Mountain Views News, Sierra Madre Edition [Pasadena] Saturday, October 14, 2017

MVNews this week:  Page B:3

B3 Mountain Views News Saturday, October 14, 2017 OPINION B3 Mountain Views News Saturday, October 14, 2017 OPINION 
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Wow, isn’t it amazing how the GOP and Donald Trump 

Jr. are suddenly rocking the sexual harassment issue, now 

that deposed Hollywood mogul and liberal donor Harvey 

Weinstein has been outed as a serial pig? We never knew they cared so much.

I never knew that Donnie Junior was such a feminist. Yet there he is, on Twitter, 
wringing his hands about Weinstein’s “3 decades of rampant sexual hatrassment” 
(sic); he’s so upset about Hurricane Harvey’s treatment of women that he can’t even 
spell the word right. He’s demanding that Hollywood liberals speak out against 
Weinstein (indeed, more of them should), and that Democrats could give up 
their dirty Weinstein money (many are already doing it). And he’s getting assists 
from the Republican party chairwoman, who’s tweeting sympathy for Weinstein’s 
victims and demanding that we “stand up for women.” 

I’m frankly surprised by Junior’s sudden feminist leanings, because, if memory 
serves, this is the same guy who said in a 2013 interview that a workplace is often “a 
guy’s place,” and it’s too bad for the gals if that’s the case. In his words, “If you can’t 
handle some of the basic stuff that’s become a problem in the workforce today, you 
don’t belong in the workforce. You should go maybe teach kindergarten.” 

Which reminds me: Isn’t this also the same guy who said last October that “I’ve 
never heard anything dumber in my life” - referencing the multiple allegations of 
sexual harassment lodged against his own father? By more than 10 women who 
publicly came forward and were willing to be named?

Must’ve slipped Junior’s mind! Because, as I seem to recall, the Republican 
presidential nominee got peppered with highly specific allegations after the release 
of an “Access Hollywood” tape in which he bragged about groping female genitalia 
against the owners’ wishes, about trying to seduce a woman against her will, and 
about how he liked to pop Tic Tacs into his mouth before he “just starts kissing” 
regardless of whether the ladies wanted to.

As I also seem to recall, Junior’s dismissive reaction in October 2016 was 
matched by the GOP’s thunderous silence, which was apparently motivated by 
the belief that the issue of sexual harassment was far less important than the tribal 
urge to elevate a manifestly ignorant incompetent to the world’s most important 

But since Junior and the GOP suddenly care so much about women who’ve 
been victimized by predatory men - and isn’t it fascinating how they’ve suddenly 
embraced The New York Times, which broke the Weinstein story? - I propose that 
we forge a bipartisan agreement:

Since lots of Democrats have rightly condemned Weinstein and begun to move 
his donations to worthy causes, Republicans should reciprocate by condemning 
the predatory POTUS (it’s never too late) and refusing to accept donations from 
pro-Trump Super PACs.

And since Weinstein’s production company has already seen fit to kick him out 
of office, Republicans should reciprocate by taking the first steps to remove their 
predator from his office. Especially in light of the fact that his predatory behavior 
is one of the least of his offenses. 

And since everyone agrees that Weinstein - long known for his unhinged 
temperament - can’t be trusted any longer to wield any kind of power over women 
or men, Republicans (besides Sen. Bob Corker) need to publicly acknowledge 
that Trump - long known for his unhinged temperament - can’t be trusted any 
longer to wield any kind of power over women or men, much less to command the 
nuclear launch codes. 

And instead of the Republican National Committee tweeting, “Do you love 
waking up and remembering that Donald Trump is president?” perhaps the RNC 
would agree to tweet that it’s important to stand up for all women who’ve been 
sexually harassed by all sexual predators, regardless of their political leanings.

How’s that for a deal? 

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 




We have yet to see clear evidence of the president’s artistry as a


 To date, Trump failed to cut any deal on health care or

immigration reform. He may yet endure another failure should

a tax plan be brought to a vote on the Senate floor next week. A

more looming negotiation “tactic” is even closer on the horizon:
the decision as to whether he will decertify the comprehensive Iran nuclear agreement,
thus opening the door for Congress to impose new, tougher sanctions on Iran.

The president is less the dealmaker he believes himself to be, more a blue-sky kindof a guy. Like an adult ADHD patient off his meds, ideas pop into his head rapid fire.
Unable to process them logically, he makes bellicose pronouncements via Twitter orin five second sound bites unleashed on the fly. While they may play well with thepresident’s base, they have all the weight of empty thought balloons. He leaves it to hisadvisors and cabinet to fill in the blanks in hopes they will give his declarations anyheft. 

If the president truly wishes to put America first and make it great again, he will 
cast aside the need to take one more opportunity to slam the legislative agenda 
and policies of his predecessor and think about the consequences of his words and 
actions. There is a great deal at stake. The United States is not the only signatory to 
the Iran Nuclear agreement. We were joined by some of our closest allies, including 
England, France, and Germany, in addition to our oft-time nemeses, the Russian 
Federation and China. 

It is highly doubtful that any, or all, of these partners to the agreement will goalong with the president’s decision to withdraw. Doing so is not in their nations’ bestinterests, which are increasingly at odds with those of the president’s. By going it alonethe United States is becoming increasingly isolated and irrelevant, and the gap betweenwhat our leadership position once was and now is wider.

