Jerry Brown offers a tight-fisted final budget. We may come to appreciate every cent: Californians received a final fiscal lesson in the upside of having a state run by a grownup as Gov. Jerry Brown on Wednesday released his last budget and promised to squirrel away $13.5 billion in a rainy day fund. Good thing. As the four-term governor made clear in proposing his $190.3 billion budget, the view ahead is cloudy.
Modesto Bee: Denham can help Dreamers, if he wants to: We don’t doubt Rep. Jeff Denham’s heart is in the right place on Dreamers. We don’t doubt that he truly wants to allow these young people to remain good Americans. We don’t doubt he recognizes the torment about to be inflicted on families by deportation. And he says all the right things. “We’ve never penalized kids for the deeds of their parents,” he said. “So this is something that it’s just the right thing to do.” If fixing this problem is the right thing to do, Congressman, why not just do it? Sign the discharge petition.
Jack Ohman illustrates three great disasters: the Hindenburg, the Titanic, and a surprise third one here.
Foon Rhee: Resistance isn’t futile. Just ask this UC Davis grad student who took on Republicans. Graduate students nationwide protested against provisions targeting them in the GOP tax bill. They won.
Markos Kounalakis, McClatchy D.C.: Traditional foreign allies look to Vice President Mike Pence and his visits for American reassurance and resolve, continuity and commitment. Pence’s policy decisions are easy to anticipate, if not entirely predictable. Crises faced by Oval Office occupants have a way of testing presidential character, instincts and reactions. Just ask George W. Bush, who ran for president with the promise of pursuing a “humble” foreign policy. Both American citizens and foreign leaders would hope that a President Pence would have a strong and stable vice president at his side to keep him in check. Senator Jeff Flake is considered Pence’s political soulmate. Bets anyone?
Ben Boychuk: UC San Diego student Maria Ana Carrola Flores protested Trump’s election by helping block a San Diego freeway. Now she’s suing the UC for letting her protest. The case she’s really making is for a return of the concept of ‘in loco parentis.’ That, and an actual campus safe space.
Dean Blumberg and Peter Manzo: The delay in Children’s Health Insurance Program funding unnecessarily places more than 2 million California children and pregnant women in jeopardy and creates uncertainty about $2.7 billion in the state budget.
Take a number: 3
This is updated: First, Rep. Ed Royce announced this week he would not run for reelection. Then Rep. Darrell Issa, the Vista Republican, announced he would not seek another term in his 49th district, except that he might, as The Hill reports. Republican Board of Equalization member Diane Harkey jumped into the race to succeed Issa. Republican Assemblyman Rocky Chavez, a former Marine who represents North San Diego County, also may run. On the Democratic side, Doug Applegate, who nearly unseated Issa in 2016, might seem in an ideal position. He had $263,159 in the bank as of the last filing. But Democrat Sara Jacobs is the granddaughter of Qualcomm founder Irwin Jacobs, a billionaire and a huge donor to Democrats. Jacobs, who evidently has more than $1 million in her campaign account, would be the youngest member of Congress, at 28. The Take couldn’t help but wonder whether the Rule of 3 might apply, and if it does, who might be next member of Congress from California to look for another profession. We have no idea. But The San Diego Union-Tribune did report that a federal grand jury has issued subpoenas in a case involving San Diego Republican Duncan Hunter. So (re-)enter Darrell Issa.
San Diego Union-Tribune: Rep. Darrell Issa’s stunning announcement that he would not seek reelection in his northwest San Diego County-southern Orange County congressional district was so surprising because he was so pugnacious. First elected in 2000, the Vista Republican cultivated a ready-to-brawl image burnished while chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. But his once-mostly conservative constituents have become steadily more moderate and liberal over the years, and his 2016 victory was the narrowest of any of the 435 House races. His prospects this year seemed significantly worse than in 2016, given the unpopularity of Republicans in California in the Trump era.
Los Angeles Times: There may have been a heartening glimmer out of the White House on Tuesday on a possible deal to protect the so-called Dreamers from deportation while moving Congress toward comprehensive immigration reform. But the devil, as they say, will be in the details – and unfortunately, these are many of the same details that have bitterly divided pro- and anti-immigration forces for so long and derailed prior efforts to address one of the country’s thorniest issues.
San Jose Mercury News: President Trump’s order that 200,000 Salvadoran refugees leave the United States by September 2019 after living here legally for nearly 20 years is mean-spirited in the extreme. It will make America a weaker and literally a poorer nation: 95 percent of these residents have jobs, and many run their own small businesses. They are the opposite of a drain on the U.S. economy. In California, 50,000 would be ripped from the fabric of communities they thought were home.
Santa Rosa Press Democrat: Add one more front in California’s war with the Trump administration: net neutrality. State lawmakers returned to Sacramento this week to consider, among other things, a work-around in response to the Federal Communication Commission’s disgraceful decision to allow internet service providers to play favorites.
Charlotte Observer: In February 2016, the new Joint Select Committee on Congressional Redistricting held its first public hearing. Earlier that month, a federal court had struck down North Carolina’s congressional map because of racial gerrymandering. You might have been skeptical then that the Republicans who controlled the committee were interested in hearing what members of the public – or even the opposition party – had to say. Now, thanks to a federal ruling on the maps that committee produced, we know just how much of a sham it was.
Gail Collins, New York Times: Everybody was impressed by how concerned Trump seemed to be about all the young “Dreamers” suddenly facing possible deportation. The only problem is that Trump seems to be committed to two totally contradictory ideas on what to do.
Ross Douthat, New York Times: Oprah’s essential celebrity is much closer to the celebrity of Pope Francis or Billy Graham. To the extent that there is a specifically American religion, Oprah has made herself its pope.
Nicholas Kristof, New York Times: We tend to assume that the threat to democracies comes from coups or violent revolutions, but the authors say that in modern times, democracies are more likely to wither at the hands of insiders who gain power initially through elections.
Dana Milbank, Washington Post: United We Dream, the organization leading the campaign to legalize the “Dreamers,” continues to attack Democrats. The attacks are particularly counterproductive because there is no ideological disagreement.
E.J. Dionne Jr., Washington Post: Most of President Trump’s critics played his performance during a meeting on immigration as a sign of his ignorance about the issues before him. But the larger lesson is that progress is being blocked because of the need for Trump and the Republican Party to kowtow to conservative ultras.
“Whether to elect someone who will be 91 at the end of her term is certainly a legitimate question. No one is immune from memory lapses and physical deterioration that inevitably accompany advanced age. But the more significant issue with Sen. Dianne Feinstein is her ability to inspire voters, particularly younger voters.” – Daniel Broderick, Sacramento
Tweet of the day
“FL had 113 million visitors in 2016. CA experienced 269 million statewide visitor trips. FL’s tourists spent $109B. CA’s spent $126.3B. Using this logic, CA’s coasts should be declared free of offshore drilling as well. Or do blue states not get exemptions, @SecretaryZinke?” – Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, @gavinnewsom