Keep Sacramento’s City Council team together. During the Stephon Clark crisis, experience matters. Voters should choose incumbents Angelique Ashby, Jay Schenirer and Rick Jennings on June 5. Read more.
Foon Rhee: A Sacramento sales tax for economic justice won’t promise specific projects. This is why. City leaders are talking about a sales tax increase to fund more investments in poor neighborhoods. But to make sure a measure on the November ballot is a “general tax” that needs only a simple majority to pass, it’s likely they’ll only pledge to prioritize struggling neighborhoods – not earmark money for specific projects in communities such as Meadowview, where Stephon Clark was shot. Read more.
Markos Kounalakis, McClatchy D.C.: Working as a Middle East correspondent can be hazardous to your health. Freelance journalist Austin Tice is approaching the six year mark since his kidnapping in Syria. It’s not just Syria and Iraq, either. Slowly, surely, countries once considered welcoming and safe are turning more menacing for both citizens and strangers. Turkey is the latest to flip. Read more.
John Fleming: Gov. Jerry Brown needs to stop sweeping inconvenient science under the rug and fix California’s dirty oil problem. If he doesn’t, it’ll be his face on protest signs, not President Trump’s. Read more.
Michael K. Dorsey: Some legislators want to ban the commercial sale of vehicles that run on combustion engines by 2040. But millions of dollars continues to fund research to develop legitimately eco-friendly diesel engines. Read more.
Jonathan Hasak: California’s next governor will have an opportunity to expand the state’s talent marketplace by making bold changes to education and workforce systems. That includes creating a cabinet-level position focused on expanding economic opportunities for youth. Read more.
Patrick McCallum: If PG&E started the wine country fires, they should pay. Don’t blame climate change. Read more.
Takes on Delta tunnels
Los Angeles Times editorial board: In voting Tuesday to pay two-thirds of the cost of building two tunnels to divert river water around the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta and direct it southward, the Southern California Metropolitan Water District’s board bought into a plan that’s costly, risky, uncertain and unfair. And it is taking its ratepayers with it, because they will have to shoulder the costs on their water bills. But it was the right move nevertheless. The California WaterFix, as the tunnel project is known, remains the cheapest and least speculative option for Southern California to secure a continuing water supply. Read more.
San Jose Mercury News editorial board: It’s time to stop the madness. California voters should demand the right to have a say on the future of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, the linchpin of the state’s water system. Los Angeles’ water district opposes the proposed $16 billion Delta twin-tunnels project. Central Valley farmers don’t think it pencils out. And nearly all of Northern California’s water agencies are opposed because it threatens the Delta’s fragile ecosystem and risks ratepayers holding the bag for cost overruns. But a handful of small water districts and the Municipal Water District of Orange County on Tuesday overrode LA and San Diego’s concerns. Read more.
The Sacramento Bee’s editorial board just weighed in on the Delta tunnels, urging state leaders to take a broader, all-of-the-above approach toward a long-term strategy on California water. Read more.
Takes on Trump and Syria
Trudy Rubin, Philadelphia Inquirer: It’s hard to know where to begin when describing the incoherence of President Donald Trump’s Syria policy as he threatens missile strikes on the Assad regime. The presidential tweet vowing an upcoming strike - which also taunted Russia’s pledge to stop any missiles – was bizarre and counterproductive. Read more.
Bret Stephens, New York Times: The strategy of withdrawal-for-peace has not been vindicated in recent years, whether in Iraq, Afghanistan or the Gaza Strip. It’s a point Donald Trump obviously missed when he insisted last month on U.S. withdrawal from Syria. Read more.
Marc A. Thiessen, Washington Post: With a high-stakes summit with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un coming up, President Trump needs to keep in mind how his next move in Syria will be seen not just in Damascus, Tehran and Moscow but also in Pyongyang. Read more.
Orange County Register editorial board: Nearly four years ago, in the midst of the worst drought in recent memory, California voters approved a $7.5 billion water bond measure that allocated $2.7 billion for water storage – dams and reservoirs, for example. Yet the funding for projects has been held up. The staff of the California Water Commission doesn’t think the projects submitted provide “public benefits” of sufficient value to justify their cost. File this under “Only in California,” and not in a good way. Read more.
Santa Rosa Press Democrat: It’s now easier for California voters to declare their independence. New voter registration cards rolling out this month help clarify how people can choose not to register with any political party. They are one more step toward making the voting process more user friendly and responsive to the will of the people, but lawmakers could make things even less confusing. Read more.
Kansas City Star: Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens should step down, or prepare to be impeached. Because what happened between him and his former hairdresser wasn’t an affair, but a physical and sexual assault on the woman, according to the description of his despicable behavior detailed in the unsparing report the House committee investigating the governor released on Wednesday. Read more.
Seattle Times: The Trump administration’s revival of the failed war on drugs did not spring from a place of reason. But increasingly, it looks like Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ veiled threats toward states with legal marijuana laws might actually hinder America’s ability to solve the nation’s real drug problem: The opioid crisis. Read more.
Charles M. Blow, New York Times: When the Robert Mueller investigation verges into President Trump’s areas of vulnerability, he seeks to squash it. This is not the behavior of an innocent man. This is not the behavior of a “normal” president. Read more.
David Brooks, New York Times: The Republican Party is in the midst of a cataclysmic transformation. But all the political turmoil is creating a burst of intellectual creativity on the right. Suddenly fundamental issues, like the values of the liberal democratic order itself, are up for debate. Read more.
Michael Gerson, Washington Post: Paul Ryan’s career-ending confrontation with President Trump represents the end of a more hopeful and humane era. Ryan’s exit is further evidence that the GOP’s dark side has won. For now. Read more.
Paul Krugman, New York Times: Paul Ryan, who has always been an obvious con man, to anyone willing to see, came to be speaker of the House. The forces that brought Ryan to a position of power are the same forces that have brought America to the edge of a constitutional crisis. Read more.
Dana Milbank, Washington Post: The party Paul Ryan leads is on course for a drubbing, and possibly a historic drubbing. Though much could change, Republican incumbents are voting with their feet and the speaker’s announcement he won’t seek reelection sends the unmistakable if unintended message that the bottom has dropped out. Read more.
Ruben Navarrette Jr., Washington Post: The Mark Zuckerberg hearings were not about the privacy of Americans, who voluntarily relinquish that privacy when they choose to open a Facebook account and then choose to post personal data on their page to seek the approval of family, friends and complete strangers. Read more.
Andres Oppenheimer, Miami Herald: President Trump cancels his summit trip – and shows his disdain for Latin America and its people once again. If you are not convinced that Trump looks down on Latin Americans, and on Latin America, it’s because you just don’t want to accept the facts. Read more.
Tweets of the day
Comey’s not giving his book money to charity, is he? Because that would be honorable and show he’s not in it for the cash.— Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) April 12, 2018
Two things can be true:— Neera Tanden (@neeratanden) April 12, 2018
1. Comey’s firing was obstruction of justice
2. His actions regarding the emails were self-serving malpractice that has caused the suffering of millions of people. #noherohere