The more we know about sexual misconduct, the more we realize we don’t know: The question by now isn’t whether sexual harassment is epidemic, but just how advanced the problem has become. Unfortunately, getting an answer is far harder than it should be, a point underscored last week by The Sacramento Bee’s Marjie Lundstrom in an eye-opening examination of legal payouts by California’s largest employer, state government. Read more.
The Modesto Bee: Just how sick is the city of Modesto? Let’s review the symptoms: First is the $16 million in unauthorized spending. It began when a city revealed a contract for street repairs had been overspent. Then the number grew to nine. Now, we’re told there are 45 similarly overspent contracts due to precious little oversight and, apparently, no accountability. Read more.
Jack Ohman drifts out on an ice floe with President Trump and Robert Mueller. See more.
Sen. Connie M. Leyva and Kaitlyn Trevino: There’s a statewide effort to bring medication abortion to student health centers at public universities across California. Senate Bill 320 would ensure that access for students who seek to end their pregnancy during the first 10 weeks. Read more.
U.S. Rep. Ro Khanna and Bruce Ackerman: Progressives, pay attention. Here’s a campaign finance law that would take democracy back from the 1 percent. Read more.
Erwin Chemerinsky: Trump’s travel ban is still illegal. The Supreme Court should slap it down. Read more.
John Shallman: The Santa Clara County campaign to recall the Brock Turner judge, Aaron Persky, sends a message: Time’s up. Read more.
Take a number: 22 million
The proposals put out by President Trump to slash legal immigration would mean 22 million fewer immigrants to America over the next five decades, according to a new study. The Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank that backs immigration, also said Monday that the proposed limits on diversity visas and on sponsoring parents and siblings would reduce those eligible by about 40 percent.
Trump’s supposed compromise pits those immigrants against Dreamers, those who were brought here illegally as children. He wants to offer a path to citizenship for nearly 800,000 enrolled in Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, plus another 1 million young people who are eligible but didn’t sign up. But so far, Democrats and advocacy groups aren’t biting, instead accusing Trump of holding Dreamers hostage. – Foon Rhee, @foonrhee
Los Angeles Times: Nasty viruses that deliver gruesome death (Ebola) or cause horrific birth defects (Zika) understandably get the big headlines when they flare up. The outbreaks are followed by calls for action and furious scrambling to come up with a cure. And while that’s reasonable, it contrasts sharply with the oddly ho-hum attitude humans seem to have developed toward a deadlier viral killer – influenza – that shows up every year to inflict widespread sickness. The 2017-18 flu season is shaping up to be one of the deadliest in recent history. Read more.
Orange County Register: California Attorney General Xavier Becerra warned last week that employers could face legal action and fines of up to $10,000 if they assist federal authorities seeking to enforce immigration law. It’s the state government’s latest contribution to making California’s business climate the worst in the nation. Read more.
The Mercury News: Seven years into Jerry Brown’s final tour as governor, his promise to create a reliable water delivery system that protects the health of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta is in shambles. His twin-tunnel fixation was ill-conceived and, for Northern California at least, unacceptable, and he is not giving up. His administration is expected to announce a new strategy soon that should alarm South Bay and East Bay residents, businesses and water system operators. Read more.
Santa Rosa Press Democrat: Gov. Jerry Brown still has plenty of hours left on the work clock, but his farewell tour clearly began Thursday with his 16th and final State of the State address. It was a speech that was two parts optimism and one part reflection. Given all that he has accomplished, he deserved to turn the spotlight on himself a little. When Brown steps down 11 months from now, barring an economic collapse, he will be leaving the state in a far better place than where he found it in 2011. Read more.
Chicago Tribune: Serial predator Larry Nassar is headed to prison for the rest of his life, a fate he richly deserves. The Michigan State University doctor sexually abused scores of female gymnasts and other athletes under the guise of medical care. End of story? Not even close. The fallout from his case is spreading like a mushroom cloud. Read more.
St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Last week’s sentencing of Larry Nassar in the sexual abuse of multiple young female gymnasts underscores the responsibilities people in authority have to intervene when they know a sexual predator is victimizing children. In Afghanistan, such abuse has been occurring since the early days of the 2001 U.S.-led invasion, yet American commanders have turned a blind eye. Read more.
Philadelphia Inquirer: Pat Meehan must go. The Delaware County Republican exposed for using taxpayer dollars to secretly settle a sexual harassment claim made by a former staffer should resign from the U.S. House. Meehan must go now, not 11 months from now, at the end of the 115th Congress. Read more.
Charles M. Blow, New York Times: The parallels between Donald Trump now and Richard Nixon then are extraordinary. As revelations of wrongdoing multiplied, many Republican senators continued to try to protect and console Nixon. Read more.
Michelle Goldberg, New York Times: No matter how well President Trump delivers the lines in his State of the Union – announced theme: “Building a safe, strong and proud America” – he will not become presidential. There will be no turning of corners or uniting the country. Read more.
Paul Krugman, New York Times: Is bitcoin a giant bubble that will end in grief? Yes. But it’s a bubble wrapped in techno-mysticism inside a cocoon of libertarian ideology. Read more.
David Leonhardt, New York Times: The evidence is now quite strong that Donald Trump committed obstruction of justice. Many legal scholars believe a sitting president cannot be charged with a crime, so the proper remedy is impeachment. Read more.
Michael Gerson, Washington Post: The goal of President Trump is not to provide refuting evidence to potential charges of collusion with Russia and obstruction of justice. It is to shift the grounds of the political debate – making any charges against the president appear trivial, malicious and highly political. Read more.
Eugene Robinson, Washington Post: The Trump administration seeks to drastically curtail the ability of immigrants to sponsor family members for entry into the country. This can only be seen as an attempt to halt the “browning” of America. Read more.
Andres Oppenheimer, Miami Herald: The Bloomberg 2018 Innovation Index says there is not one single Latin American country among the world’s 50 most innovative nations. The United States is ranked No. 11. Read more.