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407 posts
  • Trump
  • Opinion
  • The Golden State
The California Legislature is considering a bill that would bar new pipelines for new federal off-shore oil leases.
The California Legislature is considering a bill that would bar new pipelines for new federal off-shore oil leases. (Los Angeles Times)

The Trump administration’s decision to open nearly all federal waters for oil and gas drilling left California and other states scrambling to find ways to stop expanded drilling off their coasts. One tool, California officials noted at the time, is that the California controls the first three miles of ocean, and regulates the pipelines that bring the oil to shore.

In fact, the State Lands Commission and the California Coastal Commission sent letters to the federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management warning that neither body would approve new pipelines to service new wells, and would “not allow use of existing pipelines to transport oil from new leases onshore.”

Now there’s a move in the Legislature to make that refusal law. AB 1775 would bar the state from authorizing new oil and gas infrastructure within state waters and tidal areas for leases issued after the start of this year. The law would not affect efforts to “repair or maintain any pipeline or other infrastructure used to convey oil or natural gas or any other activity necessary to ensure the safe operation of infrastructure used in the exploration, development, or production of oil or natural gas.”

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  • Trump
  • Opinion
  • We're All Doomed
Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell, shown testifying before Congress on monetary policy in February, has drawn President Trump's ire.
Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell, shown testifying before Congress on monetary policy in February, has drawn President Trump's ire. (Olivier Douliery/Abaca Press/TNS)

Currency manipulation is when a country’s rulers have their central bank monkey with the supply of legal tender to gain an advantage over trading partners. Typically, it means increasing the supply of the domestic currency in an effort to bring down its value in comparison to foreign currencies, making the country’s exports cheaper and its imports more expensive.

In an interview Monday with Reuters, President Trump accused China and the European Union of manipulating their currencies while also urging the U.S. central bank to allow for a greater supply of U.S. dollars.

It’s bad enough that Trump speaks as much as he does about monetary policy. His predecessors largely steered clear of that topic, in part to preserve the public’s confidence in the Federal Reserve’s independence, in part to avoid the sort of accusation Trump leveled at China and the EU. They were wise to do so.

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  • Trump
  • Opinion
  • The Witch Hunt
Rudolph W. Giuliani, an attorney for President Trump, speaks at a Republican campaign event in New Hampshire on Aug. 1.
Rudolph W. Giuliani, an attorney for President Trump, speaks at a Republican campaign event in New Hampshire on Aug. 1. (Charles Krupa / Associated Press)

Former New York Mayor and Trump TV lawyer Rudy Giuliani is trying to extricate himself from his mind-boggling comment Sunday on “Meet the Press” that “truth isn’t truth.” The remark came in a colloquy with Chuck Todd about whether President Trump should submit to questioning by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III.

Here’s the exchange, which involved whether Trump would answer questions about whether, as former FBI Director James B. Comey has said, Trump had told him, “I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting [former national security advisor Michael] Flynn go.” 

Giuliani: “I am not going to be rushed into having him testify so that he gets trapped into perjury. And when you tell me that, you know, he should testify because he’s going to tell the truth and he shouldn’t worry, well that’s so silly because it’s somebody’s version of the truth. Not the truth. He didn’t have a, a conversation  . . .

  • Opinion
  • #MeToo
Actress Asia Argento speaks about being raped by Harvey Weinstein during the closing ceremony of Cannes on May 19.
Actress Asia Argento speaks about being raped by Harvey Weinstein during the closing ceremony of Cannes on May 19. (Vianney Le Caer / Invision / AP)

On Sunday, the New York Times revealed that Asia Argento, one of the leaders of the #MeToo movement, paid her own accuser hundreds of thousands of dollars, beginning in April. This is a terrible revelation, including for the millions of survivors who include themselves in the broad coalition Argento helped birth.

Some feminists have been quick to dismiss the reporting, simply circulating an excerpt from a letter Argento’s lawyer wrote to her: “You are a powerful and inspiring creator and it is a miserable condition of life that you live among [lousy] individuals who’ve preyed on both your strengths and your weaknesses.” This may be true. But to engage that excerpt without engaging the broader story is cheap and small. It shows an inability to confront information that challenges our worldview; that is the precise work we ask from those who do not appreciate the ways in which sexual violence is built into our society.

While it can be difficult to judge the tone and content of an alleged sexual encounter, the evidence in favor of Jimmy Bennett’s story is substantial. And as Argento has declined to speak to this point, there is no compelling alternative story on offer. Were Bennett a lower-profile woman providing this same evidence against a higher-profile man, the #MeToo coalition would invariably support the survivor’s version of events.

