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The Obama administration helped push through approval of Oracle's Sun acquisition.  (Source: All Things Digital)

Oracle gave President Obama $80k in direct donations during his 2008 campaign, and Oracle employees, including numerous executives, pitched in another $240k. Those contributions represent a small, but significant chunk of the $750M needed for Obama to get elected into office.  (Source: AP)
Oracle Affiliates Gave Obama $320K+, Leaked Cables Reveal Quid Pro Quo

The Obama administration is facing some tough questions after Wikileaks published a fresh set of leaked State Department cables, which indicate that the U.S. applied pressure to the European Union to get the acquisition of Sun Microsystems by Oracle Corp. (ORCL) approved.

The first cable, sent by the administration's Deputy Chief of the U.S. Mission to the European Union, Ambassador Christopher W. Murray, reads:

The Department of Justice/Antitrust views this matter as a high priority... Its senior officials and investigative staff are currently engaging productively and intensely with their DG COMP [EU Director-General for Competition] counterparts, and are in close touch with Oracle and Sun, in the hopes of preventing a divergent outcome.

The cable also suggests Sun would "go bankrupt" if the merger was denied and argued that despite the fact that Oracle's representatives were "unwilling or unable to make certain divestitures to satisfy the Commission's concerns", the deal should be approved anyhow.

A second memo from the U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the USTR (United States Trade Representative), the US National Security Council, the U.S. Departments of Treasury, Justice, and Commerce and the Federal Trade Commission pleaded with European Union competition commissioner Neelie Kroes to consider the merits of the deal to open source software.

Ms. Kroes responded that she sympathized with "the argument that open source software is by definition pro-competitive, since the theory is that everyone has access to it and can contribute to improving open source programs", but also realized that there are "subtle and complex counterarguments to this [argument]."

In the end, the European Union agreed to approve the merger several months after its American peers did.  And in the end the merger had a larger destructive effect on open source software, as Oracle has tried to aggressively monetize its new holdings.

The purchase granted Oracle control over many open source projects/"open" software projects, including Java.  While it has since "freed" at least one of these projects (OpenOffice), it's used its ownership of Java as a means to sue the world's best-selling smartphone platform, Google Inc.'s (GOOG) Android operating system.

So why did the Obama administration want the Oracle deal approved so badly?  Well, the move was likely partially designed to save jobs and save face from American agencies that would be embarrassed if Europe rejected the deal they had approved.  

While Obama administration is often maligned for being allegedly "anti-business", he accepted numerous large corporate campaign donations during his campaign and has pushed to preserve tax loopholes that allow some of America's largest corporations like General Electric to pay virtually no taxes (or even get grants), a privilege most smaller businesses don't have the influence to gain and enjoy.  In fact, Obama accepted $245,000+ USD in campaign donations from Oracle employees, including many of the company's executives, and almost $80,000 USD more in donations from the company.


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Great Picuture!
By Dr of crap on 8/30/2011 3:30:29 PM , Rating: 5
I love that pic of the pres. - sinister and all.




RE: Great Picuture!
By YashBudini on 8/30/2011 4:39:12 PM , Rating: 2
And what about the Oracle guy pic? You want that as a next door neighbor?

And nobody can out-sinister the guy who was in the undisclosed location.


java - open source
By curelom on 8/30/2011 3:32:56 PM , Rating: 2
Java never was Open Source. Sun held onto it tightly, so has Oracle.




RE: java - open source
By sprockkets on 8/30/2011 4:16:12 PM , Rating: 2
Java did go open source, and you wouldn't get sued if and only if your implementation passed certification. Course the tools to certify your implementation are not open source. Oracle pushed for it to be that way before they acquired Sun. Funny story, now with direct control over Java, they won't do it.


FIRST!!!!!
By zippyzoo on 8/30/11, Rating: -1
RE: FIRST!!!!!
By gorehound on 8/30/2011 3:27:55 PM , Rating: 4
SECOND !!!!!

