SEEING SPILLS, IGNORING ILLS

If I had to look at videotapes showing a hundred hours of White House coffees, I know I'd find myself distracted by spills. "Are those coffee stains?" I'd be asking my fellow viewers, grim-looking men from various investigating committees. "Or is he wearing the club tie of some organization whose logo is a dark splotch?"

"Try to keep focused on anything that might show the President raising money on federal property," the chief investigator would say. By then, though, my gaze would have wandered, attracted by the possibility that I'd spotted an exceedingly rich man wiping the residue of a glazed...

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