Mountain Views News, Sierra Madre Edition [Pasadena] Saturday, March 24, 2018

MVNews this week:  Page B:5

Mountain Views News Saturday, March 24, 2018 OPINION B5 
Mountain Views News Saturday, March 24, 2018 
Mountain Views 
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Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA), the unintelligent chair of the House

Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, continues to pose a

clear and present danger to America.

Nunes babbles on, divulging delicate information and claiming there is no evidence tosupport a Russian plot to influence the 2016 presidential election and this American publicopinion in general. This despite every intelligence agency, the Justice Department, and theFBI concluding that Russian interference occurred and is likely taking place right now withthe intention of disrupting this November’s election.

Nunes’s ongoing leaks of private communications and top secret intel continue with thetacit approval of his patron saints in the House, Speaker Paul Ryan and Majority LeaderKevin McCarthy (R-CA). The same Kevin McCarthy who famously claimed during the 2016campaign “There’s only two people I think Putin pays: Rohrabacher and Trump.” He wasreferring, of course, to the president; and his Republican colleague, Rep. Dana Rohrabacher(R-CA), known as “the Kremlin’s favorite Congressman.” 

But what of Dangerous Devin? Why is he so insistent that corruption runs rampant inour intelligence, law enforcement, and justice communities? Nunes obfuscates and obstructsinvestigations into Russian meddling whenever possible. What’s he hiding? Appearances maybe deceiving, but they’re not as deceptive as Nunes appears to be.

Nunes recently told Fox News, “The left controls not only the universities in this country,
but they also control Hollywood in this country, and the mainstream media, so conservativesin this country are under attack… they attack people who are trying to get to the truth.” 

Rep. Nunes can’t handle the truth. If there are a few good men in Washington, he isn’t oneof them. 

When lambasting “universities,” is the congressman referring to hotbeds of liberalism likethe community college from which he received an associate’s degree and upon whose boardhe once served? 

Message to Devin regarding “leftist” news organizations: Richer-than-Midas conservativekingmaker Rupert Murdoch busted his butt to make Fox broadcasting and Fox News a partof the “mainstream media.” 

If anyone is attacking people who are attempting to uncover the truth, it’s Nunes. Hislate-night sojourn to the White House to review highly-classified information without theknowledge of his committee, last year, was problematic enough that it invited a congressionalethics investigation into his behavior.

How did Nunes gain admission to view those documents? He was let in the back door byWhite House National Security Council staffers Michael Ellis, who once worked for Nunes,
and Ezra Cohen-Watnick, who previously served alongside Michael (“Lock him up!”) Flynnat the Defense Intelligence Agency.

Nunes’s covert operation ultimately led to Cohen-Watnick being reassigned and eventuallyterminated. Cohen-Watnick then landed a cushy job, in Silicon Valley, at Oracle. After joiningthe company, he cruised around the executive offices and collected a little bundle of campaigncontributions from five Oracle execs totaling $35,000. Take a guess who that was for.

Devin Nunes. 

The Daily Beast has reported on Nunes’s influence over legislation involving governmentsurveillance law which could conceivably have a positive impact on Oracle’s cybersecuritybusiness and government contracts. Pure coincidence.

According to multiple media outlets, Nunes’s latest subterfuge is his alleged releaseof private text messages between Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA), the ranking member of theSenate Intelligence Committee, and a lawyer who purportedly has ties to a Russian oligarch.
These messages related to setting up an interview as part of the committee’s investigationinto Russian meddling. To Nunes, however, they were just more evidence of a Deep Stateconspiracy.

While Rep. Devin Nunes may not represent your congressional district, his role as chairof the House Intelligence Committee and his questionable behavior when it comes to Russiashould be of great concern to every American. If your congressional representative hasbeen party to his shenanigans, the best you can ask for is that, henceforth, they steer clear ofdangerous – possibly dirty – Devin Nunes. Send them an email, pick up the phone and call.
Just do it. Your country is depending on you. 

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



On April 10, 2018 we vote whether to preserve the Utility Tax against Proposition Dwhich appears to have been placed on the ballot by outsiders who will not have to paythe price with only nominal local support.

