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

MVNews this week:  Page B:4



Mountain Views-News Saturday, February 11, 2017 

TOM Purcell

Mountain Views



Susan Henderson


Dean Lee 


Joan Schmidt


LaQuetta Shamblee


Richard Garcia


Patricia Colonello




John Aveny 


Kevin Barry


Chris Leclerc

Bob Eklund

Howard Hays

Paul Carpenter

Kim Clymer-Kelley

Christopher Nyerges

Peter Dills 

Rich Johnson

Merri Jill Finstrom

Rev. James Snyder

Dr. Tina Paul

Katie Hopkins

Deanne Davis

Despina Arouzman

Renee Quenell

Marc Garlett

Keely Toten



When I was a boy, my mother loved listening to American crooners on our 
old wooden stereo console — Dean Martin was her favorite.

 Though I hated his “old people” music as I kid, I listen to it frequently on 
satellite radio when I’m driving my truck. 

 Here’s why: Dino celebrated romance, “a feeling of excitement and 
mystery associated with love,” says

 And if modern music is the measure, romance is dead.

 I point to Billboard Magazine’s Hot 100 list.

 Last week’s No. 1 hit was “Shape of You” by Ed Sheeran. His song is popular, no doubt, because of 
its eloquent lyrics: 


I’m in love with the shape of you

We push and pull like a magnet do

Although my heart is falling too

I’m in love with your body

And last night you were in my room

And now my bedsheets smell like you…

 No. 2 on the charts was “Bad and Boujee” by American hip hop group Migos. Many of the lyrics 
for the song are unpublishable in a family newspaper, but, with edits in parentheses, these lines will 

 (Fornicating) on your (derogatory term for a woman that sounds like witch) she a (prostitute, 
prostitute, prostitute, prostitute)

Cookin’ up dope in the crockpot, (pot)…

 Ah, modern romance. Things sure have changed since Dino dropped off the charts.

 Whereas today’s top hits celebrate human nature at its most base, Dino’s music spoke to the heart. 

 Consider the lyrics to “Amore,” which means “love” in Italian:

 When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie

That’s amore

 When the world seems to shine like you’ve had too much wine

That’s amore

In 1964, when The Beatles’ new sound made them the most popular band on Earth, Dino knocked 
“Hard Day’s Night” out of the top spot on the charts. He did so with “Everybody Loves Somebody,” 
an old-fashioned song that still resonates with all age groups:

Everybody loves somebody sometime

Everybody falls in love somehow

Something in your kiss just told me

That sometime is now

 Whereas many of today’s hit songs are vulgar and cynical, Dino’s songs celebrate the subtle dance 
of the spirit between a man and a woman — the magic that occurs when two complementary natures 

 Dino’s songs celebrate mystery — the deep interest and curiosity a man holds for a woman and a 
woman for a man.

 They celebrate optimism — the hope that one day a special person will enter your life and sweep 
you off your feet, a person you will love forever.

 The simple, intense lyrics of his song “Sway” sum up this longing well:

Other dancers may be on the floor

 Dear, but my eyes will see only you

Only you have the magic technique

 When we sway I go weak

 I know Dino had his peccadilloes in his personal life, but his music remains untainted. With every 
passing year, as coarseness seeps into our culture a little more, his songs hold more power over me. 
Their sweetness and respectfulness uplift me.

We need to get back to that spirit — the spirit of romance. I can’t think of a better day to do so than 
Valentine’s Day.

 All we need to do is study the older couples who attend the annual Dean Martin Festival in 
Steubenville, Ohio, Dino’s hometown.

 As the Dean Martin impersonator takes the stage — a fellow so convincing you think the old 
crooner is there in the flesh — they saunter to the front of the stage holding hands. They begin to sway 
with a sweetness and easiness that couples knew long ago.

When there was romance.

 ©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 a Pittsburgh 
Tribune-Review humor columnist and is nationally syndicated exclusively by Cagle Cartoons Inc. For 
info on using this column in your publication or website, contact or call (805) 969-2829. 
Send comments to Tom at

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When Senate Republicans decided last year to ditch their 
constitutional duty - by stiffing President Obama’s eminently 
qualified Supreme Court nominee, denying him even the 
courtesy of a hearing - they took a big political risk. They 
gambled that the voters wouldn’t punish them on election day.

 Turns out, they were right. Their unprecedented power play paid off.

 And that’s why the minority Democrats are currently up the creek. They can fume 
all they want about how the GOP stole Merrick Garland’s seat - justifiably so - but 
their options for blocking Trump nominee Neil Gorsuch are basically nonexistent. 
Senate rules require 60 votes for passage, which means that Mitch McConnell needs 
eight Democrats to say yes. But if Democrats dig in, McConnell can always change 
the Senate rules and put Gorsuch on the court with a simple majority vote - 51 
Republicans saying yes, no Democrats needed.

 How come Senate Democrats have so little leverage about the future of the high 
court? Because elections have consequences, and the 2016 election is Exhibit A.

 Last year, Democrats calculated (or hoped, or assumed) that voters would be 
outraged about the GOP’s work stoppage on the Garland nomination. McConnell 
and his allies insisted that Garland was DOA simply because Obama was a lame duck 
in his final year, that presidents don’t get to put anyone on the court in their final 
year. The Republicans lied, of course, because lame duck Ronald Reagan got to put 
Anthony Kennedy on the court, with bipartisan support, in his final year. 

 Democrats figured that the 2016 electorate would rail at the injustice of the GOP 
stance on Garland, and that Democratic-leaning voters, in particular, would cast 
ballots en masse with the court’s future direction in mind.

 That didn’t happen.

