Donkey Dispatch

Democratic Club of Leisure World

December 5, 2022

 

Some Raskin tickets remain: Thursday at 7 pm in the Crystal Ballroom. You must have a ticket to get into the room. However, there will be a Zoom simulcast. Please register at bit.ly/dclw-12-08. You may also submit a question at that link. Time permitting, there will be a Q&A segment at the end with both in-person and on-line questions.

 

We sorely miss Sandy: To honor the memory of Sandy Zimmet, the Club’s recently deceased 1st Vice President, we will start a Zimmet Scholarship Fund. We will put together an advisory team to look at students from nearby high schools, giving particular emphasis to students focused on community engagement and government. If you are interested in helping by looking at resumes, please contact rblacklow@gmail.com. The Zimmet family suggested donations to the Hospice of Montgomery County or Ohr Kodesh Synagogue in Sandy’s name.

 

News of the absurd … and Republicans

Danger ahead: “The greatest danger in American politics is not recognizing that there are great dangers. The same people in 2015 and 2016 were confidently asserting Donald Trump could never, ever under any circumstances win the Republican nomination, and there were never any circumstances where Donald Trump could beat Hillary Clinton… I know that the Republicans who right now are acting very bold and the donors who are acting very frisky – as Trump starts winning primaries, they will bend the knee, they will break, they will fall, they will all come back into line.” (Lincoln Project co-founder Rick Wilson, quoted by The Guardian in Politico.)

Reality according to Mr. Walker: “Mr. Walker has been talking about issues that are of great importance to the people of Georgia like if it’s better to be a vampire or a werewolf.. This is a debate that I must confess I once had myself.. when I was 7. Then I grew up.” (Pres. Obama addressing a rally in Georgia) …

“(Walker) asked, in March, if evolution were true, ‘Why are there still apes?’ In July, speculating about air pollution, he suggested that reforms were futile, since ‘our good air’ would simply ‘float over to China’s bad air,’ which in turn would migrate over to ‘our good airspace,’ which we then would need to ‘clean back up.’ ” (from The New Yorker) …

“They’re not because they know right now that the House will be even so they don’t want to understand what is happening right now. You get the House, you get the committees. You get all the committees even, they just stall things within there. So if we keep a check on Joe Biden, we just going to keep a check on him.” (Politico)

A profit that’s sick: “Guaranteeing 7 paid sick days to rail workers would cost the industry $321 million/year. That’s just 1.5% of (their) profits.” (Frm. Labor Sec. Reich)

Republican meanies and what they say: “A White House spokesperson strongly criticized the Senate’s number two Republican, John Thune (SD), for saying his party wants to use an upcoming debate over the U.S. debt limit to force changes to Social Security and Medicare.

“Noting that the results of the midterm elections showed that the public ‘overwhelmingly rejected efforts to gut Medicare and Social Security,’ White House Spokesman Andrew Bates called the idea a ‘stone-cold non-starter.’

“Thune is the latest in a string of Republicans to signal a willingness to force the country to default and set off a global economic crisis, unless Senate Democrats and President Biden accept changes to earned benefit programs.” (Alliance for Retired Americans) (Historical point: Republicans opposed Social Security when Roosevelt introduced it.)

The Democrats’ youth movement: “In one historic transition, the change to Democratic leadership also fundamentally alters the perspectives leading the Caucus going forward. One of the starkest indicators of this is the drop in the average age of leadership. The average age of the current leadership trio is just over 82 years old, while the average age of the new triumvirate is just above 51 years old.” (Politico) (Note: Young people under age 28 voted nearly 70% Democratic in the 2022 election.)

Trump Says He Did Not Know Identity of Guest Due to White Hood: PALM BEACH (The Borowitz Report)—Donald J. Trump revealed that he did not know the identity of a recent dining companion at Mar-a-Lago because of the white hood his guest was wearing. “The guy shows up in a white hood, and I thought, That’s some kind of wacko,” Trump said. “I thought since he was a friend of Ye’s maybe it was some weird new fashion Ye was trying to sell. He’s been dropped by a lot of companies and has been treated very unfairly.”

