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  • Don't suppress the vote, but keep track of voters

    Don't suppress the vote, but keep track of voters

    Reversing the position it took during the Obama administration, the U.S. Department of Justice under President Trump last week asked the Supreme Court to uphold a procedure the state of Ohio wants to use to purge some voters from its election rolls — a practice that disproportionately disenfranchises...

  • Trump’s first response to Charlottesville was tepid and mealy mouthed. His second was too late

    Trump’s first response to Charlottesville was tepid and mealy mouthed. His second was too late

    It took him long enough — in fact, too long. Two days after a protest in Charlottesville, Va., dissolved into violence, President Trump — who initially seemed to see no difference between the racists and Nazis who had called the march and the counterdemonstrators opposing them — finally denounced...

  • City Council's effort to penalize border-wall contractors is as silly as the wall itself

    City Council's effort to penalize border-wall contractors is as silly as the wall itself

    It’s funny how sometimes a really stupid idea can give rise to other stupid ideas. Donald J. Trump won the presidency in part on promises to build “a big, beautiful wall” the entire length of the nearly 2,000-mile border with Mexico. He has since wobbled on that — maybe it doesn’t have to cover...

  • Why a petulant, erratic Trump may succeed with North Korea

    Why a petulant, erratic Trump may succeed with North Korea

    Donald Trump is a narcissistic, short-tempered, uninformed, unpredictable bully. In almost every context, this combination of traits is exactly what you would not want in a president of the United States. But one exception might be in dealing with Kim Jong Un and North Korea. As I tell students...

  • The best ism to explain our time: Surrealism, which turns 100 this year

    The best ism to explain our time: Surrealism, which turns 100 this year

    Surrealism is celebrating its 100th birthday this year. The poet Guillaume Apollinaire coined the term to describe his play “Les Mamelles de Tiresias” (The Teats of Tiresias), which opened in a small Parisian theater in 1917. Beginning with an actress removing her breasts and ending early with...

  • The Trump administration's alternative Christianity

    The Trump administration's alternative Christianity

    Evangelicals have never had it so good, politically speaking. Since President Trump took office in January, the White House has become a Christian roundtable, with just about every top-tier seat filled by a faithful member of the fold or someone who is happy to further the fold’s agenda. The lineup...

  • Trump's even more mixed message on North Korea

    Trump's even more mixed message on North Korea

    President Trump had the opportunity Thursday to clarify his startling statement earlier in the week that North Korea will face “fire and fury like the world has never seen” if it continues to threaten the United States. But instead of resolving the confusion over his administration’s intentions...

  • Forget the shelter in Antelope Valley; concentrate on real housing for homeless people

    Forget the shelter in Antelope Valley; concentrate on real housing for homeless people

    It was alarming to see the Lancaster Community Shelter, the only source of nightly housing for homeless people in the Antelope Valley, close on Monday. In this high-desert area where temperatures soar on summer days and plummet on winter nights, the 104-bed shelter often had to turn away at least...

  • An intruder, a handgun, and what happened next

    An intruder, a handgun, and what happened next

    One morning last December, while working at my desk at home, I saw an intruder peering into my house, trying windows and doors. I didn't know his intentions, or whether he was armed, but he seemed intent on breaking in. My first instinct was to grab a loaded handgun and brace myself for a confrontation....

  • The right way and the wrong way on law enforcement drones

    The right way and the wrong way on law enforcement drones

    The Los Angeles Police Department’s slow and careful process for developing a policy on how it will deploy drones is imperfect, but Chief Charlie Beck and his department are approaching the question in the proper spirit, taking public input and considering the many very serious concerns about drones...

  • Trump's apocalyptic insecurity

    Trump's apocalyptic insecurity

    If America continues running a $60-billion annual trade deficit with Mexico, President Trump complained to his south-of-the-border counterpart in a conversation leaked to the Washington Post last week, “We will not be the United States anymore.” As an evidentiary matter, Trump’s forecast was bonkers,...

  • Six reasons to worry about the 2028 Olympics

    Six reasons to worry about the 2028 Olympics

    Mayor Eric Garcetti and the L.A. 2028 Olympic bid committee are in a tremendous hurry to pass the new Host City Contract that they negotiated privately with the International Olympic Committee last month through the City Council. They’ve hosted zero public community gatherings to specifically discuss...

  • Does state funding for Medi-Cal discriminate against the Latinos it serves?

    Does state funding for Medi-Cal discriminate against the Latinos it serves?

    Only about half of the non-emergency care doctors in California are willing to treat patients who are on Medi-Cal — the state’s version of Medicaid, the joint federal-state health insurance program for the poor and disabled — because the state pays them too little for their services. Yet the federal...

