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Amazon's Earnings Stink, Despite Rapid Growth

Although lousy quarterly earnings would result in lower stock prices for most companies, shareholders gave Amazon a pass for over a decade as the high-tech company rapidly grew top-line sales to become America’s Everything Store. But in a year when the market has been red-hot for many tech start-ups, Amazon stock is down 30% since January, as the company is now seen as more of a store than a tech company. 25 Oct 2014, 8:28 AM PDT

Mark Zuckerberg Learns Chinese--Pretty Well, Too

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has been learning Mandarin Chinese and is "búcuò" (translation: not bad/pretty good) at it. The move appears to be part of Zuckerberg's attempt to foster a better relationship between China and his corporation, despite the People's Republic's decision to firewall Facebook five years ago. 24 Oct 2014

Steinberg's Revolving Door: Senate Leader Becomes Lobbyist

There is at least one big payoff to being a powerful Democrat in California--literally, in the most recent case. Former California Senate President pro Tempore Darrell Steinberg admitted that when he leaves the state government on November 30, he will head for the law and lobbying firm of Greenberg Traurig LLP. Steinberg is expected to become will be chairman of the firm’s California Government Law and Policy Practice. 24 Oct 2014

Brown's Lead Is All from Latinos, Kashkari Leads Among Whites

A new Public Policy Institute of California poll reveals that the huge lead California Governor Jerry Brown holds over his challenger, Neel Kashkari, can be attributed to one salient factor: Brown’s massive lead among Latino voters. The poll's data show Brown is winning 73% of votes from Latinos, as opposed to 19% for Kashkari. 24 Oct 2014

Amazon Visa Card to Accept Apple Pay

TechCrunch reports that the Amazon Rewards Visa Card has joined Visa, MasterCard and American Express in accepting Apple Pay for credit card transactions. Although some were surprised that Amazon would do business with Apple’s “closed garden,” Chase Bank is already working with Apple Pay at launch. It now seems clear that Apple Pay is about selling a few percent more Apple 6 and 6 Plus, rather than a competitive initiative to compete with Amazon’s virtual stores. 24 Oct 2014

California Agrees to End Race-Based Prison Punishment

Following a six-year civil rights lawsuit, California has agreed this week to put an end to its use of race-based punishment as a tool to quell and control violence in the state's overcrowded prisons. California is reportedly the only state in the nation to have used such a broad, ethnically-based policy to punish prison inmates. 24 Oct 2014

Property Rights Triumph in People's Republic of San Francisco

In a decision that is sure to inflame San Francisco politics, U.S. District Judge for the Northern District Charles Breyer ruled Tuesday a San Francisco law requiring landlords to pay displaced tenants the difference between current rent and the amount needed to rent a comparable unit in a similar neighborhood in the city for two years was an unconstitutional violation of property rights. 24 Oct 2014

Company Offers Marijuana Leaf, Ebola Hazmat Halloween Costumes for Children

An online costume retailer is stirring controversy with its provocative Halloween costume offerings, which include a marijuana leaf, a cigarette, and an Ebola Hazmat suit. Alongside the more traditional costumes on display at BrandsOnSale.com, such as Super Mario, Roger Rabbit, and Sonic the Hedgehog, is the Ebola Containment Suit Costume, sure to be "the most 'viral' costume of the year." 23 Oct 2014

Out: Food Truck. In: L.A.'s 'Headshot Truck'

Welcome to Los Angeles, where a young couple decided to make headshots more accessible by using a truck to bring their headshot business around town. The truck is painted in a bright magenta, with “The Headshot truck” written boldly in white on its side with an orange logo depicting a camera inside a truck. "The Best Way to Get Shot in L.A.” is painted on the back of the truck. 23 Oct 2014

Two People Being Monitored for Ebola near Sacramento

Health officials in Sacramento County have been monitoring two people who traveled recently to Ebola-stricken West Africa. Although neither person is showing symptoms of the deadly virus and have yet to be hospitalized, the situation has raised alarms as to California's preparedness should an Ebola patient surface in the region. 23 Oct 2014

Airport Supporters: Two-thirds of Santa Monicans Back Measure D

Supporters of Measure D, which would require any changes to Santa Monica Airport (SMO) to be approved by the voters, are confident that they can "trounce" their opponents at the polls and defeat rival Measure LC, which would allow the airport to be closed without voter approval. Dave Spady, a lawyer who represents a pro-Measure D group, told Breitbart News on Thursday that several internal opinion polls consistently show support for Measure D at "66-68 percent," while support for Measure LC is about "31-33 percent."  23 Oct 2014

California Sets Up Ebola Hotline to Calm Panicked Residents

The California Department of Public Health has established an Ebola hotline to calm panicked residents, as two Sacramento-area residents are being monitored for possible symbols of the deadly hemmorhagic fever. In a statement Tuesday, state public health director Dr. Ron Chapman said that the Ebola hotline, 855-421-5921, had been established "to answer questions from those concerned about the possibility of Ebola in California." 23 Oct 2014

