Greta Gerwig’s “Lady Bird” raises a question: Is Sacramento more talented than we thought? Late last month, as Gerwig’s critically acclaimed film “Lady Bird” premiered in Sacramento, Mayor Darrell Steinberg landed in an awkward conversation about the arts with the father of Gerwig’s childhood best friend.
On trade with Asia, Trump puts America last. The president doubled down during his Asia tour on his wrongheaded “America First” approach to trade. He made a monumental mistake by torpedoing the Trans-Pacific Partnership. To be left out is bad for America and especially for California, the top exporting state to Asia.
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Jack Ohman catches Sen. Al Franken’s act from 2006 on Senate Night Live. You, too, can watch here.
John Snook: Tehama County had a tool to get that shooter into treatment. It just didn’t use it, and the system failed.
Foon Rhee: California’s pot industry will be awash in cash. How dangerous is that? When California’s brave new world of legal recreational marijuana starts Jan. 1, it will be cash only. That will be one of the biggest problems, besides public health and driving while impaired. Marijuana delivery drivers, who can carry as much as $3,000 in cash and product, will be among the most at risk.
Ben Boychuk: Umberto Eco wrote that the era in which we live has made fragile the foundations of everything: state, church, business, even reality. We’re left with unbridled individualism, conspicuous consumption and cultish behavior. Sound familiar?
Alyssa Rosenberg, Washington Post: As has so often been the case these past few months, Sen. Al Franken’s alleged behavior seems at odds with other parts of his record as both a comedian and a legislator. But we should know by now that these sorts of contradictions are commonplace. And we shouldn’t let the seeming tension between the good Franken has done and the hurt he’s alleged to have caused tangle us in knots or lead us to treat him as if he’s irreplaceable.
Joel John Roberts: Many cities are responding with quick fixes for the homeless – erecting large shelter tents, setting aside land for encampments and providing temporary toilets on the streets. While these moves will help alleviate street homelessness in the short term, they are not long-term solutions and do not address the root causes.
Take a number: 39
Saturday, Nov. 18, marks the 39th anniversary of the horrible slaughter and mass suicide at Jonestown. Rep. Leo Ryan had led a fact-finding mission to the Guyana outpost. People’s Temple cult leader Jim Jones ordered Ryan’s assassination, and exhorted his followers to ingest cyanide. In the end, 918 people had died. Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Hillsborough, then an aide to Ryan, accompanied him on the mission, and was wounded, as was Tim Reiterman, then a reporter with The San Francisco Examiner, and now an editor for The Associated Press. He and John Jacobs, the late political writer for the Examiner and The Sacramento Bee, wrote the powerful book, “Raven: The Untold Story of Rev. Jim Jones and His People.” A plaque at Evergreen Cemetery in Oakland commemorates the victims.
Raleigh News & Observer: Nathaniel Persily is a serious man whose academic specialty at Stanford University in California is, in a word, democracy. He researches issues such as voting rights, the political parties, campaign finance laws and redistricting. He is a glutton for knowledge, and given those topics and the way they inflame debate in American politics these days, some would say for punishment. But his draft plan for a new legislative district map for North Carolina – previous maps were ruled unconstitutional because of racial gerrymandering – shows him to be a skilled practitioner of his craft.
Los Angeles Times: After creating an international incident that led President Donald Trump to intervene with Chinese President Xi Jinping, the three teenage UCLA basketball players who shoplifted designer goods in China said Wednesday that they’re really, really sorry. No doubt. Surely LiAngelo Ball, Cody Riley and Jalen Hill, all freshmen Bruins, have spent the last week marinating in remorse as they’ve been holed up in a Hangzhou hotel, facing potential prison time for stealing from three luxury stores, while their teammates played an exhibition game and traveled home.
San Diego Union-Tribune: Voting in private Tuesday night, the county Citizens’ Law Enforcement Review Board dismissed 22 cases reviewing the deaths of jail inmates and people in custody because the investigations are more than a year old. The backlog indicates a major problem with priorities and resources. The dismissals – apparently the first since the board’s creation in 1990 – indicate an even bigger problem – with a misunderstanding of the board’s role.
