Mountain Views News, Combined Edition Saturday, April 10, 2021

MVNews this week:  Page 12

12 Mountain View News Saturday, April 10, 2021 OPINION 12 Mountain View News Saturday, April 10, 2021 OPINION 




Susan Henderson 


Dean Lee 



Patricia Colonello 


John Aveny 



Stuart Tolchin 
Audrey SwansonMary Lou CaldwellKevin McGuire 
Chris Leclerc 
Bob Eklund 
Howard HaysPaul CarpenterKim Clymer-KelleyChristopher NyergesPeter Dills 
Rich Johnson 
Lori Ann Harris 
Rev. James SnyderKatie HopkinsDeanne Davis 
Despina ArouzmanJeff Brown 
Marc Garlett 
Keely TotenDan Golden 
Rebecca WrightHail Hamilton 
Joan Schmidt 
LaQuetta Shamblee 

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Are the Stones 

right as they la

ment “I can’t get 

no satisfaction”? 

When is enough, 

enough? What 

more do we need? 

Perhaps the need 

for MORE is what 

keeps us going? 

This past Sun

day was my wife’s 

birthday and for 

the first time in 

well over a year we 
all sat around our breakfast table. Present were 
my son and his girlfriend, my daughter and her 
significant other, their child also known as my 
grandchild, my wife, myself and our new dog. My 
wife took a video of the whole gang with the beautiful 
canyon view visible through the window. It 
all made for a lovely picture.

As my 77th Birthday approaches and I 
look at that video I imagine I should be satisfied. 
Our group is a diverse one. In order of increasing 
age the baby is of mixed race reflecting her 
parentage by a Jewish Caucasian mother and an 
African-American Christian father. My son is a 
Jewish Caucasian man while his girlfriend is Chinese. 
I am a Jewish man while my wife is a Hispanic 
woman with a Catholic background. Our 
dog doesn’t talk much about it but I believe he is 
a mixed breed of sorts. My wife and I live in the 
beautiful canyon of Sierra Madre in what I think 
is a lovely home with a few too many staircases 
that seem to be getting steeper each day. All in all 
it is a very diverse group of which I am very proud 
to be a part.

This diversity came about through no 
particular intent by any of us to create such a 
motley crew. I think, or would like to think, that 
our diversity reflects what is happening within 
our beloved country and is a predictor of future 
peace and harmony within this country and the 
rest of the world. Sixty or so years ago when I 
graduated High School the world seemed to be at 
war. There was this Cuban missile crisis when it 
felt like we were going to be bombed any minute. 
My male friends and I were all facing compulsory 
military service and the available means to deny 
the inevitable conscription was to go to College 
and receive a deferment from military service. 
Four years later as we graduated College things 
were even worse. In 1965 the literate, articulate, 
handsome, forever young President had been 
assassinated while we were in College and the 
new President seemed neither literate, articulate, 
handsome, forever young, and besides that he 
talked like a Southerner. To many of my contemporaries, 
(perhaps including me) it felt like LBJ 
was after us personally. 

In addition to this, in 1965 the Watts riots, 
sometimes referred to as the Watts Rebellion or 
Watts uprising took place affecting the surrounding 
areas of Los Angeles. It all began when a 21 
year old Black man was arrested for drunk driving 
in the Watts neighborhood, an almost completely 

segregated area at the edge of Los Angeles. The 
ensuing struggle during his arrest sparked off 6 
days of rioting, resulting in 34 deaths, over 1,000 
injuries, nearly 4,000 arrests, and the destruction 
of property valued at $40 million dollars. As I 
look back on it now this event really set me on a 
path that describes the arc of my entire life. I was 
very certain that racial prejudice and continuing 
discrimination was going to ultimately cause the 
destruction of this country.

All right! Law School here I come. It 
also helped that by going to Law School I would 
receive a further student deferment and would escape 
conscription for at least another three years. 
Really though, I like to think that Law School 
meant to me that I would have the opportunity 
somehow to assist and even participate in the necessary 
process of correcting the continuing injustices 
present in this land where all men (women 
didn’t count then) were created equal. While in 
Law School I somehow landed a work study job 
that allowed me to participate in the creation 
of a program which enrolled High School Students 
from Watts (all African American) and 
Boyle Heights (all Hispanic) and brought them 
to UCLA every weekend during the School year 
and allowed them to live in a UCLA dorm for the 
whole summer. Best of all, at least for me, I was 
allowed to live free of charge with the students. 
It was a wonderful opportunity and I learned 
deeply within myself that notwithstanding whatever 
academic and social problems these kids had 
they were wonderfully interesting, entertaining, 
people to get to know. During the School year I 
had the opportunity to travel to Grenada Mississippi 
and become a part of the Southern Christian 
Leadership Conference and participate in 
Voter registration, economic boycotts, and mass 
marches and personally observed the remnants 
of the segregated South but was privileged to experience 
the inevitable truth that the coming of 
Democracy and Equality were on the march and 
couldn’t be stopped.

