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322 posts
  • Election 2018
Sen. Kevin de León, at Vista Hermosa Park in Los Angeles in June.
Sen. Kevin de León, at Vista Hermosa Park in Los Angeles in June. (Gabriel S. Scarlett / Los Angeles Times)

The Democratic Party has been focused on building a blue wave to wash over the midterm elections and flip the U.S. House of Representatives. Maybe that’s why they didn’t notice the progressive swell sneaking up.

Late last month, it overtook Rep. Joe Crowley (D-N.Y.), a party stalwart representing parts of New York City, who lost the primary to newcomer Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a 28-year-old Latina. The upset was written off by some as a rogue wave, a one-off that was merely a reflection of the changing demographics of that particular House district and not a referendum on the party’s neoliberal platform.

But the one-offs are starting to add up around the country as progressive candidates advance over more moderate Democrats, notably in three gubernatorial primaries: Stacey Abrams in Georgia, Ben Jealous in Maryland and Jared Polis in Colorado.

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Former Environmental Protection Agency administrator Scott Pruitt listens as President Donald Trump speaks during a cabinet meeting.
Former Environmental Protection Agency administrator Scott Pruitt listens as President Donald Trump speaks during a cabinet meeting. (Evan Vucci / AP)

Scott Pruitt may be gone from the Environmental Protection Agency, but his work dismantling environmental safeguards is still inspiring lawsuits — or at least threats of lawsuits.

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra and a dozen other state attorneys general fired off a letter to the EPA demanding the agency withdraw a decision Pruitt issued on his last day that would allow fleets of super-polluting trucks to stay on the road. The states have threatened legal action if the EPA does not reverse course.

Pruitt’s successor, Andrew Wheeler, a former industry lobbyist, also appears to believe in less stringent regulations, so don’t expect a quick reversal.

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  • Opinion
  • The Golden State
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti arrives at a meeting with the Asian and Latino Coalition at the Statehouse in Des Moines in April.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti arrives at a meeting with the Asian and Latino Coalition at the Statehouse in Des Moines in April. (Charlie Neibergall/Associated Press)

Mayor Eric Garcetti has been jetting off to Boston, Chicago, Berlin — and especially to presidential battleground states, such as Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina.

From September 2016 through August 2017, Garcetti logged 112 days, or nearly one-third of his time, away from California, Times reporter Dakota Smith found. 

There’s nothing wrong with the mayor traveling out of state or out of the country on city business. This is Los Angeles, the nation’s second largest city and a global economic force. The mayor should be out building relationships across the country and the world, not cloistered in City Hall. 

Raymond Burr starred on television as Perry Mason, the defense attorney who grilled guilty witnesses.
Raymond Burr starred on television as Perry Mason, the defense attorney who grilled guilty witnesses. (Los Angeles Times)

At his joint news conference with British Prime Minister Theresa May on Friday, President Trump said that he would raise the issue of Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. election with Vladimir Putin when the two leaders meet in Helsinki next week. Later in the day, Deputy Atty. Gen. Rod Rosenstein gave Trump some ammunition if he’s willing to use it.

“Will we be talking about meddling? I will absolutely bring that up,” Trump said. “I don’t think you’ll have any, ‘Gee, I did it, I did it, you got me.’ There won’t be a Perry Mason here, I don’t think.” (Mason was the fictional defense attorney who cleared his clients by extracting confessions from the real killers.)

Nevertheless, Trump insisted that he would “absolutely firmly ask the question.”

  • Trump
  • Opinion
  • The Witch Hunt
Deputy Atty. Gen. Rod Rosenstein outlines a new indictment Friday against alleged Russian hacks into Hillary Clinton campaign accounts.
Deputy Atty. Gen. Rod Rosenstein outlines a new indictment Friday against alleged Russian hacks into Hillary Clinton campaign accounts. (Evan Vucci / Associated Press)

Then-candidate Donald J. Trump said he was just joking in July 2016 when he called on Russia to “find the 30,000 emails” that Hillary Clinton had not turned over to State Department investigators, ostensibly because they were personal correspondence and not government business.

Now that special counsel Robert S. Mueller III has obtained indictments against 12 Russian intelligence officers in connection with hacking into multiple Clinton campaign-related email accounts in the four previous months, it puts Trump’s comments in a different light.

