Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Wednesday Must Read: Brown Appoints Goodwin Liu to Supreme Court; State Steels for Debt-Ceiling Fallout

By Ellen Cushing
Wed, Jul 27, 2011 at 9:31 AM

Stories you shouldn't miss:

1. While you were sleeping, Congress totally got its shit together and worked out a debt-ceiling deal. Just kidding! And now the state of California is taking out short-term loans to cover its expenses in case the federal government fails to reach a deal by the August 2 deadline and money stops flowing to the states.

2. Governor Jerry Brown appointed UC Berkeley prof Goodwin Liu to the California Supreme Court yesterday; his nomination is expected to be confirmed by a three-member panel soon. A couple months ago, Obama nominated Liu to a federal appeals court, but his nomination was blocked by a Republican fillibuster — so you know he's a good guy. In fact, Liu — who teaches constitutional law and education policy, and who has previously worked at the US Department of Education — is expected to be one of the court's most liberal judges (as well as its fourth Asian-American). Go Bears!

3. Thirteen Bay Area post offices are on the chopping block as the US Post Office moves to close roughly 3,700 branches nationwide — including the Eastmont and Byron Rumford branches in Oakland.

4. The State Board of Equalization will begin moving ahead to implement the new internet sales tax — regardless of whether Amazon's ballot referendum fighting it is successful. Amazon has until the end of September to gather the 500,000-plus signatures it needs to float a referendum, and if its successful, the tax will be suspended until voters have a chance to weigh in. But in the meantime, in a 3-2 vote divided along party lines, the Board of Equalization has decided to begin holding hearings on how to implement the tax, which is expected to raise an extra $200 million in revenue for the state.

5. Today in awful stories: a 29-year-old man was shot yesterday in Oakland while feeding the homeless with his wife and two young daughters. He's currently in critical condition, though neither his family nor the homeless man they were feeding were (seriously) harmed.

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