Saturday, August 17, 2019

Neighborhood Buzz
A Blog for Democrats and Independents

Editor _ Jerry Meyer

The Villages Democrats    --  Sumter Democrats

Trump – Master of Diversion

One thing you can say about Donald Trump, he can turn the conversation on a dime.

There are reports the economy may be weakening, and we are still trying to cope with news of mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton, followed by police shootings in several cities

With these stories in the headlines, Trump attacks two Muslim Congresswomen for their plans to visit Israel.

Taking to “Twitter,” Trump said “It would show great weakness if Israel allowed Reps. Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Ilhan Omar of Minnesota to visit, writing,  “They hate Israel and all Jewish people.”

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyhau quickly announced that entry would be denied, saying that the two women are leading activists in promoting the legislation of boycotts against Israel in the American Congress.

The Guardian, in an editorial, calls Tlaib and Omar Israel’s fiercest critics in Congress.  They go on to say that Trump and Netanyahu are so afraid of letting them travel through the country and ground their critique in first-hand witness accounts of life in the occupied territories is just as troubling as it is unsurprising.

Trump’s game of feigning concern for Jews in order to undercut women of color in Congress is all too transparent, writes the Guardian, adding that this time his racism has been handed a new amplifier in Prime Minister Netanyahu.   The editorial goes on to say that banning the women is the latest episode in Israel’s serial move to ban left wing dissidents.

Congressman Omar called Netanyahu’s decision an affront and both an insult to democratic values and a chilling response to a visit by government officials from an allied nation.

The decision has also been denounced by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the office of Rep. Steny Hoyer and Senate Majority leader Chuck Schumer.

The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), the most influential pro-Israel organization in the U.S. also disagreed with the move.

On Friday, August 16th, Israel’s interior ministry said Talib would be allowed to enter the country as a private citizen to visit her aging grandmother in Palestine, which had been part of the original trip.  Tlaib’s parents are Palestine immigrants to this country and the family has relatives in the West Bank.

Tlaib has decided not to make the visit, because of restrictions that came with the permission to visit.  She said the requirements were meant to humiliate her.

Conversation on what is taking place continues on talk shows – and Trump again has diverted our attention.

Don’t look for any action on gun legislation in the near future.

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Neighborood Buzz

A Blog for Independents and Democrats
Editor- Jerry Meyer

Two items for you - one a news story on gun legislation  in the Phoenix and a book review.

An article from the Phoenix

In the wake of the mass shootings that took place earlier this month in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, two Florida Democrats from South Florida have filed legislation that would allow immediate family members to have the power to go before a judge to confiscate firearms from people they believe could post a significant danger.

Matching bills filed  by Broward County Democrats Richard Stark in the House and Lori Berman in the Senate would allow a parent, legal guardian, spouse or sibling of a person believed to be a danger to himself or the community to go before a judge with what is known as a Risk Protection Order.
A similar measure proposed in the 2019 session died in committee.
Currently, if someone suspects a family member might pose a danger to themselves or the community, they must contact a law enforcement official, who can then petition the court to restrict that person’s access to guns. That measure was part of the sweeping Marjory Stoneman Douglas Public Safety Act that was signed into law in the immediate aftermath of the Parkland shooting massacre last year.
In order for a risk protection order to be issued, law enforcement authorities must fill out a petition that includes information about how the person in question poses a risk to himself or others and a description of their access to firearms.
Stark’s new bill also says that a person petitioning for a risk protection order does not have to be represented by an attorney.
In the wake of the most recent mass shootings which killed 31 people, President Donald Trump came out in support of red flag laws and indicated he would get Republican support for such measures on the federal level. Currently, Florida and 16 states and the District of Columbia already have such laws on the books, according to CBS News.
Since Florida’s law went into effect, there have been more than 2,300 risk protection orders issued across the state, the Tampa Bay Times reported last week.
Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri, the president of the Florida Sheriffs Association, told WTSP-10 News last week that he doesn’t see the need for such a law.
“People have the absolute ability today to get that in court and get that before a judge and that is call law enforcement,” he said.
Gualtieri says his office has executed almost 400 risk protections orders since the law went into effect last year.

