VW’s loss is Sacramento’s gain; Trump’s plan to Make America White Again

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 is on Line One with Donald Trump. Listen in on the conversation here.

Our take


Volkswagen windfall is a rare chance for Sacramento, UC Davis: The city’s $44 million piece of the Volkswagen settlement could be a catalyst to create high-tech jobs. Mayor Darrell Steinberg and new UC Davis Chancellor Gary May both want an innovation hub in the city.


Foon Rhee: Does Trump want to Make America White Again? The president embraces a bill to slash legal immigration in half. He appears to be pandering to white, conservative voters, and listening to his white nationalist advisers. Demographers project that non-Hispanic whites will no longer be a majority by 2044. That is, unless there are dramatic changes – like drastically reducing immigration from Asia and Latin America.


Deborah Burger: The barrier to single payer isn’t cost, it’s politics. The California Nurses Association is pressing Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon to free Senate Bill 562 and calling on all Assembly members to announce their support for the bill and urge Rendon to let the legislative process move forward this year.

John Moorlach: Why you should buy a locking gasoline cap.

California Forum

Secretary of State Alex Padilla: On the 52nd anniversary of the Voting Rights Act, America faces ‘the greatest threat to voting rights in the past half-century.’

Jonathan Stein and Deanna Kitamura: Thousands of Californians don’t vote because they can’t read the ballot. Let’s fix that.

Joe Mathews: You heard me, California: Give noncitizens the right to vote.

Take a number: 365,880

How old is old enough to get a pass from prison? Under a proposed ballot measure for November 2018, some prisoners who are 80 or older and have served at least a decade of their sentence could become eligible for parole a bit sooner. The measure, sponsored by Pasadena attorney Charles W. Funaro II, would potentially replace the current process, by which prisoners who are 60 or older and have served at least 25 years of their sentences are eligible for parole. In the 2015-16 fiscal year, that led to 154 people going free. Backers were cleared to start gathering the 365,880 signatures necessary to qualify for the ballot on Thursday. – Erika D. Smith, @Erika_D_Smith

Their take

Los Angeles Times: As California water becomes an increasingly precious and contentious resource, the state needs an umpire with the power to enforce laws against illegal diversions and protect the rights of the public and others with enforceable claims to state water. That decision maker must be both muscular and fair. Though the State Water Resources Control Board for many years was quite lax in its approach to enforcement, the long drought has roused it from its slumber and it has begun to show its potential. That’s a welcome development for most of the state’s water users and rights holders.

The Orange County Register: The evidence is mounting that e-cigarettes help people quit smoking, so why do state and local governments keep banning them or regulating them like tobacco products? The latest research on the effects of e-cigarette use comes from a study, published in the British Medical Journal, of more than 160,000 Americans over a 14-year period.

The Mercury News: Through the Great Recession and during the anemic recovery since, food stamps have been literal life savers for families that once thought they’d never need government help with something as basic as feeding the kids. It’s an important part of the safety net, and that makes it all the more important to operate the program efficiently and effectively. California is falling short. State officials need to figure out why.

Santa Rosa Press Democrat: As players of all levels strap on helmets and begin drills for the upcoming season, an ominous presence has emerged on every football field – the truth. Given the mountain of evidence, there’s simply no way to rationally deny that football is bad for brains of all ages.

The Post & Courier of Charleston, S.C.: Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., cares enough about the future of immigrants brought to the United States as children that he’s willing to stake his career on it.

The Denver Post: As Denver’s elected officials continue in their laudable effort to protect those in the country illegally, it is important they maintain clear distinction between those who are otherwise peaceful, productive, law-abiding citizens and those who are bad actors. There is a big difference. Thankfully, Mayor Michael Hancock gets it.

Syndicates’ take

Charles M. Blow: All politicians try to manage news coverage and messages. They all try to put the most positive spin on things. They all are prone to hyperbole. But this is another thing altogether. We have never seen an occupant of the Oval Office who is actually allergic to the truth. We have never had an enemy of honesty.

Gail Collins: The current administration has been a pioneer in packaging things into Weeks and then staging lots of events to remind us about their topic. President Donald Trump also generally proposes a bill on the same subject, which Congress promptly rejects.

Michael Gerson: No major elected Republican has provided a comprehensive critique of Trumpism until Sen. Jeff Flake’s new book. It is a white-hot indictment of Republican cowardice in the face of a hostile, ideological takeover. It also represents the single largest act of political bravery of the Trump era.

Charles Krauthammer: At five separate junctures, the sinews of our democracy held against the careening recklessness of this presidency. Consequently, Donald Trump’s worst week proved a particularly fine hour for American democracy.

Dana Milbank: Golf is a game of humility: Even the best players are brought low by nature and chance. And it’s a game of honor: You keep your own score and are often unseen by other players. Then there is Trump golf. He breaks rules, exaggerates scores and ignores the game’s decorum. Sound familiar?

Eugene Robinson: It might feel like six years, but it’s only been six months and change since Inauguration Day – far too soon for even Trump to have alienated everyone who trusted him with their hopes and dreams. Give him time. He’s working on it.


“I welcome prosecutorial participation, but I expect honest talk and avoidance of unnecessary hyperbole.” – Gov. Edmund G. Brown, Sacramento