Republican tax deal is a monstrosity. The compromise between House and Senate bills is on the fast track. It’s a big hit on California taxpayers and unfair to the middle class.
Jack Ohman sees what the Crimson Tide brought in on the beaches of Alabama. Surf’s up here.
Dan Walters, CALMatters: The controversial changes in California’s approach to criminal justice in recent years have yielded a lack of clarity on whether more criminals are now walking the streets and committing more crimes.
Ramla Sahid: The Legislature must include housing in the state’s refugee resettlement plan and provide enough funding so that refugees who are here less than three years pay no more than 30 percent of their household income towards rent.
Ben Shapiro: California deserves Trump’s tax plan. Golden State leaders have been passing the fiscal buck for years.
Sasha Abramsky: Don’t give in to Trump’s tax scam, California. Let’s draft our own New Deal.
Ben Boychuk: No offense, Twitter, but Rep. Steve King is right. Assimilation is so a bigger strength than diversity.
Take a number: 5
For the second time in three years, Riverside County imposed the more death sentences – five – than any other county in the nation. But it’s increasingly an outlier, according to the 2017 annual report from the Death Penalty Information Center.
The nationwide total of 39 death sentences projected for this year is the second lowest annual total since 1972, when the U.S. Supreme Court declared capital punishment unconstitutional. The number of executions – 23 – is also the second lowest since 1991, only higher than the 20 in 2016.
Public support for the death penalty is dropping, too, though not so much in California. In November 2016, voters here rejected a ballot measure to abolish capital punishment and instead approved another one to speed up executions. The state, however, hasn’t had an actual execution since 2006. But if it starts putting condemned prisoners to death, it will be bucking the national trend. – Foon Rhee, @foonrhee
Birmingham (Ala.) News: Half a century after Alabamians of immense courage changed the course of history in the streets of Birmingham and Selma and Montgomery, the voice of justice once again rings out from the Deep South – from the ballots of black Alabamians, of women, and of young people of all genders committed to moving our world forward. We look forward to the high road that Doug Jones will be traveling to Washington.
Los Angeles Times: The contentious U.S. Senate race in Alabama is a source of both encouragement and dismay in near-equal measure. The good news, of course, is that Democrat Doug Jones, an out-of-nowhere former prosecutor, beat former Republican state Chief Justice Roy Moore in an election for U.S. Senate that hung on issues of character. The bad news is that Moore still won 48.4 percent of the vote. This is the third election in which President Trump endorsed a candidate, and it is his third loss.
Orange County Register: On Dec. 7 Congress extended critical protections for states that allow lawful access to medical marijuana. Since 2014, the Dana Rohrabacher-Earl Blumenauer amendment, originally known as the Rohrabacher-Farr amendment, has prevented the Justice Department from spending money to interfere with state medical marijuana laws.
San Diego Union-Tribune: Even after disasters such as the 2007 San Diego wildfires, the deadly 2010 San Bruno pipeline blast and the massive 2015 Porter Ranch gas leak, the California Public Utilities Commission has continued to protect the three giant investor-owned utilities it regulates. Californians should welcome the announcement that San Diego attorneys Michael Aguirre and Maria Severson would file a lawsuit seeking to put the agency into federal receivership if the state Legislature doesn’t convene a select joint committee to investigate the CPUC.
San Francisco Chronicle: The tech boom that Mayor Ed Lee embraced ensured that the man who began his career fighting for poor tenants ended up presiding over a city known for some of the nation’s most unaffordable housing and pervasive homelessness. The city remained in the throes of the crisis at the untimely end of Lee’s tenure, but the mayor had grappled with it since his early years in office.
Charles M. Blow, New York Times: Doug Jones’ defeat of Roy Moore in the Alabama Senate special election is yet the latest signal that the accommodators of Donald Trump – those who have normalized and bolstered him, the gutless, schismatic conservatives who abandoned principle to follow a pariah – will have hell to pay in 2018.
Frank Bruni, New York Times: The political implications of Roy Moore’s surprising, jolting defeat by Doug Jones in Alabama those can’t be divorced from the soaring emotions of his win. What it does for the spirits of people petrified by his country’s trajectory can’t be overstated.
E.J. Dionne Jr., Washington Post: If the angry ideology of the far right cannot make it in Alabama, one of our most loyally conservative states that was a center of resistance to civil rights, it cannot make it anywhere.
Ross Douthat, New York Times: Roy Moore was Trump’s – the man who took this mode of politics to 11 and beyond. His defeat was not so much a rejection of the Trump agenda as it was a rejection of the whole Trumpian mode of politics.
Thomas L. Friedman, New York Times: Voters sent a message to Donald Trump and Stephen Bannon that you are not as dumb as they think you are. That you see what they are up to – trying to use divisive tweets and racist dog whistles to get as many Americans as possible so aroused and inflamed that they won’t think about the real issues.
Paul Krugman, New York Times: Republicans are rushing to jam through the tax cut bill before Doug Jones can be certified as Alabama’s new senator, in a stunning act of hypocrisy from the same people who demanded that Obamacare wait until Scott Brown was seated and held up a Supreme Court seat for a year.
Ramesh Ponnuru, Bloomberg View: Reporters have made some high-profile errors in recent weeks, and they have all tended to put the Trump administration in an unfavorable light. While most Americans trust the media more than they trust Trump, a lot of journalists feel besieged and frustrated. News organizations aren’t sure how to respond to the criticisms they are getting from the Trump White House and its allies.
“Conservative rallying cries that ‘federal (and state) regulations are strangling the economy and should be abolished’ conveniently overlook the fact that most were enacted in response to corporate malfeasance, fraud or abuse, and were done so at the public’s behest.” – Roland Brady, Sacramento
Tweet of the day
“How many diet cokes did Trump consume while he gulped and waited for the defeat of his pedophile candidate?? #swishswish” – Maxine Waters, @RepMaxineWaters
Political Fact of the Day: This is the first time in American history when U.S. senators named Smith and Jones started their careers in the same 24-hour period.