Wednesday morning headlines

Stocks keep falling: Much of it is due to Japan, where the reports continue to be downbeat. Dow is down about 110 points.

Tokyo stocks bounce back: A bit - the Nikkei Stock Average was up 5.7 percent today. Perhaps investors overdid their selling on Monday and Tuesday. (DJ)

Spike in wholesale prices: Food soared 3.9 percent last month, the biggest gain since November 1974. Most of that jump came from a sharp rise in vegetable prices, which increased nearly 50 percent. (AP)

GOP lawmakers pushing to trash environmental laws: That appears to be the price tag for supporting Gov. Jerry Brown's budget plan, though it's doubtful that the effort will get very far. From the LAT:

The demand, pushed in private talks with the governor, would curtail lawsuits against projects threatening ecological damage, grant waivers to big telecommunications companies and exempt many urban developments from environmental review.

Field Poll shows support for Brown plan: A majority of voters like an equal mix of taxes and cuts, as well as a special election to decide taxes. Right now, the Republicans are preventing that vote from taking place. From the Sacramento Bee:

More than six in 10 voters - 61 percent - said they want a special election on taxes to solve the budget rather than have the Legislature decide on its own. That doesn't mean those election supporters back Brown's plan; 56 percent of Republicans said they want to vote even though only 35 percent of GOP voters support his taxes.

State budget vote today: Assemblyman Kevin Jeffries, R-Lake Elsinore, says it'll be more of a drill done for political purposes. From Capitol Alert:

"I'd be more aggravated about this coming to the floor for a vote without the opportunity to review it if it weren't so obvious that they don't actually intend to pass a budget to solve our spending problem, but merely wish to score political points. As far as I know, there is no deal to pass this budget."

Barry Minkow cuts deal: The one-time whiz kid who served seven years in prison in the ZZZZ Best Ponzi scheme has agreed to plead guilty to criminal insider trading involving homebuilder Lennar Corp. Minkow shorted Lennar stock after issuing a critical report on the company. (LA Weekly)

Narcs raid medical marijuana businesses: Two operations in West Hollywood were hit, a surprising move considering that the feds have pretty much steered clear of California's dispensaries. From the LAT:

"This is incredibly unsettling that the DEA would strike permitted collectives in a sanctuary city," said Dege Coutee, who runs the Patient Advocacy Network. "I hope that this is not going to be indicative for what the rest of our summer season will look like." The DEA raided five of six dispensaries in West Hollywood in 2007, but has left the city's stores alone since then.

More by Mark Lacter:
American-US Air settlement with DOJ includes small tweak at LAX
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Amazon keeps pushing for faster L.A. delivery
Another rugged quarter for Tribune Co. papers
How does Stanford compete with the big boys?
Those awful infographics that promise to explain and only distort
Best to low-ball today's employment report
Further fallout from airport shootings
Crazy opening for Twitter*
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Mark Lacter
Mark Lacter created the LA Biz Observed blog in 2006. He posted until the day before his death on Nov. 13, 2013.
Mark Lacter, business writer and editor was 59
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