Legal weed sales + Jeff Denham ducks Trump + Arnold Schwarzenegger on bipartisanship

Jack Ohman listens in on George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. Eavesdrop here.

Our take


You can buy legal marijuana in four months. But is California ready to sell it?: Voters approved Proposition 64, the legalization initiative, in November 2016 and set an ambitious deadline of January 2018 for retail sales to begin. Backers left the details to be worked out by others.

Modesto Bee: Asked Wednesday if Rep. Jeff Denham would have anything to say specifically about Trump’s comments, a Denham spokesperson said “not at this time.” It’s easy to issue a blanket criticism of racists. People of conscience most often condemn racism. But in this case, they also should condemn the president who condones it.


Bill Whalen: Could California Republicans get a boost from ballot measures? A referendum to repeal a gas tax increase, and possibly another on “sanctuary state” legislation, might turn out otherwise blasé conservatives and get the attention of middle-of-the-road voters interested in taxes and public safety.

Andres Oppenheimer, Miami Herald: If the center-right party of President Mauricio Macri wins in October in Argentina, it could pass important economic reforms with the support of moderate opposition legislators. More importantly, it would help dispel widespread business fears of a political comeback by former populist President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner.


Arnold S. Rosenberg: A bill designed to reduce fraud would eliminate consultants. But low-income immigrants turn to consultants because they can’t afford lawyers, who often charge thousands of dollars more to prepare a routine visa application.

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California Forum

Arnold Schwarzenegger: The Governator says he’s proud of Gov. Jerry Brown, of Assembly Republican Leader Chad Mayes’ cap-and-trade vote, and of California for being a beacon of compromise, compared to Congress. Bipartisanship shouldn’t be a dirty word, says Schwarzenegger. It should be the job.

The Rev. James Richardson: An Episcopal priest and former Bee reporter brings news from his old parish. The secret weapon deployed in Charlottesville by ordinary people when the Nazis came.

Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia: Are Democratic women being sold out in the name of ‘A Better Deal’?

Los Angeles County Supervisors Sheila Kuehl and Kathryn Barger: Why the heck does the size of LA County’s Board of Supervisors matter so much to these state guys?

Joe Mathews: Take me out to the California League.

Take a number: 127

The city of Sacramento is ahead of many other local governments in preparing for marijuana legalization, but it is still facing pot problems. For instance, the police department reports that since January 2016, it has responded to 127 crimes involving illegal residential grows – 76 robberies and 51 home invasions. On Tuesday, the City Council will be asked to decide how to address the estimated 1,000 homes with illegal cultivation. There are two options – relying on the Police Department SWAT team, which has other duties; or creating a special 15-member team, which would take them off patrol and lead to overtime. The city manager is recommending using the highly trained SWAT team for three months to target the illegal grows before turning it over to the special team, with the hope it would have fewer houses to worry about. Foon Rhee, @foonrhee

Their take

Tucson Citizen: There will be no justice, not even the poetic kind, as far as former Sheriff Joe Arpaio is concerned. He will not be stopped and harassed for the way he looks. He will not be paraded before onlookers, forced to wear pink underwear or live inside a tent in triple-digit heat. He won’t, most likely, spend any time in jail over his recent conviction. Those indignities and humiliations he visited upon others will never be atoned for. And, if President Trump follows through, Arpaio’s criminal record will always have a powerful caveat: He was pardoned. This must not happen.

San Francisco Chronicle: Amid tears and hugs, an Oakland family was pulled apart this week by an inflexible immigration system, obliging the parents and one child to leave while three daughters remained here. The parents didn’t have legal status despite years of effort and the intercession of Sen. Dianne Feinstein.

Miami Herald: The Justice Department is treading into dangerous waters by obtaining a warrant to search the computer IDs of all 1.3 million people who visited a website that advocated protests against President Donald Trump’s inauguration.

