Mountain Views News, Sierra Madre Edition [Pasadena] Saturday, March 10, 2018

MVNews this week:  Page B:4

OPINIONB4 Mountain Views-News Saturday, March 10, 2018 OPINIONB4 Mountain Views-News Saturday, March 10, 2018 
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It’s surely the dream of every red-blooded American kid to 

grow up and be sued by a porn star.

Remember a million years ago, when right-wing moralists 

assailed President Obama for diminishing the dignity of the 

office by putting a foot against his desk and wearing a tan suit? 
Good times, good times. We can’t begin to imagine what they would’ve said if Obama 
had been sued by a sex worker who got paid off to keep her lips zipped on the eve of 
his election. We can’t begin to imagine … oh what the heck, let’s just quote from the 
lawsuit filed Tuesday against Trump:

“Mr. Trump, with the assistance of his attorney, Mr. Cohen, aggressively sought to 
silence Ms. Clifford as part of an effort to avoid her telling the truth, thus helping to 
ensure he won the presidential election.” 

Thank you, Stormy Daniels! For awhile, I had reluctantly decided to write about 
chief economic adviser Gary Cohn - who quit his job while Trump was bragging 
about how everyone wants to work for him - but in the end, Stormy rode to the 
rescue. Because I know you’d rather read about a sex coverup than a policy tiff about 

Nothing reveals Trump’s unparalleled sleaze more than the ever-burgeoning 
Stormy story. She wants a court to void the Oct. 28, 2016 hush agreement - the one 
where Trump is listed by an alias, “David Dennison” - because even though she 
signed it, and Trump lawyer Michael Cohen signed it, Trump himself did not sign it. 
The signature line above the notification “DD” was left blank.

In other words, Trump is such a loser than he can’t even follow through on 
muzzling an extramarital mistress. The other fun fact, of course, is that Cohen 
paid off Stormy before the election with $130,000 of his own money, and has since 
reportedly complained to friends that Trump never bothered to reimburse him. 
Which means that hotel contractors aren’t the only people Trump stiffs.

What’s not fun, however, is the very real possibility that the coverup maneuver 
may well have violated federal election law. That’s hardly shocking, given the fact that 
Team Trump is infested with confessed and credibly accused criminals (thank you, 
Robert Mueller).

The date of the hush agreement (11 days before the election) and the subsequent 
payoff to Stormy suggest that Cohen made an “in kind” campaign contribution in an 
amount that far exceeds what’s legally permitted. A campaign contribution is defined 
as “anything of value given, loaned or advanced to influence a federal election.” Plus, 
Cohen’s coverup donation was made through a Delaware-based LLC set up for that 
express purpose. 

The law says that an individual can donate no more than $5,400, and it must be 
funneled through a political action committee, where it’s publicly recorded. Plus, an 
“in kind” contribution is defined in law as “an expenditure made by any person or 
entity in cooperation, consultation or consult with, or at the request or suggestion of, 
a candidate’s campaign.” 

So, the obvious question: Did Trump - excuse me, “David Dennison” - know about 
the hush agreement? Who among us actually believes he didn’t know what his own 
loyal lawyer was doing?

But the Trump slag heap is so high that it’s hard to focus on even the stinkiest refuse. 
A few congressmen have asked the FBI to investigate whether the Stormy payoffbroke federal law, but the FBI appears to have its hands full trying to assist Mueller 
while fending off Trump’s relentless attacks on law enforcement’s independence.

Oh, how we pine for the days when Obama’s tan suit was deemed the height of 
disrespect for the presidency. Because one tiny provision in Stormy’s hush agreement 
caught my eye. It’s the subsection where she was compelled to “completely divest 
herself ” of all communications accrued during her months-long affair with Trump - 
including any and all “still images.” 

No, Stormy, no. Please spare us. 

Copyright 2018 Dick Polman, distributed exclusively by Cagle Cartoons newspaper 

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 




SILVER SPRING TOWNSHIP, Pa. - When Maddie Levy saw the students

fleeing Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., last

month, she saw something familiar.

She saw her reflection. 

“What if it happened here?” Levy, a junior at Cumberland Valley HighSchool, in suburban Harrisburg, Pa., asked, already knowing the answer.

“Parkland isn’t any different from our school,” she said. “They’re kids, just like us, that are goingthrough this.” They’re kids going through an experience that’s “absolutely terrifying.” 

But it’s “not surprising at all,” chimed in Madeline Bailey, who, like Levy, is a junior.
“It’s very possible it could happen in a place like this,” she said, her voice more flat and practical thanany 11th-grader’s should be of the prospect of facing down AR-15 fire in her school’s broad and cleanhallways.

Like Bailey, Madison Himler, who was seated a few feet away, said she honestly wasn’t surprisedwhen she heard that another shooting had occurred.

“And we’re at a point now where we might start becoming desensitized to things,” Himler offered.
“Something definitely needs to happen.” 

This is the Sandy Hook generation, the young people who have come of age at a time wherewholesale slaughter in the hallways of America’s public schools is depressingly commonplace.

And they’re tired of it.

They’re tired of the fear, the safety drills and, most of all, they’re tired of the hard reality there maybe no safe place for them when a classmate or some other psycho finally has that bad day that drivesthem over the edge.

“Something definitely needs to happen.” 

And like the students at Parkland, these Pennsylvania students have found their voices.

On March 14, Levy and her classmates are planning to walk out of class as part of National SchoolWalkout Day. They’re also planning a rally of their own, four days later, in the nearby college town ofCarlisle, Pa. 

