Saturday, December 27, 2008

Borrowed Time

The New York Times describes the short-lived pardon of Isaac Toussie, when it was revealed that his father, Robert Toussie, had made substantial contributions to the Republican party and to the McCain campaign, the fact of which the Bush administration claimed to be unaware and quickly rescinded the pardon to avoid the appearance of impropriety. This gaffe is surprising, given the role that search engines for political contributions, such as NewsMeat, play in the vernacular data-mining practices of regular citizens, who may be nosy about the political giving habits of their friends and neighbors, and the relative rarity of the Toussie last name as a search term. It is likely that future pardon candidates will be vetted much more completely in this way to avoid future embarrassment to the Executive Branch.

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