GSC October 2022 Newsletter

EDITION 8 October 2022

 

CONTENTS


Are you ready to WIN in November?

This month we’ll continue to look at all of the indictments coming from the DOJ in anticipation of the next January 6th Committee hearing, which is scheduled for 28 September, as the lawyers and the Special Master squabble over the documents obtained by the FBI raid on Mar-a-Lago.

We’ll also look at the recent wins for Democrats in key primaries, while keeping our fingers crossed for our hopes for Dems taking back the Senate and holding the House in the November election. - Lauren Hakulinen, Editor

Connect with us
          

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VOTING NEWS

Can we flip the Senate? Here again are the Key Senate Races for November 2022

Mark Kelly - Arizona
Raphael Warnock - Georgia
Catherine Cortez Masto - Nevada
Maggie Hassan - New Hampshire
John Fetterman - Pennsylvania
Mandela Barnes - Wisconsin

10 Actions to take NOW to elect Dems on November 8th!

Please do one or more of the "10 Things" today, then send this list to 3 friends, and urge them to take action today!

#1 - request your ballot at Vote From Abroad (VFA)

#2 - add VFA to your email signature — you can copy & paste this link: Vote From Abroad

#3 - share VFA & voting info on social media

#4 - send an alma mater letter to your university

#5 - phone bank with Dems Abroad. DA is determined to call 100,000 fellow DA members who vote in battleground states in the coming weeks. These calls work!

#6 - get trained online to help voters (on Intercom). It’s fun. Try it and see.

#7 - join a State Team — even if your voting state doesn’t have a team

#8 - adopt a campaign & push on social media

#9 - help 3 people get ballots & get them to help 3 more get ballots

#10 – donate to get out the overseas vote

Polls are beginning to favor Democrats keeping the House and perhaps even regaining the Senate now that people are feeling the key economic factors we mentioned in last month’s newsletter -

“Inflation is slowing, gas prices keep coming down, and President Biden just signed the most sweeping climate change legislation in history."

In addition to the voters of Kansas overwhelmingly rejecting an anti-abortion referendum, in Alaska a Democrat won a special election.

The voters of Kansas overwhelmingly rejected an anti-abortion referendum; in addition, a Democrat in Alaska won a special election.

Democrats have a narrow lead are showing a narrow lead in the latest polling data from a number of sources — including this one from Daily Kos. We’ve also checked 538 and 270 to Win.

And yet, we must keep fighting with all we’ve got. This alarming headline is why:

Election Deniers Are Gearing Up to Take Office

Republicans who claim the 2020 election was rigged are on the ballot for 60 percent of the electorate. Their influence on future elections could be devastating.

Less than two months out from the 2022 midterm balloting, the national commentariat remains fixated on how the balance of power between the two major parties will shift, and how the ensuing convulsions will play out over the rest, remainder of Joe Biden’s term in office. But a far more ominous power shift already took place at the outset of this year’s election cycle. As FiveThirtyEight reports, ….. Read more

Get ready for November!

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MEDICARE AND SOCIAL SECURITY

HR.82, the "Social Security Fairness Act" by IL Rep. Rodney Davis, which would fully repeal the unfair Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP), is scheduled for a mark-up by the House Ways & Means

Committee on Tuesday, September 20 at 10am ET. You can watch the livestream here.

This session will allow legislators to discuss & make changes to HR 82. Of particular concern to foreign pensioners about this mark-up is the fact that the Chairman of the Ways & Means Committee, Richard Neal (D-MA), who will preside, has his own WEP relief bill that he's promoting, HR.2337. Neal specifically excludes foreign pensioners who are not receiving totalized benefits from any WEP relief in his bill. We are watching the mark-up with concern that Chairman Neal may try to incorporate aspects of his bill, i.e., the exclusion of foreign pensioners, when HR.82 is marked up.

Another bill, HR.5723, "Social Security 2100" by Rep. John Larson (D-CT), is also due to go into mark-up soon. It offers a 5-year suspension of the WEP. Both bills would provide a full WEP repeal for all foreign pension recipients; the difference is that HR.5723 would only be in effect for 5 years, while HR.82’s repeal would be permanent.

