Finally, a focus on saving the great forests of the Sierra. Is it too late? In the final days of the legislative session, Gov. Jerry Brown and legislative leaders set aside $225 million in cap-and-trade revenue for forests. It would be a start, and none too soon.
Modesto Bee: We’re glad Westlands Water District voted against funding Gov. Jerry Brown’s twin tunnels. They don’t deserve to be built. Yes, the Delta desperately needs fixing. Yes, salmon are losing ground in Northern California – a calamity tied to both climate change and how we all use the state’s limited water supplies. But it would have been impossible for the governor to have kept all the promises he made in trying to sell his California WaterFix.
Jack Ohman diagnoses the Graham-Cassidy health care bill, and he uses the words, health care, loosely.
Ben Boychuk: “Sanctuary state” isn’t just bad law, it’s lunacy. California Democrats are setting up a confrontation with the federal government over fundamental questions of who gets to enter the country, who gets to stay and how the rules will be enforced. Contrary to what Gov. Brown says, it is not “xenophobia” to insist that immigrants follow the rules.
Andres Oppenheimer, Miami Herald: President Trump made good points about Venezuela and Cuba. Unlike former President Barack Obama, who didn’t mention Venezuela in his last two annual addresses to the UN General Assembly, and only mentioned Cuba to refer to opening diplomatic ties with the island, Trump lashed out against the curtailment of basic freedoms in the two Latin American countries.
Joe Mathews: There are many explanations for American divisiveness, but one basic problem gets neglected: The country’s biggest, largest and most distinctive state is essentially balancing conservatism in the rest of the country. Is California polarizing the United States?
John Jackson: Christians believe every person is made in God’s image and is therefore worthy of respect and dignity. Sadly, a recent column in The Bee demonstrated anything but respect for a significant part of our region’s population.
Faith Whitmore: Men must step up to stop domestic violence. We need you to be good fathers and father figures. Your children are watching you and learn to model your behavior. If you respect women, they are certainly more likely to follow suit.
On behalf of The Sacramento Bee’s editorial board, welcome to The Take, your opinion-politics newsletter.
Take a number: 1,667,200
The UC Berkeley Labor Center concludes that the latest effort to repeal the Obamacare by Sens. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Bill Cassidy of Louisiana and Dean Heller of Nevada is the worst yet for California. It cites the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities estimate of “unfathomable federal funding losses” for California of $27.8 billion in 2026, jumping to $57.5 billion in losses in 2027. The labor center provides a map showing the numbers of people who would lose health coverage by congressional district. Bottom line: 1,667,200 Californians would lose their coverage in the 14 districts held by Republicans. Why would any Republican vote to strip their constituents of health care? Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley answered that question in a call with his home state reporters: “You know, I could maybe give you 10 reasons why this bill shouldn’t be considered. But Republicans campaigned on this so often that you have a responsibility to carry out what you said in the campaign. That’s pretty much as much of a reason as the substance of the bill.”
LA Times: Graham-Cassidy: Another day, another lousy GOP healthcare bill: The big winners would be deeply red states that have spent comparatively little on healthcare for their residents, such as Oklahoma, Mississippi and Kansas. The losers would be states with large healthcare budgets, such as California and Massachusetts.
San Francisco Chronicle: Broken car windows are telling a story that’s hard to miss in San Francisco. Auto break-ins and street muggings are bumping up across the city with fears fueled by word-of-mouth anecdotes and disturbing statistics.
Lexington Herald Leader: EPA Director Scott Pruitt doesn’t want to talk about climate change because those who have enabled his career don’t want him to talk about it. It is they – not the environment or the millions of Americans threatened by its next wild rage – whom Pruitt seeks to protect.
Alabama Media Group: There are important questions Alabama needs answered before voters choose a United States senator, but the Alabama Attorney General’s office is stonewalling. The simplest distillation is this: What led Sen. Luther Strange, back when he was the state attorney general, to fire off a letter to the EPA opposing the expansion of a north Birmingham Superfund site? Yes, that’s the same Superfund site at the center of a federal corruption investigation that has already ensnared one Alabama state lawmaker and U.S. Attorney Jay Town has suggested there’s more to come.
Gail Collins: Are we down to President Mike Pence? Maybe that’s what this country needs – a president who can make diplomacy boring again. We’re back to the dream of impeachment, or the sudden news that Trump is retiring to spend more quality time with his defense attorneys.
Cathleen Kaveny: Sen. Dianne Feinstein isn’t an anti-Catholic bigot. However awkwardly, she was doing her constitutional duty to vet a candidate for a life-tenured federal judgeship. What Amy Coney Barrette thinks about the relationship between law and morality will have a large impact in a pluralistic society.
Nicholas Kristof: If there were an award for United Nations chutzpah, the competition would be tough, but the medal might go to Donald Trump for warning that if necessary, “we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea.” A forum for peace was used to threaten to annihilate a nation of 25 million people.
Eugene Robinson: Each new GOP bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act is worse than the last. The measure that the Senate plans to vote on next week essentially takes away most of the protections, benefits and funding of the ACA, but leaves in place most of the taxes. That’s supposed to be good politics? Seriously?
“Parents should have the right to direct how their children are educated. The state has no business forcing its political correctness on children against parents’ wishes.” – Terence Kilpatrick, Sacramento
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