Jack Ohman Holy sees nothing but heat for Vatican Ambassador nominee Callista Gingrich. A hell of a cartoon here.
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Dan Morain: Assembly Republican leader Chad Mayes’ dared a mighty thing by crossing the party lines and voting with Democrats to extend the cap-and-trade program. It is costing him.
Foon Rhee: Would you remake an embarrassing childhood photo and put it on the Internet? Sibling photo re-creations are apparently this year’s mannequin challenge. Compared to a lot of what’s online, these photos are tame, even corny. Yet many of us have complicated, competitive relationships with our brothers and sisters. You have to get along as adults to pull this off.
Dan Walters, CalMatters: Belatedly – and only after they had lost control of Congress to Republicans – the national Democratic Party grasped the impact of how state legislatures redraw congressional districts after each decennial census.
Bill Whalen: The four first-time statewide candidates strike the right chords on jobs, affordable housing, energy costs and poverty, but collectively they lack several elements necessary for a Republican to even have a shot at being viable in California these days.
George Runner: Reforms by Gov. Jerry Brown and legislative leaders went far beyond the identified problems at the Board of Equalization and created two new costly bureaucracies. Lawmakers stripped taxpayers of their right to have their appeals heard before an elected board.
Dianna Poggetto: More than a natural setting, the American River Parkway is an economic driver for the Sacramento region. The sad reality is that the parkway is being destroyed by illegal campers.
Paul R. Spencer: County election officials should promote that polling places are accessible to voters with disabilities through social media and other outreach. They should also recruit disabled people as poll workers.
John Berthelsen: The question emerging from the notorious June 2016 meeting between the Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya, other Russians, Paul Manafort, Donald Trump Jr. and Jared Kushner isn’t what the campaign wanted from the Russians, but what the Russians want from Donald Trump.
Leo Wolinsky: In the Trump era, one party’s noble whistleblower is another’s disloyal leaker. A former top editor at the Los Angeles Times offers an expert’s guide.
Roy Rivenburg: Donald Trump’s tweets win Pulitzers for fiction?!? Sen. Mitch McConnell adds Priceline.com to Senate health plan?!! All the fake news that’s fit to be hacked.
Take a number: 32 million
The number of Americans who would be without health insurance under Republican plans keeps going up and up. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s idea to repeal Obamacare without a replacement for two years would mean 17 million more uninsured next year and 32 million by 2026, the Congressional Budget Office estimated Wednesday. That compares to 22 million by 2026 under the repeal and replace bill in the Senate that McConnell pulled for lack of support, and 23 million under the version passed by the House. As The Bee’s editorial board has said, the GOP health care ideas only get worse. – Foon Rhee, @foonrhee
Raleigh News & Observer: The White House dismisses Walter Shaub as self-interested, though it offers no proof of that. Trump clearly believes he can get away with anything and simply doesn’t care about even putting up a front of obeying ethics rules.
Kansas City Star: President Donald Trump’s Commission on Election Integrity officially began its work Wednesday, and early signs were not encouraging.
East Bay Times: BART officials’ arrogance continues to amaze. In recent years, they’ve tried to hide the true cost of labor contracts, and how money from a property tax increase would be spent. This year, they buried information about transit system crimes. And then they tried to blame the media. It’s the sort of press-bashing we’d expect from the Trump administration, not a transit district dominated by politically progressive directors.
Los Angeles Times: Carmen A. Puliafito, the former dean of the USC Keck School of Medicine, was a highly respected doctor, administrator and prolific fundraiser for the university – but at the same time, according to explicit videos and interviews, he found time to party with a circle of criminals and drug users who said he used methamphetamine and other drugs with them. Puliafito’s double life and his resignation last year raise troubling questions.
Orange County Register: California’s cluttered sex offender registry is too large to be effective and must be reformed if it is to be of any use to law enforcement. One of only four states to require universal lifetime registration for all sex offenders regardless of their offense or risk of re-offending, California now has more than 100,000 people on its sex offender registry. The California Sex Offender Management Board has called on the state to adopt a tiered system, in which offenders register for varying periods of time depending on their offense, history and risk of re-offending.
Santa Rosa Press Democrat: Bipartisan. Compromise. There are a couple of word that aren’t used very often any more to describe major legislative decisions in Washington or Sacramento – for good reason. But this week’s extension of cap-and-trade, California’s signature program for regulating greenhouse gas emissions, stands out as an old-fashioned example of Democrats and Republicans working out their differences on an issue of monumental public importance.
E.J. Dionne Jr.: As long as “repeal Obamacare” was simply a slogan, what the law actually did was largely obscured behind attitudes toward the former president. But the Affordable Care Act’s core provisions were always broadly popular, particularly its protections for Americans with pre-existing conditions and the big increase in the number of insured it achieved.
Dana Milbank: Callista Gingrich was nominated as U.S. ambassador to the Vatican because of one qualification: She is married to Newt Gingrich, the former speaker of the House and a major backer of President Trump. The nomination is also Trump’s beatification of Newt, who has done as much as anyone to coarsen American politics – and to pave the way for Trump – with his name-calling, demonizing and brinkmanship.
Frank Bruni: The Emmy nominations came out last week, and they affirmed not only that television is indeed enjoying a golden age but also that part of that is its juicy opportunities for female actors. In terms of gender parity, it puts corporate America, the Trump administration and the Senate to shame.
Donald Trump, to The New York Times: “Jeff Sessions takes the job, gets into the job, recuses himself, which frankly I think is very unfair to the president ... How do you take a job and then recuse yourself? If he would have recused himself before the job, I would have said, ‘Thanks, Jeff, but I’m not going to take you.’ It’s extremely unfair — and that’s a mild word — to the president.” That’s one way to say, “You’re fired.”