And this is what we want to see in Wikileaks.Corruption and behind the scenes in Washington, DC.Read and learn of the truth of how we are all being sold out by those we vote in.
thank you wikileaks for leaking this stuff.hope to see more dirt so us Americans know what our Politicians are really doing to us.


RE: FIRST!!!!!
By Reclaimer77 on 8/30/2011 4:13:33 PM , Rating: 4
lmao you didn't need Wikileaks to know Obama meddles where he shouldn't and that this is probably the most law breaking Administration we've had in a long time. Obama shows more reverence for toilet paper than he does this countries Constitution.


Significant Contribution???
By IceBreakerG on 8/30/11, Rating: -1
RE: Significant Contribution???
By JasonMick (blog) on 8/30/2011 5:32:40 PM , Rating: 4
Err... your math is wrong.
quote:
$80,000 + $240,000 = $320,000
$320,000 / $750,000,000 = 4.26666666666667e^-4%
4.26666666666667e^-4% = 0.0004%


$320k is roughly 1/3rd of $1M USD, so it's roughly 1/(750x3) *100 percent, or 0.4 percent using some mental math.

Given your more precise calculations, it's 0.0426 percent, not 0.0004% as you claim.

Please be more careful next time you try to "debunk" a story.

0.0004% -- Significant? No.
0.4% of the sum needed to elect the leader of the free world - Significant? Yes!

Further, that total is likely significantly short as much of the $750M USD came courtesy of bundlers and Super PACs that didn't have to disclose the source of their donations Oracle could easily have donated $4-10M USD to Obama in this way, we'll never know. What is clear is that they supported him enough to commit to his campaign financially and publicly.

Another way of looking at this -- consider you're offered the opportunity to be more rich and famous than anyone you know. Consider that you'll probably automatically be given around 1000 credits, but you have to beat a rival. For each person (corporation) you agree to do a favor for, you get 1 credit. Obama would have gotten 1,300 "credits" in such a scheme (the cumulative donation is roughly 1 out of 2,300 equivalent ones). Would you agree to do a favor which had no impact personally on you for 1,300 people to be set for life?

Hence the evil of campaign finance. Little donations seem innocuous but carry great value and ownership.


RE: Significant Contribution???
By JasonMick (blog) on 8/30/2011 5:33:48 PM , Rating: 2
Sorry, the first (mental math) estimate should have been 0.04 percent (though my second one was correct -- 0.04266 percent).


RE: Significant Contribution???
By YashBudini on 8/30/2011 5:46:45 PM , Rating: 2
That's OK Mick, at least you weren't down rated by your own overzealous auto rater.


RE: Significant Contribution???
By jhb116 on 8/30/2011 6:03:05 PM , Rating: 2
And of course the pro-Obama forget about the cables to the EU to get them to approve the deal.

I really wish the majority of the Demo's would realize that Rep represent big business, Demo's represent big business. They have consistently beat Rep in raising campaign $ in recent years.


RE: Significant Contribution???
By YashBudini on 8/30/2011 6:55:50 PM , Rating: 3
No worries, all those corporate "peoples" out there will make up for that.

Arguing that your party is better than the other party is like rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. You're sinking and you're completely unaware. IE The parties have positioned you exactly where they want you.


RE: Significant Contribution???
By ClownPuncher on 8/30/2011 7:30:31 PM , Rating: 2
As long as we have shuffleboard and free snacks, we seem to be OK with it.


RE: Significant Contribution???
By Reclaimer77 on 8/30/2011 7:33:23 PM , Rating: 2
You get free snacks?? Damnit! :(


RE: Significant Contribution???
By YashBudini on 8/30/2011 7:35:39 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
we seem to be OK with it.

Does that make it any less sad of a statement?


RE: Significant Contribution???
By ClownPuncher on 8/31/2011 2:21:22 PM , Rating: 2
More.


