Newsletter: Today: Trump to California — I’ll Cut You Off. Houston, We Have a Comeback.

President Trump and Vice President Pence
President Trump and Vice President Pence at the White House.
(Michael Reynolds / European Pressphoto Agency)

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.


Checks, Balances and Mean Tweets on Trump’s Travel Ban

It was another weekend of checks, balances and mean tweets, as the legal fight continued over President Trump’s travel ban (yes, he used that word again). The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco rejected the administration’s emergency bid to reinstate the ban but is still considering the appeal and is likely to make a quick decision. As is his custom, Trump tweeted his outrage by discrediting the “so-called judge” who blocked the ban and later added, “If something happens blame him and court system.” Meanwhile, visitors from the seven Muslim-majority countries in question hurried to use their visas while they still could. 


Trump to California: You’re Out of Control

There’s no love lost between Trump and the Golden State, where he lost the election badly. During a Fox interview, the president threatened to withhold federal funding if California declares itself a sanctuary state. “If we have to, we’ll defund,” Trump said. “We give tremendous amounts of money to California. California in many ways is out of control, as you know.” Pot, meet kettle. So how likely is this? Columnist George Skelton says the state is vulnerable on paper, but in reality not so much.

More Politics

-- Not just “bad hombres”: Trump is targeting up to 8 million people for deportation, according to calculations by the Los Angeles Times.


-- Trump vowed to end the “catch and release” policy, but on the Texas border, it’s business as usual.

-- “You think our country is so innocent?” Trump responded when told Vladimir Putin is “a killer.”

-- After initial optimism about the economy, some investors have begun to worry about a “Trump slump.”

Houston, We Have a Comeback

Midway through the third quarter of Super Bowl LI, it looked like a blowout: New England Patriots, 3; Atlanta Falcons, 28. Even President Trump, a big Patriots fan, left his party at Mar-a-Lago early. Then Tom Brady engineered the biggest comeback in Super Bowl history, in the event’s first overtime game to boot, with the Pats pulling out a 34-28 victory. In a year when even the big game had become politicized, some ads made a statement (see the complete 84 Lumber commercial), but halftime performer Lady Gaga mostly didn’t — unless playing a keytar counts. 

In California, Your Electric Bill Is Overcharged 

Remember the rolling blackouts of the great California electricity crisis of 2000-2001? Leaders, regulators and utilities vowed never to be in that position again. Except now the state has a glut of power, an L.A. Times investigation has found, and Californians have paid billions of dollars for it — even as they use less electricity. How did that happen? Read on or check out this powerful graphic


Big Pharma Vs. the FDA: Which Do You Trust More?

Pharmaceutical company lobbyists and patients desperate for new medicines have long said the FDA takes too long to review drugs. That’s driven Congress to repeatedly loosen regulations, and some FDA critics hope Trump will do even more. One of his possible selections to head the FDA raised the idea of approving drugs with no tests of their effectiveness. But the 2010 rollout of a lung cancer drug offers a cautionary tale


-- Steve Lopez: L.A.’s melting pot is defying Trump’s special talent to provoke and divide.

-- In New York and Texas, Trump’s policies and rhetoric are forging alliances between American Jews and Muslims.

-- A bill in North Dakota could make it legal to run over protesters. It’s one of several new proposed laws seeking to criminalize protest around the country.

-- Authorities allege a 76-year-old Whittier man with dementia was dumped in England by his son during a visit. The son says that isn’t true.

-- After 24 years, police have made arrests in an L.A. apartment fire that killed 10 people. 


-- Joyce Carol Oates tackles abortion in her powerful novel “A Book of American Martyrs.”


-- UC Berkeley is blaming “black bloc” protesters for the violence that led to the cancellation of an appearance by conservative provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos.

-- Thousands of people converged on downtown Los Angeles to protest the proposed $3.8-billion Dakota Access pipeline.

-- Here’s how a student, who was detained 23 hours at LAX and then deported, made it back to California.

-- The landmark Anaheim White House Restaurant, where former presidents and celebrities once dined, has gone up in flames.


-- Melissa McCarthy’s scathing portrayal of White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer on “Saturday Night Live” was a social media hit. Watch it here.

-- The Fox thriller “24” is back, but this time there’s no Jack. 

-- More dissent on the Hollywood awards circuit as political speeches peppered the Directors Guild Awards.

--  Watch the movie trailers that were shown during the Super Bowl.


Don’t stop thinking about tomorrow, but take a moment to think back to when Fleetwood Mac’s “Rumours” came out 40 years ago this week. It would become a Grammy-winning mega-seller.


-- In Mexico, Trump triggers a surge in patriotism and anti-American sentiment.

-- Iran said that a U.S. wrestling team would be granted visas to compete at a prestigious international tournament this month.

-- Surveys show the practice of female genital mutilation appears to be on the decline in many countries.

-- When Aleppo was “one of the most beautiful cities in the world.” 

-- A look at the Boy Scouts of America’s evolution on social issues.


-- Did someone say food fight? U.S. farmers, especially those in California, are worried about a possible trade war.

-- To Obama, “low-wage workers” often meant struggling moms. To Trump and other Republicans, fast-food work and other low-paying jobs are largely for young people just getting started.


-- Who is Duncan Krier, the best high school football player that one Super Bowl star ever saw? Bill Plaschke called him up.

-- The boys’ basketball team at Chino Hills High School saw its 60-game win streak end with a loss to a team from Virginia.


-- Democrats are now the party of “no.” Is that enough to win back the country?

-- Judging from these letters, out-of-state conservatives are some of Calexit’s biggest fans.


-- Steve Bannon was spotted reading “The Best and the Brightest” at the airport. But what will he glean from it? (New York Times) 

-- The very leaky Trump administration. (Washington Post)

-- Some critics are talking about canceling the Oscars as a protest, but others say that wouldn’t accomplish anything. (The Atlantic) 


The Apple Pan on Pico Boulevard opened April 11, 1947, and it’s been a model of consistency ever since. One time the restaurant modified a single ingredient in the sauce slathered on its signature Hickoryburger. Two customers — actor John Lithgow and his wife — noticed, as the original owners’ granddaughter tells it, and the recipe went back to the original. Savor a few more tales from the 70-year-old Westside institution.

Please send comments and ideas to Davan Maharaj.

If you like this newsletter, please share it with friends.