Newsletter: Today: Dropping the Question

Demonstrators gather at the Supreme Court as the justices finish the term with key decisions on gerr
Demonstrators gather outside the Supreme Court in late June, ahead of the justices’ decision to block the Trump administration’s plans to add a question about citizenship to the 2020 census.
(J. Scott Applewhite / Associated Press)

The Trump administration says it’s printing the 2020 census questionnaire without a citizenship question.


Dropping the Question

Officials in California and other states are breathing a sigh of relief after the Trump administration abruptly announced it was giving up its fight to add a question about citizenship to next year’s census. “The Census Bureau has started the process of printing the decennial questionnaires without the question,” wrote Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross in a terse statement. The decision is a major victory for civil rights groups and states like California, which warned that the question would discourage many people from responding to the census and therefore result in an undercount of immigrants. But even after the announcement, President Trump tweeted that he had asked his administration “to do whatever is necessary to bring this most vital of questions, and this very important case, to a successful conclusion.”


More Politics

-- Trump laid into Los Angeles and San Francisco over the homelessness crisis and said, “We may do something to get that whole thing cleaned up. It’s inappropriate.” California Gov. Gavin Newsom and L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti characterized Trump’s remarks as political cheap shots.

-- Trump says he’s planning to nominate Christopher Waller, an executive vice president and the director of research at the St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank, and Judy Shelton, U.S. executive director for the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, to serve on the Federal Reserve Board.

-- Trump’s reelection campaign says it raised $105 million during the second fundraising quarter.


Death of a Salesman Extraordinaire

He was the father of the Ford Mustang and a captain of the automotive industry with a dictatorial and often profane style. “But I have a feeling I’m going to be remembered only for my TV commercials.” That was Lee A. Iacocca, an ambitious immigrant’s son who led the dramatic rescue of Chrysler in the early 1980s in a career filled with epic victories and falls from grace. Here’s a look back at Iacocca, who spent his last years in L.A. and died yesterday at 94.

Bringing the Heat

Flamin’ Hot Cheetos. Zapp’s Hotter ‘N Hot Jalapeño. El Sabroso Blazin’ Hot Cheese Crunchies. If you are a fan of spicy snacks — or just enjoy food names that employ a liberal use of apostrophes — then food columnist Lucas Kwan Peterson’s Spicy Snack Power Rankings will hit the spot. Read with a glass of water and don’t rub your eyes by accident.

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On this date in 1958, the Ft. Moore Pioneer Memorial — a stone wall with cascading water honoring the Mormon Battalion, U.S. 1st Dragoons, and the New York Volunteers who raised the American flag on July 4, 1847, the first Independence Day celebrated in Los Angeles — was dedicated in downtown. But during the 1976-77 drought, the fountain was turned off and sat empty until 2018. Today, it’s being officially rededicated.


July 3, 1958: The dedication of Ft. Moore Pioneer Memorial on Hill Street north of the Hollywood Freeway.
(Bruce Cox / Los Angeles Times)


-- A Navy SEAL was found not guilty of murder and all other counts, except for posing with a dead war prisoner in Iraq, in a dramatic, closely watched military trial in San Diego.

-- After the Los Angeles teachers’ strike, a group of key charter school supporters, concerned about political backlash, worked on a plan to stem anti-charter sentiment and regain control of local education reforms.

-- For the fifth time in as many years, a proposal to require health warning labels on sugary drinks has been shelved.

-- 7 Leaves, the “Vietnamese American Starbucks,” unites four brothers whose drive stems from early poverty.


-- It’s not just “Stranger Things.” Two new Netflix sitcoms have a nostalgic streak too.


-- In the unsettling film “Midsommar,” the nightmare unfolds in broad daylight. Critic Justin Chang reviews.

-- The culture has shifted in the 25 years since “Forrest Gump” debuted. Here’s why the Tom Hanks-led Oscar winner still matters.

-- CNN anchor Anderson Cooper is getting a gift he didn’t expect: the bulk of the estate of his mother, the late fashion entrepreneur Gloria Vanderbilt.


-- In Utah, Salt Lake County prosecutors will have until next week to file charges against a man who police say kidnapped and killed 23-year-old Mackenzie Lueck.

-- A crackdown is looming over Hong Kong as martyrdom becomes part of the protest narratives.

-- A Mexico City bar was a rare safe space for the LGBTQ community. Then it was attacked. Twice.

-- A tip from the highway patrol: Carpooling with the dead doesn’t mean you get to use the HOV lane.


-- The curious case of Grubhub and the so-called fake websites that it says it had permission to create.

-- Tesla delivered 95,200 vehicles to customers in the second quarter, outperforming analysts’ expectations.

-- Nike is standing by its decision to pull its Fourth of July sneakers featuring the Betsy Ross flag, even as the move dragged it once again into America’s culture wars and drew criticism from conservative lawmakers.


-- The death of Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs has stirred memories and emotions in manager Brad Ausmus, who lost a former teammate 17 years ago.

-- At the Women’s World Cup, the U.S. team showed its “ruthless streak” in a victory over England.


-- One reason for the high cost of housing in California may surprise you: overregulation.


-- The Department of Homeland Security’s independent watchdog says overcrowded, squalid conditions are more widespread at migrant centers along the southern border than initially revealed. (New York Times)

-- Multiple former military leaders are publicly expressing dismay at Trump’s Independence Day celebration, calling it the latest example of Trump politicizing the armed services. (Politico)

-- Medieval scholars are going medieval on each other. (Chronicle of Higher Education)


What has 123 rooms, including 14 bedrooms and 27 bathrooms; rolling lawns, rose gardens, citrus orchards and koi ponds; and is 1,500 square feet larger than the White House? It’s the Manor, a chateau in Holmby Hills that was built in 1991 for the late producer Aaron Spelling and his wife, Candy Spelling. This week, it sold for $119.75 million — the highest home price in Los Angeles County history. But you can get a look inside for free right here.

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