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In today's pages: Ted Kennedy, charter schools and interstate rivals

August 27, 2009 | 12:43 pm

Kennedy AP Photo Charles Krupa  In today's Los Angeles Times editorial pages, author Ethan Rarick finally gives Nevada the business, so to speak. In case you've missed the flap, Nevada is the latest in a long line of states to spend money making a play for California businesses, which claim to be mistreated and which others claim are deserting the state in droves. Not happening, Rarick says, picking up on stats that the Public Policy Institute of California put out a couple of years ago. 

The fact is the come-hither look is useless: Relatively few businesses, once they're formed, pick up and move across state lines. Over the last several years, the nonpartisan Public Policy Institute of California has done exhaustive research trying to measure precisely how many jobs California has lost because of such moves, while also measuring the offsetting number we have gained from businesses moving into the state. The conclusion? The impact is tiny. The researchers found that the average annual job loss was only .06% of California's total employment. Just to be clear, that's not 6%; it's six one-hundredths of 1%.

The Times editorial board remembers Sen. Edward M. Kennedy. Here's someone whose life actually measures up to the tributes.

In time, he adapted his vision of equality and inclusiveness to issues barely broached in the 1960s. He was a leading advocate for the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act signed by President George H.W. Bush, which expanded the notion of civil rights to include "reasonable accommodation" of disabled people. Most recently, Kennedy co-sponsored the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which would outlaw employment discrimination against gays and lesbians.

The ed board also checks in on Tuesday's school board vote to, in essence, get the board out of the business of running more than 100 Los Angeles schools.

At this point, the initiative's success depends on Supt. Ramon C. Cortines, who will report back to the board with specific regulations and who will make the first rounds of recommendations on who should run various schools. We hope he will return with a set of rules designed to accomplish one thing: the selection of school operators with the very best educational plans for L.A.'s students.

And columnist Meghan Daum nails the entire generation: we're still trying to figure out how to be grownups. The dead giveaways are the similarities, and differences, between "thirtysomething" and "Mad Men."

For starters, they both traffic in the complicated emotions that arise from the relationship between human beings and advertising (we know we're being manipulated, but we reach for our wallets nonetheless). For another, they're steeped in very specific aesthetics signifying very specific milieus. And while the sensibilities in many ways seem diametrically opposed -- "Mad Men," set in early 1960s New York, plumbs the halcyon days before the countercultural revolution, whereas "thirtysomething," set in Philly, tracked the fallout from that revolution some three decades later -- they are ultimately about something even more universal than class aspiration and consumer impulse: What it means to be an adult.

Photo: AP Photo / Charles Krupa

--Robert Greene

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