I don’t like paying taxes any more than anyone else, but at the same time I have readthe official argument for Prop. D and I simply cannot figure out how it would leave theCity able to fund the present level of modest expenditures. It is a truth we accept whenwe move here that we do not have the tax bases of other nearby communities and willneed to do more for ourselves. 

I have lived here since 1989. I can remember when Sierra Madre was so broke that 
when the City had to replace a police car we had to buy one used that another citywas discarding. I can remember when the mechanic who serviced our fire trucks wentunpaid for months and appeared before the Council begging for his bill to be paid.
Things are no longer as desperate as that, but yet only a few years ago did we finallyget our street resurfaced, which had needed it for years, and I look around and see thatthere are many other streets that equally need to be resurfaced and perhaps their watermains replaced.

Every house in the City is valued in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. In myopinion, that is an investment worth protecting. A modicum of public services, alibrary that we can be proud of, parks that I am happy to entertain my grandchildrenat, streets that look like they are not in a slum, reasonable fire, paramedic and policeprotection, pay considerable dividends in the value of our property as part of being in adesirable community. The the loss of these expenditures would promptly cost us dearlyfar beyond any alleged “savings”. Think of “saving” money by firing your gardener andletting the yard go, and wondering why your property value is down. 

Eric Olson 
Sierra Madre 


All kidding aside: Donald Trump is no longer funny.

Entertainers, writers, social observers - myself included 

have relished taking shots at the president. And why not? Jokes

about Trump are the lowest-hanging fruits in comedy.

But recently we have begun to hear politicians and pundits

say, “This is different.” The White House is in chaos and the jokes

are falling flat. Maybe it’s time to knock it off.

Throughout 2017 I included about 10 minutes of Trump material in my live stageshow. As soon as I flashed a giant photo of his orange hair caught in a gust of wind,
audiences burst into laughter. When I showed a clip of Trump’s guest appearance on“Candid Camera” from back in the 1990s in which he ruined every scene by stumblingover his own ego, the crowd ate it up.

I’ve taken it all out because I no longer have the stomach for it. Moreover, jokes aboutTrump now seem tired, even passe.

Looking back over presidential comedy, a benchmark came in 1962 when a little-
known performer named Vaughn Meader spoofed John F. Kennedy in an album titled“The First Family.” It was mild stuff, kidding JFK about his “rubber ducky” and mockinghis pronounced Boston accent, yet it sold an incredible 7 million copies. Every presidentsince has been lampooned - from Chevy Chase’s bumbling Gerald Ford to Will Ferrell’smalaprop-prone George W. Bush.

But, except for some dark Nixon humor, notably by the comedian David Frye, modernpresidents have generally been mocked with a gentle wink, not a snarl.

Trump is different and fatigue is setting in. Comedy Central is practically an all-
Trump channel; “Saturday Night Live” dutifully trots out Alec Baldwin in the role, butincreasingly the script isn’t as funny as whatever Trump actually said that week. StephenColbert’s nightly anti-Trump rants on CBS are becoming strained. Remember, it wasColbert’s boss, Leslie Moonves, who famously said in 2016 that Trump’s campaign “maynot be good for America, but it’s damn good for CBS.” 

Has it finally reached a tipping point, where Trump’s presidency is too damaging tolaugh at?

Comedians who fantasize that they are doing some kind of public service by goingafter Trump are kidding themselves. He loves it. He even tweeted that NBC should dumpBaldwin and give the Trump role to Darrell Hammond. Face it: Trump relishes being thecenter of attention, even bad attention. 

What’s needed is a Trump Comedy Freeze, and a good place to begin would be theWhite House Correspondents’ Association dinner on April 28. Trump skipped the eventlast year and has not said if he plans to attend this time.

This year’s roastmaster is Michelle Wolf of Comedy Central, who once observed thatTrump “shouldn’t even be president of lunch meat” and that he’s “the worst thing tohappen to women since yeast.” She has already pledged that she won’t hold back at NerdProm, as the correspondents’ dinner is known, whether Trump attends or not.

