When he became chairman of the Federal Reserve, Alan Greenspan was chided about being too candid. He quickly reformed. "I have learned to mumble with great incoherence," he quipped to one group. "If I seem unduly clear to you, you must have misunderstood what I said." Well, times have changed.
There's something sleazy about respectable people claiming to be the innocent victims of their own blunders or wrongdoing. That's why I can't muster much sympathy for Donald Kennedy and Clark Clifford - the first is the president of Stanford University, the second a well-known lawyer and adviser to presidents - who have been caught in scandals.
Let's talk about the economics of war. You know the basic question: can we afford both guns and butter? It's always asked, and it's being asked now. We're told the war is frightfully expensive (perhaps $1 billion a day) and that, perhaps, we ought to pay for it with a surtax.
Just about the wackiest idea in circulation these days is the notion that the press is talking the country into a recession. The theory has a superficial appeal and also panders to the popular impulse to despise the media (that crude amalgam of newspapers, magazines and television).