Mountain Views News, Sierra Madre Edition [Pasadena] Saturday, December 15, 2018

MVNews this week:  Page B:3



 Mountain Views News Saturday, December 15, 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


What really irks me are all these OpEd writers and TV talking 
heads speculating that the Mueller investigation is nearing its 
conclusion. I remember the same thing the same OpEd writers 
and TV talking heads predicting the same this thing right 
after Thanksgiving, 2017. Do these “journalists” realize that, 
besides Mueller Trump-Russia “collusion” investigation, there 
are additional eight parallel or proposed investigations going 
on or being seriously considered.

Be patient—Much more is yet to come!? Let these investigations continue unimpeded 
to accomplish what they have been asked to do—namely, uncover the truth and expose 
the wrong-doers. Look at the list. It’s enormous, and it keeps growing in new directions, 
like a giant spider web.

• Investigation of the obstruction of justice, not the “collusion” investigation, by 
Republican US Special Counsel Robert Mueller, rather than the one into the dark, 
corrupting Neverland of Paul Manafort and Roger Stone.
• Investigation and ongoing probing of Michael Cohen, he having pled guilty and 
sentenced to 36 months in jail, continuing as a cooperating witness, by Republican 
US Attorney for the SDNY Republican Geoffrey Berman for tax evasion, fraud, and 
campaign finance violations, who Cohen insists is directed by the President.
• Investigation of the Trump Foundation, the Trump Campaign and Cohen for 
campaign finance violations, and fraud by Republican Attorney General Barbara 
• Investigation of taxation and finance fraud by Cohen also begun by Republican 
NYAG Underwood and NY Department of Taxation and Finance.
• Suit of Trump for Emoluments Clause Violations by Maryland Democratic AG Brian 
Frosh and Democratic District of Columbia AG Karl Racine; 
• Potential Investigation into Trump organization for fraud by Manhattan Democratic 
DA Cyrus Vance;
• The investigation of Trump over NY Times allegations he and his father Fred 
committed decades of tax fraud by NY Department of Taxation after being alerted by 
an article published in the NY Times.
• Investigation of Russian spy Maria Butina, now that she has joined the growing stable 
of Mueller’s “cooperating witnesses,” expanding his the scope of his inquiry into the 
shadow world of espionage and illegal foreign election influence, specifically with 
former and current leaders of the NRA and Christian conservative right.
• Proposed further Investigations of Trump by new Democratic NY Attorney General-
elect Leticia James when she takes office in January 2019.

 This list doesn’t mention the numerous other investigations by journalists exploring 
the larger question of why Republicans in Congress and state houses have been so 
reluctant to break ranks with the President? Is it out of just a matter of party Or is it 
something much more sinister—like protecting themselves from being discovered being 
involved in a treasonous conspiracy with the NRA, the Evangelical Christian Right, 
and with Russia to undermine the US government and its relationships with its allies 
worldwide. One thing is certain, however, missing in all these investigations, is the total 
lack of any persuasive motive!

 Wouldn’t you wouldn’t to know more? Wouldn’t you like to pierce the enigmatic 
facade of Trump deceits, disinformation, and outright falsehoods? I would like to to 
know the real, factual truth about what’s been really happening these last 22 months? I 
sure would.

 I would especially like to finally know with certainty whether my suspicions are 
correct about Vladimir Putin role has been as the puppet master pulling Donald Trump’s 
strings, like Buffalo Bob used to pull Howdy Doody’s strings on the popular kids TV 
show. I would also like the names of all Trump’s abettors—foreign and domestic—who 
aided him in his attempt to undermine the US Constitution and the Bill of Rights that so 
many of our ancestors fought and died to protect. 

 My belief, contrary to many of my colleagues speculations that the Mueller 
investigation is nearing its conclusion, are that they are premature. Too much is 
still unknown, and much more investigation needs to be done to understand the 
underlying narrative of what’s happened so it will never be repeated again. I remind 
paid Trump mouthpiece Rudy Giuliani who keeps demanding that Mueller conclude 
his investigation—prematurely or not. This is no easy task when dealing with Russian 

 Remember Winston Churchill’s words in 1939: “Russia is a riddle wrapped in a 
a mystery inside an enigma; but perhaps there is a key. That key is Russian national 
interest.” Today, Putin and Russia’s national interest are synonymous. So, I say again, to 
you especially, Mr. Giuliani: Be patient—Much more is yet to come!

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 Somewhere, Dorothy Parker is smiling.

 In one withering remark on Tuesday, once (and now 
increasingly likely future) House Speaker Nancy Pelosi gave 
Donald Trump the most important civics lesson of his presidency.

 “Mr. President, please don’t characterize the strength that 
I bring to this meeting as the leader of the House Democrats, 
who just won a big victory.” Pelosi said, deftly shutting down some mansplaining from 
Trump, who, seconds earlier, patronizingly suggested that the California Democrat was “in a 
situation where it’s not easy for her to talk right now.”

 In just a few words, Pelosi tartly reminded Trump that, in a divided Washington, 
government by bullying and Twitter fiat straight up won’t work.

 First up, let’s not kid ourselves: The Oval Office cage match between Pelosi, Trump, Senate 
Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and what we can only reasonably assume was some sort 
of PenceBot, was not an exercise in serious policy-making. That went out the window the 
moment it was opened to cameras.

 When that happened, it was all about optics. And Schumer and Pelosi chewed the scenery, 
while Trump blustered, and the PenceBot, who sat stock still and silent, likely blinked his 
eyes with some Morse code message pleading for deliverance.

 For Democrats, the meeting was an unalloyed win, delivering the message they won’t be 
cowed into submission like the extraordinarily compliant and supine Republican Congress 
Trump has had on his side.

