Mountain Views News, Combined Edition Saturday, January 25, 2020

MVNews this week:  Page 11



Mountain View News Saturday, January 25, 2020 






Susan Henderson


Dean Lee 



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

Joan Schmidt

LaQuetta Shamblee

I have been 
recuperating from 
surgery for the 
past five weeks and 
have basically been 
unable to leave the 
house other than 
to have my wife 
drive me to doctor’s 
During this period 
I have also taken the giant steps of 
retiring from the practice of law after 
fifty years and am now feeling much like 
a stranger in a strange land needing to 
hold on to whatever is left of my identity 
as I proceed jobless and redundant into 
the Brave New World that is out there 
beyond my front door. 

 I have lived in this same spot 
in Sierra Madre Canyon for over 40 
years. In that time almost all of my 
known neighbors have come and gone 
many times. The small cabins that were 
here have been knocked down and new 
multiple storied houses have risen in 
their place. My little cabin had become 
a four level home with stairways to each 
level that have become increasingly 
difficult to climb. At times I fondly long 
for the return of my original one story 
stairless 600 square foot cabin. But time 
does not seem to flow backwards and 
the wonderful canyon views are now 
blocked by the enlarged homes. 

 Of course I no longer know 
many of my canyon neighbors. The 
reason for this is simple. During the 
years that I have lived here my wife and 
I have had two wonderful dogs each of 
which lived long lives and eventually 
had to be put down. During their 
lifetimes I faithfully walked two laps 
around the circle in the morning before 
work and then two more after work. As 
a result of these walks it seemed that I 
eventually knew and was on pleasant 
speaking terms with everyone. Those 
times have passed. Also, I hate to admit 
this, but because of my advanced age 
and resultant short term memory loss I 
seem to forget being introduced to new 
people and am embarrassed to display 
my ignorance. 

 Okay what am I left with, an 
old man with no identity, no longer a 
lawyer, and no memory, who only sees 
his children once a week, and doesn’t 
know his neighbors—so who am I. 
As a result of being so cooped up in 
the house I have without much relish 
been an avid follower of the attempts 
at removing the President from office. 
I am very much in favor of such a 
procedure but honestly the proceedings 
are long, repetitive, and often not 
very interesting. Perhaps to make my 
continuous viewing more palatable I 
have begun to identify strongly with 
the Democratic Chairmen of the House 
sub-committees, particularly Adam 
Schiff and Jerrold Nadler and the Senate 
Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. All 
three of these men are Ashkenazi Jews 
as am I and perhaps to create some sort 
of attachment for myself I began to read 
about other accomplished Ashkenazi 

Before talking about the afore-
mentioned contemporary figures let 
me share with you a little of what I have 
learned. My mother’s family are what 
is known as Litvaks, Lithuanian Jews. 
I poked around on the internet and 
learned that my two favorite singer-
songwriters were and are men born 
to Litvak families. Their names are 
Leonard Cohen and Bob Dylan. Pretty 
amazing don’t you think? I poked 
around a little more and learned that 
probably the most famous song writer 
of the century who had been described 
by Walter Cronkite on reaching his 
100th birthday as “helping to write the 
story of this country capturing the best 
of who we are and the dreams that 
shape our lives”. That songwriter is 
known to us as Irving Berlin but he was 
born with the name of Israel Beilin in 
a small village in what is now Ukrania. 
Are you ready for the name of the small 
village—TOLCHIN—yes my name and 
the place where my grandfather was 
born. Somehow this makes me proud 
even though the stories that I heard 
from my father made me very aware of 
the persecution that Jews experienced 
in their small villages. I next looked up 
my favorite architect Frank Gehry who 
as most you know is one of the most 
honored architects in the world.

I knew he was Jewish and had changed 
his name in an attempt to escape from 
anti-Semitism. It turned out his name 
at birth was Frank Owen Goldberg and 
was born to a Russian Jewish family 
and, are you ready for this?, has been 
married for 44 years to a woman whose 
maiden name is Berta Isabel Aguilera. 
For those readers who do not know me 
personally I want to inform you that 
for 25 years I have been married to a 
woman whose maiden name is Irene 
Aguilera. I stand amazed.

