Morning Links

Tuesday, August 16th, 2011

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41 Responses to “Morning Links”

  1. #1 |  Stephen | 

    That chart doesn’t surprise me at all.

  2. #2 |  marco73 | 

    I’m surprised that the chart shows even any percentage going to Republicans from the Unions. Must have been a screw up in the Union direct deposit to the DNC account. I’m sure they’ll fix it.

  3. #3 |  TomG | 

    #2 marco73 – I’m not at all surprised. The chart is not broken into states or counties. I’d bet that in heavily red districts, unions definitely contribute to Republicans…out of self-interest. If your organization will benefit from state or local laws, you help out whichever political party is dominant – even when it’s Republican – so that the law favors you.

  4. #4 |  fldoubleu | 

    The only part of the chart that surprised me was #19 The United Parcel Service 37% Dem and 62% Rep. I am sure the UPS employees union donated to the dems.

  5. #5 |  Whim | 

    Thanks to The Daily Caller, we learned in July 2010 about the far-flung left-wing conspiracy called JournoList, a listserv of approximately 400 self-serving so-called journalists, pundits, consultants, academics, and assorted blogger failures, of whom we have clear documentation that within MINUTES of the selection of Gov. Sarah Palin to be Senator John McCain’s 2008 running mate, were actively conspiring and coordinating talking points to DESTROY her with partisan, malicious zeal.

    It’s on the record…..

  6. #6 |  Boyd Durkin | 


    In the decade since the Sept. 11 attacks, the annual defense budget has more than doubled to $700 billion and annual defense industry profits have nearly quadrupled, approaching $25 billion last year.

    With the Bi-Partisan Debt Committee, there’s no way we’ll have another decade like that.

  7. #7 |  Mattocracy | 

    From what I’ve seen on the web, especially in the comments at the AS, Palin’s supporters seem to just deny that any of her faux pas have ever happened at all.

  8. #8 |  Highway | 

    The reaction of commenters at The American Spectator is just more Team BS, tho. The article points out something that Palin did, and what’s the immediate reaction?

    “Well, Obama’s just as bad!”

    Noone even bothers to try and explain why what Palin did was ok, or make an excuse for it, anywhere beyond a tu qoque fallacy.

  9. #9 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    How is “extensively raising goats in all families” Anti-US propaganda? That’s just a damn good idea.

  10. #10 |  DarkEFang | 

    #5 Whim –

    Also on the record are all the dumb things Palin said and did that they planned to use against her.

  11. #11 |  Yizmo Gizmo | 

    So the Big Business Party has become so kooky even Big Business
    won’t touch em? Maybe Jesus will throw in some sympathy bucks.

  12. #12 |  fldoubleu | 

    Yizmo, is the Big Business Party the democrats or the republicans? I can’t tell.

  13. #13 |  WWJGD | 

    That list proves one undeniable truth: AT&T is damn evil.

  14. #14 |  Jim | 

    RE: The Chart
    What about contributions to political PACs? How does this chart track those and classify them as Republican or Democratic? It is my impression that in today’s world, this is how much of the contribution work today in order to prevent people from knowing who is donating to whom. If the chart does not track those contributions, then it is wildly in accurate and misleading.

  15. #15 |  Eric | 

    That chart fascinates me. I am a lawyer that does outsourcing contracts for traditionally municipal governmental services. Our business has more than once faced nasty PR campaigns from AFSCME (the #2 donor on the list) against us taking over projects, with much of the invective focused on our alleged “big business” political connections and insinuations that we have bought our way into jobs.

    They are remarkably good at controlling the message of the campaigns to make them “concerned citizens fighting for the integrity of public infrastructure” rather than “concerned public employees fighting for the continuation of their benefits and job security.” I wish that the general public had a better understanding of just how well-funded and politically active these unions were.

  16. #16 |  ClubMedSux | 

    #8 | Highway | August 16th, 2011 at 9:48 am

    The reaction of commenters at The American Spectator is just more Team BS, tho. The article points out something that Palin did, and what’s the immediate reaction?

