Save us, Congress. You’re net neutrality’s only hope. On Thursday, the Federal Communications Commission pushed through a repeal of the Obama-era regulations, taking power away from consumers and Silicon Valley, and giving it to internet service providers. But all is not lost.
What Jerry Brown must get done before he retires to that ranch up in Colusa County. The governor starts the final year of his final term with deserved international stature. But from cannabis to climate, his work in California isn’t done.
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Erika D. Smith: Earlier this year, Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed Senate Bill 649, which would have made it easier for telecommunications companies to install 5G wireless broadband equipment in California’s cities. Sacramento chose a different path, though, and now is in a unique position to take advantage of a world without the protections of net neutrality.
Markos Kounalakis, McClatchy: Kim Jong Un may be planning to use his nuclear and missile technology not to land an explosion on U.S. soil, but to blast it in space. Such an explosion would trigger a high-altitude electromagnetic pulse that could cripple satellites and blind any nation that relies on orbiting communications for everything from airline navigation to financial transactions.
Anthony Iton: The astonishing surge of opioid-related deaths is unfortunately only a symptom of a much larger epidemic afflicting mostly rural white Californians. An in-depth study suggests they are dying of despair as they watch their hands slip from the ladder of opportunity.
David Edelson and Tim Quinn: The way Congress funds firefighting is a disaster that California representatives such as Kevin McCarthy and Nancy Pelosi can and should fix.
Meg McDonnell: Attorney General Xavier Becerra says making the Little Sisters of the Poor obey the Health and Human Services birth control mandate is a women’s issue. But nuns are women, too.
Crystal Strait: Denying women birth control is illegal and immoral. California is right to sue over it.
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Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León, holding his first press conference to address #MeToo allegations in the Capitol, announced steps that included hiring former U.S. Attorney Benjamin Wagner and others to confront the culture of harassment, and establishing a 1-800 hotline so Capitol people can lodge complaints about harassment and assault. De León said allegations that surfaced when 140-plus women signed a #WeSaidEnough letter in October have been “humbling,” and that he never saw inappropriate behavior by his former roommate, Sen. Tony Mendoza, D-Artesia, who has been accused of inviting young women to his various rooms. If he had seen it, de León said, he would have confronted Mendoza. On Thursday, de León urged Mendoza to step down until the internal investigation is complete, as The Sacramento Bee’s Taryn Luna reported. Mendoza declined.
Los Angeles Times: The Environmental Protection Agency was supposed to announce by Oct. 1 which parts of the country had fallen short of new, more stringent limits on the amount of ozone in the air, thus clearing the way for local action to reduce emissions. But the EPA failed to issue the designations, sparking a lawsuit last week by California and more than a dozen other states asking a federal judge in Washington, D.C., to force the government to, in essence, do its job.
Hartford Courant: Today they would be in sixth grade, getting ready for their school’s Ugly Sweater Day, maybe experiencing their first crush, joining the drama club, complaining about homework. But instead, they and the women who died trying to protect them are in our thoughts and prayers today. They are the 26 innocents who died at the hands of a madman at Sandy Hook Elementary School on Dec. 14, 2012 – the day that broke Connecticut’s heart.
Miami Herald: Now that the confetti has been swept away, the sighs of relief exhaled and dropped jaws scooped up off the floor, the lessons of Doug Jones’ stunning Senate victory in Alabama loom large — for Democrats. Jones, indeed, pulled off an unlikely feat.
Kansas City Star: U.S. Rep. Kevin Yoder met with Ivanka Trump this week, hopeful that her leverage with the president could lead to relief for parents struggling with the high cost of child care. That’s a step in the right direction in the tax reform debate. But on Thursday, Yoder voted for a budget blueprint that Democrats argue would harm some of the same Americans he’s pledged to help.
Bloomberg View: The costs of the Jones Act – the law requiring all maritime commerce between U.S. ports to be carried on ships built, crewed and owned by Americans – get too little attention. The toll is heavy, and the burden is unfairly distributed. But what if the law serves a vital purpose? Are these costs somehow justified?
David Brooks, New York Times: We took our liberal democratic values for granted for so long, we’ve forgotten how to defend them. We have become democrats by habit and no longer defend our system with a fervent faith.
Frank Bruni, New York Times: The president has given a big boost to the seemingly inevitable presidential candidacy of Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand. Nikki Haley’s time as ambassador to the United Nations has elevated her standing among Republicans. Without too crazy a stretch, it’s possible to imagine a historic matchup between Gillibrand and Haley.
Gail Collins, New York Times: We have a revolt against sexual harassment that’s running through the political, entertainment, restaurant and communications worlds. Donald Trump is really behind everything – his election jarred and frightened women so much that there was nothing to do but rebel and try to change the world.
Michael Gerson, Washington Post: The only way that elected Republicans will abandon President Trump is if they see it as in their self-interest. And the only way they will believe it is in their self-interest is to watch a considerable number of their fellow Republicans lose.
Paul Krugman, New York Times: As usual, Republicans seek to afflict the afflicted and comfort the comfortable, but they don’t treat all Americans with a given income the same. The GOP tax bill hugely privileges owners, whether of businesses or of financial assets, over those who simply work for a living.
Eugene Robinson, Washington Post: What should worry Trumpists, Bannonites and the quisling Republicans who go with the flow of this aberrant presidency is that Alabama cannot be seen in a vacuum. A trend is brewing.
Trudy Rubin, Philadelphia Inquirer: President Trump’s Jerusalem stance rules out his “ultimate” Mideast peace deal. On Wednesday, Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas rejected any future role for the United States as a mediator, and will refuse to meet Vice President Mike Pence when he visits Jerusalem next week.
Bret Stephens, New York Times: It’s all lining up. Democrats have an 11-point edge over Republicans in the generic congressional ballot. The president’s approval rating is barely scraping 37 percent. But Democrats are making the same mistakes Republicans made when they inhabited their own house of outrage, back in 1998.
Paul Waldman, Washington Post: If special counsel Robert Mueller really were some kind of partisan hack launching a witch hunt, Trump and the rest of the GOP wouldn’t have all that much to fear. But at this point, they have nearly lost their minds.
“I hope Rep. Jeff Denham, R-Turlock, will think about people paying to care for aging loved ones when he decides whether to vote again to eliminate the medical expense deduction.” – Jeff Warner, Modesto