Everyone is shocked mildly surprised that Arnold Schwarzenegger has a love child.

Had we known about this awkwardness before and Schwarzenegger didn’t win the 2003 election, Kevin Drum argues, California’s budget deficit would be half what it is now.

Quite possibly one of the reasons we didn’t know about Schwarzenegger’s affair is because he compelled everyone around him to sign confidentiality agreements, an issue I wrote about in a 2003 New York Times editorial, “Full Disclosure on Full Disclosure.

These agreements aren’t made merely out of a concern for privacy. Confidentiality agreements have become a tool used by the rich and powerful against people who can’t afford to turn down a job, as a way to stifle public discussion of embarrassing issues, and as a means of ensuring that a whistle-blower can’t throw a wrench into the image-making machinery of a public figure.

Knowing the way things go, I’ve no doubt that the use of confidentiality agreements has only proliferated since that time. But I think there should be a presumption of guilt here: Anyone requiring people to sign a confidentiality agreement, outside of the normal conduct of business, should be assumed to be hiding something…..