The Delta is dying. The planet is warming. Is California too focused on the tunnels? California should stop fixating on the Delta tunnel project, or California WaterFix, now heading to the Metropolitan Water District. The real question is how best to secure water and restore the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta amid climate change. Read more.
Jack Ohman recalls the events surrounding the death of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.. See them here.
Dan Walters, CALMatters: California needs more water storage as the climate changes. Yes, that means dams. Read more.
Nicole Shirilla and David Major: Why are patients selecting aid in dying? What quality and duration of health care have they received? Learning these answers could help us improve end-of-life care in California. Senate Bill 1336 would shed some light. Read more.
Takes on police shootings
Vann R. Newkirk II, The Atlantic: Police shootings are also gun violence. Emphasizing policing as the primary means of addressing shootings will only lead to more deadly confrontations between officers and the citizens they’re sworn to protect. Read more.
Los Angeles Times editorial board: The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that a Tucson police officer who shot and wounded a woman in her front yard couldn’t be sued for damages. It was the latest, but almost certainly not the last, decision by the court to give the benefit of the doubt to law enforcement officials accused of abusing their authority. It’s time for the court to reconsider this and other legal doctrines that make it hard for victims of official misconduct to have their day in court. And if it doesn’t, Congress should act. Read more.
Orange County Register editorial board: For many years, California police departments have cited a desire to not overemphasize officer misconduct as a key reason to keep private almost all records of aberrant activity by law enforcement. Probably 99 percent of arrests and even encounters between officers and citizens are “good” ones – probable cause, allowing the system to work, keeping the public safe. But what about the other 1 percent? Why are we so frequently kept in the dark? Read more.
San Diego Union-Tribune editorial board: The fatal March 18 shooting of an unarmed 22-year-old African-American man in the backyard of his grandparents’ home in Sacramento raised anew painful questions about U.S. law enforcement’s troubling history of disproportionate use of lethal force against black men. Stephon Clark’s death and the issues it evokes demand thoughtful debate. That is why Assembly members Shirley Weber, D-San Diego, and Kevin McCarty, D-Sacramento, deserve credit for introducing Assembly Bill 931. Read more.
Takes on trade war
Daniel Griswold, Los Angeles Times: Amid our escalating trade war with China, President Donald Trump’s top economic adviser, Larry Kudlow, tried to assure investors that, despite roiling stock markets, a “pot of gold” lies at the end of the dispute. But the brinkmanship on both sides is more likely to cost Americans a pot of gold in disrupted trade and lost economic opportunity. Read more.
Paul Krugman, New York Times: Whenever investors suspect that Donald Trump will really go through with his threats of big tariff increases, provoking retaliation abroad, stocks plunge. Every time they decide it’s just theater, stocks recover. Markets really, really don’t like the idea of a trade war. Read more.
Stephen Roach, Bloomberg: By drawing increased support from domestic demand, China is better able to withstand the pressure of tariffs and other actions that are aimed at its exporters. But the U.S. depends heavily on China for providing the low-cost goods that enable income-constrained American consumers to make ends meet. Read more.
San Jose Mercury News: The Pineapple Express conditions that brought heavy rains Friday to the Bay Area will help fill reservoirs and ease the threat of drought. But the storm also furthers the illusion that Californians are safe to go back to taking long showers and watering lawns on a daily basis. Despite the heavy rains throughout March, the Sierra Nevada snowpack stands at only 52 percent of normal. Efficient use of water needs to become a permanent way of life in California. Read more.
Santa Rosa Press Democrat: A divided California Supreme Court ruled that police may collect DNA samples from people they arrest on suspicion of a felony. Just because a court says something is permissible doesn’t mean it is required. State lawmakers should hold a frank, public conversation about restoring privacy protections to these Californians whose only crime is having a police officer suspect they did something wrong. Read more.
Miami Herald: President Trump announced he would send military troops to guard the border with Mexico to prevent migrants’ illegal entry. What’s the point of sending the National Guard to the border, with no thought to cost, approach or effectiveness? The point is, this is for show – Trump’s expensive and needless move to force Congress to fund his even more expensive, more needless border wall. Read more.
Newsday: The 1,000-plus refugees traveling together toward the Southern border of the United States who sent President Donald Trump into a rage were not trying to sneak into our nation. Neither were they planning an invasion. Or attempting to get special treatment because they were children. This annual Holy Week pilgrimage, organized by Pueblo Sin Fronteras for more than 15 years, and larger this year than ever, was composed mostly of women and children and are peaceful, large and well publicized. The pilgrimage is not the scene of widespread rape, as Trump bizarrely claimed on Thursday. Read more.
St. Louis Post-Dispatch: President Donald Trump wants Americans to believe there’s a crisis at our southern border and that hordes of illegal immigrants are preparing to swarm. It’s time to deploy troops to protect the border, he says. This is nonsense. The swarm is a group of people gathered more than 870 miles away in southern Mexico. The U.S. Border Patrol is more than adequately equipped to handle the flow of illegal border crossings, which recently reached their lowest level since 1971. Deploying troops, who are trained for combat instead of law enforcement, vastly increases the danger of mishaps and threatens to hinder, not help, the Border Patrol’s mission. Read more.
David Brooks, New York Times: If power in the Greatest Generation looked like Organization Men running big institutions, and power for the boomers looked like mass movements organized by charismatic leaders like Steve Jobs and Barack Obama, power these days looks like decentralized networks in which everyone is a leader and there’s no dominating idol. Read more.
E.J. Dionne Jr., Washington Post: President Trump is a demagogue who relies on the angry energy of his supporters. But no matter how many hot buttons he pushes, he cannot arouse the passion he needs on his own side to counter the determination and engagement of those who loathe him. Read more.
Michelle Goldberg, New York Times: QAnon, a pro-Donald Trump conspiracy theory, says he is working with Robert Mueller to take down an inconceivably evil and powerful network of coup-plotters and child sex traffickers that includes Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and George Soros. The theory is profoundly revealing about the lengths to which some Trump supporters will go to convince themselves that his presidency is going well. Read more.
Dana Milbank, Washington Post: Gary Cohn’s principled action after President Trump’s comments on the Charlottesville march likely cost him the chairmanship of the Federal Reserve. Steve Mnuchin remains in the president’s good graces despite policy gaffes and embarrassing stories about personal extravagance. It is the triumph of the bootlicker. Read more.
Ruben Navarrette Jr., Washington Post: In December, amid allegations of inappropriate sexual relationships with subordinates, PBS unceremoniously dumped Tavis Smiley. He’s not keeping a low profile, hosting a special program on Martin Luther King Jr. and a new online series. Read more.
Kathleen Parker, Washington Post: There are few sympathetic characters in the landmark lawsuit between Marquette University and a suspended professor that is about free speech and academic freedom and is heading later this month to the Wisconsin Supreme Court. Read more.
Leonard Pitts Jr., Miami Herald: A three-minute film, “A New View of the Moon” has people talking – and looking, having racked up over a quarter of a million views on YouTube alone. The premise is deceptively simple. The pair wandered around Los Angeles with a telescope. Read more.
Trudy Rubin, Philadelphia Inquirer: Given the chaos in the White House – and President Donald Trump’s rush to abandon Syria to Iran and the next version of ISIS – it’s easy to overlook two critical Mideast milestones. The first was the announcement by Israeli officials that the number of Jews and Arabs living under Israeli control between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean was now equal, at 6.5 million each. The second milestone: In May, Trump will reportedly unveil his proposed “deal of the century” for resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Read more.