Dear President Donald Trump, let me tell you about my ex-boss Elijah Cummings

  
Via:  tessylo  •  4 months ago  •  16 comments

Dear President Donald Trump, let me tell you about my ex-boss Elijah Cummings

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T











Politics












Dear President Donald Trump, let me tell you about my ex-boss ElijahCummings b24e5cc0-fa39-11e8-bff6-c983281f3f32  



Jimmy Fremgen, USA TODAY Opinion   Thu, Aug 1 6:03 AM EDT  






Dear Mr. President,



Just over six years ago I was sitting in the gymnasium at Woodlawn High School in Gwynn Oak, Maryland, and I was very unhappy. You see, it was a weekend and as I’m sure you’d agree, I would have much preferred to spend the day playing golf. Instead, my boss had ordered his entire staff, myself included, to drive to this town outside Baltimore on a muggy 93-degree day to help run an event to prevent home foreclosures.

I know you’re wondering whom I worked for, Mr. President. It was Rep.  Elijah Cummings . And it is safe to say that on this day, we would have had something in common: I really didn’t like him much.

I worked for Mr. Cummings both on his Capitol staff and for the  House Oversight and Reform Committee  from August 2012 to February 2016. When he called me to offer the job, he was hard on me immediately. He told me that my salary was non-negotiable, that if I did something wrong he would be sure to tell me, and that he expected me to meet the high standard he keeps for himself and his staff.

Same man at podium, in grocery store


What I quickly learned about him is that he is the same person on camera and off. The passionate soliloquies that he delivers from behind the chairman’s podium in the Oversight hearing room are very similar to the ones that I often heard from the other end of the phone after he ran into one of his neighbors in the aisle of the grocery store back home. If someone came to him for help, he wouldn’t let any of his staff tell him it wasn’t possible. He’d push us for a solution and give his cellphone number to anyone who needed it — even when we wished he wouldn’t.

In March 2014, then-Oversight Chairman Darrell Issa  cut off Mr. Cummings'   microphone during his closing remarks, a massive break in decorum that left Cummings reading his statement aloud as the TV feed abruptly stopped. The incident hit cable news in seconds, and I remember coming back from a meeting to find every single person in the office answering phone calls.

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I joined them on the phones, enduring nonstop racist epithets, cursing, threats and language that I had never imagined. I remember one vividly, a call from a Colorado area code on which an older female voice told me that Cummings better “sit down and shut up like the good boy someone should have taught him to be.” The phones rang this way for three days.

At home in Baltimore every night


Sir, I won’t defend Baltimore, I’m not from there, and there are many who have already stood up to do so. Instead, let me correct you on one last thing: Unlike almost every other member of Congress, Congressman Cummings goes home every night. Honestly, when I worked for him, sometimes I wished he wouldn’t. There were times when I would want him to attend an early morning meeting, take a phone call or approve a document and he couldn’t, because he’d be driving the 44 miles from his house in Baltimore to the Capitol.

During the protests after the death of Freddie Gray in 2015, I couldn’t get hold of Mr. Cummings. Gov. Larry Hogan had called in the National Guard, and I was trying to relay an update about the soldiers that would soon be standing in the streets. It turned out that the congressman was in the streets himself, marching arm-in-arm with community leaders, pastors, gang members, neighbors, anyone who was willing to peacefully protect his city. He walked back and forth, bullhorn in hand urging people to be peaceful, to respect one another, to love each other and to get home safely.

Our new reality:   Donald Trump's depressing racist vitriol brings out the worst in too many

Mr. President, I know you are frustrated. I, too, have been dressed down for my own mistakes by Congressman Cummings. I know how rigorous he can be in his oversight. I agree it can be extensive, but it certainly does not make him a racist.

Instead, let me offer this: I met you once in  Statuary Hall  of the Capitol, amid the sculptures of prominent Americans, and gave you my card. If you still have it, give me ring. I’d be happy to pass along Congressman Cummings’ cellphone number so the two of you can have a conversation. Or better yet, swing through the aisles of one of the grocery stores in West Baltimore. I’m sure anyone there would be willing to give you his number.

Yours sincerely,

Jimmy Fremgen

Jimmy Fremgen is a Sacramento-based consultant specializing in cannabis policy. He handled higher education, firearms safety, defense and foreign affairs as senior policy adviser to Rep. Elijah Cummings from 2012 to 2016.

You can read diverse opinions from our   Board of Contributors   and other writers on the Opinion front page , on Twitter   @usatodayopinion   and in our   daily Opinion newsletter . To respond to a column, submit a comment to letters@usatoday.com.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY:   Donald Trump should call my ex-boss Rep. Cummings to discuss Baltimore





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Tessylo
1  seeder  Tessylo    4 months ago

At Home In Baltimore Every Night

Sir, I won’t defend Baltimore, I’m not from there, and there are many who have already stood up to do so. Instead, let me correct you on one last thing: Unlike almost every other member of Congress, Congressman Cummings goes home every night. Honestly, when I worked for him, sometimes I wished he wouldn’t. There were times when I would want him to attend an early morning meeting, take a phone call or approve a document and he couldn’t, because he’d be driving the 44 miles from his house in Baltimore to the Capitol.

During the protests after the death of Freddie Gray in 2015, I couldn’t get hold of Mr. Cummings. Gov. Larry Hogan had called in the National Guard, and I was trying to relay an update about the soldiers that would soon be standing in the streets. It turned out that the congressman was in the streets himself, marching arm-in-arm with community leaders, pastors, gang members, neighbors, anyone who was willing to peacefully protect his city. He walked back and forth, bullhorn in hand urging people to be peaceful, to respect one another, to love each other and to get home safely.

