Opinion

The Take: What if Jerry Brown does have an Act Seven?

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

Our take

Editorials

All we want next Christmas? Better work-family policy: There’s nothing like a holiday to underscore the aspects of life that matter – and to drive home the sad state of this country’s work-family policies. Raise your hand if you’re scrambling for child care this week, or know someone who is.

Is Sacramento finally getting a handle on homelessness?: With the seemingly endless cycles of hand-wringing, followed by political posturing and paralysis, it’s a rare day when there’s more action than talk about helping homeless people. It’s a rarer day still when the city and county of Sacramento are behind such action.

Proposition 47: A failure to learn history’s lesson: The stories in The Desert Sun, The Ventura County Star, The Record Searchlight and Salinas Californian are heavy on anecdotes, as most journalism is. But authorities and prison reformers should take heed. Pendulums swing. If the failure persists, voters will respond.

Columns

Foon Rhee: So far, community groups are getting more than their share of access to the city’s suite at Golden 1 Center.

Gary Reed: How does she stand there resolute, ready to accept an unknown fate? What strength and conviction she must possess.

Mike Dunbar, Modesto Bee: The state says its water plan will cost the local economy $64 million a year. Virtually every public official from Chowchilla to Manteca disputes that number, putting the costs at five or 10 times higher. The state’s plan will make water deliveries to farms unreliable. And when the state’s groundwater rules kick in, there will be even less water for farming – compounding the economic implications.

Op-eds

Paul Hefner: The feds may set back science education in California. The latest spat over student testing boils down to this: California wants fourth-graders to understand how using different energy sources affects the environment. The federal government wants to know how many can screw in a light bulb.

Daniel Weintraub: Donald Trump’s trade policies, if implemented, would hurt the working-class Americans he says he wants to help. The ideas could also trigger a global recession or depression that would make the 2008 economic crisis look mild in comparison.

Karin Klein: Often messy-looking, common as dirt, with little hairs around the spines that get under your skin and irritate you for what feels like a lifetime, they’re easy to ignore on a hike or a drive, except for those late-spring weeks when their lush peach-to-lemon colored flowers bloom.

Bill Whalen: This generation’s challenge is to turn the tide on disease and illness.

Take a number: 39

Based on census trends, Texas, Montana, Florida and Arizona could gain congressional seats as a result of the national nose count in 2020, RealClear Politics’ aptly named Sean Trende concludes. Texas could pick up three seats, raising its total to 39, while California could lose a seat (we have suggestions of ones we could do without) or it could gain one to have 54. Overall, Trende believes, Democrats could pick up seats because it’d be impossible to gerrymander lines to give Republicans even more seats. But Republicans do control redistricting in most states and will control the Supreme Court.

Their take

Mercury News: If the Metropolitan Transportation Commission wants drivers who use Bay Area toll bridges to pay more, its leaders should start showing they know how to responsibly spend a buck, or $5 billion that a $3 additional toll would raise over 25 years.

L.A. Times: The University of Southern California has a health sciences campus in northeast Los Angeles that’s home to the Keck School of Medicine and L.A. County-USC Medical Center, but it could be so much more.

Orange County Register: Long-term savings for residents and businesses and 320,000-plus jobs (and growing) make energy efficiency a valuable industry for California.

San Diego Union Tribune: Only Jerry Brown seems willing to jump-start the needed construction boom by weakening environmental laws to automatically approve properly zoned residential projects that set aside as little as 5 percent of their units as affordable. Instead, these Democrats heed the wishes of two of their most powerful factions – unions and environmentalists – who have long used these laws to extract concessions or payoffs for their pet causes or to block projects that won’t pay union-scale construction wages or are found unacceptable.

Raleigh News & Observer: The state has to understand it is in the business of justice, not revenge. And taking away a murderer’s life for all time by incarcerating him or her is justice.

David French, National Review: Two weeks ago, New York Times executive editor Dean Baquet told NPR’s Terry Gross, “I think that the New York-based, and Washington-based too, probably, media powerhouses don’t quite get religion.” Yup, and the tiny Twitter tempest over “the King” is Exhibit A.

Syndicates’ take

Jennifer Rubin: It’s tempting to blame President Barack Obama for Democrats’ plight. While it’s true his party lost ground in Congress and state capitals, it may not be true that his policies caused Democrats downfall.

Timothy Egan: Montana Gov. Steve Bullock is a red-state hope for Democratic blues. When the Trump administration starts taking away people’s health care, trashing public schools with a church-lady billionaire as education secretary or colluding with a Congress that wants to offload public land, Montana can offer a resistance playbook.

Paul Krugman: Corporate America is in denial about the prospects for a global trade war, even though protectionism was a central theme of Donald Trump’s campaign. It’s naive to assume that he will let his signature policy issue slide.

Nicholas Kristof: Encourage doubters of religious teachings to doubt the faith assumptions that often drive their skepticism. While Christians should be open to questioning their faith assumptions, secular skeptics should question their own.

Mailbag

Time to move forward on the tunnels project – Allan Zaremberg, California Chamber of Commerce

Tunnels will wreck the Delta – Dan Bacher, Sacramento

Tweet of the (slow news) day

“For the record, @JerryBrownGov’s office has no comment re: Willie Brown rumor that @SenatorFeinstein won’t run in ’18, will back JB for seat.” Carla Marinucci ‏@cmarinucci.

This was a reference to Hizzoner Emeritus Brown’s column in The Chron on Sunday in which he wrote: Gov. Jerry Brown, if he were to run for U.S. Senate, could be a big thorn in Donald Trump’s side. By The Take’s count, that’d be Act Seven, starting with the LA community college board, secretary of state, governor, mayor, attorney general and governor. Doing his best Herb Caen imitation, Mr. Speaker-Mayor Brown predicted Vlad Putin would drop by Trump’s Big Day. Like a conqueror inspecting the spoils, perhaps.

And finally,

Giving is a bright, shining gift in itself: There is no better time of year than this one to reach out and help a neighbor or a community.

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