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  • Who's to blame for political violence?

    Who's to blame for political violence?

    On Wednesday morning, a Trump-hating Bernie Sanders volunteer shot five people at a Republican practice for the annual congressional baseball game. One of them was the third-ranking House Republican, Louisiana Congressman Steve Scalise. We could blame Democrats and Sanders supporters for this crime,...

  • Like many of my rookie legal clients, Jeff Sessions can't bring himself to shut up

    Like many of my rookie legal clients, Jeff Sessions can't bring himself to shut up

    I’ve spent much of the last decade prosecuting or defending people charged with all manner of crimes. And it has always amazed me how often people talk themselves into trouble by trying to talk themselves out of it. Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions is a good example. Like a lot of my clients, he talked...

  • The Democrats' cynical move to protect one of their own

    The Democrats' cynical move to protect one of their own

    California Republicans are wrong to try to recall Sen. Josh Newman (D-Fullerton) from office for casting a vote they don’t like, and they have compounded the offense by doing it in a dishonest way. Voters in this mostly Orange and Los Angeles County district are being told that signing a recall...

  • A shooting in Alexandria brings gun violence directly to those best situated to act

    A shooting in Alexandria brings gun violence directly to those best situated to act

    It may take some time before we learn the whole story behind this morning’s shooting at a Republican congressional baseball practice in Alexandria, Va., but early reports indicate the gunman, a Bernie Sanders supporter, harbored deep anger and frustration over the election of President Donald Trump....

  • Baseball and gun violence: Two of America's national pastimes collide in Virginia

    Baseball and gun violence: Two of America's national pastimes collide in Virginia

    The annual congressional baseball game dates back to 1909 and is now one of the only public displays of bipartisanship left in Washington, D.C. The game, which pits Republicans against Democrats, mirrors similar events that dominate American culture every summer — including Little League competitions,...

  • The Senate is about to ram through Trumpcare. This is not a drill; it's an emergency

    The Senate is about to ram through Trumpcare. This is not a drill; it's an emergency

    Like a thief in the night, Senate Republicans are trying to take healthcare from tens of millions of people to pay for a massive tax cut. What we don’t know is exactly how many people will lose coverage or how much rich people will save in taxes — because Republicans are refusing to make their...

  • Legalize Airbnb

    Legalize Airbnb

    When the city of Los Angeles started to look into ways to regulate the “sharing economy” several years ago, the number of dwellings for rent on Airbnb, the leading short-term rental website, was in the low thousands. Today, there are about 23,000, with many more on VRBO, TripAdvisor and other vacation...

  • It's truth or consequences time for Jeff Sessions

    It's truth or consequences time for Jeff Sessions

    On Tuesday, members of the Senate Intelligence Committee need to pin Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions down about his role in the firing of FBI Director James B. Comey and other matters that remain murky. On May 9, Sessions wrote a letter to President Trump urging Comey’s dismissal “based on my evaluation,...

  • Trump's severe lack of credibility doomed his travel ban with the courts

    Trump's severe lack of credibility doomed his travel ban with the courts

    In March, U.S. District Judge Derrick Watson, in Hawaii, suspended key portions of President Trump’s revised executive order temporarily halting all refugee admissions and immigration from six Muslim-majority countries. A three-judge panel for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit has now...

  • Texas anti-abortion forces now want fetuses to be buried or cremated

    Texas anti-abortion forces now want fetuses to be buried or cremated

    For years, Republican-controlled state legislatures have claimed to be protecting women’s health when they passed laws such as those requiring that abortion clinics be outfitted like surgical centers and that doctors obtain admitting privileges at nearby hospitals. But federal courts haven’t bought...

  • The 'Brexit' blunder continues to bedevil Britain

    The 'Brexit' blunder continues to bedevil Britain

    British Prime Minister Theresa May called a snap election for Parliament almost three years early so that the United Kingdom would have “strong and stable” leadership to negotiate the terms of “Brexit,” its withdrawal from the European Union approved by voters in a referendum nearly a year ago....