But why not hold back? Not out of fear but as a show of strength. Imagine Trump’ssurprise, whether sitting on the dais or watching from bed in the Executive Residence, ifhis name is never mentioned all night.

The Gridiron Club’s anniversary dinner earlier this month proved conclusively thatmaking jokes about Trump and allowing him to joke back about the media he hates hasreached new heights on the cringe meter. Trump jokes are now in the same category asjokes about Bill Cosby or Harvey Weinstein - or at least they should be because Trumphas jumped the shark.

At some point, even a comical president is no longer a laughing matter. 
A list of Peter Funt’s upcoming live appearances is available at www.CandidCamera. 

Peter Funt is a writer and speaker. His book, “Cautiously Optimistic,” is available and 



So now it’s collusion with Stormy Daniels?

The obsession by some in the media with the affair that DonaldTrump allegedly had with a porn star 12 years ago shows how desperatehis haters are to drive him from office. 

For the anti-Trump forces in the media, Stormy has become the Joanof Arc that will bring down the president who was elected in large partbecause everyone hated Hillary.

But don’t bet on it. 

I have no idea - and don’t really want to know - what Stormy didto become “an award winning American pornographic actress, stripper, political figure,
screenwriter and director,” as Wikipedia describes her.

Stormy is now 39 and not the porn star she used to be. Maybe she’s launching a whole newcareer - going on “60 Minutes” and tattling on the famous people she had sex with.

I have no idea if she and Mr. Trump had a tempestuous affair, a one-night fling, or if theyinnocently shared a round of golf and split a case of Diet Coke.
I also don’t care. It was 2006. 

Whatever it was, the Story-Trump deal was a private and consensual relationship.
The liberal media shouldn’t care about Stormy’s relationship with Trump, either, but they aredrooling over her sex story and trying to weaponize her.

Is her story real news or fake? If it’s true, so what? It was 2006.
Does it disqualify Trump from being a good president or just prove he’s a lousy husband?

For Republicans, does it wash away the successes he’s had in office - tax reform, lowerunemployment, deregulation, potential peace deals with North Korea?

I get tweets from people all the time who ask, “How can you support someone disgusting likeTrump who was having all that sex and being unfaithful to his wife?”
People tell me I’m disgracing my father’s name with my support for Donald Trump.

“Wait a minute,” I say. “I don’t approve of what Trump may or may not have done with Stormyor anyone else when he was married. But I also don’t think it’s anyone’s business.” 

On that score, I agree with my father.

In 1960 he knew the Republican National Committee and Richard Nixon were in possessionof photos that showed the very married John Kennedy entering and leaving various hotels withyoung women who were not named Jackie.

When Nancy, my sister Maureen and I asked my father at dinner if the Republicans weregoing to use the photos to help Nixon win, he said, “No - and they shouldn’t.” 

“It’s a private affair between a man and his wife,” he said. “It’s not a public affair, and it shouldnot be made public.” 

My father knew that JFK’s busy career as a philandering senator had nothing to do withwhether he’d make a good or bad president.

Likewise, what Donald Trump did with Stormy Daniels in 2006 says nothing about hispresidency. It says more about how our society has changed since the 1960s.

Back then, when it came to sex, Jack and Bobby Kennedy were as professional as StormyDaniels - and almost everyone in Washington, Manhattan and Hollywood and the media knewit. 

But back then people were allowed to have a less-than-perfect private life - even if they werefrom the other party.

Today it’s totally different.

Because of social media, there’s no such thing as privacy anymore.

Mainstream journalism has adopted the standards of the National Inquirer and when itcomes to politicians, movie stars and athletes, the public has come to expect to hear the latestprivate dirt on them all the time.

People didn’t stop liking Frank Sinatra’s music when they heard about the things he did in hisprivate life.

Nobody cared about what NBA superstars Kobe Bryant or Magic Johnson did in private aslong as they performed on the court.
So when it comes to President Trump, maybe we should count the scoring he’s been doing inWashington - not the kind he did in private before he was elected president. 
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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