Thursday, September 8, 2011

Thursday Must Read: Amazon Strikes Deal with Legislature; FBI Raids Solyndra

By Robert Gammon
Thu, Sep 8, 2011 at 10:21 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. reached a tentative deal with Democratic and Republican leaders of the state legislature, agreeing to scuttle its attempt to overturn the state’s new online sales tax law in exchange for not charging its customers sales tax until September 2012, the LA Times reports. The deal also gives Amazon time to convince the US Congress to establish a national standard for online sales taxes. But if Congress fails to do so by next September, then the online giant will start charging sales tax to its California customers. It’s unclear, however, whether Governor Jerry Brown will endorse the deal. Last week, Brown threw cold water on a proposal by Amazon to put off sales tax collection until 2014.

2. The FBI raided the shuttered Solyndra solar plant in Fremont this morning, although it’s unclear exactly what prompted the federal probe, the Mercury News reports. The feds have said they are concerned that Solyndra may sell equipment from its closed facility to foreign buyers who would then ship it overseas — which would be a violation of federal law, because the bankrupt solar company paid for the equipment with a $500 million loan from the Obama administration. However, it’s not clear whether today’s raid is related to that issue.

  • Perry
3. Many pundits appear to agree that ex-Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney won last night’s Republican presidential debate, as frontrunner Texas Governor Rick Perry seemed to make a major mistake when he declared social security to be a “Ponzi scheme.” Perry’s over-the-top comment at the Simi Valley debate may play well with Tea Partiers, but it likely will hurt his chances of defeating President Obama, because social security is an overwhelmingly popular federal program.

4. Governor Jerry Brown vetoed a host of bills yesterday, including at least two in which he felt that the legislation was overly intrusive in people’s lives. The governor vetoed a bill that would have raised fines for driving while talking on a cellphone or texting, and one that would have fined parents of children who failed to wear a helmet while skiing or snowboarding. “While I appreciate the value of wearing a ski helmet, I am concerned about the continuing and seemingly inexorable transfer of authority from parents to the state,” Brown said in his veto message. “Not every human problem deserves a law.”

5. And a get out your binoculars because a supernova will be visible over the Bay Area during the next two nights, the Chron reports.

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