Brown threatens climate change initiative war; Tahoe in peril

Good morning. On behalf of The Sacramento Bee’s editorial board, welcome to The Take, your opinion-politics newsletter. Please sign up for it here.

Our editorial focus returns to the environment, particularly the fight to extend AB 32, and the quest to keep Lake Tahoe clear. We take a look at Barack Obama’s poll numbers, which are relevant to the presidential race. You should take the time to read Kate Riley’s piece about the police who came to help her and her autistic son.

Double takes

In the Year of Donald Trump, we find it tough to be surprised. But then Inland Empire Republican activist Nathan Miller tweeted a picture of a hangman holding a noose with the message, “I’m Ready for Hillary.” From the account of the Riverside County Republican Party, no less. As of Thursday, Miller is a former aide to California Board of Equalization member Diane Harkey. We doubt this bodes well for his other job: vice president of the Riverside Community College District.

And Stockton Mayor Anthony Silva was arrested and accused of playing strip poker and serving alcohol to teenagers at his Mayor’s Youth Camp in Amador County. The FBI says the 41-year-old recorded several confidential conversations, a felony. Silva’s attorney, Mark Reichel, called the timing of the arrest “very suspect, and seems like the work of a political clique in Stockton.” Whatever, Silva’s re-election would seem to be in question. – Erika D. Smith @Erika_D_Smith

Take a number: 53 percent

The McClatchy-Marist Poll shows Hillary Clinton widening her lead over Donald Trump, and raises a fundamental question: Why does Trump attack President Barack Obama?

The poll shows 53 percent of voters view Obama favorably, his highest standing since October 2009, his first year in office. He’s particularly strong among voters under age 45 (60 percent), women (56 percent), Latinos (68 percent) and African Americans (95 percent), and in the Northeast (62 percent) and West (59 percent). Obama also is viewed favorably in the South (50 to 42 percent). He’s upside-down in the Midwest, 44 to 48 percent, and among non-college-educated whites, 36 to 54 percent. The numbers suggest Clinton’s strongest weapon is Obama.

Our take

Editorial: We’re losing Lake Tahoe to climate change, and 20th-century strategies to fix it won’t be enough.

Editorial: Gov. Jerry Brown raises the possibility of an initiative to get his way on climate change. He and legislators ought to work it out.

Former state Sen. Deborah Ortiz writes that a bill to expand the market in women’s egg donations would undermine safeguards.

Bill Whalen writes about JFK Jr., Jerry Brown, Gavin Newsom and political dynasties.

Sunday preview

Rory P. Crowley advocates for young, college-educated farmers, like himself, to be included in the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program.

Gerry Haslam says he’s not deeply aligned with either political party, but he is committed to making America a better place and doesn’t yearn for an imaginary past.

Matt Cate, Chris McKenzie and Michael Quigley make a case for why the Legislature needs to get moving with its “special session” on transportation and get revenue to fix the state’s crumbling roads and bridges.

Their take

San Diego Union-Tribune: Here’s why Proposition 54 is easiest “yes” vote of all.

Kansas City Star: President Barack Obama welcomed the Arab Spring, which began in late 2010, as a peaceful revolution by the people. The hope was that some Arab countries would end up with democratic regimes. But it did not work.

Kate Riley of The Seattle Times: My 19-year-old son who has autism spectrum disorder was in a full-on anxiety attack. My husband, his face racked with worry, barricaded the car doors on one side and I, the other, and I called 911.

Charlotte Observer: More top Republicans need to join Meg Whitman. Summon some backbone. Disavow Trump now.

The Des Moines Register raised the same topic, wondering when Iowa Sen. Joni Ernst and Gov. Terry Branstad will weigh in.

Dallas Morning News: Hillary Clinton should face the press. Voters have every reason to hear how she would respond to questions, present new ideas, and show that she gets the fact that all politicians, even presidents, are accountable to the voters.

Syndicates’ take

Dana Milbank writes that Sen. Jeff Flake and Gov. Mike Pence were best friends, but they have gone separate ways over Trump.

Michael Gerson says that Donald Trump is being driven by compulsions that have nothing to do with politics and the GOP is chugging toward derailment.

Charles Krauthammer writes about Donald Trump and the fitness threshold.

Nicholas Kristof imagines what a CIA briefing for Donald Trump might sound like.

Gail Collins wonders if it’s true that the Republicans are trying to get Rudy Giuliani and Newt Gingrich to do an intervention with an out-of-control Donald Trump.

Taking a stand

No one is threatening to hang Meg Whitman, as far as we can tell. But the 2010 Republican gubernatorial candidate and CEO of Hewlett Packard is being flamed on her Facebook page for placing country before party by endorsing Hillary Clinton. At last count, 9,900 people had commented, and 15,000 people had shared her post.

“Thank God I can return the laptop I just bought within 15 days and go with another company now!” said one of her “friends.” “Do us all a favor and don’t run for any office ever again,” said another.

Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom stuck up for her. “Meg, you put your country over your party and you’ll never regret it.” As did former Assemblyman Jim Cuneen, a Republican: “Thank you, Meg.”

We’re wondering what’s going through the mind of Whitman’s fellow Silicon Valley billionaire Peter Thiel, a Trump delegate.