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**FILE** Sen. Orrin Hatch, Utah Republican, addresses a crowd during the Utah Republican Party nominating convention, in Sandy, Utah, on April 26, 2014. (Associated Press)

EDITORIAL: The monument man, by executive order

The federal government already owns most of the land in Utah, and Mr. Obama has his eye on a prime parcel of 1.4 million acres near the Canyonlands National Park. With a wave of his autopen, he can banish development, declaring the Greater Canyonlands a “national monument.”

Illustration on tax code complexity by M. Ryder/Tribune Content Agency

EDITORIAL: Dealing with a disgraceful tax code

Millions of Americans entrust their financial information to private accountants, lest they fill out the dreaded 1040 tax form on their own. When things go wrong, and they’re overcharged, they sometimes lodge a complaint with the Internal Revenue Service.

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EDITORIAL: Rigged 'science'

A fractured Supreme Court on Monday largely upheld the Environmental Protection Agency's radical rule designed to shut down the power plants that produce the most affordable electricity. The justices continue to accept the EPA's labeling of carbon dioxide as a "pollutant." This harmless gas, the agency insists, is melting the planet.

FILE - In this file image made from an undated video provided Thursday, June 5, 2014, by Al Fajer, a Sudanese nongovernmental organization, Meriam Ibrahim, sitting next to Martin, her 18-month-old son, holds her newborn baby girl that she gave birth to in jail last week, as the NGO visits her in a room at a prison in Khartoum, Sudan. Sudan's official news agency, SUNA, said the Court of Cassation in Khartoum on Monday, June 23, canceled the death sentence against 27-year-old Meriam Ibrahim after defense lawyers presented their case. The court ordered her release. (AP Photo/Al Fajer, File)

EDITORIAL: Saved from the gallows

Occasionally a shaft of sunshine breaks through the gloom that seems to envelop most of the world in this season of our dismay. Such a shaft broke through the clouds over Khartoum on Monday, when a Sudanese appeals court ordered Meriam Ibrahim freed from the cell where she has been living with her two children under sentence of flogging and the gallows.

FILE - This May 13, 2013 file photo shows an Amtrak Cities Sprinter Locomotive in Sacramento, Calif.  The Supreme Court will consider whether Amtrak can partner with a government agency to create rules that other private railroads must follow. The justices agreed Monday to hear the Obama administration's appeal of a lower court ruling that said Congress unconstitutionally gave regulatory power to the passenger railroad company. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, File)

EDITORIAL: Off the rails at Amtrak

Amtrak's latest budget submission asks Congress for $1.6 billion this year, and the government-owned passenger rail service continues to lose a lot of money. That's bad news for taxpayers, not so bad for Amtrak employees.

This photo taken on Tuesday, June 10, 2014, shows a field of winter wheat near Andover, Kan. The Agriculture Department's production forecast released Wednesday, June 11, 2014,  estimates the Kansas crop at 243.6 million bushels, down from 260.4 million bushels forecast a month ago. Kansas has been hard hit by drought and recent rains have come too late to help the wheat. (AP Photo/The Wichita Eagle, Fernando Salazar) LOCAL TV OUT; MAGS OUT; LOCAL RADIO OUT; LOCAL INTERNET OUT

EDITORIAL: Hypocrisy down on the farm

The Senate on Thursday delayed the vote on a $180 billion "minibus" spending package that includes a few billion for the Agriculture Department and related agencies. This will complement the separate $100 billion-a-year farm bill enacted earlier in the year. These agricultural handouts are once more igniting fierce trade disputes with India and China.

** FILE ** This Sept. 14, 2005, file photo shows packs of cigarettes in a store in Brunswick, Maine. (AP Photo/Pat Wellenbach, File)

EDITORIAL: Branded smokes

The latest restriction dear to the hearts of nanny states is a ban of attractive packaging for cigarettes. Instead of colorful logos and trademarks that differentiate brands, every pack of cigarettes must look alike, with the same prominent government warning.

** FILE ** President Obama speaks on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, June 13, 2014. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)

EDITORIAL: Obama's family concerns

The White House on Monday will entertain a summit on working families. This is not as positive as it sounds. President Obama is not out to help Mom and Pop find ways to make frazzled ends meet while taking care of their first newborn child. The president's attention is devoted to a new kind of family.

FILE - In this Thursday, May 29, 2014, file photo, Elon Musk, CEO and CTO of SpaceX, introduces the SpaceX Dragon V2 spaceship at the SpaceX headquarters on, in Hawthorne, Calif.  Tesla Motors is opening access to its patents to accelerate electric vehicle development. Musk says the company will share several hundred patents and won't sue those who use them. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)

EDITORIAL: The courage to share

Tesla Motors embodies the best and the smartest of business. The Silicon Valley-based automaker produces electric cars with price tags that reach into the six figures. They're beloved of Hollywood celebrities who get a bargain in a status symbol, thanks to the generosity of taxpayers who have poured nearly a billion dollars into the company through loans, environmental credits and subsidies.

Acting Veterans Affairs Secretary Sloan Gibson speaks during a news conference at the VA Medical Center in Washington, Wednesday, June 18, 2014. The Veterans Affairs Department (VA) release the results from its Nationwide Access Audit, along with facility level patient access data for all Veterans health facilities. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

EDITORIAL: Strange priorities at the VA

The administrators at the Veterans Administration have apparently been busy while old soldiers waited to see a doctor, after all. Serving those who served is not necessarily a priority, but saving the planet is Job 1. Solar panels and windmills can be more important than the touch of a healing hand.

House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., is joined by Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La., and Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio, just after House Republicans voted to make McCarthy the new majority leader, replacing Rep. Eric Cantor, R-Va., who was defeated in his primary earlier this month,  on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, June 19, 2014. Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La., who leads a conservative faction of lawmakers in the Republican Study Committee, was elected to be the new House majority whip, replacing McCarthy. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

EDITORIAL: Opportunity for Kevin McCarthy

House Republicans gathered in the bowels of the Capitol on Thursday to select a new majority leader. Many hoped and the naive expected that the stunning defeat of Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia would bring in bold new leadership. But this changing of the old guard is not likely to make a dime's worth of difference.