Welcome to The Take, your opinion-politics newsletter, produced by The Sacramento Bee’s editorial board. Starting on Monday, Aug. 6, it will become part of Capitol Alert, our go-to source on California policy and politics. Take subscribers will automatically start receiving the Capitol Alert newsletter. If you’re not a subscriber, sign up for free at sacbee.com/newsletters.
From Carr Fire to Big Sur, one takeaway from disaster? How much we need good roads. Read more.
Jack Ohman has a drink with Rudy Giuliani, Donald Trump, and the Koch Brothers. Take a swig here.
Dan Walters, CALMatters: Two back-to-back events last month frame California’s educational conundrum. A Superior Court judge in Los Angeles County rebuffed efforts by state schools Superinendent Tom Torlakson and other state officials to block a lawsuit alleging that California has failed to teach reading to some black and Latino children. The second event was Torlakson’s release of high school graduation data for 2017. Read more.
Orly Clerge , University of California, Davis, and Trina Vithayathil, Providence College: If you want to express opposition to including a citizenship question the 2020 Census, the deadline for public comment is Aug. 7. Californians should speak out against this discriminatory change. Read more.
State Sen. Ted Gaines: As California weighs wildfire prevention, only you can prevent taxes from heating up. Read more.
Takes on Trump’s legal issues
Frank Bruni, New York Times: The word collusion probably won’t come up in the courtroom where Paul Manafort sweats out much of the next few weeks. It’s possible, too, that Donald Trump won’t be mentioned, at least not often. But Manafort’s trial on bank and tax fraud charges has plenty to do with the president and plenty of potential to hurt him. Read more.
Kathleen Parker, Washington Post: Uncle Rudy used to be New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani long before becoming Donald Trump's attorney. What a difference 17 years makes. The commanding leader who helped America navigate the horror of 9/11 now seems to be speaking English as a second language. Read more.
Los Angeles Times: In San Francisco, an initiative voters passed in 2016 has temporarily opened the ballot box in school-board elections to all adult residents of the city who have children younger than 19. Parents have a personal stake in the schools their children attend, and it’s frustrating when school leaders don’t listen to them. But voting is one of the great privileges of citizenship. Read more.
Orange County Register: Behind California’s status as the fifth-largest economy in the world is the troubling reality that the Golden State is also one of the most impoverished in the nation. About one in five Californians “lacked enough resources to meet basic needs” in 2016. Read more.
San Diego Union-Tribune: An investigation by NPR and ProPublica discovered something stunning last year: America has a higher rate of women dying of pregnancy-related complications than any other developed country. The latest report found something no less striking: California has cut its rate of women dying in childbirth by more than half since 2006. Read more.
Santa Rosa Press Democrat: The stories and photos from Redding and Lakeport and other communities across California are frightening – and unnervingly familiar. There are things we – the public – can do to help firefighters. Read more.
David Brooks, New York Times: Is there room for a third party? If some independent mounted a presidential bid in 2020, would that person have a chance? Those are questions we won’t be able to answer for a few years. If the Democrats nominate somebody like Mitch Landrieu, the answer is no. Read more.
Dana Milbank, Washington Post: Of all the second acts being performed in American life, there are few as bold as the show Linda Tripp is starring in right now. Twenty years ago, Tripp’s surreptitious recordings of Monica Lewinsky led to President Bill Clinton’s impeachment. Now Tripp is back as a pioneer of the #MeToo movement. Read more.
Ruben Navarrette Jr., Washington Post: Take it from this country boy, Mr. President. Farmers – including those in my native Central California – don’t need your handout. They just want you to remove your boot from their neck so they can make a living. Read more.
Leonard Pitts Jr., Miami Herald: Granted, every president makes promises he fails to keep. But it is impossible to recall another president so blithely ignoring so central a promise and paying so negligible a price. Read more.
Marc A. Thiessen, Washington Post: Fox News host Tucker Carlson recently asked President Trump, “Why should my son go to Montenegro to defend it from attack?” It is a fair question and it deserved a better answer than the president’s musing on the “aggressive” nature of Montenegrins. Read more.
Tweets of the day
The globalist Koch Brothers, who have become a total joke in real Republican circles, are against Strong Borders and Powerful Trade. I never sought their support because I don’t need their money or bad ideas. They love my Tax & Regulation Cuts, Judicial picks & more. I made.....— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 31, 2018
....them richer. Their network is highly overrated, I have beaten them at every turn. They want to protect their companies outside the U.S. from being taxed, I’m for America First & the American Worker - a puppet for no one. Two nice guys with bad ideas. Make America Great Again!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 31, 2018
Trump and the Koch Bros. disagree about everything except which party should control the House and the Senate and the judiciary and state legislatures and governor’s mansions and executive branch appointments.— Matthew Yglesias (@mattyglesias) July 31, 2018
The Koch brothers "love my tax and regulation cuts" is a very useful admission, coming from an alleged economic populist and scourge of the financial elite. https://t.co/nx4XH2Qxu2— Greg Sargent (@ThePlumLineGS) July 31, 2018