January 1, 2013
New Year's Day is a time for reassessment and renewal — and hoping the next year is an improvement over the messy rat race that was the last one. On that note, The Times has a tradition of reserving this page on this day for our own, often hopelessly over-optimistic wishes for the coming 12 months. Our record last year: Roughly five of our 27 wishes came true (that's what we mean by over-optimistic). Undeterred, we present our slate of dreams for 2013. We wish for:
The almost unimaginably tragic deaths of 20 elementary school children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut — at the hands of an emotionally disturbed young man armed with an arsenal of weapons — to finally prove the catalyst for action rather than just words when it comes to meaningful gun control legislation.
The U.S. economy to grow like it's 1999.
The IRS and the Federal Election Commission to put a stop to special-interest groups making a mockery of campaign finance laws by collecting and spending huge donations anonymously through PACs disguised as charities.
California voters to get a chance to decide on a ballot measure legalizing physician-assisted suicide, similar to an initiative that was narrowly defeated in Massachusetts in November.
The Lakers, Clippers, Dodgers and Angels to get a reasonable return on the millions of dollars they spent on free agents in 2012. And by reasonable return, we mean championships.
State and federal officials to take long-overdue steps to make earthquake insurance more affordable and attractive to California homeowners, only a fraction of whom carry the coverage today.
Apple to work the same magic on television sets that it did on smartphones and tablets.
The U.S. Supreme Court to strike down Proposition 8 once and for all, eliminating the ban on same-sex marriage in California. While they're at it, the justices should do away with the section of the federal Defense of Marriage Act that denies federal benefits to same-sex couples who are legally wed in their home states.
Manufacturers to follow General Electric's lead and bring more production back to the United States.
A race for mayor in Los Angeles that clarifies the city's priorities and opens a serious discussion about how best to address its problems — rather than becoming an opportunity for politicians to pander, beat each other up, spend heavily on misleading advertising and further divide the city.
A Republican Party chastened by defeat in the 2012 presidential election and embarrassed by the extremism spawned by the "tea party" to move to the sensible center, on fiscal and social issues alike.
American consumers to continue trading in their gas-guzzlers for high-mileage cars, whether that means a fuel-sipping economy model, a hybrid, an electric commute-mobile or a sophisticated plug-in hybrid such as the Chevy Volt.
The new Los Angeles poet laureate to come up with some rhyming couplets so catchy that we could turn them into a city anthem.
Further progress in extricating U.S. military forces from Afghanistan, so that the U.S. and its allies can transfer responsibility for security to Afghan forces even earlier than the projected 2014 deadline.
Congress to rewrite the tax code, simplifying it by winnowing the dense thicket of exceptions, deductions, credits and other special rules without reducing its progressivity.
State lawmakers across the country to agree to expand Medicaid to cover all impoverished Americans, rather than choosing to leave millions of the working poor uninsured.
The Supreme Court to reaffirm the constitutionality of Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, which requires states with a history of racial discrimination to clear changes in their election procedures with the Justice Department or a federal court.
The new Islamist government in Egypt to recognize that domestic tranquillity, as well as productive relations with other countries, including the United States, requires that it govern in a moderate and inclusive way.
Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca to implement the reforms outlined by a county jails commission.
Pixar, after two years of ho-hum new releases, to get its creative moviemaking juices flowing again and produce one of those smart, funny movies that work for both kids and parents. And without a "Toy Story 4," please.
Congress to hammer out a plan to overhaul the nation's dysfunctional immigration system that would provide a path to citizenship for the 11 million people who are already here illegally and also provide for enforcement of immigration laws at the workplace and along the border.
Julian Assange to finally leave the Ecuadorean Embassy in London, where he has been holed up for more than six months, so that the next stage in the drama that began with WikiLeaks' spectacular disclosure of hundreds of thousands of pages of U.S. military and diplomatic documents can unfold.
Every pothole in the city of Los Angeles to be fixed and every failing street to be repaved.
Bashar Assad to be driven from power in Syria — without first involving the United States in a costly ground war, and with a responsible, democratic group of successors waiting in the wings to take power.
Congress to treat problems as problems, rather than opportunities to push the nation to the brink. Enough with the "fiscal cliff" and debt-ceiling crises. How about some genuine commitment to solving problems?
Congress and the Food and Drug Administration to put serious limits on the use of antibiotics on livestock. There's well-established evidence that the overuse of antibiotics is leading to the emergence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria that could well affect human health.
L.A.'s homeless to have enough public toilets not to have to worry about where to go.
The return of "Arrested Development." Oh, wait, we're getting that one. Thanks, Netflix.
Democrats in the state Legislature to recognize that the need for fiscal discipline is just as great now as it was before voters approved Proposition 30. Until California's economy recovers its mojo, Sacramento simply won't have the wherewithal to undo the cuts lawmakers have made in recent years.
An end to congressional threats to defund Planned Parenthood.
Continued success of the experiment with openness in Los Angeles Dependency Court. In early 2012, the presiding judge of the Juvenile Court opened most dependency cases to the press. The result has been restrained and informative coverage without harm to children.
The successful implementation of the insurance exchanges created by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, a.k.a. Obamacare, despite the relentless and misguided ideological opposition. Hey Republicans — enabling more people to buy coverage from private insurers is a good thing.
Congress to continue the march toward legal equality for gays and lesbians by approving the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which would outlaw workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. It is absurd that discrimination against gays is now forbidden in the armed services but still legal in the civilian sector.
The election of a school board that understands its obligations to students trump all others. Yes, the teachers union and reform advocates clash over how best to improve schools, but when their disputes interfere with children's education, they have to learn to yield.
The United States to embrace highly educated and skilled workers from around the world, rather than forcing them to leave the country as soon as they've earned their degrees.
Every animal in the city and county shelters to be adopted, making it unnecessary to euthanize any creature for reasons other than health or public safety.
A year without mass shootings, epic storms or months-long droughts.
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