Trump, Jeff Sessions ought to butt out of state issues, and focus on what matters: Ryan Zinke’s call for more offshore drilling, Jeff Sessions’ call for more weed prosecutions, and Thomas Homan’s nutty call for prosecuting officials who support sanctuary status might be explainable if the GOP didn’t take a states’ rights stand. But it does. Oh, the hypocrisy.
Sacramento City Council can reject Curtis Park gas station, fairly this time. A judge says that City Councilman Jay Schenirer was biased and shouldn’t have voted on the permit. Still, the council had very good reasons to reject the 16-pump gas station as part of the Crocker Village development.
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Jack Ohman hears rumors of war in the Donald Trump White House. Find out who won here.
Bill Whalen: Gov. Jerry Brown and the Legislature may be on a collision course on spending. Look for Brown to push for something Solomonic – spend half of the surplus, put the other half in reserve. And that won’t please the spend-it-now Legislature.
Alexandra Gallardo-Rooker: Winning a 60 percent supermajority of California Democratic Party convention delegates for our endorsement in a multi-candidate field is almost impossible. That’s why Chairman Eric Bauman asked our candidates to focus on winning votes in the June primary instead of creating needless division among delegates.
George Lakoff and Gil Durán: President Donald Trump’s use of social media has radically transformed presidential communications. His short bursts of text move markets, disrupt diplomacy and inflame political anxiety almost daily. His smartphone has become one of the most powerful weapons in political history. As a result, there’s a growing pressure campaign by many Democrats to force Twitter to ban him. But kicking Trump off of Twitter would fail to address the real problem.
David Freed: Face it: You can absorb only so much news these days before your brain bucket feels like it’s about to explode. This is why, now more than ever, we need quality comedies and fictional dramas on television – to divert us from the real-life, tragicomic horror show playing out in Washington. But how can there be so much great TV this awards season, and so few great TV theme songs anymore?
Take a number: 1
The Mercury News of San Jose tells a fascinating story about the transformation of East Palo Alto. In 1992, it was called the murder capital of the nation. The tiny burg had 42 homicides, fueled by gang and drug warfare. In 2017, there was one homicide. “Economics alone don’t explain the change,” The Merc’s Robert Salonga writes. “How East Palo Alto shed its murderous rep is really a story of how a community came to trust its police force, maybe for the first time ever, and in doing so finally fulfilled one of the main reasons for the city’s existence.” There are lessons there for many cities, no doubt.
Los Angeles Times: The U.S. Constitution requires the federal government to conduct a national census every 10 years, a tally that is used to apportion various benefits among the states, including seats in the House of Representatives. It’s a difficult task, and a magnet for disputes. Now the Department of Justice is pushing the Census Bureau to insert a question into the 2020 census asking each person for his or her citizenship status, which would ensure that the next census, too, will be controversial – and more inaccurate.
The Mercury News: A new bipartisan plan for reforming the H-1B visa program holds out modest hope that 2018 will be better than its predecessor for the tech industry. It isn’t the fundamental, comprehensive legislation that San Jose Rep. Zoe Lofgren has sought for years. But the bill by Rep. Darrell Issa, a California Republican, would make some welcome improvements.
The Denver Post: Unable to slow the tide of marijuana legalization that is sweeping the nation, Attorney General Jeff Sessions has instead decided to stoke fear and uncertainty in the burgeoning industry in a reckless effort to quell progress.
David French, National Review: Don’t blame Jeff Sessions for enforcing the law. Instead, write new legislation, pass it through Congress, and put a bill on the president’s desk. It’s time to do the right thing the right, constitutional way.
Charles M. Blow, The New York Times: President Donald Trump is so addicted to adulation and allergic to even the most legitimate of criticisms that he is rendered emotionally helpless, constantly boxing with shadows and dodging the truth.
David Brooks, The New York Times: In his New Year’s Eve homily, Pope Francis focused especially on driving, praising those people “who move in traffic with good sense and prudence.”
Ward Connerly and Mike Gonzalez, The Washington Post. It’s time for the Census Bureau to stop dividing America. This system doesn’t just ignore science. It also completely overlooks a burgeoning “mixed-race” population that resents arbitrary racial straitjackets.
Michael Gerson, The Washington Post: The Iranian government’s problem is no longer a matter of performance but of legitimacy. Routine corruption, vicious oppression and economic mismanagement are increasingly seen as essential to the regime itself.
Michelle Goldberg, The New York Times: Michael Wolff’s incendiary new book about Donald Trump’s White House confirms what is already widely understood – not just that Trump is entirely unfit for the presidency, but that everyone around him knows it.
Dana Milbank, The Washington Post: To those who say President Trump is demeaning his high office, I have a ready rejoinder: Don’t be a bunch of dork-faces.
Andres Oppenheimer, Miami Herald: What will happen as we allow much of our daily lives to be aided – if not run – by virtual assistants, GPS navigation systems, medical diagnostic robots and other intelligent machines?
Eugene Robinson, The Washington Post: The revelations about the Trump administration from journalist Michael Wolff are, if true, stunning, jaw-dropping, gob-smacking – but also pretty much what many in Washington expected. Wolff simply documents what others say privately about an administration that is dangerously erratic and incompetent.
Michael Waldman, The Washington Post: Claims of voter fraud still form the basis of efforts to suppress the vote across the country. Now can we call a stop to that effort, too?
“I’ve had a friend of a friend for more than 35 years who was a highly skilled machinist and very ambitious. He started smoking marijuana daily for all those years and still does. His skills in the shop and his ambitious drive are virtually gone. Why haven’t you published an article about the long term, negative effects of marijuana?” Alan Baker, Rocklin
Gavin Newsom on Jeff Sessions’ decision to reverse the Obama administration’s stand and start prosecuting marijuana cases:
“If the point is to go after cartels, we should be embracing those efforts. If there are areas of collaboration, let’s collaborate. … If it’s a political issue for the midterms in 2018, then we have to assert our rights.”
Newsom pointed out that 29 states have legalized marijuana in some form including several red states. Many Donald Trump supporters, including Rep. Tom McClintock, R-Elk Grove, support legalization.
“The public that is way ahead of the politicians on this issue,” Newsom said. “This one splits their base.”