Good morning. On behalf of The Sacramento Bee’s editorial board, welcome to The Take, your opinion-politics newsletter.
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A Labor Day salute to some work that mattered this year. Labor Day this year finds American workers anxious despite high employment. But the American dream has always required grit.
Jack Ohman goes on a listening tour with Sen. Dianne Feinstein. Watch the presentation here.
Marcos Breton: If President Donald Trump does away with DACA, it will more be than common sense that suffers.
John Gamboa: Legislators must reject prevailing wage mandates and bills that would increase lawsuits. Communities of color and lower-income households devastated by the housing crash will be especially affected by a continuing housing shortage.
Adrian Wong: Pharmacy benefit managers drive up health care costs by taking massive kickbacks from drug manufacturers – payments the companies recoup with higher prices. Assembly Bill 315, which would require them to register with the state and disclose the rebates and incentives they receive from drug manufacturers.
Take a number: 42 percent
If you need even more facts and figures for Labor Day, here are a few, courtesy of the Economic Policy Institute. While the stereotypical union member may be a white man in a construction hard hat, 42 percent of union members are women, 36 percent are nonwhite and 40 percent work in education or health services. In other words, they look like America and reflect our changing economy.
Los Angeles Times: In California today, a police or sheriff’s department could buy a fleet of drones or a set of surveillance cameras to monitor the community its employees have sworn to protect, yet not tell anyone – not even the local government. State lawmakers should pass a bill by Sen. Jerry Hill that would bring some badly needed transparency to the use of surveillance by state and local law enforcement agencies.
Orange County Register: The housing package recently announced by Gov. Jerry Brown and Democratic leaders in the Legislature will fail to make much of a dent in the problem, and exhibits a shocking disregard for basic economics.
San Diego Union-Tribune: When the president gave a speech on tax policy Wednesday, there was hope it would be substantive and smart. In part, Trump delivered, calling for eliminating “loopholes and complexity that primarily benefit the wealthiest Americans and special interests.” But his main emphasis was on cutting corporate tax rates at a time of record corporate profits – not on helping individual Americans.
E.J. Dionne Jr.: Remember all those stories in 2016 about Donald Trump being a different sort of Republican? It turns out he’s the same old trickle-down conservative, only meaner: He also preys upon racial feelings and anti-immigrant sentiment, which is often cast as part of his “populism.”
Timothy Egan: When normally sober and stoic scientists start draining the barrel of awful superlatives to describe a summer day off the Gulf Coast, it’s time to pay attention. The question is: Will this be our shared moment, when raging nature makes all of us feel small, vulnerable and petty?
Ruben Navarrette: Many Latinos and white liberals are outraged over President Trump’s pardon of Joe Arpaio. But those who have shrugged off the seriousness of illegal immigration are in no position to lecture the rest of us on the sanctity of the rule of law.
Kathleen Parker: Comparisons to Hurricane Katrina 12 years ago are intriguing, if one is fortunate enough to be hugging dry land. Chief among the obvious differences is the death toll. Katrina took close to 2,000 lives. As of Friday, Harvey’s toll was 46, and the figure wasn’t expected to rise significantly.
Leonard Pitts Jr.: A powerful new novel is a tripartite narrative, stories of escape as experienced by three children in three different eras: Nazi Germany and its persecution of the Jews, the hunger and repression of the Castro regime, and the civil war that that has turned Syria into a wasteland of blasted rubble.
“The author uses statistics to point out “our country suffers from a serious deficit in basic civic knowledge and that political engagement by young voters is especially low.” Why would she want seriously uninformed young people to organize voting and registration drives?” – Janis Hightower, Orangevale