Friday, October 19, 2007

Hillary Clinton receives the largest number of military donations…from the Defense industry.


The ever famed ‘Military-Industrial Complex’ has picked their candidate of choice: Hillary Rodham Clinton. When Hillary takes office, do not be prepared to see an anti-war populist of any sort. She is as establishment as Rudy Giuliani and Fred Thompson, ready to declare war on Iran at a moment’s notice. The defense industry sees this and, I think, has made a good investment. Well, good if you’re a defense contractor. The Huffington Post reported:

The defense industry this year abandoned its decade-long commitment to the Republican Party, funneling the lion share of its contributions to Democratic presidential candidates, especially to Hillary Clinton who far out-paced all her competitors.

An examination of contributions of $500 or more, using the Huffington Post’s Fundrace website, shows that employees of the top five arms makers - Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Northrop-Grumman, Raytheon and General Dynamics — gave Democratic presidential candidates $103,900, with only $86,800 going to Republicans.

Senator Clinton took in $52,600, more than half of the total going to all Democrats, and a figure equaling 60 percent of the sum going to the entire GOP field. Her closest competitor for defense industry money is former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney (R.), who raised $32,000.

Insofar as defense workers making political donations reflect the interests of their employers, the contributions clearly suggest that the arms industry has reach the conclusion that Democratic prospects for 2008 are very good indeed. Since their profits are so heavily dependent on government contracts, companies in this field want to be sure they do not have hostile relations with the White House.

The strong support for Clinton indicates that a majority of defense industry executives currently believe Clinton is a favorite to win the Democratic nomination and, in November, 2008, the general election.

In the 2004 presidential race, defense company workers, almost all of them upper-level employees, gave George W. Bush $819,358, more than twice the $366,870 received by John Kerry. Similarly, in House and Senate races over the past 10 years, the defense industry has favored Republicans over Democrats by a 3-2 margin.

Republicans holding public office almost always provide much stronger support for weapons programs and other Pentagon spending than do Democrats.

In an unexpected development, Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.), the ranking Republican on the Armed Services Committee and a decorated Vietnam War veteran, raised just $19,200, barely more than the $18,500 collected by Texas Representative Ron Paul (R.).

No other Democrat came near Clinton’s totals. Running second to her in the competition for Pentagon contractors’ cash was Senator Chris Dodd (D-Conn), who raised $13,200, almost all from executives of General Dynamics which has a major submarine building facility in Groton, Conn.

Former Senator John Edwards (D-N. Car.) raised $12,200 and Illinois Senator Barack Obama (D) took in $10,000.

Clinton’s major industry benefactors - donors who gave the $4,600 maximum allowed by law — include Roger A. Crone, Boeing’s president of Network and Space Systems; Stanley Roth, Boeing’s Vice President for Asia, International Relations, $4,600; Anne Sullivan, a Raytheon attorney; William Lynn, Raytheon’s Senior Vice President for Government Relations; and Michele Kang, Northrop Grumman Vice President for health science solutions.

Battle brewing between Pirate Bay, recording industry over IFPI domain coup


The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry has taken up a new battle against pirates, but this one is different than previous legal pursuits. The UK-based organization acts as the worldwide arm for the music recording industry, but as widely reported, it apparently forgot to renew its .com top-level domain in time before it got snatched up by one of its top targets, The Pirate Bay. While the IFPI still retains control of, now points to a Pirate Bay page that reads: "International Federation of Pirates Interests." The two sides are now preparing for a fight over the domain, and we talked to the parties involved.

Screenshot of the current

The switch came about sometime last week, when Pirate Bay was given the domain by someone who had bought it after it expired some time ago, The Pirate Bay's Peter Sunde told Ars. A quick look through shows that the "real" IFPI has not been using the domain for some time—in March of this year, the domain was a parked page with a Google search box, and as recently as April, it was being used as a blog for the "free music community."

An account of the events from IFPI spokesperson Laura Childs appears to confirm this. "IFPI's website continues to operate as normal. The web site was acquired by a cyber-squatter who appears to have passed it on to an associate of The Pirate Bay," she told Ars. "IFPI has already taken legal action to get the domain returned. We have filed a complaint at the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) under the dispute resolution procedure. This procedure is designed for classic cyber-squatting cases such as this which involve the use of a URL in bad faith."

Indeed, the WIPO introduced new dispute resolution procedures in 2002 to account for cybersquatting. The procedure involves a review by WIPO-appointed, independent panelists in order to enforce ICANN's Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy. If the panel decides that the domain was acquired or used in bad faith, then it can order the domain to be transferred to the party that registered the complaint. (For curious readers, a number of past cases and related decisions can be found on WIPO's website.)

Given WIPO and ICANN's definition of "bad faith"—which says that the domain cannot be used to cause confusion with the "Complainant's mark"—there's a decent chance of The Pirate Bay eventually losing control of the domain. But if Pirate Bay can fight back and prove somehow that it has no commercial interests or intent to confuse visitors with the "real" IFPI site, it might have a chance at succeeding.

"We have not done anything illegal or even immoral," Sunde told Ars. "I can't see why we shouldn't be able to keep the domain name. We're not going to bash IFPI on it, we're going to host our own IFPI on it," he said.