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President Trump speaks at a July news conference at the White House.
President Trump speaks at a July news conference at the White House. (Shawn Thew / EPA/Shutterstock)

More than 300 newspapers around the country will participate today in a group protest of President Trump’s frequent attacks on the news media. Each of the papers will publish editorials — their own separate editorials, in their own words — defending freedom of the press.

The Los Angeles Times, however, has decided not to participate. There will be no free press editorial on our page today.

This is not because we don’t believe that President Trump has been engaged in a cynical, demagogic and unfair assault on our industry. He has, and we have written about it on numerous occasions. As early as April 2017, we wrote this as part of a full-page editorial on “Trump’s War on Journalism”:

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  • Opinion
Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), who is running to become Minnesota's attorney general, speaks to supporters in Minneapolis on Tuesday.
Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), who is running to become Minnesota's attorney general, speaks to supporters in Minneapolis on Tuesday. (Renee Jones Schneider / Associated Press)

On Tuesday evening, Rep. Keith Ellison won the Democratic Party nomination for Minnesota attorney general by more than 30 points. It should have been a wholly victorious moment for Ellison, a leader of the Democratic National Committee and a high-profile voice for its progressive flank.

It wasn’t. On Saturday night, Ellison’s former girlfriend’s son published a post on Facebook that accused Ellison of being violent toward his mother, Karen Monahan, during the course of their relationship. He claimed to have discovered abusive texts and tweets, as well as a two-minute video of Ellison dragging her by her feet while yelling expletives at her. Monahan later wrote that her son’s allegations were “true.” Ellison has denied the allegations, including at his victory party.

As a feminist and a survivor of sexual violence, I’m as inclined as one can be to believe women. And yet, my knee-jerk instinct was denial; the account didn’t match my own perception. I’ve followed Ellison’s career for years and interviewed him just last summer. In my experience, he presents himself as a kind and gentle person.

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  • Trump
  • Opinion
Former CIA Director John Brennan testifies last year before the House Intelligence Committee on the Russia investigation.
Former CIA Director John Brennan testifies last year before the House Intelligence Committee on the Russia investigation. (Melina Mara / Washington Post)

It’s hard to think of anything that could chill speech more powerfully than the message President Trump sent Wednesday.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders delivered that message at the afternoon briefing, announcing that Trump had revoked the security clearance of former CIA Director John Brennan. His main offense? Being a harsh critic of the Trump administration.

Let’s be clear about a couple things right up front. The president absolutely has the authority to yank security clearances. They’re supposed to lapse (technically, move from “active” to “current”) as soon as the holder leaves a job that requires such clearance, but Sanders said presidents have traditionally left them in place for former top intelligence and law enforcement officials so they could advise their successors “and as a professional courtesy.”

  • Opinion
  • We're All Doomed
Children fight 109-degree heat in Rosemead last month. Scientists warn that the next five years could see more of the same.
Children fight 109-degree heat in Rosemead last month. Scientists warn that the next five years could see more of the same. (Los Angeles Times)

Southern California sweated out record-setting triple-digit temperatures in July in places ranging from downtown Los Angeles to Santa Ana. That’s Inland Empire heat in the L.A. Basin.

And 2018 is on track to be one of the hottest years since record-keeping began in 1880, fitting in with the past four years – 2016 was the warmest year, 2015 the second-warmest, followed by 2017 and 2014.  And 2016 was an El Niño year, as this year might prove to be (70% chance by winter) —  El Niños put upward pressure on temperatures.

And now scientists are using a new probability formula say the next five years will likely be “anomalously warm.”

  • Opinion
  • The Golden State
  • Election 2018
The state Capitol in Sacramento
The state Capitol in Sacramento (Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press)

Vanessa Delgado must be having some seriously mixed emotions about joining the California Senate this week: Joy at winning a special election last week to replace former state Sen. Tony Mendoza (D-Artesia), who quit earlier this year rather than face an expulsion vote by his peers, and despair that her first month in the Senate will effectively be her last.

This odd proposition is due to the peculiarities of California’s election law, which requires a special election for vacant seats even if there’s a concurrent election for the next regular term. It’s silly, costly and, as we now see, unfair to the candidates in both races. (The editorial board has written more than once that the special election rules ought to be revised.)

Delgado ran in both races. She was one of the two top vote-getters in the special election primary (then won the runoff in that race), but did not make the November runoff for the next four-year term.

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  • Trump
  • Opinion
  • We're All Doomed
"Unhinged," the new tell-all book by former White House aide Omarosa Manigault Newman, at a Washington, D.C., bookstore Tuesday.
"Unhinged," the new tell-all book by former White House aide Omarosa Manigault Newman, at a Washington, D.C., bookstore Tuesday. (Saul Loeb /AFP/Getty Images)

Tuesday morning, President Trump tweeted (kill me) that his former communications aide Omarosa Manigault Newman (seriously, let’s get off this planet) is a “dog.”

