Mountain Views News, Sierra Madre Edition [Pasadena] Saturday, December 8, 2018

MVNews this week:  Page B:3



 Mountain Views News Saturday, December 8, 2018 



Timing is everything. Take for example the Trump 
administration’s decision to release the latest National 
Climate Assessment during last month’s Thanksgiving 
holiday. No shocker. The president and his team consistently 
dump unwelcome information at times they believe no one 
is paying attention.

 Publication of the climate assessment is mandated by 
Congress. It has been released every four years since the 
requirement to do so was signed into law by President 
George H.W. Bush in 1990. That’s right, Bush 41, whose 
recent passing we as a nation are still mourning. Again, timing is everything. In this 
instance, it’s the perfect time to pause and consider the significance of this piece of 

 The elder President Bush understood the disastrous consequences of climate change. 
According to Monica Medina, a former principal deputy undersecretary of the National 
Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Bush 41 knew that global warming posed “a 
risk to our health, to our prosperity, and to our national security.” 

 President Bush’s commitment to the environment is in stark contrast to opinions 
expressed by the current occupant of the Oval Office. When questioned about the climate 
report’s validity, President Trump reacted dismissively and said, “I don’t believe it.” 

 Climate change deniers like President Trump and many of his party’s leadership 
in Congress choose to pooh-pooh the findings of the climate assessment because it is 
contrary to “evidence” proffered by fossil fuel industry-affiliated experts and the special 
interests funding their careers. Their views are not predicated on potential environmental 
hazards or the health concerns of ordinary Americans. They are rooted in increased 
profits; the public be damned. 

 The consequences of the administration’s recent actions and inactions relating to 
environmental regulation and its withdrawal from the Paris climate agreement are a far 
greater matter of national security than the attempts of undocumented immigrants to 
“invade” our southern border. They just don’t play as well with the Trump base.

 Since the last climate assessment was released four years ago, states in the west and 
southwest have increasingly been subjected to devastating droughts. Dwindling water 
supplies have affected the livelihood of farmers. Uncontrollable wildfires have taken a 
human toll, causing loss of life, property, and natural resources. 

 Coastal flooding and erosion, which is attributed to a decrease in sea ice, have impacted 
Alaskans as well as Americans in offshore territories of the U.S., like Puerto Rico and 
the Virgin Islands. Hotter temperatures are life-threatening to both elderly and young 

 Scientists who contributed to the National Climate Assessment note that by 2050 
those higher temperatures and dramatic changes in rainfall will also reduce agricultural 
productivity and impact the health of livestock.

 The report further notes that extreme weather events driven by global warming are 
“virtually certain to increasingly affect U.S. trade and economy, including import and 
export prices and businesses with overseas operations and supply chains.” We may expect 
shuttering of factories and a resultant hardship for American workers at home. 

 It’s quite possible that climate change will eventually have a greater negative impact on 
businesses large and small than the administration’s ill-conceived tariffs on imports, and 
its “America First” trade policies.

 During the administration’s first two years, the wholesale elimination of regulations 
enacted by the Environmental Protection Agency and other government institutions have 
removed safeguards meant to keep Americans healthy and secure. The economic health 
of American workers - not their employers - is often cited as the motivating factor behind 
these changes. 

 To varying degrees, all administrations pander to those whose financial support helped 
put and keep them in office. The Trump administration is no different. Yet fixes that 
favor short-term corporate interests over those of ordinary Americans who voted for the 
president will inevitably yield economic consequences that affect the bottom-line and 
well-being of us all. 

Global warming and the environment need not be a political hot potato. As the late 
President Bush told an audience thirty years ago, “Those who think we’re powerless to 
do anything about the greenhouse effect are forgetting about the White House effect.” 
In the wake of the latest National Climate Assessment, it is in everyone’s interests for the 
current occupant of that house to retake his temperature and reconsider his position 
on climate change. 

