Mountain Views News, Sierra Madre Edition [Pasadena] Saturday, April 8, 2017

MVNews this week:  Page B:3



 Mountain Views News Saturday, April 8, 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

One Part of Dodd-Frank That’s Hurting Consumers

If I had a dollar for every time a politician tried to push something 
through Congress they said would protect consumers, I probably 
would have back all the dollars these efforts have cost me over 
the years. Somehow things never seem to line up the way they’re 
promised and we all pay the price.

 Take the period following the so-called Great Recession. 
With Barack Obama in the White House and the Democrats in 
control of both parts of Congress, they couldn’t wait to pass all 
kinds of new rules and regulations governing banks, mortgage 
lenders, the consumer finance industry, credit cards, and anybody else they believed we 
all needed to be protected from. It was crackdown on greed and the voters, aided by a 
cheerleading cadre of reporters that really don’t understand financial issues but write 
about them anyway, bought it all.

 Now that a little bit of time has passed we can see how Dodd-Frank and the Consumer 
Protection Act of 2010 have actually harmed the same consumers they were meant to help. 
The worst example of this may be the price controls imposed on debit card transaction 
fees on the merchants who accept them by the companies that issue them.

 This came about as the result of pressure from Illinois Democrat Dick Durbin, for 
whom the amendment instituting the caps is named. He thought consumers were being 
taken advantage of, and thought that capping the interchange fees imposed by the banks 
would get us all a break.

 The nation’s’ leading “big box” retailers greatly benefit from the use of debit cards. 
Transactions process faster (which they like) and that keeps lines moving (which 
consumers like) and are very convenient (which everybody likes). As soon as the Durbin 
Amendment passed they started looking for ways to get around the now capped at 21 
cents per transaction interchange fees -- down from an average of 1.15 percent of the 
transaction total value -- many of them felt were unnecessarily punitive.

 What got lost in the discussion were the high costs associated with the use of debit 
cards. Convenience comes at a price. So does network maintenance, theft protection, 
reissuing cards to update their security and a host of other things. Banks and other card 
issuers used to use the income generated by interchange fees to pay for all that. Once the 
Durbin Amendment capped what could be charged, card issuers had to look elsewhere to 
recoup their expenses.

 Card companies are now charging the same maximum processing fee for smaller 
transactions as they do for large transactions, saddling small businesses with a sharp 
increase in business expenses. Debit card use is now limited in many cases and many 
places have some minimum transaction amount. Free checking has just about gone the 
way of the passenger pigeon while fees on checking and savings accounts have increased 
by three to five percent. Just how is any of this better for you and me?

 If all that were not bad enough, the higher costs the cap has imposed on merchants are, 
according to a study conducted by George Mason University law school, being passed 
along to everyone who buys anything in the form of higher prices.

 Price controls are never a good idea. The ones the Durbin Amendment to Dodd-Frank 
instituted are especially pernicious because they are hidden so far below the surface. 
That’s the kind of government-directed activity that produces cronyism, limits consumer 
choice, raises the price of goods at the point of sale, and redistributes wealth by creating an 
environment in which smaller Mom and Pop operations and coffee shops are subsidizing 
more expensive, higher volume purchases made at national chain stores and big box 

 Whatever Sen. Durbin’s intentions, his amendment did not work out the way he said it 
would. He should be gracious enough to acknowledge this an offer the language necessary 
to repeal it as the Senate takes up Dodd-Frank reform and repeal. At the very least, if he 
would rather just forget the whole thing, he shouldn’t fight to save it when someone else 
introduces language to knock it out. It is bad policy that produced higher prices and left 
consumers with fewer protections and conveniences than they had before it became law.


© 2017 Peter Roff. Distributed exclusively by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate.

 Roff is a former senior political writer for UPI and a well-known commentator based 
in Washington, D.C. Email him at 

Mountain Views News 
has been adjudicated as 
a newspaper of General 
Circulation for the County 
of Los Angeles in Court 
Case number GS004724: 
for the City of Sierra 
Madre; in Court Case 
GS005940 and for the 
City of Monrovia in Court 
Case No. GS006989 and 
is published every Saturday 
at 80 W. Sierra Madre 
Blvd., No. 327, Sierra 
Madre, California, 91024. 
All contents are copyrighted 
and may not be 
reproduced without the 
express written consent of 
the publisher. All rights 
reserved. All submissions 
to this newspaper become 
the property of the Mountain 
Views News and may 
be published in part or 

Opinions and views 
expressed by the writers 
printed in this paper do 
not necessarily express 
the views and opinions 
of the publisher or staff 
of the Mountain Views 

Mountain Views News is 
wholly owned by Grace 
Lorraine Publications, 
Inc. and reserves the right 
to refuse publication of 
advertisements and other 
materials submitted for 

Letters to the editor and 
correspondence should 
be sent to: 

Mountain Views News

80 W. Sierra Madre Bl. 

Sierra Madre, Ca. 

