Trumpcare’s toll, Jeff Sessions’ war, and the high cost of pensions

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Jack Ohman says President Trump bats a hand away. Click here to see Jack’s take.

Our take


Kids, parks and pensions: Steinberg wants to spend a little more on Sacramento: Mayor Darrell Steinberg’s priority list for the city’s budget surplus strikes a reasonable balance between meeting pent-up needs and saving for long-term costs such as higher payments to CalPERS.

Here’s how sick the GOP’s health care bill is: The Republicans’ American Health Care Act would strip 23 million Americans of health insurance, raise premiums for sick people, and cut taxes for the rich.


Erika D. Smith: U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions wants to drag the country back into a war on opioids, which would be bad for California.


Sen. Dianne Feinstein: Cadiz Inc. seeks to drain an ancient desert aquifer in California without any federal oversight.

Kevin Nagle: The owner of Sacramento Republic FC makes five promises to Sacramento fans in bid for professional soccer.

Take a number: 476

Refugee arrivals declined by 476 from October to April in California, one of 46 states welcoming fewer refugees in Donald Trump’s presidency. A Pew Research Center report says that nationwide, 6,629 fewer refugees arrived in April than last October.

California and other states that have received the most refugees in recent years had the biggest declines, according to the report. It appears, however, that the Sacramento region is bucking the trend. Long a center for refugee resettlement, the region welcomed 466 by early May, up 20 percent from last year.

As part of his travel ban, Trump sought to temporarily ban all refugees. He issued an executive order that caps total refugees in 2016-17 at 50,000, half the limit set by the Obama administration. While the order is tied up in court, Pew says that if it takes effect, fewer than 7,600 additional refugees could come to the U.S. before Oct. 1. Foon Rhee, @foonrhee

Their take

Lexington Herald Leader, Kentucky: Sen. Rand Paul thinks that, unlike the rest of the industrialized world, the United States can’t afford hospitals and health care, especially in depressed areas, without self-destructing as a nation? What an absurd, defeatist view.

Seattle Times: As President Donald Trump yodels about the Obamacare “death spiral,” he may be getting his wish. The vast and expanding pool of uncertainty about the Affordable Care Act threatens to be a lead weight on its viability, producing rising rates and decreasing options for millions of low-income Americans.

Kansas City Star: Hey, Kansans: Brace yourselves. Your state is about to change in a consequential way. Barring the unexpected, concealed weapons soon will be allowed in state hospitals, psychiatric institutions and on the state’s public university campuses.

Denver Post: When police seize property and cash, we’d much prefer those on the losing end get more due process rather than less, and that’s exactly what Colorado House Bill 1313 accomplishes by requiring all but the largest forfeiture cases go through state instead of federal processes.

San Diego Union Tribune: When UC President Janet Napolitano was called to testify before a joint legislative committee after the latest scathing audit, who sat next to Napolitano and sang her praises? Monica Lozano, the chair of UC’s Board of Regents. This is incomprehensible.

Santa Rosa Press Democrat: President Donald Trump has directed his interior secretary to review every national monument larger than 100,000 acres that has been established since 1996, the final year of Bill Clinton’s presidency. Trump’s executive order creates uncertainty about two dozen national monuments, including Berryessa Snow Mountain and four others in California.

Syndicates’ take

Dana Milbank: Mark Twain wrote “The Innocents Abroad” in 1869 while traveling through the Holy Land and Europe. This week, President Donald Trump wrote his own chapter as he bumbled his way through Saudi Arabia and Israel before heading for Rome.

E.J. Dionne: President Donald Trump’s seriousness about the details of governing can be measured by his decision to be abroad when his budget was released.

Frank Bruni: Speech by New Orleans mayor cut straight to the heart of things, making the case against monuments that glorify the Confederacy.

Thomas L. Friedman: President Donald Trump is half right in his diagnosis that the American landscape is one of “rusted-out factories scattered like tombstones,” but his prescription is 100 percent wrong.

Ruben Navarrette: U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer has said that the administration wants NAFTA to be “modernized.” I’m worried that “modernized” is Trump-speak for “gutted.”


“He loved newspapers and their missions, and he lamented to me the decline of the business as he had once known it.” Denny Walsh, Antelope

Montana politics get rough

“You just body slammed me and broke my glasses,” said Ben Jacobs, a Guardian political reporter. “Get the hell out of here,” Greg Gianforte, a tech millionaire running for the seat vacated by Ryan Zinke, yelled.