• In today’s manufacturing, higher technology means a lot fewer jobs

    A tweet about the steel industry

    The jobs in these traditional industries, such as steel and autos, pay well and support whole communities.

    But the manufacturing process looks a lot different that our 1950s image of it.

    There are a lot fewer jobs on the production line–and a lot more programming machines.

    One piece of good news for American industry: with fewer production-line employees, there are fewer benefits from transferring production to low-wage locations overseas.

  • Take a deep breath over the hyperinflated news about leaking

    ♦♦♦♦♦

    As for Trump sharing classified information with the Russians, we don’t know the full story yet.

    We’ll know a lot more over the next couple of days.

    CNN, MSNBC, the WaPo, and the NYT can’t waiting. They are treating it as WWIII.

    I doubt it, though I await more hard news about what Trump told the Russians and whether his key aides were disturbed.

    If Trump made a disclosure that went beyond what his professionals wanted, that’s bad.

    It’s not a crime–the President can declassify at will–but it seriously harms our intel relationship with allies, who already think the US leaks like a broken hydrant. The news stories suggest the information reported by the WaPo and NYT come from an ally.

    If Trump made a mistake, it is yet another self-inflicted wound, caused by his inexperience and hubris.

    If he disclosed anything sensitive that McMaster wanted to keep secret, that would be troubling, just as it was troubling when the Obama Administration’s bragging about one anti-terror operation disclosed, inadvertently, that the US must have a human-intelligence source in the Islamic organization.

    ♦♦♦♦♦

    Beyond any disclosure to the Russians, there are two other serious issues here.

    The first is that top insiders or their assistants are leaking to the press, deliberately trying to undermine their boss.

    Unless those are stopped, the President’s circle will continue to narrow and his distrust of aides continue to grow.

    The aides themselves must be wondering if one of their own key advisers leaked the information (assuming one of the very top people in the room did not leak it themselves).

    Suspicion of the “deep state” at the intel agencies and the continuing role of Obama’s people will mount.

    Second, the media are doing there job when they report news about these disclosures if

    • the stories are accurate
    • the rebuttals are included and checked out
    • the inaccurate stories are retracted (as they were not, last week), and
    • the hard news is kept separate from the editorializing (a boundary that has essentially disappeared at the main New York-Washington media).

    ♦♦♦♦♦

    Amid all this furor, what worries me most is the growing sense that the White House is not providing stable leadership and clear policy guidance. Without it, our allies become uncertain and the Congress freezes up. How is that good for America?

     

  • Free Tip for Susan Rice: Do NOT Go on Television. It never ends well

    Or Radio. Or Podcasts. Or Smoke Signals.

    I’m just glad CNN, NBC, the Washington Post, and New York Times take her word for it.

    Of course, the more serious question is whether Rice will talk when the FBI and the House and Senate committees come calling. My hunch, and it is only that, is that she will release statements saying she did nothing wrong and then decline to answer questions. We need to know what legitimate, national-security purpose she had for unmasking the names on each document she requested. We need to know, under oath, if she spoke about any of this with Valerie Jarrett. We can assume that she will never say she spoke about this to President–and we can assume that she is as truthful as always.

    ♦♦♦♦♦♦♦

    Kudos, once again, to William Jacobson and Legal Insurrection.