 Catching my breath I want 
to remind you that Adam Schiff and 
Jerrold Nadler are both Ashkenazi 
Jews as is Chuck Schumer the Senate 
Minority Leader and if anyone is going 
to save this country it will be through 
the efforts of these men in addition 
to Senator Bernie Sanders who, even 
without doing any research, I am sure 
is another Ashkenazi Jew. How dare I 
complain that I am left with no identity? 
Sure I am a non-practicing Jew, un- Bar 
Mitzvahed, and ignorant of much of 
Jewish tradition. Nevertheless, I am 
proud to identify as a Jew and am ready 
to walk out my door into the world clear 
about my values and able to identify 
strongly with those who are on the side 
of right.

 Oy, I forgot to mention Diane 
Feinstein and Barbara Boxer. 

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I must have said it a dozen times since the 
Democrats’ impeachment miniseries took 
over our televisions, but I’ll say it again.

The Democrats and their allies in the liberal 
media think history began this morning 
when they rolled out of the left side of 
their beds.

It happened again during the Democrats’ 
opening impeachment tirades in the 

Democrats are still wasting our time – and 
ignoring their jobs – trying to prove that 
President Trump should be impeached 
because he abused the power of his office 
and because he obstructed Congress by 
claiming executive privilege.

The obstruction charges against Trump 
are for refusing to let administration officials 
testify before the impeachment hearings 
in the House and for withholding 
documents the House had requested.

Well, if using or threatening to use executive 
privilege for those reasons are 
impeachable crimes, George Washington 
and every president since JFK, including 
my father, is guilty – often on multiple 

In 1962, for example, JFK used executive 
privilege to order his military adviser 
General Maxwell Taylor to refuse to testify 
before a congressional committee investigating 
the Bay of Pigs fiasco.

Between 1980 and 2012 it was used 25 

President Clinton, the all-time modern 
leader, asserted executive privilege 14 
times to try to keep his staff from appearing 
before various grand juries and congressional 

George W. Bush used it six times, including 
in 2008 when he told his Attorney 
General to assert executive privilege in 
response to a congressional subpoena 
for documents related to an investigation 
into who outed Valerie Plame as a CIA 

Meanwhile, President Obama employed 
executive privilege so many times that 
even the liberal media of the day questioned 
the legitimacy of invoking it.

The prime example was the infamous 
“Fast and Furious” case in 2012, when Attorney 
General Eric Holder used executive 
privilege to shield documents from 
Congress that were related to the Obama 
administration’s program to let illegally 
purchased guns 
flow across the 
Mexican border.

Congress obviously 
didn’t rush 
out and impeach 
those pre-Trump 
presidents for obstructing 
or for posing an existential threat to the 
U.S. Constitution.

They let the legitimacy of invoking executive 
privilege in each case be decided in 
the courts, where it belonged. That’s why 
we have three branches of government.

But now, thanks to the Democrats’ blind 
hatred of President Trump, the bar has 
been lowered to where if a president 
doesn’t immediately roll over and give 
Congress whatever people or documents 
it wants, he’ll get impeached.

It’s been frustrating having to watch the 
first three ridiculously long, tedious days 
of the Senate impeachment hearings, 
which Democrats are cynically using as a 
weapon to stain Trump ahead of the 2020 
election and hurt some Republican senators 
who face tight races in the fall.

Everyone has known for months what the 
outcome of the House Democrats’ impeachment 
show trial will be – the Republican 
Senate will never find Trump guilty.

I’m starting to really feel sorry for the 
members of the Senate who are trapped 
at their desks for twelve-hours at a time 
without their smartphones.

They have to sit in silence as Schiff and his 
solemn crew say over and over again how 
the U.S. Constitution and our national security 
were put at risk by a phone call our 
treasonous president made to the president 
of Ukraine last summer.

All those poor senators are allowed to 
drink is milk and water. The rest us watching 
the hearings on TV are lucky.

We can always get up and do a few Jello 
shots or drink some tequila to pass the 
time and ease the pain.

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.” He is the 
founder of the email service and 
president of The Reagan Legacy Foundation. 
Visit his websites at and www. Send comments to Reagan@ Follow @reaganworld 
on Twitter.

