Thursday, May 06, 2004

Tane and Tother: Bush's luck seems to run hot and cold at the same time. When Iraq is going well, the economy is in the tank. These days, the press can talk of nothing but the horror (the horror!) of American occupation. (Oh yeah, and the Friends deal.) Meanwhile, the economy hums like a swarm of bees:
The productivity of America's companies rose solidly in the opening quarter of this year, and new filings for jobless benefits plunged last week to their lowest level in more than three years, good news for the country's economic health.

. . . The Labor Department reported Thursday that productivity — the amount an employee produces for every hour on the job — rose at a 3.5 percent annual rate in the January-to-March quarter, up from a 2.5 percent pace registered in the previous quarter.

. . . In a second report from the department, new applications filed for unemployment insurance dropped by a seasonally adjusted 25,000 to 315,000, for the week ending May 1. That marked the lowest level since Oct. 28, 2000.

The layoffs picture presented by the jobless claims filings looked better than economists had expected. They had forecast claims to dip to around 335,000 last week.

Maybe the best he can hope for is for both to muddle along. Assuming an true inverse variation, though, the pictures of summary executions in Abu Ghraib should turn up presently.

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