The Los Angeles Times endorsements in the March 3 election
Opinion L.A.
Observations and provocations from The Times' Opinion Staff
L.A. school board expanding role beyond education into 'social justice'

First it was providing free legal help to undocumented students. Then it was a resolution chiding a Central Valley fruit grower for alleged unfair labor practices. The Los Angeles Unified school board is on a new “social justice” tack these days of getting involved in matters that don’t fall within the purview of educating students well. And the public can expect to see a lot more of it.

At least this is one issue that isn’t defined by the old reform-versus-union alliances. Tamar Galatzan was the only board member to vote against the legal help, and she abstained on the farm issue, while her usual reform ally Monica Garcia voted for both. George McKenna raised questions about the legal help, pointing out that there are all kinds of students with all kinds of legal needs, so why was the district helping only those with a certain type of issue? He eventually went along with it, though.

The Times editorial board came out against the legal plan, which allows district lawyers to offer, on a...

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After this tantrum, House Republicans need a timeout

I’m trying to understand the logic here.

Conservative congressional Republicans who have refused to work on comprehensive immigration reform are upset because President Obama invoked prosecutorial discretion and prioritized which immigrants here illegally should be targeted for removal. Obama also set up a system under which parents of American citizens or legal permanent residents, and an expanded pool of people brought here as children, would be able to live without immediate fear of deportation, and in some cases get permission to work (now on hold pending a legal challenge).

Immigration and border security are overseen by divisions of the Department of Homeland Security, notably Customs and Border Protection and Citizenship and Immigration Services, as well as Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Instead of addressing the root problem -- inadequate immigration laws -- the House conservatives decided that they would not fund Homeland Security unless they were also allowed to gut...

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Poll: What's in a dress color?
What the new net neutrality rules really mean for ISPs

Critics of the Federal Communications Commission's new net neutrality rules contend that they put the government in control of online content while burying Internet service providers under an avalanche of regulations that kill investment, raise prices and slow connection speeds.

"To paraphrase Ronald Reagan," said Commissioner Ajit Pai, who voted against the rules, "President Obama’s plan to regulate the Internet isn’t the solution to a problem. His plan is the problem."

Pai, one of two Republicans on the five-member commission, could just as accurately have called it "John Oliver's plan," given that Oliver helped pump up the demand from Internet users that the FCC take a tougher approach than Chairman Tom Wheeler initially proposed. But never mind his partisan framing, which is of a piece with Sen. Ted Cruz's "Obamacare for the Internet" formulation. Implicit in Pai's criticism is the notion that the FCC is trying to govern the Internet as a whole, and that's a more damaging bit of...

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The FCC has acted on net neutrality. Now it's Congress' turn

For a decade, Congress twiddled its collective thumbs while the Federal Communications Commission took an increasingly rigorous approach to protecting net neutrality.

Now, perhaps, lawmakers will actually do something to preserve the free and open nature of the Internet.

On Thursday, the FCC slapped its toughest rules yet on broadband Internet service providers, reclassifying them as telecommunications utilities and barring them from interfering with the data flowing to and from their customers. The one-two punch of reclassification and prohibition came a little more than a year after a federal appeals court threw out the commission's previous rules, which sought to place a similar ban on ISPs without reclassifying them as utilities.

There's broad agreement that the status quo online, in which ISPs don't prioritize data packets based on their source, should be preserved. The fight is over how to do that.

The most elegant way would be to have Congress amend federal communications law to...

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Calling enemies "Islamic" won't win the war

My column last Sunday, which argued that President Obama has good reasons for avoiding the word “Islamic” when he talks about the conflict in Iraq and Syria, provoked a torrent of responses from readers -- most of them negative.

Some argued that the world’s Muslims really are at war with the West, and that Obama is wrong when he argues that the extremists of Islamic State are “people who perverted Islam.” But there are more than 1.5 billion Muslims in the world, and only about 30,000 -- roughly two one-thousandths of 1% -- have joined Islamic State. The vast majority of Muslims aren’t at war with us; it seems foolish to insist that they ought to be.

Others charged that Obama is confused. “He is the only man on the planet who does not believe it is Islamic terrorists who are our enemy,” complained Robert Segal of Burke, Va. But Obama did call them “terrorists,” and he did note that they “draw selectively from the Islamic texts.” That doesn’t sound confused to me.

Still others took...

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