STD rates are setting records, even in California. Let’s talk about it. For the third year in a row, sexually transmitted disease rates have risen, with California near the top for some infections.
Jack Ohman sees that Stranger things have happened in Alabama. See Moore here.
Erwin Chemerinsky: The system is rigged. In a few days, the Supreme Court could fix it. Will the justices do the right thing? Republicans outside California stay in power by drawing their own electoral districts. The court should end gerrymandering.
Sen. Henry Stern and Assemblyman Marc Berman: Here’s a bill that will help you figure out who’s trying to buy your vote. Assembly Bill 249 would force disclosure of the big money behind high-priced ballot measure campaigns.
Take a number: $348,525
Timing is everything in politics. If President Donald Trump’s tax plan becomes law – a big if – Sen. Robert Hertzberg, the San Fernando Valley Democrat, may seize an opportunity. Since returning to the Legislature in 2015, and for several years before that, he has been working on an overhaul of California taxes. It’d lower sales tax rates, and income rates for some people while taxing some services, not including health care, child care or education, among others.
Hertzberg’s idea would become relevant if Trump’s plan become real. While the folks in, say, Alabama, South Carolina and other red states might do well under the plan, Californians will take a hit, particularly the upper-middle class Californians, as detailed by McClatchy DC’s Emily Cadei. The reason: California relies heavily on the state income tax, and Trump would abolish the federal deduction for state income taxes. Very rich Californians would lose that deduction, too. But unlike the merely well-off, the super-rich probably would reap a greater benefit if, as Trump proposes, the top federal bracket falls.
Hertzberg, meanwhile, is working away on his tax plan. Hertzberg has enlisted the services of former California Finance Director Tim Gage and political strategist Jim Deboo, plus billionaire Nicholas Berggruen’s Berggruen Institute Think Long Committee. In reports to the Fair Political Practices Commission, Hertzberg lists payments at his behest totaling $348,525 since 2015 from the Berggruen Institute to Gage’s firm and to Deboo. You can bet that Hertzberg’s plan is far more refined than Trump’s.
Cameron Smith, al.com: Roy Moore blew Luther Strange out of the water. Blame it on former-Gov. Robert Bentley appointing Strange. Call it a referendum on Mitch McConnell. Point out that President Trump doesn’t have the political clout he thought he did. There’s some truth to all of it. But those justifications miss a larger reality. Moore beat the daylights out of Strange because plenty of voters are tired of being treated like political patsies.
San Francisco Chronicle: The San Francisco Ethics Commission had the opportunity to pass a common-sense measure to curtail money in politics. It failed. The ordinance would have banned the practice of allowing political donors to contribute to the charitable causes of favored candidates when those donors have a contract up for approval or a pending land-use decision in front of city officials. Such arrangements are commonplace — and they stink to high heaven.
L.A. Times: It’s bad enough, just from a human dignity perspective, that there’s such a scarcity of working public toilets and hand-washing stations for the homeless. Now, there’s even more reason to get more facilities up and running. The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health last week declared an outbreak of hepatitis A, citing 12 cases as of Monday.
Baltimore Sun: It’s a sad day when Puerto Rico’s governor has to take to the airwaves to remind Americans that the 3.4 million people living in the U.S. territory are citizens of their nation, too, but that’s exactly what Gov. Ricardo Rossello has been reduced to – repeatedly – in the wake of Hurricane Maria and the suffering it has caused. The Category 4 hurricane left most of the island without power, and many remain without running water. The devastation has been extreme and could worsen if an 88-year-old failing earthen dam in the northwest collapses.
Lexington Herald Leader: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, reviled now by right-wingers he once enabled and appeased, may find his only option is to move to the bipartisan middle. Conveniently, that’s also the right thing to do.
Thomas L. Friedman: There was no good time for Donald Trump to be president. But this is a uniquely bad time for us to have a race-baiting, science-denying divider in chief.
E.J. Dionne Jr.: Alabama’s rebel yell from the right, and Judge Roy Moore is the one hollering. The message is clear. Donald Trump and the Republican Party have unleashed forces they cannot control.
Ross Douthat: Donald Trump is a virtuoso at taking social and cultural debates that could be important and necessary and making them stupider and emptier and all about himself.
Dana Milbank: President Donald Trump, so visible when Harvey and Irma hit, all but ignored the devastation that Maria brought to Puerto Rico, devoting more attention to respect for the flag at NFL games.
Albert Hunt, Bloomberg: Campaign finance reformers are ready to battle Trump: On campaign finance, there will be two main objectives: full disclosure of political donations, and federal matching funds for small contributions, perhaps $5 for every private dollar.
“The Delta does not have additional water to export for south-of-Delta agriculture during much of the growing season. The water we have must flow through the Delta first to protect our Delta agriculture, fisheries, communities and other uses.” – Mark Wilson, Wilson Vineyards, Clarksburg