Newsletter: The impeachment stage is set

Here are the stories you shouldn’t miss today:


The Impeachment Stage Is Set

On a near party-line vote, and with not a single Republican in support, the House of Representatives has passed a resolution affirming the impeachment investigation into President Trump and clearing the way for public hearings. Responding on Twitter with one of his favorite lines, Trump denounced what he called “The Greatest Witch Hunt In American History!”

Nevertheless, Thursday’s vote means the House Intelligence Committee — led by Rep. Adam B. Schiff — will be in the spotlight when public, and presumably televised, hearings are expected to start in two weeks. Those hearings will introduce an unpredictable dynamic into the politics of impeachment.

Meanwhile, Tim Morrison, who testified behind closed doors just after he announced plans to resign as Trump’s top advisor for Russian and European affairs, told House investigators that he had immediately expressed concerns about a July 25 phone call between Trump and Ukraine’s president but did not believe anything illegal was discussed on the call.

A Failing Marriage and GOP Enemies

Rep. Katie Hill, the freshman Democrat from Santa Clarita, plans to resign from Congress today after acknowledging a relationship with a campaign staffer and denying an allegation that she had an affair with a congressional aide. In a parting speech, she blamed a double standard for female politicians, a ruthless political climate and a misogynistic culture.

But how did her private texts and nude photos end up going public? She and her allies see a plot by her estranged husband and former campaign advisors to Steve Knight, the Republican congressman she ousted a year ago. Hill’s husband did not respond to calls for comment, and Knight has denied personal involvement.

Devastation and an Uneasy Sense of Relief

Eight days of historic winds and evacuations, of unprecedented power shutdowns and explosive fires that have have destroyed more than 100 buildings in California began to relent Thursday. Officials emphasize that the fire season is far from over, and many communities remain at risk. New fires ripped through neighborhoods in Ventura County, San Bernardino and Riverside County, destroying more homes.

But unlike in previous firestorms, no fatalities have been reported from fires over the last week, and property losses were much less than in the last two years. Given the dangerous weather conditions, the outcome could have been much worse. Why? Read on.

The Times is offering fire coverage for free today. Please consider a subscription to support our journalism.

More About the Fires

— Critical fire weather warnings have been extended through tonight for the windiest spots of Los Angeles and Ventura counties. No rain is in sight for the L.A. area for the next few weeks.

Smoke from multiple wildfires hung over much of Southern California on Thursday. Expect much of the same this morning.

— Your questions, answered: Where are the fires burning? How do wildfires get their names? What does it mean for a fire to be “contained”?

Haters Gonna Hate

“It’s the End of California As We Know It.” “California Is Becoming Unlivable.” “Why Would Anyone Live in California?” This is just a sampling of recent headlines lamenting (or perhaps cheering) the demise of the Golden State. And yet, just as the Dude did in “The Big Lebowski,” we abide. So why would anyone live here? “Gee, I don’t know,” writes columnist Steve Lopez. “The 40 million or so people who call California home might have an answer or two, but let me offer a few of my own.”

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On Nov. 2, 1927, Los Angeles city and county officials gathered with executives from the Pacific Electric Railway to dedicate a new 1,000-foot viaduct. An article in the Oct. 24, 1927, Los Angeles Times reported that the viaduct cost $290,000 and was 1,160 feet long. It “was built to separate the street and railway grades and thus eliminate dangerous crossings.” But for years, this unpublished image below remained a mystery. See how it was solved.

Nov. 2, 1927: A Pacific Electric Red Car train stopped on Pico Street viaduct with people and autos below.
Nov. 2, 1927: A Pacific Electric Red Car train stopped on Pico Street viaduct with people and autos below.


— A federal appeals court decided unanimously that the Trump administration may not force Los Angeles to help the government deport immigrants as a condition of receiving a federal police grant.

— A mumps outbreak at the L.A. Men’s Central Jail has required hundreds of inmates to be quarantined.

— Utilities are shutting down power amid fire danger, but the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power has been keeping the lights on. Should it?

— The percentage of California students who take the ACT has fallen to its lowest point in nine years, while the average ACT score for California graduates remains virtually unchanged from four years ago, according to newly released results.


— Fall back and wake up? Here’s why you shouldn’t grab that extra hour of sleep this weekend. (No, we’re not entirely sold on this idea, either.)

— At Yang’s Kitchen, the San Gabriel Valley restaurant of the moment, it’s all about the beef noodle soup.

— The six best things to do in L.A. this weekend, including two Día de los Muertos festivals.

— On a weekend trip to Santa Fe, N.M., you’ll find rounds of margaritas and musical motels.

— Our reporter tried five over-the-counter hangover cures. This is what worked.


— For Martin Scorsese, making the film “The Irishman” was about “learning to die.”

Catherine Herridge, a high-profile Washington-based correspondent for Fox News since its launch in 1996, is heading to CBS. She is the second longtime journalist to exit Fox News this month, following veteran anchor Shepard Smith.

La Brea tar is his paint. How James Griffith turns “primordial goo” into celestial art.

— All-time best celebrity Halloween costumes, including Beyoncé, Bette Midler and many more.


— Contracting measles can severely hobble a child’s immune system for months or even years after they’ve recovered from that virus, leaving them vulnerable to other illnesses, according to two new studies.

— The Islamic State group has confirmed the death of its leader Abu Bakr Baghdadi and named a successor, vowing “vengeance” against the U.S.

— What will the chill between Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu mean for the Middle East?

Belgium has been confronting its ugly colonial past, but changes to the Royal Museum for Central Africa aren’t pleasing everyone.


— Americans are addicted to a new kind of high-interest subprime debt — and though they owe $50 billion on it, it’s flown under regulators’ radar.

— After widespread layoffs and a public relations disaster, some staff at Irvine-based gaming company Blizzard Entertainment are dreading the prospect of protests at BlizzCon, its annual event for fans.


— The 7-and-1 Green Bay Packers are enjoying a resurgence under coach Matt LaFleur, who was Rams offensive coordinator two years ago.

— The favorites for today’s $2-million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile have something in common besides having won two of their three races. In the races they lost, the horses unseated their jockeys.


— Columnist Virginia Heffernan says that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s impeachment deliberateness has been maddening, but it’s finally paying off.

— Everyone needs a Day of the Dead as a way to send thoughts to those who’ve left us, Daniel Hernandez writes.


— Trump changed his primary residence from Manhattan to Palm Beach, Fla. in September, according to court documents. The president confirmed the decision on Twitter, and there seems to be no love lost. (New York Times)

— A wrenching decision to end life support, and a mistake that devastated two families. (ProPublica)


If you’re not originally from L.A. but still root for your favorite NFL team “back home,” chances are there is a sports bar in L.A. for you. Columnist Chris Erskine (a transplant himself) scoured SoCal and found the best hometown sanctuaries for cheeseheads and chowderheads, Eagles fanatics and followers of the Fish (a.k.a. Miami Dolphins). Hey, someone had to do it.

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