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California Policy & Politics This Morning  

Widespread flooding, mudslides, evacuations as biggest storm in years batters California -- The third in a series of powerful winter storms unleashed a deluge in Southern California on Sunday, flooding numerous roads and freeways, setting new rainfall records and stranding some in dangerously rising waters. Matt Hamilton, Frank Shyong, Adam Elmahrek and Howard Blume in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/23/17

Heavy snow forces closure of I-80 in the Sierra Nevada -- Heavy snowfall on Sunday closed a roughly 70-mile stretch of Interstate 80 in the Sierra Nevada, halting a major thoroughfare between Reno and San Francisco. Matt Hamilton in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/23/17

Rock slides shut down Topanga Canyon Boulevard in Malibu -- Topanga Canyon Boulevard was closed to traffic on Sunday because of rock slides, and transit officials said it could take up to three days for the road to reopen. Matt Hamilton in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/23/17

Bay Area storm: Driver thought drowned as floods, debris block some roadways -- Wrapping up days of rain, a wet, blustery storm pummeled the Bay Area on Sunday, triggering numerous landslides, washing out mountain roads, blocking highways and contributing to at least one death. Annie Sciacca in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 1/23/17

Big waves pounded NorCal coast Saturday: Record breakers in Monterey Bay -- As a swell moved in from the west, big waves pounded the Northern California coast on Saturday. The National Weather Service (NOAA) buoys recorded waves from 20 to 30-plus feet between Cape San Martin to the south and Point Arena to the north. Amy Graff in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 1/23/17

California attorney general nominee faces final hurdle -- In their first official action since Donald Trump became president, California lawmakers are poised vote Monday on confirming an attorney general nominee who has vowed to defend the state's liberal policies against the Trump administration and the Republican Congress. Sophia Bollag Associated Press -- 1/23/17

Judge set to sentence PG&E in criminal case tied to blast -- Pacific Gas & Electric Co. says it is prepared to pay the maximum fine of $3 million after a jury convicted the company of deliberately violating pipeline safety regulations before a deadly natural gas pipeline explosion in the San Francisco Bay Area. Sudhin Thanawala Associated Press -- 1/23/17

How much money is your vote worth? Here's what California House candidates spent in 2016 -- If you want to snag one of California’s 53 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives, start saving: The average winner in 2016 spent $1.5 million to be a part of the country’s largest congressional delegation. Javier Panzar in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/23/17

Skelton: California is right to fight Trump. His idea of states' rights is clearly limited -- President Donald Trump began his inaugural address with words that might have heartened nervous California Democrats. But then he warmed up and reverted to the familiar campaigner-in-chief. George Skelton in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/23/17

This Golden State Podcast: The Resistance: Digital Security Tips For Activists -- Something anti-Trump protesters should be aware of: President Trump has inherited the most potent surveillance apparatus in history. Cindy Cohn, Executive Director of the Electronic Frontier Foundation tells This Golden State’s Randy Shandobil that she fears Trump may use those tools to spy on Muslims and his political opponents. Link here -- 1/23/17

Walters: Feel-good efforts won’t solve California’s housing crisis -- Two new documents – a report by the state housing agency and Gov. Jerry Brown’s 2017-18 budget – focus harsh economic reality on fanciful political “solutions” to the state’s severe housing crisis. Dan Walters in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 1/23/17

Capitol Weekly Podcast: Davis College Republicans -- UC Davis College Republicans pulled the plug on a January 13 speaking event featuring far-right firebrand Milo Yiannopoulos and pharmaceutical executive Martin Shkreli after protests against the duo's appearance overwhelmed campus security. Capitol Weekly sat down with Davis College Republican President Nicholas Francois and Executive Director Andrew Mendoza to talk about what happened -- and why they wanted to bring such controversial figures to speak on campus. Link Here -- 1/23/17

New broadband privacy rules face perilous future -- A fledgling federal rule to prevent Internet providers from harvesting and selling information about customers’ Web browsing without their consent appears destined for the chopping block under the Trump administration. Dominic Fracassa in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 1/23/17

In Palm Springs, a special sadness in the LGBT community for the Obama era's end -- As progressives nationwide mourn the end of Obama’s tenure, here in the Palm Springs area — where the former president is vacationing with family as he embarks on life as a private citizen — his exit from the White House has special resonance in a vibrant gay community that’s thrived for decades. Kurtis Lee in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/23/17

Taylor: Women’s March just first step in making a lasting difference -- With the combined millions who marched in cities across the world, including in Washington, D.C., and San Francisco, it’s clear that fear and unflappable hope can be used as crazy glue to get people to stick together. Otis R. Taylor Jr. in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 1/23/17

