More play for the weirdly ignored Alan Placa issue from Melinda Henneberger at Slate's newish XX Factor blog (I hope men read the site; it's very good but seems to have been branded in a way that may prevent people from checking it out). To try to put a little more substance behind the simple fact that it's odd that Rudy would choose to surround himself with a child molester, this seems to be part of a broader pattern of questionable personnel decisions in Giuliani's career, going all the way back to firing Bill Bratton for being too successful, the whole Bernard Kerik mess, etc.

One thing we've seen during the Bush years is that these kind of staffing decisions matter. What you want is a president who thinks to himself, "if I mostly populate the government with qualified people who know what they're doing, the government will be run well and that will reflect well on me in ways that serve my interests." What you don't want is someone who thinks that the ability to give out jobs is primarily about building a patronage network of loyalists who owe you big-time because nobody else would touch them with a ten foot pole.