Mountain Views News, Sierra Madre Edition [Pasadena] Saturday, January 6, 2018

MVNews this week:  Page B:3

B3 Mountain Views News Saturday, January 06, 2018 OPINION B3 Mountain Views News Saturday, January 06, 2018 OPINION 
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My father is behindthe curve on social media, but I think he 
is onto something. 

You see, my father was born in 1933.
He was a paperboy in the days whenpaperboys stood on city corners andshouted “Extra!” 

In his home, the newspaper still is 
king. He has two delivered daily. He 
reads every inch of both. He does thecrossword puzzles in both, too - with apencil. 

(Note to people under 30: A pencil isa small, yellow stick that leaves a markwhen its tip is pressed against paper.) 

My father knows that people can docrossword puzzles on their computersand smartphones, but the idea is nuttyto him. Only an idiot would bringelectronic equipment into the bathroom. 

To be sure, my father has shunned thecommunications marvels of modern 
times. He uses my mother’s smartphone 

- but only to avoid long-distance charges. 
I showed him how to use her phone totext family members, but he gave up onthat fast. 
(Note to people over 50: texting iswhen you press both thumbs against asmartphone keypad to bastardize theEnglish language.) 

I bought him a Kindle for Christmasa few years ago and created an emailaccount for him. He gave it a try butquickly lost interest in emailing anyone. 

I showed him how to search the web to 
locate people and businesses. He gavethat a try, too, but still prefers to use theWhite Pages or Yellow Pages. 

(Note to people under 40: The Whiteand Yellow Pages are thick directories 
of people and businesses that are left atyour door once a year.) 

He loves to read, so I showed him howto download ebooks, but he still preferspaper-bound books. 

(Note to people under 20: A paper-
bound book is a compact device in which 
words are printed on several pieces of 
paper; the paper is glued to a spine.) 

But one thing he will never do is use asocial media website, such as Facebook,
which, says The Statistics Portal, hasmore than 2 billion active users. 

For starters, my father thinks social 
media is a total waste of time. 

He thinks it is causing group think, asmany people “friend” others who thinkexactly as they do and “unfriend” thosewho think differently. 

He thinks the fake news articles are 
driving misinformation - a dangerousthing in a republic, whose successdepends on thoughtful, well-informed 

And he thinks social media is increasingincivility, as people, hiding behind theirkeyboards, shout and yell and call others 

According to two former Facebookexecutives, my father’s observations are 
spot on. 

According to Fortune, one former 
executive said that Facebook “was 
developed to be addictive.” He said 
that the information-sharing platform 
was designed as a “social-validationfeedback loop.” He said that it “exploitedweaknesses in the human psyche.” 

Fortune also reports that a secondformer executive said that Facebook 
“encourages ‘fake, brittle popularity,’
leaving users feeling empty and needinganother hit, and suggested that this‘vicious circle’ drives people to keepsharing posts that they think will gainother people’s approval.” 

Which brings us back to my father. 

He may be behind the curve on socialmedia, but he’s thriving in the real worldof the White Pages, printed newspapersand books with spines. 

When he wants to communicate, 
he approaches other human beings,
usually my mother, and uses his voice.
Sometimes he uses facial expressionsand hand gestures to emphasize a point. 

As I said, I think he’s on to something. 




In honor of Donald Trump’s most towering achievement -no previous

president can touch his talent for serial falsity - my year-end pop quiz

features only one question:

Which of these blatant lies did Trump not utter in 2017? In other

words, which lies are merely figments of my imagination (although he

was fully capable of uttering all of them)?
You’ll find the answers at the bottom. No peeking! 

