Relevant and even prescient commentary on news, politics and the economy.

More Bad News Just yesterday, I said that unemployment increases tend to follow slowdowns in the manufacturing sector. Now today, the new unemployment figures are out and they are worse than expected (coming in at 445,000 instead of the anticipated 410,000 new jobless claims). In this case, these numbers are related to past slowness in […]

If it Sounds to Good to be True Then it probably is. Kevin Drum (CalPundit) points to a CNN story, Study: Smoking ban cuts heart attacks; Trend shows heart attacks down by half. Here’s the big quote from the story: Now, about eight months after Dr. Richard Sargent first noticed the trend, both doctors are […]

This is Bad Economic News Factory orders fall 1.5% in February; Manufacturing sector remains sluggish as factories hold out for further developments in Iraq war. Quoting: Orders for durable goods — items such as cars and appliances meant to last three or more years — fell 1.6 percent, a bigger fall than the previously reported […]

More Rumsfeld, Meyers, and “The Plan” Rumsfeld and Meyers had a press conference today (transcript here). AB

In Honor of Mr. Cheney Today There’s this from the Press Gaggle: Q. So you think that his [Vice President Cheney] prediction could still pan out that the Iraqis wouldn’t fight? MR. FLEISCHER: I assure you, the Vice President does not say things lightly. So when the Vice President says something like that, he has […]

Orcinus found a Great Quote It’s sufficiently appropriate for the current times that I’ll lift it entirely from Dave: “The President is merely the most important among a large number of public servants. He should be supported or opposed exactly to the degree which is warranted by his good conduct or bad conduct, his efficiency […]

Controversy becoming more public The story of the Military Brass vs. Rumsfeld and the Neocons has been getting a lot of play lately. In Europe, both the very liberal Guardian and the center-right Financial Times had daily stories alleging that the troops and commanders were unhappy over the limited deployment of ground troops. Today’s New […]

Gary Hart Has a Blog It looks like Hart is posting on alternate days. Here’s a sample: I’ve been meeting with students and activists in Durham, Manchester, Hanover, Boston, Amherst, and New Haven and I have been hearing some common themes…Heidi Brooks, a business school student, asked me “how will we know when the war […]

Angry Bear Back from Vacation I guess the headline says it all. Europe was great and the people were friendly to Americans–at least to us. Unfortunately, I didn’t talk much to the locals about war views. I guess I wasn’t real anxious to approach people and say “Hi, I’m American, what do you think about […]

Paris Scenes We caught the tail end of a protest in the Place de Concorde last night. It ended at 5:00 and we didn’t get there till around 5:30, so the pictures below don’t show the full turnout. The most notable aspect was the lack of any overt anti-Americanism…the signs were all peace oriented as […]