Mountain Views News, Sierra Madre Edition [Pasadena] Saturday, July 15, 2017

MVNews this week:  Page B:3

B3 Mountain Views News Saturday, July 15, 2017 OPINION B3 Mountain Views News Saturday, July 15, 2017 OPINION 
Mountain Views 
Dean Lee 
Joan Schmidt 
LaQuetta Shamblee 
Richard Garcia 
Patricia Colonello 
John Aveny 
Kevin Barry 
Chris Leclerc 
Bob Eklund 
Howard HaysPaul CarpenterKim Clymer-KelleyChristopher NyergesPeter Dills 
Rich Johnson 
Merri Jill Finstrom 
Rev. James SnyderDr. Tina Paul 
Katie HopkinsDeanne Davis 
Despina ArouzmanRenee Quenell 
Marc Garlett 
Keely Toten 
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SUSAN Henderson, Publisher 

Two weeks ago, a loyal, animal loving columnist submitted a story thatincluded in part, a story about a friend of hers who killed a bear. Along 
with the column was a picture and this paper published it. As a result, 
several people have contacted the paper, including a Letter to the Editorwhich I received last week that is worthy of publication. (See page B7).
Some people were offended by the picture and the column. Others were 
not. To be honest, the picture of the bear actually did get by this Editor’sscrutiny, however, the column was approved for publication.

That being said, I have a word or two for those espousing censorship.
It is okay not to like a particular article, subject or way of life. That’s your prerogative. However, it is 
likewise the prerogative of contributors to this paper to express their observations, opinions and storiesas long as they are not false or intended to demean or hurt another person. The picture was disturbing 
to some, and for that both the author and I apologize. Short of that, diversity of opinions are key toour existence as a community paper and although at times it may make some of us uncomfortable, it iswhat ‘freedom of speech’ is all about.

For those of you who know me, you know that 90% of the rhetoric from the right that appears in thispaper is not my cup of tea. I take a deep breath almost every week when reviewing the Opinion Page’s 
Right Turn contributors. But, I respect their opinions and provide them the opportunity to share withthose who choose to read the Mountain Views News. Actually, I have learned in this life, the more Ilearn about what others think, whether or not I agree with them, the better I become as a person. Thatis why I can honestly tell you my circle friends cover the spectrum and even on the subject of hunting,
two friends come to mind, one of whom lives in Sierra Madre, and we’ve had plenty of emotionaldiscussions on the subject.

That having been said, let me be clear. I do not support hunting of innocent animals for sport. The 
older I get, the closer I get to eating less meat period…but I am definitely not there yet. My stance on 
hunting has not changed in 60 years. In fact, I ‘laid down the law’ to my dear father who learned to huntfrom his father, when I was 4 or 5 years old. Daddy was forbidden to hunt Bambi or any or her relatives,
and definitely not Smokey The Bear or his relatives. After every hunting trip I would check to see if hehad broken the rules. And, until the day he died, I believed he never did. That is until a few years agowhen during a conversation with my dear friend Ed Clare, the subject of cooking venison came up. I 
have never cooked nor eaten venison but while sharing with him my Dad’s affinity for hunting and my‘rules’ for him, I realized that we used to have packages of venison in our downstairs freezer. What! 
I immediately called my Sister in Georgia. She could not stop laughing at the fact that after all theseyears I just realized that those packages probably were the result of one of my dad’s hunting trips. I can’t 
question him about it now, but when I get to heaven, I hope he has some answers!

So, for the record, this newspaper and its’ editor, do not support the hunting or mistreatment of

animals in any way. This newspaper and it’s editor, do however, support our columnist’s right to

freedom of expression….. as long as they are not false or intended to demean or hurt another person. 



Kudos to Reed Galen - a lifelong Republican, veteran of three presidentialcampaigns, son of former Republican operative Rich Galen - forarticulating the obvious truths that his cowardly party breathren loathto admit. 

After hearing the bombshell news that dim princeling Donald Trump Jr. gleefully emailed “I loveit” at the prospect of getting Russian intel about Hillary, and took the meeting with Jared Kushnerand campaign manager Paul Manafort, Galen cut loose.

“The Republican Party I was born into and worked in for two decades is nearly gone...Far from(advocating) a strong national defense, far too many members of the GOP appear ready and willingto die on the hill for a president who certainly would not do the same for them,” Galen wrote. “Howlong will Republican leaders on Capitol Hill continue to defend the president, his family, and thestrange actions related to one of our foremost foreign opponents?...How much longer will they manthe ramparts for him?”

How much longer indeed. Because even now, even after top Trumpsters have finally been caughtcopping to collusion with the enemy, elected Republican leaders are still refusing to speak out. What’stheir definition of a smoking gun - a video of Trump sleeping with Putin’s hackers?

