Don’t gut public sector unions, Supreme Court. They’re California’s middle class. On Monday, the conservative majority of the U.S. Supreme Court made it clear that they will outlaw a key source of financial backing for public employee unions. We wish the justices would think twice – and not just because such a decision would disrupt California and undo 41 years of legal precedent. Read more.
Jack Ohman checks out the couch surfer in the conservative movement. Crash right here.
Marcos Bretón: Does Sacramento have the will to reform its public schools so that a more diverse pool of students is ready to compete for the most elite high school programs in town and the most elite colleges and universities in America? It’s an open question without a reassuring answer, but Jorge Aguilar, the new superintendent of the Sacramento City Unified School District, is going to try to upend the district’s public schools. Read more.
David Festa: For California to save Monarch butterflies, we need a solution that is resilient to climate change, and we need funding to put projects on the ground. Environmental Defense Fund is leading the push to develop a Monarch Butterfly Habitat Exchange. Read more.
Sen. John Moorlach: A spike in state liability for retiree health care and recent stock market tremors are red flags that the economy isn’t as healthy as we think. Read more.
Takes on gun laws
Charles M. Blow, New York Times: There are things we could do right now that could lessen the lethality of the guns currently available and we could ban some guns – neither of which is likely to happen. We must treat gun violence in this country as a public health crisis, because it is. Read more.
Michael Gerson, Washington Post: Apocalyptic thinking paralyzes politics of gun violence. This makes incremental change – the kind that our system of government encourages – more difficult. This is a particular shame on the issue of gun violence. Read more.
Eugene Robinson, Washington Post: Don’t let the absurd ploy to arm teachers distract you. The National Rifle Association and its vassals in the Republican Party would like you to exhaust your outrage on a possibility that is, from the start, impossible. Read more.
Charlotte Observer editorial board: While we struggle to find common ground on sensible ways to reduce gun violence, we must not become blind to potential unintentional harm, such as stigmatizing every troubled teenager. It’s hard not to wonder why warning signs weren’t enough to stop the 19-year-old before he killed 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. Read more.
Palm Beach (Fla.) Post editorial board: It is nothing short of inspiring to see high school students by the thousands march out of their classrooms and into the streets and into the halls of government in Tallahassee, into the White House, into America’s living rooms via television, demanding that this nation’s leaders finally get real about gun violence – the gun violence these students feel is hunting them down. Read more.
San Diego Union-Tribune editorial board: After all of the five deadliest mass shootings in modern American history – and too many others – Congress has refused to respond with any meaningful legislation, and has gone nowhere near renewing the 1994 ban on military-style rifles that lapsed in 2004. To many, it seemed this intransigence was permanent. Then the students who survived a Valentine’s Day massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School that left 17 people dead, responded by demanding that gun laws change – and refusing to stop. Read more.
Modesto Bee: Homelessness is a crisis in California, and Modesto and Stanislaus County are part of that crisis. But here, we have a very real opportunity to make a difference and quickly. And we have all the tools we need to do it. Tuesday, Stanislaus County’s board of supervisors will be asked to fund creation of a Temporary Low Barrier Emergency Shelter and Day Center on the edge of downtown Modesto. Read more.
Los Angeles Times: Many people think of homelessness as a problem of substance abusers and mentally ill people, of chronic skid row street-dwellers pushing shopping carts. But increasingly, the crisis in Los Angeles today is about a less visible (but more numerous) group of “economically homeless” people who have been driven onto the streets or into shelters by hard times, bad luck and California’s irresponsible failure to address its own housing needs. Read more.
Santa Rosa Press Democrat: Hindsight is always 20-20, and Sonoma County lacks none if it when it comes to the fires of October. What the county lacked was foresight – enough foresight to heed the warnings laid out in its own Hazard Mitigation Plan, which warned that a repeat of the 1964 Hanly fire was not just possible but likely. If it had, it might have been better prepared to warn residents in those terrifying first moments as wind-fanned flames swept through the county on Oct. 8 and Oct. 9. Read more.
Bloomberg View: Why has U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services deleted the phrase “a nation of immigrants” from its mission statement? Agencies are free to revise their mission statements, of course. But when the person in the Oval Office routinely employs nativist rhetoric, scapegoats foreigners, seeks lower levels of immigration, and makes it more difficult to obtain green cards and visas, it is nearly impossible to see the deletion as mere coincidence. Read more.
David Brooks, New York Times: A generation emerges from the wreckage. Their lived experience includes the Iraq War, the financial crisis, police brutality and Donald Trump – a series of moments when the big institutions failed to provide basic security, competence and accountability. Read more.
Paul Krugman, New York Times: The force of decency awakens. You can see the abrupt turn toward decency in the rise of the #MeToo movement. You can see it in the reactions to the Parkland school massacre. Read more.
David Leonhardt, New York Times: Protests can have an effect, as happened with Obamacare repeal and is happening on guns. But major progress on almost every issue – climate change, immigration, middle-class living standards and gun deaths – depends on electing people who want to make progress. Read more.
Andres Oppenheimer, Miami Herald: Was it a coincidence? Or was the latest massacre – and several of the previous ones – somehow related to a rise of racism in America? Read more.
“Don’t be fooled by Assemblymember Jim Cooper’s latest ploy to scare Californians into supporting his cynical and deeply flawed ballot initiative, which would gut key provisions of Proposition 57 and other criminal justice reforms.” – Gov. Jerry Brown
Tweet of the day
It’s hailing cats and DOGS! ❄️ pic.twitter.com/4l8qZCYGdU— Colusa Brown (@ColusaBrown) February 26, 2018