Beyond the Propaganda: How I'm Voting on California Propositions

California’s general election turnout is predicted to be dismal this year, with less than half of eligible voters likely to turn out. Two factors include a lack of competitive statewide races, and ballot measures that don’t inspire activism. Speaking of statewide ballot measures, voters will see six of them, and here’s my take, and how I’m voting on them. 23 Oct 2014

How the Measure LC Campaign Lies to Santa Monica Voters

Supporters of Measure LC, a local ballot initiative that would allow the Santa Monica City Council to close the municipal airport when its operating agreement expires next year, have resorted to blatant lies in an effort to fool the public. Their goal is to defeat a rival initiative, Measure D, that would require any change to the Santa Monica Airport (SMO) to be approved by the voters in a referendum, effectively reducing the council's power. 22 Oct 2014

Is Bloom "Greenwashing" the Public?

New data gathered by public agencies and a data analysis by NBC Bay Area News reveal that Bloom Energy, which makes the Bloom boxes that supply power and supposedly act as cleaner producers of energy, may be hoodwinking the public with its overestimates of the green-efficiency of its product. 22 Oct 2014

'Django' Officer: I Could Be Fired for Speaking Out

LOS ANGELES, California -- Los Angeles Police Department Sgt. Jim Parker said in an interview on Tuesday evening that he fears he could lose his job for providing TMZ with audio from his brief detainment of Django Unchained actress Daniele Watts last month. Watts and her boyfriend Brian James Lucas were officially charged on Tuesday with one count each of lewd conduct, and could face up to six months of incarceration and a $1,000 fine if convicted. 22 Oct 2014

Report: Michelle Rhee Not Actually Registered in Sacramento

An investigation by CBS News' Sacramento affiliate has revealed that former D.C. schools chief Michelle Rhee, who is Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson’s wife and has been campaigning for his "strong mayor" campaign, Measure L, is not even eligible to vote in Sacramento. Measure L would amend Sacramento’s charter to give the mayor direct power over hiring and firing the city’s manager, and veto power over the city council. 22 Oct 2014

Flash Report: Beware Mailers from Fake Republican Groups

John Hrabe of the Flash Report reports that a shady group calling itself the "California Republican Taxpayers Association" has been sending slate mailers that actually support tax hikes to registered Republican voters in the state. The group, which Hrabe says may be operating in violation of state law, purports to oppose taxes but--for the right price--misleads Republican voters by backing candidates and ballot measures that will raise taxes. 22 Oct 2014

WhatsApp Founder Says He Is Ashamed of Past Behavior

WhatsApp Chief Executive Officer Jan Koum, whose mobile-messaging company was acquired by Facebook for $22 billion this year, confronted a dicey past as he joined the Facebook board as the third-largest shareholder. Koum apologized for actions that resulted in a 1996 restraining order for verbal and physical threats against his ex-girlfriend, along with changing her school records to prevent her from attending classes. 22 Oct 2014

Brother: Bell Gardens Mayor Killed 'in Cold Blood'

The brother of Bell Gardens Mayor Daniel Crespo, who was murdered by his wife three weeks ago, is claiming that Lyvette Cespo did not kill her husband in self-defense, but instead executed a premeditated killing "with malice and in cold blood." 22 Oct 2014

BDS Fail: Israeli Ship Docks in Long Beach, Despite Protest

LONG BEACH, California -- A group of pro-Palestinian activists with the group "Block the Boat" failed Monday to block an Israel-based cargo ship from Zim Integrated Shipping Service from docking. The group, affiliated with the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, could not stop the ship from unloading, but delivered a message of disdain for the State of Israel. 22 Oct 2014

Not So Fast: Stock Market Fall Will End 'California Comeback'--Laffer

Arthur Laffer made his name as the USC professor who helped give credibility to the Reagan Administration’s supply-side economics, based on the idea that higher tax rates inadvertently result in lower taxes collected. But California Governor Jerry Brown’s recent State of the State address claimed raising taxes to the highest level of any state in the nation has led to what Brown calls the “California Comeback.” Laffer has taken to the opinion page of the Orange County Register week to defend supply-side principles and call Brown lucky that a hot stock market and mega-IPOs temporarily postponed California’s road to financial ruin. 22 Oct 2014

L.A. City Council Advances GMO Ban, Despite 2012 Vote on Prop 37

Radical environmental activists convinced the Los Angeles city council Tuesday to draft an ordinance banning the production or sale of genetically modified organisms (GMO) within the city limits, less than two years after the voters of California rejected Proposition 37, which would have forced the labeling of GMO foods. The ban flies in the face of scientific evidence that there is no significant public health or environmental hazard from GMO. 22 Oct 2014

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