Print 60 comment(s) - last by Reclaimer77.. on Feb 1 at 6:29 PM

  (Source: Getty Images)
Google is a close ally of the President and he's not above plugging it's social network

President Obama is perhaps the most technology-savvy president to date.  While the POTUS (President of the United States) has made plenty of controversial stands [1][2][3] over his presidency, he has made some changes that should be unilaterally welcomed and commended, such as the We the People White House webpage [press release], which allows citizens to create petitions directed at the White House and Congress.

The President has a special love for Google Inc. (GOOG), whom he appointed his official "video secretary".  Aside from broadcasting State of the Union addresses on YouTube, something that would surely give the Founding Fathers cause to chuckle, and pushing legislation via YouTube, he's also gotten into Google+ of late.

Google+ is Google's social network rival to the ubiquitous Facebook.  Unlike the Facebook's privacy-be-you-know-what policies, Google+ focuses on discretely sharing content with select circles of friends.

Today at 5:30 President Obama will host a "hangout" answering questions he's received in the past couple weeks on his YouTube channel.  

Google+ Hangout
A Google+ Hangout [Image Source: webbROI]

The President promises to answer the top rated questions, but the chat will likely provoke controversy, if previous chats on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube are any indication.  In those prior sessions some accused the President of dodging the highest rated questions -- many of which were admittedly "tough" -- instead cherry-picking "layup" questions that were easy to answer and/or made him look good.

The President's support of Google also raises some eyebrows given Google's clever use of the "Double Irish" and "Dutch Sandwich" (legal) tax evasion strategies, funneling money through Ireland, the Netherlands and Bermuda, courtesy of federal loopholes, to avoid paying federal income taxes on its profits.  These strategies reportedly saved Google $1B USD in 2011 and cut the company's effective tax rate to 18.8 percent, far less than the standard 35-40 most small businesses pay on earnings.

Google officially raised almost a million dollars for the President's election bid.

This follows in the line of other key corporate friends of the President, such as General Electric Comp. (GE) -- a more extreme tax evader who made $14B USD in profit in 2010, yet received a tax refund of $3.2B USD back from the federal government.  Obama appointed GE CEO Jeff Immelt to lead his jobs board -- which helps decide federal tax policy -- also in 2010.

Obama also appointed John Doerr and (Intel Corp. (INTC) CEO) Paul Otellini to his jobs council -- both of whom are board members at Google.

Google is known for its informal corporate motto "Don't be evil."

Sources: Google+, Bloomberg, CNN

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RE: blah blah blah
By MrBlastman on 1/31/2012 11:20:38 PM , Rating: 2
I thought you understood the Constitution? I think the First Amendment is pretty clear. Banning political speech, of all kinds, is Unconstitutional. The Federal Government has absolutely no business getting involved. Regardless of the consequences. It was censorship, plain and simple.

I don't agree that a Corporation should be treated the same as a person, thus, their rights to free speech pertaining to certain situations -- i.e. contributions to Government should be limited. I'm sure _most_ Americans right now would agree that many of the problems in Washington are directly caused by Corporations and their influence over our lawmakers.

I think there needs to be a distinction... a clear one between a person and an entity such as a company. I can't just sit back and ignore how much more influence these companies can have due to their much larger pockets than the majority of people.

Don't you get it? Our political system cannot work without two opposing sides. It's not going to happen.

We need more than two man. Right now people see the only choice as being one or the other which is harmful. They have become "lazy" in accepting there are only two possible outcomes and thus ignore perhaps better candidates just because they aren't with one of the "two" parties. I don't want to get rid of the Republicans and Democrats--what I'd like to see happen is other parties/candidates get fair representation on the news, for instance. As it is right now, they don't--not even close. A big factor of that is money.

Question: How can you argue that a Corporation is a person when:

a. A CEO can make a decision to contribute to politics/campaigns without...
1. Shareholder approval
2. Employee approval

In other words, by proxy the CEO acts on behalf of everyone else's money without an initial vote. This is too much power and too much ability to influence things.

RE: blah blah blah
By Reclaimer77 on 2/1/2012 6:29:08 PM , Rating: 2
I respect your opinion. Just right now, today, it's clear that the Constitution doesn't allow for a distinction between people, and people in groups. The legal term you're objecting to is called "Corporate Personhood". If you want this changed you'll have to amend the Constitution. Which, I believe, some are trying to do as we speak.

I'm not saying it's a perfect situation. I'm not saying that there won't be consequences. I just believe, as does the Supreme Court, that censoring the speech of an entity, regardless of financial status, flew in the face of the First Amendment.

Who decides what is allowed speech and what is not? If we let the Federal Government regulate political speech, no matter HOW noble the intention, we have weakened our most sacred and precious right. Our First right.

"Nowadays you can buy a CPU cheaper than the CPU fan." -- Unnamed AMD executive

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