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OPINION
September 20, 2012
For more than two years, Los Angeles city officials have been negotiating with Anschutz Entertainment Group to build a downtown stadium and bring a pro football team, or perhaps two, to the city. Now, with less than two weeks to go before the city is poised to give the project final environmental approval, the owner of AEG, Denver billionaire Phil Anschutz, has decided to unload the company. That's an unsettling turn of events, and before the City Council moves forward, it should demand a full explanation of the timing and ramifications of the sale, as well as assurances that the city's interests will be protected.
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OPINION
September 20, 2012
Two years ago, voters rejected an ill-conceived ballot measure that would have allowed auto insurers to offer discounts to people who had been covered by competing companies, but which would have done so at the expense of new drivers and those who had let their coverage lapse. Now, proponents of that measure are back with Proposition 33, a revised version that retains the fundamental flaws of the previous one. It was a bad idea two years ago; it's a bad idea now. Under the framework established by Proposition 103 in 1988, insurers base their rates mainly on an applicant's driving record, the number of miles driven and the years of driving experience.
OPINION
September 12, 2012
In case anyone had forgotten, Moody's Investors Service issued a stark reminder Tuesday that the federal government is speeding headlong toward a political and financial cliff. On Jan. 1, a number of temporary tax cuts are due to expire just as new spending restraints kick in, pulling hundreds of billions of dollars out of the U.S. economy and potentially triggering another recession. At the same time, Washington is expected to reach the limit of its borrowing authority, necessitating another increase in its debt limit.
OPINION
September 9, 2012
Like the Republican convention that preceded it, the Democratic National Convention was a combination of infomercial, revival meeting (with former President Clinton in the role of evangelist in chief) and audition for rising political stars. Also like the Republican gathering, it was predictably longer on general pronouncements than on precise policy prescriptions. Still, the convention in Charlotte, N.C., effectively dramatized important differences between the two parties and their candidates.
OPINION
August 14, 2012
The Los Angeles Fire Department is run by a chief but overseen by a board of commissioners that, to do its job, must be able to delve deeply into the department's inner workings. It should have been unnecessary for the commissioners to go to voters, fire hats in hand, to ask to amend the city charter to make it even clearer that they had the authority to exercise their oversight. Yet in March 2009, that's just what they did when they sought approval of Proposition A to create the position of independent assessor, with the power to audit, assess and review the department's handling of complaints against employees.
OPINION
August 7, 2012
Elected officials in Farmers Branch, Texas, deserve credit for their perseverance. They have spent four years and more than $4 million defending a misguided ordinance that bars landlords from renting to undocumented immigrants. Court after court has struck down the law as an unconstitutional intrusion into the federal government's sole authority to regulate immigration. Still, city officials persist, arguing that the law is merely an attempt to regulate housing, not to target immigrants who are in the country illegally.
OPINION
August 2, 2012
Politicians on both sides of the partisan divide want to simplify the federal tax code by pruning the thicket of loopholes, exemptions and credits. In fact, President Obama and his presumptive Republican opponent, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, have both promised to seek tax simplification if elected in November. A new study by three fiscal policy experts, however, shows that if simplification is coupled with a deep cut in rates, as Romney has proposed, lower- and middle-income Americans would have to pay more in taxes just to keep the same amount of revenue flowing into the Treasury.
OPINION
July 26, 2012
As he begins a weeklong trip to Britain, Israel and Poland designed to burnish his foreign policy credentials, Mitt Romney is offering a critique of President Obama's military and diplomatic policies that is long on bluster and short on detailed disagreements. So far, he has provided mostly hyperbole, broad and vague criticisms, and cheap shots. In a speech Tuesday to the Veterans of Foreign Wars, for instance, he said that Obama had "given trust where it is not earned, insult where it is not deserved, and apology where it is not due. " He revived the canard that Obama has been traipsing around the world apologizing for America and accused the president of lecturing Israel, undermining its position and speaking "as if our closest ally in the Middle East was the problem.
OPINION
July 26, 2012
The fatal police shooting of an unarmed, fleeing suspect in Anaheim is drawing scrutiny from at least three different agencies as city officials seek to quell the outcry from local residents. But these investigations address only part of the problem that four days of sporadically violent protests have brought to light. There is something fundamentally wrong in the relationship between the Anaheim police and the city's growing Latino community. It's time not just for investigations but for soul-searching.
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