What L.A. can do to prepare for a drier future

Los Angeles uses less water per capita than any other U.S. city with more than 1 million people: about 123 gallons per person per day. Although the city is setting an example for the rest of the state, it can do much more. California is in a severe drought, and the water supply is expected…

To reform the Sheriff’s Dept., look to the LAPD

The recent resignation of Sheriff Lee Baca presents a much-needed opportunity for meaningful, lasting and long-overdue reform of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. The federal indictments in December of 18 former and current sheriff’s deputies are the latest and most dramatic indication of a department in desperate need of change. In charting the road…

Where the jobs are

A friend recently got stuck when he tried to explain to his son, who was struggling to find a job, how our economy got to be the way it is. He asked my help since I am a well-known crank on the matter. I offered him three short anecdotes: Last summer I was in a…

How to make high-speed rail work in California

Two court decisions have blocked the California High-Speed Rail Authority from issuing more than $8 billion in bonds and from using bond funds on construction until it fixes its funding plan. Now what? The authority says it will move forward using federal funds. But as one of the attorneys who successfully challenged the project, I…

CEOs want you — to fix the debt

Many of the nation’s top CEOs have joined forces to “fix the debt.” They want to achieve this goal, in part, by reducing Social Security benefits and raising the retirement age to 70. One of the chief executive officers, David Cote, runs Honeywell. “As an American, I couldn’t know about this problem and not try…

Put veterans to work

The country’s newest generation of veterans — the 2 million Americans who served honorably in Iraq and Afghanistan — is eager for meaningful civilian work. But misconceptions about veterans often prevent them from getting a fair shake to put their skills to work, achieve their potential and contribute fully to the nation’s economy. On this…

No longer the Greatest Generation’s VA

Just in time for Veterans Day, the embattled secretary of Veterans Affairs, Eric K. Shinseki, announced last week that his department had reduced its backlog of overdue disability claims from more than 600,000 in March to about 400,000. “The trend line is in the right direction,” Shinseki told reporters, noting that the VA had cut…

Want to create problems? Arm the TSA

The recent shooting at Los Angeles International Airport has raised questions about how airport security can be improved, specifically, whether Transportation Security Administration airport screeners should be armed. In part, this reflects the natural tendency to examine every terrible event with a view of how to prevent its recurrence. But it also reflects the desire…

Not enough water, L.A.? Look up.

On Nov. 5, 1913, William Mulholland stood before a crowd of 40,000 people near San Fernando and unfurled an American flag, signaling the official opening of the Los Angeles Aqueduct. As water from the Owens Valley rushed through the spillway for the first time, Mulholland exulted to the assembled onlookers: “There it is. Take it.”…

An NSA fix

Since the disclosure of highly classified National Security Agency programs in June, the nation has engaged in a heated debate over electronic surveillance, particularly as it affects the privacy of the American people. The need to strike a balance between security and privacy is a constant challenge, and it’s the mark of a free society…

Obama’s big lie

“All we’ve been hearing the last three years is if you like your policy you can keep it…. I’m infuriated because I was lied to,” one woman told this newspaper, as part of a story on how some middle-class Californians have been stunned to learn the real costs of Obamacare. And that lie looks like…

How to negotiate with Iran

This month in Geneva, at the first negotiations over its nuclear program since the election of President Hassan Rouhani, Iran took an unprecedented step: It negotiated. For the first time, Tehran presented an actual vision of the endgame for the talks with six world powers, and how to get there. However, contrary to expectations, it…