Trump’s feuds, local cooperation and political patronage

Miami Herald

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


The Twitter tantrums from Donald Trump are childish and self-defeating. Once he becomes commander in chief, they become dangerous for our national security.

The Sacramento City Council and Sacramento County Board of Supervisors plan their first joint meeting in recent memory. It’s about time, and it should lead to closer collaboration on common issues.


Karin Klein: Robert Kennedy Jr. feeds doubt about childhood vaccines with his conspiracy rhetoric.

Dan Walters: Another union dues case affecting California could show up at the U.S. Supreme Court, this time with a justice appointed by Donald Trump.


Lisa Patel: The improvements the ACA has made to coverage, health services and our health care system have been profound. By prohibiting the exclusion of individuals with pre-existing conditions, 129 million people will not be denied health insurance, and 19 million of those protected are children.

Take a number: $21,600

Gov. Jerry Brown did not become the adult in the room without first being a consummate politician, which helps explains why he handed former Sen. Isadore Hall a plum in the form of a $142,095 a year job on the Agricultural Labor Relations Board. Hall had been at loose ends since losing a congressional race to fellow Democrat Nanette Barragán in November.

Brown announced the appointment Friday afternoon, after board Chairman William Gould IV quit. As reported by the LA Times, Gould said the ALRB was failing to help farmworkers, noting they are “disproportionately plagued by homelessness, diabetes and lack of health insurance.” Hall, who is from Compton, does take a lot of money from the tobacco, sugar and soda industries, all of which depend on farm products, few of which are grown in California. Marijauna, an emerging area of enforcement for the ALRB, is a California cash crop, and the board recently toured a marijuana farm. Weedmaps is a startup that will cash in on the newly commercialized business. Two Weedmaps executives and their spouses invested a combined $21,600 in Hall’s congressional campaign. Who knew Hall would become an ag industry regulator?

Their take

Los Angeles Times: No one likes to see the price of higher education rise, but if Janet Napolitano is true to her word and this money is used solely to improve the education of those who pay it, the price hike is justified. We agree.

Santa Rosa Press Democrat: We understand the decision by Rep. Jared Huffman, D-San Rafael, and at least eight other Democrats in Congress not to attend Donald Trump’s inauguration Friday. We understand it, but don’t support it.

Detroit News: The hysteria surrounding West Michigan native Betsy DeVos, fanned by teachers unions, is overblown, and much of the criticism overlooks the work she has actually done.

Miami Herald: President Barack Obama’s decision to end the wet foot/dry foot policy for Cubans caught the rest of us flat-footed. It has some unexpected consequences that will lead to unwarranted human suffering. The president can provide immediate relief – and should do so quickly.

Syndicates’ take

Eugene Robinson: Donald Trump sees dystopian enclaves beset with record levels of crime – ramshackle places that are “falling apart” in every sense. This vision is patently wrong, grievously insulting and guaranteed to ensure that the new administration’s support from black America remains minimal.

Paul Krugman: Rep. John Lewis’ comment that Donald Trump’s presidency is illegitimate is an act of patriotism.

Trudy Rubin: Whether the problem was Syria, Ukraine or the South China Sea, the task was to avoid the mistakes made by the Bush administration sending troops to Baghdad. Americans elected Obama because they were tired of foreign conflicts. But the premise was insufficient.

Andres Oppenheimer: A little-noticed paragraph in the recent U.S. intelligence community report about Russia’s hacking of the U.S. elections makes me wonder whether Moscow’s next step will be to conduct cyber-espionage campaigns to help elect authoritarian populist leaders in Germany and France’s elections this year, and in Mexico’s 2018 elections.


“Once again, the alt-left proves that while it demands tolerance – no, acceptance – for its views, it is unwilling to even grant tolerance for opposing views.” Mike Harless, Citrus Heights

Tweet of the day

“I have never even heard of Milo Yiannopoulos before. Yawn.” Matt Rexroad @MattRexroad