“We’’re calling for people to come together - this is a bipartisan movement,” Levy said of the March18 event, which she framed as a search for solutions by gun-control advocates and pro-gun forcesalike. “That might take the shape of gun control. We’re not proposing a specific solution.” 

On a recent school day, Cumberland Valley’s hallways were still filled with students. In a corridornear the main office, students sat in clumps on the floor, their backpacks and books spilled out aroundthem. Others stood in knots of friends, their laughter and chatter filling up the space.

It’s any high school. In any town. Anywhere.

But what if it did happen here?

These kids on the floor; the ones in the hallway; Levy and her friends. Still students, they becometargets. And it would be appallingly easy for someone to mow them down.

And so they practice, so that if the unthinkable does happen, they’re ready.

Or as ready as anyone can ever be for that kind of thing.

“It would come on the announcement that we’re having a lockdown,” Anjana Ramesh said. “Andthen we’d all have to close, to lock our doors; and turn off the lights, and like, huddle in a corner.” 

That’s when Bailey adds, with the kind of sarcastic laugh that no 17-year-old should be able tomuster: “You sit in a corner and pray you don’t get shot.” 

The young women all laugh too, but it’s a kind of knowing laughter. They know hiding in a cornerand pretending that no one’s there is an empty gesture.

“If a shooter was to come in, they would be smarter than to think that a school was just completelyempty on a school day,” says Adriane Delicana. “So I think these intruder drills aren’t really doing 
anything to help us.” 

Himler’s words echo again.

“Something definitely needs to happen.” 

So maybe when this is when it all happens. Maybe we’ve hit the tipping point.

After years of “thoughts and prayers” that ring pathetically hollow from an utter lack of action,
maybe in the words and deeds of the Parkland kids who have stormed social media and daytime TV.
Maybe in the high school kids like Levy and Bailey and Himler and Ramesh who will walk out of classnext week, this when it all starts to change.

Because, dear God, no high school kid should have to sit in a corner and pray she doesn’t get shot. 

Copyright 2018 John L. Micek, distributed by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate.

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


Donald, Donald, Donald. 

Your approval ratings could be in the mid-50s if only you and youradministration would quit stepping your own good news.

Tuesday was a perfect example - the latest in a sad series. 

First we got word from the South Korean government that North Koreamight be willing to “denuclearize” its weapons program.

It sounded too good to be true, and it probably was.

But for a few hours this week the Trump Hate Media were so giddy with hope they stopped beating you 

They had no choice but to grudgingly point out that “Rocket Man’s” surprise pivot toward sanity might 
have had something to do with your tough talk to North Korea.

You were actually getting some favorable mainstream media coverage - but then later on Tuesday yourtop economic adviser Gary Cohn announced he was going to resign.


Cohn’s departure became the top news story of the day.

Of course, the Trump Hate Media pinned the blame for Cohn’s leaving on you and the tariffs youoriginally threatened to put on steel and aluminum imports from every country.

Goodbye, North Korean peace talk. Hello more White House chaos.

The previous week you also stepped on your own necktie when you dropped the tariff bomb on America.

You instantly obliterated the good coverage in the media about the strong economy your policies havebrought the country.

You also instantly wiped away the real political capital you were beginning to bank because of yourmassive income tax cuts. 

It was good that you’ve backed off from your initial hard line steel and aluminum tariffs on every countryand dished out temporary exemptions to our friends in Canada and Mexico.

But why drop the tariff bomb now?

You were doing great and riding high with your tax reform plan.

More and more middle-class people were seeing that because of you, their paychecks were bigger.

More and more were realizing that the Pelosi Democrats were lying when they said tax cuts wouldbenefit only the rich or provide only “crumbs” to the middle class.

Steel and aluminum tariffs could have waited. You should have saved them for your second term - or,
better yet, skipped them entirely.

Tariffs targeted to help or protect steel and aluminum makers are great for those industries’ workers andowners and their hurting hometowns in the short term. The economic benefits are concentrated and we cansee them immediately.

But what we don’t see is the harm tariffs do to the overall economy in the long run.

They reduce competition in the protected industries, allowing them to pad their profits and jack up theirprices.

Then millions of people and businesses across the economy have to pay slightly higher prices for thethings they want that are made out of steel and aluminum.

Donald, if your tariffs were rushed into law so they could help the Republican win the special congressionalelection next week in western Pennsylvania, it was a political mistake as well as an economic one.

Nowhere in America, even in western Pennsylvania, was anyone standing around the water coolersaying, “You know, Fred. This economy is humming along. Unemployment is down. All we need now aresome steep tariffs on foreign steel and aluminum.” 

You carried the 18th Congressional District by 20 points. It should be a lock for a Republican candidate,
but it’s only contested because of you and your administration’s self-made errors. 
Democrats have no candidates, no ideas, no plan. All they have is you - to be against - and you help themevery day.

I don’t know what will make you stop stepping on your own successes with your wild tweets or tariffbombs. 
But if you’re really serious about 2020, or really want the GOP to hold on to Congress, you need a loudwake up call.
I hate to say it, but if a Democrat victory in Trump Country next Tuesday would do the trick, I’m all for it. 

Copyright 2018 Michael Reagan. Michael Reagan is the son of President Ronald Reagan, apolitical consultant, and the author of “The New Reagan Revolution” (St. Martin’s Press). He is thefounder of the email service and president of The Reagan Legacy Foundation. Visithis websites at and Send comments to Reagan@ Follow @reaganworld on Twitter.

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

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