Other countries restrict breeding ‘Frankendogs.’ The US should follow suit

Lawmakers around the world are proposing legislation that would spare dogs “torture breeding” — reckless practices that intentionally produce deformities such as dangerously flattened faces or abnormally elongated spines. Germany began cracking down on torture breeding back in 1986, and a new bill would strengthen the country’s existing regulations. Austria, the Netherlands, Norway and Switzerland have enacted similar laws — for good reason.

A just housing policy restores dignity to people experiencing homelessness

A recent report from Santa Clara County in California highlights a troubling trend: Despite housing more people than ever before in a single year, the rate of new people falling into homelessness spiked by 24% in 2023. The Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) 2023 homelessness assessment report shows a 12% national increase, with over 650,000 people experiencing homelessness, the highest numbers recorded since the Point-in-Time Count began in 2007.

Why progressives keep losing the battle to tax the rich

Bring Chicago Home’s loss at the polls is the second time a progressive tax has failed in Illinois in recent years: first, a graduated marginal income tax, the unfortunately dubbed “fair tax,” and now an increase in the real estate transfer tax on buyers purchasing property of more than $1 million.

Criminal justice reform is alive. Thank conservatives

Congress eliminated parole from the federal criminal justice system in 1984, but it didn’t completely do away with post-release supervision. About 3 of every 4 people leaving federal prison remain under supervision, often for years, and often for no good reason.

Legal marijuana is making roads deadlier

Marijuana legalization is killing a lot of people. Not slowly — though some studies suggest that it may be doing that, too — but quickly, in car crashes. It’s one more symptom of the disastrous rush by lawmakers to capitalize on cannabis sales without doing the hard work needed to keep the public safe.

Protecting young kids from social media

Long is the list of things that Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has gotten wrong, from guns to immigration to abortion to nonsense culture war salvos compromising academic freedom in the name of protecting it. We pause here to appreciate the spirit of his effort but not the method to safeguard children from online harms as social media gets its hooks in ever more kids.

Israel must explain: World Central Kitchen deaths need scrutiny

On Monday, seven humanitarian workers with World Central Kitchen lost their lives in an Israeli airstrike in Gaza amid the war that Hamas began with its Oct. 7 onslaught of murder, rape and kidnapping. Israel and Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu (who will be talking with President Biden today) must explain how this airstrike happened, and guarantee that avoiding civilian deaths will be a priority in weighing military actions.

Will Israel finally listen to Biden?

President Joe Biden threatened on Thursday to condition aid to Israel on its treatment of civilians in the Gaza Strip. But it’s not clear that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel will take Biden’s threats seriously — or that he needs to.

The birth dearth and the smartphone age

My newsroom colleagues Jason Horowitz and Gaia Pianigiani have a lovely report about family-friendly policies in the Italian province of Alto Adige-South Tyrol, which has the highest birthrate of any region in an aging, depopulating Italy.

Gag order is opportunity to show Trump consequences

After Donald Trump used the occasion of Acting Manhattan state Supreme Court Justice Juan Merchan’s gag order in the hush money criminal case to smear the judge’s own daughter, Merchan expanded it to include the families of himself, DA Alvin Bragg, prosecutors, witnesses and court staff.

You don’t need to freak out about Boeing planes (but Boeing sure does)

“Ah, it’s a Boeing Max,” I exclaimed to my travel companions after we boarded our plane a few weeks ago. I looked to see if we were seated next to a hidden door plug panel like the one that blew out on Alaska Airlines Flight 1282 in January. We weren’t, but joining a trend on social media, we cracked a few jokes at Boeing’s expense: “Maybe they can charge extra, saying it’s potentially an even bigger window seat.”