December's First Thursday Meetup: If 2015 races were hot, 2016 will sizzle...‏

December 3, 2015 - 7:30pm

The general election of 2015 was an unusually active one for a non-presidential year.  With your help, all five state Democratic judgeships were victorious, and in Montgomery County every municipality except one gained in its elected Democratic presence, which is astounding. 

If 2015 was hot, 2016 should sizzle.  At our next meeting, we'll learn more about some of the races that will light up the ballot.

  * WHAT *   * WHEN *   * WHERE  *

Montco DFA's December Meeting

Thursday, December 3, 2015 @ 7:30 pm

Jenkintown Library (Park and enter at the rear.)

460 York Rd.
Jenkintown, PA 19046


Just prior to entering the race for the open PA Treasurer's office, Ambassador Torsella was the U.S. Representative to the United Nations for UN Management and Reform.  He can claim an illustrious career in public service.  Come learn about the person who is working to become the elected official involved in many of our state's fiscal matters.


The 2nd Congressional District encompasses Northwest Philly and in Montgomery County,  Lower Merion and Narberth.  Due to the indictment of the incumbent, Rep. Chaka Fattah, many highly qualified candidates are now seeking to challenge him for that seat.  Dan has an impressive resume including as a Board Member of Conservation Voters of PA, an organization focused on environmental issues in our state.  Please avail yourself of the opportunity to find out more about him.

We've enjoyed a holiday respite after the high energy November election, but now we need to set our sights on 2016.  We invite you to join us as we begin to dive into the next year.


Joe Biden Visits With MontcoDFA Endorsed Candidates



This week, VP Biden did an event for PA's Red to Blue Congressional Candidates.  Manan Trivedi and Kevin Strouse are on that limited list of Congressional candidates that have the best chance of flipping a House seat.  I was honored to attend the event.  The Vice President's support demonstrates how important these two races are.  If you're not already doing something to help these two fine candidates who are Montco DFA endorsed, what are you waiting for?


Montco DFA members Mary Clark and PA Rep. Steve McCarter join friends waiting to march in the Glenside 4th of July Parade.
Great weather, good crowds, and a great progressive PA Rep!

MontcoDFA Supports Damsker Campaign

June 18, 2014
The Honorable Ruth Damsker
Friends of Ruth Damsker
P. O. Box 64
West Point, PA 19486

Dear Ruth:
It is my pleasure to inform you that Montco DFA has endorsed you in your race for Pennsylvania's 12th Senatorial District.
We are gratified that you answered the entreaty of others to run for this office.  Understandably, your past experience serving Montgomery county, most recently as County Commissioner, made you a favorite to vie for this State Senate seat.
In addition, Pennsylvania is notoriously poor in the number of women elected to our legislature so your election would help fill a gaping void.
You have demonstrated a long history of dedicated public service.  In the State Senate, your progressive and knowledgeable voice would be a valuable asset.  Montco DFA is proud to support you.


Beverly Hahn
Chair, Montco DFA

Senator Toomey Turns His Back on Veterans. Again.

The purpose of this measure was to restore the medical and education benefits for vets that were cut by the sequester. There is an unfortunate feeling growing among both our active duty military and veterans regarding what benefit will Congress cut next and they are losing faith in our government to provide the support they were promised when they enlisted.

Measure Number: S. 1982 (Comprehensive Veterans Health and Benefits and Military Retirement Pay Restoration Act of 2014 )
Measure Title: A bill to improve the provision of medical services and benefits to veterans, and for other purposes.

Vote Date: February 27, 2014, 02:26 PM
Pennsylvania: Casey (D-PA), Yea Toomey (R-PA), Nay

Contact Senator Toomey and tell him you won't forget this vote in November.

248 Russell Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510
(202) 224-4254

Talking Points vs. Reality

Re-education, Tom Corbett Style

  I've often extolled the benefits to a capitalist economic model of maintaining a criminalized underclass. It supresses wages, amplifies the threat of not playing in the game to an individual's liberty, and ensures that there's always SOMEONE willing to perform the most menial or dangerous tasks required by the system.

This morning on Talking Points Memo Wade Henderson, the president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, points out that Pennsylvania under Tom Corbett's spending priorities is well on its way to distinguishing itself as one of the states most adept at expanding this pool of cheap labor. 

While Philadelphia's schools were reeling from a $300 million deficit, the state was bankrolling the construction of a "state of the art" prison complex less than an hour away in Skippack Township. The $400 million prison is expected to open in 2015 with a capacity of up to 4,000 prisoners. One of the reasons cited for the expansion is to house more prisoners closer to where they are from, Philadelphia. It's as though the state has given up on its largest city and is already lining up cells for Philadelphia's class of 2015. [Emphasis added - Ed.]