RE: Significant Contribution???
By YashBudini on 8/31/2011 5:16:40 PM , Rating: 2
I suppose it's time you taught me shuffleboard. Sudoku is getting old.


RE: Significant Contribution???
By Samus on 8/31/2011 2:51:28 AM , Rating: 2
AT&T has given over 500k to tea party senators to help push through the T-mobile merger.

This is politics. Everything is bought. Votes, wars, leverage. All bought.


RE: Significant Contribution???
By kittypuncher on 8/31/2011 4:16:50 AM , Rating: 2
Am I the only one that wonders why it's ok for big corps to give loads of money to the government? "Because it's been done for hundreds of years" isn't a good enough answer for me...
How does this keep happening?
If I remember anything from school (and I like to think I do), wasn't our government suppose to be "for the people BY the people "?

Going to go read some news about NHS and police cutbacks to make myself feel better (I reside in the UK temporarily)


RE: Significant Contribution???
By bigdawg1988 on 8/31/2011 12:20:39 PM , Rating: 2
Am I the only one that wonders why it's ok for big corps to give loads of money to the government?

Because the Supreme Court said it's ok, despite everyone knowing what it could lead to. Heck, even Obama tried to fight against that.


RE: Significant Contribution???
By ebakke on 8/31/2011 1:13:29 PM , Rating: 2
How is a corporation really any different than a union or any other collection of people? Let's say you and I go round up 5k people that agree with us, and then donate to Candidate A in hopes that A will represent our interests. How is this any different than if those 5k people are all members of the AFL-CIO and the union itself is sending the cash. Or if those 5k people all work for (or own part of) GE, and the corporation sends the cash?


RE: Significant Contribution???
By topkill on 8/31/2011 3:51:13 PM , Rating: 2
That IS the point! No group should be giving money. No unions, no corporations...nothing!

Only individuals should be allowed to donate money, and that should be limited. And nobody should be allowed to buy TV and radio ads as that is another form of giving money.

Only candidates official campaign funds should be allowed to even post a bill board and this should all be public record, and it should only be funded by individual contributions.


RE: Significant Contribution???
By ebakke on 8/31/2011 5:52:10 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
That IS the point! No group should be giving money. No unions, no corporations...nothing!
I can see the argument behind "a group is nothing more than a collection of individuals. If individuals can donate, groups should be allowed too." But I'd be willing to accept rules that allow only individuals. Though I'm not sure what benefit that would provide.
quote:
Only individuals should be allowed to donate money, and that should be limited.
Why should it be limited? If Super Rich Guy wants to give Candidate A $2 billion to run his campaign, I see no problem with that. As long as this is fully disclosed. As long as I know I'm voting for/against Candidate A's puppet master, fine by me.
quote:
And nobody should be allowed to buy TV and radio ads as that is another form of giving money.
Now you're advocating the suppression of my right to free speech. Boo! Hiss!


RE: Significant Contribution???
By topkill on 8/31/2011 10:52:40 PM , Rating: 2
I could play linebacker in the NFL right now if I wanted to so I'm fairly certain I can beat you up and take your money, car, lunch...whatever. And nobody should stop me because that would be infringing my rights to do what I'm physically able to do and you're not.

If that sounds repulsive to you, then explain why it's ok for someone with a lot more money than me, or you, to spend that money to buy change in the system so they can take even more money from the rest of us.

I'm a republican by background and basic beliefs, but when did the party become some whacked out ideological system where the strict interpretation of "freedom" is more important than common sense?


