalists, especially if they bring their kids. Day care is getting so expensive, a lot of working people have trouble affording it. If you run for the chopper with two parents and three kids under 12, I guarantee you nobody will expect you to hold a conversation with anyone.

Barring that, maybe you could skip the golf trips and take up an instrument. Only let reporters near you during practice time. We have an amateur rock band in our neighborhood, and when they’re practicing nobody can concentrate on anything. How about a tuba? Or an accordion? Oh, I know! Donny, what about bagpipes? You have Scottish ancestry, after all. I like the sound of bagpipes, but I would think that if you’re just starting out, it would sound like someone strangling an elephant who’s having a prostate exam. The reporters would probably flee in terror. You know you’d like that!

Here’s the thing, Donny. When you answer questions off the cuff, you sound like you turned your brain off and it’s taking too long to re-boot. There’s another presidential tradition you should think about adopting – the speech writer. Improv isn’t for everyone. You said China was calling you all the time and you were making progress on trade with China, then China’s foreign minister said nope, no talks, no progress. You said Melania was buddies with Kim Jong Un of North Korea, but she’s never met him. See what I mean? I don’t blame you – public speaking is terrifying – but you’re our president, Donny. What you say matters. People are saying there’s no bun on your brain’s Big Mac. I think maybe your brain just farts out words when you get nervous. I have the same problem, but I didn’t run for president. Have someone show you how to use a teleprompter. It’ll make speaking in public a lot less nervous-making.

P.S. It was nice of you to offer the use of one of your golf courses for the next G7 summit, but they’d probably have preferred to have you show up for the climate change meeting at this one. Since you skipped parts of this G7, they probably thought you were kidding when you offered to host one. So if they don’t get back to you, that’s probably why. Just so you know. I know you didn’t do it for the money you would make! You did it so you could invite Putin.

It’s hard when your boyfriend makes some little mistake, like annexing Crimea in violation of international law, and everybody’s mad at him, and they say he can’t come to the prom. You miss him and you’re hurt that everyone else doesn’t. You know they’re going to play that special song, and you’ll wish you were dancing with him, and you put on your best dress and he’s not even going to see it. But even if you have the prom at your very own country club, you don’t get to just invite anyone you want to. I know you feel like nobody understands Vlad the way you do, but even if he came to the prom, everyone would still be mad at him, and nobody would have a good time. I’m sorry, Donny, but you need to pick another date. See if you can reach Melania. She might even let you lead when you dance, and you know Vlad never would.


Your Pen Pal


King Of The World

August 28, 2019

Dear Donny:

Oh my gosh, you shouldn’t spring a joke like that on me unprepared! Donny, I was in a coffee shop when I saw you look up into the heavens and proclaim, “I am the chosen one!” I’m going to have to find a new place to buy coffee, now that I’ve spit mocha all over Tristan the barista.

I had to hang onto the counter, I was laughing so hard. Sure, you set it up like you were talking about your trade war with China, but that was really what comics refer to as a “callback,” wasn’t it? Another comedian made a joke about you being “King of Israel,” so you called yourself “The Chosen One.”

See, this is what I mean when I say you don’t get the credit you deserve as a comedian. It’s hard to imagine anyone funnier than you, Donny! Although it was a little obscure. I’m not criticizing! It’s just that I’d never even heard of this Wayne Allyn Root guy who called you King of Israel. Is he new? It’s nice of you to give exposure to a young comic just starting out.

Anyway, Wayne Allyn Root is pretty funny. Who the heck is he? I mean, here he’s proclaiming that you’re Israel’s main guy and they love you so much you could be king there, but Wayne seems like a weird spokesman for Israel. Is he Jewish? It’s funny – funny/weird, not funny/ha-ha – but people keep speaking for Israel who don’t live there, and aren’t even Jewish. I’m sure the Israelis appreciate it, but they’d probably just as soon speak for themselves.

One of the things I don’t get about America and Israel is that you have a lot of really conservative people who just love Israel, but don’t seem to like Jews very much. Is it hard to write comedy when the world is that weird to start with?

I keep telling you, people don’t get your sense of humor. It’s deep. Layered. You’re kind of a comic’s comic, Donny. That’s what they call a comedian who makes other comedians laugh, but nobody else. Maybe it’s because people don’t expect the President of the United States to use the position to launch a career as a stand-up comedian. They assume that the president will be kind of serious, at least during work hours.

And I’d be careful with that whole King thing anyway. The last guy who got called “King of the Jews” had a lot of trouble with it.

Unless. Oh Donny, tell me this isn’t an attempt to launch a career as a crazy person. It’s not going to work. It seems like whenever talk about impeachment reaches a certain level, you say something bizarre to distract everyone. If your plan is just to let your friends get away with as much as possible, then claim you weren’t in your right mind, I have two words for you: Richard Nixon. He only escaped impeachment by resigning, even though he was cracking at the seams by then. And you really can’t get much more outrageous than you already are without forcing Congress to take away your nuclear codes and put you somewhere quiet so you can rest.

If that’s not it, if it’s just part of the comedy act, you might go to the “Thank you everybody, I’m here until next November, tip the wait staff” part, so people understand it’s comedy and they can laugh. If it’s the other, well, you do know you can retire without going through all of this, don’t you? Just because nobody’s done it doesn’t mean you can’t. Think about it.


Your Pen Pal


The Green No Deal

August 21, 2019

Dear Donny:

How are you? How’s the family? I know you don’t see that much of Melania, but most of your kids work for you, so you must see them all the time, except for Barron, who’s probably with his Mom, and Tiffany, who seems to have a life.

Boy, you’ve been a busy beaver, as mom used to say. I saw where you didn’t get to buy Greenland. Did you know that Iceland actually has a milder climate than Greenland? Greenland was warmer back when the Vikings first came there, but then the temperature dropped. Iceland used to be called something else, but then one of the most unlucky colonists to ever homestead (his daughter drowned, his livestock died), renamed it Iceland after he saw icebergs all over the place. The icebergs probably drifted over from Greenland. All of which is to say just because you name a thing doesn’t mean the name means a lot. Look at all those developments called “Trump” this and that, where they just bought the rights to stick your name on them. So you get what I mean.

Anyway, I know people have been laughing at you wanting to buy Greenland, but a lot of the United States was bought, maybe from people who didn’t really have any right to sell it, but now it’s part of the country. So it’s not that funny to say you want to get out the national checkbook and add more. But Donny, why Greenland? I mean, it looks nice and the people are probably great, but it’s not like they stood up and said, “We want to be part of the United States!” And it does seem polite to at least ask them.

It’s big. But it’s also nowhere near the U.S. There’s a whole country in between us and Greenland. Seems like if it were going to become part of something else, it would be part of Canada. Right now, Greenland is autonomous, but a territory of Denmark. It’s doubtful Denmark could sell it even if they wanted to, and they don’t seem to want to.

If you got along with the Canadian Prime Minister better, you could ask about buying a piece of Canada. It looks like seven Canadian provinces border the U.S., which is a heck of a lot closer. But I don’t think they’re all that interested. People here are always talking about moving there, but outside of sending us their stand-up comics, I haven’t heard about eager Canadians swarming our northern border.

I was pretty confused about all of this until I read where Greenland has a lot of mineral and oil reserves that will become available as global climate change melts the ice and raises temperatures. And there are only about 56,000 people there, or about a tenth of our least-populated state, with over 700,000 acres in the whole country. Did you know the biggest national park anywhere is in Greenland? 375,000 acres! Just that one park is bigger than Rhode Island and Delaware combined! I know how you feel about drilling in national parks, and if we bought Greenland, we’d own that park. Once I realized all of that, Donny, I got why Greenland was looking so good to you. And that’s not even the only national park in Greenland.

But Donny, Denmark isn’t into the idea. And even if they were, it’s kind of murky whether they could sell. And responding to the problems caused by global climate change by contributing to it so you can make a buck off of the whole thing is just ghoulish, not to mention dumb on an epic scale. If you’re digging yourself into a hole, and someone asks you to dig faster, you should still say no, even if they offer you lots of money. Lots of money isn’t much use to someone buried in a hole.

So it’s not really a loss, Donny. The 56,000 Greenlandic people haven’t said anything about wanting to be part of the United States. It’s hard to believe that not everyone wants to, but some people like being who they are. You’ve got a bunch of people who are willing to risk their lives to be part of the United States, and you’ve said you don’t want them, so why snatch up a bunch of people who, from all signs, do not want to be part of this country? 56,000 people may not sound like much, but it is if they’re mad at you. Donny, the last thing you need is more people mad at you.

So it all worked out for the best. I love when that happens. Give my love to Melania if you see her.


Your Pen Pal


Race To The Bottom

August 14, 2019

Dear Donny:

Someone said the other day that you are the master of the dog whistle. I thought it was like Zamphir, that guy who claims to be a master of the pan flute (then I had to look up what a pan flute is). Did you know he learned to play the pan flute while tending his family’s goat herd? Where did you learn to play the dog whistle? You don’t even have a dog, do you?

I thought maybe you grew up spending your afternoons tending the family dog pack, sitting on a hillside (manufactured by hotel staff of imported sifted dirt from somewhere expensive where they’re so poor they have to sell dirt), probably in the library, because with your family, that’s the one room where you know you won’t be in anybody’s way. As the dogs peacefully, I don’t know, dig holes, lick their privates and sniff each other, you sit on the artificial hill, practicing scales on your dog whistle.

But then I looked up the phrase “dog whistle.” Turns out it’s a political term. It means communicating with a secondary, controversial message that would only be understood by those who support it. Like talking about how greedy and deceitful welfare recipients are instead of saying, “I don’t like poor people.” Or talking about “immigrants” instead of “people who aren’t white.”

Honestly, I prefer the idea of you piping away while a St. Bernard licks his junk. Or even your junk. Turns out there are grades of disgusting. Stuff I used to think was sick and depraved is starting to look downright… not wholesome, but survivable.

Donny, you need to stop rallying and actually listen to people. Rallying is basically you saying stuff while a crowd (many of them paid, as it turns out, by you, by Vlad) says “yay!” But people are saying other stuff, too. As president you should know what. And be really careful not to add to it, or encourage it, or tolerate it.

You’ve said some things, Donny, and maybe you were just trying to whip up emotions, but people are taking it literally. You’ve called for people to be attacked, and maybe you were just kidding, or maybe you just opened your mouth and it came out, but Donny, you’re president now. You’re not supposed to do that. To some people, your word burp is like a recommendation. An order, even. “Go after this guy!,” becomes, “Go after this guy and people LIKE this guy.” When they say the president has “the bully pulpit,” this is not what it’s supposed to mean, Donny.

So maybe lay off your dog whistle practice for a while.

It was nice that you recently said that “hate has no place in our country.” But it seems that it does, doesn’t it.


Your Pen Pal


Guns N’ Prayers

August 7, 2019

Dear Donny:

How are you doing? I’ve heard that it really sucks to be president every day except the day of the Easter egg roll, the day you pardon the turkey, and any day you get to ride in Air Force One. That must be why you like to be away from Washington so often. Air Force One is basically a loaner. The day you’re not a president any more, they take the keys and the briefcase with the nuclear codes, so why not enjoy it (the plane, Donny, not the codes) while you can?

You must want to just jump in the jet and keep circling the Earth about now. So far at least four dead, 11 injured in Gilroy, ten killed and 27 injured in Dayton, and 22 killed and 25 injured in El Paso, TX. The toll keeps climbing. And everyone looking to you to take the lead on fixing this situation.

People don’t tell you stuff you need to know, Donny. I saw a tee shirt on a guy when I was a kid that reminds me of you. It said, “I must be a mushroom. They keep me in the dark and feed me bullshit.” Whenever something happens and you realize how much you don’t know, it must be like realizing everyone expects you climb Mt. Everest but your support team is only giving you a plastic spoon and a rubber band. Possibly it can be done, but instructions would be nice.

But I have good news, Donny! There are instructions, sort of. Well, there are things we know about gun violence. I’m sure there’s more that could go on this list, but I admit it, I’m not the smartest kid in class (maybe that’s one of the reasons we’re friends. We understand each other). So I’ll just tell you the bit I know – most of what people are telling you about guns is mushroom-worthy fertilizer.

1) “This is a mental health issue.” Whenever someone in power says that to you, please, for me, Donny, spit at him. See, if the people saying that really believed it, they’d be shoveling money at mental health treatment like there was no tomorrow. We’d have Universal Health Care specifically to make sure everyone could get mental health treatment, ASAP. We don’t. Anyone in Congress who has said this is a mental health issue should also have his or her name on a bill to set up universal health care. Nothing else makes sense. Anyone who says it’s a mental health issue and isn’t pushing for universal health care is irrational and probably shouldn’t have access to guns.

2) “Gun laws don’t work.” Reasonable gun ownership laws work. They just do. In countries, and in states in the U.S., where they’ve put in gun ownership laws, gun violence goes way down. 50% in California. Gun massacres went down 100% in Australia after they enacted their laws. That’s almost 20 mass shootings that wouldn’t have happened in the United States just since you took office, if we had done the same. Even if the results hadn’t been as good, 50% would have been fantastic.

It makes sense, if you think about it. What would our roadways be like if there were zero restrictions on car ownership? Your chauffeur would have to be an Indy race car driver, or the stunt guy who actually drives the cars in those Fast & Furious movies so the actors look cool. It would be an exciting ride, for sure, but you’d probably rather get to your destination in one piece.

3) “Gun owners won’t support gun laws.” Many gun owners support reasonable gun ownership laws. Which makes sense. Registration, for example. You have to register your car, and insure it in case someone is hit by it. You have to obtain a license to use it. There’s no reason not to register guns & license owners. Registration is helpful in several ways, including warning firefighters there are guns & ammo stored in your building in case of fire (you really don’t want to walk into a fire involving ammo without knowing).

Licensing would make you prove you know how to use and store your guns properly. Every year, someone is shot by a kid showing off a family gun that was improperly stored.

4) “The answer to bad people with guns is good people with guns.” Oh, Donny, this one… If this were true, we’d already be the safest country in the world. We’re not, especially when it comes to gun violence. It’s estimated that there are over 120 guns for every 100 people in the United States now! We lead the world in gun ownership. So even if half of those people are bad (and we haven’t got a clue, as we don’t have registration & licensing, and there are even problems with what background checks we have now), we’d be at a good person for every bad person. We have guns up our wazoos. In fact, our politicians seem to have guns up their wazoos, NRA cash in their pockets, and their fingers in their ears. No wonder Congress has become as useless as it has. You can’t get work done in that position.

5) “The Second Amendment says…” This is an argument so tired it can barely keep its eyes open. The amendment says, “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” That is it. The whole thing. Note how it starts by talking about “well regulated Militia.” That is the part the NRA runs past on its way to keeping and bearing arms. Well, a guy nursing an Ak-47 and a grudge at home is not part of a well-regulated militia. And even if he were (he’s not),  it STARTS with the words “well regulated.” So the Founders weren’t against gun laws.

Even if they were (and clearly they were not), we have a lot of things now that we didn’t have when the Constitution was written, like automatic weapons. We’re supposed to adapt, not freeze in place in 1776. Nobody wants to give up zippers, for example. Even your wig isn’t like the ones they wore back then.

The NRA admitted getting millions from people connected to Russia, which it then funneled into the campaigns of politicians fighting gun laws. Just so you know. “Translated from the original Russian” is kind of becoming the theme of your time in office.

Did you know that several people who survived the Gilroy shooting had already been through the mass shooting in Las Vegas, NV? So now we have people who have been in multiple mass shootings. Maybe they could form a club. Or a support group. It looks like many of us will be eligible at this rate. But we’d probably be afraid to get together for meetings.

There have been at least 23 mass shootings this year alone. Now Venezuela, Uruguay, and Japan have issued travel warnings to their people, saying they should delay visiting here and if they have to come here, to avoid big gatherings, like theme parks and festivals. Ask people in the travel industry what that’s going to do to the bottom line. Just the Japanese tourists alone bring a lot of money to the U.S. I’ve seen them in action and Donny, these people buy stuff. It’s hard enough to get from ride to ride at Walt Disney World without having to duck & weave.

You said, “”Mental illness and hatred pulls the trigger, not the gun,” and I guess that’s literally true. Guns don’t pull their own triggers. But it’s hard for to someone to pull the trigger on a gun he’s not holding. You tweeted that we need better background checks, but before I could cheer, you said we should link that to immigration reform. While our immigration system desperately needs an overhaul, don’t link the two issues, Donny. It’s confusing for people. It’s not like peanut butter and chocolate. It’s more like peanut butter and lawn mowers. Both great in their own way, but unrelated.

I’m not against gun ownership, any more than I’m against car ownership. But it’s reasonable for society to place a few basic expectations on you if you want to own either one. Car laws, and car insurance, are in your best interest, and the best interests of the people who share the roads with you. Gun laws are like that. Good for you and for the people around you. Your conservative buddies should be all over this. The deceased don’t buy much, for one thing, and chaos is bad for business. Heck, they don’t even like socialists, let alone anarchists, and right now when it comes to guns, anarchy is exactly what we’ve got. Reasonable restrictions on what you do is the ticket price for belonging to civilization.

It doesn’t say much for how the people around you think of you, Donny. I guess it’s nice that everyone around you has two faces. You can hire half as many people. But they think you’re an idiot. A vain fool. They tell you what you want to hear and half the time (or more) when you say to do something, nod their heads and go off and do what they want to (please let me know which page you’re on in the Mueller Report! We really need to compare notes). So if you’ve been issuing orders to deal with this gun-fueled public health crisis, I have to tell you, nothing much is happening.

What is happening is shootings. They’ve happened in bars, at food festivals, on school campuses, military recruiting offices, shopping malls, even churches. In our offices, while shopping, even when we’re kneeling to pray, your people are being killed. Before they get around to golf courses, you’d better get to work on this.

And install a putting green on Air Force One (you have already, haven’t you? You have. Come on, admit it!).


Your Pen Pal


Moscow Calling

July 31, 2019

Dear Donny:

How are things on the 18th green? I’ve never known anyone who plays so much golf. You were pretty critical of President Obama for playing golf when he should have been tending to the nation’s business, so it must be embarrassing to be looking at a putting green and finding yourself unable to say “no.”

Considering all the things we need to spend money on, golf is a pretty low priority. Don’t feel bad, Donny. Everybody needs a hobby, especially when life gets stressful. It’s true most of us can’t afford to play at expensive golf courses, but you’ve started paying for it yourself, right? It was costing all those hard-working people you say you love millions of dollars every time you played, and nobody needs that kind of guilt. Plus it looked kind of sketchy when taxpayers were shelling out money to golf courses you own. You are paying your own green fees now though, right?

You can’t afford anything that looks even sort of sketchy right now, Donny. What with the Mueller report, and the dumb stuff people around you are doing, you have to keep more than just your nose clean. Did you know Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who’s right up there with Billy Barr in terms of people who adore you, actually blocked two election bills designed to deter interference by other countries (like, I don’t know, Russia, for example)? He said the Democrats were being “partisan” by proposing that we take steps to keep other countries from running our government. As America’s leader, you might want to push back on that. America first, remember?

I don’t know if you remember the oath you took when you were sworn into office. I’m sure it was a busy day. You put your hand on a Bible and said, “I do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.” Now maybe there weren’t a lot of witnesses, but there were enough, plus cameras. You really have to remember when you say something outside, you’re probably on camera. Actually, considering Russia, you’d better be more careful inside, too.

You told God you would preserve, protect and defend the Constitution, Donny. Okay, there is wiggle room. You said you’d do it to the best of your ability. If anyone asks, you could tell people you’re doing your best, you’re just not very good at it. But I don’t think God’s going to like it, and you’re already in trouble with Him. Look at how He literally rained on your parade on the 4th of July.

