President Trump’s visits to Dayton, Ohio, and El Paso amplify the nation’s divide.
Divisions at a Time for Healing
President Trump said he wanted to “stay out of the political fray” before he went to Dayton, Ohio, and El Paso to visit with victims of the weekend’s mass shootings. So much for that idea. Instead, protesters turned out on the streets (along with supporters), and Trump logged on to Twitter to insult Democratic politicians in both cities. Though he skipped memorials at the sites of the carnage, he said he would “come up with something that’s going to be really good” to combat gun violence but that there was no “political appetite” for an assault rifle ban. Here’s more from a most unusual scene.
A Deeply Felt Connection
El Paso is a beacon for Mexican Americans, and the massacre there has resonated especially in Southern California. The large community of expats from the city in Texas has played an outsized role in Mexican American life here for more than a century. “Back in El Paso, all the streets echo our names,” says Gabriel Tenorio, a 46-year-old transplant who now lives in Boyle Heights.
— Democratic presidential candidates closed ranks Wednesday to denounce President Trump’s inflammatory rhetoric. “In both clear language and in code, this president has fanned the flames of white supremacy,” Joe Biden said in a 25-minute speech, saying Trump “has more in common with George Wallace than George Washington.”
— One of Biden’s rivals, Sen. Cory Booker — speaking at the South Carolina church where a white supremacist killed nine black worshipers four years ago — said Americans must go further and confront their nation’s history of bigotry.
— If you’re wondering which Democrats are getting your neighbors’ money, we made a map for that.
How Sellers Exploit EBay’s Gun Rules
EBay sellers are taking advantage of gun rule loopholes to sell products designed to make assault rifles as deadly as possible. The auction site specifically bars parts and accessories for them, but its marketplace rules prohibit only “products that mention capability with an assault weapon, even if the part or accessory fits non-assault weapons.” That language leaves plenty of gray area that sellers are happy to exploit. The result: listings for accessories for high-capacity magazines (banned in California) and vintage AK-47 bayonets (officially banned on the site). It’s not really enforcing its own ban.
Orange County Goes Blue
It’s official: Democrats now outnumber Republicans in the OC. The county that gave us Richard Nixon and helped launch Ronald Reagan as a politician is home to 547,458 registered Democrats — eclipsing the number of registered Republicans by 89 — per statistics out yesterday. And the number of voters not aligned with a political party now tops 440,770 — way up in recent years. It’s a watershed moment for a place long known as a GOP bastion, but it also mirrors what’s happening in other affluent American suburbs.
How Many Did Manson’s “Family” Kill?
The supposed suicide of one follower’s boyfriend in England. The drowning of a lawyer Charles Manson said mid-trial he never wanted to see again. A young man killed during a game of Russian roulette. Two young women stabbed off Mulholland Drive, and a couple of young Scientology followers. The LAPD officially has a dozen unsolved homicide cases linked to Manson, and there are more beyond its jurisdiction that some believe might be. “Manson repeatedly told others they murdered many others. We may never know or identify all their victims,” says one former detective.
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FROM THE ARCHIVES
At 8:08 p.m. Beijing time on August 8, 2008, the Beijing Olympics kicked off. Also taking advantage of a date chock-full of Chinese culture’s most celebrated number: Southern California’s Chinese banquet halls, plus plenty of couples eager to wed on the lucky day.
— Police say four people were killed and two others injured after a 33-year-old Garden Grove man went on a stabbing rampage across Santa Ana and Garden Grove that apparently started as robberies.
— Gov. Gavin Newsom proposed spending California’s share of a national mortgage settlement on legal assistance for struggling homeowners and renters — funds lawmakers illegally diverted in 2014 to help plug the budget deficit. He also said he embraced an effort to cap rent hikes in California.
— It wasn’t just a tip that helped investigators track down Peter Chadwick, the Orange County multimillionaire accused of killing his wife, dumping her body and fleeing to Mexico. Their yearslong manhunt was also aided by a podcast.
— An invasive swamp rat is threatening to disrupt California’s water supply. The nutria has already drawn the ire of environmentalists, farmers and local officials. Now a freshman Democrat in Congress is on its tail, too.
HOLLYWOOD AND THE ARTS
— Annapurna Pictures founder Megan Ellison moved to fend off “rumblings” that her studio is verging on bankruptcy, sending a memo to her staff as the company tries to restructure its debt.
