A little-noticed anniversary of a common horror: At least 37 children have been unintentionally shot this year in the United States. It doesn’t have to be this way. Gun owners must securely stow their firearms. Doctors must be free to ask their patients about guns in the home. And technology must be used to make guns less dangerous.
After Oroville, a flood policy for both deluge and drought: Climate experts say flood is only half the picture. Long-term drought punctuated with deluge is about to become California’s new normal, thanks to the way global warming has amplified regular climate variations. So while they’re at it, state officials should ask whether now might be the time to join nature, rather than just trying to beat it.
Modesto Bee: What are we supposed to do with all this water?: The people of the Northern San Joaquin Valley deserve the same kind of concern shown those living closer to Sacramento, the same kind of solutions being considered for those living in San Jose. We need to make our levees stronger before they break. Danger is headed our way; we need help in heading it off.
Dan Morain: Cody Moore was a 19-year-old kid with a shotgun who hit a rough patch last summer, at about the same time an anonymous gun-rights advocate who goes by the handle Doe Publius decided to splay the names and addresses of 40 state legislators on his blog.
Marcos Breton: Cesar Chavez Plaza is supposed to be a place for everyone, but it’s not. It’s not safe, it’s not sanitary, and right now it looks as bad as it ever has. Where are the politicians advocating for business people negatively affected by the current state of downtown?
Joyce Terhaar: Importantly, journalists who are committed – always – to public service work, even when it requires challenging those in power, from water officials up to the president. With enemies like that, who needs friends?
Markos Kounalakis: From the Spanish-American War to the Cuban missile crisis and a thawing of relations, the island nation has yet again been a catalyst for an American political tsunami felt around the world.
Jane Braxton Little: As California officials prepare to spend $437 million to help fix the state’s aging flood-control systems, they should be thinking about how to protect people in ways that enhance natural systems developed over millennia.
John Lambeth and Ray McNally: According to recent polling, large majorities of Democrats and Republicans support AmeriCorps, seeing it as a cost-effective way to deliver community-based services that help people become more self-sufficient and less dependent on government.
James L. Sweeney: Integrating the western power grid with Canada, Mexico, Southwest and Pacific Northwest would allow in-state wind and solar plants to operate at full capacity. In turn, clean electricity would become less expensive.
Nicola Ulibarri: The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s hydropower relicensing process is an opportunity to figure in climate change to update old infrastructure.
Carl Johnson: Conventional vs. organic farming: We’re having the wrong debate. Debate and research should focus beyond the questions of nutrient content and safety to the broader question of impacts on the whole food chain.
Seth Castleman and Basim Elkarra: Sacramento-area Jewish and Muslim leaders decry attacks on mosques and synagogues across the country and call upon local and national political leaders to condemn this wave of violence and intolerance.
Bernard Marks: I never imagined the day would come that I would feel compelled to raise a warning to the people of my adopted homeland about a danger that is all too familiar to me, a threat to democracy and to the character that defines America.
Take a number: 23, 3 and 42
Those are California’s rankings among the states overall, on the economy and on opportunity. The latest Numbers Crunch looks at detailed new comparisons put together by U.S. News & World Report. The study shows how much work California has to do, a much better cause than the #Calexit movement. – Foon Rhee, @foonrhee
Los Angeles Times: What does Isadore Hall, a career politician from urban Los Angeles County, know about the state’s agricultural industry? Out-of-work politicians don’t need a relevant résumé to get a plum appointment. All they need is experience as a loyal party operative. And it sure doesn’t hurt if they took one for the team.
San Francisco Chronicle: It is cruel and immoral for the federal government to provide more “customers” for private prisons, and there is a tremendous human cost in expanding this kind of detention. Trump promised to bring back more American jobs – but these jobs are a bad bargain.
Mercury News: Score one for transparency, for the public’s right of access to government communications. Ruling in a case from San Jose, the state Supreme Court in a unanimous and pointed decision Thursday was unequivocal: Government officials cannot use private email accounts to circumvent the disclosure requirements of the California Public Records Act.