Mitch took a similar oath when he was sworn in as a Senator: “I do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.” Did you know Senators take that every other year, while they’re in office? So Mitch has sworn that oath every other year since 1984. I don’t know if Mitch believes in God. He does look worried a lot. He’s got reason. One thing I remember from Sunday school is that God takes oaths very seriously. I can’t even imagine how much trouble you get into if you promise God something repeatedly and don’t mean it. If there’s a plague of locusts in D.C., Donny, stay indoors.

Vlad is going to a lot of trouble to influence elections in the U.S. Hackers, spies… He wouldn’t bother influencing our elections if he didn’t think it would give him power over us. That whole social media thing where Russian operatives went around stirring up anger and influencing people to support you? That must sting, Donny. You’d like to believe you won an election, only it turns out a lot of those “grassroots” supporters were Russian hackers impersonating American voters!

Maybe you didn’t know that was going on back then, but you sure know it now. Have you finished reading The Mueller Report? I’m telling you, it’s a fascinating read. Billy Barr’s book report did NOT do it justice! It’s a thriller for sure. Let me know what page you’re on so we can talk about it – I don’t want to spoil the ending for you.

So we pretty much know anybody trying to stir up anger and hatred is suspicious. They want us all mad at each other and not thinking straight, because it’s hard to stop America when we’re all working together. It’s just easiest at this point to assume when anyone tells you these people are inferior, or those people aren’t good, he’s translating it from the original Russian. Which is a shame. I’ve know a few Russian people and they were really nice. Plus blini, those little pancakes? They are absolutely delicious. So is borscht. It’s a soup, but then you know more about Russia than I do.

With all this doubt swirling around the last election, if you’re going to go ahead and run in 2020, you have to keep far, far away from anything that looks even a bit suspicious, like Mitch McConnell, or Fox News. Fox is supposed to be a news organization. Says so right there in the title. But they are surprisingly uninterested in evidence that a foreign power is influencing our elections.

Let me know how far you’ve gotten with The Mueller Report. You could even come to a meeting of our book club, if you want. We’ll serve pirozhki and beef stroganoff. And it turns out Walmart carries caviar! I think caviar tastes like wet, salty ball bearings myself, but I know how much you like anything Russian, so if you want it, I’ll get some.


Your Pen Pal


Wary Bobby and the Chamber of Secrets

July 24, 2019

Dear Donny:

It’s finally here! Bobby Mueller is talking to Congress. Well, the way these things go, it’s more like Congress is talking to him. They call it a hearing, but nobody listens to anybody. To be fair, it’s called a Congressional hearing, not a Congressional listening.

People on both sides of the aisle are eager to grab any chance to pontificate. So far, the Democrat speechifiers seem to be saying, “Please tell us we have no choice but to impeach him.” The GOP line is “Please tell us that no matter what he did, we shouldn’t impeach him, and don’t look over here. Look over there! Isn’t that Elvis come back from the dead? Isn’t that more interesting?”

The Democrats would love to impeach you, but only if their party leaders can find some way to go about it that gives them total protection from any kind of political consequences. The GOP desperately wants to avoid any sort of frank discussion of things you’ve done in office. You haven’t really done those things, have you, Donny?

Some authors hate to answer questions about their books, especially why the main character did this and not that. Bobby is certainly one of those authors. He kept referring to the book and to a letter about the book. Most of what he said came down to “read the book,” or saying “that’s accurate” when someone read from the book.

Even so, I’ve been hanging on the edge of my seat. Your book is a real thriller! Intrigue, Russian spies, plots, subplots…

Sometimes I forgot this isn’t fiction. It’s not an exciting spy novel about a pretend president. It’s a nonfiction book about a real President of the United States.

You could tell Bobby didn’t want to be there, and it’s easy to see why. Participating in a Congressional Hearing is like having an impacted wisdom tooth extracted without novocaine by a committee using baseball bats and sledge hammers. He tried to get out of it, even while he was doing it. Bobby refused to answer a lot of questions. Well, he answered, kind of, in a “read the book” sort of way, which wasn’t much of an answer. But there are some things he did say. You really have to stop saying the report exonerated you. Mueller wrote it and he said again that it didn’t. I’m sure Barr told you it did. I get the impression he would say anything to make you happy.

You said this was “a great day” for you. How is that, Donny? I want you to have great days. I want us all to have lots of them. But I don’t see how this was anyone’s idea of a great day. Mueller specifically said he did not clear you of committing a crime. Again. He absolutely refuses to say you’ve been cleared. This is a lawyer’s way of saying you may be guilty. The only good news I can see in all this for you is that he left charging you up to Attorney General Barr, and that is indeed very good news for you. Barr loves you. I mean, he loves you. Look at how he tried to boil down that whole report to four pages and talked it over with you so you wouldn’t be surprised by it. That’s devotion, right there.

But this book doesn’t have a happy ending. Bobby said he would have cleared you if he could have, which means he couldn’t, which means there was evidence you did something. And it’s not a happy ending for us, the people of the country you are president of. For one thing, there will have to be more investigations and hearings. Donny, I want to cry when I say that. But we need – we deserve – to know the truth. A foreign government interfered in our elections. That is, to borrow a word from you, huge. No matter who they supported. They weren’t supposed to be involved at all. That’s like the neighbors getting involved in your family. Sure, they have opinions about what goes on in your house, but they’re not supposed to break in and rearrange your furniture.

You want to build a wall to keep foreign people out of the United States, Donny. Why aren’t you more upset about Russians illegally interfering in our elections? Messing with our elections is taking a whiz on our Constitution and spitting in the face of every one of the Founding Fathers, not to mention every single registered voter in the country. Compared to that, people coming here to work in restaurants and clean hotel rooms is nothing at all.

You need to stop defending yourself and start defending your country, Donny. The one you’re president of. You don’t want an asterisk to hang over your presidency, as though you were a baseball player who doped up before the games. Donny, if our president has been doing illegal things, we should know that. Ignorance isn’t bliss if what you don’t know is that someone who’s supposed to be cleaning the house is really coming in while you’re at work and shoveling sewage under your bed. You’ll find that mess, in the worst way, at the worst possible moment, and it’s better to know as soon as possible, so you can clean up, and hopefully make sure there’s no more sewage.


Your Pen Pal

#politics #trump #trumpfunny #politicalsatire #humor #politicalhumor #deardonny #HA


Breakfast of Champions

July 23, 2019

Dear Donny:

How’s your day going? I bet you’re spending a lot of time with your lawyers, and Rudy (is Rudy still a lawyer?). Robert Mueller chats with Congress tomorrow! The guy who literally wrote the book on you is going to do a Q&A. So you’re probably having breakfast with your lawyers, everybody excited, wondering what he’s going to say. I’m excited just eating breakfast and reading about it! Actually, that’s kind of what I want to talk to you about. Not Mueller… breakfast. Not everybody has the chance to do that. Eat breakfast, I mean.

I know this is going to come as a shock, Donny. You haven’t had to skip meals and it’s pretty obvious I haven’t had to, either, but lots of people do, many of them old people or little kids. And as busy as you are, could you please make one little phone call for me? Because it’s about to get a lot worse.

Probably you don’t know, since they don’t tell you things, but a lot of people go to bed hungry in the United States. And wake up hungry. And try to work, and go to school, and everything else hungry. The USDA (one of the government agencies you run) estimates about 1 in 7 households are “food insecure,” including over 12 million kids. The Dept. of Agriculture is about to make it harder for millions of food insecure people to get food stamps.

“Food insecure” doesn’t sound as bad as it is. It doesn’t mean they get shy around hush puppies or that scrambled eggs make them nervous. What it means is they consistently can’t get enough to eat for an active, healthy life. So we’re talking about kids who will probably have health problems later, and don’t do as well in school.

Ask your buddies at the Chambers of Commerce what that means for the economy! These people won’t be well educated, so they won’t get good jobs. They can’t be as productive, because they’ll have health issues. They won’t make as much money, so they won’t be buying much. A dollar spent on feeding a hungry person comes back to us all many times over. It’s just a practical investment. Your conservative buddies love investing, so they should love feeding hungry Americans.

It’s really hard for kids to concentrate when they’re hungry, Donny. I don’t know about you, but my fuse can get pretty short if it’s been too long since I ate last. Which reminds me… you yell a lot. Are you skipping meals? You don’t look as though you are, but maybe you should carry a protein bar just in case. That’s what I do. And if it’s that hard to keep your temper when you could eat any time you want, imagine if you hardly ever got enough!

Now your administration is about to make a whole lot of people less productive and angry, and screw up the development of a lot of little kids, who may well become hungry, angry teenagers. If the idea of millions of hungry, uneducated, angry teenagers doesn’t keep you up nights, it really should. That’s like a Stephen King novel. It probably already is. That’s what horror stuff is for – so you can feel scared while knowing you’re safe. You’re not supposed to try to bring it to life! If we end up with a bunch of hungry, mad teenagers, I’m aiming them at Sonny Perdue’s house.

The new rules would keep families who make more than $32,640 a year from getting food stamps. I’m old enough so that $32,640 sounds like a lot of money, because I still think of money in terms of what I made when I was a teenager (not much). You’re older than I am (sorry, but it’s true), so it probably sounds like a fortune, but that’s only $2,720 a month. Here the average rent is $1,500, so if you want to keep the rain off of your family, that leaves $1,200 for all of you to live on for the month. Imagine if you, Melania, and all your kids were trying to live on that! Plus, make your alimony payments!

That’s for food, health care (which reminds me – how’s that fantastic health care we’re all going to get coming?), clothing, everything. I guess you could go naked and eat, but it wouldn’t be pretty, and you couldn’t leave the house. Bail would take a big chunk out of your budget. God, now I have that image stuck in my head. Well, it’s my own fault. And people are going to blame you for this food thing, Donny. Hungry, angry people.

I know your Agriculture Secretary, Sonny Perdue is all excited about saving the country $2 billion, which is admirable, really, except this $2 billion is going to cost us a lot more than that. Has Melania ever bought something silly for a lot of money, then tried to tell you she actually saved you money because she bought it on sale? Well, this is worse than that. This is saving $2 billion to spend $4 billion (or more) down the road. It’s more like not buying tires because tires are expensive, and just driving on the rims. It’s a little cheaper up front, but boy, does it cost you later.

Plus, it’s mean to keep food from old people and little kids.

Please call Sonny and tell him to call this off. Sorry, Donny. I hope I didn’t ruin your breakfast. But look at it this way, at least you had a breakfast to ruin.


Your Pen Pal

#politics #trump #trumpfunny #politicalsatire #humor #politicalhumor #deardonny #HA


Giving a Whole New Meaning to “The One Percent!”

July 16, 2019

Dear Donny:

I saw the whole “go back where you came from” stuff. Now that I’ve found you on Twitter, it’s addictive! Like watching NASCAR for the crashes. It doesn’t make you feel too good about yourself, but it’s hard to look away.

You said that some members of the U.S. Congress should go back where they came from. I’m confused, Donny. They’re from here. Most of them were even born here. They’re all citizens (you have to be to run for office). Are you saying Rep. Ocasio-Cortez should go back to The Bronx? That’s where she’s from. It’s not that far from D.C. I’m sure she gets back now and then. I know Melania likes to get back to New York City every chance she gets, and she wasn’t even born there.

If you’re talking about their parents, I’m not how sure that would even work. Your Mom was born in Scotland. Do you go to Scotland, or live in Scotland part-time, or…? I don’t see how you leave 50% of yourself here and 50% there. And Melania would have to pack her bags. Where do your kids go? I know that’s not exactly #1 on your list of things to think about, but it’s an interesting question.

That’s why the whole “go back” thing is so funny. Almost all of us have at least one grandparent or great-grandparent who came here from somewhere else. How far back are we going in order to determine who stays? If we say just people who were born here get to stay, Ocasio-Cortez only has to drive to New York, which isn’t bad, I guess, but not good news for Melania. If we say it’s based on where your parents are from, you’re back to figuring out what parts of you to ship to Scotland, and your kids are in the same boat. That’s really family separation!

How do we figure out who goes where? DNA tests? If you call for everyone in the country to get a DNA test, there are going to be a lot of really uncomfortable conversations around the dinner tables of America.

Human behavior being what it is, everybody’s got at least one ancestor who was fudging the name of a parent on a birth certificate. There’s a whole TV show on PBS about finding out who your ancestors really were. I know you don’t much like public broadcasting, but you really should watch. It’s interesting to see how someone reacts when he finds out he has ancestors nobody in the family talked about, probably because the people who crossed their fingers when signing a birth certificate died a long time ago and nobody knew. Heck, revealing the results of DNA tests is a staple of afternoon TV.

My point is I don’t think that’s a can of worms you want to open up. Just think of the mess those KKK people will make when they kill themselves. They are NOT going to like the results of their DNA tests, I guarantee it.

Let’s say we all got tests and half of us didn’t kill the other half (Thanksgiving gatherings are tense enough right now, Donny. Please don’t make it worse. You can do a lot of damage with a wishbone if you’re determined). It still doesn’t help. The idea that any of us are “pure” anything is pretty much garbage. See, even if all of your ancestors did come from the same place, at some point that place got invaded, or traded, or something with other people, and they traded more than wool and spices.

So you’ve got a country of about 320 million people (which reminds me, we really need to talk about the Census), all trying to figure out how to send 1/8 of themselves somewhere. Plus, Somewhere probably isn’t ready for a giant influx of new people, or worse, parts of people. And how would we ship them all? The people who deliver stuff now would all be boxing themselves up and loading themselves on planes bound for wherever. It’s a long swim to Scotland. There’s got to be a Scottish-American pilot somewhere. Maybe you can hitch a ride. Although I gather you’re not exactly a hit in Scotland. Your dad’s family was German, so maybe you should be nicer to Angela Merkel?

Look, Donny, I know you were kidding. I mean, who would say the stuff you say and mean it? But not everybody gets your sense of humor the way I do. I tried to tell you before the last election, it doesn’t work. You did and said everything you could think of to avoid being elected last time, and where did it get you? You’re pulling out all the stops now, and I really admire your determination, but if you don’t watch it, you’re going to get re-elected. I know you find it hard to believe. So do I. You don’t want to be known as a “quitter,” so you won’t resign. I guess all we can hope for is that people will finally realize how much you really don’t want to be president and pick someone else.

Good luck. And let me know what your DNA test says!


Your Pen Pal

#politics #trump #trumpfunny #politicalsatire #humor #politicalhumor #deardonny #HA


Whole Lotta Twitting Goin’ On

July 11, 2019

Dear Donny:

I found your Twitter account today! Of course, I’d heard a lot about you and Twitter, but I don’t twit much, so I hadn’t really looked at it. But Margie said you twit a lot and I should look at it, so I took a moment to read some of your twits.

You do a lot of twitting, Donny! When do you find the time? I thought presidenting was a full-time gig, but I’m guessing you squeeze in some twit time while traveling to golf courses and re-election rallies. You could write a book of twits! Not like the other books that were written by other people but have your name all over them. It’s time you really wrote a book all on your own. You have a great imagination. You should write a novel! Celebrity novels sell really well, and ex-presidenting doesn’t pay all that well.

Speaking of a great imagination…

You mentioned how great Deutsche Bank is. It’s nice that you stick up for your true friends like that! Especially considering that they aren’t doing too well. Did you know they’re firing 18,000 people? That doesn’t sound so great. Plus they’re under investigation in connection with money laundering and a bunch of shady stuff, including contributing to the financial crisis where so many people lost their homes. They did just end their relationship with Jeffrey Epstein, which is in their favor, although you could wish they’d gotten around to it sooner, but it seems they’ve been busy.

Epstein’s accused of pimping out little girls. Remember him? You flew on his jet a lot and said how much you liked him. In 2007, he struck a deal with Alex Acosta, who works for you now. Acosta was the top federal prosecutor in Miami back then, and negotiated a deal with Epstein, who pleaded guilty to prostitution charges. He was supposed to serve 13 months in a county jail, but got to serve a lot of it in his Palm Beach office as part of a work-release program. I have to tell you, Acosta wasn’t offering deals like that to non-billonaire people.

Donny, I want to tell you a poem my mom taught me when I was little. Bear with me. I do have a point. The poem goes:

“A pig and a drunkard in the gutter lay.
Two ladies came upon them, and they were heard to say,
‘You can tell someone who boozes,
By the company he chooses.’
So the pig got up and slowly walked away.”

It’s time to slowly get up and walk away, Donny. Or quickly. Anyway, it looks like you’re keeping company with some very shady people. The best you can say of some of them is that they aren’t qualified for the jobs you gave them. Did they lie to you on their resumes? People do that. But it’s one thing to say you type 100 words per minute when you really type 75, and another to say you can Secretary of Labor when you’ve never been a Secretary and the main thing you seem to know about Labor is how to work on a deal with a rich pimp.

The President of the United States can’t go around looking like Marlon Brando in “The Godfather,” surrounded by gangsters. Or dictators. It just doesn’t look good. It would be so much easier for your real friends to stick up for you if there wasn’t a cloud of sketchy people around you. Right now, it’s like you’re sweaty and surrounded by midges. They stick to you and leave a gross mess so clean people don’t want to touch you.

Right now, Donny, there are so many midges around you it’s hard to remember what a president is supposed to look like. For sure he’s not supposed to be lying around with the drunks in the gutter, with a bunch of sweat and midges stuck to him.

It’s time to get up and slowly walk away. And take a shower. I’m worried about you.

But it is fun to read your twits. Nobody twits like you, Donny. Give my love to Melania if you see her.

Oh, btw (that’s internet talk), I have a Twitter account now, too! @PalPresidential. So we can stay in touch even more now! Not sure what it is about that sentence that bothers me. Anyway, talk to you soon!


Your Pen Pal


Swimming Lessons

July 5, 2019

Dear Donny:

I hope you brought an umbrella to your 4th of July parade. Melania’s outfits don’t look machine washable, as a rule. It looked like you had a little awning over you. I bet the rest of the people there wished you’d spent part of those millions renting a bigger tent.

I’m so sorry it was such a bust. That’s got to suck, being on the receiving end of Divine Judgment. Every time your ultra-conservative fundamentalist buddies see something awful happen, they say it’s God’s judgment and whoever the victims were, God didn’t like them, so it would seem logical that you’re not The Big Guy’s favorite person at the moment. You planned a big parade and even took millions from the park budget to pay for it, and the way it rained all over you, I bet you wished you’d spent that money building an ark instead! Although considering how The Alpha and Omega seems to feel about you at the moment, an ark might not have been a good choice after all. Boats sink.

Almost $2.5 million dollars of park entrance fees went to cover your rally instead of keeping up parks and national monuments, Donny. Pretty harsh, considering you cut the park budgets to help pay for that tax cut for rich people you put together. Why didn’t you just ask the rich people to chip in? They have the money, after all. They were already rich before the tax cut. Smokey the Bear can’t even afford a shirt.

Speaking of shirts… the kids, Donny. The kids. You know, the ones you locked up? They need shirts, and a whole bunch of other stuff. I hate to be the one to tell you, but clearly people don’t tell you things. We’re paying a whole lot of money (like even more than it costs to throw a military parade and rally) on this, but they’re not spending it on the kids. Since you didn’t hit up your friends to help pay for the parade rally, how about asking them to pitch in to take care of those kids? It’s embarrassing. Here we’re hawking the American Way all over the place, and meanwhile we’re keeping kids in kennels.