For new SFPD Chief William Scott, earning officers’ trust is key -- When William Scott is sworn in as San Francisco police chief Monday, he will be taking control of an embattled department facing a daunting set of challenges. Vivian Ho in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 1/23/17


Valley forum to focus on housing for middle-class workers -- It's a short acronym — H.O.W. — but the three letters support a big idea. They stand for “Housing Our Workers.” It is not a new idea but it is a problem that is more vexing than ever, especially here in the San Fernando Valley. Gregory J. Wilcox in the Los Angeles Daily News$ -- 1/23/17

Brainstorming Session Searches For Solutions To High Housing Costs -- A new report finds lack of adequate housing and rising housing costs are resulting in growing inequality and limited opportunity for younger Californians. In an effort to counter the trend, the state's Department of Housing and Community Development will hold a public workshop Monday in San Diego to brainstorm on solutions. Alison St John KPBS -- 1/23/17

Economy, Employers, Jobs, Unions, Pensions 

Will Trump's Tough Talk On Immigration Cause A Farm Labor Shortage? -- In the Central Valley, there's a bumper sticker you see all over the place. It's shaped like California, and reads "My job depends on Ag." In California, that agriculture depends on immigrant labor. Vanessa Rancano NPR -- 1/23/17


Desalination is no longer a pipe dream in Southern California -- As of today, seven ocean desalination plants are under consideration along the coasts from Dana Point through Monterey Bay. By the mid-2020s, those plants could be using the Pacific to produce about 10 percent of the fresh water needed in parts of Los Angeles and Orange counties. Lauren Williams in the Inland Daily Bulletin$ -- 1/23/17


Legislative Analyst Office believes Brown is lowballing revenues -- Forecasters from the Legislative Analyst’s Office predicted in November that state revenues this year and next would be healthy, and they’re sticking to it in their latest budget outlook, despite economic pessimism underlying Gov. Brown’s proposed budget for next year. The difference could be a couple of billion dollars for K-12 schools and community colleges next year. John Fensterwald EdSource -- 1/23/17

State looks to distribute big absenteeism grant this year -- State officials charged with allocating $29 million in grant money aimed largely at reducing chronic absenteeism are hopeful about getting most of that money awarded this fiscal year with an application process starting perhaps in March. Tom Chorneau Cabinet Report -- 1/23/17

Pay more or move – tough choice faces UC Davis students in tight rental market -- A mega apartment project with a towering six-story parking garage is facing criticism from Davis neighbors, even as the city struggles to house the growing number of UC Davis students amid skyrocketing rents. Richard Chang in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 1/23/17

Schools scramble to hire bilingual aides as more refugee students arrive -- A surge of refugees to the Sacramento area has transformed San Juan Unified into the local epicenter for students from Afghanistan, Ukraine, Iraq and Syria. Loretta Kalb in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 1/23/17

Immigration / Border 

Protesters take control of Mexican border crossing with US -- Protesters took control of vehicle lanes at one of the busiest crossings on the U.S. border Sunday to oppose Mexican gasoline price hikes, waving through motorists into Mexico after Mexican authorities abandoned their posts. Elliot Spagat Associated Press -- 1/23/17


Sky-High prices for ‘orphan drugs’ slam families, insurers -- Before Luke Whitbeck began taking a $300,000-a-year drug, the 2-year-old’s health was inexplicably failing. A pale boy with enormous eyes, Luke frequently ran high fevers, tired easily and was skinny all over, except his belly stuck out like a bowling ball. Sarah Jane Tribble and Sydney Lupkin in the Inland Daily Bulletin$ -- 1/23/17

Also . . . 

San Diego Sheriff's Department begins using drones to find missing people, document crime scenes -- Rollout of the yearlong pilot program did not fly with the American Civil Liberties Union of San Diego and Imperial Counties. Christie Hill, senior policy strategist, criticized the Sheriff’s Department for not holding public meetings before purchasing or using the drones, ignoring her organization’s advice last spring. David Hernandez in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/23/17

POTUS 45  

Rocky First Weekend for Trump Troubles Even His Top Aides -- President Trump’s first weekend in office unfolded much the way things often did during his campaign: with angry Twitter messages, a familiar obsession with slights and a series of meandering and at times untrue statements, all eventually giving way to attempts at damage control. Peter Baker, Glenn Thrush and Maggie Haberman in the New York Times$ -- 1/23/17

Trump's White House sets an unapologetically aggressive tone in its first days -- The presidential campaign is over, but Trump aides stuck to their election-year tactics in their first weekend in the White House. Over and over, aides laid down markers that they would continue to unapologetically present their version of events and challenge any perceived slights. Michael A. Memoli and Brian Bennett in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/23/17

