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

MVNews this week:  Page B:3



 Mountain Views News Saturday, December 1, 2018 



Mountain Views



Susan Henderson


Dean Lee 


Joan Schmidt


LaQuetta Shamblee


Richard Garcia


Patricia Colonello




John Aveny 




Mary Lou Caldwell

Kevin McGuire

Chris Leclerc

Bob Eklund

Howard Hays

Paul Carpenter

Kim Clymer-Kelley

Christopher Nyerges

Peter Dills 

Rich Johnson

Lori Ann Harris

Rev. James Snyder

Dr. Tina Paul

Katie Hopkins

Deanne Davis

Despina Arouzman

Jeff Brown

Marc Garlett

Keely Toten

Dan Golden

Rebecca Wright

Hail Hamilton


This is not a column bent on demonizing Republicans. 
However, there are some things that I want to bring to their 
attention. Things that they alone can do to restore some 
semblance of democracy to America.

 First of all, Republicans have to fix whatever in the 
hell was wrong with their Party to allow a man who has 
never served anyone other than himself to become their 
Presidential nominee. There were 16 other people who all 
had impressive backgrounds and a long history of PUBLIC 
SERVICE that, if elected, would allow us to sleep at night. 
Instead you drank the Kool Aid and served up an embarassing loud mouth who not only 
lacks any knowledge of basic civics, is the most self serving person ever to reside at 1600 
Pennsylvania Ave. The Republican Party's fear that a woman, the most qualified Presidential 
candidate ever, might win, led them to go for the bull fed to them by consultants thinking 
that Trump, the populist if elected, would be manageable. How’s that working out for you 

 Please Republican Party, get back to your roots. Get some courage and find a candidate 
that if elected, will serve the people of the United States, including the ones who may not 
have voted for him or her. Find someone, and you have plenty, who will have the best 
interest of all Americans at heart, has integrity and a commitment to serve. (Warning to 
Democrats, you need to do the same thing. This is not the time to sit back on your laurels).

 For right now, however, Republicans you can do a lot to rehabilitate your image and 
regain some of your members if you would just spend the rest of this congressional term 
actually taking some affirmative actions that will end this renegade administration! Hint: 
If you do, die hard Republicans may fall in love with you again.

Here's a To Do Before 12/31/2018 List for Republicans

1. Protect Mueller from Donald J. Trump and his hit men.
2. Stand up to the tyrant. Pass a budget without adding the expensive campaign promise 
of that ridiculous wall. Use that money to educate our children or fix our infrastructure 
or help with the costs of medical care in this country.
3. Set into motion something to start reducing the spiraling deficit that Trump created. 
4. Take the news cycle away from the grandstanding, lawbreaking, and lying (more than 
4,000 told since he’s been President) and do something newsworthy that we care about, 
like passing bi partisan legislation that will improve, or at least maintain the quality of 
life that we have now.
5. Move your party far, far away from 45. He doesn’t represent your values. He isn’t 
a conservative, he isn’t fiscally responsible, and he doesn’t care about Americans, the 
Constitution or the rule of law.
6. And most importantly, SAVE US FROM THE IMPEACHMENT PROCESS. It is too 
expensive and too time consuming. We need to be focusing on who the next presidential 
candidates will be and how to repair the damage by Trump to our democracy. How? Just 
show him the list below and enlighten him that the best thing for him to do is RESIGN. 

The List of High crimes and misdemeanors behaviors Partial - Per The Constitution 

1. Perjury (This is a perhaps, but his answers to Mueller may prove that 
he did). 
2. Abuse of Authority
3. Bribery – 
4. Intimidation
5. Misuse of assets
6. Failure to supervise
7. Dereliction of duty
8. Unbecoming conduct
9. Refusal to obey a lawful order
10. Tax evasion. 

 Pick any of the above, or maybe all of them and ‘show him the light’. Persuade him that 
it is better for him and his children and his empire to leave peacefully now.

 You can do it and just think how that will help you repair your party’s reputation. You’ll 
stand for something again – something other than the enabler of the worst human being to 
ever hold the title of President of the United States. (And don’t worry about his ‘base’, he’s 
double crossed them too. They’ll be on your side!)

 Our future is in your court. You did this. Own it. Fix it.

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HARRISBURG, Pa. - John E. Jones III doesn’t look or sound much 
like a rebel.

Like a lot of federal judges, he’s given to sober suits, long pauses, 
and thoughtful and deliberative sentences.

 But Jones, a judge of the Middle District of Pennsylvania, in the state capital of Harrisburg, 
is pretty much a legal apostate in our newly narrow judicial universe where all federal judges 
are “Obama judges,” or “Bush judges,” or “Clinton judges.”

 In 2005, in a case that became known as the “Dover Panda Trial,” Jones ruled that a central 
Pennsylvania school district’s attempt to teach intelligent design in science class violated the 
Constitution’s Establishment Clause.

 In 2014, Jones beat the U.S. Supreme Court to the punch by a full year, overturning 
Pennsylvania’s gay marriage ban.

 Still, if we’re following the rules set down by President Donald Trump in his latest Jeremiad 
against judicial independence, then Jones, a President George W. Bush appointee, should 
not have ruled, as he did in Kitzmiller, that “the writings of leading [intelligent design] 
proponents reveal that the designer postulated by their argument is the God of Christianity.”

 And in the Trumpiverse, where judges are expected to rubber-stamp the White House’s 
proposals, and not act as the co-equal branch of government, there’s no way that a “Bush 
judge” would have offered an impassioned preamble in the same-sex marriage case about 
the rights of “all Pennsylvanians have the right to marry the person of their choice and 

 But Jones did just that.

