Make sure CIA isn’t using hacking tools in U.S.: The WikiLeaks document dump on the CIA’s hacking division is not the same as the outrageous mass surveillance by the National Security Agency. But it could damage intelligence gathering abroad and it is forcing tech companies to scramble to make sure vulnerabilities in their products are fixed.
Shawn Hubler: There’s something awful about half the population having to rise up against the other half, just to show that it matters. Were it not for the posts and tweets about Wednesday being “A Day Without A Woman,” International Women’s Day here would have been easy to miss.
Erika D. Smith: An experimental health insurance program piloted by Vice President Mike Pence in Indiana could serve as a model for health care in other states. It’s an ideological solution that won’t do much to help poor people who need health care.
Joe Mathews: Los Angeles is bidding to transform the Olympics, but over the last generation the Games have become more associated with corruption than sport: doping, vote-buying by bid cities, displacement of poor people by Olympic construction, propagandistic use of the Games by human rights violators, and overspending that leaves Olympic cities with debt and dead infrastructure.
Jacob Katz and Brian Stranko: As we face more intense and warmer storms, we must prepare for larger and more frequent floods interspersed with deeper and longer droughts than we’ve experienced over the past century.
Take a number: 21.2 percent
Foon Rhee’s latest Numbers Crunch looks at several indicators of the struggles many California families are facing more than six years into the economic recovery. The booming stock market hides unemployment and poverty rates that are still too high. The poverty rate for California children is especially bad, 21.2 percent. One hopeful sign: Assembly Republicans proposed a plan Wednesday to reduce poverty and help the middle class.
Orange County Register: It is difficult enough to get any development projects through costly and time-consuming state and local reviews, and a new bill in the Legislature would only make things worse.
San Diego Union-Tribune: The overhaul of the Affordable Care Act released by House Republicans on Monday and praised by President Trump on Tuesday is a disappointment in large part because it was crafted with one overriding goal: to make small enough changes to the ACA that the Senate could pass the bill with a simple majority.
Salt Lake Tribune: Jason Chaffetz suffered through a buzzsaw of well-deserved mean tweets and online attacks Tuesday after foolishly suggesting that low-income families could do without the Affordable Care Act if they would just show enough personal fiscal discipline to pass on the latest iPhone release.
Charlotte Observer: Let’s cheer real economic progress. Despite the chaos and growing fears about disunity among Americans that may cause lasting harm to our democracy, the United States is experiencing one of its most positive economic periods ever.
Jonah Goldberg, National Review: Donald Trump is destroying his presidency one tweet at a time. The pivot stuff was always false prophecy.
Dana Milbank: Now that Republican leaders in the House have finally revealed their health reform plan, the magic formula turns out to be … a cheap knockoff of Obamacare. Democrats, predictably, panned it because it’s a cheap knockoff of Obamacare. But the bigger problem for GOP leaders is that conservatives also panned it because, well, it’s a cheap knockoff of Obamacare.
E.J. Dionne: Republican leaders think it is time for business as usual, which in their case means figuring out how to deprive low-income people of health insurance while cutting taxes on the rich and increasing the deficit.
Thomas L. Friedman: Sadly, most of the Republican Party today is morally AWOL, preferring to sweep the Russian hacking under the carpet rather than have a credible, independent investigation. That will lead people to question any collaboration Trump tries with Moscow.
Frank Bruni: A black person can bumble into racially hurtful comments. A female executive can turn a blind eye to sexism in the ranks below her. A gay person can ignore or indulge homophobia. Diversity increases the odds that an organization sees the world more acutely, accurately and empathetically. But it’s not the end of the effort, and it’s no guarantee.
“Any real campaign-finance reform begins with the reform of candidate-controlled ballot measure committees.” – Sen. Pat Bates
They don’t vote, do they
Politico reports that Trumpcare, the House Republicans’ attempt to overhaul the Affordable Care Act, would phase out Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion, which covers 1.2 million Americans with serious mental illness and substance abuse problems.
Ohio Gov. John Kasich is among the GOP leaders standing up for people with mental illness, tweeting that cutting Medicaid coverage “unnecessarily puts at risk our ability to treat the drug-addicted, mentally ill and working poor who now have access to a stable source of care.” We can only hope that congressional Republicans listen to their more thoughtful governors.