The world convinced the Iranians that it was in everyone’s best interests to sign anuclear agreement. Iran put in effect a moratorium on developing nuclear arms andgave up its uranium enrichment capabilities and stockpiles in exchange for lifting ofsanctions and the opportunity to rejoin the world’s economy. This was not “the worstdeal ever” as the president insists. As is the case with any negotiated settlement, therewere wins and losses on both sides. But granting Iran the ability to reenter the freemarket was a win-win for everyone involved.

Almost immediately upon signing the nuclear agreement, major U.S. corporationsreached out to Iran to reestablish business ties; Boeing entered a contract to sell$3 billion in jets to an Iranian airline. How does an agreement like that hurt U.S.
companies – those needed to make America great again?

The Iranians need access to world markets. If this administration shuns them, there 
is no doubt they will reach accords with European industries at more favorable terms.

In the last year, Royal Dutch Shell signed an agreement to develop two Iranian oilfacilities; two Iranian airlines entered prospective deals with the European aircraftmanufacturer Airbus. Under terms of the Iranian agreement, the U.S. needed to give itsapproval for the Airbus deal to proceed. By not being party to the nuclear agreement,
our blessing would be nothing more than a worthless appeal to empty skies.

Should we continue down the path the president is leading us and accept hisambiguous promises to renegotiate the Iran agreement under “better” terms, theUnited States will be nothing more than one nation alone, first in rhetoric, and last inlogic.

Standing united as a democratic front against more oppressive regimes is of greatimport to our friends and allies, yet it is hard to imagine they will remain idle as thepresident takes a step back and relinquishes the part we as a nation have long playedand coveted. While they may do so reluctantly, our closest international partners willinevitably come out of the wings and take center stage, thus leaving the U.S. to assumea new, unfamiliar role: that of understudy. 


Blair Bess is a Los Angeles-based television writer, producer, and columnist. He edits theonline blog, and can be reached at 


MIDDLETOWN, Pa. -- President Donald Trump, who likes todenounce the “fake” news media, threw himself into the warm 
embrace of Fox News host Sean Hannity on Wednesday night, wherehe regurgitated at least three claims that were demonstrably false.

Over the course of an hour-long interview in a cavernous hangarof the Pennsylvania Air National Guard’s 193rd Special Operations Wing, Hannity seemedless an interrogator than an enabler. The host told Trump more than once how unfairly he’d 
been treated by the Washington press corps, how the president’s tax cut package had beeninaccurately portrayed, and he got a crowd of mostly truckers to offer up throaty cheers for thenation’s 45th chief executive. 

Calling his proposed tax cut program “the biggest in the history of country,” Trump againrepeated his inaccurate claim that the United States is the “highest tax country in the world.” 
In fact, the United States ranks toward the middle of the international pack, CNBC reported,
citing data compiled by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

The United States’ tax burden lags behind such NATO allies as France and Germany, butdoes finish ahead of Canada and the United Kingdom, the international research body found.
Hannity allowed that claim to pass unchallenged, observing later that “Anytime I talk to anyoneelse in the media but Fox, they call it tax cuts for the wealthy. It’s not really true this is a tax cutfor the wealthy like they’re portraying it.” 

Except that claim isn’t true either: Trump’s tax plan eliminates the estate tax, a move thatwould help the wealthiest Americans, including the president himself. It also gets rid of thealternative minimum tax, which is designed to prevent tax avoidance. In 2005, that levy forcedTrump to pay an additional $31 million in taxes, The New York Times reported.

The nonpartisan Tax Policy Center also found that, rather than lowering taxes, the WhiteHouse’s plan “would raise taxes for almost 30 percent of filers making $50,000 to $150,000 peryear,” Bloomberg reported.

Those inconvenient truths didn’t stop Trump from proclaiming to Hannity that working-
and middle-class Americans are “going to get a massive tax break.” 
At the beginning of his interview, Hannity credited Trump for sparking economic growth,
including a higher performing Wall Street, a higher labor-participation rate and “the lowestnumber people on food stamps in seven years.” 

That claim is true. But the reasons behind it are complicated. For one, states dropped waiversprompted by tough economic times. New work requirements have also driven people out of the 

More people could lose benefits if Congress follows through on a committee’s recommendationto trim $150 billion to food stamps, or the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, as it’sofficially known, over the next decade. Trump’s own budget proposal called for a $193 billionreduction. 

Despite those unchecked whoppers, including Trump’s ongoing insistence that claims ofRussian meddling in the 2016 campaign were fabricated by Democrats, the president continuedan attack on the press begun earlier in the on Wednesday.

“The media is bad. They’re very dishonest people. They’re very bad,” he said. “There’s such 

Trump’s comments came hours after he denied an NBC News report suggesting that he hadpressed for expanding the United States’ nuclear arsenal. He also questioned whether licensesshould be taken from NBC stations as a consequence of the network’s report.

“It’s frankly disgusting the way the press is able to write whatever they want to write andpeople should want to look into it,” Trump told reporters, as he met with Canadian PrimeMinister Justin Trudeau, Bloomberg reported.

In suburban Harrisburg, with Hannity, however, Trump was all smiles as he wrapped up hissecond broadcast interview with a friendly media outlet in less than a week. On Sunday, Trumpsat down for a softball interview with former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee that aired on the 
Trinity Broadcasting Network.

“You have been so great and I am very proud of you. What you have done is incredible Andit’s an honor to be on your show,” Trump told Hannity.

The host gushed back: “This is how I’ve always felt - I only want one thing ... to help the 
forgotten men and women, that’s our prayer for you and for the country.” 

So this is what falling through the looking glass feels like. 


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

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