Wearing black to the Golden Globes was just the televised part of the #MeToo revolution: From the ‘Time’s Up’ initiative by Hollywood power players to a blizzard of legislation in Sacramento, California is stepping up.
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Erika D. Smith: It’s already clear that coming up with a formula for a public safety advertisement is going to take a while. On Friday afternoon, the state’s Office of Traffic Safety pulled its first PSA, which was intended to persuade adults not to climb behind the wheel and drive while stoned. But the ad drew complaints almost immediately. The reason? It’s “normalizing” marijuana – you know, as if marijuana weren’t already normal in California.
Foon Rhee: While millions of Americans keep their fingers crossed they’ll hit the Mega Millions bonanza ($450 million) on Friday or the Powerball jackpot ($570 million and rising) on Saturday, dozens of cities are hoping they hit it big in their lottery – Amazon’s second North American headquarters and its 50,000 jobs paying six figures.
Dan Walters, CALMatters: State legislators are floating some creative schemes to blunt the impact of the new federal tax law on California taxpayers. Several are in the air, but the main one, proposed by Kevin de León, the outgoing state Senate president pro tem, more than slightly resembles phony tax avoidance scams that entice the unwary and often result in hefty penalties and interest payments being imposed by the Internal Revenue Service.
Leonard Pitts Jr., Miami Herald: Most grand jurors are African American, if we are to believe an anonymous witness who testified before the Washington, D.C., grand jury that has been hearing special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into Donald Trump’s campaign and administration.
Jack Ohman looks at a different type of button not related to North Korea. Pin one on here.
Robert Hertzberg and Emmett D. Carson: California traffic fines prey on the poor. Senate Bill 185 would create a system of traffic fines and fees that will fairly punish lawbreakers while not sending poor Californians into a spiral of bills and fines that could lead to jail time.
Take a number: 4,138,824
Having kept all Californians, or at least the occasional visitor to Gibson Ranch, on the edges of their collective seats, Republican Doug Ose, the Donald Trump-supporting ex-congressional member, finally ended all speculation by boldly plunging into the 2018 race for governor. Now, billionaire Democratic activist Tom Steyer is on the verge of letting us in on his aspirations. He will be in D.C. on Monday to announce his 2018 election plans, livestreaming it at 11 a.m. Washington time, 8 a.m. California time. The Take could be wrong, but a guy running for U.S. senator from California or California governor would most likely make the announcement in L.A. or San Francisco, and not at 8 a.m. Steyer gathered 4,138,824 signatures on his petition to impeach Trump by noon on Sunday; it grows by the minute. Which answers the question everyone at Gibson Ranch has been asking: Does Ose have a prayer?
Update: Steyer announced he isn’t running for office in 2018 and will focus his millions on flipping the House and Senate seats in 10 states, including California, Nevada and Arizona. He said he’d spend $30 million to organize in 10 states, plus more on the impeachment effort. He mentioned Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Vista, by name. Steyer didn’t say anything about his 2020 plans, saying he is focusing on the 2018 campaigns. “It was a fantastic speech,” he said of Oprah Winfrey’s Golden Globes speech.
Santa Rosa Press Democrat: Three months have passed since the North Bay was hit by the most destructive fires in U.S. history and many still wonder: Where is the president in all of this? Although he made four visits to areas devastated by recent hurricanes, Donald Trump has yet to step foot in California. And he seems far more interested in tweeting about his own political aptitude, if not amplitude, than in consoling locals on their tribulations.
Los Angeles Times: State lawmakers aren’t ready to accept the hand that Congress has dealt; instead, they’re looking at ways to change their own tax codes to help their residents evade the higher federal levy. Outrage at the slap from Washington is understandable; it seems hardly coincidental that congressional Republicans would target a deduction that matters most to blue states. But rather than respond with real tax reforms of their own, they’re resorting to tax-dodge gimmickry.
San Diego Union-Tribune: Attorney General Jeff Sessions just threw California and the seven other states that have approved recreational marijuana use into confusion by reversing an Obama administration policy and allowing local U.S. attorneys to enforce federal anti-cannabis laws at their discretion. But no one should believe Sessions is changing the arc of history when it comes to Americans accepting marijuana use.
