Trump’s shill, Clinton’s emails and 60 days to go

On behalf of The Sacramento Bee’s editorial board, welcome to The Take, your opinion-politics newsletter. Please sign up for it here.

We focus on Apple’s new iPhone, offer a recommendation on a health care funding initiative, and couldn’t take our eyes off the NBC News presidential forum. If only we had stocked up on wine and sarcastic GIFs. The event – hosted, weakly, by Matt Lauer – was supposed to be a national security discussion. If only. Hillary Clinton spent half of her allotted time stammering, trying to explain her emails. Donald Trump appeared to be making things up, lying about not supporting the Iraq war. And he spent an eternity praising Russia and Vladimir Putin. And then there is the matter of Sean Hannity. Election Day can’t come soon enough.

Taking a stand

Michael W. Kirst, Gov. Jerry Brown’s top education aide, came by the editorial board to talk about the California state Board of Education vote Thursday on the state’s new accountability standard.

We seized the opportunity to get his take on three major education measures on the November ballot:

Proposition 51, a $9 billion school construction bond: “This system needs more money but maybe not through this distribution and this system. It has a lot of money in new construction when we’re not growing all that much. … As a policy design guy, this offends me. But maybe something is better than nothing through an old formula, the system.”

Proposition 55, to extend an income tax surcharge on wealthy people for 12 years: “I support that.” But he added that he would prefer a different way of raising revenue, either by local governments or by expansion of the sales tax to include services.

Proposition 58, to weaken a 1998 initiative that greatly restricted bilingual education in California. “You can have a curriculum framework that says what you should teach. That we have. But to outlaw the use of particular techniques in all settings in California, where you have 1.4 million students who are spread all over the state who are English learners, I just think it’s an overreach. We’re not smart enough to tell you exactly how to teach.”

We’ll offer our takes soon.

Our take

Editorial: For every exciting detail that emerged about Apple’s new line of iPhones, someone at the FBI probably got an ulcer.

Endorsement: In an election dominated by Donald Trump, the fight for control of Congress, gun control and marijuana legalization, Proposition 52 is an outlier. It doesn’t generate fierce debate. But Proposition 52 does make fiscal sense, and it is worthy of voters’ support.

Joe Mathews, Zocalo Public Square: As California celebrates Admission Day – we joined the United States on Sept. 9, 1850 – we should give ourselves an overdue present: A founding story of our statehood.

Assemblyman David Chiu’s Soapbox: Ask yourself: Should a college kid face an eviction lawsuit for complaining to the landlord or local code authority about mold in an apartment?

Casey Carlson, Another View: The Vergara lawsuit was not student-, family- or civil-rights driven. It was funded by David Welch, a charter school investor, and backed by billionaire Eli Broad.

Their take

The Mercury News: Parents need clear, comprehensible measures of how kids and schools are doing and whether achievement gaps at their schools are closing or widening. Based on accountability proposals up for a vote at the state Board of Education meeting Thursday, that is not the state’s plan.

L.A. Times: Proposition 58 would bring back bilingual education in California. And that’s a good thing.

Dallas Morning News: There is only one serious candidate on the presidential ballot in November. We recommend Hillary Clinton.

Kansas City Star: The closure of ITT Technical Institute’s for-profit campuses will prevent many students from taking on large mounds of debt for degrees of questionable value.

Chicago Tribune: Chicago is but a few days away from its 3,000th shooting of the year.

Jonah Goldberg, National Review: The notion that conservatives haven’t conserved anything suffers from a number of confusions. Exhibit A: Phyllis Schlafly herself.

Syndicates’ take

Kathleen Parker: Donald Trump’s anti-animal animus may be gleaned from his choice of agriculture advisers, which the Humane Society Legislative Fund has called a “rogues gallery” of anti-animal welfare activists.

Leonard Pitts Jr.: How to talk to black people in eight easy lessons.

Thomas L. Friedman: We and our kids are becoming the Noah generation.

Debra J. Saunders, The Chronicle: When horrific and ugly crimes make headlines, politicians like to seize the opportunity – to make their own headlines.

Take Sean Hannity. Please

Sean Hannity, Donald Trump’s chief sycophant and shill, is praying that WikiLeaks comes to Trump’s rescue by releasing documents that will turn voters away from Hillary Clinton.

No matter that they may come by way of Russian hackers. Hannity has a thing for Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, going so far as to declare: “I do hope you get free one day. I wish you the best.”

Assange is holed up in the Ecuadorian embassy in London, shielded from facing accusations of sexual assault. There was a time when Hannity was highly critical of Assange, accusing him of “stealing highly classified documents.” Now, they’re good buddies.

“I’ve softened a little bit on that,” Hannity said, “because at the end of the day, the benefits of what he has done outweigh the damage.”

Wish we could say the same for the Fox News host. – Erika D. Smith, @Erika_D_Smith


“Yes, folks, half a century has passed since ‘Star Trek’ premiered. I was one week past my ninth birthday, and thought I had found the greatest thing ever.” – Stephen R. Stapleton, Sacramento

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