Mountain Views News, Sierra Madre Edition [Pasadena] Saturday, March 4, 2017

MVNews this week:  Page B:4



Mountain Views-News Saturday, March 4, 2017 


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



 As he wrapped up his first speech to a joint session of Congress on Tuesday 
night, President Donald Trump offered a bromide to a fractured nation: 

 “The time for trivial fights is behind us,” Trump said, offering an olive branch 
both to the audience seated before him and the audience watching at home, 
after six weeks of aggressive tweets, attacks on the press and denunciations of 
anyone and everyone who disagrees with him. 

 Trump’s nearly 75-minute address offered some cause for optimism – he denounced the ant-Semitic 
acts of vandalism and terror that have marred the nation for the last few weeks. And he offered a broad, 
if detail-lacking agenda, that he said would restore American greatness. 

 The high points: 

 Infrastructure: Trump sounded the right note in calling for the largest public works program since 
the creation of the interstate highway system under President Eisenhower:

 “To launch our national rebuilding, I will be asking the Congress to approve legislation that produces 
a $1 trillion investment in the infrastructure of the United States -- financed through both public and 
private capital --- creating millions of new jobs,” he said.

 In this, Trump is correct: Infrastructure construction is a sound bet economically, creating direct, 
indirect and induced jobs. 

 One of the big challenges: It’s not clear how Trump intends to pay for this program. Nor is it 
encouraging to think of Congress moving swiftly when lawmakers struggled for months to reauthorize 
the federal highway bill. 

 NATO: In what must have been a balm for America’s European allies, Trump said America “strongly 
[supports] NATO, an alliance forged through the bonds of two World Wars that dethroned fascism, 
and a Cold War and defeated communism.”

 Child Care: Trump’s mention of his intent to improve access to childcare was one of those rare 
moments that prompted mostly stone-faced Democrats to rise and applaud.

 The issue: Trump’s plan to make childcare cheaper seems mostly like a gift to the rich, according to 
a study by the non-partisan Tax Policy Center.

 “The tax experts at TPC say 70 percent of the benefits will go to families that make $100,000 or 
more. And 25 percent will go to people earning $200,000 or more,” Heather Long, of CNN money, 

 “’Trump has identified a real challenge affecting working families, but his proposal would do little 
or nothing to help them,” Elaine Maag, an expert at the Tax Policy Center, told CNNMoney. A typical 
middle class family earns about $56,000.”

 The low points:

 Immigration: A disappointing amount of Trump’s speech focused on the non-existent public safety 
threat posed by undocumented immigrants, who commit crimes at a much lower rate than the native-
born population. Trump’s order creating a new agency focused on undocumented crime within the 
Department of Homeland Security was pure fear-mongering.

 Healthcare Reform: Trump repeated his call for the repeal and replacement of the Affordable Care 
Act. He offered five principles for the future that included guaranteeing access to care for people 
with pre-existing conditions; tort reform, and expanding access to health-savings accounts. These 
are Republican solutions that have been circulating for years. And if they were easy or practical, they 
would have been done already.

 Making things more complicated, Republicans, facing enraged crowds at home, are hardly unified 
on the best way to go about any such exercise. Democrats have zero interest at all in repealing or 
replacing the former administration’s signature piece of public policy.

 The inevitable victory lap: Trump can’t seem to get through a speech without turning the spotlight 
on himself. And Tuesday was no exception, He told Congress that the “earth shifted beneath our feet” 
because of his win last November, ignoring the reality that his was an unremarkable electoral college 

 In short, the speech was vintage Trump. He attempted a pivot to the presidential, even as he got in 
his own way.

 High-flown rhetoric about clean water was kneecapped by executive action ordering the Environmental 
Protection Agency to review Obama-era water rules to gauge their impact on the economy.

 Similarly, the president’s welcome, if tardy, condemnation of the acts of anti-Semitism (along with 
the shooting of Indian immigrants in Kansas City) was undercut by reports that Trump had suggested 
that they might have been false flags, or hoaxes, perpetrated by someone else.

 To be sure, Trump could use a legislative win right now.

 But it remains to be seen if his administration can work with Congress to translate the vague outlines 
of a sweeping agenda into actual policy. His tendency toward chaos and disruption doesn’t augur well.

 As with so much else with this president, we’ll have to wait and see.


© Copyright 2017 John L. Micek, distributed by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate.

An award-winning political journalist, Micek is the Opinion Editor and Political Columnist for PennLive/
The Patriot-News in Harrisburg, Pa. Readers may follow him on Twitter @ByJohnLMicek and email him 

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We’re all well acquainted with the fake news phenomenon - the 
Trumpian sewage that’s routinely pumped into the brains of the 
dumb and numb. But the good news is, Facebook has started to 
fight back, working with a coalition of fact-based media outlets.

 Better late than never. The 2016 campaign was festooned with phony scoops like “Pope 
Francis shocks world, endorses Donald Trump for president” and “FBI agent suspected in 
Hillary email leaks found dead in apartment in murder-suicide” and “Hillary sold weapons 
to ISIS.” Credulous social media users clicked and shared and were happy to get suckered.

 It’s no surprise that the con lives on. My new favorite bit of fakery, which has already 
been shared tens of thousands of times, and re-posted on dozens of websites with names 
like Angry Patriot and Trump Media, features this eye-candy headline:

 “BREAKING. Congress Moves to STOP Obama’s Treasonous Coup Attempt Against 

 Sigh. These people still can’t quit the guy.