We are in a historic position right now with unprecedented support for the repeal of the unfair WEP. We have never seen a WEP bill reach the House floor before. Tune in to the livestream of the House Ways & Means Committee mark-up of HR.82 on Tues. to see it happen!

Our Medicare FAQs page

Special thanks go out again to Diane Daniel and Toni Kamins for researching and writing the new FAQs page for our Seniors Caucus website, and to the WEP committee for their hard work on this issue. Take a look and let us know if you have any questions.

Are you or a loved one receiving all the benefits you’re entitled to? If you or someone you know is struggling, counseling expertise is available. Try it now.

Keep Writing — it’s working!

You can find out more information about what our caucus is doing and how you can help repeal WEP from these resources:

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JUST POLITICS

PoliticsGirl talks gun reform with Shannon Watts, founder of Mom’s Demand Action

Listen in for some interesting perspectives, updates and what to do about the American gun culture.

Defending and Expanding the Senate - Interview with Ambassador Suzi G. Levine

Ambassador Suzi G. LeVine joined Leedonal Moore for an insightful and empowering conversation on what we, as Democrats Abroad, can do to save our democracy.

Recorded on July 16, 2022 …

Martha's Vineyard migrant flight may have been illegal as well as inhumane

The 50 Venezuelan migrants who were flown from Texas to Martha’s Vineyard will be taken to Joint Base Cape Cod. Many were in need of hospitalization.

They were induced to board the planes with "representations of work assistance and immigration relief in Boston," the Lawyers for Civil Rights group said in a news release.

"This cowardly political stunt has placed our clients in peril," the Lawyers for Civil Rights group said in a news release Friday. "Some now have immigration hearings as early as Monday, thousands of miles away." Read more

The Man at the Center of the New Cyber World War

Ukraine has long been Russia’s cyberwarfare sandbox, a proving ground for the Kremlin to test out new techniques and new malware viruses. Since Russia launched a full-scale invasion of the country on Feb. 24, Ukraine has seen those attacks increase threefold, according to Ukrainian officials — hitting everything from civilian and military agencies to communications and energy infrastructure. Read more

Five Things Democrats Can Do about the Supreme Court

Tough decisions lie ahead, especially if things don’t go well this November. Here are five steps Democrats can take to prevent further damage. Read more

The Conservative Takeover of the Southern Baptists and Jared Kushner’s New Book

On this week’s episode of Start Making Sense, Sarah Posner explains how the Baptists became conservative, and Amy Wilentz comments on Jared’s White House memoir. The transformation of the Southern Baptist Convention into a powerful right-wing political force has developed over the last 50 years. Before 1973, when abortion became a constitutional right, the Southern Baptists did not have a political position on abortion. Then came what they call the "conservative resurgence" — we call it the "fundamentalist takeover." Sarah Posner explains that history in her book “Unholy: How White Christian Nationalists Powered the Trump Presidency, and the Devastating Legacy They Left Behind,” which is out now in paperback. Listen to both podcasts.

Under subpoena, Meadows turned over tranche of Jan. 6 records to the DOJ

Former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows — who is still under investigation by the state of North Carolina for possible voter fraud — has complied with a subpoena tied to the Justice Department’s sprawling probe of the Jan. 6 attack at the U.S. Capitol and former President Donald Trump’s attempt to overturn the 2020 election.

Important to note, however, is that this recent bout of cooperation has apparently not precluded Meadows from keeping close to Trump or doing his bidding. He’s currently joined a lawsuit with former Trump adviser Stephen Miller targeting county officials in Pennsylvania over the use of ballot drop boxes. They, and the America First Legal Foundation, are citing issues with vote integrity in the state. Read more

Call Them Out: Corporations Funding Jan. 6 Pro-Insurrection

In American politics, money is power. Elected leaders often make decisions based on how much it will raise for them — or how much it will cost them. Too often what’s best for the country never even enters their minds. The same is true for corporate America, which turns its wealth into political power by giving massive amounts of money to empower political candidates. Read more

That’s why it’s so disturbing that corporate America is aiding and abetting the insurrectionists who are a threat to our democracy. And how was it okay to default on PPP loans — which amounts to corporate welfare?

