Assembly Democrats offer a dumb tax bill. Republicans love it. Democratic Assemblymen Kevin McCarty and Phil Ting offer a corporate tax hike to resist Donald Trump. It is a tin-eared attempt to resist President Donald Trump and congressional Republicans, and is especially ill-timed when Gov. Jerry Brown anticipates sufficient tax revenue to maintain a $13.5 billion reserve fund this year. Republicans chortle. Read more.
Think you’re healthy? You’re risking death by not doing this: On Friday, state health officials reported that 74 people younger than 65 have died of influenza since October, up from 42 people in just one week. A year ago, the death toll was a mere 14, a testament to the threat posed by the H3N2 strain of Influenza A that has been going around this year. The flu is so deadly this year that it has claimed the lives of physically fit people all over the country. Read more.
Past stand: ‘Dreamers’ must be saved, but not by Democrats holding government hostage: Sen. Kamala Harris of California has signaled that she’s willing to risk shutting down the federal government. She shouldn’t act on that impulse. Read more.
Jack Ohman plays a round of golf with famous Donald Trump caddy Kevin McCarthy. See more.
Erika D. Smith: First, we came for sexists. Now, we come for racists: Much like the powerful men of Hollywood who, for so long, got away with saying and doing horrible things to women, the days of letting derogatory race-based remarks slide in silence may be slowly but surely coming to an end. Think of it as the Trump trickle-down effect. Read more.
Dan Morain: Lead poisons kids. Who should pay to clean it up: You or the companies that profited? Perhaps a lawsuit holding companies liable for abating lead in 10 jurisdictions is an imperfect solution. But The Healthy Homes and Schools Act is stunningly cynical. While the corporations behind it know a campaign would be costly, it’d be far less than $1.1 billion. What of the children who actually need healthy homes and schools? Read more.
Dan Walters, CALmatters: Four-plus decades ago, the Legislature and Jerry Brown, then in the first stages of his two-part governorship, decreed that public employees had the right to join unions and bargain for salaries and other working conditions. The argument for extending collective bargaining rights to state and local government workers, including teachers, was that they should have the same rights as other wage earners. It was and is, however, a questionable rationale, since public employees differ markedly from those in the private sector. Read more.
Markos Kounalakis, McClatchy D.C.: Simmering for years, the full outbreak of hostilities between American-backed forces and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s Turkey is now finally at a boil. Turkey, an unreliable NATO ally at best, has again made clear that the U.S. is not welcome in the neighborhood. Read more.
Leonard Pitts Jr., Miami Herald: One simply cannot keep up with, much less respond with proper outrage to, all of President Trump’s scandals, bungles, blame-shifting, name-calling and missteps, his sundry acts of mendacity, misanthropy, perversity and idiocy. Read more.
Pat Fong Kushida: Sacramento’s social equity plan for recreational marijuana is an audacious experiment. The city must ensure that small minority-owned businesses wanting to participate have a level playing field. Read more.
Jonathan Porteus and James Conforti: Street nurses are part of the homeless solution. Registered nurses provide medical care, offer counseling and crisis support, are a liaison to other services, and are a confidante, driver and much more to the homeless. Read more.
Mercury News: In Women’s Marches across the land and even in other countries, women, men and children took to the streets — more than 2.5 million nationwide. They marched together to protest the Trump agenda and defend women’s rights, civil rights — human rights — that are under siege. The marchers drew strength from one another, and that’s good. They’re going to need it. Read more.
San Luis Obispo Tribune: Didn’t we just go through an acrimonious congressional race pitting Salud Carbajal against Justin Fareed? And doesn’t it seem mere months ago that Jordan Cunningham was elected to the state Assembly and Heidi Harmon was voted in as mayor of San Luis Obispo? Yet here we are, starting the cycle all over again, complete with another face-off between Carbajal and Fareed. Last time, their race wound up costing $5 million. What will it be 2018? Is there anything we can do to get off this merry-go-round? Read more.
