Congress must aid ‘Dreamers’ and children who need health care: When Congress reconvenes Wednesday, lawmakers should waste no time before acting to extend the Children’s Health Insurance Program and the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
Can you afford a California home? Take that answer to the 2018 voting booth: One-party domination is not good for the state. But Republican voter registration is now 25.9 percent, far below the Democrats’ 44.8 percent, and barely above the 24.5 percent of the electorate who are no-party preference voters. We await the arrival of a well-funded, policy-driven independent candidate, who will be a serious contender for statewide office. That day is nearing.
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Karin Klein: Uber ratings are out of control. A single driver, usually a single passenger, interacting (or not) and judging each other on what it was like to hang out in a small space together. And people actually care about this.
Dan Walters: We don’t know who else might be affected as women press legislative leaders for independent investigations of accusations and more transparency in their outcomes. If nothing else, the scandal and initial lack of supermajorities will dampen what many Democrats had hoped to be a year of major legislation, including, perhaps, big changes in the state tax system to counter the new federal tax overhaul.
Chiah Rodriques: We never imagined that the biggest threat to our lifestyle could be legalization. But the new regulations allow unlimited growing licenses, which means venture capitalists will be able to create mega-cannabis corporations.
Take a number: 78
What’s the future of the California Republican Party? In December 2017, 18 percent of Californians ages 18-34 viewed the party’s leader, President Donald Trump, favorably, and 78 percent view him unfavorably, the latest Public Policy Institute of California survey showed. This is in a time when by most measures, the economy is strong. Comparable numbers from December 2009: 69 percent of California voters ages 18-34 had a favorable view of Barack Obama, compared with 25 percent who had an unfavorable view. And the economy was hurting back in 2009. Obama’s numbers had barely moved in that age group by January 2016, when 68 percent of Californians between the 18-34 had a favorable view of him. Jim Brulte has his work cut out in the new year, and beyond.
Lexington Herald Leader: The federal government would send aid to clean up and rebuild from a natural disaster. But despite President Donald Trump’s declaration of a public health emergency, too little help has arrived in response to this man-made disaster, one that was abetted by the reluctance of U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration lawyers to punish pharmaceutical companies for supplying volumes of addictive painkillers so huge that they were clearly bound for illegal diversion. Kentucky is far from alone in this hydra of a crisis that’s brought grief to almost every family and neighborhood. But states are largely on their own to develop solutions.
The Mercury News: The Christmas Eve death of a California Highway Patrol rookie officer serves as a tragic warning of the dangers ahead with the Jan. 1 legalization of marijuana. It reinforces the need for lawmakers to toughen the rules against driving under the influence of cannabis, and highlights the Legislature’s inaction of the past year.
San Diego Union-Tribune: The California Public Utilities Commission recently approved rules to improve power-line safety after years of being urged to do so to decrease the risk of the lines triggering lethal, destructive wildfires. Its delay in adopting the rules only adds to the overwhelming case that the state’s utilities regulator is more interested in pleasing Pacific Gas & Electric, Southern California Edison, and San Diego Gas & Electric than in keeping the public safe.
Santa Rosa Press Democrat: Most of the provisions in the Republican tax law that will punish California taxpayers are here to stay. But the Golden State may be able to ease some of the pain, and buttress itself for the next recession, whenever it comes, by overhauling its own tax code.
Los Angeles Times: This week marks not just the start of a new year, but a bright new day for energy conservation. Or maybe it’s the tragic end of an era, with a beloved product now wiped out of existence by a government forcing its environmental agenda on the rest of us. Which view you take depends on how strongly you feel about interior lighting.
Albert R. Hunt, Bloomberg: If Democrats win at least one branch of Congress, there will be an investigative feast – with rich targets – of the ethically challenged administration of President Donald Trump, plus a check on presidential actions. Equally significant will be gubernatorial and state legislative contests. These will serve either to complement or counter national policies, and will set the table for redistricting following the 2020 census. The early line is good for Democrats. As the year commences, here’s how it looks.
Frank Bruni: Why universities are targets of conservatives. They share in the blame. Repair is imperative, because the continued competitiveness of the U.S. economy depends on the skills of our workforce, the intellectual nimbleness of our citizens, the boldness of our scientific research and the genius of our inventions. Our colleges and universities are central to that. When they lose support, we all lose.
E.J. Dionne Jr., The Washington Post: In 2018, President Trump’s abuses of power, his indifference to truth and his autocratic habits will be the central issues in our politics. Nothing else comes close.
Michael Gerson, The Washington Post: The biopic about the briefly famous, then infamous Tonya Harding has offended some reviewers by putting child abuse and domestic violence in close proximity to comedy. But it would be difficult to tell Harding’s story without both elements.
Dana Milbank, The Washington Post: Mitt Romney, the 2012 Republican presidential nominee, has been reluctant to announce a primary challenge to Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah, the longest-serving Republican senator in history. But America needs Romney to step up, to restore dignity to the Senate.
Ruben Navarrette Jr., The Washington Post: Even though Jeffrey Toobin is a longtime legal analyst and staff writer at The New Yorker, and has written several books, the Harvard-trained attorney has no experience working in daily journalism. So he has no business trying to define it.
Eugene Robinson, The Washington Post: With absolutist rhetoric, the United States is ruling out the realistic options for peace – and putting us on a path that may lead inexorably to war. No amount of threatening is likely to make Kim surrender his nuclear weapons, because he sees them as an insurance policy.
Trudy Rubin, Philadelphia Inquirer: As the United States pulls back from the Middle East, Russia and Iran rush in (along with Turkey and even China). Their interests contradict America’s – and guarantee future problems for Washington, unless President Trump reverses his retreat in 2018.
Bret Stephens, The New York Times: Pay attention to the character of your leaders, the culture of governance and the political health of the public. It matters a lot more than lowering the top marginal income tax rate by a couple of percentage points.
“Run for the hills! Run for the hills! The pot boogeyman is coming! Never mind that alcohol will cause a mess, as it always does, and kill people across the region.” – Robert Fausett, West Sacramento
“The proponents of the new marijuana law sold the voters on the idea that people would be smoking marijuana in their homes and that it would be regulated and that the state would benefit. Those are all great ideas, they really are – if they were true. Unfortunately, we all know that’s not what’s going to happen.” – Chris Piombo, Lodi
Democratic pollster Jim Moore died Monday at his home in Apple Hill, after a long illness. Moore, 66, founded J. Moore Methods, Inc., in 1983 and was a primary pollster for the Democratic Party, Gov. Jerry Brown, Willie Brown, John Burton, and former Attorney General Bill Lockyer. Jan Mathews, his long-time partner, asked that condolences and queries be directed to Moore’s friend, consultant David Townsend, 916 444-5701. Townsend said Moore “could always be counted upon to tell you the truth, even if it was bad news.”