Los Angeles Times: How a California Republican Party endorsement in the governor's race could help the GOP hang on to Congress
California Republicans gathering in San Diego for this weekend's state GOP convention find themselves in a familiar spot: scrambling for ways to resurrect a party sliding toward political irrelevance in this solidly Democratic state.
The most telling question will be whether one of the top two Republicans running for governor — wealthy Rancho Santa Fe businessman John Cox and Huntington Beach Assemblyman Travis Allen — can muster enough support to nab the state party's endorsement.
The seal of approval may be essential for either to survive the June primary and appear on the November ballot. Propelling a strong Republican to the top of the ticket could be vital to rallying enough of the party's voters to help candidates in tight races down the ballot, in turn boosting GOP efforts to hold control of Congress.
Los Angeles Times: Trump's EPA fuel economy plan could have far reaching consequences for climate and clean air
The Trump administration's plan to scrap vehicle fuel economy rules would lead to a surge of oil consumption that independent researchers warn threatens to paralyze the ability of the United States to make crucial progress in confronting climate change.
The administration's blueprint, as detailed in a confidential draft that was leaked to lawmakers and the media last week, would propel Americans to consume up to hundreds of thousands of barrels of additional oil daily and spend billions of dollars more on fuel, and leave cars and trucks sending more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere than they do today, according to a study released Thursday by Rhodium Group, a research firm that tracks the progress nations are making in meeting climate goals.
The dire projections about how the plan would hinder the ability of California and the rest of the nation to slow climate change comes as state research already shows that a retreat on the emissions rules would hamstring California's effort to reduce the air pollution choking the state's population centers.
OC Register: Southern California jobs could be collateral damage in Trump's trade war with China
President Donald Trump’s tit-for-tat trade struggle with China may seem distant, but its impact will likely be felt in Southern California.
Chinese tariffs already imposed on 128 U.S. exports, along with threatened duties on another 106 products, will affect 2.1 million American workers in 40 industries, according to a study by the Brookings Institution, a Washington, D.C. nonprofit research group.
Some 41,000 people in Los Angeles County work in the vulnerable industries, along with 10,700 in Orange County, 8,400 in Riverside County and 6,400 in San Bernardino County, Brookings’ county-by-county survey found.
Although California’s large and diverse economy tends to insulate it from a trade war, it nonetheless counts 287,000 jobs in businesses targeted by Chinese tariffs — more than any other state.
Washington Post: Unemployment rate falls to 3.9 percent as U.S. economy adds 164,000 jobs
The U.S. economy added 164,000 jobs in April, and the unemployment rate fell to 3.9 percent — the lowest point since 2000, federal economists reported Friday.
The average hourly wage rose by 2.6 percent year-over-year, maintaining a slow pace of growth, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
For the past six months, the jobless rate had clung to 4.1 percent, the longest it had gone without budging since the late 1960s. (The record to beat: nine months.) The streak defied the expectations of economists, who said the nation's prolonged hiring blitz was bound to drive the figure down. Women seemed to propel some of April's drop. The share of unemployed female job seekers sank to 3.5 percent last month, down from 3.8 percent in March. Other worker groups — men (3.7 percent), whites (3.6 percent), blacks (6.6 percent), Hispanics (4.8 percent) — showed little to no change. Other government data
suggest fewer people are facing layoffs: Initial claims for state unemployment benefits hit 211,000 during the last week of April, the lowest level since March 1973.
"It’s an exciting headline for the worker,” said Josh Wright, Chief Economist at iCIMS, a software company. “A real Goldilocks number, with job growth being great.” But pay stayed flat, so the Federal Reserve won’t likely feel pressure to raise rates before June. In other words, Wright said, the markets should respond favorably.“What we’re seeing here is steadiness,” he said.
Joel Kotkin: California is not the model for America it thinks it is
In the past, wrote historian Kevin Starr, California “was a final frontier: of geography and of expectation.” Today in the Trump era, California remains a frontier, but increasingly one that appeals largely to progressives. “California,” recently suggested progressive journalists Peter Leyden and Ruy Teixeira, “today provides a model for America as a whole.”
To them, California remains the “harbinger” of “new America” and “the most active front” in the battle to exterminate Trumpism. Yet this enthusiasm should be curbed somewhat by paying attention to what is actually happening on the ground here.
Economically, our state retains unquestioned areas of remarkable strength, notably in Silicon Valley as well as parts of coastal Southern California. But often overlooked are vast areas of underdevelopment, poverty and searing inequality, particularly in the interior. Overall, after a strong recovery from the recession, California’s GDP growth is now about the national average, well below that of prime competitors like Texas, Washington state, Ohio and even New York.
At the end of his long career, Jerry Brown has spent much time vamping in western Europe, Russia and China as the visionary leader of a de facto green nation-state. Yet it is rarely noticed that California’s greenhouse gas emissions are not dropping more rapidly than most places. In fact, according to the Energy Information Agency, the state since 2007 has reduced emissions by 10 percent, below the national average of 12 percent, meaning the state ranks a measly 35th in reduction.
Immigration and diversity is another defining aspect of the California model. This will be front and center in the effort to nominate the telegenic Kamala Harris for the White House. Harris claims multicultural California represents “the future” being created by very diverse millennials in comparison with Trump’s white and aging base.
Yet on the ground level, the progressive regime has been far less friendly, at least economically, to minorities than most may suspect. Many live in deplorable conditions, with a rate of overcrowding roughly twice the national average. Minority home ownership is plunging well below other states, and economic prospects, particularly for those without college education, are increasingly dismal.