The Sessions bombshell proves need for real Russia investigation: It’s becoming clearer by the day that to get to the bottom of Russian interference in the presidential election, we need a bipartisan select committee in Congress, plus a special prosecutor. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, while he was an adviser to Donald Trump’s campaign, met twice last year with the Russian ambassador to the U.S. Sessions announced Thursday he’s recusing himself from the investigation, but that isn’t enough.
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Street musicians shouldn’t just be for Mardi Gras: Sacramento could benefit from more buskers, especially in midtown and downtown. To encourage it, the city shouldn’t craft a busking ordinance, but tweak laws that make performing on street corners tough to do.
Dan Walters: California’s high-speed rail agency says the $64 million bullet train system is moving along, but just before it issued that rosy assessment, the project suffered two big financial hits, either one of which could prove fatal for Gov. Jerry Brown’s legacy project.
Bill Whalen: California should be better engaged with the nation’s capital – and vice versa.
Thomas Lawson and Eileen Wenger Tutt: New research shows that the Low Carbon Fuel Standard and cap-and-trade programs reinforce each other, ensure equitable costs per sector and lead to emissions reductions that no single policy could achieve on its own.
Take a number: 2
Uber careens from one self-inflicted crisis to another. In January and February, Uber founder Travis Kalanick cozied up to Donald Trump and Uber drivers perhaps capitalized off a cab strike over Trump’s ban on travel from seven Muslim-majority companies. That led to the #DeleteUber campaign. Understanding it’s not wise to offend his customers, Kalanick distanced himself from Trump. Then former Uber engineer Susan Fowler posted what turned into a viral item about sexual harassment. Then Bloomberg published a video of Kalanick arrogantly dismissing a struggling Uber driver.
But we date the string of bonehead moves to December, when Uber threw California under the (driverless?) bus by claiming this state’s permitting system for driverless cars was unfair, even though 20 other car companies complied with it. In a fit, Uber loaded 16 semi-driverless Volvos – Uber has a deal with Volvo for the technology – onto a truck and shipped them from Uber’s home in San Francisco to Arizona. Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey bragged how his state, unlike California, was wide open for tech. Jerry Brown’s administration shrugged.
On Thursday, having recently deployed Fords to map San Francisco in a step toward going driverless, Uber took the next step by registering with the California Department of Motor Vehicles two semi-automomous Volvos.
We have not deleted the Uber app. It’s incredibly convenient. We are, however, beginning to conclude that Uber is a driverless company.
San Francisco Chronicle: Uber CEO Travis Kalanick’s contrite pledge to “grow up” after he was caught insulting one of his drivers might comfort other middle-aged men hoping to blame their tantrums on immaturity. The trouble for the 40-year-old and his company is that his outburst typifies the callous arrogance that has haunted Uber’s success.
L.A. Times: The state deserves a huge chunk of any federal infrastructure funding, but slowing down its own build-out is not an option.
Mercury News: An independent commission must be impaneled to investigate foreign attempts to subvert America’s political processes, and it must not become a partisan circus. Period. This matter is too important. Let’s be clear, the commission must be: bipartisan, removed from Congress and not about reliving the 2016 election.
Charlotte Observer: Jeff Sessions, under oath, misled the U.S. Senate. He didn’t “misspeak.” He didn’t misinterpret a question. He misled. He should resign as U.S. attorney general.
Andrew C. McCarthy, National Review: There is a good deal of political hay to be made because Jeff Sessions made a statement that was inaccurate – or at least incomplete – especially when mined out of its context. But the claim that his testimony was perjurious as a matter of law is wholly without merit.
Kansas City Star: The national conversation about anti-Semitic threats and the Olathe shooting makes clear that too many of us define hate crimes and terrorism in a way that depends on who committed the crime and who was victimized.
Dana Milbank: Certainly, President Donald Trump hasn’t authorized any sort of vigilantism against Jews or Muslims. But do would-be vigilantes perceive a wink and nod?
Nicholas Kristof: Our security is advanced not just by being scary but also by winning friends. President Donald Trump will face a crisis – maybe with North Korea, maybe with China, maybe with some new pandemic – and he will need not just a robust military but also the cooperation of friendly nations.
Gail Collins: Everybody is saying how reasonable President Donald Trump sounded in his big speech to Congress, but it made me crazy!
Ruben Navarrette: For much of the country, Donald Trump just can’t win. That’s a problem, because if he doesn’t succeed at some of what he’s trying to do, America can’t move forward. And then we all lose.
Charles Krauthammer: The revolt of the state attorneys general, banding together to curb the executive, is to be celebrated. It is a reassuring sign of the creativity and suppleness of the American Constitution, of its amphibian capacity to grow a new limb when an old one atrophies.
Eugene Robinson: Donald Trump’s speech won praise for being “presidential,” but only from those grading him on an absurdly generous curve.
The scary condition of Oroville Dam is emblematic of California’s civic decline. – Bill Sanders, Gold River
You’ve got mail
Who still uses AOL? Apparently our vice president, Mike Pence.
While governor of Indiana, Pence regularly used an email account through the low-security web service to discuss matters of homeland security, including the fate of several people arrested on terrorism charges, The Indianapolis Star reported Thursday. Not only that, but his account got hacked last summer.
Pence’s response was to set up yet another AOL account and resume emailing. And now his successor, fellow Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb, is refusing to release Pence’s archived emails because “the state considers them confidential and too sensitive to release to the public.”
So much for all of that righteous indignation on the campaign trail about Hillary Clinton’s private server and the Democratic nominee operating “in such a way to keep her emails ... out of the public reach, out of public accountability.”
It takes one to know one. – Erika D. Smith, @Erika_D_Smith