It was just the latest in a string of insults he’s lobbed at high-profile black Americans. Less than two weeks ago, he called basketball star LeBron James and CNN anchor Don Lemon dumb. (This is a Trump go-to: he’s repeatedly said Rep. Maxine Waters has a “low I.Q.”)

Trump is riled up that Newman has been on the talk-show circuit promoting her new book, a splashy tell-all about her time in the White House. On “CBS This Morning,” she unveiled a tape from the campaign that appears to reveal aides discussing how to handle Trump’s alleged use of the N-word if it ever came to light.

State Sen. Kevin de Leon (D-Los Angeles) speaks to a Democratic caucus in Oakland on July 14.
State Sen. Kevin de Leon (D-Los Angeles) speaks to a Democratic caucus in Oakland on July 14. (Los Angeles Times)

As he challenges incumbent Democrat Dianne Feinstein for a seat in the U.S. Senate, state Sen. Kevin de Leon (D-Los Angeles) has made resisting the Trump administration a centerpiece of his campaign. A good illustration is his take-no-prisoners approach to President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh. Feinstein isn’t doing enough to try to block the appointment, De Leon says, arguing that Democrats should go so far as to shut down the Senate. 

OK, so what’s the endgame there? As members of the minority party, the only tools at Senate Democrats’ disposal where nominees are concerned are dilatory ones. They can use the filibuster to kill most types of legislation, but not nominations — thanks in large part to their own shortsighted decision in 2013 to forbid filibusters on almost all nominees. (The only exception was Supreme Court justices, but Republicans predictably removed that barrier after Trump took office.)

The Senate Judiciary Committee has scheduled Kavanaugh’s hearing for Sept. 4, and assuming he clears that hurdle, the only thing that can stop him from being confirmed is Republicans. Sure, Democrats could threaten to filibuster the spending bills necessary to keep the federal government operating on all cylinders after Oct. 1, but the GOP may have Kavanaugh confirmed by then. And even if it doesn’t, partially shutting down the government over Kavanaugh A) won’t stop the Senate from voting on his nomination, and B) isn’t likely to win much support from a public that does not like government shutdowns.

  • Trump
  • Opinion
Omarosa Manigualt Newman waits to promote her new book on the "Today" show on Monday.
Omarosa Manigualt Newman waits to promote her new book on the "Today" show on Monday. (Eduardo Munoz Alvarez / Getty Images)

The easy thing to say about the fallout from Omarosa Manigault Newman’s revelation that she recorded conversations with President Trump and White House Chief of Staff John F. Kelly is that there’s no honor among reality TV stars. 

The former “Apprentice” star, who was fired from her White House position by Kelly, is promoting a tell-all book about the administration and her loss of faith in Trump. She has accused the president of being a racist and claims that he has displayed signs of a "mental decline.”

Trump in turn has called his former co-star “wacky,” a “lowlife” and “vicious, but not smart.” (Attacking the intelligence of his African American critics is becoming a Trump staple.) He also accused her of missing meetings and said that he asked her to join the White House staff because she “begged me for a job, tears in her eyes.”Trump further tweeted:

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  • Opinion
  • The Witch Hunt
The FBI fired former Deputy Assistant Director Peter Strzok, shown at a congressional hearing in July, on Friday.
The FBI fired former Deputy Assistant Director Peter Strzok, shown at a congressional hearing in July, on Friday. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

How many FBI agents can you name? 

The agency has produced a handful of famous (or infamous) directors — most notably, J. Edgar Hoover. For the most part, though, it’s a faceless organization of seemingly interchangeable parts. And that’s by design.

Peter Strzok, whom the FBI fired on Friday, illustrates why.

  • The Swamp
Michael Avenatti
Michael Avenatti (Susan Watts / TNS)

Porn star Stormy Daniels' lawyer, Michael Avenatti, is currently in Iowa, where he's glad-handing the locals at a state fair as he mulls a 2020 run for president.

I'm going to ask politely: Oh my god, please don't.

Avenatti has skyrocketed to national recognition as the lawyer defending Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, in her quest to be released from a 2016 nondisclosure agreement regarding what she says was a one-night stand with President Trump in 2006. The Newport Beach attorney has built a career winning major settlements from celebrities and corporations — what he calls "fighting on behalf of Davids vs. Goliaths." He's also racked up his fair share of troubles, including a bankruptcy at his law firm and and multiple lawsuits filed by employees of a coffee chain he owned.