RE: Significant Contribution???
By ebakke on 9/1/2011 1:46:51 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
And nobody should stop me because that would be infringing my rights to do what I'm physically able to do and you're not.
Quite frankly, the scenario you're using to defend your position sucks. There's one key difference between you beating me up (because you feel like it?) and you renting space on a billboard. In the former situation, you've very clearly infringed on my rights. In the latter, you've very clearly not infringed on my rights. Surely you recognize that your right to [insert right here] only goes so far as to not infringe on others' rights.
quote:
explain why it's ok for someone with a lot more money than me, or you, to spend that money to buy change in the system so they can take even more money from the rest of us.
First, I don't believe that spending money buys change (short of straight up bribery, and that's already illegal). Buying ads does not equate to getting your guy elected. Ultimately I put the onus of responsibility on the people who're actually voting (or not voting).
Second, I'll agree with you that the government should not be used as a tool to redistribute wealth in any direction. But that's happening regardless of who's spending the money in the campaign.
quote:
but when did the party become some whacked out ideological system where the strict interpretation of "freedom" is more important than common sense?
I can't answer your question about the GOP. I think party's are a load of crap. I can tell you, however, that a strict interpretation of freedom (and rigid adherence to protecting it) is common sense to me.


RE: Significant Contribution???
By ebakke on 9/1/2011 1:48:25 PM , Rating: 2
* parties


RE: Significant Contribution???
By topkill on 9/1/2011 9:16:59 PM , Rating: 2
If you think someone rich paying off congressmen so that all of their income gets categorized as "capital gains" so their effective tax rate is 17% (see Warren Buffett) while you or I pay 35% is ok...then you're not too bright.

That IS buying a system. You think that paying major expenses in a campaign to get someone elected doesn't affect the way they vote on legislation for you? Isn't that the whole point of this article? Do you really think Obama had nothing better to do that day than call powerful lawmakers in the EU and try to influence them so Larry could buy out Sun? LOL

Do YOU have enough money to get Obama to call world leaders for something YOU want for your company? Why is someone rich allowed to do that when the average person is not able to do the same? I'm paying higher rates for MySQL now because Obama caused this to happen...because Larry gave him money. How is that NOT infringing my rights?

I had already built my startup company up using MySQL because it was free, now I'm stuck because it costs me a fortune to re-write everything. OR, I can move up and pay Larry a bloody fortune for his Oracle DB...which he happens to be steering everyone towards now by the way he supports and prices MySQL.

Don't talk to me about infringing rights if you're not going to do your homework.

To


RE: Significant Contribution???
By Starcub on 9/2/2011 6:48:37 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
ok...then you're not too bright.

And so it is with the american public in general. Full disclosure wouldn't make any difference where it is neither reported nor researched. Time after time I turn to C-Span and watch pol's tell straight faced lies to their constituency using think tank bullet points. I watch them cheer their executioner on as he advocates their being dragged to the chopping block. It's surreal.


RE: Significant Contribution???
By topkill on 9/2/2011 9:12:37 PM , Rating: 2
That is so sad...and yet so true.


RE: Significant Contribution???
By Starcub on 8/31/2011 5:52:58 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Heck, even Obama tried to fight against that.

No he didn't. obama gave the public trust to kagan. kagan subsequently blew 200 years of legal precedence in losing CU 'cause she based her case on something she knew the scotus would have a problem understanding: morality.


RE: Significant Contribution???
By Reclaimer77 on 8/31/2011 1:48:33 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Am I the only one that wonders why it's ok for big corps to give loads of money to the government?


The Government also takes loads of money from corporations. So basically you are against the Constitution and the First Amendment. Nice. You are for taxation without representation.

I'm sorry but the supreme court ruling is quite clear, and correct. I'm not saying it wont lead to problems. I'm not saying our system is perfect. But we cannot abandon our most important Amendment and principle because it could lead to unintended consequences.

Also Mick is flat out lying, don't be fooled by this snake oil salesman. He words the article to intimate that GE paid Obama to not collect taxes from them. This is hogwash. Saying "GE paid no taxes" is a flat lie. They paid income taxes, fuel taxes, state taxes and all other taxes owed to them. They did not pay Corporate taxes because, technically, they operated at a loss in 2008. This isn't some "loophole" they paid Obama to re-instate. This is how the United States tax code has worked for decades. I'm no Obama fan, I would love to say that was the case. But it's just a lie.