Kari Lake Storms Out of Thanksgiving Dinner: PHOENIX (The Borowitz Report)—The former anchorwoman Kari Lake reportedly “stormed out” of Thanksgiving dinner after losing a pitched battle over the wishbone, multiple witnesses reported. According to those who saw the ugly scene unfold, Lake was locked in a fierce struggle over the turkey part with a rival identified by several onlookers as her nine-year-old niece Paisley.

November 18, 2022

Jamie Raskin, 7pm, Dec. 8– You must be a member of the Club to get inside the room and you must have a ticket. Tickets available in the E&R Office, CH 1 starting November 30. Limit two per person for use by Club members only. No exceptions. Doors will open at 6:15.

News you can use –

This week in history In 1960, two federal marshals escorted Ruby Bridges into William Frantz School in New Orleans. Ruby was the first Black student to attend an all-white school in the South. Today those same schools are resegregating at incredible rates. (Southern Poverty Law Center)

(Apologies for formatting problems)

Skepticism about Republican “changes” (Bruni, NY Times)

Donald Trump is done. I keep hearing and reading that, and I have no reason to disbelieve it: Announcing his 2024 candidacy at Mar-a-Loco on Tuesday night, he was less a phoenix rising than a balloon deflating. I could almost hear the helium seeping out of him. 
But while that should have been music to my ears, it wasn’t. The prompt for his sudden abandonment by many Republicans is all wrong. They’re rejecting him not because of the countless ways in which he inflamed and imperiled this country, not because he’s an offense to decency and an enemy of democracy, not because he degrades almost anything and anyone he brushes up against. They’re just peeved at his losing streak.

It’s about math, not morals, and for that reason, there will quite possibly be a next Trump and a Trump after that. 

(Michael Bechloss, historian) Does Pence’s book also lack a spine?

A worldwide view of presidential announcement – 

(Andrea Mitchell, MSNBC) “Not a joke: front page of NY Post ‘Florida man makes announcement’ story on p, 26: With just 720 days to go before the next election a Florida retiree made the surprise announcement he was running for President…he has stated his qualifications include being a very stable genius.”

(Charlie Sykes, former Republican commentator) I picked a bad night to stop sniffing glue.

 (David Axlerod, Obama strategist) I wonder if every guest leaves with a souvenir official document?

(NY Times) “The Trump of 2022 has far more tools at his disposal to announce his presidential run than the Trump of 2015 did. Back then, his team felt compelled to pay extras $50 each to show up for the now-famous escalator ride to the lobby of Trump Tower.” This time, security prevented people in the room from leaving early.

And on the 2022 election: (LaVar Burton, actor) This morning, I feel like I am taking the first step toward recovering from the impact these past six years have had on me.

And some humor from “The Borowitz Report”: 

Trump to Try for Historic Third Impeachment. PALM BEACH – Stating that “no one’s ever done this before,” Donald J. Trump announced plans to be impeached for a historic third time. Speaking to supporters in a ballroom at Mar-a-Lago, the former President claimed that he and only he could bring impeachable offenses back to the White House.

Although he was short on specifics about which crimes he might commit, Trump pledged, “We’re gonna perpetrate so much, you’re gonna get tired of perpetrating.” He contrasted his record for getting impeached with that of his successor, Joe Biden, who, he claimed, “is too low-energy to commit a felony.”

“Joe Biden has been President for almost two years, and how many impeachments does he have to show for it? Zero,” he said. “The rest of the world is looking at us with a President who can’t get a single impeachment, and they’re laughing at us. Laughing at us. This should never be allowed to happen in this country.”

Kari Lake Furious after Arizona Awards Her Participation Trophy. PHOENIX — The former television anchorwoman Kari Lake became enraged after the state of Arizona attempted to present her with a participation trophy for her unsuccessful gubernatorial campaign. According to the Arizona state constitution, every losing candidate for statewide office is entitled to such a trophy, as well as an eight-by-eleven-inch “certificate of participation,” suitable for framing.

Republicans blindsided by people who vote for democracy – “It’s a humbling reminder of just how unpredictable politics can be,” a G.O.P. strategist said.

