Friday :: Apr 2, 2004

Bush Finally Gets Good Job Numbers - And He Needs The Good News


by Steve

As George W. Bush goes on a victory tour this morning over one month of good job numbers in the last three years, there is some irony in the fact that despite the best job creation numbers since he was appointed president, George W. Bush finds the media coverage today overshadowed by bad news elsewhere. The Labor Department trumpeted the March job creation numbers this morning, as it was reported that 308,000 new jobs were created. This followed upward revised figures for January and February (where the economy created only 205,000 jobs in two months). So the White House gets to crow for once about real job numbers, assuming we find out that these are real jobs and not temp help or lower paying service jobs replacing higher paying jobs. Yet the unemployment rate went up in March to 5.7% because more people reentered the job market and couldn’t find work, and many had to settle for part-time jobs. Being its typical hypocritical self, the White House talked up the numbers but ignored the unemployment rate uptick this morning, when just last month they ignored the job numbers and talked up the drop in the rate, even though the rate was dropping because people were giving up.

We can only hope that these numbers hold up and high paying jobs return. But this potentially good news this morning is run over by bad news elsewhere. Sun Microsystems is slashing 3300 jobs, and Gateway is closing its retail stores, eliminating 2500 more jobs.

And the news elsewhere isn't good. The White House worked with its benefactors in the chemical industry to undermine European Union efforts to require testing of the US-made chemicals sold in Europe.

The 9/11 Commission is wondering why the Bush Administration is selectively releasing Clinton Administration records, rather than the whole set of documents sought by the commission, even after the Clinton Administration has said a total release is OK. Given their efforts to smear Dick Clarke with a selective release of his prior interviews and meetings while in the Bush White House, and with both Clinton and Gore scheduled to testify, it appears that the Bushies are once again trying to slant the paper trail to protect themselves and blame others. But the Bushies will now have to silence another critic, an FBI translator who has already testified to the 9/11 Commission that contrary to Condi Rice’s claims, the Administration did get specific warnings of an Al Qaeda attack using commercial aircraft against domestic targets in the months before 9/11. And the Administration also finds itself trying to explain why it won’t release a speech that Condi was to give around 9/11 that shows a lack of interest in Al Qaeda but a fixation on missile defense.

Colin Powell got rebuffed today in his efforts to get NATO to come to our rescue in Iraq, when NATO said they already had too much to do in Afghanistan to help us out in Iraq. And while the violence against Americans in Iraq escalates, our friend Ariel Sharon continues to make things worse in the region by attacking Palestinians while they pray, and then stating he could kill Arafat if he chose to.

And the latest CBS News Poll, out this morning and taken through last night, shows a delayed reaction to a week’s worth of Clarke’s charges and White House smears. Initial polls right after Clarke’s media rollout showed little if any damage for Bush. Yet this poll shows that 59% think that the White House is trying to hide something about what it knew in the months leading up to 9/11.

So my advice to the White House is to enjoy the job numbers while you can. And perhaps while you are enjoying them, you can explain why the commission looking into Iraqi WMD intelligence has yet to meet , or even be fully staffed.

Steve :: 9:30 AM :: Comments (11) :: Digg It!