Mountain Views News, Sierra Madre Edition [Pasadena] Saturday, March 17, 2018

MVNews this week:  Page B:5

Mountain Views News Saturday,March 17, 2018 OPINION B5 
Mountain Views News Saturday,March 17, 2018 
Mountain Views 
Dean Lee 
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John Aveny 
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Howard HaysPaul CarpenterKim Clymer-KelleyChristopher NyergesPeter Dills 
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It’s always grand in March of every year to pour myself a pint

of Guinness and enjoy the glorious Irish wit.

It’s my good fortune to be a fellow of Irish descent. Ishare my good fortune with a quarter of all Americans, who can trace their heritageto the rolling, green hills of Ireland - including my Uncle Mike, rest his soul, whosegrandparents came to America from Ireland.

As a lad, I loved the way he and my father celebrated St. Patrick’s Day: by swappingthe same Irish jokes and witticisms that I’ve been retelling for years.

Such as the one about a famous Irish dancer who decided to go to confession oneSaturday.

Father Sullivan began asking her about her work. She explained that she was anacrobatic dancer, but the priest didn’t know what she meant.

“I’ll show you, father,” she said.

She stepped out of the confessional and went into a series of cartwheels, 
handsprings and backflips.

An elderly woman turned to another parishioner and said: “Look at the penanceFather Sullivan is givin’ out, and me without ‘me’ bloomers on!”

Catherine McHugh writes for that “the Irish indisputably havea way with language, as countless phrases and sayings born on the Emerald Islandhave been quoted across the world.” 

She shares some of the most memorable witticisms from famous Irish writers, 
politicians and entertainers, such as these two lines from the great writer OscarWilde: 

“Be yourself; everyone else is taken.” 

“The pure and simple truth is rarely pure and never simple.” 

Playwright George Bernard Shaw spoke one of my all-time favorites: “Agovernment that robs from Peter to pay Paul can always count on the support ofPaul.” 

He also coined this well-remembered line: “Youth is wasted on the young.” 

Playwright Sean O’Casey offers a clever take on a famous Shakespeare quote:
“The world’s a stage and most of us are desperately unrehearsed.” 

The great satirist Jonathan Swift offers sound advice: “May you live all the days ofyour life.” 

And Irish footballer George Best celebrates the Irish wit in all its glory with a linethat made me laugh out loud: “In 1969, I gave up women and alcohol. It was theworst 20 minutes of my life.” 

According to author Bob Callahan in a Salon article, the Irish influence onAmerican culture is considerable. 

The melodies of the Irish fiddle were blended with the rhythms of African musicto give birth to today’s popular music.

Irish vaudevillians, masters of knockabout physical comedy, influenced earlyHollywood filmmaking and even gave birth to the newspaper comic strip.

But it is the mischievousness of the Irish spirit and wit - the “hard-boiled, darklyhumorous, racetrack bitten” language of the Irish - that really benefited America.

Irish spirit and wit were the precursors to “brilliant, wisecracking Irish-
Americans,” who were precursors to the gregarious American spirit and sense ofhumor that are among our most treasured resources.

We sometimes take ourselves too seriously and lose our sense of humor -we 
sometimes get lost in the narrowness of our own point of view.

Well, St. Patrick’s Day is a great day to pour yourself a pint of Guinness, and tofeed and nurture our badly-needed sense of humor - because nothing helps peopleget along better than a hearty laugh.

Which reminds me of one joke that I am confident we can all agree on:

Q: Why are Irish jokes so simplistic?
A: So Congress can understand them. 
Copyright 2018 Tom Purcell. Tom Purcell, author of “Misadventures of a 1970’sChildhood,” a humorous memoir available at, is a Pittsburgh Tribune-
Review humor columnist and is nationally syndicated exclusively by Cagle CartoonsInc. For info on using this column in your publication or website, contact Sales@cagle.
com or call (805) 969-2829. Send comments to Tom at 


We should have seen this coming.

 Donald Trump, who thrives on the love of the crowd, who listensto the last person to successfully worm their way into his ear andwho cannot endure even the most minor of slights, is systematicallybuilding an administration of yes-men.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who famously referred to his boss

as a “moron,” and who broke with him on Russia and Iran, got the sackvia Tweet. He was replaced by CIA Director Mike Pompeo, who shares Trump’s hawkishness onIran, but who also reportedly harbors a corrosive Islamophobia.

Trump, who never enjoyed a close relationship with his chief diplomat, reportedly wantedto change horses ahead of his meeting with North Korea. As awful as Tillerson was at his job,
whether that’s actually a good idea remains to be seen.

Trump’s longtime body man, John McEntee (a personal aide), got the hook on Tuesdaybecause he’s reportedly under investigation by the Department of Homeland Security forfinancial crimes. 

Tillerson and McEntee followed economic advisor Gary Cohn out the door, and with it, thevoice of establishment Wall Street. He broke with Trump over potentially destructive, and mostdefinitely extortive, tariffs on steel and aluminum.

Cohn lost a fight with White House trade advisor Peter Navarro, who shares Trump’sprotectionist bent. As the Washington Post reports, Navarro, who was once barred from sendingprivate emails and was reduced to “skulking” in the West Wing, is now ascendant.

White House Communications Director Hope Hicks, who admitted before a congressionaloversight committee to telling “white lies” on Trump’s behalf, also resigned. There, Trumplost one of his closest advisors and confidantes. Hicks had been with Trump since before thebeginning of his political career.

And it’s probably only a matter of time before Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who has beenrepeatedly voted on and off the island by our reality TV president, finally has enough or issimilarly purged.