 Last I saw, Obama was photographed on a boating vacation, wearing cool shades and 
flashing a free-at-last grin. He sure didn’t look like somebody plotting a coup and seething 
with treason, but hey, maybe his vacay vibe was just part of the conspiracy. And if Congress 
is indeed moving to stop his coup, I can respect its apparent decision to do so quietly. 
Maybe that explains why not a single Republican in Congress, or Spicer or Kellyanne, has 
breathed a word about what Obama has afoot.

 Anyway, I bring all this up because ABC News - working with Facebook - has posted a 
deconstruction of the fake-news story, explaining how the infauxmation process worked.

 Basically, this was the fake-news logic: Trump is plagued by government leakers; many 
government officials are civil servants who stay on the job from one administration to the 
next; some leakers might be officials carried over from the last administration; therefore, 
the leakers are partisan Obama loyalists; therefore, Obama is directing his loyalists; 
therefore, Obama is plotting a treasonous coup. 

 ABC News dryly concluded that, aside from the people making stuff up, “no one is 
alleging that former President Obama is connected to the leaks or has committed treason 
because of these revelations.” But the most noteworthy true info comes at the bottom of the 

 “ABC News has launched ‘The Real News About Fake News’ powered by Facebook data 
in which users report questionable stories and misinformation circulating on the platform. 
The stories will undergo rigorous reporting to determine if the claims made are false, 
exaggerated or out of context. Stories that editorial partners have also debunked will then 
appear flagged in your News Feed.”

 Facebook announced this project earlier this winter. The social network had long prided 
itself as a neutral bulletin board, but its leaders had come to realize that allowing sewage to 
flow unchecked was a social negative. As Adam Mosseri, one of the Facebook veeps, said 
in December: “We really value giving people a choice (of information), but we also believe 
we need to take responsibility for the spread of fake news on our platform.”

 So Facebook hooked up with ABC News, the Associated Press, (housed 
at the University of Pennsylvania), Politifact, and Snopes. Users can now flag stories they 
suspect to be fake, and stories that draw enough flags are typically steered to these fact-
checking media sites. The Obama slime job met the specs for scrutiny. And another group 
called First Draft - which includes The Washington Post, Vox, and ProPublica - combats 
what it calls “the misinformation ecosystem.”

 It’s nice to finally see some kind of pushback, even if these efforts don’t really make a 
dent. The users who guzzle fake stories about Obama certainly won’t accept a thumbs-
down verdict from ABC News, which they probably dismiss as part of the conspiracy. 
No, they’d prefer to believe the lies that jibe with their Trump worship and ideological 
predilections; look no further than the scene Thursday morning at CPAC, the annual 
Conservative Political Action Conference, where a standing ovation greeted the on-stage 
appearance of alternative-factess Kellyanne Conway.

 But there’s hope for the reality-based community. A new Quinnipiac poll says when 
Americans are asked whom they trust “to tell the truth about important issues,” 52 percent 
choose the media, and only 37 percent tilt to Trump. 

 No doubt he would dismiss those stats as “fake news.” I call it good news.


 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


 Maybe I’m channeling Donald Trump.

 Or maybe he’s been reading my columns -- or my mind.

 All I know for sure is that when he gave his great speech 
to Congress Tuesday night he did exactly what I suggested he 
should do that morning in my column in The Hill – stop being Donald Trump.

 Quoting my father, I wrote that there comes a time when the president-elect has 
to become the president – and then start acting like one who represents the whole 
country, even his enemies.

 I said the president should be a conservative, make conservative appointments and 
run a conservative government.

 But I also suggested that he immediately stop catering only to his base and tell us in 
his speech where he wants to take the country and how he plans to take us there.

 President Trump did all that and much more in his widely applauded speech 
Tuesday night, which was a great turning point for his administration to move 
forward on his agenda.

 By spelling out his core goals, and asking the House and Senate to create the 
legislation to put them into place, Trump proved to Congress he wants to lead.

 On Tuesday night he set the cornerstone for his administration’s agenda.

 Like Trump Tower, he now has to begin rebuilding and rehabilitating America 
from the infrastructure up.

 Many of our bridges and roads are in shambles. We take off and land at airports 
that would shame a Third World country.

 In Studio City, Ca., not far from my house, a 90-year-old pipe burst and caused a 
sinkhole that swallowed cars but thankfully no people. 

 President Trump is absolutely right to want to throw a trillion public and private 
dollars at the crumbling infrastructure of the country — the more private the funding, 
the better.

 He is also absolutely right to want to rebuild and build-up our military after eight 
years of neglect by the Obama administration.

 As my father used to say, we fought four wars during his lifetime – none of which 
were fought because America was too strong.

 President Trump understands that. So does Secretary of Defense James Mattis. 

 So does his disgruntled fellow Republican, Senator John McCain, who’ll someday 
applaud the president if he stays on course to rejuvenate the Army, Air Force and 

The president’s signature campaign issue, enforcing and reforming our awful 
immigration policy, will face a huge political fight and a lot of compromising.

 He’ll need to find the area where we can all come together. Nobody is going to get 
100 percent of what they want, so everyone – including the president’s base -- has to 
be willing to give a little.

 President Trump’s other aims — lowering taxes on people and corporations, 
cutting regulations on businesses and repealing and replacing ObamaCare — are 
goals conservatives have been dreaming about for years.

 He has a real chance of accomplishing many of his goals and the goals of 
conservatives in the next 200 days, but he can’t do it alone. 

 He’s going to need the advice and help of thousands of people.

 So if I could give one more bit of advice to President Trump, which comes from 
a placard that was on my father’s desk, it is, “There’s no telling what a man can 
accomplish or where he could go if he doesn’t worry about who gets the credit.”

 My father knew it’s never about taking credit, Mr. Trump, it’s all about getting 
things done. 


 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 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

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