Here are the stories you shouldn’t miss today:
Trump Is Impeached. What’s Next?
A sharply divided House of Representatives has impeached President Trump for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress — a condemnation that will permanently mar his legacy and one that only two other presidents have faced in the nation’s history.
The impeachment votes, in which every Republican voted no, followed more than 11 hours of debate in the House. In their speeches, Democrats frequently called Trump’s impeachment their constitutional duty, while Republicans called it a sham. (Some in the GOP likened it to the Japanese attacks on Pearl Harbor and the crucifixion of Jesus.)
Now, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi must decide how soon to send the two articles of impeachment to the Senate. The speaker hinted that she might delay doing so — perhaps a way to put pressure on Senate Republicans to accept at least some Democratic demands about how the trial should be conducted.
Regardless, Trump is expected to be acquitted in the Senate and remain in office — and become the first impeached president to run for reelection.
Meanwhile, Back at the Rally …
As a Democratic House majority voted for impeachment last night, Trump was in his element: a “Merry Christmas” rally in Battle Creek, Mich.
For two hours and one minute, the president riffed about the “Space Force,” nuclear submarines, “Crooked” Hillary Clinton and low-flush toilets. At one point, he suggested the late Rep. John Dingell was in hell — a comment that drew murmurs of surprise and rare boos.
But while he opened his speech saying, “By the way, it doesn’t really feel like we’re being impeached,” he vented his anger at what he called an “illegal and unconstitutional” impeachment.
The View From California
The historic impeachment vote was met with many cheers in California, which has been the heart of the resistance to the president and his policies, as well as jeers from the red corners of the Golden State.
Yet even here in one of the bluest states in the country — a place that has defied Trump on everything from immigration to climate change — voters say they are getting tired. Even if they approve of the job their elected officials are doing to get rid of a president for whom they did not vote, many say they are getting sick of the partisan divide they see coming out of Washington.
More About Impeachment
— The I-word: Democratic presidential candidates barely mention it. Republicans running in swing states have been trying to change the subject.
— How impeachment works: Yes, the action can be hard to follow. We break it down.
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FROM THE ARCHIVES
Times photographer Genaro Molina shot this photo of Muhammad Ali at a gallery opening in Watts on this day in 1996. “Ali arrived as the evening sun was setting and all this amazing light was spilling into the gallery,” Molina recalled. “There was one small patch of late afternoon light spilling in and I placed my hands in the the light, palms open, swirling in a narrow stream of light suggesting to Ali to place his face in the beam. Ali’s smile at me suggested he knew exactly what to do. He stepped into the light and everyone made their image. This is mine.”
— The family’s new puppy was expensive and lovable, but she wasn’t a goldendoodle — or even a she. And after the dye started washing off in the bath, it became clear he was very, very sick.
— Christopher Darden, best known for prosecuting O.J. Simpson, is now representing Ed Buck, the Democratic donor accused of supplying fatal doses of narcotics to two men who died in his West Hollywood apartment.
— A man believed to be homeless was found dead outside L.A. City Hall.
HOLLYWOOD AND THE ARTS
— Chang’s verdict on “Cats”: It’s a horror, and occasionally a hoot.
— A dark new adaptation isn’t your grandparents’ “A Christmas Carol,” and not only because Scrooge is hot.
— When it comes to small roles in big movies, it’s not the size of the part that counts, it’s how the actor plays it. Here are three to watch.
— A federal appeals court in New Orleans ruled the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate unconstitutional but delayed the decision’s impact, providing a limited victory for Republicans but leaving most parts of the law intact.
— The Supreme Court will decide if religious freedom shields Catholic schools from being sued by their teachers.
— The Trump administration, eager to show progress on prescription drug costs, is moving forward on its plan to let Americans get cheaper medicines from abroad.
— This Texas family supports the Border Patrol, but could lose land to Trump’s wall.
— Mass protests erupted across Poland denouncing the populist ruling party’s legislation to give the government the power to fire judges.
— Meet the new NAFTA, same as the old NAFTA, mostly — not that California businesses mind. They’re just relieved to have some certainty.
— Mexico will soon boost its minimum wage by 20%. It will still be less than $1 an hour.
— On early signing day, the nation’s top high school football prospects made their college choices. Here’s a recap.
— Serving the community, not running a sports team, is what Magic Johnson does best, columnist Bill Plaschke writes.
— Turns out Dodgers infielder Max Muncy had a good reason to be peeved about all those autograph requests.
— California has power over PG&E. It should use it, The Times’ editorial board writes.
— Columnist Steve Lopez: Let’s shift stalled bullet train funds to L.A. and San Francisco, where they’ll do some good.
WHAT OUR EDITORS ARE READING
— A former investment manager alleges in a whistleblower complaint to the Internal Revenue Service that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has amassed about $100 billion in accounts intended for charitable purposes, according to a copy of the complaint. The church said it takes seriously its responsibility to care for members’ donations. (Washington Post)
— The music that prisoners made in Nazi concentration camps during the Holocaust is being discovered and performed. (60 Minutes)
— Among China’s food trends this year: carbonated coffee and hot-pot-flavored everything, including toothpaste. (Goldthread)
ONLY IN L.A.
Is it Our Lady of Guadalupe — or a sidewalk water stain? In Artesia, the faithful say it’s la virgencita herself appearing in the concrete outside Holy Family Catholic Church. In today’s Column One feature, reporter Gustavo Arellano looks at a spot that could be mineral deposits or a harbinger of miracles.