The Swarm

Mix it up with The Bee's editorial board.

January 14, 2013
Rise and Opine: Michelle Rhee, Tom McClintock, Silicon Valley

Michelle Rhee, former DC schools chief and Sacramento-based head of Students First, is the focus of a lengthy article in Sunday's Washington Post. Her star power so annoys the American Federation of Teachers that the AFT maintains a "Where is Rhee?" map on this web site with an image of Rhee wearing a crown.
Our own Ginger Rutland last week offered her own take on Rhee, whose tenure in DC the focus of a recent "Frontline" show.

Push back
U.S. Rep. Tom McClintock is apparently no longer answering questions from Bee senior editor and columnist Dan Morain. Morain recently asked McClintock's communications aide, Jennifer Cressy, if he could interview McClintock about the congressman's views on disputes between California and Nevada on Lake Tahoe.

Cressy's response: "Civility makes it possible to discuss even the sharpest differences of opinion. When you question the loyalty and motives of an individual, as you did on Sunday, you abandon the civility that is the foundation of public discourse."

Cressy was referring to Morain's Jan. 6 column, in which he opined that, McClintock's "political machine of one" is the trend as California's GOP delegation in Congress becomes smaller and more conservative. "That doesn't bode well for California as it tries to get back some of the money it sends to Washington, and certainly not for the Sierra district McClintock represents."

There was an armada of editorials over the last week on Gov. Jerry Brown's budget, mostly positive, in the nautical sense. The San Bernardino Sun said the plan "points the way to fiscal sustainability" but could be messed by Democrats in the Legislature, tempted to go on "a drunken sailor spending binge."

On Friday, the San Francisco Chronicle opined on Gov. Jerry Brown's prison plan, partly agreeing with the governor that the state had made much progress on overcrowding, but also offering some guarded reservations, saying: "There is the great danger that California will retreat from pursuing more reforms and better treatment once the judges withdraw." By contrast, The Bee said clearly that the mission wasn't accomplished, whereas the Stockton Record said, "Enough."

The New York Times' Thomas Friedman, who was in Sacramento last week, reflects on Silicon Valley's cutthroat competition and yet its ability to collaborate. By contrast, if Congress were a start-up, he writes, "the early stage investors would have long ago been wiped out and the firm shuttered."

In case you missed it: Our own Jack Ohman offered another large-format cartoon on Jerry Brown, this one focusing on the governor's love of charts.

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About The Swarm

The Swarm is written by members of The Sacramento Bee's editorial board. They meet daily and are separate from the newsroom. Views included here are those of individual writers, and do not necessarily reflect those of a majority of the board or the positions expressed in The Bee's editorials.

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