Mountain Views News     Logo: MVNews     Saturday, January 17, 2015

MVNews this week:  Page 15



Mountain Views-News Saturday, January 17, 2015 

JOE Gandelman An Independent�s Eye




Susan Henderson


Dean Lee 


Joan Schmidt


LaQuetta Shamblee


Richard Garcia


Patricia Colonello




John Aveny 


CoCo Lasalle

Chris Leclerc

Bob Eklund

Howard Hays

Paul Carpenter

Kim Clymer-Kelley

Christopher Nyerges

Peter Dills 

Dr. Tina Paul

Rich Johnson

Merri Jill Finstrom

Lori Koop

Rev. James Snyder

Tina Paul

Mary Carney

Katie Hopkins

Deanne Davis

Despina Arouzman

Greg Welborn

Renee Quenell

Ben Show

Sean Kayden

Marc Garlett

RICH Johnson


In the wake of the terrorist massacre in Paris, the new battle cry throughout 
the civilized world is �Je suis Charlie,� meaning �I am Charlie.� The phrase 
expresses solidarity for the four cartoonists and 13 others butchered by 
Islamic terrorists who attacked the satirical newspaper and a kosher market. 
But, actually, it�s clear now that the slogan for this century should be another 
one: �We are screwed.�

 Because we are.

 The 21st century will feature terrorists focusing on �soft targets.� Terrorism 
experts, government officials and military officials now seem resigned to a new era where terrorists opt 
for lower-cost operations death-cult �soldiers� to select groups of people of all ages who�ll be shot or have 
their heads sliced off. 

 The world will likely see some more big 9/11 terrorist extravaganzas, but the name of the game will be 
to butcher innocent people in more every day, vulnerable venues.

 We�re back to the days immediately following 9/11 when many felt terrorists would shoot people in the 
street, poison water supplies, or use dirty bombs. More d�j� vu: World War II saw Nazi dictator Adolf 
Hitler join with Italy and Japan to battle the rest of the world. Terrorist groups are competing with but 
also cooperating with each other. Can western countries create transatlantic cooperation to short-circuit 
-- and take-out -- terrorists who�ve declared war on them and their populations?

 News headlines suggest some flinching and cowardice on the part of governments or news organizations 
who don�t want to provoke terrorists. But the terrorists don�t really need provocation: they are looking for 
justifications to murder, grab headlines, foment fear, and recruit disaffected young people who can hide 
behind a religious cover-story to satisfy their dreams of being combatants in a real movie, or having total 
control over others. 

 You almost run out of breath following depressing headlines and developments.

 Cartoonist Daryl Cagle produced some outspoken cartoons and columns, documenting how some 
in the media reacted to the attack on cartoonists by stealing Charlie Hebdo cartoons, not showing or 
censoring more controversial cartoons on TV, firing a cartoonist and giving unconvincing reasons why 
they won�t show the cartoons. Then (coincidentally, �of course�) his website,, was hacked.

 NEWS: A new ISIS video seems to show a child executing two supposed Russian spies.

 HEADLINE: �Charlie Hebdo Writer Holds up Muhammed Cover on Sky News; Network Cuts Away 
and Apologizes.�

 The Daily Beast notes that CNN and ABC wouldn�t run the new Charlie Hebdo cartoon cover published 
after the murders to protect their staffs. The BBC did, with an explanation. AP said it consistently doesn�t 
run material meant to provoke. Etc.

 If all the world�s a stage, then Al Qaeda and ISIS over the past few months got �big B.O.� (Box Office) in 
operations and recruitments.

 ISIS is also known as IS, short for Islamic State. But it should be known as KS: Kinky State: it�s the 
ultimate sadistic, snuff-video producing cult. As the allies advanced, Adolf Hitler tried hiding some 
of his mass murder with Nazis frantically trying to destroy evidence at concentration camps. ISIS and 
Al Qaeda want to SHOWCASE their butchery to weaken foes� resolve, alter opponents� policies -- and 
because some disaffected youths really think it�s cool. On his popular website, Andrew Sullivan argues 
that ignoring this terrorism�s religious component is mistake, noting that in some parts of the Islamic 
world Islam blasphemy is still punishable by death. 

