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  • How to make sexually misbehaving politicians pay

    How to make sexually misbehaving politicians pay

    If a lawmaker is accused of sexual harassment, why should the taxpayers be the ones who end up paying to settle the case? Wouldn’t it make more sense for the official himself — the individual accused of the wrongdoing — to pay? Wouldn’t that be more likely to discourage harassment by public officials...

  • Trump is keeping his promise to destabilize the international order

    Trump is keeping his promise to destabilize the international order

    A pattern is emerging in President Trump’s foreign policy: Time after time, he’s doing what he promised to do. Last week, Trump announced that the United States is formally recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and moving its embassy there, even though some of his aides warned that the move...

  • Journalists are at war with their critics — and they're losing badly

    Journalists are at war with their critics — and they're losing badly

    Long before we knew who’d won Tuesday’s special election in Alabama, we knew who had lost: the media. At least, that is, according to conservative media critics. “Roy Moore Proves Media Only Destroys Itself in Elections” ran a headline Monday in The American Spectator. “The late Charles Manson...

  • Will tax reform be the GOP's Obamacare?

    Will tax reform be the GOP's Obamacare?

    Will the tax reform effort be the GOP’s version of Obamacare? I don’t know, and neither does anyone else. We have little idea what the final legislation will look like and, even if we did, it’s hard to predict its overall effect. But there are some similarities already, starting with the ugliness...

  • Nikki Haley goes rogue on President Trump

    Nikki Haley goes rogue on President Trump

    Nikki Haley, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations and one of the highest-ranking women in the Trump administration, became the latest of the president’s men (and women) to veer off script and speak, well, candidly. Haley told an interviewer on CBS’ “Face the Nation” broadcast Sunday that the...

  • The evangelical slippery slope, from Ronald Reagan to Roy Moore

    The evangelical slippery slope, from Ronald Reagan to Roy Moore

    When I was growing up in the evangelical subculture in the 1960s and 1970s, I heard a lot of warnings about slippery slopes, especially relating to the Bible. If you dared to interpret the many-headed beasts or the vials of judgment in the Book of Revelation as allegory, then pretty soon you’d...

  • Fixing America's food deserts alone won't fix our terrible diets

    Fixing America's food deserts alone won't fix our terrible diets

    You are what you eat. It’s an expression with roots in the early 1800s that has come to mean if you consume what’s good for you, you will be healthy, and if you don’t, well, watch out. But our latest research on what influences consumers to make unhealthy food choices has compelled us to turn that...

  • Trump’s EPA wants to ignore science and put more dirty trucks back on the road

    Trump’s EPA wants to ignore science and put more dirty trucks back on the road

    Diesel exhaust fumes are the most foul tailpipe emissions on the road, as anyone stuck in traffic behind an aging bus or 18-wheeler can attest. But researchers have gathered overwhelming evidence that the fumes are more than just unpleasant; diesel emissions contribute to asthma, heart disease,...

  • Trump delivers a death blow to the two-state solution

    Trump delivers a death blow to the two-state solution

    President Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel represents a major break with decades of U.S. foreign policy. It is a final, devastating blow to the prospect of a two-state solution for Israel’s conflict with the Palestinians. The move involves, first, a contemptuous...

  • Trump's weaponized whataboutism

    Trump's weaponized whataboutism

    President Trump thinks lots of people should be investigated for wrongdoing. Just not him. Hillary Clinton above all. More than a year after she lost the presidential election, she’s still Trump’s favorite target — a rhetorical security blanket he returns to, over and over. “Everybody is asking...

  • A baker can't discriminate in the name of free speech or religion

    A baker can't discriminate in the name of free speech or religion

    The Supreme Court on Tuesday heard arguments in an important case in which a Christian baker is arguing that he has a constitutional right to refuse to bake a wedding cake for a same-sex couple. Nothing emerged in the arguments to shake our view that the court would be embarking on a dangerous...

  • No matter how they dress it up, the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act is really bad policy

    No matter how they dress it up, the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act is really bad policy

    As soon as Friday, the House of Representatives is expected to take up a spectacularly stupid and dangerous piece of legislation intended to undercut the right of states to determine what qualifications a person must meet before being allowed to carry a concealed firearm. That the measure has now...

  • Trump's Jerusalem ploy could ruin the 'ultimate deal'

    Trump's Jerusalem ploy could ruin the 'ultimate deal'

    President Trump gushed after his election about bringing Israelis and Palestinians together in the “ultimate deal.” Yet now he seems poised to announce a change in U.S. policy that is likely to make such an agreement even more elusive: formally recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Such...

  • If you back Trump for his tax plan, you have to own his racism, misogyny and amorality too

    If you back Trump for his tax plan, you have to own his racism, misogyny and amorality too

    With the passage by the House and Senate of bills cutting corporate taxes, Donald Trump’s supporters finally have a substantive achievement to cheer besides the appointment of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court. Never mind that this legislation will add at least $1 trillion to the national debt...

  • Trump eviscerates two national monuments in the name of political back-scratching

    Trump eviscerates two national monuments in the name of political back-scratching

    More than two decades ago, President Clinton tried to end a long-running political battle over the future of 1.9 million acres of federal land in southern Utah by creating the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. Last year, President Obama took a similar step and created the nearly 1.4-million-acre...

  • Dianne Feinstein: The fight against the GOP's unfair tax plans isn't over yet

    Dianne Feinstein: The fight against the GOP's unfair tax plans isn't over yet

    Tax reform shouldn’t add one penny to our deficit or to the tax bills of middle-class Americans. I thought that belief was shared by everyone in the Senate. It appears I was wrong. Behind closed doors, Republicans drafted a bill that raises taxes on millions in the middle class and adds at least...

