Opinion

A killing in Fresno, impending executions in Arkansas, and Bill O’Reilly’s departure

Sacramento

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.

Jack Ohman compares missile crises. See the full cartoon.

Our take

Editorials

No fan of marijuana legalization, Jerry Brown offers partly baked regulation: Gov. Jerry Brown’s proposal to implement the 2016 marijuana legalization initiative is a work in progress, raising serious questions about inspections, taxation, licensing, disclosure to consumers about pesticide use and more.

What really cost Bill O’Reilly his job: It would be satisfying to imagine Fox News found its conscience Wednesday, firing O’Reilly because sexual harassment was intolerable there, or because they’d had it with his smearing and belittling of decent people. But that’s not how it works, even on TV.

Columns

Foon Rhee: Arkansas is planning to execute five inmates before the end of April. California has the biggest death row in the nation, and voters called in November for speeding up executions. Are Californians ready for frequent executions?

Bill McEwen, The Fresno Bee: This is a time to hold family members tight, and to support those who lost loved ones at the hands of confessed killer Kori Ali Muhammad. Shame on those who are spinning this tragic event to fit their agenda before the victims are remembered, wept over and respectfully laid to rest. And before Fresno police and the FBI have investigated Muhammad and shared their findings.

Op-Eds

Reuven H. Taff: While Roger Waters has the First Amendment right to express his views, the concert stage in Sacramento is the wrong venue.

Roger Niello: You will not hear that businesses in California should have no regulations, but in in this state we carry the excessive burden on business to an art form.

Take a number: 66 percent

That’s the percentage of California public school parents who support tax-funded vouchers that can be used at public, private and parochial schools. And 60 percent of all adults favor that, according to a new Public Policy Institute of California poll. That should be welcome news to new U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, a champion of school choice.

Also, 69 percent of school parents and 64 percent of adults say that state funding for local schools is inadequate – not so great news for the Legislature and Gov. Jerry Brown, who are drafting the budget for next year. Foon Rhee, @foonrhee

Their take

Santa Rosa Press Democrat: California’s public employee pension funds are many things. Here’s something they shouldn’t be: a tool for making political statements. Politics shouldn’t drive pension investments.

San Francisco Chronicle: Berkeley’s soda tax is working the way it was designed to work.

San Diego Union Tribune: The only kind of news the troubled $64 billion California bullet train project seems to generate is bad news. Jarring questions about the project’s finances and management couldn’t come at a worse time for the rail authority and Gov. Jerry Brown.

Los Angeles Times: Under its last chairman, Democrat Tom Wheeler, the Federal Communications Commission dramatically ramped up its regulation of telecommunications companies, especially those that provide broadband Internet access to the home. Since becoming the FCC’s new chairman in January, however, Ajit Pai, a deregulatory-minded Republican, has moved the agency just as aggressively in the opposite direction. The relentless fighting over net neutrality rules needs to end, but how can it?

Miami Herald: State Sen. Frank Artiles should step down. He is obviously a bully, a man who, by his own admission, has anger problems, and, if not a racist, not afraid to use the language of racism. Indeed, what’s the difference?

Kansas City Star: More than ever, Kansas City and St. Louis must find common ground. Leaders from both cities have started the conversation. Now they need to deliver on that promise.

Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel: President Donald Trump brought a big dose of his economic populism to Wisconsin Tuesday, where he signed an executive order that would rein in a popular foreign worker program and encourage federal agencies to “buy American.” Trump is on the right track. Our view.

Baltimore Sun: Our democracy is built on checks and balances so that those who are given extraordinary power are held accountable. That makes the latest decision by the White House to cloak President Donald Trump in greater secrecy all the more alarming. Accountability should be regarded as more than a buzz word.

Charlotte Observer: Democrats know that the last thing Donald Trump will do is bow to a shake-down. The tax no-returns, no-reform pledge isn’t so much about changing the president’s mind as it is about rallying the base.

Syndicates’ take

Leonard Pitts Jr.: The lawyer for Alex Jones, the right-wing radio host who is in a custody battle for his three children, said that Jones is just playing a character and that he’s a “performance artist.”

E.J. Dionne: Will those who would hold President Donald Trump to account for his actions and conflicts of interest remain focused, mobilized and determined? A special election in Georgia is an indication of the pressure from an engaged and resolute citizenry that can persuade Republican politicians of the costs of being Trump enablers.

Dana Milbank: The world is the closest it has been to nuclear war in 55 years, and I wanted to caution you, Kim Jong Un, that the man with whom you are now eyeball to eyeball could be as mad as a March hare.

Thomas L. Friedman: A coal mining museum in Kentucky is going solar, for solid economic reasons, and President Donald Trump is reviving coal, with no economic logic at all. Go figure.

Mailbag

“Clashes between groups representing pro- and anti- Trump movements, along with self-described anarchists, should not have been a surprise to the Berkeley police.” Eileen Glaholt, Sacramento

Tweet of the day

“If the public had not pressured advertisers to stay away, O'Reilly would've be back on the air on Monday. Activism works, even with Fox News.” – Dan Pfeiffer‏ @danpfeiffer

  Comments