Newsletter: The R-Word
The House voted to condemn President Trump’s tweets directed at four congresswomen, but the divisiveness hasn’t stopped there.
President Trump’s repeated verbal attacks on four minority lawmakers have caused tumult, anger — and argument over labeling them as racist. On Tuesday evening, Democrats in the House of Representatives, with support from four Republicans and one independent, voted to condemn Trump’s tweet that told four liberal members of Congress — all women of color — to “go back” to the “crime-infested places from which they came.” Earlier, Republicans had objected to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s use of the word “racist” to describe Trump’s remarks, which violates the chamber’s rules of decorum, and Trump tweeted that “I don’t have a Racist bone in my body!” What Trump has made clear is that his political motive ahead of the 2020 election is to drive a wedge through the American electorate.
-- The American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit in federal court on behalf of several California immigrant advocacy groups to stop a new Trump administration rule that would block virtually all migrants from claiming asylum at the U.S.-Mexico border.
-- Mark Esper appears headed for confirmation as Defense secretary. The Trump nominee is promising to restore stability to a troubled Pentagon and rejects criticism that his ties to a defense contractor where he formerly worked “smacks of corruption.”
-- The Trump administration plans to divert more than $40 million in humanitarian aid from Central America to the U.S.-backed opposition in Venezuela, according to an internal memo and interviews.
-- Federally funded family planning clinics, including Planned Parenthood, are defying the Trump administration’s ban on referring women for abortions, drawing a line against what they say amounts to keeping patients in the dark about legitimate healthcare options.
A Voice of Independence
Retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens, who died Tuesday at age 99, once described himself in an interview as “pretty darn conservative.” But on the major issues that divided the court— including race, abortion, religion, gay rights, gun rights, the death penalty and the environment — he leaned to the liberal side. For a man whose life was filled with firsts, he was in many ways the last of his kind.
The Prescription for More Doctors
California doesn’t have enough doctors for the future. Now, the state is trying to do something about it, by paying off their medical school debt. In exchange, the physicians must pledge that at least 30% of their caseloads will be devoted to low-income Medi-Cal patients for five years. Such loan forgiveness programs have become increasingly popular around the U.S. as the competition for doctors becomes more aggressive.
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FROM THE ARCHIVES
On this date in 1955, Disneyland had its opening day for the media and invited guests, and by most accounts, it was a disaster. “Rides broke down. Restaurants ran out of food and drink, and a plumbers’ strike meant drinking fountains were in short supply. Long lines formed at bathrooms. Bunting hid unfinished attractions. Women’s high-heeled shoes sank into the fresh asphalt,” as a story on the park’s 60th anniversary noted. But that didn’t stop Disneyland; within two months, the park had welcomed its millionth visitor.
-- An indictment links seven Los Angeles-area murders to the Fulton clique of the MS-13 gang in the last two years. Investigators say the gang, which was formed decades ago in Los Angeles, has recently escalated its violent tactics to increase its power.
-- Los Angeles is trying to lead the world in fighting climate change, but much of its electricity comes from a coal-fired plant in Utah. The city is planning to replace it with one using another fossil fuel: natural gas.
-- L.A. County will pay $53 million to settle a lawsuit brought by women who endured group strip searches in jail.
-- Southern California Gas Co. said a deadly explosion at a house in Murrieta underscores the dangers of home improvements and construction without following gas safety rules.
HOLLYWOOD AND THE ARTS
-- Thanks to the final season of long-running hit “Game of Thrones” and second-year comedy “Barry,” HBO reclaimed its position as a critical favorite, capturing 137 nominations for the 2019 Emmy Awards, the most of any network.
-- Meanwhile, Netflix’s powerful limited series “When They See Us,” about the wrongful conviction of the Central Park Five, landed 16 nominations. TV critic Lorraine Ali looks at how this docudrama’s reality contrasts with “GoT’s” fantasy.
-- The Outfest film festival will cast a spotlight on L.A.'s LGBTQ scene past and present.
-- Federal prosecutors won’t bring civil rights charges against a New York City police officer in the 2014 chokehold death of Eric Garner, whose words “I can’t breathe” became a.
-- In Puerto Rico, “chatgate” — the leak of at least 889 pages of Gov. Ricardo Rossello’s private chat with members of his administration — has created a crisis.
-- Ursula von der Leyen has been confirmed as the new European Commission president. She is the first woman to hold one of the most prestigious positions in the European Union.
-- The extended grounding of Boeing’s 737 Max planes is forcing some airlines to rethink their long-term planning.
-- Republican and Democratic senators sharply questioned Facebook‘s plan to create its own cryptocurrency. Trump, Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin and Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell have previously criticized it.
-- At the British Open, Phil Mickelson is ready to show how he got himself and his game in shape.
-- Basketball player Onyeka Okongwu is honing his skills in L.A.'s Drew League, which features high school, college, professional and street players, before his freshman year at USC.
-- Yet again, Trump ignores the law to impose his will on America’s neighbors.
-- Building more permanent housing alone won’t solve homelessness in California.
WHAT OUR EDITORS ARE READING
-- 76 billion opioid pills: Newly released federal data unmasks the epidemic. (Washington Post)
-- Kellyanne Conway asks a reporter, “What’s your ethnicity?” while her husband, George Conway, writes a column titled, “Trump is a racist president.” (Daily Beast)
ONLY IN L.A.
Did they do thaaaat? Yes they did. The Lakers’ organization has long been a family business. But an online sportsbook took it a step further by creating a parody video out of the Lakers’ lineup using the intro to the ‘90s TV sitcom “Family Matters.” Can you guess who is the Urkel of the group?
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