U.S. Senate: U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s clout is too critical in Trump era. California Sen. Kevin De León is our second in top two. Read more.
Jack Ohman revisits Oliver North and the NRA. See another arms deal here.
Andrew Malcolm, McClatchy D.C.: The effective briefing last week by Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on the hidden and ongoing dangers of Iran’s nuclear program and its nuclear deal with the West is a compelling example of modern political persuasion at work through media. Read more.
Dan Walters, CALMatters: California was in a bragging mode last week because the state’s economy has climbed in global rankings to 5th place behind only the U.S. as whole, China, Japan and Germany. It’s remarkable that one state generated so much economic production – $2.7 trillion last year. However, while California’s economic output increased by 3 percent in 2017, the economies of five other states grew faster. Read more.
John Chiang, Giulia Erickson and Margot Bennett: We call upon CalPERS and CalSTRS, the nation’s two largest pension funds, to divest from wholesale and retail sellers of assault weapons. The California State Teachers’ Retirement System’s investment committee is to debate this issue on Wednesday. Read more.
David Freed: Why isn’t all that fast food more hazardous to Trump’s health? Read more.
Takes from candidates for governor
Before we endorsed in the race for California governor, we interviewed nearly all of the major candidates and put the sessions on video. Here are some excerpts:
Travis Allen on how he’d plan for the next drought. Watch here.
John Chiang on the racism he faced during his childhood. Watch here.
Delaine Eastin on the problem with Gov. Jerry Brown’s approach to preschool. Watch here.
Gavin Newsom and Antonio Villaraigosa on their affairs while mayor. Watch here.
Amanda Renteria, a Hillary Clinton campaign aide, on the morning after losing to Donald Trump. Watch here.
Los Angeles Times: When a desperate family fleeing violence in their homeland arrives at the border, what kind of heartless and inhumane nation would separate the parents from the children, prosecute the parents for crossing into the country illegally and send the kids off to a youth detention center? Ours. Attorney General Jeff Sessions revealed Monday that the departments of Justice and Homeland Security have agreed to take a zero-tolerance approach to people who cross into the U.S. along the southwestern border outside an official point of entry. Read more.
Orange County Register: When government contracts with the private sector to save money and deliver quality services, it’s a win-win. But when the aim is to merely extract money from the public, things can go very wrong. Late last year, the Desert Sun revealed an abusive practice in Indio and Coachella in which a city-contracted law firm prosecuted city residents for minor crimes and then billed them for the costs of the prosecution. Read more.
San Diego Union-Tribune: In part because of its largely Democratic elected leaders’ failings, housing costs are so extreme that homelessness has exploded and the state has the highest effective poverty rate in the U.S. But the California GOP is now content to be a minority party. Last weekend’s state GOP convention in San Diego provided a fresh reminder of how the party faithful prefer their traditional greatest hits – such as hard lines on taxes and immigration and skepticism about climate change – instead of trying to attract a majority of voters. Read more.
San Francisco Chronicle: Recently introduced legislation by state Sen. Richard Pan, D-Sacramento, would take the sensible step of requiring more elected sheriffs and coroners to be replaced by qualified, independent, appointed medical examiners. Making death investigations answerable to an elected official who typically lacks medical training serves mainly to introduce political and other inappropriate considerations. And when the offices of sheriff and coroner are combined, examinations of fatalities involving police are led by a law enforcement official with an obvious conflict of interest. Read more.
Dana Milbank, Washington Post: Don Blankenship, a disgraced coal baron, was reportedly trailing two respectable GOP rivals in West Virginia’s U.S. Senate primary. Then he uncorked a racist and demagogic jeremiad about Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell and his Asian American wife, Elaine Chao, and surged in the polls. Read more.
Ruben Navarrette Jr., Washington Post: Last week, in Phoenix, Vice President Mike Pence made a fool of himself. Having hitched his wagon to a president who believes that Mexican immigrants are criminals from a poor, violent, and corrupt country, Pence has embraced the crazy. Read more.
Kathleen Parker, Washington Post: Each year, 130,000 horses, 10,000 of them thoroughbreds, are transported to Mexico or Canada under abhorrent circumstances – crammed into trucks or trailers for more than 24 hours without food or water – to be slaughtered under often-brutal conditions. Read more.
Leonard Pitts Jr., Miami Herald: The very idea of knowable truth is in controversy, the news is filled with conspiracy theories and it has become distressingly clear that many of us simply don’t care, blithely rejecting all facts that collide with preferred fictions. The scary thing is, it’s about to get worse. Read more.
Catherine Rampell, Washington Post: In theory, all the economic indicators mean employers should have to offer much higher wages to attract and retain talent. Somehow, though, reality isn’t cooperating with the theory. Read more.
Marc A. Thiessen, Washington Post: We should be thrilled that the woman behind a major counterterrorism success has been nominated to become the first female director of the CIA. But instead of being grateful that President Trump picked Gina Haspel, Senate Democrats are threatening to kill her nomination. Read more.
Tweets of the day
Iran cannot have nuclear weapons—but the United States must be a headlight and not a taillight, leading the world on the path to peace through the hard, necessary work of diplomacy.— John Lewis (@repjohnlewis) May 8, 2018
Obama rammed his agenda through unilaterally (Obamacare, DACA, Iran Deal), and none of these things were in the interest of the American people. So when Trump undoes Obama's unilateral, unAmerican actions, he's not breaking things, he's fixing them.— Allie Beth Stuckey (@conservmillen) May 8, 2018