The bill comes due for our re-engineered way of life: Having dammed almost all major rivers in California and many tributaries and creeks, we construct entire cities in what a century or 150 years ago was swamp, and we can pile rocks on peat and think we’ve created islands. And then the bill comes due.
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On Presidents Day, and less than monumental presidents: There in the space that is not Mount Rushmore, history reminds that leaders are not necessarily granite. They are as human as we, the people behind them, strong and weak, good and wicked, light and sometimes darkly complex.
Erika D. Smith: With a slightly awkward mop of dark hair and an earnestness that can only come from a humble upbringing in the middle of the country, Pete Buttigieg is no ordinary candidate for chair of the Democratic National Committee.
Marcos Breton: California leaders who have pledged to protect undocumented immigrants can’t win until they formulate a legitimate economic argument that pushes back against the anti-immigrant sentiment Donald Trump rode to the White House.
Dan Walters: Polling by the Public Policy Institute of California consistently shows that California adults are ignorant about how the state budget allocates money among the major spending categories, wrongly believing that prisons come first in spending when, in fact, they come in last.
Hedrick Smith: At a clubby luncheon for Wall Street and corporate CEOs in the state dining room of the White House, President Donald Trump warmly embraced top bankers and promised Wall Street deregulation.
Gregory Favre: There always has been a rainfall of criticism of the press for breaking stories about the actions of various administrations. The truly legitimate old and new media can play such a vital role in the maintenance of a free society.
David Mas Masumoto: Growing up, I did not know my father was in prison. Nor my mother, my aunts and uncles or grandparents.
Anupam Chander and Madhavi Sunder: In the 1940s, a few courageous individuals like Fred Korematsu spoke up. Imagine what we can do when we speak up by the millions.
Bruce Dancis: Bruce Springsteen’s lyric – “It’s hard to be a saint in the city” – came to mind when I was trying to buy a new pair of athletic training shoes. I am certainly no saint. But sometimes one has to take a personal stand.
Diana Carpenter-Madoshi: I’m terrified by Rep. Tom McClintock’s support for repealing the Affordable Care Act, sticking us with soaring prescription bills and destabilizing Medicare.
Anthony Samson and Chris Micheli: There are more than 200 rule-making entities in the state that generate over 500 regulations every year. Many regulatory proposals receive much less attention than the legislative proposals.
Jenny Rempel, Jennifer Clary and Phoebe Seaton: More people in California are without access to safe drinking water than the population of Flint, Mich. The solution is clear: The Legislature must create a sustainable funding source that ensures safe and affordable drinking water for all.
John Dobard: A surge in political participation of the election is promising. But will it mark a long-term shift for democratic engagement? A new report finds that the political power imbalance among people of color will persist into the next generation. Here’s what can be done to change that.
Take a number: 1.8 million
Foon Rhee’s latest Numbers Crunch focuses on a Pew Research Center study showing that just 20 metro areas are home to 60 percent of all undocumented immigrants in the U.S. Those big cities are where protests are happening against President Donald Trump’s immigration actions and that would be the most affected if there are sweeping deportation raids. An estimated 1.8 million undocumented immigrants live in five California metro areas, a big chunk of the 11 million nationally.
Daniel Borenstein, East Bay Times: Well, that didn’t take long. Less than three months after voters passed a $3.5 billion BART bond for capital projects, transit officials presented budget forecasts in which the district reneges on its part of the deal.
L.A. Times: There are no easy or fast fixes for homelessness. If there were, we would not have 47,000 homeless people in Los Angeles County. We cannot shoo homeless people off our streets or out of their parked cars and off to some netherworld. But providing people the help they need to get and stay housed depends on Measure H.
Lexington Herald-Leader: Never underestimate Kentuckians’ ability to rationalize the indefensible when it comes to tobacco. Almost half of Kentucky’s public-school students can still be exposed to secondhand smoke on a school trip or at a football game or even walking in and out of their school buildings.
Kansas City Star: A majority of Kansas lawmakers showed enormous courage this week by approving tax increases designed to close a budget hole blown open by tax cuts passed five years ago. Gov. Sam Brownback has threatened to veto it. That means the Legislature’s work may be unfinished.
Mike Wilson, Dallas Morning News: An enemy of the American people came into my office Friday night to talk about a story he was working on. The story was about a 17-year-old kid involved in a controversy at his school.
Takes on Trump
San Francisco Chronicle: President Donald Trump would have been hard-pressed to find a more inappropriate choice to lead the Environmental Protection Agency than Scott Pruitt.
San Diego Union-Tribune: President Donald Trump’s decision to cut back on needless or counterproductive government regulations has triggered sharp criticism – and a lawsuit – from groups whose websites have become assaults against the president. On this, they should hold fire.
Modesto Bee: Until we find out how deep this administration’s ties are to Vladimir Putin’s Russia, any statements from Donald Trump will lack credibility. And a president without credibility is severely hampered.
Miami Herald: The Russian connection that Donald Trump attempts to downplay could be more serious than many people think. We must get to the bottom of the matter.
Charlotte Observer: Our country’s frame is holding firm. Our checks and balances are largely checking and balancing the president’s worst tendencies.
Raleigh News & Observer: The truth, the whole truth, is not yet known, and it might prove either clarifying for the presidency of Donald Trump or painful. North Carolina’s Richard Burr will have more of a role in finding it than anyone on Capitol Hill. It is his moment, and his challenge.
Dana Milbank: I configured Twitter a couple of weeks ago to get text alerts on my phone whenever President Trump tweets. Bad!
Frank Bruni: Donald Trump’s means of survival is the warp speed and whirl of it all. He forces you to process and react to so many different outrages at such a dizzying velocity that no one of them has the staying power that it ought to or gets the scrutiny it deserves.
Leonard Pitts Jr.: The most consequential political divide in this country is not between liberals and conservatives; it is between the ignorant and the informed.
Maureen Dowd: Because Donald Trump holds Thor’s hammer, with its notably short handle, we must keep trying to figure out his strange, perverse, aggrieved style of reasoning. So we’re stuck in Trump’s head with him.
Kathleen Parker: To sum up President Donald Trump’s first month in office, he has exceeded everyone’s expectations.
Ross Douthat: A growing economy is compatible with creeping authoritarianism, of course, as Trump’s most alarmist critics are fond of pointing out. But is it compatible with outrageous presidential incompetence?
Ruben Navarrette: My wife gave me a Valentine’s Day present straight from the heart: a harsh scolding. She thinks I haven’t been tough enough on President Donald Trump.
E.J. Dionne: A remembrance of one of my heroes. She was a pillar of her church and an active member of her union. She was the person her friends counted on for sound advice.
“The country suddenly depends on critical thinking and review within the House. We are asking more of our representatives and not getting it, and the anger at meetings like Rep. Tom McClintock’s is the result. Next year’s House elections can’t come soon enough.” – Scott Stingel, Groveland
Erika D. Smith: The campus of Loaves & Fishes is always chaotic. It’s a tangle of human bodies, exhausted and frustrated, many of them caked with muck from sleeping in alleys and along the banks of the American River Parkway. Tempers can flare easily here, swirling like a hurricane. But the eye of the storm, the calming presence, tends to be Sister Libby Fernandez. She’s leaving Loaves & Fishes to start a new, low-key ministry called Mercy Pedalers.