By Matthew Rothschild on October 05, 2012

After his disastrous debate performance Wednesday night President Obama got some welcome news from the jobs report released Friday morning.

The report showed that the economy created 114,000 jobs last month and the unemployment rate fell to 7.8 percent, the lowest it’s been since he took office.

Plus, the figures for July and August were also revised upwards, pointing to a stronger summer of growth than initially thought.

It’s a “considerably better labor market picture,” says Jared Bernstein, who was Vice President Biden’s chief economist.

“We’re not yet out of the labor market woods, and I’d like to see us moving more quickly, but we’re on the right path.”

Bernstein, who is now with the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, stressed the “notable acceleration” of growth and believes this bodes well for Obama’s reelection chances.

“It’s momentum that matters most—whether we’re moving in the right direction,” Bernstein says. “That we are, and a bit faster than we were even one quarter ago.”

The jobs report sent some members of the rightwing into the conspiracy zone.

Jack Welch, former CEO of GE, took to Twitter to write: “Unbelievable jobs numbers..these Chicago guys will do anything..can’t debate so change numbers.”

And, as Talking Points Memo noted, goofy Rep. Allen West of Florida said, “Chicago style politics is at work here.” He also added: “Orwellian to say the least and representative of Saul Alinsky tactics from the book ‘Rules for Radicals.’”

Romney, for his part, said, “This is not what a real recovery looks like.”

Obama can’t win here. If the unemployment figures had gone up, he would have been slammed.

But the numbers went down, and he was still slammed.

It’s hard not to detect a note of Republican chagrin that the economy is actually doing better now.

If you liked this story by Matthew Rothschild, the editor of The Progressive magazine, check out his story “Romney on 60 Minutes: Kiss the Safety Net Goodbye."

Follow Matthew Rothschild @mattrothschild on Twitter

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By Wendell Berry

Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front

Love the quick profit, the annual raise,
vacation with pay. Want more 
of everything ready made. Be afraid 
to know your neighbors and to die.
And you will have a window in your head.
Not even your future will be a mystery 
any more. Your mind will be punched in a card 
and shut away in a little drawer.
When they want you to buy something 
they will call you. When they want you
to die for profit they will let you know. 
So, friends, every day do something
that won’t compute. Love the Lord. 
Love the world. Work for nothing. 
Take all that you have and be poor.
Love someone who does not deserve it. 
Denounce the government and embrace 
the flag. Hope to live in that free 
republic for which it stands. 
Give your approval to all you cannot
understand. Praise ignorance, for what man 
has not encountered he has not destroyed.
Ask the questions that have no answers. 
Invest in the millennium. Plant sequoias.
Say that your main crop is the forest
that you did not plant,
that you will not live to harvest.


Say that the leaves are harvested 
when they have rotted into the mold.
Call that profit. Prophesy such returns.
Put your faith in the two inches of humus 
that will build under the trees
every thousand years.
Listen to carrion—put your ear
close, and hear the faint chattering
of the songs that are to come. 
Expect the end of the world. Laugh. 
Laughter is immeasurable. Be joyful
though you have considered all the facts. 
So long as women do not go cheap 
for power, please women more than men.
Ask yourself: Will this satisfy 
a woman satisfied to bear a child?
Will this disturb the sleep 
of a woman near to giving birth? 
Go with your love to the fields.
Lie easy in the shade. Rest your head 
in her lap. Swear allegiance 
to what is nighest your thoughts.
As soon as the generals and the politicos 
can predict the motions of your mind, 
lose it. Leave it as a sign 
to mark the false trail, the way 
you didn’t go. Be like the fox 
who makes more tracks than necessary, 
some in the wrong direction.
Practice resurrection.

Wendell Berry is a poet, farmer, and environmentalist in Kentucky. This poem, first published in 1973, is reprinted by permission of the author and appears in his “New Collected Poems” (Counterpoint).

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