Trump’s First 100 Days: ‘Alternative facts,’ the CIA and the ACA -- Setting the tone for a new administration usually takes a few weeks or months. Not so with President Trump. This weekend, the newly inaugurated commander in chief and his aides made it clear they will continue to make false claims to buoy Trump’s image, withhold key information from the public, and wage war against the media. Elise Viebeck in the Washington Post$ -- 1/23/17

Could Trump’s ‘alternative facts’ put lives at risk? -- ‘It has the gravest consequences,’ said Rep. Adam Schiff of the Trump team’s rocky relationship with the truth. Edward-Isaac Dovere and Josh Dawsey Politico -- 1/23/17

Trump struggles to shake his erratic campaign habits -- ‘He's off to the worst start of a presidency in a very long time,’ according to one presidential historian. Josh Dawsey Politico -- 1/23/17

Trump won’t release his tax returns because people don’t care, top adviser says -- A senior aide to President Trump said Sunday that he has no plans to release his tax returns, a marked shift from Trump’s pledge during the campaign to make them public once an audit was completed. John Wagner in the Washington Post$ Julie Hirschfeld Davis in the New York Times$ -- 1/23/17

AP Fact-Check: Trump Uses Bogus Claim to Knock Media on Crowd Reports -- President Trump’s talk on Saturday at the headquarters of the Central Intelligence Agency turned into the latest battle in what he calls his “running war with the media.” Jonathan Lemire and Jill Colvin Associated Press -- 1/23/17

The Numbers Game of Donald Trump -- For 18 months, Donald J. Trump the candidate described polling leads he did not always maintain and vote tallies he did not always receive — and, especially, crowd sizes he did not always have. Maggie Haberman in the New York Times$ -- 1/23/17

Trump Gives FBI’s Comey a Handshake and Hug Amid Investigations -- President Donald Trump called out embattled FBI Director James Comey on Sunday at a reception at the White House with a handshake, a bro-hug and a quip that “he’s become more famous than me.” Margaret Talev Bloomberg Politics Michael A. Memoli in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/23/17

Foreign Payments to Trump Firms Violate Constitution, Suit Will Claim -- A team of prominent constitutional scholars, Supreme Court litigators and former White House ethics lawyers intends to file a lawsuit Monday morning alleging that President Trump is violating the Constitution by allowing his hotels and other business operations to accept payments from foreign governments. Eric Lipton and Adam Liptak in the New York Times$ David A. Fahrenthold and Jonathan O'Connell in the Washington Post$ -- 1/23/17

U.S. Eyes Michael Flynn’s Links to Russia -- U.S. counterintelligence agents have investigated communications that President Donald Trump’s national security adviser had with Russian officials, according to people familiar with the matter. Carol E. Lee, Devlin Barrett and Shane Harris in the Wall Street Journal$ -- 1/23/17


Democrats see hope in women’s marches — but wonder what comes next -- The scale of Saturday’s marches, in Washington and elsewhere, surprised even the most optimistic boosters. Democrats who had tried and failed to generate enthusiasm for Hillary Clinton saw crowds conquering cities, as well as small towns she’d badly lost. David Weigel and Jenna Portnoy in the Washington Post$ -- 1/23/17


-- Sunday Updates 

As California goes from drought to deluge, a dangerous old foe returns: Mudslides -- Through five years of severe drought, El Capitan Canyon above the Pacific Ocean near Goleta endured bone-dry conditions that at times seemed like they would never end. Rong-Gong Lin II, Rosanna Xia and Raoul Ranoa in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/22/17

In the stormy Sierra, Alta residents cut off by washed out mountain road -- Most of us take the street in front of our house for granted. Dawn Sibley and her neighbors sure don’t. Not this winter. Sibley, a school teacher, lives in an enclave of rustic homes tucked into the pines outside of tiny Alta at the snow line. Tony Bizjak in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 1/22/17

The vanishing San Diego single-family home -- Many people still dream of buying a house that includes a few bedrooms, a yard to play in and a porch to watch the comings and goings of the neighborhood. Yet making that dream a reality is becoming increasingly more difficult in San Diego County. Phillip Molnar in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 1/22/17

With executive order, Trump tosses a ‘bomb’ into fragile health insurance markets -- President Trump’s executive order instructing federal agencies to grant relief to constituencies affected by the Affordable Care Act has begun to reverberate throughout the nation’s health-care system, injecting further uncertainty into an already unsettled insurance landscape. Juliet Eilperin and Sean Sullivan in the Washington Post$ -- 1/22/17

