Donkey Dispatch

Democratic Club of Leisure World

Feb. 7, 2024

Next club meeting Sat., Feb. 17;

“Winning Wednesdays” resume in March; None in February.

Assisted living conditions forum: The Democratic Club will not be having its regular February meeting tomorrow. However, we are working jointly with the Progressive Club on their very important and timely program on Saturday, Feb. 17: Panel Discussion of Assisted Living Conditions and Oversight in Maryland at 1pm in the Crystal Ballroom.

According to The Washington Post’s investigation, neglect in America’s assisted-living industry is common. What are conditions like in assisted living facilities in Maryland? The forum speakers will be Tammy Bresnahan, AARP Senior Associate State Director of Advocacy, and our own Delegate Bonnie Cullison, Vice-Chair, Health and Government Operations Committee.

Can’t come in person? You can watch the meeting on zoom and post questions at: bit.ly/dclw-02-17.

Winning Wednesdays resume on March 13 and 27 and the second and fourth Wednesdays for the remainder of the political year.

March 28: US Senatorial debate between candidates Angela Alsobrooks and David Trone. Crystal Ballroom, Clubhouse 1 at 7pm. (Sen. Cardin is retiring.) You can zoom the meeting and post your questions at bit.ly/dclw-03-28.

April 11: Maryland Comptroller Brooke Lierman, Crystal Ballroom, Clubhouse 1 at 7pm. You can join by zoom at bit.ly/dclw-04-11

Humor you can’t make up

 “Do you miss me now?” Tweet from disgraced ex-Rep. George Santos (R-NY) to his former colleagues minutes after they narrowly failed to impeach Secretary Myorkas yesterday. The Republican clown show continues.

1+1= ? “News flash. House Speaker can’t count.” (Tweet from former Sen. Claire McCaskill after impeachment vote)

 

Donkey Dispatch

Democratic Club of Leisure World

December 9, 2023

Upcoming events on top; 

News and weirdness on bottom

Award winning movie at December 14 meeting: Who were the “Janes”? Why are they important? They were leaders in the pro-choice movement before Roev Wade. What could be more relevant?!! On Thursday, December 14, 7pm in the Auditorium, CH 2 (note the venue), we will show the HBO documentary “The Janes” with special guest and star of the movie Heather Booth. She also is a civil rights, labor, anti-war and women’s activist. The movie was named the “top documentary” in the “News and Doc” Emmys.

Ms. Booth plays a central role in the movie, which is based on her life as well as her comrades. They illegally provided abortion information and care in the pre-Roe era.  Because the movie and guest cost money, a small, voluntary donation will be welcome at the door. Masks are welcome but not required.

Before there was a Leisure World, there was … The Edmonson Farm, which is located on land which is now part of Leisure World and was owned by Paul Edmonson, a freed slave. He purchased the land in the 19th Century. His wife was enslaved. Leisure World will dedicate a marker to them, 1pm, Dec 16, on LW Blvd, across from Daffodil Park at the crosswalk before the GA Avenue gate.

“Winning Wednesdays” volunteers from 2023:  We plan to reward this year’s participants with their own party on December 13 from 1-3 pm in the Norbeck Room, CH 2, with light refreshments. Volunteers, you know who you are. Save the date!

Legislative Advocacy Committee resumes Jan 12 at 11am in the Edmonson Room, Clubhouse 2. At its first meeting the group decided to take up health care (particularly prescription drug affordability and aging issues), gun safety, the environment, transportation and budget issues (such as taxes). Also, the group will take its annual trip to Annapolis to meet with our legislators, visit committees in action and the floor of the House and Senate.

Anyone interested in promoting issues common to our community, state and county is welcome. Contact: bubbiebarb1123@gmail.com

Lt. Gov. Aruna Miller on January 11: Live and in-person, 7pm in the Crystal Ballroom. She’ll make opening remarks and then answer your questions. Nice way to celebrate the new year!

News which is true … 

What “dies in darkness”? Workers at the Washington Post have been in contract negotiations for 18 months but still have not arrived at an agreement on fair pay, and the publisher (owned by Jeff Bezos) is refusing to bargain in good faith. (Note: The Post’s slogan is “Democracy dies in darkness”) (AFL-CIO)

Remember the right-wing’s “death panels”? That right-wingnut lie didn’t stick. “Donald Trump couldn’t repeal Obamacare in 2017, largely because it had become too popular. It’s even more popular now,” Politico reports.

