Mountain Views News     Logo: MVNews     Saturday, June 7, 2014

MVNews this week:  Page B:4

Mountain Views-News Saturday, June 7, 2014 
B4 OPINIONMountain 
Susan Henderson 
Dean Lee 
Joan Schmidt 
LaQuetta Shamblee 
Pat Birdsall 
Patricia Colonello 
John Aveny 
Chris Leclerc 
Bob Eklund 
Howard HaysPaul CarpenterKim Clymer-KelleyChristopher NyergesPeter Dills 
Hail Hamilton 
Rich Johnson 
Merri Jill Finstrom 
Lori KoopRev. James SnyderTina Paul 
Mary CarneyKatie HopkinsDeanne Davis 
Despina ArouzmanGreg WelbornRenee Quenell 
Ben Show 
Sean KaydenMarc Garlett 
Mountain Views News 
has been adjudicated asa newspaper of GeneralCirculation for the County 
of Los Angeles in CourtCase number GS004724: 
for the City of SierraMadre; in Court Case 
GS005940 and for the 
City of Monrovia in CourtCase No. GS006989 and 
is published every Saturday 
at 80 W. Sierra MadreBlvd., No. 327, Sierra 
Madre, California, 91024. 
All contents are copyrighted 
and may not bereproduced without the 
express written consent ofthe publisher. All rights 
reserved. All submissions 
to this newspaper becomethe property of the Mountain 
Views News and maybe published in part or 
Opinions and viewsexpressed by the writersprinted in this paper donot necessarily expressthe views and opinionsof the publisher or staffof the Mountain Views 
Mountain Views News is 
wholly owned by GraceLorraine Publications, 
Inc. and reserves the rightto refuse publication ofadvertisements and other 
materials submitted for 
Letters to the editor and 
correspondence should 
be sent to: 
Mountain Views News 
80 W. Sierra Madre Bl. 
Sierra Madre, Ca. 
Phone: 626-355-2737 
Fax: 626-609-3285 
PRISONER EXCHANGE“By the time election day 
is passed there is nothing 
much to do save turn the 
sitting rascals out and let 
a new gang in.” -H.L. 
Elections are held in 
Egypt, Syria and the 
United States all within a 
couple weeks of each other. 
There’s the tradition in 
Syria of bringing a needle to the polls – you 
prick your finger to show you’ll support your 
candidate with blood. In Egypt, they held 
polls open an extra day – hoping enough 
voters would show up to make it seem legit. 
Here in California, the question was whether 
Gov. Brown would be going up against the 
guy who forgot about the loaded gun in his 
carry-on at the airport; or the one who, when 
testifying before a House committee in his 
role as “Bailout Czar”, couldn’t say whether 
or not it was “appropriate” that AIG gave out 
$3 million executive bonuses after getting a 
$125 billion taxpayer bailout,. 
There’s been other news. After the tragic 
shootings in Isla Vista, there were the 
preemptive moves against legislation that 
might help keep guns away from those who 
shouldn’t have them (like maybe those who’d 
forget about having a loaded gun in their 
There was the freeing of our only POW 
still held from the Afghanistan/Iraq wars. 
Within a couple days, Republican operative 
(and Fox News contributor) Richard Grenell, 
through his PR firm, was arranging media 
appearances for soldiers suggesting he 
should’ve been left there. 
Republicans warned of the danger should 
the five Guantanamo detainees released in 
exchange return to the battlefield. Statistics 
from the Office of the Director of National 
Intelligence show that 6% (a total of five) 
of the detainees released under President 
Obama have indeed resumed the fight. 
This compares with 30% of the 500-some 
detainees released under President Bush. 
Then there’s the Obama Administration 
plan to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from 
coal plants by 30% from 2005 levels by 2030. 
We’re already halfway there; they’ve already 
been reduced 15% since 2005. Sen. Mike 
Enzi (R-WY) warns the plan would “kill coal 
and its 800,000 jobs”. (The National Mining 
Association counts 90,000 mining jobs in the 
whole country.) Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) calls 
it an “illegal use of executive power”, while 
the Supreme Court in both 2007 and 2011 
affirmed the EPA’s duty to regulate carbon 
pollution as it “endangers public health or 
Of course, there’s the cost – up to $8 billion. 
