Mountain Views News, Combined Edition Saturday, June 17, 2017

MVNews this week:  Page B:3

B3 Mountain Views News Saturday, June 17, 2017 OPINION: LEFT TURN/RIGHT TURN B3 Mountain Views News Saturday, June 17, 2017 OPINION: LEFT TURN/RIGHT TURN 
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On Wednesday morning, Washington rightly fretted over the fate 

of a Republican congressman and three others felled by a gunman’s 

fire in suburban Alexandria, Va., as they practiced for a charity 

baseball game.

 But just a few miles away, on Capitol Hill, a Republican member of Congress from South 
Carolina was pushing a bill that would ease restrictions on silencers, making it easier, as 
The Washington Post noted, for shooters such as those involved in Wednesday’s incident 
to open fire without being heard.

According to published reports, U.S. Rep. Jeff Duncan wants to fold his euphemistically 
named “Hearing Protection Act,” into a broader sportsmen’s bill.

The measure, which would exempt silencers from regulation under the National 
Firearms Act, has attracted 148 co-sponsors and the enthusiastic backing of both the 
National Rifle Association and the eldest son of the President of the United States. 

Duncan’s bill was set to get a hearing before the House Natural Resources Subcommittee 
on Wednesday, but it was delayed in the wake of the shooting. 

Still, you can bet your bottom dollar there will be no gavel-to-gavel coverage of that bill 
the way there was for the Congressional circuses involving former FBI Director James 
Comey and Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

Allegations of Russian interference, Trumpian self-dealing, serial Tweeting, and general 
malfeasance and incompetence at one end of Pennsylvania Avenue are worthy of public 
attention, they’re entirely obscuring what’s going on at the other end.

Republicans in the House and Senate, emboldened by their majorities, are pushing 
through bills like Duncan’s, even as they stealthily cobble together the votes on a so-far 
top secret Obamacare replacement, and marshal the votes to gut financial protections for 
millions of Americans. 

This is boring, but no less important stuff - even if it doesn’t play well as the visuals of 
the hearings or of Cabinet secretaries expressing North Korean “Dear Leader”-like loyalty 
to a chief executive who often cannot be bothered to immerse himself in the tiny details of 

President Donald Trump on Tuesday, in fact, during a meeting with Republican senators 
said the very healthcare bill he helped ram through the House earlier this spring (and, 
apparently, forgetting his threats of running against Republicans who opposed him) was 

Trump urged the Senate to pass a “more generous” alternative” to a House bill that 
would leave tens of millions without coverage and cost hundreds of thousands of jobs 
nationwide, The Associated Press reported.

So that’s what Senate Republicans are doing - behind closed doors. There have been no 
hearings, no debate. The details of the proposals are a closely guarded secret.

And as The Washington Post reports, the back-channel process is working.

Republicans have apparently put together the 50 votes they need to repeal and replace 
Obamacare with an alternative that, while surely odious, may be slightly more gentle than 
the assault on consumers that passed the House.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is pressing to get both a Congressional Budget 
Office cost estimate and a vote before Congress’ July 4 recess. That would allow Republicans 
to pass the bill, skedaddle out of town, and then spend the rest of the summer doing their 
best to dodge outraged constituents at the town halls they surely won’t be holding.

In the meantime, the banking industry is rejoicing in a light-speed House vote this 
week to repeal the law popularly known as “Dodd-Frank,” which is supposed to protect 
consumers in the event of another financial meltdown. 

As CNN Money reports, the bill sponsored by House Financial Services Committee 
Chairman Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, was passed over the objections from Democrats, who 
argued that it would put the interests of the financial sector ahead of those of working 

The bill, which is Hensarling’s marquee legislative initiative, faces an uncertain fate 
in the Senate, where it will need Democratic support to garner the 60 votes required for 
passage, The Texas Tribune reported. 

So it has that going for it, at least. 

And that’s why you don’t see Republicans clamoring - at least for now - for Trump 
to come clean on Russia or to untangle the birds nest that are his financial conflicts of 
interest, or even moderate the belligerent tone he’s taking with America’s overseas allies.

Yes, it’s true that Trump might well end up being a nightmare for Republicans during 
next year’s mid-term elections.

But right now, the GOP is heeding one of the real estate industry’s most compelling 
maxims (and one that Trump would surely understand):

It’s all about location, location, location. 

Trump’s in the White House. And he’s holding the pen that will sign all this stuff into 
law. And, at least for now, that’s exactly where Republicans want him. 

© Copyright 2017 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 





My father made me wear hand-me-downs - even though I was

our family’s only boy, with five sisters.

It wasn’t too bad most of the year, but Easter Sunday was a

bear. You know how hard it is to outrun the neighborhood 

bully with your panty hose bunching up and your bonnetflopping in the wind?

My father was born during the Depression, in 1933, when life was a lot tougher.
When he was only 3, his father, who had a good job working for the Mellon family, 
died at age 34.

My father and his sister and mother moved from a nice home into a crampedapartment in the city. Without a father to nurture him, and with his mother at workall day, he had to fend for himself.

Bigger kids bullied him - until he fought back. Money was tight, so he scrimpedand saved and set some aside for rainy days. Unsavory people tried to cheat him, sohe developed the street smarts that guide him still.

He longed for a family of his own and, more than 50 years ago, at age 23, hemarried my mother. They never gave my sisters and me material wealth, but wehad an abundance of other riches. So strong was their love, devotion and stability,
optimism came naturally to all of us.

Oddly, my optimistic childhood proved to be a source of worry for my father. Hefeared I was not being fully prepared for the hardships of adulthood.