And- a review of a just published book.
Evangelicals are losing the culture war. What if it’s their fault?
In 2016, writer and filmmaker Ben Howe found himself disillusioned with the religious movement he’d always called home. In the pursuit of electoral victory, many American evangelicals embraced moral relativism and toxic partisanship.Whatever happened to the Moral Majority, who headed to Washington in the ’80s to plant the flag of Christian values? Where were the Christian leaders that emerged from that movement and led the charge against Bill Clinton for his deception and unfaithfulness? Was all that a sham? Or have they just lost sight of why they wanted to win in the first place? From the 1980s scandals till today, evangelicals have often been caricatured as a congregation of judgmental and prudish rubes taken in by thundering pastors consumed with greed and lust for power. Did the critics have a point?  
In The Immoral Majority, Howe—still a believer and still deeply conservative—analyzes and debunks the intellectual dishonesty and manipulative rhetoric which evangelical leaders use to convince Christians to toe the Republican Party line. He walks us through the history of the Christian Right, as well as the events of the last three decades which led to the current state of the conservative movement at large.  As long as evangelicals prioritize power over persuasion, Howe argues, their pews will be empty and their national influence will dwindle. If evangelicals hope to avoid cultural irrelevance going forward, it will mean valuing the eternal over the ephemeral, humility over ego, and resisting the seduction of political power, no matter the cost. The Immoral Majority demonstrates how the Religious Right is choosing the profits of this world at the cost of its soul—and why it’s not too late to change course.

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Neighborhood Buzz
A Blog for Democrats and Independents
Editor Jerry Meyer

First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a socialist.

Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out— because I was not a trade unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

Martin Niemoller -- written after he realized the reality of Adolph Hitler and what he was doing.


So, what are you going to do when they come for you?

I'm guessing that like  most of us, you have no direct contact with any of the shooting incidents that have taken place around our nation.  They are something on television.  We gasp and recoil, but the reality is they are happening to people we don't know.  If you do know someone involved I apologize and express my sorrow for your loss.

So, what are you going to do when the mall door opens and a shooter with a great deal of ammunition opens fire - and  your wife, your husband, your son, your daughter, your grandchild is struck and killed by a bullet from  an assault weapon.

Thoughts and prayers are no longer enough.  They never were.  It's time to say ENOUGH!

Letter to the Editor

The violence must be put down.  Congress must show their significance by an immediate return to their desks for bipartisan laws that will authorize a war on murderers.  This means all guns registered and an end to the manufacture or sale of automatic weapons.  The money to enforce can come from that wasted on building walls and confining immigrants.  Need also is a pledge to refuse NRA contributions.  People should not lose the right to protect their homes, but weapons without identification should mean fines and worse.

Joel Rosenblum 

The information below was gathered for you to consider in connection with the visit of Donald Trump to the Villages.  The information is still valid, although his visit was postponed.

As of 2018, There Were Over 4.5 Million Total Medicare Beneficiaries In The State Of Florida. [Kaiser Family Foundation, Total Number of Medicare Beneficiaries, 2018]

Trump’s FY20 Budget Called For Cutting $845 Billion From Medicare, A Program He Previously Promised To Protect. “Trump’s ‘Budget for a Better America’ also includes dozens of spending cuts and policy overhauls that frame the early stages of the debate for the 2020 election. For example, Trump for the first time calls for cutting $845 billion from Medicare, the popular health care program for the elderly that in the past he had largely said he would protect.” [Washington Post, 3/11/19]

Trump’s FY19 Budget Would Cut Medicaid Spending By About $250 Billion Over A Decade. “But Trump's plan does seek $554 billion in cuts to Medicare spending over 10 years, plus about $250 billion in cuts to Medicaid spending.” [David Lazarus, Los Angeles Times, 2/12/18]

Social Security 

Trump’s FY20 Budget Proposed Spending $26 Billion Less On Social Security Programs. “And Mr. Trump proposed spending $26 billion less on Social Security programs, the federal retirement program, including a $10 billion cut to the Social Security Disability Insurance program, which provides benefits to disabled workers.” [New York Times, 3/11/19]

