Mountain Views News, Sierra Madre Edition [Pasadena] Saturday, September 1, 2018

MVNews this week:  Page B:3



 Mountain Views News Saturday, September 1, 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


The White House has launched a new salvo in its ongoing 
assault on the media and free speech. Instead of railing against 
newspapers and cable news channels, Donald J. Trump’s ire is 
now being directed at Google. 

 Somehow the president’s gotten it into his head that the search engine’s algorithms 
are “rigged.” He’s convinced that whenever anyone inputs “Trump news,” only negative 
stories - the ubiquitous “fake news” stories - about him rise to the top. 

 It’s a little unclear how the president developed this theory, although his favorite “real 
news” channel, Fox, had reported similar claims early Tuesday morning. If Trump 
was more adept at using computers, he might realize that sites linked to “real news” 
organizations tend to take precedence over blogs and conservative opinion sites. 

 The president’s aversion to email and computers is well-known. It appears his only 
nod to technology manifests itself in his compulsive urge to tweet whatever happens 
to be on his mind. If he was truly concerned about the negative coverage he invites, 
he might re-think some of the actions he takes and statements he makes. Major news 
organizations are focused on fact, not fiction.

 Late on Tuesday, the president said, “Google and Twitter and Facebook, they’re really 
treading on very, very troubled territory. And they have to be careful.”

 That may not sound like a threat, but nothing the administration does should be 
taken at face value. Trump’s ongoing assaults on the media and his obsessive attempts 
to employ government agencies - including the FCC, the IRS, and the Department of 
Justice - to bend established norms is on display for all the world to see on an almost-
daily basis. Presidential musings are often menacing and meant to intimidate; rarely are 
they oblique.

 Portions of a pair of Tuesday’s Trump Tweets read as follows: “They are controlling 
what we can and cannot see. This is a very serious situation - will be addressed!” He also 
queried of algorithm-driven search results: “Illegal?”

 Realistically, the only thing the president wants anyone to see is what he wants us to 
see: good news about Trump, 24/7. Anything else should be outlawed. Earlier in the day, 
Trump’s economic adviser Larry Kudlow stated that the White House is “taking a look” 
at whether or how Google should be regulated by the government. 

 Republicans, as a rule, do not believe in government overreach. They find excessive 
rules and over-regulation abhorrent. So, it should come as no surprise that they and 
their Democratic nemeses actually agreed in pointing out that government has no place 
monitoring search results or regulating online content. Nor did advocates of free speech 
- both conservative and progressive - or the folks in Silicon Valley.

 Several weeks back, an internal letter - made available to The New York Times 
- circulated among Google employees that voiced concerns over the company’s 
willingness to adhere to censorship requirements “that raise urgent moral and ethical 

 Google’s employees were responding to the company’s decision to secretly build a 
censored version of its search engine for China. Which, if Trump had his way, is exactly 
what he would have Google do for all of us here at home.

 Most Americans don’t understand what bots are. We don’t quite get trolling. For 
many, cookies are something that make us gain weight, not annoying tech tidbits whose 
purpose is to clutter our computer screens with useless junk and unwanted ads. We may 
not understand how algorithms work or how invasive revolutionary forms of artificial 
intelligence programs are fast becoming. It sounds a bit ominous. You can almost 
understand how it makes the president a little crazy.

 Enduring nuisances and sensory overload is a necessary evil when consumers opt to 
use search engines like Google. As bad as it may be, however, it’s a lot better than having 
Big Brother - or Donald J. Trump - dictate what we can and cannot see, hear or think.

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Let’s begin with a biographical sketch, a very 21st-century 
American dream.

 When David Hallquist was a child attending Catholic schools in 
Syracuse, New York, he always felt female. He knew he was “different,” but he couldn’t find 
a word for it. He hid his impulses and played men’s sports at school. He pursued a career 
in energy technology, got married, raised a family, and finally, in 2004, he began the long 
process of coming out. Six years later, he confided his secret side to his family. And in 2015, 
his son made a movie, entitled “Denial,” that publicly tracked his transition to who she is 
today, Christine Hallquist.

 Then, at a women’s march in Montpelier, Vt. this past January, Hallquist had an 
epiphany. She later said, “One of the things the Me Too movement has been pushing is 
that we need to get involved in politics.” So she did. She filed as a candidate for governor of 
Vermont, and in the state’s Democratic primary, she became the first transgender woman 
in America to win a major party nomination.

 Christine epitomizes the 2018 Democratic zeitgeist. On the cusp of the autumn general 
elections, grassroots Democrats have sharpened their message that diversity will make 
America great again. Despite the Trumpist Republicans’ relentless attempts to turn back 
the clock, the inexorable future awaits confirmation in November.

 With virtually all the primaries completed, Democratic voters have made it abundantly 
clear that they want more women in elective office. At this point, 200 women – 155 of 
them Democrats – have won their House primaries in 2018. That’s a record, trumping all 
previous records. Viewed from another angle, 41 percent of all Democratic nominees – 
and 48 percent of all non-incumbents - are women. That too is a milestone. (Women are 
only 13 percent of the GOP’s nominees.)