If we’re that broke, we shouldn’t be throwing military parades. I’m sure the soldiers would rather have something useful, like improvements to the V.A. hospitals, or a pay raise anyway. If we’re so busted we’re keeping kids in these conditions, it’s time to shut up about the American Way, turn off the lights, and just pretend there’s nobody home while we investigate the joys of day drinkin’.

You must have a million unused MAGA shirts hanging around. Hand ’em out! Taking better care of those kids would go a long way toward making American great again.

You’ve got to get on this stuff, Donny. Campaign season is starting up in earnest, and you are clearly not on the Lord’s good side. Better make amends like nobody’s business before you rally any more. God has a long reach, owns a bunch of water, and you don’t look like a strong swimmer.

Good luck, Donny. Better buy some floaties, just in case.


Your Pen Pal


Blanket Apology

June 23, 2019

Dear Donny:

I bet you’re surprised to hear from me so soon. I only wrote yesterday, after all. I know you’re busy. Those golf balls don’t go off and hide themselves in the tall grass, after all. I’m busy, too, but I had a great idea and couldn’t wait to tell you.

Somebody should tell you stuff. That’s pretty clear. It seems like nobody talks to anybody in Washington any more. You wouldn’t talk to Bob Mueller, Hope Hicks sat in front of the House of Representatives and pretended to be a clam… it must be really quiet in D.C. I felt so bad for you when it started coming out that your very own staff doesn’t tell you much. If you’ve read the Mueller Report, you know… but I’m wondering if they even gave you a copy. I bet Attorney General Barr just told you it was just a few pages long, didn’t say anything, no need to bother your pretty little head about it, right?

I’m sorry. I know how you feel about hearing anything of yours is little. It’s just a saying.

But the thing is, Donny, shit is going down out here, and you’re the president. When you heard that saying about “the buck stops here,” I bet they told you that meant you were where all the money was going to go. But that isn’t what it means at all.

President Harry Truman had a sign on his desk that said, “The buck stops here.” He felt that ultimately, the president is responsible for what goes on in the country, what the government does. Pretty responsible for a Democrat, right?

Anyway, that’s what that saying means. I’ve seen pictures of your office, and I didn’t see a sign like that. I can make you a sign! I feel bad about missing your birthday. Let me see what I can come up with. Every president should have one.

How about I add a couple of chickens, sitting on their nests? There’s another old saying presidents need to remember, about your chickens coming home to roost. I know you’ve never seen a live chicken. They don’t start out as breaded nuggets. Real, live chickens usually wander around to find something to eat, then come home to sleep. The original saying, by Robert Southey, is “Curses are like young chickens, they always come home to roost.”

The reason I want to add them to your sign is that you’ve got bucks stopping all over the place, and that knock on the door is probably your chickens expecting to be shown to the Lincoln bedroom. Trying times are a little easier if you can laugh, so I thought the chickens might give you a chuckle when you need it.

But the sign wasn’t the idea I wanted to talk to you about. It’s about the golf. I know how much you love golf! I saw an article that said you own 17 golf courses! A few are even open to the public, which is nice of you. I tried to find out how much it costs to play at one of your courses, but the website wouldn’t say. I guess it’s one of those “if you have to ask, you can’t afford it” situations.

Anyway, it seems like every time you play golf, taxpayers get a huge bill. Over a hundred million dollars so far! I bet you didn’t know that! It’s thousands of dollars each time just to rent golf carts so the Secret Service can protect you. Shouldn’t the golf course just let them use the carts free? They’re protecting you and it’s your golf course.

So I know how much you love golf. And it’s a big sacrifice, but I’m asking you to skip it for a month. Just a month, Donny! Surely there are other things you can do. Find a place to hang your new sign. Read the Mueller Report (it’s interesting and a LOT longer than Barr told you). Sit your staff down and make them tell you what’s really going on.

You should know what’s going on while you’re working on your swing. For one thing, there are these kids… nobody’s sure exactly how many… in prison. Well, not prison so much as kennels. Like a really run-down kennel, the kind that’s off away from neighbors so nobody hears the dogs and cats crying. And Donny, a lawyer who said she represented your administration went to court to argue that the little kids didn’t need soap, toothpaste, toothbrushes, beds or even blankets.

Breathe, Donny. Think of the funny chickens.

She seriously said that the government could just lock up little kids and not take care of them. She thinks you want it that way. A bunch of people do, or they wouldn’t be doing it. Little kids taking care of littler kids and no adults taking care of them at all. A shelter run the way these places are would be investigated and shut down.

Okay, so these kids came here illegally. Everybody knows you hate that, and I get it – our immigration system is a mess. But it’s apparently also being run by people who day drink and think the only thing bad about the Dark Ages was that they ended. The government is doing this with taxpayer money and that means everybody here, including you and me, is doing it.

Somebody working for us thinks we can lock up little kids and can’t afford to give them soap, clean clothes and a bed to sleep in. If we’re that poor, it’s time to close up shop. But you can fix this!

It’d be nice to find a way to let the kids out of jail, but I get there are legal procedures and all that, okay, but while we’re figuring out what to do about it, we can give them some toothpaste and a blanket, if you give up golf for one month.

See, we (by which I mean working class people – rich people don’t pay taxes much, and I know how hard you worked to make sure of that) are paying over three million dollars a month so you can play golf at your own courses. Three million, Donny! That would buy a lot of blankets and beds.

If you gave up golf for four months, we could get beds, blankets and soap to a bunch of other people, too. People here legally who are still waiting for all the winning to happen. Give it up for six, and we can feed a bunch of kids who go to bed hungry every night, too.

Of course, if you don’t want to give up golf, I understand. Giving up things isn’t your style. But if you just pay your own way, we can still do all of that! I remember when you said you weren’t going to accept any donations to your campaign. Then you said you had to because it wouldn’t be nice to refuse if someone really wanted to give you something. It’s a shame you don’t get more credit for good manners. But you can take all that money and take care of all those kids! And bunches of other kids! So you could keep your word AND we would have money so little kids don’t have to sleep on the floor AND you can still play golf! Win-win!

I know how much you like to win.

If you need help figuring it all out, just let me know. You don’t even have to send Air Force One for me, unless you want to pay for it. I can fly coach to D.C. It’s a long flight, though, so we might not get much done the first day. Maybe you could just take me to one of your golf courses for dinner, if you pay for it. If you can’t afford that, I’ll stop by the market and make you something not too expensive.

After all, we need that money to take care of kids.


Your Pen Pal


Breakup on the 18th Hole

June 22, 2019

Dear Donny:

I’m glad you had such a good time on your tour. You even found time to go to one of your golf courses! I bet Trump National Doral is nice. It certainly looks nice in the pictures. It’s great that you get a chance to enjoy it, since it looks very expensive. It’s costing taxpayers over $100 million so far for you to play golf, so it’s good you have your own courses and we don’t have to pay greens fees! We don’t, do we? I know you said Obama spent too much time golfing, and promised you’d be working for the people, not playing golf, but when you own a golf course, it’s probably very tempting to at least sneak in a few holes.

Ooh. Sorry. Bad choice of words. I heard about the new rape charges. How many is that now? Anyway, what I meant is that lots of us say things we don’t mean. Maybe we’re not in your league, but I don’t know if you think of the things you say you’ll do as promises so much as suggestions. Kind of the way some guys say they’ll call a woman later, but it’s just something to say to make her feel good, not an actual promise to call her. If that’s the case, we can stop waiting for the great health care and all the winning you promised. You were dating us. You wanted us to like you. So you said a few things we wanted to hear. Okay, a lot of things.

The problem is, now we’re married. I know you know what I’m talking about. You meet a country, it has a lot to offer you, you want to get in bed with it, but the only way to really get your hands on it is to marry it. So you take it out. You throw parties and tell it all the wonderful things you’ll do for it. It falls for your line, you marry it, move in… and then you find out it really thought you meant what you said. It thinks you made promises. You know you just said what it wanted to hear so you could get your hands on its treasury, but you come home, tired from a tough golf game, and because you’re a septuagenarian (doesn’t that sound better than “old guy?”), but it’s waiting for you, wanting to know where the great health care is, and the great jobs, and it’s all upset and wants to know when does all the winning start?

You’re feeling tired and cranky, and confused. Of course you don’t remember all that stuff you said. You’re surprised that anyone actually believed all of that. You feel defensive because you can’t live up to that great picture you painted about how wonderful it all is. You’re worried your country is going to find out there are other women in your past, some involuntarily even, and you have kids locked up that you’re not supporting, not even your own kids, which would be bad enough, and you’ve unintentionally set high expectations that you never thought you’d have to live up to…

So the marriage falls apart. You get a divorce. You go looking for another country, one who doesn’t know what you’re like to live with. After all, you have money… maybe you didn’t before, but you do now! You can go anywhere, at least you can before your ex finds out all the shady shit you were really up to and gets your ass locked up.

Or maybe you say “Okay, you’re right, I made promises I never intended to keep, and did things I shouldn’t have done (at this point you’re allowed a little smirk, because you know stuff your country doesn’t know, and if it knew…!). I’m not good enough for you (and I’ve already got my eye on a younger country).” And you get your lawyers to arrange a settlement, and you leave.

Maybe it’s time to put Barr on this. He’d do anything for you, and he already thinks he’s your lawyer. You can leave it to Barr and Rudy and get back to the golf course. Well, maybe not Rudy. Maybe take Rudy with you, so you can keep an eye on him. And take a few working-class taxpayers along. They’ve paid a lot for those golf trips. They should at least get a chance to play.

Not me, though. I don’t know a birdie from a bogey. I’d be happy to wait in the clubhouse.


Your Pen Pal


Big Baby Balloon

June 4, 2019

Dear Donny:

Did you get to see Big Ben? How exciting that you got to visit England! I’m probably even more excited for you than the Brits are to have you there, and they made a giant balloon of you as a baby and marched it down the street. Maybe they didn’t have enough of whatever it is you make giants balloons from to make an adult you. Plus, can you imagine a giant version of one of your ties, flapping around? It’d take out more buildings than Godzilla. LOL! Still, seeing a giant baby you in its own parade had to be a lot of fun.

This is a vacation, right? I mean, it’s clear you’re not there officially. The nice thing about a vacation is you’re paying for it, so you don’t have to watch what you say and do every moment. You are paying for all of this, right? If you were there making a state visit, you wouldn’t have said the Queen’s granddaughter-in-law was “nasty,” especially where someone was recording it. Even so, Donny, maybe you should send the Queen a little something as an apology. Maybe a gift card. She doesn’t seem like the sort to go to McDonald’s, but maybe they have Starbucks there? They have Starbucks everywhere.

Even if I’m just visiting someone, not for work where I’m representing everybody I work for, just for fun, I wouldn’t say her granddaughter-in-law is “nasty,” especially where people are recording. We really need to talk about how you insult people. You need to stop. You’re really bad at it. There are socially-acceptable ways to be mean to people. Ask any Southern woman. It’s a science there. Let’s say you’re visiting and you meet this guy’s wife, and she’s one of those people who spends a lot on clothes and acts fancy, but really can not pick clothes. You don’t just haul off and say, “Boy, his wife is stuck up and dresses like a bad Michael Jackson impersonator.”

First, you say something nice. Usually it’s “Well, bless her heart!” Or put a big smile on your face and say, “Well, look at her!” Then you say something that sounds nice if you don’t look at it too closely. “You know, I really admire the way she wears just what she wants without worrying about it. People spend too much time on things like fashion, but she’s not like that!” Everybody understands that you think she looks like she fell into a third-world dictator’s closet and came out dressed, but you still have plausible deniability.

Not that the Queen’s granddaughters-in-law don’t know how to dress. Clearly, they do. Okay, so one of them doesn’t like you. You can overlook things like that, Donny. You’re the President of the United States, at least for now. When people say they want you to “be the bigger man,” they’re not talking about having another Big Mac.

Anyway, I hope you’re having fun. It’s nice to get the family together and do something besides play golf. The Queen will be fine, I’m sure. She’s been through having actual bombs drop on her city, so this isn’t a big deal. But the UK has been a friend to the US for a long time, so no more insults, okay? You guys have a lot in common. She has a houseful of relatives to support, too.

I’m still combing through the Mueller Report. How did Barr ever boil it down to four pages? Did he read it? Reading it’s taking longer than I expected. My book club had to go on break after Kim started chewing on her copy. Then I got bronchitis, the kind where you blow your nose so hard it feels like the Earth shifted on its axis. The one thing I can tell you already is that “exonerated” means “proved innocent.” You have to stop saying the report did that. Mueller specifically said it didn’t.

Say “hi” to the Queen. And bring back that giant baby balloon! I bet there are people who would love to see it here.


Your Pen Pal.


Your Not-At-All Secret Admirer

April 18, 2019

Dear Donny:

Congratulations! Your latest best-seller is out! My book club is wading through it. It’s a bit of a tough chew, frankly. Although you can see more of it than we expected. Margery said so much of it was going to be redacted that there’d be one word visible on every page. Her theory is that Attorney General Barr is using the parts you can see to spell out a secret message in code, maybe a love sonnet to you. Is the Secret Service still around? I know the top guy left, and a lot of the people in charge of the Department of Homeland Security are basically temps, but you don’t want to wake up and find Barr standing over you holding a feather and some lotion and saying he wants to debrief you or something.

Of course, like many memoirs, the best parts are left out. Barr said he’d redact a lot of it, and he wasn’t kidding. He doesn’t seem like a kidder. He’s a bit… intense… where you’re concerned. He’s already blacked out stuff that’s currently part of grand jury cases, stuff he thinks relates to ongoing cases or investigations in the Justice Department, and stuff that he thinks might hurt somebody’s reputation. Pretty sure he means you.

It’s one of those “tell-all” books that leave off the most interesting stuff. We’re getting just the dry little bits Barr wants us to have. It looks okay until page 23. I was surprised at the start how little was blacked out. But boy, come page 23, it looks more like you’re looking at a zebra from about six inches away, and page 26 is basically a black page. Okay, I guess, when it comes to regular people, but… Congress? They’re not likely to take “no” for an answer. They’ve put up with a lot, but there must be some things even a Senator won’t put up with.

Barr said you cooperated, but the report says you refused to answer questions. You would think the Attorney General would be well-educated enough to understand what the word “cooperated” means.

Of course, you know all of this. Barr’s been spending more time with you than Melania does. Isn’t he supposed to be America’s attorney, basically, not yours? You have lawyers. You even have Rudy, whatever he is. But Barr just can’t do enough for you. He tells your lawyers stuff he doesn’t even tell Congress. He even told you and your lawyers about the report before Congress got a copy. It’s kind of cute the way he rushes to your defense. His eyes get kind of misty when he talks about you. But it’s wrong. Let him down easy, Donny. Explain that you have so many lawyers protecting you that it’s okay if he just does his job. It makes you look so guilty when America’s attorney has special secrets with your lawyers that he doesn’t tell anyone else.

I’m just hoping my book club doesn’t blow all the fuses in our house. Margery’s notebook is plugged in next to our coffee maker. Rosemary’s Ipad is docked next to the TV. My laptop is jacked in with my electric toothbrush… basically, every appliance in our house is cohabiting with something. A print copy would be easier, but nobody wanted to wait. Lucy is the fastest reader. She got so worked up over something that she circled it in red, then remembered she was reading it on her notepad and swore a blue streak. Margery is making lists of all the places things are blacked out, looking for patterns. Rosemary just keeps mumbling, “What the fuck?” a lot.

I know you’re waiting to hear what everyone thinks. It’s been a long time since you had a hit. Congratulations – this is likely to outsell anything you’ve ever done! You’ve done three years of build-up, so it’s got a guaranteed audience. I bet there are a lot of people right there in Washington going over it. It’s 400 pages, so even Lucy is going to take time to finish it. I think we should read it once, y’know, fast, to get it over with, then re-read it slower to let it sink in. There’s a lot here.

So far, there’s a lot of stuff I can’t find. Russia interfered with our election. With another coming up next year, that’s big news. What has been done to fix that? The report concludes that “The Russian government interfered in the 2016 presidential election in sweeping and systematic fashion.” If you were doing anything about it, it should have been in this report, y’know, as proof you weren’t okay with a foreign country influencing our presidential election. You never talk about it.

It is nice that you won’t be facing obstruction of justice charges, but it kind of looks like they’re saying they can’t charge you because you’re nuts. I mean, it’s obstruction if you intend it to be obstruction, but if you’re too stupid or crazy to mean it that way, it’s not. At least, not enough so they can charge you. While it’s got to be great to know they aren’t going to charge you with that, it can’t be easy to have people say you’re too dumb or screwy to commit a crime. Rosemary says it makes it sound like you’re so dumb you can’t be charged with jaywalking because you don’t understand the cars can hurt you. Lucy asked if someone who is that messed up should be president, and Donny, I didn’t know what to say.

Barr tried to say it differently. Y’know, sympathetic. Although, if it were up to him, there wouldn’t be a report at all. That’s kind of scary. They’ve shown that a foreign government influenced your election, but if American’s attorney had his way, nobody even would have looked into it. That’s what I mean when I say he loves you too much, Donny.

You don’t read a lot, I know (look at some of the stuff you said is in the Bible), but this report has your name all over it! I did see one part that isn’t blacked out that you definitely want to read. On page 37 it talks about how the Russians “organized and promoted political rallies inside the United States while posing as U.S. Grassroots activists.” Next time you’re at a rally, Donny, look around. Those cheering people? A lot of them aren’t cheering you for the reason you think they are. If Putin told them to, they’d cheer a goat. If the boss tells you to cheer, you cheer – especially a boss who tends to disappear people, or make them turn blue and fall over.

Thank Barr next time you see him (and you know you will. Is he with you right now? I bet he is!). Page 38 is really easy reading. It’s just one big, black box. I just barely stopped Lucy from throwing her pad against the wall, but I appreciate it. There’s still plenty to read! This is fascinating, Donny! We haven’t had such a great behind-the-scenes look at a president since Richard Nixon.

I don’t think we’re going to really know what’s going on until your tax returns come out and Bob Mueller talks to Congress. Are you releasing those soon, or waiting until October for early holiday buying? I still say there’s money to be made from a boxed set. Are you going on a book tour? I’d love to get a signed copy, plus we could get together for lunch or something. My book club really wants to meet you. Not as much as Barr wants to spend time with you. Nobody could love you the way he does. But they do want to talk to you about the report. Especially Margery.

Just leave Barr back in Washington. He makes me nervous.


Your Pen Pal


It’s Lonely at the Top

April 9, 2019

Dear Donny

I’m so sorry that you’ve lost another member of your cabinet! When does her book come out? It seems like people work for you for a little while, quit, and write a book. You’re doing more for literacy in the United States than anybody. Don’t tell Betsy DeVos, though. I get the feeling she isn’t exactly a big fan of reading, so heading up the Department of Education must be enough of a strain for her as it is. If she feels like she has to quit and write a book, she might crack.

It must hurt to lose Kirstjen Nielsen. She was in charge of Homeland Security. If there’s one department you want stable leadership in, that would be it. Right now, you’re averaging one a year.

I know you’re a brilliant businessman, so you know that when you shake up the leadership all of the time, it makes things unstable and makes it harder to get anything done. I admit I’m not sure what your thinking is here. You’ve had multiple Chiefs of Staff and Press Secretaries and such. About the time they learn where the bathrooms are and the best lunch places, they’re gone. This makes the 15th one to leave. I’m sure this is part of some brilliant plan, but most of us aren’t in on it.

They say it’s lonely at the top, and that must be true. So many of the people in charge of important things are either “acting” people who keep the chair warm until you hire, or just… chairs. You’d think there would be crowds of talented, ambitious people eager to work for a famous businessman who is also the President of the United States. I’m sorry you have so much trouble keeping people. I don’t like the idea of you wandering the White House alone, just you and that scary red button and a Big Mac.

