Mountain Views News, Combined Edition Saturday, October 31, 2020

MVNews this week:  Page 12



 Mountain Views News Saturday, October 31, 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

 Yes it’s finally going to end! In 
just a few days it will be November 3 and it 
is my great hope that November 3 or soon 
thereafter will be the very last day of my 
addiction. For at least four years I have been 
addicted to viewing, listening, and reading 
news about –I even hate to say the name or 
even write it. Still the addiction haunts me 
and as soon as I can open my eyes after a 
disturbed and almost sleepless night, like 
any other addict I try to get a quick hit by 
checking my email to see if there is any 
new news that speak of you know who. 
You must know what I am talking about. The addiction had begun 
gradually enough. There was always something disgusting about he 
who shall not be named way back when he was simply an annoying 
reality show host. I recall hearing people say they enjoyed the guy say 
”You’re fired” to losers, or whatever they were, on the show. Perhaps, 
this approval should have alerted me to potential future American 
problems. Remember this was before the election of Governor 
Jesse “the Body” Ventura who also was considered as a Presidential 
candidate. I wondered then if a large part of the American electorate 
had completely lost its mind. How could a completely inexperienced, 
uninformed publicity seeking TV character can actually be considered 
as a potential Presidential candidate? Today we know the answer. It 
was only a beginning. 

 Prior to retirement I would daily appear in Courts from 
Lancaster to Long Beach and would by necessity spend many hours of 
every weekday endlessly driving. I would calmly listen to seemingly 
civilized, liberal, courteous, informative talk radio. I was doing my 
best to stay sane while working full time, worrying about money and 
not being late picking the kids up from after school programs. But now 
those Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton days in retrospect seem so tranquil. 
Oh, there were attacks against the President but now it definitely feels 
like President is trying to attack personally attack me. Does he really 
want to lessen the amount of Social Security Payments?

 Really, it’s not just Social Security payments. He continually and 
increasingly threatens my sense of what it is to be an American. Just 
a few years ago I was so proud to be an American presided over by 
a young, articulate, intelligent, well-informed, compassionate leader 
who only occasionally took action with which I did not disagree. Still 
I was proud of what it meant to be an American. Just a couple of weeks 
ago I was ashamed by my initial reaction to the news that the whole 
Presidential family had been infected by the virus. I wonder if you had 
a similar reaction and I wonder what many formerly proud Americans 
have become.

 Amazingly, as I begin to conclude this article an article popped 
up on my phone from the New York Times describing an addiction 
treatment. Strange coincidence or is the phone somehow monitoring 
what I am writing on the computer? Let’s not worry about that now. 
Anyway, the article describes a sure-fire cure for addiction called 
contingency management. The approach is to reward drug users with 
money and prizes for staying abstinent. There are moral objections 
to the concept but I certainly would have no moral objection to be 
awarded money or prizes for my writing an article about my addiction 
without mentioning by name the actual reason for my concern. As 
you can see I have not mentioned that name in this entire article. But 
money and prizes are not necessary here. 

 Let us all vote by November 3 and succeed in being rid of ------you 
know who I mean.

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A member of 







Esther Wigley just 
finished paying off 
her medical bills – 
from 2017.

Wigley, a Medicare 
recipient from 
Scranton, Pa., is 
now working to 
pay off bills from 
2018 and 2019. And as she looks ahead 
to her 2020 tab, she fears she might be in 
for some serious and painful choices.

“It’s not an exaggeration to say that my 
bills keep me up at night,” Wigley said last 
week during a conference call organized 
by Joe Biden’s presidential campaign, as 
Democrats mount a two-front fight – one 
in a Capitol Hill hearing room, the other 
out in the field – to save the Affordable 
Care Act.

“My health and ability to put food on the 
table is at stake in this election,” Wigley 

As messengers go, Wigley is a potent one. 
Current polling shows President Donald 
Trump losing to Biden among seniors 
in a trio of critical swing states, including 
Pennsylvania. Biden has targeted 
Trump’s management of the COVID-19 
pandemic, which has exacted a tragic toll 
among older Americans, as he’s made his 
pitch to the powerful voting bloc.

Hundreds of miles away from the West 
Scranton senior center where Wigley was 
speaking, Democrats on the Senate Judiciary 
Committee trotted out example 
after example of Americans who’d benefited 
from the Affordable Care Ac, and 
who might well end up suffering from its 
future repeal.

While she strenuously avoided taking 
a position on almost everything, we do 
know that Judge Amy Coney Barrett, 
who now appears to be on the fast-track 
to confirmation to the Supreme Court, 
is hostile to the former President Barack 
Obama’s signature healthcare law. That 
fact comes courtesy of her previous legal 
scholarship, as the Washington Post’s 
Jennifer Rubin pointed out.

A future Justice Barrett could well be 
called upon to hear, and rule on, California 
v. Texas, a case backed by congressional 
Republicans and Trump’s Justice Department, 
that seeks to do what the GOP 
could not accomplish legislatively: topple 
the Affordable Care Act.

Never mind the fact that, in the midst of 
the gravest public health crisis in a century, 
Republicans do not have a replacement 
for it, nor have they evinced much 
interest in formulating one.

And while there’s reason to believe the 
high court may rule against the challenge, 
that does not mean that Barrett 
does not pose a long-term threat to the 
law’s future viability.

Democrats retook control of the House in 
2018 largely on the back of voters’ dissatisfaction 
with Trump, generally, and his 
attacks on healthcare more specifically.

Recent polling by the Kaiser Family 
Foundation shows that most Americans 
have a favorable impression of the 
healthcare law overall, and broadly support 
some of the law’s specific provisions, 
including its protections for people with 
preexisting conditions.

