2019年2月14日 星期四

Gov. Newsom offers something for everyone — except President Trump | Opinion Central

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Thursday, February 14, 2019
Gov. Newsom offers something for everyone — except President Trump
By John Diaz
Tom Meyer / meyertoons.com
The new governor who loves the word "audacious" included a liberal dose of audaciousness in his first State of the State address. Gavin Newsom was so expansive in his policy mentions that even conservatives could not help themselves from applauding at times. He included references to such long-neglected issues as pension reform and revisions to the California Environmental Quality Act to promote housing construction. One Republican who could not be pleased with Newsom's speech: President Trump. Newsom used the occasion to announce that he was withdrawing National Guard troops from the U.S.-Mexico border and vowing to counter the "division" and "xenophonia" emanating from the White House. As our editorial on the State of the State noted, Californians need to get ready for "a new governor with his own definition of bold." And that definition included significant cutbacks on predecessor Jerry Brown's legacy projects: high-speed rail and the twin tunnels. Yet for those of us who have been following Newsom since he was mayor of San Francisco know all too well: His shortcoming was not in coming up with grand visions — he always had an abundance — but in the follow through. It's going to be interesting.
What we're saying
That vision left the station: San Francisco's Transbay Transit Center is among the losers of Gov. Gavin Newsom's plan to scale back high-speed rail. Our editorial suggests the city should redouble its efforts to connect with Caltrain, or this might just be one very expensive bus station.
Will he or won't he? On Wednesday, President Trump was strongly hinting that he would hold his nose and sign the bipartisan compromise to avert another government shutdown. Our editorial suggested he should, even as he gets pounded on the right from conservative commentators such as his pal Sean Hannity, who called it a "garbage compromise."
To Live and Learn in Dixie: It seems that Marin County's Dixie School District needs a history lesson. The 1864 origins of its name leave no doubt that it was on the wrong side of history, then and now, as our editorial points out.
History lessons
Olivier Douliery / TNS
Did she or didn't she? Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., made it official in an interview on "The Breakfast Club" radio show: Indeed, she has smoked marijuana. And, yes, she inhaled. "It was a long time ago," she added. This is not so much of a shocker — we've come a long way in the candor department since Bill Clinton's "I didn't inhale" smokescreen — but her now full-throated support for legalization was a bit of an eye roller for those who have seen her duck the question for many years. Sometimes she would deflect by talking only about medical marijuana — or sometimes she would just laugh off the question as if it were absurd. In fact, as state attorney general in 2014, she hedged while her Republican opponent Ron Gold was the enthusiastic advocate of legalized pot.
Free Maria! From the Philippines comes the disturbing news that Maria Ressa, the award-winning and utterly fearless head of the online news site Rappler, has been arrested in what for all the world looks like a trumped-up libel charge. As I noted in a column after meeting her in Singapore last summer, Ressa had long been a target of harassment by the Duterte regime and its supporters. This champion of truth had been honored as one of Time's persons of the year for 2018. Duterte & Co. need to know the world is watching.
John Diaz / The Chronicle
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Letter of the Week
Francine Tompkins-Olivera of Berkeley offered this holiday-themed thought: "Tuesday marked the 210th anniversary of the birth of our nation's great 16th president, Abraham Lincoln. I suspect that if the Great Emancipator were alive today, he would be aghast to find our government housing asylum-seeking migrants and a president who engages in race-baiting and speaks of building a border wall. Sadly, the current occupant of the Oval Office will never understand this famous quote by Lincoln: 'A house divided against itself cannot stand.'"
And please check out our other letters of the day responding to this and other matters. You can send us a letter via this form.
Just a reminder
The Chronicle's editorials represent the collective judgment of our Editorial Board, which includes the publisher as well as the writers and editors from the opinion team. Our editors and reporters on the news side are not involved in those decisions (including election endorsements). They are charged with reporting fairly and objectively without regard to our editorial positions. It is one of the core values here at Fifth and Mission streets.

Opinion Central is a thrice-weekly newsletter from John Diaz, The Chronicle's editorial page editor, and the rest of the Editorial Board. Follow along on Twitter: @sfc_opinions

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