Steve Bannon, former White House chief strategist for President Donald Trump, reportedly will speak Oct. 20 at the state Republican Convention in Anaheim.

Politico is reporting Bannon’s appearance there. The gathering comes at a critical time for the Republican Party in California, where Democrats are gunning for GOP incumbents in seven congressional districts Hillary Clinton carried last year. Those contests are critical to Democratic efforts to flip the House.

Write David Siders and Henry C. Jackson: “Bannon, the firebrand waging high-profile efforts to challenge GOP incumbents in other states, is likely to receive a warm reception at the convention in Anaheim. State party conventions typically skew right, attracting the GOP’s most ardent activists.”

They additionally report that Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy of Bakersfield are scheduled to speak the day after Bannon.

Since leaving the White House, Bannon has returned to the helm of Breitbart News Service — the alt-right online outlet where he had served as executive chairman before he was drafted to be chief executive of the 2016 Trump presidential campaign.

At the spring gathering of California Republicans, Rep. Devin Nunes of Tulare told attendees that the best way for the party to become relevant in the state would be to push five ballot initiatives.

They were:

  • Increased offshore oil drilling.
  • Elimination of the state income tax.
  • Making the state Legislature a unicameral or part-time body.
  • Moving bonds earmarked for high-speed rail to water storage.
  • Changing how public employee union dues are collected.

Nunes’ plan has yet to gain traction.

Here are other stories catching our eye:

What is No. 1 Cause of Accidental Deaths in U.S.?

Drug overdose deaths, once rare, are now the leading cause of accidental death in the U.S., surpassing peak annual deaths caused by motor vehicle accidents, guns and HIV infection, writes , co-director of Opioid Policy Research at Brandeis University.

“The data show that the situation is dire and getting worse. Until opioids are prescribed more cautiously and until effective opioid addiction treatment becomes easier to access, overdose deaths will likely remain at record high levels,” Kolodny says.

He notes that “the effects of hydrocodone and oxycodone on the brain are indistinguishable from the effects produced by heroin.”

You can read his entire post at The Conversation.

150 Dreamers Descend on D.C. to Push for Dream Act

Almost two decades ago, América Yareli Hernández was working as a waitress, cleaning toilets and living in constant fear as an undocumented resident.

Last week, Hernández rubbed shoulders with some of the nation’s most powerful lawmakers – Sen. Kamala Harris, House Minority Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Ilinois Congressman Luis V. Gutiérrez and others – in an effort to convince them to pass the Dream Act so that she can finally leave those days behind.

Since getting DACA, Hernández, a professional with a bachelors degree from Fresno State University in Chicano and Latin American Studies with a minor in English and Spanish, has been able to get professional jobs.

The Fresno resident was one of about 150 Dreamers from 25 states who descended on Washington, D.C. to meet with Congressional members, share their stories and highlight the need for the Dream Act after President Donald J. Trump rescinded the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

You can read the rest of Maria Ortiz-Briones’ story here.

Northern California Wildfire Death Toll Rises to 31

Here is the Los Angeles Times’ report on California’s most deadly wildfire:

“Firefighters continued to gain control of some fires scorching Northern California on Thursday night, thanks in part to continued calm winds in some parts of the region. Altogether, the 15 fires have burned more than 212,000 acres and caused at least 31 deaths. Officials expect the death toll to rise as search efforts continue.

“Firefighters continued to gain control of some fires scorching Northern California on Thursday night, thanks in part to continued calm winds in some parts of the region. Altogether, the 15 fires have burned more than 212,000 acres and caused at least 31 deaths. Officials expect the death toll to rise as search efforts continue.

“Officials began to gain a toehold Thursday night and early Friday against fires raging in Sonoma County, as humidity levels rose and winds died down.

“Immigration officials have suspended operations in the Northern California fire areas, authorities said Friday.

“The only time we’re going to pick someone up is in the event of a serious criminal presenting a current public safety threat,” U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokesman James Schwab said Friday.

Read the complete Times report here.

Robert E. Lee High School is Renamed … L.E.E. HS

Officials at a San Antonio school district have voted to rename a high school because of its ties to Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee, — some say it doesn’t change much.

North East Independent School District trustees voted Monday that Lee High School will be renamed Legacy of Educational Excellence High School.

So, the acronym is LEE High School.

Board President Shannon Grona says the name is a compromise that retains the Texas school’s history and lessens the expensive process of renaming and rebranding the school with a completely different name.

You can read the complete Associated Press story at this link.

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