February 6, 2017


Political Stories

Top stories

Trump’s stormy start doesn’t rattle San Joaquin Valley — President Trump’s first actions in the White House, from ordering up a border wall and banning refugees to fixating on crowd sizes and attacking “Saturday Night Live” on Twitter, have drawn howls of protest across much of California. But here in the state’s fertile interior between Silicon Valley and Los Angeles, Trump’s frenetic fortnight didn’t rattle many. San Francisco Chronicle article

‘There’s my Kevin’: McCarthy emerges as Trump’s trusted link to Capitol Hill — The day before his inauguration as president, Donald Trump scanned the ballroom during a celebratory luncheon at his Washington hotel: “Where’s Kevin?” he asked. “There’s my Kevin.” It was a brief but telling acknowledgment of a behind-the-scenes political relationship between two GOP power-brokers on opposite ends of Pennsylvania Avenue — Trump and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) — that has set the stage for a rapid legislative blitz in the early months of the Trump administration. Washington Post article


U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals is expected to decide quickly on Trump’s travel ban – A federal appeals court has indicated it will move swiftly to decide whether to keep in place a nationwide hold on President Trump’s moratorium on travel from seven predominantly Muslim countries. LA Times article

Here’s a look at the leading arguments – How much constitutional authority does the president have over immigration, and how much power has Congress given him? The likely answer to both: a lot. New York Times article

Legal fight over immigration focuses on appeals court as states argue against reinstating ban – Removing a hold on President Trump’s travel moratorium would “unleash chaos again” and hurt business and universities, two states told a federal appeals court Monday.  LA Times article

Homeland Security seemed eager to obey judge’s order.  Here’s why — The speed with which the Department of Homeland Security complied with a Seattle federal judge’s order halting the White House travel ban may have been driven in part by fear that the judge might ask officials for their emails. McClatchy Newspapers article

Los Banos man, daughter reach California after delayed journey from Yemen — Twelve-year-old Eman Ali smiled from ear to ear Sunday evening as she walked through San Francisco International Airport, finally by her sister’s side and eager to be with her family at home in Los Banos. Eman’s arrival ended an eight-day delay that saw the girl caught up in a presidential order restricting travelers from her native Yemen and six other Muslim-majority countries. Merced Sun-Star articleSan Francisco Chronicle articleKQED report;

Travelers arrive in U.S. to hugs and tears after ban is lifted – Travelers from the seven predominantly Muslim countries targeted by President Donald Trump enjoyed tearful reunions with loved ones in the U.S. on Sunday after a federal judge swept the ban aside. AP article

Legal battle over travel ban looms as Trump continues attacks on judge – After a federal appeals court on Sunday rejected President Trump’s emergency bid to reinstate his contentious travel ban, the White House signaled fresh determination to push forward in a legal dispute that is fast becoming a test of executive power. LA Times article

GOP refusal to fill Scalia vacancy looms large in fight over Trump’s travel ban — The legal challenge to President Donald Trump’s executive order barring citizens of seven Muslim nations from entering the United States is rocketing toward the Supreme Court, where Republicans’ year-long refusal to fill a vacant ninth seat could determine the outcome. McClatchy Newspapers article

White House predicts courts will reinstate travel ban — Rebuffed in its bid for a quick reversal, the White House said Sunday it expected the courts to reaffirm President Donald Trump’s executive power and reinstate a ban on refugees and travelers from seven predominantly Muslim countries from entering the United States.  AP article

Feinstein: ‘The president is not a dictator’ – Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the ranking Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, said the U.S. Supreme Court will ultimately decide whether President Donald Trump exceeded his authority by banning refugees and immigration from some majority-Muslim countries.  Politico article

Trump vowed to ‘catch and release,’ but, on the border, it’s business as usual – Although Trump has ordered the Department of Homeland Security to end “catch and release,” the unofficial name for a policy in which U.S. immigration enforcement agencies allow migrants they deem low risk to remain at large pending a hearing, there are not enough detention centers to hold the thousands of families crossing over. LA Times article

Tech giants join fight against Trump’s travel ban — Dozens of tech companies, including giants like Apple, Google, and Uber, are siding with Washington state as it fights President Donald Trump‘s ban on refugees and travelers from seven predominantly Muslim countries from entering the United States should stay in place. San Francisco Chronicle articleAP article