RE: Significant Contribution???
By topkill on 8/31/2011 3:55:58 PM , Rating: 2
Reclaimer,

Which part of the constitution, or first amendment, defines a corporation or a union as an individual?

I'm asking a serious question here. You assert that he's anti-constitution, but then you have to show where the Constitution defines a corporation as an entity entitled to "free speech".


RE: Significant Contribution???
By YashBudini on 8/31/2011 5:14:34 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Which part of the constitution, or first amendment, defines a corporation or a union as an individual?

That part that states it's OK to put partisanship above ethics and justice. I guess you weren't there for that particular "contribution."

Surprised more libertarians aren't upset about this, as they often view majority rule as mob rule.

Anyway SOS, groups called shareholders good, groups called unions bad. All or nothing, same old B&W arguments. Especially for all those coal miners that got killed in VA or WV, can't recall which, very black indeed.


RE: Significant Contribution???
By Reclaimer77 on 8/31/2011 9:28:55 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Which part of the constitution, or first amendment, defines a corporation or a union as an individual?


People don't cease to fall under said documents when they enter into business.

By the way, you can argue with me all you want. But I suppose you also know more about the law than 5 Supreme Court justices?

quote:
but then you have to show where the Constitution defines a corporation as an entity entitled to "free speech".


No, I don't have to show it. The Supreme Court already did. Go look it up!


RE: Significant Contribution???
By topkill on 9/3/2011 11:09:38 AM , Rating: 2
Reclaimer....don't let political ideology cloud your intelligence. You and I clearly disagree on most things, but this is self evident if you're being honest with yourself. You act like the Supreme Court is infallible or something when in fact, they are nothing more than political appointees.

Remember, this is the same Supreme Court who upheld slavery and many other disgusting practices until the political appointees eventually died off and some kind of common sense took over.

This is clearly another case of something we'll look back on one day and be stunned that it was ever allowed to happen. It's no different than slavery, allowing a man to essentially "own" his wife and beat her as long as the rod was no thicker than his thumb, stopping women from voting, not allowing gays in the military, etc, etc, etc.

Our country was founded on freedom and equality but that equality is always in the eyes of the people in charge over the short term....and eventually is corrected in the long term.

Yes, I do know better than those 5 Supreme Court Justices. They are clearly corrupt creatures of their time and politics and history will laugh at them and hold them up in ridicule for law students to study for centuries.


RE: Significant Contribution???
By YashBudini on 9/3/2011 3:59:16 PM , Rating: 2
I'll give it a week tops before your conclude on your own the magnitude of futility of this post.


RE: Significant Contribution???
By topkill on 9/3/2011 6:00:49 PM , Rating: 2
Are you disagreeing with me...or commenting on the futility of my railing against the system we have in place? I assume the latter???


By YashBudini on 9/3/2011 6:39:48 PM , Rating: 2
Neither of those 2. I agree with what you said.

You also commented on something else. If you stay a while it will become abundantly clear. If not it won't matter.


By YashBudini on 9/3/2011 6:53:38 PM , Rating: 2
Neither of those 2. I agree with what you said.

You also commented on something else. If you stay a while it will become abundantly clear. If not it won't matter.


RE: Significant Contribution???
By Kurz on 8/31/2011 8:04:25 AM , Rating: 2
It wouldn't be such a big deal if the Government didn't have an Iron grip on the Spectrum space.


By cjohnson2136 on 8/31/2011 8:59:41 AM , Rating: 1
Actually his math is correct he just forgot to move the decimal place when adding the percent sign. A simple mistake that I had to look at a second time after you said he was wrong.


"A politician stumbles over himself... Then they pick it out. They edit it. He runs the clip, and then he makes a funny face, and the whole audience has a Pavlovian response." -- Joe Scarborough on John Stewart over Jim Cramer














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