State officials failed to prove the necessity of limiting the movement of a Maine nurse exposed to Ebola, a judge ruled Friday. 


     San Francisco and Berkeley voters on Tuesday will decide whether the Bay Area becomes the first place in the nation to tax sugary drinks.

     On Tuesday, the U.S. Congress will re-elect itself and we'll be asked to relax and enjoy it - four days after Halloween.
     Enjoy your sugar high.
     Here's a chocolate bar - go away. Come back in two years.
     The Congress, and our electoral system, are hopelessly corrupt - so is the Supreme Court - and there is no way we can reform it, because the only way to do so is hopelessly boring.
     The only way to reform our corrupt system is to take the power of redistricting out of the hands of Congress.

     Republican gerrymandering, on the state and federal level, has packed congressional districts so tight that the average Republican House district today is 75 percent white.
     Our "minority" population can go holler up a tree.
     Pack 'em in and forget 'em.
     The only way to correct this is to take the power of re-election out of the hands of Congress, and return it to the people.
     But the only way to do that would be through a constitutional amendment, giving the people the power to draw congressional districts.
     Iowa has such a system - sort of. Its redistricting commission's districts must be approved by the Legislature, which, as a small subset of our great system, in the Great State of Iowa, is subject to citizen scrutiny.
     But Iowa is way ahead of the rest of the nation on this - and look at Iowa politics. Decent. Issue-oriented. Clean. A Garrison Keillor state.
     Under Iowa's system, counties cannot be split between congressional districts.
     Large cities cannot be split unless it's necessary to keep the congressional districts within a 1 percent population difference.
     Iowa's congressional delegation has two Republicans and two Democrats.
     To quote the late, great Gov. Al Smith: Let's look at the record.
     In the 2012 general election, Democrats nationwide won 1.4 million more votes than Republicans in races for House of Representatives, but Republicans won control of the House by 234-201.
     In North Carolina that year, after the Republican Legislature redrew the maps, Democrats won 51 percent of votes for the U.S. House but only four of 13 seats.
     This is theft. This is crime.
     Iowa has its congressional lines drawn by a nonpartisan group called the Legislative Services Agency.
     Iowa, unlike any other state, draws its congressional districts without regard to where an incumbent congressman lives.
     What a concept: Congressmen forced to represent people other than themselves.
     Under our electoral system at large today - at large like a criminal - in the other 49 states, we do not elect our congressmen. They re-elect themselves.
     Thanks to our once-glorious system of government, I, a man of moderate income (exactly the national average, almost to the dime) have been able to drive across our great country dozens of times. In these trips, I stopped in small towns, read their newspapers, hung out and listened to the gossip.
     I've always been a snoop.
     Practically every small-town store and café in the U.S. heartland has a glass jug or two on the counter, asking for contributions for the family of a little girl who has cancer, or a little boy who was run over by a car.
     Americans, by and large, are good people. We're generous. We help each other out.
     But you couldn't prove it by Congress. They're a bunch of greedy millionaire beggars. I wouldn't trust any one of 'em, as my grandpa used to say, any farther than I could throw 'em.
     The only realistic chance of changing this is to take redistricting out of the hands of congressmen, and the two political parties.
     Does anyone have a slogan for me? One that could compete with "Immigrants Out!"?
     Or "Kardashian's Breasts Exposed!"?
     Congress treats us like idiots. And so long as we act like idiots, that may not be what we deserve, but it's what we'll get.


      Environmentalists asked a federal judge to shut down California's last nuclear power plant, Diablo Canyon, questioning whether the aging facility could withstand a significant earthquake from a fault discovered in 2008. 

     California Attorney General Kamala Harris warned consumers on Friday of the latest scam to look out for: fake newspaper subscriptions.


     Recreational marijuana advocates are expected to win a Nov. 4 proposition in the District of Columbia, but three other ballot measures around the country are teetering in the polls.


     Residents of a small southern Arizona town say a Forest Service-approved mineral exploration project will damage local water supplies and wildlife habitat. 


     The movie "American Hustle" defamed science writer Paul Brodeur by falsely attributing pseudoscience to him in a scene, the former New Yorker staff writer claims in court.


     Lindsay Lohan cannot forge ahead with her "virtual closet" enterprise until the company that allegedly gave her the idea has its day in court, a judge ruled. 


     A new highway linking Los Angeles and Long Beach should go ahead, despite possible air pollution threats, the 9th Circuit ruled Thursday. 

