Mountain Views News, Pasadena Edition [Sierra Madre] Saturday, November 11, 2017

MVNews this week:  Page B:3

B3 Mountain Views News Saturday, NOVEMBER 11, 2017 OPINION B3 Mountain Views News Saturday, NOVEMBER 11, 2017 OPINION 
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Note to editors: This column was originally distributed in 2015.

“I had no idea that many men and women have served our country

in our armed forces.” 

“Ah, yes, you refer to Veterans Day facts and figures shared by the U.S.

Census Bureau. Did you know there are nearly 20 million U.S. veteransliving today? Roughly half are 65 and older. Nearly 2 million are under the age of 35.”

“That’s interesting stuff. Those older than 65 served in World War II, Korea and Vietnamand the 2 million under 35 served mostly in Iraq and Afghanistan after 911?”

“You are correct. According to statistics released by the Department of Veterans Affairs,
World War II vets are dying at a rate of approximately 492 a day. This means there areapproximately only 855,070 veterans remaining of the 16 million who served our nation inWorld War II.” 

“The greatest generation!”

“My father served in the Korean War. He is 82. Of the 5.7 million who served during thatwar, 2 million veterans are still with us.” 

“What about the Vietnam War?” 

“Of the 8.7 million veterans who served in that horrific war, 7 million are still alive. To 
round out the numbers, 5.5 million veterans served during the Gulf War era, which spans1990 to the present. Roughly 4.4 million veterans served during peacetime. Other veteranshad it awfully tough.”

“How so?” 

“Nearly 63,000 living veterans served during the Vietnam War and both periods of the GulfWar. They served from August 1990 through August 2001 and then from September 2001 andbeyond.”

“God bless them for their service.” 

“Some of our living veterans served through three wartime periods! Nearly 37,000 servedduring World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War.”

“The makeup of the armed services is changing as our demographics change. Thoughnearly 80 percent are ‘non-Hispanic white,’ nearly 12 percent are black, 6 percent are Hispanic,

1.5 percent are Asian and nearly 2.5 percent are Native Americans, Alaskans and Hawaiians.”
“What about women who serve?” 
“Those numbers are growing, too. There are currently 1.6 million female veterans in our

“We are lucky to still have these men and women with us and the purpose of Veterans Dayis to honor all of those who have served. But what about the people who gave the ultimatesacrifice for our country?”

“Did you know that nearly 1 million Americans have died for their country? Approximately4,500 died during the American revolution.”

“I did not know that. What about our bloody Civil War?”

“Bloody is the right word. Nearly 370,000 Union soldiers and 135,000 Confederate soldiersdied during that war. We lost nearly 120,000 veterans in World War I and nearly 405,000 inWorld War II. The Korean War claimed 34,000 and the Vietnam War 48,000.” 

“Those are sobering numbers.”

“If there is any silver lining as far as war goes, it is that our modern war-fighting techniquesand medical technologies are resulting in fewer battlefield deaths. Of the 2.7 million who haveserved in Afghanistan and Iraq, we have suffered more than 6,800 losses. However, more than50,000 were wounded and many of them are still suffering from their disabilities.”

“We need to do more to help our suffering veterans.”

“That is exactly what Veterans Day is about. It is a special day when we honor all of thosewho have served. It is also a great day to give back.”
“Give back?” 

“We can volunteer at a local veterans’ organization or provide financial support. has a list of legitimate organizations that provide help and resources todisabled veterans. I’m going to donate $50 now.”
“Now that’s the kind of Veterans Day number I prefer!” 

2017 Tom Purcell. Tom Purcell, author of “Misadventures of a 1970’s Childhood” and “Wicked 
Is the Whiskey,” a Sean McClanahan mystery novel, both available at, is aPittsburgh Tribune-Review humor columnist and is nationally syndicated exclusively byCagle Cartoons Inc. For info on using this column in your publication or website, or call (805) 969-2829. Send comments to Tom at 





The initial grand jury indictments in special counsel Robert 

Mueller’s investigation have dropped like a box of rocks and 

include something called “Conspiracy against the United 

States.” It sounds like “fake news” the same way “flesh-eating 

bacteria” sounds like a prescription.

Conspiracy is only one of 12 charges filed against President Donald Trump’s 

former campaign manager, Paul Manafort, who is also accused of money-

laundering, failing to register as a foreign agent, not paying taxes and being such a 

smug greedy SOB he makes Bernie Madoff look like a bleeding-heart, social worker 

who ministers sick puppies.

After pleading not guilty to all charges, both Manafort and his longtime business 

associate Rick Gates are under house arrest, with Mueller arguing they should be 

considered flight risks, because both have huge amounts of money, the charges are 

severe and Manafort has a pattern of lying like a rug in his sleep. His haircut alone 

represents an extreme threat to public safety.

Apparently the Justice Department is worried the guy might try running back to 

the Ukraine where he still has a bunch of good buddies and possible safety deposit 

boxes full of rubles and hryvnias. Because what happens in Kiev stays in Kiev, 

except, of course, when you’re a big-time international money player with multiple 

passports and offshore accounts.

