Newsletter: Articles of impeachment looming
Here are the stories you shouldn’t miss today:
Articles of Impeachment Looming
Only four months ago, the debate over whether to impeach President Trump deeply divided Democrats in Congress, pitting moderates in pro-Trump districts against progressives in liberal strongholds. Now, with a vote on articles of impeachment expected within two weeks, the party is unified on whether Trump should be impeached. The only significant point of contention: how expansive of a case to make.
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler says his committee is moving swiftly to draft articles of impeachment, possibly by the end of this week. Today, the committee plans to hear evidence gathered by the Intelligence Committee during its investigation. The White House says it won’t participate in House Democrats’ impeachment proceedings and will instead focus on a potential Senate trial.
Meanwhile, Trump’s congressional supporters are finding themselves on the defensive over the disclosure that the president’s personal lawyer, Rudolph W. Giuliani, traveled last week to Ukraine and met with political figures associated with efforts to dig up dirt on former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter.
Sen. Kamala Harris dropped out of the presidential campaign last week, but along with the pain of doing so may come some gain. “By quitting when she did,” Times politics writer Mark Z. Barabak reports, “Harris avoided embarrassing losses in several early contests and, most important, her home state of California, preserving her status as a leading vice presidential prospect and positioning her as a strong candidate for a place in the Cabinet, such as attorney general, in a Democratic administration.” It could also help in defending her Senate seat in 2022.
— Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz will release his long-anticipated report today. People familiar with the matter said the internal watchdog has determined that political bias did not influence the federal investigation of potential links between Russia and the Trump campaign in 2016.
— Mixing politics and parsley: Why this spice seller spent $700,000-plus on Facebook ads for Trump’s impeachment.
A Deepening Investigation
The FBI is investigating the Friday attack by a Saudi gunman who killed three U.S. sailors at the Pensacola, Fla., naval base on the assumption it was an act of terrorism. A U.S. official said the killer, a second lieutenant in the Royal Saudi Air Force, had apparently gone on Twitter shortly before the shooting to blast U.S. support of Israel and accuse America of being anti-Muslim. Investigators are trying to establish whether he acted alone or was part of a larger plot.
Accusations at CBS-Owned Stations
It’s been a year since former CBS Chief Executive Leslie Moonves was ousted over allegations of misconduct. Since then, independent law firms hired by CBS concluded that “harassment and retaliation are not pervasive at CBS.” But a Times investigation has uncovered claims of discrimination, retaliation and other forms of mistreatment at CBS-owned TV stations, including L.A. outlets. More than two dozen current and former employees of KCBS and KCAL described a toxic environment. Discrimination complaints have also surfaced at CBS-owned stations in Chicago, Dallas and Miami. CBS denied that it engaged in discrimination.
Check This Out (or Not)
More and more public library patrons are turning to borrowing e-books — and not just from one library system, as readers collect cards from districts near and far. The evolution of digital lending has also shaped the way libraries build their collections. But Macmillan Publishers says it’s been concerned that “library lending was cannibalizing sales” and is now limiting systems to a single digital copy of its books for the first eight weeks after publication, with all subsequent copies to be metered.
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OUR MUST-READS FROM THE WEEKEND
— End of an era: The 44th and final crew member of the battleship Arizona was interred at the memorial in Pearl Harbor.
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— Should psychotherapists be required to report patients who look at child porn? A California law says they must, the state Supreme Court will soon decide whether to revive a challenge to that law.
— Orange County was once a battleground for an epic newspaper war. Now, journalism is fading fast there.
— After last year’s devastating Camp fire, the Paradise High School Bobcats football team became a powerful symbol of a community coming together. Now, their season has ended with a loss that was really a victory.
FROM THE ARCHIVES
On this date in 1965, “A Charlie Brown Christmas” aired for the first time. Though the TV special would become a holiday tradition, the producers who made it were not brimming with confidence ahead of time.
