A plea for paternity leave; Goodwill’s reaction to a death; reaction to Steve Scalise

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 spends a day with Jeff Sessions. If you can’t recall, see the cartoon here.

Our take


Family time matters to this generation of fathers. Let’s update family policy.: From California to Congress, families are waiting for programs that reflect the real world, in which more than 70 percent of mothers have jobs, the number of stay-at-home dads has doubled and 82 percent of Americans under 30 want paid paternity leave.

Goodwill has a stellar reputation. It’s falling short in the death of Abraham Garza.: Goodwill Industries is fighting fines imposed over a worker’s death. That’s its right. But why is it sullying the reputation of a worker who witnessed the death?


Ben Boychuk: I don’t know exactly what to do this Father’s Day. My father died in the early morning hours of June 6, after a brief but uncomfortable stint in hospice at the house where he’d lived since 1966. He was 85 and leaves behind a wife of 58 years, a son, two grandchildren, and many friends and acquaintances who loved him more than he knew. He taught the seven cardinal virtues by example. Be prudent with your time and your money. Pay your debts. Be honorable in your dealings with other people. Be faithful.

Dan Walters, CalMatters: Gov. Jerry Brown and state legislators are on the verge of virtually eliminating the state Board of Equalization, which has been in existence nearly 140 years. It’s about time.

Gregory Favre: A recent story indicated Republicans have a theme for next year’s elections: Attack the news media and trumpet the “public’s hatred of reporters.”


Mayor Darrell Steinberg and Dr. Cameron Carter: This year, as in every year, thousands of young adults will cross the threshold into serious mental illness and go untreated because of a health care paradigm that California must change.

John Laird: A University of California and CaliforniaTrout study last month indicated that some species of salmon are in danger of going extinct by the end of this century. Their persistence in modern California is practically miraculous, given the profound alteration of rivers and streams.

Jane Braxton Little: The Eel River is on the brink of disaster, its ocean-going fish species threatened with extinction, its nurturing estuary diked, drained and diminishing.

Rachel Golden: Gas-powered appliances such as space and water heaters produce massive amounts of climate-damaging pollution. Our leaders should provide rebates and electricity rates similar to what the state offers to electric vehicle drivers.

Take a number: 8 percent

The proportion of U.S. high school students who smoke cigarettes fell to a record low in 2016, according to the latest government report released Thursday. Also, electronic cigarette use fell from 16 percent in 2015 to 11.3 percent in 2016 among high school students, after increasing from just 1.5 percent in 2011. Overall, the percentage of high schoolers using a tobacco product of any kind dropped from 25.3 percent in 2015 to 20.2 percent in 2016. The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids highlighted the survey from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, calling the “dramatic, long-term decline in youth cigarette smoking is a public health success story of extraordinary importance.” The drop in e-cig use is particularly noteworthy because studies have shown that kids who try them are more likely to graduate to regular cigarettes – and all the consequences for their health and for society. But the campaign cautions that it’s too early to tell whether it’s the start of a long-term trend, or a one-year blip. – Foon Rhee @foonrhee

Takes on Rep. Scalise’s shooting

San Francisco Chronicle: Even before he shot a congressman, James Hodgkinson confused politics with violence. His grotesque final act delineated the difference.

Miami Herald: Shots fired, once again, in hate, intolerance. Political hostility appears to be the motive for a brutal ambush on congressional lawmakers.

New Orleans Times-Picayune: Rep. Steve Scalise is a prime example of how to disagree and still be friends at the end of an argument.

Minneapolis Star Tribune: There are mass shootings every day in this country – 154 this year – and each one is its own tragedy, to be grieved and regretted. But there is something especially chilling and loathsome about a shooter ambushing elected officials who are just playing a little summer ball.

Charles M. Blow: I don’t have a problem with viewing these incidents through a political lens. What I abhor is ideological exploitation that reduces these acts to a political sport and uses them as weapons to silence political opponents.

Gail Collins: American politics has been mean and verbally violent for a lot longer than Donald Trump’s been in the White House.

Michael Gerson: Attempts to find political messages in attempted murder are usually either excruciatingly obvious – we are an angry, divided country – or obscene.

Dana Milbank: In an instant, members of Congress were transformed from Democrats and Republicans into Americans – and humans. Reminded suddenly of their own mortality, they remembered, too, that their opponents are people.

Ruben Navarrette: My low opinion of the GOP doesn’t prevent me from recognizing evil when it rears its head on the left and condemning the liberals who stoke it. #RepublicanLivesMatter.

Their take

Los Angeles Times: California Republicans are wrong to try to recall Sen. Josh Newman, D-Fullerton, for casting a vote they don’t like, and they have compounded the offense by doing it in a dishonest way. But Democratic lawmakers have responded to this nakedly political act with, we’re sorry to say, an even more nakedly self-serving political act.

Baltimore Sun: Attorney General Jeff Sessions huffed his way through three hours of testimony before the Senate on Tuesday, turning in a bravura performance of the Trump administration’s preferred tactic of pretending to answer questions that no one was asking and dodging the ones that are actually crucial to our democracy.

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Demonstrations in the streets of Russian cities and towns Monday, directed against the rule and culture of President Vladimir Putin, contradicted the image and role of him and his government in recent relations with the United States.


Rep. Scalise’s shooting shows need for better mental health care. – Dick Denman, Rough and Ready

Tweet of the day

“Just passed a marijuana dispensary with two food trucks out front. Just your typical California Thursday.” – Anthony York‏, @anthonyyork49