 Blair Bess is an award-winning journalist and columnist. He can be reached at

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

Mountain Views News 
has been adjudicated as 
a newspaper of General 
Circulation for the County 
of Los Angeles in Court 
Case number GS004724: 
for the City of Sierra 
Madre; in Court Case 
GS005940 and for the 
City of Monrovia in Court 
Case No. GS006989 and 
is published every Saturday 
at 80 W. Sierra Madre 
Blvd., No. 327, Sierra 
Madre, California, 91024. 
All contents are copyrighted 
and may not be 
reproduced without the 
express written consent of 
the publisher. All rights 
reserved. All submissions 
to this newspaper become 
the property of the Mountain 
Views News and may 
be published in part or 

Opinions and views 
expressed by the writers 
printed in this paper do 
not necessarily express 
the views and opinions 
of the publisher or staff 
of the Mountain Views 

Mountain Views News is 
wholly owned by Grace 
Lorraine Publications, 
and reserves the right to 
refuse publication of advertisements 
and other 
materials submitted for 

Letters to the editor and 
correspondence should 
be sent to: 

Mountain Views News

80 W. Sierra Madre Bl. 

Sierra Madre, Ca. 

Phone: 626-355-2737

Fax: 626-609-3285






Earlier this week I was at an event that honored Malala Yousafzai.

 Malala, in case you don’t recall, is the brave young school girl 
from a village in Pakistan who was nearly killed in 2012 by the 

 She was just 15 when she was shot in the head by a Taliban 
gunman for publicly speaking out for the right of all girls to receive 
a free, safe and quality education.

Malala, who became world famous while she lay in a coma for 10 days in a British hospital, 
was lucky to be given asylum in Britain with her family.

 She went on to create the Malala Fund, which she says is dedicated to giving every girl in 
the world “an opportunity to achieve a future she chooses.” 

 In 2014 she became the youngest person to win a Nobel Peace Prize and now, at the ripe 
old age of 21, she’s studying philosophy, politics and economics at the University of Oxford.

 When I texted my son Cameron to tell him I was at the event honoring Malala, he pointed 
out that she was a perfect example of why the United States and countries like Britain offer 
asylum to refugees.

 Unlike the 6,000 migrants from Honduras that are now in Tijuana trying to crash their 
way into the United States, Malala and her family were in serious danger.

They met the international definition of a refugee perfectly - “a person with well-founded 
fear of persecution for reasons of race, religion, nationality, political opinion or membership 
in a particular social group, who has been forced to flee his or her country because of 
persecution, war or violence.”

 Those 6,000 Central American refugees, as my son also pointed out, are not just trying to 
take advantage of our generous immigration system and hours of sympathetic liberal media 

 By cutting in line, and by clogging up an already backed up application process, they are 
making it so that the people that truly deserve asylum - worthy refugees like Malala and her 
family - might not be able to get it.

 Realistically, despite Rachel Maddow’s tears, most of the migrants from Honduras or 
Guatemala rushing our southern border are never going to meet the qualifications for 
asylum, a bureaucratic legal process that takes a long, long time. 

 Only about 40 percent of applicants from around the world in any given year qualify for 
asylum, according to the National Immigration Forum’s web site.

 As of July there were more than 700,000 pending asylum cases in our overwhelmed 
immigration courts and the average wait time for a hearing was 721 days.

 During 2017, when there was a big jump in asylum applications from Central America 
and the total cases filed hit 200,000, only about 30,000 individuals were approved. 

 As Tucker Carlson pointed out last week, to argue, as the left and liberal media do, that 
those Honduran migrants in Tijuana automatically deserve to be let into the U.S. because of 
the poverty and violent crime in their native land is patently absurd.

 If poor living conditions and rampant violence are the basis for asylum in America, 
Carlson said, then the whole country of Honduras should get it.

 I don’t know if most people know it, but more than half of the individuals who were 
granted asylum in the United States in 2016 - 20,500 souls - came from two places:

 China (22 percent) and the Central American countries of El Salvador (10.5 percent), 
Guatemala (9.5 percent), Honduras (7.4 percent) and Mexico (4.5 percent).

 Most of them - 44 percent - ended up living in California, which helps to explain why one 
of the richest states in the Union is now the home for about 7.4 million people who live in 
poverty, more than any other state.

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.” Visit his 
websites at and 


What got into Lindsey Graham?

