Opinion

High times at Sacramento’s airport, dire times in Houston and the future of antifa

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 tours the flooding with President Trump. Check out the crowd size and turnout here.

Our take

Editorials

As Hurricane Harvey hits Gulf Coast, Central Valley must prepare for the coming storm. We in this reclaimed city of Sacramento need to pay heed. Even in this past week of wilting heat, clouds are gathering.

Southwest gives a vote of confidence in Sacramento airport. The biggest flight-increase announcement in decades is a significant and welcome sign that the airport’s efforts to fix its finances and repair its relationship with airlines are on the right path.

Columns

Foon Rhee: Sacramento’s new top cop talks a good game. Will he follow up with action? New Police Chief Daniel Hahn is focused on building trust between his department and the community. He seems to see the bigger picture of how law enforcement can succeed in today’s diverse, social media world.

Erika D. Smith: In defense of antifa, there’s a reason why this movement exists and why it must continue to exist, belligerent though it may be.

Marcos Breton: After getting pummeled by critics for his slow response to the aggression of white supremacists, President Donald Trump and his supporters are trying to turn the narrative toward antifa, anti-fascists who struck again in Berkeley over the weekend.

Karin Klein: A nun’s lesson for how to live. We put off doing what matters to us, or brings us joy, because we think there will always be another day for that. It’s a denial of the one future we all face: death.

Dan Walters, CalMatters: There’s something of a feeding frenzy underway in the Capitol during the final weeks of the 2017 legislative session.

Op-Eds

Julian Canete: Businesses of all sizes are already straining under the skyrocketing cost of employee health insurance, but California’s small, independent enterprises have the least room to accommodate new taxes that will drive those costs even higher if Congress doesn’t act soon.

California Forum

Erwin Chemerinsky: California’s Proposition 66 death penalty speed-up is about to be undercut on a case by case basis. Here’s why.

Shawn Steel: With construction costs up and job creation down, California should bite the bullet on the bullet train boondoggle, and abandon it for the sinking ship that it is. In other words, California’s high-speed rail promoters should heed the wisdom of rats.

Take a number: 16 percent

President Donald Trump certainly has core supporters, who will apparently never abandon him, no matter what he says or does. But their number is dwindling. In a new Pew Reserach Center poll released Tuesday, only 16 percent of adults surveyed said they like the way he conducts himself as president, and only 15 percent say they agree with Trump on all or nearly all issues. Even among Republicans, only 34 percent say they like his conduct and only 31 percent say they agree on issues. The Bee’s editorial board has been warning since December 2015 that Trump is a demagogue and danger to democracy. Unfortunately for the nation, he’s proving us right. –Foon Rhee, @foonrhee

Their take

Los Angeles Times: It would be coldhearted indeed if President Trump were to end the Obama administration’s policy of not deporting immigrants who were brought illegally to the United States as children. Yes, illegal immigration is a problem; yes, there are people in the U.S. who ought to be deported. But telling people who were raised here and educated here (thanks to decisions made by their elders) and whose dreams are rooted here that that they are no longer welcome – well, that would be an inhumane act.

Orange County Register: The one thing most everyone expected from the White House this year – a big new infrastructure deal – now looks dead in the water. “Infrastructure Week” wrapped up with President Donald Trump pulling the plug on his own Advisory Council on Infrastructure. The harsh truth is that Trump himself is responsible for failing to move forward as expected on an issue as important and straightforward as infrastructure.

San Diego Union Tribune: Americans are divided on many major issues, but not on internet privacy. Nevertheless, this spring, Congress approved and President Donald Trump signed a law rolling back regulations approved under the Obama administration, thus allowing telecom firms like AT&T, Charter, Comcast, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon to sell information about internet users as they see fit. At least initially, the California Legislature considered this unacceptable.

San Jose Mercury News: Unlike most of the nation, the Bay Area’s biggest problem right now is not from right-wing provocateurs, it’s from anarchist hoodlums. Most people here recognize how despicable and dangerous the ultra-right-wing, white supremacist, neo-Nazi movement is.

Syndicates’ take

David Brooks: The GOP was founded to fight slavery, and through most of its history it had a decent record on civil rights. But the Republican Party has changed since 2005. It has become the vehicle for white identity politics.

Frank Bruni: What President Trump saw in Hurricane Harvey was a mirror of his own majesty. A storm worthy of a stud like him. A meteorological complement to one of his resorts, rallies or steaks. Something really, really big.

David Leonhardt: The daily surface temperature of the Gulf of Mexico last winter never dropped below 73 degrees. When the seas warm, more moisture evaporates into the air, and when the air warms – which has also been happening in Texas – it can carry more moisture. The severity of Harvey, in other words, is almost certainly related to climate change.

Dana Milbank: President Trump unites Al Sharpton and Jewish leaders. This modern-day miracle was on display Monday, at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial on the Mall. Clergy of all varieties, but mostly rabbis and black ministers, came together in common cause against the despicable anti-Semitism and racism Trump has unleashed, most conspicuously in Charlottesville.

Kathleen Parker: Michael Cromartie was one of Washington’s relatively unknown elves who work diligently and without fanfare to make the world a better place. The forums, which were his brilliant idea, were held twice a year in Key West and more recently Miami’s South Beach.

Leonard Pitts Jr.: The selflessness of people during Hurricane Andrew in Miami 25 years ago is a reminder of what is happening now as Hurricane Harvey swamps southeast Texas. This is not who we are on an average day. No, on an average day, especially in a city the size of Houston, one tends to live in isolation from the folks next door.

Mailbag

“The repeated characterization of the violent anarchist troublemakers who assaulted several people in Berkeley on Sunday as ‘left-wing’ is a misapplication of the term. An anarchist is anti-government, period, and thus can’t have a political affiliation.” – Carol M. Rubin, Newcastle

Tweet of the day

“This morning our officers stopped a doe for toll evasion, on the Bay Bridge. She said she usually pays it, but today she was a buck short.” – CHP Oakland @CHPOakland.

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