California Roundup: No Free Speech, No Tax Relief, Plenty of Nurses


* Soaking rich bastards who craftily earn at or below the poverty line: Legislative Analysts Office says the Democrats' planned hikes in income tax would hit earners starting at $20,000 a year.

* Nay, Carly: Hewlett-Packard is giving more campaign money to Democratic Senate incumbent Barbara Boxer than to challenger and former HP CEO Carly Fiorina.

* Speech-reduction committee will protect us from Facebook: California's Fair Political Practices Commission (bet your state doesn't have one of those!) plans to suppress more online political speech and introduce disclosure rules for social media.

* Nursing home gets dunned for $677 million in a class-action lawsuit because it failed to comply with state-mandated ratio of nurse-hours per patient. CalWatchdog's Katy Grimes explains how this will set off a combing-the-time-sheets bonanza for personal injury lawyers around the state. Maybe we can finally get John Edwards to try his luck in the Golden State again.

* Bitter harvest at Skywalker Ranch: L.A. Times' Geoff Boucher catches up with Gary Kurtz, the Star Wars producer who fell out with George Lucas after Empire Strikes Back (or if you prefer, Lando Calrissian: Cloud City Entrepaneur or Everyday Cock-Blocker). Lucas buffs will enjoy Kurtz's refutation of Lucas' historical backfillings about how the series was always planned as a six-part franchise that opens with part four. (?!)