Around The Capitol

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THE Nooner for February 5, 2017

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Happy Super Bowl Sunday! Only a more hours before the game. I guess I should look up who is playing. In 2021, the Big Game is scheduled to be in the stadium now being constructed in Inglewood.

Meanwhile, you should watch this SNL sketch from last night with Melissa McCarthy, where she takes on the role of White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer.

In other sports news, the 20-31 Kings beat the 43-8 Warriors last night.



  • Overnight, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals denied an emergency stay request against the temporary restraining order issued by Western District of Washington's Judge James Robart. on President Trump's travel executive order. The court has asked for briefings by both sides.
  • The AP reports: "Asked about the appeal effort, Trump told reporters: "We'll win. For the safety of the country, we'll win." Uh, that sounds like the argument for Japanese-American internment.
  • There were large protests around the world yesterday against the travel restrictions and border wall, including London; Paris; Berlin; Manila; Barcelona, Spain; and Jakarta, Indonesia, as well as in major U.S. cities. San Francisco's protest at the Civic Center drew thousands. Today, there is a large protest in Los Angeles's Pershing Square against the Keystone and Dakota Access pipelines.
  • While President Trump is at Mar-a-Lago, VP Mike Pence wdid the Full Ginsberg on the Sunday morning shows. Trump did pre-tape an interview by Bill O'Reilly that is airing before the Super Bowl.
  • Senate Democrats are capitalizing on comments by Trump aimed at Judge Robart as an attack against Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorchut. This morning, Mitch McConnell did not rule out using the "nuclear option" by changing the rules to eliminate the filibuster on Supreme Court nominees.
  • Mitch McConnell believes President Trump went over the line by calling Judge Robart a "so-called judge," report Josh Gerstein and Rebecca Morin in Politico. On CNN's State of the Union this morning, McConnell doubled down on his label of Vladimir Putin as a "thug."
  • Speaking of McConnell, things have gotten so bad in the U.S. Senate that Chuck Schumer voted against Elaine Chao, McConnell's wife. It's the first time in history that confirmation of a Transportation Secretary has drawn opposition votes.
  • WaPo's Philip Rucker and Ashley Rucker write that senior Trump staffers took time with the boss out of town to meet each other and strategize over how to avoid fumbles following the last coule of weeks.
  • Congressman Tom McClintock (R-CA04) had a great turnout at his town hall meeting yesterday, although it was hundreds of protesters. He was escorted out by police, and the showdown made it on the Sunday morning shows. The district, northeast of Sacramento, is generally safe for the GOP, it's also home to several retirement homes and senior communities. They are very concerned about health care and possible cutback to Medicare. This has been part of an effort to have protests at GOP members' town halls. McClintock's was the largest protest.
  • The GOP is seriously concerned with President Trump's approval rating at 44% with disapproval at 53%. At the same point in a president's term, President Obama was at 66% approve, 18% disapprove. Fortunately for Republicans, the 2018 midterms are still 21 months away, and there is plenty of time to reverse the trend.

    The problem is that Republicans are split on the repeal/replace strategy on the Affordable Care Act, and the word "repair" was used more this week. And, on the border wall, Republicans have two camps against them, with some GOP members concerned about the cost while others whose districts touch the border. Much of the land, particularly in Texas on which the wall would be built, held by private landowners, and some is on Native American reservations.

    The President's two biggest policy priorities are having trouble GOP members, and it's very possible neither will be tackled this year. And, we'll see what happens with the travel restrictions...
  • President Trump hasn't tweeted in the morning for the first time since the Inauguration.




Well, compared to the happenings in that other capital, California is downright quiet. 

AURAL PLEASURE: John Myers and Marisa Lagos are joined this week by the LAT's Melanie Mason for the California Politics Podcast.

Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom has contributed to an article on the path forward for Democrats. "We’re not going to be timid. We are going to remind the administration that there will be consequences for trampling the rights and values that we hold dear."

The LAT's John Myers writes that California has $368 billion in federal funding that could be at risk by fiscal policies of the Trump Administration. 

HIGH HOPES: California confidence nears 10-year high after Trump takes office [Jonathan Lanser @ OCR] - "The Conference Board’s consumer confidence index for California rose in January to its highest level since May 2007 and was 10 percent higher than the index average for all of 2016. Trump won the White House in a November upset over Hillary Clinton, who easily won California."

The Santa Maria Times has a profile on former Assemblyman Das Williams, who is now a Santa Barbara county supervisor.

BAND-AID? Could California adopt universal healthcare for 39 million people? [Dan Walters @ SacBee] - "More than six million Californians have obtained coverage under Obamacare, the majority via the Medi-Cal program for the poor, which now covers more than one-third of the state’s 39 million residents." 

CHARGED: Californians are paying billions for power they don't need [Ivan Penn And Ryan Menezes @ LAT] - "We're using less electricity. Some power plants have even shut down. So why do state officials keep approving new ones?"


#CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Alan Edelstein!




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Political Road Map: There's A $368-billion Reason Why California Depends On The Federal Government
John Myers @
California, from government programs to monthly stipends for some of its most needy citizens, has a strong dependence on the federal government.

Could California Be 'healthcare Sanctuary' With Universal Coverage? | The Sacramento Bee
Dan Walters @
Observations on California and its politics

8 Million People Could Be Deported Under Trump's Immigration Order
Brian Bennett @
Some 6 million to 8 million people in the country illegally could be considered priorities for deportation under President Trump's executive order.

