Fuzzy math

Jack Abramoff visited the White House for “a few staff-level meetings,” says a Bush spokesman. But lobbying records show 200 visits by members of Abramoff’s firm in the first ten months of the Administration. And that only counts visits made on behalf of the Northern Marianas.

Did you know that 200 was “a few”? Me neither.

But apparently that’s the way the White House counts visits by Jack Abramoff and his colleagues.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: Markarkleiman-at-gmail.com

2 thoughts on “Fuzzy math”

  1. What is important to remember here is that there is a *war on terror*. I don't have to remind all of you that *brown people want your jobs*. Legalese – let's be honest – a pile of brown-people, at the gate, they're mostly better as an excuse, not someone that builds a life here. We're talking right now! You and I know, if the President does it, it is OK. This country needs a father figure, and Daddy says, we invade.
    Look out, Venezuela. Man, that one will be cool. I wonder how it will be recorded.
    PS: MT is stripping comments here. I meant to reference this: http://www.kathryncramer.com/kathryn_cramer/2006/

  2. Doesn't what's "a few" depend entirely on context? 200 could easily be a few stars or a few grains of sand if the context is all the sand on the beach or all the stars in the galaxy.
    200 is not "a few" visits by Jack Abramoff, but not because 200 can never be a few.

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