— The Emmys are taking a page from the Oscars and going hostless.
— Manhattan Beach Studios, the 22-acre production facility and home base for “Avatar” sequels, has been sold to real estate giant Hackman Capital Partners as part of a $650-million deal.
— Beyoncé is the latest face headed to the National Portrait Gallery. The museum will soon display a regal photo of her by Tyler Mitchell, the first black photographer to shoot an American Vogue cover.
— Lin-Manuel Miranda was the “catalyst” for “Fosse/Verdon,” says the FX series’ music director Alex Lacamoire.
— The radicalization process, tactics and narratives used by violent white supremacists are strikingly similar to those used by the Islamic State group, terrorism experts say.
— U.S. authorities arrested 680 mostly Latino workers in immigration raids at Mississippi food processing plants Wednesday, the largest workplace sting in at least a decade.
— Cyntoia Brown is out of prison. The 31-year-old, serving a life sentence for killing a man when she was 16, had been championed by celebrities as a personification of unfair sentencing and granted clemency by Tennessee’s governor.
— An experiment in German train stations involving a litterbug and a busted bag of fruit found people were less likely to help a woman if she looks Muslim — but also that they’re more likely to help her if she shows she shares their social values.
— Environmental groups filed a notice of intent to sue the Phillips 66 refinery in the South Bay, accusing it of mismanaging hazardous waste for years. That doesn’t mean a suit must materialize; the threat of one can be enough to force a settlement.
— Safety regulators have subpoenaed Tesla for information on several crashes and last year sent Elon Musk a cease-and-desist letter concerning its Model 3 safety claims, documents posted by a nonprofit advocacy group show.
— Pacific Standard, a decade-old online magazine focused on social and environmental justice and policy, is shutting down after losing its main financial backer.
— The growing threat of data hacking attacks has companies waging “a full-on war for cyber talent,” as one expert puts it. The scramble has put security experts once confined to obscure IT departments in high demand — and boosted their pay.
— The Dodgers looked headed for their first shutout loss since May. But just as they were down to their last strike, Russell Martin slapped a groundball up the middle for a 2-1 victory and a three-game series sweep of a potential playoff foe.
— The self-proclaimed world’s biggest DJ spins dubstep, trap and hip-hop and goes by Diesel. You probably know him better as Shaq.
— Changes are afoot at the L.A. Times for how we cover horse racing results, and they’re all the more reason to sign up for John Cherwa’s authoritative — and free — newsletter. (We’re looking at you, Mel Brooks.)
— “Enough Manson reminiscing. Enough murder nostalgia,” the editorial board writes. “We have our own mass murder problem, and we can ill afford to indulge in wistful or lurid looks back to a time when senseless mass killing was so rare that we could remember the names of the killers.”
— Congress is dithering on gun control, Scott Martelle writes. Promoting red flag laws is about the easiest and weakest step it can take, with the best chance of passing. Yet even that is a long shot in Mitch McConnell’s Senate.
— The real college admissions scandal is that millions of kids will never have a fair shot, say student leaders at UCLA, USC, Yale and Stanford. The inequities are “embedded in the fabric of the U.S. education system” — after all, public schools are funded by local property taxes — and mitigating them will require dismantling such systemic barriers.
WHAT OUR EDITORS ARE READING
— An author reveals the wrenching emotions of putting together a book about the survivors of school shootings and discusses her own relationship with the shooting at Sandy Hook. (Longreads)
— Longtime NRA head Wayne LaPierre tried to have the nonprofit buy him a $6-million mansion in a gated Dallas-area golf club, saying he feared he’d be targeted after the Parkland, Fla., school shooting. (Washington Post)
— Rebecca Traister explores how Elizabeth Warren’s lifelong relationship with pedagogy has shaped her presidential candidacy and why it matters that she’s a woman who teaches. (The Cut)
ONLY IN L.A.
Meet the former diplomat and veteran soap opera producer who plans to serve as California’s film ambassador. In her new job as executive director of the California Film Commission, Colleen Bell will draw on her background to champion the industry while maintaining relationships with its politicians in Sacramento. One of her top goals: getting more money allocated each year to the state’s film and TV tax credit program. “I want to reinstate California’s position as the leading location for production in the world,” she says. Tune in tomorrow... .