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Saturday
May202017

POLITICS (National): President Donald Trump, "First Family," international travel: : "Melania and Ivanka Trump, following tradition of Western visitors, forego headscarves in Saudi Arabia"; "Melania and Ivanka Trump's Outfits in Saudi Arabia Contradict President Trump's Old Tweet"; "Melania and Ivanka Trump's newsmaking style in Saudi Arabia"; "Ivanka and Jared get a rabbinical pass to . . ."  

Saturday
May202017

SACRAMENTO: California Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de Leon, political future?: "De Leon sends candidate-style political video -- but says he has no imminent political plans" ....

***California Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de Leon, political future?

* Los Angeles Times:  "De Leon sends candidate-style political video -- but says he has no imminent political plans" - From the LAT:

As rumors swirled that California Senate President Pro Tem Kevin De León was mulling a gubernatorial run, he said Thursday he had no imminent plans to jump in the race but demurred when asked about his political future. “When I know, everyone else will know,” he said in an interview.

De León (D-Los Angeles) is termed out next year and has long been the focus of speculation about what may be next. The rumors grew louder this week with the slickly produced video he emailed to Democrats just before they gather for their annual convention in Sacramento. The state Senate leader, along with other top elected officials and all the announced gubernatorial candidates, is scheduled to address thousands of delegates, donors and influential activists Saturday.

The 90-second video about the importance of California as a liberal bulwark during President Trump’s tenure could easily be interpreted as the type of introduction candidates make when they plan to run.

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It will likely be viewed as a political billboard for the 50-year-old, who represents Boyle Heights, Echo Park, Lincoln Heights and Koreatown .................

Saturday
May202017

POLITICS (National): President Donald Trump, firing of "nut job" [FBI Director] James Comey: "Trump Told Russians That Firing 'Nut Job' Comey Eased Pressure From Investigation"; "Trump reportedly told Russians Comey is 'nut job,' said firing relieved pressure"; "Trump to Russian diplomats: Firing 'nut job' Comey took 'great pressure' off me" ....

Saturday
May202017

POLITICS (National): Donald Trump presidency, Cabinet secretaries, public policy, regressive ideas?: Commentary (David Horsey), "Trump may be in trouble, but his appointees advance his startling agenda" ....  

***Donald Trump presidency, Cabinet secretaries, public policy, regressive ideas?

* Los Angeles Times ("Top of the Ticket" - David Horsey):  "Trump may be in trouble, but his appointees advance his startling agenda" - From the LAT:

Cable news is consumed with wall-to-wall coverage of every new development in Donald Trump’s political implosion, and liberals, still stunned by Trump’s rise to the White House, cannot get enough of it. For them, this national nightmare can’t be over soon enough.

Nevertheless, one disturbing reality should not be overlooked. While Trump does his best to paint himself into a corner from which he can’t escape, the work of his appointees goes on unhindered. The president may not be able to get any legislation through a Congress that sees him as increasingly radioactive, but the Cabinet secretaries who already got a congressional OK are turning some very regressive ideas into reality. Nowhere is this more obvious than in environmental and land-use issues.

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The investigations into Trump’s campaign links with Russia and his murky financial dealings are putting the president in great political peril, but, no matter what eventually happens to him, the people carrying out the goals of his administration are forging ahead. They may not be in the news, but they should not escape our scrutiny.

Saturday
May202017

L.A. CITY HALL: Los Angeles City Council, CD 1 election, an "object lesson for City Hall"?: Editorial, "Gil Cedillo's close call is an object lesson for City Hall: Angelenos are tired of business as usual" ....

***Los Angeles City Council, CD 1 election, an "object lesson for City Hall"?

* Los Angeles Times (editorial):  "Gil Cedillo's close call is an object lesson for City Hall: Angelenos are tired of business as usual" - From the LAT:

Would Los Angeles City Councilman Gil Cedillo have won his reelection bid Tuesday if his challenger, bike advocate Joe Bray-Ali, hadn’t flamed out in the final weeks of the campaign? No one knows for sure, but the outcome probably wouldn’t have changed; it’s tough for any challenger to overcome the advantages of incumbency.

Nevertheless, it would be wise for Cedillo and all the city’s elected leaders to examine the circumstances that forced an incumbent who should have won in a cakewalk over a political neophyte into a runoff. Because this just doesn’t happen to council incumbents backed by the city’s political establishment and the special interests that fund them, except in extraordinary cases . . . . . . . .

Tuesday’s runoff wasn’t only about the dynamics of one council district. It was a referendum of sorts on the entire city and the way its leaders have been doing business for far too long — namely, by acting as deal-makers on land-use decisions in their districts, negotiating directly with developers who contribute to their reelection campaigns.

This approach is not new to L.A., and the results of this kind of case-by-case “spot zoning” can be seen in every neighborhood in the city. Ultimately it sparked the anti-development backlash that put Measure S, an initiative to temporarily halt major developments and slow future growth, on the March ballot.

Was it a coincidence that Cedillo was forced into a runoff in the same election in which Measure S, the so-called Neighborhood Integrity Initiative, was on the ballot? Though it’s impossible to know for sure, it’s wise for city officials to pay heed. The concerns that animated Measure S supporters — gentrification, displacement, the lack of affordable housing, congested traffic and development transforming existing neighborhoods — are acute in District 1 . . . . . . . .

The worries of voters in this race were only exacerbated by what many community members felt was an indifference to their concerns and a lack of response from the councilman’s staff . . . . . . . .

So the lesson here is that if this could happen in District 1, it could happen in any Los Angeles council district ...............