Biden, meanwhile, supports expanding 
and strengthening the existing statute, 
while his allies on the progressive left are 
looking for universal healthcare. And at 
the moment, it looks like Democrats are 
on track to expand their House majority, 
and might even end up flipping the 

“So many Americans are concerned by 
one issue – and that’s healthcare,” Sen. 
Bob Casey (D-Pa.) said during that press 
call with Wigley. “So much of that healthcare 
is in mortal danger right now.”

Casey has already said he’ll vote against 
Barrett’s confirmation, and has declined 
to meet with her.

Like every other Democrat, Casey is 
still smarting from the GOP’s stymying 
of Obama’s 2016 high court pick, Judge 
Merrick Garland. And he’s made no 
secret of his disdain for the credulity-
straining justifications that Republicans 
have offered in defense of Barrett’s pre-
election confirmation.

Casey, who does not sit on the Judiciary 
Committee, credited his colleagues on 
the panel for their efforts to keep the 
healthcare debate front and center during 
their turns at the microphone.

“They’ve been resolute and determined 
about what is at stake,” Casey said, speculating 
that the “majority of Americans 
did not know there was a case before the 
Supreme Court on Nov. 10.

“Im sure that an even a larger number 
did not know that if Judge Barrett was 
not Justice Barrett,” by Nov. 10 that “she 
could not make a decision,” Casey continued. 
“Now, more Americans know. 
And now, armed with that knowledge 
they are contacting their members of 

They’re also voting in such crucial swing 
states as Pennsylvania, where Trump 
eked out a narrow, 44,000-vote victory in 

National polls show Biden leading Trump 
by an average of 9.2 percent. In must-win 
Pennsylvania, also Biden’s childhood 
stomping ground, the ex-Veep is up by 
an average of 7.1 percent, according to 
RealClear Politics.

Democrats may not win the battle over 
Barrett’s nomination, but they could end 
up winning the war.

No matter what happens in this presidential election, it has 
been deeply satisfying to watch the Joe and Hunter scandal 
hooey explode on the launch pad.

Republicans have long been adept at smearing the opposition 
with lies. In 1988, they said that Michael Dukakis polluted 
Boston Harbor and unleashed black rapists in the white 
suburbs. In 2000, they said that Al Gore boasted of having 
invented the Internet. In 2004, they said that John Kerry’s Vietnam medals were 
phony. And in 2016, they said that Hillary Clinton was an existential threat to 
national security because her emails blah blah you know that story.

This time, the gist of the GOP’s purported October surprise – concocted by Donald 
Trump’s hacks and hyped by the right-wing echo chamber – was that Hunter 
Biden ginned up business in Ukraine and cut his father in on 10 percent of the 
profits. Or something like that. I won’t bother to detail the claim lest I risk dignifying 
it. What interests me is why the smear on Joe never got traction with the 
general public that lives outside the MAGA bubble.

1. There’s no proof that Joe ever took a dime. Two Republican-run Senate 
committees, Homeland Security and Finance, delved into the claims but 
found zero evidence that Joe had taken any money, committed any misdeeds, 
or compromised American policy toward Ukraine while he was vice 
president. On the contrary, the Republican Senate’s investigators spoke with 
witnesses who said Joe was clean.

2. The story about how Hunter left an incriminating laptop in a Delaware 
computer repair shop surfaced in the right-wing New York Post, and it was 
so dubious that reporters wanted their names removed. Not even Fox News 
was able to verify it. Nor could The Wall Street Journal; in the end, that newspaper 
declared, in a headline, that “Corporate records reviewed by The Wall 
Street Journal show no role for Joe Biden.”

3. The main characters seeking to flog the Hunter-Joe malarkey were tainted 
Trumpists Steve Bannon and Rudy Giuliani. ‘Nuff said.

4. Yeah, Hunter Biden drummed up some business for himself by leveraging 
his father’s famous name – a routine form of legal corruption. That’s a legitimate 
story, as far as it goes. But in the words of sane conservative commentator 
Matt Lewis, Hunter’s deed is the equivalent of “being told there is gambling 
taking place at Rick’s Cafe. Heaven knows, the Trump kids and their 
spouses do this, and more… In the context of what happens in Washington, 
(Hunter) is small potatoes. Donald Trump is guilty of much, much worse.”

5. Speaking of Donald, the guy wasn’t even capable of hyping the faux Hunter-
Joe narrative with any semblance of coherence. Maybe the MAGA cultists 
could decode the gibberish he spouted during the final presidential debate, 
but the average person could not – and didn’t care to.

6. Hunter is not on the ballot, and whatever he did has nothing to do with 
the lives of voters. Nearly 230,000 Americans are dead and 8 million more 
are infected while Trump brays about how we’ve “rounded the turn.” That’s 
what voters care about. Even Trump toady Ted Cruz has said of the Hunter 
narrative, “I don’t think it moves a single voter.” Erick Erickson, the Trump-
leaning conservative pundit laments that the Hunter narrative is “obscure” 
and “a distraction at this point.”

Meanwhile, on Thursday Tucker Carlson was blathering on the air about how 
he’d possessed damning Hunter materials, but that they’d mysteriously vanished 
in the mail – but wait, the USPS finally found the materials, so they hadn’t mysteriously 
vanish after all… or something like that. Then he did a 180-degree turn 
and told viewers: “Probably too strong to say we feel sorry for Hunter Biden, but 
the point is pounding on a man, jumping on, and piling on when he’s already 
down is something we don’t want to be involved in.”

Seems about right.

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

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