Wages rise, at last; Jerry Brown frets about the next recession

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

We celebrate rising middle-income wages and falling poverty. Finally. But a recession will strike at some point and take its toll on the state budget. So Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed seven bills that sought to give $300 million in tax breaks, credits and exemptions for the purchase of tampons, diapers, gasohol, animal blood and a plane for the Jimmy Doolittle Air and Space Museum Education in San Diego. We would have preferred that he signed a break for people suffering from the housing crash. Oh, well. We don’t have to contend with Matt Bevin or Pat McCrory. Get a load of what those guys are up to.

Trump’s takes, which defy reality. Again

Donald Trump, the birther, rolled out yet another theory for his Land O’ Conspiracies. This time, the GOP presidential nominee accused Federal Reserve Board Chair Janet Yellen of rigging (Trump’s word) interest rates to benefit Hillary Clinton’s chances on Nov. 8.

“It’s staying at zero because she’s obviously political and she’s doing what Obama wants her to do,” Trump said on CNBC. “And I know that’s not supposed to be the way it is, but that’s why it’s low.”

Well, no. NO. The Fed actually doesn’t do that, and Trump has zero proof to the contrary. He predicted that “the new guy,” meaning next president, who won’t be a guy, actually, would raise interest rates. Again, no. NO. Presidents don’t have anything to do with raising interest rates.

As counted by the Toronto Star’s Daniel Dale, Trump in that one interview made 13 separate unsupportable, racist or plain weird assertions. Some defy reality, physics, and other known properties of the universe.

Then again, they might all be in Article 12 of the Constitution, the Hawaii Vital Records Office or Two Corinthians. – Jack Ohman, @JackOhman

Take a number: $13.499 million

Republican financier Charles Munger Jr.’s hired hands and supporters of Proposition 54, which would require the Legislature to have bills in print for at least 72 hours before voting on them, visited our editorial board to urge support for the initiative. To our disappointment, Munger did not make the trip. Attorney Dan Kolkey, who wrote the initiative, explained why. “The story shouldn’t be about him.” Ah, but it is. Munger is the initiative’s sole donor: $13.499 million in cash and stock, so far.

Our take

Editorial: The American middle class got a pay raise, at last. Focusing on the bottom rungs made a huge difference for the less-well-off – and without putting a dent in top-tier income, which soared last year. There’s a lesson in that, as we claw our way back to where we were nearly a decade ago now, and prepare for the next recession to strike.

Editorial: What doing the right thing costs Colin Kaepernick and the NCAA. Like sports teams and athletes, some causes have more fans than others. Some are just more palatable to the masses.

Joe Mathews: Picking winners in our public education lottery.

Rep. Ted Lieu’s Soapbox: Congress should not be defending Exxon, which has already spent decades and tens of millions of dollars deceiving the public about climate change. America deserves a Congress that is looking out for Americans first.

Supervisor Patrick Kennedy’s Another View: Marcos Breton went too far in his Sunday column when he labeled Kennedy and Supervisor Phil Serna “AWOL” for failing to address concerns raised about the Sheriff’s Department.

Their take

East Bay Times: BART officials want voters to trust them with another $3.5 billion of taxpayer money. But they’ve done nothing to earn that trust.

Santa Rosa Press Democrat: The Sonoma County Water Agency’s plan for the Russian River balances needs for people and fish.

Lexington Herald Leader: Thomas Jefferson would barf at Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin’s call to bloodshed. It was one thing when he was a rich guy from Louisville little known outside Tea Party circles. But now that Bevin is governor of Kentucky, he really should think before he speaks.

Raleigh News & Observer: The NCAA joined an ever-expanding line of individuals and organizations – and states, for that matter – that have repudiated North Carolina following the General Assembly’s passage of the disastrous House Bill 2.

Charlotte Observer: North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory’s stand in the schoolhouse door gets harder with each economic and reputational blow the state takes as a result of his and the General Assembly’s legislation, HB2. Liberal Hollywood celebrities and San Jose-based companies are one thing. But now his political miscalculations are forcing the Tar Heels and Blue Devils to play NCAA tournament games out of state.

Syndicates’ take

Leonard Pitts Jr.: That Colin Kaepernick feels estranged from a country that has afforded him material success should induce thoughtful observers to wonder how that could be. Instead, we get lectures from blowhards on how rich and ungrateful Kaepernick is.

Kathleen Parker: Hillary Clinton’s deplorable basket case.

Ruben Navarrette: Latino voters play second fiddle to working-class whites.

Dana Milbank: Yes, half of Donald Trump’s supporters are racist.

David Brooks: Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are remarkably distrustful.


“Two teenagers experiment with normal sexual curiosity, foreplay and intercourse. ... After a year or so, one turns 18. Oops, now we have a criminal who will be registered for life as a sex offender – tainted for a lifetime.” – Jaclyn Morrison, Antelope