Orange County voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016, but its reputation as a bastion of conservatism hasn’t entirely disappeared.
The Resistance to the ‘Resistance’ Is Here
Remember all that talk about Orange County turning from red to blue? It’s actually more purple, and the area’s conservative side appears to be tan, rested and ready to join the backlash against California’s “sanctuary” laws. The all-Republican Board of Supervisors has voted to try to join the Trump administration’s federal lawsuit against California over its immigration laws. Meanwhile, the Sheriff’s Department began making the release dates of jail inmates publicly available online, as a way to get around a state law blocking it from notifying federal immigration agents.
Check Yes or Uh-Oh?
It’s a yes-no question that California officials say could cost the state billions of dollars and a seat in Congress: Are you a U.S. citizen? The Trump administration unveiled its plan to add that citizenship question to the 2020 census for the first time since 1950 (contrary to White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders’ claim). Six former Census Bureau directors had warned that it could discourage participation, even from U.S. citizens. States with large immigrant populations would be the most likely to be undercounted, and those just happen to have Democratic majorities. Can California and other states successfully sue to block the question? That’s very much open to debate.
Modest? Trump? His First Trade Deal Is
With President Trump talking tough on trade, he has scored a deal with one of the United States’ major partners: an agreement in principle with South Korea to amend a decade-old free-trade pact that Trump has repeatedly bashed. In return for Washington lifting a new 25% tariff on steel, Seoul agreed to limit the amount of steel it exports and make concessions on auto imports from the U.S. Though Trump officials are hailing it as a major victory, it’s a relatively modest one. Still, it is important, especially as negotiations with Pyongyang loom. Speaking of those talks: Kim Jong Un made his first known trip abroad as North Korea’s leader when he met this week with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing.
-- U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley lashed out at Syria, Russia and her colleagues on the Security Council over the fall of Syria’s eastern Ghouta enclave.
-- Does a rash of GOP retirements portend a Democratic wave in November? Not necessarily. This chart breaks down who, from both parties, will be gone from the House and Senate.
-- Why has Trump been silent about Stormy Daniels? Sanders says he is too busy running the country to weigh in personally. (Does that mean Alec Baldwin can rest easy now?)
Orange County’s Homeless Have No Place to Turn
Immigration wasn’t the only hot-button issue in front of Orange County’s supervisors this week. Faced with more than 1,000 protestors, they voted to scrap an ambitious plan to relocate homeless people to temporary shelters in Irvine, Huntington Beach and Laguna Niguel. Now the county is back to square one as it faces a federal lawsuit aimed at finding more homes for the unsheltered. “Who cares? This is not our responsibility,” said one retiree from Laguna Niguel. “We are not elected to handle this crisis. I just don’t want to be near the homeless.”
Down the Rabbit Hole
Which came first, the rabbit or the Easter egg? Either way, a good number of the colorful plastic eggs, tiny stuffed bunnies and baskets suitable for egg hunts you see this time of year in the U.S. have passed through the International Trade City in Yiwu, China. It’s too soon to know whether Trump’s tariffs will affect any of these goods, but already, the trinket trade is changing. Amid the uncertainty, one thing’s for sure: Christmas is a much bigger business than Easter in Yiwu.
-- A look inside a bespoke sneaker company based in Venice. Yes, the shoes cost a bundle.
-- Film critic Justin Chang calls “Unsane” a smart, unnerving psychothriller from Steven Soderbergh.
-- The state Department of Justice will oversee a Sacramento police investigation into the shooting death of Stephon Clark, the unarmed black man who was killed by officers.
-- The Los Angeles City Council voted to oppose state Senate Bill 827, which would potentially reshape cities by allowing residential buildings of four to eight stories on streets near public transit.
-- Who is Dale Fountain? He’s an intensely private Silicon Valley tech worker at the center of the state’s very public debate over single-payer healthcare.
-- An admission by Bell Gardens Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia that she likely used a homophobic term to refer to a gay legislative leader has prompted rebukes from her fellow Democrats.
HOLLYWOOD AND THE ARTS
-- Six months after Hurricane Maria ravaged Puerto Rico, Samantha Bee has brought her show, “Full Frontal,” there to put a spotlight on the still-reeling territory.
-- Theater critic Charles McNulty says the new Broadway production of “Angels in America” from London is the right play for our fractious times.
-- King Tut gets a remodel: How conservators are trying to protect the tomb from tourists.
-- As one of the only Latina voices in L.A. punk rock, Alice Bag is nearing 60 and as politically charged as ever on her new album, “Blueprint.”
Ken Howard played a basketball coach on “The White Shadow” and served as president of SAG-AFTRA over his long career, but when he died in 2016, George Clooney remembered him for an act of kindness. In 1983, Howard gave the then-struggling young actor he had just met a car ride across town because he wouldn’t be able to make an audition on time on his bicycle. Howard was born on this date in 1944.
-- The FBI’s race to hack into the cellphone of a San Bernardino terrorist was hindered by poor internal communication, but officials did not mislead Congress, according to an inspector general’s report.
-- Louisiana’s attorney general ruled out criminal charges against two white Baton Rouge police officers in the shooting of Alton Sterling, a black man whose death outside a mini-mart led to nationwide protests.
-- Authorities in Seattle have arrested a man suspected of sending suspicious packages to multiple military and federal facilities in the Washington, D.C., region.
-- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was hospitalized, apparently suffering from a high fever and severe cough.
-- Russian President Vladimir Putin blamed a Siberian shopping mall fire that killed 64 people on “criminal negligence, sloppiness,” while thousands gathered to demand answers.
-- Car talk: Waymo is buying up to 20,000 Jaguars and plans to rev up its driverless ride-hailing service; Uber will not renew its permit to test autonomous vehicles on California public roads; and Tesla stock dropped on the news that the U.S. is investigating a Model X’s fatal crash.
-- Facebook has signaled that CEO Mark Zuckerberg will testify before Congress, discussing the details of the appearance with lawmakers, according to a source.
-- Chinese investments in U.S. real estate have plummeted since Beijing enacted tighter regulations on outbound investments in August.
-- The final game of the Freeway Series ended in bizarre, malodorous fashion as a pipe burst in 57-year-old Dodger Stadium and flooded the area near the Dodgers dugout.
-- March Madness rakes in millions of dollars, but not for the unpaid athletes. So what’s the solution?
-- The price tag for the Inglewood stadium where the Rams and Chargers will play is nearing $3 billion, which has prompted an NFL rule change on debt ceilings.
-- Trump’s speak-no-evil policy on Russia is undermining his administration’s attempts to get tough.
-- Columnist Gustavo Arellano says Orange County’s anti-sanctuary fervor is all but guaranteed to backfire.
WHAT OUR EDITORS ARE READING
-- Retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens is calling for the repeal of the 2nd Amendment. (New York Times)
-- At checkstands now: a slick, ad-free magazine praising Saudi Arabia’s crown prince Mohammed bin Salman, published by a Trump ally, the owner of the National Enquirer. (The Daily Beast)
-- The Death Row book club: an excerpt from the book “The Sun Does Shine,” written by a man who was sentenced to die for two murders he didn’t commit. (Longreads)
ONLY IN CALIFORNIA
Flip that … town? Cannabis technology company American Green Inc. bought Nipton, Calif., for $5 million last year, with plans of turning it into a pot paradise including a “buds and breakfast” inn and its very own cannabis-infused beverages. Instead, the company sold the town to Delta International Oil & Gas in a deal worth $7.7 million. Will the dream of a weed-themed resort go up in smoke?