Opinion

Jeff Denham shows up, sort of. Trump is opaque. Devin Nunes ducks

johman@sacbee.com

Good morning. 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

Editorials

Trump embraces secrecy and loses public trust. The president isn’t releasing White House visitor logs or his tax returns, while issuing secret ethics waivers for ex-lobbyists. Instead of draining the swamp, he’s losing the public’s confidence that he will keep his promises.

Congress should fix H-1Bs before Trump meddles for real: The president’s “Hire American” line misses the point, but Silicon Valley’s H-1B visa system does need fixing. Surely Congress can make room for the next Elon Musk while keeping Americans on the help desk.

Modesto Bee: Rep. Jeff Denham wasn’t the only politician on the stage Monday night in Denair, and he should be grateful for that. Predictably, those who brought these issues with them didn’t like Denham’s answers to their questions.

Fresno Bee: Wednesday in Visalia, from 6-8 p.m. at the College of the Sequoias, critics of Rep. Devin Nunes will hold a town hall without him. The longer he waits to schedule a town hall in the Valley, the more pent-up frustration he will face.

Marcos Breton: UC Davis flag ‘controversy’ dumbs down our political discussion

Op-Eds

Hollin Kretzmann: Maryland’s Republican governor recently signed a bill to ban hydraulic fracturing in his state. Gov. Jerry Brown has signed landmark legislation to reduce greenhouse gases, but California lags behind other states that are aggressively saying no to fracking.

Eloy Ortiz Oakley: California Community College system’s Strong Workforce Program is producing opportunities for students to get into today’s jobs.

Take a number: 57 percent

On the day President Donald Trump traveled to Wisconsin to sign an executive order that could limit foreign tech workers, Carl Guardino, head of the Silicon Valley Leadership Group, sipped tea at Chicory and listed some statistics: 18 percent of Silicon Valley’s professionals with science-related degrees were born in California. Another 25 percent were born in other states. The majority, 57 percent, were born in other countries. If tech companies are to hire American, schools must educate Americans.

A few tables away, Marshall Tuck tapped on his laptop and picked at a muffin. Given an opening, he proceeded to list rapid-fire stats of his own: The childhood poverty rate in California is 23 percent; fourth-grade reading scores rank 48th worst among the 50 states. Don’t get him started on school funding. Tuck, who lost a race for superintendent of public instruction in 2014, recently announced he’s running for the office again in 2018. The Sacramento Bee endorsed him before, describing him as burning with energy and full of ambitious ideas. He still is brimming with energy and ideas, and the teachers unions still will oppose him.

Their take

San Jose Mercury News: When the CalExit folks announced their signature drive to separate California from the United States of America earlier this year, we said it was a colossally stupid idea. And that was before we found out the founder of the movement, Louis Marinelli, has been living most of the time in Russia. He’d even set up a sort of embassy for California there, courtesy of the government. No, this is not Fake News. We couldn’t make this stuff up. The whole thing, apparently, was a con.

Los Angeles Times: The world is on the brink of danger once again, with North Korea threatening further nuclear tests and new missile launches, and the United States drawing red lines and issuing warnings. These are the moments when steady leadership, careful analysis, wisdom and experience are of paramount importance. Campaign bluster won’t work with North Korea.

The Post & Courier, Charleston, S.C.: South Carolinians who had hoped Gov. Henry McMaster would serve as a moderating influence on gun-happy members of the state House of Representatives had to be disappointed Friday with his fulsome support of a bill to allow the open carry of firearms without a permit.

Charlotte Observer: Dylann Roof, who was given a death sentence for a cold-blooded shooting in a Charleston, S.C., church, was the catalyst for the removal of the Confederate flag from Statehouse grounds. He has also had an outsized impact on how residents view gun rights in South Carolina. But no consensus has emerged the way it did for the flag, which is why the state might adopt an extreme law instead of passing any of several sensible gun bills it has also been considering.

Syndicates take

Dana Milbank: For everyone who believed Donald Trump’s populist talk about tackling a rigged system, it’s time to recognize you’ve been had. The president of the United States isn’t going to drain the swamp; he’s become a swamp monster.

Kathleen Parker: Someone else’s secret urges or desires are always on the verge of display – and one-upmanship is the coin of the Facebook realm.

Ruben Navarrette: While President Donald Trump has changed his position on many issues, there is one where Trump and his cohort are not going soft: immigration. On that front, the administration is doubling down – on cracking down.

David Leonhardt: Our society, or at least the white-collar portions of it, needs some more downtime or reflection time. They are the route to meaningful ideas in any almost any realm: personal relationships, academic papers, policy solutions, diplomatic strategies, new businesses.

David Brooks: Thin institutions tend to see themselves horizontally. People are members for mutual benefit. Thick organizations often see themselves on a vertical axis. People are members so they can collectively serve the same higher good.

Mailbag

“Why does any deal have to have $1 billion of pork?” Bettye Grant, Roseville

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