President Trump is once again escalating his fight with House Democrats over the aftermath of the special counsel’s report.
Should Mueller Testify? Trump Objects
Should special counsel Robert S. Mueller III testify before Congress about his 448-page report? Not long after House Democrats said they have a tentative deal for Mueller to testify on May 15, President Trump took to Twitter to say that “Bob Mueller should not testify. No redos for the Dems!” Just last week, Atty. Gen. William Barr told Congress he had no objection to Mueller testifying. It’s unclear whether Trump would try now to block an appearance by Mueller, who remains a Justice Department employee, or was merely making a rhetorical point. But it is clear that Trump is still aggrieved, claiming that two years of his presidency have been “stollen” — since corrected to “stolen,” but we’ve heard the original goes well with “covfefe.”
-- Trump tweeted that he is tapping Mark Morgan, a former head of the Border Patrol in the Obama administration, to lead Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Morgan has echoed many Trump talking points on immigration.
-- Trump suddenly turned up the pressure on China, threatening to increase tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods.
-- In Venezuela, U.S.-back opposition leader Juan Guaido’s strategy has flopped again. Now what?
-- Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden disagree on a central issue: Is defeating Trump enough to cure what ails the country?
A Deadly Weekend in the Mideast
Almost uninterrupted rocket fire at Israel’s border with Gaza has left 27 people dead in the largest escalation of fighting since the 2014 Gaza war. The Israeli army reported that more than 600 rockets had been launched from Gaza into Israel since Saturday, and said it had responded with 320 airstrikes Sunday. The Gazan Ministry of Health, an arm of the Hamas paramilitary group that rules the blockaded Palestinian enclave, reported 23 dead; Israeli authorities said that four civilians were killed by incoming rocket fire.
Another Long, Strange Trip?
Today, marijuana. Tomorrow, magic mushrooms? On Tuesday, voters in Denver will decide on a measure to decriminalize the psychedelic drug psilocybin. If they vote yes, Denver would be the first city in the nation to do so and give a boost to similar efforts elsewhere. Last year, California failed to get a like-minded measure on the ballot, and Oregon activists hope to put the issue to a statewide vote in 2020. As with marijuana, a much more benign drug, some tout the potential medical benefits. But even scientists who see medical promise in ’shrooms are urging caution.
The Great Derby Debate
It was the most controversial finish in the 145-year history of the Kentucky Derby: Maximum Security crossed the line first, but after a 22-minute wait, three stewards disqualified the horse for interference, handing the victory to the longshot Country House. Some fans, not to mention losing bettors, balked. Trump tweeted: “The Kentuky [sic] Derby decision was not a good one…. Only in these days of political correctness could such an overturn occur.” But among horse trainers, the people who spend every day on the backstretch, there was near-unanimity that the stewards had made the correct call.
OUR MUST-READS FROM THE WEEKEND
-- In L.A. Unified elementary schools, library books could be off-limits to many students. Sound crazy? Columnist Steve Lopez explores.
-- In Makhanda, a small city in southern South Africa, a nation’s angst is clear — 25 years after the end of apartheid and just days before the national elections.
-- How NBC’s “Must See TV” risk-takers of the ’90s are still launching groundbreaking TV.
-- Life goals: In an over-60 soccer league in Thousand Oaks, a love of the game never gets old.
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FROM THE ARCHIVES
“He’s had many titles throughout his career: World Series-winning manager, general manager, vice president, Hall of Famer, Slim-Fast spokesman, even Baseball Wizard on the campy early 1980s show ‘The Baseball Bunch,’” began an article on this date in 2000. The man in question? Tom Lasorda, who had just added another job description to his resume as manager of the U.S. Olympic baseball team.
-- The state attorney general’s office will review how the Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles handled sexual abuse allegations over the last two decades.
-- Data show the San Fernando Valley neighborhoods of Chatsworth, Porter Ranch and Granada Hills have fewer homeless people than in any other L.A. City Council district. But it’s still a huge campaign issue.
-- Two key members of a white supremacist group based in Southern California have pleaded guilty to conspiring to riot for their roles in provoking violence at a deadly far-right rally in Charlottesville, Va., in 2017.
-- Gov. Gavin Newsom wants companies collecting personal data to pay a “data dividend” — a payment that businesses would make to the state or to consumers if their personal data are sold.
HOLLYWOOD AND THE ARTS
-- The K-pop phenomenon BTS played the Rose Bowl. For the band, which sings primarily in Korean, it was a crowning achievement. For the genre, it’s a commercial peak that’s been a decade in the making. And for the fans, it was a chance to strut their style.
-- “Avengers: Endgame” screenwriters Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely gave us some behind-the-scenes tidbits for those who have seen the movie. Judging from the box office, a lot of people have.
-- “The Big Bang Theory” is in its final season. TV critic Robert Lloyd argues that we shouldn’t let multi-cam sitcoms like it die out.
-- Artist Jaime Hernandez has reunited the female characters from his “Love and Rockets” comic book of the early 1980s. He told us what it was like to revisit them.
-- A White House decision to dispatch an aircraft carrier and other military resources to send a message to Iran followed “clear indications” that Iranian and Iranian proxy forces were preparing to possibly attack U.S. forces in the region, a defense official told the Associated Press.
-- Officials say at least 40 people died when an Aeroflot airliner burst into flames while making an emergency landing at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo International Airport.
-- These youths in Senegal are supposed to be studying Islam, but many are begging in the streets.
-- Can Bird build a better scooter before it runs out of cash? In January, The Times tracked 7,000 Bird scooters. In April, only 1,500 of those same scooters remained active.
-- Despite an investment career that set Tom Barrack on a path to a fortune with Colony Capital and influence in Trump’s Washington, some believe he has been a poor steward of other people’s money.
-- Lonzo Ball has finally spoken publicly about his split with former business manager Alan Foster, whom the Lakers guard sued over allegedly mishandling his family’s finances.
-- After boxer Canelo Alvarez’s victory in Las Vegas over the weekend, he says he wants to “fight for a title” — and maybe make Gennady Golovkin squirm.
-- Political power should be decided in elections, not rigged census surveys, argues columnist George Skelton.
-- “My patient was homeless,” writes a physician practicing on L.A.’s skid row. “I knew she was going to die, but my hands were tied.”
WHAT OUR EDITORS ARE READING
-- “What ‘good’ dads get away with,” as seen by the author of the coming book “All the Rage: Mothers, Fathers, and the Myth of Equal Partnership.” (New York Times)
-- The world’s biggest live theater empire is … on cruise ships. (Toronto Star)
ONLY IN L.A.
The annual Snoop Special Stars touch football and cheer event this weekend at Los Angeles Southwest College was a place where kids could just be kids. They ran and jumped and danced to the music. They tossed a football and learned cheerleading routines. And the man who brought together these children with special needs approved. “These are better than NFL players,” said rapper Snoop Dogg. “They’re the real stars, you know what I’m saying?”