  • 72 years after the bombing of Nagasaki, there are 15,000 nuclear weapons in the world

    72 years after the bombing of Nagasaki, there are 15,000 nuclear weapons in the world

    Today is the 72nd anniversary of the atomic bombing of Nagasaki. At 11:02 a.m. Aug. 9, 1945, a five-ton plutonium bomb exploded a third of a mile above the city. Its blast winds tore through the city at two and a half times the speed of a Category 5 hurricane. Two-year-old Masao Tomonaga was asleep...

  • Who are you calling a 'warmonger'?

    Who are you calling a 'warmonger'?

    Do you believe that economic sanctions are necessary to prevent the Iranian government from obtaining nuclear weapons? That small, Eastern European democracies living in the shadow of an aggressive Russia ought have the choice to join a defensive military alliance? That democracy promotion and...

  • If we are serious about housing homeless people, let's get this Eastside project up

    If we are serious about housing homeless people, let's get this Eastside project up

    On Tuesday, a Los Angeles City Council committee has an opportunity, finally, to give the go-ahead to a smart, well-conceived, affordable housing development in Boyle Heights. The development sits on a vacant one-acre lot on the corner of East 1st and Lorena streets. On one side is the venerable...

  • Dirty recall campaign soils state's political watchdog

    Dirty recall campaign soils state's political watchdog

    Politics can be a dirty business, and the campaign by Republicans to unseat Fullerton Democratic state Sen. Josh Newman is about as muddy as it gets. The GOP targeted the freshman senator ostensibly because he voted for the package of taxes and fees to fund transportation projects. What’s really...

  • What makes us Californians for life

    What makes us Californians for life

    I ceased to be a New Yorker on Sept. 11, 2001. Until that point — although I had lived in Los Angeles for nearly a decade — it seemed possible to maintain the illusion that I was connected to both places: split loyalty. Then the twin towers fell while I remained safely at a distance, and my relationship...

  • The 'left bias' of Google, where 70% of employees are male, comes under attack

    The 'left bias' of Google, where 70% of employees are male, comes under attack

    Already under federal investigation for allegedly paying its female employees less than their male counterparts, Google was hit with another allegation of discrimination over the weekend. A male software engineer at the company accused it in an internal memo of having an “ideological echo chamber”...

  • The parties are broken. Will someone finally work outside the system?

    The parties are broken. Will someone finally work outside the system?

    “The Trump base is far bigger & stronger than ever before,” the president declared in a series of tweets Monday morning, and that “will never change.” Many observers were quick to point out that this assertion isn’t borne out in the polls. Such nitpicking, however, overlooks an more important part...

  • China's ready for war ― against the U.S. if necessary

    China's ready for war ― against the U.S. if necessary

    To mark the 90th birthday of the People’s Liberation Army on Aug. 1, China’s President Xi Jinping went to the Inner Mongolian steppe to the site where Genghis Khan began his conquest of Eurasia. There, at Zhurihe, he was welcomed by an impressive display of China’s martial might: a parade of Chinese...

  • Trump tries diplomacy in countering North Korea’s nuclear provocation

    Trump tries diplomacy in countering North Korea’s nuclear provocation

    North Korea’s nuclear program, which reached an ominous milestone last month with the testing of an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of reaching Los Angeles, has prompted some of the Trump administration’s worst foreign-policy moments. At times the administration seemed to signal, almost...

  • Trump is breaking the federal government's promises to Native Americans

    Trump is breaking the federal government's promises to Native Americans

    When Republicans made yet another unsuccessful attempt to take away healthcare from millions of Americans last month, Native Americans, specifically Alaska Natives, worked to ensure that Sen. Lisa Murkowski voted against the plan, sealing its defeat. They fought against the “skinny repeal” because...

  • Hard lines in court and at the border won't fix our broken immigration system

    Hard lines in court and at the border won't fix our broken immigration system

    From the earliest days of his presidential campaign, Donald Trump expressed a visceral disregard for immigrants, no matter their legal status. Mexicans were “rapists,” Muslims should be banned, and legal immigration should be reduced, he argued, with guidance to come from a new (and as yet unformed)...

  • Trump's Alice-in-Wonderland approach to the Iran deal

    Trump's Alice-in-Wonderland approach to the Iran deal

    Here’s an international crisis you can, unusually, put on your calendar ahead of time: In October, President Trump wants to declare Iran in violation of the 2015 agreement to limit its nuclear program — a decision that would allow the United States to reimpose tough economic sanctions on anyone...

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