On behalf of The Sacramento Bee’s editorial board, welcome to The Take, your opinion-politics newsletter. Please sign up for it here. The Take will be off for the Thanksigiving holiday and will resume on Monday, Nov. 27.
Yes, even sweet potatoes are diverse in California. They may not be the most glamorous item of Golden State produce, but at this time of year, no feast would be complete without them. An ode to California’s 40th most valuable crop.
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Jack Ohman tunes in to The Charlie Rose and Everyone Else Accused Show. Channel surf it here.
Foon Rhee: If Sacramento offers cash for new jobs, it better hope automation doesn’t take them away. Amazing advances in artificial intelligence could make higher-skilled workers expendable. Maybe Sacramento leaders should think about that before signing off next week on an incentive package that could be worth $13.5 million to lure the western U.S. headquarters of Fortune 500 company Centene.
Joe Rubin: After ignoring warning signs about lead hazards at the Mangan Park gun range for years, the city of Sacramento pledged to clean up contamination. Contaminated soil was removed from the leafy park surrounding the range. But in cleaning up homes, the city has engaged in delay after delay. Now officials have employed a new tactic with a dubious assertion – it’s not their fault.
Joe Mathews: What does it mean to be an American in California? A new book by an old stoner, Cheech Marin, underscores the diversity of the Golden State’s cultural mainstream.
Julie B. Seymour: What more can be done for homeless people? A homeless woman says: It’s something just to be kind.
East Bay Times: For the good of the University of California system, it’s time for President Janet Napolitano to go. When a state audit revealed in April that her office was sitting on $175 million of undisclosed reserves, we sharply criticized her, but stopped short of calling for her firing. But now an independent report released last week shows how Napolitano and top assistants interfered with that audit to try to ensure her office was cast in a positive light.
Santa Rosa Press Democrat: When the White House sent Congress a request for $44 billion in supplemental disaster relief last week, it was the third such appeal the Trump administration has made since a series of natural disasters, including hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria, hit the nation. The request included a $12 billion grant program for flood risk mitigation projects in addition to smaller sums for small business loans and relief for farmers who suffered crop losses. But how much was designated to help Sonoma, Mendocino, Napa and surrounding counties rebuild from the recent firestorms? Zero.
Los Angeles Times: A decision Monday by the Nebraska Public Service Commission was supposed to settle the fate of TransCanada Corp.’s controversial $8-billion Keystone XL pipeline, which is designed to carry tar sands oil from Canada to U.S. refineries. But the commission didn’t give the company the green light it was looking for; instead, it approved a different and less-studied route for the pipeline than TransCanada wanted. Fortunately, the delays that will arise from legal challenges to the new route will likely make tar sands oil costlier and harder to sell, which means the market may ultimately do what the government should have done: Kill the project.
(San Luis Obispo) Tribune: Call us curmudgeons, but we have to ask: Why are inflatable Santas already showing up in front yards? And why are we seeing fully decorated Christmas trees in people’s living rooms? And, worst of all, why are people bragging on Facebook that they already have their shopping done and their Christmas cards addressed? It’s not even Thanksgiving, people! It’s way too early to be decking the halls.
San Diego Union-Tribune: In 2012, dozens of people testified at a U.S. Food and Administration hearing about how over-the-counter naloxone would saves lives and reverse opioid overdoses. In 2014, then-U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder called a spike in overdose deaths from heroin and prescription painkillers an “urgent health crisis.” In 2015, shocking research by Princeton professors Anne Case and Angus Deaton showed a huge surge in drug overdose deaths, with less educated middle-aged white Americans the most common fatalities. But for all the attention the crisis has received, a series of reports suggests that the approach chosen by President Donald Trump is simply too limited.
David Brooks, New York Times: Some now believe tech is like the tobacco industry – corporations that make billions of dollars peddling a destructive addiction. Some believe it is like the NFL – something millions of people love, but which everybody knows leaves a trail of human wreckage in its wake.
Frank Bruni, New York Times: Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake condemned President Donald Trump for his “flagrant disregard for truth and decency.” It was some speech. And if he follows it by handing Trump a victory on tax reform, it was merely that: words. Pretty, yes. But pointless in the end.
Dana Milbank, Washington Post: President Trump surely has no rival in trying to assert the historic nature of everything he does. A search of the White House website finds that the president and his team have declared their actions historic nearly 400 times in their first 10 months in office.
Ruben Navarrette Jr., Washington Post: If there’s one thing for which Americans should be grateful, it’s that we don’t have to depend on other countries for our food supply. If there are two things, it’s that there are still people who will do the hard and dirty job of picking crops – even if we have to import them.
Kathleen Parker, Washington Post: For White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders to require professional journalists to essentially beg for their supper, surrendering their adversarial posture like a dog commanded to Drop The Bone, is an infantilizing tactic. The effect is to neutralize the opposition.
Leonard Pitts Jr., Miami Herald: If you prefer accused child molester Roy Moore to a Democrat, how much must you hate Democrats? More to the point, how much do we all now hate one another?
“Perhaps Gov. Jerry Brown and legislators would like to explain their latest law that banned schools from allowing trained and permitted staffers to keep a firearm on campus. Isn’t this making schools more dangerous?” – Ken Sakamoto Loomis