Mountain Views News     Logo: MVNews     Saturday, December 26, 2015

MVNews this week:  Page 14



 Mountain Views News Saturday, December 26, 2015 

DICK Polman




Susan Henderson


Dean Lee 


Joan Schmidt


LaQuetta Shamblee


Richard Garcia


Patricia Colonello




John Aveny 


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

Pat Birdsall (retired)



I would’ve preferred to watch “Fargo,” a pitch-black comedy 
about bloodlusting knuckleheads, but instead I dutifully tuned 
in the Republicans, and I got the same kind of characters.

 There was Ted Cruz, touting the awesomeness of carpet-
bombing ISIS, apparently clueless about the fact that ISIS troops 
are embedded in the cities, amongst civilian adults and children.

 There was Chris Christie, jonesing to shoot down Russian planes in a Syrian no-fly 
zone, a burst of bellicosity so egregious that two-percent candidate Rand Paul had to slap 
him silly: “We don’t need to confront Russia from a point of recklessness that would lead 
to war.”

 There was Donald Trump, vowing to launch “very, very firm” assaults on terrorists’ 
families, because, in his mind, the families are all part of the conspiracy. In reality, official 
9/11 investigators discovered that the hijackers had severed contact with their families 
long before the attack — and none of them had families in America.

Heck, even one of the moderators — conservative radio commentator Hugh Hewitt, 
tapped by CNN to make the candidates feel comfy — got into the spirit when he asked 
Ben Carson whether he was tough enough to kill lots of kids.

 Yes, folks, it was another Republican fright night — we’re all gonna die unless we elect 
their toughness. If you listened only to them, you’d never know that San Bernardino’s 
hideous death toll was only a fraction of the 10,000 Americans killed each year by the 
Second Amendment arsenal. Or that, for every Farook and Malik, there are hundreds of 
white-guy domestic terrorists toting easily acquired weapons of war.

 Early on, Carson called for a moment of silence for the San Bernardino victims. How 
fitting that he and his comrades offered no such silence for the people recently shot dead 
at the Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado. Or for the 10 people shot dead this fall at 
Umpqua Community College in October. Or for the nine people shot dead last June at 
the historic black church in Charleston.

 But worst of all was Christie. In his ongoing bid to mask his failed gubernatorial record 
with macho bluster, Christie implied that President Obama and Hillary Clinton are 
somehow responsible for a hoax that led to the evacuation of the Los Angeles Unified 
School District. 

 Perhaps, if Christie cares so much about little kids being “safe and sound,” he could’ve 
mentioned that Monday was the third anniversary of Sandy Hook, where 20 little kids 
were gunned down by a white all-American loser from a gun-loving family. But that 
would’ve breached the total Republican fixation on ISIS.

 On the broader issue of American strategy in the Middle East, these candidates are 
deeply divided. Woe to the viewer-voter who tuned in hoping for clarity. At least four 
of them — Trump, Cruz, Paul, Carson — appear to reject the neoconservative belief in 
American-led nation building and regime change. 

 Trump thinks we can thwart ISIS by closing down part of the Internet (whatever 
that means), Christie thinks we should keep Americans safe from five-year-old Syrian 
orphans, and boasted that he would partner successfully with King Hussein of Jordan, 
who died in 1999.

 All the while, for two and a half hours, not a single candidate (and not a single terrorist-
fixated CNN moderator) saw fit to mention the most consequential foreign policy event 
of the past week: the historic Paris climate change pact, championed by the American 
president, and endorsed by 188 countries from the developed and developing worlds.

 But these “Fargo” characters don’t do good news. They prefer to traffic in fear. The only 
good news is that they’re done debating for the year.


 Copyright 2015 Dick Polman, distributed exclusively by Cagle Cartoons newspaper 

 Dick Polman is the national political columnist at NewsWorks/WHYY in 
Philadelphia ( and a “Writer in Residence” at the University 
of Philadelphia. Email him at


My personal New Year’s resolutions are usually epic fails, so 
this year I’m making a dozen resolutions for the media, starting 


1. No more “Breaking News.” This resolution is especially 
important if you work at a cable news channel where the term 
has lost whatever smidgen of relevance it once had, and is now 
indistinguishable from what used to be called, simply, “News.”