Raleigh News & Observer: Gov. Roy Cooper can expect blowback – and a lot of it – from his call to remove Confederate monuments from state property. But the governor, a son of rural North Carolina with a Southern accent all his own, is right.

Lexington Herald Leader: Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin likened moving Confederate statues to actions by Pol Pot, Hitler, Stalin and ISIS. He said that many figures in U.S. history would stand up to 21st century scrutiny no better than the Confederate leaders who made war on the United States to preserve slavery. Bevin said “hate and bigotry has no place whatsoever in Kentucky,” but like Trump, his moral equivalence gives support to the worst forces of hate and bigotry.

Los Angeles Times: Despite the debacle in Charlottesville, Va. – or perhaps because of it – you can rest assured that there will be more marches around the nation in the coming weeks by people who espouse hateful, racist ideas. The mere risk of such violence be used as pretext for denying people the ability to exercise their right to free speech or assembly.

Orange County Register: An innovative, off-stream water storage proposal northeast of Sacramento should be one of the top priorities for the state’s spending of Proposition 1 water-bond money. The Sites Reservoir project would, in wet years, divert “excess” water from the Sacramento River into what would be the seventh-largest reservoir in California.

San Diego Union-Tribune: In July 2015, The San Diego Union-Tribune editorial board called the agreement that the United States, Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the European Union had just reached with Iran a “historic gamble.” Two years later, the Iran deal seems to be on shaky ground.

San Jose Mercury News: For Donald J. Trump to have anything remotely resembling a successful presidency he has to learn that words matter when they are uttered and written by the president of the United States. He has used them to bully, threaten and taunt. His grandiose, indiscriminate, intemperate and unfiltered choice of words has defined his presidency. To some it shows he is different. But different is not necessarily better.

Santa Rosa Press Democrat: More than violence, more than the ability to promote an agenda of white supremacy, the right-wing groups that gathered in Charlottesville, Virginia last weekend wanted one thing: attention. And they got plenty amid a weekend filled with violence, angry rhetoric and, ultimately, bloodshed. Bay Area political leaders and others should keep that in mind as they decide how to properly respond and prepare for two rallies planned in two weeks, one in Berkeley and another in San Francisco.

Syndicates’ take

Charles M. Blow: President Trump is an articulation of the racists in Charlottesville and they are an articulation of him, and both are a logical extension of a party that has too often refused to rebuke them. It’s not that Democrats have completely gotten this right, either.

Gail Collins: We’re only safe when President Trump is using prepared remarks. The extemporaneous Trump’s response to the violence in Charlottesville wasn’t just tone-deaf and heartless; you had to wonder about the overall mental balance of a man who managed to both defend white supremacists and brag about his real estate.

Michael Gerson: Many have asked whether Steve Bannon will be fired from the White House. The operative question is not “Should Bannon leave?” It has become: “Why should anyone not named Bannon stay at the White House?”

Megan McArdle: The GOP can’t impeach President Trump over terrible news conference. The president’s response to Charlottesville was hideous, but I have a tough time making it fit any reasonable definition of “high crimes and misdemeanors.”

Dana Milbank: Lawmakers, CEOs and presidents distanced themselves from President Trump after his remarks on Charlottesville. The hosts on “Fox & Friends” tried mightily to change the subject from Trump’s unconscionable defense of neo-Nazis to his claim that those taking down statues of “Confederate heroes” would soon attack George Washington.

Ruben Navarrette: President Trump and the media love wrestling in the mud. Both are driven by ego and take criticism personally. Both will twist the facts to defend themselves and push their agenda.

Eugene Robinson: President Trump pours salt on the nation’s wounds. Thursday on Twitter, the president came out firmly against the removal of public monuments to the Confederacy – the issue that brought white supremacists, neo-Nazis and the Ku Klux Klan to Charlottesville and led to the death of Heather Heyer.


“Republican leaders have been willing to turn a blind eye to regressive and anti-democratic impulses within their party. The result is Trump and resurgent hate groups.” – Spencer P. Le Gate, Sacramento