  • The best thing Trump could do for Israel is grow up

    The best thing Trump could do for Israel is grow up

    If foreign policy were composed solely of bumper stickers and hashtags, President Trump would be Israel’s greatest ally. Like any good sound-bite specialist, he says all the right things when it comes to the safety and security of Israel. But international diplomacy requires more than vivid slogans;...

  • The 'gay wedding cake' case isn't about religious freedom or free speech

    The 'gay wedding cake' case isn't about religious freedom or free speech

    This week, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear the case of David Mullins and Charlie Craig, a couple turned away by Masterpiece Cakeshop in Lakewood, Colo., when they tried to buy a wedding cake. The two weren’t turned away because they couldn’t afford the cake. They weren’t turned away because they...

  • Living in an RV isn't ideal, but a crackdown is cruel

    Living in an RV isn't ideal, but a crackdown is cruel

    Here in the nation’s least affordable rental market, the poor often have to come up with creative ways to keep a roof over their heads. One of those ways is to live in a motor home or RV. During the last homeless count, volunteers counted 2,363 campers in the city of Los Angeles that had been turned...

  • GOP tax promises, broken

    GOP tax promises, broken

    As the Senate’s tax cut bill careened toward passage last week, it should have reminded its Republican authors of all the malpractice they complained about when Democrats were in charge: A big, complex bill unveiled at the last minute. Hasty committee hearings that left important details unwritten....

  • The Trump administration is dreaming of a very, very, very white Christmas

    The Trump administration is dreaming of a very, very, very white Christmas

    Season's greetings from the Trump administration and its fondest friends.

  • The Kate Steinle verdict will please few, and be manipulated by many

    The Kate Steinle verdict will please few, and be manipulated by many

    The acquittal of Jose Ines Garcia Zarate in a San Francisco courtroom on Thursday will bring joy to few and pain to many. That’s the trouble with the rule of law: It doesn’t always offer comfort or satisfaction. When dispensed properly, justice is an utterly dispassionate force. On a summer evening...

  • Editorial Board: The GOP's big tax win is a loss for the rest of us

    Editorial Board: The GOP's big tax win is a loss for the rest of us

    Congressional Republicans finally appear poised for a signal legislative achievement after months of near-misses and face-plants caused by intraparty squabbling. Now that the Senate has joined the House in passing versions of a bill to cut taxes — with the support of virtually all Republicans and...

  • Closing the book on the UC audit

    Closing the book on the UC audit

    After an audit of the University of California system in April suggested that UC President Janet Napolitano maintained a $175 million slush fund, a whistleblower accused the president’s office of meddling in the audit. Separate investigations by the state Auditor’s office and the UC Board of Regents...

  • Could this be the beginning of the end of the Trump administration?

    Could this be the beginning of the end of the Trump administration?

    Despite suggestions by the White House that it’s no big deal, the guilty plea by former national security advisor Michael Flynn to a charge of lying to the FBI about his conversations with a Russian diplomat is an ominous and dramatic development in special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s critically...

  • Put the brakes on all these tax breaks

    Put the brakes on all these tax breaks

    When Los Angeles leaders gave a $270-million tax break to the developer of a 1,000-room luxury hotel at L.A. Live more than a decade ago, they argued that the incentive was vital to help the struggling convention center and to catalyze redevelopment in South Park. Now, downtown Los Angeles is booming...

  • Oh dear, California will decide who controls the House of Representatives

    Oh dear, California will decide who controls the House of Representatives

    On Election Day next November, the nation will be watching California to see whether the Democrats can retake the House of Representatives. Nearly one-third of the congressional districts represented by Republicans that Hillary Clinton carried in 2016 are in the Golden State, and if the Democrats...

  • John Conyers must step aside — at least for now

    John Conyers must step aside — at least for now

    It’s time for Rep. John Conyers Jr. (D-Mich.) to step aside — at least until the House Ethics Committee concludes its investigation into allegations that he sexually harassed and verbally abused a number of subordinates. The multiple women who’ve come forward with similar accusations suggest a...

  • How men at New Folsom Prison reckon with toxic masculinity

    How men at New Folsom Prison reckon with toxic masculinity

    There have been an overwhelming number of news stories of late focused on the behavior of men, from boorish and crass to criminal. Not coincidentally, the wave of sexual-harassment and assault charges has crested a year after we elected president an individual who, in his own words, takes pleasure...

  • The shot hole borer beetle could kill 38% of all trees in the L.A. region

    The shot hole borer beetle could kill 38% of all trees in the L.A. region

    Pick a tree at random anywhere in Southern California and examine it closely. Chances are good that you will find small wet stains on its trunk. Those wet stains are most likely signs of a fatal tree disease that is spreading throughout the region at an alarming rate, and which has the potential...

  • It shouldn't take an impending exposé to topple the Matt Lauers of corporate America

    It shouldn't take an impending exposé to topple the Matt Lauers of corporate America

    NBC’s sudden dismissal of “Today Show” host Matt Lauer following allegations of inappropriate sexual behavior, coming a week after the termination of Charlie Rose of “CBS This Morning” after sexual harassment allegations, upends the anchor desks at two of the three major broadcast network morning...

  • The real meaning behind high loan default rates among black students — another kind of college mismatch

    The real meaning behind high loan default rates among black students — another kind of college mismatch

    As high school seniors head into the holiday season — also known less festively as college application time — they need to devote as much effort to calculating the debt they’ll take on as they do perfecting their admission essays. The data show that a lot of kids don’t know what they are getting...

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