Opinion

Uber’s miserable week; Kamala Harris steps onto a big stage

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Jack Ohman says that Donald Trump has a new wall for Congress to scale. Climb over it to see the cartoon here.

Our take

Editorials

A lesson for all of Silicon Valley in Uber’s no good, very bad week: Uber has started cleaning house to restore its reputation. CEO Travis Kalanick never should have let things get this bad.

San Luis Obispo Tribune: Toll roads are relatively rare in California. Let’s keep it that way. As tempting as it may be to turn to tolls to raise revenue for major highway expansions and repairs — such as the restoration of Highway 1 through Big Sur that’s unfair to Californians already paying taxes and fees to support roads.

Op-Eds

Erwin Chemerinsky: Proposition 66 would have a devastating effect on the ability of the California Supreme Court to fulfill its constitutional duties.

Elise Buik, Antonia Hernandez & Bruce Fuller: Gov. Jerry Brown promised four years ago to lift all schools and narrow yawning gaps in learning among California’s rainbow of students, a stubborn inequity that limits our workforce and fractures civil society. But in her children’s schools, Guadalupe Luna sees little trace of Brown’s ambitious reform.

Graciela Aponte-Diaz: The U.S. House is expected to vote Thursday on a bill that would eliminate consumer protections and destroy safeguards to prevent another Great Recession. California’s Republican representatives should oppose it.

Ellen Hanak and David Mitchell: California’s water conservation requirement for cities was a blunt instrument that didn’t reflect how well prepared most cities were. New research shows the path to a better strategy for the next drought.

Mike MeCey: It’s time that California lawmakers trust charter school parents and support public education options specifically addressing our students’ academic, personal and social needs.

Take a number: $350,000

In health care debate, the California Nurses Association’s leader, RoseAnn DeMoro “doesn’t play nice — and that’s the way she likes it.” So says the headline atop the profile in Laurel Rosenhall’s piece in CalMatters. DeMoro is in the news for leading the charge in favor of single payer, specifically the $400 billion legislation pending in the Assembly, the one that the Senate passed without offering a way to come up with the $400 billion. Some Democrats within organized labor have grown weary of DeMoro’s combative style, Rosenhall notes. The piece points out that DeMoro draws a salary of $350,000.

Their take

San Francisco Chronicle: Last fall, California voters overwhelmingly approved a modest government transparency measure requiring legislation to be public for at least three days before passage. Last week, the state Assembly responded with what could be interpreted as an obscene gesture in the electorate’s direction.

Orange County Register: There’s no reason to think the Assembly’s interpretation is the spirit or the letter of the law that Prop. 54 voters intended. Unless you’re an Assembly leader looking for a way around the restrictions.

Kansas City Star: Kansas’ failed experiment in supply-side economics came to an end late Tuesday night. Members of the Kansas House joined colleagues in the Senate to enact a broad tax increase package worth $1.2 billion over two years. It was a stunning and historic repudiation of Gov. Sam Brownback.

Minneapolis Star Tribune: Saving to pay for a child’s future college education? Paying down student loan debt? Or doing both — as are a growing number of young families? There’s good news for you in the tax bill passed by the GOP-controlled Legislature and signed into law by Gov. Mark Dayton.

Dallas Morning News: Lawmakers chose to crack down on the most obvious low-hanging fruit while brushing aside reforms that would actually hold lawmakers more accountable. For example, lawmakers agreed to force colleagues convicted of a felony to resign and to strip them of their government pensions. But lawmakers did nothing to control dark money.

Charlotte Observer: Pick up that phone, Mr. President. We love it when you tweet. It’s an extraordinary window for Americans into their president and what he thinks. And yeah, it’s great for the media, too.

Syndicates’ take

E.J. Dionne Jr.: It’s not surprising that Donald Trump’s warmest words have been reserved for autocrats. They run things the way he likes to run things. But he has a big problem with former FBI Director James Comey.

Nicholas Kristof: Donald Trump’s behavior is reminiscent of what tin-pot despots do. Whether or not it was illegal for Trump to urge Comey to back off his investigation into Russia ties to Mike Flynn, who was fired as national security adviser, it was utterly inappropriate.

Dana Milbank: The contrast between the reckless president and his responsible understudy has me thinking, not for the first time, how much better things would be if Mike Pence were president.

Thomas L. Friedman: We underestimate China – and attribute all of its surge in growth to unfair trade practices – at our peril. The country has been fast and smart at adopting new technologies, particularly the mobile internet.

Frank Bruni: President Donald Trump’s readiness to designate scapegoats and stinginess with the loyalty that he demands from others aren’t just character flaws. They’re serious and quite possibly insurmountable obstacles to governing.

Leonard Pitts Jr.: Why did Bill Maher think he could say the n-word? Yes, he has a constitutionally protected right to do so; that’s not at issue. One simply wonders where he got the notion he could get away with it.

Mailbag

Dan Morain gets it wrong on the proposed tunnels’ impact on Delta agriculture.” – Wendy Heaton, Clarksburg

And finally,

California Sen. Kamala Harris, in full prosecutor mode, grilled Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein about whether special counsel Robert Mueller would enjoy full independence. It was, she thought, a yes or no question. Rosenstein didn’t see it that way. Nevertheless, she persisted and Senate Intelligence Committee chairman Richard Burr, R-NC, rebuked her, insisting: "The senator will suspend." We’re guessing that the dust-up is a warm up for former FBI Director James Comey’s testimony on Thursday. We will be watching.

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