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Today: Are You Better Off Than You Were 10 Years Ago?

Ten years after the financial crisis, and amid a strong economy, many Americans are still struggling to recover.

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Are You Better Off Than You Were 10 Years Ago?

A decade ago this week, the Wall Street investment bank Lehman Bros. collapsed. Combined with the housing market crash and an economy in recession, it plunged the U.S. into the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. Though the wealthiest 5% of Americans have seen their income rise substantially, many average folks are still struggling to get their lives back in order. In Southern California, home prices in many areas are near their historic highs, but not in places like Victorville. Though the economy is booming, some question whether we are ready for the next recession. And columnist Michael Hiltzik thinks we’ve already forgotten some of the lessons of 10 years ago.

The 25th Dimension

After last week’s one-two punch of excerpts from Bob Woodward’s book “Fear” and an op-ed from an anonymous Trump administration official in the New York Times, the White House is still dealing with the fallout. Vice President Mike Pence disputed Woodward’s depiction of President Trump, denied engaging in any discussion about invoking the 25th Amendment to eject Trump from office and said he was willing to take a lie detector test to back up his denial of authoring the op-ed. Meanwhile, Democrats expressed alarm that the president had urged the Justice Department to find the op-ed’s author.

More Politics

-- Sen. Dianne Feinstein accused Trump of holding himself “above the law,” and warned that Judge Brett Kavanaugh, Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, viewed the president as an “oligarch” who cannot be investigated or tried for crimes.

-- Trump has agreed to give up his right to pursue millions of dollars in damages against porn actress Stormy Daniels in a move seeking to kill litigation over an illegal payoff to her.

-- Trump says he wants to toughen the nation’s libel laws. L.A. Times Executive Editor Norman Pearlstine explains why he isn’t likely to succeed.

A Stunning Fall From Grace

CBS Corp. Chairman and Chief Executive Leslie Moonves has resigned, becoming the highest-profile media executive yet to see his career collapse from the weight of sexual harassment allegations that have surfaced in the #MeToo era. The company says that CBS and Moonves will donate $20 million to organizations that support the #MeToo movement and equality for women in the workplace. Moonves has denied the allegations.

Friday Night Lights in the Trump Era

Santa Ana High School Principal Jeff Bishop says students from Aliso Niguel High School chanted “USA! USA!” and had signs expressing support for President Trump and proclaiming “We love White” and “Build the wall” when the teams played Friday night. That touched off a debate online: Was it a racial jab at Santa Ana’s predominantly Latino students by those at a school that’s mostly white? Or just a misunderstanding?

OUR MUST-READS FROM THE WEEKEND

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-- The two men running for California governor: A look at how eight elite San Francisco families funded Gavin Newsom’s political ascent and John Cox’s campaign was tripped up by his statements about the Holocaust and immigrants.

-- Columnist Steve Lopez profiles two young women who’ve bonded while plotting to escape poverty in L.A.

-- California is ending money bail. Who will bail out the industry?

-- In Koreatown, a summer of upheaval has galvanized a community while leaving others feeling left out.

-- Greenhouse gases are wreaking havoc on the planet. What if they could be used for good, like making cement?

-- Is the Miss America pageant — make that “competition” — worth saving?

MUST-WATCH VIDEO

-- Former President Obama is back on the campaign trail, and this time it’s personal.

CALIFORNIA

-- Campaign donors and staffers for L.A. Councilwoman Nury Martinez were summoned to an L.A. County grand jury earlier this summer.

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-- People who repeatedly disrupt public meetings at Los Angeles City Hall could be barred from attending council or committee meetings for several days.

-- At USC, two longtime political street fighters are working on restoring civility to Trump-era public discourse.

-- A number of Rosh Hashana celebrations across Los Angeles will usher in the year 5779 on the Hebrew calendar.

HOLLYWOOD AND THE ARTS

-- The film “Crazy Rich Asians” didn’t tell all of our stories, writes reporter Frank Shyong, but Asian Americans found a way to relate.

-- Paul Simon, in the homestretch of a farewell tour, speaks of a unique journey through his past for his “In the Blue Light” album.

-- Pop music critic Mikael Wood remembers Mac Miller, the rapper who died last week at age 26.

-- Director Karyn Kusama’s “Destroyer” is a noir thriller set in L.A. with a female detective, played by Nicole Kidman, at its center.

CLASSIC HOLLYWOOD

The original Rin Tin Tin was born 100 years ago and starred in his first film, a silent picture in 1922, before working in talkies as the famous crime-fighting German shepherd. After he died in August 1932, several related dogs would carry on the role until 1959, including his son Rin Tin Tin Jr.

NATION-WORLD

-- Forecasters say Hurricane Florence could directly hit the Southeastern United States toward the end of the week.

-- In a major military parade to mark its 70th anniversary, North Korea held back its most advanced missiles.

-- Seventeen years after the Sept. 11 attacks, Al Qaeda may be stronger than ever, with the largest fighting force in its existence and a change in tactics.

-- Thousands of Russians protested in cities across the country in a rare show of unity against a government plan to raise the age limit for retirement benefits.

-- Sweden’s far right made a strong showing in this weekend’s national elections.

BUSINESS

-- Never mind Elon Musk smoking marijuana. Take a look at the executives fleeing Tesla, investors and analysts say.

SPORTS

-- The Rams start their NFL season tonight after adopting a highly unusual approach in the preseason: No member of the team’s starting offense played at all in an effort to protect them from injury.

-- At the U.S. Open, Novak Djokovic won his third title at a tournament that was still talking about Saturday’s chaotic and historic women’s final.

OPINION

-- California is sitting on hundreds of millions of dollars for mental health programs. Let’s put the funds to use.

-- Think the museum fire in Brazil can't happen here? Think again.

WHAT OUR EDITORS ARE READING

-- How #plaidshirtguy and two of his high school classmates attended a Trump rally, went viral, then got kicked out. (Billings Gazette)

-- Tennis great Billie Jean King writes that Serena Williams is still treated differently than a male athlete.

-- The complicated legacy of musician Warren Zevon, 15 years after his death. (The Ringer)

ONLY IN L.A.

Rolly Crump is one of the most important designers in the development of early Disneyland, having worked on It’s a Small World, the Enchanted Tiki Room and the Haunted Mansion, among other cornerstones of the park. He’s also a rebel: A “smoke marijuana” poster once hung on his office door. Now 88, Crump hopes we don’t lose sight of what Disneyland once was.

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