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Newsletter: What is Trumpism’s future?

Donald Trump and Kris Kobach in 2016
President Trump has had a close alliance with Kris Kobach, pictured here in 2016 when he was Kansas secretary of state, but the conservative firebrand was opposed by the GOP establishment in his bid Tuesday for the Republican Senate nomination.
(Carolyn Kaster / Associated Press)

The GOP’s internal splits over a post-Trump future have become increasingly obvious, slowing legislation and affecting campaign strategies.

TOP STORIES

What Is Trumpism’s Future?

President Trump has transformed the Republican Party over the last four years, but now, with his reelection in doubt, Republicans have begun to sharply divide on whether those changes will — or should — outlast his presidency.

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Old Guard Republicans acknowledge that there is no going back to the pre-Trump status quo, but they see a political opening to steer the party away from Trumpism. At the same time, Trump’s allies have started to jockey for the top in a potential post-Trump party.

Those tensions have already begun to have an effect on legislation, leadership power struggles and campaign strategy in Congress and across the country.

In Kansas on Tuesday, longtime Trump ally Kris Kobach, a polarizing conservative who lost his 2018 gubernatorial bid, lost again in the GOP primary for the seat now held by retiring GOP Sen. Pat Roberts.

New Waves of Infection

Eight months after first emerging, the coronavirus continues to spread across the globe at a relentless pace, sparking outbreaks where there largely were none and resurfacing in countries that fought off earlier waves.

In Australia, soldiers are going door to door to find out who’s broken quarantine in Melbourne, which is back under lockdown a second time. Hong Kong, a city that earlier went weeks without reporting new infections, is scrambling to build temporary hospitals to prepare for a surge in COVID-19 patients. Spain, which emerged from a three-month lockdown in June, has seen cases rebound to more than 3,000 a day — 10 times more than there were two months ago.

The fresh spikes in countries that had successful containment strategies, such as Vietnam, also underscore the challenges facing the United States, which has struggled to implement a cohesive plan.

The World Health Organization has raised the grim possibility that no vaccine will ever eliminate the virus and urged all governments to instead take the necessary steps to stem its spread. The coronavirus has infected more than 18.5 million worldwide and killed about 700,650.

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More Top Coronavirus Headlines

— The Food and Drug Administration is warning that certain hand-sanitizing products sold under a wide range of labels could be dangerous — or even fatal.

— A steep decline in California’s coronavirus infection rate announced by Gov. Gavin Newson may not be accurate, according to the state’s top public health official, who cited technical issues with the data system.

— The L.A. County Department of Public Health said it would not consider any applications for waivers enabling elementary schools to reopen, citing high local COVID-19 case rates.

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— In Washington state, COVID-19 has hit farmworkers hard and is swamping rural hospitals.

For more, sign up for Coronavirus Today, a special edition of The Times’ Health and Science newsletter.

‘A Devastated City’

The massive explosion that rumbled across Beirut, killing more than 100 people and injuring more than 4,000, was a devastating blow to a nation battling the coronavirus, a financial crisis, sectarian divisions and renewed tensions with Israel. The blast was likely fueled by fireworks and ammonium nitrate, a common fertilizer.

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The blast at a warehouse leveled a swath of the city’s port and shook buildings and shattered windows miles away. An orange-black plume of smoke towered over the city as ambulances wailed and the injured wandered dazed and bloodied among fallen bodies and battered cars in scenes reminiscent of Lebanon’s civil war during the 1970s and 1980s.

The National News Agency reported that the blast, which hit with the force of about a 3.5-magnitude earthquake, came from a site along the docks where highly explosive materials, including about 2,700 tons of ammonia nitrate, were stored after they were confiscated years ago.

A $55-Million Problem

Los Angeles County has paid out roughly $55 million in settlements in cases in which sheriff’s deputies were alleged to belong to secret societies, records obtained by The Times show, illuminating the entrenched nature of a subculture that has plagued the Sheriff’s Department for years.

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The figure comes from a list that includes payouts in dozens of lawsuits and claims involving deputies associated with tattooed groups accused of glorifying an aggressive style of policing. The report, prepared by L.A. County attorneys, lists nearly 60 cases, some of them still pending, and names eight specific cliques with names such as the Vikings, Regulators, 3000 Boys and the Banditos.

The county has paid out nearly $21 million in cases that began in the last 10 years alone, according to the document. The high cost underscores how these deputy groups have operated out of several Sheriff’s Department stations for decades, exhibiting what critics have long alleged are the violent, intimidating tactics similar in some ways to criminal street gangs.

On the Shoulders of Giants

It started with Times reporter Esmeralda Bermudez sharing a personal story and a question on Twitter: “What jobs did your parents work to get you where you are today?”

