Friday, August 5, 2011

Friday Must Read: Amazon Pumps $3 Million into Anti-Tax Measure; Odds of Double-Dip Recession Go Up

By Robert Gammon
Fri, Aug 5, 2011 at 9:43 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. really doesn’t want to charge its customers sales tax. The online giant has already pumped $3 million into a ballot initiative that seeks to overturn a new state law, requiring it to charge sales tax like all other retailers, the Bay Citizen reports. is expected to spend millions more on the measure, which it plans to put on the June 2012 ballot. Polls also show that the ballot measure has a good chance of passing.

2. The odds of a double-dip recession are climbing in the wake of the massive Wall Street sell-off yesterday, the Mercury News reports. Economists say there’s now a 35 to 40 percent chance of a second recession, as historically high levels of unemployment, along with the European debt crisis and the US debt-ceiling debacle, have made investors and corporations skittish.

3. Congressional Democrats and Republicans reached a short-term compromise that will end the temporary shut-down of the Federal Aviation Administration at least until September, AP reports. The deal was reached after Republicans agreed to put off their demand to include anti-union language in the FAA’s temporary funding bill. But Congressional GOP members have promised to include the language in any long-term funding bill for the FAA.

Oakland Airport Tower
  • Oakland Airport Tower

The stopgap deal is expected to put construction workers at the Oakland airport back to work, at least for now, the Trib reports.

4. The City of Oakland must pay at least $205,000 to two men who were stripped searched in 2005 in front of a crowd of onlookers by city cops for no good reason, a federal judge has ruled, the Chron and Trib report. The judge also said that she will consider punitive damages against the city.

5. Backers of a new 2012 initiative that would legalize marijuana in California are hoping that medical cannabis dispensaries will not oppose their measure like they did last year with Prop 19, California Watch reports. Many pot dispensaries opposed the 2010 ballot initiative out of fear that legalizing weed would put them out of business. The new measure is called the Regulate Marijuana Like Wine Act and would apply many of the same state rules for winemaking to pot growing.

6. And PG&E is lagging behind Southern California Edison in its usage of green energy, the SacBee reports, citing a new analysis from the California Public Utilities Commission. PG&E now gets 15.9 percent of its power from renewable sources compared to 19.3 percent by Southern California Edison. The state’s other major utility, San Diego Gas Electric Co., gets just 12 percent from green energy.

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