Santa Clara County Fires Back At Trump Over 'sanctuary Jurisdiction' Order
Santa Clara County on Friday filed a lawsuit challenging the order on grounds it is "patently unconstitutional."

Shift In Trump Travel Order Sets Up Sacramento As Key Destination For Some Refugees | The Sacramento Bee
Ryan Lillis @
By Ryan Lillis

21 Bay Area Coffee Shops Join Weekend Fundraising Effort For Aclu - Sfgate
Bay Area coffee brands like Blue Bottle, Equator Coffees and Four Barrel have teamed up with Sprudge, a coffee news website, after they launched a nationwide fundraiser in response to President Trump's controversial travel ban.

After Protests, Milo Yiannopoulos Wants To Return To Berkeley
UC Berkeley spokesman Dan Mogulof said the university has not heard from student groups about inviting Yiannopoulos back to campus. The Berkeley College Republicans, the group that planned his previous speaking event, did not immediately respond to requests for comment by this news organization.

Trump's Refugee Actions Resonate In San Diego, A Longtime Hub For Nation's New Arrivals - The San Diego Union-tribune
John Wilkens, Peter Rowe @
 <h1>Baby born at San Diego River transient camp</h1>

High Court Nominee Gorsuch Likely Trump Ally In Regulation Cuts - San Francisco Chronicle
President Trump’s pledge to cut back on regulation of the nation’s businesses may have taken a big step forward with his nomination this week of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court.

Protesters rally at SF Civic Center against travel ban, border wall
Hundreds of protesters gathered Saturday afternoon in San Francisco’s Civic Center Plaza, holding signs as they lambasted President Trump and his immigration policies. The goal, according to organizers, was to rally to support of all cultures while opposing two of Trump’s executive orders: one banning travelers and refugees from seven Muslim-majority countries and another initiating construction of a wall at the Mexican border. A diverse crowd coming from BART trains filled the plaza before the 3 p.m. start time, carrying a variety of signs ranging from “No Ban No Wall” to “Never Again United We Stand.” The protest, billed as a “peaceful, inclusive” event, was expected to draw at least 6,000, with more than 9,000 posting their plans to attend on Facebook, according to organizers. The efforts have targeted the president’s nominees for Cabinet posts, as well as policy pronouncements on immigration, health care and the environment. A rally Wednesday night in Berkeley, protesting the speaking engagement of right-wing provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos as well as Trump’s policies, turned violent, causing an estimated $100,000 in damage and resulting in one arrest.

In Trump Administration, Daca's Future Remains Unclear
Immigration, Trump Administration

Feinstein: 'The president is not a dictator'
The California Democrat predicts the travel ban will go to the Supreme Court

With Travel Ban Lifted, Bay Area Residents Rush To Fly Relatives Back To U.S. – East Bay Times
Angered by the ruling, the president took a personal shot at the judge Saturday morning.

Immigrants Alarmed As Trump Uses Crime Fears To Push Policy - San Francisco Chronicle
When President Trump kicked off his campaign almost two years ago by declaring that Mexico was sending unwanted criminals and rapists across the border, Valeska Castaneda brushed it off, laughing at the man she compared to a movie villain who clearly didn’t understand her Latino community.

As unions remain cozy with Trump, they remain wary of Republicans in Congress

National right-to-work legislation, reforms in federal contract law and other measures have labor leaders keeping a wary eye on Capitol Hill. They are looking to Trump to protect them.

'bowling Green Massacre Victims Fund' Website Links To Aclu Donation Page - Sfgate
"We all still carry the vivid memories of what horrors occurred at Bowling Green, but some still relive those moments everyday as they work to rebuild a community torn apart," reads a newly-launched website mourning those lost in the Bowling Green Massacre, a 2011 terrorist event that didn't actually happen.

Pence defends travel ban, senators question Trumpâ

Vice President Pence on Feb. 5 defended President Trump’s travel ban while senators questioned Trump’s criticism of the federal judge who temporarily blocked the ban.

Ivanka Trump's Brand Just Responded To Being Dropped By Nordstrom - Sfgate
Nordstrom is parting ways with Ivanka Trump.

Pence: 'frustrating' To See Judge Suspend Trump's Immigration Order - Politico
"I think the American people are very accustomed to this president speaking his mind and speaking very straight with them," Pence said. | AP Photo

L.A.'s Melting Pot Is Defying Trump's Specialty: To Provoke And Divide
Steve Lopez @
A tour of some of the most diverse neighborhoods in L.A., where the topic of the day is no surprise

Trump Bulls Ahead With Agenda, And With Diplomacy - San Francisco Chronicle
In early October, as Donald Trump’s campaign seemed to have flatlined for good, I left the performance at the Berkeley Repertory Theater thinking: This nation just dodged a bullet. The play was based on the 1935 Sinclair Lewis semi-satirical novel, “It Can’t Happen Here,” about how an ostensible populist with authoritarian designs, Berzelius “Buzz” Windrip, whipped up class, racial and religious resentments, security fears and nativist appeals to win the presidency and bring fascism to an erstwhile democratic America.

After Trump moves to undo financial regulations, Sanders calls him 'a fraud'

"This guy ran for president of the United States saying, "I, Donald Trump, I'm going to take on Wall Street,"' Sanders said on CNN. "Then suddenly he appoints all these billionaires ... and now he's going to dismantle legislation that protects consumers."