Chiang’s play, an ode to black fathers, hope for Firebaugh, and a fight over privacy

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 takes a look at Don Bachardy’s 1984 portrait of Gov. Jerry Brown. Be an art critic and see the cartoon here.

Our take


It’s one thing to back labor. But Treasurer Chiang’s CalPERS proposal goes too far: Chiang’s proxy on the CalPERS board is advocating a labor-backed proposal that would side with labor in private organizing efforts.

Fresno Bee: Finally, the Legislature has agreed to fund plans for a new community college building in Firebaugh. Students in coastal California have many options for higher education. Students in these overwhelmingly Hispanic west-side towns, if not getting their education in Firebaugh, must travel about 50 miles one way to attend Fresno City College or Fresno State. The Firebaugh campus is their lifeline – and their launching pad – to a better life.

Modesto Bee: This has the potential to be the most significant, and dangerous, heat wave since 2006. What do we do? First, and foremost, stay out of the heat.


Erika D. Smith: The truth about black fathers? They’re not all MIA. The old stereotype about missing black fathers is overblown, simplistic and deeply corrosive to the black community.

Joyce Terhaar: Can I write this without sounding creepy? News organizations (many of them, anyway) track what you read and what you don’t. It’s changing how we do journalism.

Marcos Breton: Lauren Kirk-Coehlo should be behind bars right now. But instead, the former Google employee walked free on Friday, eluding a maximum six-year sentence for vandalizing a Davis mosque.

Donia Bijan: We try to make our parents proud, we strive, sometimes we succeed, we assimilate. But we also raise children who may never know their grandparents, and many of us find ourselves on the other side of the world from our fathers on Father’s Day.

Joe Mathews: Looking for Ground Zero in the California-Trump war? Look south to San Diego, where Trump’s policies couldn’t be more personal.


Kate Karpilow: Why do women lag men in pay, even in California civil service? State laws that rig the salary benchmarks for public safety workers may be one reason pay equity among state workers persists.

George Halvorson: Bonding with a parent in the first few months of life is critical to the development of children, says the head of First 5 California. Paid family leave allows that, but too many parents can’t take it because of gaps in the law. That must change.

A.G. Kawamura: For decades, environmental regulations have been severely limiting the amount of water available for agriculture. If this is allowed to continue, we will see a significant decrease in available farmland, an increase in food prices and an even tougher future for family farmers.

Ashley Swearengin and Dave Regan: Has all common ground been claimed by polarization? A Fresno Republican and a Democratic labor leader report that there’s a middle way.

Take a number: 25

Earlier this month, Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom tweeted: “Americans are 25x more likely to be shot & killed than others in developed countries. We’ve had enough.#NationalGunViolenceAwarenessDay.” That sent the fact checkers at PolitiFact-California into action. Bottom line: Newsom’s claim was “Mostly True.” The Take rates that as not bad for 140 characters.

Their take

Lexington Herald Leader: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and his fellow Republicans, pushing to repeal the Affordable Care Act, realize that cutting support for addiction treatment would look like a big mistake. So they may soften their cuts by giving states grants to combat the opioid plague. Grants are no substitute, however. Grants run out, while insurance is supposed to be there when you need it.

Denver Post: The recent indictment of a former Colorado Marijuana Enforcement Division officer Renee Rayton and three others ought to come as an enormous wake-up call.

San Francisco Chronicle: Since the tallest dam in the United States threatened California with catastrophe last winter, state officials have responded with policies to stanch the flow not just of water but of information.

Mercury News: When cops want to buy new technology that can spy on people, shouldn’t there been a public policy in place for how the latest gadget will be used and how collected personal data will be protected from misuse? Sen. Jerry Hill, D-San Mateo, faces blowback as he triess to pass legislation to accomplish those goals.

East Bay Times: It’s unconscionable that public officials accept free tickets from the Warriors, A’s and Raiders while voting on their Coliseum contracts. An issue for Sacramento city and county pols, perhaps.

Idaho Statesman: The Legislature should consider placing a constitutional amendment on the next general election ballot eliminating the treasurer as an elected official. Idaho has done that before with a statewide office that became outdated. Clearly, a cautionary tale for Fiona Ma.

Miami Herald: Donald Trump right to make Cuba pay for its intransigence. In the two and a half years since the Obama administration announced the thaw with Cuba, which we applauded — and still do — the United States has made most of the concessions, while has given very little, especially in the realm of human rights, in return.

Syndicates’ take

Nicholas Kristof: Gov. Jerry Brown should order a review of the Kevin Cooper death penalty case.

Maureen Dowd: Who will flame out sooner? Travis Kalanick or Donald Trump.

Ross Douthat: James Hodgkinson’s relatively mainstream Democratic views might be a warning sign for the future of our politics.

Frank Bruni: James Hodgkinson and the poisons spread by social media. Ugly partisanship isn’t new, but some of its expressions and accelerants are.

Andres Oppenheimer: President Donald Trump’s partial reversal of President Obama’s opening is a hodgepodge of measures that will give Cuba new ammunition to proclaim itself a victim of “U.S. aggression.”

E.J. Dionne Jr.: We are not about to enter some new age of civility because of this terrible shooting. And our divisions are not just a matter of our failing to speak nicely of and to each other.

Kathleen Parker: We can’t un-crazy crazy, but we can each try to stem the madness. It begins with simply caring.

Leonard Pitts Jr.: It was disheartening, but hardly surprising, to hear certain conservatives reflexively blame Democrats and their so-called “hate speech” for the carnage at the GOP congressional baseball practice.

Timothy Egan: Donald Trump just turned 71. Look across the Atlantic to France or North to Canada for youthful vigor and fresh ideas.

Dana Milbank: Ivanka Trump has noticed a new “level of viciousness.” But this is what happens when the president and his surrogates portray opponents as immoral.

David Brooks: When fathers abandon their own children, it’s not a momentary decision; it’s a long, tragic process.


“People at the fringes hearing ‘dog whistling’ ... will respond with violence. We the electorate when assembled in the Public Square must agree to disagree within the bonds of civility. If we the electorate set a good example, perhaps our leaders will follow.” Philip J. Eulie, Rancho Cordova

What to watch

Donald Trump signed legislation in April giving Internet Service Providers the right to use infringe on consumers’ privacy. It was a terrible idea, as we opined. Major privacy advocates will convene in the Capitol to fight back. Look for legislation that will grant Californians’ some measure of control over their information, and, no doubt, lead to a fight over federal preemption.