2. Tweets are not news. If Trump tweets that Bush is “Dumb as a rock,” don’t rush to 
make a story out of it. If you must, remember, it’s not Breaking and it’s not News.


3. Skip social media questions at debates. We get it: news organizations are enamored 
with social media, but you don’t need to prove it by interrupting a presidential debate 
with a random Facebook question from “Joe in Michigan.”


4. #EnoughWiththeHashtags. Speaking of social media, resolve to ease up on meaningless 
hashtags. Things like #JeSuis are #Nolongercool.

5. Dump the “7-Day Forecast.” Face it, even with modern technology, meteorologists 
still struggle to predict tomorrow’s weather. The “long range” outlook? It’s no better 
than a coin flip. And Accuweather’s “45-day forecast”? LOL.

6. Avoid mid-season TV cliffhangers. One cliffhanger each spring is okay for dramatic 
series. But “The Walking Dead” and “The Blacklist” and so many others wear viewers 
out with contrived “Fall Finales” that leave us hanging from November to January.

7. Eliminate all commercials for FanDuel and DraftKings.

8. Don’t pollute the streams. Paid streaming services like Netflix and Amazon shouldn’t 
become dumping grounds for “originals” featuring good stars in bad shows. We’re 
talking about you Bill Murray, Bob Odenkirk and Aziz Ansari.

9. Quit being so hyper with links. Much of what’s published nowadays is digital, and one 
benefit is linking to sources. Thing is, too many links make for unattractive displays and 
give readers headaches due to linkophobia.

10. Don’t cop to cursing. Maybe Jon Stewart gets the blame for teasing us with too many 
faux bleeps. It’s now infected almost everyone on TV – from John Oliver to the cast of 
SNL. A bad joke doesn’t get funnier when propped up with bleeped words.

11. Stick with terms we know. Media get carried away when new expressions that few of 
us understand enter the zeitgeist. FOMO (fear of missing out), No Chill (too uptight to 
chill out), Squad (your group or clique) – they’re all uncoo (an adjective used to describe 
something that’s uncool).

12. Play the hits. Next December, radio stations should resolve to stick with original 
versions of holiday favorites. There’s nothing jolly about a Seth MacFarlane cover of a 
Bing Crosby Christmas classic.

Also, resolve to literally never use “epic fails” in an opening sentence. And, in 2016, don’t 
ever, under any circumstance, even if it fits, say or write “literally.


Peter Funt is a writer and speaker. His book, “Cautiously Optimistic,” is available 
at and © 2015 Peter Funt. Columns distributed 
exclusively by Cagle Cartoons, Inc., newspaper syndicate.

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HOWARD Hays As I See It

MICHAEL Reagan Making Sense


 Merry Trump.

 Happy Trump Year.

 Everywhere you look it’s not Christmas, it’s Trump, 
Trump, Trump.

 The billionaire who’s blown up the Republican 
primary process has supplanted Christmas. He’s 
supplanted New Year. At Donald’s house, instead of a 
Christmas tree, I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s a Trump Tree. 

 How can Carly Fiorina, Jeb Bush and those other fine non-Trump Republicans 
still running for president – I’ve forgotten half of their names – stand it?

 Nothing the remaining candidates can say or do gets them any attention from 
the national media or traction from Republican primary voters. 

 The news media don’t really care whether or not any of those dull governor guys 
come on the Sunday morning programs.

 And if Christie or one of the other non-Trumps does happen to get booked on 
someplace like “Meet the Press,” by accident or default, they won’t be asked to 
explain their positions on fighting terrorism, reforming immigration or Syria.

 No one really cares what they think about that boring stuff.

 They’ll be asked what they think about Trump’s recent facial gesture or his 
ethnic insult of the week.

 Or what they have to say about Trump’s latest pledge to make America great 
again by promising to do something completely unconstitutional on his first day as 

 It’s just as bad on the campaign trail for all the surviving non-Trumps. Almost 
no regular people show up to see them at their stops in Iowa and New Hampshire.

