Opinion writer

* Jeff Stein, Tracy Jan, Josh Dawsey, and Ashley Parker report that President Trump is suddenly interested in “fixing” the problem of homelessness:

President Trump has ordered White House officials to conduct a sweeping crackdown on homelessness in California, citing the state’s growing crisis, according to four government officials aware of the effort.

The talks have intensified in recent weeks. Administration officials have discussed using the federal government to get homeless people off the streets of Los Angeles and other areas and into new government-backed facilities, according to two officials briefed on the planning.

But it is unclear how they could accomplish this and what legal authority they would use. It is also unclear whether the state’s Democratic politicians would cooperate with Trump, who has sought to embarrass them over the homeless crisis with repeated attacks on their competency.

Obviously, Trump couldn’t care less about homelessness. This smells a lot like an effort to force a confrontation with Democrats, so he can say they want to keep bums on the street and he wants to lock ‘em up.

* Patricia Mazzei and Frances Robles report on a shocking twist in the story of the cleanup from Hurricane Maria:

A former top administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency was arrested on Tuesday in a major federal corruption investigation that found that the official took bribes from the president of a company that secured $1.8 billion in federal contracts to repair Puerto Rico’s shredded electrical grid after Hurricane Maria.

Federal authorities arrested Ahsha Tribble, FEMA’s former deputy administrator for the region that includes Puerto Rico, and Donald Keith Ellison, the former president of Cobra Acquisitions, prosecutors in Puerto Rico announced. They were accused of conspiring to defraud the federal government, among other charges.

And it looks like they were having an affair, too. It’d be a fun story if so many people’s lives weren’t affected.

* Charlie Savage talks to the Democratic presidential candidates about how they’d pull back the powers of the presidency.

* A new Emerson College poll in New Hampshire finds Joe Biden at 24 percent, Elizabeth Warren at 21 percent, and Bernie Sanders slipping to 13 percent.

* Jennifer Agiesta reports on a new CNN poll showing that 60 percent of Americans say Trump doesn’t deserve to be reelected.

* Amanda Marcotte argues that sexism and misogyny are playing a key role in the breakdown of democracy around the world.

* Matt Gertz reports that Sean Hannity has brought up Hillary Clinton on an incredible 86 percent of his shows since Trump got elected, or more than 500 episodes.

* Jill Lawrence says the diverse field of Democrats running for president shows who America is as a nation.

* Jeff Hauser asks why Democrats seem so unconcerned about the ways Trump will use the powers of the government to make sure he wins reelection.

* Viola Gienger gives a useful overview of Trump’s effort to pressure the Ukrainian government to help him get reelected by discrediting Joe Biden.

* Alexia Fernández Campbell says safety net programs kept 47.7 million people out of poverty last year. Naturally, Republicans want to cut them.

* And Carol E. Lee, Courtney Kube, and Kristen Welker report that Trump has been calling up his old national security adviser H.R. McMaster to tell him he misses him.