‘Alternative’ facts, tax cuts for rich folks and Mexico City Policy

Donald Trump, the CIA, and don't let the stars get in your eyes...
Donald Trump, the CIA, and don't let the stars get in your eyes... johman@sacbee.com

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Our take


Sorry, Team Trump, but there are no “alternative” facts: Asked whether he planned to be truthful with the public, and not knowingly spread false information, Sean Spicer replied, “Our intention is never to lie to you.” Which is not precisely the same as promising not to lie.

Obamacare repeal would give to the rich and take from the poor: While stripping subsidies for poor people, the expected House GOP repeal bill would eliminate two tax hikes on upper-income households. The top 0.1 percent – those with annual incomes above $3.8 million and averaging about $7.5 million – would receive tax cuts of more than $195,000 each. And the 400 highest earners, with average income of $318 million in 2014, would get an average tax savings of $7 million a year, a total windfall for that group of $2.8 billion. Is this truly what House Majority Kevin McCarthy, R-Bakersfield, and other House Republicans want?


Erika D. Smith: Pulling off the women’s march is one thing. Getting protesters to work toward a common goal of changing public policy is quite another. But emotionally driven activism must be turned into sober public policy, or “the resistance” to President Donald Trump will fizzle as fast as the Occupy movement did.

Dan Walters: A Republican-controlled federal government may be in conflict with a Democrat-controlled California state government, but legislators in both use similar parliamentary tactics to grease legislation they want.

Daniel Weintraub: Those who follow Obamacare aren’t surprised by the “alternative facts” controversy. Republicans have been misleading Americans on the Affordable Care Act for quite a while.


Ann M. Ravel: The Federal Election Commission is hopelessly deadlocked. It’s up to state and local officials to stand up for campaign finance rules if the Trump administration tries to roll them back.

Take a number: 21,700 million

More than a million people combined marched in protest of Donald Trump in Washington, New York, Chicago, L.A. and San Francisco. Equally if not more impressive were the 10,000 marchers in Helena, Mont., 3,000 in Wichita, Kan., 4,500-plus in Indianapolis and in many more towns in red states. Trump no doubt noticed, and reacted. On Monday, he re-imposed the Mexico City Policy, which denies family planning funding to organizations operating abroad that offer abortion-related services. Marie Stopes International, which operates in 37 countries, estimates that in the next four years, denial of the funding will result in 6.5 million unintended pregnancies, 2.2 million abortions, 2.1 million unsafe abortions and 21,700 maternal deaths.

Their take

San Luis Obispo Tribune: By way of consolation, we’re delivering a big bouquet of blossoms hand-picked in Santa Maria to Abel Maldonado, who is not bound for Washington, D.C., after all.

San Francisco Chronicle: Big Soda has vehemently opposed local soda taxes at every turn out of fear that they might ignite a trend. It appears those fears – and the hopes of health advocates – are becoming realized.

Orange County Register: If fiscal warnings were fuel, the bullet train might already be zipping up and down California, from Los Angeles to the Bay Area. Well, except for the little matter of track, and that hundreds of miles of it must be laid before the high-speed rail project can begin running.

Miami Herald: You could see it – you could feel it – on Saturday as thousands upon thousands of women from across America marched on Washington, in Miami, in Chicago and so many other cities across the country.

Detroit News: It’s not often that we get geeked about the arrival of new taxes and fees. But the hike in fuel taxes and vehicle registration fees that kicked in Sunday marks the start of what should be a sustained effort to improve Michigan’s infrastructure.

Kansas City Star: Republicans in Congress and President Donald Trump have talked about turning Medicaid into a block grant program. They want to send money to the states, with no strings attached, and let the states decide how to cover poor people who get sick. Kansas’ stumbles, though, show the potential danger in that approach.

David French, National Review: By now, we all know that Donald Trump will respond to every attack, so he sent Sean Spicer out into the press room, where Spicer proceeded to utter a string of demonstrably false statements. On Day One in office.

Syndicates’ take

Michael Gerson: Religious conservatives helped put Donald Trump in the White House. What will their role be going forward?

Eugene Robinson: President Donald Trump can’t ignore that protests were larger than his inaugural crowd. But it’s up to progressives to turn the weekend marches into a real movement.

Trudy Rubin: Donald Trump ushers in a dangerous state of disunion in global affairs.

Paul Krugman: Things can only get worse for the economy in the Trump administration.

Charles M. Blow: We are dissidents, we are legion.


Women’s March was an inspiration; Trump should pay attention – Harold Ferber, Elk Grove

Tweet of the day

“When people tell me “oh, you don’t want to see that” it tells me that is exactly what I want to see. Mr President, let’s see your taxes.” – Matt Rexroad ‏@MattRexroad