If you get lonely, send Air Force One and I’ll come to Washington and keep you company. I’m trying not to eat too much fast food, but I don’t mind nipping down to the kitchen to make myself a sandwich. We could play Scrabble! I know you know all of the best words, but you can afford to let me win once in a while. We’re all supposed to be doing so much winning we get tired of it, right? I’m not there yet.

Looks like there’s a shakeup in the Secret Service, too, and you definitely shouldn’t be alone. Bill Barr has me concerned. He seems to like you too much. If you want, I’ll bring my dog. I know you don’t have one, and you should have someone to keep you safe. I’m sure Melania is the girl you want to have your back in a fight, but she might not want to get her nails messed up, and I’m never sure where your kids are or what they’re up to.

The way things are going, it’s going to end up being just you and Bill Barr, like some creepy stalker movie, and we don’t want that. Just let me know when to be at the airport. It’s not healthy to be so alone. If Bill tries to kiss you, throw a MAGA hat into the bushes and while he’s getting it, RUN!


Your Pen Pal


At Least Someone Really (Really) Loves You, Donny

April 6, 2019

Dear Donny:

How are you? I thought I should check in and see how you’re doing. You were so cheerful when Bill Barr gave his book report on the Mueller investigation. You thought he exonerated you! It’s got to be so disappointing to find out the truth.

Even Bill Barr stopped short of saying the report “exonerates” you. He said there was insufficient evidence to charge you. Not exactly a ringing endorsement. And he was just boiling down over 300 pages into four pages. When you write the book report, it’s not supposed to be as long as the book, so you pick and choose what to put in it, and Barr did his best. Maybe you expected more from him. You did appoint him, after all, so he’s not exactly independent. And he did qualify for the job by writing that he wouldn’t dare accuse a president of a lot of stuff that would probably be a straight-up crime if I did it, or most people did it, or you did it before you were elected. But even Barr didn’t “exonerate” you, and clearly, he loves you. A lot. You do keep those Secret Service officers close, right?

Anyway, it’s time to release the Mueller report, Donny. You said you wanted the public to read it, and a lot of people are eager to do just that. Barr’s book report just didn’t do it justice. People who have seen it are saying he missed the point of the whole book. If you ask, I’m sure Barr would release it. He’d do anything for you!

And get someone to explain what “exonerates” means. I don’t think it means what you think it does.

The House has formally requested your tax returns. It’s not nice to say “I told you so,” so I won’t. But you’re the first presidential candidate not to release those in decades, and people noticed. There are certain things that come with running for president. Pardoning a turkey. The Easter Egg roll on the White House lawn. People poking their noses into your business, because your business is now our business. You started running for re-election the day you were elected, so now it’s even more past time to get it over with.

Oooh! You could release a boxed set! The Mueller Report and your tax returns! I bet people would form book clubs for the express purpose of reading that. I know I would! You could ship it with one of those leftover MAGA hats. Auction off signed copies (I really bet there are some people who would love to get a copy of that stuff with your original signature on it!).

And you could use that boost of popularity. It would make you feel better. After all, you’ve said all along you didn’t do anything wrong and you want the public to see that report. This would prove it, wouldn’t it?

I wouldn’t let Barr handle that, btw. His deep affection for you would lead him to redact all over it, which would be messy and make you look guilty. Just give him a kiss, tell him he’s a good boy, and let someone who isn’t so nervous about trying to make you look good handle it.

Waiting eagerly for my copy,

Your Pen Pal


You Have the #RightToBearCows

March 29, 2019

Dear Donny:

You must be so happy about the Mueller Report… well, Barr’s review of the report. Nobody’s seen the actual report. You said you wanted the report released publicly. Did you forget to tell Barr? Please give him a tweet and remind him. Lots of people want to read it. Some of them are even lawyers, or members of Congress! Anyway, congratulations! Mueller didn’t exonerate you (who told you he did? Not Rudy, I hope), but nobody showed up at the golf course to haul you away in chains, so good news!

I know you’re celebrating, but watch what you drink before you get out in public. You said the Democrats want to take away our airplanes and our… cows. Cows? I don’t own a cow. Most people don’t. But if you aren’t careful, people will start feeling the need to buy cows while they still can. Look at what happens every time the NRA blows smoke about someone taking away guns. You could start a cow panic. This is a bad idea, especially for people in cities. Some people don’t even pick up after their little dogs. Can you imagine if they had cows? Gives a whole new meaning to the word “stockpile.”

Dems haven’t said anything about taking away our right to own cows. I don’t recall anything in the Constitution guaranteeing a right to own cows, but there’s nothing in there saying you can’t. I say, if you can safely handle and store your cow, you should be able to own one. Your neighbors have the right to know you keep your cows safely contained where they won’t be a problem for others, and that you know how to properly use a cow (rule #1, don’t milk the guys. Doesn’t go well).

Maybe there could be some kind of test and you could register your cow? You know, so if your house (well, it’s not YOUR house, since you live in public housing right now, but the idea still applies) catches fire, the fire fighters know if they’re going to face panicking cows once they go in. There are a lot of good reasons to register your cow.

If you’re worried, you should buy some cows. You could keep them on your golf courses. Buy a lot of cows while you can. Just be careful who you buy from. Don’t buy a cow from Devin Nunes. He has a cow he’s really afraid of. I guess his cow likes to talk smack about the boss (don’t we all? I bet people at the White House do it all the time). He’s suing his cow.

But talking smack about the boss is about the most American thing ever. And it is in the Constitution (you’d think Devin would know that. Isn’t he connected to the government somehow?). It doesn’t say free speech is guarantee to everybody but cows. There’s a principle involved. But cows don’t have much money, so maybe Devin thinks the cow won’t defend itself in court? The courts and free speech don’t belong just to rich people. If you want to donate to support Devin Nunes’ Cow, just search for @DevinCow on Twitter.

Send me pictures of your cows, when you get them! I know you’ve had some trouble keeping staff. Maybe the cows could pitch in. I’m not sure if cows could run the government or not, but at least they won’t do as much damage as some of the people you’ve had so far!

All the best,

Your Pen Pal


Ivanka’s Peeing on the Rug

March 25, 2019

Dear Donny:

How is life in the White House? Congratulations on the Mueller report! I saw where you said it completely exonerated you. That’s great! Only… the Attorney General said, “While this report does not conclude that the president committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him.” So it did stuff, but “exonerate” wasn’t one of them.

Still, it’s got to be a relief to see that Mueller found insufficient evidence to charge you with treason. “Insufficient evidence” isn’t “innocent,” but it beats “guilty” by a mile, so I’m happy for you! On top of that, it netted crooks like Cohen and Manafort. I bet you were surprised to find out you were surrounded by shady people!

Things are okay here. Our puppy is almost completely housebroken. We thought we’d reached “completely,” but then we had a big rainstorm and found out she still pees in the house when it’s raining. Normally, I wouldn’t mention peeing to the President of the United States, but I know you aren’t squeamish about things like pee. In fact, I bet you can relate! Not that a puppy is the same as a daughter, but I saw in the news that Ivanka peed in the house, so to speak, and even worse than our puppy did! She and Jared have been using private email accounts and WhatsApp to conduct official government business!

Wow, that has got to be embarrassing for you. If our puppy has an “accident,” we have to clean it up, which isn’t fun, but what do you do when your daughter does the exact same thing you shouted at Hillary Clinton for? You can’t even say Ivanka didn’t know. Worse yet, Jared did it, too! I’d recommend the cleanser we use, but I don’t think even the stuff with enzymes would clean up this mess.

You must be so upset! When our puppy piddles in the house, we don’t take it personally, but then she hasn’t been listening to us yell at some other dog about piddling for years. I thought you and Ivanka were close. Doesn’t she listen to you? You talk about Hillary Clinton and her emails even now, so Ivanka and Jared have to know how strongly you feel about such things.

They asked Jared if he shared confidential information that way, and Donny… he didn’t say “no.” He didn’t really answer the question. That does not look good. You had better explain to Jared that evasiveness just makes you look guilty.

Actually, using the app and private email accounts isn’t illegal, so long as you preserve all of the messages. There’s a whole law about it, which I know you know, because you yelled about Hillary not doing that. Which is why I hate to tell you, but… it looks like Ivanka didn’t follow the law.

I really get the feeling people don’t tell you important things you need to know, because you never seem to really know what’s going on. Which is why I’m letting you know that it looks like a bunch of your people haven’t been following the law. There’s Ivanka, Jared, Stephen Miller, Reince Priebus, and Gary Cohn, so far, all doing something you told the whole world you think is absolutely unacceptable under any conditions.

If we’d walked our puppy around town and yelled at every single dog we saw about peeing in the house, there’s no way she could claim she didn’t know that was a problem. Well, except for her being a dog. When you yell, they mostly just think you’re barking. But Ivanka isn’t a puppy, and can’t claim she didn’t understand.

That has got to be embarrassing. Looks like you’ve got a lot of yelling to do, with so many puppies peeing on your rug. Maybe I should send you a gallon jug of Pee-B-Gone, just in case? If they’re anything like our puppy, once you start shouting at them, you’re going to need it.

Your Pen Pal


Mental Health and Moo Cows

March 20, 2019

Dear Donny:

So much seems to be going on in Washington! There seems to be a lot of drama. I bet it’s hard for you to find some quiet time to concentrate on presidenting.

I’m so sorry you aren’t getting along with Kellyanne Conway’s husband, George. You said people call him Mr. Kellyanne Conway. Why?  She got the name Conway when she married him. Her maiden name is Fitzpatrick. As insults go, it’s not exactly “A” material. Good thing you have a job.

He said you were crazy! Wow! Of course, if you fire his wife, it just makes you look thin-skinned, so you’re probably stuck with both of them. That’s the great thing about free speech. He gets to call you a narcissist nut, and you get to insult him by implying that people know he’s married to Kellyanne.

Speaking of  thin-skinned… Maybe you should buy Devin Nunes a download of Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off.” His birthday isn’t until October, but I don’t think you should wait. He’s suing someone who is claiming to be a cow. It seems pretty silly for a member of Congress to sue a cow, let alone a fake cow. He has a dairy, so you’d think he’d know. Do people sue cows? Is this a thing? What do you get if the cow loses?

Of course, Devin seems a bit vague on the dairy thing. He talks a lot about his family farm in California, but it seems that they moved the farm to Iowa over a decade ago. Did his family move and not tell him? I hear that happens. I have this sad image in my head of him going back to California for Christmas and standing around in a field saying, “Where are the cows?”

Anybody who takes what random people say on Twitter too seriously needs help, you know that. Look at all of the stuff you post! If I didn’t know you were joking, I’d be very worried about your mental health. Ha ha! Have a chat with Devin. In person, not on Twitter. Devin doesn’t get Twitter.

Although before you explain it, could you ask him to sue me, please? I only have a few Twitter followers. I don’t aspire to “fake cow” levels of fame, but a few more would be nice, and Devin is like a one-man Twitter publicity firm.

I know I’ve been hard on you lately, but I am proud that you said in front of reporters that you want Robert Mueller to complete his investigation and release it all to the public! You really caught me by surprise. From the sound of it, the reporters were a bit surprised, too. Of course, you’ll have to turn over a boatload of papers for Mueller to finish up, and maybe even go in for an interrogation. That’s like an interview, only the reporters have handcuffs handy. Don’t worry about it. I know you don’t have anything to hide. So box up everything and call Robert. Whatever he doesn’t need, Congress would be happy to look at. If you need help moving it all, ask Kellyanne’s husband. I know he doesn’t seem to like you much, but I bet he’d still be happy to help.

Speaking of which… Donny, I don’t care how funny you think she is, that Judge person who was on Fox? PeeRow, or whatever her name is? They were right to let her go. Was she really a judge, like in court, not just a beauty contest judge or something? She said some nasty things about Muslims. Did you know Muslims gave us universities, clocks, coffee, and a bunch of math stuff that makes modern technology possible? If you meet the “judge,” would you please tell her it isn’t pronounced, “Hee-Jab,” like “hee haw.” Even I know that! Also, it’s time to stop insulting Sen. McCain. Didn’t someone tell you? The poor man is dead. It’s not nice to insult dead war heroes. Doesn’t Ivanka tell you anything?

One of these days, I’ll come to Washington and you can show me what Ivanka does all day. Or just give Robert all the papers and I’ll read it like everyone else. You’ll probably end up with another best-seller!

Waiting for my advance copy of your new book! Sincerely,

Your Pen Pal


Bibles and Tax Forms

March 9, 2019

Dear Donny:

I’m sorry it’s been so long since I wrote! You must think I dropped off the face of the Earth (never say that to Vlad Putin, btw. He seems like the sort who would take that literally. If there’s a way to actually drop someone off the face of the Earth, Vlad would know).

Anyway, you probably haven’t had time to miss me, what with the Vietnam talks tanking like a lead kinh khí cầu, and Michael Cohen singing his latest hits for Congress. Wasn’t that fascinating? I bet you were as glued to that as the rest of us. What did Rudy think? Is he still your lawyer? Is he still a lawyer?

Are you still going to run for re-election? It looks like you’re going to be too busy to be president, let alone run to do it again. Congress wants to read everything up to and including shopping lists. And those tax returns. Donny, didn’t I tell you to release those tax returns? Every candidate for president does it. Now if you don’t release them, it looks like you’re trying to hide something. People are waiting to read those like they used to wait for the next Harry Potter book. Expecto taxfraudus! Do you have a patronus, Donny? What is it? I’m kind of picturing a warthog with a spray tan.

It’s almost tax time, Donny… unless you shut the government down again. That was kind of funny the first time, but some jokes are only good once. Have you finished your tax returns for this year? Better get a hop on it. For one thing, you might get a refund. Lots of people are finding out that they aren’t, but I know you made sure you will be. That was what that tax bill was all about, after all.

I saw the photos of you signing Bibles. How did you keep from laughing? I mean, Donny, you… signing a Bible… I love your sense of humor! Did the people there get the joke? It’s always sad when you have to explain a joke. I hope they knew you were kidding.

Which reminds me, April Fool’s Day is coming up in a few weeks. I know how you like to joke, but you might go easy this year. I’m sure everything is calm in the White House. What do you have to worry about? But out here in the real world, nerves are on edge. Remember when you had that press conference where you had stacks of paper you said were documents, only they were blank? Do not try that with the tax returns. If you simply must do something for April Fool’s Day, put whoopie cushions on the benches at the Supreme Court. Or tell Mike Pence that gay people handle his food (statistically, that’s got to be true) and see what he does.

Or maybe just skip it, make some popcorn, and watch whoever ends up testifying to Congress next.

Your Pen Pal


Maybe Mike Knows?

February 20, 2019

Dear Donny:

We’ve been pen pals for some time now. I was so proud when the President of the United States started emailing me! Then when I heard from Melania, your kids, your inlaws… it was heady stuff, even if your family asked for money a lot. I even heard from Vice President Pence, and they say Mike Pence doesn’t think it’s proper for a man to talk to a woman without his wife present. Wow. That’s sure not a problem for you, Donny! Maybe he doesn’t have your self-control. Anyway, what I’m trying to say is that I’m your friend, and I make allowances for you. That’s what friends do.

But… the kids, Donny. It looks as though thousands of children, more than we even thought, were separated from their families by your administration. I know you don’t like details. You’re more a big-picture visionary. Well, thousands of little kids taken from their families is a big picture, Donny. A big, ugly, embarrassing picture.

The only ugly picture kids should be associated with is school photos. Some of mine are really bad. Mom used to make me get a perm before a school photo, and dress me in something “respectable,” so I always looked like a wacky neighbor from a black and white tv show. That’s the sort of ugly picture a kid knows he or she will just have to endure. It’s part of childhood, like being asked by every adult you meet how school is going and what you want to do with your life.

But no kid expects to be ripped from his family and thrown into a cage, or given to other people.

It turns out the Office of Refugee Resettlement and the Department of Homeland Security need to be introduced to each other. Time to break out the McDonald’s and the good plates and throw a party. They don’t talk. It’s just not okay that the total number of kids taken from their families and where everyone is still isn’t known. This isn’t pocket change or car keys they’ve lost. And as bad as it looked already, it seems it’s a lot worse – it started earlier and they lost more kids than we thought.

Even worse, it turns out it’s still going on. And it seems that how many kids, exactly, is a number that nobody knows, and they’re not even seriously looking into it because they’re understaffed. The shutdown didn’t help matters at all.

It can be hard to keep tabs on kids. They get into things, they play hide and seek without informing you… but these kids didn’t wander off. We lost them. When you lose a kid, you don’t just throw up your hands and say, “Oh, well, I’m busy, so let’s hope the baby figures out how to get home!” You look. You get help if you need to, and you keep searching until you find them.

The kids, Donny. The kids. Ask Mike where they are. I mean, what does he even do all day? The job can’t be all standing around behind you and smiling. He’s making good money. Let him look for the kids. He can take his wife with him so he doesn’t get into trouble.

I hate to say that I’m angry with you. Let’s say I’m very, very disappointed. But I know you won’t sleep until you find them all, not just because I’m your friend and it upsets me, but because it’s the right thing to do. Once you find them all, I’ll forgive you. That’s what friends do.

Let me know when all the kids are safe. I’ll be waiting to hear.

Your Pen Pal


A Signed Selfie Isn’t a Valentine’s Day Gift

February 13, 2019

Dear Donny:

How are you? How is Melania? That was some outfit she wore to the State of the Union address! It looked like a dress uniform, but with only one glove. Has she joined the army, or become a Michael Jackson impersonator? Don’t tell her I said that. I’m sure models, even former ones, are picky about what they wear. You might just suggest that while Saddam Hussein’s tailor is probably in need of work, he’s probably not the best guy to choose clothing for the First Lady of the United States. Prada makes some nice clothes (so I hear. I’m sorry to say I can’t afford to shop there).

You used to ask for money a lot, but you don’t any more. I hope that means you’re doing better, financially. Maybe you should take Melania shopping for Valentine’s Day and get her a few nice things. I bet she’d love that. Something a bit less… authoritarian.

Speaking of money and Valentine’s Day, Donny… you know I’m your friend. It hurts me to say anything when you’re off-track, but a true friend tells you when you need to deal with something, and you really do. Someone broke the IRS.

Sure, nobody likes paying taxes, but lots of people pay more than they owe every month, counting on that tax refund in the Spring. For them, it’s like a savings account that doesn’t pay interest, but you know it’ll be there. For the government, it’s like a no-interest loan. Well, many people are not getting the refunds they expected this year. Some are getting no refund at all… in fact, they owe money! Something about how you guys screwed up the tax code.

This is a problem, Donny. First off, those people were counting on those refunds to pay bills, buy things they’ve been putting off buying, or maybe even pay for a little vacation. Stores, restaurants and hotels were counting on them having that money to spend. Taxpayers use that money for all sorts of things from rent to cars. I know you probably don’t have time to watch television much, being president and all, but starting in March you start seeing advertisements for sales and things to spend your refund on, but who’s going to buy all that stuff if they end up paying more in taxes than they expected?

And what refunds there are may be later because of that shutdown. So even people who will get something back, if not what they expected, may not get it for who knows how long. Pretty awful Valentine’s Day gift. Almost as bad as a signed picture of yourself. You’re not giving Melania a selfie, are you? I did warn you about that.

Rich people need more money like Melania needs another signed picture of you. Screwing up the tax code so rich people get more money and everyone else gets less is like making a building taller by adding to the bottom but not paying adding anything to the foundation to support it. Eventually, the top floors become bottom floors when the building falls over.

Being unhappy with the status quo and suspecting the people in Washington didn’t care about working people got you elected – but if people don’t see your gratitude in their paychecks, you won’t be in office much longer.

