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April 28, 2011

AP: Economy Slowed By High Prices, Bad Weather [And, Definitely, Not Failed Policies of Barack Obama]

So much to discuss here. Drew (who really wrote this post by providing the links and insight) notices right off the top, AP seems to have two types of stories on the economy:

* Numbers improved somewhat and that's due to the stimulus and Barack Obama's policies

* Numbers worsened yet again and that's due to weather and other Acts of God (but not Obama-God, the other God, the Old God)

The economy slowed sharply in the first three months of the year. High gas prices cut into consumer spending, bad weather delayed construction projects and the federal government slashed defense spending by the most in six years.

The 1.8 percent annual growth rate in the January-March quarter was weaker than the 3.1 percent growth in the previous quarter, the Commerce Department reported. And it was the worst showing since last spring when the European debt crisis slowed growth to a 1.7 percent pace.

1.8% is a recession in all but technical definition, as GDP is only barely keeping pace with natural population growth.

But, they want you to know, we're still forecast to average a still-weak 3.0% growth rate later this year.

Those wonderful, wondrous forecasts! If only we could live and work in that forecasted world.

Here's some good news: While the AP and other legacy media find no connection between Obama and bad economic news (unlike the case with past Republican presidents, whose names always popped up a few times in down economic stories), the public is capable of putting 2 and 2 together itself.

Registered voters nationally are not satisfied with how President Barack Obama is handling the nation’s economy. According to this McClatchy-Marist Poll, four in ten voters — 40% — approve of how the president is dealing with the country’s economy while nearly six in ten — 57% — disapprove. Only 3% are unsure. Mr. Obama’s approval rating on the economy is the lowest of his presidency. His previous low was last September when just 41% gave him a thumbs-up on the issue.

And that's registered voters, which should (according to Nate Silver) give the Democrats a +4% advantage as compared to likely voter sentiment.

It gets worse. Republican sentiment hardly matters as far as Obama, since we're not voting for him anyway. (Well, 10% of fake Republicans might.)

But what of swing independents? And what of the real killer -- swing Democrats?

There has been a change among Democrats and independents on this question. While 71% of Democrats approve of how the president is handling the economy, 27% disapprove. This is a 12 percentage point increase in the proportion of Democrats who disapprove since January. Among independent voters, 34% approve while more than six in ten — 63% — disapprove.

Monty sends an article noting, as many did, that right after Obama sniffed that he hasn't the time for this silliness, he jetted off to be stroked by Oprah.

And then back to work? You betcha. Immediately after he flew to New York City to appear at three Democratic fundraisers.

Guy's just got no time, no time at all. Spread thin and scattered to the four winds.

Can a man just eat his waffle?

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posted by Ace at 01:29 PM

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