Newsletter: Today: The Problem With Trump
Our editorial board weighs in on the Trump presidency: “Nothing prepared us for the magnitude of this train wreck.” Get the second editorial in the series below, along with the rest of the day’s news. I’m Davan Maharaj, editor-in-chief of the Los Angeles Times.
The Problem With Trump
More than 2 million readers on latimes.com saw the first installment of The Times Editorial Board’s hard-hitting series on Trump. “In a matter of weeks, President Trump has taken dozens of real-life steps that, if they are not reversed, will rip families apart, foul rivers and pollute the air, intensify the calamitous effects of climate change and profoundly weaken the system of American public education for all.”
Today’s Part 2 looks at “why Trump lies” and states that “he gives every indication that he is as much the gullible tool of liars as he is the liar in chief.” He is hardly the first president to lie, of course. But “the insult that Donald Trump brings to the equation is an apparent disregard for fact so profound as to suggest that he may not see much practical distinction between lies, if he believes they serve him, and the truth.”
Gorsuch and Such
Most Supreme Court confirmations leave a lasting mark on the court. This week’s battle over Judge Neil M. Gorsuch could also change the U.S. Senate. The Judiciary Committee should get the ball rolling today with a vote, followed by debate in the full Senate starting Tuesday. Will Republicans resort to the “nuclear option” — that is, changing the rules to defeat a Democratic filibuster? “What I can tell you is that Neil Gorsuch will be confirmed this week,” said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.). “How that happens really depends on our Democratic friends.”
-- President Trump stepped up his threats to cut a deal on healthcare with Democrats, if conservatives in the House won’t back his proposals.
-- Drain the swamp or fill the cesspool? The White House began disclosing financial holdings of 180 administration officials, revealing their significant personal wealth.
-- A poll says most Americans favor an independent investigation into ties between Russia and Trump and his campaign.
Arkansas’ Assembly Line of Executions
Starting the day after Easter, Arkansas is scheduled to execute eight men in 11 days. No state has put that many people to death in such a short span since the Supreme Court reinstated the death penalty in 1976. The reason? The governor says the state’s supply of a drug used in the lethal injection cocktail will expire at the end of the month. The pending executions are stirring emotions in the small town that’s home to death row but hasn’t seen an Arkansas execution since 2005.
Don’t Book ’Em, Danno
In 2013, Los Angeles police officers began making fewer arrests, a trend that accelerated the following two years. They weren’t alone: In 2015, police throughout California recorded the lowest number of arrests in nearly 50 years. With crime increasing in L.A., many are wondering why. Is it lack of resources, a demoralized police force, a change in tactics or something else?
The Streets of Los Angeles
Arrests aren’t the only policing stats that are down in L.A. Speeding tickets have dropped dramatically too. This comes as traffic fatalities in the city have risen sharply. Last year, 260 people died — that’s 43% more than the previous year, despite a high-profile safety campaign. And in other motoring news: Did you know that for more than five years, the L.A. City Council has told parking officers not to ticket cars parked on parkways, i.e. public land between the sidewalk and curb as well as the aprons that connect driveways to the street? Some people are getting tired of the renegade parkers.
‘Take Ahmed and Let Me Die’
Abdullah Xalil Mutar was holding his 2-year-old son Ahmed on his lap. His wife and children were in another room of their Mosul home. Then it hit. Mutar was buried in the rubble of his building during a U.S. airstrike believed to have killed more than 200 people. He told his older son: “Take Ahmed and let me die.” It’s just one of the harrowing stories that Times staff writer Molly Hennessy-Fiske and photographer Marcus Yam documented in their report from Mosul.
At 78, She Sleeps in Her Car in Carlsbad
Edythe Russell just wants to get back to the life she had, to the time before she says she lost both her homes in Arizona and everything else in the recession. At age 78, she sleeps with her two dogs in her PT Cruiser in a Carlsbad parking lot. Columnist Steve Lopez checked in with her.
