Newsletter: Today: Building That Stonewall

President Trump speaks at an Atlanta summit on the opioid epidemic on Wednesday.
(John Amis / Associated Press)

President Trump’s combative plan to fight oversight by Democrats in Congress sets up a clash that could last for years.


Building That Stonewall

“We’re fighting all the subpoenas.” With those words, President Trump has vowed to fight every effort by Congress to examine his conduct, business and policies, saying that Democrats in the House of Representatives are only out to get him. Though Trump’s attempts to defy congressional oversight could start a constitutional clash, the stonewalling could also work: Fights over congressional subpoenas can grind on for years, even well after Trump is out of office. In the meantime, Trump tweeted Wednesday that he’d go directly to the U.S. Supreme Court “if the partisan Dems” ever tried to impeach him. But given that justices do not have authority under the Constitution to supersede Congress if it impeaches a president, Trump’s threat would seem to face an uphill battle.


More Politics

-- Joe Biden, 76, announced Thursday that he is running for president.

-- Trump’s angry tweet about a border incident involving U.S. and Mexican soldiers has prompted an investigation in Mexico. In separate statements, officials of both countries described it as a misunderstanding that was quickly corrected — and made no mention of drawn guns or drug smuggling, as Trump did.

-- A federal appeals court appeared skeptical of the legality of a new Trump administration policy that requires some asylum seekers to wait in Mexico while the U.S. considers their applications.


-- Women of color are pushing the Democratic presidential hopefuls to recognize their importance.

Seeking Solace in a Strongman

Authorities in Sri Lanka have raised the death toll from a coordinated series of Easter Sunday bombings at churches and luxury hotels to 359 people, making it the deadliest attack ever claimed by Islamic State. As the investigation and mourning continue, politics has come into play, with some survivors of the attacks longing for the days when strongman Mahinda Rajapaksa was president. Rajapaksa and his family controlled the country for a decade, during which he was accused of war crimes, racked up large debts to China, abolished term limits and presided over the rise of increasingly violent Buddhist nationalist groups.

Still a Big Man on Campus

Just a year ago, C.L. Max Nikias was the biggest man on campus at USC — a university president who was seen as a transformative force. Amid a series of scandals, he was pushed out as USC’s president, but not from the university entirely. He remains a tenured professor, and his exit package negotiated behind closed doors gave him a permanent, if nonvoting, seat on USC’s governing board. That makes some people uncomfortable as the university tries to move forward with a new president.

When Any Meal Could Be Their Last

It’s 10:30 p.m. on a Thursday — a.k.a. lunchtime for Thomas Zizzo and Maribel Colocho, two LAPD officers on the late shift in Hollywood. They’ve parked, strategically, to get tacos from El Flamin Taco truck, a favorite among law enforcement. Midway through their meal, a call comes over the radio summoning all nearby officers. They beeline for nearby trash cans, dump their unfinished tacos, and speed west on Sunset Boulevard. This is their story.

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Gordon Phillips’ voice was familiar to thousands of Southern Californians, even if his face was not. For 25 years, he was the “Voice of The Times” in radio, TV and movie advertising — even after becoming director or promotion and public relations. On this date in 1984, the paper reported that Phillips had been killed in a traffic accident while on assignment in New York City. Listen to some of his work here — Track 3 features a voice-over set to a catchy jingle from 1978.

(Los Angeles Times)


-- “Burglary tourism”: Authorities say crews of thieves have ransacked scores of cars, homes and businesses in Southern California and across the nation. The suspects are Chilean and gained entry into the U.S. with easily obtained visa waivers.

-- A bill to tighten the state’s school immunization law has passed its first hurdle in the Legislature, after hundreds of parents made emotional pleas against it.

-- The National Rifle Assn. has filed a lawsuit challenging a new Los Angeles law requiring companies that seek contracts with the city to disclose whether they have ties to the gun rights group.

-- Parents are voting to decide whether L.A.’s Gardner Street Elementary School should remove the name of the late pop star Michael Jackson from the auditorium on campus.



-- The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has announced a handful of rule changes but has backed off its fight with Netflix.

-- Luke Combs has a hit country power ballad in “Beautiful Crazy.” This weekend, he’ll be at the Stagecoach Festival in Indio.

-- Jared Harris is a “Game of Thrones” superfan. He shared these predictions for Episode 3 of the final season.

-- New Orleans’ Jazz Fest is turning 50. It’s an American institution with humble roots.


-- Searching for alternatives amid stalled nuclear talks with the U.S., North Korean leader Kim Jong Un met with President Vladimir Putin in the Russian city of Vladivostok.

-- Russia says it will offer citizenship to Ukrainians living in the breakaway territories of the country’s eastern flank, a provocative move Putin signed into law just three days after Ukraine’s presidential election.

-- The World Health Organization has issued its first-ever guidance for how much screen time children under 5 should get: not very much, and none at all for those under 1.


-- Tesla’s financial situation is looking bleak. The company reported total sales, including cars, energy and battery storage products, fell 38% and that it turned unprofitable again after two rare quarters of positive earnings.

-- Mattel’s bid to reverse the toy maker’s years-long slump faces a hurdle that doesn’t involve a toy: a product recall after infant deaths.

-- New technology is being tried out in stores using cameras to try to guess your age, gender or mood. The intent is to use the information to show you targeted real-time ads on in-store video screens.


-- The Clippers have forced a Game 6 in their NBA playoff series with the Golden State Warriors.

-- A former Big Baller Brand associate of Lonzo Ball is the subject of an FBI fraud investigation.


-- If anyone deserves the death penalty, it’s the Golden State Killer, writes columnist George Skelton.

-- Has the Supreme Court become a rubber stamp for Trump? It’s starting to look that way, writes Erwin Chemerinsky, dean of the UC Berkeley School of Law.


-- Trump keeps claiming the New York Times apologized to him. The paper says it didn’t. Here’s how the president has weaponized a note to readers. (Vanity Fair)

-- An excerpt adapted from the new book “Midnight in Chernobyl” shows how life in a city changed overnight. (Atlas Obscura)

-- Who, besides the president, is tweeting a lot? A study pulls back the curtain to discover the relatively low number of users who create most of the content. (Pew Research Center)


From the 1940s to the 1980s, Scotty Bowers says he ran a brothel of sorts for closeted celebrities. His hub of operations: a gas station in the shadow of industry studios on Hollywood Boulevard. If the stories surrounding him are true, his former home in Los Feliz probably saw a few things over the years too. It’s now on the market for $1.497 million. You can get a look at it for free here.

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