President Trump isn’t seeing the real California. Instead of inspecting border wall prototypes and raising money in Beverly Hills, it would be far better if he saw more of a state that drives much of the U.S. economy and met some diverse and dynamic Californians who are leading the way into America’s future. Read more.
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Jack Ohman takes a ride on Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s jet. Find your seat here.
Andrew Malcolm, McClatchy D.C.: The most bellicose president of modern times negotiates nuclear detente on the Korean Peninsula after his soft-power predecessor violently ousts Libya’s government but keeps his Nobel Peace Prize. But let’s not put the peace parade before the warhead. The invitation to meet President Donald Trump from North Korea’s ruthless dictator Kim Jung Un and the offer to suspend his nuclear weapons testing is a welcome step. Certainly better than a launch countdown. That’s all. Read more.
Dan Walters, CALMatters: California’s Republican Party hasn’t shown much political acumen in recent years, but it may be pulling off an audacious political coup, one that could save the seats of several embattled Republican members of Congress and potentially preserve the party’s control of the House. Exploiting the Democratic Party’s lack of discipline, the GOP is gaming California’s top-two primary system to potentially block Democratic challengers from reaching the November ballot. Read more.
Vivek Ranadivé and Christopher Lehane: Sacramento can be a great host for NBA All-Star game. A first-of-its kind partnership between the Sacramento Kings and Airbnb for a large-scale sporting event will make sure there’s enough housing for fans. Read more.
Tim Shaw: Don’t impose a water tax. A bill in the Legislature that proposes a drinking water tax on residential and commercial water users is the wrong approach. Read more.
Karin Klein: Schools are California’s biggest line item. So why are so many kids having problems with basic literacy? Read more.
Takes on Rex Tillerson firing
Daniel W. Drezner, Washington Post: The firing of Rex Tillerson was an absolutely necessary move for President Trump. The most important currency for a diplomat is their credibility. If they say something will happen and then they are overruled by their boss, it’s a problem. Read more.
Paul Waldman, Washington Post: Rex Tillerson is shown the door, for all the wrong reasons. Everything comes down to the president - his hurt feelings, his anger, his demands for loyalty and his bizarre unwillingness to ever utter a discouraging word about Russian President Vladimir Putin. Read more.
Mike Pompeo, Director of the CIA, will become our new Secretary of State. He will do a fantastic job! Thank you to Rex Tillerson for his service! Gina Haspel will become the new Director of the CIA, and the first woman so chosen. Congratulations to all!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 13, 2018
Trump’s new nominee to be Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, has not expressed any moral opposition to torture. His nominee to be @CIA Director, Gina Haspel, has done much worse (incl directly supervising the torture of detainees & helping destroy video evidence of those abuses)— Tammy Duckworth (@SenDuckworth) March 13, 2018
Los Angeles Times: Tony Mendoza resigned from the California Senate last month rather than face expulsion by his colleagues after an independent investigation concluded that he most likely engaged in a pattern of sexual misconduct involving six women, four of whom worked in his office, over the course of a decade. His resignation triggered a special election to fill the seat for the time left in his term. Guess who plans to run? That’s right, Tony Mendoza. Read more.
Orange County Register: In recognition of Sunshine Week, an annual celebration of open government, we call on the California Legislature to get more transparent about doing the people’s business. For decades, the Legislature has operated under a different set of transparency rules. Even as the Legislature has approved open records and open meetings laws for government agencies and local government, it has long exempted itself from those very laws. Read more.
San Diego Union-Tribune: President Donald Trump’s extraordinary decision Monday to block Singapore-based Broadcom from pursuing a hostile takeover of San Diego-based Qualcomm because he sees the deal as a threat to U.S. national security will be cheered by the Qualcomm executives who opposed the bid and welcomed by the 13,000 local Qualcomm workers whose jobs may have been in jeopardy with a new owner. Yet while Qualcomm’s health is vital for San Diego’s image and economy, big questions remain. Read more.
San Jose Mercury News: Rather than letting rain falling on the roof run off into gutters and storm drains, the water could be used to irrigate yards. But homeowners are currently penalized with higher property taxes if they install systems to capture the rainwater. That would change if voters pass Proposition 72 on the June 5 ballot. The measure deserves support. Read more.
Santa Rosa Press Democrat: This is a tribute to all of those who work with people dealing with mental illness, particularly with veterans who return from service battling post-traumatic stress disorder and other afflictions. In many cases, these health care providers are as heroic as those they serve. This was never more evident than on Friday, when a 36-year-old former Army infantryman walked onto the Veterans Home of California campus in Yountville and killed three mental health clinicians at a residential program for traumatized veterans. Read more.
David Brooks, New York Times: Chicago schools are cramming six years’ worth of education into five years of actual schooling. These improvements are proof that demography is not destiny, that bad things happening in a neighborhood do not have to determine student outcomes. Read more.
Frank Bruni, New York Times: In the Trump presidency, we lurch from one surprise, provocation and scandal to the next. Tariffs today, the execution of drug dealers tomorrow. Stormy Daniels at the moment, stormy weather all the time. Sameness is underrated. Read more.
Thomas L. Friedman, New York Times: We have a real trade problem with China. But President Trump is so weirdly obsessed with protecting “manly” industries like coal, steel and aluminum that affect our allies more than China, that he can’t be relied up to navigate the China trade issue in our national interest. Read more.
Michelle Goldberg, New York Times: Donald Trump’s education secretary Betsy DeVos strugged to answer basic questions. Like many things in Trump’s administration, this performance was shocking but not surprising. DeVos has never worked as an educator or a policymaker. Read more.
Paul Krugman, New York Times: President Trump’s trade ire seems increasingly focused on an unexpected target: the European Union, which is, for all its faults, a major force for peace and democracy. Why rush into a spitting match with our allies that only serves the interests of enemies of freedom like Vladimir Putin? Oh, wait. Read more.
Dana Milbank, Washington Post: If Betsy DeVos is the caliber of the top education official in the land, people could quite reasonably conclude that education isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, and they wouldn’t go to all the trouble of attending school. As it happens, this is exactly what Trump needs to secure the future of his political movement. Read more.
Ruben Navarrette, Washington Post: Irish immigrants arrived with nothing but the clothes on their backs, were denied jobs because of their religion or ethnicity and when they could find work, they did the sorts of dangerous and dirty jobs that Americans thought were beneath them. Read more.
Kathleen Parker, Washington Post: Hillary Clinton seems committed to a personal Groundhog Day in which she adds not new talents and feats of heroism but fresh targets to blame for her destiny denied. She has variously blamed former FBI Director James Comey, Russia, sexists, “deplorables” and, in a speech in Mumbai, racism. Read more.
Leonard Pitts Jr., Miami Herald: Some African-American activists have had it up to here with non-black performers borrowing the soul and style of Michael, Marvin and Prince. Singer Bruno Mars is the latest to feel their ire. Read more.