The indictment alleges that the Russian agents broke into accounts for the Democratic National Committee, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and various volunteers and employees at Clinton’s campaign — including the email account of her campaign chairman, John Podesta. It goes into some detail on how it identified the responsible parties, adding weight to the allegations.

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  • Opinion
  • The Swamp
Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio).
Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio). (Manuel Balce Ceneta / Associated Press)

Jim Jordan needs a journalism lesson.

The Republican congressman from Ohio and Freedom Caucus founder is embroiled in an ongoing sex abuse scandal. A number of college athletes at Ohio State University have come forward to accuse Jordan of ignoring their reports of sexual abuse when he was an assistant coach for the wrestling team. Jordan has repeatedly denied all of it.

On Wednesday, he expressed his displeasure with the lamestream fake news media's favorite last-ditch gotcha tactic: reporting.

  • Trump
  • Opinion
 Dwight Hammond arrives at the Burns Municipal Airport in Burns, Ore., on Wednesday.
Dwight Hammond arrives at the Burns Municipal Airport in Burns, Ore., on Wednesday. (Beth Nakamura / Associated Press)

President Trump has made it clear that he relishes the exercise of the pardon power — one of the few realms in which he can act without worrying about interference by “so-called judges.”

Trump also has left no doubt that the quality of mercy in this administration droppeth disproportionately on recipients likely to be popular with his base.

Recipients of presidential clemency have included “Sheriff Joe” Arpaio of Maricopa County, Ariz.;  conservative polemicist Dinesh D’Souza; and Kristian Saucier, a Navy sailor who served a year in prison for taking photographs of classified areas inside a submarine. Saucier had argued that his acts were no worse than Hillary Clinton's use of a personal email server as secretary of State.

  • Opinion
  • Guns and Ammo
  • The Swamp
Seth Rich's mother, Mary Rich, in 2016. His parents eventually sued Fox News over a retracted story about their son's killing.
Seth Rich's mother, Mary Rich, in 2016. His parents eventually sued Fox News over a retracted story about their son's killing. (Washington Post)

Two years ago this week, Seth Rich was on the phone with his girlfriend as he walked home from a bar in the early morning hours. His girlfriend heard other voices on Rich's end. Then the call abruptly ended.

The 27-year-old Democratic National Committee staffer was shot and killed in his Washington, D.C., neighborhood that morning. Local police investigated and determined it was a robbery gone wrong, possibly connected to a string of recent street robberies in the area.

But that's not the story some conservatives like to tell. According to stories breathlessly reported by a wide range of right-leaning sites, Rich was a deep-state whistleblower who leaked thousands of DNC emails to WikiLeaks, then found himself in the crosshairs of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.

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  • Trump
  • Opinion
  • Rule of Law
President Trump with Judge Brett Kavanaugh and his family at the White House on Monday.
President Trump with Judge Brett Kavanaugh and his family at the White House on Monday. (Jabin Botsford / Washington Post)

Whatever you think of Brett Kavanaugh as a Supreme Court nominee — brilliant jurist, threat to Roe vs. Wade, spawn of the Federalist Society — you can be sure of this: He’s a great dad and a great coach.

So says Julie O’Brien of Chevy Chase, Md., in an opinion piece in the Washington Post.

She writes:

  • Opinion
  • We're All Doomed
A passenger jet passes in front of a full moon as it takes off from Gatwick airport outside London.
A passenger jet passes in front of a full moon as it takes off from Gatwick airport outside London. (Daniel Berehulak)

For those space-geek billionaires who’ve already run through the Neiman Marcus Christmas catalog of ways to spend on your girlfriend — matching Rolls-Royce limited edition Dawns, for example — here’s a novel way to impress: Propose to her on a round-the-moon flight. 

A French company that specializes in marriage proposals in Paris (mais bien sur!) has, apparently, extended its turf to the moon, offering a $145 million voyage to the moon to propose. That includes a launch from Cape Canaveral, a cozy autonomous capsule ride for two toward the lunar surface, and, at just the right moment, the romantic crooning of Frank Sinatra on “Fly Me to the Moon.” Cameras positioned around the capsule will snap photos and save the happy couple from having to selfie themselves as he puts a ring on it. 

Landing on the mood is not included. About 125 miles is as close as you’d get.