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Oracle founder donated $250,000 to Graham PAC in final days of TikTok deal

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Oracle CEO Larry Ellison donated $250,000 to a super PAC supporting Sen. Lindsey Graham’s (R-SC) reelection campaign as his company closed in on a coveted position as TikTok’s US technology partner.

FEC documents show that Ellison made the $250,000 donation to the Security is Strength PAC on September 14th. The Security is Strength PAC has bought ads exclusively in support of Graham’s political ambitions, including his 2015 presidential campaign and his current reelection bid for the US Senate.

It’s an unusually large donation for Ellison, who also donated $5,200 to Graham’s Majority Fund in January. The timing of the larger donation is also remarkable, coming mere hours after Oracle officially announced that it had been chosen as TikTok’s technology partner for its US operations, beating out Microsoft in a high-profile bidding process to save the popular video app.

Oracle’s arrangement with TikTok was applauded by Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, but drew criticism from China hawks in both parties, who saw it as failing to address the long-standing concerns over ties between TikTok’s parent company ByteDance and the Chinese government. At the same time, the arrangement was a potential windfall for Oracle, which was set to receive a significant contract from the embattled app.

Sen. Graham was reportedly pivotal in arranging the deal, although it’s unclear if he had any influence over the specific companies involved. In an interview with Vanity Fair in August, Graham said that he personally called Trump to suggest that he find a US company to purchase the platform in order to remedy the administration’s concerns over the app’s relationship with China. “Let Microsoft or somebody buy it, put it in American hands and allow the platform to survive and thrive because so many people enjoy it,” Sen. Graham said he told Trump over the summer.

“If TikTok is saved, you can thank me,” he said.

Graham continued to cheer on the deal as it proceeded. On the day the agreement was announced, the senator tweeted, “Great decision by President Trump to approve the sale of TikTok to Oracle and Walmart. Great for American consumers who are being protected from the Chinese Communist Party.” He continued, “Well done, Mr. President.”

The deal stalled in the days following the donation, failing to close before the deadline imposed by the president. When that deadline arrived, the Commerce Department attempted to block transactions to TikTok’s parent company, only to be halted by a preliminary injunction as part of the ongoing federal case against the order.

Graham is currently locked in a tight race for reelection to the US Senate for South Carolina against Democratic opponent Jaime Harrison. On Thursday, Politico reported that the three-term senator has a narrow lead against Harrison among likely voters, 46 percent to 40 percent. Still, Harrison raised $57 million in the third quarter of this year, dwarfing Graham’s $28 million.

Graham’s campaign did not respond to a request for comment from The Verge Friday evening.

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Keep That Hotdish Hot With 65% Off a Luncia Casserole Carrier, Only $11 With Promo Code

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Best Home DealsBest Home DealsThe best home, kitchen, smart home, and automotive deals from around the web, updated daily.

Luncia Double-Decker Dish Carrier | $11 | Amazon | Promo code SDDU9S7F

It has been a long time since the days we could safely have a potluck or other gatherings, but we have a fantastic deal perfect for once those times return. These double-decker Luncia dish carriers can be had for 65% off when you add promo code SDDU9S7F at checkout and clip the coupon on the site (it’s just below the price). These holders fit 9″x 13″ sized baking dishes.

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That means you can insulate and keep two dishes of food warm for only $11 instead of $30. What’s more, your Luncia carrier will arrive by Christmas if you order today as a Prime member.

Just add promo code SDDU9S7F and clip the 5% off coupon to bring the price down to $11 for the blue or the grey option.

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Grab this offer while it’s still around!


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Conquer Your Pup’s Dander and Fur With $700 Off a Cobalt or Charcoal Bobsweep PetHair Plus Robot Vacuum

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Best Home DealsBest Home DealsThe best home, kitchen, smart home, and automotive deals from around the web, updated daily.

Bobsweep PetHair Plus Robot Vacuum & Mop (Cobalt) | $200 | Best Buy

Bobsweep PetHair Plus Robot Vacuum & Mop (Charcoal) | $200 | Best Buy

Allergies can be bad enough as the seasons change. Don’t let pet hair and dander add to that by vacuuming it up early and often. That chore is easier said than done— unless you have a robot vacuum to do the work for you. This lovely bright cobalt Bobsweep PetHair Plus robot vacuum and mop, only $200 today at Best Buy seems like an ideal option. That’s a whopping $700 off, by the way.

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You can get the same deal for the charcoal version of the robot vac, too. This model is not only specially made for picking up pet hair, it self docks and charges when it’s finished with the work.

It also comes with a mop attachment, so it can take care of those kitchen floors for you as well. Grab it while it’s still available for this fantastic price!

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Apple will replace AirPods Pro for free with faulty noise cancellation, static or crackling

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Today, exactly one year after Apple first launched the AirPods Pro — and thus the same day the very first AirPods Pro owners will see their one-year warranties expire — Apple has launched a repair program that offers free repairs or replacements for another whole year if your AirPods Pro experience issues with noise cancellation or static.

Specifically, Apple will fix:

Crackling or static sounds that increase in loud environments, with exercise or while talking on the phone

Active Noise Cancellation not working as expected, such as a loss of bass sound, or an increase in background sounds, such as street or airplane noise

Apple says only a “small percentage of AirPods Pro” are affected by the issues, but it apparently wasn’t just an early batch — Apple says affected units were manufactured “before October 2020,” meaning every AirPods Pro ever made might be eligible. That’s quite a recall if so. Apple says it will repair faulty AirPods Pro for two years after you first buy them.

We’ve heard complaints about degraded noise cancellation before, and at least one Verge editor has replaced their AirPods Pro under warranty. It’s nice to hear that Apple isn’t just cutting buyers off as soon as that warranty expires.

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