 And it wasn’t because Jones was legislating from the bench. And it wasn’t because Jones 
decided to shred the Constitution and cast it to the four winds. It was because he took a look 
at the facts, the Constitution, and precedent, and made a ruling that followed the law of the 

 Sometimes it’s really that simple.

 “It’s not that we’re going rogue, we’re deciding cases according to the law,”Jones said when I 
called him to ask him about Trump’s judicial broadsides, the president’s extraordinary war of 
words with U.S. Supreme Court Justice John Roberts, and Jones’ own concerns about attacks 
on judicial independence.

 Jones declined to comment directly on Trump, who recently groused loudly, and publicly, 
about a federal judge’s ruling short-circuiting the White House’s attempts to turn away a 
column of asylum-seekers who have now reached the southern border.

 But he did credit Roberts, who rebuked Trump’s attacks on the judiciary, sternly noting that 
“we do not have Obama judges or Trump judges, Bush judges or Clinton judges.” Roberts also 
smartly observed that an “independent judiciary is something we should all be thankful for.”

 The chief justice’s words were “a timely statement for him to make and truly a heartfelt 
statement,” Jones observed.

 “As the functional head of the federal judiciary, to see him stand up for his judges was just 
terrific,” Jones said. “I think most of us [judges], if not all of us, feel that way.”

 Reflecting on the independence of the judiciary, Jones noted that “all we have, as is so often 
said, is our credibility,” he said. “We don’t have the purse and we don’t have the sword - as 
Alexander Hamilton said. If that credibility is destroyed and people think they can disregard 
the rule of law in society, then we are going to a very dangerous and dark place.”

“We have an appellate system that gives everyone the opportunity to have due process if they 
disagree,” he continued. “Decisions themselves can be roundly criticized. It’s a free country. 
But when those attacks devolve into something that is personal or when a judge’s authority 
is questioned because we’re a co-equal branch of government, it’s problematic for all of us.”

 And that’s why it’s so important for people to respect the independence of the judiciary. 

There will be times when you don’t agree with a judge or his or her jurisprudence (and I have 
plenty of disagreements with the current U.S. Supreme Court), but they’re there for a reason: 
To make sure everyone gets a fair shake under the law.

 And one of these days, it might be your turn. And you won’t realize how much you miss 
that right to a fair shake until it’s not there anymore.

 “We need to dial back the inflammatory rhetoric that might not be designed to imperil 
judges but might have that effect,” Jones said. “We should be very careful about that.”


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

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



Stuck in a hotel room watching CNN the other day, I 
happened to catch live coverage of Donald Trump’s short 
speech about the “First Step Act,” concerning criminal 
justice reforms. I was bowled over. If I had been reading an 
unlabeled transcript I might have thought the speaker was 
Barack Obama. 

 Imbalances and outright abuses in our criminal justice system are a plague on 
society. And here was Trump, the law-and-order president, urging passage of 
legislation to limit mandatory sentences, especially for drug offenses, and advocating 
new funding for sweeping anti-recidivism programs. 

 Trump also said this: “Today’s announcement shows that true bipartisanship is 
possible.” Yes! He’s correct - and that’s big news. 

 I kept expecting Trump to put his foot in his mouth by shifting to “criminals” in the 
migrant caravan, or ranting about “crimes” he believes were committed in election 
recounts. He did not. He was entirely reasonable and on message - albeit with a 
prepared text - about a vitally important issue. 

 When it ended, however, I had a sinking feeling. What if mainstream media were 
to under play, or even ignore, this very positive news? After all, members of Trump’s 
team, most notably Kellyanne Conway, have stated repeatedly that media dwell on 
Trump’s problems and fail to give appropriate space to meaningful achievements. 

 In the hours that followed, CNN devoted almost all of its time to “chaos” in the 
White House—Trump’s mood, Melania Trump’s effort to get a national security 
deputy fired, and charges and countercharges about the election results. The First 
Step Act was barely mentioned. 

 I was able to check two broadcast networks. On NBC’s “Nightly News,” the story 
was covered reasonably well about eight minutes in. But the “CBS Evening News” 
never mentioned the story in its half-hour report. Never mentioned it!

 The next morning, the story was practically invisible on the nation’s front pages - 
with no page-one coverage in The Los Angles Times, Washington Post, Wall Street 
Journal, Chicago Tribune or USA Today. 

 Only The New York Times, among papers I surveyed, stepped up, making the story 
its lead of the day, atop page one. In an editorial, The Times added, “In this early test, 
the president is signaling that he indeed wants to make progress on critical issues 
that enjoy broad support.”

 Meanwhile progressive commentator Van Jones told CNN’s Don Lemon: “I say, the 
99 times I don’t agree with the president I’m going to give him hell. But on this one, 
I’ll give him a salute and applause.” 

 What followed was a Twitter backlash against Jones from liberals who were troubled 
by praise, any praise, for Trump. Jones replied via Twitter: “There are 200,000 people 
behind bars. They have no hope, no help. We haven’t passed a bill to help them in 
almost two generations.” 

 The president himself has noted that he could work with the new Democratic 
majority in the House on many issues, from drug prices, to repairing infrastructure 
and, yes, on criminal justice reform. 

 Trump’s opponents along with media who cover the White House objectively 
must walk a fine line. They should criticize him when he deserves it and must hold 
him accountable for his many misstatements. But they can’t succumb to temporary 
blindness when the news is positive. 

 As the second half of Trump’s term begins, reforms are needed in criminal justice 
- and also in how politicians and media conduct themselves on the rare occasions 
when good news happens at the White House. 


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 
at and © 2018 Peter Funt. Columns distributed 
exclusively by Cagle Cartoons, Inc., newspaper syndicate.


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