Jack Ohman walks the plank with President Trump. See if he can/can’t here.
Erika D. Smith: Housing developers and their allies in Sacramento’s business community aren’t happy with Mayor Darrell Steinberg’s plan to cap rents for low-income tenants. Instead, they want to waive some fees. That will certainly lead to more housing, but also maybe more gentrification. Read more.
Dan Walters, CALMatters: The death of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia in 2016 famously left the court tied 4-4 on a landmark California case about the ability of public employee unions to collect dues from non-members. Scalia’s death also created a 4-4 split on another, albeit more obscure, California case and with the conservative wing of the court destined to become even stronger, how it rules could affect the state’s ability to tax those seeking refuge from California’s high tax rates. Read more.
Hans Johnson: To stop the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh, the Trump resistance can use the same strategy that stopped the repeal of Obamacare and led to Anthony Kennedy on the Supreme Court instead of Robert Bork. Read more.
Arthur Silen: Put teeth into the Oath of Office and get serious about foreign and domestic enemies. Read more.
Harmeet Dhillon: California’s “sanctuary” laws don’t just hurt Californians. They also hurt immigrants. Read more.
Laboni Hoq: California has resisted Trump’s attempts to target Muslims. So should Los Angeles. Read more.
Bloomberg: Facebook Inc. attracts nearly 1.5 billion users a day and commands a fifth of global online advertising revenue. A number of activist groups are even demanding that the company be broken up. Although tempting, this is the wrong approach. Far better to remedy its specific abuses, while taking care not to wreck a thriving American company in the process. Read more.
Los Angeles Times: An elected official from a mid-size Southern California city complained that thefts from homes and cars were on the rise because of recent changes to sentencing laws. Burglars now know, the official said, that they simply cannot get arrested for stealing anything worth less than $950. It’s a widespread belief, but it’s not even remotely accurate. Read more.
Orange County Register: Proponents of universal, government-funded preschool have an important question to answer: “Does state pre-K improve children’s achievement?” Based on the growing, bipartisan support, one might think the answer is a resounding yes. But evidence for this bold claim is at best slim. Read more.
San Diego Union-Tribune: It may have taken years, but give the City Council credit for enacting sensible rules on regulating short-term vacation rentals. While his proposal was changed in key ways, Mayor Kevin Faulconer also deserves kudos for crafting the policy’s basic regulatory framework. Read more.
San Jose Mercury News: Nearly three years after the financially beleaguered Daughters of Charity made a deal that kept four Bay Area hospitals afloat, the current operators, Verity Health System, said that they can’t make their financing work and that the hospitals may be put up for sale. It’s a potential health care disaster for Santa Clara County and San Mateo County. Read more.
Santa Rosa Press Democrat: Whenever reducing greenhouse gas emissions comes up, naysayers cry that it will cripple the economy. It turns out that they’re blowing hot air, even more hot air than the state of California these days. California has reduced its greenhouse gases ahead of schedule, and the economy is doing just fine, thank you very much. Read more.
E.J. Dionne Jr., Washington Post: Socialists have had quite a journalistic run since Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez defeated veteran Rep. Joe Crowley, a genial and rather liberal stalwart, in a primary last month. Opinion has been divided, roughly between those who see her as the wave of the future and those who warn of grave danger if Democrats move “too far to the left.” I use quotation marks because that phrase has been repeated so much, and because it’s imprecise and misleading. Read more.
Ross Douthat, New York Times: My official pundit’s opinion on Donald Trump, Russian election interference, collusion, kompromat and impeachment is that I’m waiting for the Mueller investigation to finish before I have a strong opinion. This allows me to cultivate the agnostic’s smug superiority, but it also leaves me without a suitably en fuego take after something like the immediately infamous Trump-Putin news conference. Read more.
Karen Tumulty, Washington Post: It was as predictable as the sunrise, and it arrived at just about the same moment on Wednesday – a 5:53 a.m. tweet from President Donald Trump undoing his previous day’s forced acknowledgment that he had made a monumental blunder in Helsinki. On Tuesday, summoning the amount of enthusiasm normally associated with hostage videos, the president read a statement claiming he misspoke during his news conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Read more.
Tweets of the day
Some people HATE the fact that I got along well with President Putin of Russia. They would rather go to war than see this. It’s called Trump Derangement Syndrome!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 18, 2018
Sarah Sanders says the president was saying "no" to answering the question.— Sarah D. Wire (@sarahdwire) July 18, 2018
The exchange from today:
REPORTER: Is Russia still targeting the U.S., Mr. President?
TRUMP: Thank you very much. No. (Shakes head)
REPORTER: No? You don’t believe that to be the case?
Dear @realDonaldTrump: Do you mean "not no"? Because your own Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats issued a statement saying Russia is engaged in "ongoing, pervasive efforts to undermine our democracy."— Ted Lieu (@tedlieu) July 18, 2018
Can you please get a briefing from US intelligence professionals? https://t.co/prkn1L3Rgb