Phone: 626-355-2737

Fax: 626-609-3285







EAST PENNSBORO TWP, Pa. -- President Donald Trump’s approval 
ratings might be in the tank and his legislative agenda might be foundering 
on Capitol Hill, but don’t try asking Dan Mosel if he has a case of buyer’s 

 “No way,” said Mosel, 76, a Trump voter, and one of about 700 
conservative activists who packed a hotel ballroom just outside 
Pennsylvania’s state Capitol last weekend. 

 The president’s Russia troubles? That’s a fever dream of Democrats and 
the press. The collapse of healthcare reform? That’s House Speaker Paul 
Ryan’s fault. And don’t sweat tax reform - that’ll happen by August.

 In short, all is well here in Trumplandia.

 And Mosel and three of his friends, Rob Boysen, Bill Harper and Don Reimer, were feeling 
their conservative oats as they plowed through a lunch of deli sandwiches during the Keystone 
Leadership Conference, an annual shindig mostly put on by local conservative activist and 
occasional Republican office-seeker Lowman Henry.

 Over a rainy weekend at a local Radisson hotel, attendees at this lower-case version of the 
Conservative Political Action Conference heard from an array of prominent figures from the 
political right, some of them elected, some of them activists and media personalities

 Speakers included U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey, U.S. Rep. Scott Perry, Andy Schlafly, son of the late 
conservative firebrand Phyllis Schlafly, and conservative media personalities like Ben Shapiro of 
The Daily Wire and John Gizzi of NewsMax.

 The collapse of the Ryancare bill was just fine with the Mosel and his lunchtime colleagues.

“The only thing Ryan had to do was introduce the repeal bill that passed 60 times in the House,” 
said Harper, who hails from Bucks County, a purplish Philadelphia suburb. “That would get the 
Freedom Caucus and a bill that would be acceptable to all sides.”

 In his speech to activists, Perry predicted an eventual return to healthcare, saying Republicans 
needed to “get back in the huddle.”

 “We just want to do what we told our voters we were going to do,” he said “I don’t want to criticize 
the play call. From my standpoint, we could have had an alternative. I don’t want to replace their 
version of socialism with our version of socialism,” he said.

 The Freedom Caucus’ reticence prompted an angry Tweet from Trump, who took the bizarre 
step of threatening to run against them in 2018 if they failed to get onside.

 “The Freedom Caucus will hurt the entire Republican agenda if they don’t get on the team, & 
fast. We must fight them, & Dems, in 2018!” Trump wrote.

 That move left Mosel and his friends shaking their heads.

 “If he runs against conservatives, he’s going to lose support,” Boysen, also a Bucks County 
resident, said. “Going against the Freedom Caucus is a bad move on his part.”

 The lunch-time gang also said Ryan might run aground if he’s not careful. Some activists have 
said it might be time to change horses in the Speaker’s office.

 “If Ryan keeps doing what he’s doing, there’ll be a big push to get him out of there,” Boysen said. 
“He pushed this bad bill and the Freedom Caucus saw through it.”

 With the Senate Judiciary Committee set to vote Monday to send Judge Neil Gorsuch’s Supreme 
Court nomination to the Senate floor, Toomey foreshadowed a major showdown with Democrats 
led by Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y.

 Republicans will do “whatever it takes” to get Gorsuch over the goal line, Toomey told the crowd. 
And that includes invoking the so-called “nuclear option” to pass him by a simple majority, rather 
than the usual 60 votes.

 “In an interview following his speech, Toomey said “to the extent that it’s possible for me to 
be confident, I feel the confident the votes are there,” to break the 60-vote threshold and approve 
Gorsuch with a simple majority. 

 “I think so,” he said, when he was asked about the vote count. “It’s not as though we haven’t 
discussed this among ourselves. There’s nobody I know in the Republican Conference who 
is looking forward to having to do that. But there’s nobody that I know of in the Republican 
conference who thinks we should have a four- or eight-year series of vacancies on the Supreme 

 And when it comes to Trump’s Russia troubles and the mess surrounding House Intelligence 
Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, the lunch gang shrugged it off.

 “It’s all the Democrats have been talking about,” said Reimer, who hails from Montgomery 
County, a majority-Democrat Philly suburb.

 Asked if he thought Nunez should recuse himself, Mosel snorted and said, “Who’s he going to 
hand it over to? Trey Gowdy,” the former House GOP Benghazi inquisitor.

 Reimer finished the thought, “It’s a Democratic ploy.”

Yep ... all is well here in Trumplandia.


© 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 at



Fox News, where women work at their own risk in a misogynist 
culture frozen somewhere in the 1950s, is back in crisis mode. Nine 
months after chairman and accused sexual harasser Roger Ailes was 
forced out, we’re wondering whether accused sexual harasser Bill 
O’Reilly will be forced out, too.