 It is now 54 years later and if I could 
have been able to view the 2021 video (no such 
thing was even imagined then) of our birthday 
breakfast I imagine I would have been very satisfied. 
Change has come, all religions and races 
are living together happily in beautiful surroundings 
and important family bonds are maintained. 
That’s how it would have looked to me then and I 
most certainly would have been satisfied. So why 
ain’t I satisfied now? The answers is obvious and 
it leads me to the conclusion that “Satisfaction” 
may well come from only a recognition of the way 
things were but has absolutely nothing to do with 
complacency as to the way things are today.

There is no utopia. We must all continue 
doing the best we can to continually participate 
in the creation of the better world to come. For 
satisfaction we can look back at all we have accomplished 
but in the present we must recognize 
all the work that still needs to be done and that hat 
we can continue to be part of that work. That also 
is pretty satisfying! 




Republicans and corporate America have been conjoined for so 
long that any breach in the bond is almost impossible to imagine. 
Yet we’re seeing one now, thanks to the GOP’s decision to give free 
rein to its authoritarian impulses. 

The way it has long worked is easy to explain. Corporate America 
shovels big bucks to the Republicans, who in turn ensure via legislation 
that cor-porate America makes as much money as possible, 

which in turn ensures that the Republicans will be further rewarded. That’s why Mitch 
McConnell has long championed corporate donations as “free speech” and insisted 
that those donors have the right to give money without dis-closing their names. 

But now that some corporations have belatedly decided it’s in their best business 
interest to oppose the GOP’s unprecedented vote-suppression efforts (most notably 
in Georgia), all of a sudden Republicans like McConnell are outraged. Apparently 
it’s freedom when corporations say and do stuff that echoes the GOP agenda, but if 
they dare stray from the lockstep party line – and speak ill of the strategy to sabotage 
democracy – then Republican heads detonate with maximum decibels. 

And so now that Georgia-based Coca Cola has denounced the state GOP’s voter-
suppression law as “a step backwards,” and that Georgia-based Del-ta Airlines has 
accurately pointed out that the law “will make it harder for many underrepresented 
voters, particularly Black voters, to exercise their constitutional right”…well, suffice 
it to say that McConnell and other party hacks are suddenly not big fans of corporate 
free speech. 

In a statement Tuesday, McConnell complained that “parts of the private sector keep 
dabbling in behaving like a woke parallel government,” and he warned that unless 
these firms cease their “frantic left-wing signaling,” they would pay a steep price: 
“Corporations will invite serious conse-quences.” 

You have to laugh at these people. They’re all for corporate free speech – unless corporations 
say something they dislike. Then their impulse is to threaten some form 
of punishment. (A government crackdown on rebel-lious corporations? Gosh, that 
smacks of socialism.) 

McConnell and his pals don’t seem to grasp the irony of the situation: Co-ca Cola, 
Delta, and Major League Baseball (plus, in Texas, American Air-lines and computer 
magnate Michael Dell) have decided that defending the right to vote would best serve 
their interests in the free market. They decided that silently abetting authoritarianism 
would be bad for business, pissing off customers as well as their employees. Yes, folks, 
it’s all about the free market – which Republicans purport to worship. 

Granted, you can make the case that Republicans have reason to be angry. After all, 
corporate America has long pumped money into the GOP, to the same state legislators 
who’ve been concocting vote suppression bills na-tionwide. Since 2015, corporations 
have reportedly steered $50 million to those state legislators – not necessarily 
for the express purpose of sup-pressing the vote, but simply because they were Republicans 
(for whom vote suppression and racial gerrymandering has long been a top 
priority, well known to anyone paying attention). 

Their state legislative races are financed by the Republican State Leader-ship Committee. 
Here’s a partial list of recent corporate donors to the RSLC, just give you a 
flavor: 3M, Amazon, Anheuser-Busch, Autozone, Bank of America, Best Buy, Boeing, 
Bristol-Myers Squibb, Capital One, Charter Communications, Chevron, Citigroup, 
Coca-Cola, Comcast, Cono-coPhillips, Ebay, Eli Lilly, ExxonMobil, Facebook, 
FedEx, General Motors, GlaxoSmithKline, Google, Hewlett-Packard, Home Depot, 
Honeywell, iHeartMedia, JPMorgan Chase, Juul, LexisNexis, MasterCard, Microsoft, 
MillerCoors, Motorola, Nationwide, PayPal, PepsiCo, Pfizer, Raytheon, Reynolds 
American, Sheetz, Target, TIAA, T-Mobile, UnitedHealth, UPS, Vi-sa, Volkswagen, 
Waffle House, Walgreens, Wal-Mart, Waste Management, Wells Fargo, and Yum 

So corporations have long been political players, lobbying for interests that typically 
align with Republican priorities; the only thing that’s differ-ent now – albeit with only 
a handful of prominent firms – is that, from the GOP’s perspective, they’re suddenly 
playing for the wrong team. 

