My response to the parent was intended to point out that members of congress sending letters to foreign leadership is most certainly illegal because congress does not have the authority to negotiate with foreign leaders. It wasn't intended to be a comment on the intellectual dishonesty of the Obama administration.
Negotiating treaties is the sole purview of the executive branch. The constitution gives the Senate the right to RATIFY a treaty with a 2/3rds vote but not the power to negotiate them.
The main rationale behind wedding the eBook price to the physical price is the publishers relationship to their physical distributors. In the same way that the video game industry is dependent on the marketing, and promotion of GameStop the book publishers are dependent on their relationship with their brick and mortar store. This was one of the reasons behind the publishers motivations for their price fixing scheme with Apple. It was at the behest of the book stores.
The thing is they are kind of stuck. A significant portion of their profits are still made from physical media because they make more per sale off of those goods so they can't afford pissing off their retailers and having all of their new releases relegated to the back shelf by the bathrooms.
The thing is that at the scale Google and co operate at even a minute different in tax rates can make it economically viable to hide the money offshore. If you lower the tax rate to accommodate their demands you create a race to the bottom as every country trying to get those tax dollars lowers their tax rate to less than their "competitors." And who are the losers in this arrangement? We are. The people who have to foot the deficit created in the governments budget on account of lost tax revenue.
As for the statistic about tax laws and regulation the US has over 660,000 pages. The UK should be weak sauce compared to that!
This is just dumb. Firstly this is in Nevada. A place with precious little water to spare for a hydro system as well as a myriad of obscenely complicated water rights dating back over a hundred years. Even looking crosswise at the local rivers for use in hydro generation would cost you more money than the railroad system proposed here, and that doesn't even begin to describe the outcry environmentalists will have in the US over the construction of a dam. All said and done a new hydro system will probably cost as much as a nuclear plant.
Much of the excitement we get out of our work is that we don't really know what we are doing. -- E. Dijkstra