Sick of following Iowa and New Hampshire’s lead on presidential politics? Here’s an answer: A March primary would help any candidate from California (read, Kamala Harris). Leaving personal ambitions aside, there is one big upside: It’d be good for little-d democracy.
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Andrew Malcolm, McClatchy: How better for a showman to draw attention to himself than by jumping on the controversy bandwagon and sharing unsolicited comments with his 39.3 million followers, including reporters?
Leonard Pitts, Jr., Miami Herald: So black athletes have forgotten their place? Seems like we’re never going to learn how to properly protest, no matter how hard conservatives try to teach us.
Dan Walters, CalMatters: A law passed in 2014 complicated school districts’ finances in California, in particular whether reserve monies could be protected from an economic downturn. Now on Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk is a measure that would exempt some small districts from those complications and reduce their effect on others. But the old law should be repealed.
Russell S. Gould and Elizabeth Hill: California colleges are turning away students, say the former heads of the state finance department and Legislative Analyst’s Office. It’s time to rethink funding for UC and CSU.
Richard B. Standiford: Sustainable forest management is based on sound science. It thins out small, unhealthy trees, leaving behind larger, stronger ones that can better withstand fire, insects and disease.
Take a number: 51
California’s Department of Public Health reports that reported incidence of sexually transmitted diseases – chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis – is rising rapidly: more than 250,000 cases in 2016 in California, a 40 percent jump in five years. The state ranks 20th in chlamydia, 14th in gonorrhea and third worst for syphilis. Although STDs are curable, there’s a particularly frightful number in California’s report: 207 cases of congenital syphilis, meaning babies born in California with the disease, up from 35 in 2012. If not caught early, health officials said, syphilis during pregnancy can result in stillbirth or lifelong disabilities. Fresno County had the unwanted distinction of leading all other counties, accounting for nearly one-fourth of the cases of newborn syphilis, 51. That’s up from two cases in 2012.
San Francisco Chronicle: Score one for plain words in California politics. A Sacramento judge is stepping in to rewrite the misleading words that Attorney General Xavier Becerra used to summarize a gas tax repeal now making the signature-gathering rounds.
Mercury News: Trump becomes bully in chief with taunting of Stephen Curry. Through intimidation, Trump repeatedly tries to silence his critics and their free speech rights.
Miami Herald: The epic disaster that left Puerto Rico devastated has few, if any, parallels in modern times. Hurricane Maria flattened the island, leaving its 3.4 million American residents without the essential resources of daily life: water, food, electricity, communications, transportation, fuel — you name it, they don’t have it. Puerto Rico urgently, desperately needs help.
Biloxi Sun Herald: “Something’s not right.” That’s the haunting assessment of Angel Myers, whose daughter has a rare, terminal brain tumor. She’s talking about Ocean Springs, where two other children have died from the tumor. Nationwide, the tumor known as diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma affects somewhere between 300 and 400 people in a population of more than 325 million. So there are three cases in the immediate Ocean Springs area in a population of under 20,000. No wonder the parents are scared. So far, health officials have said and done little to answer their questions. So we asked the officials, too.
Raleigh News & Observer: Republican failure is a victory for the American people, particularly those who can’t get health care and have depended upon the Affordable Care Act for life-saving insurance. For no reason other than a burning desire to repudiate the signature accomplishment of President Barack Obama, Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina pushed on after a couple of miserable failures to repeal and replace “Obamacare.” But by the admission of leading Republicans, the latest effort has failed, and that’s good.
Dallas Morning News: Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is moving in the wrong direction by imposing new standards for combating sexual violence on college campuses. Exhibit A: the Baylor sexual assault tragedy in Texas. Other examples abound. A 2017 University of Texas survey found that 15 percent of female undergrads there said they had been raped.
Ruben Navarrette Jr.: Too many Americans are embarrassed by patriotism, take freedom for granted, lack empathy, don’t listen and can’t stop poisoning every aspect of society with politics.
Michael Bloomberg: Republicans should acknowledge the law that has enabled almost 20 million Americans to obtain health insurance, and start working with Democrats to fix its flaws rather than end its benefits.
Dana Milbank: Republicans reaped the chaos they sowed. Even after the protesters were removed from the room, the chants of hundreds of protesters in the hall could still be heard in the committee room: “Fight!” “Shame!”
Kathleen Parker: Rocket Man and Dotard go bonkers in Toontown. Nothing like real diplomacy or containment seems plausible. Indeed, one easily imagines the world going up in flames over an insult too far.
“The National Anthem and flag have brought tears to my eyes as I remembered people, some of them my friends and comrades, who fought and died for what that flag represents. Now, I cry for my country.” – John Paul, Carmichael