Opinion L.A.

Opinion L.A. Observations and provocations from The Times' Opinion Staff
Trump’s transition picks are no surprise — they mirror today's GOP

The Pew Research Center released its initial findings Thursday on Americans’ views of President-elect Donald Trump’s transition. The top-line message was that Trump’s overall approval numbers are lower than his predecessors’ were during their transitions. But a deeper dig into Pew’s numbers reveal the opposite to be true within his own party.

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Alabama's cruel and unusual execution of Ronald Smith

There was a sick irony to Alabama’s seemingly unconstitutional execution Thursday night of Ronald Bert Smith.

The spotlight focused on his last-minute appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court over Alabama’s use of judicial override in capital punishment cases.

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What the latest standardized school tests really tell us

Results for the latest round of international standardized tests for high schoolers are in, and once again U.S. students find themselves in the middle of the global pack. This has provoked yet more hand-wringing about the quality of American schools and the competitiveness of future workers. But just as with the last round of tests, the news isn't as grim as some contend.

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Trump's pick of Pruitt to run the EPA spells disaster for the environment

Any hope, as quixotic as it might have been, that President-elect Donald J. Trump might be less of a threat to the environment than candidate Trump has gone up in soon-to-be unregulated smoke with his picking Oklahoma Atty. Gen. Scott Pruitt to head the Environmental Protection Agency.

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Even the secretary of the Army questions the wisdom of keeping the Selective Service

If President-elect Donald Trump is looking for useless departments to kill in the name of reducing government, he should look no further than the Selective Service, the agency that does little more than maintain a registry of men technically available to fight in the unlikely event that the country reinstates a military draft.

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I’m a Hillary-supporting black woman who became friends with a white, Trump-voting cop. Maybe there’s hope after all

Sometimes it is when we find it most difficult to live out our ideals that we rediscover them.

My local Starbucks is a frequent stop for several LAPD officers. The first dozen or so times when I drove into the parking lot and realized they were there, their white BMW motorcycles parked at a slant, I kept rolling through to the exit.

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