Orange County Register: Instead of a trickle down, there has been a flood of announcements of pay increases. AT&T, Bank of America, American Airlines and Comcast each will pay $1,000 bonuses to more than 100,000 employees. Americans for Tax Reform, an organization that supported the tax cuts, is keeping a running list of companies that have announced payouts to employees. It estimates that over 2,000,000 people will receive “Trump Tax Reform Bonuses.” Read more.
San Diego Union-Tribune: It is hardly “codswallop” to look at how Gov. Jerry Brown and Attorney General Xavier Becerra – not just the California Public Utilities Commission – have acted and to wonder if they’re trying to hide the full story about how the San Onofre deal came to pass. That view has a certain logic – leavened with justified cynicism in this case, which started far too secretively and has gone on far too long without state government coming clean. Read more.
Kansas City Star: Donald Trump’s first year hasn’t really been about policy. It’s been about something far more troublesome: the president’s relentless, ongoing assault against fundamental democratic norms — truth, fairness, diplomacy, seriousness of purpose — that have defined the American democratic experiment for parts of four centuries. That assault should worry every American. And our elected leaders must work to end it in 2018. Read more.
Bret Stephens, The New York Times: Democrats are placing a large bet that it’s a political showdown they can win. But what they are mainly doing is wrecking their chances of retaking the House or Senate by appearing to put the interests of DACA’s immigrant “Dreamers” ahead of the rest of America. How that helps Dreamers, Democrats, Americans or anyone other than the president and maybe California Sen. Kamala Harris is anyone’s guess. Read more.
Frank Bruni, The New York Times: It’s not merely that this emperor has no clothes. This emperor has no camouflage, at least none that’s consistent and effective. Syllable by syllable, he traffics in fantasy. But across the sum of his words and deeds, he cops to the chilling reality of his reign. Read more.
Ross Douthat, The New York Times: If this chapter is a prelude to an authoritarian future, that future has clearly not yet arrived. Trump is a dictator on Twitter, a Dear Leader in his own mind, but in the real world there is no Trumpocracy because Trump cannot even rule himself. And while real tragedy may arrive eventually, in this historical cycle a dismal sort of farce is what comes first. Read more.
David Brooks, The New York Times: The assumption seems to be that as long as there’s consent between adults, everything else is kosher. Surely that’s setting the bar amazingly low. Everything we know about touch suggests that even with full consent, the emotional quality of an encounter can have profound positive or negative effects. Read more.
Timothy Egan, The New York Times: President Trump, using the very strange Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, is going after the sacred foundations of America’s much-loved public lands, brick by brick. Read more.
Michelle Goldberg, The New York Times: We know of numerous secret communications between members of the Trump campaign and Russia, and favors asked for and received. The reports that the FBI is investigating whether Russian money went to the NRA to help Trump is the most significant hint of a money trail. Read more.
Paul Krugman, The New York Times: Even though they now control the White House as well as Congress, Republicans are still in the doomsday-machine business – and what they’re currently threatening to blow up is health care for nearly 9 million children. Read more.
Kathleen Parker, The Washington Post: Taylor Weyeneth, 24, was until a week ago an unknown if powerful member of the Trump administration: deputy chief of staff in the Office of National Drug Control Policy. His qualifications for the job were essentially nil. Read more.
Dana Milbank, The Washington Post: What on Earth does President Trump want? The president’s mixed messages, more than anything, are what brought the government to the brink of a shutdown. The issues involved – protections for the “Dreamer” immigrants, the CHIP program and higher military spending – generally enjoy a broad bipartisan consensus. Read more.
Ruben Navarrette Jr., The Washington Post: If the media really values “experts” as much as it claims, why aren’t more Latino journalists, pundits and policymakers invited onto talk radio, TV shows or newspaper op-ed pages to discuss immigration? Read more.