 November 13, 2022

 News you can use –

It only applies if you actually have a soul …  “McCarthy is locked in a Faustian bargain.  He sold his soul to become Speaker and now, if he makes it at all, it promises to be a living hell …

“The fact that the election defied the norms and expectations of many-including me-speaks to the glorious majesty of democracy, where after all the spinning and frenzy, the people have the final say.”  (David Axlerod, Obama’s political strategist)

Wrong headed Republicans …  Turns out running on “if you elect me I will rig your elections” isn’t a big messaging winner!” (MSNBC’s Chris Hayes)

The Ron and Don show, or they deserve each other … “Ron came to me in desperate shape in 2017—he was politically dead, losing in a landslide… And now, Ron DeSanctimonious is playing games! The Fake News asks him if he’s going to run if President Trump runs, and he says, ‘I’m only focused on the Governor’s race, I’m not looking into the future.’ Well, in terms of loyalty and class, that’s really not the right answer.” (disgraced former President Trump via Politico)

Add her to the mix, too … “Those who know her (Rep. Lauren Boebert) best don’t care for her, and a lot more people know more now than they did in 2020 and not for good reason.” (Unknown Democratic candidate Adam Frisch, who came within a handful of votes against QAnon’s Lauren Boebert, R-CO, quoted in Semafor)

Along with Maryland’s wingnut and non-math genius  … “The Republican nominee for Maryland attorney general said he will not concede the race despite trailing his Democratic opponent by more than 300,000 votes,” the Washington Post reported.

And the future is bright for Dems … ”By 2028, Millennials & Gen Z will dominate U.S. elections. This is why the GOP is pulling out all the stops to entrench their power. They know they don’t stand a chance against a multi-racial, progressive generation of young people that will make their backwards ideas irrelevant.” (Former Labor Sec’y Reich)

And from Gen Z … “Turns out the generation that grew up going through school shooter drills doesn’t take too kindly to candidates that want to protect guns and not kids.” (David Hogg, Parkland massacre survivor and activist)

Astute observation 2 … “To everyone who said defending our democracy or standing up for women’s freedom was a waste of time, I’ve got a Red Wave to sell you.” (Rep. G Connolly, D-VA)

A decision-making gap … ”I think Trump might be running out of aides to blame for his poor decisions.  I read that he is blaming his wife for the decision to support Oz.  He is the only president in my lifetime not to have a dog.  If I was his aide (yeah, right), I would advise him to get a dog.  Then he could blame his decisions on the dog and not have to worry about a tell all book.” (JM, LW resident maybe remembering Truman quote that if you want a friend in DC, better get a dog)

Donkey Dispatch

Democratic Club of Leisure World

October 18, 2022

We’re in the home stretch … 

Winning Wednesdays: We have letters and postcards that need to be stamped tomorrow (10/19), 2-4 pm, Chesapeake Room, CH 1.  We also need to collect any that you may have. Similarly, the final Winning Wednesday on 10/26 will be for stamping and collecting outstanding materials. We are not handing out more letters or postcards.

Working the polls: If you are interested in working the polls during early voting (October 27 to Nov. 2, 7am to 8 pm) at either Bauer Drive or Mid-County access the details at mcdcc.org. You will be handing out Democratic Party literature. Also, if you wish to phone bank or go door knocking sign up at mcdcc.org. 

Not really a nice guy: Leisure World residents recently received a mailing from the Republican candidate for House of Delegates, Mr. Nice. He didn’t mention that he is a Republican. He called himself a “progressive”, yet on his Facebook page he supports Trump and justifies DeSantis sending immigrants to Martha’s Vineyard. His campaign signs are in blue, the color of the Democrats, not the Republican red. Just another Republican dirty trick.

As Jamie Raskin says, “If you want to go forward you put your car in D. If you want to go backward you use R.” 

 

September 20, 2022

Upcoming schedule … 

Winning Wednesday, 9/21 and 9/28, etc., Chesapeake Room, CH1, 2-4 pm: We have 1,500 stamps and need a particularly good turnout tomorrow to affix them to letters. Please wear a mask. No Winning Wednesday on October 5.