What we got from senators of the party that once prided itself for being tough on Russia wasdenialism and silence. Orrin Hatch said the emails are not “relevant to the administration.” John 
Cornyn, the Republican whip, said, “I don’t really have a reaction.” Tom Cotton took refuge behinda closed door. Charles Grassley tried to praise Jr. for releasing the emails, somehow forgetting thathe released the emails only because The New York Times was poised to do it first, and that Junior’scoerced transparency came after two days of lies about his meeting with the Kremlin-connectedlawyer.

Basically, they’re still fine with Russia penetrating our sovereignty, and with Russia’s chumpsrunning the White House into the ground, as long as they can cling to their wet dream of gettingTrump’s signature on a bill that slashes taxes for the wealthy and zaps health coverage for 20 millionpeople.

Politically, Republicans do have a dilemma. If they stood tall and denounced Trump, and calledfor the impeachment proceedings that are so richly warranted, the Trumpkins back home wouldgo bat-crazy. They’d stay home in the 2018 congressional midterms, convinced that Trump wasbeing railroaded by “the Republican establishment.” If I were to give Republican leaders the benefitof the doubt, I’d guess that they’re waiting for a sufficient share of Trumpkins to wake up to reality something 
that could conceivably happen when the revelations become too explosive to dismiss.

As Reed Galen acknowledges, “Only when the questions shift from, ‘How can you take away myhealthcare?’ to ‘How can you support a president in league with the Russians?’ will we start to see anymovement. Only when their home town newspapers, television and radio stations and local grandeesstart calling them out for their defense of indefensible behavior will Republican members stand up.”

It would be nicer, of course, if Republican leaders behaved like leaders instead of followers. Andthere are plenty of people in the conservative commentariat to help stiffen their spines. On Fox News,
right-wing pundit Charles Krauthammer remarked on Donald Junior’s emails: “To say ‘I love it’contradicts six months of stories (denying any links to Russia). I defended them because, up untiltoday, there was no there there. Now there is a there.”

Do Republicans on the Hill not think it’s significant that Trump’s eldest son took the meeting, andbrought two other insiders to the meeting, without having checked out and vetted the Russian withwhom they were meeting? In Junior’s own words, he “was not told the name of the person I wouldbe meeting with beforehand.” That’s worse than amateur hour; that’s a security risk. What a disgracethat no Republican yesterday saw fit to condemn it.

And who’s filling their moral vaccum? Trump. He tweeted madly this morning, most notably thisgem: “Remember, when you hear the words ‘sources say’ from the Fake Media, often times thosesources are made up and do not exist.” Alas, his tiresome agitprop has been trumped by the words ofhis high-quality son.

All told, says Reed Galen, “Every new angry tweetstorm pushes us further down the road toinstability. President Trump is facing a crisis likely of his own making and certainly of his ownbehavior. Republicans need to be Americans first and tell him enough is enough: Put the countryfirst; or let someone govern who will.”

“Country first.” At the end of the day, how is that not a no-brainer? 

Dick Polman is the national political columnist at NewsWorks/WHYY in Philadelphia (newsworks.
org/polman) and a “Writer in Residence” at the University of Pennsylvania. Email him at dickpolman7@ 




President Donald Trump took to Twitter on Tuesday to call his son, Don Jr.,

now surely the Fredo Trumpleone of America’s ruling clan, a “great person

who loves his country.”

 That may well be true. I don’t pretend to have any insight into what is in

Trump the Younger’s Heart. There should be a baseline assumption that all

Americans are, to some extent or another, patriotic.

But it is also equally true that he is shockingly naive, at least, colossally stupid at worst, or merely

disgustingly cynical, for actively seeking information in June 2016 from an apparent agent of hostile

power intended undermine his father’s political opponent.

In a Tweets that Kathleen Parker of The Washington Post accurately describes as “collusion-y,” 

Trump Jr. confirmed that he, White House consigliere Jared Kushner and former Trump campaign

chairman Paul Manafort, sat down with Kremlin-connected lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya.

The meeting was set up by music impressario Rob Goldstone, who told Trump that a Russian

contact (Veselnitskaya) had information that “would incriminate Hillary [Clinton] and her dealings

with Russia and would be very useful to your father. This is obviously very high level and sensitive

information but is part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump.” 

Trump Jr. stunningly, responded, “If it’s what you say, I love it especially later in the summer.” 


Veselnitskaya has issued the expected denial that she never possessed “damaging or sensitive

information about Hillary Clinton. It was never my intention to have that.” 

Asked by NBC News how the Trumpies could have arrived at such a conclusion, Veselnitskaya

said that “it is quite possible that maybe they were longing for such an information. They wanted it so

badly that they could only hear the thought that they wanted.” 

It is also quite possible to imagine Veselnitskaya laughing inwardly to herself, in a very Russian way,

at Trump Jr. being caught in such a snare.

