Doctors protect their own + firefighters union fights cost savings + Trump and Trumka

Jack Ohman looks at Steve Bannon’s future. Watch through the window here.

Our take


Doctors and nurses unions fight disclosure. What they don’t want you to know: Sen. Jerry Hill is trying to impose ever-so-mild disclosure requirements giving patients some protection against problem doctors and nurses.


Foon Rhee: The firefighters union says civilian paramedics are a bad idea. They worked. The City Council should show some spine and push hard for wider use of civilian paramedics to save taxpayers boatloads of money.

Andrew Malcolm, McClatchyDC: To better understand the ominous ongoing North Korean crisis, let’s view it from Kim Jong Un’s point of view.

Dan Walters, CalMatters: The California Public Employees Retirement System has been hammered by poor investment earnings in recent years, but got some good news last month.

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.


Amy Everitt: If Democrats turn back on abortion rights, they’ll get punished at the polls. NARAL Pro-Choice America and the grassroots organizations that are the core of the resistance to President Donald Trump are firmly united in our belief that reproductive freedom is a fundamental value of Democrats.

Berit Bagley: Tens of thousands of senior citizens, low-income individuals, and people with disabilities cannot access life-saving glucose monitoring devices because they aren’t covered by Medi-Cal.

Take a number: $1.8 billion

If the budget cuts proposed by President Donald Trump and Republicans in Congress go through, California would have to come up with at least $1.8 billion a year to keep food assistance at current levels. The California Budget & Policy Center warns that if the cuts aren’t made up, the impact would fall heavily on seniors, who rely on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, commonly called food stamps. More than one-fourth of those 65 and older already say they have trouble buying enough food. CalFresh provides only $1.50 per person per meal. The Trump administration seeks to cut food stamps and Meals on Wheels but increase defense spending. Foon Rhee, @foonrhee

Their take

East Bay Times: Air Canada and FAA hindered the investigation of SFO near-miss. Evidence lost in bureaucratic cover-up. Air Canada Flight 759 came within a few dozen feet and a few seconds of creating an airport inferno the likes of which this nation has never seen.

Charlotte Observer: As America gets closer to majority-minority status, it will be harder to ignore the kinds of racial contradictions that have long defined us. We cannot go on preaching that all men are created equal while collectively celebrating men who undercut that principle by participating in slavery, one of the world’s great evils.

Lexington Herald Leader: We agree with Mayor Jim Gray that it is only right that the statues of Civil War luminaries be removed from Cheapside Park, a place where thousands of humans were auctioned off to the highest bidder.

LA Times: It is absolutely mind-boggling that President Trump, at a bizarre news conference Tuesday, doubled down on his inexcusable, irresponsible and widely criticized efforts to create a moral equivalency between the behavior of the left and the right in Charlottesville over the weekend. Can it really be true that he doesn’t see much difference between Nazis and white supremacists, on the one hand, and their opponents?

Miami Herald: This president can’t persuasively condemn the violence in which Heather Heyer died when a car driven by a Hitler-loving “deplorable” smashed into a crowd of resisters. “Part of the problem is no one wants to hurt each other any more.” “I’d like to punch him in the face.” Sound familiar?

Kansas City Star: It’s encouraging that so many students, parents and others in the small Missouri town of Kearney are offended. They’re offended, that is, on behalf of the two gay graduating high school seniors whose quotes alluding to their sexuality under their yearbook pictures were censored by school officials who’ve said they removed them without any warning because they wanted to avoid offending anybody.

Syndicates’ take

David Brooks: President Trump gave people a quick pass out of anxiety. Everything could be blamed on foreigners, the idiotic elites. The true link between the Trump administration and those pathetic loons in Charlottesville is not just bigotry, but also conspiracy mongering.

Megan McArdle: Does screaming at town halls accomplish anything? Some constituents heckled Rep. Will Hurd in Texas. And the more aggressive their questioning got, the less sympathy there seemed to be for their views.

Ruben Navarrette: Haven’t the same people who are now criticizing President Trump told us for decades that America is racist to the core and that we need an honest discussion about race? Well, pull up a chair. The conversation has begun.

Leonard Pitts Jr.: “We are better than this,” we say. “This is not America.” So it is no surprise to be hearing that sentiment after what happened in Charlottesville. The words are obviously well-meant. They are also false.


“As the treasurer, who must also raise campaign funds, Chiang is an easy target for attacks.” – Julie Horenstein, Sacramento

Trumka takes leave

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka quit President Trump’s jobs council Tuesday, in the wake of Trump’s weak and waffling Charlottesville statements. Much as might have wanted to quit months ago, Trumka represents unions nationwide. Hillary Clinton carried voters in union households in California by 42 points, notes California Labor Fed spokesman Steve Smith. But Trump did better than Mitt Romney in union households in swing states, winning among union voters in Ohio, for one. Trump opposition to the North American Free Trade Agreement resonated with them, though as The San Francisco Chronicle notes, he’s cooling down his rhetoric. Even so, Trumka may be risking more than most CEO’s by leaving the council, just as the U.S. begins renegotiating the NAFTA.