Trump’s tax plan takes aim at California, and he threatens public lands, too

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Jack Ohman has the scoop on Janet Napolitano’s budget audit … See the full cartoon here.

Our take


Trump’s ‘big’ tax plan is a giveaway to big business and billionaires: The president’s big announcement turns out to be focused on tax cuts that would be a huge bonanza for big business and the 1 percent, and would cost many Californians big money. Besides being unfair, Trump’s tax plan could explode federal deficits, returning to the “supply-side” economics.

Don’t mess with California’s national monuments: These are treasures Californians want to protect, not open up to President Donald J. Trump’s corporate pals for drilling, mining, logging or commercial development.


Bob Mulholland: California GOP chair Jim Brulte offered a case to elect a Republican governor in 2018, and here’s a review of some of his complaints.

Mathis Wackernagel: An international research organization launched an open data platform that details the Ecological Footprints of more than 200 countries and regions. The data can point the way to what is technologically possible and help chart the path to sustainability.

Jen Listello: Despite the bad press, the reality is that glyphosate is the most extensively tested pesticide on the market.

Take a number: 116

Having shaped the U.S. Supreme Court by appointing Neil Gorsuch, President Donald Trump can set about remaking U.S. courts of appeal and districts courts by filling vacancies – 116 of them. And he really wants to remake the federal judiciary after a federal judge in San Francisco on Tuesday blocked part of his executive order to withhold funding from sanctuary cities that don’t cooperate with federal immigration enforcement.

Trump blasted U.S. District Judge William Orrick and the 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, based in San Francisco, just as he lambasted the judges who blocked his travel ban. He called the rulings “ridiculous” in one tweet Wednesday, and declared, “See you in the Supreme Court!” He’s also talking about breaking up the liberal 9th Circuit, which would take an act of Congress. Foon Rhee, @foonrhee

Their take

L.A. Times: State schools Superintendent Tom Torlakson had some good news this month about California schools: The high school graduation rate rose to 83 percent, up 8.5 percentage points since 2010. His announcement, however, raised crucial questions: How much of the increase indicates real educational improvement, and how much of it was attained through short cuts?

San Francisco Chronicle: Offshore drilling is a political nonstarter. If the Trump team moves on this state’s protections, it will bring on another battle in the widening war with the White House.

Santa Rosa Press Democrat: California faces a growing shortage of college-educated workers in the near future. So what are California’s universities doing to fill the gap? Blistering reports from state Auditor Elaine Howle echo long-standing allegations of administrative bloat at UC and CSU

East Bay Times: Hidden funds. Convoluted, misleading and undisclosed budgets. Bloated salaries and benefits. We’re not talking about the city of Bell. We’re talking about the office of University of California President Janet Napolitano. Our view.

San Diego Union Tribune: The looming threat of a U.S. government shutdown and temporary layoffs starting on Saturday has lessened with the Trump White House no longer insisting that border wall funding be part of legislation Congress must pass to extend authority for federal spending beyond Friday. Good. For months, President Trump and some of his top aides inexplicably believed that Republicans who control Washington could use fear of a government shutdown to leverage concessions from Democrats instead of grasping that such a shutdown would be blamed on the party in power.

Kansas City Star: Next week, Kansas lawmakers will once again try to figure out how to cover a massive shortfall in the state’s budget. We hope President Donald Trump will be in the gallery, taking notes.

Dallas Morning News: There is one obvious takeaway from Arkansas’ chaotic and misguided attempt to execute eight death row prisoners in a span of 11 days, including two who were put to death Monday evening. The death penalty is arbitrary. It is unfair. And it should have no place in the American justice system.

David French, National Review: By allowing cowardly threats of violence to cancel Ann Coulter’s speech, school administrators and the police once again failed in their sacred duty to protect Americans’ constitutional rights.

Syndicates’ take

Dana Milbank: A confidential, five-page “urgent appeal” from the Office of the U.N. High Commissioner on Human Rights in Geneva, sent to the Trump administration, cautions that the repeal of the Affordable Care Act could put the United States at odds with its international obligations.

Frank Bruni: The Neighborhood Academic Initiative, or NAI, is a program through which USC prepares underprivileged kids who live relatively near its South Los Angeles campus for higher education. The program can turn college into a reality.

Thomas L. Friedman: Dubai is not a democracy and is fueled by cheap labor. But it’s also not Damascus. With its Ministry of Tolerance, Ministry of Happiness and Ministry of Youth (whose minister is a 23-year-old woman), the UAE has made Dubai into the counter-ISIS, a place where young Arabs can live local and act global. It’s the most interesting crossroad city in the Arab world today.

E.J. Dionne Jr.: In the outpouring of commentary on President Donald Trump’s first 100 days in office, his greatest single achievement is almost never mentioned, which is itself a sign of what a major triumph it is: We are not talking much about whether Russia colluded with Trump’s campaign to help elect him.


“Small business startups will proliferate with a state-run system providing health care for all.” – Robert L. Thayer Jr., Davis