Today: When Trump’s Silence on Right-Wing Hate Groups Speaks Volumes

on Aug14

President Trump finds himself at the center of criticism over his “many sides” response to violence at a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Va. I’m Davan Maharaj, editor-in-chief of the Los Angeles Times. Here are some story lines I don’t want you to miss today.


When Trump’s Silence on Right-Wing Hate Groups Speaks Volumes

The images from Charlottesville, Va., cut to the core: white supremacist groups marching with Nazi and Confederate flags to protest the removal of a statue of Robert E. Lee; armed militia members on the streets; violent clashes between the protesters and counter-protesters; a car attack on a crowd of anti-racism activists that killed a 32-year-old woman; the deaths of two police officers in a helicopter crash. President Trump’s response condemning the “hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides, on many sides” drew a chorus of criticism for failing to explicitly call out right-wing hate groups. (Vice President Mike Pence and Trump’s daughter Ivanka were among those who did call out the groups by name Sunday.) Once again, the White House scrambled to explain what Trump really meant.

After the Terror in Charlottesville

As a gang of white supremacists was beating him, De’Andre Harris said he wondered why police were not rushing to defend him. In the aftermath of the weekend’s violence, as officers stood guard in riot gear and police snipers positioned themselves on rooftops, he’s not the only Charlottesville resident questioning whether the city and police had been properly prepared. Meanwhile, details emerged of those who died, including the woman killed in what national security advisor H.R. McMaster has labeled an act of terrorism.

More Politics

— CIA Director Mike Pompeo said Trump would consider it “unacceptable” for North Korea to possess a nuclear-armed ballistic missile capable of striking the United States, but Pompeo also said he saw no imminent threat of North Korea attacking the U.S.

— Trump will start a process that could lead to action against China, which has been accused of stealing American businesses’ intellectual property, even as he seeks Beijing’s help against nuclear threats from North Korea.

— Trump on Friday introduced the possibility of another military confrontation, this time with Venezuela.

‘Giant Sucking Sound’ or Not, NAFTA Is Under Review

Remember that “giant sucking sound” of job losses Ross Perot warned of when the North American Free Trade Agreement was being negotiated in the 1990s? Though economists are divided on NAFTA’s effects, it’s a fair bet the rhetoric will heat up once again as Mexican officials arrive in Washington this week to begin rewriting the terms of the landmark deal. They know President Trump needs to be able to point to something as a win. Here’s what Mexican negotiators hope to achieve and to avoid.

Republicans Feel the Heat After Supporting a Climate Change Law

A Republican National Committee member calls it “a big fat skunk on our plate.” Tea party members are incensed. But California Assembly Republican Leader Chad Mayes says he’s happy he joined with Democrats to extend the state’s cap-and-trade program on climate change. His one regret? He didn’t attend Gov. Jerry Brown’s signing. And Mayes isn’t the only Republican getting heat for the bipartisan gesture.

How Congress Stymied a Pot Bust

When federal agents raided a farm in Humboldt County, they found more than 300 marijuana plants, guns, $225,000 in cash and bars of gold and silver. The two owners pleaded guilty to a federal charge of conspiring to manufacture and sell marijuana. But a U.S. district judge in San Francisco has put a stop to the case. Why? An unusual budget rule in Congress co-written by GOP Rep. Dana Rohrabacher of Costa Mesa. It could be a serious legal hurdle for U.S. Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions.

More Kids Get Their Shots, but Schools Could Still Use a Booster

Public health advocates cheered when a new state law boosted the percentage of California kindergartners who were fully vaccinated to 96% last year. Even so, hundreds of schools across the state still have so many children lacking full immunization that they pose an increased risk of outbreaks of diseases such as measles, according to a Times data analysis. The number of medical exemptions tripled. Check out this database to see how the schools near you fare.


— Squeezed out by Silicon Valley, the far right is creating its own corporate world.

— Meet Charles Robert Jenkins, an American detained by North Korea for 40 years. He’s now living in Japan.

— After tons of drama with the California Coastal Commission, columnist Steve Lopez says, things are looking up along the coast.

— Columnist Bill Plaschke catches up with Brian Holton, the forgotten Dodger of 1988, who is struggling to live in the present.

— Going off the electrical grid might be a dream of survivalists and some consumers, but the reality is difficult to achieve.


— The Great American Eclipse: How to watch safely on Aug. 21.

— Film critic Justin Chang reviews “Good Time,” a thriller starring Robert Pattinson and Jennifer Jason Leigh.

— “This Is Us” actor Sterling K. Brown talks Emmys and daddy duties.


— Protesters marched through downtown Los Angeles to denounce the white nationalist violence in Charlottesville, Va., and to excoriate President Trump.

— The state’s safety regulations for truck drivers are facing a challenge from Republican members in Congress.

— In all of California, there is only one all-female city council. Columnist Robin Abcarian says you’ll never guess where.

— Columnist George Skelton says that you should forget about single-payer healthcare and that Rep. John Garamendi has the real solution: Medicare for all.


— Shonda Rhimes, the creator of “Scandal” and “Grey’s Anatomy,” has signed a deal to make new shows for Netflix.

— The high jinks and despair of the Southern man, from “Smokey and the Bandit” to the new film “Logan Lucky.”

— The new box set “Elvis Presley: A Boy From Tupelo—The Complete 1953-1955 Recordings” documents the big bang of rock ’n’ roll.

— The pathos and perfectionism behind the long-awaited third season of “Rick and Morty.”

— At the first “Hamilton” performances in L.A., the party is just getting started.


Neil Diamond is celebrating 50 years in show business. “Holly Holy,” “I Am… I Said,” “America” … you know the tunes. How is the singer different now at age 76? Pop music critic Mikael Wood took in the record-setting 35th concert Diamond played at the Forum.


— What does it take to secure a border? Some lessons from the wall dividing San Diego and Tijuana.

— Meanwhile, on another border … a face-off between Indian soldiers and Chinese guards highlights the countries’ intensifying tussle for supremacy.

— Kenya’s main opposition leader called for a work stoppage to protest the deaths of at least 24 people in postelection clashes with police.

— The world’s oldest man, who lived through both World Wars and survived the Nazis’ Auschwitz concentration camp, has died a month short of his 114th birthday.


— Cheap natural gas and the soaring cost of construction are dealing more setbacks to the nuclear power industry.

— Columnist Michael Hiltzik says a factory deal President Trump touted puts the “con” in Foxconn.


— When NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell saw the StubHub Center, the league’s smallest stadium for the first time, he gasped and said: “Oh my God, is that it?” The scare was only momentary, but the Chargers promptly lost their first exhibition game there.

— A possible new arena for the Clippers has many Inglewood residents worried they may lose their homes or businesses.


— Trump bears some responsibility for the racism on display in Charlottesville.

— What the University of Virginia did wrong when white supremacists came to campus.


— She’s 98. He’s 94. From their previous marriages, they have seven children, plus 12 grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren. Now they’re newlyweds. (New York Times)

— A writer relives a childhood dream by returning to Murchison Falls in Uganda on an epic safari. (The East African)

— A theory behind the many variations of jerky people you find in life. (Aeon)


Bounce, rock, skate, roll. The World on Wheels roller rink in Mid-City was an oasis for teens in the 1980s and ’90s, where skating, socializing and scratching on the turntables made for some epic parties. The place closed down in 2013, but now it’s back, thanks to a nightlife impresario and an investment from L.A. rapper Nipsey Hussle. Here’s how they’re kicking it old school for a new generation.

Please send comments and ideas to Davan Maharaj.

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