Opinion

All Trump’s men; this campaign is causing us all to short-circuit

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.

Donald Trump will try to stabilize his campaign by turning to the economy this week. Hillary Clinton will try not to short-circuit. With three weeks left in the legislative session, we will focus on many, many bills, and the coming California election. Marijuana is in the air, as Erika D. Smith writes. And The Modesto Bee challenged Rep. Jeff Denham to take a stand on Trump. And Denham did.

Taking stock

Having named his 13-man (they’re all men) team of economic advisers, Donald Trump will give what his campaign is touting as a major economic policy speech to the Detroit Economic Club on Monday.

Trump’s team includes Stephen Feinberg, founder and chief executive of Cerberus Capital Management, the massive Wall Street private equity firm that bought Chrysler, which became the subject of a government-backed bankruptcy, orchestrated by the Obama administration.

Cerberus gained further notoriety after the 2012 massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Cerberus owned the Freedom Group, now Remington Outdoor, the company that made the weapon used by Adam Lanza to slaughter 20 children and six educators.

The California State Teachers’ Retirement System tried to divest from companies that make assault weapons. But CalSTRS didn’t fully extricate itself until 2015, as part of a deal struck with Cerberus, as detailed by The Bee’s Dale Kasler. CalSTRS still has up to $751 million invested in Cerberus funds. Cerberus initially thought about selling Remington but thought better of it; it’s doing quite well.

Take a number: $70,400

They came bearing gifts. In 2010, OneWest, then a newly created bank based in Pasadena, gave $13,000 to Kamala Harris’ first campaign for California attorney general, $32,400 to the California Democratic Party and $25,000 to Jerry Brown’s 2010 run for governor.

OneWest was created in 2009 by investors led by Goldman Sach alumnus Steven Mnuchin, a member of Donald Trump’s 13-man team of economic advisers and Trump’s national finance director. OneWest bought the failed IndyMac with the Obama administration’s help, and reaped a sweet return by selling to CIT. One investor, John A. Paulson, a New York hedge fund mogul and Trump economic adviser, had a $400 million stake in OneWest. With the sale, Paulson’s fund expected to reap $788 million, plus $551 million in dividends, according to a 2014 New York Times report. All of which gives us great confidence that our economy would be in good hands with Paulson and Mnuchin at the helm.

Our take

Editorial: Mike Lehmkuhl’s descent from businessman and homeowner into insanity, homelessness and death on a chilly January afternoon should shock us all. But does it?

Editorial: A bill to help restore trust in the embattled Coastal Commission has suddenly been sidelined. Why the murky bid to block transparency?

Jack Ohman: A meditation on Arlington National Cemetery and the three words that should have said it all.

Erika D. Smith: So pot is popular – no biggie. But what happens when you compare weed smoking with Bernie Sanders support?

Dan Walters: California wants more ZEVs on the road, but will it reach its goal?

Hedrick Smith: Neither Hillary Clinton nor Donald Trump markets the notion of trickle-down economics. That worries Wall Street. How serious are they, and what can they deliver?

Erik Skindrud: The legacy of Marc Reisner’s book “Cadillac Desert” and how it highlights the severity of the West’s water crisis.

Neil S. Chaturvedi: Compulsory voting would increase satisfaction with candidates.

Their take

San Diego Union-Tribune: The U.S. Education Department should summarily dismiss Michael Kirst and Tom Torlakson’s request for an Every Student Succeeds Act waiver; there are many reasons to question their good faith.

L.A. Times: Proposition 50’s passage gives the Legislature the power to suspend Assemblyman Roger Hernández without pay. Because they can doesn’t mean they should.

Mercury News: Opponents will pick holes in Proposition 64, the marijuana legalization initiative, but it is generally solid and long-overdue. Vote “yes” this time.

Debra J. Saunders of The Chronicle: Government takes your stuff, then you get to ask for it back, or why Republican Mike Madrid is working with Sen. Holly Mitchell. The San Diego Union-Tribune has a similar take.

Miami Herald: In Florida, 23 percent of African Americans were disenfranchised by the voting restriction against ex-felons, amounting to more than 500,000 votes. Florida should get this discriminatory provision off the books.

Kansas City Star: The shameful bullying of Planned Parenthood Great Plains cost Missouri taxpayers more than $156,000 this week.

Retired Gen. Barry R. McCaffrey: Donald Trump is unqualified to fulfill the role of commander in chief of the 2.2 million men and women of the armed forces.

William Kristol of The Weekly Standard: The panic room is a popular place for GOP big shots to huddle in these days. But it’s a stupid place to be. Worse, it’s a pathetic and contemptible place to be.

Syndicates’ take

David Brooks: Donald Trump cannot be contained because he is psychologically off the chain.

Dana Milbank: Why a Donald Trump loss in November could still be destructive with calls for bloodshed.

Ruben Navarrette: Tim Kaine is not Latinos’ best amigo.

Kathleen Parker: The case to be made about Donald Trump’s head case.

Charles Krauthammer: Donald Trump and the fitness threshold.

Leonard Pitts Jr.: How I got in trouble with ladies.

Tweet of the day

Andrew Malcolm @AHMalcolm: “A headline you will see often in coming weeks--Worried GOP tells Trump: Get on message.”

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