Not everyone in tech cheers visa program for foreign workers – The “knowledge transfer sessions” started a few months after Jeff Tan received notice last summer that he and about 80 co-workers would be laid off by the University of California, San Francisco, at the end of February. At daily two-hour meetings with employees from HCL Technologies, an Indian tech services company that had landed the outsourcing contract from U.C.S.F., Mr. Tan trained HCL staff members in India by videoconference and employees brought to the United States on H-1B visas how to do his job. New York Times article

Other areas

UC Berkeley blames violent ‘black bloc’ protestors for ‘unprecedented invasion’ — While so-called black bloc agitators have become a fixture of Bay Area demonstrations in the last decade, their appearance at Berkeley on Wednesday and otherwise peaceful demonstrations threatens to inflame tensions in an already polarized nation. LA Times article

Why UC police let anarchists run wild in Berkeley — When it comes to its treatment of anarchist protesters like the ones who trashed Sproul Plaza the other night, UC Berkeley’s attitude amounts to this: We’d rather deal with broken windows than broken heads. San Francisco Chronicle article

Dan Schnur: Confrontation in Berkeley shows futility of fanaticism – On Wednesday night, a right-wing hatemonger came to Berkeley and was met with a left-wing response of arson, violence and assault. All in all, it was a good night to be a centrist. Schnur in San Francisco Chronicle

Dan Walters: Tax board’s hijinks made case for giving it the boot — The state Board of Equalization is a powerful state agency that few Californians even know exists – unless they’ve been paying attention to its unseemly hijinks. Sacramento Bee article

Presidential Politics

Trump threatens to defund ‘out of control’ California – President Donald Trump is threatening to withhold federal funds from “out of control” California if the state declares itself a sanctuary state. “If we have to, we’ll defund,” Trump said in an interview with Fox News host Bill O’Reilly before the Super Bowl. “We give tremendous amounts of money to California, California in many ways is out of control, as you know.” McClatchy Newspapers articleSan Francisco Chronicle articleLA Times article;

Trump clashes early with courts, portending years of legal battles – President Trump is barreling into a confrontation with the courts barely two weeks after taking office, foreshadowing years of legal battles as an administration determined to disrupt the existing order presses the boundaries of executive power. New York Times article

Trump says health law replacement may not be ready until next year – President Trump said in an interview that aired on Sunday that a replacement health care law was not likely to be ready until either the end of this year or in 2018, a major shift from promises by both him and Republican leaders to repeal and replace the law as soon as possible. New York Times article

Trump and staff rethink their tactics after early stumbles – The bungled rollout of his executive order barring immigrants from seven predominantly Muslim countries, a flurry of other miscues and embarrassments, and an approval rating lower than that of any comparable first-term president in the history of polling have Mr. Trump and his top staff rethinking an improvisational approach to governing that mirrors his chaotic presidential campaign, administration officials and Trump insiders said. New York Times article

President Trump wants other members of NATO to pay their fair share.  Here’s what that would look like – At 3.61%, the U.S. spends more than any other country — an estimated $664 billion last year, or more than double the rest of all NATO countries combined. (NATO uses 2010 prices to track spending as a share of GDP over time. By that measure, the U.S. spent an estimated $608 billion on defense last year.) Even if all NATO countries met the guideline, together they’d only be spending about two-thirds of what the U.S. spends. LA Times article

Noisy town hall protests show how the left is trying out tea party tactics to fight Trump — Indivisible has become a nonprofit since launching in December, and many of its thousands of registered groups are emerging in places like Orange County and the Central Valley, hardly known as incubators for progressive politics. LA Times article

The Massacre That Wasn’t, and a turning point for ‘fake news’ – The Massacre That Wasn’t showed that while FacebookGoogle and Twitter take steps to combat nefarious hoaxes, they are already playing host to an organic correction movement led by ordinary users who are crowdsourcing reality. It’s early. Vigilance, and continuing improvements throughout the news business, remain necessary. But the tale of the “massacre” could be the start of something new. New York Times article

Trump walks back false voter claim in interview with Bill O’Reilly – He certainly did not admit to being wrong, but in his own way President Trump walked back his false claim that 3 million to 5 million illegal ballots were cast in the November election when he sat down with Fox News host Bill O’Reilly for an interview that aired before the Super Bowl. Washington Post article

New flap erupts over Trump comparing U.S. ‘killers’ to Putin minions – Once again, President Trump’s professed admiration for his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin is causing headaches for fellow Republicans and drawing fire from Democrats – but this time, with a twist. LA Times article

