Stop finger-pointing on hoarded mental health millions and just spend it wisely. A new state audit revealed that California’s 59 county and local mental health agencies had piled up $2.5 billion in unspent cash as of 2015-16. There are plenty of worthy ways to spend more to expand and improve treatment and services. Read more.
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These are the real defenders of California’s gun control values. In the vacuum left by Congress, United Airlines, Kroger and several other corporations have cut ties with the National Rifle Association. Markets don’t lie. Read more.
Modesto Bee: Immigration enforcement in America has taken a wrong turn. It’s at once heartless, punitive and lazy. Heartless because it tears apart families; punitive because California, which dared to confront cruel inequities by becoming a symbolic “sanctuary” state, is being prioritized; lazy because ICE agents appear to be going after the easiest targets. Read more.
Markos Kounalakis, McClatchy D.C.: Phone calls are not President Donald Trump’s best tool for international charm offensives. He hung up on Australia’s prime minister a year ago, nearly changed U.S. policy toward Taiwan and China in another conversation when he was president-elect, and, this week, further offended Mexico’s President Enrique Peña Nieto. Read more.
Andres Oppenheimer, Miami Herald: Coral Gables Mayor Raul Valdes-Fauli is not proposing taking baby steps, such as Florida Gov. Rick Scott’s suggestion to ban sales of semi-automatic weapons to anyone under 21. Scott’s proposal still would allow many people over 21 to buy what essentially is a weapon of war and mow down innocent people anywhere. Read more.
Carolyn Coleman and Matt Cate: Cities and counties are on the front lines of homelessness. The League of California Cities and the California State Association of Counties released a report Thursday designed to be a road map to reducing homelessness. Read more.
Gary Passmore: The California Public Utilities Commission voted unanimously to require all power providers to demonstrate they have enough energy to meet their customers’ needs. A loophole for Community Choice Aggregators – local governments that buy electricity – was unfair. Read more.
Joe Mathews: The governor’s race isn’t just about Gavin Newsom and Antonio Villaraigosa – it’s about SF and LA. Read more.
Takes on nuclear weapons
Assemblywoman Cecilia Aguiar-Curry: Congress should pass a bill requiring its approval for the first use of nuclear weapons. President Donald Trump can’t be trusted with the nuclear button himself. Read more.
Leonid Bershidsky, Bloomberg: Vladimir Putin appears to believe that Russia’s internal problems will largely fix themselves if he sets ambitious enough goals. That, regardless of the new nuclear weaponry, is a disaster in the making. Read more.
Yomiuri Shimbun editorial board: It is vital that the international community firmly maintains pressure on North Korea through sanctions and continues efforts to start negotiations toward the country's abandonment of its nuclear and missile development programs, without being misled by Pyongyang's charm offensive. Read more.
Los Angeles Times: President Donald Trump brought lawmakers from both parties to the White House on Wednesday to discuss, publicly, the thorny issue of guns in the wake of the Valentine’s Day massacre at a Florida high school. The meeting was most notable for the unexpected interest the president took in tightening gun controls. Of course, just because Trump utters the words doesn’t mean he'll stand behind them after the cameras stop rolling. Read more.
Orange County Register: Bernie Sanders may or may not have defeated Donald Trump if he received the Democratic Party’s nomination, but even here in California, his campaign against Hillary Clinton has inspired lasting political activity. The latest effort is a campaign to gain enough signatures to put making college tuition free for all on the ballot. Higher education is too highly priced for too many to afford. But charging the bill to Sacramento would only strike at the symptoms of the real problems behind college costs today. Read more.
San Diego Union-Tribune: San Diego’s 36-branch city library system is an outstanding resource for all residents – especially low-income families that use the system’s books, movies, computers and more to help their children better enjoy, understand and appreciate the world around them. But not all residents can check out material. More than 20 percent of the city’s 762,000 library card holders have frozen accounts because they haven’t paid overdue fines. Now, with the support of Mayor Kevin Faulconer, city library director Misty Jones is proposing that fines be eliminated in favor of other policies intended to spur library patrons to return overdue items. Read more.
Santa Rosa Press Democrat: In the battle of the House intelligence committee memos, Rep. Devin Nunes promised a smoking gun, but he delivered little more than innuendo. Rep. Adam Schiff, a former prosecutor, responded with verifiable facts. Schiff’s memo is a detailed rebuttal of dark suggestions that the ongoing investigation of meddling in the 2016 presidential election, and possible collusion between Russian interests and Donald Trump’s campaign, is the product of a partisan smear orchestrated by the FBI and the U.S. Department of Justice. Read more.
David Brooks, New York Times: It could be that you can win more important victories through an aggressive cultural crusade than you can through legislation. Progressives could be on the verge of delegitimizing their foes, on guns but also much else. Read more.
Michael Gerson, Washington Post: When Democratic National Committee Chair Tom Perez declared last April that support for abortion rights was a litmus test for Democrats, some elected members of the party pushed back, but this is done with a theatrical wink and nod. Read more.
Paul Krugman, New York Times: The U.S. government has no business cutting taxes. We need more revenue, not less. To reduce deficits Republicans will try to slash programs that benefit working Americans. Read more.
Dana Milbank, Washington Post: White House communications director Hope Hicks did something that is incompatible with serving in this administration: She told the truth about the lies. Read more.
Bret Stephens, New York Times: Liberals tend to admire NeverTrumpers, because they see them as conservatives with a moral sense and, perhaps, a brain. By contrast, MAGA Republicans – whether of the fully or merely semi-Trumpified varieties – detest NeverTrumpers with an animus they can scarcely extend to liberals or progressives. Read more.
Tweet of the day
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Donald Trump's day so far:<br><br>- Stupid tweet tanks stock market<br>- H.R. McMaster about to be fired<br>- His replacement is John Bolton?<br>- Michael Bolton would do better<br>- Hope Hicks is long gone<br>- Jared Kushner is nearly gone<br>- Donald Trump is a goner<br>- It's still only 5pm</p>— Palmer Report (@PalmerReport) <a href="https://twitter.com/PalmerReport/status/969327206156484608?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">March 1, 2018</a></blockquote>
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