June 2 Open Thread

A bit more news from around the state:

• More news from eMeg: She wants to axe the initiative system.  But Poizner disagrees, because, you know, “The people in California make better decisions than the Legislature.” Right, because Athenian direct democracy has been a real boon here.

An accounting error may allow Arnold to cut even more from education without threatening stimulus funds.  Yay!

• Whoops, you win some, you lose some. Next time, perhaps CalPERS will think twice before investing with Lennar.

• What’s LA Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s deal with local news personalities? He’s now dating KTLA’s Lu Parker, after his marriage broke up with the news of his affair with a Telemundo anchor.

• Arnold will bring his stellar governing skills to help US Soccer get the World Cup in 2018 or 2022.  You can probably forget it for the rest of the century, given that.

• All that Twitter usage from Mayor Newsom has manifested itself into a citywide 311 system on CoTweet.  Sounds like a great idea, actually.

• Speaking of gubernatorial hopefuls, San Diego unions sure are pissed at Jerry Brown for speaking at a fundraising lunch for the far-right Lincoln Club.  Jeez…

• Vallejo’s bankruptcy is becoming a bigger mess than previously expected. Apparently, the fight has now become a question of the limits of bankruptcy law, specifically with the question of whether labor agreements can be broken.

• The California Supreme Court, moving away from social issues and on to corporate ass-covering, overturned a billion-dollar class-action lawsuit against Bank of America, now allowing banks to use Social Security and government assistance checks to claw back overdraft fees from the indigent.  I won’t speak to the legal issues, but how about a lawsuit against the usurious bank fees in general?  Exactly how are these poor customers racking up these fees?  There are a lot of issues that the Supremes preferred to ignore.

6 thoughts on “June 2 Open Thread”

  1. “I want to destroy government, put the state into a permanent Depression, and then stop the voters from using the initiative process to reverse any of it.”

    I have to believe eMeg knows that voters would happily approve whopping tax increases on the wealthy, on corporations, and close the commercial property Prop 13 loophole in order to save parks, welfare, health care and schools. So she wants to prevent that from happening.

    The dominant ethos in Sacramento is one of opposition to democracy. Who will stand up for democracy, for the people?

  2. Not surprised to hear.  Phil Anschutz (rightwing billionaire) is owner of a number of Major League Soccer teams — mind you, not because he gives two hoots about soccer, but in order to build stadiums that he can use for other things — and was quite helpful in giving Arnold a platform to get publicity for his sports programs.  With Anschutz you get a pretty rightwing operation.  It didn’t really surprise me to see in the linked story that war criminal Henry Kissinger is on the USA bid committee…  

  3. My bet is that it’s legally sound even if pretty ugly.

    As for Antonia Villaraigosa — OK, is this guy running for Governor, or not?  If so, giving out this huge reminder of the Mirthala Salinas “I love TV journalists” story is not what he needs.  About the only thing worse for him would be if next year Mirthala Salinas starts dating Lu Parker.

  4. I haven’t read the opinion yet, so I won’t comment on it.  But that’s just it.  If we’re going to say we’re better than the LAT, it’s up to us to actually read opinions (or at least skim the heading!) before reporting on them.  I might add that the California Supreme Court stands out in that, compared to the US Supreme Court, the first few paragraphs of the opinion are a brief summary of the case, the decision, and the rationale behind the decision.  You don’t have to read the whole thing to get a feel for what’s going on; most lawyers rarely do unless they’re litigating a case directly on point.

    Based on what you’re describing, I would suspect the case turned on issues of applicability of state laws – I personally have no idea what it was based on, so I’m neither going to defend the opinion nor lambast it.  But calling it “corporate ass-covering” and saying they “preferred to ignore” the issue without having even skimmed the opinion (or even linking to the opinion!  the Cal Supreme Court’s website is one of the best in the country) is kind of low, in my, err, opinion.

    In fact, just to help you out, I’ll link you to the opinion.

    In the future, you can find opinions by searching “California Supreme Court” on Google, clicking “Opinions” and scrolling down, which provides opinions from the last 100 hours without even having to search.  The most recent opinions are available in either PDF or DOC format.  It’s really that easy.

    Maybe your assumption is right, maybe it is “corporate ass-covering” – but the fiery hatred against the Supreme Court since the equal marriage ruling came down is starting to border on irresponsible.  The last decade has shown that we’ve got facts on our side – that doesn’t excuse us from actually identifying the facts in question.

  5. I would support that.  

    When WAMU folded and Chase bought them, I closed my account — or so I thought.  Apparently, I didn’t file the double secret account closure request, so Chase decided to rack up $135 in no balance fees and bounce fees on the low balance fees (or some such nonsense — OK, it didn’t help that they continued to honor a direct debit to a charity that I repeatedly informed of the change of account.)   They never notified me of these fees — just ran them up, and turned them over to a collection agency.  

    I spoke to some friends who are lawyers (alas, not in California) and they agreed that there are probably excellent grounds for a class action against these banks, but each individual case is “too small.”

    I’m now with a local credit union.  I’ll never use a “Too Big To Fail” bank.

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