Opinion

Enabling Raul Bocanegra + Unfairly raising National Park fees + China’s special chemical warfare

Our take

Editorials

Californians say #MeToo, but enable sexual harassment. Here’s how we could say #Enough. Raul Bocanegra is the latest but hardly the only California legislator to have been outed for harassment. Too often, they’re enabled.

Tax cuts for the rich, higher fees at national parks for families. How is that fair? The huge entrance fee increases proposed by the Trump administration are uncalled for, and could easily discourage park visitors. If this proposal moves forward, it must include some kind of allowance for Californians who want to take a day trip to Yosemite.

Columns

Ben Boychuk: Screaming at Trump accomplishes nothing. Thousands of Americans are supposed to assemble on Nov. 8 to “scream helplessly at the sky.” Why? Well, why not? It will be one year since Donald Trump won the 2016 presidential election, and that’s reason enough for people to emote angrily if impotently at the seeming injustice of it all.

Andres Oppenheimer, Miami Herald: Double standard from White House on mass killings. When a foreign-born terrorist kills eight people, the president demands stricter immigration controls. But when a U.S.-born gunman kills 58 people, as happened a month ago in Las Vegas, Trump does not utter a word about the need for stricter gun laws.

California Forum

Markos Kounalakis: China is using fentanyl in a chemical war against America, and Donald Trump must make clear to President Xi that a chemical weapons red line is being crossed.

Joe Mathews: Drop by data-driven drop, conservation is the new front in California’s water wars. Digital tools and 2015 drought lessons now subject every yard and spigot to potential measurement – and conflict.

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Take a number: 56 percent

Californians worry that public colleges and universities are on the wrong track and are increasingly concerned about the cost of public higher education. According to an annual survey by the Public Policy Institute of California, 53 percent of likely voters say that the University of California, California State University and California Community Colleges are headed in the wrong direction and 51 percent say they need major change. Also, 56 percent of residents responded that affordability is a big problem. Also, 75 percent say the cost prevents qualified students from attending, 79 percent say students have to borrow too much, and 85 percent say colleges and universities should do more to help them with affordable housing.

Their take

Kansas City Star: House Republicans have taken a small but worrisome step toward a long-held goal: allowing charities to directly participate in elections. Tucked at the bottom of the 429-page tax reform bill released Thursday is a provision allowing churches and their auxiliaries to make political statements, including candidate endorsements, while maintaining their tax-exempt status.

Los Angeles Times: President Trump has been the biggest advocate of protectionism to occupy the White House since Herbert Hoover, who signed a notorious tariff-raising law in 1930 that deepened the Great Depression. So far, though, the Trump administration has taken a limited, more conventional approach to trade imbalances. Now, an independent federal agency that adjudicates trade disputes is urging Trump to broaden the shield that the U.S. already provides domestic solar panel manufacturers against unfair foreign competitors.

Santa Rosa Press Democrat: President Donald Trump last week declared the national opioid epidemic a public health emergency. It will take more than presidential declarations to reduce the ravages that painkillers are having on communities across the country. To start, Congress can undo its own effort to ease the flow of drugs from manufacturers to people who suffer from substance use disorders.

Virginian-Pilot: In the race for governor, Virginia finds itself in a fairly enviable position. Both major-party candidates — Democratic Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam and Republican Ed Gillespie — are practical, pragmatic and fundamentally decent people. Far from a flashy politician, the lieutenant governor has spent years in Richmond, developing the relationships needed to work across the aisle and deliver results. Some of Virginia’s most successful leaders of late, the ones who have been able to enact substantial legislation, hailed from the Legislature, where time spent working with lawmakers from the opposition allowed for good-faith negotiations on the most challenging issues.

Richmond Times-Dispatch: Ed Gillespie talks often and persuasively about the unbreakable link between economic growth and social progress. As governor, he will deliver on Virginia’s potential. He has earned our confident endorsement.

Bloomberg View: Congress has a rich history of exempting itself from rules it imposes on everyone else. Insider trading? Doesn’t apply. Whistleblower protections? Not in Congress! Workplace safety rights? Less is more. The Freedom of Information Act? Surely you jest. The most egregious example of this “Do as we say, not as we do” approach may concern sexual harassment.

The Washington Post: President Donald Trump on Thursday nominated Jerome Powell to chair the Federal Reserve. Second only to the Supreme Court, selecting who will lead the Fed may be the most important appointment a president makes. Though we would have preferred to see current Fed Chair Janet Yellen retained for a second term, Powell is a good choice – and by far the best non-Yellen option floated.

Syndicates’ take

Michael Gerson: We face a crisis of the “democratic state of mind.” What voices and institutions are proclaiming and defending the “tenets of faith and humanity” that make democracy both pleasant and possible?

Megan McCardle: It’s harder to do tax cuts now than it was in 2001, or the 1980s. Reagan got his tax cut through by dint of the famous “magic asterisk” – savings to be named later. Bush was lucky enough to push his tax cuts at a time when we still had a budget surplus. Today’s Republicans do not have such luxury.

Dana Milbank: Robert Mueller introduced the world to Sam Clovis, the Trump campaign official who oversaw George Papadopoulos and encouraged his efforts to meet with Russian officials. But what’s more interesting than what Clovis is is what Clovis isn’t.

Eugene Robinson: With remarkable consistency, President Trump has picked fights that portray white Americans as besieged, offended or disadvantaged by dark and alien Others. And now White House chief of staff John Kelly is adding his hideous rewriting of Civil War history.

Marc A. Thiessen: As a candidate, President Trump promised to jettison the Obama administration’s criminal-justice approach to terrorist detention and interrogation. In the past two weeks, two suspected terrorists were captured – one in Libya, the other in New York – and in both cases Trump has continued Obama’s policies to the letter.

Paul Waldman: The GOP tax cut bill, in all its mangled confusion, represents exactly where Republicans are today, in terms of both policy and politics. Yes, President Donald Trump is going to send out some stupid tweets and say some stupid things that will make passing the bill more difficult. But the problems congressional Republicans have are of their own making.

Mailbag

“While I sympathize with anyone who has experienced an unfavorable medical outcome, changing MICRA and decreasing access to care is not the answer.” – Britta Guerrero, Sacramento

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