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EDITORIAL: As lake declines, plan for pipeline

The news coming from Lake Mead was disconcerting, though not surprising: its water level continues to fall. As reported Friday by the Review-Journal’s Henry Brean, the lake declined to a record low of 1,081.82 feet above sea level late Wednesday night, a depth not seen since 1937, when Hoover Dam was completed and Colorado River water steadily rose behind it. Lake Mead will continue to shrink for several weeks.

EDITORIAL: Lerner must testify without immunity in IRS scandal

The investigation into IRS targeting of conservative groups is dragging on like a Las Vegas summer. Not because, as the Obama administration and Democrats charge, this is a “phony scandal,” and certainly not for lack of proof, as more evidence turns up almost every day. Rather, it’s the agency’s complete lack of cooperation — to the point of lawlessness — particularly from tea party-targeting ringleader Lois Lerner.

EDITORIAL: Fracking economy

Remember when the environmental lobby was totally on board with natural gas, and even the hydraulic fracturing required to bring more of it to market? It was only five years ago. Ronald Bailey, writing for Reason.com, noted that in an August 2009 article for the Energy Future Coalition, arch-liberals Timothy Wirth and John Podesta proclaimed shale gas “a bridge fuel to a 21st-century energy economy that relies on efficiency, renewable sources and low-carbon fossil fuels such as natural gas.”

EDITORIAL: Colorblind Harry Reid continues to divide

Harry Reid is the da Vinci of distraction. The moment any scandal, policy failure or political defeat crashes down on him — and there have been plenty the past few years — the Senate majority leader unleashes outrageous rhetoric that’s better suited for a sandbox than what once passed for the world’s greatest deliberative body. Worse, the Nevada Democrat has become especially fond of slinging race cards just to crank up the outrage.

EDITORIAL: Merit pay, incentives can help boost low-performing schools

The lack of “teacher equity” in education systems across the country — including the Clark County School District — is by design. School districts and teacher unions have long embraced contracts and policies that ensure a steady flow of exceptional, experienced teachers to stable, higher-achieveing, higher-income, less-violent campuses where parents are more involved. Meanwhile, lower-achieving, lower-income, more-violent schools with higher minority enrollment and less parental involvement serve as training grounds for the newly hired — and the last stops for poor teachers who should be fired.

EDITORIAL: Sage-grouse politics

The fate of a chicken-size bird carries huge economic and political stakes across the West. The sage grouse, long a threat to the thriving energy sector, is also a threat to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

EDITORIAL: Throwing book at kids

Spencer Collins is the kind of 9-year-old who’d make any parent proud. In the age of PlayStation and Xbox, he’s a voracious reader, a trait he attributes to his mother, an elementary school teacher. In fact, for Mother’s Day, Spencer, with help from his father and grandfather, built a small bookcase in his front yard, from which friends and neighbors could check out and share books — a gift his mom had said she wanted.

EDITORIAL: Supreme Court bolsters First Amendment

When did the First Amendment become so controversial? The centrist U.S. Supreme Court, which ruled unanimously on roughly two-thirds of the 67 cases it decided this term — the greatest share of 9-0 cases in at least 60 years — remains hopelessly divided on some of the country’s bedrock freedoms.

EDITORIAL: Land of the free?

How are we doing, safeguarding those “unalienable Rights” with which we are “endowed by our Creator” — in support of which 56 patriots solemnly pledged their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor, 238 years ago?

EDITORIAL: Judge takes air out of no-fly list

U.S. District Judge Anna Brown last week ruled the federal government’s “no-fly” list, originally created to prevent another 9/11, was unconstitutional. The list accused 20,000 people — including 500 Americans — of having links to terrorism and banned them from traveling on commercial airline flights.

EDITORIAL: Give VA chief authority

Bravo to President Barack Obama for reaching well outside his comfort zone and nominating Bob McDonald, the retired chairman, president and CEO of Procter &Gamble, to reverse the culture of corruption and indifference that plagues Veterans Affairs.