 This surge of women candidates, with heavy support from Democratic women voters, 
may be historic, but it’s not a huge surprise – given how fervently most women (with the 
probable exception of blue-collar white women) have come to detest Trump. If his goal 
this year was to talk and behave in ways designed to guarantee a female backlash against 
the party he purports to lead, he can probably chalk that up as one of his few tangible 

 Let’s scan the updated national map. Connecticut Democrats chose, as one of their 
House candidates, a black woman – the first to carry the party banner in a Connecticut 
congressional race. Minnesota Democrats chose, as one of their House candidates, a 
Somali-American woman – who’s likely to join a Muslim woman from Michigan in the 
next Congress. 

 In addition, a lesbian recently won the Democratic gubernatorial nomination in 
Texas, a bisexual woman - the sitting governor of Oregon - recently won her Democratic 
primary, and a black woman recently won the Democratic gubernatorial nomination 
in Georgia.

 Gender news aside, Democratic Party leaders are pinning their hopes on one particular 
midwestern male. In Speaker Paul Ryan’s Wisconsin district, ironworker and union activist 
Randy “Ironstache” Bryce defeated a female for the right to contest the Ryan-endorsed 
Republican, businessman Bryan Steil. Bryce has been buoyed by a sizable war chest, an 
endorsement from Bernie Sanders and a grassroots Democratic hunger to occupy the seat 
held by one of Trump’s most spineless enablers. It’s not an impossible quest, considering 
Barack Obama won the district’s presidential balloting by one point in 2008. 

If Bryce can pull off a win in November, despite some personal baggage (arrests for driving 
under the influence, late payments for child support), it would truly signal that a blue wave 
was cresting.

 And a working-stiff white guy nicknamed “Ironstache,” joining the swelling ranks of 
women, would be another victory for Democratic diversity.

 Jennifer Rubin, the center-right columnist, took it even further, declaring that a 
“demographically diverse repudiation of Trump up and down the ballot will have obvious 
consequences for the remainder of his term. It may also be the final opportunity for 
Republicans to get off the sinking ship, push Trump aside and try to regain their sanity.”

 I wince at her confident certitude, but those are indeed the stakes in November.


Copyright 2018 Dick Polman, distributed exclusively by Cagle Cartoons newspaper 

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



Along with his many other daily Tweet targets, President Trump can’t 
stop beating up on Jeff Sessions for being a lousy attorney general.

 When it comes to Sessions, the president leaves no petty pebble un-

 This week, Trump supposedly was heard telling his aides that he 
didn’t like Sessions’ Alabama accent or the fact that he didn’t go to an Ivy League school like the 
president did.

Trump isn’t the only Republican who’s unhappy with Sessions, who obviously should have 
told the president before he was hired that he was planning to recuse himself from the Russian 
collusion investigation.

 Trump supporters and the conservative media have been clamoring for the president to force 
Sessions to resign since day one.

 They want the president to hire a new attorney general who’ll rein in special counselor Robert 
Mueller or, better yet, they say, fire him.

 They want someone who’ll also name a special counsel to aggressively prosecute Hillary 
Clinton for destroying her emails, or to fully investigate the political corruption we’ve learned 
thrived at the top of the Obama administration’s FBI and intelligence agencies.

 Any other cabinet member who had been criticized and demeaned so many times in public 
by his president would have cleared out his desk and left a year ago.

 So why hasn’t Sessions resigned?

 I think it’s because he is a lot smarter than people - and maybe even the president -- think he 

 I think he knows that by staying at his attorney general’s job, he is actually helping President 
Trump politically.

 Sessions, who as a senator was one of Trump’s earliest and most vocal supporters, knows that 
as soon as he’s gone his boss will appoint a new attorney general whose litmus test would be to 
promise to fire Robert Mueller ASAP.

 Whether Mueller deserves to be fired is not the issue.

 Neither is the fact that President Trump and his campaign did not collude with Russia to steal 
the 2016 election from Hillary Clinton or hack the Democrat National Committee’s computers.

 But the second Sessions is canned or resigns, the president will be accused of obstructing 
justice by everyone on the planet except Vladimir Putin.

 Democrats, Republicans and the mainstream media will be united against him.

 It wouldn’t matter how innocent President Trump is of colluding. It would look like he was 
trying to obstruct justice.

 He’d be severely hurt politically - as would the Republican Party in the midterm elections this 

 Jeff Sessions has to know all of this.

 I think he knows that by not resigning until the Mueller investigation is over he’s protecting 
the president from himself and from doing major political harm to the GOP.

Despite suffering 18 months of verbal abuse from his tough boss, Sessions just could still be one 
of President Trump’s best friends.

Michael Reagan is the son of President Ronald Reagan, a political consultant, and the author of 
“Lessons My Father Taught Me: The Strength, Integrity, and Faith of Ronald Reagan.” 

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In response to Michael Regan’s Editorial “Purging the Church’s Predatory Priests” in the Aug. 
25th Mt. Views News, no Michael I assure you that you are not the only Catholic who thinks 
the church needs to consider getting rid of the old guard - all the way up to the Pope. I have 
been a practicing Catholic for 63 years (I am a convert)and I feel like the foundation of my 
spiritual home has crumbled. I am angry, distressed and floundering. We have heard apology 
after apology. The apologies are now falling on deaf ears. Some corrective actions have been 
taken, some clergy have been dismissed and some have been charged in the courts. This is well 
and good, but now we need the rest of the predators and those who covered up the abuse to be 
dismissed and stripped of their positions in the church. I am writing letters to the hierarchy 
of the church expressing my anger and advising them of what I expect them to do to save the 
Catholic church. 

Susie Day, Sierra Madre

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