Trump talks crazy, Scott Walker pays dearly for jobs, Melissa Melendez gets new digs

Jack Ohman examines the most destabilizing forces in the North Korea- U.S. standoff. Be very afraid here and click through to share.

Our take


Trump talks as crazy as North Korea’s dictator. The president’s reckless threat to rain “fire and fury like the world has never seen” on North Korea set back his own administration’s diplomatic efforts to control Kim Jong Un’s nuclear weapons and missile program.


Dan Walters, CalMatters: California dodged a big financial bullet when congressional Republicans deadlocked on overhauling or repealing the Affordable Care Act. However, the demise of the repeal effort triggered another major drive in Congress to overhaul the federal tax system, and it, too, could have a heavy impact on California.


Steve Westly: “Last in, first out” policies and strong tenure laws make it nearly impossible to remove non-performing teachers from the classroom. This hurts students, but it also diminishes the status of the profession, deterring talented people from pursuing teaching careers.

Lisa Yamashita-Lopez and Ray Kolisz: The state freed nearly 200 water districts, including many small systems serving disadvantaged communities, from a “pick your poison” dilemma: spending money they don’t have on new treatment systems, or shutting down wells.

California Forum

Erwin Chemerinsky: Remember that time California said ending affirmative action wouldn’t gut campus diversity?

Bill Lann Lee: California talks a good game on health care, but Medi-Cal is accepted by so few doctors that the lack of access violates civil rights.

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 and tell a friend.

Take a number: $230,769

All governors seek to “create” jobs. Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is no different. So he happily appeared alongside President Donald Trump and House Speaker Paul Ryan at the White House to tout the promise by Foxconn to build a factory that would hire as many as 13,000 workers. No matter that the Taiwan-based manufacturer builds its own robots to replace workers, called Foxbots. The liberal Good Jobs First organization noted that at the presser two weeks ago, “no media questions were allowed and no mention was made of the deal’s staggering costs for Wisconsin taxpayers.” To lure Foxconn, Walker promised $3 billion in tax incentives. Divide $3 billion by 13,000, and that works out to $230,769 per job. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel editorial writers noted: “The Foxconn deal could be the ‘game changer’ that Ryan says it is. We hope that's the case. But Walker and the Legislature need to take great care in designing a package of incentives that both bring this work to Wisconsin, and, just as important, protect taxpayers if it suddenly goes away.”

Their take

San Francisco Chronicle: The Bay Area’s housing crisis is on full display in the tiny city of Brisbane.

Santa Rosa Press Democrat: Teens only get one shot at growing up healthy. The Legislature can help improve their chances of success in health and in class by approving SB 328 by Sen. Anthony Portantino.

Raleigh News & Observer: North Carolina’s big beer distributors took smaller craft brewers to school during the legislative session this year, pouring more than $90,000 into the campaigns of influential lawmakers such as Senate president pro-tem Phil Berger and House Speaker Tim Moore.

Lexington Herald Leader: The president should understand that blustering or blundering his way into even a non-nuclear war on the Korean Peninsula will not reverse his sagging popularity. More likely it would ensure that he goes down as the worst president ever.

David French, National Review: The Trump administration has to grow up, fast. The president can’t issue threats without consulting with military leaders. He shouldn’t confront one of the most serious American foreign-policy challenges since the end of the Cold War with a skeleton diplomatic crew. He cannot be impulsive. He has to listen. He has to be sober-minded. And his trio of generals must rise to the occasion. Maybe not now, maybe not tomorrow, but soon enough, fateful decisions will be made. May those decisions be wise. Millions of lives hang in the balance.

Syndicates’ take

E.J. Dionne Jr.: The vast majority of Americans would prefer to suspend our acrid politics in dealing with the North Korea issue and support President Donald Trump if he pursued a tough but serious and carefully orchestrated policy. And this is where Trump’s temperamental unfitness for the office he occupies is disturbing for reasons that go far beyond party or ideology.

Thomas L. Friedman: Democrats need to win the argument with at least some Trump/GOP voters. There are many ways for Democrats to counter any new and improved Trump. I’d start by acknowledging a simple fact: Some things are true even if Donald Trump believes them!

Dana Milbank: A poll released by the Pew Research Center at the end of June found that fully 53 percent of Russians have confidence in Trump, 67 percent there think he’s a strong leader and 62 percent find him charismatic and well qualified.


Certain members of the scientific community are engaging in experiments that usurp the prerogatives of God and kill human embryos in the process. This is a dark path indeed.” – Diana Lee Vriend, Sacramento

And finally,

Assemblywoman Melissa Melendez, always one to speak her mind, got a little payback Wednesday for quitting her leadership position last month in a protest against Assembly GOP Leader Chad Mayes’ decision to help deliver seven Assembly Republican votes for Jerry Brown’s cap-and-trade deal. Melendez of Lake Elsinor sent a statement to the Riverside Press-Enterprise saying she had been bounced from her position as Assembly Insurance Committee vice chair, and was relocated to a cramped Capitol office on the fifth floor. “My beloved dog died yesterday. Today, I get my office moved to the dog house. Go figure. MM” Melendez‏ tweeted @asmMelendez. We’re sad about the dog. But being relegated to the dog house office is to be expected.