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EDITORIAL: Don’t give VA another $17.6 billion; privatize the agency

In case you’re keeping score at home, the Department of Veterans Affairs repeatedly ignored and hid warnings from whistleblowers about a pattern of negligent practices resulting in delays in care, shoddy treatment and needless patient deaths at its medical centers. According to a report by Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., VA negligence cost taxpayers nearly $1 billion in malpractice settlements over the past decade and may have killed up to 1,000 veterans.

EDITORIAL: Public land transfers

Washington controls far too much land in Nevada — about 86 percent of the state — and puts far too many restrictions on its use. Nevada’s economy would be far stronger and far more diverse if much of that federal land was under state or local control or, even better, transferred to private ownership.

EDITORIAL: VA corruption a national disgrace

The Department of Veterans Affairs finally is under intense scrutiny for its bogus waiting lists and the unconscionable treatment delays that have caused an untold number of preventable patient deaths. But new information shows that malfeasance, malpractice and outright corruption within the VA is worse than Americans could have imagined — much worse.

EDITORIAL: School shootings

Of all the senseless crimes in this country, school shootings are the most shocking and least explainable. The June 10 violence at Reynolds High School in Troutdale, Ore., was no different. The mass shooting left one student dead and a teacher wounded before the 15-year-old killer took his own life.

EDITORIAL: Expanded background checks won’t end U.S. gun violence

Gun control advocates have filed an initiative to require background checks for private-party firearm sales in Nevada. If the groups behind the drive collect enough valid signatures to gain a vote on their petition, they’ll still have to overcome the strongest argument against expanded background checks: the fact that determined lawbreakers who want a gun will not respect the laws written to disarm them.

What is the end game for American monetary policy?

The economic recovery will soon enter its sixth year. Experts now predict that economic growth will pick up speed this year and next. The Federal Reserve, which deserves much credit for preventing the financial crisis and Great Recession from turning into a depression, now faces the critical task of ending its lengthy program of quantitative easing without triggering a new recession or igniting a spike in inflation.

EDITORIAL: Instead of raising federal fuel tax, let states keep revenue

Members of Congress blame the depletion of the Federal Highway Trust Fund on the ever-increasing fuel economy of vehicles and the failure to adjust the fuel tax to inflation. These factors have resulted in more miles traveled on the country’s highways, leading to heavier traffic and more wear and tear on roads, and not enough money to upgrade and repair them because of rising construction and material costs.

Gun control lobby wrong on Wilcox

Joseph Wilcox’s funeral is today. I hope the political opportunists who’ve spent the past two weeks second-guessing or trashing this community hero have the grace to stay away and allow his family and friends to honor him appropriately.

EDITORIAL: Secret agency

The more a government seeks refuge in secrecy, the less credibility it has with the people it serves. The longer a government refuses to answer basic questions about public business, the more suspicious taxpayers become.