 Sullivan foresees �a series of slaughters to come, and the possible erosion of support for free speech 
outside these rare moments of cherished unity. I see no other way of getting through this: surveillance, 
vigilance, an end to invasion, occupation and torture, and patience. And to give not an inch to any 
infringement on free speech.�

 On January 1, cartoon depictions of 2015 showed the new year as an innocent, happy infant. Today, 
2015 is a menacing, smiling kid out of �Children of the Corn,� coming at you with a knife dripping with 

 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 also writes for The Week�s online edition. CNN�s John 
Avlon named him as one of the top 25 Centrists Columnists and Commentators. 

He can be reached at and can be booked to speak at Follow him on Twitter:


Remember when Jay Leno did his funny headlines on 
the tonight show? I do. In fact he read one I found in a 
trip to New England in 2006. A small town newspaper 
had a headline that read: �Building Collapses During 
Demolition�. What they were trying to report was the 
building collapsed in the wrong direction, out over 
into the street. I had to include the original newspaper clipping but sent my 
headline submission to Jay and he did do it over the air.

I have collected screwy headlines over the years. Let me share a few of my 

�Tokyo Train Crash! Four killed; Three Seriously� (Fortunate for that one 
who was killed but not seriously.) 

�Nine Volunteers Put in New Church Furnace� (I guess there was a wood 
and coal shortage that year.) 

�Man Found Dead in Cemetery� (What else can I say.) 

�Cold Wave Linked to Temperatures� (That must have been before global 

�Stolen Painting Found By Tree� (I wonder what reward the tree got.) 

�Panda Mating Fails: Chief Veternarian Takes Over� (Lets just not go there.) 

�Plane Too Close to Ground, Crash Probe Told� (That will do it every time.) 

�Mayor Says D.C. is Safe Except for Murders� (Well, if that�s all.)

 How about a trivia question? Can you name the first three presidents of the 
U.S.? If you give me those fellows named Washington, Adams and Jefferson 
you are wrong. They were presidents 9, 10, and 11. The first three presidents 
were John Hanson, Elias Boudinot and Thomas Mifflin. You think I must be 
off my rocker? I am but I�m right about my presidents. Those fellows were 
the first three presidents Under the Articles of Confederation. They served 
one year terms and those guys were followed by Richard Henry Lee, John 
Hancock, Nathan Gorman, Arthur St. Clair and Cyrus Griffin. Then came 
the establishment of the U.S. Constitution and that�s when George, John and 
Thomas came in, et cetera, et cetera. 

 I hope you are all having a wonderful New Year. The band I have the 
privilege to perform with, JJ Jukebox, is performing another 1960s-1970s 
music and improve performance the last day of January. That would be 
Saturday the 31st of January at the Peppertree Grill Restaurant in Sierra 
Madre. The time is 6:30 � 8:30. Address is 322 W. Sierra Madre Blvd. Phone 
number is (626) 355-8444. Please come join us for dinner and entertainment. 
We did sell out our last two concerts so please make reservations. 