Trump’s FY19 Budget Proposed $72.5 Billion In Cuts To SSDI And Supplemental Security Income. “President Trump’s 2018 budget proposed $72.5 billion in cuts to SSDI and to Supplemental Security Income, another program for disabled people, over 10 years.” [Vox, 2/6/18]

Affordable Care Act

Donald Trump's administration is part of a lawsuit to declare the entire Affordable Care Act unconstitutional. Two major issues for older workers, seniors, and retirees are that those with pre-existing conditions would lose protections and it would allow insurers to charge older people more. 

7.8 Million Floridians with Pre-Existing Conditions Would Be Put At Risk: As many as 7,838,652 people with pre-existing conditions in Florida could have been denied coverage before the ACA went into effect. [Compilation of State Data on the ACA, Health And Human Services, December 2016]

Older People:  Overturning the ACA would allow insurance companies to charge older people significantly more than younger people – in many cases making the coverage unaffordable.  The ACA set a 3 to 1 rating band, protecting older Americans.

Young Adults on Their Parents’ Coverage:  Overturning the ACA would not allow children to stay on their parents’ coverage until age 26.
Florida Would See It’s Uninsured Rate Jump Up 67 Percent: The number of people uninsured in Florida would increase by 1,560,000 -- Or 67 Percent -- under repeal compared to current Law. [Urban Institute, March 2019]

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Neighborhood Buzz
A blog for Democrats and Independents

To access information about the Villages Democratic Club
click above.

Trump Ramping up Racism

               Donald Trump’s racism was put on display the day he came down the escalator in Trump tower and announced his candidacy for president.

               Trump launched his campaign in 2015 by calling Mexican immigrants “rapists” who are “bringing crime” and “bringing drugs” to the US. His campaign was largely built on building a wall to keep these immigrants out of the US.

As a candidate in 2015, Trump called for a ban on all Muslims coming into the US. His administration eventually implemented a  significantly watered-down version of the policy.

Before the campaign, and long after the Obama “birther” argument had been proven wrong, Trump kept up the attack, claiming he had not seen the birth certificate, although it was easily accessible.

Tendencies were exposed with his leanings toward the white nationalists in Charlottesville.

Recently he renewed charges about his racism when he attacked four congresswomen of color, telling them to go back to where they came from, when three were born in the U.S.A. and the fourth is a naturalized citizen.

And even more recently he attacked Maryland Congressman Elijah Cummings, calling him a racist and charging he had done little to help Baltimore with its’ challenges.

Trump is a narcissist. Narcissists often use a technique of accusing someone of a characteristic which they themselves exhibit.  They do not see the quality in themselves, but see it in others.  Thus, Trump calls Cummings a racist.

Another characteristic of narcissists is they feel they are never wrong.

The Baltimore Sun has struck back, writing: "it’s not hard to see what’s going on here.  The Congressman has been a thorn in the President’s side and Mr. Trump sees attacking African American members of Congress as good politics, as it both warms the cockles of the white supremacists  who love him and causes so many of the thoughtful people who don’t, to want to scream. President Trump bad-mouthed Baltimore in order to make the point that border camps are “clean, efficient and well run,” which of course they are not – unless you are fine with all the overcrowding, squalor cage and deprivation to be found in what the Department of Homeland Security’s own Inspector – General recently called “a ticking time bomb.”

In case you think there are no hiccups in the economy, agriculture officials will soon be dispensing another $16 billion in farm aid to farmers hurt in the trade war with China.

Local food banks are benefitting from the farmer’s plight, receiving large shipments of peanut butter and rice to dispense.

And – on July 25th, Mitch McConnell blocked two bi – partisan bills from getting a vote to help secure elections from foreign influence.

He went so far as to say that even simple things like using paper ballots and increasing funding for election security were “partisan” measures that would give Democrats a “political benefit” in the 2020 elections.