You’d better tell Melania and the kids to stop making those MAGA hats. They were never very good looking (I don’t think I’ve seen your family in them). You might have trouble unloading the rest of them once people realize those refund checks are smaller, or worse, not coming, or even worse yet, they owe. Check Pinterest for things you can make out of leftover baseball caps. Maybe you could use them as planters? Sew two together and make halter tops? I’m sure Ivanka can come up with something.

I know you’ll fix everything. You said you would and it would be so great we would all get tired of winning so much. I can’t wait until that begins! Is there a start date yet? You can tell me. I won’t tell.

Wishing you all the best and happy Valentine’s Day, Donny,

Your Pen Pal.


February 5, 2019

Dear Donny:

I was surprised to see you on TV giving the “State of the Union” address. The government was shut down much of the year so far. How do you know how the country is doing? Which reminds me… Donny, tell me you didn’t patch the government back together for three weeks just so you could give a speech on television. You didn’t, did you? It’s only patched back together through the day after Valentine’s Day. The shutdown cost our economy $11 billion dollars. Pretty lousy Valentine’s Day gift.

Speaking of Valentine’s Day, what are you getting Melania? It was nice of you to introduce her to the Speaker of the House, but hasn’t she already run into Vice President Pence at the White House? I know she doesn’t like to spend much time there, and he has a thing about talking to women, but she must have met him once or twice, right? Whatever you get her, make it something other than a framed picture of yourself. Giving someone a framed picture of yourself is almost never a good gift. The time to give someone a picture of yourself is after they’ve asked for one. That is the only time.

We listened to your whole speech. Almost an hour and a half! Wow. There was a lot in it. I guess that’s why there wasn’t a lot of detail about how you would do things. I’m really looking forward to the part where our middle class expands. You are talking about more people in it, not just bigger people, right? Not all of us can survive a steady diet of fast food. How are we going to get more people into the middle class? Economic policy has invested mostly in the top one percent for years.

You said, “Wages are rising at the fastest pace in decades…” Well, not really. See, for most workers, wages aren’t rising despite the rise in employment. Companies should be competing for workers, which should drive wages higher, but it’s just not happening. It’s a thing. Didn’t someone at the Bureau of Labor Statistics tell you? They know. I can’t imagine why they didn’t mention it.

Now, Donny, about the investigation… you brought it up, not me. Honey, didn’t they tell you what they were investigating? There are accusations against people for things that are bordering on treason. Interference with our elections goes right to the heart of democracy. This is big. These people essentially spat on the Founding Fathers. You’re the president, Donny. You should be beating the drum for this harder than anyone. Unless they hold a thorough investigation, no matter what you accomplish, your name will always have an asterisk next to it. Let them dig.

Then you did it, Donny. You told Congress it had ten days to give you your wall. Congress does not respond well to threats. You started off so well, talking about working together and crossing aisles and all, and then you drew a line in the carpet of the House of Representatives. Yes, countries are defined in part by their borders, and have a right to defend them. But ten days, Donny? Remember that $11 billion we lost from the last shutdown? You can’t link funding our government, which is just maintenance, really, and your wall. I know you want that wall. You love the idea of that wall. But you can’t hold the government hostage like that. It hurts people.

And there are a lot of ways to strengthen the border without a wall. What is that “see-through steel barrier” you mentioned? Steel is tough to see through. Are you thinking about that magic steel you can see through that they had on Star Trek? I’d rather have a “replicator,” myself.

Tell you what, you have a birthday in June. If you want, you and Melania can meet us at Home Depot and we’ll get some stuff and build you a wall somewhere. How about through one of your golf courses? See, much of the land where you’d need to build a border wall belongs to someone already. So bring your kids and we’ll get together and build you a wall on some land you own, so nobody can stop you. You said “…walls work, and walls save lives.” That’s kind of true. The right kind of wall in the right place can be a good thing, but in this case, we don’t have a detailed plan for what kind of wall and where. So you have maybe a day to design it and Congress gets a little over a week to go over it and vote and fund the government? If that’s how you build your buildings, the people in the upper floors should be pretty nervous.

I do have a question… you called for anti-abortion legislation. How come you waited until after your party didn’t have control of both houses of Congress to propose that? Your party had control of the White House and both houses of Congress for two years, and you’re only thinking about that now? I understand, I guess. Lots of people have been thinking about what it’s like to realize something after it’s too late.

What was that whole thing about socialism? You do know that’s just an economic theory, right? It’s an idea about how to pay for things. Look at universal health care. Health care is a headache for small and large businesses, costs us productivity, and not having it for every citizen increases our risk of communicable disease. You like to eat out. Don’t you want the people handling your food to see their doctors if they have a little itchy something that won’t go away? If someone’s going to spit in my food, I want him to be healthy. I’m sure that’s a worry you can understand.

I kind of tuned out a bit. I’m sorry. It was a long speech. Not as long as that last shutdown, but long. Maybe next time a shorter speech with more real information and fewer monsters? After more than an hour and a half, what I got from your speech is that things have never been better and we should all be terrified.

Anyway, it has to feel good to have that speech over with. Did you watch the Super Bowl? We kind of watched it for a bit, did something else, and came back. Even if you didn’t watch it, though, remember that somebody won it, and is probably expected to be invited to the White House. Another reason to avoid shutting down the government again, so you can serve them something other than fast food. But if you do shut down the government again, send for me and I’ll teach you and Melania how to put squeezy cheese on crackers. Barron can help us put little bits of bell pepper on the squeezy cheese. Makes it look more fancy.

The one good thing about the State of the Union address is that it reminds you that the union is still there. Please don’t muck that up, Donny. Government is like a stepladder. There are certain things that would be hard, or even dangerous, to do without one. I’m too old and out of shape to join the military, or chase drug dealers, and I wouldn’t even know where to start if you wanted me to make sure the milk supply is safe. I could maybe help with the paperwork for mortgage loans, but I can’t afford to insure them all. So whatever you do, don’t break the government again. You still have one more “State of the Union” address to do, and it would be nice to have a union to talk about the state of.

Good luck with Valentine’s Day. Remember – a selfie is not a gift.

Your Pen Pal


January 30, 2019

Dear Donny:

Hi! Thanks for slapping our government back together for a few weeks. How’s the deal going? Three weeks isn’t much time to fix all of this.

People have been saying very mean things about you, so I just want to thank you for doing something important for your country. Thanks for all you are doing for literacy in the U.S. Donny, it seems like everyone who works for you writes a book after leaving. You must be so proud! The White House has turned into a publishing house. People who work for you can’t wait to tell the world everything they see, hear or smell.

True, they’re not exactly lining up to pay you compliments, but still, you are the muse of American letters. Amazon says there are 10,000 results for books with your name in the title! You’ve said you don’t read much, Donny, and I believe you, but you sure seem to inspire people to write.

And it’s only been two years! Imagine what they’ll have to say after another two years. The mind boggles… but then, it seems as though a lot of minds have been pretty well boggled for a while now. We’re getting used to it.

Hope you’re getting some sleep while you’re trying to patch the government back together on a more permanent basis.  One tip: if you have Nancy Pelosi over,  spring for a decent lunch, or at least make sure you keep her fries under the warmer. Cold McDonald’s fries don’t win anyone over. If that’s not in your book about making deals, it should be.

All the best,

Your Pen Pal


January 23, 2019

Dear Donny:

Hi! How are things going at the White House? I hear a lot of the staff isn’t there, since they aren’t being paid and all. How are you getting by? We’ve never had anyone else cleaning our house, but I can see where a person could get to like that. If you need any housekeeping tips, just let me know. I’m not a great housekeeper, but I bet I know more than you do. I mean, you had people over and served them fast food? At the White House, Donny? It’s time someone told you about the freezer section at the grocery store. They make little finger foods that come frozen. You just heat them up and put them on your good platter and let people think you made them. Just make sure you take the boxes to the trash before the company comes.

I read the whole thing about the State of the Union speech. It’s hard to believe it’s time for that again. Sometimes it feels like you’ve been president for a hundred years already. I bet it’s nothing like you imagined. I heard Speaker Pelosi is telling you to just put it off until you have a government to be president of again, or send them a letter. What a great idea!

Donny, the #1 fear of most people is public speaking. You hate Congress, and they’re not all that fond of you (even a lot of the Republicans are people who said you getting elected would be the end of the world. It’s amazing how much they seem to love you now, but you know you can’t trust people who talk smack about you, then say you’re great just to get stuff). You guys aren’t even able to work together well enough to keep the doors open and the lights on. If you just send a letter, you can spare yourself having to think of something to say, and change out of your golf togs, and you won’t be interrupting the shows on tv. Lots of people are already mad at you, and people really hate it when anything interrupts television.

If you need help writing your speech, I would be happy to help! How about something like this:

“Dear Everybody:

It’s really hard to admit when you’ve made a mistake, but a big man has to be able to admit when he’s wrong, and I, Donald Trump, am the biggest man. I am the biggest man ever, and I make the biggest mistakes, so when I apologize, I have to apologize bigly.

When I, Donald Trump, decided to shut down lots of the United States government, I was acting like a spoiled toddler holding his breath until the country turns blue. It was a mistake. The biggest mistake. There are people who showed up to work and tried to do their jobs for years who now have to go to food banks to feed themselves and their families, and that is my fault. I am embarrassed. I am the most embarrassed president ever.

So to prove I, Donald Trump, am the biggest president the world has ever had, I am going to make sure those people get paid and come back to work. Without them, I am not in charge of as big a government as Obama, and we can’t have that.

Also, in case anyone knows anyone on the Clemson University football team, please tell them Donald Trump is bringing the White House chef and all the kitchen staff back. I will have the team back for a proper dinner like the President of the United States should offer people when they come to the White House. If the chef won’t come back, I’ll go to the grocery store. My pen pal is going to teach me to make pigs in blankets and squeezy cheese on crackers, and show Melania how to heat up frozen meatballs. I’ll put them on the good plates.

And while I’m proving what a big president I, Donald Trump, am, tell the transgendered people who want to be in our military that I’m sorry about the ban thing. What was I thinking? If someone is willing to fight and die for our country, only an idiot would tell them no because of what is a personal issue. Very personal. So personal it is nobody else’s business. Including mine.

When I do something stupid, I do the stupidest things ever, so I get to be the most embarrassed ever, so I end up being the sorriest president ever. But I am a big president, and I can admit when I am maybe not especially completely correct, although it’s not my fault. It’s never my fault. Even when I do it.

Congratulations on getting such a big apology from the biggest president in the world.

Donald J. (put the “J” in there, Donny. Makes it sound classy) Trump


January 16, 2018

Dear Donny:

How’s your golf swing? I hope all that presidenting doesn’t get in the way of your golf game!

Haven’t heard from you in a while. Did someone take me off of your email list? Bet it was Pence. He doesn’t like men having anything to do with women. I wonder how he got those kids? Or maybe you’re just so busy presidenting that you don’t have time to write at the moment, which I completely understand. I hear that presidenting is hard work, if you do it right, or even if you do it wrong but you do a lot of it, I guess.

Things here are okay-ish. The government is still sort of closed, although I hear they’re forcing the people at the IRS to come back and work without pay. You might want to rethink that one, Donny. Do you really want unhappy people who resent not getting paid going over your tax returns? They did explain that even the President of the United States still has to file a tax return, I hope. I’m never sure just how much people tell you about what’s going on.

Some of the Senators and Representatives like the shutdown. They think it’s really great, because they would like to get rid of the government altogether, and a shutdown is almost like that. I’ve always wondered why someone who doesn’t like the government would run for office. They do realize that if they win, they’re part of the government, don’t they? You can only be an outsider if you’re outside. Once you’re inside, you’re an insider. Honestly, Donny, sometimes I wonder about the average intelligence in Congress.

Everybody thinks we should at least cut back on the government, although cutting back on the government is like trying to clean house if you don’t live alone. Nobody agrees on what’s unnecessary. I know someone who got married and had to get rid of his neon beer sign, because his wife didn’t think it looked good in the house. They eventually sold it. I wonder if Brett Kavanaugh bought it? You might look for it next time you go to his house.

It used to be you almost never heard about shutting down the government, except by anarchists. If you had suggested it, people would have thought you were nuts. Now, it’s like something a toddler says when he’s having a tantrum, “I want a wall, or I’ll hold my breath until the government shuts down!” Government run by toddlers seems like a bad idea. We don’t let them run anything else. A person who isn’t developed enough to understand that Mr. Clown doesn’t disappear when he goes back into the Jack-in-the-box doesn’t seem like a good candidate for leadership. If you shut down the government but you bring people back to work, you have to pay them. That’s pretty basic. I’ve heard some things from people in Congress, even in your own White House, that make me worry they spend their days playing Peek-a-boo and being shocked when there’s a person behind the hands.

Remember those farmers who got hit by the tariffs you put in place? They were promised emergency aid. But they can’t get it — the department they have to apply to is one of those in the shutdown. It’s that kind of Big Detail Missing that has people worried about what’s in the water you guys are drinking in D.C. You’re probably concerned about that, too — but don’t try calling the EPA. Maybe you can buy a testing kit at the hardware store?

And there are a lot of people who work for the federal government who can’t pay make their rent, or mortgage payments, or spend money on, well, much of anything. So the people who depend on getting that money can’t buy other stuff, and so on.

But you’re an amazing business person, Donny, so you know all of this. That’s what’s so great about having you in charge.

Well, here’s hoping it all gets resolved soon. Give my best to Melania, if you see her. Not Pence, though. It’s probably best if he doesn’t know we’re still in touch. He gets weird about things like that.


Your Pen Pal


We’re #1… We’re #1…

January 9, 2019

Dear Donny:

How’s your new year starting out? Out here in the real world, you know, where un-famous people live, things are very confusing. First off, there’s this government shutdown. I have to ask… before you were sworn in, did anyone tell you what “job #1” is for people in D.C.? In case they didn’t… it’s keeping the government up and running. Didn’t anyone give you a pamphlet or something when you took the job?

I read that this is the second-longest government shutdown in our history. Donny, please tell me you aren’t keeping this up because you want to be number one! This is a contest with no prize, sweetie. If you win a race to jump head-first into the outhouse, nobody envies you.

The people who are telling you to keep this up must be… I hate to call anyone “stupid,” but… “thinking challenged.” The reason we have a federal government is that it’s too time-consuming to do all the stuff that needs doing by ourselves. If you drive somewhere to get to work, you don’t have time to surface the road yourself on the way. Of course, you live where you work, and someone has always driven you around, but… look, Donny, if the roads aren’t maintained, your chauffeur can’t get you to the golf course.

While a quarter of our government is MIA, those things that need doing don’t get done. Farmers have trouble getting the subsidies they were counting on, people trying to get loans to buy houses have to wait, and garbage stacks up in the national parks.

I realize you don’t exactly visit our national parks. When I try to picture you, Melania, Ivanka and the rest camping, or sitting around roasting hot dogs, it’s pretty funny, but lots of people really do that. Spring is almost here. You’re leaving the national parks to illegal pot farmers and letting things pile up in the trash cans and porta-potties. Not the legacy you want, “Trump 2020 – If You Go To A Park, Bring Your Hazmat Suit!”

And whoever told you that federal workers support you holding them, and their families, hostage in return for that wall (oh Donny, that wall! You need another hobby, honey) was… look, I know you can be, let’s say… creative… with the truth now and again, but the person who told you those people are happy to be without their paychecks is nuttier than a squirrel turd.

TSA agents, for example, who can’t afford to work for free have to call in sick and do something else for money. You can’t blame them, but how does that help national security? I’m sure you’re not taking a single cent of your pay, since the only reason the government is limping is that you put a rock in its shoe, then stepped on its foot. But lots of people can’t afford to go without a paycheck.

Anything that’s bad for the economy of workers is probably bad for the economy as a whole. That makes sense, right? They’ve adjusted the GDP down. That’s how good all of this is for the economy. And the effects take time to repair. When you slow something as big as the economy of the United States, it doesn’t get back up to speed overnight.

All for that wall. That infamous, imaginary, ridiculous wall… Donny, if you want something silly that won’t achieve what you’re trying for, let us buy you a new toupee. We’ll buy you a truckload of them. Nicer than you have now. Honey, how can someone who says he has great taste put a rug on his head that looks like someone found a way to grow mold on a basketball? Is your eyesight going? Even if we bought you a new toupee for every day of the year, then bought one for every man, woman, child and pet hamster in the country, it would be a lot cheaper and accomplish just as much. Mexico might even chip in for that. We’ll make all of them blonde. If every person in the United States was blonde, you’d love that, admit it.

Here’s something else I’m wondering… when the government is out of business, are you still president? That’s sort of like being the Emperor of Nothing. Grand Poobah of Doo-dah.

And Donny, all of this won’t make people forget about the Mueller probe. It just won’t. Lighting fires doesn’t help divert attention if there’s already a Fire Marshall staring at you.

Promise you’ll think about those toupees, Donny. They’d be really nice ones with extra-strong adhesive. I promise.

Your Pen Pal


December 26, 2018

Dear Donny:

How was your Christmas? Did you get anything you wanted? I hope you weren’t waiting for Santa to bring you a wall and a pardon. He couldn’t possibly lift the kind of wall you want without getting a hernia, and I don’t think even Santa could talk Robert Mueller into forgetting about the investigation. But hopefully you got a nice tie, or a new toupee.

I saw where you told a seven-year-old girl that her belief in Santa Claus was “marginal” and that her parents had been lying to her. God only knows what Santa Claus told her about you, but apparently she’s still putting out cookies. Make of that what you will.

Some of my friends work for the government, and they were hoping Santa would get their jobs back, but no luck. The government shutdown continues. Is there anything you can do about that? I saw where you said that many government workers told you to keep the government shut down until you got your wall, but who are these people, and how many is “many?” The ones I know have bills to pay and just want to get back to work. You must know different government workers than I do.

We need the government up and working. I know you don’t like that there’s a government, even though you’re sort of in charge of it right now, but the government does stuff, like build roads and train soldiers, that we can’t do individually. I wouldn’t know where to start if you wanted me to track an epidemic and organize a response. Would you? There’s a government agency that does that.

Home loans for veterans, making sure people with a lot of cows have to keep their poo out of the drinking water, trying to clean up the air, getting money to scientists searching for treatments for diseases… there are government people who do a bunch of stuff we need done. I used to know a guy whose whole job was making sure nobody spent the public’s tax money on things they shouldn’t. He worked long hours, making people who didn’t want to talk to him show him records they didn’t want to, all so there would be more money to clean up toxic sludge and less money going to parties for politicians. Most government employees do thankless jobs, and we need them at work.

Speaking of which, how’s the hunt for staff for your own office going? I keep seeing where people have quit. And other people saying they don’t want those jobs. Why wouldn’t someone want to work at the White House? Maybe some of my friends who are furloughed right now from the shutdown could work for you? They’d have to get paid, though.

Are you still getting paid, even though the government’s partly shut down? It seems like you wouldn’t be. After all, you’re the person who shut it down, so you’re the first guy who wouldn’t get a paycheck, right? It’s the principle of the thing. I bet you’re not accepting any pay right now, are you? It wouldn’t be fair to shut down part of the government and then take a full check for managing a government that’s smaller than it should be. That’s a big part of your job, after all, keeping the government up and running.

I hope that didn’t make your holidays too disappointing. Lots of people know what it’s like not to have money at Christmas, but I get the feeling your family really isn’t the sort to make merry on macaroni and cheese. Off the top of my head, I can’t think of a single thing you could make Melania with your own hands that she would like. Since she knows about those ladies you had to pay money to, she probably doesn’t want anything to do with your hands at all. So your holidays probably weren’t much fun.

