Opinion

Ducking the housing crisis, making school lunches unhealthy again, tapping weed money

johman@sacbee.com

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Jack Ohman sees chaos on the streets of Sacramento. Click here to see the cartoon.

Our take

Editorials

Here’s who will suffer most if California doesn’t end housing crisis: The California Legislature must get going on a viable way to provide more affordable housing. Otherwise, home ownership will continue to be elusive for millions of working-class and even middle-class people – especially for African Americans in Sacramento County.

Team Trump wants to make school lunches great again. It’ll make kids fatter instead: Former first lady Michelle Obama pushed schools to serve more fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains and limited salty, sugary and fatty foods. Trump’s new Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue is partly rolling back those rules. But when we have a crisis of diabetes and childhood obesity, why backslide on junk food?

Columns

Marcos Breton: Women triumph over Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department’s bro culture. Too bad we have to pay for it.

Andrew Malcolm, McClatchy-DC: Trump vows major changes to NAFTA. Good luck with that, sir.

Dan Walters: California now has the dubious honor of having one of the nation’s largest gaps between its pension promises to public employees and the assets it has on hand to pay those obligations. And the gap is widening.

Op-Eds

Drew Halfmann: The Republicans’ new health care proposal eliminates one of the most popular parts of the Affordable Care Act – the requirement that insurers offer affordable, adequate coverage to patients with pre-existing conditions.

Jim Cooper and Cathleen Galgiani: AB 600 and SB 600 would improve an existing partial sales tax exemption created by the Legislature and the governor four years ago for manufacturing and research and development companies.

Take a number: $1.59 million

Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, the front-runner for the 2018 governor’s race, raised no less than $1.591 million in increments of $1,000 or more in the first four months of 2017. That’s more than twice as much as rival Treasurer John Chiang’s $662,000, and more than three times former L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s $474,000. Newsom tapped Hollywood, Bay Area investors, trial attorneys, and health insurance companies, though he is an advocate of single-payer health care, which would restrict health insurance companies’ ability to operate.

Newsom, the main promoter of Proposition 64 that is commercializing recreational marijuana, continues to tap the weed industry. For example, Indus Holding Co., gave him $10,000. Indus’ website calls it “an intellectual property and branding venture, (that) is redefining the expectations of California patients who choose cannabis infused edibles.” One of its companies offers “Toasted Rooster” chocolate bars. Another sells “BonBons, Soothers, Chocolate Coins and Pips: chocolate covered malt balls, red hots, salted almonds and espresso beans.” They’re sold in childproof containers. And so the kids will win, too.

Their take

San Diego Union Tribune: A Pew Charitable Trusts report shows how the state government can help the California Public Employees’ Retirement System and the California State Teachers’ Retirement System get on firmer ground: by emulating New York’s policies.

San Francisco Chronicle: After 21 years, California’s medical marijuana industry is finally getting some firm rules. It’s the end of a freewheeling experiment – and the beginning of a large-scale industry.

San Jose Mercury News: “The emergency spillway worked.” If by “worked” he means held together by the grace of God, then, yes, it worked. By any reasonable standard, however, it was an abject failure.

Philadelphia Inquirer: Residents who may ever get pregnant, sick, hurt, old or unemployed should head to Willingboro on May 10 and ask Rep. Tom MacArthur (R., N.J.) what he’s going to do about it. MacArthur put the House’s cruel American Health Care Act back on track last week by making a deal with the hard-right Freedom Caucus. Now it has a greater chance of life than many Americans will if it passes.

Baltimore Sun: Any U.S. foreign policy decision that fails to consider human rights is not only immoral but likely ineffective. That’s why President Donald Trump’s recent outreach to President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines should appall and truly, deeply offend Americans.

Fort Wayne (Ind.) News-Sentinel: It is going to take time – years, in all probability – to undo the enormous amount of damage President Barack Obama did to the economy. Some of it is irreparable. At least President Donald Trump and his new Environmental Protection Agency head, Scott Pruitt, are wasting no time in restoring reason to energy and environmental policy.

Tacoma News Tribune: If state Sen. Ann Rivers had her way, Sasquatch, alias Bigfoot, would have been Washington’s official cryptid (an animal whose existence or survival is disputed or unsubstantiated).

Syndicates’ take

Dana Milbank: Both President Donald Trump and Philippine strongman Rodrigo Duterte have employed foul language in public, boasted publicly about their sexual performance and made vulgar references to assaulting women. Both have threatened the free press, challenged the legitimacy of the judiciary, attacked opponents as corrupt – and insulted the pope.

Kathleen Parker: If President Donald Trump meets with Kim Jong Un without significant concessions, it would seem to be a slap in the face to South Korea. Inviting the likes of Philippine dictator Rodrigo Duterte to the People’s House sullies the integrity of the edifice and all that it symbolizes.

Ruben Navarrette: When it comes to building Donald Trump’s border wall, reporters in the nation’s capital are obsessed with the politics, not the policy.

Leonard Pitts Jr.: It took nearly seven decades for the Groveland Four to get justice after a white woman leveled a false charge of rape, but all of them are dead.

David Leonhardt: Students using vouchers to attend a private school in the District of Columbia did worse on math and reading than similar students in public school, a study has found. It comes after other studies, in Ohio and elsewhere, have also shown weak results for vouchers.

Mailbag

“ ‘Tenure is a privilege and not a right.’ Amen. I finally agree with a Bee editorial.” Buzz McClain, Fair Oaks

Tweet of the day

“Reporters ask Rep. Issa his position on the revised healthcare bill. ‘None of your business,’ he says.” Cristina Marcos‏ @cimarcos

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