“We just thought it was a little slow, and it was certainly not a traditional Christmas show,” said Lee Mendelson, the producer who persuaded “Peanuts” cartoonist Charles M. Schulz to adapt his strip into an animated holiday offering. When they showed it in New York for CBS, two executives watched in silence. When the lights came up, one of the bosses told Mendelson, “Well, you gave it a good try.”
— Overtime costs for firefighters in California have surged by 65% in the last decade amid a string of wildfires. Annual wages have risen to nearly $5 billion, according to a Times analysis of state payroll records.
— Patty Perry, the founder of Moorpark animal sanctuary, was injured by tigers during an event put on to thank donors and supporters of her conservation group.
— Dryland, a literary journal based in South-Central L.A., tells stories that are often left out, as columnist Frank Shyong explains.
— The Free Cafe in Leimert Park wants to talk about gentrification, but some say it’s part of the problem.
HOLLYWOOD AND THE ARTS
— The Golden Globe nominations are coming out this morning. Follow all the action (and reaction) with us.
— Inside the Los Angeles Film Critics Awards: How “Parasite” won best picture this year.
— Hip-hop star Juice Wrld, who broke through in 2018 with the smash hit “Lucid Dreams,” died after reportedly having a seizure in Chicago’s Midway Airport. The 21-year-old was part of a wave of young singer-rappers to emerge in recent years from the do-it-yourself streaming platform SoundCloud.
— Two longtime actors also died Sunday: Caroll Spinney, who gave Big Bird his warmth and Oscar the Grouch his growl for nearly 50 years on “Sesame Street,” and René Auberjonois, best known for his roles on the TV shows “Benson” and “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine” and his portrayal of Father Mulcahy in the 1970 film “MASH.”
— The number of African migrants heading to the U.S. through Mexico has more than doubled this year, from roughly 2,700 in 2018 to 5,800 today, according to data from the federal government.
— Historic cities and towns along the Southeast U.S. coast have survived wars, hurricanes, disease outbreaks and other calamities, but now that sea levels are creeping up with no sign of stopping, they face a more existential crisis.
— Hundreds of thousands of demonstrators crammed into Hong Kong’s streets again in a massive show of support for a protest movement that shows no signs of flagging as it enters a seventh month.
— A volcano erupted on a small New Zealand island frequented by tourists. At least five people are dead and many others are missing after the eruption.
— Tech recruiters were once welcomed on campus. Now they face protests.
— Too many credit cards? Protect your credit scores while closing accounts.
— The Rams stayed in the playoff hunt by defeating the Seattle Seahawks at the Coliseum, while the Chargers beat the Jacksonville Jaguars but were mathematically eliminated from postseason contention.
— After spending the postseason at home a year ago, the USC football team is headed just down the freeway to San Diego for the Holiday Bowl against Iowa on Dec. 27.
— The NBA’s scary secret: Job stress is destroying the health of some of the best coaches.
— Trump should be impeached, The Times’ editorial board writes. The evidence produced over the last two months is more than sufficient.
— Failing to address millennial concerns could cost Democrats the election.
WHAT OUR EDITORS ARE READING
— Critics accused Trump of playing to anti-Semitic tropes during a speech at a conference sponsored by the Israeli-American Council, where he said many Jewish Americans do not “love Israel enough.” (USA Today)
— A former career diplomat writes that it’s time for the U.S. to reconsider Middle East policy and end “the magical thinking.” (The Atlantic)
ONLY IN L.A.
A Methodist church in Claremont has unveiled a Nativity scene depicting Jesus, Mary and Joseph as refugees in cages, likening one of the most well-known images of the Christmas season to photos that have become synonymous with criticism of the Trump administration’s border separation policies. “We see this as, in some ways, the Holy Family standing in for the nameless families,” said the Rev. Karen Clark Ristine, the lead pastor at Claremont United Methodist Church. “We don’t see it as political; we see it as theological.”
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