Rich Galen

If yesterday morning's jobless claims numbers were any indication, this is going to be a rough patch for President Obama.

The Reuters lead was: "The number of Americans filing for jobless aid rose to an eight-month high last week and productivity growth slowed in the first quarter, clouding the outlook for an economy that is struggling to gain speed."

This was on the heels of a report earlier this week that the U.S. economy "slowed to a 1.8 percent annual rate [of growth] in the first quarter after a 3.1 percent expansion in the final three months of 2010."

According to the Clear Capital Housing Index website: "U.S. home prices nationwide have dipped below the low recorded in March 2009. A combination of foreclosures and short sales attracted bargain-conscious buyers in recent months, many paying in cash and making low-ball offers."

In an inflationary period, people buy things today because they believe they will be more expensive next month. It appears that people thinking about buying a home are holding back because they believe prices will be lower next month, next quarter, or next year.

With all that depressing economic news in the hopper, President Obama will not be able to ride on the shoulders of a gallant group of brave U.S. Navy Seals for very long.

On the Secret Decoder Ring today: Links to the jobless claims story, to a site showing the growth of the national debt in real time, and the website about housing prices.

Also a license plate Mullfoto and a Catchy Caption of the Day.

Rich Galen

Rich Galen has been a press secretary to Dan Quayle and Newt Gingrich. Rich Galen currently works as a journalist and writes at