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HOWARD Hays As I See It

�Even Adolph (*sic*) Hitler 
thought it more important 
than Obama to get to Paris.� 
- Rep. Randy Weber (R-TX) 
Barely a week into the 
new session of Congress, 
and already there�s the 
Obama / Hitler comparison. 
The congressman calls 
our president a �Socialistic dictator�, and 
was one of the 25 House wing-nuts who 
tried to dump Speaker John Boehner 
(R-OH) for being too squishy-centrist. 
We remember just a couple months ago 
when Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR) reminded, 
�Our party will ultimately be judged on how we 
govern�. Sen. Jerry Moran (R-KS) interpreted 
the �message� received from voters as, �We 
expect to have policies put in place that the 
American people support, and we expect 
you to work together to accomplish that.� 
With that in mind, we�ll look at what the 
114th Congress has on their record so far: 
They�ve changed House rules to require 
that �dynamic scoring� be applied when 
assessing the economic impact of proposed 
legislation. This is the method that 
assumes the impact will not be what the 
economists and bean-counters predict, but 
whatever those promoting the legislation 
say it�s going to be � which it hardly ever is. 
They approved $346 million in cuts to 
the IRS, out of frustration they never got 
anywhere with their IRS �scandal�, and to 
make it harder to enforce provisions of the 
Affordable Care Act. IRS Commissioner John 
Koskinen estimates this will cost us $2 
billion in uncollected revenue, in effect 
providing a �tax break for tax cheats�. 
They started right off in dismantling the 
Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform act, in 
particular by fudging the Volker Rule 
and allowing banks to hang onto their 
Collateralized Loan Obligations, or CLOs. 
These are similar to the securities that 
brought the Great Recession, but instead of 
mortgages it�s corporate debt that�s sliced, 
diced, repackaged and dumped on investors. 
The Volker Rule says banks can�t use the 
billions in taxpayer bailout funds to gamble 
on the same kind of stuff that left them 
having to be > bailed out in the first place. 
They were given a few years to dump their
CLOs, but complained this was too harsh; 
so their flunkies in Congress let them off 
the hook for an extra couple years. The 
winners are holders of CLOs - banks 
with more than $50 billion in assets, with 
half held by Chase and Citigroup alone. 
The losers are taxpayers who might have 
to come up with another few hundred 
billion for another bailout down the road. 
Always looking for suckers to stake their 
bets, for years Wall Street�s > had its eyes on 
the Social Security trust funds, some $2.7 
trillion, which they�d love to play with. The 
way �privatizing� was proposed during the 
Bush years, they�d take our money to the 
tables and if they won big, we�d do okay and 
they�d profit handsomely off their fees. If their 
bets went south, we�d lose our retirements and 
they�d still profit handsomely off their fees. 
To promote privatizing as a �fix�, first you�ve 
got to claim Social Security, one of the 
most successful programs in our history, is 
somehow �broken�. Republicans in their first 
week are doing their best to break it through 
a rule change preventing needed fund-
shifting between the separate Old Age and 
Disability funds. The shifting�s been routine 
under both Democrats and Republicans � 
including four times under President Reagan. 
But not anymore. Republicans serve their 
benefactors on Wall Street despite the cost, 
described by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) as 
affecting �around 11 million Americans, 
including nearly 2 million children with a
disabled parent (who) rely on Social Security 
to keep them out of poverty�. Sen. Sherrod 
Brown (D-OH) explains, �detractors 
working to privatize Social Security will do 
anything to manufacture a crisis out of a
routine administrative function.� 
In chipping away at the Affordable Care 
Act, Republicans have a bill to change the 
definition of �full time� for purposes of 
mandated employer coverage to 40 hours 
from 30 hours a week. It was set at 30 in 
the first place was to discourage employers 
from cutting hours just to avoid having to 
provide insurance. The CBO estimates this 
bill would result in a million employees 
losing their coverage at work, and add $53 
billion to our budget deficit. Republicans 
call it the �Save American Workers Act�. 
With the recent terrorism in Paris and 
expanding threats from around the world, 
Republicans are playing games with 
our Department of Homeland Security. 
Determined to reverse President Obama�s 
executive actions on immigration, where 
he ordered we focus our resources on 
expelling felons rather than splitting 
families, Republicans first introduced a 
bill to defund the part of DHS that would 
fund the president�s actions. Then they 
found out the president�s actions wouldn�t 
be funded through the DHS, anyway � so 
they stuck with their original plan to grant 
DHS a budget only through February 27. 
Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) accuses Speaker 
Boehner of using �the broken immigration 
system, the Department of Homeland 
Security and our national security as a 
political ploy . . . even in the wake of a 
terrorist attack in Paris that�s put our 
national security issues back on the front 
page�. She warned he�s �promising a fight 
on immigration that has the potential to shut 
down the Department of Homeland Security.� 
Also in those first few days, President 
Obama announced his plan to provide full-
time students with a 2.5 GPA two years at a 
community college. Rep. Chris Van Hollen 
(D-MD) introduced a tax bill providing for
middle-class tax breaks of $1,000 for 
individuals and $2,000 for couples, 
financed by a 0.1% levy on stock trades. 
In the meantime, Republicans introduced no 
less five measures restricting women�s rights to 
make their own healthcare decisions and, on 
the very day they were sworn in, announced 
the Select Committee on Benghazi would be 
plunging ahead into 2015 � with no budget or 
time constraints.

