Opinion

So long, Mooch, good riddance. Is Trump able to get serious about foreign policy?

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 sees general chaos in the White House mess. See what’s cooking here.

Our take

Editorial

Threats against legislators are intensifying. But there are some hopeful signs: Seven weeks after an unhinged man shot and seriously wounded Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La., the words aimed at Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León are chilling.

Columns

Andres Oppenheimer, Miami Herald: President Trump has outsourced Venezuela policy to Sen. Marco Rubio. The president seems to be totally side-stepping the State Department. That prevents Trump from getting other important points of view from U.S. diplomats who may see things from a different perspective.

Op-Eds

Reuven H. Taff: Imam Ammar Shahin’s apology is only a first step. We all know that actions speak louder than words. So we must continue to be vigilant and when we see anti-Semitism or any other form of hatred or discrimination, we will respond forcefully.

Kristen Monsell: The Center for Biological Diversity is preparing to sue the California Department of Fish and Wildlife to force reforms in how it manages the commercial Dungeness crab fishery, the main culprit in West Coast whale entanglements.

Take a number: 69.6 million

The number of millennials and Generation Xers who voted in the 2016 presidential election made up a majority of voters, while baby boomers and older Americans were less than a majority for the first time in decades, according to the Pew Research Center. And it reported Monday that by 2020, it’s entirely possible that more millennials (those 18 to 35 last year) will outnumber Gen Xers (those aged 36 to 51). That didn’t quite happen in 2016, even though there are more millennials in the overall population. Last year, 35.7 million Gen Xers cast ballots, compared to 34 million millennials. This trend is bad news for Republicans, Pew says, because millennials tend to be more Democratic and independent than older generations. In 2016, 55 percent of millennials identified as Democrats or Democratic-leaning independents. That more liberal politics is true in California, where many millennials were left out of the economic recovery. Foon Rhee, @foonrhee

Their take

Miami Herald: President Trump has yet to execute a solid, grounded foreign policy, as opposed to the kind he favors based on personal contact, deal making, and tweeting on a whim. These have yet to make America more secure.

The Seattle Times: The tensions between the United States and North Korea grew more ominous and urgent last week. Americans should be rightfully concerned about the nuclear ambitions of the hermit state and diplomatic pratfalls in the Trump White House. Successive presidential administrations have unsuccessfully pressured China to use economic leverage to rein in North Korea. Trump added bluster to that strategy, but he has been equally unsuccessful so far.

The Mercury News: It’s as if North Korean President Kim Jong Un is doing one of those Verizon commercials repeatedly asking the rest of the world: “Can you hear me now?” If there was any doubt before, the answer now that North Korea has successfully test fired a missile capable of reaching the interior of the United States is, “Oh yes, we hear you now. And we don’t like what we are hearing.” Time is running out for diplomacy.

Chicago Tribune: Looking back to George W. Bush reminds us of what the American people should demand of the incumbent president. That Donald Trump has failed, abjectly, to move the country forward is not a matter of political circumstances beyond his control. The disarray in the White House is all on Trump. And it must end – now.

The Salt Lake Tribune: Provo Mayor John Curtis, running to replace former Rep. Jason Chaffetz, promises a search for reasonable, worked-out solutions to such seemingly intractable problems as immigration, health care and public lands. As a congressman, Curtis would give his constituents every reason to hope for a process that takes all views into account and resists the temptation to score partisan points.

Los Angeles Times: The proposed Mountain Valley Pipeline would carve a 150-foot-wide swath through the Appalachian Mountains. It is one of a half-dozen pending or approved natural gas pipelines running from Appalachian shale fields to outlets along the East Coast and in the Midwest. But the bigger question is when and whether such pipelines are necessary, and whether FERC, which must approve all interstate gas pipelines, is up to the task of deciding.

Syndicates’ take

Charles M. Blow: Some Republicans in the White House are revealing their absolute depravity and ideological ambition. They know well that this man is unfit and ruinous, and yet they remain his parasitic henchmen. They are willing to use Trump for gain, and leaks for leverage.

Paul Krugman: The stark dishonesty of the Republican jihad against Obamacare itself demands an explanation. For it went well beyond normal political spin: for seven years a whole party kept insisting that black was white and up was down.

Eugene Robinson: Ivanka Trump promised to champion issues of concern to women, including paid family leave. And it was hoped that she could hold President Trump to his former live-and-let-live views when it came to issues such as LGBT rights. Wrong, apparently

Trudy Rubin: John McCain’s statesmanship stood in stark contrast to the circus in the White House, where a willfully ignorant president is emboldening our adversaries and could provoke a war.

Mailbag

Davis Imam Ammar Shahin’s hateful message was genuine and delivered with emotion and charisma. His apology was not. Tavi G. Popp, Fair Oaks

Tweet of the day

Reader email says racists are idiots. Next sentence explains his/her "huge problem with the Latino legislators." Taryn Luna‏ @TarynLuna, fielding calls and emails about her powerful story about threats against legislators. Deep sigh.

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