Here are all our recommendations for the California primary.
Jack Ohman remembers Robert F. Kennedy, 50 years after. See his view here.
Sacramento County should pay the price to get out of Trump’s deportation machine. County supervisors are to decide Tuesday whether to keep a contract with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to house as many as 165 detainees. Terminating the deal would cost the county as much as $6.6 million a year, it’s a relatively small price to pay to be on the right side of one of the most important issues in America. Read more.
This is California. We should be able to drink the water. Lawmakers, fix this disgrace. This isn’t some optional civic nicety we’re dickering over. This is children being unable to brush their teeth or bathe because of the toxic gunk flowing out of the bathroom faucet. Brown’s plan requires a two-thirds legislative majority for passage. State lawmakers should pass it; the Association of California Water Agencies should stand down and do their part on this critical need. Read more.
Dan Walters, CALMatters: For decades, trade organizations and their insurers battled incessantly with personal injury lawyers at the state Capitol. The tort wars have been relatively quiet, but two incidents this year reignited them. One is a series of devastating wildfires for which the state’s investor-owned utilities could be held liable, and the other is an appellate court decision, upheld by the state Supreme Court, making paint manufacturers liable for a “public nuisance” by selling poisonous lead-based paint. Read more.
Jerry Sanders: Government-run energy programs – also known as Community Choice Aggregation – are unraveling the centralized planning and service California needs to keep the lights on. These programs produce very little new renewable energy. Read more.
Fredrick Vars and Bryan Barks: Because individuals who use guns to attempt suicide almost never survive, limiting their access to firearms saves lives. California has an opportunity to do so. Assembly Bill 1927 would allow at-risk individuals to put themselves on a voluntary no-buy list. Read more.
Erwin Chemerinsky: President Trump’s child separation policy is immoral and illegal. Can the ACLU make it stop? Read more.
Takes on top-two primary
Karen Tumulty, Washington Post: Eight years ago, Californians approved an idealistic new system for picking general election candidates - one that was billed as an antidote to polarization. Instead of statesmanship, the top-two system in California has this year fostered chaos and gamesmanship heading into Tuesday’s primary. Read more.
San Diego Union-Tribune editorial board: Proposition 14 was passed by California voters in 2010. Now, eight years later, what’s come to be known as the “jungle primary” is again facing ferocious criticism from partisans. But even critics who worry that the measure is having unintended effects acknowledge that it has produced a Legislature that is more open to compromise. In an era of heavy partisanship and polarization, the view that it is unhealthy to give too much gate-keeping power to the two major parties is more appealing than ever – especially given their declining support. Read more.
We said that while the top-two system is far from perfect, Californians have to remember how dysfunctional politics was before it.
Takes on Trump’s powers
Michelle Goldberg, New York Times: The Trump team’s claims that he can pardon himself are at once audacious and desperate. It’s hard to know whether they represent a bold power grab, or a panicked response to an investigation that is closing in. I suspect the answer is a combination of the two. Read more.
Eugene Robinson, Washington Post: Don’t be distracted by President Trump’s showmanship and buffoonery. Look instead at the essence of what he is trying to do: Save himself from possible impeachment by subverting the rule of law and enhancing tribalism at the expense of citizenship. Read more.
Steve Vladeck, Washington Post: Letters from his lawyers and a tweet by President Trump amount to an extraordinary assertion of executive power, leading some to assess that Trump and his lawyers want him treated as if he were a monarch. Read more.
Takes on wedding cake decision
Noah Feldman, Bloomberg: Justice Anthony Kennedy has spent the past 25 years developing a theory of gay rights according to which the government could not treat gay people with animus. He applied a version of the same theory to the Christian baker who was found to have violated Colorado’s anti-discrimination law. Read more.
Paul Waldman, Washington Post: Supreme Court justices decided not to decide the underlying question of whether someone can discriminate against certain customers. That question is part of an ambitious campaign by the religious right and Republican Party to essentially turn conservative Christians into a class with special rights. Read more.
Los Angeles Times: Studies have proved what common sense has already told us: Places that have more and easier access to guns tend to have more gun deaths. Now a new report by the Violence Policy Center reaffirms a similar link between looser gun-control laws and gun-suicide rates. Read more.
Orange County Register: The crisis caused by the rising cost of housing in California has a solution: Build more housing. That’s why it’s so troubling that a measure headed for the November ballot would cause less housing to be built. Proponents of the Affordable Housing Act seek to repeal the 1995 Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act, which put statewide limits on local governments’ power to enact rent-control ordinances. Read more.
San Francisco Chronicle: If Jerry Brown’s impending exit following a cumulative decade and a half as governor has legislators feeling sentimental, they’re not showing it by deferring to his relatively stingy valedictory budget. Citing a substantial surplus, the state’s housing crisis and a host of other needs, lawmakers are pushing to spend billions of dollars more. Read more.
Charles M. Blow, New York Times: The Republican Party as you knew it – and I knew it – is in a Trump-induced coma. As Trump dragged down your party, Republican voters cheered, and your so-called leaders have cowered. Read more.
Michael Gerson, Washington Post: For all his faults, Speaker Paul Ryan was occasionally capable of showing some ethical outrage. Rep. Kevin McCarthy of California, the likely next speaker, seems to view surrender to the president as a matter of principle. His is the loyalty of the lap dog, the devotion of the dupe. Read more.
Paul Krugman, New York Times: The curious story concerning Niall Ferguson, a conservative historian who is a fellow at Stanford’s Hoover Institution, offers a window into a reality few people, certainly in the news media, are willing to acknowledge: the bad faith that pervades conservative discourse. Read more.
David Leonhardt, New York Times: It’s a dark period in Washington, D.C. But in many cities and states, people aren’t only trying to minimize Trump’s damage. They’re actively using politics to improve lives. Read more.
Andres Oppenheimer, Miami Herald: About 50,000 Las Vegas hotel and casino workers are threatening to go on strike. They fear that they will be replaced by robots. As kitchen workers, concierges and receptionists are increasingly replaced by robots you will see a growing wave of anti-tech, anti-automation protests around the world. Read more.
Trudy Rubin, Philadelphia Inquirer: Repeating a myth popular with the alt-right (including the just-pardoned Dinesh D’Souza), Roseanne Barr falsely accused billionaire Jewish philanthropist George Soros of having been a Nazi collaborator “who turned in his fellow Jews 2 be murdered in German concentration camps.” No surprise, Donald Trump Jr. retweeted Barr’s hateful message. Read more.
Tweets of the day
BREAKING: #SCOTUS rules narrowly against Colorado Commission in #MasterpieceCakeshop case, but acknowledges the equal rights of #LGBTQ people to be free from the indignities of discrimination. Stand with us: say businesses should be #OpenToAll!— Human Rights Campaign (@HRC) June 4, 2018
Today #SCOTUS guaranteed reelection of Pres. @realDonaldTrump by protecting religious right of baker to not participate in a gay wedding. @POTUS promised to protect religious liberty. This is the most consequential ex. of "promise made, promise kept." Thank you, President Trump!— Dr. Robert Jeffress (@robertjeffress) June 4, 2018
A GREAT DAY FOR THE FIRST AMENDMENT! Congrats to Jack Phillips & the Masterpiece Cakeshop, for whom I had the honor of rallying hundreds of generous Americans to raise almost $30K on his behalf last year. Thank you #SCOTUS for upholding this most vital tenet of freedom.— Allie Beth Stuckey (@conservmillen) June 4, 2018