As The Week reports, Tillerson’s exit through the White House’s madly spinning revolvingdoor adds up to at the 37th staff departure in the 14 months of Trump’s administration. That’sa higher rate than the previous five administrations, according to an analysis by The BrookingsInstitution. 

Trump has “experienced such high turnover,” because he “has valued loyalty over qualificationsand suffered from a White House that has functioned in a chaotic manner,” Brookings scholarKathryn Dunn Tenpas concluded.

As result, it’s been difficult for Trump “to retain staff and [it has] contributed to the governancedifficulties he has encountered,” she wrote. “If history is any guide, staff recruitment and retentionduring his second year could prove challenging as well.” 
So who’s left? 
Trump’s narrowing inner circle is now comprised of Kelly, who was supposed to serve as a checkon the president’s worst excesses, but has dramatically underperformed in that role; as well asdaughter Ivanka Trump, who is a senior adviser when it suits her, and an aggrieved daughterwhen it does not; and son-in-law Jared Kushner, a secretary of all, but knower of not much, asit turns out. 
Writing for The Guardian, David Smith concludes that “Trump is creating… less a team of rivalsthan a chorus of praise singers.” 
Back in August - which just seems light years away now - The National Review’s Philip H. Devoewrote that it was too soon to tell whether Trump’s turnover was abnormal. But he said the WhiteHouse “should heed warning signs about in-house turmoil.” 
Yes, a president is entitled to name his own team and they should exhibit some core ideologicaland political sympathies. But they should also be able to disagree with the chief executivewithout risking dismissal.
After all, every school kid knows the story of the team of political contrarians that PresidentAbraham Lincoln assembled in 1861. 
The 16th president’s decision to bring former opponents into his White House is now praisedas a model of executive leadership, underscoring the importance of the leader of the free worldbeing presented with views that do not comport with his own.
Barely more than a year into his presidency, Trump, who shares an affinity for strongmen, isstumbling his way toward a regime of Yes-Men.
And while that might shore up his tender ego, it’s bad news for the rest of us. 

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 @ByJohnLMicekand email him at 



President Trump will never win.

Not with the liberal media, anyway.

First they were all over his case for not wanting to meet with NorthKorea’s dear leader, Kim Jong Un.

Then they ripped him for his tough-talking tweets describing the “fireand fury” America would rain down on North Korea if Kim ever fired anuclear missile at us. 

Then they were so blind with Trump Hate they couldn’t see the humor when the presidentdubbed the dictator Kim “Rocket Man.” 

And now, with planning meetings for a Trump-Kim summit apparently in the works in Sweden,
the liberal media and their favorite foreign policy experts and professional second-guessers areterrified that Trump will sit down with Kim.

It’ll be a while before we find out if President Trump will succeed in reducing North Korea’smisbehavior where previous administrations have only failed.

His “Tweet Diplomacy” is part of a different kind of negotiating strategy that breaks the rulesand puts America’s interests first, not last.

His “Nuclear Button” tweet of Jan. 2 was one of his best - and one of his funniest: 
“North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un just stated that the ‘Nuclear Button is on his desk at all times.’ 
Will someone from his depleted and food starved regime please inform him that I too have aNuclear Button, but it is a much bigger & more powerful one than his, and my Button works!”

Trump’s straight talk about the nature of the North Korean regime reminded me of my father’sfamous “Evil Empire” Speech in 1983.

Most of his staff, everyone in the media and most foreign policy experts of the time went nutswhen my father chose - on his own and without telling anyone in advance - to say the Soviet empirewas immoral and built on evil. 

Everyone on the planet not working for the KGB or the New York Times editorial page knewwhat Ronald Reagan said was true.

But saying Soviet totalitarianism was evil was not something a president of the U.S. was eversupposed to say out loud.

In the 1970s and 1980s Americans were being told by the media and the Washington politicalestablishment we had to coexist with the USSR forever, not try to defeat it militarily or economically.

It was not politically correct to say America was morally superior to the USSR. But my fatherknew the truth and was not afraid to say so.

A few years later the same thing happened in Iceland when he walked away from the nuclearweapons talks with Mikhail Gorbachev.

The media went nuts. They called him a loser. They said he was risking a global nuclear war.
They said he was too tough on that nice young liberal man running Russia.

We all know how that Cold War story ended - the Berlin Wall came down and the USSR’sempire crumbled into pieces and went out of the evil business.

As I’ve noted many times, my father’s basic foreign policy strategy was never complicated – “Wewin, they lose.” 

While I disagree with Trump on many things, he’s basically taking the same America-firstapproach, whether it’s on tariffs and trade or in his dealing with Kim.

So now it looks like Rocket Man is coming to the table.

It never would have happened if President Trump had not taken the tough stand he took andsaid the outrageous things he said.

As I watch the North Korea cards play out and listen to the naysayers, I see the same charactersand hear the same arguments I heard in the 1980s.

What the naysayers and foreign policy pros really need to do first is applaud the fact that at longlast there is going to be a face-to-face meeting with Kim to discuss nuclear weapons.

That’s what’s most important.

Once the Kim-Trump summit is over, the naysayers can comment or complain all they wantabout the results. 

For now they should shut up and clap.

Copyright 2018 Michael Reagan. Michael Reagan is the son of President Ronald Reagan, a politicalconsultant, and the author of “The New Reagan Revolution” (St. Martin’s Press). He is the founderof the email service and president of The Reagan Legacy Foundation. Visit his websitesat and Send comments to
Follow @reaganworld on Twitter. Mike’s column is distributed exclusively by Cagle Cartoons newspapersyndicate. For info on using columns contact Sales at 

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