Brooke Lierman coming here, Oct. 13, 7pm, Crystal Ballroom: Lierman is running for Comptroller and faces a tough opponent. Our meeting will be at 7 pm. For the remainder of the year and for next year, our club will meet on the 2nd Thursday of the month at 7 pm in the Crystal Ballroom, e.g. November 10 (program TBA), December 8 with Jamie Raskin.

 

August 19, 2022

Upcoming schedule … 

Winning Wednesday, Sept. 7, Chesapeake Room, CH1, 2-4 pm: After a brief hiatus, we are restarting the highly successful postcard/letter writing program. We need a particularly good turnout out on Sept. 7 because we need to put stamps on the nearly 3,000 missives that we’ve completed: Chesapeake Room, Clubhouse 1, 2-4pm, 9/7. Masks are required.

Regular Club meetings start Sept. 8, 7pm, Crystal Ballroom of CH 1, with pollster extraordinaire Fred Yang: Who votes? Why? What motivates a voter? How strong is Trump in Maryland? Fred polls for Wes Moore/Aruna Miller and Anthony Brown, as well as Brooke Lierman, Sen. Van Hollen and Rep. Raskin, and other races around the country. No one knows Maryland voters better. He will tell us what to expect in the upcoming Maryland and national elections. Your questions are welcome.

Brooke Lierman coming here, Oct. 13, 7pm, Crystal Ballroom: Lierman is running for Comptroller and faces a tough opponent. Our meeting will be October 13 at 7 pm, followed by meetings on Nov. 10, etc. And yes, we’ll have Raskin here before too long. We meet the second Thursday of each month at 7pm, Crystal Ballroom in Clubhouse 1.

Join now! Dues are $15/person. Contact jane.e.carona@gmail.com

Voter registration drive begins: The Club will conduct a non-partisan drive to register voters in September, utilizing a table in Clubhouses 1 and 2, plus a mail campaign. More info to come. Care to help? Contact Melanie at Melgold@aol.com.

 

And news in Maryland’s political world …

Do the Most Good (info@dtmg.org), a group we partner with, has begun its fall election activities. Check out their website for a panoply of events.  

Overcoming Hogan’s veto of early ballot counting: As the statewide results of the July primary were certified Monday — and multiple recounts in the state are set to get underway later this week — the Maryland State Board of Elections voted unanimously to seek legal action to allow earlier processing of ballots in November.

Maryland’s extended counting of ballots came after Gov. Larry Hogan (R) vetoed a bill passed by the General Assembly that would have allowed processing and counting of mail-in ballots eight days before early voting started in the July 19 primary. As a result of the veto, the first canvass of mail ballots allowed under existing law started two days after election day; Montgomery County finished ballot counting this weekend, nearly a month after polls closed. Compounding the issue has been an explosion in popularity of mail-in balloting during the COVID-19 pandemic. (from Maryland Matters blog)

By the numbers: Who voted in MoCo in 2022 (excerpted from Louis Peck of Bethesda Beat on “I Hate Politics: What We Learned from Primary 2022” podcast of Sunil Dasgupta)

  • Unusual fact – slightly more people voted for County Exec than for Governor; usually the opposite is the norm.
  • 141,000 voted out of 400k registered Dems = 35% (same as 2018 pre-pandemic)
  • 670k total registered voters (Dem, Indep and Rep) so 21% voted in the primary. Were Republicans in Montgomery County depressed? Ask Fred Yang on September 8.

Vote on bylaws: More than 92% of you voted to make recommended changes to our bylaws. You voted either online or via USPS. The changes will be made by September 1 on our website, which is demcluboflw.com. 

Abortion politics: In a memo to campaigns and allies, the House Democratic campaign arm says that internal polls from more than 20 frontline and target congressional districts show that Republican attacks on abortion access register as “the top testing negative” since the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, NBC News reports.

Rep. Nancy Mace (R-SC) warned that Republicans could pay a price in November if they don’t reel in extreme takes on abortion policy, Politico reports.

Said Mace: “I am staunchly pro-life. I have a 100 percent pro-life voting record. I do think that it will be an issue in November if we’re not moderating ourselves, that we are including exceptions for women who’ve been raped, for girls who are victims of incest and, certainly, in every instance where the life of the mother is at stake.”