Maybe it was the wave of nostalgia for an old school Washington 
brought on by the funeral of former President George H.W. Bush 
this week.

Or maybe it was the collective yearning for a simpler time when 
American presidents could walk 250 yards across the street to 
Blair House instead of taking a preposterous motorcade.

 Whatever it was, it was nice to see the Republican senator from South Carolina temporarily 
shed his skin as a creature of the Washington establishment and return - however temporarily 
- to being the truth-teller of old who wasn’t afraid of jousting with then-candidate Donald 
Trump in the heat of the 2016 GOP primary campaign.

 In case you missed it, Graham suggested this week that one [Read: Trump] had to be 
“willfully blind” to not conclude that Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman 
was not responsible for the Oct. 2 murder and dismemberment of dissident Saudi journalist 
(and legal American resident) Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi mission in Istanbul.

 As he and other senators exited a Tuesday briefing with CIA Director Gina Haspel, Graham 
said he’d been left with no doubt that the Saudi crown prince - whom the Washington media 
and political class insists on referring to as “MBS,” as if he’s some wayward Hollywood C-lister 
and not a murderous despot - was behind the gruesome killing.

 According to reports, Khashoggi was cut apart with a bone saw. His body was still has not 
been recovered.

 “I think Secretaries Pompeo and Mattis are following the lead of the president,” Graham 
said, referring to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defense Secretary James Mattis, who 
have parroted the White House line by refusing to strongly condemn or blame the Saudi 
leader for a gross attack on human rights, press freedom, and the rule of law.

 “There is not a smoking gun, there is a smoking saw,” Graham continued “You have to be 
willfully blind not to come to the conclusion that this was orchestrated by people under the 
command of MBS and he was intricately involved in the demise of Mr. Khashoggi.”

 Trump has steadfastly refused to criticize the Saudi leader, claiming that he doesn’t want 
to jeopardize exaggerated billions in arms contracts with the Gulf kingdom. As recently as 
last week, Trump again questioned the CIA’s assessment that bin Salman was behind the 
journalist’s death.

 “If you look at my statement, it’s maybe he did and maybe he didn’t,” Trump told The 
Washington Post “But he denies it. And people around him deny it.” 

 Trump continued, telling The Post that the Saudi leader had spoken to him about the case 
in three phone calls.

 “And the CIA did not say affirmatively he did it, either, by the way. I’m not saying that 
they’re saying he didn’t do it, but they didn’t say it affirmatively,” Trump told the newspaper.

 That, of course, is a ridiculous and offensive proposition given the apparent preponderance 
of the evidence against bin Salman.

 But it isn’t the first time - nor will it be the last - that Trump has undercut and dismissed the 
findings of the American intelligence community.

 Nor is it the first time that Trump has cozied up to a dictator and put their interests ahead 
of the compelling national security interests and bedrock values of the United States. If given 
the choice, from Vladimir Putin to Kim Jong Un, Trump will always, always Put Despots 

 In an appearance on Fox News on Tuesday night, Graham upped the ante, telling 
an interviewer that world leaders were watching how the White House is handling the 
Khashoggi controversy and that if Trump “[gives] this guy [bin Salman] a pass after he 
disrespected you, you will look weak and you don’t want to look weak.”

And, that ironically, might have been the most effective way for Trump to get the message 
that he’s in the wrong.

The president might not care about the rule of law. And he might not care about human 
rights. And he might not care about the United States’ place on the global stage. He certainly 
doesn’t care about press freedoms.

But it’s pretty clear that he cares about his image and his so-very-fragile ego.

And the last thing our narcissistic leader wants is to look weak in front of his fellow strongmen.


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

Mountain Views News

Mission Statement

The traditions of 
community news-
papers and the 
concerns of our readers 
are this newspaper’s 
top priorities. We 
support a prosperous 
community of well-
informed citizens. We 
hold in high regard the 
values of the exceptional 
quality of life in our 
community, including 
the magnificence of 
our natural resources. 
Integrity will be our guide. 

Mountain Views News 80 W Sierra Madre Blvd. No. 327 Sierra Madre, Ca. 91024 Office: 626.355.2737 Fax: 626.609.3285 Email: Website: