Erika D. Smith: If you’re worried about wealthy investors turning Sacramento’s homegrown cannabis industry into California’s first outpost for Big Marijuana, you should be. In fact, right about now you should be panicking. Read more.
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Dan Walters, CALmatters: The GOP’s long slide into irrelevance in California. Read more.
Sonny Perdue, USA Today: The U.S. has to stand up to China’s abusive trade practices like intellectual property theft. And we won’t leave farmers to face Chinese bullying alone. Read more.
Jack Ohman checks out Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s safety. See practical life extension here.
Steve Nelsen: Gov. Jerry Brown promised he was committed to a clean water bill, but he let it slip away to make a budget deal. He still has time to get something done. Read more.
Vidhi Jhaveri: California is one of only 11 states that allow raw milk to be sold in any retail store, usually right next to pasteurized milk. There need to be stricter regulations, including a ban on sales in retail stores. Read more.
Takes on Maryland newspaper shooting
Dave Barry, Miami Herald: My heart aches for all the families. My heart also aches, on this sad day, for the larger family of journalists, especially newspaper journalists. They love what they do, and most of them do it for lousy pay, at a time when the economic situation of newspapers is precarious. It’s also a time when the news media are under attack for being biased, for being elitist and out of touch with ordinary Americans. Read more.
Patt Morrison, Los Angeles Times: The targeted killing of journalists is something we think of as happening elsewhere, in Mexico, where journalists are gunned down by drug lords and their cronies; in Russia, where journalist critics of Vladimir Putin turn up dead; in Syria and Afghanistan; in France, where Islamic State supporters massacred Charlie Hebdo magazine journalists. It hasn’t happened to a newspaper journalist in the United States in more than 10 years. Read more.
Kathleen Parker, Washington Post: This shooting wasn’t “the” shooting many of us feared would come. But President Trump, nevertheless, bears some responsibility for the incendiary rhetoric that has raised the heat – and the stakes – for journalists just doing their jobs. Read more.
Trudy Rubin, Philadelphia Inquirer: President Trump’s denunciation of fact-full media as fake news was taken for granted, as was his vilification of media outlets as “the enemy of the American people” and his incitement of crowds to assault reporters. But Trump’s media-bashing has now become an immediate danger that threatens to encourage his angry supporters to attack journalists. Read more.
Greg Sargent, Washington Post: On Thursday, after five people were brutally gunned down in a newsroom in Annapolis, Maryland, President Donald Trump was repeatedly pressed to comment on the bloodshed and to offer condolences to grieving family members. Will he now refrain from heaping abuse and vitriol on reporters, and from whipping up his supporters into frenzies of rage at them? Read more.
Baltimore Sun editorial board: The column that began Jarrod Ramos’ vendetta against the Annapolis Capital was about a court case in which he had been convicted of harassment. It wasn’t some piece of exploitative journalism; it had a broader point and purpose, one that resonates chillingly after his alleged shooting rampage at the Capital Gazette newsroom that left five dead. Read more.
Chicago Tribune editorial board: Newspaper reporters routinely show up at scenes of violent crime as police descend to restore order and launch investigations. The journalists take notes, talk to officers and witnesses, and try to make sense of the tragedy. On Thursday afternoon, it happened at the Capital Gazette in Annapolis, Md. These are our colleagues. Read more.
Takes on Supreme Court
E.J. Dionne, Washington Post: With Republicans in control of the Senate, the odds favor anyone President Trump picks to fill Justice Anthony Kennedy’s seat. But as the mass mobilization to preserve the Affordable Care Act demonstrated, progressives can win battles in the Senate. Read more.
Dana Milbank, Washington Post: Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is vowing to ram through the Senate the confirmation of the decisive fifth hard-right justice on the Supreme Court, quite likely signaling the end of legal abortion in much of America and possibly same-sex marriage and other rights Americans embrace. Read more.
Leonard Pitts Jr., Miami Herald: To approve the travel ban, after all, the court had to take Trump at his word that it was based in national-security concerns and had nothing to do with his animus toward Muslims. And the court did. Read more.
San Francisco Chronicle editorial board: From the Biden Rule to the McConnell Standard, a series of spontaneously fabricated maxims for election-year Supreme Court nominations has shown that neither side has a monopoly on hypocrisy and that principle is the most worthless currency in politics. The consequential question of who will succeed the court’s great fence-straddler, Anthony Kennedy, will come down to power and its exercise. Read more.
San Jose Mercury News editorial board: Elections have consequences. That will be on stark display in the days, weeks and perhaps months ahead as President Trump, Congress and the nation battle over the replacement for retiring Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy. We speak to Democrats today because our government is out of whack. At a time when Republicans control two branches of government and are about to lock up the third, there is a desperate need to politically rebalance the nation. Read more.
Los Angeles Times: In announcing the arrest Wednesday of a suspect in the killing of 10-year-old Anthony Avalos, Los Angeles County Sheriff Jim McDonnell said that reports of the boy’s injuries were “grossly overstated.” But how did it happen, and when, and what signals were missed in the months before, and by whom? These questions are central to understanding not only who bears criminal responsibility, but how policies and practices failed, if they did, and how to improve them. Read more.
Orange County Register: A new report from the United Nations Refugee Agency says there were fewer new claims for asylum worldwide in 2017, but the number of people waiting for their asylum claims to be processed is going in the opposite direction. There were 3.1 million people with pending asylum claims in 2017, up from 2.8 million the year before. A lot of that backlog is in the United States. Read more.
(San Luis Obispo) Tribune: How’s this for a bummer? An entertainment complex – complete with bowling alley, concert venue and restaurants – won’t be opening in downtown San Luis Obispo after all, at least not at the corner of Marsh and Chorro streets. Instead, a six-story, 75-foot behemoth may rise in its place, dwarfing everything around it. Normally, buildings in the downtown core are limited to 50 feet, but exceptions can be made under certain circumstances. Please, not this time. Read more.
Santa Rosa Press Democrat: The sky-is-falling crowd who warned that Proposition 47’s easing up on criminal incarceration would be a disaster for California was wrong. It was a smart move in a state with a $9 billion corrections budget and packed prisons. A yearlong study by the nonpartisan Public Policy Institute of California suggests that Proposition 47 might have led to an increase in some property crimes – particularly car theft – but also is responsible for a 3.1 percent decrease in recidivism. There is no evidence that the measure played any part in a spike in violent crime. Read more.
Dahleen Glanton, Chicago Tribune: U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters isn’t afraid to say what’s on her mind, and when she does, she doesn’t pull any punches. She doesn’t follow political rules. Wait a minute. Aren’t those the same qualities Donald Trump’s supporters claim they love about him? Evidently, gutsiness is in the eye of the beholder. Read more.
Ruben Navarrette Jr., Washington Post: Ideas to fix our immigration system we have plenty of. What we need is honesty. The immigration debate is broken because it is mired in lies. If we don’t talk straight about how we got here, we’ll never create the immigration system that our country deserves. Read more.