Labor heated over Obama, Wal-Mart event

May 9, 2014

President Obama visits an energy efficient Wal-Mart in Mountain View today to talk climate change, which has labor groups heated.


Jeffrey Sparshott  reports in The Wall Street Journal: “”Organized labor, though, thinks it’s a lot of hot air.”


“President Obama will stand side by side with a company known for low wages, few benefits, unreliable hours, discrimination against women, violating workers’ rights, and yes, environmental degradation,” said Joe Hansen, international president of the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union.”


The Assembly approved a bill to revamp California’s birth certificates to allow the status of same-sex parents.


Associated Press reports: “The current design of California birth certificates requires parents to identify as one mother and one father. Bill supporters say that forces gay and lesbian parents to inaccurately identify themselves on their children’s documents.”


State lawmakers will vote next week on a newly finalized rainy day fund.


David Siders reports in the Sacramento Bee: “At least two Republican votes are needed in the Senate for a constitutional amendment because Democrats lost their supermajority in the upper house when three senators facing criminal charges were suspended.”


"There's nothing complicated about the idea of saving money and exercising fiscal restraint, but it's not always easy to do," Brown said in a release issued jointly by the governor and legislative leaders. "Democrats and Republicans have come together to create a Rainy Day Fund that ensures we're not only saving for the next downturn, but also paying off our debt."

Rep. Darrell Issa slammed Tim Donnelly for social media remarks tying his rival Neel Kashkari to Islamic fundamentalist beliefs.


Steven Greenhut reports in UT-San Diego: “"There is no place in any public discussion for this type of hateful and ignorant garbage," said U.S. Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Vista, in response to the controversy. Issa is just one of a number of high-profile national Republicans who have endorsed Kashkari and who fear that Donnelly's frequent controversial statements could damage the Republican brand at a time when national congressional elections are likely to tilt in the GOP's favor. Issa said Donnelly is unfit for any office and said that he faced similar attacks because of his Arab American background, according to a Los Angeles Times report.”


In its comeback round, the Senate approved a cellphone “kill-switch” bill that law enforcement says would combat robberies.


Patrick McGreevy reports for the Los Angeles Times: “The bill had previously failed a Senate vote, but Leno agreed to change it to exclude electronic tablets and delay the date by which kill switches would be mandatory in newly made phones, from January to July 2015.”


“As a result, Apple and Microsoft dropped their opposition, and five Democrats switched their votes to support the measure. It passed 26 to 8 and now goes to the Assembly.”


A Californian was confirmed as the U.S. undersecretary of education.


Sharon Noguchi reports in The Mercury News: “Ted Mitchell, former president of the California State Board of Education and head of a San Francisco fund that provides seed money for charter schools, was confirmed Thursday by the U.S. Senate as undersecretary of education.”


Neighbors of the “Full House” house are irate over constant bus tours, despite such tours being barred last year by the city.


Evan Sernoffsky reports in SF Gate: “Gus Hernandez, who heads a neighborhood group, said the ban was a response to Alamo Square becoming increasingly congested with trucked-in tourists who caused traffic headaches and endangered pedestrians and drivers. In peak season, he said, upward of 50 buses cruised through the neighborhood each day.”


"This is primarily a safety issue," he said. "The residential streets in San Francisco are too small to accommodate large tour buses."

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