Will no one challenge Sheriff Scott Jones and his ‘succession plan’? Sacramento County’s sheriff is again running unopposed for re-election. But voters are best served by competition of ideas and a robust discussion of the issues. In that spirit, we hope a challenger, some deep-pocketed donors and some farsighted law enforcement backing will step up. Read more.
California’s next leader: We hope you paid attention to Brown’s final State of the State. As California Gov. Jerry Brown embarked on his last year in office, his ceremonial address was light on the Latin and heavy on unfinished business, from public works to climate. He also warned that a recession, or worse, could be on the way. Read more.
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Foon Rhee: President Trump’s slimy immigration plan. The framework would protect Dreamers, but would pit them against other groups of immigrants. Read more.
Andres Oppenheimer, Miami Herald: I don’t recall a similar situation in Latin America’s recent history in which there was such a strong international condemnation of a Latin American dictatorship. But Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro’s calculation is that he can prevail. Read more.
Trudy Rubin, Philadelphia Inquirer: Vice President Pence visited Jerusalem this week, a trip that aimed at pleasing the 81 percent of white evangelicals who backed President Trump rather than advancing any peace process. In fact, Pence’s visit illustrates the confused mess of Trump’s Middle East policy. Read more.
Derek Cressman: If we are going to rebuild public trust, legislators need to become more partisan. The California Democratic Party has to base its endorsements on loyalty to its positions. Read more.
Kurt Henke: I spent years sending men and women into danger to fight wildfires, and we need collaboration and ingenuity to review current firefighting policies and provide our emergency personnel with the resources and well-developed plans to survive. Read more.
Renee Pinel: Enviros ignore science to attack Roundup. When it comes to climate change, the enviros are all in. But when science lines up against their world view, they scurry toward emotional arguments and conspiracy theories. Read more.
George Lakoff and Gil Duran: Donald Trump has granted the 1 percent’s wish for less regulation and low taxes, but it was paid for at the expense of democracy, our quality of life and $1.5 trillion in deficit spending. No matter. Trump will try to use the State of the Union to sell his ‘disachievements’ as wins. Our form of government is of, by and for the people. It’s based on the idea that citizens care about other citizens and work together to provide public resources to, as the U.S. Constitution puts it, “establish justice, ensure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty.” Americans are rising up to bring back an America that fulfills these ideals. And we will not stop. Read more.
Joe Mathews: Lewis D’Vorkin, the Los Angeles Times editor, recently promoted L.A. as “the northern capital of Latin America.” Organizers of L.A.’s bid for the Olympics used a similar formulation. And in its Pacific Standard Time series, the Getty Foundation supported 70-plus exhibitions – from Santa Barbara to San Diego – under the title: “LA/LA” – for Latin America and Los Angeles. L.A., the Getty said in its publicity, is “a Latin American city of long duration.” The impulse to pump up L.A. is understandable, but, c’mon, it’s not even the capital of California. Los Angeles isn’t a part of Latin America – or of anyplace else. But it ought to be. Read more.
Take a number: 215,754
Pulling the U.S. out of the North American Free Trade Agreement and reimposing tariffs eliminated by the deal would mean a net loss of 1.8 million jobs, including 215,754 in California within a year, says a new study released Thursday by the Business Roundtable.
The dangers of not having free trade deals was amply displayed when Trump imposed tariffs this week on solar panels made in Asia and washing machines made by Korean companies. Retaliation against U.S. exports is possible, and California officials are already warning that the solar tariff could increase prices for consumers, hurt the solar panel installation industry and hamper the state’s efforts to expand renewable energy.
Trump has already pulled America out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, so major trading partners in Asia are negotiating a deal without the U.S. As Trump rubs elbows with political and business leaders at the World Economic Summit in Switzerland, he and his delegation are trying to explain how America First won’t lead to trade conflict. Good luck with that. – Foon Rhee, @foonrhee
(San Luis Obispo) Tribune: Even if Republican Congressional candidate Justin Fareed isn’t legally required to disclose his unpaid work on his family’s ranch, his reluctance to talk about it makes it look like he has something to hide. That something – according to his detractors – is the tie between the Fareed family ranch located in Kern County and the family of Howard Keck Jr., the heir to a California oil fortune. Read more.
East Bay Times: The latest $2.8 billion cost overrun is yet another reminder that the Legislature should apply the brakes to Gov. Jerry Brown’s legacy-seeking bullet train fiasco. If the California High-Speed Rail Authority could deliver the $45 billion Sacramento-to-San Diego system that voters were promised in Proposition 1A nearly a decade ago, we’d be supportive. But it’s not even close. At the very least, the Legislature should seek an immediate independent review by the state auditor. Read more.
Los Angeles Times: As President Trump was signing orders Tuesday to impose stiff tariffs on imported solar-power cells and washing machines, most of which come from Asia, negotiators for 11 other countries in Asia and the Americas were reaching final agreement on a trade agreement to increase commerce between them and make their economies less reliant on China. The contrast could not be more vivid or revealing. Read more.
Santa Rosa Press Democrat: When the Boston Globe began its Pulitzer Prize-winning investigation into the problem of child sexual abuse by priests in 2001, a major obstacle was that key court records had been sealed. That demonstrates the importance of legislation now working its way through the state Assembly in California that would limit the ability of litigants in civil cases to enter into agreements or obtain court orders that would lock away important information concerning dangers to public health and safety. Read more.
Chicago Tribune: Dogs, cats, turkeys, pigs, rabbits, hamsters, marmots, even iguanas? No, you haven’t wandered into a zoo or a pet shop. This is an airline cabin, and those aren’t pets; they’re emotional support animals. If you have the bad luck to be seated next to someone with one, well, be grateful that snakes and ferrets aren’t allowed. Read more.
Charles M. Blow, New York Times: It is important to keep two things separate in the Russia investigation. The first is outrage that our election was attacked by a foreign power and President Trump did not defend our nation or even fully acknowledge the attack. The second is Trump’s complete unfitness for office. Read more.
David Brooks, New York Times: Jordan Peterson, a University of Toronto psychologist, has found his real home on YouTube, where his videos have attracted something like 40 million views. Read more.
Bret Stephens, New York Times: A guess at what President Trump will say to the assembled global political and economic elites in Switzerland. Read more.
Gail Collins, New York Times: Donald Trump – who yelled about “carnage” in big cities during his inauguration speech – has said not a word about the Kentucky school shooting except to tweet his “thoughts and prayers.” Read more.
Michael Gerson, Washington Post: A confident President Trump seems to be toughening up his demands in the brewing legislative fight over Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. Read more.
Dana Milbank, Washington Post: Republicans and conservative media are raising alarms about a ‘secret society’ within the FBI. But President Trump has made himself look bad. Read more.
Eugene Robinson, Washington Post: You’d think that Trump’s supporters in the evangelical movement would finally call him out for his loose – or nonexistent – morals. Instead, however, they have suddenly turned into a bunch of Left Bank cafe intellectuals. Read more.
The only good thing about allowing Sheriff Scott Jones to “unretire” is that he could then be allowed to “re-retire.” It’s time for a competent, no-agenda person to fill this position – not a shill for the NRA who wants to allow even more weapons with concealed-carry permits. – Patrick McDermott, Sacramento