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Then came the responses, such as this one:

Mom: Factory worker — currently in a lamp factory
Papi: Janitor/cleaner — currently at a psych hospital
Me: Attorney

Some of the stories were unexpected, some laugh-out loud-funny. “Most of those writing were the children of immigrants from Latin America,” Bermudez writes. “Their stories echoed, time and time again, what I imagine other kids born to other U.S. immigrants felt generations ago.”

FROM THE ARCHIVES

The Harvard and sister ship, Yale, were popular steamships serving San Francisco and Los Angeles in the 1920s. Built in 1907 at Chester, Pa., the Harvard was a 3,700-ton vessel that was commandeered by the U.S. Navy to transport troops during World War I.

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On this date in 1921, the Harvard resumed passenger service with the Los Angeles Steamship Co. Nearly 10 years later, on May 30, 1931, it ran aground in heavy fog at Point Arguello. Though nearly 500 passengers escaped apparently unscathed, the ship was a total loss.

Aug. 5, 1921: The S.S. Harvard steams out of Los Angeles Harbor.
Aug. 5, 1921: The S.S. Harvard steams out of Los Angeles Harbor bound for San Francisco for its first coastal run after service in the U.S. Navy during World War I.
(Los Angeles Times Archive / UCLA )

CALIFORNIA

— A law enforcement official said David Lacey, the husband of L.A. County Dist. Atty. Jackie Lacey, is facing multiple misdemeanor charges after waving a gun at protesters outside the couple’s Granada Hills home.

— Authorities say three people were shot, one fatally, at a party at a home on Mulholland Drive. Hours earlier, police had been called to the massive, boisterous party held in defiance of coronavirus-related health orders.

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— The LAUSD and the teachers’ union have a tentative deal on how the new school year will roll out, but for parents, the reactions have ranged from relief to disbelief.

— Marine officials say military search teams have located the amphibious assault vehicle that sank off the coast of San Clemente last week, killing nine service members aboard.

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NATION-WORLD

— Los Angeles Rep. Karen Bass is an unlikely contender for vice president. Is she ready for the national stage?

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— Trump signed into law legislation that will devote nearly $3 billion annually to conservation projects, outdoor recreation and maintenance of national parks, including Yosemite, which he mispronounced as “Yo-Semite.”

— Instead of returning to school this fall, students in Mexico will watch study programs on TV.

— How 250 gold bars allegedly wound up in the vault of Hugo Chávez’s former nurse.

HOLLYWOOD AND THE ARTS

— Disney will release “Mulan” as a $29.99 video-on-demand film on its streaming service Disney+ starting Sept. 4, after the company suffered a major decline in earnings.

— In his song “Old AF,” Alex Aiono describes feeling, at age 23, as though he’s already old as you know what. And it’s a gospel song.

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— Inside “Immigration Nation,” the Netflix docuseries ICE didn’t want you to see.

— All the stylish looks from Beyoncé's “Black Is King” you can’t buy — and one you can.

BUSINESS

Southern California Gas Co. is taking its battle with state officials over climate change policy to court, arguing in a new lawsuit that the California Energy Commission has failed to promote natural gas as required by state law.

— With the future of TikTok imperiled as Trump threatens to shut it down in the U.S., an L.A.-based economy that has sprung up in just the last two years for the app’s mostly young creators and influencers is at risk of tumultuous change.

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SPORTS

Shohei Ohtani will not pitch again for the Angels this season after being diagnosed with a forearm injury.

— The Dodgers spoiled a no-hit bid and the Padres’ night with a comeback victory.

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OPINION

— By undermining the Voice of America and more, Trump has pulled out of the global battle for hearts and minds, write former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and Marc Nathanson, former chair of the U.S. Agency for Global Media.

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— No more excuses. Ban flavored tobacco products, The Times’ editorial board writes.

WHAT OUR EDITORS ARE READING

— The full “Axios on HBO” interview with Trump, in which he discusses his handling of the pandemic, the upcoming election, the late Rep. John Lewis and more. (Axios)

Ammonium nitrate: What is the chemical blamed for the blast in Lebanon’s capital? (The Guardian)

ONLY IN L.A.

Despite its concrete casing, the Los Angeles River has its wild side. Besides birds of many feathers, it’s home to beefy carp, small-mouth bass, tilapia and — once upon a time — steelhead trout. But would anyone actually fish the L.A. River today? Yes, they would. Though it should be noted that just one person interviewed in this story said they would eat a fish out of the river, and only “under the right circumstance.”

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Comments or ideas? Email us at headlines@latimes.com.


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