Today’s Headlines: Images that could shape Trump’s legacy
House impeachment managers laid out their case against the former president with graphic footage and his own tweeted words. Conviction is unlikely, so Democrats are working to redefine success.
Images That Could Shape Trump’s Legacy
House impeachment managers laid out their case against former President Trump on Wednesday with graphic footage of the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol and repeated use of Trump’s own words, accusing him of a “deliberate, planned and premeditated” effort to incite a mob to attack Congress.
The previously unseen security and body camera footage showed just how close the mob had come to members of Congress. In one, Senate Democratic leader Charles E. Schumer and his security detail evacuated up a hallway, then scrambled the other way after officers realized they were heading toward the mob. In another, a Capitol police officer — moments before he now famously diverted rioters — stopped Sen. Mitt Romney as he ran the wrong way toward them, too.
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The day’s arguments, and the video in particular, served two purposes: reminding senators of how much Trump’s incitement of the mob put them and their staffs in danger, and shaping how the wider public sees the dramatic events. In the Senate, the video clearly had an impact. It may not persuade enough Republican senators to convict Trump. But whether he is convicted or not, Sen. Lisa Murkowski said, the effect on public opinion will be strong.
Indeed, conviction looks unlikely, so Democrats are working toward a different definition of success. That could mean doing the most damage possible to Trump’s chances of ever holding office again, tying Republicans to him and his actions, and then moving on, say impeachment experts and Democratic strategists.
More U.S. Politics
— A Georgia prosecutor said she has opened a criminal investigation into “attempts to influence” the outcome of the election. Trump was not specifically named, though a call he made to the state’s top elections official has come under scrutiny.
— Vice President Kamala Harris’ niece, Meena Harris, has a personal brand. Some fear she’s profiting from her aunt’s office.
— As other Biden nominees cruise to confirmation, Republicans are maneuvering to slow down the process for Xavier Becerra, Biden’s nominee for the Department of Health and Human Services.
A Shortage Complicates the Schools Question
Some Los Angeles County teachers, food workers and first responders could begin receiving COVID-19 vaccinations in two to three weeks — a major step as the populous region works to ramp up its rollout. But with supplies of the shots expected to remain tight, and with most L.A. County seniors still waiting for theirs, officials say it will take time for large numbers of those workers to get vaccinated.
In fact, elementary schools will be eligible to reopen sooner than vaccines will be made available to teachers, the county’s public health director says. The imperfect convergence of conditions could soon force officials into a difficult choice: open campuses when the state deems it safe, or wait for teachers to get their shots? Whatever the decision, one L.A. private school got its teachers shots through what it called a “special program,” despite county rules that say teachers are not yet eligible.
In the city of Los Angeles, vaccine supplies have grown so tight — and unpredictable — that on Wednesday night, Mayor Eric Garcetti announced the closure of five city-run inoculation sites for at least two days starting Friday. Anyone who has received a first dose of the Moderna vaccine will receive a second dose, he said.
More Top Coronavirus Headlines
— Wearing a cloth mask over a medical one may better armor people against the virus. In a new report, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found double masking can substantially reduce a wearer’s exposure.
— California has now suffered the most COVID-19 deaths of any state, surpassing New York, although it is much further down the list in its per-capita death rate.
— California also now has its first confirmed cases of the South Africa variant.
— The city of Coachella passed a hazard pay mandate for some retail and food workers, including those at farms. The city’s mayor said the ordinance will be the first in the nation to offer a pandemic pay bump to farmworkers.
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Another Politician’s Pandemic Party
Early in the morning on Dec. 5, as California’s deadly surge in coronavirus cases was getting underway, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy took to Facebook to mock Gov. Gavin Newsom’s widely criticized attendance at a maskless party the month before at the exclusive French Laundry restaurant.
Hours later, McCarthy attended his own maskless gathering — a wedding for his son that afternoon at a venue in San Luis Obispo County, The Times has learned. The event appeared to flout long-standing state rules that prohibit wedding receptions and require that masks be worn during wedding ceremonies — and it took place the day that California announced a forthcoming stay-at-home order for the southern half of the state, including San Luis Obispo County.
In a statement to The Times, McCarthy said his family had taken “every precaution to ensure a safe celebration” and said they were “blessed” to have held it. He reiterated his call to end what he called “dangerous and arbitrary” stay-at-home orders. The state’s stay-at-home order was lifted last month.
More California Politics:
— Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s approval ratings have fallen sharply in her home state, a new poll shows, marking the first time in her nearly three-decade Senate career that a plurality of Californians hold negative views of her job performance.
— Biden’s push to reopen schools nationwide could become bogged down in California, where powerful unions are demanding teachers receive COVID-19 vaccinations before returning to the classroom.
— Biden has nominated California Labor Secretary Julie A. Su to be the second in command at the U.S. Department of Labor, but the pick comes as she’s facing criticism for the state’s troubled unemployment benefits system.
The Sheriff’s Landing Spot
Amid last year’s summer of protests, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department asked to build a helipad next to the La Habra Heights home of Sheriff Alex Villanueva.