    “Well, Obama’s just as bad!”

    That’s the essence of the two party system. It’s one huge race to the bottom.

  17. #17 |  Mattocracy | 

    Once again The Onion gives the most accurate political commentary on the planet.,21135/

  18. #18 |  joshgeek | 

    Re: the chart
    12 unions, 2 corporations, and 6 professional associations. As a Wisconsin resident not suffering from Walker derangement syndrome, those numbers are a riot. I’m definitely sharing that.

  19. #19 |  phlinn | 

    The chart was not new to me. I remember seeing it a couple of years ago. The average totals were wrong though. The poster averaged the percentages instead of calculating totals to generate a percentage of overall cash. Doing it correctly (mulitplying all percents by the total giving for that donor, summing, then dividing by the total of all given) yielded 77% to Republicans and 18% to Democrats. Extending to the full chart from Open Secrets of the top 140 drops it to 59.65 and 38%.

  20. #20 |  Aresen | 

    One of the saddest commentaries on the on the Danziger bridge shootings is that only the fact that two of the victims were from a wealthy, well-connected family made it possible to break the Blue Wall.

  21. #21 |  jb | 

    “The reaction of commenters at The American Spectator is just more Team BS, tho. The article points out something that Palin did, and what’s the immediate reaction?

    “Well, Obama’s just as bad!”

    Noone even bothers to try and explain why what Palin did was ok, or make an excuse for it, anywhere beyond a tu qoque fallacy.”

    They’re right, Obama is bad (I would argue Palin is far worse, there’s a difference between being wrong and being utterly ignorant). The fallacy is that saying “the other side is bad” addresses the problem. If the other side is just as bad, then we need to throw out both sides, not settle for the somewhat less crappy version (once again, I would hold my nose and vote Obama, but I’d need to hold my nose with both hands to vote Palin and thus couldn’t manage to pull the lever).

  22. #22 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    The nice thing about the Danzinger convictions what happened to Sergeant Arthur Kaufman who was assigned to produce a white-washed report. He eagerly took the assignment, produced a POS report, and now got convicted with the rest of the corrupt asshole cops.

    Rot in hell, Arthur Kaufman. Rot in hell.

  23. #23 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    Deroy Murdock needs his Wiki page updatd with Danzinger info. Time for him to go into another line of work.

  24. #24 |  TX Swede | 

    #9 & #22

    I just love me some Boyd Durkin!

  25. #25 |  Greg C | 

    Unless I’m thinking of the wrong guy, I remember Deroy Murdock being touted by some libertarian/Libertarian groups as being one of those “celebrity” libertarians. I believe he has been paid to speak at official LP events as well. I hope that isn’t the case anymore.

  26. #26 |  Mendelism | 


    That can’t be right. I haven’t done the calculations but just looking at the chart and running the numbers in my head… unless you meant 77% to Democrats?

  27. #27 |  SJE | 

    I wonder if the NOLA cops will petition all the way to the Supreme Court to get it overturned, just like the NOLA prosecutors did for wrongfully imprisoning people.

  28. #28 |  Danny | 

    The chart underscores the essential wrong-headedness of constitutionalizing legalized bribery under the First Amendment.

    Labor unions and for-profit corporations are artificial, legally-created entities with narrow purposes: aggregating and coordinating labor and capital, respectively. They should have no business messing in political financing.

    Individual shareholders and individual labor union members should be allowed to participate in the political process with campaign donations all they want, but there is no necessity — let alone constitutional necessity — in having labor bosses or corporate executives expending resources on political campaigns when said resources should be directed at profit-making and collective bargaining in the marketplace. Political payouts should be “ultra vires” for unions and corporations alike.

  29. #29 |  phlinn | 

    Err… yes, I had those numbers reversed. 77% to D. If our host could correct my earlier comment, that would be awsome.

