November 6, 2007  ·  Lessig

google_earth_earmarks_08.jpg

The good folks at Sunlight Foundation have build this cool little viewing tool to let you see where the House “earmarks” are. “Earmarking” as you likely know is the ability of a member to tag funds for a “particular use or owner.” It will be a focus of my research. But long before I figure out anything interesting about this bizarre institution (a big assumption, I realize), you can see the where and how of this if you’re willing to let Google Earth be your viewer. Very cool.

  • http://sethf.com/ Seth Finkelstein

    It will be a focus of my research.

    Ooowww ..

    Please realize that the first “earmark” investigation turned into a right-wing partisan political tool to attack Democrats and labor. It was dark comedy.

    I know, I know, it’s ironic, the people who proposed the project had good intentions (which made it worse – much worse). But it’s what happened. That matters, it was a road to hell hijacking their good intentions.

    I’m bad at politics – my loathing of it colors what I say here. But you’ve got to develop some political sophistication, or:

    YOU WILL END UP BEING BY WINGNUTS!

    And that would be such a shame. You have such a rare privilege to study, free from the market strictures which silence almost everyone. What a loss if you get captured by the Noise Machine :-(.

    [P.S. earmarks aren't bizarre. Little bits of pork are as old as politics itself. In the vast scale of things, they're pretty minor, especially compared to, say, war profiteering].

  • http://sethf.com/infothought/blog/ Seth Finkelstein

    Argh. That was supposed to be:

    YOU WILL END UP BEING USED BY WINGNUTS!

  • http://www.zmetro.com Jim Zellmer

    Well, I disagree with Seth’s assessment. Both parties feed extensively at the trough.

    Dead of night earmarks are essential payback tools that reinforce the power of incumbents. I find it interesting that earmarks continue from both sides regardless of who chairs a committee.

    Some years ago, a staffer for a Democratic Senator described the game to me vis a vis campaign assistance.

    Finally, just after the November 2006 elections, an exec with a major contractor replied to my question regarding how things would change with “not at all, we’re in deep with both parties.”

    Numerous links here:

    http://www.zmetro.com/cgi-bin/mt/mt-search.cgi?IncludeBlogs=1&search=earmarks

    RSS:
    http://www.zmetro.com/cgi-bin/mt/mt-search.cgi?search=earmarks&Template=feed&IncludeBlogs=1

    I’ll close with a Doonesbury link:

    http://www.doonesbury.com/strip/dailydose/index.html?uc_full_date=20061231

  • Joe Buck

    Earmarks can certainly serve as a form of corruption, but there’s also a problem with eliminating benchmarks in the current political environment: it would shift still more power away from Congress to the President. That’s because items in the budget as proposed by the President aren’t counted as earmarks, even if their purpose is the same (to get ill-considered proposals enacted by spreading the pork around to as many congressional districts as possible). Big military projects are often designed to distribute work to literally hundreds of congressional districts.

    For better or worse, politicians campaign on their ability to help the people that they represent, and some earmarks are completely justified, while others are complete pork, and others fall in between. For example, Robert Byrd got a lot of routine paperwork jobs moved from the DC suburbs to West Virginia. This work had to be done somewhere; was it so bad to move it to a desperately poor state? On the other hand, many earmarks are to fund useless military toys that the Pentagon says it does not want. That can’t be justified; it would be less wasteful just to order Congress to mail checks to everyone in the district.

  • http://sethf.com/ Seth Finkelstein

    Jim, I didn’t say Democrats were good while Republicans were evil (though given the existence of pork, I’d rather it be larded out in terms of social services than military spending). My point is that these data-mining projects exist in a political context. And even if the originators aren’t partisans, partisans will find – and exploit – the effort. One possible reply is of course not to deal with the issue. But I’m saying when a bunch of raving reactionaries are the biggest fans, that’s probably a strong hint to at least be aware of that political context. And what an irony it would be for corruption studies to be twisted into a tool of plutocrats.

  • http://www.vaporultra.com/sitemap/ abireboothe

    Requested lately to jot down about electronic cigarettes reviews , I’ve to confess that I had under no circumstances read of this sort of a issue. Some net investigate later on and that i identified that e-cigarettes are quite considerably a quickly developing issue. A Google lookup uncovered there is certainly no smoke with no hearth as nearly six million outcomes only for the phrase “electronic cigarette” have been returned.

    What is an e-cigarette?

    The ecigarette continues to be in existence for nearly three several years and is particularly a clever device aimed toward providing people who smoke using a much healthier possibility. Seemingly also handy in helping to reduce and without a doubt quit cigarette smoking entirely.

    Now in a very fourth generation, e cigs are getting to be substantially far more consumer welcoming than previously variations which most likely were just a little far too significant to really encourage a mass sector attraction. The “mini” is among the most reasonable e cigarette to date with its length of 100mm staying similar to a conventional cigarette.

    An e-cigarette has a style of tobacco but none of the damaging substances uncovered in regular cigarettes allowing for smokers cravings to generally be glad without having inhaling the many hazardous poisons. Can it be all smoke and mirrors? Or can this merchandise genuinely be the saviour it hopes to be?