Of course, Tom and his privileged class needn't concern themselves with trying to go about their daily business while walking amongst bitter, uneducated, desperate people as do the rest of us that must make our livings at street level.

Well, at least Pennsylvania will have one distinction in the world community: jailer extraordinaire.

"If you've done nothing wrong, you've nothing to fear."

But maybe, just maybe, you've done something you're ashamed of or that could embarrass you. Would you want that shared with the government?

In an interesting presentation, The Guardian provides an overview of the background and issues related to the NSA's eavesdroppting programs as revealed by the Snowden leaks.

Take a minute (actually about 40 minutes) and get a handle on the history and the controversy surrounding these programs.

Just another cog in the machine?

"As a UNION member, you negotiate with your employer. As an individual, you beg."

Florida Justice

Trayvon Benjamin Martin (1995-2012)

Trayvon Benjamin Martin (1995-2012)


“Only in America can a dead black boy
go on trial for his own murder.”
Syreeta McFadden


Bev Hahn Honored by County Democrats

MontcoDFA's chair and inspiration Bev Hahn was honored by the Montgomery County Democratic Committee with a Special Recognition Award at their annual Fall Dinner on Sunday. Please join MontcoDFA in congratulating Bev for this much deserved recognition, and in thanking her for her tireless and indefatigable efforts on behalf of Democratic candidates.

Congratulations, Bev!!

You're an inspiration to us all!

Word To the Wise


Holy matrimony, Batman!!

Marriage is sacred

When the Out of Touch Advise the Out of Work

Paul Krugman in his latest tome End This Depression, Now!:

Now, there have always been people claiming that there's no such thing as involuntary unemployment, that anyone can find a job if he or she is really willing to work and isn't too finicky about wages or working conditions. There's Sharron Angle, the Republican candidate for the Senate, who declared in 2010 that the unemployed were "spoiled," choosing to live off unemployment benefits instead of taking jobs. There are the people at the Chicago Board of Trade who, in October 2011, mocked anti-inequality demonstrators by showering them with copies of McDonald's job application forms. And there are economists like the University of Chicago's Casey Mulligan, who has written multiple articles for the New York Times website insisting that the sharp drop in employment after the 2008 financial crisis reflected not a lack of employment opportunities but diminished willingness to work.

The classic answer to such people comes from a passage near the beginning of the novelThe Treasure of the Sierra Madre (best known for the 1948 film adaptation starring Humphrey Bogart and Walter Huston): "Anyone who is willing to work and is serious about it will certainly find a job. Only you must not go to the man who tells you this, for he has no job to offer and doesn't know anyone who knows of a vacancy. This is exactly the reason why he gives you such generous advice, out of brotherly love, and to demonstrate how little he knows the world."


 If you follow the link to the book above, you'll find the quote at the top of page 2.

Please Don't Confuse Hunters With Gun Nuts

Interesting that it is a woman with the cajones to speak out against the NRA. In a NYTimes Op-ed today, Lily Raff McCaulou expresses the sentiment of many hunters, myself included, regarding the NRA.

EARLIER this month, Mitt Romney delivered a speech at the annual National Rifle Association convention, calling for a president “who will stand up for the rights of hunters, sportsmen and those seeking to protect their homes and their families,” presumably with guns. I’d like to remind Mr. Romney that those are distinct groups. Too often — especially during an election year — hunters and N.R.A. members are lumped together as one and the same.

I’m a hunter and a sportswoman. I own guns, but not for self-defense. I support gun control laws. I would happily vote to repeal the Stand Your Ground law in my home state of Oregon. In other words, the N.R.A. does not represent me.

Among gun owners, I’m hardly alone. The N.R.A. has just over four million members. That sounds like a lot until you consider that about one in five American adults own one or more guns. That’s nearly 50 million people. That means roughly 90 percent of gun owners do not belong to the N.R.A.

Let’s say, for argument’s sake, that every N.R.A. member is also a hunter — which is highly unlikely, considering that the most comprehensive national survey of firearm ownership to date found that only 35 percent of gun-owning households say they hunt. Even then, the N.R.A. would represent only about one-third of all hunters in the United States.


To hunt, yes, we need guns. We also need wildlife. We need healthy habitat that is protected from development and pollution. We need land that is open and accessible to hunters.

If Americans’ hunting traditions are threatened, it isn’t because of bans on rifles and shotguns. The more likely culprit is the oil and gas drilling proposed in the San Juan Mountains of New Mexico — a beloved destination for elk and antelope hunters. Or the devastating effects of global warming on migratory game birds like snow geese and sandhill cranes. Or the fact that thousands of acres of United States farmland — and deer habitat — are lost to sprawling development every day.

Thank you, Lily!


A Lifetime of Service Recognized

Join MontcoDFA in recognizing the contributions Larry and Shirley Curry have made to our community.