The “Ditch Mitch campaign says the fact McConnell won’t even allow  a vote on these commonsense measures to protect our elections is proof enough that he is aiding and abetting Russia and their still on-going attempts to undermine and attack our Democracy.   It’s un-American – plain and simple.

Saturday, July 20, 2019

Neigihborhood Buzz - The Blog
Editor - Jerry Meyer

 Click on the link above for information about the Villages Democrats
including the times and places of club meetings
as well as meetings of interest of affiliated clubs and groups


We’ve seen this before !

Huey Long, a Louisiana Governor and later a U.S. Senator, was a populist hero and corrupt demagogue.  He espoused social reform and justice while getting his way by using graft and corruption.
The state’s black community did not benefit from his reputation as a reformer.  He gave speeches warning of “Negro domination,” and expanded segregation from trains to buses.

A favorite tactic with opponents, was to claim they were of black descent.

In the late 40s and early 50s Senator Joseph McCarthy of Wisconsin spent almost five years trying to expose communists and other left leaning “Loyalty Risks to a public fearful of communist subversion.

McCarthy’s accusations that the government was packed with traitors and spies became so intimidating few people dared to challenge him. Newsman Edward R. Murrow finally had enough and called him out, but it was not until McCarthy attacked the Army that he was censured by the Senate. By that time many lives had been ruined by his accusations.

Ironically McCarthy’s attorney through his machinations was Roy Cohn, who later was a personal attorney to Donald Trump.

Trump is now fending off charges of racism after attacking four freshmen Congresswomen. The four, all women of color, are outspoken critics of the President.

As his style, Trump went on the attack, accusing the women of spewing vile, hateful and disgusting remarks, adding that if they were not happy here they could leave. He apparently did not know or did not care that three were born in the U.S. and the other is a naturalized citizen.

Initially this seemed to be an attempt to distract attention from the chaos on the border.  A visit by Vice President Pence only verified that migrants were packed into holding areas, without access to showers.  There are also allegations of lack of food and hygiene items, as well as the ongoing concerns about separation of  families.

However as Trump continued his attack on the four women, brushing aside charges of racism, stories about conditions on the border worked their way back into  the news cycle.

It is now apparent Trump and the party leadership intend to stay with the attack on the Congresswomen and bear down on the accusation they are socialists.  “Socialism” is the term to which the Republicans are hitching their star for the 2020 elections.

Trump’s racist tendencies have been on display for years, including taking out newspaper ads seeking extreme punishment for the Central Park Five.  The five young black men were later found to have no connection to raping a woman in New York’s Central Park, but it came only after years in prison.

More recently Trump hung  on as a “birther,” refusing to accept that President Obama was born in the U.S.

There is no doubt that what the President said was racist. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, in its’ rules protecting individuals from employment discrimination, says a phrase such as “go back where you came from,” is potentially illegal.

Legal or illegal, this incident is unlikely to change the minds of Trump sycophants.

I would like to see Trump impeached, but there aren’t the votes in the Senate to make that happen.   So I am going along with columnist Tom Friedman who says Democrats should go about the business of picking a candidate who can beat Trump in the election and vote him out.


On July 12th the House passed HR 2500, the FY 2020 NDAA on a strictly partisan basis with NO Republicans voting to support our military and their families, nor for surviving spouses and children of military members and retirees who passed because of illness or injuries associated with their military service, all of which were provided for the Bill.  
In remarks on the floor during the debate on the Bill, House Armed Services Committee Chair Adam Smith quoted Ranking Member Mac Thornberry from last year’s deliberations:
Look, on the defense bill, you can always have a bunch of excuses for why you don’t support it. But, at the end of the day, if you don’t support it, you are not supporting funding our military and you are not supporting giving our troops what they need.”

Similarly, Congresswoman Mikie Sherrill, an Annapolis Grad, a veteran of combat service in the Navy and member of the House Armed Services Committee quoted the late Senator John McCain on the same subject:
“How do we explain to Americans who are risking their lives for us that we could not summon the courage to take some hard votes?
How do we explain that we could not come together and work together when it mattered most?
The fundamental purpose of this legislation, which has united Members from both sides of the aisle, is to provide our Armed Forces what they need to do the jobs we ask of them.”