“Roughly three-in-five Americans like the 2010 health care law, even more than when Trump and Republicans in Congress came to the brink of wiping it out. And some of the Affordable Care Act’s better-known provisions — like protections for preexisting health conditions — engender even greater support.”

But often unfathomable 

In George Santos’s footsteps: “MAGA Congressman Matt Gaetz gets slammed with bad news as his underaged sex trafficking investigation jolts back to life according to new reporting from CNN. Gaetz thought he was in the clear but he could be going down hard after all…” (Politico)

No moral compass in TX legislature: “Two months after a prominent conservative activist and fundraiser was caught hosting white supremacist Nick Fuentes, leaders of the Republican Party of Texas have voted against barring the party from associating with known Nazi sympathizers and Holocaust deniers,” the Texas Tribune reports.

Haley revealed: “The former South Carolina governor is no moderate, as she is sometimes mislabelled. Haley would impose a five-year term limit on civil servants, send US special forces into Mexico and sharply cut social security. She thinks Biden is weak on Russia, China and Hamas.”

“But the contents of her platform are irrelevant. Everyone looks moderate compared to Trump. Because she is not him, Haley would have dramatically better prospects of defeating Biden.” (columnist Edward Luce)

More Haley comets: “But Trump is not the only extremist pulling in big dollars. Nikki Haley — who appears moderate only relative to Trump’s blatant neofascism — proclaimed in her campaign launch that President Biden is promoting a `socialist` agenda.

“During her two years as U.N. ambassador under Trump, Haley was a strong proponent of his so-called `zero tolerance` policy, under which thousands of migrant children were separated from their parents and guardians. She supported Trump’s decision to pull out of the U.N. Human Rights Council and to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal.

“Though she briefly criticized Trump for inciting the mob that attacked the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021, Haley soon defended Trump and called on Democratic lawmakers to `give the man a break` when they impeached him for a second time.” (Robert Reich)

Cheney v. Greene: “Ahead of the release of Liz Cheney’s new book, Oath and Honor, Amazon listed the book as a number one bestseller while Marjorie Taylor Greene’s book that came out 10 days before is number 5,840 on Amazon.

“Venom, score-settling, fiction, self-absolution, self-aggrandizement. Greene’s book has it all. It is published by Winning Team, the publishing firm Donald Trump Jr co-founded. In an unforced error, the book was printed in Canada. So much for America First.” (Politico)

Donkey Dispatch

Democratic Club of Leisure World

November 22, 2023

Upcoming events on top;

News and comics on bottom

Award winning movie at December 14 meeting: Who were the “Janes”? Why are they important? They were leaders in the pro-choice movement before Roe. On Thursday, December 14, 7pm in the Auditorium, CH 2 (note the venue), we will show the HBO documentary “The Janes” with special guest and star of the movie Heather Booth. She also is a civil rights, labor, anti-war and women’s activist. The movie was named the “top documentary” in the “News and Doc” Emmys.

Ms. Booth plays a central role in the movie, which is based on her life as well as her comrades. They illegally provided abortion information and care in the pre-Roe era.  Because the movie and guest cost money, a small, voluntary donation will be welcome at the door.

“Winning Wednesdays” produced an election victory: Our “Winning Wednesdays” pushed Democratic turnout in Virginia by writing more than 1,000 letters and 750 postcards to swing voters in targeted districts. Consider this: There were at least five VA legislation races decided by only 1-3%. Campaigns will tell you that letters, cards and texts can increase turnout by 2-4%. (Note: The activity will resume in early January. Ya’ll come!)

And there’s more: We plan to reward this year’s participants with their own party on December 13 from 1-3 pm in the Norbeck Room, CH 2, with refreshments. Volunteers, you know who you are. Save the date! There’s no party as satisfying as a victory party.

Legislative Advocacy Committee resumes: Dec. 1 at 11am in the Edmonson Room, Clubhouse 2, Edmonston Room, the Legislative Advocacy Committee has its start-up meeting. Anyone interested in promoting issues common to our community, state and country is welcome. Contact: bubbiebarb1123@gmail.com

MD news

Need information about the future of transportation? Read reporter Lou Peck’s article in MoCo360 (formerly “Bethesda Beat”) of Nov 13 titled: MD Senate President is Upbeat on Avoiding Cuts in Metro Service https://moco360.media/2023/11/13/

MD wins tobacco lawsuit: “MD Attorney General Anthony G. Brown announced today that a panel of arbitrators unanimously found in favor of Maryland and against Philip Morris USA, the R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, and two dozen other tobacco companies, resulting in the state’s recovery of more than $30 million in withheld settlement funds.