In a column 
on the eve of 
the 2016 election, 
I warned 
that if Donald 
Trump were 
to inexplicably 
occupy the 
White House, 
he would 
wreak havoc on American values, and 
his “authoritarian sensibility” would precipitate 
“a systematic breakdown of our 
democratic institutions.” I was merely 
stating the obvious. Any two-bit seer 
could foresee how his destructive reign 
would play out.

Now it’s playing out.

The 53 Republicans who run the chamber 
are busily abetting Trump’s authoritarian 
assault on democracy and the rule 
of law by systematically sabotaging any 
semblance of a fair impeachment trial. 
On Tuesday, in a series of votes, they 
blocked all attempts to subpoena witnesses 
and new evidence. And Wednesday, 
in Davos, Trump openly boasted 
about his coverup: “We have all the material. 
They don’t have the material.”

Trump has predictably stressed our constitutional 
system to its breaking point. 
Mitch McConnell and his lockstep legions 
seem determined to break it.

They’re doing so in defiance of American 
majority sentiment. According to a 
Washington Post-ABC poll, 71 percent 
want to hear witnesses at trial. Other recent 
mainstream polls have seen similar 
results, including a new Quinnipiac poll, 
where 66 percent say they want key ex-
aide John Bolton to testify.

In the Senate chamber, they appear totally 
unperturbed that Trump’s lawyers 
are offering zero evidence to refute the 
Articles of Impeachment – which prove 
that Trump shook down a foreign power 
to get domestic campaign dirt for his re-
election bid, then covered up his abuses. 
They apparently don’t care that Trump’s 
core anti-impeachment argument is a 
crock that would shock the Founding 

Basically, Trump’s legal eagles claim that 
the two impeachment articles are “ridiculous” 
because they don’t specify that 
Trump committed a crime. One of those 
lawyers, TV talking head Alan Dershowitz, 
said last weekend that Trump should 
not have been impeached because the articles 
merely describe “non-criminal actions.” 
He said on TV that “the (House) 
vote was to impeach on abuse of power, 
which is not within the constitutional 
criteria for impeachment.”

But here’s the obvious rebuttal: “(Impeachment) 
certainly doesn’t have to be 
a crime if you have somebody who completely 
corrupts the office of president 
and who abuses trust and poses great 
danger to our liberty. You don’t need a 
technical crime.”

Thank you, Alan Dershowitz! Because 
that’s what he said on TV back in 1998, 
when he deemed Bill Clinton’s extramarital 
sex to be sufficient grounds for 

The Founders never specified that impeachment 
and removal required a 
crime – because at the time the Constitution 
was being drafted, there was, as 
yet, no federal criminal code. Instead, 
the Founders anticipated that Congress – 
awarded the sole power of impeachment 
– would take its cues from Alexander 
Hamilton, who spoke broadly about “the 
misconduct of public men…the abuse or 
violation of some public trust.”

Remember, last month, when Republicans 
were lauding law professor Jonathan 
Turley, who’d testified at the House 
hearings that he thought Democrats 
were moving too fast on impeachment? 
Well now Turley says that Trump’s lawyers 
are wrong to claim that impeachment 
requires a crime. That claim “is at 
odds with history and the purpose of 
the Constitution…I do not believe that 
the criminal code is the effective limit or 
scope of possible impeachable offenses.”

The gist of Trump’s defense argument – 
the argument that Senate Republicans 
are destructively indulging – is that 
he can do whatever he wants, and that 
whatever he wants is sanctioned by divine 
right simply because he wants it. 
Who is he, King George III? That’s the 
monarchist mindset that the American 
Revolution’s soldiers fought and died to 

So now we’ve arrived at the end game. 
McConnell and his colleagues appear 
bent on ratifying Trump’s power abuses, 
thereby destroying the checks and balances 
that are crucial to our constitutional 
order. The only hope is that Democrats 
– with the winds of public opinion 
at their backs – can hold Trump and the 
Senate Republicans accountable at the 
ballot box.

I warned in my 2016 pre-election column 
that a Trumpist future “is down the 
dark path at the fork in the road. If we 
take it, we own it.” We took it, we own it, 
and the election 10 months hence is our 
last best chance to reverse it.

Dick Polman, a veteran national political columnist 
based in Philadelphia

Mountain Views News

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