The key provisions in the Bill which will take care the military community include:
  • The largest pay raise for our troops in 10 years
  • The repeal of what has been called the Widows Tax
  • A tenant’s bill of rights to protect military families and the housing that we have heard so many complaints about
  • Paid family and medical leave for all Federal employees, including all DOD employees.

Yet, despite the appeal from the floor to stay true to the 58-year history of bipartisan support for the annual National Defense Authorization Acts, not one Republican voted for it.   One of the most egregious aspects of this vote is that 135 Republicans who were co-sponsors of a stand-alone Bill to repeal the Widows Tax (introduced by their colleague, Republican Congressman Wilson of SC), blindly followed their leadership in voting against the NDAA. 

This is not just a disappointment; it is an OUTRAGE !

One can only hope that there will be more collegiality when the House and Senate Conference Committee meets to reconcile the differences  in the provisions of their respective bills and after it is returned to each house for a re-vote to go on to the President for signature. 

You’ll read and hear many accusations about who is at fault and what was so unacceptable in the Bill depending on which news source you rely on.

 The bold truth can be found in the dialogue from the floor debate regarding passage of HR 2500
in the Congressional Record of the proceedings from July 12th :


Friday, July 12, 2019

Neighborhood Buzz

Neighborhood Buzz
A news blog for Democrats and Independents

Click the above link for complete listings of 
club events, plus the event and activity schedules 
of associated clubs.


One of the chants at Trump campaign rallies in 2016 was "Drain the Swamp," and it became one of his pledges. Instead, his performance in this area is one of the worst on record.

In this blog we present three lists, people who are no longer with the administration due to malfeasance, impropriety, or who just wanted out.   Associates now in jail, and women who have accused him of sexual misconduct.

List 1..Fired or resigned.

Alex Acosta -  Labor Secretary - resigned July 12.2019.  As U.S. Attorney in Florida in 2008, made what was  termed a "sweetheart" deal for Jeffrey Epstein.  The rich financier had pleaded guilty to charges of being a sexual predator.  New charges of sex trafficking have been filed by the Southern District of New York on the basis of new evidence.

Michael Flynn
- resigned after serving as national security adviser for less than a month.

Sally Yates - Acting attorney general, fired by Trump during his first 10 days in office for refusing to uphold Trump"s executive order on immigration, saying it was unlawful.

Preet Bhara - Fired as U.S. attorney for the southern district of Manhattan after refusing to resign.

Katie Walsh - Former chief of staff to Rance Priebus who resigned to run "America First Policies." a pro Trump group outside government.

Patrick Shanahan - Former Boeing Executive appointed Acting Defense Secretary who withdrew from consideration for the permanent position when his family domestic violence history emerged.

Sarah Sanders - Combative Press Secretary who left for a possible run for Governor in Arkansas.

Rod Rosenstein - Deputy U.S. Attorney General, who oversaw the Mueller investigatioin and at times was at odds with Trump.

Kirstjen Nielsen - Homeland Security Secretary blamed by Trump for, in his view, failing to stem the increase in migrant border crossings.

Scott Gottlieb - FDA Commissioner who worked to curb electronic cigarettes. Left to spend time with family.

James Mattis - Secretary of Defense whose resignation letter was a clear rebuke of Trump's foreign policy orthodoxy.

Ryan Zinke - Interior Secretary who was under several ethics violations when he departed.  While in office he was the subject of 15 investigations and was notorious for questionable expenditures.

John Kelly - White House chief of staff.  He and Trump had quit speaking prior to the announcement he was leaving.

Jeff Sessions - Resigned after nearly two years as Attorney General.  Trump frequently criticized him for recusing himself over the special counsel appointment.

Don McGahn - left the Trump administration after 21 tumultuous months.

Nikki Hayley - UN Ambassador--served for two years and said she wanted to take a break.

Scott Pruitt - EPA administrator - Pruitt was the subject of several ethics investigations for lavish spending habits, conflicts of interest and asking staff to conduct personal errands.

