Trump’s family business, pit bulls unleashed, and Barbara Boxer on Adam Schiff

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


We know how to keep pit bulls on a leash, but homeless campers aren’t going to like it: Gabriel Frazee was attacked by two pit bulls while riding his bike on the American River Parkway. The dogs weren’t on leashes.

Funny, how Trump didn’t target the visa the Kushners needed: Sen. Dianne Feinstein seeks to end the EB-5 visa, which awards green cards to wealthy foreigners who invest in the U.S. Jared Kushner’s sister, Nicole Kushner Meyer, illustrated the problem with it.


Dan Walters: California’s Democratic legislators have been hoping for a revenue surge to finance their spending plans, but income taxes were weak in April.

Karin Klein: Legislation by Sen. Ricardo Lara would blacklist companies that contract to build a border wall from doing business with the state of California, imitating President Donald Trump’s dishonorable tactics of bullying and coercion.

Take a number: 4 feet, 5 inches

Retired Sen. Barbara Boxer visited our editorial board the other day, urging that we support a desalination plant proposed for Huntington Beach. More about that later. As you’d expect, the talk turned to Donald Trump and the swamp that is Washington these days:

“People say, ‘Don’t you wish you there?’ ” the recently retired senator said. “No. I know myself. I’m only 4-foot-11 ¾, truth be known, even though I say I’m 5 feet. I’d be like 4 (feet) 5 right now. I take it all on my shoulders. ... Show me a problem and I try to fix it. You can’t fix this. This has to play itself out.”

Their take

Mercury News: The National Security Agency has decided to halt one controversial surveillance program that was the tip of an iceberg of government abuses of privacy and due process. This is a good start toward restoring balance in Americans’ right to privacy.

San Diego Union Tribune: In a 2016 campaign stop in Fresno, Donald Trump vowed to help Central Valley farmers by increasing their water supplies. He should be at least as worried about maintaining their labor supply.

Las Vegas Sun: During his recent trip to Washington, D.C., Gov. Brian Sandoval showed why the Republican Party should encourage him to come back for an extended stay. Like six years in the Senate. Or maybe even four years in the White House.

Dallas Morning News: We can understand why the “sanctuary city” bill that Gov. Greg Abbott signed into law this weekend sounds reasonable to so many. Here’s why this piece of Senate Bill 4 is a disaster that threatens to do more harm than good: It encourages unfair treatment of millions of law-abiding American citizens. And instead of rooting out illegal activity, it could make the state a haven for more.

Raleigh News & Observer: Congressional Republicans are home on breaks and out of their caucus room, and many are going to go through what Rep. Tom Reed, Republican of upstate New York, did at a town hall, where constituents stopped just short of bringing out the tar and feathers.

Kansas City Star: In the 32 states that expanded Medicaid under Obamacare, people with a serious mental illness will lose coverage altogether. In Missouri and Kansas, patients won’t lose what they never had. But here, as across the country, cuts in Medicaid and skyrocketing premiums for those with pre-existing conditions will mean more seriously mentally ill people without any meaningful treatment.

Manchester (New Hampshire) Union Leader: If you can make out anything above the din of liberal shrieks, you would think the American Health Care Act turns Medicaid recipients into soylent green.

Syndicates’ take

Michael Gerson: President Donald Trump is severed from the people and priorities he ran on. What he said during the campaign about the struggles of the working class is important. But it has almost no relationship to his governing agenda.

Eugene Robinson: In their foolish haste to get rid of Obamacare, Republican ideologues are paving the way for something they will like much less – a single-payer system.

Charles M. Blow: Whatever eventually comes of the recently passed House health care bill, the death threat it poses for many Americans may well be a death wish Republicans have just issued for their own careers.

Paul Krugman: What really stands out about the health legislation Republicans rammed through the House last week is the Orwell-level dishonesty of the whole effort.


“Obamacare failed and millions of people could not use it because the deductibles were too high.” Kay Walsh, Sacramento

Boxer’s take on Schiff

Rep. Adam Schiff considered running for Barbara Boxer’s U.S. Senate seat last year, but thought better of it as Kamala Harris stepped in. But ambitions die hard.

We used the opportunity of Barbara Boxer’s recent visit to the editorial board to ask her about Schiff. Boxer oversees a political action committee and plans to join with Schiff to hold a fundraiser intended to help him and her PAC. Will he run if Sen. Dianne Feinstein steps aside? we asked.

“I would think so. I don’t know that. I just think he has made a name for himself going up against you know who from you know where,” Boxer said. Which led to the next questions: What does she think of House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, R-Visalia, and President Donald Trump when it comes to national security matters. “They’re both in over their heads.”

Tweet of the day

“Eighteen days. That’s how long the President waited to fire Flynn after learning that he lied to VP and caused VP to mislead country.” – Adam Schiff, @RepAdamSchiff