High cost of traffic tickets and tuition, and why Clinton lost

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 tuition increases make sense at UC and CSU: Nobody likes the high cost of tuition. But the 2.5 percent bump proposed by UC President Janet Napolitano is a modest and reasonable step.

A traffic infraction shouldn’t lead to the poorhouse: Decoupling the loss of a license from a person’s inability to pay a traffic ticket would be a smart step, as Gov. Jerry Brown proposes. And the state should study cutting the size of the fines and penalties to a level that people can actually pay.


Dan Walters: California will see a scramble if Dianne Feinstein’s U.S. Senate seat opens up.


Averell “Ace” Smith: Because Democrats and Hillary Clinton largely looked past middle-class jobs and other economic issues, their vaunted electoral masterpiece turned into nothing more than a flimsy exercise in painting by numbers.

Gerald Haslam: It may be time to reconsider the Electoral College system, since it gives a Wyoming voter almost four times the clout of a California voter.

Ben Boychuk: Maybe President Barack Obama’s farewell address didn’t resonate because it wasn’t really a farewell.

Their take

Los Angeles Times: Federal policies, existing and future, have untold intersections with the Trump Organization. As long as the Trump family stands to gain privately from the public policy decisions of President Trump, the nation will be justifiably skeptical of where their president’s loyalties lie.

The Mercury News: The GOP has yet to develop anything close to a better or even minimally workable health care plan for the 20 million people the ACA covers.

San Diego Union-Tribune: Will the Chargers have better luck in a shiny new stadium in the nation’s second-biggest media market? Who cares? Were the Chargers really serious about staying in San Diego? Who cares? Whose fault is it that they’re leaving? Who cares? This isn’t goodbye. It’s good riddance.

Seattle Times: Overdoses are Washington state’s leading cause of accidental death, surpassing car accidents. Naloxone, a drug that immediately counteracts the effects of overdose, must continue to be widely distributed because people struggling with addiction can only get to treatment if they’re still alive.

Charlotte Observer: We can’t see what’s in Donald Trump’s heart. We can hear what comes out of his mouth. He’s quickly making himself the butt of an old joke: How do you know when Trump’s telling a whopper? His lips are moving.

Jonathan Chait, New York Magazine: Donald Trump’s first press conference since the summer was a surreal exercise in the assertion of immunity from accountability. He painted a chilling depiction of politics not as an ongoing process but as a one-time event, settled in his favor by the presidential campaign, once and for all.

Syndicates’ take

Trudy Rubin: Rex Tillerson’s testimony at the Senate confirmation hearing for secretary of state offered some relief for those worried about a foreign policy meltdown under Donald Trump.

Michael Gerson: Members of Congress looking for leadership on the federal budget from the new Trump administration have (at least) two problems.

Charles Krauthammer: Donald Trump has not yet been sworn in and the honeymoon has already come and gone.


“A designated tent city provided right now, before the waters recede and the homeless go back to camping on the parkway, could be the first step in a permanent solution to the homeless crisis.” Carole Parise, Sacramento

Thiel’s take on Trump

If there’s a Republican out there who is feeling a bit of buyer’s remorse about President-elect Donald Trump, it’s not Peter Thiel. The Silicon Valley billionaire told The New York Times that he’s not at all worried about the incoming administration starting a war, selling out to Russia or otherwise destroying the country as we know it. He’s not even worried about his left-leaning pals in the Bay Area coming around to the Trump train.

“There were hedge fund people I spoke to about a week after the election,” says Thiel, who has been advising the Trump transition team on science. “They hadn’t supported Trump. But all of a sudden, they sort of changed their minds.” – Erika D. Smith, @Erika_D_Smith

And finally,

“Even though jokes about this story are a golden opportunity, I won’t do it. Not to say the story didn’t make a huge splash, it did. It flooded Twitter. We’ll keep you up to date as facts trickle in. We have our best researcher working on it, she’s a real whiz.” Stephen Colbert @colbertlateshow, avoiding the “torrent of yellow journalism” on the unverified Trump dossier.