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  • FREELANCERS AND TEAM...

    FREELANCERS AND TEAM PLAYERS. Matt has some useful thoughts on the difference between a freelance crook, like Bill Jefferson personally enriching himself through abuse of his office, and the kind of systemic, institutional corruption practiced by the Republican congressional majority and typified by the major corruption scandals on that side of the aisle. ( Rahm Emanuel was obviously spinning but also happened to be accurate in laying out the distinction here: "One is a party outlook and operation; the other is an individual's action.") I'd just add the prosaic point that in the early days of the Duke Cunningham revelations -- back when Josh Marshall seemed to be pushing the story on a lark and papers outside of San Diego weren't paying it much mind -- it certainly seemed like that was a much more eccentric and isolated story of wrongdoing, along the lines of Jefferson. That is, easy pickings for Democrats trying to make political hay out of a Republican "culture of corruption," but...
  • WHO'S NEXT? Kevin...

    WHO'S NEXT? Kevin Drum pointedly asks the right (and wry) question about The Times ' data-driven reporting on power couples: "Who's next?" I'd like to see some data on President and Laura Bush , for one, and how many weekends they spent together over the past year, despite living in the same house and same city. Maybe then we can move on to Sen. Chuck Schumer , who lives on Capitol Hill with a group of other congressmen, returning to see his wife and kids in New York on weekends. Or maybe a better point of comparison would be Sen. John McCain , since his website says, "He and his wife, Cindy, reside in Phoenix." How often does he get out there to see her, again? And how often does she visit him in Washington? --Garance Franke-Ruta
  • IMPRESSIVE. There's a...

    IMPRESSIVE. There's a lot of blogosphere outrage, including here at TAPPED, about this morning's New York Times story on Hillary Clinton 's marriage . I'm not so sure there should be. This story answers an essential question for Hillary-watchers, and knocks down one of the major raps against her as a candidate, the allegation that she is a coldly calculating person so ambitious she stayed in a sham marriage just so she could run for President one day. So, as much as she and her staff and her supporters may hate this story, I think they should be grateful for it. It has never previously been reported that she and Bill spend so much time together. Their carefully calculated public distance has created an impression that they prefer to keep each other at arms' length; this story knocks that down: Since the start of 2005, the Clintons have been together about 14 days a month on average, according to aides who reviewed the couple's schedules. Sometimes it is a full day of relaxing at home...
  • MORE ANALYSIS THAN...

    MORE ANALYSIS THAN YOU EVER WANTED ON THIS TOPIC. In regards to the morning's big Clinton story, it really is all a matter of emphasis. As Matt notes , the actual article spends most of its time hinting that the Clinton's don't have much sex (I'll get back to this in a moment). The piece admits that, since the start of 2005, the Clintons have seen each other, on average, 14 days out of every month. Also since the start of 2005, Bill Clinton has quarterbacked a multibillion-dollar foundation and ran the government's response to the tsunami while Hillary has kicked her traveling into high gear to prepare for her presidential bid. And yet they still manage to see each other almost one out of every two days. That could be easily spun as a story of dedication and determination -- "Despite Heavy Schedules, Clintons Make Time For Marriage." But let's talk about the sex . The average adult has sex about once a week, or 58 times a year, a number that's held steady since about 1988. The average...
  • Washington Post Still Believes in Mexico's Post-NAFTA Growth Miracle

    It is now 36 days since the Washington Po st published an article that reported that Mexico's economy has grown at a world record 17.5 percent annual rate since NAFTA was implemented in 1994. (According to IMF data, annual growth averaged 2.9 percent.) They have refused to print a correction despite repeated calls and e-mails from my colleagues at CEPR. The Post has a very strong policy on correcting errors, which was printed in a recent column by the ombudsman ("Policy vs. Reality in Correcting Errors" 5-7-06; B 6): "The Washington Post is committed to correcting all errors that appear in the newspaper, just as we are committed to the kind of careful journalism that will minimize the number of errors we print. Preventing and correcting mistakes are two sides of the coin of our realm: accuracy. Accuracy is our goal, and candor is our defense." -- The Post Stylebook As I noted before, the Post had taken a strong editorial stand in support on NAFTA. I will allow them to explain this...
  • WHAT A BEAUTIFUL...

