Harvey, Antifa, Arpaio and white supremacists. Plus, the beach.

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 says you don’t need to be a Hurricane Harvey weatherman to see which way the wind blows. See the climate changing here.

Our take


There’s more to California than antifa thugs in Berkeley. Just ask Houston: Anti-fascists may have been the face of the Golden State people saw last weekend, but the response to Hurricane Harvey showed who we really are.


Andres Oppenheimer, Miami Herald: Don’t freak out over the travel warning on Cancun and Los Cabos. Compared to some crime-ridden U.S. cities – or the deaths from recent U.S. mass shootings – these Mexican resorts look like safe havens.


Ben Hueso and Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher: For decades, officials have worked to take down fences and gates for beach access for all. Now we must turn our attention to the equally important but less visible barriers posed by high costs and inadequate transportation.

Christian Arana: California Latinos have much at stake in the next census. For the millions of Latinos in California, the right to be counted is in jeopardy – one of the biggest threats to the community’s demographic power with enormous ramifications that could last a decade.

California Forum

Jane Braxton Little: California’s signature transportation agency is at odds with California’s state tree at Richardson Grove on Highway 101. Caltrans should slow down and enjoy the old growth redwoods. Instead, it has taken on an icon on the 101.

Their take

Los Angeles Times: When Los Angeles County voted last November to increase the sales tax again to pay for more rail lines, buses and highway improvements, one of the selling points was that the revenue would fund a transportation building boom and create lots and lots of new jobs – more than 465,000 of them, by one estimate. For the last several years, the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority has sought to steer more of the jobs created by local taxpayer-funded projects to local residents who need them. But now President Trump is looking to roll back local-hire programs nationwide and return to the days when the federal government banned geographical hiring targets.

Orange County Register: The 23-campus California State University system knows it must somehow speed up graduation beyond today’s pace, which sees just 19 percent of entering freshmen graduate within four years. The low rate is at least partly because more than a third of frosh need some remedial work.

San Francisco Chronicle: The streets of San Francisco and Berkeley were dominated by counterdemonstrators to hard right-wing groups this weekend, offering a strong message to the country about the Bay Area’s opposition to racism and white supremacy. While San Francisco’s protests were overwhelmingly peaceful and successful, Berkeley’s was plagued – again – by a violent outburst. The difference between the two cities is in their planning and their leadership.

The Mercury News: President Donald Trump’s pardon of former Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio sent chills down the spine of America – but for different reasons. For white supremacists and anti-immigration activists, it was an invigorating signal that the president has their backs if they stretch the law. For law-abiding Americans, including police officers who abhor profiling and the violence that often comes with it, the pardon was an unnerving signal that the president does not have theirs.

Syndicates’ take

Michael Gerson: After Charlottesville, President Trump must have known his next move would be highly symbolic, either as a retreat from prejudice or as its affirmation. What followed with the Joe Arpaio pardon constitutes the most forthright racist incitement of the Trump era.

Paul Krugman: Joe Arpaio is a white supremacist, but he’s more than that. There’s a word for political regimes that round up members of minority groups and send them to concentration camps, while rejecting the rule of law: What the president of the United States has just endorsed was fascism, American style.

Eugene Robinson: Climate change cannot be definitively blamed for Hurricane Harvey, but it likely did make the storm more powerful. Global warming did not conjure the rains that flooded the nation’s fourth-largest city, but it likely did make them more torrential.


“Trump supporters who approve of everything he does need to ask yourselves honestly: would you still approve if this were President Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton’s use of the pardon power?” – Stephen Farr, Folsom