Good Sunday morning, and welcome to Take Two, our weekly sampler of California opinion, drawn from The Sacramento Bee editorial board’s daily opinion-politics newsletter, The Take. Please go to sacbee.com/site-services/newsletters/ to sign up.
L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti caused speculation about his plans: governor, president, sock model. The Dodger fan wore interesting socks on his visit to the Sacramento Press Club. Garcetti did rule out one option, running for U.S. Senate, and hosted a fundraiser for Dianne Feinstein, who is running one more time.
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Rep. Ro Khanna didn’t get where he is by waiting his turn, having unseated Rep. Mike Honda, D-San Jose, last year. The Silicon Valley Dem publicly tried to find someone to challenge U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein from the left. Feinstein has been in office since 1970, six years before Khanna was born, and will be 85 when voters go to the polls next November. Someone probably will challenge her: billionaire environmentalist Tom Steyer, Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León, maybe wealthy investor and philanthropist Joe Sanberg. It’ll be a tough campaign, but not nearly as tough as it will be for Khanna to get his bills passed if Feinstein wins.
Wine country fires
Our neighbors in the wine country faced one of the deadliest and most devastating firestorms ever to strike California. Causes of the fires remain to be determined. But all the ingredients for disaster were there: a hot, dry 75 mile-an-hour wind, downed power lines and overgrown trees and brush. Officials must revisit basic questions including the wisdom of development in fire-prone areas, and how to improve emergency communication at a time when few people have landlines and cell service goes out.
Puerto Rico is in ruins. Thousands are displaced in Houston. The Gulf Coast is bracing for a fresh round of hurricanes. And wildfires rage in California. Climate change is doing what scientists predicted – amplifying storms and lengthening wildfire seasons, we wrote. What better time (not) for our climate change-denying U.S. EPA Director Scott Pruitt to abandon the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan and claim (falsely) that coal will return. Our friends at The Dallas Morning News offered a coda, lauding the decision to shut one of Texas’ largest and dirtiest coal-fired electricity plants, pointing out that coal no longer is competitive. “Sadly, President Donald Trump doesn’t seem to understand the economics of energy,” The DMN opined.
Crunch time is coming for what Donald Trump calls a massive tax cut. Maybe for him and his cronies, but not for many of the 6 million Californians who deduct state income and property taxes from their federal taxes. As Foon Rhee wrote, Sen. Dianne Feinstein is going to war over the plan, as is House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. “Eliminating this deduction would raise taxes on almost 30 percent of American taxpayers, the vast majority of whom earn less than $200,000,” Feinstein said. It’ll be a test for the senior senator as she enters re-election mode one more time.
Tweet of the week
“It’s a shame the White House has become an adult day care center. Someone obviously missed their shift this morning.” – Senator Bob Corker, @SenBobCorker