Today: Ducking Donald. Who Killed Ex-Im?

I'm Davan Maharaj, editor of the Los Angeles Times. Donald Trump is becoming the Republican Party's latest "Latino problem"; and the Koch brothers help bring down the Export-Import Bank. Here are some story lines I don't want you to miss today.

Subscribe to the newsletter


Ducking Donald

Wild words by Donald Trump usually are dismissed as mere billionaire bluster. Not so when he's running for president. Macy's, Univision, NBC and others cut ties with him after he called Mexican immigrants rapists and drug smugglers. What offends many Latino activists is what's not being said about it by other GOP candidates. They seem to hope he'll just shut up. Not likely.

Breaking a Bank

It seems like a government program Republicans could live with, even embrace: a "bank" that helps foreigners buy big U.S. goods like airplanes and, as a result, protects lots of jobs. Instead, killing the Export-Import Bank became a litmus test for far-right Republicans, who have closed it, at least for now. How did it happen? A money trail leads to the billionaire Koch brothers.

Backcourt Strategy

Has the Supreme Court shifted left? No, scholars say, despite big rulings for Obamacare and same-sex marriage. It's still 5-4 for the conservatives, but a solid show of unity by the left-leaning justices was a sound strategy against the divided right. A key was choosing which cases to hear. The conservatives may simply have chosen poorly.

Greece and the Greeks

Forget "Greece" for a moment and consider the plight of Greeks: Their banks are closed. A quarter are unemployed. Their hospitals are broken. Their government is broke. And they're being asked to vote Sunday on a financial bailout scheme even some economists can't decipher. Some worry it's really a vote on whether they're Europeans -- or something else.

Dribs and Drabs Add Up

Shorter showers. Fewer flushes. Less lawn. It might actually be working. Residential water use in California plummeted 29% in May from a year earlier. It's the first credible sign that the state might meet tough cuts demanded by Gov. Jerry Brown because of the drought. Now comes a tougher test: the hot summer season, when outdoor watering typically is 80% of consumption.


-- Former state Sen. Leland Yee of San Francisco pleads guilty to corruption charges and could face prison time.

-- In a lawsuit, L.A. Unified is accused of diverting millions intended for needy students.

-- L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti may face a strong challenge. County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas isn't ruling out a run.

-- Here's a disturbing story about violence among "parachute kids," Chinese who live here and go to local high schools while their parents stay in China.


-- Fires have hit six Southern black churches recently, but it's not clear whether any are linked to race-related violence.

-- Hillary Clinton raises a record $45 million in her first quarter as a presidential candidate.

-- The Episcopal Church formally embraces same-sex marriage.

-- With embassies to reopen in Havana and Washington, President Obama urges Congress to "move forward" on Cuba.

-- Scores of people are killed as militants attack Egyptian army checkpoints in Sinai.


-- The Justice Department looks into whether airlines have colluded to keep fares higher.

-- U.S. auto sales are on the road to a record for 2015.


-- Women's World Cup: Japan defeats England, 2-1, and will play the U.S. in the final on Sunday.

-- LaMarcus Aldridge crosses the Lakers off his free-agent list.

Here's a look at what the team might try next.

-- Angels General Manager Jerry Dipoto resigns after new friction with Manager Mike Scioscia.

-- The latest scores and stats.


-- Streaming review: Apple Music is, well, radio.

-- A mysterious teahouse appears in Griffith Park, and guests are invited to a dawn ceremony.

-- "Old but not obsolete": Here are 81 images from "Terminator Genisys."

Passings: Donald Wexler, 89, architect known for landmark buildings in Palm Springs and pre-fab homes with steel walls.


-- Smithsonian: Mark Twain also had a summer reading list.

-- Death by collar and corset: The BBC looks at history's deadliest fashion trends.

-- Crosscut: Could HealthyDay be the world's most troubling app? Hypochondriacs beware.


Downtown L.A. has never been a garden spot, but lately it's practically a desert again. The weather service says the last four years have been the driest such stretch downtown in 140 years. Here's some more history, including a graphic, on rainfall downtown. And while we're at it, here's a superb graphic on where homeless people are concentrated around L.A.

Please send comments and ideas to Davan Maharaj.

Copyright © 2016, Los Angeles Times