Drought’s over, but climate change is still coming for California: Jerry Brown cautions that ‘conservation must remain a way of life.’ Legislature should get busy on infrastructure, water projects to prepare the state for more extreme weather.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to The Sacramento Bee
It’s time to do away with California’s cash bail system: Legislation by Sen. Bob Hertzberg and Assemblyman Rob Bonta would make bail more of a last resort. Defendants accused of low-level crimes would instead be assessed on their likelihood of skipping town if released pending trial.
What is President Trump’s strategy in Syria? He ordered a missile strike in retaliation for a suspected nerve gas attack. It may deter Assad from using chemical weapons again, but what comes next? If there is to be further military action against Assad, Trump must go to Congress and get authorization.
Modesto Bee: Many people won’t see the votes cast by Republican Senator Anthony Cannella and Democratic Assemblyman Adam Gray to raise the state tax gas 12 cents as visionary. Those people suffer from one of two misfortunes: they don’t live around here, or they’re shortsighted.
Erika D. Smith: It has been fascinating to watch people stress over the prospect of using “they” as a replacement for “he” or “she” for people who are gender non-binary.
Dan Morain: California Democrats, led by Gov. Jerry Brown, Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León and Speaker Anthony Rendon, showed they could count to 27 and 54, the requisite two-thirds majorities in the Senate and Assembly, unlike Republicans, who control Washington, D.C., and ignominiously belly-flopped in their ill-considered attempt to repeal Obamacare.
Bill McEwen, Fresno Bee: If you’re thinking Devin Nunes really stepped in it this time – maybe fatally so for his political career – well, not so fast.
Marcos Bretón: If America is going to war with Syria, then Trump must actually speak to Congress and the American people about sending young Americans to their deaths in combat. In the meantime, I’m just an American citizen who has no idea what his country is doing or what it really stands for with Donald Trump in the Oval Office.
Janet Napolitano: The University of California plan to advance solutions to critical issues affecting life on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border is now showing positive results.
Kristine Aubert: She dove into a world of water policy, and it expanded her perspective in ways never imagined.
Barbara O’Connor: Internet For All Now Act would support broadband deployment in unserved and underserved areas of California.
Take a number: 178
There were 178 suspensions for every 1,000 black students in California schools in 2015. It was down, but the rate remained substantially higher than for other ethnic groups, according to a study that is the focus of Foon Rhee’s latest Numbers Crunch. Schools are offering alternatives to suspension, and a 2014 state law carried by then Assemblyman Roger Dickinson and signed by Jerry Brown restricts suspensions and expulsions for “willful defiance,” a catch-all category that critics say leads to racial bias.
Trump takes on Syria
Chicago Tribune: No one, not Americans or any allies, knew how an untested commander in chief with a history of shooting from the lip would react to his first international crisis. He could have let his State Department deplore this with words and kept missiles at bay. He didn’t. Now adversaries and allies will have to recalculate.
Denver Post: The airstrikes and subsequent comments about the need to remove Assad have drawn American into this fight in a way Obama worked hard to avoid. Now that we are in, we need a long-term strategy, approved by Congress and supported by Americans, to stop horrors that we all share responsibility for.
Miami Herald: Russia and China need every public reminder possible of their unconscionable support for a war criminal who thinks nothing of torturing and killing his people.
LA Times: In February, Donald Trump learned suddenly that rewriting the healthcare laws was “complicated.” Now he’s learning the same about foreign policy. Let’s hope he can find a strategy more effective than his predecessor’s to help bring this brutal war to an end.
Minneapolis Star Tribune: President Trump made a bold and appropriate decision to strike a Syrian airfield with 59 cruise missiles in response to the Syrian government’s heinous sarin gas attack on an opposition stronghold that killed at least 85 people, including 27 children.
Michael Kroll, San Francisco Chronicle: I stood on a riser in the small room that extrudes from the walls of San Quentin State Prison’s oldest cell block and witnessed the people of the California extinguish the life of a human being. A man. A friend. We killed him by lethal cyanide gas, and he died slowly, straining to breathe deeply so as to quicken the end.
LA Times: SB 807 would exempt teachers with at least five years of experience from paying any state income taxes for the next 10 years. Here’s what isn’t known: Whether it would accomplish anything.
