My hometown newspaper is the StarTribune (of Minneapolis, though they call themselves “the newspaper of the Twin Cities” because of larger circulation (than the St. Paul rival) leavened with a healthy dose of plain ol hubris. Because of their execrable editorial policies (on both the commentary pages and the alleged “news” pages- it is hard to tell the difference at election time), I don’t subscribe to the daily editions, but do read the weekend papers.

As part of the current full-court press to save Minnesota from the ascending conservatives, led by very popular and personable Governor Tim Pawlenty, the “Strib” has gone into bunker mode for the full dress battle over the soul of the state, which battle culminates on November 2. Among the stories on the business pages last week, all more or less positioned to try to persuade us that the economy is in the tank (hey, it worked in 1992…..), was a piece Sunday, Oct 17 piece on page D-1, discussing relative stock market performance under Democrats and Republicans. The most interesting element of their analysis was this little point on the graphic sidebar with the usual simplistic and a bit inflammatory title:

“Bush tide didn’t lift all boats- Of four industry sectors that were widely expected to do better under a Bush presidency than if Al Gore had been elected, two advanced smartly between Inauguration Day and the day before the terrorist attacks on 9/11. The oil sector showed only a small gain, however, and pharmaceuticals declined during the period.”

Stop and think about that revealing statement for a moment. It makes three important points:

1) They admit that any economic slowdowns we have experienced over the last three years were powerfully affected (not caused- the market actually peaked in 2000 before the election) by the wrenching events of 9/11. Of course, Mr. Kerry and his friends (read: MSM, most particularly and explicitly including this very same Strib) are still selling the snake oil about Republican economic management, outsourcing, whatever, causing job losses.

2) Pharmaceutical stocks have dropped? Gee, I thought that, according to the Kerry commercials, Bush was in the tank for the drug manufacturers and doesn’t care about prescription prices. Not so.

3) Oil stocks have only showed a very small gain? Hey, I thought that we were at war for oil and all that kind of stuff, to make the Texans and Enron rich. Scratch that one too.

I wonder what else about old Bushitler these guys have been lying to me about? Maybe there are even elections in Afghanistan and progress in Iraq, where the French were blocking Iraqi liberation and freedom in order to preserve the TotalFinaElf oil concessions they would be awarded after getting the sanctions lifted……

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