Mountain Views News, Combined Edition Saturday, October 17, 2020

MVNews this week:  Page 12



 Mountain Views News Saturday, October 17, 2020 






Susan Henderson


Dean Lee 



Patricia Colonello




John Aveny 



Stuart Tolchin 

Audrey Swanson

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

Katie Hopkins

Deanne Davis

Despina Arouzman

Jeff Brown

Marc Garlett

Keely Toten

Dan Golden

Rebecca Wright

Hail Hamilton

Joan Schmidt

LaQuetta Shamblee

 Are any of you watching the 
confirmation hearings of proposed Supreme 
Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett? I can’t 
stop watching except when interrupted by 
more pressing matters such as televised 
playoff games in baseball, football, or 
basketball and the occasional need to help 
feed my granddaughter. It is interesting to 
compare these events. My granddaughter’s 
need to eat is real although made difficult 
by her desire to feed herself which often 
results in turning the spoon over, missing 
her mouth, and depositing the food into her 
hair. Our granddaughter’s progress in self-
reliance, difficult as it is at times for us, is an authentic, sincere illustration 
of human beings doing what is necessary to survive. It is real.

 As to watching the endless amount of televised Sports available 
lately, I find myself addicted to watching very large grown men playing 
children’s games. All of this activity is to entertain the general public which 
is always in great need of entertainment for the purpose of distraction. 
Go Rams! Go Dodgers! Go Lakers!—ain’t this fun? We all know it’s 
contrived and artificial but it’s fun and isn’t life about having fun whether 
it’s real or not?

 Next we move to the confirmation hearings. For those of you, 
like Judge Amy Coney Barrett, who claim never to listen to the news, 
this confirmation hearing is being pushed through three weeks before 
the scheduled Presidential election on November 3rd. President Trump 
has proclaimed to the world that it is immediately necessary to confirm a 
Justice. The necessity results from Trump’s assertion (truthful for once) 
that the vacancy must be filled with a Justice of his choosing so the Court 
will rule Obama Care unconstitutional when that case is heard beginning 
on November 11th. Of unarguably more importance to him is confirming a 
Justice who he believes is guaranteed to support his claims in case he loses 
the election so the result must be set aside.

 First let me assure you that just writing the words “he loses the 
election” brings me great joy. I will write it again. TRUMP LOSES!! 
Everyone in America knows his true purpose except for all around 
wonderful human being Law Professor Amy Barrett who maintains 
complete unawareness of what motivated the President to select her as a 
candidate for the vacancy. It is true that during Trump’s term in office 
she advertised her opposition to Obama care in newspaper articles in the 
same way that Attorney General Barr, that forever Machiavellian monster, 
advertised his availability to Trump. Furthermore her seven children and 
well publicized devout Catholicism is a non-ignorable prediction as to how 
she would (and hopefully will not have the opportunity) to rule on any 
case attacking Roe v Wade. Of course in her response to questioning at the 
hearing, Judge Barrett assures the Senators that she will never allow her 
personal beliefs to influence her decision in any way. She will consider the 
law and the opposing Attorney Briefs and then render her decision in what 
we can all assume will be a predictable way. She is, after all, a member of 
the Federalist Society.

 Very early in my Constitutional Law Course the Professor suggested 
to us that the Constitution meant what at least five Supreme Court Justices 
said it meant. Someone in the class asked “Does that mean the Justices 
first decide on the result they want and then just make up legal arguments 
to support their position? “ The response was something like “Don’t worry 
that question will not be on the final.” Yes, I think this whole confirmation 
process is a charade, a completely unnecessary and untruthful performance 
that exists to hide true motivation from the public. We know why the baby 
eats, and why sports are on TV, but few legal decisions ever reveal the 
real-life factors that personally affect a Justice’s decision. I think that’s a 
shame—and it ain’t fun! 

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If Donald Trump was a movie scene, he’d be the fiery train wreck in 
“The Fugitive,” and U.S. Marshal Tommy Lee Jones would be cruising 
through the carnage saying, “My my my. What. A. Mess.”

The dueling “town halls” Thursday night were enough to make one’s 
head spin. On ABC, where Joe Biden resided, you had decency and 
sanity. On NBC, had demagoguery and sociopathology. Choose the 
America you want, folks, because the contrast could not be starker.

For instance, here’s how Biden talked about how masks curb the 
spread of the deadly virus: “When a president doesn’t wear a mask, or makes fun of folks, 
like me, when I was wearing a mask for a long time, then people say, ‘well, it mustn’t be that 
important.’… It is estimated by the University of Washington that if, in fact, we wore masks, 
we could save, between now and the end of the year, 100,000 lives.”

But here’s what Trump said: “I’m OK with masks…But just the other day, they came out with 
a statement that 85 percent of the people that wear masks catch [coronavirus]. That’s what I 
heard, that’s what I saw.”

There’s less than zero evidence that 85 percent of mask-wearer get COVID-19. Anyone who 
spends five seconds parsing that fake statistic knows it’s laughable. What Trump shared with 
viewers – and shared with his rally saps earlier yesterday – was a blatant lie popularized by 
Tucker Carlson on Fox News.

What a shame that NBC, the network that saved Trump from financial ruin by airing his 
celebrity game show, decided this week to indulge him again, giving him free air time to 
dump his stinking rhetorical detritus on America’s lawn.

Hold your nose, because here we go:

–He again refused to say whether he had tested positive for Covid prior to sharing a debate
stage with Biden and delusionally lauded his greatness on handling the pandemic.

