Foon Rhee: California politicians pay plenty of lip service about bridging the widening gap between the richer coast and poorer inland. If they mean what they say and want to back up their words with action, the agenda of Rural County Representatives of California is a pretty good place to start. Read more.
Marcos Bretón: Folsom chief Cynthia Renaud is the only woman running a police department in the Sacramento region. She also helps run the International Association of Chiefs of Police, where she is set to become its president in 2020 – the second woman to hold that post in the organization’s 125-year history. And she’d make a great candidate for Sacramento County sheriff. Read more.
Dan Walters: One of California’s most complex and unusual financial/political/legal conflicts was settled last week, but a couple of mysteries remain. The two Southern California utilities that own the now-shuttered San Onofre nuclear power plant agreed to modify a 2014 Public Utilities Commission decree that had saddled their customers with two-thirds of $4.7 billion in decommissioning costs. Read more.
Leonard Pitts Jr., Miami Herald. Discussing race with a white person is often one of the most vexing things an African-American person can do. You quickly come to understand that understanding is the last thing they want. Read more.
Jack Ohman visits the Oroville Dam spillway. Catch the updates here.
Take a number: 5,000
Lt. Gavin Newsom ended 2017 with more money in the bank for the race for the 2018 governor than other Democratic candidates combined, $16.6 million. He kept the lead in January, raising $374,000 in increments of $1,000 or more, compared with Antonio Villaraigosa’s $174,000. Orange County Republican Travis Allen raised $30,000 in January, before the Friday #MeToo document dump naming him. The real story could be Democratic Treasurer John Chiang. He raised a paltry $5,000. Delaine Eastin? Zip.
Los Angeles Times: As the sports-loving part of the population looked forward to the Super Bowl on Sunday, legislatures in New York and Illinois are zeroing in on a different aspect of the nation’s most popular sport: brain injuries among young players. Lawmakers in both states have introduced measures that would ban tackle football for children under age 12. Read more.
Orange County Register: For 21 years, marijuana has been available to Californians with a medical referral from a physician. And beginning last month, it is legally available in small amounts to any adult in the state. But for over a century, hundreds of thousands of Californians caught by the police in possession of both large and tiny amounts of marijuana have been prosecuted as criminals. Read more.
The Mercury News: The state of the union is crumbling. The need to invest in infrastructure is one of the few issues on which even President Trump and California Gov. Jerry Brown agree. The president did call during his State of the Union address Tuesday for a $1.5 trillion investment over 10 years. But only $200 billion would come from the federal government. The rest of the $1.3 trillion would have to come from private investment and local and state funding. Read more.
Santa Rosa Press Democrat: Out of the 3,953 properties burned in Sonoma County in October, 2,160 have been cleared, the county reported this week. The county has provided such detailed information about almost every aspect of its response to this catastrophe – except one. After nearly four months, the public still lacks a clear understanding of what decisions were made by the emergency services staff about alerting residents to the fires. Read more.
Miami Herald: When it comes to the threat of oil drilling off Florida’s coasts, the majority of the state’s congressional delegation has our back. As for Gov. Rick Scott, he just might stab us in it. Last week, 24 of Florida’s 27 lawmakers demanded in a letter to Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke that he come down firmly against drilling off the state’s coasts. A definitive answer has been elusive, and the Trump administration as slippery as an oil slick. Read more.
Nicholas Kristof: Four years ago, when Woody Allen was given a lifetime achievement award by the Golden Globes, Dylan Farrow curled up in a ball on her bed, crying hysterically. Then she wrote an open letter for my blog (nobody else seemed to want to publish it) describing how, when she was 7 years old, Allen allegedly sexually assaulted her. Read more.
Maureen Dowd: Yes, Uma Thurman is mad. She has been raped. She has been sexually assaulted. She has been mangled in hot steel. She has been betrayed and gaslighted by those she trusted. Read more.
Timothy Egan, New York Times: President Trump is offering this deal to his supporters: Say nothing about the lies, the bullying, the accusations of sexual misconduct from more than a dozen women, the undermining of the rule of law, the abdication of basic decency – and in turn he will make you rich. Read more.
E.J. Dionne Jr., Washington Post: Devin Nunes’ memo cherry-picks from troves of information to feed a dangerous narrative: Even if special counsel Robert Mueller gets the goods on Trump, the facts won’t matter because the inquiry was driven by partisanship. Read more.
Dana Milbank, Washington Post: Devin Nunes gets to be chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, but he simultaneously gets to serve President Donald Trump by making public tidbits of classified information given to him by the White House. Read more.
Ruben Navarrette Jr., Washington Post: We’ve taken a curious turn all right. For years, the undocumented aspired to be like Americans. Now, Americans want to be like the undocumented. Read more.
Kathleen Parker, Washington Post: There appears to be a slight directional shift away from the carte-blanche power of the #MeToo movement, where accusation equals indictment, public shaming is conviction and sentencing usually means loss of employment and an extended stay in the virtual stockade of humiliation and disgrace. Read more.
Jennifer Rubin, Washington Post: After a huge buildup, the memo from Rep. Devin Nunes makes the sweeping allegation that Christopher Steele’s dossier was the basis for obtaining a warrant to conduct surveillance on suspected Russian agent Carter Page. The memo turns out to be decidedly underwhelming and at times baffling. Read more.
Greg Sargent and Paul Waldman, Washington Post: The memo from House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes has now been released, and its contents are almost comically thin in comparison with the great scandal Trump’s media allies have been hyping for weeks and weeks and weeks. Read more.