Who pays for the war on Planned Parenthood?: Rep. Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee has zero stake in the well-being of, say, Central Valley teenagers who don’t want to get pregnant. But Californians including House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Bakersfield, should end this Planned Parenthood fatwa. Unprotected sex doesn’t stop just because you’ve limited the options of your constituents.
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Sacramento County supervisors welcome a new member, could face a tough year: Sue Frost will be sworn in for her first term as supervisor for District 4. A conservative who served on the Citrus Heights City Council, Frost ran on a vow to improve public safety by securing more resources for the Sheriff’s Department. She will surely have a lot to say about the county’s priorities in the weeks to come.
Dan Morain: Lest there be doubt about where Donald Trump stands on regulating campaign spending, he chose as White House counsel Donald F. McGahn II, a Washington, D.C., lawyer who left his mark on campaign finance law by not enforcing it.
Dan Walters: Like other supposed reforms, public campaign financing collides with an overriding reality that the decisions officeholders make have immense consequences and those affected by them naturally seek to influence those decisions.
Tom Steyer: Donald Trump’s politics of division are abnormal and alarming. Many are asking what can be done to protect their communities. The answers will be varied but with one constant: We must work together.
Mindy Romero: After the Supreme Court gutted the Voting Rights Act in a 2013 ruling, several states passed laws restricting many Americans from going to the polls to vote. How did they do that and why?
Paul Brubaker: After wrestling with Sacramento bureaucrats, officials at Uber announced they were moving their fleet of self-driving taxis from San Francisco to Arizona. The state’s decision to pull the registration of Uber’s test vehicles is a setback for the self-driving movement.
Walt Shubin: Not every farmer thinks the water board went too far in the proposal that more water flow on the San Joaquin River. This lifelong Valley farmer knows they haven’t gone far enough to restore the balance and save the river.
Steven Maviglio: Legislative Democrats have supermajorities in both houses. They need to use their power to more boldly pursue a progressive agenda.
Take a number: 59
Democracy is growing in local government. Today, 59 California cities elect their city council members from districts, a more representative way to go about it. That number is up from 31 in 2011, one measure of progress for small-d democracy in a new index from California Common Cause, the subject of Foon Rhee’s latest Numbers Crunch.
San Francisco Chronicle: A top-quality, financially stable University of California is not just in the interest of its 264,000 undergraduate and graduate students. It is also an economic engine in each of the communities with a campus. This latest tuition increase is reasonable, and a steadily escalating state investment is critical to maintaining one of the nation’s premier universities.
L.A. Times: The Planned Parenthood defunding measure is petty and punitive. It doesn’t improve the health care system, but makes it worse. It won’t save money. It serves the ideological beliefs of members of Congress, but at the expense of working-class and poor women seeking basic health care services.
San Diego Union-Tribune: Jeers to any restaurant owner that slipped that minimum wage surcharge onto a bill without first notifying customers, either with a prominent sign or on the menu.
Miami Herald: Esteban Santiago got a psychiatric evaluation and remained hospitalized for a time. But he was never adjudicated mentally ill. If he had been, Santiago, under federal law, would not be allowed to have a firearm. But, instead, it means Alaska police returned his gun because they had no legal authority to withhold it.
Fort Lauderdale Sun Sentinel: Given that he reportedly suffered mental health problems, that he told FBI agents he was hearing voices about the Islamic State and that he was held for psychiatric evaluation in Alaska just two months ago, how is it even possible that Esteban Santiago was allowed to fly with a gun? The FBI has some explaining to do.
Lexington Herald Leader: Kentucky legislators have clearly placed gun owners’ rights ahead of those of the young people we otherwise work so hard to protect. Because each year more young people perish to gun violence while our lawmakers throw up their hands, quaking in subservience to a gun lobby that it fears more than a rising gun death rate.
Nicholas Kristof: Families are slowly starving because rains and crops have failed for the last few years. They are reduced to eating cactus and even rocks or ashes. The United Nations estimates that nearly 1 million people in Madagascar alone need emergency food assistance.
Dana Milbank: Rep. Duncan Hunter plays Donald Trump’s ethical blame game. taking a Trumpian approach by blaming his woes on his local paper, the San Diego Union-Tribune.
Kathleen Parker: I don’t really think Donald Trump is a spy because, unlike the man himself, I’m not given to crazy ideas. But what’s with this double standard?
Leonard Pitts Jr.: Farewell, Mrs. Obama. Please know that, as an American – and particularly as an African American – I am proud of how you’ve conducted yourself as first lady.
Ruben Navarrette: Why have some critics of President-elect Donald Trump decided to attack him and assorted members of his so-called “Billionaires Cabinet” on the flimsiest of grounds – their relative lack of formal education?
Frank Bruni: Run, Hillary, run; imagine the fun of being Donald Trump’s mayor.
Maureen Dowd: A still-shocked Washington braces itself for Donald Trump.
Timothy Egan: Barack Obama is doing his best to Donald Trump-proof his legacy.
Trudy Rubin: Lessons from Donald Trump’s Taiwan call.
David Brooks: The home-buying decision is difficult and emotional.
Jack Ohman: Sutter attended my 53rd birthday party. How often does a cartoonist’s character come to life? Sutter was by far the star attraction; everyone wanted their picture taken with him, and he would obligingly loll with his corgi grin.