Lower down the food chain, a Trump foreign policy advisor, George 

Papadopoulos, pled guilty to lying to the FBI. He was arrested in July, and is 

described in charging documents as a proactive cooperator, which has everybody 

in the Trump administration wondering if he spent the last couple months playing 

that popular Justice Department game, “Dial a Co-Conspirator” while wearing a 


The FBI’s modus operandi traditionally offers peripheral players plea deals, 

encouraging them to turn on their bosses, then rinse and repeat; working inward 

like termites of justice until eroding the base and the kingpin falls. And you get the 

feeling the amateur circles surrounding this president would drop a dime on him 

faster than a sailor at a Carnival Midway the night before shipping out to the South 


Conspiracy charges also allow prosecutors to hold each defendant responsible 

for the actions of others within the plot. And now that someone has pled guilty, 

the principals and vice-principals are starting to distrust everyone, including the 

family dog. Once everyone lawyers up, you have no idea what your colleagues are 

saying and the image of marching up courthouse steps with a trench coat draped 

over your handcuffs starts to loom large.

Three House Republicans introduced a resolution calling for Mueller to recuse 

himself and spokesperson Sarah Huckabee Sanders says the official White House 

position is the investigation is winding down but that sounds like wishful thinking: 

a malady that afflicts most politicians, but these folks seem especially susceptible to 

simple syndromes. Just look at the epidemic of Russian Amnesia sweeping through 

the administration like kindergarten cooties.

Right now members of Team Trump have to be quaking like a Richter Scale 

in the back of a moving van with bad shocks speeding over railroad tracks in a 

quarry. Mostly because, as the Carpenters legendarily told us, “We have only just 

begun.” Or maybe more like that holiday classic, “It’s beginning to look a lot like 


Will Durst is an award-winning, nationally acclaimed columnist, comic and 
former sod farmer in New Berlin, Wisconsin. For a calendar of personal appearances, 
including his new one-man show, “Durst Case Scenario,” 

Read us online at: 



Will someone please throw an ocean of ice water on the PelosiSchumer-
MSM axis of evil? 

Their ecstasy over the results in Virginia’s election returns Tuesdaynight shows how desperate the Democrats are for any sign of hopethat their party is not already dead.

Democrats merely won the elections for governor in Virginia andNew Jersey - two Blue States where they were always expected to win.

It was hardly a “wave election.” Republicans suffered no surpriselosses to Democrats and the GOP still controlled a huge majority of the country’s governor’soffices and state legislatures.

Yet by Wednesday morning the liberal media’s talking heads were so happy you’d havethought President Trump had been voted out of office, the Democrats had won back Congressand Hillary Clinton had been installed on her Oval Office throne.

Republicans loses in Virginia and New Jersey were gleefully framed by the liberal media asreferendums on President Trump’s first year, but it was Fake News.

It would have been real news if the Republican governor candidates, Ed Gillespie of Virginiaand Kim Guadagno of New Jersey, had pulled off surprise wins.

Or if a liberal Democrat had taken the Congressional seat vacated by conservative JasonChaffetz in Utah (instead of being crushed by a Republican who didn’t vote for Trump in 2016but supports his agenda).

But the pundits breathlessly telling us a Democrat won in Virginia and New Jersey? News?
Yes. Shocking? Hardly.

A serious repudiation of Donald Trump? The first signs of the decline of Trumpism? Don’tthink so. 

Trump or no Trump, from day one Ed Gillespie was never going to win in Virginia, whereabout 10 million federal workers live and vote Democratic. 

And in New Jersey, a true-blue state, the only Republican politician who was repudiated onTuesday was Mr. Unpopularity himself, outgoing Gov. Chris Christie.
His Lt. Governor, Guadagno, never had a prayer - and she wasn’t endorsed by Trump, whoknew it. 

I can understand the Democrats and their media soulmates wanting to make Tuesday’selections into a fake referendum on President Trump.

But I don’t understand the Republicans and conservatives who joined in and said theelections were a sign of doom for the GOP in the 2018 elections.

Republicans will have their problems in 2018, especially if they can’t get anything importantthrough Congress.

But this week’s election results had nothing to do with 2018 or President Trump - until hetweeted himself into the story.

Unfortunately, despite being in Asia, our narcissist in chief had to blame Gillespie’s loss onthe fact that Gillespie didn’t fully embrace him.

Not everything is about Donald Trump, but he - like the hate-blinded media - thinks it is.

Some facts about Virginia, Mr. President:

Hillary beat you there by 5 points last year. On Tuesday Gillespie got more votes than youdid, but Democrats turned out in much greater numbers in the suburbs of northern Virginia.

That’s why the former head of the Republican National Committee lost - as everyone but hiskids knew he would. 

For you to blame Gillespie’s defeat on his not embracing you is totally narcissistic, childishand wrong, Mr. President.

Not to mention self-destructive. Instead of the media discussing the tough speech you gaveto the North Koreans, they talked about your Gillespie tweet.

How about acting like a grown-up president, for a change, Mr. Trump?
How about tweeting something like, “Congratulations to the Democrats for their victorieson Tuesday. When I come back from Asia I hope we can find a way to work together on taxreform.” 

So Trump is still Trump. His core constituency will stay faithful to him, no matter what hesaid about Gillespie or how he said it.

But if he keeps tweeting the way he does, the president will never win more friends in theRepublican Party.

And if he’s ever going to get anything passed in Congress by 2018, he’s going to need everyRepublican friend he can get. 

Copyright 2017 Michael Reagan. Michael Reagan is the son of President Ronald Reagan, apolitical consultant, and the author of “The New Reagan Revolution” (St. Martin’s Press). He isthe founder of the email service and president of The Reagan Legacy Foundation.
Visit his websites at and Send comments Follow @reaganworld on Twitter. 

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