And no one who’s there from the national media actually pays attention to what 
the non-Trumps say.

 At this point the TV reporters clearly are just following around the non-Trumps 
in case the real Trump says something crazy on “Morning Joe” and they need to get 
a quick reaction from another Republican candidate.

 Meanwhile, in Iowa, Trump is attracting 90 percent of the media attention and 
filling up airplane hangars with thousands of his enthusiastic supporters.

 As I’ve said before, it won’t surprise or bother me in the least what outlandish 
thing Trump says next in one his stump speeches.

 What bothers me is all the applause he always gets.

 The televised images of Trump’s happy cheering crowds play into everything 
liberals have said forever about Republicans. We’re the party of angry old white 

 Sometime I’d just like to see one sign at a Trump rally that says “Blacks for 
Trump” or “Latinos for Trump” or “Muslims for Trump.”

 I’ll even take “Eskimos for Trump” or “Organic Beet Farmers for Trump.” 

 Just one of those signs would give me a glimmer of hope that members of a 
voting group other than old white people might come out to vote for Trump in a 
general election.

 If Trump wins the Republican nomination, I’m afraid it’s not going to go well for 
the GOP next fall.

 I run into a lot of ordinary people in a given week. I’m still looking for the person 
who tells me “If Trump gets the Republican nomination, I’ll vote for him” instead 
of “If Trump gets the Republican nomination, I’ll vote for Hillary.”

 This GOP primary has been so distorted by Trump’s candidacy and his strong 
appeal to angry Americans that if my father were running he’d be considered an 
insider and a RINO.

 Gov. Ronald Reagan of 1980 wouldn’t get any airtime today. And he wouldn’t 
have a snowball’s chance in Death Valley of winning the nomination.

But Trump and his celebrity power hasn’t been a total disaster for Republicans. By 
making things a lot more interesting, he’s brought tens of millions of new eyeballs 
to the debates.

 You might not like that if you are one of the non-Trumps doing the debating. But 
the GOP has definitely benefitted from all the extra publicity.

 The big question in the end is whether the party’s message coming out of these 
primary debates will be salable to enough voters in the fall.

 It has to appeal to people who aren’t Republicans, because the GOP is a minority 
party that always needs non-Republicans to win a general election.

 Trump or non-Trump, we better win in 2016. Otherwise, the Republican 
National Committee and the GOP should just pack their bags and move to another 


 Copyright ©2015 Michael Reagan. Michael Reagan is the son of President Ronald 
Reagan, a political consultant, and the author of “The New Reagan Revolution” (St. 
Martin’s Press). He is the founder of the email service and president of 
The Reagan Legacy Foundation. Visit his websites at and www. Send comments to Follow @
reaganworld on Twitter. 

 Mike’s column is distributed exclusively by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate. 
For info on using columns contact Sales at

“Christmas is not a time 
nor a season, but a state of 
mind. To cherish peace and 
goodwill, to be plenteous 
in mercy, is to have the real 
spirit of Christmas.”

- Calvin Coolidge

Over the past few weeks the 
news in general and this page seem to have been 
primarily about terrorist attacks (pro - jihadi 
and anti - Planned Parenthood), Republican 
debates and Donald Trump’s morphing into 
Benito Mussolini (though without the latter’s 
sophistication). I was about to continue with the 
same, but it’s Christmas – so instead I quote Calvin 
Coolidge and type the word “plenteous”; two things 
I’ve never done before.

 It’s the time to reflect on the good stuff that’s 
been happening. For one thing, as of last week 8 
million Americans have signed up for coverage 
through the federal website – and 
this doesn’t include those enrolling through states 
(like in California and New York). HHS Secretary 
Sylvia Burwell says “we have more sign-ups, more 
new enrollees and a younger population” than last 

 Earlier this month we saw what Jonathan Chait 
in New York Magazine called not only “probably 
the (Obama) administration’s most important 
accomplishment”, but “one of the great triumphs in 

 The agreement on global warming by 196 
nations in Paris was 25 years in the making – with 
the U.N. trying to get something going since the 
1990 Intergovernmental Panel called for action 
on greenhouse gasses. President Obama took a big 
step early on with support for renewable energy in 
his stimulus package. He put through regulations 
under the Clean Air Act and in 2014 got China 
to come on board with an agreement on carbon 

 The president had to contend with us being the 
only democracy in the world with a major party that 
denies science, but urgency overcomes obstacles. 
As Chait put it, “The damage from climate change 
is irreversible. Melted glaciers cannot be easily 
refrozen; extinct species cannot be reborn; flooded 
coastal cities are unlikely to be rebuilt. Action to 
mitigate climate change has an urgency nothing 
else can match.”