 According to the national exit polls, 21 percent of all voters cited the Supreme 
Court as the “most important” factor in their voting decision. In that cohort, Trump 
swamped Clinton by 15 points. Overall, 70 percent cited the Supreme Court as an 
“important” factor, and Trump beat Clinton there too.

 Those stats jibe with what we learned on the ground last year. Social and 
religious conservatives, who fixate on the Supreme Court far more than their liberal 
counterparts, opted to ignore Trump’s serial lying and moral failings, because he 
was their best hope for a post-Scalia conservative bench. Evangelical Christians, in 
particular, recognized that Trump was a detestable human being, but Mike Pence 
worked hard, and successfully, to hose them down and stoke them up.

 Even the Republican establishment folks who personally loathed Trump got in line 
on the court issue. John Boehner, the ex-House speaker, said last fall that Trump’s 
behavior “disgusted” him. Nevertheless, “The only thing that really matters over the 
next four years or eight years is who is going to appoint the next Supreme Court 
nominees...The biggest impact any president can have on American society and on 
the American economy is who’s on that court.”

 So while the average Democratic-leaning voter dozed off about Merrick Garland’s 
hostage status, the average conservative voter got assurances that Trump would deliver 
on tilting the court. Promise made, promise kept.

 McConnell, in his role as Trump enabler, says that Trump’s nominee should be 
“confirmed based upon the completely outstanding credentials that we’re going to 
see,” which is galling, of course, because Gorsuch will occupy the seat that was meant 
for Garland, whose completely outstanding credentials, as a lower-court judge, had 
long been vetted and supported by Republicans.

 But there’s no point in lashing the Republicans for their success. They got their 
voters stoked about the court, Democrats did not. If party leaders had driven home 
the “stolen seat” message; if the Democratic-leaning citizens who stupidly stayed 
home, or wasted their votes on Jill Stein and Gary Johnson, had instead paid sufficient 
attention to the Garland farce; if they had made peace with Clinton’s imperfections 
and sensibly viewed her as the best vehicle for tilting the high court leftward, then the 
odds are high that Trump would never be where he is.

 And Senate Democrats would not be reduced to firing blanks.


 Copyright 2017 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 Pennsylvania. 
Email him at


 Donald Trump is driving everyone in Washington nuts with his mad 
presidential style.

 Republicans in Congress are getting jumpy. 

 The powerless Democrats are so desperate they actually think 
Senator Elizabeth Warren is the future of their party.

 The mainstream liberal media are overacting to Trump’s dumb daily morning tweets like they 
are official edicts coming from the ghost of Joe Stalin. 

 The media are so hysterical they see Trump’s comments about “so-called” judges or his 
complaints about a biased judiciary as signs that he is a despotic imperial president intent on 
blowing up the federal government’s balance of powers.

 Meanwhile, Time magazine has Trump’s evil rightwing guru Steven Bannon on the cover 
looking like Darth Vader.

 And David Frum’s cover story in the Atlantic about President Trump -- 20 minutes into his 
presidency -- is headlined “How to Build an Autocracy.”

 Let’s all relax.

 Let’s all take a deep breath.

 Let’s all get a grip.

 Rome wasn’t made in a day and America is not going to be saved or destroyed by President 
Trump in a month.

 The most important relaxing needs to start at the top with President Trump.

 He’s been acting like he has four days left in office, not four years.

 He’s been issuing executive orders and making ten announcements a day about trade, 
terrorism, immigration, oil pipelines, the border wall, relations with Russian, Israel, Mexico and 
who knows what.

 For your own good, Mr. Trump, you have to slow down the pace of making America great 
again to a gentle sprint.

 I don’t agree with everything you are doing, Mr. President, but you need some friendly advice.

 First, you need to stop trying to do so many things so quickly.

 You need to give the public and everyone else time to absorb and understand what you are 
doing, so you’ll have more people on your side. 

 You wouldn’t be having a problem with the so-called Muslim ban if you not done the rollout 
so quickly.

 Second, you need to know that Washington is like a $4 trillion aircraft carrier. It can’t be 
stopped, turned around or sunk quickly or easily – and maybe not at all.

 Third, you knew from the start that the mainstream media were not going to be on your team.

 Now, one of your most important jobs is to not give the media any free ammo to fire back at 
you or your administration.

 So, President Trump, that means stop talking about illegal voters.

Stop picking fights with federal judges – especially three hours after you file an appeal with them.

 Stop talking about whether the murder rate is up or down unless you actually know what 
you’re talking about.

 And if you are going to refer to certain networks as purveyors of “fake news,” even when they 
are exactly that, don’t be surprised if they fact-check everything you say and start referring to you 
as “The fake president.”

 The danger in the long run is that you’re spending all your political capital in the first month.

 Your base is secure — and happy with whatever you say or do. But you’re trying to do stuff so 
fast you’re missing the most important thing – communicating with the rest of the country about 
what your doing and why.

 So choose your words and tweets wisely, Mr. President. Cool it and start acting like the 
president of the United States. You were elected by all 50 states and their people.

 I know it’s not your style, and I know you got to be president in part because you shoot your 
mouth off so well.

 But you need to take some advice from my mother, Jane Wyman, who told me many a time, 
“If you have nothing good to say, keep your mouth shut.”

 Meanwhile, Mr. President, you’ve been working too hard. It’s time you took a mini-vacation 
or at least took a weekend off.

 Maybe you could call up Mr. Obama and join him for a round of golf or have him show you 
how to kite surf.

 I can guarantee no one working in Washington’s swamped news media would complain that 
you were dodging your duties.


 Copyright ©2017 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 
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

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