Newsletter: Today: What Did Obama Say About Two Americas? An Update on the 99%.

I’m Davan Maharaj, editor-in-chief of the Los Angeles Times. Here are some story lines I don’t want you to miss today.


What Did Obama Say About Two Americas?

It’s not your imagination: Voters backing the two major parties differ more from each other now than at any other point in a generation, according to a new study by the nonpartisan Pew Research Center. In short: Democrats have become the party of the nation’s younger, increasingly secular, racially and ethnically diverse urban population. Republicans represent an older America, with support coming from white, devout Protestants living in non-urban areas. Read on to see how the numbers changed, especially during the Obama administration.


More Politics

-- Donald Trump unveiled plans for paid family leave and child care.

-- Hillary Clinton will resume campaign travel Thursday, according to a spokesman.

-- Steve Lopez visited Trump headquarters in Long Beach’s Cambodia Town and found out, “Why there, of all places?”


An Update on the 99%

The good news: Census figures for 2015 show median household income rose 5.2% over the previous year and the nation’s poverty rate fell to 13.5%, reflecting the biggest annual improvements in decades. The bad news: Those numbers still aren’t as good as they were in 2007. Here are a few more reasons to feel positive or negative about the economy.

Healthy job growth, coupled with moderate wage gains, lifted the median household income in the United States to $56,516 last year.
Healthy job growth, coupled with moderate wage gains, lifted the median household income in the United States to $56,516 last year.
(@latimesgraphics )

A Museum That Fights the Power


The National Museum of African American History and Culture is a bold challenge to traditional D.C. architecture. Sitting near the Washington Monument and just a few blocks from the White House, the $540-million museum has three levels of bronze-coated aluminum panels atop an all-glass ground floor. Times architecture critic Christopher Hawthorne calls it “the most impressive and ambitious public building to go up in Washington in a generation.”

Not in Hesperia’s High-Desert Backyard

When low-level offenders are released from jail under California’s justice reform laws, where do they go if they have no place to stay? Some are heading to group homes in the high-desert town of Hesperia in an effort to rebuild their lives. But city officials are saying they don’t want outsiders with criminal records there, and they have taken measures to drive them out the same way “you would call an exterminator to kill roaches,” as the mayor said. Now, there’s a fight in federal court.

In Porter Ranch, Let 100 Lawsuits Bloom


Southern California Gas Co. will pay $4 million and agreed to new safety measures to settle criminal charges over a gas leak near Porter Ranch that forced thousands to flee their homes last year. The utility is still dealing with more than 100 lawsuits from residents and regulators. How much will the incident end up costing? No one knows, but gas officials say they are insured for as much as $1 billion.


-- Nearly two-thirds of voters support a gun-control initiative on the November ballot, according to a new USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times poll.

-- Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed bills that would have repealed the sales tax on diapers and tampons. The authors of that legislation say it’d be better to tax candy instead.


-- Two L.A. police officers have been charged with covering up a crash involving a drunken driver and later filing a false police report, prosecutors say.

-- Los Angeles’ newest police commissioner called for a deep analysis of how the LAPD handles complaints alleging racial profiling.


-- What’s behind the rise of the black romantic thriller at the cineplex?


-- The documentary “Before the Flood” follows Leonardo DiCaprio on a kind of tour of global environmental hot spots.

-- Two studies say Hollywood underrepresents and demeans seniors on screen.

-- “It’s such a shame,” actor Dev Patel says, to compare his new film “Lion” to “Slumdog Millionaire.”

-- MOCA’s big new show, “Doug Aitken: Electric Earth,” has too few sparks.


-- Lucy Alibar, who co-wrote the Oscar-nominated screenplay for “Beasts of the Southern Wild,” has a one-woman show based on growing up in the Florida Panhandle.


-- The United Nations said violence has decreased significantly under the Syrian cease-fire, but there are still obstacles to delivering humanitarian aid.

-- Former Israeli President Shimon Peres was hospitalized after suffering a “major stroke.”


-- The trial has begun for seven protesters who occupied Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon last year.

-- A look at the $3.7-billion pipeline that became a rallying point for tribes across America.

-- Scientists have discovered a strange pattern: Words with the same meanings in different languages often seem to share the same sounds, even when those languages are completely unrelated.



-- Wells Fargo says it will eliminate all sales goals for credit cards, checking accounts and other retail banking products after a $185-million settlement over aggressive sales tactics.

-- Reporter Tracey Lien: My ride in a self-driving Uber, or how I learned to stop worrying and trust the algorithm.


-- Vin Scully won’t call any Dodgers playoff games on radio, meaning his career will end Oct. 2 in San Francisco: “Otherwise, I’d be saying goodbye like in grand opera, where you say goodbye 12 different times.”


-- Russian hackers are being accused of posting the confidential medical data of gymnast Simone Biles, tennis star Venus Williams and other female U.S. Olympians.


-- Proposition 54 is a modest proposal to make lawmaking more transparent.

-- The cease-fire in Syria is almost certainly doomed to fail.


-- Gary Johnson’s campaign manager: Let the Libertarian candidate debate.


-- How does the creator of Pepe the Frog feel about his cartoon becoming a favored image of white supremacists? (The Atlantic)

-- An unusual relationship began when this man found a typo in an encyclopedia. (The New Yorker)


-- It’s a boy: The National Zoo welcomes a baby Bornean orangutan. (Smithsonian)


Brick-and-mortar record stores live an endangered existence in today’s world of digital music, but reports of Amoeba Music’s demise in Hollywood appear to be greatly exaggerated. “We’re going to remain in our building for the duration of our lease — which is several years,” the indie retail giant tweeted out after an online story speculated it would soon “get the wrecking ball” to make way for a development. Read on to see why Amoeba’s long-term future is still amorphous.

Please send comments and ideas to Davan Maharaj.