Today’s Headlines: Democrats face trouble in 2022
Democrats worry about their chances in next year’s midterm election — and that’s shaping how they govern now.
Democrats Face Trouble in 2022
Democrats are at high risk of losing control of Congress next year, and that prospect is shaping party strategy on every level.
Defending thin House and Senate majorities in the 2022 midterm election, Democrats are scrambling to pass high-impact elements of President Biden’s agenda as quickly as possible. Vulnerable incumbents are building their campaign war chests and heading home to claim credit for economic and health benefits flowing from Washington.
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Biden ditched his penchant for bipartisanship and caution to push through a sweeping pandemic relief bill with no Republican support this year. Now, a sense of urgency is building as negotiations with Republicans over infrastructure spending are faltering, and some Democrats are clamoring to go it alone again. More ambitious Biden proposals to spend billions for child care, paid family leave and more are waiting in the wings.
With midterm stakes looming large, Democrats are under intensifying pressure to pass voting rights legislation that could undercut some of Republicans’ advantages in redistricting, and override a recent spate of red-state laws that will restrict voting in ways Democrats believe disproportionately affect Black voters and others key to their coalition.
But on Sunday, Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin III of West Virginia said he will not vote for the largest overhaul of U.S. election law in at least a generation, defying his party and the White House and virtually guaranteeing the failure of the legislation.
— Vice President Kamala Harris is traveling in Central America, her most high-profile act yet on the first international assignment Biden gave her to tackle the root causes of migration from the region.
— Fox News declined to broadcast an ad about the violence that law enforcement members faced as they tried to stop the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, according to the creators of the political commercial.
— In a speech in North Carolina, Donald Trump pushed Republicans to support candidates who are loyal to him in next year’s midterm election.
— On today’s episode of “The Times” podcast, Rep. Katie Porter talks about her political future and where she gets those famous whiteboards.
An Economy in Ruins
The sights and sounds of active combat are absent now in Gaza, with a May 21 truce still holding.
Though life has quickly returned to normal in Israel, the business owners in a key industrial zone of Gaza — once billed as a showcase project designed to strengthen Israeli-Palestinian ties — and in Gaza at large see little hope for a swift recovery.
Israeli assaults reduced entire commercial towers to rubble and chopped up major commercial thoroughfares. Israel blames Hamas for embedding its bases and infrastructure near civilian areas. Even so, in the past, Israeli forces spared areas such as the Karni Industrial Zone.
A Gascón Plan Stumbles
In his bid to unseat Los Angeles County Dist. Atty. Jackie Lacey as head of the nation’s largest prosecutor’s office last year, George Gascón didn’t simply attack her record of declining to prosecute police officers who killed unarmed people — he promised to undo what he saw as her mistakes.
Gascón identified four shootings that he believed should be reviewed, including the 2015 killing of a homeless man by an LAPD officer whom former police Chief Charlie Beck asked Lacey to file charges against. After his election, Gascón moved to hire a decorated special prosecutor, Lawrence Middleton, to review the cases.
But nearly six months into Gascón’s tenure, Middleton has yet to sign his employment contract, and the delay could severely hinder Gascón’s ability to bring charges against officers in any of the cases he singled out.
A Lifesaver for Inmates
With opioids such as fentanyl continuing to be find their way into Los Angeles County jails, the Sheriff’s Department has come up with a practical solution to deal with an increase in overdose deaths: giving inmates access to doses of naloxone, a drug that can quickly reverse the effects of opioid.
Dr. Sean Henderson, a physician with the county’s Correctional Health Services, said the time that is saved by giving inmates quick access to the drug can be the difference between life and death. “We have an antidote; we know exactly what to do,” Henderson said. “Why not bring the antidote as close as possible?”
Officials say the county is one of the first in the country to put naloxone in jails. The idea was born out of crisis, when a man died of a fentanyl overdose in March at the North County Correctional Facility.
