FROM George Runner
Amazon, Traditional Business and the California Ballot The US Supreme Court ruled in 1992 that online retailers don't have to collect sales tax unless they have a physical presence in the state. Amazon is headquartered in Washington State, but Governor Brown has just signed a new law requiring it to pay taxes in California, on the grounds that Amazon's so-called "affiliates" give it a "presence" here. Amazon is trying to qualify a referendum for next year asking voters to turn that around.
Has Jessica’s Law Kept California Children Any Safer? Last year, 70% of California voters approved Jessica’s Law —a measure designed to crack down on sexual predators. It prohibits paroled offenders from living within 2,000 feet of a school or a park used by children. It requires that parolees wear GPS monitors for the rest of their lives. But local officials say the residency requirement is so tough that parolees can’t find places to live and that the GPS monitors are too expensive. Governor Schwarzenegger created the Sex Offender Management Board to study the problems, and it held hearings last week in San Francisco, Bakersfield and San Bernardino.
Schwarzenegger Cries Budget Wolf Governor Schwarzenegger once promised to " blow up the boxes " by reorganizing state agencies that are inefficient and sometimes dysfunctional. Now, he is boxed in by the very structural problems he and the legislature have failed to resolve.
Intransigent Republicans Attack Welfare The Assembly and Senate were supposed to pass a state budget almost a month ago. Last week the Assembly passed a $145 Billion dollar spending plan and left on vacation. Republicans in the Senate insisted the Assembly version was not balanced, and they refused to go along. The budget requires a two-thirds vote so they can hold it up, even though the Democrats are in the majority. Today the Republican Senators got specific about $840 Million dollars in cuts including a $300 Million cut from welfare.
Terrorism and tweets, hate speech and murder Just days before an election, Britain is coping with a rash of deadly terrorism, and Prime Minister Theresa May is on the defensive. And again today, President Trump has tweeted criticism of the Mayor of London. Later, a double murder in Portland, Oregon has revealed the ugly past of a supposedly “progressive” city. One immediate question: is “hate speech” protected by the First Amendment?
Janesville and the American Dream Janesville, Wisconsin is the hometown of Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan. But he couldn’t prevent the closing of the General Motors factory after 100 years. On this Memorial Day rebroadcast of To the Point, we hear what’s happened to what once was a model of American middle-class unity.
Human Rights in the era of Donald Trump President Trump’s UN Ambassador, Nikki Haley, said today the US might pull out of the United Nations’ Human Rights Council. Serious violators of human rights are members of the Council itself–and a US resignation could make things worse. Later on today’s show, now that he’s into his second term, comedian turned US Senator Al Franken is telling jokes again.
The longest US war: Will Trump send more troops to Afghanistan? The Trump White House is divided over the Pentagon's request for more troops in Afghanistan—where the US has been fighting for the past 16 years. Is there a formula -- either for "victory" or a political settlement? Is there an end in sight for America's longest war?