The Mercury News: Remember the devastation of the 1969 Santa Barbara oil spill: Union oil’s inadequate safety precautions resulted in 3 million gallons of crude oil spewing into the Pacific Ocean, spawning what we now know as Earth Day. Remember the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster, the largest marine oil spill in history, killing 11 workers and releasing 4 million barrels of oil into Gulf of Mexico, causing $17 billion in damages to natural resources. Then prepare to fight.
News & Observer, Raleigh, N.C.: Donald Trump couldn’t tell the truth, that voter fraud is extraordinarily rare in the United States and his commission was solely an attempt to salve his ego. What did a man famed now for his immaturity and self-centered attitude do? He formed a commission to investigate voter fraud, which he was absolutely sure was the reason he didn’t win the election in a landslide. That ridiculous, narcissistic effort now has ended, shut down by Trump.
Herald-Leader, Lexington, Ky.: Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, is proposing a broad pension reform, one Democrats want in the spending plan that Congress must approve by Jan. 19. Anti-union think tanks sneer at Brown’s plan as a “bailout” that would do nothing for most taxpayers. It’s no more a bailout than the loans Congress rushed to the bankers who caused the crash of 2008, except the aid would go to the crash’s victims not its perpetrators.
Kansas City Star: Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback will deliver his last State of the State address Tuesday in Topeka. He’ll speak to a state that is in much better shape than it was a year ago. Interestingly, much of that progress has come in spite of Brownback’s presence, not because of it.
Frank Bruni, The New York Times: Governor’s race in Colorado is going to be wild. Everyone is running. Right now, the probable Democratic front-runner is the gay multimillionaire, Jared Polis, 42, who is in his fifth term in Congress. He has better name recognition than his rivals, solid grades for his work on Capitol Hill and a history of tapping his own fortune to spend whatever it takes. He’s also cunning.
Ross Douthat, The New York Times: Donald Trump may be incapacitated. But here’s the basic question about his presidency: Can the people who surround Trump work around his incapacity successfully enough to keep his unfitness from producing a historic calamity?
Timothy Egan, The New York Times: At this moment, criminalizing marijuana has never been more unpopular, nor a more unjust way to ensure that otherwise law-abiding people have to fear police.
Ruben Navarrette Jr., The Washington Post: This year, America should resolve to end elitism. It’s not about money, class, privilege or status. It’s not about having access to power, or being part of a protected group, or breathing rarified air. It’s about how you handle any – or all – of these things.
Kathleen Parker, The Washington Post: Author Michael Wolff’s new book, “Fire and Fury,” reports on what can only be described as insanity at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. The thing is, countless people – and not just Democrats – have been trying all last year and before to convey that Donald Trump wasn’t up to the job.
E.J. Dionne, The Washington Post: President Donald Trump’s unfitness for office was obvious long before he was elected. Still, author Michael Wolff deserves our thanks for creating Trump’s “emperor has no clothes” moment.
Dana Milbank, The Washington Post: This year’s Trumpie award should go to Donald Trump. Everything about the man is deceptive, even the style of his hair – and the size of his button.
Albert R. Hunt, Bloomberg View: The Russia investigation is being undercut by vehemently anti-Trump Democrats, including the liberal hedge fund billionaire Tom Steyer and his allies in Congress. Steyer is bankrolling a “Need to Impeach” drive that is premature and poses political risks for Democrats.
Leonid Bershidsky, Bloomberg View: While Donald Trump keeps bragging about the stock market, it’s also likely that Trump is at least partially responsible for the dollar’s weak performance in 2017.
Trudy Rubin, Philadelphia Inquirer: The unrest reflects the economic and social woes of Iran’s younger generation. But the demonstrations are leaderless and disconnected; they won’t lead to a change of regime and if they turn more violent (or grow bigger) the regime will surely crush them.
“To assure anyone that sheltering in place for 24 hours will keep them safe is an outright lie. Sheltering in place did not protect citizens of Hiroshima and Nagasaki who resided outside the blast zone from bombs much less powerful than modern bombs. How can Republicans in Congress remain silent in the face of this public service announcement which is designed to accustom people to President Donald Trump’s nuclear threats?” – Christine Bauer, El Dorado Hills