It’s still O.J.’s America. Nothing has changed: There was no missing the old O.J. Simpson on Thursday as he charmed and wheedled the parole board. And there was no missing us, glued to our screens, a nation as captive we’ve ever been to racism, sexism, celebrity, cheap thrills and famous dissembling con men.
Marcos Breton: The family of a Sacramento County sheriff’s deputy recently shot in the face pays it forward with an unexpected act of kindness.
Andres Oppenheimer, Miami Herald: Cutting oil imports or suspending U.S. exports of light oils would have a devastating impact on the Venezuelan people, who are already suffering from widespread food and medicine shortages. The action also would give Maduro and his narco-military elite a huge propaganda victory.
David Freed: Voter fraud is a statistical myth in this country. And my registration in two states is no more “fraudulent” than the Trump family’s.
Catherine Crump, Kate Weisburd and Christina Koningisor: Electronic monitoring isn’t kid-friendly. It may worsen the very problems that juvenile courts try to remedy. Rather than further rehabilitation, it often leads to jail for technical rule violations and traps young people in the system longer.
Jay Vroom: Follow science, not fear, on pesticides. Chlorpyrifos is approved for use in more than 100 countries to protect more than 50 crops. It is a critical part of pest management programs for farmers.
Erika Smith: Out with California’s NIMBYs and in with the YIMBYs.
Jane Kim: Four jobs in 10 will soon go to robots. Will California get ready, or hide?
Michael Tippett: Tired of Trump’s immigrant bashing, Silicon Valley? Come to Canada.
Erwin Chemerinsky: The cap-and-trade extension was a triumph of bipartisanship at a time when government is criticized across the political spectrum. That’s something to celebrate.
Joe Mathews: California’s policy battles this summer have boiled down to one big question. Has the state become a liberal bubble, or is it still an incubator of new ideas?
Take a number: 58 percent
After a presidential election with one of the biggest gender gaps in history, there’s also a big difference in Americans who say they are paying more attention to politics since Donald Trump won. A poll released by the Pew Research Center on Thursday found that 58 percent of women say they are more attuned, compared to 46 percent of men. Democratic women, especially those who are younger and have graduate degrees, are among the most likely to have attended a political rally or protest since the November election, according to the poll. Overall, 15 percent of respondents say they have taken part in a political event, with two thirds going to an anti-Trump gathering. While Hillary Clinton won female voters by 12 percentage points and lost male voters by 12 percentage points, she lost among white women though she did her best to play the woman’s card. – Foon Rhee, @foonrhee
L.A. Times: The marathon murder trial of O.J. Simpson in 1995 educated a generation of Americans about the criminal justice system. Amid O.J. The Sequel, why not take the opportunity to bone up on the nation’s sometimes mysterious parole system?
San Francisco Chronicle: Californians have a right to know the true source of funding on ballot measures. Period. The law should be straightforward and strong: The donors should not be obscured by money-laundering schemes or deceptive names such as “Californians for Puppies and Free Lunches” instead of the special interest backing or opposing a measure.
Orange County Register: California’s largest pension fund just posted an impressive 11.2 percent investment return, but don’t pop the champagne corks just yet. The excellent return rate, announced by the California Public Employees’ Retirement System on Friday for the 2016-17 fiscal year, is good for taxpayers and government employees and retirees alike, as it reduces the amount of risk exposure for taxpayers, who have to make up for any shortfalls, and helps to shore up a system that has struggled mightily in recent years.
East Bay Times: In an unfortunate turn, the U.S. Department of Justice has decided to soften relatively new rules restricting law enforcement’s use of asset forfeiture. While Attorney General Jeff Sessions offers some helpful modifications to the stricter new policy, the net result is still a setback for Americans.
Santa Rosa Press Democrat: If you went online last Wednesday, you might have noticed that several websites posted alerts warning about threats to net neutrality. They were part of an online “day of action” against a Federal Communications Commission plan to repeal rules that prevent internet service providers from creating fast and slow lanes online.
The (Colorado Springs) Gazette: With modest fanfare, the White House launched Made in America Week on Monday. We agree with President Trump that making things in America is, as he might put it, marvelous, lovely and fantastic. This country has a big manufacturing base, which should be cause for satisfaction. But that doesn’t mean America should close itself off to the rest of the world’s products just so more can be made here.
Michael Gerson: There are no benign explanations for President Donald Trump’s subservience to Russia, and the worst ones seem the most plausible. There is no way to venture where this approach ends up, except that it involves greater Russian influence and intimidation in Eastern Europe and in the Middle East.
Charles M. Blow: The country may well be saved from some of Donald Trump’s most draconian impulses by some of Trump’s most pronounced flaws: his lack of seriousness, his aversion to tedium and his gnat-like attention span.
Charles Krauthammer: There is only one real question. What’s best for Charlie Gard? But because he can’t speak for himself, we resort to a second question: Who is to speak for him? The most heartrending situation occurs when these two questions yield opposing answers. Charlie’s is such a case.
Eugene Robinson: Even with Russia investigations charging ahead, health care is still the main event. Keep in mind that this isn’t the first time the GOP’s gratuitously cruel effort to “repeal and replace” the Affordable Care Act has looked dead.
Dana Milbank: Congressional Democrats will roll out a legislative policy agenda, their de facto 2018 campaign platform. As important as what’s in it is what’s not. Democrats jettisoned social and foreign policy issues for this exercise and eschewed identity politics. This will be purely an economic message.
Nicholas Kristof: Dr. Trump uses his stethoscope to listen to Janet’s heart, and frowns slightly. “Er, doctor?” Janet says. “I think my heart is on my left side, not the right.” “Let me double-check,” Dr. Trump replies, and he hurriedly moves the stethoscope over. “Who knew health could be so complicated?”
“Thank you Shawn Hubler for your column about Texas. I was immediately enamored of the state when I read words like guns, dirt roads, BBQ, cold beer, Willie Nelson, Anglo males and God. But then I realized, you were actually lampooning the California liberal.” Dennis Gallagher, Sacramento
The White House claimed Donald Trump had “confidence” in Attorney General Jeff Sessions, a day after Trump told The New York Times that he would not have picked Sessions if he had known Sessions would recuse himself from the Russia investigation. Despite being skewered by his boss, Session “still loves his job and plans to stay on,” The Associated Press writes.
Assembly Republican Leader Chad Mayes was facing an uprising over his support for the cap-and-trade bill, and his political tactics. Capitol Public Radio’s Ben Adler @adlerben tweeted: “@JerryBrownGov told me this AM that conservative opposition to @ChadMayesCA is a form of ‘political terrorism.’ ” The Bee’s Alexei Koseff @akoseff tweeted: “As Assembly Republicans leave hourlong caucus, @ChadMayesCA says ‘We had good conversation’ and ‘I am still the leader.’ ” The Riverside Press Enterprise reported that Assemblywoman Melissa Melendez resigned her Republican leadership post, accusing Mayes of “dereliction of duty.”