– He refused to condemn the QAnon conspiracy freaks (who believe there’s an international 
cult of celebrities and Democrats who engage in child sex-trafficking). Even though federal 
law enforcement authorities are closely watching them, Trump claimed he knew nothing 
about them. Then he changed his mind and said they’re “very strongly against pedophilia, 
and I agree with that.”

–He didn’t think it was wrong to falsely tell his Twitter followers that Biden had conspired
with Navy SEALS to cover up the fake death of Bin Laden. “That was a retweet. I’ll put it out 
there. People can decide for themselves. I don’t take a position,” Trump said.

–He confirmed he’s personally $400 million in debt, but said it was a small amount of
money (“a peanut”), and he refused to name is creditors because he claims not to know who 
they are. When he was asked whether his creditors are foreign sources or foreign entities, he 
said: “Not that I know of, but I will probably, because it’s so easy to solve, and if you’d like to 
do, I will let you know.” Whatever that means.

–He recycled one of his pet lies about purported mail ballot fraud: “When I see thousands
of ballots dumped in a garbage can, and they happen to have my name on it? I’m not happy 
about that.” Thanks to Trump’s non-stop blather, NBC’s viewers never heard the truth. The 
episode Trump was referring to involved nine trashed ballots – not “thousands” – in one 
Pennsylvania county, where a temporary seasonal worker screwed up and was fired after 
three days on the job.

–He recycled the lie that he and his servile Republicans “are always protecting people with
preexisting conditions, and I can’t say that more strongly. In reality, he’s working to kill 
Obamacare in the U.S. Supreme Court, thereby removing all statutory protections for people 
with preexisting conditions, and he still has no plan to replace the 10-year-old law that’s 
now widely popular.

And so on. Shame on NBC for indulging a guy who fled like a coward when offered a second 
opportunity to debate Biden. If he wants to lie with impunity, let him buy ads. But the good 
news is with less than 2 weeks on the clock, he said virtually nothing that’s likely to bedazzle 
the independents, seniors, and college-educated suburbanites he so desperately needs.

Ultimately, the contrast boiled down to this:

On NBC, Trump attacked Biden, Pelosi, “the radical left,” Obama, Antifa, his own FBI director, 
and the Gold Star families who “maybe” gave him COVID-19.

On ABC, Biden said: “In politics, grudges don’t work.”

While pondering the next four years, which tone strikes you as more attractive?

Dick Polman, a veteran national political columnist based in Philadelphia and a Writer in 
Residence at the University of Pennsylvania, writes at Email him at dickpolman7@

Become an employee with full paid benefits, or remain a 
mostly independent gig worker? That debate’s raging in 
California as November’s general election approaches, and 
its outcome is likely to affect the entire country.

According to The Washington Post, “Uber, DoorDash and 
other gig economy companies are bombarding TV airwaves, 
social media and even their own apps with ads and 
marketing materials promoting a ballot initiative [Proposition 
22] that they say would improve drivers’ financial situation and working conditions 
but that would also deny them the right to be classified as employees in 

Proposition 22 would give gig workers limited benefits and wage and worker protections, 
but establish them as an independent class of workers – and undo a 2019 
California law, Assembly Bill 5 (AB5), that “would guarantee drivers access to the 
minimum wage, employer-provided health care and bargaining rights.”

I’ve long been self-employed, with the exception of some recent cybersecurity consulting 
contracts in which I was paid as a full-time employee with benefits, but that’s 
been my choice.

Being fully self-employed is not for the faint of heart. Besides cybersecurity consulting 
and writing a newspaper column, I have an apartment-rental business. I 
recently earned a real estate license and am selling properties, too.

I manage my own invoicing and taxes. I know to the penny – once my CPA explains 
it to me and I drop whatever mug of coffee I’m holding – how high my income taxes 
are. Few employees are aware of how much they pay in taxes or what their benefits 
cost their employers – which would be helpful to know before voting for new government 
policies that will increase both.

I manage my own health-care insurance, which has gotten plenty expensive in recent 
years for individuals who don’t qualify for subsidies, in part because of government 
attempts to expand health insurance to everyone.

But, again, I choose to be self-employed. I like the freedom it provides. But it also 
makes me keenly aware of the unintended consequences of government regulations 
and policies.

California’s 2019 AB5 law would require Uber, for instance, to hire drivers as full-
time employees with health insurance, paid sick leave and other benefits. Benefits 
are wonderful, but come at a price.

Uber claims that “if the company were forced to make all drivers across the country 
employees, for example, it could only support 260,000 full-time roles,” reports The 
Post. “That compares to 1.2 million active drivers the company was hosting on its 
app before the coronavirus pandemic.”

Uber also says fares would increase and drivers would be less available and timely 
–which means you might have to wait a while for your ride home to arrive after a
night of enjoying the pub.

What it comes down to is that some politicians believe individuals shouldn’t have 
the freedom to exchange their skills and services for money from organizations, 
because organizations take advantage of those individuals. Joe Biden and Kamala 
Harris support AB5, not the watered-down Proposition 22.

Others think that in a free society, individuals should be able to offer their professional 
talents to anyone willing to pay for them, and government shouldn’t restrict 
the terms they negotiate. President Trump’s campaign supports that approach and is 
critical of AB5 (but has not, to my knowledge, supported Proposition 22).

That’s something else to think about when you vote in November’s election.


2020 Tom Purcell. Tom Purcell, author of “Misadventures of a 1970’s Childhood,” a 
humorous memoir available at, is a Pittsburgh Tribune-Review humor 

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