  • L.A. 2028? It's not a booby prize but an opportunity for a better Olympics

    L.A. 2028? It's not a booby prize but an opportunity for a better Olympics

    Los Angeles will win its bid to host a summer Olympic Games. That much is all but guaranteed after the announcement Friday that the International Olympic Committee’s executive board is recommending awarding the 2024 and 2028 Summer Games simultaneously in September. It’s not hard to predict who...

  • In a credibility contest with Trump, James Comey is the obvious winner

    In a credibility contest with Trump, James Comey is the obvious winner

    Even though his prepared statement had been released and read by millions of Americans a day earlier, former FBI Director James B. Comey’s testimony Thursday before the Senate Intelligence Committee was sensational, riveting and sickening. Not only did Comey, as expected, say that President Trump...

  • Trump was ham-fisted with Comey. But is that criminal?

    Trump was ham-fisted with Comey. But is that criminal?

    “We won!” President Trump’s lawyer Marc Kasowitz reportedly enthused after former FBI director James Comey released his opening statement in advance of Thursday’s televised Senate hearing. “Comey delivers dramatic rebuke of Trump,” read the post-testimony headline in The Hill. What if both sides...

  • James Comey: About 'that thing' I had with Trump

    James Comey: About 'that thing' I had with Trump

    Thank you so much, honorable men and women of the Senate Intelligence Committee for allowing me to recount every single detail of my conversations with President Trump, or “Big D,” as he insisted on being called in private. You may have already read my statement. Let me just add: I still have no...

  • Trump is killing Obamacare without actually pulling the trigger

    Trump is killing Obamacare without actually pulling the trigger

    Health insurance giant Anthem Inc. didn’t cite President Trump when it announced Tuesday that it was withdrawing from the Obamacare marketplace in Ohio, leaving the marketplace with no insurer in at least 18 counties. But Anthem pointed the finger right at him — and at the Republicans in Congress...

  • A risk worth taking to cut CalPERS' pension liabilities

    A risk worth taking to cut CalPERS' pension liabilities

    One of the major challenges facing the California Public Employees Retirement System, which handles retirement benefits for the state and more than 3,000 local agencies, is that its $324-billion pension fund is about 35% short of the amount needed to cover current and future pension obligations...

  • Did Gorsuch subtweet Trump on the role of the courts?

    Did Gorsuch subtweet Trump on the role of the courts?

    Not content with politicizing a terrorist attack against one of America’s closest allies, the tweeter-in-chief is now making life difficult for the lawyers who may have to defend his revised executive order on immigration before the Supreme Court. At 6:29 a.m. Monday, President Trump tweeted:...

  • After the London attacks, we hear the same old stale arguments

    After the London attacks, we hear the same old stale arguments

    The saddest part about the recent terrorist attacks in the U.K. — aside from the actual horror for the victims and their families, of course — was that there was so little new to say about it. But that didn’t stop anyone. Everyone backed into their usual rhetorical corners, filling in the blanks...

  • When California and the UC system fight, the state's kids and its economy lose

    When California and the UC system fight, the state's kids and its economy lose

    Sacramento and the University of California should learn to get along. Gov. Jerry Brown is withholding $50 million from UC in his budget proposal. State Sen. Ed Hernandez (D-Azusa) wants to amend the California Constitution so the Legislature controls funding for the UC Office of the President...

  • Another terror attack, another thoughtless Trump tweetstorm

    Another terror attack, another thoughtless Trump tweetstorm

    After Saturday night’s terrorist attack in London, President Trump tweeted: “Whatever the United States can do to help in London and the U. K., we will be there - WE ARE WITH YOU. GOD BLESS!” Unfortunately, that admirable expression of solidarity wasn’t his first or last Twitter comment on the...

  • Employers don't pay for contraceptive care Trump wants to take away — you do

    Employers don't pay for contraceptive care Trump wants to take away — you do

    Employers who don’t want their health insurance plans to cover contraceptives for women are kidding themselves about who’s actually paying for the policies. Short version: It’s not them; it’s their workers. Nevertheless, the Trump administration is readying a proposal to let employers opt out of...