And here come the Democrats, which has to have you worried. So many new Democrats in the House of Representatives! That had to be a shock. But there is a silver lining, Donny… you are about to feel like the most fascinating man on the face of the Earth. There is no detail about you, however small, that they don’t want to know. They’ll be sitting around like little kids at story time, waiting eagerly for Robert Mueller to tell them every single thing he’s found out.

It’s not that often that so many people are this anxious to hear every little detail about a guy in his 70s. And if you decide to tell them about yourself, you’re guaranteed an audience that will hang on your every word. Maybe that’s not the best way to put it, but you know what I mean. Enjoy it while it lasts!

Happy new year, Donny – Your Pen Pal


Dec. 19, 2018

Dear Donny:

I’m sorry I’ve been out of touch. We went on vacation. Not to our exclusive golf course, like you do (we don’t have one… it would be nice, though. Most golf courses are like big parks with occasional holes in them and very tiny beaches). We went on the sort of vacation lots of people go on. We went to theme parks.

Which brings up an uncomfortable subject. But because I’m your friend, I have to tell you. If you had toilet paper stuck to your shoe, or your breath smelled like you ate a road-killed skunk, it would be my responsibility to let you know, even though it was awkward, right? So this is like that.

We went to a theme park… let’s call it Whee World. They have this thing with robot presidents. It’s cooler than it sounds. A little history presentation (if you get a chance, you really should watch it. Some guy once said that people who don’t pay attention to history get to do it all over again, or something like that), then robots of the presidents make little speeches. Well, some do. There have been a lot of presidents. Really it’s the big ones that get to speak. Washington, Lincoln, one of the Roosevelts, I think… anyway, you’ll be happy to know that you’re one of the ones that talks.

It’s a bit of your inauguration speech, I think. As such speeches go, it was okay. Not exactly a rousing call, more of a “they want me to say a few words at the convention” sort of speech. And your robot looks a bit odd. Like a circus clown who had to go onstage before he finished all of his makeup. It’s not that it didn’t look like you. Really, Donny, it’s time to stop using the tanning bed. You’re a very pale white guy. Make your peace with it. Anyway, it was interesting to see the reactions in the audience as each president was announced. Big cheers for Washington and Lincoln, of course, but also for JFK, Teddy Roosevelt and FDR. A nice round of applause for Obama. You’ll be glad to know you got some applause, too.

Also, some hearty laughter and a fair number of boos. You were the only one to get that reaction, Donny. Maybe because that was the day that it came out that people you hired said you let Russia influence our elections. They said you directed it. And there are questions about how involved you still are with your businesses, allegations that you trade influence for money.

This toilet paper isn’t stuck to your shoe, Donny. It’s hanging out of your pants like a tail, and everyone can see it.

Donny, I don’t want to believe it. Lots of people want to believe you didn’t do it, or didn’t understand what you were doing when you let foreign governments help determine the outcome of our election. But if you didn’t understand what you were doing, why didn’t you? If you hired someone who didn’t know anything about the business, and then he didn’t work his butt off to learn everything he needed to know, and he let somebody steal from the company because they somehow fooled you into hiring him, then he told you he didn’t know enough about his job, or the business, to realize that was a problem, you’d fire him, wouldn’t you? And probably call the cops on him.

Donny, it’s Christmas time. New Year’s Day is right around the corner. A time for new beginnings. Endings can be beginnings, too. Off with the old and on with the new, and all that. It’s time to retire. Just because I can’t think of a sitting U.S. president who ever decided to just quit doesn’t mean it isn’t an option. There’s no shame in quitting something if you really aren’t good at it. It’s just not for you.

I hate seeing you digging yourself into a deep hole, then trying to get out of it by digging it deeper. You won’t do well in jail, Donny, and the way you’re going, jail might be your most attractive option. But if you retire? Maybe, just maybe, if you tell them all you know about how it happened, so they can do something to reduce the chance of it happening again, and tell your family and staff to tell all they know, it’s just possible you’ll be allowed to retire so long as you stay out of politics.

You’ve been threatening to shut down the government if you don’t get billions for that wall you want so much, the one that you promised Mexico would pay for, and everybody knows you’re really only harping about it because you hope to distract them, but Donny, it won’t work. If you set fire to the house, you can’t keep people from noticing by pointing at the mailbox. They’ll still notice the house is on fire.

You’ll be glad to know that the Mueller investigation is paying its own way, at least. It’s cost $25 million so far, (the Ken Starr investigation of the Clintons cost over $70 million, and didn’t make it back – that’s the way these things usually go). So far, they’ve gotten the crooks to agree to pay over $40 million. So don’t worry about the cost. We might even make a few dollars off the whole thing.

At the very least, it’s not costing us anything yet, and is likely to be far less expensive than the Starr investigation. It’s possible they won’t ask you to return the money you got for anything shady you’ve done, if you tell them everything and go home quietly. Try to look repentant, Donny. Prison is, so I hear, very uncomfortable.

Wishing You An Un-incarcerated Christmas,

Your Pen Pal


Donny… what?!?

November 19, 2018

Dear Donny:

I’m so sorry I missed you! I didn’t know you were coming to California to squint at the wreckage. Why didn’t you tell me? We could have met at the Salvation Army tent for coffee.

Someone did show me your speech though. Very presidential. Presidents have a long history of visiting disaster sites, frowning a lot and leaving. Thanks for not throwing toilet paper at the survivors this time (or was it paper towels? I just remember seeing you throwing things at a group of survivors after a previous disaster. Whatever it was, thanks for not lobbing it at people. It’s impossible to find breathing masks, shelter and… let’s just say it’s not a good time to startle Californians right now). I only have a few questions.

You said we need to take care of the floors. You do know you were standing in front of a building that had been burned out. There are thousands of buildings that are just gone. I guess, technically, some of them have floors, but… I hate to criticize, Donny, but if you don’t have walls or a roof, does it matter how clean the floor is?

Then you referred to cleaning the floors in the forest. Um… Donny… I know you like your outdoors manicured. Your idea of wilderness is the “rough” on the golf course, but honestly, Donny, it’s confusing when you say we should be cleaning the floors in the forest. First off, who is supposed to be doing that? The Park Rangers don’t have time to mop the dirt. Do you want just regular people to go out and start sweeping? How do we get there? There aren’t enough people within walking distance to clean it all. And a lot of it is remote and mountainous. Too far to hike there, rake up, and hike back home for dinner. Are you picturing people hiking up a mountain, raking all day, then nodding off in the wilderness? You’d better come with us. There are mountain lions and bears, after all, and you swore to protect and defend us.

There are about 33 million acres of forest in California. The feds own 19 million acres, so do your stretches, Donny. Sweeping can be hard on the back. Some is owned by corporations and some wealthy private owners. They can spend those tax cuts you gave them and clean their floors. That still leaves quite a bit to sweep, but I’m sure once we see how you want us to do it, we’ll understand.

How is it supposed to work? Rakes or brooms? What sort? As soon as you show us how you’re picturing it working, we’ll get to it, but it would be helpful if you came back and demonstrated exactly what you have in mind. You never seemed like the guy who knew the business end of a rake or broom. The narrow end goes up. That’s the handle.

And what do we do with the animals? I hate to spring this on you with all you have to deal with right now, but “Snow White” wasn’t a documentary. You can sing and whistle until your mouth is dry and not one mouse or bird is going to help you sweep the forest.

Where are we taking the stuff we sweep up? I don’t know if you know this, Donny, but after you sweep, you have to do something with what you sweep up. Pretty sure you’ve never cleaned a floor, indoors or outdoors, but I’m sure you’ve watched other people work. Have you ever watched the maids and janitors? What did you think they did with the stuff they swept up? You do know they don’t eat it, right? Or make it disappear with magic? So after we sweep up 33 million acres, that’s going to be a big pile of junk. I have absolute confidence in you, though. If anyone knows his way around a big pile of junk, it’s you, Donny.

One last question, Donny, and I’ll let you go.

How do you know when the dirt is clean?


November 7, 2018

Dear Donny:

You’re probably taking a day off from social media, since the election was yesterday, but I thought I’d send an email anyway, since that’s our habit. I don’t want you to think I’m not talking to you. Plenty of people go through that after elections now. Some of them stop talking even before the election. I don’t mean insults – people are willing to fling those like zoo monkeys throw poop – I mean actual conversation. Actual conversations between human beings seem more rare all the time. So let’s promise never to get out of touch, no matter if we disagree or not.

I was going to send you a video chat. Sometimes I forget we live in the 21st century. I know you know what that’s like! But in the end I decided to keep things old school, at least for now.

I’m sorry about the election, Donny! I know what high hopes you had. I heard that you watched the results come in with your lawyers. I didn’t know you had close friends who are lawyers! Most people watch with their friends or family, so if they aren’t old friends, why would you watch with your lawyers? I worry about you, Donny. You have a big family, but you don’t seem to spend much time with them. They say it’s lonely at the top. Do you have any friends besides your lawyers (and me, of course)? Next election, you can watch with me.

It’s nice that you kept control of the Senate. That’s not nothing, Donny. I would imagine it would be useful to have Senators you control. Some of those people said awful things about you before you were elected, but they seem to love you now. Be careful there. When people do that, it’s not because they’ve changed their minds. They just figured out how to get stuff by pretending to like you, but the second it seems not to work as well, they suddenly remember that they hate your guts.

It’s too bad about the House. And there are so many more of them than there are Senators, so you lost a lot more than you won. That’s got to be hard to deal with. But I know how good you are at not looking at stuff you don’t want to see. I wish you’d teach me how to do that!

People just didn’t believe you when you and the other Republicans said you would protect people with pre-existing conditions. You can’t blame people for not buying that. You all ran around saying that the Affordable Care Act was the end of the world and you’d get rid of it immediately. Did you have some sort of “Come to Jesus” moment and realize how many people would be left without any kind of health care if you took it away?

Here’s the confusing thing about the Affordable Care Act… if you call it “Obamacare,” lots of people say they don’t like it. But if you ask them about what’s actually in the Affordable Care Act, most people like it. A lot. They want it. They just don’t like the name.

So when you say you’re going to take it away, but you don’t have anything to replace it with, they get nervous. If you were drowning and someone came by in a yacht and said he hated your flotation device and it was no good, you’d probably still hang onto it until he gave you something better. You wouldn’t hand it to him on the promise that he would give you something else some day.

I think that’s what happened. You promised everyone better health care at lower cost and we’d all be amazed by it… but you just talked about it. You forgot to actually do it. So people want to hang on to what they’ve got until you can show them what you want them to trade it for. This isn’t a game show, Donny. People die if they can’t get medical care.

Speaking of promises… who wrote the speech where you said you have kept more promises than you made? Never let that person near your checkbook, Donny. He’s horrible at math. You can’t have more than 100% of anything.

I heard you’re sending thousands of troops to our border with Mexico. How come? I know there’s a bunch of people marching this way, but they’re not armed soldiers. You’re sending so many troops, they can play man-on-man defense and have spares. Somebody messed up, Donny. You need an army of interpreters and people who can do paperwork. These folks are coming to apply for asylum. What they need are people with ballpoint pens, not guns.

And there are more kids, Donny. Remember what a disaster that was last time. Leave the kids with their families. You haven’t got the last batch all reunited with their folks. The worst way to deal with finding yourself in a big hole is to make the hole deeper.

So you’ve got a lot to do. But fortunately, in two years you can make some real progress. You do know you get to stop running now that you’re president, right? If you do a great job you’ll be easy to re-elect, and if you don’t, nothing else will matter. So concentrate on the job at hand. And send those soldiers home to see their families. Soldiers never get home enough.

Say “hi” to your lawyers,

Your Pen Pal


Donny, what about trick-or-treating as Diane Feinstein?

October 31, 2018

Dear Donny:

Happy Halloween! Are you going to take Barron trick-or-treating? He’s 12, which is a difficult trick-or-treat age. Some kids feel they’re too old for “kid stuff” at that age, while others realize that opportunities to have people load you down with free candy are few and far between for adults, so they’re going to ring those doorbells until they can’t get their walkers to the doors. We’ve had college kids show up, pillow cases thrust out, saying “trick or treat!” in voices so low we had to ask them to repeat it. Personally, I think when you’re more likely to need a shave than to draw on your beard stubble, it’s time to stop.

Are you dressing up for Halloween? I know people are dressing up as you. That’s got to feel weird, seeing yourself everywhere with a plastic pumpkin in your hands. I would find it creepy, but I bet you enjoy it, don’t you? No insult intended. You know you like to put your name and face on stuff. Does it bother you when people add stuff, like devil horns? Free expression – gotta love it. The Constitution says so.

Say, Donny… as you’re aware, we’ve got a bit of a situation going on. Bombs, Donny. Nutjobs and whackadoos are building bombs and mailing them to people. These are not, from what I’ve read, people you even want to have a sharpened crayon. I’m sure you can see the problem here, Donny.

And… okay, Donny, you know I’m your friend, and I hope you don’t get mad, but I have to tell you… you’re not helping. I’m sure you mean to. Most of your life you’ve had problems that could be solved by yelling at them. Well, you yell and someone who works for you solves the problem to get you to stop yelling, but you know what I mean. This is one of those problems that gets better if you don’t yell at people. Especially about other people.

I understand why you don’t like the news media. They tell people stuff that you’re doing and saying, and they don’t make any effort to make it sound nice. They just put it out there, what you said and what you did, without a bit of polish or even a spritz of perfume to make it prettier. Most of us would hope for a sympathetic teller to relate our deeds. But most of us aren’t president. People are gonna criticize, Donny. Time to put on your Big Boy pants and stop whining.

See, anger is like smoke. If you puff a big cloud of it, it won’t stay where you put it. It drifts, and other people breathe it in. Some of those people are sick and really shouldn’t be exposed. It makes them sicker. The guy who mailed all those bombs? He was one of those sick people, and he got a big lungful of your angry. There are people who don’t, who really shouldn’t, be pushed into being any angrier than they already are. You’re pushing, Donny. It’s just not presidential.

If there’s an atmosphere that says well, it’s understandable to blow smoke in peoples’ faces if you don’t like them, maybe not okay, exactly, but not completely wrong, then more people feel they can blow smoke if they’re really mad. Not just people who agree with you, but lots of people. Pretty soon there is smoke of all sorts being blown into all kinds of faces and then, Donny, someone gets the idea that it’s okay to blow their smoke into your face. Assassination is a professional hazard for presidents, and it’s not a good idea to encourage that sort of thing, even a little bit, especially when you have targets painted on your ties.

You said a few good things, at first, but then you just couldn’t resist the impulse to whine to people and make a big deal out of what a victim you are. You’re not a victim, Donny. You’re President of the United States. When you’re feeling beat up and put upon, remind yourself that you are a grown-ass man and a president, then go out and tell people that you don’t approve of attacking people just because they say things you don’t like, and it’s wrong to do that, and people who do it should be punished to the full extent of the law.

Then dress up as Diane Feinstein and take Barron trick-or-treating.  Tell him you’ve signed an Executive Order granting you half of his candy.


Your Pen Pal


October 24, 2018

Dear Donny:

How are things in D.C.? Do you get back there much? I saw something about a rally in TX. How did it go? People started posting a photo that was supposed to be your rally, but it wasn’t. It wasn’t in Houston. It wasn’t even in Texas, or even this year! It was an NBA championship parade in Cleveland in 2016. I’m not great at geography, but Ohio isn’t right next door to Texas, I know that. And 2016 isn’t right next door to 2018.

Before I forget, Donny, I have to be the bearer of bad news. Somebody at the Department of Health and Human Services has been at the liquor cabinet. There’s this whole kerfluffle about what gender everybody is. I have stuff to do. You have stuff to do. How does this airhead have time to worry about what is in other people’s underpants? I’m sure people can manage their own privates without the help of the DHHS.

Here’s the thing, Donny… I don’t have to understand why someone identifies with whatever gender he/she/it does. Neither do you. Nor does the DHHS. If I don’t understand somebody’s identity, I still don’t get to make him feel bad about it. That’s rude. And bad policy. No matter how somebody identifies himself/herself/itself, the DHHS is just supposed to concern itself with making sure he/she/it/whatever is a healthy he/she/it/whatever. Not pass judgment. That is not the job of the DHHS, to go around passing judgment and making people feel bad. Making people feel bad is the exact opposite of the job of the DHHS. It seems pretty basic, but obviously the guy in charge didn’t get the memo.

Times change, and views on things change, and no matter what gender somebody wants to identify with, the DHHS just needs to make sure that person has a chance to be reasonably healthy. Start declaring what things in which underpants in what combinations are acceptable, and you dredge up a whole host of fears and worries people have about this stuff, and that is a really bad idea, Donny. Remember the whole “birther” thing? Well, what if someone demands that you prove you’re really a guy? You wouldn’t even release your tax returns. Do you really want America looking in your drawers?

Better scoot on over to the DHHS and have a chat with them, quick. Maybe suggest they check on all those locked-up kids and make sure they’re healthy. Or work on conditions in Puerto Rico or where Hurricane Michael hit. Those people could use all kinds of Health and Human Services.

Hi to Melania next time you see her – Your Pen Pal


Wait… this could work…

October 16, 2018

Dear Donny:

I’m so excited! I had an idea and I had to get it to you right away. This is the sort of idea that changes everything. Donny, I have it! I have the answer to all of your problems!


No, I’m not suggesting you quit being president and become a race car driver. Although now that I think of it… if you did quit to drive NASCAR, all of a sudden, Robert Muller doesn’t care much what you do any more. I’ve never heard him even mention NASCAR. And you could sponsor yourself and put your own name all over your clothes and the car. You know how you would like that.

Or it could just end your problems by ending you. There’s a big difference between driving a golf cart and taking a turn on the speedway. So let’s keep that idea in your back pocket, just in case.

What I mean is naming rights. You know how big corporations pay sports teams to put their names on race cars, arenas and such? Yes, I know, you don’t have that kind of money. That’s not what I’m saying. This is a new idea. And, hang on to your golden toilet, Donny… we rename the country. What’s Amerigo Vespucci done for us lately? He’s had his turn. How about Trumperica! Trumpistan?

Don’t tweet yet. I know what you’re thinking. Why would people who loathe you agree to that? Here’s the genius part, Donny. You tell everyone you will step down. You, your whole family, the whole bunch. In return, everyone agrees to rename the country, and gives you $ 5.

Doesn’t sound like much, does it? But Donny, there are 326 million people in America, more or less. $5 from each one comes to one billion, six hundred and thirty million dollars! The people who like you would happily pay $5 to help you out, and the people who hate you would be thrilled to pay $5 to get rid of you, so I don’t see how anyone could say no to this!

Of course, details matter (trust me, Donny. I know you disagree and I’ll probably never convince you, but stuff like facts and details really do matter). You’d only get to rename the country for the rest of what would have been your term. But Donny, even if you give your cronies a million each to go away, and give each of the kids a million (and Donny, every kid has to get the same, or there will be fights. Don’t give it all to Ivanka just because you can’t remember the names of the other kids. Ask Melania. She probably knows), that still leaves you with more money than you’ve ever had.

You still get to be on the list of United States presidents without the asterisk after your name that Muller will probably add, or worse yet, getting imprisoned or shot. I know the GOP is happily looking the other way no matter what you do so long as you let them cut taxes for their friends, but Donny, even they have to take treason seriously. I know you didn’t mean to. You don’t even know what it is now, so you sure didn’t then, but see, you were running for president. Nobody will buy that you had never read the Constitution and had no idea what it was you were running for. I believe you – it’s clear that even now you don’t really understand what the job is – but it doesn’t look good. This way, you’re on the list, no pesky “howevers” about it.

