There’s a lot we don’t know about why a C.K. McClatchy High School student was able to show off his blatantly racist “science” project for two whole days before it was mercifully removed. But what we do know is that, at yet another Sacramento County school, racism reared its ugly head, and the adults whose job it is to supervise students and defuse such divisiveness utterly failed to do so. Read more.
Miami Herald: Don’t even bother to say something ridiculous like, “It’s not supposed to happen here . . .” No, it’s not supposed to happen anywhere, but it does, with sickening frequency. And on a horrible Wednesday — Valentine’s Day — it happened in South Florida, in our back yard. Read more.
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Jack Ohman tries to get through White House security. Sneak here.
Stephen G. Bloom: In 1946, Corinne and a soldier met at a USO dance on Mission Street and took an immediate liking to each other. He was to ship out in a week, and over the next five days they spent as much time together as the soldier’s training schedule allowed. On his last night in San Francisco, they ate dinner at Flor D’Italia. They split a bottle of Chianti, and after their meal, they drank espressos and shared a cannolo. Perhaps they had too much to drink, perhaps they didn’t. Corinne and the soldier returned to her studio apartment on Russian Hill, where the soldier spent the night. Six weeks later, Corinne discovered she was pregnant. The elegant Inez Burns performed illegal abortions in San Francisco. Edmund G. ‘Pat’ Brown was a prosecutor on the rise, with a political career to think of. The rest is history. Read more.
Columns & Op-eds
Dick Ackerman and Mel Levine: How much does Gov. Jerry Brown value higher education? He highlights its importance, but his budget priorities short change the University of California and the California State University. Read more.
Julian Canete: A dangerous lawsuit – funded by out-of-state trial lawyers who stand to make tens of millions of dollars – will hurt California homeowners and threaten property values, taking particular aim at low-income families who’ve achieved the American dream of homeownership. Yet you wouldn’t know this after reading Dan Morain’s column on Jan. 19 on a statewide ballot measure to clean up hazards in homes. Read more.
Take a number: 25 cents
Axios reported that President Trump endorsed a 25-cent gas tax hike to pay for infrastructure at a White House meeting with senior administration officials and members of Congress from both parties. Makes sense. The feds haven’t raise gas taxes in decades. But we wonder how Trump’s friends House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Bakersfield, and Rep. Devin (Stooge) Nunes, R-Tulare, are feeling about that. McCarthy dumped $100,000 into qualifying an initiative for the November ballot to repeal California’s 12-cent per gallon gas tax hike, and Nunes gave $50,000. California’s congressional Republicans have visions that the initiative would drive up turn out among Republicans, assuming Trump doesn’t step on their message.
Kansas City Star: We are old enough to remember when Michelle Obama was pilloried for suggesting that school lunches should include less salt and some vegetables beyond the tomatoes in the pizza sauce. She was turning this into a “nanny state,” her critics said. Rush Limbaugh responded by calling her fat. Read more.
Los Angeles Times: One of the tools in the federal government’s immigration enforcement kit is the detainer – a written request by Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents to a state prison or local jail to hold a person suspected of being in the country illegally for up to 48 hours beyond his or her scheduled release. But, as a federal judge recently ruled again, holding someone without charge or a court order violates the 4th Amendment. Read more.
Orange County Register: In a seemingly ironic turn of events, Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia, a visible leader of the burgeoning #MeToo movement, is the latest member of the Legislature to be accused of sexual misconduct. We hope the allegations are promptly and appropriately investigated and that she accept responsibility for her actions if they occurred. Given her own professed high standards, her constituents should expect nothing less. Read more.
San Diego Union-Tribune: Thousands of Californians have died in recent years because of opioids, particularly in rural northern counties. But this grim state of affairs doesn’t seem to have registered with the California Department of Justice. It’s been more than 16 months since Senate Bill 482 became law, directing the department to establish a prescription database to help identify addicted patients who are “doctor shopping” to try to stockpile the narcotics. Read more.
Santa Rosa Press Democrat: Californians love the Sierra forests too much. We’ve been loving our trees to death for a century, and changing course will require everyone to think differently about forest management. An independent government oversight committee has produced a plan and a needed slap of reality. Read more.
Charlotte Observer: The $4.4 trillion budget Donald Trump proposed this week is, in many ways, a typical Republican budget. It gives money to areas and agencies Republicans feel are important – most notably defense – while cutting money to safety net programs like housing, food stamps and health care. Read more.
Aaron Blake, Washington Post: Speaking to a group of Native Americans, Warren owned her claim and used it to go straight at a president who has repeatedly called her “Pocahontas.” She may well have tapped into something that will resonate with today’s Democratic primary voters. Read more.
E.J. Dionne Jr., Washington Post: There are citizens who ask for a basic minimum from those in charge of their government: some dignity and decorum, a focus on problem-solving, and orderliness rather than chaos. President Trump and the conservatives sustaining him are completely out of line with this behavioral conservatism. Read more.
Ross Douthat, New York Times: In his first year, Donald Trump all but completely abandoned the populist economic vision upon which he successfully campaigned. But since the failed Obamacare repeal, the drift of Republican policymaking has been a little more populist. Read more.
Thomas L. Friedman, New York Times: The Syria-Israel-Lebanon front is the most dangerous corner in the world. Where else can you find Syrian, Russian, American, Iranian and Turkish troops or advisers squaring off on the ground and in the air? Read more.
Dana Milbank, Washington Post: What’s happening on Capitol Hill this week, at President Trump’s behest, is nothing other than an attempt by Republicans to slow the inexorable march toward that point at midcentury when the United States becomes a majority-minority nation. Read more.