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426 posts
  • Trump
  • Opinion
  • Rule of Law
Caravan members rest on railroad tracks in southern Mexico as they slowly make their way north to seek asylum at the U.S. border.
Caravan members rest on railroad tracks in southern Mexico as they slowly make their way north to seek asylum at the U.S. border. (Rodrigo Abd / Associated Press)

When future historians assess the Trump administration, it would come as no surprise if they look at his diatribes about the caravan of migrants moving through Mexico as his “Wag the Dog” moment.

You may remember that movie — a scandal-marred president facing a tough reelection battle hires a fixer to create a fake war as a distraction to help his campaign, and it worked. The truth revealed within that dark comedy is that voters who don’t mind being lied to are very easy to manipulate.

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  • Opinion
  • The Golden State
The Dodgers' Enrique Hernandez sits in the dugout after the team's 5-1 loss to the Boston Red Sox in Game 5 of the World Series on Sunday.
The Dodgers' Enrique Hernandez sits in the dugout after the team's 5-1 loss to the Boston Red Sox in Game 5 of the World Series on Sunday. (Jae C. Hong / Associated Press)

There is no joy in Dodgerville, for mighty Manny has struck out. As have Cody, Chris, Justin, Joc, Max, Austin, Enrique, Yasmani, Matt and David. 

The Dodgers went down on strikes 56 times in losing the relatively short five-game World Series to the Boston Red Sox, although in fairness it was the equivalent of six games in terms of innings played. The Sox weren’t much better, striking out 53 times.

But to me, that just makes the Dodgers more of an L.A. kind of team. They played high-risk, high-reward baseball, not small-ball and certainly not Moneyball (the payroll for their active roster was the 5th highest in the majors). 

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When Republican John Cox met with the Los Angeles Times editorial board in April to make a pitch for our endorsement in the gubernatorial primary race, he was curiously cagey when thrown softball questions about policymakers and political figures he admired or who helped shape his political philosophy. He said he wasn’t ready to name any names.

  • Opinion
  • We're All Doomed
At east eight people were killed Saturday at a Pittsburgh synagogue.
At east eight people were killed Saturday at a Pittsburgh synagogue. (Pam Panchak / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

It will take some time before we get a full understanding of what transpired in Pittsburgh on Saturday morning, but by afternoon the alleged gunman was identified as a vocal anti-Semite who reportedly shouted, “All Jews must die!” We don’t need an awful lot more to understand what happened.

Another hate crime.

  • Trump
  • Opinion
  • Rule of Law
President Trump seeks to manufacture a crisis out of the migrant caravan in Mexico to rally the anti-immigrants among his base.
President Trump seeks to manufacture a crisis out of the migrant caravan in Mexico to rally the anti-immigrants among his base. (Saul Loeb / AFP/Getty Images)

I wonder if President Trump ever looks in the mirror and sees himself morphing into President Obama.

Naw, probably not. But word that Trump, who excoriated Obama for governing via executive orders when he took such steps as creating the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program after failing to get congressional cooperation, is again contemplating using the same mechanism.

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Julie Swetnick is one of multiple women who has accused Brett Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct.
Julie Swetnick is one of multiple women who has accused Brett Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct. (Associated Press)

Some people, like our president, wonder why women don’t come forward to report sexual harassment and assault if it’s “really as bad as they say.”

Here’s why: Because, as Christine Blasey Ford’s experience illustrates, there’s just no upside. Not only do you have to relive one of perhaps the worst moments of your life, and in public, but there’s also a good possibility you’ll be told you are mistaken, crazy or conniving.

Ford knew her decision to come forward and recount her experience with a young Brett Kavanaugh would change her life — and not in a good way. And that’s exactly what happened — and continues to happen. She and her family continued to get death threats while Kavanaugh was awarded a seat on the high court.

  • Opinion
  • The Golden State
  • Election 2018
A Proposition 6 supporter and opponent cross paths on Rosemead Boulevard in Pasadena.
A Proposition 6 supporter and opponent cross paths on Rosemead Boulevard in Pasadena. (Los Angeles Times)

The campaign to pass Proposition 6, which would repeal last year’s gas tax increase, has been filled with gross exaggerations and misleading claims.

One of the worst is the assertion that the state is maliciously misspending fuel tax and vehicle fee revenue on — gasp! — public transit.

Proposition 6 campaign chairman Carl DeMaio has complained that lawmakers have “diverted” fuel taxes to pay for transit. DeMaio argues that gas tax revenues should be spent solely on roads.

  • Trump
  • Opinion
The federal website for Obamacare signups, HealthCare.gov, is photographed in Washington on Dec. 15, 2017.
The federal website for Obamacare signups, HealthCare.gov, is photographed in Washington on Dec. 15, 2017. (AP Photo/Jon Elswick)

A day after announcing a rule change designed to undermine Obamacare and its protections for people with preexisting conditions, the Trump administration unveiled a proposal that just may strengthen Obamacare. 

Wait, what?

Reversing a position taken by the Obama administration, the departments of Labor, Treasury and Health and Human Services proposed Tuesday to allow employers to give workers cash, tax-free, for healthcare insurance and expenses in lieu of providing a group insurance plan. Workers would have to combine their Health Reimbursement Accounts, however, with an insurance plan that complied with the requirements of the Affordable Care Act (with one important exception that I’ll explain in an update below).

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  • Opinion
  • We're All Doomed
Megyn Kelly speaks at the Fortune Most Powerful Women Summit at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Laguna Niguel on Oct. 2.
Megyn Kelly speaks at the Fortune Most Powerful Women Summit at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Laguna Niguel on Oct. 2. (Phillip Faraone / Getty Images)

Halloween is always getting people in trouble. There’s just something about feeling liberated to dress in costume that makes people stupid. (I hate to bring this up, but remember how now-beloved Prince Harry turned up as a Nazi at a costume party years ago?)

On Tuesday, Megyn Kelly, host of the third hour of the “Today” show on NBC, embraced blackface as a Halloween costume choice. No, she didn’t don it. (Thank God.)  But she and her fellow chatters were grumbling about all the costumes deemed politically incorrect when she suddenly dropped this: “What is racist? You truly do get in trouble if you are a white person who puts on blackface at Halloween or a black person who puts on whiteface for Halloween. When I was a kid, that was OK as long as you were dressing up as, like, a character.”

Seriously? Whom did she dress up as when she was a kid? Al Jolson?

  • Trump
  • Opinion
  • Election 2018
Attendees spell out 'vote early' at a rally for Democratic candidates Monday at the University of South Florida in Tampa.
Attendees spell out 'vote early' at a rally for Democratic candidates Monday at the University of South Florida in Tampa. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

There are two consistent messages in recent national polls about the coming midterm election. One, as seen in the latest results from USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times, is that significantly more Americans plan to vote for Democrats than Republicans. The other, as illustrated by this new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, is that surging voter enthusiasm in both parties could lead to a huge turnout.

National surveys about voter preference should be taken with a full shaker of salt. The Democrats who dominate the coastal cities don’t get to vote in the GOP-led states lying between them. Yes, every midterm election since 2006 has been a “wave” election of some sort, shifting power dramatically in one chamber or the other. But as the person selling you mutual funds is duty-bound to tell you, past performance is no guarantee of future results.

The turnout projections are more interesting, coming at a time when President Trump’s unusually low approval ratings are climbing. He’s close to being in net positive territory — more voters approving than disapproving — for the first time in his tenure. Given the unblinking support from his base and unwavering hostility from Democrats, Trump’s improved ratings could be coming only from less ideological voters in the middle.