California Gov. Jerry Brown, stumps for cap-and-trade in Sacramento, as President Donald Trump reneges on the Paris climate agreement. California newspapers condemned the president for his abdication of climate leadership. Rich Pedroncelli AP
California Gov. Jerry Brown, stumps for cap-and-trade in Sacramento, as President Donald Trump reneges on the Paris climate agreement. California newspapers condemned the president for his abdication of climate leadership. Rich Pedroncelli AP

Shawn Hubler

Deputy editorial page editor, columnist and editorial writer

Shawn Hubler

Taking on Trump, water, the law, the poor and the town

June 04, 2017 05:56 AM

Good Sunday morning. This week, we introduce a new Forum feature, a sampling of opinion from around California, drawn from The Take, the online opinion-politics newsletter sent to subscribers weekdays by The Sacramento Bee.

Cali’s Trump take

As ever, President Donald Trump was a fixation, insulting U.S. allies all over Europe before returning home to announce that he would renege on the U.S. commitment to the 196-nation Paris climate agreement. The Bee’s Foon Rhee dubbed him “the ugly American abroad.”

The president was all about terrorism, scolded NATO “and had some truly bizarre moments,” Rhee noted. Trump, naturally, declared the disaster “a home run.”

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Meanwhile, The Bee Editorial Board congratulated German Chancellor Angela Merkel and other world leaders for “starting to think like Californians” on climate as Trump has made it clear he can’t be trusted. “California,” the board noted, “has known this all along.”

The San Francisco Chronicle said Trump’s decision heightens California’s role. The East Bay Times said it shreds his claim to be a business expert.

And the Los Angeles Times called the Paris withdrawal “stunning in its short-sightedness,” and “the clearest evidence yet that Trump is turning the U.S. into a force for bad in the world.”

A GOP takedown

How much do Californians hate Trump?

A Public Policy Institute of California poll last week put his approval rating among California voters at an abysmal 27 percent.

Worse for Trump and what’s left of the California Republican Party, 82 percent of Latinos who are likely voters disapprove of the president’s performance, as do 75 percent of likely voters ages 18-34.

George W. Bush’s approval rating in California was 57 percent at this point in his presidency. Bush did not fall to a 27-percent approval until October 2007.

At this rate, it will take a generation for Republicans in California to recover, if ever.

Taking on water

Bee Editorial Page Editor Dan Morain reported this week that Gov. Jerry Brown met with SoCal water districts on the Delta tunnels – and told them, rightly, to fish or cut bait on the decision to ante up for them.

The Modesto Bee also had a message on water: Rivers are running furiously fast and cold; trusting your life to a flimsy plastic boat or inner tube is a death wish. Even wading into the rivers – with their incredible currents working below a calm surface – can be taking a terrible risk.

Taking the bench

For some reason, civil litigation was on the minds of California editorial boards last week.

East Bay Times: California adopted reforms last year to curb predatory disability lawsuits but, as evidenced by more state and federal proposals, the problem remains.

Mercury News: Patent trolls are almost as plentiful and harder to kill than cockroaches. Give the Supreme Court credit for taking a big step last week to put them in their place.

Taking better care

Sacramento City Councilman Eric Guerra noted in The Bee that the city set aside $300,000 for legal aid for those facing deportation, saying the Legislature should do the same with Senate Bill 6.

San Francisco Chronicle: Until California takes its investments in mental health seriously, the state’s mentally ill will have to settle for the housing and treatment they can get. The fact that this housing and treatment is increasingly in the state prison system shames all of us.

The Chronicle also noted that foster children too often are compromised out of adequate funding in the state budget process. The Sacramento Bee, in a separate editorial, agreed.

Take on the town

The Bee Editorial Board liked the slimmed-down proposal for the Sacramento Convention Center.

We opined that the new plan championed by Mayor Darrell Steinberg would fix some of the biggest flaws, add a public plaza and leave money for other tourism projects.

Bee columnist Marcos Breton, meanwhile, asked whether private players are already lining up to help make Sacramento a ‘destination city.’

Let’s hope so.