Jack Ohman calls the Russian election. See his projections here.
The only ‘spectacular failure’ is Sheriff Scott Jones forgetting who he represents. Sacramento County’s sheriff Scott Jones told President Donald Trump on Tuesday that California’s sanctuary laws caused spectacular failures of law enforcement “every single day.” It was an epic pander, and though Jones claimed to represent “ground zero” of the sanctuary battle, he was actually failing to represent his constituents. Read more.
A green rep and an atmospheric river doesn’t excuse backsliding on water conservation and recycling. It takes commitment and persistence to make recycling and water conservation work, and Californians must all pitch in to make the state more sustainable. Read more.
Andrew Malcolm, McClatchy D.C.: Both U.S. political parties have gone through identity crises and internal turmoil before, though rarely at the same time. We’re living through that difficult experience right now with partisans at both ends of the spectrum happy in their fervent bitterness. Read more.
Dan Walters, CALMatters: This is an even-numbered year, which means it’s an election year, which also means it’s open season for political tricksters to ply their shadowy trade. Who are those tricksters? They are highly paid political consultants who specialize in dreaming up ways to lure voters into doing something they would not otherwise be likely, or even willing, to do. Read more.
Mary Kimball and Kathie Sowa: If the Sacramento region wants to remain America’s Farm-to-Fork capital, it must grow the next generation of agricultural leaders. Read more.
Ben Shapiro: Why downplay costs of illegal immigration if California is so sure of the benefits? Read more.
Stephanie Taylor: How an Arkansas desegregation fight during the Civil Rights movement influenced a California railroad man. Read more.
Takes on Facebook and Cambridge Analytica
Michelle Goldberg, New York Times: There’s still a lot we don’t know about Cambridge Analytica. But we’ve learned that an operation at the heart of President Trump’s campaign was ethically nihilistic and quite possibly criminal in ways that even its harshest critics hadn’t suspected. Read more.
Los Angeles Times editorial board: How many Facebook-fueled abuses need to happen before the government takes online privacy seriously? Reports surfaced this weekend about yet another Facebook-fueled abuse of privacy, this time by an outside company trying to manipulate voters on behalf of political causes and candidates – including Donald J. Trump in 2016. The revelations were both sadly familiar and newly outrageous. Read more.
Chicago Tribune editorial board: Ever take one of those silly personality tests on Facebook? All in good fun within your private social media group, right? Yes, unless information from a quiz like that was harvested without consent or knowledge by a political data firm connected to the Trump campaign. In which case, your private musings may have contributed to a “psychographic modeling” effort to identify and influence American voters. That’s the damning centerpiece of news reports about Facebook and Cambridge Analytica, a data firm founded by supporters of Donald Trump. Read more.
Does anyone believe @CamAnalytica CEO Alexander Nix committed the misconduct all by himself? NO. Others had to be involved.— Ted Lieu (@tedlieu) March 20, 2018
Did Jared Kushner, who hired Cambridge Analytica for the Trump campaign, know?
Also, why is Kushner still a Senior White House Advisor? https://t.co/k0k1lrKfIb
Takes on driverless cars
Leonid Bershidsky, Bloomberg: Voters should be asked if they want more driverless cars. This is still a world populated and run by humans, and we humans should be given more time to decide whether we want machines to take over our roads. The issue is ethical as much as technological. Read more.
Megan McArdle, Washington Post: No, driverless cars aren’t far safer than human drivers. To know whether self-driving cars are safer than the traditional kind, you’d have to know how many miles they traveled before incurring this first fatality. One fatality at these numbers of road-miles driven does not suggest, to put it mildly, a safety improvement over humans. Read more.
East Bay Times: Regional Measure 3 on the June ballot would help fix some of the shortcomings of our transportation network. It would raise the charge on the Bay Area’s seven state-owned toll bridges by $3 to pay for transit improvements, freeway bottleneck relief and improved bicycle and pedestrian access. While RM3 is deeply flawed, it has the advantage that it can be passed with a simple majority rather than two-thirds approval, jump-starting badly needed funding to help loosen the region’s transportation gridlock. The toll hike also would prompt more drivers to take public transit, thereby reducing pollution and bridge congestion. Read more.
