Trump’s folly; teens’ body clocks; and California prosecutes 86-year-old woman. Seriously


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 has James Comey, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump in the sights. Click here for the cartoon.

Our take


A smart way to put children first and make mornings less hectic: The research is clear: Kids need more sleep. Senate Bill 328 by Sen. Anthony Portantino, D-La Cañada Flintridge, would prevent the school day from starting before 8:30 a.m.

San Luis Obispo Tribune: Prosecuting an 86-year-old Atascadero woman for electioneering goes too far: Edie Knight is facing trial for allegedly violating election rules. A stern warning seems like a much better idea. .


Andrew Malcolm, McClatchy DC: In the world of political Washington, one of the most foreboding things that can happen to anyone is to have their boss say they’re 100 percent behind them. Goodbye, FBI Director Comey.


James Raia: Organizers of the Amgen Tour of California changed the race’s underdog-vs.-topdog theme this year. Several teams that featured a half-dozen of the country’s best young cyclists, including one from Roseville, weren’t chosen to participate.

Dr. Lauren Gambill: Testing for lead in drinking water at most schools in California is not mandatory, so most schools do not take this step to protect our children. In Sacramento County, only 7 percent of public schools have signed up for free lead tests.

Take a number: $35,200

Veteran Los Angeles labor leader Maria Elena Durazo has begun collecting donations for her run to succeed Kevin de León, the Senate president pro tem who will be termed out in 2018. Durazo, who has helped elect Democrats to the Legislature for years, should have no trouble winning the Los Angeles-area Senate seat, or raising money. After receiving $17,600 last month from the United Food & Commercial Workers, she raised another $,8,800 this month from both a transit workers local and Unite HERE, where she currently works. One question is whether all her money will come from labor. A more pressing question posed by Capitol insiders is when she will seek to succeed de León as Senate leader, not if.

Their take

Orange County Register: An idea floating around the Capitol deserves the full support of legislators and the governor: that savings from the upcoming closures of California’s three remaining developmental centers should be used to sustain developmental services, and not be swept into the state’s general fund.

San Francisco Chronicle: Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom is releasing six years of tax returns. It’s partly to answer questions about his finances, which are in the 1 percent stratosphere, and partly to pressure his competitors in next year’s race to do the same. In either case, it’s a welcome move. We agree.

Albany Times Union, New York: With many union pension funds in trouble and looking to cut benefits, the Trump administration and Congress should look at whether they can avert a retirement crisis for more than 1 million people. Truckers, electrical workers, production employees, laborers – it sounds like many of the voters who helped elect Donald Trump president. But it’s actually a partial list of people whose union pension funds are rapidly drying up.

Takes on Comey

San Diego Union Tribune: If Donald Trump really meant what he said about America on the campaign trail, it’s time for him to prove that the presidency is bigger than him. If he truly has nothing to hide, he should welcome this independent investigation so he can get on with governing. It’s time for him to put America first.

Chicago Tribune: No matter the justification for firing James Comey, this looks like a politically motivated hatchet job, designed to purge the investigation of the official who ran it and owned it. The Trump administration will name Comey’s successor. To continue a thorough investigation of ... Trump’s associates? That’s what we mean by “problematic.”

Miami Herald: President Trump is pulling the strings here – again – and because he is such a master at it, expect nothing but a puppet as James Comey’s replacement.

Charlotte Observer: With Donald Trump firing FBI Director James Comey amid an investigation into Russia, Congress must put country before party.

Syndicates’ take

Dana Milbank: Donald Trump will fail, for a simple reason: The institutions he is assaulting daily are stronger than he thinks. His autocratic instincts have been checked every step of the way.

E.J. Dionne: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell should have known better than to ally himself with a man who becomes unhinged whenever the subject of his campaign’s possible collusion with Russian interference in our election arises.

Eugene Robinson: Donald Trump is trying to shut down the investigation with the most potential to cripple – or perhaps even end – his presidency.

Ross Douthat: The outcome of the French election is a useful indicator for observers trying to answer the great question of the moment: Is ours really an age of deepening Western crisis or beneath all the populist sound and fury, does our society actually remain in a kind of stasis?

Thomas L. Friedman: I believe the accelerations set loose by Silicon Valley in technology and digital globalization have created a world where every decent job demands more skill and, now, lifelong learning. More people can’t keep up, and clearly some have reached for leaders who promise to stop the wind.

Frank Bruni: There’s trash almost everywhere in Rome, whose officials keep promising – and failing – to get the problem under control. Last year, voters elected a young new mayor from a young new political party who pledged to turn things around. Almost 11 months later, she has done nothing of the kind.


Why diaper, tampon tax breaks make sense Richard Kuechle, Lincoln

Tweet of the day

“I was not alive for the Cuban Missile Crisis and was too young for Watergate – but understand them much better now.” Matt Rexroad‏ @MattRexroad. The Take wonders whether Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake is channeling Howard Baker: “I’ve spent the last several hours trying to find an acceptable rationale for the timing of Comey’s firing. I just can’t do it.” Jeff Flake, @JeffFlake