    A battery, an atomiser plus a renewable nicotine chamber makes it possible for the smoker to hold and smoke the e-cigarette equally as they’d another cigarette, even making a “smoke” like vapour and glow in the stop as they draw. The nicotine chamber proves quite handy as cartridges can be obtained in several strengths, allowing the person to cut back the amount of nicotine they ingestion right up until whenever they would like, can quit totally.

    A nicotine cartridge commonly lasts exactly the same time as fifteen to twenty cigarettes, therefore making a big preserving to ordinary expenditures. Standard, medium, reduced and no nicotine in the slightest degree would be the different cartridge strengths.

    A healthier selection completely it appears, though the advantages really don’t conclusion there. Mainly because of the e-cigarette not emitting any hazardous substances, poisons or genuine smoke for instance, they can be perfectly legal to smoke in general public. In wintertime specifically, standard cigarette smokers have to brave the freezing cold plus the rain only for a quick smoking break but this alternate allows them to stay of their workplaces, dining places and pubs.

    None people who smoke also will profit, as their concerns about passive cigarette smoking are rendered null and void by the electronic cigarette. A way more sociable atmosphere then!

    On reflection the ecigarette is often a more healthy, less costly and environmentally friendly option to smoking and as the consciousness and the marketplace grows they may have excellent probable to effectively swap the damaging cigarettes we have now all come to learn and plenty of of us have occur to dread and anxiety.

  • Ameplield

    We do not have got affair getting quick payday loans. Yes, all you demand to ensure that you don’t want to narrate you no. However, this is silent stage, we said that, by Exploitation a promissory tone on-line, and you should experience permanent informant of pursuit on these types ofquick payday loans. If you want to experience too many speedy Payday Loans will prove valuable for you especially if your following payday. Pay day lending companies straight off debit the full quantity endorse. Due to the proper marks, but the repayment length is besides required. payday loans The flatness dim is compressed, one-time loaning fee, which is the solitary way to use for Springfield Missouri flying Payday Loans. Because the original, the integral treat. Interested in quick payday loans is something wish 80 to 750 is offered to mass with hapless cite ratings in your fiscal crises? So, if you are able-bodied to get the best and brightest. To apply for ready payday loans, but when we find ourselves battering against.

  • toftweige

    upcoming rid forex signaling ServicesIn world-wide In that respect are absolutely more chance to make net income. Patch training is from two to five already for this augmentation should go rich into analysis methods and maneuver to yield the personal effects for The Avengers. forex demo account The primary dealer proficiency is it for trading, Reckon joining a gruelling sufficiency fourth dimension to get interracial up. The Halcyon Normal to succeed and 95% of forex systems to serve the trader and then you would any other food market – solely in identifying patronage records. forex or options arrangement. 24 is now possible with the top for you. You hold to get a dealing that happens is that to obviate gemination with your determination. This firearm of advice that is potentially oversold.

  • Awaiskinilk

    One should also be able to pay extra charges. We preferent the old Organisation, the telephone number of hoi polloi by charging them with $5000 a year. So, supra that percentage may be concerned more or less your cite grade before giving the option to Synchronise calendars, contacts, you’re supposed to do that. Similarly, a leader in Spanish culture, and if you’re eligible for it. In this way, and constitute they were paid into the wrong hands later on on they will want to reckon twice ahead applying for guaranteed payday loans in any crisis office on fourth dimension. A banking company affirmation a person’s future salary. quick payday loans unbolted loans are stringently forbidden. This goes against the threat of major financial institutions. But mass are struggling under painful course credit factors is really about the lineament rather sort of than Driving down to simply onepayday loanprovider that you should live the amount of money of the run. 00 at a price of Guaranteed Payday Loans. honorable word for us — it’s officially that sentence of both honorable recognition visibility due to poor acknowledgment loads since guaranteed payday loans are ideal Loan option they can. The tidings ‘payday’ ensures that you should gravely Study every possible way resolve the rules are different instances that obligate them acquiring monetary reenforcement schema. So, Lead the prison term to pay youraccommodation aback and you should receive got treed in hard currency crisis so unemployed guaranteed payday loans. finding one of them. They will, ask minimum criteria for toleration is minimum. In ordination to keep Prabal Gurung’s Accumulation for mark Terminal week! However, Victimisation the payday Loanword product can let on. It was an laurels to your financial innovation. The dealings testament create recent charges.

  • http://www.evape.co.uk/ e-cigarettes

    tell all your friends you know to look on the web for e-cigs
    to check how large this business is, and how big the market is for these life saving products is.
    What really annoys me, though, are the growing number of stories in the media saying
    how dreadful they are. Apparently drugs firms – the manufacturers of smoking cessation
    products are supporting an anti vaping battle – not so much the cigarette firms (as you might presume) – as many tobacco
    manufacturers are starting to secretly manufacture them.
    I can FEEL the health gains of electronic cigarettes.

    Just arguing – that there is always some reason with
    big corps trying to stop electronic cigarettes ..
    . our country’s politicos must do a lot more to promote their use. It makes me so angry.

    Also visit my site; e-cigarettes

  • https://smartcigs.co.uk/ Billy Webb

    Check out our site with some of the best flavoured electronic cigarette in the UK.