Monday, March 24, 2008

Pumpkinhead Remembers It All For You

Tim Russert's memory hasn't been this, uh, selective, since he was forgetting Scooter Libby's phone calls to help out Dick Cheney and Karl Rove.

MR. RUSSERT: The psychology, so important. I remember in 1992, the economy grew in the fourth quarter some 4.7 percent, but the perception on Election Day was, "We're in bad economic times."

MS. BURNETT: Yeah, mm-hmm.

Perhaps Tim was confusing "the economy" with "the value of my real estate holdings on Martha's Vineyard." Because:

The economy grew at a faster-than-expected annual rate of 3.8 percent in the final quarter of 1992, the strongest performance in four years, the Commerce Department reported today.


But Mr. Moeller and other analysts point to lagging growth in jobs and incomes, as well as to related depressants -- a shrinking military establishment, poor conditions in commercial real estate and floundering economies abroad.

Indeed, the Labor Department today reported a third straight weekly increase in first-time claims for unemployment benefits, to the highest level since mid-November. Although the rise was only 2,000, analysts had been expecting a modest decline.

One of the many problems with Tim's memory is that his reporting on the economy is no different than his reporting on the White House. Pumpkinhead sits in his office and receives calls from the White House and its flacks and then dutifully spews out the fiction as remembered fact. Working people without multi-million dollar book contracts -- or even jobs -- perceived the economy as bad because it was bad for them and it had been bad for them for four years. (Perhaps the electorate would have been more optimistic if they'd been given more free rides on corporate jets.) But Russert's job is to put McCain in the White House, so he's gone to therapy and recovered some memories of the Bush economic miracle.

One more breakthrough and Tim will recall that he, personally, was on the receving end of Bill Clinton's cigar.

(Not to mention the fact that more than 60 percent of the fourth quarter in '92 occurred after everyone knew the long voodoo nightmare was over.)

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