And you’ll be the only one who was also President of Trumpalia! Trumpivia?

We can even extend it. If you and the family promise to stay out of the public eye, permanently, just retire from politics and business, you could probably get naming rights to all sorts of things! Imagine Rachel Maddow sporting Trump jeans! Robert Reich hiking down his trousers to show the waistband of his Trump undies (ooh, Donny! Trump + undies = Trumpies! Or maybe you save that name for diapers. “When someone takes a dumpy, it’s time for Trumpies!”).

Or we could rename each state, just for a year, after you. 50 states, Donny! And at your age, we probably wouldn’t even get through the whole 50, so each state has a limited risk each year. Just think, if you got to look at the map and see New Trumpork or Trumpifornia! They’d hate it, but they’d do it, once someone pointed out that they’d get to walk around feeling really smug and long-suffering, knowing they were taking one for the team for a year, and knowing it was deserved.

Best yet, with that kind of money, you could afford to reunite every one of those kids you took with his or her family. Even if you hired a thousand private detectives and gave them $100,000 each to locate the families and reunite the kids with them, you still come out of this with more than a billion dollars, and a clear conscience. You’ll sleep better at night. We all will.

God bless Trumpistan! Trumpland? No, too theme-parky (can you imagine what the rides would be like?). Trumpvania? We’ll figure it out. Let me know what you think, Donny. I’ve got my $5 all ready to send.

Your Pen Pal


October 12, 2018

Dear Donny:

I’m sorry I’m late writing to you. I haven’t heard from you for a few days, either, but it’s understandable, with all you have going on.

That thing with Brett Kavanaugh… Donny, that’s awful! You poor guy. Didn’t I tell you, though? It’s not a good idea to use a Supreme Court nomination to make a joke. Not everyone gets your sense of humor.

Congress isn’t exactly weighed down with people with a good sense of humor. Mitch McConnell isn’t exactly a laugh riot, and Lindsey Graham? If you want someone to screech, he’s your guy, but his jokes are probably the sort where the next thing he has to say after the punch line is, “I’M KIDDING! Jeez, you have no sense of humor.” They seem like mean guys, Donny. Watch your back.

How’s the Space Force thing going? I haven’t heard anything lately. Did that poor guy who was so worried about the logo pick one out? Of all the stuff you have to do, setting up the Space Cadets is probably easiest, if you can talk NASA into being part of it. They already have all the information and a place to launch things. Maybe some of their astronauts want to be Space Cadets? Can’t hurt to ask.

They’re always under-funded, so if you offer them a bit of cash, they’ll probably go for it. That way, you don’t have to make a whole new agency and everything from scratch. Rockets are expensive. You were going to need rockets, right? Not just a logo? Just having a logo would be cheaper, but leaves out the “space” part. Although maybe you’re more interested in the “force” bit anyway.

Nobody in your family has written me for money in a week! That’s some kind of record. I’m hoping this means you found some money you forgot about in an old coat, or a purse Melania hasn’t used in a long time. That’s a lot of fun. I found $10 once. You guys have more coats and purses, though, so you probably found a lot more than that. $50? It’s none of my business. I’m just curious. I bet it’s more like $100. How is Melania? I notice she’s getting out and about, so that’s good. I know how she hates being in Washington.

What’s new with the wall? I saw that some guy named Kevin McCarthy, who is, apparently, a legislator, wants United States taxpayers to pay for the wall. I’m sure he means well, Donny, but you’d better let him know that Mexico is paying for the wall, before he wastes too much more time on it. Did you tell everybody else Mexico is paying for the wall, and forget to tell him? Make sure he’s on your email list so he won’t miss the next announcement. Maybe the President of Mexico could send him a note.

Speaking of which… you might need to skip emails and go down to the Department of Homeland Security in person, Donny. Remember all those kids from immigrant families who got taken away from their folks? Now it looks as though some of them (a bunch, really) might end up being put up for adoption! This is a major screw-up, Donny. You might have to yell at some people.

Imagine someone had just taken Eric, Donald Jr. , Tiffany, Barron, and even Ivanka away from you, and you’d never see them again! Okay, well, imagine someone had stolen your wallet and emptied out your bank accounts, and you were never going to get that money back. That’s how their families must be feeling. Somebody gave DHS and ICE the wrong instructions, and they’re not questioning it – they’re going full-speed ahead.

I saw some footage from a rally you had. Looked like you were having fun, but… Donny, you know I’m your Pen Pal and your friend, so I hope you don’t take this the wrong way. It’s time to stop running for president. Now it’s time to be president, before Kevin makes us all pay for some giant-ass wall, Lindsey brings another of his dodgy pals into government, a bunch of kids get hijacked and adopted out, and some clown has people trying to launch satellites with zip guns from the top of the White House. Wouldn’t it be a better rally if you got things stabilized? A rally isn’t as much fun on the deck of a sinking ship. I know you can do it.

All the best, your Pen Pal


Lara is looking for top patriots.

October 3, 2018

Dear Donny:

I’ve heard from Lara a couple of times in the last week, which makes me feel just awful about not answering her. Please tell her that I mean to answer but just don’t have the free time you guys seem to have. What else does Lara do when she’s not emailing me? She must have a hobby. Does she knit?

It said online that she’s a producer and host. What does she host or produce? I haven’t heard of her, but then, there are so many channels now, so I haven’t heard of most of the people on tv. Let’s face it, being a “celebrity” doesn’t mean what it used to. You know what I mean.

She says you have “tuned out the mainstream media.” I understand, but that’s a real shame, Donny. The news is so awful these days that it just eats at you. But you’re president now, Donny. You have to know what’s really going on. Do what I do – hide under the sofa and turn the tv on with the remote control.

Lara said you’re holding a “massive rally” and you’re “inviting a top patriot to enter to win to be his behind-the-scenes VIP special guest and get your picture taken together.” How do you decide who is a “top patriot?” Is it like the Congressional Medal of Honor, where you have to have a lot of accomplishments, or is it more like a game show where the first person to complete the obstacle course wins? If so, where do you do it? In the White House rose garden? On the golf course between rounds?

One thing confuses me about all of this – Lara said you are “inviting a top patriot to enter to win.” So even once this person manages to cross the rope bridge without falling into a vat of pudding, or whatever, he only gets a chance at being a VIP? Surely she doesn’t define “top patriot” as “people who give her (or you) money.” We have people who put their lives at risk for this country every day. Some dude with a fat wallet is not necessarily a patriot, let alone a top one.

Lara is begging for money again. Your family talks about money a lot. I’m not sure it’s healthy, Donny. Okay, you guys maybe had a lot of money at some point and now you don’t, but obsessing on it isn’t good for any of you. If Lara doesn’t have a hobby, you should tell her to get one. Something inexpensive. There are whole channels on Youtube devoted to showing you how to make things from junk like old CDs. I’m sure the White House produces a lot of leftover stuff she could use. It would be good for her to have something else to think about.

Oh – I meant to tell you – I’m still getting messages from your headquarters building. It gave me three hours to help it meet its goal. It didn’t say what its goal is. I’d ask for more details, but I don’t want to encourage it. I’ll be hearing from your furniture next. I’m not hearing from Mr. Pence any more. You told him I’m a woman, didn’t you? Thank you!

I did get that list you sent of famous people giving money to the Democratic Party. Wow, there are some big names on that list. But you sent a list of the most famous Democratic supporters, and your list of supporters was just “the latest,” as opposed to your most famous. Don’t feel bad, Donny. You’ve had your share of big-money donors. Sure, not all of them are famous, but the founders of the WWE, the McMahons, gave you almost $8 million last time. Your big donors may not be famous, but they’re rich, Donny. Serious money.

Betsy DeVos’s family gave you nearly $2 million last time. You gave her a Cabinet post, so imagine what they’ll give you this time around! By the way, what do all those people who gave $50 and such get? Betsy got a Cabinet job and some other people who gave you a lot got jobs and tax cuts and such, but what about the people who gave $20? What did they get? I hope it’s nice. Maybe one of those clips that hold the potato chip bag closed once you’ve opened it. It’s not easy to find a nice gift that is affordable. You can’t given everyone a Cabinet job.

Those people who contributed to your “super-Pacs” make a few million look like loose change you found on the street. You gave them big tax cuts (and even more tax cuts just recently). They will make their gratitude known, don’t worry about that. If you get re-elected, you can give them even more goodies than you already have! They’ll be shoveling money at you like they’re trying to bury a big secret with it, don’t you worry. But what are you doing with all those millions?

You know I’m your Pen Pal and I like you even though you’re flat broke, and your family asks for money almost every day, but what are you doing with all those millions and millions of dollars? You aren’t supposed to use campaign money for personal expenses, I know. Is that the problem? People suspect you’re doing something you shouldn’t? If you release those tax returns, you can at least get that rumor out of the way and concentrate on the Muller thing. And that whole thing about Brett. Oh, Donny, what the heck? Where did you find this guy? He likes beer… okay, lots of people do, but it’s not a qualification for the Supreme Court. Those poor women. Especially that Dr. Ford who had to stand up in front of the whole world and talk about stuff she clearly didn’t want to talk about. And some of the comments… oh my God, Donny! Would someone please, please muzzle Mitch McConnell? He’s like that old, drunk uncle you have to deal with on Thanksgiving even though you know he’s going to say awful stuff and do something inappropriate with the turkey so everyone will end up eating cheese sandwiches instead.

I’m sure Brett is your buddy and you like him, but isn’t he a bit, well, jumpy to be a Supreme Court judge? You’d hope someone like that would be cool under fire, but he was like cotton candy in a rainstorm. I really hope he didn’t do it, but I noticed that he would never really say “yes” to an FBI investigation. You can’t have someone with that sort of cloud hanging over him on the nation’s most important court, though. There are still people who put a little mental asterisk after everything that Thomas says. Friend or not, it’s time to call a halt to the hearing, have the FBI take it apart and look for things in the sofa cushions, and then, once he’s cleared, go ahead with the hearing. Frankly, there are so many asterisks floating around what’s coming out of Washington now, it looks like a blizzard. You don’t need anyone else suspicious on the team.

Let me know when your “top patriot” show will be on. If it doesn’t have a title, that might be a good one! “Donald Trump’s Top Patriot.” Who wouldn’t want to carry that title?

Give my best to Melania. I hope she’s enjoying her trip. And tell Lara if she wants to learn to knit, I know some people who could show her how.

All the best,

Your Pen Pal


Lara’s looking for “top patriots.”

September 26, 2018:

Dear Donny:

I heard about what happened at the U.N. Donny, I’m afraid they were laughing at you, not with you. Who writes your speeches, Donny? “In less than two years, my administration has accomplished more than almost any administration in the history of our country,” you said. In front of the U.N. Donny, I’m your pen pal and I believe in you, you know that, but even your own Mama would find that a bit of a stretch.

Think about it! Washington, who was a General, pretty much determined how the American presidency would work. Adams and Jefferson were Founding Fathers, for crying out loud! Jefferson was the foremost writer of the Declaration of Independence! Madison is “the father of the Bill of Rights,” Monroe stood up to Europe to establish America as its own, separate identity (with the idea that foreign powers should not interfere in our government. Remember that, Donny, next time Vlad winks at you). Polk expanded the borders of the U.S. , and Lincoln… come on, Donny, even you know about Lincoln.

Garfield fought corruption. Teddy Roosevelt established the national parks system. Taft went on to become a Supreme Court justice after he was president. Wilson led the U.S. Through WWI and fought to bring nations together (like the U.N.). Hoover organized post-war relief efforts. FDR got us through The Great Depression and led the country during most of WWII. Eisenhower was a war hero who bucked extremists to try to keep the country on a more moderate course during the Cold War.

Johnson really mastered The Art of the Deal and got sweeping antipoverty and civil rights legislation passed. Carter improved peace with the middle east and works for improvements for the poor and disenfranchised. George HW Bush was a war hero and an ambassador before serving as president and signed the Americans With Disabilities Act into law and guided the country through some dicey political waters when the Soviet Union collapsed.

Donny, so far, you’ve managed to cut taxes for rich people and work on taking away health care from those people Obama was trying to help.

Not really in the big leagues yet, Donny.

But it’s something to work on.

Why not aim for the middle? That’s respectable. Considering we’ve had over 40 presidents so far, being, say, #23 in the rankings wouldn’t be bad. William Henry Harrison caught a cold and died after only a month in office. All you have to do to outdo Harrison is wash your hands regularly and maybe drink more orange juice. That doesn’t seem so hard.

Millard Fillmore approved a compromise allowing slavery to continue in the South, and ran for president a second time as part of the anti-immigrant Know-Nothing Party. So the bar is pretty low there. But you might have to kick a few of your friends to the curb and watch what you say. Warren Harding croaked during his term, surrounded by a huge corruption scandal. If the Muller investigation doesn’t get you and you don’t keel over, you can beat that.

Franklin Pierce’s wife hated D.C. When they told her he’d been nominated for president, she fainted. If Melania can keep upright, you’re good there. Has she graduated from college? If so, First-Lady-wise, you tie with Rutherford B. Hayes. He also lost the popular vote but won the electoral college, so you guys are brothers from another mother.

If I were you, I’d aim to tie with Chester A. Arthur. We don’t talk about him much. He wasn’t well-known before he became president, so it might seem like you have nothing in common, but he ended up surprising people. They didn’t expect much from him, but he turned out to be honest and responsible. During his law practice, he defended a black woman who had been “abused on a streetcar.” You can imagine what that was like. He won her case and the streetcar companies had to integrate. In his quiet way, he was kind of badass, and exceeded expectations.

There’s your model right there, Donny. Be the next Chester A. Arthur. Maybe that could be your slogan for the next election, “Donald John Trump, America’s Next Chester A. Arthur.” Or, “Donald Trump: Give Me Another Chance. I Might Surprise You!” On second thought, stick to the first one. Not all surprises are good ones. No sense reminding people.

I did get your emails asking me to become a “sustaining” member. Does that mean you want me to send you money every month? I just can’t, Donny. I’m sorry. Our health care costs keep going up. Which reminds me, when does the fantastic health care you promised everyone kick in? You said we’d have better health care and lower costs. When does it start? Maybe once it does, I can send you some money every month. If you tell me what day it will start, I’ll look at how things are then.

Eric writes a check for me.

Meantime, did you know I got an email from Eric? Poor Eric… he gets lost in the shuffle a lot. Anyway, he said he was going to write a check in my honor. Does Eric have money? Where does he get it? I know you’re broke, and it’s embarrassing to hit up a relative for money, but maybe you should ask Eric? Someone should be able to introduce you.

Eric wants me to write a check, too. Please tell him that I wish I could, but I can’t. Maybe he can just write a bigger check?  Or he can wait until the better health care starts and then we’ll talk.

Best luck becoming the next Chester A. Arthur, Donny! I know  you can do it.


September 20, 2018:

Dear Donny:

I’m sorry this is a day late! Work got in the way of fun. I admire the way you manage not to do that, let work get in the way of enjoying yourself. Look at how often you play golf. What else do you do for fun? I have this mental image of you diving into a big pile of money, like Scrooge McDuck. Tell the truth — when you had money, did you ever do that? Did you get quarters up your nose?

Donny is have a big rally. Or a rally of big people. Not sure.

I got an email from some people identifying themselves as “Team Trump.” That’s a nice tongue twister. I actually sat around for a minute saying it over and over as fast as I could. Anyway, thank them for calling me “such an important part of our movement.” Is that because I’m your pen pal? They offered me two chances to go to one of your “MASSIVE rallies” and put me up in a hotel with a friend. Did they mean you?

That’s sweet, Donny, but I don’t think we should share a hotel room. Sometimes traveling with a person is the end of the friendship, and as fond as I am of you, I think we’d drive each other crazy sharing a room. Maybe I could stay with Melania in her room? I don’t need much closet space, and she seems a bit lonely. You’ll have that MASSIVE rally of people, but who does Melania have?

And truth to tell, I’m not much for crowds, especially MASSIVE crowds. Things get out of hand when you get a bunch of people together and whip them up talking about people they hate. Look at some of the stuff going on now. I’d rather not be there. Or maybe it’s not a bunch of people, but just a few people who are really big? I need to lose a few pounds – well, more than a few – so if it’s that sort of gathering, I’d fit right in. And it’s harder for fat people to pose a public threat. We get winded easily. You know what I mean.

The election really shouldn’t be about me…

In your email, you talked about making the upcoming election about me. That’s so nice of you, but please don’t, Donny. You’re the president and the election should be about you, the things you’ve done so far. Which reminds me, Donny, how are all those kids?

I saw a report about a week ago that says there are over 12,000 kids still in detention! Talk about a “massive” job! I understand if it’s taking some time. I mean, everybody always thinks they know who the baby looks like, but they don’t agree. You’re probably tired and foot sore, wandering those cages and all, holding up babies and trying to match them to their families. But I also know my friend Donny won’t stop until every kid is reunited with his or her family, no matter what it takes.

It warms my heart that you care so much about me. I like you, too! But the kids. It should be about the kids.

The liberals in Hollywood have a machine that makes money? Wow! I wish you could borrow it, but they probably wouldn’t lend it to you. It worries me, how broke you are. And think of all the good you could do if you had a lot of money! So many people are hurting, and you could help them. Maybe if you promised to use it to help people, they would lend it to you? Or at least give you some of the money? Liberals like to help people in need, and if they saw all the messages I get from your family begging for cash, they’d have to help you. Let me know who has the machine and I’ll send him copies of your emails.

It was bad enough when the whole family started writing to me…

Speaking of which… you know how much I love hearing from you, Donny, but this email thing is getting out of hand. Emails from you, that’s one thing. From Melania? That’s fine. She seems nice and she seems to need friends. I haven’t heard lately from that dude who was so worried about the logo for the Space Cadets or whatever that was, which is great. He seems a few chocolate chips short of a cookie. Mike writes occasionally and okay, I guess he’s your bestie, but considering what a thing he has about women, should he be writing to women he doesn’t know, even your friends? Does his wife know he does that?

Lara writes me for money… you might explain to her that I’m not her mom. She seems confused about that. Ivanka wrote a couple of times and I think Donald Jr. wrote me, too, but just once. I might be wrong about that. Maybe Eric too, I don’t remember. But Donny, now it’s really gone too far. I’m hearing from your buildings now.

Well, one in particular. Now I get messages “from Trump headquarters” or “approved by Trump headquarters.” Has it come to that? You’ve got me worried, Donny. Either (1) you’ve slipped a cog and you think your buildings are talking, so it’s time to see a doctor (NOT that guy who looks like an old surfer who’s taken a board to the head too many times), or (2) you’ve really found a way to get buildings to talk and write, in which case, Donny, whatever you do, DO NOT let Robert Muller into any of your buildings!

If they find out you don’t have money any more, they won’t send you to Rich People Prison. They’ll send you to Real People Prison and Donny, we both know you would not do well there.

Let me know where to send those copies of your emails so you can get some money from the liberal machine. And good luck with the MASSIVE rallies!


Raindrops on roses, and whiskers on Supreme Court nominees…

September 12, 2018:

Dear Donny:

How are things? I just got your email about the things you love the most. LOL! I pictured you dancing around the White House like Maria in The Sound of Music, trilling about your favorite things. “My name on buildings and gold-plated plumbing. Giving a speech both confusing and numbing…”  Sorry, Donny, that wasn’t nice of me. You know how it is when you start a joke and it runs off with you. Rhyming “plumbing” wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be.

Anyway, you said “Someone in the media wrote an article DOUBTING my stories of all the great Americans who come up to me with tears in their eyes, thanking me for what WE are doing for our country.”  Who wrote the article? That was really mean. Here you’ve got what sounds like waves of people who see you and burst into tears, and someone has the gall to doubt your word about that?  For what it’s worth, Donny, I absolutely believe you.