Our new reality:   Donald Trump's depressing racist vitriol brings out the worst in too many

 
 
 
luther28
2  luther28    4 months ago

"Or better yet, swing through the aisles of one of the grocery stores in West Baltimore. I’m sure anyone there would be willing to give you his number"

This would be a great idea, I wonder when the last time Mr. Trump purchased his own groceries. I would imagine it has been some time ( if ever ), he may want to bring a map, lest he get lost in the aisles.

 
 
 
Tessylo
2.1  seeder  Tessylo  replied to  luther28 @2    4 months ago

Didn't you know that you need a driver's license to buy groceries?

 
 
 
luther28
2.1.1  luther28  replied to  Tessylo @2.1    4 months ago

Actually that one was so weird I had purged it from my memory banks. Thank you for reminding me and the grin it brought to my puss :)

 
 
 
Tessylo
2.1.2  seeder  Tessylo  replied to  luther28 @2.1.1    4 months ago

Reminds me of something from a Louie Anderson routine, something about having a nasty look on his and his mom said 'wipe that puss off your face!'

jrSmiley_91_smiley_image.gif

 
 
 
XDm9mm
2.2  XDm9mm  replied to  luther28 @2    4 months ago
This would be a great idea, I wonder when the last time Mr. Trump purchased his own groceries.

What's to wonder about?   Would YOU go out and buy groceries when you have cooks preparing all your meals and who better to ensure the best ingredients?  I'll submit the person doing the cooking.

And don't joke about a map.  

The damn grocery store by me recently reconfigured all the aisles and in the process moved everything around.  The only things in the same location was the produce and bakery.  Everything else was moved.  

However, instead of providing maps, they had store personnel with the new layout basically stationed at every aisle intersection directing shoppers where the stuff they wanted to buy had been moved to.

 
 
 
Tessylo
2.2.1  seeder  Tessylo  replied to  XDm9mm @2.2    4 months ago

All the greasy fat pig eats are cheeseberders, KFC, and McDonalds, and Diet Coke.

I'm so sure the White Trash House chefs are severely tasked with his oh so refined palate.

A grown man can't figure out his grocery store?  Tsk, tsk.  

 
 
 
XDm9mm
2.2.2  XDm9mm  replied to  Tessylo @2.2.1    4 months ago
All the greasy fat pig eats are cheeseberders, KFC, and McDonalds, and Diet Coke.

And you know that how exactly?  Working behind the counter serving him?

I'm so sure the White Trash House chefs are severely tasked with his oh so refined palate.

Actually, most Presidents eat pretty normal type stuff.   Of course it steps up when it's a formal State dinner, but I don't know anyone that want to live on a diet of Pâté de Foie Gras or steak tartare.  Squab anyone?

A grown man can't figure out his grocery store?  Tsk, tsk.  

Where did you get that?  I simply noted that they changed the entire store around and EVERYONE was pissed trying to find where they relocated everything to.  Do try to keep up and not project.

 
 
 
Tessylo
2.2.3  seeder  Tessylo  replied to  XDm9mm @2.2.2    4 months ago

Nah, I worked at McDonald's when I was 18, many moons ago.

You don't need top secret clearance there though.  

 
 
 
katrix
2.2.4  katrix  replied to  XDm9mm @2.2.2    4 months ago

Trump and his aides have never made any secret about his dining habits, his preference for fast food and diet cokes. It's one of the reasons he's obese; that and his bizarre belief that you're born with a certain amount of energy and that therefore exercise is a bad thing (which also explains his habit of riding in golf carts while everyone else walks like a normal person).

That reminds me of Clinton's former press secretary. She said that anyone who believes Bill Clinton didn't inhale has never seen him at McDonalds; it was hilarious. Clinton didn't fire her, as he wasn't a snowflake like Trump despite his many flaws.

 
 
 
XDm9mm
2.2.5  XDm9mm  replied to  Tessylo @2.2.3    4 months ago
You don't need top secret clearance there though. 

You're lucky.  Don't you wish you could qualify for one?

 
 
 
XDm9mm
2.2.6  XDm9mm  replied to  katrix @2.2.4    4 months ago
That reminds me of Clinton's former press secretary. She said that anyone who believes Bill Clinton didn't inhale has never seen him at McDonalds; it was hilarious.

I hadn't heard that one.

I do know that he had a propensity to drive the USSS detail around him nuts.   They'd be driving someplace and he'd tell them to pull over (he loved his Big Mac's) so he could get a 'snack'.  They also had codes they would use between his detail and Hillary's when she was headed back to the WH.  It was apparently so he could get any 'visitor' out before she came in.

 
 
 
Tessylo
2.2.7  seeder  Tessylo  replied to  XDm9mm @2.2.6    4 months ago

Oh, I guess you would know all about that.  All that hush hush, top secret information.  

 
 
 
Ed-NavDoc
2.2.8  Ed-NavDoc  replied to  XDm9mm @2.2.5    4 months ago

During my 20 years in the military, I carried secret and top secret clearances because I worked on a Naval Communications Station in the Philippines. Sometimes they are kind of over rated...jrSmiley_82_smiley_image.gif

 
 
 
WallyW
3  WallyW    4 months ago

Denial rules.

afb073119dAPR20190731064507.jpg
 
 
 
Ed-NavDoc
4  Ed-NavDoc    4 months ago

I read the letter and I was singularly unimpressed. My personal opinion is that the young man is a progressive leftist liberal sycophant trying to score points with the liberal left and Congressman Cummings. Again just my own personal opinion.

 
 
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