U.S. Senate must act to close online bordellos, especially those that exploit children. When online sites traffic in prostitution, including with minors, that is not protected by the First Amendment. If the Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act, S. 1693, must be fixed, senators should do so. But they should act. The problem isn’t going away.
Welcome to The Take, your opinion-politics newsletter, put together by The Sacramento Bee’s editorial board. Please sign up for it here and invite your friends.
Nicholas Kitchel: At that moment – when I realized this Tehama County shooting was in my community – my heart sank. Gun violence feels different when it hits, quite literally, close to home. As soon as I heard the news, I picked up the phone and started to dial my mom and dad. Fortunately, they are OK.
Sasha Abramsky: While my family hid, the 911 operator asked one question. What color was the man on my porch at 3 a.m.?
Jessica Morse: Rep. Tom McClintock is trying to have it both ways with the GOP tax cut. Don’t buy it: His biggest donor is Koch Industries.
Jean Su: Many are desperately holding onto hope that Gov. Jerry Brown will fill the Trump-sized hole in the nation’s climate leadership. But the truth is that his rhetoric on global warming hides his support for aggressive oil and gas extraction in our state. California should not be held up as a shining example for other states and countries.
Dominique D. Nong: This week, California juvenile justice officials will discuss changes to regulations – including the use of pepper spray and poor staff relationships – that make it difficult to heal and get back on track.
Jack Ohman tries to remember to draw the Jefferson Sessions hearing. See if he has total recall here.
Take a number: $12.1 billion
How bad is the House Republican tax cut bill for California? According to a new analysis out Tuesday, California individual taxpayers as a whole would pay $12.1 billion more to Uncle Sam in 2027.
It’s one of only four states – the others are Maryland, New Jersey and New York – where the total federal tax burden would increase for individuals. The reason is that the House GOP bill would do away with the tax deduction for state and local income taxes. In 2015, nearly 6 million California taxpayers deducted a total of about $80 billion.
California’s added burden is by far the highest, according to the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy. The cumulative additional tax bill for the four states is $16.7 billion a year, while individuals in the other 46 states would get a cumulative $101.5 billion tax cut, including $31 billion for just Florida and Texas, which don’t have a state income tax.
House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi quickly jumped on the analysis to pressure the 14 House Republicans from California. Only one, Rep. Darrell Issa of Vista, has come out in opposition so far. “Any California Republican who votes for the GOP tax scam will be forced to answer why they care so little for their constituents,” Pelosi said in a statement.
Ending the deduction is only one of the many problems with the House bill, which heavily favors the wealthy and big business over the middle class. The Senate Republican bill would do away with the deduction as well, and got worse Tuesday with word that to help pay for the tax cuts, the measure could end the individual mandate under Obamacare. Pelosi and other Democrats say that would inevitably raise costs for those with pre-existing conditions and others. – Foon Rhee, @foonrhee
Kansas City Star: Americans for Prosperity, the anti-tax, Koch Brothers-funded political group, is carpet-bombing Kansas mailboxes with campaign-style fliers to discredit lawmakers who voted for tax increases this year. But the conservative organization has it wrong. The lawmakers in their sights – about 60 across the state – are heroes. They should be honored for having the political fortitude to do the right thing.
Los Angeles Times: As Republicans try to rush a tax bill through Congress, some lawmakers want to use the measure to kill a key piece of the Affordable Care Act. Doing so would free up more dollars for tax cuts, but in the most shortsighted and cynical way: by inducing fewer low- and moderate-income Americans to sign up for health insurance. Oh and yes, it would cause premiums to rise even faster for those who get their insurance coverage through Obamacare. Naturally, President Trump is all for the idea.
San Diego Union-Tribune: Driverless vehicles are on track to power a $7 trillion a year industry by 2050, according to a study released in June by Intel. As the world’s high-tech capital, California should be central to the development of this extraordinary technology. Instead, the draft rules for the testing of driverless vehicles released a year ago by the state Department of Motor Vehicles were so limiting they seemed designed to discourage innovation. Thankfully, the DMV heeded the avalanche of criticism that came its way. The draft rules it released last month and are now finalizing would allow fully driverless vehicles to operate on state roads in July or earlier – similar to relatively light regulations already in place in Arizona, Nevada, Michigan and Florida.
Santa Rosa Press Democrat: Readers have become all too familiar with the details on the fires that decimated this region five weeks ago. But there remains one aspect to those critical early hours that has yet to be fully reported or explained. That is a clear explanation of who received phone call warnings about the fast-approaching fires and who did not. As yet, the county Fire and Emergency Services Department have failed to provide any data on who was warned and at what time.
Frank Bruni, New York Times: Before using the word transgender, without draping herself in the glory of a trailblazer, Danica Roem mentioned the awful congestion on Route 28 in Fairfax County. Being transgender isn’t the whole of her identity, the extent of her purpose or the crux of her mission.
Kathleen Parker, Washington Post: Rather than try to ensure that Republicans keep the seat, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell opted to do the right thing on the allegations facing Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore. It’s a shame we have to be surprised when this happens, but rare is the politician who is also a statesman.
Leonard Pitts Jr., Miami Herald: You’re probably not worried about Brett Talley. Indeed, you’ve probably never heard of him. If President Trump has his way, though, Talley will soon be a federal judge. His qualifications for that honorable – and lifetime – position? They’re pretty well nonexistent.
Dana Milbank, Washington Post: President Trump knows full well that Russia meddled, but he’s worried the special counsel’s investigation, which has already ensnared Trump campaign aides, will implicate him. But there’s another explanation: Maybe the president of the United States is just incredibly credulous.
Ruben Navarrette Jr., Washington Post: Roy Moore denies all the women’s accusations. We may never get to the bottom of this, and thus know with absolute certainty who is telling the truth. Nevertheless, some things are clear.
Eugene Robinson, Washington Post: The president of the United States, in the midst of a trip to Asia, taunted the nuclear-armed dictator of North Korea in a manner most sixth-graders would consider juvenile. There was a time when the world looked to the American president to speak clearly in defense of freedom, democracy, the rule of law and respect for human rights.
“Adding McGregor Scott’s name to the executive branch roster of an ethically clueless president is most definitely not the right move.” – Daniel Broderick, Sacramento