A Laboratory Story
The Trade Balance and Consumption Growth

Intellectual Garbage Cleanup (Why Oh Why Can't We Have a Better Press Corps?)

The American Prospect performs a public service--one that the Washington Post would have long ago performed, were it a real newspaper:

American Prospect Online - Dems Don't Know Jack : The analysis, which was commissioned by The American Prospect and completed on Jan. 25, was done by Dwight L. Morris and Associates, a for-profit firm specializing in campaign finance that has done research for many media outlets.... Although Abramoff hasn't personally given to any Democrats, Republicans, including officials with the GOP campaign to hold on to the Senate, have seized on the donations of his tribal clients as proof that the saga is a bipartisan scandal.... [T]he ombudsman for The Washington Post, Deborah Howell, ignited a firestorm by wrongly asserting that Abramoff had given to both. She eventually amended her assessment, writing that Abramoff "directed his client Indian tribes to make campaign contributions to members of Congress from both parties." But the Morris and Associates analysis... shows that... when Abramoff took on his tribal clients, the majority of them dramatically ratcheted up donations to Republicans. Meanwhile, donations to Democrats from the same clients either dropped, remained largely static or, in two cases, rose by a far smaller percentage than the ones to Republicans did.... [W]hatever money went to Democrats, rather than having been steered by Abramoff, may have largely been money the tribes would have given anyway....

in total, the donations of Abramoff's tribal clients to Democrats dropped by nine percent... while their donations to Republicans more than doubled.... Abramoff's clients gave well over twice as much to Republicans than Democrats, while tribes not affiliated with Abramoff gave well over twice as much to Democrats than the GOP -- exactly the reverse pattern.... Bloomberg News published a similar, more limited analysis last month, which relied on a small amount of data also from Morris's firm.... The Prospect asked Morris to do two things: First, compare the contributions of all of Abramoff's tribal clients before they'd signed on with Abramoff versus after they'd become his client. And second, compare the contributions of all Abramoff tribal clients with the contributions of all non-Abramoff tribes.

Meanwhile, the Washington Post "stands by its reporting that Jack Abramoff directed campaign money to some Democrats."