Morning Media Summary


Iceland protests to U.S. over Twitter data demand:
“Iceland called in the U.S. ambassador in Reykjavik on Monday to register its displeasure at a U.S. court’s demand for details of an Icelandic lawmaker’s Twitter account, the State Department said.”

T-Mobile says “download at home” after slashing data cap:
“Mobile operator T-Mobile has unveiled a new fair use policy, raising a few eyebrows by telling customers to leave high-bandwidth downloads for home. ”

Verizon Wireless Confident It’s Got Muscle for iPhone:
“Verizon Wireless has been beefing up its network and believes it will have no problem handling iPhone-type loads, a claim that could be put to the test this year if the carrier signs up millions of subscribers using the Apple Inc. device.”

Global Warming / Environment / Energy:

Science: Gulf Bacteria Quickly Digested Spilled Methane, Research Says:
“Bacteria made quick work of the methane released by the Deepwater Horizon blowout, digesting most of the gas within the four months after its release, according to a new study published online at ScienceExpress.”

Insurance / Gambling:

NJ casinos end 4th straight bad year, down 9.6 pct:
“In just four years, the nation’s second-largest gambling market has lost nearly a third of its business.”

Review gambling laws:
“Unless clear-cut rules and regulations are put in place, the latest craze about SMS lotteries will leave many of our citizens, who are gullible at best and naïve at worst, with a new gambling addiction.”

Health / Safety:

German Egg Scare: Are Law Food-Safety Laws to Blame:
“Omelets are off the menu in Germany, which has been rocked by a food contamination scare after high levels of the poisonous chemical dioxin were discovered in eggs. Now there are fears that the scandal is spreading, as authorities also find the toxin in poultry and other countries start banning the import of German foodstuffs. The scare has panicked German authorities and shattered consumer confidence. In a country that prides itself on upholding strict food-safety regulations, people are asking whether those standards are high enough.”


Simplify! Dump the Current Tax Code and Start Over:
“Why tax reform? Because everyone, it seems, likes the idea — at least in principle. President Obama, who commissioned a limited tax reform commission headed by former Fed chairman Paul Volcker, last week told NPR that he wanted reform. From their opposite ends of the Senate, both Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell agree that the current tax code is, in McConnell’s words, “a disaster.” The Erskine-Bowles and Domenici-Rivlin deficit-busting proposals each called for radical tax reform, with signoff from both Republican and Democratic contributors. Isabell Sawhill, senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, told a Brookings panel on fiscal responsibility that the inclusion of tax reform “helped break open the stalemate here in Washington in a really significant way.””


Gay activists press “Don’t Ask” court challenge:
“The Log Cabin Republicans, a gay rights group that won a landmark federal court decision last year declaring the ban unconstitutional, urged the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to proceed with its review of the legal case despite the repeal.”

Video: Hey, let’s pass a bill banning crosshair symbols or something:
“This moronic story was making the rounds last night on Twitter, with some people tweeting nervously, “Is that legal?” Why, er, no. Even given the limitation suggested by Brady — he wants to make the symbol illegal as applied to federal officials, not necessarily illegal in all circumstances — he’d almost certainly be laughed out of court. Here’s the leading precedent on threatening politicians. It comes from an anti-war rally in the 60s, where a speaker said the following to laughter from the crowd: “They always holler at us to get an education. And now I have already received my draft classification as 1-A and I have got to report for my physical this Monday coming. I am not going. If they ever make me carry a rifle the first man I want to get in my sights is L. B. J.” The money passage from the Court’s (very short) per curiam opinion:”

Clyburn: Words can be danger:
“U.S. Rep. Jim Clyburn, the third-ranking Democrat in Congress, said Sunday the deadly shooting in Arizona should get the country thinking about what’s acceptable to say publicly and when people should keep their mouths shut.”

Record labels to pay $47.5M to songwriters:
“Four of Canada’s biggest record labels have agreed to pay songwriters and music publishers $47.5 million in damages for copyright infringement and overdue royalties to settle a class action lawsuit.”


Kindred Hospital Workers Dump SEIU:
“Workers at Kindred Hospital in San Leandro have voted to leave the Service Employees International Union and join its competitor, the National Union of Healthcare Workers.”

Transportation/ Land Use:

Hercules to consider giving up eminent domain power over key waterfront land:
“The Hercules City Council will consider resolutions today that would prohibit the city and its redevelopment agency from invoking eminent domain to force a developer to sell land needed for an intermodal transit center.”

Caltrain rethinks high-speed rail relationship:
“Bob Doty, director of the Peninsula Rail Program, has traded in his Caltrain ticket for a position with engineering firm HNTB.”