San Diego Union Tribune: The Legislature’s rapid approval of gas and fee hikes this week to fund a $52 billion, 10-year program to fix roads, highways and bridges was a welcome sign that Sacramento is capable of decisive action, at least when Democrats have supermajorities.
Redding Record Searchlight: We understand that the opening of a methadone clinic is not necessarily considered a shining moment for a community. But considering the the devastating impact opioids have had on families, businesses and residents in Shasta County, it's important to realize this clinic is a real solution for the reality our community faces.
Charlotte Observer: It’s no secret that Donald Trump hates criticism. It’s no secret he obsesses over slights, real and imagined. But crumpling up the Constitution over a critic whose name is secret?
Denver Post: Our tears for the future of the Senate behind us, we congratulate Neil Gorsuch. No longer just a judge, but now a justice. We hope his commitment to the law serves the nation well.
Michael Gerson: In one moment President Donald Trump did something that President Barack Obama could not manage in five years – to be provoked or revolted enough to act decisively in Syria.
Nicholas Kristof: Hillary Rodham Clinton is out of her shell, freed by defeat, and far more willing to speak bluntly.
Frank Bruni: Few of our politicians aspire to old-fashioned eloquence anymore. Fewer still attain it. Most can’t manage basic grammatical coherence, and they’re less likely to be punished for that than to be rewarded for it by voters who see it as a badge of their authenticity.
Ross Douthat: Donald Trump’s administration doesn’t really have many normal foreign policy experts among its civilian officials. What Trump has instead are generals. And it’s this team of generals, not any of the usual foreign policy schools, that seems increasingly likely to steer his statecraft going forward.
E.J. Dionne: President Donald Trump’s opponents and critics should put their skepticism to work in pressing for a coherence on international matters
Ruben Navarrette: In attacking so-called sanctuary cities, conservatives don’t have either the facts or the law on their side. So they pound the table. They oversimplify, contradict themselves and talk in circles. The issue makes them crazy, which is how they sound.
Leonard Pitts Jr.: If many of us were angered and energized over the Pepsi ad, comparatively few noticed as Attorney General Jeff Sessions ordered a sweeping review of consent decrees reached by the Department of Justice with police departments around the country.
Timothy Egan: Can a corporation also have a soul? If the answer is yes, that soul passed on to higher ground a few days ago, when Mary Anderson, a co-founder of the outdoor retailer REI, died at the age of 107.
Paul Krugman: The big question about Trumpism – bigger, arguably, than the legislative agenda – is whether unapologetic ugliness is a winning political strategy.
David Brooks: I worry that at the current pace the Trump administration is going to run out of failure. So far, we’ve lived in a golden age of malfunction. Every major Trump initiative has been blocked or has collapsed, relationships with Congress are disastrous, the president’s approval ratings are at cataclysmic lows.
“Although I am a lifelong Democrat, I am afraid of the Legislature in its present form. The passage of SB 1 is an example of why. …That we have a transportation problem isn’t the issue. The total arrogance of the governor and the super majority is the problem. The Republican Party or independent parties must begin running qualified, rational candidates interested in a functioning – and affordable – state.” – Bruce Hancock, Carmichael
And the kids win, too?
Politicians love kids. They kiss babies and repeat cliches: Children are our our future.
And yet in Washington, Republicans persist in efforts to unravel the Affordable Care Act, though their success could threaten millions of Americans who have preexisting conditions, as Tony Pugh of McClatchy’s DC bureau reports. It’s bad enough to cripple health care for adults who have diabetes, heart disease and other preexisting conditions. It’s quite another matter to go after children.
The Center for American Progress has compiled a handy spreadsheet breaking down by congressional district and age the number of people who have preexisting conditions. A review by The Take shows that 20 of the 50 districts that have the most young people, ages 0 to 17, who suffer from pre-existing conditions are in Texas, compared with nine in California.
Of those 50 worst districts with the most kids 0-17 with pre-existing conditions, 31 are held by Republicans.
Of those 31 Republican-held districts, four are held by Californians: David Valadao of Kings County; with 52,600 kids who have preexisting conditions; Ken Calvert of Corona, with 50,000 kids; House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy of Bakersfield, with 49,500 kids; and Jeff Denham of Turlock, with 48,000 kids.
Yes, pols love kids to death.