Takes on abolishing the EPA
Santa Rosa Press Democrat: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency detected dangerous levels of lead in Flint. Now the Trump administration is seeking to eviscerate the EPA and roll back clean water rules.
Rep. Steven Palazzo, R-Miss.: Last month I co-sponsored a bill to terminate the Environmental Protection Agency. It’s to put a runaway bureaucracy on notice that the days of crushing the American economy in the name of red tape are over.
Takes on ADA lawsuits
Miami Herald: In Florida, the Americans with Disabilities Act has been abused by a handful of profiteering attorneys who shake down businesses, demanding cash for violations that often seem minor, like a parking place that’s a few inches too narrow.
Denver Post: Businesses not in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, however slightly, are being sued without notice or chance to first remedy deficiencies.
Takes on Obamacare
Charlotte Observer: Republicans are skittish about making their ideas public. Replacing Obamacare is not nearly as easy as they said it would be, because Obamacare wasn’t nearly as bad as they said it was. That secret is already out.
Mercury News: President Trump has a solution to America’s health care problems: Just let insurance companies sell plans across state lines. It will, he argues, increase competition and offer consumers more choice and lower costs. If only it were that simple.
Lexington Herald-Leader: In recent days, we’ve heard Gov. Matt Bevin claim that the Affordable Care Act has “resulted in a remarkable decline in health care coverage” and “fewer people able to actually even see a doctor.” What’s remarkable is how wrong he is.
Takes on gun safety
Kansas City Star: The mantra has become all too familiar. The nation doesn’t need new gun laws. We just need to enforce the laws that are already on the books. Problem is, it has been nearly impossible to enforce the one measure that virtually everyone agrees with: not selling firearms to people who are severely and dangerously mentally ill.
Tampa Bay Times: More Floridians are arming themselves, and one of the unintended consequences should have been predictable. As gun sales and concealed carry permits increase, so do the number of children injured or killed by guns. Yet Florida lawmakers remain determined to make guns even more visible and accessible while the state ignores the dangers to kids.
Dana Milbank: Here’s a primer to get you up to speed on Trump team’s ties to Russia.
Maureen Dowd: People were relieved at Calm Trump. But really, that’s more potentially dangerous because if he learns how to behave in a more measured, charming way on the surface, he can put a disarming face on harsh policies or duplicitous practices.
Frank Bruni: Donald Trump is just exerting his rightful culinary autonomy. While we can’t permit him to put Russian interests on a par with U.S. ones, we must allow him to put Russian dressing on whatever he wants.
Ross Douthat: There is no clear or easy path to becoming a multiracial nation that isn’t divided politically by race. But reparations for the descendants of slaves today, rather than affirmative action for nonwhites forever, might be a better path than the one we’re on right now.
Gail Collins: We have Russian hackers messing with the Democratic National Committee computers during the campaign while the Trump people could not have been chattier with their pals from the Putin government.
Kathleen Parker: While Democrats were basking in Obama’s sunny smile, Republicans were busy building benches of future leaders, especially at the state attorney general level, where they are now in the majority. The strategy has been to recruit and help elect strong attorneys general who could be groomed to become governors, senators – and possibly president.
Leonard Pitts Jr.: I’ve been hearing from readers who say they’ve found renewed appreciation for newspapers as we trudge through the Valley of the Shadow of Trump. Initially, I thought it was just a few isolated folks. But I’ve since learned that other journalists are hearing the same thing.
Timothy Egan: It’s early, but we may be experiencing a great awakening for the humane values that are under siege by a dark-side presidency.
David Brooks: For the last 40 years, the Republican Party has been a coalition of three tendencies. On Tuesday, President Donald Trump rejected or ignored all of them.
Paul Krugman: At this point, it’s easier to list Trump administration officials who haven’t been caught lying under oath than those who have. This is not an accident.
Sounding presidential and being presidential are two completely different matters. – Robert Fernandez, Fair Oaks