Jack Ohman views EPA Director Scott Pruitt’s campaign to abolish ICE. Have a cold one here.
Dan Walters, CALMatters: Gov. Jerry Brown has signed his 16th and final state budget, bragging that he fixed California’s financial mess. But that claim, and his claim of securing the state’s fiscal future, are overblown. Read more.
Jon Coupal, Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Assn.: The rich are fleeing California. Flatter, lower taxes will bring them back. Read more.
Takes on July Fourth
Megan McArdle, Washington Post: This has been the year of the national anthem. Never before have so many Americans been so passionately interested in the details of its performance. The people refusing to stand for the national anthem are trying to make an important point; so are those who argue for choosing a different form of protest. Read more.
Orange County Register editorial board: Independence Day is a good time not only for hot dogs and fireworks, but to reflect for a moment on what makes this country unique, the qualities that enabled it to become in some ways the most successful country in history, and to contemplate the extent to which those qualities still animate Americans. Read more.
San Diego Union-Tribune editorial board: After Congress recognized the July Fourth as a federal holiday in 1870, it became the most important secular holiday in the U.S., and it remains a day for flag flying and proud patriotism. But today people who deeply love the United States can be forgiven for spending part of this holiday looking at the two political parties and shaking their heads. Read more.
Washington Post editorial board: Mid-19th-century America had an expansive view of its national mission. It has stood as an ideal to be pursued, a set of principles dear to much of the world and one of the things for which this country has been admired far more than for its power or wealth. This history makes it all the more difficult to understand why the president of a nation that long ago set itself against tyranny now praises and consorts with so many unsavory national leaders in Europe, Asia and the Middle East. Read more.
Los Angeles Times: California’s direct democracy system’s glaring if unavoidable flaw is that it allows any person, industry or special interest with a few million dollars to spare to propose new laws that serve their own needs, whims and interests. But one industry figured out an easier – and cheaper – way to use the initiative process: Propose a measure so odious to lawmakers that they’ll agree to lesser demands to make it go away. Call it ballot blackmail. As the soda industry found last week, it can really pay out. Read more.
San Francisco Chronicle: The Trump administration may have backed off from its cruel and chaotic family separation policy, but the national fallout from it continues. Hundreds of thousands of marchers at more than 700 protests across the country flooded the streets this weekend, marching against the administration’s immigration policy. Read more.
Max Boot, Washington Post: “Should I stay or should I go now?” That question, posed by the eminent political philosophers known as The Clash, is one that confronts any Republican with a glimmer of conscience. You used to belong to a conservative party with a white-nationalist fringe. Now it’s a white-nationalist party with a conservative fringe. If you’re part of that fringe, what should you do? Read more.
Marc A. Thiessen, Washington Post: Democrats have a new theory for how they can win back Congress and the White House. Donald Trump, the theory goes, was elected because of “#NeverHillary” voters who didn’t particularly like him but despised her. But the left’s nonstop, over-the-top attacks on Trump are pushing them further into the president’s camp. Read more.