Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Al Kamen and Bureaucrats

Al Kamen in the Post reports on the end of Filegate (if you don't remember, you're lucky--a complete waste of brain cells).  Judge Lamberth calls it a bureaucratic snafu of no significance: "there's no there there."  (Lamberth is remembered unfondly by Dems as a Jesse Helms protege and a member of the panel which put Mr. Starr in as special prosecutor, so it's safe to say he's not usually favorable to Clinton.)

In the same column he has an interesting followup--in 2008 the Census Bureau reported we were exporting goods to Iran which were supposedly prohibited.  Now it turns out some of this was misreporting:  Census asked for a 2-letter country code and people thought that Ireland or Iraq might be coded: "IR", which is the Iran code.  ("IN" and "IQ" were right, in case you wondered.)  A reminder of the problems of collecting data.  One reason I suspect you see drop-down lists of states when you're filling out an address online is that people get confused: is "AK" for Arkansas; is "MS" for Minnesota? 

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