Speaking of dead elephant importation, Jack Ohman smells one in the Oval Office. See the carcass here.
Erika D. Smith: Republicans in Congress certainly talk a good game about helping the poor and middle class, arguing that their rewrite of the tax code will amount to more than just a giveaway to the rich. But all their shameless maneuvering is really doing is making once-crazy, semi-socialistic economic ideas, such as universal basic income, seem sane. Just ask Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs.
Karin Klein: Subscribers to Nextdoor knows there are helpful listings of items people are selling or giving away, requests for the names of great handymen and postings about lost or found pets. But Nextdoor also can be where petty concerns and prejudices are reinforced and a forum for people who make minor annoyances into federal cases.
Shirley Svorny: If California doctors won’t take Medi-Cal patients, why not let out-of-state physicians provide services through telemedicine?
Henry A. Waxman: If California is such a climate leader, why is CalPERS backing companies that burn rainforests down?
Erwin Chemerinsky: One says ignore abortion law, one sees “Satan’s plan” in LGBTQ rights, one just passed the bar and chases ghosts. Too many of Trump’s judiciary picks have no business being judges. Can Senate Republicans say no?
Stephanie Taylor: James Motlow was a ship captain for 30 years before retiring to Locke in the Delta. Now photographs preserve his memories. A visit to the Delta, and a ship captain’s picturesque memories of the sea.
Jeff Opperman and Peter Moyle: One of the more remarkable stories in the past year is the catastrophe that did not happen – massive flooding in California. Last year was the state’s wettest on record, and flood protection is an investment the Central Valley can’t afford not to make.
East Bay Times: Every cellphone user – and that’s 95 percent of Americans – has an interest in the imminent Supreme Court ruling on whether the government needs a search warrant to access individuals’ cellphone location history. So does the tech industry, which depends on consumer trust in its products to thrive. The stakes are high enough that Google, Facebook, Apple, Twitter and Cisco joined forces on a friend-of-the-court brief begging the court to recognize “the changing realities of the Digital Age.”
Los Angeles Times: Charles Manson’s bizarre plan to ignite a race war was unknown to Los Angeles in August 1969, as were his pathetic collection of young, rapt followers, his bizarre misinterpretation of Beatles lyrics, and Manson himself. But we will remember Manson. After the murders and the trial, Manson did nothing but sit in prison – as befits someone who misused his odd power over others by directing them to commit multiple murders. He forfeited his freedom and died an inmate. But the rest of us have kept him alive.
Charlotte Observer: Though Republicans have been on the political hot seat because of credible allegations about sexual assault, child predation and harassment hanging over Alabama’s Roy Moore and the U.S. Senate seat he wants, only Democrats can turn what feels like a moment into a movement. For that to happen, they will have to do something they proved incapable, or unwilling, of doing when they were previously faced with disturbing and inappropriate behavior within their own ranks. They get to start doing so with Sen. Al Franken.
Jonathan Bernstein, Bloomberg: The case for the superdelegates is stronger than ever in the era of celebrity candidates and foreign interference in elections, regardless of what the populists and good government folks believe. In fact, superelegates are part of a solution to all kinds of potential breakdowns in the modern nomination system. Democrats would be foolish to throw them away.
Charles M. Blow, New York Times: We have to re-examine our toxic, privileged, encroaching masculinity itself. And yes, that also means on some level reimagining the rules of attraction.
Paul Krugman, New York Times: Republicans can’t even seem to get their fake story straight – and they literally start yelling obscenities when someone tries to point out the facts. GOP lies about taxes generally involve two issues: who is hurt or helped by tax changes, and what these changes will do to the budget.
David Leonhardt, New York Times: Other countries have embarked on evidence-based campaigns to reduce vehicle crashes. The United States has not. The fatality rate has still fallen here, thanks partly to safer vehicles, but it’s fallen far less than anywhere else.
Andres Oppenheimer, Miami Herald: Unless Western democracies step up their diplomatic and financial sanctions against President Nicolas Maduro’s regime over the next few weeks, there will be a bigger mass exodus of Venezuelans.
Eugene Robinson, Washington Post: The fact that most of Roy Moore’s supporters, thus far, are sticking with him – enough to cow the state Republican Party into sticking with him, too – means he has convinced many Alabamians that child molestation is a lesser sin than believing in the Constitution’s separation of church and state.
Marc A. Thiessen, Washington Post: Both Democrats and Republicans in Washington are up to their eyeballs in Kremlin cash. Russian money found its way into the pockets of not only Trump advisers like Paul Manafort and Rick Gates – who were recently indicted by special counsel Robert Mueller – but also Democratic power lobbyist Tony Podesta, Bill Clinton and the Clinton Foundation.
“Here we go again. The GOP tax cut plan promises to stimulate the economy and greatly improve financially the middle class substantially reducing income inequality. Smoke and mirrors.” –Richard Kuechle, Lincoln
Tweet of the day
“More than half of Puerto Rico is still without power.” – Sen. Kamala Harris, @KamalaHarris