Tom Bossert - Homeland Security Adviser - fired by John Bolton the new National Security Adviser.

David J. Shulkin - Secretary of Veterans affairs.  Came under fire from Trump and was replaced by White House Physician Ronny Jackson.  Later it was alleged he spent taxpayer money on a trip to Europe.

H.R. McMaster - National Security Adviser who had a rocky relationship with Trump and other senior administration officials.  Replaced by John Bolton.

Andrew McCabe - 21 year veteran of the FBI - Fired one day short of reaching pension eligibility.

Rex Tillerson - Asked by the President to quit his Secretary of State post.

Gary Cohn - Director of the National Economic Council and Trump's Economic Adviser. Had a difference of opinion over tariffs on imports of aluminum and steel.

Hope Hicks - White House Communications  Director who quit on 2/28/2019

Rob Porter - White House staffer who resigned after ex-wives accused him of physical and emotional abuse.

Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald  - CDC Director who resigned after Politico reported she had purchased stock in Japan Tobacco while in office.

Omarosa Manigault - Director of African American outreach- later director of communications for the White House office of public liaison.   Said to have left to pursue other opportunities.

Tom Price - Secretary of Health and Human Service.  Spent over a million dollars using private planes and military jets on trips to Africa, Europe and Asia.  Resigned Sep 28,2018.

Sebastian Gorka - Deputy Assistant to Trump.  A former Breitbart news staffer and ally of Steve Bannon.  Left saying he could better serve the Trump Agenda from the outside.

Steve Bannon - Trump's chief strategist, dismissed after clashes with White House Staff.

Anthony Scaramucci - White House communications director, dismissed after two weeks.  The dismissal urged by John Kelly.

Reince Priebus - White House Chief of Staff--resigned after 6 month due to a public feud with Scaramucci.

Sean Spicer - The embattled White House Press Secretary who resigned over the hiring of Scaramucci.

Michael Dubke - White House communications director who resigned.

Walter Shaub - resigned as director of Office of Government ethics after a dispute over Trump's financial holdings.

James Comey- Fired by Trump over his handling of whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russia.

List 2...In Jail

In all 34 people and three companies  were charged in the Meuller probe.

Paul Manafort - Manafort  ran Trump's campaign for part of 2016.  He was convicted on five counts of tax fraud, one count of failure to file a report of foreign bank and financial accounts and two counts of bank fraud.

Rick Gates -  Manafort's former business partner and Trump's former deputy campaign chair. He pleaded guilty to conspiracy and lying t Mueller's investigators about his business dealings with Manafort.

Michael Cohen - Trump's long time fixer pleaded guilty to lying to congress about the duration of Trump's plan to build a Trump Tower in Moscow.  He was sentenced to three years in prison for that plea.   In another case he admitted to eight felony counts of tax evasion, bank fraud and campaign finance violations.

Michael Flynn - A top Trump surrogate and campaign foreign policy adviser, he admitted to lying to the FBI about the substance of his conversations wit Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak.

George Papadopoulos - A Trump foreign policy adviser, he pleaded guilty to making false statements to the FBI about the timing of his conversations with a professor who had ties to Russian intelligence.  The professor told Papadopoulous he had thousands of e-mail that would damage Hillary Clinton's campaign.

Alex van der Zwaan -A London based lawyer, he admitted to lying to Mueller's investigators about his contacts with Gates. He worked with Gates and Manafort for a Ukrainian political party that was closely allied with Russia.

Richard Pinedova -  Sentenced to 6 months in jail and 6 months of home confinement for selling bank account and other stolen identity information to a group of Russians accused of interfering in the election.  They allegedly used the information to take on fake online identities.

List 3...Female Accusers

Jessica Leeds - Alleged Trump groped her on a plane in the late 70s - which he denies.

Kristin Anderson - says Trump put his hand up her skirt to her underwear in the early 1990s.  Denied by Communications Director Hope Hicks.

Jill Harth - Says she and her boy friend were having dinner with Trump when he allegedly tried to put his hands between her legs.  Also tried to kiss her during a tour of Mar-a-Lago a month later.