1. “The overall audience was, I think, the biggest ever to watch an inauguration address, whichwas a great thing.” 
2. It was “the largest audience ever to witness an inauguration, period, both in person and aroundthe globe.” 
3. “The murder rate in our country is the highest it’s been in 47 years, right? Did you know that?
Forty-seven years.” 
4. “[Mine] was the biggest Electoral College win since Ronald Reagan.” 
5. On terrorism: “Look at what’s happening last night in Sweden. Sweden. Who would believethis?” 
6. “Terrible! Just found out that Obama had my ‘wires tapped’ in Trump Tower just before thevictory.”
7. “NATO, obsolete, because it doesn’t cover terrorism.” 
8. “We’re the highest-taxed nation in the world.” 
9. “Nobody cares about my tax return except for the reporters.” 
10. Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski came “to Mar-a-Lago three nights in a row aroundNew Year’s Eve, and insisted on joining me. She was bleeding badly from a face-lift.” 
11. “Wacky Kirsten Gillibrand lowered herself to her knees while begging me for money, whichwas disgusting.” 
12. “We’ve signed more bills - and I’m talking about through the legislature - than any president,
13. “Frederick Douglass, who is getting recognition more and more, could’ve helped stop theCivil War but didn’t. Sad!” 
14. The Republican tax bill “very very strongly, as you see, I think there’s very little benefit forpeople of wealth.” 
15. “Study what General Pershing of the United States did to terrorists when caught. There wasno more Radical Islamic Terror for 35 years!”
16. “We have to prime the pump … Have you heard that (economic) expression used before?
Because I haven’t heard it. I mean, I just - I came up with it a couple of days ago.” 
17. “The protestors in Charlottesville who are defending southern heritage, some of them areprobably bad people. But the tikki torch industry is making some beautiful profits this year,
believe me.” 
18. “I got a call from the head of the Boy Scouts saying it was the greatest speech that was evermade to them, and they were very thankful.” 
19. “Black homeownership just hit the highest level it has ever been in the history of our country.” 
20. “Hillary Clinton lied many times to the FBI.” 
21. “I play golf when I’m not working hard and believe me, I’ve birdied more holes than Obamaever did.” 
22. The Republican tax bill “is going to cost me a fortune, this thing - believe me. Believe me, thisis not good for me.” 
23. “Hillary Clinton gave away 20 percent of the uranium in the United States.” 
24. “The F.B.I. person really reports directly to the president of the United States.” 
25. “You know, this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made-up story.” 
26. “In other words, Russia was against Trump in the 2016 Election…Witch Hunt!”
27. “Putin - a leader, very strong, not like someone like Pocahontas.” 
28. “I’m a very big person when it comes to the environment. I have received awards on theenvironment.” 
29. “The White House is functioning perfectly…I have very little time for watching TV.” 
30. “Between three million and five million illegal votes caused me to lose the popular vote.” 
31. “With the exception of the late, great Abraham Lincoln, I can be more presidential than anypresident that’s ever held this office.” 
OK, Trump didn’t say #2 (although Sean Spicer did). He didn’t say #13 (although he saidsomething similar). Nor did he say 13, 17, 21 or 27 (but he probably thought them all). 

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 himat 

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



Didn’t we turn over a new leaf in 2018? 

Didn’t everyone in Washington resolve to work together onAmerica’s important problems and get things done?

Oh, sorry.

That must have been that pipe dream I had last weekend whenI dozed off in my La-Z-Boy watching the Times Square ball fall onTV. 

The New Year isn’t even a week old and already I can’t wait till the start of 2019.

We’re back to watching the same stupid political stuff going on in Washington andlistening to the cries of the same Trump-deranged national media.

Today it’s Steve Bannon and his former boss Donald Trump calling each other namesin public and everyone on TV talking about Michael Wolff ’s new expose, “Fire and Fury: 
Inside the Trump White House.”

Wolff ’s book details the internal feuds, power plays and administrative chaos of thepresident’s first year.

Nothing Wolff writes would surprise me, but these days who knows what’s true orfake? 

What we know for sure so far in 2018 is what we learned from last year -- there’s roomfor only one super ego in Washington, and Steve Bannon isn’t it.

Meanwhile, the forecast for The Swamp looks like a repeat of last year.

Our politicians will be playing the same selfish games in Congress and they’ll neveraccomplish anything worthwhile on big things like health care reform or immigrationpolicy.

How about doing something simple and worthwhile for a change, Congress people?
How about doing your job and coming up with a dozen spending bills this year to payfor discretionary things like defense, agriculture and infrastructure -- and then passingthem on time? 

According to the Constitution, Congress has the duty to pass discretionary spendingbills each fiscal year to fund the annual budget the president has proposed.

You might not have noticed, because the mainstream media don’t pay much attention 
to this smelly aspect of federal sausage-making, but Republican and Democratic 
Congresses have shirked their spending duties almost religiously since 1974.

Since the current budget system was put into place the year Richard Nixon resigned,
Congress has passed all of its annual spending bills on time only four times.

What Congress does more often is pass continuing resolutions that merely extendspending from previous years’ spending bills.

In early 2017, after the usual deal-making, Congress used a continuing resolution to 
pay for fiscal year 2017– three months after it had officially started on Oct. 1, 2016.
All of this is confusing, frustrating and unnecessary.

It used to be that a president had the power to impound – or simply not spend -- anymoney that Congress had allocated for something if he thought that it would raise thedeficit. 

But in 1974, after Nixon had lost his ability to veto any legislation Congress sent himbecause of Watergate, Congress passed a law stripping him of his power to impoundCongress’ money.

Since then presidents have essentially been forced to spend every dime Congressallocates, whether it’s for “A Bridge to Nowhere” in Alaska or free cell phones to the poor.
Depriving the president of his impoundment powers, which Thomas Jefferson first usedin 1801 to stop the building of unneeded Mississippi River gunboats for the Navy, is onereason our annual deficits are averaging half a trillion dollars and the national debt haszoomed past $20 trillion.

A bigger reason is that members of Congress from both parties can spend what theywant with little political pain or media scrutiny and then pass continuing resolutions thatare loaded with pork, perks and new laws no one reads until it’s too late.

It’s still a new year. It’s not too late to make presidential resolutions.

If Donald Trump really wants to clean up The Swamp, he should pledge that this yearhe’ll try to force Congress to write a budget, vote on it and pass it by October 1.
It’s not a goal he can explain to the public in a tweet, but it’s one of the best things anypresident could to do in 2018 to make America great

-Copyright 2018 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 LegacyFoundation. Visit his websites at and Sendcomments to Follow @reaganworld on Twitter.

Mike’s column is distributed exclusively by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate. For infoon using columns contact Sales at