Mountain Views News, Sierra Madre Edition [Pasadena] Saturday, April 7, 2018

MVNews this week:  Page B:4



Mountain Views-News Saturday, April 7, 2018 

Mountain Views



Susan Henderson


Dean Lee 


Joan Schmidt


LaQuetta Shamblee


Richard Garcia


Patricia Colonello




John Aveny 


Kevin Barry


Chris Leclerc

Bob Eklund

Howard Hays

Paul Carpenter

Kim Clymer-Kelley

Christopher Nyerges

Peter Dills 

Rich Johnson

Merri Jill Finstrom

Rev. James Snyder

Dr. Tina Paul

Katie Hopkins

Deanne Davis

Despina Arouzman

Renee Quenell

Marc Garlett

Keely Toten

Dan Golden




Roseanne Barr has risen from the dead. 

 After a lengthy absence from television, Roseanne and the 
rest of her fictional Conner family are once again gracing 
our living rooms. And now, as then, she’s not limiting 
herself to once-weekly sitcom appearances to make her 
presence known. Her recent use of Twitter assures us of 

 Roseanne was - and remains - a brilliant media strategist. In addition to the 
role she played on her show, she fostered a public persona that sometimes, quite 
deliberately, left her looking as though she were the sole survivor of a very bad train 
wreck. And the American people loved her for it. 

 For close to a decade, Roseanne was fine fodder for the tabloids as well. They 
endlessly detailed her personal foibles, multiple marriages, family crises, and 
fractious relationships with co-workers and network executives. Viewers and 
readers hung on every word, both in print and on-screen. 

 If the share of viewers who tuned in to her revamped show’s premiere last week 
is any indicator, the romance continues. 

 Roof-raising ratings demonstrate that, 30 years later, Roseanne is still relevant. 
And it’s not just because the character of Roseanne Conner is a lapsed Clintonite 
who has wholeheartedly embraced Donald Trump. To many, her evolution makes 

 Working-class Americans like the Conners have always struggled to get by. 
Whereas former President Bill Clinton once stood up for working men and women 
and fought to make America a more equitable place for them to live (at least 
publicly), so, too, does President Trump today (at least publicly). Comparisons, 
however, end there. 

 When Bill Clinton left office, he left behind an economy that was healthier than 
it had been in decades. Rather than increase the budget deficits he inherited at the 
beginning of his first term, Clinton left office with the government in the black and 
surpluses recorded for the better part of his last term. 

 Moral failings aside, President Clinton did, for the most part, take care of the 
little guy. Moral failings aside, President Trump’s ability to do so will be left for 
future historians to decide. 

 Supporters of the president point to the current state of the economy: significant 
reductions in taxes, a jump in the stock market, and the prospect of a resurgent 
pro-business environment - in part, through massive deregulation and punishing 
tariffs. In exchange, we’ve been saddled with a deficit of approximately $1.5 trillion 
dollars. As for middle-class tax breaks, most of them will expire in 2025. 

 Roseanne and Dan Conner better start socking away any refund checks they’re 
hoping to get as a result of recent Republican tax legislation. They’re going to need 
all the cash they can muster when it comes time for them to enjoy retirement. If 
they can ever afford to have a retirement.

 Not too much of a concern for Roseanne Barr, however. That same Republican 
tax legislation assures her of personally faring quite nicely. Realistically, she didn’t 
have to come out of retirement for the money. She came back because she missed 
us. Then again, Roseanne never really went away.

 There was her turn as the moderately successful host of a television talk show. 
Her 2012 run for the Green Party presidential nomination. Her eventual campaign 
as the Peace and Freedom Party candidate. The documentary about her presidential 
bid. Her reality show. The NBC sitcom pilot that was never picked up. And now, 
Roseanne: The Reboot.

 Screen superstardom was never enough for Roseanne, though, nor will it ever 
be. And that’s just fine. As is her decision - calculated or not - to embrace the man 
who will make America great again. And while her somewhat skewed ideology 
may make for good ratings, it is potentially harmful to her and those whom she has 
chosen to target. 