Cathy Heller -    Miss Utah in the 1997 Miss USA Pageant when Trump tried to kiss her on the lips. Trump says he doesn't even know who  she is.

Karena Virgina -   The New York area yoga instructor says Trump approached her outside the US Tennis Tournament in 2016 as she awaited a car service. He made unseemly remarks about her appearance, grabbed her arm and groped her  breast.

Bridget Sullivan - Miss New Hampshire in 2000.  Said Trump came into the Miss Universe changing room while the contestants were naked.

Tasha Dixon - The former Miss Arizona says Trump walked  into a dress rehearsal for a pageant in 2001 when the contestants were half naked and the women were told to "fawn all over him."

Mindy McGillivray -   told the Palm Beach Post Trump grabbed her rear end while she worked as a photographer's assistant at a 2003 event at Mar-a-Lago.

Rachel Crooks - A secretary who worked in Trump's New York City building says when she met Trump in 2005 he shook her hand, kissed her on the cheeks and then on the lips.

Natasha Stoynoff - The writer for People Magazine said Trump inappropriately touched her in 2005 when she was at Mar-a-Lago for an interview on Trump's pending first anniversary with Melania Trump.

Jennifer Murphy - A contestant on the fourth season of "The Apprentice," she says Trump kissed her on the lips after a 2005 job interview.

Jessica Drake - The adult film star says Trump kissed her and two other women  on the lips without their consent 10 years ago.

Ninni Laaksonen -    Says Trump squeezed her rear end after posing for a photo before an appearance on the David Letterman show.

Summer Zervos - A competitor on the fifth season of "The Apprentice,"  she says Trump kissed her twice during a job interview meeting and later groped and kissed her in a California hotel room.

Cassandra Searles -  A former Miss Washington USA who, according to Rolling Stone, said Trump continually grabbed her ass and invited her to his hotel room.

E. Jean Carrol - on June 21, 2019 accused Trump of sexually assaulting her in a Bergdorf Goodman dressing room 23 years ago.

note - Trump or a spokesperson have denied all of the accusations and in some cases  he denies knowing the accuser.

Saturday, July 6, 2019

Neighborhood Buzz
A news blog for Democrats and Independents

Click the above link for complete listings of 
club events, plus the event and activity schedules 
of associated clubs.


Another Outstanding

Wall of Honor Ceremony

When the Sumter County Democratic Executive Committee designed the Wall of Honor project, I am not sure they had all the details totally thought out.  Alex Mariano and
Alex Mariano
his committee accepted the challenge and have created a truly moving ceremony and book of memories.

Each quarter of the year is assigned a theme, the history of which is documented and to which living and dead individuals can be nominated for the Wall of Honor and included in the book.

The first quarter, which focused on Civil Rights, generated nominations of national Civil Rights figures, plus the name of many of our friends and neighbors who played important roles, often unbeknown to us.

The just completed second quarter focused on the G.I. Bill, Honor Flight Act and all Veteran Benefits. 

As did the first theme, the second brought to light many of the people around us who have given much in the service of our country.  The Second World War had so many facets I don’t think we will ever know of contributions of most of the people who served. This is  probably true of the conflicts that followed which, although not world conflicts, were filled with thousands of stories of valor, heroism and service.

In a ceremony held at the Sumter County Democratic Headquarters in Wildwood on Saturday, June 29th, local nominees to the wall shared snippets of their military service with an attentive audience.

Jim Dow
Jim Dow, an Air Force Veteran, described the activity to date of the Villages Honor Flights.  The volunteer group has enabled over 1,000 veterans and their guardians to fly to Washington D.C. for an all-day tour of the city, including the WWII Memorial as well as the Korean War Memorial, the Viet Nam Wall and Arlington Cemetery.  

The trip has generated deep emotion and gratitude from the WWII vets. Veterans of the Korean and Viet Nam wars are now being invited to participate.  There is no cost to any of these veterans.

 D. Karen Knight served in the Army from August 1973 to September of 2001,achieving the rank of Lt. Colonel and retiring as a chemical officer.

