Good morning. On behalf of The Sacramento Bee’s editorial board, welcome to The Take, your opinion-politics newsletter.
Republicans Jeff Denham and David Valadao stand up for “Dreamers.” The two congressmen from the Central Valley signed a letter urging President Trump to preserve the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which protects about 216,000 young people in California from deportation.
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Bill Whalen: Sen. Dianne Feinstein should seek another six-year term until, maybe, someone with her gravitas comes along. Sen. Kamala Harris, in her first year in Washington, is already a hot topic of presidential speculation. Yet at times, the junior senator seemingly left her heart and her intellect in San Francisco.
Andres Oppenheimer, Miami Herald: Where’s the world outrage over Cuba’s dictatorship? Latin American leaders denounce Venezuela. But when it comes to Cuba, they all seem to look the other way.
Chester “Chip” Davis Jr.: In 2016, generic drug savings totaled $4 billion for Medicaid. Sen. Ed Hernandez’s legislation would threaten those savings.
Art Pulaski: Despite gains by unions, workers’ real incomes have fallen over the last several decades and the gap between worker and CEO pay is now a chasm. This Labor Day, let’s remember the value of work.
Robbie Hunter: Prevailing wage laws didn’t cause California’s housing crisis. Attacks on them are just about greed.
Yvonne R. Walker: Labor has been strong in California. But Janus v. AFSCME, which could dramatically weaken public sector unions, is about to put that unity to the test.
Rob Lapsley: Public employee jobs are the new middle class here. But taxes that could go to education and training now go to union demands. California’s economy depends on the future, but labor here is stuck in the past.
Tom Manzo: An obscure labor law has left small businesses and even unions open to frivolous “PAGA” lawsuits. This isn’t a partisan issue. Even unions have been hit.
Los Angeles Times: California state law guarantees that new parents, biological or adoptive, can take 12 weeks off from work to care for their babies without worrying about losing their health care or having a job when they are ready to come back. But here’s the catch: These benefits are available only to parents who happen to work for a company that employs 50 or more people within a 75-mile radius. That’s about 41 pecent of the state’s workforce.
Orange County Register: Amid a concerted campaign by teachers unions to undermine school choice, national support for charter schools has taken a hit. Teachers unions across the country have sought to use President Trump’s and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’ support for charters and school choice as reason enough to oppose them. In California, the California Teachers Union has launched a campaign called Kids Not Profits, predicated entirely on smearing charters as fundamentally about corporate profits rather than education.
San Francisco Chronicle: In a Monday ruling, the California Supreme Court potentially removed a serious and long-standing obstacle to new local taxes. In a 5-2 decision, the justices stated that Proposition 218, which was passed in 1996 and requires two-thirds of voters to approve special local taxes, only applies to measures proposed by government officials. Local voter initiatives for such taxes and fees are different. There’s no immediate consensus on the full impact of the decision yet, but it could be momentous. It’s possible that the decision could open the door for different treatment of citizen initiatives, such as only requiring a simple majority for approval.
San Jose Mercury News: President Donald Trump has taken a monumentally bad idea and made it worse by shrouding it in secrecy. The president should let go of his misguided notion that reducing the size of three or more national monuments would benefit the nation by opening them up to logging, grazing and oil and gas drilling. The potential damage to national treasures is immense, while the economic gains are seen by a majority of economists as minimal, at best.
Michael Gerson: Arizona’s ‘Flake primary’ will reveal much about Trump’s political influence. Pro-Trump forces are wiping the drool off their ties while contemplating a humiliating primary defeat for Trump critic Jeff Flake.
Nicholas Kristof: Two million children in Yemen are malnourished, caught up in what the United Nations calls the “world’s largest humanitarian crisis.” Their suffering is largely a result of monstrous misconduct by a Saudi-led coalition that is supported by the United States and Britain.
Dana Milbank: Harvey makes landfall in Washington as soon as next week, when President Donald Trump is expected to ask for what could be tens of billions of dollars in storm relief. And paying for storm recovery will be but the first blow to fiscal discipline in what looks to be a particularly active, and calamitous, spending season.
Eugene Robinson: Donald Trump’s longtime personal lawyer emailed Vladimir Putin’s personal spokesman to seeking help from the Kremlin on a deal to build a Trump Tower in Moscow. While most attention was rightly focused on the devastating flood in Houston, there was quite a bit of news on the Russia front – all of it, from Trump’s perspective, quite bad.
“Can the president do anything right? Can he not fly to the biggest disaster in our country's history, get his feet wet, meet with displaced families, thank the volunteers and be what most of the people in the United States want him to be? … Some genuine compassion at this time would go along way, even for our president.” – Ronald Beams, Sacramento
Tweet of the day
“Message of the #GOP to minorities. Please join our party. We love you, we really do. But first we need to deport your children. #DACA” – U.S. Rep Ted Lieu @tedlieu