I did little to dissuade him of his concerns. 

I failed early at self-defense. Whereas he learned how to fight off bullies on his own, 
my sisters taught me how to fight. While being harassed, I looked a neighborhoodtough dead in the eye and said, “You are so immature!”

I failed at common sense. Once, when I was 11, I flushed an apple core down atoilet. It produced a massive clog that took my father hours to unplug. He still calls toask me why I did that.

I failed at money management. He watched me squander all of the money from myfirst lawnmowing jobs on baseball cards and ice cream sandwiches - rather than puthalf in the bank. He struggled for years to teach me how to plan ahead for rainy days.

I didn’t take care of my things. I beat the heck out of the first couple of bikes he gotme and, when I began driving, I beat the heck out of his cars.

I chose an impractical college major. He begged me to at least minor in somethingjob-worthy. I’m the only person to graduate from Penn State with a major in Englishand a minor in air conditioning and heating.

For years, my father saw it as his duty to polish me, a lousy lump of coal, into adiamond. For years, his old-school methods were a constant source of agitation.

Until I began experiencing the unforgiving realities of adulthood.

Everything he warned me about proved to be true. I didn’t begin to succeed as anadult until I embraced his many lessons.

To borrow from Mark Twain, when I was a young man of 20, my father was soignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be 28, Iwas astonished by how much he’d learned the prior eight years.

My father is 83 now. With every passing year, I admire and respect him more forthe sacrifices he made for my sisters and me.

He taught us the meaning of love, honesty, kindness and sacrifice - without talkingabout them. 

That’s why I’m grateful for my old-school dad. 

©2017 Tom Purcell. Tom Purcell, author of “Misadventures of a 1970’s Childhood” 
and “Wicked Is the Whiskey,” a Sean McClanahan mystery novel, both available, is a Pittsburgh Tribune-Review humor columnist and is nationallysyndicated exclusively by Cagle Cartoons Inc. For info on using this column in yourpublication or website, contact or call (805) 969-2829. Send comments 
to Tom at 



The jury is deliberating, and all we know at this point is thatno one will be happy when the verdict is returned in Bill Cosby’s indecent assault 

We don’t know the answer to the question “guilty or not guilty?” but we do knowthat the six or nine words will not be enough to put an end, a coda, to one of thesaddest stories that has been spun about a man who made us laugh. The debates,
the doubts, the recriminations will go on long after the lawyers put their papers 
back in their briefcases and shuffle, slowly, out of the courtroom.

If I had my way, we’d never come to verdict on this case. The greatest damagehas already been done, and that is the shattering of beloved myths and comforting 
relationships by the proxy of television and nostalgia. Cosby is Cliff Huxtable,
regardless of what the critics say. We are all made up of perception and reality, factand fiction, aspiration and confirmation. It is ridiculous to argue that a man whowas capable of creating the character that fathered a generation did not, at somedeep level, possess those nurturing characteristics.

And yes, he is an adulterer who admitted to giving women drugs for sex. He has 
confessed in a secular confessional to betraying the trust of his wife, and perhapsof the women who considered him a mentor before he moved them to another 
spot on the sliding scale of human interaction. I’m not able to say, now, that he iscompletely good and that his legacy is one of pudding pops, gentle mugging andpitch-perfect tributes to a disappeared city on the edge of a cultural revolution.

It now includes quaaludes, sex with women not his wife, and betrayal.

But I am allowed to refuse to believe that it includes rape. I am entitled, at leastwhile this jury is out and well beyond, to craft a different narrative from the bitsand pieces of complaints and testimony of women who waited years - decades - tocome out of their own self-imposed shadows and say “me too, listen to me, too.” I 
will be called a slut shamer, a cruel skeptic, the reason that rape victims hide theirshame in silence. 

I’m prepared for that, even after the verdict is announced, because I think thiscase is sui generis. There is too much of everything here, too many women reciting 
the same story (and instead of showing consistency, I think it could signal the mobeffect.) Too many people willing to pull down a man who, because he happened to 
say the taboo things that shamed young black men for living down to expectations,
is considered a traitor to the race. Too many women who see in this an opportunityto exorcise the ghosts of all the meanness in the world, the assault on their presumed 
dignity, the Trump effect.

This, I think, is the real reason so many people want to see a conviction: It willconfirm that the world is a dangerous place for my gender, and get a condemnation, 
by proxy, of the patriarchy.

And that’s my problem with this prosecution. Bill Cosby is an easy target, able to 
stand in for all the men who might have mistreated us in a distant past, and a cautionary 
tale to those college frat boys who might take advantage when we lie supineand drunk on the floor in the future. After a year of leaked commentaries and conversation, 
evidence and prognostication, we are left with the words of one womanand one man, and yet it’s as if the tidal wave of feminist history is set to engulf that 
one man as some kind of vindication for all the women who’ve been wronged. The50 other accusers, like a finger-wagging Greek chorus in the back of the courtroom,
stand in for the wronged women of the past. Gloria Allred leads them in righteouschant, and we look on. 

It’s not that I think Bill Cosby is a victim, here. He’s lived a good life, and he’sreaped the bounty of serendipity, hard work and just reward. Right place, righttime, right stuff.

But I do hate these trials that pit an evolving societal ethic against a flawed human 
being, albeit a person greatly privileged, to make a point that “we’re better,
because now we get it.”

This type of proceeding, with breads and circuses and wailing choruses, shows 
we really haven’t, after all. 

© 2017 Christine Flowers. Flowers is an attorney and a columnist for the Philadelphia 
Daily News, and can be reached at 

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