     The family of a 23-year-old man electrocuted while playing tennis at a Nashville apartment complex seeks $40 million in damages. 

     An Orange County man ran a $15 million fraud by selling circuit boards as bogus "performance chips" for cars, California prosecutors say.

     A federal judge denied a request for a temporary restraining order from a company that accuses the American Petroleum Institute of "fracking" its trademark in political ads. 

     A federal bankruptcy judge approved Stockton, Calif.'s bankruptcy plan, which will fully fund employee pensions but pays pennies on the dollar to investors that loaned the city money in rosier times.

     The CFO of the failed United Commercial Bank lied about what happened after the bank got $297 million in taxpayer bailout money, according to a federal information. 


     Music distributor Song fi's takedown beef with Google and YouTube must be resolved in California, a federal judge says. 

     Lawyers for current student athletes added two more players to their list of plaintiffs challenging NCAA compensation rules. 

     A bank may have underpaid currency investors when it liquidated certain funds after Iceland's banks fell apart in 2008, the 9th Circuit ruled Friday. 

     The Department of Justice and Albuquerque agreed Friday on reforms intended to ameliorate the city police's use of force, the Justice Department said.

     Mexican migrant workers got the go-ahead to fight carnival giant Butler Amusements for violating minimum wage and overtime laws. 

     The Jefferson County School District in Florida has been declared desegregated, 44 years after the federal government took legal action against it. 

     Wisconsin appealed an order to release videos allegedly showing the Republican state attorney general candidate making sexist and racist remarks. 


     Scoffing at the idea that Paramount pulled a fast one on high-powered insurers and hedge funds that invested in a slate of films that flopped a decade ago, a federal judge had three pointed words. 

     The owner of a mental health center in Baton Rouge, and a patient recruiter for one in Houston, are headed to prison for their roles in a $258.5 million Medicare fraud scheme.

     Hitachi Metals will pay the U.S. government $1.25 million for conspiring to fix prices and rig bids for a part installed in American Toyotas.

     A law that lets artists collect resale royalties when their works appear anywhere from Sotheby's to eBay faces review by the full 9th Circuit, the court said. 

     The 2nd Circuit wants New York's high court to determine whether a regulation of debt-collection agencies strays into state oversight of lawyers. 

     Idaho is not liable to a college wrestler who says his coaches kept him in a competition despite concussive symptoms, the state Supreme Court ruled. 

     Media General Inc., will divest of several television stations around the country in order to complete its $1.5 billion acquisition of LIN Media. 

     Sasan Sabrdaran, an official at (nonparty) InterMune, and Farhang Afsarpour made $1.1 million from inside trading on InterMune stock, the SEC claims in Federal Court.  


     In a federal class action, general managers claim Panera Bread shorted them on their "joint venture GM (general manager) buyout payment." 


      I have nothing against Bram Stoker's "Dracula" or its free publicity for my native Transylvania. But Universal Pictures' latest vampire flick, "Dracula Untold," attempts something no other vampire tale did before: to understand the man behind the myth.

     Democrats supporting Connecticut's governor with federal funds should not face Republican interference, a judge ruled. 

     Just in time for Halloween, a federal magistrate gave the government a fright by restricting its power to surveil cellphones 

     New York is more than three decades behind the times when it comes to educating immigrants, a new survey finds. 


     The 2nd Circuit skewered police unions for trying to scuttle New York City's stop-and-frisk reform. 

     Williams-Sonoma will pay $700,000 to settle claims it sold about 85,000 Pottery Barn Kids Roman window shades with cords that posed a strangulation threat to small children. 

     A homeless ex-felon with a pocket knife in his shopping cart was wrongly convicted of possessing a dangerous weapon, the Utah Supreme Court ruled. 

     False statements about operational and compliance policies at American Realty Capital Properties since Feb. 27, 2014, inflated the common stock, a class claims.


     Sony properly calculated royalties on digital music downloads, a federal judge ruled, rejecting a claim by "Eye of the Tiger" artist Survivor for a 50 percent rate. 


     A federal judge refused to certify an Illinois class in one of the many labeling actions against Skinnygirl Cocktails by former reality star Bethenny Frankel and Beam Global Spirits & Wine. 


     A Louisiana appeals court affirmed dismissal of claims against McDonald's over coffee orders that allegedly fell from a cupholder onto a customer at the drive-through window.  

     The former CFO of Torres Advanced Enterprise Solutions won summary judgment on claims by Iraqi private security company Sabre International.