Rep. Devin Nunes, President Trump’s stooge, attacks FBI: The Tulare congressman is promoting a secret memo accusing the FBI of political bias and surveillance abuses in the latest attempt to distract from the Russia investigation. Read more.
Jack Ohman throws a little shade on the solar panel industry. See who’s blocking the sun here.
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Dan Walters, CALmatters: The state’s top political figures — U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein in particular — received a harsh reminder this week that what plays in liberal California may be a liability elsewhere. Most of Feinstein’s fellow Democratic senators caved in to Republicans on legislation to end a brief shutdown of the federal government after realizing that their holdout issue, protecting young undocumented immigrant “Dreamers” from deportation, was hurting their chances in midterm elections. Read more.
Ben Boychuk: Politics, in part, is the art of persuasion. Language matters in all of our policy debates. How politicians and pundits frame an argument or a debate – how we use our words to shape public opinion – has tremendous consequences on our lives and the lives of our countrymen. Which is why our public discourse is so nuts. Read more.
Gerald Haslam: Vulgar slurs, race baiting, threats of impeachment and compromise as concession. Political polarization seems worse than I can remember. Pals who used to easily accept one another’s positions seem not to be speaking. Yet Democracy depends upon the exchange of ideas and a willingness to compromise for the common good. Read more.
Scott Syphax: As a financial services executive, there is a place I go to witness innovative entrepreneurial leadership: the Rich Barber Hair Studio on J Street, at the corner of 25th Street. There, over the buzz of razors, I listen to Chuka Torres. Read more.
James R. Mason: The Perris child torture case also repels home-schoolers. California should take care in trying to regulate parental rights.
Chione Flegal: Under a new California law, all public schools by 2019 must test for lead, shut down contaminated water sources and secure clean water. But it will work only if the state adequately funds and monitors its implementation. Read more.
Meg Whitman, whose final day as CEO of Hewlett-Packard is next week, is taking a job overseeing Hollywood mogul Jeffrey Katzenberg’s startup, which is intended to “revolutionize entertainment with short-form premium content customized for mobile consumption,” according to Variety. For politics watchers, here’s relevant quote: “I won’t be running for public office again.” Whitman, a billionaire, spent $159 million, much of it her own money, in her losing race to Jerry Brown in 2010. In 2016, she became one of Hillary Clinton’s most visible surrogates, and would have been a logical choice for a cabinet post, if Clinton had won. Whitman apparently thought about running for office again in 2018. Of the open statewide seats, treasurer made some sense. Evidently not. Fiona Ma can now exhale.
Charlotte Observer: If Pat McCrory had started a second term as governor a year ago, we would today be barreling toward allowing drilling off the North Carolina coast. But Roy Cooper won and he is digging in to fight the Trump administration’s plan to open the state’s waters to oil rigs. Read more.
St. Louis Post-Dispatch: In a giveaway to Big Oil, the Trump administration’s proposal to ease safety regulations on the industry that were adopted after the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster is a mistake with potentially deadly consequences. At the same time, the administration gave another gift to oil companies by eliminating a tax they previously paid to clean up their own catastrophic oil spills. Read more.
The Mercury News: Donald Trump is launching a major assault on renewable energy in the guise of a free trade policy. His 30 percent tariff announced Monday on solar panel imports from nearly every country around the world deals a major blow to the clean energy industry in the United States. It will cost thousands of jobs here and it will raise costs of solar for California homeowners and utilities. Read more.
Orange County Register: Assemblyman Ian Calderon, D-Whittier, wants to make it illegal for restaurant owners to provide straws to customers who didn’t directly ask for them, deploring the risks they pose to the environment, including ingestion by marine life. The idea of creating a new crime to deal with the problem seems like pure and simple government overreach. Read more.
Santa Rosa Press Democrat: Most of us probably don’t give much thought to our ballots once they get turned in, assuming, not unreasonably, that they will be tallied and included in the election results. But thousands of ballots get rejected without any notification or appeal. The primary reason is handwriting, and it’s looming larger than ever as California approaches a seismic shift in the way elections are conducted. Read more.
San Diego Union-Tribune: Having some 9 million children as hostages turned out to be just the leverage that Republicans needed to force Senate Democrats to provide enough votes Monday to end a brief shutdown of the federal government and to hit pause on their push to shore up and extend the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. The stop-gap spending bill that ended the shutdown included a six-year, $123 billion commitment to the Children’s Health Insurance Program. This is welcome, but please, no applause. CHIP should never have been in danger. Read more.
Kansas City Star: We wish soon-to-be former Gov. Sam Brownback well. His new job is important. While we have disagreed with his policy views on almost every occasion, Kansans should not doubt Brownback’s affection for his state or his dedication to its success. But they also know the governor’s legacy: budget deficits, underfunded public schools, mismanaged Medicaid, wobbly mental health facilities, unsafe prisons, a rocky credit rating and more. Read more.
Frank Bruni, New York Times: The New England Patriots perfectly embody our income-inequality era and the tax reform that President Donald Trump recently signed. They shamelessly hoard glory. And Trump roots for them. Read more.
Thomas L. Friedman, New York Times: The Islamic regime and the Revolutionary Guards had ripped off the country’s natural wealth, and climate change is amplifying many of the worst impacts. That’s not something an American president who thinks climate change is a hoax can tweet about. Read more.
Nicholas Kristof, New York Times: Swirling in the air here in Davos at the World Economic Forum, along with snowflakes, is an important discussion of how companies must do far more to benefit the 99 percent, not just the 1 percent. Read more.
Dana Milbank, Washington Post: Hundreds of thousands of women took to the streets on Saturday to vent their discontent with President Trump. In addition to marching, women are running – for office – at a pace that is on course to shatter records. Read more.
E.J. Dionne Jr., Washington Post: Among Democrats, neither progressives nor moderates have fully come to terms with the box the party is in. If they continue to put their internal quarrels above finding a better joint strategy, the victors will be President Donald Trump, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Paul Ryan. Read more.