The owner of the property, Southern California Gas, declined the request, according to a letter its lawyer sent to L.A. County. But crews began grading for the helicopter landing spot anyway, interviews and documents reviewed by The Times reveal.
FROM THE ARCHIVES
In February 1936, a flight instructor arrived at Dycer Airport in Inglewood to find his plane had been stolen.
According to a Feb. 10 story in the Los Angeles Times, the door to the hangar was open and the two-seater Taylor Cub aircraft was nowhere to be found. In its place, Dwight F. Petersen found a note that read, “Warning — This plane has been temporarily borrowed and will be returned in good condition in ten days. Any word to police or newspapers will cause me and my party to destroy the ship.”
Peterson immediately reported the theft to police. The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department found the plane that evening near present-day Agua Dulce, with a broken propeller and bent fuselage. It’s not clear why the plane was taken — police told The Times they suspected smugglers.
— Transportation officials have cut the first phase of the California bullet train — a 171-mile link in the Central Valley — to a single track as its estimated cost has risen by $2 billion.
— The findings of a yearlong federal investigation into the helicopter crash that killed Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna and others in Calabasas have sparked a new push for safety legislation that failed last year.
— Three hotels that Los Angeles has been renting for vulnerable homeless people will stay open through September, Mayor Eric Garcetti said, but he stopped short of authorizing a major expansion of the program as some council members have urged.
— The Los Angeles City Council has moved forward with a plan to buy a Chinatown apartment building to avert evictions there, telling the city’s financial analysts to find the nearly $46 million they say is needed.
— Can the private sector build housing for homeless people faster and for less money? A private equity-backed project in South Los Angeles, in alliance with key nonprofits and the faith community, hopes to demonstrate that it can.
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— In his first foreign-policy test, Biden slapped harsh sanctions on the military commanders of Myanmar who last week overthrew the elected civilian government and attacked people in the streets who were protesting the coup.
— Biden also spoke with Chinese President Xi Jinping for the first time since taking office, beginning the process of reshaping the United States’ approach in dealing with its most intense economic rival.
— Families separated by Trump’s ban on travel from Muslim-majority countries say their loved ones are still stuck in limbo, even after Biden ended the policy.
— K2, the world’s second-highest peak, is most dangerous in winter, when its slopes are at their most brutal. The severe weather and punishing environment are now hampering efforts to find three mountaineers who disappeared while attempting to climb it.
HOLLYWOOD AND THE ARTS
— The first installment of Netflix’s anthology series “Crime Scene” explores the dark history of downtown Los Angeles’ Cecil Hotel. Critic Lorraine Ali writes in her review that it’s a salacious and rare true-crime misstep for the streaming service.
— Pin-up looks, rabid fans, non-English lyrics: Is CNCO the next world-conquering boy band?
— Jay-Z, Foo Fighters, Tina Turner and Iron Maiden lead this year’s nominees to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, a female-heavy list of 16 acts that includes for the first time the Go-Go’s, Mary J. Blige and Dionne Warwick.
— One year after COVID shut it down, the SXSW Film Festival announced a full virtual lineup of 75 features, scheduled to run March 16-20.
— TikTok’s forced sale to Walmart and Oracle has been shelved indefinitely as the Biden administration takes on a broad review of national security risks.
— Two years after a pair of deadly crashes, the Boeing 737 Max is about to start flying passengers to and from Los Angeles International Airport again.
— What’s fueling Tesla’s bitcoin investment, and what does Elon Musk really think about the cryptocurrency?
— In a Times exclusive, pitcher Clayton Kershaw says he’s starting to look at a life after the Dodgers — one spent focusing on his children. In our interview, he also calls out MLB teams that aren’t trying and expounds on off-field subjects.
— Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban stopped playing the national anthem before home games this season. After the decision started receiving national attention this week, the NBA said it would require all teams to play it before tipoff.
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— Both Biden and Sen. Mitt Romney have floated plans to give American families a child benefit. If lawmakers really believe kids are our most precious resource, they need to say it with cash, writes columnist Robin Abcarian.
— Biden needs to make the first move if he wants to revive the Iran nuclear deal, The Times’ editorial board writes.
WHAT OUR EDITORS ARE READING
— Few children. Plenty of pawnshops. Drumming studios. At least four places to get your sewing machine repaired. And some of New York’s most reviled transportation infrastructure. What it’s like living in New York’s least loved neighborhood. (The New Yorker)
— As investigators reveal more about the people who participated in the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, a trend has emerged: Nearly 60% of those charged had a history of financial problems. (Washington Post)
ONLY IN L.A.
Though he made his reputation and his wealth in porn as founder of Hustler magazine, Larry Flynt, who has died at 78, repackaged himself again and again — as an unlikely 1st Amendment champion, a self-appointed arbitrator of political hypocrisy and a born-again Christian who said he “hustled” for the Lord. He even ran for governor of California — and cultivated a friendship with Jerry Falwell. And he did it from the 10th floor of a Beverly Hills office tower, moving about Roman columns and nude sculptures in an $85,000 gold-plated wheelchair.
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