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THE NOONER for June 7, 2013
Good early morning from BART to SFO, where I'm catching the Virgin America flight to DC -- the only flight to DC worth taking. I am listening to the wonderful Slate Political Gabfest, which interestingly is sponsored by the University of California today. It's a general feel good piece on the economic impact of UC, with the gag line "UC is the future made bold."
Given the bipartisan three-branch-supported wiretapping (eh, just tracking every single phone call), I am now only taking tips via the tin can to my tree house. Meanwhile, DiFi's mug can be found on both A1 and A16 of the gray lady. And, before we get partisan, this blanket court order of the metadata of all phone calls has been in existence for seven years. Cue Rand Paul.
Obama did a good job in this morning's press conference (watched from 35,000 feet), although do you really believe the feds are only looking at numbers and duration, and that names are not associated with the data? Hard to believe, but his assertion that Barack Hussein Obama would be among the first targeted has merit.
SMOKIN!: Last week, I reported that Speaker John Perez picked up $25,000 from Altria, the parent of Philip Morris. ElectionTrack caught $50,000 from Philip Morris to the California Republican Party yesterday. California may be a no smoking state, but the dough therefrom is welcome across party lines.
[NOT] NAMING NAMES: With this week's suspense in the Capitol, it's about time we ask who is included in Dianne Harman's new book on Sacramento politics -- Tea Party Teddy. The wife of former senator Tom Harman promises "political corruption, bribes, sex, and intrigue, which all come together in the story of a newly elected Assemblyman. While you may think you recognize some of the books' characters as being members of the Sacramento political establishment, the names have been changed to protect the not-so-innocent." [Amazon: $2.99 digital/$10.99]
WELL, GOODBYE DOLLY: Edison will shut down the San Onofre nuclear plant for good [Joseph Serna and Abby Sewell @ LAT]
THE MOST IMPORTANT QUOTE OF THE WEEK: "'We are not in a position to confirm anything beyond our sealed warrants at the Capitol and the FBI's continuing investigation, about which, we've not confirmed the nature, scope or target,' [FBI spox Laura] Eimiller said in a text message to The Bee." FBI searched two businesses with ties to Calderons in April [Laurel Rosenhall, Melody Gutierrez and Amy Gebert @ SacBee]
POLL POSITION: LAT/USC Dornsife is out with a new poll today. Here are some selected findings (much more in poll).
Have a great weekend. For those of you in Sactown, stay cool.
TOP HEADLINES ON AROUNDTHECAPITOL.COM AS OF 12:00PM
Steinberg Calls Jerry Brown's Education Plan '80 Percent There'
Annalise Mantz @ blogs.sacbee.com
With just nine days of budget negotiations left, Senate leader Darrell Steinberg called the Legislature and Gov. Jerry Brown "basically aligned" on public education funding.
Obama pitching new health care law in California
President Barack Obama is making a personal plea to Californians, Latinos and young people to sign up for coverage under the new health care law.
CalPERS Report: State, schools pension costs will dip next year
Jon Ortiz @ blogs.sacbee.com
A new CalPERS staff report says that pension costs for California state government and school district employees will fall by a combined $102.8 million for the coming fiscal year.
Obama pitches new health care law in California
President Barack Obama on Friday encouraged the uninsured or those paying high prices for health insurance to sign up for coverage under his health care law and urged opponents to stop wasting time continuing to fighting its implementation.
County Official Says State Budget Could Endanger Public Health Programs
Pauline Bartolone @ capradio.org
Governor Jerry Brown says counties will save money under the federal health overhaul because the state will enroll uninsured people in Medi-Cal. So the Governor proposes to capture health money going to counties.
Obama lauds California's work on health care law
Herbert A. Sample @ blogs.sacbee.com
California's soon-to-be marketplace for individual health insurance was lauded by President Barack Obama this morning as a symbol of what his signature health insurance law was intended to do.
Live stream: President Obama's speech on health care reform, San Jose
President Obama's speech on California's implementation of health care reform, San Jose, Calif., June 7, 2013.
Bird In Mix To Lead Kings' Basketball Operations - Kings/nba - The Sacramento Bee
Hector Amezcua Bee file, 2009 Larry Bird served as the Pacers' basketball president from 2003 to 2012.
PG&E Penalty Unlawful, PUC Lawyer Says
A state lawyer who worked for more than two years building a case against Pacific Gas and Electric Co. over the San Bruno natural gas explosion said Thursday that the Public Utilities Commission's suggested penalty for the utility - which would include no fines - is "unlawful."
Dan Walters: California Senate hit by turmoil
Outsiders may see California's two legislative houses - the 80-member Assembly and the 40-member Senate - as duplicative bodies, essentially doing the same thing.
Dan Walters Daily
Amy Gebert @ blogs.sacbee.com
With less than a week to go, Dan contemplates California's unsolved budget issues, particularly Gov. Jerry Brown's education reform plan.
San Jose: Woman gets prison, ordered to pay $250K for health insurance fraud
Eric Kurhi @ mercurynews.com
A San Jose woman who admitted to being in cahoots with a local pharmacy to defraud health care insurers was sentenced Wednesday to 13 months in prison and ordered to pay more than a quarter-million dollars in restitution, according to federal officials.
Survey Shows Growing Support For Online Education In California
Larry Gordon @ latimes.com
For Steven Ancheta, the time is long past for more arguments about online education's merits and convenience.
Pension costs may fall for state, schools
Jon Ortiz @ sacbee.com
California state government and school districts will pay roughly $103 million less in pension costs for the coming fiscal year, according to a new CalPERS estimate.
Tobacco Tax Generates $3.6 Million For Expectant And New Mothers In Contra Costa
Local @ contracostatimes.com
First 5 Contra Costa awards funds to two nonprofits that will make home visits to pregnant women and families with newborns and toddlers in six Contra Costa County communities.