Dan Morain

County supes make good call on homelessness + What’s gross in Capitol Park + What’s worse than fake news + Thoughts and prayers

Our take


Sacramento County has finally seen reason on homelessness. Now the real work begins. Sacramento County Board of Supervisors has agreed to spend $44 million to combat homelessness. Residents, including the ones who live on the streets, can rightly expect significant progress in the months and years to come.

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Dan Walters, CALmatters: Eric Bauman’s support for Assemblywoman Melissa Melendez’s measure raised another question from yours truly: Wouldn’t it be better to simply make rank-and-file legislative employees civil service workers with full job protection rights, including the right to join a union?

Leonard Pitts Jr., Miami Herald: It seems ever more obvious that for all the lip service we pay to “thoughts and prayers,” for all the candles we light and tears we weep, we accept mass shootings. As opposed to Islamic terror, which we don’t.


Sen. Connie M. Leyva: Proposed legislation would ban confidentiality provisions in settlements in sexual assault, sexual harassment and sex discrimination cases. The recent alarming disclosures about the culture of sexual harassment at the Capitol only reinforce the need to make this legislation apply across the board.

Marcus Anthony Hunter: Inevitably the House Republican tax cuts would drive up the federal deficit, leading to cuts in programs that many Californians need to survive. In our state, nearly 500,000 low-income households depend on federal rental assistance. Housing vouchers provide a lifeline for more than 300,000 California households.

California Forum

Sue Wilson: Fake news is only the beginning. The FCC is about to let monopolies decide what local news you see.

Tom Vilsack: Got milk? Exports have brought billions of dollars to California.. But Trump’s talk of ending NAFTA could sour California’s booming dairy industry.

Edgar Sanchez: The bathrooms at Capitol Park, the lush greenspace around the state Capitol building, close way too early. That’s a problem. And that problem doesn’t exactly smell like a rose.

Take a number: 1

Former Rep. Doug Ose, one of the earliest prominent California supporters of presidential candidate Donald Trump, had an important role in the 2016 Republican National Convention, helping make sure that delegates didn’t stray and that Trump became the nominee, as chronicled by my colleague Christopher Cadelago in a dispatch from Cleveland in the summer of 2016. Paul Manafort, the recently indicted Trump campaign manager, also was intensely interested in Trump’s nomination. This became relevant when Cadelago reported that Ose is mulling running for California governor in 2018. The Take asked the key question: Was there collusion between Ose and Manafort to ensure Trump won the nomination. Ose responded by saying he spoke to Manafort one time, when the then chairman asked him to head to the floor to avert a potential uprising. It never materialized. Ose said he never met Manafort’s partner and co-defendant, Rick Gates, and never heard of George Papadopoulos, the Trump foreign policy adviser who has pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI. Asked how he views the Trump presidency one year after the election, Ose said: “His polices are pretty good. He could stand some improvement in some areas.” Does Ose think his embrace of Trump will hurt him in a statewide California race? “That’s a good question. We might find out.” Any regrets? “I have no regrets about voting for Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton.”

Their take

Lexington Herald Leader: When people in positions of power put themselves above the law, or even above the rules that apply to everyone else, they’re inviting a fall. Just ask Rep. Jeff Hoover, R-Jamestown, who resigned under pressure as Kentucky House speaker after his confidential settlement of a sexual harassment claim became public.

Santa Rosa Press Democrat: Nearly a month has passed since the fires began, and many are still dealing with the shock of it all. Nonetheless, the clock is ticking. Owners of homes in Santa Rosa and elsewhere in Sonoma County that were destroyed now have less than a week to make their biggest decision so far – whether they will sign up for a government-sponsored cleanup program for their site or plan to go it alone with a private contractor. It’s not an easy choice.

Los Angeles Times: Soon after the numbers began popping up on screens across the country on the evening of Nov. 8, 2016, Donald Trump’s opponents, many of them conservatives, far more of them liberals, allowed their shock to give way to a moment of introspection. Could they have misread so many of their friends, neighbors and other Americans? But the period of reflection lasted about 10 minutes. In the year since Trump was elected president, his opponents have offered little but excuses for losing the election.

Seattle Times: Americans should oppose efforts to gut media-ownership rules that preserve the diversity of news sources that voters need. These rules, established in 1975 and reaffirmed in 2016, limit how many TV stations and newspapers companies can own in a local market. Ajit Pai, President Donald Trump’s choice to lead the Federal Communications Commission, is rapidly moving to eliminate these rules. A prime beneficiary would be Maryland-based Sinclair Broadcasting Group.

Yomiuri Shimbun: Amid growing tensions in the North Korean situation, it was significant for Japan and the United States to demonstrate their strong solidarity both at home and abroad. It is hoped that the move will enhance the stability and growth of the Asia-Pacific region. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe held talks with visiting U.S. President Donald Trump, marking their fifth meeting ever. They dined together on four occasions this time. Their mutual trust has further deepened. A relationship in which they can be candid with each other will benefit Japan’s foreign policy.

Syndicates’ take

Frank Bruni: A new documentary, “Joan Didion: The Center Will Not Hold,” shows that despite her cultivated image as a nervous waif at the mercy of moods and the Santa Ana wind, she could be ruthlessly practical and utterly unsentimental.

Mark Davis: If gun control advocates want to call for actions beyond prayers and good wishes, that’s one thing. But the open scorn for those expressions of faithful support brings the debate to hateful new lows.

Michelle Goldberg: The country has changed in the last year, and many of us have grown numb after unrelenting shocks. What now passes for ordinary would have once been inconceivable. The government is under control of an erratic racist who engages in nuclear brinkmanship on Twitter.

Dana Milbank: As the House Ways and Means Committee moves to approve the Republican tax plan, this is the room where it happens – where the rich will get richer, where everybody else will be forced to shoulder a greater share of the tax burden, and where a trillion dollars of tax breaks for corporations are being passed by lawmakers who work for these very corporations.

Ruben Navarrette Jr.: The vindictive left is in battle mode now that Donna Brazile has spilled the beans about how broken our political system really is. She reveals a secret agreement that turned the DNC into a wholly owned subsidiary of Hillary Clinton’s campaign.

Kathleen Parker: As with other course-altering events – 9/11, the moon landing, the assassinations of Martin Luther King and the Kennedysmany will remember where they were when the reality of a Trump presidency hit them.


“Again, thoughts and prayers woke me hours before sunrise: thoughts of my grandchildren and prayers for their safety. We are a nation filled with thoughts and prayers, but little else.” – Anthony M. Villanueva, Folsom

Tweet of the day

“100 yr anniv for women’s vote. Yet women are 22% in Sacto, 20% in DC. The arc of the moral universe is very long apparently...still bending!” – Buffy Wicks‏ @BuffyWicks, candidate for California Assembly.