More elections, please, in Iraq.

A mostly political Weblog.
Dec. 20 2005 3:15 AM

More Elections, Please!

Four years is a long time in Iraq.

(Continued from Page 10)

Redacted all absurdum: Remember the famous 8 redacted pages in Judge Tatel's concurring opinion in the Plame case, the pages that many observers, following Lawrence O'Donnell's lead, assumed contained top secret eye-only information on the grave national security consequences of CIA "operative" Plame's outing--the pages, indeed, that O'Donnell said constituted "the one very good reason Karl Rove might be indicted"? Well, never mind! Tom Maguire notices a buried lede in today's NYT story  indicating that those 8 pages turn out to contain nothing like that. They seem to mainly disclose information about witnesses, etc. involved in Fitzgerald's perjury case--not a case about horrible damage done to our intelligence agents or their sources. The upshot may be that, despite Joseph Wilson's dramatics, his wife's outing didn't really cause such national security damage--something a few scandal-poopers have  claimed all along. ... 3:50 P.M.

Advertisement

Who Killed Spring Hill?The clueless NYT is on the case: The NYT manages to produce a long, moving front-page story on the demise of Saturn's innovative (and successful) Spring Hill, Tennessee plant without once mentioning the UAW's complicity in its killing--specifically in the decision to produce the larger Saturn sedan at an old-style plant in Wilmington, Delaware rather than at Spring Hill. ... The Times pisses on Spring Hill's success, writing:

In truth, Saturns never consistently beat their Japanese rivals in surveys performed by J. D. Power or Consumer Reports, but Saturn's consumer-friendly image ... [snip] ... made it seem as though they did.

But to even match the Japanese at a time when no other Detroit car came close was a huge achievement. Why didn't GM build on that success? Because the Saturn workers' very competence threatened the continued existence of other, less competent parts of General Motors--and there were more people working there than at Spring Hill. ... I suppose this tension--between productive and unproductive divisions--exists at every large organization, but it's surely exacerbated by the presence of a powerful union, especially a powerful small-d democratic union. The UAW, you could argue, was legally obligated to represent the interests of the majority of its members--and the majority worked in the unproductive parts of GM that Spring Hill threatened. It didn't help that Spring Hill succeeded by getting rid of the elaborate work rules so prized by the UAW's more traditional locals. ... It is written: The Nostradamus-like "Chatterbox" predicted all this in a previous century. A small, colorful cult worshipping him has sprung up in Micronesia. ...  12:34 P.M.

Pssst! Bolivia is about to elect a president who wants to decriminalize coca production.  Won't that throw the War on Drugs into a more than mild state of disarray? Just asking. ... 2:08 A.M.

Gregg Easterbrook's rule that All Economic News is Bad was effectively illustrated by yesterday's NYT front-pager, "Upbeat Signs Hold Cautions for the Future." The article notes several positive economic trends, including lower gas prices, but then warns darkly that

... as always with the United States economy, it is not quite that simple.

For every encouraging sign, there is an explanation. ...[snip]  Gasoline prices - the national average is now $2.15, according to the Energy Information Administration - have fallen because higher prices held down demand and Gulf Coast supplies have been slowly restored. [Emph. added.]

It's indeed deeply disturbing to learn that higher gas prices have held down demand, causing those prices to fall back to a level at which demand begins to rise again! It's almost as if some insidious law was at work--as prices rise, demand declines! As supply increases, prices fall! You can't win! ... P.S.: The price drop might be alarming if the decline in demand for gas reflected a general economic downturn. But that doesn't seem to be the case. What the NYT's Vikak Bajaj ominously describes is the market working exactly as it's supposed to, coupled with successful rebuilding efforts on the Gulf Coast. It appears to be "quite that simple." ... P.P.S.: Nor can I spot any "cautions for the future." .... P.P.P.S.: Bijaj further reported that

the Federal Reserve and businesses will have a big part in setting the economy's pace next year - the Fed through interest rates and companies by their hiring decisions. [Emph. added]

TODAY IN SLATE

History

The Self-Made Man

The story of America’s most pliable, pernicious, irrepressible myth.

The GOP Senate Candidate in Iowa Doesn’t Want Voters to Know Just How Conservative She Really Is

Does Your Child Have “Sluggish Cognitive Tempo”? Or Is That Just a Disorder Made Up to Scare You?

The Supreme Court, Throughout Its History, Has Been a Massive Disappointment

Why Indians in America Are Mad for India’s New Prime Minister

Damned Spot

Now Stare. Don’t Stop.

The perfect political wife’s loving gaze in campaign ads.

Building a Better Workplace

You Deserve a Pre-cation

The smartest job perk you’ve never heard of.

Rehtaeh Parsons Was the Most Famous Victim in Canada. Now, Journalists Can’t Even Say Her Name.

Parents, Get Your Teenage Daughters the IUD

The XX Factor
Sept. 30 2014 12:34 PM Parents, Get Your Teenage Daughters the IUD
Moneybox
Sept. 30 2014 12:04 PM John Hodgman on Why He Wore a Blue Dress to Impersonate Ayn Rand
  News & Politics
Jurisprudence
Sept. 30 2014 2:36 PM This Court Erred The Supreme Court has almost always sided with the wealthy, the privileged, and the powerful.
  Business
Building a Better Workplace
Sept. 30 2014 1:16 PM You Deserve a Pre-cation The smartest job perk you’ve never heard of.
  Life
Education
Sept. 30 2014 1:48 PM Thrashed Florida State’s new president is underqualified and mistrusted. But here’s how he can turn it around.
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 30 2014 12:34 PM Parents, Get Your Teenage Daughters the IUD
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Sept. 30 2014 3:21 PM Meet Jordan Weissmann Five questions with Slate’s senior business and economics correspondent.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 30 2014 2:56 PM How Faithful Is David Fincher’s Gone Girl?
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 30 2014 2:38 PM Scientists Use Electrical Impulses to Help Paralyzed Rats Walk Again
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 30 2014 7:30 AM What Lurks Beneath the Methane Lakes of Titan?
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 28 2014 8:30 PM NFL Players Die Young. Or Maybe They Live Long Lives. Why it’s so hard to pin down the effects of football on players’ lives.