In this legislative session, plenty got done that will affect your life: Legislators pat themselves on the backs, and editorial writers offer jaundiced perspective. But this session was big.
Jack Ohman surveys the end of the California legislative session. Read the bills you missed here.
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Erika D. Smith: With art, everybody’s a critic – and that’s exactly what Sacramento needs. The first meeting to develop a citywide Cultural Plan is Monday at 6 p.m. at the E. Clara Raley Studios Auditorium in midtown.
Foon Rhee: CalPERS election is crucial, but most Californians can’t vote. Only CalPERS members get to choose two board members. But the contest matters more than many elections for local and state offices.
Dan Walters, CALmatters: With the 2017 legislative session completed – for better or worse – California politicians are raising money, hiring campaign staffers and mapping strategies for the 2018 elections.
Jack Doty: The only way to secure free and fair elections is to amend the constitution to limit the influence of money in politics. Last year, California voters passed Proposition 59, calling on our members of Congress to support the 28th Amendment.
Beverly Parenti: Without meaningful rehabilitation and job training, crime or unemployment are seemingly the only options for ex-prisoners. But what if we set them up for success with real-life skills and work experience that lead to well-paying, stable jobs?
On behalf of The Sacramento Bee’s editorial board, welcome to The Take, your opinion-politics newsletter.
Take a number: 662
In 2014, all but 28 of the 662 veteran suicides in California were men. The national total was 7,388 in 2014; adjusted for age and gender, the suicide risk was 22 percent higher for veterans than non-veterans, according to state-by-state data released by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. The VA has made suicide prevention a top priority and ramped up awareness and education programs. It says that of the 20 suicides a day, on average, 14 are of veterans not under VA care. “This is a national public health issue that requires a concerted, national approach,” VA Secretary David Shulkin said in a statement. – Foon Rhee, @foonrhee
St. Louis Post Dispatch: St. Louis police Officer Jason Stockley’s acquittal is the fourth since May of law enforcers charged in questionable shootings of black men. America has a problem here. There are too many guns and too many justifiably nervous but poorly trained cops making bad decisions in stressful situations. Citizens, black and white alike, have a right to expect better.
Houston Chronicle: A call for a special session of the Texas Legislature: Houston without oil is Cleveland. Boomtown becomes a second-tier city. The Legislature must step up to protect the Houston Ship Channel and its surrounding petrochemical complexes from a hurricane’s storm surge. This is more than local self-interest. The entire national energy economy relies on our pipelines and refineries. We’re responsible for more than half of the country’s jet fuel and nearly one-third of U.S. oil-refining capacity.
Miami Herald: President Trump signed legislation that includes an extension for the National Flood Insurance Program that will keep it afloat until Dec. 8. Now it’s time for Congress to finally come up with a reasonable solution that it has stubbornly, and illogically, avoided for years: creating a national catastrophe fund.
Denver Post: In preparing Amazon bid, Colorado officials learn from failed effort to lure Boeing. Hurricanes that hit Houston and southern Florida could swing the decision-making in favor of communities further inland. And if Amazon’s eventual and unstated goal is to move its headquarters out of Seattle, then going with a city in the center of the country, like Denver, would make the most sense.
San Antonio Express: By all means, San Antonio officials have to put our best foot forward for Amazon’s proposed second headquarters. But let us suggest that this bid — which we hope is successful — could also serve as a learning moment. As we tout our pluses, let us also be cognizant of our shortfalls and endeavor to fix them.
San Diego Union-Tribune: Four years ago, a columnist for The Economist predicted a huge “tech-lash” against America’s giant technology firms. Adrian Wooldridge considered it inevitable that executives at Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google and Microsoft would be seen by the public in the same malign fashion as bankers and oil barons. It was predictable that big tech companies would stand accused of operating in monopolistic ways and of stealthily monetizing information about individuals acquired from their online activities. But it’s not just these practices that have poked holes in Silicon Valley’s bubble of public regard and admiration.
San Francisco Chronicle: The telecom industry muscled SB 649 through the Legislature, a bad bill that will allow the companies to install obtrusive antennas and equipment on almost any street light or traffic signal without the input of local communities. Brown should veto it.
The Mercury News: Gaze in amazement. Breathe deeply. Experience the escape. On Monday, finally, Mount Umunhum – the South Bay’s equivalent of Mount Diablo and Mount Tamalpais – opens to all. Come and hike, learn about the mountain’s 10,000 year history and take in the sweeping views of the Monterey Bay, San Francisco Bay and far beyond.
Ross Douthat: Why Jeff Bezos should move Amazon’s second headquarters to St. Louis, Cleveland or Detroit.
Trudy Rubin, Philadelphia Inquirer: German Chancellor Angela Merkel appeared on the rocks after permitting a million refugees to enter Germany in 2015. But now Merkel is poised to win a fourth term handily.
David Brooks: On both left and right, movements have arisen to fix capitalism’s supposed structural flaws, either by radically interfering in the marketplace or by clamping down on global competition. But what if there are no structural flaws?
E.J. Dionne Jr.: The latest Obamacare repeal bill is an offering from Sens. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and Bill Cassidy, R-La., that would tear apart the existing system and replace it with a block grant to the states. All the tough decisions are kicked down to state capitals, usually with too little money.
Paul Krugman: President Trump doesn’t have any details on his tax reform plan. Bernie Sanders proposes Medicare for all, but hasn’t produced either an estimate of how much that would cost or a specific way to pay for it. How much, if at all, does policy clarity matter?
Dana Milbank: I was suffering from Trump Hypertensive Unexplained Disorder, or THUD. For almost five decades, I had been the picture of health, but eight months into Trump’s presidency, I was suddenly ailing. I have a strong suspicion that THUD is a widespread phenomenon.
Kathleen Parker: President Trump is busy fashioning a perfect world for Democrats to prevail. He may get more accomplished for the Democratic Party than Clinton could have with a Republican-dominated Congress.
Leonard Pitts Jr.: ESPN commentator Jemele Hill issued tweets calling the so-called president, among other things, “a white supremacist who has largely surrounded himself w/ other white supremacists.” If Hill deserves firing for calling Trump a white supremacist, then what does he get for actually being one?
Nicholas Kristof: What if God spoke to Jim Bakker? Yeah, that guy. He’s preaching again, and defending Trump.
Ruben Navarrette: President Trump recently upended the immigration debate by rescinding the program known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. But he doesn’t seem to have the stomach to deport hundreds of thousands of young people.
Jennifer Rubin: Why are elites rewarding Sean Spicer? He insulted and demeaned the free press. But now he’s the toast of the towns, the elite ones. He’s a guest on Jimmy Kimmel’s show, yukking it up about, well, about lying.
Retweet of the day
“Only word for it -- statesmanlike.” Patt Morrison @pattmlatimes, retweeting The NYT’s Julie Davis, @juliehdavis: “This is what the president of the United States would like to share with America/the world this morning.” That would be the GIF of Trump hitting Hillary Clinton with a golf ball.