 A couple other stories this past week showed 
that spirit of “peace and goodwill” President 
Coolidge mentioned. In northern Kenya, a dozen 
Somali militants from al-Shabab stormed a bus 
and ordered that passengers get off and separate 
according to their Christian or Muslim faiths. A 
similar attack took place a year ago in the same 
area, with 28 non-Muslims summarily executed.

 This time was different. Once the passengers were 
off the bus, the militants said Muslim passengers 
could get back on – but they refused. As one of 
those passengers told Reuters, “We even gave some 
non-Muslims our religious attire to wear in the 
bus so that they would not be identified easily. We 
stuck together tightly . . . The militants threatened 
to shoot us, but we still refused and protected our 
brothers and sisters.” 

 The militants finally gave up and left after being 
told a police escort was on its way (it wasn’t). A 
county governor told a Kenyan newspaper that 
passengers insisted the militants could either “kill 
them together or leave them alone.”

 Another story began with a Facebook post from 
Dallas. Melissa Yassini posted about how her 
8-year-old daughter Sofia had ran to her “with a 
look of absolute fear on her face” after watching 
a news report with her grandmother on Donald 
Trump wanting to bar Muslim immigrants and 
expel refugees. Sofia then started packing her 
favorite stuff and checking the locks on the door, 
afraid the army was going to come get them.

 The post got the attention of Kerri Peek, an Army 
vet in Colorado, who responded, “Salamalakum 
Melissa! Please show this picture of me (in uniform) 
to your daughter. Tell her I am a Mama too and as 
a soldier I will protect her from the bad guys.” As 
an Hispanic, Peek had had enough of it herself 
and explained, “This rhetoric and fear, hate, and 
violence is not okay. It’s not the United States that I 
would fight for.” She sent a call out to fellow vets to 
respond under the hashtag #IWillProtectYou – and 
they did.

“Let Muslim children know that we will not hurt 
them. That they are safe here in America. That we 
will protect innocents as we always have and by 
added benefit keeping our oaths to uphold and 
defend the Constitution”

- Andres Herrera, U.S. Army

“I am not Muslim. But when anyone says the Army 
that I served with will go on to remove Muslims 
from my country, they’ll have to take me too.”

- David Bruce, U.S. Army

“We are Muslim, an Army family, and we will 
protect you,”

- Aneesah Hydar, U.S. Army

“For every loud mouth spewing hate, there are 
many more who refuse to tolerate it. I am one of 
those. We will always stand up for what is right.” 

- Lisa Jelle, U.S. Marines

“I would put my life on the line to save any child, 
Muslim, Christian, Atheist, whatever!”

- Bekah Lokker, U.S. Navy

“Real soldiers fight for ALL Americans. Because 
it’s ALL Americans who REALLY “make America 

- J.P. Thompson, U.S. Army 

 Melissa Yassini says she’s received over 500 
messages, “Christians, atheists, Jews, every walk 
of life, every stage, have reached out to Sofia and I 
with overwhelming support and love . . . I read each 
and every message to her, and she now understands 
that we’re all part of a fabric which is America.”

 Bus passengers in Africa, in an ultimate gesture 
of peace and goodwill, were ready to sacrifice 
themselves to protect those regarded not only 
as fellow Kenyans but more fundamentally as 
“brothers and sisters”. Men and women of our 
armed forces are prepared to make the ultimate 
sacrifice for their country, with the ultimate goal 
of peace on earth – and goodwill towards not only 
men, but towards a frightened 8-year-old girl in 

 May your blessings this holiday season and in 
the coming year be plenteous.

Mountain Views News

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