House Republicans launch a petty attack on a smart rail project: From the Peninsula’s CalTrain to Bakersfield’s Bill Thomas freeway, we pay for public works because they benefit the whole public. So why are this state’s House Republicans undercutting one of the most important rail projects in Northern California?
Schiff rises, Nunes falters in Russia investigation: There could not be a clearer contrast between the two California congressmen at the center of a political hurricane. Rep. Adam Schiff is a calm and smart voice. Rep. Devin Nunes is first and foremost an apologist for President Donald Trump.
Dan Walters: California legislators have introduced bills to put nearly $12 billion in new state bonds on the 2018 ballot, but they’ll have to get Gov. Jerry Brown’s approval, and he’s become skeptical about adding more debt to the state’s balance sheet.
Ben Boychuk: In the hearing for Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch, Sen. Dianne Feinstein illustrated why the charge of originalism is hardly a condemnation and certainly not a reason to keep Gorsuch off the court.
Gregory Favre: We are experiencing a leadership by threats of retaliation and leadership that paints a dark portrait of an invasion of immigrants coming to destroy our country.
Allan Ides: Supreme Court nominee Judge Neil Gorsuch’s philosophy seems akin to the “originalism” endorsed by Supreme Court Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas. It pegs our future on the past.
Paul G. Mattiuzzi: The manner in which President Donald Trump spreads misinformation and misunderstanding seems to go beyond just the clever use of dodge and distraction.
Take a number: 0.05
On Wednesday, The Salt Lake City Tribune opined in an editorial that Republican Gov. Gary Herbert should veto legislation that will lower the limit for drunken driving to blood-alcohol level of 0.05, from what it is in other states, .08. The editorial warns that lawmakers were conducting a “scientifically sloppy experiment. And Utah drivers are the guinea pigs.” On Thursday, Herbert ignored that paper’s sage advice and signed the bill. In 2018, when the bill takes effect, a 150-pound man would exceed the limit with two beers, and a 120-pound woman could exceed it after a single drink, the Associated Press writes.
Meanwhile, in California, Sen. Jerry Hill, D-San Mateo, has introduced SB 698, seeking to set a standard for driving while stoned by combining low levels of alcohol with any controlled substance or THC.
San Diego Union Tribune: Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Tulare, owes America an apology over Trump briefing.
LA Daily News: Here come new machines to produce more change at superhuman speed. It’s being called the fourth wave of industrialization, a technological revolution affecting almost every industry in every country.
East Bay Times: The Lake Oroville spillway disaster has been a public-relations nightmare from the beginning, but DWR keeps making matters worse with its words and actions.
Charlotte Observer: Millions of working-class Americans enthusiastically supported candidate Donald Trump because they were convinced he would help them better share access to the country’s wealth. President Trump has spent the past several days betraying those voters in a desperate attempt to score a political victory.
Lexington Herald Leader: At a time when political and religious divisions are unusually inflamed, why make battlegrounds of schools? And who wants to be the principal who must defend the Campus Crusade for White Supremacy’s membership policy?
David French, National Review: We have more than 200 years of history demonstrating that our constitutional structure can withstand a great deal of “avarice,” “ambition,” and “revenge.” But even the strongest human systems have their limits, and those limits are tested not by tax rates but by human behavior and human integrity. We can fail that test only for so long.
Dana Milbank: President Donald Trump’s discoveries of seemingly obvious things raise two possibilities: 1) He thinks people are awfully stupid, or 2) he is discovering for himself things the rest of us already knew.
Charles Krauthammer: Two months into the Trumpian era and we learn that our checks and balances have turned out to be quite vibrant.
Eugene Robinson: Other presidents had comprehensible though illegitimate reasons for lying about specific things. Donald Trump often lies for no discernible purpose other than to pump up his own fragile ego.
Nicholas Kristof: The FBI confirms that we have had an investigation underway for eight months into whether another presidential campaign colluded with a foreign power so as to win an election. To me, that, too, would amount to treason.
Charles M. Blow: Individuals who were associated with the president of the United States’ winning campaign are under criminal investigation. That is an extraordinary sentence and one that no American can allow to be swallowed up by other news or dismissed by ideologues.
Michael Gerson: What about this particular accusation by President Donald Trump – that Barack Obama ordered the bugging of Trump Tower – was finally too difficult for the body politic to swallow? How was this different?
“California high speed rail can never be completed without federal funding and that’s not possible because the representatives in Congress can’t convince their constituents why they should pay for a California train to Disneyland that they will probably never ride on.” – Ted Hart, Rancho Murieta
Tweets of the day
“For seven years Obamacare has failed America. The time has come to repeal and replace it. #PassTheBill” – Kevin McCarthy @GOPLeader
“Who put $100 on the Freedom Caucus saving ObamaCare? If someone did it they are worth more than we are going to spend on infrastructure.” – Matt Rexroad, @MattRexroad