The Awesome Power Of Nexis

By Patrick Appel
Drezner digs into a report on the politicization of civil service hires at the Justice Department. Here is the Nexis search string used to vet candidates:

[first name of a candidate] and pre/2 [last name of a candidate] w/7 bush or gore or republican! or democrat! or charg! or accus! or criticiz! or blam! or defend! or iran contra or clinton or spotted owl or florida recount or sex! or controvers! or racis! or fraud! or investigat! or bankrupt! or layoff! or downsiz! or PNTR or NAFTA or outsourc! or indict! or enron or kerry or iraq or wmd! or arrest! or intox! or fired or sex! or racis! or intox! or slur! or arrest! or fired or controvers! or abortion! or gay! or homosexual! or gun! or firearm!

For those unfamiliar with Nexis, (!) replaces(pdf) "any number of characters at the end of a root word: litigat! = litigate, litigated, litigation, etc."