In today's pages: Unions are bad. No, they're good! No, wait, they're bad.
Matthew Continetti, associate editor of the Weekly Standard, gets the Op-Ed page rolling this morning by accusing President Obama of being organized labor's Santa Claus. The First Community Organizer may believe that unionization helps lift workers into the middle class, Continetti writes, but the numbers don't support that argument:
Speaking of a unionized workforce, columnist Tim Rutten urges the state Senate to waive some California environmental rules to let developer Ed Roski Jr. build a football stadium in the City of Industry. Why?
Alllll-righty then. Closing out the page, Anna Husarska, senior policy advisor at the International Rescue Committee, laments the "huge human cost" of the Taliban's operations in Pakistan's Swat Valley and the government's counteroffensive. The image above is an illustration of the psychic toll; it's a drawing by a schoolgirl in the Swat Valley named Sheema.
On the other half of the opinion pages, the Times editorial board blasts the L.A. Department of Water and Power for the fabulous parting gifts it's planning to shower on departing chief H. David Nahai. We like how Nahai defied union leaders (the Opinion page's méchants du jour) to bring in more renewable power from outside the district, but we still don't see the need to pay him his salary for the rest of the year:
The board also says the Federal Trade Commission's new guidelines for online advertisers could put too much scrutiny on bloggers and amateur product reviewers. And it warns that the Supreme Court's review of a case involving the giant cross in California's Mojave National Preserve threatens to "blow a gaping hole" in the 1st Amendment's wall between church and state.
-- Jon Healey