As Democrats signal a possible subpoena, President Trump lashes out at them and the whistleblower.
Trump’s Days of Rage
President Trump’s anger over House Democrats’ accelerating impeachment inquiry has been percolating behind closed doors for a week, but on Wednesday that rage was on full public display as his guest, the president of Finland, looked on. Trump made several false claims, ducked questions, attacked the media as “corrupt” and said, “I don’t care,” when asked if a whistleblower’s anonymity should be protected.
Meanwhile, House Democrats said they would issue a subpoena to the White House on Friday if the Trump administration did not voluntarily turn over records related to a July 25 phone call with Ukraine’s president.
In many ways, the whistleblower complaint that helped launch the impeachment inquiry is the starkest example yet of how Trump has not prevailed in bending the full federal bureaucracy to his whims and demands.
— Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden said, “I’m not going anywhere,” as he laid out his most forceful response yet to Trump’s unsubstantiated attacks.
— Sen. Bernie Sanders’ campaign said he is recovering from an emergency heart procedure to treat a blocked artery and has canceled his events “until further notice.”
— James F. McDonnell, a Trump appointee who over the last two years downsized the Department of Homeland Security’s efforts to prevent terrorism involving weapons of mass destruction, has agreed to resign.
— Spikes, electric fences and alligators: Here’s what Trump reportedly suggested at the border. The president has denied it.
An End to a Vicious Cycle?
For many, it’s a cycle that’s hard to escape: They’re cited for a minor offense, fail to pay the fine and then end up with a bench warrant for their arrest. More fines and warrants ensue. It’s especially problematic for people who are homeless. That’s why Los Angeles officials will void nearly 2 million minor citations and warrants — a move that they say will save the courts money. Homeless advocates are praising the decision, but some argue it doesn’t go far enough.
One Word: Microplastics
They’re everywhere and seemingly come from everywhere: microplastics. But according to a new study, car tires may be the largest contributor of the tiny particles in California’s coastal waters. That’s not the only finding from the researchers who looked at this form of pollution that ultimately becomes part of the food and water we consume.
Celine Dion has returned to touring for the first time after the death of her husband in 2016 and the conclusion of her long Las Vegas residency in June. Starting in her native province of Quebec, the Courage tour is just one part of her rebirth — or the Dionaissance, as it’s been called. “Life is short,” she says. “Can we just have a good time?”
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FROM THE ARCHIVES
On this day in 1995, O.J. Simpson was acquitted of the murder of his ex-wife Nicole Brown and Ron Goldman, capping a wrenching trial that riveted the country. The Times reported at the time:“Simpson let out a long, shuddering sigh when Superior Court Judge Lance A. Ito’s clerk pronounced the verdicts. Lead defense attorney Johnnie L. Cochran Jr. clapped him on the back and pumped his hand in the air. And his longtime friend Robert Kardashian pulled him close for a hug, wiping away tears. Meanwhile, prosecutors sat stunned.”
L.A. Times staff photographer Myung J. Chun, who captured Simpson’s reaction to the verdicts, later wrote that his photos “were the result of months of hard work, great planning and a healthy dose of luck.”
— Gov. Gavin Newsom signed new rules for utility power shutoffs, as California grapples with more frequent planned outages during wildfire conditions.
— The University of California is deciding whether drop the SAT and ACT as an admissions requirement. If it does, what would replace them?
— Democratic donor Ed Buck has been indicted on federal charges in connection with a second overdose death at his West Hollywood home, according to court records.
HOLLYWOOD AND THE ARTS
— When he dedicates 12 new soundstages at his namesake studios in Atlanta, Tyler Perry will create a milestone for black Hollywood and bring major firepower to Georgia’s blossoming film industry. Then there are those personal demons he hopes to vanquish.
— The R-rated version of Eddie Murphy is back in “Dolemite Is My Name.” Critic Kenneth Turan calls the film “rowdy, raunchy, inescapably funny.”
— British Prime Minister Boris Johnson proposed a last-minute Brexit deal to the EU, calling it a realistic compromise. The plan was conciliatory on the thorny issue of the Irish border, but it’s still likely to face skepticism in Brussels.
— Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s long-awaited pre-indictment hearing began Wednesday, underscoring the legal and political confusion dogging the country. After another inconclusive election, he’s trying to build a unity government, but his rivals refuse because of his corruption charges.
— By his own count, Washington state Atty. Gen. Bob Ferguson hasn’t lost a case against Trump yet.
— A World War II-era B-17 bomber crashed and burned in an aborted takeoff attempt from the Hartford, Conn., airport Wednesday, killing an undetermined number of the 13 people aboard.
— Mercury Insurance is ending its two-decade battle with California over extra fees charged to customers, agreeing to pay the state more than $41 million.
— Vice Media is buying Refinery29 in a mostly stock deal that values the online publishers at a combined $4 billion and unites two of the biggest names from the early years of new media, people familiar with the matter told the Financial Times.
— Big Tech may have promised under pressure to slash emissions, but it sure isn’t cutting its growing business ties to Big Oil.
— The Dodgers will take on the Nationals in the division series, with Walker Buehler starting Game 1 tonight. Columnist Bill Plaschke says the excitement of another Dodgers’ postseason is tempered by the fear of another failure.
— The new camera capturing runners on the blocks at the track and field world championships is getting a little too up close and personal.
— Even Daniel Hudson isn’t quite sure how he went from the Dodgers’ and Angels’ castoff to the Nationals’ closer.
— Do William Barr, Mike Pompeo and Rudy Giuliani share a death wish? The summary of the transcript of Trump’s phone call with his Ukrainian counterpart ought to stop his henchmen from equivocating and bloviating, but nope, writes Virginia Heffernan.
— His health and age aside, Sen. Bernie Sanders still represents a new generation of voters, writes Brian Boyle.
WHAT OUR EDITORS ARE READING
— Prosecutors are looking into the “money trail” between U.S. Swimming, its in-house insurance company and its affiliated foundation — including allegations that the organization stifled athletes’ sexual-abuse claims. (Wall Street Journal)
— What is the toll of #MeToo? Those who have come forward have paid for it and been punished, even as they’ve bet on shaping a more equal future. (The Cut)
— Alexis Ohanian — cofounder of Reddit, husband to Serena Williams and father to their daughter — talks about why he has become an advocate for mandatory paid family leave. (Harvard Business Review)
ONLY IN L.A.
Command central for everything Tom of Finland lies in a 1911 Echo Park Craftsman that the late artist called home. Still owned by his lover, business partner and muse Durk Dehner, it contains the largest collection of Tom’s influential homoerotic art. “I made a pact with Tom before he passed that I would do everything within my capacity to keep him out in the popular culture,” says Dehner. Today, the home — with its high-beamed ceilings, stately wainscoting and, yes, dungeon — is open to the public for tea salons, nude life drawing sessions and screenings.