Sunday, 23 October 2005

The view from Manhattan

In the midst of an article on Wal-Mart’s new low-premium/high-deductible health care plan, the New York Times makes the sort of bizarre statement that could only be made by a news organization whose employees have never set foot in a Wal-Mart:

Currently, fewer than half of Wal-Mart’s workers are covered by company health insurance, compared with more than 80 percent at Costco, its leading competitor.

Costco is Wal-Mart’s leading competitor? Perhaps in the warehouse club space, but that’s small potatoes compared to Wal-Mart’s discount store/grocery business, where its main competitors are K-Mart, Target, Meijer, Kroger, and the like. I strongly suspect those competitors are much less generous with health care than Costco (and perhaps even less generous than Wal-Mart).

Fact checking, it’s a beautiful thing.


I’m not feeling particularly diplomatic these days (in part, because my visit to Target this evening came up with some cold medicine with some newfangled pseudophedrine substitute instead of the real thing, as if I was going to be making some crystal meth in the apartment while trying to recover from my cold)... so, here’s a definitive political stand: I oppose the Miers nomination—or, more accurately, I oppose her confirmation by the Senate.

And, for what it’s worth, “trust me” is a pretty lousy argument if you don’t trust the president’s judgment on other matters (in my mind, Gitmo first and foremost) either.

The New Orleans Saints of Los Angeles (by way of San Antonio) reports that, according to NFL sources, the only way the Saints are likely to come back to New Orleans is if they play in a Super Bowl. Given the team’s history of threats to leave town for greener pastures (most recently—and, in retrospect, ironically—for the Mississippi Gulf Coast), nobody should be particularly surprised.

If Mayor Nagin and Governor Blanco are smart (admittedly a dubious proposition), they’ll shake down Saints owner Tom Benson for as much buyout money as possible—and then spend it on something other than luring another NFL franchise to town.

þ: OTB.