In the wake of his son’s appearance on administration PR agent/Fox News host Sean Hannity’s

program on Tuesday, Trump tweeted that DTJR was now the subject of the “greatest witch hunt in

political history.” 

Let’s be clear: Campaigns seek out, and compile, damaging information about their rivals all the


So, on one level, Trump Jr. was correct that he’s not the first person to take a meeting to learn about

such stuff. 

But there is a bright-line distinction between run-of-the mill opposition research, such as

compiling a dossier on a candidate’s past, conflicting statements, financial dealings, or voting records,

and meeting with an apparent agent of a hostile foreign power set on tilting the election to the then-

presumptive Republican nominee.

Any campaign operative with a grain of sense would tell you that they would have not taken such

a meeting. And they would have gone to authorities -- as Al Gore’s campaign did in 2000, when it

received a debate briefing book stolen from rival George W. Bush.

“Every other campaign would have called the FBI,” tweeted Norman Eisen, a former Obama

official and the chairman of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics.

But they didn’t. And that matters.

A quick historical note: We’ve been down this road before.

In 1996, the Democratic National Committee was forced to return $2.8 million in campaign

contributions that originated from questionable or illegal sources - likely China.

Then, as now, allegations built to a fever-pitch. A Democratic fund-raiser, John Huang, pleaded

guilty to two, minor offenses. But major allegations against the DNC, and the Clinton White House

iteself, evaporated.

The difference now, however, is that Trump Jr., has very publicly admitted to taking that meeting

with Veselnitskaya. And it’s a sure bet that Special Counsel Robert Mueller is looking at it very closely.

Still, that’s a long way from charges, conviction, or impeachment, or any of the other daydreams

Democrats have of toppling a White House that is its own worst enemy on its very best days.

But any claim that the Trump campaign did not have dealings with Russia has now been soundly

blown out of the water. It was a lie to begin with. And now it’s been backed up by Trump the Younger’s

own emails. 

As the man himself would say, “Very bad.” 


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 emailhim at 



I saw an honest Republican congressman on TV the other day.

I was so shocked I can’t remember who it was or what channel I was 

But he gave the most truthful explanation I’ve heard from aRepublican politician all year about why the GOP can’t get it togetheron health care reform. 

The congressman was asked the same simple question that Houseand Senate Republicans have been asked a million times before –

“Why didn’t you guys have a bill ready in January that would repeal and replace ObamaCare?”

After all, for seven years Republicans had railed in unison against the stupidities, inefficienciesand inequities of ObamaCare.

Republican candidates in flyover country had used the “repeal & replace” mantra to helpthem win dozens of governorships, House seats and Senate seats.

The GOP-controlled House had bravely and boldly voted for bills to repeal it at least fivehundred times. 

Then last fall Donald Trump shocked the world and Republicans even took narrow control ofthe U.S. Senate. 

Repealing ObamaCare suddenly became possible.

But as the honest congressman I saw on TV admitted, the GOP wasn’t ready because “Wenever thought Donald Trump would win.” 

Like everyone else in the political and media establishment, Republicans in DC believedHillary Clinton was sure to be the next president.

With her and Bill in the Oval Office armed with their veto pens, the GOP had no seriousplans drawn up for ending ObamaCare - or trying to do anything else.

So when Trump won on Nov. 8, 2016,, Republicans in Congress basically said, “Oh, crap.
What do we do now?” 

Overnight a whole bunch of Republicans became terrified about having to back up theirtough repeal-and-replace talk with actual legislation.

Eight months later they’re still looking for their conservative spines and trying to figure outwhat to do. 

They’re stuck between living up to their empty promises or losing their seats in Congress in2018. 

They’re afraid to vote to take away the “free” or subsidized health care coverage ObamaCaregave millions of voters as it wrecked the already government- wrecked health care world.

But if they lose control of the Senate in 2018, Republicans are done. They’ll see nothing passedif Chuck Schumer and the Democrats get to run the Senate.
Schumer will do what Harry Reid did when he was boss – make sure no House bill ever comesup for a vote in the Senate.

At least this week the Senate took President Trump’s hint and put off their summer vacationsfor two weeks. 

Now GOP leaders are again promising us they’ll put together a health care reform packagethat Rand Paul, Susan Collins and 48 other Republicans can vote for.

Ted Cruz announced Thursday that he’ll vote for the new bill as it exists at this point in time,
but who knows what will change by next week.

After all the tough talk, Republicans may end up having to sit down with Democrats to“repair” ObamaCare, which will mean we’ll never be able to shop for health insurance acrossstate lines and idiotic things like mandated maternity benefits for grandmothers will live forever. 

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 reagan.
com and president of The Reagan Legacy Foundation. Visit his websites at Send comments to Follow @reaganworldon Twitter. 

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