Mountain Views News, Sierra Madre Edition [Pasadena] Saturday, July 1, 2017

MVNews this week:  Page B:3



 Mountain Views News Saturday, July 1, 2017 

Mountain Views



Susan Henderson


Dean Lee 


Joan Schmidt


LaQuetta Shamblee


Richard Garcia


Patricia Colonello




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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

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 Senate Republicans better get ready for some fireworks. 
Their July 4 recess is going to be a hot one.

 Earlier this week, with Republican ranks deeply fractured, 
Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell, of Kentucky, 
announced he was postponing a critical, make-or-break 
procedural vote on a bill repealing the Affordable Care Act, until after a weeklong 
holiday break.

 The not-entirely-unsurprising announcement is a virtual guarantee that GOP 
senators will be deluged by lobbyists and constituents on both sides of the issue at 
a time most of them would rather be marching in home state parades or crashing 

 The Kentucky Republican needed 50 votes to approve a measure allowing debate 
to proceed on the Obamacare replacement bill, which would result in 22 million 
more Americans losing their insurance over the next decade, even as it drove up 
out-of-pocket expenses.

 The analysis by the independent Congressional Budget Office also concluded 
that the GOP bill would reduce federal spending by $321 billion during the same 
time period.

 But in a perfect storm of awful, McConnell couldn’t muster the support. As was 
the case in the House, conservatives complained that the bill didn’t go far enough.

 For example, they demanded that states be allowed to waive the existing law’s 
prohibition against insurance companies charging sick people higher prices for 
coverage, The New York Times reported.

 Meanwhile, GOP senators from states that embraced the Medicaid expansion 
under Obamacare worried about the bill’s impact on home state beneficiaries of 
the that expansion.

 One of the exceptions in that case was U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey, of Pennsylvania, 
who spent the weekend trying to minimize the impact of the Medicaid rollback in 
the Senate Republican bill.

 The CBO analysis knocked the legs out from under that argument on Monday.

 McConnell’s action was also an embarrassing setback for the Trump White 
House, which, while it may be basking in special election victories, is still zero-
for-life in serious legislative accomplishments.

 So, you’d expect that, faced with the seeming collapse of his domestic agenda, 
President Donald Trump would be appealing for comity and cooperation from his 
fractious party.


 Trump has spent most of his time on Twitter flipping out on CNN after three 
staffers resigned, and the network retracted, a story about a Trump fund-raiser’s 
alleged Russia connection.

 “So they caught Fake News CNN cold, but what about NBC, CBS & ABC?,” 
Trump harrumphed. “What about the failing @nytimes & @washingtonpost? 
They are all Fake News!”

 The delay, of course, cuts both ways.

 On the one hand, it gives McConnell time to sway skeptics to his side.

 On the other, the longer this vote gets delayed, the more likely it is that other 
Republicans will find a reason to peel off and join Team No.

 But, as The Washington Post’s Aaron Blake points out, the House got to “yes” 
back in May by wooing more conservatives to its cause. And there, they control 
55.4 percent of the chamber.

 Republicans in the Senate, conversely, control a little bit more than 52 percent. 
And divisions are such that moving the bill either way is going to be very difficult.

 Get ready for the fireworks.

In the course of human events it is necessary, now and 
again, to renew our commitment to the principles and 
practices that made our country great in the first place.

 Our country has always held what the Declaration 
of Independence says about certain “Truths”: They are 
“self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they 
are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable 
Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit 
of Happiness.”

 Regrettably, we forget these simple truths sometimes.

 To renew our passion for the free and equal pursuit of life, liberty and 
happiness, we need a new declaration that promotes civility, open conversation 
and common sense.

 Look, when someone disagrees with a political position we hold, it does 
not make the individual a monster or something subhuman. It does nobody 
any good to demonize or ridicule this person - not in a country founded on 
freedom of speech.

 To renew our gratitude for the incredible freedoms we enjoy - freedoms that 
do not exist in many other parts of the world - is it not better to engage your 
political opponents in civil conversation and debate rather than to prevent 
them from speaking at all?

 Groupthink and political correctness are killing open debate in our 
country. Too many university students, professors and administrators across 
our great land are not only shunning individuals who dare to challenge their 
status quo. They are aggressively, sometimes forcefully, infringing on their 
right to speak freely. They are issuing authoritarian campus speech codes.

 If American citizens cannot openly discuss and criticize any and every idea on 
university campuses, then where, for goodness sakes, are they able to do so?

 How did we arrive at a state of affairs in this country in which a person who 
criticizes ObamaCare - a person who argues that libertarian and free-market 
ideas can better address spiraling health-care costs and free up funds to help 
those in need - is smeared as someone who hates the poor?

 How did we arrive at a state of affairs in which someone who questions 
the emotions and politics of climate change is labeled as a climate denier, 
someone whose dangerous thinking must be shouted down and maybe even 
result in some kind of punishment?

 How did so many of our major journalists, whose role is protected by our 
Constitution, embrace such a pack mentality as they advocate for the political 
ideas and candidates they like, and attack the political ideas and candidates 
they dislike?

 The result is that half the country cheers on their advocacy, while the other 
half questions the credibility of every story they report. Is this not a dangerous 
problem for a country that relies on its press to keep those in power honest?

 There is a huge divide in the country between those who think government 
can offer the best solutions to our challenges and those who think less 
government, with more individual freedoms, is the way to go.

 In a country as free and robust as ours, we certainly can work out our 
differences and find common ground. To do so, we must restore civility in 
our public debate, dial down the violent rhetoric, and listen to others who 
think differently than we do.

 As other parts of the world work to emulate America’s devotion to free 
thought and speech - as others across work to embrace the “unalienable 
Rights” to “ Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness” - can we please get 
back to leading the way?

 Hey, the Fourth of July is at hand. I can think of no better time to embrace 
a new declaration that promotes civility, open conversation and common 

Mountain Views News

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