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In today's pages: The struggle for quality--and to survive the downturn

October 17, 2008 |  1:11 pm

The big moment is coming up, or actually has. Over the weekend, the Times editorial board will conclude its series that lays out a vision of how the next president can uplift the nation, and then gives its endorsement of which candidate should be the one doing the uplifting--which a web special reveals today. (Yes, you have to click on the link for all to be revealed.) The advice for the new president touches today on issues of equity , for immigrants and for women. The editorial board cheers the candidates for their stances (somewhat abandoned in John McCain's case) in favor of comprehensive immigration reform and warns that there can be no rollback in abortion rights.  On Saturday, the series will address the need to restore the nation's world standing.

Closer to home, the editorial board calls for Orange County voters to reject Measure J, which would Rall prevent the county government from improving employee pensions without getting voter approval, saying that voters shouldn't let elected officials out of the hard work of negotiating responsible contracts.

Getting back to the presidential election--because who doesn't these days?--Ronald Brownstein ponders what changes might occur if there is a "big" presidential win, along the lines of Ronand Reagan's, while law professor Douglas W. Kmiec assures Catholics that it's OK to vote for a pro-choice candidate:

"McCain's commitment, as he stressed in the debate, is to reverse Roe vs. Wade. But Republicans have been after this for decades, and the effort has not saved a single child. Even if Roe were reversed--unlikely, in my judgment--it merely transfers the question to the states, most of which are not expected to ban abortion."

Environmentalist Arlene Blum worries that fire-retardant chemicals on her sofa might have killed her cat Midnight, and might be doing in the rest of us, too. And Joel Stein receives grandmotherly advice on what to cut back on in a tough economy: The truffles might go, but HBO stays.

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