 Like Parkland shooting survivor David Hogg. Roseanne recently re-tweeted 
a doctored photo of Hogg and accused him of giving the “Nazi salute” (False). 
Past re-tweets have included untruths about Hillary Clinton being part of a sex 
trafficking ring. Then there’s the interminable list of right-wing conspiracy theories 
she’s espoused. 

 But, hey, let Roseanne be Roseanne. She’s not the president. She’s a comedian. 
It’s all just an act. Right? She’s messing with us, telling jokes funny enough to 
make network executives squirm in their seats; which may possibly have led to the 
sudden disappearance of her ill-advised tweets. Better those than a sitcom destined 
to rake in huge profits. Now, that’s show biz.


 Copyright 2018 Blair Bess distributed exclusively by Cagle Cartoons newspaper 

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

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I’m feeling human again, thanks.

 After three weeks of living in opioid hell - of constantly being sick to 
my stomach, of throwing up, of having the shakes and feeling depressed 
and crying - my body and brain are back to normal.

 I’m no longer high and messed up on pain killers.

I’m no longer trying to withdraw from them.

 And I have a new, up-close-and-personal understanding of the country’s opioid epidemic and 
how easy it is for a 70-something guy like me to become addicted to potent pain pills.

 My opioid nightmare started on March 13 when I had my left knee replaced. The surgery went 
fine, but with knee replacement all the pain comes during recovery.

 When I was released from the hospital on March 15 my doctor wrote me a prescription for 

 Fifty pills. Two every four hours at first, then one every 12 hours.

 Hello opioid addiction.

 For the first 10 days and 30 oxycodones , I was pain-free but a complete mess. 
I was often nauseous. I threw up now and then.

 I tried to do my knee exercises as I sat in my recliner chair and watched “The Voice” and whatever 
else was on.

 I don’t really remember much else from those first 10 days, except for feeling sick and occasionally 
throwing up, but my wife told me my whole personality changed.

 I was angry. I was sad and depressed. The pressure I was putting on my family to take care of me 
made me start crying.

 On Sunday, March 25, my wife took my opioids away, but I took pill No. 30 against her will.

 On Monday morning I got up, felt nauseous - and threw up. I threw up every day after that for 
ten days, but the third day of my withdrawal was the worst.

I felt like I had been hit by an earthquake. I had the shakes all day.

 When I went to have my surgery staples removed, the knee doctor took one look at me and sent 
me straight to my heart doctor.

 The heart doctor took one look at me, ran an ultra-sound on my heart and sent me back to the 
ER for blood tests. 

 At the ER I threw up.

 I sat in the ER for several hours, then went home and got lots of fluids. I was shaking so much I 
couldn’t hold my hand steady or sign my name.

 Today - April 5 - I can say I’m finally recovering from addiction.

 Yesterday was the first day since March 15 that I woke up and didn’t feel like I was going to be 
sick. For the last week I haven’t thrown up once.

 Last night was the first time I thought I could safely go out to dinner and order food. My wife 
Colleen and I split a dinner.

 The worst for me is over and I’ve learned some lessons the hard way. 

 I now understand how powerful and dangerous opioids are. And how important it is to have a 
loving family at home to take care of you when you’re taking them or trying to get off them.

 During the last few days I’ve run into several other guys who had their knees replaced.

 What they said made me feel kind of stupid.

 One guy said he never touched oxycodone . He took Tylenol 3, which has codeine but is less 

 When I ran into George Thomas, the retired foreman of my father’s ranch, he told me he had 
had both of his knees replaced.

 When I told him I was still recovering from opiates, he said, “I didn’t take anything.”

 OK, well.

 I’m not as tough as old George.

 I know opioids are valuable weapons against pain, and that before they were over-prescribed to 
help create the current crisis they were often under-prescribed.

 But if I have to have my other knee replaced, I’m going to take Tylenol 3 and keep the oxycodone 
in the box.


