And try as they might -- and they are trying mightily to rescue a man they sold to voters four years ago as a political messiah -- major media can't seem to transform a failing president into a success.
"Fall in jobless rate strips Romney of an argument" was the gleeful headline in the Washington Post recently. No it doesn't.
Jack Welch, former CEO of General Electric, tweeted about the 7.8 percent unemployment number, down from 8.1 percent: "Unbelievable jobs numbers. These Chicago guys will do anything ... can't debate, so change numbers." The Bureau of Labor Statistics' stands by its calculations. On Fox News, economic journalist Stuart Varney admitted to being a little skeptical. "There is widespread distrust of this report," he said.
Does one have to be the economic equivalent of a "birther" or "truther" to question the timing of unemployment numbers below 8 percent, especially so close to an election?
Far more ominous is the rapid rise in gasoline prices in California; "40.3 cents more than a week ago," according to figures from the AAA and Oil Price Information Service. The price is nearing $6 a gallon for premium and above $5 for other grades at some pumps.
It sounds like the plot of a disaster movie, which, in fact, it is. Timed perfectly to address public angst is "Atlas Shrugged II," the second film in a planned trilogy, opening Oct. 12. One doesn't have to be an atheist, like the book's author Ayn Rand, or a disciple of her philosophy of objectivism, which she described as "...the concept of man as a heroic being, with his own happiness as the moral purpose of his life, with productive achievement as his noblest activity, and reason as his only absolute," to appreciate the fictional warnings.
Though "Atlas Shrugged" was published in 1957 as a warning against centralized political control, the movie's message is as contemporary as today's news.
Cal Thomas is co-author (with Bob Beckel) of the book, "Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That is Destroying America".
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