The Android Administration: Google’s remarkably close relationship with the Obama White House

“When President Obama announced his support last week for a Federal Communications Commission plan to open the market for cable set-top boxes — a big win for consumers, but also for Google — the cable and telecommunications giants who used to have a near-stranglehold on tech policy were furious,” David Dayen reports for The Intercept. “AT&T chief lobbyist Jim Cicconi lashed out at what he called White House intervention on behalf of ‘the Google proposal.'”

“He’s hardly the first to suggest that the Obama administration has become too close to the Silicon Valley juggernaut,” Dayen reports. “Over the past seven years, Google has created a remarkable partnership with the Obama White House, providing expertise, services, advice, and personnel for vital government projects.”

“Precisely how much influence this buys Google isn’t always clear. But consider that over in the European Union, Google is now facing two major antitrust charges for abusing its dominance in mobile operating systems and search. By contrast, in the U.S., a strong case to sanction Google was quashed by a presidentially appointed commission,” Dayen reports. ” Google representatives attended White House meetings more than once a week, on average, from the beginning of Obama’s presidency through October 2015. Nearly 250 people have shuttled from government service to Google employment or vice versa over the course of his administration… Eric Schmidt, executive chairman of Alphabet, Google’s parent company, was an enthusiastic supporter of both of Obama’s presidential campaigns and has been a major Democratic donor.”

“Between January 2009 and October 2015, Google staffers gathered at the White House on 427 separate occasions. All told, 182 White House employees and 169 Google employees attended the meetings, with participation from almost every domestic policy and national security player in the West Wing,” Dayen reports. “The frequency of the meetings has increased practically every year, from 32 in 2009 to 97 in 2014. In the first 10 months of 2015, which is as far as the study goes, there were 85 Google meetings.”

Much more in the full article – recommendedhere.

MacDailyNews Take: Something smells fishy in Washington D.C. As usual.

Google averages one White House meeting per week during Obama administration – March 25, 2015
U.S. FTC report details how Google skewed search results in its own favor – March 20, 2015
Google’s antitrust settlement with U.S. FTC reshapes patent disputes – January 5, 2013
The FTC’s missed opportunity on Google – January 4, 2013
Obama to reward Google’s Schmidt with Cabinet post? – December 5, 2012
Consumer Watchdog calls for probe of Google’s inappropriate relationship with Obama administration – January 25, 2011


    1. Yes, by all means let’s go back to 2007 where Bush left off. Now that president new how to run a country… right into the ground. Get yer head our of your arse.

      1. Uhh, jB, things were better under Bush for most of the 8 years he was President, regardless of what was going on.
        It’s been just the opposite under Obama.

          1. Never said they weren’t. Clinton had a Republican House reigning his spending in and didn’t respond to the terror attacks in a persuasive way, paving the way for eventual war….and that ‘s a fact.

            1. Presidents get too much credit for good things and too much criticism for bad things, while Congress is the snake den that we should be focusing on.

        1. Bush was awful, right from the start. Remember that little thing called 9-11? The the Iraq war disaster, then Katrina, then the financial collapse? All bad…all the time…under Bush. Anything that felt good under Bush was a result of the housing bubble, basically borrowing too much, and it was destined to collapse.

          The economy is far better now than when Obama took over…unemployment is slashed in half, and the stock market has doubled. Under Bush, Osama Bin Laden attacked us; Obama killed bin Laden. We’re mostly out of Iraq and Afghanistan. It’s still a mess over there, thanks to Bush. Bush took out Saddam Hussein, which destabilized the entire region. We are still paying for the Bush disaster.

    1. Let me guess — you have no facts to back up that assertion, am I right?

      You also can claim until you’re blue in the face that all the time GW Bush spent mountain biking in Crawford was job-related, while none of the meetings that Obama holds outside of the Oval Office should ever count as work.

      When you start from a position of blind partisanship, then everything looks slanted, doesn’t it?

  1. Google and Obama are pretty similar when you think about it. They both start a bunch of projects and then never really finish them. In fact, the only program Obama finished in 8 years is his health care plan which is a complete disaster. (I know all the Ds out there will say Obamacare is great because now everyone has insurance. But they neglect to mention the cost and the high deductibles which make the “insurance” useless.)

    Other then getting Obamacare passed, about the only other thing Obama every finishes is his 18 holes of golf.

    Oh, and by the way, the Rs are no better.

      1. Thanks to Obamacare, over 20 million more Americans have health insurance. Many of their stories are profound, and you can read about many of them online if you care.

        It isn’t perfect…no program this size ever will be, and there are tradeoffs, but the bottom line is that many people’s lives have been saved or dramatically improved thanks to Obamacare.

        It’s easy to be a critic…but no one has yet put forth a better plan. And you’re a fool if you want to go back to the way it was before Obamacare.

          1. I don’t really want to get into this, but our business’s healthcare expenses have gone down by about 17% since the healthcare law went into effect, and we have better coverage for our employees.

            My own personal insurance has gone from $472.00/ month, to $385.00/month and o now have a $0 co pay for everything including perscriptions. And my deductible went from 1500 down to 500. And after 1650 out of pocket for the year they cover 100%. That plan did not only not exist before the affordable care act came into effect, but wouldn’t have been sold to me anyway since I had cancer 7 years ago.

            The healthcare law is not perfect by any means, and some things do need to be changed. Just like pretty much all laws. But it’s been great for me and our business.

            I don’t know what the solution is for the US since we have such a developed insurance industry. You can’t just eliminate them or many thousands of people would lose their jobs. But they do need to bring down their overhead costs and charge less for plans. I think something like the French system would work, where they have private companies administering the plans and care, but with public money. And then if you want to sign up for Medicare you could when you’re 18.

            I don’t know, that just seems like it would make the most sense from a competition perspective. And maybe make insurance companies non profits, so the profit motive goes out of the equation and they focus on healthcare rather than denying care to make profits.

            I’d be curious to see if there are any real alternatives to the current law that would improve it.

  2. This story is a big yawner. Lobbyists and big companies always have influence in Washington…it’s just a matter of which lobbyists and which companies. I feel better with Google having influence, rather than the oil companies and Halliburton under Bush/Cheney.

    And quite frankly, that ruling on the cable set top boxes was a huge win for consumers….so it’s not all bad.

    1. Google itself is a sort of generalised menace, like termites. Former Google CEO Eric Schmidt has been vilified on tech forums like this for years, but he understands technology issues and is a top candidate for special technology advisor to the president. An appointment like that would make a real difference, as it would mitigate the influence of congressional lobbyists, who are ever only tossing spanners into the works. Eric Schmidt attached to the next White House regime could cure many sins and save his soul in the bargain.

    2. Set top boxes? Freedom? Hahahah juet dumbing down Americans further with more crap to watch cfm your set top box. Who needs a set top box when you have a computer or tablet and the Internet and streaming whether to your device or a smart TV or via wireless steaming?

      You’re pointing to obama’s work in set top boxes as a victory? Hahaha

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