Dear Mrs. Kaepernick: Every son should have a mother like you: We can’t imagine what it must have felt like to hear Donald Trump call you a “bitch,” but you handled it with class.
Jack Ohman looks at officiating Donald Trump in the NFL. Check out the video review and ruling here.
Karin Klein: Today’s college students just can’t write. Freshman composition courses, intended to make up for the lack of preparation in high school, clearly aren’t getting the job done. And now California State University announces that it’s doing away with remedial courses.
Carl Hiaasen: We could guard Beyonce for less than what it costs to protect EPA chief Scott Pruitt.
Barry Broome and Edward Condon: Head Start, the early childhood education program that helps underprivileged children be ready for school, also helps their parents to be successful – and better employees. Kids win, parents win and employers win.
On behalf of The Sacramento Bee’s editorial board, welcome to The Take, your opinion-politics newsletter.
Take a number: $200,000
NFL players were kneeling in defiance of Donald Trump, and the president was disinviting the NBA champion Warriors to the White House, though Steph Curry had made clear he would have no part of any meet-and-greet photo opp with Trump. On Sunday, Trump tweeted that the Stanley Cup winning Pittsburgh Penguins would show up at White House. It wouldn’t be the first visit for Penguins’ owner Ron Burkle. The L.A. billionaire was a regular during Bill Clinton’s White House years. Exactly what happened between Ron and Bill and Hillary is the stuff of speculation, as the L.A. Times’ Evan Halper wrote last year. But after raising tens of millions for the Clintons, Gray Davis and other Democrats, Burkle these days is in House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s stable of donors. The supermarket magnate has donated no less than $200,000 so far this year to the Bakersfield Republican and GOP congressional campaign committees. Burkle dropped a few crumbs for Democrats: $5,000 to the L.A. Democratic Party and $5,400 to Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s 2018 Senate race.
The Mercury News: The California Legislature wants to give telecom companies a nice big gift: at least $30 million a year, and perhaps billions of dollars in savings at the direct expense of cities that both rely on the money and use their current leverage to negotiate improved coverage for poor neighborhoods. Gov. Jerry Brown – or, perhaps more to the point, former Oakland Mayor Jerry Brown – has to stop it. He should veto SB 649.
San Diego Union-Tribune: Just last month, in a gerrymandering case focused on racial sequestration in North Carolina, Justice Anthony Kennedy signed a dissent in which Justice Samuel Alito strongly defended political gerrymandering as a “traditional domain of state authority.” But what was done in Wisconsin shouldn’t be acceptable. A state tradition that enables shabby abuses of power isn’t a tradition worth preserving.
Philadelphia Inquirer: Pennsylvanians in the future will surely look back on 2017 as the year the state Legislature crossed the line from desperation to madness. Its desperation over balancing the budget has led to folly after folly. ... The final act of insanity will be a major expansion of gambling in the state. Now limited to the state’s 12 casinos, it could spread into as many as 13,000 bars, fraternal clubs and other establishments with liquor licenses.
The Gazette, Colorado Springs: At 81, “the maverick” John McCain probably won’t seek another term. In Washington, 2,300 miles from Phoenix, McCain cares more about the media’s crush on him than the constituents he blatantly deceived. When premiums double again, don’t blame Obama. Call it McCain Care, for the Republican who led a fight to sustain it.
Trump takes on NFL
San Francisco Chronicle: President Trump’s attempt to declare the national anthem a protest-free zone belongs to a long line of reactionary assertions that the flag, the military and other American icons are so sacrosanct as to require an unquestioning salute from any true patriot. The wholesale rejection of that view during Sunday’s NFL games embodied a prouder American tradition of dissent.
Charlotte Observer: Donald Trump spent the weekend distorting the reason athletes began peacefully protesting during the national anthem and misusing his power to try to squelch the speech of those with whom he disagrees. Those athletes responded the way patriots do, by defying unethical authority. Charlotte native Stephen Curry is also part of the fight.
Baltimore Sun: Sen. Ben Sasse, a Nebraska Republican, was probably right when he warned that NFL players, coaches and owners were doing exactly what President Donald Trump wanted. He thrives on jingoistic patriotism and division. He is adept at changing the subject from the hard acts of governance.
Denver Post: The Broncos — joining teams across the National Football League — displayed an even deeper understanding of our patriotism, and we hope the decision by the players and their management to unite in the face of a call to divide them serves as an important lesson to us all. For clearly, our country must find a way to advance beyond this troubled chapter in our racial history without leadership from the White House.
Chicago Tribune: Donald Trump said at a political rally in Alabama that any player who disrespects the flag by not standing for the anthem is a “son of a b––” who should be fired. He encouraged fans to walk out of stadiums or turn off the TV when that happens in order to punish the league. Ugly words by Trump, but worse: unnecessary. The president’s opinion wasn’t invited.
Trudy Rubin: Unlike the crisis with North Korea, the moment of truth in Iran is not upon us, unless Donald Trump decides to kill the Iran deal, which would leave the United States diplomatically isolated.
Michael Gerson: America has a racial demagogue as president. We play hail to this chief. We stand when he enters the room. We continue to honor an office he so often dishonors. It is appropriate, but increasingly difficult.
Eugene Robinson: Donald Trump claimed in a Monday tweet that “the issue of kneeling has nothing to do with race,” but that is a lie. Colin Kaepernick’s method of protest had everything to do with race, as its intent was to focus attention on racial injustice.
Timothy L. O’Brien, Bloomberg View: Donald Trump has never had the intellectual sophistication or emotional discipline necessary to be “presidential.” Nor will he ever. But Trump becomes as unpresidential as possible soon after observers say he’s finally acting like a commander in chief.
“I never thought his kneeling was a sign of disrespect. It was a symbol of sadness that our country didn’t always live up to its ideals. It was in honor of all the things we as Americans aspire to be.” – Marcy Anne Hunt, Folsom