San Jose Mercury News: California has a long-history of election meddling by state attorneys general who try to put a thumb on the scale before voters weigh in on ballot measures. Now Xavier Becerra is using his entire fist to squash attempts to repeal the state’s new 12-cent-a-gallon gas tax increase and $25 to $175 boost in annual vehicle registration fees.
(San Luis Obispo) Tribune: In a Galaxy not so far away – Atascadero, to be precise – a movie theater broke the ice in SLO County by becoming the first local cinema to put beer and wine on its menu. A few years after Galaxy Theatre in Atascadero started selling beer and wine, Downtown Center Cinemas in SLO began serving alcohol. Now, South County’s Regal Arroyo Grande Stadium 10 movie theater is asking the city for permission to offer beer and wine for sale. And why not? If someone wants to sit in the dark, sipping merlot out of a plastic glass while watching “A Bad Moms Christmas,” who are we to deny them the pleasure?
Charles M. Blow, New York Times: For three decade, the conservative right was the religious right. But now, all the pretense of any “moral” majority and “moral” authority has vanished into the very impulses that fed it: tribal racial/ethnic anxiety, panic and hostility, patriarchy and sexism.
Gail Collins, New York Times: Republicans desperately need to pass some kind of tax cuts, just to prove their majority is capable of doing something more exciting than renaming post offices. Voting starts this week, but now they’ve really muddied up the game.
Michael Gerson, Washington Post: The Russia investigation is a spectacular accumulation of lies. Lies on disclosure forms. Lies at confirmation hearings. Lies on Twitter. Lies in the White House briefing room. Lies to the FBI. Self-protective lies by the attorney general. Blocking and tackling lies by Vice President Mike Pence. This is, with a few exceptions, a group of people for whom truth, political honor, ethics and integrity mean nothing.
Dana Milbank, Washington Post: “Bernie Bernstein” gained national attention Tuesday when an Alabama pastor shared with a local TV station a voicemail left by Bernie. This produced a rather harsh response from Marty Baron, The Post’s executive editor, about the person “falsely claiming to be from The Washington Post.”
Andres Oppenheimer, Miami Herald: More than 156,000 Puerto Ricans have moved to Florida – a key swing state in U.S. elections – since Hurricane Maria hit the island in September. That should make Republicans nervous because most of the new arrivals will likely vote Democratic.
Bret Stephens, New York Times: No organization that purports to represent the interests of the Jewish people should ever embrace anyone who embraces anti-Semites. Those that do overlook Steve Bannon’s well-documented links to anti-Semitic white nationalists.
“Rep. Tom McClintock’s lame attempt to promote the GOP’s corporate tax giveaway fails on every level.” – Ginger Rutland, Sacramento
Thirteen House Republicans voted Thursday against the Republican tax cut bill, including three Californians: SoCal Reps. Dana Rohrabacher and Darrell Issa, and Tom McClintock of Elk Grove.
Rohrabacher and Issa are targets of Democrats in 2018. McClintock sits in one of the most heavily Republican districts in the state. The other 11 Republicans representing California voted for the bill, which passed 227-205. That includes Reps. Jeff Denham, R-Turlock, and Doug LaMalfa, R-Richvale, who must feel secure in their seats. So must House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy of Bakersfield and Rep. Devin Nunes of Visalia, who sits on the committee that wrote the bill.
McClintock has built his career on calling for tax cuts. In a statement explaining his “no” vote, he said that while he supported the corporate tax cuts, he opposed the individual income tax changes because they would do “significant harm, particularly to many families in high-cost, high-tax states like California.” Perhaps McClintock feels the temperature rising ever so slightly as organizing continues by Sierra Forward, a new Democratic club established to register voters in McClintock’s district, where he doesn’t live.
He explained in last week’s Forum that he wanted to leave no taxpayer behind. Jessica Morse and Regina Bateson, Democratic challengers in the Rocklin-Tahoe-Yosemite-area district, were saying that a vote for the GOP plan was a vote for the Kochs.