How do you know why they’re crying, though? In my experience, people who are crying aren’t usually very good at explaining it. Lots of sniffling and hiccuping. Rooting around for a clean tissue (why don’t people carry handkerchiefs any more? Do you? I’ve seen you with one of those “pocket square” things, but they’re useless when someone is really crying.  Anyway, do they manage to tell you why you’re making them cry, or are you guessing? Or maybe they do some sort of pantomime? Charades?

You said, “That is so insulting. Not to me. But to you.” Where do I come into it? Did they mention me by name? Are you sure? If they were crying, maybe it just sounded like they were insulting me. They might have been asking you for spare change or  directions to the Lincoln Memorial. Like I say, it’s hard to tell when people are crying.

That’s got to be rough. Here you’re reduced to begging for money again, and surrounded by sobbing people. How do you keep your spirits up? Golf? It’s a good thing you have your own golf course. Friends who play say the greens fees really add up quickly.

Is that why you still haven’t released your  tax returns? Are you embarrassed? Donny, just go ahead and release them.  It goes with the job. Lots of people have been broke and will understand. Maybe they’ll even send you a few bucks. I know how much you need it. Every other email, you ask for money. I wish I was as rich as some people think you are. Then I could send you a little something to tide you over. I really hope you find someone to help. But you know I’m always there for you if you want to talk.

Ummm, Melania, here we don’t… never mind. Donny will explain it.

Say “hi” to Melania for me if you see her. I got her email about the same time as I got yours.  Tell her I’ll answer it as soon as I can. She said she never envisioned being First Lady and asked me to sign some sort of pledge. She didn’t grow up here, did she? You’d better explain to her that we pledge allegiance to the flag and country, not to individual people. That’s one of the big things the FF’s (Founding Fathers) were really clear about — we’re supposed to be a nation of laws dedicated to principles, not people. Signing some sort of loyalty  pledge is more what you’d expect in a dictatorship, not a democracy. I’m sure it’d be better if the explanation came from you rather than from me, though.

Btw, is September 11 your birthday? I saw you and you looked really happy, waving your fist in the air and smiling. I’m glad to see you happy, Donny. Don’t get me wrong. It’s just that for most of us, at least here in the U.S., 9/11 is a solemn thing.  But life does go on and you do get to celebrate your birthday. I wouldn’t begrudge you that. I just hope you weren’t surprised when other people didn’t join in. It wasn’t personal, Donny. They were just thinking about something else.

Best to the family. Your Pen Pal


Donny, Brad’s knickers are all in a twist over Kavanaugh.

September 4, 2018:

Dear Donny:

In every friendship, there’s a moment when one friend has to ask another friend to ask his other friend to stop bothering her, and I guess that time is now. I enjoy hearing from you, you know that. Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine I would become the pen pal of the President of the United States!

And it’s sweet that you shared my email address with your wife. Melania seems like she could use a few friends. It was even okay when I started hearing from your kids and their spouses. But then it was Vice President Pence (does he know I’m female? I kind of thought he had, y’know, a “thing” about talking to women without his wife watching), then that dorkus Brad who was all worked up about a logo for the Space Force, and now Brad the Dorkus is sending me rude messages

Donny, I’m your buddy, and that’s great, but please don’t hand out my email address to every person you meet without asking me first. This Brad Parscale guy, look… I know he’s your Campaign Manager (well, he’s calling himself that, anyway), but he’s a jerk. I’m used to how you use all caps a lot (WALL!), but this guy’s knickers are so knotted up he may have trouble breathing. And he doesn’t seem to have any political experience, Donny. Are you sure you want someone who faints easily running your campaign?

First he wants me to help design the logo for Space Force before anybody even knows what it’s going to be (he was a lot more interested in the logo than in, say, an actual force of some sort. Rockets, astronauts (or will you call them “rocketeers?”) and such would be more useful, but Brad wants to be sure the signs look pretty. Now he seems to be very upset that the Democrats didn’t welcome your Supreme Court nominee with open arms. What did he expect? The GOP wouldn’t even look Merrick Garland in the eye, and most of them said they liked him.

Mr. Kavanaugh isn’t your usual Supreme Court nominee. He’s got a more partisan record than the average justice. He was a White House Counsel, so he was involved in a lot of political decisions – so there should be lots for Congress to read through before deciding. He’s said presidents shouldn’t be questioned while in office, which would be great for you, but he’s also hiding stuff, Donny – and the last thing you need is someone else in your inner circle who is busy nudging stuff under the sofa. Lots of the paper trail hasn’t been released, and lots of what has been released has been redacted so much it looks like an add for permanent markers.

I’m your pen pal, so I’m going to tell you what a friend would tell you: you need a Boy Scout. Or a Girl Scout. Or Captain America. Someone who has a record for being impartial and thoughtful. This guy is not that person, Donny. Just standing near him is making you look guiltier. There’s an old poem:

A drunkard and a pig in the gutter lay.
Two ladies saw them lying there, and were heard to say,
“You can tell someone who boozes by the company he chooses.”
So the pig got up and slowly walked away.

You need to slowly walk away, Donny. People are already saying that you want Kavanaugh because you’re guilty and scared, so you’re trying to stack the deck. So even if you win, even your friends will wonder if you’re really guilty. Do you want people looking down on you for the rest of your life? Talk to Mr. Mueller, Donny. Don’t wait until there’s a full bench on the Supreme Court. Tell Rudy to go on vacation, and once he’s left Washington, grab the other lawyers and head for the Special Counsel’s office. Prove yourself innocent of treason, then go after the traitors with the full power of the Executive Branch. Call in Congress. This is the most serious threat to our country since they burning of Washington, DC in 1814.

You said you were going to drain the swamp, Donny. Time to pick up your bucket and start bailing. Ask Paul Ryan to help. He loves to exercise.

Naturally the Dems aren’t thrilled about Kavanaugh. That’s how it always goes with these things, and this guy is even more likely to cause consternations than the average nominee. But poor Mr. Parscale is practially fanning himself and calling for smelling salts. He sent me one of those “sign my petition!” emails. Nobody likes getting those.

At least my aunt starts with some kind of personal message, how her kids are (the ones we never hear from), that she’s planting petunias instead of zinnias this year in the front yard, that sort of thing. THEN she launches into whatever petition she wants me to sign. Mr. Parscale doesn’t even introduce himself and ask how I am. He just calls me “friend” and starts issuing orders. Well, you can tell Mr. Parscale for me that just because you and I are friends does not make me friends with him, and my friends don’t expect me to “hop, frog” just because they said so. They ASK, Donny. Politely. This dingdong didn’t even say “please.” Kids in kindergarten know to say “please.” Tell Mr. Parscale he can take his petition and…

Sorry, Donny. It’s not your fault. Maybe you did give him my email address, but I’m sure you didn’t tell him to use it to make himself sound like a hysterical jackass. You probably said something like, “Hey, Brad, if you want people to sign your petition, you can ask my pen pal.” But really, Donny, don’t hand out my email any more, okay? I feel bad enough that I haven’t been able to keep up with Lara’s emails. I don’t feel so bad about Mike Pence’s since I know he wouldn’t email me if he knew about me being female. Let him know, okay?

And tell Mr. Parscale that hearings are almost always contentious, with the other side asking lots of uncomfortable questions. I mean, Kavanaugh’s own side isn’t like to grill him, after all. That’s how it always goes. It’s nothing to get so worked up about. Maybe you should encourage him to lie down in a quiet room with a damp cloth over his eyes for a bit. And think about a career change. Politics isn’t for the overly sensitive.

If you want me to go to Robert Mueller’s office with you and hold your hand, just send a plane here and I will throw a few things in a suitcase. I’m not picky – Air Force 2 is fine. Or ask that dingledoodle Brad to send Space Force (snicker). After you talk to Mr. Mueller, we could visit one of your golf courses. I’m a lousy golfer, so I wouldn’t even have to let you win. If you can swing a club and hit the ball, you’ll beat me, and that should make you feel a little better. Plus, I really want to see your gold toilet. Not use it – I can’t imagine actually using a gold toilet. Besides, I don’t use Twitter much. But you can show me your gold stuff and beat me at golf, and I’ll tell everyone about my very brave pen pal who did what was right for his country, even though it wasn’t fun at all.

Best to Melania, if you see her!

Your Pen Pal


Make Our Fannies Great Again! 40% Off!

September 3

Dear Donny:

Thanks for sending me that email about the sale in your shop! I have an Etsy shop, but I don’t use it much. Certainly not like your shop! There sure is a lot there. Do you design everything yourself? It looks like a person could almost go from breakfast to bedtime and use nothing but your stuff. It would be like having you there 24/7, watching everything I do! But you’ve probably already got someone doing that.

Some of it would make great holiday gifts. That coffee mug! I (heart) waking up and remembering that Donald Trump is president.” Personally, I love a good gag gift. But some of my friends are pretty tense lately and might not get the joke. When I say that I still can’t believe you’re President of the United States, I know you won’t take it wrong. I mean, you’ve got to be pretty surprised, even now.

One thing confused me, though… you have stuff that says “Make America Great Again.” I thought electing you was supposed to achieve that. Selling stuff that says “MAGA” on it now is like saying you missed the putt and you’re taking a Mulligan, to use a term you’ll recognize. Whiffed the pitch, so to speak, so you’re calling the first one a practice swing. Sorry, that’s all of the sports analogies I have handy, but you get what I’m saying.

Some of your merch is really reasonably priced, Donny. Only $10 for a set of Trump/Pence mini-megaphones? Only 7” long… is that for when you think you want to be heard, but you’re not sure? It says it’s made from “recycled materials.” That’s a bit vague. Plastic? Paper? Unused Trump University diplomas? Whatever it is, $10 seems very reasonable. I bet you’ll sell out of those in a tick.

Good luck with your Labor Day sale! I know how you guys have been hurting for cash, so I really hope it goes well. Let me know what happens!

A few (thousand) dollars short.

What happened with that FEC deadline? When I checked, you were nowhere near your goal. That’s not good news. You’d have to sell a lot of plastic cups to make that up. Btw, plastic cups? I mean, you might buy some for a barbecue if the pattern was nice, but $5 a cup? You may need to lower the price a bit. Oh, that reminds me… that “Make Our Farmers Great Again” hat. Donny. Our farmers are great. They always have been. Especially the family farmers. A person might take that as an insult. Why not paint over the middle letters and change it to, “Make Our Fannies Great Again?” Tie it to some sort of national fitness program. You’re welcome!

Actually, I just remembered that whole unfortunate incident where you talked about women and… better just scrap the hats altogether.

Hard to know who your friends are!

Anyway, I did get your email about your allies turning on you. That is so sad! You just can’t tell who your friends really are until the Special Counsel drags them into court, can you? I know you would never turn on them the way they’re turning on you. Unless, of course, it would keep you out of prison. In that case, Donny, roll like a dung beetle. You wouldn’t do well in prison. A person has to be realistic.

So I’m glad you have some true friends. Imagine, people are giving you their hard-earned money, even if it’s just $5, even though you told everybody when you were running that you didn’t need money. But lawyers aren’t cheap, especially good ones. That’s how I first knew you were hurting for cash. It wasn’t the emails Lara sent begging for money. It was when you hired Rudy. Did you know he can’t keep his mouth shut when you hired him? I mean, it seems like every other day, he’s on the news telling the world you did stuff. Isn’t it a lawyer’s job to claim you didn’t do it? Or at least not say anything? Rudy likes the limelight too much, I think. So I’m glad all those people are sending you money. Maybe you can use it to send Rudy somewhere on vacation until all of this is over.

Say “hello” to Melania, if you see her. And pass on my greetings to Lara. I just haven’t been able to write to her as often as she writes to me. Your family loves to write emails, Donny! LOL. I have trouble getting mine to sign Christmas cards in time. One year, they went out just before the 4th of July of the following year. I can’t imagine what I’d have to do to get my family to write every single day. It’s nice. I’ll never be lonely so long as the White House has an internet connection.

Good luck with the sale. If you make enough, you might buy a muzzle for a certain attorney. You know who!

Your Pen Pal


Of walls, hunts for fake witches, and Sunset Magazine.

August 30, 2018:

Dear Donny:

Thank you for all the emails! You make me feel like a bad friend, though. I just haven’t been able to keep up with you. Five emails in a week! True, two were from Melania and one from Lara, but still. I don’t know how you make time to run a country and write to me almost every day. I hope you aren’t taking time from something important to write to me. It’s enough of an honor to be the president’s pen pal without being greedy.

You seem so upset about the media. There’s a lot of media. Are you angry at all of them? Even the Muppets on Sesame Street and the people at Fox News? How about the publisher of Ranger Rick Magazine? Are they all attacking you? Why are the people at Sunset Magazine mad at you? Did you forget to renew your subscription?

You’re right. I do care about jobs, my savings and healthcare. A lot. I imagine most people do. Things have been rough for working people. I know of small business owners who want to offer health care for their workers, but it’s expensive for a small business, plus the paperwork is onerous. People are terrified of getting sick or injured and having to see a doctor, because the bills would bankrupt them. Donny, I know from your emails that a lot of people are mad at you, and you’re very busy, but if you could get around to keeping that promise you made that we would all have amazing healthcare for less than we were already paying, that would be fantastic! At that point, almost everyone would like you. Maybe not a few people who make a lot of money from the way things are, but just about everyone else!

You’re right, I don’t care much about fake witch hunts. Did you mean fake hunts for witches, or real hunts for fake witches? Either way, nobody’s going to care about that. I am following the news about the Mueller investigation, though. It’s a wow. People are really getting charged and confessing and stuff. It looks like Russia really is tampering with our elections! That’s about as serious as anything can get. I mean, that threatens our entire country! I bet you’re up nights worrying about everything they’re finding out. What a time to be president. What were the chances you’d be elected at the same time a foreign power is interfering with our elections! I can’t wait to see how you handle it.

You mention illegal immigration and the wall, or as you put it, “THE WALL.” It’s not that I don’t care about illegal immigration. I mean, those poor children! Yikes! Weren’t you working on getting those kids together with their parents? I bet you’ll be relieved when that’s done. Everyone makes mistakes, Donny, but as your friend, I have to tell you that was a big one. I’m sure you won’t rest until you get that solved. If that means you can’t write to me for a while, that’s okay. I realize the kids are more important.

The wall… well, Donny, I know you have your heart set on that wall. I bet it was really disappointing that Mexico said they wouldn’t pay for it, not even a single bit. So you’d have to come up with billions of dollars for it. And I bet it would be a really nice wall, big and sturdy and maybe with your face painted on it… maybe you should make a trip down to Home Depot? They have some nice fencing that is a lot less expensive. If you buy the recycled wood panels, you can still put your face on it. I’d be willing to help. I don’t draw a lot of portraits, but I could draw a cartoon for you. We could probably bring the whole project in for a million or less, and Mexico might even chip in, if we let them draw on their side.

Donny, giving every American universal health care would make so many people happy and you could make quite a start on it for the same amount of money as you’d spend on the wall. And the kids, Donny. The kids. Maybe part of the money you were going to spend on the wall could go to getting them something nice.

You’ve got a lot to do, so I’d better let you go. Say hello to Melania and Lara for me. I’m sorry I don’t have time to answer all of the emails I got. I wish I could contribute to Lara’s fund. It’s so sad that all of you are so hurting for money! Somebody at the White House emails me asking for money almost every day, it seems like. Didn’t you tell them you fund your own campaigns without accepting a dime from anyone else? I can still remember when you said that. Sure, you did say you’d take some money if someone insisted, but you said you were rich and paying your own way. Did you forget to tell them, or did you run through all your money? You’ve been broke before, but I don’t know if Melania and Lara know how to get by without a lot of cash. Maybe it’s time to introduce them to ramen noodles. That’s what most people fall back on.

Hope you get those kids reunited with their parents soon. Let me know if I can help with the wall or universal health care –

Your penpal,



August 11, 2018

Dear Donny:

Wow, you are a prolific pen pal! I certainly can’t complain that I don’t hear from you! I’m also hearing from your family members and friends, though, and while it’s sweet that all of you keep in touch, I have to tell you… this is so awkward… Donny, please tell them to stop. I just don’t have the time to correspond with your entire family and all of your friends!

You must be some sort of genius, like Thomas Jefferson, or that guy on tv who sells Shamwow!, to have time to be President of the United States and write to me almost every day. How do you do it?

I hope you’re not offended if I answer several messages at once. Unlike you, I’m not a genius with boundless energy. After work, the housework, and cleaning up after the puppy, it’s all I can do to jot a quick answer to your emails and fall into bed.

People are coming over. What’s Donny making for dinner?

First off, congratulations to the folks who won your contest! How exciting for all of you to get to have dinner together! I’m not jealous. After all, we’re pen pals and you’ve assured me I am your “Friend,” which is kind of like being besties, right? Being the best friend of the President of the United States *and* his pen pal is enough for me.

What are you making them for dinner? Are you more of a “One Pot Meals for Busy Presidents” sort of cook, or do you really try the stuff on The Food Network?

I aspire to the latter but really only have time these days to throw together a sandwich. You can’t invite these people over for a cheese sandwich though, even if you use the good cheese. Once you invite people over for dinner, you have to figure out what you’re going to make. Don’t leave it until the last minute, though, Donny, or the store might be out of something you need. If I remember rightly, your signature dish is steak, so maybe stick with that, unless they’re vegetarians. Better ask them.

Some of Donny’s friends won their contests!

Congratulations on your friends winning their primary races. Five for five? Wow! The other four must be a real disappointment, but if that fifth guy manages to cross the finish line, your success rate will be slightly over 50%! I really hope for your sake he pulls it out. The race was a squeaker last time I looked. This is a real nail-biter. Good luck!

Brad wants my input on a logo for the Space Force!

As for the note from your friend Brad about the Space Cadets or whatever it is… Donny, you might not want to let Brad run anything. He thinks the most important thing to do first is pick a logo. It seems like if you’re sending people out into space, a lot of other things should come first. NASA hasn’t had enough money to go anywhere much for a long time, so if you’re going to re-use those old rockets, they’re going to need a lot of work.

And where are the Space Cadets going? I mean, you can’t just blow some trumpets, shout “hooray,” and launch people aimlessly out into space. Space is big. Like “huge” big. The biggest big.

And AAA doesn’t have road maps for it. Where are you trying to go?

If they’re just going to whip around the Earth a few times, maybe they can get by in a refurbished NASA rocket. Call it “retro.” People buy lots of things if they think they remind them of older things they like. Nostalgia is a great way to sell something. But if you want to do something nobody’s done before, you can’t set off in a Model T held together by patching compound and duct tape.

Anyway, I looked at the logo and several of them are nice, but… Maybe ask Disney if you can borrow one they already have. Buzz Lightyear! Maybe over a field that reads “To Infinity And Beyond!” Unless you have a destination in mind. They’ve sold a lot of stuff with Buzz Lightyear on it. Why not use what already works?

I really hope the whole Space Cadets thing works out. The way things are going, we might all want somewhere else to go. Oh… btw… whoever told you the wildfires are burning in CA because we don’t have access to enough water is pulling your leg.

The fires are burning through drought-ravaged areas in mountains where it’s hard and dangerous work to fight fires. I know your heart is with our brave firefighters, EMTs, police and rescue personnel. If you could throw them some money, that would be much appreciated. I know you have a lot to do with setting up the Space Cadets and making dinner for those people, but someone as smart and capable as you could do it.

Good luck with your dinner party! — your pen pal, JJ

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Halloween seems a bit redundant in 2020.

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