“The disputed payments were owed to the state according to the 1998 Master Settlement Agreement (MSA), which Maryland and other states created to recover billions of dollars in healthcare costs associated with treating smoking-related illnesses. The MSA’s purpose is to reduce smoking in the U.S., especially among youth, by raising the costs of cigarettes through the imposition of payment obligations on tobacco companies, restricting tobacco marketing, eliminating industry practices that obscure tobacco’s health risks, and supporting smoking prevention programs.

“The arbitration put an end to the cigarette companies’ attempt to avoid paying millions of dollars in settlement payments …” (AG Brown)

Justice delayed: “It only took since 1855: The Supreme Court of MD honored the state’s first Black lawyer posthumously. Edward Draper of Baltimore received his law degree from Dartmouth College 166 years ago, but was rejected in 1857 by a Baltimore judge who found that Draper “qualified in all respects – except that he was not white.” (Darcy Costello, Balt Sun)

Always time for some humor

Johnson Promises to be the Greatest Speaker of the 17th Century (Washington) “For years, time travel was the stuff of science fiction,” the newly elected Speaker said. “Now, as I take this majestic nation back four hundred years, I will make that dream a reality.” (Borowitz Report, The New Yorker magazine)

Rep. Jamie Raskin marked up a thank you letter  from Rep. George Santos (R-NY) for voting not to expel him from Congress this week. However, Raskin added: “P.S. It’s not shameful to resign.”

From the Speaker fight: “When Gaetz rose to speak in a closed-door party meeting on Thursday, McCarthy told him to ‘sit your ass down,’ and another Republican, Rep. Mike Bost of Illinois, cursed and lunged at Gaetz.” (Talking Points Memo)

And: “It’s a pleasure to get to vote against Jim Jordan every single day, but I never thought that would be my job. Come on GOP, let’s get back to work. It’s like our main job under the Republicans is to go in and vote for speakers, this is absurd.” (Rep. Jamie Raskin)

Please, hold your breath, Matt: “Just minutes after the vote (for Steve Scalese as Speaker), Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) told reporters: `I’m excited for him. I can’t wait to go vote for Steve Scalise. Long live Speaker Scalise.`”

Another great fortune teller: “Just a year before the 2022 midterm elections, Rep. Kevin McCarthy predicted Republicans could flip as many as 70 House seats in the midterms.

“McCarthy boldly predicted: `If you’re a Democrat, and President Biden won your seat by 16 points, you’re in a competitive race next year. You are no longer safe.`” (Politico)(9 seats actually flipped – ed.)

A character from the Wizard of Oz: “You know, when you elect a bowl of Jell-O, what you get is a bowl of Jell-O. And it’s not gonna change! And the reason that they put him in there is because he was a bowl of Jell-O.” — James Carville, on MSNBC, about deposed Speaker Kevin McCarthy.

The taxman cometh for thee: “The IRS has placed a lien on Rudy Giuliani’s $4.5 million penthouse after accusing the fallen attorney of owing more than half a million dollars in unpaid taxes,” the Daily Mail reports.

Sshhh, no pillow talk allowed: “The lawyers representing Mike Lindell in the Dominion voting machine defamation case have moved to withdraw saying Lindell is “in arrears by millions of dollars” on the legal fees he owes them. The once-ubiquitous MyPillow commercials that flooded the airwaves of Fox News and other cable television stations have all but disappeared over the past few weeks amid owner Mike Lindell’s ongoing financial problems,” the Daily Beast reports.

Rep. Jamie Raskin told CNN that he heard directly from Republicans on the House floor that the right-wing believes Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) set up the initial impeachment hearing into President Biden to fail. Said Raskin: “They couldn’t believe that such a disaster would just happen by accident.”

And a Happy Turkey Holiday to All

Donkey Dispatch

Democratic Club of Leisure World

October 7, 2023

New: Dec. 1 the Legislative Advocacy Committee resumes its meetings. Anyone interested in promoting issues common to our community and country is welcome. Contact: bubbiebarb1123@gmail.com

The next “Winning Wednesday” is Oct. 11, 1-3 pm in the Norbeck Room, Clubhouse 2. Join us as we write postcards, letters, emails and texts to undecided voters in neighboring Virginia, which holds its state legislative races Nov. 7. A defeat for Gov. Youngkin will stop this “Trump-lite”, anti-choice, pro-book bans political hack. As Rep. Raskin says, “democracy on the ballot… “We are in the fight of our lifetime to defend democratic values, democratic beliefs and institutions”.

