Opinion

John Burton’s finger; California Nurses’ vision for universal health care

johman@sacbee.com

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 is mad as --!!-- about John --!!-- Burton’s --!!-- farewell address. To see how --!!-- mad, click here.

Our take

Editorials

Universal health care? Welcome to Fantasyland: Pushed by California Nurses Association, Sen. Ricardo Lara takes up universal health care. As it stands now, the bill is a rally cry, not a cure.

Flipping off Trump won’t help win back White House: If California Democrats hoped to bring anyone new into the fold of “the resistance,” they failed miserably at last weekend’s party convention. To voters in Midwestern swing states, absolutely critical to winning back the White House, the leaders of this bluest of blue states appeared every bit as crazy, as bitter and as divided as Breitbart has been saying they are.

Columns

Foon Rhee: If we can tell Chinese and Korean food apart, why not people? Way too often, Asian Americans are all lumped together as a “model minority” with the highest income and most education. But there are cultural, economic, political and social differences among various groups of Asians. Asian Pacific American Heritage Month would be a good time to recognize them.

Dan Walters: We may think that human slavery is a brutal relic of a bygone era, but it still flourishes and California is a hotbed of human trafficking.

Karin Klein: She’s looking for answers to a suspicious parking ticket and wonders: How many people get ripped off this way?

Take a number: 94,659

People can criticize the California Nurses Association, and we certainly have done so in the past. But in an era when many unions are on the ropes, reports filed with the U.S. Labor Department show the nurses union continues to grow. This time last year, the nurses had 94,659 members, up from 65,874 a decade before. The union reported $126.6 million in receipts in the 2015-16 fiscal year and assets of $238 million. Ten years earlier, the union had $53.4 million in receipts and $35 million in assets. We’re not persuaded about the nurses’ vision for universal health care, at least as it’s currently written. But the union definitely is doing something that resonates with its members.

Their take

Charlotte Observer: North Carolina’s Republican legislators unconstitutionally packed black voters into two congressional districts, making other districts whiter, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled Monday. So why should you care? Three reasons.

Fort Worth Star Telegram: A session of the Texas Legislature wouldn’t be complete without a bill – or two or three – looking to reduce restrictions on guns. That’s just how things are in the Lone Star State.

San Francisco Chronicle: California Supreme Court Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye is recommending a major and welcome change to California traffic court: transferring responsibility for the more than 4 million minor traffic violations to civil, not criminal, court.

L.A. Times: The worries of voters in L.A. City Councilman Gil Cedillo’s re-election race were only exacerbated by what many community members felt was an indifference to their concerns and a lack of response from the councilman’s staff.

San Diego Union Tribune: Last year, California voters made the state the first in the nation with a ban on single-use plastic bags by approving Proposition 67. Against this backdrop, it is perverse that the state program that oversees collection and recycling of single-use plastic, metal and glass bottles from consumers in return for giving them back 5-cent and 10-cent deposits is faltering.

East Bay Times: Bad news for the state and local governments: The pension rate hikes in December weren’t enough.

Mercury News: With a recent court settlement and the revocation of a contractor’s license, state legislators should reflect on why six young people were killed and seven injured in a Berkeley balcony collapse two years ago. And, rather than their milquetoast response thus far that continues to overly protect bad builders, lawmakers should take meaningful action to ensure such a tragedy never happens again.

Syndicates’ take

Michael Gerson: Leaks against President Donald Trump probably come from officials reaching the limits of their patience with dysfunction.

Trudy Rubin: U.S. presidents of every political stripe have plunged into the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, only to be humbled at the end.

Charles M. Blow: Donald Trump has left the country for his first foreign trip as president and what he has left behind is a brewing crisis that appears to deepen by the day, and even the hour.

Paul Krugman: A Gallup World Survey asks residents of many countries whether they feel that they have “freedom to make life choices”; the U.S. doesn’t come out looking too good, especially compared with the high freedom grades of European nations with strong social safety nets.

Mailbag

“I am encouraged to know that because of informed community members and ‘officers willing to listen and de-escalate,’ a person suffering from mental illness was peacefully transferred to a hospital.” – Gail Marie Erlandson, Sacramento

And finally,

Richard L. Hasen, UC Irvine School of Law professor, writes in an op-ed in The Washington Post: Sometimes the most important stuff in Supreme Court opinions is hidden in the footnotes. In Monday’s Supreme Court ruling striking down two North Carolina congressional districts as unconstitutionally influenced by race, the majority buried a doozy, a potentially powerful new tool to attack voting rights violations in the South and elsewhere.

  Comments