On the heels of the January 6 insurrection, corporate PACs appeared to register the dangerous moment democracy faced and pledged to suspend donations to the Sedition Caucus — the 147 GOP members of Congress who objected to the certification of the 2020 presidential election and helped fuel the Big Lie.

But since then, many of those same corporations — including American Express, Toyota, Walgreens, UPS, Lockheed Martin, Home Depot, AT&T, Marathon Petroleum, Valero Energy, and Publix — have abandoned their pledges or resumed supporting the Sedition Caucus. Read more

We must get big money out of politics for good. Consider signing this petition to demand that these corporations stop funding pro-insurrectionist members of Congress.

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Tech Corner

We can all fall prey to spam emails. I nearly did this week — then I looked closely at the email return address: [email protected] That is exactly what would have happened to my computer had I clicked on any of the links in the email. It would have been toast! Here are some red flags to watch out for:

  • Never give personal info
  • Never give out your home or work address, phone number, date of birth
  • Never give out any bank information. Your bank never contacts you via email.

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CHAIR'S CORNER

This comes with a friendly but urgent request for All Seniors in Democrats Abroad to vote in the upcoming election. There are 9 million Americans abroad and our votes can make the difference, but sometimes Americans abroad are stymied by the process. Please defend Democracy. Please VOTE. Request your absentee ballot at VoteFromAbroad.

American law does not require citizens to vote, but voting is a particularly important part of any democracy. By voting, citizens are participating in the democratic process. Citizens vote for leaders to represent them and their ideas, and the leaders support the citizens' interests. As Seniors, we surely need these kinds of leaders. The 2022 midterm elections are fast approaching. These elections hold tremendous importance, and the results will impact every American. That’s why it’s essential to vote. We need to protect democracy, Social Security, women’s reproductive rights, Medicare and to move to eliminate WEP.

I was looking around online for voting information and found this helpful California site, AltaMed, which published five reasons why we should vote:

1. Elections have consequences. Every vote matters.

You have the power to make key decisions on the quality of life you want for yourself, your family, and your community. Voting is your chance to stand up for the issues you care about, like affordable housing, economic justice, environmental protection, and quality education. While Presidential or other national elections draw significant attention, midterm and local elections typically see less voter turnout…. Low turnout means that important local issues are determined by a limited group of voters, making a single vote even more statistically meaningful. While certain propositions may be popular, and therefore seem like a sure thing, they can fail if people stay home.

2. It’s your right. Not voting is giving up your voice.

Today, most American citizens over the age of 18 are entitled to vote in federal and state elections, but voting was not always a right for all Americans. Because the Constitution did not specifically say who could vote, this question was left to the states in the 1800s. While voting is no longer explicitly excluded for some citizens, voter suppression is a problem in many parts of the country. It was not until the 15th Amendment was passed in 1869 that Black men were allowed to vote. But even so, many would-be voters faced measures meant to discourage them from exercising that right. This would continue until the 24th Amendment in 1964, which eliminated the poll tax, and the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which ended Jim Crow laws. Women were denied the right to vote until 1920, when the efforts of the women’s suffrage movement finally resulted in the 19th Amendment. Later, in 1971, the American voting age was lowered to 18, building on the idea that if a person was old enough to serve their country in the military, they should be allowed to vote. It took many years of marching, protesting, and fighting for all of us to have the right to vote. Use your right. Exert your power.

3. It's your money.

Do you want to make a positive impact in your community? Voting gives you that chance! There are many social issues affected by elections, including (but not limited to) gay marriage, reproductive rights, environmental issues, and public education. Social issues affect everyone in one way or another. To have a say in who gets to determine social agendas, it’s essential to vote.

5. The community depends on you!

Our communities are made up of family, friends, loved ones, neighbors, and children. Some may not know how important voting is, while others cannot vote. Make the decision to vote to be a voice for yourself and those around you.

Make sure your voice is heard – your vote is your health.

Thanks to fellow US Senior citizens around the globe.