The EPA estimates up to $90 billion in health 
savings from lower risks of asthma, lung 
disease, heart attacks, etc. Still, it promises 
to be a major campaign issue in the coming 
months, with Republicans going to the mat 
over preventing our current dependency on 
coal for 37% of our electricity from falling to 
maybe 31%. 
But back to the elections. If there was 
any “trend” nation-wide, it was Republican 
“establishment” candidates prevailing over 
the tea-baggers. They may not be as colorful, 
and there may not be as many efforts to 
impeach the president, repeal Obamacare 
(like they’ve tried some fifty times already), 
or to permit open-carry of firearms in bars, 
playgrounds and churches, but that doesn’t 
mean there’s any less determination in 
pursuit of an agenda. 
Although not as newsy as stories mentioned 
above, there were others involving this 
“establishment” wing of the party that give 
a good indication as to what’s at stake come 
The Republican National Committee is 
calling for the repeal of not Obamacare, but 
the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act. 
Like the Affordable Care Act, the FATCA 
was passed early in the administration and is 
now about to come into effect, It’s the result of 
long negotiations with banks in Switzerland, 
the Cayman Islands, etc. – in which they’ve 
agreed to help the IRS crack down on tax 
cheats who hide their stashes overseas. This 
cheating costs our treasury about $300 billion 
a year – nearly a tenth of our annual budget. 
The RNC, however, is more concerned about 
its unpopularity with its donor base – and so 
will commit to its repeal. 
Likewise, the Republican Congress 
continues working to cut hundreds of 
millions from the enforcement budgets 
of not only the IRS, but from the SEC and 
Commodities Futures Trading Commissions 
– the two agencies most responsible under 
the Wall Street reform acts for clamping 
down on the reckless trading and ridiculous 
profits that brought our Great Recession. 
As for the IRS and those offshore accounts, 
every dollar spent on enforcement brings 
$6.60 back to our Treasury; for international 
business compliance, it brings $8.80. With 
those millions in cuts, you can do the math. 
For months, House Republicans have blocked 
efforts to raise the federal minimum wage or 
renew unemployment insurance. Last week, 
they blocked a bill that would have prevented 
the federal government from contracting 
with outfits known to engage in wage theft; 
denying overtime pay or forcing employees 
to work off the clock in violation of the Fair 
Labor Standards Act. They claimed the bill 
was too difficult to understand. 
Last week, Republicans on the House Ways 
and Means Committee pushed through 
another batch of tax breaks figured to add 
$300 billion to our deficit over the next 
decade, in addition to the $300 billion in 
loopholes passed the month before. Most, 
like “bonus depreciation”, were put in place 
as “temporary” stimulus to spur the recovery, 
but now they want to make them permanent. 
As for programs like food stamps, 
unemployment insurance and disaster relief, 
Republicans insist they be “paid for” with 
cuts elsewhere. With “bonus depreciation”, 
however, that can simply be tacked onto 
our nation’s debt as a gift to their corporate 
This “establishment” crowd isn’t as colorful 
as the tea-baggers, and won’t be as much 
fun to follow over the next several months. 
They are all the more concerning, however 
– because they sometimes know how to get 
JOE Gandleman 
An Independents Eye 
To this day there's 
some dispute over who originated the phrase 
"grabbed defeat from the jaws of victo-ry." 
What is certain is we're now seeing living 
examples of the phrase, demonstrated by 
both the Obama administration and the 
Republican Party. 
Victory's jaws are surely sore from the 
pulls by Obama & Co. and the GOP 
in a controversial prisoner exchange, 
where American Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl was 
traded for five Taliban prisoners from 
Guantanamo. We now see six prisoners 
free -- and how political hubris creates a 
seemingly inescapable prison. 
For Republicans, the controversy has all 
the makings of a negatively-defining event 
that could sway in-dependent voters and 
irk some centrist Democrats. Not only 
does it entail the American government 
dealing with, if not outright terrorists, 
then terrorist enablers and supporters, 
the prisoner exchange itself might have 
legitimately broken the law. On top of that, 
it includes the release of a prisoner who 
some claim wasn't worthy of the soldiers 
who risked or lost their lives unsuccessfully 
trying to free him years ago. 
The deal's implementation displays a 
political dumbness on the part of the 
White House that hasn't been seen since 
last October when Texas Republican Sen. 
Ted Cruz convinced GOPers in Congress 
that it'd be just peachy for Republicans 
to shut down the government over the 
budget. According to NBC's Chuck Todd, 
the White House was caught "flat footed" 
by the negative response to the Bergdahl 
deal, since it had expected "euphoria" over 
the release. 
Yes, Bergdahl was freed. But it sounds like 
someone was drinking the same Delusion 
Flavored Kool Aid that former Vice 
President Dick Cheney successfully served 
when he predicted Iraqis would greet their 
American liberators by throwing flowers 
and garlands. 
The administration didn't properly consult 
Congress. California Democratic Sen. 
Diane Feinstein wasn't pleased, and the 
White House briefing of Senators later 
didn't defuse bipartisan anger. The Obama 
ad-ministration argued the deal had to 
be done quickly and was legally covered 
in a signing statement. And, indeed, the 
political reality is that any announced 
dealings would have fizzled due to the 
GOP's consist-ently obstructionist 
behavior. But the administration acted on 
shaky legal grounds. 
CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin said 
President Obama "clearly" broke the law 
because "signing state-ments are not law. 
Signing statements are the president's 
opinion about what the law should 
mean. Now, it may be that the law is 
unconstitutional, a violation of his power 
as commander in chief, but no court has 
held that. The law is on the books, and he 
didn't follow it." 
University of Georgetown law professor 
Jonathan Turley nailed it on his blog, 
writing: "Putting aside the violation of 
federal law, do you believe that the United 
States should negotiate with groups like 
the Tali-ban or make trades with such 
captors? If not, where do we draw the line 
— with soldiers to exclude citi-zens? There 
are clearly arguments to be made by those 
who believe that we should negotiate with 
terror-ists but the current official policy is 
that we do not." 
So the GOP is poised to score big political 
points? Probably not. 
After being in 24/7 anti-Obama rage/
demonization mode for so many years, 
even with having a REAL issue fall 
into their lap that has authentic nuance 
that could alienate many Americans by 
raising troubling issues as terrorists seek 
weaknesses to advance their battle against 
democracies, the Republican Party is in 
already rhetorical, overreach overdrive. 
Almost as fast as you could say "birth 
certificate" or "Benghazi," the inevitable 
partisanship parroting the tiresomely 
predictable conservative political 
entertainment media and the calls for 
impeachment have begun. 
Amid genuine questions about whether 
Bergdahl was a deserter, one conservative 
site calls him "the Democratic party's ideal 
type soldier." So much for winning over 
centrist Democrats. A Fox News host said 
Bergdahl's father looks like a Muslim due 
to his beard, while Sarah Palin said she'd 
like "Duck Dyn-asty's" bearded anti-gay 
Phil Robertson to run for President. A 
beard's meaning is in the eye of the big-ot. 
If the GOP could choose serious policy 
discussion over polemics, they could score 
serious political points. But Republicans, 
like the White House, just can't resist 
pulling that bright, shiny object out of 
victory's mouth. 
Joe Gandelman is a veteran journalist who wrote 
for newspapers overseas and in the United States. 
He has appeared on cable news show political 
panels and is Editor-in-Chief of The Moderate 
Voice, an Internet hub for independents, centrists 
and moderates. He can be reached at jgandel-man@ 
things done. 
A Weekly Religion Column by Rev. James Snyder 
There’s a lot of controversy swirlingaround Obama’s decision to trade five 
hardened terrorists for American SergeantBergdahl, among which is the concern ThePresident acted illegally by insufficientlyconsulting Congress. As a conservative, I 
support Obama’s right, as Commanderin-
Chief, to make this decision without 
consultation. I defended Bush in this 
regard, and I’ll defend Obama, too. But that 
doesn’t mean it was a good decision. In fact, 
it may go down as the worst decision thispresident, this Commander-in-Chief, hasmade. 
The President clearly thinks this was agood decision, offering first that Bergdahl’shealth was so badly deteriorated that 
repatriating him was necessary, but themore compelling, and overriding, reasonhe offered was that “regardless of thecircumstances, we still get an Americansoldier back if he’s held in captivity, period.
Full stop. We don’t condition that”. So 
really, in the President’s mind, whetherBergdahl was healthy or not, there areno conditions placed on repatriating oursoldiers. 
Except, there are conditions, and alwayshave been in every war or skirmish we’vefought. There have to be. To believe 
otherwise is simply a manifestation oftypical Liberal naiveté - we will act as wewant the world to be, not as it really is.
Consider the following illustration. What 
if we had captured Adolph Hitler? Would 
we have traded him back for any numberof American POWs? Or if we had capturedany of the 9-11 murdering hijackers, would 
any be released to retrieve any number ofAmerican hostages? The answer to both is 
of course, no! There are limits placed onany trade – limits that balance the benefits 
against the costs to insure that Americabenefits. If it is to be done, it must be a 
sober and purposeful decision. 
The benefit here is clear to the Bergdahlfamily, and I wish them no ill. They havetheir son back. We can all empathize withthat. Any family who has lost a loved one, 
or faces the risk of losing a loved one, wants 
that person safe and sound. And it is these 
forgotten people who will now bear thehorrendous cost of this trade. 
The trade once again trashes America’s 
reputation. The President has affirmed 
we will not negotiate with terrorists. Yes 
we will! The President said that the 5 
released terrorists will be kept in Qatarand monitored for a year. No they won’t!
Qatar says they’re free to roam and free toreturn to Afghanistan or any other hot spotfor that matter. In case our friends needed 
more reasons to doubt us and our enemies 
fewer reasons to fear us, the Bergdahl tradefurther undermines our credibility andemboldens our enemies. 
The trade has and will cost the militarydearly. Releasing 5 terrorists for 1 apparent 
deserter, even as we leave stranded a brave 
and certainly hurts 
recruitment efforts. 
Those who have alreadyborn the load will now 
bear a heavier one in 
their knowledge that 
their service is so under-
appreciated. And 
what of the men who lost their lives tryingto “rescue” Sergeant Bergdahl? When 
the facts of his “departure” were finallyknown, a mare hazardous rescue mission 
was appropriately aborted lest more mendie. To their families, we simply say, “suckit up and salute”? We will add 5 more to 
the ranks of those who will execute further 
American deaths. 
The trade should also prompt us toacknowledge the other westerners whowill bear the cost of escalating kidnappingsaround the world. If the U.S. will trade one 
soldier deserter for 5 hardened terrorists, 
what might the U.S., or an even weaker 
western nation, surrender for 10 or 15 
kidnapped innocent civilians? Anyone whobelieves these boundaries will not be tested 
by Al Qaeda or the Taliban is dreaming. 
Lastly, the trade has made the world amore dangerous place and insured thatthousands more all over the globe will suffer.
The GITMO 5 who were repatriated to thekilling sands of the Mideast are all hardenedkillers serving in senior Taliban leadershippositions – among them a militarycommander, defense minister, intelligence 
minister, liaison to Iran; all with the blood 
of thousands on their hands. These senior 
terrorist leaders are not going to returnto their fields and orchards to raise their 
families in peace and brotherly love. Theywill resume the torture, murder and crimesagainst-
humanity which landed them inGITMO and should have been sufficient to 
keep them there for the remainder of their 
These men were not simply soldiersunder another flag, fighting honorably whilesteadfastly observing the nuances of the 
laws of war to protect noncombatants. Theydidn’t wear uniforms to identify themselves,
purposely hid among civilians to put themat risk, and steadfastly refuse to considerany westerner a non-combatant. As they’verepeatedly, and painfully, reminded us,
their version of Islam declares all kafirs 
(non-believers) to be combatants. Theywill rampage, slaughter and maim again. 
We cannot begin to estimate the number ofsouls who will bear the cost of this trade. 
Was The President authorized to make 
this trade? Intellectual honesty demands we 
answer yes. No matter the wording of thestatute, the Constitution grants this power 
to the Commander-in-Chief. I won’t denythat just because Obama is president. Was 
the trade a catastrophe of as yet unfathomedglobal proportions? Unquestionably, yes. 
Worst decision of his presidency? God, I 
hope so. If there’s something worse thanthis, I don’t want to know. 
Listening to news 
particularly the 
s-t h e-on ly-r i g ht-
view programs you 
might come away with the idea that there 
is a war on everything. 
The list goes something like this, the war 
on: Women... Poverty... Drugs... Terrorist 
and on and on I could go. You name it, 
there is a war addressed. I believe we 
should be serious about dealing with 
certain negative aspects of society and do 
whatever it takes to make people's lives 
better. I am all for those ideas, however, I 
sometimes think it goes just a little too far. 
Most of the time, someone is for a certain 
"war" because of some political advantage 
it will give them in the public's eye. I guess 
you cannot be a politician unless you are 
willing to poke somebody in the eye! 
Is it just me or have you noticed people 
will create a war on something just to 
get in the limelight? They are not against 
something they just know someone is; that 
someone is someone that goes to the polls 
and votes, and they want their vote. 
Do not let this thought get too far, but 
I think it would be a whole lot cheaper 
during election time for politicians just to 
write checks and send out to all the voters 
saying, "Here's $1,000, vote for me." It 
would be a lot cheaper in the long run and 
who couldn't use $1,000 right about now. 
This war I am speaking of is rather covert 
and does not get any time on the national 
or cable news. Everybody knows it is going 
on but nobody wants to point it out. That 
is, up until now. 
The greatest war going on in our society 
today is the war on common sense. There, 
I said it. And I stand by what I said. There 
is a tremendous attack on common sense 
in our society today. 
Perhaps somebody could argue that there 
has never been a time in our history where 
we had too much common sense. That may 
be true, but it seems that people today are 
going out of their way to make common 
sense nonsense. 
I must confess that common sense is not as 
common as it once was and perhaps never 
was. I like to think that somewhere along 
the line a few good people have entertained 
common sense. 
There are so many laws in our land 
these days that it is impossible keep 
up with them all. There must be a law 
somewhere particularly in Washington, 
DC that says any law that makes sense 
has to be immediately thrown out. We 
have politicians that would not recognize 
common sense if it bit them on the nose. 
Most politicians have their nose in other 
people's business anyway. 
It would be nice if just some time these 
politicians would simply come together 
and establish a law, merely one law that 
makes sense. In order to make one law that 
makes sense they have to have 999 other 
laws that confuse it to such a degree that it 
no longer makes sense. 
Common sense would tell me, for 
example, if I do not have enough money 
I cannot purchase a certain thing. That 
does not work in Washington. Oh no. 
In Washington, affording something 
financially is never part of the equation. 
The only thing important in that equation 
is, does this make somebody who voted for 
me happy enough to vote for me again? 
It takes a lot of good old-fashioned 
common sense to take care of money 
and run my household budget in such 
a way that the Gracious Mistress of the 
Parsonage is happy. Taking care of money 
and making sure that we do not spend 
money on things we do not need is part of 
the common sense that helps me balance 
my checkbook month after month. 
Common sense says I need to balance my 
Washington sense says, write checks until 
you have no more checks to write then 
order more checks. Forget all that stuff 
about balance. If we run out of money, we 
just print more money. 
Does that really make sense? 
It would be great if I could do that with 
my home budget. If I do not have enough 
money one month all I need to do is go 
down into the basement and print a bunch 
of money to make up the difference. 
Not only is common sense eliminated 
from the financial aspects of our country, 
but health issues are also thrown to the 
Common sense would tell me I need to eat 
Washington sense says, eat what I tell you 
to eat. I have seen some of the stuff that 
they, the government, wants us to eat. The 
government wants to come into our school 
cafeterias and force-feed our children a 
proper diet. 
In most of these schools, I cannot speak for 
all of them, the children have the common 
sense to throw it away. Common sense 
says if it does not look good or taste good 
it probably ain't good for you. (Pardon my 
The Bible has a lot to say about this. My 
favorite verse of Scripture is, "Therefore to 
him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it 
not, to him it is sin" (James 4:17). 
I need to make common sense the 
standard of my day-to-day living based 
upon the common teaching of the Word 
of God. 
Marine in Mexico, devastates morale 
Mountain Views News 
Mission Statement 
The traditions of 
community newspapers 
and the 
concerns of our readers 
are this newspaper’s 
top priorities. We 
support a prosperouscommunity of well-
informed citizens. 
We hold in highregard the values 
of the exceptionalquality of life in our 
community, includingthe magnificence of 
our natural resources. 
Integrity will be our 

Mountain Views News 80 W Sierra Madre Blvd. No. 327 Sierra Madre, Ca. 91024 Office: 626.355.2737 Fax: 626.609.3285 Email: Website: