Notes on the Atrocities
Like a 100-watt radio station, broadcasting to the dozens...

Tuesday, March 23, 2004  

It's been a long time since I've commented on what other bloggers are doing, and that's more than a small failing of mine. The blogosphere is, after all, a tapestry. My one thread isn't sufficient. Here are a few more:

Mary Beth of Wampum discusses gas prices and the economy.

I was relatively surprised to hear of the market's slide as I half-listened to Marketplace while preparing lamb curry for dinner. There, analysts asserted "terrorism fears" were the dominant reason for the slide, a conclusion the NYTimes supported as well. My interest, however, increased exponentially when I read the second half of the Times brief para on the subject in today's report:

The turbulence in the Middle East discouraged equity investors already uneasy about a slow economic recovery and tepid job growth. Wall Street was also worried about decreased consumer spending due to rising oil prices. [emphasis mine]

So I've only been blathering on about this very possibility for nigh over a year now, about every time we've seen a serious spike in prices. $40/barrel has generally been what more analysts regard as the potential tipping point back into recession, and prices have bounded above $38/barrel in recent weeks.

(Comment: The Bushies' strategy regarding the economy--as with everything--is to isolate facts. You not only don't connect dots, but you pathologically sequester them. This is an under-reported dot.)

In the round-up of the Sunday talk shows, Liberal Oasis points out something the Clarke obsessed (don't know who that might be) may have missed:

On ABC?s This Week, Sen. Joe Biden (D-DE), was making a little confession of his own:

I was wrong about Bush...

...In my many hours of discussions with him after 9/11, before we went into Iraq... I didn't think he was so fixated on Iraq.

I didn't think he really was unrelenting, go into Iraq no matter what.

Some people told me he was.

And as he referred to "some people," he patted his friend Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-NE) three times on the knee.

Hagel didn't seem to mind, and he sought no clarification.

(Comment: This is the secret problem the Bushies face this year--party division. As long as the economy continues to sink and foreign policy remains a muddle, GOP congressfolk are going to keep one foot on firm ground in case the Bush ship sinks. The more it lists, the more they'll be shifting their weight.)

Bohemian Mama wants to save Angel, the TV show:

The Save Angel Campaign got national coverage today. Quality television must be defended! Go Angel Savers!

(Comment: Well, it's certainly a lot better than the competition.)

In the midst of the Clarke storm, Norbizness points us to this fact (from Dana Millbank at the Post):

In the early days after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, the Bush White House cut by nearly two-thirds an emergency request for counterterrorism funds by the FBI, an internal administration budget document shows...

... Attorney General John D. Ashcroft, working within the White House limits, cut the FBI's request for items such as computer networking and foreign language intercepts by half, cut a cyber-security request by three quarters and eliminated entirely a request for 'collaborative capabilities.'...

... A draft of Ashcroft's 'Strategic Plan' from Aug. 9, 2001, does not put fighting terrorism as one of the department's seven goals, ranking it as a sub-goal beneath gun violence and drugs"

Comment: Millbank's Clintonite scum! No, wait...)

Suburban Guerrilla: all of it.

(Comment: Are those footsteps Atrios is hearing? Susan's been increasingly becoming the go-to blogger for news.)

Since I started with the economy, let me finish there. Nathan Newman talks turkey--or rather, China. And jobs. It's one of the best posts I've read on the jobs issues, and you absolutely must click here.

Some analysts will wave away the problem, noting that China's $168 billion in exports to the United States is only a bit more than 1% of the $11 trillion US Gross Domestic Product (GDP).... But dollars are not the real issue. Jobs are. And the question is how many jobs are represented by that $168 billion in exports by China....

So think about the US economy this way-- to produce all the goods and services Americans consume, it takes 138 million American workers and 90 million Chinese workers (plus some additional number of workers producing other imported goods) to make them.

posted by Jeff | 8:18 AM |
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