    WHAT A BEAUTIFUL GLASS HOUSE YOU HAVE! To follow up on Matt 's post about Ramesh Ponnuru 's complaints that we, among others, won't review a book that we haven't been sent review copies for, I just did a search on a book I quite like: The Medical Malpractice Myth , by Tom Baker . Baker is a law professor at the University of Connecticut and one of the nation's foremost authorities on insurance issues. His book calmly and methodically deconstructs the hysteria over malpractice, showing, quite convincingly, that the premiums are related to the boom/bust cycle of the insurance industry, that the lawsuits generally have merit, and that malpractice itself is exponentially more prevalent than malpractice lawsuits. It does not sell itself on the strength of Ann Coulter or Ward Churchill 's blurb, and its title does not accuse one of America's two major parties of being pro-death. It is, in short, a more serious, thoughtful book by a more credentialed author, one who not only sent out review...
  • A BLOG BY...

    A BLOG BY ANY OTHER NAME. I'm glad Judith Warner is back as a TimesSelect bonus feature, but what's the deal with the blurb they've given her? Judith Warner: "Domestic Disturbances" The author's blog on modern parenting returns and will now appear every Friday." If it appears once a week on a regular schedule, that's a column, wouldn't you say? Worse, if you read it , you'll see that the most recent "post" was on May 18 . Since that's my birthday, I happen to recall clearly that that was Thursday , not Friday. The previous column was on May 11. They come out Thursday night , not Friday. Obviously, in the print world a story that closes Thursday night goes in the Friday paper, but on the Web, Thursday is Thursday is Thursday and there's no getting around it. --Matthew Yglesias
  • WHY NOT JUST...

    WHY NOT JUST ASK? Ace New York Times reporter Patrick Healy delivers a big scoop on the Clinton family marriage. Take this shocking revelation: Since the start of 2005, the Clintons have been together about 14 days a month on average, according to aides who reviewed the couple's schedules. Sometimes it is a full day of relaxing at home in Chappaqua; sometimes it is meeting up late at night. At their busiest, they saw each other on a single day, Valentine's Day, in February 2005 -- a month when each was traveling a great deal. Last August, they saw each other at some point on 24 out of 31 days. Out of the last 73 weekends, they spent 51 together. The aides declined to provide the Clintons' private schedule. Atrios wants to hit the hypocrisy button and wonders where the articles are pondering the sex lives of prominent Republicans. Frankly, I'd like to know why Healy can't just drop the silly insinuations and faux investigative methods. Both Clintons have official spokespersons, just...
  • What if Money Managers Had to Work for a Living?

    The Times had an article this morning about the effort by stock exchanges to merge across international borders. At one point, it comments about fears that this trend could make it easier for companies to shop among stock markets in order to list their shares in the country with the least restrictive accounting and reporting rules. This is a reasonable concern. It is a safe bet that if companies can evade regulations that cost them money, they will. But, there is a very important implicit assumption in this story which is worth noting, that investors don't value the regulations that impose high standards for corporate accounting. This is probably an accurate assumption, but one that deserves to be examined more closely. The Sarbanes-Oxley Act, and other examples of regulatory tightening, was prompted by massive fraud at companies like Enron, WorldCom, and Global Crossing. These companies were able to get away with their fraud because money managers that control billions of dollars of...
  • JUST POSTED ON...

    JUST POSTED ON TAP: WHO�S YOUR DADDY PARTY. Francis Wilkinson �s cover article on the end of the GOP masculinity monopoly is now online. The rest of the June issue is also available, and subscribers who prefer to print out the magazine can download the PDF here . --The Editors

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