A few nuggets for you:
• A Superior Court judge in Alameda County has ruled that cell phone companies cannot charge early-termination fees, and has ordered that Sprint return $18.2 million dollars to consumers. This will probably get fought on appeal, but right on. The concept of fee for service has worked pretty well for most of consumer capitalism, as has being nice to your customers instead of bullying them into compliance.
• There’s been a lot of outrage at the LA City Council’s ruling banning new fast-food restaurants from breaking ground in South LA for a year. Actually, far from being an issue of infringing on freedom, it’s a little thing called land use, and every city has them – even the one that the outraged Will Saletan lives in.
I’m pretty skeptical that these proposed South LA regulations will do any good. But it’s not unique or unusual for land use regulations to exist. And working class people around the country suffer dramatically larger concrete harms from the sort of commonplace suburbanist regulations that Saletan’s been living with, without apparent complaint, in Chevy Chase. Those kind of regulations are bad for the environment, bad for public health, and serve to use the power of the state to redistribute upwards. So if you’re going to rail against land use regulations, maybe pick the ones that really hurt people.
• In environmental news, Senate leaders like Barbara Boxer are calling for the resignation of EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson for his preferring ideology over science, defying the advice of his own staff, evading oversight and misleading Congress, particularly about refusing the California waiver to regulate tailpipe emissions. They’re also asking the Attorney General to investigate whether Johnson perjured himself at one of the California waiver hearings in Congress. In addition, Jerry Brown is suing the EPA for their refusal to regulate greenhouse gas emissions at the nation’s ports.
• And this is pretty interesting, turns out the Sarah of “Sarah’s Law” (parental notification) doesn’t have the squeaky-clean image her sponsors claim:
Backers of a ballot measure that would require parents to be notified before an abortion is performed on a minor acknowledged Friday that the 15-year-old on which “Sarah’s Law” is based had a child and was in a common-law marriage before she died of complications from an abortion in 1994 […]
A lawsuit co-sponsored by Planned Parenthood Affiliates and filed Friday in Sacramento County Superior Court asks the Secretary of State to remove the girl’s story and other information it deemed misleading, including any reference to “Sarah’s Law,” from the material submitted for the official voter guide.
“If you can’t believe the Sarah story, there’s a lot in the ballot argument you can’t believe,” said Ana Sandoval, a spokeswoman for Planned Parenthood and the campaign against Proposition 4.
Using someone’s life story for political means, and wrongly at that. Good people.
Ok, your turn.