 Not to be left out, Schumer cast shade of his own, zinging Trump as the president tried to 
brag about GOP gains in the Senate during the November midterms.

 “When the president brags he won North Dakota and Indiana, he’s in real trouble,” 
Schumer said, as the PenceBot silently raged.

 For Trump, the extraordinary 17-minute back and forth between the two Democratic 
leaders was designed to signal to his base that he’s still serious about delivering on his 2016 
campaign promise to build an unbreachable wall along America’s southern border that we 
now know U.S. taxpayers alone are going to pay for.

 Trump made the further Bizarro-World claim that he’d be “proud” to shut down the 
government if Congress doesn’t deliver every cent of the $5 billion he wants allocated, as he 
bravely battles through history’s most epic case of Edifice Complex.

 Democrats aren’t moving off the $1.3 billion they proposed, apparently cementing the 
grinchy likelihood of a partial, pre-Christmas shutdown of the federal government.

Trump went on to bluster that he’d be “proud to shut down the government for border 
security. I will take the mantle. I will be the one to shut it down.”

 It wasn’t long before official Washington echoed with the sound of Republican members 
of Congress slapping their foreheads in disbelief. Shutdowns over policy issues, as they well 
know, never end well for those who provoke one.

 “Everybody wants to blame it on the other party, always. That’s what you typically do. 
That’s out the window now,” said Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., who must be counting the days until 
his retirement.

 Back on Capitol Hill, Pelosi reportedly told Democratic colleagues that the session with 
Trump was like being in “a tinkle contest with a skunk.” And in a jibe that must have sent 
Trump into paroxysms of rage, Pelosi took a shot at his manhood, The Washington Post 
reported, citing a Democratic aide in the room.

 Referring to the wall, Pelosi reportedly said that “It’s like a manhood thing for him. As if 
manhood could ever be associated with him.”

 Yes, Trump needs Democratic support in the Senate to get the 60 votes to get the wall 
funded. But he needs the support of Republicans as well, some of whom have been pressing 
for more comprehensive immigration reforms.

 Tuesday’s White House meeting was a reminder that if Trump couldn’t get what he wanted 
on immigration when he had control of both sides of Capitol Hill, trying to get things done 
with a Democratic majority in the House; the Mueller probe careening to its apparent end, 
and 2020 beckoning, will be an order of magnitude more difficult.

For a president used to getting his way, Civics Class will be in session in 2019.


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


Merry debt-fueled Christmas, America!

 According to a recent NerdWallet study, nearly 40 million 
Americans are still struggling to pay off credit-card debts 
from last Christmas.

 Here’s what’s worse: NerdWallet finds that this Christmas, “American consumers 
plan to spend more, charge more to credit, and take a longer time to pay it all off.”

 Good grief!

 The grand irony is that the gifts we go in hock to give our kids and each other are 
often forgotten before the debt is paid off. 

 I was a kid in the ‘70s. But aside from a Huffy “Spyder” bike I got when I was 10, I 
can’t remember a single gift I received - though I vividly remember the extraordinary 
blessings my parents bestowed on me.

 I remember going from lot to lot with my father in search of the perfect Christmas 
tree. We’d bring it home and set it on a sturdy plywood platform he built. We’d decorate 
the tree as a family, and my mother would explain the history of antique ornaments 
handed down by family members no longer with us. 

 I remember that our next-door neighbors, the Kriegers, would always visit on 
Christmas Eve. Tremendous festivity would fill the air. Donny Krieger, the big brother 
I never had, would make me laugh out loud (and would be taken from this Earth far 
too early).

 I remember that sleeping on Christmas Eve would be nearly impossible. My father 
would stack the old stereo console in the dining room with every Christmas record 
we had - Mitch Miller, the Munchkins, Snoopy and the Red Baron, and Bing Crosby’s 
“White Christmas.” The scratchy old records would finally lull me to sleep.

 I remember it suddenly would be morning. I’d jump out of bed and run around, 
waking my sisters. Opening our gifts, torn wrapping paper would fill the living room. 
We’d laugh out loud as Jingles, our beloved mutt, rolled around in it. 

 But I don’t remember the gifts. 

 I remember my five sisters, my parents and I were together and happy and healthy. 
All family conflicts and disputes were set aside on Christmas morning. My father 
would make a massive breakfast and we’d sit around, laughing and talking for an hour 
or more. Then, despite his repeated warnings that we’d better arrive at church early, 
we’d stand in the aisle because some once-a-year churchgoing family would be sitting 
in our regular seats.

 Aside from the spiritual element, memories are what Christmas is most about. My 
Christmas memories are about togetherness, joy and gratitude for my family’s many 
blessings - things that cannot be acquired through credit-card debt.

 Which makes our growing debts all the more ridiculous. 

 By the end of 2018, American debt will exceed $4 trillion for the first time - $1 
trillion in credit-card debt, $1.5 trillion for auto loans and other debts that do NOT 
include mortgage debt, and $1.5 trillion in student-loan debt that is wreaking havoc 
on the average millennial’s cash flow.

 We should spend less on Christmas, not more. We should give more of our time 
and love, and be charitable, with some of the limited funds we have, to those in greater 

 We certainly should not borrow money we don’t have to purchase things that will 
soon be forgotten.

 All I want for Christmas this year, and every year, is the health and happiness of my 
loved ones - and more memories, of course.


Copyright 2018 Tom Purcell. Tom Purcell, author of “Misadventures of a 1970’s 
Childhood,” a humorous memoir available at, is a Pittsburgh Tribune-
Review humor columnist and is nationally syndicated exclusively by Cagle Cartoons 
Inc. For info on using this column in your publication or website, contact Sales@cagle.
com or call (805) 969-2829. Send comments to Tom at

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