That�s one week down � and only about 102 
weeks to go.



We often hear about the corrupting influence of 
money in politics. This usually means quid pro quos 
for moneyed interests. There�s lip service paid to 
the amount of cash a politician must raise in order 
to even run for office. Famously, former Louisiana 
Governor Buddy Roemer ran for president in 2012 
by only taking $200 donations ... proving one can�t 
compete in the contest for the Oval Office by only 
taking $200 donations.

 In the wake of the Citizens United decision 
and a provision tucked into last year�s spending bill 
tripling the amount individuals can donate to national parties, money in politics 
should obviously be a concern. But what�s even more distressing is that just having 
the potential to be president has become its own vocation.

 Welcome to the Also-Ran Industrial Complex.

 There�s a pretty sizable, well-fed group of people who make a living pretending they 
want to be president: starting super-PACs, collecting speaking fees, selling email lists, 
selling books, scaring granny into buying gold coins, scaring grampy into buying 
doomsday survival kits. It�s less cottage industry, more McMansion enterprise.

 Running for president has become like marathon running. No one expects to win; 
it�s just entering the race that�s important. Running is its own reward!

 This reality is why former fraction-term Alaska Governor Sarah Palin just up and 
said �thanks, but no thanks� to the voters of America�s largest state. Why? Because 
there�s so much more money in teasing media outlets about possibly maybe one day 
thinking about running for president than in holding down an actual government 
job. It was time to cash in!

 The man who pioneered making a living being a loser was really Newt Gingrich. 
After he left his House and speakership in disgrace, he �consulted� for Freddie Mac, 
started a production company and toured as an orator. So it was no shock when the 
open casting call for the 2008 and 2012 Republican presidential nominees came up, 
Gingrich was there to grab some of that limelight. First he was considering running in 
2008 and then actually throwing his hat into the ring in 2012. Since running, Newt�s 
career has been on an upswing, landing a cushy gig on CNN.

 If it worked for someone as unscrupulous, immoral and unlikable as Newt 
Gingrich�it can work for anyone! The also-ran mold has been cast in Newt�s image.

 Now, due to forces in publishing, cable news and lobbying, it�s worth it for gadflies, 
hucksters, Huckabees and wannabes to run for higher office and land with a bigger 

 As perennial-kook former Senator Rick Santorum wondered in an interview 
earlier this week of the GOP hopefuls like Senators Rand Paul, Ted Cruz and Marco 
Rubio: �Do we really want someone with this little experience? Do we really want 
somebody who�s a bomb thrower, with no track record of any accomplishments?�

 For president? No. But Senate first-termers Cruz and Rubio aren�t running to be 
the next president, they�re running to be the next Newt Gingrich. And Rand Paul? 
He�s running to be the next Ron Paul.

 Am I just cynical? Do I not believe in the magic of that one special candidate I can 
fall in love with and know he�ll/she�ll be my everything in the Executive Branch?

In a word: Yes.

 Politics on this level is not about the voters. It�s about the fans; it�s about the fantasy. 
It�s about the fringy niche politicians hating the same things you hate and believing all 
the weird stuff you�ve read on the Internet too. It�s about selling the dream of purists 
being in charge of this rapidly changing and continually more pluralistic society. It�s 
about telling like-minded people exactly what they want to hear�that they alone are 
the candidate who can take us back to a better time in the near future.

 Because no matter who becomes president, they inevitably become a compromiser. 
All presidents let down those who love them most at some point. But someone with 
an Internet 

channel (or what used to be called a website) can suspend that reality and make us 
believe that we can be right, be on top and things can be simple once again.

 Just hit the �donate now� button.

Tina Dupuy is a nationally syndicated op-ed columnist, investigative journalist, 
award-winning writer, stand-up comic, on-air commentator and wedge issue fan. 
Tina can be reached at

TINA Dupuy 

Mountain Views News

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