Hearing on Russians can’t contain a toxic scandal about to spread: House Republicans may be doing their best, but questioning of intelligence officials show they’re less interested in the truth about Trump and Russian meddling in election than in tracking down leaks and shooting the messenger.
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A big step on ethics and transparency: The ethics code and “sunshine” ordinance before the Sacramento City Council on Tuesday may not be all that some watchdogs want. But they are a significant advance on accountability and transparency and are well worth approving.
Erika D. Smith: California is one of several states to consider so-called Blue Lives Matter bills, which would make people who attack police officers subject to hate crime charges. But someone’s profession is not the same as someone’s identity.
Dan Walters: California’s Democratic politicians have found much in Donald Trump to criticize, pledging to protect the state from the new president’s policies. However, they are simultaneously asking Trump for more money, which means they want the federal government, whose budget is chronically in deficit, to borrow more money.
Ann M. Ravel: Senators must evaluate how Judge Neil Gorsuch will review laws intended to protect the integrity of government and the democratic process – and the next justice could provide the pivotal swing vote on future cases about money in politics.
David Hochschild and Nancy Rader: Many of California’s pioneer wind projects are in danger of shutting down. Instead, California should promote the revival of these projects with state-of-the-art technology.
Anne Stuhldreher: It’s difficult enough for juveniles to get back on the right track after being in detention. Why make it tougher by saddling them and their parents with jail fees?
Take a number: $2.2 billion
Assemblywoman Susan Talamantes Eggman, a Stockton Democrat, has come up with a way to pay for free college: soak the rich further, with an extra 1 percent tax on their income. As The Bee’s Alexei Koseff writes, that would raise $2.2 billion, she estimates. She gets points for finding a way to pay for it, unlike Assemblyman Kevin McCarty, D-Sacramento. But we reiterate what we said last week about the idea. California is headed for tough times, if Donald Trump has any say over it, and there will be many other competing demands on the state fisc.
San Diego Union Tribune: When it comes to perhaps the drought’s most obvious lesson — the need to sharply increase water storage capacity — the Legislature’s silence is deafening. With large new dams and reservoirs, California could easily collect vastly more water every year.
San Francisco Chronicle: Treatment of HIV, the virus that leads to AIDS, has grown by leaps and bounds since the epidemic was at its height in the late 1980s and early 1990s. It’s time for our state law regarding the disease to evolve, too.
Mercury News: One public policy now lumped into the “sanctuary” movement is not new and should not be controversial: Keeping local police separate from federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
East Bay Times: Moraga school officials concluded that elementary school teacher Mildred Tang did indeed twice place duct tape on a fifth-grade student’s mouth. What else did she do?
Albany Times-Union: Most New York workers are not saving enough for retirement, but the Legislature can create a program that helps them. Five other states have passed legislation automatically enrolling workers in a deferred savings retirement plan. Unfortunately, Congress is undermining that effort.
Kansas City Star: Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa and Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota recently introduced a bill designed to pull open the drapes in the nation’s federal courtrooms and let the sunshine in. Congress should step in. The nation has waited far too long to see what its federal judges are doing. Meanwhile, live from California, the state Supreme Court streams its oral arguments, with Spanish subtitles, no less.
Takes on Comey’s testimony
Minneapolis Star-Tribune: FBI Director James Comey unleashed two blockbusters Monday during his sworn testimony before Congress that were as astonishing as they are alarming. Trump’s own mendacity, lack of impulse control and disregard for his own office have landed his already shaky, eight-week-old administration in a swamp of his own making.
Charlotte Observer: Monday’s extraordinary House Intelligence Committee hearing confirmed for Americans something that’s real and something that’s not.
Chicago Tribune: The part of this spectacle that matters the most is the part James Comey is focused on: whether Russian attempts to help defeat Hillary Clinton involved collusion with anyone associated with Trump’s campaign. It’s a question that, for now, has no answer. But this is a real investigation, and it should go where the facts lead.
Eugene Robinson: FBI Director James Comey confirmed Monday that there is an active investigation of Russia’s meddling in the U.S. election and “any links between individuals associated with the Trump campaign and the Russian government.”
Michael Gerson: Foreigners sees a Darwinian, nationalist framework for American foreign policy; a diminished commitment to global engagement; a brewing scandal that could distract and cripple the administration; and a president who often conducts his affairs with peevish ignorance.
Trudy Rubin: Washington should regard the black flags at checkpoints in Mosul as a warning signal. Even before the Islamic State is fully defeated, Shiite Iran is laying the groundwork to expand its deep penetration of Iraq.
Paul Krugman: This administration operates under the doctrine of Trumpal infallibility: Nothing the president says is wrong. No error is ever admitted. And there is never anything to apologize for.
Andres Oppenheimer: Traditionally pro-American countries like Chile, Peru, Colombia and Mexico are making contingency plans to build new alliances in light of President Donald Trump’s withdrawal from key world agreements.
“Look on the bright side, growers. Trump says that the actual unemployment rate is 30 to 40 percent, so there will be legal residents breaking down the doors to work for poor wages and bad working conditions.” – Yvonne D. Kinkade, Fair Oaks
Tweet of the day
“I hear Gorsuch had a good day. What if that had dominated the day instead?” – Rob Stutzman @RobStutzman