After healthcare setback, White House returns to symbolic gestures on hot-button issues

Gen. Jeff Sessions going to the White House to announce the continuation of an Obama administration policy related to immigration would have been unthinkable months ago. “Countless Americans would be alive today and countless loved ones would not be grieving today if these policies of sanctuary cities were ended,” Sessions said. His statement was the most visible sign of how the White House hopes to regain its footing after the collapse of its healthcare bill — returning to the types of largely symbolic gestures on campaign promises that were a staple of its early weeks. White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer only tentatively stood by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin’s previously stated August target date for legislation. “Their gun-to-the-head method to force resistant cities and counties to participate in Trump’s inhumane and counterproductive mass deportation is unconstitutional and will fail.”michael.memoli@latimes.comFor more White House coverage, follow @mikememoli on Twitter.

March 27, 2017 23:48 UTC

47 sickened at Christian campground in Yucaipa

Health officials are investigating what caused 47 people to fall ill at a Christian campground in San Bernardino County. On Saturday night, campers at the Oak Glen Christian Conference Center in Yucaipa began suffering from nausea, vomiting and diarrhea, said Lana Cao, spokeswoman for San Bernardino County Department of Public Health. When first responders arrived, they provided medical aid to 20 people for an unknown illness; 13 were taken to hospitals, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection’s San Bernardino County Unit. The camp has remained closed since Saturday night as investigators try to determine the cause of the outbreak, Cao said. Members from the Connecting Point Community Church, Grace and Love Church and the Church in Irvine were visiting the campground during the weekend, according to the Oak Glen Christian Conference Center’s Facebook page.

March 27, 2017 23:03 UTC

Sanctuary city leaders vow to remain firm, despite threats from U.S. attorney general

Leaders from so-called sanctuary cities across Southern California struck a defiant tone Monday, stating that they would continue to protect people who are in the country illegally despite threats by U.S. Atty. Still, officials in sanctuary cities scrambled to touch base with attorneys and explore their legal options. "Countless Americans would be alive today and countless loved ones would not be grieving today if these policies of sanctuary cities were ended," Sessions . San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee could not be reached for comment, but he sent a tweet soon after Sessions’ announcement. He called it a “safety issue.”"We pay our taxes and I feel that the federal funding is rightfully ours regardless of the fact that we are a sanctuary city or not," he said.

March 27, 2017 22:55 UTC

23 people ask the Justice Department to launch a criminal inquiry into its chief, Jeff Sessions

We want Attorney General Sessions to be treated just the same as anyone else. Franken asked Sessions what he will do if “anyone affiliated with the Trump campaign” had communications with the Russian government. [Attorney General Jeff Sessions repeats Trump threat that ‘sanctuary cities’ could lose Justice Department grants]Sessions submitted written statements a week later in response to questions by Sen. Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vt.). Earlier this month, the American Civil Liberties Union filed an ethics complaint against the attorney general with the Alabama State Bar’s disciplinary commission. Sessions, whom the Senate confirmed last month following an acrimonious partisan debate, has been a member of the bar since 1973.

March 27, 2017 21:45 UTC

Paul Ryan: House Republicans will continue their push for health-care reform this year

House Speaker Paul D. Ryan told Republican donors Monday that he intends to continue pushing for an overhaul of the nation’s health-care system by working “on two tracks” as he also pursues other elements of President Trump’s agenda. On an afternoon call with donors to his Team Ryan political organization, he continued: “We’re not going to just all of a sudden abandon health care and move on to the rest. We are going to move on with rest of our agenda, keep that on track, while we work the health-care problem. “I will explain how it all still works, and how we’re still moving forward on health care with other ideas and plans. “I think that there was nothing that could be added to the bill that the Freedom Caucus would ever vote yes on,” Poe told CNN on Monday.

March 27, 2017 21:09 UTC

Trump doesn’t support cops. He supports cops who agree with him.

“It’s just going to create a wedge between immigrants and law enforcement. Law enforcement officials from across the country have expressed similar concerns. Last month, New York Police Commissioner James O’Neill told his officers to disregard administrative warrants from federal immigration officials. However, the IACP has, and will continue to strongly oppose any initiative that would mandate that state and local law enforcement agencies play a role in the enforcement of federal immigration law. Sessions was among the most vociferous critics of the Obama administration’s relationship with law enforcement.

March 27, 2017 20:06 UTC

The All-Male Photo Op Isn’t a Gaffe. It’s a Strategy.

Mr. Trump oozes male entitlement, from his brash insistence that he’s the best at everything despite knowing very little about anything to his history of crass sexism. It didn’t hurt him with men, though — Mr. Trump won them with the biggest gender gap since the advent of exit polling. That’s why Mr. Trump’s infamous lewd comments about his conduct with women weren’t actually a liability. The great America it promised has white men at the top, and that’s the image they’re projecting, figuratively and literally. Advertisement Continue reading the main storyFor liberal women, this latest all-male photo is a visualization of our worst fears realized.

March 27, 2017 19:30 UTC

Roger Wilkins, civil rights champion in government and journalism, dies at 85

Mr. Wilkins served as the director of the Community Relations service. Mr. Wilkins said he frequently was received during his travels as an outsider from official, white Washington. Mr. Wilkins was not invited. Through a relationship with the MCA heiress and writer Jean Stein vanden Heuvel, Mr. Wilkins moved in a high-society circle that included Norman Mailer, Arthur Miller and Leonard Bernstein. In 1980, Mr. Wilkins and Post columnist William Raspberry became the first black members of the Pulitzer Prize board, which Mr. Wilkins later chaired.

