Newsletter: A ripping tale of partisanship


President Trump’s State of the Union speech drew cheers from Republicans, boos from Democrats and an unusual response from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.


A Ripping Tale of Partisanship

If there is one hour and 18 minutes that can define the partisan divide that’s marked President Trump’s time in office, his State of the Union address last night may have been it.


On the eve of his presumed acquittal in the Senate impeachment trial, Trump presented a triumphant, if not entirely true, view of economic growth during his administration. He focused on areas that excite his supporters — curbing illegal immigration, limiting access to abortion, imposing tougher trade policies and attacking the “radical left” — and spent relatively little time on topics that evoked moments of shared applause. He also brought touches of reality TV, such as giving out a scholarship, reuniting a military family, and presenting the Medal of Freedom to ailing radio host Rush Limbaugh.

The president did not mention his impeachment in the speech, but the underlying tension was more than apparent.

When House Speaker Nancy Pelosi extended her hand in greeting before he began, he did not take it. At the end of Trump’s address, Pelosi stood up and dramatically ripped her printed copy of his speech in half. It was a sign of disrespect equally stunning for the most powerful Democrat in Congress, as Trump paced just in front of her, basking in applause from the GOP side of the chamber.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi rips her copy of President Trump's State of the Union address after he delivered it to a joint session of Congress.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi rips up her copy of President Trump’s State of the Union address after he delivered it to a joint session of Congress.
(Patrick Semansky / Associated Press)

If at First You Don’t Succeed ...

Democratic presidential hopefuls have moved on to New Hampshire ahead of next week’s primary election, which has taken on even more prominence after a vote-reporting app, coded by a tech firm run by veterans of Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign, left the Iowa caucus results a muddle.

The lack of verified, complete results (see the latest here) deprived candidates who had a strong showing — notably Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Pete Buttigieg, former mayor of South Bend, Ind. — of a moment to bask in victory. But it also postponed a moment of reckoning for those who may not have fared so well.


A Virus’ Economic Toll

Chinese authorities say the new coronavirus has sickened more than 20,000 people in China and nearly two dozen other countries, and killed nearly 500 people so far. Beyond the human tragedy, there will be an economic toll — one that will be much larger than what was felt from SARS 17 years ago. There are several reasons why, but the simplest explanation is that China’s role in the global economy is so much greater today.

Meanwhile, despite urging by the World Health Organization against travel and trade restrictions, nearly 40 airlines worldwide have cut about 25,000 flights to, from or within China.

Big Gentrification Hits Small Businesses

When Miranda Megill opened her restaurant Flore Vegan in 2007, she worried she might be contributing to Silver Lake’s gentrification. But there’s always someone with more money. Now Flore Vegan and other relatively recent small businesses are being pushed and priced out, while big companies like Happy Socks and Warby Parker are moving in.

Luis Nuno, an assistant professor at Cal State L.A. who studies gentrification, says, “That’s the story of American capitalism. It kind of eats itself.



On this day in 1984, staff photographer Ken Lubas spent the day at a small settlement on Bunker Hill. A group of Native Americans who had been living on the street built a collection of “cardboard condos,” as passers-by called them. They were actually made of plywood, with plastic to keep them dry from rain, according to The Times. “It was really comfortable. I called it my ‘reservation,’ ” said Wilma Aros, 32, the youngest of the group. By the time the story ran, on Feb. 12, police had already evicted them. The encampment lasted about three weeks.

Feb. 5, 1984: Wilma Aros ties up bedrolls after making up bed inside makeshift shelter on Bunker Hill.
Feb. 5, 1984: Wilma Aros ties up bedrolls after making up bed inside makeshift shelter on Bunker Hill.
(Ken Lubas / Los Angeles Times )


— The Orange County district attorney plans to drop all charges against a Newport Beach doctor and his girlfriend who were accused of drugging and sexually assaulting several women after a review of their case found insufficient evidence.

— Health officials say a child who was quarantined and monitored for coronavirus in Riverside County has been taken to a hospital after developing a fever. The child had been held at March Air Reserve Base with 194 other people who were evacuated from China last week.

— A mural in a Pomona park was supposed to honor Native Americans. But local activists say the painted symbols aren’t indigenous to the region, and they want the mural gone.

— Some kids struggle with money, others with their GPA. But they still got the college acceptances they dreamed of in Lynwood, where historically black colleges and universities offered 381 low-income students admission.

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— This year’s Oscars are shutting out female filmmakers, but it’s a different story for female producers: Eight of the nine films up for best picture have at least one credited female producer.

Kobe Bryant was many things: a dad, a coach, a gold medalist, a brand spokesman and a source of inspiration for some of rap and hip-hop’s biggest names.

— Macmillan, the parent company of “American Dirt” publisher Flatiron Books, is vowing to increase Latinx staff and published authors after controversy engulfed the book’s release.

— A filmmaker of color’s secret weapon at the Sundance Film Festival? Diversity lounges.

— At the Massachusetts home that inspired “Little Women, visitation is up threefold.


— Calling them “far and away the most culpable” parents who have admitted their guilt in the college admissions scandal, prosecutors are seeking the toughest sentences yet for four — the former Pimco chief executive, a frozen foods heiress and a Bay Area venture capitalist and his wife.

— Trump’s peace proposal for the Middle East offers legitimacy to Jewish settlements in the West Bank and is widely seen to give his stamp of approval for Israeli expansionism.


— Does Russian President Vladimir Putin intend to rule for life — or does he have other plans?


Macy’s has a radical $1.5-billion cost-cutting plan to revive its fortunes that involves closing 125 stores, axing 2,000 corporate jobs, shutting its joint headquarters in Cincinnati and moving its technology operations from San Francisco to Atlanta and New York.

— Would you write a 5-star Amazon review for a $20 bribe? It’s one of the many ways sellers are trying to skew their ratings, writes columnist David Lazarus.


— The Dodgers jostled a sleepy offseason awake with a blockbuster three-team trade that will bring 2018 American League most valuable player Mookie Betts and 2012 AL Cy Young Award winner David Price to Los Angeles from Boston, according to two people with knowledge of the transaction.

UCLA’s athletic department has an $18.9-million deficit. It’s the school’s first shortfall since 2004, and it has some Bruins followers seeing red.

— When twins Monique and Jocelyne Lamoureux joined fellow U.S. women’s hockey team members’ fight for equitable pay and benefits, they didn’t know they’d be the first players to take advantage of the maternity and child-care provisions in their new labor agreement.


— In this op-ed, Sen. Kamala Harris explains why the articles of impeachment against Trump deserve a yes vote.


— Yes, homeless people have a right to park on Malibu’s coast. But not for weeks at a time, The Times’ editorial board writes on the city’s proposed parking restrictions.


— Young people have health questions and the doctors answering them are going viral on TikTok. (New York Times)

— This couple became experts in finding drowning victims while in their retirement. (The Guardian)


Ever felt like losing your cool at Los Angeles International Airport? Now’s your chance to let your rage loose. Airport officials are looking for 500 fake passengers to come to its newest concourse and behave badly. Or sickly, or feebly — anything that might cause mayhem. It’s an exercise to test the safety and passenger readiness of the new Midfield Satellite Concourse, scheduled to open this summer. Find out more, including how to volunteer here.

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