Saturday, August 07, 2004

Back from Vacation! Jobs And Economic News: Should We Be Depressed? Over-The-Top Crowd Responses To Kerry; And Even Some Movie Reviews

Jobs And Economic News: Should We Be Depressed?

The guys at Power Line note here that although the latest jobs number report seems bad (and what fanfare the news media gave that report!), consumer confidence is rising-- to its highest level since January. The news report Power Line links to is here. As the story notes:

Consumer confidence surged during the past month to its highest level since
the beginning of the year, with Americans feeling better about their own
finances and more optimistic about the future despite renewed terror threats and
rising oil prices.

Consumer confidence has been rising for the past four months as the
economy has been on a solid path to recovery.

I suppose that if people are feeling better about the economy, maybe they won't be in a mood to throw out the incumbent president. I am clinging tightly to my optimism, but Bush has bet his presidency on the Iraq war. I hope he can hang on. We'll know a lot more about how people feel after Labor Day.

The Heckling Becomes The Story

I do not like hearing about events like this one reported in the Boston Globe. Apparently Kerry's whistle-stop train tour was subjected to heavy and boorish heckling in a Missouri town. I hope that generally, opposition to the Kedwards ticket will focus more on the soundness of the ideas that drive Bush and his supporters and the weakness of Kerry's case, not dislike of Kerry. (Although there is surely plenty to dislike.)

Movie Reviews

Well, I couldn't lie on the beach the whole two weeks. We took some breaks to get out of the sun and recover from sunscreen overdoses.

The Manchurian Candidate is a waste of time, unless you like movies with extremely implausible conspiracy plot lines and cartoonish characters. Plot summary: A Hallburton-type corporation tries to install a president it can control through an implant it has placed in his brain. The left-wing politicians are heroic and godlike. The perpetrators of the plot are very conservative, the embodiment of cynicism, and eeeevilllll. Frankly, I would not have minded all that if the story were just a little plausible. Alas, it is not.

A Cinderella Story is great fun if you are lucky enough to have a little girl to take to see it, like I do.

The Village was just great, but I like M. Night Shyamalan. Not everyone does. The movie was beautiful to look at, had the usual M. Night twists, and has something interesting to say, even if it did so somewhat imperfectly. At bottom, of course, it's just a yarn, pretty well-told. M. Night has not yet duplicated his success in The Sixth Sense, but he keeps making good efforts and I intend to keep seeing his movies. He's a talented guy.

Man, I missed this high-speed connection!


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