San Francisco Chronicle
NEWS OF THE DAY
From Across the Nation
1 Lofgren loses bid: Bay Area Rep. Zoe Lofgren lost her bid to become the Democrats’ top-ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee, as colleagues in her party caucus went instead with a New York congressman with more seniority. Lofgren, D-San Jose, announced her intention to become the Judiciary Committee’s ranking minorityparty member after Rep. John Conyers, the Michigan Democrat who had held the spot, was forced to resign in response to allegations he had sexually harassed staffers. In announcing her bid last month, Lofgren said her priorities included “reforming our broken immigration system, protecting voting rights and civil rights (and) shielding Dreamers from deportation,” referring to undocumented immigrants who arrived in this country before they were 16 years old. However, her fellow Democrats this week selected Rep. Jerrold Nadler for the post. Nadler was elected to the House in New York City in 1992, two years before Lofgren won election from the South Bay. Ranking committee jobs typically, though not always, go to members with greater seniority. Nadler defeated Lofgren in a vote of their fellow House Democrats by a tally of 118 to 72.
statues: Crews removed two Confederate statues from Memphis parks after the city sold them to a private entity. The City Council voted unanimously this week to sell two parks where Confederate statues were located and crews began working right away to remove statues of Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest and Confederate President Jefferson Davis.
3 Health care enrollment: The Trump administration said Thursday that 8.8 million people had signed up for health insurance through the federal marketplace, only slightly lower than last year’s numbers when the open enrollment period was twice as long and heavily advertised. The numbers essentially defied President Trump’s assertion that “Obamacare is imploding” and could re-energize the efforts by both parties for and against President Barack Obama’s signature domestic achievement. The level exceeds what experts thought was possible after another year of political battles over the Affordable Care Act, not to mention market problems like rising premiums and insurer exits. 4 Proxy baptisms: A Utah researcher who has spent two decades monitoring the church’s massive genealogical database says Mormons are posthumously baptizing Holocaust victims as well as grandparents of public figures despite church rules intended to restrict the ceremonies to a member’s ancestors. Eric Hawkins, a spokesman for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, said baptisms that violate church policy will be invalidated. Proxy baptisms are tied to a core church teaching that families spend eternity together. Under church teachings, the deceased have a choice in the afterlife to accept or reject the offer of baptism.