  30. #30 |  Irving Washington | 

    Greenfield is right about the dash cam case, of course, but he and everyone else who has reported on this needs to stop calling it the Texas Court of Appeals. It’s the Third District Court of Appeals, and it’s an intermediate appellate court that serves the area around Austin. Its opinion is not binding on 13/14ths of the state’s courts.

  31. #31 |  patrick | 

    Just a note that the chart is not the whole story. For example, the carpe diem post you links to points out that Koch Industries only spent $9.5 million from ’89-’10, but a separate Open Secrets article ( estimates Koch brother political spending at closer to $61 million, excluding money given to charities, think tanks, state candidates, etc. This has to do with what type of giving is included in the heavy hitters list, which I believe is mostly contributions to campaigns (independent expenditures, for example are detailed in a different list).

  32. #32 |  Cyto | 

    What’s interesting to me about the dash cam case is the dichotomy to normal mortals’ experience with the law. If any of the rest of us are served notice, or even have reason to believe that we will be involved in legal action, we are required to retain all related documents. In business you have to have a document retention policy for everything you create, just for such an eventuality. And as soon as you are notified of legal action you have to start preserving any and all documents – even absent a court order.

    But if you are the police you can destroy evidence even when given written notice, because you personally didn’t believe it had any evidentiary value. And still be given the large benefit of the doubt as to your version of events. In normal discourse the fact that you destroyed the tape of the events would immediately place your version of events in serious doubt.

  33. #33 |  Highway | 

    patrick, are you asserting that that overall spending is a *completely different trend* from federal-stage spending? And that organizations like AFSCME, the NEA, and SEIU don’t also contribute heavily to state candidates? Because without the context of what those organizations spend to charities, think tanks, state candidates, etc, it’s not a meaningful comparison.

  34. #34 |  Highway | 


    In normal discourse the fact that you destroyed the tape of the events would immediately place your version of events in serious doubt.

    … in addition to involving you in whole new classes of crimes for which you will be prosecuted.

  35. #35 |  Jesse | 

    The chart doesn’t much surprise me either. Virtually every democrat-leaning contributor is trying to get government to use coercive power to extract money/benefits either from the taxpayers or from private businesses.

    The few that lean Republican are obviously just corporatists trying to hamstring their competition.

  36. #36 |  the innominate one | 

    Maybe I’m off, but my calculations are 81% D:19% R.

    The unions don’t seem to be getting much bang for their buck.

  37. #37 |  Matt | 

    #32 & #34, I would also note that when an individual is beset by a cop, that individual’s life is in grave danger because of what the cop *doesn’t* know about that person, and when a cop pulls a Jennings what that cop *doesn’t* know gives him a pass.

    There is no limit to what any person *doesn’t* know. How did that fact become a viable defense for thug cops but not for a man like Cory Maye, who rotted in jail for a decade because he didn’t know the home-invaders were cops?

  38. #38 |  Sean L. | 

    That Dems receive the lion’s share of political contributions. After all, Dems are, as a group, are more likely to enact laws that help their contributors.

    So long as Reps and Dems continue to promote big government, this chart should even out.

  39. #39 |  buzz | 

    “The reaction of commenters at The American Spectator is just more Team BS, tho. The article points out something that Palin did, and what’s the immediate reaction?

    “Well, Obama’s just as bad!””

    I went 36 comments deep and found 2 people that brought up Obama as comparison. I found as many comments that dispute she has ever been a target of the media, that she has a drug problem, that her family all have drug problems, etc. So essentially the article proves that she is just a thin skinned as any other politician about the media. Ergo, she is a idiot. Uh, plus Balko disagrees politically with her. Which makes her a idiot by default.

  40. #40 |  Andrei Vfeked | 

    UPS: What can brown, blue, yellow, red and green do for you?

  41. #41 |  patrick | 


    The article I linked to mixes in several other forms of spending in that miscellaneous category of charity, think tank, and state-level issues. I thought it would be misleading to include sizable contributions to, for example, medical charities in a discussion of spending on political candidates. Obviously, a lot of the spending in that category is relevant, but I wasn’t going to try to dig through the data to tease it out.