This is an updated version of an editorial posted early on Wednesday: If it wasn’t clear before, it suddenly became obvious how the Legislature, ever so progressive and always ready to tell the rest of us how to live, has managed to tap dance around policing itself against the most basic of workplace hazards: creeps who would lord positions of power over underlings in service of their own needs. Leaders don’t ask and they make it hard for women to tell.
Raleigh News & Observer: Most people have no idea what is meant by the arcane term “net neutrality.” But the Trump administration is committed to providing a clear explanation through your cable bill. Losing net neutrality means most consumers will pay more for high-speed access to all of the internet.
Markos Kounalakis: Between Donald Trump’s retweets of anti-Muslim propaganda by British extremists and Prince Harry’s fiancée’s dim view of his “divisive” and “misogynistic” behavior, Britain is increasingly seeing the president as a royal loser. Can this special relationship be saved?
Deborah Nelson: If Congress acts just on this lesson from the Tehama shootings, it could save countless lives. I know. Because of it, my grandson is alive today.
Gary L. Toebben: Congress has a narrow window to pass a 2017 Dream Act. Do it, California businesses say.
Jack Ohman sits at the White House conference table. See who’s not sitting with the president here.
Ellen Gray, Philadelphia Inquirer: Don’t shed a tear for Matt Lauer; think about the women. Not just the women who’ve come forward to accuse these men, but the ones who worked – and maybe bantered – beside them, and who lately have been left to pick up the pieces.
Dan Walters, CalMatters: Let’s say you are the CEO of a Fortune 500 company that’s under scrutiny by the Securities and Exchange Commission for accounting irregularities. And let’s say that when the SEC’s investigators sought information from other executives at your company, you insisted that their responses be funneled through your office and altered to reflect more favorably on your leadership. Finally, let’s say that your manipulations were exposed. You probably would be fired by your board of directors. That brings us to the University of California and its president, Janet Napolitano.
Assemblyman Travis Allen: Attorney General Xavier Becerra successfully appealed a ruling ordering him to tell the truth on an initiative to repeal the gas tax increase. This is now about the larger issue of protecting the constitutional right enjoyed by every Californian since 1911.
Raul Riesgo: A proposal would strip California’s water rights from private property owners without compensation and grant those rights to the environment and ecosystems, free of charge. It shouldn’t go anywhere in the Legislature.
Take a number: 6,719
Yet more evidence that the environment is changing, in deadly ways: As of this week, CalFire confronted 6,719 wild fires on the roughly 31 million acres under its jurisdiction. The average number of fires in the five preceding years: 4,719. CalFire reported this fact as the death toll from the October fires rose to 44, with the death during the weekend at UC Davis Medical Center of Michel Azarian, a 41-year-old engineer for Santa Rosa-based Keysight Technologies.
Los Angeles Times: American gun owners reported losing more than 237,000 firearms to thieves last year, according to federal stolen-property statistics obtained by The Trace, a nonprofit journalism site. That’s a whopping 68 percent increase over a decade earlier. Yet the key word in that sentence is “reported,” because an unknown number of gun owners never inform police that their weapons have been taken. A complete and accurate tally of stolen guns would seem to be a statistic worth compiling, as would a record of the makes, models and serial numbers of the stolen guns flowing into the black market.
San Diego Union-Tribune: Proposition 13 – the 1978 initiative putting a limit on property tax rates and how much they can increase each year – has long been ripped by critics who say it has starved the state of needed funding. But one Proposition 13 upside is rarely acknowledged: The initiative keeps retirees from having to pay crushing taxes as the value of their homes soars during one of California’s periodic housing bubbles. This protection also has a downside: It makes aging homeowners feel as if they are financially trapped in their homes.
Santa Rosa Press Democrat: Despite President Donald Trump’s many efforts to sabotage the Affordable Care Act, the pace of enrollment is up in California and the rest of the nation, an indication that Obamacare is more popular – and useful – than its loudest critic cares to acknowledge. In California, more than 48,000 new consumers signed up for coverage in the first two weeks after open enrollment started Nov. 1.
Seattle Times: Too many people’s journey to opioid addiction began with a prescription they or someone else received legally from a doctor. Though street drugs such as heroin and fentanyl are increasingly fueling today’s opioid epidemic, the crisis emerged from years of doctors overprescribing pills that pharmaceutical companies falsely marketed as less-than-addictive. Clamping down on the opioid crisis must involve cutting down on the number of excess pills cluttering the medicine cabinets of American homes–prescriptions that can easily be shared, stolen or misused.
Charlotte Observer: For years, researchers have tried to pinpoint the factors behind why the U.S. homicide rate had fallen so swiftly for so long that it was cut in half between the early 1990s and 2015. They recently found a missing piece of the puzzle: Everyday citizens who decided to improve their communities, without much fanfare, are among the nation’s most effective crime fighters.
E.J. Dionne Jr., Washington Post: The corrosion of norms and values began long before President Trump propelled the nation past the edge, and his own party is broadly complicit in enabling his attacks on truth, decency and democratic values.
Ross Douthat, New York Times: The most powerful liberal story about 2016, in which race overshadows everything and white nationalism explains the entire Trumpian universe, is an exaggeration of a partial truth.
Nicholas Kristof, New York Times: The American public is far too complacent about the possibility of a war with North Korea, one that could be incomparably bloodier than any U.S. war in my lifetime. One assessment suggests that 1 million people could die on the first day.
Megan McArdle, Bloomberg View: Republicans have shoehorned one of President Trump’s campaign promises into the tax bill: overturning the Johnson Amendment, which requires that churches abstain from political activity if they want to maintain their tax status.
Dana Milbank, Washington Post: Even for this phony populist president, who instead of draining the swamp stocked his White House and Treasury Department with Goldman Sachs executives and sprinkled billionaires and lobbyists across the government, the hostile takeover of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is brazen.
“Rep. John Garamendi’s op-ed criticizes legislation to improve air travel, but his facts are wrong.” – Roger Niello, Fair Oaks