The Republican campaign strategy continues:
Applications for unemployment benefits increased 9,000 in the week ended June 18 to 429,000, Labor Department figures showed today. The level of claims exceeded the highest estimate in a Bloomberg News survey in which the median projection called for 415,000 filings. The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index dropped to minus 44.9 last week from minus 44.
Stocks slumped and Treasury securities rose as the figures, combined with a drop in new-home sales, showed the recovery was struggling to gain momentum. Bernanke said yesterday that joblessness above 9 percent and weakness in housing show the economy’s “headwinds” may be stronger than Fed policy makers initially estimated.
Purchases of new homes dropped 2.1 percent in May to a 319,000 annual rate, figures from the Commerce Department showed today in Washington. The median price of new properties sold declined from a year earlier.
Congressional Democrats seem to have become vertebrates; they’ve called out the Republican strategy:
They’ve made it explicit. Democrats are accusing Republicans of trying to sabotage the recovery — or at least stall it — by blocking all short-term measures to boost the economy, even ones they previously supported.
We’ll see how long that lasts.
Also, what Atrios said.