A new ABC News/Ipsos poll found that voters would choose a candidate who favors keeping abortion legal over one who favors limiting abortion except to protect the mother’s life by 49% to 27% with another 22% saying it wouldn’t matter.

August 10, 2022

Campaign Rally with Miller and Brown!

Lt. Governor candidate Aruna Miller (introduced by State Sen. Kramer)! 

Plus Att’y. Gen. candidate Anthony Brown (introduced by Councilmember and author Will Jawando)! 

Plus wine & cheese and many of the primary winners from July. Ms. Miller, who is Wes Moore’s running mate, will lead off the event. She will speak starting at 5:10 pm. We will open up at 4:30 pm. 

Space will be limited due to social distancing and an abundance of caution. Masks are mandatory when not eating or drinking. Do not come if you have not been vaccinated.

 

Regular Club meetings start Sept. 8, 7pm with pollster extraordinaire Fred Yang: Fred polls for both Wes Moore/Aruna Miller and Anthony Brown, as well as Sen. Van Hollen and Rep. Raskin, and other races around the country. No one knows Maryland voters better. He will tell us what to expect in the upcoming Maryland and national elections. 

Further meetings: We meet the second Thursday of each month at 7pm, Crystal Ballroom in Clubhouse 1. Our October meeting will be October 13 at 7 pm, followed by Nov. 10, etc. And yes, we’ll have Raskin here before too long. So join now! Dues are $15/person. Contact jane.e.carona@gmail.com

In other news …

Legislating … “A few months ago, it looked like Biden was facing a legislatively failed presidency, with little in the way of a lasting legacy on domestic policy. Today, it seems likely that we’re going to get:

  • An economic rescue plan that has helped lead to the lowest unemployment rate in 50 years
  • A major investment in American infrastructure, that doubled as an impressive display of bipartisanship
  • The first significant gun safety legislation in more than a decade
  • Electoral Count Act reform, on a bipartisan basis
  • A $280 billion dollar investment in semiconductor manufacturing, as well as American science
  • The confirmation of the first Black woman to the Supreme Court
  • The Inflation Reduction Act

“For a 50-50 Senate, that’s pretty damn impressive.” (Commentator Simon Bazelton)

Recent headlines from “The Borowitz Report” (humor in The Atlantic Monthly) include:

  • “Feds Seizing documents at Mar-a- Lago fail to find Trump health care plan … “It’s got to be around here somewhere,” said one FBI agent.
  • “McConnell accuses Biden of violating traditions of Congress by accomplishing things …” McConnell declared, “The hallowed customs of this Capitol have been shredded forever.”
  • “Justice Department urges Trump to hire Alex Jones’s lawyers.”
  • “Kansas Republicans face dark future in state where women have rights … “If this kind of nightmare can happen in Kansas, it can happen anywhere,” one Republican said.
  • “Boris Johnson freaks out after Giuliani arrives in London to help him”

 

July 31

Lt. Governor candidate Aruna Miller headlines August 11 meeting! Plus wine & cheese with many of the primary winners from July, including State Senator Ben Kramer, Delegate Vaughn Stewart, sheriff candidate Max Uy, school board candidate Julie Yang and others.

Ms. Miller’s time is limited. We plan to put her on at 5:10 pm and she has to leave within 30 minutes. Please, be on time or early. We will set up at 4:30 pm.

This will be an informal event that will give you time to discuss issues with our Democratic candidates. Space will be limited due to an abundance of caution for health reasons. We will be seated at tables of 8 to facilitate eating and drinking – and maintain social distancing. Masks are mandatory when not eating or drinking; do not come if you have not been vaccinated.

Wes Moore/Aruna Miller campaign:  Believe the hype… Moore has a lot of smarts and ability, an inspiring life story, a diverse professional history, and a desire to do good. — Maryland Matters  We have extended an invitation to primary winner Moore and are working on acceptable dates. No one should be complacent about winning the Governor and Lt. Governor seats, so the Club will work vigorously for their election. Can you help? You don’t have to be a club member to help educate and turn out Leisure World Democrats. Contact us at leisureworlddemclub@gmail.com.  

