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Flap’s Links and Comments for September 11th on 14:05

These are my links for September 11th from 14:05 to 17:21:

  • Romney goes after Perry on Social Security – In Florida, the Mitt Romney campaign is distributing a flyer attacking on Texas Gov. Rick Perry on Social Security. It contrasts Perry’s own words (“By any measure, Social Security is a failure”) with Romney’s positions (“Ensuring the program that millions of Americans rely on will be there for our children and grandchildren”). The issues is not simply, as Perry boosters would have us believe, that it is a Ponzi scheme. No, that part is halfway defensible (hence the focus of their commentary) since it addresses the concern that the system as currently configured will go bankrupt. No, the real issue is twofold: Are Perry’s attacks on the very idea of federal retirement benefits reasonable and will he make himself unelectable by defending them?

    Perry has suggested in his book that Social Security is unconstitutional (“Social Security is something that we’ve been forced to accept for more than 70 years now. . . . at the expense of respect for the Constitution and limited government”). However in the debate he said he didn’t want to discuss the theoretical issue. (But if it is unconstitutional, why wouldn’t he?)

    The Romney team is making several points. First, Perry has said these things frequently; it’s not a matter of backing away from a throwaway line in his book. Second, Romney is betting that even among conservatives this stuff sounds bonkers; in fact, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) has suggested as much. And finally, Romney is telling GOP voters that President Obama could essentially copy this sort of flyer, put it on every ad his campaign can manufacture, and make the election not about Obama’s rotten record but about Perry’s extremism.


    Rick Perry has dug himself a hole.

  • Amazon reportedly in talks to launch a Netflix for books – In February, launched its long-awaited subscription video-streaming service as part of Amazon Prime, setting itself up to be a serious rival to Netflix. If we’re honest, it has yet to take off but let’s not be too harsh on a service that is essentially a bolt-on to its existing Amazon Prime annual subscription that offers free two day shipping with no minimum purchase amount for $79/year.

    Today however we’re hearing reports via the WSJ that Amazon may soon launch a book equivalent of the service, charging a fixed monthly fee for access to a library of books. Amazon will reportedly offer book publishers a substantial fee for their involvement in the program.

    The idea isn’t entirely new with services like ‘the library’, and bookswim existing for some time but both are currently primarily for offline paperbacks and hardbacks. There’s also 24symbols which recently launched a near identical offering, but currently only features titles that are public domain rather than premium bestsellers. With Amazon’s Kindle platform and intimate relationships with every premium publisher on the planet, this is a unique new space only the likes of Amazon and Apple are likely to be able to cater to.

  • The California Amazon Internet Sales Tax Compromise Signals a Shift to a National Online Tax? » Flap’s California Blog – The California Amazon Internet Sales Tax Compromise Signals a Shift to a National Online Tax?
  • Flap’s Links and Comments for September 9th through September 11th | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – Flap’s Links and Comments for September 9th through September 11th #tcot #catcot