Trump’s tough talk hits bloody reality in Mosul: The president has vowed to crush the Islamic State and is ramping up military action to root it out of Mosul in Iraq and Raqqa in Syria. But the U.S. military is investigating the possibility that airstrikes killed dozens of civilians.
Raiders jilt Oakland, hit Las Vegas jackpot: It’s simple math. Mark Davis is chasing the gold and glitz of Las Vegas, and his partners in the world’s richest club are salivating at the $750 million that Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval and the Nevada Legislature pledged to help build a fabulous new stadium.
Dan Walters: The Republicans’ failure to overhaul the Affordable Care Act was a multibillion-dollar reprieve for California’s budget. However, the state still faces steeply climbing costs for providing medical coverage to more than a third of the state’s population through its Medi-Cal program for the poor.
Karin Klein: With the late afternoon sun stretching toward 7 p.m. these days, there’s still enough light outside for the kids to play. So why is state legislation bent on taking this away from them?
Ben Chou: Updating our agricultural water systems to allow for more flexible deliveries and shifting to more efficient irrigation methods has the potential to save millions of acre feet of water a year.
Take a number: $3.60
Los Angeles billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong upped the pressure on Tronc Inc.’s board of directors in his attempt to buy the parent company of the the L.A. Times while he fights a rear guard battle against the online publication STAT over STAT’s critical coverage of Soon-Shiong’s tweeting of overly promotional advertising by his firm, NantKwest, of a cancer drug his company is developing.
STAT quotes Dr. Michael Wilkes, a UC Davis internist who studies drug promotion, as calling Soon-Shiong’s tweets “totally inappropriate.” Speaking of tweets, Soon-Shiong has palled around President Donald Trump, who has called on the FDA to speed drug approval – against the wishes of some drug companies.
None of this has been good for NantKwest’s stock, which is hovering at $3.60.
San Jose Mercury News: Emails obtained by this newspaper establish for the first time that the owner of the Ghost Ship warehouse and the master tenant who ran the artists collective inside knew of the dangerous electrical wiring that likely eventually caused the inferno that left 36 dead. Any of them could have headed off disaster. None of them did. The chance that they will be criminally charged seems greater with the newly released paper trail.
Orange County Register: There is now a wealth of evidence that public charter schools, private schools and other school choice policies tend to improve educational outcomes, but a new study shows that they can have economic and community revitalization benefits as well.
Santa Rosa Press Democrat: California has a housing affordability crisis, and neither the marketplace nor government can fix it alone. A $3 billion bond measure proposed in Sacramento could jump-start that conversation.
San Francisco Chronicle: Neither Oakland nor Alameda County elected officials should have any regrets about their refusal to evict baseball’s Athletics or engage in a bidding war with public dollars to keep the Raiders in town.
Las Vegas Review-Journal: In an effort to save salmon, California and federal officials have in recent years imposed water use restrictions that have devastated farmers and rural economies in the region. Looks like the Oroville Dam mess may, in part, have been another result of their indifference to those human consequences.
Raleigh News & Observer: The Associated Press analyzes the cold cost of having the infamous bathroom bill, HB2, on the books. The $3.76 billion in lost business over more than a decade is staggering and points to the urgency of an uncomplicated repeal of this bad law.
Seattle Times: Give Everett Mayor Ray Stephanson and the Everett City Council credit for boldness. Inspired by a stellar work of journalism about the irresponsible makers of OxyContin, the city filed a groundbreaking lawsuit to recoup costs of the epidemic. City of Everett vs. Purdue Pharma is based on a new legal theory that – if it is successful – other cities should consider.
Michael Gerson: How to break the cycle of hubris and obstructionism in Washington? Genuine negotiation might be possible on an infrastructure bill and legislation designed to increase the skills – and deal with the dislocation – of 38 percent of American workers.
Eugene Robinson: The first thing that should dawn on President Donald Trump is that the warring Republican factions in Congress have multiple agendas, none of which remotely resembles his own.
Paul Krugman: Put politics aside for a minute and ask: What could be done to make health care work better going forward?
Charles M. Blow: The failure of Republicans to come together behind their horrible plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act – even though they now control both houses of Congress and the presidency – was a crushing blow to Donald Trump’s brand.
Trudy Rubin: If Marine Le Pen, a fan of Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin, becomes the French president, it will generate a political earthquake in Europe. Her brand of vindictive populism would have a toxic effect on France’s democratic institutions.
Andres Oppenheimer: A March 19 news report in Peru’s daily El Comercio listed the foreign presidents who had expressed solidarity with Peru after El Nino-related floods that have caused at least 75 deaths and left more than 100,000 people homeless. But there was no mention of the United States.
Tweet of the day
“$1.3b for #Tesla, $750m for #Raiders stadium. How can #California compete with #Nevada as the land of big jackpots?” – Bill Whalen @hooverwhalen