She was the first of four women officers to become an Army Engineer.  The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has an active environmental program.  Her service included time in Viet Nam and Iraq.

Elliot Schantz

Ellliot Schantz served in the Air Force.  With other volunteers at the Villages woodshop, he creates wooden barrels for pens into which are inserted pen mechanisms, donated by the Woodcraft Company.  He moved to the Villages in 2017 and with the other volunteers, has produced over 1200 of the pens, which are sent to people on active duty.

Jim & Marilyn Shields

Jim and Marilyn Shields described memories of how both sides of their family were impacted by WWII.  Each had people called to duty and each had family members who did not return.  In one case a death early in the war was not confirmed until almost its’ conclusion.

Anita Crumel, who nominated Col. Harry Lumpkin for the wall, spoke for him as he was not able to be present.

A retired Army Colonel, his 26 years of service stretched from Viet Nam to Desert Storm. During his assignment to the Pentagon he worked on the Army Staff and the Joint Chiefs of Staff.  His duties included at one point serving as logistics briefer to General Colin Powell.

He is active in Civic groups in the Villages and served on the committee to design the displays in the Eisenhower Recreation Center.

Huey Bridgman
Huey Bridgman, Chaplain, U.S. Army served at a variety of posts including tours of Viet Nam during some of the most intense periods of conflict. During service with the 4th Infantry Division he was exposed to agent orange which resulted in a medical retirement in 1987. He and his wife moved to the Villages in 2010.

Edward McClister

Edward McClister, a Navy veteran, told of his involvement of one of the mistakes of war.  In June of 1967 he was serving on the USS Liberty which received orders to go to the Sinai Peninsula area to gather information on the war between Israel and Egypt. On June 8th the unarmed surveillance ship was attacked by Israeli aircraft and torpedo boats in which 34 of his shipmates were killed and 171 wounded.   Shortly after the attack the Israelis admitted a mistake.  McClister said President Johnson accepted the story and ordered the attack covered up.

These stories and those  of the many other nominees have been compiled in a book, which is on display with the wall at the Sumter Co. Democratic Headquarters at 300 Main Street in Wildwood.

Nominations are now being accepted for the third quarter of the Wall program.   The theme for this quarter celebrates the 19th Amendment and the Women’s Rights movement.  With a small donation of your choice you can place the name of a living or dead individual on the wall.  The reception for these individuals will take place on September 23rd


Random notes

Last November Florida voters gave 64.5% approval to a constitutional amendment returning the right to vote to non-violent felons who had completed the terms of their sentences.

Republican legislators, apparently see little value in giving the vote back to this group of some one million who qualify. Although the ballot did not say so, Republicans have interpreted “completing the terms of their sentences” as including restitution, court costs and fines.
Outraged Democrats say this basically imposes a “poll tax,” which many of those impacted are probably unable to pay.

A voting rights group, the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition, has launched a fund raising campaign to help pay outstanding fees and fines, and the American Civil Liberties Union, with other groups, has filed suit, challenging the law.
A story by Dan Murphy on has added fuel to the criticism of moving two USDA research agencies from Washington D.C. to Kansas City.

The move is billed as saving money but some see it as an attempt to divert research on topics not favored by the White House, such as climate change and the economic status of farm country communities.

Affected are the Economic Research Service and National Institute of food and Agriculture.

Currently all but a handful of people are scheduled to be moved by August.  Both agencies have lost a number of key staff members, who apparently do not want to relocate.

Murphy writes the move seems to be more of an exile than a relocation and comes at a time when agricultural research is desperately needed, to maintain U.S. food production viability and provide food for the additional three billion people expected on earth by mid-century.


Congressman Justin Amash of Michigan, chose the Fourth of July to announce he is leaving the Republican Party.  Amash has been openly critical of the President as well as party members.  He has criticized his colleagues for failing to take action in response to the Mueller report.

The President, as usual, immediately attacked Amash, saying, “he has been a loser for a long time.”

Neighborhood Buzz A Blog for Democrats and Independents Editor _ Jerry Meyer The Villages Democrats     --   Sumter Democra...