Newsletter: ‘This phony Emoluments Clause’


Here are the stories you shouldn’t miss today:


‘This Phony Emoluments Clause’

Trying to dig out from political holes of his own making, President Trump started the workweek by holding forth for 71 minutes during what was ostensibly a Cabinet meeting. Instead, it ended up being a familiar torrent of grievances, defensiveness and expansive statements about his view of his own powers.

Trump took particular aim at Article I, Section 9, Paragraph 8 of the Constitution he swore to uphold: “You people with this phony Emoluments Clause.” Trump had appeared to violate the clause in trying to award next year’s Group of 7 summit to his own Doral, Fla., golf resort, before backing down under bipartisan pressure.


More Politics

William B. Taylor, the top U.S. diplomat in Ukraine, will testify before House investigators today, as Democrats move forward with a shortened schedule this week on their impeachment inquiry into Trump.

— While Trump insists he’s bringing home Americans from “endless wars” in the Mideast, his Pentagon chief says all U.S. troops leaving Syria will go to western Iraq and the American military will continue operations against the Islamic State group.

— Just when it looked as if the Democratic presidential contest was becoming a two-person race, two Midwestern pragmatists — South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Sen. Amy Klobuchar — are betting they can speak to an unsatisfied slice of the electorate.

In Israel, ‘Time for Action’

It took Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu a little over a month to acknowledge that even after two brutal national election campaigns, he remained unable to form Israel’s next government. Today, for the first time in 11 years, a man other than Netanyahu will be tasked with leading Israel. Opposition leader Benny Gantz, a former army chief of staff, has been asked by President Reuven Rivlin to attempt to succeed where Netanyahu has failed.


More Guilty Pleas

For months, a former bond fund manager, a philanthropist, a venture capitalist and his wife had all maintained their innocence in the college admissions scandal. But facing the prospect last week of being charged with a third felony, Douglas Hodge, Michelle Janavs and Manuel and Elizabeth Henriquez pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit fraud and money laundering. Their guilty pleas represent a potential turning point in the closely watched case.

Red Flags, Again

Much of California is at high fire risk again this week, with hot, dry conditions and windy weather forecast through Friday. On Monday, fires broke out near multimillion-dollar houses in Pacific Palisades and later in San Bernardino, where at least three homes burned and evacuations were underway into the night.

Meanwhile, Pacific Gas & Electric says as many as 201,000 customers could lose power beginning Wednesday evening because of high winds; Southern California Edison could shut power to more than 17,000 customers.

Here’s a map of wildfires in California. Plus, read how our reporter received a baptism by hot-pink fire retardant in Pacific Palisades.

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President Kennedy first saw the pictures of Soviet missile installations in Cuba shortly before 9 a.m. the morning of Oct. 16, 1962. The public knew nothing of them for nearly a week, until he announced the news, and the blockade that he proposed as a solution, in a televised speech at 7 p.m. on this date in 1962.

Though the Cuban missile crisis, as it came to be known, would be resolved through formal and back-door negotiations, the incident had lasting ramifications for history and the presidency.


— Citing gasoline prices that can be 30 cents a gallon higher than those in other states, Gov. Gavin Newsom has asked the state attorney general to investigate whether oil and gas suppliers are involved in price-fixing or other unfair practices.

— A report says Youth Policy Institute, an L.A. nonprofit charged with tackling poverty in some of the city’s neediest neighborhoods, has suffered from weak oversight, inaccurate financial reporting and dire budget problems.

— As in years past, the state political parties have decided that independent voters may participate in the Democratic presidential primary next year, but not in the Republican primary.

— Columnist Frank Shyong writes about Asian hair, his “many bad haircuts,” and what he’s learned from checking out barbershops around Los Angeles.


— In the documentary “Tell Me Who I Am,” twin brothers Marcus and Alex Lewis talk about being sexually abused as children. Here’s why they spoke up.

— Critic Mary McNamara looks at what the show “The Crown” can teach us about Meghan Markle’s tabloid war.

— “Jojo Rabbit” actress Thomasin McKenzie says she is determined to make a social impact with her work.

— The inaugural U.S. tour of “Baby Shark Live!” is based on the hit YouTube video. But how can a 90-second track be effectively stretched into an 80-minute live show?


Dallas’ mayor said the city was “very fortunate” after a tornado tossed trees into homes, tore off storefronts and downed power lines but killed no one in a densely populated area of the city.

— Voters in Canada have given Prime Minister Justin Trudeau a second term but deprived him of the majority in Parliament he enjoyed the last four years

Hong Kong officials have apologized to Muslim leaders after riot police sprayed a mosque and bystanders with a water cannon while trying to contain turbulent pro-democracy demonstrations.


— The nation’s three biggest drug distributors and a major drugmaker have agreed to an 11th-hour, $260-million settlement over the terrible toll taken by opioids in two Ohio counties, averting the first federal trial over the crisis.

Sweepstakes and lottery scams are growing more sophisticated. Consumer columnist David Lazarus explains what you need to know.


Kobe Bryant won’t be at Staples Center tonight for the NBA season opener between the Lakers and Clippers. He’ll be at a high school gym about 40 miles away watching his 16-year-old daughter Natalia play volleyball.

— An $8-million question: Why didn’t the city of Anaheim collect its hefty opt-out fee from the Angels?


Riots around the globe are linked by a common thread: frustration.

— “Trump’s travel ban forced my husband and me to start our life together on different continents.”


ABC News hasn’t explained how it presented video from a Kentucky gun range as being from Syria, but sources say it wasn’t intentional and involved these steps. (CNN)

— What’s it like to work for Ken Fisher, the money manager who is seeing investors flee after a string of sexist and vulgar remarks? Former staffers describe a hardball culture. (Bloomberg)

— What words were first used in the year you were born? Merriam-Webster has made it easy to time-travel. (New Yorker)


What’s new at the L.A. Zoo? A 138-pound, 6½-foot-tall, bouncing baby giraffe. Though the calf has no name, she’s officially a Giraffa camelopardalis subspecies tippelskirchii , which can weigh up to 2,700 pounds and grow up to 17 feet tall. Get an up-close look here.

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