 Don’t hold your breath.

 I don’t write much about O’Reilly, although it was fun two years 
ago to recount his phony boasts of covering a war that was actually 1,000 miles away from his 
hotel. But now attention must be paid, because his new flap is for the highest stakes. It’s morals 
versus money.

 Advertisers are currently fleeing “The O’Reilly Factor,” indicating in press releases that they 
prefer not to be associated with an old-school male chauvinist who has cost his company $13 
million to settle sexual harassment claims. The news about O’Reilly - who allegedly made 
sexual advances to his five female accusers, and when rebuked, hurt the women’s careers - 
broke bigly over the weekend, and more than dozen bailing sponsors have scrambled onto the 
high road.

 Mercedes-Benz is patting itself on the back: “The allegations are disturbing and, given the 
importance of women in every aspect of our business, we don’t feel this is a good environment 
in which to advertise our products right now.” Ditto clothing company UNTICKit: “It is 
important that our corporate partners reflect the same principals of inclusivity and equality 
upon which we have built our brand.” Ditto the pharmaceutical company Bayer, which says it 
“supports a safe, respectful and non-abusive environment for women.”

 All very noble. But let’s not get carried away, because the firms are ultimately beholden to the 
business of making money.

 These sponsors are merely shifting their ads to other Fox shows, which means that O’Reilly’s 
notoriety isn’t costing Fox News a penny. Plus, the network gets most of its revenue from 
licensing fees paid by cable and satellite operators, so it’s cushioned from any sponsor rebellion. 
And if the sponsors truly wanted to take a moral stand, they’d bail on Fox News entirely. After 
all, the network, which claims to have “zero tolerance” for sexual harassment, just renewed its 
contract with O’Reilly last year after it paid off female accusers. Unfortunately, the sponsors 
have shown no interest in cutting the cord completely.

 Granted, ad boycotts have worked on occasion. MSNBC nixed the simulcast of Don Imus’ 
radio show, and Glenn Beck left Fox News after sponsors fled his TV program. But Bill O’Reilly 
may be too big to fail.

 To use the mob’s terminology, O’Reilly is an earner. He makes $18 million a year, which is 
dwarfed by the bucks his show brings in: $446 million ad-revenue dollars got pumped into Fox 
coffers between 2014 and 2016. That’s likely deemed to be more important to Fox executives 
than the sex harassment stuff - like, for instance, the allegation that O’Reilly told one woman 
to buy a vibrator, and serenaded the same woman by phone with masturbation noises.

 By the way, O’Reilly says he has never harassed anyone, that he routinely draws accusers 
just because he’s famous, and that he and Fox have paid off the women because “I’m a 
father who cares deeply for my children...I have put to rest any controversies to spare my 
children.” In February 2016 he lost custody of his children, who said they wanted to live 
with their mother.

 Bottom line is, money talks. One Fox source told New York magazine’s Gabriel Sherman 
(the journalist with the best Fox sources), “The impact of these boycotts can be cosmetic. The 
feeling is, let’s keep our heads down and hope this blows over.”

 Which may well happen. Here’s another remark, from a different source: “We’ve seen this 
many times in the past. Some of the advertisers that left will come back, and some will be 
replaced. Life will go on.”

 That remark was uttered in 2012 by Michael Harrison, who publishes a talk radio magazine. 
He was referring to Rush Limbaugh - who, at the time, was hemorrhaging advertisers after he 
ridiculed a law student, a birth control user, as a “slut” and a “prostitute.” You may remember 
that flap. Scores of big-ticket advertisers, from Capitol One to Quicken Loans, said they would 
no longer do business with Rush. Critics gleefully tallied the boycotters and awaited Rush’s 

 Last August, Rush inked a new contract with his overlords at Premiere Radio Networks - for 
another four years. You get my point.

 Perhaps Peggy Drexler, an author and gender scholar, is right when she says that the O’Reilly 
scandal will ultimately help women - “the more we hear about...the mistreatment of women 
in the workplace and anywhere, the more women are likely to band together to hasten that 
change” - but Rupert Murdoch and his old-boy underlings are fine with Fox’s toxic culture if it 
works for the balance sheet.


Copyright 2017 Dick Polman, distributed exclusively by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate.

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

Mountain Views News

Mission Statement

The traditions of 
community news-
papers and the 
concerns of our readers 
are this newspaper’s 
top priorities. We 
support a prosperous 
community of well-
informed citizens. We 
hold in high regard the 
values of the exceptional 
quality of life in our 
community, including 
the magnificence of 
our natural resources. 
Integrity will be our guide. 

Mountain Views News 80 W Sierra Madre Blvd. No. 327 Sierra Madre, Ca. 91024 Office: 626.355.2737 Fax: 626.609.3285 Email: Website: