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OPINION
December 27, 2012
The prospect of recovery-killing across-the-board tax hikes and spending cuts at the end of the year hasn't been enough to spur lawmakers to craft a plan to avert those changes. The onus for Congress' inaction falls squarely on House Republicans, whose refusal last week to follow their own leadership has quashed just about any hope of a "grand bargain" with President Obama to address the federal government's long-term fiscal woes. The main hope now is that lawmakers will find a way out of the impasse before the damage to the economy gets much worse.
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OPINION
December 23, 2012
In yet another tussle between the teachers union and the school reform movement, the Los Angeles Unified school board decreed last week that district administrators must obtain board approval before applying for any grants of more than $1 million, in order to ensure that they don't seek out grants that come with problematic strings. The idea is reasonable enough, but the way the new policy is written, it unnecessarily ties the hands of staff without necessarily protecting the district.
OPINION
December 20, 2012
First, critics went after U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice and unfairly short-circuited her candidacy to be secretary of State. Now, a similar campaign is being waged against former Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.), who reportedly is President Obama's choice to be secretary of Defense. We aren't ready to pronounce Hagel qualified for the position. But once again, just as with Rice, the comments being seized on by his opponents are not sufficient to disqualify him from consideration. There are essentially three counts in the indictment: that he is too eager to reduce Pentagon spending; that as a senator he opposed sanctions against Iran at a time when that country was meddling in Iraq; and that he is hostile to Israel.
OPINION
December 12, 2012
Nothing exposes partisan hypocrisy quite like the filibuster, that irksome parliamentary rule that allows a minority of U.S. senators to block legislation, judicial appointments and other business by requiring a 60-vote majority to proceed to a vote. Almost invariably, the party in power considers the filibuster to be an enemy of progress that must be squashed, while the minority fights to preserve it at all cost. That the same players often find themselves arguing from opposite sides depending on whether they control the Senate or are in the minority hardly seems to trouble most lawmakers.
OPINION
December 12, 2012
A vote by millions of Egyptians on a new constitution should have been an occasion for national celebration. But overreaching by Islamists, including the country's president, has made the referendum that begins Saturday a source of division. Even if the document is approved, President Mohamed Morsi will need to reach out to Egyptians - including Christians, secularists and women - who feel they have been excluded from a revolution they helped create. Yes, Morsi was legitimately elected, but that doesn't relieve him of the responsibility to preside over an inclusive government.
OPINION
December 5, 2012
After 20 months and tens of thousands of deaths, the civil war in Syria may be reaching a turning point. The ragtag group of rebels that took up arms during the Arab Spring has advanced to the outskirts of Damascus and has a credible chance, if all goes well, of ousting the Assad dynasty that has ruled the country for more than 40 years. Should the United States, which mostly has confined its involvement to fruitless efforts to oust President Bashar Assad through economic sanctions, belatedly get involved militarily?
OPINION
November 30, 2012
The Democratic Republic of Congo has been repeatedly ravaged by war, rebellion and attacks on civilians in the last two decades. Though the country is rarely without some skirmish going on somewhere - a result of a complicated history of rivalries among ethnic groups and constant conflicts over land ownership and resources - the government made a strategic move toward peace several years ago. It signed a treaty on March 23, 2009, with a rebel group...
OPINION
November 27, 2012
A debate over taxing and spending appeared to be brewing in next year's Los Angeles city elections, with voters first being asked whether to boost the sales tax by half a cent on the dollar to help close a budget gap and, two months later, whether to trim pensions for city workers. Never mind the second part. With former Mayor Richard Riordan on Monday suspending his effort to put the pension measure on the May 21 ballot, voters will now get to decide whether to pay more but not whether to ask the city to pay less.
OPINION
November 22, 2012
Along with giving thanks for making it to another Thanksgiving Day, The Times' editorial board is grateful that: The 2012 elections are finally over. And that after the June presidential primary, the November general election, this coming March's mayoral primary and the May runoff, we in Los Angeles will be able to go a year without an election. With the $4-billion sale of Lucasfilm to Walt Disney Co., the "Star Wars" franchise's future is secured and a seventh feature film is in the works.
OPINION
November 20, 2012
Washington's focus on the "fiscal cliff" - a potentially disastrous combination of tax hikes and spending cuts scheduled to go into effect Jan. 1 - has shifted attention away from the biggest problem in the economy, which is the more than 12 million Americans still unemployed. More than 5 million of them have been sidelined for more than half a year, which means they're no longer receiving unemployment insurance benefits from their state. Instead, many are receiving extended unemployment benefits paid for by the federal government.
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