Democratic presidential candidates’ primary promise on healthcare for the undocumented is out of step with likely general election voters.
Shooting Themselves in the Foot?
With a hard left turn, Democrats are risking election backlash on an issue of raw emotional and political sensitivity: providing government healthcare to millions of people in the country illegally. Ten of the party’s nearly two-dozen presidential candidates stood on a debate stage last month and, without hesitation, raised their hands pledging themselves to the policy shift — and most of the other candidates have said they agree. But while California has been allowing younger undocumented immigrants access to state-subsidized healthcare for years, that sentiment isn’t widely shared in nationwide polls, especially among swing voters. Come the 2020 general election, the stance could help President Trump win reelection.
Massive Quake, Relatively Minor Damage
After major temblors on July 4 and 5, structural engineers descended on Ridgecrest, Calif., expecting to study destruction from the largest earthquake to hit Southern California in nearly 20 years. They found relatively little. Overall, most buildings did fine, and many businesses were up and running within a day or two of the biggest shock, a magnitude 7.1. But the outcome there shouldn’t provide solace to California’s biggest cities. The Mojave desert town remained largely unscathed because its building stock was relatively new and remarkably resilient, lacking the kind of structures that experts say are most vulnerable to crumbling in a big quake.
Dust-up at Oceano Dunes
There’s a battle being waged at Oceano Dunes, just south of Pismo Beach, where for generations off-road vehicle riders have flocked to camp on the shore, build bonfires in the sand and gun their engines at the only state park in California that allows motor vehicles on the beach. But for nearly as long, nearby residents and conservationists have been complaining about dust clouds, danger and damage to habitats and endangered species. Now the state Coastal Commission is stepping in to consider eliminating the off-highway vehicle access that’s been beloved by nearly 2 million visitors a year. “You have intense recreation and intense conservation,” one state environmental scientist said. “And you have them side by side.”
A Secret City for Seahorses
Retired teacher Rog Hanson has probably spent more time with Pacific seahorses than anyone on Earth — so much that he’s even built them a secret seahorse city off Long Beach’s industrial shoreline. Hanson can tell you exactly how many times he’s seen them (997), who is dating whom, and describe their personalities with intimate familiarity. Bathsheba is stoic, Daphne a runner. Deep Blue is chill. Interacting with the almost otherworldly creatures, he says, has made him a better human being. “On land I’m very C-minus, but underwater, I’m Mensa.”
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FROM THE ARCHIVES
On this date in 1974, The Times reported a survey of pedestrian traffic in downtown L.A., which found that such “activity has dropped about 30% in downtown Los Angeles since 1961…. The downtown pedestrian survey, the first of its kind since 1961, showed that Broadway and 7th St. still ranks as downtown’s busiest intersection, a role it has held for many years.” Need the photographic evidence? Take a look.
-- San Francisco’s new point-in-time count of its homeless population shows a 30% increase from 2017, when the last count took place.
HOLLYWOOD AND THE ARTS
-- For five years, Lisa Rinna has been a reliable pot-stirrer on “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.” “I’ve never been more famous than I am at this point,” she says.
-- Writer-director Ryan Murphy and co-writer Janet Mock talk about last night’s emotional episode of “Pose” — but don’t click through if you want to avoid spoilers.
-- Kim Darroch, Britain’s ambassador to the U.S., resigned days after diplomatic cables criticizing President Trump were leaked.
-- Joe Biden’s income jumped from less than $400,000 a year while he was vice president to more than $11 million in the year after he left office, thanks to sales of his 2017 book and $100,000 speaking fees.
-- The Trump administration’s detention camps for immigrant children are a cruel, appalling mess. That’s not the Border Patrol’s fault — it’s the president’s, columnist Doyle McManus writes.
-- Mexico‘s finance secretary abruptly resigned over disagreements with the left-wing government of President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, which he accused of fiscal “extremism.”
-- WarnerMedia is looking for a little help from its “Friends” to launch the company’s upcoming streaming service, HBO Max. That means Netflix will soon lose one of its top attractions.
-- Premiums on the state’s health insurance exchange, Covered California, will see the lowest increase in the agency’s history next year.
-- Facebook is aiming to double the number of women it employs globally over the next five years and to double its number of black and Latino employees in the U.S.
-- Tyler Skaggs accompanied Angels All-Stars in more than just spirit at the All-Star game Tuesday night: Mike Trout and Tommy La Stella both wore their recently deceased teammate’s jersey number, 45.
-- LeBron James will be the starting point guard for the Lakers next season, a role new coach Frank Vogel is on board with.
-- The Congressional Budget Office’s latest analysis makes clear that the benefits of a $15 minimum wage would heavily outweigh the downside, columnist Michael Hiltzik writes.
WHAT OUR EDITORS ARE READING
-- Talking with the New Yorker writer Emily Nussbaum about TV criticism, bad fans and “Buffy the Vampire Slayer.” (Vulture)
ONLY IN CALIFORNIA
In Northern California, where 50,000 sunflowers are at or near full bloom, sightseers want their sunflower selfies. Sunflower farmers, however, want those folks to stay in their cars. “[F]armers have every right to request selfie seekers stay off their private property,” one Solano County sheriff’s deputy said in a recent Facebook post from the department, warning the Instagram crowd to keep its distance. With 99% of the nation’s sunflower stock at stake, farmers are worried about trespassing, traffic congestion and property damage.