President Trump canceled his November military parade in Washington before leaving town for the weekend.
President Trump canceled his November military parade in Washington before leaving town for the weekend. (Pablo Martinez Monsivais / Associated Press)

President Trump tweeted a few hours ago that he was canceling the national military parade he had ordered up for this fall in Washington, a decision he made just as unilaterally as when he told the Pentagon to make the arrangements in the first place.

The idea was to march soldiers, veterans and military vehicles (not tanks or other tracked vehicles that would churn up city streets) down a stretch of  Pennsylvania Avenue — which presumably would have passed in front of the Trump International Hotel along the way. Not that the parade would have drawn business for the Trump family enterprise or anything.

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  • Opinion
Aretha Franklin sings during a memorial service in Detroit, Mich. on June 7, 2015.
Aretha Franklin sings during a memorial service in Detroit, Mich. on June 7, 2015. (Elizabeth Conley / The Detroit News via AP)

Aretha died Thursday morning at the age of 76. We don’t need to say Franklin. She was singular. And anyhow, you already know.

In a statement, Quincy Jones wrote, “Aretha Franklin set the bar upon which every female singer has and will be measured.” Simple as that. She took songs you thought you’d loved (“The Weight,” for instance, or “Bridge Over Troubled Water”) and infused them with new energy. She was a diamond Midas.

At age 10, I learned about Aretha after a much cooler kid told me she’d sung “Say a Little Prayer for You,” a campy, all-cast version of which was featured in my favorite rom-com, “My Best Friend’s Wedding.” I tracked her version down in a tiny town in New England and sang my little guts out to it. She found us all, eventually. Many of us remember exactly when.

  • Opinion
  • The Golden State
Elon Musk's tunneling company is proposing a 3.6-mile tunnel to Dodger Stadium.
Elon Musk's tunneling company is proposing a 3.6-mile tunnel to Dodger Stadium. (Chris Saucedo / Getty Images)

Traffic in Los Angeles is infamously awful. Congestion on freeways and streets makes it hard for drivers and bus riders to get across the city for work, school and socializing.

Thank goodness the rich entrepreneurs of the world are on the case, coming up with solutions to solve the most pressing transportation problems in L.A.

Like cutting travel times for Dodger Stadium.

  • Trump
  • Opinion
  • Rule of Law
Former Times cartoonist Paul Conrad's depiction of Nixon enmeshed by the Watergate scandal; Conrad was on Nixon's enemies list.
Former Times cartoonist Paul Conrad's depiction of Nixon enmeshed by the Watergate scandal; Conrad was on Nixon's enemies list. (Paul Conrad/LA Times)

President Trump announced Wednesday that in addition to stripping former CIA director John Brennan of his security clearance, he’s reviewing the clearances of nine other former top government officials who have – in some cases harshly – criticized the president. Yes, the president has an enemies list.

How Nixonian of him.

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President Trump speaks at a July news conference at the White House.
President Trump speaks at a July news conference at the White House. (Shawn Thew / EPA/Shutterstock)

More than 300 newspapers around the country will participate today in a group protest of President Trump’s frequent attacks on the news media. Each of the papers will publish editorials — their own separate editorials, in their own words — defending freedom of the press.

The Los Angeles Times, however, has decided not to participate. There will be no free press editorial on our page today.

This is not because we don’t believe that President Trump has been engaged in a cynical, demagogic and unfair assault on our industry. He has, and we have written about it on numerous occasions. As early as April 2017, we wrote this as part of a full-page editorial on “Trump’s War on Journalism”:

  • Opinion
Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), who is running to become Minnesota's attorney general, speaks to supporters in Minneapolis on Tuesday.
Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), who is running to become Minnesota's attorney general, speaks to supporters in Minneapolis on Tuesday. (Renee Jones Schneider / Associated Press)

On Tuesday evening, Rep. Keith Ellison won the Democratic Party nomination for Minnesota attorney general by more than 30 points. It should have been a wholly victorious moment for Ellison, a leader of the Democratic National Committee and a high-profile voice for its progressive flank.

It wasn’t. On Saturday night, Ellison’s former girlfriend’s son published a post on Facebook that accused Ellison of being violent toward his mother, Karen Monahan, during the course of their relationship. He claimed to have discovered abusive texts and tweets, as well as a two-minute video of Ellison dragging her by her feet while yelling expletives at her. Monahan later wrote that her son’s allegations were “true.” Ellison has denied the allegations, including at his victory party.

As a feminist and a survivor of sexual violence, I’m as inclined as one can be to believe women. And yet, my knee-jerk instinct was denial; the account didn’t match my own perception. I’ve followed Ellison’s career for years and interviewed him just last summer. In my experience, he presents himself as a kind and gentle person.