Fires and climate change + Eric Garcetti contemplates next moves + Trump’s crazy war talk

Our take


Burning from Disneyland to the Wine Country, California must rethink its policies from firefighting to flood protection. Global warming is worsening storms and lengthening fire seasons, and the future isn’t going to disaster-proof itself.

Jack Ohman takes a roll call vote of the U.S. senators Donald Trump has insulted. See the tally here.


Dan Morain: Is L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti being coy about running for governor? If he gets in, he’d be formidable. Garcetti may be being straight and truly has not decided if he will run for governor. If he opts in, crime could be one of the big issues.

Dan Walters, CalMatters: Dianne Feinstein’s reelection announcement sparks two questions that only time will answer: Although a challenge from the left is likely, will it be serious by a well-known, well-financed rival such as Kevin de León or billionaire environmentalist Tom Steyer, or just a token candidate? And if, as likely, Feinstein does win another six-year term next year, will she continue until 2024, when she will be 91?

Andrew Malcolm, McClatchyDC: Despite opposition from some senior aides, President Trump will likely announce he is decertifying Iran’s compliance with the nuclear agreement. This is the compromise between walking away from the whole deal and once again, falsely certifying Iran’s cooperation for fear of riling the mullahs.


Dorothy Rothrock: When do consumers tune out warnings supposedly intended to protect them? SB 258 on Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk is fraught with litigation traps, confusion and unnecessary costs. It will result in over-labeling, adding even more length to those 10-inch long accordion-like consumer labels.

Sean Doherty and Bryce Lundgren: Flooding rice fields after harvest during the winter creates seasonal wetlands that are essential for the survival of the millions of birds that travel the Pacific flyway annually. This multibenefit approach to flood and water management is at the core of the new Central Valley Flood Protection Plan.

California Forum

Sasha Abramsky: How Trump’s big mouth really does make America look stupid, and really could start WWIII.

On behalf of The Sacramento Bee’s editorial board, welcome to The Take, your opinion-politics newsletter. Please sign up for it here.

Take a number: 1

LA Mayor Eric Garcetti came to the Sacramento Press Club with news: Having finally made up his mind about the Delta tunnels, he told Gov. Jerry Brown that he supported a one-tunnel concept. One tunnel probably would provide enough water for Southern California, but it wouldn’t be enough for Central Valley farmers, though they’re not committed to pay for their share, anyway. But one definitely is not nearly enough tunnels to please the governor who wants two, but it’s more than sufficient to alienate many Delta voters, if, that is, Garcetti ever decides to run for governor.

Their take

Santa Rosa Press Democrat: Sometime in the future, when another fire erupts in the middle of the night, North Coast residents will recall the Tubbs Fire of 2017. Right now, however, we’re still in the middle of the storm. At least three voracious fires, the largest racing across the ridgetops from Calistoga to Santa Rosa, broke out overnight Sunday, consuming tens of thousands of acres and sparking additional fires in Sonoma, Napa, Lake and Mendocino counties as people gathered what they could and fled for their lives.

East Bay Times: It’s one thing to hack away at adult Americans’ access to health care. But children? Until now the Children’s Health Insurance Program, known at CHIP, has had bipartisan support. But House Republicans have hit a new low by playing games with it – allowing funding for the program to expire Sept. 30, putting the health coverage for 9 million children at risk. Congress needs to reauthorize CHIP for five years. It’s up to the Republican leaders who’ve been stalwart supporters of care for children to keep their party from using CHIP as a weapon in the war on Obamacare.

Los Angeles Times: Sen. Dianne Feinstein ended months of speculation Monday when she said she was running for reelection in 2018. “I’m all in!” she tweeted and wrote in a Facebook post. The announcement follows months of chatter – some of it mean-spirited, some of it less so – about whether, at age 84, Feinstein is too old to run again. But why shouldn’t Feinstein run? She has as much right to run a campaign as anyone else – and more than many.

San Diego Union-Tribune: These are chilly times between Washington and Mexico City. President Donald Trump’s history of calling for Mexico to pay for a border wall and alleging our neighbor ripped America off in the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement has taken its toll on diplomatic ties. But the news is much better at the actual U.S.-Mexican border, where mutually beneficial and constructive cooperation is the norm on crucial issues. This is on display at the Otay Mesa Port of Entry, the second busiest commercial port of entry on the U.S.-Mexico border.

San Jose Mercury News: Shirley Lewis was one of those women who nevertheless persisted. Marrying young, starting her family while she was still at San Jose State and raising six kids. Dabbling in politics and then going all in, serving 12 years on the San Jose City Council and, in 1990, running for mayor. (She’d have been a great one.) But her third act – when others might have eased into obscurity – was as stellar as the rest. When she died Sunday at age 84, she had never really retired.

St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Film producer Harvey Weinstein ranks right down there in the gutter with Bill O’Reilly and President Donald Trump for the degrading way they have treated women and shrugged it off with boys-will-be-boys insolence. Whether liberal or conservative, influential politician or entertainment icon, a jerk’s a jerk. It’s amazing yet sad how men in positions of incredible influence in modern America still seem immersed in a bygone era, treating women as playthings and forcing them to take it if they want to keep their jobs.

Syndicates’ take

David Brooks: Before Nobel Prize winner Richard Thaler, economists figured it was good enough to proceed as if people are rational, utility-maximizing creatures. Now, thanks to the behavioral economics revolution he started, most understand that’s not good enough. But Thaler et al were only scratching the surface of our irrationality.

Paul Krugman: All too often, white Americans think of the social safety net not as something for people like themselves fallen on hard times, but as a giveaway to Those People.

Ruben Navarrette Jr.: Democrats abandoned all decency by ghoulishly using the Las Vegas tragedy to attack a nemesis, the National Rifle Association. Still, there’s a lot of truth in the idea that many Republicans have been bought and paid for by the NRA, and that this makes gun reform highly unlikely.

Leonard Pitts Jr.: It’s all well and good to hear Sen. Bob Corker and other Republicans acknowledge President Trump’s unfitness, but here’s the thing: he did not suddenly become unfit overnight. He didn’t morph into an overgrown toddler with his finger on the nuclear trigger over the weekend.


“What is it with some politicians like Feinstein and Sen. John McCain? Do they think they're indispensable?” Charles Hummer, El Dorado Hills