And Pearlstein lands more than a glancing blow on a politician while also tweaking the company for its larger government dependency:

But it’s more than ironic that, having spent the past year lambasting Democrats for taxing and spending, Republican Bob McDonnell now can’t wait to lavish millions of taxpayer dollars on a Fortune 500 company that makes all its money selling stuff to — who else? — the government.

It’s not too late, however, for McDonnell to renounce this kind of socialism, call up Gov. O’Malley and Mayor Fenty and, in the name of fiscal sanity and regional unity, propose a financial disarmament treaty.

I’ve long thought the states ought to go in on a kind of mutual nonagression pact regarding corporate welfare. Until that happens (which it won’t, of course) they’ll keep bidding themselves into a corporate corner.

Which is how Tom Friedman likes it.

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Ryan Chittum is a former Wall Street Journal reporter, and deputy editor of The Audit, CJR's business section. If you see notable business journalism, give him a heads-up at rc2538@columbia.edu. Follow him on Twitter at @ryanchittum.