One more irony: The GOP, in its knee-jerk opposition to President Biden’s infrastructure 
plan, insists that it’s unfair to finance the rebuilding of America by hiking taxes 
on corporations. So what are they going to do now – agree to hike taxes on corporations, 
as punishment for “woke” free speech? Three words: Pass the popcorn. 

Dick Polman, a veteran national political columnist based in Philadelphia 


Here’s a quiz for the Republican politicians among you. Check 
as many as apply.
Do you support:

– Repairing and rebuilding America’s deteriorating network 
of roads and bridges, includ-ing the interstate highway system 
brought to life by GOP President Dwight D. Eisenhow-er?
– Ensuring that every American public student isn’t drinking 
water out of lead pipes and doesn’t attend class in buildings 
riddled with toxic chemicals? 
– Giving every American access to reliable and affordable broadband internet service?
– Making sure that America’s electric grid is reliable so there’s not a repeat of the debacle 
in Texas? 
– Building up the nation’s electric vehicle infrastructure so that we can continue the 
pivot away from fossil fuels, all the better to hand a cleaner environment to our children, 
and to their children after them? 
Because, guess what Republican members of Congress? When it comes to all of the 
above, Americans are way ahead of you.
As The Washington Post’s Jennifer Rubin noted, a Politico-Morning Consult poll finds 
that six in 10 respondents favor President Joe Biden’s sweeping, $2 trillion infrastructure 
pack-age. And support for individual items within the plan is even higher, with 
77 percent fa-voring modernizing highways and roads. Majorities even support items 
not traditionally thought of as infrastructure issues: 80 percent support refurbishing 
Veterans Affairs hos-pitals and improving caregiving (76 percent), Rubin wrote.
And when it comes to Biden’s plan to pay for it all by increasing corporate taxes, yep, 
Americans are down for that, too, according to the Politico-Morning Consult poll, 
with “sixty-five percent of registered voters [saying] they strongly or somewhat support 
fund-ing Biden’s infrastructure plan through 15 years of higher taxes on corporations, 
while 21 percent somewhat or strongly oppose it.” 
Republicans on Capitol Hill, meanwhile, have blasted the plan, with Senate Minority 
Lead-er Mitch McConnell calling it a “trojan horse,” that will result in “more borrowed 
money and massive tax increases on all the productive parts of our economy.” 
Putting aside the sheer hilarity of McConnell’s sudden concern about fiscal responsibility 
after he supported adding up to $2 trillion to the national debt with the Trump tax 
cut, the Senate Republican leader nonetheless added that he thought there was enough 
room in the horse’s saddlebags for a bridge in his home state.
Another Republican, Rep. Kevin Brady, of Texas, the ranking GOP member of the 
powerful House Ways & Means Committee, dismissed Biden’s plan as a “sugar high.” 
And Sen. Pat Toomey, of Pennsylvania, the ranking member of the Senate Banking 
Com-mittee and tax-and-spending hawk, said that while he believes “we can and 
should do more to rebuild our nation’s physical infrastructure,” Biden’s plan would 
“[undo] large portions of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. That 2017 tax reform helped create 
the best Ameri-can economy of my lifetime.” 
So if the GOP is against all the things that the American public so clearly favors, it’s 
only reasonable to ask what they support.
Some of the more immediate answers appear to be turning the reins of the party over to 
Trump loyalists who deny the reality of the Capitol insurrection and who propagate the 
myth of the stolen election. They fight make-believe culture wars over Dr. Seuss books. 
And they’re doing all they can to push racist voter suppression bills over the goal line.
“The GOP remains a cult of personality for the worst president in U.S. history. It has 
be-come a bastion of irrationality, conspiracy mongering, racism, nativism and anti-
scientific prejudices,” the Post’s Max Boot wrote in a separate column this week.
The White House, knowing the public is with them, is moving on without the GOP, 
by tee-ing up the infrastructure bill for approval through the parliamentary maneuver 
known as budget reconciliation, which would not require Republican support.
On Wednesday, Biden forcefully rebutted the GOP criticisms, saying “the idea of infrastructure 
has always evolved to meet the aspirations of the American people and their 
needs. And it is evolving again today” He also left the door open to compromise, even 
as Republicans contort themselves to oppose spending and a vision of government they 
once embraced: An America that thinks and builds big.
So, I’ll try to frame the choice confronting the GOP in the only language they seem to 
What would you do if it were 2022?
Would you stomp and fidget at the chance to build bridges?
Would you stick a cork in a bottomless container of government pork?
Would you play pointless games of political chess, while your voters say “Yes! Yes! 
Would you continue bloviate and obfuscate with speeches of great sonority while slipping 
further into the minority?
What would you DO if it were 2022?
American voters already have spoken. So don’t be surprised if they just turn the page 
on the Party of No.
An award-winning political journalist, John L. 
Micek is Editor-in-Chief of The Pennsylvania Capital-Star in Harrisburg, Pa. 

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