Flood control, hasty confirmations, the 9th Circuit and mom jeans

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


Floods don’t know party labels, as Trump must come to understand: There would be little reason for Donald Trump, a New Yorker, to know much about Sacramento’s history. And infrastructure – such a dreary word – is not the stuff of cable news or Twitter. But as we who live in the region understand, Sacramento is the most flood-prone American big city not called New Orleans.

Why the rush on Donald Trump’s Cabinet picks? His team and Senate Republicans are pushing nominees through confirmation hearings this week without enough time for questions and without some nominees having completed ethics reviews.


Erika D. Smith: The latest example of such cringeworthiness is coming from the boomer-led Greater Sacramento Economic Council. Last week, the organization released a marketing video in an attempt to sell our city to mobile young professionals and up-and-coming creatives.

Dan Walters: One of the more interesting – as well as significant – episodes in Capitol lore occurred in the early 1970s when redrawing legislative districts imperiled a long-serving state senator, Randolph Collier. He and his Assembly counterpart – Willie Brown for many years – would secretly write a budget each year and present it as a fait accompli.

Daniel Weintraub: Donald Trump’s assurances given during the campaign and after the election put him on a collision course with Republican leaders in Congress, including Rep. Tom Price, the Georgia congressman the president-elect has tapped to be his secretary of health and human services.


Brian K. Landsberg: The American people have expressed a strong commitment to the cause of racial justice. As the U.S. Senate exercises its duty to advise and consent, it must assure itself that Sen. Jeff Sessions will interpret and enforce these laws to promote that commitment.

Take a number: 4

Presidents’ Supreme Court appointees are among their most lasting legacies. So it will be when Donald Trump nominates a replacement for late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, assuming that individual is confirmed. Trump will also help shape the law in the western United States when he fills four openings on the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The bulk of the law gets made in the circuit courts. Because Democratic presidents have appointed 18 of the 25 sitting judges in the 9th Circuit, the San Francisco-based court has the reputation for skewing liberal. An article on the conservative Breitbart site claims liberals are in a panic about whom Trump might appoint. But The Recorder offers a smart and sober analysis, noting that “perhaps all the hand-wringing by court watchers on the left – and the salivating by those on the right – is a bit premature.” Here’s to hope.

Their take

San Francisco Chronicle: Despite the weekend monsoon, it’s way too early to declare an end to California’s drought.

Redding Record Searchlight: The University of California shouldn’t raise tuition until it cuts administrative fat.

Los Angeles Times: The U.S. Border Patrol has made noticeable improvements in use of force and in public accountability. Will those advances in the Obama administration continue under Donald Trump?

Biloxi Sun Herald: Equal pay has come to be known as a Democratic or liberal issue. It shouldn’t be. Equal pay shouldn’t even be an issue. Equal pay should be a reality. The Mississippi Legislature can help make it a reality.

Chicago Tribune: Republicans run the risk of health care chaos if they end Obamacare without a real plan to replace it.

Boston Globe: Massachusetts doctors are rethinking their opposition to aid-in-dying laws, as did the California Medical Society before the Golden State passed its law. So should the rest of Massachusetts.

Salt Lake City Tribune: Utah Gov. Gary Herbert should stick to his convictions and be ready to veto the next attempt by anyone in the Utah Legislature to eviscerate the state’s concealed carry law by removing the requirement for a permit.

Syndicates take

Eugene Robinson: We cannot ignore Donald Trump’s vitriolic tweet storms. No, we should not let them distract us from other news about the incoming administration. But the Twitter rants offer a glimpse into Trump’s psyche, and it’s not pretty.

Michael Gerson: Donald Trump’s inaugural speech needs to turn a rhetorical corner. He must define “greatness” not as a past condition, but as a current mission.

Paul Krugman: The Republicans are going to blow up the deficit mainly by cutting taxes on the wealthy. And that won’t do anything significant to boost the economy or create jobs. In fact, by crowding out investment it will somewhat reduce long-term economic growth.

Trudy Rubin: Why on earth would President-elect Donald Trump side with an anti-American, former KGB colonel over his own intelligence community?


“I voted for the water bond and wonder if any of the $7 billion is being used to capture this bounty.” – Paul Kronenberg, Elk Grove

Tweets of the day

Meryl Streep, one of the most over-rated actresses in Hollywood, doesn’t know me but attacked last night at the Golden Globes. She is a..…

“Hillary flunky who lost big. For the 100th time, I never “mocked” a disabled reporter (would never do that) but simply showed him.......

 ‘groveling’ when he totally changed a 16 year old story that he had written in order to make me look bad. Just more very dishonest media! – Donald J. Trump ‏@realDonaldTrump

Donald Trump called Meryl Streep one of his favorite actresses in 2015 vntyfr.com/jCUdyha” – Vanity Fair @VanityFair

“Trump’s response to Meryl Streep – childish, churlish, petulant – is exactly why most Americans fear his presidency. Emtoionally unqualified.” Stephen King ‏@StephenKing