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OPINION
March 28, 2014 | By The Times editorial board
The 40-year debate over affirmative action at state universities generally has been conducted in terms of general principles. At first, advocates emphasized the importance of compensating African Americans (and later others) for the effects of generations of discrimination, while opponents contended that the Constitution must be colorblind. Later, the debate shifted to the claim that there are educational benefits to a racially diverse student body, a rationale for preferences that the Supreme Court grudgingly has accepted.
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OPINION
March 27, 2014 | By The Times editorial board
Maybe it was too good to be true. A rare bipartisan healthcare reform proposal backed by leaders of three major House and Senate committees is foundering because Republicans and Democrats can't agree on how to pay for it. The irony is that the measure, which would change the way Medicare reimburses doctors, would slow the growth of healthcare spending and taxpayers' costs. Lawmakers should stop the partisan bickering and start working in good faith to find a way to enact the long-overdue and much-needed reform.
OPINION
March 27, 2014 | By The Times editorial board
Fifteen months ago, as the nation recoiled in horror from the massacre of 20 children and six adults by a mentally ill man armed with three semiautomatic weapons, there were firm proclamations that this time would be different. The violence at that Newtown, Conn., elementary school, it was said, would finally lead the nation to come together and embrace some reasonable gun control laws. Well, that didn't last long. If anything, the national gun frenzy, fueled by the irresponsible lobbyists at the National Rifle Assn., has intensified.
NEWS
March 26, 2014
Nicholas Goldberg joined the Los Angeles Times in 2002 as editor of the op-ed page and the Sunday Opinion section. He became deputy editor of the editorial pages in 2008 and a year later was named editor of the editorial pages.  He is a former reporter and editor at Newsday in New York, where he worked as Middle East bureau chief from 1995 to 1998. In that job, he covered the Israeli-Palestinian peace process; presidential elections in Iran; arms monitoring in Iraq; famine in Sudan; civil war in Algeria; war in Lebanon and the rise of Islamic fundamentalism in Saudi Arabia.  Goldberg also covered the 1992 presidential campaign of Bill Clinton, and as statehouse bureau chief in New York, the administrations of Governors Mario Cuomo and George Pataki.
OPINION
March 25, 2014 | By The Times editorial board
It was no surprise last week when Los Angeles County Inspector General Max Huntsman recommended against renewing contracts with two agencies monitoring the Sheriff's Department. The same citizens commission that called for the creation of Huntsman's office also suggested that it absorb the functions of those other agencies, one of them established 22 years ago to report on excessive force and lax discipline, the other created nine years later to monitor the sheriff's handling of deputy misconduct allegations.
OPINION
March 25, 2014 | By The Times editorial board
On Tuesday, the Supreme Court will consider a proposition that will strike many Americans as bizarre: that large, for-profit businesses can refuse on religious grounds to comply with a federal mandate that they include contraception in their employee health plans. Three companies - Hobby Lobby, a chain of craft stores with 13,000 full-time employees; Mardel, a bookstore chain; and Conestoga Wood Specialties, a cabinet manufacturer - are challenging the mandate. The businesses say it would require them to cover forms of contraception that the owners regard as equivalent to abortion - and thus offensive to their religious faith.
OPINION
March 25, 2014 | By The Times editorial page
Opponents of the Affordable Care Act have mounted the most far-reaching legal challenge to the law since the (unsuccessful) attempt to have its insurance mandate declared unconstitutional. At issue is whether the subsidies the law provides to help lower-income adults buy policies will be available in the 34 states with federally launched insurance exchanges, rather than just the state-operated ones. The Internal Revenue Service ruled that any American who meets the income limits can qualify for a subsidy; the plaintiffs say subsidies should be available only in the 16 states that set up their own exchanges.
OPINION
March 23, 2014 | By The Times editorial board
The National Rifle Assn. has a problem with Dr. Vivek Hallegere Murthy, President Obama's nominee for surgeon general, but it has nothing to do with Murthy's medical expertise. It's that Murthy thinks gun control is smart public health policy. Unfortunately, too many members of the Senate share the gun lobby's skewed view of the world, much to the detriment of the country and, it seems, to Murthy's chances of being confirmed. Murthy, an outspoken Obama supporter since before the 2008 election, earned an undergraduate degree at Harvard, an MBA from the Yale School of Management and a medical degree from the Yale School of Medicine; he teaches medicine at Harvard and is an attending physician at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston; he's served on a federal medical advisory board and is involved in medical nonprofit groups, all according to the White House.
OPINION
March 23, 2014 | By The Times editorial board
For-profit colleges that wildly exaggerate their graduates' success and talk prospective attendees into taking on extraordinary debt are not only harming their students but costing taxpayers billions of dollars on wasted Pell grants and defaulted federal student loans. After an earlier court defeat, the Obama administration is trying again to set rules to stop schools from overpromising to attract students. This time, the rules should stick. The administration has spent years looking for ways to crack down on the bad actors within the for-profit college industry, which accounts for just 13% of college enrollment but almost half of all federal student loan defaults.
OPINION
March 23, 2014 | By The Times editorial board
There's no clearer sign that state environmental regulators have failed to protect public health than the warning issued this month to parents living in the shadow of the Exide battery recycling plant in Vernon: Don't let children play in the dirt in your backyard. Tests of 39 homes and one preschool within two miles of the plant revealed that all had levels of lead in the soil that should trigger health evaluations. Lead is a neurotoxin that can cause children to develop learning disabilities and behavioral problems.
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