OUR MUST-READS FROM THE WEEKEND
-- Watch: A video shows an L.A. County sheriff’s deputy ignoring a call of a shooting while recording a personal message to his ex-girlfriend.
-- Rep. Adam B. Schiff of Burbank, Trump’s public prosecutor, says he must be a “guardian against the worst abuses.”
-- The decades-old battle over the Yucca Mountain nuclear dump, 100 miles northwest of Las Vegas, has resumed under the Trump budget plan.
-- A true story of globalization: Born in America, Sriracha sauce tries its luck in Vietnam.
-- From L.A. to Tehran, nose jobs are a rite of passage and a quiet rebellion for many Persian women.
-- The Golden Age of TV is not so golden for writers: why the Writers Guild of America is moving closer to a strike.
-- Our guide to great Los Angeles bakeries.
-- Analysts say Proposition 66, which passed in November, will tie up the state’s Supreme Court with hundreds of death penalty appeals that would leave 10% of its time for other cases.
-- More and more police are wearing body cameras. Problem is, they don’t always turn the cameras on, sometimes in pressure-filled situations.
-- Most head chaplains at colleges are Christian. At USC, a Hindu leads the way.
-- A mother and daughter in Irvine are accused of operating a national prostitution ring.
HOLLYWOOD AND THE ARTS
-- Be their guest, more than once: “Beauty and the Beast” is showing the power of repeat business.
-- Morgan Freeman isn’t the retiring sort. “You’ve got to make hay while the sun is shining,” he says.
-- How do you sleuth, schmooze and make deals to acquire high-quality Old Master artworks? Let LACMA’s retiring chief curator of European painting and sculpture explain.
-- Just in time for opening day, L.A. Times architecture critic Christopher Hawthorne looks at a new book on the complicated history of Dodger Stadium.
“Que sera, sera.” Doris Day was a big-band singer in the 1940s who went on to become one of the biggest stars of the silver screen in the 1950s and ’60s. Today, the animal-rights advocate turns 95.
-- A devastating flood swept through a southern Colombian city, causing more than 200 deaths, many of them children, and leaving hundreds more missing and injured.
-- Police in Pakistan say the custodian of a shrine in eastern Punjab province and his accomplices killed 20 devotees after intoxicating them.
-- Ecuadoreans voted in a closely watched presidential election that could defy Latin America’s trend of rejecting populist candidates. It also could influence the fate of WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange.
-- The discovery of Florida panther kittens near the Everglades is lifting hope for the species’ survival.
-- As other malls die off, this shopping center in Arcadia is being revitalized by focusing on Asian shoppers.
-- Revelations of sexual harassment claims involving Fox News keep piling up.
-- The Gonzaga Bulldogs will take on mighty North Carolina in the men’s NCAA basketball championship game tonight. For the Final Four, the Bulldogs invited former coaches to enjoy the show. In the women’s final, South Carolina beat Mississippi State.
-- What’s the secret to Clayton Kershaw’s opening day dominance for the Dodgers? He’s Clayton Kershaw.
-- A viral Facebook post that has grabbed the attention of parents worried about child sex trafficking is misinformed about this crime.
-- Can’t vegans and vegetarians just get along?
WHAT OUR EDITORS ARE READING
-- Nevada is seeing a lithium rush, as the metal is crucial to batteries for today’s technology. (Bloomberg)
-- Can any one person be considered to have invented a device? Consider the telescope. (Aeon)
-- Blue, burgundy, beige: how they come up with the colors for passports. (The Economist)
ONLY IN L.A.
The art of lowriding was born in L.A.’s Eastside, and for decades the car cruising scene has followed the maxim “low, slow and show.” These days, lowrider enthusiasts are putting big engines into their colorful cars and follow a new motto: “low, show and go.” But the price tag is anything but low.
Please send comments and ideas to Davan Maharaj.
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