Pelosi calls for probe of possible Russia blackmail of Trump — House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi urged the FBI to probe President Trump’s finances and personal ties to find out if the Russian government is blackmailing him. Politico article

California Government Today:

Senate Daily File

Assembly Daily File

News Stories

Top Stories


Website designed to spur economic growth — Let’s say you are an entrepreneur looking to lease 3,000 to 5,000 square feet of office space in Stockton so you finally can execute that brilliant business idea that has inhabited your procrastinating brain for the past 10 years. Now there’s a newly revamped Stockton website that can help you iron out all the pesky details within a matter of minutes.  Stockton Record article

School districts step up protections for immigrant students –  As fears mount about a federal crackdown on undocumented immigrants, a growing number of California school districts are trying to reassure students they will be able to attend school without the intrusion of federal authorities. EdSource article

Jobs and the Economy

Cutting jobs, street repairs, library books to keep up with pension costs — Increasingly, pension costs consume 15% or more of big city budgets, crowding out basic services and leaving local governments more vulnerable than ever to the next economic downturn. CALmatters article


Desalination of aquifers offers drought-weary Californians new hope – California’s historic drought may be winding down. But water officials across the Golden State are increasingly exploring a hidden but promising way to add to the state’s water supply: removing salt from the billions of gallons of brackish — or distastefully salty — water that lies deep below the Earth’s surface. San Jose Mercury News article

New solutions for long-standing drinking water pollution in San Joaquin Valley – Millions of Californians depend on a polluted water supply, but in the vast majority of places, the contamination is removed, and clean fresh water flows into homes, schools and businesses. Not so for as many as 160,000 people who regularly get doses of arsenic, nitrates, industrial solvents or bacterial contamination as they drink, cook and bathe. In some parts of the state, particularly in the San Joaquin Valley, water supplies are drying up altogether, because of the state’s drought. California Health Report article

San Joaquin’s clogged river – The swollen San Joaquin River finally began receding last week, but its brief surge above flood monitor stage rekindled concerns that a far more serious flood is becoming more likely each year. Why? Tens of thousands of dump truck loads worth of dirt wash down the San Joaquin toward the Delta each year. Scientists have found that much of that dirt, or sediment, is deposited on the bottom of the river as it flattens out between Vernalis and Stockton. Stockton Record article

California ag organizations hopeful for WIIN — Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation Act, WIIN Act is a recently passed federal law which includes short-term and long-term provisions for the state water crisis. Visalia Times-Delta article

Criminal Justice/Prisons

On Duty with the CHP: Hands off that cellphone — Your life and the lives or others are more important than one text or one phone call. Remember, one text or call could wreck it all. On Duty with the CHP column in Fresno Bee


Members expect loss of SOS Club as Modesto considers Agassi charter school project — The Modesto Planning Commission will consider Monday recommending the City Council allow a K-12 charter school sponsored by tennis champion Andre Agassi at the site of the SOS Club. Modesto Bee article


Northern California customers fume as PG&E bills soar — Customers of Pacific Gas and Electric Company are fuming after a double-digit rate hike produced dramatically higher winter heating bills. The 13 percent increase in natural gas rates took effect in August, but consumers didn’t feel the pinch until December, when residents turned up their thermostats in the face of a particularly cold and wet season. Sacramento Bee article

Other areas

Chiesa will deliver State of the County speech Tuesday – Stanislaus County’s top elected official will talk about community transformation in his State of the County address set for Tuesday morning. Board of Supervisors Chairman Vito Chiesa said his speech will celebrate partnerships and how much good has been done through the tough times in recent years. Modesto Bee article

She left Turlock at 16 because of bigotry; now transgender actress gets warm homecoming – Turlock native Erika Ervin is proving that not only can you go home again, you can tower over it while doing so. The actress and model known for her work in “American Horror Story” greeted fans, signed autographs and took pictures as one of the celebrity guests at the new Turlock Comic Con on Saturday at the Stanislaus County Fairground. Modesto Bee article

Olivia Garcia: Kern Pioneer Village research center ready for researchers — The Bakersfield Californian Foundation Research Center opened in November and “houses the museum’s archive and reference library,” said Wear, noting that the center was named after the foundation because of its generous donation. “Kern County has a wonderful space for researchers to examine historical information.” Researchers can access the museum’s archives by making an appointment to view photographs, maps, diaries or other historical documents. Bakersfield Californian article