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  • How much is too much for a traffic ticket? And who should get the revenue?

    How much is too much for a traffic ticket? And who should get the revenue?

    If a mother earning minimum wage puts her kids in the family car, has her eyes on the road when her disobedient 14-year-old slips off his annoying shoulder belt and gets pulled over, what’s an appropriate punishment? The Golden State's answer: The minimum fine for not properly restraining a child...

  • All that we'll never know about Manchester bomber Salman Ramadan Abedi

    All that we'll never know about Manchester bomber Salman Ramadan Abedi

    The most natural questions to ask about the Manchester terrorist attack are also the most intractable: Who was the perpetrator, and what caused him to carry it out? His name, revealed on Tuesday, is known to us: Salman Ramadan Abedi. He was a British-born 22-year-old of Libyan descent from Manchester,...

  • Pull the plug on the 710 tunnel

    Pull the plug on the 710 tunnel

    There have been many death knells for the 710 Freeway extension to Pasadena over the decades. The proposal to “close the gap” — by building the final 4.5-mile stretch to connect the 710 to Interstate 210 — has been part of a state master plan since the 1950s, but has been stymied repeatedly by...

  • The Supreme Court strikes a blow against gerrymanders, but not a knockout punch

    The Supreme Court strikes a blow against gerrymanders, but not a knockout punch

    On Monday, the Supreme Court agreed with a lower court that North Carolina legislators had improperly taken race into account when they redrew the lines of two congressional districts in a way that made it easier for Republican candidates to prevail in other districts in the state. The ruling is...

  • I put a spell on you, Mr. President

    I put a spell on you, Mr. President

    I cast a spell on the president. I was not alone. Thousands of witches, believers and people like me all over the world performed “A Spell to Bind Donald Trump and All Those Who Abet Him” under the waning crescent moon last month. It was not meant to physically hurt him, only to keep him from succeeding...

  • The Middle East welcomes Not President Obama

    The Middle East welcomes Not President Obama

    “We just got back from the Middle East,” President Trump said to the president of Israel after his flight from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, to Tel Aviv, a city in another Middle Eastern country. As Trumpisms go, this one is easy to forgive, particularly given how exhausted the president must be after...

  • Citizen Trump was right about the Saudis; President Trump, not so much

    Citizen Trump was right about the Saudis; President Trump, not so much

    “It's the world's biggest funder of terrorism. Saudi Arabia funnels our petrodollars, our very own money, to fund the terrorists that seek to destroy our people.” So said Donald Trump, private citizen. But then President Trump made Saudi Arabia his very first foreign destination. Trump rode in...

  • Dear LAPD: You are not exempt from the Public Records Act

    Dear LAPD: You are not exempt from the Public Records Act

    No other city agency has a greater impact on lives and communities in Los Angeles than the LAPD. For this reason, access to no other agency’s public records is as important. Consider the San Pedro mother who wants to understand why her son is in a county jail, the Van Nuys community group concerned...

  • Trump's new global gag rule will devastate healthcare in poor countries

    Trump's new global gag rule will devastate healthcare in poor countries

    It is not surprising but it is deeply depressing that the Trump administration is reviving the “global gag rule” — so called because it bans U.S. financial assistance to non-governmental healthcare organizations in foreign countries if they provide abortions or even utter the word to their patients...

  • The forces that shut down Ringling Bros. want to end a lot more than animal abuse

    The forces that shut down Ringling Bros. want to end a lot more than animal abuse

    The “Greatest Show on Earth” — the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus — closed for good Sunday night in New York, ending a 146-year run. I was lucky enough to see one of its last performances, in early April. They say that success has many fathers and failure is an orphan — but in the case...

  • Does a woman's right to choose apply to breastfeeding?

    Does a woman's right to choose apply to breastfeeding?

    The moment my son was born, he was placed on my chest and covered with a blanket. I saw people bustling at my periphery, but I remember only stillness as I tried to process that the baby squirming on top of me was not a foreign object. Fifty-five minutes passed before my husband, who had taken...

  • Should we wish for a President Pence?

    Should we wish for a President Pence?

    President Mike Pence? The question is way ahead of where we are. There’s no solid reason to expect that President Trump will leave office before his term is done, whether by resignation, impeachment or the untried mechanism of the 25th amendment. But that hasn’t stopped anyone from talking about...

  • The ludicrous plan to pump Mojave water to L.A.

    The ludicrous plan to pump Mojave water to L.A.

    In 1992, prospectors in Los Angeles hatched an idea for a new water supply that was improbable and speculative, even by Southern California standards. Far off in the Mojave Desert, beneath the flat dry lake bed of the Cadiz Valley, millennia’s worth of groundwater could be pumped and piped 43 miles...

  • Gil Cedillo's close call is an object lesson for City Hall: Angelenos are tired of business as usual

    Gil Cedillo's close call is an object lesson for City Hall: Angelenos are tired of business as usual

    Would Los Angeles City Councilman Gil Cedillo have won his reelection bid Tuesday if his challenger, bike advocate Joe Bray-Ali, hadn’t flamed out in the final weeks of the campaign? No one knows for sure, but the outcome probably wouldn’t have changed; it’s tough for any challenger to overcome...

  • The hefty price of Trump's school-choice fantasy

    The hefty price of Trump's school-choice fantasy

    Politicians like to say that the federal government should keep its hands off schools — until they want to interfere. Take President Trump, for example. On the campaign trail he vowed to end the tight federal control of schools that characterized the Obama administration. No more using federal...

  • To save the republic, take away Trump's Twitter account

    To save the republic, take away Trump's Twitter account

    I follow the president. This means that I receive his tweets when he tweets them. Which is all the time. It’s a lot of stuff, may I say? He tweets as two people, first of all: Donald J. Trump and President Trump. Donald T. tweets more than President T., but often they tweet the same thing. Both...

  • An extraordinary power shift toward charters on the Los Angeles school board

    An extraordinary power shift toward charters on the Los Angeles school board

    The extraordinary just happened: A well-liked and dedicated incumbent on the Los Angeles school board — the president of the board, no less — was ousted from his spot in Tuesday’s election, and by a large margin. Or maybe it wasn’t so extraordinary. Millions of dollars were spent to keep Steve...

  • Stop using the term 'populist' for right-wing demagogues

    Stop using the term 'populist' for right-wing demagogues

    Horseshoe theory, or the idea that the far right and far left meet at the extreme ends of the political spectrum, is more in vogue than ever as pundits warn against the “populism” animating the alt-right and its close cousin, the dreaded alt-left. Tossed around in this way, the term “populism”...

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