March 27, 2017 19:20 UTC

What Can You Wear on a Plane? It Depends Who’s Paying

“And like most companies, we have a dress code that we ask employees and pass riders to follow. The passengers this morning were United pass riders and not in compliance with our dress code for company benefit travel.”These are tickets that are typically left over, usable when there are empty seats on a plane. Advertisement Continue reading the main storyBoth of Betty Horne’s parents, for example, worked in the aviation industry, and both for United. Mr. Blacknell’s mother works for Delta, and he has taken advantage of numerous pass riders. Advertisement Continue reading the main storyBut there is a reason for the strictness of United’s guidelines, a company spokesman said.

March 27, 2017 19:18 UTC

Hope Springs Early, but Not Eternal, for the Deadnettle — or for Us

Advertisement Continue reading the main storyThis is just one way that plants differ from animals: After they go forward, there’s no going back. Advertisement Continue reading the main storyOnly very rarely is a seed produced. Advertisement Continue reading the main storyAlas, disasters do occur. Advertisement Continue reading the main storyWe dance, and the plants pay the piper — until they can’t pay anymore. Advertisement Continue reading the main storyAlways pause when you see a flower, at least long enough to wish luck to the plant that made it.

March 27, 2017 19:13 UTC

‘Fearless Girl’ Statue to Stay in Financial District (for Now)

Photo“Fearless Girl,” the wildly popular statue that has spent the last few weeks staring down the financial district’s well-known “Charging Bull,” has received a new lease on life. Advertisement Continue reading the main story“Right after that, this miraculous girl appears and creates such a powerful sensation because she spoke to the moment,” the mayor said. Advertisement Continue reading the main story“Fearless Girl is a powerful symbol to women young and old,” Ms. James wrote on Twitter. He said he had put his sculpture in the financial district “for art.”“My bull is a symbol for America,” he said. Brewer, the Manhattan borough president, said at Monday’s news conference that she thought “Fearless Girl” also sent a message about gender equality to the financial industry.

March 27, 2017 19:07 UTC

What's Next for House Freedom Caucus After Poe's Exit?

Texas GOP Rep. Ted Poe's exit from the House Freedom Caucus after it helped sink the Republicans’ ObamaCare overhaul has created widespread uncertainty about the political future of the caucus and its roughly 35 other members. The picture emerging Monday appeared to be that caucus members realize that their future largely depends on fulfilling campaign promises to fully repeal and replace the 2010 health care law. Trump met several times with Freedom Caucus members in recent weeks, with a focus on winning support from group leader Rep. Mark Meadows, even inviting him to the White House and his Florida resort, Mar-a-Lago. Poe also told Fox News Monday that he has discussed his departure with members of the Freedom Caucus, which pushed out House Speaker John Boehner in 2015, apparently for not being conservative enough. “Poe’s departure is a sign that the Freedom Caucus needs to shift gears into a legislative mode,” said David Payne, a Republican strategist and partner at Washington-based Vox Global.

March 27, 2017 19:07 UTC

A Harvard negotiations expert explains why Trump failed to get a heath-care deal

That’s not how it works when you’re doing a multiparty negotiation, whether it’s policy or international conflict. The image that there’s a lot of ways to get this deal done and you’re going to find the most advantageous one for yourself is completely flawed. Here’s the thing: Instincts are useful and practical if you’re doing the same deal over and over again. If this is the hundredth time you’re doing a land deal of this kind, your instincts pretty much capture everything you need to think about. You don’t win by just applying your skills and your strengths blindly in the way you’ve always done it.

March 27, 2017 19:03 UTC

World’s biggest dinosaur footprint discovered in ‘Australia’s own Jurassic Park’

Dinosaur tracks in Walmadany. But the dinosaurs' tracks remained. One of those tracks is the largest dinosaur print ever recorded: a 5-foot-9-inch print from a sauropod, or long-necked dinosaur. Salisbury likened the region to “Australia's own ‘Jurassic Park.’ ”The Goolarabooloo have known about the fossil trackways for millennia. Wherever he went he left behind three-toed tracks that now we recognize as the tracks of meat-eating dinosaurs,” he said.

March 27, 2017 18:48 UTC

Barry Jenkins says adapting 'The Undergound Railroad' for Amazon 'absolutely has to be done the right way'

Amazon announced Monday that it is developing an hourlong limited drama series based on Colson Whitehead’s National Book Award-winning novel “The Underground Railroad,” to be written and directed by Jenkins. The novel follows a young woman’s bid for freedom in a pre-Civil War South, eventually discovering an actual manifestation of an Underground Railroad, complete with tracks and conductors. “Going back to ‘The Intuitionist,’ Colson’s writing has always defied convention, and ‘The Underground Railroad is no different,” Jenkins said in a statement released Monday. Caption Why the Oscars still matter: Academy Awards attendees weigh in Staff writer Tre'vell Anderson asks 2017 Academy Awards ceremony attendees to discuss the significance of the Oscars. Staff writer Tre'vell Anderson asks 2017 Academy Awards ceremony attendees to discuss the significance of the Oscars.

March 27, 2017 18:38 UTC

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