 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 Legacy Foundation. 
Visit his 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




Earlier this week in Wisconsin, a state governed by Koch Brothers 
subsidiary Scott Walker, one million voters cast ballots to fill a 
seat on the state Supreme Court. I’ve long argued that judicial elections 
are idiotic - judges should be immune to partisan politics; 
they shouldn’t make campaign promises - but such are the rules in 
states like Wisconsin and Pennsylvania. And sure enough, the Wisconsin race featured two 
lower-court judges with overtly partisan brands: Right-wing Walker clone and NRA fave 
Michael Screnock, and anti-Trump progressive Rebecca Dallet.

 The race was called within minutes of the polls’ closing. Dallet eviscerated Screnock by 
12 percentage points.

 It was the first time in 23 years that a progressive (the traditional Wisconsin word for 
“liberal”) won an open seat on the state’s highest court, and it prompted Scott Walker to 
freak out on Twitter: “Tonight’s results show we are at risk of a #BlueWave in Wisconsin … 
we need conservatives to take action and stop a #BlueWave.”

 It’s the second time this year that Walker has clanged the alarm. Back in the winter, 
there was a special election for a vacant state Senate seat, in a rural-red district where 59 
percent of the 2016 voters had supported Trump, a district where the previous state Senate 
Republican candidate had won the seat by a margin of 26 points. But 10 weeks ago, in a 
huge switcheroo, the Democratic candidate snatched the rural-red seat by a margin of 9 
points. The reasons were obvious: blue voters were stoked to turn out; red voters were too 
dispirited to show up. Some even switched sides.

 In 2016, Trump easily won Wisconsin’s Eighth Congressional District, in the state’s 
northeastern corner; on Tuesday, Dallet won the district’s voters by 5 points. Trump also 
won the Third Congressional District, in the state’s southwestern corner; on Tuesday, Dallet 
the progressive swept the district’s voters by a whopping 16 points. In the words of 
Washington Republican analyst Rich Galen, “this election was so one-sided that, taken 
along with Pennsylvania (a reference to last month’s upset Democratic win in a special 
House election), it may be another precursor of things to come on Nov. 6.”

 Walker, fearing more losses, has even tried to cancel a pair of Wisconsin special elections. 
Last winter, he appointed two state legislators to fill posts in his regime. Then he 
refused to schedule special elections to fill their seats. I kid you not.

 He claimed in various statements that the elections were “unnecessary” and a “waste of 
taxpayer resources,” but it was obvious that he and his Republican allies were terrified that 
a blue wave would sweep those seats away - further confirming the national trend. Since 
Trump took the oath, 39 state legislative seats have flipped from red to blue (only four have 
flipped from blue to red), and the GOP would prefer not to suffer more humiliations.

 Alas, Wisconsin law requires that legislative vacancies be promptly filled, for the self-
evident reason that citizens deserve to be represented. This is called democracy, a concept 
that appears to flummox Republicans in the age of Trump.

 Walker was speedily sued in court for his failure to follow the law. A few weeks ago, a 
judge - whom Walker has appointed to the bench - ruled that Walker had a “plain and positive 
duty” to schedule those special elections.

 Walker refused to obey. He went to the state appeals court. He lost again. Last week an 
appeals judge ruled: “Representative government and the election of our representatives 
are never ‘unnecessary,’ never ‘a waste of taxpayer resources.’ [Walker] has an obligation to 
the follow the law.” Walker finally gave up and scheduled the two contests for June.

 Could there possibly be better evidence of Republican panic than their bright idea of 
canceling elections? Wisconsin’s judicial tally is merely their latest grim portent. As Mitch 
McConnell said Tuesday, “We know the wind is going to be in our face. We don’t know 
whether it’s going to be a Category 3, 4 or 5.”

 Show of hands, please. Who’s up for a Category 5?


 Copyright 2018 Dick Polman, distributed exclusively by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate.

 Dick Polman is the national political columnist at WHYY in Philadelphia and a 
“Writer in Residence” at the University of Pennsylvania. Email him at HYPERLINK 

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