PS - Remember to Write and call your Members of Congress to ask them to help repeal WEP.

Betsy Ettore

Chair, Global Seniors Caucus

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EVENTS

Friday, 30 September: Casual Social

Everyone is very welcome to join the Seniors and Disability Caucus monthly chats via Zoom from 9am to 12 noon Eastern Time (US & Canada). RSVP to get your local time and add to your calendar.

Meet the Candidate events

Our State Teams are putting together very interesting events in September and October. Check this Events page for one near you!

1 & 2 October: Oktoberfest Extravaganza in Munich!

SOLD OUT!!! Better luck next year!

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STATE TEAMS — ARE WORKING!

Last month our New Jersey and Massachusetts State Teams made an impact on state voting rights. NJ regained the right to vote in down-ballot races (for state and local offices) for overseas voters, while MA voters overseas can now return their ballots ONLINE.

This month the Maryland state team is forming. These are significant achievements because, as we’ve seen ourselves, voting from overseas can be vastly improved, and just a few votes in any race can put a Democrat in office.

➔ Join the State Team Slack group to get the meeting links, or email us
➔ Join your Voting State group on Facebook

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IN SEARCH OF VOLUNTEERS...

Volunteers are the backbone of our organization.

The Global Senior Caucus is looking for aa "Tweeter" - someone who loves to post on Twitter. We are also in need of an Events Coordinator and two other Steering Committee members. Visit our website for details on our volunteer opportunities.

The Global Black Caucus is searching to fill more positions. Get in touch here.

The Global Communications Team is also looking for volunteers as they ramp up for the midterms! Do you have a communications background and are interested in helping? If so, please fill out the Global Communications Team Interest Form.

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THIS MONTH IN U.S. HISTORY

Saturday, October 1 is INTERNATIONAL OLDER PERSONS DAY!

What, Who, Me??? Yes, we have arrived. And that’s okay because we have each other to lean on and learn from. This year the United Nations theme is: The Resilience and Contributions of Older Women.

Important dates in U.S. history are listed here for October.

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Final Thoughts

30 Things Donald Trump Did as President You Might Have Missed

This article summarizes the previous administration — the good (yes, there is some!), the bad, and the ugly — and is a good reminder of what we lived through, and although he’s still making appearances and menacing the election, we can appreciate how much the Biden Administration has done, and how much better we feel.

My wish list for 2023

Daily Kos puts out a lot of petitions which are listed below. To read or sign them, click on the text to open. Daily Kos will ask for your email address. I’ve probably signed them all.

    • Sign the petition to corporations: Keep your pledge. Stop donations to insurrectionistsSign the petition: Major networks must televise the final January 6 committee hearings during prime-timeSign the petition: The Jan. 6 committee is doing critical work. They must keep going.

  • Sign the petition: Expel members of Congress who supported the Jan. 6 insurrection
  • Sign the petition: Elect the president by national popular vote
  • Sign the petition: Justice Clarence Thomas must resign
  • Sign the petition: Trump attempted a coup on January 6. He will try again.
  • Sign and send a petition to the Senate: Sunlight is the best disinfectant. Pass the DISCLOSE Act.
  • Sign the petition: Stop Manchin's Dirty Deal
  • Sign and send the petition to Congress: Defund ICE and CBP.
  • Sign and send the petition to your U.S. senators and representative: Cap insulin prices – save lives!
  • Sign now: Impeach Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh for lying under oath
  • Tell Congress: Make college without debt a reality. Pass free college for all.

Margaret Atwood on Envy and Friendship in Old Age

The author of The Handmaid’s Tale read my story about losing friends in midlife. She had some thoughts. By Jennifer Senior

This is what Margaret Atwood wrote to me on February 9, about 14 hours after I’d tweeted an essay [in The Atlantic that] I’d just completed about the heartache and complexity of friendships in midlife. Weirdly, no one else had made this observation. Atwood is 82.

How? I asked.

How?

How?

Her reply: Your old enemies may become pals because there’s only the two of youse left who can remember the Dark Ages before there were computers. :D Or pantyhose. :D :D Or plastic bags. :D :D :D

See the whole conversation on Twitter

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