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Our Reporter Mike Schmidt on His Golf Club Interview With President Trump

The president believes he is his best spokesman, and he immediately began touting the landmark tax legislation he signed into law last week. I was convinced that the longer I talked with him, the more comfortable he would be with me and the more likely he would be to allow me to interview him. So I got into a catcher’s squat next to his chair, conveying to him that I was listening intently but also forcing him to look down at me while he talked, which kept him from being distracted by the others at the table.It’s been 20 years since I was a catcher in Little League, and a few minutes into our conversation my legs began to ache. But I knew I couldn’t stand up while I had the president one-on-one.I began to think about what had happened a day earlier. On Wednesday, the president invited the press to a local fire department, where he shook hands with emergency medical workers […]

California Today: California Today: A Special Fires Edition

Supported byU.S.California Today: A Special Fires EditionGood morning.(Want to get California Today by email? Here’s the sign-up.)PhotoFirefighters in Ventura, Calif., on Tuesday.Credit Jae C. Hong/Associated PressThe year-end fires sweeping Southern California this week have raised a worrisome question: Where is the rain?The rainy season typically starts in October and lasts through April, with the heaviest rain coming from December through March. Precipitation has been at or above-normal in Northern California, but there has been little rain in the south.Since Oct. 1 just 2.3 inches have fallen in Los Angeles, and 1.15 inches in San Diego, which is way below the normal rainfall for that period, according to the California Department of Water Resources.That lack of precipitation is one reason fires have exploded across Southern California this week, officials said. Thousands of people were evacuated across Los Angeles County and in the path of another fire in Ventura.Continue reading the main storyIt is too soon to ring any drought alarm bells. Still, the memory of the long, punishing drought that ended last year — the worst in this state’s modern history — remains fresh. And a report earlier this week by the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory said that atmospheric conditions caused by global warming, including the creation of a resilient, water-blocking atmospheric ridge, means even less rain in the future.Continue reading the main storyContinue reading the main story“I still have a drought hangover so I wake up worried about drought,” said Felicia Marcus, the head of the state Water Resources Control Board.Southern California is dealing with the same collection of forces that accounted for the intensity of the wine country fires: an unusually wet winter led to extensive brush growth and a record-hot October baked the growth into kindling. The final ingredient was the heavy Santa Ana winds whipping across Southern California.“It was sort of a trifecta for Napa and Sonoma,” Ms. […]

Officials Probing Whether Navy SEALs Strangled Green Beret to Death

The military is investigating whether two Navy SEALs strangled an Army Green Beret to death in Mali earlier this year, The New York Times reports. The Green Beret, Staff Sgt. Logan J […]

Why in the world would anyone want a wooden nail?

Beck Fasteners totally nails it with the Lignoloc. […]

Retro Report: Special Ops Forces: How Elite Forces Became Military Muscle

But in a stunning operation that began late on July 3, 1976, Israeli commandos swooped in. They killed the hijackers and dozens of Ugandan soldiers, gathered the hostages and flew them to safety. The raid was carried out with near perfection, though it cost the lives of four hostages and of the commando leader, Lt. Col […]

Mueller Seeks White House Documents Related to Trump’s Actions as President

Mr. Mueller has also requested documents about the circumstances of the firing of Michael T. Flynn, who was Mr. […]

Trump Lawyers Clash Over How Much to Cooperate With Russia Inquiry

After The Times contacted the White House about the situation, Mr. […]