Our next Democratic Club meeting is on Wednesday (not our regular day), Oct. 18 at 7pm in the Crystal Ballroom, Clubhouse 1. It will focus on defending our LGBTQ+ neighbors and democratic rights for all citizens. Chairing the meeting will be At-Large Councilmember and County Council President Evan Glass, who is the first openly gay member of that body.

As you know, with the ascendancy of Trump and MAGA, hate has proliferated. The gay community has faced increased hate activity, including having some school systems and libraries ban inclusive books. Our meeting is a joint venture with several Leisure World clubs, including Leisure World Progressives, Leisure World LGBTQ+, and the Unitarian Universalists of Leisure World. The panel will also include State Rep. Cullison’s Chief-of-Staff and a rep  from the Pride Center. Because of the topic and the multiple clubs involved, we expect significant attendance. Masks are welcome. Zoom link is: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85460761546?pwd=L3ZTUXo0OXZrS1VXa0dka3NvY0VhQT09

On November 9th we meet at 7pm in the Crystal Ballroom, CH 1 the club’s focus will turn to a power broker in Annapolis, State Senate President Bill Ferguson. Virtually no legislation passes the State Assembly without approval by Sen. Ferguson. Our own District 19 State Senator Ben Kramer, who also has considerable seniority and legislative authority, will moderate. The evening will not be scripted. Masks are welcome and we will put it on zoom.

December will be unique. The Progressive Club and the Democratic Club will jointly screen the highly acclaimed HBO documentary “The Janes”. One of the group’s founders, Heather Booth, will lead a discussion afterwards. The screening is on Thursday, December 14, 7:00pm in the Auditorium in Clubhouse II. Masks are welcome.

Other news …

Egregious pay disparity: “Thursday was Latina Equal Pay Day, a day in which we recognize the inherent economic unfairness that still persists in our country and the urgent need for change. Latina workers make just 52 cents on the dollar compared to non-Hispanic White men and must work more than 10 months into this year to make the same amount as their White, non-Hispanic male counterparts were paid last year.

“Unions are the pathway to rectifying this long-standing disparity. We know that Latina workers in a union make 40% more per week than nonunion Latina workers.” (AFL-CIO)

Buy banned books: Help defeat fascism (aka MAGA). Go to: https://fable.co/blog/banned-books-week-fable

Big Pharma bends to pressure: “The manufacturers of the ten high-priced drugs selected for the first round of Medicare drug price negotiations all formally agreed to negotiate by the October deadline although several said they were doing so ‘under duress.` A circuit court judge on Friday denied the Chamber of Commerce’s bid for a preliminary injunction against the Inflation Reduction Act’s Drug Price Negotiation Program—the first legal test to stop the Biden administration’s implementation of the Medicare cost-cutting initiative.

“The ten prescription drugs are Eliquis, Jardiance, Xarelto, Januvia, Farxiga, Entresto, Enbrel, Imbruvica, Stelara, and Fiasp. Out of pocket costs for Medicare beneficiaries taking these drugs was $3.4 billion in 2022. The negotiated prices will take effect on January 1, 2026.” (ARA)

A bad summer for Republicans gets worse (con’t.)

“Primordial ooze”: “The congressional Republican fratricide era began with the rise of Newt Gingrich (more on him shortly). But its intellectual roots stretch back to the early 1960s, when the upstart conservative movement first crawled out of the primordial ooze and set out to seize control of the party.” (Columnist Jonathan Chait)

Command decision: Gen. Mark Milley (referring to Trump): “We don’t take an oath to a king, or queen, or a tyrant or a dictator. And we don’t take an oath to a wannabe dictator…We take an oath to the Constitution…and we’re willing to die to protect it.”

Media gets it wrong: “I can’t speak to what lurks in the hearts of political reporters and editors, but one has to wonder why there isn’t more coverage about Trump musing about sentencing the nation’s highest ranking general to death than, say, the age of the current president…”

“Oddly, Trump’s dangerous rant was not treated as the major news it absolutely should have been. ‘Only CNN and MSNBC covered Trump’s inflammatory Truth Social post about the general,’ Media Matters noted Tuesday, ‘while broadcast news outlets and Fox News completely ignored it.’” (columnist Molly Jong-Fast)

Some of the best political ads: Go to www.lincolnproject.us