  • Trump, like Teddy Roosevelt, wants to be the bride at every wedding

    Trump, like Teddy Roosevelt, wants to be the bride at every wedding

    Among the many disappointing aspects of President Trump’s decision to withdraw the U.S. from the international Paris climate agreement is that he made the call based not on science or even believable statistics about jobs and the economy, but on politics and his personal hunger to be the center...

  • The Paris agreement got the logic of climate action all wrong. Good riddance

    The Paris agreement got the logic of climate action all wrong. Good riddance

    The Paris accord’s fate was sealed a year prior to its negotiation, at the little-noticed Lima climate conference of 2014. There, diplomats abandoned their decades-long pursuit of a binding agreement that would commit the world to substantial reductions in greenhouse-gas emissions. A new process...

  • L.A.'s trade-off: Lower DWP bills and less money for city services

    L.A.'s trade-off: Lower DWP bills and less money for city services

    Los Angeles Department of Water and Power ratepayers could soon see their electricity bills trimmed under a proposed settlement that would limit the payment the DWP is required to make to the city each year. But don’t celebrate just yet — this may be a case where the winners and the losers are...

  • Stop starving California's recycling program

    Stop starving California's recycling program

    By one important measure, California’s 30-year-old Beverage Container Recycling program has been a big success. Up until last year, more than 80% of qualifying plastic bottles, glass containers and aluminum cans were returned to recycling centers each year. Billions of bottles and cans that might...

  • Odds are still against a Labor Party victory in the U.K.

    Odds are still against a Labor Party victory in the U.K.

    When Britain’s Conservative Prime Minister, Theresa May, called a snap general election on April 18, surprise was complete. This was precisely what she had promised she would not do. But shock soon dissipated. On all available evidence, the prime minister’s volte face made sense. Her party was...

  • Even as they condemn Trump, California legislators fail the environment by killing polystyrene ban

    Even as they condemn Trump, California legislators fail the environment by killing polystyrene ban

    President Trump had barely finished his announcement that he would be pulling the U.S. out of the Paris climate accord Thursday afternoon when California’s Democratic lawmakers began tweeting, emailing and posting outraged retorts. Their overall message: California’s leaders care about protecting...

  • We're working on the homeless problem, but don't expect instant results

    We're working on the homeless problem, but don't expect instant results

    No one in Los Angeles was surprised to hear on Wednesday that the homeless population had ballooned yet again. Everywhere one looks one sees people sleeping on sidewalks, in tents and recreational vehicles. The homeless are now a part of our urban and suburban landscape. But there’s no reason to...

  • A single deportation ruling spotlights the conflict between the legal and the just

    A single deportation ruling spotlights the conflict between the legal and the just

    A decision this week by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in an emotionally charged immigration case is a poignant reminder that making the correct legal call is not necessarily making a just call. The case centers on the government’s efforts to deport back to Mexico a man named Andres Magana Ortiz,...

  • L.A.'s new homeless numbers are grim. Why?

    L.A.'s new homeless numbers are grim. Why?

    Homelessness is everywhere, and if you thought this fog of misery was beginning to lift, think again. In fact, the new numbers are grim. The number of homeless people has risen a startling 20% in the city of Los Angeles and 23% in the county, according to the results of the 2017 countywide street...

  • If Trump withdraws from the Paris agreement, let's hope the world survives

    If Trump withdraws from the Paris agreement, let's hope the world survives

    This is one campaign promise that President Trump should have let slide. According to news reports, Trump is on the verge of announcing that yes, he will withdraw the United States from the 2015 Paris climate agreement among nearly 200 nations. If that comes to pass, the move will just make it...

  • Banning in-person jail visits is foolish and needlessly cruel

    Banning in-person jail visits is foolish and needlessly cruel

    As a movement has taken hold to get California’s jails and prisons to operate more efficiently while releasing inmates who are better able to successfully reenter society, there have been occasional steps in the opposite direction. One of the most destructive has been a trend to ban in-person visits...

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