Intelligence briefings, Donald Trump and pickup trucks

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


Why Trump’s denial on Russian hacking is so dangerous: Whom does the president-elect trust more – the despotic Vladimir Putin and nefarious Julian Assange, or our own intelligence officials who risk their lives to defend America? The fact that we even have to ask that question shows how much the world will change when Donald Trump is sworn in on Jan. 20 – and how much more risky it will be.

UC Davis, Sacramento make a promising team: For UC Davis, having a greater presence in Sacramento could help ease the housing crunch for students in Davis. For Sacramento, having UC Davis around would help provide a shot of youthful innovation and a tangible way to diversify the city’s economy.


Dan Walters: Scarcely a day passes without one – or more – of California’s Democratic politicians denouncing Donald Trump as the devil reincarnate and pledging “resistance” to his supposed intent to wage war on the state. One example is Kevin de León.

Markos Kounalakis: During President Donald Trump’s first 100 days, it is safe to expect a series of surprise moves. Startling shifts will come from a White House pitching and tweeting new domestic and foreign policy directions. The world must anticipate dramatic geopolitical shifts.

Bill Whalen: Going into this new year, one of the nation’s three legs of government is fractured at best. According to the United States Courts website, 112 federal judgeships are vacant (eight years ago, Barack Obama had only 54 to fill); slightly half (59) have a nominee waiting in the wings. You can thank the worst Senate work stoppage since the Truman years for this. Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Kamala Harris will have a lot to say about who fills federal judicial vacancies in California.


Dorothy Leland: ‘Dreamers’ are American in all but citizenship and shouldn’t be threatened with deportation.

Claire Lipschultz: Sen. Jeff Sessions’ nomination for U.S. attorney general figures into my personal intergenerational story. My grandmother and I had abortions, but our experiences could not have been more different.

Gregory Favre: In 1976, Jerry Brown was seeking the Democratic Party presidential nomination and Mike Royko wrote that the governor was attracting “the moonbeam vote.” Royko later did a mea culpa.

Their take

Dr. Stuart H. Kreisman, Vancouver Sun: Carrie Fisher was a lifelong smoker who died at age 60 from a sudden heart attack. Tragic, but unfortunately all too typical an outcome. Fisher’s death, while very sad, can be turned into a meaningful public teaching moment.

Los Angeles Times: President-elect Donald Trump’s latest tweets about the intelligence community are especially outrageous. It’s time for him to sober up and take seriously the issue of cyber-espionage and the high office he is about to occupy.

San Diego Union-Tribune: For the good of democracy in the Golden State, here’s to hoping that at least a few lawmakers will ask Xavier Becerra if he will continue with the atrocious bipartisan tradition of state attorneys general writing language for ballot measures that is carefully designed to either boost or sabotage the prospects.

The Mercury News: Hiring Eric Holder shows California’s resolve to fight for the principles that have made us strong. But the state needs a parallel initiative to deal with the Trump administration and attempt to head off the ideologically nuclear option.

Miami Herald: The obscure business of lobbying in the state of Florida is being exposed like never before — thanks to a new House rule that went into effect on Tuesday. It requires that all lobbyists in Tallahassee declare how much their clients pay them. In fact, those contracts now will be posted online.

Lexington Herald-Leader: Kentuckians who have money — including the wives, daughters and girlfriends of legislators — will never lose access to safe abortions because they can afford to travel to less restrictive states, if Republicans succeed in shutting down Kentucky’s last and only provider of legal abortions. It’s lower-income women and their families who suffer when politicians intrude into decisions that should be personal and private.

Syndicates’ take

Michael Gerson: Trump and other conservatives are being hypocritical on Julian Assange.

Charles Krauthammer: North Korean nukes are a serious threat, but U.S. has few good options.

Eugene Robinson: What’s the deal with Donald Trump and Russia?

Dana Milbank: The farewell message Obama wishes he could give: “You’re welcome.”

Nicholas Kristof: The GOP health care hoax is replace and delay on Obamacare.

Gail Collins: Reality politics, starring Donald Trump.


The killing of an innocent coyote that had become accustomed to the hand of man is a growing red stain on nature’s tapestry. Dan Fong, Rancho Cordova

Tweet of the day

“The top 3 best selling vehicles in America are pick-ups. Question to reporters: do you personally know someone that owns one?” -- John Ekdahl ‏@JohnEkdahl. Ekdahl’s Jan. 3 tweet resulted in quite an uproar, and a smart column by Heather Wilhelm in the National Review titled, “The left’s great hillbilly scapegoat.”

I drive a 1999 Chevy S-10, proudly.