I will dispense with the pleasantries. I hope you are well, your family is fine, and your stay at the Blackhawk Hotel was restful.
Welcome back to Illinois.
Mr. President, I live in Iowa and work in Illinois, so I know both sides of the stream (what I call the Mississippi River). Iowa is OK, people are sincere and I live in a community that made the Top 100 nationally for great places to live.
As someone who lived and worked in Illinois, you know Iowa's solid, though drivers over there leave a lot to ...
Well, Iowa's like a Chicago suburb. Maybe Wheaton with corn.
Your visit has upset my house, Mr. President. It is my fault for telling my son, Jackson, I saw you but was not let inside to speak with you at Ross' Restaurant during your last visit.
My son is under the assumption (sorry, it's how 8-year-olds think) you can call or text the president and he stops by the house to say "hello.'' He wants to work for the Secret Service.
Enough small talk, Mr. President.
I like that you are willing to sit down with local folks and listen to concerns -- and boy do we have concerns -- around our nation. Be prepared Mr. President, to have hard-working middle-class folks nipping at your toes, respectfully, because that's how it's done in these parts.
They will ask about the economy, unemployment (please don't use the term "new norm''), healthcare, Social Security, the budget fiasco, the war, gas prices, and 100 other things.
Folks around here are informed and have opinions. Some you will like, some will put a boatload of bumps on your silky smooth demeanor. And that's OK.
Me, I'm wondering why the most powerful man in the world could not bring two parties -- fiscal differences aside -- together for the good of the people they represent. You are elected to lead and here was a case where I, and lots of others, felt you did not.
By the way Mr. President, Midwest folks take credit ratings seriously.
I'm wondering about the hustle-gouge-game we play weekly with a gallon of gas, but what really bugs me Mr. President, is how -- with Americans homeless and hungry --you can justify spending $100 milllion to get elected to an office that pays a shade under half-a-million dollars?
Spending that kind of money for an elected office should force anyone to take an extra pause in the mirror each morning.
I'm sure you know this Mr. President, but all that green plant-like stuff surrounding you the past two days is the livelihood of a lot of people in these two states. I'm a big fan of farmers and wonder just how much is being done to make sure they have a shot at making a living?
That said, welcome back and good luck. It's a good day to check your ego and work on your listening skills. Take note that you have convinced one-third of my household you can make a difference if given four more years, but that one-third does not vote.
And when you are flying somewhere on the money donated to your bid to win another term, think about the folks who don't have a place to sleep that night.
Columnist John Marx can be reached at (309) 757-8388 or email@example.com.
Today is Sunday, May 19, the 139th day of 2013. There are 226 days left in the year. 1863 -- 150 years ago: The Rt. Rev. Harry I. Witherspoon, D.D. Bishop of Illinois, willpreach in Trinity (Episcopal) Church, in this city this evening. 1888 -- 125 years ago: At 1 o'clock yesterday afternoon the Mississippi River flooded itsbanks at Rock Island, destroying the warehouse of the Rock Island Lumber companyand damaging the Lumber Company and arsenal power plant. Total loss isestimated at $100.000. 1913 -- 100 years ago: Residents of South Rock Island township are circulating a petitionfavoring the annexation of that area to the city of Rock Island. 1938 -- 75 years ago: Mrs. Thomas Ackles, of Rock Island, has been elected president ofthe Playcrafters for the next season. She succeeds Warren Leonard. 1963 -- 50 years ago: Some 8,000 people filed through the gates of Rock Island Arsenal on Saturday to view a display of a part of the nation's armed strength. The occasion was theannual observance of Armed Forces Day. 1988 -- 25 years ago: Willis Kuschmann, of Moline, who already has won his laurels as oneof the most artistic men in the Quad-Cities area, has a new hobby. He is deeply involvedin miniature railroading. At the age of 88, when many other seniors are dozing in theirchairs or sitting before the television, Mr. Kuschmann is planning and working on hiscollection.