Index
Tuesday
Jun302015

POLITICS/BUSINESS (National, International): Uber, France, managers arrested: "Uber managers arrested in France after can drivers' violent protests"; "2 Uber executives ordered to stand trial in France"; also, commentary (Michael Hiltzik), "What the New Yorker magazine misses about the Uber protests" ....

* Los Angeles Times (Michael Hiltzik):  "What the New Yorker magazine misses about the Uber protests" - From the LAT:

The veteran tech analyst, writer and entrepreneur Om Malik weighed in last week for the New Yorker magazine with some thoughts about Uber, the ride-summoning service that is one of the most destructive of paradigm-destroying new companies in existence. In his post, which was published online Friday, Malik links ongoing protests against Uber--which include demonstrations by taxi drivers in Paris and lawsuits brought by Uber drivers in the U.S.--to those of the Luddites, the English protesters who destroyed job-killing mechanized looms at the dawn of the Industrial Revolution.

"It was skilled workers raging against the influx of unskilled labor," he writes. He also suggests that the success of Uber and other such services reflects our "need for instant gratification...Why wait for a cab to come along when you can order up an Uber?"

Old-economy cab drivers are "stuck," he writes. "Their industry is controlled by outdated regulation and now they face ruthless free-market competition. Meanwhile, the habits and the expectations of their customers are changing." He concludes that "that’s not something that protests in the streets... are likely to change."

This is a peculiarly narrow view of what animates the protests against Uber and the "sharing economy" in general. More to the point, it's a very Silicon Valley-centric view, in that it treats the middleman--Uber and its app linking drivers and passengers--as the most important player in the game.

Uber certainly sees it that way. But it leaves out quite a few important elements of the sharing economy .........................

***ALSO, Related:

* USA Today:  "Uber managers arrested in France after cab drivers' violent protests"

* Los Angeles Times:  "2 Uber executives ordered to stand trial in France"

Tuesday
Jun302015

POLITICS (National, State): Report/analysis, U.S. Supreme Court decision, independent citizen redistricting commissions, "bigger case" looming: "California GOP benefits from redistricting decision as bigger case looms" .... 

* Los Angeles Times (Cathleen Decker):  "California GOP benefits from redistricting decision as bigger case looms" - From the LAT:

Like so many political events, the U.S. Supreme Court decision on Monday that upheld the right of independent citizen commissions to draw district lines inspired a different reaction in California than elsewhere in the nation.

Here, it was a victory for Republicans, spared the alternative of having the strongly Democratic Legislature draw lines that would have carved into the GOP’s already paltry number of elected officials. Elsewhere, it was a defeat for Republicans, who control legislatures in places like Arizona, where the case originated, and wanted the restoration of the legislature's power to draw lines beneficial to their party.

"In Arizona, the Republicans are upset today, but in California the Democrats might be a little less happy than they might have been otherwise," said Jessica A. Levinson, clinical professor of law at Loyola Law School, who specializes in election law. "Redistricting can sometimes make for strange bedfellows."

The partisan benefits were not terribly clear in the public reactions of elected officials, many of whom skipped over the political fallout to emphasize their support for the Mom-and-apple-pie notion of citizen involvement, enshrined by two ballot measures.

"Today's decision by the nation’s highest court supporting redistricting commissions is a victory for California’s open and publicly accessible redistricting process," state Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León of Los Angeles and Assembly Speaker Toni G. Atkins of San Diego, both Democrats, said in a statement. "We hope other states will follow suit now that the court has removed any question about its constitutionality."

"California voters overwhelmingly approved Propositions 11 and 20 to take the redistricting process out of the hands of elected officials and give it to an independent body," Senate GOP leader Bob Huff of San Dimas said in his statement. "The court's decision will ensure that Californians will continue to have an open and fair redistricting process."

The measured nature of the responses reflected the limited effect of the Arizona case on California — at most a few seats would have been affected had the court gone the other way. But waiting in the wings is a far more consequential case that will be heard by the high court next year .............................

Tuesday
Jun302015

POLITICS (National): 2016 presidential election, Marco Rubio: "How Marco Rubio turned political star power into a soaring personal income" ....

* Washington Post:  "How Marco Rubio turned political star power into a soaring personal income" - From the WP:

Marco Rubio was 28 when he was elected to the Florida legislature. He was about to become a father and was struggling to balance the financial demands of a growing family with his political aspirations.

About a year and a half after taking his seat in Florida’s part-time legislature, Rubio got a financial boost, accepting a job at the Miami law firm Becker & Poliakoff for $93,000 a year. Although Rubio was a lawyer by training, his colleagues quickly recognized the advantage of having a charismatic, high-energy politician in the office. “It was as simple as saying, ‘Marco, who should I call in this place about this issue?’ ” recalled Perry Adair, a real estate lawyer in charge of the firm’s Miami office, where Rubio worked from 2001 to 2004. “Marco knew the staff everywhere. He had been in politics all his life.”

During nine years in Tallahassee, as Rubio rose in prominence and ascended to the state House speakership, he became increasingly well compensated as he walked a narrow line between his work as a lawmaker and an employee of outside firms with interests before the state government .......................

Tuesday
Jun302015

POLITICS/SPORTS: NFL stadium/team in Los Angeles?: "L.A.'s NFL stadium riddle: Three teams, two plans, what to expect next?" .... 

* Los Angeles Times:  "L.A.'s NFL stadium riddle: Three teams, two plans, what to expect next" - From the LAT:

Almost six months ago, St. Louis Rams owner Stan Kroenke announced plans to build an NFL stadium in Inglewood on the site of the old Hollywood Park racetrack. The San Diego Chargers and Oakland Raiders responded with a competing plan of their own, a proposal for a shared stadium in Carson. Both stadium visions cleared all the necessary entitlement hurdles with blistering speed. Suddenly, the Los Angeles market, the NFL's most glaring vacancy for the past 20 years, was flush with options.

Now the hard part: whittling down those options to find an actual solution. In the coming months, the league will navigate a minefield — owners pitted against owners — in an effort to solve one of the biggest riddles in sports.

Times NFL writer Sam Farmer asks and answers some questions about the process and what we can expect .........................

Monday
Jun292015

AFTERNOON MEMOS: California drought, "Lawsuits over California water rights are a fight a century in the making"; Indian tribes, "Indian tribe recognition process overhauled"; California high-speed rail project, "High-speed rail board seeks private-sector ideas, interest on financing, development" ....  

***Various items this afternoon from across the spectrum of politics and/or public policy....

* Fresno Bee:  "High-speed rail board seeks private-sector ideas, interest on financing, development"

* Los Angeles Times:  "Lawsuits over California water rights are a fight a century in the making"

* San Francisco Chronicle (AP):  "Indian tribe recognition process overhauled"