Regular Club meetings start Sept. 8: We meet the second Thursday of each month at 7pm, Crystal Ballroom in Clubhouse 1. Our October meeting will be October 13, followed by Nov. 10, etc.

Other Club activities

Ag Fair … The Montgomery County Agricultural Fair in Gaithersburg will have a Democratic Party booth. We have volunteered to staff the booth on Monday, August 15. Can you help us? If so, please send an email to leisureworlddemclub@gmail.com with your availability on that day. We can get you free parking and, if you wish, you can meander around the fairgrounds after your shift. Check out the arts and crafts, too. It’s a lot of fun.

Voter registration … We will conduct a voter registration drive in August and September, targeting residents who have moved to Leisure World in the past two years. If you can help, please send an email to leisureworlddemclub@gmail.com.

Winning Wednesdays: We are taking a break during August. However, our postcard/letter writing to “Battleground States” will resume on a weekly basis on September 7, Clubhouse 1. We’re targeting Georgia (Sen. Warnock re-election and Stacy Abrams for Governor) and Pennsylvania (Governor and Senate seats).

Latest MD election results …

The race for County Exec between Marc Elrich and David Blair, which is still too close to call, will probably involve a recount in mid-August. The Board of Elections hopes to certify the results by August 12.

Incumbent State Sen. Kramer and Delegates Cullison, Crutchfield and Stewart easily were victorious. Incumbent At-Large County Council members Jawando, Albornoz and Glass were victorious along with newcomer Laurie-Anne Sayles. Probably Kristin Mink will be our new County Council District 5 rep. Newcomer Julie Yang will join the Board of Education. John McCarthy returns as State’s Attorney and Max Uy will be the new Sheriff.

News on Social Security and Medicare

Medicare anniversary: 63 million Americans depend on the guaranteed health care benefits Medicare provides. These benefits were earned over a lifetime of work and are essential for a secure retirement. This is the 58th anniversary of Lyndon Johnson signing the legislation into law. It is time to strengthen and expand Medicare now by allowing it to negotiate lower drug prices and provide guaranteed vision, dental, and hearing services to all beneficiaries. Some of these provisions are in the Senate bill that could be voted on next week.

A surprise announcement on Wednesday from Sens. Chuck Schumer (NY) and Joe Manchin (WV) revived hopes for Democrats to pass the legislation. Central to the deal, dubbed “The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022”, is the prescription drug pricing reform that includes allowing Medicare to negotiate drug prices, as well as a $2,000 annual out-of-pocket cap on drug costs for beneficiaries under Medicare Part D. Senate Democrats are looking to add insulin to the deal.  Additionally, the agreement includes three years of additional subsidies for Affordable Care Act premiums, a boost from the two years that Sen. Manchin previously approved. Our Representative, Jamie Raskin, and our two Senators, Chris Van Hollen and Ben Cardin, support the bill.

Strengthen and expand Social Security: Congress must act on two fronts to make that happen: lift the cap on earnings — currently $147,000 — subject to the 6.2% payroll tax, and lower prescription drug prices to stem their rapid growth. Expansion of Social Security benefits is critical to help seniors fight inflation, and H.R. 5723, Rep. John Larson’s (CT) “Social Security 2100: A Sacred Trust,” would make that increase a reality for all beneficiaries by requiring wealthy Americans to pay payroll taxes on wages above $400,000. As with Medicare, Rep. Raskin and Senators Cardin and Van Hollen support this critical legislation.

Republicans just can’t help themselves: Republicans, who opposed Social Security when it was enacted into law by Pres. Franklin Roosevelt as part of the “New Deal”, also oppose strengthening Social Security. Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL), who chairs the National Republican Senatorial Committee that recruits and supports Republican candidates for the U.S. Senate, released a plan that would sunset all federal legislation, including Social Security and Medicare, after five years.

Notice: If you have not renewed your membership, this is the last issue of the “Donkey Dispatch” you will receive and will not be invited to some of our scintillating events. To renew or check your status contact jane.e.carona@gmail.com.