Obamacare repeal would also affect your employer health insurance -- Stephanie Blythe isn’t due to give birth until April, but she already ordered a breast pump through her insurance company because she’s worried about the future of the Affordable Care Act. Soumya Karlamangla in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/22/17

Trump, new supervisors give Ed Lee chance to assert leadership -- San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee beamed triumphantly at last week’s groundbreaking of the new Warriors arena as he watched his “legacy project” come into being. The moment stood in stark contrast to one year ago, when protesters booed him loudly throughout his inauguration ceremony. Emily Green in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 1/22/17

Lopez: Massive marches and a cranky new president. We're certainly off to a colorful start -- On just his second day in office, President Trump has already scored a major achievement. The nation’s physical fitness improved greatly Saturday as hundreds of thousands of demonstrators poured onto the National Mall to march in defiance of the newly installed Tweeter of the Free World. Steve Lopez in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/22/17

Taylor: Women’s March is just the 1st step in making a lasting difference -- The first step was taken Saturday in opposition of the new president, and it was sure-footed. Otis R. Taylor Jr. in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 1/22/17

Trump Mocks Protesters Before Affirming Right to Demonstrate -- President Donald Trump mocked protesters who gathered for large demonstrations across the U.S. and the world on Saturday to signal discontent with his leadership, but later offered a more conciliatory tone, saying he recognized such marches as a “hallmark of our democracy.” Alex Wayne, Toluse Olorunnipa, and Margaret Talev Bloomberg Politics -- 1/22/17

Trump aides defend inflated inauguration figures as 'alternative facts' -- President Trump's senior advisors defended White House attacks on the news media and incorrect claims about the size of the crowd at his inauguration, accusing news organizations Sunday of trying to undermine Trump's legitimacy. Brian Bennett in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/22/17

Kellyanne Conway says Donald Trump’s team has ‘alternative facts.’ Which pretty much says it all -- If there is one video clip that describes the new reality for the political media — and for the truth — during the President Trump era, it is the one above. It's a discussion about White House press secretary Sean Spicer, on his first full day in that job, having taken to the podium and made easily disproved claims about the size of Trump's inauguration crowd. Aaron Blake in the Washington Post$ -- 1/22/17

Trump Aide Says He Won’t Release Taxes, Breaking Campaign Pledge -- “The White House response is that he’s not going to release his tax returns. We litigated this all through the election. People didn’t care. They voted for him,” Kellyanne Conway, counselor to the president, said on Sunday. Billy House Blooberg Politics -- 1/22/17

Spicer earns Four Pinocchios for false claims on inauguration crowd size -- It’s rather remarkable that the Trump White House has decided to make easily disproved claims about the size of the inauguration crowd Friday. On the face of it, there is no reason Trump should have expected bigger crowds than Barack Obama drew in 2009 and 2013. Glenn Kessler in the Washington Post$ -- 1/22/17

Decker: Huge rallies may signal an emerging anti-Trump movement. But sustaining unity could prove difficult -- Not for decades, since 1960s protesters took to the streets against the Vietnam War, has a chief executive faced such visible opposition. And never in memory has a new president faced such widespread and intense criticism in the first 24 hours of his term. Cathleen Decker in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/22/17

Women’s march draws almost twice Metro ridership of Trump’s inauguration -- As demonstrators filled the National Mall on Saturday for the Women’s March on Washington, Metro rail clocked its second-highest daily ridership level ever, with 1,001,613 trips, the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority reported. Matthew Nussbaum Politico -- 1/22/17

Abcarian: The coolest people are all about denim, and denim is California's official state fabric -- Throw out everything you think you know about caring for bluejeans, and listen for a moment to Marie and Jim Shaffer, who named their company Jeans Genius for a reason. Robin Abcarian in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/22/17

Anti-abortion protesters in San Francisco 'thanking God' for Donald Trump -- Anti-abortion demonstrators marched through downtown San Francisco in an annual event Saturday that coincided with the women's march in opposition to President Trump. Organizers said they coordinated so the two events occurred at different times of the day. Associated Press -- 1/22/17

Only a Third of California Doctors Are People of Color, But 60 Percent of Residents Are -- Fewer than half of doctors and nurses are people of color in California, a state where 60 percent of the population identifies as Latino, Asian American or African American, according to a new report. Hannah Guzik California Health Report -- 1/22/17

A New Path to Help for Victims of Domestic Violence -- Telephone hotlines staffed by advocates have long been a lifeline for victims of domestic violence. While how we communicate has changed in the digital era, high rates of domestic violence remain a widespread problem, especially among younger women. Linda Childers California Health Report -- 1/22/17