OUR MUST-READS FROM THE WEEKEND
— The Biden administration has quietly deployed a new app that relies on facial recognition, geolocation and cloud technology for sensitive information on asylum seekers before they enter the United States, according to three privacy-impact assessments conducted by the Homeland Security Department and experts who reviewed them for The Times. That has privacy experts worried.
— L.A. County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer mourns the 24,000 dead in L.A. County and wonders if she did enough.
— These Venice residents told columnist Steve Lopez that their home feels unsafe. They blame public officials, not homeless Angelenos.
— Need help ditching your car for a train or bus? Columnist Nita Lelyveld met up with an L.A. public transit superfan.
FROM THE ARCHIVES
On June 6, 1944, news of the Allied invasion of France arrived in Los Angeles. The Times published an extra edition with the headline “INVASION!” Pictured below are workers at Douglas Aircraft Co. reading that edition. For more photos of that day, click here.
Decades later, The Times continued to explore the history of that turning point in World War II, such as why it was called “D-day,” Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower’s secret prewritten message to the troops in case the mission had failed, and a copy of Ike’s notes he prepared, win or lose.
— Two people have been arrested in the shooting death of 6-year-old Aiden Leos, who died in his mother’s arms on the 55 Freeway in Orange last month in what officials have called a road rage incident. A memorial service on Saturday honored his memory.
— Meanwhile, the California Highway Patrol is investigating two shootings on the 605 Freeway that occurred within hours and a few miles of each other Saturday in Irwindale.
— Families of mass shooting victims, gun control advocates and California officials condemned a federal judge’s decision to overturn California’s 30-year-old ban on assault weapons, largely because of the manner in which he justified his ruling.
— As wildfires decimate the giant sequoia, California is facing an unprecedented loss.
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— Mike Broomhead, a conservative talk radio host based in Phoenix, once backed the Arizona GOP election recount. Now he’s warning Republicans against it.
— As political tensions rise in Israel, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in Trump fashion, accuses his rival of the “greatest election fraud.”
— German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives handily fended off a challenge from the far right in a state election that was seen as the last big test for Germany’s political parties before a national vote in September.
HOLLYWOOD AND THE ARTS
— How “Hacks,” HBO Max’s hot new comedy, took down the toxic man in “every single stand-up club.”
— Lil Nas X will call you by your name, if you want, during a Pride Month campaign on Cameo, the personalized-video platform.
— Prince Harry and Meghan have announced the birth of their second child, Lilibet “Lili” Diana Mountbatten-Windsor.
— Long Beach has taken back control of the Queen Mary from the ship’s operating company amid concerns that the 87-year-old vessel has not been properly maintained.
— For many entrepreneurs of color and women of all races, venture funding remains a mostly impenetrable barrier to success.
— The Clippers have advanced to the second round of the NBA playoffs after defeating the Mavericks in Game 7, despite Luka Doncic’s 46 points for Dallas.
— Americans have dominated every Summer Games for the last 25 years, making them favorites to again win a lion’s share of medals at the Tokyo Olympics. But could it be the last time?
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— After COVID-19 upended life, it’s time to reimagine California. Members of the Los Angeles Times editorial board have delved into an array of issues, including the future of working from home, health insurance, criminal justice and homelessness.
— Big Food wants us addicted to junk food, writes Michael Moss, a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist. New brain science may break its grip.
WHAT OUR EDITORS ARE READING
— The housing market is wild. If you’re looking to buy a home, what should you do? (The Atlantic)
— How the newspaper crisis has played out in some of the most distressed areas of the U.S. (Literary Hub)
ONLY IN L.A.
Late spring is when Southern California erupts with small, fuzzy pastel-orange or -yellow fruit — loquats. The loquat is an immigrant originally from China but spread to many other communities that embraced the fruit as their own. For over a century, the treat can be found in places like Compton and Santa Monica, Santa Ana, Pasadena, East Los Angeles, and Long Beach. They’re remnants of an era when loquats, not avocados or oranges, were a marquee crop, as columnist Gustavo Arellano explains.
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