San Jose Mercury News: Bay Area congestion is unbearable. Opportunities to make improvements for the entire region are rare. It’s imperative that voters in the nine Bay Area counties support Regional Measure 3 on June 5 to build transportation infrastructure for the benefit of all. RM3 authorizes toll increases on seven state-owned Bay Area bridges, raising an estimated $4.45 billion over 25 years for transit projects, highway improvements and better bicycle and pedestrian access. No better option exists to make this level of impact on what is the Bay Area’s highest priority. Read more.
San Diego Union-Tribune: When Toni Atkins takes over as California Senate president pro tempore on Wednesday, she will become the first woman and first openly gay Senate leader in state history, and only the third person to lead both the Assembly and the Senate. These accomplishments deserve their due, and Atkins is about to enter the pantheon of the city’s most storied political leaders. Read more.
Santa Rosa Press Democrat: For most voters, Proposition 64 posed a simple question: Should adults be allows to use marijuana for recreational purposes? But the transition was never going to be simple. Here in California, state and local lawmakers still are debating, among other things, tax rates, licensing and distribution rules, security measures and banking options for an all-cash industry, labeling and marketing regulations and where to allow retail sales. They’re all important issues, but there’s another that deserves top priority: public safety. Read more.
(South Florida) Sun-Sentinel: When you consider the cold-blooded way in which he massacred 17 students and staff at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland – shooting some of them again and again, even once they were down – it’s hard not to look at Nikolas Cruz and wish Florida still had Old Sparky so we could say: Fry him. Yet for their sake, and that of our community, we encourage the injured and the victims’ families to seriously consider the offer on the table from Broward Public Defender Howard Finkelstein. Let Cruz plead guilty and be sentenced to 34 life terms with no possibility of parole. Read more.
St. Louis Post-Dispatch: The new and bewildering policies of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement seem more aimed at punishing harmless people simply for being in this country illegally, as opposed to going after the truly bad people who deserve to be removed. The ordeals of two families, one in Missouri and the other in Kansas, put a human face on ICE’s inhumane crackdown. Read more.
Dana Milbank, Washington Post: Ryan Zinke, President Donald Trump’s secretary of the interior, has inspired a half-dozen ongoing investigations into his travel expenses, his blending of official business with political activities and personal pleasure, and his whimsical management of a 70,000-person, 500 million-acre agency. Read more.
Ruben Navarrette Jr., Washington Post: Two immigrants died in a car crash fleeing Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents. This dreadful story could have been avoided if the ICE agents were better at their jobs. They weren’t after Santo Hilario Garcia, only someone who looked like him. That’s understandable. In these dark days of fear and loathing, all Latino immigrants look alike. Read more.
Kathleen Parker, Washington Post: One area where women remain underrepresented is in state legislatures, governor’s offices and the Congress, the final frontiers for the battles that matter most. If intentions become reality in November, then 2018 really may be the Year of the Woman. And to whom should we pay homage? None other than President Donald Trump. Read more.
Leonard Pitts Jr., Miami Herald: When teenagers left the campus of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High in Parkland alive – something 17 of their classmates and teachers did not do – they pulled out their cellphones and got to work. The latest results of that work will coalesce in Saturday’s “March For Our Lives” in Washington. Read more.
Catherine Rampell, Washington Post: Unlike with toys or televisions, the United States sells much more higher education to the rest of the world than we buy from it. In fact, the United States hosts the largest number of international students worldwide. More than twice as many foreign students come here as we send abroad. Read more.
Tweets of the day
An American president does not lead the Free World by congratulating dictators on winning sham elections. And by doing so with Vladimir Putin, President Trump insulted every Russian citizen who was denied the right to vote in a free and fair election. https://t.co/lcQTBi7CA1— John McCain (@SenJohnMcCain) March 20, 2018
Technically I didn't sleep with the POTUS 12 years ago. There was no sleeping (hehe) and he was just a goofy reality TV star. But I digress...People DO care that he lied about it, had me bullied, broke laws to cover it up, etc. And PS...I am NOT going anywhere. xoxoxo https://t.co/Js9sEnanIk— Stormy Daniels (@StormyDaniels) March 20, 2018