The meeting was called to order at 12:30 p.m. by the Club’s President David Klaus. He led the American members and guests in the Pledge of Allegiance. Ausra Kaminskas provided the words of inspiration.
 

Lynn Holec, Secretary, introduced the following guests:

  • Michael Robinson, the Director of the Office of Extended Learning for the Friendship PCS Company
  • Sofia Abraham Mendoza, the Senior Business Development Manager for Baker and McKenzie, a guest of A.A. Kravetz
  • Deraux L. Branch, Vice President Business Relationship Manager for that great state chartered bank out of Georgia SUNTRUST (Deraux is a prospective member so please introduce yourself to Deraux at the next meeting)
  • Francis Muray, Team Leader at the World Bank (Francis is also a prospective member so please introduce yourself to Francis at the next meeting as well)
  • Lynn Kaymark from Hughes Hubbard, a guest of Lynn Holec
  • Faith and, former Rotarian from Hawaii and Colorado Springs, Bill Doody, guests of Judge Larry & Doris Margolis
  • Rotaract member Rachel Youngkyung Kim
  • Gianni Brizzi, former Director at the World Bank and guest of Stefan Alber
  • Luis Lizarralde, special legal consultant and guest of Clara Montanez
  • James Hamill, Deputy Director of International Affairs for the U.S. Federal Trade Commission…and more importantly, guest of his lovely wife Gail Hamill (does Rotary count as a lunch date?)

Lynn Holec also introduced the following visiting Rotarians:

  • Ana Catalina, a peace fellow from the Mexico City Rotary Club
  • Yukio Tada, a trade consultant from the Tokyo Rotary Club (formerly from our beloved Club, glad to have him back visiting)
  • Tim Mertz, who is in banking, from the Bethesda/Chevy Chase Rotary Club (didn’t get the farthest distance traveled to our club this time, but please keep trying). 

Peggy Schoen, Sergeant at Arms, announced the following birthday:

  • Erminia Scarcella’s 29th Birthday (Happy Birthday, Erminia)

Monica Boner Announced that the Foundation Fundraising Campaign has raised $15,000 from 60 donors so far.  They are off to a good start and are looking forward to 100% participation this year.  Let’s not let them down!!!   (I just pledged online so they now have 61 donors as of today, it was really easy,  just go here: www.dcrotaryfoundation.org, it only took a minute and it makes you feel great).  

President David Klaus made the following announcements:

  • The Rotary Club of Qiryat Gat at the northern gateway in Negev desert in Israel raised an international toast to the Washington D.C Rotary Club at their recent meeting.  Is it possible that their Rotary Club is even more fun than ours is? (Any excuse for a little bubbly at lunch)
  • The Rotaract Club raised $485 for Disaster Aid USA at their Halloween Fundraiser.  Congratulations to Kara Merrigan and their entire club for their terrific efforts!
  • There were two advertisements in the Post over the past couple of weeks, promoting applications for The Washington Post Award for Excellence in NonProfit Management, of which our club is a co-sponsor.  If you have any questions about it, see the Center for Nonprofit Excellence CEO Glen O’Gilvie, one of our new members, or Alexander Kravetz or Ed’ ObrienLarry Margolis is serving as an advisor to the award committee.
  • The Program Committee met immediately after the meeting today and we are all looking forward to another great year of fabulous speakers.
  • The Great Grate Patrol is in need of volunteers for this month, please contact John Jackson if you can help out.  It is getting really cold out at night which makes these patrols all the more important.  Our speaker from last week, Brian Carome the Executive Director from Street Sense sent along the answer to a question posed to him from last week.  Unfortunately, the homeless population has increased in Washington DC in the past four years by 15% (from 6,044 to 6,954).  This makes your participation in the Grate Patrol all the more important.
  • Walter Reed Bingo will be held on Thursday, January 17th.  Dinner and fellowship is 5-6pm, games 6-7pm.  Pre-register with Shawn English or Peggy Garrett before 3pm Tuesday, January 15th.
  • Movie Night is this Thursday, January 9.  The Movie is Hyde Park on the Huson and the E Street Cinemas.  Meet at 6:30pm to get tickets and seats.  See Alexander Kravetz or May Gwinn for more information.
  • The deadline for applying for a community grant from the DC Rotary Foundation is January 14th.

Peter Kennedy introduce today’s speaker, Bill Kristol, the founder and editor of the political magazine The Weekly Standard and a regular commentator on the Fox News Channel.  Mr. Kristol reminded us that the period in the early 80ies until 2001 was a period of great moderation.  Not much fundamental change happened during this time.  The division of power was fairly even from 96-2004 with the least variance in elections.  Things were reasonably stable.  Things changed in the middle of the Bush Administration and consensus broke down.  The financial crisis in 2008 make things worse because during the period of great moderation Congress often could kick the problems down the road, now hard choices have to be made.  The elections between 2008 and 2012 have driven the parties further to the left and right with more liberal democrats and Tea Party Republicans.  The budgets offered by both sides are very different.  The battles of the moderate period tended to be “between the 40 yard lines of both sides” now the fights are much broader and bigger and politics have become much more turbulent.  Lots of incumbents have lost their seats, more than in the past 40 years, but this could be healthy in a democracy.  There is a sense that they old ways are not working, so you see new people with fresh ideas.  It is important to remember that we are not going back to the “norm” for a while, there are still lots of open questions that need to be decided so we are in a moment of unusual fluidity.  The stability of the past was purchased at the price of not dealing with some of the tough issues.  This unusual fluidity makes it hard to predict anything at the moment, but again it is not unhealthy.  Civic participation is way up and while this instability is a little unnerving, Mr. Kristol is optimistic.

President David Klaus presented a tree certificate to Mr. Kristol which promises to plant a tree in honor of our speakers.

Lynn Holec won $55 in today’s raffle but missed the Ace of Spades for the large pot which is inching its way to the $1,000 mark.  There are only 32 cards plus the Ace of Spades for next week’s large pot drawing, but you have to play to win. 

Thanks to the following people for supporting this week’s meeting:

  • Buz Gorman and Gene Lloyd sold the raffle tickets
  • Balraj Gupta, Ted Hamady, Norm Coe, and Stu Shalloway manned the hospitality table
  • Josette Conell and Monica Smith greeted our fellow Rotarians as they arrived
  • Buz Gorman wrote the meeting in review.

The next meeting will be on January 16th, when David Klaus will lead the third quarter club assembly. See you there!