Ann Coulter is using Berkeley; the case for decriminalizing HIV; and Sacramento’s tight budget

Jack Ohman

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Jack Ohman is blinded by science in his cartoon on Trump march madness. See the full cartoon here.

Our take


Ann Coulter is exploiting UC Berkeley, safety be damned: Ann Coulter’s attack on UC Berkeley isn’t about her free speech. It’s about the growing effort by outsiders to exploit a public university for political theater.

Why Sacramento can’t afford a spending spree: It’s a stark fact: Local governments are now as much about paying salaries and retirement benefits as providing services to residents.


Erika Smith: The AIDS crisis is over. Why are people still going to jail over HIV? A bill by Sen. Scott Wiener, D-San Francisco, would greatly reduce the penalties for transmitting HIV. California currently has four felony offenses on the books for people who deliberately pass along the virus. Nationally, others have been pushing for decriminalization, too.

Dan Walters: Donald Trump’s administration laid a political trap for California politicians over a minor immigration matter, and their heated rhetoric continues to undermine the comprehensive immigration reform that immigrants, California and the nation need.

Karin Klein: The number of California kindergartners who have been vaccinated under a state law has risen to 96 percent, from 93 percent the year before.


Ricardo Lara and Jamie Rappaport Clark: While Donald Trump’s border wall will not make us safer, it will have unknown and damaging consequences for California’s economy, environment and binational culture. Senate Bill 30 stands up against the threat to both our social and natural worlds that extension of the border wall creates.

Olga Evans: Assembly Bill 1380 would cap administrative costs at 15 percent and ensure at least 85 percent goes to direct service costs to aid care providers.

Take a number: 48 percent

As President Donald Trump and Congress face a Friday deadline to avoid a government shutdown, that’s the proportion of Americans who want a bigger government providing more services, according to a survey released Monday. While 45 percent prefer a smaller government with fewer services, the Pew Research Center says it’s the first time in eight years that more Americans prefer a bigger government. Pew also says the percentage wanting a bigger government has increased 7 points since September, before Trump was elected, though the partisan divide on this question is as wide as ever. Foon Rhee, @foonrhee

Their take

San Diego Union Tribune: Four years ago, Gov. Jerry Brown held the signing ceremony for a law making dramatic changes in public education funding at a school with a 99 percent minority student body in an impoverished Los Angeles neighborhood. But ever since then, the idealism that appeared to drive this legislation to passage has come to look more like artifice to cover up a power play.

San Jose Mercury News: Pharmaceutical companies need an intervention to address their addiction to prescription drug price gouging. Californians should demand that Big Pharma be more transparent about drug pricing habits and put an end to industry practices that state Sen. Ed Hernandez says benefit drugmakers at the expense of taxpayers.

Los Angeles Times: Seldom has an effort to alter Los Angeles’ governing blueprint been as clever and underhanded as Charter Amendment C, a little-noticed measure on the little-noticed May 16 city ballot that would change how police officers are disciplined for misconduct. Seldom have city officials been so sly in their effort to slip something so noxious past L.A. voters.

Kansas City Star: Missouri is heading toward a slow-motion pile-up in about six weeks, when the state’s new voter ID law kicks in.

Charlotte Observer: At last, we know how badly photo voter ID is needed in North Carolina. On Friday, the State Board of Elections released the results of an extensive, objective audit of the 2016 election. It found that 4,769,640 votes were cast in November and that one (1) would probably have been avoided with a voter ID law. One out of nearly 4.8 million.

Chicago Tribune: Just when Americans thought the Obamacare repeal effort was dead and buried, President Donald Trump has exhumed it. Trump hasn’t publicly demonstrated an ability to add or subtract provisions, or assemble a bipartisan coalition, to make a good deal happen.

Fort Wayne (Indiana) News-Sentinel: Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly lost his patience with critics of his agency for enforcing immigration laws. Kelly made the point well: Those who dislike immigration policy “should have the courage and skill to change the laws. Otherwise, they should shut up and support the men and women on the front lines.”

Syndicates’ take

Charles M. Blow: Not only is the resistance against Donald Trump’s presidency still strong, it appears to be getting stronger. People have found a salve for their sadness: exuberant agitation, and it’s growing stronger.

Michael Gerson: The inhabitants of Crate and Barrel America can be just as isolated in their ideological sympathies as those in Cracker Barrel America. What can be done? One response must be a journalism of rebuilt standing.

Eugene Robinson: There was nothing ambiguous about Donald Trump’s pledge to build a wall along the southern border, with Mexico footing the bill. Now, however, the president is threatening to shut down the government or destabilize the health insurance market if Congress does not appropriate $1.4 billion to begin work on the wall.

Paul Krugman: As President Donald Trump considers tax reform, it’s not clear whether he really believes in right-wing economic orthodoxy. He may just be looking for something, anything, he can call a win.


“As small wineries and brewers have discovered, marijuana distributors will refuse to carry their products with no consequences.” – Paul Kronenberg, Elk Grove

Tweet of the day

“We'll have a real barn burner on May 16th in LA City. Guessing we could even hit double-digits for voter turnout #YouHeardItHereFirst” – Loyola Law School prof Jessica Levinson‏, @LevinsonJessica on run-offs for two LA City Council seats, two school board seats, and a charter amendment. Voting will be light but people in the know will show up because the outcome matters.