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Newsletter: Today: The Shutdown Showdown and What’s at Stake

With a Thursday morning tweet, President Trump added confusion to the effort to avert a federal shutdown.
(Saul Loeb / AFP-Getty Images)

Drama in D.C. Stop us if you’ve heard this one before.

TOP STORIES

The Shutdown Showdown and What’s at Stake

A looming government shutdown. Both sides blaming each other. President Trump’s tweets muddying the waters. Here we go again. With a deadline of midnight tonight, it appears that a four-week stopgap spending bill to keep the federal government open for business has stalled after passing in the House with strong Republican support. Senate Democrats and a few GOP members have opposed it. The biggest sticking point: the lack of an immigration deal to protect so-called Dreamers from deportation. So what does a shutdown really mean? We break it down.

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Trump’s Not So ‘Big and Strong’ Base

It was one year ago Saturday that Trump became the 45th president of the United States, and during that time he’s often played to his much-talked-about “base,” which he has described as “big and strong.” Yet a new USC-Dornsife/Los Angeles Times nationwide poll indicates that his support has eroded and his opposition has gained energy. The poll, which forecast Trump’s election in 2016, found 32% approved of Trump’s job performance, compared with 55% who disapproved and 12% who were neutral.

(Los Angeles Times )

More Politics

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-- Justice Department lawyers filed an appeal with the Supreme Court asking for a reversal of the ruling by a federal judge in California that Trump may not end the DACA program.

-- After Trump falsely claimed in a tweet that Mexico is “now rated the number one most dangerous country in the world,” the Mexican government fought back.

-- In his first quarterly funding request as acting director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Mick Mulvaney is asking for nothing. He says the bureau has enough money already.

In Perris, a Grim Story Gets Worse

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Prosecutors have described a disturbing pattern of abuse and neglect by David and Louise Turpin: beating and choking their 13 children, tying them to beds for months at a time, depriving them of food, and forcing them to stay up at night and sleep during the day. One thing the children were allowed to do was write in their journals, which authorities are now poring through. The parents pleaded not guilty to all charges against them.

The Man, the Mutator, the Legend

Artist Ed Moses often cast himself as an outsider and a contrarian. He didn’t have a signature style, calling himself “The Mutator.” But for decades, he was an L.A. art world fixture. Moses, who died at age 91 this week, was a central figure in the influential “Cool School” of the 1950s and ’60s who only picked up the pace of his experimentation as he got older. “We get lucky and we invent things,” he said in this 2016 video, “because, don’t forget, I don’t know what I’m doing.”

FLASHBACK FRIDAY

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It began at 4:31 a.m. Jan. 17, 1994, and officially lasted only about 10 seconds. The Northridge earthquake killed 60 people and left more than 80,000 structures damaged or destroyed. These firsthand accounts tell what it was like to live through it.

MUST-WATCH VIDEO

-- It wasn’t your imagination: 2017 was one of the three hottest years on record, according to data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and NASA.

-- Film critic Justin Chang says “12 Strong,” set in post-9/11 Afghanistan and starring Chris Hemsworth, is a rah-rah war movie.

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CALIFORNIA

-- State officials criticized the Trump administration over reports of an imminent immigration enforcement sweep of Northern California and said new state laws will make such action more difficult.

-- The parents of slain college student Blaze Bernstein speak out: “Bring goodness to the world” in his name.

-- Opponents of L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti’s problem-plagued recycling initiative have launched a campaign to dismantle the program.

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-- A collection of UCLA fraternity leaders has put a self-imposed ban on parties with alcohol at their houses.

YOUR WEEKEND

-- “The Immigrant Cookbook: Recipes That Make America Great” celebrates the diversity in our kitchens.

-- A few strategies to make 2018 your best wine year ever. First, think beyond the usual growing regions.

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-- Before and after: A massive front lawn is transformed into an inviting, low-water landscape.

HOLLYWOOD AND THE ARTS

-- No longer the upstarts, Netflix and Amazon are now firmly in the Sundance Film Festival family.

-- Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin of the show “Grace & Frankie” discuss aging without fear and the power of women’s voices united.

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-- Samantha Bee has a message to the Aziz Ansaris of the world: If you say you’re a feminist, act like a feminist.

NATION-WORLD

-- The Supreme Court came to the aid of North Carolina’s Republican leaders, putting on hold a lower court’s ruling that declared the state’s election map an unconstitutional “partisan gerrymander.”

-- Scientists have developed a noninvasive blood test that can detect signs of eight types of cancer long before any symptoms of the disease arise.

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-- North Korea will be dispatching what’s been described as an “army of beauties” to cheer on the Winter Olympics in South Korea next month.

-- Ireland fears a “Brexit” divide. At least no one is talking about building a wall.

BUSINESS

-- Amazon says Los Angeles and 19 other places are the finalists for its $5-billion second headquarters. L.A. is the only city west of the Rockies in contention.

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-- The Los Angeles Times’ parent company, Tronc, says it has opened an investigation into past conduct of Times publisher Ross Levinsohn after a detailed report by National Public Radio.

-- A Seattle judge says Olympus Corp. failed to properly disclose internal emails that raised safety concerns about a redesigned medical scope as early as 2008.

SPORTS

-- Those feisty Clippers? Columnist Bill Plaschke says they’re the feel-good story of the NBA.

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-- Former Rams Coach Jeff Fisher says he has enjoyed watching the success of his former quarterbacks Case Keenum and Nick Foles, who square off against each other this weekend.

OPINION

-- As Trump continues to spread falsehoods, a new Rand report suggests we’re living in a period in which “truth decay” poses a direct threat to democracy.

-- A former flu virus researcher says we’re underfunding research on vaccines that may be able to prevent another terrible flu season.

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WHAT OUR EDITORS ARE READING

-- Trump administration appointee Carl Higbie has resigned after “racist, sexist, anti-Muslim and anti-LGBT comments” he made on the radio came to light. (CNN)

-- Twenty-five years later: A look back at the Branch Davidians’ story. (Waco Tribune-Herald)

-- Who deserves credit for designing the dime? It’s complicated. (Atlas Obscura)

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ONLY IN L.A.

If you’ve been hankering for better tortillas (made from Sonora wheat, no less), Asian desserts (egg waffles) or anything that’s been cooked with a wood fire, restaurant critic Jonathan Gold says 2018 is your year. What other L.A. food trends are in store? Here’s the main course.

If you like this newsletter, please share it with friends. Comments or ideas? Email us at headlines@latimes.com.


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